Catalog 2013-2014

Academic Policies and Procedures (Undergraduate)

Students are expected to be familiar with the academic policies and procedures of the university. The policies and procedures of greatest importance to students are listed in this section of the catalog. Additional information about these policies and procedures is available in the Office of the Registrar and the Office of the Provost.

Philosophy of Student Conduct
www.plu.edu/conduct

www.plu.edu/student-handbook
Academic Integrity
www.plu.edu/student-handbook/code-of-conduct/academic-integrity.php
Academic Advising
www.plu.edu/academic-advising
Academic Standing Policy

The following terms are used to describe academic standing at PLU; separate progression and retention policies may be in place in individual programs; please see the individual program section of the catalog for details. Academic standing is determined by the Committee for the Admission and Retention of Students, which reserves the right to review any student’s record to determine academic standing. Academic standing will be reviewed at the end of each semester and term.

Good Standing

All students enrolled at the university are expected to stay in good academic standing. Good standing requires a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher.

Academic Warning

First-year students completing their first semester: First-year students completing their first semester whose GPA is below 2.00 are placed on first semester warning. Students will receive first semester warning notification and are required to follow the guidelines set forth in the letter. For these students, first semester warning is noted permanently on their academic transcript.

Continuing students: All other students whose most recent semester GPA was less than 2.00, but whose cumulative GPA is 2.00 or higher will receive an academic warning notification. Students are required to follow the guidelines set forth in the letter. For these students, academic warning is not noted on the transcript.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.00. Students on academic probation must satisfactorily complete each course they attempt in the subsequent semester. Satisfactory completion means no grades of W (withdrawal), I (incomplete), E or F for the term. Students who do not satisfactorily complete each course attempted in a probationary semester are dismissed from the university. Academic probation is noted permanently on the transcript. Students who successfully complete January Term or summer term course(s) and who achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 will be considered in good academic standing. Students who complete a January Term or summer term course(s) and who achieve a term GPA of 2.00 or higher but whose cumulative GPA still remains below 2.00 must raise their cumulative GPA to at least 2.00 with their coursework in the next Fall or Spring semester.

Continued Probation

Students whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.00 after a probationary semester, but whose semester GPA for their first probationary semester is above 2.00 are granted an additional semester of probation. Students on continued probation must satisfactorily complete each course they attempt. Satisfactory completion means no grades of W (withdrawal), I (incomplete), E or F for the term. At the end of the continued probationary semester, students must have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and must have satisfactorily completed each course or they are dismissed from the university. Continued probation is noted permanently on the transcript.



First Academic Dismissal

Students are given a first academic dismissal from the university if they fail to meet the conditions set forth in the requirements for students on academic probation or on continued probation. A notation of first academic dismissal will be made on the transcript. Students are dismissed after fall and spring semester. Students dismissed after the fall semester may remain in their January Term courses, but are withdrawn from their spring semester courses unless the committee grants reinstatement (see below). Students dismissed after the spring semester are withdrawn from all summer term courses.

If there were extraordinary circumstances that the student believes warrant consideration of an appeal, students may apply for reinstatement by petitioning the Committee for the Admission and Retention of Students (in care of the director of advising). If the petition is approved, students are reinstated on continued probation and must earn a semester GPA of 2.00 or better. At the end of the following semester, students must have reached the 2.00 cumulative GPA. Students who are reinstated must also satisfactorily complete each course they attempt. Satisfactory completion means no grades of W (withdrawal), I (incomplete), E or F for the term.

Second Academic Dismissal

Students who are reinstated after the first academic dismissal must earn a semester GPA of at least 2.00 in order to be granted one additional semester of continued probation to reach the required 2.00 cumulative GPA. Students who fail to attain at least a 2.00 term GPA in the semester after reinstatement, or who fail to achieve a 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in the second semester after reinstatement are given a second academic dismissal. These students are not allowed to petition the Committee for the Admission and Retention of Students for reinstatement.

