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Academic Support + Policies

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Our policies provide guidance to faculty and staff and work in conjunction with the official university regulations published in the Student Code. Students with questions should consult staff members in the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

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Effective Tuesday, March 17, FAA Academic Affairs (including college-level advising, curricular, and career services) will be closed to foot traffic until further notice to allow for social distancing and safety, but we will still remain open online and via phone to serve students, faculty, and staff during our regular business hours, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday In-person appointments will be moved to phone appointments or Skype/Zoom appointments. If you have questions, you may contact our office at 217.333.6061 or

9 a.m.–noon
1 p.m.–5 p.m.
110 Architecture Building
608 East Lorado Taft Drive

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Meet Our Staff

Departmental Advising Contacts

FAA Student Resource Guide

This quick reference lists academic contacts and common campus resources that can provide you with guidance and support to accomplish your degree.


FAA Academic Forms


Registration and Course Loads

Academic Standing

Course Policies

Rights and Procedures

COVID-19 Response FAQ


All degree-seeking students must be registered in the College of Fine and Applied Arts for at least two semesters.

Students who need to complete prerequisites before they are eligible to change majors may submit a student petition for a transition semester. Generally, only one transition semester is allowed. You can submit paperwork to change majors at any time. If approval isn't given until after the tenth day of classes, the change will not become effective until the following semester.

Consult the official list of minors to see the options and requirements. All students are eligible to select a minor at the end of their freshman year. To declare a minor you should fill out the statement of intent to pursue a minor, have it signed by the program advisor, and turn it in to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. If your circumstances change and you are no longer pursuing that minor, complete and submit the modification of minor form.

If you intend to pursue two degrees you must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Sophomore standing (at least 30 credit hours completed)
  • Equal residency in the two colleges with at least two semesters in FAA; if both degrees are within FAA at least two semesters must be spent in the major unit for each degree
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the first degree

If you are seeking a degree within FAA you must complete the dual degree request form. This form requests the following information:

  • Semester-by-semester plan of study outlining completion of the requirements for both degrees signed by advisors from each program
  • Statement of interest

If you are a current FAA student seeking a degree in another college, you will need to contact your program of interest to identify the appropriate form for that college. You will need to obtain signatures from both departmental advisors and the signature of an assistant or associate dean from the other college.

Registration and Course Loads

If you are a continuing student, you will be provided with a registration time ticket that indicates the first date that you may register for the following semester. All students are encouraged to review the Degree Audit System and schedule a meeting with a departmental advisor to discuss program requirements, goals, and future coursework before registration.

A normal FAA course load is no more than 18 credit hours and no fewer than 12 credit hours.

An overload is available only to students who have a 3.0 or higher GPA. If you wish to enroll in classes for more than 18 credit hours, request permission by email from the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs ( with these details:

  • A list of all desired courses
  • The total number of credit hours

Students enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours are part-time students. Part-time enrollment may affect financial aid, visas, and progress toward a degree. If you must attend the university part-time for more than one semester, you must submit a student petition that includes the reason for part-time enrollment.

If you plan to take a course at another institution, you should first determine if the credits are transferable by taking these steps:

  • Check Transferology to see if the course has been evaluated and will be accepted for credit
  • Confirm with the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs that the course will transfer before enrolling
  • If the course will be used to complete a general education requirement, discuss this option with the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs
  • After completing the course, send a transcript to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Many off-campus courses have been evaluated for transfer credit. If a course has not been evaluated before you enroll, save all course material—such as the syllabus, reading list, exams, quizzes, and papers—and bring it to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Reviews are conducted on completed courses only after a transcript has been sent to the University of Illinois.

If you wish to cancel your registration and thus avoid payment of tuition and fee charges, you must drop all of your courses except the last one from Student Self-Service no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on the last day before classes begin and complete the Classic Registration/Cancel Registration step in Student Self-Service.

Once a term has begun, you must contact the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to withdraw from your classes. 

Medical Withdrawal

Medical withdrawals are rare and reserved for students who require time away from campus for the treatment of a physical or mental health condition that significantly impacts their ability to function safely or successfully on campus. A student who believes that a medical withdrawal may be appropriate should contact the Office of the Dean of Students for more information.

Retroactive Withdrawal

A retroactive withdrawal—a withdrawal requested after the semester has ended—is appropriate only under extreme circumstances that can be documented. Any student who wishes to seek a retroactive withdrawal should contact the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs or a departmental advisor.

