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Academic Information and Policies

Women's College
College of Adult Undergraduate College (CAUS)
Curriculum for the Baccalaureate Degree
Majors, Minors, and Certificate Programs
Repeating a Course
Honor Code
Academic Advising
Registration and Communication policies
Student status and course load
Course policies and grading
Independent study, internships, and service learning
Taking courses at other institutions
Transfer policy
Academic probation
Honor societies and Dean's list
Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

Women's College

The Women's College accommodates the needs and interests of women who can study during the day. Traditional students (ages 17 to 24 years old) and adult women 25 years and older, who may be first-time or returning college students, transfer students, residents or commuters, are offered encouragement and direction in an atmosphere that promotes individual growth and development. Although the majority of students study on a full-time basis, students have the opportunity to enroll in the Women's College program on a part-time basis as well. Women's College students can earn the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in 28 major fields of study and a variety of double major and dual degree programs.

Women's College students benefit from an all-women's academic environment, where many students thrive, excelling academically and professionally. Independent research demonstrates that students in women's colleges are more engaged in academics than their female counterparts at co-educational institutions; they are more likely to complete a degree in the sciences; and they are more likely to assume leadership positions during their careers.

For more information, call 410-532-5330 or 800-435-0200, email admiss@ndm.edu, or visit ndm.edu/womenscollege.

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College of Adult Undergraduate Studies (CAUS)

In 2011, Notre Dame launched the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies (CAUS). Utilizing the expertise in adult education developed through more than 35 years of Weekend College programming, and incorporating the flexibility and convenience of the Accelerated College, CAUS brings even more academic options to working professionals seeking personal and career growth through lifelong education.

CAUS programs are based on the reality that adults learn best in an environment that considers their needs and life responsibilities. Students will find a flexible schedule that allows them to work around other priorities such as employment and home life. With rigorous, high-quality academic programs rooted in the liberal arts, an emphasis on career advancement, extraordinary opportunities for leadership, and attention to ethical and spiritual development, CAUS students experience an education that benefits them intellectually, professionally, socially and spiritually.

CAUS encourages students to learn at their own pace, studying in a variety of formats that include both accelerated courses that run from four to eight weeks and semester-long courses. CAUS offers face-to-face as well as online options, and courses that meet evenings, Saturdays and even weekdays. With four semesters each year, and concentrated sessions in the winter and summer, students may complete as few as three credits per year or as many as 30 credits.

Students may also study in a cohort, a group of 20 to 25 students who advance through the program together and ultimately graduate together. Cohorts take one course at a time, while studying year round. This cohort structure provides an embedded support system that keeps each adult student motivated toward degree completion. Classes meet the same day and time throughout the program, as professors use a proven curriculum emphasizing experiential learning that is relevant to today's workplace issues.

CAUS offers nine majors and a variety of minors, as well as several certificate programs. Baccalaureate programs in business, education and nursing are offered through the cohort model. Students may also pursue a bachelor's degree outside the cohort model in business, computer information systems, corporate communication, criminology, education, liberal arts, religious studies and radiological sciences.

Cohorts are conveniently hosted at several locations: the main campus on Charles Street, the Northeast Maryland Higher Education Center in Harford County, the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, Arundel Mills and Arnold in Anne Arundel County, Laurel College Center in Prince George's County, College of Southern Maryland–Prince Frederick Campus and employer worksites.

For information on the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, call 410-532-5500, email caus@ndm.edu or visit CAUS online.

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Curriculum for the Baccalaureate Degree

The course of study for the baccalaureate degree is composed of three categories of courses: general education studies; the major field of study; and electives, which are chosen according to personal interest.

A student graduates under the general education requirements and major requirements that are in effect at the time of matriculation.

Degree Requirements

Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the undergraduate catalog and satisfy all published degree requirements. Failure to do so does not provide a basis for exceptions to academic requirements or policies. Students will receive assistance from advisors, but students must assume full responsibility for completing published degree requirements.

Students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits in the areas of general education studies, major requirements and electives.
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits in graded coursework at Notre Dame. This policy applies to all students, including transfer students. (To earn honors at graduation, students must complete a minimum of 60 credits in graded work at Notre Dame. This excludes all credits earned in Pass/Fail courses including internships, petitioning for credit and standardized testing.)
  • Earn the final 30 credits in coursework at Notre Dame.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all courses taken to complete the requirements of the major. Departments may designate courses within the major in which students must receive a minimum grade of C. All transfer students must complete a minimum of five courses in the major discipline at Notre Dame, regardless of the number of credits accepted in transfer.
  • Complete NDMU-100 First Year Seminar with a passing grade. This graduation requirement applies only to students who matriculate as first-time traditional age students and transfer students who enter with fewer than 12 credits.

General Education Studies

The purpose of general education studies is to provide a coherent yet broad intellectual experience of study in the liberal arts tradition. These studies inspire a free spirit of inquiry through observation, analysis and reflection proper to all intellectual work. They encourage the philosophical habit of mind as well as the practice of methodologies of the natural and social sciences; they provide an acquaintance with the historic, aesthetic and philosophic record of human achievement; and they explore the permanent and ultimate questions concerning the nature of person and knowledge, the nature of society and human institutions, and the nature of the natural world and God.

Through the study of the history of ideas, the value of human knowledge, the interrelatedness of the matters and methods of the academic disciplines, and the practice of clear communication and critical thinking, the student is led into the worlds of serious thought and scholarship.

Identification of courses approved for general education studies is an ongoing responsibility of the School of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. The catalog and online course schedules indicate the courses that fulfill general education requirements.

There is no limit on the number of courses in a student's major and/or minor that may also fulfill general education requirements, except for education and liberal arts majors.

General Education Learning Outcomes

Refinement of a personal value system: Students will demonstrate a capacity for mature ethical judgments consistent with the Christian tradition.

Integration of the arts and sciences: Students will show evidence of the ability to process and integrate learning from the arts and sciences in a variety of personal and academic endeavors.

Development of a global perspective: Students will give evidence of global, cross-cultural and gender-sensitive awareness and attitudes.

