2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
    
    Oct 26, 2021  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog

School of Professional Studies - Undergraduate Academic Policies


Academic Dismissal Appeal

A student who wishes to appeal an academic dismissal decision must first discuss the grounds of appeal with their academic advisor, e.g., illness, emergency.  If student believes firmly that there are grounds for appeal and can provide documentation to support the appeal, they must submit a formal appeal to the Academic Review Board (ARB).   

Upon receipt of the ARB’s decision, student has five (5) business days to appeal the decision to the Dean if they have new information that could not reasonably have been made available during the original appeal and may have been sufficient to alter the Board’s decision.

The decision of the Dean is final and cannot be appealed further.

Academic Forgiveness

The Academic Forgiveness policy allows a matriculated School of Professional Studies undergraduate student, who experienced extenuating circumstances that prevented them from achieving academic success, to eliminate from the grade-point average (GPA) calculation up to 4 units in which a D or F was earned.

Academic Forgiveness can improve a student’s overall GPA while reducing their earned credit hours, so students must be aware of all consequences before requesting that a grade be forgiven. Student must speak with the Office of Financial Assistance if they are not sure how Academic Forgiveness may affect their scholarship or aid eligibility. All units attempted at Clark University will be used in calculating students’ financial aid eligibility.  Furthermore, courses repeated under this policy resulting in duplicate credit do not count for satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes. 

Similarly, student must consult with their academic advisor if they are not sure how Academic Forgiveness may affect their academic progress toward degree completion. 

The following conditions apply to Academic Forgiveness:

  • Academic Forgiveness applies only to undergraduate courses taken at Clark University.
  • Academic Forgiveness may not be applied to any course in which the student was previously found in violation of the academic integrity policy.
  • A forgiven course cannot be used to satisfy any prerequisite, degree, or university requirement.
  • All earned and forgiven course grades remain on the transcript, degree progress report, and other official documents.
  • A forgiven course cannot be used to calculate the GPA or earned credit hours.
  • Course substitutions are not permitted in situations where Academic Forgiveness has been previously applied.
  • Student may only apply for and be granted Academic Forgiveness once for up to 4 units.
  • Once approved, Academic Forgiveness cannot be reversed.
  • Student may not invoke Academic Forgiveness after their degree is conferred.

Eligibility and Application

Interested student must consult with their academic advisor to review eligibility and impact on their academic progress and to complete the appropriate application.  Complete application includes statement and documentation from student to support their request.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a basic value for all higher learning. Simply expressed, it requires that work presented must be wholly one’s own and unique to that course. All direct quotations must be identified by source. Academic integrity can be violated in many ways, including but not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorized collaboration;
  • cheating on an exams;
  • submitting one paper to more than one class without the explicit approval of the professors involved;
  • copying a computer program;
  • altering data in an experiment;
  • attempts to alter or altering an official academic record;
  • forging the signature of a faculty member or administrator.

To ensure academic integrity and safeguard students’ rights, all suspected violations of academic integrity are reported to the Academic Review Board who will review the case. Such reports must be carefully documented, and students accused of the infraction are notified of the charge. In the case of breach of academic integrity, student will receive a sanction, which may range from an F in the assignment or course to suspension or expulsion from the University.

Academic Progression/Standing

Credit toward the Bachelor of Science degree is expressed in terms of course units. With few exception, each course is equivalent to one unit (four semester credit hours). A minimum of 32 units, 16 of which must be completed at Clark University, and satisfactory completion of major and other requirements with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 are necessary to attain the bachelor’s degree.

A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 is required to be in good academic standing for a SPS undergraduate student.  Should student fall below this threshold, they may be placed on academic warning, probation, or dismissal.  See below for progression standards.

Note: Student academic progression impacts financial aid and international student visa status. 

The School of Professional Studies reserves the right to curtail continuous registration if a student fails two courses completed in their first year at Clark. This policy is designed in the interest of the SPS UG students.

Academic Warning

A student is placed on academic warning for low academic performance if their cumulative GPA is below 2.000 after attempting 4 units.  At this point, the student is strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor to develop an action plan to improve their academic standing.

Academic Probation

A student is placed on academic probation if, after already having been placed on academic warning, their cumulative GPA remains below 2.000 after attempting another 2 units and the term GPA is below 2.500.  At this point, the student is strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor to update an action plan to improve their academic standing.

In the case where the student who has been placed on academic warning earn a minimum term GPA of 2.500 but whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.000, their academic warning period will be extended and not be advanced to academic probation status.

Academic Dismissal

A student is academically dismissed if, after already having been placed on academic probation, their cumulative GPA remains below 2.000 after attempting another 2 units. 

Student will receive notification about their dismissal and has a right to appeal the dismissal decision to the Academic Review Board within one week of receipt of such notification.

Student appealing a dismissal decision may not be eligible to enroll in classes the term following their dismissal to allow time for the appeal process. 

