Academic Policies

Under FERPA, a student is an individual who is or has been in attendance at an educational institution. Applicants do not have FERPA rights unless and until they are admitted and are in attendance at the University. Please note that only the actual student can submit a FERPA request to review their Records. 

The Add/Drop period occurs within the first two weeks of the semester.  During that period, a student may drop and add courses without academic and/or financial penalty on completion of the appropriate forms. A course that is dropped within the add/drop period will not appear on the transcript. If by dropping a course a student ceases to be enrolled, he or she is considered to have withdrawn from the University and must follow the readmission process if the student wishes to return to the University. Only elective courses may be dropped or added in the MOT, OTD, DPT, and CRNA programs.

Advanced standing credit for post-professional graduate programs:

Post-professional graduate programs may award advanced standing credit to students who have completed a formal post-professional course of study in a program accredited by a specialized accreditation agency. Advanced placement credits will be posted to the transcript only after completion of all other required coursework in residence. Award of such credit will be made at the discretion of the program; however, the following criteria must be met for advanced standing in the Master’s degree program:
1. Total hours awarded as advanced standing credit shall be determined by the program; however, the student must complete a minimum of 18 hours of additional Samuel Merritt University coursework for the master’s degree as outlined by the department/program.
2. The applicant must be in active clinical practice in the advanced practice specialty as evidence of currency in the specialty for which award of credit has been made.
3. The applicant must hold and maintain current certification/recertification in an advanced practice clinical specialty at the time of admission and throughout the program.
4. Advanced standing credit toward the Master’s degree will be awarded only to students holding a bachelor’s degree in a related field or in a degree acceptable to the department faculty.

Regular classroom attendance is expected and essential for successful academic achievement. Faculty may elect to establish attendance policies, including the assignment of a failing grade for excessive absences.  Students are responsible for all work missed because of absences and must make arrangements with their instructors to make up work. Make-up work for unexcused absences, including missed examinations, is at the discretion of the faculty member.

Attendance is required at all clinical assignments. These clinical experiences may include, but are not limited to, direct client care, skills labs, and observational experiences. The clinical experience is necessary for application of knowledge and skills, as well as for socialization to the professional role. A student is expected to give timely notice of any absence to his/her instructor and
to the clinical site, when appropriate. Unexcused absences may be interpreted as failure to meet course objectives and may result in a clinical grade of unsatisfactory for the course. See also specific department requirements.

Audit is a contract to attend theory/didactic classes without active participation, e.g., discussion, seminars, exams, and handouts. Audits are permitted only when space is available in the class. No credit is received for the audited course. Upon completion of the course, a grade of Z for audit is recorded on the permanent transcript. A student may only audit a course if they have previously passed the course or have completed an equivalent course through approved transfer credit. Students may audit courses outside of their program, with the approval of the instructor and department chair. Audit petitions are available on the Samuel Merritt University website and must be approved by both the course instructor and department chair. Audit petitions must be filed with the Registrar’s Office no later than the first two weeks of the term. Please refer to audit fees on the tuition and fees page. 

Currently enrolled students and/or applicants to any program may petition to challenge by examination knowledge and skills obtained through previous education and/or work experience which cannot be documented as transfer credit. Enrolled students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for a challenge examination. A course can be challenged only once, and a student cannot challenge a course he or she previously completed unsuccessfully. The units and grades earned as a result of a successful challenge will be recorded on the official transcript and will show as credit by examination. Unsuccessful challenge results will not be recorded. All challenge petitions must be filed by the end of the fourth week of the semester. 

 

All challenge fees are non-refundable and are to be paid at the time the petition is filed with the Office of the Registrar. The student completes the online petition form from the Office of the Registrar website and receives approval from the appropriate department chair or program director and faculty member. The student pays the fee to the Business Office. In a Nursing course involving both theory and clinical components, the theory component must be completed successfully before the clinical challenge is attempted.

