Academic Policies

 Academic Policies for Undergraduate IMS Students

Scroll down to view a list of policies, followed by explanations of the policies.


Academic dean approvals for upper division Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences students: If you are an upper division Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences student, you must obtain approval from the IMS Academic Advising Office, 2140 College of Medicine (MSB) for any situation that requires approval of your academic dean. Examples include approval to drop a course after the seventh week of classes, permission to take an overload (more than 18 hours), permission to withdraw from the semester, etc.)

Note to those students who need a "dean's signature": The dean of the College of Medicine and the senior associate dean of the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences BS degree program have authorized personnel in the IMS Academic Advising Office (MSB 2140) to provide students with an official "dean's signature/approval" for special circumstances, including major changes, drops, withdrawals, underloads, overloads, etc.

Course load (overload/underload) for upper division Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences students: If you want to schedule more than 18 semester hours (an overload) during any semester, you must obtain an overload permit and dean’s permission from the IMS Academic Affairs Office, 2140 MSB prior to registration. You may not register for more than 21 semester hours under any circumstances. You do not need permission for an underload (under 12 hours). However, it is your responsibility to check that sufficient hours have been scheduled for financial aid, scholarships, and insurance purposes.

Lower division students, please note: While you are a lower division student (generally your first two years), your Academic Dean is the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. During this period you must have approval from the Office of Undergraduate Studies (located in the University Center A3400, 850-644-2451) for any situation that requires the approval of your Academic Dean.

Deadlines: It is your responsibility to check each semester's Academic Calendar for deadlines. FSU and the College of Medicine, Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences do enforce deadlines. Missed deadlines can have a serious effect on your academic career.

Degree in Three: The IMS Program does not participate in the FSU Degree in Three Program due to the rigor of the curriculum.

DIS Policy: A maximum of 3 letter graded research credit hours may count toward IMS degree upper division electives when pre-approved by the IMS Research Director. This may be Directed Individual Study (DIS) or Honors Work credits. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required in order for students to register for a DIS through the College of Medicine. Students taking additional Honors Work should meet with the IMS Research Director for advising on credit toward their major electives. DIS and Honors Work in the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Program are letter graded. Students taking DIS credit beyond the 3 credit elective credit maximum can take up to 12 credits in total at the discretion of the IMS Research Director.

Dropping a course during the first 7 weeks of the semester: You may drop a course during the first seven weeks of the semester without any special permission (deadlines for the shorter summer terms are adjusted accordingly) except for the following situations: You may not drop mandated college-preparatory courses, freshmen composition, and courses involved in allegations of academic dishonesty. If you are a lower division student, you must have permission from the Office of Undergraduate Studies (University Center A3400) to drop below 12 hours on your schedule.

Click here for a link to the Academic Calendar.

To drop a course during the first seven weeks of the semester, you must drop the course online using the course drop tool, Go to>trash can> drop course for closed enrollment period. Note: You are financially liable for all courses that appear on your schedule at the end of the regular drop/add period (the end of the 4th day of classes each semester), and the dropped course is considered an attempt for purposes of the repeated course surcharge, and will also be included as hours in the excess credit counter. If dropped in the first seven weeks, the course will not appear on your transcript. If you are a Bright Futures recipient, you will be required to pay back Bright Futures for any course dropped after the 4th day of classes. For more information about Bright Futures changes, click here. For more information about excess credit hours, click here.

Late course drops (8th through 12th week of the semester): You must have the permission of your academic dean for a late course drop. You are eligible for two late course drops during your first 60 semester hours and one late course drop after you have earned 60 semester hours. Note: If you do not use your two late course drops in your first 60 semester hours, they do NOT carry over.

To request a late course drop, upper division Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences students must (1) Student must provide a drop form with this petition. Go to>trash can> drop course for closed enrollment period, and print drop form after acknowledgment screens. Only the Dean signs the drop form. (2) email the Academic Advising Office at with the late drop request. Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received and students will be informed of the Dean's Office decision. If you are a lower division student, you must go to the Office of Undergraduate Studies (University Center A3400) to request a late course drop.

Late course drops in excess of two late course drops during the first 60 semester hours and one late course drop after earning 60 semester hours are very rare. Course drops after the 12th week of the semester are also very rare. For more information and to discuss your specific situation, including petitioning to drop for extenuating circumstances, please see an academic advisor in 2140 MSB.

Please note: Retroactive course drop petitions are considered only within one calendar year of course enrollment.

