Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

Academic Information and Policies - Online Program

Helene Vance, B.A., M.B.A.
University Registrar

Jason Byrd, B.S., M.B.A.
Associate Registrar for Academic Operations

Travis Hoegh
Assistant Registrar for Academic Operations

Sarah Dohme, B.S., M.Ed.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Support

Tracy Godsey, B.S.
Associate Registrar for Academic Policy

Amanda Collins, B.S.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Policy

Tom Calvert, B.S., M.A.
Associate Registrar for Academic Success

Ashley Coleman, B.S., M.Ed.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Success

Dina Johnston, B.S., M.A.
Associate Registrar for Degree Conferral

Brian Lee, B.S., M.A.
Assistant Registrar for Graduate Degree Conferral

Rebecca Saville, B.S., M.A. 
Assistant Registrar for Undergraduate Degree Conferral

Lori Baker, B.S., M.A.
Associate Registrar for Student Services and Records

Jaime Velastegui, B.S., M.A.
Assistant Registrar for Student Services and Records

Joanna McGlothlin, B.S.
Assistant Registrar for Transfer Evaluations

Luke Gentala, B.S, M.A.R.
University Ombudsman


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 fifteen weeks, with an assumption of two hours of outside preparation or two 50-minute periods of laboratory work for each semester hour. Online courses are equivalent to the number of classroom contact hours (750 minutes per credit hour) expected in a synchronous residential course.

ENROLLMENT STATUS

  • Full Time equals a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Half Time equals 6 to 11 credit hours per semester.
  • Less than Half Time equals 1 to 5 credit hours per semester.

SEMESTER LOAD AND OVERLOAD
The Liberty University Online semesters consist of several sub-terms.  Most sub-terms are 8-weeks or 16-weeks in length, and may begin and end at different times within the semester.

The usual semester load for full-time undergraduate online students is 12 hours per semester. Students must secure permission to take more than 18 hours in a semester. A student who has established a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better may, with the approval of the Associate Registrar, take up to 21 hours; 22-24 hours requires approval of the Associate Registrar and a cumulative GPA of 3.50. In certain circumstances, exceptions above 24 hours may be approved.

ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION
A student is enrolled when he/she are registered for a course and have attended the course and/or completed academic work for the course after its start date.  For enrollment verification purposes, the University policy can be viewed at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?pid=30130#/policy/355.

CERTIFICATE ENROLLED STUDENTS
Certificate students are required to abide by some of the same policies as Undergraduate degree seeking students. These policies include: academic standing, change of major, course registration, class attendance, drop and withdrawal processes, Repeat Policy, broken enrollment, academic and personal codes of honor, incompletes, recording of grades and the grade appeal process, FERPA, and Academic Transcript processes. Those policies that do not pertain to the certificate seeking student will be noted in subsequent sections of this catalog.

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

Classification Semester Hours
Earned
   Freshman 0—23.99
   Sophomore 24.00—47.99
   Junior 48.00—71.99
   Senior 72.00—and above


GRADES, QUALITY POINTS, AND GRADE POINT AVERAGE (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
AU  Audit 0
B Good 3
C Average 2
D Poor 1
F Failure 0
FN Failure for Non-Attendance 0
NF Failure for Non-Attendance Pass/Fail courses 0
I Incomplete 0
IP In Progress 0
NP Did Not Pass 0
P Pass 0
Q Academic Amnesty 0
  R* Course Repeated 0
W Withdrew 0

A student’s cumulative GPA comprises all coursework completed at the current academic level (Undergraduate, Graduate, Doctoral, etc.) regardless of prior degree conferral, broken enrollment or a program/major change. To determine the grade point average, (GPA) the quality points earned are divided by the GPA hours as listed on the transcript. 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. Cumulative GPA is calculated to the hundredths place and is not rounded.

*“R” is no longer an active option for a grade. Please see the Undergraduate Repeat Policy section for the current policy.

DEAN’S LIST
Undergraduate associate and bachelor level students who earn 12 or more GPA hours with a term GPA of 3.50 or above are placed on the Dean’s List. This does not apply for certificate level students.

COMPUTER COMPETENCY
Students are expected to have adequate experience in computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, database, Internet research, media presentations, and email communication.  Undergraduate students lacking such experience should register for INFT 110, Computer Concepts and Applications, in their first semester.

COURSE PLANNING
A course planning schedule is provided in order for students to plan their classes for upcoming semesters. The planning schedule presents every class offered and the terms where it is scheduled to be taught.  This schedule is sorted alphabetically by class. The course planning schedule is published online at: http://www.liberty.edu/academics/registrar/index.cfm?PID=23103.

