Portland-State-University 2020-2021 Bulletin

Academic Records, Credit, and Appeals

Student Records

The University Student Records Policy, in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended, governs the collection, use, and disclosure of student records with the goal of ensuring their privacy. Generally it provides the right to non-release of confidential information except as directed by the student, or as provided by law; the right to inspect educational records maintained by the University; the right to correction of errors, a hearing if necessary, and the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. Learn more about student records privacy online at www.pdx.edu/registration/student-records-privacy-policy.

Documents Submitted to the University

All documents, including transcripts, submitted to PSU become the property of the University and are not intended for duplication or return to the student. 

Academic Record Sealed After Degree Earned

Portland State University academic records are sealed thirty days after the conferral of a degree. After this date, changes to majors and minors, addition of departmental honors, removal of incomplete grades, grade changes, changes to degree posting, or other changes to an academic record cannot be made except by decision of the Scholastic Standards Committee or the Graduate Council.

Academic Credit

A credit is the basic unit of measurement of educational accomplishment. One credit normally connotes 10 hours of lecture-recitation or 20 or more hours of laboratory, studio, or activity work. The majority of courses at Portland State University involve three or four hours per week of lecture-recitation. PSU is on the quarter-system calendar. Semester credits transferred from other accredited United States schools may be converted to PSU’s credits by multiplying by 1.5.

The 1.5 multiplication rules apply only to semester credits transferred from U.S. schools. Semester credits transferred from accredited schools outside the United States will be converted according to established international transfer credit guidelines and policies.

Academic Credit Overload

Undergraduate Academic Credit Overload

Undergraduate students who enroll in more than 21 credits per term are considered to be in academic overload. PSU audit credits and transfer credit taken at other institutions while concurrently enrolled at PSU are counted in determining overload status. Transfer credits that result in an overload for a given term will not be accepted in transfer unless prior approval has been granted.

Academic overload must be approved on a term-by-term basis as follows:


  •  22-25 credits: Students must obtain prior approval from their academic program adviser using the Overload Approval Form, to be submitted to the Office of the Registrar in advance of the overload term.
  •  26 or more credits: Students must obtain prior permission from the Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) by submitting an ARC petition in advance of the overload term. Students must provide justification for the overload and obtain written support from their academic program adviser. Petitions must be submitted using the Academic Requirements Committee petition prior to the first day of the overload term.


Graduate Academic Credit Overload


Graduate students must obtain approval for registration in excess of 16 credits (graduate and undergraduate credits combined) via the Overload Approval form. A student registering for 17 to 19 credits must obtain the approval from their department chair or faculty adviser. A student registering for 20 credits or more must obtain the approval of their department chair and the Graduate School. A graduate assistant registering for more than 16 credits must obtain approval from their department chair and the Graduate School.


Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering graduate students have a lower maximum registration limit of 10 credits. These students must obtain approval to register for 11 or more credits via the Overload Approval form. 



Class standing

Class standing is based on the number of credits a student has completed, according to the following schedule:


Class Standing Credits Completed
Freshman 1-44
Sophomore 45-89
Upper-division standing 90 or more
Junior 90-134
Senior 135 or more
Postbaccalaureate Hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university

Appeals and Grievances

Grievances and requests for exceptions to University policies and requirements may be filed with specific committees authorized to deal with specific student concerns.

Academic Appeals Board

This board hears appeals from students who claim to have received prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation and makes recommendations on cases to the Provost. In such cases the student should first consult with the instructor. If the grievance is not resolved, the student should then contact the department chair, then the dean of the college or school. If the grievance is still not resolved, the student may then appeal by writing a letter to the Academic Appeals Board. Appeals may be filed in the Office of Dean of Student Life, 433 Smith Memorial Student Union.

Academic Requirements Committee (ARC)

The ARC is a subcommittee of the PSU Faculty Senate and is responsible for developing policies and adjudicating petitions regarding academic regulations related to credit loads, transfer credit, degree and certificate requirements for all undergraduate programs. It also develops and recommends policies and adjudicates student petitions regarding initial undergraduate admissions, including entering freshmen. The ARC Petition process is managed by an online process accessed at the Academic Requirements Committee Petitions website.

Deadline Appeals Committee (DAC)

A student may petition this committee to be exempted from published registration deadlines for the current term when mitigating circumstances prevent deadline compliance. Petitions must include documentation of the reason for missing the deadline.

The petition may be accessed at www.pdx.edu/registration/deadline-appeals-petition 

For further information students may call 503-725-3220.

Scholastic Standards Committee (SSC)

The SSC is a Faculty Senate committee charged with developing and recommending academic standards to maintain the integrity of the undergraduate program and academic transcripts of the University; developing, maintaining and implementing protocols regarding academic changes to the undergraduate transcript; reviewing and ruling on petitions for any retroactive change to the academic record such as a grade option change, drop, add, and extension of an incomplete beyond the one year deadline; and adjudicating student petitions for academic reinstatement to the University. Conferral of an accredited transferable Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree constitutes automatic reinstatement to the University once an official copy of a transcript with degree posted is presented to the Office of the Registrar. Petition forms to make retroactive changes to undergraduate academic record, or to seek reinstatement to the University may be obtained at www.pdx.edu/registration/petitions. Forms may also be obtained at the Registrar's Office, FMH Lobby. For further information call 503-725-3220.