2020-2021 Graduate/Doctorate Catalog w/ Sept Addendum 
    Jun 24, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate/Doctorate Catalog w/ Sept Addendum [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Calendar, Credit System and Final Examinations

The University operates on a semester calendar and uses the semester hour credit system. There are two tracks of semesters per twelve-month period: (Fall, Spring, Summer) and (Late Fall, Late Spring, Late Summer). Students cannot cross over between the two tracks. Each semester consists of fourteen weeks of classes.

Credit Hour Policy Program Instructional Equivalencies

A wide variety of course delivery is utilized. “Learning hours” are assigned to each course. Each “learning hour” represents one hour per week of student engagement, including both instructional and outside of class activities. The University reserves the right to change the delivery method of a course due to administrative needs, the health and safety of the University community, or government mandates.

Traditional 14-week semesters are offered, plus subterms and an accelerated format. Regardless of the format or delivery, all programs whether online, blended/hybrid, executive weekend, accelerated, subterms, or traditional classrooms, must meet the 126-learning hours requirement for a 3-credit course (3 credits * 3 hours/credit * 14 weeks = 126 hours). Adherence to these regulations enhances the quality and rigor of the academic programs and is achieved by utilizing the “instructional equivalencies” detailed below.

Faculty establish the learning-based interactions (when, where, how, and why) including frequency, duration, evaluation, and assessment techniques. These guidelines recognize the need for the faculty to actively manage the learning space, both inside and outside the classroom. This policy is extremely important in helping faculty in the design and teaching of courses and in student learning. It is the responsibility of the faculty to deliver academic quality regardless of delivery format.

Provided below is an outline of acceptable “Instructional Equivalencies”:

  Description Rate of Equivalency
Blogs, Journals, Logs Students’ opportunity to apply learned concepts or for reflection on learning experiences; to be shared with instructor and/or classmates for thoughtful analysis, feedback, and assessment. 1 private online posting = ½ learning hour
1 shared online posting (required to read all classmates’ postings) = 1 learning hour
Case studies & problem-solving scenarios In-depth analysis requiring utilization of higher-order analytical skills that relate to course objectives and is shared with instructor and/or classmates for feedback and assessment. 1 case study analysis & posting = 1-3 learning hour
Required Online Chat rooms for group projects Instructor-led opportunities for collaborative, synchronous learning with specific expectations for participation & feedback. (Chats are posted for review.) 1-hour online chat = 1 learning hour
Conference calls Instructor-led opportunities for collaborative, synchronous learning with specific expectations for participation & feedback. (When possible, calls to be recorded for review.) ½ hour call = ½ learning hour
Discussion Board An instructor-guided or mediated threaded discussion that directly relates to course objectives and which has specified timeframes, expectations for participation, and thoughtful analysis. 1 posting (requires reading all postings) = ½ learning hour
1 posting (requires reading all postings and reply to a minimum of 2) = 1 learning hour
Field trips, tours and experiential learning (to include virtual tours) Students participate as individuals or in groups in analyzing an activity & preparing a paper or presentation, to be shared in whole or in part with instructor and/or classmates. Instructor-Led - 1-hour tour = 1 learning hour
(Student(s) alone without instructor)- 1-hour tour plus reflection paper = 1 learning hour
Group projects An instructor-mediated culminating activity with specific learning objectives; students collaborate via e-mail, chat rooms, discussion boards, wikis, and/or face-to-face contact to research, analyze, synthesize, & prepare the project with instructor receiving periodic updates & providing guidance to the group. 1 hour = 1 learning hour
Guided Project/Thesis An instructor-mediated culminating individual project/thesis with specific learning objectives; student and instructor collaborate via email, chat, discussion boards, and/or face-to-face to research, analyze & prepare project/thesis with instructor receiving periodic updates and providing guidance and feedback. 1 hour = 1 learning hour
In-Class Instruction, Presentations, and Tests Instruction, presentations, and tests provided in person in a live classroom setting. 1 hour = 1 learning hour
Instructional CDs, Powerpoints, Videos Instructor-mediated to expand upon and clarify course concepts and objectives. Reviews & posts response to 1 unit= 1 learning hour
Lecture activity-written or audio Opportunity for students to develop questions, comments, or observations, to be shared with classmates & instructor through discussion board postings or participation in chat rooms. Reviews 1 lecture & posts response= 1 learning hour
Library Research
In-depth instructor-led opportunity for students to research scholarly articles or professional journals that relate to course objectives; to be shared with the class in a designated manner. Research for 1 five-page project = 1 learning hour
Research for 1 3-5-page paper = 1-2 learning hours
Online Quizzes Opportunity for the instructor to assess students’ subject knowledge and provide feedback on students’ progress. 1-hour test = 1 learning hour
Reflection Paper or Article Review Instructor-guided activity for students to apply learned concepts and relate practices to personal experiences or apply higher-order analytic skills in assessing scholarly articles or professional journals. 1 private posting = ½ learning hour
1 shared posting (required to read all classmates’ postings) = 1 learning hour
Service Learning Project; Jr and Sr projects, capstone An instructor-led service project with specific learning objectives that integrates community service with academic study; faculty provides guidance, support, and feedback to students and students shares experience and reflection with fellow classmates via emails, chats, discussion boards, and/or face-to-face. 1 hour = 1 learning hour
Web-conferencing Instructor-led desktop to desktop or classroom video streaming instruction for collaborative, synchronous learning with specific expectations for participation and feedback. (i.e., Canvas, Adobe Connect, Skype, etc.) 1 hour = 1 learning hour
Web-Quest (Internet Research) Instructor-guided opportunity for students to research information on the Internet that enhances student learning and addresses specific course outcomes; findings shared with the instructor and classmates. 1 in-depth posting = 1 learning hour

