General Academic Policies
It is the students’ responsibility to take the initiative to plan their programs and to meet graduation requirements in accordance with the university catalog. Advisers will assist students in the task.
Student Access to Records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended)
Annually, California Lutheran University informs students of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment).
The Act was designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records and to provide procedures to correct inaccurate or misleading information in those education records through the hearing process. Students also have the right to file complaints with the FERPA office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.
The Act allows students the right to inspect their education records and provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of those records.
At CLU, no one outside the institution shall have access to a student’s education records without the student’s written consent with the exception of parents who claim the student as a dependent for tax purposes. The University will inform parents if there has been a change in the student’s academic standing, specifically if the student is placed on probation or suspension or is removed from those statuses. A copy of the full text of the law is available in the Registrar’s Office.
CLU’s FERPA policy allows university employees to release Directory Information without the student’s written permission. Items defined as Directory Information at CLU are the following:
- email address
- campus residence hall
- campus box number
- campus telephone number
- date/place of birth
- dates of attendance
- degree date
- degrees awarded or anticipated
- previous institution most recently attended
- participation in recognized campus activities or sports
- height and weight of members of athletic teams
The only circumstances under which CLU will disclose other than Directory Information is in cases of emergency or personal safety and to notify parents of changes in their student’s academic standing. In all other cases, the institution may release only the items identified above.
Students have the right to withhold Directory Information completely by filing a request with the Registrar’s Office. The request is in effect through the end of an academic year and must be re-filed annually.
At CLU, a school official may access education records as long as they have a legitimate education interest. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. A school official is a person employed by CLU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom CLU has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, degree conferral or enrollment verification processing agent, placement sites for internships or other similar placements); a person serving on the Board of Regents; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks; consultants, volunteers or other outside parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions that it would otherwise use employees to perform. As allowed within FERPA guidelines CLU may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Questions about access should be directed to the Registrar.
Statement on Academic Freedom
It is fundamental to the health of an academic institution and ultimately to the health of a society at large that individual persons and groups of persons exercise their responsibility and freedom to search for the truth and to speak the truth as it is discovered. In a collegial community, the corporate person of the university institution and the persons of the faculty, administration and the student body bear mutual responsibility to exercise professional competence and to extend to one another the trust and respect which foster an environment for the exercise of academic freedom.
California Lutheran University endorses the principles of academic freedom. CLU’s complete policy on academic freedom is contained in the Faculty Handbook.
Statement on Academic Honesty
The educational programs of California Lutheran University are designed and dedicated to achieve academic excellence, honesty and integrity at every level of student life. Part of CLU’s dedication to academic excellence is our commitment to academic honesty. Students, faculty, staff and administration share the responsibility for maintaining high levels of scholarship on campus. Any behavior or act which might be defined as “deceitful” or “dishonest” will meet with appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including dismissal from the University, suspension, grade F in a course or various forms of academic probation. Policies and procedures regarding academic honesty are contained in the faculty and student handbooks.
Attendance at Classes
Regular attendance at all classes is essential. Students are expected to be punctual, do the work assigned and not be absent without good cause.
Students may earn a second bachelor’s degree by completing all general and major requirements of the second degree. At least 75 percent of the required courses in the major for the second degree must be unduplicated with any other major or minor from the first degree. All academic policies stated in the catalog must be met by both the first and second degree, if the second degree is completed simultaneously or sequentially. However, no more than one Bachelor of Arts degree and one Bachelor of Science degree will be awarded. Students pursuing a single degree with a double major must select majors within the same degree program. Honors may be granted for both degrees.
Student Leave of Absence
The purpose of the Student Leave of Absence is to enable students who leave the University for a period of time with an intention to return to CLU to receive timely communications and other consideration accorded continuing students. The leave may be requested for up to one year. Student Leave of Absence request forms may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.
