Graduate Student Academic Policies and Procedures
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 any published policies specific to their graduate programs.
Topics for this section are organized in alphabetical order.
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 for 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.
Philadelphia University is a nonsectarian educational institution and respects the diversity and religious needs of its affiliates. The University respects the rights of faculty, staff and students to observe religious holidays. While academic and personnel calendars do not incorporate religious holidays, the policy is intended to apply equitably to all religious groups and to provide opportunities to all to meet their religious obligations. Non-attendance of class on religious holidays by those observing the holiday will be excused without penalty. No adverse or prejudicial effects will result because a student availed herself or himself of these provisions.
The University respects students’ rights to observe religious holidays. Students planning to be absent from a class due to religious observance shall notify the faculty during the first week of classes, if possible. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Professors shall work with students to ensure they have a reasonable opportunity to make up missed classes and assignments.
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 Integrity and honesty is the foundation of the Philadelphia University teaching, learning, and professional community. Anyone who is a part of this community who knowingly or unknowingly breaks the rules of academic integrity as defined by the Philadelphia University community commits an offense against all members of this group. In order for all to know and understand the standards that define academic integrity at Philadelphia University, the following policy has been developed and ratified by students, faculty, and staff.
These policies pertain equally to all courses regardless of the method of delivery. Thus, they pertain to courses delivered fully or partially online as much as to courses delivered in-person.
(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 categories defined here.
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, electronic resources and conversations with others is restricted or forbidden in certain circumstances as indicated by your professor. 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 alter 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 in all course delivery formats, including online and other forms of distance-learning, must complete all coursework themselves. Any attempt to have others complete coursework in the student’s name is a form of cheating.
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.
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, surveys 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.
Plagiarism is the representation of the words, images, information, charts, graphs, data or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Every idea, image 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. Manipulated images or visuals that are not your own must also be cited. 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 Website. (www.philau.edu/learning)
(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 in violation of the 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.
(f) Digital Piracy and Privacy
The following, and similar practices, are violations of academic integrity when done to benefit one’s own (or others’) academic record:
- Digital Piracy and Privacy: The willful violation of copyright laws through file sharing of information destined for an academic submission; use of material discoverable or downloadable without acknowledgement of the source; willful deletion of another’s work from shared sites, interference with others’ use of shared sites, e-portfolios, etc.
- Hacking: Seeking out weaknesses in a computer network or system for the purpose of academic gain.
- Cracking: Breaking security on a system to engage in theft or vandalism for the purpose of academic gain.
(2) Process for Handling and Reporting Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy
All members of the Philadelphia University learning community are entrusted with respecting and maintaining its Academic Integrity Policy (hereafter referred to as “AIP”), whether instruction occurs in-person, online or hybrid. Violations are taken very seriously, as the AIP reinforces the values of original thinking and the recognition of the effort and work of others. Anyone violating this trust harms not only themselves but also the whole learning community (students, faculty, and staff), and the rights of all members of the University and professional communities are compromised.
(b) Roles of Faculty Members and Students Involved in Violations
The severity of violations of this policy varies and must be considered thoughtfully on a case-by-case basis. Sanctions based on this policy are ultimately assessed and implemented at the discretion of the faculty member. Faculty members may determine sanctions within the bounds of the course, e.g. failure on the assignment, or failure of the course. Faculty members do not have the authority to suspend a student from the University.
In order to reach a fair and consistent decision about sanctions, faculty members may seek the advice of the Advising Advocate in their given College, their program director, or their Executive Dean. In such cases, the faculty member may not reveal the name of the student or otherwise compromise the student’s identity. When a faculty member assesses a penalty for a violation of the AIP, the student has the right to appeal the penalty—either because s/he feels s/he was not in violation of the policy or because s/he disagrees with the severity of the sanction.
The faculty member has the prerogative to submit a record of the violation of the AIP to the Dean of Students Office. Documentation with the Dean of Students Office formalizes the occurrence and provides a historic record in the event of a recurrence of an AIP violation. It is the role of the faculty member to examine only single violations at hand. It is the role of the Dean of Students Office and the Academic Integrity Board to evaluate issues of recurrence.
