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Academic Procedures

The following procedures apply to academic programs and courses in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

Guidelines & Policies
Introduction

Introduction

The University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies has, for each academic program, procedures and degree requirements that must be satisfied before the degree can be granted. The student is responsible for knowing the specific requirements and planning appropriately to allow for the completion of these requirements. SPCS provides, depending on the program, either or both academic advisors and administrative personnel to assist students with their plans. In any case, the final responsibility for following procedures and meeting degree requirements rests solely with the student.

The following sections describe academic policies, regulations, and procedures.

Flexible Ways to Earn Credit

Flexible Ways to Earn Credit

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies has a liberal transfer policy and matriculated students can earn credits toward their degree through examination College Level Examination Program (CLEP), American Council on Education (ACE), Advanced Placement Program (AP), independent study or through portfolio assessment of prior learning. Consult your academic advisor for details. Additional information is available on the Pre-Admission Advising pages.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies awards credit based on acceptable performance on specified tests of the College Level Examination Program. Generally, a student may not attempt credit by examination for a course in which a failing grade was received or for a basic course in those areas in which acceptable college credit has been earned at a more advanced level. For information about general and subject examinations, contact the School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE's College Credit Recommendation Service reviews and offers college-level credit recommendations for many training courses, apprenticeship programs and examinations. An official ACE Credit Recommendations Transcript must be submitted directly to the School of Professional and Continuing Studies for review of the equivalence and transfer. For more information on ACE or to order a transcript visit their website.

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies participates in the Advanced Placement program of the College Board. Students who successfully completed AP examinations prior to their entry in a college-level program may have official scores submitted to the University for review. Scores submitted within 10 years of completion of the examination will be considered for the equivalence and transfer of credit. To order test scores contact ETS.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies may award credit based on acceptable performance on higher level exams of the International Baccalaureate program. For more information on the IB program or to have your scores sent to the University, visit ibo.org.

Independent Study

An independent study is a course taken with faculty supervision for knowledge enhancement beyond the courses offered in a particular area of interest. In rare cases, when scheduling or other conflicts exist, a regular course may be taken as an independent study. Independent study courses may be used in the Areas of Study and General Distribution and may be used to enhance courses in the major. Consult with your academic advisor before applying to earn credit by independent study.

Transfer Credit

Courses offered in transfer will be evaluated for acceptance provided the work was taken at an institution accredited as degree-granting by a recognized regional accrediting body for higher education at the time the coursework is completed. A grade of or equivalent to C (2.0) or better must have been earned in the particular course. Course work accepted in transfer shall be applied to specific degree requirements subject to the discretion of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Transfer work will be accepted during the final semester of a program only with prior approval. CLEP exams are considered transfer credits. Note: Credits accepted for transfer do not transfer the grade and grades are not applicable to Grade Point Averages at the University of Richmond.

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies generally does not accept credits earned with a Pass/No Pass designation.

No transfer credit shall be formally accepted or recorded until the University has received an official transcript directly from the records office of the institution that offered the course work. If course work is being transferred from more than one institution, a transcript must be received from each institution. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the unit of credit awarded when enrolling at another institution for the purpose of transferring credits. Transferable work completed on the quarter hour system will be accepted at two-thirds of a semester hour.

Transfer credits will be accepted during the semester prior to graduation only with prior approval.

Note: Courses offered in transfer will be evaluated for acceptance provided the work was taken at an institution accredited as degree-granting by one of the following regional accrediting associations at the time the coursework is completed:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges/Commission on Technical and Career Institutions
  • North Central Association/Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
  • Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges

Transfer Credit from Non-U.S. Institutions

Students who have attended institutions outside of the United States are required to provide official transcripts (mark sheets) to the School of Professional and Continuing Studies and to have these official transcripts evaluated by one of the educational credit evaluation services listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) website. An official copy of the evaluation must be sent directly to SPCS from the evaluation service. Visit our International Admissions page for additional information.

A listing of acceptable evaluators is available through the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) on their website www.naces.org. In addition, the University of Richmond will accept evaluations from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO). Information is available from their website www.aacrao.org.

