The Semester System

Students receive course credit toward graduation on the basis of semester hours. Semester hour credit for each course is shown in the Required Courses section. All students are required to have 124 semester hours to receive a baccalaureate degree.


  • Belhaven University reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is an enrollment of fewer than 12 students.
  • Credit hours are indicated in parentheses following course titles.
  • Graduate courses are designated by 500 and 600 numbers.

Departmental Abbreviations

​Biblical Studies and Ministries
​Bachelor of Business Administration
​Bachelor of Health Administration
​Criminal Justice
​Clinical Pastoral Education
​Computer Science
​Interdisciplinary Studies
​Master of Business Administration
​Master of Health Administration
​Master of Science in Leadership
Master of Public Administration​
​Master of Sports Administration
​Worldview Curriculum

Grades and Quality Points

The meaning of the course grade is as follows: A, Superior; B, Good; C, Average; D, Passing; F, Failing; I, Incomplete; AU, Audit; NA, No Audit; W, Withdrew Before Grades; WC, Withdrew Course; WP, Withdrew Passing; WF, Withdrew Failing; AW, Administratively Withdrawn; S, Satisfactory; U, Unsatisfactory; ES, Examination Satisfactory; CR, Credit; NC, No Credit.

The grades S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) are used for courses completed on the Pass-Fail option. The grade ES (Examination Satisfactory) is used for credit given by examination in foreign languages and mathematics. The grade CR (Credit) is given for nonacademic courses to indicate that credit has been earned. The grade NC (No Credit) is given for nonacademic courses to indicate that no credit has been earned.

A plus/minus system of grading was implemented in the fall semester of 1985. The plus/minus changed the quality points associated with the letter grades; therefore, the letter grade A now carries 4.00 quality points; A- 3.66; B+ 3.34; B 3.00; B- 2.66; C+ 2.34; C 2.00; C- 1.66; D+ 1.34; D 1.00; D- 0.66; F 0.00. A grade point average is calculated at the end of each semester by dividing the number of quality points earned by the number of semester hours attempted, grades of F being counted as hours attempted. Only the grades listed immediately above carry quality points. Cumulative totals are also computed following each completed grade period.

Transfer work does not affect the Belhaven cumulative grade point average (GPA). The Belhaven cumulative GPA is based entirely upon work done at Belhaven University.

Academic Standing


Academic standing describes a student’s performance in their academic program. Belhaven assesses academic standing using a quality point index. A quality point index is calculated at the end of each semester and a student will be assigned an academic standing in accordance with the chart below which indicates quality point deficiencies allowed.

Academic Standing Status

Quality Point Index Deficiency

Good Standing – Clear

No deficiency (positive Quality Point Index Score)

Good Standing – Notice

(-1) – (-10)


(-10.01) – (-23)


(-23.01) – (-35.99)



The formula for calculation of quality point index is (GPA and Quality Point Index are calculated on Belhaven GPA credits only.):

Belhaven earned quality points - (Belhaven GPA hours times two) = quality point index.


1. All graduate students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.00 with no quality point index deficiency, regardless of their classification. The formula for calculation of quality point index is: Belhaven earned quality points - (Belhaven attempted GPA hours times three) = quality point index.
2. At the end of each semester a student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of one to three quality points will be given an academic warning.

3. A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 3.01 to 9 quality points will be placed on academic probation.

4. A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 9.01 to 15 quality points will be academically suspended for one semester. This student will be eligible to reenroll after remaining out of school for one semester. 9. A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 15.01 or more quality points will be academically dismissed. This student will not be eligible for readmission to Belhaven University.

Extracurricular Activities, Good Academic Standing, and Satisfactory Academic Progress

In general, a student who is eligible to enroll for classes is considered to be in good standing for extracurricular activities. Additional and more stringent requirements may be established by supervisors of those activities, groups, organizations, or societies.

For participation in intercollegiate athletics, a student must demonstrate good academic standing and satisfactory progress toward a degree. In order to demonstrate good academic standing, a freshman (0-23 hours) or sophomore (24-53 hours) must earn and maintain Good Standing – Clear or Good Standing – Notice. A junior (54-89 hours) or senior (90+ hours) must earn and maintain Good Standing – Clear. In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, a student-athlete must be enrolled full-time (a minimum of 12 semester hours) unless fewer hours are required for graduation and meet academic standing requirements.