TRANSFER OF CREDITS
Normally courses and degrees from regionally accredited institutions or those nationally accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., SACSCOC, TRACS, ABHE, etc.) will be evaluated for transfer of credit. However, on a limited basis, Liberty does accept transfer credit via experiential learning, advanced placement and professional certificates from unaccredited institutions under certain terms and conditions established by Committee on Academic and Admissions Standards. Credit earned through this process will not be counted toward the required minimum of 50% of the major and minimum of 25% of the credit hours that must be completed through Liberty University for an associate's or bachelor’s degree. Also, credit earned through the portfolio process or professional certificate evaluation cannot exceed 30 credit hours. Applicants must request that official transcripts be sent directly from the Registrar(s) of the previous school(s) to the Registrar’s Office at Liberty University. These transcripts must be received before an admission decision will be made.

Credit will be accepted for those courses that are undergraduate level in which applicants have made a grade of C or better. Transfer credit will be awarded grades of P and will not be used in computing the Liberty GPA. Transcripts are evaluated under the guidelines established by the Senate Committee on Academic and Admissions Standards.  Internships, capstone courses, special topics, remedial courses, workshops, seminars, independent studies, and varsity courses are not transferable.  Students may appeal their transfer evaluation with a course description and Transfer Inquiry Form.

In order to receive direct credit for a course, the description must overlap the Liberty University course content at least 60%.  Courses that do not match a Liberty University course by at least 60% are eligible to transfer as elective credit where allowable.  Elective credit is coded as 1XX – 4XX, depending on the level of the course.

At any point prior to degree conferral, students may petition to have courses that are listed as electives substitute for required courses by using the Course Substitution form. Additionally, duplicated or repeated institutional and/or transfer credit will only be counted once toward total earned credit hours, unless courses are deemed repeatable.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER CREDIT
The evaluation of international transfer credit requires students to submit a translated official transcript in conjunction with course descriptions prior to the approval process. International transfer credit is accepted only from an institution recognized by the government of the country in which the institution is located.

Foreign students are encouraged and sometimes required to use foreign credential evaluation services such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) to have their transcripts validated and evaluated before sending them to Liberty University. A credential evaluation service must be a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (www.naces.org) before it can be accepted at Liberty University.

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
Liberty University offers students the opportunity to be awarded academic credit toward their undergraduate degrees through testing.  Credit may be earned through the Advanced Placement, CLEP, ICE, DSST, Excelsior and Federal Aviation Administration programs. The items listed above and following credit by examination options are not applicable to certificate seeking students. For more information please visit: http://www.liberty.edu/academics/registrar/index.cfm?PID=26684.

Advanced Placement (AP)
Students who receive a required score on the College Board Advanced Placement examinations will be awarded academic credit toward an undergraduate degree. Credit will be awarded only in those areas applicable to the Liberty curriculum. For more information, or to see a list of accepted AP exams, please visit our website at https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=29455.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), sponsored by The College Board, offers a unique opportunity to gain college credit for knowledge that a student has acquired. The program includes several tests covering a variety of subjects. Students who meet or exceed the Liberty University minimum score will receive the corresponding credit. Students may take the CLEP exam at a local testing center in their area. Students can find an approved testing center by checking www.collegeboard.com/clep. Upon completion of the CLEP exam, students should request the official scores to be sent directly to Liberty University for evaluation. For a list of acceptable CLEP exams, please see the Accepted CLEP Exams on the LU website.

Institutional Challenge Examinations (ICE)
To apply for credit by examination, students must submit an ICE Request Form via their Liberty University webmail to the ICE Coordinator at LUOICE@liberty.edu. The ICE Request Form can be located on the Liberty University Online ICE website: http://www.luonline.com/index.cfm?pid=14243. A non-refundable registration fee of $50 will be charged for each ICE registration. For ICE guidelines and a list of courses approved for an ICE, please see the following link: https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=13124.

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs)
Undergraduate college credit may be earned through the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs) program, which is administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) in conjunction with DANTES. Examinations are available to both military personnel and civilians.  Students may find an approved testing center and view fact sheets for various tests that are offered at www.getcollegecredit.com.  A complete list of accepted exams, course equivalency and the minimum required score is available at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=32080

Excelsior College Exam Credit
Excelsior College exams are approved for credit in the Liberty University Online program. Undergraduate college credit may be earned through Excelsior College Exams. For a list of acceptable Excelsior College Exams, visit https://www.liberty.edu/academics/registrar/index.cfm?PID=30373.

For further information on earning credit through Excelsior exams, go to: http://www.excelsior.edu/exams/uexcel-home.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CREDIT
A maximum of 30 hours of Life Experience credits can be awarded and applied towards an undergraduate degree at Liberty University.

