Academic Policies

Undergraduate Policies

Academic Forgiveness

Grades below “C” from courses taken ten or more years ago, not in the student’s major field of study, may be eligible for removal through academic forgiveness.  Low grades in required courses need to be repeated to improve a student's grade point average. 

Conditions:

This privilege can be exercised only once in the pursuit of an undergraduate degree from Robert Morris University and cannot be reversed. 
Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, and C cannot be forgiven. 

The grades and cumulative GPA after forgiveness will be used in determining eligibility for all academic honors and recognition based on quality-point averages. 

Students may be required to take substitute courses to meet graduation requirements.

Procedures: 

A student must submit a letter of Academic Forgiveness to the Office of the Registrar.

Upon approval of the request:

  1. All courses, credits, and grades forgiven will be retained on the academic transcript, but will be bracketed with notation "[Academic Forgiveness Policy in Effect]." 
  2. All credits and grade points for courses forgiven will be disregarded in the cumulative calculation of hours attempted, grade points earned, and grade point average.

Effective Fall 2019

Academic Honors

Dean's List

Full-time and part-time students (enrolled in at least 6 credits) are eligible for the Dean's list each summer, fall and spring if they receive a 3.5 semester GPA with no grade lower than "C." 

Deans’ Scholar

The Dean of each School will recognize no more than five undergraduate students whose academic and other achievements merit recognition as Deans’ Scholars on an annual basis each spring semester. Criteria for the award include the students having earned:

  • A minimum of 60 credits
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.75
  • Academic achievements specific to the student’s field of study  

Note:
Notification of Dean’s List and Dean’s Scholar Awards come from the school of the student’s major field of study. 

Academic Internships/Cooperative Education

Undergraduate students may use Academic Internship and Cooperative Education credits to meet graduation requirements when the credits fulfill approved field concentration and/or elective requirements, as determined by the School of the student’s major field of study.

Effective Fall 2019

Academic Minors

Students enrolled in Bachelor Degree Programs at Robert Morris University may pursue a minor, provided the student is in good standing possessing a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher and has consulted with their academic advisor. Minors can improve the educational program for students, their broader intellectual development, and assist them in pursuing career goals. Students may not add, complete or declare a minor after degree conferral. The requirements for all minors must be completed prior to the awarding of the baccalaureate degree. The request and approval to add a minor must occur prior to completing the Online Application for Graduation.

The following guidelines apply to all academic minors at RMU: 

A minor shall consist of no fewer than 15 or more than 21 credits.  Up to six credits of the RMU Core may count toward the number of credits required for the minor.  Each minor should include a minimum of 9-12 credits of required courses in the minor and no more than 9 credits of electives in the minor.  Prerequisite rules apply to minors and cannot be waived. 

 

Revised April 2017

Procedure

Students interested in pursuing a minor should complete this online form. Students who want to drop a minor should submit a request in writing to registrar@rmu.edu.

Students electing a minor must pass all required courses for the minor with a grade of "C" or higher, complete at least 9 credits for the minor at Robert Morris University, and take all required courses on a graded basis.

 

Academic Standing

In order for a student to be in good academic standing at Robert Morris University, he or she must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.60 after attempting 12 credits, 1.80 after attempting 24 credits, and 2.00 after 48 credits are attempted. Regardless of GPA, a student with 3 or more F's, W's, or N's within the first 24 credit hours of coursework attempted is not in good academic standing and may be dismissed from the University. 

A student who receives three unsuccessful course repeats (Fs or, Ns in any attempted courses, or Ds in major courses) or has withdrawn from the same course three times will be placed on Academic Probation; additional unsuccessful attempts may result in academic probation for the next semester of enrollment.

A student who does not meet the necessary standards may be placed on academic probation for the next semester of enrollment. (A student placed on academic probation is strongly advised to meet with their RMU counselor and devise a plan that will enable the student to return to good academic standing.)  

A student on academic probation who fails to achieve a grade-point average that will remove the probationary status, will be placed on continued academic probation and must meet with their RMU success coach and complete the appropriate forms at the Center for Student Success & Professional Development. 

If the deficiency continues after a semester on continued academic probation, the student, upon the recommendation of their counselor, is subject to being placed on Academic Suspension by the Academic Affairs Office and is ineligible to register for classes for one semester. The decision to place a student on Academic Suspension may be appealed to the Dean of the student's degree program. 

If the Dean approves an appeal, the Dean must complete an Academic Conference Contract and submit it to the Registrar. Failure to meet all conditions of the prescribed activities for academic success may result in the student's academic dismissal from Robert Morris University. 

Education Majors – Please check the requirements for candidacy here.

Nursing Majors - Please check the requirements for candidacy here.

Effective Fall 2019

Admission to a Closed Class

A student desiring entrance into a "closed" class must obtain permission from the department head in the School offering the course.  After the dean’s maximum is met, the department head will consult with the faculty member and seek approval from the dean as necessary. 

Procedure:

Complete the Special Permission Form available from the respective academic department head. After consulting with the faculty member and obtaining approval of the department head, the student presents the signed form to the the Colonial Hub or  for processing and registration.

Effective Fall 2019

Application of Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions

Pre-Matriculation

Robert Morris University will consider for up to 81 credits for transfer credit completed at other regionally or professionally accredited institutions, consistent with the Statute of Limitations Policy and subject to existing articulation agreements and accreditation requirements.  A prospective transfer student’s earned credits from post-secondary institutions will be evaluated by Robert Morris University. The student will be informed of transfer credits that may be awarded and their applicability to the RMU Core Curriculum or to requirements or electives in the student’s intended major.  

In evaluating such course work, Robert Morris University will consider the appropriateness of the courses to the intended program of study. Credit will be granted only for courses which e college or university catalogs, course descriptions and/or syllabi to assist in the evaluation process.

Post-Matriculation

Students who have matriculated at RMU are expected to complete their credits with Robert Morris University coursework, or with coursework completed at an institution with which RMU has an approved partnership or affiliation agreement.  Exceptions may be granted for students as follows:

  1. With the approval of the Provost or designee, an RMU-enrolled student may take up to 12 credits of coursework at another accredited two or four year institution to substitute for required courses in the RMU core.
  2. With the approval of the dean of the student’s major, an RMU-enrolled student may take up to 12 credits of coursework at another accredited four-year institution to be applied to the RMU major or electives. 
  3. Total post-matriculation transfer courses cannot exceed 12 credits and total transfer credits cannot exceed 81 credits. 

Transfer Credit Limits/Residency Requirement

Credits accepted for pre- or post-matriculation transfer, after certification by the institution that a grade of C or better was earned, will be entered on the student’s RMU transcript as “T” (transfer course credit).  Grades earned will not be computed in the RMU grade point average. Students earning a bachelor’s degree at RMU must:

  • Complete at least 51% of the major area of study at RMU,
  • Complete the final 30 credits of their degree with RMU coursework. (See policy on Residency Requirements). 

Credits awarded through either of the following means are considered Robert Morris University credits and do not fall under the pre or post-matriculation credit transfer limitation.

  1. A maximum of 24 credits awarded to students conducted by a Robert Morris University official, including but not limited to credits earned during military service and credits earned in professional certifications, training, or licensure programs. See Credit for Non-Collegiate Training and Examination Policy. 
  2. Post-matriculation transfer credits earned under the auspices of partner institutions with established agreement with Robert Morris University, including but not limited to, the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) and the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities (OCICU). 

Credit Process Map  Post-Matriculation Credit Request Form

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Specific absence policies are determined by each academic department and faculty member, announced at the beginning of each course, and presented in the course syllabus. Students whose absence exceeds the announced departmental or faculty policy may receive academic sanctions up to and including a course grade of "F." Such students are permitted to attend the remaining classes but are not permitted to take any examinations. 

Notification Requirements 

Athletic Competition (Events only, not practice or preparation). The Department of Athletics must provide each student-athlete with a detailed schedule (including times and dates the athletes will be unavailable for classes) of competitive events including pre- and post-game obligations. The student-athlete must deliver this schedule to the affected professor at least one week before a conflict arises in obligations. 

Academic and Student Life University-Sanctioned Events. The appropriate department head or faculty/staff advisor must provide each student who is officially representing the University at an event with a detailed schedule of competitive events including pre- and post-event obligations (e.g., model UN, AMA meetings, student government conferences). The schedule must be delivered to the affected professor at least one week before a conflict arises in obligations. 

Appeals. Faculty member or student appeals related to this policy are to be considered by the affected faculty member’s department head.

Effective Fall 2019

Change of Major/Program

Students are eligible to change their major/program if they are in good academic standing. Some programs may have specific admission criteria. Current programs with specific criteria are Accounting, Education, Engineering, Finance, Financial Planning and Nursing. 

