Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures
Academic Degrees and Programs
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs prepare students for fields of endeavor related to the chosen areas of study and for graduate school. Some of the degree programs prepare students for secondary, middle school or PreK-12 specialist teaching.
The decision as to whether to award the degree of Bachelor of Arts or the degree of Bachelor of Science shall be consistent with the standards in the student's major field as determined by the major department.
In cases where students with double or dual majors are eligible for a BA, BS and/or BSE degree, the student will select a primary major which will determine the degree to be awarded.
Students are advised to consult with their department chairperson or major advisor early in their academic career, but no later than the end of the sophomore year, in order to be certain that course selection will allow graduation with the desired degree.
Bachelor of Science in Education
All candidates for Massachusetts Educator Licensure are advised to check with their individual education departments or the College of Education and Health Sciences regarding proposed regulations changes that may have an impact on their licensure program.
All undergraduate and graduate students seeking licensure must consult the Educator Preparation and Licensure Policies and Procedures section of this catalog for important licensure information including institutional deadlines.
The Bachelor of Science in Education is offered in the following areas:
Early Childhood Education
In cases where students with double or dual majors are eligible for a BA, BS and/or BSE degree, the student will select which major department will make the decision regarding the degree to be awarded.
Students must meet all requirements of the major as specified under the departmental listings. A minimum of 30 credits and a maximum of 36 credits within the major may be required by a department. The 30 to 36 credits reflect all courses taken in the major department, including those that are listed under the distribution of Core Curriculum Requirements. At least one-half of the required courses in the major field (excluding cognate requirements) must be successfully completed at this university. A minimum 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation. The major GPA includes all courses completed in the major field (excluding cognate requirements, unless otherwise specified). Students should select a major by the end of the sophomore year.
In order to graduate with a double major, students must meet all requirements of both majors. Completion of the double major will be reflected on the finalized transcript. The student's primary major will determine the degree to be awarded, and the diploma that will be issued.
Students who wish to be elementary, early childhood, secondary or special education teachers are required to select a major in elementary, early childhood, secondary or special education and a major in the liberal arts or sciences. Consult the Educator Preparation and Licensure Policies and Procedures section of this catalog for further information.
A concentration is a unified set of courses usually composed of core requirements and of those additional course requirements particular to the chosen area of concentration. The total number of core and particular requirements must be at least 24 but not more than 36 credit hours. Cognate courses (required courses outside the major department) are not counted as part of the 36 hours. Only students selecting the major field of study may complete a concentration within that major. The concentration is noted on the transcript.
A minor is a unified set of courses chosen outside of the major field of study requiring not less than 18 nor more than 21 hours. The minor is recorded on the student's transcript. Minors may include courses from only one department or may be interdisciplinary. Students may use courses that satisfy Core Curriculum Requirements or departmental requirements to fulfill interdisciplinary minor requirements unless otherwise prohibited. At least one half of the courses required for the minor must be successfully completed through Bridgewater State University. Students must achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative average in declared minors. The minor GPA includes all courses required for completion of the minor regardless of the department in which the courses are offered. Specific requirements for a minor are found under the departmental descriptions.
All candidates for Massachusetts Educator Licensure are advised to check with their individual education departments or the College of Education and Health Sciences regarding proposed regulations changes which may have an impact on their licensure program.
All students seeking licensure must consult the Educator Preparation and Licensure Policies and Procedures section of this catalog for important information including institutional deadlines.
Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and truth. In this pursuit, academic honesty is of fundamental importance. Bridgewater State University faculty, students, administrators and staff all have a responsibility to demonstrate and safeguard academic integrity as one of the university's most essential institutional values.
When students, faculty, administrators and staff follow and support academic integrity values, teaching and learning can proceed in an environment of trust and respect. When such standards are violated, teaching and learning are impaired. Therefore, the best interests of the university community require that cases of alleged violations of academic integrity be addressed seriously and equitably.
Students are admitted to Bridgewater State University with the expectation that they will accept and abide by the standards of conduct and scholarship established by the faculty, administration and student governing boards. The university reserves the right to require students to withdraw who do not maintain acceptable academic standing. The university also reserves the right to dismiss, with due process, students who do not meet the requirements of conduct and order or whose behavior is inconsistent with the standards of the university.
The full policy and process may be found here.
Classroom Conduct Policy
Because all students and faculty at Bridgewater State University are entitled to a positive and constructive teaching and learning environment, Bridgewater State University students are prohibited from engaging in behavior or activity that causes the disruption of teaching, learning, research or other academic activities necessary for the fulfillment of the university mission.
If disruptive behavior occurs, whether in the classroom or another academic environment, a faculty member has the right to remove the student from the classroom setting. Examples of potentially disruptive behavior may include, but are not limited to, using derogatory, vulgar and insulting language directed at an individual or group, unsolicited talking in class, sleeping in class, using or activating mobile technology, arriving at or leaving the classroom while class is in session, and/or failing to comply with the legitimate request of a university faculty member.
If a student exhibits disruptive behavior, the faculty member may ask the student to stop the behavior. If the student does not comply with the professor's request, they will be asked to leave and the professor will indicate the expected appropriate conduct to be able to return to class. If the student agrees to the faculty member's instructions and returns to class but subsequently continues to engage in disruptive behavior during future class sessions, the faculty member will forward written documentation of the student's behavior to the respective department chairperson, who will meet with the student to review the matter and determine an appropriate course of action. While the courses of action will vary, they may include referral to advising or counseling, reduction in grade, or withdrawal from the course.
If the student does not comply with the course of action and continues to engage in disruptive behavior, the student may be withdrawn from the course after a review conducted by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. This action may have implications for the student's full-time status, financial aid, health insurance and resident status.
Students who exhibit behavior that immediately endangers or seriously disrupts the establishment or maintenance of an appropriate learning environment in the classroom are subject to an immediate review by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. If, at any time, faculty or students feel threatened, they should call Campus Police from a classroom phone at extension 1212 or from their cell phone at 508.531.1212.
In all cases involving an individual with a disability, including mental disabilities, this policy will operate to make determinations based upon an individual's behavior rather than upon the individual's status of having a disability. Students have a personal obligation to obtain medical care for conditions that may affect their conduct, and to take any related medications as prescribed by their physicians. Under applicable disability laws, students with disabilities are responsible for their disruptive conduct.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs will act as the sole and final appeal for any decisions made by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
The student may also be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Make-up Tests and Examinations
The procedure for making up an examination held during the semester is determined by the individual instructor or the department. If a student misses an examination, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor immediately so that alternative arrangements may be made.
The privilege of making up a final examination will be granted only when the cause has been the serious illness of the student or a member of their immediate family. All such excuses must be documented by a medical doctor and submitted to the instructor of the course.
In order for a degree-seeking or non-degree student to maintain good academic standing at Bridgewater State University, their cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) must remain above 2.0.
Students should review the chart below to determine if their GPA will result in an academic warning, probation, or separation from the university:
|Earned Credit Hours||Academic Warning||Probation GPA||Separation Below This GPA|
|90 and above||must maintain 2.00 or better||-||2.00|
In order for a first semester transfer student to avoid separation from the university, their cumulative GPA must remain at 1.5 or above. After the first semester, a transfer student follows the table above.
