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Course Load

A full-time undergraduate student carries from 12-18 semester hours of credit in both fall and spring semesters. Credits in excess of 18 require the approval of the appropriate dean, who will base the decision on such factors as grades, distribution of courses, extracurricular activities, and outside employment of the student. A maximum of six semester hours can be taken in a summer session.

Credit Hour Definition

Marywood University defines its credit hour in compliance with both United States and Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements. Marywood designs its academic calendar to meet or exceed the minimum standards for class meetings, assuring that there are 14 hours of classroom instruction, exclusive of holidays or final examinations. The credit hour consists of one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction per week with two hours of out-of-classroom work over the course of the fifteen week semester. Thereby, each semester consists of fourteen (14) hours of classroom instruction with a fifteenth week devoted to a final examination or culminating experience and each credit hour represents fifteen contact hours spent in class. In the case of a three-credit course, the student will have 45 contact hours spent in class for a total of 135 hours of work inside and outside the classroom. For all alternate instructional delivery methods, laboratories, or independent studies the credit hour represents an equivalent to the minimum requirement for classroom instruction. Online courses are conducted 100% online (with the exception of a possible optional in-person orientation). Courses are considered to be hybrid if 20% (equivalent to three weeks of classes) or more of the course is online. Summer sessions meet the required instructional hours per credit in the compressed timeframe of a shorter six week session.

Class Attendance

Marywood University affirms all learning experiences that lead to responsible self-direction on the part of students. The purpose of attendance regulations is to support each student in sharing the exchange of ideas that occurs only within the classroom. Therefore Marywood encourages all students to attend class regularly and urges all professors to establish attendance and participation requirements for each course they teach.

Course attendance requirements will be clearly specified and communicated to the students in the course syllabus. Abuses of attendance policies will be referred to the appropriate department chair and dean.

Undergraduate Excused Absences for University Events

In order to have a more holistic university experience, undergraduate students may have one hour, technically 50 minutes, of excused absence per credit of each course taken or one entire lab session to participate in important departmental or University sponsored events. This means students within specified guidelines should have an opportunity to make up missed exams given during their excused absences without penalty. Arrangements should also be made so that students will not be penalized for unannounced quizzes and other in-class assignments given during their excused absences. Events such as post season competitions may exceed minimum excused absence hours.

It is the student’s responsibility to pursue the instructor to make arrangements for all make-up work.

It is the faculty member’s prerogative to allow for additional absences for other reasons such as illness, death in family, etc. Unless otherwise clearly specified, the student will be expected to assume that s/he will not be allowed more than the absences protected by this policy.

If the student does not have at least a C average at the time of the class immediately prior to the excused absence event, the professor has the prerogative of not excusing the absence.