Undergraduate Academic Information

Academic Policies and Procedures


The requirement for completion of an undergraduate degree at Concordia University, Saint Paul, is 120 semester credits. The average academic load for a full-time undergraduate student is 15 credits. The maximum load for undergraduate students without payment of additional fees is 19 credits. Students who desire an academic overload must petition through the advisor for permission.

Ordinarily freshmen and sophomore students register for courses numbered from 100 to 299.  Academic Advisors assist in the planning and approval of course registration. Credits earned in courses numbered less than 100 are not applicable to graduation requirements.

In undergraduate degree completion programs, enrollment is considered continuous throughout the program or until the student informs their academic advisor about a discontinuation. Students who stop participating but have not officially discontinued are liable for the cost of attendance.

Time Limits

There is no time limit for completion of a degree in undergraduate programs at Concordia University.

Classification of Students

Full–Time Students

Full-time students are those who have satisfied the entrance requirements, have been admitted to the university and are registered for a minimum of 12 credits per semester. The Minnesota State Grant program defines a full-time student as one who is registered for a minimum of 15 credits per semester.

Part–Time Students

Undergraduate students are considered part-time when they carry 11 credits or fewer during a semester. Undergraduate students carrying 9 to 11 credits are classified as three-fourths time students; students carrying 6 to 8 credits are classified as half time students.

Undergraduate students are placed in a class according to the total number of credits earned:

  • Freshman - up to 29 credits
  • Sophomore - 30 to 59 credits
  • Junior - 60 to 89 credits
  • Senior - 90 credits and above

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. The course fee is at a reduced rate unless the course fits under the regular credit limit of 19 credits per semester. 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 interest area. Auditors are excluded from laboratory and studio participation portion of course content and music lessons and/or ensembles.   Students may change regular registration to an audit before the end of the eighth week of the semester. Registration may be canceled for non-attendance. 

Co-curricular Activities

Members and managers of an intercollegiate team (one complete season) and cheerleaders and drill team members may apply a maximum of three credits in three different athletic activities toward graduation requirements as electives. Any additional credit earned in the same or other co-curricular activities will be indicated on the transcript but will not meet graduation requirements.

Independent Study

Independent study is an educational experience, designed for enrichment,  and conducted for credit outside the regularly scheduled classroom offerings. It may be an approved student/faculty-designed course or may be based on an existing 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 academic work.

Credit for independent studies may be used to fulfill any curriculum requirement. Only four credits of independent study may be taken at one time. No more than 12 credits of independent study may be counted toward graduation requirements. 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 on the portal.


Students may apply for internship programs with the approval of the instructor, the advisor, the department chair, the director of advising and the registrar. Internship guidelines are available from the appropriate department. Internship registration forms are available on the portal. No more than one-third of a major or a minor may consist of internship credits; normally, no more than 12 field-based experience credits may be applied toward the minimum of 120 credits required for the baccalaureate degree. The number of credits applicable to a major, minor or emphasis is determined in advance by the appropriate department(s). Separate learning contracts are written with the department(s) and work is evaluated by a faculty member or an adjunct faculty member from each department involved. The Director of Christian Education and Director of Christian Outreach programs require an internship. Separate guidelines apply to these internships. The Pass/No Pass grade is given for all field-based learning experiences.

Attendance in Class and Completion of Assignments

The university assumes that all registered students have freely accepted personal responsibility for regular class attendance. Students are expected to attend all class meetings and laboratory sessions for the courses in which they are enrolled. In cases of emergencies and/or unforeseen circumstances students are expected to notify their instructors and arrange for any possible “makeup” assignments; however, instructors are not required to allow for such “makeup” assignments. Instructors will record attendance and specify procedures for handling absences in course syllabi.

The undergraduate degree completion programs are unique and typically offer an accelerated calendar for adults which requires fewer but more intense class sessions, chat sessions, and the like. Since these courses are only seven weeks in length, missing “class” is highly discouraged and may affect the final grade and/or course completion. In cases of extreme emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, students are expected to notify their instructors and arrange any possible “makeup” assignments; however, instructors are not required in any way to allow for such “makeup” assignments.