 

Fees will be assessed for challenge credit, applicable to either didactic or clinical coursework. For those students challenging coursework ONLY in the Case Management Online Program, please refer to the program handbook for further details for both the expanded procedure to obtain challenge credit and a revised fee schedule.

 

For those programs requiring structured remediation subsequent to a failed clinical course/rotation, students may be required to enroll in a remediation experience from one-three units.  Enrollment in structured remediation can also be used to assess clinical skills after returning from a leave of absence (LOA) if required by the program in which they are enrolled.  Registration in the remediation course is not applicable to failed theory or laboratory courses and assumes that remediation will need to occur within a contracted clinical agency.  Structured remediation is not available to students on LOA.  

Coursework is devised and supervised by a faculty of record.  The formal remediation plan must be approved by the Dean, Chair or Program Director.  The plan does not need to be reviewed by the University Curriculum Committee or the Academic Vice President. 

Remediation coursework will not bear tuition; however, a fee will be required.  Faculty will not be paid for supervision.  Grading will be designated a S/U grade and appear on the transcript.  Students can submit a remediation petition from the University website at www.samuelmerritt.edu/registrar/forms. 

When the Dean/Chair/Director signature is obtained electronically, the form will be routed to the Office of the Registrar. 

 

Samuel Merritt University uses the semester unit system for representing course credits. One unit is awarded for each hour of classroom work per week, with the expectation that students will spend an additional three hours per week in study outside of the classroom. A semester normally includes 14-16 weeks of instruction. Thus a class which meets for at least fifty minutes three times per week is credited as three semester units of credit. Undergraduate laboratory work is credited at one unit per three contact hours. One hundred and twenty semester units is the minimum required for a baccalaureate degree and thirty-six
semester units of credit is the minimum required for the award of a master’s degree at Samuel Merritt University. The course numbering system is as follows:

Undergraduate Courses
000-099 Assigned to Lower Division Courses
100-199 Assigned to Upper Division Courses
400-499 Assigned to RN to BSN Courses

Graduate Courses
500-599 Assigned to courses taught at the graduate level in preparation for a graduate degree program
600-699 Assigned to courses at the master’s level
700-799 Assigned to courses at the doctoral level

* The letter L is used to denote laboratory courses or sections.

SMU Institutionally Established Equivalency
A credit hour is defined as an amount of work that reasonably approximates one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work each week (Carnegie Unit Definition), for approximately fifteen weeks or the equivalent of one semester. This policy makes no attempt to award units to clinical or laboratory hours by any standard methodology. The University’s expectation is that clinical or laboratory ratios may vary by program.
 

The final week of the academic semester is designated “Finals Week.”
Departments may choose to conduct final examinations or require submission of final projects/papers prior to this week. Due dates for papers and projects and dates/times for final examinations outside of the designated finals week must be approved by the Department Chair/Program Director and defined in course syllabi. The academic department is responsible for conducting final examinations in a reasonable and pedagogically sound manner, and for ensuring that instructional hours delivered in all courses are consistent with assigned credit hours. The department chair is responsible for the maintenance of this policy.

Most petitions and forms are available as electronic forms on the Samuel Merritt University website (www.samuelmerritt.edu). It is the student’s responsibility to file all appropriate petitions and forms by the dates set in the Registrar’s Office calendar.
 

Grading, All Programs

Each school, department or program is responsible for establishing and providing to its students both a progression policy and a grading policy. Under no circumstances will any form of “D” or “F” or “U” be considered a passing grade for any course or clinical experience in University programs. At the end of each semester a student’s work in each course is evaluated and assigned a grade.

Samuel Merritt University recognizes the following letter grades and assigns point value as listed below:

Grade   Description        Point Value

A                                         4.0

A-                                       3.7

B+                                       3.3

B                                         3.0

B-                                        2.7

C+                                       2.3

C                                         2.0

C-                                        1.7

D+                                       1.3

D                                         1.0

D-                                       0.7

F                                         0

I             Incomplete        Not computed

IP           In progress         Not computed

P*          Pass                     Not computed

S            Satisfactory        Not computed

U            Unsatisfactory   0

W          Withdrawal        Not computed

Z            Audit                   Not computed

* May be used only if designated in the catalog and student handbook course description or by petition.

