2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Policies

General Academic Policies

(An addendum to academic policies as they relate to the Bachelor's Degree for Professionals was created on November 1, 2023. Link to the addendum.)

Student Responsibility

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 Cal Lutheran, 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.

California Lutheran University's FERPA policy allows university employees to release Directory Information to anyone, including Scholarship donors, but we will not release information on students in bulk for commercial purposes (credit card agencies, etc.).

The items defined as Directory Information at California Lutheran University are:

  • Name (includes Preferred First Name)
  • Address (City and State only)
  • E-mail address (California Lutheran University assigned only)
  • Birth Date (date of birth is only released to official agencies as required for matching student records or as a validation of positive identification of a student when furnished by a person making an inquiry)
  • Photographs and video recordings of students are permitted if there is not personally identifying information of the class or of the students in the class
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree date
  • Degrees awarded or anticipated; with honors and major
  • Honors and awards
  • Previous institution most recently attended (generally speaking released for athletes only)
  • Participation in recognized campus activities or sport

The only circumstances under which Cal Lutheran 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 have Directory Information withheld completely. This means the University will not release any information from education records, including the items listed above, without prior written consent. If a student withholds directory information, the student's name will not appear in the student directory. To request Directory Information be withheld, complete a “Request to Opt Out of Directory Information” form and file it with Academic Services. The form is in effect through the end of an academic year; it must be re-filed annually.

At Cal Lutheran, 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 Cal Lutheran in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Cal Lutheran 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 Cal Lutheran 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. Cal Lutheran’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 Cal Lutheran'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 and academic integrity on campus. Any behavior or act which might be defined as 'deceitful' or 'dishonest' will meet with appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including a grade of 'F' in a course, suspension, or dismissal from the university.

Definition of Academic Dishonesty

A general definition of academic dishonesty is "any behavior or act that implies an intent to make someone believe what is not true, as by giving a false appearance." Since intellectual honesty is central to the academic enterprise, students and faculty must accept and respect the principle of acknowledging information, ideas and language that have been borrowed from someone else. Plagiarism (any failure to document sources), cheating, unethical computer use, and facilitation of academic dishonesty are examples of behavior which will result in strict disciplinary sanctions.


Plagiarism occurs whenever a source of any kind has not been acknowledged. Every student must understand the correct procedures for acknowledging and identifying sources of borrowed material. The basic rule is this: Give credit where credit is due. In other words, if you include any material which is beyond your firsthand experience, and which is not common knowledge of scholars in your field, you must cite your source in a way that your reader can (a) find the source from the information in your reference and (b) immediately determine which information is your source's contribution to scholarship and which is yours. Specifically:

  • If you quote directly, using three or more words from the original source, you must place quotation marks around the quoted material and cite the source.
  • If you paraphrase (rephrase in your own words), you must still cite your source, including a full documentation of reference; the best procedure is to acknowledge that you are paraphrasing.
  • If you present material that may be common knowledge, but your arrangement or discussion of that material is borrowed, you must cite that source in a reference.

If you have any questions about proper ways of documenting sources in footnotes or bibliography, consult the department in which the course is taught. Departmental assistants, and/or the Writing Center are prepared to assist students in proper documentation forms.

Cheating: Cheating covers a wide range of academically dishonest behaviors including but not limited to:

  • Turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • Purchasing assignments or papers and claiming that work as your own
  • Giving another student your work to pass off as his or her own
  • Aiding other students by surreptitiously providing answers in an exam 
  • Copying another student’s answers in an exam setting, even if that student willingly provided the answers
  • Using unauthorized material or resources (paper or electronic) when taking an exam.  This includes use of cell phones or any other electronic resource that may either contain downloaded information or be able to access information electronically
  • Distributing material unauthorized by the course instructor about any exam or assignment
  • Asking a tutor to do assignments, papers, or exams for you
  • Providing dishonest rationales or excuses when requesting special circumstances, or treatment which results in delayed or incomplete course requirements. 

