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Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Nov 18, 2017
 
 
    
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations


Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

 

Regulations in this catalog represent the policies adopted by the faculties and administration of NIU. A student who believes that his or her situation warrants an exception to one of these regulations should consult with the advising dean of his or her college or with the Academic Advising Center, if the student has no college affiliation.


Advisement and Registration

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Advisement System

College Offices

Advisement, information, and other academic assistance are available in the advising offices of the six colleges with undergraduate programs. Each college also provides student services such as policies on and forms for overloads, withdrawals from the university, and petitions for requirement waivers. Questions concerning retention, dismissal, and reinstatement should be directed to the office of the college in which the student’s major department is located.

The advising office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences advises all students who are undecided about their majors within the college and all freshmen and sophomores who have declared a major in a department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The advising office is staffed by academic advisers.

All College of Business students who have not enrolled in upper-level business courses are advised in the college’s undergraduate studies office. Once enrolled in upper-level business courses, students are advised in the department in which they have a declared major.

Individual departments in the College of Education provide academic advisement for students majoring in those departments, as well as information about admission to teacher education and certification for students in early childhood, elementary, and special teacher education programs.

All students in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology are advised in the department of their intended or declared major.

Students in the College of Health and Human Sciences are advised in the departments in which they have declared majors. Undeclared majors in the College of Health and Human Sciences are advised in the college advising office.

Students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts receive academic advisement in their major departments. Students whose advisement needs cannot be met in their major departments are referred to the college advising office.

Academic Advising Center

The Academic Advising Center advises all students who have no college affiliation. The Academic Advising Center is staffed by academic advisers and supports the distinct nature of advising within the colleges and academic departments at Northern Illinois University.  The Academic Advising Center will not, under any circumstances, initiate or approve exemptions to curricular requirements or requests for waivers to university graduation requirements.

Locations of college advising offices and the Academic Advising Center are as follows.

Business–Barsema Hall 201
Education–early childhood and special education: Gabel Hall 161
Education–elementary education: Gabel Hall 152
Education–kinesiology and physical education: Anderson Hall 214
Engineering and Engineering Technology–Engineering Building 331
Health and Human Sciences–Wirtz Hall 227
Liberal Arts and Sciences–Zulauf Hall 201
Visual and Performing Arts–Music Building 141
Academic Advising Center –Academic Advising Center Building

Major Departments

Each department has faculty advisers who help students plan their programs of study and schedules for each semester and advise them on academic problems.

Students are responsible for checking with their major department and adviser and the Office of Registration and Records to see that they will have met all university and departmental requirements by the time they expect to graduate.

Declaration of Major, Minor, and Degree

Applicants for Admission

The university requires both freshman and transfer students to declare their major at the time they apply for admission. This information is needed for purposes of academic advisement and for institutional planning. It is understood that experience in university courses and further consultation with academic advisers may lead to changes in the student’s academic interests.

Change of Major or Declaration of Minor

Students will be placed into the major and emphasis, if applicable, at the point of admission if they meet the admission requirements of the degree program.There are major programs in the university in which acceptance of students either is limited or requires the meeting of specific criteria. Some of these programs may require acceptance into a major or emphasis at the time of admission. See “Limited Admissions and Limited Retention Requirements” and individual departments.

Many majors have course requirements outside the department. Students, through consultation with an adviser, should insure that these requirements are taken at the appropriate program stage.

There are some majors in which a student must follow a highly structured sequence of courses. It is important to get advice as early as possible to plan a program of study.

A student may declare a minor at any time by completing a “Minor Request” form in the office of the department offering the minor. A student may not take a minor offered by the department of his or her major unless this is specifically permitted in the description of the minor.

There are also some minors which have admission requirements. See individual departments.

Students may change a major, emphasis, or minor by completing a “Major Request” or “Minor Request” form at the office of the department that they wish to enter as a major or minor. Students remain under the jurisdiction of their current major college office until the change of major becomes effective.

Major changes for students who have not been academically dismissed or retained on academic probation initiated within the last three weeks of the term, including the final examination period, will become effective one week after the end of the final examination for that term. Major changes for students who have been academically dismissed or retained on academic probation will require acceptance of the college of the new major.

Registration

Registration procedures and timetables as well as class offerings are published in the Schedule of Classes for each semester. Students will not receive credit for any course for which the registration was not completed according to university procedures. Moreover, it is not legitimate to attend or participate in a course in which one is not registered.

Students who have any obligation to the university (such as unpaid fines, tuition, fees, residence hall charges, missing admission documents) will not be allowed to register for classes until all obligations are met and should not expect retroactive enrollment for a period of time during which they were not eligible to register. (See “Academic Records and Encumbrances.”)

Registration may be canceled for students who fail to satisfy admission or registration requirements.

Certificate of Undergraduate Study

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A certificate of undergraduate study is awarded upon successful completion of a specified coherent set of undergraduate courses around a specific theme (minimum of 9 hours). Notation of a specific certificate of undergraduate study will be posted on the student’s transcript upon the successful completion of the requirements for that certificate. To pursue a certificate of undergraduate study, a student must be admitted to NIU, must submit an application to the appropriate academic unit, and must have the application approved. Some certificates of undergraduate study may have additional admission requirements.

Only courses taken at NIU may be applied toward a certificate, and a GPA of at least 2.00 must be earned in the course work used toward the certificate, all of which must be completed within the period of time specified in the requirements for the certificate. With the approval of the major department, courses used to satisfy requirements of a certificate may also be applied toward an undergraduate major. See the individual certificate of undergraduate study for other specific requirements.

Certificates of undergraduate study with the following titles are available.

