2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog - Belmont University


Academic Standing

Student Classification

0-29 Semester Hours...  Freshman
30-63 Semester Hours...  Sophomore
64-93 Semester Hours...  Junior
94 or more...................  Senior

 

Grading System

All courses offered for academic credit at Belmont University shall be graded on the following basis except as described below.

A/A- is a grade of distinction.
B+/B/B- represents excellent work, above average.
C+/C/C- indicates average work.
D+/D/D- represents minimally acceptable work.
F indicates non-acceptable work; no credit is received.
Pass/Fail - Courses offered at Belmont University which fit the exceptions stated below will be graded on P/F basis. A grade of P indicates that the student has satisfactorily completed the course. However, the student does not receive quality points and the grade of P does not affect the student's overall GPA.

  1. Continuing education and community service courses which do not offer academic credit.
  2. Courses which offer academic credit, but which are not offered for classroom instruction at regularly scheduled hours. Such courses may include, but are not limited to, independent studies, co-operative education, internships, and travel study courses.
  3. Courses which offer academic credit, but whose published course descriptions indicate that they will be offered on P/F basis only.

A student with junior standing (64 through 93 hours earned) may elect to earn up to twelve (12) semester hours of academic credit in courses which are general electives in the student’s plan of study. To earn general elective credit on P/F basis, the student must (a) register for P/F grading at the beginning of the term using the “AU/PF” column on the registration schedule form and (b) secure the agreement of the academic advisor that the course is a general elective and the student’s classification is appropriate. The student who elects P/F grading may not change to a graded scale after the last day to register.

I is an incomplete and is used only in cases of uncontrollable circumstances. Responsibility for completing the work must be assumed by the student. All incomplete work must be finished before mid-term of the next semester. An I is calculated as an F. The grade will be changed to an F at the midterm of the semester following the one in which it was earned unless a grade is submitted by the instructor.

W indicates the student withdrew during the first four weeks of the semester before a P/F status can be determined.

WP indicates the student is passing at the time of withdrawal. Permission to withdraw may be obtained from Belmont Central except that no student will be permitted to withdraw in the last 30 days of the semester. Failure to obtain this permission results in an F for the course. A WP does not affect the grade point average.

WF indicates that the student is failing at the time of withdrawal during the university’s “withdraw passing / failing” period in the term, or during a time after this period when the student is administratively withdrawn by action of the university.  A WF counts as an F when computing GPA.

FN indicates that the student failed the course due to excessive absences. When the number of absences for any reason exceeds four times the number of scheduled class meetings per week (25% of class meetings during summer term), the student is involuntarily withdrawn from the course and a final grade of FN is recorded. Professors may enforce a stricter attendance policy by stating that attendance policy in the course syllabus. FN counts as an F when computing GPA.

AU indicates Audit.  Academic credit is not received when auditing a course.  The GPA is not affected.  (Tuition and fees still apply to audited courses.)

NR indicates Not Received. This means that the professor did not turn the grades in by the deadline at the end of the semester. This does not affect the student's GPA. The professor must complete a grade change form to change the grade and the student will be mailed a letter stating their grade and updated GPA when processed.

FX grade on the student's transcript will indicate that the failure of the course was due to an Honor Pledge violation. The grade will be treated as an F for purposes of the student's grade point average. After appeal, any decision resulting in a grade of "FX" will automatically be reviewed by the Provost. During a student's last semester prior to graduation, s/he may have the "FX" changed to an F on the transcript in the following manner:
• The student must have retaken and received a passing grade in the class in which the "FX" was given;
• The student must have no subsequent violations of the Honor Pledge while a student at Belmont;
• The student must write a letter to the Provost requesting the removal of the "FX";
• The student must propose and perform an activity or program that promotes academic integrity on campus and which will be mutually agreed upon by student and the Honor Court. The Honor Court will certify that the program has been completed in a letter to the Provost.

If the student satisfactorily completes the four conditions above, the Provost will instruct the Registrar to change the "FX" to a grade of "F" on the student's transcript.

Refer to the Academic Honors System in this catalog for information regarding Honor Code violations.

IP indicates In Progress academic work. Course work is continued. Does not count in GPA calculations. The IP grade is only available for undergraduates taking study abroad courses which are ongoing or while pending receipt of transcript / grade information from the study abroad institution, or in specific programs of study that have been so approved (such as Medical Imaging during the clinical year at Vanderbilt University) to carry IP grades ongoing. Department specific approvals for IPs will be reflected on the departmental page.

