Academic Responsibilities for Students
Additional policies are listed in the ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS and UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC AND REGISTRATION POLICIES sections of this catalog.
Academic Responsibilities for Students
It is the responsibility of each student to be aware of and to meet the requirements for graduation, and to adhere to all deadlines, rules, and regulations published in this catalog and the student handbook. While academic advisors and college officials assist students in interpreting policies and requirements and making plans, the final responsibility for meeting requirements and adhering to policies belongs to each student.
Students may gain access to their academic records anytime through BoxerOnline. Students should monitor this information often, and consult with their faculty academic advisors, the Advising Center and the Registrar regarding their plans and progress toward program completion. Students should monitor their course schedules each semester, especially during the first week of classes, to be sure that they are registered for the correct/intended courses and sections.
Academic Conduct Policies and Procedures
Honesty and integrity are expected of all students in class participation, examinations, assignments and other academic work. Academic dishonesty (misconduct) is a violation of the Pacific University Code of Academic Conduct and is punished according to university and college policies. Students are responsible for understanding and complying with the policies listed within individual program sections, student handbooks, course syllabi, and policy manuals. Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and Policy of Academic Integrity; direct questions to the Dean of the College of Arts &Sciences at 503-352-2779 or Berglund Hall, 207.
Academic Misconduct Procedures
For undergraduate students, faculty members follow the following procedures when they believe that an instance of academic misconduct has occurred. The timelines outlined herein are adhered to unless there are compelling extenuating circumstances that would require an extension.
- The faculty member will review the evidence to ensure that there is a preponderance of evidence supporting a charge of academic misconduct. Faculty members involved are strongly encouraged to consult with the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences to help determine what course of action to pursue. They may also consult with colleagues while ensuring the anonymity of the student(s) involved.
- If the faculty member is fairly certain that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she must initiate action within five school days of discovery. The faculty member will meet with the student(s) involved as soon as possible to discuss the situation. When a faculty member believes that a student has violated the academic honesty code during the final examination period and cannot discuss the issue with the student in question (because he or she has left campus for the holiday or summer), the faculty member will assign the student an “L” grade to show that the actual grade will be turned in late.
- If after meeting with the student(s) the faculty member believes academic misconduct occurred, the faculty member will complete and hand-deliver an academic misconduct report form to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences within five school days. This form is available on the Arts and Sciences faculty resources web page (http://www.pacificu.edu/asfaculty/forms/forms.html) or through the office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. It will contain a brief report of the incident, the sanction to be imposed, and a catalog of any supporting documentation related to the incident. The faculty member will collect all available evidence until after the appeals period in order to provide photocopies to the Associate Dean if needed.
- The Dean will send to the student(s) written notification of the determination of academic misconduct and the sanction imposed within five school days. This notice also will inform the student(s) of his or her rights to appeal the decision and of the right to examine the evidence in the case.
Student Appeals Process
- The student may appeal the decision of the faculty member by submitting a request in writing to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences within five school days of receiving his or her notification.
- After reviewing the evidence and consulting with the student(s), the Dean will determine whether or not academic misconduct occurred and, if so, will impose a sanction commensurate with the nature of the offense. Normally, the sanction proposed by the faculty member is upheld, if it is in line with University policy and no new evidence has come to light.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Dean to the Academic Standards Committee by submitting a request in writing to the Dean within five school days of receiving his or her notification. The representative of the Dean’s Office will not attend the hearing of the appeal. If the committee finds against the student, it normally will uphold the sanction proposed by the faculty member, if it is in line with University policy and no new evidence has come to light.
Procedure for Initiating College-level Action
- After a case of academic misconduct has occurred, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences will send a warning to the student alerting him or her that a second case may result in suspension or dismissal from the college.
- After a second case of academic misconduct, the Dean will bring the case to the Academic Standards Committee, which will consider whether to impose college-level action (suspension or dismissal) because of the multiple nature of the offense.
- The Dean may request that the Academic Standards Committee consider college-level action for a single case of misconduct, if this is warranted.
