Jun 19, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

Students are responsible for informing themselves of the academic regulations, requirements and policies set forth in this Catalog and of other applicable university policies, rules and regulations. (References to applicable policy statements are noted parenthetically.) Students should always consult the Office of the Registrar website at seattleu.edu/registrar for the most up-to-date version of policies, rules and regulations. In all cases, the official academic policies are considered to be the overriding authority of any rule or regulation listed in this Catalog.

Students are responsible for the satisfactory completion of their program of study and should not rely on verbal representations of degree requirements or waivers thereof. Students should ensure through their adviser, program director or other authorized individual that information and understandings pertaining to academic issues are accurate and that all agreements are entered in their official academic file in the Office of the Registrar.

Failure to meet the requirements or comply with regulations because of lack of knowledge does not excuse students from responsibility for compliance.

The enrollment and graduation of each student, the awarding of academic credits and the granting of any award or degree are strictly subject to the authority of the university. The university reserves the right to cancel any class that does not meet the required minimum enrollment, as determined by the university. SU also reserves the right to change any academic requirement or policy without notice and to require students to withdraw at any time.

Classification of Students (Policy 82-2)

Freshman 0 to 44.9 credits completed toward degree
Sophomore 45 to 89.9 credits completed toward degree
Junior 90 to 134.9 credits completed toward degree
Senior 135 or more credits completed toward degree

Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate (Policy 82-2)

A post-baccalaureate undergraduate is a student with an acceptable baccalaureate degree admitted to the university to pursue a second bachelor’s degree, an undergraduate certificate or a prerequisite program of study. Eligible to enroll in courses numbered 100-499 only.

Non-Matriculated Status (Policies 82-2, 92-2)

Non-matriculated status is an admission category that includes those students admitted to Seattle University by means of a special application form and fee for the purpose of post-secondary or post-baccalaureate study not intended to culminate in a degree or certificate; or those who are recorded in the computer system via a manual registration process through the Office of the Registrar for particular programs offered by the schools or colleges in which the student is not required to be admitted to the university. Students in this second category are not eligible for the same access to systems and services as students in the first.

As per Policy 92-2, a maximum of 15 credits taken at the non-matriculated undergraduate level (Category 1 above) will be accepted toward an undergraduate degree program at Seattle University.

There is no limit to the number of quarters a student may attend Seattle University as a non-matriculated student, but not all courses are open to non-matriculants. During fall, winter and spring terms, non-matriculated students will be admitted to courses on a space-available basis after all matriculated students have had the opportunity to register. During summer term, non-matriculated students may register when registration opens for the term.

Course Work

Academic Honesty (Policy 2004-01)

Seattle University is committed to the principle that academic honesty and integrity are important values in the educational process. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and will be addressed according to this policy.

Academic Load, Undergraduate Students (Policies 77-5, 82-1)

  • Full-time: 12 or more quarter credits
  • Half-time: Six, seven or eight quarter credits

Academic Overload (Policy 2001-02)

Students may take up to 18 credits per quarter, including audited courses. The academic overload policy is designed to allow highly capable students to broaden their education by taking courses outside of their program requirements. Students who have sophomore standing or above, have attended the university for at least one quarter, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 may take up to 20 credits per quarter. Refer to the Tuition and Fees section in this Catalog for information on costs. Students on academic probation may be required by the dean of their school to carry less than the normal credit load.


Students are held accountable to complete every course for which they register. If it is necessary to add or drop a course or change a grading option, the student must do so by the last day of the add/drop period. Failure to properly drop a course could result in a failing grade.

Attendance Requirement

Attendance is an essential and intrinsic element of the education process. In any course in which attendance is necessary to the achievement of the course objectives, it may be a valid consideration in determining students’ grades. Although there is no university regulation requiring class attendance, each instructor and each program has the discretion to establish attendance standards. The student is responsible for becoming familiar with any attendance requirements applicable to their courses or program of study.

Auditing a Course (Policy 97-7)

Students may be enrolled as auditors in undergraduate courses only upon payment of the usual fees and audit tuition. Students who register for credit, in all cases, will receive priority over those who audit. Undergraduate students may take up to 18 credits per quarter, including audited courses. Students with sophomore standing or above and a cumulative GPA of 3.50 may take up to 20 credits per quarter, including audited courses.

An undergraduate student registered for at least 12 graded credits may audit a course at no additional cost up to 20 total credit hours. Those enrolled for fewer than 12 graded credits and more than 20 will be charged the regular audit fee per credit hour as published in the listing of tuition and fees for the given quarter of study.

