Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Progress
Students should track their academic progress each semester using Degree Works. Students who have completed seventy-five (75) credit hours in engineering and computer science majors and ninety (90) credit hours in the architecture major should meet with their faculty advisor to discuss all courses that have not yet been completed and the most feasible schedule for completion of degree requirements.

Academic Standing
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.0 in order to be in “good academic standing”. Students with a cumulative GPA less than 2.0 will be placed on academic probation for one semester, which may be followed by academic suspension.

The Architecture program of study leads to the five-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree fully accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB). Engineering and computer science degree programs are fully accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

All CEA departments accept applications for spring admission. Students entering the architecture degree program in spring may only be permitted to enroll in elective courses, after consultation with the assigned faculty advisor. Students in all other CEA degree programs should meet with the assigned faculty advisor immediately to determine the most feasible academic scheme for timely completion of degree requirements.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit
The College of Engineering and Architecture does not award academic credit for work in lieu of courses. Students may receive credit for work completed in secondary school under the Advanced Placement (AP) Program administered by the College Board. Check the University website for the list of AP exams and scores required to be considered for transfer credit at Howard University. Advanced placement appears on a student’s transcript as “T” for transfer credit.

Once a transfer student is admitted, the transfer of courses from other institutions to Howard University is evaluated by his/her major department and the Office of Enrollment Management (for general education courses). The Chair, in consultation with faculty, uses the official transcript and course descriptions from the source institution to conduct an equivalency assessment of each transfer request in the context of curriculum requirements. Transfer credit is only awarded for courses of similar content and equal or greater credit hours, in which the student earned a grade of “C” or better. Generally, only sixty credits may be transferred toward CEA degree requirements (90 for Architecture), with the exception of special courses approved by the major Department Chair.

All courses taken at institutions other than Howard University that a student would like to have considered to be part of their degree program must be approved by the major department. Continuing students must receive approval prior to enrolling in courses from other institutions. To be considered for transfer credit, continuing students must submit to their faculty advisor the “Transfer Course Petition” and a detailed course description or syllabus that includes the topics covered in the course and number of credit hours. The advisor and department chair, in consultation with the appropriate faculty instructor(s), decide the merits of a transfer request in the context of curriculum requirements. Courses will only be approved from accredited institutions of higher education if the course is deemed to be of equal rigor and content as the course at Howard University. Once a student has received approval, by signature of the faculty advisor and department chair on the “Transfer Course Petition”, the student may proceed with registration for the course following the procedures of the external institution. Upon completion of the course, students must provide a sealed, official transcript and copy of the Transfer Course Petition to the Office of the Registrar in order to transfer approved courses to the students’ academic record. A student will receive transfer credit, not a grade, for any approved course in which they earned a grade of “C” or better.

Each CEA student is assigned a faculty advisor. Students should meet with their assigned faculty advisor at least once each semester to review academic progress and make course selections for the following semester. Students should email their assigned advisor to schedule an appointment or visit their office during advising hours, posted on office doors. Students with extenuating circumstances, conflicts, or serious academic difficulties may be referred to the Department Chair or Office of Student Services. In addition to academic progress and course selection, advising meetings may also include discussions on opportunities for summer courses and internships, career counseling, and balancing school and personal responsibilities.

Changing Majors
(See Page 6 of CEA Policy on Intra-University Transfers.)

Howard University is a member institution in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area (CUWMA). The consortium offers qualified students the opportunity to enroll at other institutions for courses not available on their own campus. Students who wish to enroll in courses through the consortium must:

  • be a fully admitted degree seeking student
  • be and remain in good academic and financial standing
  • be enrolled in an equal or greater number of credit hours at Howard University as they are in the consortium (if a student drops below the required credits at Howard, their consortium registration will be cancelled - no exceptions)
  • obtain a consortium registration form from the Office of Enrollment Management at Howard University
  • obtain required approvals and submit the completed consortium registration form to the Office of Enrollment Management at Howard University

For more information on the consortium, visit

Credit Hours, Assignment of
Courses are assigned credit hours based on the amount of classroom instruction, or its academic equivalent, an enrolled student receives. One credit hour generally represents one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and at least two hours of out-of-class student work each week in a typical fifteen-week semester.

Credit Hours, Maximum
CEA students in good academic standing are permitted to enroll in no more than twenty-one (21) credit hours each semester, with faculty advisor approval. The faculty advisor and Department Chair or Director must approve all requests to exceed the maximum credit hour policy. Excess tuition rates will apply. Students who are on academic probation or have been approved for a one-semester extension of the probationary period may enroll in no more than 13 or 14 credit hours, as approved by the faculty advisor.

English Courses
Any student unable to register for a required course in the English Department via BisonWeb must visit the Department of English, if the prerequisites for that course are met. Check BisonWeb for a list of all prerequisite requirements.

Electives, African American
Students will receive African American elective credit for a grade of D or better in any course from the University African American elective list (below) or any course with an AFRO subject code. Courses are listed by subject code, course number and course title.

