Academic Policies and Procedures

From accreditation to grading, learn about Seattle Pacific University’s policies and procedures below.

Understanding our Accreditation

SPU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. This action follows an intensive institutional self-study with a full review and visit by evaluators from NWCCU. 

Accreditation History

The history of the growth of Seattle Pacific University is linked to the educational community of which it is a part. In successive steps from 1921 to 1937, the University was accredited by the Washington State Board of Education. Since 1936, the University has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Seattle Pacific is included on the approved list of the American Council on Education and Board of Regents of the State of New York. The University is also a charter member of the Christian College Consortium and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and its credits are recognized by members of the various regional associations and by leading graduate schools throughout the country.

The U.S. government approves the University for the education of veterans and their dependents under the applicable public laws.

  • For further information about the accreditation process, visit the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Learn more about SPU’s accrediting agencies here
  • For further information about SPU’s accreditation status, contact Cynthia Price, Ph.D., vice provost for academic affairs and accreditation liaison officer, at, 206-281-2179.
  • To view accreditations by specialization, click here

Policies and  Procedures

Seattle Pacific University seeks to inspire in each of its students a sincere appreciation for genuine scholarly work. An earnest desire to study and students admitted to SPU are held to a high standard. Seattle Pacific University confidently complies with state and federal regulations to ensure the best education for our students. 

Here are several policies and regulations to be aware of as a student in continuing education:

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 Curriculum Committee has immediate jurisdiction over all questions about scholarship and is responsible to the faculty to maintain university standards.

Read more on our Academic Integrity Policy

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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. 

  • View the Academic Appeals Policy.
  • A process is also established for those who seek an exception to established University policy.  For more information on the grievance policy or policy petitions, refer to the SPU Graduate Catalog

Ready to Register? Get started here.

The policy of Seattle Pacific University is not to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations. 

If you believe you may have been discriminated against in violation of this policy, please immediately contact one of the individuals designated below. For discrimination complaints, the University’s Nondiscrimination Complaint Procedures located in the Student Handbook can apply to both graduate and undergraduate students. However, for certain continuing education programs, other procedures may apply instead. 

Suppose you have a question regarding the application of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. In that case, you may contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator or the U.S. Department of Education’s Officer for Civil Rights. All students are expected to refrain from actions that involve discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or sex.

If you have any questions regarding SPU’s Nondiscrimination policy, contact either of the following persons: 

Vice President for Student Life 
Campus Location: Room 209, Student Union Building  
Seattle Pacific University 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 212  
Seattle, Washington 98119-1950 
Phone: 206-281-2481 

Executive Director of Human Resources  
Campus Location: 330 West Nickerson Street  
Seattle Pacific University  
3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 302 
Seattle, Washington 98119-1957  
Phone: 206-281-2809 

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the rights of parents of dependent students and students who are attending or have attended the University.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects the privacy of your medical records. At SPU, HIPAA covers the Health Center in Watson Hall, as well as several other offices that may need to deal with your records (such as the Finance Office for billing).

Privacy Officer
Seattle Pacific University Health Center
3307 Third Ave. West, Suite 110
Seattle, WA 98119-1922
Phone: 206-281-2583

Complaint Officer
Dean’s Office
School of Health Sciences
3307 Third Ave. West, suite 110
Seattle, WA 98119-1922
Phone: 206-281-2583

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Continuing Education students may take no more than 60 credits in an academic year (July 1 - June 30), and any credits taken in excess of this limit will be disallowed. While formal admission is not required for you to begin taking classes at SPU, if you are interested in pursuing a specific degree or an endorsement, we encourage you to apply for admission as soon as possible.

Ready to Register? Get started here

5000-level courses and/or Continuing Education Units are not eligible for loan deferment because they are in a yearlong term, and part-time or full-time status cannot be calculated.

