Sep 21, 2020  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
    
2020-2021 University Catalog

USciences ONLINE


USciences ONLINE Admissions 

Graduate Degrees:

Eligible applicants:

  • Will possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • Will have earned an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • May transfer up to 12 credits of coursework with a 2.5 GPA or better 

Students can have official electronic transcripts emailed to successcoach@usciences.edu or mailed to the Admissions Office at:

University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

For International Students:

  • TOEFL score of at least 80, OR
  • IELTS score of at least 6.5, OR
  • Have completed an undergraduate degree from an English-speaking college or university. If the institution is in the U.S., the institution must be regionally accredited.

Graduate Certificates:

Admission Info

Eligible applicants:

  • Will possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • Will have earned an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • May transfer up to 3 credits of coursework with a 2.5 GPA or better 

Students can have official electronic transcripts emailed to successcoach@usciences.edu or mailed to the Admissions Office at:

University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

For International Students:

  • TOEFL score of at least 80, OR
  • IELTS score of at least 6.5, OR
  • Have completed an undergraduate degree from an English-speaking college or university. If the institution is in the U.S., the institution must be regionally accredited.

Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates:

Admission Info

  • Will possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  • Requirement to submit high school diploma or GED is waived if you have completed 10+ college credits as a degree seeking student from a regionally accredited institution prior to your enrollment at USciences.
  • May accept a maximum of 90 credits towards a Bachelor’s degree transferred from an accredited undergraduate program with the approval of the Director of Online Academics. Transfer credits require a grade of “C” or better. The coursework must meet the specific requirements of your program of study.

USciences ONLINE Tuition and Fees  

USciences Online tuition costs are fixed and there are no additional fees.

Program Cost Per Credit
Graduate Degree $750
Undergraduate Degree $450
Graduate Certificate $750
Undergraduate Certificate $450

If you have any questions, reach out to the financial aid office at 215.596.8894 or financialaid@usciences.edu.

USciences ONLINE Refund Policy

Students withdrawing from a course are financially responsible for the tuition charges. Students who remain active with the University, but drop one or more classes prior to the end of each semester’s drop-add period may receive a refund of charges for those classes under certain circumstances. Graduate students billed at a per-credit rate, will be refunded based on the refund schedule.

Segment or Semester Refund for 8 Week USciences Online Courses 
Before the first day of class 100%
During the first week of class  100%
During the second week of class  50%
Beyond the second week of class  No Refund 

USciences ONLINE Academic Year 2020 Calendar*

Classes Begin - Spring A 2020

Monday, January 13

Classes End - Spring A 2020 Friday, March 6
Classes Begin - Spring B 2020 Monday, March 9 
Classes End - Spring B 2020 Friday, May 1 
Classes Begin - Summer A 2020 Monday, May 4 
Classes End - Summer A 2020 Friday, June 26
Classes Begin - Summer B 2020 Monday, June 29 
Classes End - Summer B 2020 Friday, August 21
Classes Begin - Fall A 2020 Monday, August 31
Classes End - Fall A 2020 Monday, October 23 
Classes Begin - Fall B 2020 Monday, October 26 
Classes End - Fall B 2020 Friday, December 18 
   

USciences ONLINE Academic Year 2021 Calendar*

Classes Begin - Spring A 2021

Monday, January 11

Classes End - Spring A 2021 Friday, March 5
Classes Begin - Spring B 2021 Monday, March 8
Classes End - Spring B 2021 Friday, April 30 
Classes Begin - Summer A 2021 Monday, May 3
Classes End - Summer A 2021 Friday, June 25
Classes Begin - Summer B 2021 Monday, June 28 
Classes End - Summer B 2021 Friday, August 20
Classes Begin - Fall A 2021 Monday, August 30 
Classes End - Fall A 2021 Friday, October 22
Classes Begin - Fall B 2021 Monday, October 25 
Classes End - Fall B 2021 Friday, December 17 

 

USciences ONLINE Academic Year 2022 Calendar*

Classes Begin - Spring A 2022

Monday, January 17 

Classes End - Spring A 2022 Friday, March 11 
Classes Begin - Spring B 2022 Monday, March 14 
Classes End - Spring B 2022 Friday, May 6
Classes Begin - Summer A 2022 Monday, May 9 
Classes End - Summer A 2022 Friday, July 1 
Classes Begin - Summer B 2022 Monday, July 4 
Classes End - Summer B 2022 Friday, August 26 
Classes Begin - Fall A 2022 Monday, August 29
Classes End - Fall A 2022 Friday, October 21 
Classes Begin - Fall B 2022 Monday, October 24 
Classes End - Fall B 2022 Friday, December 16 

*Academic calenders are subject to change visit https://online.usciences.edu/ for the latest information. 

USciences ONLINE Academic Policies

Academics

The information, Online academic policies, and procedures outlined below are designed to guide USciences Online students during their studies. They do not constitute a binding contract and may be changed at any time. For assistance with these policies and procedures, speak with your Student Success Coach or Director of Academics.

Please note that some academic programs have additional requirements that are delineated in the University Catalog.

Catalog Year for Degree Requirements

Catalog Year is a term that refers to a set of degree requirements as they apply to individual students in their progress toward earning a degree from USciences. Catalog Year starts with the summer term of each academic year. For example, the 2019 Catalog Year starts with the 2019 summer semester (19/SU).  For USciences Online courses, each semester contains two terms (A&B). 

Generally, students are responsible for the degree requirements in force for their major at the time when the student initially enrolls as a first-year (U1) student. Catalog Year is used by the Degree Audit system to evaluate a student’s progress toward meeting the degree requirements that apply to them in their current major. Certain circumstances listed below have special rules governing Catalog Year.

  • Transfer Students—Catalog Year for Undergraduate Online transfer students will be backdated to the Catalog Year when they would have started attending the University as a first-year student. Students entering with a prior bachelor’s degree are considered to have met the requirements of General Education and do not have to satisfy the specific requirements of General Education.
  • Change of Major—If a student changes his/her major, his/her Catalog Year will remain the same as his/her original entering year.
  • Leave of Absence—Students who return from an official Leave of Absence retain their original Catalog Year, which is based on their original entrance to USciences.
  • Readmitted Students—Students who are readmitted after having been separated from the University should have the same Catalog Year as a normally progressing student in the Class Level into which the student is readmitted. This is the same as a transfer student.
  • Readmitted Students (Academic Fresh Start)—Students who are readmitted under the Academic Fresh Start program are treated as new first-year admissions. They will have the Catalog Year appropriate for a first-year (U1) student entering USciences in the semester in which they reenter the University.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy 

Access to Education Records

Annual Notice to Students

University of the Sciences fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. This law is sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment.

The act grants students specific rights and protections with regard to their education records. It governs access to, release of, and corrections to the records kept by the University on current and former students. These rights do not extend to individuals who never actually attend the University.

Students wishing to review or correct their education records should submit a written request to the Registrar indicating which records they wish to review or what corrections they believe are necessary. If the records in question are not in the control of the Registrar, the request will be forwarded to the appropriate University official. While prompt attention is given to all such requests, the University reserves the right to respond no later than 45 days after receiving a request.

Education records are available to University officials and agents with legitimate educational interest. Such interest exists when access to the records is necessary for the official or agent to perform his/her professional duties. An agent may include a person or company (including contractors and consultants) with whom the University has contracted to provide a service that the University would otherwise perform and may include a communication and data service, an attorney, an auditor, a collection agent, etc. This also may include officials at other educational institutions with which USciences has a partnership agreement for student enrollment. Personally identifiable information from students’ education records is only released, other than to University officials and agents, upon a specific written and dated request from the student or as provided for by federal or state law.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student’s education records and personally identifiable information (private information) contained in such records—including Social Security number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without the student’s consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to a student’s records and private information without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to a student’s education records and private information without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive a student’s personally identifiable information, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without the student’s consent private information from education records, and they may track a student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such private information to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

The following information related to a student is considered “Directory Information” and under FERPA, the University may release the following without a  student’s prior consent:   the student’s name, USciences ID number, address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received, photograph, class level, undergraduate/graduate status.  

 The University reserves the right to disclose directory information to anyone inquiring without the student’s written consent and will limit information made public to these categories.  Students can request that any or all such information not be released by informing the Registrar’s Office, in writing before the end of drop/add each semester.

A copy of the University’s policy in compliance with FERPA can be obtained upon request from the Registrar’s Office. All questions regarding FERPA should be directed to the Registrar. Information is also available from, and students have a right to file a complaint regarding compliance with, the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.

Taking and Completing Courses 

Attendance Regulations

There are certain kinds of information and certain intangible values gained by attendance/participation in classes that are not capable of being measured by examinations and which a student will lack as a result of excessive absence. Accordingly, attendance in all classes is strongly encouraged. University-wide attendance regulations for Online students are listed below; additional requirements for attendance are determined by course instructors and will be included in the course syllabus.

All Online students are required to academically participate in their course no later than 11:59 PM EST on the 7th calendar day of class within the session.  Academic participation will be determined by completion of the required activities as assigned by your professor in the course. Those students who do not demonstrate any academic participation may be administratively dropped from their course(s) by the Office of the Registrar, with a full reversal of tuition and fees. Students who are dropped from course(s) due to lack of participation will not   eligible to receive disbursements of federal financial aid

Absence Due to Religious Observations

The University of the Sciences appreciates the religious and spiritual diversity of our campus community, and recognizes that upon specific occasions, reasonable efforts should be made to accommodate the religious observances of faculty, students, and staff.

University policy grants students excused absences from class(es) for observance of religious holy days, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the instructor. Faculty are asked to be responsive to requests when students contact them IN ADVANCE to request such an excused absence. Students are responsible for completing assignments and assessments due during their absence.

Once a student has registered for a class, the student is expected to examine the course syllabus for potential conflicts with holy days and to notify the instructor (by the end of the first week of classes for assignments and assessments during the 8 weeks of instruction and by the end of the fourth week of instruction for final exams) of any conflicts that may require an absence (including any required additional preparation/travel time). The student is also expected to remind the faculty member in advance of the missed class(es) or assessments, and to make arrangements in advance (with the faculty member) to make up any missed assignments or assessments within a reasonable amount of time.

Faculty should keep in mind that religion is a deeply personal and private matter and should make every attempt to respect the privacy of the student when making accommodations.

If a student and course instructor cannot agree on an accommodation, the student may bring the matter to the Director of Academics for a decision prior to the missed class.

Absence from and Makeup of Examinations

  • Each instructor must include his/her makeup examination policy in his/her course syllabus. It is the discretion of the instructor to decide which makeup reasons are valid and when the makeup examination or assessment will take place.
  • Post-semester makeup examination policy: As during final examinations, students with more than 3 post-semester makeup examinations scheduled within a 24-hour time period who desire a different time and date for one or more than one of the makeup examinations must contact the faculty administering the examination(s) at least one week prior to the makeup examination date to request an alternative date and time. 
  • Incomplete grades must still be finalized within 21 calendar days of the end of the term.

Rules Governing Examinations and Graded Assessments

Rules governing the administration of examinations and graded assessments, as well as policies related thereto, are determined by course instructors and will be included in the course syllabus. For the purposes of this policy the term “graded assessment” includes examinations and other activities where students are assessed.