A precedent has been established for the following fields, and these credits will be awarded to students who can document proof of licenses, certificates, and training programs in the fields below. Students are not required to enroll in GEED 205 or submit portfolios for the following: 

  • Aviation (Private and Commercial Pilot’s)
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Certified Pharmacy Technician
  • Certified Project Manager
  • Child Development Associate (CDA)
  • Child Evangelism Fellowship (CMI Diploma)
  • Cisco Associate Certifications
  • Cisco Professional Certifications
  • Corrections Officer
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Insurance License
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • MOUS (Microsoft Office Specialist)
  • Expert MOUS
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Securities Exam Series 7

There are some portfolios/courses that will not be admitted, such as COMS courses, GOVT 200, internship courses, capstone courses, as well as other courses not approved by academic departments. Please note that submission of a portfolio does not guarantee that credit will be awarded.

Students may petition for credit via portfolio for courses in which they feel they can show sufficient proof of learning and knowledge.

The Portfolio Guidelines are as follows:

  • Seek tentative approval from the Liberty University Online Portfolio Coordinator at pla@liberty.edu.
  • Enroll in GEED 205 – Learning Theory & Portfolio Development, which is required prior to portfolio submission, and successfully complete the course.  Education students should enroll in EDUC 205, which has a portfolio option.
  • Prepare a portfolio(s) using the guidelines established at http://www.liberty.edu/online/index.cfm?PID=15141.
  • Submit a portfolio for each course that has been tentatively approved by the Portfolio Coordinator.
  • Pay a $100 assessment fee per portfolio.
  • The portfolio will be assessed by the Liberty University Online Faculty Assessor and Associate Dean within 4 weeks.
  • Once the assessment is complete, the Portfolio Coordinator will send an email notice regarding approval.
  • Portfolios may not be submitted for COMS 101, GOVT 200, Internships or Capstone Courses.
  • The hours awarded are counted as transfer hours and are not considered as hours earned at Liberty University

Please note that credit earned through the portfolio process and/or a certificate of completion will be limited to a combined maximum of 30 hours.

Military Evaluations  
Liberty University will evaluate students’ prior military experience and develop a degree plan for each student to follow. Evaluations will be based solely upon the recommendations of the American Council of Education (ACE) guidebook, Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Students will generally find that the Interdisciplinary major maximizes the use of their existing credits.

CREDIT FOR SEMINARS
As part of the “action-oriented” curriculum at Liberty, certain seminars and travel opportunities are offered for academic credit. Students who wish to obtain credit for such activities must receive prior approval from the Registrar.

COURSEWORK AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS
Prior to registering for any course at another institution, students must submit a Transient Request Form to guarantee transferability.  The online form can be found at http://www.luonline.com/index.cfm?PID=14241.

CHANGE OF CERTIFICATE
Liberty University Online students select their certificate of study when they apply. If a student decides to change the certificate he/she is seeking, the online student must contact the Academic Advising Department and request to change his/her certificate of study via phone or Liberty University webmail account. All requests for a change of certificate will be reviewed and processed by the Registrar’s Office upon receipt, and will be effective the following full term of enrollment.

CHANGE OF MAJOR
Liberty University Online students select their major when they apply. If a student decides to change his/her major, the online student must contact the Academic Advising Department and request to change his/her major via phone or Liberty University webmail account. All requests for a change of major will be processed by the Registrar’s Office upon receipt, and will be effective the following full term of enrollment.

DOUBLE MAJORS
Undergraduate associate and bachelor level students who wish to complete a double major must contact the Academic Advising Department and declare the double major via phone or their Liberty University webmail account. Double majors are not applicable to certificate seeking students.

Students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree with two majors must have at least 30 unique hours in the first major or second major. The Core Competency Requirements may be shared if they are the same, however, if any requirements are different, the student must fulfill the higher of the two requirements.

The requirements from one major can be used as electives for the second major, and vice versa. At least 50% of the course work in each major must be earned at Liberty University.

Students who wish to earn an associate’s degree with two majors must have at least 15 unique hours in the first or second major.

RETURNING TO LU FOR A SECOND DEGREE
Students with a conferred associate degree who want to earn a second associate degree must successfully complete at least 15 additional hours through Liberty University. Additionally, 15 hours must be unique in the second major. *Note: The 15 additional hours may also count toward the unique hours.

Students who currently hold a bachelor’s degree and want to earn an associate degree must successfully complete at least 15 additional hours through Liberty University. Additionally, 15 hours must be unique in the second major. *Note: The 15 additional hours may also count toward the unique hours.

Students who currently hold a bachelor’s degree and want to earn another bachelor’s degree must successfully complete at least 30 additional hours through Liberty University. Additionally, 30 hours must be unique in the second major. *Note: The 30 additional hours may also count toward the unique hours.

DUPLICATE CREDIT
In the event that a student earns credit for the same course more than one time, whether at Liberty, at another college, or through standardized testing, that course/credit may only count one time toward the completion of his/her degree. The only exception to this is if the course/credit is approved by the academic department or administration to be used more than one time toward a student’s degree/major, or if the course is an approved repeatable course.

