Academic Policies and Procedures: Graduate

Fulltime Status

Graduate students are considered full-time students when they have been admitted to the university and are registered for a minimum of 6 credits per semester.

Time Limits for Completion

  • Master’s degree programs at Concordia University must be completed within five years of the first date of the beginning of the first course.
  • Ed.S. degree programs must be completed within six years of the beginning of the first course.
  • Ed.D. degree programs must be completed within seven years of the beginning of the first course.
  • Ph.D. degree programs must be completed within seven years of the beginning of the first course.
  • DPT degree programs must be completed within four years of the beginning of the first course.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat a course. If students repeat a course, both courses remain on the student’s transcript but only the higher/highest grade is used in computing a student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

Auditing Courses

Students who satisfy the requirements for admission may register to audit a course without receiving academic credit for the course. Registration procedures are the same as for credit-bearing courses. Auditing students need not meet regular course requirements but should confer with the instructor as to their privileges and responsibilities in the course. Upon completion of the course, an entry is made on the student’s permanent record along with other classes. Students may find it helpful to audit a course to review materials for a more advanced course or to enrich an interesting area. Auditors are excluded from laboratory and studio participation. Graduate students may change regular registration to an audit before the end of the fourth week of the semester. Registration may be canceled for non-attendance.

Independent Study

Independent study is an educational experience conducted for credit outside the regularly scheduled classroom offerings. It may be an existing course or an approved student/faculty-designed course. Either experience must be conducted under the supervision of an instructor who is responsible for the academic soundness of the proposal. Each credit awarded must represent approximately 45 clock hours of work.

Credit for independent studies may be used to fulfill any curriculum requirement. Students are responsible for completing an application form that specifies course goals/objectives and projected outcomes, learning strategies, and evaluation procedures. The proposal must be approved by the advisor, instructor, department chair, and the dean of the college. An independent study application form may be submitted during regular registration times but no later than the end of the second week of a class. Forms are available in the academic advising office, on the university website, and in the Registrar’s Office.

Transfer Credit

Up to 50 percent of the credits necessary for a Concordia University - St. Paul graduate degree may be accepted for transfer from an accredited graduate school.   The credits must be appropriate to the student's program and the course(s) must be equivalent to the course(s) in the program (i.e. outcomes (objectives) need to match).   Application for transfer of credit is made by the student to the Advisor. The credits must be certified by the Registrar and approved for the degree program by the program director.

1.  Normally no credits will be accepted for transfer into the DPT program.

2.  Only courses with a grade of B or better may be accepted for transfer credit. 

3.  Normally credits older than seven years will not be accepted. 

4.  The chair of the graduate program or designee will make the determination whether a student is required to audit a course in place of taking the course for a grade.  

5.  Students taking graduate-level courses as a part of Concordia  University - St. Paul graduate certificate, approved by the Graduate Policies Committee, may apply the entire graduate certificate's credits to the graduate in which it is connected.  

Good Standing 

To remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average for all courses in the graduate program. Students not in good standing must return to good standing during the next semester or be dropped from the program.

Attendance Policies

The Graduate School assumes that all registered students have freely accepted personal responsibility for regular class attendance. Students are expected to participate in all class activities, meetings and laboratory sessions for the courses in which they are enrolled.

Drop of Registration and Withdrawal from Courses

Students may drop their registration from a course without record during the first (1st) week of the course. Students may withdraw from courses any time after the first (1st) week of the course through the fifth (5th) week and receive a “W” grade.

Withdrawal Procedures

  1. Students are able to drop courses online through the drop dates posted on the academic calendar.
  2. After the drop period is over, students must submit a signed Registration Restriction Form with the instructor and advisor signatures.
  3. Effective dates for withdrawals will be determined by the date when the properly completed Registration Restriction Form is received in the Registrar’s Office.
  4. Withdrawal from coursework may have financial implications. Students will receive100% tuition refunds only for courses from which they withdrew prior to the 6th business day of the term. See financial policies for further information.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who desire to discontinue from the university, take a leave of absence, or change their cohort must contact their academic advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill all necessary obligations by contacting the following: financial aid office, student accounts, library/information services/help desk, security, and offices issuing special equipment, such as laptops, instruments, keys, and athletic equipment. Students who officially withdraw from school will receive refunds and grades according to the standard schedule. Students who discontinue without notice will be liable for any financial obligations.

Students who are asked to leave Concordia University as a result of administrative dismissal or academic disqualification, may appeal. In this case, students should contact their academic advisor.

