Jul 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures


Attendance Policy

We strongly recommend all members of the University community to be attentive to their health and safeguard others by following the CDC’s guideline to “stay home when you are sick” and to seek appropriate medical evaluation.

Instructors are expected to 1) inform students in writing of their attendance policy at the beginning of the semester; 2) take attendance and report excessive absences to the Deans of Student Affairs; and 3) discourage absence from classes prior to the beginning of a holiday period.

Attendance at all scheduled classes is expected and required. Repeated absences are a sufficient cause for failure.

After five consecutive instructional hours of unexcused absences from a class, students may be readmitted to the class only by action of the Office of Student Affairs and the department chairperson concerned. Any absence beyond that permitted in the course is a matter between the student and the instructor. Absences due to illness, religious holidays, or participation in athletic or other University sponsored activities are usually considered to be acceptable reasons for absences, but notification of such absences and arrangements to make up missed work should be made with the instructor by the student.

In the unfortunate event of a death in the family, students are asked to contact the Office of Student Affairs so that notification might be sent to faculty members and arrangements made with them to assist students in making up missed work.

If students are ill and will be missing a test, examination, or presentation, it is their responsibility to contact the instructor by email prior to the start of the missed activity.

When students are going to be absent for a period of two days or more, if they notify the Office of Student Affairs, written notification of their extended absence will be sent to the students’ instructors.

Pandemic-Related Protocol

Students who are engaging in isolation or quarantine at the direction of the Wilkes Barre Health Department, Wilkes University Health and Wellness Services Office, or their health care professional, should not attend class. Students will be required to provide documentation of isolation/quarantine directions from their healthcare professional to the office of Health and Wellness Services. Students will not be penalized for absences, missed exams, labs, or other critical academic activities, unless they fail to notify their instructors of their absences. Students must take responsibility for their absences and keep up with their coursework if they cannot attend class. They must:

  • Inform their instructors/professors and the Office of Student Affairs of their inability to attend class prior to class meetings.
  • Refrain from coming to the classroom or visiting the instructor/professor.
  • Maintain open communication by notifying instructors and student health services (anita.burns@wilkes.edu, 570-408-4730) as soon as they become aware of the situation.
  • Keep up with classwork, unless they are unable to do so.
  • When available, attend class remotely and submit assignments digitally, unless they are unable to do so.
  • Work with their instructors to reschedule exams, labs, and other critical academic activities as soon as possible.

Auditing Courses

Auditing courses is a practice designed primarily to allow students to expand their educational opportunities. Courses may be taken on an audit basis only if formal registration is completed before the end of the first week of the semester. Permission of the course instructor will be required.

Students who withdraw from a course but who wish to attend additional class sessions in that course may do so with the permission of the instructor; in all cases, however, these students will receive a grade of “W” (withdrawal).

Students auditing courses will comply with all stated course policies and meet all stated course standards and requirements, including attendance. Students who fail to comply with course standards, requirements, and policies will not be awarded “Audit” recognition. All relevant fees will be charged.

Change of Major

Students who wish to change their majors must obtain the approval of the academic advisor and of the chairperson of the department of current enrollment and of the chairperson of the department in which the proposed major resides. The student shall satisfy the curricular requirements of the bulletin in force at the time of the change. Change-of-major forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Enrollment Status Policy

In determining enrollment status, Wilkes-University includes all credit courses offered through resident instruction and distance education. Credits earned by credit-by-exam or credit-by-portfolio, and courses enrolled as “audit” are excluded from the calculation. The reported enrollment status for the three enrollment periods (fall, spring and summer) is determined as follows:


Most undergraduate programs at Wilkes-University require full time enrollment (12 or more credits per semester). Note that most academic programs require between 14-18 credits each semester based on the progression of the curriculum. Financial assistance from University sources requires full time enrollment. All institutional grants and scholarships are subject to this policy.

With the exception of the federal Pell Grant, all other sources of state and federal grants and loans require a minimum of half time enrollment (6 credits per semester).