CERTIFICATE TO ANOTHER CERTIFICATE OR DEGREE SEEKING PROGRAM
Online certificate students who would like to either earn another certificate after completing one certificate or move onto a degree seeking program upon completion of the certificate must contact Liberty University Online Admissions to apply for readmission to another certificate or degree-seeking program. All courses taken within the undergraduate certificate will transfer directly into the new undergraduate certificate or degree program, only if applicable. Students must have at least one outstanding course requirement for the new certificate in order to gain acceptance into that program Completion of that requirement and all other certificate requirements must be successfully met before the new certificate is awarded.

If a student chooses not to finish the undergraduate certificate and switch to a degree seeking program, a new application must be submitted and accepted in order to proceed to a degree seeking program. Upon acceptance to the new program, the previously earned courses will only apply to that new program if the courses meet the grade and GPA requirements necessary for that certificate or degree program. 

CERTIFICATE COMPLETION PLAN AUDIT 
The Certificate Completion Plan Audit (found under Degree Completion Plan Audit via ASIST) provides real-time advice, making it possible for students to track progress towards certificate completion at their convenience. It also enables students to immediately view how their credits will apply towards a different program. PDF versions of all CCPs are available online at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=2981.

DEGREE COMPLETION PLAN (DCP) AUDIT
The Degree Completion Plan (DCP) Audit provides real-time advice, making it possible for students to track progress towards degree completion at their convenience.  It also enables students to immediately view how their credits will apply towards a different degree program.  PDF versions of all DCPs are available online at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=2981.

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR OUT OF STATE STUDENTS
In addition to Liberty University’s general education requirements, distance education students may also be required to fulfill additional requirements set by their home states. Specific Degree Completion Plans for each state whose requirements differ are available from Liberty University Online Advising.  This does not apply for certificate seeking students.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING INTERNSHIPS AND CLINICAL PLACEMENTS
Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their Liberty University program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, or drug screening.  In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility.  Although the university will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. 

Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the State certification body.  Students seeking licensure are urged to contact the relevant licensing agency to determine the licensing requirements for the jurisdiction.  Successful completion of a program of study at Liberty University does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.

MINORS
Students at Liberty University are not required to complete a minor.  Those students in a bachelor's program who wish to declare a minor, however, are encouraged to contact the Academic Advising Department to review the requirements for that minor.  A minor on the student’s transcript indicates the completion of a block of courses that academic departments have specified as meeting the requirements of their minor.

Consequently, since the selection of a minor is not a graduation requirement for any major at Liberty, students may use courses required for any given major to also count toward a minor if such courses are required for the minor.  Students must earn a “C” or higher in all upper level courses in their chosen minor. At least 50% of the course work must be earned at Liberty University. Minors are not applicable for associate level or certificate seeking students.

SPECIAL STUDENT REGISTRATION

  1. Prospective students who do not want to be degree-seeking, or only want to take a few courses at Liberty, must apply as a Special Student and receive confirmation of acceptance.
  2. Special Students may not accumulate more than 12 credit hours under this status.
  3. In order to register for courses as a special student with Liberty University Online, students must contact Academic Advising or Admissions.
  4. Students who have been Academically Dismissed are not eligible to return to Liberty under the Special Student category.

COURSE REGISTRATION, ACTIVATION, AND COMPLETION DATES
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 that the student is in good academic standing and has completed Financial Check-In. Students are encouraged to allow sufficient time to review their course materials before the beginning of the sub-term. Please note that while students are given access to their courses in advance of the start date to allow for an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the course, assignments will NOT be accepted until the start date of the course. Students should not submit any assignments until after the current sub-term begins. See the University calendar for sub-term dates.

For 8 week courses, the student has 8 weeks from the sub-term course activation date to complete the course.  For 16 week courses, the student has 16 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 the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity), the student will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options.

Students who begin attending by submitting an academic assignment but eventually cease progressing toward the completion of the course will be assigned a grade of FN during the semester. If the student receives all FN’s in a term, the student is subject to the Unofficial Withdrawal procedure which includes the reduction and/or return of all Financial Aid. Additionally, 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, prior to the beginning of the sub-term. Beginning on the first day of the sub-term, students who have attended may withdraw from a course for a grade of W.

ONLINE CLASS ATTENDANCE
Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term.  Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options.

The student alone assumes responsibility for course work missed from non-attendance. A student who presents the instructor with an adequate and documented reason for absence may be given an opportunity to make up the work missed.

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. The University does not assume responsibility for any delay in the anticipated graduation date of individual students that might result from such class cancellations.

LATE ASSIGNMENT POLICY
Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted
on time.
If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor
immediately by email.
Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the
following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the class will not be accepted.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be
    accepted after the due date.

Special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, personal health issues) will be reviewed by the instructor on a
case-by-case basis.