Requirements for graduation are measured in terms of semester credit hours. Normally, each credit hour earned will require one hour of class time per week for 14 weeks during the semester. Students are expected to spend two to three hours in preparation for one hour of class time. Most courses are assigned four (4) or three (3) credits. A full-time undergraduate student is one who carries 12 or more credits per semester. To graduate in four years, students must complete an average of 15.5 credits each semester. (Refer to The Bachelor's Degree for Professionals section of the catalog for enrollment regulations applicable to Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students. A typical semester load is 15 to 16 credits. Special permission is necessary to carry a load of more than 18 credits per semester. A fee will be charged for each credit beyond 18. (See section on University Costs.)
Students must register either in person or online prior to the beginning of each semester. Registration procedures are available on the Registrar’s Office Web page.
To be officially enrolled in class, students must have their schedule of classes approved by their adviser, have their financial standing cleared by the Business Office and submit their signed registration form to the Registrar or complete their registration online.
Students may add courses during the first two weeks of the semester. Students may not add courses after the second week of the semester. When a student is given permission to add a closed class, it is the student’s responsibility to take an add form, signed by the instructor, to the Registrar’s Office. It is not possible to add a closed class online. After the first week of the semester, all classes require instructor permission to add.
Withdrawal from Courses and Withdrawal from the University
Withdrawal means withdrawing from one or more courses or separation from the University for the remainder of the semester. The Registrar provides the proper withdrawal forms which incorporate all the necessary procedures to clear the records at the time of withdrawal. Proper withdrawal protects the student’s record, which remains on file in the Registrar’s Office.
- Students may drop courses or withdraw from the University through approximately the 10th week of the semester or equivalent percentage of an 8 or 11 week term (specific date listed in Academic Calendar) with a grade of W.
- After the last date to withdraw, students may not officially withdraw from classes or from the University, except for medical reasons. Medical withdrawal forms are available through the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- With the privilege of admission to California Lutheran University, students accept the responsibility of clarifying the records (including financial records) if they withdraw from a course or from the University before the end of the semester.
- Students who do not complete a course and do not officially withdraw from the University will receive a grade of UW for the semester (counted equivalent to a grade of F in the GPA). The university does not automatically drop students who register for a course and then choose not to attend.
Note: Academic withdrawal deadlines do not correspond to tuition reduction deadlines. Tuition reduction policies are outlined in the section on University Costs. The financial obligation for withdrawing from the University is usually severe.
Students may audit a lecture course upon the approval of the instructor. They will earn no credit and receive no grade and will not be required to complete assignments or take examinations. They may not claim credit or challenge the course for credit at a later date. Adequate attendance for recording of AU on the student’s permanent record must be verified by the instructor. The fee for audit is listed in the section on University Costs. A change from credit to audit may not be made after the last day to withdraw without academic penalty. A change from audit to credit may not be made after the last day to add a class. Auditing a class does not grant access to a course's Blackboard page.
Students may repeat a course, unless otherwise specified, regardless of the grade received. Credit for the course will be given only once and all repeated courses must be taken at CLU. In calculating the GPA, a grade of C- or below will be replaced by the higher grade. Otherwise, both grades will be factored into the GPA. In either case, both grades will remain on the transcript. CLU courses are subject to the repeat policy; courses not subject to the repeat policy include all independent studies, field studies, performance activities and selected topics courses. A course taken at CLU must be repeated at CLU in order for a grade of C- or below to be removed from the GPA. Repeated courses are not included in the residency requirement.
CLU accepts transfer courses from regionally accredited institutions. Students may transfer a maximum of 70 semester credits from a junior/community college. Credit is generally given for those courses deemed equivalent or substantially equivalent to CLU courses. Equivalency is normally determined based on information obtained from catalogs, course syllabi and other materials. However, baccalaureate level transfer courses may be used to fulfill elective credit.
Students may petition to have work from non-regionally accredited institutions accepted. Course work will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The petition must include a course syllabus for each petitioned course. Credit will only be granted for course work deemed to be substantially equivalent to CLU courses.
Currently enrolled students who plan to transfer additional credits from another institution must have prior approval by the Registrar.
