Academic Information & Policies - Online Program
Jason Byrd, B.S., M.B.A.
Lori Baker, B.S., M.A.
Senior Associate Registrar for Student Services and Records
Program Manager for Commencement
Jaime Velastegui, B.S., M.A.
Assistant Registrar for Student Services and Records
Martin Granda, B.S., M.A.
Assistant Registrar for Transfer Operations
Colleen Wilson, B.S., M.Ed.
Assistant Registrar for Transfer Evaluations
Associate Registrar for Academic Operations
Sarah Dohme, B.S., M.Ed.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Operations
Ben Bailey, B.S., M.A.T.S.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Support
Tracy Godsey, B.S.
Associate Registrar for Academic Policy
Amanda Collins, B.S.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Policy
Tom Calvert, B.S., M.A.
Associate Registrar for Academic Success
Ashley Coleman, B.S., M.Ed.
Assistant Registrar for Academic Success
Dina Johnston, B.S., M.A.
Associate Registrar for Degree Conferral
Rebecca Saville, B.S., M.A.
Assistant Registrar for Undergraduate Degree Conferral
Carrie Hodges, B.S., M.A.
Assistant Registrar for Graduate Degree Conferral
Luke Gentala, B.S, M.A.R.
Semester Credit System
The University operates on the semester system. The unit for counting credit is the semester hour. A semester hour of credit consists of the equivalent of one 50-minute period of class work for fifteen weeks, with an assumption of two hours of outside preparation or two 50-minute periods of laboratory work for each semester hour. Online courses are equivalent to the number of classroom contact hours (750 minutes per credit hour) expected in a synchronous residential course.
- Full Time equals a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
- Half Time equals 6 to 11 credit hours per semester.
- Less than Half Time equals 1 to 5 credit hours per semester.
Semester Load and Overload
To ensure students are successful in their academic endeavors, the University has placed a limit on the maximum number of semester hours students are able to take. Online undergraduate students are considered to be full-time with a semester load of 12 or more semester hours.
Online undergraduate students have a maximum semester limit of 18 hours. Students must seek permission to take more than the maximum hours in a semester and will be required to pay additional tuition for each credit hour they take over the maximum semester limit. Students may review potential overload charges by accessing this chart in the Academic Catalog or by contacting Student Financial Services to confirm the exact charges.
Online undergraduate students must have a Liberty University cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to be eligible for overload up to 21 credit hours, and a GPA of 3.5 or above to be eligible for overload up to 24 credit hours. Certain degree programs may require a higher Liberty University cumulative GPA for approval.
Due to financial aid regulations, if online undergraduate students use their semester overload to take courses outside their degree completion plan requirements, they should be advised that this could cause issues with their financial aid. Students can check to see whether the course is required for their degree by reviewing the Degree Completion Plan Audit or by contacting their Undergraduate Academic Evaluator to confirm.
Online undergraduate students who want to request overload must secure permission from the Registrar’s Office and may seek this approval by submitting a request at www.liberty.edu/overload.
A student is enrolled when he/she are registered for a course and have attended the course and/or completed academic work for the course after its start date. For enrollment verification purposes, the University policy can be viewed at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/Enrollment+Verification.
Certificate Enrolled Students
Certificate students are required to abide by some of the same policies as Undergraduate degree-seeking students. These policies include: academic standing, change of major, course registration, class attendance, drop and withdrawal processes, Repeat Policy, broken enrollment, academic and personal codes of honor, incompletes, recording of grades and the grade appeal process, FERPA, and Academic Transcript processes. Those policies that do not pertain to the certificate seeking student will be noted in subsequent sections of this catalog.
The classification of students at Liberty is based on their degree level and number of earned semester hours.
|Classification||Semester Hours Earned|
Grades, Quality Points, and Grade Point Average (GPA)
All work is graded by letters which are assigned quality points as indicated below:
|Grade||Meaning||Quality Points Per Semester Hour|
|FN||Failure for Non-Attendance||0|
|NF||Failure for Non-Attendance - Pass/Fail Courses||0|
|NP||Did Not Pass||0|
“R” is no longer an active option for a grade. Please see the Undergraduate Repeat Policy section for the current policy.
