2021-2022 Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

Olivet’s academic regulations constitute a readable map for student, counselor, professor, and general reader. Each member of the academic community should become familiar with the directions, for it is the official guide to each of the educational destinations offered by the University.

The liberal arts program offers every student, whatever his or her particular interest or vocational intention, an education built on a steadying foundation of studies in a variety of subjects. This leads to a mature level of lifelong learning that surpasses limited training for a narrowly defined vocational field that may become obsolete in a few years.

Career planning is strongly encouraged through counseling with faculty members and the professional staff of the Counseling and Career Center.

The general education requirements provide a foundation of study which may be helpful to a student selecting or confirming a career decision.


All students eligible to register (students enrolled in the preceding regular session and new or reentering students who have completed application and have been accepted) will be supplied by the Registrar with directions for registration. Students are advised by members of the faculty and must file properly approved study lists with the Registrar’ Office. Registrations not completed by the close of the listed registration days (see calendar ) will require a fee of $20 to cover the additional expenses of late registration procedure. An additional late fee of $5 per day will be charged beginning the second day after registration day.

A student will not be permitted to register for any course including directed study and special topics after the first two weeks of the semester without the written approval of the Academic Dean. A faculty member may determine an earlier closing date for a particular course.

No student will be permitted to register for any course if, in the judgment of the instructor in charge, he or she lacks sufficient preparation to undertake the work. An instructor may, with the approval of the Academic Dean, drop from a class any student who shows marked delinquency in attendance, who neglects his work, or who proves incompetent to pursue the work of the course.

The normal student load is 15 hours of class work in a week. No student will be permitted to register for more than 18 hours, inclusive of physical education, without the special permission of the Academic Standards Committee. An extra charge is made for each hour or fraction of an hour taken in excess of the 18-hour maximum load.

Outside Employment: Students carrying a considerable load of outside work must reduce their school program accordingly. The following schedule is a guide to advisors and students:

Semester Class Load in Relation to Grade Point Average:

Effective Hours of Outside Employment On Academic Probation Up to 2.5 Up to 3.0 3.0 or Over

Under 15 hours 14 Normal Normal Normal
15-20 hours 12 Normal Normal Normal
21-25 hours 10 14 Normal Normal
26-30 hours 8 12 14 Normal
31-35 hours 6 10 12 Normal
35-45 hours 1 course 8 10 Normal

Registration Changes

All changes in registration become official when made through the registrar’s office, with approval by the student’s advisor and the faculty members whose classes are involved. A course may be dropped without grade or notation on the transcript when official changes are processed during the 100% refund period. After that, a grade of “W” will be assigned when courses are dropped prior to the deadlines, which are published in the University calendar. Permission to drop individual courses after the published deadlines will normally be granted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs only because of extended illness, serious physical disability, death in the family or other emergency circumstances. Permission to withdraw from individual courses after the deadlines will not be granted merely because of unsatisfactory academic performance, whether caused by the student’s inability, lack of application or preparation; dissatisfaction with the subject matter offered in the course(s); failure to attend class; or a change in the student’s major or academic plans. A grade of “WP”- withdrawn passing or “WF”- withdrawn failing will be assigned by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in cases where official drops are approved after the published deadlines. Unofficial withdrawal from courses will be treated as failure and indicated on the permanent record by a grade of “F.”

Appeals to the Academic Standards Committee may be initiated through the Office of the Registrar.

Cancellation of Registration: A student’s registration for a semester may be canceled for failure to meet financial obligations to the University. Normally, cancellation would only occur during the first two weeks of a semester, and record of enrollment would not appear on the student’s permanent academic record.

Withdrawal from the University

A student who desires to officially withdraw from all courses in a given semester must do so before the beginning of final examinations. Once final examinations have begun, a student may not withdraw from that semester unless documented emergency or medical reasons merit an exception being approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

To officially withdraw from all courses for which a student is registered, the student must begin the process by contacting the Center for Academic Excellence. This withdrawal process is necessary in order to clear the appropriate financial and academic records. Protracted absences or failure to attend classes does not constitute withdrawal from courses and will be treated as failure unless the withdrawal process is appropriately followed. See “Financial Information ” for policies on refunds of tuition and fees when official withdrawal from the University is processed.

Administrative withdrawals may be initiated when a student fails to obey University policies, fails to comply with procedures, or has been suspended or expelled from the institution. The grading and refund policies which apply to voluntary withdrawals also apply to administrative withdrawals.

Military Leave Policy

This policy applies to students called to active military duty for a period of more than 30 days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 days.  As used in this policy, “active military duty” means service (whether voluntary or involuntary) on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, including such service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve under a call or order to active duty.  The goal is to prevent, to the extent possible, any financial or academic hardship and to simplify a student’s withdrawal from, and subsequent reentry to, the university. This policy may also apply to students whose spouse is called to active military duty.

Procedures: Students called to active military duty should submit advance written or verbal notice of a request for educational leave due to active military duty and submit it to the Office of the Registrar along with a copy of the active duty paperwork, if such paperwork is available.  If circumstances are such that the student is unable to provide notice prior to leaving campus, they or their designated representative must contact the Office of the Registrar at their first opportunity, but not later than four weeks after leaving campus or the conclusion of that semester, whichever comes first. 