A maximum of 20 semester credits of transfer online, correspondence and/or extension work may be counted toward the degree. Correspondence and extension work may not be included in the major. See the following section on Limitations on Credit for further information.
Students are required to submit transcripts for all other institutions which the student has attended. The Registrar determines the acceptability of other post-secondary level courses; faculty in the respective majors determine whether transfer credit will meet specific major/minor requirements.
Limitations on Credit
The number of credits applied toward any baccalaureate degree may be limited by the following:
- 30 of the final 40 credits must be completed in residence at CLU. Credits by exam do not count as residency credits.
- Credits used to meet the requirement for a bachelor’s degree may not be used for a credential or master’s degree.
- No more than three semester credits combined of physical activity (ACTV) and intercollegiate athletics (ATHL) may be counted toward the 124 credits required for graduation. (Exercise Science majors may count no more than seven credits.)
- Credit in career/work experience may be earned at CLU, but no more than eight credits are applicable toward the minimum requirements for the degree. Students may receive a maximum of four units in a semester (or summer).
- No Core-21 (general education) requirements or any portion of the major (including required supporting courses) may be satisfied by courses graded P/NC, except courses offered with only P/NC grading.
- A maximum of 20 semester credits of transfer online, correspondence and/or extension work may be counted toward the degree. Correspondence and extension work may not be included in the major. To be accepted, the correspondence and extension course work must be applicable to a bachelor’s degree at the granting institution. Approved transfer online courses are only those that are approved by the department in which credit will be granted and which include proctored exams. Approved online courses accepted in transfer may be included in the major.
- A maximum of 32 credits by exam may be applied to the degree; eight upper division units can be included in this total. Credit by exam includes, but is not limited to, institutional exams, CLEP and Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
- A total of 40 combined credits obtained from credits by exam and online/correspondence may be applied toward the degree.
- At least 75 percent of the required courses for a major or minor must be unduplicated with any other major or minor.
- Traditional undergraduate students may earn no more than six units of Independent Study in any given semester or six units during summer sessions and may count no more than 16 units of Independent Study credit into the number of units required for the bachelor’s degree.
- Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students may earn no more than four units of Independent Study in any given semester and may count no more than eight units of Independent Study credit toward the total number of units required for the bachelor’s degree
- A single course may satisfy a maximum of four (4) graduation or program requirements.
- Petitions for exceptions to policy must be made within one year of the missed deadline for the occurrence requiring an exception. This limit includes petitions for such requests as late adds and late drops of courses.
One year prior to their expected graduation date, students must file an Application for Degree form at the Registrar’s Office and submit major/minor checklists. A minimal commencement fee must be paid at the time of application for degree.
Official transcripts of a student’s complete record must be requested on-line through www.iwantmytranscript.com The transcript charge is $5 per copy for an official transcript. Students who attended the University since Fall 1989 may request either paper or digital copies. Procedures for requesting a transcript may be found on the Registrar’s Office website at www.callutheran.edu/Registrar.
The University reserves the right to withhold grade reports or transcripts if the student has unmet financial obligations to the University.
Classification of Students
Freshman - has earned fewer than 30 semester credits.
Sophomore - has earned at least 30 semester credits.
Junior - has earned at least 60 semester credits.
Senior - has earned at least 90 semester credits.
Special - refers to students who are non-degree candidates or to those who do not fit into the traditional classification categories. Students may attend in a special status by permission of the Registrar for a period of one semester or a maximum of 12 credits, at the end of which they must submit credentials and be officially accepted by the Admission Committee in order to register for subsequent semesters.
Full time – traditional undergraduate enrolled for 12 or more semester credits or Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students enrolled in six or more semester credits per term.
Three-quarter time – traditional undergraduate enrolled for nine to 11 semester credits or Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students enrolled in five semester credits per term.
Half time – traditional undergraduate enrolled in six to eight semester credits or Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students enrolled in three to four semester credits per term.
Less-than-half time – traditional undergraduate enrolled in less than six semester credits or Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students enrolled in less than three semester credits per term.
