Aug 01, 2021  
Academic Catalog 2020-2021 
Academic Catalog 2020-2021

University Academic and Registration Policies

Academic Responsibility

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 his/her College or Program’s policy manual or student handbook. While academic advisors or 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 Boxer Online. Deans and Directors, in cooperation with the Registrar, handle matters of academic rules and regulations.

Academic Conduct

Students are responsible for understanding and complying with the policies listed in this Catalog, as well as within individual program sections, student handbooks, and policy manuals. Please see College-specific sections for more information.

Email/Electronic Communication

All students are issued a Pacific University email account. Email is a mechanism for official Pacific University communication to students, and students are expected to check email on a frequent and regular basis. All official emailed communication to students is through this account, and all emailed communication from students should be from this account. By law, the University cannot release protected information, such as financial or academic information, by email unless it is certain that it is going to the intended recipient; because the Pacific email account is issued by Pacific and is password-protected it is considered to be secure.

Catalog Year and Graduation Requirements

Students generally are governed by the catalog in effect when they enroll in a Program for the first time at Pacific University.

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.

Continuing Enrollment for Graduate Students

Graduate students in programs with a thesis or dissertation are required to maintain continuous enrollment until the thesis or dissertation is completed, unless they are on an approved Leave of Absence.  Students register for 1-9 credits of [SUBJECT] 998 (prior to candidacy) or [SUBJECT] 999 (once candidacy has been reached).  No tuition is charged for this course, although there is a fee of $1,800 per term.  Summer registration is not required unless a program’s normal curriculum includes summer.

Transfer Credit and Admission Prerequisites

For programs that accept transfer credits, Pacific University accepts coursework and credits comparable in nature, content, academic quality, and academic level to the coursework expected of the relevant Pacific degree program, according to evaluation criteria and transfer limits determined by each College, School, and/or Program.

For admission purposes, any required undergraduate or graduate coursework or previous degree must be transcripted by a regionally accredited institution, and taken after the institution reached accredited candidacy status. Work done before an institution reached candidacy status cannot fulfill prerequisites. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

For any work from a non-US or non-Canadian institution, a course evaluation (and certified English translation, if necessary) from a company such as WES or AACRAO must be submitted prior to any evaluation.

Maximum Transfer Work for Master’s Programs

No more than 1/3 of graduate level credits can be transferred from other academic institutions to count towards the total credits of any Master’s degree.  For courses that are repeated, only one set of credits counts towards the total credits transferred.

Minimum Graduate Admission Requirements

  1. Undergraduate pre-requisite coursework and/or undergraduate degrees must be from a regionally accredited academic institution, or shown to be comparable through an evaluation made by a professional educational credential evaluation organization such as AACRAO or WES
  2. Pre-requisite courses must have been completed with a grade of C or higher
  3. The cumulative GPA must have been 2.75 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), with the pre-requisite and/or last 45 credit GPA of 3.0 or higher
  4. A TOEFL (paper) score of 550 or IELTS score of 6.5, or evidence of successful completion of undergraduate credits or a degree with instruction in English

Individual graduate programs may have admission requirements that exceed these minimum requirements, and may determine exceptions to criteria for admission to those applicants who do not meet the above minimum requirements.

Maximum Timeline for Graduate Program Degree Completion

Master’s Programs:  All degree requirements must be completed within seven years unless the program stipulates a shorter time period. Timing begins on the date of matriculation into the Graduate program. Terms spent on a leave of absence are counted towards the timing limit. Students may petition based on extraordinary circumstances.

Doctoral Programs:  All degree requirements must be completed within ten years unless the program stipulates a shorter time period. Timing begins on the date of matriculation into the graduate program. Terms spent on a leave of absence are counted towards the timing limit.


Students are responsible for attending classes, participating, and completing assignments. Faculty members include their attendance policies on their syllabi and may lower students’ grades for poor attendance or participation. Students are encouraged to inform their instructors of unavoidable absence in advance. Assignment of make-up work is at the discretion of instructors.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Please see College-specific sections, and the section on University-Wide Financial Aid Information , for more information.


Degrees are conferred to students six times during the year: January, May, June, two dates in August, and September.

2020-2021 Degree conferral dates Applications due  
August 8 May 15  
August 31 May 15  
September 30 May 15  
January 31 October 15  
May 15 January 15  
June 30 January 15  

Formal university-wide commencement ceremonies are held in Forest Grove in May and August, and the MFA Program holds a ceremony in Forest Grove in June. The policies regarding commencement participation for students who have not completed degree requirements vary by program. 

