Jun 22, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Catalog Student Must Follow

The catalog in existence at the time a student first enrolls at Avila University is the one a student must follow in order to fulfill graduation requirements. With departmental approval, a student may choose to fulfill degree requirements under a subsequent catalog in existence during the student’s attendance at Avila University. Once a student changes catalogs, the student may not revert to the earlier catalog. Forms to change a catalog are available in the Registration and Student Records Office.

If a student does not attend Avila University for four consecutive semesters (not including summer sessions), the student must then fulfill the requirements of the catalog in existence at the date of re-enrollment.

The dates of the catalog a student follows to fulfill degree requirements must be stated on the degree application.

Placement Examinations

For students taking the SAT, SAT scores will be converted to ACT equivalents.

Mathematics Placement

In order to ensure that students are registered for the most appropriate class, all students planning to register for MA 091 , MA 115 , MA 120 , MA 121 , MA 125  or MA 241  as their first mathematics course at Avila must qualify for placement in these courses. Placement will be determined by an academic advisor based on a student’s recent (within five years prior to enrollment in course) ACT math score or a score on the Avila University Mathematics Placement Examination.

English Placement

Students who plan to enroll in a writing course may be placed in one of three courses (EN 095  , EN 111 , EN 112 ) according to their background. Placement will be determined by an academic advisor based on a student’s ACT score in English Usage or a score on the Avila University English Placement Examination.

Transfer of Credit

Avila University accepts transfer credits from other institutions as recommended in the transfer credit practices directory published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Transfer Policies

Only courses from institutions holding accreditation from one of the regional associations of the Higher Learning Commission will be directly transferred. (Regional Associations include Middle States, North Central, New England, Northwest, Southern and Western Associations of Colleges and Schools.) A student wanting credit for un-accredited coursework may apply through one of the alternative credit processes (e.g., Credit for Prior Learning, Credit by Departmental Examination, CLEP).

Transfer students coming to Avila with an Associate of Arts (AA) or equivalent academic degree will be considered to have met Core requirements. Please read the section  under Core Curriculum for more information.

Course work from unaccredited institutions that has been granted credit at another accredited institution will not be accepted as transfer credit at Avila University.

For students completing their first baccalaureate degree, all non-developmental courses are transcripted and included in the career hours and grade point average. Transfer courses which are considered remedial or developmental will be transcripted but will not be included in the term or career hours or grade point average and cannot be used to meet institutional requirements for degree. Developmental courses (completed within five years prior to enrollment in course) can be used in the consideration of prerequisites for enrollment in additional coursework as determined by the faculty.

Transfer credits earned at an institution awarding credit hours in a format other than semester hours will have that credit converted to semester hours on the Avila University transcript.

Credits earned more than 15 years ago will be accepted toward a degree but not toward major/minor requirements. In some programs, some courses may need to be less than 10 years old to be accepted. In some instances, exceptions are granted with written approval of the School/College Dean and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Credit may be granted for work completed at a post-secondary level of a foreign institution. For review, transcripts must be submitted translated into English.

A student who has CLEP credit on another institution’s transcript and wants that credit transferred must request an official copy of the test score(s) be sent to the Avila University Registrar. Credit will be granted for those courses with scores meeting the Avila University criteria for CLEP examinations. The student will not be charged any additional fees if CLEP is on a transcript from another accredited institution. CLEP test dates must be in the last ten years to be accepted for credit.

Credit on another accredited institution’s transcript earned through an alternative means of credit at that institution (e.g., examination, credit for prior learning or experiential credit) will not be transferred to Avila University. The student may apply for credit through one of Avila University’s alternative credit methods.

Credits earned through transfer, prior learning credit military personnel, International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examinations Program (CLEP), or Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) do not count as residential credit.

Avila University does not have a limit in the number of transfer hours accepted. Students transferring credit from a two-year accredited institution must also complete 50% of the credits required for a degree from a four-year accredited institution.

Transfer Evaluation Fees

First evaluation: no charge. Additional evaluations may be charged a $25 fee per evaluation.

