2012-2013 Academic Catalog 
    May 24, 2018  
2012-2013 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

The Graduate School Academic Policies

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The administration and faculty of Friends University attempt to outline clearly and advise consistently concerning requirements for graduation and the student’s progress in meeting these requirements. Part of the student’s personal development, however, is the recognition and acceptance of responsibility in meeting all graduation requirements. The student is expected to take the initiative and to follow through in the completion of all requirements and details of the academic program.

Transfer Policies

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Credit Transfer

Students may transfer, with departmental approval, up to 6 hours of graduate credit under the following conditions:

  1. The institution of origin is accredited by its appropriate accrediting association to offer graduate-level instruction.
  2. The credit is fully acceptable to the institution of origin in satisfaction of its advanced degree requirements.
  3. The credit is applicable to the student’s program of study at Friends University.
  4. The official transcript of the credit to be transferred is on file in the Registrar’s Office at Friends University.
  5. Written approval of the credit to be transferred has been filed by the student’s program with the Registrar’s Office.
  6. The credit to be transferred carries a minimum grade of B.
  7. The credit to be transferred was taken in courses completed within six years of the semester in which the degree work was begun.
  8. The Program Director’s signature must be on the completed form and the form must be received by the Registrar’s Office before the start of the graduate student’s program.

Graduate credit work at another college or university shall not be entered on a Friends University transcript except in degree programs and only then after completion of all work for the degree.

Requests for the transfer of more than 6 credit hours of graduate work will require an exception from the Graduate School.

Requests for the transfer of credits that are more than six years old will require an exception from the Graduate School.  Requests for exception must be made in writing and directed to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Academic Grievance Policy - The Graduate School


If a graduate student determines that a complaint warrants action, the student should be advised of the following Graduate School procedure to be followed within 12 weeks from the end date of the course in question:

  1. Student should confer with the instructor involved.  If such a conference does not resolve the issue,
  2. Student should confer with the Program Director.  If such a conference does not resolve the issue,
  3. Student may appeal in writing to the Program’s Division Chair.  If the issue is not resolved,
  4. Student may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.  The written appeal will be forwarded to the Dean by the student.  The Dean will take action that resolves the matter.
  5. Should a student wish to appeal the Dean’s decision, an appeal must be made in writing to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who, in consultation with the President, will respond for the University.

Academic Standards

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Credit Hour Definition

Friends University defines the unit of credit hour as follows:  A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
(1) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, experiential and prior learning, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours.

Graduate Credit

Courses carrying graduate credit are listed in the graduate section of the Catalog. Other courses may be taken in support of a specific course of study but are not counted toward an advanced degree and are not computed in a student’s graduate grade point average. Only courses numbered 500 and above carry graduate credit.

Independent/Directed Study Credit

A primary goal of graduate study is to encourage independent study under the supervision of members of the graduate faculty. In addition to research projects, internships and practicums, the graduate programs use individual study, case studies and directed readings as the basis for various independent study offerings. The following requirements govern enrollment for credit in independent study.

  1. The consent of the instructor must be obtained before enrollment.
  2. The content of the study should differ from the content of the regular course offerings.
  3. The contact hours between student and professor must be sufficient to ensure consistency with credit earned in regular course offerings.

Pass/No Credit

Graduate students taking courses numbered below 500 may do so on a Pass/No Credit grading system by declaring their intent to do so at the time of enrollment.

Auditing Courses

Auditing Undergraduate Coursework:  Current graduate students may audit undergraduate coursework for which they meet the prerequisities.  Students must have the permission of the course instructor to enroll.  A graduate student’s load (total credit hours) will not include undergraduate audit enrollments.  Audit registration may not be converted to credit registration after the second week of the course.  The desire to audit a course must be declared at the time of enrollment in the course to be audited.  Tuition is charged at current audit rates as established by the tuition and fees schedule.

Current Graduate Students:  Current graduate students may audit graduate-level coursework with the permission of the Program Director in whose program the course resides and with the permission of the instructor of the course.  The student must meet the course prerequisites in order to enroll.  Tuition is charged at current audit rates as established by the tuition and fees schedule.  No credit is awarded.

Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Students:  Non-Degree seeking graduate students may audit graduate-level coursework.  The student must have the permission of the Program Director and the instructor of the course to enroll.  The student must meet the course prerequisites in order to enroll.  All non-degree seeking students are ineligible for financial aid.  Tuition is charged at current audit rates as established by the tuition and fees schedule.  No credit is awarded.

Grading System

Grades for graduate work are A, B, C, D and F. The grades receive the following grade points:

Each Term:
Letter Grade of “A” = 4 credit points
Letter Grade of “B” = 3 credit points
Letter Grade of “C” = 2 credit points
Letter Grade of “D” = 0 credit points
Letter Grade of “F” =

0 credit points

Letter Grade of “P” = Pass, not calculated in GPA
Letter Grade of “SP” = Satisfactory Progress, not calculated in GPA
Letter Grade of “NS” = Grade not submitted by instructor, not calculated in GPA
Letter Grade of “WF” = 0 credit points; student was withdrawn from course with failing grade


Faculty have the primary authority for the assignment of grades.  Students have the right to appeal grades through the University Exceptions process.

Certain approved courses numbered 500 and above are graded P (satisfactory) or F (unsatisfactory) for all students enrolled. Such courses are identified in the schedule of classes and/or announced by the instructor. Pass/No Credit courses may affect the student’s GPA.

Grades below C may not be used to satisfy degree requirements and a maximum of 6 hours of C may be counted toward a degree.

The graduate grade point average includes only those courses taken at Friends University for which graduate credit is earned and for which a regular letter grade is assigned. Courses transferred from another institution and graduate credit courses graded P (satisfactory) do not affect the grade point average.

Satisfactory Progress

SP is the grade submitted by an instructor to indicate satisfactory progress in a course. This grade may only be submitted for internship or practicum courses that have been approved by the instructor and Academic Graduate School Council as a two-term study, or for a course which continues for more than one term. At the end of the next term, or end of the program, a grade of A, B, C, D, F, P or I will be recorded. If this grade is changed to an I, the student follows the regular incomplete procedure.


Grade “I” indicates an Incomplete.  A grade of “I” may be given by the course instructor if circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent completing the coursework.  The student must have started the course to receive the grade of “I”.  The instructor of record for the course will work with the student to complete any remaining coursework.  Only one grade of “I” will be given at any time.  A grade of “I” must be changed to a letter grade at the conclusion of 8 weeks from the date the “I” was given.  If the coursework is not completed by the end of the 8 weeks and the instructor has not indicated a replacement grade, the outstanding grade of ‘I’ will be changed to a grade of ‘F’.

Incomplete Grade Policy for Graduate Project or Thesis

Graduate students who have not completed their graduate project or thesis at the end of two calendar years will be allowed a one term grace period under an incomplete (I) grade to finish the project. This one term will coincide with the standard undergraduate fall, spring or summer term. After this grace period expires the student must re-enroll in the project module and pay tuition for that module. This re-enrollment must be for the total number of hours in the project module (3-4) but may be completed in increments totaling 3 (or 4) hours. Minimum enrollment per term (semester or summer) must be 1 credit hour.


Academic Course Taxonomies for Non-traditional Coursework

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Friends University classifies online course and program offerings according to four discrete taxonomies. These taxonomies are consistent with many other colleges and universities that offer online courses and programs.

  • Online Course/Program (ONL): Online courses have all content delivered online through a Learning Management System (LMS) and do not have regularly scheduled classroom meetings.
  • Blended Course / Program - BLD (formerly Hybrid Course/Program - HYB): Blended courses are a mix of classroom meetings and technology mediated distance delivery.   Those courses through which a predominance of the instruction (50% or more) is delivered at a distance are considered blended.
  • Web Facilitated Course / Program (formerly Web-Enhanced Course/Program - WEB): Web facilitated courses are traditional courses that use a LMS to facilitate communications and content delivery.  Regularly scheduled meetings are not substituted with technology mediated content delivery.
  • Traditional (TRA):  Traditional courses are delivered as regularly scheduled classroom meetings that utilize methodologies such as lecture, discussion, group work, writing, etc.  and do not use a LMS to support communications or content delivery.

