Academic Information and Policies (alphabetical)
Academic Credit Hour Definition
The primary role of the credit hour is to provide a reasonable and prudent proxy standard student engagement and learning.
A semester credit hour is defined as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester of credit; or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities of instructional delivery and design modes including asynchronous delivery, hybrid delivery, laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
A unit of undergraduate academic credit is awarded to a student upon the successful completion of an approved instructional course, or by the demonstration of competency, demonstration of proficiency, or fulfillment of learning outcomes that is the equivalent to that provided by an approved instructional course.
For asynchronous and hybrid delivery methodologies, one unit of undergraduate academic credit shall be determined by:
- demonstration of competency, demonstration of proficiency, or fulfillment of learning outcomes as judged by the appropriate faculty to be equivalent to a traditionally defined unit of undergraduate credit, or
- what is judged by the appropriate faculty to be equivalent to a time commitment of three hours per week for an average student.
Procedures for student grievances (e.g., concerns over grades, grading policies, grading practice, course design) are delineated in the CU Student Handbook. These procedures are designed to provide a mechanism by which students can seek to express concerns, disagreements, or complaints about a faculty member, and seek redress of perceived injustice, harassment, discrimination, or inequity. Students are encouraged to start by discussing concerns face-to-face with the faculty member in an attempt to resolve issues. Students should also consider discussing concerns with their academic advisor or a professional staff person in Student Services. This will provide an opportunity to review the appropriate university policies and practices related to the student’s concern.
In order to remain academically eligible for enrollment, and in good academic standing, an undergraduate student must maintain a minimum cumulative and term grade point average (GPA) of 2.00. Students failing to achieve the minimum term and/or cumulative GPA at the end of each semester, including summer, are automatically placed on Academic Probation or Dismissal. (See Academic Probation and Dismissal)
Good Academic Standing
An undergraduate student is in good standing when their term GPA and cumulative GPA are 2.0 or above.
Academic Probation and Dismissal for Undergraduate Students
A student is placed on academic probation when their term GPA drops below a 2.0 in any semester. Eligibility to participate in co-curricular activities while on probation will be determined by the student’s advisors in consultation with the co-curricular activity liaison.
A student is academically dismissed when their term GPA drops below a 2.0 for two consecutive semesters or if they are on academic probation and their term GPA drops below a 2.0.
If the students cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0, and their term GPA is above a 2.0, the student will remain on academic probation until their cumulative GPA is above a 2.0.
All students have the right to appeal an academic dismissal. (See Academic Dismissal Appeal Process). If a student appeals their academic dismissal and is granted re-entry to the university they will be placed on academic probation and must earn a minimum term GPA of 2.0 or higher in the first term of re-admittance. If the student fails to earn a minimum term GPA of 2.0 in their first term of re-admittance they will be dismissed from the university. If a student is readmitted, they will be placed on academic probation, and remain on probation, until they obtain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Should the students term GPA drop below the minimum of 2.0 while on academic probation the student will be dismissed from the university.
All readmitted students can take a maximum of 12 semester credits during the first term of re-admittance. In addition, during their probation semester, readmitted students will be required to adhere to the conditions of re-admittance as defined by the Scholastic Standards Committee.
Academic Dismissal Appeal Process
All students have the right to appeal academic dismissal through the Scholastic Standards Committee. Instructions on how to petition will be communicated to all dismissed students, but may also be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses
All deadlines for course changes are published on the online academic calendar (http://www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/academic-calendar). If appropriate actions are not taken by the student before the withdraw deadline, the student will be responsible for the graded outcome based on their performance in the course. The student will be responsible for any balance that results from a withdrawal calculation, if applicable.
Concordia University recognizes AP credit. The Registrar’s office evaluates these for transfer purposes.
Students desiring to take a course as an audit rather than for credit can indicate their intention to do so during the registration period by filling out a form for this purpose. Policies regarding the addition or dropping of a credited course also apply to audited courses. Students who are not regularly admitted will be charged at a lower rate for auditing courses. No class may be changed to an audit after the end of the second week of classes in that particular semester.