Growth in critical thinking abilities: Students will demonstrate higher level critical thinking skills through the process of gathering, selecting, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and applying information and knowledge.

Enhancement of communication skills: Students will demonstrate oral (listening and speaking), written (focusing on content, style, structure and presentation) and visual (producing and/or critiquing images) literacy.

General Education Requirements

To ensure a solid foundation of general knowledge and a broad liberal arts background, Notre Dame requires students to take approximately one-third of their coursework in general education studies as follows:

Bachelor of Arts

English Composition 3 credits
All students should have fulfilled the English composition requirement before they have completed 30 credits. A minimum grade of “C” is required.

Fine Arts 3 credits
Can be fulfilled in art, drama, film or music.

Foreign Language 3 credits
One semester of a foreign language at the appropriate level. (See classical and foreign language department section for details.) 

History 3 credits

Literature 3 credits
Can be fulfilled in English, modern or classical language literature courses.

Mathematics 3 credits

Oral Communication 3 credits
A minimum grade of “C”is required in COM-106. Communication Arts majors are required to take COM-206 Public Speaking.

Natural Science with lab 4 credits (Women's College); 3 credits (CAUS)
Can be fulfilled in biology, chemistry, environmental science or physics

Philosophy* 6 credits
One 200-level course and one 300-or 400-level course.

Physical Education** 1 credit
Can be fulfilled through a theory or activity course.

Social Science 3 credits
Can be fulfilled in criminology, economics, political science, psychology or sociology.

Religious Studies* 6 credits
One 200-level course and one 300-or 400-level course.

* Three of the 12 credits required in philosophy and religious studies must be in values.

**Students must complete one credit in physical education to fulfill the requirement. Only three credits in physical education (PE) may be applied to the required graduation total of 120. Students who successfully complete one season of intercollegiate sport competition as a member of a Notre Dame athletic team may apply for a one-time waiver or a one-time PE credit toward the physical education requirement.

Bachelor of Science

English Composition 3 credits
All students should have fulfilled the English composition requirement before they have completed 30 credits. A minimum grade of “C” is required.

History 3 credits

Literature 3 credits
Can be fulfilled in English, modern or classical language literature courses.

Mathematics 3 credits

Natural and Social Sciences
See requirements under each major.

Philosophy 6 credits
One 200-level course and one values/ethics* course

Religious Studies 6 credits
RST-201 and one 300- or 400-level course.

*PHL-339 Medical Ethics is required for all radiological science majors. Students in the nursing program are required to take a philosophy ethics course.

Gender studies and cross-cultural studies requirement: As part of the undergraduate degree program, at least one course must be focused on gender studies and one on cross-cultural studies. However, students entering Notre Dame with an associate's degree are not required to complete the gender studies and cross-cultural studies requirement. Additionally, transfer students who bring in 60 or more transferred credits, but who have not earned an associate's degree, will be allowed to waive the cross-cultural and/or gender requirements provided they can demonstrate that they have successfully completed prior coursework with gender and/or cross-cultural components. Applications for waiving the cross-cultural and/or gender requirements are available in the registrar's office.

Additional general education substitutions for transfer students: Transfer students with 60 or more transferred credits may petition to substitute up to two of their transferred courses for certain Notre Dame general education requirements. To request a substitution, students must demonstrate that a substituted transfer course covers the material in a Notre Dame general education requirement. Students petition for a substitution by identifying a course on their previous transcript that covers the concepts or components of the course for which they are requesting a substitution, and they explain in writing why that course should be allowed to substitute for the required course. Applications for general education substitutions are available in the registrar's office.

  • Students may request substitutions for general education requirements in the following groups:
    • Group I: philosophy, religious studies, literature
    • Group II: oral communication, fine arts, social sciences, history
  • Students may request no more than one course substitution in either group.
  • Students must demonstrate that substituting transfer credits for Notre Dame general education requirement(s) is necessary to ensure on-schedule graduation.
  • The substitution must be requested before the end of the student's first semester at Notre Dame.
  • Students may not petition to substitute a course that has already been accepted as transfer credit to fill another general education requirement.

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Majors, Minors and Certificate Programs


Candidates for the baccalaureate degree major in a specific field of study. First-time students in the Women's College are admitted as undeclared and declare a major before the end of the sophomore year. Transfer students in the Women's College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies (CAUS) students generally declare a major when they are admitted.

Students may pursue degrees in the fields of study listed in this chart. Students in the Women's College may also take pre-professional programs in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy or veterinary medicine as part of an appropriate major or a dual-degree program. In addition, a Women's College student may plan a personally designed major in consultation with appropriate chairs and with the approval of the associate vice president for academic affairs. Requirements for the major fields of study are listed in their respective sections of this catalog. Not all majors are offered in both Women's College and CAUS.

Double Major

Students in the Women's College may pursue a double major through the Sister Mary Meletia Double Major Program, which provides highly motivated, goal-oriented students with the opportunity to complete a double major in four years. The program is named in honor of Sister Mary Meletia Foley, the first dean of Notre Dame, whose wisdom and initiative were largely responsible for making Notre Dame the first Catholic college in the United States to award the baccalaureate degree to women. In keeping with that legacy, the Sister Mary Meletia program provides the challenge of broad interdisciplinary studies to students who are driven toward academic rigor and challenge.

The Meletia Double Major Program allows students to enhance their learning by completing two fields of study and helps them to gain cross-disciplinary knowledge and practical experience essential to success. Students in the Meletia Program will be assigned two advisors, one in each majoring department; both majors should be declared by the completion of students' second year at Notre Dame.

The Meletia program offers several routes to completing a double major. Students may combine any two fields of study and take the required courses for each major. Students may also choose from among pre-planned double majors which have been designed to offer a more streamlined and focused curriculum. Carrying a double major limits the number of general electives students are able to select and, in some cases, may require more than 120 credits for the degree. For more information on the program, please consult the academic advising counselor.