Grades: The student may elect to withdraw from the term and all record of their enrollment in the term will be removed. Under no circumstances will a student be eligible to receive a letter grade without completing the course(s).

The student may choose to receive incomplete grades if up to 66% of the semester has elapsed and the student is currently passing the course. Students are responsible to work out reasonable accommodations for course completion with each instructor.

Tuition Charges and Refunds: If a student elects to cancel enrollment, tuition and fees will be refunded to the student; resident students will be responsible for a pro-rated amount for room and board. During the cancellation process, students must work with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure all aid is properly accounted for.

If a student is passing their courses and within the final 33% of the semester, the student may request incompletes. In that case, tuition and fees will not be refunded. Room and board charges will be pro-rated.

Deposits: Any deposit for future academic terms (specifically the housing deposit) will be completely refunded.

Textbooks: Textbooks, whether new, used, or rental, may be returned for full credit to the campus bookstore if the following criteria are met:

  • Books were purchased or rented for the current semester at the campus bookstore. A receipt will be required.
  • Books are in the same condition they were purchased and are in resalable condition. Example: workbooks cannot be written in; new books must be in new condition (no highlighting, etc.)
    • If the book was purchased new, but does not meet this criteria, used credit may be given if the book is in resalable condition

Please note if returns are made outside of the bookstores regular return policy window a bookstore gift card will be given instead of the original form of payment.


The university complies with all federal regulations applicable to readmission for individuals called to active military duty as noted in 34 CFR 668.18.


NOTE: There are no provisions for refunds for individuals who choose to enter the service after the term has begun.

Classification of Students

Students are classified according to the total number of hours for which they have credit. The requirements for classification as a candidate for a degree on the basis of hours are:

Freshman Standing: Must have met all entrance requirements and be registered as a candidate for a degree.
Sophomore Standing: 30 hours
Junior Standing: 60 hours
Senior Standing: 90 hours or above

Students are classified at the beginning of each semester and the minimum requirements for the respective classes must be met at that time. Class activities and listing in University or student publications will be carried out in accordance with the above classification.

Unclassified Students: “Special” or part-time students who meet all entrance requirements but who are carrying fewer than eight semester hours, and mature and otherwise qualified students who are not pursuing the regular course of study may, with the approval of the Academic Dean and the consent of the department concerned, be admitted to the University as unclassified students to take such courses as are open to them without respect to candidacy for a degree. Such work is limited to 29 semester hours.

Class Attendance Policy

Admission to Olivet Nazarene University is a privilege that represents an investment by the supporters of the University as well as the student. The opportunities provided by the University are open only to those who are willing to devote themselves to the serious business of education.

Students are expected to attend all class meetings for which they are registered except in cases of prearranged field trips, official assignments by the University, participation in scheduled intercollegiate athletic events, or participation in official music ensemble tours as may be considered excusable by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. With the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, a faculty member may stipulate a limit on the number of excused absences permitted in a course.

Attendance requirements in each course are determined by the professor, and will be clearly stated in the course syllabus filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and distributed in class during the first week of the semester.

The student is personally responsible for all class work assigned in a course, even during absence. In case of absence, the student should inquire about the possibility of making up work missed. The student may be penalized for work missed, even though the reason for the absence is legitimate, if he or she fails to explain the reason for the absence and meet the requirements of the instructor in making up the work. If the explanation of the absence is acceptable to the instructor, the student will be permitted, to the extent possible, to make up work missed.

When absences not covered by educational leniency are not acceptable to the instructor, the student may be refused the privilege of making up the work, and may be assessed a consequent grade penalty. Those who do not expect to attend a class regularly should not enroll in the class. Those who find it impossible to attend class regularly should withdraw from the University before their record is marred by irregular attendance.

Inclement Weather Policy

When the University closes due to inclement weather, faculty may require additional out-of-class work to make up for missing content or assignments at their discretion. Instructors will use the Learning Management System or other means to inform students of their expectations.

Military Duty Educational Leave Policy: Under certain circumstances, a student who is required to participate in active military duty is excused from scheduled classes or other required activities and will be allowed to complete assignments or exams within a reasonable time following the absence. In such circumstances, instructors may assign additional activities to make up for missed course work. The excused absence is permitted only if the student will be absent fewer than seven (7) calendar days. Students must request military leave through the Office of the Registrar, providing military orders to support the request.  If an instructor has a policy allowing unexcused absences, military leave will count towards such absences.

Protracted absence does not constitute a withdrawal, and will be treated as a failure in the course. For the procedure to be followed in changing or dropping a course, see the section on “Registration Changes” in this Catalog.

Grading/Course Repeat Policy

Grading: A record of attendance and scholarship is kept for each student. A report of the student’s class standing is given at the close of the semester.

