Academic Standing and Advising

Academic Coaches provide academic advising for students in online undergraduate and graduate programs, with assistance from the faculty as needed. Each Academic Coach specializes in one or more programs; students are assigned accordingly. These coaches assist students in planning their educational programs by explaining requirements and procedures, and by suggesting coursework appropriate to students’ career goals. However, students are ultimately responsible for their own academic progress. The following list outlines students’ responsibilities in the advising process:

  • Read the Catalog and other academic information provided by the university.
  • Check your student email address and the Student Portal regularly for communications from the university.
  • Know and comply with all current policies, procedures, and requirements for earning a degree—including practicum requirements.
  • Review the Course Schedule and discuss course options with the Academic Coach.
  • Contact the Academic Coach in a timely fashion for registration, advising, and other necessary consultations.
  • Obtain, complete, and submit all forms needed for registration, course changes (audit, add, drop), graduation, and related matters, according to the deadlines set by the Registrar.
  • Contact Academic Coaches immediately with concerns about academic progress in particular courses or progress toward a degree.

Academic Classification for Undergraduates

Undergraduate students are classified according to the number of credits they have earned:

Freshman 0-30 Units
Sophomore 31-60 Units
Junior 61-90 Units
Senior 91+ Units


It is recommended that students not enroll in a course more than one level above their academic classification (e.g. freshmen should generally take 1000- or 2000-level courses, rather than 3000- or 4000-level courses). Academic classification is also important for determining the level of financial aid for which a student may qualify.

Student Enrollment Status

Undergraduate Programs

All undergraduate programs operate on a semester system, two semesters per academic year. Undergraduate students are considered full-time if they are registered for at least 12 units per semester, three-quarter time if they are registered for at least 9 units per semester, and half-time if they are registered for at least 6 units per semester.

Graduate Programs

All graduate programs operate on a term system, three terms per academic year. Graduate students are considered full-time if they are registered for at least 8 units per term, three-quarter time if they are registered for at least 6 units per term, and half-time if they are registered for at least 4 units per term.

Applying Graduate Courses to Undergraduate Degrees

Junior and senior undergraduate students may be allowed to enroll in master’s courses. A maximum of fifteen graduate units may be applied to a bachelor’s degree. The university allows a maximum of nine graduate units to apply to both a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree. In this way, students may complete their bachelor’s degree while getting a “head start” on a master’s program. To explore the possibility of participating in such “transition courses,” speak to your Academic Coach. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program may complete such “transition courses” at the undergraduate tuition rate.

Auditing a Course

Students may audit courses for personal enrichment without seeking academic credit. Audit students sign a Course Participation Agreement in which they commit to completing the required readings and participating fully in online and on site learning activities and group discussions. Written and/ or graded assignments are optional at the discretion of the instructor. Students who audit a course do not receive a final letter grade. Audited courses may not be used to meet graduation requirements for any degree program. Students who choose the audit option typically enjoy a significantly reduced tuition rate. The number of audit students in a given course may be limited at the discretion of the university, and no auditing students will be allowed in a course with a waiting list.

Challenge Examinations

There are no challenge examinations.

Late Entry into Courses

In rare cases, students in undergraduate programs may enter a course after the start date. Any absences accumulated before enrollment are chargeable to the student according to the program’s attendance policy. Students are responsible for securing required textbooks and materials in a timely fashion.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is not tracked for grading purposes in undergraduate and graduate courses. However, those courses are structured in such a way that students’ grades will be impacted if they do not participate on a regular basis. Students are expected to be engaged in the course throughout the duration of the course.

Assignment Deadlines

Course assignments are due at the times set by the instructor. The number of points deducted for late work is at the instructor’s discretion. The instructor may also assign additional work (e.g. extra reading, written assignments, and/or online learning activities) which may help offset the reduction in points for late work.

  • Instructors assign a point value and a due date for each assignment in an online course. Instructors are required to reduce grade points awarded for late assignments completed/submitted after the due date. The number of points deducted is at the instructor’s discretion. It is possible for students to complete all assignments but fail the course due to multiple late assignments. For this reason, students are advised to budget their time so as to complete their studies in a timely manner. Instructors are not required to accept late assignments. However, for those who do, the standard deduction is 10% per day.
  • Some assignments (e.g. threaded discussions) require students to log in several times during the week in order to be effective. Accordingly, students who “arrive” late in the week may have points deducted from their final grade.