Actuarial Science (Department of Mathematical Sciences)
Adolescence (NIU Collaborative on Early Adolescence)
Applied Ethics (College of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; see “Inter-College Interdisciplinary Certificates.”)
Asian American Studies (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
Civic Engagement (Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development Center)
Deaf/Blind Rehabilitation (School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders)
Finance (Department of Finance)
Foundations of Educational Studies (Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations)
Geographic Information Systems (Department of Geography)
Gerontology (College of Health and Human Sciences)
Homeland Security (College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, College of Health and Human Sciences, and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; see “Inter-College Interdisciplinary Certificates.”)
Information Systems (Department of Operations Management and Information Systems)
Interactive Marketing (Department of Marketing)
Lean Six Sigma (College of Engineering and Engineering Technology)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
Nanotechnology (College of Engineering and Engineering Technology)
Philosophy of Education (Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations)
Professional Selling (Department of Marketing)
Professional Teaching Practices (College of Education)
Service Management (Department of Operations Management and Information Systems)
Social Entrepreneurship (Department of Management)

Schedule Changes

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Schedule changes may have serious academic and financial consequences. It is highly recommended that students meet with their academic advisers prior to any schedule changes. Contact the Financial Aid Office regarding the impact of schedule changes and any financial aid. International students need to contact the International Student and Faculty Office (ISFO). Students living in university housing who are reducing their schedule to less than 12 hours or are withdrawing from the university must contact the Housing Office. Reducing hours can also impact student insurance, contact Student Insurance for additional information. Student-Athletes should contact Student Athletes Academic Support Services (SAASS).

See chart and detailed procedures below including the Undergraduate Academic Calendar for appropriate deadlines for adding/dropping a course and for withdrawals. Other deadlines may apply for 14-week, summer, and dynamic (non-standard) courses. Refer to MyNIU for course specific deadlines.

Schedule Change Process for 16 week courses (full-semester)
 

Action Dates Start with First Week of Semester Steps
 Dropping all courses  Prior to the first day of class  Self-service MyNIU
 Adding a course

 Week 1

 Self-service MyNIU
 Adding a course  Week 2  Contact department/school of course
 Dropping a course  Week 1

 Self-service MyNIU

 Dropping a course  Week 2  Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
 Withdrawing from a course  Week 3 through end of week 8  Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
Withdrawing from the university Week 1 through end of week 8 Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
 Withdrawing from the university  Week 9 through end of week 12 (with academic jeopardy) 

Contact major college or Academic Advising Center

Schedule Change Process for 8 week sessions (first and last half semester)

Action Dates Start with First Week of Session Steps
Dropping all courses Prior to the first day of semester Self-service MyNIU
Adding a course Week 1 of session Self-service MyNIU
Dropping a course Week 1 of session Self-service MyNIU
Dropping a first-half course Week 2 of session Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
Withdrawing from a first-half course Week 3 of session through end of week 4 of session Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
Withdrawing from a second-half course Week 2 of session through end of week 4 of session Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
Withdrawing from the university Week 1 of session through end of week 4 of session Contact major college or Academic Advising Center
Withdrawing from the university Week 5 of session through end of week 6 of sessions (with academic jeopardy) Contact major college or Academic Advising Center

Adding or Dropping a Course

Add/drop procedures include adding a class, dropping a class, and changing to a different section of the same course. For 16-week courses, students may make changes to their schedules during the first week of class through MyNIU. Courses may be dropped during the second week of the term by permission of the student’s major college, or the Academic Advising Center for students with no major college affiliation. Sixteen-week courses which are dropped by the end of the second week of classes will not appear on a student’s record. Beginning with the third week of classes of a fall or spring term, all course load reductions become withdrawals, with the exception of last-half semester courses. Other deadlines may apply for 14-week, summer, and dynamic (non-standard) courses. Refer to MyNIU for course specific deadlines. Courses may be added to a student’s schedule during the second week of the term by permission of the department offering the course.

Withdrawal from a Course

A student may withdraw from a course up to the end of the eighth week of a semester, or the fourth week of a half-session course or eight-week summer session course. For courses of other lengths, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the first half of the course. A W is recorded for course withdrawals properly processed prior to the established deadlines. A W has no effect on semester or cumulative GPA.

All requests for withdrawal from a course must be initiated and processed through the central advisement office of the college in which the student is pursuing a major, or the Academic Advising Center, if the student has no college affiliation. Visiting students initiate withdrawals through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

A student may withdraw from a course after the established deadlines only in exceptional cases (medical reasons, military reasons, or because of hardship) when supported by acceptable evidence. Approval of a course withdrawal after the deadline may be granted only by the college office of the student’s major (major college office), or by the Academic Advising Center if the student has no college affiliation. If such approval is given, academic jeopardy will be enforced: a W will be recorded for the course if the instructor indicates the student is passing at the time of withdrawal; if the instructor indicates the student is not passing at that time a grade of F will be recorded and included in both the term and cumulative GPA.

Additional information regarding withdrawals for exceptional reasons can be found at http://www.niu.edu/withdrawals/index.shtml.

Students seeking a withdrawal from a course for exceptional reasons must initiate and complete the withdrawal process during the semester of enrollment in the course.

Students and transfer students are limited in the number of semester hours from which they can withdraw. Students with fewer than 7 transfer hours are allowed to withdraw from a total of 17 semester hours during the pursuit of the baccalaureate degree.

The maximum number of hours from which a transfer student may withdraw during pursuit of a baccalaureate degree at NIU is determined by the number of hours of transfer credit accepted at the time of enrollment at NIU plus all hours earned at NIU prior to enrollment, as indicated in the following table.

Transfer Plus
Pre-enrollment
NIU Hours
 

Maximum
Withdrawal
Hours

1-6  

17

7-15  

15

16-30  

12

31-45  

9

46 or more  

6

Students who cease to attend any course in which they are enrolled without officially withdrawing will receive an F for that course.