Academic Standing

A student in good academic standing is making satisfactory progress toward a degree, is taking the appropriate courses, and has at least the minimum required GPA. Students who do not meet these standards are either put on probation or have drop status. Probation and drop rules are based on semester and cumulative GPAs.

Probation is a warning that unless your grades improve you may be dropped from the university. If you are on probation you may not register for fewer than 12 credit hours or more than 18 credit hours without permission from an FAA academic dean. Written notification of probationary status is generally sent by the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. You may be required to complete an academic contract with your departmental advisor before your probationary semester begins. 

The college may choose to drop a student for the following reasons:

  • Not meeting academic probation requirements
  • Repeatedly failing required courses
  • Not making satisfactory progress toward a degree

Detailed information on the university's drop policies can be found in section 3-110 of the Student Code.

If you leave the university with good academic standing or while on probation, you are eligible to return to the university with your same major by contacting the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to reactivate your netid and receive a time ticket for registration. If you were majoring in dance, music, or theatre and have been away from the university for more than one academic year, you may need to audition again. 

If you were dropped by the university, you must submit a drop status petition/petition to re-enter. Petitions are due to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs by November 30 for readmission during the spring semester, April 30 for the summer semester, and July 31 for the fall semester. 

Course Policies

A grade of incomplete allows you to have additional time beyond the end of the semester to finish assignments. This extension is granted to assist you under specific circumstances—a lengthy illness for example—and is not intended to provide extra time to improve your work on assigned material. An incomplete grade is given only with the instructor's approval. A qualifying student should submit the I grade request form to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Under certain circumstances you can repeat a course to replace a low grade. Please note that a replacement grade does not remove the previous grade from your transcript. It changes your cumulative GPA only. You may replace up to 10 hours of credit or four courses. Check section 3-309 of the Student Code for more information. If you wish to use the grade replacement option, you must meet with an advisor or academic dean to discuss grade replacement. You then must file a grade replacement form during the first half of the term in which you are repeating the course. For example, you must indicate your desire to use the grade replacement option by the eighth week for a full-semester course or by the fourth week for a half-session course.

Courses may be added only during the first two weeks of the semester or during the first week of summer session 2. If you want to enroll in courses after the deadline, you must obtain approval from the department offering the course and submit the late course change form to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. 

If you are in good academic standing, you may select the credit/no credit grading option for electives. You must submit the credit/no credit option form with an advisor's signature to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs during the first eight weeks of the semester. Detailed information on the process is available in section 3-105 of the Student Code.

You may drop courses until the midpoint of the semester without academic penalty, but a change in credit hours may impact financial aid, visas, or progress toward a degree. Each student considering dropping a course should meet with an advisor. 

Only in rare instances will you be permitted to drop a class after the published academic deadline. You must be able to demonstrate that extraordinary extenuating circumstances, particularly those after the official academic deadline, have impacted your academic ability. A bad grade is not a valid reason to drop a course late in the semester. If you would like to drop a course after the academic deadline, you must submit a student petition to request a late drop.

For full consideration, you must submit all of the required information along with your student petition:

Special topic courses and open seminar courses—most often sections of 199 courses—generally count as elective credit toward a degree. If you wish to substitute credit from a special topic course for a required class, you must submit a student petition. Only 12 hours of credit from these courses may be used to fulfill graduation requirements.  

Rights and Procedures

The College of Fine and Applied Arts is committed to fostering an open and honest educational community. Each person should be treated with respect and have the freedom to learn, express opinions, and search for truth.

All students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of integrity in their work in classrooms, studios, performance spaces, and all other areas of their intellectual and creative life on campus. Academic integrity infractions include but are not limited to

  • Cheating
  • Plagiarism
  • Fabrication
  • Bribes
  • Academic interference

Students who violate university policy may receive a warning, have a grade lowered, or be dismissed. The full academic integrity policy is available in section 1-402 of the Student Code.

To request an exception to a college requirement, you may submit a student petition. The form should state the exact nature of the request and include any appropriate supporting documentation. You will be notified by email or letter when the final decision has been reached.

A student petition should be used for the following situations:

  • Course substitution
  • Late credit/no credit (requires the credit/no credit option form)
  • Late drop
  • Part-time status
  • Transition semester
  • Other exceptions

Any student may ask for reconsideration of a college decision or an exception to unit, college, or university academic policies. To make an appeal, you should submit the academic decision appeal form. The appeal should provide additional or clarifying information. Restating a plea or submitting multiple requests with no new information will not change the original decision. Only one appeal will be considered for each petition.

