Academic Policies

Standards for Graduate Education

Graduate education is not wholly distinct from undergraduate education, because all education is a continuous process of personal development. Neither are graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels entirely identical. Some programs have an academic research orientation while others are more practice oriented. However, all graduate programs require the development of sophisticated and complex skills in students, and are also more demanding than seminars or sessions for which graduate credit is not conferred. In general, they place more emphasis on students’ abilities to critically analyze facts and theories, to make independent judgments based on objective data, to aptly communicate what has been learned, and to synthesize new ideas to make sound decisions. All graduate programs at La Salle are expected to emphasize these more advanced skills. In graduate work at La Salle, all students are expected to:

  • Think critically;
  • Engage in higher-order  intellectual ability by applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating concepts;
  • Understand both historical and current issues and approaches to their discipline;
  • Demonstrate mastery of the body of knowledge, theories, and skills necessary to function as a professional in their discipline;
  • Apply ethical, discipline-based and professional standards;
  • Identify and use primary sources of information appropriate to their discipline;
  • Participate in the creation of knowledge to advance theory and practice in their discipline for those students involved in doctoral studies;
  • Work independently and collaboratively with faculty and/or other students;
  • Evidence proficiency in oral and written communication skill;
  • Contribute substantially to courses through rigorous assessments of learning goals.

Academic Policy and Student Responsibilities

A student’s matriculation at La Salle University is a voluntary decision that involves acceptance of the responsibility to perform academically and to behave socially in ways consistent with the goals and objectives of the University. When registering at La Salle, the student accepts University rules and regulations and the authority of the University to exercise disciplinary powers, including suspension and dismissal. The Student Guide to Resources, Rights, and Responsibilities delineates these responsibilities and is available on the University’s web site. All students are expected to follow the policies contained in the guide.

Students are expected to pursue their studies adhering to the basic principles of academic honesty. The University’s Academic Integrity Policy, which defines academic honesty and the consequences for academic dishonesty, is available on the University’s web site. Students who are guilty of academic dishonesty may be dismissed from their graduate program. 

Additional program-specific guidelines for monitoring students’ academic progress and grades are detailed in the section for each program or in the program’s student handbook. Students are expected to understand and adhere to the individual program standards and handbook policies, as they are amended, and should recognize that these individual program standards may be more specific or rigorous than the overarching university standards.

Students may be expected to undertake research projects as part of their curriculum. Research projects that use human subjects must be approved by the Institutional Research Board.

Academic Standing

Every student in La Salle University’s graduate programs is required to maintain a cumulative scholastic average of 3.0, which translates to an overall G.P.A.. equivalent to a B (a B- average is not sufficient). A student whose academic performance falls below this standard is subject to academic review by the director of the appropriate graduate program, and may be required to withdraw from the program as specified by the individual program’s assessment guidelines. A student with a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 is automatically in academic jeopardy whether or not he or she receives written notification of this status, and regardless of the number of credits earned. A student admitted on a conditional basis who has a cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0 upon the completion of six credits may be required to withdraw from the program as specified by the individual program’s assessment guidelines

Students with a G.P.A. below 3.0 should consult with their graduate director and/or academic advisor to ascertain any potential actions to improve academic success within the program.

All graduate students must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or better to graduate from La Salle University, and students below that standard will not receive a graduate degree regardless of the number of credits completed.

A student who is required to withdraw for academic reasons may appeal the dismissal within 30 calendar days from the date of the dismissal letter  A student may not register for or attend classes while an appeal is pending. The appeal must be made in writing to the program director.   The appeal should detail the following:

  • the events that contributed to the poor academic performance, and;
  • an outline of the specific actions the student will take to a remedy for the poor academic performance.

A student may submit additional written evidence or include any other information that may be helpful in reaching a decision.

The academic officer in charge of the program, in consultation with the academic review committee of the program, makes a recommendation to the Dean. The Dean considers both the student’s request and the recommendation of the program director. The Dean sends a letter by certified mail to the student with a copy to the program director that states the decision. If the request is approved, the letter from the Dean must include the stipulations to be satisfied by the student. 

Note that neither the process of submitting this appeal nor any particular argument made in the appeal guarantees reinstatement.