The service must supply an official transcript evaluation according to the following guidelines:

  • High school transcripts need a document to document evaluation.
  • Applicants to graduate programs need a document to document evaluation, including cumulative GPA.
  • Applicants for undergraduate programs with possible transfer work will need a course by course evaluation, including cumulative GPA.
  • Applicants must provide the original mark sheets form. (If the student does not want to part with the originals, they can present the originals in person to the SPCS office to be photocopied.)

SPCS will check with the service to be sure that the evaluation was completed using the same mark sheets provided by the student.

Undergraduate Portfolio Assessment of Prior Learning

Students may also earn academic credit by portfolio assessment of prior learning in selected courses for most disciplines in the SPCS. This involves developing a learning portfolio that demonstrates college-level learning that has occurred on the job or during training, through volunteer work, or by other means of educational experience. By preparing and submitting a learning portfolio, SPCS students can earn up to 15 semester hours toward a bachelor's degree. Three hours of portfolio credit may be applied toward the major. Students are eligible to submit portfolios upon official admission to a degree program in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies and with the prior written approval of the Program Chair in the discipline to be assessed. A selected list of courses that qualify for portfolio credit is available from the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Services or the Program Chair of each discipline.

A portfolio is a formal written communication made up of an introductory essay, a detailed narrative on a specific course and documentation. Portfolios have been successfully submitted in leadership, journalism, English, speech and many other disciplines. Sample portfolios are available for examination in the SPCS office.

Portfolio assessments require that students enroll in ADED 200U Experiential Learning and Portfolio Preparation. This course serves as an elective and provides students with the necessary information to evaluate their experiential learning, match the learning to a course and to prepare a portfolio for evaluation. Following completion of the course, the student will be able to make a decision about whether to proceed in earning credit in this manner. Students who have completed the course are eligible to submit portfolios for more than one course throughout their academic careers at the University.

Students who have completed ADED 200U and wish to earn credit by portfolio assessment register for ADED 201U - Portfolio Submission and Assessment - during the regular registration period and pay the non-refundable assessment fee of $200. Portfolios can be submitted at any time during the semester in which the student is registered for ADED 201U; however, the following submission dates determine when credit is awarded:

  • For credit earned in the fall semester, portfolios must be submitted by October 15.
  • For credit earned in the spring semester, portfolios must be submitted by February 15.
  • For credit earned in the summer semester, portfolios must be submitted by June 15.

Qualified faculty members, with expertise in the particular discipline and selected in consultation with the appropriate Program Chairs, review the portfolios. The assessors will recommend credit based on the extent and depth of the student's learning as demonstrated in the portfolio. The review process may include an interview with the student. After reviewing the assessors' recommendations, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs will make the final decision regarding credit.

Once the credits have been awarded, students will be billed $200 per semester hour. Portfolio credits will show a grade of “P” as a passing grade and the specific course in which credit was assigned. Portfolio credits do not carry a letter grade and therefore do not affect the grade point average.

Registration Policies

Registration Policies

Registrations are accepted on the Web via BannerWeb. Complete registration instructions are available online. Schedules of classes are available prior to each semester: July for the fall semester and November for the spring semester. View fall, spring and summer class schedules online.

Normal Class Load

The University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies operates on the semester system. A normal course load for students who are employed full time is six semester hours. Some students find it possible to pursue nine semester hours. Your academic advisor will help you determine the appropriate schedule.

During the Fall and Spring semesters, students may not take over 18 credit hours without the dean's approval.

Students may enroll in no more than a total of 18 credit hours during the entire Summer Term without the dean's approval.

Changes (Add/Drop, Withdrawal)

Changes in registration (Add/Drop, withdrawal) must be initiated by the student within the deadlines specified in the academic calendar. Ordinarily, a student may not withdraw from a course after the end of the seventh week of classes except for medical reasons.

Course Drop (using BannerWeb) before the end of the second week of classes is not shown on the academic record. Withdrawal after the end of the second week through the seventh week of classes carries the grade of “W” (withdraw passing/no evaluation) or “M” (withdraw failing) on the academic record.

All withdrawals after the second week of class must be requested in writing to the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. The withdrawal date will be the date the written request is received.

