Academic Policies - Graduate

The following policies apply across the Graduate Programs. Check individual programs for additional policies.

Instructions for Registering for Courses

Students can register online using SPIRIT online at www.saintpeters.edu. Registration may be prevented if the student has outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the University. Students are not permitted to attend a course without being officially registered. Students may be administratively de-registered from some or all of their courses if they fail to complete by published deadlines appropriate forms and processes required to properly register for courses, if they fail to complete by published deadlines all requested financial forms and arrangements with the University, if they lack appropriate course prerequisites, or if they fail to attend class.

Holds on Student Processing

For financial or other reasons, the University may place a hold on processing a student’s registration. Students should go to Enrollment Services to solve any processing problems.

Course Schedules

The schedule of all courses appears in SPIRIT online on the University website. As courses frequently change, students should check with the website as they plan courses.

Admission Categories

Full Admission: An applicant who meets all admission requirements.

Provisional Admission: An applicant who is permitted to take graduate courses while making up deficiencies in the admission process. If the student fails to meet the stipulated conditions, he/she is not permitted to continue in the program.

Non-degree/Non-matriculated status: An applicant who does not intend to matriculate.

Grading System

Grades should be interpreted as an index of achievement in a course according to the following scale:

Grade Description
A4.0 Outstanding
A-3.7 Excellent
B+3.3 Very Good
B3.0 Good
B-2.7 Above Average
C+2.3 Average
C2.0 Satisfactory
F0.0 Failure
FA0.0 Student never attended or stopped attending course without formal withdrawal. The grade of FA is calculated into the GPA. *

*Students who stop attending class meetings, or do not meet other stated attendance measures in a web-based course, will be given a Final Grade of FA: Failure Due to Non-Attendance. The student's Last Date of Attendance in the course will be used in determining if Federal Financial Aid must be returned. It is in the student's best interest to contact their Dean's Office if they cannot complete their courses. A grade of FA in an eligible course impacts the student's Term and Cumulative GPA as indicated in the Grade Table. In cases where an FA is not appropriate, (i.e. failure due to violating the instructor's attendance policy), students will receive a grade of F - Failure.

Other Grades are:

Symbol Subject
IC(Incomplete) given when an instructor allows a student to have additional time to complete the coursework. During the academic year, the maximum time to complete the course is six weeks after the start of the next term. If the grade is not submitted by the end of the next term, the IC will automatically convert to an F.
IP(In Progress) given when course extends beyond the term.
IT(Incomplete Teacher) given when the instructor did not submit the grade in time for grade processing.
TRCredits Transferred
WD(Withdraw) when a student withdraws not later than the date published in the term calendar.
WVCourse Requirement Waived

A change of grade can be initiated only by the instructor of a course. Such changes are made in unusual circumstances only, require a written request from the instructor, and must be approved by the Dean or Director of the program.

Resolution of Grade Disputes

A student has the right to a fair grade that reflects performance in a class and also to know the components of the final grade. An instructor has the right to determine the grading scale and components to be graded as well as the responsibility to grade fairly and consistently using the announced grading scale.

If a student believes an error was made in the calculation of a grade or that the grade is otherwise not fair, the student should appeal to the instructor within the first six weeks of the next term. If the dispute is not resolved, the student may appeal to the Program Director. If deemed necessary, the student should appeal to the Dean of the College or School, whose decision will be final.

Repeating a Course for a Higher Grade

Students may repeat any course for which they received a grade of "C" of "F" or "FA".  All courses and grades remain on the transcript.  Only the most recent grade will be included in the cumulative grade point average and will apply towards degree completion. This option is open only to students who have not completed their degree requirements for Saint Peter's University.

Course Changes or Cancellation

The University reserves the right to cancel any course or change schedules, including subject matter or content, meeting days or times, buildings or rooms, and instructors. Students should check SPIRIT for the most current information.

Adding or Dropping Courses

The University permits adding or dropping courses within specific time periods. The University establishes deadlines in advance of each term and publishes them in the calendar for that term. Degree candidates must observe policies with respect to registering on time and adding or dropping courses within the periods established by the University.

