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Graduate Catalog 2012-2013

Academic Information and Policies

Larry Shackleton, B.A., M.S.
Vice President for Administrative Information Management and Registrar

Mike Floyd, B.S., M.A.R.
Associate Registrar for Online Academic Operations

Tracy Godsey, B.S.
Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies

Brett Merritt, B.S., M.A.
Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies


SEMESTER CREDIT SYSTEM
The University operates on the semester system. The unit for counting credit is the semester hour. A semester hour of credit consists of the equivalent of one 50-minute period of class work for 15 weeks, with an assumption of two hours of outside preparation or two 50-minute periods of laboratory work for each semester hour.

SEMESTER LOAD
Master’s-level graduate students are considered to be full-time when enrolled nine or more hours per semester. All doctoral graduate students are considered full-time with a semester load of six or more semester hours.

Graduate students must secure permission from the appropriate Associate Dean or Program Director and from the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies to take more than 15 hours.

ONLINE STUDENT STATUS
For financial aid purposes, online student full-time/part-time status will be determined by the number of hours for which the student initially enrolled in the semester. For example, if a student enrolls for the first time in the semester in the third sub-term, the number of hours the student takes in that sub-term will determine full-time/part-time status. A part-time student who adds courses for subsequent sub-terms of the same semester will still be considered part-time for the entire semester.

GRADES, QUALITY POINTS, AND GPA
All work is graded by letters which are assigned quality points as indicated below:

Grade Meaning Quality Points Per
Semester Hour
  A    Excellent 4.00
  A-   3.67
  AU    Audit 0.00
  B+   3.33
  B    Good 3.00
  B-   2.67
  C+   2.33
  C    Average 2.00
  C-   1.67
  D+   1.33
  D    Poor 1.00
  D-   0.67
  F    Failure   .00
  FN    Failure for Non-Attendance   .00
  I    Incomplete   .00
  IP    In Progress   .00
  M    Medical Incomplete   .00
  NP    Non-Pass (for Pass/Fail courses)   .00
  P    Pass   .00
  Q    Academic Amnesty   .00
  R    Course Repeated   .00
  W    Withdrew   .00


To determine the grade point average (GPA), the quality points earned are divided by the semester hours attempted (quality hours). A grade of B, for example, in a course bearing three semester hours of credit would be assigned nine quality points and a grade of C in that course, six quality points. Thus, if a student takes 16 semester hours of work and earns 40 quality points, his GPA is 2.50 (40 quality points divided by 16 semester hours). Only courses taken at Liberty are used in computing the GPA. Only grades of A, B, C, D, F, and FN are used in the calculation of the GPA.

STUDENT CLASSIFICATION
The classification of students at Liberty is based on their degree level and number of earned semester hours.

Classification Graduate Level
Semester Hours Earned
First Year Graduate       0—29.99
Second Year Graduate 30.00—59.99
Third Year Graduate 60.00—89.99
Fourth Year Graduate 90.00+
Doctoral Pursuing a doctoral degree


ADVISORS AND COURSE SELECTION
Each resident student will be assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance to the University. The advisors will guide students in course selection. All questions concerning academic issues should be directed to the advisors. Students are encouraged to contact their advisors for help with any school-related problems they may encounter during the academic year.

Online students will have the Liberty University Online Academic Advising Office to assist them during their studies at the University.  The office will guide students in course selection.  All questions concerning academic issues should be directed to this office.  Students are encouraged to contact the Liberty University Online Academic Advising Office for help with any school-related problems they may encounter during the academic year.

TRANSFER OF CREDIT
Only courses and degrees from institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the Department of Education will be evaluated for transfer credit (e.g., SACS, TRACS, ABHE, etc.). Applicants must request official transcripts to be sent directly from the Registrar(s) of the previous school(s) to the Offices of Graduate Admissions. These transcripts must be received before an admission decision will be made.

See additional information about the evaluation of graduate transfer in the Graduate Admissions Section.

ACADEMIC AMNESTY
Students Academically Dismissed from Liberty University must satisfy the subsequent guidelines for readmission:

  1. The student must not have been enrolled at the University for a period of five years.
  2. Eligibility for readmission must be affirmed in writing to the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies by the following: (1) Department of Student Accounts; (2) Department of Student Affairs; and (3) the Dean of the degree program to which the student is applying for admission/readmission. The Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies will review for the reason for Dismissal.
  3. Upon receiving a written appeal from the student, the Senate Committee on Graduate Academic and Admissions Standards MAY approve readmission. Said request must be stated clearly and contain: (1) reason for request and (2) efforts made to improve during absence from Liberty. Such corroboration as may be deemed necessary may be requested of the student, i.e., transcripts from other institutions, etc.
  4. Only the allowable number of grade repeats that were remaining at the time of Dismissal can be utilized.
  5. Grades of A and B will remain on the student’s record and will calculate into the GPA.
  6. Previously earned grades of A and B will calculate into their GPA. As determined by the Graduate Senate, grades of C, D, and F are revised to Q.
  7. Students in the M.A.R., M.R.E., and M.Div. programs may retain grades of C on their records.
  8. Students who have been granted Academic Amnesty are not eligible for graduation honors.

ONLINE COURSE REGISTRATION, ACTIVATION, AND COMPLETION DATES

Online students may register for courses online through ASIST. A student’s enrollment period (course activation) begins the first day of the upcoming sub-term, provided the student is in good academic standing and has paid the tuition or secured financial aid approval. Students are encouraged to allow sufficient time to review their course materials before the beginning of the sub-term. Students must register and complete Financial Check-In at least 14 business days prior to the sub-term start date. See the University calendar for sub-term dates.

The student has 8 weeks from the sub-term course activation date to complete the course.  Students are expected to submit tests and course work throughout the term.  At the end of the first week of each sub-term, courses are reviewed to determine if the student is attending in the course.  If the student has not submitted an academic assignment (such as an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic event), the student will be dropped from the course roster and will not be allowed to submit further course work.  The student may appeal to their instructor to remain in the course.

Students who begin a course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of "FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance), dated to the student’s last date of attendance (based on the definition provided below). A grade of "FN" will be assigned when a student stops attending and/or participating in a class for a period of 21 consecutive days or longer. "FN" indicates that the student ceased attendance and failed to complete the course objectives. The student alone assumes responsibility for course work missed from non-attendance. If a student receives all FN’s in a term, he/she is subject to the Unofficial Withdrawal procedure that includes the reduction and/or return of all Financial Aid.  Students are fully responsible for all resulting charges on their student account.  To review the entire Financial Aid Withdrawal policy, go to www.liberty.edu/fapolicies.

Unofficial Withdrawal for Non-Attendance Appeal Process:
Students who receive a grade of "FN" may appeal to their professor to have the grade removed to allow a resumption of work in the course only if the student was incapacitated during the 21 days of inactivity.  Being incapacitated means that conditions were such that it was absolutely impossible for the student to communicate with the professor or academic advisor during the 21 days of inactivity.  This appeal must be communicated in written form to the faculty member within 1 week of the notification of the "FN" grade being posted. The faculty member will confer with their Associate Dean/Chair in order to review and make a determination concerning the status of the appeal.  Students must complete and receive final grades for all courses in a semester before they will be allowed to enroll in the next semester.  Students receiving all F’s in a term must appeal to Financial Aid to receive aid in their next term of enrollment.

Students may drop a course for a full refund, through the day prior to the sub-term begin date. Beginning on the first day of the sub-term, students may withdraw from a course for a grade of W. Failure to submit any or all of the coursework may result in a grade of F or FN.

Definition of Online Attendance
Submission of an academic assignment (such as an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic event) or communication with the professor regarding academic content or an assignment.

ONLINE COURSE MATERIALS
Online students ust purchase all course materials from MBS Direct.  Materials for some practicums and intensives may be purchased from the University Bookstore.  Students should purchase materials after registration but prior to the sub-term begin date (course activation).  Liberty does not guarantee that required course materials will be available after the sub-term activation date.  Tuition does not cover the cost of course materials.


CLASS ATTENDANCE
Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term.  The U.S. Department of Education requires that every university monitor the attendance of their students.  Liberty University uses the following definitions* in determining student attendance:

  • Resident: Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students, submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction; attending a study group that is assigned by the school; participating in an online discussion about academic matters and initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
  • Online:  Submission of an academic assignment (such as an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic event) or communication with the professor regarding academic content or an assignment.

*These definitions are based upon the delivery format of the course and not the student’s enrollment status (online versus on-campus).

Students who begin a course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of "FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance), dated to the student’s last date of attendance (based on the definitions provided above). A grade of "FN" will be assigned when a student stops attending and/or participating in a class for a period of 21 consecutive days or longer. "FN" indicates that the student ceased attendance and failed to complete the course objectives.