Students who stop attending class without notifying the School of Professional and Continuing Studies office will receive the grade of “V” (failure due to excessive absences) regardless of the last date of attendance and are responsible for payment of any fees due.

Audit

Normally, courses are taken for grade and academic credit; however, a student may take a course as audit. The audit reserves a place in the class for the student, but there are no attendance requirements nor credit given at the end of the term. The audited course is shown as such on the permanent academic record with a grade of “Z” for Audit.

Students who wish to audit a course or courses register and pay in the usual manner. After registering, the Audit Form must be completed to change a course from credit to audit status. Audit forms are available from the Registrar or the School of Professional and Continuing Studies office. The completed form must be filed in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies office by the end of the 10th day of classes. Once filed, the audit status is not reversible. Students who took a course as audit (grade of 'Z') may not later take the same course for a standard grade.

Graduate Study

Upper level undergraduate students may be approved to enroll in a limited number of graduate courses for either undergraduate or graduate credit purposes, according to the following criteria:

For Undergraduate Credit

SPCS undergraduate students may enroll in SPCS graduate-level coursework for undergraduate credit, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • an overall GPA of 3.0 or above;
  • the written approval of their program director; and,
  • demonstrated ability to succeed in course work at the graduate level, based upon a combination of prior experience and/or formal college education

Note: Specific programs of the School may require additional criteria.

For Graduate Credit

SPCS undergraduate students may enroll in SPCS graduate level coursework for graduate credit, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • satisfactory completion (including transfer) of at least 100 semester hours of coursework toward the baccalaureate degree;
  • an overall GPA of 3.3 or above; and,
  • acceptance into a graduate certificate program as a regular student by its standard procedures.

Until students have completed a bachelor’s degree, no more than three courses may be taken for graduate credit and not more than two courses may be taken in any given semester.

Although a student who is accepted in this option may be enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses simultaneously, the undergraduate and graduate transcripts will be kept separately. Courses taken for graduate credit under this option will not apply to the bachelor’s degree.

Note: Specific programs of the School may require additional criteria.

Repeated Courses

Coursework may not be repeated for credit toward graduation except as sanctioned by the University; however, particular coursework may meet more than one requirement for graduation. An example of a sanctioned repeat-for-credit is the subsequent registration for a course in which the content changes from term to term such as Selected Topics (ST) or Independent Studies (IS). Also, certain courses in a major or program may have to be repeated if the grade earned the first time does not meet requirements in such a case, the credit hours will be counted only once but both grades will be calculated in the cumulative grade point average.

Courses taken on an audit basis cannot be repeated for credit unless approved by the appropriate dean.

Except in clear situations, the Office of the University Registrar should be consulted before registration to learn if a proposed repeat is sanctioned for credit or if sanction is possible.

All courses taken at the University of Richmond become a part of the permanent academic record. The grade for a course repeated at the University of Richmond becomes a part of the grade point average if the grade otherwise would be included in the computation.

Tuition will be charged on each attempt at the current rate at the time of registration.

English Course Repeat Policy

A student who fails or withdraws from the same required ENGL class twice can take only that ENGL class in the following semester. If the student is still unable to pass the class, s/he will be permitted to take only that class in subsequent semesters until s/he passes it.

Registration Holds

The following holds will prevent students from registering (students can access BannerWeb to check holds): Admissions Office, Cashier, Dean’s Office, Library, Long Distance (student Account Hold), Parking Services (Student Account Hold), Student Credit Service, Perkins Loan in Repayment, Registrar’s Office, and Student Accounts. For further information of these types of holds, contact the office from which the hold originated.

Course Administration

Course Administration

Class Attendance

Each student is expected to attend all meetings of all classes, including lectures, seminars, laboratories and drills, in which he or she is enrolled. The specific attendance policy in each course, however, is determined by the instructor of the course, subject to the section on University Holidays. The specific attendance policy for each course will be announced to the students and distributed on the course syllabus at the beginning of the course.

Faculty members will honor an official notification from the appropriate dean that a student is to be excused for participation in a University-sponsored event, such as choral performances off campus, intercollegiate athletic events, or judicial hearings at which the student must be present.