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Distance learning courses appear on your transcript with the date the grade is posted. Please allow six weeks after you have submitted your finished course for the course to be graded by the instructor. Grades will be posted within 1-2 business days once they have been received by Seattle Pacific University. Please keep this grading-time allowance in mind if you need transcripts for salary increases or certification renewals. 

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After your course has concluded, you will receive a feedback form by email within 30 days of grade posting. Please take the time to complete the online survey for each course you take. Your feedback is both valuable and appreciated. 

Ready to Register? Get started here.

To request an official SPU transcript, visit Ordering Transcripts. Seattle Pacific University reserves the right to deny official transcript services due to indebtedness to the institution. If a student has an account, official transcripts are released only if his or her account is paid in full. 

Ready to Register? Get started here.

Need Help? 
Call 206-281-2032 or email to receive assistance in registering online.

Academic Support

While you’re taking continuing education classes at SPU, resources are available to help. Consider looking into these solutions to elevate your study methods and connect deeper with your course material.

Want to learn how to study smarter? Quick reads on time management, active study strategies, and more.

Need some help with remote learning? Discover tools and information to help you navigate online learning.

Looking for effective apps and online resources? Check out these helpful apps and sites.

Wonder where to get computer software and support? Learn about your resources at Computer Information Services (CIS) at SPU.

Student Support

SPU is committed to supporting students in their academics, wellness, and beyond. Faculty and staff are proud to support online students in the following ways:

Grading Information

Course Numbering System 
1000-4999: Undergraduate courses
5000-5999: Graduate-level professional development 
6000-6999: Master’s-level courses 
7000-7999: Doctoral-level courses 

All course credits are quarter credits 

  • 5 quarter credits are equivalent to 3.33 semester credits. 
  • 3 quarter credits are equivalent to 2 semester credits. 
  • 1 quarter credit is equivalent to .67 semester credits. 

A note about CE courses: 5000-level courses are considered primarily for the purpose of professional development. Although different in purpose from the core master’s or doctoral graduate degree courses, such courses may be considered to meet elective requirements in some graduate degree programs, in accordance with the regulations of the particular graduate degree program and approval of the student’s program advisor. 5000-level courses cannot be used to satisfy SPU undergraduate degree requirements for those students admitted Autumn Quarter 1992 and following. 

The quality of a student’s performance in a course is recognized by a letter grade.  The following grades and grade points will apply to courses.

Grade Points:
A: 4.0
A-: 3.7
B+: 3.3
B: 3.0
B-: 2.7
C+: 2.3
C: 2.0
C-: 1.7
D+: 1.3
D: 1.0
E: 0.0
P: Pass (used only with Pass/NC option)
NC: No Credit (used only with Pass/NC option)
I: Incomplete (instructor approval required, becomes “E” after 1 year)
N: In progress (restricted to specific courses)
W: Withdrawl
EU: Earned Continuing Education Unit (CEU)
NU: Not Earned Continuing Education Unit (CEU)

See the Graduate Catalog for more information about grading. 

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If you require your coursework to be graded sooner than the three weeks allowed for an instructor to evaluate your work, there is a Rush Grading Fee of $60.00 per course. Please email for further information.

Pass/No Credit Option 
Selected classes are offered on a Pass/No Credit option.  You must reach at least a “C” (2.0) to pass the course in these cases.  Students may elect to be graded Pass/No Credit in a limited number of courses in their degree program.  See the SPU Graduate Catalog for information on these limitations.

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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. 

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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. 

Ready to Register? Get started here.


We’re here to answer any questions about our continuing education courses. Learn more

Continuing Education Academic Policies and Procedures

From accreditation to grading, learn about Seattle Pacific University’s policies and procedures. Learn more

CIS Helpdesk

P: 206-281-2982
O: Lower Marston Hall

Walk-ins, phone calls, emails: Mon–Fri, 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Extended hours** (phone calls, emails only): Mon–Thu, 5–9 p.m; Sat, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

**During the academic year, but not during the last week of the quarter.