Enrollment & Registration

Academic Advisement

Academic advisement of students is an integral part of academics at Missouri Western. All degree-seeking students are assigned an advisor who helps provide information regarding degree requirements, semester class selection, and career direction. Freshmen, sophomores, student athletes, international students, and students on academic probation are required to meet with their respective advisors each semester to work out their schedules for the next semester of study. However, all students are encouraged to meet with their advisor on a regular basis to develop the type of meaningful advisor-student relationship that we at Missouri Western prize as one of the hallmarks of our institution.

All degree-seeking students should declare a major prior to a student reaching 60 earned credit hours. Owing to the nature of the one-year certificate and two-year associate degrees, students in these programs are advised to consult with the chairpersons of the appropriate departments as early as possible.

Alternate PIN

A 4-digit Alternate Personal Identification Number (PIN) is distributed by advisors to currently enrolled degree seeking students who are in the identified groups below. The PIN is required for online registration.

  • Freshmen
  • Sophomores
  • Athletes
  • International Students
  • Students on academic probation

The Alternate PIN changes before each registration period.

Declaring or Changing a Major or Minor

A student’s major is declared upon admission to the University and/or by meeting with an academic advisor and submitting a Major/Minor Declaration and Change Form. Students selecting a major that contains program admission requirements must have the appropriate academic department approval. The student may be subject to pre-admittance until program admission requirements are met (pre-major). Program admission requirements may be viewed on each department’s website or within this catalog.

A minor may be declared and attached to a student's major by meeting with an academic advisor and submitting a Major/Minor Declaration and Change Form.

A student’s major or minor may be updated at any point during the student’s academic career by meeting with an academic advisor and submitting a Major/Minor Declaration and Change Form. It is recommended that a final declaration of major is made prior to a student earning 60 credit hours

The Missouri Western catalog is valid August through July. The university catalog that is in effect for the term the student is initially admitted or subsequently declares will determine the course requirements for each major or minor. A bachelor degree program will remain in effect for no more than six years from the term of declaration. Pre-admission into a bachelor degree program (pre-major), a certificate and a microcredential each have a three year time-frame to complete the requirements.  Students are responsible for meeting all major, minor, degree and state certification requirements and should work closely with their advisor to ensure those requirements are met. If certification, accreditation or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during the time a student is enrolled in a program, the new requirements take precedence over previously existing degree or certification standards.

Classification System 

Students are classified according to the number of semester credit hours completed satisfactorily.

Semester Credit Hours Classification
0-29 hours Freshman
30-59 hours Sophomore
60-89 hours Junior
90+ hours Senior

Credit Units

The unit of credit is the semester hour, which represents a period of weekly study for a semester.  

Credit/Contact Hours

Missouri Western State University records course credits in semester hours. Credit hours are assigned as follows:

  • Traditional face-to-face courses: one student credit hour for each hour a course meets per week for the 15-week semester.
  • Laboratory, studio, clinicals, and practicum or internship courses: one student credit hour for each two or three hours a course meets per week for the 15-week semester, dependent on the type of course.
  • Online courses: credit hours will be assigned in the same manner as face-to-face courses.
  • Off schedule and short term courses: credit hours are assigned in the same manner as 15-week courses except on a pro-rated basis.
  • Apprenticeship and other courses may have higher contact hours per credit hour as determined by state and/or federal guidelines.

Course Information

Numbering System

Each course bears a number that identifies its level, as follows:

000-099 Courses that do not apply toward a degree
100-199 Freshman-level courses
200-299 Sophomore-level courses
300-399 Junior-level courses
400-499 Senior-level courses

Courses numbered 100-299 are considered lower-division courses, and those numbered 300-499 are considered upper-division courses.

Departments may offer special topics courses without prior approval of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on a single-offering basis, in order to experiment with innovative methods, content or to take advantage of visiting faculty. Course numbers 196-199, 296-299, 396-399, and 496-499 are reserved for assignment to special topics courses. These offerings require approval by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Description of Course

All courses and detailed description are listed within the offering academic department. Before the opening of each term, a class schedule is available on-line at griff.vn/schedule which lists the specific courses to be offered that term with the the mode of delivery, time of meeting, the building, and the room number. The University reserves the right to cancel, without notice, any course listed in the catalog or in the class schedule for any term. 

Credit by Examination

Credit for general studies courses and major field courses may be obtained by taking a CLEP exam (College-Level Examinations Program) or a comprehensive test designed by the academic department for which the test-out applies. Each department determines which courses are appropriate for credit by examination and the test instrument to be used. Normally students request credit by examination early in their college career to avoid ineligibility at a later date.

Students may receive credit by examination if they:

  • Are eligible to enroll at Missouri Western;
  • Are not currently enrolled in a course for which an examination is being requested;
  • Are granted written permission by the Testing Coordinator or the chairperson of the department to which the test would be applicable.

Note: A student must be degree-seeking and have courses in progress for the current semester at Missouri Western before Credit by Examination is included on the academic transcript. Further, the student must have transcript activity at the end of said semester in order to retain the Credit by Examination information on the transcript.

Students are not eligible to receive credit by examination if they have:

  • Earned prior credit in the course at Missouri Western or in transfer;
  • Audited the course;
  • Attempted the course and received any transcripted grade assessment, or taken a college course or courses which contain the same basic material.

A complete list of every course eligible for Credit by Examination is available in the MWSU General Testing Center, Hearnes Center 306, or at missouriwestern.edu/mwsu-testing-centers. Please contact the Testing Center at 271-4410 for specific guidelines, the Petition for Test Out Form, applicable fees, and to schedule an appointment.