Students changing to a program with specific criteria (Accounting, Education, Engineering, Finance and Nursing) must use a printed Change of Major Form. Students changing to any other program can use the “online change of major application” available on Sentry.

Conditional Acceptance for Change of Major: A student must meet conditional new freshman academic criteria as well as have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above as a Robert Morris University student. 

Attaining Unconditional Status After Conditionally Accepted: To attain unconditional status, the student must complete 30 credits (after being conditionally accepted) of the appropriate RMU curriculum with a GPA (calculated for the 30 hours) of a 2.7 or higher.

Transfer Students: To receive full acceptance to the Robert Morris University degree program, a transfer student (from another major or from another university) must meet one of the sets of academic criteria as found on the Admissions web page.

Init. rev. Spring 2021

Commencement Participation

Students who are in good academic standing and who can finish their degree requirements by the end of the current semester or by the end of the following Summer sessions, according to a plan that has been reviewed and approved by their respective dean, are permitted to participate in commencement, providing they have no more than nine (9) credits to complete.  

Integrated or accelerated students earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree are able to participate in undergraduate commencement after they meet the criteria for completing their undergraduate degree coursework. They may also participate in graduate commencement once their graduate degree coursework is complete. The diplomas for both degrees, however, will not be officially conferred until both programs are complete.

Expected graduates are recognized in the commencement program. 

Procedures:

  • Students wishing to participate in commencement must complete the Graduation Application, online using Sentry secured services, within the first 10 days of their final semester.
  • Students completing degree requirements at the end of the summer semester must also complete the Walk Early Form located in the Academic Services office. “Walk Early” students must receive their School academic dean’s approval and return the signed form to the Academic Services office.

Walk Early Procedures:

  • Students requesting to walk early must submit an online Graduation Application for the semester in which their degree requirements WILL BE COMPLETED and not the term they will be participating in commencement.
  • Additional important information for Walk Early students can be found on the “Walk Early” form. 

NOTE: In order to receive a diploma, students must apply for graduation upon meeting degree requirements, even students who do not plan to participate in commencement.

Effective Fall 2019

Credit by Examination

CLEP examinations are considered Robert Morris University credits, and the undergraduate residency requirement states that students must complete their final 30 credits and 51% of their major area of study at RMU. A student may earn a maximum of 30 credits by exam toward a bachelor's degree. A student may NOT seek credit by examination for a course that has been completed at Robert Morris with a grade of "D" or "F." Students within 30 credits of graduating must complete CLEP exams no later than the end of the first day of their final semester. 

Procedure

Once the student has contacted his or her academic advisor and the Office of the Registrar, Robert Morris University will observe the following procedures: 

  1. If a course qualifies for credit by examination, the examination will be a Robert Morris University Examination or CLEP Examination. If a CLEP Examination is available, the student must take the CLEP Examination.
  2. The University accepts only subject examinations.
  3. The student must have an official CLEP transcript sent to the Office of the Registrar. An unofficial score will not be accepted for processing.
  4. The University accepts credit for CLEP based on the American Council on Education recommended score.

Effective Fall 2019

Click here to view CLEP Exam Course Equivalents.

Credit Load

The following pertains to student credit loads: 

  1. Minimum load - The minimum load required to be considered a full-time student is 12 credits per semester during the fall and spring semesters. 
  2. Maximum load - The maximum load permitted is 19 credits per semester during a fall or spring semester. 
  3. Summer minimum load - The minimum load required to be considered a full-time student during a summer semester is 6 credits, taken in any combination of day, evening, and online sessions. 
  4. Summer maximum load - The maximum load permitted during a summer semester is 12 credits, taken in combination of day, evening, and online sessions.

Special permission from the dean of the School associated with the students’ major field of study is required for a student to exceed the maximum load. Special permission will be considered only for students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00

Effective Fall 2019

Cross-Registration (PCHE)

Students are permitted to cross register at one of the Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education (PCHE) institutions for courses not offered by Robert Morris University. Only in unusual circumstances will permission be granted to enroll in a required course, and such permission must be granted by the academic dean of the School associated with the student’s major field of study.

Procedure

Students interested in cross registering for a course should contact the Office of the Registrar, and: 

  1. Must be full-time, carrying 12 credit hours or more (including the cross-registered course).
  2. Must complete the PCHE Cross-Registration form during the registration period of the host institution.
  3. Are only permitted to cross register for one course per semester.
  4. May not cross re4gister for courses during a summer session.

Effective Fall 2019

Developmental Coursework

Foundation/developmental courses are identified with a prefix less than 1000. Such courses count towards full/ part time status and athletic eligibility requirements but do not count towards graduation requirements.

Directed Study

Directed Study may be available to Robert Morris University students, in unusual circumstances, for regular catalog courses if the student provides detailed justification for the Directed Study and receives approval of the school dean upon recommendation from the department head. Planning for a Directed Study should be done before classes begin.

Procedure

  • Students must obtain an application for the Directed Study and take the application and a copy of their current academic checksheet to the head of the academic department offering the course. The application form can be found at the following web page: academicaffairs.rmu.edu/academic-policies/undergraduate/directed-study
  • Detailed justification must be completed on the application. 
  • If the department head feels the justification warrants approval, the department head will pursue finding a faculty member to conduct the Directed Study. 
  • If the faculty member agrees to conduct the directed study, the department head will complete the approval process part of the application and forward the application to the school dean. 
  • School dean forwards the application to the Office of the Registrar for registration purposes. 

Effective Fall 2019 

Drop and Withdrawals

The University endeavors to mitigate changes that impact a student’s enrollment and progress toward degree completion. However, students should keep in mind the following:

  • Students are financially responsible for all of the classes for which they register, including classes that they do not attend.
  • Students may check online at any time to review their current class schedule, and should do this before and after any change to their course schedule.
  • Students may add or drop classes through the end of the add/drop period.
  • Students may withdraw from courses by the published dates in the academic calendar
  • If a student needs to drop or withdraw from a class, she/he should contact their academic advisor or department head to determine the impact on degree progress.
  • Course withdrawals are processed once the add/drop period has ended using the deadlines published in the Academic Calendar.
  • Course withdrawals result in a final grade of “W” for the class and are so recorded on the student’s official academic transcript; grades of “W” are not computed in the GPA.
  • Students withdrawing from the University should ensure they withdraw from all courses and contact both the Center for Student Success & Personal Development and the Financial Aid office.

Effective Fall 2019
Init rev. Spring 2021

Dual Degrees

A student enrolled in an RMU undergraduate degree program may pursue a second RMU bachelor degree concurrently. Students should consult with their academic advisor and must meet entrance requirements for specific majors, where applicable, subject to the following:

  • The student must, at a minimum, be in good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA).
  • For the purpose of tracking academic progress, the student must designate a primary degree. 
  • The student must meet all requirements of each degree program (BA, BS, BSN, BFA, or BSBA) 
  • The student must complete a minimum of 150 undergraduate credits to be eligible for the second degree.
  • Each degree will be recorded on an official transcript when all program requirements for the degrees are completed. If a student does not meet the requirements for both degrees at the time of application for graduation, the student will be graduated from the completed degree only. The student may return as a post-baccalaureate student to complete the requirement(s) of the second degree so that undergraduate credits total at least 150.
  • The student must complete this online form to add a second degree.
  • The student will receive two diplomas, one for each separate degree. 
Dual Majors

An undergraduate student in good academic standing in an RMU bachelor’s degree program may pursue a second major* concurrently, subject to the following requirements:

  • The student must complete all degree requirements, including the RMU Core Curriculum, for each major for a minimum of 150 credits.
  • For tracking purposes, the student must designate a primary major.
  • The student must meet all applicable guidelines for earning a BSBA, BA, BS, BSN, or BFA degree (including completion of the core requirements and residency) for each major.
  • The student must complete this online form to add a second major.
  • If both majors are completed successfully, the primary major will be identified on the student’s diploma. However, a notation recognizing the completion of the requirements for the second major will be recorded on the student’s permanent academic record (transcript) at the time of conferral.
  • The student’s overall GPA (in all coursework) will be used to award academic honors.
  • If the student does not meet the requirements for both majors at the time of application for graduation, the student will be graduated from the completed major only. The student may return as a post-baccalaureate student to complete the requirements for the second major, but as a second degree.

*Note: Dual concentrations in the BS in Engineering are not covered under this policy. 

Final Grade Changes and Appeals

Grade Appeals

A student who has a disagreement with an individual instructor regarding a grade should discuss the disagreement directly with the instructor and try to resolve the concern. A student who attempts to begin the process at a higher administrative level will be directed back to the instructor who issued the grade. The department head shall ensure that the student confers initially with the instructor. 

If the issue is not resolved at the instructor level the student may appeal to the department head in writing, stating their concern and presenting evidence relevant to their appeal. If the matter is not resolved at the department head level, the student can appeal to the appropriate academic dean in writing. 

