Credit by Examination
Academic Appeals Policy
Graduation and Honors
Enrollment status for graduate degree and certificate students is determined by the following:
|6 or more credits
A graduate student may, with prior permission, take courses concurrently elsewhere, provided his or her
combined load does not total more than the number of credits permitted as a normal graduate load for the
registration period. No more than 15 credits of 6000-level work may be taken in one quarter without
permission of the program coordinator. During the Summer
Sessions master's students should take no more than 6 credits in any four-week period.
Students employed full time should take no more than 8 credits per quarter. Financial aid recipients must
carry a minimum of 3 regular on-campus credits to receive financial aid.
Dates for registration are published in the University Calendar. Matriculated graduate and doctoral students may register through the five days of the
quarter. Here are four options available to students (procedures for registration vary from program to
- In person in Student Academic Services (SAS).
- Via fax at 206-281-2669.
- Via mail to Student Academic Services, 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 113, Seattle, Washington
- Via the Banner Information System.
Check with the program's graduate coordinator regarding procedures for registration.
SPU offers undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral students the
opportunity to register for classes through Banner. On the web, registration for the quarter begins
around the ninth week of the previous quarter and ends on the fifth day of the quarter at 5 p.m. Once web
registration has ended, students must come to SAS, or mail, or fax a request to withdraw
from classes. The refund, if there is one, will be determined by the date the withdrawal statement is received.
Though choices made during the registration period are considered permanent, changes are permitted
through the first week of each quarter. The deadline for adding courses is the fifth day of the quarter. The
deadline for withdrawing from courses is the sixth week of the quarter. Specific dates for these registration
deadlines are listed in the University Calendar. Withdrawals must be submitted to SAS in writing after web registration ends on
the fifth day of the quarter at 5 p.m.
A person who wishes to attend class but who does not desire credit is an auditor. With approval from the
instructor concerned, auditors may register for audit in all undergraduate courses and most 6000-level
courses. Students may change from audit to credit or vice versa during the quarterly add period published in
the University Calendar. They may neither participate in class discussions nor take examinations. If they do
daily assignments, the instructor is under no obligation to read or correct them.
Students who are unable to remain at the University because of low grades and new applicants who do not qualify for admission may
not register as auditors. A student may receive credit for an audited course only by enrolling in it as a regular
student in a subsequent quarter. Tuition rates for auditors will be equal to the tuition credit rate.
Students are permitted to change their registration as long as the change is submitted by the fifth day of the
quarter (refer to the University Calendar for specific dates). Students may not attend or sit in classes unless
officially registered by the fifth day of the quarter. Graduate day and evening classes (classes beginning
after 4:30 p.m.) must adhere to this deadline.
Any class addition after this date will be considered a change
of registration and will be subject to a $50 fee; these are handled via a registration petition (pdf).
Waitlisting Closed Classes
Students have the option of waitlisting any graduate classes that are closed. As space becomes available in
closed classes, waitlisted students will be registered on a first-come basis. Students may waitlist only two
classes per quarter. If the waitlisted class create a time conflict or exceed the maximum credit load
for the student, it will not be added to the student's schedule, and the student will be dropped from the
waitlist. Students will be notified by email when they are entered into a class via the waitlist. Waitlist forms
may be obtained from SAS, or students may waitlist a class via Banner. Directions are provided on these
forms that outline the process students need to follow to waitlist a class.
Students may choose to withdraw from the waitlist for a course by notifying SAS in writing or by
dropping the waitlisted course via Banner.
The waitlist program will continue to be in effect from the first day of registration and ends before the quarter begins. Refer to the University Calendar for these dates. The waitlist process is the best way for faculty to know the demand for their classes.
When the quarter begins, and the waitlist is no longer in effect, there is no preference given to students who were previously on a class waitlist. Therefore, if a student withdraws from a course after the quarter begins, the class is available for anyone to register until 5 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter.
