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Students are expected to know and abide by University and SPH Academic Policies.

Benchmark courses are major requirements that must be completed by a specific semester once the major is declared. Failure to complete your benchmark courses on time may result in you being dismissed from the major. View additional information about benchmarks. Benchmarks are a part of the university’s Student Academic Success - Degree Completion Policy.

Only a few groups of students, noted below, have mandatory advising in SPH. However, it is highly recommended that all SPH students seek academic advising each semester.

New students - All new transfer and first-semester freshmen in the School of Public are required to have mandatory advising. Freshmen complete this requirement during their required freshmen seminar course, UNIV100. Transfer students are required to complete academic plans (see Academic Plan below) and meet with their departmental advisors.

Academic Probation, Dismissal, and Re-enrollment - Students will be placed on Academic Probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. These students are required to have regular advising during their probation semester(s). View additional information about Academic Probation, Dismissal, and Re-enrollment.

Student Athletes - All student athletes in the School of Public Health are required to meet with an academic advisor at least once prior to registering for classes in the Fall and Spring semesters. View additional information about Student Athletes.

All SPH students with 75 or more credits are expected to complete a senior audit with a departmental advisor. A senior audit gives students a chance to review the courses they have taken to ensure they have been recorded correctly. It also allows students to verify the courses/credits they are missing in order to meet graduation requirements.

All students will prepare individualized plans for completing their specific SPH major in accordance with its degree requirements. Students will develop an academic plan when they enter the School, whether that is as a new student or through the change of major process. Students are encouraged to periodically update their plans with the assistance of their academic advisors. The academic plan is part of the university’s Student Academic Success - Degree Completion Policy.

Students must apply for graduation by the end of schedule adjustment for the semester in which they plan to earn their degree. Students can apply for graduation on Testudo.

View additional information on graduation.

NOTE: Students must be enrolled in all remaining degree requirements in order to walk in that semester ceremony. If remaining courses will be completed after commencement, the student will not be permitted to walk until the following semester.

SPH Exception to Policy Requests

This exception to policy request system is only for current SPH majors and is only for review of exceptions to university policies.  If you do not see the exception request you want in the drop-down menu, it is most likely an exception that needs to be reviewed by your department; please reach out to your departmental advisor for guidance.  If you are unsure where to submit your request, you can email to inquire.  


Review the information below to determine what type of request form you need to complete: SPH Exception to Policy, Permission to Enroll, or Time Conflict.  Submit your request through the appropriate linked Google form using your UMD credentials. If your request requires inclusion of very sensitive information, there will be an opportunity in the form to submit this info via SecureShare. Direct email of sensitive information is not recommended. 

Please allow 7-10 business days for your exception request to be reviewed by the committee and to receive a response.  You can accelerate your anticipated response time with an accurate form.

Student Acknowledgement:  Please Review

I understand that in striving for equitable treatment of all students, the School of Public Health strictly adheres to University policies regarding registration and schedule adjustment. I have read the relevant policy in the Undergraduate Catalog and/or the deadline date for registration/adjustment transactions given in the Schedule of Classes. I understand that exceptions to these policies and deadlines are granted by the School only under extreme and unusual circumstances. I also understand that if any of the information provided is false, academic dishonesty procedures can be lodged against me.  By submitting a request, I am acknowledging that such requests are for truly unusual and/or mitigating circumstances, are not without limit and are not remedies for errors in judgment.

During pre-registration, students are limited as to the number of credits in which they may enroll.  These credits limits are designed to 1) give all students equal access to a full schedule, and 2) give students a strong chance for academic success with reasonable course loads.

UMD Policy: Undergraduates may not exceed the following maximum credit loads without permission:

  • 20 credits in a 15-week semester (Fall and Spring)
  • 8 credits in a 6-week term (Summer I and II)
  • 4 credits in an accelerated 3-week term (Winter)

Students who wish to overload beyond these credit limits need permission to do so.  Prior to the first day of classes, the following exceptions will be considered:

  • Students wishing 17 credits who are not on probation or dismissal.
  • Students who could graduate in the current semester and are not on probation or dismissal.