The alumni audit program is available to alumni through Alumni Relations. The Elder Audit program is available to people age 60 and older on a space–available basis for certain classes with permission of the instructor. Information may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Neither of these programs provides a student with a permanent record of the audited course.

Course Delivery Methods

Seattle University delivers a limited number of course sections online via synchronous and asynchronous delivery. Both credit and non–credit course sections are delivered in a variety of ways utilizing online technology. Course sections delivered for credit are noted as delivered partially or fully online in the published course description on SU Online. Partially online courses may require one or more on–campus sessions. Online sessions must have access to a computer with reliable high–speed internet access and may require specialized software or equipment.

Course Numbering System

001 to 099: Courses that do not count toward degree requirements
100 to 199: Freshmen courses*
200 to 299: Sophomore courses*
300 to 399: Junior courses*
400 to 499: Senior courses*
500 to 699: Graduate courses (graduate standing is required)
800 to 899: Post-secondary professional development courses
900 to 999: Post-baccalaureate professional development courses

*Courses numbered 100 to 299 are lower-division courses and those numbered 300 to 499 are upper-division courses.

Pass/Fail Option (Policy 76-1)

Undergraduate students may elect a pass/fail option in free elective courses only and under certain conditions as outlined in the policy. Changes to the grading option must be made by the end of the add/drop period.


All students must register by the dates published. No registration is permitted after the last day to add/drop as published in the university academic calendar. Students registering after the first class day are held responsible for absences predating registration. No person may attend any university course unless officially registered.

Regression Rule

Students who complete course work at an intermediate or advanced level without first completing the lower level introductory courses may not then go back and take the lower level courses for credit. This rule applies primarily to course work in mathematics, the sciences and foreign languages. It may also apply in other departments where there is a clear content sequence between courses.

Repeating a Course (Policy 77-2)

If an undergraduate student receives a grade of C- or below in a course at Seattle University they may repeat that course. Some schools, major departments and professional programs have other specific regulations regarding the repeating of a course. When a course graded C- or below is repeated at Seattle University, the most recent grade will be posted to the permanent record and will be used in computing the cumulative GPA. The original grade will remain on the record, but course credits will be counted only once toward a degree.

Withdrawal from a Course (Policy 75-22)

Students must officially notify the Office of the Registrar in writing when they withdraw from any course. The withdrawal form is obtained from SUOnline and presented to the instructor, other applicable offices and the Office of the Registrar, in that order, for approval and signature.

The official date of a student’s withdrawal is the date of the first signature on the withdrawal form by any official of the university.

Failure to properly withdraw from a course by the published withdrawal deadline will result in a failing grade.

Credit, Alternate Sources

Credit by Examination (Policy 2004-06)

Examinations for credit in undergraduate courses offered by the university may be taken by a student for work done in private study or on subject matter taken at a non-accredited college or university. For specific restrictions, refer to the policy.

Transfer Credit (Policies 77-1, 79-1)

Regular undergraduate students who have attended other regionally accredited colleges or universities may have credits transferred to Seattle University under the conditions outlined in the university policies.

Not all courses offered in post-secondary institutions are transferable to the university. To assure that the courses will be transferable, continuing students who wish to take additional classes or course work at another college must file a completed Transfer Verification form with the Office of the Registrar prior to attendance.


Dual Enrollment at Two Colleges (Policy 75-6)

Seattle University regulations require students to seek written permission on a Transfer Verification Form to be enrolled simultaneously at another institution. Courses completed at a second institution are transferable in limited circumstances when, prior to enrolling elsewhere, a form authorizing dual enrollment is approved by the dean of the student’s college or school.

Readmission (Policies 75-3, 76-10, 81-3)

Readmission must be requested when a student has not enrolled at Seattle University for four consecutive quarters, including summer, or has otherwise withdrawn from the university.

Students will continue to receive registration materials and be eligible to register for the four consecutive quarters (including summer) after the last quarter of attendance if they do not formally withdraw. See the policy for specific exceptions.

Returning students who have attended other post-secondary institutions after leaving Seattle University must submit official transcripts before applications for readmission will be considered.

Students who have not attended the university for more than four consecutive quarters will be held to the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission.


Grades are available for viewing on SUOnline the day following the final grade submission deadline.

Grading System

The following system of grading is used to indicate the level of individual student achievement. Each letter grade has a quality point value assigned to the grade achieved as follows:

A 4.00 Superior performance
A- 3.70  
B+ 3.30  
B 3.00 Good performance
B- 2.70  
C+ 2.30  
C 2.00 Adequate performance
C- 1.70  
D+ 1.30  
D 1.00 Poor performance
D- 0.70  
F 0.00 Failing

The grades of CR, HW, I, IP, M, N, NC, P, W, Y or YW have no quality point value.

