Academic Policies

Students are expected to be familiar with university policies and to monitor their own academic progress. They should keep all records of official grades earned, degree requirements met, transfer credits accepted and actions taken on requests for substitutions or exceptions to university policies and regulations.

GRADING SYSTEM: Definition of Grades and Codes

Grades (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, and F) are used for both undergraduate and graduate programs. These letter grades with plus/minus are used on transcripts and in computing gradepointaverages. English as a Second Language (ESL) Program courses will receive letter grades which are not included in the GPA calculation.

Grade
Grade Explanation
Score
Grade Points

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C+

C

C-

D+

D

F

AU

CR

NC

IN

W

WF

Excellent

Outstanding

Very Good

Good

Better than Average

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Weak

Unsatisfactory

Failing

Audit

Credit

No Credit

Incomplete

Withdrawn

Withdrawn Failing

93-100*

90-92

88-89

83-87

80-82

78-79

73-77

70-72

67-69

62-66

0-61

N/A

passing

not passing

temporary

N/A

N/A

4.0

3.7

3.3

3.0

2.7

2.3

2.0

1.7

1.3

1.0

0.0

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

0.0

*For test situations 98-100 can be acknowledged as an A+, but as of Spring 2015 A+ is no longer used on the transcript as a course grade.

Additional codes include:

Code

Explanation of Code

R

CE

CX

Repeat a Course

Credit by Challenge Examination

Credit for Prior Experiential Learning

Only grades C- (1.7) or above are acceptable for graduate credit.

A grade of D (1.0) is acceptable for an undergraduate course. Grades below these stated levels (D for graduate-level and F for undergraduate level) must be resolved by repeating the course and achieving an acceptable grade.

At the completion of all required courses, a student is eligible to receive a degree provided that the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is no less than a 2.0 for undergraduates and a 3.0 for graduates.

Withdrawn (W)

Courses officially dropped between weeks three and nine are assigned a W grade.

Credit (CR)

Credit is used to denote "pass with credit" when no letter grade is given. It is assigned to a grade of C or better for undergraduates and a grade of B or better for graduate students. CR grades are not included in the calculation of the GPA.

No Credit (NC)

No Credit is used to denote "no credit" when no letter grade is given. NC grades are not included in the calculation of the GPA.

Incomplete (IN)

The incomplete grade is an interim grade designed for students who have serious and compelling circumstances beyond theircontrol occurringwithin the last two weeks of the quarter preventing completion of the course work.

The incomplete work must be contracted on a “Request for IN Grade” tri-part form and signed by both the instructor and student. This contract must clearly state the reasons justifying the incomplete as well as carefully detailing the missing work that needs to be completed in order for a satisfactory grade to be issued. After the student and instructor keep their copies of the contract, the original white page is submitted to the Registrar. Any “IN” grade submitted on a grade sheet without the accompanying “Request for IN Grade” contract will not be honored as such and will be entered as an “F” grade.

An Incomplete (IN) must be removed within the next two quarters (six months). Failure to comply will result in an F grade and will remain on the students’ permanent record. Incomplete (IN) is not used in calculating GPA, although it can impact the calculation of satisfactory academic progress (SAP).

Withdrawn Failing (WF)

This is an administrative grade used when a student did not formally withdraw from the course and failed to complete course requirements. The WF is used for courses graded A-F when attendance or assignments and/or course activities are insufficient to make an evaluation of academic performance. The WF is calculated as an F for the purposes of grade point average.

Repeat a Course (R)

The Repeat a Courseis a designated code following the earned grade. Students can repeat only once any course for which they have received a grade or withdrawn from prior to completion. Only the higher grade is calculated in the GPA. Students will not receive cumulative earned credit for a repeated course. However, both courses will be considered credit hours attempted for the purpose of determining successful course completion percentages.

Credit by Challenge Examination (CE)

Requests for Challenge Examinations may be madethrough the Associate Deanof Academic Affairs and the Registrar’s Office. 

Undergraduate students and graduate students in good standing and with the appropriate background may petition to earn credit for courses by challenge examination. Eligible students must be registered in full time status.

Undergraduate students must have completed four undergraduate courses and may challenge a maximum of three undergraduate courses. Graduate students must have completed two graduate courses and may challenge a maximum of two graduate courses.

Credit earned by challenge examinations may be applied toward the minimum course requirements for the undergraduate and master’s degrees. The passing mark for credit by examination at the undergraduate level is C and the graduate level is B. Credits so earned will be posted on the transcript as CR, rather than the letter grade, and not calculated in the student’s GPA. If a student does not pass the challenge examination, the code “NC” will be entered on the transcript.

Students may challenge a particular course only once and may not take a challenge examination for courses already taken or attempted at the University.

Doctoral students in good standing and with the appropriate background may also petition to earn credit for courses by challenge examination. Eligible students must be registered in full time status. Note that Credit by Challenge Examination (CE) will be awarded infrequently as the D.B.A. degree program presents unique opportunities for advanced study and research.Doctoral students must have completed two Core courses and may challenge a maximum of two Core courses.

