Academic Policies

This is an archived copy of the 2020-2021 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Academic Classification of Students

According to the number and type of semester credit hours completed, students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, post-baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral students. 

When a student transfers from another college or university, classification is determined by the number of semester credit hours accepted for transfer.

FRESHMAN: has completed 0-29 semester credit hours.
SOPHOMORE: has completed 30-59 semester credit hours.
JUNIOR: has completed 60-89 semester credit hours.
SENIOR: has completed 90 or more semester credit hours but who has not graduated.
POST-BACCALAUREATE: has earned the baccalaureate degree and is taking only undergraduate courses. Post-baccalaureate status prevents enrollment in any graduate course and under no circumstances will post-baccalaureate work be counted as graduate work.
MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENT: has earned the baccalaureate degree and has been accepted in a master’s level program.
DOCTORAL STUDENT: holds the master’s degree or its equivalent and is seeking a doctoral degree.

Academic Load Rules and Enrollment Certification

Enrollment verification and loan deferments are completed in the Registrar’s Office and are based upon a student having registered and paid tuition and fees according to the following course load rules:

Undergraduate Level

Semester Hours
Fall & Spring
Full-time 12 semester credit hours
Half-time 6-11 semester credit hours
Less Than Half-time 1-5 semester credit hours
Summer (cumulative across all summer sessions)
Full-time 12 semester credit hours
Half-time 6-11 semester credit hours
Less than Half-time 1-5 semester credit hours

Student teaching and internships will be certified as full-time if enrolled in six or more semester credit hours, and half-time if enrolled in 3-5 semester credit hours.

Only TWU enrolled semester credit hours can be certified by the TWU Registrar’s Office. Concurrently enrolled semester credit hours at a different institution must be certified separately by that institution.

Enrollment load rules for VA certification purposes are defined by the VA and may differ from what is reflected in the above table.

Academic Major

An academic major is an approved group of courses leading to a bachelor's degree in an academic discipline. All groups of courses leading to degrees assume four or more years of study. Each group includes a major subject, consisting of 30 or more semester credit hours, one-half of which must be at the 3000 or 4000 levels. The major subjects are listed in the chart at the beginning of the catalog and under the departmental sections of this catalog. A minimum of a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) must be maintained in major courses; a higher GPA may be required by the department. Half of the upper-level courses planned for the major must be taken at TWU (residency requirement). Degree plans list all requirements for the majors. See respective departments for academic programs.

Students wishing to pursue more than one major should indicate both majors on the Change of Undergraduate Academic Program form. In order to avoid accumulating excess semester credit hours resulting in higher tuition, students should notify the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Partnerships of the total number of semester credit hours they will be completing for both majors. For graduation requirements regarding double majors and dual degrees, please see the Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

Academic Minor

An academic minor is an approved group of courses or number of courses required for focused study in an academic discipline. A minor includes a minimum of 6 semester credit hours at the upper level. The academic minor is not a university-wide requirement. Academic units may establish or abolish a minor requirement for their students. The major and minor subjects must be chosen from separate departments except in the Departments of Visual Arts; Biology; Business and Economics; Communication Sciences and Disorders; History and Government; English, Speech, and Foreign Languages; Fashion; Mathematics and Computer Science; and Sociology and Social Work. Degree plans list requirements for the minors; see departmental academic programs. Half of the upper-level courses planned for a minor must be taken at TWU (residency requirement). Interdisciplinary minors are listed below in this section. See academic departments for degree plans.

Course Numbers

Each course offered by the University is assigned a four-digit number. The first digit indicates the level (year) at which the course is offered; the fourth digit reflects the number of semester credit hours assigned to the course. In indicating the level or year of the course, 1 is used for freshman, 2 for sophomore, 3 for junior, 4 for senior, and 5 and 6 for graduate.

For example, the course ENG 1013 is a freshman-level course (first digit) which carries three semester credit hours’ credit (fourth digit). The two middle digits (second and third) simply identify it as a specific course in the Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages. The number in parenthesis to the right of the TWU course number and long title is the course number assigned for the Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS), a designation used only for undergraduate courses.