  • Course Materials: 
Graded assessments that are not returned to students will be available from the instructor, course coordinator, or Director of Academics for student review for 45 calendar days following the final date for that course.

Academic Standards and Academic Progress

Definition of Full-time Status for Academic Purposes

Full-time status for undergraduate students for academic purposes is defined as 12 or more credits of registered coursework at the end of the drop/add period. 

Full-time Master’s students are expected to complete all the requirements for their degree in two academic years. All students pursuing Master’s degrees must complete their degree requirements within a five-year time period.

Full-time Enrollment:  USciences Online MS and Graduate Certificates students, the minimum credit load for full-time status is 6 graduate credit hours per semester (fall, spring, or summer).  Students in these programs who enroll in at least 3 semester hours of graduate study are considered to be half-time students.

General Information

The information in this section presents only university-wide academic standards.

Students in graduate degree programs (MS, MBA, MPH, PhD) and those in graduate level-certificate programs should consult with their Program Director for any information relevant to their discipline or the profession.

It is also important to note that many major programs have specific academic standards for academic standing, progression, graduation, etc. Please refer to the individual program sections of the University Catalog (catalog.usciences.edu) for information related to these standards.

Student Comments and Complaints

See Student Grievance Policy included with Orientation documents.

Grade Change Policy

Course grade changes shall only be made by the instructor of record in the student information system currently employed by the University for up to two months after the end of the term in which the student was registered for the course. Changes in course grades originally assigned by an instructor who is no longer an employee of the University may be made by the Program Director who has responsibility for teaching the course for up to two months after the end of the term in which the student was registered for the course. After two months, all grade changes must be approved by the instructor of record (if still employed by the University), and the Director of Academics.

Students requesting changes in course grades must present to the instructor of record (or to the Program Director if the instructor of record is no longer employed by the University) a copy of the course syllabus or other documents describing how final grades are determined, copies of all available graded materials, and a record of all communications between the student and the instructor regarding the course grade.

Transcripts

Student transcripts are maintained by the Registrar’s Office and are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. Students may request that an official copy of their transcript be sent to a third party (e.g., another college/university or an employer); an unofficial copy may be requested for the student’s personal use. An official transcript carries an authorized signature as well as the seal of University of the Sciences.

All requests for transcripts must be made in writing and signed by the student. There is a charge for each official transcript ($6 as of 2019), which is subject to change. Unofficial transcripts are free to students. University of the Sciences does not release transcripts unless tuition, fees, and other obligations due the University have been satisfied.  More information regarding transcript requests is available on the University website at https://www.usciences.edu/academics/academic-resources/registrar/transcripts-enrollment-verification.html

When a course is repeated/replaced, both courses will appear on the transcript. Replaced Courses are marked with the asterisk (*) symbol indicating the higher of the two grades has been used in the calculation of the GPA . Repeated Courses are marked with a pound or hashtag (#) symbol indicating all grades are included in the calculation of the GPA.

Students may view their official course grades and GPA information for each term online through WebAdvisor after faculty members have submitted grades for the term. Grades are not mailed to students.

Requirements for Graduation

To fulfill its obligation to the precepts of higher education, University of the Sciences has established standards of achievement that must be met before any student is recommended for graduation by the faculty. Every person upon whom a degree shall be conferred must have successfully completed the assigned curriculum and must have met the specific graduation requirements pertaining to the degree to be conferred.

A student must complete all graduation requirements by:

  • The end of the fall B, spring B, or summer B term, or
  • The 1st day of the month of July or November.

Any student not meeting these deadlines will be delayed until the next graduation date.

To qualify for an earned degree, students must:

  • Fulfill all of the requirements of the respective curriculum, including achieving at least the minimum academic requirements and passing all proficiencies required by the University and the major, as outlined in this Catalog and in the policies of the individual academic programs.
  • Be in good academic standing, having satisfied all academic and program requirements, and be free of all conduct holds at the conclusion of the final semester of enrollment.
  • File a Petition for Graduation at the start of the final semester of matriculation. To participate in the May Commencement Ceremony, the Petition for Graduation must be submitted by the end of the drop/add period of the spring semester, term A.

Only those students who have fulfilled all requirements for graduation by the end of the spring semester (term A or B) will be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Students with financial and/or conduct holds will not receive a diploma and will not be able to obtain a copy of their transcript until the hold(s) is/are released.  If a financial or conduct hold is in place, the University will not respond to requests for verification of graduation status on the graduate’s behalf.

Separation from the University

Dropped from the Rolls

 

Students will be dropped from the rolls if they:

  • Complete any three semesters (six terms), whether full-time or part-time, with an academic record resulting in academic probation; or
  • Fail the same course twice. This regulation applies whether the course is taken in regular sessions or in summer school, whether at the University or at another institution.

Students who do not meet the criteria for progression in their curriculum may be subject to being dropped from the rolls (refer to section on Academic Standards and Academic Progress).

Students who are dropped from programs for exceeding program probations will be dropped from the University rolls if they are not admitted to a program by the end of the drop/add period following the term they were dropped from their program.

The Director of Academics will officially notify the student of this action and notify pertinent University offices of the change in status.  A student who is dropped from the rolls is not eligible to attend any courses at the University. (Refer to sections on Readmission to the University and Fresh Start Readmission for readmission policies.)

Leave of Absence

  

Short-Term Leave of Absence Policy (No more than 10 business days)

In the event of an immediate and significant health or family emergency* a student may request from his/her Director of Academics, a Short-Term Leave of Absence (Short term LOA). A Short-Term Leave of Absence is intended to provide the student an opportunity to address the issue and then resume his/her academic course of study. If the student cannot resume his/her studies after 10 business days, the student may apply for a LOA for a longer period of time.

For any impact on fixed tuition rates, please reference the tuition policy.

*Examples of a significant health or family emergency include accident, injury, or illness requiring hospitalization; or health and/or safety concern (i.e., risk to self or to others), or death of a parent, sibling, or significant other. A Short-Term LOA does not negate or preclude the administration of the conduct policy or the administrative withdrawal policy.

To request a Short-Term LOA, the student should first contact his/her Director of Academics. The student may be asked to provide documentation to verify the circumstances. Upon approval of a Short-Term LOA, the Director of Academics will notify the applicable Program Director, course instructors, Student Success Coach, and Student Affairs. Upon return to the academic program, the student is responsible for working with the instructors to complete the course requirements as specified in the course syllabus.

Personal Leave of Absence and Medical Leave of Absence 

There are two additional types of leaves of absence, a Personal Leave of Absence and a Medical Leave of Absence.

A leave of absence affords students the opportunity to remain in academic standing with their program and not have to reapply for admission. A leave of absence form must be requested from the Student Success Coach, completed and submitted to the student’s Director of Academics and Student Success Coach.

The leave of absence may have financial aid implications and the student should meet with Financial Aid prior to the leave of absence and at the time they return from the leave. To be in compliance with Title IV Financial Aid Programs, USciences reports the student as “Withdrawn” from USciences to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) on the date the leave begins. 

Reasons a student may be granted a personal leave of absence include but are not limited to personal or financial problems or military service. To be considered for a personal LOA, the student must:

  • Submit a written request for the leave to his/her Director of Academics and provide documentation to verify the circumstances cited in the request for the leave.
  • Speak with his/her Director of Academics, or designee, to review the request, including the precipitating circumstances and submitted documentation.

A medical leave of absence may be requested when a student’s medical or psychological condition significantly impairs his/her ability to function successfully or safely in the academic environment. Requests for a medical leave of absence are coordinated through the Dean of Students’ office. 

To be considered for a medical leave of absence, the student must take the following steps:

  • Have a major mental or physical health issue that cannot be mitigated in a short period of time, such as an incident involving a major accident, injury, or significant illness requiring hospitalization or extended treatment.
  • Meet with the Dean of Students or his/her designee to review the precipitating health concerns.
  • Provide documentation from a licensed health professional. The documentation must be typed and submitted on official letterhead and must include the name, address, office telephone number, license number, and signature of the health professional. The documentation should specify the length of time needed for the leave and the reason for the leave.

The Office of the Dean of Students will make the final determination if a personal or medical leave of absence will be granted and will notify the student in writing.

Upon approval of a personal or medical leave of absence, the Director of Academics will notify the Program Director, course instructors, Student Success Coach,  Student Affairs, Financial Aid and other pertinent USciences offices.

The Director of Academics will also determine the status of the student’s current coursework and whether or not the student should be withdrawn from courses.  A grade of “W” may be assigned by the Director of Academics to all registered coursework based on the effective date for the personal or medical leave of absence. The instructor for each course will have 10 working days from receipt of notice to reassign a course grade if appropriate.

If a medical leave of absence is granted, the Dean of Students will monitor the treatment with the student and licensed health professional. The Dean of Students may require additional documentation including medical evaluation, treatment plans, and evidence of compliance with treatment.

To return from a medical leave of absence, the student must submit medical documentation to the Dean of Students from a licensed health professional regarding his/her health status and ability to return to his/her studies. After reviewing the medical documentation, the Dean of Students will notify the Director of Academics whether the student is permitted to return to resume his/her academic course of study.

To return from a personal or medical leave of absence, the student must communicate with his/her Director of Academics by the return date specified on the leave of absence form. The Director of Academics will then notify the pertinent USciences offices that the student has been placed on “active” status. If the student does not return by the return date specified on the leave of absence, the student will be administratively withdrawn from USciences by the student’s Director of Academics.

Bereavement Policy

The University recognizes that students may suffer greatly from the loss of a loved one. Students suffering from bereavement should refer to the policies on Short-Term Leave of Absence, Leave of Absences, and Course Withdrawal for information on means to address this issue.

Advised to Withdraw

 

A student may be advised to withdraw from the University either on the grounds of conduct or academic standing.

Voluntary Withdrawals from the University

 

An official withdrawal from the University must be authorized by the Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program. A student will be officially withdrawn from the University once the student contacts the office of the Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program and provides notification of intent to withdraw either verbally or in writing.  This notification must include the student’s name, current address, phone number, and student identification number or other acceptable information that establishes the identity of the student.  The date the student notifies the Director of Academics of his/her withdrawal from the University will be the official effective date of withdrawal. If a student cannot directly contact the Director of Academics due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, another individual, acting on the student’s behalf, can provide the notice of intent to withdraw. Once the Director of Academics verifies that the individual is authorized to act on the student’s behalf, the date of withdrawal is effective as of the date of the initial notification.

A student who contacts the Director of Academics and only requests information on aspects of the withdrawal process, such as the potential consequences of the withdrawal, would not be considered to be withdrawn. However, if the student indicates that he/she is requesting this information because he/she will cease to attend USciences, the student would be considered to have provided official notification of his/her withdrawal.

The Director of Academics may request that the student submit the withdrawal request in writing or have an interview with the Director of Academics, but this is strictly voluntary and not required for withdrawal. The student must not attend any academic function or classes after notifying the Director of Academics that he/she is withdrawing from the University. The Director of Academics will notify the student and the pertinent University offices of the withdrawal.