(c) Steps in Handling Violations of the AIP
1) Prevention of Violations in Course Planning: Faculty members are required to include a statement on the Academic Integrity Policy in their syllabi, referring students to the policy in the Student Handbook and the Academic Catalog. Faculty members are also encouraged to provide examples of violations of the AIP that might occur in the course and potential penalties for infractions. In the event that this information does not appear on the syllabus, students are nonetheless bound to the AIP, which is promulgated in the Student Handbook and the Academic Catalog.
2) Resolution at the Course Level: Faculty members who perceive a violation of the AIP have the prerogative to assess the penalty they deem most appropriate. The faculty member has two main means of support: 1) the advice of the College’s Advising Advocate, their program director, or the Executive Dean of the College; 2) following the procedures outlined here.
a. As a first step, the faculty member may consult his or her Advising Advocate, program director, or Executive Dean. This is an optional step to acquaint the faculty member with potential ways forward and to solicit feedback on potential resolutions. Because these individuals are not a party to the actual perceived violation, it is not permitted for a faculty member to share the name(s) of the student(s) involved nor to identify the student(s) by any other means.
b. Within one week of the faculty member becoming aware of the perceived violation, unless there are extenuating circumstances, the faculty member shall consult with the student (or group of students) involved regarding the allegation of academic misconduct. This consultation may take place in person or in written correspondence, in whatever manner the faculty member deems most effective.
c. Typically, the faculty member will make the student(s) aware of the penalty imposed for the violation during this first consultation with the student or shortly thereafter. However, the faculty member has the prerogative to assess the penalty at a later date, if there are extenuating circumstances. The faculty member assigns a sanction, up to and including giving the student a failing grade for the class.
d. Sample sanctions include but are not limited to:
1. Repeat the assignment or complete another assignment.
2. 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”).
3. Failure of the class.
e. In cases of egregious violations of the AIP, the faculty member may request that the Academic Integrity Board consider more severe sanctions for the student(s) involved, including suspension or expulsion from the University. In this case, the faculty member should file the form for a hearing request with the Dean of Students Office. The form may be obtained from the Dean of Students Office or http://www.philau.edu/learning/Advising/advisingforms.html. Once the form is filed, the student(s) shall remain enrolled in the course, unless the faculty member requests immediate removal of the student(s) from the course. Such requests for immediate removal are forwarded to the Office of the Provost.
3) Recording of Violations with the Dean of Students Office: The faculty member has the prerogative—and is strongly encouraged—to document all violations of the AIP. To document the violation, the faculty member should send written documentation (paper or electronic) to the Dean of Students Office, which serves as the repository for reported violations of the AIP. The description sent to the Dean of Students should detail the violation, the discussions between faculty member and student, and the penalty imposed for the violation. It is anticipated that a vast majority of such violations will end with resolution at the course level and with the recording of the violation and resolution with the Dean of Students Office, requiring no further action by the faculty member or the Dean of Students.
The Dean of Students Office is obliged to keep the record of AIP violations confidential, as mandated by the University Student Records policy. In cases of repeat violations of the AIP by the student or in cases in which further adjudication is being considered, the Academic Integrity Board will be informed and will maintain confidentiality. The Dean of Students Office may also initiate proceedings with the Academic Integrity Board if a student has received a citation for more than one violation of the AIP, or if a violation of the AIP is reported by a university department not directly tied to teaching (as with the Library, the Office of Information Resources, Learning & Advising, etc.).