*Researching, PowerPoint/video reviews, WebQuest activities, reading articles, etc. are considered “homework” assignments. The Rate of Equivalency denoted pertains to posting, reviewing, sharing, and providing student-to-student and/or instructor-to-student feedback.

Adapted from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA, and modified for Harrisburg University.

Catalog in Effect

A new student entering the University during the 2020-2021 academic year will be subject to the academic program requirements contained in this Catalog edition unless the student elects to complete a revised set of program requirements published in a future edition of the Catalog.

A student who elects to complete a revised set of program requirements must notify Records and Registration of this intent by completing a Change of Program form located on MyHU. A student that earned 24 credits or more toward their degree requirements cannot change degree programs without faculty advisor approval.

A student who leaves the University and returns from an absence of one year or more will be subject to the Catalog edition in effect during the year of return.

Enrollment Status

Student enrollment status is defined for certification purposes as either full-time or part-time. Full-time graduate student enrollment is 6 semester hours in a semester. Part-time status is assigned to any graduate student enrolled for fewer than 6 semester hours in a semester.

A non-degree graduate student must make a decision to remain a non-degree student or become a degree-seeking student after the student has completed 12 semester hours of coursework.

A degree-seeking graduate student must complete the program requirements within 6 years from the date first enrolled in that program or the student may be required to change to the current program requirements at the University.

Registration Process

All students complete registration on-line at MyHU/Academics. There are written and/or video registration instructions available on MyHU. The start and end dates appear on the Academic Calendar, which is posted on MyHU/Academics and www.HarrisburgU.edu. Students who require an Americans with Disability Act accommodation to complete registration should contact the Office of Student Services at ADA@HarrisburgU.edu

Directed Studies

A student requesting a directed study for a course from this catalog must obtain a Directed Study Request form from Records and Registration. The student must provide a rationale for requesting the directed study before approval can be granted by Records and Registration. The following guidelines are required for a directed study:

  1. Directed studies are open to students with 24 or more credits completed.
  2. Directed studies must be necessary. Directed studies are deemed necessary if a student needs a specific course in their program in order to graduate that can only be met through a directed study.
  3. A student must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 in order to request a directed study.
  4. A student may not take more than 6 credits of independent study or directed study from one faculty member.
  5. The program lead and the student’s faculty advisor must agree to offer the directed study.

Add/Drop Period and Course Withdrawals

The Add/Drop Period begins on the first day of the semester or subterm and ends after 6 days of classes have occurred (this includes Saturday). A student may make schedule adjustments during the Add/Drop period on MyHU, or in the Records and Registration office. No course may be added after the end of this period. If a student withdraws from any course after the conclusion of this period and up until the last day to withdraw from a course with a “W”, a final grade of “W” will appear on the permanent record. After that period, a “WF” will appear on the permanent record. The withdrawal deadlines appear on the Academic Calendar for both semesters and subterms.

Enrollment Status Determination

A student’s enrollment status is determined at the end of the Add/Drop Period. The student is charged the applicable tuition rate for the number of semester hours in which the student is enrolled on the census date.

Audit Policy

The student may choose to participate in a course on an audit basis. The student who elects this option is expected to attend and participate in class regularly and complete all course requirements. The course being audited carries no academic credit but is recorded on the student’s academic record. The student wanting to audit a course must notify Records and Registration in writing no later than the end of the Add/Drop Period. The per semester hour tuition rate applies to audited courses.

Class Attendance

Attendance is a critical part of a student’s education. The student is expected to attend all classes when scheduled and participate fully in the activities of each course. The instructor is responsible to set forth the attendance requirements in the syllabus.