Student Load and Classification

A full-time undergraduate student carries from twelve to eighteen credit hours each semester. More than eighteen credits may be carried only with the written approval of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. A part-time undergraduate student carries from one to eleven credit hours.

First-year class 1 to 24 hours
Second-year class 25 to 54 hours
Third-year class 55 to 84 hours
Fourth-year class 85 hours or more

Academic Advising

Students must meet with their assigned academic advisor. Academic advising is required prior to each registration. Students are encouraged to contact their advisor at other times throughout the semester for information about university policies, services or professional opportunities.

Student Responsibility for Degree Completion

Students should discuss their specific degree requirements with their academic advisors throughout their academic career. While an academic advisor is to be of help to a student in planning and confirming the student’s progress toward graduation, ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the requirements for graduation, and to be aware of the number of hours he or she has completed towards graduation.

Exceptions to Academic Policies

A student may request an exception to an academic policy or the degree requirements. An “Exception to Academic Regulations/Policies” form may be obtained from the Registration and Student Records Office. The request must be completed by the student with recommendations from the academic advisor and the appropriate dean. The form is submitted to the Academic Affairs Office for the final decision.


Students should register prior to the beginning of classes. Late registration or class section changes may be permitted:

  1. During the first week of a 15-week course, including arranged classes;
  2. On the first day of class for 5-week, 6-week, 7-week, and summer classes;
  3. Up to one week prior to the beginning of a Weekend Intensive course or an Avila Advantage course.

A late registration fee will be charged.

A student may not enroll in classes that meet simultaneously.

Permission to Attend Another College

A student in a degree program must have the written approval of the academic advisor and the Registrar to take courses at another college. This request may not be granted if the student is within thirty hours of a degree, if the course is available on campus, or if the student does not have a “C” average. Students not obtaining written permission prior to studying off campus may risk not receiving credit at Avila University. Permission forms may be obtained in the Registration and Student Records Office.

Repeated Course Work

Once enrolled at Avila University, a student may repeat a course only twice regardless where the course is taken. If a student repeats or duplicates a course, the most recent grade earned is reflected in the cumulative grade point average. However, all course entries remain a part of the permanent record, and credit is forfeited for all previous attempts. The Registration and Student Records Office cannot be responsible for notifying students of loss of credit by repeat course work until the student files an application for a degree.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all sessions of courses for which they are registered. Excessive absence may result in a grade of “F.”

Active Military Duty

Avila University supports students who are members of a branch of the United States armed services and makes efforts to accommodate them academically when possible if they are called to active duty. All requests under this policy must be sent to the Academic Affairs Office.

Avila University limits academic residency to no more than twenty-five percent of the degree requirements for all undergraduate degrees for active-duty service members who are enrolled. Reservist and National Guardsmen on active-duty are covered in the same manner.

Academic Honesty

Avila University expects and requires academic honesty from all members of the university community. Cheating, plagiarism and falsification of documents will not be tolerated and appropriate sanctions will be imposed.

The University defines “cheating” to include the following practices: stealing an exam; collaborating on projects where not allowed by the instructor; copying during exams; exchanging information during exams; using unallowable information as designated by the instructor; and buying, selling, or stealing copies of exams or other projects.

The University defines “plagiarism” as taking ideas from another and passing them off as one’s own. Included would be the practice of incorporating portions from a printed or online book or article into a paper and not acknowledging the source; copying a whole paper or report directly from a book or article; securing a paper or report from another person or an online source and submitting it as one’s own work.

The instructor who discovers that a student has cheated or plagiarized has the right and duty to impose an appropriate sanction. The maximum sanction available to the instructor is to dismiss the student from class and administer an “F.” Lesser sanctions, appropriate for the offense, may be selected at the discretion of the instructor. An attempt must be made by each instructor to treat each offense in a consistent manner within the same course. Repeated offenses may result in dismissal from the university.

After informing the student of the sanction, the instructor may (if this is a first offense) notify Academic Affairs as to the nature of the offense and the sanction imposed. After the student’s second offense, the instructor must notify Academic Affairs.