Students on academic probation are limited to 13 credits during the semester they are on probation. In addition, academic probation may involve 1) an adjustment in the student's academic load, 2) frequent interviews between the student and advisor for the analysis of difficulties and for checking the student's progress, 3) a stipulation that certain courses be taken to improve the student's academic performance, 4) restrictions on the student's extracurricular activities, and 5) other such precautions as are deemed advisable.
Students who have been academically dismissed from the university may not take courses at the university (day or evening) for at least one academic semester. After this time period, students may apply for readmission through the Office of Admission. Although not required, it is recommended that readmission applicants give evidence of at least one semester of academic work with a 2.5 GPA or higher at some other institution of higher learning. Students who have previously completed courses at a college or university are reminded that course work taken elsewhere will not necessarily be accepted as transfer credit. Additionally, of the 90 total credits that may be accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University and applied to the baccalaureate degree, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions.
An undergraduate degree-seeking student who is academically dismissed more than once is eligible to apply for readmission after at least one year. If readmitted, the student is placed on academic probation, must achieve the minimum required GPA for the number of earned credits in order to continue and must participate in the Summit program offered by the Academic Achievement Center.
The grade point average of the student will resume after readmission. Students who have left the university for a minimum of three years may be given special consideration upon written appeal to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
NOTE: Academic readmission or reinstatement to the university does not guarantee renewed financial aid eligibility. The student must contact the Financial Aid Office to be considered for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students should note that many financial assistance programs require participants to make satisfactory academic progress in order to remain eligible. See the Financial Aid section of this catalog for further information concerning satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.
One of the cornerstones of BSU's educational mission is the promotion of student engagement with faculty to improve the quality, depth and breadth of learning. Regular communication between students and faculty is crucial to achieving that goal.
Students are responsible for satisfactory attendance in each course for which they are registered. Satisfactory attendance shall be determined by the instructor within the context of this policy statement. The approval of excused absences and the assignment of make-up work are the prerogative of the course instructor. The university's health service does not make judgments about whether a student can attend class except in rare cases when attendance would be harmful to the student's health or the health of others. In general, students will be excused without penalty for reasons such as illness, participation in official university events, personal emergencies and religious holidays. Students should consult with faculty members in advance of any absence whenever feasible.
NOTE: If a student fails to attend the first three class hours of a course, the instructor has the option of dropping the student from the course.
Class or Work Absence for Religious Observances
Bridgewater State University requires that faculty and staff excuse any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement because of religious observance. This requirement comes from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151C, Section 2B which states:
"Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which they may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section."
Faculty can ascertain the dates of many religious holidays by consulting an interfaith calendar when planning their course syllabi. Such information is available to students as well and may be found at www.interfaith-calendar.org or at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Interfaith Calendar website.
It should be noted that these calendars are not exhaustive.
Students are required to notify instructors in advance that they will miss class in order to observe a religious holiday. They must do so in writing as early in the semester as possible, but no later than one week in advance of the absence, with the exception of holidays falling during the first week of the academic year. Students must also coordinate with their faculty on how to receive the critical information that is shared in the missed class (e.g., go to the faculty's next office hours to discuss what happened, arranging to get notes from a classmate).
Faculty must accept a student's assertion of the need to be absent from class for religious reasons. Massachusetts state law requires faculty to offer make-up assignments or exams that are held on religious holidays to any student who is absent for religious observance.
In the event of a dispute between an undergraduate student and a faculty member about the attendance policy, either party should contact the appropriate department chairperson. If the issue cannot be resolved by the department chairperson, either party should consult with the appropriate dean.
In the event of a dispute between a graduate student and a faculty member about the attendance policy, either party should follow the established Graduate Appeals process.
Attendance and Census Process
Additionally, per federal government guidelines (34 CFR 668.22), the University tracks and reports students who have stopped attending class and who have not officially withdrawn. In doing so, the last date of attendance or participation, as reported by the instructor, will be used as the course withdrawal date, and a registration status of "WA" (withdrawn due to lack of attendance) will be applied to a student's record. Students are notified in writing of this change in their registration status and have an opportunity to correct it, if it is an error, or to officially withdraw from the class. It is important to note that the "WA" status can be changed to a letter grade, including "F", by the instructor. To ensure an official withdrawal ("W") status, students must formally withdraw from courses or the University in accordance with university policy.
Students are expected to take responsibility and officially withdraw from any course which they do not plan to complete. Refunds are determined by the length of the course and the date of withdrawal; please visit the Student Accounts website for the refund schedule. Students should meet with a representative from the Students Accounts office to determine if any refund is available.
Students who believe they are ready to receive their degree from Bridgewater State University are required to complete a formal degree application, available in the Registrar's Office. Each student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements and for ensuring that the Registrar's Office has received all credentials.
Bridgewater State University holds an annual commencement ceremony in May. However, BSU confers degrees three times during the year, in August, December and May. Students who complete their degree in August and December are invited to attend the following May commencement ceremony.
Recommended degree application deadlines are listed below:
April 15 for summer/August degree completion
August 1 for fall/December degree completion
December 20 for spring/May degree completion
Curricula leading to baccalaureate degrees are so planned that a student carrying 15 credit hours each semester will ordinarily be able to complete the requirements for graduation in four years or eight semesters.
Degrees will be awarded to candidates who have fulfilled the following:
- Submission of a degree application by the student to the Registrar's Office prior to the end of the graduation review for that semester/term (see recommended deadlines listed above).
- A minimum of 120 earned degree credits, completion of all degree requirements, and resolution of any incomplete grade(s).
- Satisfactory completion of all requirements for a bachelor's degree must be under a catalog in effect within eight years of the date of graduation. The catalog used, however, may be no earlier than the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation or, in the case of a change of major, concentration or minor, no earlier than the catalog in effect when the major, concentration or minor was formally declared. (Note: This policy does not apply to students enrolled in programs governed by state and/or federal regulations where current academic requirements may need to be met. Students should check with their departments where applicable.)
- Completion of the residency requirements which mandate that the following must be completed at Bridgewater State University:
- minimum of 30 credit hours as a degree-seeking student;
- minimum of one half of the courses in the major department (excluding cognates);
- minimum of one half of all courses required in the minor; and
- minimum of 15 credit hours of the final 30 credit hours of a student's degree program.
- Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements:
- minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (or higher if required by the major at Bridgewater State University);
- minimum major GPA of 2.0 (or higher, if required in the student's major(s) requirements taken through Bridgewater State University). Major GPA includes all courses completed in the major field (excluding cognate requirements), unless otherwise specified by the individual department.
- minimum minor GPA (if enrolled in a minor) of 2.0 (or higher, if required in the student's minor requirements taken through Bridgewater State University). Minor GPA includes all courses required for completion of the minor, regardless of the department in which the courses are offered.
a. The credit earned in an introductory college skills course may not be used to satisfy the Core Curriculum Requirements nor may it be applied toward the minimum number of credits required for graduation in any major.
b. 90 credits may be accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University and applied to the baccalaureate degree; however, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions. Any course taken at another accredited institution after admission to Bridgewater State University must have departmental preapproval. A student must complete a Request for the Transfer of Undergraduate Credit Taken After Admission form for each course in advance of enrollment in the course.
c. One diploma will be issued to students, and one degree earned, regardless of the number of major programs completed. Students with double majors will be awarded the degree (BA, BS or BSE) based on their primary major. The diploma will indicate the degree earned, and honors awarded based on the students' final grade point average. The degree earned, honors awarded and all majors and minors completed will be listed on the student's academic transcript. Please note: students will not receive their diplomas or transcripts until all financial debts to the university have been paid.