If, in the judgment of the instructor, a student is absent from class or fails to complete the requested participatory assignments:

  1. the instructor will notify the student of this determination;
  2. the student will have one week to contact the instructor to address the situation;
  3. if the student fails to do so, the instructor will notify Records and Registration to recommend the withdrawal of the student from the course.

Advanced Standing

A student may earn advanced standing at the University in one of three ways: transfer of credit from another institution, the awarding of credit for military training, or prior learning assessment. The parameters for doing so are:

  • limit to twelve (12) credits of combination between six (6) graduate transfer credits and prior learning assessment (in any combination);
  • limit to six (6) credits of transfer credits and/or prior learning assessment for the core (capstone courses not eligible); and
  • limit to six (6) credits of transfer credits and/or prior learning assessment for electives.

Armed Services Training Programs - Under the following conditions, a student may receive academic credit for training programs completed while serving in the U. S. Armed Services: 1) the student must present a copy of the discharge notice (completed DD-214 form); 2) the veteran’s military occupational specialty (MOS) designation must appear on the discharge; and, 3) the student’s MOS is described in the American Council on Education’s Educational Experiences in The Armed Services volumes 1-3 . Credit is awarded based upon the ACE recommendation and the closeness of the match between the training program and a University course.

American Council on Education (ACE) - HU works with ACE recommendations to provide services for adult learners. Within the ACE Center, the College Credits Recommendation Service (CREDIT), connects workplace learning with colleges and universities. CREDIT does this by helping adults get academic credit, whenever possible, for courses and examinations taken outside traditional channels.

Transfer Credit - Unofficial or student copies of transcripts may be used to initiate the transfer credit evaluation process. However, official final transcripts from the institution of origin are required before the transfer evaluation process can be finalized by Records and Registration and academic credit is posted to the student’s permanent record. The following limitations apply:

  • transfer credit is limited to six (6) semester hours from another graduate program;
  • the credit must have been earned with final grades of “B” or higher;
  • the credit must be reviewed by the student’s program advisor and Records & Registration;
  • the credit must have been earned no more than five (5) years prior to the student’s initial enrollment date in Harrisburg University’s program; and,
  • a course completed for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) is not eligible for transfer credit consideration.

Domestic -Academic credit earned for graduate work completed for a minimum grade of “B” or higher will be awarded if: 1) the course is a reasonable substitute of a University course or 2) the course(s) is considered graduate level work worthy of elective credit in the student’s program of study.

International - A World Education Services (WES) transcript evaluation or Educational Credential Evaluation (ECE) transcript evaluation is required. If the original evaluation received by Records and Registration from one of these evaluators deems the student’s prior work to be at the graduate-level and the quality of the completed work is assessed to be at the “B” or higher level, credit is awarded for the courses that apply to the student’s intended program of study at Harrisburg University as indicated above for domestic transfer credit. If the prior work was earned under an educational system that did not assign credit values, a semester hour value is assigned for each course being accepted. If the student completed courses which are evaluated to be at the graduate-level, but Harrisburg University has no comparable course(s), the student is granted elective credit unless all required elective credit hours have been satisfied.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) - a massive open online course is an online course targeting large-scale interactive participation and is delivered via open access on the web. A MOOC that is successfully completed will be reviewed and considered for transfer credit.

Coursework at Other Institutions - A student may study at other institutions and transfer the credit to the student’s record at Harrisburg University.

Process for Approval - The student must complete an Off-campus Coursework Form at Records and Registration notifying the University of the student’s intention to enroll on a visiting basis at another higher educational institution. The request will be reviewed by Records and Registration who may consult with an appropriate member of the University’s faculty. Prior to enrollment, a written response will be sent to the student stating whether or not the proposed course is acceptable.

Process for Awarding of Credit - The student must arrange for an official transcript from the other college or university to be sent to Harrisburg University’s  Records and Registration office. If the approved course was completed with a final grade of “B” or higher, the semester hours earned from the course will be posted to the student’s record at the University.

Prior Learning Assessment - The University may award graduate academic credit for prior knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through non-accredited and work-related learning experience equivalent to:

  • the outcomes of a specific course; and,
  • the outcomes of graduate-level work not currently offered at the University.

The experience and evidence provided should have a direct relation to the material taught in a course in the University’s curriculum and should extend over a sufficient period to provide substantive knowledge in the relevant area. A Master of Science degree-seeking student who is in good academic standing, has completed a minimum of 6 semester hours in a program of study at Harrisburg University and demonstrates the qualities to receive such credit may petition the Provost through the academic advisor for consideration of prior learning assessment.

The petition must include the following:

  • a detailed description of the relevant experience;
  • appropriate supporting evidence directly linked to course objectives;
  • the equivalent University program, course number, and title; and,
  • the number of semester hours sought.

A student may not receive more than 6 semester hours related to the program based upon prior learning assessment.

