Faculty Advising: Key to a Successful Academic Experience
One of the primary factors contributing to a successful academic experience is the positive relationship built between students and faculty. Faculty advisors reach out to students to assist them through the University system and to enable them to fulfill their educational goals. Students have the responsibility of seeking out their faculty advisor for assistance in clarifying goals, exploring areas of interest, and selecting classes each quarter. Although Seattle Pacific University makes every effort to assist students through the academic advising system, the final responsibility for meeting all academic and graduation requirements rests with each individual student.
Assignment of Faculty Advisors
The director of faculty advising assigns faculty advisors for all new undergraduate students. Freshmen are advised by their University Seminar professor during their first year and are assigned to an advisor in their area of academic interest during the spring. Transfer students are assigned to faculty in their designated area of interest. New students are notified of their advisor assignment before they register for their second quarter of classes at SPU. Students may request a change in advisor, particularly if they have decided to pursue a major or have developed different interests. Students can change their advisor online in Banner under “Student Menu.”
Advisor Approvals for Registration
To obtain guidance in the timely completion of a baccalaureate degree, undergraduate students who have not been accepted into a major are required to see a faculty advisor each quarter to receive permission to register. Students participating in the ACCESS program will need to meet with staff in the Center for Learning prior to being granted permission to register. Entering freshman and sophomore transfers are required to apply for a major and request a major advisor no later than April of their sophomore year. Transfer students who enter as juniors or seniors are required to apply before they have completed 30 SPU credits. Once students have been accepted into a major, they are encouraged to continue to meet with their faculty advisor on a consistent basis.
Undergraduate Academic Counselors
Every student is assigned an academic counselor in Student Academic Services who follows the student’s progress from admission through graduation. The undergraduate academic counselors assist students and provide support for faculty by planning and facilitating the New Student Advising and Registration Program for incoming students, advising students during their initial quarter at SPU, evaluating transcripts for transfer students, completing graduation checklists, and awarding honors and degrees. The academic counselors are also responsible for assisting students on academic probation.
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STANDARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP
Emphasis on Scholarship
Seattle Pacific University seeks to inspire in each of its students a sincere appreciation for genuine scholarly work and an earnest desire to study. The faculty Undergraduate Policies and Evaluation Committee has immediate jurisdiction over all questions pertaining to scholarship and is responsible to the faculty for maintenance of University standards.
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A breach of academic integrity occurs when a student receives academic benefits he or she did not earn through his or her own work by cheating or by plagiarism. 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 one’s own; or 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. [Back to top]
Dishonesty in Academics
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 guidelines apply:
- 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.
- In instances where agreement is not reached between the instructor and the student, the instructor may initiate a grade penalty against the student by notifying the appropriate school dean 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. The penalty is to be determined in consultation with the school dean. The notification, supporting evidence, and the school dean’s written concurrence with the penalty will be sent to the dean of student life for inclusion in the student’s personal file. The student may appeal this action by following the process outlined under Academic Appeals below.
- In the case of repeated offenses or flagrant dishonesty that warrant probation or dismissal from the University, charges will be made in writing by the instructor through the appropriate school dean to the chief judicial officer and then to the dean of students.
- 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 chief judicial officer and the dean of student life.
The section that follows provides a formal statement of policies and procedures if you, as a student, wish to appeal an academic decision affecting you with which you do not agree. There may be instances where you disagree with an instructor’s actions but do not wish to lodge a formal complaint. In such instances, you, the student, should always speak to the instructor first. It is best to make an appointment to meet the instructor in his or her office rather than trying to handle an important issue after class or in a casual meeting on the sidewalk. Present the reasons for your complaint to the instructor in a clear manner and listen to the instructor’s response. This may eliminate any misunderstanding or miscommunication. If your grievance is not resolved after this conversation and you wish to continue to pursue the matter, follow the process outlined in the following section.
Seattle Pacific 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. [Back to top]
Academic appeals may 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.
Guidelines for Academic Appeals
- The student’s appeal must be made in writing within five calendar days after he or she received 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 his or her appeal.