Withdrawal from the University

All students are encouraged to meet with an academic adviser if they are considering withdrawing from the university. Any undergraduate student who decides to withdraw from the university must notify their central advisement office of the college in which the student is pursuing a major, or the Academic Advising Center if the student has no college affiliation. Students who withdraw from the university within the add/drop period will have those courses removed from their record. Contact the Bursar’s Office regarding information on tuition refunds. A university withdrawal may be made without academic jeopardy up to the end of the eighth week of the semester for 16-week courses. When students officially withdraw from the university after the eighth week of the term academic jeopardy will be enforced: W will be recorded for the course if the instructor indicates the student is passing at the time of withdrawal; if the instructor indicates the student is not passing at that time a grade of F will be recorded and included in both the term and cumulative GPA.

A student may withdraw from the university after the established deadlines only in exceptional cases (medical reasons, military reasons, or because of hardship) when supported by acceptable evidence. Approval of a
university withdrawal after the deadline may be granted only by the college office of the student’s major (major college office), or the Academic Advising Center if the student has no college affiliation. If such approval is given, academic jeopardy will be enforced: W will be recorded for the course if the instructor indicates the student is passing at the time of withdrawal; if the instructor indicates the student is not passing at that time a grade of F will be recorded and included in both the term and cumulative GPA.

Additional information regarding withdrawals for exceptional reasons can be found at http://www.niu.edu/withdrawals/index.shtml.

Students seeking a withdrawal from the university for exceptional reasons must initiate and complete the withdrawal process during the semester of enrollment. A student who withdraws from the university must obtain permission from her or his last major college or the Academic Advising Center, if the student has no college affiliation, to reenroll during the semester in which the student withdrew from the university, if that reenrollment will occur after the add/drop period.

Grading System

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Grades

Grades assigned in each undergraduate course are intended to reflect achievement relative to a defined level of competence. Faculty members are expected during the first week of a semester to indicate clearly the requirements in a course and the level of competence to be associated with each of the possible letter grades. Multisection courses are expected to require similar levels of competence in all sections. Department and college curriculum committees shall be responsible for implementing these policies.

Credit is expressed in semester hours. One semester hour usually means pursuit of a subject for one 50-minute period per week for a 15-week semester. A student accumulates grade points based on the grades earned. The symbols, their meaning or level of competence indicated, and their grade point values are as follows.

Meaning   Points Per Hour
A    Outstanding competence   

4

B   Above satisfactory competence  

3

C   Satisfactory level of competence  

2

D   Marginally satisfactory competence  

1

F   Unsatisfactory level of competence  

0

I   Incomplete  

-

W   Passing at time of withdrawal from a course or from the university  

-

S   Satisfactory  

-

U   Unsatisfactory  

-

O   Audit; no grade and no credit  

-

OW   Audit; requirements not completed  

-

CR   Proficiency credit  

-

A,B,C,D, and S are recorded for credit courses for which the student has been given a passing mark. The grading symbol CR indicates that proficiency credit has been received for the course, and that course is not included in the student’s GPA.

An F or U is recorded when a student fails to earn a passing grade in a course; a student withdraws from a course without official notice; a student withdraws from a course with official permission after deadline but is not doing passing work at the time; or a student is not doing passing work at the time of withdrawal from the university.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point system is used to determine academic standing and to award honors. To compute the GPA, the total number of grade points earned is divided by the total number of GPA hours attempted at NIU (those for which grades of A,B,C,D, or F are recorded), as in the following example.

Courses

Hours

Grade

Points
Per Hour

Points
Earned

BIOS 103

3

A

4

12

ENGL 103

3

B

3

9

FLFR 201

3

C

2

6

HIST 100

3

D

1

3

COMS 100

3

F

0

0

Total

15

   

30

GPA equals 2.00 (30 points earned divided by 15 hours attempted). In calculating a student’s GPA, only NIU work is included.

S/U Grading

In those courses in which the S/U grading basis is applicable, the use of S and U will apply to all students registered in any class section in which the S/U grading basis is employed. Individual students may not elect S and U grading. Teacher certification requirements are deemed to be met only by obtaining a grade of C or better in courses using traditional ABCDF grading or an S in those professional or clinical courses in which S/U grading is used. An S is the equivalent to a C or better and a U is equivalent to a D or lower in teacher certification courses using S/U grading.

Incompletes

A grade of I (incomplete) is assigned at the discretion of the instructor, when illness, death in the immediate family, or other unusual and unforeseeable circumstances not encountered by the other students in the class prevent completion of the course requirements by the end of the semester. Under these circumstances, a grade of I (incomplete) may be assigned when a student is unable to complete the course requirements but only when it is possible that the completion of the remaining work could result in a passing grade.

An I (incomplete) grade received during the fall semester, the spring semester, or the summer session must be cleared no later than 120 calendar days from the end of the term in which the student received the grade unless the incomplete is extended by the instructor. All incompletes, whether extended or not, must be cleared within a year of when the grade was assigned.

An I (incomplete) must be resolved within the appropriate time limit or it will automatically be changed to an F. The student is responsible for seeing that incompletes are made up before the expiration date.

Before submitting grades to the Office of Registration and Records, an instructor who assigns a grade of I (incomplete) will provide the chair of the department with a written statement of the remaining work to be completed to remove the incomplete. Upon request, the student may obtain a copy of that statement from either the instructor or the department chair.

Grade Appeals

The university has a formal procedure under which a student can appeal a grade. Copies of the procedure for appealing allegedly capricious grades are available from the university ombudsman, department offices, and college offices.