  • AFST 101 African World
  • MUTP 100 Blacks in the Arts
  • AFRO 005/006 Introduction to Afro-American Studies
  • ENGL 054/055 African-American Literature
  • HIST 005/006 Introduction to Black Diaspora
  • POLS 006 Pan-Africanism
  • FASH 102 African-American Dress
  • ARTH 193 Black Body Dress and Culture

Electives, Humanities and Social Sciences
All CEA students should make humanities and social sciences elective selections from the College of Arts & Sciences Divisional Requirements. For Humanities, use Divisional Studies A list. For Social Sciences, use Divisional Studies B and/or Divisional Studies C lists. A list of approved electives may also be provided in the major department’s undergraduate handbook.

Each semester, students must complete a Registration Request Form, in consultation with their faculty advisor. This form lists all courses that the advisor has approved for the student to enroll in during the following semester. Students are responsible for keeping a copy of this form for their records and providing a copy to their major department and the Office of Student Services for their student file.

All courses taken at institutions other than Howard University must be pre-approved by the student’s major department. Approval by the faculty advisor and Chairperson are required on the Transfer Course Petition. Courses will only be approved from accredited institutions of higher education if the course is deemed to be of equal rigor and content and equal or great credit hours as the course at Howard University.

Students who receive a prerequisite/test score, class restriction, or time conflict error must receive approval to bypass the error from their instructor(s) or advisor, as applicable, on the Registration Error Request Form. The signed, completed Registration Error Request Form must be submitted to the CEA Office of Student Services before the last day of general registration.

Full-Time Status
Undergraduate students must be enrolled in no less than 12 credit hours in order to be considered full-time students.

Final Grade Disputes
CEA students have thirty (30) days from the start of the following semester to contest a final course grade. Students must meet with the instructor to request the change. Grade changes are considered in cases of grade computation error. To request a meeting with the instructor, a student must contact the instructor by email, with copy to the Department Chair. If a grade change is approved, a Special Grade Report must be completed by the instructor and submitted to the CEA Office of Student Services no later than the end of the semester in which the student meeting with the instructor takes place.

Grades of “D”
Students must not earn a grade of “D” in more than 1/6th of the total credit hours required in the academic scheme for their degree program in order to meet degree requirements. Courses must be repeated, as needed, to ensure adherence to this maximum “D” credit policy. Students must also comply with prerequisite requirements for all courses, which may include a grade of “C” or better. Check BisonWeb for all prerequisite requirements.

Architecture students who earn a grade of “D” in the first semester of design may be allowed to proceed to the second semester within that academic year. However, before proceeding to the next year of design, the course in which the grade of “D” was received must be repeated and a minimum grade of “C” must be achieved. Students may make up a grade of “D” in Design Studio courses ARCH-199 through ARCH-205 during the summer session, pending prior written approval of the Department Chair. Work in the make-up course must be presented for review by the Department Chair prior to credit being given for the make-up course.

Graduation Requirements
In addition to successful completion of all required coursework, students must also meet the following requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA: Prospective graduates are required to earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. This will be the cumulative GPA that displays on the BisonWeb transcript.
  • Major GPA: Prospective graduates must also earn a GPA of 2.0 in their major. The major GPA is computed using grades earned in all required courses other than general education courses.
  • “D” Credits: No student can be cleared for graduation if he/she has earned a “D” in more than 1/6th of the total semester hours required for the degree. If a “D” grade was replaced in accordance with the University grade replacement policy, the original “D” does not count toward the total “D” credits.

Honors are designated on student transcripts, diplomas, and in the commencement program. In order to graduate with honors, in addition to meeting all degree requirements, a student’s cumulative grade point average must be within the following ranges. Additionally, courses may not have been repeated to raise the GPA for honors eligibility.

  • Cumulative GPA Honors Designation
  • 3.20 to 3.49 Honors (cum laude)
  • 3.50 to 3.79 High Honors (magna cum laude)
  • 3.80 to 4.00 Highest Honors (summa cum laude)

Incomplete Grades and Special Grade Reports
Instructors must complete a special grade report to remove incomplete grades or correct errors in assignment of final grades. Students must complete the work specified by the instructor, in writing, no later than the last day of classes of the semester in which the student is next in residence. Instructors must submit special grade reports by the last day of the semester. The instructor/department must indicate and verify the following to ensure prompt processing of special grade reports. Special grade reports must include the following:

  • Course Registration Number (CRN)
  • Course Title
  • Course Number
  • Number of Credits
  • Student Registration Status
  • Student ID Number
  • Semester Student Last Enrolled in Course
  • Original Grade
  • New Grade

Intra-University Transfers (Change of Major)
Minimum requirements for students desiring to change their major will be the same as admission requirements for transfer students. An intra-university transfer or new transfer applicant must have:

  • 15 transferable credit hours
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Final grades of “C” or better in Freshman Composition and Calculus I (for engineering and computer science degree programs) or Pre Calculus (for the architecture degree program).
  • A final grade of “C” or better in General Chemistry, General Biology, or Physics I for Science & Engineering Majors/ General Physics for Architecture Majors is preferred and strongly recommended.