The student alone assumes responsibility for course work missed from non-attendance. If a student receives all FN’s in a term, he/she is subject to the Unofficial Withdrawal procedure that includes the reduction and/or return of all Financial Aid.  Students are fully responsible for all resulting charges on their student account.  To review the entire Financial Aid Withdrawal policy, go to www.liberty.edu/fapolicies.

UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL FOR NON-ATTENDANCE APPEAL PROCESS
Students who receive a grade of "FN" may appeal to their professor to have the grade removed to allow a resumption of work in the course only if the student was incapacitated during the 21 days of inactivity.  Being incapacitated means that conditions were such that it was absolutely impossible for the student to communicate with the professor or academic advisor during the 21 days of inactivity.  This appeal must be communicated in written form to the faculty member within 1 week of the notification of the "FN" grade being posted. The faculty member will confer with their Associate Dean/Chair in order to review and make a determination concerning the status of the appeal.


Scholastic Regulations

Warning/Probation/Suspension/Dismissal. Students must maintain satisfactory standing in order to remain at Liberty.
Satisfactory scholastic standing for students enrolled in the graduate programs is:

Seminary 36-hour Professional M.A. degrees 2.00
M.A. degrees in Ethnomusicology, Global 3.00
M.A.R., M.R.E., and M.Div 2.00
M.A. in Human Services 2.50
M.A.T. and M.Ed. 2.50
M.A.M.L. 2.50
All other programs 3.00


Academic standing is calculated only at the end of each semester (including the Summer).  Students failing to attain and maintain the scholastic standing required will be placed on Academic Warning.  At the end of the semester on Academic Warning, students who fail to raise their GPA to a satisfactory level will be placed on Academic Probation.  At the end of the semester on Academic Probation, students who fail to raise their GPA to the required academic level will be placed on Academic Suspension.

Resident students who desire to return to Liberty in the future must contact the Registrar’s Office in writing. The Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies will in turn submit the student’s appeal to the appropriate Program Director or Associate Dean for review.

Online students who desire to return to Liberty in the future must contact the Academic Standing Consultant Team in writing at luoacademicstanding@liberty.edu.  The Academic Standing Consultant Team will in turn submit the student’s appeal to the appropriate Program Director or Associate Dean for review.

Students who are enrolled for nine or more hours and fail all courses will be Academically Suspended.

Students who are readmitted to Liberty after serving a period of Suspension and who fail to raise their GPA to the required academic level (see above) by the end of the semester will be Academically Dismissed and will not be allowed to return to Liberty unless qualifying for Academic Amnesty.

At the end of each semester, students on Academic Warning, Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal will be sent a notification by the Registrar’s Office.


COURSE SUBSTITUTIONS
Students desiring to use another course in place of a required course must complete a Request for a Course Substitution form. Course substitution forms must include a detailed rationale, explaining why the substitution is requested.  Requests should be made with discretion.  They should not be used merely to enable a student to graduate on time.  If the course was taken at another college, provide a course description or course syllabus with the request.  Requests must be submitted prior to the students last sub-term.  Forms should be submitted to coursesub@liberty.edu.  Forms will be reviewed by a Dean or Associate Dean within 2 weeks of submission.

PROGRAM CHANGES
All requests to change degree programs, majors, and specializations must be submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office for resident students and Liberty University Online Academic Advising for online students.   The student will be placed on the Degree Completion Plan (DCP) in effect for the term for which the request is processed. 

DROPPING/ADDING COURSES
Changes are discouraged after a student and advisor have arranged the student’s schedule for the semester.

Students desiring to take a Liberty University Online course must enroll in the course during the resident drop/add period. The course must be completed by the last day of the residential semester unless an extension is granted.

A 1-2 week intensive course may be dropped without a grade or tuition charges through the first day of that class up to 4:00 p.m. A 1-2 week intensive course may be dropped with a grade of W from the second day of class through noon on the last day of that class. The student will pay the tuition and fees for the course.

A summer school course (3-8 week) may be dropped without a grade or tuition charges through the third day of class until 4:00 pm. The student is responsible for tuition and fees after this deadline. A summer school course (3-8 week) may be dropped with a grade of W by 4:00 pm on the 14th business day after the first day of class.

REMEMBER: Any change in status (i.e., from full-time to part-time, etc.) may cause the reduction or cancellation of your financial aid award.  In other words, your out-of-pocket expenses may increase.


A Fall/Spring course may be dropped without a grade, tuition, and fee charges within the first 7 days of the semester. From the 8th day until the end of the 10th week, a Fall/Spring course may be dropped with a grade of W. The student will be responsible for the tuition and fees for the course. All drops after the 7th day will be recorded as W. Grades of W will not be used in calculating a GPA. Courses dropped with grades of W are used in determining a student’s academic load for the semester, upon which tuition charges are based. No course can be added after the first week of classes.

Summer school tuition and fee adjustments for classes that are 3-8 weeks in length must be made by the third day of class.

Exceptions to these deadlines may be granted by the Registrar in unusual circumstances, such as extreme illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.

No course is considered officially added or dropped until the add/drop form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office and processed. This form requires the written approval of the instructor of the course.


DROPPING/ADDING COURSES BY ONLINE STUDENTS

Online students may drop a course for a full refund, anytime prior to the sub-term begin date. Beginning on the first day of the sub-term, students may withdraw with a grade of W and no refund will be granted.

An intensive may be dropped without a grade or a tuition charge through the end of the first day of class. There is a $10 drop fee. After the close of the first day through noon of the last day, a course may be dropped for a grade of W and the student will be liable for tuition and fees.

Students who do not attend any sessions of an intensive in which they are enrolled will be dropped from the course and will be charged an administrative fee.


COURSE REPEAT POLICY
Students who want to repeat a course taken at Liberty and have the first grade removed from the cumulative GPA must satisfy each of the following guidelines:

  1. Graduate students, with the exception of M.A.R., M.R.E., and M.Div. students, must petition to the Registrar’s Office to use the repeat policy.
  2. The course must be taken at Liberty in order to activate the policy.
  3. The second grade of A, B, C, D or F will apply toward the cumulative GPA.
  4. A maximum of 15 semester hours may be repeated for those students completing the M.A.R., M.R.E., and M.Div. degrees.
  5. The grade which has been deleted from the computation of the cumulative GPA will not count toward quality hours or hours earned, but will remain on the record as a course attempted.
  6. This policy is retroactive to include any course taken at Liberty.
  7. Use of the repeat policy for a prior semester will not affect the academic standing for that semester. Academic standing in a prior semester can be changed only because of a grade reporting error.
  8. The repeat policy form must be completed prior to graduation for the policy to be activated.
  9. The repeat policy may not be applied in reverse, meaning that a student may not repeat a course, earn a lower grade for the repeat, and apply the repeat policy to remove the repeat grade from the cumulative GPA.

INDEPENDENT STUDY / DIRECTED RESEARCH
Students may request to complete an Independent Study or Directed Research project in a major field or related discipline. Permission for the Independent Study or Directed Research will be granted only upon approval by the Program Director, the Dean of the School, Student Accounts, and the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

CLASS CANCELLATION POLICY
From time to time it may be necessary to cancel a class because of insufficient enrollment or other extenuating circumstances.  The decision for such a cancellation is ultimately that of the Provost of the University.  Every effort will be made to provide notice of the cancellation at least two weeks prior to the first scheduled meeting of the class.  The Registrar’s Office will advise the student of the cancellation and any other options including the possible rescheduling of the class.  The University does not assume responsibility for any delay in the anticipated graduation date of individual students that might result from such class cancellations.

INCOMPLETES
Students may not do additional coursework or finish assignments after the last day of classes. Students who are unable to complete coursework by the last day of class due to unavoidable circumstances may appeal to their professor for a temporary course grade of I (Incomplete). The Dean of the school or college must also approve the grade. Approval of the reason given rests with the Registrar’s Office. The professor will establish a new deadline for completing the coursework, based on the circumstances. A maximum of four months may be allowed. If the coursework is not submitted by the new deadline, the student will receive the grade designated by the instructor at the time the Incomplete was granted.

Students who are unable to complete coursework by the last day of class due to significant illness or injury may appeal to their professor for a temporary course grade of M (Medical Incomplete). Appeals must be supported by medical documentation signed by a physician, then approved by the professor and the Dean. Medical extensions may be renewed, if the condition warrants, up to a maximum of one year from the beginning of the semester. Supporting documentation must accompany all requests for renewals. If the coursework is not submitted by the new deadline, the student will receive the grade designated by the instructor at the time the Medical Incomplete was granted.

Incomplete request forms will only be accepted during the last three weeks of classes.