Academic Review Board

The Academic Review Board (ARB) for the School of Professional Studies is chaired by the Associate Dean of Professional Studies.  The primary function of the ARB is to monitor student academic progress and respond to requests for exceptions to established university academic regulations or procedures.  Common cases that are heard by the ARB include: grade dispute, academic dismissal decision, and academic integrity cases.

The ARB evaluates each request/petition based on the individual student’s circumstances. 

SPS students who wish to submit a petition to the Academic Review Board must first consult with their academic advisor. 

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Clark University is committed to providing equal access to otherwise qualified students with disabilities who are able to effectively function in a rigorous, liberal-arts campus environment.

Any student with a documented disability is eligible to receive services from the Office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Clark University offers a range of legally mandated accommodations to students with documented disabilities to give them access to full participation in equal educational opportunities. Eligibility for these services is based on documented need and is determined on a case by case basis. The purpose of accommodations is to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may exist because of an individual’s disability. The law does not require institutions to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered essential to a particular program or degree. Instead, they are mandated to modify existing requirements to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against on the basis of their disability.

Reasonable accommodations are not intended to eliminate a student’s disability, but to support the student’s own efforts to circumvent obstacles to learning. Students are expected to meet the essential course and degree requirements. When necessary, SAS staff will consult with faculty regarding essential standards in order to determine reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are not substitutions for faculty academic decisions such as course content, grading, or syllabus requirements. These determinations are not within the jurisdiction of Student Accessibility Services.

Disclosure of a disability is voluntary; however, it is important to note that the university is not responsible for providing accommodations to a student who has not provided appropriate documentation of a disability to Student Accessibility Services and requested a reasonable accommodation.

Attendance Requirements

There is no university-wide class attendance policy. However, many individual instructors do set attendance requirements for their courses.

Weather/Class Cancellations

When School of Professional Studies classes are suspended or cancelled because of severe weather conditions or other emergency situations, announcements are made via Clark ALERT and on the Clark University website. See also bostonchannel.com. Students are notified by email. 

Absence Due to University-Sponsored Activities

Participation in university-sponsored activities, where the students are representing their university, college, or department, may cause absences from class that qualify as excused absences. Excused absences, with appropriate prior arrangement, are not subject to penalty, and missed work may be satisfied through agreement between the student and the instructor. University-sponsored activities that may justify excused absences include athletic competition, performing arts events, and research or other presentations.

Students must discuss absence(s) with instructors at least two weeks in advance of the university-sponsored activity, or as soon as possible if the activity is at the beginning of the term or is the result of an unforeseen circumstance. Instructors may require a written statement from the administrator in charge of the activity. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for these class absences, including administration of makeup assignments and exams whenever possible. It is expected that students seeking an excused absence will develop a plan and timetable to make up the missed course work with their instructor(s). Note, however, that the requirements of some courses or programs may preclude such accommodations.

Absence Due to Religious Beliefs

Any student who is unable, because of their religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement should be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement that they may have missed because of such absence on any particular day, provided that such makeup examination or work does not create an unreasonable burden upon the university. Students should make appropriate arrangements with the instructor in advance of the absence, preferably at least two weeks before the religious observance. 

Absence Due to Jury Duty

Members of the university community are expected to fulfill their obligations to serve on a jury if called upon. A student selected for jury duty should inform their instructors. They will provide a reasonable substitute or compensatory opportunity for any required work missed. Student may be required to furnish their summons notice or their certificate of service when making these arrangements. A student with such an absence will not be penalized in any way.

Other Absences

Unforeseen events or circumstances, including illness, may cause a student to be absent from class. Students must notify their instructors and academic advisor, as appropriate, as soon as possible to apprise them of the circumstances leading to their absence, as well as how much time will be missed. Students must work with their instructors to develop a plan, with a timetable, to make up missed course work. Students cannot be required to provide medical documentation. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for warranted class absences, including administration of makeup assignments and exams, whenever possible.

Extended Absences

A student who is absent from school for an extended period of time must inform their academic advisor by letter, email, or telephone. The expected length of the absence may determine whether the student should apply for a leave of absence. It is strongly recommended that the student contact their academic advisor to discuss potential next steps.

Unexcused Absences

Faculty members are under no obligation to allow students to complete work missed from unexcused absences.  Faculty may have attendance policies that result in penalties that harm course grades.

Students who abuse the excused absence policy by consciously misrepresenting to the instructor the reason for the absence will be considered to have committed academic misconduct.  Examples of abuse include falsifying an illness or family emergency, falsely claiming that attendance at the event is required, falsely claiming to have attended an event, or falsely claiming that an absence has been approved by university officials.  If an instructor determines that a student is guilty of abuse, the instructor should treat it as they would any other instance of breach of academic integrity.