Conferral of a degree occurs when the Registrar's Office finalizes the student's academic record and confirms that all requirements have been satisfied, including all financial obligations. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not constitute conferral of the degree. Similarly, inclusion of a student's name in such publications as the commencement program does not confirm eligibility for the degree.
Graduation Requirements – Second Degree Program
Upon admission to a second undergraduate degree program (see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog), students will meet with an advisor from the major department to plan a course of study based on the current requirements of that major. That course of study must be approved by the chairperson of the department and forwarded to the Registrar's Office. Any changes in that course of study must also have the approval of the advisor and the chairperson and be forwarded to the Registrar's Office. If a student does not complete the course of study within four years of admission, the department may require the student to change their catalog year to reflect changes in major requirements. (Note: This time period does not apply to students enrolled in programs governed by state and/or federal regulations where current academic requirements may need to be met. Students should check with their departments where applicable.)
The graduation requirements for a second degree are as follows:
- The completion of a minimum of 30 credits through Bridgewater State University, as a degree-seeking student, beyond the first degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (or higher if required by the major department).
- The completion of at least one half of the required courses in the second degree major (excluding cognate requirements) through Bridgewater State University. The remainder of the major requirements may be satisfied by transfer credits from another accredited institution.
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (or higher if required by the major department) in the student's major requirements taken through Bridgewater State University. Major GPA includes all courses completed in the major field (excluding cognate requirements), unless otherwise specified by the individual department. Minor GPA includes all courses required for completion of the minor, regardless of the department in which the courses are offered.
- The completion of all requirements for the major.
The Bridgewater State University Core Curriculum Requirements are satisfied by the student's first bachelor's degree, whether that degree was earned through Bridgewater State University or another accredited institution. Each student, however, must fulfill the state-mandated requirement in United States and Massachusetts Constitutions.
Both cumulative GPA and major GPA for the second degree will be based on all grades received through Bridgewater State University, and all undergraduate courses will appear on one continuous academic record. A student must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in order to remain in good academic standing at the university and continue in the program. Upon completion of the second degree, students will be eligible to attend commencement and graduate with honors based on the cumulative GPA for all undergraduate-level work attempted through Bridgewater State University.
Graduation With Honors
Academic excellence for the baccalaureate program is recognized by awarding degrees summa cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher), magna cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.6 to 3.79), and cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.3 to 3.59). The cumulative GPA determined for honors is based on all university-level work attempted through Bridgewater State University.
The Commencement Program is printed prior to grades being submitted for the student's final semester; therefore, the Registrar's Office must print the honors designation that a student has earned up to the time of publication. The student's diploma and finalized transcript, however, will reflect the official honors designation based upon the student's final grade point average.
For additional information concerning graduation visit www.bridgew.edu/graduation.
An undergraduate academic credit hour is equivalent to one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks of each semester. Therefore, a three-credit class has an expectation of approximately three hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of six hours of out-of-class student work over that same time period. An equivalent amount of engagement is required for laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, web-based courses and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. For purposes of this definition, "one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction" traditionally equals 50 minutes.
The university uses the letter-grade system to indicate the student's relative performance: A (Superior); B (Good); C (Satisfactory); D (Poor); F (Failure). Grades in the A, B, C, and D ranges may include a designation of plus or minus. In computing averages, grades are assigned the numerical values in the chart below. Grades for all courses (day and evening) at Bridgewater State University become a part of the student's record and are used in computing the GPA.
Audit (AU) – AU indicates a student completed a course on an audit basis. The grade will appear on the transcript with no credit value, but the course will not be applied to degree or graduation requirements.
Pass/No Pass (P/N) – Certain courses such as internships and practica may be offered on a Pass/No Pass basis. The grade and the associated credit will appear on the transcript, but the grade will not factor into the GPA.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) – Courses whose credits cannot be used toward degree credits earned are assigned grades of "S" or "U".
Withdrawn (W) – Students who officially withdraw from a course are assigned a grade of "W". A symbol of "WA" may be given to any student who ceases attending a course without withdrawing between the end of the drop/add period and the end of the withdrawal period.
Each course accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University will show one of the following transfer symbols on all academic documents. No numeric value will be assigned, and the student's BSU GPA will not be affected.
TA, TA-, TB+, TB, TB-, TC+, TC, TC-, TD+, TD, TD-, TR
Change of Grade
If a student believes that a mistake was made in the original grade recorded for a course, the student may petition the instructor for a change of grade no later than the last day of final exams in the academic semester following that in which the grade was recorded. A change of grade will not be considered after this time.
The dean's list is published at the end of each semester to honor the academic achievement of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students. A 3.3 GPA for the semester is required with a minimum of 12 credits earned and no grades of "incomplete" (IN/INC/IN.).
Grade Point Average (GPA)
The GPA indicates the student's overall academic average. It is calculated on both a semester and a cumulative basis. The GPA is calculated by multiplying the grade numerical value received in each course by the number of credit hours per course. These totals are combined, and the result is divided by the total number of credit hours carried. At Bridgewater State University, the GPA is rounded to the third decimal.
An incomplete (IN/INC/IN.) may be given at the discretion of the instructor. The time by which missing work must be completed, both in graduate and undergraduate courses, is also at the discretion of the instructor; however, this time period may not extend beyond the last day of classes of the academic semester following that in which the incomplete was earned. If a course is not successfully completed by this deadline, the incomplete will automatically be changed to a grade of "F" (Failure), "N" (No Pass), or "U" (Unsatisfactory).
Any course with an incomplete (IN/INC/IN.) grade must be resolved prior to graduation and degree conferral.
Mid-Semester Warning Notices
Faculty may elect to send mid-semester warning notices to undergraduate students who are receiving less than a "C-" (1.7) average in any course at that time. It is the student's responsibility to meet with their advisor and the instructor of any course in which a warning is received. Since mid-semester warning notices are not issued by all instructors, students who do not receive notification are cautioned not to presume that they are maintaining a grade of "C-" or better.
Credit cannot be awarded more than once for the same course, whether earned through BSU or in transfer. Credit also may not be awarded more than once for courses which are seen as equivalents to each other, in content or in outcomes. For example, credit may not be awarded for more than one first year seminar (_ _ _ _199) or more than one second year seminar ( _ _ _ _298 or _ _ _ _299) regardless of topic. All exceptions (e.g., Internships) are marked in the catalog as "repeatable for credit."
An undergraduate student may choose to repeat a course through BSU. The repeated grade will replace the prior grade in the student's GPA regardless of which grade is higher. Although both courses and grades will appear on the student's transcript, credit for the course will be awarded only once as outlined above. Only courses taken through Bridgewater State University and repeated through Bridgewater State University will be eligible for use under this policy.
Please note that a student's Honors designation is finalized at the time of degree completion. If a student repeats a course after having graduated, the GPA may change, but the Honors designation is not adjusted.