Plus/Minus Grading

Each school, department, and program shall determine to what extent and under what circumstances plus/minus grading is used. If used, a plus adds three-tenths (.3) to the grade point value up to a maximum of four grade points, while a minus reduces the grade point value by three-tenths (.3).

Grade Changes

Final grades are permanent with the exception of “I” (incomplete) and “IP” (in progress) and are to be changed only in the case of error in computation or recording. The student may not submit additional work, rewrite papers, nor make-up or retake examinations to improve a grade which has been officiallyrecorded in the Office of the Registrar. All grade change requests must be submitted to the instructor within the first two weeks of the next full semester after the grade was assigned. Once this period has passed, no grade changes will be made. The student may appeal the denial of a grade change request byfollowing the Grievance Policy and Procedures listed in this Catalog/Handbook.

All graduating students are required to complete an online Petition for
Graduation, no later than the first week of their final term. The Petition for
Graduation form must be filed, even if the student is not planning to participate in commencement activities. All graduating students are assessed a graduation fee whether or not they plan to participate in commencement exercises. The graduation fee is applied to the cost of the final degree audit, preparation of records for licensing agencies, the diploma, academic regalia worn at commencement, and expenses for the commencement ceremony. Without this form, the Registrar’s Office cannot guarantee that a student’s name will appear in the commencement program, and diplomas will not be printed without a completed petition.

Dates of Degree Conferral
Graduation dates posted on the transcript and diploma are the official last day of the student’s final term, as listed on the academic calendar. If a student’s eligibility status changes after filing for a designated degree date, the student’s anticipated degree date will be moved to the official end of the next semester, contingent upon the completion of all degree requirements.

Graduation with honors is awarded to undergraduate students who have
achieved the following minimum cumulative grade point average in all Samuel Merritt University work completed toward the baccalaureate degree:
● Summa cum laude – 3.85 to 4.00
● Magna cum laude – 3.70 to 3.84
● Cum laude – 3.50 to 3.69

Dean's List

In order to be eligible for Dean's List, an undergraduate student must 1) be enrolled in at least 10 units and 2) achieve a current term grade point average of 3.50 or higher.

A grade of “I” or “incomplete” may be assigned by the faculty member when the student’s work is substantially complete yet incomplete due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. A online petition for an incomplete must be initiated by the student, and approved by the faculty member, prior to the deadline for the submission of the term grades. It is not the responsibility of the faculty member to petition for an incomplete grade, but an instructor may originate an incomplete grade if the student is unable to do so and has specifically requested an incomplete grade from the instructor. The petition must include the reason for the incomplete grade, the coursework to be completed, and the deadline for submitting the work. The student must satisfactorily complete the work prior to the end of the next semester in which the course is offered. 

 

Upon completion of the coursework, the instructor must submit an online change of grade form to the Registrar's Office. An incomplete grade not changed by the due date will be changed to an “F.” An extension of the due date, not to exceed one semester, may be requested for extraordinary reasons. An incomplete grade may be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements, at the discretion of the appropriate department chair.

 

An independent study is a type of elective course that provides students the opportunity to meet their educational needs which exceeds course content available in the regular curriculum. An independent study course cannot be used as 1)remediation for previously failed coursework or 2) as a requirement to assess clinical skills after returning from a leave of absence. Independent study courses shall in all cases be equal in rigor and time requirements for learning activities as any other course offered by the University. A syllabus will be required for review and approval by the University Curriculum Committee. All independent study courses must have a qualified Faculty of Record. Signature approval of the independent study course by the Dean/Chair and the Academic Vice President is required. An independent study course can be taken by any upper division undergraduate student or graduate student in good academic standing. All independent study courses must be completed in a single semester. An independent study course may range from one to three semester units, as justified by the course syllabus. All independent study courses will bear normal tuition unless, in exceptional circumstances, waived by the Academic Vice President. Grading will follow published policy. Students can submit an independent study petition from the University website. 