Declaring a Major

A full-time student frequently declares a major in the spring semester of the first year or in the fall semester of the sophomore year. To ensure sufficient time for completing the degree requirements, it is recommended that a full-time student declare a major before registration for the spring semester of the sophomore year (completion of 45 credits).

Part-time students and most transfer and adult students declare a major during the admission process. To ensure sufficient time for completing the degree requirements, it is required that CAUS students declare a major upon completing 18 Notre Dame credits. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required to declare a major. Changes or additions to the declared program require an academic advisor's signature and must be processed using the proper form.

Students may obtain declaration of major forms from the registrar's office or the CAUS office, and return completed forms to the registrar's office for processing. The declaration of major form must also be used to make changes or additions to the declared program of study.

The Chart Your Course program, offered to students in the Women's College, is designed for students who are exploring which field of study stimulates their greatest interest and is most compatible with their aptitudes and abilities. Each student works with the academic advising counselor to develop a personalized package of tools and resources to help her select a major. Depending on the needs of the student, the package can include major exploration workshops, career interest inventories, internship and volunteer opportunities, academic support services, individualized and group counseling sessions, and alumna networking.


Minors are available in various fields of study. Normally, a minimum of 18 credit hours is required; of these, no more than 9 credits can be transfer credits. Information on minors can be found under the listings in the Academic Programs section. Not all minors are offered in both Women's College and CAUS.

Declaring a Minor

If a student desires to declare a minor, that declaration should be made before the completion of 90 credits. A student who intends to declare a minor should have confirmation from the appropriate department that it is possible to complete all courses listed on the declaration of minor form. Full-time students should be able to complete all of the courses by the anticipated graduation semester without adding an unnecessary burden to the academic course load—for instance, having to exceed 18 credits in the fall–spring semesters. The form for declaring a minor is available in the registrar's office or the CAUS office.

Notre Dame reserves the right to decline a full-time student's request to declare a particular major, second major and/or a minor. This situation might occur when the student cannot complete the needed courses in accordance with University policies prior to the anticipated graduation date. Students must declare all majors/minors before their final semester to ensure completion.

Second Degree Program

The second bachelor's degree program is designed for students who have a bachelor's degree and wish to seek a second degree in a new academic field. To receive a second bachelor's degree, students fulfill the following requirements:
• Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college. (90 credits from the first degree will be applied to the second bachelor's degree.)
• Fulfill the major requirements of the department chosen for the second bachelor's degree.
• Earn a minimum of 30 credits in graded coursework toward the second degree at Notre Dame.
• Maintain a cumulative grade point average and a major grade point average of 2.0. Departments may designate courses within the major in which students must receive a minimum grade of C.

Certificate programs

Certificate programs consist of a specific sequence of courses that lead to the awarding of a certificate of completion. To pursue a certificate program, students must complete a “Declaration of Intent” form. Only one course may be transferred into a certificate program.

MajorEmphasis AvailableOffered in Women's CollegeOffered in College of Adult Undergraduate Studies***Approved Area Secondary EducationMinor Available
Art Art history, studio art, photography, pre-museum studies Yes No Yes Yes
Behavioral Neuroscience   Yes No No No


Yes No Yes Yes


Yes Yes*** No Yes

Pharmacy studies, pre-professional, dual-degree (engineering)

Yes No Yes Yes
Classical Studies


Yes No No Yes
Communication Arts


Yes No No Yes
Computer Information Systems


Yes Yes No Yes
Corporate Communication


No Yes No Yes


Yes Yes No Yes
Digital Media Arts

Graphic Design

Yes No No Yes

Early childhood, elementary, secondary, special ed., ESOL

Yes Yes–elementary*** Yes Yes–secondary
Engineering (dual degree)


Yes–3-2 programs No No No

Drama, creative writing

Yes No Yes Yes
Environmental Sustainability

Science, public policy, sustainable entrepreneurship

Yes No No No

Pre-museum studies, social studies secondary ed.

Yes No Yes Yes
Industrial/Organizational Psychology


No Yes No No
International Business


Yes No No No
International Studies

International relations, international business

Yes No No No
Liberal Arts

See Liberal Arts program options

Yes Yes No
Marketing Communications


Yes No No No


Yes No Yes Yes
Modern Foreign Language

French, Spanish, dual language

Yes No Yes Yes


Yes Yes*** No No


Yes No No Yes


Yes No No Yes
Political Science

Law and civic engagement, public service, international relations

Yes No No Yes


Yes No No Yes
Radiological Sciences

Clinical, business (organizational management, computer systems management)

Yes Yes No No
Religious Studies


Yes Yes No Yes


Yes No No Yes

Additional Minors (not listed above)

Asian Studies

  Yes No n/a n/a

Catholic Studies

  Yes No n/a n/a


  Yes No n/a n/a


  Yes Yes n/a n/a

Latin American Studies

  Yes No n/a n/a


  Yes No n/a n/a

Peace and Justice Studies

  Yes No n/a n/a


  Yes No n/a n/a

Women's Studies

  Yes Yes n/a n/a

Certificate Programs

Leadership and Social Change

  Yes No n/a n/a

*See BA/MA program.  

**Writing is available as a major as part of an interdisciplinary double major in conjunction with another Arts and Sciences discipline.

***Business, Elementary Education and Nursing (RN to BSN) available in cohort delivery model.

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Repeating a Course

A student must repeat any required course in the major or general education that s/he fails. With the written permission of the associate vice president for academic affairs, a student may also repeat a non-required course in which she has received a grade of D or F.

A course may be repeated only once. Only the higher grade will be counted in the student’s cumulative GPA, and only the credits for the most recent attempt for the course will be counted toward the credits needed for graduation. However, both grades appear on the student’s official transcript. The repeated course must be taken at Notre Dame.

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Honor Code

By registering at Notre Dame of Maryland University, every student accepts and is bound by the Honor Code. The Honor Code is based on respect for the individual, personal responsibility and honesty. It requires students, faculty, staff and administrators to uphold Honor Board procedures, including the reporting of violations. Under the Honor Code, examinations have been unproctored since 1936.

