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Frequently Asked Questions

The following section will answer many questions that may arise. However, an FAQ cannot substitute for a good face-to-face discussion with a knowledgeable faculty member or academic advisor. The information below is university, college, and department policy at the time of the publishing of this page. Policies are subject to change. Complete versions of all academic policies can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog and on URSA. Select to view our Student Handbook.

How do I obtain an academic advisor?

When you enter the department, you will be assigned an advisor who is here to assist you with your undergraduate education. He/she can answer any questions you may have and will assist you in the registration process each semester.

Although your advisor is your official point person for academic matters, feel free to talk with other faculty members as well. Different faculty members often can offer different ideas and different perspectives. Diverse opinions can be good!

How do I set up an internship?

Economics majors have taken a wide variety of internships. Some have been part-time positions with local employers, while others have been full-time positions in Indiana or more distant areas such as Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia. Some internships are arranged by the department, but most are arranged by students, subject to department approval. In addition to their job-related work, interns are required to complete academic assignments (e.g., readings and research papers) relating to their internship under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Depending upon the amount of work involved, a student may earn up to 12 credits through internships. However, a maximum of six credits may be applied to the 34 credits in Economics required for the major.

To be eligible for an internship, you must be a junior or senior majoring in Economics. You must have passed at least 12 credits in Economics with a 2.50 GPA both in Economics and overall. Details on application procedures for department-sponsored internships are announced periodically as they are available. Students wishing to arrange their own internship should speak with the department chairperson. The Department Curriculum Committee determines the appropriateness of proposed internships, judges applications, and determines the number of credits to be awarded.

Can I take classes at other universities?

Absolutely! IUP offers a variety of exchange programs both within the United States and in other countries. The IUP Office of International Education can give you specific information about both foreign and domestic exchange opportunities. Past Economics majors have spent semesters abroad in Spain, Germany, France, England, Costa Rica, and Hungary. They also have done U.S. exchanges at universities in Hawaii, New Mexico, and Florida.

If you are interested in taking summer classes at a community college near your home, you can arrange that as well. Get a copy of the course catalog and summer schedule of the school in which you are interested. Choose the courses you want, and pick up an Application for Pre-Approval of Coursework at Another College/University (available at Transfer Evaluation Services, 117 Sutton Hall) prior to taking the course. Courses taken without prior approval are taken at the risk of the student. Without prior approval, IUP may choose not to accept or transfer such credit. Only the credits for courses in which you receive a grade of A, B, or C will transfer. Because the grades earned at other schools do not transfer, such courses will not impact your GPA at IUP. If the courses being taken are among your last 30 credits, the courses must be taken at IUP unless the IUP residency requirement is waived by the college dean.

Can I do independent work?

Yes. We offer limited opportunities to students for independent studies. All inquiries are directed to the chair of the Department of Economics. If the course of study is feasible, you will be directed to a faculty member to develop a proposal for approval. The faculty member will supervise and evaluate your course of study.

What if I want to take a course that is not currently being offered?

We cannot offer every course on a regular basis. If a course that interests you is not scheduled, check with your advisor and the department chairperson. If enough students express interest, we can insert the course into an upcoming semester schedule. Even if the course is not likely to be offered before you graduate, you may be able to take it on an individualized instruction basis. In this case, a faculty member will direct you with individualized readings and discussions of the material that would normally be covered in the class.

What if I want to withdraw from a course?

You may withdraw from an individual course at any time during the first two-thirds of the semester. Exceptions to this deadline can only be made with documentation of exceptional events of a catastrophic nature that could not have been anticipated.

You must process your own course withdrawals through the Banner online registration system. Your transcript will show a grade of "W" for the course.

Although the withdrawal decision is yours, please talk with your advisor and instructor first. Perhaps you are not doing as badly as you think. Perhaps there are other options you have not considered.

May I take a class on pass/fail basis?

Yes. You may take up to 15 credits of pass/fail courses during your IUP career. You are limited to one pass/fail course in any given semester during your sophomore, junior, and senior years. Since the pass/fail option is intended to permit a student to experiment with courses outside his/her own program areas, you may not take any course in your major or minor or in your Liberal Studies program on a pass/fail basis.

If you wish to take a course on a pass/fail basis, you must fill out a request form (available in department offices) during the first six weeks of the semester.

What should I do if I am forced to miss a significant part of the semester?

