Academic Policies, Procedures and Resources
Academic Integrity Policy
Academic Grievance Policy and Process
Academic Success Center
Administrative Drop of a Student from a Course
Americans with Disabilities Act
Application for Degree (Graduation)
Classification of Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Course and Program Time Limit
Credit by Examination
Cross-Level Listing and Cross-Listing Courses
Degrees with Distinction
Dropping a Class
Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
Grade Appeal Process
Graduate Grading System
Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects in Research)
Liberal Arts Core Curriculum
Military Service Credit
Pre-Law School Advisor
ROTC Cross-Enrollment Program
Second Undergraduate Degrees
Transfer Credit for Military Experience
Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses
Undergraduate Grading System and Grade Points
Undergraduate Transfer Credit
Withdrawal from University Enrollment
Houston Baptist University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to apply for their academic accommodations as early as possible. Any student who needs learning accommodations should inform the professor immediately at the beginning of the semester that he/she will be requesting accommodations.
In order to request and receive academic accommodations, the student should contact the Director of Testing and Disability Services at 504@HBU.edu to schedule an appointment to discuss and request academic accommodation services. Academic Accommodations must be applied for, approved, and sent out in writing each semester. If academic accommodations are approved, a Letter of Accommodations will then be sent from the university to the professor(s). Please refer to the website, HBU.edu/504 for all accommodation policies and procedures.
The advising process is designed to help the student make important decisions related to academic progress and career aspirations. All HBU students should become familiar with their advisor and the advising process.
Undergraduate Advising Procedures: During the freshmen year, all students (except those in the College of Science and Mathematics and School of Fine Arts) are assigned a staff advisor who can help navigate the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum and counsel students on all academic matters, broad career, and vocational interests, etc. After their freshmen year, students will be promoted to a faculty advisor who specializes in the student’s particular field of interest or an allied field. The faculty advisor assists the student in planning major-specific educational and career goals. Students may see advisors to:
- discuss academic successes, challenges, or other issues that may affect academic progress
- select courses for each semester
- consider a change of major or minor
- file a degree plan
- discuss educational and career goals, and
- provide personal encouragement and support.
All advisees are expected to avail themselves of these services in order to graduate from HBU in a timely manner since the student is ultimately held responsible for fulfilling his or her degree plan requirements. Failure to utilize these advising services may result in graduation delays, insufficient progress toward completing a degree, and other possible complications.
Every HBU student MUST schedule a personal academic advising session each semester during his or her advisor’s office hours in advance of early registration. The advisee will receive a PIN (Personal Identification Number) at the conclusion of this visit. Once early registration for the upcoming semester begins (see the Academic Calendar HBU.edu/AcademicCalendar), the advisee will use this PIN to sign up online for his for her desired courses. All students are strongly encouraged to make these course schedule decisions with their assigned advisors in a judicious way. The PIN will allow students to change their course choices at any time during the open registration period without incurring any Add / Drop fees (see Fee Schedule HBU.edu/FeeSchedule).
Graduate Advising Procedures
Graduate students must also meet with their advisor and register once early registration opens to ensure that the classes they were advised to take are available to them. All students are strongly encouraged to make these course schedule decisions with their assigned advisors in a judicious way. Students should see advisors to:
- discuss academic successes, failures, or other issues that may affect academic progress
- select courses for each semester
- consider a change of major or minor
- file a degree plan
- discuss educational and career goals, and
- provide personal encouragement and support
It is the student’s responsibility to schedule advising appointments. Failure to utilize these advising services may result in graduation delays, insufficient progress toward completing a degree, and other possible complications.
Academic Integrity Policy
Academic integrity is valued at HBU and is at the very heart of the nature of the University as a Christian Liberal Arts Institution. It is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff to demonstrate academic integrity. The Academic Integrity policy is designed to promote “the development of moral character, the enrichment of spiritual lives, and the perpetuation of growth in Christian ideals” (HBU Preamble).
Upholding academic integrity provides experience that develops students to act with integrity in all areas of their lives. It is not considered “grace” to allow students to bend rules or act unethically without consequence; to do so violates faculty and staff’s obligation to “train the mind, develop the moral character, and enrich the spiritual lives” (HBU Preamble) of students. However, the University is committed to responding in a redemptive manner, seeking to balance compassion with accountability. Students can expect to be treated with Christian love as they deal with alleged academic integrity matters.
In practice, academic integrity means holding oneself to the highest ethical standard in all academic pursuits – doing all individual work alone, relying on one’s own knowledge during assessments, engaging truthfully with others, following all university policies and procedures, and encouraging this behavior in fellow students and throughout the HBU community. All academic integrity matters are to be documented in Advocate on the HBU portal which is accessed by clicking on the “Advocate” button.
Academic Dishonesty Defined
Academic integrity is violated when academic dishonesty or misconduct has occurred. As a Christian university, HBU views any act of academic dishonesty as a violation of the University’s fundamental principles. Academic dishonesty occurs when a student:
- submits the work or record of someone else as his/her own;
- copies another’s quiz or exam answers, laboratory work, or written assignments (e.g., homework);
- willfully cooperates with or seeks aid from another student during an academic assessment;
- has special information for use in an evaluation activity that is not available to other students in the same activity;
- accesses unauthorized materials during an exam (e.g., cell phone, textbook, prohibited calculators)
- copies, uses, buys, sells, or otherwise shares any part of an academic assessment (e.g., an exam);
- works together with other students on assignments that are clearly intended to be individual in nature;
- prepares assignments (e.g., papers) for another student to turn in as his/her own work;
- submits work as his/her own when it is not (i.e., plagiarism). This includes quoting or paraphrasing another’s work or ideas without citing and referencing appropriately;
- submits work for one class that has largely been prepared for and submitted for a grade in another class;
- falsifies or fabricates data or information;
- falsifies or fabricates fieldwork documentation (e.g., internship hours).
Other forms of academic misconduct include:
- destroying, concealing, stealing, or otherwise abusing resource materials (e.g., library books);
- computer misuse, including illegal use or destruction of computer software or hardware, downloading, emailing, or otherwise accessing unauthorized material (e.g., pornographic content, gambling programs), accessing any computer through a login that belongs to someone else, or otherwise engaging in inappropriate or illegal activity (e.g., hacking, tampering with network, harassment) including the aforementioned using HBU wi-fi;
- unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted materials;
- engaging in research activities with human subjects without the approval of the Research and Development Committee;
- classroom misconduct, i.e., any conduct which is disrespectful, harassing, aggressive, or otherwise substantially disrupts the progress of the class in the judgment of the faculty member.
The faculty member is responsible for notifying students in every class at the beginning of each term about the Academic Integrity Policy by including the policy in every course syllabus. Students are responsible for knowing and following the policy in all cases. The faculty member or academic administrative officer is responsible for establishing clearly whether academic dishonesty or misconduct has occurred.
The process is to be redemptive in nature. As directed by the faculty member, the student could correct and resubmit the assignment in question or receive a failing grade for the assignment in question. At the sole discretion of the faculty member, the student may be directed to resubmit the assignment in question or the student may receive a failing grade for the assignment in question. However, failing the course specifically as a result of the alleged violation is not an option (although when the grade for the assignment is calculated with grades for all assignments in the course, the result could be failing the course). In all cases, the faculty member shall report the incident to the dean of the college.
The student may appeal the action by following the process outlined in the Academic Grievance Policy and Process. Once an investigation into an alleged violation of academic integrity has begun, the student may not receive a grade of “W” for the course in which the alleged violation occurred. The student should be aware that suspension from the University or other administrative action may be taken in cases of academic dishonesty or misconduct, including but not limited to a pattern of academic dishonesty or misconduct. A decision to suspend a student is made by the Office of the Provost. Inclusion in the HBU Catalog is considered sufficient notice to all students of University policy and procedures regarding this matter.
Academic Grievance Policy and Process
A student may file an academic grievance if he or she believes a grade was awarded improperly or for any academic grievance matter. The formal process is described below and must be followed by all parties in order to resolve a dispute.
- The student should make an appointment with the faculty member in question to discuss the matter in person. The student is advised, but not required, to apprise his or her advisor of the matter. It is appropriate to try to resolve differences amicably and in person if at all possible. This is especially true at a Christian institution. If the student is concerned that a private meeting with the faculty member will create antagonism, the student may skip to Step 2. However, the student must make this concern known in writing to the chair of the department in which the course is located explaining why he or she believes this to be the case.
- If the student continues to dispute the grade after the face-to-face meeting, the student may bring the matter to the chair of the department. This step requires the student to make a written appeal to the chair and provide a copy to the faculty member and academic advisor. The chair will review the student’s concern and consult with the faculty member, either individually or with both present. The chair will respond to the student and the faculty member in writing of the chair’s recommendation and notify the dean.