If you have a conflict about an academic matter and feel you have been treated unfairly, you are entitled to file a grievance—a formal complaint—with the college. First consult with your advisor or an academic dean so that you can determine your best course of action. If you decide to file a grievance, submit a formal statement outlining the problem to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. All grievances will be addressed promptly.

Capricious grading is one example of a situation that might lead to a formal grievance. If you feel you were held to more difficult or demanding standards than other students in the same class on an assignment or for the entire course, you may wish to submit a complaint. See section 3-107 of the Student Code for an overview of the general grievance process. Consult with an advisor or academic dean about capricious grading and your rights. 

Be sure to complete all the steps on this checklist during the semester you intend to graduate. Download the FAA commencement guide for more information and to find contact information for your unit's convocation ceremony.

  • You must notify FAA of your intent to graduate by adding yourself to the graduation list no later than the 10th day of classes. Visit Self-Service and click the "Graduation" tab.
  • Check your degree audit report to determine if you have met all requirements. Contact your academic advisor or FAA Academic Affairs if you have questions or concerns.
  • The university-wide commencement ceremony and your unit's convocation ceremony are handled separately. Make sure that you sign up for both events if you'd like to attend them both.
    • Note: Bachelor's degree candidates with 13 or fewer hours left to complete and who expect to finish in August may participate in the commencement ceremony held in May. Their names will not appear in the printed university-wide commencement program until the following May. So a candidate who intends to complete all requirements in August 2019 may attend commencement in May 2019 but will not be listed in the printed program until May 2020.
  • Be sure to check and update the diploma address information in Self-Service as needed.

For details about graduation activities, see the Commencement at Illinois website.

For questions about your diploma, see the information from the Office of the Registrar.

COVID-19 Response FAQ

Classes start Monday, March 23, and I have not heard from my instructor. What should I do?

For each class in which you are enrolled, you will receive an email from your instructor before the class is scheduled to meet again. This email will give you information about how the course will be administered going forward. Some of your instructors may need some additional time to plan for online delivery, therefore you may need to be patient. Please check your email and spam account for recent emails. If you do not hear from your instructor prior to Friday, March 27, please reach out to your departmental advisor or the FAA Academic Affairs Office.

I am unhappy with my course and do not like the new method of online delivery. What are my options?

If you have questions or concerns about any of your current classes, about the possibility of a drop, about adding a second eight-week course, or how any of this impacts your progress toward a degree, please contact your departmental advisor or the FAA Academic Affairs Office to discuss your academic options at this point in the semester. You may also want to view the FAA academic policies and the spring 2020 academic deadlines.

I am a music student. How will this impact my ability to complete my ensemble or recital requirements?

If you are a music student, please visit the School of Music's COVID-19 information for specific recommendations to address these concerns.

I heard that some of the academic deadlines were extended. Where can I find this information?

Yes, a few of the academic deadlines for the spring 2020 term were extended. These include the deadline to drop a course without a grade of W, elect a course as credit/no credit, and file intent for grade replacement. Please view the academic calendar for the specific dates.

How do I submit a request to take a course for credit/no credit for the spring 2020 term?

The credit/no credit option form must be submitted to the FAA Academic Affairs Office. FAA students must use the online credit/no credit option form.

I dropped a course prior to the new extended deadline and the modified credit/no credit policy for spring 2020. Am I able to add that class back to my schedule?

If you dropped a course according to the previous March 13/March 27 academic deadlines that were posted, you will need to submit a late course change form to the FAA Academic Affairs Office. You will be required to get approval from the department offering the course.

How should I decide whether to take a course for credit/no credit this semester?

If you are concerned about your ability to do well in your courses this term, you are strongly encouraged to talk with your FAA departmental advisor or the FAA Academic Affairs Office about this option. Remember, you do not need to make this decision until Thursday, April 30. Therefore, you should have time to determine your potential grade for the course and how well you have acclimated to the online delivery format.

Please carefully review the policy modification for spring 2020 and the Student Code. Keep in the mind the following key considerations.