The Honor Code expects academic honesty. It assumes that all work submitted is one's own. Any violation of the Honor Code will be reported to the chair of the department of the course in which the incident took place and to the dean of the corresponding school. Further details on Notre Dame's Honor Code are provided in the Academic and Behavioral Standards.

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Academic Advising

Women's College: During the first year, a faculty member who concentrates on understanding the needs of new students advises incoming students. When the Women's College student declares a major, a faculty member in the major field is assigned as the academic advisor. An academic advisor helps the student plan the program of study and approves course selection. Women's College students confer with a faculty advisor before each registration period.

College of Adult Undergraduate Studies (CAUS): When the student declares a major, an enrollment manager/advisor is assigned. This advisor helps students plan their program of study and approves course selection. CAUS students should confer with an academic advisor each semester.

NOTE: Ultimately it is the responsibility of the student to plan, register for and successfully complete the courses required for the program of study.

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Placement Testing

Entering Women’s College first year students, and transfer students without an Associates degree, will take placement tests in Math and English before registering for their first semester courses.  These tests will be administered online prior to the student’s first semester.  A language placement test will also be administered at Orientation or during the first week of the first semester.  These tests are required, and results will be used for first year course placements.

Registration and Communications Policies


New students plan their courses and register in consultation with an academic advisor prior to the beginning of their first semester. New part-time students must make an appointment for an interview to obtain information on the program and have transfer credits reviewed. Once these procedures are completed, new part-time Women's College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies students are eligible for registration. CAUS students must apply for admission prior to registering as part of a cohort.

Part-time students are not required to apply for admission to Notre Dame as degree candidates (matriculants) to register for a course. However, students may earn no more than 18 credits before applying for admission to a degree program.

Notre Dame uses WebAdvisor as the primary vehicle for communicating administrative or transactional information to students. The registration deadline is usually one week prior to the opening of classes each term. Currently enrolled students have an early registration period toward the close of each semester for the following term. Registration may be done online, in person, through the mail or by fax. Confirmations of registration are found on the student's WebAdvisor account. Copies of schedules are not sent to students via mail.

A registration fee of $130 for part-time students must be paid each fall and spring at the time of registration. A complete bill is sent to each student on a monthly basis. The bill is also sent to students in PDF format via the student's Notre Dame email account. It is imperative that students check this account regularly to make sure they do not miss deadline dates for payment, registration, drop/add, withdrawal or graduation. Payment of fees and tuition is due approximately one month before classes begin each term.

Penalty for Non-Payment of Tuition

Students who do not complete payment of tuition by the date specified each semester may be withdrawn from the class at the discretion of the registrar's office. Non-payment is not a means of dropping a class. Re-registration is possible before class begins, on a space available basis, with payment of an additional registration fee.

Change of Registration

A student wishing to make a change in registration (dropping or adding a course or changing sections of the same course) should secure the necessary form from the registrar's office, CAUS office or the website and must obtain the advisor's signature where needed. Changes in registration must be made before the end of the Drop/Add Period. Once the Drop/Add Period is complete, students may not add a course or change sections of the same course.

To withdraw from a course after the Drop/Add Period, the student must complete a course withdrawal form and obtain the advisor's signature where needed. The completed form is filed with the registrar's office. The deadline for withdrawing from a course is published in the academic calendar. CAUS students may withdraw from a cohort course prior to the fourth class meeting. Students who stop attending class, and do not officially withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “F” and are financially responsible for the full tuition charged for the course.

Undergraduate students receiving federal financial aid must maintain 9 credits per semester to remain eligible for funding. Students receiving institutional scholarships or state scholarships or grants must maintain 12 credits per semester. Students must visit the financial aid office before dropping below the required number of credits. It is the student's responsibility to follow financial aid guidelines.

Communication Policy

The main form of communication at Notre Dame is through the NDMU-assigned email. Every student is given a Notre Dame email account. All Notre Dame email can be auto-forwarded to a personal email account. Directions on how to do this are available at email.ndm.edu. Important information is regularly sent to students via Notre Dame email. All students are expected to become familiar with University policies, deadline dates and information  posted in various publications, on our website and through informational emails sent to the student accounts.

Students should refer to this catalog, WebAdvisor and the main website (www.ndm.edu) for important information regarding registration, graduation application dates, policies/procedures, online payment options, news and updates from the University community.

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Student Status and Course Load

Matriculant Status

A matriculant is a student who has been officially admitted by the University as a candidate for a degree in a particular field of study. Matriculants are guaranteed that Notre Dame will provide the courses they need to fulfill the requirements for the degree. The catalog in effect when the student matriculates contains the policies and requirements under which the student will graduate. Part-time students maintain their matriculant status by completing at least one course each academic year.

Non-Matriculant Status (College of Adult Undergraduate Studies)

A student who wishes to register for courses without applying for admission to the University may do so as a non-matriculant. Non-matriculants may take courses for credit or audit. The same tuition and fees apply to non-matriculants as to matriculants. Non-matriculants may accumulate no more than 18 credits from Notre Dame. At this point, they must matriculate as degree candidates. Academic advisors are available for non-matriculants who need assistance with course selection or planning. Students taking courses as non-matriculants are not eligible for financial aid.

Full-Time/Part-Time Student Status and Course Load

Full-time status requires that a student carry a minimum of 12 credits. Students carrying 12 or more credits are full-time and must pay full-time tuition. The normal course load for a full-time student is 15-18 credits during the fall and spring terms. A student who has permission from the academic advisor to carry an overload basis must pay the per credit fee for any credits 19 and over.

Students are limited to a maximum course load of nine credits during the summer term. In Winterim, registration is limited to a maximum of four credits (usually one class).

Students carrying 11 credits or fewer are part-time and pay tuition on a per-credit basis for all credits taken. The College of Adult Undergraduate Studies is a part-time program and is not designed to accommodate a full-time credit load.

Class Status

Sophomore status requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credits; junior status, 60 credits; senior status, 90 credits.