Nonattendance

Nonattendance does not constitute official course dropping or withdrawal, which means the student is fully responsible for the academic and financial consequences. Like all grades for courses attempted and/or completed, a grade earned due to nonattendance impacts a student’s academic progression, an international student’s visa eligibility, a federal financial aid recipient’s aid eligibility and award, and any applicable scholarship.

Changing a Major/Program of Study

An undergraduate student matriculated in a degree program (with a declared major/program) may choose to enroll in a different undergraduate major/program, after consulting with their academic advisor. The student then completes the appropriate form and is responsible for meeting all admission requirements for the intended major/program.

Previous transfer credit awards are subject to change as a result of a major/program change. Students on financial aid or an international student visa are responsible for understanding the impact that results from a major change.

Enrollment Status

At Clark, academic credit is expressed in terms of course units. Most Clark courses are awarded one unit which is equivalent to four semester credit hours or 180 hours of engaged academic time.  

Enrollment status is determined on a semester-by-semester basis based on actual registration. A student is considered to be enrolled as of the first day of classes of that particular semester.  Registration enrollment statuses and criteria are defined as follows:

Enrollment Status Unit Criteria
Full-Time 3.00 and up
Three-Quarter Time 1.75 to 2.75
Half-Time 1.50
Less than Half-Time 0.25 to 1.25

Enrollment statuses are used to determine financial aid eligibility, loan deferment, FICA exemption, health insurance, and for international students, immigration status.   After each term begins, enrollment statuses are reported to the National Student Clearinghouse several times in the semester to ensure that loan agencies have accurate and up-to-date enrollment information, as is required by federal regulations.  

Fifth Course Approval

Juniors and seniors with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA may register for a fifth course unit in consultation with their academic advisor. Sophomores with a minimum of a 3.6 cumulative GPA may also register for a fifth course in consultation with their academic advisor. The standard number of units that any student may register for in a given semester is 4.5 units; the fifth course approval will raise the allowable unit maximum for the term to 5.5 units.

Student is required to pay the normal tuition charges/fees for all attempted course units. They are responsible for informing their financial aid counselor, if applicable, and for making the necessary arrangements to manage the increased workload. Should the fifth course unit impact an international student’s degree completion date and their visa end date, the student is responsible for informing the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).

Active/Inactive

  • A student is considered “active” for as long as they are registered and enrolled in at least one course. 
  • A student is considered “inactive” when there is a gap in their enrollment for one year or more.  Should an “inactive” wish to re-enroll, they will need to contact the academic advisor to formally request a return.

Only active students may have access to university resources, e.g., library, fitness center.

Filing a Discrimination Grievance Based On Disability

Students have the right to file a discrimination grievance based upon disability. These guidelines provide information on how to proceed if a student believes they have been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, or effective communication or suffered discriminatory harassment as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. These guidelines are not mandatory and students may proceed with their complaint at any of the levels listed below. A complainant is not required by law to use the institutional grievance procedure before filing a complaint with The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education; however, both the OCR and the university encourage using internal grievance procedures before filing a complaint with OCR.

General Readmission

A readmission application is required of students whose studies are interrupted voluntarily for more than three years. Students who are dismissed must wait at least one year before applying for readmission.

Students are expected to meet the requirements of the program curriculum current at the time of the approved readmission term.  Departments may provide for course substitutions, waivers, or alterations in degree requirements for the major to meet current resources of the department or needs of the student.  If the program into which the student is seeking readmission is no longer offered, the student may apply to another program and must meet the admissions requirements for that program. Contact the Office of Admissions for assistance and to complete the admission application.

All previous attempted and completed course work at the University, including all prior grades and academic standing status, remains part of the permanent record for students who have been readmitted regardless of how much time elapsed between enrollment. 

If readmitted, Clark and transfer credits that a student was previously awarded will be reevaluated. The seven-year time limit on science and technology courses may have expired. It is at the discretion of the academic program to determine applicability of courses previously completed.

A student who was not in good academic standing (but not academically dismissed) prior to the gap in enrollment will be readmitted with the same academic standing.  In such a case, student must work with their academic advisor to develop an action plan to improve their academic standing.

Readmission After Dismissal

Clark University students who are dismissed from A&S or SPS must wait at least one year before applying for readmission.  Application must include, among other documents, evidence that student had taken proactive steps to increase their chances for academic success should they be readmitted.

SPS students are expected to meet the program requirements current at the time of the approved readmission term.  Previously earned units and applicable transfer units will be reevaluated.  If the program into which the student is seeking readmission is no longer offered, the student may apply to another program. 

All previously attempted and earned units, including grades and grade point averages remain part of the student’s permanent record.  If student is readmitted to SPS UG and was not previously awarded Academic Forgiveness, they may apply.  (See Academic Forgiveness policy.) 

Clark University retains the right to make the final decision on each student’s application.

