Leave of Absence
As a graduate student, you may, with prior permission, take courses concurrently elsewhere, provided your 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.
Four registration options are available to you (procedures for registration vary from program to program):
Check with your program's graduate coordinator regarding procedures for registration.
Online registration for the quarter begins around the ninth week of the previous quarter and ends on the fifth day of the quarter at 4:30 p.m. Once web registration has ended, you must come to SAS, 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.
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 4:30 p.m.
Students may change from audit to credit or vice versa during the quarterly add period published in the University Calendar. Auditors 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.
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
You will be notified by email when you are entered into a class via the waitlist.
You 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 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter.
An independent study should be created only when a needed class is not available for a particular quarter, or when you cannot accommodate a class into your schedule.
Independent studies can be created in situations when you wish 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." You must complete the form and have it signed by your instructor, and the dean or department chair. You and your instructor then 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 you and the instructor.
Information for Non-Matriculated Students:
Students who are not seeking a degree at Seattle Pacific, but wish to take courses can do so as a non-matriculated student. Below are some policy issues surrounding this type of student status that you should be aware of:
Registration for Non-Matriculated Students
Registering as a non-matriculated student is simple. You would complete the registration form and submit it to Student Academic Services (SAS) to be processed. This form asks for directory information, your social security number, birth date, requested courses, and your signature. It is important to indicate all current contact information so that you may receive information from our university departments.
Course selection can be found online in the Time Schedule. Students should note that some courses may not be offered to non-matriculated students to take and/or that some courses may have registration restrictions attached. In either case, the student would need to request special permissions from that appropriate department.
One disadvantage to this student type is that registration does not begin until all matriculated students have had a chance to register. See the Academic Calendar for specific dates each quarter. For Autumn Quarter, non-matriculated students can begin registering on September 1 or the first business day in September.
Other things to consider:
CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
Withdrawal with official approval during weeks two through six will result in a "W" appearing on the transcript. If you do 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, you should communicate your intent to your advisor and instructor. Before dropping a course, consider what percentage of refund for which you eligible and any impacts on your financial aid package, if applicable. If you fail to withdraw through SAS by the end of the withdrawal period (see the University Calendar for specific dates), the instructor will issue the grade you earned.
Withdrawals or course drop requests may be mailed, faxed to 206-281-2669, or delivered in person to SAS.
Complete Withdrawal From School
Refunds and adjustments to your student 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 to cancel their registration and related charges. The date this notice is received will determine the amount of refund where applicable.
If you fail to withdraw through SAS by the end of the sixth week of the quarter, you will receive the grade earned.
Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Instructors
Also, if you do not attend class within the first two days of the quarter, an instructor may ask SAS to administratively withdraw you from the class. If you know that you will miss the first class, notify the instructor to avoid being withdrawn from the class.
Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Student Financial Services (SFS)
To be eligible for a refund of parking fees, you must inform the Office of Safety and Security. Parking refunds are calculated in accordance with the tuition refund policy.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
We understand that students may need to take a leave of absence from the University for financial reasons, or for personal considerations such as illness within families, or medical reasons.
Term-based, credit-hour institutions such as Seattle Pacific University as a rule do not meet the conditions of a federally approved leave of absence; therefore if the student is receiving federal aid and withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the University, the student may be subject to the federal Return of Title IV and state financial aid return policies and to the terms of his or her student loan(s).
International students are bound by particular federal laws with regard to leave of absence; therefore this policy does not apply to them.
NOTE: Student must notify Student Financial Services about any change in planned period of enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, a leave of absence, or withdrawal from the University. The specific requirements by which the student agreed to abide at the time any finanical aid was accepted will remain in effect.
A student will be required to re-apply to SPU if away from the university for more than four quarters. Students do not apply for readmission to SPU if they take a leave of four or fewer quarters. Students gone for four or fewer quarters will be responsible to complete the same degree requirements as expected upon his or her first quarter of matriculation at the University.
Notification to the department's graduate coordinator is required prior to the start of the quarter that the leave of absence is being requested.
While a student is on leave of absence, the University will report the student's enrollment status to lenders and loan service entitites as "not attending," and a student loan borrower's grace period will begin.
Students on an SPU leave of absence who do not attend school elsewhere for two consecutive quarters (including summer), or who attend another instiution less than half time for two or more consecutive quarters (including summer) will be expected to begin repayment on some or all of their loans. Students are advised to contact their lender(s) regarding their enrollment plans and for repayment information and grace period expiration.
Additional leave of absence requirements:
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.