All requests for appeals of rulings by college academic standards committees shall be submitted in writing through the Provost to the University Standards and Appeals Board within ten (10) University working days after the ruling is received by the student.
Appeals must be explicitly justified for at least one of the following reasons:
- Evidence of substantial, material error in procedure by the College Academic Standards Committee. The error must be of sufficient gravity to constitute: (1) a total departure from procedure, or (2) a defect that prevented the giving or receiving of necessary and relevant information, or (3) a lack of neutrality on the part of the hearing authority.
- New evidence that is (1) unavailable at the time of the original hearing and (2) that is sufficient to alter the decision. Both of these conditions must be met to invoke this basis for appeal.
- Evidence that the sanction(s) imposed was disproportionate to the severity of the violation, or that a sanction is unnecessarily extreme in light of the standard being upheld. The appellant bears the burden of demonstrating the disproportionate relationship between the sanction and the offense committed. A description of the impact of the sanction upon his/her personal circumstance without anything more is insufficient as a basis for an appeal.
Catalog Year and Graduation Requirements
Students must meet the requirements for the Core and majors and minors from the catalog from their year of original matriculation or a subsequent year. Transfer students may select a catalog published the year prior to their matriculation, and students in the BA.Transition program may select a catalog published the year prior to their full admission into the undergraduate program, but no other student may select a prior catalog.
Students should consult with department chairs for advice if the catalog requirements for their declared majors or minors have changed.
If more than ten years has elapsed since a student’s original matriculation, the original date of matriculation is replaced by the date of re-entry in the implementation of this policy.
The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission sets requirements for prospective teachers. Students expecting to teach must satisfy those rules in effect at the time of graduation.
Freshman: 0-29 semester credits completed
Sophomore: 30-59 semester credits completed
Junior: 60-89 semester credits completed
Senior: 90+ semester credits completed
Faculty academic advisors and the Academic and Career Advising Center work closely with each student to develop a sequence of courses that meets individual needs and program requirements. The Director of Academic and Careeer Advising assigns faculty advisors to students upon admission and deposit. After a major has been declared through the Advising Center (by the end of the sophomore year), an advisor in that major area must be selected. Students may not register for classes until they have consulted with their advisors, and successful students generally have frequent contact with their faculty advisors and the Advising Center. Any concerns and questions about policies and procedures regarding the academic advising program should be taken to the Director of Academic and Career Advising.
Students are responsible for monitoring and maintaining their own academic progress. They are expected to monitor their academic records (through the Academic Program Evaluation form, BoxerOnline, and transcripts) to identify questions/concerns and ensure the records’ accuracy. Students are responsible for knowing and understanding the academic programs and policies of Pacific University, for making academic decisions that are guided by the academic policies of Pacific University, for selecting advisors within their majors, for establishing meetings with their advisors and the Academic and Career Advising Center, and for establishing a relationship with secondary advisors as needed. For more information, see the Academic and Career Advising Center web page and the Academic and Career Advising Handbook.
Students are responsible for attending classes, participating, and completing assignments. It is expected that students will attend all course meetings and course-affiliated events. Faculty members include their attendance policies on their syllabi and may lower students’ grades for poor attendance or participation. They also may drop or withdraw students from classes due to non-attendance and/or lack of participation. Students are encouraged to inform their instructors of absence in advance. Assignment or acceptance of make-up work is at the discretion of instructors.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory academic progress is defined by:
- A cumulative GPA at Pacific University of at least 2.0
- A GPA of at least 2.0 in the previous semester
- 12 credits of coursework credited toward graduation in the previous semester
Academic progress is reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee at the conclusion of each semester. Students who have not met all standards for satisfactory academic progress in the immediate past semester may be placed on Warning or Probation status, or suspended for one academic year. Financial Aid awarding and athletic eligibility may be affected negatively by a lack of satisfactory academic progress.
The first time a full-time student does not meet each of the above three standards s/he typically is placed on academic Warning for the subsequent semester. Students on Warning should meet with their faculty advisors, and a member of the Academic and Career Advising Center staff, for help getting back on track.
