Policy Handbook for Undergraduate Programs

About the ECE Policy Handbook for ECE Undergraduate Programs

The ECE Policy Handbook (‘Handbook’) for Undergraduate Programs contains the various departmental policies and codes by which students are expected to abide as a student in one of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s (‘Department’) programs. It is not intended to be an exclusive list of policies, and general common sense and ethical behavior is expected from all students in relation to courses, course material, staff, faculty, and fellow students.

Policies in the Handbook are subject to change at any time without prior notice. Announcements of changes to policies in the Handbook will be distributed via the Canvas LMS, and students are responsible for knowing and understanding all Department policies.

Policy Handbook

1.0.0: Challenging Courses2.0.0: Student Conduct3.0.0: Class Repeats4.0.0: Withdrawal Procedure5.0.0: Exceptions to Policy6.0.0: Permission Codes7.0.0: Probationary Status8.0.0: Grading

Policy 1.0.0: Challenging Courses

A student can only challenge ECE courses that do not have laboratory content. The student is required to submit a petition to the department to justify their request to challenge a course. This petition needs to be accepted by the Admission and Graduation Committee. If the petition is accepted, the faculty in charge of the course will determine a method for validating the student’s proficiency for that course. If the faculty determines that the student has proficiency, the student will have that course requirement waived and the number of technical elective hours the student must complete will be increased by the number of credit hours of the waived course.

Policy 2.0.0: Student Conduct

2.1.0 Student Commitment Declaration

All students admitted into the B.S. Electrical Engineering or B.S. Computer Engineering programs will be required to complete the Student Commitment Declaration as followed:

  • you consent to receive communications and documents electronically from the Department. These communications will be sent to your Umail address. We strongly recommend that you check this account on a regular basis and/or forward it to an alternative email address.*
  • agree to complete all coursework in the BSEE or BSCE program.*
  • achieve a cumulative University of Utah GPA of at least 2.5.*
  • achieve a technical GPA of at least 2.5 with no grade lower than a “C-” in any ECE course.*
  • you acknowledge that a cumulative University of Utah GPA or technical GPA lower than 2.5 will result in a probationary period of 12 months.*
  • you acknowledge that failure to raise your GPA sufficiently after your probationary period will result in dismissal from the program, and you may not re-apply without an appeal to the ECE Undergraduate Committee.*
  • you acknowledge that any courses required for the major may only be attempted twice, including the initial attempt and one repeat. All letter grades, NC and CR, and W grades count as an attempt toward a class. Additional repeats beyond the second attempt are not permitted, and the respective grades will not be considered for graduation purposes without an appeal to the ECE Undergraduate Committee.*
  • you agree to abide by all University of Utah policies and standards.*
  • you agree to notify your Academic Advisor if you decide to switch into a different major outside of the Department.*
  • you commit to attending all advising appointments prepared.*
  • you acknowledge that your status as a BSEE or BSCE major student is conditional and may be revoked at any time at the discretion of the Department. *

Policy 2.2.0: Code of Conduct


Any form of academic dishonesty is a serious offence in an academic community. In the world of professional engineering, plagiarism, cheating, theft of Intellectual Property, or otherwise dishonest conduct can result in serious ramifications, including termination from employment, expulsion from school, monetary fines, and in some circumstances incarceration.

In ECE, such dishonesty will often result in removal from the course, assignment of an “E” grade for the course, or separation from the University of Utah, or a combination of these. It is therefore essential that every student understands the standards of academic honesty, and your personal responsibility to uphold the Code of Student Conduct, including, but not limited to the following statutes:

  1. Plagiarism. Failure to acknowledge ideas, phrases, data, music, images, or other intellectual property gained from a preexisting body of work. This includes self-plagiarism, or submitting of one piece of work in more than one course without the explicit permission of all instructors to whom the work has been delivered. We strongly suggest working with your professors if you are unsure of what might constitute plagiarism in their individual courses.
  2. Stealing, altering, borrowing without permission, or otherwise editing the form or content of digital media created by another individual without explicit permission.
  3. Falsification or deliberate attempts to disguise the plagiarism of academic documents.
  4. Misrepresentation or deliberate misquotation of data, quotes, statements, ideas, or any other intellectual property of another individual.
  5. Collaborative effort or group submission of assignments, papers, quizzes, tests, or any other course material without the explicit permission of the instructor.
  6. The submission of work as one’s own creation and/or representation that has been prepared by another person, whether for payment or without payment.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering expects all students to be proactive in diminishing the practice of cheating, plagiarism, and any other form of academic dishonesty by taking steps to support the Code of Student Conduct and reporting incidents of academic dishonesty.

Upon witnessing a violation of academic integrity, you might:

  1. Talk to, confront, or otherwise open communication with the student who may be violating the Code of Student Conduct.
  2. Consult with the professor, another faculty member, or a member of staff regarding a violation you may have witnessed.
  3. Report the suspected dishonesty to the instructor of the course, the department Chair, the academic advisor, or the Dean of Students.

At all times, ensure that you do not become party to academic dishonesty by concealing, refusing to disclose, or otherwise ignoring violations of other students.