Freshmen students may participate in intercollegiate athletics during their first semester upon admission to Belhaven University and full-time (a minimum of 12 semester hours) enrollment. Transfer students meeting NCAA exceptions may participate during their first semester upon admission to Belhaven University and full-time (a minimum of 12 semester hours) enrollment. After their first semester at Belhaven, freshmen and transfer students (who met NCAA exceptions) are considered returning students and will be required to meet the academic standing requirement and the satisfactory academic progress requirement for intercollegiate athletics. If a transfer student doesn’t meet NCAA exceptions for participation, he/she must meet NCAA guidelines for residency requirements.

Financial aid requirements for satisfactory progress and other regulations are explained separately in this catalog and elsewhere.


The grade I is given at the discretion of the instructor with prior approval of the Director of Student Services and only in case of a prolonged illness or other emergency and indicates that all requirements in a course have not been met. In order for students to receive the grade I, they must have made satisfactory progress in the course up to the point of illness or emergency. The grade I cannot be given prior to the last day to drop a course without an F. Students receiving the grade I should make the following arrangements with their professors and the Director of Student Services before the end of the course.

The student (or one representing the student) must obtain the incomplete request form from the Registrar's office or the Director of Student Services. In filling out this form, students and their professors agree upon the dates of completion for all work. Should a student fail to complete the required work within 30 days following the date of the last class meeting of the course for which the grade of I was given, the grade I will automatically be changed to a grade of F by the Office of the Registrar.

Failure: Repeated Courses

An F cannot be removed from a student’s record. However, if a student enrolls again in a course which he/she failed, the second grade is recorded on the permanent record for the semester in which the course was repeated.

Although both courses and the respective grades and quality points are shown on the permanent record, the semester hour’s credit is only earned once and the second course is shown as repeated.

Forgiveness Policy on Repeated Courses

An undergraduate student may request in writing to repeat up to four courses, or 12 hours for forgiveness. A graduate student may request in writing to repeat up to two courses, or six hours for forgiveness. The grade for both courses will appear on the permanent record. The forgiveness policy can be used one time per course. Repeating a course may influence a student’s financial aid or sports eligibility.

The following stipulations apply to this policy:

1. Undergraduate students cannot use this option to repeat a course in which a grade of A, B, or C was earned. This can only be used to replace a grade of C- or below. Graduate students can use this option to repeat a course in which a grade of B- or below was earned. A grade of an F will not forgive a grade of an F; both F’s will be calculated in the GPA.

2. The highest grade earned will be the one used to recalculate the GPA.

3. The student cannot use the forgiveness policy to replace a grade that was earned at another school, nor may grades earned at Belhaven be replaced by grades earned at another school. This policy will only affect the Belhaven grades and quality point index.

4. A course intended to be used for the forgiveness policy cannot be taken as independent study and must be taken at Belhaven University.

Administrative Withdrawal

Students may be administratively withdrawn for nonpayment of tuition, misconduct, noncompliance with academic policy, and/or nonattendance.


An undergraduate student’s classification is determined by the number of semester hours he/she has to his/her credit. For sophomore standing a student is required to have earned 24 semester hours of credit, for junior standing 54 semester hours, for senior standing 90 semester hours, and for graduation 124 semester hours and 240 quality points.

Course Load

In the adult studies program, a normal course load in a four-month period should not exceed 12 semester hours. Any exceptions to this policy will be approved by the Academic Dean. Approval will be on the basis of the student’s previous record of achievement and the course in which he/she wishes to enroll. No student may receive credit for more than 18 hours in a four-month period.

In the graduate teacher education program, the maximum course load is six semester hours per session. Requests to exceed the maximum of six hours must be made to the Director of Graduate Teacher Education and will be reviewed primarily on the basis of the student’s previous record of achievement and the courses in which he/she wishes to enroll. No students may receive credit for more than nine hours in a session under any circumstances.

Grade Reports

At the conclusion of an Adult Studies course, final grade reports will be available on . In the graduate teacher education program, final grade reports are available on at the end of each term or session. The Office of the Registrar will not show students their grades. Grades will not be discussed or given out by phone or e-mail. Course grade reports will indicate course completed, credit received, and grades assigned.


A student who desires a transcript must fill out a request form available online or in the Business Office at least two weeks before the time he/she needs to have the transcript sent. The Registrar is not permitted to issue transcripts for a student who is in debt to the University. The request for a transcript must be signed by the person whose record is to be released. The cost of each transcript is $10.00 for the first two copies and $2 for each additional copy in the same request, and must be paid in advance by cash, credit card, or money order. Personal checks are accepted; however, the transcript request will be held for two weeks to allow time for the check to clear.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Belhaven University informs students of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

Belhaven University accords all the rights under law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students' education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the institution, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the act.