The alphabetical system of grading, with +/- added at the discretion of the instructor, is used [i.e., “A” for superior; “B” for above average; “C” for average; “D” for below average, but passing; “F” for failure; “H” for audit; “S” for satisfactory work (credit toward graduation); “U” for unsatisfactory work (no credit toward graduation); “X” for deferred work; “W” for withdrawn before quality of work can be determined; “WP” for withdrawn passing; “WF” for withdrawn failing; and “I” for incomplete]. A student may be marked “incomplete” only in case of serious illness or other unavoidable cause of delay occurring near the end of the course.  Instructors may specify the length of time a student has to complete the course up to a maximum of 60 days.  Incompletes that are not resolved within 60 days automatically lapse into an “F” grade.

Grade Points: In order to graduate, the student must have earned twice as many grade points as he or she has semester hours of work attempted. Grade points are based on quality of work performed, and are determined as follows: “A” = 4.0 points per credit hour, “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-” = .70, “F” = 0. The grades of “H,” “S,” “U,” “X,” “W,” “WP,” and “WF” are neutral. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 (“C”) is required for graduation.

Course Repeating Policy:

  1. In case a course is retaken subsequent to the student’s receiving a course grade of “F,” only the highest grade is counted in determining his or her cumulative grade point average.
  2. With the consent of the Chair of the department in which the course is offered, a student is permitted to retake once a course in which  a grade of “C-,” “D+,” “D,” or “D-” was earned, with the higher of the two grades to count in determining the cumulative grade point average.

These privileges apply only to courses repeated at Olivet.

  1. A course may be repeated at another institution to fulfill degree requirements, however, in this case the previous grade and the retaken course grade are both used in calculating the cumulative grade point average.

Pass-Fail (“S” or “U”): is used for student teaching, field experiences, and certain other courses. In these courses, the alphabetical system of grading is never used. In addition, an individual student who has attained Junior standing may also be permitted to enroll in one elective course per semester in the last four semesters on the basis of pass-fail grading. Specifically excluded from this provision are courses in the major field, minor field, required supporting courses, and courses offered to fulfill general education requirements. A passing grade means “C” quality or better.

The intention to take a course on the basis of pass-fail grading must be indicated at the Office of the Registrar on or before the final day to drop a course. If this request is approved, a student may change to the alphabetical system of grading only by filing a written request to do so at the Office of the Registrar prior to the final day to drop a course.

Auditing a Course: To audit a course means to take it for neither grade nor credit. An audit, satisfactorily completed, is recorded as such on the transcript. No record is made if the audit is not satisfactorily completed.

Normally, the only requirements in an audited course are attendance requirements, which are set by the instructor.

Audit should be indicated at the time of registration, or a course may be changed from credit to audit any time prior to the deadline for dropping a course. A course may be changed from audit to credit prior to this deadline only with the approval of the instructor, and payment of appropriate tuition adjustments.

A full-time student, paying the normal tuition fee, is not charged a tuition fee for an audited course, provided his or her total load, including the audited course, does not exceed 18 hours. If the total load exceeds 18 hours, a tuition fee of $50 per hour is charged for the excess hours which are audited. Part-time students are charged a tuition fee of $50 per hour for an audited course. Any additional fees (such as laboratory fee) in an audited course are charged to the student.

Arrangements to audit a course may be completed only if there is space available in the class.

Music: Auditors of applied music private lessons will receive one half-hour lesson per week. Audit lessons will be made up on the same basis as lessons being taken for credit. Audit students will be placed only after Music majors, Music minors, and others who are registered for credit have been placed. All audit students will pay the normal additional applied music tuition for private lessons and class instruction as listed in the Catalog in Financial Information .

Grade Appeals

An appeal of a grade occurs at the conclusion of a course and is based on a student’s belief that their final grade is incorrect. Students may not appeal grades for individual assignments while a course is in progress, but should contact the instructor if they believe a grade for any assignment is incorrect.

Grade appeal process

  1. If a student believes their final grade is incorrect, they must contact the instructor in writing within 30 calendar days of the official posting of the grade to the transcript. Students must provide a written rationale and provide any appropriate documentation.
  2. The instructor will review the student’s concern and determine if the grade was correct as originally reported within five business days upon receipt.
    1. If the grade was incorrect due to a simple error in calculation, the instructor will submit a grade change request to the Office of the Registrar.
    2. If the grade was incorrect due to any other error on the part of the instructor, the grade change must be approved by the relevant department chair or dean. The chair’s responsibility is twofold: to ensure that all students in the class are evaluated consistently and to protect the instructor from undue pressure or outside influence. The chair will submit a grade change request to the Office of the Registrar signed by both the instructor and chair.
      1. Note: Grades will not be changed on the basis of a reevaluation of the quality of a student’s work or completing additional work after the semester is over.
    3. If the instructor determines the original grade is correct, he or she will provide the student’s written rationale and documentation to the department chair, along with a brief explanation of the decision to maintain the original grade. If the chair has any concerns about the decision, they will notify the instructor within one business day. The instructor will then make a final decision and notify the student.
  3. Students may appeal the instructor’s decision by writing to the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline within five business days of the decision.  All relevant documentation must be provided by the student.
    1. The dean may request to meet with the student and/or instructor to resolve the issue. Both parties may bring a third party as witness, but as these are not legal proceedings, legal representation is not permitted.
    2. The dean will communicate the final decision to the Registrar within five business days, regardless of the outcome, so the decision can be recorded.
    3. The dean’s decision is final, and may not be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, or the Board of Trustees.
    4. Note: In rare instances, the dean may be the instructor. In such cases, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint a dean from another school or college to oversee the appeal process.