Grades

Grades are an indication of individual performance in each course taken at the University. At Clark, two grading options are currently in use:

Graded courses: Valid letter grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, and F. The lowest passing grade for university requirements is D; however, some departments have higher grade requirements for courses within the major, minor, and concentration.

The faculty has approved the following qualitative description of grades:

  • A indicates work of distinction, of exceptionally high quality
  • B indicates good work, but not of distinction
  • C indicates satisfactory work
  • D indicates marginal work
  • F indicates unacceptable work

Pass/Fail Option: This option uses the symbols P and F. P indicates work at a level of C- or better. Neither the P grade nor its credit is included in the calculation of the grade-point average. Performance below a C- results in a Fail (F) grade. While the grade is not included in calculating the grade-point average, it is used to calculate units attempted, which could impact financial aid eligibility and academic progression standards.

Students may choose this grading option within the first three weeks of the semester. Many departments will not permit students to complete major courses with a P grade. Students must consider this before electing a P/F grading option.

A student may receive no more than four D or D+ grades.  Excess D grades (D or D+ above the allowable limit of 4) will be calculated into the GPA but will not count in earned hours.

Calculating GPA

Grade-point averages are calculated by the University to determine academic good standing, semester academic honors, Latin honors at graduation and eligibility for various honor societies. The grade-point average is calculated as the average of grades earned in all Clark University graded courses. Neither external credit nor ungraded Clark University courses are included in this calculation.

To compute your GPA, use the scale below to assign a numerical value to each letter grade, then multiply that value by the number of units assigned to each course. Add all of the numerical values together and divide the sum by the total number of units taken.

                  B+  =3.30     C+  =2.30     D+  =1.30
A   =4.00     B    =3.00     C    =2.00      D   =1.00
A-  =3.70     B-  =2.70     C-   =1.70      F   =0.00

 

Grades of Incomplete

Students who have made significant progress in the course and experience extenuating circumstances that impede their ability to complete the requirements of a course within the semester may petition for a grade of incomplete. The student must first obtain support for the petition for incomplete from the instructor, who will identify the work that is to be completed along with a deadline for submission of the work. Student must submit a completed petition form and include documentation of extenuating circumstances to the Associate Dean.

An incomplete may also be awarded as the result of a research delay that a student experiences. Such a circumstance must be confirmed by the faculty member.

An incomplete in a course given in the fall must be made up by April 1. An incomplete given in the spring or summer must be made up by October 1. An incomplete is automatically converted to the grade of F if a grade change is not received by the specified due date. If there are sound reasons for an extension beyond these dates, student should contact the Associate Dean with a statement of support from the instructor. The petition must be filed on or before the specified due date. Extensions of undergraduate incompletes are granted solely at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies Associate Dean.

Grade Changes

Grades may be changed after the initial submission only if an instructor of record has made a computational error in calculating a final grade or has reevaluated work submitted before the grading period ends. Grades cannot be changed on the basis of a second trial, such as a new examination or additional work undertaken or completed after the grade report has been recorded.  A change of grade may not be used as a substitute for an “Incomplete.” If a student has work missing at the end of a semester - exams, papers, assignments to be written or rewritten - the student must petition for an “Incomplete.” Associate Dean makes that designation. See the “Grades of Incomplete” policy.

The instructor of record is the only individual who can change a grade. The faculty member should submit a request to change a grade to the University Registrar who will make the change subject to review by the Associate Dean. Any correction must take place in the semester following the one in which the grade was assigned.  In situations where the instructor of record is not available to make a final determination of change of grade, the Associate Dean and the Registrar will consult on an appropriate resolution.

The initial reporting of a grade does not require the grade change process. If the grade was not properly recorded or if the course is listed as IN (Incomplete), an email from the instructor’s Clark University account to the Registrar’s will suffice to report the grade.

Grade Appeal

A student who wishes to appeal a grade must first discuss the grade in question with the instructor. If the student feels that the issue is not resolved at this level, the second step in the appeals process requires a review by the Academic Review Board. A final appeal may be brought to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies after a review by the Academic Review Board. The decision of the Dean will be the final action taken.  

In all levels of the appeal process, student must articulate the grounds for the appeal and provide documentation to support their position.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree at Clark, a student must complete a minimum of 32 course units, 16 of which must be completed at Clark University, with a minimum overall (cumulative) 2.0 grade-point average (GPA).  Student must complete all requirements for their degree program.

In addition to meeting all academic requirements, a student’s disciplinary record must be in good standing in order to be eligible to earn a degree from the University. Clark may place a hold on the conferral of the degree along with other student records if any of the following exists with regard to a student’s disciplinary record: any pending disciplinary proceeding, any pending appeals of a disciplinary proceeding or sanction, or any pending or active sanctions.  Any hold on a student’s account may impact their ability to receive their diploma.

Time Limit on Program Completion

Although there is no set limit for a SPS undergraduate student to complete their degree, there is a limit to how long a course may be used toward program completion. Science and technology courses expire after seven years unless an extension is approved by the Associate Dean.

