Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures

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



Academic Integrity


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 Academic Performance and Integrity Committee, 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
    • Students completing their first semester:
      Students placed on academic probation at the completion of their first semester at PLU may have their standing changed to academic warning if they complete the requirements set forth in the academic probation notification letter by the specified deadline. Academic warning is noted permanently on the 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 Academic Performance and Integrity Committee. 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 Academic Performance and Integrity Committee 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.

Progress Alerts

Faculty members are asked to report to the Office of the Registrar any student who is not meeting expectations for satisfactory academic progress in a specific course within the first six weeks of a Fall or Spring Semester (or a modified timeline in shorter terms). The student and his/her academic advisor are then sent notification that a progress alert has been issued by the instructor. The student is responsible for communicating with the academic advisor and instructor to develop a plan for academic success and following up on any recommendations to improve course performance. 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. Requests for substitutions or waivers of a course or policy requirement in a major or minor are approved by the relevant department chair. Requests for substitutions or waivers of a general education requirement or other academic policy require approval of the deciding official. 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 every student has freely accepted personal responsibility for regular class attendance. Although attendance itself is not a measure of successful learning, and course grades are issued on the basis of academic performance and not on the basis of attendance alone, such performance normally includes regular participation in the total class experience and is evaluated accordingly. In the event of unavoidable absence students are strongly encouraged as a matter of courtesy to inform their instructors and may be required to do so. Any arrangements for missed work are discretionary between instructor and student, except as specified below.

Undergraduate students officially representing the university off campus for a performance, competition, or academic presentation shall not be penalized solely for missing class due to such events (including travel time). With prior documenta­tion of such involvement, these students shall be allowed to complete missed exams or, at the discretion of the course instructor, substitute an alternative assignment. However, whether a missed lab, clinical, or other in‑class activity may be made up shall be up to the academic unit.

The burden is always on the student, not the faculty member, to take steps to remedy the effects of absences from class. In particular, the student is responsible for making prior arrangements with the instructor to complete missed work or to substitute comparable work instead. An academic unit may adopt shared policies to govern such assignments, including an expectation that the work be submitted or the test taken prior to the absence.

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

Note: 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.

      • 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 fitness and wellness. 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 obtain the approval of their academic advisor as well as meet with Student Financial Services to confirm tuition costs.
      • 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 Office of the Registrar and online , 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 Office of the Registrar 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 Office of the Registrar.
      • 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 world 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 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 Office of Student Financial Services 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. 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 Office of the Registrar 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 award only 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 Office of 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

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. Students must consult with advisors 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 – 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, no additional general education requirements will be added.
    • 96 Semester Hours Maximum:
      Students who complete a bachelor’s degree, excluding the Bachelor of Applied Science, 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 The Academic Study of Religion (RL); four hours in Global Engagement (GE); and the Culminating Experience (SR).
    • Applied Science Degrees:
      Students with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree seeking a second bachelor’s with PLU will have a course by course evaluation completed to determine final transfer credit and course applicability.

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

An undergraduate student’s degree requirements are valid for seven years. The seven-year period begins when a student matriculates and has a PLU transcript record. Students who leave and return to PLU after the seven-year period must re-enter the University and meet the requirements of the most current PLU catalog in order to earn a degree. Students that leave for a semester or longer must complete the University’s re-entry process to return.

Transfer of Credit

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).
    • Semester Hours Minimum:
      Transfer courses must be a minimum of 2.67 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, fitness and wellness 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.
    • 32-Hour Residency Rule:
      At least 32 semester hours must be completed in residence at PLU.
    • 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.

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):
      The IB Diploma meets 32 semester hours toward General Education; including, FYEP 101 (4), FYEP 102 (4), Creative Expression (4), Engaging the Natural World (4), Examining Self and Society (4), Exploring Values and Worldviews (4), Interpreting Text (4), and Quantitative Reasoning (4). 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.
    • Admitted students who complete the Direct Transfer Associate degree (DTA) from an accredited Washington state community college, the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree (AAOT) from an accredited Oregon community college, or the Associate of Arts-Transfer/Associate of Science-Transfer from an accredited California community college before matriculation at PLU will be granted junior standing and will have satisfied all General Education Program elements except for four semester hours in The Academic Study of Religion (RL); four semester hours in Global Engagement (GE); and the one to four semester hour Culminating Experience (SR).
    • Students admitted to PLU as a transfer student with no more than 15 quarter hours remaining to the completion of an Associate of Arts DTA (AA-DTA) at a Washington State Community or Technical College (CTC) upon their start at PLU may qualify for reverse transfer benefit. This process will allow students to complete their remaining AA-DTA requirements with appropriate PLU coursework within one academic year from their first term at PLU. Interested students initiate this process within the first term of enrollment. Successful completion of the Reverse Transfer process will award the student the same benefits as completing the AA-DTA prior to enrollment at PLU.
    • 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 and Commencement