Students who have been on Warning and who fail to meet one or more of the three standards in any subsequent semester (or who have a single, egregiously poor semester record) may be put on academic Probation.
Students on academic probation are not in good academic standing and are ineligible to participate in university-sponsored activities, such as intercollegiate athletics, forensics, club sports, student media and other activities as the Dean or Director of Academic and Career Advising may direct. Academic Probation typically lasts one semester.
Students who have been on Warning or Probation and fail to meet one or more of the three standards in any subsequent semester (or who have a single, egregiously poor semester record) may be placed on academic suspension. Suspension typically lasts one academic year, and students are not considered to be enrolled in Pacific University.
Readmission after Suspension
After the suspension period has ended, students must apply to the Academic Standards Committee for permission to apply for readmission. To gain such permission, a student must present a reasoned and compelling argument (via a formal letter) for being allowed to return to study at Pacific; such an argument might include a record of satisfactory academic work done at another institution during the period of suspension, a record of substantial employment, and a carefully crafted plan for academic improvement. Those who are readmitted after suspension are placed on Probation (see above) for the semester of their return. If a readmitted student subsequently does not meet the university’s academic standards and becomes eligible for suspension, the student may be dismissed by the Academic Standards Committee.
The Dean’s List honors students seeking a degree who achieve a minimum semester GPA of 3.70 with 12 or more graded credits. Grades of P/N do not count as graded credits. Students on the Dean’s List receive a congratulatory letter, have their names placed on a plaque in Marsh Hall, and their hometown newspapers are notified. Each semester, only about 15-20% of our students qualify for this honor.
Graduation with Honors
Students graduating with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to 3.699 are designated Cum Laude; 3.70 to 3.909 are designated Magna Cum Laude; 3.91 to 4.00 are designated Summa Cum Laude.
All degree candidates must submit an Application for Graduation to the Registrar’s Office to graduate. A formal Commencement ceremony is held in May only; students who are within one semester (no more than 18 credits) of completing their degrees may participate in Commencement. All students intending to participate in May’s Commencement must submit the Application for Graduation by January 15, regardless of when they anticipate completing their degree requirements. The Application for Graduation may be submitted online via BoxerOnline (under Academic Profile).
In accordance with the Student Right To Know Act DCL of August, 1991, Pacific University is required to publish graduation and persistence rates of the cohort of first-time freshmen. While most students graduate in four years, the six-year graduation rate for the entering class of 2012 is 65%.
Course registration procedures are distributed each semester by the Registrar’s Office, indicating when continuing students may register for classes (see Academic Calendar). In keeping with Pacific’s philosophy regarding the student-advisor relationship, students must communicate with their advisors and review class selections prior to registration. They also are encouraged to meet with a member of the Academic and Career Advising Center for assistance in long-range planning.
New students communicate with faculty advisors during the summer advising and registration events to register for classes and must complete their initial registration no later than the fourth day of classes. Continuing students are advised in April for the summer term and fall semester and in October and November for the winter term and spring semester. Registration occurs at the end of those advising periods in October-November and April, with students registering in priority according to the number of credits earned.
Continuing students complete registration no later than the 10th day of the semester. A student is considered registered only after needed approvals from faculty advisors and instructors have been obtained and classes have been entered into the registration system. In certain cases, the University reserves the right to cancel or restrict the registration of students.
In certain circumstances, students are not allowed to register for (or attend) courses. For example:
If a student has not provided official transcripts of all prior coursework (including a final high school transcript) by the pre-registration period in the first semester attended, a Registration Hold is placed on the student record.
Business Office Hold
If a student has outstanding financial obligations to the University and has not made arrangements regarding them, a Business Office Hold is placed on the student record.
The State of Oregon requires college students born after 1956 to provide dates of two doses of measles vaccine. If a student fails to submit the required Health History and Immunization forms prior to enrollment, a Health Hold is placed on the student record.
In certain circumstances, university/college administrators (e.g. the Dean of Students) may enact a registration hold that precludes a current student from registering for a subsequent semester. The hold may be lifted after the student consults with the administrator.
