Common Academic Policies For All Students

Undergraduate, Graduate, Continuing and Professional Studies, and Non-degree Students.

The following are common policies and procedures for the students pursuing coursework in the undergraduate, graduate, continuing and professional studies, and non-degree programs of the University.

Click here for policies specific to Undergraduate students

Click here for policies specific to Graduate students

Topics are organized in alphabetical order. Click a link below to be taken to your desired section.

Absences for Medical Reasons Graduation Application Procedures
Academic Integrity Human Subjects Policy
Address or Name Changes Independent Study
Appeal of Adverse Decisions Information Literacy
Attendance International Students
Cancellation of Classes Leave of Absence Policy
Challenge Examinations Leave of Absence – Medical
Changing Catalog Year Non-Degree Status Enrollment
Compliance with University Regulations Registration
Computer Resources Repeating a Course
Conduct Responsibility to Keep Informed
Course by Appointment (CBA) Retention of Student Work
Disability Services Schedule Changes
Dropping Courses Student Records
Final Examinations Transcripts
Grade Changes Unadjusted Indebtedness
Grade Reports Withdrawal from the University

Absences for Medical Reasons

Any student who is unable to attend classes for three consecutive days or more due to illness or injury should alert the Dean of Students Office.  Notifications by the Dean of Students Office will be sent to each professor of the student currently not able to attend classes due to medical reasons.  Philadelphia University Health Services does not provide “sick notes” for students to professors due to brief absences from class due to illness. We encourage students to communicate directly with their professors about their absences. This is meant to encourage mature communication between student and professor, as well as encourage personal responsibility for class attendance decisions.

Absences due to illness do not supersede the specific attendance policy for an instructor. Students are required to contact their professors about their academic standing in class either during or immediately following the medical problems. The determination of a student’s academic standing in class is completely within the discretion of the individual instructor.

If a student is diagnosed with a communicable illness that poses a possible threat to the University community, a general notification may be sent to those at risk for exposure to the illness per the recommendation of the Philadelphia Health Department. Efforts will be made not to disclose the infected student’s name. The University cannot assume responsibility for deductions and assumptions made by others, but will make every effort to anticipate and address any concerns.

Students who are diagnosed with a communicable disease and those not immunized against an offending vaccine-preventable disease may be required to leave campus until their illness is resolved. For information, contact the Student Health Center at 215.951.2986.

Academic Integrity

In order to articulate fully its commitment to academic honesty and to protect members of its community (faculty, students and staff) from the results of dishonest conduct, Philadelphia University has adopted policies to address cases of academic dishonesty. These policies are intended not only to emphasize the imperative of academic integrity, but also to protect the rights of all members of the University community.

 (1)   Types of Academic Dishonesty

The following incidences provide examples of the most common types of academic dishonesty, but other instances may occur outside of the definitions defined here.

(a)   Cheating

Cheating is the inappropriate and unacknowledged use of materials, information, designs, ideas or study aids in any academic exercise.  The use of books, notes, calculators and conversations with others is restricted or forbidden in certain circumstances.  Cheating also includes stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining a test; selling or giving away answers to a test; buying or selling a paper, painting, sculpture, model, project, or design for use in the fulfillment of an academic requirement; or falsifying a grade or attempting to change a grade on a test, official academic record, or a change-of-grade form.  Students may not request others (including commercial term-paper companies) to conduct research or prepare any work for them.  Students are also not permitted to submit identical work or portions of that work for credit or honors more than once without prior approval of the faculty member.

(b)   Fabrication

Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic work.  "Invented" information (that is, information which is made up by the student) may not be used in any laboratory experiment or other academic exercise.  The student must always acknowledge any source from which cited information was obtained.  A writer should not, for example, reproduce a quotation from a book review and indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.

(c)   Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise.  To avoid plagiarism, every idea or argument that is not one's own must be cited.  Only information considered to be "common knowledge" does not need to be cited (when unclear about the definition of "common knowledge" in a particular discipline, students should consult with the faculty member teaching the course).  Paraphrased material taken from print, electronic sources, or other media should also be cited.  Along with this citation, the author should acknowledge a paraphrase properly, by using words such as: "to paraphrase Smith's comment", or "drawing on Smith's ideas about"
Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly cited according to correct citation conventions.  Students must familiarize themselves with the correct citation conventions required in each course.  Any questions about what constitutes plagiarism should be discussed with the faculty member.  Faculty members may suggest a style guide to use; style guidelines are also available on the Philadelphia University's Learning and Advising Center web site (

(d)   Facilitating Academic Dishonesty

Students who knowingly or negligently allow their work to be used by other students or who otherwise aid others in academic dishonesty are violating academic integrity.