The symbol “IP” is employed in theses/synthesis projects, special research studies and field studies, and other courses as approved by the department chair where assigned work extends beyond a single academic term and may include
enrollment in more than one term. The symbol indicates that work in progress has been evaluated as satisfactory to date; assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional coursework. All work is to be completed within one calendar year of the date of first enrollment. An extension may be permitted with the approval of the instructor and the department chair as long as the student completes the program within the required length of time (see Length of Study for Graduate Program). A final grade will be assigned to all segments of the course based on overall quality. The grading symbol “IP” will not be used in calculating grade point average. If the “IP” grade is not converted to a letter grade within the appropriate period, it becomes an “F” and is used in computing the grade point average in the semester the “IP” changes. Approval to assign an “IP” grade in courses other than those listed requires the written approval of the appropriate department chair. 

Personal Leave of Absence:

At the discretion of the University, a personal leave of absence may be granted for up to one year for students in good academic standing and for compelling reasons. Good academic standing means that the student's current work in all courses meets or exceeds the minimum expected published GPA of the program in order to matriculate. The request form is available on the Samuel Merritt University website. Students must clear with financial services and financial aid before receiving approval from the department chair or program director. For financial aid recipients, under federal guidelines, a student on a leave of absence is considered withdrawn from the University. A leave of absence guarantees enrollment upon the student’s return but does not ensure placement in specific coursework. Upon return, students need to complete a new background check (and drug screen if appropriate) and update all clinical paperwork. All prior account balances must be cleared and the student must reapply for financial aid. The specific program may require a form of remediation for certain courses prior to students return (see program handbook for details). A student must submit awritten request for re-entry to the Office of the Registrar a minimum of 60 days prior to re-entry. Students will be charged the current tuition rate upon return. Samuel Merritt University will withdraw the student from the program and University if the student does not return by the indicated year and term.

 

Academic Suspension: 

Academic suspension is an involuntary leave required by the University. An example is the unsuccessful completion of a course for which a student must wait for the course to be taught again. Academic suspension is approved at the discretion of the program chair and the Academic Vice President and Provost or the Vice President of Student Affairs for behavioral matters. Upon return, students need to complete a new background check (and drug screen if appropriate) and update all clinical paperwork. Upon return, students need to complete a new background check (and drug screen if appropriate) and update all clinical paperwork

Graduate students in the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), Master Physician Assistant (MPA), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs must achieve satisfactory academic performance, including: a passing grade in all didactic courses; a grade of “S” on all clinical experiences; and a cumulative grade point average of: 2.0 (MOT), 2.5 (OTD), 2.7 (DPT), 2.8 (MPA) and 3.0 (MSN). Graduate students are also required to complete evaluation instruments assessing their learning experiences, including clinical coursework, at periodic intervals.


Graduate students in the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program who satisfactorily complete the four year curriculum as outlined in the current catalog and student handbook, have at least a cumulative grade point average of 2.5, take and pass the 3 rd year Clinical Rotation Practical Examinations, the 3rd Year Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination (APMLE) Part I, and take the APMLE Part II Examination and the APMLE Part II Clinical Skills Patient Encounter (CSPE) Examination are eligible for the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Applications for graduation are available on the Samuel Merritt University website.

Double Credit
The same course may not be used to fulfill a degree requirement in two different programs.

Length of Study for Graduate Program
MPA, DPT, DPM, MOT and OTD: Students are expected to complete the programs in the full-time, sequential two and one-half year curriculum as described in each program curriculum description. DNP, DPM and DPT students must complete their programs in no more than six years from the date of matriculation. Post-professional master’s degrees: Since students may pursue the master’s degree either as a full-time (minimum six units/semester) or as a part-time student, the time necessary for completion of the degree varies considerably. Students are expected to complete their programs in no more than six years from
the date of matriculation.