COURSE AUDITS
Students who wish to audit an online course may do so for a fee. Audited courses will not be used to determine full- or part-time status.  Auditors will not be expected to take quizzes or examinations.  A grade of AU will be recorded on the auditor’s permanent record.

Course audits may not be added via ASIST, but must be requested by emailing the Registrar’s Office.  Requests to audit a course will only be accepted during the registration timeframes before a term starts.  Audit requests will be processed and added, pending availability.  A student wishing to change from credit to audit status for a course may only do so until the last day of the registration deadline.  Requests to change to or from audit status after the registration deadline will be denied.

COURSE SUBSTITUTIONS
A Course Substitution request may be made when a student wishes to substitute one course for another required course when a clear relationship exists between the two.  This form may also be used when an academic department approves a complete replacement for a Liberty course requirement.  Students requesting these exceptions must submit a “Course Substitution Form” to luotransfer@liberty.edu. Please note that an approved substitution will apply toward the degree requirement(s), but will not change the course number on the student’s transcript.  Also, a lower-level course substituting for an upper-level requirement will not count toward the total number of upper-level hours required. Course substitutions are not applicable for certificate seeking students. Changing programs or breaking enrollment may invalidate the request.

DROPPING, ADDING, WITHDRAWING FROM COURSES
Liberty University Online students may drop a course at any time prior to the sub-term begin date for a full refund. Students may drop the course by selecting ‘drop via web’ on their current schedule through the add/drop page under registration on the “Student” tab on ASIST (up until two weeks before the start of the course), or by contacting Liberty University Online Advising by phone or email any time before the first day.  The course must be dropped prior to the start date of the course. This is also possible during the first week of class if completed prior to attendance.

DEFINITION OF ATTENDANCE
In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. Attending is defined as completing an academically related activity which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.
  • Submitting a required academic assignment (in Blackboard or disparate system).
  • Taking an exam.
  • Taking a required interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction.
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the school.
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters.
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Beginning on the first day of the sub-term through the last day of the sub-term, students who have begun attending a course may withdraw with a grade of “W” and receive a pro-rated tuition credit based on the date of the withdrawal and attendance in the course.

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.

WITHDRAWAL FROM LIBERTY
Online students withdrawing from the University must contact Liberty University Online via the student’s Liberty University webmail account or by phone to start the process. The withdrawal date is determined based on the date the student submits the Intent to Withdraw Form.  If the withdrawal request is mailed or faxed to the Academic Advising Department, the withdrawal date will be the date the withdrawal request is received by the University.

Grades of W will be recorded for all courses from which the individual withdraws. A student may not withdraw after the last official day of the course or if all coursework is completed. 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.

Students who withdraw from all courses in which they are enrolled will be subject to the Title IV withdrawal regulations and will also be reported as withdrawn from the University. However, it will not be necessary to reapply unless more than 12 months have elapsed since the original deadline date of the student’s last enrollment period. Students withdrawing from all courses in a given semester will be allowed to re-enroll in the next semester, but will be subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy administered by the Financial Aid Office.

See Financial Information section.

UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWALS
The U.S. Department of Education requires that every university monitor the attendance of their students.

Students who begin a course, but at some point cease attending, and do not 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.

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 the Expenses and Financial Policy – Online Program section in this catalog.

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 resume of work in the course. This appeal must be communicated in written form to the faculty member. If the appeal is granted the student must complete the course with an earned grade.

WITHDRAWAL FROM COURSES
Students requesting to withdraw from courses during the semester must submit a withdrawal request via the link they will receive when they contact Liberty University Online. Generally, the withdrawal date will be the date the student submitted the Intent to Withdraw Form. A grade of W will be assigned to all courses from which the student withdraws.

UNDERGRADUATE REPEAT POLICY
The Liberty University Undergraduate Repeat Policy is designed to assist undergraduate students in raising their cumulative grade point average by repeating courses in which they previously performed unsatisfactorily and by removing the previous grade from the GPA calculation.

Undergraduate students are subject to the following conditions:

