2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog - Belmont University


Academic Policies


Definition of Academic Terms

The following terms are provided for clarification.

Undergraduate Student – one who has not attained a baccalaureate degree, but is taking courses for credit.

Tuition – the money charged students for academic courses.

Semester Hour – the basic unit of measurement in determining the time spent in class. For example, a course giving one semester hour of credit usually meets for one hour of instruction each week during the semester.

Credit – the unit of academic value placed on every university course. A student is given a credit for each semester hour of academic work satisfactorily completed.

Quality Points – units for measurement to determine the quality of work a student does. See the grading system under Academic Standing for quality point equivalency for letter grades.

Grade Point Average– The average quality point earned per semester hour. It is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the number of hours attempted 4.0 is a perfect GPA.

Advisors

Each student is personally responsible for completing all requirements established for his or her degree by the university and department. It is the student’s responsibility to inform herself/himself of these requirements. A student’s advisor may not assume these responsibilities. Any substitution, waiver, or exemption from any established requirement or academic standard may be accomplished only with appropriate approval.

Advisors help students with their schedules, but the primary obligation for knowing and meeting all graduation requirements rests with the student.

Class Load

The normal class load for a university student during the fall or spring semester is 16 hours of course work per week. The minimum load for full-time status is 12 hours of course work per week, and the maximum load is 19 hours of course work per week. To register for more than 19 hours, the student must gain permission from the Appeals Committee or Dean of their college before he/she registers. The student must present to the Registrar's Office: 1) a properly signed “Petition to Take an Overload” form; 2) a letter of endorsement from his/her major advisor; 3) a written statement specifying the amount of extracurricular activity including work to which he/she will be committed during the overload semester. Any student who enrolls for more than 19 hours without proper authorization will be required to reduce the load to 19 hours or less. Students on probation may register for no more than 13 hours. Further, such students are required, when at all possible, to repeat courses in which they received a grade of D or F.

During each summer term, the minimum load for full-time status is 6 hours for undergraduates and the maximum is 14 hours. To register for more than 14 hours (including concurrent enrollment), the same procedure must be followed as for an overload in a regular semester.

Class Attendance

Belmont University is committed to the idea that regular class attendance is essential to successful scholastic achievement. Absence is permitted only in cases of illness or other legitimate cause. Attendance is checked from the first class meeting, so late registrants will have some absences accrued when they first meet a class.

In cases of legitimate absence from the class, the student has the opportunity and responsibility to make up all class work missed. If a class absence is necessary because of an activity by another class or university organization, the sponsor of the activity will give the Provost a list of participants in advance, and the students involved will obtain from the Provost an excuse to present to the instructor. In case of absence for any other reason, the student will present his reason directly to the instructor.

When the number of absences for any reason exceeds four times the number of scheduled class meetings per week (25% of class meetings or any other percentage or number of class misses stipulated in an individual course syllabus), the student is involuntarily dropped from the course with a grade of “FN” (Failure due to non-attendance). Appeal is first to the faculty member and then to the Dean of the college in oversight of that faculty / course.

Be advised that certain departments and individual professors enforce policies which differ from the above policy. See the departmental section of this catalog for the attendance policy for each department and the syllabus for each course for that course’s specific attendance requirements which may be different from those stated here.

Changing a Schedule

Courses withdrawn after the date specified in the academic calendar are not subject to refunds. Students may not withdraw from a course in the 30 calendar days from last day of the semester or last day published for WP/WF.

Change of Name or Address

Any current student needing to change pertinent personal data during a semester should fill out “Personal Data Change Request” at Belmont Central or fill out a request on the web and email to the appropriate university office. Changes of address must be made prior to exam week each semester. In order for a name change to be processed, the student must bring an official document for a copy to be made in Belmont Central. An official document includes: a marriage certificate, a court order, a driver’s license with a picture ID, or a social security card.

Course Policies

Belmont University reserves the right not to offer any course in which fewer than 10 students enroll.