A student generally will be held responsible for all work of a class or laboratory missed during an absence. Acceptance of any excuse for an absence, other than those excused by the appropriate dean in the previous paragraph, and any provision for make-up, will be at the discretion of the instructor provided it is consistent with the announced policy for the course and with the University Holiday Schedule. Missed classes, work, tests and/or excessive absences with or without good cause may result in a poorer grade, or failure, in the course. (NOTE: Students enrolled in Business School or School of Professional and Continuing Studies courses must attend at least 75% of the class meetings regardless of the reasons for absence to be eligible to receive credit for the course.)

Generally, absences that may be excused by faculty members include accident or illness, death or serious illness of a family member, bona fide religious holiday observance, or participation in other University activities such as field trips. Students should make arrangements with their instructors as far in advance as possible to make up any missed work. Students experiencing difficulty in making reasonable arrangements for make-up work may see their dean.

Class Meetings

Class meeting times and schedule revisions are noted in the Schedule of Classes, and class locations and any corrections are noted on BannerWeb.

Seldom are classes canceled. If cancellation due to severe weather is necessary, a notice will appear on the television or be on WRVA radio encouraging students to call the University hotline at (804) 289-8760.

Grading Policies

The level of students' performance in class work and examinations is indicated by letters. A (excellent), B (good), C (average), and D (poor) indicate that the work has been passed. The foregoing grades may be accompanied by a plus (+) or minus (-) to indicate a relative position within the grade category. shows that a course was audited. S and U indicate satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance in non-academic courses or in a noncredit course. W indicates that the student withdrew from a course with a passing average. Marks indicating failure and included as such in the grade point average are F, M (withdrew from a course with a failing average), and V (failure because of excessive absences). The X indicates that the grade is not available from the instructor. The assignment of grades is the sole right and responsibility of the instructor. Grades of D are not assigned in graduate course work

I and Y mean that coursework has not been completed by the end of the term. The I, which provisionally counts as a failing grade, is given when the reasons for incomplete work are deemed unjustifiable by the instructor. The work is to be made up by the date the instructor specifies, but no later than 45 calendar days (grace period) from the last day of the term in which the I was given. If the work is not made up during the grace period, the I will be converted to F, and cannot be changed. The Y, which does not affect the grade point average, is given when the reasons for incomplete work are deemed justifiable (passing, but for medical or personal reasons the student is not able to complete the work) by the instructor, or at the end of the first term of a course that continues into a succeeding term. Y grades must be rectified by making up the incomplete work by the end of the succeeding term, unless special arrangements have been made with the instructor, or the instructor will assign an F. In the case of either an I or Y, once the make-up grade is received, it appears to the right of the make-up grade on the permanent record. In all cases, it is the student's responsibility to make arrangements for and progress toward the completion of an incomplete course.

Grades are deemed correct on the permanent record unless notification to the contrary is received by the University Registrar within three (3) months after the close of the term specified.

The assignment of grades is the sole right and responsibility of the instructor. It is recognized that each course and each student in a course has unique characteristics that the instructor alone is in the best position to evaluate; consequently, except in unusual circumstances, formal appeals to others concerning the evaluation on which a grade is based are not appropriate. Instructors establish grading criteria for their courses and prepare and submit the final course reports (using the grades defined under Grading Policies) to the University Registrar for recording.

If the student believes that an error has been made in the grade assigned, the following process will apply:

  1. The student must first contact the instructor to discuss the matter.
  2. If the issue is not resolved with the instructor, the student may contact the Program Chair to discuss the issue.
  3. If the grade is not resolved at the Program Chair level, the student then contacts the Associate Dean for Administration, who will determine if and what further action needs to be taken to decide the matter.

Transcripts

Most colleges and universities require an official transcript to consider transfer credit. Before requesting a transcript, please review the official transcript request policy on the Office of the University Registrar's website. Student records, including the academic transcript, are protected by the FERPA privacy act. Only the student may request a copy of his or her academic record. Family or friends are not permitted access to student records without the written consent of the student.

Transcripts and documents from other institutions are the property of the University of Richmond and, as such, are under the control of the Office of the Registrar. Under federal policy, a student has the right to view the documents in his or her file; the University is not required to provide (or allow the making of) copies of these documents. Transcripts submitted to the University of Richmond for admission or credit transfer become the property of the University of Richmond and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to other institutions. Requests for a paper copy or an electronic copy of an official transcript must be made in writing and may be requested in person, by mail or fax, or by scanned completed/signed copy of the request form. All requests require the student's signature before they can be processed.

