Jun 23, 2024  
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

Once you are admitted to Shippensburg University, you will need to understand and follow all academic policies and procedures in order to successfully complete your course of study. University officials such as your faculty advisor, department chair, and academic dean can provide assistance, but it is ultimately your responsibility to be aware of policies relating to grading, academic progress, withdrawal from courses, declaring or changing majors, and requirements for graduation. This chapter explains the general academic policies. The chapter, University Curricula, discusses the particular degree programs, majors, and the general education requirements.

Applicable Policies

In general, you will be subject to the academic policies and degree requirements that are in effect during the semester you matriculate at Shippensburg University. You matriculate by registering for and starting an academic semester as a degree-seeking student. You do not need to declare a major in order to matriculate. If you begin taking classes in the summer, you will be considered as matriculating in the fall semester.

This catalog is intended to be a description of the policies, academic programs, degree requirements, and course offerings in effect for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. It should not be construed as a contract between the student and the university. Shippensburg University reserves the right to change any of the policies and procedures contained in this catalog and to apply these changes to any or all of its students as it sees fit. The university may also choose to add or delete course offerings or degree programs at any time.

Time Definition

Many of the policies in this catalog refer to time periods such as the first week of the semester. A week of the semester (or week of classes) is defined as seven calendar days beginning with and including the first day of daytime classes. For example, if daytime classes begin on a Thursday, the first week of the semester ends the following Wednesday at the official closing time of university offices (usually 4:30 p.m.).

Student Outcome Assessment

An essential aspect of the mission of Shippensburg University is the evaluation of educational input and student learning. You will be expected to participate in some phase of program evaluation activities such as standardized tests, questionnaires, and personal interviews. Students will be randomly selected beginning with freshman orientation and continuing through graduation. Participation in this program of evaluation will assist in providing sound academic learning experiences for you as well as future students at Shippensburg University.

Grading and Point System

To understand many of the university’s academic policies and procedures, you first need to understand the grading system. The following system of grades is used to indicate the quality of academic work:

Regular Letter Grades
A Excellent
B Good
C Satisfactory
D Unsatisfactory, but passing
F Failure
Special Grades
I Incomplete
Q Deferred grade
S Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory
P Passed
T Credit By Exam
TR Transfer Credit
N Audit (no credit)

The plus/minus system of letter grades took effect with the 1992 fall semester. Before then, the only regular letter grades were A, B, C, D, and F. Individual faculty members may choose to continue using single letter grades and not award plus/minus grades.

In certain cases, a grade of D may not be considered passing; and you may be required to repeat the course by your major department.

Quality Point Average (QPA)

Your quality point average or QPA is determined by assigning numerical values to the letter marks and weighing them according to the number of class hours. The values assigned to the letters are:

A 4.0 quality points
A- 3.7 quality points
B+ 3.3 quality points
B 3.0 quality points
B- 2.7 quality points
C+ 2.3 quality points
C 2.0 quality points
D 1.0 quality points
F 0.0 quality points

To calculate your QPA, follow these steps:

  1. Compute the number of quality points earned for each course by multiplying the value of your letter grade by the number of credits earned. For example, your grade of B+ (3.3 points) in a 3-credit course earns you 9.9 quality points.
  2. Add up the quality points earned in all your classes.
  3. Add up the number of credits attempted in all your classes. This total should include all classes in which you received a regular letter grade (A through F).
  4. Divide the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted. This is your QPA.

Only courses in which you received a regular letter grade (A through F) are used in calculating your QPA. Courses you have repeated will have an impact on the way your QPA is calculated. See the section on Repeated Courses for details.

The following example illustrates how to calculate your QPA for one semester:

Course Credits Grade Qty. Pts. Earned  
1st subject 3 B- 3 x 2.7 = 8.1
2nd subject 3 A 3 x 4.0 = 12.0
3rd subject 3 F 3 x 0.0 = 0.0
4th subject 4 B 4 x 3.0 = 12.0
5th subject 3 B 3 x 3.0 = 9.0
Total 16     41.1

Quality Point Average = 41.1/16 = 2.56

Your semester QPA is the average for one semester or summer term, while your cumulative QPA refers to the average for all courses completed at Shippensburg.

Temporary Grades (‘Q’ and ‘I’)

The grades ‘Q’ and ‘I’ are temporary grades, which mean you have not completed all the requirements for a particular course. Apply to your college dean if you are unable to complete the requirements of all your courses.

With prior approval of the appropriate dean, the grade of Q (deferred grade) may be awarded for courses such as research, thesis, and internship, which are designed to extend over more than one grade period. If you receive a Q grade in a course, you should work closely with the instructor to plan a schedule in order to complete the work within a specified time period (maximum of three years) or the grade will convert to an F.

The grade of I (incomplete) should only be requested if you have successfully completed a majority of the work for the course and due to overwhelming and unavoidable circumstances that are beyond your control (e.g., serious illness, death in the family), you are unable to complete all the requirements of the course. Being awarded an I is a privilege not a right of the student and the decision to grant an incomplete grade rests solely with the course instructor. When permission is granted by a faculty member, the approval signature affirms that the remaining assignments/requirements will be communicated to the student.

Stipulations regarding incomplete grades:

  • Students should rarely request an incomplete grade.
  • You must be passing the course and be able to complete the remaining course assignments without attending additional classes or needing additional instruction from the faculty member. Incomplete grades are typically awarded near the end of the semester when only a small amount of graded materials is required of the student.
  • If you do not complete the work for a course in which you received a grade of I by the last day of classes (before final exam week) of the next full semester, you will receive a grade of F for that course.
  • If the student is failing a course, an I cannot be awarded in place of the failing grade.

Incompletes can be extremely problematic:

  • You cannot graduate from the university with a temporary grade on your record.
  • An incomplete grade does not prevent academic action for dismissal.
  • Incomplete grades affect the number of credits earned in the short term and may have an impact on financial aid eligibility, athletic eligibility, or visa status for international students.

Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory Option

The grades S and U are used for courses that are taken under the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option. If you have completed at least one academic year (30 semester hours) at Shippensburg University and are maintaining a cumulative QPA of 2.5 or better, you may schedule up to a maximum of three credits (or one four credit course) per semester under the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option. Transfer students with more than 30 semester hours accepted in transfer may adopt the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option for their first semester at Shippensburg.

Certain policies and procedures pertain to this option:

  • You may adopt or rescind the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option during the first two weeks of the regular fall or spring semester. No changes may be made after the deadline. Only full-time students are eligible. You must visit http://www.ship.edu/Registrar/Registrar_Office_Forms/ to submit the online web form to request this option.
  • The maximum number of credits you may schedule under the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option while attending Shippensburg University will not exceed ten.
  • Only courses taken outside your major and/or minor field may be scheduled on the satisfactory-unsatisfactory basis. Courses in the professional education sequence are considered a part of major requirements and therefore may not be taken satisfactory-unsatisfactory. Independent study may not be taken satisfactory-unsatisfactory.
  • Under this option, you will not be identified to the instructor of the course and all students will continue to be graded on a letter basis. Grades will be submitted to the registrar’s office, which will convert grades to satisfactory-unsatisfactory when applicable. Satisfactory shall be defined as A, B, or C on the conventional grading system and shall be recorded on the transcript as S (satisfactory). If you receive a D or F grade you will have this grade recorded on the transcript as U (unsatisfactory). The transcript will include a legend explaining the satisfactory-unsatisfactory grading system.
  • Grades received from courses taken on the satisfactory-unsatisfactory basis will not be used in determining the cumulative quality point average. If you receive a grade of S, the credits earned will be recorded toward graduation requirements; however, no credit will be earned if a grade of U is assigned.
  • You may not schedule more than one course on a satisfactory-unsatisfactory basis in a given department or in a required sequence of course offerings within a major. The five foundation courses in general education may not be taken on a satisfactory-unsatisfactory basis.
  • You may select the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option during the summer or winter terms if you are a full-time student during the regular semester. No changes to the satisfactory-unsatisfactory option may be made after the drop period for any summer or winter term.