A student’s cumulative GPA comprises all coursework completed at the current academic level (Undergraduate, Graduate, Doctoral, etc.) regardless of prior degree conferral, broken enrollment or a program/major change. To determine the grade point average, (GPA) the quality points earned are divided by the GPA hours as listed on the transcript. Only courses taken at Liberty are used in computing the GPA. Only grades of A, B, C, D, F, and FN are used in the calculation of the GPA. Cumulative GPA is calculated to the hundredths place and is not rounded.
Undergraduate associate and bachelor level students who earn 12 or more GPA hours with a term GPA of 3.50 or above are placed on the Dean’s List. This does not apply for certificate level students.
Students are expected to have adequate experience in computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, database, Internet research, media presentations, and email communication. Undergraduate students lacking such experience should register for INFT 110 Computer Concepts and Applications (3 c.h.), in their first semester.
A course planning schedule is provided in order for students to plan their classes for upcoming semesters. The planning schedule presents every class offered and the terms where it is scheduled to be taught. This schedule is sorted alphabetically by class. The course planning schedule is published online at: https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/course-planning-schedule/.
Transfer of Credits
Normally courses and degrees from regionally accredited institutions or those nationally accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., SACSCOC, TRACS, ABHE, etc.) will be evaluated for transfer of credit. However, on a limited basis, Liberty does accept transfer credit via experiential learning, advanced placement and professional certificates from unaccredited institutions under certain terms and conditions established by Committee on Academic and Admissions Standards. Credit earned through this process will not be counted toward the required minimum of 25% of the major and minimum of 25% of the credit hours that must be completed through Liberty University for an associate's or bachelor’s degree. Also, credit earned through the portfolio process or professional certificate evaluation cannot exceed 30 credit hours. Applicants must request that official transcripts be sent directly from the Registrar(s) of the previous school(s) to the Registrar’s Office at Liberty University. These transcripts must be received before an admission decision will be made.
Credit will be accepted for those courses that are undergraduate level in which applicants have made a grade of C or better. Transfer credit will be awarded grades of P and will not be used in computing the Liberty GPA. Transcripts are evaluated under the guidelines established by the Senate Committee on Academic and Admissions Standards. Internships, capstone courses, special topics, remedial courses, workshops, seminars, independent studies, and varsity courses are not transferable. Students may appeal their transfer evaluation with a course description or course syllabus and Transfer Inquiry Form.
In order to receive direct credit for a course, the description must overlap the Liberty University course content at least 60%. Courses that do not match a Liberty University course by at least 60% are eligible to transfer as elective credit where allowable. Elective credit is coded as 1XX – 4XX, depending on the level of the course.
At any point prior to degree conferral, students may petition to have courses that are listed as electives substitute for required courses by using the Course Substitution form. Additionally, duplicated or repeated institutional and/or transfer credit will only be counted once toward total earned credit hours, unless courses are deemed repeatable.
International Transfer Credit
The evaluation of international transfer credit requires students to submit a translated official transcript. Course descriptions are typically required to determine direct transfer credit. International transfer credit is accepted only from an institution recognized by the government of the country in which the institution is located.
Foreign students are encouraged and sometimes required to use foreign credential evaluation services such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) to have their transcripts validated and evaluated before sending them to Liberty University. A credential evaluation service must be a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (www.naces.org) before it can be accepted at Liberty University.
Transfer credit may not be used in Certificate programs to meet degree requirements.