(e)   Denying Others Access to Information or Material

It is a violation of academic integrity to deny others access to scholarly resources, or to deliberately impede the progress of another student.  Examples of offenses of this type include giving other students false or misleading information; making library material unavailable to others by stealing or defacing books or journals or by deliberately misplacing or destroying reserve materials; or altering computer files that belong to another.

(2)   Process for Handling Academic Dishonesty

If a faculty member has reason to believe a student has violated the academic-integrity policy, the following should ensue:
(a)   The faculty member will discuss the situation with the student and will determine appropriate action within the faculty member's purview as a member of the teaching faculty;
(b)   The faculty member then reports the behavior and the sanction to the School/College/Division Dean who refers the matter to the Dean of Students and it becomes a permanent part of the student's confidential judicial record;
(c)   The faculty member will work in conjunction with the Dean of Students to refer the case to the Student Conduct Committee in cases where the offense merits the attention of the Student Conduct Committee.  The Student Conduct Committee is a group of faculty and students empowered to make judicial decisions on behalf of the University.

(3)   Sanctions

It is up to the faculty member to determine how serious the offense is (based upon her/his academic standards and expectations) and the sanctions to be imposed.  Both the College/School/Division Dean and the Dean of Students will be kept apprised of all actions.  The Student Conduct Committee may wish to follow these guidelines as well.

If it is judged that a student has violated the University's standards for academic integrity, these sanctions might apply:
(a)   Repeat the assignment or complete another assignment;
(b)   A warning or verbal reprimand with a written description of the interaction by the faculty member.  Copies will be kept by the faculty member, as well as by the Dean of Students;
(c)   Failure of the assignment with no opportunity to repeat it.  No points will be earned for the assignment (that is, an F will equal a "0");
(d)   Failure of the class;
(e)   Referral to the Student Conduct Committee for possible suspension or expulsion.

(4)   Appeals Procedure

Students who wish to appeal a faculty member's sanction(s) should follow the procedure as outlined in the University catalog and the Student Handbook under the academic policies section "Appeal of Adverse Decisions."

Sources: Rutgers University Policy on Academic Integrity for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, New Brunswick, and Drexel University's policy, Both policies are used by permission.


It is the student’s responsibility to see that a valid permanent address and current name is on file in the Office of the University Registrar. Any change of name or permanent or local address must be reported to the Office of the University Registrar when it occurs. Students may also change their address on web advisor. A forwarding address should also be given to the U.S. Postal Service.

International students must also contact the director of International Student Programs when changing their name or address.


Students have the right to appeal decisions that are made regarding them by any faculty, official, or committee of the University. The Dean of Students and the Learning and Advising Center can advise students on the appeals process.

Students should first discuss the decision with the individual who made the adverse decision. If a satisfactory resolution of the problem cannot be reached at that level, students may file a subsequent appeal with the dean or the person to whom that faculty or staff member reports. In the event a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached at that level, or if there were no intermediary, an appeal may be submitted to the Executive Dean of the College. The Executive Dean is the final appeal.

In the event a University committee rendered a decision, the student may file a second appeal with that same committee if there is new information that would have a bearing on the outcome of the case. The University committee is the final appeal.


All students are responsible for, and grades may be determined by, all requirements outlined by the instructor’s syllabus. This may include class attendance and participation, as well as the completion of all assignments, the reading of all required materials, the completion of laboratory assignments and/or field trips and the taking of the required examinations.

Any students with absences due to extended illness should contact the Dean of Students office. This will not, however, override an instructor’s attendance policy. Students are required to speak with their instructor about all extended absences to learn of their academic standing in the class. Students with excessive absences due to personal circumstances should contact the Dean of Students and are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center.


Cancellation is automatic upon failure of the instructor to appear 15 minutes after the normal starting time of that class, unless notice is sent prior to that time that the instructor will be late. In the event of inclement winter weather, a notice will be posted on, the University will email an announcement to the students and KYW 1060AM will make an announcement of the snow number.