All course assignments are also to be completed according to established deadlines. Instructors are not required in any way to accept coursework beyond the established deadline. Missing assignment deadlines will most certainly impact a grade in a course.

Additional attendance guidelines and requirements for degree completion undergraduate students:

  • If a student must miss a class/chat because of an emergency or illness, he/she is required to complete his/her regular assignments(s) and complete a make-up assignment that contributes to the subject being studied and enhances the class-learning environment. A missed class/chat may result in a grade reduction.
  • If a student misses two classes/chats, the instructor and the student need to discuss the student’s ability to complete the course. In addition, the student will be required to complete his/her regular assignment(s) and extra work. Two missed classes/chats will result in an additional grade reduction.
  • Any additional absences will require retaking the course. The student will be billed and a grade will be issued each time the course is taken.
  • Regular attendance is a key factor in determining continuing financial aid support.
  • Instructors understand the uncertainty of military requirements and other contractual obligations, and they will work with the student to meet educational goals.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to make appropriate arrangements.

Transfer Credit

Concordia University will accept up to a maximum of 90 credits with an overall gpa of 2.00 from regionally accredited institutions or nationally accredited institutions recognized by CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation).   Students enrolled in a program at an Oregon location must have a grade of a C or better in a course in order to be eligible for transfer credits. Students who have completed the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum or an associate of arts degree from an accredited institution are considered to have met the general education requirements with the exception of the theology requirement which must be completed at Concordia.

Transfer credit may be applied to one of the following curriculum requirements:

  • General Education - The primary responsibility for evaluation rests with the registrar who shall consult the General Education Committee if the appropriateness and comparability of the credit is doubtful.  Transfer credits in the general education area are entered as a "Pass" grade and do not count in GPA calculation.
  • Major, minor, emphases, certificate and program courses - The appropriateness and comparability of credit in these areas shall be assessed by the appropriate department or instructor and approved by the department on a course substitution request form.  Transfer credits in the major are entered as a letter grade and will count in GPA calculation, with the exception of approved study abroad coursework.  Study abroad coursework that has been approved for a major or minor will be entered as "Pass" with an earned grade of C- or higher and will not count in GPA calculations.
  • Electives - The appropriateness and comparability of credits in this area shall be assessed by the registrar.  Transfer credits in the elective area are entered as a "Pass" grade and do not count in GPA calculation.

Students may earn up to a maximum of 30 credits of coursework for experiences from any of the following: non-accredited institutions or documented work training. Credits are typically for elective coursework. Credit for coursework in majors and minors must be approved by the respective academic department. General Education coursework must be approved by the General Education Committee. The office of the Registrar may grant such credit.

Transferring Credit Frequently Asked Questions

Assessment of Student Learning and Professional Development

Concordia University conducts a series of activities to assess – among other things – student learning, program effectiveness, and student perceptions of faculty effectiveness. The assessment program at Concordia University, Saint Paul is a process for educational improvement that helps both the institution and the individual student. Assessment results help determine how well the institution is meeting its mission and goals for students, what is working and where changes need to be made. In addition, assessments provide students with feedback to monitor progress toward their own educational goals. This assessment program uses a variety of tools to measure students' learning and development beyond what simple grades can indicate. In some cases, assessment results will demonstrate how Concordia University students compare in certain subject areas to students across the country. Many of the assessment activities are part of courses and some will be a part of the process of applying for an academic major. Other assessments will involve student participation in surveys, focus groups, or interviews. As part of the general education program and at the completion of the academic major and minor, students may also complete an outcomes assessment. As alumni, students will be asked to participate in assessment surveys that inquire about the impact their Concordia University education has had on them. More information about assessment activities can be obtained from academic advisors or the office of assessment and accreditation.

Drop Registration from Courses "Without Academic Record"

Full Semester Courses

Students may withdraw from a course without record during the first two weeks of the course.

Half Semester Courses (7 Week Courses)

Students may withdraw from a course without record during the first week of the course.

Withdrawal from Courses/Withdrawal with Academic Record

Full Semester Courses

Students may withdraw from full-semester courses any time after the second week of the course through the eleventh week and receive a “W” grade.

Half Semester Courses

Students may withdraw from half-semester courses any time after the first week of the course through the fifth week and receive a “W” grade.

