Jul 13, 2024  
NCU Catalog - October 2020 
NCU Catalog - October 2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic & University Policies

Educational Materials and Resources

Appropriate course materials, course syllabi, and course outlines are used for each course. Required course materials are indicated in the course syllabus by title, author, publisher, and ISBN. Students that opt out of the Course Materials Fee (CMF) are responsible for purchasing course materials identified in the syllabus they are issued for each course. Students that opt in to the CMF will have materials provided for them. Note: required course materials, textbooks, or other readings are not eligible for interlibrary loan in the Library.

It is students’ responsibility to make sure they purchase the primary course materials if they opt out of the CMF and or other textbook(s) and resources required in the syllabus the student is issued. Students must determine from their syllabus what course materials are required. NCU may have more than one version of a particular syllabus issued to students. NCU is not responsible for student purchases of course materials that do not match assigned syllabi.

NCU partners with several online textbook suppliers. Students having difficulty finding required textbooks and course materials may contact their Academic and Finance Advisor or email bookstore@ncu.edu for assistance.

Program, Course Start Date

The program start date is the start date of the first course in the student’s program. Courses are available to begin on Monday of each week.

Once a student is registered for a course, the start date may not be moved. To start the course at a later time, the student must drop the course and re-register. Compliance with the Attendance policy is mandatory regardless of any courses dropped or added.

Students may contact their Academic and Finance Advisor for assistance in determining the latest date they may start a course without violating the Attendance policy.

Coursework may not be submitted until the course start date.

Add/Drop/Withdraw Period

Students may add, cancel or withdraw from a course at any time. To cancel or withdraw from a course, students can contact their Academic and Finance Advisor at learnerservices@ncu.edu or call (888) 628-6904. Cancellation or Withdrawal will be effective on the date that the notice is received.

If a student wishes to add a course outside of the prescribed degree plan, they will take the course as a non-degree seeking student.

Students who withdraw from a course are subject to the grading policies and refund policy outlined in the Course Catalog and are responsible for repaying loans obtained plus interest, less the amount of any refund due under the refund policy.

Dropping a Course

Courses dropped during the first seven days of the course session, or 14 days fora term based School of Law program will be issued a “DR” grade. Dropped courses will not be counted in the units attempted unless a student has posted attendance [in accordance with the University’s Attendance policy] during the first seven days of the course.

A student may not receive more than three “DR” grades with attendance per degree program.

NOTE: Students begin earning Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds on their first day of attendance. Students may be eligible to receive a post-withdrawal/post-drop disbursement of the FSA funds earned but not yet received. To minimize the potential abuse of FSA funds, the University limits the number of “DR” grades with attendance a student can receive to a maximum of three per program.

Students who exceed the maximum number of DR grade with attendance may be administratively withdrawn from their program and prevented from registering for the next course until they have explained the reason for the multiple “DR” grades with attendance. It is then at the discretion of the University if the student will be allowed to continue in the program.

Once a student is registered for a course, the start date may not be moved. To start the course at a later time, the student must drop the course and re-register.

Students who discontinue a course after the seven-day drop period, or  or fourteen day drop period for term based School of Law programs,are subject to the Withdrawal Policy.

Refunds of tuition for a dropped course will be made as described in the

  section of the catalog.

Attendance Requirements

NCU requires students to be in attendance at least once every 28 calendar days from the last date of attendance.

When doctoral candidates are not actively enrolled in a course, they have limited communication with NCU support staff and may not engage in certain activities related to their research. Specifically, doctoral candidates must be actively enrolled in a course to have contact with their dissertation chair. Doctoral candidates must also be actively enrolled in a course in order to perform data collection or have any contact with their human subjects if their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application has been approved.

Academic-Related Activities

Academic-Related Activities (ARAs) are used to determine a student’s official last date of attendance and corresponding enrollment status at the University. ARAs are also used to determine the effective date of active and withdrawn enrollment statuses. Academic-Related activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Uploading or completing an assignment (e.g., paper, project) in an online course
  • Course related online quizzes
  • Accessing academically related online content within or related to an online course
  • Participating in the Discussion Forum section of an online course (e.g., commenting on a discussion question posted by the faculty member, providing feedback to another student), provided that the discussion is related to the course content

Note: Academic-related activities must be posted to an online course no later than Sunday at 11:59 P.M. Arizona time each week. See Grading Policies & Procedures for additional details on assignment deadlines.