Credit earned by challenge examinations may be applied toward the minimum course requirements for the doctoral degree. The passing mark for credit by examination at the doctorallevel is B. Credits so earned will be posted on the transcript as CR, rather than the letter grade, and not calculated in the student’s GPA. If a student does not pass the challenge examination, the code “NC” will be entered on the transcript.

Students may challenge a particular course only once and may not take a challenge examination for courses already taken or attempted at the University.

Credit for Prior Experiential Learning (CX)

Undergraduate students and graduate students in good standing and with the appropriate background may petition to earn degree credit for prior experiential learning. Eligible students must be registered in full time status. Doctoral students may not apply for CX.

Petitioning students must identify the courses for which credit is sought and document in writing how the prior experiential learning is equivalent to standards in higher education and meets curricular criteria. Additional documentation from employers supporting the claim may be needed. The University may grant credit to a student for prior experiential learning only if the prior learning is equivalent to a college or university level learning.

Undergraduate students must have completed four undergraduate courses and may receive prior experiential learning credit for a maximum of three undergraduate courses. Graduate students must have completed two graduate courses and may receive prior experiential learning credit for a maximum of two graduate courses.

Credits earned through petitions for prior experiential learning may be applied toward the minimum course requirements for the undergraduate and master’s degrees. Credits so earned will be posted on the transcript as CR and not calculated in the student’s GPA.

Forms requesting prior experiential learningcreditmay be requested through the Registrar’sOffice. 

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite and Foundation courses are required courses for those students with insufficient background in the chosen degree. Grades in these types of courses are not calculated in the graduate or doctoral level GPA.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average (GPA) for the quarter is determined by multiplying the number of credit hours for each course by the number of points identified for each grade outlined above and dividing by the total number of units for the quarter.

Undergraduate / graduate prerequisite / Foundation courses required at the graduate level are not included in the GPA calculation.

Evaluation

The University conducts quarterly evaluations of student progress, taking into consideration the minimum GPA allowable, the minimum successful units completion (% of coursesattempted) and the percent of maximum time frameallowable. Students who complete their programs in a shorter time framework are subject to the same criteria based on the percentages of maximum time frameallowable.

The following Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply to all undergraduate and graduate students in the degree programs. Students must meet the minimum standards set forth below, or they shall be deemed to be out of compliance in meeting the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria. 

Federal and State regulations governing student financial aid require that students receiving Title IV financial assistance to maintain standards of reasonable academic progress in the completion of their degree or certificate. Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements become ineligible to receive financial aid until they are in compliance with these requirements.

Time Frame of Successful Course Completion

Undergraduate Degrees:

Required Evaluation Points*

Minimum GPA

Minimum Successful Course Completion

(% of Course Attempted)

Maximum Time Frame when federal financial aid is involved

25%

1.25

55%

Period of 1.5 times the standard program length

50%

1.50

60%

100%

2.00

---

* Based upon maximum time frame.

Master's Degree:

Required Evaluation Points*

Minimum GPA

Minimum Successful Course Completion

(% of Course Attempted)

Maximum Time Frame when federal financial aid is involved

25%

2.25

55%

Period of 1.5 times the standard program length

50%

2.50

60%

100%

3.00

---

* Based upon maximum time frame.

Doctoral Degree:

Required Evaluation Points*

Minimum GPA

Minimum Successful Course Completion

(% of Course Attempted)

25%

2.75

55%

50%

3.00

60%

100%

3.00

---

* Based upon typical program time frame.

Minimum Academic Achievement

Undergraduate Degree:Students must achieve cumulative grade point averages (CGPAs) of the following: 1.25 at 25% of the maximum time frame; 1.5 at the midpoint of the maximum time frame; and a 2.0 at the maximum time frame. A student whose CGPA is below 1.5 at 50% of the maximum time frame is not eligible for probation and will be suspended for one quarter.

Master's Degree:Students must achieve cumulative grade point averages (CGPAs) of the following: 2.25 at 25% of the maximum time frame; 2.5 at the midpoint of the maximum time frame; and a 3.0 at the maximum time frame. A student whose CGPA is below 2.5 at 50% of the maximum time frame is not eligible for probation and will be suspended for one quarter. 

Doctoral Degree:Students must achieve cumulative grade point averages (CGPAs) of the following: 2.75 at 25% of the usual time frame; 3.0 at the midpoint of the usual time frame; and a 3.0 at the usual time frame. A student whose CGPA is below 3.0 at 50% of the usual time frame is not eligible for probation and will be suspended for one quarter. 

Effects on SAP for Change of Program or Additional Credential

Students who change programs should be aware that all credit hours attempted, regardless of the program, will count toward satisfactory progress until the student graduates. Students who graduate from one program at Pacific States University, and wish to earn another degree, diploma, or certificate from Pacific States University will be allowed to complete a new program within a new 150 percent time frame. Students pursuing a double major may attempt 150 percent of the number of units required to complete ONLY one degree.