Withdrawal Procedures

  • Students are able to drop courses online through the drop dates posted on the academic calendar.
  • After the drop period is over, students must submit a signed Registration Restriction Form with instructor and advisor signatures.
  • Effective dates for withdrawals will be determined by the date when the properly completed Registration Restriction Form is received in the Registrar’s Office.
  • Withdrawal from coursework may have financial implications. Students will receive 100% 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 discuss their plans with their advisor. Traditional undergraduate students will contact the Director of Academic Advising at (651) 603-6271 or advising@csp.edu for an exit interview. 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. Contact the Director of Academic Advising, at (651) 603-6271 or advising@csp.edu

Grading System - Undergraduate Programs

A Superior 4.00 grade points
A- 3.67 grade points
B+ 3.33 grade points
B Above Average 3.00 grade points
B- 2.67 grade points
C+ 2.33 grade points
C Average 2.00 grade points
C- 1.67 grade points
D+ 1.33 grade points
D Below Average 1.00 grade points
D- 0.67 grade points
F zero grade points
P Pass
N No pass
X Continuing registration for more than one term
V Audit
W Withdrawal Student officially withdrew from a course during the third through eighth week of the semester.
I In progress This grade is given to students who have missed part of their assigned work due to circumstances beyond their control, but who are otherwise doing satisfactory work.

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 that 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). Process:

  • 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.
  • Students and instructors develop an agreement including the guidelines for completion of the necessary coursework. In degree completion programs, an “in-progress” grade should be removed within two weeks.
  • In traditional programs, an in-progress should be completed and removed by the seventh week of the following semester in which the “I” grade was incurred or at a date set by the professor on the form provided. In degree completion undergraduate programs and graduate programs, all course requirements must be completed within four weeks from the last day of class.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Pass/No-Pass Grading

A course usually graded A through F may be taken Pass/No Pass by a student if the course is an elective and not part of the general education curriculum or part of a major or minor. A course is designated as elective when it is not used by a student to meet any specific area or course requirement including the general education program, major, minor, emphasis, or professional courses. To take a course usually graded A through F as a Pass/No Pass course, a student must file the appropriate form with the Office of the Registrar before the course is half over – the end of the third week for a seven week class or the end of the seventh week for a full semester course. Pass/NoPass courses transferred in by students as required courses (a course is designated as required when it is used by a student to meet any specific area or course requirement including the general education program, major, minor, emphasis or professional courses) are acceptable only from colleges where the grading system is the normal system as described above.

There is a four-credit limit of P-N courses per semester for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Internships (see below) that are normally graded by the Pass/No Pass system do not count towards these limits.

Field experiences, internships, and co-curricular athletic activities are offered only on a Pass-No Pass basis. A student may earn a maximum of eight credits in the combined music/drama area and one credit in each area of athletics that are applicable to the total credits for graduation requirements. The maximum credit limit applies to students who are not completing a music/drama major, minor, or emphasis. Although these courses apply toward graduation requirements, they are not calculated into the cumulative grade point average.

Academic Good Standing

A student in good standing is one who:

  • Is registered for the current term
  • Is attending class in accordance with the class attendance policy
  • Has no financial obligations to the university
  • Is not on disciplinary probation and
  • Is not on academic probation.

Eligibility to participate in certain interscholastic activities necessitates the fulfillment of additional requirements.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Undergraduate Students

To be eligible to register continuously without conditions, a student must achieve satisfactory academic progress. Concordia will follow federal-financial-aid policy on satisfactory academic progress as long as Concordia accepts federal funding. (Refer to Financial Aid for full policy details)