The prior learning assessment process is a way to demonstrate to a mentor, who is an expert in the field, graduate-level knowledge in a particular course area. These skills and knowledge may be from applicable work experience, volunteer activities, training programs, hobbies, religious activities, homemaking skills, prior independent reading or special accomplishments. This process is not independent study.

Working with a mentor, the student is guided to develop an online, electronic portfolio to demonstrate prior graduate-level learning. The student can choose between standard prior learning assessment and individualized prior learning assessment. Standard prior learning assessment is an option when existing course descriptions and learning objectives match the learning that the student wants to demonstrate. Individualized prior learning assessment occurs when the student proposes a course description and learning objectives that do not currently exist in the course catalog for Harrisburg University.

Prior learning assessment cannot be awarded for physical education courses, field experiences, student teaching, cooperative education, practicum courses, internships, projects, seminars, independent study or laboratories. It is important for the student to understand that life and learning experiences alone are an inadequate basis for the award of prior learning credit. To be eligible for prior learning assessment, the outcomes of the non-collegiate learning experience must be documented, be applicable to the student’s program of study, be directly related to a course’s learning objectives, and be assessed as being similar to or meeting the requirements of learning gained through college-level learning experiences.

Approval of prior learning credit must be made in writing from the academic advisor, the appropriate faculty member, and the Provost. Capstone credits are not eligible for prior learning assessment. A per semester hour charge is incurred by the student for the number of semester hours sought under prior learning assessment.

For more information about prior learning assessment, contact Records and Registration.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular practical training (CPT) is an academically-related work and learning experience for international students studying in the United States on an F-1 visa. CPT is defined as an alternative work-study, internship, cooperative education employment, or other type of practicum. CPT is a required component of each of the Master of Science degree programs offered at Harrisburg University.

An F-1 student must be authorized by the University’s Designated School Official (DSO) prior to employment. A minimum of two (2) semesters of participation in an internship/work experience is required for each student while enrolled and attending the program. Immediate participation is required for an eligible student. A student with a pending I-539 Change of Status request or an individual that recently obtained an approved F-1 Change of Status following a B-1/B-2 or F-2 I-539 COS request may not participate in CPT immediately.

The internship/work experience is an integral (essential) part of the established curriculum within each program of study, and immediate participation in CPT may commence at the beginning of the initial semester of enrollment if the required request for DSO approval and the employer offer letter are submitted timely. A student who has recently arrived in the U.S. within forty-five (45) days prior to a program start date will not be authorized to participate in CPT until at least one (1) semester of coursework has been successfully completed with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.00 or better. An individual that recently obtained a F-1 Change of Status from B-1/B-2 or F-2 visa may not participate in CPT until at least one (1) semester of coursework has been successfully completed.

A first-time student at the master’s degree level may only participate in 12 months (less than 364 days) of Full-Time CPT during the program of study to remain eligible for OPT. Upon completion, the student is then eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an initial period of 12 months and a 24-month extension of OPT for the STEM-approved programs offered by the University. A student who has previously completed Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the master’s degree level has exhausted OPT eligibility and is permitted to complete up to 24 months of CPT for the entire program of study.

A student’s CPT internship experience or employment must relate to the program of study and may be part-time (20 or less hours per week) or full-time (21 to 40 hours per week).

Referred to as experiential learning, work experience permits the student to take lecture and textbook learning and apply that knowledge in a real-world setting to the workplace to research and prepare for the capstone Thesis or Applied Project.

CPT is available to eligible students during the graduate degree program. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a continuation of practical training employment for the eligible student that occurs following the completion of the degree requirements of the program. OPT is optional and is available only once to an eligible student at each educational degree level. A student who has completed OPT at the master’s level at a prior institution has exhausted OPT eligibility and may not re-apply for OPT through Harrisburg University.

Harrisburg University defines full-time enrollment status as six (6) semester hours of academic credit per semester in the Master of Science degree programs. An F-1 student must remain full-time throughout the entire program of study. An F-1 student may not enroll less than full time without receiving approval of a DSO. A student enrolled on an F-1 visa may not register for more than one (1) online [distance learning] course each semester. A student who holds an H-1B or H-4 visa is permitted to take more than one course online each semester. Courses offered in the graduate program are not self-paced. Readings, writing assignments, and testing are often conducted weekly throughout the semester. All courses require 6 to 8 hours per week of study and applied project work outside of the classroom.

A completed CPT Verification Form signed by the employer and an employment Offer Letter is required to be submitted timely to the Office of International Students for participation in CPT. Following approval by a DSO, an updated active SEVIS Form I-20 is processed that should be presented to the site supervisor with the Cooperative Agreement. The period of eligible CPT employment is extended to the semester break periods, in accordance with University policy, if the student is pre-registered for any subsequent semester of enrollment.

