The Semester System
Belhaven University operates on a semester basis with the regular session divided into two semesters that begin in August and January. The summer session, divided into one two-week term and two five-week terms, constitutes an additional period of study. A semester hour represents one hour of recitation or
at least two hours of laboratory work per week for one semester. Students receive course credit toward graduation on the basis of semester hours. Semester hours of credit for each course are shown in the section “Courses of Instruction.”
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AU, Audit; NA, No Audit; W, Withdrew Before Grades; WP, Withdrew Passing; WF, Withdrew Failing; AW, Administratively Withdrawn; S, Satisfactory; U, Unsatisfactory; ES, Examination Satisfactory; CR, Credit; NC, No Credit.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 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.
In cases where a student feels they experience extenuating circumstances which imparted their GPA students may submit an appeal to be readmitted one time for a suspension and one time for a dismissal. All decisions made by the academic appeals committee are final. If after an appeal, which has been granted the students' academic standing is not improved, no second appeal shall be considered.
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 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 registrar’s office before the end of the semester:
The student (or one representing the student) must obtain the incomplete request form from the registrar's office. In filling out this form, students and their professors agree upon the dates of completion for all work. The dates for completion of the necessary work should be before the end of the first week of the next semester. Should a student fail to complete the required work by the end of the first week of the following semester, 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 that he or 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.
Forgiveness Policy on Repeated Courses
An undergraduate student, upon written request, may ask to repeat up to four courses (up to 12 hours). The forgiveness policy can be used one time per course. Repeating a course may influence a student’s financial aid or sports eligibility.
The deadline for submitting the written request is the last day to add a course in the semester the repeated course is being taken again.
The following stipulations apply to this policy:
Students may elect to enroll for a maximum of four courses on the pass-fail option during the junior and senior years. No more than two courses may be included on this plan during any one semester. Core courses and courses in the major area (required or elective) may not be included. Grades of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) are assigned. Credit hours, but no quality points, are recorded for grades of S and count toward degree requirements. The pass/fail option is not allowed in courses required for teacher certification. A student wishing to use the pass/fail option must file a special request form in the office of the registrar prior to the last day to add a course or change course enrollment status.
Full-time students may audit a maximum of two courses each semester, with the permission of the registrar. A course is listed on the student's permanent record as AU (audit) unless the instructor of the course informs the registrar that class attendance or participation does not justify the listing, in which case it would be listed as NA (no audit).
Adding or Dropping a Course
A course may not be added for credit or audit, or changed from one enrollment status to another (credit, audit, pass/fail), after the second week of a semester (see Calendar for specific dates).
A course other than EDU 101 (Mosaic), Freshman English or the ENG 225/226, HIS 225/226 and HUM 225/226 courses may be officially dropped through the first week of a semester (see Calendar for specific dates) without having the course entered on the student's permanent record. After the first week, a student will be allowed to drop a course, but that course will appear on the permanent record with a grade of either, W, WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing).
After approximately eight weeks into the semester have elapsed, no course may be dropped for any reason. (See Calendar for exact dates.)
A student who stops attending class without securing official withdrawal approval automatically receives an F in the course(s). A student who acquires excessive absences before securing withdrawal approval will receive an F (not a WF) in the course.
A student's classification is determined by the number of semester hours credited to the student at the beginning of the first semester of each year. For sophomore standing, a student is required to have earned 24 semester hours credit; for junior standing 54 semester hours; for senior standing, 90 semester hours; and for graduation 124 semester hours and 248 quality points.
Course Load Per Semester
The minimum semester course load for a full-time student is 12 semester hours; the normal load is 15 to 18 semester hours; and the maximum load is 19 semester hours. Requests to exceed the maximum of 19 hours must be made to the registrar on the special request form on
the Belhaven website and will be reviewed primarily on the basis of the student's previous record of achievement and the courses in which the student wishes to enroll. No student may receive credit for more than 21 hours in a semester under any circumstances.
At the conclusion of a semester or summer session, final grades are available on the Belhaven website. The office of the registrar will not show students their grades nor give grades over the telephone or by email.
Midsemester grades are submitted and may be viewed on the Belhaven website.
A student who desires a transcript must complete a request form at least two weeks before the time he or she needs to have the transcript sent. Request forms are available at
http://www.belhaven.edu/Registrar/transcripts.htm or in the business office. The registrar is not permitted to issue transcripts for a student who is in debt to the University. The person whose record is to be released must sign the request for a transcript. The cost of each transcript is $10 for the first two copies. Additional copies ordered to the same destination and in the same transaction are $2 per copy after the first two copies. If you are currently enrolled you may fill in the appropriate box to tell us to send your transcript now, or after the current term’s grades have posted, or after the degree is posted. There is a minimum of 48 hours before a transcript can be released.
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 University 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 University to comply with the act.
Belhaven University accords all the rights under law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the University shall have access to nor will the University disclose any information from students' education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the University, 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’s office, student learning office, student life office, financial aid office, business office, office of institutional improvement, faculty, and academic support counselor.
Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the act: financial information submitted by their parents, 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 University 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.