Eligibility for Student Activities

Any regularly enrolled, full-time student (at least 12 semester hours) is eligible for participation in university activities. Limitations on a student’s activities based upon academic performance may be set by individual schools, departments or organizations. A student on academic probation is not eligible for certification in intercollegiate competitions and may be advised to curtail participation in other co-curricular activities.

Midterm Warnings

Faculty are asked to report to the Office of the Registrar any student who at mid-term is earning at or below a C- (1.67) in a class. Students and their advisors are sent a notice telling them that a mid-term warning has been filed. This allows students time to consult with their advisor and/or the course faculty member to determine a plan for the rest of the term. No transcript notation is made, and academic standing is not affected.

Exception to Academic Policy

Pacific Lutheran University students are expected to follow the standard degree sequence, general education curriculum and the individual requirements for each degree, major and minor. In unusual circumstances, normally those beyond the student’s control, students are given the opportunity to request an exception to academic policies/requirements. Students must complete the “Request for Exception to Academic Requirements” form (available on the Office of the Registrar website at http://www.plu.edu/registrar/documents-and-forms/home.php) and obtain all required signatures. Requests for substitutions or waivers of a course or policy requirement in a major or minor may be approved by the relevant department chair or dean (see the form for details). Requests for substitutions or waivers of a general education element policy or requirement require approval of the appropriate dean and/or provost (supporting signatures from advisors and chairs may also be required by the approving official). Requests for waiver of other academic policies require the approval of the Office of the Provost and/or certain faculty committees (General Education Council or Admission and Retention of Students for example).

A request for a waiver or substitution to a policy does not mean the request will be granted, but instead provides a procedure for the student’s request to be heard and considered by the relevant officials. While a committee or individual chair/dean may be understanding about a student’s situation, missing deadlines, failing to achieve grade point average requirements, or misunderstanding requirements does not release the student from personal responsibility for completing the requirements. Typically, it takes one week to a month to receive a decision depending on the nature of the request. Students are notified via their official PLU email account when a decision has been made by the chair/dean or other approving officials or committees.

Class Attendance

The university assumes that all registered students have freely accepted personal responsibility for regular class attendance. Course grades reflect the quality of students’ academic performance as a whole, which normally includes regular participation in the total class experience and is evaluated accordingly. Absences may lead to a reduction of a student’s final grade. In the event of unavoidable absence, students are expected to inform the instructor. Assignment of make-up work, if any, is at the discretion of the instructor.

Registered students must attend the first class meeting or contact the instructor to receive permission to miss the first meeting or they may be dropped from the class by the instructor. Students dropped by the faculty may not re-register for the course without faculty permission. Faculty must notify the Office of the Registrar to drop a student. Students who are dropped for non-attendance after the posted drop deadline for any semester or term will be charged the registration change fee.

Classifications of Students
  • First-Year: students who have met first-year entrance requirements
  • Sophomore: students who have satisfactorily completed 30 semester hours
  • Junior: students who have satisfactorily completed 60 semester hours
  • Senior: students who have satisfactorily completed 90 semester hours
  • Graduate: students who have met graduate entrance requirements and have been accepted into the Division of Graduate Studies
Non-Matriculated Students

Non-Matriculated Undergraduates: Undergraduate students who are attending part-time for a maximum of nine semester hours, but are not officially admitted to a degree program.

Non-Matriculated Graduate Students: Graduate students who are attending part-time for a maximum of nine semester hours, but are not officially admitted to a degree program.

Course Load

The normal course load for undergraduate students during fall and spring semesters is 13 to 17 semester hours per semester, including physical education. The minimum full-time course load is 12 semester hours. The minimum full-time load for graduate students is eight semester hours. A normal course load during the January term is four semester hours with a maximum of five semester hours. For undergraduate students, a normal course load during a summer term is four semester hours with a maximum of five semester hours.

  • In order for a student to take a full-time course load, the student must be formally admitted to the university. See the Undergraduate Admission section of this catalog for application procedures.
  • Students who wish to register for 18 or more hours in a semester are required to have at least a 3.00 grade point average or consent of the registrar; and, if stipulated by the student’s major department, permission of the program director or dean.
  • Students engaged in considerable outside work may be restricted to a reduced academic load.