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:

Graduation Application Deadlines

Degree Completion Term Application Deadlines
December 2023 October 2, 2023
January 2024 December 1, 2023
May 2024 March 1, 2024
August 2024 June 3, 2024

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 recognized at Spring commencement. Students must have completed their degree the previous August, December or January Term or be enrolled in their final classes in the Spring Semester to participate. (The exception to this is that students in programs with eight semesters of coursework followed by student teaching may participate so long as all requirements have been satisfied other than student teaching and concurrent seminar.) Students intending to complete their degree the August following the Spring ceremony may petition the Office of the Provost to participate in the Spring ceremony. Participation in a commencement ceremony and/or inclusion of a student’s name in the commencement bulletin does not indicate that a degree will be awarded. All degree requirements must be successfully completed by the term deadline for a degree to be awarded. The actual term of degree completion recorded is the graduation date on the permanent records.

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 32 semester hours at PLU to be eligible for graduation honors. Study Away courses at a PLU-approved program count toward the 32-hour minimum, but do not count toward 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 world 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 & Criminal Justice) Phi Alpha (Social Work)
Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre) Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting) Pi Kappa Delta (Forensics)
Beta Gamma Sigma (Business) Phi Kappa Phi (University-Wide)
Chi Alpha Sigma (Athletics) Psi Chi (Psychology)
Iota Iota Iota (Triota) (Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies) Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Lambda Pi Eta (Communication) Sigma Theta Tau International (Nursing)
Mu Phi Epsilon (Music) Theta Alpha Kappa (Religious Studies and Theology)
Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)

Registration Process

Pacific Lutheran University’s registration process begins with the idea that all students have opportunity to register for classes in an orderly manner. Advising and Registration are intertwined at PLU and students are encouraged to meet with their advisor early in the registration process to determine the number, level and distribution of courses that meet major/minor and general education elements towards a degree. As with most institutions, fairness is the governing principle—balancing seniority with access to courses for all students. Seniority is the ruling principle of registration (students register in descending order starting with graduate students, then undergraduate students with senior-level hours, juniors, etc.). Students’ registration “windows” open at their specific time and remain open until the close of registration (normally the end of the current term).

Registration for January Term and Spring Semester is divided into multiple periods: the first week for currently enrolled seniors and juniors; the second week for currently enrolled sophomores and first-year students. Incoming students will be registered as designated by Academic Advising after the currently enrolled student registration period. Registration for Summer and Fall Semester is divided into multiple periods: the first week for currently enrolled seniors and juniors; the second week for currently enrolled sophomores and first-year students. Incoming students will be registered as designated by Academic Advising after the currently enrolled student registration period. The non-seniority exceptions to registration include:

    • International Honors Program students: These students’ registration windows open at the beginning of their class-level cohort.
    • Students with documented disabilities requiring early registration, as determined by the director of disability support services: These students’ registration windows open on the first day of registration if it is a needs-based accommodation for their disability.
    • Study Away students enrolled in a semester-long Study Away program affiliated with the Wang Center: These students’ registration windows open at the beginning of their class-level cohort.
    • Military Veterans using federal benefits as designated by a certifying official: These students’ registration windows open at the beginning of their class-level cohort.
    • International students completing a Study Away from their home university at PLU and intending to transfer credits back: These students’ registration window opens at the beginning of the sophomore-level cohort.

Any changes to the order of registration is decided upon and approved by the faculty. 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 their academic advisor, the Academic Advising Office, or the Office of the Registrar 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 non-attendance 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/withdraw periods for those terms. Registration changes may result in additional tuition charges and fees and may also affect the student’s financial aid (if applicable). A $105 late registration fee is charged for any adding registration changes after the printed deadline dates.

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 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 $105 late registration fee is assessed. The Course Withdrawal form may be found online, filled in, instructor signature obtained, and returned to the Office of the Registrar by the appropriate dates that impact fee assessment.

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. 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.

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 dean of students. 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 dean of students at 253.535.7159 or srr@plu.edu.