Residency Requirement

Undergraduate students must complete at least 60 semester hours in residence at the University of Richmond, including the Common Seminar and any Communication Core coursework required as a result of admission pathway, to be eligible for any bachelor's degree offered by the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. The last 12 hours of coursework must be taken at the University of Richmond.

Certificates in Paralegal Studies and Information Systems require 21 semester hours. Transfer work into these certificates will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The graduate certificate in Teacher Licensure Preparation requires 35-38 hours depending on credentialing requirements.

Note: Transfer work will be accepted during the final semester of any program only with prior approval.

Time Limitations on Degree Completion

Undergraduate Study

Requirements for degree completion are based on those stated in the SPCS Catalog for the year in which a student matriculates in a specific program. A student will have a maximum of seven (7) years, or fewer if indicated by specific program requirements, to complete a degree based on those catalog requirements at the time of matriculation. Following the initial time period stated in program requirements, a student may be re-admitted to the current program, subject to re-application and approval by the program chair; however, current catalog requirements will be in effect at the time of re-admission to the program. Program chairs will have the final determination, at all times, of current courses that may be substituted for catalog requirements at the time of matriculation.

Graduate Study

All requirements for graduate degree completion must be fulfilled within five (5) years or fewer if indicated by specific program requirements of matriculation in the program. Students may submit a written request for an extension of this statute of limitations to the program chair, subject to approval by the SPCS dean or appointed representative.

Credit and Grade Point Average

The University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies, School of Law, and Graduate School of Business use the semester hour value. A semester hour is determined by a combination of factors that include contact time with a faculty member in a formal setting and expectations of independent student work through a nominal 15-week semester.

The grade point average is based on two factors:

GPA Hours

The accumulation of academic semester hours that have grades to which grade point values are assigned; and

Grade Points

Given for each semester hour's grade according to the following scale:

A+ = 4.0 A = 4.0 A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3 B = 3.0 B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3 C = 2.0 C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3 D = 1.0 D- = 0.7
F = 0.0 I = 0.0 M = 0.0
V = 0.0

Calculation

The grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of GPA hours. The grade point average is represented to two significant decimal figures and truncated, not rounded.

The accumulations and average are shown each term on the permanent academic record. Also shown is the accumulation of Earned Semester Hours. Earned hours are the academic semester hours in which the student has earned passing grades, plus semester hours of credit, if any, for accepted transfer work.

Grade Availability

Grades are due to the registrar's office from instructors as specified in the academic calendar, which is published annually by the Office of the University Registrar. They will be available to students as soon as possible after they have been received by the registrar's office. Students may access grades via the Internet by using BannerWeb. Students will need their network ID number and password. Grades are deemed correct unless notification to the contrary is received by the University Registrar within three (3) months after the close of the term specified.

If students need an official copy of their academic record, they can request a transcript through the Office of the University Registrar. All courses taken at the University of Richmond become a part of the permanent academic record.

Academic Standing

Academic Standing

Undergraduate Programs

Students are expected to achieve in the classroom and make steady academic progress. Good standing is defined as earning at least 2.0 grade points for each academic hour attempted. A student is automatically placed on Academic Warning (AW) when the student's cumulative grade point (GPA) falls below a 2.0 at the conclusion of any term of attendance: fall, spring, or summer. A student on academic warning should take active steps to improve academic performance. A student remains on AW for one term of attendance, at the end of which time the student must obtain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Failure to achieve this GPA results in the student being placed on Academic Probation.

A student is placed on Academic Probation (AP) when the student's cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 for two consecutive terms of attendance. Students on AP are expected to improve their cumulative GPA within two consecutive terms of attendance. A student who achieves a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 is removed from Academic Probation. If a student fails to meet the minimum of a 2.0 GPA, he/she will be suspended from the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Once placed on Suspension (SP), a student may reapply for admission after one full academic year from the term of suspension.

Students with a cumulative GPA of less than 1.0 after two consecutive semesters are automatically suspended from the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Once suspended, a student may reapply for admission after a minimum of one full academic year.