- If the student is unsatisfied with the chair’s recommendation, the student may submit a written request to the dean of the college in which the department resides. The dean will review the written appeal and consult with the chair, the faculty member, the advisor and the student. This will occur either individually or in a group as the dean deems appropriate. The student may request a Standards Committee be formed by the dean. The purpose of the Committee is to bring clarity to all sides, allowing for a thoughtful and informed response from the disputants and to assure integrity in the assigning of grades to students by faculty. However, the Committee has no authority to force the change of a grade. The membership of the committee is composed of all parties heretofore mentioned with the dean serving as chair of the Committee. The dean will also select at least one faculty member from the college and one faculty member from another college to serve on the Committee. The student making the complaint should be the only student involved and no legal representation nor any other parties are permitted. After hearing both sides and deliberating the Committee will render a judgment as to what it advises should be done. The hearing and the rendering is the end of the process. No appeals to change a grade are to be made to the Provost or the President.
- If the student believes that the process or the way in which they were treated was unfair, the student may submit a written appeal to the Provost. The Provost will make a judgment whether or not to accept the appeal (the President is not to be contacted in these matters). If the Provost agrees to hear the matter, only two allegations will be considered: 1) that the process itself is unfair; 2) that the student was not treated fairly in the process. The burden will be on the student to demonstrate with facts and evidence that the process or the treatment was unfair. Depending on the Provost’s findings, the matter may be returned to the Standards Committee for further review.
- A student is permitted to ask the University Ombudsman to serve as an advisor throughout this process; however, the student must make this known to all parties involved in the academic grievance process. At no time should any HBU employee advise a student anonymously or write an appeal document.
- If a student questions any grade as recorded in the Registrar’s Office, the student has a period of one (1) year beginning with the end of the term in which the grade was awarded, or six (6) months after the degree is conferred (whichever comes sooner), to challenge the accuracy of the grade.
- Regardless of who initiates the process, all academic integrity matters are to be documented in Advocate on the HBU portal.
Department of Nursing Policy and Grade Appeal Process
All Department of Nursing Policy and Grade Appeals are to be documented in Advocate on the HBU portal which is accessed by clicking on the “Advocate” button. Students have the right to appeal for exceptions to policies or for consideration of a grade dispute through the Admission, Progression and Graduation (APG) Standards committee. The procedure for the appeal process is as follows:
- The student should first address the issue with the faculty member (if a grade is being disputed), or the department chair (if a policy is being challenged).
- If the issue is not resolved, the student may meet with the faculty member and Department Chair of Nursing Programs.
- If the issue is not resolved, the student may file a written petition to the School of Nursing and Allied Health APG Standards Committee for consideration. The petition must be in writing and addressed to the chairperson of the APG Committee and copies to the Dean.
- The Chairperson must receive petitions within 30 days of the issued grade or applied policy or the petition will be deemed “untimely” and not given consideration.
- Petitions must include the following content:
- details regarding the issue/s) being petitioned,
- the relief being sought
- circumstance that warrant review of the grade or policy and
- a plan of action if the petition is not granted
- The APG Standards Committee chairperson will schedule a meeting (not necessarily hold the meeting) within one (1) week of receiving the petition with exception to University business days.
- During the meeting, the student and professor can present their perspectives to the committee, which is a form of internal review.
- After reviewing the perspectives and clarifying issues, the APG Standards Committee votes on any recommendations. The student will be notified of the committee’s decision at the conclusion of the meeting. In addition, a letter will be mailed to the student to provide the decision in writing. The APG Standards Committee may make recommendations to faculty regarding grades or decide to make exceptions to policies. According to University policy, only the faculty member(s) responsible for a course may assign or change a grade.
- Examples of issues that may be reviewed by the APG Standards Committee include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Grade disputes on assignments, tests, or courses
- Exceptions to admission criteria
- Exceptions to progression policies such as re-entry into or progression in a program after two course failures, failure to achieve full admission status after a conditional admission, or after academic probation or suspension.
- All discussion during the APG Standards Committee meeting is a confidential. The committee chair will communicate the decision to appropriate faculty members and/or administrators.
- Should the student’s petition be denied, he or she may elect to file a written appeal of APG Standards committee’s decision to the University Appeals Committee. The written appeal must be submitted to the Dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health within five (5) working days from notification of the APG Standards Committee’s decision. Appeals submitted outside of the established timeframe will be deemed “untimely” and not given further consideration. The Chairperson of the University Appeals Committee will schedule a date and time for the student and other relevant parties to present the case for consideration. The Committee will review the APG process and render a decision on the fairness of the process and if the student was treated fairly in the process. The Chairperson will communicate the decision to the involved parties. The decision of the Appeals Committee is considered “final” in these cases and is not subject to further administrative appeal.
Undergraduate Academic Load
The minimum number of semester hours (125) required to complete an undergraduate degree at HBU suggests that a student must average approximately sixteen to seventeen (16-17) hours each semester to make normal progress toward degree completion in a four-year period. For the undergraduate programs, the minimum load for full-time enrollment is twelve (12) undergraduate semester hours with an allowed maximum of nineteen (19) semester hours; 6 hours is required for the student to be enrolled half-time for the semester. The normal course load per semester for undergraduate students is 15-18 semester hours. The faculty advisor and appropriate Dean must approve credit hour overloads.
Schedules for more than 19 semester hours may only be permitted if one or more of the following criteria are met:
- The student has a 3.0 GPA (B average) on all courses completed and for the immediately preceding semester.
- The student has a 3.25 GPA for the preceding semester; or
- The student is a last-term senior in good standing.
The privilege of taking more than 19 hours will not be allowed if grades drop with the overload. A desire to meet a specific graduation date is not, in itself, sufficient reason to request the privilege of a greater than normal load.
The maximum credit for any summer is fourteen (14) hours which must be earned in not more than four courses. Five full courses will not be permitted for any reason whether taken in residence or by transfer. Students may not earn credit for more than two courses for a maximum of seven (7) hours in any one term.
Graduate Academic Load
For the Fall or Spring semester, a graduate student who is enrolled for nine (9) or more graduate semester hours is considered to be a full-time student. With the exception of the MFA in Studio Art where students may take up to fifteen (15) semester hours per semester, twelve (12) semester hours is the maximum load per semester with nine hours the preferred average maximum. Graduate students enrolled in particular programs of study must meet the particular enrollment requirements of that specific degree program for each semester of enrollment. In the Summer semester, three to four (3-4) hours is considered a half time load and five (5) or more hours is considered a full time load. During the summer session only, a graduate student with a minimum GPA of 3.25 will be allowed to register for a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours provided that no more than seven hours be undertaken in a five-week summer term. Two courses per term may be allowed with permission. Overloads must be approved by the faculty advisors and college/school deans. Registration in five (5) graduate credit hours is considered a half time load and enables the graduate student to be financial aid eligible. In some exceptional cases, internships or classes in clinical settings may require a significant amount of additional time and thus a student may be considered full-time though they are enrolled for less than nine (9) hours. In those cases, the relevant dean should submit the Graduate Academic Load form to the Office of the Provost for approval. Note: some scholarships and aid may require a particular minimum number of hours.
Any undergraduate student who has failed to earn the cumulative scholastic levels designated above and who is ineligible for Academic Warning will be placed on Academic Probation and removed from the list of degree candidates until the appropriate cumulative standing is attained. A student on Academic Probation must earn a 2.00 GPA standing in the current semester to be eligible to continue in enrollment beyond that semester. Removal from Academic Probation requires that the student meets the required scholastic levels as set forth in the “Scholastic Standing” section of this Catalog. Students on Academic Probation are not eligible to represent the University unless they receive a waiver from the Provost.
The University Admissions Review Board may consider transfer students who are eligible to return to their prior institutions but who fail to attain minimal University standards. To be considered, the student must submit a personal statement, and two (2) academic letters of recommendation before the last Monday of the semester before the semester for which the student seeks admission. Any student so admitted will be admitted on Academic Probation and must attain good standing within one semester.
Notification of the action will be sent to the student and the faculty advisor and will be recorded on the student’s permanent transcript.
The Registrar’s Office will maintain a cumulative record of the grade point standing of each student.
Regularly-admitted students are students have met or exceeded the minimum requirements for admission. Conditionally-admitted students are students who are admitted through the Admissions Review Board because they did not achieve the acceptable minimum requirements for regular admission and are subject to the “Conditional Admission Agreement”.
In the first semester that any student fails to achieve the acceptable minimum GPA, he/she will be placed on academic warning. If the student fails to achieve the acceptable minimum GPA in his/her second semester, he/she will continue on academic warning for the ensuing semester. If the student fails to achieve the acceptable minimum GPA in his/her third semester at HBU, he/she will be placed on academic probation. Finally, if the student fails to achieve the acceptable minimum GPA in his/her fourth semester, he/she will be placed on academic suspension*.