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 Warning: Academic Warning occurs when a student fails to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress. A student on Academic Warning will remain eligible to enroll for one subsequent/future semester.  Any student failing meet Satisfactory Academic Progress upon conclusion of his/her Academic Warning semester will be immediately suspended from the University.  Undergraduate students on Academic Warning will be limited to a maximum of 16 credits.  Students will be notified of Academic Warning via email from the Registrar. Students may NOT appeal while on Academic Warning.
  2. Disqualification: Disqualification/Suspension occurs when a student fails to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress during two consecutive semesters.  Additionally, first-year undergraduate students with no prior college credits earned must achieve a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 1.0 upon conclusion of his/her first semester.  Any first-year student that fails to meet a 1.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) the end of his/her first semester will be immediately Suspended/Terminated from the University.   Students will be notified of Disqualification/Suspension via email from the Registrar.  Students may appeal to be re-admitted by completing the Disqualification Appeal Form.
  3. Academic Probation:  A student who is Disqualified/Suspended from the University, and has submitted an approved appeal will be placed on Academic Probation. A student on Academic Probation will be issued an Academic Plan by his/her Advisor, and will have one semester (unless approved for additional semesters) to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Any student failing to meet the terms outlined by the Academic Plan and or Satisfactory Academic Progress will be immediately suspended from the University.  Undergraduate students approved for Academic Probation will be limited to a maximum of 16 credits.

Disqualification Appeal Process

A Disqualification Appeal Form must be submitted to the academic appeals committee. The 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 the 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. Students may also show successful completion of 12-semester credits with a CGPA of 2.0 or higher from another accredited institution to indicate that they have overcome the challenges that caused the original disqualification.

Honor Recognition - Dean's List

Full-time (12 or more credits) undergraduate students, who earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 and above in a given academic semester, are included on the dean’s list. To be considered, all course incomplete grades must be removed by the end of the second week after the week of final examinations.

Graduation Honors

Full-time students in bachelor degree programs at Concordia University who have earned at least 60 credits at Concordia University and who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher are designated as graduating summa cum laude; those students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89 are designated as graduating magna cum laude; those students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.60 to 3.74 are designated as graduating cum laude.

Students in bachelor degree programs who have earned fewer than 60 credits at Concordia University and have at least a 3.90 GPA at Concordia will be recognized as graduating “with high distinction.” Students who have earned fewer than 60 credits and have a GPA between 3.75 and 3.89 will be recognized as graduating “with distinction.”

Academic Honors Convocation

Students receiving dean’s list recognition and special departmental awards will be recognized at the annual Academic Honors Convocation held during the spring semester.

Honorary Societies for Students

Lambda Pi Eta

Lambda Pi Eta is the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). The Nu Beta chapter of Lambda Pi Eta was chartered at Concordia University in 2001. As an accredited member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), Lambda Pi Eta has nearly 300 active chapters at colleges and universities worldwide. Lambda Pi Eta was founded in 1985 at the University of Arkansas, became a part of the National Communication Association (NCA) in 1988, and became the official honor society of the NCA in July 1995. Lambda Pi Eta represents what Aristotle described in his book, Rhetoric, as the three ingredients of persuasion: Logos (Lambda) meaning logic, Pathos (Pi) relating to emotion, and Ethos (Eta) defined as character credibility and ethics. The goals of Lambda Pi Eta are to:

  • recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement;
  • stimulate interest in the field of communication;
  • promote and encourage professional development among communication majors;
  • provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas about the field;
  • establish and maintain close relationships and understanding between faculty and students; and
  • explore options for further graduate studies.

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, was founded in 1924. In 1987, the Mu Chi Chapter was established at Concordia University. Membership is open to students who have completed at least five semesters of college work with a minimum of 3.00 grade-point average in English and who rank in the top 35 percent of their class in general scholarship. The purposes of the society are to:

  • confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature;
  • to promote interest in literature and the English language on the campus and in the surrounding community; and
  • to foster the discipline of English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing.

Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies are held each May and December.  Students who are approved to graduate and have 8 or fewer credits remaining, with a plan to complete in the term following the ceremony, are eligible to participate.

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 (i.e. Blackboard) disabled
  • may be subject to late fees
  • 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
Releasing transcript and Financial Holds

Students with an outstanding balance will have a financial hold placed on the account and is not eligible for an official transcript unless meeting one of these criteria.

  1. Balance of $250 or below
  2. Student account has been turned over to a collection agency
  3. Student is enrolled and current with an out-of-school payment plan

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, MN Protocols and Procedures for Research Involving Human Subjects Application and Information Packet and Appendix E: Protocol Form Research Involving Human Subjects.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is essential to any academic institution and is in keeping with the mission of the university. In order to protect Academic integrity is essential to any academic institution and is in keeping with the mission of the university. In order to protect the rights of students, the disciplinary procedure for dealing with cases of academic dishonesty follows these broad guidelines.