Independent study agreements are courses in which a student does specific work independently with the
instructor, as outlined in the official independent study agreement. Work for an independent study occurs
outside the classroom setting.
An independent study should be created only when a needed class is not
available for a particular quarter, or when a student cannot accommodate a class into his or her schedule.
Independent studies can be created in situations when a student wishes to study a topic not covered in an actual course in the SPU Graduate Catalog. A
student should not attend a class being offered and use that as part of independent study credits. Only
matriculated students at SPU may register for "independent study." The form must be completed by the
student and signed by the instructor and the dean or department chair. The instructor and student must
meet on a regular basis for the number of consultations noted in the agreement.
Registration for an independent study must be submitted to SAS no later than the 10th day of the quarter
(see the University Calendar for specific dates). SAS will create the course as noted on the agreement.
Copies of the agreement will be forwarded to the instructor and the student.
CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
Currently enrolled matriculated students may take special examinations in approved academic subject
matter offered by Seattle Pacific University to gain credit without being enrolled in specific courses. The
procedures for obtaining permission and filling the request are to be obtained in SAS. The following
limitations pertain to credit by examination:
- The student must be admitted to SPU and enrolled for the current quarter.
- A student may receive credit by examination for any coursework that has been completed following
high school graduation for which he or she has no formal record.
- A student may be tutored by a private instructor and challenge a course for credit by examination.
- A student may not take credit by examination for a course in which he or she has been registered for
credit at SPU and received a "D," "E," "NC," "Audit," or "Incomplete."
- Within a given program, no student may receive credit by examination in subject matter more
elementary, as determined by the dean of the school, than that for which credit has been received
- A student may not repeat an examination for credit.
- A student is entitled to only one consultation with the professor administering the test.
- A student must pay for all special exam fees prior to scheduling and taking the exam.
Withdrawal From Courses
Withdrawal with official approval during the first week of the quarter will not result in any record of the class
on the transcript.
Withdrawal with official approval during weeks two through six will result in a "W" appearing on the
transcript. If a student does not provide proper written notification to Student Academic Services, financial obligations will remain
binding, regardless of whether classes were attended or whether any of the contracted services were utilized.
Whatever the situation, students should communicate their intent to their advisor and instructor. Before
dropping a course, students should consider what percentage of refund they are eligible for and any impacts
on the financial aid package, if applicable. If a student fails to withdraw through SAS by the end of the
withdrawal period (see the University Calendar for specific dates), the instructor will issue the grade earned for the student.
Withdrawals or course drop requests may be mailed or faxed to 206-281-2669, or delivered in person
directly to SAS.
Complete Withdrawal From School
A student who desires to withdraw from school must submit a
written request for a complete withdrawal or withdraw via the web by 5 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter. Refunds and adjustments to the student's account are governed by the
financial policies in Costs and Financial Aid. Students who register but do
not attend classes must notify SAS in writing in order to cancel their registration and related charges. The
date this notice is received will determine the amount of refund where applicable.
If a student fails to withdraw through SAS by the end of the sixth week of the quarter, the student will receive the grade earned.
Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Instructors
If the instructor or advisor receives notification that a student will not be attending, the instructor may contact
SAS and request that the student be administratively withdrawn from the course. Also, if a student does not
attend class within the first two days of the quarter, an instructor may ask SAS to administratively withdraw a
student from the class. If a student knows that he or she will miss the first class, it is best to notify the
instructor to avoid being withdrawn from the class.
Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Student Financial Services (SFS)
SFS has the right to have a student completely withdrawn from classes due to an unpaid balance.
To be eligible for a refund of parking fees, the student must inform the Office of Safety and Security. Parking refunds are calculated in accordance with the tuition refund policy.
It is expected that all students adhere to registration deadlines. However, registration petitions are requests for exceptions to regular policies and procedures. The petition process provides students and faculty with the possibility of a response outside the normal bounds of policy when extenuating circumstances are judged to warrant such a response. Extenuating circumstances include illness, injury, death in the family, or problems with immigration.