Other Types of Grades

A grade of P is given for courses where you successfully complete the requirements of the course and a letter grade is not appropriate. Examples of such courses include internships and other field experiences. If you register for such a course and do not complete the requirements, a grade of F will be given.

T grades are used to indicate credits earned through examination rather than by attending classes. See the section Credit by Examination for details.

Credits you earn at another institution that are accepted towards your degree at Shippensburg are indicated with a grade of TR. See the Transfer Credits section for further details.

Credits earned with grades of P, T, or TR will be counted towards the total number of credits required for your degree, but they are not used in calculating your QPA.

A grade of N indicates you have audited a class. When you audit, you can attend class and participate in class activities, but you do not receive academic credit. You may audit a course by receiving the written permission of the instructor and approval of your dean on an audit form. This form must be returned to the registrar’s office during the first week of the semester. You must schedule and pay the regular fee for any courses you audit, and you may not receive credit or a grade for these courses at a later date.

W grades indicate courses from which you withdrew. Further information may be found in the Withdrawal from a Class section.

Academic Progress and Standing

Your progress in each class is regularly evaluated by the instructor of the course. Instructors schedule regular office hours to allow you to confer regarding academic achievements or particular problems with course work. At the end of each semester a final grade is recorded on your permanent record for each course taken.

Students are officially classified according to the number of credit hours completed as follows:

Freshman 0-29 credit hours
Sophomore 30-59 credit hours
Junior 60-89 credit hours
Senior 90 or more credit hours

Students classified as juniors or seniors are considered to be upperclassmen.

Issuance of Grades

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment, students are provided with privacy safeguards of their educational records. The university provides reports of progress including grades, written evaluations, and letters of warning. You may have access to all information pertaining to your educational records and academic status.

During your academic career, you will receive early warning reports. These reports, which do not become part of your academic record, are intended to warn you about classes you are in danger of failing. The early warning reports are posted on the myShip portal, and a notification of availability of early warning grades is sent to your university e-mail account.

Dean’s List

A dean’s list is published at the end of each semester of the academic year. It includes the names of those full-time students whose semester QPA is 3.50 or better. Only the course work completed in the current term is considered in computing this score. The achievement of the high academic status, which this listing represents, is a great honor to the student’s ability and willingness to work.

If you are a part-time student, you are eligible for dean’s list any semester in which you have a QPA of 3.50 or better in the last 15 or more sequential credits of part-time work, including summer and winter term courses, if taken. These credits must have been earned since your last inclusion on the dean’s list. You must apply to your academic dean to have part-time dean’s list honors recorded on your academic record.

Grade Appeals Procedure

(I) Introduction

An undergraduate student contemplating filing a grade appeal understands that consistent with the practice of academic freedom, faculty bear responsibility for assigning course grades in accordance with professionally acceptable standards which have previously been communicated to students verbally or in writing. At the same time, students have a right to ensure that grades are calculated accurately and consistently, fairly and equitably, and without discrimination.

Note: Any grade appeals or grade change requests initiated on the basis of alleged academic dishonesty shall be handled under the procedures set forth for academic dishonesty discussed later in this chapter.

(II) Basis for Appealing a Final Course Grade

Undergraduate students may appeal a final course grade assigned to them by an instructor based on one of three conditions:

  1. The course instructor miscalculated the final course grade.
  2. The course instructor committed an oversight in calculating the final course grade.
  3. The course instructor acted in an arbitrary, and/or capricious manner in assigning grades to the student, including the final course grade.

For an instructor to act in an arbitrary and/or capricious manner in assigning grades is defined as follows:

  1. The instructor assigned a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course
  2. The instructor assigned a course grade to a student by resorting to unreasonable standards different from those which were applied to other students in that course
  3. The instructor assigned a course grade to a student in a manner that represented a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards.

(III) Selection and Composition of the Academic Appeals Committee

The Academic Appeals Committee of the department shall consist of a minimum of three regular tenure-track faculty members in the department (excluding the department chairperson) and an equal number of undergraduate students who are majors in the department, with a faculty member and student serving as co-chairs. In the event a faculty or student member of the Academic Appeals Committee is a party in a grade appeal, an alternate previously selected shall serve in his or her place.

Within the first week of the fall semester, each academic department shall elect at least three faculty members and one faculty member alternate to serve on the Academic Appeals Committee for the academic year and designate three undergraduate students and one undergraduate alternate enrolled in the academic department to serve on the Academic Appeals Committee. Each academic department shall develop a standard process for selecting student members for the Academic Appeals Committee. By the end of the first full week of the fall semester, the names of the faculty and student members of the Academic Appeals Committee and alternates selected for each academic year shall then be forwarded to the dean’s office of the college within which the department is located. In the event a department lacks sufficient faculty to staff the Academic Appeals Committee and provide a faculty alternate member, it shall notify the dean of the college in which the department is located. The Dean’s Office shall provide assistance in identifying a suitable pool of faculty from the college to staff the Academic Appeals Committee and provide an alternate member for the committee if the need should arise.

(IV) Timetable and Procedures for the Grade Appeal Process

Compliance with all timelines set forth in this policy is required.

A student may initiate a grade appeal within thirty (30) calendar days following the first day of the next regular (fall or spring) academic semester. However, appeals from the winter term shall be filed within sixty (60) calendar days following the first day of spring semester; appeals from the summer terms shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days from the first day of fall semester. Should the deadline for completing a step in the grade appeal process set forth below fall on a day the university is not open for business, that deadline shall be moved to the next date the university is open for business

In the event a faculty member, department chairperson (or chair of the department’s Professional Affairs Committee if necessary) fails to comply with the timelines or procedures set forth in this policy, the student shall have the right to appeal to the dean of the college in which the appeal has arisen. If the dean determines the student’s rights under this policy have been violated he or she shall direct the department to schedule the Formal Grade Appeal Hearing in a timely fashion consistent with the intent of the policy.

A. Meeting with the Faculty Member Assigning the Final Course Grade-Following notification of a final grade assigned in a course a student disagreeing with a final course grade shall meet informally with the course instructor at a mutually acceptable place in an effort to resolve the matter, prior to resorting to the formal appeal process.* Either party may choose to have another person present at this meeting. This informal meeting between the student and the faculty member assigning the disputed grade shall occur no later than thirty (30) calendar days following the onset of the next regular (fall or spring) academic semester.** If the faculty member finds in favor of the student, a grade change will be sent to the Registrar’s Office after the department chair has signed the grade change form. A copy will be sent to the student. However, if the faculty member decides the grade as given was correct, the student will be notified in writing within seven (7) calendar days. Students who are not satisfied with the results may initiate a formal appeal of the final grade assigned in the course, as outlined below.

*In the event the faculty member assigning the final grade in the course is no longer an employee of Shippensburg University the student desiring to appeal a course grade shall meet with the department chairperson to establish procedures consistent with this policy and past practice for entertaining the desired grade appeal.

**Shippensburg University policy permits faculty members to change grades if there has been a miscalculation or oversight in grading, but not on the basis of additional student work or revision of previously accepted work.

B. Initiating a Formal Grade Appeal-A student wishing to formally appeal a final course grade based on the factors listed in Section II, Basis for Appealing a Final Course Grade, must file a written appeal with the chairperson of the academic department home to the course whose grade they are seeking to appeal no later than thirty (30) calendar days following the first day of the next regular (fall or spring) academic semester. Appeals from the winter term shall be filed within sixty (60) calendar days following the first day of spring semester; appeals from the summer terms shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days from the first day of fall semester.

Formal appeals from the spring semester and summer terms shall be filed no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the first day of the fall semester; formal appeals from the fall semester shall be filed no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the first day of the spring semester; formal appeals from winter term shall be filed no later than sixty (60) calendar days from the first day of spring semester. Failure to meet the deadline for formally filing a grade appeal shall result in the forfeiture of a student’s appeal rights.