Change of Address or Name

A student must notify Enrollment Services and their program office of any change in personal profile, including changes in name, telephone number, email account, or billing, local or permanent addresses.

School Closing Announcements

School closings will be posted at www.saintpeters.edu and provided to area radio stations.

Transcripts

A transcript is an official record of courses taken, credits earned, and grades received.  The Enrollment Services Center offers several options for former and current students to order and receive transcripts.  In partnership with SCRIP-SAFE®, Saint Peter's is able to provide official transcripts delivered electronically through the SCRIP-SAFE server network.  The cost of the transcript varies by the type of deliver service requested and is detailed on the ordering site.  On-line orders for same-day service must be received by 3:00 pm Monday through Friday to be processed the same day. No service is available on weekends or official University holidays as indicated on the Academic Calendar.  Unofficial transcripts are no longer provided by the Enrollment Services Center.  Students with SPIRIT online access may view their unofficial transcripts online; students who do not have access to SPIRIT online must request an official transcript. No transcripts or certifications will be released to students who have unpaid financial obligations to the University.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Continuing Enrollment

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain in good standing for financial aid and academic purposes. In order to maintain SAP, a student must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0, and must successfully complete 66% of all coursework attempted. The University will evaluate SAP annually at the conclusion of each spring term for all students who have attempted more than 12 credits. Students who do not maintain SAP will be unable to receive financial aid and are subject to probation or dismissal. Failing a course or a GPA below 3.0 may lead to an academic probation, suspension, or dismissal from a program. If a student does not improve his or her academic performance, the University may suspend the student from classes for a period of time. If a student comes off suspension and still does not improve performance, the University may dismiss the student. Dismissal is final and precludes any possibility of readmission.

Saint Peter’s University Credit Hour Assignment Policy

This Credit Hour Assignment Policy ensures that the number of credits awarded for the completion of each course taught at Saint Peter’s University reflects United States Department of Education (USDOE), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and New Jersey state requirements for classroom hours and recommended out of class course work. 

The policy assures that measurable learning outcomes and credits awarded for the completion of programs that do not adhere to the standard definition of a “credit hour” (such as online, hybrid and internship courses, as well as credits awarded through prior learning assessment) are consistent with those assigned to traditional face-to-face courses, considering course content and expected learning outcomes.

This policy applies to the assignment of credit hours to all current and new Saint Peter’s University programs, undergraduate and graduate.

Definition of a Semester Credit Hour

One semester credit shall be equal to not less than one hour (50 minutes) of classroom instruction plus two hours (120 minutes) of out of class course work over a span of no less than fifteen (15) weeks.  

Course Requirements

Consistent with the definition of a semester credit hour policy, students in traditional lecture/discussion courses are expected to devote two hours outside the classroom on related course work, including study, preparation of written assignments and course-related projects. Instructors acquaint students with all course expectations at the beginning of each course with a detailed syllabus that follows a prescribed format to foster the attainment of measurable learning outcomes. Syllabi include all course requirements and policies in addition to sharing clear evaluation criteria.

For programs that do not adhere to the standard definition of a “credit hour” (such as online, hybrid and internship courses, including student teaching, and credits awarded through prior learning assessment), courses shall be consistent with those face-to-face offerings, with due consideration given to course content and measurable learning outcomes. In addition, syllabi include a clear set of course expectations, policies and evaluation criteria.

Ongoing Assessment of Semester Credits

The number of credits assigned to each course shall be considered in course design and syllabi with expected student learning outcomes for each course meeting the semester hour standard. Consideration of assigned credits are part of the periodic review of syllabi by department chairs, regularly scheduled annual course assessments involving faculty and students, curriculum committee reviews, and formal program evaluations.  The school deans collect and store syllabi each semester.

Review

The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the school deans, and the chair of either the Curriculum Committee or the Committee on Graduate Programs will review all new programs, including those associated courses and credit hours assigned, before submission to and approval by the Faculty Senate. New courses or changes to existing courses may not be instituted without prior departmental approval and the approval of the appropriate school dean. 


Enrollment Status

Six credits per trimester or nine credits per semester constitute full-time status in graduate programs.

Filing for Graduation

Degrees are awarded in May, August, and December. An annual commencement ceremony is held at the close of the Spring term.