Unresolved holds by the deadline or poor performance in a class does not constitute an extenuating circumstance, and is not grounds for petition. The petition must not only voice the request, but it must also substantiate the validity of the request. Petition forms are available on the forms rack in the Demaray Hall lobby (first floor) or at sasforms.
Instructions for completing this process are listed on the petition. A student seeking late registration must obtain permission from the instructor to sit in the class while the petition is pending. In all cases, the final decision to approve or deny a petition will be made by SAS. SAS reserves the right to deny any petition for any reason. Each approved petition will incur a $50 change of registration fee.
The final exam period is considered an instructional period; classes are expected to meet during the scheduled
time whether or not a final exam is given.
An instructor may refuse a student's request to reschedule a final examination. However, instructors may
schedule an early final exam for a student under the following conditions:
- The student is able to demonstrate appropriate mitigating circumstances that, in the judgment of
the instructor, warrant rescheduling the final exam.
- A rescheduled final exam is given no earlier than four working days prior to the last day of the final
- The student's request to reschedule a final exam is made at least two weeks before the regularly
scheduled final exam period.
Grade Point Average
A student’s grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned during a given period by the number of credits for which the student was enrolled and for which he or she received a regular grade during the same period. For example, if a student earns 45 grade points during a quarter in which he or she is enrolled for 15 credits, his or her GPA for the quarter will be 3.0.
Pass (used only with the Pass/ No Credit option)
No Credit (used only with the Pass/No Credit option)
Withdrawal with official approval
Except in cases of clerical error, no instructor may change a grade that he or she has submitted to SAS. Students are not able to add additional work to improve a grade after it has been submitted to SAS. In
addition, grade changes may be made in only the quarter following the course.
of I, G, N, W Grades
The "I" grade (incomplete) indicates that the student did not complete the work assigned for a course
because of absence from school during the quarter due to illness or an acceptable emergency. Work must
be completed within one calendar year or the "I" becomes an "E." The agreement between the instructor and
student must be arranged prior to the final examination or last class session. The student must initiate the
request for the "I" grade as well as its removal. Due to extenuating circumstances in a student's life, an additional quarter extension may be requested. A student needs to make his or her request in writing to the instructor.
The "G" grade is used in only specified courses in which a "final" grade is dependent upon additional work
and applies only to approved 6000–7000 level courses, which include internships, theses, dissertation, and
projects at the discretion of the graduate program. Work must be completed within three calendar years or
the "G" becomes permanent.
An "N" grade is used in only specified courses in which a "final" grade is dependent upon additional work.
The "N" grade indicates that work is satisfactory to date, but carries with it no credit or final grade until all
work is completed. Work must be completed within one calendar year or the "N" becomes permanent.
Withdrawal with official approval during weeks two through six will result in a "W" appearing on the
transcript. (See Withdrawal From Courses.)
Pass/No Credit Option
- A "P" grade in this option must be at least equivalent to a "C" grade (2.0).
- 6000-level courses may not be taken for P/NC, with the exception of thesis, dissertation, research,
and projects, to be determined at the discretion of the schools.
Students may repeat any course for the purpose of changing a grade unless the course is designed to be
repeated for additional credit. Courses noted as being "equivalent" may be substituted for one another. The
latest grade received in a course will apply to the GPA. The original course will still appear on the transcript; however, the grade and credits will be excluded from the overall GPA and credit total. Only courses taken at Seattle Pacific will be used to change course grades.
Any graduate student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 shall be placed on academic probation.
Students on probation may take up to 9 additional credits in the graduate program in which they have been
admitted. Failure to bring the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher by the completion of the additional 9 credits
will result in dismissal from the program and from SPU. A graduate student cannot graduate with
a cumulative GPA below 3.0.