- 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. [Back to top]
Levels of Appeals
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 the following:
- Course instructor or ad hoc faculty committee appointed by department chair
- Department chair
- School dean
- Vice president for academic affairs
Academic petitions regarding general University matters such as decisions on graduation requirements or other Catalog academic regulations may be made in the following order:
- Student Academic Services
- Undergraduate Policies and Evaluation Committee
- Vice President for Academic Affairs
- President (The decision of the president in any student appeal is final.)
STUDENT CLASS STATUS
Undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate definitions assume that students have been admitted to the University. Matriculated students are classified at the beginning of each quarter according to the following designations: [Back to top]
||1–44 earned credits; includes SPU and
transfer work accepted.
||45–89 earned credits; includes SPU and
transfer work accepted.
||90–134 earned credits; includes SPU and
transfer work accepted.
||Minimum 135 earned credits; includes SPU
and transfer work accepted (senior status does not
necessarily ensure graduation with that class).
Students who have received the baccalaureate degree and are seeking a second bachelor’s degree or initial teacher certification are considered post-baccalaureate students. Admission to this classification is by application only.
Graduate students are master’s or doctoral candidates. Admission to this classification is by application only. Seattle Pacific now offers 12 master’s degrees and three doctorates.
Students who have fully met the requirements for admission and have registered for courses in the quarter for which they were admitted (designated as undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, or doctoral students) are matriculated students. A limited number of students who do not meet all the admission requirements may be admitted to the ACCESS program, which is designed to provide additional support to students endeavoring to develop the competencies necessary for academic success. These students will work closely with a special advisor and may take no more than 14 credit hours per quarter while adjusting to the academic expectations of SPU. [Back to top]
Students who are not seeking a degree who are allowed to attend SPU without submitting the credentials required for admission with regular status are non-matriculated. The maximum credit load per quarter is 20 credits. No more than 45 credits taken as a nonmatriculated student may apply toward an undergraduate degree, and no more than 15 such credits may be applied to a post-baccalaureate degree, nor can more than 9 such credits apply toward some graduate degrees. A later decision to work on a degree or certificate program will necessitate formal application and admission to the University as a matriculated student.
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 to audit any undergraduate course 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. Courses that are audited do not count toward financial aid. 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. [Back to top]
THE ACADEMIC SCHEDULE AND LOAD
Seattle Pacific University uses a quarter calendar that spans three quarters (Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters), each consisting of 10 weeks of instruction. Classes are arranged in a block schedule format: 5-credit courses are generally offered in either 50-minute periods five days a week or 90-minute periods three days a week. Except during Summer Session, there is an interval of 10 minutes between periods, and a Chapel assembly is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. Forums are at 9:30 a.m. on Thursdays. SPU also offers a variety of evening, weekend, and summer classes. Most summer courses take place over two four-week sessions and vary from traditional classes in length and structure.
A special two-hour class meeting is scheduled for most courses during the last three days of every quarter. 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.
If a student has more than two exams on any day, he or she may reschedule one of the exams with the instructor at a mutually convenient time. 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: [Back to top]
- 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 examination period.
- The student’s request to reschedule a final exam is made at least two weeks before the regularly scheduled final exam period.
Definition of Credit
One “credit” signifies the value towards graduation of a class meeting one period of 50 minutes each week for a quarter of approximately 10 weeks together with satisfactory completion of the assigned out-of-class work. Two (and sometimes three) 50- minute periods of laboratory work are regarded as equivalent to one such period of regular class work. The SPU “credit” is a “quarter” credit and is equal to two-thirds of the “semester” credit in use at some institutions. (For instance, 45 quarter credits are equivalent to 30 semester credits.) It is expected that students will spend at least two 50-minute periods of work outside the classroom for each 50 minutes in class.
Enrollment status for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students is determined by the following:
||less than half time
Permissible Academic Load
The term “academic load” refers to the schedule of studies for which the student is registered. Twelve to 18 credits are considered a regular academic load for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students. Although Summer Session consists of more than one session, to be considered full time a student must be registered for at least 12 credits within the entire Summer Session. To assist in their academic success and aid in the transition from high school to college, freshmen are not allowed to register for more than 18 credits. [Back to top]
By special permission from the University registrar, undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who maintain a high scholarship standard may be permitted to register for as many as 20 credits. Under no circumstances will any student be allowed to register for more than 20 credits including music, physical education, and all fractional credits. It should be noted that there is an additional tuition charge for 19 or more credits.