Overview of Harrisburg University Graduate Studies

Graduate Education focuses on individualized career advancement in areas of study within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. The University’s approach is based on an experiential model that allows the student to gain and apply knowledge and skills at an advanced level and to focus on an area of need or interest particular to the student. Faculty combine corporate and academic perspectives in the design, development, and delivery of graduate programs and courses. Programs are designed for working professionals focused on career advancement who can apply what is learned back to their workplace. Therefore, each course has multiple applied projects, work-related assignments, and each degree has a practicum requirement of all students.

Master of Science degree programs are offered in the following areas:

  • Analytics
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Information Sciences
  • Consumer Behavior and Decision Sciences 
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Human-Centered Interaction Design
  • Information Systems Engineering and Management
  • Learning Technologies and Media Systems
  • Next Generation Disruptive Technologies
  • Nursing (online only program)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Project Management
  • Techpreneurship

Harrisburg University’s graduate programs are based on the following model:

  • All M.S. degrees are granted for 36 semester hours (12 courses) of graduate work.
  • Each MS program has 5 or 6 required courses that uniquely define the specific graduate program.
  • There are a variety of graduate-level courses that the students in any M.S. program may take as electives. This pool of electives may consist of a wide range of courses from different graduate-level programs.
  • There is a 6-credit capstone/applied project/practicum or thesis requirement for all graduate degrees at the University. This practicum synthesizes the key concepts of the program and extends/applies these concepts to real-life practical problems or research investigations. The capstone consists of two courses: a research methodology and writing course, and a Graduate Thesis or Applied Project or a Practicum required of specific programs. The courses leading up to this practicum experience combined with the practical work experience for students are required to complete the applied project. Students authorized by the University for CPT must take the applied project option within their specific degree program.

Graduation Requirements

A student must satisfy all of the following requirements to receive a Master of Science degree. Verification that the student has met the following requirements is made by Records and Registration.

  1. At least 36 semester hours must be successfully completed.
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required for graduation from a Master of Science program and graduate advanced study programs.
  3. In order for any completed course to satisfy the 36 semester hours required, the course must be completed with a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher.
  4. A student must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours in residence toward a Master of Science degree from the University. The number of semester hours that may be transferred from another institution’s graduate program is six semester hours.
  5. A degree student will demonstrate proficiencies in the field of study and the University’s competencies through use of an ePortfolio or a similar technology or evidence-based approach.
  6. A student must complete all requirements for the Master of Science degree within 6 years from the first day of attendance as a degree-seeking graduate student.

A candidate must apply for graduation after registering for the last semester of the anticipated completion date by submitting an Application for Graduation via MyHU.

A candidate for graduation must complete all requirements for the degree to be eligible to participate in Commencement. There is a Commencement cost of approximately $70 for the graduate student.

Requirements for Earning a Second Master’s Degree

A person who has earned a master’s degree from HU or another accredited college or university may earn a second master’s degree by meeting the following requirements:

  1. A student may not pursue a second degree under the same program of study (e.g., if a student already has earned a M.S. in Learning Technologies, the student cannot pursue a second M.S. in Learning Technologies). If the second program requires more than one course waiver, the student will need to select a different program.
  2. The student must satisfactorily meet all graduation requirements for the second-degree program.
  3. A minimum of 30 additional graduate course semester hours within the second degree’s program must be successfully completed at HU.
  4. No course already taken in the first-degree program may be repeated in the second degree.
  5. Six credits may be transferred from the first master’s degree to fulfill graduation requirements for the second master’s degree. These will not count toward the 30-semester hour residency minimum.

Grades and Grading

Grades are awarded to each student for academic credit completed at the University. A grade is assigned by the instructor responsible for the course in which the student is enrolled, using the following grading scale to indicate the quality of the student’s academic work.

Grade Description Numerical Value
A Superior achievement 4.00
B Average achievement 3.00
C Minimum achievement 2.00
F Fail 0.00
FD Fail - Disciplinary 0.00
AU Audit Not applicable
CR Credit Not applicable
I Incomplete Not applicable
IP In progress Not applicable
LB Laboratory Not applicable
NP No Pass Not applicable
NR Not reported Not applicable
P Pass Not applicable
PLA Prior Learning Assessment Not applicable
TR Transfer credit Not applicable
TA Transferred credit earned with superior achievement Not applicable
TA-   Not applicable
TB+ Transferred credit earned with above-average achievement Not applicable
TB   Not applicable
W Withdrawal Not applicable
WA Administrative withdrawal Not applicable
WF Withdrawal after the period to withdraw with a “W” grade 0.00

Grades of “AU”, “CR”, “I”, “IP”, “NP”, “NR”, “P”, “PLA”, “TR”, “TA”, “TA-“, “TB+”, “TB”, “W”, or “WA” are not included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average (GPA). They are used by the University in circumstances when grades of “A” through “F” are not appropriate. “WF” and “FD” grades are calculated into the student’s GPA.