When a withdrawal from the University is authorized by the Director of Academics, a “W” grade will be assigned for all courses in which the student is currently registered, unless the student withdraws during the drop/add period or after the conclusion of a term. The instructor for each course will be notified by the Director of Academics of the student’s withdrawal and will have 10 working days from receipt of notice to reassign a course grade.

Administrative Withdrawal

  

A student may be withdrawn from the University for major violations of University policy or for nonattendance. A typical reason for an administrative withdrawal includes noncompliance with University policy (e.g., nonpayment of debt or exceeding program time limits).

If a student who has ceased to attend the University did not begin the voluntary withdrawal process by contacting the Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program, the Director of Academics will administratively withdraw the student. The date that the Director of Academics learns of the student’s nonattendance will be the official effective date of withdrawal.

An administrative unit may initiate the administrative withdrawal action, but authority to withdraw a student for administrative reasons rests with the student’s Director of Academics. The student will be informed in writing by the Director of Academics of the action to withdraw and the criteria for readmission. The Director of Academics will also notify pertinent University offices.

Admission to an Academic Program after being Dropped from a Program

There is no guarantee of admission to a particular program after a student has been dropped from his/her academic program(s) based on program academic standards. The faculty reserves the right to readmit a student to his/her previous program or to admit a student to a different program based on individual program policies, and in this matter the faculty shall be the sole judge. Students should review the academic standards of specific programs and any program-specific application deadlines found in the University Catalog. 

Readmission to the University

  

There is no guarantee of readmission following a separation from the University. The faculty reserves the right to readmit a student, and in this matter the faculty shall be the sole judge.

Students who voluntarily withdrew from the University or were dropped from the rolls of the University may file an application for consideration of readmission with the Online Director of Academics  of the program in which they seek to re-enroll. To be considered for readmission, applications must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the start of a term.

Students who were dropped from the rolls of the University for either three semesters with an academic record resulting in academic probation or conduct expulsion will not be granted readmission for at least one calendar year from the date of separation from the University. Students who were dropped from the rolls of the University for failing the same course twice may immediately apply for readmission to a program in the University.

The application for readmission must provide evidence of the student’s ability to complete his/her degree program. The application must be accompanied by any official transcripts of all course(s) taken at other accredited colleges or universities during the period of separation from University of the Sciences.

Readmission of Military Service Members

 

In accordance with the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, students who leave the University to perform military service will be readmitted with their previous academic status intact, for an absence of up to five years in length. Students must provide advance notice of their intent to perform military service and must also provide notification of intent to re-enroll. This readmission policy, as well as the requirements for advance notice and notification to re-enroll, is subject to exceptions as noted in the law.

Fresh Start Readmission

  

A student may apply for readmission under the Fresh Start policy under the following circumstances: 1) the student has left the University after failing to achieve good academic standing, and 2) the student will have been absent from the University for at least one year between the date of withdrawal and the start date of the semester for which readmission is sought.

If a student is readmitted under the Fresh Start policy, his/her transcript will note all credits attempted and grades earned at University of the Sciences prior to readmission. However, grades previously earned will not contribute to the current grade point average calculations, and courses previously attempted will not be accepted toward fulfillment of the student’s current degree requirements.

Acceptance of transfer credits from other institutions will be granted in accordance with current University policy.

After Fresh Start readmission, the student must comply with all current academic regulations required by the University and his/her degree program. No student will be readmitted under this policy more than one time. Once a student is re-enrolled under the Fresh Start policy, the decision to treat the academic record as described above is irrevocable.

Students will be informed of the Fresh Start policy upon exiting the University and upon application for readmission in accordance with current University policy.

The final decision regarding readmission, including readmission under this Fresh Start policy, rests with the University’s faculty. The possible effect of the Fresh Start policy will be only one of the factors used in considering application for readmission.

USciences Online Graduate Academic Policies 

All graduate students are expected to abide by all University policies including the Student Code of Conduct outlined in the Student Handbook.  

Student Success Coach for Graduate Students

All graduate students are assigned a Student Success Coach on entering the program. The Student Success Coach(s) will act as the student’s guide to navigate course selection and aid the student in getting started in their degree program.

The responsibilities of the Student Success Coach are to:

  • Be knowledgeable about the graduate policies and procedures and those of the program
  • Serve as the principal liaison between the student and the Director of Academics
  • Authorize course selection for the purpose of registration and assist the student in completing the registration process
  • Monitor the student’s academic progress

Students are encouraged to stay in close contact with their Student Success Coach. Should a student experience any difficulty, they should contact the Student Success Coach.  Should the Student Success Coach become incapacitated or leave the institution, the Director of Academics will assign a new Student Success Coach.

Grading and Point System

The following grading system is used to indicate the quality of academic performance of graduate students at USciences:

 Grade

Points 

Description

Grade

Points

Description

A and A+

4

Exceptional

C

2.0

 

A-  

3.7

 

C-

1.7

 

B+  

3.3

Very Good

D+

1.3

 

B       

3.0

 

D

1.0

 

B-      

2.7

Minimum expectation

D-

0.7

 

 C+

2.3

Below expectations

F

0

Failure

Only courses in which the graduate student earns a grade of C+ or better can be applied toward meeting the minimum requirements of the USciences Online graduate degrees.

For courses taken on a pass/fail basis, the final course grade will be either ‘P’ pass (no point value and not included in the calculation of a grade point average) or ‘F’ failure (value of 0 and included in the calculation of the GPA).

Grade Requirements – Academic Standards

A USciences Online graduate student is expected to complete each didactic course with a minimum grade of C+.  Only courses in which a student earns a grade of C+ or higher can be credited toward their graduate degree requirements. While the graduate student may be required or may elect to take courses that are numbered below 700, only courses numbered 700 or above carry graduate credit.

The cumulative grade point average is computed using every course for which a letter grade has been received while as matriculated or non-matriculated graduate student at USciences.

A graduate student who fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.70 or higher or receives an unsatisfactory rating in research from the Research Advisory Committee will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation Requirements:

  1. Must achieve a 2.70 cumulative GPA at the end of three successive terms following the term in which the student was placed on probation and
  2. Must maintain at least a 2.70 semester GPA in any term in which student is on probation

Failure to meet either of these requirements will result in dismissal from the graduate program.

Graduate students, who initially register only for courses which do not earn a regular letter grade, e.g., research credit or audit, and thus have no cumulative grade point, are exempt from the rule requiring a cumulative grade point average of 2.70 each term. Graduate students who receive an incomplete grade may be placed on academic probation retroactively once the grade is converted to a final grade. 

A graduate student placed on academic probation because of an unsatisfactory rating in research for two consecutive terms or for any three terms will also be dismissed from the graduate program.

The student may appeal a dismissal by writing a letter to the Director of Academics within one week of receiving written notification of dismissal, outlining the reasons why he/she should not be dismissed.

Repetition of a Course

A graduate student must receive a C+ or better to earn graduate credit.  If a grade of less than a “C+” is earned for a required course, the course must be repeated.  A graduate student may be required by the program to repeat an elective course in which a grade less than C+ was received. If the course is repeated at USciences, both courses will appear on the student’s academic record and will be used in calculating the cumulative grade point average.

When a course is repeated successfully, at another accredited institution, with a C+ or higher grade, credit may be granted. However, the passing grade is not computed in the cumulative grade point average. The original grade remains on the academic record and is used in calculating the cumulative grade point average.

Grade Replacement

If a student is placed on probation for not having a cumulative GPA of 2.700, the student will be given three semesters to raise her/his cumulative GPA to at least 2.700. During this time on probation, the student must earn a semester GPA of at least 2.700 each semester while on probation. If either of these conditions is not met, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

To assist a graduate student who is on probation in overcoming this GPA deficit, up to three graduate-level courses (one for graduate certificate programs) in which the student did not receive a grade of at least a B- may be repeated. The courses must be identified by the student and agreed to by the student’s Director of Academics at the beginning of the probationary period. At the discretion of the Director of Academics, in the case of elective courses, a suitable replacement course may be identified instead of repeating the original course. Upon completion of the replacement course, the previous grade of the course being replaced, while noted on the student’s transcript, will not be counted in the student’s cumulative GPA. Courses in which the student was found to be guilty of a conduct issue (e.g., such as cheating, plagiarism, etc.) cannot have grades replaced by this mechanism.

Withdrawal from a Course

To withdraw officially from a course, the student must submit a completed Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office, which includes the signature of the course instructor and the Director of Academics.  The designation W (Withdrew – no point value – not included in calculation of the GPA) will be assigned after completion of the official withdrawal from a course. In such cases, the student will be financially liable for the course. 

A student who fails to complete the course withdrawal will not be considered to be withdrawn from the course and will receive an appropriate letter grade at the end of the term.

Late withdrawals may be granted by the Director of Academics only under extremely extenuating circumstances such as a major illness, extreme change in job responsibilities that make it impossible to fulfill academic responsibilities, or major health issue/death of an immediate family member.

Incomplete Grades/Courses

An incomplete is a privilege, not a right, to be determined by the course instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to request an incomplete from the course instructor. It is the faculty member’s perogative to approve or refuse the request.

Students not fulfilling course requirements at the completion of the term may be assigned an “In Progress” designation on their transcript.  The instructor is required to replace this “In Progress” designation with a final grade as soon as possible, but no later than 21 calendar days from the end of the term or the end of the Drop/Add period of the next term, whichever comes first.  If the instructor has not entered a final grade within the prescribed time limit, the Registrar will automatically enter a grade of ‘F’ and inform the instructor.  Extension beyond 21 calendar days may be granted by the course instructor in consultation with the Program Director in exceptional cases. 

Students will sign an Incomplete Contract for each course for which an extension is approved. The instructor will determine what the student must do (e.g., take one or more examinations, perform laboratory work, turn in reports, turn in notebooks, perform library assignments, etc.) in order to meet contract requirements.  Information regarding requirements to complete the course will be supplied to the student directly by the instructor.  The student is responsible for completing the work in the time allotted..

Audit

Graduate students may audit a course with the approval of the course instructor and Director of Academics. Students who audit a course do not take examinations and do not receive a grade for the course.  Students should advise their Student Success Coach of their intent to Audit a course.   The audit symbol AU is entered for the registered course on the student’s record.  Students cannot convert from audit to credit status or the reverse after the designated drop/add period.

Note: Audited course will not count toward meeting the minimum degree requirements and cost 1/2 of the normal tuition charge for the course. Students receiving a tuition scholarship may not use these funds to pay for an audited course.

Pass/Fail Option

An instructor may designate an elective course as a pass/fail elective for some or all students taking the course.

A student who wishes to take on a pass/fail basis a course which has been designated as a pass/fail election must make all necessary arrangements with the instructor prior to the end of  the drop/add period.  After the drop/add period the election is irrevocable.  A student may make only one pass/fail election per term.

All pass/fail courses will appear on a student’s transcript.  However, credit for courses taken on a pass/fail election is not included in the minimum number of credit hours required for a degree.

Registration

All matriculated USciences Online graduate students are required to register, each term, for a minimum of one didactic or research credit, or in absentia with the permission of the Director of Academics.  

