Jul 18, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations


Students are responsible for being aware of and following all applicable university policies, rules, academic requirements and regulations, including those set forth in this catalog. In all cases, official academic policies are considered the overriding authority regarding any rule or regulation listed in this catalog. Students can view these policies on the Office of the Registrar webpage at  https://www.seattleu.edu/redhawk-axis/. Failure to meet requirements or comply with regulations because of lack of knowledge does not excuse students from responsibility for compliance.

Students are responsible for the satisfactory completion of their program of study.  To this end, students must work through their advisor, program director or other authorized individual to document in writing information and understandings pertaining to academic matters and exceptions.  Any deviation from standards must be approved by petition and filed with the Office of the Registrar.

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. The university also reserves the right to change any academic requirement or policy without notice and to require students to withdraw at any time.

Academic Policies

A complete list of Academic Policies is available on the Office of the Registrar webpage.

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 

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. Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible to enroll in 5000-6000 level courses. 

Non-Matriculated Class Level (Policy 92-2)

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-matriculated students and registration is on a space available basis. These students are not pursuing a graduate degree but are eligible to take 1000 - 4000 level courses by special approval at the time of admission. 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 are assigned registration start times, along with matriculated students, based upon the number of credits earned.

Non-matriculated status is an admission category that includes: 

1.     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 that is not intended to culminate in a Seattle University degree or certificate; or

2.     Those students who are recorded in the student information 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.  A maximum of 15 credits taken at the non-matriculated undergraduate level (Category 1 above) may be applied toward an undergraduate degree program at Seattle University.

Course Work

Academic Integrity (Policy 2011-3) 

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 Overload (Policy 2001-2)

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.

Attendance Requirement

Class attendance is essential to the education process. In any course where 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. Student-Athletes, please see policy, 2009-1, Class Absence for Student-Athletes for additional consideration.

Auditing an Undergraduate Course (Policy 97-7) 

Students who register for credit, in all cases, will receive priority over those who audit. Courses registered for as audit are included in the credits counted for overload. 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. Elder Audit forms may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar website.  Neither of these programs provides a student with a permanent record of the audited course. 

Course Delivery Methods 

Seattle University delivers some course sections using online technology. Course sections delivered for credit in a hybrid or online format are noted as such on the registration portal.  Such courses require that students have access to a computer with reliable high speed internet connection and may require additional specialized software or equipment.  

Course Numbering System

0001 to 0999: Courses that do not count toward degree requirements
1000 to 1999: Freshmen courses*
2000 to 2999: Sophomore courses*
3000 to 3999: Junior courses*
4000 to 4999: Senior courses*
5000 to 6999: Graduate courses (graduate standing is required)
8000 to 8999: Post-secondary professional development courses
9000 to 9999: Post-baccalaureate professional development courses

*Courses numbered 1000 to 2999 are lower-division courses and those numbered 3000 to 4999 are upper-division undergraduate courses.

Full-Time Part-Time Student Status (Policy 77-5)

Full-time - 12 or more quarter credits

Half-time - 6-8 quarter credits

Pass/Fail Option (Policy 76-1)  

Undergraduate students may elect a pass/fail grading option in free elective courses only and under certain conditions as outlined in the policy. Selecting this grading option may be made only through the end of the add/drop period published in the Academic Calendar. 


Students are expected to register for all classes during the registration period published in the academic calendar. No person may attend any university course unless officially registered.

Late Registration 

Late registration may be allowed under limited extenuating circumstances. To add a course after the add/drop deadline published in the academic calendar, a Petition to the Dean must be approved and filed with the Office of the Registrar. A late registration fee is charged in addition to standard tuition rates for late adds. Students registering after the first class day are held responsible for absences predating registration.

Refunds of Tuition and Fees (Policy 75-9) 

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 indicated in the academic calendar. Failure to properly drop a course will result in partial or full tuition charge when a withdrawal is processed, or the student will earn a failing grade due to late or no action.

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 to course work where there is a clear content sequence through courses such as in mathematics, sciences, modern languages and the like. 

Repeated Courses (Policy 77-2) 

If an undergraduate student receives a grade of C (2.00) 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 (2.00) 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 (Policy 75-22) 

Students must complete specific actions to withdraw from any course or the university. Undergraduate students must complete a withdrawal form which can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar website. 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 listed in the academic calendar will result in a failing grade. 

Credit Granting Practices

Advanced Placement (Policy 75-16)

No more than 45 credits may be awarded for all forms of advanced placement and credit by examination.  A full list of AP examinations and scores available for credit through the College Entrance Examination Board are documented in this policy.