Academic Integrity

Statement of Academic Integrity

Seeking after truth is at the heart of an education at a Christian university like Olivet. ONU expects students to be truthful in all areas of life, including the academic arena. Those who engage in any form of academic dishonesty value their own gain more than their desire to seek truth; consequently, their behavior is incompatible with the goals and objectives of the University. Such dishonesty takes the form of cheating, plagiarism, or falsification. Specific examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Submitting another’s work as one’s own or allowing others to submit one’s work as though it were theirs.
  2. Failing to properly acknowledge authorities quoted, cited, or consulted in the preparation of oral or written work. All work submitted by students must represent their original work. Outside sources used as references should reveal the name and source and the extent to which the source is used.
  3. Tampering with experimental data to obtain a “desired” result or creating results for experiments not conducted.
  4. Lying or otherwise deceiving university personnel about academic matters.
  5. Falsifying college records, forms, or other documents.
  6. Students who knowingly assist another in dishonest behavior are held equally responsible.

An instructor who has a more detailed definition of academic dishonesty than the policy above has the responsibility and obligation to so inform students, in writing, at the beginning of the course.

Sanctions for violations of the academic integrity policy

Consistent with the University’s mission, the sanctions are progressive in nature. In every case, the incident is first reported to the department chair, area dean, and the University Registrar. The University Registrar will indicate if the student has a prior history of academic integrity violations in any other class, even a minor infraction, so an appropriate sanction can be issued. The seriousness of the offense is also taken into consideration when determining an appropriate sanction. A minor infraction is defined as an obvious and unintentional mistake.

Any student engaging in academic dishonesty is subject to the following consequences:

  1. For the first infraction at the University, the professor may choose one of the following:
    1. Send a written reprimand to the student (only suitable for a minor infraction); or
    2. Require the student to resubmit the test, project, or assignment, which may include a loss of points at the instructor’s discretion; or
    3. Require the student to take a new test or turn in a different project or assignment, which may include a loss of points at the instructor’s discretion; or
    4. Assign a lower grade or grade of zero on the test, project, or assignment.
  2. For the second and third infraction at the University, the professor may choose to:
    1. Assign a lower grade or grade of zero on the test, project, or assignment, or
    2. Lower the final course grade by one full letter grade (e.g., B+ to C+), or
    3. Submit a grade of “F” for the course (when the infraction is of major proportion).
  3. Upon any further infractions of the academic integrity policy OR if any infraction represents an egregious, flagrant violation of the policy, the area dean and University Registrar will issue one of the following administrative sanctions at their discretion:
    1. An administrative grade of “F” in the course, or
    2. Dismissal from the University, or
    3. Permanent expulsion from the University.

Due process

  1. Any charge of academic dishonesty should be quickly investigated (typically within five business days of discovering the incident) by the instructor in consultation with the department chair in such a way that the student’s confidentiality is protected. The instructor will copy the chair, the area dean, and the University Registrar so they may determine if the student has a prior history of violations.
  2. Instructors will notify students in writing of the facts and evidence, and should provide a clear statement regarding how the student’s action violated academic integrity and offer a determination and explanation of any planned sanction.
  3. Students have five business days to respond to the instructor.
    1. Failure to respond within five business days indicates acceptance of the instructor’s determination and sanction.
    2. If the student responds to the instructor, the instructor will review the response and make a final decision in consultation with the chair within an additional five business days.
  4. The final decision will be communicated in writing to the student, the chair, the area dean, and the University Registrar.
  5. Students may appeal an instructor’s sanction imposed under this policy:
    1. The student must write to the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline within five business days of the instructor’s final decision. All relevant documentation must be provided by the student.
    2. The dean may request to meet with the student and/or instructor to resolve the issue. Both parties may bring a third party as witness, but as these are not legal proceedings, legal representation is not permitted.
    3. The dean will communicate the final decision, regardless of the outcome, to the student and the instructor, within five business days. The chair and the University Registrar will be copied, so the decision can be recorded.
    4. The dean’s decision is final, and may not be appealed.
    5. Note: In rare instances, the dean may be the instructor. In such cases, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint a dean from another school or college to oversee the appeal process through the regular channels as established by the grade appeal process.
  6. In cases where an administrative sanction is issued, the area dean and University Registrar will communicate the final decision. Such sanctions may not be appealed, because they are issued only when there are multiple prior violations of the academic integrity policy, or when a violation is egregious and flagrant.

Special Cases:

For students who engage in academic dishonesty outside of instructional activity (e.g., lying or otherwise deceiving University personnel about academic matters, or falsifying college records, forms, or other documents) the University Registrar will investigate and determine the appropriate sanction. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, written reprimand, academic probation, suspension, or permanent expulsion. The University reserves the right to invalidate and remove all academic credit earned at ONU for students who provide falsified documents to gain admission or obtain credit. These sanctions are made in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and may not be appealed.


Minor infractions are recorded, but the first two are not taken into consideration when responding to external questions regarding any academic disciplinary action.

