Academic Regulations

Course Load

A full-time undergraduate student carries from 12-18 semester hours of credit in both fall and spring semesters. Credits in excess of 18 require the approval of the appropriate dean, who will base the decision on such factors as grades, distribution of courses, extracurricular activities, and outside employment of the student. A maximum of six semester hours can be taken in a summer session. A maximum of three semester hours can be taken in the shorter May term.

Credit Hour Definition

Marywood University defines its credit hour in compliance with both United States and Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements. Marywood designs its academic calendar to meet or exceed the minimum standards for class meetings, assuring that there are 14 hours of classroom instruction, exclusive of holidays or final examinations. The credit hour consists of one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction per week with two hours of out-of-classroom work over the course of the fifteen-week semester. The fifteenth week includes additional instruction, final examinations, and/or culminating experiences as best suits the pedagogy of each discipline.

Each credit hour represents fifteen contact hours spent in class. In the case of a three-credit course, the student will have 45 contact hours spent in class for a total of 135 hours of work inside and outside the classroom. For all alternate instructional delivery methods, laboratories, or independent studies the credit hour represents an equivalent to the minimum requirement for classroom instruction. Online courses are conducted 100% online (with the exception of a possible optional in-person orientation). Courses are considered to be hybrid if 20% (equivalent to three weeks of classes) or more of the course is online. Summer sessions meet the required instructional hours per credit in the compressed time frame of a shorter session.

Class Attendance

Marywood University affirms all learning experiences that lead to responsible self-direction on the part of students. The purpose of attendance regulations is to support each student in sharing the exchange of ideas that occurs only within the classroom. Therefore, Marywood encourages all students to attend class regularly and urges all professors to establish attendance and participation requirements for each course they teach.

Course attendance requirements will be clearly specified and communicated to the students in the course syllabus. Abuses of attendance policies will be referred to the appropriate department chair and dean.

Absence Policy

Marywood University believes that participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are an integral part of a student’s education, in addition to classroom-based learning. Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings. However, the University and its faculty members recognize that there are legitimate and verifiable circumstances, referred to as University-sanctioned events that may cause students to occasionally be absent from class or fail to participate in a scheduled class activity.

University-sanctioned events include, but are not limited to, intercollegiate athletics, music ensembles, performing arts events, student government, professional conferences, study abroad, and the like. Extenuating Non-Academic absences include other valid excuses for missing class, including, but not limited to, family illness or death, jury duty, military commitments, personal problems, religious obligation or unforeseen circumstances (e.g., automobile accident).

Students are responsible for planning their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course requirements. If there are University-sanctioned events, students are responsible for communicating with faculty members prior to planned absences. Faculty members are asked to provide students participating in these university-sanctioned activities with reasonable accommodations for classes, exams, and quizzes, as these would be considered excused absences. It is also the student’s responsibility to fulfill the requirements of the missed class work in a timely manner. The student will be held accountable for the material covered in all classes, whether or not s/he is able to attend.

When applicable, students are expected to inform faculty of foreseeable absences with as much advance notice as possible.

In the case of an unplanned absence, students must notify the faculty member as soon as possible. In situations where advance notice is not possible, the faculty member may request that students provide documentation to support their absence to the Retention and Advising Office for verification. In cases when extenuating circumstances may not be able to be documented, faculty members will use their best judgment to evaluate the student’s reason for absence. Marywood University expects both students and their instructors to approach problems with class attendance in a manner that is reasonable.

Ultimately, the faculty member determines the student's grade. Students dissatisfied with the outcome may appeal by following the steps outlined in the “Grade Appeals” policy.