Academic Policies

Academic Honesty

Honesty is a fundamental necessity for the Christian student. All students who attend Franciscan University agree to pursue their studies, indeed all of life, with integrity. The University expects each student to adhere rigorously to Christian moral standards in the academic life, pursuing academic excellence with justice and honesty. Academic dishonesty, in all its forms, is antithetical to authentic Christian scholarship.

Appropriate Dress

Students are expected to dress in a manner that expresses Christian charity and respect for self, fellow students, faculty, staff, and the academic life. Some styles and types of clothing are immodest or inappropriate for class. Students must use sound judgment and avoid wearing such attire. Students are expected to be particularly conscientious regarding clothing worn in Christ the King Chapel. Reverence for God and respect for worship are to be exhibited through proper attire.

Auditing Classes

Students who wish to enroll in a course or courses on a non-credit basis are classified as auditor students. Enrolled students are permitted to audit courses, and it is recommended that these students consult their academic advisor before denoting an audit status on a course. In addition, individuals who would like to audit courses for personal enrichment and who are not enrolled in courses for credit should contact the Registrar to complete a brief application form. Designation as an auditor must be made by the beginning of the semester, and this classification is irrevocable following the conclusion of the drop/ add time period. Permission to audit is granted by the instructor. The professor reserves the right to require or restrict an auditor’s participation in class discussions, examinations, laboratory work and other evaluation procedures. Auditors must attend classes according to the professor’s attendance policy for auditors. Auditor students receive a grade of “AUS,” which confers no college credit. Withdrawal from an audited course will be indicated on a student’s transcript by the symbol “AUW.” Those who do not fulfill attendance obligations and have not formally withdrawn from the class will receive an “AUU” on their transcripts.

International students wishing to attend class as audit students must complete the regular admissions procedure for international students.

Authority of Instructors

No student will be permitted to enter upon the study of any subject if, in the opinion of the instructor and with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the preparation necessary to insure competent work is lacking. Every student is required to satisfy the instructor’s expectations in each course of study, in such a way as the instructor may determine that the work of the course is being performed in a satisfactory manner. Assignments are due when specified by the instructor. Instructors will periodically report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs the names of students whose attendance or work is unsatisfactory. With the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the Director of Advising and Academic Operations, instructors may at any time dismiss from a course any student who, in their judgment, has neglected the course work. A student thus excluded will be recorded as having failed in the course, unless the instructor determines otherwise.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

If a graduate student’s grade point average (GPA) is below a 3.0, the student is placed in one of three categories, determined by the Academic Review Board:

  1. Probation: This category is for graduate students whose GPA drops below the 3.0 minimum and means that the student has one academic semester to attain the required cumulative GPA or be subject to possible dismissal. Probation is devised not as a punishment but rather as a protective measure. Thus, no student on probation may hold any office in any class, club, organization, sorority, fraternity, household or have an editorial position on any student publication. In addition, no student on probation may participate on any varsity athletic team. Students who have received notification by the Academic Review Board that they are on academic probation have a special responsibility to restrict activities that might interfere with academic work and to work diligently to remove that deficiency. They are also required to seek extra help from the Center for Success.
  2. Extended Probation: A student in this category is one who was previously on Probation or Extended Probation, attained the required term GPA, but did not achieve the required cumulative GPA. This category is conditional and communicated to the student according to the Academic Review Board’s guidelines. By letter, students will be given conditions that must be maintained during Extended Probation. Normally the Academic Review Board will permit a student to remain on probationary status for more than two consecutive semesters only if the student attains the minimum term GPA and his/her cumulative GPA is improving sufficiently so that the Academic Review Board expects that he or she will have the required cumulative GPA in time to graduate.
  3. DismissalAny graduate student who earns less than a 2.00 GPA in any given semester is subject to dismissal. In addition, any student is subject to dismissal if after one semester of probation he or she fails to achieve the required term GPA.

Reinstatement: Students who have been dismissed from the University are ineligible to apply for readmission until the lapse of one semester. Students desiring readmission after the expiration of this period must submit an application for readmission along with a petition to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. These forms may be obtained from the Admissions Office. If reinstated, the student will enroll on probation; if the student fails to meet the minimum term GPA, the student will be subject to dismissal at the end of the semester. Students dismissed a second time may not apply for readmission. The decision of the Academic Review Board is final.