In consultation with their Dean or Department Chair, all faculty members set their own policy for class attendance for the course. Be sure to review the course syllabus to understand the attendance requirement. Most faculty set one of these four policies:
A. Class attendance is important in this course and students missing more than 20% of classes will fail the course and receive an F (except in the case of unique medical or family extenuating circumstances to be considered in consultation with the Registrar.)
8 absences for a class that meets three times a week
6 absences for a class that meets two times a week
3 absences for a class that meets once a week.
Persistently arriving late or leaving early may impact a student's final grade.
B. Class attendance is important in this course and missing more than 20% of classes will lower the student's final grade (except in the case of unique medical or family extenuating circumstances to be considered in consultation with the Registrar.)
1 letter grade 21–29% absent 3x week 9-11 2x week 7-8 1x week 4
2 letter grades 30–39% absent 3x week 12-15 2x week 9-11 1x week 5
3 letter grades 40% or more absent 3x week 16+ 2 x week 12+ 1x week 6
C. Class attendance is important in this course and students must notify the professor if a class is to be missed and make arrangements to make-up the work.
D. Class attendance is not a high priority of this class and students should use their judgment in how to use their time best to gain the most from this course.
In consultation with their Dean or Department Chair, faculty members will articulate their policy in the syllabus for the course. It is the responsibility of the student to understand and follow the attendance policy for each course. While faculty members set their attendance standards, a student's grade may not be lowered for missing up to 20% of the courses classes.
All reasons for absences (e.g., illness, representation for University activities, emergencies, and late registration) are included in these standards.
Convenient Scheduling for Adult Students (See Graduate and Adult Studies sections of the catalogue.)
In respect for adult students' busy schedules, Belhaven offers courses at times of the day and week that are more convenient.
For over 25 years Belhaven University has offered an evening program of academic courses that provides basic college courses, including a wide range of courses in accounting and business administration, for interested area residents who are not able to attend regular classes during the day. Belhaven University instructors and selected area business people and educators teach classes. During the regular session, evening classes meet one evening per week beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Two-week miniterms are offered twice each year at Belhaven University: one in the spring, and one between fall and spring semesters when allowed by the calendar. These are concentrated courses that make three hours of credit available to students attending 10 class meetings (four hours each); two weekends of reflection time are incorporated in each time frame. A student may enroll in one class only. Residence halls are not open during miniterms.
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Belhaven University students may receive credit for certain courses offered at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Consult the chairman of the department of biology concerning course offerings.
The summer session of Belhaven University provides an opportunity for students to continue their work leading to a degree and for students from other institutions to earn credits that may be transferred to their own schools. A maximum of 15 hours may be earned during the summer session at Belhaven.
The Honors College at Belhaven University offers academically advanced students a forum in which to deepen and expand their education both intellectually and spiritually. Students who demonstrate seriousness about their calling, a past record of academic achievement, and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary dialogue are eligible for Honors courses as described below:
Honors Colloquium (HNS)An interdisciplinary seminar exploring diverse topics from the humanities, sciences, and arts. Through reading and round-table discussion with faculty and peers, students hone their ability to critically evaluate ideas from a Christian perspective and articulate responses both orally and in writing.
Students who meet any of the following criteria may take Honors Colloquium for elective credit:
· ACT composite 26 or above (SAT CR+Math 1190 or above)
· ACT English/Writing 28 or above (SAT Writing 630 or above)
· College-level GPA 3.5 or above, earned over at least 2 semesters
Admission to Honors College as Honors Fellow Students who have completed at least two semesters of Honors Colloquium with a grade of B or above are admitted to full standing as Fellows in the Honors College; exceptions may also be considered subject to evaluation by the administration of the Honors College. The requirements for graduation as an Honors Fellow are as follows:
The Belhaven University study travel program provides students with an opportunity to earn academic credit in courses specifically structured to include off-campus travel, domestic or foreign. Members of the Belhaven University faculty plan the courses, arrange for and conduct the travel portion, and offer detailed instruction on campus before departure and during the time of travel itself.
The content of courses offered in the study travel program is variable. In one case, the emphasis may be on one city, region, or country exclusively, while in another it may cut across geographical boundaries to include historical, literary, artistic, or scientific aspects of several regions or countries.
Each course requires the consent of the instructor and carries three hours of academic credit and a pass/fail grade. There is no limit to the number of credits a student may earn in the program, but each course pursued must have a different emphasis. In some instances, credits may be applied toward the departmental major.
Student Intern Programs and Practicums
Student intern programs provide practical experience and training. In order to receive academic credit (one to six hours) for a student intern program or practicum, the program must be a structured one, approved in advance by the department in which credit is to be given. A student may not register for an internship or practicum until the office of the registrar has received the approval. The internship application should be turned in to the office of the registrar three days prior to the last day to add a class in order for there to be ample time for administration to provide internship approval. Registration must take place by the first week of the semester (see academic calendar for specific dates to add a course) or the student will not receive credit. A 2.75 cumulative Belhaven grade point average and junior or senior standing are required of the student to be considered for a student intern program or practicum. See the registrar’s office for further information.
