UTPA Policies

Excess Credit Hours

Native/Institutional GPA

Beginning Fall 2010, only college credit courses taken at UTPA will be used to calculate the UTPA Cumulative GPA. Major, minor and degree GPAs will be calculated with only UTPA coursework. Official student transcripts will display only the UTPA Institutional GPA.

Six Course Drop Rule

An institution of higher education may not permit an undergraduate student to drop a total of more than six (6) courses. After the student has reached the six course drop limit, he/she will not be allowed to drop the course and receive a grade for the course. Applies to students who first enrolled in Texas public university or college credit courses during Fall 2007.

*NOTE: Exceptions to the six course drop rule exist.  Rule includes any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education but excludes concurrent enrollment courses and developmental courses do not count towards the six course drop limit. Please contact The Office of the Registrar to answer questions concerning policy exceptions and procedures at 665-2201.

Three-peat Rule

Classes taken during or later than Fall 2002 (UTPA term 200310) can be taken twice within the same institution at the state resident tuition; The third enrollment to a class taken at the same institution will be charged a “repeat class fee” in addition to the state tuition.

*NOTE: UTPA repeat class fee: $150 per credit hour for College Credit courses and $100 per credit hour for Developmental Ed classes taken over aggregate total of 18 credits.

Transfer of Credit--Completed Core Curriculum

If a student successfully completes the core curriculum at a Texas public institution of higher education, that block of courses may be transferred to any other Texas public institution of higher education and must be substituted for the receiving institution's core curriculum.

*NOTE: Students may be required to take coursework which is required for admissions into a particular program of study or is a pre-requisite for courses required in the degree plan.

Transfer of Credit-Limit

No institution of higher education is required to accept in transfer, or apply toward a degree program, more than sixty-six (66) semester credit hours of lower-division academic credit. Institutions of higher education, however, may choose to accept additional credit hours.

Important UTPA Terms


A student's UTPA classification depends on the number of completed college credit hours.

Classifications are as follows:

Entering Freshman EF

0 earned hours

Freshman FR

0-29 Earned Hours

Sophomore SO

30-59 Earned Hours

Junior JR

60-89 Earned Hours

Senior SR

90 or More Earned Hours

Graduate Students GR

Students with a Bachelor’s Degree

Academic Standing

A student's academic standing is determined jointly by the number of credit hours attempted and the number of quality points earned.

There are four categories of academic standing:

Good Standing, Academic Probation, Continued Academic Probation, & Academic Suspension.

To be in Good Standing, a student’s cumulative GPA is at least:

Freshman 1.7
Sophomore 1.8
Junior 2.0
Senior 2.0

Course Load

The number of credit hours taken each semester. A student may enroll in up to 18 hours per semester or 9 credit hours during the summer. College Dean’s approval is required for students seeking to enroll for additional hours.


A course students must take prior to (and in preparation for) another course (which is usually more advanced). A different kind of prerequisite may require a student to be enrolled in a certain major or certain academic classification in order to qualify for enrollment in the course. Check the catalog for more information. Under special conditions, students may obtain permission to enroll in the course.

GPA (Grade Point Average)

Expresses your academic performance. It is the ratio of the number of grade points earned divided by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Grade Points

Assigned based on the grade received multiplied by the number of credit hours.

Example:  Assigned grade points are as follows: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0.

A grade of “A” is equivalent to 4 grade points. If the course was offered for 3 credit hours, the total grade points for that course would be 12.

To Calculate your Semester GPA complete the following steps:

1) Credit Hours X Grade Points = Quality Points (do this for each course)

2) Add all Quality point to get Total Quality Points

3) Add all credit hours to get GPA hours (total hours you are enrolled in for the semester)

Total Quality points ÷ GPA hours = Semester GPA

Course Number:

The standard number used to indicate the particular course within a subject area of study.

The first digit in a course number refers to the level at which the course is offered. (e.g. ENG 1301).

Freshman Level 1000
Sophomore Level 2000
Junior Level 3000
Senior Level 4000

The second digit in a course number indicates the credit hour value that a student receives for successfully completing the course. Most courses have a credit hour value of 3; however, there are exceptions.


BIOL 1401 = 4 credit hours                                        KIN 2206 = 2 credit hours
ENG 1301 = 3 credit hours                                        CHEM 1101 = 1 credit hour

The last two digits in a course number are the course reference numbers.
Example: ENG 1301 and ENG 1302 are consecutive freshman-level courses.

Advanced-Level Work:

Courses numbered 3000-4000 are advanced or upper-division courses.

Approval of the Department Chair or Dean of the College is required for enrollment in advanced-level courses by students who have not reached junior standing (60+ hrs).

Lower-Level: Courses, primarily for students with less than 60 hours completed, listed in the 1000-2000 course number range.

Upper-Level: Courses, usually exclusive to students with 60 or more hours, listed in the 3000-4000 course number range.

* TSI NOTE: Students who have not successfully completed all portions (reading, math and writing) of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) may not enroll in any advanced-level coursework.