If a student has outstanding sanction obligations to the University, a Conduct Hold is placed on the student record.
Adding a Course
Starting the first day of the term, the instructor’s permission, as indicated by his/her signature on the Add/Drop Form, is required to add a course. Students may add a semester-long course through the 10th day of the semester. Half-semester courses and courses offered during Winter and Summer terms have different deadlines which are posted in the online course schedule and academic calendar.
Auditors enroll in, pay for, and attend classes, but are not required to complete assignments or take examinations. No credit is received for audited courses. Students must declare the audit option before the end of the add-drop period; once the audit option has been declared, the course cannot revert back to the graded option. See the catalog section on Business Policies on Tuition and Fees for payment information.
Dropping or Withdrawing From a Course
Students may drop a semester-long course through the 10th day of the semester without having the course appear on the transcript. After this point, and through the 10th week of the semester, students may withdraw from a course and a W is posted on the transcript. Withdrawals after the 10th week normally are not permitted unless approved by the Academic Standards Committee.
Drop/Withdrawal deadlines for half-semester courses and courses offered during Winter and Summer terms are posted on the Academic Calendar.
It is the student’s responsibility to drop or withdraw formally from a course by completing the required forms and submitting them to the Registrar’s office; failure to do so may result in a failing grade in the course.
Instructors may choose to have a student dropped from a course for which s/he has pre-registered but has not attended during the first two class periods of the first academic week or the first day of a three-week term.
Instructors may drop or withdraw students from classes for poor attendance, poor participation, misconduct, or for disruptive or endangering behavior that interferes with faculty members’ obligations to set and to meet academic and behavioral standards in their classes. Due process is followed, and students may appeal such decisions to the appropriate committee or administrator. Instructors will distribute syllabi that include clear statements of policy regarding attendance, participation and withdrawing students from class. Misconduct or disruption does not apply to the content of speech or written work protected by academic freedom.
Administrative Withdrawals (AW)
Students who need to withdraw from courses during the regular withdrawal period should complete the withdrawal process through the Registrar’s Office, which is located in Marsh Hall. Students who are past the regular withdrawal period, but who need to withdraw due to health emergencies or other emergency reasons may be granted an Administrative Withdrawal by the Dean of Students’ Office. A statement from a healthcare provider or other documentation is typically required for an Administrative Withdrawal. Students are expected to initiate the Administrative Withdrawal process as soon as the need to withdraw arises, and not more than one term after the student has completed the class or classes for which they are requesting an Administrative Withdrawal. Administrative Withdrawal requests after this time period are considered only in the most extreme circumstances, and students must clearly justify the delay in initiating the process. Inquiries regarding Administrative Withdrawals should be directed to the Dean of Students Office.
Withdrawing From All Classes
Students considering withdrawing from all classes should schedule an interview with the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life, Ingrid Unterseher (firstname.lastname@example.org), to discuss options and/or initiate the formal withdrawal process. Please note that charges/fees are pro-rated upon withdrawal. See the Business Office for a refund schedule.
The University may withdraw a student if the student (a) threatens or states an intent or desire to harm another person, group of people, or the community, (b) harms or attempts to harm another person, group of people, or the community, (c) articulates a plan or plans to bring a weapon or use a weapon to harm a person, group of people, or the community, or (d) substantially impedes the activities of another member of the community. The procedure for a withdrawal is in accord with applicable federal and state law. A student may be required to undergo evaluation by a qualified health professional at the student’s own cost. Re-enrollment is at the discretion of the University in consultation with appropriate health professionals.
Leave of Absence (LOA)
While most matriculated students (those enrolled in a degree-seeking program) at Pacific University will enroll continuously and without interruption until they complete their degrees, occasionally circumstances arise that prevent this. Students may apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA) of up to one academic year. Contact the Academic and Career Advising Center at 503-352-2201.