Students who have not attended any of their scheduled courses by the second Friday of the term may be automatically dropped from all courses in that term. Please note: it is otherwise the student’s responsibility to drop or withdraw from any course.
Failure to make satisfactory payment arrangements may also result in an administrative drop or withdraw from courses.
Policies governing absences and tardiness are determined by individual instructors and are announced at the beginning of the course or in the course syllabus.
Students that have not attended any of their registered classes for the semester will be administratively dropped from all coursework after the second week of the full term.
Students will be classified for official purposes into classes according to the following guidelines:
- Students who have earned 29.9 or fewer hours in courses numbered 100 or above are classified as Freshmen
- Students who have earned 30 to 59.9 hours in courses numbered 100 or above are classified as Sophomores
- Students who have earned 60 to 89.9 hours in courses numbered 100 or above are classified as Juniors
- Students who have earned 90 or more hours in courses numbered 100 or above are classified as Seniors
Note: School of Law ranks students. Please reference School of Law Handbook for additional information.
Eligibility of students that are on academic probation who wish to participate in co-curricular activities such as student government, music, athletics or drama will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor and activity director, unless the activity has special eligibility requirements. In addition, if the student is subsequently dismissed and readmitted, the student is not eligible to participate in the co-curricular activities until they are back on good academic standing.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Concordia University grants credit for CLEP. Information regarding minimum score requirements, maximum credits, and approved exams are available in the Registrar's Office.
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- For the latest computer guidelines, please visit http://kb.cu-portland.edu/Computing+Standards.
Completion of B.A. and B.S. Freshman English Sequence
Students in B.A. and B.S. programs are required to complete the Freshman English sequence or its equivalent before registering for 300- or 400-level courses. Bachelor’s degree transfer students who have not yet completed these requirements will be allowed to enroll in upper-division courses while concurrently enrolled in the appropriate Freshman English courses.
Matriculating students at Concordia University who wish to take concurrent coursework at another institution, to be applied toward graduation at Concordia University, should consult with their advisor, financial aid staff, and the Registrar before enrolling in such courses. If students do not receive such approval, these courses may not apply to graduation requirements.
Course In-Progress Grade
A number of courses at Concordia by design extend beyond one semester (e.g. internships, practica, and research). At the end of the first semester, the instructor will grant a grade of Course In Progress (CIP). The CIP can be used for up to six months, with a final grade granted at the end of that time. Please note: CIP graded courses are not considered toward student enrollment for subsequent terms.
Course Numbering System
The course numbering system describes the level of experience and difficulty of each course. Course numbers 100 to 299 are considered lower division courses, generally geared towards freshmen and sophomores. Courses numbered 300 to 499 are upper division courses, and designed for juniors and seniors pursuing a major and its supporting courses. While some 300 and 400 level courses may not list any prerequisites, advisors work with students to ensure enrollment in courses in a sequence that enables greatest success.
Graduate courses carry a 500, 600, or 700 number, this includes Law and Doctoral courses. Courses in the 800 sequence are awarded limited graduate seminar credit, and are designed to meet professional development needs. Continuing Education courses, awarded CEUs only, will carry the CEU prefix.
Courses that have an “E” (e.g., BA 399E) are experimental courses.
Courses that have an “H” (e.g. WR 121H) are honors courses.
Credit by Exam
Students may receive credit for course work they have not taken by passing an examination in the subject area devised by the appropriate department. Individual departments may choose to offer, or refuse to offer, the opportunity to allow students to gain credit in this manner e.g. student has already completed coursework at a higher level. Applications for credit by exam can be obtained in the Registrar’s Office.
Undergraduate students who attain a grade point average of 3.50, with a minimum of 12 graded credits (Quality Hours Attempted) for a semester, are placed on the Dean’s list and receive notification on their transcript.