An undergraduate must attain the following acceptable minimum GPA:
|Undergraduate Acceptable Minimum GPA|
|73 hours and above||2.0|
Good standing applies to all collegiate academic hours, including HBU hours. This means that a student’s academic standing will be evaluated on his or her entire collegiate experience, including hours at other institutions of higher learning.
Graduate Academic Standing
Every graduate student enrolled in graduate programs is required to maintain a high level of performance and to comply fully with policies of the University. Students who are admitted to a degree program with stipulations are subject to compliance with those requirements. Failure to fulfill the conditions stipulated at the time of admission will result in suspension from the University. If a graduate student’s cumulative grade point average falls below the acceptable minimum GPA, the student will be placed on academic probation. A 3.0 average is the minimum requirement of the University for graduate students to be a candidate for graduation; individual academic programs may impose a higher grade point average for continuance in specific programs. Probationary status can be removed only when the cumulative GPA reaches the acceptable minimum GPA. Each student placed on academic probation must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA during the student’s current enrollment or he or she will be suspended and will not be allowed to apply for readmission until at least one full semester has passed.
A graduate must attain the following acceptable minimum GPA:
|Graduate Acceptable Minimum GPA|
|19 hours or above||3|
Readmission is not guaranteed after a student has been suspended. When reapplying after suspension, the student must submit a personal written statement addressing the student’s efforts to improve during the upcoming semester and plans for improved academic performance in the program, provide two letters of recommendation to the department chair/program director, and schedule an interview with the department chair or program director. If admission is denied by the chair/director of the program, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the dean. If admission is denied by the dean, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the university’s Graduate Admission Review Board. A student who is suspended for a second time is not eligible for readmission.
The grade point average on which scholastic standing is based is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned at HBU by the number of semester hours attempted at HBU, with repeated courses considered only once in the cumulative calculation. A graduate student who does not have a 3.00 cumulative standing may not be considered as a candidate for a degree. A student must maintain the cumulative academic standing specified for a classification to be eligible to represent the University, unless he or she receives a waiver from the Provost.
For students enrolled in seminary, seeking a degree in the Master of Divinity program or the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership program, the above policies are the same with the exception of having a 2.5 average as the minimum requirement to be a candidate for graduation.
A Master of Divinity student must attain the following acceptable minimum GPA:
|Graduate Acceptable Minimum GPA|
|25 hours or above||2.5|
A Master of Arts in Christian Leadership student must attain the following acceptable minimum GPA:
|Graduate Acceptable Minimum GPA|
|19 hours or above||2.5|
Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides services to all Houston Baptist University students. The ASC promotes student success by providing academic tutoring services and academic coaching for students in all majors. The Academic Success Center is located on the first floor of Moody Library. More information regarding the ASC can be found at HBU.edu/ASC.
An undergraduate student on academic probation who fails to attain a 2.0 GPA standing in the current semester will be suspended and may not apply for readmission until at least one (1) full semester has passed. A student who is suspended must submit a re-entry application at least one (1) month before the next semester begins. A personal statement of approximately 250 words and two letters of recommendation from HBU faculty must support the student’s application for re-entry. After receipt of these documents by the Office of Admissions, an interview with the Director of Admissions will be scheduled. A student on first suspension will be readmitted at the Director’s discretion. If admission is denied, the student may appeal in writing to the Admissions Review Board. Students who are placed on academic suspension will be notified of that action in writing. The action will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.
A student who is suspended for a second time may not be readmitted until at least two semesters have passed. A student on second suspension must submit a re-entry application at least one month before the semester for which admission is requested begins. When reapplying after second suspension, the student must submit a personal statement of approximately 250 words in writing to the Admissions Review Board. Two (2) letters of academic recommendation must support the student’s application.
A student on second suspension is strongly encouraged to enroll in at least twelve (12) hours at another regionally-accredited institution during the two (2) semesters the student is sitting out. The student should achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 to improve their opportunity to be reinstated at HBU by the Admissions Review Board. Any course in which the student has earned a grade of “F” at HBU cannot be repeated at another institution for transfer credit at HBU. For the re-entry application to be processed, an official transcript must be sent directly from the institution to the Office of Admissions.
A student who is suspended for a third time is not eligible for readmission.
A student who is admitted after a suspension must earn a 2.0 GPA standing in the current semester to continue. Such a student will be readmitted on academic probation and will maintain that status until the required scholastic levels as set forth in the “Scholastic Standing” section of this Catalog are met.
Graduate students seeking information on academic probation see the “Academic Standing-Graduate” section of this Catalog.
The Academic Technology department’s mission is to provide a streamlined, stable environment within Blackboard to successfully support faculty and students on the campus, online, and at off-campus educational sites. The Blackboard mobile app is also free for download at your favorite app store. The Blackboard Learning Management system is integrated with various tools (e.g., Turnitin, HBU Navigate, and textbook publisher materials) that provide streamlined access without an extra username and password.
Academic warning applies to any student failing to maintain the acceptable minimum GPA at the end of their first or second semester. Notification of the action will be sent to the student and the faculty advisor and will be recorded on the student’s permanent transcript.
Administrative Drop of a Student from a Course
The Registrar may administratively drop a student from a course, via an Add/Drop form, with the approval of the instructor, the advisor, and the Dean of the College or School in which the course is taught. The administrative withdrawal of a student from a course may occur only through the last day for dropping a course with a grade of “W,” usually the first day of the eighth week of a Fall and Spring semesters, or All-Summer semester, and the 15th day of the First or Second summer sessions. These dates are specified for each academic semester in the calendar at the beginning of this Catalog. A student may be withdrawn from a class for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
- If the prerequisites or co-requisites as listed in the current HBU Catalog for the course from which the student is being withdrawn have not been met.
- If there are circumstances beyond the student’s control (serious illness, accident, etc.) that will involve excessive absences in the course from which the student is being withdrawn.
- The student has not attended a class up to the census date, or other matters pertaining to financial aid and compliance with law.
Dropping or withdrawing from the University are serious matters and cannot be accomplished by email, phone calls, voice messages or purporting to have told someone at the University that the student is not returning or has chosen not to attend. Formal rules and documents must be fulfilled to drop or withdraw with the approval of the Registrar’s office required.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Houston Baptist University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. Any student who needs learning accommodations is to inform the professor immediately at the beginning of the semester in which he/she will be requesting accommodations. In order to request and establish academic accommodations, the student is to contact the Director of Disability Services via email at 504@HBU.edu to schedule an appointment to discuss and officially request academic accommodation services. If academic accommodations are approved, the Director will provide a Letter of Accommodations to the professor(s) and the student. The student must apply for academic accommodations each semester and the Director will provide approved written accommodations each semester. Please refer to the website, HBU.edu/504 for all accommodation policies and procedures.
Students requiring accommodations for disabilities related to University Residence Life should also contact the Director of Disability Services at 504@HBU.edu and refer to the website HBU.edu/504 for more information under Residence Life Accommodations.
Application for Degree (Graduation)
Each student must file an application for graduation in the Registrar’s Office at least two (2) semesters before the date graduation is expected. The application for graduation will verify the name as it should appear on the diploma, the date the degree is expected, and the major fields of interest to be completed as a part of the degree requirements. The Registrar will perform an audit of the student’s degree requirements and notify the student and his or her advisor of the coursework and other requirements the student still needs to complete.
Regular attendance in class is important for student success, and it is university policy that students must attend class. Faculty members are responsible for maintaining complete and accurate attendance records for each student. Absences are recorded beginning from the first class session after the student has enrolled in the course. Professors are not obligated to allow students to make up work they miss due to unexcused absences. Any student who does not attend at least 75% of the scheduled class sessions will receive a grade of “F” for the course, regardless of his performance on other assessments such as tests, quizzes, papers, or projects. Professors may apply additional attendance policies as appropriate to individual courses. Likewise, the College or School may also apply additional attendance requirements as necessary. In either case, all applicable attendance policies will be stipulated in the course syllabus.
Excused Absence Policy
Students represent Houston Baptist University through participation in university sponsored or sanctioned activities such as the arts, music, and intercollegiate athletics. When the activity schedule occasionally conflicts with academic obligations, student-participants and their sponsors will follow a standard protocol to provide faculty members with prior, written notification of their administratively excused absences from classes. Faculty members will determine, in consultation with student-participants, how missed classes and assignments are made-up in a manner that fulfills academic obligations and accommodates the obligation of the student to participate in a university activity. Except for excused absences (see below), student-participants have the same responsibility with regard to class attendance and assignments as do all other students. Houston Baptist University is committed to the philosophy that academic events, artistic performances, and intercollegiate athletics are an important part of the institution’s mission to provide diverse educational opportunities to our students. The University recognizes that there may be occasions when, due to a scheduled event, a participating student must miss a class with an excused absence.
