Revising Degree Requirements

Policy Memorandum No. 41b

The University Council on October 18, 1982, approved two policies relating to changes in undergraduate degree requirement. One policy outlines guidelines to assist departments and colleges in revising undergraduate degree requirements. The other makes clear that statements relating to course offerings and requirements in the University Catalog are those in effect as the time of publication but do not guarantee that such requirements will not be changed or revoked. Both proposals were supported by the Faculty Senate.

Resolution for Changing Catalog Disclaimer Statement

Recommended by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies
Approved by University Council: October 18, 1982
Approved by the President: October 18, 1982
Effective: Immediately

WHEREAS, the University CATALOG at Virginia Tech is the most nearly complete reference on all undergraduate degree requirements and the best statement of general academic policy within the university community; and

WHEREAS, university catalogs in general are accepted in case law to be binding contracts between the university and the student with respect to policy and requirements for graduation; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Tech university CATALOG was the only catalog of sixteen studied by the ad hoc Committee that: (a) implies that the degree requirements published in the catalog are actually those needed to complete a degree and concurrently (b) states "that the requirements in effect at the time of graduation (shall) apply;" and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Tech CATALOG currently does not and probably will never contain an accurate statement of requirements of all degrees because of the long lead time (16-19 months) for preparation, publication and distribution (for example, the 1982-83 catalog went to press in May 1981); and

WHEREAS, a comparison of the requirements for a degree as published in the catalog with those promulgated by checklist often demonstrates that they disagree;


  1. That the disclaimer statement published in the university CATALOG be revised to read as follows:

    "Caution: The course offerings and requirements of the University are continually under examination and revision. The catalog presents the offerings and requirements in effect at the time of publication, but in no way guarantees that they will not be changed or revoked. Current information my be obtained from the following:
    Admission RequirementsDirector of Admissions
    Course OfferingsDepartment offering course
    Degree RequirementsOffice of Registrar,
    head of major department
    or dean of the college
    Fees and TuitionOffice of the Treasurer

  2. That the new computer system provide every student with at least an annual report on progress toward meeting degree requirements as defined by degree requirements in effect for the student. Until the system is in operation, all departments shall make available to the Registrar and students a graduation checksheet which identifies the clientele for whom the checksheet applies and the effective dates of the worksheet.

President's Policy Memorandum