Normal Course Credit Loads / Part-time Status / Overloads
Full-time status is defined as being registered for a minimum of 12 credits per term; it is expected that students will be registered full-time, although part-time status may be approved by the Director of Academic and Career Advising in special circumstances. Students may enroll in up to 18 credits with no additional tuition charges (although no credits are earned for audited courses, they are counted in the 18-credit course load). Typical student course loads range from 14 to 16 credits. Registration for more than 18 credits, or for fewer than 12 credits, requires the approval of the Director of Academic and Career Advising (503-352- 2800, Bates House). Half-time status is defined as being registered for 6-11 credits per term.
In Winter term, students may register for a maximum of 4 credits, through one of the combinations listed below. Overloads during Winter are not allowed.
- One 4-credit course
- One 2-credit course
- One 2-credit course and one 1-credit course (either an existing course or an Independent Study)
- Two 1-credit courses
Grades are recorded by letter, with the following point values:
||Continuing Course (temporary grade)
||Work in Progress (temporary grade)
||Incomplete (temporary grade)
||Grade will be turned in Late (temporary grade)
Grade reports are not mailed, but are available to students at the end of each grading period through BoxerOnline.
Pass / No Pass Option
In addition to courses requiring P/N grading, students may take one course each semester on a Pass/No Pass basis; such courses may not be used to fulfill core, major, minor, or teaching endorsement requirements. Students must declare the Pass/No Pass option before the end of the 10th week of the course, by completing the appropriate form in the Registrar’s Office. Once the Pass/No Pass option has been declared the course may not revert back to the graded option. Courses graded with a P earn credit points but are not included in the grade point average. The P grade is considered to be equivalent to a C or above.
An instructor may issue a grade of Incomplete (I) only when the major portion of a course has been completed satisfactorily but health or other emergency reasons prevent the student from finishing all requirements of the course. Prior to submitting an Incomplete grade, the instructor and the student complete an Incomplete Grade Contract detailing the completion and submission of all remaining work. After submission of the work, the instructor completes a Grade Change form and submits it to the Director of Academic and Career Advising for approval; the form then is processed by the Registrar.
Latest Completion/Expiration Dates:
Fall semester Incompletes: December 31 of the following year.
Winter term Incompletes: January 31 of the following year.
Spring semester and Summer term Incompletes: May 1 of the following year.
If agreed-upon work is not completed and no grade change submitted in the allotted period (and an extension has not been granted), when the Incomplete expires the grade becomes an F or N. Faculty may request an extension of an Incomplete (before the expiration date of the Incomplete) by notifying the Registrar’s office.
Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Registrar or the Director of Academic and Career Advising.
Once a course grade has been submitted to the Registrar, it is considered final and may be changed only for the following reasons: recording, posting, computational errors; to change an Incomplete or WP grade to a final letter grade; to adjust a disputed grade after the challenge process has come to a close; documented illness/emergency prevents a student from requesting and receiving an approved Incomplete Grade Contract before final grades are due. Faculty members submit Grade Change Request forms to the Registrar for approval; Grade Change forms are available in Bates House or the Registrar’s Office.
Challenging a Course Grade
A student who wishes to challenge a final course grade should first meet with the instructor of the course to present his/her questions and concerns about the grade. If this meeting does not provide adequate closure, the student may then meet with the department chairperson; the next level of appeal is to the director/Dean of the school/college in which the department resides. The decision of the director/Dean is final.
Students may view their academic records through BoxerOnline, or order printed or electronic transcripts through BoxerOnline or https://www.parchment.com/order/my-credentials/.
Courses may be counted only once towards graduation requirements. If a course taken at Pacific University is repeated at Pacific University, only the higher grade is used in computing the Pacific GPA, although both grades will appear on the transcript. If a course taken at Pacific University is retaken at another institution, the Pacific grade still is counted in the GPA.
Only liberal arts courses taken at regionally accredited baccalaureate-granting or community college institutions completed with a grade of C- or higher may receive transfer credit without special review. Other courses transcripted by a regionally accredited institution may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the head of the relevant academic department or program. 1.5 quarter credits equals 1 semester credit. The Pacific GPA includes only grades earned at Pacific University.
Transferred courses may be used to meet degree requirements and/or satisfy major or minor requirements. Academic departments determine which courses taken elsewhere may be deemed directly equivalent to courses offered at Pacific as well as which satisfy requirements for majors and minors.