Students registered at California Lutheran University are not permitted to carry concurrent course work at any other institution without approval of the Registrar. Application forms for concurrent registration are available in the Registrar’s Office.
Grades and Grade Points
The cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on CLU and transferable course work. The CLU grade point average (CLU GPA) is computed by dividing total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on CLU course work.
The following grades are used in calculating grade point averages:
|Grade||Grade points per attempted credit hour earned|
The following grades are not used in computing the GPA:
|Grade||Grade points per attempted credit hour earned|
|IN||Incomplete||No grade points, no credit given|
|IP||In Progress||No grade points, no credit given|
|P||Passing||No grade points, credit given|
|NC||No Credit||No grade points, no credit given|
|W||Withdrawal||No grade point,s no credit given|
|AU||Audit||No grade points, no credit given|
|NR||No Report||No grade points, no grade report submitted by faculty|
A grade of IN (Incomplete) may be assigned only in the case of students who, for illness or other circumstances beyond their control, have missed a final examination or major piece of work. Students may not make up the Incomplete by repeating the course. For traditional undergraduate students, an IN automatically becomes an F if not made up by the published date for the last day to withdraw from a course of the following regular semester after the Incomplete grade was given. For Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students, an IN automatically becomes an F if not made up by the last day of the following term.
IP (In Progress) is given for theses, practica, internships and courses wherein the work has been evaluated and found to be satisfactory to date, but the assignment of a grade must await its completion. IP carries no credit until replaced by a permanent grade. The IP grade may be replaced by the appropriate final letter grade within one calendar year from the start of the class. IP grades which have not been resolved will be changed to F (undergraduate) or NC (graduate) at the time the student’s degree is posted.
A grade of W will be assigned if a student withdraws after the add period is over. The add period ends after the first two weeks of the semester.
The Pass/No Credit option is offered so that students may explore areas of interest without competing with students who may be majoring in that area.
The Pass/No Credit grading is available on a limited basis. Only sophomore, junior or senior students in good standing may register for a maximum of six (6) courses for P/NC grading. Pass/No Credit grading must be selected prior to the last day to drop a class without academic penalty, and a change to letter grade may NOT be petitioned later.
Pass (P) equals C- or above and will count toward graduation. No Credit (NC) equals D+ or lower and will not count toward graduation. Courses graded P/NC are not computed in the GPA.
Students shall take no more than one Pass/No Credit graded course in one department and may take no more than one P/NC course per semester (except for courses designated P/NC grading only). No core requirements or any portion of the major (including required supporting courses) may be satisfied by courses graded P/NC, except courses offered only with P/NC grading.
Grade Challenges and Changes
The normal presumption in the administration of grades at California Lutheran University is that the instructor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of students in his or her courses and to assign grades to that work.
If a student believes that a grade was assigned in error, he or she should approach the instructor immediately. If the instructor believes that the grade was assigned in error, he or she will submit a grade change form identifying the reason for the change. GRADE CHANGES MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN ONE SEMESTER FOLLOWING THE TERM IN WHICH THE INITIAL GRADE WAS EARNED.
If a student believes that a particular grade was assigned in a manner that was arbitrary or unjust or that crucial evidence was not taken into account, the student may file a grade challenge. THE CHALLENGE MUST BE PRESENTED IN WRITING TO THE INSTRUCTOR BY THE END OF THE SEMESTER FOLLOWING THE SEMESTER IN WHICH THE DISPUTED GRADE WAS GIVEN. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the student may present a written appeal to the department chair or program director who is the instructor’s immediate supervisor.
If the conflict cannot be resolved at the departmental level, then the student may appeal in writing to the dean of the school or college, who will follow the process described in the Faculty Handbook.
Honors at Entrance - In recognition of achievement in college preparatory work, CLU grants Honors at Entrance to freshman students whose high school record is of superior quality. Honors at Entrance certificates will be issued at the time of admission to students who have earned at least a 3.75 GPA on their high school work.