Under no circumstances, should a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of process when seeking resolution of a grade appeal. See “Grade Changes Policy” for any questions regarding final course grades.

PROCEDURE

Upon receiving an appeal of an instructor’s grade, the department head will:

  1. Inform the instructor of the student’s request and issue, prior to the meeting;
  2. Listen to the student’s concerns;
  3. Inform the student that the concerns expressed will be communicated to the instructor;
  4. Inform the instructor of the concerns raised by the student;
  5. If the department head believes that a calculation error has occurred in the computation of the grade, a meeting with the instructor and the student should be held in an attempt to resolve the issue.

If the department head finds no evidence of a calculation error and supports the original grade, the student has the ability to appeal to the appropriate academic dean in writing. The decision of the dean is final.

Should any party feel that discrimination against a student is involved in the issuance of a grade, the RMU Office of Diversity and Inclusion should be contacted.

Grade Changes

All requests for course grade changes must be directed to the instructor who originally awarded the grade. If the instructor agrees to the request, he/she will complete a Change-of-Grade form and submit the form to the department head. Change of grade requests are signed by the instructor, department head, and school dean when approved and forwarded to Academic Services to update the student’s academic record. All grade changes must be completed by the end of the semester following the one in which the first grade was issued. 

If a student disputes a grade and an acceptable solution is not reached by discussion with the instructor, the student should put the issue regarding the grade or grading procedure in writing and deliver a copy to the instructor and department head.   The instructor will cooperate with the department head for review and assessment, including, but not limited to: instructional materials, grade books, exams and syllabi. This process should not replace informal conferences between a student and an instructor concerning the issuance of a grade. 

If the issue is not resolved at the instructor or department head level, the student can appeal to the Dean of the school associated with the student’s major field of study. The Dean’s determination is final.

Under no circumstances will a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of the University for utilizing this request or appeal policy.

Effective Fall 2019

Final Examinations
  1. The Office of the Registrar will establish and publish the final examination schedule each semester. The nature and type of final examination will be determined, administered, and graded by the instructor. Students will not be required to complete more than three final examinations (including evening finals) in one given day. 
  2. Fifteen-week on-ground courses meet during the scheduled examination period. 
  3. The scheduled 9th-week final examination period for eight-week courses is optional, and at the discretion of the instructor. 
  4. Students must seek approval from, and make alternative arrangements with, the course instructor if there is any deviation from the scheduled examination period within the final examination week; i.e., too many examinations in one day. 

Effective Fall 2019

Grading for Study Abroad

Policy

Study abroad grades will be accepted as actual grades or grade equivalencies; however, these grades are not factored into the cumulative GPA. A notation of the grade is included on the student's transcript. 

Procedures

Specific study abroad policies are found in the Study Abroad Handbook. Listed below is a general description of procedures for study abroad.

Registration

When registering for Study Abroad courses hosted by our partner or associated institutions, students will initially register for the appropriate number of "Study Abroad Credits." The actual courses will then be substituted for "Study Abroad Credits" at that time. Actual RMU course numbers will be used. 

Partner Institutions

The approval process for courses at partner institutions will be as follows: 

  • Students review the courses available at the partner institution and seek written approval (signature) of course substitutions from the department head of the department where that course is offered. 
  • RMU Core courses are to be approved by the respective department head offering the course.
  • Open or Restricted Electives are to be approved by the department head of the student’s major.
  • The Center for Global Engagement will also keep a file of Automatic Course Substitutions that have been approved by the department heads. These courses do not require a separate signature since the department head's signature is on file. 

Associated Institutions

Students may choose to participate in a program offered by associated institutions. 

  • The student must first seek the approval of the Center for Global Engagement
  • Course equivalencies will be approved using the same procedures as that of partner institutions. 
  • Additionally, students must have a signed agreement in place before final approval is given and must pay any additional costs associated with the program, including an RMU administrative fee. 

Other Study Abroad Issues

Students from Robert Morris University studying abroad will be informed that while they must follow all the policies and meet the requirements of Robert Morris University, they will also be subject to the policies, procedures, rules and requirements of the host institution while attending those institutions. Accordingly, 

  1. All the grading policies governing grading at the host institution will apply to the visiting students from Robert Morris University. 
  2. Appeals and complaints regarding grades received should be addressed to the host institution following grievance procedures of the host institution if there are any. 
  3. It is the responsibility of the visiting students to ascertain the appeal and grievance procedures of the institution they are visiting. 
  4. The Center for Global Engagement at Robert Morris University will be available to provide counsel. 
  5. In keeping with well-accepted principles of academic freedom and academic prerogatives in the United States, no administrators or faculty members of Robert Morris University will attempt to interfere with the grading policies of the host institutions abroad. 
  6. All credits and grades received from the host institution will be entered by the Registrar without change. 

Effective Fall 2019

Graduation Honors

Honors at graduation are conferred on bachelor degree graduates who have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50. 

QPA RANGE    HONORS AWARDED
3.50 – 3.74       Cum Laude
3.75 – 3.94       Magna Cum Laude
3.95 – 4.00       Summa Cum Laude

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for a degree, undergraduate candidates must successfully complete the following, as designated by the school housing their major field of study: 

  • A minimum of 120 credits for the bachelor of science in business administration degree, bachelor of arts degree, bachelor of science degree, or the bachelor of science in nursing degree.  
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 or higher where specified for specific majors. 
  • All courses designated in the approved program of studies. 
  • All out-of-class experiences required in the major. 
  • A minimum grade in those courses designated as part of the major, unless otherwise specified. 
  • The final 30-credit residency requirement of the University. 
  • Engaged Learning and Community Involvement Requirements – Student Engagement Transcript (SET)

Students who have completed or who are registered to complete all degree requirements, must apply for graduation within the first ten days of their final semester of attendance. Upon review and successful completion of all degree requirements, and Student Engagement Transcript requirements, students’ degree will be officially conferred and, if they applied for graduation, the student will receive their diploma at the address of record on file with the University. 

The official date of graduation will be at the end of the semester that the student applies for, and successfully completes requirements for, graduation. (See Participation in Commencement Policy.) Every student must apply for graduation in order to receive their diploma in the mail, even if the student does not plan to participate in commencement. 

NOTE: If a degree audit determines that a student is lacking requirements which cannot be fulfilled in the applied semester, the student MUST reapply for graduation in the next semester in which all requirements will be completed. 

Incomplete Grades

A student who has completed a substantial portion of the course, but because of extenuating circumstances is unable to complete the course requirements during the required time, may request from the instructor an incomplete ("I") grade. Note that poor performance or late assignments do not constitute extenuating circumstances. If the instructor agrees to assign an incomplete grade, the instructor must specify the work to be completed and the required date of completion. All incomplete “I” grades not changed by the end of the following semester will automatically convert to an “F” grade. Note that in the case of spring courses, the following semester refers to the end of tall summer session courses.

When an  “I”  grade is submitted for a student, the faculty member is required to complete the online form which details the reasons for the incomplete grade, an action plan for course completion, as well as a deadline date for submission of work. An electronic copy of the form will be provided to the student, the faculty member, and the department head. After the faculty member ensures that the work has been completed, he/she will submit a change-of-grade form to the department head. The department head signs and forwards the form to the School dean, who in turn forwards it to the Office of the Registrar for processing. See Final Grade Changes and Appeals Policy.

Effective Fall 2019

Independent Study/Research

Independent Study/Research is made available to undergraduate students with a minimum 2.50 GPA who desire additional education enrichment in areas not otherwise available through traditional course selection.

Any student with a request for Independent Study/Research should be referred to the appropriate academic Department Head. 

The Department Head will review the student’s academic record for administrative clearance and assure that the student qualifies academically for Independent Study/Research and understands how credits will apply toward program requirements.

If cleared by the Department Head, she/he will provide the Independent Study application form to the student, who will complete the form and return it to the Department Head. If the department head approves the application, it will be reviewed by the Dean of the School. If the dean approves, she/he will forward it to the Office of the Registrar, which will register the student for the Independent Study/Research course.

Jury Duty

State law prohibits interference with jury duty.  It is against University policy to impede a student called to jury duty.  For instance, if a student’s jury duty conflicts with a class, lab or exam, the instructor must cooperate with the student to reschedule the missed course obligations.  Jury duty is a valid excuse for missing class and should not count against established class attendance policies.  The student has the responsibility to provide verification of attendance at jury as required by their instructor.

Effective Fall 2019

Late Registration After Classes Begin

Any course additions after the session begins must adhere to the following policy:

  • Students may continue to register for classes during the first week of a session.
  • Cooperative Education/Internship/Practicum students can register throughout the semester with permission of the department head.  In addition, students may substitute internships for other courses during the first three weeks of classes.

Any exception to this policy must be approved by the respective department head or dean of the School who owns the course the student wishes to enter, in consultation with the instructor teaching the course.