Pacific does not grant transfer credit for vocational courses, basic computer skills courses, or college preparatory work. Pacific does not grant credit for life experience. Mentoring, service, internship, and practicum credits may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the head of the relevant academic department or program.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Four credits are awarded for a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) test in any field, except that 8 credits are awarded for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam. Actual placement in Pacific courses depends on the student’s preparation and is arranged through the appropriate department.
Students may earn credit for a score of 4 or 5 on an AP exam, or for community college course that was also a High School AP course, but not both.
International Baccalaureate Program (IB)
Students completing the IB Diploma with a score of 30 or higher receive several benefits, including sophomore standing. Eight semester credits also are awarded for each higher examination passed with a score of 5 or higher and four credits for standard examinations passed with 5 or higher.
Students may earn credit for the IB diploma or an IB test score of 5 or higher, or for a community college course that was also a high school IB course, but not both.
Independent Study (Learning Contract)
Students may arrange to undertake advanced and independent study in subjects not covered by regular courses through Independent Study Contracts with professors. One credit of Independent Study is equal to approximately 40 hours of contact and associated work. An independent study form must be submitted to the Director of Academic and Career Advising (503-352-2800; Bates House), complete with all prior approval signatures in place. http://www.pacificu.edu/registrar/forms/documents/IncompleteGradeContract.pdf
Students may enroll in Internships for academic credit. Internships earn one credit for each 40 hours of work, up to a maximum of 14 credits in any semester. A maximum of 17 credits of internship may be counted toward graduation. Contact the Career Development Center’s Internship Coordinator at 503-352-3126 for more information. Access program information at http://www.pacificu.edu/career/links/index.cfm.
Advantage Scholars Program
The Pacific University Advantage Program offers students rigorous preparation for careers in the health professions through a combination of coursework, advising, observational hours, experiential learning opportunities, and assistance with the application process. In addition, students in the Advantage Program may apply for an early decision for admission to Pacific’s health professions programs during their junior year. Advantage Scholars who successfully complete all program requirements will be offered one guaranteed interview with the Pacific University Graduate or Professional Program of their choice. Successful early-decision applicants will thus be able to complete their senior year with the knowledge that they have a space held for them in one of Pacific’s graduate or professional programs, provided they continue to perform well in their coursework and meet standards. For more information, contact the program coordinator at 503-352- 2845. http://www.pacificu.edu/career/pathways/advantage/
Oregon Independent Colleges Cross-Registration
Pacific University participates in the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities Cross-Registration program, in which students enrolled full-time at any OAICU college may take a maximum of one undergraduate course per term at another OAICU campus. No additional tuition is charged for the cross-registered course by either institution, with the exception of possible overload or special course fees. A student may not cross-register for a course that is offered on his/her own campus, unless scheduling conflicts prevent taking the course. Registration is permitted on a space-available basis. For more information contact the Registrar’s Office.
Pacific University offers three intensive 3-week terms through the Summer Sessions program. Summer Sessions provide an affordable option for earning additional credits or accelerating degree completion. The Summer Sessions course list is available through BoxerOnline mid-March.
Winter Term Course Loads
During Winter term, students may register for the following options:
- One 4-credit course
- One 2-credit course
- One 2-credit course and one 1-credit course (either an existing course or an Independent Study)
- Two 1-credit courses
Waivers of or Exceptions to College Academic Policies and Regulations
Students may seek waivers of or exceptions to college requirements or policies in extraordinary circumstances, upon consultation with their advisors, by petitioning the Academic Standards Committee. Information on the process may be obtained from the Director of Academic and Career Advising (503-352-2800; Bates House). Course or requirement waivers do not reduce the number of credits needed to graduate.
Waiver of Departmental Requirements and Prerequisites
Students may appeal to academic departments to waive requirements for a major or minor; the department may waive requirements if it is satisfied that the student has already achieved the knowledge expected. Similarly, prerequisites may be waived at the discretion of the instructor. Course waivers do not reduce the number of credits needed to graduate.