Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate 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://seattleu.edu/registrar. Failure to meet the 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)

Graduate Class Levels

Masters - students holding a baccalaureate, or higher degree who are admitted to the university to pursue a master’s or Ed Specialist degree 
Post-Masters: students holding a baccalaureate or higher degree who are admitted to the university to pursue a post-master’s certificate 
Doctoral: students holding a baccalaureate, and for most programs also a master’s degree, who are admitted to the university to pursue the doctoral degree program 
Post-Doctoral: students holding a baccalaureate degree and a doctorate degree who are admitted to the university to pursue a post-doctoral certificate

Non-Matriculated Class Level (Policy 92-2)

Graduate Non-Matriculated: students who have a bachelor’s or higher degree. These students are not pursuing a graduate degree but are eligible to take 5000 - 6000 level courses by special approval at the time of admission. 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 are assigned registration start times, along with matriculated students, based upon the number of credits earned.

Non-Matriculated status is an admission category that includesn 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.

As per Non-Matriculated Class Level, Policy 92-2, approval for petitions of non-matriculated credits (category 1 above) applying toward a graduate degree program at Seattle University is at the discretion of the academic department. In no case, however, will more than 12 credits taken at the graduate non-matriculated level be accepted toward a graduate degree.

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. 

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. Please see policy, 2009-1, Class Absence for Student-Athletes, See policy, 2020-02, Class Absence for ROTC Students, and Policy on Religious Accommodations for Students for additional considerations.

Auditing Courses (Policy 97-7) 

Graduate courses are seldom open to the audit option, and this option is determined by the program director or dean of the school/college. 

Course Delivery Methods

Course sections delivered for credit in a hybrid or online format are noted as such on the registration portal. These course sections 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

1000 to 4999: Undergraduate courses
5000 to 5999: Graduate courses*
6000 to 6999: Doctoral courses*
8000 to 8999: Post secondary professional development courses
9000 to 9999: Post-baccalaureate professional development courses

*Graduate standing or special permission is required to register for courses 5000 to 6999.

Credit Load Maximum (Policy 2001-2)

Permission is required to take more than 12 credits per quarter. Permission to take more than 12 credits is granted by the Associate Dean or Graduate Director using the Petition for Exception to Policy eform. Exceptions to this policy are the MIT and the Nursing Immersion programs. 

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

Master’s Degree and Educational Specialist candidates:

Full-time: 6 or more quarter credits. A minimum of 6 quarter credits is required for any graduate student attending on a student visa.

Three-quarter time: 4 to 5 quarter credits

Half-time: 3 quarter credits

Less than half-time: 1 to 2 quarter credits

Doctoral candidates:

Full-time: 6 or more quarter credits. A minimum of 6 quarter credits is required for any graduate student attending on a student visa.

Three-quarter time: 4 to 5 quarter credits

Half-time: 3 quarter credits*

Less than half-time: 1 to 2 quarter credits

*Educational Leadership: as long as an active degree seeking doctoral student is continuously enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit of Dissertation Research Support (EdD), the student is a half-time student.

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. 


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 for Exception to Policy eform must be approved and filed with the Office of the Registrar. Any student registering after the first class day are held responsible for performance expectations predating registration. 

Repeated Courses (Policy 77-2)

A graduate student must repeat a required graduate course graded C- (1.70) or below and may repeat courses graded C or higher. The most recent grade earned will be used in computing the cumulative GPA. Each section and corresponding grade will remain on the record but course credits will be counted only once toward a degree.

A graduate course can only be repeated one time. Registrations resulting in grades of A-F, P, CR as well as I, N, W, HW, and Y grades are included in the two maximum attempts allowable. 

Substitution of a Course 

In some situations, a sponsoring degree department may approve the substitution of a previously completed graduate course on a Petition for Exception to Policy eform for an equivalent required graduate course. The substitution does not recognize the credits previously earned, and so does not reduce the total number of credits required to earn the degree. Additionally, a sponsoring degree department may approve the substitution of another university offered course under limited extenuating circumstances to fulfill a program requirement not documented as fulfilling the requirement. Such an exception requires a Petition for Exception to Policy eform to be approved and processed by the Office of the Registrar.

Withdrawal (Policy 75-22)  

Graduate students must withdraw online from courses. The official date of a student’s withdrawal is the date of the online withdrawal and any refund of tuition is calculated using this date. Failure to properly withdraw from a course by the withdrawal deadline published in the academic calendar will result in a failing grade. 

Credit, Alternate Sources

Transfer Credit (Policies 77-1)

A maximum of 10 credits towards the master’s degree may be transferred from another institution if these are recent credits earned with a grade of A or B (3.00 minimum on a 4.00 scale) and approved by the department and dean of that department using a Petition for Exception to Policy eform. A maximum of 15 credits of post-master’s graduate study may be transferred toward a doctoral program. See additional guidelines under specific academic programs in this catalog.