For upper division students, all course drops approved after the 7th week of the semester will count as one of the allowed late course drops except in the following circumstances: (1) A course drop approved for medical (or mental health) reasons through the formal university process (request the appropriate forms at (2) A course drop approved due to a death in your immediate family (parent, spouse, child, or sibling). For a late course drop to be approved due to a death in your immediate family, you must submit a Petition for a Late Course Drop accompanied by either: (a) An obituary that includes the date of death, your name, and your relationship to the deceased; or (b) An obituary or death certificate indicating the date of death and a notarized letter from a parent confirming your relationship to the deceased. (3) A course drop approved by the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Dean's Office for documented extenuating circumstances.

Withdrawing from the semester (withdrawing from FSU): Withdrawals are initiated in the Withdrawal Services section of the Office of the Dean of Students (University Center A4329, 850-644-1741). During the first seven weeks of the semester, you can withdraw from FSU (drop all your classes) without receiving grades. If you withdraw from FSU after the 7th week of the semester, you will receive grades in your courses. Grades of W (withdrew passing) or F (withdrew failing) will be assigned by your instructors depending on the quality of your work up to the time of your withdrawal. A "W" grade does not affect your FSU GPA. An "F" grade does affect your FSU GPA, the same as any "F" grade. Re-entry after a withdrawal is not automatic; please contact an advisor at Withdrawals are considered only within one calendar year of course enrollment.

Repeated-course surcharge: The Florida Legislature requires a repeated-course surcharge for all state universities. If you enroll in the same course at the same institution for the third time, you will be subject to a repeated-course surcharge in addition to regular tuition and fees. All course drops and withdrawals (if you were fee liable for the course) are considered attempts. You will be charged the repeated-course surcharge on your third attempt in the same course. Click here for the current amount of the surcharge.

Requirements for Graduation include: The College of Medicine requires the successful completion of the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Seminar Series, including a minimum of 32 hours of experiential learning hours per semester, for a minimum total of 256 hours before graduation.

Policy for Early Walkers: IMS students will be added to the graduation list the semester they intend to earn their degree. Under Dean's discretion, IMS students will not be allowed to "walk early". Refer to bullet one for information regarding Academic Dean approvals. 

Progress Checks: Students should initiate an Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences progress check online when they receive the IMS Progress Check Hold. This happens during the semester in which the student will complete 90 semester credit hours (this includes the hours earned PLUS your current enrollment). The Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences progress check will indicate whether college and university requirements are completed (and, if not, what courses must yet be taken). NOTE: You are required to pick up your completed IMS progress check in person AFTER the pick-up date provided on your request confirmation—failure to do so could prevent you from graduating.

To request an IMS progress check, please click here.
IMPORTANT: Requesting a progress check is NOT the same as applying for graduation!

At the same time, students must also request a progress check from the University Registrar's Office.


Advising Requirements: IMS students are required to schedule and meet with an IMS academic advisor once a semester during the regular academic semester (beyond the drop/add window). Not doing so will result in a hold being place on a student's record, preventing further registration.

Application for graduation: You should apply for graduation online during the first three weeks of the semester you expect to graduate. (Login at - click on the "SC" icon box on the left-hand side under myFSU links - click on the dropdown menu and choose "Apply for Graduation".) For specific dates and more information about graduation, you can visit the University Registrar’s website.

Prerequisites/co-requisites: You are responsible for completing the prerequisites or co-requisites required for courses in which you enroll. Some departments will drop you from a course if you do not have the required prerequisite. However, your failure to have completed appropriate prerequisites is not justification for you to request a course drop outside the normal procedures for course drops.

Required attendance at the first class meeting: FSU has a mandatory first-day attendance policy for all classes. Non-attendance at the first class meeting will result in the class being dropped from your schedule. If you cannot attend the first class meeting of a course, you must contact the department offering the course prior to the first day of classes to retain your seat in the class. It is still your responsibility to verify that your course schedule is correct and that your fees are adjusted prior to the end of the drop/add period, which is the first 4 days of classes. Failure to do so will result in grade and fee liability. If you are a Bright Futures recipient, you will be required to pay back Bright Futures for any class remaining on your schedule after the 4th day of classes at midnight. Click here for further information on Bright Futures changes. Any class remaining on your schedule after the 4th day of classes, whether subsequently dropped or not, will be included in your excess credit counter. Click here for information on excess credit hours.

Duplication of credit: Duplicate credit will not be awarded for courses that are equivalent to courses previously passed, whether taken at another institution or FSU. (For example, CGS 1100 and CGS 2100 are considered the same course.) If you have questions about course duplication, please see an advisor.

Grade Appeals: The Grade Appeal system affords the student an opportunity to appeal a final course grade under certain circumstances. Grades should not be overturned except when a student can show that the grade awarded represents a gross violation of the instructor’s own specified evaluation as outlined in the course syllabus and was awarded in an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory manner. Grade appeals are time-sensitive; the student must contact the instructor to discuss the grade in question within 15 class days of the grade being awarded.  Please refer to the Grade Appeals System and Grade Appeals flowchart for additional information.

