Jun 25, 2024  

General Academic Policies

 General Academic Information

Students are expected to know the rules that govern academic matters. This bulletin presents answers to general questions regarding academic policies. Students with special problems and circumstances should consult the dean or program coordinator of the school that interests them. Responsibility for meeting degree requirements rests upon the student. Each student is expected to be aware of all relevant requirements published in the bulletin under which he/she plans to graduate. The bulletin in force when one first registers is the binding document between the student and the university. However, a student may request permission to meet the requirements of another bulletin in force during his/her years at the university. The student’s freedom to choose the bulletin under which he/she will graduate is limited. Undergraduates should see the section “Student’s Governing Bulletin ”. Graduate students should see “Residency Requirements  and Time Limits ”.

Attendance at the University

The admission of candidates, their remaining as students, their status, the awarding of academic credits, and the granting of degrees are all subject to the ordinary regulatory powers of the university. It reserves the right to cancel, at its discretion, any of these privileges for reasons considered sufficient by the administration.

School deans reserve the right to review their students’ grades periodically. Together with the faculty, they may also recommend that students performing unsatisfactorily should discontinue their degree programs.

The disciplinary authority of the university president is absolute. The vice presidents, deans, and other officers are responsible for specific cases and in restricted areas.

Changes in Bulletin Requirements

The provisions of this bulletin are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the student and the university. The university reserves the right to change any provision or requirement at any time within the student’s term of residence. All regulations adopted and published by the Board of Trustees or the faculty after publication of this bulletin have the same force as those published here.


Students should plan to register during the days assigned to registration on the official academic calendar. Registration is not official until all parts of the registration process have been completed, including financial arrangements.

Matriculation of First-year Students. Documentation of readiness to matriculate is required before admitted students will be allowed to register: official high school transcript or GED certificate, ACT or SAT scores, and for international students, minimum TOEFL scores.

Late Registration. Students who fail to register during the regular registration period must pay a late-registration fee. Students may not register after the last official day to enter classes.

Changes in Registration. A course may be dropped or added by means of a Change of Registration form or via the web during the drop/add period. This Drop/Add form is obtained from the Office of Academic Records. After completing the form, the student must get all needed signatures and return the form to the Office of Academic Records. The official academic calendar lists the deadline each semester for dropping or adding classes without an entry on the permanent academic record. It also notes the deadline to withdraw from a class with a “W” (Withdrawal) on the permanent record.

Credit Hour Definition

One semester credit hour at Andrews University is earned through academic work during a period of fifteen weeks; averaging three hours per week in undergraduate courses and four hours per week in graduate courses. Academic work contributes to established intentional learning outcomes and is verified by evidence of student achievement. Academic work includes:

  1. A minimum of 50 minutes per week of direct faculty-student contact; and
  2. Out-of-class student work during the remaining time.

For intensives or other classes that do not meet for fifteen weeks, an equivalent amount of direct faculty-student contact and out-of-class student work is required.

An equivalent total amount of academic work is also required in activities such as laboratory, independent study, practicum, studio, distance, distributed, tours and other learning modalities. More time may be expected for co-op work, internships and similar applied learning experiences where learning may take longer to be achieved.

Grading System and Grade-point Averages

Grades and Quality Points. The right to assign grades rests with the teacher of the course. Quality points (on a 4.00 scale) are given to each letter grade (A–F) for use in figuring a student’s grade-point average (GPA). The GPA is the average number of quality points earned per credit hour in all courses which are assigned grades A–F.

A 4.00 C+ 2.33
A- 3.67 C 2.00
B+ 3.33 C- 1.67
B 3.00 D 1.00
B- 2.67 F 0.00

How to Compute Your GPA. You may calculate your semester GPA by following these steps:

  • Multiply the number of credit hours by the number of quality points given to the letter grade earned in each class. (Do the same for each class graded A–F.)
  • Add the number of quality points earned in all classes for the semester.
  • Divide the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Other Grade Report Entries

Additional grades that may appear on a student’s academic record are defined below.

AU—Audited Classes (including HN, UA and UH). A grade of AU is given for an audited course if the student has met the obligations of the audit agreement. It is possible to audit any class except private music lessons and independent study courses provided (1) there is room in the class, (2) the student has an appropriate background, and (3) the instructor gives permission to attend. The term audit refers to registration for attendance only. All auditors, including honors auditors (HN), are expected to attend all class appointments as agreed upon when the instructor granted auditing privileges.