For the third reported offense of cheating or plagiarizing, the student will be required to appear before the Academic Progress Committee. After hearing the case, this board has the right to impose a further sanction beyond that imposed by the instructor. For repeated offenses, the maximum sanction available to the Academic Progress Committee is to dismiss the student from the University.

Records of accumulated reported offenses of cheating and plagiarizing will be maintained in the Academic Affairs Office. When the student graduates from Avila University, these records will be destroyed.

Program Changes and Withdrawals

Program changes and withdrawals are official when forms that are available in the Registration and Student Records Office have been obtained, completed, and returned by the student to that office. Students who do not attend or stop attending and who do not officially withdraw from a course by the date published in the class schedule will receive a final grade of “F.”

All schedule cancellations or complete withdrawals will result in charges of $100.00 or $25.00 according to student status; all other changes in schedule will be charged $15.00 for each change. There is no fee for changes made as a result of classes cancelled by the University.

Credit Hours and Grading System

Grades Points per credit hour
A = Superior 4
B = Above Average 3
C = Average 2
D = Below Average 1
F = Failing 0

W = Withdrawal without academic assessment prior to the eleventh week of classes.
Note: For policy on weekend classes, see section  on weekend classes.

AU = Audit. Courses may be taken for audit with the approval of the instructor. Students may change a credit course to audit prior to the eleventh week of classes; students may also change an audit course to credit with the permission of the instructor prior to the SECOND week of classes. Students auditing a course are required to meet the attendance and participation requirements of the course. If these requirements are not met, students will be withdrawn from the course by the instructor. A final grade of “AU” is recorded on the transcript.

CR/NC = Credit/No Credit. A grade of CR, Credit, indicates that a student has successfully fulfilled all the requirements of a course. Courses outside the major/minor may be taken for the Credit/No Credit option with the written approval of the instructor and the major advisor. Forms for this grading option are available in the Registration and Student Records Office. For semester-long courses, this option must be contracted with the instructor during the first week of the course. For a course that meets once, this grading option must be contracted prior to the beginning of the course. For a non-semester-long course that meets more than once, this grading option must be contracted prior to the second meeting of the course. Departments and programs may specify certain courses which may not be taken for this grading option. A department may require designated courses in the major to be graded Credit/No Credit. A student may choose up to 12 credit hours for this grading option excluding those hours designated by the department as Credit/No Credit.

I = Incomplete. Incomplete grades are only issued at the instructor’s discretion due to extenuating circumstances. Coursework required for a grade must be completed and a final grade received in the Registration and Student Records Office within six weeks after the last day of the course unless a different time is stipulated by the instructor; if not, the grade of Incomplete will be changed to an “F.” The date for completed coursework must be included on the Incomplete Grade Contract and a copy provided to the student. The form must also include the work required to be completed by the student. All assigned incomplete grades must have a Contract for an Incomplete Grade Form completed and submitted by the instructor to the Registration and Student Records Office within one week of grade entry through MyAU. If the student and instructor wish to extend the original due date for the work to be completed, that extension must be submitted in writing by the instructor to the Registration and Student Records Office. If the time-frame will extend beyond six weeks a after the last day of the course (not counting summer term), the extension must be approved by the Academic Affairs Office. The Contract for an Incomplete Grade Form can be obtained in the Registration and Student Records Office.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The basis for determining the academic standing is the point-hour ratio. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of semester hours, including transfer credits, but excluding grading assessments of W, AU, CR/NC and I. Transcript letter grades may be assigned with + or -, but grade points will reflect only a letter grade in the computation of the GPA. All grades for courses retaken will be displayed on the transcript, but only the most recent grade will be averaged into the GPA.

For undergraduate students completing their first baccalaureate degree, all coursework completed, including all transfer work and developmental courses, will be transcripted. All coursework except transferred developmental work and Avila ILCP courses are included in the career grade point average.

Grade Reports

Mid-term and final grades are available on-line via a student’s My AU account. Paper grade reports are only mailed by specific request for tuition reimbursement.