Credit by Examination (Policy 2004-6), Credit by Examination CLEP and DANTES (Policy 75-17)

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. Refer to the policy for specific restrictions. For a listing of CLEP and DANTES tests with scores eligible for transfer, see the Credit by Examination CLEP and DANTES, policy 75-17 documentation.

Credit for Military Schooling (Policy 75-26)

The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services is used as the reference for determining acceptance for military schooling and experience.

Transfer Credit (Policy 77-1) 

Matriculated undergraduate students who have attended other regionally accredited colleges or universities may have credits transferred to Seattle University.  However, not all courses offered by post-secondary institutions are transferable, and some course credit is limited to a maximum number for transfer. To assure that the courses will be transferable, continuing students who wish to take additional classes at another college or university must file a completed Transfer Verification form with the Office of the Registrar prior to attendance in order to confirm the application of content and the awarding of credit. 


Dual Enrollment at Two Institutions (Policy 75-6) 

Seattle University requires students to seek written permission on a Transfer Verification Form in order to be enrolled simultaneously at Seattle University and 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 Requirements (Policy 76-10) 

Readmission must be requested when a student has not enrolled at Seattle University for two or more consecutive quarters, excluding summer, or has formally withdrawn or been withdrawn for academic or disciplinary reasons from the university. Specific exceptions are noted in the policy. Students who have not attended the university for more than two consecutive quarters will be held to the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission. Returning students who have attended other post-secondary institutions after leaving Seattle University must submit official transcripts before an application for readmission will be processed.


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 

Some undergraduate course types, 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- (.70 on a 4.00 scale), 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. 

Independent Study courses may be graded CR/F if designated on the Independent Study form with approval by department/school.

Colleges and programs may have a higher-grade standard for what constitutes a CR graded 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 (2.00 on a 4.00 scale). 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 2012-01) 

Hardship withdrawals may be granted for the death of a family member, catastrophic illness in the family, or an illness or an incapacitating injury to the student. The dean of the student’s college/school 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 consult 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 “I” is a temporary grade indicating that work in the course was acceptable, although a required portion of it was not completed because of illness or other serious circumstances beyond the student’s control. The I grade 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 which will be 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 all work or examinations the student did not complete. The deadlines for removing “I” grades each term are published in the academic calendar. 

IP-In Progress  

An “IP” grade is used on the academic transcript to indicate the current quarter’s courses. 


An “M” grade is used when the instructor has not submitted a grade to the Office of the Registrar and the term’s grades have been verified. 

N-No Grade (Policy 75-19) 

An “N” grade is a suspended grade assigned to courses in which the coursework is not scheduled for completion until after the quarter closes, e.g., thesis or  research courses, independent studies, or off-campus education. Students assigned a grade of “N” are required to complete the work by the date established by the instructor or within the following four consecutive academic quarters, whichever is less.  It is the responsibility of the student to coordinate the completion deadline for the work such that it allows the faculty to record the earned grade no later than the “N” grade deadline published in the academic calendar. Once the deadline has elapsed without a grade change submission, the “N” grade becomes permanent and re-registration for the course 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  

A grade of “NC” is assigned when a credit by examination has been attempted and student did not achieve acceptable performance level of at least C (2.00 on a 4.00 scale). 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. Students requesting the P/F grade option must make their request to their dean or dean’s designee prior to the last day to add/drop. Failure to achieve at the minimum D-  (.70 on a 4.00 scale) 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 “Y” is a grade assigned for course for which no credit is given to indicate an audited course. 

YW-Audit Withdrawal  

A “YW” is the grade assigned to a student who registered as an auditor but who subsequently withdrew before completing the course. 

Academic Standing

Academic Probation, Dismissal and Appeal UG (Policy 2005-2) 

A student will be placed on probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 on a 4.00 scale, 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 are detailed in the university policy on probation and dismissal for academic deficiencies and the policies of the various schools, colleges and programs. 

Dean’s List and President’s List (Term Honors) (Policy 2008-2)

Dean’s List - recognizes undergraduate student academic achievement and is published by each college or school after grades have been processed; the achievement is acknowledged by a letter from the appropriate Dean’s Office. 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 courses, credit/fail courses, and courses graded “I” do not count toward these 12 credits. 

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. 

Grading and Transcripts

Grade Changes 

A final course grade change is permitted only on the basis of an actual error in computation or transcription whether discovered by the student or the instructor. A grade change 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 of issue of final grade.

Grading Grievance (Policy 2004-7)

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 a 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.

Grade Point Average Requirements for Degree Completion (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.

Transcripts (Policy 76-3)

No official transcript will be released to students with an unsatisfied financial or other obligation to the university. 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.

Degree Requirements (Policy 75-1)  

All degree requirements for undergraduate students must be completed within 10 years of the date when degree applicable courses began.   