To achieve the minimum 128 semester hours required for graduation within a four-year time frame, students must complete at least 32 semester hours within any given academic year.

Credit By Examination

Students are permitted, within limits, to obtain credit by examination in lieu of regular enrollment and class attendance. No more than 30 semester hours may be counted toward graduation whether from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or any other examination. Exceptions to this rule for certain groups of students or programs may be made, subject to recommendation by the Educational Policies Committee and approval by the faculty. Credit by examination is open to formally admitted, regular-status students only and does not count toward the residency requirement for graduation.

To receive credit by examination for a PLU course, students must complete a Credit By Examination Registration Form available on the display wall located across from the Student Services Center, obtain the signatures of the respective departmental dean or chair plus instructor and arrange for the examination. The completed form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by the add/drop deadline for the appropriate term. There is both tuition and a separate fee charged for credit by exam.

  • CLEP subject examinations may be used to satisfy general university requirements as determined by the Registrar’s Office.
  • CLEP subject examinations may be used to satisfy requirements for majors, minors or programs as determined by the various schools, divisions and departments.
  • CLEP general examinations are given elective credit only.
  • CLEP examinations are subject to recommendations by the Educational Policies Committee and approval by the faculty
  • Official CLEP transcripts must be submitted for evaluation of credit.

The university does not grant credit for college-level general equivalency diploma (GED) tests.

Credit Restrictions

Credit is not allowed for a mathematics or a foreign language course listed as a prerequisite if taken after a higher-level course. For example, a student who has completed Hispanic Studies 201 cannot later receive credit for Hispanic Studies 102.

Auditing Courses

To audit a course requires the permission of the instructor and enrollment is on a non-credit basis. An auditor is not held accountable for examinations or other written work and does not receive a grade. If the instructor approves, the course grade will be entered on the transcript as audit (AU). Auditing a class is the same price as regular tuition.

Repeating Courses

An undergraduate may repeat any course two times (including withdrawals); however, an academic unit may require permission to repeat a course within the major or minor. The student’s cumulative grade point average is computed using the highest of the grades earned. Credit for a course at another institution is acceptable in transfer; however, only the grade earned at PLU is computed into the student’s grade point average. Credit toward graduation is allowed only once. Students should be aware that repeated courses are covered by financial aid funding only once. Credits for repeating a course a second time will not be counted as part of the student's enrollment for financial aid purposes and may result in a reduction or cancellation of aid. Students should consult the Financial Aid office before repeating any course.

Grading System

Students are graded according to the following designations:

Grade
Points per Hour
Credit Awarded
A (Excellent)
4
Yes
A-
3.67
Yes
B+
3.33
Yes
B (Good)
3
Yes
B-
2.67
Yes
C+
2.33
Yes
C (Satisfactory)
2
Yes
C-
1.67
Yes
D+
1.33
Yes
D (Poor)
1
Yes
D-
0.67
Yes
E (Fail)
0
No

The grades listed below are not used in calculating grade point averages. No grade points are earned under these designations.

Grade
Description
Credit Awarded
P
Pass
Yes
F
Fail
No
I
Incomplete
No
IP
In Progress
No
AU
Audit
No
W
Withdrawal
No
WM
Medical Withdrawal
No
NG
No Grade Submitted
No

Pass (P) and Fail (F) grades are awarded to students who select the pass/fail option or who are enrolled in exclusive pass/fail courses. These grades do not affect a student’s grade point average.

Pass/Fail Option

The pass/fail option permits students to explore subject areas outside their known abilities by experiencing courses without competing directly with students who are specializing in those areas of study. Grades of A through C- are regarded as pass; grades of D+ through E are regarded as fail. Pass/fail grades do not affect the grade point average.

The pass/fail option is limited to eight semester hours regardless of repeats, pass or fail.

Only one course may be taken pass/fail in fulfillment of general education elements or of the College of Arts and Sciences requirement.

The pass/fail option may not be applied to a course taken for fulfillment of a major or minor program. An exception to this is allowed for one course in the major or minor field if it was taken before the major or minor was declared. Students must file their intention to exercise the pass/fail option with the Student Services Center by the deadline listed in the academic calendar.