Belhaven is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of more than 85 private liberal arts Christian colleges and universities. Consequently, a number of off-campus learning opportunities exist. These include an American studies program in Washington, D.C., a China studies program, a Latin American studies program in Costa Rica, the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, a Russian studies program, a Middle East studies program in Cairo, Egypt, a Scholar’s Semester in Oxford, and a summer study program in historic Oxford, England. (See Council Studies in “Courses of Instruction” section.)
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
Located in Michigan, this program offers courses that cover various aspects of environmental studies and stewardship. Ecological information is provided along with experience in both field and laboratory techniques. Scholarship assistance is available to students at Council-member colleges.
Focus on the Family Institute
A division of Focus on the Family, the Focus on the Family Institute is a one-semester undergraduate study program designed to address the challenging issues facing today’s families. Outstanding students from American and international colleges and universities compete for 40 positions each fall, spring, and summer semester. Sixteen units of credit for the program may be received through the students’ individual academic institutions, or arrangements can be made through an accredited institution. (See Family Studies in “Courses of Instruction” section.) Upon arrival, applicants should have completed two years of undergraduate work and be in good academic standing with a minimum of a 3.25 cumulative GPA. The Institute is endorsed by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Alternative Credit Programs
Belhaven University does recognize Advanced Placement (AP) and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Official score reports must be sent directly to Belhaven University from the Educational Testing Service. High school transcripts with scores are not considered official notification of scores. Credit will be awarded once the office of the registrar has received the official qualifying scores and the student has met with the department chair to determine how the credit will be allocated. Students planning to enter professional school should verify that AP credit is accepted by the professional school they plan to attend. (All alternative credit must not exceed 30 credit hours toward the undergraduate degree.)
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
BU294 Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio
This course is designed to assist the student with the development of an experiential learning portfolio. This includes developing a resume, reflecting on the personal journey through an autobiographical essay, application of a Christian worldview, and identifying knowledge and skills learned from previous work educational and work experiences in the experiential essays. The portfolio will be the basis of evaluation of work and life experiences for possible college credit. Students may write for up to 12 hours of credit for each occurrence of BU294 (resulting in a total possible of 15 credits, 3 from BU294 and up to 12 experiential credits). Students must register for BU294 in term 1 of the semester prior to the semester of graduation. BU294 may be repeated if more than 12 credit hours of PLA credit need to be assessed, not to exceed the limit of 30 credit hours from this option, including the credits earned through BU294.
BU29X Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio 1-3 credits
This course is designed to assist the student with the development of an experiential learning portfolio when less than four credit hours are needed. This includes developing a resume, reflecting on the personal journey through an autobiographical essay, application of a Christian worldview, and identifying knowledge and skills learned from previous work educational and work experiences in the experiential essays. The portfolio will be the basis of evaluation of work and life experiences for possible college credit. Students may write for 1-3 hours of credit in BU290. Students must register for BU291, BU292, or BU293 (depending on the number of elective credits needed) in term 1 of the semester prior to the semester of graduation. BU291, 2, or 3 are Pass/Fail courses.
All PLA submissions from either course option listed above must be completed by the end of term 1 of the semester prior to the semester of graduation.
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 30 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.
Placement in Advanced English
Each year, the department of English selects a limited number of freshmen for placement in Advanced Freshmen English on the basis of scores on the ACT, the English Placement Test of the CEEB, and the Belhaven English Placement Test. Credit by exemption for ENG 101 (CR only, no semester hours, no grade or quality points) will be awarded upon completion of the three-hour course Advanced Freshman English (ENG 121) (with a grade not lower than a C) during the first semester.
Placement in Advanced Language
Students who wish to continue at Belhaven University a language begun in high school should take a language proficiency test to determine the college-level course most consistent with their previous training. Students who have credit for two or more units of a foreign language in high school may receive college credit, though not college hours, for the 101-102 courses in the same language after receiving a C (2.0) or better in 201-202 at Belhaven University. A waiver of language courses, especially 101 and 102, may be granted upon the Language Department’s avowal of a student’s proficiency. No semester hours, grades or quality points will be awarded.
Those students who are eligible to enter a foreign language course at the 300 level and complete six hours at this level may then elect to take examinations in the intermediate course (201-202) to receive six hours of credit.
Placement in Advanced Mathematics
Students who have had extensive training in mathematics in high school and who wish to continue their study in this area at Belhaven University may enroll in MAT 207 and 208 with the permission of the chairperson of the department of mathematics rather than in a lower level course.
Students who are eligible to enter the course in calculus (MAT 207 and 208) and complete six hours at this level may then elect to take examinations in algebra and trigonometry (MAT 101 and 102) to receive six hours of credit. If a passing grade is achieved on the examination, the credit hours are recorded and a grade of ES (Examination Satisfactory) is assigned. In the event of an unsatisfactory grade, no grade is recorded or credit given. The grade of ES carries credit hours, but no quality points, toward degree requirements.
At the end of each semester, the following academic lists are published:
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