If a student decides to appeal an academic decision, he or she should contact the advisor for more detailed
information and assistance. The University provides a process whereby a student may appeal an academic
decision, including, but not limited to, grades on course activities, evaluations, course grades, decisions on
program admissions, and decisions on fulfillment of program and graduation requirements.
Academic appeals can be made only on grounds of unfair treatment against the stated standards, not
against the professional judgment of the faculty member(s). The intent is always to resolve the appeal at the most immediate level. Only in extraordinary
circumstances, when a resolution cannot be obtained at the first level, is the process moved to the next
In each case, the student shall bring the appeal in writing to the person or committee who made the original
decision. If a resolution is not obtained at that level the student may appeal to the next level in the school or
University administrative structure.
Appeals on final grades must be submitted within one quarter of the grade being awarded. For appeals on academic decisions such as grades on course activities, evaluations, course grades, and
decisions on program admissions, the levels to be followed, in order, are as follows:
- Faculty member at the course level
- Graduate program director
- Vice president for academic affairs
Academic petitions regarding general University matters such as decisions on registration policies,
graduation requirements, or other Graduate Catalog academic regulations may be made in the following order:
- Graduate program director or SAS (Check with advisor for the appropriate venue for petition.)
- Graduate Policy and Evaluation Committee
- Vice president for academic
The decision of the president in any student appeal shall be final.
- An appeal must be made in writing within five calendar days of receiving the decision from the
faculty member or committee.
- Every attempt shall be made at each level to resolve the issue according to ethical practices,
accreditation standards and University policy.
- The person making the appeal should provide the necessary supportive information to substantiate
- If, for any reason, a case is appealed beyond the faculty member or faculty committee, an appeal
file shall be created. This file will contain written documentation related to the case including, but
not limited to, the student's written appeal and the faculty response. The appeal file shall be open
to all principals in the case, including the student appellant.
A breach of academic integrity occurs when students receive academic benefits they did not earn through
their own work. In its more blatant forms, academic dishonesty includes copying another's work on an
exam; preparing for an exam by using test questions from a stolen exam; bringing concealed answers to
an exam; turning in another person's work as his or her own; and committing plagiarism (i.e., copying
portions of another's words from a published or electronic source without acknowledging that source).
It is not dishonest to discuss possible answers to an exam question as part of a study group, to discuss
ideas for a paper with other members of the class, or to ask a friend to read a draft of a paper for
suggestions to improve it, unless the professor has prohibited these activities. It is not dishonest to
summarize, paraphrase, or quote the words of others in a paper so long as the student acknowledges the
sources with appropriate citations.
Guidelines for Penalties Against
The penalties for breaches of academic integrity shall be clearly spelled out in a course syllabus; they may
range from no credit for the work in question to no credit for the course. Both the students and the
instructor have obligations to report and to prevent cheating, plagiarism, or other academic misconduct.
If the instructor suspects academic dishonesty, the following
- The instructor arranges a conference with the student to discuss the incident.
- If following the conference the instructor is convinced that the student violated academic integrity,
the instructor may propose appropriate action. If the student accepts such action as appropriate,
both student and instructor will verify this in writing and no further penalty will be necessary.
- If agreement is not reached between the instructor and the student, the instructor may propose a
grade penalty against the student by notifying the appropriate graduate director (or the school
dean, if the graduate director is the instructor) in writing with supporting evidence. The penalty
imposed will be commensurate with the degree of offense, from loss of credit for the work involved
in the infraction to loss of credit for the entire course, such penalty to be determined in consultation
with the graduate director (or school dean as appropriate). The student may appeal this action by
following the process and procedures previously outlined.
- In the case of repeated offenses, or of flagrant dishonesty that warrant probation or dismissal from
the University, charges will be made in writing by the instructor to the appropriate school dean. The
student may appeal this action through the dean to the vice president for academic affairs and then
to the president of the University.
- If the act of dishonesty is associated with a criminal act (e.g., breaking into a faculty office) or with
concerted group effort (all or part of a class), such cases will be immediately referred to the vice
president for academic affairs.