If a student, through no fault of their own, should be unable to complete a specific program or institutional requirement, they may petition to utilize the directed study as a “last option.” Guidelines and petitions for a directed study may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. A flat fee of $300 will be assessed to any directed study course. This course fee will be in addition to any fee assessed for the credit hours enrolled.
Double Major, Double Concentration, Double Minor
Students must complete all of the requirements for each major, concentration, or minor in order to receive two majors, concentrations, or minors. Students desiring a double major, concentration, or minor may do so if a minimum of 50% of the required hours for each major, concentration or minor are unique. If additional courses are required to complete 50% of a major, concentration, or minor, the department chair may inform the Registrar about which courses will be added to meet the requirement. Courses used for the major, minor and/or concentration cannot be used to fulfill the general education requirements.
For standard terms, levels of enrollment for undergraduate degree programs are:
- Full Time: 12 or more credits
- Three Quarter Time: 9-11.99 credits
- Half Time: 6-8.99 credits
- Less than half time: Less than 6 credits
Grades and Quality Points
Academic work is evaluated each semester according to the following scale (grades are never rounded, only truncated):
|Grade||Quality Points/Semester Points|
|AU - Audit||None|
|CIP - Course In Progress*||None|
|I_ - Incomplete*||None|
|N - No Count||None|
|NP - No Pass*||None|
|P - Pass*||None|
|RD - Registrar Delay||None|
|W - Withdraw||None|
|X - No Basis For Grade||None|
* See appropriate sub-section for more information.
Transcript vs. Diploma
It is important to recognize that a "transcript" and a "diploma" are two separate, but interrelated, documents:
- Transcript: The university's documentation of the student's academic performance. It will list, among other things, classes taken, grades, credit hours, major(s), and minor(s). Most importantly, it will note the date on which the student's degree was awarded. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the transcript is up to date and accurate before using it for any important purposes. Unofficial transcripts may be accessed through the student's MyCU account. Official copies may be ordered at: http://www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/transcripts-and-diplomas
- Diploma: A ceremonial document the student receives in the mail 8-10 weeks after the date a degree has been awarded (which may be different than the date of Commencement - see Graduation vs. Commencement below). If there is an error on the printed diploma, the student may contact Concordia's Office of the Registrar, follow their instructions for updating the incorrect information, and then order a replacement diploma. Visit http://www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/transcripts-and-diplomas for ordering instructions and fees.
Graduation vs. Commencement
It is important to recognize that "graduation" and "commencement" are two separate, but interrelated, events:
- Graduation: Verification by the Registrar that all degree requirements have been met. This may occur in conjunction with or some time following the commencement ceremony in which the student participates. Official documentation of graduation is an official transcript bearing the words "Degree Awarded <degree> <date awarded>". Once a degree has been awarded, it becomes a permanent record and cannot be adjusted in any way for any reason.
- Commencement: A formal ceremony celebrating the achievements of those graduating with academic degrees. The diploma received following commencement is a ceremonial document only. It is not, and cannot be used as, proof of a degree. Participation in the commencement ceremony is NOT proof of graduation (See 1. Graduation above).
Any bachelor’s degree at Concordia carries the following requirements for program completion. Note that some programs have additional requirements. Refer to the specific program information for those additions.
- A minimum of 124 semester hours of 100-level or above courses*
- At least 30 of the 45 final hours (excluding credit given by exam) must be completed at Concordia
- At least 50% of the credits required for a major, minor and concentration must be completed at Concordia
- At least 45 hours must be earned in 300 to 400 level courses
- At least a 2.0 cumulative GPA must be earned*
- No more than 20 credit hours can be earned from non-mandatory Pass/No Pass courses
- No grade below a “C” will be accepted in a course that counts toward completion of a major or minor. Students who receive a “C-”or lower in a major or minor course must retake the course and earn a “C” or higher for the course to count toward completion of a major or minor.