Curricular Changes

When there is a change to a curriculum or program requirement, students already matriculated and actively enrolled in the program may continue to follow the program requirements at the time of matriculation or to follow the new curriculum/program requirements, unless it is otherwise specified by the academic program at the time of the announcement of said changes.

Internal Transfer

Arts & Sciences to School of Professional Studies

A matriculated Clark University undergraduate Arts & Sciences (A&S) student in good standing who wishes to transfer and matriculate in the School of Professional Studies due to extenuating circumstances must first consult with their academic advisor and seek permission from the College Board.  If the College Board recommends the transfer, student must speak with SPS and then apply for internal transfer.  SPS retains the right to make the final decision on each student’s application.

An A&S student who is withdrawn for academic reasons and wishes to complete their studies at SPS must wait one academic year before applying to SPS.  It is highly recommended that, during the one-year gap, student attempts to determine ways and identify tools that could improve their academic success in the future.

All units attempted, grades, and grade point averages (GPA) earned at A&S will become part of the SPS UG transcript.  Previously earned units and applicable transfer units will be reevaluated for degree completion at SPS UG.  After matriculation, SPS UG student may apply for Academic Forgiveness.  (See Academic Forgiveness policy for more information.)  Should student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 upon matriculation or after award of Academic Forgiveness, student will be placed on academic warning and is required to work with an academic advisor to create an action plan to improve their academic standing.

All units attempted at Clark University will be used in calculating students’ financial aid eligibility. 

Once the student is matriculated in SPS as an internal transfer, they will not have the option to apply to return to A&S.

School of Professional Studies to Arts & Sciences

A matriculated Clark University School of Professional Studies undergraduate student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 who has never matriculated in the Clark University Arts & Sciences may apply to transfer to A&S.  Student must first consult with their SPS academic advisor.  Student must apply and seek admission as an internal transfer.  Previously earned units and applicable transfer units will be reevaluated.  Undergraduate Admissions retains the right to make the final decision on each student’s application.  All units attempted at Clark University will be used in calculating students’ financial aid eligibility.

Leaves of Absence

General Leave of Absence

A student may apply for a leave of absence for a period up to 180 days (typically one semester at a time) during periods of enrollment, defined at Clark as Fall and Spring. Summer is considered a period of non-enrollment because it is not a required term for undergraduate students and is, therefore, not considered part of the leave of absence period. At the end of the requested leave of absence, the student may re-enroll; file an extension of their leave of absence; or withdraw from the university. Students may request an extension for an additional period up to an additional 180 days. Two extension periods beyond the initial leave of absence are permitted, after which time the student will be withdrawn from the university. The University Leave of Absence policy is for internal purposes only, students will be considered withdrawn to any all external agencies, including the Federal Government.  Students receiving federally or state funded aid should consult with their financial aid counselor to understand how this may impact their aid.

Students who wish to take a leave of absence must contact their academic advisor.

Medical Leave of Absence

A student may apply for a medical leave, based on the leave of absence policy and medical documentation that supports the medical necessity for the student to be away. A student may apply for a medical leave of absence for a period up to 180 days during periods of enrollment, defined at Clark as Fall and Spring. Summer is considered a period of non-enrollment because it is not a required term for undergraduate students and is, therefore, not considered part of the leave of absence period. At the end of the requested leave of absence, the student may re-enroll; file an extension of their leave of absence; or withdraw from the university. Students may request an extension for an additional period up to an additional 180 days. Two extension periods beyond the initial leave of absence are permitted, after which time the student will be withdrawn from the university. The University Medical Leave of Absence policy is for internal purposes only, students will be considered withdrawn to any all external agencies, including the Federal Government.  Students receiving federally or state funded aid should consult with their financial aid counselor to understand how this may impact their aid.

Leave of Absence Due to Military Deployment

  • Students who are currently enrolled in and attending class(es) who receive active duty orders need to provide a copy of their orders to their academic advisor. 
  • Under the Valor Act students have the option to complete the course when they return from Active Duty without penalty.  Students who receive active duty orders also have the option to withdraw from the course with a full credit of fees and tuition paid. 
  • If the academic course is no longer available upon the student’s return from active duty, they will be permitted to complete a replacement course, as approved by their academic advisor, for equivalent credit without penalty.
  • With respect to any health insurance fee, the refund policy is subject to the concurrence of the carrier.
  • Students who have received any form of financial aid including a full or partial scholarship or student loan, or those who expect to receive such aid should contact the Financial Aid office to make appropriate arrangements.
  • Students shall receive non-punitive withdrawals in all courses from which they are required to withdraw.
  • Students residing in residence halls shall receive refunds on a pro rata basis for the remainder of the semester. 
  • Verification of the call to service must be provided by providing their academic advisor with a copy of the Order to Active Duty within one week of receipt of the order.
  • Also, if the student chooses to withdraw, they will follow the withdrawal procedures.  In the event of a short notice/no notice deployment, a student can have someone in their family or unit provide their academic advisor a copy of the order.
  • The Dean may waive or suspend any institutional policy or regulation that negatively impacts the students in their withdrawal or readmission to the institution due to a call to active duty.
  • Any student required to withdraw due to being called to active duty shall be given priority in enrollment in the program of their choice upon return to the institution for the two semesters immediately following their discharge from active duty.
  • International students who must take a leave of absence to engage in military service in their home country must additionally contact the ISSO.