Definition of an Excused Absence:
- This policy for University excused absences applies to participation as an athlete, manager, student trainer, student coach, or graduate assistant in NCAA intercollegiate competitions, or participation as a representative of Houston Baptist University at academic events and artistic performances approved by the Provost or designee.
- Practice or rehearsal for any event is not eligible for consideration as an excused absence.
- This policy excludes those academic endeavors that require the completion of a predetermined number of clock hours. Departmental practices and procedures of each College should be consistent with this policy as much as possible in order to be sure that the University serves student needs.
Activity Director or Head Coach Responsibilities
- Head Coaches or the faculty member in charge of a university activity shall inform instructors of dates which students will miss class due to an excused absence well in advance of the date of that anticipated absence. For activities such as athletic competitions where schedules are known prior to the start of a semester, coaches must provide instructors by the second week of each semester a written schedule showing days in which students expect to miss classes. For other university excused absences, the faculty or staff member in charge must provide each instructor at the earliest possible time the dates that students will miss.
- It must be understood that travel plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances. In each case, the head coach or director will make every effort to notify the instructor as soon as possible.
- The HBU Athletic Affairs Committee has also developed an Administratively Approved Absence Form to be distributed to all professors of student-participants detailing absence information. This form comprises a list of times and dates when a student-participant will be administratively excused from a class during that semester. It is developed by the Head Coach or sponsor and checked by the Athletic Director or Dean of the sponsor.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Regular and punctual class attendance is essential. Do not miss class for other reasons. Be in class every day.
- Make-up work for University-excused absences
- It is the responsibility of the student to request from the instructor an opportunity to complete missed assignments, activities, labs, examinations or other course requirements in a timely manner.
- The student should set up an appointment with the instructor to discuss an action plan designed to meet any missed course requirements during the time of the excused absence. The timing of this meeting should take place at the discretion of the instructor.
- Students are responsible for all material covered in classes that they miss, even when their absences are excused, as defined above.
- Missed classroom activities will be rescheduled at the discretion of the instructor. When possible, missed class work should be completed prior to leaving for an excused academic activity.
- Students should be aware that excessive absences—whether excused or unexcused—may affect their ability to do well in their classes.
- Instructors are responsible for taking attendance and for providing students with an equitable way to make up missed work due to an absence excused by this policy.
- Instructors should inform students in a timely manner of procedures to make up missed work, e.g., including the information in the course syllabus.
- Instructors may not penalize students for absences excused by this policy.
Violation of Academic Conduct Regulations
- Falsifying information or documentation in order to obtain an excused absence is considered a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Conduct Regulations.
- Sharing information about a make-up examination or quiz with other students is deemed a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Conduct Regulations.
- Anyone found responsible for falsifying information or documentation in order to obtain an excused absence or sharing examination or quiz information may receive a course grade of zero, as determined by the course instructor, in addition to any sanction(s) imposed by the administration. (See Academic Grievance Policy and Process).
Challenge examinations are used to validate mastery of content (1) gained many years previously or (2) gained in part through co-curricular means. The University’s policy disallowing life experience credit prohibits this option from being open to students who can show no formal study of the content area at the College level. For those who have some formal College study plus independent study or gained expertise, the challenge exam presents a viable option. The Registrar’s Office is the coordinator of all activity in this respect.
After the exam has been taken, the student should secure a form from the Registrar’s Office for credit to be posted on their academic transcript.
Required scores for specific tests are stated in the current Catalog found on the website. A grade of “CR” is entered on the transcript of the student who achieves the required score and the appropriate number of semester hours of credit awarded. At the graduate level, credit does not apply to degree requirements but does allow program admission based on the fulfillment of prerequisites.
In the event that another testing vehicle is proposed other than those listed under the Advanced Placement heading in the current Catalog found on the website, the University Registrar will serve as the approval agent. Such a proposal should contain descriptive information as to the nature of the examination, grading standards, and comparability to the CLEP tests. The proposal should contain the signature of the program director and the appropriate Dean before going to the University Registrar. Failure to meet necessary deadlines will not be considered justifiable grounds for substituting for the CLEP test.
Classification of Undergraduate and Graduate Students
|Freshman:||Fewer than 32 semester hours of credit|
|Sophomore:||At least 32 and not more than 63 semester hours|
|Junior:||At least 64 semester hours and an approved degree plan on file with the Registrar|
|Senior:||At least 96 semester hours and a 2.00 scholastic standing or above|
|Special:||A student over 21 years of age, with demonstrated ability to do acceptable university work, but indicating by signed statement that he or she is not interested in following a degree program|
|Part-time Student:||Undergraduates registered for fewer than twelve semester hours in a regular semester|
Classification of Graduate Students for Fall and Spring Semesters
|Full-time||nine or more semester hours of graduate coursework|
|Half-time||five semester hours of graduate coursework is considered half-time|
|Note: Half-time enables the graduate student to be financial aid eligible|
Commencement ceremonies are scheduled annually in August, December, and May. Degree recipients are encouraged to participate. Due to the limitations of the Dunham Theater, which holds 1200 persons, students will be limited in the number of their guests who can attend the ceremonies.
Courses of instruction are numbered to indicate the level of the course and the number of semester hours to be earned. The first digit denotes the year in which the course is usually taken: 1 – freshman; 2 – sophomore; 3 – junior; 4 – senior; 5 – post-graduate or graduate; 6 – graduate; 7- graduate. Undergraduate students may ordinarily not register for courses beginning with a 5 (See “Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses“); courses beginning with a 6 are reserved exclusively for graduate students. A student classified as a freshman (fewer than 32 semester hours of credit) is prohibited from enrolling in a 3000- or 4000-level course. The second digit indicates the semester hour value of the course. The third and fourth digits indicate the departmental sequencing of the course.
The student must designate at registration the system for recording the grade (alpha, pass-fail, or audit). This choice may not change after registration for that term is closed. A student who properly registers for a course on a pass-fail basis may, at the discretion of the instructor, be assigned a grade of “A” where the student’s performance merits that grade. See the “Pass-Fail Courses” section of this Catalog.
Courses listed on the same line in this HBU Catalog and having the same description are sequence courses. If the numbers are separated by a hyphen, both must be successfully completed before a student may receive credit in either. If a comma separates the numbers, it is strongly recommended that both be completed.
Course and Program Time Limit
In general, there is no time limit on counting undergraduate and graduate course credit towards degree completion. Courses that are an exception to this rule are noted in the description of the course in the HBU Catalog.
Credit by Examination
High school graduates with strong academic records who have completed College level work while in high School may receive course credit in appropriate fields-of-interest at HBU. To become eligible for this credit, an applicant must make a satisfactory score on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination for the subject in which credit is desired. Prospective students are encouraged to consult their high School counselors and arrange to take the Advanced Placement Examinations for which they are eligible in the spring before expected fall enrollment. These examinations are normally given once each year, usually in May. University credit is awarded for students scoring a 3, 4 or 5 on the examination. Complete information may be obtained by writing the College Entrance Examination Board, Box 592, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. See the chart of approved examinations on the following pages. CLEP credit is limited to students with 63 or fewer hours. In some academic disciplines, graduate students may apply CLEP credit towards leveling or prerequisite coursework. See College or School where the degree is housed for specific information.
The subject examinations in this same program and other approved examinations are available to students who have developed special abilities and would like to demonstrate eligibility for additional credit.
Students may also receive credit by examination in French, German, or Spanish through the Modern Language Association Cooperative Foreign Language Examinations. Credit is given as follows:
- Form MB: 80th Percentile and above — 12 hours of credit
- Form MB: 65th Percentile and above — 6 hours of credit
- Form LB: 80th Percentile and above — 6 hours of credit
- Form LB: 50th Percentile and above — 3 hours of credit
Transfer credit will be awarded for coursework in a foreign language not offered at HBU but taken at an accredited College or university. No life experience credit is awarded.
HBU students who earn IB examination credit will, subject to approval by the relevant departments, receive credit for individual higher level examinations on which they receive a score of 5, 6, or 7.
All credit is posted only after the student has completed at least twelve (12) semester hours at HBU with a GPA of 2.0 or greater.
Credit by Examination: DSST
DSST (formerly Dantes) is a credit by exam program that covers a wide range of courses. If a student’s JST or military transcript does not cite the DSST score(s), a separate transcript from DSST/DANTES must be received by HBU.