A student wishing to pursue a grade appeal shall by this date*** submit to the department chairperson (or chair of the department’s Professional Affairs Committee in the event that the student is appealing a grade assigned by the department chairperson) the completed grade appeal form, signed and dated, and supporting documentation which sets forth the basis for the appeal and the desired resolution. An undergraduate grade appeal form may be obtained in the department office of the major/program where the appeal is filed or from an academic dean’s office. Formal Grade Appeals may not be filed electronically; a fax with legal signature is acceptable.

***Both the informal attempt at resolving the disputed grade with the faculty member assigning such grade and the formal initiation of the formal grade appeal must be completed no later than thirty (30) calendar days following the first day of the next regular (fall or spring) academic semester. Winter term formal appeals must be initiated no later than sixty (60) days following the first day of the subsequent spring semester.

C. Meeting with Department Chairperson-Within seven (7) calendar days of receiving a completed grade appeal form, the department chairperson (or designee) will notify the faculty member that a formal appeal has been filed and shall meet individually and/or jointly, if useful, with the student and the faculty member to discuss the disputed grade in an effort to mediate an amicable resolution to disagreement over the final grade assigned. Such meeting(s) may occur in person or via conference call if necessary. The mediated result must be given in writing to both the student and faculty.

D. Formal Departmental Grade Appeal Hearing-If the student finds that the mediated effort fails to address his or her concerns or achieve the desired results, he or she must notify the department chairperson in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days of the meeting with the department chairperson (or designee) of his or her desire to continue on to the formal grade appeal hearing before the Academic Appeals Committee of the department. Failure to meet this fourteen (14) day deadline for proceeding with the formal grade appeal shall result in the forfeiture of a student’s appeal rights.

  1. Scheduling of the Academic Appeals Hearing-Upon notification by the student of his or her desire to continue with the appeal, the Academic Appeals Committee shall have fourteen (14) calendar days to conduct a hearing on the matter and to issue its findings and recommendations.
  2. An equal number of students and faculty, but in no case fewer than four members, shall be present at the Appeals Hearing.
  3. Conduct of the Academic Appeals Hearing-The chairpersons of the Academic Appeals Committee shall have sole responsibility for the conduct of the hearing. Prior to the hearing the student shall submit to the committee a written statement setting forth the issue(s) in the dispute and the desired resolution. Only the student and the faculty member in the dispute have the right to attend the hearing. Both the student and faculty member involved in the grade appeal shall have the right to be present during the grade appeal hearing itself. Both the student and the faculty member have the right to introduce materials into the hearing that are directly relevant to the assignment of the final grade in the course, including such items as:
    • Course syllabi as given to the student
    • Graded assignments such as, but not limited to, journals, research papers, group projects, examinations
    • Other material relevant to the determination of the student’s final course grade

E. Decision of the Academic Appeals Committee-Only members of the undergraduate Academic Appeals Committee shall be present during the discussion of and deliberations on the outcome of the student’s grade appeal. The Academic Appeals Committee’s deliberations shall be viewed as confidential and no transcripts, notes, or records shall be made regarding their discussion other than a record of their final decision. The record of the final decision will be maintained in the department office for three years. The committee has the power to decide the outcome of the final grade dispute by simple majority vote taken by secret ballot. A tie vote upholds the faculty member’s decision in the case. If the committee sustains the appeal (i.e., rules in favor of the student) a grade change form will be sent to the Registrar’s Office after being signed by the department chair. With the exception of the grade, no part of these proceedings will become part of the student’s official academic record. In addition, no part of these proceedings will become part of the faculty member’s record or file. The evidence, proceedings, and the final decision of the Academic Appeals Committee shall remain confidential.

(V) Request for Reconsideration

A student whose grade appeal has been denied may file a written request for reconsideration within seven (7) calendar days with the appropriate academic dean of the college in which the academic department is housed upon the following grounds:

  1. The student can demonstrate substantial procedural irregularities or inequities in the conduct of the hearing.
  2. The student provides substantial new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing that would have had a bearing on the outcome of the appeal.
  3. The student is able to demonstrate that the Academic Appeals Committee’s decision was erroneous or unfair.

In the absence of a written request for reconsideration of the committee’s decision filed with the appropriate academic dean in the college wherein the appeal arose within the specified seven (7) day period, the committee’s initial findings and action on the appeal filed shall be final.

(VI) Reconsideration of the Academic Appeals Committee Determination

Within seven (7) calendar days of the request for reconsideration, the academic dean of the college in which the grade appeal arose shall determine whether a compelling reason has been presented for setting aside the initial decision of the Academic Appeals Committee. If the dean finds that a compelling reason exists to take such action he or she may direct the committee to reconsider their findings and determination or take other appropriate action consistent with the guidelines. If the dean does not find a compelling reason to ask the Academic Appeals Committee to reconsider, the dean communicates with the student and this record will be maintained by the dean’s office for three years.

Upon direction from the dean, the departmental Academic Appeals Committee shall have ten (10) calendar days to reconvene and reconsider their initial decision on the grade appeal. The committee in undertaking such review and reconsideration shall examine and take into account the concerns raised by the dean.

The decision of the Grade Appeals Committee, following review and reconsideration, shall be final.

Academic Standards and Policy on Probation, Continuing Probation, and Academic Dismissal Status

Students admitted to the university are expected to maintain satisfactory academic standing, which requires a cumulative quality point average (QPA) of 2.0 (C) or better in their total program of courses and minimum 2.0 in the course work of their major areas of specialization.

The Registrar’s Office reviews the academic progress of students at the end of each semester and places those students who fail to maintain a cumulative QPA of 2.0 or better on academic probation or dismissal. Students who do not meet the required quality point average may be granted one probationary semester in which to raise their average. Students who show academic progress, i.e., greater than a 2.0 semester QPA, may be continued on academic probation.

Any student who fails to meet the conditions of academic probation is subject to dismissal. A student whose adjusted cumulative average beyond the first semester falls below 1.7 or whose semester average is below a 1.0 is subject to immediate dismissal unless the overall QPA remains at 2.0 or above. A first-year student must pass at least 3 or more credits of the courses attempted during his or her first semester or he/she will be academically dismissed for a minimum of one academic year.

A student cannot be considered for readmission to the university for at least one calendar year following dismissal. A decision to readmit is made only when a student presents compelling evidence of some fundamental change which allows the student to perform academically at the level needed to graduate. Typically, this would include at least three transferable courses taken at another accredited institution of higher education, resulting in a grade point average of at least 2.5. Courses for which a student has received a D or F grade at Shippensburg can only be repeated at Shippensburg and any specific courses taken at another institution must have prior approval of the academic dean. If a student has been dismissed twice for academic reasons, including when a dismissal appeal has been granted, he/she is ineligible for readmission to the university for at least five years, when he/she may be considered for academic forgiveness upon readmission.

Notice and Appeal

If you are placed in one of these categories (probation or dismissal), you will be notified in writing and via email by the registrar’s office. If you are academically dismissed you may appeal your dismissal by writing a letter to your academic dean by the date indicated in the letter from the registrar. Appeals should be accompanied by appropriate written documentation. All appeals will be considered by the Academic Review Committee.

Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

If you decide to withdraw from the university, you must contact your academic dean. The dean’s office will process your withdrawal and assist you if you intend to return to the university at a future date.

If you are in good standing with a cumulative QPA of 2.0 or better, you may apply to your academic dean for a leave of absence. This would permit you to return to Shippensburg University without having to apply for readmission. Leaves may be granted for up to one year.

When a leave of absence is granted, you must contact your academic dean before you return in order to schedule classes. If you do not return to the university within one year, you must apply for readmission.

Involuntary Withdrawal

Occasionally a university physician and a licensed counseling psychologist determine a student has medical or psychological problems that make it impossible to function effectively in the university environment. The following involuntary withdrawal policy is necessary in those cases where a student in that condition refuses to voluntarily withdraw from the university.

In those cases where counseling or medical evaluation indicate it is necessary for a student to withdraw from Shippensburg University and the student refuses to withdraw voluntarily, an involuntary withdrawal may be imposed by the vice president for student affairs upon the recommendation of a university physician and a licensed counseling psychologist.