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE EXTENSIONS AND INCOMPLETE GRADES

Intensives
An online student enrolled in Intensives must appeal to his/her professor for a temporary course grade of Incomplete (I).  The professor will establish a new deadline for completing the coursework, based on the circumstances.  A maximum of four (4) additional months may be allowed from the end date of the course.  If the coursework is not submitted by the new deadline, the student will receive a grade of zero for the incomplete assignments and a final grade will be submitted.

Liberty University Online Courses
A student enrolled in any Liberty University Online course, who is unable to complete coursework by the last day of class due to illness or injury, may appeal to his/her professor for a temporary course grade of M (Medical Incomplete).  Appeals must be supported by medical documentation signed by a physician.  There is no charge for a medical incomplete.  Medical incompletes may be allowed, if the condition warrants, up to a maximum of four (4) months from the course start date of the course (or 2 additional months after the end of the course).  If the coursework is not submitted by the new deadline, the student will receive a grade of zero for the incomplete assignments and a final grade will be submitted.

Military Incompletes
Military service members are guaranteed a military incomplete for coursework that they are unable to complete on time due to deployments, extended cruises, unit operational tempo, or other duty-related extenuating circumstances.  To obtain an Incomplete, a military student must send either a current copy of official military orders (as proof of professional conflict during enrollment in the course) or a signed letter on official letterhead from the student’s commander or supervisor.  The Liberty University Online Academic Advising Office staff will gather the documentation and confer with the professor to determine the new deadline for the course.  A Military Incomplete cannot extend beyond two (2) months for any given course.  If the student cannot finish the coursework within the two (2) additional months, he/she may request a military withdrawal with the option of a free repeat of the course.  This documentation must be submitted to the Liberty University Online Academic Advising Office who will complete the appropriate forms and submit them to Liberty University’s Military Affairs Office for continued processing.  Military students must notify their Military Education Office of a course Incomplete if they are receiving Tuition Assistance.  Incomplete requests and supporting documents may be faxed to (434) 455-1287, scanned/ e-mailed to luomilitary@liberty.edu, or mailed to:

Liberty University Online
Office of Military Affairs
1971 University Boulevard,
Lynchburg, VA 24502.

Incompletes must be secured no later than 2 weeks prior to the course end date.  If the faculty member is no longer active, the course manager is responsible for handling the completion of the course.


WITHDRAWAL FROM ONLINE COURSES
Liberty University Online
students requesting to withdraw from courses during the semester must submit a request to the Liberty University Online Academic Advising Office.  Generally, the withdrawal date will be the date the students submitted the email to  Academic Advising.  A grade of W will be assigned to all courses from which the student withdraws.

Students are subject to not being refunded for withdrawn courses and/or being charged a $50 withdrawal fee based on pre-set, University criteria.  Students should consult with their advisor before withdrawing from a course.


GRADUATE RESIDENTIAL GRADE APPEALS
Liberty encourages students to have open and respectful communication with their professor to resolve any concerns regarding individual course assignment grades and/or the final grade for the course.  

Criteria for Appeal:
Only final posted grades may be appealed beyond the professor.  Appeals are accepted only when the grade assigned conflicts with:

  • The published grading rubrics for the course assignments
  • Written communication (i.e. email, announcements, etc.)
  • Calculation error on an assignment (resulting in a change to the final grade).

Appeals, other than those mentioned above, will not be reviewed.

The student must provide written documentation that demonstrates the occurrence of one or more of the above listed grounds for appeal.  Documentation may be in the form of e-mail correspondence, graded assignments, proof of timely submission, etc.

Appeal Process:
A student wishing to appeal a final grade must submit the appeal to his/her professor and seek to resolve the situation with them. If the student wishes to appeal further he/she must follow the process outlined below:

  1. Within 30 calendar days of the end of the term, the student may submit a written appeal to the Program Director/Chair. The student must include the information required above. The Program Director/Chair will consult with the instructor and review the student's written appeal. The Program Director/Chair will then notify the instructor and the student of his/her decision.
  1. If the student has additional support for his/her appeal, the student may submit a written appeal to the Dean/Academic Director after receiving the decision by the Program Director/Chair. This written appeal must be received within five (5) business days of the Program Director/Chair’s email. The Dean/Academic Director will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by faculty member. When a decision has been reached, the Dean/Academic Director will notify the Program Director/Chair, the faculty member and the student. If the student has additional support for his/her appeal, after receiving the decision by the Dean/Academic Director, the student may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Academic Administration for the Graduate School and Online Education.
  1. This written appeal must be received within 5 business days of the Dean/Academic Director’s email. The Dean of Academic Administration for the Graduate School will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by faculty member.  When a decision has been reached, the Dean of Academic Administration for the Graduate School will notify the Dean/Academic Director, the Program Director/Chair, the faculty member, and the student.  The Decision of the Dean of Academic Administration for the Graduate School is final.

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE GRADE APPEALS

Liberty encourages students to have open and respectful communication with their professor to resolve any concerns regarding individual course assignment grades and/or the final grade for the course. 

Criteria for Appeal:
Only final posted grades may be appealed beyond the professor.  Appeals are accepted only when the grade assigned conflicts with:

  • The published grading rubrics for the course assignments
  • Written communication (i.e., email, announcements, etc.)
  • Calculation error on an assignment (resulting in a change to the final grade).

Appeals, other than those mentioned above, will not be reviewed.

The student must provide written documentation that demonstrates the occurrence of one or more of the above grounds for appeal.  Documentation may be in the form of email correspondence, graded assignments, proof of timely submission, etc.

Appeal Process:
A student wishing to appeal a final grade must submit the appeal to his/her professor and seek to resolve the situation with them. If the student wishes to appeal further he/she must follow the process outlined below:

  1. Within 30 calendar days of the end of the term, the student may submit a written appeal to the Online Chair/Chair, but should do so through Liberty University Online Advising. The student must include the information required above. The Online Chair will consult with the instructor and review the student's written appeal. The Online Chair will then notify Liberty University Online Advising, the instructor and the student of his/her decision.
  2. If the student has additional support for his/her appeal, the student may submit a written appeal to the Online Associate Dean, through Liberty University Online Advising after receiving the decision by the Online Chair. This written appeal must be received by Liberty University Online Advising within 5 business days of the Online Chair’s email. The Online Associate Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by faculty member. When a decision has been reached, the Online Associate Dean will notify Liberty University Online Advising, the Online Chair, the faculty member and the student.
  3. If the student has additional support for his/her appeal, after receiving the decision by the Online Associate Dean, the student may submit a written appeal to the Online Academic Dean through Liberty University Online Advising. This written appeal must be received by Liberty University Online Advising within 5 business days of the Online Associate Dean’s email. The Associate Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by faculty member.  When a decision has been reached, the Online Academic Dean will notify Liberty University Online Advising, the Online Associate Dean, the Online Chair, the faculty member, and the student.  The Online Academic Dean’s decision is final.

WITHDRAWAL FROM LIBERTY
Students withdrawing from the University during the semester must submit a signed statement of withdrawal or process the form provided for this purpose. The form may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Since signatures of specified University officials are required on this form, with the Registrar signing last, the effective date of withdrawal shall be the date the Registrar’s signature is affixed. Non-attendance or failure to complete a course does not constitute withdrawal from the University.

If an official withdrawal occurs within the refund period, the student will forfeit receipt of all federal and state grants; loans not disbursed will not be released in most cases.

An expulsion resulting from violation of the disciplinary system will result in an administrative withdrawal. Grades of W will be recorded in all courses for which the individual is officially registered.

Students who drop/withdraw from all classes in which they are enrolled in a given semester will be considered to be withdrawing from the University. Students will not be allowed to re-enroll within the same semester from which they withdrew.  The last day to withdraw from a semester is the last day of class. A student may not withdraw after finals begin or the final exam paper has been submitted.

Any student withdrawing from the University must submit the withdrawal form to the advisor, or notify the advisor via the student’s Liberty University email account, of his/her intent to withdraw from the University. The advisor will forward the information to the Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and Registrar’s Offices. The withdrawal will be effective on the date the notice is received by Liberty University.

Grades of W will be recorded for all courses from which the individual withdraws. A student may not withdraw after finals begin (for intensives), or after the final exam or paper has been submitted.

Students who wish to withdraw from one or all courses in a given semester will need to contact their advisor in writing, or via their Liberty University email account of their intent to withdraw. Students who withdraw from all courses in which they are enrolled in a given semester, but not wishing to fully withdraw from the University, will not be considered to have withdrawn from the University.


LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE WITHDRAWAL

Online students withdrawing from the University must contact Academic Advising via the student’s Liberty University email account. The withdrawal date will generally be the date the student submitted the email to - Academic Advising.  If the withdrawal request is mailed or faxed to - Academic Advising, the withdrawal date will generally be the date the Withdrawal Form is received by the University or the last date of attendance. Attendance is defined as any submission to Blackboard within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with your professor regarding an academic subject or course materials. The academic advisor will notify the Financial Aid Office, Student Accounts Office and Registrar’s Office.