- No grade below a “D” will be accepted in a course that counts toward completion of a general education requirement. Students who receive a “D-" or lower in a general education course must retake the course and earn a “D” or higher for the course to count toward completion of a general education requirement.
- Completion of an Application for Graduation (see above)
While 124 earned hours and 2.0 GPA are minimums to receive a bachelor’s degree, some majors carry different requirements. Refer to major requirements for specific details and to identify exceptions.
An Application for Graduation (http://www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/commencement/applying-graduation) must be turned in to the Registrar’s Office no less than two semesters before the student wishes to graduate. The application 1) alerts the Registrar's Office to review the student's academic history to ensure that all degree requirements have been met, and 2) allows the student to declare candidacy for participation in commencement.
A graduation fee will be applied to the student's account once the graduation application is processed.
The last day to declare candidacy for participation in commencement:
- Spring term (April) – November 1 of the prior year
- Fall term (December) – April 1
Note: Participation in commencement is not the same as graduation. A student may graduate and not participate in the commencement ceremony. However, a student, with three or fewer credits remaining in their degree program, may participate in the commencement ceremony prior to graduating. Such a student will not officially graduate until all degree requirements are met and the Office of the Registrar has reviewed the student's academic history to verify that fact. It is the student's responsibility to see that all graduation requirements are completed, which were outstanding at the time of commencement, in order to officially graduate.
Undergraduate honors are awarded based on the student’s college-level academic work at Concordia and on that earned within ten years prior to the student’s admission to Concordia. Diplomas are granted with three grades of distinction as follows:
- Summa Cum Laude to students with a 3.90-4.0 cumulative grade point average
- Magna Cum Laude to students with a 3.70-3.89 cumulative grade point average
- Cum Laude to students with a 3.50-3.69 cumulative grade point average
The honors level acknowledged in the commencement ceremony may be adjusted on the student's final transcript if warranted by additional graded degree requirements.
Note, this differs from graduating from the Honors Program. See the Honors Program section for more information.
Inclement Weather Policy
Because the student’s safety is of primary importance to the university, all students must determine their ability to travel to classes when conditions are hazardous. If a student feels it is not safe to travel to classes, they should contact instructors at the earliest possible time.
In instances of inclement weather, the decision to cancel classes will be determined by the Provost and be broadcast on local radio/TV stations as well as posted on the Concordia University web site. Please refer to the student handbook for a listing of local radio/TV stations that carry this information.
Students are expected to complete all of the work for a course within the allotted time, generally one semester. However, there may occasionally be extenuating circumstances which prevent a student from completing a course. In those cases, the following process will be utilized:
- The student will initiate a meeting with the instructor to explain the extenuating circumstances. The student will submit a “Grade Incomplete Form” to the instructor and also share a plan with timeline for how they intend to complete work still required.
- The instructor will use professional discretion to determine whether a grade of “I” should be awarded. *If the instructor is a part-time faculty member, permission to assign a grade of Incomplete cannot be given without the additional approval of the department chairperson and signed by the department chairperson on the Grade Incomplete Form.”
- At the time a grade of “I” is assigned, a back-up grade is provided by the instructor which reflects that grade the student will receive if the additional work is not completed.
- When the student completes the work, the instructor submits a “Grade Change” form to the Registrar’s Office.
- The grade of “I” is granted for a period of up to 15 weeks. If a Grade Change form is not received, grades of “I” will be converted to the backup grade at the end of the 15 weeks.
The independent study is designed for students to formulate unique and challenging courses of study which are not already offered at Concordia. Guidelines and petitions for independent studies are available in the Registrar’s Office. A flat fee of $300 will be assessed to any independent study course. This course fee will be in addition to any tuition fee assessed for the credit hours enrolled.
