Academic Policies

AttendanceAcademic Honesty PolicySexual Harassment Policy 
ExaminationsGradesCredit/No Credit Courses
Independent StudyTransfer Credit Policy
Grade Forgiveness Policy for Re-entry StudentsDean's ListAcademic Probation
Academic Review ProcessRepeating CoursesCatalog Main Page
Viterbo University challenges students to be learners who assume responsibility for being a part of a community of scholars. Student presence and participation in the classroom is an important component of this challenge. Furthermore, as part of its mission, Viterbo University offers an education that prepares students for professional employment. Each student is encouraged to develop a professional work ethic that reflects responsibility, initiative, and teamwork. 

In light of the above, students are expected to attend all classes. Students who are absent from class miss opportunities to contribute to the learning environment of the classroom and are developing patterns that will not be tolerated in the professional workplace. 

Absences from class may result in a loss of university financial aid. Also, federal regulation requires that students make satisfactory progress toward a degree in order to retain federal financial aid. 

  1. Viterbo University expects students to attend all classes.
  2. Students who do not attend the first two 50 minute class periods or the equivalent of a course and who do not inform the instructor prior to the class meetings may be asked by the instructor to drop the course using the official Drop form thereby avoiding a grade of “F.” Faculty will notify the assistant Academic Vice President of these absences no later than Friday of the first week of classes.
  3. Each faculty member will establish a reasonable attendance policy, which will be stated in the course syllabus and shared at the first class meeting. Certain courses may have more stringent attendance policies.
  4. Faculty will keep a weekly record of attendance for each student in order to comply with  federal financial aid guidelines.
  5. Faculty will continually inform the Assistant Academic Vice President using the Academic Concern form to report students who have excessive absences.
  6. A student should not be considered absent from a class when she/he is attending a required extracurricular activity such as a field trip, or when a student is officially representing Viterbo University at a scheduled activity, such as a fine arts production, a conference, or an intercollegiate athletic event. Students participating in such events are responsible for the  class work missed.
  7. When an absence is unavoidable, a student should contact his/her instructor or the Assistant Academic Vice President. Documentation may be required. Absences do not remove the responsibility for the student to complete the work missed. Instructors are not required to make special arrangements for students who have missed a class.
  8. When the number of absences exceeds 15 percent of the scheduled classes, the faculty may issue a failing grade for the student.
  9. Excessive absenteeism will be reported to the financial aid office by the Assistant Academic Vice President and may result in a loss of eligibility for financial aid.
  10. Excessive absenteeism may also result in the administrative withdrawal of the student from the course and/or Viterbo University.
Viterbo students are expected to adhere to a behavior of academic honesty befitting their enrollment at this ecumenical Catholic university. Students and faculty are responsible for promoting such behavior. The willful violation of these standards will result in actions being taken against students who are caught engaging in such unethical conduct. The full “Academic Honesty Policy” is available in the Viterbo University Student Handbook. 

Viterbo University does not tolerate any form of discrimination, including sexual harassment. Defined by university policy as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and verbal or expressive behavior of a sexual nature,” sexual harassment is considered a serious violation of the ethical standards of this community. Students or employees of Viterbo who believe they are the objects of such conduct may take action against the alleged perpetrator in accordance with procedures detailed in the “Sexual Harassment Policy.” 

Each instructor, in the course syllabus, will inform the class of the methods of evaluation to be used.  Examinations are one method of evaluation; however, the instructor may decide upon other means of determining how well the student has met the course objectives. Evaluation of the student’s progress is made in each course at mid-semester. It is the responsibility of the instructor to inform the student of her or his progress. Final examinations are held at the conclusion of the semester and final grades are submitted to the Registrar. If the instructor wishes to use some form other than the written examination, the final meeting of the class shall be held during the time scheduled for the final examination. 


A student’s scholarship rating in each subject is determined by the results of examinations, the general character of the student’s daily class work and other methods of assessment of learning. For purposes of convenience in reporting, symbols are used to indicate an instructor’s evaluation of the student’s work in a course. The grading system follows: 
Grade Meaning Grade Points*
A Superior work. This indicates not only high achievement, but also an unusual degree of initiative. 4.0
AB Between A and B 3.5
B Higher achievement than average 3.0
BC Between B and C 2.5
C Average and satisfactory work 2.0
CD Between C and D 1.5
D Work fulfilling minimum requirements 1.0
F Failure in the course 0
W Withdrawal from course
CR Credit granted
NC No credit granted
AU Audit (no credit)
I Incomplete. Student has been doing passing work but must still meet certain requirements before the grade can be determined.
*For each semester hour 

A grade of Incomplete is given infrequently and only under unusual circumstances which cause a delay in a student’s completion of a course. These unusual circumstances normally are such that they are beyond the student’s control, such as a serious illness or death in the family or unanticipated complications in an original research project. A grade of Incomplete is not given as a result of inadequate planning, the student carrying too heavy a program, or failure to take a final exam without sufficient reason. The student must be doing passing work before a grade of Incomplete may be given. 