Please note:  On the first day of classes, any student who is not on probation or dismissal will be able to register for UP TO 20 credits without permission

Please submit the SPH Exception To Policy Form.

Policy: Students who began at the University of Maryland after the summer of 1990 may repeat no more than 18 credits (see Campus Repeat Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog). All courses in which the student is enrolled at the end of Schedule Adjustment count as attempted credits (including courses in which the student has earned a W) are counted.

Being granted an exception to this policy is rare, and only in extreme and unusual circumstances such as significant illness, injury, or unforeseen hardship.  Additional documentation is helpful to consider the request.

Critical Note: if you repeat a course for which you have received a grade above F, you will earn NO new credits when you take it the second time.

Please submit the SPH Exception To Policy Form.

Policy:  Students who began at the University of Maryland Fall 1990 and after may repeat any class in which they have been enrolled after Schedule Adjustment once without permission (taking the same class a total of two times). Classes the student withdrew from, with a W noted on their transcript, are counted as one attempt. Students wishing to take the same class for a third time, or more, must get permission to do so. 

Only under the most extraordinary circumstances will a student be allowed to take a class for a third attempt. In some cases, additional documentation or a meeting with an advisor may be requested.

Critical Note: when you repeat a course in which you received a grade above F, you will earn NO new credits when you take it the next time.

Please submit the SPH Exception To Policy Form.

Policy: An undergraduate student may drop up to 4 credits between the end of Schedule Adjustment and the 10th week of classes for fall and spring full-semester classes (and a comparable amount of time for half semester classes, winter term, and summer terms). Consult the schedule of classes for exact dates each semester. However, if the course carries more than four credits, the student may drop the entire course, or, in the case of a class with variable credit, up to four credits.

Procedures: This is a very important policy at the University. If stress, illness, or work is affecting one class, it is affecting all classes. It is not possible to manipulate the GPA by picking those classes to drop above 4 credits. The student should explain in detail below why an exception to this policy should be considered. The student may be asked to provide documentation and will be requested to meet in person before an exception will be granted.

Dropping More Than 4 Credits After Schedule Adjustment Ends Form

Policy: It is the student's responsibility to register for courses on time.  Courses may not be added after the Schedule Adjustment Period (see Testudo for exact dates) without permission. Under no circumstances will a student be added to a class that they have not been attending after Schedule Adjustment ends.

Procedure: To add a class late the student will need the instructor of the desired class email stating that 1) the student has been attending the class and 2) they are willing for the student to add the class late.  If permission is granted, you will be notified by email when all permissions have been received, and you will still need to register for the class in Testudo

Please submit the SPH Exception To Policy Form.

Policy: Grading method (including Pass/Fail) may only be changed during the Schedule Adjustment period. Only under very unusual situations will exceptions to this policy be considered.

Procedure: Clearly describe the justification for such an exception in the form below. Additional documentation and/or a meeting concerning this request may be required to accompany this request.

Please submit the SPH Exception To Policy Form.

Policy: There are two different ways in which an undergraduate student may enroll for graduate credit:

Undergraduate credit for graduate-level courses. Subject to requirements determined by the graduate faculty of the department or program offering the courses, an undergraduate student may register for graduate-level courses (those numbering 600-898, excluding 799) for undergraduate level credit. The credits so earned may not be applied to a graduate program at a later date.

Concurrent undergraduate-graduate registration. In this case, the student would register for a graduate class (600 or above) and receive graduate credit for it. The course will be recorded as "for graduate credit" and may be applied to an advanced degree. The graduate credits earned in this way will not count toward any of the requirements for the Baccalaureate degree. When an undergraduate student takes undergraduate and graduate courses concurrently, the total credits of registration can not exceed 18.

Requirements. Students seeking to take a graduate course in either manner outlined above must be degree-seeking, should be of junior standing, have a 3.0 or better, and have completed any pre-requisite to the desired course with a B or better. No more than twelve graduate credits can be taken by students while enrolled as undergraduates.