The degrees conferred upon completion of the approved programs of study within the University are: Master of Arts (Catechetics and Evangelization, Catholic Studies, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Philosophy, Theological Studies, Theology and Christian Ministry), Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Educational Administration, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Theological Science.


Students who cheat on or plagiarize any test, paper, or other assignment shall be disciplined appropriately. Professors may further define what constitutes cheating in their various courses. If the professor, in his or her judgment, considers that the incident is minor and/ or inadvertent, he or she can deal with it as he or she sees fit up to and including failure on the assignment. If the professor considers that the infraction is a major violation, then it shall be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his or her representative, and the professor will impose a penalty on the student that can range from receiving a zero on the assignment to failing the course, according to the professor’s discretion, and have a memorandum of this action placed in the student’s file. If a student commits a second, documented offense against academic integrity, dismissal from Franciscan University of Steubenville will result, with the action so noted in the student’s permanent record. Absent a successful student appeal, a student accused of academic dishonesty may not withdraw from the course in which the alleged infraction has taken place.

Classroom Behavior

Students should arrive on time to class as a courtesy to the faculty and class members. Recording devices should be approved by faculty before being turned on. Cell phones and beepers should be turned off during class time. Student conduct in class should be respectful. Students who do not conduct themselves in a respectful manner will be cautioned by faculty. If inappropriate behavior continues, faculty may request to have a student withdrawn from the class.

Course Schedule

Franciscan University of Steubenville reserves the right to make changes in the schedule or to withdraw courses if enrollment does not meet the minimum required. Withdrawals and refunds are governed by the University guidelines.


Academic Standards

The student’s proficiency in graduate coursework is recorded in the following manner on a 4.0 Quality Point Average (QPA) grading scale.

A = 4.0 A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3 B = 3.0 B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3 C = 2.0 C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3 D = 1.0 D- = 0.7

A 3.0 QPA or “B” average in all graduate and required undergraduate work undertaken at Franciscan University of Steubenville should be maintained by graduate students. In order to qualify for graduation, the student must have a 3.0 average for all graduate courses attempted. According to University policy, graduate students must retake any graduate courses in which they earn less than a grade of “C” (2.0). These are minimum University standards; individual graduate programs may have more stringent requirements.

Other grades recorded:

P Passing. No quality points. Used for specific courses.
W Withdrew - no quality points.
X Incomplete - no quality points
NR No grade reported to the Registrar - no quality points

The grade of Incomplete indicates that the work has not been completed because of factors outside of the control of the student. Students must complete the work 30 days after the beginning of the succeeding semester to remove the Incomplete grade. If it is not removed within this period, the grade becomes an “F.”

Grade Challenge

Grade Appeals Procedure

1. Meeting with Instructor: Students may dispute a grade within one year of the grade being received. A student who seeks appeal of a final course grade will first speak with the instructor concerned. If the instructor determines that s/he was mistaken, s/he will re-calculate the grade and/or submit a request for a change of grade form. If the instructor maintains that the grade was not in error, the student may request a meeting with the Chair of the Department in which the course was taken.

2. Meeting with Department Chair: If the student wishes to proceed further with the appeal, s/he will then speak to the Chair of the Department in which the course was taken. The Chair, after speaking with both the student and instructor, may agree that the grade be upheld, or direct the instructor to alter it. If there is any question about the decision reached by the Chair, the aggrieved student or instructor will request a meeting with the School Dean or his/her designee. The Chair will keep a written record of all discussions. A copy of this should be forwarded to the School Dean if further action is necessary. If the School Dean is the instructor of the student filing the appeal, the appeal will be forwarded to the VPAA instead of the School Dean.

3. Conference: If either the student or the instructor wishes to proceed further with the appeal, s/he will contact the School Dean. If the School Dean is the instructor, the VPAA will be the designee of the School Dean’s role in the conference setting. Upon receiving the request, the School Dean or designee will call a conference with the student, Chair, and instructor. If the student wishes, they may invite a fellow student or advocate knowledgeable of the situation to attest on his or her behalf. The School Dean or designee will keep a written record of the conference, or may, at his or her discretion, invite a secretary to the meeting to assist in taking minutes. The School Dean or designee can only overturn a grade if it is found to be arbitrary, capricious, or inconsistent with the announced grading policy of the 67 course. The final decision reached by the School Dean or designee will be communicated in writing to the student, instructor, and department Chair involved. Should the student refuse to follow the sequence herein outlined, his/her complaint shall be considered void.