The number for cancellation of classes:

Day         112

Evening (announced after 3 p.m.)

Main Campus    2230

Bucks County Campus   2751


Students who desire credit for courses taken at non-accredited institutions, for industrial/work experience or for other appropriate life experience may arrange for a challenge examination. If the subject is not covered by the national testing agencies (see National Testing Agencies), a student may receive credit for courses offered by the University by making arrangements for an examination to be given by the college offering the course. Satisfactory evidence of adequate and appropriate preparation must be presented before the examination is prepared. If it appears that the student has adequate preparation, the student pays a fee, presents the receipt to the college manager of academic operations and takes an examination. The college will send the Office of the University Registrar the receipt for the examination fee along with written notification of a passing grade for the examination. Only one examination will be allowed for any one course. Students are ineligible for a challenge examination if they have previously enrolled in the same course at Philadelphia University. See “Financial Information.”


In connection with changes in University curricula, there may be rare occasions in which students are requested to change their catalog year to gain the learning advantages offered by the new curricula.  Changes in Catalog Year are only progressive, meaning that catalog year changes may only advance to the latest or most recent year’s curricula.  No students or programs may request that a catalog year be changed regressively, i.e. moving back to the curricula of previous year or years.


By accepting registration, students agree to accept responsibility for compliance with academic requirements and conduct regulations.

It is recognized that, once registered, students have basic rights, but the University reserves the right to require students to withdraw at any time if they fail to live up to their responsibilities to maintain the standards of conduct and scholarship.

Due-process procedures will be followed in all violations that could result in the dismissal of a student from the University.


The Office of Information Resources (OIR) is responsible for management, operation, security and support of the information-technology environment at Philadelphia University. In accordance with established policies, all members of the Philadelphia University community are responsible for effective, efficient, ethical and acceptable use of information resources. The complete text of the University’s “Information Technology Policy” is published in the University’s Student Handbook and is available online at


The University tries to minimize the number of specific regulations governing conduct, assuming that students are adults and mature enough to establish a code of conduct that will reflect well on themselves and the University. The University expects students to perform their work honestly, pay debts promptly, comply with public laws and respect the property of the University, the community and fellow students.

All individuals and organizations affiliated with the University or using the name of the University are expected to conduct their affairs in a manner reflecting credit on the University.

The University does have regulations governing certain types of conduct. These are stated in detail in the Student Handbook, which is available online at\studenthandbook.

A Student Conduct Committee reviews serious cases involving violations of conduct standards and regulations, including academic dishonesty. The operation of this committee is outlined in the Student Handbook.


The intended course by appointment must currently exist in the University catalog, i.e. course number and course name already have been created by the Registrar. All prerequisites for the existing course must have been met prior to the CBA.
A written proposal detailing how the existing syllabus will be modified to allow equivalent classroom experiences during the term must be attached to the required approval form. This form is obtained online at the University Registrar’s web site and, if approved, the student must submit the form to the Registrar before the “last day to add” deadline (see Academic Calendar). Further details are provided on the form.

Students may also be permitted to take CBA for an existing catalog course that anticipates low enrollment. In such cases the University Registrar lists such courses on the master schedule without indicating days or times. The assigned faculty member subsequently contacts all students who register, and a mutually convenient day and time is established. The completed form, with the required signatures, will be submitted to the manager of academic operations of the college in which the course is given, or the School of Continuing and Professional Studies if appropriate, and must be presented to the Registrar before the “last day to add” deadline.
The University reserves the right to identify courses that may not be taken by appointment regardless of scheduling conflict or anticipated date of graduation.
See “Independent Study.”


The Office of Disabilities Services provides, on an individual basis, reasonable accommodations to students with hearing and visual impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, chronic illnesses and psychological impairments that may affect their ability to fully participate in program or course activities or to meet course or curricular requirements. This office functions to determine qualified disability status and to assist students in obtaining appropriate and reasonable accommodations and services. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, testing or classroom adjustments, tutoring and use of adaptive equipment. Services provided are designed to encourage independence and self-advocacy, backed by a comprehensive system of supports.

Students should contact the Office of Disabilities Services for additional information, guidelines and procedures.


Schedule changes, such as adding a course, changing a section, replacing a course or section, etc., must be made by the “last day to add” in the Academic Calendar. See Academic Calendar online. 