Courses taken concurrently in a classroom; by distance learning, correspondence, or extension in another institution; and non-credit courses count as part of the academic load. These courses do not count in regular undergraduate tuition and may not count in financial aid.
Reduction or Limitation of Load
An undergraduate student’s academic load is subject to reduction or limitation from the University registrar for low scholarship. Experience suggests that most students should limit academic load in proportion to hours of employment outside of school hours. The following schedule suggests a relationship between the student’s academic load and outside work:
|Outside Work Per Week
|14 hours or less
||15–20 hours or less
|15 - 20 hours or less
|21–30 hours or less
|More than 30 hours
Eligibility for Honors and Activities
Students who are registered for less than a full-time academic load are not eligible to be rated for scholarship honors. To participate in extra-curricular activities, students must maintain a satisfactory cumulative grade-point average. Consult the Office of Student Life for specific requirements.
Specific Intercollegiate Athletic Eligibility
A student athlete in an intercollegiate sport must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to be eligible for practice and competition. In addition, by the beginning of the student-athlete’s second academic year, the student must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) or higher to be eligible for competition. All other NCAA bylaws regarding eligibility must also be met.
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Registration on the Web
Seattle Pacific University offers students the opportunity to register for classes from the SPU Web site. Registration for the quarter begins during the last few weeks of the preceding quarter and ends on the fifth day of the quarter at 5 p.m. Once Web registration has ended, students must come to Student Academic Services (SAS), or mail or fax in their registration forms to withdraw from classes.
Registration for internships, independent study, distance-learning, and travel-study courses must be processed in SAS and cannot be accomplished over the Web. Students must come to SAS, or mail or fax in their registration forms to register for these classes.
Changes in Registration
Though choices made during the registration period are considered permanent, students are permitted to change their registration through the fifth day of the quarter (refer to the University Calendar for specific dates). The deadline for withdrawing from courses is the sixth week of the quarter. Specific dates for these registration deadlines are printed in the University Calendar located at the back of the Undergraduate Catalog and online. Students who are receiving financial assistance are encouraged to speak to a Student Financial Services representative before making a change in course load. [Back to top]
Extended Registration Deadlines
Some courses require extra time to get special paperwork completed (independent study, internship), work on a special assignment (independent projects or research), audition (certain performance groups), or set up individual instruction. For these types of courses, students are allowed to register through the 10th day of the quarter. To see if this extended registration deadline applies to a specific course, please contact Student Academic Services.
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. Day and evening classes (classes beginning after 4:30 p.m.) must also adhere to this deadline. No registrations will be accepted after the fifth day of the quarter.
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. Registration holds unresolved by the deadline do not constitute extenuating circumstances and are not grounds for petition. The petition must not only voice the request, but must also substantiate the validity of the request. [Back to top]
Petition forms are available on the forms rack in the Demaray Hall lobby (first floor) or on the Web. Instructions for completing this process are listed on the petition. A student seeking late registration must seek 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 Student Academic Services. SAS reserves the right to deny any petition for any reason. Each approved petition will incur a $50 change of registration fee.
Waitlisting Closed Classes
Students have the option of waitlisting any 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. Students will be notified in writing when they are entered into a class via the waitlist. If the waitlisted class creates a time conflict or exceeds 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 may waitlist a class via the Web. Directions are provided that outline the process students need to follow to waitlist a class.
Students may choose to withdraw from the waitlist for a course by filling out an Add/Drop form in Student Academic Services or by dropping via the Web.
The waitlist program is effective through 11:59 p.m. on the second day of the quarter. All schedules will be final at that time. Refer to the University Calendar for these dates. The waitlist is not in effect after the second day of the quarter. [Back to top]
Withdrawal From Classes
The policy for withdrawing from a class is as follows:
- A withdrawal from a course during the first week of the quarter will not appear on the transcript.
- A withdrawal from a course during weeks two through six of the quarter will be noted with a “W” on the transcript.
- No withdrawals are accepted after the sixth week of the quarter.
- 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 contracted services were utilized.