Online and Blended delivered courses are managed through specific University policy and approval processes.  Web Facilitated courses are guided and managed by University policies consistent with on-ground courses.

Academic Standing:  Probation and Dismissal

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Academic Probation 

Students will be placed on academic probation at any time that they:

  • Receive a second grade of C
  • Receive a grade of D
  • Receive a grade of F
  • Their cumulative GPA falls below 3.0

Such students placed on probation must have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the completion of an additional term (as defined by the program schedule).

Students who are provisionally admitted are placed on probation and must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the completion of their first term of enrollment.  Students are automatically removed from probation at the conclusion of any term in which their cumulative credit hours earned exceed 6.0 and their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better.

Academic Dismissal

Students shall be dismissed from graduate programs upon:

  1. Receiving more than 6 hours of “C” or lower grade;
  2. Failure of students placed on academic probation to achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of any term.

Students who receive a dismissal letter will have 10 business days to appeal the dismissal in writing.  If the appeal is denied, petition to return to the graduate program may be made after 16 weeks following the dismissal.  Petitions for re-admission must be in writing and addressed to the Graduate School Academic Council.

Course Eqivalency/Substitution/Waiver Policy

For degree auditing purposes, the following course definitions will be used:


The course is considered to be the same in description, academic credits, rigor, pre-requisites / co-requisites, and learning outcomes.  Any student who has taken a course considered equivalent to another will only have the most recent grade and hours calculated into the earned hours and GPA.  This will be processed as a ‘repeated’ course.


The course is determined not to be equivalent in nature, but comparable in breadth/depth, content, learning outcomes, level and academic credits.  The student will receive earned hours and the grade will calculate into the GPA for both courses.  The course will replace a current or prior degree requirement, or a discontinued course that is part of the student’s degree program.  An approved course substitution form must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.  A substitution will not be processed as a ‘repeated’ course.


A course waiver will be considered if a student has documented prior knowledge (coursework, test scores, experience, or other evidence) that has been determined to satisfy a particular degree requirement.  The student is required to submit all required documentation to support the request.  No earned hours or GPA will be awarded.  A waiver does not exempt the student from satisfying the total number of hours required for the degree.  An approved waiver form must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.


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Academic Course Load

Enrollment for Graduate Programs is on a term basis.  Load requirements for financial aid programs vary, and each student should check this requirement individually with the Financial Aid Office.

Satisfactory Academic Progress:
Term   Credit Hours Completed   CGPA
1   6 credit hours or more   3.00
2   15 credit hours or more   3.00
3   24 credit hours or more   3.00
4   33 credit hours or more   3.00

Program Regulations

Students pursuing a graduate degree at Friends University must be admitted to the specific program from which they are planning to graduate. Students may not be admitted to more than one graduate degree program at a time.

Upon the approval of the appropriate department a maximum of 6 hours of work in one earned master’s degree program may be applied to a second master’s program.

All master’s degrees require a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit. Specific program requirements are listed in the program descriptions.

Online Programs and Courses - Course Week Definition

An academic class week is defined as Monday through Sunday for all online courses.

Qualifying Examinations

Qualifying examinations are administered by some departments to determine the student’s qualification to continue graduate study.

Time Limits

Work for the master’s degree should be completed within five years of the first registration as a graduate student at Friends University. Additional course requirements may be imposed by the Academic Graduate School Council if the program extends beyond this limit.

Grade Changes

All requests for a grade change must be initiated within 12 weeks of completing the course and prior to receiving the degree.

Academic Advising

Program Directors serve as Academic Advisors to graduate students in their particular program.

Thesis/Project Requirement

Some graduate programs are structured to require a thesis or major project in addition to the required coursework.

Where required, each student is expected to prepare, on an independent basis, a major research paper or a paper. This Thesis/Project is an outgrowth of coursework in the program. The work must be approved by the student’s graduate committee and, upon completion, must be presented orally to a faculty committee.