Enrollment Chart:

Enrolled Credits Enrollment Status
12+ Full-Time
9-11 Three Quarter Time
6-8 Half-Time
Less than 6 Less than Half-Time


Incoming freshman and transfer students register during the orientation sessions that precede each semester. All continuing students are expected to preregister with their advisors and to register on the dates specified in the University Calendar; All continuing students are expected to preregister with their advisors and to register on the dates specified in the University Calendar. All Veteran/Service Member students, or dependents using Veterans Education benefits, are eligible for priority enrollment, and are allowed to register for classes at the beginning of each registration period along with all Seniors. Additional information on registration procedures and the exact dates of the orientation sessions for new students can be found online or obtained from the Office of Admissions or from the Registrar’s Office.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

(excerpted and adapted from the Wilkes University Student Handbook)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Students acquire these rights upon attendance at Wilkes University. Attendance at Wilkes University begins with either the first day of class or the date the student moves into student housing, whichever is earlier. Wilkes University has chosen to assume that all students have reached the age of legal majority (18) as stated in the document.

In accordance with the provisions of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students, upon request, will be given access to all their evaluative or opinion records that have been established by Wilkes. Such records might typically include those maintained by the Career Services Office, Health Services, Registrar, and the Office of Student Affairs. These records will be open to inspection in the presence of the appropriate University official. Procedurally, appointments must be made by students in advance to review their file, and the University has a maximum of 45 days following the request to produce the records.

For complete information about The Family Educational Rights Act of 1974 and the implementation of this act at Wilkes University, see the Wilkes University Student Handbook.

Transfer of Credits

Wilkes students who wish to enroll in courses at another accredited institution (except Misericordia University and King’s College; see “Wilkes-Misericordia-King’s Cross-Registration”) must complete the “Request for Transfer of Credit” form before enrolling for course work at the other institution. “Request for Transfer of Credit” forms are available at the Registrar’s Office.

Students should consult the “Admission of Transfer Students” section of this Bulletin for policies and rules governing transfer credits and transfer students.

The student must earn a grade of 2.00 or higher for the work to be credited toward graduation. All students must complete at least30 credits and a minimum of 50% of their major field credits (and minor field credits, if applicable) in residence at Wilkes University.

NOTE: Grades earned for transfer credits are not included in the calculation of grade point averages.

Wilkes-Misericordia-King’s Cross-Registration

Wilkes University, Misericordia University, and King’s College offer their students an opportunity to cross-register at the other institutions. Students register through the Office of the Registrar of the institution at which they are enrolled as degree candidates.

Cross-registration requires the signed permission of the Chair of the Department in which the course would be offered at Wilkes University, and the student’s Advisor. Only courses not offered at Wilkes University are permitted for cross-registration. Exceptions to this must be approved by the course Department Chairperson.
Courses carry full credit and grade value, and are considered part of the student’s regular course load. Grades for cross-registered courses appear on the Wilkes University transcript and are included in the Grade Point Average. No additional tuition charges will be assessed unless the student is carrying an overload (greater than 18 credits in one semester).

Students must register for cross-registration courses through the Registrar’s Office at Wilkes University at least two weeks prior to the start of class. Turning in this completed form to the Wilkes Registrar’s Office does not guarantee your entry into the other school’s course. That is determined by seat availability. You will be notified if the course is filled and this cross registration is denied by the other school’s Registrar.

Withdrawal from Courses

It is presumed that a student will complete the courses for which he or she has registered. Students must pay careful attention to the official withdrawal policy approved by the faculty. Any student who wishes to withdraw from a course should first discuss the matter with the instructor. A grade of “W” is given for approved withdrawal from a course; failing to withdrawal by stated policy will result in a grade of “0.00.”

Fall and Spring Semesters

Withdrawal Period 1: During the first week of the semester, the student may withdraw from a course by informing his or her advisor, securing all required signatures on the withdrawal form, and then returning the completed withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office. Any withdrawal made during Period 1 is deleted from the student’s record and will not appear on the transcript.

Withdrawal Period 2: After the first week of the semester, withdrawal is allowed through the tenth week of the semester (66% of semester completed) and requires the approval of both the course instructor and the student’s academic advisor. Any withdrawal made after Period 1 will result in a “W” on the student’s transcript.