A copy of the involuntary withdrawal letter will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and will become part of the student’s official file. When evidence is presented to the director of health services and the director of counseling services that the health condition has been satisfactorily resolved, the student may seek readmission. The student may be readmitted after filing a formal application for readmission and upon recommendation of the director of counseling services and the director of health services.

Readmission of Students

If you would like to return to the university and were not on an approved leave of absence or if you were dismissed or withdrew for academic reasons, you must file a formal application for readmission with the Registrar’s Office. The application and fee must be submitted by one of the following dates: May 1 if requesting readmission for summer session; July 15 for the fall semester; November 1 for the winter term; or December 1 for the spring semester.

If you were in good standing at the time of your withdrawal, your application will be reviewed by your academic dean and other university officials, if necessary. Readmission may be denied or deferred if university enrollment is full or if you are applying for a program that is restricted or closed.

If you were dismissed or withdrew for academic reasons, you will not be considered for possible readmission for at least one calendar year following your dismissal or withdrawal. If a student has been dismissed twice for academic reasons, including when a dismissal appeal has been granted, he/she is ineligible for readmission to the university for at least five years, when he/she may be considered for academic forgiveness upon readmission.

Readmission is never guaranteed following academic dismissal. It may be granted only if you present compelling evidence of some fundamental change that will then allow you to perform academically at the level needed to graduate. Approval of the Academic Review Committee is required.

If you are readmitted within one year of leaving the university, you will be subject to the academic policies and requirements that were in effect at the time of your original matriculation date as defined at the beginning of this chapter. After one year, your academic dean may determine current policies and requirements (in whole or part) will be applied.

Academic Forgiveness

Former Shippensburg University students may request the Academic Review Committee to consider them for academic forgiveness. If you have an unacceptable QPA for readmission and you have withdrawn from the university for at least five years, you may request your previous record not be calculated in your QPA for subsequent course work at Shippensburg.

Under academic forgiveness, previous course work at Shippensburg in which you received at least a C and which is appropriate in meeting current requirements will be treated as transfer credit. The grades will appear on your academic record, but they will not be calculated in your QPA. If you are approved for readmission under this program, you will be considered as newly matriculating; and you will be subject to all policies and requirements in effect at the time of your new matriculation.

Graduation Requirements and Majors

As a fulfillment of its obligation to higher education, Shippensburg University has established high standards of achievement and promise for its students, which must be met without question before graduation is approved by the university’s faculty or administration. Specific requirements relating to general education and individual majors may be found in the chapter, University Curricula. The university has established certain academic requirements for all students seeking a bachelor’s degree.

Requirements for Graduation

In order to graduate you must meet the following requirements:

  • The completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours in the selected curriculum. Note: Developmental course work does not count towards the 120-credit minimum. If your program includes developmental course work, your degree program will require more than the 120-credit minimum.
  • The completion of all general education courses and the course sequence requirements in effect in the selected curriculum
  • A cumulative QPA of at least 2.0 (C average) for the total program of courses
  • A QPA of at least 2.0 (C average) in the academic sequences or majors
  • In the case of teacher education students, a satisfactory history of development in student teaching
  • The resolution of all outstanding judicial and/or academic dishonesty matters
  • Completion of all final course work

To receive a bachelor’s degree you must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of work at Shippensburg, where those 30 credits must be completed within your last 60 credit hours of work at Shippensburg. At least one half of all courses in your major field must be completed at Shippensburg except where program requirements dictate a higher percentage of courses in the major be completed here. Students in programs requiring off-campus instruction may be exempted from this requirement by the provost.

It is your responsibility to make certain all requirements for graduation have been met. An application for graduation must be filed with the Registrar’s Office prior to the beginning of your final semester. Applications will be reviewed by your academic dean, and you will be notified if there are any problems.

Commencement ceremonies are generally held on the Saturday at the end of final examination week. Students who complete all graduation requirements during the fall or spring semester are expected to participate in the commencement ceremonies at the end of the semester in which they complete all requirements for graduation. Students who, at the completion of either the fall or spring semester, are within six credits of completing their degree requirements may petition their academic dean’s office to participate in the preceding semester’s commencement ceremony. Final approval is given by the Provost’s Office. Approval will be granted when there is evidence that the student will be unable to attend the ceremony following completion of all requirements.

Students who complete all graduation requirements in the summer are expected to participate in the commencement ceremony at the end of the spring semester. Students who meet those requirements in the winter are expected to participate in the commencement ceremony at the end of the fall semester. Students who are completing their degree requirements at the end of the summer or winter may petition their academic dean’s office to participate in the commencement ceremony immediately following the completion of their requirements. Final approval is given by the Provost’s Office. Approval will be granted when there is evidence that the student will be unable to attend the ceremony directly preceding the completion of all requirements.

Graduation Honors

Students with appropriate academic records may be graduated with one of the following distinctions. Such recognition becomes a permanent part of every graduating senior’s record, with designation based upon the following cumulative QPA: Cum Laude (3.40 or better), Magna Cum Laude (3.60 or better), Summa Cum Laude (3.80 or better).

Graduation honors will be noted in the commencement program if you have attained the appropriate QPA at the time you apply for graduation. A list of students with honors is posted in the registrar’s office for review. Honors posted on your permanent record will be based on your final cumulative QPA.

Transfer students who have earned at least 15 semester hours at Shippensburg University at the time they apply for graduation will be eligible for honors recognition in the commencement program. Transfer students who have earned at least 30 semester hours at Shippensburg University by the end of their program of study will be eligible for graduation honors to be posted on their permanent record.

Major Field of Study

You may declare a major field of study during the admissions process or you may choose to remain exploratory and select a major at some point during your first three semesters at Shippensburg University.

In deciding on a major, you may receive personal and academic advisement and guidance from your faculty advisor and from your classroom professors who maintain regularly scheduled office hours for this purpose.

Each department chair arranges for the assignment of declared students to faculty advisors who will help students as they plan their academic programs. When you have declared a major field of study, your departmental academic advisor will review your academic record and assist you with the selection of a schedule of courses for each semester prior to registration.

Selecting a Major

Many students select a major field of study prior to beginning their freshman year. If you have chosen not to declare a major prior to matriculating at the university, you are considered exploratory and you will be assigned an advisor by the dean of the Elnetta G. Jones University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies. This advisor will assist you in preparing an appropriate schedule of predominantly general education courses. These courses should be acceptable as general education background for any major you eventually select. Exploratory students are cautioned that any specialized courses they take which are not listed as general education may not be applicable in the major field eventually chosen.

If you are exploratory, you should select and declare a major program by the middle of your sophomore year. In some majors, such as those of the natural sciences and education, it is essential the declaration be made even earlier so as to allow adequate time to schedule the required courses to graduate in four years.

You should begin the selection process early. The more time you spend exploring majors and preparing for your career, the easier it will be to make the right choice. To help you select a major visit the Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies (AEES) website at www.ship.edu/exploratory.

You should be aware there is no assurance you will be able to declare any program you choose. Programs with limited capacity may be restricted or closed. The key to improving your ability to declare any major is your academic performance. If you earn good grades (a 3.0 or higher), you will have more and better choices.

Make It Count

Finish in Four

Your time and money are valuable. When you make every class and credit count to finish your Ship degree in four years instead of five or more, here’s what you save or receive.

  1. Classes - Make your classes count toward your degree. You’ve paid for it; don’t waste it with a Withdrawal. Attend class, engage in discussion, and participate in your learning.
  2. Credits - Take 15 credits a semester, 30 per year, to finish your degree on time in four years.  Work with your academic advisor to develop a plan to take 15 credits per semester or 30 in a calendar year, and revise it every semester until you graduate.
  3. Money - In-state students who finish their degree in four years instead of five save about $20,000 and avoid additional school loan debt.
  4. Time - When you finish in four instead of five you can start grad school or your career sooner… and you’ll make your parents very happy.

Changing Majors

Changing from one major into another major field of your choice is not automatic or guaranteed. The change is subject to the approval of the chair of the department in which the new or intended major is located following a review of your academic record. Requests for and processing of changes in declarations of majors and minors can be submitted at any time. A change of major is permitted only when you meet university and departmental qualifications for transfer and when no program enrollment restrictions apply.