Graduate-level credit for extension courses is not normally allowed. Any exceptions are at the discretion of the dean of the appropriate college or school and must be requested using a Petition for Exception to Policy eform. Credits earned through correspondence are not accepted under any circumstances.

Undergraduate Course Work

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. See individual programs sections of this catalog for specific credit limits. 


Dual Enrollment at Two Institutions (Policy 75-6) 

Students are required to gain dean approval and submit a Petition for Exception to Policy eform to the Office of the Registrar before simultaneously enrolling at another institution.

Readmission Requirements (Policies 76-10) 

Readmission for graduate level students must be requested when a student has not enrolled at Seattle University for four or more consecutive quarters, including 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 four 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 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 Minimal performance
C- 1.70 Courses graded C- or below will not count toward graduate degree or certificate
D+ 1.30  
D 1.00  
D- 0.70  
F 0.00 Failing

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

CR/F-Mandatory Credit/Fail

Some graduate courses are graded only credit (CR) or fail (F). When passed with the minimum acceptable standard of C (2.00 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 eform with approval by department/school.

HW-Hardship Withdrawal (Policy 2012-2)

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 or dean’s designee of the student’s college/school and the Associate Vice President/Dean of Students for Student Development requires the student to provide documentation to support the request. If approval is granted, the student is withdrawn from all requested courses for that term. There is no effect on the grade point average. Tuition refunds are provided according to the Refunds of Tuition and Fees (75-9) policy.

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 to be completed 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 and becomes permanent.  

Q-Suspended Grade 

A “Q” grade is for doctoral project/dissertation work-in-progress at the 6000-level only. The “Q” grade must be removed within the six-year limit for degree completion. Once the six-year limit has expired, the “Q” becomes permanent and the student must re-register for the course, paying regular tuition to obtain credit for work completed. Once a degree has been posted, removal of a “Q” grade is not permitted and becomes permanent. 

R-Doctoral Research or Mandatory Registration 

An “R” grade indicates registration in a required non-credit doctoral research or mandatory registration course. This is a permanent grade that is not calculated into the grade point average. 

W-Withdrawal (Policy 75-22)

Official withdrawal.

Academic Probation, Dismissal and Appeal GR (Policy 2005-3) 

A student will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 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.

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 for a course included in the graduate record. Graduate students must earn a 3.00 cumulative GPA in order to earn a doctoral or master’s degree, or a graduate certificate.  Seattle University does not round up GPA calculations.

 Degree Requirements (Policy 75-1) 

Academic Progress

All requirements for the master’s, educational specialist or doctoral degree, including transfer courses, must be completed within six years after course work has begun. 

Candidacy and Application for Degree Completion

Students are responsible for fulfilling program requirements and applying for graduation. Students in selected programs must file the candidacy form pursuant to the regulations of the individual colleges/schools. Doctoral students should consult the doctoral program section of this catalog on doctoral candidacy. Approval of candidacy eligibility is at the discretion of the dean of the college or school in which the student resides.

Application for a degree must be made with the Office of the Registrar using an eform application according to these deadlines: 

Graduation term

Application deadline

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

Catalog Year

The academic year begins with summer term. Students are held to the degree requirements in effect at the time of their first matriculated enrollment. Graduate students who are readmitted after an absence of more than four consecutive quarters are required to meet the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission. Students may, by Petition to Exception to Policy, elect to graduate under degree requirements specified in subsequent Catalogs; however, following requirements under a previous catalog is not allowed.

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 Program

To transfer from one program to another, a student must initiate a change of program eform from the Office of the Registrar website, which will require the new program director approval. If admitted, students must meet the minimum entry requirements of the new program, 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)

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.

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

  • Master or Doctoral level students who have six 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; or
  • If completing two degrees simultaneously, these students must also have six or fewer credits remaining to be completed for both degrees after spring quarter.

 Note:  Doctoral students who have not completed their dissertation/thesis/project are not eligible to participate in commencement.

Comprehensive Testing

Candidates may be required to pass a comprehensive examination in their major field of study. This examination shall be written and/or oral at the judgment of the department and the approval of the dean of the appropriate college or school. For more information, consult the individual academic program within this Catalog.

Credits Required to Graduate 

Master degree candidates must complete a minimum of 45 graduate-level credits, 36 of which must be taken at Seattle University, as well as fulfill all program requirements, to be considered for graduation. For those candidates who have already earned an acceptable master’s degree, requirements for a second master’s degree may be reduced by up to 10 credits upon recommendation of the program chair and submitted via a Petition to Exception to Policy eform. Doctoral degree candidates must complete a minimum of 90 post-baccalaureate credits, which includes the credits earned at the masters’ level to be awarded their degree.

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 the student’s name, address (campus building only), campus telephone listing (if any), Seattle University e-mail address, age (or year of birth), level of education (e.g., freshman, sophomore, or degree awarded for a recent graduate), and major/program of study 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.