Credit by Examination Requirements
|Credit Area||Approved Examination||Semester Hrs. Credit||Equivalent HBU Course||Required STD. Score|
|Accounting||CLEP Subject: Financial Acct||3 hrs. credit||ACCT 2301||scaled score of 55|
|Art||CLEP Subject: Financial Acct||3 hrs. credit||ACCT 2301||scaled score of 55|
|Biology||College Board Achievement: Biology-Ecology||4 hrs. credit||BIOL 2454||560|
|College Board Achievement: Biology-Molecular||4 hrs. credit||BIOL 2454||560|
|*CLEP Subject: Biology||4 hrs. credit||BIOL 2454||scaled score of 65|
|Advanced Placement: Biology||4 hrs. credit||BIOL 1404||3|
|Advanced Placement: Biology||4 hrs. credit||BIOL 2454||4 or 5|
|International Baccalaureate: Biology||4 hrs. credit (non-science major)||BIOL 1404||4|
|International Baccalaureate: Biology||8 hrs. credit||BIOL 1404, 2454||5, 6 or 7|
|Chemistry||College Board Achievement: Chemistry||4 hrs. credit||CHEM 2415||560|
|CLEP Subject: Chemistry||4 hrs. credit||CHEM 2415||scaled score of 62|
|Advanced Placement: Chemistry||4 hrs. credit||CHEM 1404||3|
|Chemistry||4 hrs. credit||CHEM 2415||4 or 5|
|International Baccalaureate: Chemistry||4 hrs. credit (non-science major)||CHEM 1404||4|
|International Baccalaureate: Chemistry||8 hrs. credit||CHEM 1404, 2415||5, 6, or 7|
|Chinese||Advanced Placement: Mandarin Chinese Language||6 hrs. credit||CHIN 1313, 1323||3 or higher|
|Economics||CLEP Subject: Principles of Microeconomics||3 hrs. credit||ECON 2311||scaled score of 60|
|CLEP Subject: Principles of Macroeconomics||3 hrs. credit||ECON 2312||scaled score of 62|
|Advanced Placement: Microeconomics||3 hrs. credit||ECON 2311||4|
|Macroeconomics||3 hrs. credit||ECON 2312||4|
|International Baccalaureate: Economics||3 hrs. credit||ECON 2311||5|
|Economics||3 hrs. credit||ECON 2312||5|
|English||CLEP Subject: Freshman College Composition||3 hrs. credit||ENGL 1313||scaled score of 50|
|College Board Achievement – National: English Composition||3 hrs. credit||ENGL 1313||550|
|Advanced Placement: Language & Composition||3 hrs. credit||ENGL 1313||3 or higher|
|Advanced Placement: Literature & Composition||6 hrs. credit||ENGL 1313, 1323||4 or 5|
|International Baccalaureate: English||6 hrs. credit||ENGL 1313, 1323||5, 6, or 7|
|French||Advanced Placement: Literature||12 hrs. credit||FREN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||3|
|Language||9 hrs. credit||FREN 1314, 1324, 2314||3|
|Language||12 hrs. credit||FREN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||4 or 5|
|International Baccalaureate: French||12 hrs. credit||FREN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||5, 6, or 7|
|CLEP Subject: Language||6 hrs. credit||FREN 1314, 1324||scaled score of 49|
|Language||12 hrs. credit||FREN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||scaled score of 68|
|German||Advanced Placement: Literature||12 hrs. credit||GERM 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||3|
|Language||9 hrs. credit||GERM 1314, 1324, 2314||3|
|Language||12 hrs. credit||GERM 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||4 or 5|
|International Baccalaureate: German||12 hrs. credit||GERM 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||5, 6, or 7|
|CLEP Subject: Language||6 hrs. credit||GERM 1314, 1324||scaled score of 37|
|Language||12 hrs. credit||GERM 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||scaled score of 71|
|Government||Advanced Placement: U.S. Government and Politics||3 hrs. credit||GOVT 2313||3 or higher|
|Comparative Government and Politics||3 hrs. credit||GOVT 2360||3 or higher|
|CLEP Subject: American Government||3 hrs. credit||GOVT 2313||scaled score of 50|
|History||CLEP Subject: U.S. History I: Early Colonization to 1877||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2313||scaled score of 50|
|U.S. History II: 1865 to present||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2323||scaled score of 50|
|Social Science and History||3 hrs. credit||Lower level HIST elective||scaled score of 50|
|Advanced Placement: U.S. History||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2313||3|
|U.S. History||6 hrs. credit||HIST 2313, 2323||4 or 5|
|World History||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2311||3|
|World History||6 hrs. credit||HIST 2311, 2312||4 or 5|
|European History||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2312||3 or higher|
|International Baccalaureate: History||3 hrs. credit||Lower level HIST elective||5, 6, or 7|
|CLEP Subject: Western Civilization 1||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2311||Scaled score of 50|
|CLEP Subject: Western Civilization 2||3 hrs. credit||HIST 2312||Scaled score of 50|
|Latin||Advanced Placement: Latin||6 hrs. credit||LATN 1311, 1312||3|
|Advanced Placement: Latin||9 hrs. credit||LATN 1311, 1312, 2311||4|
|Advanced Placement: Latin||12 hrs. credit||LATN 1311, 1312, 2311, 4301||5|
|Mathematics||College Board Achievement: Math Level 1||3 hrs. credit||MATH 1313||550|
|College Board Achievement: Math Level 2||3 hrs. credit||MATH 1323||550|
|CLEP Subject: Algebra||3 hrs. credit||MATH 1313||scaled score of 60|
|Calculus||4 hrs. credit||MATH 1451||scaled score of 61|
|Trigonometry||3 hrs. credit||MATH 1323||scaled score of 58|
|Pre-Calculus||3 hrs. credit||MATH 1434||scaled score of 58|
|Advanced Placement: Calculus AB||4 hrs. credit||MATH 1434||3|
|Calculus AB||8 hrs. credit||MATH 1434, 1451||4 or 5|
|Calculus BC||4 hrs. credit||MATH 1451||3|
|Calculus BC||8 hrs. credit||MATH 1451, 1452||4 or 5|
|International Baccalaureate: Mathematics||4 hrs. credit (non-science major)||MATH 1434||4|
|International Baccalaureate: Mathematics||8 hrs. credit||MATH 1434, 2434||5, 6, or 7|
|Music||International Baccalaureate: Music Literature (Higher
|3 hrs. credit||MUSI 2331||5 or higher|
|Music Theory (Higher Level)||2 hrs. credit||MUSI 1322, 1022||5 or higher|
|Physics||Advanced Placement: Physics||4 hrs. credit||PHYS 1416||4 or 5|
|Psychology||Advanced Placement: Psychology||3 hrs. credit||PSYC 1313||4 or higher|
|Advanced Placement: Statistics||3 hrs. credit||PSYC 2301||4 or higher|
|Spanish||Advanced Placement: Literature||12 hrs. credit||SPAN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||3|
|Language||9 hrs. credit||SPAN 1314, 1324, 2314||3|
|Language||12 hrs. credit||SPAN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||4 or 5|
|CLEP Subject: Language||6 hrs. credit||SPAN 1314, 1324||scaled score of 53|
|Language||12 hrs. credit||SPAN 1314, 1324||scaled score of 64|
|International Baccalaureate: Spanish||12 hrs. credit||SPAN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324||5, 6 or 7|
Note: On CLEP Subject Area tests, the required score is either the scaled score as stated above or, if not stated, is at the equivalent of a grade of “B”. CLEP scores ordinarily may not be transferred from one institution to another. HBU does NOT adhere to or accept the American Council on Education recommended minimum scores.
Cross-Level Listing and Cross-Listing Course
Houston Baptist University acknowledges that, on occasion, it is appropriate to cross-level list a graduate class with an undergraduate class as well as cross-list two undergraduate classes or two graduate classes. It is also understood that graduate classes demand more rigor, higher-order learning, and be progressively more complex than undergraduate classes in the same subject matter.
When cross-level listing a graduate class with an undergraduate class of the same subject matter:
- Each course must have a separate syllabus, and specific student learning outcomes are to be provided for each course clearly indicating the greater degree of analysis, synthesis, rigor, critical thought and independence required for the graduate course. Student learning outcomes are expected to be different for the graduate class.
- Each course should have separate descriptions listed in the course catalog that reflect the advanced academic content of the graduate course.
- Acceptable configurations of such courses include 4000/5000 and 4000/6000 cross-level listings Undergraduate courses at the 3000 level or below should not be cross-level listed with a graduate course.
- Course titles should be similar but do not need to be identical.
- Cross-level listed courses must be taught by faculty terminally degreed in the field of study.
- Graduate course requirements should be determined by academically qualified faculty(terminal) with graduate teaching experience in the subject matter and should reflect the foundational knowledge and skill development to support independent research and professional practice.
- Examples may include but are not limited to, independent research projects, portfolios, case studies, theses, dissertations, or other examples of graduate research/professional practice.
- Classes must meet at the same time, in the same place/modality, with the same instructor, and have the same number of credit hours.
When cross-listing graduate/graduate or undergraduate/undergraduate courses of the same subject matter:
- Each course must have a separate syllabus with the same student learning outcomes even if the courses are two separate disciplines.
- Each course should have separate descriptions listed in the course catalog.
- Course requirements should be determined by academically qualified faculty in each discipline with appropriate teaching experience in the subject matter.