To apply for graduation, a student submits a Graduation Application, along with the graduation fee to Enrollment Services by the date specified in the calendar. Failure to comply with the deadline may result in the assessment of a late fee or a delay in receiving a diploma. A student who fails to complete all requirements must reapply for a later graduation. All doctoral students must successfully defend their dissertation before being permitted to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Doctoral students who complete their requirements by August will be eligible to participate in the following commencement ceremony.

Students with Special Needs

Students with learning disabilities may be admitted to Saint Peter’s University provided they meet the University’s standard requirements for admission. Saint Peter’s University does not offer a comprehensive program for students with learning disabilities. However, accommodations will be made whenever possible. This policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate students. In order that the University may make appropriate and reasonable arrangements, students with disabilities should identify themselves to the appropriate academic dean or graduate program director and supply adequate supporting documentation. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University will make reasonable accommodations for students with learning disabilities. These accommodations may include allowing students additional time to complete examinations, permission to tape record lectures, relocation of a class to a classroom with optimal accessibility, assisting students in obtaining books on tape, or other reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are intended to be provided in accord with each student’s particular disability. Admitted students with learning disabilities are strongly encouraged to discuss their educational needs and objectives with the appropriate academic dean or graduate program director prior to enrolling. Those students wishing to request accommodations must provide adequate supporting documentation not more than three years old and notify the appropriate dean or director. As members of the Saint Peter’s University community, students with learning disabilities have access to the University’s academic support services, including the Center for Personal Development and the Center for Advancement in Language and Learning (CALL). The University recognizes that physically challenged students may require services adapted to their special needs. Physically disabled students are also encouraged to contact the appropriate dean or director to discuss their particular needs. Accommodations may include scheduling or rescheduling classes to barrier-free classrooms or contacting faculty to inform them of the individual or general needs of disabled students.

Official Written Communication to Students/Change of Address

Official University notifications to a student are sent to the student’s official address on record. It is each student’s responsibility to regularly check his/her mail, and to notify Enrollment Services immediately of any change in address. A student’s lack of receipt of important notifications due to the student’s failure to provide a correct, current address is not an acceptable reason for non-receipt of important notifications. Ensuring that a correct address is on file is entirely a student’s responsibility.

Official Email Communication to Students

The official, sanctioned method of email communication with students is through each student’s account provided by the University. Students are expected to check their University email accounts regularly. A student’s lack of receipt of important notifications, due to the student’s failure to use the email account provided by the University, is not an acceptable reason for non-receipt of important notifications.

Notification of Rights under FERPA for All Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

1.) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit the University Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, she shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2.) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3.) The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using  University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University.

4.) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 202025901

FERPA Waiver Request

FERPA Waiver

Students who wish to authorize release of their academic information to parents, guardians, spouses or any other individual may do so by submitting a FERPA Waiver Request to the Enrollment Services Center. Once recorded, the student will be able to issue authorization on Spirit Online. By signing a FERPA Waiver Request, the student is waiving his/her rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is asking that grades, grade point averages, course schedules, or academic standing be released to the named person(s) indicated on the Waiver. The requested information will be released to the named person(s) via Spirit Online, once the system has been updated; in person with photo identification; or by mail when the named person makes a written request for the information. **

**Please note that absolutely no Non‐Directory Information relating to academic status (e.g., grades and/or grade point average) will be released by telephone or email whether or not a Waiver is submitted. Also, the submission of a Waiver does not include the release of any student passwords.

Financial Aid

FERPA provides an exception regarding the release of education records information without the consent of the student when the release is related to financial aid. The disclosure is permitted if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid; determine the amount of aid; determine the conditions for the aid; and/or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.

Release of Information Via Telephone

Although FERPA does not preclude an institution from disclosing Non‐Directory Information via telephone to the student or a FERPA Waiver contact, it is the University’s policy that no Non‐Directory Information relating to academic status (e.g., grades and/or grade point average) will be released by telephone, whether or not a Waiver is submitted. Billing information, including tuition and fee charges; outstanding balances; and financial aid information, will be communicated via telephone providing the student or Waiver contact can correctly answer personally identifiable questions that only the student or Waiver contact would be able to answer. These questions may include, but are not limited to, Saint Peter’s Student Identification Number (SPIRIT Number), Permanent address on file, High School or previous institutions attended, and currently enrolled courses.