Within the Belhaven community, only those members individually or collectively acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include personnel in the office of the registrar, provost’s office, admission office, student services office, financial aid office, business office, and office of institutional improvement.

Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the act: confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review, or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student.

Class Attendance Standards

Belhaven University believes that learning can be demonstrated through typical assessments such as tests, quizzes, papers, and class participation. However, we also believe that learning occurs beyond engaging in these assessments and that class attendance enhances learning in immeasurable ways. No more than 20 percent of a course’s classes should be missed in any term.

Undergraduate Courses

Class attendance is important for undergraduate courses and missing two nights will result in a student's final grade being lowered by one letter grade. Missing three nights or more will result in a letter grade of F for the course. Persistently arriving late or leaving early may impact a student's final grade.

Graduate Courses

Class attendance is important for graduate courses and missing three nights will result in a student's final grade being lowered by one letter grade. Missing four nights or more will result in a letter grade of F for the course. Persistently arriving late or leaving early may impact a student's final grade.

All reasons for absences (for example: illness, representation for University activities, emergencies, and late registration) are included in these standards. When determining final grades, the faculty should consider whether or not other academic performance factors might counter excessive absences or the student may have earned an F.

In order for the University to comply with federal regulations, during the first two weeks of any course, faculty must post attendance and absences. During subsequent weeks, only absences must be posted.

Faculty are required to mark student attendance for the first two weeks of any course they are teaching and then mark the Roster Verification using the process described in the Adult Studies Faculty Handbook. After the second week of the course Faculty will only mark student absences in Blazenet so that Student Services can assist in working with the student to insure their success.

Academic Plan

A student’s academic plan is available upon entering an educational program.


Registration at Other Institutions

A student who is enrolled at Belhaven University may not register for courses at any other institution without approval of the Registrar. This policy refers to classes taken elsewhere at any time when a student is pursuing a degree at Belhaven. A student may not be concurrently enrolled at Belhaven and another institution except in the situation of a senior needing a course for imminent graduation and said course is not currently offered at Belhaven University.

Academic Lists

At the end of each semester, the following academic lists are published:


  • President's List: Students must complete at least 9 credit hours in a semester with a GPA of 4.0
  • Dean's List: Students must complete at least 9 credit hours in a semester with a GPA no lower than 3.6.


  • President’s List: Students must complete at least 6 credit hours in a semester with a GPA of 4.0

Graduation with Honors

To graduate cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, a baccalaureate degree seeking student must have earned a minimum of 60 academic hours carrying quality points at Belhaven University. At the time of graduation the student must have established a cumulative grade point average on the Belhaven University record and meet the minimum below to be eligible:cum laude, 3.4; magna cum laude, 3.7; summa cum laude, 3.9.

To graduate "with honors," a student must have earned a minimum of 45 academic hours carrying quality points at Belhaven University and a 3.4 cumulative grade point average at Belhaven University. Honors are not given at the associate degree or master degree level.

Belhaven University baccalaureate degree-seeking students who graduate with academic honors will wear Belhaven University honor cords for the graduation commencement ceremonies. Students are not allowed to wear any other regalia from societies, sororities, or organizations not affiliated directly with Belhaven University.

Independent Study

Independent study courses will be available only for degree-seeking seniors facing imminent graduation who are unable to get a needed course at the regularly scheduled time.

Students must complete a Change of Academic Plan Form and obtain permission from the Academic Dean and Student Services in order to register for the course. The professor is not authorized to grant final approval for an independent study course. The request should be made as soon as possible, but must be submitted to the Academic Dean no later than the last day to enter a course or change enrollment status.

No course intended to be used for the forgiveness policy can be taken as independent study; furthermore, all forgiveness policy courses must be taken at Belhaven University.

Tutorial Work

The term “tutorial” is applied to final coursework being completed by a nonresident Belhaven student.

Veterans’ Regulations

Each recipient of VA benefits enrolled at Belhaven University is expected to become familiar with, and to adhere to, all academic policies stated in the current issue of the Belhaven University catalogue.

Alternative Credit (For undergraduate degrees only)

(Alternative credit for all sources may not exceed 45 credit hours toward the undergraduate degree.)