- For graduate courses, the faculty of record should be terminally degreed in the field and for undergraduate courses, the faculty of record may be masters qualified in the field. Faculty teaching cross-listed courses where the course content is the same but the rubric is different, the faculty must be academically qualified in both disciplines, (minimum of a masters in one disciple and graduate hours in the second).
- Classes must meet at the same time, in the same place/modality, with the same instructor, have the same course level (same first digit in the rubric) and have the same number of credit hours.
In order to encourage excellence in academic work and give recognition to superior achievement, Dean’s List honorees are selected each semester. Dean’s List honors apply only to undergraduate students. To be named to the Dean’s List, a student must have earned a minimum semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher, while being registered for a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of letter grade credit.
Before an undergraduate student with 64 semester hours of credit can register, the student must have an approved degree plan on file. A transfer student who transfers more than fifty (50) semester hours must file a degree plan before the first day of the second semester in residence. A transfer student who expects to receive Veteran’s Administration benefits must file a degree plan no later than the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree plan is based on the HBU Catalog in effect at the time of the student’s initial enrollment in the University and will be valid for a period not to exceed seven (7) years from the date of initial enrollment. Students who fail to enroll in the University for consecutive fall and spring or spring and fall semesters must meet the requirements of the HBU Catalog in effect at the time they re-enroll in the University. Graduate students should file a degree plan within their first semester of coursework at HBU.
Degrees with Distinction
Honors at graduation are awarded to undergraduate baccalaureate students who have completed a minimum of 64 semester alpha-grade hours in residence at HBU and have earned an appropriate number of grade points to be eligible for the honors indicated. An average standing of 3.50 or higher entitles the student to graduate cum laude; 3.70 or higher magna cum laude; 3.90 or higher summa cum laude.
Dropping a Class
A student who ceases to attend class must follow the prescribed withdrawal procedure to protect his status and leave himself in the best possible position with respect to future registration at this or another university. Failure to do so will result in course failure(s), lower scholastic standing, and financial loss. Students contemplating dropping a class must see their advisor to complete the proper steps; the drop process is not complete until the forms are filed by the student and processed in the Office of the Registrar. A student may not drop a class after the published last day to drop.
Once a student registers for a class, the student will receive a grade for the class unless the drop process is completed through the Registrar’s Office. This includes students who may have never actually attended class or who may never have completed payment of tuition and fees.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
HBU is subject to the provisions of a federal law known as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment). This law affords students enrolled at HBU certain rights with respect to their education records.
These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the HBU Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, he or she shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the HBU official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to School officials with legitimate educational interests. A School official is a person employed by HBU in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including University law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom HBU has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another School official in performing his or her tasks. A School official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. FERPA provides the University the ability to designate certain student information as “directory information.” Directory information may be made available to any person without the student’s consent unless the student gives notice as provided for below. HBU has designated the following as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Local and permanent addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Email addresses
- Date and place of birth
- Major field(s) of study
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Most recent educational institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Any new or currently enrolled student who does not want the disclosure of directory information should notify the HBU Registrar in writing. Such notification must be received by the end of the first full week of classes for any term to ensure that the student’s directory information is not released, except to officials with legitimate educational purposes as authorized by FERPA.
The request to withhold directory information will remain in effect as long as the student continues to be enrolled or until the student files a written request with the HBU Registrar to discontinue the withholding. To continue nondisclosure of directory information after a student ceases to be enrolled, a written request for continuance must be filed with the HBU Registrar during the student’s last term of attendance.
If a student believes the University has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA, he or she may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Complaints must be timely submitted, not later than 180 days from the date the student learns of the circumstances of the alleged violation; and must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, including: relevant dates, names and titles of those University officials and other third parties involved; a specific description of the education record about which the alleged violation occurred; a description of any contact with University officials regarding the matter, including dates of telephone calls, meetings and/or any correspondence between the student and HBU; the name and address of the University; and any additional evidence that would be helpful in reviewing the complaint.
Questions about the application of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be directed to either the University Registrar (HBU.edu/ContactRegistrar) or Legal Counsel.
Faculty are expected to administer to all students including seniors end of semester assessments or examinations appropriate to their field of study and the particular class. If the instructor chooses to give a final exam in lieu of an assessment, it must be taken when scheduled by the Office of the Provost. Senior final exams are to be taken during the last class period prior to the final exam week. Each final exam period, with the exception of the Summer term, is preceded by one study day on which no grade-determining activity may be conducted nor may be due between 8:00am-5:00pm on that day. No University student events are scheduled Monday through Friday of final exam week.
Grade Appeal Process
A student may file an academic grievance if he or she believes a grade was awarded improperly. The formal process is described in the “Academic Grievance” section of this Catalog.
Graduate Grading System and Grade Points
Each graduate student will receive grades at the end of each semester of enrollment. The system of grading is as follows:
|A||(93 and above)||4.00|
|A–||(90 – 92)||3.67|
|B+||(87 – 89)||3.33|
|B||(83 – 86)||3.00|
|B–||(80 – 82)||2.67|
|C+||(77 – 79)||2.33|
|C||(73 – 76)||2.00|
|F||(72 and below)||0.00|
Students interested in pursuing a career in a health profession (for example, medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, pharmacy) should contact the Health Professions Office during their freshman year at HBU. The Health Professions Office advisor can assist students in choosing professional schools, the application process, recommendation letters, and personal statements.
Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects in Research)
The Institutional Review Board protects the rights of human subjects in research projects proposed by faculty, staff, students, and/or outside persons. The University’s Institutional Review Board is responsible for reviewing all research proposals involving human subjects. Review applications may be obtained from the committee’s chair.
Intellectual Property created solely for the purpose or satisfying a course requirement is owned by the student and not the University or the student’s professor.
Exceptions to this policy:
- The University becomes the owner of student work if the student assigns ownership rights of the intellectual property to the University in writing, or written assignment of such ownership rights to the University is made a condition for participation in a course.
- The University owns the answers and questions on tests and examination, unless otherwise indicated by the course instructor. Tests and examinations include, but are not limited to, print, electronic and audio or visual formats.
- If student research projects are funded by outside sponsors and if the sponsor requires ownership of the intellectual property produced by the student as a condition of sponsorship, the University will so advise the student before the student begins the project. The student will be required to sign a waiver prior to beginning the project.
HBU offers internship opportunities under the direction of the various academic divisions in awareness of the value of practical experience in the learning process. Such external learning opportunities may be known as practicum, internship, preceptorship, clinical experience. Internship experience enables the student to apply classroom theory to actual situations and to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills. Access to such external learning opportunity is ordinarily restricted to advanced standing in the major, for example 15 hours or more. Supervision of such experiences is ordinarily restricted to full-time faculty members. Credit is available to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Credit is awarded based on clock hours of experience gained. One semester hour of credit may be awarded for each 30 clock-hours of internship experience up to a maximum of three semester hours each term. Ordinarily, ethical practice suggests that the student in the performance of internship responsibilities receives no pay. However, in the field of education, interns in the ACP and Master’s program enroll in a paid internship. The Provost must approve formal agreements for group practica, internships and clinical experience. Legal review of formal memoranda of understanding governing group placement shall be secured from the Legal Counsel to the President.
Liberal Arts Core Curriculum
The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum is the foundation unit in the academic organization of the undergraduate instructional program of HBU; it is required for success in every major and develops the knowledge and insight conducive to citizenship as well as leadership in a chosen profession.
Military Service Credit
The recommendations of the American Council on Education are used as a guide in determining eligible College credit for satisfactory completion of formally organized service School programs in the military. Courses taken through the United States Armed Forces Institute and other recognized military educational programs will be reviewed for possible credit when presented on official transcripts. All records of such training should be submitted as a part of the student’s initial admission data, with a request for allowance of credit so that advisors can avoid duplication of this work. No credit will be allowed on the basis of the General Education Development (GED) tests (College level).
Moody Library is a key component in the education of students at Houston Baptist University. According to the Library’s mission statement, the Library provides “the information resources, services, and physical spaces that support the educational and research mission of the University.” Built in 1968, with an addition in 1989, the Moody Library building includes not only library materials and services, but also a Learning Commons with student study spaces, and a number of student support services, such as the Academic Success Center, the Testing Center, and other student success offices.
Library resources and services are located on the second floor of the building. The library collection includes both print and online materials selected to support the University’s curriculum. Because a majority of the library’s resources are online, users can access the collection from any internet based computer using the library’s Discovery Service that searches both the cataloged collection and all online databases of journal holdings and other online content. In addition to the library’s print collection, the second floor contains spaces for quiet study and collaborative study, as well as four group study rooms. The library wireless network provides internet access for students using laptops, tablets, and smart phones. A 30-station laptop kiosk is available for students to checkout laptops for use in the building. Printers and copiers are also available.