Statement Regarding Dependent Students

Institutions are not required to disclose information from the student’s education records to a parent of a dependent student. Saint Peter’s University does not accept proof of dependency status in lieu of a FERPA Waiver Request.

School Officials

School officials with a legitimate educational interest may access student education records with the scope of performing their job duties. A school official is deemed to have legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to

a.) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description of by contact agreement; b.) perform a task related to a student’s education; c.) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; d.) provides a service of benefit relating to the student or student’s family. Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute authorization to share that information with a third party without written consent.

Statement Regarding Transfer of Education Records

Saint Peter’s University does not release education records to any external third‐party without a signed request.

Campus Security/Police Records and Disciplinary Records

In order to remain exempt from FERPA, law enforcement and disciplinary records are therefore created by the University’s law enforcement unit and/or Dean of Student’s Office, for a law enforcement or disciplinary purposes, and are maintained separately from education records.

Retention of Academic Documents

Saint Peter’s University does not re‐release official copies of documents submitted for admission, scholarship application, or any other academic reason. This includes, but is not limited to, High School and non‐ Saint Peter’s University transcripts. A student may request copies of materials in the academic file; the copies provided will bear a “FILE COPY” watermark. The student’s signature is required to release copies of any documents from the academic file. Saint Peter’s University follows the American Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officer’s (AACRAO) guidelines for retention and disposal of student records: materials in academic files are destroyed following 5 years of non‐attendance for any reason. The complete policy is available in the Enrollment Services Center.

Release of Information Under Special Circumstances

Records may be released to parents without a signed FERPA Waiver Request under certain exceptions. These include health or safety emergency; or where the student has been found in violation of the University’s code of conduct relating to the use of alcohol and/or another controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21.

Student’s Right to NonDisclosure of Directory Information

FERPA requires Institutions to give public notice to students in attendance of the categories of personally identifiable information which the institution has designated as Directory Information. Institutions may disclose Directory Information about former students without meeting the notification requirement; however, if a student has requested, at his or her last opportunity as a student, that Directory Information not be disclosed, the institution must continue to honor that request until informed to the contrary by the former student. If requested to withhold directory information by a student after he or she has left the institution, the institution may, but is not required to, comply with the request.

Information Which May be Designated as Directory Information

Saint Peter’s University hereby designates the following information as public or "Directory Information." Such information may be disclosed without a student's previous consent by the University for any purpose, at its discretion:  

  • Student Name(s) and Spirit Number
  • Address Information (local, permanent, and email)*
  • Telephone number (local and permanent)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Program major(s)/concentration(s), and minor(s)
  • Student activities including athletics
  • Dates of attendance
  • Date of graduation, degrees sought/conferred, and other academic awards
  • Most recent previous school attended and/or high school
  • Academic awards and scholarships, including Dean’s List
  • Full or Part‐time status

 * Address information is not provided without a written request indicating the reason for the information.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your 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 your records and PII without your 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 your education records without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do 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 your PII, 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 your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you 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.

Procedure to Withhold Directory Information

Saint Peter’s University will not partially withhold Directory Information, so students are advised to think carefully before withholding disclosure as this may prevent third‐parties from obtaining critical information in a timely manner, including degree conferral and enrollment verification. To withhold disclosure of Directory Information, written notification must be provided. Saint Peter’s University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of Directory Information indicates individual approval for disclosures. If you wish to restrict the release of Directory Information, please contact the University Registrar, who will explain the ramifications and provide a statement for you to sign as indication you do not want Directory Information released.

Policy Notification

At the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester, every student enrolled at Saint Peter’s University receives an email from the Registrar containing an updated FERPA policy for the current academic year. The policy also appears in academic catalogs, and printed copies are available in the Enrollment Services Center.

SAINT PETER’S UNIVERSITY

Enrollment Services Center

University Registrar

2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard

Jersey City, NJ 07306

phone: (201) 761-6050   fax: (201) 761-6051

registrar@saintpeters.edu