Policies & Procedures

Petitioning a Degree Requirement

Petition types include substituting transfer courses and in-residence courses for degree requirements, reductions in residency degree requirements, and outright waivers. Note, waivers are rare and only for unusual circumstances.

Your academic advisor is responsible for submitting the online petition. You may be asked to provide a copy of your syllabus, a write-up of your research results, or a written statement explaining the reason for your request. Your petition will be reviewed by your faculty advisor. The Dean’s Office makes all final decisions on petitions and notifies you through the Natural Sciences Secure Web Services.

View the results of your petition at the Natural Sciences Secure Web Services page.

Foreign Language Requirement

International, permanent resident, and U.S. citizen undergraduates who speak languages besides English have a variety of options for meeting foreign language requirements besides taking courses at UT or elsewhere. Options include:

Standardized placement exams – The Center for Teaching and Learning offers standardized placement exams for which you can earn college credit. The center provides a general yearly schedule of the exams they offer and the times they are offered. You can earn college credit through these exams.

Proficiency exams – The Texas Language Center in the College of Liberal Arts proctors oral and written exams in which your proficiency level can be determined. You cannot earn college credit through a proficiency exam. However, the college will waive the portion of foreign language requirements that are equivalent to your proficiency level. However, the total hours for the degree will not be reduced. Proficiency levels are defined below.

Novice High = 1st semester proficiency

Intermediate Mid = 2nd and 3rd semster proficiency

Intermediate High or above = 4th semester proficiency

Instruction in a language other than English – Students who can provide documentation that they were instructed through high school in a language other than english in all subjects can have their foreign language requirements waived. You can't earn college credit through this option.

Petitioning a University Core Curriculum Requirement

Petitions for University core curriculum requirements are the responsibility of the Texas Undergraduate Studies. Your academic advisor and a designated advisor in the School of Undergraduate Studies can assist you with this process. 

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment refers to the act of enrolling simultaneously at more than one college or university, including through online education. Each college at UT has its own policy for the conditions in which you can be concurrently enrolled. Talk to your academic advisor to ensure you know the policy and options before you consider concurrent enrollment.

In the College of Natural Sciences, summer concurrent enrollment is permitted without conditions. Concurrent enrollment is permitted in limited circumstances during fall and spring semesters. You do not need advance approval if you meet both conditions A and B during a fall or spring semester:

A. You are registered in-residence at UT for a minimum of 9 hours, and

B. You want to concurrently enroll in a non-mathematics or non-science course.To be certain that your courses will satisfy degree requirements, please consult with your academic advisor prior to any concurrent enrollment.

In addition, you do not need advance approval if you meet both conditions C and D:

C. You are registered in residence at UT for a minimum of 9 hours, and

D. You want to concurrently enroll in a mathematics or science course through UT Extension. However, UT Extension will not allow you to take a mathematics or science course through UT Extension if you have already enrolled in it twice at UT.

If you feel you have an academically sound reason to seek an exception to the fall and spring conditions, ask your advisor to  initiate a petition prior to enrollment. The Dean's Office will make a final decision and notify you through the Natural Sciences Secure Web Services.

Multiple Degree Seekers: Please note that each college at the University has different policies regarding concurrent enrollment. If you are seeking degrees in more than one college, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are meeting the policies of both colleges.

Enrolling as an Undergraduate in a Graduate Course

You may discover graduate courses that can enrich your education and provide new challenges.

An undergraduate may enroll in a graduate course under the following conditions:

  • Must have completed at least 60 credit hours and must fulfill the prerequisites for the course (except graduate standing).
  • Must have a University GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Must receive the consent of the instructor of the course and the graduate advisor for the department in which the course is offered. A list of graduate advisor contacts can be found here. Individual decisions may impose individual requirements or bar undergraduates from enrolling in graduate courses.
  • An undergraduate student may not enroll in a graduate course that has fewer than five graduate students enrolled.
  • A graduate course taken by an undergraduate is counted toward the student's bachelor's degree in the same way that upper-division courses are counted, unless the course is reserved for graduate credit. Courses reserved for graduate credit may not also be used to fulfill the requirements of an undergraduate degree.
  • An undergraduate student enrolled in a graduate course is subject to all University regulations affecting undergraduates.
  • Submit this information via email to CNSInfo@austin.utexas.edu by the 12th class day in a long-session semester or the 4th class day in the summer session.


  • Get approval from the instructor offering the course.
  • Get approval from the graduate advisor for the course.
  • Submit request with email attachments of the instructor AND graduate advisor course approvals to CNSInfo@austin.utexas.edu by the 12th class day in a long-session semester or the 4th class day in the summer session.
    • Student must include Course Number, Unique Number, UT EID, and their full name.
  • If the above conditions are met, you will get an email confirmation. If the above eligibility requirements are not met, additional processes for the approval status will be required.
  • You are then responsible for enrolling in the course during your normal registration period. You are not automatically enrolled in the course until you add it to your schedule. Should you encounter issues in registering for the course, please contact the associated department.
    • I.E. if it is a graduate level mathematics course, please contact the mathematics department.

Repetition of a Course

No student may enroll in any course offered in the College of Natural Sciences more than twice, even if the course is needed to meet degree requirements, without first obtaining the written consent of the major advisor and the department that offers the course; students in colleges other than the College of Natural Sciences need only departmental approval. A symbol of Q or W counts as enrollment in a course unless it has been approved by the Dean's office for non-academic reasons. Some departments in the College of Natural Sciences may have additional restrictions for students who repeat courses.

Grade Replacement

There is no grade replacement policy at The University of Texas at Austin. If a student repeats a course, both grades will appear on the student’s transcript and both will be calculated into the student’s overall GPA.