Incomplete grades: Incomplete (“I”) grades should be given only in exceptional cases when a student, who has completed the majority of the course and who is otherwise passing, is unable to complete a well-defined portion of the course for reasons beyond the student’s control.  Students must petition their instructor to discuss an “Incomplete” grade and should be prepared to provide documentation, substantiating their case.  Incomplete grades should not be granted in order to allow a student to do extra coursework in an effort to increase their grade.  Authority to grant an “Incomplete” grade rests solely with the instructor.

Students should not re-register for the course. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor to complete any outstanding coursework, prior to the pre-determined deadline.  Instructors should submit a “default” grade on the grade roster and complete and submit the Incomplete Grade Agreement Form as a PDF, providing a copy of the Agreement to the student, the student’s Academic Dean, Department Chair of the course in question, and the Office of the Registrar.  The full “Incomplete Grade Policy” can be found here:

Satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades: Students in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences are permitted to take foreign language and elective courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis provided they have earned a minimum 2.5 FSU GPA. To do so, please obtain an S/U form in the FSU Registrar’s Office, and then obtain dean’s approval in the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Academic Advising Office in 2140 MSB. No courses used for major, minor, or liberal studies credit can be taken S/U. No courses may be taken S/U after the posted deadline, and no course may be changed from S/U back to a graded course after the posted deadline. Click here for the Academic Calendar.

Seminar Policy: IMS students must satisfactorily complete all seminar courses with a grade of "C minus" or better. Any student who does not complete any of the seminar courses with the requisite "C minus" grade twice or more will need to change their major.

Summer hours requirement: If you enrolled in FSU or one of the other state universities with fewer than 60 semester hours of transfer credit, you must earn at least 9 semester hours of coursework during one or more summer sessions at FSU or one of the State University System campuses. If you earned an A.A. degree from a Florida community college prior to enrolling in FSU or another State University, you are exempt from this requirement. If you earned college credits through dual enrollment, AP, or IB credit prior to enrolling at FSU as a freshman, you may also be exempt from this requirement. If you have questions about this requirement, please discuss your situation with an advisor. If satisfying the summer hours requirement would be a hardship, you may petition for a waiver of the summer hours requirement by submitting a request to the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Academic Advising Office in 2140 MSB after you have initiated a graduation check for our college (see details above).

Diversity graduation requirement: If you entered FSU with fewer than 60 hours of transfer credit, you must complete two diversity courses to satisfy the FSU Diversity Requirement. If you entered FSU with 60 hours or more of transfer credit, you are required to complete only one Diversity course prior to graduation. Equivalent transfer courses completed before entering FSU may satisfy this requirement (check with an advisor). Diversity courses may be taken as part of the Liberal Studies, major, or minor requirements or as electives. 

State Mandated Writing requirement: In addition to the two English courses required in the Liberal Studies Program, you must complete 6 credit hours of "W" State Mandated Writing coursework. In the FSU Bulletin and on the list of Liberal Studies course search page, State Mandated Writing courses are designated with a "W" following the course number. Courses used to fulfill this writing requirement may also be used to satisfy Liberal Studies course requirements. To fulfill the State Mandated Writing requirements students must earn a grade of "C-" or better in each course.

Total hours requirement: You must complete at least 120 semester hours to receive a baccalaureate degree from FSU.

Limit on physical education (PE) credits: A maximum of 2 semester hours of activity physical education credits will count toward the baccalaureate degree.

Taking courses at another institution: If you are a degree-seeking Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences upper division student at FSU, you must not take any course at another institution without receiving permission from 1) your department advisor and 2) an academic dean in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences. To do so, you must complete a paper transient form if you will be requesting to take courses outside of the State of Florida; if you want to take courses in the State of Florida, you may go to and submit an electronic form. Courses must be taken at other 4-year, accredited institutions. Only courses that are absolutely necessary for your degree will be approved.

FSU residency requirement: Your final 30 semester hours must be completed in residence at Florida State. Petitions for waivers of this requirement must document exceptional circumstances and must be submitted to the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Academic Advising Office in 2140 MSB prior to enrolling in any courses at another institution. Under no circumstances can you complete any community college coursework during your final 30 semester hours at FSU.

Foreign language: To prepare for a role in the healthcare of Floridians, the College of Medicine
recommends proficiency in Spanish through the intermediate level (2220) or sign language through the advanced (2614 or equivalent) level. If you are a Community Patient Care major with a Medical Interpreting focus, you are required to complete specific foreign language courses. Please refer to the Academic Program Guide for more information.

Minors: There is no minor required for any of the IMS majors. The IMS Dean's Office does not certify minors.