Time Requirement

Most full-time students take four years to complete the curriculum. Part-time students plan their own time schedule for the degree. All students must complete their final 30 credits in coursework at Notre Dame.

Course Outlines and course pre-work information

The faculty for courses taught on abbreviated meeting schedules (CAUS, Winterim and the summer semester) often provide course outlines before the semester begins. Outlines can be found on the Notre Dame website. These outlines list course objectives, assignments, required texts and the grading system. Pre-course readings/projects are often listed.

Courses taken online usually require some preliminary work to be completed by the student before the first session. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of and to complete any work assigned by the instructor for online courses.

All cohort courses require pre-class preparation by the students. Information for each course is found in the Learner's Guide published on the cohort's Joule site.

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Notre Dame's calendar year includes 15-week fall and spring terms, a variable length summer term and a January term called Winterim. This accelerated four-week mini-term provides unique opportunities to explore new educational experiences by concentrating on one course, traditional or non-traditional. During Winterim, students may:
• take traditional courses in a concentrated form, allowing the student to focus in depth on one body of subject matter
• gain work experience through an internship or practicum
• explore and analyze aspects of our own or other cultures through travel
• engage in independent study or research.

Winterim registration is limited to a maximum of four credits. Credit earned during Winterim is applied to the required number of credits for graduation. Attendance at every class is required because of the concentrated format of the Winterim sessions. Students who are full-time in both fall and spring semesters within the same academic year are not charged tuition for Winterim courses.

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Course Policies and Grading

Class Size

Classes at Notre Dame may be as small as eight and seldom larger than 30 students. Small class size is a great advantage for both students and faculty. Each student is heard, and ideas and opinions are explored. Professors get to know students as individuals and the learning environment is enriched.

Class Attendance

Consistent class attendance and participation are essential to academic success. Students are expected both to attend class and to contribute to discussions and group activities. A student who is absent misses an important educational experience and detracts from the experience of others. In the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, attendance is expected at all class meetings. Attendance is required at the first meeting of the term because the foundation for the course is set for the semester. Students who cannot attend the first class session must withdraw. In addition, academic departments set absence and attendance policies for their courses. Students should familiarize themselves with those policies before the beginning of the semester and plan accordingly. 

Specific policies about the relationship between class attendance and course grades are established by departments and faculty and are explained in departmental handbooks and course syllabi. Courses taught online may require some time on campus.

Students are advised that children are prohibited from attending classes with them. Though the University is sensitive to the needs of parents and the potential for difficulties in providing child care, the campus is not to be used as a playground for children while the parent is attending class. The University denies any liability for injuries sustained by children playing on campus while the parent or supervising adult is in class. Drop-off child care is provided for a small fee during evening hours in the fall and spring semesters. Consult the main website for more information on child care options.

Examinations are scheduled at the end of each term. Exam dates are listed on the registrar's office page. Students are expected to take exams at the scheduled times. A student who is absent from an examination without instructor approval may receive a grade of zero for the final examination which could result in a grade of “F” for the course. In case of illness or other unforeseen circumstances that could prevent a student from taking final examinations at the posted time, the student must immediately contact the instructor and make individual arrangements to reschedule.


Grades represent the instructor's evaluation of a student's achievement in the course. Each letter grade is ascribed a meaning and a numerical value (grade points) as follows:

Grade   Grade Points
A Excellent 4.0
B+ Superior 3.5
B Above average 3.0
C+ Average 2.5
C Satisfactory 2.0
D Just passing 1.0
E Danger of failing (Given only at mid-semester)  
F Failure 0.0
FN Failure —incomplete work and/or "stopped" attendance in class 0.0
FX Failure — non-attendance in class and failure to officially withdraw 0.0
W Official withdrawal 0.0
I Incomplete* 0.0
P Passed** 0.0

* An incomplete becomes an F if not resolved within the designated time frame; see Incomplete Grades below for more information. **See Pass/Fail for more information.

Grade point average is calculated by dividing the total grade points earned by the number of credits attempted (exclusive of any Pass grades). Transfer or withdrawal credit is not calculated in the grade point average.

Grade Reports

Students can access their grades through WebAdvisor as soon as they are posted by faculty and officially verified by the registrar's office. Students may request a hard copy grade report by emailing registrar@ndm.edu.

Incomplete Grades

A semester officially ends at the close of the examination period. An Incomplete grade (I) can be granted only for reasons beyond the student's control and under the following circumstances:
• The request must be made by the student to the instructor. It is the instructor's decision to accept or deny the request.
• The student request must be based on a serious illness or emergency preventing the student from completing the work for the course.
• The student must have satisfactorily completed at least half the coursework at the time the Incomplete is requested.

The final determination of the Incomplete grade is the responsibility of the instructor. It is the student's responsibility to submit all the required work to the instructor so that a grade may be provided by the due date, which is typically mid-term in the following 15-week semester. Cohort students must follow the policy in the CAUS handbook regarding the completion requirements for incomplete course grades. Work not submitted to the instructor on time will result in the grade being converted to an “F.” Instructors will submit the final grade to the registrar.

Students are advised not to carry an Incomplete grade from one semester to the next semester. If personal circumstances/emergencies necessitate that a student carry more than one course with an Incomplete grade, the University reserves the right to limit the number of credits that the student may take in the subsequent semester. In such reviews, a student may be precluded from registering or be limited to part-time status until the Incomplete grade(s) is resolved. An Incomplete grade cannot be removed through re-registration for the course or through “credit-by-examination.”

Pass/Fail Grade

A student may choose to take one graded elective course in any semester for a Pass/Fail grade with a maximum of four Pass (P) grades for graduation. A Pass grade for the course is not computed in the student's grade point average, but the credits earned are counted as credits toward graduation. However, a Fail (F) grade for the course will be included in the student's grade point average. In order to graduate with honors, a student may not carry more than four courses with Pass grades. (Petitioning for credit, standardized testing and transfer credit are not counted toward this limit.) Notification of the choice to take a course for a Pass/Fail grade must be filed with the registrar before the end of the Drop/Add period. The Pass/Fail option is irrevocable.