Students who have satisfied all financial obligations to the University are entitled to a transcript of their academic record.

Due to the confidential nature of a student’s record, transcripts are issued only on written authorization of the student concerned. Telephone requests will not be accepted. Written requests should be directed to the Registration and Student Records Office.

OFFICIAL and UNOFFICIAL transcripts can be forwarded directly by mail to other institutions as well as issued to the student for personal use. The fee for an official transcript is $8, payable in advance. Unofficial transcripts are also available on-line via a student’s MyAU account.

Students may also order official transcripts online with a credit card via the “Transcript” link on the university homepage. This service is provided by the National Student Clearinghouse, which charges a processing fee in addition to the $8.00 transcript fee.

Probation and Dismissal

All students who have been officially admitted to the University must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. The Admissions and Academic Progress Committee reviews the academic status of students at the end of the fall and spring semesters.

A student who receives two or more grades of “F” or whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 in any semester is placed on academic probation. Probationary students may be required to participate in a university skills program, may be limited in the number of hours in which they may enroll while on probation, and/or given other conditions (e.g., grade requirements to be met, required to meet with an identified person).

The Committee on Academic Progress may remove a student from probationary status when the student has completed at least 12 credit hours while on probation, has shown progress toward a degree and has raised the cumulative grade point average to at least 2.0. Failure to meet the conditions may result in dismissal from the University. The probationary period may be extended beyond 12 credit hours with the approval of the committee. Dismissal from the University without a probationary period is possible if the student was admitted on a provisional status, has a cumulative grade point average below 1.6 or is classified as a senior. Students placed on academic dismissal may appeal the dismissal once in writing to the Academic Affairs Office.

Procedure for Grade Appeal

Students have recourse to an appeals procedure for the review of student course grades received at Avila University. Guidelines and Request Forms are available in the Academic Affairs Office. The deadline for appealing grades is Friday of the third week of the semester following the one in which the grade in question was received. The actual date is published online in the Academic Calendar.

Application for Degree

Students must file an application for degree with the Registration Office to be evaluated for graduation eligibility. There are four official dates each academic year used for graduation: December, May, June and August. The deadlines for applications are available in the Registration and Student Records Office and from academic advisors. Students who believe they are within 2-4 semesters of graduation should request a graduation audit to be completed.

After the request for graduation audit is received in the Registration Office, an audit of all academic work is completed by Registration Office staff to verify degree requirements not yet completed. Written notification is sent to the student and advisor for review and appropriate action. The application for graduation is completed with the anticipated date of graduation. Please check the Avila website for graduation application due dates:

A graduation fee is added to the student’s financial account when the application is received.

If all requirements are not completed by the date specified in the graduation application, the student must file a change of graduation date form with the Registration and Student Records Office before a new graduation date will be granted.

Progress must be made in completing degree requirements within two years after last attending or you will need to reapply for re-admittance to the University and will fall under a new catalog for requirements, which could change what is needed for the completion of the degree.

Participation in Commencement

Traditional undergraduate students with nine (9) hours or less of coursework to complete during the summer session may participate in the May graduation ceremony. Advantage undergraduate students with (12) hours or less of coursework to complete in the summer term may participate in the May graduation ceremony. Requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing to the Academic Affairs Office. Students may only participate in one graduation ceremony for a given degree.

Academic Honors

Semester Honors

Dean’s List

Full-time admitted undergraduate students are eligible for the Dean’s List during fall and spring semesters. Students must have successfully completed at least 12 credit hours with at least a 3.500 semester grade point average. Students on the Dean’s List will receive notification from the Provost.

Graduation Honors

Graduation honors are awarded for baccalaureate degrees only. Honors for the first baccalaureate degree will be based on all work completed, including transfer work. Honors for the second baccalaureate degree will be based on Avila University work only. Students must have completed at least 60 hours of coursework at Avila after the completion of the first degree to be eligible for honors.

Graduation honors are based on the cumulative grade point average as follows.