GRADUATION AND HONORS
All master's and doctoral degree students who wish to participate in Commencement must apply to graduate
by March 1. The application is available from the graduate advisor. The form will be forwarded to SAS so
that mailings regarding Commencement can be sent out during Spring Quarter.
Degrees are awarded when
the department notifies SAS that all requirements are complete. Diplomas will be mailed approximately six
weeks after the degree is posted.
The graduate faculty elect a number of master's and doctoral students for recognition by Who's Who Among
Graduate Students in American Colleges and Universities each year. This honor is awarded to candidates
who will graduate from Seattle Pacific by the end of Summer Session, have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or
above, and demonstrate outstanding scholarship, service to the community, leadership, and future potential.
Additionally, the President’s Citation is awarded each year to a graduate student or students who have adhered to the ideals of Seattle Pacific University and demonstrated the highest academic achievement in this context.
Official transcripts are released only on written authorization of the student whose records are requested.
The University reserves the right to deny official transcript services for indebtedness to the institution.
Official transcripts may be released to students. Students may view unofficial copies of their transcript via
the Banner Information System. Each official transcript costs $5. Payment is due at the time of the request. Payment can be made in person with cash (in-person only), or by check, Visa, or MasterCard.
If the student has an account, official transcripts are released only if the account is paid in full. Students
may request an unofficial copy of their transcript at no charge, or print a copy off the web.
Transcripts contain the student's entire academic history while at SPU. This includes undergraduate work
(0001-4999 courses), professional advancement courses (5000-5999), graduate work (6000-7999), and
continuing education units (CEU, or non-degree work). Undergraduate, graduate, and CEUs are
segregated on separate pages of the Seattle Pacific University transcript. Although a copy of the transcript
may be requested at any time, updated transcripts will be available after final grades have been submitted
To receive a copy of the transcript, students must send a written request to SAS. The letter needs to
include the name that the student attended under; social security number or SPU ID number; the last
quarter and year the student attended; if the student is enrolled in a current quarter of instruction, the
number of classes enrolled in for that quarter; transcript destination address; the number of official or
unofficial copies required; the student's signature and number of official copies required.
Seattle Pacific will resend a transcript to the originally requested destination provided the University made
an error in processing. The University must, however, be contacted within three months of the original
request. After the three-month grace period, a separate written request must be submitted. The University
reserves the right to approve or deny any request for resending a transcript for any reason other than
Student Records: FERPA Policy
The SPU Family Educational Rights and Privacy statement can be found at www.spu.edu/depts/sas/ferpa.html. This University policy is also available in the Office of
Student Life or SAS.
Records and Confidentiality
Certain items of information about individual students are fundamental to the educational process and
must be recorded. This recorded data concerning students is used only for clearly defined purposes and is
safeguarded and controlled to avoid violations of personal privacy.
Seattle Pacific University has the
responsibility to effectively supervise any access to and/or release of official information about its students.
In this regard, the University is committed to protecting the right of privacy of all individuals about whom it
holds information, records, and files. Access to such records is restricted to the student concerned, to
parents of a dependent student, to others with the student's written consent, to officials within the
University, and to a court of competent legal jurisdiction.
The following policies have been established to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
of 1974 (hereafter referred to as the "Act"):
Information. The Act provides that public "directory information" about a student may be made available to third parties
without permission of the student. However, public notices must be given of intent to publish the
information, so that those students wishing to withhold information from public access (such as an unlisted
telephone number) may do so.
Release of Information. With the exception of directory information, no information in any student file may be released to any
individual or organization without prior written consent of the student.
When disclosure of information is
mandated by court order or subpoena, the staff member receiving such orders must immediately notify in
writing the student concerned, prior to compliance with the legal order.
Information from University records
about students is released for approved research purposes only if the identity of the student involved is
Access. With certain exceptions, official student information collected and maintained by the University is available
for inspection and review at the written request of the student. Clarification of exceptions may be obtained
by contacting the University registrar.