To change from one college within the university to another you must meet certain conditions. You may not have any F grades in courses applicable to the new program. Your cumulative QPA must meet any requirements set by the new department and you must receive approval of the appropriate department chair.

You should also be aware if you have accumulated more than 60 credit hours, you may change from one division to another only if you have the agreement of all appropriate department chairs and you understand you might lose a significant number of credit hours which would not be appropriate for graduation in the new curriculum.

To be graduated from the university, any student changing majors must meet the requirements of the curriculum to which he or she is transferring.

Dual Degrees

Dual degrees are earned when students enroll in programs that have different degree designations, such as a B.S. and a B.A. If you wish to simultaneously pursue two bachelor’s degrees, you must consult with the dean and department chair of your primary program of study as to the procedure to be followed. Where such an option is available, students intending to opt for two degrees shall be required to take a minimum of 150 credit hours and complete the prescribed specified courses in each respective program of study.

Double Majors

Double majors are earned when students enroll in programs that have the same degree designations, such as both programs are a B.S. or both programs are a B.A.

If you wish to pursue a second major, you must consult with the dean and department chair of your primary major as to the procedure to be followed. Students intending to opt for two majors shall be required to take a minimum of 120 credits and complete the prescribed specified courses in each respective major. Only one (three credit) course may be double counted toward both majors. Exceptions will be made for students majoring in the departments of biology, chemistry, computer science and engineering, economics, mathematics, and physics because of the large number of duplicate requirements in each of these fields. Double majors must share the same degree designation. Interdisciplinary majors declaring a second major in a related discipline may double-count a maximum of 12 credit hours between the requirements of their two majors. Courses fulfilling general education requirements of both majors may be double-counted without restriction.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

It may be desirable for certain students, who already hold a baccalaureate degree, to obtain a second baccalaureate degree in a different or related field. Where such an option is available, you are expected to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in courses not included in your original degree (usually these credit hours are in the new major) and any other requirements for the second degree, which cannot be equated to courses taken in the first degree program. To exercise this option you must be admitted through the Office of Admissions.


An academic minor is an organized program of study that comprises the fundamental requirements of an academic major (core and cognate courses) equivalent to a minimum of 18 semester credit hours. As a secondary field of study, the academic minor should reflect a minimum of six credits of advanced standing coursework from the academic major. Exceptions to the advanced standing requirements may be granted on a case-by-case basis per request to the chancellor. If you are interested in electing a minor, you should confer with the chair of your major department and the dean of your college. A full list of minors is available on the Programs of Study  page.

It is possible to have more than one minor. Only six credit hours taken in one minor may be counted toward the fulfillment of another minor.

A minimum of a 2.0 QPA in the minor is the university requirement for the granting of a minor. At least 50 percent of the minor must consist of coursework completed at Shippensburg University.

Academic Requirements for Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate Certificates awarded by Shippensburg University have the following common denominators:

  • Must be a minimum of 9 credits
  • Minimum required QPA for courses satisfying the requirements: 2.0
  • Courses may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis
  • Half or more of the courses must be taken at Shippensburg University
  • Only six credit hours taken for one Certificate may be counted toward another Certificate

Earning Academic Credits

You may earn academic credits at Shippensburg University in several ways: by taking normal course work at the university, through the Advanced Placement Program, through credit by examination, and by taking courses at other accredited institutions for transfer back to Shippensburg University.

Registering for Classes

The normal semester hour workload varies between 15 and 18 credit hours. Students with less than 12 credit hours are classified as part-time. To take more than 17 credit hours in a semester you must have approval of your academic dean. Freshmen may not take more than 17 credit hours during their first semester.

Current students may register for classes at the university during the registration period held each semester for the next semester or during official schedule adjustment periods. New freshmen will be pre-registered their first semester.  Schedules will be disseminated to new freshman at the students’s orientation session that occurs prior to the beginning of their first term.  New transfers will be provided registration guidance from the department under which their major resides with regard to their first semester schedule.  New transfers will have an opportunity to register at their orientation session that occurs prior to the beginning of their first semester. 

If you have an outstanding obligation to the university, a hold may be placed on your account and you will not be permitted to schedule. Reasons for holds include but are not limited to: unpaid tuition or fees, health form not submitted, placement test not taken, unpaid library fines, and final transcripts not submitted. You will be notified in writing about these obligations before a hold is placed. It is your responsibility to satisfy the obligation with the office that placed the hold before you will be allowed to schedule.

Even though you may be scheduled for classes, you must also meet all financial obligations by clearing your semester bill with full payment or by notifying the Student Accounts Office of any anticipated financial aid. If you do not pay or clear your bill by the stated deadline, your schedule of classes may be canceled.

Satisfying Your Bill

It is the policy of Shippensburg University that students who fail to make appropriate, acceptable payment arrangements by the published deadline will have their semester schedule canceled.

When a schedule is canceled, payment is required prior to re-registration.  The Registrar’s Office will be notified when payment is made, and the student will be rescheduled, subject to space availability in the classes.

Students who have not registered and satisfied their bill for class(es) by the end of the W grade period will not receive any credit or grades for the course(s). Payment cannot be made and a grade retroactively assigned.

First Day Attendance

If you are unable to attend the first class session of a course in which you plan to remain enrolled, you must give notice of your intended absence to the instructor, academic department secretary, or academic dean’s office of that course. Failure to provide such notification may result in your name being removed from the roster by the instructor and your place in that class being given to another student. If you do not attend the first day of class, you cannot assume, however, that you have been dropped from this class. It is your responsibility to verify your enrollment status by checking your schedule on the myShip portal.

Class Attendance

At Shippensburg University, your participation in class is viewed as essential to the teaching/learning process. Therefore, it is expected you will miss classes infrequently and only for good reason.

Each instructor shall state the course requirements including attendance expectations as part of the clearly written course information distributed at the beginning of each semester. An instructor must make provision for excused absences. However, if you elect to be absent from a class without being excused, you must be prepared to accept an evaluation for any graded activity, consistent with course requirements, which takes place at that session.

You will be held responsible for all material covered in classes. Only when an absence has been approved by the instructor, preferably in advance, will the instructor be expected to provide a makeup opportunity. Except under the most unusual circumstances, you are not permitted to make up a scheduled examination that has been missed.

Withdrawal from a Class

Courses may be added or dropped without penalty or record notation during the official schedule adjustment period. The drop and add periods extend to the eighth calendar day in a typical semester, excluding holidays, to adjust schedules. Dates for this schedule adjustment period will be announced by the Registrar’s Office.

You may withdraw from a class through the tenth week of the semester subject to the restrictions listed here. Requests for withdrawals may be initiated online during the spring and fall semesters by full-time undergraduate students who have attended the university at least one spring or fall semester previously and have no holds that prevent registration activity. All other requests for withdrawals must be initiated through your academic dean. Following the initial schedule adjustment period, any courses from which you withdraw will remain on your academic record and will be assigned a grade of W. You may not withdraw from a course in which you have been accused of or found guilty of academic dishonesty and have been assigned the penalty of an F grade for the course, according to the Academic Dishonesty policy.

You should be aware that if you drop or withdraw from the following courses, you may not be able to register for them in future semesters without permission: UNIV 101 Shippensburg University First Year Seminar   ENG 050 Basic Writing , ENG 114 Academic Writing , ENG 113 Introduction to Academic Writing , ENG 115 Advanced Academic Writing  , MAT 050 Developmental Mathematics , RDG 050 Developmental Reading and Study Skills , HCS 100 Introduction to Human Communication , and HIS 105 Historical Foundations of Global Cultures . The skills learned in these courses are essential for successful progression through your academic degree and therefore you need to take these during your first year at Shippensburg.

You should carefully consider the ramifications before you withdraw from a course. Course withdrawal may delay your graduation and increase your costs by preventing you from accumulating the necessary number of credits or by disrupting the timing of a required sequence of courses in your major. If withdrawing from a course causes you to drop below 12 credit hours for the semester, you will be considered a part-time student, which may jeopardize financial aid, athletic eligibility, health insurance, and residence hall status. You should consult with your academic advisor, department chair, or dean before you withdraw from any course after the initial schedule adjustment period.