NOTE: Repeating courses taken in a previous semester may affect certain federal and state benefits, various financial aid programs, loans, scholarships and social security benefits, in addition to athletic eligibility and veteran's benefits. Students should meet with a representative from the appropriate office for additional information.
A hold may be placed on a student record for a variety of reasons: incomplete submission of required documents, outstanding balance, etc. The hold may prohibit registration, viewing grades, obtaining transcripts or receiving a diploma, depending on the type of hold. Students may view the type of hold on their account by logging into InfoBear, clicking on the Student Records link under the Student tab, and then then clicking on View Holds.
Bridgewater State University places a high value on documenting the progression of students' learning through institutional assessment activities. After approval from the Institutional Review Board for individual assessment projects, student work may be randomly selected for program assessment purposes. The identity of individual students and faculty will be removed from all materials. Inclusion of student work for institutional assessment will have no impact on a student's class standing or academic progress. Both student and faculty privacy will be protected to the extent required by law. For more information about assessment at Bridgewater State University, please visit the Office of Assessment's intranet site.
Reinstatement: Required of all previously enrolled undergraduate students seeking to re-enroll at Bridgewater State University who have not been enrolled at the university for one full academic year (3 consecutive terms, including the summer session).
Readmission: Undergraduate students who have been separated because of academic or disciplinary reasons from the institution must apply for readmission through Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Reinstatement and/or readmission to the university is not guaranteed. Reinstatement and/or readmission is subject to the following criteria:
- If the university has effected changes to a student's educational program during a break in enrollment, a student will be held to completing the new requirements. If the break in enrollment exceeds seven years, the student's program of study may follow the catalog requirements applicable to current academic year.
- Readmission or reinstatement may be subject to space availability.
- Readmission or reinstatement may be subject to current admission requirements.
- On-campus housing is not offered to reinstated or readmitted students under all circumstances. Students seeking on-campus housing may add their name to the residence hall waiting list but will only be considered if space becomes available.
- Please note that if a student withdraws with pending disciplinary charges of any kind, the student will be subject to the provisions of the applicable university policy, procedure or code.
- Students who are seeking to enroll at the university following:
a. A university withdrawal pursuant to the Undergraduate Withdrawal Policy for a period:
1) More than or equal to one full academic year (three consecutive terms, including the summer session) must apply for reinstatement by filing a Reinstatement Application through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Additionally, students must meet with their academic advisor to discuss degree completion and course options. For additional support and resources, please contact the Academic Achievement Center.
2) A medical withdrawal, late withdrawal, or involuntary withdrawal must complete the steps set forth in the Withdrawal Policy.
b. A period of non-enrollment:
1) More than or equal to one full academic year (three consecutive terms, including the summer session) must apply for reinstatement by filing a Reinstatement Application through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Additionally, students must meet with their academic advisor to discuss degree completion and course options. For additional support and resources, please contact the Academic Achievement Center.
c. An academic separation must (i) file with the Office of Admission an Application for Readmission, an official transcript from all institutions attended (if any) since the date of last attendance at BSU and a personal statement explaining the circumstances of separation by the published deadlines and (ii) meet the requirements outlined in the separation or dismissal letter by the Academic Standards Committee before being considered for readmission. See also, Academic Dismissal.
d. A Community Standards, Office of Equal Opportunity or Academic Integrity Policy suspension must (i) file with the Office of Admission an Application for Readmission, an official transcript from all institutions attended (if any) since the date of last attendance at BSU and a personal statement explaining the circumstances of separation by the published deadlines and (ii) comply with the terms of their suspension. There is no readmission following a Community Standards, Office of Equal Opportunity, or Academic Integrity Policy expulsion.
Upon readmission/reinstatement, transfer credit, if applicable, will be awarded according to the university's established Transfer Credit Policy. The grade point average achieved at BSU upon separation will be resumed as grades achieved at other institutions are not included when calculating a student's BSU grade point average.
Readmission or reinstatement to the university does not guarantee renewed financial aid eligibility. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to be considered for financial aid.
Auditing a Course
A student may audit a course to gain knowledge in a particular subject area without earning credit or a grade. Students auditing a course attend and participate in classes; however, they are exempt from examinations. A student may audit a course with the approval of their advisor or department chairperson and consent of the instructor. Additionally, the following guidelines apply:
- A student is subject to conditions established by the department and/or instructor for the audited course.
- A student registering for credit has course enrollment preference over an auditing student. Therefore, a student must register for audit only during the drop/add period by submitting forms provided by the Registrar's Office. A student's status as an auditor in a course cannot be changed.
- A student may register for one audit course per semester. Exception may be granted by petition to the appropriate college dean.
- A student receives no credit for an audited course. The student's academic record will reflect the course enrollment with the notation "AU".
- A student will be charged the same tuition and fees for an audited course as for a course taken for credit.
Change/Declaration of Concentration
To declare a concentration, students must complete a Program of Study Declaration form which is available in the Academic Achievement Center, the Registrar's Office, or on either department's website. Students may change their concentration at any time.
Change/Declaration of Major for First-Year Students
All first-year students must formally declare a major or choose the status of an undeclared major. The undeclared student should select a major by the end of the sophomore year. First-year students may change their area of interest by obtaining the necessary form from the Academic Achievement Center. First-year students are advised to meet with their assigned advisor to discuss their interest in changing their major prior to submitting a new Program of Study Declaration form. Although early childhood, elementary education, secondary education and special education majors may not be formally admitted into the teacher education program until the second semester of the sophomore year, they must confirm their continued interest in these majors by the same process used by the other first-year students for declaration of majors. In addition to their education program, students must also elect a major in the liberal arts.
Change of Major for Upperclassmen
Students may change majors at any time by obtaining the Program of Study Declaration form, which is available in the Academic Achievement Center, the Registrar's Office, or on either department's website. Students must secure the signatures of the department chairpersons involved, and file the completed form with the Registrar's Office.
Change/Declaration of Minor
In order to be enrolled in any minor offered by the university, a student must declare the intended minor on the Program of Study Declaration form available in the Academic Achievement Center, the Registrar's Office, or on either department's website. Students may change their minor at any time.
Class Year Designation
Degree-seeking students are designated as being in a given class year based on the number of credits they have earned for courses successfully completed. The list below shows the number of credits that must be earned in order for a student to be designated as a member of a particular class year.
For registration purposes, degree-seeking students will be classified based upon the total number of credit hours earned prior to the semester in which the registration is held.
|Classification||Credit Hours Completed|
Course Drops and Adds
The Drop/Add Schedule is as follows:
- The Drop/Add period for 15-week semester courses ends after the 6th weekday of the semester.
- The Drop/Add period for seven-week quarter courses ends after the 3rd weekday of the quarter.
- The Drop/Add period for five-week summer courses ends after the 3rd weekday of the session.
- The Drop/Add period for 10-week summer courses ends after the 5th weekday of the session.
- The Drop/Add period for non-regular courses ends one weekday after the first class meeting. However, students cannot add intensive (e.g., weekend or one-week) courses after the first class meeting.
No adds or drops will be permitted after these deadlines. Students are able to drop and add classes online through InfoBear. Alternatively, drop/add forms are available at the Registrar's Office during the drop/add period. It is recommended that students discuss changes in their schedule with their advisor.
If students fail to drop courses appropriately, a grade of "F" may be entered on their academic record. This grade will be used in the GPA calculation.