Repeating a Course

The policy outlined here pertains only to courses taken at and repeated at NIU. Repeating a course taken at another college or university is governed by the policy on repeated courses in the section on transfer credit. The opportunity to repeat a course under this policy will end with the awarding of a degree. The NIU transcript will reflect the GPA as specified in the following policy. However, students should be cautioned that some limited admissions programs recognize all attempts for admission purposes and that when students apply to professional schools and/or graduate schools, all attempts at courses could be considered in that application process.

A student may repeat any course in which a grade of D or F was received. The grade which the student earns in the repeat will replace the original grade in the GPA calculation, but both grades will always appear on the student’s official transcript. In all cases, the permanent record of a student repeating a course will report each enrollment in the course. (A course withdrawal does not count as a repeat.)

A student may not repeat a course taken at NIU in which a grade of C or better was earned, unless the contrary is stated in the catalog description of the course.

A student who does not earn a C or better after two (or more) attempts in a course may petition to retake the course. The student must secure permission of the dean of his or her major college and of the chair of the department in which the course is offered.

All grades received in the course will appear on the transcript. Credit may be earned only once unless the course description in the catalog states otherwise. Exceptions to this policy may be granted only by the dean of the student’s major college. In all cases, third or subsequent enrollments in a course may be allowed only if the department in which the course is taught agrees to permit enrollment. In approved third or subsequent enrollments the grade earned during the last enrollment will be used in the GPA calculation.

Change of Grade

Final grades, once posted in MyNIU, cannot be changed without a written request for the change of grade signed by the department chair. In the case of undergraduates, the request is sent directly to the appropriate college office of the course. All grade changes proposed for academically dismissed students must be submitted to the college office. In the case of graduate students, a request for a grade change is sent to the Graduate School for entry into MyNIU. A grade change request for an undergraduate taking a graduate course is also sent to the Graduate School.

Any change of grade in an undergraduate course (other than from Incomplete) submitted more than one month after the opening of the next session in which the student is enrolled requires the written explanation and approval of the instructor of the course, the chair of the department, and the dean (or delegate) of the college in which the grade was awarded.

Freshman Warning, Academic Probation and Dismissal

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First-semester freshmen at NIU who earn a cumulative GPA of 1.60 to 1.99 for all work completed at NIU will be placed on freshman warning. A student who does not earn a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA by the end of their second enrollment at NIU will be placed on academic probation. First-semester freshmen whose GPA falls below 1.60 for all work attempted at NIU will be placed on probation and all other undergraduate students failing to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all work attempted at NIU will also be placed on probation. Students placed on freshman warning or probation are required to schedule an appointment with the dean (or the dean’s delegate) of their major college to discuss their academic status. Students placed on freshman warning or probation who have no college affiliation are required to schedule an appointment with the Vice Provost (or the Vice Provost’s delegate).

Students failing to remove academic probation after one enrollment by attaining a cumulative GPA in NIU courses of at least 2.00 will become candidates for academic dismissal from the university.

Students failing all of the courses for which they are registered for a single semester, including summer session, will become candidates for academic dismissal from the university.

The academic record of each candidate for dismissal will be reviewed by the dean of the student’s major college (or the dean’s delegate). The dean (or the dean’s delegate) may elect to retain on academic probation some students who are candidates for academic dismissal. The Vice Provost (or the Vice Provost’s delegate) will review the academic record of those candidates for dismissal who have no college affiliation. All students not retained on academic probation will be academically dismissed from the university.

Students retained on academic probation must raise their cumulative GPA in NIU courses to at least 2.00 by the end of the next enrollment. Those failing to do so will again become candidates for academic dismissal from the university and their records will be reviewed as described above. Additional retention on academic probation will be granted only in exceptional cases.

Students re-entering on final probation (see “Reinstatement”) who fail to attain a new cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher will be dismissed.

After a student has earned 90 or more semester hours (including NIU courses and all transfer credit), he or she must have attained a cumulative GPA in NIU courses of at least 2.00 if the student was ever previously continued on academic probation or reentered with a baccalaureate-oriented associate degree from an Illinois public community college earned after leaving NIU. Students who fail to maintain a cumulative 2.00 or higher GPA will be academically dismissed. Additional retention on academic probation will be granted only in exceptional cases.

Students who have been academically dismissed from the university may not enroll again at NIU unless reinstated to the university through the procedure described in the section on “Reinstatement” or “Reentrance of Community College Graduates.”

Credit by Examination

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NIU provides a variety of opportunities for students to obtain college credit by examination. Credit may be awarded through the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support program (DANTES), and other NIU proficiency examinations.

Advanced Placement

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a series of national examinations that measures the knowledge and skills acquired by students who have taken AP courses. The courses and examinations are administered by high schools and the resulting examination scores are sent to colleges of the students’ choice. Students with sufficiently high scores on certain AP examinations may be eligible for specific course credit. Specific course credit awarded on the basis of AP is subject to the provisions specified below under “General Provisions.”

Participants applying for NIU admission should arrange to have their AP examination records sent to the NIU Office of Testing Services, Adams Hall 128, 815-753-1203. Information on the required scores and specific course credit awarded can be accessed on the Internet at www.niu.edu/testing.

College-Level Examination Program and Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support

NIU recognizes that some students have acquired proficiency in college-level material outside of the traditional college classroom. The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES) provide these students with the opportunity to demonstrate their college-level learning through examinations that assess the knowledge taught in common college courses.

NIU awards credit for satisfactory performance for four of the five CLEP general examinations and for several of the CLEP and DANTES subject area examinations. Credit awarded on the basis of three of the CLEP general examinations–Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History–is not course-specific but applies toward NIU’s general education requirements. A total of 19 semester hours of credit toward NIU’s general education requirements is available through the CLEP general examinations. This credit will be superseded by general education credit awarded on the basis of transfer or other credit by examination, as well as by credit already earned through NIU course work; such credit may reduce the CLEP general education credit for which the student qualifies. Specific course credit awarded on the basis of CLEP and DANTES subject area examinations is subject to the provisions specified below under “General Provisions.”

