Feb 28, 2020  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Academic Information - NSM

Colleges  > College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  > Academic Information

Advanced Placement

Natural sciences and mathematics majors are strongly encouraged to take advanced placement and/or achievement tests. College level course work in several areas will be waived upon presentation of suitable scores. For further information, consult the department chair and refer to the Office of Admissions website.

Declaration of Major

Many entering students have a well-defined career objective and major course of study. These students are advised to declare their major upon entering the college and to seek academic counsel from their major department.

Freshman students who are uncertain of their major may enroll as natural sciences and mathematics unspecified majors. Academic advising for these students is provided by the Office of the Dean. Prior to enrollment in the college with sophomore standing, students must petition for a change of major to one of the university degree programs.

Expected Background of Entering Freshmen

It is expected that, in addition to the minimum requirements for admission to the university’s undergraduate programs, each freshman entering the college will have completed in high school the following courses of study:

Subject Units
Biology, chemistry, or physics 2 or more
  Algebra 2
  Geometry 1
  Trigonometry ½
  Elementary Analysis or Analytical Geometry ½
English 4

Students who wish to enter the college without this background are advised to enroll as natural sciences and mathematics unspecified majors and obtain academic advising from the Office of the Dean.

Change of Major Requirements

Students currently enrolled at UH and seeking a change of major into or within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics must have:

  1. Established a minimum cumulative UH grade point average of at least 2.50.
  2. A mathematics and science GPA of at least 2.50 based on all math and science courses taken at UH that are applicable to NSM degrees.
  3. Students seeking majors in the departments of Biology & Biochemistry, Chemistry, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematical Biology, and Physics must have completed a minimum of 3 semester hours of mathematics (MATH 1330 or equivalent or higher) and 3 semester hours of science.
  4. Students seeking majors in the departments of Computer Science and Mathematics must have completed a minimum of six semester hours in mathematics (MATH 1330 or equivalent or higher). 

NSM Policies and Procedures

Dean’s List; Readmission from Academic Suspension; Grievance Procedures; Grade Changes; Transfer Credit; Petitions; Senior Thesis - Senior Research Project; Degree Plans; Filing to Graduate; Deadlines

Dean’s List

To qualify for this recognition, undergraduate students must earn a 3.50 minimum grade point average (the grade of S is not counted) on 12 or more semester hours completed during the term. Students who earn a grade of I (incomplete), D, F, or U, during the term are excluded from consideration for the Dean’s List.

Readmission From Academic Suspension

Any student suspended from the college for academic or disciplinary reasons is ineligible to return during the designated period of suspension. Readmission from Academic Suspension is neither automatic nor guaranteed. NSM majors on academic suspension must be readmitted to UH and through the NSM Office of the Dean prior to enrolling in classes. While on suspension at UH, an NSM student may not enroll in classes as follows:

  • First suspension: student must sit out the next long term, either the fall or the spring. (Summer is not considered a “long” term.)
    NSM students who have been placed on their first academic suspension are required to sit out for one long term (fall or spring) and have to reapply for admission to UH after completing their sit out term.
    • Suspended students will be admitted under contract as long as they reapply to UH and are accepted for readmission for a term to begin before the 13 month deadline and comply with all the requirements associated with the readmission process.
    • Suspended students who sit out more than the 13 months will have to meet the UH and NSM entry standards applied to Former UH students at the time of their application, and can only do so by taking course work elsewhere in order to generate a blended GPA (cumulative  and math & science) greater than 2.50 or higher. See the Former Student Admissions Requirements page for more details.
  • Second suspension: student must sit out 1 calendar year (12 months). NSM majors receiving a second suspension should not expect to be readmitted through NSM.
  • Third suspension: student will not be readmitted to UH.

NSM does not grant readmission during summer terms.

The readmission from suspension policy and associated application forms are available in the NSM Office of the Dean and the NSM Undergraduate Advising Center. Readmission dates are set and posted for each term. Please contact the NSM Undergraduate Advising Center for specific dates and times.

  • Students classified as Natural Sciences and Mathematics-Unspecified will not be readmitted from academic suspension through NSM
  • No student with a major outside of NSM will be readmitted from academic suspension through NSM.
  • Students subject to suspension based upon course work 10 or more years old should consider the Academic Fresh Start Program.

A student readmitted from academic suspension enters the term on probation and must fulfill the following requirements to avoid further academic action.

  1. Enroll in no more than 13 semester hours of approved courses during the term of re-entry.
  2. Earn a minimum 2.50 grade point average during the term of re-entry.
  3. Cannot earn a grade of “F”, “W” or “I” during the term of re-entry.
  4. Additional requirements may apply.

Failure to attend the university during the semester of readmission cancels the readmission approval. Students may reapply in any subsequent semester.