Dean’s Honor List - Students whose GPA for a semester is 3.6 or above and who are enrolled for 12 or more graded credits shall have their names placed on the Dean’s Honor List for that semester. Grades earned from removal of an “Incomplete” are not included. The Dean’s Honor List is based on grades submitted by the instructor at the end of the semester. Later grade changes are not considered.
Honors at Graduation - The following honors are awarded to qualified recipients of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree:
Cum laude (with distinction) - Students who earn a minimum GPA of 3.5.
Magna cum laude (with high distinction) - Students who earn a minimum GPA of 3.7.
Summa cum laude (with highest distinction) - Students who earn a minimum GPA of 3.9.
Students must earn the designated GPA on work taken at CLU and on all combined CLU and other college work attempted. They must also have completed at least 30 graded semester credits at CLU in order to be considered for honors.
Honors recognition for the graduation ceremony is based on GPA and credits completed through the last graded semester. Honors designation on the student’s permanent record is based on final semester records.
Grade reports are available at the end of each term from the Registrar’s Office and are available on CLU’s website under WebAdviser. Any discrepancy between this report and the student’s personal record must be brought to the attention of the Registrar before the end of the following semester.
The University believes the basic responsibility for communicating grades to parents of dependents enrolled at CLU rests with the student. However, the University reserves the right, on an exceptional basis, to send grade reports to parents of dependent students under 21 years of age if parents request of the Registrar that grades be sent to them for a specific semester.
Academic probation is an indication to students that their academic record is unsatisfactory and that failure to improve may lead to suspension from further work at the University.
Students on academic probation will be required to meet with an academic counselor in the Center for Student Success and enroll into the University’s academic assistance program known as Students Taking Academic Responsibility (STAR). These requirements are mandatory for their registration to be considered official for the ensuing semester. The Center and faculty advisors will monitor their academic progress.
Students with a CLU or cumulative GPA that falls below a 2.0 will be placed on academic probation. Once placed on academic probation, students must meet the minimum following criteria:
1. Fully participate in the STAR program;
2. Earn a 2.0 or higher semester GPA;
3. Earn a 2.0 or higher CLU and cumulative GPAs.
Students who meet all three criteria will be removed from academic probation. If these criteria are not accomplished, students may be placed on academic suspension. Students who meet criteria 1 and 2 but not 3 may be granted a second semester on probation.
Students having attained a semester GPA above 2.0 in the first semester on probation may be given a second semester on probation in which to raise the CLU and cumulative GPAs to 2.0 or above. Students who have returned to probation in the second semester and who have not achieved above a 2.0 CLU or cumulative GPA will normally be placed on academic suspension.
The following classes of students may be placed on academic suspension:
- Students who fail to achieve a 2.0 or higher semester, CLU, and cumulative GPAs in the first semester after being placed on academic probation;
- Students who fail to fully participate in the STAR program;
- Students who have been granted a second semester on probation who fail to raise their semester, CLU, and cumulative GPAs to 2.0 or higher;
- Students who have been reinstated following suspension that fail to meet all readmission conditions specified for that individual at the time of readmission.
Students on academic suspension may not take courses at CLU. Academic suspension normally lasts for one full academic year; however, students may be reinstated after one semester if they complete a semester of full-time letter graded coursework and earn a semester GPA at or above a 3.0 at another accredited institution.
Students who have been suspended from the University must submit a letter of appeal to be considered for reinstatement. All students who have been reinstated following suspension will be subject to rules that apply to students in their second semester on probation.
In order to establish the conditions that may lead to readmission, the letter of appeal must include the following:
• A written rationale for readmission
• A tentative plan for success if granted readmission
• Transcripts of all work completed since suspension
If, following readmission, a previously suspended student is suspended for a second time, that student cannot appeal to be readmitted until after a two-year absence or by completing two semesters of full-time letter graded coursework with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher at another accredited institution.
All petitions for readmission must receive final approval from the Provost.
Students with a CLU and cumulative GPA at 2.0 or above are eligible for intercollegiate competition and/or participation in any activity that requires absence from classes. Eligibility shall be further dependent on conformity to the declared standards of deportment at CLU.