Grades and Reports
The student’s final grade is determined by the instructor. The system of grading is as follows (quality points are in parenthesis):
These grades are not calculated in academic GPA.
Academic grades for all students are available through MyBenU upon instructor submission of each course’s grades and approved posting by the Office of the Registrar. The final grade is recorded on the permanent transcript record.
A course is considered to be successfully completed if a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, or “P” is achieved. The GPA used for all purposes at Benedictine University, including graduation honors, the Dean’s List, and the Dean’s Recognition List is based only upon courses taken at Benedictine University.
Quality Point System
Final grades in each course are converted to quality points according to the following schedule: A grade of “A” in a course is converted to four quality points for each credit hour (thus in a 3-credit-hour course, an “A” is worth 12 quality points); a grade of “B” is worth three quality points per credit hour; a grade of “C” is worth two quality points per credit hour; a grade of “D” is worth one quality point per credit hour; other grades receive no quality points. The grade point average or GPA is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned at Benedictine University, by the total number of credit hours attempted at Benedictine University.
A Grade of “I”
An Incomplete (“I”) is a temporary grade which may be given by arrangement with the student and with approval of the instructor and chair/program director when illness, necessary absence, or other reason beyond control of the student prevents completion of course requirements by the end of the class. The “I” grade automatically lapses to the final earned grade for the full course based only on work completed by the point when the incomplete was issued. Typically the lapsed final earned grade will be an “F”, but in some cases a student may have completed enough of the class work to warrant a passing grade without completing the remaining class work. For fall Incompletes all work must be completed no later than the end of the spring term. For spring and summer Incompletes all work must be completed no later than the end of the fall term. If the remaining work is not completed and submitted to the instructor by the deadline the “I” grade will automatically lapse to the final earned grade. An “I” grade is not calculated in the student’s grade point average and zero hours are credited.
To qualify for the “I” grade, a student must have satisfactory academic standing, be doing at least “C” work in the class up to point that the Incomplete is requested, and submit a written request with a plan for completion, approved by the instructor, stating the reason for the delay in completing the work. Arrangements for the “I” grade must be made prior to the final examination or prior to the final class meeting if there is no final exam. One may not receive an “Incomplete” in a semester in which he or she is already on academic probation. Instructors or departments may restrict work completion to a timeframe prior to the end of following regular semester.
International students must speak with their advisor to determine the impact of an Incomplete on visa status.
A Grade of “IE”
An Incomplete Extension (“IE”) is a temporary grade which may be given by arrangement with the student and with approval of the instructor and chair/program director when an extension of time for a previously approved Incomplete is needed. Incomplete Extensions are limited to at most one additional semester. The “IE” grade is converted to an “F” grade if the work is not completed and submitted to the instructor. An “IE” grade is not calculated in the student’s grade point average and zero hours are credited.
A grade of “W” is recorded to indicate that a student has withdrawn from a course. This is a non-punitive, permanent grade that maintains an academic transcript record of enrollment in a course. “W” grades cannot be appealed.
A grade of “IP” is recorded to indicate that the course is in progress when the term in which the course has been scheduled ends. The "IP" grade will be replaced when the course ends and the permanent grade is posted.
The Audit (AUD) grade designation indicates that a student has registered for a course and was eligible to attend class sessions. Auditing a course does not necessarily reflect participation, nor does it indicate anything regarding completion of assignments. Auditors are entitled to participate in class activities to the extent the instructor permits.
Audit registration requires the approval of the instructor. A student may not change from credit to audit or audit to credit after the end of the add/drop period. If a course has stated enrollment limits, students taking the course for credit will be enrolled before students auditing the course. Lab courses may not be taken as an audit. An enrollment request with instructor’s and department chair’s approval must be presented to the Office of the Registrar for the record to be changed to an audit (AUD).
When an Audit (AUD) grade designation is posted on the transcript, it cannot be changed to a letter grade. Audited courses are not available for later credit or proficiency by examination.
Spring 2020 COVID-19 Policy Exceptions
Due to the unexpected change to virtual campus for the Spring 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students experienced unexpected challenges. To allow continuity for students’ academic goals and provide flexibility for students, the University adopted the following grading exception policies:
- Students were given the opportunity to elect to take courses Pass/Fail for credit for Spring 2020. The “P” grade equates to a “D” grade or better. “P” grades are considered passing and meet degree requirements for all courses earning a “P” grade in Spring 2020 term only.
- Students were given an extension of time to withdraw. For traditional students the extension was through the end of week 14.
- “P,” “S,” or similar grades may be accepted as transfer credit if defined as a “D” grade or better by the transfer institution and will meet equivalent course prerequisites, basic skills, general education, major, and minor requirements as if a “C” grade had been earned. Such courses will be treated as the equivalent of a “C” grade and therefore will meet all equivalent course prerequisites, degree, and major requirements as if a “C” grade had been earned.