Continuous Enrollment

To comply with continuous enrollment, all students must earn attendance at least once every 28 consecutive calendar days. Students who fall out of continuous enrollment will be administratively withdrawn from the University on the 29th day after their actual last date of attendance.

The Office of the Registrar’ Student Records department is responsible for monitoring compliance with continual enrollment requirements. Academic and Finance Advisors are notified of administrative withdrawals for non-compliance and are responsible for deleting scheduled courses when students fall out of continuous enrollment.

Note: Students in School of Law programs are required to maintain regular (continuous) enrollment in their program. To maintain continuous enrollment, students must remain in compliance with attendance policies or petition for a Leave of Absence.

Enrollment Status

The University recognizes the following program-level enrollment statuses:

Enrollment Status Code Definition
Active Full-Time F The student is enrolled and attending a course that meets the student’s academic degree completion requirements. The student is actively attending class and the student’s official last date of attendance based on academic‐ related activities does not exceed 28 consecutive days.
Active Less Than Half-Time L

The student is enrolled and attending a course that does not meet the student’s academic degree completion requirements, as determined by the institution, or the student is on administrative leave.

Leave of Absence A

The student is on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA)

Withdrawn W The student has been withdrawn from the University. Withdrawal can be unofficial, official, or administrative.
Graduated G The student has completed all program requirements and degree is conferred.

Semester Credit Hours

NCU awards credit earned based on semester credits. Most courses carry 3 semester credits. It is expected that a student taking a 3-credit course will need to spend approximately 135-144 hours on learning experiences such as reading and study; research; faculty-student interaction; demonstration of defined learning outcomes through assignments, papers and projects; examinations; and assessment of performance.

Student Workload

Active students enrolled in undergraduate courses may take a maximum of 12 credits at a time without Dean approval. Undergraduate students requesting to take more than 12 credits simultaneously must be approved by their school Dean.

Active students enrolled in graduate courses may take a maximum of 6 credits at a time without Dean approval. Graduate students requesting to take more than 6 credits simultaneously must be approved by their school Dean. 


The University awards letter grades in recognition for academic performance in each course. Grade points are assigned to each academic performance grade, with the exception of S, U, R, and RD grades, and are used to calculate a Grade Point Average (GPA) for each student. 

Grade Appeals

Students and faculty are encouraged to proactively communicate to address any grading questions or concerns while the course is still in session however, a final course grade may be appealed if:

  • A computational error was made in the calculation of a course or assignment grade
  • Documented active military duty, which resulted in an inability to continue in the course or program
  • Documented personal or family medical emergency
    • Students should first notify Disabilities Services and provide documentation to the appropriate personnel
  • Documented act of nature (e.g., hurricane, wildfires, etc.)
  • Documented death in the family
  • Documented temporary severe economic hardship

NOTE: Family is defined as including husband, wife, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, (step/adoptive) mother, (step/adoptive) father, (step/adoptive) brother, (step/adoptive) sister, and (step/adoptive) child.

The final grade appeal process is not designed to accommodate issues such as, but not limited to:

  • Time management concerns
  • Submission of an assignment after the course end date has passed
  • IT or technology related issues
  • Job demands

Below is additional information on the grade appeal procedure:

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the standard by which NCU measures students’ progress toward completion of a degree or certificate program. The three components of SAP are Grade Point Average (GPA), Course Completion Rate (pace), and Maximum Timeframe. If at any time, a student is not meeting the minimum requirements for SAP, they will receive an email notification in NCUOne as well as an email to the address on file. However, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to know these requirements, and failure to receive notification does not nullify the SAP status.

Time Limits for Degree Completion

Students at NCU are held to two standards regarding time to degree completion: Satisfactory Academic Progress and Academic Maximum Time Frame.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a standard by which NCU measures students’ progress toward completion of a degree or certificate program. The three components of SAP are Grade Point Average (GPA), Course Completion Rate (pace), and SAP Maximum Time Frame. For Academic Maximum Time Frame, NCU sets the deadline in calendar years from the first date of attendance in the degree program. SAP Maximum Time Frame rules will supersede Academic Maximum Time Frame when it comes to financial aid eligibility.