Non-Traditional Credit

Non-traditional credit is credit earned in a non-traditional format, including but not limited to Advanced Placement Examinations (AP), the College-Level Examinations Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB) assessments, MWSU course test-outs, departmental credit from approved MWSU agreements, DSST credit-by-examination tests (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) and military service, including coursework appearing on the Joint Services Transcript. Missouri Western State University accepts and will transcript all coursework considered as non-traditional credit; however, a total of 30 credit hours is the maximum applicable to a degree. A student must be degree-seeking and have courses in progress for the current semester at Missouri Western before non-traditional credit is included on the academic transcript. Further, the student must have transcript activity at the end of said semester in order to retain the non-traditional credit information on the transcript.

Registration and Change of Class Schedule

Refer to the on-line class schedule at griff.vn/schedule for the class schedule.

Currently enrolled students are encouraged to register early for classes. An alternate PIN may be required for registration (see Alternate PIN section above). Students will be sent communications about registration to their Missouri Western email account. New and returning students will be notified by The University of dates for initial registration.

Registration information and calendars can be found on the Registrar's Office website.

Students may at any time prior to the first day of the term, drop any or all classes without penalty. Refund schedules are located here. Students may also add or drop classes after the first day of the term according to the registration schedule. Registered students who are on academic probation are encouraged to visit their academic advisor when considering dropping or adding a class or classes.

Auditing a Class

A class auditor is a student registered for a course only for informational instruction, not to earn credit. A student may audit a course for a number of reasons, ranging from skills improvement to a review before registering for credit. Regardless of the purpose, it is important that students get a meaningful experience from instruction and make satisfactory progress toward their purpose. It is the role of the instructor to aid students in this determination. Therefore, audit students should expect to work closely with their instructor.

Students enrolling in a class for credit may choose to change that registration to audit before the end of the tenth week of the semester (fifth week of 8-week summer session; third week of 4-week summer session.) A change from audit to credit must be completed by the end of the first week of classes. Credit by Examination is not available for any student who has audited the course.

Course Load

The maximum number of credits a student may take is 18 credits per semester or 9 credits in a summer term.  Upon approval of the College/School Dean, a student who has a 3.0 overall GPA or a 3.0 GPA for the previous semester or term may take additional credit for the following semester or term.

Repeating Courses

Students are permitted to repeat any course. (The A/Cr/U grading option cannot be used to repeat a course in which a prior letter grade of D or F was earned.) When a course is repeated, the original grade remains on the transcript but is excluded (E) from the GPA calculation and the most recent grade is included (I) in the GPA. Topics and related format courses which change in content on a semester-to-semester basis do not apply in this regard. Courses which may be repeated for credit are only excluded from the GPA calculation if previous attempt(s) are a failing grade.

Final Exam Policy

The final exam schedule will be published by the Registrar’s Office prior to each semester and the designated period will be used either for administration of a final exam or for other appropriate course terminating activities. All courses, including 1 and 2 credit hour courses, will have final exams in their regular classrooms during final exam week according to the published schedule. It is the responsibility of both students and faculty to comply with the final exam policy. Final exam guidelines are listed below:

  • Final exam periods are 2 hours with 30 minutes between periods.
  • Final exam information will be documented in the course syllabus.
  • Classes with linked lecture and laboratory sections will observe the final exam period based on the section that carries the credit hours.
  • Classes which meet at 5:00 pm or after will hold final exams at their regular class time during the final exam week. Those evening classes with two meetings per week will use the first meeting for the final exam with the second meeting used at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Hybrid classes which have weekly meeting times will hold final exams in their regular classrooms according to the published schedule.
  • 100% online classes will hold final exams during the final exam week according to the course syllabus.
  • Saturday classes will hold final exams during finals week according to the syllabus.
  • Off-Schedule classes will hold final exams on the last scheduled class meeting.
  • Any student who has three or more final exams scheduled on the same day may make arrangements with instructors of those courses to reschedule one final exam to another day during the final exam week. The student may appeal to the appropriate dean for assistance, if needed. That appeal should be made no later than one month prior to the last day of the final exam week.
  • Friday of finals week can be used for canceled, rescheduled or make-up final exams, as needed by student and instructor, as approved by the academic department.
  • If a final exam is canceled for inclement weather every effort will be made to make the exam up prior to the end of the published final exam week. Communication regarding any final exam schedule adjustments will be made via the Missouri Western website and through the Griffon Alert system.

Withdrawal/Extended Leave of Absence from the University

Prior to the official end of the add/drop period, students may drop all classes on-line through Goldlink or by notifying the Registrar's Office, Eder Hall 102, in writing (include name, student I.D. number, last date of attendance, signature and contact information). The effective date of withdrawal will be the date on which the written notification is received by the Registrar's Office. Any applicable refund of tuition and fees will also be applied to the student account as of the effective date. 

After the withdrawal deadline a student must petition the Admissions and Graduation Committee, through the Registrar's Office, to withdraw from all or individual classes. Only documented situations, beyond the control of the student will be considered. Failure to submit a formal request for a withdrawal will result in the student receiving failing grades.

Under compelling circumstances beyond the student’s control, including military obligations, a student may request a leave of absence. A Leave of Absence form may be completed online or in the Registrar’s Office and must include supporting documentation. A leave of absence can be granted for up to 3 semesters (excluding summer term). 

A documented leave is primarily a means of communication to the University and

  • may include a request for a current semester late withdrawal;
  • does not alter current semester course completion deadlines as indicated by the academic calendar;
  • does not impact outstanding financial obligations without appeal to the University Bursar; 
  • does not extend the expiration date of an officially declared program/major; and
  • is not a formal method to avoid admission or registration requirements upon the student’s return.

The University and/or academic advisor will continue to make contact with a student on extended leave during the identified absence period. Students who are ready to return to MWSU after a leave of absence should notify the Admissions Office so assistance can be provided.