A student who is required to withdraw for Academic Dishonesty may appeal that decision, using the procedure outlined in the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Please see the above section “Academic Policy.”

A student who is required to withdraw for professional reasons, such as unprofessional behavior or dismissal from a clinical site, may not appeal the dismissal.

Grading

The following is the breakdown and definitions of grades distributed for courses completed:

4.0 A  indicates the demonstration of a superior level of competency.

3.67 A- indicates the demonstration of a very good level of competency.

3.33 B+  indicates the demonstration of a good level of competency.

3.0 B   indicates the demonstration of an average, satisfactory level of competency.

2.67 B-  indicates the demonstration of a less than average level of competency.

2.0 C   indicates a level of competence below that expected of graduate work.

0.0 F   indicates failure to demonstrate even a marginal level of competency.

  indicates work not completed within the semester period.

M indicates a military leave of absence.

indicates an authorized withdrawal from a course unit after the semester has commenced.

S   indicates a satisfactory level of competence

indicates an unsatisfactory level of competence

X   indicates audit

Those faculty who do not want to assign +/- grades are not obligated to do so.

Academic censure may be specific to individual program requirements. A student who receives a grade of “C” in two or more courses or a grad of “F” in one course may be dismissed from the program. A student who receives a grade of “B-“ or below may be required to repeat the course, according to the specific program’s policy and with written approval of the director. If a course is repeated, the course with the higher grade is calculated in the GPA and the course with the lower grade is excluded from the GPA. All repeated courses are viewable on the transcript.

An Incomplete grade (“I”) is a provisional grade given by an instructor to a student who has otherwise maintained throughout the semester a passing grade in the course, but who has failed to take the semester examination or complete the final project for reasons beyond his or her control. “I” grades are not granted to students automatically.  Rather, the submission of an “I” grade is at the discretion of the course instructor to whom the student must make the request for an “I” grade.  A student who receives a grade of “I” for a course must complete the remaining work within the timeframe of the next semester immediately following that in which the “I” was submitted (regardless of whether the student is enrolled in course work or not during that subsequent semester). The instructor sets a time limit for completing the work no later than the last day of final examinations of the following semester. If the work is not completed successfully within that time, the “I” will remain on the transcript permanently. The student must re-register for the course, and complete the course with a satisfactory grade to receive credit for the course. When it is impossible for the student to remove this grade within the time limit, he or she must obtain a written extension of time from his or her program director, as well as the dean of his or her school.

The “W” grade is assigned when the student is approved by the program director for withdrawal from a course if the student requests the withdrawal by the stated deadline each semester. The course appears on the student’s transcript. Note that a course assigned a “W” is different from a dropped course; courses may only be dropped during the drop/add period, and dropped courses do not appear on the transcript.  More information concerning dropped courses appears in the “Registration for Courses” section, and more information concerning course withdrawal may be found under “Course Withdrawal/Withdrawal from the University” section of this catalog.

No grade will be changed after the graduate degree is awarded.

Admission

Admission criteria are program-specific. For that reason, they are detailed in the section introducing each program. La Salle’s Nondiscrimination Policy is stated in the General Reference section of this catalog.

Matriculation

A matriculated student is one who meets all entrance requirements and who has begun working in a definite program toward the graduate degree. A maximum of seven calendar years is allowed for the completion of the graduate degree. A maximum of 10 calendar years is permitted for Theology and Ministry students participating only during summer sessions.

Students should know that they are classified differentially for financial aid purposes and for program purposes.

For financial aid purposes, graduate students are classified as follows:

  • A full-time student is one who is matriculated and registered for six or more hours of credit for the semester
  • A part-time student is one who is matriculated and registered for a minimum of three credits for the semester.
  • A non-degree student is one who has not matriculated into the graduate program, but who has been given permission by the director of the program to take specific courses.

So designated full-time and part-time students are eligible to apply for financial aid.

For program purposes, all graduate students are considered to be part-time except for students who are enrolled in programs designated as full-time.