Study Load and Residency Requirements (MSN, ELMSN, DNP)
Students in post-professional master’s degree programs are required to register for three units each semester in order to maintain part-time enrollment (see Leave of Absence policy). The minimum full-time load is six units per semester. Maximum study load limitations may be exceeded by approval of the appropriate chair/dean and will be billed accordingly. A minimum of 36 units are required; 27 units must be completed in residency.

GRADUATE PROBATION AND DISMISSAL

ELMSN Pre-licensure and Post-licensure courses, MSN (all tracks) and DNP

Students who do not successfully meet the learning objectives of a course fail the course. Course failure affects program progression and may result in probation and/or dismissal from the program.

Course Failure
Failure of any class requires repeating it at the next offering on a space available basis. If a failed course is required for progressing in the program, the student cannot progress. The student will receive a letter of suspension from that course until they are able to repeat and successfully pass it. A second failure, at any time in the program prompts an automatic dismissal from the program. If at any time a student’s cumulative GPA is less than 2.5 it is automatic dismissal from the program.

Minimum GPA Requirements
During any period of enrollment, if a student's cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 but greater than or equal to 2.5, they are placed on academic probation. The student will receive a letter from the Registrar's office notifying them of their academic probation. The student has two consecutive semesters to improve their cumulative GPA to greater than or equal to 3.0. If they are unable to improve their cumulative GPA to 3.0 by the end of the third (second consecutive probation) semester, they are dismissed from the program. The student will receive a letter from the Registrar's office notifying them of their dismissal.

Multiple Component Courses
For those courses in which there is both a theory and clinical/lab component, both components must receive a passing grade in order to pass the course. For example, if a student fails the theory portion of the course they will receive a failing grade for the theory, clinical, and/or lab course. Conversely, if the failure is in the clinical/lab component, even if the student is passing theory, they will receive a failing grade in the theory, clinical and/or lab course. In either scenario, both course components must be repeated.

Incomplete Grades
If an Incomplete is assigned for a course, the student will have one semester (the semester after the course has finished), to rectify the incomplete. If the incomplete is not rectified by the end of the following semester, the student will be assigned an F and fail the course.

MASTER PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
An entry-level physician assistant student may be suspended from the program if s/he earns a grade of “D” in a required class or “Unsatisfactory” on a field experience, affiliation or the internship. The physician assistant curriculum is sequential. Courses and affiliations must be taken in sequence. Therefore, the student is suspended until the course is repeated or another affiliation can be arranged. S/he may not progress in the curriculum until the course or affiliation is successfully completed or graduate until the internship is completed. An MPA student is subject to dismissal if (1) a course, field experience, affiliation, or internship is not successfully repeated at its next offering; or (2) the student receives a second “D”/“U” grades in required courses or field experiences, affiliations or internships; or (3) a student receives a grade of “F” in any required course. Students in the MPA program must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 throughout the program. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.8 will be placed on probation. Students on probation for a GPA below 2.8 who fail to raise their cumulative GPA to a minimum of 2.8 two semesters following being placed on probation will be dismissed from the program. Any student whose cumulative GPA is below 2.8 at the end of the fourth and final didactic semester will be dismissed from the program.

MASTER and DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
An entry-level occupational therapy student may be suspended from the program if s/he earns a grade of “D” in a required class or “Unsatisfactory” on a field experience, affiliation or the internship. The occupational therapy curriculum is sequential. Courses and affiliations must be taken in sequence. Therefore, the student is suspended until the course is repeated or another affiliation can be arranged. S/he may not progress in the curriculum until the course or affiliation is successfully completed or graduate until the internship is completed. An MOT student is subject to dismissal if (1) a course, field experience, affiliation, or internship is not successfully repeated at its next offering; or (2) the student receives a second “D”/“U” grades in required courses or field experiences, affiliations or internships; or (3) a student receives a grade of “F” in any required course.

DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY
A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.7 (a B- average) will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation must attain a minimum of a 2.7 semester GPA for each subsequent didactic semester until their cumulative GPA is a minimum of 2.7. Once the student’s cumulative GPA raises to 2.7 or above, the student will be removed from academic probation. Once removed from academic probation, if the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.7, the student will be dismissed from the program. A student who does not pass one didactic or clinical course will have one opportunity to repeat the course at its next offering. If the student does not pass the course on the second attempt, the student will be dismissed. The physical therapy curriculum is sequential. Both didactic and clinical courses must be taken in sequence. Therefore, a student cannot continue on in the curriculum while waiting to repeat a course. A student with two or more instances of a D, an F or
a U recorded on their transcript will be dismissed.

DOCTOR OF PODIATRIC MEDICINE

Students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.70 during the first semester. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.70 or lower at the end of the 2nd semester and thereafter, will be dismissed from the university without appeal.

Starting at the end of the 1st semester and thereafter, students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.80 will be placed on Academic Probation.

Graduate Dismissal (All Programs)
A student is subject to dismissal if at any time during a course, unsafe clinical performance or behavior jeopardizes the safety of the student or others.

Graduation Procedures
All graduating students are required to complete an online Petition for Graduation, no later than the first week of their final term. The Petition for Graduation form must be filed, even if the student is not planning to participate in commencement activities. All graduating students are assessed a graduation fee whether or not they plan to participate in commencement exercises. The
graduation fee is applied to the cost of the final degree audit, preparation of records for licensing agencies, the diploma and, academic regalia worn at Commencement, and expenses for the commencement ceremony. Without this form, the Registrar’s Office cannot guarantee that a student’s name will appear in the commencement program, and diplomas will not be printed without a completed petition.

Graduates: Eligibility to participate in the Graduation Ceremony
A petition for graduation must be filed in the Office of the Registrar no later than the end of the first week of the semester in which commencement occurs. Commencement exercises are ceremonial only and in no way imply completion of program requirements or degree conferral. Completion dates (end of term) are posted on the transcript and the diploma is awarded only upon completion of all requirements for the degree.

Dates of Degree Conferral
Graduation dates posted on the transcript and diploma are the official last day of the student’s final term, as listed on the academic calendar. If a student’s eligibility status changes after filing for a designated degree date, the student’s anticipated degree date will be moved to the official end of the next semester, contingent upon the completion of all degree requirements.

All students must satisfactorily complete all required prerequisite courses to progress in the major. In order to graduate, students must be in good standing, meet all program and residency requirements, and attain a cumulative and major grade point average of 2.0.

Progression
For satisfactory progression, students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all courses in fulfillment of the degree. A student who receives a grade lower than “C“ in a theory course and/or a grade lower than “S” in a clinical course required by the Board of Registered Nursing may, providing space is available, repeat the course only once. The theory and clinical components of repeated courses must be taken concurrently.

The following pertains to pre-licensure courses for ABSN, BSN, and ELMSN. Graduate directors and chairs may adopt it at their discretion for graduate courses. In those courses for which there is both a theory and clinical/lab component, failure to achieve the theory grade designated by the program will result in the student being required to repeat both theory and clinical/lab regardless of the grade in the clinical/lab component. Failure to successfully complete the clinical/lab component is recorded as an F grade for theory regardless of the grade calculated in the theory component and clinical/lab.

Probation
At the conclusion of each term, students enrolled in Samuel Merritt University are subject to academic probation if the current semester, cumulative, or major grade point average is less than 2.00. If academic probation is not removed, the student is dismissed from the University. After one term on probation, students may also lose eligibility for financial aid. All students on probation are required to meet with their academic advisor. Probationary status is removed following a semester of satisfactory work completed in residence, provided the overall cumulative grade point average and the major grade point average are restored to 2.0.

Dismissal
An undergraduate student is dismissed from Samuel Merritt University if:
• Probationary status is not removed at the conclusion of the next semester and the required minimum cumulative GPA is not maintained during all remaining semesters.
• She or he receives two grades of less than “C” in courses completed while enrolled at Samuel Merritt University.
• The current semester or cumulative grade point average falls below 1.40
at the conclusion of a regular term.
A student is subject to dismissal from Samuel Merritt University if:
● At any time during a course, performance or behavior jeopardizes the safety of self or others.
Students may appeal dismissal under prescribed grievance policy (see SMU Student Grievance Policy, Process, and Procedures).
 