A request for general access to all official records maintained by the University must be made in writing to
the University registrar. A request for access to information maintained by a particular office may be
addressed to the administrative head of that office.
When making such a request, the student must provide
proper identification. The designated staff person must supervise the review of the contents of the record
with the student. The student is free to make notes concerning the contents, but no material may be
removed from the record. Student requests for access to appropriate information must be granted within 45
days of the written request.
If health reasons or extreme distance from the University prevent the student from inspecting the education
record, then copies of specific education records will be made. The student must pay all copying expenses
in advance of release of the record.
Student Correction of Education Records
Students who believe that information contained in their education records is inaccurate, misleading, or
violates privacy or other rights, may request that the University amend the records. The first step is to
contact the University registrar or records custodian.
The University will decide within a reasonable period of time whether or not to do so. If the University
declines to amend the student's records, it will inform him or her of the right to a hearing. Upon written
request, the University will provide an opportunity for a hearing to deliberate the student's case. However, a
hearing may not be requested by a student to contest the assignment of a grade.
If the hearing panel determines that the student's challenge is without merit, the student may place in his or
her record a statement commenting upon the information and setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the
University's decision. A complete copy of the University's FERPA policy may be obtained here or by contacting the
dean of student life or SAS.
Students have the right to file complaints concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the
requirements of the Act. Such complaints should be addressed to the Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, 300 Independent Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.
Change of Personal Information
It is a student's responsibility to notify the University of any changes to his or her permanent or mailing
addresses. This will enable the University to forward important quarterly information to
students. Change-of-address forms (pdf) are available in Student Academic Services, Student Financial Services, and Residence Life.
Students can also change their directory information through the Banner Information System. Students who wish to change their
names (e.g., due to change in marital status) need to provide SAS with the
official documentation for the change (e.g., copy of marriage license).
Seattle Pacific University's undergraduate and graduate academic programs of study are approved by the Washington State Approving Agency (SAA) for enrollment for those eligible to receive educational
benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, U.S. Code. For information on education benefits, contact the veterans'
coordinator in SAS by calling 206-281-2031. Professional advancement courses (5000–5999) are not approved by the Washington state approving agency (SAA).
Students who have been admitted to a master's degree program in another accredited institution may
enroll for up to 9 credits at SPU, with the approval of the program from which courses are to be taken.
gain admission to Seattle Pacific as a visiting graduate student, the applicant must submit the standard
graduate application form and a letter from the dean's office of their home institution stating that the
applicant is a student in good standing at that institution.
In certain programs, qualified individuals who desire to take a particular 6000-level course but not planning
to work toward a graduate degree or certificate may register for the course only with the advance approval
of the director of graduate studies of the program from which the course is to be taken. Such students will
be classified as graduate non-matriculated students.
Permission to register as a non-matriculated graduate student is always on a space-available basis. If a
non-matriculated graduate student later applies and is accepted for admission to a graduate program, the
credits earned in a course as a non-matriculated graduate student may be used in meeting master's
degree requirements only if (1) a grade of B or better was achieved in the course, and (2) the course was
taken within the three-year period prior to admission to the program. In no case may more than 9 credits
taken before admission to a program be used toward master's degree requirements.
Student Transportation Policy
Academic courses usually do not require the transportation of SPU students from campus to another
location unless so stated in the course syllabus. If the course or event is to be convened at a remote
location, students will be required to provide their own transportation to the site. Unless specifically stated,
the University assumes no responsibility for determining transportation of students to the site of a course or
nonacademic activities, whether such activities occur on or off campus. Students will be responsible for their
own transportation to such activities.
If transportation of SPU students is in University-owned or sponsored vehicles, drivers must have passed a
defensive-driving course, possess a current driver's license and have authorized a check of their driving
records. The Office of Safety and Security need not be notified of all officially sponsored travel. Any
exception to this policy must be approved in advance and in writing by the vice president for business and
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