International Student Admission

La Salle is authorized by the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service to issue Certificates of Eligibility (Form I-20) for non-immigrant “F-1” student status to international students who meet admission requirements. La Salle University is also authorized by the State Department to issues certificates of eligibility (DS2019) for non-immigrant “J-1” student status to international students who meet admission requirements and the requirements of the Exchange Visitor Program. Prospective graduate international students should visit http://www.lasalle.edu/grad/ to apply for admission to La Salle University. Each graduate program has its own admission requirements. Students are encouraged to consult the individual program website for the program in which they are interested.

Student Responsibilities

A student’s matriculation at La Salle University is a voluntary decision that involves acceptance of the responsibility to perform academically and to behave socially in ways consistent with the goals and objectives of the University. When registering at La Salle, the student accepts University rules and regulations and the authority of the University to exercise disciplinary powers, including suspensions and dismissal. As an individual, the student assumes responsibility for knowing and complying with all existing regulations in the Graduate Bulletin, Student Handbook, and Student Guide to Rights and Responsibilities, and in the student handbooks of individual graduate programs. Copies of the handbooks can be obtained from the directors of the programs.

Registration for Courses

During announced registration periods published on the academic calendar, students should contact their Academic Adviser to create a roster of courses for the upcoming semester. The student may register for courses via the mylasalle portal, through their Graduate Director, or in person during the times specified by the Office of the University Registrar.

  • Students enrolled in Ten through Full Fifteen Week Terms may register through the first full week of classes. A week shall be defined as the period of seven consecutive days; beginning with the official start date of the semester, not the first meeting day of a class or first day of attendance.
  • Students enrolled in Five through Nine Week Terms may register up to and including the second day of the semester, not the second meeting day of a class or second day of attendance. **
  • Students enrolled in One through Four Week Terms (includes Intersession) may register up to and including the first day of the semester. The first day of the semester is defined as the official start date of the semester, not the first meeting day of a class or first day of attendance.

A course that is dropped during the registration period will no longer appear on the student’s academic record. After the registration period is over, students may withdraw from a course on or before the withdrawal deadline. Refer to the section titled “Course Withdrawal.”

** Students enrolled in the MBA ONLINE program may register up to and including the third business day prior to the official start date of the session in which they wish to register. Students may drop a course by the second day of the session in which they are registered, not the second meeting day of a class or second day of attendance.

Course Withdrawal / Withdrawal from the University

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the University in the event that he or she needs to withdraw from a course(s) or withdraw from the University entirely.

Withdrawal From Course(s)

Students who choose to withdraw from a course(s) prior to its completion must:

  • Notify their graduate director and complete a Course Withdrawal form in their Graduate Director’s office on or before the “Last day for withdrawal from classes,” published in the Academic Calendar . After this date, grades will be assigned that reflect the result of the student’s course attendance and performance.
  • Contact the offices of Financial Aid and Student Accounts Receivable to determine whether an outstanding balance is due, to inquire about the financial implications of withdrawal, and to make arrangements to meet financial obligations.

Additionally:

  • International students should contact one of the International Education Associates in the Multicultural and International Center.
  • Students receiving Veteran’s benefits should consult their Veteran’s Benefits Certifying Official to understand how this change in their enrollment status may affect their future aid.

Please be advised that the date of filing the withdrawal notice is considered as the date of withdrawal from the class(es).

Ceasing to attend a class does not constitute a withdrawal; students must officially withdraw by completing the Course Withdrawal form in their Graduate Director’s office. Ceasing to attend without officially withdrawing will result in the student receiving a grade for the course, possibly a failing grade. A “W” designation will only be assigned upon official withdrawal from a course.

Withdrawal From the University

Students who choose to withdraw from the University must:

  • Notify their Graduate Director’s office and complete the Withdrawal from the University form. Students must withdraw on or before the “Last day for withdrawal from classes,” published in the Academic Calendar to receive a “W” grade for the courses in which they are enrolled. After this date, grades will be assigned that reflect the result of entire semester’s attendance and performance in each course.
  • Contact the offices of Financial Aid and Student Accounts Receivable to determine whether an outstanding balance is due, to inquire about the financial implications of withdrawal, and to make arrangements to meet financial obligations.
  • Contact the Housing Services Coordinator and Food Services, if living on campus and/or using a meal plan.