Each hour of academic work taken for credit in the university is evaluated in terms of its relative quality, as shown by the grade received in the course. The various grades and their corresponding quality points are:

A 4.0 quality points for each hour of credit.
A- 3.7 quality points for each hour of credit.
B+ 3.3 quality points for each hour of credit.
B 3.0 quality points for each hour of credit.
B- 2.7 quality points for each hour of credit.
C+ 2.3 quality points for each hour of credit.
C 2.0 quality points for each hour of credit.
C- 1.7 quality points for each hour of credit.
D+ 1.3 quality points for each hour of credit.
D 1.0 quality point for each hour of credit.
D- 0.7 quality point for each hour of credit.
F 0 quality points and no credit.

The student indicates at registration the address where the grades will be sent. The reports are usually sent within a week following the last exam of the semester.

Repeating Courses

The student may repeat any course which was previously taken at Belmont if the student wishes to improve the grade. The student will not be allowed to repeat the course more than once with the exception of an “F” grade which may be repeated an unlimited number of times. The last grade earned will be posted to the transcript as the officially recognized grade for the course unless it is lower than the first grade. The original grade will remain on the transcript but will not be figured into the cumulative grade average. All “repeat” courses must be taken at Belmont. A course grade transferred from another institution may not be removed by repeating the course at Belmont.

Grade Appeals

Students have the right to appeal grades directly to the instructor if they believe that an incorrect grade has been assigned for the course.  If a grade issue is not resolved after contact with the instructor, the student may appeal in writing to the department chair / associate dean of the college. This must occur by the mid-term point of the next semester. In the written appeal the student must be prepared to demonstrate and document an unusual circumstance that warrants a review of the grade and evidences of the grade s/he believes should have been given by the instructor. All written appeals will be reviewed within one month of receipt and responded to in writing either confirming or changing the posted final grade. A copy of this response will go to the Registrar’s Office for the student’s record.

Further appeal is through the administrative structure of the college in which the course was taken, with final appeal to the Dean of the college. Any appeal must be in writing and include appropriate documentation to support the student’s position that a grade change is warranted.

The final grade is the instructor’s posted grade, which may be viewed in the student’s grade report on-line at the close of the term or part-of-term. It is solely the responsibility of the student to check that grades are posted for all courses taken during a semester and note the grade given for each class.  All grade appeals must be requested by the mid-term point of the next semester.  Unless an active appeal is under review, after the mid-term point of the next semester, neither instructors nor the university will consider a grade change.

Once a final grade has been posted the student may not petition the instructor to do additional work or extra credit to raise the grade awarded. Any grade change as a result of such action will be disallowed.

For grades of IP or I, once the I or IP is replaced (required prior to mid-term of the follow semester) by a grade, including a change to F, that becomes the posting date of the final grade.  Administrative grades such as W (withdrawal) are handled through the Registrar’s Office.

Academic Standing, Dean’s List, Academic Probation, and Academic Suspension

Student’s academic performance at Belmont University is described by their Academic Standing which reflects the cumulative Belmont University grade point average (GPA) based on the total number of credit hours completed at Belmont.

Academic Good Standing

Enrollment in good standing is granted to all fully admitted students who maintain a cumulative Belmont University grade point average of 2.0 or higher, regardless of the number of credit hours completed. A student whose cumulative Belmont University GPA is less than 2.0 will be placed on probation or suspended from the University.

Dean's List

The Dean’s List of Honor Students is published at the end of each semester. Semester eligibility is based upon the following:

  1. A minimum load of 12 semester credit hours. Summer Dean's List is based on a minimum 9-hour load over 10 weeks. Hours taken as audit or P/F courses are not included in the minimum credit hour load count.
  2. No grade below a C in any course including P/F (pass/fail) and zero credit courses.
  3. A quality point average of 3.5 or better.
  4. Eligibility is also based upon completing of all course work by the last official day of the semester with the exception of "in progress" (IP) for study abroad courses.

Table of Academic Standards (Probation and Suspension)

Overall Belmont GPA Hours

Probation if any semester GPA or cumulative Belmont GPA is less than

Suspension if Belmont Institutional GPA is less than

0-16

2.00

N/A

17-29

2.00

1.00

30-63

2.00

1.50

64-93

2.00

1.75

94 +

2.00

2.00

Academic Probation

A student is placed on Academic Probation when a student’s Belmont University grade point average (GPA) in any semester (fall, spring or summer term) or cumulative Belmont University GPA is less than 2.0. Academic probation and academic suspension are not necessarily a process of progressive discipline.  A student may move immediately to suspension or dismissal if the grade point average meets the criteria indicated in the Academic Standards table above. Probation is checked at the end of fall, spring and summer terms. Students on probation may take no more than 13 hours while on Probation and are required, whenever, and as soon as possible, to repeat courses in which they received a “D” or “F". 