Students are considered registered when their names appear on the course roster provided by the Registrar.  Students who attend class but are not listed on the roster provided by the Registrar will not receive credit or a grade for the course.

Registered students who do not meet the department's attendance requirements or who do not officially withdraw from a class will be assigned a grade of "F" for the course. Registered students who are absent from classes at the beginning of a semester will be subject to the course policies and procedures pertaining to such matters as attendance, assignments, and examinations.

Effective Fall 2019

Medical Withdrawal

Considerations

  1. General considerations. A medical withdrawal may be requested in extraordinary cases in which serious illness or injury prevents a student from continuing and completing his or her classes, and incompletes or other arrangements with the instructors are not possible. The medical withdrawal policy covers both physical health and mental health difficulties.
  2. Consideration is for a complete withdrawal of all semester courses; there are no partial medical withdrawals granted.
    • Consideration may be given for students to retain grades received during a semester if such grades were assigned during a completed session (e.g., first 8-week session) prior to the onset of the medical condition.
    • Incompletes are not considered for partial withdrawals.
  3. All applications for medical withdrawal require thorough and verifiable documentation from the student’s medical provider.

Impact on Academic Progress

  1. Medical withdrawals impact academic progress, graduation, student grades, and finances.
  2. Students may request a medical withdrawal from current semester courses or from courses taken during the most recently completed semester only. All requests must be received no later than 90 days following the end of the applicable semester.
  3. Grades may be changed up to 90 days following the completion of the most recent semester. However, no awarded grades may be changed without the consent of the assigning course instructor. Should the instructor no longer be available, such decisions are passed to the respective department head.
  4. A hold is placed on student registration from the date of course withdrawals until the student is reinstated following completion of the required medical treatment and documentation from the medical provider is presented to the University.

Academic and Financial Impact of a Medical Withdrawal

  1. Students requesting a medical withdrawal should consult with their faculty advisor to discuss issues related to their academic progress toward graduation and student financial services to become familiar with financial implications of any withdrawal before submitting their Medical Withdrawal Request Form.
  2. Course withdrawals will appear as “W” grades in the student transcript and are not computed in a student’s cumulative grade point average. Actual assigned grades received when subsequently completing course requirements will appear on the student transcript and will be calculated into a student’s GPA. However, previous “W” course grades continue to appear on the student transcript as the official record of courses.
  3. Students requesting a medical withdrawal early enough in the semester may be eligible for tuition refund based on the withdrawal schedule established for traditional, graduate/non-traditional, and doctorate students.

Reinstatement & Readmission

  1. Students must submit medical provider’s documentation confirming that the student’s medical condition is resolved and he/she can return to the classroom.
  2. Students should seek reinstatement no later than 60 days before the start of the desired semester. Academic and financial holds must be resolved and removed before returning students are permitted to register for classes.
  3. Students who have not attended classes for two academic years must be reinstated into their academic program. Often, requirements for degree completion have changed after such an extended period of time. See Readmission Policy <link>

Other Considerations

  1. Students may request only one medical withdrawal during their academic career at Robert Morris University.
    • Students must use the University’s established Withdrawal Policies for any subsequent withdrawals.
  2. Medical withdrawal applications and supporting documents are retained by the Office of Student LifeAcademic Services for at least five years and filed separately from the student's other records.

Medical Withdrawal Procedures

The following procedure applies to students who are applying for a medical withdrawal.  Students are strongly encouraged to submit their request as soon as possible in the semester to be eligible for tuition adjustment.

  1. Students receiving financial assistance are strongly encouraged to consult with a financial aid counselor to identify and understand the financial aid, student loan, scholarship, and other monetary implications of processing this withdrawal transaction.
  2.  If a student is:
    • An international student with an F1/J1 visa, they must consult with the Center for Global Engagement to discuss the serious immigration consequences that may result from a medical withdrawal.
    • A veteran-student using any form of government-provided veteran benefits must consult with the RMU Center for Veterans and Military Families to discuss the impact on veteran eligibility that may result from a medical withdrawal.
    • A student-athlete, they must consult with the Associate Athletic Director to discuss the impact on athletic eligibility that may result from a medical withdrawal.
  3. To request a medical withdrawal, the student must submit the Medical Withdrawal Request Form along with appropriate documentation from their medical provider. All requests must be sent to the Assistant Dean of Student Life at the address shown on the form.
  4. Appropriate documentation for a medical withdrawal must be prepared on the health care provider's letterhead stationery and signed by the attending health care provider. The letter from the provider must specify the following:
    • the date of onset of illness/condition
    • the dates the student was (or continues to be) under professional care
    • the nature of the medical condition and why/how it prevents/prevented completion of course work 
    • the last date the student was able to attend class
    • the date of anticipated return to school
  5. Requests to return to class following a medical withdrawal should be sent to the Assistant Dean of Student Life. Removal of the registration hold takes 3-4 weeks and must happen before the student can register for classes.
  6. Requests for reinstatement following an extended absence of two or more years must comply with the University’s Readmission Policy. 
  7. Students may request only one medical withdrawal during their academic career.

Effective Fall 2019

Military Deployment

Students Called to Active Duty in the Military during an Academic Semester

The following options exist for a student called to active duty in the military during an academic semester.  Students may select one of the first three options and option four  if applicable, immediately by contacting  their respective academic department head who in turn informs the appropriate academic dean. The student must also file written verification of the activation order as soon as it becomes available with the registrar at Robert Morris University.  This policy also extends to military spouse or military dependent students that need to withdrawal due to the hardships caused by the service member’s activation/deployment.

  1. A student can take the grade he has earned to date in a class provided that more than three-fourths of class meetings have passed and both student and faculty agree to this option.  Students selecting this option will not be refunded any tuition or fees and will have their grade processed in the normal manner at the end of the semester with appropriate credits and grade awarded.
  2. Students can elect to have an Incomplete I grade recorded at the end of the semester provided that more than half of the class meetings have passed and both student and faculty agree to this option. Students  selecting this option will have three months after the call to duty to inform the appropriate academic dean of his or her intent to change the “I” grade. A student intending to remove the "I" grade will have up to 90 days from completion of active duty to remove the "I" grade. There will be no change-of-grade fee assessed. Faculty of students electing the "I" option must place on file in the department head’s office specific course completion requirements for each student. A student not removing the "I" grade within the 90-day period after active duty will need to repeat the course; in this case, the "I" grade will be treated as an "F", and the student will not be refunded any tuition or fees.
  3. A student can elect to withdraw from one or more courses with a grade of "W" at any time during the semester by informing the Registrar. Students  electing this option will have their tuition refunded or credited, whichever is deemed appropriate, without credits awarded.
  4. A resident student may at any time during the semester be released from her contractual obligations for room and board. Fees will be refunded for the unused portion of the contract on a pro rata basis.

Revised May 2021

Non-Business Students Taking Business Courses

Non-business undergraduate degree students outside of the School of Business are not permitted to take more than eight business courses from the School of Business, unless they are a student enrolled in a business school minor or business school certificate program. 

Effective Fall 2019

Pass/Fail Option

Students who have earned a minimum of 75 credits and a cumulative GPA of 2.33 are permitted to complete up to nine credits of coursework as open or non-business electives on a pass/fail basis. The following criteria are to be met: 

  1. This decision to elect the pass/fail option cannot be changed once classes begin. 
  2. Courses normally graded pass/no pass (P/N) do not affect the student’s option to elect a maximum of nine credits of pass/fail courses toward degree requirements. 
  3. "Pass" in a course is defined as satisfactory attainment (Equal to "C" or better) and will apply toward meeting total program requirements. It is not used in determining the GPA.  "Fail" in a course is defined as unsatisfactory attainment (Equal to a "D" or "F" grade). "Fail" grades are used in determining the GPA and are computed as an "F" grade. 

NOTE: The intention to take a course pass/fail must be declared prior to the beginning of classes.

Effective Fall 2019

Posthumous Degrees

On occasion, upon recommendation to the Provost by the Dean of the School that houses the students’ major field of study, a posthumous degree may be awarded.

Readmission & Reinstatement

Readmission

A student in good academic standing who does not take classes at Robert Morris University for four or more consecutive semesters, excluding summer terms, must request readmission to continue their studies. A current program checksheet will be used to establish program requirements. 

  1. A student requesting readmission must complete an online Request for Readmission or complete a readmission form in the Office of the Registrar . 
  2. Upon receipt of the completed form, the Office of the Registrar  will: 
    • Verify the student is in good academic standing, check student accounts information, demographic information, and student number (If there is a problem the student will be asked to check with the necessary departments to clear his or her status before the readmission process can resume); 
    • Review all materials, approve or deny the request for readmission (any conditions affecting the readmission will be identified on the form). 
  3. Upon completion of the readmission material by the Office of the Registrar, distribution will be as follows: 
    •  One copy of the checksheet and readmission will be mailed to the student along with registration materials. 
    • One copy of the checksheet and readmission will be placed in the student's folder. 
  4. Refer to Change of Major/Program Policy in cases where the student wishes to return to Robert Morris in a different degree program.