CR/F—Mandatory Credit/Fail

Music practice courses; some field experiences; internships; independent study; and other courses so designated by individual departments are graded only credit (CR) or fail (F). When passed with the minimum acceptable standard of D-, the course will be graded CR and credit will be granted. There will be no effect on the grade point average. Should the student fail to satisfy the instructor’s minimal expectations, the course will be graded F and will be included in the computation of the grade point average.

Colleges and programs may have a higher-grade standard for what constitutes a credit. Consult the appropriate school or college handbook for this information.

CR/NC—Credit/No Credit

The CR/NC grading mode is reserved for undergraduate credit by examination. Minimum achievement level for receiving credit is C. Neither CR nor NC affects the grade point average. (See the credit by examination policy in this section of this Catalog for more information.)

HW—Hardship Withdrawal (Policy 75-22)

Hardship withdrawals may be granted for the death of a family member, catastrophic illness in the family, or an illness and/or injury to the student that incapacitates. The dean will require the student to provide documentation to support the request. If granted, the student is withdrawn from all requested courses for that term. There is no effect on the grade point average. Any tuition refund follows the regular refund policy. Financial aid recipients are advised to check with the Office of Student Financial Services before requesting a hardship withdrawal because this action may negatively affect financial aid.

I—Incomplete (Policy 97-3)

An incomplete is a temporary grade indicating that work in the course was acceptable, although a critical portion of it was not completed because of illness or other serious circumstances beyond the student’s control. It may not be used for the convenience of the faculty member or student. The I grade is not counted in the credits earned or used in the grade point average computation. When the instructor assigns an I grade at the end of a term, a default grade is submitted that will be automatically assigned by the Office of the Registrar if the deadline expires without student action. This default grade is calculated to include all work completed up to the date of final attendance plus a failing grade for work or examinations the student did not complete. If no default grade is submitted, the Office of the Registrar will assign a grade of F once the I deadline expires. Once a degree has been posted, removal of an I grade is not permitted. The deadlines for removing I grades are:

Term I earned in

Date final grade is due

Spring, Summer or Intersession 2012 Oct. 21, 2012
Fall 2012 Feb. 4, 2013
Winter 2013 April 28, 2013

IP—In Progress

Symbol used on the academic transcript to indicate the current quarter’s courses.


Symbol used when the instructor has not submitted a grade to the Office of the Registrar.

N—No Grade (Policy 75-19)

A grade used for courses in which the course work is not scheduled for completion until after the quarter closes, e.g., thesis, research or internship courses. It is the responsibility of each student to arrange with the instructor to remove the N grade no later than the following deadlines:

Term N earned in

Date final grade is due

Summer Aug. 1 of the following calendar year
Fall Nov. 15 of the following calendar year
Winter March 1 of the following calendar year
Spring May 1 of the following calendar year

Once the deadline has passed, re-registration and payment of regular tuition is required in order to obtain credit for the work completed. Once a degree has been posted, removal of an N grade is not permitted.

NC—No Credit

Grade assigned when credit by examination has been attempted and student did not achieve acceptable performance level of at least C. There is no effect on the grade point average.


The P grade is assigned when a student successfully completes an undergraduate course after electing the pass/fail (P/F) grading option for a general elective course. Failure to achieve at the minimum D- level results in a grade of F, which will affect the grade point average. See the pass/fail option policy in this section of the Catalog.

W—Withdrawal (Policy 75-22)

Official withdrawal.


A course for which no credit is given. Not available for course numbers 500-999.

YW—Audit Withdrawal

Student registered as an auditor but did not attend through end of course.

Academic Standing

Good Standing

Undergraduate students must maintain a C average, which is equivalent to a cumulative 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Requirements of professional schools may be higher and individual majors and programs may also have higher grade point requirements.

Probation and Dismissal for Academic Deficiencies (Policy 75-14)

A student will be placed on probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.00, or for other reasons as determined by the university or the college or school in which the student’s program is located. Additional bases for academic probation or dismissal is detailed in the university policy on probation and dismissal for academic deficiencies and the policies of the various schools, colleges and programs.

Performance criteria are further defined in several policies: Arts and Sciences (87-1), Business and Economics (81-2), College of Nursing (75-3), Diagnostic Ultrasound (81-3) and Science and Engineering (81-4).