Changing Degree Programs

Students must contact their Academic and Finance Advisor for assistance in changing their degree program. Student and Financial Services are required to evaluate the impact on federal financial aid eligibility when a student requests to change degree programs after federal financial aid has been disbursed. In some cases, a program change will result in a return of federal aid per the withdrawal from the initial program and the immediate re-packaging of federal aid that will apply towards the new program.

Changes of school, degree level, specialization, and changes from a professional doctorate to a doctorate of philosophy or vice versa, require Dean approval.

Upon receiving Dean approval, students must complete a new application and enrollment agreement for the new degree program. The student’s new application and Dean approval is then submitted to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation and admissions approval in accordance with University policy. Once approved, the Office of the Registrar updates the student’s degree plan and program of study.

Program Discontinuation

If the University decides to discontinue an academic program, all students that remain continuously enrolled are afforded the opportunity to complete their program. Doctoral students that have advanced to candidacy will have the option to complete their program even if they have had a break in enrollment.

Academic Leave of Absence

NCU programs are designed to allow students to pursue their educational efforts full-time while managing other responsibilities. NCU will consider granting an Academic Leave of Absence (ALOA) for a student who is experiencing hardships that make effective progress in their academic course of study unusually difficult. A leave of absence is defined as a temporary break from academic registration with a clear intent to return to the program of study.

Leaves are only available to students who have provided their official transcripts and have been officially admitted to the university, are currently in active status and have proceeded beyond the drop period in at least one course since beginning their program of study. Students on approved ALOA who receive Federal Financial Aid are not considered withdrawn, and a return of funds is not required. Students may not receive Federal Financial Aid disbursements while on an ALOA.

Policy and procedure for students who require a leave of absence due to military deployment are given in the Military Leave of Absence policy.

Military Leave of Absence

A student may request a Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) online or by contacting their Academic and Finance Advisor and submitting a copy of supporting documents. A copy of the student’s military orders, a letter from their commanding officer, or other documentation will be required to support the request for military leave. The student may request any length for the leave, so long as it does not begin more than 30 days prior to the assignment date, and does not exceed more than 180 days beyond their last date of attendance. The Academic and Finance Advisors will ensure that the MLOA return date coincides with a valid course start date.

Students are eligible for re-entry if, during their leave, they performed or will perform voluntary or involuntary active duty service in the U.S. armed forces, including active duty for training and National Guard or Reserve service under federal authority, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days, and received a discharge other than dishonorable or bad conduct. In general, the cumulative length of absence and all previous absences for military service (service time only) must not exceed five years.

Student Withdrawal from the University

Students have the right to withdraw from the University at any time. NCU team members who receive a student request to withdraw from the University will submit the request to the Office of the Registrar for processing on behalf of the student using the date they received the student’s request as the Request Date. If students are enrolled in a course at the time of withdrawal, the Office of the Registrar will use applicable Grading Policies & Procedures  to determine the final grade of the withdrawn course.

See the Refund Policy and Procedure  for applicable financial policies. 

Academic Dismissal

Students who fail to meet the requirements of a degree program including official basis for admissions, minimum grade requirements, and satisfactory academic progress of study are subject to academic dismissal from the University. See SAP Procedures  for additional information.

Administrative Dismissal

Students who violate the University’s ethical policies and standards including, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity policies, may be subject to immediate administrative dismissal. Students who have been dismissed due to violation of the Student Code of Conduct or Academic Integrity policies, or due to any other legal or ethical matter, do not qualify for re-entry to NCU. See Ethical Standards & Practices and Student Rights & Responsibilities for additional information.

Honor Societies

NCU schools hold membership in honorary societies listed below. Acceptance into these programs is based on academic excellence.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, all degree-seeking students must complete their degree program within the maximum time limits specified in the University’s catalog under the Time Limits for Degree Completion policy.

Licensure and Certification

Professional organizations, societies, states, and licensing jurisdictions have specific requirements for membership, certification, or licensure. Students intending to seek licensure of any type must take full responsibility for ensuring that their degree program at NCU meets the licensing requirements of their local states, school districts, professional associations, or agencies. NCU cannot provide assistance to a student regarding the interpretation or understanding of a state’s licensure requirements.