Official CLEP and DANTES score reports should be sent to the NIU Office of Testing Services, Adams Hall 128, 815-753-1203. Information on the examinations, required scores, and specific course credit awarded can be accessed on the Internet at www.niu.edu/testing.

NIU Proficiency Examinations

Credit for all 100- and 200-level general education courses except COMS 100, ENGL 103, ENGL 104, and MATH 101 may be earned through proficiency examinations administered through academic departments. These examinations are designed for students who have acquired proficiency in college-level material outside of the traditional college classroom.

All departments are encouraged to use standardized examinations or provide specially constructed departmental examinations for granting credit to students who demonstrate college-level learning. In such areas as art and music, creative works and professional experience might be used as evidence for granting credit. Students who want to receive credit on these bases should consult the appropriate department.

A student’s eligibility to attempt locally administered examinations or to submit external examination scores for credit consideration is determined by the department or coordinating committee under whose direction the credit may be granted.

Normally, a student may attempt to gain proficiency credit for a particular course only once. When more than one form of the examination is available, the student may, at the discretion of the appropriate department chair or other responsible authority, be allowed to attempt the second form of the examination.

General Provisions

Eligibility for credit by examination is subject to restrictions. Students must be enrolled at NIU to receive credit by examination. All credit by examination awarded by NIU will be posted to the student’s record with the symbol CR. No specific grade is attached to this credit; however, credit by examination will meet any requirement for a grade or “C” or better in the course for which credit has been awarded.

Credit by examination will not be awarded for courses in which NIU credit has already been granted or for courses which substantially overlap or are prerequisites to courses in which a student is enrolled or are prerequisites to courses for which credit has already been granted. Credit may already have been granted on the basis of transfer, other credit by examination, or courses taken at NIU. Exceptions to these restrictions could occur in cases in which a student passed a credit-by-examination test prior to credit being granted in (or the student enrolling in) a course that would normally render the student ineligible for credit by examination. For example, a student enrolled in MATH 230 could be eligible to receive credit for MATH 229 based on an AP examination taken the previous May.

Credit for ENGL 103 and ENGL 104 may be earned through Advanced Placement, but not through the English Core Competency Examination. Passing a core competency examination fulfills the core competency requirement but does not result in the awarding of NIU course credit.

Credit by examination awarded by another institution is subject to provisions specified under “Transfer Credit.” The number of semester hours that a student may be eligible to earn through credit by examination is limited by the number of examinations the student is allowed to take.

Transfer Credit

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For students earning an A.A. or A.S., or A.A.T. degree in early childhood, secondary math, or special education from an Illinois public community college, Northern Illinois University is a participant in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a statewide agreement that allows transfer of the completed Illinois transferable General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) between participating institutions. Successful completion of the GECC at any participating college or university in Illinois assures students that lower-division general education requirements for an associate or baccalaureate degree have been satisfied and allows students to transfer this portion of an associate or baccalaureate degree from one participating IAI institution to another without incurring a loss of credit.

NIU also participates in the IAI Baccalaureate Majors’ Curriculum (iTransfer Majors). NIU departments have identified certain iTransfer Majors courses that if taken at IAI participating institutions will transfer as specific NIU courses for students in the identified majors.

See an academic adviser for additional information and/or read about the IAI at www.iTransfer.org. Also see “Illinois Articulation Initiative Core Curriculum.”

General Provisions

Northern Illinois University accepts credit in transfer from any regionally accredited institution of higher education, with credit from all accredited two- and four-year institutions subject to the following provisions.

NIU does not accept credit for intermediate algebra courses. Some other transfer credit may be used to fulfill NIU’s general education requirements or may be applied as elective credit. Transfer credit can be applied toward the student’s major (or minor) only with the written approval of the NIU department concerned.

NIU accepts no D grades in transfer. Courses in which a grade of D is earned will not be included in the transfer credit evaluation.

If students attend schools on the quarter-hour system, they can convert those hours to semester hours by multiplying quarter hours by 2/3 (i.e., 45 quarter hours equals 30 semester hours).

Correspondence courses from accredited institutions may be accepted. (But students should be aware that NIU will accept a maximum of 30 semester hours of correspondence work toward their desired degrees.)

Credit awarded at another institution through credit by examination may transfer to NIU if the student completed at least 12 semester hours of transferable credit through regular classroom work; official test score reports are not required for such credit to be considered. Students with fewer than 12 semester hours of transferable credit through regular classroom work at another institution may wish to have their examination scores evaluated by arranging to have official score reports submitted to NIU’s Office of Testing Services.

Upper-division credit will be granted for transfer courses if the course is equivalent to an NIU course at the 300 or 400 (junior or senior) level or if the course is a junior- or senior-level course at the previous school (if it is a four-year institution). Courses from community colleges which substitute for 300- or 400-level courses at NIU may or may not be awarded upper-division credit. This decision is made by academic departments at NIU.

Continuing and reentering students intending to transfer credit to NIU after they have earned 90 semester credit hours or who will exceed 90 semester credit hours upon transfer of that credit must obtain prior approval from their major college at NIU before enrolling in the course(s) which they intend to transfer.

Military Educational Experience Credit

Credit for military educational experience may be granted based on recommendations found in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services. NIU awards 100- or 200-level elective credit only for courses evaluated and recommended as upper-division by the American Council on Education (ACE). Students seeking credit must submit an official transcript from the ACE Transcript Service to NIU.

Students with a minimum of one year of active duty in and an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Services will receive 4 semester hours of general university elective credit provided they submit a copy of their DD214 to NIU’s Office of Registration and Records.