The pass/fail option is limited to undergraduate students only. IHON students may not pass/fail an International Honors course.

Exclusive Pass/Fail Courses

Some courses only award pass/fail grades. The goals of these courses are typically concerned with appreciation, value commitment, or creative achievement. Exclusive pass/fail courses do not meet major or university requirements without faculty approval. If a student takes an exclusive pass/fail course, the student’s individual pass/fail option is not affected.

Grade Changes

Faculty may not change a grade once it has been recorded in the registrar’s records unless an error was made in assigning the original grade. The error must be reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the following long term after which it was entered (by the Spring grade submission deadline for Fall and January, and by the Fall grade deadline for Spring and Summer). Any grade change requested after the designated date must be approved by the respective department chair and dean. The Grade Change Policy does not apply to I or IP grades, which are subject to separate policies.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete (I) grades indicate that students did not complete their work because of circumstances beyond their control. To receive credit, all work must be completed and a passing grade recorded. Incompletes from Spring Semester and the Summer Term are due six weeks into the Fall Semester. Fall Semester and J-Term incompletes are due six weeks into the Spring Semester. Faculty may assign an earlier deadline for completion of the work by the student. The earned grade is recorded immediately following the I designation (for example, IB) and remains on the student record. Incomplete grades that are not completed are changed to the default grade assigned by the instructor when the incomplete grade is awarded at the end of the term. If a default grade was not indicated, the incomplete grade will be defaulted to an E or F grade upon expiration of the time limit for submitting grades for an incomplete from that term. An incomplete does not entitle a student to attend the class again without re-enrollment and payment of tuition. An incomplete contract is available and may be required by the faculty member.

In-Progress Grade

In-Progress (IP) grade signifies progress in a course that normally runs more than one term to completion. In Progress carries no credit until replaced by a permanent grade. A permanent grade must be submitted to the registrar within one year of the original IP grade submission. Any IP grade that is not converted to a permanent grade within one year will automatically convert to an Incomplete (I) and will then be subject to the policy governing Incomplete grades.

No Grade

A temporary grade entered by the Office of the Registrar when no grade has been submitted by the faculty member by the established deadline.

Medical Withdrawal

Medical Withdrawal is entered when courses are not completed due to medical cause. A medical withdrawal does not affect a student’s grade point average, but may affect progression in a major or timely completion of the degree. For further information, go to Withdrawal from the University at the end of this section or to the Tuition, Financial Aid and Payment Undergraduate section in this catalog.


MAJOR DECLARATION

Students must declare a major by the time they have earned 60 or more semester hours. Students may not register for additional coursework until they have declared their first major via the standard declaration process. PLU makes very limited exceptions to this rule. Students re-entering after academic dismissal and first-year students entering with 60 or more hours may be given individual exceptions.

Students are permitted to declare multiple majors and to add/drop majors during their academic career. Students should be aware that some majors have limited enrollment and/or require application and acceptance into a program along with specific sequencing of courses. Students may be delayed in graduation if they declare such a major later in their academic career.

PLU students complete the requirements for the major/minor as of the catalog when they are declared into the major/minor. The degree audit will reflect the requirements that were in place when the major was declared. Whenever a major or academic program is revised, the new requirements appear in the next edition of the PLU Catalog.

SECOND BACHELOR'S DEGREE EARNED
Simultaneously

A student may earn two baccalaureate degrees at the same time. For a second bachelor’s degree awarded simultaneously, requirements for both degrees in addition to GenEds must be completed prior to any degree being awarded. A minimum of 16 semester hours must be earned in the second degree that are separate from hours applied to the first degree. At least eight of the 16 semester hours that are earned for the second degree must be upper-division hours. Students must complete all GenEd elements required for each degree. (For example, a student earning a B.A. and B.F.A. must complete the College of Arts & Sciences language requirement. Though it is not required of the B.F.A., it is a requirement for a B.A.). Students must consult with advisers from both departments in regards to meeting the specific requirements for each major. Students cannot be awarded two degrees within the same discipline. (Example, B.A. and B.S. in Psychology).