Full-time undergraduate students must carry a course load of 12 to 18 credit hours or the equivalent each semester. The typical course load is 15 credit hours. Students wishing to carry more than 18 credit hours must receive permission from the appropriate college dean prior to registration. Failure to carry at least 12 credit hours may jeopardize housing, financial aid status, athletic eligibility and health insurance.
Undergraduate students wishing to carry a course load of more than 15 credit hours during the summer must obtain permission from the Dean of Continuing Studies.
It is recommended that students not enroll in additional courses during the semester in which they are student teaching.
Note: Intersession credits are included in students' spring semester course load.
Course Schedule Information
Students in all courses may be required to utilize the learning management program (currently BlackBoard) or other online resources to view course information or complete course requirements.
Courses are scheduled to meet the needs of as many students as possible, and space is limited in each course. Therefore, timely completion of a program of study may require a student to complete courses in multiple formats (i.e., face-to-face, hybrid, online).
Full-time students enrolled in 19 or more credit hours will be charged a per credit rate for credits 19 and over.
Students enrolled in evening or weekend undergraduate courses (those beginning a 4:00 pm or later) will be charged all tuition and fees associated with the cost to provide the evening program. As a result, full-time, undergraduate day students who enroll in an evening or weekend course may incur additional charges. Please see the Tuition and Fees section of this catalog and the 2017-2018 Tuition and Fees chart on the Students Accounts website for more information.
Course descriptions may designate when the course is typically offered (fall, spring, summer) to assist students and advisors in planning course schedules. Please note, however, that these offerings are subject to change, and the university reserves the right to cancel courses or sections.
Helpful registration "how-to" videos can be found on the Registration Tools website.
CAPS – College Academic Program Sharing (CAPS) is designed to provide full-time students attending a Massachusetts state college or university the opportunity to study at another state college or university for the purpose of adding a different or specialized dimension to their undergraduate studies. Colleges and universities participating in this program include Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts College of Art, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. BSU students may participate for one or two semesters and complete up to 30 semester hours of credit without going through formal admission or registration procedures. Tuition is covered within the student's full-time tuition charge at Bridgewater State University. Courses taken under the CAPS program are not included in the student's GPA. All BSU students who wish to cross-register as part of the CAPS program must apply through the Registrar's Office, Boyden Hall. Students from another college or university who wish to take courses at BSU through CAPS must work with the Registrar's Office at their home institution.
SACHEM – Through the Southeastern Association for Cooperation of Higher Education (SACHEM) program, qualified full-time BSU students may cross-register for up to two courses each semester without going through formal registration procedures. Tuition is covered within the student's full-time tuition charge at Bridgewater State University. Courses taken under the SACHEM program are not included in the student's GPA. Colleges and universities participating in this program include Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Dean College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Massasoit Community College, Stonehill College, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Wheaton College. All BSU students who wish to cross-register as part of the SACHEM program must apply through the Registrar's Office, Boyden Hall. Students from another college or university who wish to take courses at BSU through SACHEM must work with the Registrar's Office at their home institution.
The university permits students to pursue their interests through directed study. Such an undertaking involves independent thinking, hard work and creativity along with the guidance and help of a faculty member. The end result should be a paper or project accepted by the faculty member working with the student. Directed Study, which is limited to three credits with a maximum of six credits for graduation purposes and is primarily for upperclassmen, is available for the pursuit of independent work. Application forms for directed study are available from the student's major department and should be submitted to the department chairperson for their recommendation and then forwarded to the appropriate college dean for approval.
An independent is designed for students who must complete a specific BSU course as part of their program requirements. Students will work independently to fulfill all course requirements as outlined in the BSU catalog and as specified by the faculty supervisor. Application forms for an independent study are available on the Registrar's Office intranet site or in the Registrar's Office.
Intercollegiate Athletics Eligibility
The following rules govern intercollegiate athletics eligibility for most students attending Bridgewater:
- A student-athlete must be a full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate student.
- A student-athlete must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours or the equivalent each semester.
- A student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
- A student-athlete must pass 24 credit hours (satisfactory progress) or the equivalent in an academic year as a full-time student.
- A student-athlete must complete appropriate NCAA compliance affirmations, including the student-athlete statement concerning eligibility, a Buckley Amendment consent and a drug testing consent.
On a case-by-case basis, a student enrolled in a part-time academic course load as part of an accommodation to a documented learning disability, can petition the NCAA to participate in intercollegiate athletics through the Athletics Department. Student-athletes considering this accommodation must follow the normal petition and appeal processes through the associate director of athletics and recreation.
Student-athletes are required to undergo both physical and orthopedic examinations prior to competing on intercollegiate teams. Specific information on these exams can be obtained either from the director of athletics or from the assistant director of athletics for sports medicine.
In addition, all transfer students must complete specific NCAA and MASCAC requirements and certifications prior to participation in intercollegiate athletics. This includes transfer students from other four-year institutions, transfer students from two-year or junior colleges, and students who have been involved in multiple transfers. For information, please confer with the associate director of athletics.
Internship, Practicum and Field Experience
A number of departments within the university offer students the opportunity to enroll in an internship, practicum or field experience for academic credit. Such experiences provide students, usually in their third or fourth year, the chance to undertake a supervised practical experience in their field of study. Normally, field experience opportunities are available only during the fall and spring semesters.
Students interested in such a field experience have the option of consulting with their faculty advisor for details on programs available through the department or developing their own program proposals, subject to the approval of the department. If the field experience desired is proposed by the student, it is the student's responsibility to locate a faculty member who will provide the necessary supervision.
Application forms for a field experience are available in the student's major department. The completed form must be filed with the chairperson of the department in which the field experience is to be undertaken no later than the end of the first quarter of the semester prior to the semester in which the field experience is to be undertaken. The department will screen all applications in order to select students best suited for the positions available. The chairperson will forward the application forms to the dean of the appropriate college for approval. The completed form must be received by the Registrar's Office prior to the end of the drop/add period to enroll the student.
Applicants to internships must have completed at least 54 credits with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Departments may set higher standards.
Supervision, evaluation and grading of a field experience are the responsibilities of faculty members in the department offering the program. A student may be removed from the program if, in the judgment of the faculty supervisor, it is in the best interests of the student, agency and/or university. Grades are based on written evaluations from both the faculty supervisor and the agency supervisor.
From 3-15 credits in field experience may be earned and applied toward graduation requirements. The number of credits that may apply toward the major will be determined by each department. A minimum of 45 clock hours in the field is required for each credit hour granted.
Typically, students may not be compensated except for minimal amounts to cover such expenses as travel.
First-Year Writing – If a student does not have credit for first-year writing at the time of admission to the university, they will be placed in one of the three first-year writing courses (ENGL 101, ENGL 101E or ENGL 102) that fulfill the Core Writing Requirement based on their SAT Verbal score (if a score is submitted) and in-house placement essay.
Note: A student's highest score earned in either SAT or placement essay determines placement.
Placement into ENGL 101: Students with a SAT Verbal score between 550-639 and/or a placement essay score of 3 will be placed into ENGL 101.
Placement into ENGL 101E/ENGL 144: Students with a SAT Verbal score below 550 and a placement essay score of 2 will be placed into ENGL 101E and the corequisite course ENGL 144 Academic Strategies.