See also the Credit by Examination Section of this catalog for academic regulations regarding college credit earned through CLEP (College Level Examination Program) and Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES).

Credit from Community Colleges

Students from Illinois public community colleges should check with their community college counselor about credit transfer to NIU. Illinois public community college counselors have access to the NIU Articulation Handbook, or the Transfer Center web page: http://www.niu.edu/admissions/transfer/transfercenter/index.shtml. The NIU Articulation Handbook gives detailed information on credit transfer policies as they apply to Illinois public community college transfer students. Students transferring from private or out-of-state community colleges should direct their questions regarding transfer credit to the Office of Registration and Records, 815-753-0681.

Credit from community colleges is subject to these additional restrictions.

The courses must be baccalaureate-oriented, that is, directed toward an academic rather than an occupational/technical program. Courses which are normally vocational or remedial are not accepted for transfer. (But certain NIU departments may make exceptions.)

Students may transfer up to 66 academic semester hours plus 4 semester hours of physical education activity courses. Credit hours in excess of 66 will be displayed on the student’s transcript; however, in all cases, the student will be required to complete at least 54 semester hours from the following sources: NIU credit, credit from other 4-year schools, proficiency credit, and up to 8 semester hours of physical education activity credit of which up to 4 physical education activity credit hours may be earned at community colleges.

Illinois community college A.A. or A.S. graduates, or A.A.T. graduates in early childhood, secondary math, or special education, may be eligible for certain exceptions to transfer credit policies. Students can discuss these with their community college counselor or with a staff member in the NIU Office of Admissions. See “ Illinois Public Community College Graduates.”

The following students may be required to take additional general education courses and should consult an academic adviser.

Students seeking teacher certification.
Students majoring in a department in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

N Grade

If it appears from the sending college’s transcript key or catalog that an N (no credit) grading symbol may be equated with academic failure of a course (i.e., no other symbol is provided indicating failure or the N may encompass an F along with other attendance and grading symbols), it will be counted as an F and used in calculating the GPA for determining admission eligibility. The same holds for any other symbol which is used by a college in a similar manner.

Repeated Courses in Transfer

The calculation of the GPA for admission will not count repeated courses for which the student received a grade of C or better in the first attempt, nor will such courses be accepted for transfer credit. In those situations where a student has repeated a course for which a D or F grade was previously earned, the second attempt only will be utilized for the above purposes.

The evaluation of transfer credit will give the student the benefit of the doubt in identifying repeated courses. Courses will be identified as repeats only if they fall into one of the following categories.

The same course (by title or number, or both) has been taken twice at the same institution.
A course for which a student has been granted transfer credit is later taken at NIU. (See “Forfeiture of Credit.”)
Two courses, taken at two different institutions besides NIU, are obviously identical. If a credit evaluator designates two such courses as repeats, and the student disputes the ruling, the student is responsible for providing evidence that the courses were different in content. The chair of the appropriate NIU department or a designated representative will be the final judge in any disputed cases.

When a grade of D is earned in a course taken at NIU, an equivalent course taken at another institution cannot be transferred to NIU for credit because previous credit has been earned at NIU.

Forfeiture of Credit

A student may repeat at NIU a course for which credit was earned at another institution. However, doing so causes the student to forfeit any transfer credit granted for the equivalent or substitute course taken at another college or university.

For any course in which a student’s transcripts indicate that the same or a substantially similar course has been taken at both NIU and another institution, regardless of the order in which they were taken, the NIU grade shall be the one counted toward the student’s NIU grade point average. Moreover, in no case will the same or a substantially similar course for which credit has been received both at NIU and at another institution be counted twice toward the fulfillment of any requirement. In any case in which a student has taken a course at one institution and retaken it at that institution or another before transferring to NIU, the latest grade will be the one counted.

If a student is transferring to NIU with an A.A. or A.S. degree, or an A.A.T. degree in early childhood, secondary math, or special education, from an Illinois public community college, courses which were repeated at and accepted by the degree-granting college toward the degree also will transfer to NIU.

Similarly, an individual who earns a grade of D in a course equivalent to NIU’s COMS 100 and repeats the course, receiving a grade of C or better, will have satisfied the relevant requirement for teacher certification under NIU’s entitlement program. The student will not, however, earn additional credit hours.

Military Science Courses

Credit from another school in military science will be accepted in transfer to a maximum of 8 semester hours, as elective credit.

Religion Courses

Religion courses will be accepted in transfer to a maximum of 10 semester hours, as elective credit. Additional credit may be transferred for courses which are evaluated as acceptable substitutes.

Concurrent Enrollment

Any student seeking an NIU degree, even if taking less than the amount of NIU course work specified below, is strongly urged to obtain prior approval before enrolling concurrently at NIU and another institution. This procedure will assure that courses taken elsewhere will properly fit the student’s NIU degree program.

A student who is an enrolled NIU student (enrollment not interrupted by more than one year) who earns a baccalaureate-oriented A.A., A.S., or approved A.A.T. degree from an Illinois public community college, will have satisfied NIU’s general education requirements upon receipt of the official transcript with the degree posted. The student must meet the terms of concurrent enrollment, if applicable, and meet NIU’s residency requirements for graduation.

A student will be considered “concurrently enrolled” if enrolled both at NIU and at another institution and if any course taken at the other institution is in session at any time during the NIU semester or summer session in question.

Students taking more than two NIU courses in a semester (more than one in a summer session) must obtain prior approval from the dean of their major college, or the Vice Provost, if the student has no college affiliation, for any concurrent enrollment. A student not complying with this requirement may not receive transfer credit for work undertaken at another institution.