Second Bachelor’s Degree Earned by Returning Students

Students cannot return to have additional majors or minors posted to their records once they graduate unless they complete an entirely new degree. Students who return to PLU to earn a second bachelor’s degree after earning a first bachelor’s degree or those who earned their first degree at another institution must meet the following requirements:

  • Current Catalog: Apply for admission through the Office of Admission and acceptance under the current catalog.
  • 32 Semester Hours: Earn a minimum of 32 new semester hours that apply to the degree.
  • GenEd Requirement: If the previous degree was earned at PLU, require the completion of any new GenEd elements.
  • 96 Semester Hours Maximum: Students who complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before matriculation at PLU will be admitted with senior standing of 90 semester hours. Students may transfer in a maximum of 96 semester hours or 144 quarter hours; of these the maximum transferable from a two-year school is 64 semester or 96 quarter hours. These students will have satisfied all general education program elements except for four hours in religion (from Christian Traditions), four hours in Perspectives on Diversity, the senior seminar requirement, and, where appropriate, the College of Arts and Sciences requirement. A bachelor’s degree does not automatically satisfy the mathematics or foreign language entrance requirements.

Second bachelor’s degrees will not be awarded for a discipline in which the student has already received a major or degree. (Example: B.S. in Chemistry when the student already has a B.A. in Chemistry).

Determining Degree Requirements

Students must meet the university’s general education requirements as they are stated in the catalog that is current for the semester in which they matriculate at PLU. Students must meet the major and minor requirements as they are stated in the catalog that is current for the semester in which they are accepted into the program, i.e., the semester they are declared as majors/minors by the department chair or dean of the school, as appropriate, showing admission into the major or minor.

Time Limits

Students are expected to meet all requirements for the undergraduate degree within a six-year period. Students who remain at PLU for longer than six years must meet the requirements of the most current PLU catalog in order to earn a degree. Students who are readmitted to the university must meet the requirements of the current PLU catalog to earn a degree.

Transfer of Credit from Other Colleges/Universities

The Office of the Registrar evaluates all transfer records and provides advising materials designed to assist students in the completion of university requirements. Undergraduate students who attend other regionally-accredited colleges or universities may have credits transferred to Pacific Lutheran University according to the following policies and procedures:

  • Official Transcript: An official transcript is required for any course to be transferred to PLU. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain all needed documentation from the other college or university. Transcripts become the property of the university and will not be returned to the student, photocopied for the student, or forwarded to another site. Official transcripts are documents that have appropriate certification (seal/signature) from the other college/university and have been submitted in an official manner (normally sealed by the institution and submitted directly from the institution). Official transcripts are required from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Grade Requirement: Courses completed with a grade of C- or higher at regionally-accredited colleges or universities normally will be accepted for credit as passing grades. Transfer courses are not calculated into the PLU grade point average. Courses from all other colleges/universities are subject to course-to-course evaluation by the Office of the Registrar. Not all courses offered by other colleges and universities are transferable to PLU. Guidance is available through the Transfer Equivalency Guides for community colleges online.
  • 96 Semester Hour Maximum: A student may transfer a maximum of 96 semester hours. Of these, the maximum transferable from a two-year school is 64 semester hours. Credits from quarter-hour colleges or universities transfer on a two-thirds equivalency basis. (Example: a five quarter hour course transfers as 3.33 semester hours).
  • GenEd Restrictions: Philosophy, religion, literature or language courses taken through correspondence, online, and independent studies are not accepted to fulfill the general education program elements in Literature, Philosophy, Religion, or Languages. Once a student has matriculated at PLU, departmental approval is required for a course to transfer in to meet general education program elements in Literature, Philosophy, Religion, or Languages.
  • Three Semester Hours Minimum: Transfer courses must be a minimum of three semester hours to fulfill a PLU four-hour general education element requirement. Transfer courses to fulfill any other semester hour general education program element (for example, physical education course) must be a minimum of two-thirds of the PLU hour requirement.
  • Lower-Division Community College Credit Only: All two-year and community college courses transfer as lower-division credit regardless of upper-division equivalency.
  • Residency Requirement: Out of the final 40 semester hours of a student's program, at least 32 semester hours must be completed in residence at PLU. That is, no more than eight transfer credits may be applied during a student's final 40 hours in a degree program. (Special programs such as 3-2 Engineering and Study Away during a semester or January term are excluded from this limitation.)
  • PLU GPA Restriction: The Pacific Lutheran University grade point average reflects only PLU work. A student’s grade point average cannot be improved by repeating a course elsewhere.
  • Unaccredited Schools: Credits from unaccredited schools or non-traditional programs are subject to review by the appropriate academic departments and the Office of the Registrar and are not normally transferable to PLU.
  • Senior Standing: Students who complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before matriculation at PLU will be admitted with senior standing of 90 semester hours. Students may transfer in a maximum of 96 semester hours or 144 quarter hours; of these the maximum transferable from a two-year school is 64 semester of 96 quarter hours. These students will have satisfied all general education program elements except for four hours in religion (from Christian Traditions), four semester hours in Perspectives on Diversity, the senior seminar requirement, and, where appropriate, the College of Arts and Sciences requirement. A bachelor’s degree does not automatically satisfy the mathematics or foreign language entrance requirements.