4) Referral to the Academic Integrity Board: There are three possible scenarios in which an alleged violation of the AIP proceeds to the Academic Integrity Board for adjudication:
a. In perceived egregious violations of the AIP, the faculty member may request a full hearing as a means to determine an appropriate penalty, in cases where the faculty member deems that the student’s actions warrant suspension or expulsion from the University. In these cases, the faculty member files a form for a hearing request with the Dean of Students Office.
b. The student(s) involved has the right to appeal the finding and/or sanctions leveled by the faculty member. In this case, the student(s) files the form for a hearing request with the Dean of Students Office.
c. The Dean of Students also may request a judgment by the Academic Integrity Board in cases of repeat violations of the AIP, or if a violation of the AIP is reported by a university department not directly tied to teaching (as with the Library, the Office of Information Resources, Learning & Advising, etc.).
The form can be obtained from the Dean of Students Office or http://www.philau.edu/learning/Advising/advisingforms.html. The form for a hearing request should be filed with the Dean of Students Office within 7 days of the faculty member’s imposition of a sanction (unless there are extenuating circumstances that require additional time), to allow for scheduling of a hearing as soon as possible. At this time, the Dean of Students Office will also inform the student’s academic advisor and the Executive Dean of the student’s degree-granting college of the proceedings against a student.
5) Convocation and Composition of the Academic Integrity Board: The Dean of Students Office will set up and convene the hearing within two weeks of the filed request (unless extenuating circumstances require a delay). The Academic Integrity Board will comprise three voting faculty members (including the Chair of the Student Experience Committee, who chairs the Board proceedings, and two other faculty members from the Student Experience Committee), and two voting student members (drawn from a pool of students from the Student Experience Committee or those nominated by the Dean of Students Office). One administrative representative from the Dean of Students Office will be present in a non-voting capacity, to record the proceedings and to insure the proper administration of the hearing and recording of the finding.
6) Proceedings of the Academic Integrity Board: The faculty member who made the initial finding or referral to Academic Integrity Board may submit a written statement and supporting evidence, as she deems appropriate, and should be prepared to appear at the hearing to present evidence. The student(s) involved in the adjudication may submit a written statement and supporting evidence, and must appear before the Board to address the finding of the faculty member. For students enrolled in online or other distance-learning formats, the Academic Integrity Board may include the student by means of internet-based visual and verbal participation or, in cases where visual interaction is technology not possible, by phone. The student’s academic advisor, Advising Advocate, and Executive Dean are permitted—but are not required—to attend the hearing, though not in a voting capacity. The Chair of the Academic Integrity Board will determine whether any witnesses may offer testimony. The five voting members of the Board will make a judgment that shall uphold, amend, or retract the sanction(s) imposed by the faculty member. In cases of egregious violations of the AIP or recurrent violations of the AIP, the Academic Integrity Board has the authority to suspend or expel the student from the University.
7) Documentation of the Academic Integrity Board Hearings: All documentation of the hearing process will be kept on file in the Dean of Students Office. The student will be told of the outcome of the hearing immediately after deliberation, and will receive a written summary of the finding of the Academic Integrity Board within 3 working days of the hearing. The student’s Executive Dean and Academic Advisor will also be informed of the conclusion of the Academic Integrity Board.
8) Appeal of the Academic Integrity Board Decision: Students have the right to appeal a decision by the Academic Integrity Board in accordance with the guidelines governing a “University Committee” published in the University Catalog: “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.”
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships provide students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in the professional fields they are considering for career paths. Academic internships at Philadelphia University aid students in professional preparation through a work experience directly related to their major and career goals. All academic internships must meet the NACE criteria for an experience to be considered an internship (visit www.philau.edu/careerservices/students/internships for details).
Academic internships are offered during the fall, spring and 12-week summer term. The course syllabus is focused on professional skill-building and written assignments. Graduate-level internships are offered as a 3-credit course. Graduate students are permitted to enroll in the undergraduate 0.5-credit course in order to meet employer hiring policies, but it does not count towards graduate degree requirements. Students may only enroll in an internship course during the semester of the internship experience; credit is not issued retroactively or for future experiences.