Scholarship Requirements

Satisfactory Scholastic Standing: To be considered in satisfactory scholastic standing, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average according to the following schedule:

  Semester Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative GPA
  1-18 1.5
  19-29 1.7
  30-45 1.8
  46-59 1.9
  60 or more 2.0

Students who fall below the above minimum standards are not making satisfactory progress and will be placed on academic probation.

In addition, students may be considered to be on academic probation for failure to attain a 1.00 grade point average in any given semester, or for failure to pass at least 50 percent of the credits registered at the end of the initial drop/add period (second week of the semester).

Only students in satisfactory scholastic standing may participate in Associated Student Council offices, class presidencies, intercollegiate athletics, drama, public relations groups, or off-campus spiritual life groups, or tour off-campus with music ensembles. This policy does not apply to intramural activities.

If after one semester on probation the cumulative grade point average is not improved, or after two successive semesters on probation the grade point average does not meet minimum standards for satisfactory progress (as outlined above), or at any time it falls below a 1.00 average, a student may be academically suspended by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition, a student placed on probation for failure to meet the 1.00 semester grade point requirement or 50 percent progress requirement may be suspended if significant progress is not made during the probationary semester. In such a case the student has the right to appeal to the Committee on Academic Standards for a review of such a decision.

Students on academic suspension are not eligible to apply for readmission until after the lapse of one regular semester. If readmitted, the student will be on academic probation, and if a grade point average of 2.00 is not attained for courses taken during the semester following, the student may be academically suspended for the second time.

For transfer students, academic standing in the first semester of attendance at Olivet is based on the cumulative grade point average at the previous institutions. After one semester of attendance at ONU, the academic standing of transfer students will be based on the grade point average for all coursework accepted toward a degree and included on the Olivet transcript.

Eligibility: A student on probation is also ineligible. Ineligibility means that the student cannot participate in any public event, program or service away from the campus as a member of any ensemble, missions team, or extramural group. Ineligibility excludes a student from participation in any intercollegiate athletic contest. In order to be eligible for intercollegiate athletic competition, students must adhere to the standards adopted by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours at the time of participation. (Repeat courses should be cleared with the Registrar.)
  2. Accumulate at least 24 hours of credit in the two terms of attendance immediately preceding the semester of participation. (Repeat courses previously passed cannot count toward the 24-hour rule.)
  3. A second-term freshman must have earned at least nine hours of credit during the first semester.

In addition, student athletes must remain in satisfactory scholastic standing as defined in the Catalog.

Satisfactory Progress Requirements for Institutional Scholarships, Federally, and/or State Funded Financial Aid Programs: In order to maintain eligibility for institutional scholarships, federal, and/or state financial aid, a student must meet the satisfactory progress requirements established by Olivet Nazarene University in compliance with federal and/or state regulations, including the following:

  1. A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average according to the following schedule:
  Cumulative Hours Attempted GPA Required
  1-18 1.5
  19-29 1.7
  30-45 1.8
  46-59 1.9
  60 or more 2.0
  1. Students must satisfactorily complete 67 percent of the cumulative hours attempted, including repeated courses; developmental/remedial credits; and/or courses that were recorded as W - Withdrawn.

Financial Aid Warning: A student will be placed on financial aid warning for failing to meet any of the above standards of progress. A student placed on financial aid warning may continue to receive institutional scholarships, federal, and/or state aid during the following semester.

Financial Aid Suspension: Financial aid suspension will result in the loss of all institutional scholarships, federal, and/or state financial aid. A student’s financial aid will be suspended when any of the following occur:

  1. When a student on financial aid warning the previous semester fails to meet the satisfactory progress requirements the following semester.
  2. When, having attempted 64 or more semester hours (including CLEP, Advance Placement, or proficiency credits; transfer credits; repeated courses; developmental/remedial credits; and/or courses that were recorded as W - Withdrawn), the cumulative grade point average falls below 2.00.
  3. When a student has attempted 192 semester hours (including CLEP, Advance Placement, or proficiency credits; transfer credits; repeated courses; developmental/remedial credits; and/or courses that were recorded as W - Withdrawn.)

Appeals: In the event that extenuating circumstances are experienced, appeals for exceptions to the above requirements will be considered by the Financial Aid Committee. Such appeals must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid committee no later than the first day of classes of the semester. If exceptions are granted by the Financial Aid committee, the student is put on financial aid probation for that semester and must meet all progress requirements upon completion of the probationary semester in order to continue receiving aid.

Transfer Students and Financial Aid: For transfer students, academic standing in the first semester of attendance at Olivet is based on the cumulative grade point average at the previous institutions. After one semester of attendance at ONU, the academic standing and satisfactory progress for financial aid of transfer students will be based on the grade point average for all coursework accepted toward a degree and included on the Olivet transcript.

Learning Support Services

Olivet Nazarene University welcomes students with disabilities and is committed to complying with laws regarding equal opportunity for students with disabilities.  Qualified individuals who have a disability will not be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in connection with the services, programs, or activities offered by ONU.  These prohibitions against discrimination apply not only to the University’s academic programs but also to other programs and services at the University such as financial aid, housing, student employment, athletics, counseling and placement services, and extracurricular opportunities.