Students are also subject to any school/division/department policies concerning transfer of courses. Exceptions to academic policies are based on submitted documentation and rationale and are approved by the appropriate officials as indicated on the Exception to Academic Policy form.

Evaluation of Credits

Individual schools and departments determine which courses satisfy major requirements.

Transfer of Credits Earned While in High School. The university awards credit to high school students for certain courses completed before high school graduation. The university may award college credit to high school students who have completed courses in approved programs, as described below:

  • Advanced Placement Program (AP): Students who complete advanced placement or credit toward graduation through the examination program of the College Board may receive credit for such courses. Inquiries should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): A maximum of 30 semester hours may be granted for completion of the IB Diploma. A maximum of four semester hours per course may be granted for courses identified on an IB Certificate if a grade of 4 or higher is awarded. Students are advised to contact the Office of the Registrar for specific details.
  • Running Start Program: Accepted students who have completed courses under the Washington State Running Start Program are considered first-year students with advanced standing. Students who participate in this program will be awarded college credit in a manner consistent with PLU’s policy on transfer of credit from other institutions.
  • Other Programs: Students who have completed college courses while in high school may receive credit in a manner consistent with PLU’s policy on transfer of credit from other institutions. The university reserves the right to make decisions on an individual basis.
  • Credits earned by Advanced Placement (AP)-English, International Baccalaureate (IB)-English, or through Washington State’s Running Start Program do not satisfy the Writing Seminar element of the First-Year Experience Program, though the hours may be used for elective credit. Transfer of credits from other universities courses must be listed in the official college catalog, be part of the regular college curriculum of a regionally accredited college or university, and be posted on an official college or university transcript.
  • Students who complete the Direct Transfer Associate degree (DTA) from an accredited Washington state community college before matriculation at PLU will be admitted with junior standing and will have satisfied all general education program elements except for four semester hours in religion (from Christian Traditions), four semester hours in Perspectives on Diversity, the two to four semester hour senior seminar requirement, and the College of Arts and Sciences requirement. The DTA does not automatically satisfy the mathematics or foreign language entrance requirements.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (A-level exams): A maximum of 30 semester hours may be granted for completion of Cambridge International Examinations. Students must earn a passing grade (C or better) to earn credit. No credit will be awarded for AS-Level or O-Level exams. Students are advised to contact the Office of the Registrar for specific details.
Other Educational Experiences

Credits earned in non-accredited schools are not transferable. Students who have matriculated at Pacific Lutheran University may petition a department or school to waive a particular requirement on the basis of previous non-accredited coursework or may petition a department of school to receive credit by examination.

