2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Academic Policies

Academic Honesty

In keeping with its mission, the University seeks to prepare its students to be knowledgeable, forthright, and honest. It expects and requires academic honesty from all members of the University community. Academic honesty includes adherence to guidelines established by the University for the use of its libraries, computers, and other facilities.

“Academic or academically related misconduct” includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized collaboration or use of external information during examinations, plagiarizing or representing another’s ideas as one’s own, furnishing false academic information to the University, falsely obtaining, distributing, using, or receiving test materials, obtaining or gaining unauthorized access to examinations or academic research materials, soliciting or offering unauthorized academic information or materials, improperly altering or inducing another to alter improperly any academic record, or engaging in any conduct which is intended or reasonably likely to confer upon one’s self or another an unfair advantage or unfair benefit respecting an academic matter.

Additional information regarding academic or academically related misconduct, and disciplinary procedures and sanctions regarding such misconduct, may be obtained by consulting the current edition of the Norfolk State University Student Handbook.

Attendance Policies

Absence from Final Examinations

If a student misses a final examination because of an emergency, he or she should notify the instructor within 48 hours after the examination was scheduled. Excuses for missing a final examination are issued by the Office of Student Services/Judicial Affairs only with the consent of the instructor. Such excuses are given only in extreme emergencies, and official, written documentation must be presented before an excuse is issued.

Failure to follow the procedure outlined for absence from final examinations will result in a grade of “F” for the examination, and a final grade will be computed and given for the course.

Class Attendance Policy

The University expects students to attend all classes. While absences are discouraged, the University recognizes that, on occasion, students may have legitimate reasons for being absent. Thus, a student will be permitted one “unexcused” absence per semester hour credit or the number of times a course meets per week. Once a student exceeds the number of allowed unexcused absences, an instructor may require an official University excuse. Not more than 20% of class meetings (excused and/or unexcused) may be missed by a student during a given semester. At the discretion of the instructor, a student whose absences exceed 20 percent of scheduled class meetings for the semester may receive a grade of F for the course.

Students have the responsibility to confer with instructors regarding all absences or intended absences. If a sudden departure from the campus (for an emergency or extraordinary reason) prevents a student from communicating with each of his or her instructors, the student is expected to notify the Dean of Students Office within 48 hours.

Class excuses are issued for legitimate reasons as deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students Office. Such reasons may include but are not limited to medical reasons, funerals for immediate family, and official University business/activity. Official written documentation may be required. Notes from relatives, friends, etc., are not accepted as “official” documentation for absences. The Dean of Students Office will determine if an absence is legitimate and if an excuse will be issued.

Students who become ill are encouraged to report to the Student Health Center, located in Spartan Station, for “minor” medical treatment. A current NSU ID card must be presented prior to treatment. Written verification of illness issued by the Health Center should be carried to the Dean of Students Office, and an official University excuse should be obtained.

Students residing in on-campus housing facilities are governed by the same policies and procedures as non-residential students insofar as class attendance and class excuses are concerned.

Change of Major

Students who find it necessary to change majors should confer with the assigned University departmental advisor concerning the proposed change. An entrance interview should be scheduled and conducted with the department head or program director of the major to which the student is changing. The Petition to Change Major Form, available in each academic department, must be completed and signed by the department head of the relinquishing department and presented during the entrance interview. No student may change a major without approval of the department from which and to which a transfer is made.

Commencement Policy

Commencement exercises are held two times each year, in May and December. Candidates must complete all requirements no later than the desired graduation date.

The Office of the Registrar processes all applications for graduation. Any student expecting to complete academic requirements at the end of a semester must complete and file an application for graduation through the academic department head’s office by the designated due date for the applicable semester. It is the responsibility of the department head to submit the necessary forms and documentation to the Registrar’s Office in compliance with established deadlines. A graduation application fee will be assessed in accordance with the University Fee Schedule.

Students must resolve deficiencies and/or discrepancies in the academic record with the department heads within prescribed guidelines. Failure to do so may result in deferring graduation.

Commencement Participation

Candidates for graduation must complete all degree requirements or be currently enrolled in all remaining credits that will complete degree requirements and satisfy all financial obligations in order to participate in commencement ceremonies. Academic and financial clearances must be obtained before academic attire is issued to the student. Participation in the commencement ceremonies does not mean the student has been awarded a degree. The degree is awarded in the semester when all degree requirements and conditions have been met, including the completion of all required paperwork.

The roster of candidates listed in the Commencement Program is a compilation of those eligible to participate. It should not be construed either as a complete or official list of those who will receive a university degree. Due to printing deadlines, names of some degree candidates may not appear. Honors distinctions are based on the candidate’s academic record the semester prior to Commencement.

Diplomas will be mailed approximately ten weeks after commencement to students who have completed degree requirements, an Application for Graduation, and have no University encumbrances.

Continuous Enrollment

Students who withdraw from all courses after the third week of the semester are considered to have been enrolled for the semester. Degree-seeking students who drop out for one semester, excluding summer sessions, may enroll in the subsequent semester provided they have not attended another college or university since last attending NSU, have not been suspended from NSU, and otherwise are eligible to return. A student who does not attend Norfolk State University for two or more consecutive semesters, excluding summer sessions, must submit an application for readmission. Readmission applications are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Course Substitutions

Course substitutions allow a department to use an NSU course or transfer course (C or better grade) to meet a degree requirement when the required course is not being taught within a particular semester or is no longer offered. A request for a course substitution requires approval by the student’s advisor, the department head, and the school dean.