  • You must a earn a C− or better to earn a grade of CR. If you receive a D+ or below, you will not earn credit.
  • A course graded as CR/NC does not enter into a students' grade point average calculation.
  • For spring 2020 only, courses graded as CR/NC can be utilized for major, minor, and general education requirements.
  • Online and graduate courses are included in this temporary CR/NC modification.
  • Any number of courses may be selected for CR/NC grading.
  • Courses placed on CR/NC status in the spring 2020 semester only will not count toward the minimum of 18 total hours of degree requirements for undergraduates.
  • Students on academic probation are permitted to select courses for CR/NC grading.

Can I earn honors credit for a course I elect for CR/NC grading?

No, a course cannot be both selected for CR/NC grading and designated for honors credit. Students electing CR/NC grading will not maintain the "H" designation for the course.

I selected the CR/NC option for a course, but now I would like to take this course for a grade. Am I still able to make this change?

Thursday, April 30, is the deadline to make any changes to the CR/NC option. You will need to submit a new credit/no credit option form and indicate "I NO LONGER ELECT to take this course on a Credit/No Credit basis and I understand that by electing this option I will receive a regular grade in the course at the end of the spring 2020 term."

What will happen with final exams?

If your instructors plan to give a comprehensive, synchronous exam, we ask that it be given at the assigned time per the final exam schedule. Your instructor may also choose to cancel the scheduled final to issue something else (a project, paper, etc.). If you have any concerns regarding a scheduled exam conflict, please contact the FAA Academic Affairs Office.

I understand that the commencement and convocation ceremonies for May have been canceled. Will these events be rescheduled? How and when will I receive my diploma?

Due to recent events, the University of Illinois System sadly had to make the decision to cancel these events for the health and safety of our students. Diplomas will be mailed, and we are exploring possible alternatives such as rescheduling and/or hosting virtual events to honor the class of 2020. Visit the Office of the Register's website for specific information on mailing diplomas.

Please understand that commencement is not a certification of graduation, but rather a ceremony that celebrates your academic achievements. All degree requirements must be satisfied before graduation and diploma conferral. If you have questions about your graduation requirements or your degree audit, it is very important that you discuss these concerns with your departmental advisor or the FAA Academic Affairs Office.

I am having trouble understanding this new system of online delivery. Where can I get some help?

Here are some great resources on campus that can provide you with some tips for learning online:

Connecting to the Internet

Learn to Use Video Technologies

Keep Learning

Adapt to Being an Online Student

University Library Services

What if I do not have access to the necessary computer technology to participate in my online classes, cannot access the software required by my course, or have a poor Internet connection?

If you do not have access to technology that will allow you to engage in remote instruction, please contact the Student Assistance Center in the Office of the Dean of Students. Please be assured that your department is currently working to determine how to address this issue for students in your major.

Here are some additional tech resources that you may find helpful:

Internet resources: These companies are offering free or discounted expanded Internet access.

Zoom Conferencing and Collaboration Services

Adobe Creative Cloud: Free Adobe Creative Cloud access is available for all U of I students. Temporary access to Creative Cloud will last until May 31, 2020. This date is subject to change. Adobe is closely monitoring the situation and may, at its sole discretion, modify the validity of the licenses.


Who should I contact if I have specific questions about technology?

If you have specific questions or concerns about technology, please contact Technology Services for assistance or consult the Technology Services website.

This transition has been very stressful. Am I still able to utilize campus resources from my home?

Yes, all of our campus resources are still available to assist you remotely. Our counseling staff is preparing to deliver alternative counseling services to students including phone consultations and eventually telehealth. Meanwhile, students who have UnitedHealthcare may access online counseling. If you access the counseling site through your UnitedHealthcare app, you can bypass the necessary insurance information requirement. If you need help, contact customer service at 217.333.0165 or email Please check the Counseling Center's website for frequent updates regarding telemental health services and online psychoeducation.

If you are experiencing a psychological emergency, please call the 24-hour Crisis Line at 217.359.4141 or 911.

My financial situation has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 events. Are there any financial resources I should consider?

Please feel free to reach out to your FAA departmental advisor, the FAA Academic Affairs Office, or the Student Assistance Center (217.333.0050 or to discuss your concerns. We all work together and may be able help you identify the best resources for your situation. The Office of the Dean of Students has other helpful suggestions.

I've had some trouble with my lease and rental office due to COVID-19 concerns. What should I do?

Off-Campus Community Living remains available to assist students. To schedule a virtual meeting, please call 217.333.0112 or email


Visit the COVID-19 resource page from Student Affairs for a list of the campus support services that are available to you during this time.

FAA Student Resource Guide