  • Military and CLEP Hours: The university allows up to 20 semester hours of United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI)/Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) credit, up to 20 semester hours for military credit, and up to 30 semester hours of College-level Examination Program (CLEP) credit, providing the total of the three does not exceed 30 semester hours. Official transcripts bearing American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations should be submitted for evaluation.
  • GED Restriction: The university does not grant credit for college-level General Equivalency Diploma (GED) tests.
  • Global Assessment Certificate Program (GAC): A maximum of 30 semester hours may be granted for completion of ACT Education Solutions, Global Assessment Certificate program courses. Only certain courses are eligible for course credit based on faculty assessment. Students must earn a GAC grade point average of 2.60 (equivalent to a B-) or better. This GPA is separate from the GPA required for admission purposes. Students are advised to contact the Office of the Registrar for specific details.
Graduation

Students expecting to fulfill degree requirements within the academic year (including August) are required to file an application for graduation with the Office of the Registrar by the following dates:

Degree Completion and Bachelor’s and Master’s Graduation Application Deadlines
Degree Completion Bachelor's and Master's Deadline
May 2014 and August 2014
December 2, 2013
December 2014 and January 2015
May 1, 2014

All courses must be completed, final grades recorded, and university requirements fulfilled in order for a degree to be awarded.

There are four degree award dates (August, December, January, and May). Degrees are formally conferred at Fall and Spring commencements. Students with a January degree date participate in the Fall commencement. Students with an August degree date participate in the Spring commencement. The actual term of degree completion recorded is the graduation date on the permanent records.

Students who plan to transfer back to Pacific Lutheran University for a degree must apply for graduation before or during the first semester of their junior year so that deficiencies may be met before they leave campus.

Graduation Honors

Degrees with honors of cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude are granted. A student must earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 for cum laude, 3.75 for magna cum laude, and 3.90 for summa cum laude (applicable to undergraduate level only).

Graduation honors are determined by the cumulative grade point average of all PLU coursework (defined as courses taught by PLU faculty for PLU). Students must complete a minimum of 64 semester hours at PLU to be eligible for graduation honors. Study Away courses at a PLU-approved program count towards the 64-hour minimum, but do not count towards graduation honors unless the courses are taught by PLU faculty. Term honors will be determined on the same basis as graduation honors.

Dean’s List

A Dean’s List is created at the end of Fall and Spring semesters. To be eligible, a student must have attained a semester grade point average of 3.50 with a minimum of 12-graded semester hours (applicable to undergraduate level only).

Honor Societies

Areté Society: Election to the Areté Society is a special recognition of a student’s commitment to the liberal arts together with a record of high achievement in relevant coursework. The society was organized in 1969 by Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty to encourage and recognize excellent scholarship in the liberal arts. Student members are elected by the faculty fellows of the society each spring. Both juniors and seniors are eligible; however, the qualifications for election as a junior are more stringent. Students must have:

  • attained a high grade point average (for seniors, normally above 3.70; for juniors, normally above 3.90);
  • completed 110 credit hours in liberal studies;
  • demonstrated the equivalent of two years of college work in foreign language;
  • completed one year of college mathematics (including statistics or computer science) or four years of college preparatory mathematics in high school; and one college mathematics course; and
  • completed a minimum of three semesters in residence at the university.

The university also has chapters of a number of national honor societies in the disciplines, including the following:

  • Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology)
  • Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre)
  • Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma (Business)
  • Lambda Pi Eta (Communication)
  • Mu Phi Epsilon (Music)
  • Phi Alpha (Social Work)
  • Phi Alpha Theta (History)
  • Pi Kappa Delta (Forensics)
  • Psi Chi (Psychology)
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)
  • Sigma Theta Tau International (Nursing)
  • Sigma Xi (Scientific Research)
Registration Procedures

Students register by using Banner Web, an online registration system. In addition to registering, Banner Web also offers students the ability to add or drop a class, check their schedules, and access final grades. Banner Web may be accessed through the PLU home page (www.plu.edu). Students may contact the Student Services Center with registration questions.

