Graduate Student Academic Policies and Procedures

(Unique to Graduate Students)

The following are the general policies and procedures unique to the students pursuing coursework in the graduate programs of the University.

In addition to the following Graduate Student Academic Policies, students are expected to review the Common Academic Policies for all students, and those specific to their graduate programs.

Click here to view the policies common to all students

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

Academic Advising Matriculation Maintenance
Academic Internships Probation and Dismissal
Credit by Exam (waiver examinations) Refund Policy
Credit / No Credit Time Restriction
Grading Transfer Credits
Graduation Requirements Transfer to a new Degree Program or Concentration

Academic Advising

Academic advising is available for each student. Questions pertaining to the program, instruction, course selection and any related matters may be discussed with an advisor. After a student is accepted into the program, an advisor is assigned by the program director.

Academic Internships

Academic internships at Philadelphia University aid students in professional preparation through a work experience directly related to their major and career goals. Graduate internship options and requirements vary by program, therefore students should first consult their academic advisor or program director for updated internship information as it pertains to their degree program. 

Graduate internships administered by Career Services
Programs participating in internships administered by the Career Services Center are completed as elective academic courses, including a course syllabus focused on professional skill-building and written assignments. While the primary course emphasis is on the internship work experience, course assignments are incorporated to prompt reflection on the internship. This reflection is an integral component of experiential learning and students’ overall career and professional development. The Career Services Center and designated Faculty Internship Advisor (FIA) from the student’s program provide support and guidance during the semester of participation. Career Services staff is also available to assist students with internship search strategy prior to the internship. At the conclusion of the internship semester, all students are evaluated by their employer and FIA, receiving a grade derived from successful performance as determined by the employer, the quality of academic assignments submitted to faculty, and completion of minimum required hours. All internships, regardless of credit registration, are a minimum of twelve weeks in length.

Academic internships administered by Career Services are offered during the fall, spring and twelve week summer semesters.  The deadline to register for academic internships is the “last day to add” classes for the semester of intended participation, as established by the Registrar (refer to the Academic Calendar for specific deadlines).  Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their internship interest as early as possible with their program director or academic advisor.

To learn more about academic internships administered by Career Services at Philadelphia University, visit

Minimum requirements for participation:


  • Full-time status
  • Completion of 18 core graduate credits by the start of the internship experience
  • 3.25 cumulative GPA in the semester preceding the internship


  • Meet criteria above as relevant
  • Determine if eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) by contacting the office for International Student Programs

Note: Students not meeting minimum requirements may be considered by submitting a formal appeal and should contact Career Services for further instructions.


Students may request to take a waiver examination instead of taking a course. The student must have experience in the field covered by the course or must have studied it elsewhere. Students may take waiver examinations for up to two courses in their degree programs. Credits earned by a waiver examination are not considered transfer credits. The cost of taking a waiver examination is equivalent to one credit hour of the current graduate tuition. Consult with your program director for specific details.


Some graduate courses are graded on a “Credit/No Credit” (CR/NC) basis. To obtain credit for these courses, students must earn the equivalent of a “B-“ or better in the course. The grade point average will not be affected whether credit is received for the course or not


The University uses a plus/minus grading system. The passing grades for graduate courses are “CR” “A” “B” and “C”. A grade of “F” signifies that the course has been failed. The grade of “C” is the minimum passing grade, but is considered unsatisfactory performance.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all courses in the student’s graduate program is required for graduation; this does not include foundation courses or undergraduate prerequisite courses. The unit of credit is the semester hour. A quality point average is used to determine scholastic standing. Quality points are assigned according to the following scale:

A           (4.0)                     C+        (2.33)

A-­        (3.67)                     C           (2.0)

B+        (3.33)                    C-         (1.67)

B           (3.0)                     F           (0.0)

B-         (2.67)                               

To calculate the grade point average for a given semester, divide the number of grade points awarded by the number of credits attempted. To calculate the cumulative grade point average, the total number of grade points awarded is divided by the total number of credits attempted in all courses taken at the University.

The “I” (Incomplete) grade is used to indicate that a student has missed some portion of the required work because of illness or other emergencies beyond their control. It indicates that the student will most probably complete the missing requirements within the prescribed time limit and, when they do, will probably receive a passing grade.* If there is no possibility of passing the course, then it is inappropriate to assign an “I” grade. Both the student and faculty member assigning the grade must sign the “Agreement for the Completion of Work Outstanding.” Copies of this form are available online on the Registrar’s web site, An “I” grade automatically becomes an “F” (failure) unless removed within the first four weeks of the next semester, including summer sessions.

* In most cases, a passing grade for graduate courses is “C,” but there are courses and programmatic requirements that exceed this. Please refer to the appropriate graduate program and course descriptions in the Academic Catalog.


To graduate, students must fulfill the credit-hour requirements and complete the required courses for their specific graduate program. To be certified for graduation, a candidate must have:

  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (excluding foundation courses and undergraduate prerequisite courses);
  • no more than two grades below “B-” (including fundamental and undergraduate prerequisite courses);
  • grades of “C” or better in WRTG-100ESL and READ-098ESL for those students who were required to complete these courses; and
  • no “F” grades in courses within the student’s program.

