2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Academic Standards

Students are expected to study and perform to the best of their abilities. In order to assure that students take maximum advantage of educational opportunities, the University sets academic standards that students must meet to remain in school.

Students receiving financial aid from federal, state, or institutional funds administered by the Office of Financial Aid must meet the academic standards required of all students, as well as the standards required by specific financial aid programs. Continued eligibility for financial aid is contingent upon good academic standing in the University and satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree.

Academic standards of the University are outlined in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs, student departments of the University. It is each student’s responsibility to know the standards required and to understand that continued financial aid is dependent upon meeting these standards.

Undergraduate Academic Standards

Satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion by the number of semester hours completed and by the number of quality points earned. A minimum of 240 quality points and 120 completed semester hours (a 2.0 or “C” average) is required for graduation. All departmental and school requirements must also be met. Minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress are:

Attempted Resident Hours Minimum Resident G.P.A.
1-29 1.7000
30-59 1.8000
60 and above 2.0000

Classification of Undergraduate Students

Classification Description
Freshmen Students meeting all entrance requirements who have completed 0-29 semester hours.
Sophomores Students who have completed 30-59 semester hours.
Juniors Students who have completed 60-89 semester hours.
Seniors Students who have completed at least 90 semester hours.
Full-Time A student who is registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during a given semester.
Part-Time A part-time student is one who is registered for fewer than 12 credit hours during a given semester.
Non-Degree A non-degree student is one who is not enrolled in a degree program (non-matriculating).

Academic Load / Overload

The normal course load for a full-time undergraduate student is 15 and no more than 19 semester hours. Students with a 3.00 grade point average or above may carry additional hours ONLY with appropriate approval by the academic advisor/department chairperson and school dean. A course load in excess of 19 semester hours must be approved by the Dean of the School in which the student’s major is housed.  Recommendation for Course Overload Form must be completed and signed by the department head/advisor before submission to the Dean’s Office.

For graduate students, the normal course load for a full-time graduate student is 9 and no more than 15 semester hours. A course load in excess of 15 semester hours must be approved by the dean of the school/college.

Dean's List and Honor Roll

Dean’s List and an Honor Roll are compiled at the end of each fall and spring term and apply only to full-time (12-hour minimum) students. Eligibility for the Dean’s List requires a minimum 3.50 term G.P.A. with no “I” (incomplete) or missing grades and no grade less than a 'C'. Eligibility for the Honor Roll requires a term G.P.A. of 3.00-3.49 with no “I” or missing grades.

Honors Designation

Students who have completed all degree requirements and have met the following criteria at the time degree requirements have been met will earn an honors designation. The following honors categories for baccalaureate graduates are reflected in the printed Commencement Program:

  • Summa Cum Laude: cumulative resident G.P.A. 3.7500 - 4.0000
  • Magna Cum Laude: cumulative resident G.P.A. 3.5000 - 3.7499
  • Cum Laude: cumulative resident G.P.A. 3.0000 - 3.4999

The honors designation will be noted on the official transcript.

Recognition of Honors at Graduation

Honors designations are based on the degree candidate’s academic record the semester prior to Commencement. Degree candidates who have earned an honors designation will be recognized in the commencement program provided the honors designation was earned in the semester immediately preceding the anticipated commencement date. For additional information, see Commencement Participation in the Academic Policies section (p. 53).

Grade Reports

Effective Spring 2006, grades are available online at MyNSU (http://www.nsu.edu/mynsu) under the Spartan Self Service tab), grade reports are no longer mailed to students. Anyone needing an official grade report for work or other purposes must complete a Request for Official Final Grade Report in the Office of the Registrar. The grade report will be mailed within 2-3 business days.

Information regarding the grading system is described in the Academic Standards section (p. 49). Information regarding the grade appeal process is described in the Academic Policies section (p. 54).

The Grading System

The grade (quality) point system based upon completed hours at Norfolk State University is used to calculate student scholarship as follows:

Grade Quality Points Description
A 4.0000
A- 3.7000
B+ 3.3000
B 3.0000
B- 2.7000
C+ 2.3000
C 2.0000
C- 1.7000
D+ 1.3000
D 1.0000
D- 0.7000
F 0.0000
P1 None n/a
AU2 None Audit
I None Incomplete Official
W None Withdrawal
NG None No Grade Reported
S None Satisfactory
# None Forgiven

The grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of completed semester hours.

Example Grade Point Average Calculation

Course Total Grade Credit Hours Quality Points Total Quality
HIE 264 C 1 2.0 2.0000
HIE 264L C+ 2 2.3 4.6000
HIE 149L B- 2 2.7 5.4000
ECE 340 B+ 3 3.3 9.9000
FIA 280 A- 3 3.7 11.1000
MUS 301 D- 3 0.7 2.1000
TOTAL 14 35.1000
  • Total quality points = semester hours multiplied by quality points
  • G.P.A. = Sum of total quality Points divided by total semester hours
  • A grade of ‘F’ = 0 completed semester hours

Example: 35.1000 total quality points divided by 14 total semester hours equals 2.5071 G.P.A.

Removal of Incomplete (I) Grades

The “I” (Incomplete) grade may be used by the instructor during the final grading period when the course requirements have not been met because of illness or some other extenuating circumstance. In order to receive an "I" grade, the student must be passing the course and have completed 80% of all coursework. Except for cases such as internships, student teaching, or final projects that may require more time, students have until the 7th week of the following semester to complete and submit missed assignments as indicated on the Incomplete Contract. If work is not submitted by the due date, the default grade will be entered by the Registrar. If no default grade was submitted, the "I" grade will change to "F" (failure).