Arrangements for an Incomplete must be made with the instructor prior to final examination week. The form to request a grade of Incomplete is available from the Assistant Academic Vice President. This form must be completed and returned to the Assistant Academic Vice President by the Thursday before finals week. The removal of an Incomplete grade is the responsibility of the student. If the Incomplete is not removed and the replacement grade from the instructor is not on file in the Registrar’s Office by Monday of the eleventh week of the following semester, it is recorded as a failing grade. 


The opportunity to elect some courses on the Credit/No Credit basis is possible for students. This option must be exercised during the first eleven class days of the semester. The policy for Credit/No Credit follows: 

  1. Each participating department shall have the privilege of articulating its degree of participation in the Credit/No Credit system.
  2. Students are eligible if they have at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. (First semester freshmen electing Credit/No Credit courses need permission of the Assistant Academic Vice President.)
  3. Instructors will turn in a letter grade to the Registrar for all students; the Registrar will then make the necessary conversion:
    1.  A grade of C or above shall be converted to CR which shall stand for credit granted. 
       CD, D, or F grades shall be converted to NC which shall stand for no credit granted.
  4. A course in which a grade of CR has been earned will be counted towards graduation requirements. Neither CR nor NC will be included in computing grade point average.
  5. Courses on a CR/NC option (including those courses graded only CR/NC) ordinarily may not exceed 18 semester hours toward degree requirements. If a student has reached the maximum of 18 semester hours, an exception may be made for those courses required of the major and graded only on a CR/NC basis. Exceptions must be cleared by the Assistant Academic Vice President.
  6. Courses on a Credit/No Credit option may not be taken in one’s major or minor field, area of concentration, or professional education courses unless so specified in the respective department.
  7. If students later wish to major in a field in which a Credit/No Credit course was taken, that respective department may decide to accept or reject the credit grade (but not to convert the credit grade to a letter grade).
  8. Since certain courses lend themselves more readily to a Credit/No Credit system of grading, departments shall have the option of specifying such a grading system for a particular course. All students enrolled in the course would be graded CR or NC.

Independent study is one aspect of individualized learning offered at Viterbo. The purpose of independent study is to enable students to proceed at their own pace and to offer them greater responsibility for their own learning. 

Since independent study requires individual design and initiative on the student’s part, as well as considerable freedom during the time of study, the student is expected to plan carefully the proposed study in conjunction with the directing professor. The proposed plan of study must be outlined in an Independent Study Contract and approved by the academic advisor and the School Dean. 

Consent of the instructor and the department chairperson is required prior to registration. The consent form is available in the Registrar’s Office. The completed Independent Study Contract must be submitted to the Office of the appropriate School Dean no later than the first five days of the semester. 

Students use the appropriate departmental 288 or 488 course numbers: 288 for freshmen and sophomores and 488 for juniors and seniors. 

Independent study courses may be of three types: 

  1. directed study, research and/or readings in an area that is not included in the regular course offerings (title is Independent Study, and a contract is required).
  2. departure from the regular credit value of a course (title is Independent Study and a contract is required). The credit value may never exceed the actual value of the course.
  3. the independent study of a course listed in this catalog. This is ordinarily undertaken only under special circumstances (title is the regular course title and a contract is not required). A course may not be taken as independent study if it is listed on the class schedule. Course number of 288 (lower division) or 488 (upper division) must be used depending upon the lower division or upper division  assigned course number.

Except for those students who transfer with a completed A.A. or approved A.S. degree, only those courses in which a grade of “C-” or better has been earned and which are similar in nature to courses offered at Viterbo will be accepted. Transferred credits and grade points are not included in the computation of the grade point average at Viterbo. 

Viterbo University will accept a completed baccalaureate degree, an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Arts and Science (A.A.S.) or approved Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from an accredited UW University, community college or junior college (not technical colleges) as having fulfilled the general education requirements at Viterbo University except for courses in Religious Studies which are unique to a Catholic educational experience. The degree must be completed and earned prior to enrollment. If a student has less than a grade of “C” in a course required in his/her major or a required support course, he/she must retake that course. 