In addition to the aforementioned statutes, regulations, and definitions, you acknowledge that any and all plagiarism or cheating as defined in University of Utah Policy 6-300 Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (“Student Code”) in any course will result in immediate dismissal from any ECE program as well as be deported to the Dean of Students and/or General Counsel Office as necessary.*

Policy 3.0.0: Class Repeats

  1. When a College of Engineering class is taken more than once, only the grade for the second attempt is counted.
  2. Grades of W do count as an attempt for Electrical and Computer Engineering students. Students should note that anyone who takes a required class twice and does not have a satisfactory grade the second time may not be able to graduate.
  3. Once a class has been attempted at the University of Utah, that specific class may only be re-taken at the University of Utah—retakes at other institutions will not be considered wi
    thout prior authorization.

Policy 4.0.0: Withdrawal Procedure

Please note the difference between the terms “drop” and “withdraw”. Drop implies that the student will not be held financially responsible and a “W” grade will not be listed on the transcript. Withdraw means that a “W” grade will appear on the student’s transcript and tuition will be charged.


All classes must be added within two weeks of the beginning of the semester. Late adds will be allowed for 10 days after the add deadline, requiring only the instructor’s signature. Any request to add a class after the add/drop period will require signatures from the instructor, department, and Dean, and need to be accompanied by a petition letter to the Dean’s office. A $50 FEE WILL BE ASSESSED BY THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE FOR ADDING CLASSES.


No Penalty. Students may DROP any class without penalty or permission during the FIRST TEN academic days of the term. See the academic calendar for exact dates.


Students may WITHDRAW from classes without professor’s permission until the withdraw deadline. A “W” grade will appear on the transcript AND tuition will be charged. Refer to Class Schedule, Tuition and Fees for tuition information and dates.


Withdrawals after the deadline will only be granted due to compelling, non-academic emergencies. A petition and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Dean’s Office, 1602 Warnock Engineering Building or University College (450 SSB). Petitions must be received before the last day of classes.

Policy 5.0.0: Exceptions to Policy

All Electrical and Computer Engineering undergraduate students retain the right to request an exception to departmental policy from the respective appeals committees.

5.1.0 Appeals Committee
5.1.1 Appeals Committee Members

Appeals committee members are made up of voting faculty and staff from the B.S. Electrical and B.S. Computer Engineering programs. The Appeals Committee regularly discuss student requests for exceptions to policy. A majority vote must be won in order for the appeal to be approved.

5.1.2 Student Right to Know

The names and contact details of voting members on the appeals committees are not released to students to protect voting impartiality and anonymity. Students do not have a right to know the identity of voting committee members.

5.1.3 Hung Vote

Where votes are split evenly, if in the case of an even-numbered appeals committee, the Appeals Committee Chair shall have the deciding vote.

5.2.0 Requesting an Exception to Policy

Students requesting an exception to policy must do so, in writing, via Exception to Policy form. Supporting documentation along with a written justification are required in order for the request to be considered by the appeals committee.

Policy 6.0.0: Permission Codes

6.1.0 Requesting Codes

Permission codes must be requested, in writing, via the Permission Code Request form. Permission codes may be requested in order to enroll in a class for the following reasons:

  1. You have completed the pre-requisite classes elsewhere.
  2. You have instructor consent to enroll in the class without the pre-requisite.
  3. You are experiencing technical difficulties getting enrolled, but there are seats available and you’ve met all the prerequisites.
  4. If the class is full, and you’d like to be placed on the waitlist.
  5. If you are a transfer student and have met the prerequisites but are still having difficulty enrolling.  Please provide an unofficial or official transcript of your record from the transfer university that meets the course requirement if such a class is not shown on your degree audit. 
6.2.0 Requesting Codes as a Graduate Student for Proficiency

Graduate students seeking proficiency and have been admitted are permitted to receive a code upon request and approval of the undergraduate advising staff. Graduate students that have not yet been admitted to a graduate program in ECE are able to receive a code on the first day of class, provided there are still open seats remaining.

6.3.0 Requesting Codes Prior to Receiving Major-Status

Undergraduate students in pre-Computer Engineering or pre-Electrical Engineering status are not eligible to receive codes to bypass the “Full-major Status” prerequisite requirement for ECE classes, unless otherwise authorized by an undergraduate advisor.

6.4.0 Requesting Codes as a non-ECE Major Student

Undergraduate students pursuing a major other than B.S. Electrical or B.S. Computer Engineering are able to receive a code on the first day of class, provided there are still open seats remaining.


Students are classified with ‘probationary status’ when any of the following situations occur:
  1. A student is admitted to the major conditionally
  2. A student’s cumulative GPA, technical GPA, or both GPAs drops below the requisite 2.50

Students shall receive one (1) notification of probationary status at the beginning, as well as one (1) reminder notification during the probation period.

7.2.0 TERMS OF probationary status

Students placed on probationary status shall have twelve (12) months to increase both their technical and cumulative GPAs above the requisite 2.50. Twelve (12) months results in a student being authorized to take classes during three semesters, a Fall, a Spring, and a Summer semester, in order to increase their/her/his GPAs. 

Students are recommended to meet with an advisor to make an appropriate plan to succeeed.

Failure to meet the terms of probationary status will result in the student’s dismissal from the program. The program reserves the right to dismiss any student at any time due to failure in meeting the terms of probationary status.
The Department will notify the student in writing of their/her/his dismissal from one of the ECE programs.


  1. All ECE, CS, and other major-required courses must be completed with a letter grade. Classes graded as CR or NC must be repeated.
  2. Grades are assigned at the discretion of the professor. The Department and Advisors are not able to change grades for students, but may facilitate appeals involving faculty if a Student feels an awarded grade is inaccurate.