Audit (AU) - The audit grade is assigned by the instructor when the student has properly registered to audit the course and has met all requirements of the University’s course audit policy.

Credit (CR) - A grade of “CR” is used to indicate on the student’s permanent record that credit has been awarded by the University for military training or successful completion of an examination. While courses with a “CR” grade are counted toward the student’s degree requirements, there are no quality points associated with this grade so there is no impact upon the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

Incomplete (I) - Inability to complete coursework due to documented circumstances beyond the student’s control (such as severe illness) may, at the discretion of the instructor, result in a grade of incomplete (I). However, all work must be completed by the end of the Add/Drop Period of the subsequent semester. If all work is not completed by that time, the “I” grade will convert automatically to a grade of “F.” It is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor to make the necessary arrangements for makeup work.

In Progress (IP) - This is a deferred grade assigned by the instructor to be used for research projects, internships, independent study, directed study, etc., when it is understood that the course will extend over more than one semester. An “IP” grade should be accompanied by a written plan and a schedule for completing the course within a specified time period to be no longer than 12 months. If all work is not completed by that time, the “IP” grade will convert automatically to a grade of “F.”

Laboratory (LB) - This grade is assigned by Records and Registration at the conclusion of a semester to a student who is enrolled in a non-credit developmental recitation section of a course. This grade and such a course do not appear on the student’s transcript.

Withdrawal (W) - This grade is recorded by Records and Registration when the student has withdrawn from the course according to the policy set forth by the University for withdrawing from a course.

Administrative Withdrawal (WA) - The “WA” grade can be assigned only by the Provost or other designated official. It is used under extenuating circumstances and when the normal withdrawal process is not available to the student. A request for administrative withdrawal with accompanying documentation will be submitted to Records and Registration. The “WA” grade can be submitted at any time during the semester.

Withdrawal Fail (WF) - This grade is recorded by Records and Registration when the student has withdrawn from the course after the period a student can withdraw with a “W” grade.

Fail - Disciplinary (FD) - The “FD” grade can be assigned only by the Provost or other designated official. This grade is used when a student earns a failing grade due to academic dishonesty. A request for the FD grade with accompanying documentation will be submitted to Records and Registration. This grade can be submitted at any time during the semester.

Transfer (TR) - A grade of “TR” is used to indicate on the student’s transcript a block of credit that has been earned at another institution and that will count toward the degree at Harrisburg University.

Transfer with Grade Notation (Txx) - A grade of “Txx” is used to indicate on the student’s transcript each course that has been successfully completed at another institution and that has been accepted toward the degree at Harrisburg University.

Not Reported (NR) - The temporary grade of “NR” is recorded by Records and Registration when the instructor does not report a grade for the student for the course. Records and Registration will advise the Provost when an “NR” grade has been recorded for the student and will work with the student and the instructor to determine why a grade was not reported.

Pass (P) - The “P” grade is assigned by instructors for a student who successfully completes a course that is designated as a course that will be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. A “P” grade indicates a grade of C or higher.

No Pass (NP) - The “NP” grade is assigned by the instructors for a student who does not successfully complete a course that is designated as a course that will be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) - The “PLA” grade is used to indicate credit that has been awarded by the University for prior learning. Although a course completed with a “PLA” grade is applied toward the student’s degree requirements, no quality points are associated with this grade so there is no impact upon the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

Grade Point Averages

A grade point average (GPA) is a statistical calculation of a student’s performance in a semester. The semester grade point average summarizes the student’s performance during that academic term and the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) summarizes the student’s performance during semesters completed at the University.

Calculation of the Semester Grade Point Average
Course Sem. Hrs. Attempted Grade Numerical Value Quality Points
Course A 3 A 4.00 12.00
Course B 3 B 3.00 9.00
Total 6     21.00
Total Quality Points = 21/6 = 3.5
  1. Compute the quality points earned for each course by multiplying the semester hours attempted for the course by the numerical value of the grade earned in the course. Example: A student registered for a course worth 3 semester hours who earns a final grade of “A” in that course will earn 12 quality points for that course (3 semester hours x 4.0).
  2. Add the quality points earned for each course in which the student is registered in the semester.
  3. Add the number of semester hours attempted for all courses in which a grade of “A” through “F” was earned.
  4. Divide the total number of quality points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted. The result is the grade point average for the semester.

The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is determined in a similar way using the cumulative attempted semester hours and cumulative quality points earned.