Any department may offer special studies courses under the number 1990-4990 for 0-3 hours credit. In these courses an opportunity is provided for the student to pursue an area of special interest under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the appropriate department chairperson, the dean, and the Provost is required before enrolling in these courses. Directed study courses may be offered by some departments (see departmental course listings). Such courses are created and overseen in the same manner as special studies courses.

This bulletin is a listing of courses. The mere listing of a course does not guarantee its offering any particular semester or year. Certain courses may be offered only when demand warrants their offering.

Course Numbers

At Belmont, the first digit in the course number indicates the year level of the course, as follows:

Courses which begin with number 1 are primarily for freshmen; those beginning with 2, primarily for sophomores; 3, primarily for juniors and seniors; 4, primarily for seniors. Certain courses are numbered below 1000 (e.g. 0900) and are offered as remedial courses. Remedial courses do not count toward graduation requirements.

Some courses are offered only in the fall and/or spring semesters. SOme courses are only offered in alternating years or based on need. Please consult individual departments for course schedule rotations.

Beginning in the Spring 2004 semester, Belmont University converted from a three digit academic numbering system to a four digit academic numbering system. For example ENG 110 became ENG 1100. In the majority of cases the new number was generated by added a zero (0) to the end of the existing digit.

Withdrawal from the University

Students wishing to completely withdraw must obtain a withdrawal form from Belmont Central. Upon completion of the form, it is returned to Belmont Central for processing.

No financial credit will be given after the fifth week of classes. Withdrawals must be handled in person. A telephone call giving intent to withdraw does not constitute an official withdrawal. Students may not withdraw during the last 30 days of a semester.

Convocation

As a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students, the program reinforces Belmont’s unique mission of providing “an academically challenging education that enables men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage, and faith.” Belmont’s Convocation program is a shared experience that encourages the development of well-rounded individuals. Through Convocation, students participate in various programs that encourage:

  • Learning outside the classroom
  • Pursuing life-long learning
  • Valuing the arts
  • Exploring issues relevant to life, culture, and faith
  • Serving others
  • Contributing to community life at Belmont University.

Convocation includes lectures, presentations, discussions, performances, art exhibits, and a community service component. Academic Lectures focus on the presentation of topics relating to a field of scholarly significance, current event, or prominent issue. Christian Faith Development programs focus on introducing a student to the Christian faith, exploring connections between the Christian faith and life, or offering opportunities for worship and teaching. Culture & Arts programs focus on cross-cultural experiences or the visual and performing arts. Personal/Professional Growth programs focus on enhancing students’ emotional development, personal skills, or professional competencies or opportunities. Community Service is an activity which is not required as part of an academic syllabus or academic honor society, does not offer any remuneration (pay, goods, services) to the student, and is of benefit to the university or greater community.

Students earn credits by participating in programs. Traditional undergraduate students gain credits by attending approved programs that are listed on the official Convocation schedule. Students enrolled in the University College program for non-traditional students may choose the portfolio method that allows them to also gain credits for programs offered outside of the university’s approved schedule of programs. Community Service credit is obtained by completing a form that indicates and verifies the nature of the service.

Students must complete a specific number of credits in each category. Requirements are based on the catalog under which the student graduates and the number of academic hours transferred to Belmont at the time of enrollment. Specific requirements can be found in The Bruin Guide or on the Convocation Website at:
www.belmont.edu/convocation.

Academic Honor System

The members of the Belmont University community seek to provide students a high-quality education while encouraging in the entire community a sense of ethics, social responsibility and interdependence. We believe that trust is a vital part of this enterprise and that self-discipline and responsibility to one another are also essential elements. We also believe that any instance of dishonesty is a violation of the values of the Belmont University community. Therefore, the Belmont University Academic Honor System aims to cultivate a community based on trust, academic honesty and social responsibility.

Complete information about the Academic Honor System, including Belmont University’s Honor Pledge, student expectations, and more can be in The Bruin Guide, which is available online. Students may link to it by pasting the following url into their browser:

www.belmont.edu/studentaffairs/student_conduct_academic_integrity/bruinguide/

Please note, the above information is provided to help answer some questions you may have about Belmont’s Academic Honor System. It is not official statements of policy or process.  The Bruin Guide states official policies and processes and supersedes this information.