Auditors must attend at least 80% of the class periods. Those who fail to do so are given a grade of UA (Unsatisfactory Audit); honors auditors a UH.

A student may change from “credit” to “audit” registration and vice versa within the published time limits. To make this change the student must present the Office of Academic Records with a Change of Registration form with the required signatures.

The tuition charge for an audited course is the same as a course taken for credit. Full-time honors students may audit one course per semester free of charge.

DG—Deferred Grade. A DG may be given in certain courses recognized to be of such a nature that all the requirements are not likely to be completed within one semester. It may be given for tours, field/clinical experiences, internships, projects, intensives, comprehensive exams, independent study courses, courses requiring research such as theses and dissertations, and undergraduate upper division courses where mastery learning is required. The Office of Academic Records records a DG for the above listed courses previously recommended by a department and approved by the dean of the appropriate school and/or graduate program committee.
An instructor may designate a time limit for a given course or a specific situation for the DG to be changed to a letter grade. All DGs are required to be cleared before a student can graduate, unless they are DGs earned in another currently enrolled degree. An instructor may change the DG to a letter grade (A-F), S/U or DN (Deferred and Not Completable) as appropriate.

DN—Deferred and Not completable. A DN indicates the course has not been completed and no longer can be completed because time has run out.

I—Incomplete. An Incomplete (I) indicates that the student’s work is incomplete because of illness or unavoidable circumstances and not because of negligence or inferior performance. Students will be charged an incomplete fee for each incomplete grade issued.

An I may be given when the instructor and the student agree to terms stated in an Incomplete Contract. The I is given to a student when the major portion of the work for the course has been completed. The contract states (1) the remaining work to be completed, (2) a plan with timelines for completion of the work, (3) the time limit, and (4) the grade the student will receive if the work is not completed by the agreed-upon time.

Ordinarily, an I shall be removed during the following semester. However, an I contracted in the spring semester may be extended to the autumn semester. Any request for an extension of time beyond the contracted time shall be made in writing before the end of the contracted date and approved by the dean of the college/school in which the course is offered. The number of I’s on a student’s record affects the student’s class and workload.

Undergraduate restrictions: Students with 8 credits of Incompletes may not register for more than 12 credits of new courses; for those with 12 or more credits of Incompletes the number of new credits is limited by the dean of the respective college/school. Incompletes must be removed before graduation.

R—Reregistered. Assigned only for designated remedial courses.
Students who obtain this grade are required to reregister for the
course in question.

S/U—Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. The grading pattern for lecture and lecture/laboratory courses is A–F. Certain designated courses, such as independent/individual study/readings, independent research, research projects, workshops, seminars, field/clinical experiences and practica may be graded with either an S/U or A–F pattern as the college/school decides. When more than one grading pattern is possible, the determination of which pattern shall be used for a given class shall be made at the beginning of the class. Completed theses/dissertations (except for undergraduate theses) are always graded on an S/U basis. Grading patterns may not be mixed within a given course for any grading period except for independent study courses, as in next paragraph. An S means, for an undergraduate, that a C (2.00) or higher has been earned; for a graduate, a B (3.00) or higher. The letter grade U signifies unsatisfactory performance. Credit is earned only if an S is received. No quality points are assigned S/U courses and an S/U notation does not affect the GPA.

By definition, independent/individual study/reading/research courses imply potentially a different set of purposes, goals, objectives, activities and outcomes for each student. They are not intended to serve as a substitute for a required class or for canceled classes, and they must have an evaluation plan. All students taking one of these courses with the same acronym, course number and section number under the same instructor are typically listed on the same grade sheet, and therefore mixing grading patterns for these courses in a given term is permitted.

W—Withdrawal. Withdrawal is recorded when a student withdraws within the date limitations indicated by the academic calendar. Under certain circumstances the institution may initiate the withdrawal.