While the primary emphasis of the course 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 a student’s overall career and professional development. The Career Services Center and designated Faculty Internship Advisor (FIA) from the student’s major provide support and guidance during the semester of participation. Career Services staff is also available to assist students with internship search strategies 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. Graduate internships (when administered by the Career Services Center) require a minimum of 12 weeks in length and a minimum of 12 hours per week on site. All required hours and coursework must be completed within the semester dates for which the student is enrolled in the internship course.
Internship course registration may only occur once an offer has been received and accepted from the employer. Several steps are required in order to register, and the Registrar’s Office ultimately enrolls each student in the internship course once all required paperwork is completed and submitted. The deadline to register for academic internships is the last day to add class for the semester of intended participation as established by the Registrar’s Office. (Refer to the academic calendar for specific dates.) Students are strongly encouraged to apply early and to contact Career Services for assistance, which provides the best success in finding an appropriate experience in time to meet registration deadlines. To learn more about the registration process, visit www.philau.edu/careerservices/students/internships.
Minimum Requirements for Participation:
- Full-time status during the regular academic year (fall/spring semesters; may differ by program)
- 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 to program enrollment
- Must be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Visit www.philau.edu/careerservices/students/internships for details
Note: Students not meeting minimum requirements may be considered by submitting a formal appeal. Contact Career Services for additional information.
To learn more about academic internships at Philadelphia University, visit www.philau.edu/careerservices/students/internships or contact Career Services at email@example.com or 215-951-2930.
Students’ academic records are reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer, to evaluate academic standing and satisfactory progress toward degree requirements. The program director or coordinator will notify the student when problems in academic performance may jeopardize a student’s good standing. Official notification of probation or dismissal will be in writing and sent directly to the student by the program director or coordinator. Poor academic performance leading to probation or dismissal is listed below.
Students whose academic records include one or more of the following will be placed on academic probation by their respective program directors or coordinators:
- Semester grade point average below 3.0 (including all courses taken)
- Cumulative grade point average below 3.0
- A grade below “B-” in one or more courses (including foundation courses and undergraduate prerequisite courses)
- Withdrawing from a course for academic reasons
Students on academic probation will be required to improve their academic performance their next semester enrolled in order to be removed from academic probation. These details will be provided in writing to the student upon notification of placement on probation.
If the student is placed on probation and remains on probation at the end of the following semester, the student will be dismissed from the University. In addition, students whose academic record includes one or any combination of the following will be dismissed from the University.
- Cumulative grade point average below 3.0 for any two terms
- Probation for any three terms
- A grade below “B-” in two or more courses (including foundation courses and undergraduate prerequisite courses)
- Failure to repeat specified courses as stipulated in the probation notice, including outstanding grades of “F” in courses in the student’s program
- Failure to earn minimum 3.0 grade in a repeated course
- A grade of “F” or “NC” in more than one course within the student’s program
- Unprofessional behavior and/or conduct that violates the University’s Code of Conduct (www.PhilaU.edu/studenthandbook) or other behavioral guidelines as communicated directly to the student by the program director or coordinator. Conduct guidelines that are specific to a program or profession are published on the program’s website.
Students will receive written notification of academic dismissal and may appeal for reinstatement by submitting a written request for reinstatement to the chair and sub-committee chair of the Student Experience Committee by the date listed in the letter. The petition for reinstatement should include:
1. An explanation of the poor academic performance that led to the dismissal, i.e. insufficient credits earned and/or low GPA.
2. An explanation of whether the student worked with his/her program director, sought tutoring assistance or accessed other support services to address academic performance.
3. Documentation concerning any mitigating circumstances that may have contributed to poor performance. This includes but is not limited to medical or psychological documentation.
4. A plan for preventing recurrence of these academic difficulties and for raising credits and/or the GPA above the minimum standard for continued enrollment.
5. Letters of support from the program director, professors or other support staff (optional).
Members of the Student Experience Committee will review petitions for academic reinstatement. Written notification will be made as soon as practical, no later than one business day prior to the beginning of the enrollment period for which the student is seeking reinstatement.
If a student is readmitted to the University following an appeal to the Student Experience Committee, a semester will be stipulated for his/her re-admission. If students wish to enter more than one year from the original semester indicated on their letter, their request must be resubmitted to the Student Experience Committee for re-evaluation.