- If a student does not withdraw from a course by the end of the sixth week of the quarter, but stops attending the course, the student will receive the grade earned.
- Should the student desire to complete the course during a future quarter, the student will be required to register and pay the current tuition for the course.
- Students must complete the appropriate withdrawal form.
- After the fifth day of the quarter the student must obtain the required signatures to withdraw from a course.
Complete Withdrawal From School
A student who desires to withdraw from Seattle Pacific University must obtain an official Add/Drop form from Student Academic Services, submit a letter requesting a complete withdrawal, or withdraw via the Web. The Web withdrawal is available only until 5 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter. Refunds and adjustments to the student’s account are governed by the financial policies printed in the Costs and Financial Aid section.
A student who registers but does not attend classes must notify Student Academic Services in writing in order to cancel his or her registration and related charges. The date this notice is received will determine the amount of refund where applicable. After the fifth day of the quarter the student must submit the appropriate withdrawal form.
If a student fails to withdraw through Student Academic Services by the end of the sixth week of the quarter, the student will receive the grade earned. [Back to top]
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.
Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Instructors
If the instructor or advisor receives notification that a student will not be attending, the instructor may contact Student Academic Services 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 Student Academic Services 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
Student Financial Services has the right to have a student completely withdrawn from classes due to an unpaid balance.
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SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND COURSES
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 filing the request are to be obtained in Student Academic Services. The following limitations pertain to credit by examination:
- 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.
- A student may earn a maximum of 45 quarter credits by examination, including SPU challenge examinations, Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and the Proficiency Examination Program (PEP), none of which will apply to the 45-hour resident requirement.
- Within a given major, 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 previously.
- A student may not repeat an examination for credit.
- A student may not receive credit by examination for lowerdivision language courses in the student’s native language, if that language is other than English.
- 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.
*Eligibility: The student must be admitted to SPU and enrolled for the current quarter.
Independent Study agreements are courses where a student does specific work independently with the instructor, as outlined in the official Independent Study Agreement. Work for an independent study occurs outside of 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 in his or her schedule. Students should not attend a class being offered and use that as part of the independent-study credits. Only matriculated students at Seattle Pacific University 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. [Back to top]
Registration for an independent study must be submitted to Student Academic Services no later than the 10th day of the quarter (see the University Calendar for specific dates). Student Academic Services will create the course as noted on the agreement. Copies of the agreement will be forwarded to the instructor and the student.
Travel Studies Program
Throughout the academic year and summer there are several programs that Seattle Pacific University offers or participates in that allow students to study in other geographic locations. These study opportunities are divided into three categories: SPU credit, transfer credit, and individual travel-studies credit. They are as follows:
SPU credit. Classes that offer Seattle Pacific University credit are scheduled and listed in the Online Time Schedule and Undergraduate Catalog. In order to receive credit, students are expected to register for the courses no later than 30 days prior to leaving for the tour. Students may be eligible for financial aid while participating in the SPU Travel Studies program; however, students should check with Student Financial Services for complete details. An SPU faculty member is responsible for coordinating and grading the students in the program. To obtain more information on the travel studies program through SPU, contact Student Academic Services, the appropriate department, or the Special Studies Web site at www.spu.edu/acad/studyabroad/. [Back to top]
Transfer credit. There are also programs outside of Seattle Pacific University that are offered for credit through other institutions. Students may take a leave of absence from SPU for the duration of the travel-study program. Limited financial aid may be available. Check with Student Financial Services for complete details. For further information, check with the department that is sponsoring the program, or visit the Special Studies Web site at www.spu.edu/acad/studyabroad/.
Individual travel studies. This program allows travel study for educators at the 5000 level. For more information, contact the School of Education.
Seattle Pacific academic programs of study are approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, U.S. Code. For information on education benefits, contact the veterans’ coordinator in Student Academic Services.
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Grades and Points
Except in cases of clerical error, no instructor may change a grade that he or she has submitted to Student Academic Services. The quality of a student’s performance in a course is recognized by a letter mark or grade, which is counted in points. Grade points (or quality points) are the numerical equivalent of letter grades and are assigned for each credit earned with a given grade according to the scale indicated below. For example, an A in a 5-credit course would give the student 20 grade points. These points express the quality of a student’s performance in terms of numbers for the purpose of determining scholastic achievement and individual and graduation honors.