Should you withdraw from any class, it is your responsibility to do so officially, whether or not you have ever attended that class. If you do not attend and do not withdraw, your name will remain on the class roll until the final grading period and you will receive a grade of F for the course.

You may be allowed to withdraw from all your classes with grades of W after the normal withdrawal period if you provide your academic dean with clear medical evidence you are unable to continue your course work. It will be the determination of the dean whether this evidence is substantial enough to merit a medical withdrawal. Notification of a medical withdrawal must be received by the academic dean prior to the end of the current semester. Medical withdrawals are not permitted after the semester ends. If you receive a medical withdrawal, you will be eligible for a refund only if your withdrawal occurs within the time period normally allowed for refunds.

Repeated Courses

Students may avail themselves of the repeat/grade replacement option a total of six times. However, the most recent grade of the course will be used in the QPA calculation, regardless of whether that grade is higher or lower.

Students may repeat any course taken previously, no matter what letter grade was initially earned, and the most recent grade will replace the previous grade. Grade replacement of a repeated course is not limited to courses in which D and F grades were originally earned. If you repeat a passed course and fail, you will lose both the quality points and the credits you had previously earned.

A single course repeat for grade improvement will be limited to two times. The six repeats may include repeating six courses one time each, repeating three single courses two times each, or any combination which adds up to six instances where a single course is not repeated more than two times. After the sixth repeat instance, any additional course repeats will include both the previous and new grade in the QPA calculation.

Prior to any student athlete and/or any student with financial aid utilizing the repeat option, the student should ensure it will not jeopardize their status as a student athlete or their ability to receive financial aid.

A previously failed course may not be repeated through an online course.

A D or F grade earned at Shippensburg University may not be made up or replaced by credits earned at another institution of higher learning for the same course.

Online Courses

Undergraduate students must have a minimum of 12 credits and a 2.0 QPA prior to registering for an online course. A previously failed course (grade of F) may not be repeated through an online course. Students can schedule no more than 11 credits in online and/or face-to-face format per summer term.  Students can schedule no more than 8 credits in online and/or face-to-face for the winter term.

Transfer Credits

If you wish to do work at another college or university for transfer credit back to Shippensburg University, you must first obtain approval of your academic dean. In order for transfer credit to be posted to your academic record, you must have an official transcript of the work sent to your dean for final review and approval. In general, a grade of C or better is required for transfer credit to be accepted. The transfer credit will appear on your transcript with a grade of TR and will not be used in calculating your QPA. Transfer credit will not be awarded to replace a D or F grade earned at Shippensburg University.

Advanced Placement Program

The university participates in the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement Program. Under this program, consideration is given to advanced credit and placement for those able and ambitious students admitted to the university who participate in this program in high school and who take the Advanced Placement Program Examinations.

The Advanced Placement Program, administered by the College Entrance Examination Board, is designed for all high school students who are about to enter college and who wish to demonstrate their readiness for courses more advanced than those most frequently studied in the freshman year.

Advanced classes are offered in many high schools in one or more of the following subjects: French, Latin, German, Spanish, English literature, English composition, American history, European history, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

A national examination in each subject is administered in May by the Educational Testing Service, which is designed to test the competence of the student relative to the point at which college study could begin in that subject. The score required for credit and/or advanced placement is determined by the department chair along with the appropriate dean. Scores of 3, 4, or 5 generally will earn college credit.

College-Level Examination Program

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), administered by the College Entrance Examination Board, is utilized by the university primarily to evaluate nontraditional college-level education for the purpose of granting credit and placement. This will apply particularly to adults who have acquired their knowledge and understanding through independent study, work experience, service schools, or from university courses taken years before. The amount of credit and the score required for granting credit is determined by the appropriate dean. You may earn up to 30 credits through CLEP Examinations. Contact the Admissions Office for additional information regarding the test.

International Baccalaureate Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is an internationally recognized curriculum that offers 11th and 12th grade students an opportunity to earn the IB diploma. The IB diploma is a passport to higher education. The program is offered in over 800 public and private secondary schools in more than 100 countries around the world. To earn the diploma, students complete and test in six subjects; write an extended essay of independent research guided by a faculty mentor, complete 150 hours of creative, action, and service activities (CAS); and participate in a critical thinking course called Theory of Knowledge. This advanced, comprehensive program of study offers an integrated approach to learning across the disciplines with an emphasis on meeting the challenges of living and working in a global, technological society. Students who take IB courses without completing the entire program may earn IB certificates by testing in selected IB courses.

Shippensburg University recognizes the IB Diploma as well as IB Certificates.

Credit by Examination

If you are in good academic standing, you are entitled to request from your dean the opportunity to take a comprehensive examination in a particular course offered at the university if there is reasonable evidence you have covered essentially the same materials before in other classes or from private study and experience. The Credit by Examination form is available at https://www.ship.edu/registrar/registrar_office_forms/. The $80 administrative fee must be paid before the exam is administered. If you make satisfactory scores on the examination, you will receive full credit-hour credit toward meeting graduation requirements. The courses will be listed on your transcript with the symbol T in the semester in which the credits were awarded through examination.

Students with advanced high school courses recognized by the university are invited to request from the chair of the department in which the course is offered the opportunity to take examinations in the areas of special preparation.

Credit in Performance Areas

It is possible to earn academic credit through participation in certain musical performance areas. These include Brass Ensemble, Concert Band, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale, Inspirational Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, Madrigals, Marching Band, Orchestra, and Woodwind Ensemble. Students participating in these areas must schedule the appropriate course through the music department. All grades received in these courses will be included in your cumulative QPA; however, a maximum of three credits earned in performance areas can be counted towards graduation.

Requesting Transcripts

Shippensburg University has retained Credentials Inc. to accept transcript orders over the Internet. This option allows you to submit transcript requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Credentials Inc. has been appointed as the designated agent for processing and sending official electronic transcripts on behalf of Shippensburg University. This option is available to anyone attending Shippensburg University in 1992 or later. The PDF transcript that is produced using this service contains the identical information as the printed transcript and can be certified as unaltered by uploading the file to the company’s website that is provided during the delivery process. Credentials Inc. has been granted the authority to deliver all such electronic transcript requests on behalf of Shippensburg University and respond to any inquiries regarding the transactions.

Requests for electronic transcripts cost $8 per individual transcript. Requests for paper transcripts cost $10 per individual transcript. Paper transcripts will be mailed within three (3) business days. Additional fees will be incurred if same business day or international mailing is required. All fees are outlined at the Credentials Inc. order site and will be summarized prior to your submission of your request.

Please click on the appropriate link below to enter your order.

If you are uncomfortable placing an order over the Internet, you can call Credentials Inc. at 847-716-3005 to place your transcript request. There is an additional operator surcharge for placing orders over the telephone.

If you have placed an order through TranscriptsPlus, you may check the status of your order by navigating to the Credential’s Self-ServicePlus screen.

Click here to check the status of your order.

Questions regarding this process should be directed to the Registrar’s Office, located in Old Main 111. To contact the office call (717) 477-1381.

Academic Options

In addition to its regular academic programs, Shippensburg University provides a variety of academic options to interested and qualified students. These include independent study, internships and field experiences, the Honors Program, foreign study, graduate course work, and cooperative arrangements with other institutions.

Independent Study

Shippensburg University affords opportunity to deserving and capable students to engage in independent study related to their major field, a supporting area, or specialized interest. This program is highly individualized, related entirely to the student’s preparation and interest, and the overall appropriateness of study as judged by the department and college dean.

Independent study must include some new experience of inquiry, evaluation, and/or creative activity. This experience must be one that is not available through an established course, including a course by appointment.

To be selected and approved for an independent study project you should have a cumulative QPA of at least 2.50. The faculty member you would like to work with must agree to oversee your project. You will also need approval from your department chair and academic dean as well as the faculty member’s chair and dean. Final approval is required from the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. You must register for the independent study project in the semester for which it is approved. The independent study must be accepted as a part of your student course load (not to exceed 18 credits per semester at the undergraduate level).