Grade Changes

Changing an end-quarter grade is permitted only on the basis of an actual error in computation or transcription whether discovered by the student or the instructor. Changing a grade is not permitted by reason of revision of judgment on the part of the instructor or by submitting new or revised work. Errors in grades must be reported within six months of the date grade reports are issued. In the event that a student disputes an end-quarter grade, the grading grievance procedure should be followed.

Grading Grievance—Challenging Course Grades (Policy 2004-07)

The ultimate responsibility for the integrity of the academic grading process belongs to the university as an institution. Individual faculty members routinely act as agents for the institution in evaluating the student’s academic performance and in assigning final course grades. If a student challenges a final course grade, the burden of proof lies with the student. The faculty member has an obligation to award course grades on the basis of standards set at the beginning of the course.

This policy guides the university’s response to allegations that a faculty member acted arbitrarily and capriciously in assigning course grades. The grading grievance policy does not apply to mathematical errors in calculating the grade, academic dismissals from the university or a program, or questions of professional judgment concerning course content, instructional methods or appropriateness of performance standards. Additionally, this policy does not apply to the School of Law.

Grade Point Average (Policy 75-2)

The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of quality points achieved by the total number of credit hours attempted in which the student earns a letter grade of A through F.

Undergraduate students’ major GPA includes all SU credits used to complete course and credit requirements of the major department as well as the supporting courses in allied fields specifically required by the department. This includes courses in the major program that also satisfy a core requirement.

Term Honors (Policy 2008-02)

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List recognizes student academic achievement by undergraduates and is published by each college after grades are processed each quarter. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn at least a 3.50 GPA for the quarter and complete a minimum of 12 graded credits. Pass/fail and credit/fail classes, and courses graded I do not count toward these 12 credits.

President’s List

The President’s List recognizes student academic excellence by undergraduate students each quarter after grades have been processed; the achievement is acknowledged by a letter from the Provost’s Office. To qualify for the President’s list, students must earn at least a 3.90 GPA for the quarter and complete a minimum of 12 graded credits. Pass/fail and credit/fail classes, and courses graded I do not count toward these 12 credits.

Transcripts (Policies 76-3, 97-6)

Current students may obtain official transcripts of their academic record by accessing SUOnline or submitting a written request to the Office of the Registrar. Former students may obtain official transcripts by accessing the National Student Clearinghouse website or submitting a written request to the Office of the Registrar.

No official transcript will be released to students with an unsatisfied financial or other obligation to the university. Unofficial transcripts are available via SUOnline.

The university is not responsible for any error on a transcript that is not brought to the attention of the Office of the Registrar within six months of the closing date of the quarter in which the error occurred.

Earning a Degree

All responsibility for fulfilling requirements and for applying for graduation rests with the student.

Academic Progress (Policy 75-1)

Seattle University recognizes students progress at different rates and their time to complete a degree is often dictated by individual circumstances. However, all degree requirements for undergraduate students should be completed within 10 years of the date when college work began.

Degree Requirements (Policies 75-1, 76-2)

Catalog Year

The academic year begins with the summer term. Students are held to the degree requirements in effect at the time of first enrollment. Students who are readmitted after an absence of more than four consecutive quarters or who change their majors are required to meet the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission or change of major.

Students may, by petition, elect to graduate under degree requirements specified in subsequent catalogs; however, under no circumstances will the requirements from earlier Catalogs be applied.

Credits Required to Graduate

All students—except those enrolled in Matteo Ricci College earning the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree—must complete a minimum of 180 credit hours of approved course work to be awarded a baccalaureate degree. Some programs require more than 180 credits total. The final 45 credits of degree requirements must be completed at Seattle University.

Students working for a second baccalaureate degree, either consecutively or concurrently, must complete a minimum of 45 credits beyond the first baccalaureate degree and complete all specific requirements of the new program and/or the new college or school. To satisfy core requirements, students who have previously completed an acceptable baccalaureate degree must complete the essential core curriculum at Seattle University; that is, they must pass an upper-division ethics course; a religious studies core course; and one senior synthesis course appropriate to the degree(s) sought.


Major requirements within each department or school are outlined in this Catalog under departmental requirements or degree requirements.

A student may earn only one major or major with a specialization within one academic discipline.

Major credit minimums as stated in this Catalog must be met. When transfer courses applied to major requirements have fewer credits than the SU equivalent, the total credits needed to complete the major requirements will be reduced by a maximum of one credit. However, the total credits required for the degree will not be reduced.