Reinstatement

Students who were academically suspended or dismissed from the University as a result of meeting one or more conditions stated in the Academic Standing Policy   may request to be reinstated by making an appeal to the dean of the student’s program of study.

Effective Fall 2019

Student Use of Personal Technology in the Classroom 

Students may use technology such as laptops, tablets, cell phones, Smartwatches, or other technology in class to consult online readings or other information related to the course content or to take notes  as part of the learning experience in the classroom.  The instructor may restrict the use of laptops, tablets or cell phones for irrelevant or non-academic use such as email, texting, social media or searching non-course related materials or items during class that interfere with the course and learning process for all students.  

Students may use appropriate technology for accommodations (such as laptops or Smartphones with transcription and text to speech software, language translators, Livescribe pens or other devices) as have been sanctioned through Student Disabilities Services --. delineated in  the student’s Accommodation Letter or noted as approved by the Center for Global Engagement for international students.  All devices should be placed on silent or vibrate while in class.   Instructors may ban the use of all technology devices including cell phones, Smartwatches, laptops and tablets during any assessment or exam process. Any violations of this policy may be viewed as violations of the RMU Academic Integrity policy. Instructor policies regarding use of personal technology in the classroom should be stated clearly in the course syllabus.

Repeating Courses
  1. A student may repeat a course in which a grade of D, F, or L (audit) was received. Schools may have specific policies regarding course repeats which take precedence over this policy
  2. Computation of grade point average will be based on the most recent grade earned.
  3. Students who have not attained the minimum passing grade for courses required in their program of study after three attempts may be dismissed from their major. 
  4. A student may not repeat a course at another institution or receive credit by examination.
  5. Please note that the original grade, although not counted in the cumulative GPA, remains on the student’s transcript.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

If you are a financial aid recipient, please note that failed coursework is calculated in the overall financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review each year, and a student is required to meet SAP standards to remain eligible for financial aid. The SAP is calculated differently than the RMU GPA and Academic Standing. Please contact the financial aid office for questions regarding SAP. 

Eligibility for GI Bill Benefits

Students who receive GI Bill benefits cannot be certified for or receive compensation repeating a course that was successfully completed. However, if a student fails a course, or if a program requires a higher grade than the one achieved in a particular class for successful completion, then that course may be repeated and certified to the VA again.

A VA student can round out a schedule with non-required courses to bring his/her course load up to a full-time schedule in his/her last term only. 
This allows students to continue to receive benefits at the full-time rate in their last term of enrollment, even though fewer credits are required to complete the program. 

NOTE: This procedure can be done only once per program. In rounding out a full-time schedule, VA students may use any credit hour unit subject, including a subject that has previously been successfully completed (received a passing grade).

EXAMPLE: A claimant needs to complete 60 credit hours to obtain a bachelor’s degree. After passing 57 credit hours, the claimant enrolls in four 3-credit-hour courses. VA may pay the Veteran educational assistance for full-time training during this last term.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m currently enrolled in a class, but there is a chance I won’t pass. Can I register for the course next term now to hold a seat?
No, the Sentry system will block you from registration from a class if you are currently registered in the same class. However, after grades are posted, if you receive a non-passing grade, you will be able to add the course if seats are available.

I need to repeat a class to meet my major requirements. How can I obtain permission to do this?
The dean’s office of your major can assist you with the petition.

If I withdraw from a class and receive a “W”, and then I repeat and successfully complete the course in a future term, will the “W” be removed from my record?
No, all grades including “W”, “L” for audits, and “N” for competency not met will remain on your transcript and are not calculated into your cumulative G.P.A.

I completed the course but failed it, why is it not on my checksheet?
A failing grade will not slot into the course requirements. The failed course will appear in the Additional Coursework Completed (Not applicable to program).

Revised Fall 2019

Residency Requirements

Robert Morris University has residency requirements for undergraduate degree programs. This is necessary since, in granting a degree, RMU is certifying students' knowledge and skills to prospective employers, to other universities, and to concerned individuals.  

Courses that comply with this residency requirement are those offered by the University at any of its approved sites using any approved method of delivery.  Courses that are part of a formal collaborative agreement (e.g., PCHE, OCICU) are considered to be in-residence.

To be eligible for graduation, students must complete their final 30 credits and at least 51 percent of their “major area of study” at Robert Morris University. The "major area of study" is defined for the BSBA degree as all courses in the business core and major concentration. For all other bachelor degrees, the "major area of study" is defined as courses in the major and/or concentration. 

Requests for exceptions to this policy must be referred to the appropriate department head by the student in a timely manner to ensure compliance with residency requirements. 

Effective Fall 2019

Statute of Limitations (Academic Credit)

All credits required for an undergraduate degree, whether earned in residence, transferred from another institution or granted via advanced placement, must have been earned within twelve years of the date on which the degree is granted. This statutory period can be extended by the dean of the student's

School under the following conditions: 

  • the courses taken prior to the statutory period still represent a reasonable part of the student's total academic program; 
  • the prior courses provide adequate preparation for courses which must still be taken to fulfill the degree requirements; 
  • there is a legitimate reason(s) for the student not completing the academic program within the statutory period. 

A request for a waiver of the statute of limitations must be submitted to the dean of the student's School. The request for a waiver should address all of the above conditions for an extension. For cases in which a waiver is granted, the waiver covers specific courses and is intended for a specific period during which the program must be completed. All granted waivers must be presented to the Office of Academic Affairs for processing.

Note: Based on major, statute of limitations may be less than 12 years, as determined by the School and/or accreditation policies.
Effective Fall 2019

Student-Faculty Disputes

A student who has a complaint with an individual faculty member should discuss the complaint directly with the faculty member and try to resolve it at that level. See "Grade Changes policy for any questions regarding final course grades. 

A student who attempts to begin the process at a higher administrative level will be encouraged to address the issue with the faculty member first. The department head shall make a good faith effort to have the student confer initially with the faculty member. 

If the issue is not resolved at the faculty member or department head level, the student can appeal to the appropriate academic dean. 

Under no circumstances, should a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of process when seeking resolution of a student-faculty dispute.

PROCEDURE

If a student refuses to confer with the faculty member, the student is to confer with the faculty member's department head. If such a meeting occurs, the department head will: 

  1.  If possible, inform the faculty member of the student's request and issue, if known, prior to the meeting; 
  2. Not engage in a substantive discussion with the student (i.e., not inquire into the actual details or circumstances surrounding the complaint), but will listen to the student's concerns; 
  3. Inform the student that the concerns expressed will be communicated to the faculty member; 
  4. After the meeting, inform the faculty member of the concerns raised by the student; 
  5. f the faculty member agrees to do so, arrange a meeting with the faculty member and the student in an attempt to resolve the issue. 

If an acceptable solution is not reached, the student must then document his or her complaint in writing and deliver a copy to the faculty member, the department head and the appropriate dean, respectively. 

  1. The department head will make a judgment about the student complaint. If the department head judges against the complaint, then the student has the ability to appeal to the appropriate academic dean. 
  2. If the department head judges the student complaint could be valid, the faculty member will be asked to respond in writing to the complaint. 
  3. The department head will consider the faculty member's written response and could dismiss the complaint, at which time the student could appeal to the appropriate academic dean. 
  4. Alternatively, the department head could conclude that there is a basis for the complaint and would then schedule a conference with the student and the faculty member in an effort to resolve the issue. 

Revised March 2017

Undergraduate Students Taking Graduate Courses

Senior undergraduate students may enroll in graduate courses with the written approval of the undergraduate department head of their respective degree program, subject to the following restrictions: 

  • Undergraduate students must have completed 90 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible to request permission to take a graduate course. Both the Department Head and Dean of the School that supervise the course’s program of study must approve the request. 
  • Undergraduate students must meet all prerequisite requirements for the graduate course(s) and are subject to the same course policies and grading criteria as graduate students enrolled in the same course(s). 
  • For an undergraduate student not enrolled in an accelerated program, a graduate course applied toward an undergraduate degree may not also be applied to a graduate program. 

With the appropriate School Dean’s approval, the department head will forward the written request to the Office of the Registrar for registration and processing.

Graduate Policies

Academic Standing

In order for a graduate student to be in good academic standing at Robert Morris University, he or she must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA set forth by their respective School and program. Doctoral students should refer to their program handbook for any additional policies related to their doctoral programs.

Academic Warning: A graduate student with a GPA lower than 3.00 will be placed on academic warning. Students on Academic Warning are permitted to continue study for at least one semester and may remain on Academic Warning.