The course selection in a particular term depends on the course requirements established by the Director of Academics. The Student Success Coach will assist the student in the appropriate course selection.  For USciences Online students, the Student Success Coach will register the student for courses.

Students wishing to change their roster of courses may only do so during the designated drop/add period or by returning the completed drop/add form with the proper signatures.

Students who will not enroll in any didactic or research credits in a given term must register in absentia (course AB800) and will not receive any financial aid; however, the student’s academic record will remain active. Students who are receiving extramural financial aid should check with the Financial Aid Office to determine the impact of being in absentia on their financial aid before electing this option. Time spent in absentia will count toward the maximum time allowed to complete degree requirements.

Matriculated students who do not properly register for classes at USciences or do not register in absentia by the end of the drop/add period in each semester will be administratively withdrawn and will be required to reapply for admission to their program of study. Upon reapplication for admission all applicable fees and charges are assessed. Such students will not be eligible to appear on class lists, attend classes/labs, receive grades, or earn credit.

Students may not register in absentia for two consecutive terms without the written approval of their Director of Academics. Students considering a longer absence from their graduate studies should apply for a leave of absence.

Usually, all matriculated graduate students are required to register for a minimum of one credit during their terminal term. The terminal term is defined as the term in which the student completes all degree requirements – not the term in which the student is to graduate (i.e., when the student receives the diploma).  

An exception to this policy would be for the case in which a student has one or more outstanding grades of incompletes from the previous term in the final didactic courses (not including research courses) needed to complete the degree requirements; in this case, with the permission of the Director of Academics, the student may complete the degree requirements by converting the incomplete grade during the term without registering for additional credits.  Students in the research phase of their degree must register for one credit each term until they have successfully completed their thesis/dissertation.

The completion of degree requirements means that the student must have completed all didactic, laboratory and project requirements of the program, including the minimum number of course requirements, and all research requirements, including journal papers, successful defense and submission to the Director of Academics of an approved, final copy of the M.S. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation.

Student Hold

Students who have a hold on their academic record are not eligible to register for classes and will not be officially enrolled even if they have submitted the proper registration documents. If a hold has been placed on a student’s record, the Registrar will confirm this for the student. The student must then contact the appropriate office(s) and take the necessary steps to clear the hold. If the hold is not cleared prior to the end of the drop/add period, the student will not be allowed to register for or attend classes, receive grades or earn credit during that term and will be administratively withdrawn. The student will be required to reapply for admission to the program of study. All applicable fees and charges will be assessed upon reapplication for admission. Such students will not be eligible to appear on class lists, attend classes, receive grades, or earn credit.

Leave of Absence

While graduate students are required to enroll for didactic and/or research credits or in absentia each term, circumstances may necessitate that a student be absent from the University.

Graduate students may request a leave of absence for up to three consecutive terms by completing a Notification of Student Separation form indicating the effective date, expected return term, and rationale for the request. This Separation form can be requested from the student’s Student Success Coach. If the request is approved by the student’s Student Success Coach and Director of Academics the leave is granted and the student will be notified. A leave of absence due to medical reasons must be coordinated through the Office of the Dean of Students. 

Time during a leave of absence will not count toward the maximum time allowed to complete degree requirements. All financial aid ceases during the leave of absence and there is no guarantee that financial aid will resume upon the student’s return.

If the leave of absence occurs after the drop/add period but before completion of the  fourth week of the term, the student will be withdrawn from the rolls of each class and will be assigned a grade of W.  Students who withdraw after the drop/add period will receive no tuition refund and are responsible for 100% of the tuition for the courses they are to withdraw from. 

In extremely unusual and highly extenuating circumstances, such as extreme illness, death in the family, etc. the Director of Academics may allow the student to withdraw after the normal withdrawal period. If the leave of absence occurs after the normal withdrawal period, the student will receive a grade determined by the course instructor of each course. Again, there is no tuition refund after the end of the drop/add period.

If the student cannot return by the expiration date of the leave of absence, he/she should notify the Director of Academics in writing at least two weeks prior to the expiration date. Normally the Director of Academics will recommend that the student officially withdraw from the graduate program until the student is able to return to his/her studies. However, under extremely unusual circumstances, the Director of Academics may recommend that the student request an extension of the leave of absence.

If the student is not granted an extension or does not officially withdraw from the University and fails to check in with the Director of Academics by the expiration date of the leave of absence, the student will be automatically administratively withdrawn from the graduate program as of the date of last attendance.

Withdrawal

A student may be withdrawn from the University for academic, disciplinary or administrative reasons.

Voluntary Withdrawal:

A student may voluntarily withdraw officially from USciences Online by notifying the Director of Academics.  A student will be officially withdrawn from the University once the student contacts the Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program and provides notification of intent to withdraw either verbally or in writing.  If feasible, the Director of Academics may ask the student to complete a check-out process. The student’s record becomes inactive on the effective date of withdrawal and any applicable fees must be paid in full. 

Administrative Withdrawal:

Any student who does not follow the official withdraw procedure will be administratively withdrawn, inactivating his/ her record. As stated in the University handbook, “a student may be withdrawn from the University for major violations of University policy or for nonattendance. A typical reason for an administrative withdrawal includes noncompliance with University policy (e.g., nonpayment of debt or exceeding program time limits)”.  The student will have up to the maximum time allowed to complete the degree requirements, which will include all periods of matriculated enrollment in the college and the time elapsed since the administrative withdrawal.

Dropped from the Rolls:

Students will be dropped from the rolls if they:

  • Complete any three semesters, whether full-time or part-time, with an academic record resulting in academic probation.
  • Fail the same course twice with a grade of “F”; this regulation applies whether the course is taken in regular sessions at the University or at another institution.
  • Students who do not meet the criteria for progression in their curriculum may be subject to being dropped from the rolls.

The Director of Academics responsible for the student’s major will officially notify the student of this action and notify pertinent University offices of the change in status. A student who is dropped from the rolls is not eligible to attend any courses at the University

Should the student petition for readmission to  his/her program of study and the petition is granted, the student will have the maximum time allowed (minus any previous time periods of matriculated enrollment) to complete degree requirements. All applicable fees and charges will be assessed upon reapplication for admission.

Readmission

There may be times in which a graduate student withdraws from a graduate program of his/her own volition, is academically withdrawn from the program or is dropped from the rolls for various reasons. In such cases, the student may reapply to the same or different academic program after the situations that caused her/him to leave the University have changed and there is a reasonable expectation of academic success.

If a former student wishes to apply to a different academic program they must go through the normal application process, except that s/he must clearly indicate in a letter to the Director of Academics why s/he wishes to return to their graduate studies at USciences Online and what circumstances/situations have changed to help insure their academic success.

Depending on the circumstances, the student may wish to reenter the University in the same or a different graduate degree track program than the one in which s/he had been previously matriculated. Frequently in such cases, the student may have left the institution due to academic difficulties. Often in such cases, even if the faculty and Director of Academics reasonably believe that the student is capable of success in their graduate studies, the cumulative grade point average may be so poor as to be difficult to overcome in a reasonable timeframe.

When a graduate student applies for and is granted readmission into an USciences Online graduate program after leaving the institution, a notation will be entered on the student’s transcript indicating the date of reacceptance into a graduate program. The Director of Academics will assess the student’s academic background and may recommend that up to 12 credits of specific course work previously taken at USciences, for which the student received a grade of “C+” or better, may be applied to the student’s graduate program upon readmission.  Such courses must be directly applicable to the degree track of the program to which the student has been admitted. In such cases, the Director of Academics may authorize the Registrar’s Office not to count such coursework in the overall grade point average of the graduate student in the new program. If the student has taken any research credits (XX799 or XX899 coursework) none of these formerly earned research credits will be allowed to count toward meeting the minimum degree requirements.  

Degree Requirements

The following is an outline of typical University requirements.  Each student should refer to their program’s specific requirements.

Masters Requirements

Students in a master’s level degree program are required to be enrolled as a matriculated student a minimum of two semesters (four terms) and satisfy all of the degree requirements within five calendar years from the date of matriculation.

If a student does not complete all of the requirements in the maximum allotted time (five years for masters degrees), they will be withdrawn from the graduate program without a degree. 

However, at least two months prior to the deadline the student may petition the Director of Academics for an extension to their degree program. 

Didactic Requirements

At the discretion of the Director of Academics and in recognition that the content in particular academic fields may change over the span of several years, a graduate student may be required to retake courses used to satisfy degree requirements if more than eight years has elapsed prior to completion of the degree.  

A minimum of 30 credits of didactic course work is required for any master’s level degree and must be composed of the following:

  • Minimum of three credits at the 800 level.  A maximum of two credits of seminar courses may be used toward this minimum.
  • Maximum of six credits at the 300 or 400 level
  • Remainder must be at the 700 or 800 level

The individual program may have requirements which exceed these minimum requirements.  

The Director of Academics and/or Student Success Coach will determine the necessary didactic course work for each graduate student.

Degree Track Review

An applicant is admitted to a specific program for a particular degree track. At a time designated by the Director of Academics, the master’s student will be evaluated by the faculty and one of the following recommendations made:

  • The student has demonstrated the ability to continue working in the degree track to which he/she was originally accepted.
  • The student has demonstrated superior ability and should be advised to bypass the Master of Science Degree and transfer to the Doctor of Philosophy degree track.
  • The student has not demonstrated the ability to pursue a graduate degree at USciences and should be dismissed from the graduate program.

The Director of Academics will report the results of the degree track review to the student.

If the student is recommended for dismissal from the program the Director of Academics must provide written rationale for the action to the student.

The student may appeal the action in writing to the Director of Academics outlining the reasons why his/her appeal should be granted. Students should refer to the appeals process for additional information.

USciences Online Undergraduate Academic Policies 

Undergraduate Year to Credit Equivalency

Undergraduate Year

Credit Range

U1

0-29

U2

30-59

U3

60-89

U4

90-120

Financial Aid

USciences Online students may apply for financial aid by completing a FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov.  All students who complete and submit a FAFSA will be evaluated for eligibility for Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan funding.  PA Residents who submit a FAFSA and a PA State Grant Form will be evaluated for PA State Grant eligibility.  

Financial Aid will disburse to a student’s account when the student has begun attendance/participated in academically-related activity in his/her classes and achieves the required enrollment status for each type of financial aid a student is awarded.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Students who receive financial aid while attending the University must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to continue to be eligible for financial aid funding.  SAP is measured at the end of each academic year or its equivalent for degree programs.  SAP is measured at the end of each payment period for certificate programs.  This measure, and the rules of academic probation for financial aid, may be different from the rules of academic progress and probation imposed by individual academic departments.  For financial aid purposes, a student maintains satisfactory academic progress if he/she:

  • Maintains at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average for undergraduates programs, and at least a 2.50 cumulative grade point average for graduate students
  • Successfully completes at least 67% of the total cumulative hours attempted
  • Successful completion is based on the total number of earned credits divided by the total number of attempted credits.  Earned credits for a course cannot be counted more than once.  Grades of “F” (failure), “W” (withdraw) or “I” (incomplete) are attempted credit hours but do not count as earned credit hours
  • Does not exceed 150% of the normal number of credits needed to complete his/her academic program

Financial Aid SAP Probation

A student who fails to meet SAP has the right to appeal and if a waiver of SAP requirements is granted based on an appeal, may be placed on financial aid probation for the next semester of enrollment, and may continue to receive financial aid during that semester.  At the end of the probationary semester, if the student has not raised his/her academic performance to meet the measures described above or hasn’t met the academic plan specified in the terms of the waiver, all further disbursements of financial aid will be withheld until the student’s status complies with SAP guidelines.