Academic Suspension

A student not meeting the minimum grade point average (GPA) on Belmont work as shown in Academic Standards table above will be placed on academic suspension.  A student placed on academic suspension is ineligible to enroll at Belmont University during their suspension.  A student who receives a first academic suspension from Belmont may petition for readmission to the university after one semester of non-enrollment. A student who receives a second suspension may appeal for readmission after one year from the date of the last suspension. A third suspension results in dismissal from the university with no opportunity for readmission.  Each Academic Suspension is recorded on the Belmont transcript as an official part of the student record. Suspension is checked at the end of fall, spring and summer terms. A student on suspension may not enroll in the summer semester, but the fall and spring semesters are the semesters counted for suspensions.

Academic Suspension

Action

First suspension according to chart above

Ineligible to enroll next semester. If suspension occurs following the spring semester, ineligibility includes summer and fall.

Second suspension according to chart above

Ineligible to enroll next two semesters.  If suspension occurs following the spring semester, ineligibility includes summer, fall, and spring.  If suspension occurs following the fall semester, ineligibility includes spring, summer, and fall.

Third suspension according to chart above

University Dismissal -  No readmission possible



 

Academic Suspension is a period of time away from Belmont meant to encourage the student to seek to develop habits that will contribute to the student’s academic success if they return to Belmont. As a result of being placed on academic suspension all courses that the student registered for in a future term (for example, through priority registration) are automatically dropped from the student’s schedule. In addition, during the period of the suspension Belmont does not accept any credit in transfer from another institution. If another institution elects to admit a Belmont student during that student’s academic suspension from Belmont, any courses completed at the other institution during the student’s academic suspension will not transfer back to Belmont University.

Academic Suspension Appeal

Belmont University recognizes that a singular unique involuntary situation may occur that has a direct impacted on the grade point average (GPA) resulting in academic suspension. This can usually be isolated to one or two semesters. An academically suspended student does have a right of appeal to be filed no later than three weeks after the end of that semester’s final exams, or by the date specified in the suspension letter. The appeal letter must be sent from the student to the University Registrar. The Registrar will work in coordination with the Dean of the college of the student’s major / degree to review the appeal.

An appeal is a request to waive the "ineligible to enroll at Belmont” status or a request to be allowed to take and transfer back a specific course(s) from another postsecondary institution during the period of suspension.  For any appeal to be considered, two things must be articulated: 1) the student must clearly demonstrate a unique involuntary situation that can be linked to academic performance and provide evidence that the unique involuntary situation has been, or in process of being corrected; 2) there is a reasonable belief that the student will be academically successful if allowed to re-enroll and take courses before the time limit of the suspension has elapsed. If a student’s appeal  receives the support of the Dean and the student  is approved to continue in the ensuing semester at Belmont, the student will only be allowed to repeat D or F courses and the number of hours taken will be limited.

Academic Stipulations upon Return

Upon return with a status of Academic Suspension in the prior semester of enrollment the student will be automatically placed under Academic Stipulations (student status will show as Probation while attending that semester). The student should meet with their academic advisor and plan a schedule to primarily repeat courses of a “D” or “F." If the student’s GPA in the returning semester is below a 2.0 the student is suspended again immediately with no appeal possible. The third suspension results in University Dismissal with no readmission possible. This stipulation supersedes the “Table of Academic Standards.”

Academic Standards and Graduation

Regardless if a student has been on probation and / or suspension in the past or not, the following criteria must be met in order to graduate from Belmont: C average (2.0) G.P.A. on the total hours attempted at Belmont University and an overall cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 on all postsecondary institutions, colleges and universities attended. C average (2.0) G.P.A. is required over all work done in both the major and the minor areas (including transfer work used to meet degree requirements). See the graduation requirements for a full list of graduation criteria. 

Rules Governing Student University Representation

Students on academic probation at the beginning of a semester will not be permitted to represent the university in activities which require absence from classes during that semester.

Students who did not begin the semester on academic probation, but whose names appear on the Mid-Term Deficiency list, may not represent the university in activities which would require them to miss classes in which they are deficient. If the deficiency is removed, the Dean of the college sponsoring the representing group / team may grant permission for the student to participate after an academic review.