Academic Bribery: Soliciting, offering or accepting money, gifts or favors in order to alter or influence grades.

Deception:  Providing false information when engaging in formal academic work including research deadlines, assignments, and tests.  This includes providing false identification, false disability information in order to gain additional time when taking tests, providing false excuses when seeking deadline extensions, and falsely claiming to have submitted assignments. 

Fabrication: Providing false data, information or citations in any academic work.  This includes altering or making up data for use in experimental research and providing fake or altered quotes or bibliographic references for research. 

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Intentionally helping students engage in acts of academic dishonesty.  This includes improper grading of written/oral exams, grade fraud, negligence regarding conditions that foster cheating, or knowingly abet/allow cheating. 

Identity Fraud: Asking another individual (this need not be a student – it can also be an external source for academic papers) to assume one’s identity for any academic purpose or offering to assume another student’s identity for an academic purpose.  This can be done in exchange for money, gifts, or favors.

Multiple Submissions: Submitting work done in a previous class with the claim that it is new and original.  While previous work may provide the basis for subsequent work, the prior work must be made known to and approved by the instructor.

Paper Mills:  Providing papers to suppliers of academic papers for sale (‘Paper Mills’) is no different than providing papers to other students to pass off as original work, and is viewed as a form of Facilitating Academic Dishonesty.  Papers published in ‘Open Access Journals’ or otherwise made available to the public with the sole intent of publication are acceptable.

Sabotage:  Engaging in any activity that hinders or prevents another student from being able to complete their work.  This includes altering or deleting resources or disrupting experiments.  This can also include creating a condition that hinders the ability for other students to take tests.

Unethical Computer Use: Unethical computer use includes the use of any technology (which can include computers, cell phones, tablets, watches, etc.) or computer software (programs, documentation, data bases) in violation of copyright law. It also includes unauthorized use of computer software or hardware, such as use for private business, breaking access codes, and pranks resulting in damage to software or hardware, breach of privacy or confidentiality, or violation of copyrights.

Procedure for Disciplining Student Dishonesty

Whenever a member of the faculty or other university official has reason to believe that a student has committed a breach of academic honesty, the faculty member or official will confront the student, allowing the student an opportunity to speak on his/her behalf. If, in the opinion of the faculty member, a breach of academic honesty as defined above has clearly occurred, the faculty member or official must file a Report of Academic Dishonesty form with the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The form will be placed on file. This procedure should be completed as soon as is reasonably possible.

First Offense

If the Vice President for Academic Affairs determines this is a first offense, the disciplinary action will be handled by the professor. Possible sanctions may include an 'F' on the assignment or an 'F' in the course.

Policy Statement Pertaining To Graduate Students

Due to the serious nature of such an offense and the resulting questions regarding student ethics, doctoral programs may assign sanctions including academic probation, suspension from the university or dismissal from the university after a first offense with the approval of the Department Chair/Program Director, the Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Sanctions will be determined by reviewing each specific breach of academic honesty, the context of the breach and the nature of the breach.

Second Offense

If the Vice President for Academic Affairs determines this is a second offense, in addition to the sanctions imposed by the professor, the Vice President for Academic Affairs may choose to impose additional sanctions such as academic probation or suspension from school.

Third Offense

A third report of academic dishonesty will automatically result in the student's suspension or dismissal from the university.


An allegation of cheating or an imposed sanction may be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will then constitute a special evaluation committee using the same procedures identified for grade challenges. Such a committee will be composed of three faculty,  one appointed by each of the following:

  • Dean of the School/College
  • Chairperson of the Faculty Affairs and Development Committee
  •  Vice President for Student Affairs

The committee will choose its own chairperson. The committee will solicit written statements from all concerned parties and evaluate all available evidence. The committee will report its recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs whose decision is final.


In the event that a student drops or withdraws from a course after an act of academic dishonesty has been or is in the process of being fully adjudicated, the procedures above must still be followed, including the filing of a report with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The professor should note in the report that the student has withdrawn or dropped the course.  If the sanctions would have resulted in an “F” in the course, then the student will be re-enrolled in the course and assigned a grade of “WF”

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.