Additionally:

  • International students should contact one of the International Education Associates at the Multicultural and International Center.
  • Students receiving Veteran’s benefits should consult their Veteran’s Benefits Certifying Official to understand how this change in their enrollment status may affect their future aid.

Please be advised that the date of filing the Withdrawal from the University form is considered as the date of withdrawal from the class (es) and the University.

Ceasing to attend classes does not constitute a withdrawal from the University; students must officially withdraw by filling out the Withdrawal from the University form in their Graduate Director’s office. Ceasing to attend without officially withdrawing will result in the student receiving grades for all coursework, possibly failing grades. A “W” designation will only be assigned to coursework upon official withdrawal from the University.

Refund Schedule

When registration has been finalized, a student shall be considered to be in continuous attendance until proper notice of withdrawal is received by the University. Students must file a withdrawal with their Graduate Program Director. Ceasing to attend and/or giving notice to your instructor(s) does not constitute the proper notice of withdrawal. The allowed percentage of a tuition refund will be based upon the date the notice of withdrawal is received.

*For the purpose of refund computation, a week shall be defined as the period of seven consecutive days; beginning with the official start date of the semester, not the first day of a class or first day of attendance.

** The first day of the semester is defined as the official start date of the semester, not the first day of a class or first day of attendance.

Full Fifteen Week Term
Up to and including the first week* of the semester 100% refund
Second week 60% refund
Third week 40% refund
Fourth week 20% refund
After fourth week no refund

Ten through Twelve Week Terms
Up to and including the first week* of the semester 100% refund
Second week 60% refund
Third week 20% refund
After the third week of the semester no refund

Five through Nine Week Terms
Up to and including the first day** of the semester 100% refund
First week of the semester 60% refund
After the first week of the semester no refund

One through Four Week Terms (includes intersession)
Up to and including the first day** of the semester 100% refund
After the first day of the semester no refund

La Salle University uses federal regulations to determine the refund of federal financial aid funds to the federal government. A copy of this federal refund calculation is available in the Office of Financial Aid.

Tuition Refund Appeals

The University recognizes that rare and extraordinary circumstances may justify an exception to the tuition refund terms when withdrawing from the University. For information on the procedure for requesting an appeal, contact your Program Director. Requests for such an exception to policy must be submitted no later than 30 calendar days after the first class day of the subsequent term (e.g., a request for the spring semester must be submitted no later than 30 days after the first class day of the first summer session). While reasonable appeals will be considered, the University is under no obligation to take any course of action that would result in a refund, removal of charges, or credit. In order to file an appeal, a student must withdraw from all classes for the semester in question.

Leave of Absence

Students are encouraged to remain active in their graduate studies. However, those who will not be attending for two or more consecutive terms must notify the director of their program and request a leave of absence in writing. Students not enrolled for six consecutive terms (including summer) and who have not been given a written leave of absence will be administratively inactivated from the program.

Readmission

When seeking readmission, students who have withdrawn from the university are required to reapply to the university, following all of the requirements for admission into the desired program. The Admission Committee of the program will review the new application, the student’s academic record in the program, and the original admission profile judged against current admission criteria. Students who have been dismissed from a program may not reapply to that program.  Students who have been dismissed because of an academic integrity violation may not apply to another program.

Transfer of Credit

With approval of the program director, students may transfer up to six hours of graduate level work into graduate programs that are 36 credits or less in length. Students may transfer up to nine hours of graduate-level work into programs that are greater than 36 credits in length. Course credit may be transferred only from graduate programs at accredited institutions, and only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. The type of accreditation may vary by program. Course credit may not be transferred into graduate certificate programs.

Graduation

Students who will complete requirements for a degree in a given semester must make a written application for graduation at the time specified by the Registrar. Degrees are conferred three times each year – on August 31, January 15, and on the date of the Commencement exercises in May. Commencement take place once a year in May. All students who have completed degree requirements during the previous year (June through May) may participate in the May Commencement ceremonies.

Students enrolled in graduate programs are responsible for adhering to all regulations, schedules, and deadlines pertinent to their particular program. It is the responsibility of students to make sure that they have met all graduation requirements. If they are in doubt, they should consult with the director of their program prior to registration for each semester.