Students may choose to audit a lecture course if they wish to broaden their academic program but do not need to take the course for credit. Students must register for audited courses, which appear on the student's official transcript but carry no academic credit. Notification of the choice to audit a course must be filed within the register before the end of the Drop/Add period. Courses taken for audit carry the same credit cost as a course taken for a grade. The decision to audit a course is irrevocable. Students cannot receive financial aid for audited courses, and audited courses do not count toward the credits required for a full-time load for financial aid purposes.

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Independent Study, Internships, and Service-Learning

Independent Study

Most academic departments allow students to do an independent study project in the discipline under the guidance of a full-time faculty member of the department. This project is a serious commitment by a student to explore a topic or area not covered in a course taught at the University. Only students with junior or senior status may take an independent study course. Independent study courses require the completion of the independent study authorization form. The form is available in the registrar's office. The form must be completed with the details of the project and signatures of the student, faculty supervisor and advisor. The form must be submitted with the course registration and is subject to the approval of the academic advising counselor.


Internships broaden the undergraduate experience, add a valuable off-campus dimension to learning, and complement and enhance classroom and laboratory instruction. These individually-designed study experiences provide an opportunity for students to test their interests, explore various career options and acquire professional work experience. Credit-bearing internships may be taken any semester (fall, Winterim, spring and summer). They are available to students in every major and placements can be arranged in almost every occupational field. Out-of-state and international internships also can be arranged. An internship may be taken as early as the summer after a full-time student's first year or after earning 30 credits as a part-time student.

In order to register for a credit-bearing internship, students are required to attend an internship orientation (offered in the Academic and Career Enrichment Center); obtain the academic advisor's approval; register for the internship; and submit an Internship Application the semester prior to the internship experience. Students may earn up to 12 internship credits. Additional information may be obtained through the Academic and Career Enrichment Center.

Academic Service-Learning

Academic service-learning at Notre Dame integrates academic coursework with community service, thus enriching the learning process for students and contributing valuable resources to the greater Baltimore region. Service-learning provides opportunities for students to apply theories learned in class in practical settings. Service-learning courses are available in multiple disciplines and programs. The Academic and Career Enrichment Center works with faculty members to enhance the academic service-learning experience for students. It provides faculty development, technical assistance, and material support for service-learning.

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The choice of military service as a profession is possible for Notre Dame full-time matriculants through participation in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Advanced Course program at Loyola University. Those students who successfully complete this program are tendered commissions in the United States Army Reserve. Students must register for ROTC courses through the Co-op Program (registrar's office). Details about the ROTC program, including scholarship information, are available from the office of military science at Loyola.

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Taking Courses at Other Institutions

Academic Consortium

Through an exchange program with Loyola University, full-time Notre Dame students with sophomore, junior, and senior status may register for Loyola regular program courses only, on a space available basis, during the fall and spring terms. Students register on the home campus using a co-op registration form; no additional fees are charged. First-year students are not eligible to participate in the consortium.

Full-time matriculants at Notre Dame may apply as concentrators at Loyola University if they wish to major in a field of study not available at Notre Dame.

In addition, Notre Dame has cooperative arrangements with Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, Towson University and Goucher College. The program allows a full-time Notre Dame student with sophomore, junior, or senior status to register, on a space-available basis, for one course per semester at any of these institutions. It is the student's responsibility to verify the start date and time of the consortium course.

Students must be enrolled full-time at Notre Dame to be eligible to participate in this exchange.

Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities

Notre Dame of Maryland University is a member of the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities (OCICU) partnership, which allows adult part-time students to enroll in some courses offered online. Students complete the registration process through Notre Dame and are awarded Notre Dame credits upon successful completion of the course. Students should consult their academic advisor for more information on OCICU courses.

Off-Campus Study

A student who has been accepted at Notre Dame and is a matriculant may not take courses at another college without prior permission. Students who wish to study at another accredited college must file an off-campus permission form and receive approval from the academic advisor and the registrar before registering for courses. Courses taken off campus may be taken for elective credit only. Forms for off-campus study may be obtained from the registrar's office, the CAUS office and online.

A student may not take courses from other colleges during the regular academic year if Notre Dame offers or will offer the course during the student's enrollment at Notre Dame. Approved courses with a grade of “C” or higher will be considered for transfer credit.

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Transfer Policy

In accordance with the Maryland Higher Education Commission's objective of facilitating the process for transfer students, Notre Dame maintains articulation agreements with two-year institutions in the State. Students transferring from Maryland community colleges may consult ARTSYS (Maryland Articulation System) for transfer course requirements.

Students admitted with an associate of arts (A.A.) degree from a regionally accredited institution in a transfer program oriented toward a baccalaureate degree will receive transfer credit for courses in the A.A. program, up to 68 credits. These courses shall be applicable to the University's degree requirements. When not earned as part of an approved A.A. degree at a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution, transfer credit is granted only for courses in which the student has earned a grade of “C” or higher, and shall be limited to 68 credits.

Up to 90 credits may be transferred from an accredited four-year institution.

Transfer students are required to meet all Notre Dame degree requirements. However, students entering the University with an associate's degree are not required to complete the gender studies and cross-cultural studies general education requirement. Transfer students must complete a minimum of five courses in the major discipline. Some majors may require more coursework to complete the program of study regardless of the number of credits taken in transfer. The final 30 credits must be earned at Notre Dame.

In order to be eligible to graduate with honors, students must earn a minimum of 60 graded credits at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Credit for courses transferred from another institution is not computed in the Notre Dame grade point average. If a transfer course is used to meet a requirement in the major, the course grade must meet any minimal departmental requirement. Transfer students must satisfy the University's graduation grade-point requirements for the work completed at Notre Dame.

The University does not routinely grant transfer credit for courses in technical or vocational programs. The policy also limits the transfer of one-credit courses. Developmental/remedial courses are not eligible for transfer. Also, credit for courses where the body of knowledge changes significantly, e.g., science and computer courses, may be subject to revalidation due to the date of completion.