Students are held to the degree requirements in effect at the time of their first matriculated enrollment. Students who are readmitted or who change their majors are required to meet the degree requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment or change of major or program. Students may, by Petition to Exception to Policy, request to graduate under degree requirements specified in subsequent catalogs; however, following requirements under a previous catalog is not allowed. Students are responsible for fulfilling program requirements and applying for graduation.


Official commencement ceremonies are held annually in June. Students who have completed their degree requirements since the last commencement ceremony and who have not previously commenced are eligible to walk at commencement. 

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

Graduation term

Application deadline

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

All students, with the exception of those enrolled in Matteo Ricci Institute pursuing 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 total credits. The final 45 credits of degree requirements must be completed at Seattle University.  

Second Baccalaureate Degree and Double Major (Policy 76-2)

Simultaneous Degree

To be granted simultaneous baccalaureate degrees, the specific requirements of each school or college and major must be satisfied, including any variation in University Core Curriculum (UCOR) requirements. One senior capstone is adequate unless the two degrees require specific and different courses. A cumulative total of 225 credits is required. A minimum of 45 credits that are different from those that are included in the first degree and are part of an approved program are required to earn two degrees. The same issue of the Undergraduate Catalog must be used for UCOR requirements. Matteo Ricci Institute students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts Humanities may complete two degrees with a minimum of 180 credits; a minimum of 30 credits that are different from those that are included in the first degree and are part of an approved program are
required to earn two degrees.

Second Degree for Seattle University Alumni

Every student returning to Seattle University for a second baccalaureate degree, after receiving a first, files an application for readmission with the Admissions Office. A minimum of 45 additional credits is required. When a first baccalaureate degree has been completed with an excess of 180 credits, these are considered to be elective credits toward the first degree only and are not applicable toward the 45 additional credits necessary for the second degree unless approved by the college awarding the second degree. Each student pursuing a second degree must complete all school, college, and major requirements stated in the Undergraduate Catalog that is in effect at the time the student begins study for the second degree. Satisfaction of UCOR courses for the first baccalaureate degree at Seattle University fulfill all UCOR requirements for the second degree unless the
second degree requires specific courses for UCOR that were not completed in the first degree.

Second Degree for non-Seattle University Alumni

A student whose first degree was earned from either a U.S. institution of higher education with appropriate regional accreditation or an international university, must complete all college and major requirements for the new degree with a minimum of 45 credits at Seattle University. The University Core Curriculum policy for such a student requires completion at Seattle University of three UCOR courses: a UCOR 2100-level theology course, a UCOR 2900-level ethics course, and a departmental capstone course appropriate to the new degree. Students entering Seattle University with a first undergraduate degree from a non-US institution must complete UCOR 2100, UCOR 2900, and a capstone course appropriate to the new degree. Additionally, they must have completed equivalencies to each of the following UCOR courses: UCOR 1100, 1200, 1300, as well as the two Global Challenges courses appropriate to their major at Seattle University.

Double Major

Students may be awarded more than one major. At least 25 credits in any major must be different from those in any other major. The specific requirements of each school or college and major must be satisfied for the second major. The same issue of the Undergraduate Catalog must be used for UCOR requirements. If one of the programs has sufficient elective credits, students may meet major requirements of another department by using these electives.

Within an academic discipline a student may earn only one major or major with a specialization. Any exceptions to this rule are listed in the individual program sections of this Catalog.

Graduate Credits

Schools may design joint degree programs that combine an undergraduate and graduate degree and allow graduate credits to be counted toward the undergraduate degree. Up to 15 Seattle University graduate credits can be used to complete the requirements of a Seattle University undergraduate degree. In the case of the law school, up to 45 law credits can be counted toward the undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate 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.

Other Academic Policies and Guidelines

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Guidelines (76-9)

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 published 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. They 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; and

  • 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 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 (76-9) and the annual FERPA notification to students are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

Professional Conduct: Appeal Procedures (Policy 2011-2)

Students must adhere to guidelines set forth by the student’s school, college and/or program’s professional standards of conduct. If a student is penalized for a breach of professional conduct, they may file an appeal according to the process outlined in this policy.  

Certificates (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.

Change of Major or Program  

To transfer from one college or school of the university to another, or from one major program of study to another, a student must submit a change of major or program form from the Office of the Registrar website. 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.

Commencement with Deficiencies (Policy 83-1)  

Students who have not completed their degree requirements by the time of the official commencement exercises may participate in commencement if they are completing either one or two degrees simultaneously and they have 18 or fewer credits of degree requirements remaining to be satisfied after spring quarter and who meet the grade point standards for their degree programs by the end of winter quarter.

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.


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.

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.