Second Major (Policy 76-2)

A student may earn a double major by completing core requirements for the degree sought and by fulfilling all requirements for the second major, including any core courses that are required within that major. They must also satisfy any additional requirements of the new college or school in order to earn the second major. There is not a specific additional number of degree credits required provided all requirements for both majors are completed when the degree is posted.

For second or concurrent degrees, see Credits Required to Graduate in this section.

Change of Major or Program

To transfer from one college or school of the university to another, or from one major program to another, a student must obtain a change of major or program form from SUOnline, present the form to the new department chair for approval, and then notify the former department by obtaining the chair’s signature. Students must meet the minimum entry requirements of the new major and must also satisfy any additional requirements of the new college or school in order to earn the degree. The approved form is returned to the Office of the Registrar and the student’s record will be adjusted to reflect the new major.

Minors (Policy 84-1)

Departments or schools offering undergraduate minors outline specific requirements in this catalog under departmental requirements or degree requirements. Students who want a minor posted to their academic records must file a Request to Add a Minor form with the Office of the Registrar prior to the deadlines posted on the form. A minor cannot be earned in the major discipline.


Official commencement exercises are held annually in June. All responsibility for fulfilling the requirements and applying for graduation rests with the student.

Application for a Degree

Application for a degree must be made with the Office of the Registrar via SUOnline according to these deadlines:

Graduation term

Application deadline

Winter Oct. 1
Spring Nov. 1
Summer or Fall Feb. 1

Application for a Certificate (Policy 76-11)

Application for a certificate must be made during the first week of the term in which the certificate course work is to be completed. After the department completes its part, the form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Commencement with Deficiencies (Policy 83-1)

Students who have not completed their degree requirements by the time of the official commencement exercises may, under the following conditions, participate in commencement:

  • Have 18 or fewer credits of degree requirements remaining to be satisfied after spring quarter and meet the grade point standards for their degree programs by the end of winter quarter; or
  • If completing two degrees simultaneously, students are held to the same standards and must have 18 or fewer credits remaining to be completed for both degrees after spring quarter.

Students with deficiencies who plan to participate in June commencement must apply for graduation no later than Nov. 1, prior to the ceremony.

Honors at Graduation (Policy 75-21)

Latin Honors

Honors at graduation are conferred on undergraduate students with at least 90 Seattle University graded credits on the following scale:

Cum Laude—3.50 through 3.69
Magna Cum Laude—3.70 through 3.89
Summa Cum Laude—3.90 through 4.00

As commencement occurs prior to spring quarter grading, the commencement program will indicate honors as of the winter quarter grades. Actual honors confirmed, as shown on diplomas and transcripts, will be determined once all course work has been completed and graded.

President’s Award (Policy 75-12)

The President’s Award is given at the discretion of the Deans’ Council to the graduating senior who entered Seattle University as a first-time freshman and has maintained the highest Seattle University grade point average throughout their undergraduate studies.

Provost’s Award (Policy 75-12)

The Provost’s Award is given at the discretion of the Deans’ Council to the graduating senior who entered Seattle University as a transfer student from another college or university and has maintained the highest Seattle University grade point average and has earned a minimum of 90 Seattle University graded credits throughout their undergraduate studies.

Other Academic Policies

Fair Process Policies (Policies 2001-01, 2005-01)

The Fair Process Policies apply to students enrolled in clinical, field or contextual education experiences at Seattle University and set out the process by which a student may seek review of certain types of decisions affecting continued participation in a program. Policy 2005-01 applies to students in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Nursing. Policy 2001-01 applies to students in the Albers School of Business and Economics, College of Science and Engineering and Matteo Ricci College. Students are referred to the most current online versions of the Fair Process Policies for a description of decisions that may or may not be reviewed under these policies.

Privacy of Student Records

Seattle University’s practices regarding the privacy of student records are in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The university maintains as confidential all personally identifiable information in education records except information considered to be directory information. Students have the right to request that directory information not be disclosed to third parties and may do so by submitting their request in writing to the Office of the Registrar by the last day to register each term, as announced in the university academic calendar. For a definition of directory information see the FERPA annual notification on the Office of the Registrar website.

In addition, FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of privacy rights.
  • The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

FERPA permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. The university may also disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without the student’s consent if the disclosure is to parents of dependent children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 152; or to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Furthermore, the university is required by law to provide the name and address of all students to any legitimate military recruiter who makes such a request in writing to the Office of the Registrar. Other exceptions exist that allow disclosure without a student’s consent.

  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Seattle University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

Complete copies of Seattle University’s guidelines on the privacy of student records (76-09) and the annual FERPA notification to students are available at seattleu.edu/registrar under Academic Policies, or in the Student Handbook.