[Revised 02/26/21]



Candidacy for graduation will be reviewed by the Registrar near the completion of a student’s coursework. Students are required to apply for graduation in the semester prior to the anticipated graduation date. The necessary forms and information will be processed to confirm that graduation requirements are satisfied. Students will be notified of discrepancies and/or acceptance for graduation.

Degrees are confirmed three times a year: May (date varies), August 31, and December 31. Diplomas are issued after each degree conferral and mailed each graduate. Commencement is held once each year, typically the second Saturday in May. Graduates from the preceding August and December are invited to participate. 

Probationary Status

A student can be placed on probationary status as a result of one or more semesters in which he or she has done substandard work, or has created disciplinary problems. The director of the program will set the conditions that must be fulfilled by the student to have the probationary status removed.

Refund Policy

A student withdrawing from classes or resident status at Franciscan University of Steubenville must complete an official withdrawal form. This form, available at the Enrollment Services Counter in Star- vaggi Hall, must be dated, and bear the signature of the student and all required officials. The official date of withdrawal will be the date the completed form is stamped “received” at the Enrollment Services Counter. Students who do not officially withdraw and those who are dismissed or suspended for disciplinary reasons are not entitled to a credit refund.

  • When a student officially withdraws, the University will retain 1/15th per week (or portion of any week) of the total tuition, fees, room, and board for the period enrolled. There will be no credit or refund of any charges after the ninth week of the semester.
  • When a student drops a course or changes from full-time to part-time status, the University will retain 1/15th per week (or any portion of any week) of the total charge for the course dropped, or 1/15th per week of the difference between the full-time and part-time charge for the period enrolled through the eighth week of the semester. No credit or refund of charges will be issued after the ninth week of the semester.

Housing contracts are applicable to the entire academic year and may not be canceled without the written consent of the Student Life Office. Please refer to the Housing Contract and the Residency Policy in the Student Life Handbook for additional details.

Refunds will normally be paid within thirty (30) days of registration, after all withdrawal credits are applied and affected financial aid has been adjusted according to the formula described in the University Catalog under Financial Aid. Deposits are not refundable.

Refunds from straight cash overpayments, where no financial aid is involved, will normally be paid approximately ten (10) days after scheduled day of registration.

Registration Procedures

A student must register during the days prescribed in the calendar.

All changes after registration must be approved by the student’s advisor and the instructors involved. Necessary forms must be filed with the Registrar’s Office. Otherwise, a grade of “F” will be given for courses not dropped appropriately.

No student is allowed to enter a course after the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester.

A student has complied with the registration requirements when he/she has had a schedule of registration approved by the faculty advisor, has completed the forms provided by the Registrar, and has paid the required charges.

No student can receive credit for any subject taken in a class for which he/ she has not been duly registered by the proper officials.

Second Master’s Degree

In some cases, a student, either possessing a master’s degree or currently studying toward one, wishes to obtain an additional master’s degree in a related field. Only six semester hours from the first program may be applied toward the requirements of the additional degree.

Student Responsibility

The student must assume responsibility for knowing University and his or her graduate department regulations and for complying with all applicable procedures. In no case will a requirement be waived or an exception granted because a student pleads ignorance or claims that his or her advisor or other authority did not inform the student of the requirement. While advisors and personnel of graduate departments will assist in any way possible, the student has the responsibility for meeting the requirements stated in the catalog. A student is subject to the requirements of the catalog in force at the beginning of the semester in which the student enters the program.

Time Limit for Program Completion

All requirements for a master's degree must be satisfied within seven (7) calendar years from the time of matriculation unless specified otherwise in the program's requirements for degree completion.


A student may withdraw from a course until the withdrawal date published. No authorization will be given for withdrawal after this date. A withdrawal is not official until the withdrawal form is received in the Office of the Registrar. The withdrawal form must be signed by the Instructor and the Faculty Advisor or Program Director before it is accepted by the Registrar.

If a student officially withdraws from a course, a grade of “W” is submitted by the Instructor at the conclusion of the semester: There are no quality points associated with the “W” grade. A grade of “F” will be recorded for students who do not attend classes and who do not withdraw officially from a course.

Any withdrawal or change of course must be processed by an official Add/Drop or Withdrawal Form through the Registrar’s Office. Students may add or drop courses online through the last day to add/drop classes. Financial adjustments, if allowed, will be made only from the date of notification of withdrawal. Students who discontinue class attendance without officially completing the withdrawal procedures will be responsible for the full amount of the applicable tuition and fees.