Grades of W will be recorded for all courses from which the individual withdraws. A student may not withdraw after the last day of the course or after submission of the final exam or final required course work.  Courses not completed will be assigned a grade of W.  For intensive courses, a student may not withdraw after the final exam has begun.  Students requesting to withdraw will be subject to the Title IV withdrawal calculation. The Title IV withdrawal calculation will result in the reduction and/or cancellation of all Financial Aid. See Financial Information section.

Students who wish to withdraw from one or more courses in a given semester must contact the Liberty University Online.

Academic Advising Office in writing or via their Liberty University email account.  Students who withdraw from all courses in which they are enrolled will be subject to the Title IV withdrawal regulations and will be reported as withdrawn from the University.  However, it will not be necessary to reapply unless the student is not enrolled in any courses during an entire academic year (from Fall to Summer).  Students only withdrawing from all courses in a given semester, and not the University, will be allowed to re-enroll in the next semester. However, the student will be subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy administered by the Financial Aid Office.

ONLINE PROGRAM UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWALS
In accordance with Title IV regulations which require that universities have a mechanism in place for determining whether or not a student who began a course and received or could have received a disbursement of Title IV funds unofficially withdrew, the University has established a procedure for students enrolled in the online courses. This procedure is used to determine if students are progressing toward the completion of their courses.

Students who begin a course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of "FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance), dated to the student’s last date of attendance (based on the definition provided below). A grade of "FN" will be assigned when a student stops attending and/or participating in a class for a period of 21 consecutive days or longer. "FN" indicates that the student ceased attendance and failed to complete the course objectives.

The student alone assumes responsibility for course work missed from non-attendance. If a student receives all FN’s in a term, he/she is subject to the Unofficial Withdrawal procedure that includes the reduction and/or return of all Financial Aid.  Students are fully responsible for all resulting charges on their student account.  To review the entire Financial Aid Withdrawal policy, go to http://www.liberty.edu/fapolicies.

UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL FOR NON-ATTENDANCE APPEAL PROCESS:
Students who receive a grade of "FN" may appeal to their professor to have the grade removed to allow a resumption of work in the course only if the student was incapacitated during the 21 days of inactivity.  Being incapacitated means that conditions were such that it was absolutely impossible for the student to communicate with the professor or academic advisor during the 21 days of inactivity.  This appeal must be communicated in written form to the faculty member within 1 week of the notification of the "FN" grade being posted. The faculty member will confer with their Associate Dean/Chair in order to review and make a determination concerning the status of the appeal.

Online Definition of Attendance 
Submission of an academic assignment (such as an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic event) or communication with the professor regarding academic content or an assignment.


ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL CODE OF HONOR
Liberty University students, faculty, administrators, and staff together form a Christian community based upon the values and goals of the Bible. These are defined in our foundational statements, including our Doctrinal Statement, our Philosophy of Education and Mission Statement, the Statement of Professional Ethics for the Faculty, and our Student Code. Together, these statements situate Liberty University within the long tradition of university culture, which in its beginnings was distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth.

Anyone, whether Christian or non-Christian, who shares our values and goals, is both welcome and valued in our community. We want all students to feel comfortable in our community of learning, and we extend to all of our students our spiritual and academic resources, with the goal of fostering spiritual growth, character development, and academic maturity.

Communities are based upon shared values and practices. This Code of Honor, an expression of the values inherent in our Doctrinal Statement, defines the rules and principles by which our community functions. At the core of this Code are two key concepts: a belief in the dignity of all persons and an insistence on the existence of objective truth.

While we understand that everyone will not agree with the statements that follow, we do expect that our students respect and uphold these standards while registered at Liberty University. Abiding by the principles and behaviors established in this Code of Honor makes possible the success of our students and the strengthening of the Liberty community.

Please note: Graduate students who choose to live on campus are required to read and abide by the Personal Code of Honor in the “Liberty Way” in addition to the Graduate School Personal Code of Honor.


Graduate School Academic Code of Honor

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and falsification.

  1. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is the intentional failure to give sufficient attribution to the words, ideas, or data of others that the student has incorporated into his/her work for the purpose of misleading the reader. In some cases, a student may be careless and fail to give credit to the words, ideas or data of others. In such situations, plagiarism has still occurred, but the professor may choose from an array of sanctions he/she deems appropriate. In order to avoid plagiarism, students must conscientiously provide sufficient attribution. Attribution is sufficient if it adequately informs and, therefore, does not materially mislead a reasonable reader as to the true source of the words, ideas, or data. Students who have any doubt as to whether they have provided sufficient attribution have the responsibility to obtain guidance from their professor or other person to whom they are submitting their work.

    Plagiarism in papers, projects or any assignment prepared for a class shall include the following:
  • Omitting quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any printed source (including digital material)
  • Directly quoting or paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source without properly referencing the source
  • Replicating another person’s work or parts thereof and then submitting it as an original
  • Purchasing a paper (or parts of a paper) and representing it as one’s own work
  • Multiple submissions: Multiple submission is the use of work previously submitted at this or any other institution to fulfill academic requirements in another class. For example, using a paper from a prior class for a current course assignment is academic fraud. Slightly altered work that has been resubmitted is also considered to be fraudulent. With prior permission, some professors may allow students to complete one assignment for two classes. In this case prior permission from both instructors is absolutely necessary.
  1. Cheating
    Cheating is a form of dishonesty in which a student attempts to give the appearance of a level of knowledge or skill that the student has not obtained, gives unauthorized aid, or wrongly takes advantage of another’s work. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Copying from another person’s work on an examination or an assignment
  • Allowing another student to copy any portion of one’s work on an examination or an assignment
  • Using unauthorized materials or giving or receiving any other unauthorized assistance on an examination or an assignment
  • Taking an examination or completing an assignment for another, or permitting another to take an examination or to complete an assignment for the student
  • Reusing a paper from a previous course
  • Paying another student to complete a course, an individual assignment or an examination
  1. Falsification
    Falsification is a form of dishonesty in which a student misrepresents the truth, invents facts, or distorts the origin or content of information used as authority. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Dishonestly answering or providing information in the application process
  • Citing a source that is known not to exist
  • Attributing to a source ideas and information that are not included in the source
  • Falsely citing a source in support of a thought or idea when it is known not to support the thought or idea
  • Citing a source in a bibliography when the source was neither cited in the body of the paper nor consulted
  • Intentionally distorting the meaning or applicability of data
  • Inventing data or statistical results to support conclusions

PROCEDURE FOR THE INVESTIGATION, ADJUDICATION AND ASSIGNMENT OF SANCTIONS FOR THE VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC CODE OF HONOR

  1. Processing Allegations
    When an alleged violation of the Academic Honor Code has been reported to the faculty or administration, the instructor will confront the student within ten business days of the discovery of the infraction. The instructor may issue an oral or written reprimand, send written notification to the Program Director and/or Dean, reduce a grade, adjust credit on an assignment and/or require additional work. The instructor may determine that a failing grade for the course is the appropriate sanction. In any event, the instructor will inform the student of his or her decision.  The reporting procedure is as follows:
  • The instructor will write a report outlining the violation.
  • The report will be provided to the student and the Program Director along with the sanction(s) recommended.
  • If blatant academic dishonesty is demonstrated in a clear and convincing manner, the student may receive a grade of F for the course in which the academic misconduct occurred.
  • Students who receive a grade of F for academic dishonesty on a particular assignment will be notified by the professor of the course in an appropriate manner, including but not limited to returning the assignment with comments, email, letter, telephone call and/or a personal meeting.
  • If warranted, the results of academic honesty review may be forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs for any additional disciplinary action that may be appropriate.
  • If non-blatant academic misconduct (such as inadvertent plagiarism) occurs in a course, the professor will contact the student and conduct such further investigation as needed. If the professor determines that a sanction is called for, he/she may issue an oral reprimand, send a written notification to the Department Chair of the School in which the course resides, reduce a grade, adjust credit, and/or require additional work.
  • When a student receives a course grade of F for academic dishonesty, the professor may report the reason for the F to the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies and request that it be recorded as an F grade as a result of academic dishonesty. This F grade will appear on the student’s transcript.
  • The student, upon receipt of the results of the academic honesty review, will have five business days to appeal the decision to the professor and Program Director.
  1. Sanctions
    If the professor determines that a sanction is called for, the professor may issue an oral or written reprimand, adjust credit, and/or require additional work. The professor also maintains the right to assign the grade of F for the course if the investigation determines that it is the appropriate sanction. In this instance, the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies will record the F and it will appear on the student’s transcript. The repeat policy may not be applied to this grade.