Repeating Classes. Students may repeat a course in which they receive an unsatisfactory grade. In such a case, the record of the first attempt is not erased. However, in the case of undergraduate students only, the credits and quality points earned in the course with the higher grade are used to calculate the GPA. In the case of graduate students the course may be repeated once. The credits and quality points earned in the most recent course will be used to calculate the GPA. Course grades may be replaced only by grades for course work repeated on campus. When a course with a laboratory is repeated, the laboratory part also must be repeated.

In sequence-type courses (course numbers ending in 1, 2, or 3) a student who earns an F for one semester automatically must repeat that course before being permitted to enroll or remain enrolled in courses that follow in that sequence. A student who earns a D in such a course should counsel with the teacher as to the wisdom of continuing the course.

Factors Influencing Grades

Several factors are used to compute the final grade in a particular course. These include such items as scores in oral or written examinations, quizzes, practical and written projects, papers, reports, laboratory experience, skill demonstration, clinical performance and class attendance/ participation. The teacher selects the grading components for a given course according to the nature of that course. The course outline (syllabus) clearly outlines how the students’ final grades shall be figured.

Grade Reports

No hard copies of grades are mailed to students because they can view and print their grades via the web. Students who want a parent or organization to receive a printed grade report may request this via the web or at the Office of Academic Records.

Resolution of Grade Disputes

Students who dispute the grade received for a course are encouraged to seek a resolution through the steps delineated below. Succeeding steps should be taken only if the previous step fails.

Step 1: Informal resolution in person. The student must first seek a resolution in person with the instructor. Should such attempt fail, the student may seek a resolution through the instructor’s immediate supervisor, the department chair or, in the absence of the chair, the dean of the school. The chair or dean may arrange a joint discussion between the student and the instructor.

Step 2: Written grade complaint. The student may file a written grade complaint with the instructor’s immediate supervisor, requesting an investigation of the grade. The request must include the reasons for the student’s belief that the grade was assigned as a result of carelessness, arbitrariness, or capriciousness. If the chair is also the instructor in question, the chair should direct the grade complaint to the next highest officer for processing. The written grade complaint must be filed within the semester (not counting the summer terms) after the grade was given. Complaints filed after a full semester has elapsed since a grade was given, or a written grade complaint that does not detail the evidence called for above, shall not be investigated. A department chair or the instructor’s immediate supervisor can recommend or make a grade adjustment only if his/her findings reveal clear evidence of carelessness, arbitrariness, or capriciousness on the part of the instructor. The department chair or the instructor’s immediate supervisor is to render a written report on his/her findings within a week (if school is in session; if not, within the first week after school reconvenes). If the student does not receive a report or remains dissatisfied, he/she may proceed with Step 3.

Step 3: Grade Grievance. A student may file a written grade grievance with a dean of a relevant school to resolve a grade problem. The grade grievance must be filed within three weeks of receiving a response to the original filing of the written grade complaint. The written grade grievance shall provide evidence for the claim that the grade was assigned as a result of arbitrariness, capriciousness, or carelessness. Should the dean be the instructor in question, the dean shall direct the grade grievance to the provost. A written grade grievance that does not detail the evidence called for above, or that is filed more than three weeks after the response to the original filing of the complaint, will not be investigated.

Providing the student has met the conditions for filing a grade grievance, the relevant dean or the provost shall appoint a Grade Review Committee of three (3) faculty members with authority to investigate the matter further and to recommend a resolution.

The dean or provost shall issue a written verdict in response to a specific Grade Review Committee within one week after having received the written recommendations of the Committee. This shall be final and binding on both student and faculty member. The verdict may necessitate a grade change.


The Office of Academic Records issues transcripts of the student’s academic record upon written request by the student. Requests should reach the Office of Academic Records at least ten days before the transcripts are needed. (For restrictions, costs and exceptions, see the Financial section of this bulletin.)

Student Responsibilities

Examinations. Credit is not granted in courses unless the required examinations are completed by the student. Students are expected to follow the published examination schedule. In cases where the schedule requires a student to complete four exams in one day, arrangements may be made with the dean to complete one of the examinations at another time.

Class Attendance. Regular attendance at all classes, laboratories and other academic appointments is required of each student. Faculty members are expected to keep regular attendance records. The syllabus notifies students of the attendance requirements.

Teacher Tardiness. Teachers have the responsibility of getting to class on time. If a teacher is detained and will be late, the teacher must send a message to the class with directions. If after 10 minutes no message has been received, students may leave without penalty. If teacher tardiness persists, students have the right to notify the department chair, or if the teacher is the department chair, to notify the dean.