Majors, Minors, Concentrations, and Certificates
A major represents a degree-seeking student's primary field of study. A major is a structured plan of study requiring a minimum of 45 semester credits and it must be feasible for students to complete degree requirements within 124 semester hours. The major appears on the official transcript and the diploma. Specific requirements are defined in the Academic Catalog under each major. Courses applied to the major cannot also be applied to a minor. To successfully complete a major course the grade earned must be a C or higher. The individual colleges may require a GPA minimum for a student to graduate with any given major. No more than 50% of credits may be awarded through transfer credit. Credits used to complete the general education requirements cannot duplicate credits used to fulfill the major requirements. No more than 50% of credits may overlap between any two majors, two concentrations, two minors or a combination of minors and concentrations.
A minor represents an optional, secondary field of study for a degree-seeking student at the undergraduate level only; no student may declare a major and a minor in the same discipline. A minor is a structured plan of study, established and approved by the college through the formal curricular process, requiring a minimum of 15 semester credits. Specific requirements are defined in the Academic Catalog. To successfully complete a minor course the grade earned must be a C or higher. The minor appears on the official transcript, but is not printed on the diploma. No more than 50% of credits may be awarded through transfer credit. No more than 50% of credits may overlap between any two majors, two concentrations, two minors or a combination of minors and concentrations.
A concentration is a structured plan of study within a major and is required for the completion of the major. The minimum number of semester credits for a concentration is nine at the undergraduate level and is included within the semester credits for the major. The concentration appears on the official transcript, but is not printed on the diploma. Specific requirements are defined in the Academic Catalog. To successfully complete a concentration course, the grade earned must be a C or higher. No more than 50% of credits may overlap between any two majors, two concentrations, two minors or a combination of minors and concentrations.
An undergraduate certificate is a structural set of professionally orientated course designed to provide recognition that the student has completed coursework in an applied area of focus. A minimum of 16 semester credits are needed for an undergraduate-level certificate. Specific requirements are defined in the Academic Catalog. To successfully complete a certificate course the grade earned must be a B- or higher. No more than three credits are eligible for transfer, please see specific transfer policies for each certificate.
CU offers one undergraduate certificate that has been developed for students that already have a bachelor's degree: The Seminary Preparation Certificate. Specific course requirements and graduation requirements are defined in the Academic Catalog. A minimum of 16 semester credits are needed for any undergraduate certificate. All undergraduate certificates must be earned after earning a bachelor's degree or in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree at Concordia University. To successfully complete a certificate course the grade earned must be a C or higher. No more than 50% of credits may be awarded through transfer credit.
Concordia University recognizes that many service personnel have taken specialized training during their military careers in addition to their regular duty work. In some cases, specialized military training can translate into college credit and thus contribute toward degree completion. Concordia will transfer a maximum of 45 credits from military transcripts. Concordia will transfer a maximum of 45 credits combined between military and CLEP.
Students may elect to earn an additional hour of credit in a course for which they are currently registered by completing additional work outlined by the instructor. An option hour agreement needs to be filled out and approved by the instructor and department chair and returned to the Registrar’s Office by the second Friday of the semester in which the student intends to pursue the study.
All papers turned in as class assignments are required to be word processed unless otherwise approved by the instructor. Some departments abide by rules that govern the proper format (e.g., MLA, APA) for work submitted within their disciplines. Students may inquire of instructors regarding the applicability of professional formats to assigned work.
Pass/No Pass Policy
Bachelor’s-level courses at Concordia may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis (“Pass” meaning the award of a C- or better in the course), provided the student meets with their advisor, fills out the necessary form, receives the signatures of the instructor and submits the Pass/No Pass form to the Registrar’s Office no later than the ninth Friday of the semester. Courses in the major, minor or area of concentration cannot be taken Pass/No Pass. Honors courses may not be taken with a Pass/No Pass option. Courses used to fulfill Writing, Humanities, and REL 401 General Education requirements may not be taken Pass/No Pass (with the exception of Humanities seminars).
No more than six semester hours per term, exclusive of those designated as mandatory Pass/No Pass, may be taken in Pass/No Pass courses. Courses successfully completed as Pass/No Pass count toward graduation, but are not used in computing a student’s GPA. Once the request is submitted, a student may not change a “P” or “NP” to a grade. A maximum of 20 hours exclusive of those designated as mandatory Pass/No Pass may be taken as Pass/No Pass courses.