Academic Dishonesty

Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, using, buying, stealing, and/or divulging the contents of an examination, removing a test from the examination room, substituting for another person, having someone take a test for you, misplacing or damaging property of the University or destroying information so another student may not have materials, falsifying research data, misrepresenting facts including providing false grades or resumes, presenting someone else’s work as one’s own academic work and falsifying academic records. A full and comprehensive statement about what constitutes academic dishonesty can be found in Appendix C, section 11-802 in the General Information bulletin. The Student Judicial Services office in the Office of the Dean of Students has the responsibility for following up and making the final determination.

Full-Time Student Status

To be a full-time student, you must register for, and be enrolled in, a minimum of 12 hours at UT. Full-time status is usually necessary to receive financial aid, live in on-campus housing, compete on a university athletic team, be covered under parents’ health or car insurance or be an international student. If full-time status becomes a hardship for non-academic reasons, please see your academic advisor or contact the CNS Dean’s Office for a CNS counselor.

Flat-Rate Tuition and Four-Year Graduation

Your tuition and fee bill will be calculated based on a 14-hour semester courseload. The policy was implemented to encourage an increase in the four-year graduation rate. Four year degree plans are available online and in the advising centers, but usually require 15-16 hours per semester. Please see your academic advisor for more information.


Students who are unable to complete a course by the end of the semester due to a Non-Academic situation should meet with their professor to discuss the possibility of being awarded an Incomplete “X” grade. Incompletes are given at the discretion of the professor and should meet the university’s criteria for eligibility. If you have questions regarding the awarding of an “X”, you may reach out to a Non-Academic Coordinator. It should be noted that the course must be completed by the end of the following long semester, or a grade of a “F” is automatically assigned. An incomplete does not allow a student to repeat an entire course.


Standard Pass/Fail

For the Spring 2024 semester, all Grade Status Change requests (to Pass/Fail or letter grade) should be submitted online no later than Tuesday, March 26 by 11:59 pm CST.

This can be done here:  https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/cola/rtk/student_reg_change

Please note: Courses taken pass/fail will only count as elective credit. You may request to change your grading status once. You can take 2 courses pass/fail each semester. If you are an undergraduate student, to take a course pass/fail, you must have completed 30 or more credit hours. Grade status of a class may only be changed once. For more information, see the University Catalog.

It is important to keep in mind how classes taken Pass/Fail will be treated by graduate and professional school admissions, licensure requirements, and others. Changing a letter grade to Pass/Fail may have unintended consequences. 


Maximum Semester Hours

Students may take a maximum of 17 credit hours in one semester. If a student wishes to carry more than 17 hours, approval is required. You can email your assigned academic advisor for assistance with this. During summer a student can take up to 14 hours with no more than 8 hours in either summer session. Students should contact their assigned academic advisor to begin the process of a Max Time Hours Request.

Scholastic Probation

Students whose GPA is less than 2.00 are placed on scholastic probation. In the CNS, a student on probation must do a CNS Grade Contract, every long (Fall/Spring) semester his/her GPA is less than 2.00. A student who completes the requirements of the Contract will be continued by the college. If a student does not meet the requirements, he/she will be dismissed from the university. The exception to this policy is when a student earns 12 hours of failing grades in his/her first semester. This results in an automatic dismissal after the first semester.
Students dismissed for the first time are automatically eligible to return to the university after being away for one long semester. However, if attending another college or university, students should contact the Office of Admissions at UT about the GPA requirement to be able to return to UT. A second dismissal requires permission from the CNS Dean’s Office to return to the university. A student dismissed for the third time may not apply for readmission.


Placement tests can be taken at UT Austin through Instructional Assessment and Evaluation. Test Schedules and other information are available at Student Testing Services. In order to receive credit for testing, a student must complete an online petition. Do not claim credit until you have been at UT for at least one semester and have talked with an academic advisor. A student can claim credit for an exam at any time prior to his/her senior year. A student may also elect not to claim any credit. Placement credit could affect eligibility for Tuition Rebate (see below).

Transfer Courses

Many students transfer academic credit from other colleges. Speak to your advisor if you plan to take courses at another institution. Information about how coursework transfers to UT from schools in Texas can be found on the Office of Admission's Automated Transfer Equivalency System website. Students transferring courses from out-of-state schools should go to the Office of Admissions, MAI 7. Any courses completed at another educational institution MUST be transferred to UT.

Tuition Rebates

An undergraduate may be eligible for a tuition rebate of up to $1,000 if, at graduation, he or she has attempted no more than three semester hours beyond the minimum number of hours required for the degree. Credit by exam hours could make you ineligible. Discuss this with your advisor before claiming credit.

Change of Major

Changing and adding majors: Major changes or adds effective for Spring 2024 will begin on February 1 – March 22, 2024. There will be no major changes or adds from March 25, 2024 – April 19, 2024. Major changes or adds effective for Fall 2024 will then resume on April 22, 2024 – May 31, 2024.

Students are required to have officially recorded 30 hours in residence in order to add a second major. 

UT students in colleges or schools other than College of Natural Sciences should apply as an Internal Transfer student. 

Review Internal Transfer requirements, procedures and FAQ

Residency Requirements

Candidates for all undergraduate degrees must complete at least 60 semester hours of coursework in residence at The University. A transfer student who has completed a substantial amount of transferable, degree-applicable coursework may be obliged to take more courses at the University than his or her degree program requires, simply to meet the residence requirement. UT Austin Distance Education (Correspondence) courses and UT Austin Extension courses do not count as in-residence coursework.


Email is a mechanism for official university communications to students. The university expects that email communications will be received and read in a timely manner. CNS Students are directed to obtain a free UT email address and check it at minimum twice per week. Many outside email providers (e.g., Gmail) treat university communications as spam messages. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly read emails sent by the university, the college and the student’s academic advisor.