I transfered to Tech, but the rules have changed! Can anything be done?

The rules that apply to determine if any student has met graduation requirements are enshrined in what is called the “catalog year.”  If you are a traditional student who enrolls directly after high school in the fall, your catalog year is yyyy08, where yyyy is the year that you started at Michigan Tech.  Your catalog year is listed in Banweb when you look at your unofficial transcript.  You need to know your catalog year when you look up the general education rules and the rules for your major.

A transfer student who looks up Michigan Tech’s requirements but then transfers two years later may have some difficulty in matching up the courses taken to the rules in force when he/she arrives at Tech–the rules may have changed.

In April 2016, the Michigan Tech University Senate amended the catalog policy to allow for some leeway for such students and for students who leave Tech for a year or more before returning.  The complete policy is in the current catalog and also archived as Senate Proposal 26-16.

Please see the current catalog for the most up-to-date phrasing.  The basics of the policy are here:

  • The University catalog expires after seven years. Students may not graduate using a catalog that is more than seven years old.
  • Students maintaining continuous enrollment at Michigan Tech may expect to graduate under the degree requirements in effect at the time that they became a degree-seeking student at Michigan Tech.
  • Students changing majors will follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of the change of major.
  • Students adding a major or minor will follow the requirements for the additional curriculum in effect at the time it is added.
  • Students who have been absent from the University for three or more consecutive semesters (including summer) will follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment.
  • With approval from the academic department, students may follow the degree requirements from an earlier catalog. The catalog selected must be within seven years prior to the student’s graduation or the first term the student was enrolled as a degree-seeking student at a regionally accredited institution, whichever is shortest.

The final bullet provides flexibility for transfer students.  If you graduate from high school and enroll at a regionally accredited institution as a degree-seeking student, you may petition your academic department at Tech to request to be placed on the catalog year that corresponds to the semester you started at your transfer institution.  Note that you must obtain departmental permission for this change in catalog year (it is not automatic).  Note also that students who are dual enrolled or doing a “13th year” are not eligible for this flexibility, since they would not be enrolled as degree seeking during their dual/13th year status.


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