Students readmitted to the University are placed on terminal probation and must meet the stipulations established for them. Failure to do so will result in automatic dismissal from the University.
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 WebAdvisor. 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 is 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.
|1a||Dismissal from University - Undergraduate Students||Appeal the dismissal from the University to the Student Experience Committee. The Committee will only review a second appeal based on relevant new information.|
|1b||Dismissal from University - Graduate Students||Appeal the dismissal from the University in KC-DEC: Director of Graduate Studies; C-SHLA: Health Professions Council; C-ABE – Associate Dean|
|2||Permission To Take Classes at Another Institution||If the permission form is denied, appeal to Associate Dean. However, there is no appeal if the course is not approved. Students must still meet residency, majors and other requirements as stated in the most current catalog.|
|3||Course Substitution/ Waiver||Advisors review for ‘fit” to program; designated faculty approve the course as substitution; Program Director or Associate Dean approve appeal.|
|4a||Late Course Withdraw - Undergraduate Students (see 4b if withdrawing from all classes).||Appeal to Director of the Learning & Advising Center.|
Withdrawing/Dropping All Courses After the Withdraw Period – Undergraduate Students
|Appeal to Student Life. Student is responsible for determining how this will impact their financial aid and student account. (For this information, contact both the Financial Aid and Student Account Offices.) The financial impact is likely to be significant when a student’s status changes from FT to PT, or vice versa.|
|4c||Late Course Withdraw - Graduate Students||Appeal to Program Directors. Student is responsible for determining how this will impact their financial aid and student account. (For this information, contact both the Financial Aid and Student Account Offices.) The financial impact is likely to be significant when a student’s status changes from FT to PT or vice versa.|
|4d||Withdrawing/Dropping All Courses After the Withdraw Period/Leave of Absence – Graduate Students||For permission in C-DEC; Director of Graduate Studies; C-SHLA: Health Professions Council/Chair; C-ABE: Associate Dean.|
|4e||Late Course Withdraw/Late Course Add – Continuing & Professional Studies Students||Appeal to SCPS Director. Student is responsible for determining how this will impact their financial aid and student account. (For this information, contact both the Financial Aid and Student Account offices). The financial impact is likely to be significant when a student’s status changes from FT to PT or vice versa.|
|5||Late Course Add (after drop/add date)||Appeal to the Director of the Learning & Advising Center. Prior to filing the appeal, the student must obtain approval from their college’s Manager of Academic Operations (MAO), and the student is responsible for determining how this will impact their financial aid and student account. (For this information, contact both the Financial Aid and Student Account Offices.) The financial impact is likely to be significant when a student’s status changes from FT to PT or vice versa.|
|6||Late Course Drop (after drop/add date)||Appeal to the Director of Learning & Advising.|
|7||Course Appeal of a Grade/Grade Change||Appeal to course instructor, then reviewed by Associate Dean.|
|8||Course Appeal to Change Course to Credit/No Credit Grade After Deadline||Appeal to the Director of the Learning and Advising Center.|
|9||University Residency Requirements||Appeal to the Director of the Learning and Advising Center.|
|10||Withdraw/LOA and Refund of Tuition, Room and Board||Appeal to the Tuition Appeal Committee – Business Office, Student Life, Financial Aid and representatives.|
|11||Placement into Fundamentals Courses||Appeal to the Director of the Learning and Advising Center.|
|12||Permission to Walk (in Graduation)||Appeal to the Registrar|
|13||Consideration of AP Scores for Credit when Submitted After the Second Semester in Residence||Appeal to the Director of the Learning and Advising Center.
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 instructors about all extended absences to learn of their academic standing in 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 weather, a notice will be posted on www.PhilaU.edu, 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:
Evening (announced after 3 p.m.)