The Office of Learning Support Services at Olivet Nazarene University is dedicated to supporting the University’s efforts toward accessibility and inclusion for students with disabilities. This is accomplished through collaboration, advocacy, education, and accommodation. The Office of Learning Support Services works with students on an individual, case-by-case basis determining appropriate, reasonable accommodations to promote the student’s learning, growth, development, and success. Those with questions should contact the office of Learning Support Services at LSS@olivet.edu.

Recognition for Academic Achievement

Independent Studies/Special Topics: Students classified as juniors or seniors may pursue a subject of particular interest that is not already treated extensively in a regular course. In order to receive credit for such an independent study, the student must submit appropriate documentation of the plan of the study to the Office of the Registrar. The directed study form should provide a thorough description of the project or coursework to be undertaken, including an indication of papers, assignments, test dates, conferences, and projected completion date. The proposal must be approved by the professor who will provide supervision and evaluation of the project, the head of the department in which credit is to be established, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Credit for such special topics will be indicated on the transcript by use of the department name and the number 499.

Independent studies are generally limited to students who have demonstrated above-average scholarship (3.0 or higher GPA). Independent studies may occasionally be recommended for students who are unable to take regular courses because of scheduling conflicts. Forms for registration are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Graduation with Departmental Honors is granted to a senior who shows independent and creative work of high quality in his or her major field. The study may cover material of individual courses, cut across course lines, or include subject matter and procedures not offered in the usual courses of the department. When recommended by the head of the department in which the student wishes to do honors work, a plan of the work to be pursued shall be forwarded, with the recommendation, for the approval of the Dean of the College/School of the student’s major field of study. If a project cuts across a College/School, departmental chairs from each area should make the recommendation to the Dean of each College/School. Deans from all areas involved in the project should approve the project. To be eligible for consideration for honors work, a student should have a 3.5 grade point average in his major field. If the senior’s work is of high quality, he or she will be granted four hours of credit toward graduation. If the student passes a comprehensive examination in his or her major field with special emphasis on the honors project, the student will be graduated with departmental honors - this to be indicated on the Commencement program. Students who complete Departmental Honors projects will make a public presentation of the project during a Research/Performance Honors Symposium to be held in the spring of the student’s senior year. The student must apply to the head of the department by October 15 in the academic year of graduation. Honors coursework will be indicated by the department name and the number 500.

Assistantships: A limited number of assistantships are available to high scholarship students of advanced standing. These assistantships are open to those who have spent two or more semesters at Olivet Nazarene University. They are awarded on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership ability, educational promise, and need. Holders of these appointments will assist in reading papers, laboratory service, or other work required in the department to which they are assigned.

Assistantships are valued from $500-$800 for the year. All appointments are for one semester, and are conditioned on satisfactory service. Appointments are made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs on the recommendation of the department head. Application should be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs by March 1 preceding the school year in which the appointment is to become effective.

Dean’s List: An average of 3.50 for the preceding semester, with 12 or more hours attempted, is required for inclusion in The Dean’s List.

Phi Delta Lambda: Olivet Nazarene University has a chapter of the national Nazarene honor society, Phi Delta Lambda, in which high-ranking graduates are eligible for membership upon election by the faculty.

Departmental Honor Societies for Students and Alumni: Several academic departments have established chapters of national honor societies for honor graduates and related student organizations. These include: Communication - Lambda Pi Eta; Education - Kappa Delta Pi; English - Sigma Tau Delta; History - Phi Alpha Theta; Family and Consumer Sciences - Kappa Omicron Nu; Music - Pi Kappa Lambda; Nursing- Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Sigma Chapter; and Psychology - Psi Chi Honor Society.

Graduation Honors: Graduation with highest honors (summa cum laude) requires a grade point average of 3.90. Graduation with high honors (magna cum laude) requires a grade point average of 3.70. Graduation with honors (cum laude) requires a grade point average of 3.50.

In case a student has taken part of his or her college work at another institution or institutions, the student’s grade point average will be calculated on the basis of the total work accepted toward the degree. The last 60 hours of work must be taken at Olivet if one is to qualify for honors, except in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies programs, in which case all required courses within the major must be completed at Olivet.

Commencement Marshals: Each year the students in the junior class having the highest cumulative grade point averages are designated as Commencement Marshals and lead the Commencement procession.

Senior Awards: Each year, one male and one female from among the graduating seniors are selected by majority vote of the faculty to receive the Senior Awards. The selection is based on campus citizenship, scholarship, leadership, and general achievement of the student in college activities. Letters certifying the award are presented to the students selected on Commencement day. The female graduate receives the Maggie Sloan Award, named for Olivet’s first graduate. The male graduate receives the Robert Milner Award, named for a Nazarene minister.

General Requirements for Graduation

Student Responsibility: Every candidate for a degree is personally responsible for meeting all requirements for graduation. The University, through its counselors and the credit summaries provided for the University by the Registrar, will assist the student in every way possible in avoiding difficulties.