    If the student is found guilty of academic dishonesty (blatant or non- blatant) in any subsequent course where a grade of F is posted, he or she will be dismissed from Liberty University.

    In determining the sanction to be imposed, the following will be considered: the student’s intent to violate the Code of Honor, the degree of carelessness, the gravity of the offense and the student’s overall conduct while enrolled at Liberty University. The Director of Graduate Student Affairs and the Registrar’s Office may be consulted during this process.

    In cases of proven academic misconduct in a particular course, the Program Director will usually defer to the course professor’s recommendation. In some cases, however where the Department Chair or Dean perceives a clear conflict of interest or faulty judgment on part of the faculty member, or where the sanctions suggested by the professor are demonstrably inconsistent with those that resulted from other similar instances of academic misconduct, the Department Chair and Dean reserve the right to adjust the sanction(s) as appropriate.

    A written copy of the decision shall be mailed or e-mailed to the student.

    Please Note: All cases of alleged academic dishonesty will be resolved with the utmost concern for strict confidentiality by those individuals involved in the proceedings. Information concerning the academic misconduct will be provided only to those with a need to know in order to perform their job duties.
     
  2. Appeal Procedure
    In cases where an allegation of any Academic Code of Honor violation occurs and the student does not admit guilt, he/she may pursue the process below. The student will be given an opportunity to provide written evidence in opposition to the charge. Persons who threaten or conduct other acts of retaliation against those individuals who acted in good faith (i.e., honestly and with intentions of being fair) in reporting (even if mistakenly) alleged instances of academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action, including possible suspension or expulsion from Liberty. Any report of alleged academic dishonesty not made in good faith will also be subject to disciplinary action.  Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to:
  • Circumventing the appeal procedure and going directly to a university administrator such as the Dean, the Provost or the Chancellor
  • Threatening a faculty member or student
  • Harassment
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Verbal or written disrespect to a faculty or staff member (this includes e-mails)
  • Offensive or crude language directed at individuals
  • Falsely accusing someone of committing academic dishonesty

A complete overview of the appeal process follows:

  • Within five business days of the notification, the student may submit a written appeal to the Program Director. The Program Director will review the instructor's report and the student's written appeal, then notify the instructor and the student of his/her decision.
  • Both the student and any Liberty University personnel involved in or affected by the Academic Honor Code violation will have the right to present their views to the Committee before any decision is rendered.
  • If the student produces additional support for his/her appeal, after receiving the decision by the Program Director, he/she may submit a written appeal to the Conduct Review Committee. The Conduct Review Committee, which shall consist of the appropriate school Dean, the Dean of The Graduate School and the Department Chair. This written appeal must be received within five business days of the Program Director’s notification.
  • The Committee will review the student's appeal, as well as the faculty member's report. When a decision has been reached, the Committee will notify the Program Director, the faculty member and the student. Both the student and any Liberty University personnel involved in or affected by the Academic Honor Code violation will have the right to present their views to the Committee before any decision is rendered.
  • In determining whether any violation has occurred, the Committee will apply a “clear and convincing” evidence standard. In some cases, the Director of Graduate Student Affairs or another University representative may join in the deliberations of the Conduct Review Committee as a non-voting member for the purpose of providing any background information that may be pertinent to the appeal.
  • Should no violation be found, the Committee's report indicating such will be forwarded to the Program Director and faculty member. A report of all findings (either in favor of or against the student) will be sent to the Director of Graduate Student Affairs’ and Registrar’s office. The findings will be kept in the student’s official record.
  • The professor reserves the right to impose a lesser sanction and send a report to the student's file. These situations may require a failed assignment or reduced grade, but not a failure in the course.

Graduate School Personal Code of Honor

A. CONDUCT THAT UNDERMINES THE SAFETY, MISSION, OR REPUTATION OF LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
Acts that may undermine the safety, mission, or reputation of the Liberty University are violations of the Personal Code of Honor. Examples of such acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Flagrant violations of institutional policies and standards of dress (see Appendix A for dress code)
  • Causing public embarrassment to the Graduate School, the University, or its representatives or employees
  • Any attempt to provide or support residential students with the opportunity to break the Residential Code of Honor (The Liberty Way).
  1. Sexual, Physical, Written or Verbal Misconduct
    Respect for the dignity of each individual as a person created in God’s image is fundamental to the institutional culture desired at The Graduate School at Liberty University. Misconduct that is contrary to the teachings of the Christian faith (thus constituting a violation of the Graduate School’s Personal Code of Honor includes, but is not limited to:
  • Sexually-oriented joking or comments
  • Harassment of an individual based on race or gender
  • Unwelcome touching or any touching of a sexual nature
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Verbal or written disrespect to a faculty or staff member (this includes e-mails)
  • Offensive or crude language directed at individuals
  • Display of objects or pictures that depict nudity or are otherwise sexual in nature
  • Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a casual or friendly relationship into a romantic or more intimate one

Non-marital sexual relations and the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University are morally inappropriate sexual misconduct and constitute violations of this Personal Code of Honor.

  1. Sexual Harassment
    Liberty University is committed to providing students and employees with an environment free of harassment in any form. Any act of harassment (i.e., physical, psychological, verbal or sexual) that threatens a person or persons is considered a serious offense and will not be tolerated or condoned. Any person or group who commits acts of harassment based upon race, ethnicity, gender or disability on or off campus will be subject to disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal from the University. Behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, which is a form of sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, includes but is not limited to unwanted sexual attention, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which negatively affects another person.

Reporting Procedure
Any student who believes that he/she has been the subject of harassment in any form should report the incident immediately to the Online Student Affairs Office. The student will be given the opportunity to express his/her concerns and will then be appraised of the recourse available to him/her under school policy and local and state statutes.

Penalty
Any student of Liberty University, who engages in the aforementioned behavior(s), is subject to disciplinary action, which may result in community service or possible dismissal. Since the University takes such charges seriously, where the results of an investigation reveal a complaint of harassment/sexual harassment to be frivolous or groundless, the individual having made such a complaint may be subject to the same disciplinary action.

  1. Pornography
    Involvement with pornographic, obscene, indecent, or other similarly offensive materials, expressions, or conduct is inconsistent with the Personal Code of Honor and the Christian faith. Use of the University's computing network to obtain or distribute such materials constitutes a violation of the Personal Code of Honor.
     
  2. Prohibited Substances
    The Graduate School seeks to provide a drug-free, healthy, and safe learning environment. To this end, no student may misuse legal drugs or other legal medications, or use, possess, distribute, or sell alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco products.


B. PROCEDURES FOR THE INVESTIGATION ADJUDICATION AND SANCTIONING OF VIOLATIONS OF THE PERSONAL CODE OF HONOR

  1. Processing Allegations
    When an alleged violation of the Personal Code of Honor has come to the attention of the faculty, staff, or administration, that allegation shall be passed on to the Director of Graduate Student Affairs and/or the School Dean, who shall determine whether formal discipline is warranted and, if so, the nature of the appropriate sanction(s).

    Pastoral or professional counseling may be recommended in some instances. Any cost associated with such counseling shall be borne by the student. If counseling is deemed to have been sufficient to address the student's misconduct, Liberty University reserves the right to remove the record from the student’s permanent file. If counseling was deemed to have been ineffective, then Liberty University reserves the right to retain permanent records and dismiss the student from the University.
     
  2. Conduct Review
    Where evidence exists that a violation of the Personal Code of Honor may have occurred, the Director of Graduate Student Affairs shall investigate the matter. The Director of Graduate Student Affairs shall deliberate and determine the appropriate penalty.

    Should no violation be found, the Director’s report indicating such shall be forwarded to the School Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School. Where a violation is found, the Director may notify the student verbally, but will also notify the student in writing (by e-mail or letter) of the sanction(s). The School Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School shall receive a copy of the final decision.
     
  3. Sanctions
    The Findings of the Director of Graduate Student Affairs along with any recommendations for further action will be carefully reviewed by the School Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School. These two individuals may accept, reject or modify the director’s report and shall determine the final disposition of the matter.

    The School Dean and Dean of the Graduate School may direct that the records of a disciplinary action be retained in the student’s file, noted on transcripts, or disclosed to the appropriate entities responsible for assessing the character and fitness of the student as an applicant to a chosen profession.

    In addition to any personal communication of the decision to the student involved, a written copy of the decision shall be sent to the student by registered, return-receipt mail.

C.    APPEAL PROCEDURE
Students are provided the opportunity to appeal any disciplinary decision to the Director of Graduate Student Affairs, the School Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School. The outcome of an appeal may include an overturn of the proposed action or disciplinary probation, the assignment of disciplinary community service, retention or administrative withdrawal.