Placement into ENGL 102: ENGL 101 or transfer equivalent; or First-Year Writing Placement essay score of 4 or SAT Verbal score of 640 or higher
- Students with a SAT Verbal score of 640 or above will be automatically placed in ENGL 102 and are not required to write a placement essay.
- Students, regardless of SAT Verbal score, with a placement essay score of 4 will be advised to enroll in ENGL 102.
- Students with an ENGL 102 placement can elect to take ENGL 101 first.
First Year Mathematics – At the time of admission to the university, if a student does not yet have credit for a college-level mathematics course(s) meeting the Core Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning requirement as well as any math course(s) that may be required by their chosen program of study, they will be placed into an appropriate course based on their scores on SAT Mathematics (if a score is submitted) and Accuplacer math placement exams.
Note: a student's highest score earned in either SAT or Accuplacer determines placement.
The Accuplacer exams used for placement include the quantitative, algebra and statistics exam ("QAS") and the advanced algebra and functions exam ("AAF"). Each is scored on a scale from 200–300 points. More information and review materials for these exams can be found at the College Board website.
Several pathways of mathematics courses are offered to suit the needs of various programs of study, with various criteria for placement. Consult the catalog to determine which pathway is appropriate for each program; students with multiple programs may be required to complete courses from multiple pathways.
- Calculus pathways, including courses required by programs in the Ricciardi College of Business and Bartlett College of Science & Mathematics:
- Placement into calculus (MATH 141, MATH 144 or MATH 161/161E): Accuplacer QAS score of 268 or higher and Accuplacer AAF score of 263 or higher.
- Placement into precalculus (MATH 140 or MATH 150): SAT Mathematics score of 570 or higher; or both Accuplacer QAS score of 268 or higher and Accuplacer AAF score of 243 or higher.
- Placement into precalculus with corequisite tutorial support (MATH 140E/140T): Accuplacer QAS score of 268 or higher.
- Placement into non-credit precalculus readiness (MATH 095): If none of the above criteria are met.
- Education pathway, including courses required by many licensure programs in the College of Education and Health Sciences:
- Placement into MATH 112: SAT Mathematics score of 570 or higher; or Accuplacer QAS score of 268 or higher.
- Placement into non-credit math readiness (MATH 090): If the above criteria are not met.
- Statistics and liberal arts pathways, including courses required by selected programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences:
- Placement into statistics (MATH 110): SAT Mathematics score of 570 or higher; or Accuplacer QAS score of 268 or higher.
- Placement into statistics with corequisite tutorial support (MATH 110E/110T): Accuplacer QAS score of 262–267.
- Placement into MATH 105: SAT Mathematics score of 570 or higher; or Accuplacer QAS score of 262 or higher.
- Placement into non-credit math readiness (MATH 090): If the above criteria are not met.
Students must have the necessary prerequisite for each course. Prerequisites, if any, are indicated with the individual course listing and are enforced at the time of registration. Prerequisite courses taken at institutions other than Bridgewater State University must be documented (transcript or grade report, and in some cases, course description) prior to registration.
Students who wish to enroll in a course without the prerequisite(s) must obtain a Prerequisite Override form prior to registering for the course. The form must be signed by the chairperson of the department through which the course is offered and, in some cases, the instructor of the course. Students seeking an override of professional education prerequisites for courses taught through the College of Education and Health Sciences must complete a Request for a Student to Take an Upper Level Professional Education Course Without Formal Program Admission form and obtain all required signatures.
Preregistration is held for returning, degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate and joint admission students in November for the spring semester and in April for the fall semester. During the advising period held two weeks prior to registration, undergraduate students are required to meet with their advisor(s) to review their progress toward degree completion, as well as to review course selections for the coming semester. The advisor then electronically approves the student for registration.
Preregistration is available online and in person. Students' preregistration date is determined by their classification (senior, junior, sophomore, etc.) which is based on the total credits earned. An undergraduate non-degree student may register for courses after the registration sessions for new degree-seeking students have been held in August and January. For more information about non-degree status, see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog. Students will not be allowed to register for courses until all financial debts to the university are paid and health records are up to date.
Prior to each registration period, course listings, specific registration dates and registration instructions as well as up-to-date information concerning course openings and prerequisites are available online through InfoBear under QuickLinks at the Bridgewater State University website www.bridgew.edu/infobear.
Withdrawal From Courses Following the Drop/Add Period
Students may withdraw from courses following the drop/add period if they submit a Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office by the appropriate semester deadline date, which is posted on the Registrar's Office website. If a student falls below full-time status after withdrawing from a course, they should be aware that eligibility for some sources of financial aid, health insurance, participation in extracurricular activities and on-campus housing may be affected.
The Course Withdrawal Schedule is as follows:
- The withdrawal period for 15-week semester courses ends the weekday following the completion of the tenth week of the semester.
- The withdrawal period for seven-week quarter courses ends the weekday following the completion of the fifth week of the quarter.
- The withdrawal period for five-week summer courses ends the weekday following the completion of the third week of the session.
- The withdrawal period for 10-week summer courses ends the weekday following the completion of the seventh week of the session.
- The withdrawal period for non-regular courses typically ends one weekday following the point when approximately 70 percent of the course has been completed. Students should consult the Registrar's Office for exact deadlines for withdrawal from these courses.
- Students who are taking a course online or off-campus or who are non-degree seeking must meet established deadlines and procedures.
No withdrawals will be permitted after these deadlines unless the student can demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances (e.g., sudden illness, a death in the family) have prevented the student from withdrawing by the published deadline. Consult the Academic Achievement Center for more information about withdrawals after the deadline.
Course withdrawals will be indicated on the student's transcript with a "W" and will not affect the calculation of the student's grade point average.
A transcript is a cumulative, permanent record of a student's grades and degrees earned at Bridgewater State University. Students may request a copy of an official transcript online or from the Registrar's Office. Current students can access their unofficial transcripts through InfoBear. See the Registrar's Office website for details.
In order to receive credit for courses taken at other accredited institutions, degree-seeking undergraduate students must obtain approval in advance. Failure to obtain this approval could result in denial of the course credit.
Request forms are available on the Registrar's Office website and in the Registrar's Office. Requests for approval of a course from another institution should be accompanied by the course description from that institution's catalog. Approval must be obtained prior to registering for the course at the other institution. It is the student's responsibility to have official transcripts sent directly by the institution to the Registrar's Office upon completion of the course.
NOTE: A minimum grade of "C-" is required to receive transfer credit. Students may transfer up to 90 credits to Bridgewater State University toward a baccalaureate degree; however, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions. Transfer courses do not factor into a student's GPA.
Credit by Examination
The university encourages qualified students to meet certain graduation requirements through "Credit by Examination." Currently the university will award credit for successful completion of the College Level Examination Program's (CLEP) general or subject area examinations. In addition, certain departments offer their own examinations for which credit can be awarded. Additional information can be obtained from the Office of Testing Services in the Academic Achievement Center, 508.531.1780.
See the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog for further information concerning credit by examination.
VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy
Consistent with the Massachusetts VALOR Act, the university accepts military course work credit listed on the Joint Services transcript as recommended by the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. For more information, see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog.