Second Degrees

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 Cal Lutheran 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.

Registration Information

Course Load

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.)

Registration Procedures

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.

Course Additions

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.

Students enrolled in Bachelor's Degree for Professionals courses, may not add courses after the Add/Drop deadline which is 8 days after the beginning of the term. After the first session, all late adds require instructor permission.  Students will not be added to closed or waitlist courses.

Instructor Administrative Drop from Courses

An Undergraduate student may be administratively dropped from a course by the instructor or the department staffing the course in either of the following situations:

  1. the student has not met the prerequisites for the course as stated in the academic catalog, or
  2. the student is absent from class for the first two meetings or first two class hours of the semester/term, and has not notified the instructor of their intent to remain in the class by the first class meeting

Note: Administrative drops for Bachelor's Degree for Professionals student will only be done by departmental staff.

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.

Bachelor's degree for Professionals students should contact their academic counselor to begin this process.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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/Canvas page.

Repeated Courses

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 Cal Lutheran. 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. Cal Lutheran 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 Cal Lutheran must be repeated at Cal Lutheran in order for a grade of C- or below to be removed from the GPA. Repeated courses are not included in the residency requirement.

Transfer Credits

Cal Lutheran accepts transfer courses from colleges and universities with institutional accreditation from regional accrediting bodies as defined by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The University evaluates previous education and maintains a written record of the credits granted and its application to the student's degree progress. The official evaluation of credits is available to all students in the Self Service section of the MyCLU portal.

Credit is generally given for those courses deemed equivalent or substantially equivalent to Cal Lutheran 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 transfer in a maximum of 40 military credits to count for elective credits. Military credits are evaluated from the JST Joint Service transcript.

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 Cal Lutheran courses.

Currently enrolled students who plan to transfer additional credits from another institution must have prior approval by the Registrar. Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students, must also have prior approval by the Director of the Bachelor's Degree for Professionals or Dean of the School or Professionals & Continuing Studies.

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.

Please note that students will be expected to complete at least 40 credits of upper division course work and meet the residency requirement.

General Education(IDEAS) Academic and Transfer Policies

  1. Transfer courses meeting IDEAS must be at least two credits.
  2. All courses may only satisfy one requirement within IDEAS except Content Requirement courses.  Courses meeting US Diversity and Global Perspectives content requirements should also apply to another IDEAS requirement.
  3. There is no limitation on the duplication of IDEAS courses with major or minor courses.
  4. Transfer students and students with an applicable, documented disability may substitute an additional content requirement course in place of the Foreign Language requirement.
  5. Students with an applicable, documented disability may substitute a different course that meets the Adapt student learning objective in place of Mathematics.
  6. First Year Seminar is waived for anyone with at least one full-time semester of transferable courses. Dual credit, AP and IB is not included.
  7. Students over 25 years of age are exempt from the Physical Activity requirement.  Students with an applicable, documented disability should take ACTV-111 for the Activity requirement or the requirement may be waived after thorough review.
  8. Students with an approved state transfer completed (e.g. IGETC, CSU Breadth Certification, Associate Degree for Transfer) or 60 credits in transfer (excluding military credit) will have satisfied the main IDEAS requirements, as appropriate. Students will still be held to the portions of IDEAS that integrated into the major.
  9. Academic Services will determine applicability of transfer courses utilizing articulation of courses and the general education Student Learning Objectives.