Main Campus: 2230
Bucks County Campus: 2751
If classes are canceled due to inclement weather, students are responsible for checking their university email and/or Blackboard for information from their faculty advising them of any immediate impact on the students’ preparation for the next class meeting. In order to address any missed learning due to cancellation of class sessions, faculty members have several options including:
- Holding class through electronic means by emailing the students or posting to Blackboard class lessons, discussion forums and/or additional assignments related to class content;
- Holding class at a rescheduled time acceptable to all class members. If there are students who are unable to attend a rescheduled class, the faculty should make reasonable accommodations for the student(s) to make up the work.
- Holding class through synchronous online means.
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 www.PhilaU.edu/studenthandbook.
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 www.PhilaU.edu/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 website at http://www.philau.edu/registar 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.”
A credit hour is a measure of the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. A credit hour is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than: (1) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or, (2) at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities such as laboratory work, studio work, internships, or other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
For studio and laboratory courses, the conventional suggestion is two hours of instruction and at least four hours of work outside of class each week for approximately 15 weeks represent one hour of credit.
Following is an example of notation used in course descriptions in the academic catalog to designate the hours in class per week and the credit earned:
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 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.
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 the student’s Academic Standing. To withdraw from a course, all students must submit a signed Course Withdrawal form to the University Registrar. Forms may be found online at the Registrar’s website: http://www.philau.edu/registrar.
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 his/her transcript and affect the student’s 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 terms.
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,” “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.
To appeal a grade for a course, the student should first discuss the grade with the faculty for the course. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of this discussion, the student may file a subsequent appeal with the Associate Dean of the College. In the event that the student is not satisfied with the outcome at that level, or if there is not an intermediary, an appeal may be submitted to the Executive Dean of the College. The Executive Dean is the final appeal.
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 website, www.PhilaU.edu/registrar.
This in no way affects the institutional policy regarding the grade of “Incomplete.”
Current students can access and print their grade reports using WebAdvisor. Grade reports are not mailed to students.
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)
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 his/her 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 website, www.PhilaU.edu/registrar. An “I” grade automatically becomes an “F” (failure) unless changed by the end of the 4th week counting from the last day of the end of the semester in which the course was taken.
* 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.
Philadelphia University defines graduate credit hours in the following way:
- 6 & > Credits is equal to full-time
- 3 to 5.999 credits is equal to half-time, and
- 0.5 to 2.999 is equal to less time.
See also financial aid guidelines.
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 online for graduation and then 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: www.philau.edu/registrar.
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 IXTA-100 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 online: http://www.philau.edu/gradstudent.
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 www.PhilaU.edu/registrar. Students will be billed for graduation fees.
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” can be found as a resource on the Office of the Provost website, see http://philau.edu/provost/.
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 the faculty member’s time available, professional interests and his/her estimate of an applicant’s prospects for doing suitable work.
The student plans specific activities and goals with the help of the cooperating faculty member. S/he must then receive approval for the plans and complete the Independent Study agreement form, which is available online at the Registrar’s website, www.philau.edu/registrar. The student is responsible for bringing the completed and signed form to the University Registrar for official enrollment purposes.
Requirements for an Independent Study
(Additional requirements may exist for each college.)
- 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 Hallmarks Core 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.
In the interest of advancing the scholarly activity of the University, promoting academic integrity and supporting both individual and institutional interests, the University has established certain intellectual property policies that cover the recognition, disclosure, publication and ownership of discoveries made in connection with the academic/research activities of the University. Students, staff and faculty are both protected and bound by these policies.
With respect to research that is sponsored by a governmental authority or other third party, the rights of students in any intellectual property that they may discover or create is governed by the terms of the specific agreement between the University and such third party.
Students must comply with all laws and the University policies applicable to intellectual property. Intellectual property includes copyrights, patents and trademarks which are further described in the University’s intellectual property policies.
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 the student’s 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 student’s GPA 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 website for appropriate form). Students must check with the Student 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..
Students who are not in good academic standing are permitted to apply for withdrawal, but not leave of absence. Under these circumstances, the Student Experience sub-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:
- Complete the Medical Leave of Absence Form. (Students can obtain this form from the Registrar’s website: www.philau.edu/registrar.)