Students must also complete all requirements for the doctoral dissertation or the master’s thesis in programs that require them. See “Guide for the Preparation of Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses” for further information (available online:

Students must complete an Application for Graduation prior to the semester in which they plan to graduate. This form is available online on the Registrar’s web site at Students will be billed for graduation fees.

Matriculation Maintenance

In order to earn credit for the completion of the dissertation, thesis, capstone project or clinical experience, a student must be registered in the appropriate graduate program (either in residence or absentia) during the semester in which the course work is completed or the dissertation or theses are defended, and must be enrolled in the appropriate course.

If a student is capable of defending or presenting their work within the grace period (approximately four weeks into the next semester, including summer sessions*), the grade of “Incomplete” will be awarded. Following successful completion and submission of course work, or in the case of thesis of dissertation, a final version of the dissertation or thesis, a change of grade will be submitted by the faculty of record. Students who fail to complete the requirements during the grace period must re-register for dissertation, thesis, capstone project, or clinical experience until they successfully meet all requirements.

Students who are judged by the faculty, dissertation or thesis chair, or advisor to be incapable of completing the requirements during the grace period will receive the grade of “TH” (which indicates the course requirements have not been satisfactorily completed, but work is progressing).

In addition to being enrolled in the appropriate program, students must re-register in the original course for dissertation, thesis, capstone project, or clinical experience coursework in the subsequent fall or spring semester immediately following the semester in which they enrolled to maintain continuous enrollment, and to remain in good standing**. Tuition equal to one graduate credit will be assessed for subsequent courses in dissertation, thesis, capstone project and clinical experience.

When the dissertation, thesis, capstone project or clinical experience is successfully completed, the faculty, program director or advisor will submit a final grade for course completion and the student will earn one to nine graduate credits (depending on the major field) for the semester during which the dissertation, thesis, capstone project or clinical experience was successfully completed.

* The grace period ends on the date corresponding to when current semester “I” or incomplete grades are changed to “F” or failing in the subsequent semester; these are listed on the Academic Calendar which is available on the university web site.

** These courses will have an identical course number with an “e” indicating a matriculation extension.



Students’ academic records are reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer, to evaluate academic standing and satisfactory progress toward degree requirements.

Probation - Students whose academic records include one or more of the following will be placed on academic probation by their respective program directors:

  • Cumulative grade point average below 3.0 (excluding foundation courses and undergraduate prerequisite courses)
  • A grade below “B-” in two or more courses (including foundation courses and undergraduate prerequisite courses)
  • An outstanding grade of “F” in one or more courses within the student’s program
  • Students on academic probation will be required to correct the above deficiencies. When these deficiencies have been corrected, students will be removed from academic probation.

Dismissal - Students who fail to correct deficiencies outlined in their academic probation notices, students who fail to achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, and students who fail to repeat specified courses, including outstanding grades of “F” in courses in the student’s program, within a specified time period will be dismissed from their respective graduate programs.


Students are considered in attendance until the Registrar receives formal written notice of withdrawal.

Tuition charges for Graduate students who withdraw from a course will be refunded on the following schedule: (Including Summer)

  • 100 percent prior to first class meeting,
  • 80 percent prior to the second class meeting,
  • 60 percent prior to the third class meeting,
  • 40 percent prior to the fourth class meeting.
  • 0 percent after fourth class meeting.  No refund thereafter.

Online Policy (including Summer Online courses) regardless of login status

  • 100 Percent before Classes start
  • 80 percent during the first week of classes,
  • 60 percent during the second week of classes,
  • 40 percent during the third week of classes
  • 0 Percent beginning the fourth week of classes.  No refund thereafter.


The maximum time for completion of the degree program is seven years from the date of first enrollment (four years for the midwifery master’s program and five years for the doctor of philosophy program). Students who have not earned the graduate degree during this period will have their academic records reviewed and may be asked to meet additional requirements in order to graduate


A maximum of six credits may be transferred from another accredited graduate program to the student’s proposed program of study. Exceptions to the six-credit maximum may be made by the program director for students studying abroad in University-approved graduate programs.

Transfer of credit is subject to the approval of the respective program director. No transfer credit will be accepted if the grade earned at another institution was less than a “B.” Please note that if a course was used to satisfy the requirements of a completed degree, the credits cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of another degree.

Students wishing to transfer credits should be prepared to submit course outlines and texts used so that proper credit may be given. Students already enrolled in a degree program must have advanced permission from the respective program director to transfer courses.



Students who have been admitted to a master’s degree program at Philadelphia University and who wish to transfer to another degree program, or to change their concentration, must file a Change of Graduate Program Request form. The form is found online at the Learning and Advising webpage The student’s academic record will be reviewed by the director of the proposed new program. Approval or denial of the request will be sent to the student. An additional application fee is not required and, ordinarily, admissions credentials need not be resubmitted. Credits already earned in the original program may apply to the program if, in the opinion of the program director, they are appropriate to the new degree.