The School Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School may either accept or overturn a previous decision to withdraw a student from Liberty University. Records documenting this process are maintained by the Director of Graduate Student Affairs.

  1. Reapplication/Readmission
    If a student is administratively withdrawn or asked not to return, he/she must submit a written request for readmission to the Director of Graduate Student Affairs. The student is to provide a thorough account of the actions that led to his/her dismissal or non-return and the student’s strategy for successfully continuing studies at the University. In addition, the following is required:
  • Separate letters of recommendation from a counselor and civic leader
  • One letter of recommendation from a pastor or Liberty University faculty member

Only after the aforementioned information is received will consideration for reinstatement occur. Readmission to the University will be subject to any stipulations made by the School Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of Graduate Student Affairs. This process does not guarantee readmission. If readmission is granted, the Director of Graduate Student Affairs will notify the Office of Graduate Admissions. The Office of Graduate Admissions will notify the student of the decision.

  1. Administrative Withdrawal
    Students who are reported to have violated the policies or regulations of the University that require an administrative withdrawal are required to meet with the Director of Graduate Student Affairs for a personal conference. The Director of Graduate Student Affairs will present the alleged violation(s) to the student and the student will then be given full opportunity to present his/her position concerning the allegation. The Director of Graduate Student Affairs will conduct an investigation of the alleged violation(s). When the investigation is complete, and the allegation is determined to be true, the Office of Graduate Student Affairs will consider the facts and relevant information concerning the violation(s), including the student's prior disciplinary record. The Office of Graduate Student Affairs will consult with the School Dean and Dean of the Graduate School before making a decision.

    Note: During the investigative process, the student is allowed to continue attending classes.
     
  2. Administrative Withdrawal Process and Appeal
  • If the student decides to appeal the decision, that decision must be reported to the Director of Graduate Student Affairs within 24 hours after receiving notification of the decision.
    Note: Failure to meet the 24-hour deadline will result in an automatic administrative withdrawal.
  • If the student decides to appeal the decision, the time of the appeal hearing will be determined and the student will be notified by the Director of Graduate Student Affairs. The Director of Graduate Student Affairs will schedule the hearing within seven business days of the student’s request for appeal.
    Note: During the appeal process, the student is allowed to continue attending classes, unless they are a perceived threat to the campus community or a disruption to the learning environment.
  • If the administrative withdrawal is upheld, all academic work is lost for the semester except classes that have been completed before the time of the decision. If the student resides on campus, the student must vacate the residence hall within 48 hours of the final decision.
  • Once the student has been administratively withdrawn, he/she will not be permitted to visit the campus until his/her student status has been reinstated.
  • Reapplication is subject to administrative review after a six-month period of absence from the University.
  • Readmission will be considered after a minimum one-year absence from the University for the commission of a felony, assault, drug and/or stealing dismissals and is also subject to administrative review and approval.

STANDARD OF DRESS

Class Dress
Students are expected to dress in a neat and professional manner and are to dress according to the individual guidelines set by faculty in the respective Graduate Programs.

Casual Dress
Students are expected to dress modestly.

Swimming Pool

  • Women – Swimwear is only appropriate at the swimming pool. Students are to wear appropriate casual or sport attire (as stated in The Liberty Way) going to and from the pool. Women are required to wear a one-piece suit that is in good taste. Swimsuits that are see-through/mesh, expose the midriff and/or are low in the front or back or cut high on the legs are not acceptable.
  • Men – Swimwear is only appropriate at the swimming pool. Students are to wear appropriate casual or sport attire going to and from the pool. Speedos, spandex suits, or cut-off jeans are not acceptable.

Note: Academic Programs may choose to add requirements to the dress code policy.

The Code of Honor can also be found at: http://www.liberty.edu /gradstudentaffairs.


Liberty University Code of Honor for Online Undergraduate and Graduate Students

I. PREAMBLE

Liberty University students, faculty, administrators, and staff together form a Christian community based upon the values and goals of the Bible. These are defined in our foundational statements, including our Doctrinal Statement, our Philosophy of Education and Mission Statement, the Statement of Professional Ethics for the Faculty, and our Student Code. Together, these statements situate Liberty University within the long tradition of university culture, which in its beginnings was distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth.

Anyone, whether Christian or non-Christian, who shares our values and goals, is both welcome and valued in our community. We want all students to feel comfortable in our community of learning, and we extend to all of our students our spiritual and academic resources, with the goal of fostering spiritual growth, character development, and academic maturity.

Communities are based upon shared values and practices. This Code of Honor, an expression of the values inherent in our Doctrinal Statement, defines the rules and principles by which our community functions. At the core of this Code are two key concepts: a belief in the dignity of all persons and an insistence on the existence of objective truth.

While we understand that everyone will not agree with the statements that follow, we do expect that our students respect and uphold these standards while registered at Liberty University. Abiding by the principles and behaviors established in this Code of Honor makes possible the success of our students and the strengthening of the Liberty community.


II. ACADEMIC CODE OF HONOR

A.  ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
     
Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating and falsification.

  1. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is the intentional failure to give sufficient attribution to the words, ideas, or data of others that the student has incorporated into his/her work for the purpose of misleading the reader. In some cases, a student may be careless and fail to give credit to the words, ideas or data of others. In such situations, plagiarism has still occurred, but the professor may choose from an array of sanctions he/she deems appropriate. In order to avoid plagiarism, students must conscientiously provide sufficient attribution. Attribution is sufficient if it adequately informs and, therefore, does not materially mislead a reasonable reader as to the true source of the words, ideas, or data. Students who have any doubt as to whether they have provided sufficient attribution have the responsibility to obtain guidance from their professor or other person to whom they are submitting their work.

    Plagiarism in papers, projects or any assignment prepared for a class shall include the following:
  • Omitting quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any printed source (including digital material)
  • Directly quoting or paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source without properly referencing the source
  • Replicating another person’s work or parts thereof and then submitting it as an original
  • Purchasing a paper (or parts of a paper) and representing it as one’s own work

Multiple submissions: Multiple submission is the use of work previously submitted at this or any other institution to fulfill academic requirements in another class. For example, using a paper from a prior class for a current course assignment is academic fraud. Slightly altered work that has been resubmitted is also considered to be fraudulent. With prior permission, some professors may allow students to complete one assignment for two classes. In this case prior permission from both instructors is absolutely necessary.

  1. Cheating
    Cheating is a form of dishonesty in which a student attempts to give the appearance of a level of knowledge or skill that the student has not obtained, gives unauthorized aid, or wrongly takes advantage of another’s work. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Copying from another person’s work on an examination or an assignment
  • Allowing another student to copy any portion of one’s work on an examination or an assignment
  • Using unauthorized materials or giving or receiving any other unauthorized assistance on an examination or an assignment
  • Taking an examination or completing an assignment for another, or permitting another to take an examination or to complete an assignment for the student.
  • Reusing a paper from a previous course
  • Paying another student to complete a course, an individual assignment or an examination
  1. Falsification
    Falsification is a form of dishonesty in which a student misrepresents the truth, invents facts, or distorts the origin or content of information used as authority. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Dishonestly answering or providing information in the application process
  • Citing a source that is known not to exist
  • Attributing to a source ideas and information that are not included in the source
  • Falsely citing a source in support of a thought or idea when it is known not to support the thought or idea
  • Citing a source in a bibliography when the source was neither cited in the body of the paper nor consulted
  • Intentionally distorting the meaning or applicability of data
  • Inventing data or statistical results to support conclusions.

B.  PROCEDURE FOR THE INVESTIGATION, ADJUDI-CATION, AND ASSIGNMENT OF SANCTIONS FOR THE VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC  CODE OF HONOR

  1. Processing Allegations
    When an alleged violation of the Academic Code of Honor has been reported to the instructor or administration, the instructor will confront the student within ten business days of the discovery of the infraction. The instructor may issue an oral or written reprimand, send written notification to the Online Department Chair, reduce a grade, adjust credit on an assignment and/or require additional work. The instructor may determine that a failing grade for the course is the appropriate sanction. In any event, the instructor will inform the student of his or her decision.