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. [Back to top]
Attainment with credit allowed
Attainment with no credit allowed
(used only with the Pass/ No Credit option)
Credit (used only with the Pass/No Credit option)
with official approval
Use of I, 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 I grade can be given only with the approval of the school dean upon written recommendation of the instructor. The agreement must be made with the instructor before the final examination. The student must initiate the request for the I grade as well as for its removal.
The N grade is used only in 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 from a course with official approval during weeks two through six of the quarter will result in a W appearing on the transcript. [Back to top]
Any SPU course may be audited, with the exception of some graduate courses. Please refer to the Online Graduate Catalog for additional information. Students may change from audit to credit or vice versa during the quarterly registration period as published in the University Calendar. For more information regarding auditing a course, please refer to the Student Class Status section.
Pass/No Credit Option
- The P grade in this option must be at least equivalent to a C grade (2.0).
- Students may elect the P/NC option for the number of courses specified in the schedule below to apply toward a bachelor’s degree. Limitations in item 3 below apply.
Freshman – 30 credits
Sophomore – 20 credits
Junior – 15 credits
Senior – 5 credits
- No more than one course per quarter; no courses in major or minor; no courses in University Seminar, University Foundations, University Core, or the Exploratory Curriculum.
- 6000-level courses may not be taken for P/NC credit, with the exception of thesis, dissertation, research, and projects, to be determined at the discretion of the schools.
- For those students who transfer to SPU, no “Pass” credits will be accepted for major or minor requirements or for Common Curriculum or Exploratory Curriculum.
- P/NC form must be on file in Student Academic Services by the 10th day of the quarter.
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 both to the GPA for graduation and for honors at graduation. 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 SPU will be used to change course grades. [Back to top]
An undergraduate student attempting 6 credits or more at SPU will be placed on first-quarter academic probation when his or her cumulative grade point average first falls below a 2.0. Once on probation, any student who earns a quarterly GPA of 2.4 or higher, yet fails to raise the cumulative GPA to 2.0 or above, will be put on probation hold. Once placed on probation hold, the student retains the same probation status as held the previous quarter, but does not move toward dismissal. The second consecutive quarter the cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 and the quarterly GPA is below 2.4, the student will be placed on second-quarter academic probation; the third consecutive quarter the cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 and the quarterly GPA is below 2.4, the student will be dismissed from the University. The academic dismissal will be noted on the student’s academic record.
Students on first-quarter probation are required to meet with their academic counselor in Student Academic Services to develop a contract that outlines goals and appropriate means to meet those goals toward achieving academic success. This meeting must occur before the fifth day of the quarter. Students on second-quarter probation may not enroll in more than 13 credits and must meet with their counselor before the fifth day of the quarter to make appropriate changes in their class schedule. Such changes may include enrolling in study-skills classes. [Back to top]
A student dismissed from the University may appeal to the Academic Probation Committee for reinstatement through the University registrar. If an appeal is denied, a student may appeal again after the lapse of one year. Once reinstated, the student’s GPA is the same as when dismissed; the student may not use grades from other colleges and universities to raise the SPU GPA. A reinstated student may not enroll for more than 13 credits in the quarter in which the student is reinstated. A reinstated student will be dismissed if he or she fails to attain either a quarterly GPA of 2.4 or higher or a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above by the end of the first quarter that person returns.
If a student on academic probation leaves the University, that person resumes the same probation status upon returning as when leaving. The student is removed from probation at the end of the quarter in which a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better is achieved. A senior will not receive a degree until he or she is removed from academic probation.
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Graduation application forms for undergraduate or second baccalaureate degrees are available in Student Academic Services and online at www.spu.edu/depts/sas/sasforms.html. Students are expected to apply for graduation during April of their junior year (when approximately 120 credits have been earned). Graduation application deadlines are below.
Students who do not meet the application deadline may not receive academic progress reports or have their name appear in the Commencement brochure.