Financial Aid Adjustments due to Withdrawal

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw or take a leave of absence prior to completing up to and including 60% of a payment period or term.  In addition, students who receive all “F”s, “I”s or “U”s for a semester may be subject to federal student aid recalculations based on the last date of academically-related activity in the class(es).

Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the federal “Return of Title IV” funds formula, which is based on a ratio of the number of days completed to the number of days in the payment period (or semester).   

If a student earned less aid based on the recalculation than he/she originally received, funds are returned to the appropriate federal Title IV program as necessary based on the percentage of unearned aid. If funds are returned, the student’s account will be debited, and the student may owe the amount to the University.  If a student earned more aid than was originally disbursed, the student will receive a post-withdrawal disbursement and notification. 

Academics

The information, academic policies, and procedures outlined below are designed to guide students during their studies. They do not constitute a binding contract and may be changed at any time. For assistance with these policies and procedures, contact your Student Success Coach, Program Director, or Director of Academics.

Majors

 

Declaring a Major

All students must be enrolled in an academic program (major). 

Changing Majors

Changing from one major field of study to another major at this University is often possible, but it is neither automatic nor guaranteed.

Following consultation with his/her Student Success Coach, the student intending to change his/her major should meet with the Director of Academics and, if applicable, the Program Director responsible for the degree program into which the student desires to transfer.

Formal requests for change of major must be submitted to the student’s Student Success Coach using the Change of Major Form. Requests for changes can be made at any time. 

A change of major is subject to approval by the Director of Academics, and Program Director (if applicable) and is based on a review of the student’s academic record, and other qualifications for acceptance into the degree program under consideration.

Approved change-of-major forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office no later than the end of the drop/add period in order to be effective for a given term. 

Completion of Degrees

A degree may be awarded once all requirements for that degree are met:

  • A double major is awarded when the student has satisfied the requirements for earning a degree and all requirements for both majors are met.
  • The first degree of the double degree may be awarded when the student has completed the requirements of that degree.
  • The second degree may be awarded once the student has earned the credits for the second degree, including the minimum 30 credits beyond what is required for one of the degrees.

Catalog Year for Degree Requirements

Catalog Year is a term that refers to a set of degree requirements as they apply to individual students in their progress toward earning a degree from USciences. Catalog Year starts with the summer term of each academic year. For example, the 2020 Catalog Year starts with the 2020 summer semester.

Generally, students are responsible for the degree requirements in force for their major at the time when the student initially enrolls as a first-year (U1) student. Catalog Year is used by the Degree Audit system to evaluate a student’s progress toward meeting the degree requirements that apply to them in their current major. Certain circumstances listed below have special rules governing Catalog Year.

  • Transfer Students—Transfer students will adhere to the program requirements as stated in the Catalog of the year they are admitted to the Online program. Students entering with a prior bachelor’s degree are considered to have met the requirements of General Education and do not have to satisfy the specific requirements of General Education.

  • Change of Major—If a student changes his/her major, his/her Catalog Year will remain the same as his/her original entering year.

  • Leave of Absence—Students who return from an official Leave of Absence retain their original Catalog Year, which is based on their original entrance to USciences.

  • Readmitted Students—Students who are readmitted after having been separated from the University should have the same Catalog Year as a normally progressing student in the Class Level into which the student is readmitted. This is the same as a transfer student.

  • Readmitted Students (Academic Fresh Start)—Students who are readmitted under the Academic Fresh Start program are treated as new first-year admissions. They will have the Catalog Year appropriate for a first-year (U1) student entering USciences in the semester in which they reenter the University

 

General Education

Philosophy

 

The General Education program at University of the Sciences (USciences) supports the mission of the University and fosters the development of well-rounded college-educated leaders who are lifelong learners prepared to become informed, thoughtful, and meaningful contributors to a multifaceted society.

The General Education curriculum serves as the cornerstone of USciences education by providing a shared learning experience to all students, across all programs and majors. Students will interact, challenge ideas, and gain a deeper appreciation for diverse perspectives and experiences of the world and themselves. The General education curriculum is designed to encourage individual avenues for student exploration and growth.

The General Education curriculum is intentionally designed as a blend of knowledge and skills requirements through which students gain understanding of the human experience in its manifold aspects. The knowledge component ensures that all students are exposed to different perspectives and ways of knowing and attain a broad understanding of the modes of inquiry of the major disciplines in the arts and sciences. Such a body of knowledge broadens students’ perspectives of the world and themselves. The skills component of the curriculum strives to prepare students to think critically, ethically and creatively, to communicate effectively, and to demonstrate information and technology literacy. Mastering these skills gives USciences graduates a voice in society and the tools necessary to actively participate in an increasingly diverse global community.

Curriculum

  

General Education Disciplines

Students must complete a minimum of 41 credits of coursework in general education distributed among the following seven knowledge/discipline areas of the arts and sciences (choose courses from appropriate subject areas):

General Education Discipline Requirements                                                                   

Discipline

Credits

 Choose from subject codes/courses listed below

Natural  Science
(1 semester of lab required)

7

Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Computer Science

Mathematics

6

Math, Statistics

Communication (Written & Oral)

9

Writing, Communications

Social Sciences

9

Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Social Sciences, Economics, Political Sciences

Humanities

9

Art, Classics, English, Ethics, History, Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Languages

Multidisciplinary Inquiry

6

Multidisciplinary

Physical Education

1

Physical Education

 

Knowledge component:

Students who complete the General Education program shall:

  • Demonstrate, interpret and apply knowledge of fundamental concepts, method and content in the major disciplines in the arts and sciences (Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Communication);

  • Understand, apply and integrate knowledge in and across disciplines; and 

  • Recognize the importance of mental, physical and social well-being.

 

Skills component:

Students who complete the General Education program shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • Think critically, solve problems, and analyze ethical issues;

  • Identify, access and evaluate sources of information;

  • Use technology effectively and appropriately; and

  • Use the English language to communicate effectively and appropriately to target audiences using a variety of methods and media.

 

In addition to the knowledge and elective coursework, students must demonstrate that they have been introduced to a total of 6 skill areas. Students are expected to fulfill their Skills requirements within the context of the forty-one (41) credits taken to meet the Discipline course requirements.  

This requirement is designed to ensure students are prepared to think critically, ethically and creatively, to communicate effectively, and to demonstrate information and technology literacy.

Oral Communication and Written Communication are particularly important parts of the general experience. Therefore, students are required to augment the Oral Communication and Written Communication knowledge courses by completing different courses with Applied Oral Communication Skills and Applied Written Communication Skills.

General Education Skill Requirements

Skill

Overall Goal

Ethics

Students will engage in ethical and moral reasoning and act ethically in public, professional, and personal responsibilities.

Information Literacy

Students will identify the need for information and access it, evaluate it, and use it legally and ethically.

Oral Communication

Using standard English, students will communicate in a personally effective and socially appropriate manner.

Reasoning and Problem Solving

Students will recognize, analyze, and propose solutions to problems.

Technology

Students will use appropriate technology and understand its impact.

Written Communication

Students will use the English language to write effectively in a variety of contexts.

 Registration and Student Records

Transfer Credit

  

Recognizing that students often study at more than one college, transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed at another accredited institution. Credit may be granted for courses taken prior to matriculation at the University. After matriculation students may take courses at other institutions and transfer in credit with the prior approval of the Director of Academics or  program director, and the approval of the teaching departments. The course must be comparable in content and depth to a course offered at the University.

Transfer credits awarded will be entered on the student’s record and transcript with the source and number of credits granted. No grade will be entered on the USciences transcript for transfer credit; the GPA will reflect only courses completed at University of the Sciences.

  • Transfer credits are awarded for a course in which a grade of “C” or greater has been achieved after submission of an official transcript. Transfer credits are noted on the USciences transcript with the source and number of credits.

  • No grade is entered; the grade point average [GPA] reflects only courses completed at the University of the Sciences.

  • A course approved for transfer has the same number of credits and fulfills the same General Education requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USciences.

  • Students matriculating at USciences in the third year or above may substitute six transfer credits of humanities and/or social science for Multidisciplinary [MD] courses in fulfillment of the multidisciplinary inquiry discipline of General Education.

  • Students who matriculate into USciences with an earned associates degree from a regionally accredited institution will be approved as fulfilling the General Education requirements of USciences. An official transcript from the institution that conferred the degree is required.

 

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

  

Students may qualify for Advanced Placement (AP) credits as administered through the College Board’s Advanced Placement program. Official AP scores are sent from the College Board to the University of the Sciences Admission Office so they may be considered for advanced credit. To receive credit, the student must submit a completed Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) Action Form, with the signature of the student’s Student Success Coach, to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the last day of the drop/add period of the first term of enrollment at University of the Sciences. The teaching department will determine the comparable USciences course.  Advanced Placement (AP) course is awarded the same number of credits and fulfills the same General Education requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USciences.

Advanced Placement Course

AP Exam Score

Art History

4,5

Biology

4,5

Calculus AB/BC

4,5

Chemistry

4,5

Chinese Language & Culture

4,5

Computer Science A

4,5

Computer Science AB

4,5

Comparative Government & Politics

4,5

Environmental Science

4,5

European History

4,5

French Language

4,5

French Literature

4,5

German Language

4,5

Human Geography

4,5

Italian Language & Culture

4,5

Japanese Language & Culture

4,5

Latin – Literature

4,5

Latin – Virgil

4,5

Microeconomics

4,5

Macroeconomics

4,5

Music Theory

4,5

Physics B

4,5

Physics C

4,5

Psychology

4,5

Spanish Language

4,5

Spanish Literature

4,5

Statistics

Studio Art Portfolio

4,5

4,5

U.S. Government & Politics

4,5

U.S. History

4,5

World History

4,5

 

International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme

 

Students may qualify for advanced standing through the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB). IB examination results will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. To receive credit, the student must submit a completed Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) Action Form, with the signature of the student’s Student Success Coach, to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the last day of the drop/add period of the first semester of enrollment at University of the Sciences.  International Baccalaureate (IB) course credits will be awarded the same number of credits and fulfill the same General Education requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USciences.

  • Science and mathematics courses: credit awarded with IB examination score of 6 or7

  • Non-science courses: credit awards with IB examination scores of 5, 6, or 7

 

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

 

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), administered by the College Board, is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in the United States. The CLEP examinations measure mastery of college-level introductory course content. Credit for CLEP is awarded for examinations in the subject areas of business, composition and literature, foreign languages, and history and social sciences. A minimum score of 50 must be achieved on any individual subject test in order to receive credit. Examinations are scored on a scale of 20 to 80 with a 50 score being equivalent to a grade of “C.” Three credits will be awarded for each subject test with a score of 50 or more. Credit will not be awarded for science and mathematics subject tests. Only official score reports from the College Board sent directly to the Registrar’s Office will be used to document CLEP results. CLEP scores must be completed and received no later than the end of the drop/add period of the first semester of the last year of didactic work.