Students who wish to pursue a minor must follow the requirements established by the minor department. Minors are not acknowledged on the diploma for students with a CEA major, but the coursework is included on the student’s transcript.

Physical Education Courses
Students will receive physical education credit for a grade of D or better in any one-credit course with an HHPL subject code. Student athletes are not exempt from physical education course requirements. Not all departments require physical education courses. Students should check program degree schemes to verify physical education requirements.

Physics, Calculus-Based versus Algebra-Based
Engineering and computer science students will not receive transfer credit for the calculus-based PHYS 013: Physics I for Science & Engineering Majors 013 or PHYS 014: Physics II for Science & Engineering Majors with an algebra-based physics course. Architecture majors are permitted to enroll in algebra-based Physics.

Each student must abide by the prerequisite and co-requisite stipulations in the academic scheme for their degree program. Students who have not successfully completed prerequisite requirements listed in BisonWeb for any course may be dropped from that course by the Office of Enrollment Management.

Probation and Suspension
A student whose cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0 will incur academic probation. Students on probation must adhere to the following conditions for continued enrollment:

  • Enroll in a maximum of 13 credit hours if full-time, and seven hours if part-time.
  • Establish and maintain contact with a designated University official for academic advising, counseling, assistance, and referral to support services at least once per month.

Probationary status will be removed when the student has achieved a cumulative average of at least 2.0. Probationary status must be removed within one semester, exclusive of summer sessions, or the student will incur suspension. Any student who voluntarily withdraws from the University while on probation will be subject to stipulations as a condition for readmission. A student who fails to remove his/her probationary status within one semester, exclusive of summer sessions, will be suspended. A one-semester extension of the probationary period may be requested by appealing in writing to the major Department Chair no later than 60 days prior to the first day of classes for the fall semester and 15 days prior to the first day of classes for the Spring semester. In the College of Engineering and Architecture, a student may request an extension only if there is a mathematical possibility that the student’s cumulative GPA can be raised to a 2.0 within one semester. Each academic department must complete the GPA calculation and request the probationary extension in writing, including the courses in which the student must enroll, which must total 14 or fewer credit hours. If the appeal is granted, the student will be required to follow specific stipulations during the extension period. If the appeal is denied or the students’ GPA cannot be mathematically raised to a 2.0 within one semester, the student is not eligible for readmission for at least one semester.

Professionalism and Academic Conduct
Professionalism is extremely important in the College of Engineering and Architecture. Students should reference and adhere to the professionalism expectations in the CEA Syllabus Addendum for All Courses. CEA students must also adhere to the Academic Code of Conduct, available for review on the University webpage.
Readmission after Academic Suspension
Requests for readmission must be initiated by submitting to the Office of Enrollment Management, at least 60 days prior to the registration period:

  • an application for admission and,
  • a completed petition for readmission to the school or college in which the student was last enrolled. The request should include a description of the student’s activities during the suspension period, the steps that have been taken to ensure success if the request is approved, and appropriate supporting documentation.

Requests for readmission will be reviewed by the appropriate designee of the school of last attendance and an admission decision will be rendered based on the student’s previous academic record, contents of the request for readmission, and other relevant factors.
Upon readmission after suspension, students must adhere to the conditions outlined below. Failure to meet these stipulations will result in automatic suspension from the University.

  • enroll in a maximum of 13 credit hours if full-time, and seven hours if part-time, until the cumulative grade point average meets the requirement for removal of probation;
  • establish and maintain monthly contact with a designated University official for academic advising, counseling, assistance, and referral to support services;
  • remove all deficiencies during the next semester of enrollment (or the next semester when the courses are offered) before proceeding with the published degree program;
  • and earn a minimum grade of “C” in each course or earn the required grade point average stipulated by the admission committee until the cumulative grade point average meets the requirements for the removal of probation.

Students register for courses through BisonWeb, after receiving advisor approval. The University establishes the registration dates and disseminates the information to students in the University calendar on the University web site. Students should schedule their advising meeting so that their course selections are determined and approved prior to the start of the registration period. To initiate registration in BisonWeb, students must use their PIN (personal identification number), which is provided by their faculty advisor during the advising meeting. Student PINs change each semester to prevent students from registering without advisement.

Registration Errors
Students who receive a prerequisite/test score, class restriction, or time conflict error must receive approval to bypass the error from their instructor(s) or advisor, as applicable, on the Registration Error Request Form. The signed, completed Registration Error Request Form must be submitted to the CEA Office of Student Services before the last day of general registration. Other types of errors may not be bypassed.

Students with disabilities
Howard University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students. In accordance with this policy, students in need of accommodations due to a disability should contact the Dean of Special Student Services for verification and determination of reasonable accommodations as soon as possible. Students should visit the Office of Special Student Services within the first week of classes each semester or within one week of receiving medical/psychoeducational documentation to determine eligibility and receive an accommodations letter. An accommodations letter must be provided to each course instructor within one week of receipt each semester. Note: Accommodations are not retroactive. The Office of Special Student Services is located in Suite 725 of the Howard Center and may be reached at (202) 238-2420.

Transfer Credit
(See Page 1 of CEA policy on Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit.)