Undergraduate first year students need to submit a “course withdrawal/course registration form” to the Registrar’s Office in order to make any changes to their semester schedules. This includes changes to add, drop or withdraw from a course.

Students may drop a course with no notation on the transcript if the drop is completed before “last day to drop without ‘W’ grade” deadline on the Academic Calendar.

After the “last day to drop without W grade,” a student may withdraw from a course prior to or on the “last day to withdraw from a course” (see Academic Calendar). When a student withdraws from a course, a “W” will appear on the transcript for that course and this will affect Academic Standing. To withdraw from a course, all students must submit a signed Course Withdrawal form to the University Registrar or the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Forms may be found online at the Registrar’s web site:

If the student officially withdraws after the “last day to withdraw from a course,” a WF will appear in the transcript and affect the GPA calculations and Academic Standing. If the student fails to officially withdraw from a course before the “last day to withdraw from a course,” a grade of “F” will appear on their transcript and affect the GPA calculations and Academic Standing.

Specific deadlines for dropping special accelerated courses or summer session courses are published by the University Registrar. These deadlines will determine the drop period for summer and all Continuing and Professional Studies sessions.

In exceptional cases a student may request special permission from the Director of the Learning and Advising Center to drop a course after the “last day to withdraw from a course” deadline. In such cases a grade of “W” will appear on the transcript for that course and this will affect Academic Standing.

Students may not drop or withdraw from fundamentals courses.

See “Schedule Changes,” and “Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy” and “Refund Policy.”


Final examinations are scheduled during a one-week period at the end of each semester. Examination periods are two hours in length.

The University has a policy prohibiting the administration of any final examinations during the last “instructional” week of the semester, in place of an examination during the scheduled final exam week.

No student is required to take more than three final examinations during a given day. If, because of this policy, it is necessary for a student to have any examinations rescheduled, arrangements must be made with the University Registrar no later than a week in advance of the start of exam week.


All grades become part of the permanent records of the University at the end of the semester. Following this, no grades may be changed without the written approval of the faculty and associate dean of the college offering the course. Forms for change of grades may be found online on the University Registrar’s web site,

This in no way affects the institutional policy regarding the grade of “Incomplete.”


Current students can access and print their grade reports using Web Advisor. Grade reports are not mailed to students.


Students nearing graduation must review graduation requirements with their advisor or their program’s graduation certification officer at least two semesters before they plan to graduate. Students then must apply on line for graduation and they submit a preliminary certification form to the Office of the University Registrar. Deadlines are April 15 for a candidate for August or December graduation, and October 15 for a candidate for May graduation. An August graduate may seek permission to walk at the May Commencement event. Instructions can be found on the Registrar’s page on the web:


Faculty, staff and students at Philadelphia University are occasionally involved in the conduct of research involving human subjects. Any research conducted under the auspices of Philadelphia University must protect the rights of human subjects and requires approval from the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). An IRB is a committee of peers that examines human subjects research proposed by Philadelphia University faculty or students for ethical concerns and determines: 1) the rights and welfare of the individual or individuals involved; 2) the appropriateness of the methods used to secure informed consent; and 3) the risks and benefits of the investigation. The IRB approves, denies or recommends changes to the proposed research to assure the protection of the rights of human subjects.

The policies and procedures associated with the review and approval of research involving human subjects at Philadelphia University are established to be consistent with current federal guidelines. The complete text of the “Human Subjects Policy” is published in the University’s Student Handbook.


Students may earn credit through a supervised learning experience in which the student plays a significant part in determining the learning objectives and anticipated outcomes. IS provides students a unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor, while studying a subject of their own choice. This learning experience, however, should not duplicate material delivered within an existing course catalog. Only students who are prepared to devote considerable time and effort should undertake IS. Planning of the scope and structure of this learning experience should begin in the semester preceding enrollment, not during the term of the IS.

Before registering for the IS, students must secure the written approval of a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the work. Approval of IS can be expected if the faculty member has the time and the interest to supervise the student’s work and if the supervisor and the student can agree in advance on a suitable subject for independent study. Faculty members may choose which applicants they wish to supervise. The decision will be determined by time available, by their professional interests and by their estimate of an applicant’s prospects for doing suitable work.