Grading System

The University uses the following letter grade system, calculating grade point average (GPA) based on a 4-point scale:

A Excellent 4 This grade is reserved for work of the highest caliber. The student demonstrates complete comprehension of course materials. Outstanding analysis and evaluation of assignment topics are communicated with excellence.
B Good 3 This grade indicates good to very good work, including high comprehension of course materials and effective communication of perceptive analysis and evaluation of assignment topics.
C Average 2 This grade indicates satisfactory work, including at least acceptable written work, and adequate comprehension of course material.
D Below Average 1 This grade indicates unsatisfactory work with significant shortcomings in meeting expectations in effort, or in meeting minimally acceptable comprehension of course material, or in meeting minimal assignment and writing standards.
F Failure 0 This grade indicates an overall failure to meet the minimal standards expected in college level coursework. The quality and/or quantity of work are unacceptable.


The following special designations may also appear on student transcripts:

CR Credit For courses graded on a credit/no credit basis, the student receives a “CR” when at least the minimum requirements of the course are met.
NC No Credit For courses graded on a credit/no credit basis, the student receives an “NC” when the minimum requirements of the course have not been met.
AU Audit A grade of “AU” is given when students audit a course for personal enrichment without seeking academic credit.
W Withdrawal A grade of “W” is given when students withdraw within the period of time published for each term for withdrawal. “W” is completely neutral on the student transcript.


Filing a Petition for Incomplete

In certain rare circumstances, students may file a Petition for Incomplete, which extends the deadline for finishing assignments. Instructors should award Incompletes when students are confronted with unavoidable life situations, such as major illness of the student or family member, death, job change, or sudden relocation. Instructors should not award Incompletes merely to allow students to improve on a bad grade due to poor performance to that point. The instructor decides if the student’s Petition falls within these guidelines. Normally, the instructor will not approve an Incomplete unless the student has finished at least 50% of the coursework prior to the end date for the course.

The Petition may be obtained online or from the Registrar’s office. The student initiates the petition, which must be approved by the instructor and the VP for Academic Affairs prior to final class meeting. If the petition is granted, the instructor will record a grade on the petition that will be effective – if no further student work is satisfactorily completed – six weeks after the end of the semester. The instructor fills out the top portion of the Petition for Incomplete and records an exact date the assignments are due. The Incomplete may extend no more than 6 weeks beyond the last day of the course. The instructor must submit a new final grade within one week of the deadline on the Petition for Incomplete, based on all of the work the student has submitted for the course.

Students should work through their Academic Coach, who will obtain the necessary approvals, submit the approved Petition to the Registrar’s Office, and arrange for charge of the fee to the student’s account.

Academic Leave of Absence

A Leave of Absence (LOA) may be granted by petition for up to one year. Doing so enables students to return and complete a degree program under the requirements in place at the time they took the leave. If the student does not resume classes at the end of the LOA period, he/she will be considered to have been out of school since the last day of the term in which he/she was last enrolled and attending class.

Note that an Academic Leave of Absence is different than a Leave of Absence for the purposes of financial aid.

For financial aid purposes, students are considered withdrawn from the university after one term without taking any coursework as the leave of absence for financial aid is no longer than six months. This will affect the repayment schedule for any Title IV federal loan funds and may place the student in immediate repayment status. Students considering an Academic LOA should therefore contact the office of Financial Aid to discuss the implications of their decision. Students applying for an Academic LOA may also need to seek a Financial LOA.

An LOA is available to students on academic probation only with the approval of the VP for Academic Affairs. An LOA will be granted to any student not on academic probation provided the student intends to complete the degree at Wilson University. If such is not the student’s intention, an LOA will not be approved.

Students who leave the program but do not petition for an LOA, or who discontinue study for more than one year, must submit a Petition for Readmission prior to acceptance and enrollment. Such students must complete their degree program under the requirements in place at the time of their return.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students may withdraw from courses without academic penalty up to the fourteenth calendar day of the course.

