Academic Policies and Procedures

Mathematics Placement

Mathematics, in the form of calculus or statistics, is required for all geological sciences degrees. To enroll in a calculus or statistics course at the University, students must first take the mathematics placement exam per the College of Natural Sciences, Department of Mathematics. All Jackson School students are required to complete the placement exam immediately before the semester they intend to enroll in a calculus or statistics course. First-year incoming students are required to complete this placement exam during summer orientation.

Consent of Instructor

Some courses in the Jackson School of Geosciences require that consent of instructor be obtained prior to registering. To be able to register for such a course, the student must first ask for and receive the instructor’s written consent. Consent of Instructor forms are available in the JSG Student Services Office. The student is responsible for turning the instructor’s written approval in to a JSG advisor and then adding the course to their semester schedule by the published deadlines.

Minimum Scholastic Requirements

The student must earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 in all courses taken at The University of Texas at Austin (including credit by examination, correspondence, and extension) for which a grade or symbol other than Q, W, X, or CR is recorded. In addition, the student must earn a grade point average of at least 2.00 in geological sciences courses taken at the University and counted toward the major requirement. The student must earn a grade of at least C- in each course used to fulfill any of the requirements for the degree. For more information about grades and the grade point average, see the General Information Catalog.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Students are expected to make continuous progress toward the degree while maintaining the University minimum scholastic requirements. A student is placed on academic probation if his or her grade point average falls below 2.00. University regulations on scholastic probation and dismissal are given in the General Information Catalog.

Students on academic probation are expected to focus on academic improvement and thus are not allowed to hold student offices (elected or appointed) or to receive college stipends for travel to professional meetings or other college-sponsored events.

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Geosystems Engineering and Hydrogeology (GEH) degree program must maintain the scholastic requirements of the Cockrell School of Engineering. Although GEH students have an active student status in the Jackson School, they are subject to the academic policies and procedures of the Cockrell School of Engineering. 

Satisfactory Progress

Students are expected to make continuous progress toward the degree by completing required geological sciences coursework each semester, as outlined in the suggested arrangement of courses for each degree plan. Students who fail to take required geological sciences coursework for two consecutive long semesters will be transferred into the Bachelor of Arts degree plan. Students will be notified before this action is taken; they must meet with a JSG academic advisor upon being notified.

Repetition of a Course

A student may not enroll in any course in the Jackson School more than twice, even if the course is needed to meet degree requirements, without first obtaining written consent from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The symbol Q or W counts as an enrollment unless it has been approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as nonacademic.

A student who is denied approval to repeat a course in residence at the University will also be denied approval to complete the course by transfer, extension, correspondence, distance education, or credit by examination and then count it towards the degree.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment is enrollment simultaneously at the University and at another educational institution or in any combination of correspondence, extension and online or distance education courses. During a long semester students enrolled in the Jackson School of Geosciences are not allowed to take courses at another school or institution or by correspondence or extension at the University unless approved in advance by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. 

A student in his or her final semester may not enroll concurrently at another institution in any course, including a distance education course, to be counted toward the degree. In the final semester, the student may also not enroll by extension or correspondence in coursework to be counted toward the degree. All transfer, extension, and correspondence coursework must be added to the student's official record before his or her last semester.

Undergraduates in a Graduate Course

The Jackson School encourages undergraduates who excel academically and would benefit from further challenges to enroll in graduate courses. With permission, undergraduates may count graduate courses toward their undergraduate degrees or may reserve them for graduate credit. To enroll in a graduate course, undergraduates must meet the University's eligibility requirements and must receive permission from the course instructor, the graduate advisor for the offering department, and the dean's office. Undergraduates reserving courses for graduate credit must also receive permission from the graduate dean. More information is available in the section Coursework in the Graduate School and the School of Law.

Petitions for Degree Requirements

Petitions for modifications to degree requirements, with the exception of the University-wide Core Curriculum, are handled through the JSG Student Services Office. Students must meet with an advisor to submit their petition before the 12th class day of the semester. An academic advisor initiates the petition on the student's behalf and routes it through the review process. Final decisions on all petitions are made by the Jackson School dean's office.


Jackson School students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes for which they are registered. Students who fail to attend class regularly are inviting scholastic difficulty. In some courses, instructors may have attendance requirements; these should be made known to students during the first week of classes. With the approval of the dean, a student may be dropped from a course with a grade of F for repeated unexcused absences.

Portable Computing Devices

Students entering the geological sciences major are required to have access to a portable computing device capable of running the software tools required for undergraduate computational sciences analyses (MATLAB, Word, etc.) and accessing the remote server for the department. This device may not need to be brought to campus on a daily basis, but individual courses may require that the device be brought to certain labs, lectures, and/or exams. Minimum and recommended specifications may be found on the department website and/or in the course syllabus.


University Honors

Each fall and spring semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades, are recognized on the fall or spring University Honors list, respectively. Students are notified on the semester grade report of their inclusion on the list. The Jackson School hosts an event each spring to recognize JSG University Honors students in conjunction with University-wide Honors Day.

Additional information on University Honors is available in the General Information Catalog.

School Honors Program

The Jackson School offers a departmental honors program to its majors. Students who wish to participate in the program should submit an application to the JSG Student Services Office when they have completed 60 semester hours of coursework, including at least 12 semester hours of upper-division coursework in geological sciences. The Jackson School of Geosciences Honors Program receives an increasing number of qualified applications each year and not all applicants are guaranteed acceptance.

Minimum requirements for the completion of this program are:

  1. A cumulative University grade point average of at least 3.00, and a grade point average in geological sciences of at least 3.50,

  2. Geological Sciences 171H, 172H, and 173H with a grade of at least B- in each,

  3. Geological Sciences 379H, with a grade of at least B-,

  4. Completion at the University of at least 60 semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.

An honors student who completes all program requirements will receive the designation “Special Honors in Geological Sciences” on his or her transcript and be recognized at the Jackson School commencement ceremony.