Summa cum laude 3.900 - 4.000
Magna cum laude 3.700 - 3.899
Cum laude 3.500 - 3.699

Honors announced at the graduation ceremony will be based on the work completed the fall semester prior to May graduation. If a student did not attend the fall semester, the announced honors will be based on the grade point average from the last semester of attendance prior to the fall semester.

Official honors will be recorded on the student’s diploma and transcript. Official honors are based on the final grade point average after the last semester of coursework is completed. Official honors may be different than those announced at graduation ceremony if a student’s grade point average changes the status during the last semester of coursework.

Honor Societies

  • ALPHA EPSILON DELTA is the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society for students enrolled in a health preprofessional curriculum.
  • DELTA EPSILON SIGMA is a national scholastic honor society for students of Catholic colleges and universities.
  • JEAN PIERRE MEDAILLE is an Avila University honor society for undergraduate students
  • KAPPA DELTA PI is an international honor society for students majoring or minoring in education or international advocacy.
  • KAPPA GAMMA PI is a national honor society for graduating seniors of Catholic colleges.
  • PHI ALPHA, Xi Lambda chapter is a national honor society for social work students.
  • SIGMA TAU DELTA is an international honor society for students completing a major or minor in English.
  • PSI CHI is a national honor society for students completing a major or minor in psychology.

Degree Requirements

General Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree

  • Completion of at least 120 semester hours of academic work with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (average grade of “C”).
  • Completion of FS 101 - First-Year Seminar (1)  (Required of first-year students entering Avila directly out of high school).
  • Of the minimum 120 semester hours required for graduation, at least 50% of the credits must be from accredited four-year colleges/universities. Only those courses designated by Avila University as college/university equivalent will be accepted for transfer credit.
  • Completion of the 2015 Core Curriculum as stated on the following pages. All students must receive a grade of “C” or above in Core Composition, Communication, and Mathematics courses.
  • Completion of no fewer than 27 semester hours in one major subject area including 21 semester hours in courses numbered 200 or above; a minimum grade of “C” in each upper-division course in the major.
  • Completion of at least 12 upper-division hours in the major at Avila.
  • No more than 60 hours in one area may be counted toward the 120-hour requirement for a bachelor’s degree. Exceptions to this limit may occur in specific degree programs. Any additional credit hours earned in a single subject beyond the designated limit will be counted as credits earned over and above the 120 required for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Completion of any additional course requirements specified by the major degree program.
  • Successful completion of recital, exhibit, project, research paper, oral examination and/or any other department evaluation requirement.
  • Completion of the final 30 hours at the university.

Double Major and Degree Conferred

When two majors are completed in different degree areas (e.g., B.S., B.A.), the student must indicate which degree is desired.

When a double major is desired, the student must designate which major is the first major. In addition to meeting all requirements for the first major, the student must complete a minimum of fifteen credits (15) in the second major that are not already used to satisfy requirements for the first major or requirements for Core.

Second Degree

Requirements for earning two degrees to be awarded simultaneously:

  • Completion of a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours at Avila University in addition to the minimum 120 hours required for the first baccalaureate degree for a total of 150 hours.
  • Completion of both majors with at least 12 upper-division hours in each major taken at Avila University; a “C” grade is required in each upper-division course in the majors.

Requirements for earning a second degree after having been awarded a baccalaureate degree:

  • Completion of a minimum of thirty (30) additional semester hours at Avila University after the awarding of the first baccalaureate degree.
  • Completion of a major with at least 12 upper-division hours in the major taken at Avila University; a “C” grade is required in each upper-division course in the major.
  • Completion of the core curriculum as stated earlier in this catalog.


At least 18 semester hours in a subject area are required for a minor. A minimum of 9 hours in the minor must be earned at Avila University with at least six (6) of these semester hours at Avila in courses numbered 300 or above. (Note: If the minor is in Biology or Chemistry, only four (4) of the 9 semester hours in the minor at Avila must be in courses numbered 300 or above.) A minimum of 9 hours must be unique between a major and a minor. A grade of “C” or better must be earned for all graded courses required for the minor.