Substitution is not to be confused with waiver. Substitution is an option to meet a requirement, while waiver implies exemption. Waivers for requirements in the major are not granted.

Use of Military Science and Naval Science courses as substitutions for degree requirements requires approval of the advisor, the department head, and the school dean and is limited to:

General Education Core - 6 Hours

MLS and NCS 111, 112, 211, 212 for PED 100 Fundametals of Fitness for Life, HED 100 Personal and Community Health HIS 380 American Military History for HIS 100 History of World Societies I, HIS 101 History of World Societies II, HIS 102 United States History to 1865, HIS 103 United States History Since 1865

Free Electives - 6 Hours

Upper-level (300, 400) MLS and NSC courses may be used provided the student is enrolled in the appropriate Military Science or Naval Science Program when substitutions are requested.

Dual Degree Policy

Dual degrees are awarded to students who concurrently fulfill the requirements for two majors and two degrees. A dual degree is earned when the student completes University and departmental requirements in both majors. Students must complete the minimum requirement for institutional credits and meet the graduation requirement for grade point average (G.P.A.).

A minimum of 25% (30 additional semester credit hours) above the minimum hour requirement of the major requiring the most credits is required for a student to obtain a dual degree. All coursework for the second degree must be predefined and pre-approved by the department housing the second degree. The student will receive two diplomas and both degrees will appear on the student’s permanent academic record.

Grade Appeal

The instructor has the responsibility for evaluating coursework and determining grades; however, the student has the right to appeal a grade believed to be in error. The appeal process may involve the following steps and may be resolved at any level:

  • The student confers with the instructor involved.
  • The student and instructor (preferably together) confer with the chairperson of the department offering the course.
  • The student and instructor (preferably together) confer with the dean of the school in which the department is housed.

When the above steps do not resolve the issue, the student may initiate a formal written appeal through the Faculty/Student Grievance Committee to the Provost for its review and recommendation. Appeals should not be taken lightly by either the student or the instructor.

The student is responsible for verifying the accuracy of his or her academic records. Grade appeals should be made immediately after the grade in question is received. No appeals will be considered after one year has elapsed or after graduation, whichever is earlier.

Off-Campus Class Trips

When a class is taken off campus, signatures of approval should be obtained from the department head and school dean prior to the trip. Written requests must include the destination, date and time of departure/return, mode of transportation, itinerary, a list indicating the student travelers, and the names of chaperones. A copy of approved requests should be forwarded to the Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Services/Judicial Affairs. Students should be directed to the Office of Judicial Affairs/ Student Services to obtain official class excuses.

The faculty/staff member in charge of any off-campus trip to be taken by an authorized University group (such as athletic teams, student organizations, musical or drama groups, etc.) should submit the same information in the preceding paragraph to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs prior to the trip. A copy of the same should also be forwarded to the Office of Student Services/Judicial Affairs so that students may obtain official class excuses.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

A student desiring to earn a second baccalaureate degree must complete application procedures with the Office of Admissions as with the first degree. Applicable credits from the previous degree may be applied (treated as transfer work) to the second degree; however, a minimum of 30 new resident credits will be required for the second degree. The usual departmental and University requirements must be met as with the first matriculation.

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Requirement

As part of Norfolk State University’s mission and commitment to provide the environment and resources needed for success, students may be required to participate in a number of assessment activities at various points throughout their matriculation. The activities may include entry or exit examinations, surveys, focus groups and exit interviews, portfolio reviews, and evaluations of competence or mastery of specific skills. The assessment activities are designed to measure student outcomes in general education and in the major prior to graduation. The primary purpose of the assessment activities is to determine the extent to which the University’s academic programs and services maintain a high level of quality and meet the needs of the students. Group results will be reported. Individual student results are not reported and will remain confidential. Information from the assessment activities will be used by faculty and administrators to improve programs and services.

Withdrawal from the University

University policy requires a student to complete an Application for Withdrawal when enrollment is terminated before the end of a semester or summer session. The Application for Withdrawal may be obtained from the department head/advisor and must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the last day of class. The student should discuss the matter with the department head/advisor before processing the Application for Withdrawal. The last day to officially withdraw from all classes is on the last published date for all classes.

If the student is ill or otherwise incapacitated and cannot complete the withdrawal process, the student must contact, or have someone else contact, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs immediately.

A student who fails to adhere to the published deadlines for withdrawing from all classes or withdrawing from the University will be charged the appropriate tuition and will receive a failing grade (F).

Note: Under no circumstance does non-attendance constitute an official withdrawal from the university.

Pro-Rata Refund Policy

Tuition and room and board charges are adjusted on a pro-rata basis for students who withdraw during the first nine weeks of the fall and spring semesters and the first three weeks of the summer session. Tuition charges are adjusted based upon the following schedule:

Withdrawal Date University Retains
Before Classes $50 Administrative Fee
First Week 10% + $50
Second Week 20% + $50
Third Week 30% + $50
Fourth Week 40% + $50
Fifth Week 50% + $50
Sixth Week 60% + $50
Seventh Week 70% + $50
Eighth Week 80% + $50
Ninth Week 90% + $50
Tenth Week No Refund

Funds must be returned to the federal financial aid program if less than 60 percent of the semester is completed. The required order for allocating refunds and repayments is:

  • Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program
  • Federal Pell Grant Program
  • Federal SEOG Program
  • Other Title IV Programs

Withdrawal from the University may result in a reduction or cancellation of financial aid awards. Students receiving financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office for complete information about their individual situations.