Moody Library is open over 90 hours a week, with reference service available most of those hours. Students can receive help any avenues ranging from in-person assistance to chat boxes from pages where students do their research. In-depth reference service is available by appointment, and the librarians offer instruction in library research for many university classes. Additional instruction in library use is available through published “LibGuides” and self-guided research-focused tutorials, available online from the library’s web page HBU.edu/MoodyLibrary.
Undergraduate students contemplating concurrent or transient enrollment at any other College MUST secure prior approval in writing from the University Registrar at HBU, and the Dean of the College or School, in order for credits to be accepted in transfer. Students should seek counsel first from their advisor. Only alpha grade credit with a grade of “C” or better from regionally accredited institutions will be considered for transfer credit. Once an undergraduate student has enrolled at HBU, no more than 18 semester hours total will be accepted for transfer credit. For the student seeking a baccalaureate degree, this work may NOT be taken at a two-year institution once the student has accumulated 64 semester hours of post-secondary credit. After completion of approved work elsewhere, an official transcript showing the approved work must be sent directly from the awarding institution to HBU Registrar’s Office. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the denial of credit. The student risks the loss of credit by failure to adhere to these policies.
HBU undergraduate students may register for one (1) elective course each semester on a pass-fail basis. Students must file the pass-fail course form in the Registrar’s Office. Such an option is offered to encourage students to broaden their educational contacts through participation in courses outside their major fields without fear of competition with students who have experience that is more extensive in the selected area. This option does not apply to courses required by the University for a degree except in the case of kinesiology. In addition, courses taken on this basis may not be used as a part of a major. The hours earned in pass-fail courses are counted in the total required for a degree but not for honors. A pass grade does not affect the computation of scholastic standing; however, a fail grade in a course affects scholarship standing in the same way as any other failing grade. Courses taken on this basis are counted as a part of the student load for the term, and the type of registration elected for any course may not be changed after the last date to register as posted in the class schedule. These courses are designated at registration by a “P/F” following the course number. A student who properly registers for a course on a pass-fail basis may, at the discretion of the instructor, be assigned a grade of “A” where the student’s performance merits that grade. The assignable grades are “A,” “P,” and “F.” Graduate students may take pass-fail courses if approved by their dean by using the “Add/Drop” form. Pass-fail courses do not count towards the degree unless specified by either the degree plan or the course description.
Pre-Law School Advisor
Students preparing to enter Law School must dedicate themselves to academic excellence in their undergraduate studies. Most Law Schools in the United States make admission decisions relying heavily on a candidate’s undergraduate grade point average and performance on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
Pre-law students are encouraged to contact the University pre-law advisor via the Department of Law and Society early in the course of their matriculation. Information is available on courses of study, Law School admissions, career options, and LSAT preparation.
In the spring semester of the junior year, the student should begin to prepare for the LSAT and compile the information required by the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Information on the CAS can be found at the office of the pre-law advisor. Students are strongly discouraged from taking the LSAT without thorough preparation.
Registration will be conducted as scheduled in the University Calendar for students in good standing and those approved for admission will be eligible to participate. Following proper procedures is not optional; failure to follow proper procedures may result in a student not being allowed to register for course and thus a delay in graduation. Individual student schedules will have been predetermined through prior advising and priority registration. To enroll in any class and be eligible for credit, students must have their advisor’s approval, and complete the registration procedure, including financial arrangements. A late registration fee will be charged those failing to complete registration by the designated day. Students must decide at registration the rubric desired for recording the credit in a cross-listed course and may not change this registration after the last day to register in a given semester.
Students who take advantage of priority registration are given a period of time to make changes in their schedule as they wish or need. After this period, however, a student-initiated change in schedule may involve the payment of a special fee and the approval of the change by the student’s advisor and the instructor of each class involved. A form for this purpose is provided online or by the Registrar’s Office.
Students may repeat courses that they have previously taken. For purposes of GPA calculation, courses taken at HBU which are repeated at HBU are calculated in the cumulative GPA as having been taken only one (1) time. The cumulative GPA is adjusted in the semester in which the course was repeated. The student may raise the cumulative GPA by this means. Students should be aware, however, that many graduate and professional Schools and certifying agencies calculate GPA by averaging all grades earned in all registrations.
If the degree being sought is 125 hours or more, the minimum undergraduate residence requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 32 semester hours (or at least 25% of the required hours, whichever is greater), including at least 12 semester hours of upper level courses in the major completed at HBU with a grade of “C” or better in each course. The residency requirement for a minor is a minimum of nine (9) hours of upper-level courses taken at Houston Baptist University with a grade of “C” or better in each course. A student whose undergraduate degree includes 60 semester hours in residence at this University may be allowed to earn six (6) of the last 36 hours in another approved institution except in the last semester of residence before graduation.
Students who have earned a first master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution who wish to pursue a second graduate degree in a related or collateral field at HBU may do so by applying for admission to the Graduate School. All graduate students must complete at least 50% of their coursework at HBU in each degree granted. Specific requirements are established by faculty of the College or School offering the degree program so that duplicate coursework is avoided while fulfilling the requirements for the degree. See the “Transfer Courses/Credit” section of the catalog for more details.
ROTC Cross-Enrollment Program
ROTC curricula are determined by the various branches of the United States Armed Forces. The individual detachments are responsible to their service for the content and quality of their programs.
HBU students may participate in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at the University of Houston. The cross-enrollment program is an arrangement between the student and the Military Science Department at the University of Houston.
Academic credits are posted to the student’s transcript records at HBU. Underclassmen spend 3-5 hours a week in class and leadership lab. The Army ROTC prepares selected College students for positions of responsibility in the active Army and its reserve components. It enables a student to earn a commission as an officer at the same time he earns an academic degree in a field of his choice. The ROTC program prepares the individual to pursue either a military or a civilian career. Tuition is charged for these courses at the current HBU undergraduate tuition rate. Two- and three-year ROTC scholarships are available. Veterans may enroll directly into the Advanced Course if they have 60 credit hours remaining. After commissioning you will incur a military obligation. You must compete for active duty; it is not guaranteed but you can commission into the Reserves or National Guard.
Interested students should contact the Army ROTC Unit (HBU.edu/ContactMSCI).
HBU students may participate in the Naval ROTC Unit at Rice University. The cross-enrollment program is an arrangement between the student and the Naval Science Department at Rice University. Tuition is charged for these courses at the current HBU undergraduate tuition rate.
There are four NROTC Programs that lead to a commission in the regular or reserve components of the Navy or Marine Corps:
- A four-year Scholarship Program leading to a commission in the regular Navy or Marine Corps provides all tuition, books, School fees, and uniforms plus $100 per month.
- A four-year College program that leads to a commission in the Naval or Marine Corps Reserve provides all books and uniforms required for naval science courses.
- A two-year Scholarship Program for juniors and seniors.
- A two-year Nuclear Propulsion Candidate Scholarship Program which may lead to nuclear power training after graduation.
Interested students should contact the Naval ROTC Unit (HBU.edu/ContactNAVA).
HBU students may participate in the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Houston. The cross-enrollment program is an arrangement between the student and the Air Force Department at the University of Houston. The Air Force Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) program prepares men and women of character, commitment, and courage to assume leadership positions as commissioned officers in the active duty United States Air Force. Upon completion of the curriculum, students will have a thorough understanding of the core values, leadership, teamwork, and other requirements to be an effective officer in the world’s greatest Air Force. All courses and physical training sessions take place at the University of Houston.
Course Credit: ROTC classes may be taken for elective credit toward any degree plan at Houston Baptist University. Freshman and sophomore level classes are open to all students. No military obligation is incurred as a result of enrollment in these courses. Junior and senior level courses are more restrictive and do require a military obligation. ROTC scholarship students also incur a military obligation.
AFROTC Scholarship Opportunities: Air Force ROTC offers scholarship opportunities for students at Houston Baptist University.
For more information on the Air Force Science program, contact the Air Force Science Department at the University of Houston, 713-743-4932 (HBU.edu/ContactAFSC)
Second Undergraduate Degrees
A minimum of thirty-six (36) additional semester hours of undergraduate credit taken at HBU must be earned beyond the first degree in order for a second degree to be conferred. All requirements for the second degree must be met. Under no circumstance will the University confer the same degree title more than once. Additional majors, programs, certifications, licensure, and specializations may be noted on the transcript as deemed warranted by the University Registrar. Additional coursework may also simply be considered post-baccalaureate work.
Each student is responsible for his or her progress toward graduation and completion of all degree requirements. Students are also responsible for a knowledge of and adherence to regulations governing registration, add/drop, withdrawal, degree plans, graduation requirements, and the payment of tuition and fees. Failure to act accordingly may result in F’s on transcripts or failure to graduate on time.