Leave of Absence for International Students

International students should discuss maintenance of proper U.S. immigration status with an advisor at ISSO before requesting any type of leave of absence.

Return from a Leave Of Absence

Students must contact their academic advisor before their planned return.

Students seeking to return in the spring term should contact their academic advisor in November.

Students seeking to turn in the summer term should contact their academic advisor in March.

Students seeking to turn in the fall term should contact their academic advisor in June.

International students need to also consult their ISSO advisor.

Non-Matriculated Students

Students who are interested in taking courses without pursuing a degree may do so by submitting the following information:

  • Completed online form
  • Official high school transcript or equivalent (unless high school completion is noted on a college transcript)
    • In lieu of a high school transcript, transfer students can submit an official copy of their domestic college transcript in combination with our Attestation Form.  This will waive the need for a high school transcript submission.)

Students must satisfy the pre-requisite(s) for the courses in which they wish to enroll. 

Students in non-matriculated status who would like to matriculate (i.e., pursue a Bachelor of Science degree), may do so by applying to the program.  Up to 4 units earned while on non-matriculation status may be applied to the intended degree program.

Non-matriculated students are not eligible for financial aid or scholarships.

Posthumous Degree

The University may grant undergraduate and graduate degrees posthumously. To be eligible for consideration for the awarding of a posthumous degree, the deceased student must at the time of death:

  • be an enrolled student in good standing with the university;
  • have completed 75% of the degree requirements based on normal academic progress (have achieved senior status as an undergraduate).

When a request to award a posthumous degree to an eligible student is received, the President will consult with the Provost, Chair of the Faculty and the Chair of the Board of Trustees prior to deciding whether to proceed with the awarding of the degree.

Registration and Taking Courses

General Registration

Continuing students are expected to register in November for the spring semester and again in April for the following fall semester. Students need to connect with their academic advisor to receive a PIN for registration for fall and spring; no PIN is required for summer course registration.  This is an opportunity to review your academic progress toward degree completion.

Newly admitted and transfer students for fall will register during the summer; newly admitted and transfer students for spring will register for the spring semester in winter. Students may add and drop courses during each semester’s add/drop period; schedules must be finalized by the end of each semester’s add/drop period. The dates for registration are published by the Registrar’s Office and sent via email to all active students. Registration after the announced period results in a $100 late fee.

Late Registration

Students are expected to register for courses before the term starts and within the add/drop period.  Should a student need to add a course after the add/drop period, they will need to seek permission from the instructor and the academic advisor.  If approved, student will be assessed a late fee in addition to the regular tuition cost for the course.

Taking an Arts & Sciences Course

School of Professional Studies undergraduate students with flexible hours may wish to fulfill some of their degree requirements through courses offered through the College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate program.

Matriculated SPS undergraduate students who plan to register for two courses during a semester may take one undergraduate A&S course at the School of Professional Studies undergraduate program tuition rate on a space available basis, with priority given to seniors.  No more than one-fourth of the total BS program may be completed in A&S, unless the student is an internal transfer from A&S. The A&S faculty and student’s academic advisor must approve the chosen course prior to registration.

Repeating a Course

It is the policy of Clark University to allow students to repeat any course. However, you will only get credit for one of the courses (except in cases where the faculty designate a course as one that can earn credit more than once). Both courses will appear on the transcript but only the higher grade will be computed into the GPA. Students receiving any kind of federal or institutional aid should consult with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if the repeated course/s will affect their aid eligibility.

Auditing a Course

Certain courses in the School of Professional Studies Undergraduate Programs can be audited. There is no cost reduction for auditing a course. Audited courses do not satisfy major requirements.  Please check with your academic advisor to be sure the course you are interested in can be audited.

Course Prerequisites

Course prerequisites are courses that are required to have been completed prior to enrolling in another course. Before registering for a course, students, regardless of matriculation status, should consult the course description to determine whether they have completed the course prerequisites.

Course prerequisites may be met by taking the prerequisite course(s) for undergraduate courses, by taking college-level or proficiency examinations for undergraduate courses, or by obtaining credit in specific academic disciplines for knowledge gained through prior learning experiences for undergraduate courses. Some courses have two parts. It generally is not possible to take part two before successfully completing part one.

Course Corequisites

Course corequisites are courses that are required to be taken concurrently. Before registering for a course, students, regardless of matriculation status, should read the course description to determine what the corequisite is and register for both courses.