Independent Study Courses
A curriculum unique from existing courses that provides greater depth or breadth of learning on a topic of interest to (a) student(s) developed in collaboration with a member of the faculty. The level and number of credit hours will depend upon a number of factors, including but not limited to faculty-student contact hours, anticipated independent hours of work by the student, type of work being conducted, and the depth of content in the discipline.
Requests for an independent study must be approved by the department chair on behalf of the student and submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the Dean. Timelines for completion are the same as that of a traditional undergraduate semester. Communications between faculty and the student who has requested the independent study are determined prior to the start of the independent study and are to be followed as indicated in the formal request submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Official copies of the request, along with the syllabus for the course, will be kept in the academic department. An Independent Study course offering must exist in the department’s subject course offerings to allow the student to pursue an independent study in that subject.
Course by Arrangement
Permission may be granted for arranged courses when irresolvable scheduling conflicts exist, determined and verified by the advisor, which preclude enrollment in a regularly scheduled class. With the approval of the advisor and department chair (College Coordinator in Mesa) a formal request for a course by arrangement is submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the Dean. Official copies of the request, along with the syllabus for the course, will be kept in the academic department. Arranged courses are selected from the courses listed in the current Benedictine University Catalog (other than courses including the title, “Independent Study”) and cover the same content. Course by Arrangements are not independent studies of unique subjects. The grading basis, as indicated in the course description, is followed. All semester course deadlines apply to arranged courses.
Withdrawal from Courses
Refer to the academic calendar on the Office of the Registrar website at https://ben.edu/academics/registrar/ for specific dates for each term and session of enrollment.
Dropping a course without a grade of “W” on a transcript.
- For full 15-week semester classes, students have until the end of the day of one full week from the start of classes for the term. Students who abide by this deadline will not receive a grade of “W” on their transcript.
- For 8-week classes, students have until the end of the Thursday of the first week of class to drop the class. Students who abide by this deadline will not receive a grade of “W” on their transcript.
Withdrawals from course with a “W” grade on a transcript.
Students may withdraw from a course and receive a grade of “W” by logging into MyBenU and submitting the withdrawal request by the published deadline. “W” is a non-punitive, permanent grade that maintains an academic transcript record of enrollment in a course. “W” grades cannot be appealed.
- For full semester courses, students who withdraw after the first week of the term (and prior to the last published day to withdraw) will receive a “W” grade on both the grade report and transcript. A student can withdraw with a grade of “W” from a class up to the end of the 10th week of classes for a 15 week course.
- A student can withdraw with a grade of “W” from a class up to the end of the sixth week of classes for an eight week course and up to the end of the fourth week for a five week course.
- For other course lengths a student can withdraw with a grade of “W” from a class up through the seventy percent point of the class.
Approval by a financial aid counselor is highly recommended when a student is receiving financial aid. Students should also inform their instructor of their intent to withdraw from a course. Students may not withdraw from a course after the last day to withdraw (which is 70 percent through the course). After the published deadline, no grade of “W” will be permitted for academic reasons and the student will be graded solely on academic performance at the end of the term. Stopping attendance or notifying an instructor, advisor, or any other staff or faculty member is not considered an official withdrawal. It may result in receiving a failing grade. A “W” has no bearing on tuition refunds.
Petition for a late withdrawal.
Students unable to withdrawal by the deadline may petition for a late withdrawal for non-academic reasons by accessing and completing a late withdrawal petition form on the registrar’s website at http://www.ben.edu/registrar/ and providing supporting documentation. Petitions beyond one year after the end of the course or after degree conferral cannot be considered.
Grade Appeal Policy
The purpose of the Grade Appeal Policy is to establish a consistent procedure by which students may seek review of final grades assigned in courses at Benedictine University. Only final course grades may be appealed. The policy recognizes the right and responsibility of faculty members to exercise their professional judgment in evaluating academic performance and the right of students to have their academic performance judged in a fair and impartial manner.
Grounds for Grade Appeal
A student may appeal a final course grade only on the grounds that:
- The grade was assigned based on a miscalculation or clerical error;
- The grading standards for the course were not clearly articulated by the instructor in the syllabus, or the grade was assigned in a manner inconsistent with articulated standards.
Grade Appeal Process
At all levels of review, the burden of demonstrating that a grade should be changed rests with the student. The deadline for submission of any grade appeal is the end of the semester following the term in which the grade was originally received. Once a student has graduated and their degree is conferred grade changes and appeals are not permitted.
Students must follow these steps in this order when appealing a final grade:
- First, discuss the final grade with the faculty member; bring forward any facts or circumstances that might be pertinent to the faculty member’s evaluation and decision.
- If there is not a satisfactory resolution, the student may seek consultation with the department chair/program director.
- If there is still no satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal to the dean of the college.
- If there is still no satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal to the Provost. The Provost’s decision is final.
Academic Accommodation for Religious Observance
A student whose religious obligation conflicts with a course requirement may request an academic accommodation from the instructor. Students must make such requests in writing by the end of the first week of the class. Upon receiving such a request, the instructor will offer reasonable academic accommodations, whenever feasible, and communicate this to the student. However, the course requirements listed in the syllabus remain in effect if accommodations cannot be offered.