- 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).
- 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 or grades on their transcript. Those students who obtain a medical leave during the semester but prior to the “last day to withdraw from a course” will receive “W’s” on their transcripts. 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.
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 his/her 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 coursework (or in the case of thesis or dissertation, a final version of the thesis or dissertation), 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 website.
** These courses will have an identical course number with an “e” indicating a matriculation extension.
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 earned 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.
Credits earned under non-degree status cannot be used to receive a certificate, minor, specialization/concentration, or any degree without matriculating.
Registration: 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 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):
|Prior to the first class meeting||100%|
|Prior to the second class meeting||80%|
|Prior to the third class meeting||60%|
|Prior to the fourth class meeting||40%|
|After the fourth class meeting||0%|
Online Policy (including Summer Online courses) regardless of login status:
|Before classes start||100%|
|During the first week of classes||80%|
|During the second week of classes||60%|
|During the third week of classes||40%|
|Beginning of the fourth week of class||0%|
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 if they wish to have the failing grade replaced in GPA on the transcript. (The 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 he/she presents the University Registrar with written approval from their advisor.
A student who has passed a class twice 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 webpage, http://www.philau.edu/registrar.
When a course is repeated, the original grade will remain on the transcript, but it 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 the “Permission to Take Courses at Another Institution” form on Learning and Advising website http://www.philau.edu/learning.
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 therein. The Catalog website (www.PhilaU.edu/catalog) is subject to change and will be updated. Students are responsible for monitoring the website concerning changes to policies and procedures that might affect their progress toward graduation and for regularly checking campus mailboxes and Philadelphia University email as a means of keeping informed.
Philadelphia University is committed to providing excellent and innovative educational opportunities to its students. To help maintain quality academic offerings and to conform to professional accreditation requirements where relevant, the University and its programs regularly examine the effectiveness of the curricula, teaching, services, and programs the University provides. As Philadelphia University sees appropriate, it may retain representative examples or copies of student work from all courses. This might include papers, exams, creative works, or portfolios developed and submitted in courses or to satisfy the requirements for degree programs as well as surveys, focus group information, and reflective exercises.
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 s/he 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 photographs. 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 online 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 Can 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 member 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 fewer 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/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 to which the student has waived his or her rights of access, or that 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 that 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 is a former student who lives within a commuting distance of Philadelphia University;
2. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to Philadelphia University; or
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.
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
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, Second Floor
Custodian of Records: Dean of Students
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: Office of International Education and Global Initiatives, Kanbar Campus Center, First Floor
Custodian of Records: Director of International Education and Exchange Programs
Location: Career Services, Kanbar Campus Center
Custodian of Records: Director of Career Services
Note: Other student education records not indicated above are 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; 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 that is part of his/her responsibilities or contract agreement, performing a task that is related to the student's education, 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. Upon request to officials of another school to 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 dependent 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 s/he believes should be changed and specify why s/he believes 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/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 of the date, place and time of the hearing reasonably in advance;
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 s/he 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 that contains the contested portion, s/he 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 rights 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 are available for inspection at the Office of the University Registrar.
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.
Process for requesting a transcript can be found on the web at www.philau.edu/registrar/forms.htm
The fee for a transcript is $5 per copy, $10 for same-day copy, and $20 for an overnight copy that must be received by 10 a.m.
Please note that unofficial copies of the transcript are available to currently enrolled students through their WebAdvisor 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 Transcripts@PhilaU.edu.
- 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, 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 with financial obligations to the University will not be issued a transcript.
See catalog “Unadjusted Indebtedness.”
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 www.philau.edu/learning. 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.
No diploma, certificate, official grade report, transcript or recommendation will be granted to any person who has any unadjusted indebtedness to 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 the student’s 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 webpage http://www.philau.edu/registrar. To return to the University after withdrawal, see the section on “Re-entry to the University.”
See “Leave of Absence”