Partnership Courses for General Education Requirements

 

A course taken at an institution with which USciences has established an approved academic partnership may be used to meet the General Education requirements at USciences. The approved partnership course will fulfill the same General Education requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USciences.  

Cooperative Program Articulation Agreements and General Education Requirements

 
  • Students admitted to USciences professional programs under Cooperative Program articulation agreements will be considered to have satisfied the USciences General Education requirements provided they have submitted official documentation of general education requirements completion at the sending institution prior to the awarding of their professional degree.

  • The student’s completion of the general education requirement will be reflected in a notation on their USciences degree audit.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy

Access to Education Records

Annual Notice to Students

University of the Sciences fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. This law is sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment.

The act grants students specific rights and protections with regard to their education records. It governs access to, release of, and corrections to the records kept by the University on current and former students. These rights do not extend to individuals who never actually attend the University.

Students wishing to review or correct their education records should submit a written request to the registrar indicating which records they wish to review or what corrections they believe are necessary. If the records in question are not in the control of the registrar, the request will be forwarded to the appropriate University official. While prompt attention is given to all such requests, the University reserves the right to respond no later than 45 days after receiving a request.

Education records are available to University officials and agents with legitimate educational interest. Such interest exists when access to the records is necessary for the official or agent to perform his/her professional duties. An agent may include a person or company (including contractors and consultants) with whom the University has contracted to provide a service that the University would otherwise perform and may include a communication and data service, an attorney, an auditor, a collection agent, etc. This also may include officials at other educational institutions with which USciences has a partnership agreement for student enrollment. Personally identifiable information from students’ education records is only released, other than to University officials and agents, upon a specific written and dated request from the student or as provided for by federal or state law.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student’s education records and personally identifiable information (private information) contained in such records—including Social Security number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without the student’s consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to a student’s records and private information without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to a student’s education records and private information without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive a student’s personally identifiable information, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without the student’s consent private information from education records, and they may track a student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such private information to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

The following information related to a student is considered “Directory Information” and under FERPA, the University may release the following without a  student’s prior consent:   the student’s name, USciences ID number, address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received, photograph, class level, undergraduate/graduate status.  

The University reserves the right to disclose directory information to anyone inquiring without the student’s written consent and will limit information made public to these categories.  Students can request that any or all such information not be released by informing the Registrar’s Office, in writing before the end of drop/add each semester. Please note that this request is permanent until student’s notify the Registrar’s Office that they would like it to be removed.

A copy of the University’s policy in compliance with FERPA can be obtained upon request from the registrar’s Office. All questions regarding FERPA should be directed to the Registrar. Information is also available from, and students have a right to file a complaint regarding compliance with, the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.

Enrolling in Courses

Registration

The Student Success Coach will assist USciences Online students in identifying their course options and once selected, will register the student for that course or courses.

Students wishing to change their roster of courses may only do so during the designated drop/add period or by returning the completed drop/add form with the proper signatures.

Administrative Holds

A student may be kept from registering for classes, dropping or adding courses, attending classes, receiving grades, official transcripts, participating in commencement or graduating if the student has not complied with any University requirement.

Administrative holds include conduct, health, library, registrar’s, and financial holds. If left unresolved, a hold will result in administrative withdrawal.

Students  will be informed of an administrative hold by the appropriate administrative unit. The Online Director of Academics will maintain a record of administrative holds and their resolution by the return to good standing or administrative withdrawal.

Dropping/Adding Courses

Registration changes must be completed by the student by the end of the designated drop/add period as noted on the Academic Calendar.   All changes will be made on a space-available basis.  Students may make registration changes through their Student Success Coach.  Permission from the instructor may be necessary for section changes in some cases. This transaction must occur during the drop/add period.

Course Withdrawal

Students are permitted to withdraw officially from a course after the drop/add period but before completion of the fifth week of an 8-week term. To withdraw officially from a course, the student must submit to the Registrar’s Office a completed Request for Course Withdrawal form that includes the signatures of the course instructor and the program director. First- and second-year students are required to obtain the signature of their Student Success Coach on withdrawal forms. The student must discuss the withdrawal with the course instructor and Student Success Coach. (Third-year and above students do not require an Student Success Coach’s signature, but they are strongly encouraged to consult their Student Success Coach regarding course deletions and/or additions since withdrawal can impact both financial aid and progress in the program.) The designation “W” (for withdrawal; no point value; not included in calculation of the GPA) will be assigned after completion of the official withdrawal from a course. Except in special circumstances as determined in consultation with the, Online Director of Academics and program director, with jurisdiction over the student’s major program of study, a student may not withdraw officially after the fifth week of a term. Special circumstances for a late course withdrawal may include accident, injury, illness requiring hospitalization, or distress from bereavement. This is intended as partial relief from a full academic course load.

A student who fails to complete the Request for Course Withdrawal form and either discontinues attendance or exceeds the number of absences permitted in a course is not officially withdrawn from the course. Such students may, at the discretion of the instructor, receive a final grade of “F” for the course.

A student who withdraws officially from a course and subsequently registers for the same course a second time will not be permitted to withdraw from that course after the drop/add period except in special circumstances as determined in consultation with the Online Director of Academics, or program director with jurisdiction over the student’s major program of study.

Audit

A student may audit a course with the written permission of the Online Director of Academics and instructor that offers the course. Instructors may or may not require auditors to take examinations, complete course assignments, and meet course attendance requirements. Students who audit a course do not receive a grade for the course. The audit symbol “AU” is entered for the registered course on the student’s record. Students cannot convert from audit to credit status, or the reverse, after the designated drop/add period. The audited course may be subject to additional charges based on the student’s total credit load.

Pass/Fail Option

An instructor may designate an elective course as being available as a pass/fail elective for some or all students taking the course. A student who wishes to take, on a pass/fail basis, a course that has been designated as a “pass/fail election” must make all necessary arrangements with the instructor and submit a Pass/Fail Election form to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the drop/add period in which the course is taken. After the drop/add period, the election is irrevocable. A student may make only one pass/fail election per semester.

All pass/fail courses will appear on a student’s transcript; for those pass/fail courses a student passes, credits will count toward the minimum number of semester hours required for a degree.

Final grades for courses taken as pass/fail are either “P” (pass) or “F” (failure). The grade of “P” has no assigned quality point value and, therefore, is not included in the calculation of the GPA. The grade “F” carries a point value of zero (0) and is included in the calculation of the GPA. A grade of “F” for a pass/fail course or election is taken into account with respect to the provisions of academic probation and other academic policies.

Grade Replacement

Students may repeat a course for grade replacement in their U1-U4 years of their program of study provided they meet all course prerequisites and certain eligibility requirements. Professional, graduate, and USciences Online students should contact their program directors for information concerning program-specific guidelines.

Note: Students repeating a course for grade replacement must meet with and obtain prior approval of their academic advisor. Students are also advised that repeating courses may have financial aid implications.

Eligibility Requirements:

Courses repeated for grade replacement must be completed before progressing to any other course for which the repeated course is a prerequisite. For example, a student cannot replace CH101 grade while enrolled in or having completed CH102.

Credits and Calculation of University Grade Point Average (GPA):

  • When a course is repeated for grade replacement at this University, both attempts will appear on the transcript and academic record. Only the grade for the most recent attempt (even if it is lower) will be used to calculate the USciences GPA. Credits toward graduation requirements will be counted only once.
  • A maximum of two courses may be repeated for grade replacement during the U1-U4 years.

Notes:

  • The policy does not apply to courses that are listed as ‘repeatable for credit’ in the course catalog description.
  • This policy does not apply to courses repeated at an alternate institution. 

Repeating Additional Courses

After exhausting the two-course limit for grade replacement, students may register for a course taken previously, provided all course eligibility criteria and prerequisites are satisfied. The grades for both the original and all repeated course(s) will appear on the student’s transcript and be counted in the grade point average. Credit toward graduation requirements will be counted only once for the repeated courses with the exception of courses that were given College Council approval to be counted more than once towards graduation requirements. Courses will be noted “repeatable for credit” in their course description. Students are advised that repeating courses may have financial aid implications.  Students may only receive federal student aid for repeating a previously passed course one time per course.  Students may not receive PA State financial aid for any previously passed course. Students should consult with a Financial Aid Office representative if they are unsure if repeating a course will impact their financial aid eligibility.

 When a course is failed at the University but successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better at another accredited institution, credit may be granted. However, the repeated off-campus course grade is not computed in the University of the Sciences grade point average and does not appear on the University transcript. The original grade remains on the University transcript and is used in the calculation of the grade point average.

Taking and Completing Courses

Attendance Regulations

There are certain kinds of information and certain intangible values gained by attendance in classes that are not capable of being measured by examinations and which a student will lack as a result of excessive absence. Accordingly, attendance in all classes is strongly encouraged. University-wide attendance regulations for Online students are listed below; additional requirements for attendance are determined by course instructors and will be included in the course syllabus.

All Online students are required to academically participate in their course no later than 11:59 PM EST on the 7th calendar day of class within the session. Academic participation will be determined by completion of the required activities as assigned by your professor in the course. Those students who do not demonstrate any academic participation may be administratively dropped from their course(s) by the Office of the Registrar, with a full reversal of tuition and fees. Students who are dropped from course(s) due to lack of participation will not be eligible to receive disbursements of federal financial aid.

Absence from and Makeup of Examinations

  • The USciences Online makeup examination policy is included in all course syllabi. It is the discretion of the instructor to decide which makeup reasons are valid and when the makeup examination or assessment will take place.

  • Incomplete grades must still be finalized within 21 calendar days of the end of the semester.

Rules Governing Examinations and Graded Assessments

Rules governing the administration of examinations and graded assessments, as well as policies related thereto, are determined by course instructors and will be included in the course syllabus. For the purposes of this policy the term “graded assessment” includes examinations and other activities where students are assessed. Graded assessments should be returned to students within 7 calendar days.

Academic Standards and Academic Progress

Definition of Full-time & Half-time Status for Academic Purposes

  

Full-time status for undergraduate students for academic purposes is defined as 12 or more credits of registered coursework at the end of the drop/add period. Half-time status is defined as 6 credits/semester at the end of the drop/add period.

General Information

  

The information in this section presents only university-wide academic standards.

The minimum passing grade in all undergraduate courses taken at the University is “D-.” At the conclusion of each semester of study, students are expected to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00, unless a higher GPA is specified by their program. For the purposes of these academic regulations, “good academic standing” shall be defined as maintenance of a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and not more than one failing grade (“F”) in the most recent semester, irrespective of cumulative GPA.

To progress into advanced or professional coursework, students must have completed and passed all required courses. Depending on curriculum, these may be first-, second-, or third-year courses. Students also must have achieved at least the minimum cumulative GPA required by their major.