Academic Honesty Policy
The search for truth and the dissemination of knowledge are the central missions of a university. Benedictine University pursues these missions in an environment guided by our Roman Catholic tradition and our Benedictine heritage. Integrity and honesty are therefore expected of all University students. Actions such as cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, forgery, falsification, destruction, multiple submission, solicitation, and misrepresentation are violations of these expectations and constitute unacceptable behavior in the University community.
To access the complete Academic Honesty Policy, which includes student responsibility, responsibility and authority of faculty, violations, reporting and communicating, responsibilities of the Provost, appeals, composition of the Academic Appeals Board, procedures of the Academic Appeals Board, and records, please visit https://ben.edu/academic-honesty-policy/.
Administrative Drop Policy
Drop for Non-Attendance: Undergraduate students may be dropped from a class for non-attendance by administrative drop effective as of the end of the first week of the class.
The primary intent of the Administrative Drop Policy is to prevent financial aid disbursement to non-attending students and ensure full enrollment in classes in which demand for seats exceeds supply. The purpose is to free seats held by non-attending students in such classes so that students who wish to take the class may be able to do so.
Certain class offerings may be exempt from this policy and are not impacted by the Administrative Drop Policy.
Departments may cancel classes before the start of the semester or on rare occasions during the first week prior to the second class meeting due to low enrollment or if a course instructor is no longer available to teach the course. Students would be dropped from the course and no tuition would be charged for any full semester courses canceled during the first week. Students may enroll in an alternative course through the first week of the semester.
In the rare event that an instructor is no longer able to continue to teach a course after the first week, the department chair may explore the following list of possible alternatives if available: 1) find an alternative instructor to take over the course; 2) swap the students into an alternative section if available and fitting the student schedule; 3) swap the student into an alternative course that satisfies the same degree requirements; or 4) swap the student into an alternative course that can be substituted for the degree requirements. In the event of a class cancellation after the first week the department may not be able to accommodate original instruction modality and meeting schedule. If none of these alternative arrangements are viable for the department the students will be retro-actively dropped from the course effective prior to the start of the semester and all tuition charges for the course will be reversed.
Dean’s List and Dean’s Recognition List
The Dean’s List is computed and published once each semester. To qualify, a student must be enrolled full-time and must have at least a 3.500 GPA semester average with a grade of at least “C” in each course and must not have received any “I” grades.
The Dean’s Recognition List is also computed and published once each semester. To qualify, a student must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 semester credit hours and must have at least a 3.500 semester average with a grade of at least “C” in each course and must not have received any “I” grades.
Note: The Dean’s Recognition List is intended for students who are not enrolled full time.
Student Academic Standing
Satisfactory academic standing for all undergraduate students is a 2.000 cumulative GPA as determined at the end of each semester (or other designated grading period). Students who do not achieve satisfactory academic standing will be placed on academic probation or dismissed for poor scholarship.
Probation and Dismissal
Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic standing during their University careers. If a student fails to achieve satisfactory academic standing at the end of a semester (a cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 for undergraduate students), that student will either be placed on academic probation during the following semester (if the term GPA was at least 1.000), or will be dismissed for poor scholarship (if the term GPA was below 1.000). If a student fails to achieve satisfactory academic standing at the end of the probationary period, the student is dismissed from enrollment because of poor scholarship.
Any student dismissed for poor scholarship may submit an appeal to the Committee on Academic Standing seeking a one-semester reinstatement. Criteria that the Committee on Academic Standing will consider include:
- Current semester GPA
- Cumulative GPA
- Likelihood that the student is capable of achieving “satisfactory academic standing” before graduation
- Recommendation from the Dean of Students
- Student’s explanation for prior GPA and plan to remedy the situation
In the event that the Committee on Academic Standing is unable to approve the appeal for extension of the probationary period, the student’s enrollment will be terminated for poor scholarship. Such a student may be readmitted at a later time for enrollment, provided evidence is presented which in the judgment of the University indicates that there is improved potential for academic success. The period of dismissal will be for a minimum of two academic semesters. Academic semesters are fall or spring semesters and do not include summer school or interim sessions.
All probation and dismissal policies apply in the same way to part-time and full-time students.
Academic Amnesty Policy
Students who have left the University with a cumulative GPA less than 2.000 may have the option to re-enter under the academic amnesty policy. The only condition for re-admission under amnesty is an absence of at least four years from the last term in attendance.
The implications of re-admission under academic amnesty are:
- The new Benedictine University cumulative GPA will be calculated based only on courses taken subsequent to re-entry. All courses taken and grades earned previously will be excluded from GPA calculations on the transcript.
- Academic probation will be a condition of admission.
- “Re-entry Under Amnesty” will appear under the term of re-entry of the transcript.
- Amnesty may be used only once by a student.
- Students must earn a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of coursework at Benedictine University after re-entry to be eligible for graduation.
- Graduation honors eligibility will be based on grades after re-entry amnesty.
- The Catalog of re-entry will be followed for graduation requirements.