An instructor may refuse a student's request to reschedule a final examination. However, instructors may schedule an early final exam for you under the following conditions:
Grade Point Average
For example, if you earn 45 grade points during a quarter in which you are enrolled for 15 credits, your GPA for the quarter will be 3.0.
of I, G, N, W Grades
The instructor is under no obligation to grant the request for an "I" grade. However, if the instructor chooses to issue an "I" grade, the instructor and student must formulate a plan for the student's completion of the course requirements. The student may not attend a future class in which she or he is not registered as a means of working toward completion of an "I" grade.
A timeline for course completion will be determined by the instructor. However, the student must submit final coursework within one calendar year or the "I" becomes an "E." The student must initiate the removal of the "I" grade once coursework has been completed.
"G" grade: Used in only specified courses in which a "final" grade is dependent upon additional work and applies only to approved 6000–7000 level courses, including 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.
"N" grade: Used in only specified courses in which a "final" grade is dependent upon additional work.
A student's degree will be awarded effective the quarter in which the final grade is assigned.
"W": 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
Courses noted as being "equivalent" may be substituted for each other. You may not receive duplicate credit for two courses considered equivalent to each other. If you take an SPU course equivalent to a course previously completed at SPU, the rules outlined below in the section regarding "Repeating Courses" will be employed.
If you take an SPU course equivalent to a course previously transferred from another school, credit for the transfer course will be rescinded and the SPU credits and course grade will apply. Courses taken at another institution cannot replace an equivalent SPU course for which credit has been received.
You may repeat any course previously taken at SPU (or enroll in an SPU course noted as being "equivalent") for the purpose of earning a higher grade, unless the course is designed to be repeated for additional credit.
Effective Autumn 2011, the highest grade received in a course or its equivalent will apply to both the GPA for graduation and for honors at graduation.
The original and repeated course will still appear on the transcript, but the lower grade and credits will be excluded from the overall GPA and credit total. Only courses taken at SPU will be used to change course grades. A course may be repeated only once.
If you believe you have unusual circumstances, you may petition to repeat a course more than once by submitting a registration petition, accompanied by a statement from the course instructor, to Student Academic Services. Courses taken at another institution cannot replace an equivalent SPU course for which credit has been received.
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 level.
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:
Academic petitions regarding general University matters such as decisions on registration policies, graduation requirements, or other Graduate Catalog academic regulations must be made in the following order:
The decision of the SPU president in any student appeal shall be final.
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
If the instructor suspects academic dishonesty, the following guidelines apply:
GRADUATION AND HONORS
To participate in the Commencement ceremony, you must have completed all courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements during Autumn or Winter Quarter — or be registered during Spring Quarter and/or summer session for the last of the courses you need to complete your degree.
Some departments may not allow you to participate in Commencement ceremonies if you will not complete all degree requirements after Spring Quarter. Please check with your program coordinator for specifics.
Diplomas are not distributed during Commencement. During the ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover. 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, as long as all financial obligations to the University are met.
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 may be released to students. You may view unofficial copies of your transcript via Banner. 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 you have an account, official transcripts are released only if the account is paid in full. You may request one unofficial copy of your transcript at a time at no charge. Unofficial transcripts may also be viewed and printed through Banner.
Transcripts contain the student's entire academic history while at SPU:
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 and recorded.
To receive a copy of the transcript, either place your order online through Banner or visit the Ordering Transcripts SAS web page. The letter needs to include your name that you attended under; social security number or SPU ID number; the last quarter and year you attended; if you are enrolled in a current quarter of instruction, the number of classes enrolled in for that quarter; transcript destination address; your signature, and the 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 University error. Payment is due at the time the transcript is requested. Payment can be made by cash (in-person only), check, Visa, or MasterCard.
Student Records: FERPA Policy
Records and Confidentiality
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"):
Public 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 if you wish to withhold information from public access (such as an unlisted telephone number) you 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 fully protected.
Student 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, you must provide proper identification. The designated staff person must supervise the review of the contents of the record with you. You are 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 you from inspecting the education record, then copies of specific education records will be made. You must pay all copying expenses in advance of release of the record.
Confidentiality. The University allows any enrolled student the option of becoming confidential in the computer system in order to protect his or her identity from outside sources. A request for confidentiality must be submitted in person to Student Academic Services.
When a student requests his or her records and identity to be flagged as confidential, the following ramifications may apply:
If you wish to remove your confidential status, you must come in person to Student Academic Services with proper identification.
Student Correction of Education Records
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:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA)
Department of Education
300 Independent Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20201
Change of Personal Information
You can also change your directory information through Banner. 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).
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).
To 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.
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
Up to 12 credits, at the discretion of the program, taken before admission to a program may be applied toward master's degree requirements. It is vital to check with the program director to learn how many credits taken as a non-matriculated student apply to each particular degree.
Student Transportation Policy
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 planning.