Students are expected to arrange a graduation evaluation with the Registrar’s Office prior to the start of their junior year. As part of the evaluation, students will be advised regarding the specific courses, total hours, and upper-division hours remaining to satisfy degree requirements for the specific program of studies. Students should plan accordingly to ensure that all the graduation requirements are satisfied. If a student changes major(s), minor(s), or other plans regarding the approved program of studies, it remains the student’s responsibility to complete all graduation requirements.

Prospective teachers are also personally responsible for meeting the certification requirements of the state in which they expect to teach. Information about certification laws may be obtained from the Department of Education or from the Registrar.

Candidates for degrees are required to file their intention to graduate on forms provided by the office of the Registrar at least six months prior to the expected date of graduation.

Candidates for graduation are expected to meet the requirements for graduation of the catalog in force at the time of entry. Students may also elect to follow a later catalog for all degree requirements. If a student leaves the institution for two or more consecutive semesters (six or more calendar months for non-traditional students) they will be required to follow the catalog in force at the time of reentry.

Some programs with external accreditation may require students to follow new or changed requirements. Every attempt will be made to allow reasonable substitutions; however, in some cases the university must comply with mandates by accrediting agencies within a set time frame that will require students to adjust their educational plan.

For all academic programs, the University reserves the right to change degree or program requirements as it deems necessary. In cases of hardship caused by curricular changes, an appeal may be made to the Academic Standards Committee.

Residency Requirements: A candidate for a bachelor’s degree must take either the last year (30 semester hours) at Olivet Nazarene University, or must take 15 of the last 30 semester hours in residence and offer no less than 45 semester hours of residence credit from Olivet Nazarene University. Included in the hours offered to satisfy the residency requirement must be at least one-half of the major and/or sufficient hours to complete a major satisfactory to the chair of the major department and the Registrar.

Transfer Credit Limitations: Any course with a grade of F will not be accepted as transfer credit, but will be calculated in the grade average for considering admission, initial financial aid, and initial athletic eligibility. A maximum of 82 hours will be accepted from two-year colleges as transfer credit at Olivet.

Second Bachelor’s Degree: Some students desire to take a second bachelor’s degree. It is often possible to complete the requirement for the second degree in one additional year. To receive a second degree, the student must complete at least 36 hours of work in addition to the 120 hours required for the first degree and must meet all of the requirements set forth in the curriculum for the second degree including general education requirements. No more than one degree will be conferred upon a candidate at any one commencement. At least 30 hours of the additional 36 hours required for a second degree must be taken in residence at Olivet.

Additional Major/Minor: Upon graduation from the university some students choose not to complete requirements for an additional major or minor. This differs from the completion of a second bachelor’s degree (as outlined in the catalog) as the student wishes to simply have this completion of these additional requirements listed on the transcript, an additional degree is not awarded. An individual is permitted to make a request to add an additional major or minor to their previous degree program within one year of graduation from the university. The student would then have up to one additional year to fulfill all stated requirements (completion of requirements must be within two years of original graduation date).

Correspondence Courses: Credit for correspondence courses taken at accredited colleges may be allowed to count toward degree requirements at Olivet Nazarene University only when prior approval is granted by the Registrar. A maximum of 15 hours of correspondence work may be applied at Olivet.

Proficiency Examinations

Students may be permitted to establish credit for courses listed in the Catalog by departmental proficiency examination. The grade in proficiency examinations is credit or failure, but no student is given credit unless he or she makes at least “C” in the examination. No official record is made of failures in these examinations.

Proficiency examinations are given under the following restrictions: (1) they may be taken only by persons who are in residence, or who are candidates for degrees at Olivet; (2) they may not be taken by students who have received credit for more than one semester of work in the subject in advance of the course in which the examination is requested; (3) they may not be taken to raise grades or to establish credit in a course in which the student has received a failing grade; (4) the privilege of establishing credit by this method is not to be used to accelerate one’s program, but to make possible the recognition of work already done, or an achievement already attained for which no academic credit has been established; (5) not more than 10 semester hours credit can be earned by departmental proficiency examinations for any degree; (6) applications for the examination must be approved in advance by the Vice President for Academic Affairs; and (7) all such examinations shall be conducted by a committee of three, which shall be appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The signatures of all three examiners are required. Academic credit for such work will not be granted until the student has completed successfully at least one semester of work at Olivet Nazarene University.  A maximum of 48 hours may be earned through the combination of proficiency credit via CLEP, AP, and departmental proficiency exams; credit awarded through prior learning assessment; and/or credit earned on the basis of recommendations made by the American Council on Education (ACE). A maximum of six ACE recommended credit hours are accepted, excluding military credit. See also “Waivers and Advanced Placement ”.

Summer School

Olivet offers summer sessions, offering full college credit, operating on an accelerated schedule of classes. During summer sessions, it is generally possible to earn four to nine semester hours of credit. Dates of the summer sessions are listed in the University calendar. All new students apply through the Director of Admissions by the deadline indicated. Registration for summer school may be completed prior to or immediately following the first meeting of the class.