Academic Suspension: Students may be suspended from the University when three or
more “C” or “F” grades are computed in the GPA. Students may not continue study while on Academic Suspension.  

Return from Academic Suspension: Students who wish to return to study must appeal their suspension by filing a request for reinstatement (with justification) to their School Dean. If the Dean approves the appeal, the Dean must complete an academic conference contract and submit it to the Registrar. Students returning from suspension must meet the described activities for academic success set forth by the Dean. Failure to meet all conditions of the described activities for academic success may result in the student’s academic dismissal from Robert Morris University.

Effective Fall 2019

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Specific absence policies are determined by each academic department and faculty member, announced at the beginning of each course, and presented in the course syllabus. Students whose absence exceeds the announced departmental or faculty policy may receive academic sanctions up to and including a course grade of "F." Such students are permitted to attend the remaining classes but are not permitted to take any examinations. 

Notification Requirements 

Athletic Competition (Events only, not practice or preparation). The Department of Athletics must provide each student-athlete with a detailed schedule (including times and dates the athletes will be unavailable for classes) of competitive events including pre- and post-game obligations. The student-athlete must deliver this schedule to the affected professor at least one week before a conflict arises in obligations. 

Academic and Student Life University-Sanctioned Events. The appropriate department head or faculty/staff advisor must provide each student who is officially representing the University at an event with a detailed schedule of competitive events including pre- and post-event obligations (e.g., model UN, AMA meetings, student government conferences). The schedule must be delivered to the affected professor at least one week before a conflict arises in obligations. 

Appeals. Faculty member or student appeals related to this policy are to be considered by the affected faculty member’s department head.

Effective Fall 2019

Change of Graduate Degree Program

A graduate student who leaves one graduate degree program may begin another graduate degree program within Robert Morris provided the student fulfills all the admissions requirements and is accepted into the new program. 

Note that a graduate student may be enrolled in only one graduate degree program at a time.

Effective Fall 2019

Commencement Participation

Students who are in good academic standing and who can finish their degree requirements by the end of the following Summer session according to a plan that has been reviewed and approved by their respective dean are also permitted to participate in commencement, providing they have no more than nine (9) credits to complete. 

Integrated or accelerated students earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree are able to participate in undergraduate commencement after they meet the criteria for completing their undergraduate degree coursework. They may also participate in graduate commencement once their graduate degree coursework is complete. The diplomas for both degrees, however, will not be officially conferred until both programs are complete.

Doctoral students should consult their program requirements for specific information.

Expected graduates are recognized in the commencement program. 

Procedures:

  • Students wishing to participate in commencement must complete the Graduation Application, online using Sentry secured services, within the first 10 days of their final semester.
  • Students completing degree requirements at the end of the summer semester must also complete the Walk Early Form located in the Academic Services office. “Walk Early” students must receive their School academic dean’s approval and return the signed form to Academic Services office.

Walk Early Procedures:

  • Students requesting to walk early must submit an online Graduation Application for the semester in which their degree requirements WILL BE COMPLETED and not the term they will be participating in commencement.
  • Additional important information for Walk Early students can be found on the “Walk Early” form. 

Effective Fall 2019

Credit Load

The maximum credit load for a full-time graduate student is 12 credits. This policy may be overridden on an individual basis with the approval of the dean associated with a student’s field of study.

Effective Fall 2019

Directed Study

Directed Study may be available to Robert Morris University students, in unusual circumstances, for regular catalog courses if the student provides detailed justification for the Directed Study and receives approval of the school dean upon recommendation from the department head. Planning for a Directed Study should be done before classes begin.

Procedure

  • Students must obtain an application for the Directed Study and take the application and a copy of their current academic checksheet to the head of the academic department offering the course. The application form can be found at the following web page: academicaffairs.rmu.edu/academic-policies/undergraduate/directed-study
  • Detailed justification must be completed on the application. 
  • If the department head feels the justification warrants approval, the department head will pursue finding a faculty member to conduct the Directed Study. 
  • If the faculty member agrees to conduct the directed study, the department head will complete the approval process part of the application and forward the application to the school dean. 
  • The school dean forwards the application to the Academic Services Office for registration purposes. 

Effective Fall 2019 

Drop and Withdrawals

The University endeavors to mitigate changes that impact a student’s enrollment and progress toward degree completion. However, students should keep in mind the following:

  • Students are financially responsible for all of the classes for which they register, including classes that they do not attend.
  • Students may check online at any time to review their current class schedule, and should do this before and after any change to their course schedule.
  • Students may add or drop classes through the end of the add/drop period.
  • Students may withdraw from courses by the published dates in the academic calendar. 
  • If a student needs to drop or withdraw from a class, she/he should contact their academic advisor or department head to determine the impact on degree progress.
  • Course withdrawals are processed once the add/drop period has ended using the deadlines published in the Academic Calendar.
  • Course withdrawals result in a final grade of “W” for the class and are so recorded on the student’s official academic transcript; grades of “W” are not computed in the GPA.
  • Students withdrawing from the University should ensure they withdraw from all courses and contact both the Center for Student Success & Personal Development and the Financial Aid office.

Init rev. Spring 2021

Final Grade Changes and Appeals

Grade Appeals

A student who has a disagreement with an individual instructor regarding a grade should discuss the disagreement directly with the instructor and try to resolve the concern. A student who attempts to begin the process at a higher administrative level will be directed back to the instructor who issued the grade. The department head shall ensure that the student confers initially with the instructor. 

If the issue is not resolved at the instructor level the student may appeal to the department head in writing, stating their concern and presenting evidence relevant to their appeal. If the matter is not resolved at the department head level, the student can appeal to the appropriate academic dean in writing. 
Under no circumstances, should a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of process when seeking resolution of a grade appeal. See “Grade Changes Policy” for any questions regarding final course grades.

PROCEDURE

Upon receiving an appeal of an instructor’s grade, the department head will:

  1. Inform the instructor of the student’s request and issue, prior to the meeting;
  2. Listen to the student’s concerns;
  3. Inform the student that the concerns expressed will be communicated to the instructor;
  4. Inform the instructor of the concerns raised by the student;
  5. If the department head believes that a calculation error has occurred in the computation of the grade, a meeting with the instructor and the student should be held in an attempt to resolve the issue.

If the department head finds no evidence of a calculation error and supports the original grade, the student has the ability to appeal to the appropriate academic dean in writing. The decision of the dean is final.

Should any party feel that discrimination against a student is involved in the issuance of a grade, the RMU Office of Diversity and Inclusion should be contacted.

Grade Changes

All requests for course grade changes must be directed to the instructor who originally awarded the grade. If the instructor agrees to the request, he/she will complete a Change-of-Grade form and submit the form to the department head. Change of grade requests are signed by the instructor, department head, and school dean when approved and forwarded to Academic Services to update the student’s academic record. All grade changes must be completed by the end of the semester following the one in which the first grade was issued. 

If a student disputes a grade and an acceptable solution is not reached by discussion with the instructor, the student should put the issue regarding the grade or grading procedure in writing and deliver a copy to the instructor and department head.   The instructor will cooperate with the department head for review and assessment, including, but not limited to: instructional materials, grade books, exams and syllabi. This process should not replace informal conferences between a student and an instructor concerning the issuance of a grade. 

If the issue is not resolved at the instructor or department head level, the student can appeal to the Dean of the school associated with the student’s major field of study. The Dean’s determination is final.

Under no circumstances will a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of the University for utilizing this request or appeal policy.

Effective Fall 2019

Final Examinations
  1. The Academic Services Office will establish and publish the final examination schedule each semester. The nature and type of final examination will be determined, administered, and graded by the instructor. Students will not be required to complete more than three final examinations (including evening finals) in one given day. 
  2. Fifteen-week on-ground courses meet during the scheduled examination period. 
  3. The scheduled 9th-week final examination period for eight-week courses is optional, and at the discretion of the instructor. 
  4. Students must seek approval from, and make alternative arrangements with, the course instructor if there is any deviation from the scheduled examination period within the final examination week; i.e., too many examinations in one day. 

Effective Fall 2019

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for degree conferral, candidates must:

  • Successfully complete a specific minimum number of approved graduate credits with a cumulative grade point average as prescribed by the program of study. 
  • Obtain departmental  approval for awarding the degree by completing all designated courses as outlined in the curriculum and any other program-specific requirements. 
  • Fulfill residency and statute-of-limitations requirements. (Statute of Limitations Policy)

Students who have completed or are registered to complete all degree requirements must apply for graduation online. Upon successful completion of all degree requirements, students will be officially graduated and receive their diplomas. The official date of graduation will be at the end of the semester that the student applies for graduation. (Also, see Participation in Commencement Policy.)