Limitations on Credit

The number of credits applied toward any baccalaureate degree may be limited by the following:

  1. 30 of the final 40 credits must be completed in residence at Cal Lutheran. Credits by exam do not count as residency credits.
  2. 33% of a major's upper division Required Courses and Required Electives must be taken in residence at Cal Lutheran.  Internships and Independent Studies are excluded from this calculation unless they are required for the major.
  3. Credits used to meet the requirement for a bachelor’s degree may not be used for a credential or master’s degree.
  4. 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.)
  5. Credit in career/work experience may be earned at Cal Lutheran, but no more than eight credits are applicable toward the minimum requirements for the degree. Internships must be related to a student’s major. 1st Year students are not eligible for internships. Traditional undergraduate students may receive a maximum of four units in a semester (or summer) and may take a total of no more than eight credits in internships. Bachelor's Degree for Professionals students may receive a maximum of two units in a semester (or summer) and may take a total of no more than eight credits in internships.
  6. No general education requirements or any portion of the major or minor (including required supporting courses) may be satisfied by courses graded P/NC, except courses offered with only P/NC grading.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A total of 40 combined credits obtained from credits by exam and online/correspondence may be applied toward the degree.
  10. At least 75 percent of the required courses for a major or minor must be unduplicated with any other major or minor.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. A single course may satisfy a maximum of four (4) graduation or program requirements.
  14. 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 MyCLU or on https://www.callutheran.edu/students/registrar/transcripts.html. The University has appointed Credentials Inc. as the designated agent for processing and sending official electronic transcripts on behalf of California Lutheran University. The PDF transcript that is produced using this service contains the identical information as the printed transcript and can be certified as unaltered by uploading the file to the company’s website that is provided during the delivery process. Credentials Inc. has been granted the authority to deliver all such electronic transcript requests on behalf of California Lutheran University and respond to any inquiries regarding the transactions. The University reserves the right to withhold grade reports or transcripts if the student has unmet financial obligations to the University.

Classification of Students

1st Year - 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.

Concurrent Enrollment

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.

Grading Policies

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 Cal Lutheran grade point average (Cal Lutheran GPA) is computed by dividing total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on Cal Lutheran course work.

The following grades are used in calculating grade point averages:

Grade   Grade points per attempted credit hour earned
A Excellent 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B Good 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C Satisfactory 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D Barely Passing 1.0
D- 0.7
F Failure 0.0
UW Unofficial Withdrawal 0.0
WF Withdrawal Failing 0.0

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
PR Progressing No grade points, credit given
P Passing No grade points, credit given
NC No Credit No grade points, no credit given
FC Failed Comprehensive Exam No grade points, credit given
W Withdrawal No grade points, 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 that have not been resolved within that time frame or by the time the student graduates will convert to a final grade of "F" (undergraduate) or "NC" (graduate).

A grade of "PR" (Progressing) is intended for use in dissertations for the doctoral program in Psychology.  The Progressing grade grants credit but reflects the work completed on the dissertation to date and not the final dissertation. "PR" is the default grade for all dissertation courses. The "PR" grade remains on transcripts and only requires a change to Pass for PSYD-704 (successfully defended dissertation proposal) and PSYD-7XP (dissertation completion).

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.

Pass/No Credit

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 general education requirements or any portion of the major or minor (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, Cal Lutheran grants Honors at Entrance to 1st Year 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 -Traditional Undergraduate 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.

School for Professional and Continuing Studies - Dean's Honor List-Students whose Cal Lutheran institutional GPA is 3.6 or above and who are enrolled for 24 or more graded credits during an academic year (fall-summer) shall have their names placed on the Dean's Honor List for that academic year.  Grades earned from removal of an  "incomplete" will be considered at the time of determination of the Dean's Honor List.

Honors at Graduation - The following honors are awarded to qualified recipients of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree:

Departmental Distinctions - Recognizes undergraduate students who have exhibited an unusually high degree of excellence in their major. The faculty members of each department will select a senior or seniors for the Departmental Distinction. This honor is intended to be controlled by Department Faculty and recognized by the university. Every major may choose one (1) senior student to receive a Departmental Distinction every year for every ten (10) graduating seniors in the Major as of February Census.  Regardless of the number of graduating seniors, no major will receive fewer than one (1) Distinction in the Major Award.  To be considered, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5. As soon as possible after February Census, the Registrar’s Office will run cumulative GPA for all seniors in every major and provide a list of qualifying seniors to the relevant department, as well as inform the department of how many Distinctions each major may award. This is the only information the Registrar will provide; major GPA, for example, will not be calculated by the Registrar. Department faculty may then consider any other factors they wish in selecting the distinguished student or students. Department faculty may choose in a given year not to award any Departmental Distinctions. The Dean’s Offices for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Management will inform Department Chairs of a firm deadline by which to name their Distinctions, collect the names of the distinguished students, send the names of distinguished students to Academic Affairs, and print and distribute certificates for students who have earned Distinctions. 