Credit by Examination
Liberty University offers students the opportunity to receive academic credit toward their undergraduate degrees through testing. Credit may be earned through the Advanced Placement, CLEP, ICE, DSST, Excelsior and Federal Aviation Administration programs. The items listed above, and the following credit by examination options, are not applicable to certificate-seeking students. For more information please visit: https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/credit-by-exam-or-test/.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Students who receive a required score on the College Board Advanced Placement examinations will be awarded academic credit toward an undergraduate degree. Credit will be awarded only in those areas applicable to the Liberty curriculum. For more information, or to see a list of accepted AP exams, please visit our website at https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/credit-by-exam-or-test/ap-exams/.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), sponsored by The College Board, offers a unique opportunity to gain college credit for knowledge that a student has acquired. The program includes several tests covering a variety of subjects. Students who meet or exceed the Liberty University minimum score will receive the corresponding credit. Students may take the CLEP exam at a local testing center in their area. Students can find an approved testing center by checking www.collegeboard.com/clep. Upon completion of the CLEP exam, students should request the official scores to be sent directly to Liberty University for evaluation. For a list of acceptable CLEP exams, please see the Accepted CLEP Exams on the LU website.
Institutional Challenge Examinations (ICE)
ICE are available to students with a satisfactory justification of previous knowledge in a subject area based upon a non-college training program, job, or self-learning. Through ICE, students have the opportunity to earn credit toward their chosen degree program. For more information about ICE, including courses that may be challenged, and to complete the ICE Request Form, visit https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/credit-by-exam-or-test/ice/.
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs)
Undergraduate college credit may be earned through the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs) program, which is administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) in conjunction with DANTES. Examinations are available to both military personnel and civilians. Students may find an approved testing center and view fact sheets for various tests that are offered at www.getcollegecredit.com. A complete list of accepted exams, course equivalency and the minimum required score is available at https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/credit-by-exam-or-test/dantes/.
Excelsior College Exam Credit
Excelsior College exams are approved for credit in the Liberty University Online program. Undergraduate college credit may be earned through Excelsior College Exams. For a list of acceptable Excelsior College Exams, visit https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/credit-by-exam-or-test/excelsior-uexcel/.
For further information on earning credit through Excelsior exams, go to: https://www.excelsior.edu/start-with-more-credit/transfer-more-credits/.
Experiential Learning Credit
Credit may be granted to students who demonstrate that they have already acquired course knowledge through life experiences such as job training, non-college courses, etc. for the degree program in which they are enrolled.
There are some courses that will not be admitted, such as COMS 101 Speech Communication (3 c.h.), GOVT 200 Constitutional Government and Free Enterprise (3 c.h.), internship courses, capstone courses, as well as other courses not approved by academic departments. Please note that submission of documentation for life experience or submission of a portfolio does not guarantee that credit will be awarded.
A separate portfolio for each course petitioned is required. An administrative fee of $100 will be charged for each portfolio submitted for assessment. Please note that credit earned through the portfolio process, certificates of completion, and/or other documentation will be limited to a combined maximum of 30 hours.
Each portfolio must define learning in terms of college-level competencies for specific course credit. All documentation submitted in portfolios will remain in the student’s personal file at the University.
Students may submit portfolios and/or experiential-learning documentation no later than the semester before they are to graduate.
Credit earned through this process is considered transfer credit and will not be counted toward the required minimum number of credit hours that must be completed through Liberty University.
Liberty University will evaluate students’ prior military experience and develop a degree plan for each student to follow. Evaluations will be based solely upon the recommendations of the American Council of Education (ACE) guidebook, Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Students will generally find that the Interdisciplinary major maximizes the use of their existing credits.
Credit for Seminars
As part of the “action-oriented” curriculum at Liberty, certain seminars and travel opportunities are offered for academic credit. Students who wish to obtain credit for such activities must receive prior approval from the Registrar.
Coursework at Other Institutions
Prior to registering for any course at another institution, students must submit a Future Course Request Form to guarantee transferability. The online form can be found at https://apex.liberty.edu/apex/banprd/f?p=189:1:104591628190395.
Change of Certificate
Liberty University Online students select their certificate of study when they apply. If a student decides to change the certificate he/she is seeking, the online student must contact the Academic Advising Department and request to change his/her certificate of study via phone or Liberty University webmail account. All requests for a change of certificate will be effective the following full term of enrollment.