Grading System

A Superior 4 grade points
B Above Average 3 grade points
C Average 2 grade points
D Below Average 1 grade point
F Failure 0 grade points
I In progress 0 grade points
W Withdrawal 0 grade points
P Pass Not included in grade point calculations
N No pass Not included in grade point calculations

Requesting an "In Progress" Grade

An In-Progress grade may be given to students who have missed part of their assigned work due to circumstances which are beyond their control and who are otherwise doing satisfactory work. Note that any in-progress grade could affect the students’ probationary and disqualification status (See Satisfactory Progress Policy).


  1. Prior to the end of the term the student files a form with the professor requesting an “I” grade and indicating a planned completion date.
  2. Students and instructors develop an agreement including the guidelines for completion of the necessary coursework. The grade of “I” will be changed to the grade of “F” by the registrar unless an instructor assigns a passing grade or requests an extension beyond the normal time limit.
  3. Permission may be granted by the instructor to extend the time of an “I” grade to a maximum of one year when extenuating circumstances warrant. Any further extension must be approved by the instructor and the Vice President for Academic Affairs and filed with the Registrar.
  4. The maximum number of In-Progress grades students may carry at one time is two.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

  1. To remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average and complete a minimum cumulative of 67% of all attempted graduate level coursework. Incompletes (I) and withdrawals (W) do not count toward completion.
  2. When a student does not maintain satisfactory progress, the university will impose certain restrictions that will affect the student’s eligibility for enrollment.
    1. Academic Probation: Academic probation is a formal warning that students did not achieve satisfactory progress. Students will be notified of their probation status in writing by the registrar.
    2. Disqualification: Disqualification occurs when students do not meet satisfactory academic progress requirements for two consecutive terms. Students will be notified of their disqualification in writing by the registrar. Students are ineligible to register for subsequent terms. Students may appeal to be readmitted by completing the Disqualification Appeal Form.

Disqualification Appeal Process

A Disqualification Appeal Form must be submitted to the graduate academic appeals committee. The graduate academic appeals committee will decide approval or denial of students who are appealing their academic disqualification. Appeals must be submitted to the academic appeals committee at least two weeks before the start of the term for which the student desires readmission. The appeal must state what undue hardship caused the student’s inability to meet satisfactory progress standards. The hardships could include illness, injury, or death of an immediate relative. Only special extenuating circumstances will be considered. Students must also explain how they propose to remedy their situation. If the appeal is successful, the student is readmitted on probationary status. Appeals are approved for one term only.

Financial Hold

Students who are not current in their financial obligations to Concordia University are placed on financial hold. While on financial hold, students:

  • may have their course management system disabled (i.e., Blackboard)
  • may be subject to late fees on any and all unpaid balances
  • may have financial aid canceled for future terms
  • may be de–registered from future class registration
  • may be unable to receive grades, transcripts, or diplomas

Appeal of Policy and Procedure

Graduate students may appeal decisions made by program faculty or administrators regarding disqualification, re-admission, grade change, or academic integrity regarding entry into a program, continuation in a program, or questions that may arise as a result of a candidate’s academic performance in a program.

Steps for making an appeal:

  1. Student submits completed appeal to the Dean's Office
  2. The Dean reviews the form and determines if an appeal should be granted based on the stated reason for appeal.
    1. If the request for appeal is denied, the Dean will email the student with the reason for denial.
    2. If the request for appeal is approved, the Dean will email the student and follow up.
  3. If denied, the student may appeal the decision to the Graduate Appeals Committee.
    1. Submit an appeal to the Associate Vice-President for Graduate Studies (AVP-GS) for consideration by the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee.
    2. If the request for appeal is denied, the AVP-GS will email the student with the reason for denial.
    3. If the request for appeal is approved, the AVP-GS will email the student and follow up.
  4. Final Appeal Option
    1. If an appeal is denied, the student may appeal a final time to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 
    2. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the case and email the student of decision and reason.
    3. No further appeals are allowed after this decision.


Students will be invited to participate in a commencement ceremony in May or December depending on when their coursework is completed. Students will be notified of their ceremony eligibility by the Registrar.

Research with Human Subjects

All research projects employing human subjects must be reviewed by the Human Subjects Review Committee. No research project should be implemented without the approval of the Human Subjects Review Committee. Students and faculty who are planning to conduct research are directed to use and follow the procedures in the Faculty Handbook Section 8, Appendix D: Concordia University Saint Paul, Minnesota Protocols and Procedures for Research Involving Human Subjects Application and Information Packet and Appendix E: Protocol Form Research Involving Human Subjects.

Student researchers must read the Belmont Report and sign off on the Human Subjects Application.