Repeated Courses

A graduate student may repeat a course in which a final grade of “C” or below has been received. The original grade will remain on the student’s academic record. After the course has been repeated, the most recent grade will be used in the calculation of the student’s cumulative grade point average. A student cannot repeat a course for the sole purpose of improving the overall GPA if the degree requirement has already been met.

Academic Standing Policy

A graduate student with a cumulative grade point average (CPGA) of 3.00 or higher is in satisfactory academic standing. A student whose CGPA falls below 3.00 is not in satisfactory academic standing and will be placed on academic probation. A student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of a semester is subject to warning, probation, or dismissal according to the following policy: 
First Occurrence - Warning 
Following the first semester in which the student does not meet the satisfactory academic progress standard, the student will automatically be placed on academic warning for the next semester. A letter will be issued advising the student of their academic warning status. No appeal is needed, but in consultation with the Office of Student Services, an academic plan may be required. 
Second Consecutive Occurrence - Probation
If, by the end of the warning semester, the student is not able to achieve satisfactory academic progress status, a letter will be issued placing the student on academic probation status for the next semester. The student should work with the Office of Student Services to determine an academic plan to improve the student’s CGPA.   

Third Consecutive Occurrence - Dismissal
If a student after three consecutive semesters has a CGPA that remains below 3.00 or fails to meet the program pursuit percentage, a letter of dismissal will be issued.  

Appeals - A student who is dismissed as a result of failure to meet satisfactory academic progress, may file an academic appeal by submitting a letter outlining the nature of the appeal to the Office of Student Services within five (5) days from notification of dismissal. An appeal will be considered only if the student’s failure to meet the standards of academic progress is determined to be due to events beyond the student’s control. Examples of circumstances for which an appeal may be considered include military obligation; the death of a relative; injury or illness of the student; unusual personal hardship or other extenuating circumstances. Written documentation of the circumstances of why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory progress by the next evaluation must be submitted with the appeal and should reference the student’s name and student ID number. In addition, the evidence must be received documenting that the cumulative grade point average has improved, and the required satisfactory progress grade point average can potentially be achieved to complete a program of study within the maximum timeframe limitation. Appeals submitted without documentation will not be considered. A timely determination will then be made and documented in the student’s file.

If the academic appeal is denied, a second notice will be sent to the student advising that their appeal was denied. If the academic appeal is approved, a semester of academic probation will be awarded, and the student will be notified in writing that their appeal was approved. The student must achieve satisfactory academic progress by the end of the probation semester.

If after the academic probation semester a student is still not making satisfactory academic progress, but the evidence is provided showing academic improvement, the cumulative grade point average has improved, and the required satisfactory academic progress grade point average can potentially be achieved within the maximum time frame limitation required by federal regulations then a second probation semester may be granted.

Final Grade Appeal

A final grade is assigned by the instructor upon completion of coursework to earn credit during a semester or other term. A student who disagrees with the final grade assigned by the instructor should first contact the faculty member directly to resolve the situation informally. Students that cannot approach the faculty member because of perceived discrimination, cannot reach the faculty member, or have received a response with which the student still disagrees may seek remedy using an evidence-based argument, with any supplemental documentation, within five (5) days after grades are posted on one of the following grounds:

  1. Discrimination: defined as unfair treatment or assignment of grade on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, handicapped status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
  2. Capricious evaluation: defined as a significant or unjustified departure from grading procedures outlined in the course syllabus or by the University or arbitrary assignment of grades. Capricious evaluation cannot be claimed if a student merely disagrees with the subjective evaluation of the instructor.
  3. Errors: including clerical errors or errors in grade calculations that can be demonstrated in an objective manner.

A student who chooses to appeal a grade must contact the Office of Student Services to obtain a Final Grade Appeal Form. The form must be completed with an explanation forming the basis of the appeal and returned to Records and Registration. The student’s academic record will be placed in a “hold” status during the grade appeal process. A final grade appeal must be initiated on or before the fifth (5th) business day after grades are posted or another term as specified in the Academic Calendar.

The instructor must indicate and sign the form to either change the final grade, reaffirm the original grade assigned, or continue with the appeal process within five (5) days of receiving the grade appeal form.