Class Absences. Whenever the number of absences exceeds 20% (10% for graduate classes) of the total course appointments, the teacher may give a failing grade. Merely being absent from campus does not exempt the student from this policy. Absences recorded because of late registration, suspension, and early/late vacation leaves are not excused. The class work missed may be made up only if the teacher allows. Three tardies are equal to one absence.

Registered students are considered class members until they file a Change of Registration form in the Office of Academic Records.

Excused Absences. Excuses for absences due to illness are granted by the teacher. Proof of illness is required. Residence hall students are required to see a nurse on the first day of any illness which interferes with class attendance. Non-residence hall students should show written verification of illness obtained from their own physician. Excuses for absences not due to illness are issued directly from the dean’s office.

Excused absences do not remove the student’s responsibility to complete all requirements of a course. Class work is made up by permission of the teacher.

Performance in Related Non-academic Areas. Professional programs sometimes require certain personality traits, lifestyles, clinical aptitudes, or other special competencies. For programs in which such items are specified, students are evaluated in terms of these requirements. These requirements are described in departmental handbooks or in course syllabi.

Academic Integrity. In harmony with the mission statement , Andrews University expects that students will demonstrate the ability to think clearly for themselves and exhibit personal and moral integrity in every sphere of life. Thus, students are expected to display honesty in all academic matters.

Academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to) the following acts:

  • Falsifying official documents;
  • Plagiarizing, which includes copying others’ published work, and/ or failing to give credit properly to other authors and creators;
  • Misusing copyrighted material and/or violating licensing agreements (actions that may result in legal action in addition to disciplinary action taken by the University);
  • Using media from any source or medium, including the Internet (e.g., print, visual images, music) with the intent to mislead, deceive or defraud;
  • Presenting another’s work as one’s own (e.g., placement exams, homework assignments);
  • Using materials during a quiz or examination other than those specifically allowed by the teacher or program;
  • Stealing, accepting, or studying from stolen quizzes or examination materials;
  • Copying from another student during a regular or take-home test or quiz;
  • Assisting another in acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., falsifying attendance records, providing unauthorized course materials).

Andrews University takes seriously all acts of academic dishonesty. Such acts as described above are subject to incremental discipline for multiple offenses and severe penalties for some offenses. These acts are tracked in the office of the Provost. Repeated and/or flagrant offenses will be referred to the Committee on Academic Integrity for recommendations on further penalties. Consequences may include denial of admission, revocation of admission, warning from a teacher with or without formal documentation, warning from a chair or academic dean with formal documentation, receipt of a reduced or failing grade with or without notation of the reason on the transcript, suspension or dismissal from the course, suspension or dismissal from the program, expulsion from the university, or degree cancellation. Disciplinary action may be retroactive if academic dishonesty becomes apparent after the student leaves the course, program or university.

Departments and faculty members may publish additional, perhaps more stringent, penalties for academic dishonesty in specific programs or courses.

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing. Please see university policy.

Human Subjects Research. All students and faculty conducting any research involving human subjects must apply for approval from the Institutional Review Board. Application forms are available at https://www.andrews.edu/services/research/research_compliance/institutional_review/apply_form.html or email irb@andrews.edu in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, Room 322, Administration Bldg. Tel. (269) 471-6361.

Graduation Procedures and Degree Conferral

Degrees are awarded three times a year at Andrews University—May, August, and December to candidates who have successfully completed all degree requirements. The responsibility for meeting all program requirements rests with the student. Participation in graduation ceremonies is for students who have completed all degree requirements and for those who meet the minimum requirements to participate without completion (see Participation in Graduation Ceremonies below).