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Dean’s List or Quarterly Honors
Quarterly honors are awarded to those undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students in good standing who have completed at least 12 hours of work and attained a 3.5 or higher grade point average. Students who have earned any of the following grades will not qualify for honors: E, NC, I, or N. However, once the temporary grade of N or I has been replaced by the grade earned, honors may be awarded to qualified students.
Baccalaureate degrees will be conferred with honors for undergraduate students based on the following criteria:
- The student must have completed 75 quarter hours in residence with junior and senior standing at SPU.
- Honors are based on the SPU GPA only.
- All courses taken at SPU (except ESL and other courses numbered below 1000) are included in the GPA for honors and must meet the minimum grade point average required for the honor.
Honors for post-baccalaureate students require the minimum GPA in the entire work necessary for the degree including the 45 credits required in residence. [Back to top]
Students must meet the graduation application deadlines to have honors appear in the Commencement program. Graduation honors are computed for the Commencement program on the basis of work completed through Winter Quarter for Spring Quarter graduates. Students who complete degrees during Summer Session are not eligible for recognition until completion of all degree requirements.
|Magna Cum Laude
|Summa Cum Laude
The President’s Citation
The President’s Citation is awarded each year to a graduating senior who has demonstrated distinguished academic achievement in the context of a Christian liberal arts program. To be eligible for this award, the student must have taken all of his or her university work at SPU and must have adhered consistently to the ideals of the University. The president will make the selection. [Back to top]
Alpha Kappa Sigma
Undergraduate students who have earned 90 credits at SPU and who are in the top 10 percent of the graduating class are eligible for election to the honor society Alpha Kappa Sigma. This honor society has chapters in all the colleges of SPU’s sponsoring denomination. During their senior year, candidates are recommended by an academic policies committee and elected by vote of the faculty.
The Ivy Honorary, a chapter of National Mortarboard Inc., selects students for membership at the end of their junior year who have distinguished themselves through scholarship, leadership, and service. Other SPU honoraries include Centurions (men’s service honorary), Falconettes (women’s service honorary), Order of the S (athletics), Sigma Beta Delta (business), Pi Kappa Delta (speech), Alpha Psi Omega (drama), Mu Phi Epsilon (music), Lambda Iota Tau (English), and the Servant Scholar of the Year (Student Life).
Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
A number of seniors are elected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities each year. This honor is awarded to students who will graduate from SPU, have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above, uphold the ideals of SPU and demonstrate leadership in co-curricular activities. Candidates are recommended during their senior year by the faculty.
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Official transcripts are released only on written authorization of the student whose records are requested. Seattle Pacific University reserves the right to deny official transcript services for indebtedness to the institution. Official transcripts may be released to students. If the student has an account, official transcripts are released only if the account is paid in full. A $3 fee for each official transcript is charged. Students may request an unofficial copy of their transcript at no charge. Unofficial transcripts may also be viewed and printed by accessing the Banner Information System on SPU’s home page.
Transcripts contain the student’s entire academic history while at SPU. Undergraduate, graduate, doctoral work, and CEUs are segregated on separate pages of the SPU 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, students must send a written request to Student Academic Services. The letter needs to include the name under which the student attended; social security number or SPU ID number; the last quarter and year the student attended; whether the student is enrolled in a current quarter of instruction and the number of classes enrolled in for that quarter; destination of the transcript; student signature; and the number of official or unofficial copies required. Payment is due at the time the transcript is requested. Payment can be made by cash (in-person only), check, Visa, or MasterCard.
SPU will resend a transcript to the originally requested institution provided the University made an error in processing. We 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. [Back to top]
Changes in Personal Information
It is the 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 materials to students. Change of Address forms are available in the following offices: Student Academic Services, Student Financial Services, and Residence Life. Students who wish to change their name (e.g., due to change in marital status), need to provide Student Academic Services with the official documentation for the change (e.g., copy of marriage license).
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Academic courses usually do not require the transportation of Seattle Pacific University students from campus to another location unless so stated in the course syllabus. If the course or event is to be convened at the remote location, students will be required to provide their own transportation to the site. Unless specifically stated, the University normally assumes no responsibility for determining transportation of students to the site of a course or to nonacademic activities, whether such activities occur on or off campus. Students will be responsible for their own transportation to such activities. [Back to top]
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. 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.