Official scholastic records will be maintained in perpetuity for each student who registers for credit at HBU. These records are the joint property of the student and the University, and as such will be handled with care and confidentiality. Certified copies will be available to students and graduates. To obtain this service, the person whose record is involved completes and signs a Transcript Request form (HBU.edu/TranscriptRequestForm) and files it with the Registrar’s Office. Students should allow up to five (5) working days for the request to be processed. Transcripts will not be released until satisfactory arrangements have been made regarding all financial and any other obligations to the University. Official records may not be removed from official University files.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 mandates that transcripts may not be released to anyone without the written consent of the student.
If a student questions any grade as recorded in the Registrar’s Office, the student has a period of one (1) year beginning with the end of the term in which the grade was awarded, or six (6) months after the degree is conferred (whichever comes sooner), to challenge the accuracy of the record. At the end of this period, the record becomes permanent.
Undergraduate students transferring to HBU from other institutions will have their transcripts evaluated by the Office of Enrollment Management upon acceptance to HBU. The Office of Enrollment Management also has information regarding equivalent core requirement courses from other Texas institutions of higher education. This guide is helpful in course planning if presently attending another institution with the intention of transferring to HBU.
Graduate students transferring to HBU from other institution will have their transcripts evaluated by the dean of the college or school or their designee to determine which courses will be accepted towards the degree.
There is no guaranteed transfer of credit toward a graduate degree; however, in certain programs, work completed in residence at another accredited institution may, on the recommendation of the dean of the college of school, be accepted by the University Registrar as credit toward a graduate degree. No correspondence or extension credit will be accepted. English language courses are ordinarily not accepted from institutions in countries where English is not the primary language. In cases where a student is pursuing a second degree or transferring from one HBU graduate program to another, the dean of the relevant area will make a determination on what credits will transfer. Application for transfer credit must be made within the semester that the student matriculates.
The maximum number of hours that can be transferred in to a given program or taken concurrently at another institution is six (6) hours with some exceptions given in this section of the catalog. Such credit must be at the 3.00 (B) or above grade level (on a 4.0 scale) and the granting institution must be accredited by its regional accrediting association. Credits transferred must apply to a specific course in the program. Courses that counted towards a previously conferred degree cannot be considered for transfer credit; exceptions to this rule are given below. A student must officially request to have courses transferred and provide course descriptions and syllabi in order for a determination to be made.
For the Master of Divinity, up to 25% of the degree program maybe either transferred in or taken concurrently at another institution. Up to 50% of courses in a previously held degree may be considered for transfer into this program.
For the Doctor of Education, the maximum number of hours that can be transferred in or taken concurrently at another institution is twelve (12) hours and these courses must be at the doctoral level. Courses in a previously held degree cannot be transferred in.
Transfer Credit for Military Experience
Credit may be granted for military experience. Credit will be evaluated based on the recommendations outlined in the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services manual.
Students must submit one of two documents:
- A Joint Services Transcript (JST)—an academically accepted document approved by the American Council on Education to validate a service member’s military occupational experience and training along with the corresponding ACE college credit recommendations. All enlisted, officers and warrant officers, both active and veterans from all Army components, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy are eligible for a JST.
- Form DD214 or FORM DD256, as well as a military transcript (SMART for Navy, Marine Corps; Coast Guard Institute for Coast Guard; AARTS for Army; and CCAF for Air Force.
The Offices of Enrollment Management and Student Life offers an orientation program to new undergraduate transfer students. This program will assist the student in becoming aware of HBU resources. Topics discussed will include academic advising and related issues, graduation requirements, spiritual life, campus safety, campus life, HBU traditions, as well as other campus resources. Time is also allotted to meet academic advisors from each academic College to ask questions regarding majors, programs, and degree requirements.
Undergraduate students contemplating concurrent or transient enrollment at any other College must secure prior approval in writing from the University Registrar at HBU, and the dean of the College or School, in order for credits to be accepted in transfer. Only alpha-grade credit with a grade of “C” or better from regionally accredited institutions will be considered for transfer credit. For the student seeking a baccalaureate degree, this work may not be taken at a two-year institution once the student has accumulated 64 semester hours of post-secondary credit. No more than 18 credit hours may be taken at another institution once a student has matriculated to HBU. After completion of approved work at other institutions, an official transcript showing the approved work must be sent directly to HBU Records Office. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the denial of credit. The combined course load at HBU and the concurrently enrolled institution may not total more than 19 semester hours. The student risks the loss of credit by failure to adhere to these policies.
Graduate students contemplating concurrent or transient enrollment at any other college must secure prior approval in writing from the university registrar at HBU and the dean of the college or school. See the “Transfer Courses/Credits” section of the catalog for details regarding the maximum number of hours that can be either transferred in or be taken through concurrent enrollment.
Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses
In exceptional cases, during the final semester of undergraduate matriculation, the student may request to take a graduate course with the authorization of the dean of The Graduate School and the appropriate undergraduate dean. The student must have at least a 2.75 GPA on all College work and must be completing the bachelor’s degree at the end of the semester. The student must meet all other standards for admission to a particular graduate program. In every case, the total number of hours taken in one (1) semester may not exceed twelve (12) semester hours, which includes no more than nine (9) semester hours of graduate courses. Graduate coursework taken for undergraduate credit may only apply to undergraduate degrees. These courses can not be used in the future for graduate credit.
Undergraduate Grading System and Grade Points
To record the level of undergraduate student achievement and stimulate quality work, the University system of grading is expressed in letters and grade points as indicated below:
|Undergraduate Grading System and Grade Points|
|A||Excellent work – 4 grade points per semester hour|
|B||Above-average work – 3 grade points per semester hour|
|C||Average work – 2 grade points per semester hour|
|CR||Credit by examination – No hours attempted, no grade points|
|D||Below-average work – 1 grade point per semester hour|
|I||Incomplete work –Only the dean of a college or school may grant incompletes and only to students who have a major documented emergency since the last day to drop a course. The student receives 0 grade points and 0 semester hours and the course grade becomes an “F” if the stated work is not completed by the end of the following semester. Summer is a bona fide semester so a grade of “I” issued during a Spring semester must be completed by the end of the last Summer session following the Spring semester.|
|F||Unsatisfactory work – 0 grade points and hours completed, no credit|
|P||Pass-fail courses – described in the “University Academic Policies” section|
|W||Complete withdrawal -from the University after the Census Date or for dropping a class after the Census Date. Withdrawal from the University or dropping a class after the last day to drop a class will not be approved and a grade of “F” is automatically recorded. Complete withdrawal from the University is described in the section titled “Withdrawal Procedure from University” under University Academic Policies.|
|X||Courses audited – no hours attempted, no hours earned, no grade points|
Undergraduate Transfer Credit
A student otherwise eligible to transfer to HBU from another regionally accredited collegiate institution may expect to receive acceptance of his previous academic work as consistent with regulations which must be observed among Colleges and universities. In general, an official transcript from a regionally accredited College or university is accepted and recorded as received, and the courses completed used to the fullest extent possible to apply toward a degree. The transcript must be sent directly from the transfer institution to HBU. Credit is usually given at the same level at which the course was originally taken.
All foreign transcripts must be sent to an HBU approved evaluation service. The evaluation service must send an official report directly to HBU. The International Student page of HBU Website contains a list of current service providers.
In considering credit by transfer from other institutions, HBU places a premium on credits from regionally accredited institutions. However, HBU will also consider a request for transfer credit from institutions that are not regionally accredited. Applicants must submit transcripts from all institutions attended whether regionally accredited or non-accredited. Upon admission to the university, the student’s coursework will be reviewed for transferability and possible equivalent credit by the Transfer Specialist. Transfer credits from a non-accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis pending an institutional review by the Transfer Specialist and the Office of the Provost. The number of credits that can be transferred are dependent upon the program of study the applicant is interested in pursuing at HBU. For all transferrable work, the student must have earned a grade of “C” or higher. Up to 60 credits from approved two-year colleges may be accepted (See Course Equivalency for current articulation agreements) and up to 90 credits may be accepted from four-year colleges and universities, or a combination thereof.
A transfer student must meet the same scholastic standings as other full-time students. An undergraduate transfer student with fewer than 32 semester hours may be required to submit a high School transcript and scores on SAT or ACT tests. While HBU highly values the traditional university experience, online courses from a regionally accredited institution may be accepted; viable credit from online coursework will receive either specific course credit or elective course credit. No course of any kind with a grade of “D” or “F” will be accepted by the University. No credit is granted for courses taken on a pass/fail or satisfactory basis except Kinesiology activity courses. Students must be in “good academic standing” – not currently on probation or suspension from another institution. Such documentation of good standing should come directly from the Registrar’s Office of the home College, not from the office of a Dean of a College or other unofficial institutional representative.
Withdrawal from University Enrollment
A student who wants to withdraw from the University with a grade of “W” after the last date to drop with a “W” can only do so under the most extreme circumstances beyond the control of the student and with the approval of the Provost. See the cautionary statement in preceding section titled “Undergraduate Grading System and Grade Points” regarding failure to withdraw from classes once registered.