Students or former students who desire an official transcript of their academic record at Olivet Nazarene University can order their transcripts online from Credentials, Inc., the designated agent for processing and sending official transcripts on behalf of Olivet Nazarene University. The website for ordering is https://www.credentials-inc.com/tplus/?ALUMTRO001741. If you cannot request your transcripts online, you may call Credentials, Inc. at (847) 716-3005 and place a phone order for a small fee, or contact the Office of the Registrar. Normally, requests are processed within two to three business days of receipt, though the time may be extended near the beginning or end of a semester. A fee is assessed for each official transcript requested. Official transcripts will not be issued to or for students or alumni who are indebted to the University or whose repayment of loans is not in good standing. Information about obtaining unofficial transcripts can be found at http://www.olivet.edu/transcript-requests/, or by emailing transcripts@olivet.edu.

Academic Policy Appeals

Students have the right to petition for exceptions to any academic policy. The Academic Standards Committee is chaired by the University Registrar and includes four faculty appointed by the Steering Committee and one student appointed by the Associated Student Council. Most requests for exception are institutional in nature such as requests to overload, requests for substitutions, and similar items. The committee’s responsibility is to balance the academic integrity of the institution with legitimate hardships students face. All requests for exceptions to institutional policy are made in writing at the Office of the Registrar.

In some cases, departments have internal policies unique to their programs. Students may request an exception to those policies through whatever internal process is in place in that department. If those requests are not approved, students may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. In reviewing such cases it is essential to have faculty from the department involved in making decisions about exceptions; it is also necessary to have faculty from outside the department to ensure consistency across the university and to prevent conflicts of interest.

Departmental policy appeal process

  1. Students who have been denied an exception to a departmental policy, and have compelling evidence demonstrating extenuating circumstance, may appeal that decision. They must submit a petition in writing to the Academic Standards Committee with all relevant documentation attached.
    1. Note: Students should be aware that departmental policies are typically critical to the success of the program, and exceptions are rarely granted. In some cases, external accrediting bodies may have standards that actually prohibit an exception.
  2. Within ten business days, the University Registrar contacts the relevant dean, and an ad hoc sub-committee of the Academic Standards Committee is appointed. Co-chaired by the University Registrar and the department chair or program director, additional members include one additional faculty from the department and two of the four faculty representatives of the Academic Standards Committee, who must be outside of the relevant department.
  3. Within the next 10 business days, the sub-committee reviews the specific policy, the student’s written rationale, and all relevant documentation provided by the student and the department.
  4. After review and consideration, the sub-committee makes a final decision which is communicated to the student in writing.
  5. The sub-committee’s decision is final, and may not be appealed to the dean of the school or college, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, or the Board of Trustees.

Grievance Policy

Students may file a grievance when they believe their student rights, as outlined in written university policy, were violated or there was a lack of due process as defined by university policy. Students must file their written grievance within 30 calendar days of the alleged incident. If the concern is regarding a final grade, the student should follow the grade appeal process.  If the student is requesting an exception, they should follow the process for exceptions to departmental policy. If the student is alleging sexual discrimination or harassment, they should file an incident report with the Title IX coordinator.

Grievance process

  1. Often a student’s concern is based on a simple miscommunication or misperception. Students should contact the faculty member and seek to resolve the issue informally within 10 business days of the alleged issue.
  2. If the issue is not resolved, the student should contact the department chair within seven days to attempt to resolve the issue informally.
  3. If the issue remains unresolved, the student may file a formal written grievance with the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline. 
    1. Upon receipt, the dean will respond to the student within two business days to acknowledge the grievance has been received.
    2. Within five business days the dean will appoint an ad hoc committee, to include at least two members of the department (excluding the named instructor) and three faculty from outside the department.
    3. The University’s HLC Ombudsman or other designated individual will provide oversight and counsel to ensure due process is followed.
    4. The members of the committee will collectively elect a chair from among the three outside members.
    5. Within five business days of their initial appointment the committee will convene and will call witnesses as needed on behalf of the student or the university. Any member of the campus community called as a witness is expected to respond openly and candidly, either in person or in writing.
    6. Both student and the faculty member have the right, but are not obligated, to meet the committee individually. Since this a non-judicial process, legal representation is not permitted.
    7. The committee is responsible to maintain minutes of their meetings and all supporting documentation.
    8. The committee will review all the evidence, including witness testimony, and make a decision within 10 business days of being appointed. That decision is communicated to the dean, along with copies of all minutes and supporting documentation with 48 hours of the decision.
    9. The dean will notify the student and faculty member of the final decision (and possible remedies as appropriate) along with the department chair within 48 hours of receiving the decision.
    10. This decision is final. If either party believes that due process was not followed, they may appeal, in writing, to the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline within seven business days.
      1. The dean will review all relevant documentation, including the committee’s minutes, to determine if both parties were provided due process within five business days.
      2. If the dean determines that due process was not violated, the committee’s decision stands. The decision may not be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, or the Board of Trustees.
      3. If the dean determines that due process was violated, a new committee will be appointed within 48 hours of the determination.
    11. Note: In rare instances, the dean may be the faculty member involved. In such cases, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint a dean from another school or college to oversee the appeal process.

Student Complaints

If a student has a serious complaint, please see http://www.olivet.edu/federal-disclosures/ to view our student complaint policy.  Per federal and state regulations, if you have exhausted all attempts to resolve the matter with the University, you may register a formal complaint with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) at https://complaints.ibhe.org/.