Students plan specific activities and goals with the help of the cooperating faculty member. They must then receive approval for their plans and complete the Independent Study agreement form, available online at the Registrar‘s web site, The student is responsible for bringing the completed and signed form to the University Registrar for official enrollment purposes.


(additional requirements may exist for each college) 

  • A student must have completed 15 credits in residence with a minimum grade point average of 2.50 prior to enrolling in independent study. (Undergraduate)
  • Registration must be completed before the “last day to add” deadline in the current Academic Calendar (see Academic Calendar).
  • A student may select no more than one course by independent study during a single term.
  • A maximum of four courses may be taken by independent study in a degree program.
  • A student may not select more than two IS courses under the sponsorship of the same faculty member.
  • At the end of the term, students are required to present their work to faculty and student representatives of the University.

See “Course by Appointment.


Mission:  To help students become “wise information consumers” and lifelong learners, by developing in them the abilities to effectively find, evaluate and apply information.

Information literacy is embedded in the curricula of each college. Students are exposed to information literacy concepts in the context of both their major and College Studies courses. Students learn how to use the information resources and technologies relevant to their lives as scholars on campus and as professionals in the field. Throughout their undergraduate careers, students gain practical experience in the critical application of data and information to various information needs and problems.

The 21st-century workplace recognizes the value of information-literate employees. Today’s technology and knowledge-driven economy demands highly skilled workers who are adaptable, resourceful, intrinsically motivated and able to learn. Through the University’s efforts to create information-literate graduates, students engage in the same process of information problem solving that will continue for the rest of their lives.

Information Literacy at Philadelphia University is a collaborative, campus-wide effort involving classroom faculty, librarians, the University Writing Program, technology and computing support, and University administrators. Faculty, administrators, and librarians work together to incorporate Information Literacy into programs, courses, and assignments, and to assess stated Information Literacy Learning Outcomes. Librarians also support students, faculty, and staff as they seek to become information literate, lifelong learners

For more information see “Information Literacy” in Academic Programs section of the Academic Catalog.


International students should consult with the director of International Student Programs concerning specific policies applicable to them. The director of International Student Programs offers assistance to these students in many areas, such as providing orientation assistance, academic advising assistance, referral to language classes as a result of placement testing and administrative liaison with governmental agencies.

All international students, including transfer students, must report to the International Student Programs office, located in the Kanbar Student Center, to certify their registration and to provide a local address. The office is open on a walk-in basis and by appointment.


A leave of absence is a leave from the University with the intention of returning within two full academic semesters or a calendar year to complete coursework.

The deadline to take a leave of absence from the University without any record of courses or grades of the current semester is the same as the “last day to drop without a W grade.” – See Academic Calendar.

If a student takes a leave of absence from the University before the “last day to withdraw from a course,” all LOA grades will be a “W” and will affect Academic Standing. If a student takes a leave of absence after the “last day to withdraw from a course” all LOA grades will be a “WF” and will affect the G.P.A. calculations and Academic Standing.

When a student takes a leave of absence during a semester, the effective date of the leave of absence will be determined when the Office of the University Registrar receives the completed leave of absence form (see University Registrar’s web site for appropriate form). Students must check with the Students Accounts Office to determine their financial responsibility for tuition and other fees, such as housing and meal plans.

Any student who is in good academic standing is eligible to take a leave of absence from the University for up to one calendar year. A leave of absence allows students to re-enter the University within one calendar year from the date on which the leave was approved without the need for completing a new application.

The leave of absence also enables the student to retain degree requirements from the catalog under which they originally matriculated. Any student may, however, choose to re-enter under requirements in the current catalog. A student whose leave of absence extends beyond two full academic semesters must complete a new application to re-enter the University. Graduation requirements will be determined from the catalog in effect on the date of acceptance for re-entry by the Office of Admissions or the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Students who are not in good academic standing are permitted to apply for withdrawal, but not leave of absence. Under these circumstances, the Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee must approve any application for re-entry before a student registers for any additional courses at the University. (See “Withdrawal from University”)

For information about the financial aspects of the leave of absence policy, please refer to the “Refund Policy” included in the “Financial Information” section of the catalog.