In order to graduate, students must submit an Application for Graduation for each distinct degree or certificate they anticipate completing. The application is available  through BoxerOnline

Graduation Application Fee

A $100 non-refundable graduation application fee is applied to the student’s account when the Application for Graduation is submitted. The graduation application fee applies toward expenses attached to the conferring of degrees, including processing costs, diploma costs, and commencement-related expenses. Students are charged a single fee for a given degree conferral date, regardless of whether on that date they will earn a single degree, a dual degree, or multiple simultaneous degrees and certificates. No additional fee is charged if a student earns the degree(s) applied for within 12 months of the original application and on a single conferral date. 


Course registration procedures vary by Program and College. A student is considered registered only after any needed approvals from faculty advisors and instructors have been obtained and classes have been entered into the registration system. The University reserves the right to cancel or restrict the registration of students who are delinquent in meeting their financial obligations to the University.

Registration Holds

In certain circumstances, students are not allowed to register for (or attend) courses. Examples include:

  • Records Hold
    If a student has not provided official transcripts of all prior coursework by the pre-registration period in the first semester attended, a Records 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.
  • Health Hold
    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 record.
  • Administrative Hold
    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.
  • Conduct Hold
    If a student has outstanding sanction obligations to the University, a Conduct Hold is placed on the student record.

Adding a Course

Students may add a semester-long course through the 10th day of a 15-week semester. Add deadlines for courses of different lengths are posted on the 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.

Dropping or Withdrawing From a Course

Students may drop a semester-long course through the 10th day of a 15-week 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 appropriate Dean or Program Director. Drop/Withdrawal deadlines for courses of different lengths are posted on the Academic Calendar. It is the student’s responsibility to drop or withdraw from a course; failure to do so may result in a failing grade in the course.

Drop/Withdrawal deadlines for courses of different lengths are posted on the Academic Calendar.

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 will be followed, and students may appeal such decisions to the appropriate committee or administrator. Instructors distribute syllabi that include clear statements of policy regarding attendance, participation and dropping/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. 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 (; 503-352-2212), to discuss options and/or initiate the formal withdrawal process. Please note that charges/fees are pro-rated upon withdrawal (see Withdrawal/Refund policy in the University Policies on Tuition and Fees  section).

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.

Grade Reports

Grade reports are not mailed, but are available to students at the end of each grading period through BoxerOnline.


Students may view their academic records through BoxerOnline, or order official printed or electronic transcripts through BoxerOnline or Parchment

Pacific University certifies that an e-transcript (electronic transcript) issued by Parchment is an official University transcript. The acceptability of an e-transcript is determined by the receiving institution/recipient in accordance with its policies and procedures.

Electronic Transcript Acceptance

Pacific University will accept e-transcripts for transfer of credit and admission purposes if the following criteria are met:

  • The transcript is a PDF certified document that has no indication of tampering
  • The transcript is certified as official from a high school, college or university using a third party agency for the certification process
  • Approved agencies currently are limited to Credentials Solutions, Common App, Avow Systems, Docufide, National Student Clearinghouse, and Scrip-Safe. Others may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • A Pacific University official in the Registrar’s or Admission’s Offices has received the transcript directly from one of the above approved services. Pacific will not accept a forwarded transcript from an unaffiliated source unless it has been pre-approved by the Registrar.
  • Pacific University has the right to refuse an e-transcript or require additional information prior to accepting an e-transcript as official if there is question about the document’s authenticity.

Credit Hour

At Pacific, a credit hour is 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:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credits.

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); see individual program sections for more information. Students on LOA retain email access, as well as other privileges.

Sealed Transcript

Upon the conferral of a degree or upon the completion of a certificate program, that part of the student’s record is considered sealed and can be amended only to correct an inaccuracy. If an amendment takes place, a notation on the transcript must be included. Graduates wishing to take additional coursework may do so as non-matriculants, or through an additional degree program or certificate program.

In rare cases, to be determined by the Registrar in consultation with the appropriate college Dean and the Dean of Students, a student who has received a degree but wishes to pursue an additional major or concentration may be allowed to do so in the year immediately following his/her graduation. All requests must be submitted in writing to the Registrar and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Program Elimination

When the decision is made to eliminate an academic program, the program’s Director and Registrar work together to develop a plan to help ensure that matriculated students are able to complete it with minimum disruption. Current options include teaching out the existing program through completion, creating independent studies comparable to courses that would have been offered, and substituting other courses for requirements.

Policy Exceptions

Students may seek exceptions to, or waivers of, College requirements or policies in extraordinary circumstances, by following the appropriate College or Program process.