Change of Major
Liberty University Online students select their major when they apply. If a student decides to change his/her major, the online student must contact the Academic Advising Department and request to change his/her major via phone or Liberty University webmail account. All requests for a change of major will be processed by the Registrar’s Office upon receipt, and will be effective the following full term of enrollment.
Students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree who wish to complete a double major or two separate degrees must contact the Academic Advising Department and declare the double major via phone or their Liberty University webmail account. Students pursuing a certificate may not pursue more than one certificate at a time.
Students who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree with a double major (BS/BS or BSN/BSN) or two separate bachelor’s degrees (BFA and BS, BFA and BSN, or BS and BSN) must have at least 30 unique hours within the major of the first or second degree.
Students who wish to complete an associate’s degree with a double major (AA/AA) or two separate associate’s degrees (AA and AAS) must have at least 15 unique hours within the major of the first or second degree.
The General Education/Core Competency Requirements may be shared if they are the same. However, if any requirements are different, the student must fulfill the higher of the two requirements.
The requirements from one major may be used as electives for the second major, and vice versa. At least 25% of the course work in each major must be earned at Liberty University.
Returning to Liberty University for a Second Degree
Students with an associate’s degree who wish to pursue a second associate’s degree must successfully complete at least 15 additional hours through Liberty University, and there must be at least 15 unique hours within the core of the first or second degree. Note: The 15 additional hours may also count toward the unique hours.
Students with a bachelor’s degree who wish to pursue an associate’s degree must successfully complete at least 15 additional hours through Liberty University, and there must be at least 15 unique hours within the major of the first or second degree. Note: The 15 additional hours may also count toward the unique hours.
Students with a bachelor’s degree who wish to pursue another bachelor’s degree must successfully complete at least 30 additional hours through Liberty University, and there must be at least 30 unique hours within the major of the first or second degree. Note: The 30 additional hours may also count toward the unique hours.
In the event that a student earns credit for the same course more than one time, whether at Liberty, at another college, or through standardized testing, that course/credit may only count one time toward the completion of his/her degree. The only exception to this is if the course/credit is approved by the academic department or administration to be used more than one time toward a student’s degree/major, or if the course is an approved repeatable course.
Certificate to Another Certificate or Degree Seeking Program
Online certificate students who would like to either earn another certificate after completing one certificate or move onto a degree-seeking program upon completion of the certificate must contact Liberty University Online Admissions to apply for readmission to another certificate or degree-seeking program. All courses taken within the undergraduate certificate will transfer directly into the new undergraduate certificate or degree program, only if applicable. Students must have at least one outstanding course requirement for the new certificate in order to gain acceptance into that program Completion of that requirement and all other certificate requirements must be successfully met before the new certificate is awarded.
If a student chooses not to finish the undergraduate certificate and switch to a degree-seeking program, a new application must be submitted and accepted in order to proceed to a degree-seeking program. Upon acceptance to the new program, the previously earned courses will only apply to that new program if the courses meet the grade and GPA requirements necessary for that certificate or degree program.
Certificate Completion Plan Audit
The Certificate Completion Plan Audit (found under Degree Completion Plan Audit via ASIST) provides real-time advice and counsel, making it possible for students to track progress towards certificate completion at their convenience. It also enables students to immediately view how their credits will apply towards a different program. PDF versions of all CCPs.
Degree Completion Plan (DCP) Audit
The Degree Completion Plan (DCP) Audit provides real-time advice, making it possible for students to track progress towards degree completion at their convenience. It also enables students to immediately view how their credits will apply towards a different degree program. PDF versions of all DCPs.
Military Degree Plans
Liberty University offers academic benefits on the Degree Completion Plan to undergraduate military students, including current service members, veterans with honorary/general discharge, and military spouses of service members or veterans as defined by Liberty University. The academic benefits offered include:
- Up to 75% of degree requirements may be accepted as transfer credit
- A minimum of one course in the major is required to be taken at Liberty University
- No final year or final semester residency requirement
Students must verify their military status by submitting acceptable military documentation to the Office of Military Affairs to confirm eligibility for these benefits. Once approved, the degree requirements will be updated automatically on the Degree Completion Plan. Students may view their Degree Completion Plan Audit (DPCA) in ASIST.
