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Policy changes related to semesters

Updated April 23, 2019

The following are basic changes to current academic and graduation requirement policies, which will be in place beginning with fall semester in the 2019-20 academic year. Please learn these changes and keep this document at hand when advising students about academic program requirements beginning in fall of 2019. 

Semester transition notice regarding transfer credits

Starting with the 2019 fall semester, coursework taken prior to the semester transition will be evaluated for transfer by comparing courses taught under Augustana's trimester curriculum. For example, a course taken in Fall 2017 at another institution will be compared to Augustana courses taught under trimesters, while courses taken after June 1, 2019 will be compared to the semester curriculum. These dates for transition include AP, IB and A-Level scores. Students may petition the Committee on Advanced Standing and Degrees for an exception to the policy. This exception waiver is available only through the semester transition and expires in May 2023. 

Please note there are additional Transfer Policies.

1) Credits needed to graduate: Students in the transition cohorts will continue to need 123 credits.

Students entering the college in or after September 2019 will need 124 credits to graduate.  No more than 8 credits may be from participation in music ensembles and  no more than 4 credits of MULS, MUEN or MUCH may count towards the 40 credits at the 300+ level.   At least 60 credits must be earned at Augustana, including the final 12 credits.

2) Normal progress towards a degree will change slightly, as follows:

A sophomore has earned at least 29 credits (28 on trimesters).

A junior has earned at least 61 credits (60 on trimesters).

A senior has earned at least 91 credits (90 on trimesters).

3) Full-time status: A student must be enrolled in at least 12 credits during the fall and spring semesters. Coursework in J-term does not count toward full-time enrollment status.

4) Non-standard length courses: Courses that meet for less than 14 weeks are non-standard. Students can enroll in no more than 4 credit hours of non-standard length courses per semester (Department of Education). Please note that 1-, 2- and 3-credit courses that meet for the entire semester do not impact a student’s financial aid package.

5) Enrollment in J-term: A student must have enrolled in fall semester to take J-term. Tuition for J-term is included in fall semester tuition.

6) Required J-term course: Students who MUST take an on-campus J-term class include:

–all first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students,

– in-season athletes or athletes who are expected by coaches to be practicing on campus, 

– students who live and/or work on campus during January, and J-term is optional for all other students.

7) Internships: A student may earn no more than 12 credits from internship participation. Augustana-sponsored J-term internships may be taken for 1–4 credits. 

8) Pass/No Credit: Once 40% of a course is completed, a student may not change their pass/no credit status.

9) Reasoned Examination of Faith (REF) is replacing the Christian Traditions course requirement.
REF courses will not carry a Learning Perspective.  

10) Graduation will be processed for students three times per year: after fall semester, after spring
semester and after summer term. There will be no graduation after J-term. 

11) Final exam week will be five days long (Monday – Friday)

12) Full-time tuition for the year will cover 34 credits (credits for two semesters plus one J-term).

Students who enroll all year may distribute those credits as they choose, with 18 credits in fall or spring being the maximum. Students who feel they may have a special case to take more than 18 credits in a semester may make a request to exceed maximum registration limits through a petition and support of an advisor. Students are responsible for fees if they exceed the maximum credits allowed with full-time tuition. 

Tuition for half of the year covers 17 credits. J-term is billed as part of fall semester tuition. A student who enrolls for half of the year (i.e., fall semester and J-term, or only spring semester) can take 17 credits. Any additional credits will incur overload fees. For example, a student who enrolls in the entire year could take 16 credits fall semester, 4 credits in J-term and 14 credits in the spring. But a student who does not enroll in spring semester would pay overload fees if the credits in fall semester and J-term exceed 17.

13) Withdrawal from a course: To be in compliance with Department of Education guidelines, students who withdraw from a course after the published drop/add deadlines for 7- and 14-week courses will receive a W on their transcripts. The withdrawal deadline typically is at the end of the first week of a course. Consult the academic calendar for exact dates.

14) Impact of course withdrawal on financial aid: Because of significant changes from our trimester practices, encourage students to check with the Office of Financial Aid before dropping courses after the published add deadline, to verify that aid and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress will not be affected. As long as a student remains registered for at least 12 credits (e.g., adds another class or sustains a course load of 12 credits or above) after dropping a course, aid will not be reduced. However, if withdrawing from the course puts the student at fewer than 12 credits, aid may be reduced. NOTE: Any student with Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress status other than “good standing” should check with the Office of Financial Aid before dropping a course after the deadline.

15) Independent & Directed (IND/DIR) Study: Faculty may choose to offer IND/DIR courses for 1-2 credits per course as determined by the department. These courses may not replace coursework regularly offered in the curriculum. In one term, no more than 1 course of IND and 1 course of DIR may be earned in a given department. These courses do not carry Learning Perspectives.  No more than 8 credits of IND/DIR can count towards graduation.

16) Academic standing will be reviewed at the end of fall and spring semesters for students not enrolled in J-term, and at the end of J-term and spring semester for students who are enrolled in J-term.

17) Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of fall and spring semesters for students not enrolled in J-term, and at the end of J-term and spring semester for students who are enrolled in J-term.

18) Credit Hours and IL MAP Grant: To receive full semester payment of the IL MAP Grant, qualifying
students must: 

– Register for a minimum of 15 credit hours fall semester (fall + J-term) to qualify for the full fall semester IL MAP Grant. For MAP purposes, J-term credits will count towards the 15 credits for fall semester. 

  – Register for a minimum of 15 credit hours spring semester to qualify for full spring semester IL MAP Grant.

Example:   Spring credit hours Spring Illinois Map Grant  amount
  15 $2,434  
  14 $2,272  
  13 $2,109  
  12 $1,947


The following are NOT changing: 

•  No more than 40 credits are allowed in a single subject code. Courses listed under more than one code count in each code.

•  At least 40 credits must be earned in 300- or 400-level courses.  

•  FYI-100 and MULS credits will not count toward the 34 credits paid by the student’s tuition.

•  No more than 3 credits in HEPE activity can count toward the 124 credits for graduation.

•  Competency in a second language is required, and can be met through any of the same methods followed in the trimester system (e.g., a year of study at Augustana or another college or university, placement exam, etc.)

•  A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be achieved overall and in the major.

•  Full-time students may not concurrently carry coursework at any other institution (i.e., no concurrent registration). 

•  Classes taken as Pass/NC cannot apply for General Education requirements.