Notre Dame reserves the right to limit the number of transfer credits which a student may be granted through non-collegiate sponsored instructional programs. All non-collegiate programs must have a course and credit placement recommendation (to a baccalaureate program) from the American Council of Education (ACE) to be considered for transfer credit.

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Academic Probation

Full-Time Students

Students' academic records are reviewed each semester. A student who does not meet University standards for good academic standing will be placed on academic watch or probation.  The purpose of academic watch/probation is to provide students who are experiencing difficulties with the intentional support and supervision to achieve success and gain good academic standing.

Academic standing is based on the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the end of the fall and spring semesters.

Students placed on academic probation are required to meet with the academic advising counselor to develop an Academic Contract for Success, which will include referrals to academic support resources and participation in academic support programs. 

Students placed on Academic Probation are required to:

  • Meet with the academic advising counselor on a regular scheduled basis, including at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the semester.
  • Create and submit an Academic Contract for Success outlining the student's goals for the upcoming semester. The Academic Contract for Success includes a semester GPA goal of at least 2.0, as well as a goal for cumulative GPA, determined in consultation with the academic advising counselor.
  • Attend academic support services as agreed to in the Academic Contract for Success.

A student on academic probation who does not comply with these requirements will be dismissed.

Student performance is reviewed at the end of the probationary semester.  Probationary students who meet the terms of their contract and achieve minimum GPA standards as agreed to in the Academic Contract for Success regain good academic standing. Probationary students who make progress according to the terms of their Academic Contract, but who still fall below the cumulative GPA requirements for good academic standing, are placed on probation for one additional semester. Normally, students are placed on continuing probation for only one semester. Students who fail to regain good academic standing after a semester on continuing probation, or who do not meet the terms of their Academic Contract will face dismissal. Notification of academic probation and dismissal will appear on the student's transcript.

A student on academic probation must be in compliance with the terms of the Academic Contract for Success in order to declare a major. Permission of the academic advising counselor is required to declare a major.

Students receiving financial aid are required to achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0. Please refer to the financial aid section of this catalog for detailed information about the satisfactory progress requirements for financial aid recipients.

Part-Time Students

Part-time students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average to remain in good academic standing. Students whose GPA falls below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation for a maximum of 12 credits. Students who have not obtained a GPA of 2.0 after this period will be dismissed.

Students on academic probation must confer with an academic advisor before registering. Notification of academic probation and dismissal will appear on the student's transcript.

Academic Clemency Policy

The academic clemency policy is designed for students seeking readmission after an extended absence and whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Notre Dame at the time of departure was less than a 2.0. The program provides eligible students the opportunity to renew their studies at the Notre Dame by beginning their cumulative averages anew. The program is available to all undergraduate students who attend Notre Dame in matriculated status, then do not take Notre Dame classes, either matriculated or non-matriculated, for a period of five consecutive calendar years (10 academic semesters).

The decision to declare academic clemency must be made at the time of re-admission and can be claimed no more than once. Prior to requesting academic clemency, students must show evidence of academic progress by providing passing grades in at least 12 college credits completed at another institution.

For those students who do elect to participate, they will lose credit for every previous Notre Dame course they took in which a grade below “C” was obtained. Credits earned in courses in which grades of “C” or above were obtained will be retained as “Previous Notre Dame Credit” and will be treated the same as transfer credit (grade points are not used in the calculation). No courses and/or grades will be removed from the transcript of participating students; however, their Notre Dame cumulative GPA will begin “anew” upon their return. Student transcripts will have specific notations for those courses removed as a result of declaring academic clemency.

For additional requirements or questions about declaring academic clemency, please contact the registrar's office at registrar@ndm.edu.

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Honor Societies and Dean's List

Honor Societies

Membership in the following honor societies is open to students whose academic performance in the subject area is outstanding.
Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society (Alpha Xi Chapter).
Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society in Business Administration (Epsilon Rho Chapter).
Eta Sigma Phi National Classical Honor Society (Beta Kappa Chapter).
Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education (Phi Xi Chapter).
Kappa Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society.
Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society (Nu Pi Chapter).
Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society (Epsilon Iota Chapter) for promoting international understanding.
Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society (Alpha Delta Nu Chapter).
Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honor Society (Epsilon Zeta Chapter).
Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology.
Sigma Tau Delta National Honor Society in English.
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing (Mu Eta Chapter).
Theta Alpha Kappa National Honor Society for Theology and Religious Studies.
Theta Sigma Pi Association for Women in Communications, Inc.

Membership in two national Catholic honor societies is open to Notre Dame students, one for juniors and one for seniors. Only those students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for nomination. Membership is determined by faculty vote. These societies are:
Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society (Alpha Delta Chapter) and Kappa Gamma Pi National Honor Society for Graduates of Catholic Schools.

Membership in Alpha Sigma Lambda (Delta Chi Chapter), a national honor society for continuing higher education students, is open to the top 20 percent of adult matriculants who have completed a minimum of 30 course credits at Notre Dame. At least 12 of these credits must be in the liberal arts/sciences and outside the student's major field. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Dean's List

The Dean's List is published at the end of the fall and spring terms and lists those students who have a 3.5 grade point average for the term, a minimum of 12 graded credits with no incompletes or “F”s in Pass/Fail courses and a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher.

The Dean's List published at the end of the summer term lists those part-time students who have a 3.5 grade point average for the year, a minimum of 18 graded credits with no incompletes and a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher.

At Honors Convocation, the University recognizes full-time students named to the Dean's List for both semesters in the previous year and part-time students on the Dean's List at the end of the summer term. Student transcripts show each semester in which this honor is achieved.

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Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

Leave of Absence

Matriculants may request a leave of absence for up to 180 days with permission from the academic advising counselor (Women's College) or the CAUS enrollment managers. A leave of absence is a temporary interruption in a student's program of study.  It may be requested only by students who intend to return and complete their studies. Failure to return from a leave of absence may affect the student's financial aid loan repayment terms, including the expiration of the student's grace period.