Student Rights and Grievance Procedure

This section details policies for curricular standards for all graduate students. These policies have been approved by the Graduate Council of La Salle University.

  • A student shall have the right to pursue any course of study available in the graduate programs of the University providing he or she can be accommodated within the program, meet the requirements for entering, and continue to meet the requirements of the program.
  • A student shall have the right to know at the beginning of each semester, ordinarily during the first week of class, the criteria to be used by the instructor in determining grades in each course.
  • A student shall have the right to see his or her own tests and other written material after grading, and the instructor shall have the duty to make this material available within a reasonable time.
  • Upon request, a student shall have a right to have his or her grade on such written material explained by the instructor. A request for such explanation must be made within one week after the written material, as graded, is made available to the student.
  • If a student believes that his or her final grade is the product of the instructor’s bias, whimsy, or caprice, rather than a judgment on the merits or demerits of his or her academic performance, the student must follow the procedure described in this subsection:
    • The student must initiate the complaint procedure with the instructor before or within the first two weeks of the next regular semester.
    • After receiving an explanation from the instructor in the course, the student may make a formal complaint to the instructor, giving his or her reasons, in writing, for thinking that the grade was biased, whimsical, or capricious.
    • If dissatisfied with the explanation that has been given, the student may appeal to the director of the appropriate program.
    • The student has a further appeal to the appropriate dean, who will:
      • Request a written statement from that student, which will contain a complete and detailed exposition of the reasons for the student’s complaint. A response from the faculty member will then be requested.
      • Advise and assist the student in a further attempt to resolve the problem at the personal level.
    • If the student remains dissatisfied with the explanation that has been given, the student may initiate a formal appeal:
      • The faculty member who is accused of bias, whimsy, or caprice may elect one of two procedures. The faculty member may request that the dean investigate the matter personally. In the alternative, the faculty member may request that a committee investigate the matter and reach a judgment on the merits of the complaint. In either case, the burden of proof shall be upon the complainant. Neither adjudicating forum (dean or committee) shall substitute his/her or its academic judgment for that of the instructor, but shall investigate and adjudicate only the complaint of bias, whimsy, or caprice.
      • If a committee is to be established, the dean shall appoint the committee, consisting of two students and three faculty members. The two students and two faculty members shall, if possible, be from the graduate department responsible for the subject in which the grade was given. The third faculty member shall be from another graduate program.
      • Should the designation of the review body (dean or committee) be delayed beyond a reasonable time, then the committee structure described in item 2 above will be convened and the question heard.
    • If it is found that the grade given was neither biased, whimsical, nor capricious, the case will be dismissed. If it is found that the grade given was the product of bias, whimsy, or caprice, the review body (dean or committee) shall direct that a notation be entered on the student’s transcript that the grade “had been questioned for cause and the recommendation had been made that it be changed because of apparent (bias, whimsy, or caprice).” The original grade, however, will remain a part of the transcript unless changed by the instructor.
  • A student shall be promptly informed if he or she is placed on any form of academic censure.

Individuals who hold a master’s degree in one of La Salle’s programs and are seeking a master’s degree in a second La Salle program may have credit for courses taken for the first degree apply to the second degree on condition that:

  • Credits transferred from programs in other accredited institutions may not exceed six in La Salle programs requiring 36 credits or less, or nine in La Salle programs requiring more than 36 credits.
  • All requirements for the degree in the second discipline are met to the satisfaction of the program director and dean.
  • Courses taken for the first degree and to count for the second degree are essential to meeting requirements of the second degree.
  • The total number of credits taken for the two degrees reach a minimum of 48 credits or the equivalent.

Transfer of Program

Active students in good academic standing may elect to transfer from one program at La Salle to another program at La Salle.  To do so, they must complete an application for the desired program. Acceptance into that program is not guaranteed; the student must meet all eligibility requirements of the desired program. The student should also contact the Directors of both the previous and the desired program to request a copy of their academic file to be given to the prospective program director.  Students should know that although the grades for courses taken in the previous program might not count towards graduation in the desired program, a student’s grade point average is cumulative.  That is, the grades received in the first program will remain on the student’s transcript and will count towards the student’s G.P.A.