Effective Fall 2019

Incomplete Grades

A student who has completed a substantial portion of the course, but because of extenuating circumstances is unable to complete the course requirements during the required time, may request from the instructor an incomplete ("I") grade. Note that poor performance or late assignments do not constitute extenuating circumstances. If the instructor agrees to assign an incomplete grade, the instructor must specify the work to be completed and the required date of completion. All incomplete “I” grades not changed by the end of the following semester will automatically convert to an “F” grade. Note that in the case of spring courses, the following semester refers to the end of tall summer session courses.

When an “I” grade is submitted for a student, the instructor is required to complete the online form which details the reasons for the incomplete grade, an action plan for course completion, as well as a deadline date for submission of work. An electronic copy of the form will be provided to the student, the instructor, and the department dead. After the instructor ensures that the work has been completed, he/she will submit a change-of-grade form to the department head. The department head signs and forwards the form to the School dean, who in turn forwards it to the Office of the Registrar for processing.   See Final Grade Changes and Appeals Policy.

Effective Fall 2019

Independent Study/Research

Independent Study/Research is available to graduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who desire additional education enrichment in areas not otherwise available through traditional course selection.

Any student with a request for Independent Study/Research should be referred to the appropriate academic department head. 

The department head will review the student’s academic record for administrative clearance and assure that the student qualifies academically for Independent Study/Research and understands how credits will apply toward program requirements.

If cleared by the department head, she/he will provide the Independent Study application form to the student, who will complete the form with guidance from a mentoring faculty member and return it to the department head. If the department head approves the application, it will be reviewed by the dean of the School. If the dean approves, she/he will forward it to the Office of the Registrar, which will register the student for the Independent Study/Research course.

Effective Fall 2018

Jury Duty

State law prohibits interference with jury duty.  It is against University policy to impede a student called to jury duty.  If a student’s jury duty conflicts with a class, lab or exam, faculty must cooperate with the student to reschedule the missed course obligations.  Jury duty is a valid excuse for missing class and should not count against established class attendance policies.  The student has the responsibility to provide verification of attendance at jury as required by their instructor.

Effective Fall 2019

Late Registration After Classes Begin

Any course additions after the session begins must adhere to the following policy:

  • Students may continue to register for classes during the first week of a session.
  • Cooperative Education/Internship/Practicum students can register throughout the semester with permission of the department head.  In addition, students may substitute internships for other courses during the first three weeks of classes.

Any exception to this policy must be approved by the respective department head or dean of the School who owns the course the student wishes to enter, in consultation with the instructor teaching the course.

Students are considered registered when their names appear on the course roster provided by the Registrar.  Students who attend class but are not listed on the roster provided by the Registrar will not receive credit or a grade for the course.

Registered students who do not meet the department's attendance requirements or who do not officially withdraw from a class will be assigned a grade of "F" for the course. Registered students who are absent from classes at the beginning of a semester will be subject to the course policies and procedures pertaining to such matters as attendance, assignments, and examinations.

Effective Fall 2019

Medical Withdrawal

Considerations

  1. General considerations. A medical withdrawal may be requested in extraordinary cases in which serious illness or injury prevents a student from continuing and completing his or her classes, and incompletes or other arrangements with the instructors are not possible. The medical withdrawal policy covers both physical health and mental health difficulties.
  2. Consideration is for a complete withdrawal of all semester courses; there are no partial medical withdrawals granted.
    • Consideration may be given for students to retain grades received during a semester if such grades were assigned during a completed session (e.g., first 8-week session) prior to the onset of the medical condition.
    • Incompletes are not considered for partial withdrawals.
  3. All applications for medical withdrawal require thorough and verifiable documentation from the student’s medical provider.

Impact on Academic Progress

  1. Medical withdrawals impact academic progress, graduation, student grades, and finances.
  2. Students may request a medical withdrawal from current semester courses or from courses taken during the most recently completed semester only. All requests must be received no later than 90 days following the end of the applicable semester.
  3. Grades may be changed up to 90 days following the completion of the most recent semester. However, no awarded grades may be changed without the consent of the assigning course instructor. Should the instructor no longer be available, such decisions are passed to the respective department head.
  4. A hold is placed on student registration from the date of course withdrawals until the student is reinstated following completion of the required medical treatment and documentation from the medical provider is presented to the University.

Academic and Financial Impact of a Medical Withdrawal

  1. Students requesting a medical withdrawal should consult with their faculty advisor to discuss issues related to their academic progress toward graduation and student financial services to become familiar with financial implications of any withdrawal before submitting their Medical Withdrawal Request Form.
  2. Course withdrawals will appear as “W” grades in the student transcript and are not computed in a student’s cumulative grade point average. Actual assigned grades received when subsequently completing course requirements will appear on the student transcript and will be calculated into a student’s GPA. However, previous “W” course grades continue to appear on the student transcript as the official record of courses.
  3. Students requesting a medical withdrawal early enough in the semester may be eligible for tuition refund based on the withdrawal schedule established for traditional, graduate/non-traditional, and doctorate students.

Reinstatement & Re-admission

  1. Students must submit medical provider’s documentation confirming that the student’s medical condition is resolved and he/she can return to the classroom.
  2. Students should seek reinstatement no later than 60 days before the start of the desired semester. Academic and financial holds must be resolved and removed before returning students are permitted to register for classes.
  3. Students who have not attended classes for two academic years must be readmitted into their academic program. Often, requirements for degree completion have changed after such an extended period of time. See Readmission Policy <link>

Other Considerations

  1. Students may request only one medical withdrawal during their academic career at Robert Morris University.
    • Students must use the University’s established Withdrawal Policies for any subsequent withdrawals.
  2. Medical withdrawal applications and supporting documents are retained by the Office of Student Life for at least five years and filed separately from the student's other records.

Medical Withdrawal Procedures

The following procedure applies to students who are applying for a medical withdrawal.  Students are strongly encouraged to submit their request as soon as possible in the semester to be eligible for tuition adjustment.

  1. Students receiving financial assistance are strongly encouraged to consult with a financial aid counselor to identify and understand the financial aid, student loan, scholarship, and other monetary implications of processing this withdrawal transaction.
  2. If a student is:
    • An international student with an F1/J1 visa, they must consult with the Center for Global Engagement to discuss the serious immigration consequences that may result from a medical withdrawal.
    • A veteran-student using any form of government-provided veteran benefits must consult with the RMU Center for Veterans and Military Families to discuss the impact on veteran eligibility that may result from a medical withdrawal.
    • A student-athlete, they must consult with the Associate Athletic Director to discuss the impact on athletic eligibility that may result from a medical withdrawal.
  3. To request a medical withdrawal, the student must submit the Medical Withdrawal Request Form along with appropriate documentation from their medical provider. All requests must be sent to the Assistant Dean of Student Life at the address shown on the form.
  4. Appropriate documentation for a medical withdrawal must be prepared on the health care provider's letterhead stationery and signed by the attending health care provider. The letter from the provider must specify the following:
    • the date of onset of illness/condition
    • the dates the student was (or continues to be) under professional care
    • the nature of the medical condition and why/how it prevents/prevented completion of course work 
    • the last date the student was able to attend class
    • the date of anticipated return to school
  5. Requests to return to class following a medical withdrawal should be sent to the Assistant Dean of Student Life. Removal of the registration hold takes 3-4 weeks and must happen before the student can register for classes.
  6. Requests for readmission following an extended absence of two or more years must comply with the University’s Readmission Policy. 
  7. Students may request only one medical withdrawal during their academic career.

Effective Fall 2019

Non-Business Students Taking Business Courses

Non-business masters and doctorate degree students outside of the School of Business are not permitted to take more than two business courses from the School of Business unless permitted by the program director of the graduate business school degree program or graduate business school certificate in which the student is enrolled.

Effective Fall 2019

Non-Degree Study

Students who wish to take graduate courses at RMU for personal enrichment, work application or other purpose, but do not wish to enroll in a graduate degree program or certificate, may do so under non-degree graduate study if space is available in their desired course(s). Students who are enrolled in a

Robert Morris University undergraduate program may not be simultaneously enrolled for graduate non-degree study. Any student who has previously been denied admission to a Robert Morris University graduate degree program is not eligible to enroll for non-degree graduate course work. 
Non-degree graduate students may enroll for a maximum of 12 cumulative graduate credits. Students will also be required to meet the graduate prerequisite(s) for their desired course. Students enrolled in non-degree graduate studies are not eligible to receive federal student loans. 

Students enrolled in non-degree graduate studies who wish to continue in a Robert Morris University graduate program must apply for admission with the graduate enrollment office, at which time they will be required to submit all of the necessary credentials required for their chosen degree program.

Enrollment in non-degree graduate study does not guarantee that a student will be accepted into their chosen graduate program. If a student is admitted to their chosen graduate degree program, the graduate courses they have completed may be applied to their graduate degree program if accepted. 