  1. When an undergraduate course is successfully repeated*, the Undergraduate Repeat Policy will automatically be applied, all earned grades will remain visible on the student’s permanent record, and the most recent grade earned will be the only grade to count toward the student’s GPA.  The Registrar’s Office will automatically apply the Undergraduate Repeat Policy at the end of each term^, including the summer term, to all eligible courses.
  1. On the student’s transcript, the letter “E” will follow the previous earned grade(s) to indicate that the grade has been “excluded” from the GPA.  The letter “I” will follow the most recent grade to indicate that the grade has been “included” in the student’s GPA.  The grades which have been excluded from the GPA calculation will not count toward GPA hours or hours earned, but will remain on the student’s record as attempted hours.  Consultation by the student with the Financial Aid office may be needed to determine how the Repeat Policy will affect the student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  1. There is no limit on the number of different courses or retakes in which the Undergraduate Repeat Policy may be applied.  However, there may be a limited number of times that Federal Financial Aid will pay for a course taken and passed (grade of “D” or higher).  It would be wise to consult with a Financial Aid counselor if there are any questions about this.
  1. The Undergraduate Repeat Policy will only be used on Liberty University courses that have been repeated at Liberty University.  No transfer credit or credit earned though institutional or standardized testing may be used in the Undergraduate Repeat Policy.
  1. The Undergraduate Repeat Policy will only be applied when the same course number/title is retaken, unless there’s been a university approved course number/title change and the department confirms that the courses are the same.  Course replacements/substitutions are not eligible for the Undergraduate Repeat Policy.
  2. Undergraduate courses in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or FN was awarded are eligible for the Undergraduate Repeat Policy.  Courses which are NOT eligible for the Undergraduate Repeat Policy are: pass/fail courses, zero-credit courses, and courses with grades of AU (audit), I, M, NF, Q, R, W, WF, X, and Z, or those courses failed due to academic dishonesty.  Also, courses that are designed as repeatable courses within certain majors will not have the Undergraduate Repeat Policy applied automatically.
  3. Activation of the Undergraduate Repeat Policy for a prior semester will not affect the academic standing or dean’s list award for that semester.  Academic standing or dean’s list in a prior semester can only be changed as a result of an approved grade change.
  4. Once a student has graduated, the Undergraduate Repeat Policy may not be used on a course taken prior to graduation to enhance the cumulative GPA which was recorded at the time of degree conferral.  The repeat of a class after graduation could, however, be used to enhance the students overall undergraduate GPA at Liberty. 

*Final grade has been earned and posted
^Including sub-terms

BREAK IN ENROLLMENT
A break in enrollment occurs when a student has not actively taken a class within one full academic year. The academic year begins with start of the fall semester and ends with the conclusion of the summer term.

Students who break enrollment will be required to follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the University.

Any military students wishing to be readmitted who broke enrollment due to deployment must contact the Office of Military Affairs.


Scholastic Regulations and Academic Standing

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

  Minimum GPA
Level 1 (0-23.99 hours) 1.50
Level 2 (24-47.99 hours) 1.65
Level 3 (48-71.99 hours) 1.85
Level 4 (72 or more hours) 2.00


Academic Standing for Liberty University Online students is calculated only at the end of the Fall, Spring and Summer terms. 

Academic Warning
Students failing to attain and maintain the scholastic standing required are placed on Academic Warning. During the next semester, Liberty University Online undergraduate students should plan to limit enrollment to a 13-semester-hour course load and may be required to take CLST 100 or 101. 

Academic Probation
At the end of the semester on Academic Warning, students who fail to raise the GPA to a satisfactory level (see above) are placed on Academic Probation. During the next semester of attendance, Liberty University Online undergraduate students should plan to limit enrollment to a 13-semester-hour course load, and may be required to take CLST 100 or 101. 

Academic Suspension
At the end of the semester on Academic Probation, students who fail to raise the GPA to the required academic level (see above) are placed on Academic Suspension. Students who desire to continue their studies must submit a written appeal to the Registrar’s Office by contacting the Academic Standing Consultant Team in writing at luoacademicstanding@liberty.edu. The Associate Registrar for Academic Success will review the appeal, and if it is approved, an Academic Contract will be formulated. The student must agree in writing to abide by the terms of the contract before being permitted to register for courses. If a student is a re-applicant to Liberty University Online, the student must agree in writing to abide by the terms of the contract prior to being approved for re-admission. Students who are enrolled for 12 or more hours and fail all courses within any given term will be Academically Suspended. If a student is denied to return under a contract, he/she will not be permitted to return to LU unless qualifying for Academic Amnesty.

Academic Dismissal
Students who are permitted to take classes while on the status of Academic Suspension and who fail to raise the GPA to the required academic level (see above) by the end of the semester or fail to meet the terms of their Academic Contract 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.

ACADEMIC AMNESTY
Approval for readmission under Academic Amnesty must be granted by the Office of the Provost. To qualify for academic amnesty, a student must have been academically suspended or academically dismissed from the University, as well as must satisfy the subsequent guidelines for readmission.

  1. Not enrolled at the University for a period of two (2) years.
  2. A student seeking readmission under academic amnesty must first appeal in writing to the Registrar’s Office by contacting luoacademicstanding@liberty.edu. The request must be stated clearly and contain: (1) the reason for the request, and (2) efforts made to improve during absence from Liberty. Corroboration may be requested of the student, i.e. transcripts from other institutions, certificates, awards, etc.
  3. The student’s appeal, supporting documentation and a recommendation from the Registrar’s Office will be presented to the Office of the Provost for a decision.  If the appeal is approved, the student will be readmitted on the following provisions:
    1. Previously earned grades of A, B, and C will remain on the student’s record and will calculate into his or her GPA.  Grades of D and F are revised to Q.
    2. Students who have been granted Academic Amnesty are not eligible for graduation honors.
    3. If, at any point after and including the first semester of enrollment following readmission under Academic Amnesty, the student’s cumulative GPA falls below the minimum cumulative GPA required for good academic standing in the student’s degree program, the student will be Academically Dismissed from his/her studies through Liberty University.