Undergraduate Withdrawal from the University
Definition: If a student decides after the drop period has ended that they are unable to finish all of their courses, they have the option of withdrawing from all courses. This is defined as a "university withdrawal" regardless of whether the student plans to return to BSU in the semester immediately following or not at all.
There are a number of ways in which a student may withdraw from the university, including voluntary withdrawal, voluntary medical withdrawal and voluntary late withdrawal, as well as interim involuntary withdrawal and involuntary withdrawal. Depending on the manner in which a student withdraws, the student will be required to follow certain steps to be reinstated to the university.
Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities in the Withdrawal Process
At any point in the withdrawal process, a student may seek input or discuss with the Disability Resource Office, the availability of a reasonable accommodation. A student with a disability who desires an accommodation must request an accommodation by following the procedure for requesting an accommodation through the Disability Resource Office. The Disability Resource Office will make a determination regarding the request and notify the appropriate parties. A student will not be considered to have a disability unless and until the student registers with the Disability Resources Office. The Disability Resources Office can be contacted via phone at (508.531.2194) or by email at Disability_Resources@bridgew.edu for further information.
Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the individual's documented disability and the setting for which the accommodations are requested. The university is not required to grant a requested accommodation that is unreasonable, ineffective, an undue burden or substantially alters a university program, service or practice. Reasonable accommodations will be provided as required by law.
Deadline to Withdraw
It is recommended that a student apply for a withdrawal as soon as possible, and in accordance with the deadlines published on the Registrar's Office website. The last date to withdraw is when 70% of the semester is complete. However, in extraordinary circumstances, students may apply for a medical or late withdrawal. Please know that medical or late withdrawals must be made within one academic year after the term of a student's last term of enrollment.
While this Policy identifies certain university officers, employees and others who have particular roles and duties, each such party and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, may designate other officers or employees to perform such roles or duties set forth herein.
Withdrawals when Disciplinary Matters are Pending
Please note that if a student withdraws with pending disciplinary charges of any kind, the student will be subject to the provisions of the applicable university policy, procedure or The Student Code of Conduct. The university reserves the right to initiate these procedures at any time, including after the student has chosen to withdraw and/or before the student is allowed to return to university. Additionally, if a student is subsequently separated or expelled from the university, or a grade change is warranted, the student's academic record will be updated to reflect that suspension, expulsion or any grade that might be assigned.
Voluntary Withdrawal from the University
Any undergraduate student considering a withdrawal from the university (for reasons other than a medical need or late withdrawal because of an emergency) must meet with a professional advisor in the Academic Achievement Center to: discuss any alternatives to withdrawal; identify the possible implications of withdrawing; review the process for returning; and prepare the necessary paperwork to withdraw. This important consultation will include careful consideration of the many possible implications of withdrawing such as completion of current course work and graduation requirements, financial aid, account balances, student employment, on-campus housing, health insurance, pending disciplinary matters, immigration status, participation in extracurricular activities, etc. As a result of this discussion, the student will be prepared to follow-up with any of the other offices that might need to be notified of or consulted about the student's withdrawal. Withdrawals from the university requested before the published deadline are generally approved.
Once the semester is 70 percent complete, withdrawals will no longer be accepted and courses will be graded accordingly. This is after the 10th week for full semester courses. Appeals for late university withdrawal must be submitted to the Office of the Provost Designee within one academic year from date of the last term of enrollment.
If a student leaves the university without processing an official withdrawal, failing grades may be recorded in all courses. Additionally, no refunds will be considered unless the above outlined procedure is followed.
Any student who chooses to withdraw from a course or courses, must follow the procedure identified below. Please be aware a student may not withdraw from a course (versus withdrawal from university enrollment) for medical or emergency reasons after 70% of the semester has been completed, unless an injury prevents a student from completing a course(s).
The following links may provide additional helpful information:
Medical Withdrawal and Late Withdrawal
The university understands that students may experience physical or psychiatric situations that may significantly impair their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students. In those situations, students may request a medical withdrawal. The goal of a medical withdrawal is to ensure that students return to the university with an increased opportunity for success.
The university uses a flexible and individualized process to allow students to request a medical withdrawal to receive treatment to address their medical difficulties so they can later return to the university and successfully achieve their academic goals. Because every situation is different, the conditions of the medical withdrawal will be determined individually based upon the student's personal situation and in consultation with the student. Any conditions of the medical withdrawal will be incorporated into a written agreement with the student and a hold may be placed on the student's account.
Similarly, when extraordinary circumstances arise after the published withdrawal date that prevent a student from continuing enrollment, a student may request for a late withdrawal. Such examples might include, but are not limited to, death of immediate family member, extreme personal financial hardship, military deployment or training.
Advantages of Taking a Medical Withdrawal or Late Withdrawal
Students who take a medical or late withdrawal may be eligible for the following advantages that may not be afforded by other types of withdrawals:
1. Withdrawal from enrollment later in the semester or session than is normally permitted with the approval of the Office of the Provost. Please note that no withdrawal request will be considered unless it is received within one academic year after the term of the student's last term of enrollment.
2. Grades will not be recorded for the term. The university will reflect an approved medical withdrawal or late withdrawal on the student's transcript as a "W" or, with respect to a medical withdrawal, as an "ME" upon written request by the student.
3. Prioritized consideration for on campus housing upon reinstatement.
4. In extraordinary circumstances, the university may, in its sole discretion, provide a refund. However, it is important to note that a medical withdrawal or late withdrawal does not dismiss the student from the student's entire financial obligation to the university and does not guarantee a refund. The student may still be responsible for outstanding fees or fines. Additionally, the student may be responsible for repayment of financial aid if mandated by the federal government. If a student who has received financial aid withdraws before completing 60% of the semester (for extraordinary reasons or not), the U.S. Department of Education requires the university to perform a Return of Title IV calculation to determine what financial aid must be returned to the federal government.
5. Additional possible benefits of medical withdrawals:
a. Students who are currently enrolled in the BSU Health Insurance Plan, it is possible to seek permission to stay on that plan until the end of that premium period.
b. For students who have purchased tuition reimbursement insurance, a medical withdrawal generally qualifies a student for benefits under tuition insurance plans they may carry. However, please refer to your policy for clarification.
c. For international students, a medical withdrawal may provide a way to remain in the United States in compliance with applicable immigration regulations. Additionally, international students who are currently enrolled in the BSU Health Insurance Plan may request that the university allow them to stay on the plan until the end of the premium period. For further information, please consult with International Student and Scholar Services, (508) 531-6195, firstname.lastname@example.org. For immigration regulations, please consult with International Student and Scholar Services, (508) 531-6195, email@example.com.
Process for Medical or Late Withdrawal*
The request for a medical withdrawal or late withdrawal must be submitted to the Office of the Provost Designee by the student (or family) in writing. If preferred, the student/family can work with the Office of the Provost Designee to share resources in person. This office can be reached at (508) 531-1214.
Once this information is obtained, the Office of the Provost Designee will evaluate the request and any re-enrollment plans in consultation with other appropriate university personnel. Depending on the circumstances, an individualized risk assessment may be conducted as part of the consultative process.
The Office of the Provost Designee will make a determination regarding whether or not the request qualifies for a medical or late withdrawal, and if applicable, for subsequent reinstatement subject to certain conditions and notify the student in writing of the decision.