Placement of Students in Math Classes
Entering students who have not completed their Concordia general education mathematics requirement must take Concordia’s Math Placement Evaluation, administered by the Math/Science Department. It is highly recommended that transfer students who have only completed 100-level mathematics courses at a community college take the Math Placement Evaluation for proper placement in math courses. Students can take the math placement evaluation only one time. If a student chooses to dispute their evaluation results, they may request a supervised re-take of the evaluation which will be administered by the Math and Sciences department. Students will be placed in Math courses at Concordia based on the Math and Sciences department’s assessment of their transcripts and Placement Evaluation results.
Students who leave Concordia University in good academic standing may resume their studies in the following way:
- Students who wish to return within one academic year (three terms) may contact the advising office to re-enroll and continue their previous academic roadmap.
- Students who have been absent for one academic year (three terms) or more must complete the online application for admission, and will be subject to any changes in admission requirements, program requirements, and tuition increases. Institutional scholarships, Concordia Grants, and Concordia Merit Awards at the time of initial admission are subject to change upon readmission.
All students must submit official transcripts for any coursework taken at other institutions during their absence. All students will be notified electronically or in writing of their readmission status.
Students who have been academically dismissed from the University and wish to resume their education should obtain instructions by contacting the Scholastic Standards Committee at: email@example.com. If a student is readmitted, they will be placed on academic probation until they meet minimum GPA requirements for their program. All readmitted undergraduate students can take a maximum of 12 credits during the first term of re-admittance.
All previous course work at Concordia University remains part of the permanent record for students who have been readmitted, and the cumulative GPA includes all prior grades.
Repeating a Course
A student may repeat any course. A course taken at Concordia University-Portland must be repeated at Concordia University-Portland if it is intended to replace an earlier grade. When a course is repeated, only the grade and credit hours for the last attempt will be used in computing the grade point average, quality points, and credit. However, all attempts and grades will be recorded on the transcript.
Previously passed courses are only eligible for financial aid for one repeat. This is regardless of requirements for a higher grade for the major. Students should contact their financial aid counselor if there are questions related to this issue. If ineligible for financial aid, the student will be responsible for the balance.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students who have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university may earn a second bachelor’s degree. Students cannot major in a discipline if they’ve earned a major or minor in the same or substantially similar discipline from a prior institution. A previous bachelor’s degree fulfills all general education requirements with the exception of REL 401, and any prerequisite requirements that exist for the chosen major. If REL 401 were successfully completed at CU previously then it does not need to be repeated. A candidate for a second baccalaureate degree must also complete the following:
- A minimum of 30 credits must be earned at CU subsequent to the granting of the first degree.
- Unless the course is designated as a Pass/No Pass grade option only, all course credit earned toward the second degree must be a standard A-F letter grade.
- A minimum cumulative CU GPA of 2.00 is required in courses taken for the second bachelor's degree, some majors may require a higher GPA.
- The student must satisfactorily complete all major, minor, or other college requirements for the second degree. This includes minors or concentrations that could be required based on the chosen major. Please see the corresponding program page in the catalog for a list of requirements.
- Students completing a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible for University honors.
- All upper division major courses must be completed at CU.
Each department can offer a lower division and upper division seminar course each semester. These courses usually are on a current topic of interest for those pursuing a particular major. The specific designation given to seminars usually is 251/451 (e.g., BIO 451) or 288/488 (e.g., REL 288), although the course number varies in some departments. Seminars are offered pass/no pass only, with the “P” being equivalent to a letter grade of “C-” or higher. Honor seminars are offered as letter grade only. Students can receive no more than four credits per term in seminar courses. A maximum of nine seminar credits can be applied toward the 124 credits required of undergraduates, with a maximum of two seminar credits used to meet any category of General Education requirements.