Graduate Programs

Maintenance of Overall Grade Point Average (GPA)

To qualify for the Master’s degree in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, a candidate must complete the curriculum satisfactorily, with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 'B' (3.0) at the time of graduation, and the completion of the curriculum requirements within five years of starting the program. Grades assigned in the program and grading standards will be the prerogative of individual departments.

Maintenance and Intervention for Satisfactory Progress

Students falling below prescribed academic standards for the program in any semester will be placed on Academic Warning, with special advising intervention from the Office of Enrollment Management & Student Services. Notification of this status will be provided to Program Chairs. Students falling below the minimum standards for the program in two or more semesters will not be permitted to continue in the program, and will be suspended. Students may appeal the suspension for failure to maintain prescribed academic standards directly to the Dean who will appoint a committee comprised of the Senior Associate Dean and two Program Chairs to review the appeal and recommend a final decision by the Dean. This appeal must be made in writing to the Dean and received within two weeks of the last day of the term of suspension. If permission is granted to continue, no more than two courses (six semester credits) may be repeated.

Application for Re-admission

Students who have been suspended from the program for failure to maintain satisfactory progress may apply for readmission after the lapse of three academic years. Applicants for readmission must meet current admission requirements and readmission is not guaranteed.

Master of Liberal Arts students who earn less than 'B-' (2.7) in two graduate courses will not be permitted to continue in the MLA program. A student who has been dropped from a MLA program must reapply if readmission is desired. Readmission would not take place before the next application/admission cycle (i.e., one semester).

Students who wish to pursue non-degree graduate study in the School may enroll in a maximum of nine (9) semester credit hours of study at the graduate level provided the following conditions are met:

  • The student must submit a completed Application for Non-degree Graduate Study.
  • The student must provide an official transcript from the regionally accredited college/university that conferred his/her baccalaureate degree prior to registering for any graduate course. This does not apply to students applying for graduate credit who are in-service educators or the general public who wish to take education courses through the professional development course offerings.
  • The student must meet all prerequisite requirements of the course/courses in which they wish to enroll.
  • The student must obtain written approval from the program chair of the respective discipline in which enrollment is desired (approval of application for non-degree graduate study).
  • The student understands that credits obtained as a non-degree seeking graduate student may or may not apply at a later time to a graduate degree program in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Graduate Course Credit

Graduate credit is allowed only for courses approved for graduate credit in which grades of 'B-' (2.7) or better are received. No credit toward graduation will be given for a SPCS graduate course in which the student earns a grade lower than 'B-' (2.7). Students enrolled in graduate programs in the School are expected to maintain at least a 'B' (3.0) average to remain in the program. A student who earns less than 'B-' (2.7) in two graduate courses will not be permitted to continue in the degree program.

Courses in Directed Research

Courses in Directed Research are intended for students who wish to further develop their skills in research. Each student accepted to participate in a Directed Research course will work directly with a full time faculty member on a research project chosen by the faculty member. It is expected that such collaborations between the student and faculty member will lead to notable conference papers, and/or jointly authored research articles. Students will be made aware when Directed Research courses are available via an e-mail announcement from their respective departments. In most cases, one student will be chosen at the undergraduate and graduate level to participate in the course each semester according to faculty availability. Students will be selected based on their writing and research skills and their potential to contribute to the research project. Once chosen to participate in this research opportunity, his/her academic advisor will assist the student in registering for the course.

To Change Degree or Major

Students wishing to change the degree and/or major into which they were originally accepted must submit the request in writing. If approved, the degree requirements will be those of the most recent catalog and an updated audit sheet will be mailed to the student with acknowledgment of the change. A meeting with the student advisor may or may not be required.

To Apply for a Minor

A student must complete the Declaration of Minor form available in the SPCS office or online. The minor will appear on the official transcript and all classes in the minor must be completed at the University of Richmond.

Evaluation

Instructors establish grading criteria for their courses and prepare and submit the final course reports (using the grades defined under Grading Policies) to the University Registrar for recording. In the event of a question about the accuracy of the recorded grade, a student should direct inquiries to the instructor and/or the Office of the University Registrar within three months of the specified semester.