A Medical Leave of Absence is granted to students who cannot continue enrollment due to physical or mental health problems.  A Medical leave remains in force for one calendar year. If the student does not return within that time frame, s/he must re-apply to the University. The procedure for acquiring a Medical Leave of Absence is as follows:

  1. Complete the Medical Leave of Absence Form (you can obtain this form from the Registrar’s web site:
  2. Make an appointment with the Dean of Students Office to discuss the circumstances and implications of the Leave.  This includes the impact of the leave on academic progress, student accounts, financial aid, tuition insurance claims, and housing (if the student lives on campus).
  3. Provide medical documentation to validate the need for the medical leave.

Students who take a medical leave before the last day to drop will not see any courses/ grades on their transcript.  Those students who obtain a medical leave during the semester but prior to the last day to withdraw from classes will receive W’s on the transcript.  If the withdraw date is past, the Dean of Students may authorize “late W’s” for documented medical leaves. 

Students on Medical Leave must notify the Dean of Students Office 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester of their intent to return to the University.  Medical documentation will be required for all students to determine if the student is healthy and ready to return to the University. Medical documentation will be on file in the Dean of Students Office.



Students may apply for non-degree status and register for courses at Philadelphia University. Students with non-degree status are permitted to register for a total of 15 credits and thereafter must apply for matriculating status. Credits earned under “non-degree” status cannot be used to receive a certificate, minor, specialization/concentration, or any degree without matriculating.

Contact the University Registrar’s office for more information on applying and registering as a non-degree student.


Students are expected to register on the published dates for registration. Fees are payable in advance or upon the registration date. Students will receive grades for all courses for which they are registered.



Students who fail a required course must repeat the same course during the next term in which it is offered, if the course is the only course that will satisfy the requirement or they wish to have the failing grade replaced in GPA on the transcript (old grade is not removed).

A student will be permitted to enroll in a course for a second time without conditions, regardless of the grade earned in the course previously.

A student who has failed a course twice will be permitted to re-enroll for a course for a third time when they present the University Registrar with written approval from their advisor.

A student who has passed a class twice with a passing grade and wishes to take it a third time for any reason, will need to complete the “Repeating a Course” form and get the appropriate signatures to be allowed to enroll for the course.  Appropriate forms for approval are available online on the Registrar’s web page,

When a course is repeated, the original grade will remain on the transcript, but will be removed from the calculation of the grade point average. The new grade will enter into the calculation of the grade point average — even if it is lower than the grade originally earned.

Grades of “NC” or “AUDIT” will not replace a former grade in a repeated course.

A course failed at Philadelphia University may not be repeated at another institution without prior written approval. See “Permission to Take Courses at Another Institution” form on Learning and Advising web sitee .

The most recent grade earned is also the one applied to graduation requirements, even if it is lower than the original grade. Any successfully completed course can be applied to graduation requirements only once, no matter how many times it may be taken and passed.



Students are ultimately responsible for their own progress toward graduation; they are expected to use the catalog as a reference handbook and to familiarize themselves with the principal policies and procedures contained in it. The Catalog web site ( is subject to change and will be updated. Students are responsible for monitoring the Web site concerning changes to policies and procedures that might affect their progress toward graduation and regularly check campus mailboxes and Philadelphia University email as a means of keeping informed. Credits earned under "non-degree" status cannot be used to recieve certification, minor, specialization/concentration, or any degree without matriculating. 



Projects, examinations and assignments completed by students in their required courses may be selected to become part of the University’s collection for purposes of exhibition, assessment and/or accreditation. Student work not selected for that purpose is generally stored for only 30 days into the following semester.




Schedule changes, including changing sections, replacing courses with another course, auditing a course, independent study, course by appointment, or changing a course from graded to credit/non-credit must be made by the “last day to add” deadline. See current Academic Calendar.




The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law governing privacy rights in university records for students and for dependent students' parents.  FERPA was passed by Congress in 1974 to provide students the ability to access and review their records and to protect the confidentiality of their records within certain guidelines.  Access to the information in a student's records (including access to grades) is generally not permitted to outsiders (third parties) without the student's written consent.

I. To Whom Does FERPA Apply?
For the purposes of this policy, Philadelphia University defines student as any person who attends or has attended Philadelphia University.