    The reporting procedure is as follows:
  • The instructor will write a report outlining the violation.
  • The report will be provided to the student and the Online Department Chair along with the sanction(s) recommended.
  • The Online Department Chair will forward report to the Online Associate Dean. The Online Associate Dean will review, make decision on appropriate sanction and notify the student.
  • If blatant academic dishonesty is demonstrated in a clear and convincing manner, the student may receive a grade of F for the course in which the academic misconduct occurred.
  • Students who receive a grade of F for academic dishonesty on a particular assignment will be notified by the professor of the course in an appropriate manner, including but not limited to returning the assignment with comments, email, letter and/or a personal telephone call.
  • If non-blatant academic misconduct (such as inadvertent plagiarism) occurs in a course, the professor will contact the student and conduct such further investigation as needed. If the professor determines that a sanction is called for, the professor will write a report of the infraction. The professor may issue an oral reprimand, send written notification to the Online Department Chair of the School in which the professor teaches the specific course, reduce a grade, adjust credit and/or require additional work.
  • When a student receives a course grade of F for academic dishonesty, the Online Associate Dean will report the reason for the F to the Registrar and request that it be recorded as an FD grade. This FD grade will appear on the student’s transcript.
  • The student, upon receipt of the results of the academic honesty review by the Online Associate Dean, will have five business days to appeal the decision to the Dean through the Online Associate Dean.
  • If warranted, the results of academic honesty review may be forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs for any additional disciplinary action that may be appropriate.
  1. Sanctions
    If the professor determines that a sanction is called for, the professor may issue an oral or written reprimand, adjust credit, and/or require additional work. The professor also maintains the right to assign the grade of F for the course if the investigation determines that it is the appropriate sanction. In this instance, the Registrar will record the F and it will appear on the student’s transcript. The repeat policy may not be applied to this grade.

    If the student is found guilty of academic dishonesty (blatant or non- blatant) in any subsequent course where a grade of F is posted, he or she will be dismissed from Liberty University.

    In determining the sanction to be imposed, the following will be considered: the student’s intent to violate the Code of Honor, the degree of carelessness, the gravity of the offense and the student’s overall conduct while enrolled at Liberty University. The Office of Student Affairs and the Registrar’s Office may be consulted during this process. 

    In cases where the Dean perceives a clear conflict of interest or faulty judgment on the part of the Online Associate Dean, or where the sanctions suggested by the Online Associate Dean are demonstrably inconsistent with those that resulted from other similar instances of academic misconduct, the Dean reserves the right to adjust the sanction(s) as appropriate.

    A written copy of the decision shall be mailed or e-mailed to the student.

    Please Note: All cases of alleged academic dishonesty will be resolved with the utmost concern for strict confidentiality by those individuals involved in the proceedings. Information concerning the academic misconduct will be provided only to those with a need to know in order to perform their job duties.
     
  2. Appeal Procedure
    In cases where an allegation of any Academic Code of Honor violation occurs and the student does not admit guilt, he/she may pursue the process below. The student will be given an opportunity to provide written evidence in opposition to the charge. Persons who threaten or conduct other acts of retaliation against those individuals who acted in good faith (i.e., honestly and with intentions of being fair) in reporting (even if mistakenly) alleged instances of academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action, including possible suspension or expulsion from Liberty. Any report of alleged academic dishonesty not made in good faith will also be subject to disciplinary action.

    Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to:
  • Circumventing the appeal procedure and going directly to a university administrator such as the Dean, the Provost or the Chancellor
  • Threatening a faculty member or student
  • Harassment
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Verbal or written disrespect to a faculty or staff member (this includes e-mails)
  • Offensive or crude language directed at individuals
  • Falsely accusing someone of committing academic dishonesty

A complete overview of the appeal process follows:

  • Within five business days of the notification, the student may submit a written appeal to the Online Associate Dean, but should do so through the professor. The Online Department Chair and Online Associate Dean will consult with the instructor and review the student's written appeal. The Online Associate Dean will then notify the instructor, the Registrar and the student of his/her decision.
  • After receiving the decision by the Online Associate Dean, the student may submit a written appeal to the Dean, through the Online Associate Dean. This written appeal must be received by the Online Associate Dean within five business days of the Online Associate Dean’s notification. The Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by the faculty member. When a decision has been reached, the Dean will notify the Online Department Chair, the faculty member, the Registrar and the student.
  • In determining whether any violation has occurred, the Online Associate Dean and Dean will apply a "clear and convincing" evidence standard. In some cases, a Student Affairs official or another University representative may join in the deliberations as a non-voting member for the purpose of providing any background information that may be pertinent to the appeal.
  • Should no violation be found, a report indicating such will be forwarded to the faculty member. A report of all findings (either in favor of or against the student) will be sent to the Student Affairs’ and Registrar’s office. The findings will be kept in the student’s official record.
  • The professor reserves the right to impose a lesser sanction and send a report to the student's file. These situations may require a failed assignment or reduced grade, but not a failure in the course.

III.  PERSONAL CODE OF HONOR

  1. CONDUCT THAT UNDERMINES THE SAFETY, MISSION, OR REPUTATION OF LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
    Acts that may undermine the safety, mission, or reputation of Liberty University are violations of the Personal Code of Honor. Examples of such acts include, but are not limited to:
  • Flagrant violations of institutional policies and standards of dress when visiting campus (see Appendix A for dress code)
  • Causing public embarrassment to the University, or their representatives or employees.
  • Any attempt to provide or support residential students with the opportunity to break the Residential Code of Honor (The Liberty Way).
  1. Sexual, Physical, Written or Verbal Misconduct
    Respect for the dignity of each individual as a person created in God’s image is fundamental to the institutional culture desired at Liberty University. Misconduct that is contrary to the teachings of the Christian faith (thus constituting a violation of Liberty University’s Personal Code of Honor) includes, but is not limited to:
  • Sexually-oriented joking or comments
  • Harassment of an individual based on race or gender
  • Unwelcome touching or any touching of a sexual nature
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Verbal or written disrespect to a faculty or staff member (this includes e-mails)
  • Offensive or crude language directed at individuals
  • Display of objects or pictures that depict nudity or are otherwise sexual in nature
  • Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a casual or friendly relationship into a romantic or more intimate one

Non-marital sexual relations and the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University are morally inappropriate sexual misconduct and constitute violations of this Personal Code of Honor.

  1. Sexual Harassment
    Liberty University is committed to providing students and employees with an environment free of harassment in any form. Any act of harassment (i.e., physical, psychological,verbal or sexual) that threatens a person or persons is considered a serious offense and will not be tolerated or condoned. Any person or group who commits acts of harassment based upon race, ethnicity, gender or disability on or off campus will be subject to disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal from the University. Behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, which is a form of sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, includes but is not limited to unwanted sexual attention, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which negatively affects another person.

Reporting Procedure:
Any student who believes that he/she has been the subject of harassment in any form should report the incident immediately to the Online Student Affairs Office. The student will be given the opportunity to express his/her concerns and will then be appraised of the recourse available to him/her under school policy and local and state statutes.

Penalty:
Any student of Liberty University, who engages in the aforementioned behavior(s), is subject to disciplinary action, which may result in community service or possible dismissal. Since the University takes such charges seriously, where the results of an investigation reveal a complaint of harassment /sexual harassment to be frivolous or groundless, the individual having made such a complaint may be subject to the same disciplinary action.

  1. Pornography
    Involvement with pornographic, obscene, indecent, or other similarly offensive materials, expressions, or conduct is inconsistent with the Personal Code of Honor and the Christian faith. Use of the University's computing network to obtain or distribute such materials constitutes a violation of the Personal Code of Honor.
     
  2. Alcohol and Drug Use
    Liberty University is dedicated to providing a learning environment that promotes reverence for the Word of God, a commitment to the highest ideals of academic excellence, health, and responsible social behavior. This includes recognizing the rights of others and respecting the Christian ideals of Liberty University.

    The following are strictly prohibited: any illegal use of a controlled substance, any use of alcohol or tobacco by any Liberty University Online student on the property of Thomas Road Baptist Church or Liberty University, or any use of alcohol or tobacco as any part of a Thomas Road Baptist Church or Liberty University related or sponsored program off campus (this includes school sponsored courses or missions trips in the United States or overseas).

    All Liberty University Online students, whether on or off-campus, are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner supportive of the Christian character and reputation of Liberty University. Keeping in mind that the public will judge Liberty University and its Christian ideals by the actions of its students, Liberty University will not tolerate conduct by any student, whether on or off-campus, which is deemed by the administration to reflect negatively on the public image of the University.
     

B.  PROCEDURES FOR THE INVESTIGATION, ADJUDICATION, AND SANCTIONING OF  VIOLATIONS OF THE PERSONAL CODE OF HONOR

  1. Processing Allegations
    When an alleged violation of the Personal Code of Honor has come to the attention of the faculty, staff, or administration, that allegation shall be passed on to Student Affairs, who shall determine (with assistance from the appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean) whether formal discipline is warranted and, if so, the nature of the appropriate sanction(s).

    Pastoral or Professional counseling may be recommended in some instances. Any cost associated with such counseling shall be borne by the student. If counseling is deemed to have been sufficient to address the student's misconduct, Liberty University reserves the right to remove the record from the student’s permanent file. If counseling was deemed to have been ineffective, then Liberty University reserves the right to retain permanent records and dismiss the student from the University.
     