  • National Accreditation Transfer

Belhaven University will review and accept up to 45 credit hours for courses comparable to those offered by Belhaven from schools accredited by agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) or the Secretary of the Department of Education. Courses accepted must have a ‘C‘ grade or better. No comparable courses are allowed to substitute for WVC301 or WVC401. The Registrar will make the final decision on credit awarded.

  • Standardized Testing

Belhaven University recognizes the CLEP, Dantes, AP and ACT PEP standardized tests for credit and accepts the recommended score scale. Alternative credit, including CLEP, AP, and ACT PEP may not exceed 30 hours. Students may not CLEP core courses in their major. CLEP courses, when allowed, become Gen Eds or electives and a part of the alternative credit limit.

  • Foreign Language Proficiency Exams (not applicable to Adult Studies)

Foreign students may not register for credit in their native language. Students may earn college credit for Spanish, French, or German only by taking the CLEP examination at the elementary or intermediate levels. Students may earn up to the required number of credit hours in the general education core for their major in a single language through completion of the CLEP examination with the CLEP examination with a minimum score of 50 or above or through proficiency credit. The CLEP standardized examination will preclude the use of departmental examinations except in those areas where CLEP examinations are not available.

The method of testing and the level of proficiency to be awarded for languages other than Spanish, French, or German will be determined by the chair of the foreign language department or their designee. For testing other than CLEP, a $100 fee is charged for administering a proficiency exam; an additional fee of $100 is charged if the exam is completed, but no semester hours, grades or quality points will be awarded.

  • Correspondence Courses

A student may apply a maximum of six semester hours of correspondence credit to satisfy degree requirements. The Registrar must approve correspondence work in advance. Credit in major courses or core courses for degrees may not be earned by correspondence.

  • Military Credit

Credit for military service may be awarded as four credit hours of physical education if credit has not already been achieved in this area. These credits are awarded as non-academic hours. Other military training courses are individually assessed by the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations.

Experiential Learning Credit: (Maximum credit – 30 hours)

In order for experiential credit to be officially granted, and recorded on the transcript, students must have successfully completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic coursework at Belhaven.  Experiential Learning credit will be approved by faculty in the Business and Social Work/Services departments through evaluation of the portfolios with a maximum of 30 hours of elective credit only. This type of credit is not transferable into or out of Belhaven University.

The process for obtaining experiential credit should be completed prior to the beginning of the last course required for degree completion in the adult studies or online program. It is important to determine how many elective credits are needed before starting the portfolio process. The fees required for applying experiential learning credit are:

  • Assessment Fee - $150 paid at time portfolio is turned in for assessment
  • $75 per semester hour of credit awarded, which must be paid in full before credits are posted to transcript.

The two options for creating experiential learning portfolios are:

Portfolio I

Earned credit for professional, or technical courses, licenses, certifications, workshops, etc., or for courses taken at non-regionally or nationally accredited institutions can be awarded if documented thoroughly. The Portfolio I option must include a résumé, an autobiographical essay, and value of learning statement for each topic area.  Documentation of earned credit must also be provided, e.g. a transcript from the institution where the credit was earned. For any coursework taken outside of an academic institution, documentation must include a certificate of completion, clock hours of the course, description of content, and value of learning statement. One semester hour of credit may be awarded for 20 hours of instruction that is determined by faculty evaluators to be college level, per standards set by CAEL. Belhaven Faculty will assess the material submitted for Portfolio I and determine transfer credit. Description of the value of learning statement will be provided in EDU290.

Portfolio II

Credit for experiential learning may also be awarded through an essay-writing process that will document college-level learning. Faculty evaluators award credit based upon college-level academic principles evident in the student's writing. The Portfolio II option must include a résumé, an autobiographical essay, and a thorough, two page per topic essay, following the Portfolio Rubric guidelines, explained in EDU290.  These essays must reveal the learning that occurred from the work experience and the resulting applications both for that situation and for future situations. Each topic chosen is worth one elective credit hour. 

NOTE: Any appeals by students in regard to the number of semester hours of credit awarded through the portfolio process may be made to the campus Dean.

Credit from alternative credit programs may be given in a specific area in which a student wishes to major or minor, dependent upon departmental policy. The maximum total of such credit listed above, in any combination, is 45 semester hours, not to include more than 15 hours of experiential credit. Hours earned through alternative credit programs do not carry quality points and therefore are not considered as residential hours for honors calculations.