 

Samuel Merritt University does not grant readmission to the same program from which a student has been dismissed. 

Students who have voluntarily withdrawn from the University and are seeking readmission must comply with current admission policies.  Readmission is competitive and not guaranteed.  The student may not have an outstanding balance on his or her tuition account.  The request for readmission is reviewed by the dean, department chair or program director, and their decision regarding readmission is communicated to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services who will notify the applicant.

Registration is held for all students approximately thirty days before the beginning of each semester. Advising and registration dates are published in the academic calendar available on the Samuel Merritt University website. Tuition and fees are due and payable prior to the first day of class. Any other financial arrangement must be established with the Business Office prior to registration day. Each student must complete online registration in SMURF each term. The student is financially and academically responsible for all courses on the course schedule.


Students in Grievance Process
A student suspended or dismissed from the University under the graduate and undergraduate progression and graduation policies and who is involved in the grievance process outlined in this catalog and student handbook will be allowed to register for non-clinical classes in the semester immediately following the ruling while his/her appeal is being heard. This policy does not apply to students whose next semester involves only clinical courses as defined by the program. The student, if otherwise eligible, will be allowed to collect financial aid and will be required to pay tuition as any regularly registered student. If applicable, the student’s refund will be held on account until the grievance is resolved. If the dismissal is upheld, the effective date will be the end of the previous term. Any financial aid refunds will be retained by the University until the decision has been made. At that point, all eligible financial aid will be returned to the appropriate financial aid agency. If the dismissal is overturned, any financial aid refunds will be processed. If, at the end of the grievance procedure, the appeal is denied (upholding the suspension or dismissal from the University), the student’s registration status will be revoked and the student will be suspended or dismissed. If, at the end of the grievance procedure, the appeal is upheld (overturning the suspension or dismissal) the registrar will return the student to a regular registration status.
 

Undergraduate:
The grade achieved in a repeated course does not replace the original grade on the transcript. Only the most recent grade, however, will be used in computing the cumulative grade point average. Refer to the section on Undergraduate
Progression and Graduation for information about repeating required courses. For tuition charges on repeated courses, please see Financial Information. When a course is failed and is not scheduled to be offered again because of a curriculum revision, efforts will be made to assist the student in completing requirements for the degree in the new curriculum or, where feasible, by
independent study.


Graduate:
The grade achieved in a repeated course does not replace the original grade on the transcript. Only the most recent grade, however, will be used in computing the cumulative grade point average. Refer to the section on Graduate Progression and Graduation for information about repeating required courses. For tuition charges on repeated courses, please see Financial Information.


MSN only: A student who has earned a grade lower than a “B” in a course may petition to retake that course one time. A student will be allowed only one such course repetition during his or her graduate studies at Samuel Merritt University. In the case of a course repetition, only the most recent grade will be used in calculating the student’s cumulative grade point average, although both grades will be permanently inscribed on the student’s record. Students should file a petition with the Registrar to request a course repetition. Final approval is made by the department chair.

UNDERGRADUATE
Full-time status is accorded any undergraduate student taking 10 or more units per term. Part-time status is assigned to students taking less than 10 units per term. Federal regulations obligate students to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units each regular term in order to retain full-time financial aid eligibility. Special status is accorded students enrolled without the intention of pursuing a degree.


GRADUATE
Full-time status is accorded any graduate student taking 6 or more units per term. Part-time student status is assigned to students with 3 to 5 units per term. Less than part-time student status is assigned to students with less than 3 units.