  • Students are not officially enrolled until their registration has been cleared by the Office of Student Accounts.
  • Students are responsible for selecting their courses.
  • Advisors are available to assist with planning and to make suggestions.
  • Students should be thoroughly acquainted with all registration materials, including the current catalog and class schedule.
  • Students are responsible for knowing the requirements of all academic programs in which they may eventually declare a major.
Adding or Dropping a Course

All add or drop activity must be completed by the listed add/drop deadline for the specific term or semester. All students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor prior to making any significant schedule changes. Please go online at www.plu.edu/registrar for the most current class schedule information. Students may add a course without an instructor signature that meets multiple times per week only during the first five business days for a full or half semester-length class. For courses that meet only one-time per week, students may not add the course without instructor permission after the first class meeting. A student may drop a course without an instructor’s signature only during the first ten business days of a full semester-length class and during the first five business days of a half-semester length class. For all courses, registered students must attend the first class meeting or contact the instructor to receive permission to miss the first meeting or they may be dropped from the class by the instructor. Students dropped for nonattendance may not re-register for the course without faculty permission. Faculty must notify the Office of the Registrar to drop a student. In most cases, adding and dropping can be accomplished using Banner Web. See the January Term and Summer class schedules online for the add/drop periods for those terms. Any registration changes may result in additional tuition charges and fees and may also affect the student’s financial aid (if applicable). A $100 late registration fee is charged for any registration changes after the printed deadline dates.

Registration for Returning Students

Returning students will receive registration time appointments to register for Summer/Fall terms and for January/Spring terms. Registration dates are determined by the number of hours, including transfer hours, completed by the student. Students may register for each new term or Summer Session on or after the designated date.

Registration for Entering Students

New student registration for entering students occurs during June or January, depending on whether students begin in the Fall or Spring Semester. Registration is conducted by the Office of Advising. Registration materials are sent to all accepted entering students well in advance of their arrival on campus for their first semester.

Most students meet in person with a registration counselor as they register for courses. Students may also register by phone.

Non-Matriculated Students (Non-Degree Seeking) Students

Students who are not officially admitted to the university may accrue a maximum of nine semester hours. Exceptions may be granted by individual departments in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar.

Withdrawal from a Course

A student may withdraw from a class with an instructor’s signature after the add/drop deadline and before the withdrawal deadline published in the important dates section on the Office of the Registrar website. Tuition is not refunded, a $100 late registration fee is charged and any additional tuition will be charged for adding any other classes. A grade of W is recorded on the student’s academic transcript.

If a student is enrolled in a class, has never attended and did not drop the course before the published deadline, tuition will be charged to the student’s account, unless the instructor’s signature has been obtained. If the student obtains the instructor’s signature, tuition is not charged, but a $100 late registration fee is assessed.

The add/drop form may be obtained from the Student Services Center, filled in, instructor signature obtained, and returned to the Student Services Center by the appropriate dates that impact fee assessment. The add/drop form may also be found online at http://www.plu.edu/registrar/widgets/documents-forms/items/Student-Forms/add_drop-form_revised.pdf.

Withdrawal from the University (all classes)

Students are entitled to withdraw honorably from the university if their record is satisfactory and all financial obligations are satisfied. Students must complete and sign the Notification of Student Withdrawal form in the Student Services Center. Partial tuition refunds may be available depending on when the student withdraws. Refer to the Tuition, Charges, and Fees section of this catalog for more information. Grades of W will appear on the student’s transcript for the term.

Withdrawal from a Future Term

Students are required to notify PLU if they do not plan to return for the following term. Students are entitled to withdraw honorably from the university if their record is satisfactory and all financial obligations are satisfied. Students must complete and sign the Notification of Student Withdrawal form in the Student Services Center.

Medical Withdrawal
Students may also petition to withdraw completely from the university for a term for medical reasons. The student must complete a Medical Withdrawal Petition, provide written evidence from a physician and a personal explanation to the vice president for student life. This must be completed in a timely manner and in no case later than the last day of a class in any given term. If granted, the grade of WM will appear on the student’s transcript. Physician clearance is required prior to re-enrollment. For more information contact the Office of Student Life, 105 Hauge Administration Building, 253.535.7191 or slif@plu.edu.