The student is responsible for initiating the withdrawal. Ceasing to attend class does not constitute withdrawal and may result in substantial grade and financial penalties. Students who fail to complete the entire withdrawal process will receive zeroes (0) for any unfinished assignments and a final grade computed on that basis. Failure to complete the entire withdrawal process also results in the forfeit of any tuition refund for which the student may qualify. The University is not responsible for the loss of a tuition refund caused by the student’s failure to act in a timely manner.

Withdrawals require the approval of the instructor and the VP for Academic Affairs. Students should coordinate the approval process through their Academic Coach.

The date of withdrawal shall be the date on which a student notifies the university in writing (via e-mail to the Academic Coach or a completed Change of Registration form) of their intent to withdraw. The staff uses the withdrawal date to compute tuition refunds.

Withdrawal from the University

Prior to withdrawing from the university, students should confer with a Financial Aid Counselor to ensure that they fully understand the financial implications of their decisions. Withdrawal may, for example, cause WU to remove financial aid funds from student accounts and return them to the government, or it may trigger student repayment of loans.

Students who withdraw from the university must coordinate that withdrawal with their Academic Coach, and participate in an exit interview with the Coach. Failure to complete the entire withdrawal process, including the exit interview, causes the student to forfeit any potential refunds.

Retaking Courses

Undergraduate Programs

A student in an undergraduate program may repeat courses in which grades of “D” or “F” have been assigned so that the higher grade alone will be used in computing the student’s GPA.  In such cases, the lower grade will remain, as recorded, on the transcript, but it will be omitted from GPA calculations. Only courses repeated at WU, up to a maximum of 9 units, qualify for this “grade forgiveness” policy. The Petition to Repeat a Class, with all required signatures, must be filed by the student with the Registrar’s Office. Students may obtain petitions in the Registrar’s Office. The Veterans Administration (VA) does not pay for courses previously completed with a passing grade (“D” or above).

Graduate Programs

The policy for undergraduate programs, above, applies to graduate programs as well, with the following exception: Students in graduate programs may also repeat courses in which a grade of “C” has been assigned.

{tab Probation and Dismissal}

Academic Probation

A student will be placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative grade point average at WU falls below minimum requirements (2.0 for undergraduate programs, 3.0 for graduate programs). Specific policies for academic probation for each of the three types of programs are shown below.

In no case will students qualify as degree candidates until the minimum GPA has been achieved.

In addition to the provisions for academic probation below, the VP for Academic Affairs may immediately dismiss a student without benefit of probation if, in the judgment of the VP for Academic Affairs, the student has evidenced a substantial failure to engage the learning process and is unlikely to progress in further academic endeavors at WU.

Undergraduate Programs

A student in an undergraduate program will be placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative grade point average at WU falls below 2.0. In the following probationary semester, the student must achieve a 2.0 grade point average for that semester or be subject to academic dismissal. The student will be removed from academic probation only when the cumulative GPA has been raised above 2.0.

Graduate Programs

A student in a graduate program will be placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative grade point average at WU falls below 3.0. In the following probationary trimester, the student must achieve a 3.0 grade point average for that trimester or be subject to academic dismissal. The student will be removed from academic probation only when the cumulative GPA has been raised above 3.0.

Academic Dismissal

A student may be academically dismissed from WU for violation of academic integrity (as defined in the Catalog’s section on Academic Integrity), or by failing to meet conditions of academic probation (as defined in the Catalog’s section on Academic Probation) or for behavior that disrupts the learning process (at the discretion of the VP for Academic Affairs). When academic dismissal occurs, a student must wait at least one semester before petitioning to re-enter the university.


Students who have been academically dismissed from the university may apply for readmission after a minimum period of six months from the date of dismissal. Such students must complete an Application for Readmission, which may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. When submitting the Application, the student must also submit official transcripts from other institutions if additional coursework was completed.

The Application must be approved by the following, in this sequence:

  • Vice President for Student Affairs, indicating that there are no outstanding behavioral issues that would prevent readmission.
  • Vice President for Finance, to verify that Student Accounts has cleared the student for readmission.
  • College Dean, to verify there are no significant issues that impact the students’ ability to perform well academically and in accordance with all standards listed in the Catalog.

Application does not guarantee admission. If Student Affairs and Student Accounts approve the readmission, the VP for Academic Affairs will decide whether or not to grant the application based on the student’s prior academic experience at the university, additional academic accomplishment in the period following academic dismissal, and current circumstances bearing on academic success.