School for Professional and Continuing Studies Distinction in the Major Award - Recognizes undergraduate students who have exhibited an unusually high degree of excellence in their major. Faculty representatives, including the Dean and Associate Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies, and the Program Directors for each discipline will select a senior from each major for the Distinction in the Major Award. This honor is intended to be controlled by the faculty administrators in the School for Professional and Continuing Studies/Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals and recognized by the university. One (1) senior student from each major shall be eligible to receive a Distinction in the Major Award each year. If a major has 20 or more active seniors at Winter Census, that major may have one (1) student receive a Distinction in the Major Award that year for every ten (10) active seniors in the major. Regardless of the number of graduating seniors, no major will receive fewer than 1 Distinction in the Major Award.  Students will be eligible for the Distinction in the Major Award as long as they are active* at the time of Winter Census and anticipate completing their degree during the academic year; they need not be enrolled during the term in which Distinction in the Major is selected. Eligibility for distinction will be based on courses completed and GPA as calculated at the end of the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals Winter Term.   

To be considered, students must:   

1. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5  

2. Have a major GPA of at least 3.5  

3. Have completed at least 50% of their upper-division major requirements at CLU.   

After grades have posted for the Professional’s undergraduate Winter Term, the Program Office will run cumulative and major GPA for all seniors in every Program major. Once the active student list is pulled, the Associate Dean and/or the Associate Director will determine which students have completed 50% of their upper-division requirements at Cal Lutheran. Faculty administrators may then consider any other factors they wish in selecting the distinguished student or students (e.g. conduct). Program administrators may choose in a given year not to award any Distinction in the Major Awards. The Program Office is to design and print a certificate or certificates for Distinction in the Major Award and present those certificates to the student or students.   

 *Historically, 15-20% of the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals students take one or more terms off (a leave of absence) due to illness, family issues, work, financial issues and other such things. Students are allowed to take up to 4 terms off before they are inactivated (at which time they must re-apply to return to their studies). Though not enrolled, these are still active students who work with their Professionals’ academic counselor on a degree completion plan taking the leave into account. Therefore, we occasionally have students on a leave of absence during the term eligibility lists are pulled for the honor of distinction. These active but not enrolled students should be eligible for the honor of distinction in the major. 

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 Cal Lutheran and on all combined Cal Lutheran and other college work attempted. They must also have completed at least 30 graded semester credits at Cal Lutheran 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

Grade reports are available at the end of each term from the Registrar’s Office and are available on Cal Lutheran's website under SelfService. 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 Cal Lutheran 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.

Unsatisfactory Progress

Academic Probation

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 Academic Services 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. Their student success counselor and faculty advisors will monitor their academic progress.

Students with a Cal Lutheran 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 Cal Lutheran 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 Cal Lutheran 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 Cal Lutheran or cumulative GPA will normally be placed on academic suspension.

Academic Suspension

The following classes of students may be placed on academic suspension:

  1. Students who fail to achieve a 2.0 or higher semester, Cal Lutheran, and cumulative GPAs in the first semester after being placed on academic probation;
  2. Students who fail to fully participate in the STAR program;
  3. Students who have been granted a second semester on probation who fail to raise their semester, Cal Lutheran, and cumulative GPAs to 2.0 or higher;
  4. 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 Cal Lutheran. 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 Cal Lutheran and cumulative GPA at 2.0 or above are eligible for intercollegiate competition and/or participation in any activity that requires absence from classes. Students must be enrolled full time unless they meet the terms specified in the NCAA final semester policy. Eligibility shall be further dependent on conformity to the declared standards of deportment at Cal Lutheran.