The acceptance of independent study students shall be voluntary on the part of the faculty member; however, when such students are accepted, at least five hours of faculty time per credit offered shall be made available upon request of each student. This time shall be outside the periods already allocated by the faculty member to classroom and office commitments.

In some unusual cases it is possible for independent study to span several semesters if the department chair(s) and college dean(s) are convinced of the need. A special designation by the dean will indicate approval for continuation of the independent study. A grade will be given during the semester of its completion only. At the time a grade is given, there should be a one-page written record of the completion and the evaluation of the independent study project prepared and signed by both the student and the faculty member. A copy should be placed in the college dean’s office and, if desired, in the department office.

An independent study course may not be used to repeat or replace a course in which a grade of D or F was earned.

Individualized Instruction

In some cases, you may be able to earn credit for a course during a semester in which the course is not offered. If a faculty member is willing to work with you on an individual basis, you may apply for individualized instruction. These courses are generally restricted to students who have completed a substantial portion of their degree program and who need the particular course to complete their degree requirements.

Application forms for individualized instruction are available in your academic department or dean’s office. Your course must be agreed to by the faculty member you would like to work with and then approved by your advisor or department chair as well as the faculty member’s chair and dean. Final approval is required from the Provost’s Office.

Individualized instruction may not be used to repeat or replace a course in which a grade of D or F was earned.


Experiential learning in the form of internships and field experiences is available to students in many areas of study. You should contact your academic advisor or department chair for information regarding these academic opportunities. When the department chair in your major approves an internship, you must schedule the appropriate number of credit hours and pay all course fees.

The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS)

During the fall and spring semesters, the university selects an undergraduate student to participate in The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS), sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and administered by the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg. Students selected are placed with policy makers in state government offices and agencies. Each THIS intern earns 15 credits: 9 credits for the internship, 3 credits for a research project, and 3 credits for participating in an academic seminar. A stipend is involved.

To be eligible to apply, a student must have a 3.0 QPA and must have completed at least 45 credit hours. THIS is open to students from all majors. To apply contact the Provost’s Office for the name of the THIS campus coordinator.

The Washington Center Internship Semester

Shippensburg University has a relationship with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an organization that provides quality internship experiences and academic seminars for credit, either in the regular term or during the summer. Participating students get 12-15 credits for both the internship and the course, which is transferred back in either a student’s program or as an elective. Internships are available for virtually every major with over 4,000 companies, agencies, and organizations-federal, private, and non-profit.

The Washington Center has a new home. Its new Residential and Academic Facility is located near Union Station in northwest Washington, D.C., close to metro stations in the heart of the city. Students live in state-of-the art apartments with classroom space in the same building, along with a fitness center, computer lab, and common space. Each student has a program advisor who assists in setting up the internship placement and who monitors progress, career goals, and professional development.

Acceptance to the program is somewhat selective, and the application process requires letters of recommendation, an essay, and transcripts as well as the endorsement of the campus liaison. Students can read more about the program at http://www.twc.edu, or contact the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, the campus liaison for The Washington Center.

Honors Program

The Honors Program is dedicated to promoting scholarship, leadership, and service. The program is designed for academically motivated students who thrive in an atmosphere of creative learning and intellectual exploration. The University Honors Program involves students in every major at every class level. Honors courses at Shippensburg University are distinguished by their high levels of energy, participation, motivation, and expectations. They focus on innovative active-learning strategies, including discussions, debates, and simulations, that provide appropriate academic challenges for motivated, high-ability students.

The Honors Program provides numerous opportunities for students to enrich their undergraduate education by participating in study abroad programs, undergraduate research projects, and internships. Honors students are eligible to apply for the Honors Program study abroad scholarship, and they can earn Honors credits for their study abroad experiences. Each year, two Honors students are awarded full scholarships to participate in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Summer Honors Program, which is held in diverse locations around the world, including France, Costa Rica, and South Africa. Honors students are also eligible to apply for Honors and university grants to support their undergraduate research projects.

The Honors Program not only helps students achieve their academic potential, but it also encourages their involvement in significant leadership and service opportunities. All Honors students are members of the Honors Student Organization (HSO). The HSO’s officers and committee chairs organize service projects, recreational events, and cultural activities for Honors students. The Shippensburg University Honors Program is an active member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the national organization for Honors Programs, and Shippensburg University Honors students regularly attend and make presentations at the annual NCHC conferences.

To earn the University Honors Program designation, students who enter the Honors Program as first-semester freshmen must complete at least 36 Honors credits, including 24 credits of Honors general education courses, 9 credits of upper-division Honors coursework, and a 3-credit Honors capstone project. The curricular requirements for students who enter the Honors Program after the first semester of their freshman year are prorated based on consultation with the Honors director. Students must also maintain a 3.25 QPA overall and in their Honors courses and fulfill the program’s participation requirement.

Additional information about the Honors Program, including the program application and back issues of the program newsletter, The Honors Chronicle , are available on the Honors Program website at www.ship.edu/honors.

Study Abroad

Shippensburg University encourages students in all majors to consider the value of a semester or year studying in a foreign country. The Study Abroad Program is designed to assist students in deciding if education abroad is appropriate and then help them to select a country, complete the application process, and support them while they are abroad. The university has educational agreements with universities in the Germany, South Korea, Sweden and France as well as other countries. Our membership in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education International Educators Network enables our students to study abroad in each member’s programs. These experiences enable students to gain cultural knowledge and social skills that enhance their opportunities for advanced study and careers.

Courses taken by students who study in an institutionally approved Shippensburg University study abroad program will be counted toward residency requirements.  Grades equivalent to C or above will appear as TR on the academic record. Grades equivalent to D or F will not earn transfer credit.

For further information about the Study Abroad program, contact the Center for Global Education, Mowery Hall, internationalprogram@ship.edu, or call 717-477-1279.

Taking Graduate Courses

If you are a senior in good academic standing with a cumulative QPA of 3.0 or higher, you will be permitted to register for graduate courses with the written approval of your advisor, your department chair, your college dean, and the dean of Graduate Studies. This process is initiated by your major department. You may enroll for only one graduate course at each registration period for a maximum of nine graduate credits over a 12-month period.

If the graduate level course you take is to be used in meeting the baccalaureate degree requirements, it will be entered only on your undergraduate record. It will not be entered on the graduate record.

Earning Graduate Credit

If you are a senior in good academic standing who qualifies for admission to graduate study and you do not need to carry a full load of undergraduate courses in your final year to complete the requirements for the bachelor’s degree, it is possible to take courses for graduate credit. You may register in the final year for up to two graduate courses for which you receive graduate credit and which may be counted toward a master’s degree. To register for graduate courses, you must have the approval of your department chair, the appropriate academic dean, and the dean of Graduate Studies.

When you are approved to register for a graduate class, the Registrar’s Office will create a graduate non-degree record to which the graduate coursework will be applied. You will not be charged an application fee. If you wish to take graduate work at Shippensburg after completing the bachelor’s degree, you will then be required to pay the application fee when you apply to a master’s degree program.

Full-time undergraduate seniors taking graduate courses pay the undergraduate tuition rate for graduate courses.

Undergraduate part-time seniors taking a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses pay at the undergraduate rate for all courses.

Undergraduate seniors who are permitted to register for a graduate class in any of the summer sessions pay at the undergraduate rate.

Cooperative Agreement with Wilson College

Through a cooperative agreement Wilson College and Shippensburg University students may schedule courses on each other’s campus. Wilson College students may schedule courses at Shippensburg, and Shippensburg University students may schedule courses at Wilson. The course credit will not be treated as transfer credit. Course work will appear on the student’s official record along with the grade earned. Students will register and pay tuition at the institution at which they have been matriculated.

A list of courses being offered at each institution will be available. To schedule one of these courses you will need to have the approval of your major department and your academic dean. Once this permission is obtained, you will schedule the course through the Registrar’s Office at your home institution. Attendance will also have to be approved by the other institution through appropriate procedures. Most course offerings at each institution will be open to those students at the other institution who have the necessary prerequisites for entry into a course. However, you may not schedule at the alternate institution a course available on your own campus. Your course load, including the course scheduled at the other institution, should not exceed the maximum for your home institution.