Details of the Thesis/Project requirement are stated in the respective program descriptions. Individual counseling with the program director is advised.

Internship Policy

All graduate programs that offer internships as a part of their curriculum will establish procedures and guidelines for the internship.  These must include the following:

1) A syllabus outlining: 

  • The purpose of the internship
  • The established criteria for earning internship credit
  • Stated outcomes
  • Relevant dates
  • Grading Criteria

2) An Internship Agreement that includes:

  • Internship/Project Title
  • Description of Internship
  • Description of Student involvement
  • Name and title of the agency/company sponsor
  • Agreement section that includes:
  • Signatures of student, agency/company sponsor and Program Director
  • Dates

3) An Internship Performance Record that includes:

  • Main project description and duties
  • Log of activities. dates and hours spent on the project
  • Attached summary report prepared by the student
  • Signature area for student, agency/company sponsor, internship supervisor and program director

4) Internship will be assessed on a regular rotation to ensure that they continue to meet their stated outcomes and that students receive the appropriate number of credit hours.



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Students are listed on official class rosters upon completion of their registration, which includes course selection and the payment of fees and tuition.

Add/Drop Course Registration

Students in a Graduate program, with permission from their Program Director, may add or drop a course within their program.  To add or drop a class in a Graduate program, a student must complete the proper forms, obtain the necessary signature of their Program Director and contact Financial Aid and Student Account Services.  Attendance in a class does not constitute the adding to the student schedule of that class.  Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal from a class.

Retaking Coursework

Students may retake coursework during and following the end of their academic program.  Students must register for courses taken as retakes and will be financially responsible for the any costs associated with a course retake.  A student who had earned a degree may not repeat courses to improve their Graduate Degree Grade Point Average.

Changing Cohort Groups in Same Graduate Program

Students may transfer from one cohort group to another within the same graduate program.  Students must be in good academic standing and work with their Program Director to ensure a smooth academic transition.  Students may also want to consult with the Offices of Financial Aid and Student Account Services when considering this option.

Taking Courses with Different Cohort Groups in Same Academic Program

Students may complete one course with a different cohort group within the same Academic program. 

Early Program Completion

Students may not enroll in additional coursework in order to complete their academic program earlier than the cohort’s scheduled completion date.  Requests to do so require an exception from the Graduate School.

International Travel

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Required International Travel Courses

Students traveling internationally as part of any Friends University course, regardless of college, for the purposes of meeting a requirement for graduation will enroll in the Friends University course for the term of travel and pay the standard tuition and fees for their college in addition to any direct costs associated with the trip.
Students travelling as part of a program in partnership with another university or institute where contractual agreements regarding tuition, fees, and other direct expenses are in place will enroll in the appropriate Friends University course(s) and pay the tuition, fees, and other direct expenses set by the partnership agreement.

Policy for International Travel Courses where students do not fall into the above categories:

All persons wishing to travel with a Friends University international course but where the course does not fall under one of the cases listed above must enroll in the course for (graded) credit. This includes each of the following:
• Students wishing to travel with, and earn credit for, a course in their current college of enrollment but not for graduation credit.
• Students wishing to travel with, and earn credit for, a course in their current college of enrollment but beyond the current package load.
• Students wishing to travel with, and earn credit for, a course outside of their current college of enrollment where the course will not apply toward graduation credit.

Note: Those persons not currently enrolled as a student at Friends University, who wish to audit an international travel study course, must apply to and be accepted by the University as a “Non-Degree Seeking Special Student” or a “Non-Degree Seeking Guest Student” and must obtain a student ID. The fee for admission to the University will be waived if admission is solely for the purpose of participation in a travel course.
For these Non-Degree Seeking students, tuition will be assessed a per credit hour fee set at the current Education Workshop rate for the number of hours of the course.

Graduation Requirements and Information

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Graduation Requirements

The following requirements for graduation may be used as check points for satisfactory progress in graduate study.