Procedures: Students wishing to take a graduate course for undergraduate credit should complete the information below and then contact the instructor of the course. If the Department or Program offering the course consents to the student's enrolling in the course, they should be asked to place a By Permission Stamp for the course in the Student Information System. Once the Departmental stamp appears, if the student meets all conditions for registration in a graduate class, permission will be granted for the student to take the class and they will be notified that they can enroll.

Students wishing to enroll in graduate courses for graduate credit should complete the information below. In the justification section, they must present a plan of study that shows that taking graduate courses will not unduly delay the completion of requirements for the bachelor's degree. If qualified, the student will be contacted to pick up the Dean approved Graduate Credit Permission Form to take to the Department offering the course and to the Graduate School for approval. Once all approvals have been received, the student will be notified that they can register.

Register for a Graduate Course Form

Policy: Students cannot reasonably engage in classes which meet at the same time. Occasionally, the time scheduled for a class is flexible, or the class listed in Testudo is inaccurate, such as private music lessons determined ad hoc by the student and faculty member.  In these cases, a time conflict approval will be considered. 

Note:  Classes with asynchronous times are not eligible for time conflict approvals; you cannot schedule over the time dedicated to that course, even if it meets asynchronously.

Procedure: The student needs written permission from both instructors of the classes involved to send an email explaining why the time conflict will not be a problem, such as the time listed in  Testudo is inaccurate, because the student has the option of meeting at a different time, etc). The email should be sent to and include the student’s name, UID, course, and section.

SPH Exception To Policy:  Time Conflict Form

Once a student has matriculated at the University of Maryland, students are expected to complete all remaining course work at UMD. Courses taken at another institution WILL NOT be credited toward your degree without approval in advance by the appropriate dean of the college in which you are a major.

Please be sure to meet with your academic advisor to discuss taking courses at another institution. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor on TerpEngage.

SPH Policies

Fundamental English and Fundamental Math requirements must be taken at UMD once students have matriculated at UMD.

Electives:  Students can request to take general elective credits away from UMD at a 2- or 4- year institution.


Complete the SPH Exceptions to Policy: Permission To Enroll Form first. At the conclusion of the form, you will be prompted to log in with your credentials and click on request Permission to Enroll to fill out a second form.

Policy: The drop period for undergraduate students begins at the close of the schedule adjustment period and terminates at the end of the tenth week of classes for the fall and spring semester and at a comparable time for summer and winter sessions (see Testudo or the Schedule of Classes for exact dates for each term). It is the student's responsibility to be sure that they are only registered for classes that they are attending at the end of schedule adjustment. Failure to drop classes in a timely manner during schedule adjustment precludes other students from getting into those classes. During the drop period, students are allowed to drop a maximum of four credits. The student will receive a "W" for any course dropped during the drop period and the course will count as an attempt of that course.

In some cases where the student never attended the class in question, a retro-drop may be requested such that the student would not receive a "W" on their transcript.

Procedure: If the semester in which the course is on the student's record is in progress, the student should first drop the class. Then the student should request that the instructor of the class send a email to stating that the student never attended the class. If the semester when the course is on the student's record has ended, after submitting this request the student will be notified if input from the instructor is necessary (many professors note when students have never attended in the Student Information System). The student will receive an email as to the resolution of this request.

Late Withdrawl from course (after the 10th week of class) form

Policy: Students must be enrolled in all remaining degree requirements in order to participate in SPH and/or University's commencement ceremonies. If remaining courses will be completed after commencement, students will not be permitted to walk until the following spring semester.         
Procedures: If students have 2 or few courses to complete their degree they can request permission to participate in SPH and/or University's commencement ceremonies. Submitting this request does not automatically grant students permission to participate in any commencement ceremony. 


Commencement Participation Request Form


Procedure: If you are requesting an exception that does not fit into any other category noted, please clearly describe the exception being requested. You will also need to clearly provide a justification for such an exception. Additional documentation and/or a meeting concerning this request may be required to accompany this request.


Please submit the SPH Exception To Policy Form.