Visiting Student Program

Students at Shippensburg University have the option of taking courses at one of the thirteen other schools in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. Under the Visiting Student Program, courses you take will be recorded on your academic record at Shippensburg and the grades you receive will be included in your QPA calculation. This program is intended to allow you to take advantage of courses available across the State System, without loss of institutional residency, eligibility for honors or athletics, or credits toward graduation at the home institution.

To participate in the Visiting Student Program you must have completed at least 12 credits and be in good academic standing. Students may take a maximum of 24 credits via the Visiting Student Policy. Advance approval is required from your academic dean. This program may not be used to repeat any D or F grades earned at Shippensburg University.

Academic Dishonesty

It is the policy of Shippensburg University to expect academic honesty. Students who commit breaches of academic honesty will be subject to the various sanctions outlined in this section. This policy applies to all students enrolled at Shippensburg during and after their time of enrollment.


As used in this policy, the term academic dishonesty means deceit or misrepresentation in attempting (successfully or unsuccessfully) to influence the grading process or to obtain academic credit by a means that is not authorized by the course instructor or university policy. A breach of academic honesty is committed by students who give, as well as receive, unauthorized assistance in course and laboratory work and/or who purposefully evade or assist other students in evading, the university’s policy against academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  • Bribing or attempting to bribe, faculty or staff personnel in order to attain an unfair academic advantage.
  • Possessing course examination materials prior to administration of the examination by the instructor without the instructor’s consent.
  • Using unauthorized materials or devices such as crib notes during an examination.
  • Providing and/or receiving unauthorized assistance during an examination.
  • Using a substitute to take an examination or course.
  • Misusing transcripts, records or identification, such as forgery or alteration of transcripts.
  • Allowing others to conduct research for you or prepare your work without advance authorization from the instructor, including, but not limited to, the services of commercial term paper companies.
  • Plagiarism, as the term is defined in the section Plagiarism.
  • Intentionally and without authorization falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise, such as making up data in an experiment or observation.

The preceding list is only for purposes of illustration. Other forms of inappropriate conduct may also be subject to charges of academic dishonesty.

Resolution of Charges

When an instance of academic dishonesty is alleged, the issue should be resolved on an informal basis between the student and faculty member. If an informal resolution cannot be achieved, a formal process of deciding culpability and assessing sanctions will be followed. If the student has committed a previous violation, the formal process must be followed.

Informal Resolution

A faculty member who obtains information a student has been dishonest should act promptly to resolve the issue. The faculty member should first contact the Dean of Students to determine if this is the first violation for the student. If the suspected incident is not the first violation, the offense must be handled through the formal resolution process.

For a first violation, the faculty member may attempt to resolve the issue informally with the maximum penalty to be a grade of F in the course. If the faculty member feels the offense warrants a more severe penalty, the matter must be resolved through the formal process.

For the matter to be resolved informally, the faculty member must meet with the student and present any evidence of a violation. The student will be given an opportunity to provide an explanation after hearing the evidence. If the faculty member determines a violation has occurred, he/she will complete the Settlement of a Charge of Academic Dishonesty form. This form will include the penalty the faculty member will apply.

The form is then given to the student, who has 72 hours to seek advice and decide whether to sign. If the student agrees to accept the penalty, he/she must sign in the presence of the faculty member. The faculty member will then implement the accepted penalty and forward the settlement form to the dean of students. The form will be kept on record for five years and may be used if the student is accused of another academic dishonesty offense or any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The information will only be used for internal purposes and will not be disclosed outside the university.  Once a violation of academic dishonesty has been alleged, the student is not permitted to withdraw from the course until the alleged violation has been resolved.

If the student refuses to sign, the faculty member may pursue the matter through the formal resolution process.

Formal Resolution

An allegation of academic dishonesty must be resolved through a formal process if the student disputes the charges or does not accept the penalty proposed by the faculty member. The formal process must also be followed if the incident is not the student’s first violation.

In the formal process, an allegation of academic dishonesty will be treated as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The charges will be resolved through the judicial process administered by the Dean of Students. The faculty member initiates a written complaint by providing details of the incident to the dean of students. The dean of students and an academic administrator designated by the provost will consult to determine if sufficient information is present to warrant further action.

If there is sufficient information to proceed with the complaint, the steps outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Process section of the student handbook Swataney will be followed. Academic dishonesty cases must be heard by the university judicial hearing board; the student conduct hearing officer option is not available for these cases.

Appeals of academic dishonesty decisions will be handled by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Provost.


The Student Code of Conduct contains a list of sanctions that may be imposed for violations. In addition to those in the Code of Conduct, the following two sanctions may be imposed against students found to have committed acts of academic dishonesty:

Grade Reduction. The grade for a particular unit of work or for the entire course may be reduced.

Imposition of a Failing (F) Grade. The student may receive an F grade for the course.

These two penalties may be imposed through the informal settlement process or the formal hearing process. More severe penalties, including suspension or expulsion, may only be imposed through the formal process. Additional stipulations may also be attached to any sanctions.


Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Shippensburg University will not tolerate plagiarism and the faculty will make all reasonable efforts to discourage it.

Plagiarism is your unacknowledged use of another writer’s own words or specific facts or propositions or materials in your own writing. When other writers’ words or materials (even short phrases or specific terminology) are used, you should put these words, phrases, or sentences inside quotation marks (or else indent and single-space more extended quotations) and you should then cite the source of the quotation either in the text of your writing or in footnotes. Failure to do so may be considered plagiarism. When the propositions of another writer are restated in your own words (paraphrased), you should also indicate the source of the paraphrased material in your own text or in footnotes. Comparable citation should be made for borrowings from media other than printed texts, such as lectures, interviews, broadcast information, or computer programs.

The more flagrant form of plagiarism is your submission of an entire paper or computer program or lab report (or a substantial portion of a longer work) written by someone else and presented as your own work. This can include material obtained from a friend, from a fraternity or sorority file, from duplicated student writings used for analysis in other writing courses, from commercial sources, or from published materials. Another common form of plagiarism is the unacknowledged borrowing from other sources (either words or propositions) and the integration of such material in your own work.

Certain situations may cause conscientious students to fear plagiarizing when they are not really plagiarizing. These include:

  • Improper format for documentation. Improper documentation is not plagiarism but a technical academic problem. Different professors, different academic departments, and different academic disciplines have various ways of documenting borrowed materials. Each professor should make clear to you how he/she wants borrowed materials documented for given writing or programming assignments. You should make every effort to understand precisely what your professor expects regarding documentation. As long as you make a clear effort to document all borrowed materials, you are not plagiarizing.
  • Use of supplemental individualized instruction on an assignment. Various tutorial resources are available at the university, including a writing center and assistance from faculty who assist students during the process of composing a paper. When you seek these kinds of legitimate academic assistance, you are not plagiarizing. In fact, you are making an extraordinary attempt to improve your writing and academic performance. In such cases, you should inform your instructor of the fact you have sought assistance from a given source on an assignment. This acknowledgment should be stated on the cover sheet of your paper or program. The prohibition against plagiarism should in no way inhibit or discourage you from seeking legitimate supplemental instruction in developing an assignment.
  • Use of a proofreader. If you are unsure of your ability to produce finished drafts that are virtually error-free, you may use such resources as hired typists, more editorially proficient friends, tutors, or writing center personnel to insure your finished papers are relatively error-free. You should indicate on the title page the fact your paper was typed and/or proofread by someone else. The prohibition against plagiarism should in no way inhibit or discourage you from using available reference and/or human editorial resources in seeking to produce an error-free final copy of a paper.

In summary, plagiarism is the unacknowledged borrowing of another writer’s, speaker’s or programmer’s words and/or propositions. To avoid plagiarism, you should acknowledge assistance received in developing and/or proofreading a paper. If you need or desire such assistance, you should not be discouraged from seeking it because of the university policy on plagiarism.