Withdrawal Period 3: After the 10th week of the semester, the student may withdraw only for medical reasons or other extremely serious circumstances. Withdrawal requests based upon medical circumstances must be supported by a written excuse from a health care provider.

Poor academic progress, in and of itself, will not be considered sufficient reason for granting permission to withdraw from a course following the allowed withdrawal period. Withdrawals after the tenth week must be approved by both the course instructor and the Dean of the school or college in which the course is being taught. The Dean of Students will provide consultation regarding this decision, as deemed appropriate by the course instructor, the Dean of school or college in which the course is being taught, or both.

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate withdrawal from a course by obtaining the withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office, gathering all required signatures, and returning the completed form to the Registrar. A grade of “0.00” is assigned by the instructor and recorded for all courses in which no official withdrawal, as specified above, has been completed by the student. Any withdrawal made after Period 1 will result in a “W” on the student’s transcript.

Students who are considering withdrawal from a course should be reminded that state and federal regulations for financial aid mandate that a student must earn the appropriate credits within the period of August to August or January to January and maintain the appropriate grade point average for his or her class standing. For more details, please refer to the Academic Progress Requirements area in the Financial Aid Award Guide under the Student Services tab on the portal. Students should also be mindful of the University Refund Schedule, which allows for adjustments to tuition through the fourth week of the semester. Fees are not refundable.

Summer, Pre-Session, and Intersession Semesters

Summer, Pre, and Intersessions represent full curriculum content in a compressed format. The table below reflects the policy for required signatures needed for withdrawal during Period 1, 2, and 3 for these sessions, as described for the Fall and Spring semesters.

  Deadline for Withdrawal Period 1 Deadline for Withdrawal Period 2 Deadline for Withdrawal Period 3
  Signatures: Advisor Signatures: Course Instructor and Advisor Signatures: Course Instructor and Dean of College in which courses is taken
Fall or Spring semester (15 week duration) End of Week 1 (6.6% of course completed) End of 10th week of semester (66% of course completed) After 10th week (greater than 66% of course completed)
First and Second Summer session (20 class-day duration) End of third day of class End of 14th day of class After 14th day of class
9-week evening Summer session (18 class-day duration) End of the fourth day of class End of the 12th day of class After the 12th day of class
Pre-session (15 class-day duration) End of the third day of class End of the 10th day of class After the 10th day of class
Intersession (variable class-day duration) End of the first day of class Determined by Registrar Determined by Registrar

Guidelines for Implementation

  1. If a student is permitted to withdraw from a course after the ten-week period (Period 3), the signatures and approval of the Unit Dean in which the course is being taught and the course instructor are required. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate withdrawal by obtaining the official form designed for this purpose from the Registrar’s Office, having it signed by the instructor, and submitting it to the Unit Dean in which the course is being taught. A student may seek assistance from the Dean of Students in facilitating this process, including such cases in which the instructor cannot be reached. Written notification of the signed form designed for this purpose will be sent by the Unit Dean to the Registrar for processing, who will, in turn, notify the student, the course instructor, the student’s advisor, and the Unit Dean immediately. If both the course instructor and the Unit Dean agree with the withdrawal, a grade of “W” will be assigned by the instructor and posted by the Registrar. If the course instructor and the Unit Dean disagree with the withdrawal, then the student will be assigned a grade as determined by the course instructor.
  2. Disagreements between course instructor and the Unit Dean on course withdrawal cases will be automatically forwarded by the Registrar to the Academic Standards Committee of the University. A subcommittee consisting of at least two faculty and one member from the Office of Student Affairs will review the withdrawal and reasons for disagreement within one academic week. The decision of this subcommittee will be recorded by the Registrar and forwarded to the student, the course instructor, and the Unit Dean.
  3. If an official withdrawal, including proper paperwork, has not been initiated and completed by the student, the instructor will assign and record the grade of “0.00” for the course.
  4. It should be noted that from the second through the tenth week of the semester a student must request and receive permission from the course instructor and the advisor in order to withdraw from a course.
  5. Appeals will follow the Academic Grievance Procedure (for information about this procedure, see the Wilkes University Student Handbook).