Course Substitution

In some cases, a course that a student wishes or needs to take is not offered. In certain unusual circumstances, a student may request up to three course substitutions to satisfy degree requirements. The substituting courses must be comparable in content and rigor.  Student must consult with their academic advisor and seek approval.

Course Waiver

A course waiver may be awarded to a student who has completed the equivalent course at an accredited institution other than the School of Professional Studies in the past seven years. The waiver will exempt the student from completing the required course. The student will complete another course, as approved by the program, to satisfy the number of units required for the program.

Independent Study /Internships/Special Projects

Students who will benefit from independent study, special projects, and internships (“contract courses”) may do so under the guidance of a faculty member. Projects must be clearly defined and equivalent study unavailable in the regular curriculum. Information regarding Special Projects may be obtained through your academic advisor.

  • Independent Study courses involve independent work/project research by the student on a particular problem or in a specific area of interest. An independent study may, for example, involve a research project, an original creative piece of work, field study or an experiment. Such study is reserved for matriculated students in their junior or senior years.
  • Internships involve placements in outside agencies and organizations. Students must meet with the academic advisor to choose a faculty member who will work with the student concerning the academic project that will be completed as part of the internship. All internships are graded on a Pass/Fail basis only.

Contract forms for independent study and internships are available at the School of Professional Studies. Students should design the study with a faculty member and then submit a formal proposal outlining work to be done, an appropriate bibliography and the frequency of meetings planned with the instructor. The proposal form should be submitted, with signature of both faculty and student, to the School of Professional Studies during the two-week period prior to final registration. It is wise for students to plan an independent study well in advance of the beginning of the semester. Consultation with their academic advisor will help to assure that the project meets appropriate criteria if it is to fulfill an area requirement.

Course Add/Drop Policy

Refer to the  Academic Calendar  for specific dates. Students should consult with their academic advisor before adding or dropping classes. 

Students who drop a course before the deadline will not be charged for the course and will not have a W (withdrawal) on their transcript. Thereafter, students are responsible for the tuition charges and applicable fees in accordance with the University refund policy, and the earned grade will be on their permanent academic record. All such dates are specified in the academic calendar.

Students must add/drop courses using their ClarkYOU account to access the CUWeb Registration.

Students who experience difficulty adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a course should promptly email the Registrar’s Office at registrar@clarku.edu. If it is determined that there is an issue with ClarkYOU access, they need to contact the Service Desk:

ITS Help Desk, Academic Commons, Plaza Level
508-793-7745 | helpdesk@clarku.edu

Students with holds (e.g., financial, judicial) may have restricted access to add, drop, or withdraw from a course. In such instances, students are responsible for resolving the hold immediately and to meet the established course registration deadlines.

A reduction in a student’s course load could affect a student’s international student visa status or financial aid eligibility.

Course Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Reference the Academic Calendar  for specific dates by which students may withdraw from a course and the Tuition and Financial Aid  to determine refund eligibility. 

Students who withdraw from a course after the add/drop deadline and before the last day to withdraw will receive a W grade. The W grade does not affect the calculation of the cumulative GPA but it does impact a student’s academic progression, which may result in the student being placed on academic probation or dismissal.

Students must withdraw from courses by completing the appropriate form with the Registrar’s Office through the final day of regularly scheduled classes in any given semester.

Students with holds (e.g., financial, judicial) may have restricted access to add, drop, or withdraw from a course. In such instances, students are responsible for resolving the hold immediately and to meet the established course registration deadlines.

A reduction in a student’s course load could affect a student’s international student visa status or financial aid eligibility.

Students who fail to withdraw from a course by the deadline, regardless of their level of class participation or attendance, are financially and academically responsible. A student’s lack of participation/attendance will likely result in a final grade of F.

All students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor prior to withdrawing from a course. Withdrawals may impact a student’s time to degree completion.

Seeking More Than One Certificate or Degree

An undergraduate student can be enrolled in only one undergraduate program at a time.

Undergraduate students seeking more than one degree after having completed a program should note that undergraduate credits earned toward:

  • A bachelor’s degree earned at the School of Professional Studies may be used to satisfy the requirements of a second bachelor’s degree with a cap of 50 percent of the requirements for the second degree, if the contents are determined to be applicable by SPS.

Transfer Credit Policy

The School of Professional Studies awards transfer credits for eligible courses completed successfully at regionally and programmatically accredited institutions. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation provides information about the organizations responsible for these two forms of accreditation. Official transcripts from all institutions should be sent directly to the School of Professional Studies Office of Admissions at the time of application.

Academic credits earned at institutions outside the United States are considered for transferability on a case-by-case basis. Students should submit an official English evaluation completed by an approved credential evaluator. Course descriptions and/or syllabi also should be translated into English and submitted to the School of Professional Studies Office of Admissions.