All undergraduate students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 by prior to progressing to the U3 year, unless a higher standard is specified by their program (see specific requirements in the University Catalog). The minimum cumulative GPA must be achieved by the time a student has completed 54 credits. An undergraduate student who has achieved the minimum cumulative GPA after completing 54 credits but who has not completed or has failed a required course must satisfactorily complete the required course prior to completing more than 60 credits and within the same year with the minimum cumulative GPA or above, in order to progress into the third year of a curriculum.

The academic records of all second-year undergraduate students are evaluated by the corresponding program director/Online Director of Academics for their degree program. Those students who do not meet the criteria for progression into the third year of the curriculum will be referred to the  Online Academic Council.

The Online Academic Council may:

  • Drop the student from the University rolls; or

  • Provide the student an opportunity to attain the required GPA within a maximum of 24 additional credits while assigned a full course load, including reassignment to courses in which a minimum final grade of “C” was not achieved (subject to policies on Repetition of a Course and Grade Replacement)

​Academic Probation

The Online Director of Academics will review the scholastic progress of all students at the end of two terms  of instruction. Students, whether full-time or part-time, who have not achieved the required minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00, or who have received a failing grade (“F”) in two or more courses in the most recent two terms of instruction (whether full-time or part-time), will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation are required to meet with their Student Success Coach  to develop and complete an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). Students are required to develop this plan in consultation with their Student Success Coach and comply with the AIP. Please see the Academic Improvement Policy for further details.

No student will be permitted more than four Online terms of academic probation, whether full-time or part-time.

Academic Improvement Policy

  

Students who are not performing at a level of achievement that is consistent with success in their academic program at the end of a term are placed on academic probation (see Academic Probation). Students placed on academic probation will complete an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). The AIP is designed to help students increase their academic performance to achieve their academic goals.

  • Students on academic probation are required to meet with their Student Success Coach. Students are expected to develop their AIP in consultation with their Student Success Coach who must sign-off on their plan. Students will be required to communicate with their Student Success Coach regularly throughout the semester regarding the progress they are making with their personalized plan.

  • Students are expected to implement their AIP immediately after earning academic probation. Students on academic probation must meet with their Student Success Coach no later than the end of the second week of classes of the next Online term.

It is the student’s responsibility to schedule and attend any meetings, workshops, tutoring, etc., associated with the development and implementation of this plan. The AIP includes utilizing resources in the Division of Student Affairs (Academic Advising, Academic Support Services, Tutoring, Career Counseling, etc.) and other appropriate resources (e.g. their instructors, the Writing Center).

Students who do not complete and follow through with their AIP will have a hold placed on their record preventing further registration activity until they meet with their Student Success Coach. Students who do not develop or implement their AIP and earn a second academic probation may be administratively withdrawn from the University.

Student Comments and Complaints

 

See Student Grievance Policy included with Orientation documents.

Residency and Length of Time to Complete Program of Study

 

In order to earn an undergraduate or first professional degree from USciences, a student must complete at least 30 credits at USciences. At least half of these credits must be upper-division courses required by the major (i.e., 300 level or above).

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

 

Students who receive financial aid while attending the University must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to be eligible for financial aid funding. Progress is measured at the end of each academic year or its equivalent. This measure, and the rules of academic probation for financial aid, may be different from the rules of academic progress and probation imposed by individual academic departments. For financial aid purposes, a student maintains satisfactory academic progress if he/she:

  • Maintains at least 2.00 cumulative GPA for undergraduates 

  • Completes at least 75% of the total cumulative hours attempted.

  • Does not exceed 150% of the normal number of credits needed to complete his/her academic program.

Dean’s List

 

Following the close of each two terms of consecutive instruction, the dean’s list is posted, recognizing those students who have achieved high scholastic distinction. Those named to the dean’s list must have taken a full-time (12 credits) course-load in that time, completed and passed all courses with no grade below “C,” and attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 or above. Students receiving grades of “I” at the conclusion of the two terms of consecutive instruction will be eligible for retroactive assignment of dean’s list upon course completion. Those students who prefer not to have their names posted should notify the Online Director of Academics.

Students with written reprimand for an academic violation or any conduct probation or higher sanction are not eligible for the dean’s list.

Requirements for Graduation

To fulfill its obligation to the precepts of higher education, University of the Sciences has established standards of achievement that must be met before any student is recommended for graduation by the faculty. Every person upon whom a degree shall be conferred must have successfully completed the assigned curriculum and must have met the specific graduation requirements pertaining to the degree to be conferred.

A student must complete all graduation requirements by:

  • The end of the fall, spring, or summer term, or

  • The 1st day of the month of July or November.

Any student not meeting these deadlines will be delayed until the next graduation date.

To qualify for an earned degree, students must:

  • Fulfill all of the requirements of the respective curriculum, including achieving at least the minimum academic requirements and passing all proficiencies required by the University and the major, as outlined in this Catalog and in the policies of the academic programs.

  • Be in good academic standing, having satisfied all academic and program requirements, and be free of all conduct holds at the conclusion of the final semester of enrollment.

  • File a Petition for Graduation at the start of the final semester of matriculation. To participate in the May Commencement Ceremony, the Petition for Graduation must be submitted by the end of the drop/add period of the spring semester. The Student Success Coordinator will assist in completing this process..  

Only those students who have fulfilled all requirements for graduation by the end of the spring semester (last day of final exams) will be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Students with financial and/or conduct holds will not receive a diploma and will not be able to obtain a copy of their transcript until the hold(s) is/are released.  If a financial or conduct hold is in place, the University will not respond to requests for verification of graduation status on the graduate’s behalf.

Graduation Honors

  

Undergraduate students who achieve outstanding academic records at the University may graduate with one of the honors listed below:

Cum Laude—GPA of 3.40

Magna Cum Laude—GPA of 3.60

Summa Cum Laude—GPA of 3.80

Honors are awarded based on the student’s cumulative grade point average calculated using the total quality points and credits earned as shown on the student’s University transcript.  Honors are awarded only with the bachelor’s degree, and all university and program requirements for the bachelor’s degree must be met in order for an honor to be awarded.  Once awarded, the honor becomes a permanent part of the student’s record.

Grades

 

The following grading system is used to indicate the quality of academic performance at University of the Sciences:

 

A- to A+

 

Excellent

 

B- to B+

 

Good

 

C to C+

 

Fair or satisfactory

 

D- to C-

 

Unsatisfactory, but passing

 

F

 

Failure

The quality point values assigned to these letter grades are:

    

A and A+

    

4.00 points

 

A-

 

3.70 points

 

B+

 

3.30 points

 

B

 

3.00 points

 

B-

 

2.70 points

 

C+

 

2.30 points

 

C

 

2.00 points

 

C-

 

1.70 points

 

D+

 

1.30 points

 

D

 

1.00 point

 

D-

 

0.70 point

 

F

 

0.00 point

Other grading indicators:

 

AU

 

Audit

 

I

 

Incomplete (see Incomplete Policy, below)

 

P

 

Pass (Pass/Fail courses)

 

W

 

Withdrawal

 

S

 

Satisfactory

 

U

 

Unsatisfactory

For courses taken on a pass/fail basis, the final course grade will be either “P” (for Pass, which has no point value and is not included in the calculation of a grade point average) or “F” (for Failure, which has a value of “0.00” but is included in the calculation of the grade point average).

Grade Point Average

A term grade point average (GPA) is computed at the conclusion of each academic term. Course grades are assigned quality point values. Grades of “F” (in a pass/fail course) are considered equivalent to a failing grade of “F” (0.00) and are included in the calculation of the GPA. Grades of “W,” “I,” “AU,” “P,” “S,” and “U,” are not included in the calculation of a GPA.

The following illustrates how a semester GPA is computed:

Note: For each course, the quality point value is multiplied by the number of course credits to obtain the course quality points.

 

 

Course
Grade

 

Quality
Point
Values

 

Course
Credit

 

Course
Quality
Points

XX001

    

C+

    

2.30 x

    

5 =

    

11.50

XX002

 

B

 

3.00 x

 

3 =

 

9.00

XX003

 

W

 

0.00 x

 

3 =

 

0.00

XX004

 

B-

 

2.70 x

 

3 =

 

8.10

XX005

 

A

 

4.00 x

 

4 =

 

16.00

Total

 

 

 

 

 

18 - 3 (W) = 15

44.60

The term GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of course quality points by the total number of course credits and rounded to two decimal points. In this, as noted above, the 3 credits for XX003 are not counted because of the “W” grade; therefore the calculation is 44.60/15 = 2.97.

The cumulative GPA (the average of grades from two or more terms) equals the sum of the course quality points of all grades received at the University divided by the total number of course credits for courses receiving quality points. 

Incomplete Policy

 

All course requirements must be completed prior to the end of the semester.

Students not fulfilling course requirements at the completion of the term due to extenuating circumstances may be assigned an “Incomplete” or “I” designation on their transcript by the instructor. The instructor is required to replace this “Incomplete” designation with a final grade as soon as possible but no later than 21 calendar days from the end of the term or the end of the drop/add period of the next term, whichever comes first. If the instructor has not entered a final grade within the prescribed time limit, the Registrar will automatically enter a grade of “F” and inform the instructor and student. Extensions beyond 21 calendar days may be granted by the course instructor in consultation with the Online Director of Academics in exceptional cases. 

Students will sign an “Incomplete” contract for each course for which an extension is approved. The instructor will determine what the student must do (e.g., take one or more examinations, perform laboratory work, turn in reports, turn in notebooks, perform library assignments) in order to meet contract requirements. Information regarding requirements to complete the course will be supplied to the student directly by the instructor. The student is responsible for completing the work in the time allotted.

When an “Incomplete” grade is converted to a letter grade, the GPA is recalculated retroactive to the end of the term in which the course was originally taken. University/program academic policies and procedures governing probations, dismissal, etc., apply to GPA changes resulting from conversions of “Incomplete” grades. For example, should a converted “Incomplete” result in a GPA warranting dismissal from the University/program, the student’s dismissal would be effective retroactive to the end of the term in which the course was originally taken.

It is the student’s responsibility to estimate and calculate the results of a converted “Incomplete” on the retroactive GPA. Should the dismissed student be registered for, and/or attending classes, taking exams, etc., in the term subsequent to the term in which the “Incomplete” was assigned, the courses for the subsequent session will be deleted from the student’s record. No academic credit will be granted for the courses; refunds will be made according to the tuition refund schedule.

No Grade Submitted

  

Faculty may assign an “Incomplete” grade for incomplete coursework or if they are not able to evaluate a student. If the faculty member leaves the student’s grade blank the Registrar will enter a grade of “I” for “Incomplete” and the rules governing “Incomplete” grades apply. 

Grade Change Policy

 

Course grade changes shall only be made by the instructor of record in the student information system currently employed by the University for up to six months after the end of the term in which the student was registered for the course. Changes in course grades originally assigned by an instructor who is no longer an employee of the University may be made by the Online Director of Academics for up to six months after the end of the term in which the student was registered for the course. After six months, all grade changes must be approved by the instructor of record (if still employed by the University), and the Online Director of Academics.

Students requesting changes in course grades must present to the instructor of record (or to the Online Director of Academics if the instructor of record is no longer employed by the University) a copy of the course syllabus or other documents describing how final grades are determined, copies of all available graded materials, and a record of all communications between the student and the instructor regarding the course grade.