  • Students need to complete a graduate admissions application and select non-degree as their major 
  • Students need not submit any further transcripts or credentials for evaluation 
  • Students will be placed on an open requirement graduate checksheet 

Effective Fall 2019

Off-Campus Course Credit

Off-campus study is permitted for matriculating graduate students who have a need to complete studies while they are absent from Robert Morris University. Students can request, in writing, permission from the Department Head to study off-campus. The request should include the name, address, and accreditation status of the College/University where the off-campus study is to be completed; the course number, course title, and credit value of the courses to be completed; and a description and/or verification of the circumstances that support the need for off-campus study.

All credit from other institutions must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Permission for transfer credit will only be considered for those graduate students whose cumulative grade point average is 3.0 or higher. 
  2. A "B" grade or higher must be earned to qualify as transfer credit to Robert Morris University. 
  3. A course completed that earned a final letter grade at Robert Morris University may not be repeated at another institution for off-campus course credit.  Students who withdrew (W) or previously audited (L) a course can repeat that course for off-campus credit.
  4. Credits must comply with Graduate Residency and Transfer Requirements for Masters Programs Policy. 

Procedure

Students must have advanced written permission from the Department Head of the students major before registering for off-campus courses. A copy of the written permission must be sent to the Office of the Registrar to be included in student’s academic record.

Once the student completes the off-campus course, an official transcript from the host institution must be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar to receive the off-campus course credit and update the student’s RMU official transcript.

Effective Fall 2019

Posthumous Degree

On occasion, upon recommendation to the Provost by the Academic Dean of the school that houses the students’ major field of study, a posthumous degree may be awarded.  

Effective Fall 2019

Readmission & Reinstatement

Readmission

A student in good academic standing who does not take classes at Robert Morris University for four consecutive terms (excluding summer) must request readmission to continue their studies. A current program checksheet will be used to establish program requirements. 

  1. A student requesting readmission must complete a Request for Readmission on the RMU website or complete a readmission form in the Office of the Registrar. 
  2. Upon receipt of the completed form, the Office of the Registrar will: 
    • Verify the student is in good academic standing, check student accounts information, demographic information, and student number (If there is a problem the student will be asked to check with the necessary departments to clear his or her status before the reinstatement process can resume); 
    • Review all materials, approve or deny the request for reinstatement (any conditions affecting the reinstatement will be identified on the form). 
  3. Upon completion of the readmission material by the Office of the Registrar, distribution will be as follows: 
    • One copy of the checksheet and readmission will be mailed to the student along with registration materials. 
    • One copy of the checksheet and readmission will be placed in the student's folder. 
  4. Refer to Change of Major/Program Policy in cases where the student wishes to return to Robert Morris in a different degree program. 

Reinstatement

Students who were academically suspended or dismissed from the University as a result of meeting one or more conditions stated in the Academic Standing Policy may request to be reinstated by making an appeal to the Dean of the student’s program of study.

Effective Fall 2019

Repeating Courses
  1. A student may repeat a course in which a grade of D, F, or L (audit) was received. Schools may have specific policies regarding course repeats which take precedence over this policy.
  2. Computation of grade point average will be based on the most recent grade earned.
  3. Students who have not attained the minimum passing grade for courses required in their program of study after three attempts may be dismissed from their major. 
  4. A student may not repeat a course at another institution or receive credit by examination.
  5. Please note that the original grade, although not counted in the cumulative GPA, remains on the student’s transcript.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

If you are a financial aid recipient, please note that failed coursework is calculated in the overall financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review each year, and a student is required to meet SAP standards to remain eligible for financial aid. The SAP is calculated differently than the RMU GPA and Academic Standing. Please contact the financial aid office for questions regarding SAP. 

Eligibility for GI Bill Benefits

Students who receive GI Bill benefits cannot be certified for or receive compensation repeating a course that was successfully completed. However, if a student fails a course, or if a program requires a higher grade than the one achieved in a particular class for successful completion, then that course may be repeated and certified to the VA again.

A VA student can round out a schedule with non-required courses to bring his/her course load up to a full-time schedule in his/her last term only. This allows students to continue to receive benefits at the full-time rate in their last term of enrollment, even though fewer credits are required to complete the program. 

NOTE: This procedure can be done only once per program. In rounding out a full-time schedule, VA students may use any credit hour unit subject, including a subject that has previously been successfully completed (received a passing grade). The rounding-out program is being phased out, and cannot be applied to any semesters starting after August 1, 2021.

EXAMPLE: A claimant needs to complete 60 credit hours to obtain a B. A. degree. After passing 57 credit hours, the claimant enrolls in four 3-credit-hour courses. VA may pay the Veteran educational assistance for full-time training during this last term.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m currently enrolled in a class, but there is a chance I will not earn a B- or better. Can I register for the course next term now to hold a seat?
No, the Sentry system will block you from registration from a class if you are currently registered in the same class. However, after grades are posted, if you receive an unsatisfactory grade, you will be able to add the course if seats are available.

I need to repeat a class to meet my major requirements. How can I obtain permission to do this?
The dean’s office of your major can assist you with the petition.

If I withdraw from a class and receive a “W”, and then I repeat and successfully complete the course in a future term, will the “W” be removed from my record?
No, all grades including “W”, “L” for audits, and “N” for competency not met will remain on your transcript and are not calculated into your cumulative G.P.A.

I completed the course but received a “C” or lower, why is it not on my checksheet?
An unsatisfactory grade will not slot into the course requirements. The course will appear in the Additional Coursework Completed (Not applicable to program).

Revised Fall 2020

Residency and Transfer Requirements

As a general policy, all but six credits of any masters degree program must be completed at Robert Morris University. 

In addition:

  • Upon approval, graduate credits earned within the most recent seven-year period at an accredited educational institution may be applied toward program requirements provided they closely parallel current Robert Morris University course descriptions and meet program requirements (maximum of six credits). 
  • Credits that are more than seven years old will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. 
  • Transfer credit will be awarded only for courses in which a grade of "B" or better has been earned. 
  • Students transferring credits to Robert Morris University must submit official transcripts of all graduate coursework taken at other institutions. 
  • Transfer courses cannot replace courses completed or grades earned at Robert Morris University, nor do approved transfer credits have any effect on cumulative grade point averages earned at the University. 
  • All requests for transfer credits must be submitted at the time of application. 

Effective Fall 2019

Second RMU Master’s Degree

Students seeking a second RMU master’s degree must fulfill the residency requirement for the second degree with courses not counting toward the first degree. Students seeking a second master’s degree may satisfy some of the degree requirements with credits from a previous RMU master’s degree, with approval from the dean of the School that houses the second degree. 

If a course required for a master’s degree program was taken during a student's undergraduate program, the department head of the master’s degree program must substitute an appropriate graduate course into the student's graduate program checksheet. 

Effective Fall 2018

Statute of Limitations

A master’s degree must be completed within seven calendar years from matriculation. 

Doctoral students should refer to the statute of limitations in their respective program handbooks. 

Effective Fall 2019

Student-Faculty Disputes

A student who has a complaint with an individual faculty member should discuss the complaint directly with the faculty member and try to resolve it at that level. See "Grade Changes policy" for any questions regarding final course grades. 

A student who attempts to begin the process at a higher administrative level will be encouraged to address the issue with the faculty member first. The department head shall make a good faith effort to have the student confer initially with the faculty member. 

If the issue is not resolved at the faculty member or department head level, the student can appeal to the appropriate academic dean. 

Under no circumstances, should a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of process when seeking resolution of a student-faculty dispute.

PROCEDURE

If a student refuses to confer with the faculty member, the student is to confer with the faculty member's department head. If such a meeting occurs, the department head will: 

  1. If possible, inform the faculty member of the student's request and issue, if known, prior to the meeting; 
  2. Not engage in a substantive discussion with the student (i.e., not inquire into the actual details or circumstances surrounding the complaint), but will listen to the student's concerns; 
  3. Inform the student that the concerns expressed will be communicated to the faculty member; 
  4. After the meeting, inform the faculty member of the concerns raised by the student; 
  5. If the faculty member agrees to do so, arrange a meeting with the faculty member and the student in an attempt to resolve the issue. 

If an acceptable solution is not reached, the student must then document his or her complaint in writing and deliver a copy to the faculty member, the department head and the appropriate dean, respectively. 

  1. The department head will make a judgment about the student complaint. If the department head judges against the complaint, then the student has the ability to appeal to the appropriate academic dean. 
  2. If the department head judges the student complaint could be valid, the faculty member will be asked to respond in writing to the complaint. 
  3. The department head will consider the faculty member's written response and could dismiss the complaint, at which time the student could appeal to the appropriate academic dean. 
  4. Alternatively, the department head could conclude that there is a basis for the complaint and would then schedule a conference with the student and the faculty member in an effort to resolve the issue. 

Revised March 2017