  • If the original final grade is improved and satisfies the student’s appeal, the instructor shall submit a Grade Change Form to Records and Registration, the grade will be posted, and the academic record hold status will be released.
  • If the original final grade is reaffirmed and both the instructor and student agree with the grade determination, the instructor shall submit a Grade Affirmation Form signed by the student and instructor confirming the original grade to Records and Registration, the grade will be posted, and the academic record hold status will be released.
  • When a student is unable to meet with the instructor because of personal differences or if the instructor denies the initial appeal (above), the student may choose to pursue a final grade appeal by submitting the completed and endorsed form, with any and all tests, grades, essays or project summaries, and a complete explanation as evidence in support of the student’s position, to the Office of Student Services requesting a review and determination, with a copy to the Office of the Provost. The student may seek the assistance of the Office of Student Services to review a possible appeal and to prepare the appeal. Additional information may be requested from the student and/or the instructor during this time.
  • A committee consisting of a representative of the Office of Student Services, Office of Compliance, one faculty member, and a student representative will review the appeal. The student and instructor will be offered the opportunity to participate in the appeal hearing. The committee will send a final determination to Records and Registration within five (5) days of receipt. The committee’s decision is final and is not subject to further appeal. Records and Registration will then post the grade and release the academic record hold status.
  • If a student would like to appeal a grade during the semester, the student should approach the faculty member to resolve informally. All documentation should be saved. If at the time the final grade is insufficient, the student can file a formal appeal at that time.

Withholding of Records

Student records may be withheld by Records and Registration when directed by the appropriate University officials. The ability to register for courses or the release of academic transcripts or diplomas may be held for a period of time. More specifically, an official academic transcript or diploma will not be released, and a student cannot register for courses if tuition or other charges remain unpaid to the University. Additionally, a student cannot register for courses while the hold is on their record. The Office of Student Services determines when a student’s record should be placed on hold for disciplinary reasons and the Business Office determines when a student’s record should be placed on hold for financial reasons.

Official Withdrawal from the University Procedure

A student is encouraged to contact the Financial Aid and Business Offices in advance of any decision to withdraw from the University to obtain an explanation of the tuition and financial aid adjustments that will occur, if any, as the result of withdrawal from the program of study.
A student on an F-1 Visa should contact the International Student Office prior to submitting a withdrawal form to understand the impact it may have on their SEVIS status.

A student who intends to officially withdraw is encouraged to contact Records and Registration at RegHelp or in person. A withdrawal form should be completed. The determination date for withdrawal purposes shall either be the actual date of formal notification by the student. The determination date is used to calculate the tuition refund, if any, and the student financial assistance program refund, if applicable. Withdrawn courses cannot be reinstated.

Military Personnel Called to Active Duty Policy

If a student is called to active duty by the National Guard or the reserve forces of the United States during an active semester, they should provide documentation of their call to active duty to the  Certifying Official. The below procedure will then apply:  

1. Course Registration/Grades: The student will be given an option to have courses dropped or an “I” (Incomplete) grade assigned to each of their courses. The assigning of an “Incomplete” is by mutual consent of the faculty member and the student and an appropriate completion date is to be assigned. If the active duty call occurs late in the term, the faculty member also has the option of assigning a  final grade rather than the “I” grade.

2. Tuition: Tuition charges will be canceled or refunded‐in full‐ for all courses dropped.  Courses in which the grade of “I” or a final grade is assigned will have applicable tuition assessed.   The student must coordinate with the Certifying Official to address any overpayment or other  financial considerations with Veterans Administration funding  

3. Housing:  If the student resides in campus housing, they should initiate a discussion with Residence Life  Staff.  

4. Student Record:  The Student record will be kept active for one year from the later of the following dates, after  which the student would be eligible for re‐admission:  ‐ Effective date of the dropped course(s)  ‐ End of the final completed semester  ‐ Latest deadline of assigned “I” grade

Medical Withdrawal

A student requesting to withdraw for medical reasons must complete a medical leave request through the Office of Student Services by contacting StudentServices@HarrisburgU.edu or 717.901.5102. Student services will obtain official documentation from a doctor supporting the student’s request. To return from medical leave, the student must provide student services with documentation from a doctor supporting the student’s return. The student will have up to a year to return without having to apply for readmission.

Standards of Academic Integrity

Harrisburg University expects a student to act honorably and in accordance with the standards of academic integrity. Academic integrity is grounded in mutual trust and respect. Therefore, it is expected that a student will respect the rights of others and will only submit work that is their own, refraining from all forms of lying, cheating, and plagiarism.

A violation of the Standards of Academic Integrity could result in academic consequences. Please see the Student Handbook for details about academic conduct and the procedures in cases of a violation of Harrisburg University’s Standards of Academic Integrity.

Disciplinary/Academic Dismissal

The University reserves the right to expel or suspend at any time a student who has misrepresented any part of their admission materials,  whose academic record is unsatisfactory, or whose behavior or conduct is found to be detrimental to the orderly functioning of the University. When misconduct may constitute a threat to person or property within the University community or under other circumstances, it may result in disciplinary review action. The University assumes the responsibility to regulate the private conduct of the student when such conduct could constitute a hazard to or an infringement on the rights of others, a violation of the law, of University policy or instructions, or is a disruption of the legitimate academic and administrative processes of the University. Please see the Student Handbook for details on the policies regarding the Code of Conduct, Academic Code of Conduct, or Sexual Misconduct Policies.