Frequently Asked Questions- grades

Grades are processed at the end of each term. Academic Standing is run at the end of the fall and spring semesters. The below list of FAQs answers the most common questions related to grades, GPAs, and academic standing. Let us know if you have other general questions you would like added to the list by clicking the “Ask a Question” button below. If you have specific questions, contact us at casa@mines.edu or your advisor directly.

General Questions

What if I want to be fully remote for Spring 2021?

You can request to be fully remote by completing this form by Sunday, January 3rd. You can complete this form as many times as you like, as your latest submission will be sent to faculty. 

What’s the difference between my semester and cumulative GPA?

Your semester GPA tallies your grades for one semester. Your first semester GPA is also your cumulative GPA. Your cumulative GPA after your first semester will include the average of all previous semester GPAs. You must maintain a 2.0 GPA at Mines; if you fall below a 2.0 GPA you will be placed on academic probation. 

What’s my academic standing mean?
  • Good academic standing means you have above a 2.0 GPA and are eligible to remain taking classes at Mines and progressing towards graduation. 
  • Academic probation is when you fall below a 2.0 GPA 
What does it mean if I’m on academic probation?
  • Academic probation is the academic standing that indicates your GPA is below 2.0. You can continue to take classes at Mines while on academic probation, as it is a warning to increase your GPA to a 2.0 or above or risk being placed on academic suspension.  
  • You are limited to 15 credits during any term you are on academic probation. If you recently found out you are on academic probation and are enrolled in more than 15 credits, please determine what class(es) you would like to drop so you are not over 15 credits. If you are unsure of what to drop, please contact your CASA advisor. 
What if I got a D?
  • Earning a D+, D, or D-in a class is technically passing. However, depending on your major you might need a higher grade to pass a class or to meet a prerequisite for a future class. Look through the catalog for specific course requirements. https://catalog.mines.edu/undergraduate/programs/ 
  • While earning a D is considered passing it is also important to think about if you have the foundational knowledge of the subject matter to move forward in the next courseIf not, you may want to consider retaking the course to become proficient in the course content. 
  • If you did not meet the prerequisite for a class you’re enrolled in for the next semester, you are encouraged to change your schedule as soon as possible. The Registrar’s Office will remove you from any classes where the prerequisite has not been met at the start of the semester, yet it is in your best interest to make this change on your own and ensure you’re retaking any needed classes and/or are in the most accurate classes to move you towards graduation. 
What if I got an F?
  • An F indicates you failed the class. If the class is required for your academic program, you must retake the class and pass it. It’s highly recommended you retake the class as soon as possible but you can also choose to take it in a different semester. 
  • If you did not meet the prerequisite for a class you’re enrolled in for the next semester, you are encouraged to change your schedule as soon as possible. The Registrar’s Office will remove you from any classes where the prerequisite has not been met at the start of the semester, yet it is in your best interest to make this change on your own and ensure you’re retaking any needed classes and/or are in the most accurate classes to move you towards graduation. 
What is the GPA Recovery policy?

The GPA Recovery Policy only allows grades of D+ and lower to be retaken for potential grade/GPA improvement; if you earned a C- or better in a class and retake that class, both grades will be calculated in your GPA. More information can be found on this site:  https://www.mines.edu/casa/gpa-and-withdrawal-information/ 

What if I need to retake a class?

If you did not pass the class or need a higher grade to meet a prerequisite, you’ll need to retake a class. If you got a passing grade, C- or higher, you are encouraged to move forward in your degree and not retake the course. As individual situations differ, do consult with your advisor and faculty mentor to discuss your specific situation. 

What if I need to change my schedule?
  • First, do not drop any classes unless you have looked at what class(es) you need to add to your schedule. Classes are often quite full and availability may change quickly. 
  • If you need to change your schedule, use Trailhead and not GEODE. GEODE is great for building your first schedule, yet not when you need to make changes to an existing schedule. 
  • First, look at your schedule and determine what classes you want to modify. Use the “Lookup Classes” feature in Trailhead to view availability for a class you would like to add. Make sure any class you want to add fits with your schedule, is open, and you have met the prerequisites.  
  • Caution—if a class has 5 or fewer seats and there are people on the waitlist, the open seats may actually be reserved for students on the waitlist.  
  • You can select the open course to add to your shopping cart, or you can add the CRN (the five-digit code for a class) to the add/drop classes tab in Trailhead. You can select “drop from the web” for a class you’re no longer going to take and submit a new CRN at the same time. Make sure to click submit and check for any registration add errors. 
  • If you see a red exclamation point with Registration Add Error, check to read the error. It might be due to a time conflict, a prerequisite, or it could be closed and reserved for the waitlist. If it’s closed and reserved for the waitlist, be sure to select “add to waitlist” and then click submit again. 
  • You can check to make sure your changes were made by viewing either your detail schedule or week at a glance schedule. 
What if I want to take time away from Mines?

You can take time away from Mines and return whenever you like. 

Complete the withdrawal request form here to initiate your future term withdrawal. Indicate the semester you’re planning to be away from Mines, and the process will ensure your account stays paused and ready for your return. 

If you’re registered in future term coursework you can drop all but your last class on your own through Trailhead, yet you cannot drop your last class. That will be done through the withdrawal process.

To return to Mines, you can complete the returning student application here the semester prior to when you would like to return. 

What’s the difference between GPA, quality, and other hours?
  • Quality hours = semester hours = GPA hours 
  • Quality points = quality hours * numerical value of grade earned 
What if I have a question about the grade I received in a course?

About Our advising and Services

Academic Advising

CASA provides academic advising to all Mines undergraduates. New students work with a first-year advisor who specializes in the transition to Mines and core coursework, and continuing students work with a major-specific advisor.

First-Year Advising

First-Year advisors work with new, first-year Mines students based off of the student’s last name. All students are eligible to have an intended major, yet we provide holistic advisement to meet the requirements of any major a student is interested in to ensure a timely path to graduation.

Major Advising

CASA Major Advisors work collaboratively with their respective academic departments to provide specialized advising expertise to students once they have declared their major at the end of the first year on campus. Major advisors can also advise students on minor programs as well as other academic and co-curricular pathways to graduation, including 4+1 combined programs.

Academic Support

Academic support services are offered to all students at Mines regardless of major and/or year in school, including:

  • Tutoring
  • Core Review Sessions
  • Academic Coaching
  • Peer Advising
  • Bounce Back academic recovery course
  • Major Exploration
  • and more

If you’re struggling, contact us today for assistance. We know it’s not easy to ask for help, yet know that we’re a nonjudgmental, caring office designed to support you as you pursue your degree from Mines.