Normally, a leave of absence is requested for one semester. Students may not request a leave of absence for an entire academic year. Leave of absence requests must be submitted before the start of the semester for which the leave is requested. A leave of absence for a particular semester may not be requested once that semester has begun. 

A student must be in good academic standing at the time the leave of absence is requested. A student who is on leave maintains status as a matriculant and therefore is not eligible to earn credit at another college during the absence from Notre Dame. Leave of absence requests must be submitted in writing using the Institutional Withdrawal Form, which is available in the registrar's office.


The University reserves the right to request at any time the withdrawal of a student for reasons of poor scholarship or unsatisfactory conduct.

Students who voluntarily withdraw from the University must file an official withdrawal request form in the office of the academic advising counselor (Women's College students) or the CAUS office. The date when the form is submitted will be the one used to determine whether a refund of tuition is applicable. Failure to notify the University of withdrawal will prompt termination of matriculancy.

A student who withdraws from the University on or before the official withdrawal date forfeits credit for the work done in that semester. A grade of “W” will be recorded in all courses for the semester.

A student who withdraws from the University after the official withdrawal date for the semester will be responsible for all coursework and graded accordingly.

CAUS cohort students may re-enter a cohort after leaving their original cohort assignment due to a leave of absence, withdrawal from the college or other personal circumstance. Entrance into a new cohort will be on a space-available basis only. Students re-entering into a new cohort will be required to pay the tuition cost of the cohort they are currently entering.

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The University holds its Commencement ceremony once a year, usually the last weekend in May. Students completing all degree requirements and filing a graduation application by the due date are awarded their degrees at the end of August and December and in May. All graduating students for the academic year (August, December and May) are invited to participate in the May ceremony. 

Application for Graduation

All students must file a graduation application whether they plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony or not. Filing the application will initiate a formal review of credits and requirements by the registrar's staff.

The deadlines for submitting this application are: October 15 for May graduation, April 15 for August graduation, June 15 for December graduation. Graduation application forms are available in the registrar's office or online at the registrar's office website.

Failure to submit this application on time will result in postponement of the conferring of the degree until the next graduation period.

A student with an outstanding financial obligation to the University will not receive the diploma or an official transcript until all obligations have been met.

Early Graduation

A full-time student who intends to accelerate the program of study and expects to complete the degree requirements in fewer than eight semesters must declare that intention and apply for early graduation by the end of the fifth semester of study. The major program must be presented to the department chair or academic advisor for review before filing in the registrar's office.

Honors at Graduation

Degrees with Latin honors are conferred on undergraduate students who achieve the following grade point average based on work at Notre Dame of Maryland University:
3.90 for the distinction          Summa Cum Laude
3.70 for the distinction          Magna Cum Laude
3.50 for the distinction          Cum Laude
To earn honors at graduation, students must earn a minimum of 60 credits in graded coursework at Notre Dame. This excludes credits earned in Pass/Fail courses (including standardized testing, petitioning for credit and transfer). Students are limited to four Pass (P) grades on graded courses.

Commencement Participation Policy

Undergraduate students within two courses of graduation may ask permission to participate in Commencement. Requesting students must be in good academic standing. They must also demonstrate that their remaining coursework can be completed at Notre Dame in time to fulfill requirements for August graduation. Students seeking credit through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Excelsior College Examinations, Notre Dame challenge exams or petitioning for credit must provide documentation of successful completion of these credits before the end of the spring semester preceding Commencement. Students may not participate in Commencement with CLEP, Excelsior, challenge exam or petitioned credits pending.

Students requesting permission to participate in Commencement before completing graduation requirements must submit their request, along with their application for August graduation, to the associate vice president for academic affairs by February 15. The associate vice president will consider the request and deny or approve it. No appeal is permitted. For students granted the right to participate, announcement of their names in the Commencement program will be followed by an asterisk indicating an anticipated August graduation. Since Latin honors are not conferred until degrees are earned, there will be no Latin honors noted in the program for students participating in Commencement before degree completion.

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Appeals Procedures

Final Grade Appeals

Reasons for Appeal

Only final grades may be appealed. A final grade may be appealed if there is evidence that the grade was not given in accordance with the grading policies set forth in the course syllabus or announced syllabus modifications.

The principle of seeking a reasonable, fair and speedy resolution prevails throughout the process. All information related to the appeal and the appeals process will remain confidential.

Process for Final Grade Appeal

1. When a student wishes to appeal a final grade, the student must write to the faculty member setting forth the basis for the appeal, evidence documenting the alleged discrepancy between the syllabus grading policy and the grade received, and the remedy sought. The student should also submit a copy of the appeal materials to the department chair, or in the case of an interdisciplinary (IDS) course, to the director of the program in which the course is offered. The appeal must be made within two weeks of the official posting of grades on WebAdvisor. The faculty member will respond in writing to the student's appeal within two weeks.

2. If not satisfied with the faculty member's response, the student may, within two weeks of the response, appeal to the department chair or program director. The student makes the appeal in writing, setting forth the basis for disagreement with the faculty member's response. The chair or program director informs the dean of the school delivering the course. The chair also informs the faculty member of the student's appeal and obtains a copy of the course syllabus and the faculty member's written response to the student. The chair then reviews the written record. The chair writes a response, including a report on the steps taken in the review process. The written response of the chair is sent to the student, the faculty member, and the dean within two weeks of the conclusion of the review process.

If not satisfied with the response made by the chair, the student or faculty member may appeal in writing within two weeks to the dean of the school delivering the course. The dean then asks for a written statement and a copy of all relevant materials. Within two weeks of receiving the appeal, the dean forwards his or her decision in writing to the student, the faculty member, and the department chair. The decision of the dean is final.

3. If a grade change is authorized, the registrar will be directed in writing to make the change in grade.

Academic Dismissal Appeals

In the event that a student is academically dismissed from the University, notification of the decision will be sent by certified mail to the priority address on file in the registrar's office. Upon receiving the notice of impending academic dismissal, the student may appeal within seven days of receipt of the notification. A committee composed of the vice president of academic affairs and four faculty members hears the appeal. The decision of the committee is final.

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