GRADUATE —CONDITIONAL (MSN)
A graduate student whose admission to become a regular student is conditional, but who has obtained the permission of the chair of the department to enroll in coursework for that department, or a student whose prior academic preparation does not include courses which are prerequisite for admission to regular graduate status, or a student whose prior academic work is not sufficiently strong to merit full acceptance as a regular graduate student, but who has obtained the permission of the chair/dean of their department to enroll for a specific set of courses, has conditional status. A graduate student with conditional status must
meet the specific conditions set by the chair/dean of their department before s/he will be reclassified to regular graduate student status. If specifically approved by the chair, courses taken by a student with conditional status will count towards the completion of regular graduate degree requirements. Conditional graduate students may register for two courses per semester for two semesters (total of four courses).


GRADUATE —SPECIAL STATUS
A student with special status is one admitted by the University for coursework only, or a modified program of study, but who is not working towards a degree or certificate within the MSN program. Special student status is approved by the chair on a form provided by the Admission Office and must be renewed each semester. Conditions for obtaining special student status and for the renewal of this status are set by each department. Students with special status may register for classes only if space is available. A student with special status who wishes to change to regular status must apply for admission, must meet all regular
graduate admission standards, and if accepted, will be expected to complete all requirements for the degree. Special status students may register for two courses per semester for two semesters (for a maximum of four courses). Upon acceptance as a regular student, courses taken while on special student status may count towards graduate degree requirements upon recommendation by the graduate advisor and approval by the chair.


GRADUATE - (MOT/OTD/MPA/DPT)
The MOT, OTD, MPA, and DPT curricula are full-time programs with sequential coursework. Students are expected to take all courses in a semester and each semester in sequence. Normally all courses are taken in residence. Part-time status is defined as anything less than enrollment in all required courses in a given semester. Part-time status may be granted by the department chair in the following cases:
1. A student who was administratively withdrawn from a course(s) and is now completing the course(s).
2. A student who was suspended from the program for unsatisfactory performance in a course or affiliation and is now repeating that course or affiliation.
3. A special status student requests to take a course(s).
4. A student who has completed transferable work (see Transfer Credit).

All students are required to complete course evaluations assessing outcomes of their learning and evaluation of teaching. Course evaluations are required for every class in which a student is enrolled.  Course evaluations are conducted electronically via computer or handheld device.

Courses taken at a regionally accredited institution may be transferred with approval from the department chair or program director who will determine that the transfer course fulfills the content and course objectives of the University’s requirement. Please see the specific program handbook for policy on transfer courses. All courses submitted for transfer credit must have been completed prior to admission to Samuel Merritt University. The student must have received a minimum grade of “C” in undergraduate and professional program courses, or “B” in post-professional courses. Transfer credit is limited to nine semester units.

 

Procedure for the evaluation of transfer credit:

1. Student submits the online transfer credit petition and course syllabus.

 

2. The online petition is automatically routed to the student’s department chair to review and approve or deny transfer credit.

 

3. The petition is then routed to the Registrar’s Office to add the approved credit to the student’s transcript, and the student is notified. Approved transfer credit is added to the student’s academic record and is calculated into the student’s cumulative grade point average at Samuel Merritt University.

 

After the end of the drop/add period, a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty up until the midpoint of the course, as specified in the course syllabus, or when no more than 50 percent of the course has been completed, whichever occurs last. A student may withdraw from a single course only once.The course remains on the student transcript with a grade of “W”. Petitions to withdraw from a course beyond this period would be approved only for serious and compelling reasons such as serious accident or illness. The approval of the instructor and the department chair are required on the petition form, which the student files in the Registrar’s Office. If the petition is granted, the course remains on the student record with a “W” grade. If the petition is denied or the student fails to complete course requirements without formally withdrawing, the grade will be determined by the instructor based on the grading policy and requirements as noted in the course syllabus.
 

Any student who leaves the University during a term or who terminates enrollment at the end of a term must complete the withdrawal form available on the Samuel Merritt University website. Withdrawal from the University through the tenth week of instruction will result in grades of “W” in all courses.  Eligibility to withdraw from the University after the tenth week will be determined individually. A student who has voluntarily withdrawn from the University may request readmission by applying to the Dean of Admission.
 

Students wishing to request consideration for which a specific petition process does not exist should file an Open Petition Request online.