Viterbo University recognizes the value of career education programs offered by technical colleges and strives to combine that education with a program of liberal arts study that will result in a complete four-year baccalaureate degree. Ordinarily courses of a technical or vocational nature, along with the courses or programs specifically labeled as not designed for college transfer, will not transfer to Viterbo. However, upon the recommendation of the appropriate major department chairperson, technical or vocational courses similar in content and level to courses offered at the college within the major will be considered. The amount of transfer credit varies from major to major. 

A limited number of credits (not to exceed 12) completed in subject areas not offered at Viterbo will be considered for transfer credit, provided they are in agreement with the purpose of the university. 

A maximum of 16 credits earned through ACE, CLEP, telecourses, and correspondence courses will be accepted. 

A total of four semester hours of physical education courses may be applied toward the total number of 128 hours required for the degree. 

Courses of a remedial or college preparatory nature are not acceptable. 

Students may enroll in and transfer 9 credits of eligible coursework from two-year colleges beyond the 64 credits applicable at the time of transferring to Viterbo University. Courses completed at two-year colleges may not exceed 73 of the total credits required for graduation. 


Students who re-enter Viterbo University after a minimum of two years absence from Viterbo may apply for grade forgiveness of previous course work at Viterbo under the following guidelines: 

  1. The student must have been re-admitted to Viterbo and must have completed at least 16 but no more than 45 semester hours of graded course work with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher from time of re-entry. Continuous attendance is required to achieve 16 semester hours.
  2. The student must apply in writing to the Assistant Academic Vice President for grade forgiveness by completing a form which is obtained from that office.
  3. The student who is granted forgiveness will have all Viterbo grades earned by the student prior to re-entering Viterbo changed to CR/NC based on the grading equivalents in practice for transfer students. eg. Any course with a grade of “CD” or lower would be changed to “NC” and any course with a grade of “C” or higher would be changed to “CR.”
  4. Once grade forgiveness is granted a new cumulative grade point average will begin from the semester of re-entry into Viterbo.
  5. Once grade forgiveness is granted, all grades initially received will remain on the student’s permanent record (transcript) along with a notation of the grade forgiveness action.
  6. The student may request grade forgiveness only once.
  7. Since all credits earned with a grade lower than “C” are lost when academic forgiveness is granted, students should carefully consider whether it is in their best interest to apply for grade forgiveness. Once grade forgiveness is granted, the decision is final.
  8. The criteria for entry into specific programs are independent of this policy.

Viterbo University will release the Dean’s List for publication in February for the preceding fall semester and in June following the spring semester. There is no Dean’s List for the summer session. Also courses identified by a number less than “100” do not satisfy any of the requirements for the Dean’s List. 

A grade point average of 3.5 is the requirement for meriting a place on the Dean’s List of Honor Students. To merit a place on the Dean’s List, a student must be registered as a full-time student at the beginning of the semester and complete a minimum of twelve semester hours of credit for letter grades (that is, not on the Credit/No Credit basis), achieve a semester grade point average of 3.50, and have no Incompletes. 

To merit a place on the Dean’s List of Honor Students, a part-time student must complete a minimum of six semester hours of credit for letter grades, achieve a semester grade point average of at least 3.50, and have no Incompletes. Furthermore, the student must begin the semester as a part-time student and must have completed a total of 15 semester hours of credit for letter grades at Viterbo with a cumulative grade point average of a least 3.00. 

The Dean’s List is published in the local hometown newspaper for those students who have supplied that information on their application form at the time of admission to Viterbo University. Any change in that information may be made at the Viterbo Public Relations office. Because of internships and student teaching positions, some students do not complete the fall semester until mid-January. Consequently the Dean’s List from the fall semester is published in mid-February. 


At the close of each semester, students who have a cumulative grade point average below 2.00 are placed on academic probation. Students may be dismissed from Viterbo if they do not achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 after one semester on academic probation. 

When grievances arise in the academic area, such as in regard to course requirements or grades, the student should first discuss the matter with the individual faculty member. If a satisfactory conclusion is not achieved, the matter may be brought, in turn, to the respective department chairperson, Deans of Schools, and then to the Academic Vice President. Matters still in dispute may finally be taken to an Academic Review Board, but no later than the seventh week of the semester following the occurrence of the problem and in accord with procedures available in the student handbook. 

A course in which a grade of D or F has been earned may be repeated. A course for which a minimum grade higher than CD is required for a subsequent course or program may be repeated if the required minimum grade is not achieved. Each grade is listed on the permanent record; only the latest grade is used in computing the grade point average. 
Grades from courses repeated at other institutions to replace D or F grades earned at Viterbo University will not be used in computing the grade point average.