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Course Information

SVSU offers a wide variety of academic courses at both an undergraduate and graduate level. Students are encouraged to browse the Course Catalog to identify what selections might best fit their collegiate needs. It also identifies what classes are available each term and the general requirements they may or may not meet for particular degrees. The classes also vary in how they deliver instruction, whether that be in-class, independent study, online or hybrid. For additional information on courses, please review the following information or contact the Office of the Registrar.

Instructional Methods

  • Activity – involves a significant amount of physical activity.
  • Lecture – variety of teaching formats, include traditional instruction.
  • Laboratory – primary emphasis on learning by doing or observing under direction of the instructor.
  • Recitation – more interactive class to supplement lectures.
  • Studio – art or music course with an emphasis on skill development and the enhancement and encouragement of the student’s artistic growth.

Delivery Types

  • Online – 100% of instruction is delivered in an online format.
  • Face-to-face – course instruction is delivered in person. Students are expected to be involved in course work at the days and times listed in the schedule. Up to five hours of instruction for a 3 or 4 credit course may take place online.
  • Hybrid – a combination of online and face-to-face class instruction. Details on the online and in person work will be provided on the schedule under section details.

Meeting Types

  • Synchronous – course meetings with a designated day and/or time. The day and time information will appear in the course listing. Information on required meeting days/times is provided on the schedule under section meeting details. Could be offered in any format: face-to-face, hybrid or online.
  • Asynchronous – no set day or time for the course meetings. Students may complete the work at the days/times of their choosing to meet deadlines provided by the instructor. No days or times will be listed in the course schedule for these courses

Independent Study: A course that is agreed upon by the student, professor, Department Chair and the Dean's Office. Typically, an Independent Study is an option when a course is not offered in a particular semester or there is a special project that a student will be doing.

Independent Study Contract (MFA required)

Prerequisites*: They are courses or other requirements that a student must have completed in order to register for a specific course (based on the AACRAO definition). For example, at SVSU, ENGL 111 is a prerequisite to fulfill Category 1 (Literature) in General Education. Likewise, a student must have completed MATH 081 or 082 before taking Category III Numerical Understanding. A prerequisite can also require upperclassmen standing or a student to first be admitted into a particular major.

If there is a prerequisite stopping a student from registering for the class, they will need the instructor's permission to enter the class. The instructor will need to sign their Registration Form before it is submitted or the student needs to send an email to this effect in advance to (The instructor can also email this to the student and the student can submit a copy to the Office of the Registrar.) All emails must be sent from an SVSU email address. 

*Prerequisites are listed in the University Catalog, as a result of faculty ratification.

Saginaw Valley State University's Repeat Policy states that a course may be repeated at SVSU to raise a grade. All grades shall remain on the student's academic record (transcript), but in computing the GPA, the better grade will be counted.  

Courses repeated will count toward the determination of full-time or part-time enrollment status.  Repeat course will not, however, add to a student's cumulative credit hours earned unless the student did not pass the course(s) in earlier efforts.  If the student earned credit hours prior to the repeat, the hours cannot be counted a second time.

A course taken at SVSU may only be repeated at another institution if the course is an equivalent course at SVSU, the initial course grade at SVSU was a D, F, or WF. A grade of a C- or better must be earned in the repeated course. There is no transfer of the grade earned from the institution and no recalculation of the SVSU GPA. 

(Please note, that the institution must be regionally accredited for more information please see the Transfer FAQ). 

No course can be repeated at SVSU more than twice for a grade. Appeals for additional repeats may be made to the Dean of the appropriate college. 

  • This means that after a course is not passed the first time, a student can repeat this class two more times without the Dean's permission. A third repeat (or the fourth time trying to register) requires the Dean's written permission. 

Fall and Winter Semester 


Enrollment Status 

Undergraduate Students 

Graduate Students 

Full Time 

12 or more credits 

9 or more credits 

Three Quarter Time 

9, 10, or 11 credits 


Half Time 

6, 7, or 8 credits 

5, 6, 7, or 8 credits 

Less than Half Time 

5 or fewer credits 

4 or fewer credits 


Spring and Summer Semester 


Enrollment Status  

Undergraduate Students  

Graduate Students 

Full Time 

6 credits - 9 credits Max 

5 credits 

Three Quarter Time 

5 credits 


Half Time  

3 credits 

3 credits

Please visit the Campus Financial Services Center's information on tuition and fees.

Pass/Fail classes are classes that do not have an official letter grade. They do not contribute to your GPA. Students can take specified classes as pass/fail by obtaining instructor permission. The decision must be recorded in the Registrar's Office by the end of the second week of the semester. 

*This class section policy is different and distinct from the temporary PS/N policy that has been implemented when all 20/WI classes went online in the middle of the semester due to COVID-19. 

Undergraduate Class Levels

Freshman: 0 - 30

Sophomore: 31 - 61

Junior: 62 - 92

Senior: 93+ 

Undergraduate students who desire to enroll in more than 18 credits per semester and graduate level students who desire more than 12 credits, must secure the written permission of their academic Dean. The Dean may sign off on an official registration form or in an email using their SVSU email account. If using an email, students must register in person with the paper copy of the email.  

*This varies during the spring/summer semesters.  

There could be multiple reasons why you no longer have a class on your schedule. The class could have been dropped for non-payment, a failed prerequisite, or the class was canceled.  

If you have been dropped for a failed prerequisite or class cancellation you will receive an email from the appropriate office to your SVSU email account.  

*Please note that the Registrar’s Office does not conduct the class cancellation process. Contact the Dean of your College for more details in this area.  

You can complete a course petition to request an EXCEPTION to the curriculum as it is listed in the specific Catalog (year) you are under. As course petitions are exceptions, they are not precedent-setting, meaning one petition does not influence another petition. Each petition is a case by case basis reflecting students' individual circumstances and record.  

You can submit a Course Petition form by going to your MySVSU log in and clicking the "yellow +" box in the upper left corner and then selecting "Course Petition". 

Depending on your request it can either go directly to the Registrar's Office or to your department chair and Dean for review. You also now have the ability to track the processing of the request using your MySVSU portal.

General Education Category 8 (International Systems) will only be waived within these three circumstances: 

  • The student is classified as an international student with citizenship other than the United States 
  • The student has or is participating in an SVSU Study Abroad course 
  • Office of the Registrar receives written request from the SVSU Office of Military Student Services indicating that the student is a military veteran, reserve, or on active duty, and has experience with having been posted abroad.

The Office of the Registrar does not have control over this online instructional program. Please contact the instructor of record, and if there is still an issue, please contact the IT Help Desk at 989-964-4225. If, however, the issue emerged because you have been participating in the wrong class, one for which you are not registered, then please contact the Office of the Registrar and we will do our best to assist you.    

Please check the local news, radio stations, SVSU website, or call SVSU Weather/Information line at (989)964-4477 for any weather-related closures. You can also sign up for Campus Alert messages through the University Police & Parking Services.  

Please see 4.1-1 Cancellation of All Classes and Closing of the University Due to Weather or Other Adverse Conditions policy in the University's Operation Manual. 

*Decisions are made prior to 6:30 for AM classes and 2:30 for PM classes.  


Office of the Registrar
Wickes 151
(989) 964-4085