Academic and University 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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Educational Rights - FERPA

Franciscan University of Steubenville Policy Statement on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA), sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student education records. Education records are records which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University. Exceptions to education records include: sole possession records, law enforcement records, employment records, treatment records and alumni records. Education records are primarily stored in the office of academic departments, Advising, Evening Program, Distance Learning, Enrollment Services, and Student Life.

FERPA governs: the release of education records maintained by an educational institution, and access to these records. FERPA applies to postsecondary education as well as kindergarten through 12th grade.

FERPA requires the following to be in compliance:

  • Notify students annually of their rights under FERPA
  • Protect students’ rights to inspect and review their education records
  • Protect students’ rights to request to amend their education records
  • Protect students’ rights to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in education records
  • Ensure that third parties do not re-disclose personally identifiable information
  • Keep records of requests for and disclosures of student non directory information

FERPA affords students the following rights:

  • Right to inspect and review their education records
  • Right to request to amend their education records
  • Right to limit disclosure of “personally identifiable information” (information that would directly identify the student or make the student’s identity easily traceable) known as directory information.
  • Right to file a complaint with the Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the institution to comply with FERPA

University access to education records policy:

Franciscan University of Steubenville accords all the rights under FERPA to students in attendance. In general, no one outside the institution shall have access to, nor will the institution disclose, any information from students’ education records without the written consent of students. Within the limits of the law and under certain circumstances, however, the University may disclose personally identifiable information to:

  • The student
  • Anyone who has obtained the student’s prior written consent
  • Anyone in response to requests for directory information (information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed). See “directory information” as defined in this policy statement
  • Authorized representatives of certain government entities, such as the Comptroller General of the U.S., Secretary of Education, U.S. Attorney General (for law enforcement purposes only), state and local educational authorities
  • School officials determined by the University to have a legitimate educational interest: University employees in an administrative, supervisory, academic or support staff positions who need access to perform their job responsibilities; an attorney or auditor employed by the University or under contract to perform a particular function; a student serving on an authorized committee; or a student assisting another school official in fulfilling their professional responsibilities (S.W.O.P worker, for example)
  • Agents acting on behalf of the institution (e.g. National Student Clearinghouse, degree/enrollment verifiers)
  • Schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll
  • Anyone who is providing financial aid to the student (does not include payments made by the parents)
  • Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational organizations for accreditation purposes
  • Accrediting organizations for accreditation purposes
  • Parents who can establish the dependent status of their son or daughter by submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form
  • Parents/legal guardians when their children under age 21 are found to have violated the alcohol or drug policy of the University
  • To comply with a judicial order or subpoena
  • Anyone if a health or safety emergency exists and the information will assist in resolving the emergency
  • An alleged victim of a crime of violence of the results of a disciplinary hearing regarding the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime
  • Anyone requesting the final results of a disciplinary hearing against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for purpose of complying with Request Form ICE relative to the University’s participation in SEVIS
  • Military recruiters who request student recruitment information for recruiting purposes only (Solomon Amendment). Student recruitment information is name, address, telephone listing, age or year of birth, class level, major, degrees received and most recent educational institution of enrollment
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for purposes of complying with the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
  • Authorized representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs for students receiving educational assistance from the agency

Release of student information to parents:

At the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights under federal law to inspect their son’s or daughter’s education records. FERPA rights transfer to the student when the student matriculates at the University (first day of attendance through graduation; dates are determined by the academic calendar). Records may be released to the parents only if one of the following conditions has been met:

  • A consent form is signed by the student (forms are available in the Registrar’s Office)
  • In compliance with a subpoena
  • By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form
  • In the case of a documented emergency
  • If the information requested is directory information
  • In limited circumstances, certain disciplinary information may be disclosed if the result of an infraction is suspension or dismissal from the institution
  • In limited circumstances, certain disciplinary information may be disclosed if the student is in violation of any federal, state or local law, or any University policy or rule governing the use of alcohol or a controlled substance and is under the age of 21 (further information is available in the Office of Student Affairs).

Directory Information

The University may release, without written consent, those items specified as public or directory information provided students who are currently enrolled have been informed of their FERPA rights annually (University catalog); that the students be given the opportunity to refuse disclosures of directory information (forms available in the Registrar’s Office); that the students be given a reasonable period of time in which to state such refusals in writing (30 days).

The University has designated the following as directory information:

Student name, address, telephone number, email address, major fields of study, dates of attendance, degrees, awards and honors received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, the height and weight of athletic teams members and photographic images.

Students may withhold directory information by completing the appropriate form available in the Registrar’s Office within two weeks after the first day of class every semester. Requests for non- disclosure are honored until the student requests the removal of non-disclosure limitations.

Challenge of Information

Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading or is otherwise in violation of their privacy rights may discuss their problems informally with the administrator maintaining the records in question. (Note: FERPA does not cover grades.) If the administrator’s decision is in agreement with the student’s request, the appropriate records will be amended and the student will be notified within a reasonable time—not to exceed 30 days. If the decisions are not in agreement with the student’s request, the student will be notified within a reasonable time—not to exceed 30 business days—and will also be notified of their right to a formal hearing. Requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request will inform the student of the date, place and time of the hearing. The Vice President will also appoint a hearing panel of University officials who do not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. At the time the hearing is held, students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearing by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the student’s expense.

Decisions of the hearing panels will be final; will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing; will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions; and will be delivered to all parties concerned. If the hearing panel decides in favor of the student, the education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decisions of the hearing panel. If the decisions of the hearing panel should be unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place statements commenting on the information in the records with the education records stating any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing panel. The student’s statements will be placed in the education records file, maintained as part of the student’s records and released whenever the records in question are disclosed for as long as the University maintains the record.

A student who believes that the adjudication of his or her challenge was unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of FERPA, may request, in writing, assistance from the President of Franciscan University. In addition, a student may file a written complaint containing specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of FERPA has occurred with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202.

Questions regarding FERPA should be directed to the University’s Registrar. Policy approved July 9, 2007 by the University Cabinet.


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. 

Non-Discriminatory Policy


In compliance with state and federal laws, including (but not limited to) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Franciscan University of Steubenville does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran’s status (or any other criteria protected by applicable law) in its access to educational programs and activities, treatment of University Community members, admissions, or with regard to employment. Inquiries may be directed to Title IX/EEO Coordinator, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Human Resources Department, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952;; 740-283-6238, who has been designated by Franciscan University to coordinate its compliance efforts and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX as well as those under Section 504 and the Age Discrimination Act and other applicable non-discrimination laws. Inquiries may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100, Telephone number: 800-421-3481, Fax: 202-453-6012, TDD: 800-877-8339, Email:

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.