Other Academic Policies

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Classification of Students

Undergraduate students are classified as follows.
Freshmen–Fewer than 30 semester hours of credit
Sophomores–30 or more semester hours, but fewer than 60
Juniors–60 or more semester hours, but fewer than 90
Seniors–90 or more semester hours

Scholastic Load

The normal class load for undergraduate students is from 14 to 18 semester hours each semester. Students in their first semester of residence at the university may not carry more than 18 semester hours of work.

For the summer session, a normal class load is 9 semester hours for the entire summer session or 4 semester hours in either the first or last half session. Noncredit courses and audit courses are not considered a part of the class load for undergraduates.

Students who have established commendable scholastic records in the university (ordinarily at least a cumulative 3.00 GPA) may petition to take up to 21 semester hours of work during the semester and up to 12 semester hours in the summer. Petitions for overloads can be obtained at the student’s major college office.

Course Selection

This catalog contains a description of each undergraduate course offered at NIU. Restrictions, if any, on the use of a specific course for meeting a requirement in a student’s program are included in the course description. Other conditions governing a student’s enrollment in a course are stated in the prerequisites or corequisites of the course.

Many courses are listed with prerequisites. This reflects the view of the faculty that successful completion of the course requires certain background material contained in the prerequisite course. Instructors assume knowledge of the content of the prerequisite course; students who fail to meet the prerequisite will be at a serious disadvantage.

Courses designated as corequisites for a given course must be taken simultaneously unless previously completed. Prerequisites to, or corequisites with, a given course can be met through equivalencies. Questions concerning equivalencies should be addressed to the chair of the department offering the course which lists the prerequisites or corequisites.

Students are eligible to enroll in any courses for which they have the proper prerequisites. Normally, however, freshmen begin their studies in lower-division courses (those numbered 100 to 299).

Freshmen who want to enroll in 400-level courses must obtain approval from the offering department.

Undergraduates in Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit

Undergraduate students at NIU may complete a maximum of 6 semester hours of 500-, 600-, or 700-level course work for undergraduate credit, if they have completed 90 semester hours of credit towards their baccalaureate degree with a GPA of at least 3.00 or have previously completed a baccalaureate degree. They must also obtain, in advance, written approval from the instructor and from the office of the dean of the Graduate School to enroll in the course for undergraduate credit. In addition, for a 600- or 700-level course, the approval of the department offering the course is required.

Undergraduates in Courses for Graduate Credit

Seniors in their final semester at NIU who want to take courses for graduate credit (any 500-, 600-, or 700-level courses) must apply for and receive early admission to the Graduate School, which requires the same documents and approvals as regular admission. No student may enroll more than one term under early admission status. (See “Early Admission of NIU Undergraduates to the Graduate School.)

Graduate Students in Undergraduate Courses

Graduate students and students-at-large may enroll in undergraduate courses. Tuition for such classes is charged at the same rate as for graduate-level classes. While undergraduate course grades are not included in the graduate GPA, they are a part of the permanent record of the graduate student or student-at-large and appear on the transcript. Undergraduate hours are included in the calculation of academic load. For graduate students and students-at-large the deadlines and other conditions of enrolling in, dropping, or withdrawing from an undergraduate class are the same as those pertaining to a graduate class, as they are determined by the student’s level, not the class level.

Internships and Practicums

A number of departments offer internship and practicum programs designed to provide the student with practical experience in a given field. These programs, which may be located on or off campus, are available only to students who have complied with specific departmental requirements. Detailed information on such matters as admission, performance, dismissal, and appeal should be obtained from the departments offering internship and practicum experience.

A student enrolled in a practicum or internship or otherwise obtaining academic credit through work or placement at an outside agency may be subject to the rules, regulations, and policies of that agency as well as those of the university.

Auditing Courses

With the permission of the instructor, students wishing to attend a course without completing all the requirements for credit may register to audit the course. A student enrolled as an auditor receives no credit in the course audited, but will have the audit recorded on the transcript if requirements determined in advance, in writing, between the student and the course instructor are satisfied. In order to audit a course the student must

  • be eligible to enroll in the university;
  • obtain the permission of the instructor of the course, and, if the audit is to be recorded on the transcript, determine from the instructor what attendance or other requirements must be met. (If these requirements are not met, OW rather than O will be recorded for this course on the transcript. See “Grading System.”);
  • register in the usual way; and
  • pay the tuition which would be required if the course were being taken for credit.

An audited course is not considered part of the class load for undergraduate students. Registration in a course cannot be changed from audit to credit or credit to audit after the 15th calendar day of the semester. An audited course may be taken for credit in a later semester.

Attendance

The university does not use a “cut” system. Each instructor decides whether to excuse class absences and determines how to permit make-up work.

If a student will be absent from classes for a week or more because of an accident, illness, or other emergency, instructors will be notified of the absence only if students or their parents request it through the Division of Student Affairs. Health Services will not release information about students unless they provide a written request.

Leaves of absence will be granted for volunteer services related to disaster relief in accordance with applicable Illinois statutes or executive orders issued by the State of Illinois in response to emergency situations. To initiate a leave of absence, students should contact their College Dean’s office, or the vice provost (or the vice provost’s delegate) for any student who has no college affiliation. Following the period of volunteer service, Registration and Records will facilitate reenrollment of the student.

Students are expected to comply with each individual instructor’s established attendance policy. It is recommended that students avoid registering for classes in which they would amass significant absences. In the case of an absence due to required attendance at a university-sponsored event such as a department trip, performing arts activity, ROTC function, or athletic competition, reasonable attempts shall be made by faculty members to allow the student to make up missed work. Students are responsible for completing the work assigned and/or due on the days they are absent for university-sponsored events. Both the sponsoring unit and the student should inform the faculty member as soon as possible in the semester in order for arrangements to be made for completing missed assignments, examinations or other required course work. The student is required to provide each instructor with an official notification in advance of the absence (e.g., a letter from the chair of the sponsoring department, the head of the sponsoring unit, or the coach).