Liberty University Online Code of Honor

Certificate, Undergraduate and Graduate Students

ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL CODE OF HONOR
Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University. Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.


INCOMPLETES
Students who are unable to complete coursework by the last day of class due to unavoidable circumstances such as personal illness/injury or family emergencies may appeal to their instructor for a temporary course grade of “I” (Incomplete). A grade of “I” may not be changed to a withdrawal if requested after the end of the course. The authority for the decision to grant an incomplete completely lies with the instructor. Denial of the request for an incomplete may include, but is not limited to, the student’s inability to earn a passing grade with completion of the remaining requirements, as well as an insufficient reason for the request. Students must initiate the request for an incomplete directly to the instructor by the last day of class (before the final exam period for residential classes).

The instructor will establish a new deadline for the completion of the remaining coursework, based on the circumstances. The instructor may grant up to two weeks beyond the last day of the term (or sub-term for Liberty University Online courses) for non-medical circumstances and up to four weeks beyond the last day of the term (or sub-term for Liberty University Online courses) for personal medical circumstances. 

For extreme personal medical circumstances, a maximum of eight weeks for Liberty University Online courses and 16 weeks for residential courses may be given as long as sufficient medical documentation (from a medical professional) is presented along with the request.  However, while the decision to grant an extended incomplete remains with the instructor, the request and medical documentation needs to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.  The instructor will be responsible to communicate the remaining requirements, as well as the extended deadline, to the student.

The instructor will post a final grade within two weeks from the deadline established for the incomplete.  If a final grade is not posted within two weeks of the deadline, a grade of “F” may be posted by the registrar’s office.

The GPA is unaffected by the incomplete until a final grade is posted after the deadline.  However, grades of “I” will count as hours attempted and not completed, and will negatively affect a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Military Deployment
Liberty University understands the demands placed on today’s service member, and we are willing to work with our students when their military duty causes delays in their academic progress. According to military policy for Tuition Assistance, the University must post grades within 30-days of the end date of the course. If a military student needs additional time to complete his/her course requirements due to deployments, extended cruises, unit operational tempo, or other duty-related extenuating circumstances, they have two options:

  1. They may contact their professor and request up to an additional 3 weeks to complete the requirements.
  2. Should they need more time, they can request a military withdrawal.

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 or scanned and emailed to luomilitary@liberty.edu, or mailed to: Liberty University; Liberty University Online; Office of Military Affairs; 1971 University Blvd.; Lynchburg, VA 24515.

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.

Undergraduate Grading Scale
(100 point scale)
900   to 1,000
800   to 899
700   to 799
600   to 699
599    and below


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 instructor.

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 assignments for extra credit after the semester has ended and a final exam has been given.

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. Please click here to access the grade appeal form. To access the form, you will need to login using your Liberty username and password.

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. After submitting the appeal, if additional information is needed, the student will be notified via their Liberty Webmail.

Appeal process:
A student wishing to appeal a final grade should first appeal to their professor and seek to resolve the situation with them. If the student wishes to appeal further they must follow the process outlined below:

  1. Within 30 calendar days of the end of the sub-term, the student may submit a written appeal to the Online Chair, but should do so through the grade appeal form. The student must include the information required above. The Professor will also be notified of the appeal and will be able to provide pertinent documentation, prior to the Online Chair rendering their decision. The Online Chair will have 7 days to review the appeal, from the time of submission. When the review is complete, the student will be notified of the decision via their Liberty Webmail and the appeal portal.
  2. If the student has additional support for their appeal, the student may re- appeal to the Online Associate Dean through the appeal portal after receiving the decision of the Online Chair. This written appeal must be submitted within 5 business days of the Online Chair’s decision. The Online Associate Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by the faculty member. The Online Associate Dean will have 7 days to review the appeal, from the time of submission. When the review is complete, the student will be notified of the decision via their Liberty Webmail and the appeal portal.
  3. If the student has additional support for their appeal, the student may re- appeal to the Academic Dean, through the appeal portal after receiving the decision of the Online Associate Dean. This written appeal must be submitted within 5 business days of the Online Associate Dean’s decision. The Academic Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by the faculty member. The Academic Dean will have 7 days to review the appeal, from the time of submission. When the review is complete, the student will be notified of the decision via their Liberty Webmail and the appeal portal.The Academic Dean’s decision is final.

ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS
Official transcripts are made only at the written, signed request of the student. 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.