No student will be allowed to graduate with an “I” on the record.

Repeating Courses

A student who received a final grade less than an “A” in a course may repeat the course. The course to be repeated must be taken at Norfolk State University or the original institution offering the course (i.e., through consortium or cross registration agreement) and taken prior to completion of the degree at Norfolk State University. The normal registration procedure must be followed when registering for repeat courses, and the grade earned will be posted to the student’s record. The credit and quality points for the highest grade earned (one grade only) will be used to calculate the student’s cumulative G.P.A. All courses attempted (the original course attempted and the grade for that course) will remain on the student’s permanent record and will appear on the transcript. Students must pass all courses in the major with a grade of C or higher.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Undergraduate Students

Students must complete at least 67% of all courses attempted in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Courses that are not considered as “completed,” but still count as hours attempted are failed (F) courses, incomplete (I) courses, dropped (D) courses and withdrawn (W) courses. Repeated courses will count toward hours earned if:

  • a passing grade was earned, and the course had not been counted previously towards hours earned.

Academic Classification for Full-Time Undergraduate Students

These minimum standards must be met in order for a student to be considered for any state, federal, or institutional financial assistance. Aid will be terminated for any student who does not maintain the minimum standard or qualitative measurements. Also, students must not exceed 150% of the number of credits needed to complete a degree.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Students are expected to study and perform to the best of their abilities. In order to assure that students take maximum advantage of educational opportunities, the University sets academic standards that students must meet to remain in school. Students receiving financial aid from federal, state, or institutional funds administered by the Office of Financial Aid must meet the academic standards required by specific financial aid programs. Continued eligibility for financial aid is contingent upon good academic standing at the University and satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree. Academic standards of the University are outlined in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs, student handbook, financial aid publications, and publications of the academic schools and departments of the University. It is each student's responsibility to know the standards required and to understand that continued financial aid is dependent upon meeting these standards:

Level Total Credit Hours Earned Cumulative G.P.A.
Freshman Less than 30 1.700 or higher
Sophomore 30-59 1.800 or higher
Junior 60-89 2.000 or higher
Senior 90 or more 2.000 or higher

Failure to achieve the academic standards listed above will result in academic probation, triggering the following academic probation reinstatement process:

1st Warning

Upon receipt of First Warning Probation Letter, the student must schedule an appointment with the Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith Student Success Center and meet with an academic advisor to:

  1. Develop and sign an Academic Performance Contract for the upcoming semester.
  2. See advisors for schedule revision if pre-registered or completed early registration. (Students who didn't pre-register for the semester must see advisors to assist with course selection and registration).
  3. Enroll in and complete the Study Skills Seminar  conducted by the Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith Student Success Center.

2nd Warning

Upon receipt of Second Warning Probation Letter, the student must:

  1. Complete an Academic Performance Contract
  2. See advisor to revise course schedule or assist with course selection and registration
  3. Enroll in required Study Skills Seminar course conducted by the Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith Student Success Center, if not taken in the first probation warning.

NOTE:  GST 200 is the Study Skills Seminar course

This is a non-credit, 16-week seminar that meets weekly for one hour, designed for students who are on academic probation. The seminar introduces and promotes development of skills necessary to enhance academic success in college. Emphasis is placed on weekly activities to promote utilization of positive study habits. Topics discussed include learning styles, test-taking techniques, study skills, stress management, note-taking skills, critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.

Suspension

Students who are on probation and do not achieve the required grade point average after two warnings are subject to suspension from the University. A letter of suspension will be issued to the student.

Appealing Academic Suspension: Policy and Procedures

If a student wishes to appeal a suspension decision, a written letter of appeal must be faxed or mailed to the Office of the Registrar at least one month prior to the first day of class. Any appeals received after this date may be deferred until the following semester. The appeal is submitted to the Suspension Appeals Committee and its decision is final. Notification of the outcome will be provided by the Office of the Registrar.

Readmission after Restoration of Academic Eligibility

Students suspended from the University for academic reasons must appeal the suspension prior to being re-admitted. It is strongly suggested that students adhere to the following requirements prior to appeal:

  • Take courses (minimum: 6 credit hours) during the University’s summer session and maintain a G.P.A. of 2.0 or better.
  • Leave the University for one or more semesters (which may include one summer) complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of academic work at another college or university, and earn a grade point average of 2.0 or better each semester.

University Core Competencies

The administration and faculty of Norfolk State University are committed to providing a high-quality education for students. Among other things, this commitment requires providing documented evidence that students are competent in six areas: writing, information literacy, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, scientific reasoning, and critical thinking. As a result, with advance notice, students will be required to demonstrate competency in one or more of these areas before graduating from the University. Assessment of the remaining competencies is embedded in the related general education core courses. For example, assessment of scientific reasoning is embedded in courses meeting the Natural Sciences core.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

As part of Norfolk State University’s program of flexibility to meet student needs and aspirations, a student may earn up to 60 credit hours through the CLEP General and Subject Examinations.

Any student or prospective student who has not received credit for, or is not currently enrolled, in a college-level course in the particular field covered by the examination may take the test for CLEP credit.

CLEP is a nation-wide program of credit-by-examination that offers students the opportunity to obtain recognition for college level achievement; personal reading, on-the-job experience or volunteer activities that may have prepared one to earn college credit. Each school determines which CLEP tests it will accept for credit and the amount of credit it will award.