Review “Grading Policies” (above) for additional information about evaluation, including procedures for addressing errors in assigned grades at end of term.

Graduation

To graduate, a student must file a degree application with the Office of the University Registrar. The University graduation ceremonies are held in May. Students planning to complete BSPS, BALA, Certificate, Graduate Certificate or Master's degree requirements in the coming May or August must file a degree application by the last Friday in October. Students planning to complete degree requirements in December should file a degree application by the first Friday in February.

Students will be notified through SpiderBytes, the University's e-communication tool, to apply for the upcoming December, May and August graduations by the deadline date. Students who plan to complete requirements in the Summer School (for undergraduate students no more than 6 hours) participate in the May ceremony as prospective August graduates.

Degree applications are available online via BannerWeb at specified times or on the Registrar’s website.

Note: Transfer work will be accepted during the semester prior to graduation only with prior approval. CLEP examinations are considered transfer credits.

Graduation Attendance Policy

Students are required to attend the commencement ceremony for the award of the degree in person except by decision of the University not to do so. A student who expects to have a degree awarded at the spring commencement may request absentia status from the graduation ceremony by explaining in writing the circumstance that prevents participation. Students who have a degree application on file and anticipate summer completion of degree requirements are also expected to participate in the spring graduation ceremony. December School of Professional and Continuing Studies degree candidates are expected to participate in the graduation ceremony the May following degree completion. If a winter or summer degree candidate does not intend to participate in the ceremony a written statement requesting absentia must be submitted. The request should be addressed to the University Registrar and should be received no later than eight working days before the ceremony. The University Registrar will notify the degree candidate of the status granted by the University. Unless approved as absentia, a candidate for graduation who does not participate in the commencement ceremony does not graduate. Such candidate may graduate by again filing a degree application and by following the appropriate graduation attendance policy.

August degrees are conferred as of the date specified in the academic calendar, and diplomas are mailed to those qualified. December degrees are conferred as of the date specified in the academic calendar. Diplomas for December graduates are mailed to students who have previously participated in the commencement ceremony. Those who will be participating in a future ceremony will receive their diploma at that time.

Note: No degree is conferred if the student's responsibilities to the University have not been met. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, such matters as the payment of fees, parking fines and library fines, and the return of library books.

Degree With Honors (Latin Honors)

General academic honors of three ranks are awarded only to graduates receiving baccalaureate degrees on the basis of their cumulative grade point average of work completed at the University of Richmond.

  • Cum Laude: 3.20-3.49
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.50-3.79
  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.80-4.00

Withdrawal from the University

Students who plan to withdraw from the University of Richmond must submit an official withdrawal letter to their Dean. The Dean’s Office will notify the appropriate offices of the student’s withdrawal from the University of Richmond including the actual withdrawal date.

Higher Education Opportunity Act

Higher Ed Opportunity Act (HEOA)

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires that institutions offering distance education or correspondence courses or programs have processes in place to ensure that the student registering for a course is the same student who participates in the course or receives course credit. The Act requires that institutions use one of the following three methods:

  • A secure login and pass code
  • Proctored examinations
  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification

Secure Login and Pass Code

The University of Richmond (UR) meets these requirements by assigning a secure login and pass code to each student. All students registering for a course through our administrative system are assigned unique identification numbers, which correspond with a specific username for each student. These usernames or accounts use the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to authenticate each user. Each student establishes his or her own password using the Strong Password Policy. As part of this policy, all students are required to change their password once each semester.

In addition, the UR email policy requires all faculty communication with students regarding UR business be conducted via the official UR email account, which also requires a secure login. Review the electronic mail policies.

Visit these pages for additional details: Information Services Policies, Official University Communications and the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Off-Campus

Off-Campus Locations

Weekend College

  • Fredericksburg: Germanna Community College, 10000 Germanna Point Drive, Fredericksburg, Va. 22408
  • Southside Virginia: Danville Community College, 1008 South Main Street, Danville, Va. 24541

Contact Us

Special Programs Building
28 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173
Phone: (804) 289-8133
Fax: (804) 289-8138
spcs@richmond.edu

Monday-Friday: 8:30am–5pm
Closed for University holidays