2016-2017 Academic Bulletin 
    Apr 22, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Resources, Regulations, and Policies


Academic Resources—The Learning Commons

The Maytum Learning Commons, located in Pelletier Library, houses academic support and advising services to create a “one-stop shop” for all students. It is dedicated to helping students thrive at all stages of their college careers.

The Learning Commons’ professional staff consult individually with students on study strategies such as time management, effective reading, and test taking; facilitate summer entrance advising; support the academic advising program with four-year course planning and help declaring a major/minor; and arrange accommodations for students with disabilities. Trained peer consultants assist students with writing, public speaking, and study in a variety of academic subjects.

For more information about the Learning Commons, to pick up a tutoring schedule, or to make an appointment, stop by in person, call 814-332-2898, or visit the Learning Commons Website: http://sites.allegheny.edu/learningcommons/.

Academic Regulations and Policies

The Semester Calendar

Allegheny divides the academic year into two semesters of 15 weeks each. A month-long break, beginning in late December, separates the semesters. Vacations occur during October, over Thanksgiving, and in March.

During semesters, classes typically meet two or three times per week for periods of 75 or 50 minutes, respectively. Associated laboratories are usually scheduled separately, although they may be scheduled at the regular class time if appropriate. Prior to registration, information about class times and examination periods for all courses to be offered is made available electronically to all students via WebAdvisor.

The Credit System

Most courses receive four semester credit hours, and, for a student enrolled for the usual full-time courseload of 16 credits, four-credit courses are designed to require no more than one-fourth of the time devoted by the student to academics. Some courses may receive one, two, or three semester credit hours.

Course Load

The usual academic load is 16 semester credit hours in each semester and 32 semester hours for the academic year. Students may take up to 20 semester hours per semester without special permission.

Class Standing

A student is considered to be a first-year student from the date of matriculation until the semester following completion of the 28th semester hour, when the student becomes a sophomore. A student becomes a junior in the semester following completion of the 60th semester hour, and a senior in the semester following completion of the 92nd semester hour.

Final Examinations

The schedule of final examinations for the ensuing academic year is published in advance by the Registrar at: http://sites.allegheny.edu/registrar/academic-calendars/. All students are expected to take their final examinations during the officially scheduled period. Students are required to arrange their travel and vacation plans to allow them to be present for all of their scheduled exams. Requests for changes in examination times should only be made in the following situations:

  1. The student has three exams scheduled for the same day;
  2. The student has a documented disability for which the appropriate accommodation necessitates a change in exam time;
  3. Under extraordinary extenuating circumstances.

Students with a documented disability are encouraged to discuss any accommodations to which they are entitled with the course instructor early in the semester. If the need arises to request taking the final examination at a time other than that indicated in the Academic Schedule, students must receive approval from the course instructor and the chairperson of the department in which the student is requesting the time exception. Special examinations shall only be given after careful consideration of the circumstances presented by the student. All requests for exam changes should be made prior to the last week of classes. Requests for exam changes after this date shall only be considered in cases of unforeseen personal or family emergencies.

Grading System

Student grades are reported on either a letter-grade basis or a Credit/No Credit basis:

Letter Grades
  A 4.00 grade points - Excellent
  A- 3.70 grade points
  B + 3.30 grade points
  B 3.00 grade points - Good
  B - 2.70 grade points
  C + 2.30 grade points
  C 2.00 grade points - Fair
  C- 1.70 grade points
  D + 1.30 grade points
  D 1.00 grade points - Passing
  F 0.00 grade points - Failure
  W Withdrawal from a course under extenuating circumstances
  X Student-initiated withdrawal from a course
Credit/No Credit
  CR Credit
  NC No Credit

The following notations are also used in reporting student work:

  GP Grade Pending
  L Leave of Absence granted during the semester
  IN Incomplete
  WC Withdrawal from the College during semester

Grade Changes

By Faculty vote, changes in course grades are allowed only in the case of a demonstrable mathematical error in the compilation or recording of a grade. All such grade changes must be approved by the Provost.

Credit (“CR”)/No Credit (“NC”)

Students may take up to four credit hours per semester on the Credit/No Credit basis, but may not present for graduation more than 16 credit hours of their coursework on this basis.

If students wish to take a course on the Credit/No Credit basis, they must obtain their advisor’s approval and submit a signed CR/NC card to the Registrar’s Office by the end of the second week of classes for 14-week courses or, for seven-week courses only, by the end of the second week of the module. Students are cautioned that some courses may not be taken using this option. Courses not eligible for the Credit/No Credit system are so indicated in their course descriptions.

Credit, “CR,” will be awarded for course performance equivalent to, or higher than, a passing letter grade, “D.” No credit, “NC,” will be awarded for course performance equivalent to a failing letter grade,”F.”

Grades of Incomplete

Faculty stipulate grades of Incomplete (“IN”) when they believe that extenuating circumstances preclude completion of the work on time by the student. The student is responsible for providing evidence for the extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the faculty member, who has sole authority to grant the Incomplete. Incompletes are awarded with the expectation that the work will be completed by the student in a timely fashion. When instructors submit a grade of Incomplete, they must also submit the grade that will be awarded should no further work be submitted by the student. The instructor should formulate a plan for timely completion of the incomplete work, and this plan should be addressed in the Academic Performance Report the instructor submits explaining the Incomplete grade and specifying a tentative grade.

Examples of circumstances in which an Incomplete is appropriate include, but are not limited to, serious illnesses or injuries that preclude a student from finishing work for a course; cases where the course grade depends on the outcome of an Honor Code hearing; or death of an immediate family member. An Incomplete should not be assigned when a student simply fails to turn in a final exam or project, nor when there is little likelihood that the student will be able to make up a large quantity of incomplete work (due, for example, to prolonged illness); in the latter case a Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances may be more appropriate (see “Withdrawing From a Course ”).

After appropriate consultation with the student, the instructor will determine the date by which incomplete work must be completed. In all cases, the work must be completed no later than 30 days after the first day of classes of the semester or summer session in which the student is next registered. Students who have an “IN,” but do not register in a subsequent semester or summer session, must complete the work within 12 months. Extensions to these deadlines may only be granted by the Provost or designee. If no information is provided by the instructor by the end of the 12 months, the grade that was originally submitted at the time the “IN” was assigned is posted to the transcript.

When the instructor submits the completed grade to the Registrar, this completed grade is posted to the transcript and calculated into the grade point average for the semester in which the student was registered for the course. If no completed grade or other communication is received by the Registrar from the faculty member, the grade that was originally submitted at the time the “IN” was assigned is posted to the transcript and calculated into the grade point average.

Repeated Courses

With the exception of the First-Year/Sophomore Seminars, students may repeat courses at Allegheny, provided the courses are offered again. Whenever a student repeats a course, the academic record and transcript will reflect all course enrollments and the grade earned for each enrollment. From the time of completion of a repeated course forward, only the credit and grade for the most recent attempt will be counted in computing grade point averages. (However, for those courses that can be repeated for credit—for example, music ensembles—the credits and grades for each enrollment are included in computing the academic average). If a student withdraws from a repeated course, the academic record and transcript will include the withdrawal, and the grade previously earned will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages. Students may repeat a course initially taken on the graded basis for Credit/No Credit; however, Credit (“CR”) must be earned or the grade previously awarded will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages. In the event a student receives a grade of Incomplete (“IN”) for a repeated course, the grade previously earned will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages until such time as the student completes the coursework and a final grade has been submitted.