If a student's request for a medical or a late withdrawal is denied, the student will be advised of the decision in writing. If the request is denied, the student may appeal that decision in writing to the Dean for Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee regarding granting of an appeal.
*Please note the following:
- Withdrawals within the deadline – Students must complete a withdrawal form and meet with an advisor from the Academic Achievement Center (AAC), (508) 531-1214. Students submit the withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office for processing.
- Medical Withdrawals within the deadline – Students must complete a withdrawal form, meet with an advisor from the AAC, and prepare a request for medical withdrawal with supporting medical information. The Director of the AAC will inform the student in writing regarding the request for a medical withdrawal, including steps for readmission.
- Late Withdrawals – Students must complete a withdrawal form, meet with an advisor from the AAC, and prepare a request for late withdrawal. The Assistant Administrative Dean of Academic Affairs will inform the student in writing regarding the request for late withdrawal. Students can appeal the decision in writing to a committee comprised of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee.
- Late Medical Withdrawals – Students must complete a withdrawal form, meet with an advisor from the AAC, and prepare a request for late withdrawal with supporting medical documentation. The Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs will inform the student in writing regarding the request for late medical withdrawal. Students can appeal the decision in writing to a committee comprised of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee.
Interim Involuntary Withdrawal and Involuntary Withdrawal
In situations in which a student presents a significant risk of harm to the safety, health or well-being of any person or the campus community or where the ability of the university to carry out its essential operations is seriously threatened or impaired (collectively referred to as a "Serious Risk of Harm"), the university may require the student to withdraw in accordance with the following procedures.
This policy does not take the place of disciplinary action and sanctions associated with a student's behavior that is in violation of any law or university rule, code or policy, including, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct or the policies set forth in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan, or the Academic Integrity Policy. Such processes may run concurrently.
An Involuntary Withdrawal is meant to be used in cases where students experience needs that exceed the university's services or resources. In such circumstances, the student will be advised to consider a voluntary withdrawal. If the student declines to voluntarily withdraw from the university, the university may involuntarily withdraw the student in situations where: (1) the student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations; (2) the student has health needs requiring a level of care that exceeds what the university can appropriately provide; (3) the student presents a substantial risk of seriously affecting the health or well-being of any student or other member of the university community; (4) the student causes a substantial disruption to the university community.
Upon learning of credible evidence, including observed or recorded behavior, that a student may pose a Serious Risk of Harm, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may initiate the following procedures:
Interim Involuntary Withdrawal
In circumstances where a student's behavior may pose an imminent Serious Risk of Harm, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may immediately implement an interim involuntary withdrawal or other measures. Under such circumstances, the student will receive notice of the interim involuntary withdrawal and will have an initial opportunity to respond to the evidence; however, the student's right to more fully respond to the evidence and provide additional information will be delayed until it has been determined that there is no imminent Serious Risk of Harm, in accordance with the process outlined below.
Involuntary Withdrawal Process
In instances where an Interim Involuntary Withdrawal was not initiated, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will notify the student that an involuntary withdrawal is under consideration and provide the student with a copy of this policy and a description of the reasons involuntary withdrawal is under consideration and the implications of an involuntary withdrawal. Whenever appropriate, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will discuss with the student the opportunity to take a voluntary withdrawal from the university or agree to other measures that could mitigate the Serious Risk of Harm.
- The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will consult as appropriate and feasible in the circumstances with appropriate university personnel and others regarding whether the student poses a Serious Risk of Harm.
- The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may require an evaluation of the student's behavior and any relevant physical/mental conditions by an appropriate provider designated by the university if the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee believes that an evaluation will facilitate an informed decision. A student who fails or refuses to undertake a requested evaluation may not be permitted to return to the university as determined at the discretion of the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee.
- The student will be offered a reasonable opportunity to address the evidence and to provide additional information relevant to the university's evaluation, including information from student's treatment provider(s).
- Following a review of the best available relevant information, including available current medical information, and these consultations, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will determine whether to impose an involuntary withdrawal.
a. If an involuntary withdrawal is imposed, the university will give the student written notice of the decision, including the beginning date and notification of any conditions that must be satisfied in order to return to the university. The student must leave campus (or the applicable university program or activity) within the time frame established in the written notice. In accordance with applicable law, the university may notify a parent, guardian or other person, if notification is deemed appropriate. During the duration of the involuntary withdrawal, the student may visit the university's owned or leased property only with the prior written authorization from the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee. Conditions for return following an involuntary withdrawal will be determined by the university on an individualized basis and will be documented in the involuntary withdrawal notification. For examples of the types of conditions that may be imposed, please refer to the section on Reinstatement and Readmission below.
b. If an Involuntary Withdrawal is not imposed, the university will provide written notice of that decision.
Governing Principles for Medical, Late and/or Involuntary Withdrawal
Medical, Late, and Involuntary Withdrawals are governed by the following principles:
- Any withdrawal determinations should be based on an assessment of current, available medical documentation or advice about the student, and/or observable conduct that affects the health, safety or welfare of the campus community.
- Any assessments of risks should be individualized and conducted in a team environment.
- In the absence of an emergency or direct threat, voluntary withdrawal or restrictions shall be encouraged prior to any determination of involuntary withdrawal.
- Any imposed conditions, including re-enrollment conditions (if any), will be reasonable and individualized for a particular student's situation.
- Any conduct code or other policies relevant to a withdrawal shall be applied equally to all similarly-situated students, i.e., without regard to known or perceived medical or mental health conditions.
- Students shall be provided notice of any withdrawal determinations and shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal such determinations.
- Withdrawal determinations should proceed as quickly as possible to allow a student experiencing difficulties to receive the support they need.
- The date of withdrawal for tuition refund purposes is the last date of class attendance. Charges for other services provided by the university are incurred as they are used or as otherwise required by contract or policy.
- The Academic Affairs Designee will maintain all medical documentation related to withdrawal determinations but may share such documentation with others within the university with whom the office consults, on a need-to-know basis and consistent with applicable privacy laws.
Reinstatement and Readmission following a Medical, Late and/or Involuntary Withdrawal
Students wishing to be reinstated or readmitted following a medical, late, or an involuntary withdrawal, must satisfy the re-enrollment conditions established at the time of the withdrawal. If medical documentation was established as a condition for re-enrollment, the university will give significant weight to the opinion of the student's treatment providers regarding the student's readiness to return to the academic environment at the university, with or without accommodations. In extraordinary circumstances, the university may require the student to undergo an additional individualized assessment to make a determination regarding the student's readiness for return. The university may also impose conditions on the student as part of their return, based on the particular student's situation.
Additionally, in reviewing requests for return from a medical, late or involuntary withdrawal, the university looks for evidence that the issues that led to the request to withdraw have been addressed. Specifically, that the student has maintained stability and demonstrated follow through with treatment for a sufficient period of time to enable the student to be successful. Additionally, evidence of productive functioning (i.e. employment, volunteerism, etc.) is looked upon favorably.
A student may appeal any decision concerning reinstatement to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or designee.
If a student is permitted to re-enroll following a withdrawal, the student is responsible for coordinating the return to the university community with the appropriate university offices. A student must also resolve any outstanding Code of Conduct issues with the Office of Community Standards and/or the Equal Opportunity Office prior to their return.