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

A student who believes that reasonable accommodations with respect to course work or other academic requirements may be appropriate in consideration of a disability must (1) provide the required verification of the disability to the Center for Access-Ability Resources, (2) meet with the Center for Access-Ability Resources to determine appropriate accommodations, and (3) inform the faculty in charge of the academic activity of the need for accommodation. Students are encouraged to inform the faculty of their requests for accommodations as early as possible in the semester, but must make the requests in a timely enough manner for accommodations to be appropriately considered and reviewed by the university. If contacted by the faculty member, the staff of the Center for Access-Ability Resources will provide advice about accommodations that may be indicated in the particular case. Students who make requests for reasonable accommodations are expected to follow the policies and procedures of the Center for Access-Ability Resources in this process, including but not limited to the Student Handbook.

A wide range of services can be obtained by students with disabilities, including housing, transportation, adaptation of printed materials, and advocacy with faculty and staff. Students with disabilities who need such services or want more information should contact the Center for Access-Ability Resources at 815-753-1303.

Religious Observances and the Academic Schedule

The university recognizes that on occasion examinations or other scheduled academic activities may conflict with the religious observances of some members of the academic community, and accordingly encourages the instructional and administrative staff to make reasonable accommodations to minimize the resulting difficulties for individuals concerned. Students faced with such conflicts should notify the appropriate instructor or administrative area as much in advance of the examination or other activity creating the conflict as possible. Students believing that they have been unreasonably denied an educational benefit due to their religious beliefs or practices may bring the matter to the attention of the department chair, or where, for any reason, this would not be appropriate, to the dean of their college, for resolution.

Academic Records and Encumbrances

The Office of Registration and Records will issue transcripts (copies of NIU permanent academic records) upon request to students and former students not subject to a record encumbrance. A fee of $5.00 is charged for each transcript.

A record encumbrance is a restriction placed on a student’s official academic record. Academic records may be encumbered under a number of circumstances, examples of which are past-due monetary obligation to the university (such as unpaid tuition, fees, fines, or residence hall charges); incomplete admission requirements (such as missing transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, etc.); and a disciplinary action by the university or the student judiciary.

Students may not be allowed to register or to have transcripts or diplomas issued after an encumbrance has been placed on their academic record. Students who have had an encumbrance placed on their record may direct inquiries to the office that requested the encumbrance or the Office of Registration and Records. Only the office requesting an encumbrance may authorize its removal. For immediate release of monetary encumbrances, all past-due obligations to the university must be paid for with a cashier’s check, certified check, or money order.

See also “Student Information and Records.”

Academic Integrity

Good academic work must be based on honesty. The attempt of any student to present as his or her own work that which he or she has not produced is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense. Students are considered to have cheated if they copy the work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or an assignment written, in whole or in part, by someone else. Students are responsible for plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging those sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them. Students responsible for, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university.

A faculty member has original jurisdiction over any instances of academic misconduct that occur in a course which the faculty member is teaching. The student shall be given the opportunity to resolve the matter in meetings with the faculty member and the department chair. If the facts of the incident are not disputed by the student, the faculty member may elect to resolve the matter at that level by levying a sanction no greater than an F for that course. The faculty member shall notify the student in writing whenever such action is taken, and the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct shall receive a copy of the Academic Misconduct Incident Report indicating final disposition of the case, which will be placed in the student’s judicial file. In all matters where the charge of academic misconduct is disputed by the student or if the faculty member feels a sanction greater than an F in the course is appropriate (such as repeated offenses or flagrant violations), the faculty member shall refer the matter to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct making use of the Academic Misconduct Incident Report. Additional sanctions greater than an F in a course can be levied only through the University Judicial System. With regards to finding the student either responsible or not responsible for his or her action, the ruling of the Judicial Hearing Board shall be binding. In cases where there is either a finding of responsibility or an admission of responsibility by the student, any recommendations by the hearing board regarding the course grade are non-binding on the instructor, who remains solely responsible for assigning a course grade, consistent with the policies set forth in the course syllabus.

Classroom Disruption

Higher education is a privilege accorded to those students deemed able to profit from the attendant intellectual experiences. Students admitted to NIU are assumed to have the maturity to function appropriately in a variety of instructional situations.

When a student’s behavior in a classroom, laboratory, or other formal learning environment is such that the rights of other enrolled students to an effective learning climate are being violated, the student shall lose the privilege of attending or receiving credit in the class.

In any case of the disruption of instruction by a student, the chair of the department may, after investigating the incident, suspend the student responsible from class attendance and recommend to the dean of the college that the student be permanently barred from the class. The student concerned is to be notified in writing of such action and may appeal the department’s recommendation to the dean within one week of notification. Upon such written appeal, the dean shall conduct a hearing, providing for a presentation of the facts relative to the disturbance. The decision of the dean shall be final. If the recommendation to bar the student from class is upheld, the student will be officially withdrawn from the course following regular withdrawal procedures, with the date upon which the student was initially suspended as the effective date of the withdrawal.

Extreme and/or disruptive behavior will constitute grounds for dismissal from the university. The Student Judicial Office handles allegations of such behavior; the policies and procedures of that office are outlined in the Student Judicial Code.

For other regulations governing conduct and discipline, see the section “Conduct and Discipline Regulations” in the “Legal Notices” section of this publication.

Oral English Proficiency in the Classroom

The state of Illinois requires that all classroom instructors at public higher education institutions be able to communicate effectively in the English language. Students should communicate concerns about the oral English language proficiency of instructors to the chair of the department in which the course is offered or, if the student prefers, to the Ombudsman, who will work with the department to resolve the matter.

 

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