II. To Which Records Does FERPA Apply?
Philadelphia University defines education record as any record in any medium maintained by Philadelphia University that is directly related to a student, EXCEPT:

  1. A personal record kept by a staff member, if it is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker's temporary substitute;
  2. An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment;
  3. Records maintained by the office of Student Health Services if the records are used only for the treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing treatment;
  4. Alumni records that contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at Philadelphia University and the records do not relate to the person as a student;
  5. "Directory information." Philadelphia University designates the following items as Directory Information: student name, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, major and minor fields of study, credits for which a student is registered (FT or PT status), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, date of graduation, most recent previous school attended, and photograph.  Philadelphia University may disclose any of those items without prior written consent, unless notified in writing on the form available from the registrar no later than the “last day to add” (see Academic Calendar) of the fall, winter, spring  or summer terms.  Such notice shall be effective only until the end of the academic year during which it is given.  An on-line student directory listing each student's name, permanent address/phone number and local address/phone number is created each fall by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Information Technology.  The directory is password protected and only available to individuals affiliated with the university.

III. How Are Students Informed About FERPA?
Students will be notified of their FERPA rights through the annual distribution of the University Academic Catalog and the Student Handbook.

IV. How May Students Inspect Their Records?
Students may inspect and review their education records upon written request to the Office of University Registrar.  The request must identify as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.

The record custodian or an appropriate Philadelphia University staff person will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records can be inspected, if the inspection cannot be done at the time of request.  Access will be given in 45 days or less from the receipt of request.

When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to him or her.

V. When May the University Refuse Student Access to Records?
Philadelphia University reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:

  1. The financial statement of the student's parent(s);
  2. Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her rights of access, or which were placed in the files before January 1, 1975;
  3. Records connected with an application to attend Philadelphia University or a component unit of Philadelphia University if that application was denied;
  4. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

VI. When May the University Refuse to Provide Copies of Records?
Philadelphia University reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  1. The student is currently attending Philadelphia University or, if a former student, lives within a commuting distance of Philadelphia University;
  2. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to Philadelphia University;
  3. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.

However, even in the above situations, students will not be denied the right to inspect their records.  Philadelphia University will not normally issue copies of any document if an original or source document exists elsewhere (e.g., records from other schools).

VII. Where Are Students' Education Records Kept?
The following is a list of the types of records that Philadelphia University maintains, their locations, and their custodians.
Admissions Records
Location: Office of the University Registrar, Archer Hall, First Floor
Custodian of Records: University Registrar
Cumulative Academic Records
Location: Office of the University Registrar, Archer Hall, First Floor
Custodian of Records: Registrar
Athletic Records
Location: Athletics Office, Althouse Hall
Custodian of Records: Director of Athletics
Student Conduct/Disciplinary Records
Location: Office of the Dean of Students, Kanbar Campus Center, 2nd Floor
Custodian of Records: Dean of Students
Financial Records
Location: Business Office Archer Hall, Second Floor
Custodian of Records: Controller
Financial Aid Records
Location: Financial Aid Office, White Corners, First Floor
Custodian of Records: Director of Financial Aid
International Student Affairs Records
Location International Student Services, Kanbar Campus Center, Second Floor
Custodian of Records: Director of International Student Services
Placement Records
Location: Career Services, Kanbar Campus Center
Custodian of Records: Director of Career Services
Note: Other student education records not indicated above available upon specific request.

VIII. When May Students' Education Records Be Disclosed to Others?
Philadelphia University may disclose information from a student's education records only with the written consent of the student, EXCEPT:

  1. To Philadelphia University officials who have a legitimate education interest in the records.  Philadelphia University officials include persons employed by Philadelphia University in supervisory, academic, research, or support staff positions, and persons employed by or under contract to Philadelphia University to perform a special task, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, university security unit, persons serving on the board of trustees, or a student serving in an official committee such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or students assisting another school official in performing his or her official task.  A Philadelphia University official has a legitimate education interest if he or she is performing a task which is part of their responsibilities or contract agreement, or performing a task which is related to the student's education, or performing a task related to the discipline of a student, or providing a service or benefit to the student, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.;
  2. To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or has enrolled, although such information is usually transmitted only in response to a specific written request from the student;
  3. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local education authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;
  4. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
  5. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of Philadelphia University;
  6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
  7. To comply with a court order or a lawfully issued subpoena when specifically requests (student may not be notified);
  8. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;
  9. To parents/legal guardians of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependant for income tax purposes.  The University informs parents/guardians where it deems appropriate;
  10. In cases of violent crime, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against an accused student to the alleged victim.