Students using military Tuition Assistance (TA) may be required to submit an official signed degree plan to their Education Office to confirm course eligibility for TA funds. Students may request an official signed copy of the DCPA by emailing email@example.com. All official transcripts must be submitted and the student must be officially accepted to his/her degree program before this signed degree plan can be issued.
General Education Requirements for Out of State Students
In addition to Liberty University’s general education requirements, distance education students may also be required to fulfill additional requirements set by their home states. Specific Degree Completion Plans for each state whose requirements differ are available from Liberty University Online Advising. This does not apply for certificate seeking students.
Important Information Regarding Internships and Clinical Placements
Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their Liberty University program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, fingerprinting, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the university will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility.
Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the State certification body. Students seeking licensure are urged to contact the relevant licensing agency to determine the licensing requirements for the jurisdiction. Successful completion of a program of study at Liberty University does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.
Students at Liberty University are not required to complete a minor. Those students in a bachelor’s program who wish to declare a minor, however, are encouraged to contact the Academic Advising Department to review the requirements for that minor. A minor on the student’s transcript indicates the completion of a block of courses that academic departments have specified as meeting the requirements of their minor.
Consequently, since the selection of a minor is not a graduation requirement for any major at Liberty, students may use courses required for any given major to also count toward a minor if such courses are required for the minor. Students must earn a “C” or higher in all upper level courses in their chosen minor. At least 25% of the course work must be earned at Liberty University. Minors are not applicable for associate level or certificate seeking students.
Requests to add or remove a minor will be processed by the Registrar’s Office upon receipt, and will be effective the following full term of enrollment.
Special Student Registration
- Prospective students who do not want to be degree-seeking, or only want to take a few courses at Liberty, must apply as a Special Student and receive confirmation of acceptance.
- Special Students may not accumulate more than 12 credit hours under this status.
- In order to register for courses as a special student with Liberty University Online, students must contact Academic Advising or Admissions.
- Students who have been Academically Dismissed are not eligible to return to Liberty under the Special Student category.
Course Registration, Activation, and Completion Dates
Students may register for courses online via the Course Registration Tool at the following link: https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/course-registration/. A student’s enrollment period (course activation) begins the first day of the sub-term, provided the student is in good academic standing and has paid the tuition or secured financial-aid approval. Students are encouraged to allow sufficient time to review their course materials before the beginning of the sub-term. See the University calendar for sub-term dates. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/Online+Courses.
Online Class Attendance
Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options.
The student alone assumes responsibility for course work missed from non-attendance. A student who presents the instructor with an adequate and documented reason for absence may be given an opportunity to make up the work missed.
Class Cancellation Policy
From time to time, it may be necessary to cancel a class because of insufficient enrollment or other extenuating circumstances. The decision for such a cancellation is ultimately that of the Provost of the University. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/Class+Cancellation.
Late Assignment Policy
Course assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.
If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, he/she must contact the instructor immediately by email.
Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:
- Late assignments submitted within one week of the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
- Assignments submitted more than one week and less than two weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
- Assignments submitted two weeks late or more or after the final date of the class will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g., death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
- Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g., death in the family, significant personal health issues) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
Students who wish to audit an online course may do so for a fee (see Expenses and Financial Policy – Online Program section). Audit fees are not covered in full-time tuition billing, and audited courses will not be used to determine full- or part-time status. Auditors will not be expected to take quizzes or examinations. A grade of AU will be recorded on the auditor’s permanent record.
Course audits may not be added via the Course Registration Tool, but must be requested by emailing the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests to audit a course will only be accepted during the registration timeframes before a term starts. Audit requests will be processed and added, pending availability. A student wishing to change from credit to audit status for a course may only do so until the last day of the registration deadline. Requests to change to or from audit status after the registration deadline will be denied.