Once a new student has been accepted into a program, a major has been declared, and all official transcripts and/or exam results have been received, the School of Professional Studies conducts an official transfer credit evaluation within the first academic term. Students may be required to provide additional documentation for transfer credit evaluation.

The School of Professional Studies reserves the right to revise transfer credit awards due to course duplication, a student’s change in program of study, or other reasons deemed necessary by SPS.

Students who wish to transfer credits earned at the School of Professional Studies to another institution need to consult with that institution to determine eligibility.

Undergraduate Transfer Credit

Undergraduate transfer credit awards are granted on a case-by-case basis employing the following guidelines:

  • The minimum course grade acceptable for transfer credit is C, or 2.000 on a 4.000 scale.
  • Courses completed on a pass/fail scale are eligible for transfer, if the college/university policy articulates the minimum grade to earn a “pass” is equivalent to a C, or 2.000 on a 4.000 scale.
  • Credits earned in science and technology courses are valid for a period of seven years. Science and technology courses completed more than seven years ago may be considered for transfer at the discretion of SPS. Courses successfully completed in other subject areas are not subject to timelines.
  • Transfer credits also may be earned through:
    • Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
    • The Excelsior College Examination Program (formerly Regents College).
    • DANTES Examination Program of the Educational Testing Service.
    • Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. A minimum score of 3 is required for all examinations.
    • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).
      • A minimum score of 50 is required for acceptance of all examinations.
      • If a student is planning to use CLEP to meet the Introduction to Composition requirement, they must take the CLEP English exam with essay.
      • Students planning to take CLEP tests should meet with the academic advisor before registering for the exams to assure that credit sought is transferable.
      • The School of Professional Studies reserves the right to review and establish new CLEP scoring standards at any time, and such changes become effective immediately and apply to all students, regardless of matriculation date. 
  • With specified exception, students must complete at least 50 percent of the total units required for a bachelor’s degree at the Clark University.
  • An undergraduate student whose enrollment at Clark University is disrupted due to active duty deployment may petition for a waiver of the 50% residency requirement.  In such cases, student will be required to earn at least 25% of their degree through coursework at Clark.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Students may be eligible for PLA credit if they have accrued a foundation of knowledge and skills equivalent to the content of courses offered by the School of Professional Studies.

Awarded credits are incorporated into a student’s degree plan as transfer credits and are subject to the university’s residency requirement. Acceptable credits for PLA review are determined from approved certificates, training, and a portfolio review of prior work experience. As part of consideration for PLA credits, faculty will evaluate and map learning outcomes and achievement in alignment with NECHE accreditation requirements.

Students will be assessed a fee of $500 per approved unit.

University Honors

Dean’s List

Each semester, the Dean of the School of Professional Studies publishes a list of students who have distinguished themselves by outstanding academic performance in the preceding semester. Honors are awarded to the top students in each class based on semester grade point averages. To be eligible, students meet the following conditions:

  • register for and pass at least three units of letter-graded courses;
  • have received no grade lower than a “B-“, including NR, NC, NS, and IN grades;
  • achieve a current term GPA of 3.8 or above for first honors or a current term GPA between 3.50 and 3.79 for second honors.

Latin Honors

At graduation, Latin honors are awarded at three levels: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. Latin honors are based on the following cumulative grade-point averages:

  • summa cum laude, 3.80 and higher;
  • magna cum laude, 3.60-3.79;
  • cum laude, 3.40-3.59.

GPAs are not rounded up for Latin honors calculations.

To be eligible for Latin honors, School of Professional Studies undergraduate students must meet the following criteria: a minimum of 16 units have been completed at Clark University and at least three quarters of all courses taken at Clark have been completed for a letter grade. Latin Honors designation appears in the commencement program.

The University reserves the right to review and establish new honors standards at any time, and any changes determined by the School of Professional Studies Undergraduate Programs become effective immediately and apply to all students, regardless of matriculation date.

Honor Societies

The National Honor Society Alpha Sigma Lambda, established in 1947 as the National Evening College Honor Society, is dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of outstanding scholarly achievement in liberal studies. The society was founded to honor those persons who meet high scholastic standards while artfully coping with their lives as nontraditional students. Each year, the School of Professional Studies Undergraduate chapter inducts candidates who are matriculated students, have completed more than 16 graded units at Clark, have completed four units outside the major field, and have performed with outstanding scholastic achievement (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50).

University Withdrawal

Students seeking to withdraw from Clark University for any reason must meet with their academic advisor.  Students should review the financial implications of withdrawing from all classes.

Note that withdrawal from the university will impact an international student’s immigration status. Thus, international students should discuss the means to maintain proper U.S. nonimmigrant status with an advisor at ISSO before requesting or after having been placed on withdrawal.

Students could be withdrawn by SPS or the University for cause, e.g., poor academic performance; violation of code of conduct; violation of SPS or University policy.