  1. Good academic standing (3.0 GPA or better).
  2. The completion of a planned program of required graduate credits with a GPA of 3.0 or above with no more than 6 hours of C to be counted toward the degree.
  3. Satisfactory completion of comprehensive examination or review.
  4. Satisfactory completion of an exit evaluation (oral or written).
  5. The submission and oral presentation of an acceptable Thesis/Project (for programs with this requirement).

Minimum Graduate Program Requirements

Graduate students must have an earned Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours to be awarded a Master’s degree from Friends University.

Exit Evaluation

Each degree program requires an exit evaluation. The form and expectations differ according to the design of the program. The candidate should confer with the program director in his/her academic area for specific details.

The exit evaluation, oral or written, must be scheduled no later than three weeks prior to the date on which the degree is to be conferred.

Outstanding Student Designation

Graduate Faculty in certain programs recognize an outstanding student who has demonstrated achievement beyond standard expectations and excels in and out of the classroom.  These designations are generally announced as a part of the annual commencement activities.

Graduation Exercises

Friends University holds commencement exercises in May of each year.  All graduates are invited to participate in the May exercises.

New Program Admission prior to Completion of Current Program

Students desiring to start an additional Graduate program prior to the completion of their initial program will require an approved exception from the Graduate School to begin the new program.  Student must be in good academic standing to initiate this exception.

Leave of Absence



In the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from attending class for an extended period of time, the student may request a leave of absence. Circumstances which would qualify for a leave could include but are not limited to: 1) serious illness of the student or immediate family member; 2) temporary employment relocation and/or reassignment; or 3) birth of a child.

A student who does not return to class following an approved Leave of Absence will be withdrawn from the University as of the last date of class attendance prior to the start of the Leave of Absence. 

Coursework missed during a student’s Leave of Absence is graded as ‘LA’. A final letter grade will be issued to the student following their completion of the coursework required upon their return from Leave.

Students who wish to remediate a Leave of Absence with a course offered through an online program will be subject to an additional online technology fee for that course.  Students will also be responsible for obtaining any books required for the course.

A student who returns from a Leave of Absence but later withdraws from the University prior to completing the coursework missed during the Leave period will have the grade of “LA” converted to a final grade of “WF”.

Only two leaves of absence will be approved during the length of the student’s graduate program.

Student Initiated Withdrawal from The Graduate School

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To withdraw completely from the University, a student must notify the Graduate Program Director in person, in writing, by e-mail or by fax that they are withdrawing. The student or Program Director will complete a withdrawal form and forward the form to the Office of the University Registrar for final processing.  Student Account Services, Financial Aid, Admissions (if applicable) and Vice President of Student Affairs offices will be notified of the withdrawal.  Discontinued class attendance does not constitute an official withdrawal. The official withdrawal date will be the date this procedure is initiated by the student. If a student is no longer attending any class, the University may withdraw the student’s enrollment (see Administrative Withdrawal).

Re-Entry into Same Program following Withdrawal

A student may re-apply to return to their original Graduate program if they are not absent for longer than 6 credit hours and are in good academic standing at the time of their withdrawl.  Students must contact the Offices of Financial Aid and Student Account Services prior to initiating their re-application.  Students who are absent for more than 6 credit hours or who withdrew while not in good academic standing will require an exception from the Graduate School to return to their original Graduate program.

Re-Entry into a New Graduate Program following Withdrawal

Students may apply to a new Graduate program after withdrawing from the University at any time. Students must meet the admissions standards of the new program to which they are applying.  Students who are not in good academic standing must obtain an exception from the Graduate School in order to be considered for re-admission to a new graduate program.



The University reserves the right to modify or change policies, programs, curriculum and schedules contained in this catalog at its sole discretion at any time without further notice. Further, the University reserves the right to correct data entry issues or correct erroneous information contained in this catalog at its sole discretion at any time without further notice.The contents of this catalog do not constitute a contract between students or prospective students and the University.

Friends University does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding this policy: EEOC/Title IX Coordinator, Friends University, 2100 W. University Ave., Wichita, KS 67213, 316-295-5000.