A log shall be maintained in each student record to document the use of that record by individuals other than University officials.  The log shall indicate the date of the request, the individual or the organization using the record, and the purpose for which it was used.  The student (or parent/guardian of a dependent student) may inspect and review this log.

IX. How May a Student Make Changes to Education Records?
Students have the right to request to have records corrected or amended that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the correction of records:

  1. The student must ask the appropriate official of Philadelphia University to amend a record.  In doing so, the student should identify the part of the record they believe should be changed and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her privacy or other rights;
  2. Philadelphia University may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply.  If it decides not to comply, Philadelphia University will notify the student of the decision and advise him or her of the right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the student's rights;
  3. Upon request, Philadelphia University will arrange for a hearing and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place and time of the hearing;
  4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party (although he or she may be an official of the institution).  The student will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney;
  5. Philadelphia University will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.  The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision;
  6. If Philadelphia University decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has the right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision;
  7. The statement will be maintained as a part of the student's education records as long as the contested portion is maintained.  If the student requests disclosure of the record which contains the contested portion, he or she may indicate that the files also contain the student's statement, which will then accompany any disclosure of the record;
  8. If Philadelphia University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student that the record has been amended.

The provisions of this section may not be used to challenge course grades.

X. To Whom May a Student Complain if Issues Arise?
Students who believe that Philadelphia University is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that act, may file complaints in writing with:
The FERPA Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

The full text of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as amended, and the full text of the final regulations of the U.S. Department of Education for the implementation of the Act, is available for inspection at the Office of the University Registrar



Process for requesting a transcript can be found on the web at

The fee for a transcript is $5.00 per copy, $10 for same day copy, and $20 for an overnight copy which must be received by 10 a.m.

Please note that unofficial copies of the transcript are available to currently enrolled students through their Web advisor account.

Transcript Request Information

The University no longer accepts credit card payments for transcripts over the phone or via fax. Students must use the online form to pay via e-check or credit card. The University only accepts credit card payments online.

An official transcript is placed in a sealed envelope and bears the University seal and signature of the University Registrar. In order to release a transcript, the University Registrar’s Office needs to verify the identity of the student as well as receive a formal, written request bearing the signature of the student.

To request a transcript, please do one of the following options:

  • Complete the online request form, make payment online via credit card or e-check, print the transcript request email and forward the signed and dated request to the Registrar’s office via fax at 215-951-2742 or scan and email the signed form to
  • If students are paying cash (or if you would like to bring in a check) you will need to fill out the Transcript Request Form for Walk-Ins and take the payment to the Cashier’s window in the Student Account Office (1st floor of Archer Hall) and then bring the form with proof of payment back to the Registrar’s office. The University does not accept mailed payments for Transcript Requests.
  • A student having financial obligations to the University will not be issued a transcript.

See catalog “Unadjusted Indebtedness.


Unadjusted Indebtedness

No diploma, certificate, official grade report, transcript or recommendation will be granted to any person who has any unadjusted indebtedness to the University.


Withdrawal from the University

It is absolutely essential that students follow the proper withdrawal procedure in order to be assured of an honorable dismissal from the University. Students are considered in attendance until this formal notification is completed and returned to the University Registrar.

The deadline to withdraw from the University without any record of courses or grades of the current semester is the same as the “last day to drop without a W grade.” – See Academic Calendar.

If a student withdraws from the University before the “last day to withdraw from a course,” all withdrawal grades will be a “W” and will affect Academic Standing upon return to the University. If a student withdraws after the “last day to withdraw from a course” all withdrawal grades will be a “WF” and will affect the G.P.A calculations and Academic Standing upon return to the University.

If they are withdrawing during the exam period they will receive “WF” grades for all their courses. If an instructor has entered a grade, the grade entered by the instructor will not be changed.  Please note that an “F” and “WF” grade have the same effect on the GPA and Academic Standing. The “WF” grade identifies a late withdrawal.

Students, who need to leave the University after the “last day to withdraw from a course” due to serious circumstances, must seek permission from the Dean of Students for late withdrawal. Students who receive permission will receive “W” grades.

Withdrawal forms are available online on the University Registrar’s web page To return to the University after withdrawal, see the section on “Re-entry to the University.”

See “Leave of Absence