Participation without completion applies only to students on the Andrews University main campus. Candidates from off-campus sites must complete all degree requirements and obtain clearance through the Office of Off-Campus Programs to participate in main campus graduation ceremonies. Candidates must meet the following Applications and Final Clearances guidelines for graduation or participation:

Applications and Final Clearances

  • Students must file an Application for Graduation/Marching form. Graduation/marching application forms from graduate students will be accepted only when their Advancement to Candidacy form has been submitted. (Graduation/marching application forms are available at and must be returned to the Office of Academic Records.) All students filing for December conferral and undergraduate students applying for graduation/marching in May must complete the graduation/ marching application no later than the October date specified in the academic calendar. All graduate students applying for graduation/marching in May must complete the graduation/ marching application no later than the January date specified in the academic calendar.
  • Transcripts for transfer credit must reach the Office of Academic Records a minimum of 15 days before graduation/ degree conferral.
  • All Incompletes and Deferred Grades in classes needed to complete degree requirements must be changed to a satisfactory grade in the Office of Academic Records a minimum of 15 days before graduation/degree conferral.
  • Students must receive financial clearance from the Student Financial Services Office to participate in graduation ceremonies or to receive a diploma.
  • Diplomas will be ready for distribution beginning two weeks after commencement/degree conferral.

Commencement Services. On-campus commencement services occur in May and August. Students who receive December conferral of their degrees have the option of participating in the May commencement services only.

Graduation in Absentia. At the time of application for graduation/marching, students must indicate whether or not they plan to participate in the ceremony. Those who complete all degree requirements and choose to graduate in absentia forfeit their right to participate in a later graduation ceremony. Those who participate in a graduation ceremony before completing all degree requirements under the terms specified below may not participate for a second time when they complete their requirements.

Participation In Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies are intended to recognize students who have completed all degree requirements and to celebrate their achievements. Students who are nearly completed with their degree requirements are also permitted to march and participate in the celebration within guidelines designed to maintain integrity of the degree-awarding process.

Upon submission of their Application for Graduation/Marching by the published deadline, students are authorized academically to participate in graduation ceremonies when they meet one of the following criteria:

Following registration for the term culminating in a spring or summer graduation ceremony, they fall within one of the following categories:

Undergraduate Criteria

Undergraduate students who lack no more than 6 semester credits for degree completion and meet both overall and major GPA requirements. Credits lacking include I’s, DG’s and unregistered work.


Undergraduate students who lack only completion of an unregistered practicum or internship or student teaching requirement which could be expected to be completed before the next graduation event.

Graduate Criteria

  1. General Criteria

Graduate students who lack only completion of an unregistered practicum or internship or student teaching requirement which could be expected to be completed before the next graduation event.


Master of Divinity students who lack no more than 6 semester credits for degree completion, including practical field work courses. Credits lacking include I’s, DG’s and unregistered work.

  1. Master or Specialist students without a thesis or project option who have been advanced to degree candidacy, lack no more than 4 semester credits for completion and by the official deadlines have met all other graduate degree requirements, including passing comprehensive exams (if required in the program). Credits lacking include I’s, DG’s and unregistered work.
  2. Master or Specialist students with a thesis or project option who have completed all coursework, passed comprehensive exams (if required), and obtained approval of their thesis/ project by the appropriate graduate committee, but have yet to file the thesis/project, as required. Notification of thesis/project approval must reach the Office of Academic Records no later than 10 days before graduation.
  3. Doctoral students who have completed all coursework, have met all graduate degree requirements, including passing comprehensive exams, and no later than four weeks before the graduation ceremony obtain approval of the appropriate graduate committee following successful defense of their dissertation/project (if required in the program), with one of the following results: “Accept the dissertation/project as defended” or “Accept the dissertation/project with minor revisions.” For candidates whose result is “Accept the dissertation/project with major revisions,” written notification from their committee that they have made satisfactory revisions as required must reach the Office of Academic Records no later than 10 days before graduation. For graduation procedures applying to the PhD in Religion and ThD programs see bulletin section on PhD program requirements, “Oral Defense of Dissertation: After the Defense ,” and the PhD Program Handbook.
  4. Doctor of Physical Therapy students who have completed all coursework, have met all degree requirements including passing comprehensive exams, and who either lack completion of the
    1. last two internships, and/or
    2. capstone project

which is expected to be completed before the next graduation event.

The graduation program does not distinguish between those students who have actually completed all requirements and those who have not. All students authorized to participate will receive diploma covers, and all doctoral candidates will be hooded. However, for those who march without completion, diplomas will be issued and dated on the next official graduation or degree conferral date following completion of all degree requirements.

A list of graduates who have completed all requirements and received degrees for each commencement will be made public through a posting on the Andrews University website.