Students on a first suspension are required to reapply for readmission to UH after sitting out for one long semester. If they apply for readmission after their sit out semester, and before 13 months have elapsed, the college will readmit them under contract. If they sit out for more than 13 months they will be required to meet UH and NSM entry standards at the time of their application, and can only do so by taking course work elsewhere in order to generate a blended GPA (cumulative and math & science) greater than 2.50 or higher.

Grievance Procedures

A student with a justifiable grievance that can be substantiated should initiate academic grievance proceedings within 90 calendar days of the action in dispute. Because assigning a grade for evaluating a student’s work performance involves the faculty’s professional judgment and is an integral part of the faculty’s teaching responsibilities, disagreement with an instructor concerning a grade or evaluation is not a justifiable grievance to be considered under this policy unless a violation of university, college, or department academic policies or procedures can be shown to have affected that grade or evaluation.

A multilevel procedure of redress of grievance concerning academic matters is available to undergraduate students of the College.

  1. Every effort shall be made by the student, faculty, and department chair to resolve the grievance within the department structure. If step one does not resolve the grievance, the student may, within fifteen calendar days of the receipt of the departmental decision regarding the grievance, go to step two.
  2. Request that the case be heard by the NSM Academic Grievance Committee, a three-member faculty panel chosen by the Dean (or designee). The student must file a formal written complaint detailing specifics of the complaint along with relevant supporting evidence and desired resolution. Normally, the committee shall complete its work within thirty calendar days of the request for a hearing unless extenuating circumstances make this deadline impossible to meet. The decision of the Academic Grievance Committee shall be forwarded to the Dean (or designee) for review and a final decision which will be communicated to the grievant within ten calendar days from the receipt of the committee’s report. The decision of the Dean shall be binding on both the department and the student.
  3. If the student does not find the Dean’s decision acceptable, the student may, within ten calendar days of the receipt of the Dean’s decision, appeal their case to the senior vice president for academic affairs.

Grade Changes

Questions regarding grades in NSM courses must be resolved within the term following the posting of the grade. Grade changes are approved only for correction of errors in computing the grade .

Grades of I (Incomplete) must be resolved within one year of the posting of the grade or will be changed automatically to F. Incomplete grades must be resolved with the instructor awarding the grade. Incomplete grades cannot be resolved by re enrolling (re-registering) for the course in question.

Transfer Credit

Questions concerning transfer credit are resolved by the petition process. This process originates in the department of the major, and the petitions are routed to the relevant department and dean’s offices.


Students wishing to enroll in Special Problems courses (xx98) must seek approval in advance by the petition process. Credit for Special Problems courses is contingent upon approval of a petition detailing the project and method of evaluation. Generally, Special Problems courses are limited to S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) grading.

Senior Thesis; Senior Research Project

Students wishing to complete either the Senior Thesis (3399-4399) or Senior Research Project (3396-4396) must seek approval in advance by the petition process. Credit for these courses is contingent upon approval of a petition detailing the project and method of evaluation.

Degree Plans

Students are responsible for all requirements of the catalog under which they are graduating. Requests for a degree plan should be made in the department of the major as soon as the student has completed 60 semester hours. Students with a major in NSM applying for graduation without an official degree plan will be disapproved.

Filing To Graduate

To be a degree candidate, students must submit an application for graduation by the stated deadline in the class listings. Candidates for graduation, previously disapproved, must reapply.

Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of the scholastic requirements. Successful graduation candidates can anticipate the posting of the degree approximately six weeks after the closing date of the term allowing for final audit procedures.


NSM strictly adheres to the University Calendar, e.g. admission and enrollment (registration) deadlines, drop dates, application for graduation, etc. Exceptions are considered only for documented, extenuating, nonacademic circumstances.

Graduate Programs

The college offers both the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in all departments. Entry into any graduate program requires a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution and an adequate background in the subject to be studied.

Through reciprocal agreements, graduate students at certain components of the University of Texas System, Rice University, and Baylor College of Medicine may take courses for credit at the University of Houston. University of Houston graduate students may take courses for credit at any of these three institutions. Charges for enrollment (registration) and tuition are made by the parent institution.

For more information on graduate and professional programs and a listing of courses, refer to the Office of the Dean, the appropriate department, or the Graduate and Professional Studies catalog.

Preprofessional Training

The college offers preprofessional training for students planning to study dentistry, medicine, medical technology, nursing, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, and other health professions. Students are expected to acquaint themselves with the specific requirements of the professional schools they wish to enter. Health professions advisors in the Academic Advising Center, 832-842-2100, in room N140 Cougar Village 2 and department academic advisors are available to help students obtain the greatest possible benefit from preprofessional training.

Special Programs

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics recognizes the value of developing students’ professional development as an integral part of their academic career. Students who select the Experience Track in their degree program and satisfy its requirements will receive recognition for internship/Curricular Practical Training (CPT) experience by a transcript notation. For more information, please refer to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics - Experience Track  section of this catalog.