NCU Catalog - June 2017 (Amended) 
    Jul 02, 2022  
NCU Catalog - June 2017 (Amended) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Readmission Guidelines

In most cases, upon re-entry, students will return in the same SAP status as when they left unless there has been a substantial program change (see below). If it is mathematically impossible for a student to achieve Good Standing for SAP at his or her evaluation point by returning to the same program, readmission may be denied and the student should consider a different program.

Returning students are subject to the current course catalog at the time of re-entry, including current tuition rates, fees, and program requirements.

If a student returns to NCU for an additional degree, unsuccessful attempts at coursework constituting a portion of the conferred degree shall not negatively impact a student’s SAP status in subsequent programs, nor shall time elapsed in pursuit of a conferred degree affect the time remaining in subsequent programs. Minimum grade requirements and other transfer credit policy still apply.

Mandatory Program Comparison

When a student is re-entering the University, any programs the student had started prior to leaving the University are compared to the program he/she wishes to enter. If the comparison results in a determination of a substantial change as described below, the student is considered to be entering a new program. In such cases, SAP may reset. Students are only permitted to make a substantial program or degree change once per degree level in their tenure with the University. 

If the degree plan comparison determines there has not been a substantial change since the student left the University, it is considered a re-entry into the same program. SAP does not restart and all previously taken courses count for purposes of calculating Course Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe and Program GPA. A SAP Appeal will need to be filed and approved for all program extensions needed for readmission to the same program when it has been determined that a student cannot complete his or her program within the allowed attempted credit limits per their individual program requirements and will need more time to complete their degree program.

For doctoral candidates, as a condition of approval, students must sign a learning contract. The learning contract will detail academic expectations that must be met during the extension period. Failure to meet learning contract specifications will result in dismissal from the University.

A doctoral candidate with more than six months to the Maximum Timeframe may be asked to sign a learning contract. In this case, the student will complete a SAP appeal and the learning contract for review by the SAP committee. If the appeal is approved, the doctoral candidate will receive an additional year program extension beyond the Maximum Timeframe.

However, no program comparison is required for students returning to NCU who:

Withdrew from NCU with 75% or more of the credits completed that were required by their degree program at the time of exit, AND

Are returning within 90 days of their date of withdrawal

Under these circumstances, students may reapply to resume the same program from which they withdrew, without adjustment being made to the courses required to complete the program.  SAP does not reset.

Military students returning to the University from military service-related time away will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if a comparison is needed. In many cases, these students may re-enter into their previous program version.

Substantial Program Change

A substantial program change is defined as a change to a program that is fundamentally distinct from the program in which the student was previously enrolled at NCU, as evidenced by the difference in the first four digits of the respective program’s Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes or the Program Credential Level (PCL), per Federal Student Aid. There is an exception to this rule for the University’s post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs, see below.

A student may change to a substantially different program without a SAP appeal once per degree level and tenure with the University. SAP will reset for a change to a substantially different program. However, any course that migrates to the student’s current program will be included in the SAP calculation. If a completed instance of the course migrates, then all instances of the course, including failed or withdrawn instances, will be included in the SAP calculation.  

Examples of substantially different programs:

Example 1 (same PCL, different CIP code)

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)
  • Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (CIP code 51.1505)

Example 2 (same CIP code, different PCL)

  • Master of Arts in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)

SAP will not reset for a change to a substantially similar program.

An example of substantially similar programs:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership (CIP code 52.0213)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (CIP code 52.0209)

There is an exception to how the University defines a substantial program change for students who advance from a post-baccalaureate certificate to a master’s degree and post-master’s certificate to a doctoral degree when the first four digits of the respective program’s CIP codes are the same. This is because the courses in the post-baccalaureate certificate program are master’s level courses, and the courses in the post-master’s degree program are doctoral level courses.

With this exception in mind, an example of substantially similar programs:

  • Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)

Accordingly, an example of substantially different programs:

  • Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)
  • Master of Arts in Psychology (CIP code 42.0101)

All changes in specialization or concentration will be evaluated by the Transcript Evaluation Team, in accordance with guidelines stated in the Transfer of Credit Policy.

Out-Dated Courses Treatment

When a student re-enters the University or an active student makes a school or degree  change, outdated courses not being applied to the current degree program because of age will not be counted.  Master’s degree courses must be less than five years old. Doctoral courses must be less than seven years old. To calculate if the course is outdated, use the date recorded when the grade was posted. These courses that are not being applied or migrated, do not count for SAP calculations or for graduation requirements. 

Transfer of Credits to Reentry Program

Whether the student is re-entering a new program or the same program, the University determines which previously completed courses are given credit in the student’s re-entry program and creates a new degree plan accordingly. 

Readmission after Withdrawal for Non-Payment

All prior financial obligations must be met before a withdrawn student may resume attendance at the University. It is the returning student’s responsibility to work on ensuring their previous balance is covered prior to readmissions. The student should work with our re-entry team on possible solutions to ensure admissibility. The re-entry team can be contacted directly at or toll free 888-327-2877 x 8289 regarding any previous financial obligation to the University.

Readmission after SAP Dismissal

A student who does not meet SAP standards may appeal to the SAP Appeal Committee as detailed in the SAP policy. If it is mathematically impossible for a student to achieve Good Standing for SAP by returning to the same program, then students in this circumstance should consider re-entering a different program offered by the University.  The Catalog contains information for current degree programs offered.