  2. Conduct Review
    Where evidence exists that a violation of the Personal Code of Honor may have occurred, Student Affairs shall refer the matter to the appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean. They along with Student Affairs shall deliberate and determine the appropriate penalty.

    Should no violation be found, the Director’s report indicating such shall be forwarded to the appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean. Where a violation is found, Student Affairs may notify the student verbally, but will also notify the student in writing (by e-mail or letter) of the sanction(s). The appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean shall receive a copy of the final decision.
     
  3. Sanctions
    The Findings of Student Affairs along with any recommendations for further action will be carefully reviewed by the appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean. These two individuals may accept, reject or modify the Student Affairs report and shall determine the final disposition of the matter.

    The appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean may direct that the records of a disciplinary action be retained in a student’s file, noted on transcripts or be disclosed to the appropriate entities responsible for assessing the character and fitness of the student as an applicant to a chosen profession.

    In addition to any personal communication of the decision to the student involved, a written copy of the decision shall be sent to the student by e-mail or registered, return receipt mail.

C.  APPEAL PROCEDURE
Students are provided the opportunity to appeal any disciplinary decision to the Student Affairs office, appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean. The outcome of an appeal may include an overturn of the proposed action or disciplinary probation, the assignment of disciplinary community service, retention or administrative withdrawal. The appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean may either accept or overturn a previous decision to withdraw a student from Liberty University. Records documenting this process are maintained by the Office of Student Affairs and the Registrar.

  1. Reapplication/Readmission
    If a student is administratively withdrawn or asked not to return, he/she must submit a written request for readmission to Student Affairs. The student is to provide a thorough account of the actions that led to his/her dismissal or non-return and the student’s strategy for successfully continuing studies at the University. In addition, the following is required:
  • Separate letters of recommendation from a counselor and civic leader
  • One letter of recommendation from a pastor or LU faculty member

Only after the aforementioned information is received will consideration for reinstatement occur. Readmission to the University will be subject to any stipulations made by the appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean and the Office of Student Affairs. This process does not guarantee readmission. If readmission is granted, the Office of Student Affairs will notify the Office of Admissions. The Office of Admissions will notify the student.

  1. Administrative Withdrawal
    Students, who are reported to have violated the policies or regulations of the University that require an administrative withdrawal, are required to meet (in person or by phone) with Student Affairs for a personal conference. Student Affairs will present the alleged violation(s) to the student and the student will then be given full opportunity to present his/her position concerning the allegation. Student Affairs will conduct an investigation of the alleged violation(s). When the investigation is complete, and the allegation is determined to be true, Student Affairs will consider the facts and relevant information concerning the violation(s), including the student's prior disciplinary record. Student Affairs will consult with the appropriate Online Associate Dean and Online Dean before making a decision.

    Note: During the investigative process, the student is allowed to continue attending classes, unless they are a perceived threat to the campus community or a disruption to the learning environment. 
     
  2. Administrative Withdrawal Process and Appeal
  • The student has 24 hours, after receiving notification of the decision, to decide whether he/she wishes to accept the decision.
    Note: Failure to meet the 24-hour deadline will result in an automatic administrative withdrawal.
    If the student decides to appeal the decision, the time of the appeal hearing will be determined and the student will be notified by Student Affairs who will schedule the hearing within seven business days of the student’s request for appeal.
  • Note: During the appeal process, the student is allowed to continue attending classes, unless they are a perceived threat to the campus community or a disruption to the learning environment.
  • If the administrative withdrawal is upheld, all academic work is lost for the semester except classes that have been completed before the time of the decision.
  • Once the student has been administratively withdrawn, he/she will not be permitted to visit the campus until his/her student status has been reinstated.
  • Reapplication is subject to administrative review after a six-month period of absence from the University.
  • Readmission will be considered after a minimum one-year absence from the University for the commission of a felony, assault, drug and/or stealing dismissals and is also subject to administrative review and approval.

THESES AND DISSERTATIONS
Some graduate degrees require a thesis, thesis project, or dissertation for graduation. Graduate thesis and dissertation requirements will not be considered complete until receipt of an acceptable copy of the approved thesis or dissertation is confirmed by the Integrated Learning Resource Center (ILRC) in accordance with current ILRC deposit policies.

DEGREE COMPLETION PLANS
Degree completion plans outlining the program of study and other requirements for each graduate program are available online at http://www.liberty.edu/dcps.

TIME LIMITS FOR DEGREE COMPLETION
All 30-47 semester hour master’s programs have a maximum time limit of five years from the date of matriculation. All 48-60 semester hour master’s programs, doctoral programs, or degrees offered outside the regular semester have a maximum time limit of seven years from the date of matriculation. All over-60 semester hour master’s programs and doctoral programs have a maximum time limit of ten years from the date of matriculation.

Any student who does not complete coursework within the permissible time limit for any reason – including discontinued enrollment – must reapply for admission. The respective program director will determine if any previous courses are sufficiently time sensitive and must be repeated. Beginning with the date of readmission, the time limit for degree completion is determined by the number of hours remaining: less than 48 hours – five years; 48-60 hours –seven years; more than 60 hours – ten years.

WORK IN RESIDENCE
Online student candidates for the Master of Arts in Counseling and Master of Education degrees must complete nine hours on campus. Candidates for the Doctor of Education degree must complete 12 hours on campus.  Students may satisfy this requirement by attending modular courses or attending other regularly scheduled classes at Liberty University. Modular courses are one-or-more-week intensive sessions scheduled during summer and other selected times during the year. Students requesting exemptions must do so by presenting their reasons (with documentation) to the appropriate Liberty University Online Faculty Coordinator.

GRADING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Liberty University Faculty members, both residential and online, must submit final grades for all students to the Registrar at the end of each term.  Faculty teaching online courses should have grades submitted to the Registrar on or before the second Wednesday after the course ends.  Faculty teaching residential courses should have grades submitted to the Registrar one week after the end of each semester.  Liberty University Faculty members, both residential and online, are urged to promptly complete and submit final course grades.  Confidentiality of student grades falls under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.  Please see the FERPA section and policies for more information.

Grading Scales:
Liberty University incorporates a standardized 1,000 point system across all undergraduate and graduate programs.  The undergraduate utilizes a 100 point scale to differentiate between letter grades, while the graduate programs utilize three distinct scales: 80, 70 and 60 point scales to differentiate between letter grades.  Each academic department determines the scale used within the department.  The grading scale for each course will be posted within the syllabus for each course.  Students are encouraged to review the syllabus for each course individually to verify the grade scale.

RECORDING OF GRADES
All grades will be recorded in the Registrar’s Office as reported by the instructors in charge of the various courses.  Requests for grade changes may be submitted in writing only by the instructors.

Any extra-credit assignments that are a part of the instructor’s syllabus must be completed prior to the final exam for the course. A student may not submit an assignment for extra credit after the semester has ended and a final exam has been given.

ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS
Official transcripts are made only at the written, signed request of the student concerned. No transcript will be issued for anyone who has failed to meet all financial obligations to the University. Official transcripts are not released directly to the student. Requests for transcripts are to be made directly to the Registrar’s Office. There is a $10.00 fee for one transcript. Additional transcript requests made at the same time are $1.00 each.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
The following general guidelines for graduation apply to each candidate for a graduate degree. Any additional requirements are specified in the section which describes a particular program.

  1. The complete program of study for the degree, as outlined in the catalog in effect when the student is accepted as a degree candidate, must be successfully completed before graduation.
  2. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 unless otherwise stated.
  3. The majority of the course work for any program of study must be earned through Liberty University. The minimum number of hours which must be completed through Liberty for each degree program is noted in this Catalog in section pertaining to each program.
  4. The student must submit a Graduation Application to the Registrar’s Office at the beginning of his/her final semester.

GRADUATION APPROVAL
All candidates for graduation must be approved by the faculty and the Board of Trustees. Conditions such as transfer credit and incomplete grades should be removed by the beginning of the candidate’s last semester.

GRADUATION HONORS
Honors graduation is available for all graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral programs.  Honors for graduation will be determined by the cumulative GPA earned at Liberty.  Students must meet the following GPA standards to earn the corresponding academic distinction:

GPA Distinction
3.90—3.94 Graduate with distinction
3.95—4.00 Graduate with high distinction


The specific honor calculated on April 1 of the student’s graduation year will be printed in the commencement program and the student will wear that particular honor regalia; however, the final cumulative grade point average will be recorded and that final cumulative GPA will determine the specific honor that will be printed on the diploma and transcript.

COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
Degrees are granted in September, January, and May of each year. All candidates for degrees may participate in the annual graduation exercises which take place in May.



Highlighted text indicates a change from the official version of the catalog.