Academic integrity includes working honestly on tests and assignments, honestly reporting research findings, properly citing the source of any materials quoted, paraphrased or modified in the work one submits. A popular handbook for writers defines properly citing source material in this manner:

“To plagiarize is to present another person’s words or ideas as if they were your own. Plagiarism is like stealing. The word plagiarize comes from the Latin word for kidnapper and literary thief. Plagiarism can be intentional, as when you submit as your own work a paper you did not write. Plagiarism can also be unintentional, but not less serious an offense if you are unaware of what must be acknowledged and how to do so with documentation.” (Troyka, L. Handbook for writers, Simon and Schuster, 6th ed.)

Violations of academic integrity include “cheating” and “plagiarism” as defined by the university’s Student Code of Conduct (SCC).

Off-Campus Semester Study

Concordia University encourages students to broaden their cultural awareness and explore the world through off-campus study programs. In order to apply for off-campus study or study abroad opportunities, students must meet certain criteria dependent upon the study option. Concordia University will allow only two semesters of off-campus study or a maximum of 32 off-campus study credits to be applied to the 120 credits for the bachelor’s degree. The university’s graduation requirements will remain in effect. Students enrolled in pre-approved off-campus study will also be considered in the financial aid process. In no way will program leaders or instructors of programs/courses be responsible for personal injury or property damage arising out of the act or negligence of any direct carrier, hotel, or travel service or any other person rendering any service offered in connection with off-campus study.  For more information on current programs reach out to our study abroad office at abroad@csp.edu

Travel Seminars 

Another off-campus study abroad option available to students is our short–term Travel Seminar program. Faculty–led programs and courses are offered around the country and the world in many different disciplines. Travel seminars are offered while other semester classes are not in session (January break, spring break, May after graduation) and are typically included in your spring semester credit load.  In order to participate, students must be in good standing. Current programs are updated annually.  For further information, contact the Center for Student Engagement at abroad@csp.edu or (651) 641-8261.

Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)

Air Force ROTC

A cooperative program between Concordia and the University of Saint Thomas provides Concordia students with the opportunity to concurrently enroll in credit courses in aerospace studies at Saint Thomas. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps is an educational and leadership development program designed to prepare students for commissioning as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force. Air Force ROTC complements the academic major of the student’s choice and increases the student’s career options. Students incur no obligation by enrolling in the courses; the Aerospace classes are free and are paid by a University of Saint Thomas grant. Credit is transferable. Scholarships are available, especially in engineering, mathematics, physics, computer science, and nursing. For more information, contact the Department of Aerospace Studies at the University of Saint Thomas, (651) 962-6320 or 1-800-328-6819, ext. 6320.


ROTC trains and prepares men and women for a commission as an officer in the regular Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard. In addition to instruction in military fundamentals, ROTC develops leadership qualities and self-confidence essential to success in today’s world.

Concordia’s program, six semesters in length, is completed concurrently with course work required for a B.A. degree through the University of Minnesota. The first two semesters constitute the Basic Program, while the four remaining semesters are the Advanced Program.

Cadets/students are under no legal obligation while in the Basic Program. Upon entrance into the Advanced Program the students sign a contract and begin receiving a monthly stipend from the ROTC program. Traditional Concordia University students who are also Army ROTC scholarship winners shall receive a room and board scholarship assurance each term while they are on a scholarship contract. Non-traditional degree completion students enrolled as cadets in the University of Minnesota Corps of Cadets by means of a scholarship contract shall receive a $500 per semester stipend for each semester they are enrolled in an undergraduate degree completion program. For further information, call (612) 626-1584.

Naval ROTC

Naval ROTC two-year scholarship and non-scholarship programs allow students to earn a commission in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps. Concurrent completion of degree requirements at Concordia and Naval Science requirements at the University of Minnesota results in an active duty commission. Career options include aviation, submarine warfare and surface warfare (Navy), or aviation and ground office positions (Marines). For further information, call (651) 625-6677.