These things do happen as result of injury, illness, or personal emergencies. The first step is to speak with your advisor and your professors and let them know what is happening. They will guide you through your choices. The typical options are:

  1. If you are unable to complete coursework due to illness or other unavoidable reasons, you may be assigned a grade of incomplete or "I" in one or more courses. You will then have until the last day of classes in the next regular semester to complete whatever work your professor assigns. When the work is completed, the professor will submit the appropriate grade to replace the "I" on your transcript. While taking an incomplete is often an attractive option, be careful about taking several at one time. The burden of making up past work while trying to keep up with new classes in a semester can be unexpectedly difficult. Note that the incomplete option is available only in the case of illness or other unavoidable reasons. It is not available to students who simply procrastinated or want extra time.
  2. If you are unable to catch up with every course, you may want to withdraw from one or more and concentrate on the remaining ones (see course withdrawal instructions above). It is often better to do well in three classes than to do poorly in five. The "W" grades do not affect your academic standing. But, if you are dependent upon financial aid, be careful not to fall below the "percent of progress" standards. You must pass at least 75 percent of all registered credits to maintain financial aid eligibility.
  3. If your academic hole is too deep to dig out of during the semester, you can take a total university withdrawal. Your transcript will show a designation of "Q" for every registered course. Total university withdrawals may be made up until the end of the semester and are processed through the Office of Advising and Testing in Pratt Hall. If you withdraw early in the semester, you may qualify for a partial refund of your tuition. Students withdrawing must apply for readmission before returning to IUP.

How do I go about repeating a course?

Students are allowed to retake any course in which they received a grade of "D" or "F." You are allowed to choose the "repeat with replacement" option for up to six courses. Under this option, the new grade earned replaces the old grade in all GPA calculations. Thus, if you earn an "F" the first time through, but repeat the course and earn a "B," all subsequent GPA calculations will use the "B" and ignore the "F." The original "F," however, will still appear on your transcript. To choose this option, you must complete a D/F Repeat Form available in any department office.

If you do not complete a D/F Repeat Form, you will be choosing the "repeat with averaging" option in which the new grade is averaged with the old grade in GPA calculations. In this case the new grade will have less of an impact on your GPA. There is no limit on the number of "repeat with averaging" courses.

If you fail a course at IUP, you may repeat it at another university (perhaps at a community college in the summer). However, grades do not transfer. Even if you earn an "A" at the other institution, your IUP GPA will continue to reflect the original "F."

Proceed very carefully. If you receive a lower grade than you expect, the first step is always to contact the instructor. Perhaps you did not perform as well as you expected on the final exam. Perhaps you misunderstood the grading scale. Perhaps the instructor made a clerical error. If, after talking with the instructor, you are convinced that you earned a higher grade, the next step is to talk with the chairperson of the department in which you took the course. If talking with the chairperson does not resolve the situation, you may file a formal grade appeal as outlined in the IUP Undergraduate Catalog.

Appeals can only be made in the cases of a clerical error that the instructor is unwilling to correct, capricious behavior on the part of the instructor (for example, the instructor arbitrarily changing the grading procedures listed in the course syllabus), or discrimination. Note: disagreement with the instructor’s subjective evaluation of your work is not grounds for appeal. Your appeal will be read by a tripartite committee with faculty, student, and administrative representatives. If that committee feels your case has merit, the case will be heard by a faculty committee.

What if I get into academic difficulty?

Students need a 2.00 GPA to remain in academic good standing. If you fall below the 2.00 standard, you will be placed on academic probation for one semester and will be asked to develop an Academic Recovery Plan (ARP). This ARP will identify the reasons for your poor academic performance and outline the specific steps you plan to take to regain academic good standing.

If you remain below a 2.00 GPA after a semester of probation, but followed an approved ARP and have made some progress toward the 2.00 GPA, you will be eligible for a semester of extended probation. However, if you do not reach the 2.00 standard after a semester on probation and have not followed an ARP or not made progress, you will be dismissed for a minimum of one full academic year (including summer). Readmission will be contingent on convincing your Academic Standards officer (normally your associate dean) of your probable academic success. (See Academic Standards Policy in the IUP Undergraduate Catalog 2005–2006, p. 32).

Students on probation are also encouraged to find a volunteer mentor who will meet with them on a periodic basis and help them get back on track. A faculty member with whom you have established a good relationship might be a good choice for a mentor.

How do I officially change my major to this exciting field of economics?

It is easy. No graphs are required. Just pick up an Application for a Change of Major from the department secretary and fill it out. Return the form and smile broadly. We will be happy to have you.

  • Economics Department
  • McElhaney Hall, Room 213
    441 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2640
  • Fax: 724-357-6485
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.