Transcripts

Student transcripts are maintained by the Registrar’s Office and are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. Students may request that an official copy of their transcript be sent to a third party (e.g., another college/university or an employer); an unofficial copy may be requested for the student’s personal use. An official transcript carries an authorized signature as well as the seal of University of the Sciences.

All requests for transcripts must be made in writing and signed by the student. There is a charge for each official transcript. Unofficial transcripts are free to students. University of the Sciences does not release transcripts unless tuition, fees, and other obligations due the University have been satisfied.  More information regarding transcript requests is available on the University website at https://www.usciences.edu/academics/academic-resources/registrar/transcripts-enrollment-verification.html

When a course is repeated/replaced, both courses will appear on the transcript. Replaced Courses are marked with the asterisk (*) symbol indicating the higher of the two grades has been used in the calculation of the GPA . Repeated Courses are marked with a pound or hashtag (#) symbol indicating all grades are included in the calculation of the GPA.

Separation from the University

University of the Sciences and its faculty reserve the right to dismiss at any time any student who is deemed undesirable, either on the grounds of conduct or of academic standing, and in this matter the faculty and Director of Academics shall be the sole judge.

Dropped from the Rolls

 

Students will be dropped from the rolls if they: 

  • Complete any three semesters (six Online terms), whether full-time or part-time, with an academic record resulting in academic probation; or 
  • Fail the same course twice. This regulation applies whether the course is taken in regular sessions or in summer school, whether at the University or at another institution.

Students who do not meet the criteria for progression in their curriculum may be subject to being dropped from the rolls (refer to section on Academic Standards and Academic Progress). Students who are dropped from programs for exceeding program probations will be dropped from the University rolls if they are not admitted to a program by the end of the drop/add period following the term they were dropped from their program.

The Online Director of Academics will officially notify the student of this action and notify pertinent University offices of the change in status. A student who is dropped from the rolls is not eligible to attend any courses at the University. (Refer to sections on Readmission to the University and Fresh Start Readmission for readmission policies.)

Leave of Absence

 

Short-Term Leave of Absence Policy (No more than 10 business days)

In the event of an immediate and significant health or family emergency* a student may request from the Online Director of Academics, a Short-Term Leave of Absence (Short term LOA). A Short-Term Leave of Absence is intended to provide the student an opportunity to address the issue and then resume his/her academic course of study. If the student cannot resume his/her studies after 10 business days, the student may apply for a LOA for a longer period of time.

*Examples of a significant health or family emergency include accident, injury, or illness requiring hospitalization; or health and/or safety concern (i.e., risk to self or to others), or death of a parent, sibling, or significant other. A Short-Term LOA does not negate or preclude the administration of the conduct policy or the administrative withdrawal policy.

To request a Short-Term LOA, the student should first contact the Online Director of Academics. The student may be asked to provide documentation to verify the circumstances. Upon approval of a Short-Term LOA, the Online Director of Academics will notify the applicable Program Director, course instructors, Student Success Coach, and Student Affairs. Upon return to the academic program, the student is responsible for working with the instructors to complete the course requirements as specified in the course syllabus.

Personal Leave of Absence and Medical Leave of Absence 

 

There are two additional types of leaves of absence, a Personal Leave of Absence and a Medical Leave of Absence.

A leave of absence affords students the opportunity to remain in academic standing with their department and not have to reapply for admission. A leave of absence form must be requested from the student’s Student Success Coach and submitted to the Online Director of Academics and Student Success Coach.

The leave of absence may have financial aid implications and the student should meet with Financial Aid prior to the leave of absence and at the time they return from the leave. To be in compliance with Title IV Financial Aid Programs, USciences reports the student as “Withdrawn” from USciences to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) on the date the leave begins. 

Reasons a student may be granted a personal leave of absence include but are not limited to personal or financial problems or military service. To be considered for a personal LOA, the student must:

  • Submit a written request for the leave to the Online Director of Academics and provide documentation to verify the circumstances cited in the request for the leave.

  • Meet with the Online Director of Academics, or designee, to review the request, including the precipitating circumstances and submitted documentation.

A medical leave of absence may be requested when a student’s medical or psychological condition significantly impairs his/her ability to function successfully or safely in the academic environment. Requests for a medical leave of absence are coordinated through the Dean of Students’ office.

To be considered for a medical leave of absence, the student must take the following steps:

  • Have a major mental or physical health issue that cannot be mitigated in a short period of time, such as an incident involving a major accident, injury, or significant illness requiring hospitalization or extended treatment. 

  • Meet with the Dean of Students or his/her designee to review the precipitating health concerns.

  • Provide documentation from a licensed health professional. The documentation must be typed and submitted on official letterhead and must include the name, address, office telephone number, license number, and signature of the health professional. The documentation should specify the length of time needed for the leave and the reason for the leave.

The Dean of Students will make the final determination if a medical leave of absence will be granted and will notify the student in writing.

Upon approval of a personal or medical leave of absence, the Online Director of Academics will notify the applicable  program director, course instructors, Student Success Coach, Student Affairs, Financial Aid and other pertinent USciences offices.

The Online Director of Academics will also determine the status of the student’s current coursework and whether or not the student should be withdrawn from courses.  A grade of “W” may be assigned by the Online Director of Academics to all registered coursework based on the effective date for the personal or medical leave of absence. The instructor for each course will have 10 working days from receipt of notice to reassign a course grade if appropriate.

If a medical leave of absence is granted, the Dean of Students will monitor the treatment with the student and licensed health professional. The Dean of Students may require additional documentation including medical evaluation, treatment plans, and evidence of compliance with treatment.

To return from a medical leave of absence, the student must submit medical documentation to the Dean of Students from a licensed health professional regarding his/her health status and ability to return to his/her studies. After reviewing the medical documentation, the Dean of Students will notify the Online Director of Academics whether the student is permitted to return to resume his/her academic course of study.

To return from a personal or medical leave of absence, the student must report to the office of Online Director of Academics by the return date specified on the leave of absence form. The Online Director of Academics will then notify the pertinent USciences offices that the student has been placed on “active” status. If the student does not return by the return date specified on the leave of absence, the student will be administratively withdrawn from USciences by the Online Director of Academics.

Bereavement Policy

  

The University recognizes that students may suffer greatly from the loss of a loved one. Students suffering from bereavement should refer to the policies on Short-Term Leave of Absence, Leave of Absences, and Course Withdrawal for information on means to address this issue.

Advised to Withdraw

 

A student may be advised to withdraw either on the grounds of conduct or academic standing.

Voluntary Withdrawals from the University

 

An official withdrawal from the University must be authorized by the Online Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program. A student will be officially withdrawn from the University once the student contacts the office of the Online Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program and provides notification of intent to withdraw either verbally or in writing.  This notification must include the student’s name, current address, phone number, and student identification number or other acceptable information that establishes the identity of the student.  The date the student notifies the Online Director of Academics of his/her withdrawal from the University will be the official effective date of withdrawal. If a student cannot directly contact the Online Director of Academics due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss ,or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, another individual, acting on the student’s behalf, can provide the notice of intent to withdraw. Once the Online Director of Academics verifies that the individual is authorized to act on the student’s behalf, the date of withdrawal is effective as of the date of the initial notification.

A student who contacts the Online Director of Academics and only requests information on aspects of the withdrawal process, such as the potential consequences of the withdrawal, would not be considered to be withdrawn. However, if the student indicates that he/she is requesting this information because he/she will cease to attend USciences, the student would be considered to have provided official notification of his/her withdrawal.

The Online Director of Academics may request that the student submit the withdrawal request in writing or have an interview with them, but this is strictly voluntary and not required for withdrawal. The student must not attend any academic function or classes after notifying the Online Director of Academics that he/she is withdrawing from the University. The Online Director of Academics will notify the student and the pertinent University offices of the withdrawal.

When a withdrawal from the University is authorized by the Online Director of Academics, a “W” grade will be assigned for all courses in which the student is currently registered, unless the student withdraws during the drop/add period or after the conclusion of a term. The instructor for each course will be notified by the Online Director of Academics of the student’s withdrawal and will have 10 working days from receipt of notice to reassign a course grade.

Administrative Withdrawal

 

A student may be withdrawn from the University for major violations of University policy or for nonattendance. A typical reason for an administrative withdrawal includes noncompliance with University policy (e.g., nonpayment of debt or exceeding program time limits).

If a student who has ceased to attend the University did not begin the voluntary withdrawal process by contacting the Online Director of Academics responsible for the student’s degree program, the Online Director of Academics will administratively withdraw the student. The date that the Online Director of Academics learns of the student’s nonattendance will be the official effective date of withdrawal.

An administrative unit may initiate the administrative withdrawal action, but authority to withdraw a student for administrative reasons rests with the student’s Online Director of Academics. The student will be informed in writing by the Online Director of Academics of the action to withdraw and the criteria for readmission. The Online Director of Academics will also notify pertinent University offices.

Readmission to the University

 

There is no guarantee of readmission following a separation from the University. 

Students who voluntarily withdrew from the University or were dropped from the rolls of the University may file an application for consideration of readmission with the Online Director of Academics of the program in which they seek to re-enroll. To be considered for readmission, applications must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the start of a term. 

Students who were dropped from the rolls of the University for either six terms with an academic record resulting in academic probation or conduct expulsion will not be granted readmission for at least a minimum of two terms from the date of separation from the University. Students who were dropped from the rolls of the University for failing the same course twice may immediately apply for readmission to a program in the University.

The application for readmission must provide information of the student’s ability to complete his/her degree program. The application must be accompanied by any official transcripts of all course(s) taken at other accredited colleges or universities during the period of separation from University of the Sciences.

Readmission of Military Service Members

 

In accordance with the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, students who leave the University to perform military service will be readmitted with their previous academic status intact, for an absence of up to five years in length. Students must provide advance notice of their intent to perform military service and must also provide notification of intent to re-enroll. This readmission policy, as well as the requirements for advance notice and notification to re-enroll, is subject to exceptions as noted in the law.

Fresh Start Readmission

  

A student may apply for readmission under the Fresh Start policy under the following circumstances: 1) the student has left the University after failing to achieve good academic standing, and 2) the student will have been absent from the University for at least one year between the date of withdrawal and the start date of the semester for which readmission is sought.

If a student is readmitted under the Fresh Start policy, his/her transcript will note all credits attempted and grades earned at University of the Sciences prior to readmission. However, grades previously earned will not contribute to the current grade point average calculations, and courses previously attempted will not be accepted toward fulfillment of the student’s current degree requirements.

Acceptance of transfer credits from other institutions will be granted in accordance with current University policy.

After Fresh Start readmission, the student must comply with all current academic regulations required by the University and his/her degree program. No student will be readmitted under this policy more than one time. Once a student is re-enrolled under the Fresh Start policy, the decision to treat the academic record as described above is irrevocable.

Students will be informed of the Fresh Start policy upon exiting the University and upon application for readmission in accordance with current University policy.

The final decision regarding readmission, including readmission under this Fresh Start policy, rests with the University’s faculty. The possible effect of the Fresh Start policy will be only one of the factors used in considering application for readmission.