Implications of Transfer Credit on SAP

Types of courses and credits included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation are:

  • All Pacific States University courses enrolled through the add/drop period
  • Repeated coursework

The courses listed below are included in the attempted units for the calculation of Maximum time frame but not counted towards GPA calculation:

  • Credits earned through challenge examinations
  • Credits earned by prior experiential learning
  • All transferable courses from other colleges and universities
Academic Probation

Any student who does not maintain a satisfactory GPA or who otherwise jeopardizes their academic standing will be placed on quarterly probation and given the opportunity to strengthen their satisfactory academic progress.  The student on probation will be counseled and given assistance, if needed, in order to improve his/her GPA.  The student is considered to be maintaining satisfactory progress while on probation and will be eligible for Title IV aid, federal financial aid or loans. At the end of the probationary period, if the academic record is not in compliance with the standards of satisfactory progress, the student will be suspended or dismissed.

Mitigating Circumstances

The Associate Dean or D.B.A. Program Administrator may waive the Standards of Satisfactory Progress for circumstances of personal illness, unusual family responsibilities, military service, unexpected consequences arising in their homeland, or other significant occurrence outside the control of the student, as long as they are not on federal financial aid. These circumstances must be documented by the student to demonstrate that the cited circumstances have had an adverse impact on their performance. No waivers will be provided for graduation requirements.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Students, in good standing with the institution and making satisfactory progress towards a degree, who must interrupt their studies for compelling reasons (e.g. which may include but not be limited to personal illness, unusual family responsibilities, military service, and unexpected consequences arising in their homeland.) must file a Request for Leave of Absence, usually not to exceed four (4) quarters. Note: Federal financial aid students are allowed only six (6) months maximum LOA. Please seek academic advising prior to submitting the form. Students must file the Request with the Registrar’s Office and have approval from the Associate Deanor the D.B.A. Program Administrator.

During the leave of absence studentsarenot entitled to assistance from the faculty or use of University facilities, except for the completion of incomplete coursework, which must be satisfied within the time perimeters of an “IN” grade.

Students who do not return to enrolled status at the end of the approved leave of absence are no longer considered to be pursuing a degree. Students who fail to apply for a Request for Leave of Absence or for whom a leave has been denied or has expired are considered withdrawn from the University and should refer to the Readmission Policy. 

Vacation

Eligibility: Students who enroll in degree programs and English as a Second Language must complete three consecutive quarters before being entitled to a one-quarter vacation. Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of thirty-six (36) units of study per year, and graduate students must complete at least twenty-four (24) units of study per year. Students who enroll in non-degree program (Accounting Certificate Program) must complete four consecutive sessions before being entitled to a one-quarter vacation.

Reinstatement

Students who leave the University without filing a Request for Leave of Absence will not be automatically reinstated. Students must file a Petition for Readmission to a degree program which have the recommendations of the Director of his Collegeor the D.B.A. Program Administrator. It must be submitted to the Admissions Officeor the D.B.A. Admissions Committee. Upon reinstatement students will be subject to all of the current requirements for the degree in effect at the time of reinstatement.

Grades assigned by instructors must conform to individual policies as stated in the course syllabus. A grade submitted by an instructor is considered final and may be changed only for the following reasons: (1) error in recording a score for a student product (test, quiz, paper, etc.); (2) miscalculation of a score, including the cumulative score for a quarter; and (3) omission from consideration of valid student products that were submitted on time.

No other reasons constitute a basis for a request for a grade change.

All requests for grade changes must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office within three months following the date of issuance of the grade in question. Under no condition will a grade change be permitted after a degree has been awarded.

The Registrar’s Office maintains all official transcripts which are issued only at the written request of the student.  Four to five working days should be allowed for processing.  Requests for transcripts may be submitted either in person, by fax, or by mail.  No telephone requests for transcripts are accepted.  A $10 fee is charged for each official transcript.  Copies of transcripts for work taken at other institutions will not be issued. 

Official transcripts bear the institutional seal and the signature of the University Registrar.   PSU reserves the right to withhold any and all services if petitioner is not in good financial standing with the University.

Add / Drop / Swap

Students may add or drop or swap courses through the third week of the quarter.  After the first week of classes, a $10.00 fee is charged for the processing of each change of registration during the Add/Drop/Swap period.  Students must request these changes by submitting an Add /Drop Form to the Registrar.

Dropping a Course Section

Students should review and select classes carefully with their advisors and avail themselves of college counseling services before making a decision to drop a course. Students may drop course sections without academic penalty through the third week of classes.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, students may withdraw from classes from the third week through the ninth week of classes and receive a grade of Withdrawal (W) with permission from the Associate Dean of Academics or the D.B.A. Program Administrator.  After the ninth week of classes permission will not be granted for a student to withdraw and a letter grade of F will be assigned to the student.  If the conditions warrant, an IN grade may be contracted, if missing work can be completed within the parameters of an incomplete.

Academic honors are earned by undergraduate students only and are granted at graduation according to their GPA:

Cum Laude 3.40 – 3.69
Magna Cum Laude 3.70 – 3.89
Summa Cum Laude 3.90 – 4.00

Academic honors for graduate students are granted at graduation according to recommendations by the University Dean, the College Director, or the D.B.A. Program Administrator in consultation with the D.B.A. program and Dissertation Committees. Students may earn the designation: with Great Distinction.