FERPA – PRIVACY OF STUDENT RECORDS: FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
Students attending, or who have attended, Liberty University are given certain rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and Rules of the Department of Education (34 C.F.R. Part 99) implementing this Act. Additional information and University policies regarding the protection of student records are published online at http://www.liberty.edu/ferpa.


GRADUATION HONORS
Honors for graduation will be determined by the cumulative grade point average earned at Liberty. Cumulative GPA is calculated to the hundredths place and is not rounded. Bachelor’s degree students who have earned 60 or more hours at Liberty must meet the following GPA standards to earn the corresponding academic distinction:

3.50 - 3.66 cum laude
3.67 - 3.84 magna cum laude
3.85 and above summa cum laude


Bachelor degree students who have earned less than 60 hours at Liberty must meet the following GPA standards:

3.60 - 3.76 cum laude
3.77 - 3.94 magna cum laude
3.95 and above summa cum laude


The specific honor calculated on or around April 1 of the student’s graduation year will be printed in the Commencement program, and the student will wear that particular honor cord. The final cumulative GPA will be determined after all grades have been recorded and that final cumulative GPA will determine the specific honor that will be printed on the diploma and transcript.

Associate degree students who have a 3.50 cumulative GPA will receive honors at Commencement.  Graduation honors are not applicable to certificate seeking students.

CERTIFICATE COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS
All matriculated students, whether Resident or Liberty University Online, must meet the same academic requirements for certificate completion. Online certificate-seeking students must have all courses within the certificate successfully completed before being considered candidates for the awarding of a certificate.

  1. The undergraduate certificate requires a minimum of 18 semester hours. Each program differs; therefore, the student must follow the certificate requirements carefully.
  2. Each undergraduate certificate program requires a minimum GPA of 2.00.
  3. To satisfy the requirements for the fields of study, only final grades of C or above, in all certificate courses, will apply towards successful certificate completion.
  4. Students who return to Liberty to complete a second certificate at the undergraduate level must have at least 3 credit hours remaining at the time of acceptance to the certificate and must take and successfully complete a minimum of 3 additional hours of coursework at Liberty to qualify for a second certificate.
  5. All 18 semester hours of the certificate coursework must be completed at Liberty.
  6. A Certificate Completion Application must be filled out at the beginning of the final semester before the certificate can be awarded. The Certificate Completion Application is found here: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=4849.
  7. The Registrar’s Office will process the conferral of a certificate once all certificate requirements have been met, including the minimum GPA requirement and certificate completion application. If a student wishes to take further non-applicable coursework, they must do so under a new application

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
All matriculated students, whether Resident or Liberty University Online, must meet the same academic requirements for graduation. Undergraduate students must have all courses in the General Education core and in the declared major and minor completed before being considered candidates for graduation.

  1. The bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours. Of these total hours, a specified number of upper-level (300-400) courses must be completed with the minimum number being 30 semester hours. Each program differs; therefore, the student must follow the degree requirements carefully. The Associate of Arts degree requires a minimum of 60 semester hours.
  2. Each undergraduate degree program consists of designated General Education requirements, a major, and electives. Electives may be taken from the undergraduate courses offered in any department. A GPA of 2.00 or higher, unless otherwise specified in a particular major or minor, is required for graduation.
  3. To satisfy the requirements for the major and minor fields of study, only grades of C or above in upper level courses may be included. This includes directed electives. Certain majors require a grade of C or above in all major courses.
  4. At least twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for the bachelor’s degree must be completed at Liberty. Fifty percent of the semester hours in the major and minor must be completed at Liberty, unless otherwise specified within the degree requirements. At least twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for the associate’s degree must be completed at Liberty, and with the exception of the A.A. in General Studies or the A.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, 50% of the hours in the major component of the Associate degree must be completed at Liberty.
  5. The Registrar’s Office will process the conferral of a degree once all degree requirements have been met, including the minimum GPA requirement and graduation application. If a student wishes to take further non-applicable coursework, they must do so under a new application.

GRADUATION APPROVAL
All candidates for graduation must be approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees.

GRADUATION CEREMONY
Degrees are granted throughout the academic school year. All candidates for degrees may participate in the annual graduation exercises which take place in May.

TIME LIMITS FOR DEGREE COMPLETION
Students pursuing a certificate must complete the certificate requirements within three (3) years of the date of matriculation.

Students pursuing an associate’s degree must complete the degree requirements within seven (7) years of the date of matriculation.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree must complete the degree requirement within ten (10) years of 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 readmission and will be subject to the requirements of the Catalog and Degree/Certificate Completion Plan (DCP/CCP) in effect at the time of his/her readmission.

A break in enrollment occurs when the student fails to enroll in at least one course during an academic year.  The academic year begins with the start of the fall semester and ends with the conclusion of the summer term.  Students who break enrollment must apply for readmission and will be subject to the requirements of the Catalog and degree requirements in effect at the time of their readmission.



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