Audited courses will not count toward graduation requirements.
A Course Substitution request may be made when a student wishes to substitute one course for another required course when a clear relationship exists between the two. This request may also be used when an academic department approves a complete replacement for a Liberty course requirement. Students requesting these exceptions must submit a “Course Substitution Request” through the Transfer Suite portal for review. Approval of the course substitution is under the oversight of the Registrar’s Office and the academic department presiding over the required course. Please note that an approved substitution will apply toward the degree requirement(s), but will not change the course number on the student’s transcript. Also, a lower-level course substituting for an upper-level requirement will not count toward the total number of upper-level hours required. Course substitutions are not applicable for certificate-seeking students. Changing programs or breaking enrollment may invalidate the request.
Online students may drop a course for a full refund, any time prior to the sub-term start date. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/Dropping+and+Adding+Online+Classes.
Definition of Attendance
In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. Attending is defined as completing an academically related activity which includes, but is not limited to:
- Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.
- Submitting a required academic assignment (in Blackboard or disparate system).
- Taking an exam.
- Taking a required interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction.
- Attending a study group that is assigned by the school.
- Participating in an online discussion about academic matters.
- Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
Beginning on the first day of the sub-term through the last day of the sub-term, students who have begun attending a course may withdraw with a grade of “W” and receive a pro-rated tuition credit based on the date of the withdrawal and attendance in the course.
Remember: Any change in status (e.g., from full-time to part-time, etc.) may cause the reduction or cancellation of your financial aid award. In other words, your out-of-pocket expenses may increase.
Liberty University Online Withdrawal
Online students withdrawing from the University must contact the Liberty University Online Academic Advising Department via the student’s Liberty University webmail account or by phone to start the process. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/LUO+Official+Withdrawal.
Online Program Unofficial Withdrawals
In accordance with Title IV regulations which require that universities have a mechanism in place for determining whether or not a student who began a course and received or could have received a disbursement of Title IV funds unofficially withdrew, the University has established a procedure for students enrolled in courses. This procedure is used to determine if students are progressing toward the completion of their courses. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/Unofficial+Withdrawals.
Unofficial Withdrawal for Non-Attendance Appeal Process
Students who receive a grade of "FN" may appeal to their professor to have the grade removed to resume work in the course. All professors have the right to approve or deny FN appeals at their own discretion. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/FN+Appeal+Process.
The Liberty University Undergraduate Repeat Policy is designed to assist undergraduate students in raising their cumulative grade point average by repeating courses in which they previously performed unsatisfactorily and by removing the previous grade from the GPA calculation. The Undergraduate Repeat Policy is applied for degree-seeking, special (aka non-degree-seeking), and certificate-seeking students.
Undergraduate students are subject to the following conditions:
- When an undergraduate course is successfully repeated1, the Undergraduate Repeat Policy will automatically be applied, all earned grades will remain visible on the student’s permanent record, and the highest grade earned will be the only grade to count toward the student’s GPA. The Registrar’s Office will automatically apply the Undergraduate Repeat Policy at the end of each semester2, including the summer semester, to all eligible courses.
- On the student’s transcript, the letter “E” will follow the lower grade(s) to indicate that the grade has been “excluded” from the GPA. The letter “I” will follow the higher grade to indicate that the grade has been “included” in the student’s GPA. The grades which have been excluded from the GPA calculation will not count toward GPA hours or hours earned, but will remain on the student’s record as attempted hours. Consultation by the student with the Financial Aid office may be needed to determine how the Repeat Policy will affect the student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- There is no limit on the number of different courses or retakes in which the Undergraduate Repeat Policy may be applied. However, there may be a limited number of times that Federal Financial Aid will pay for a course taken and passed (grade of “D” or higher). It would be wise to consult with a Financial Aid counselor if there are any questions about this.
- The Undergraduate Repeat Policy will only be used on Liberty University courses that have been repeated at Liberty University. No transfer credit or credit earned though institutional or standardized testing may be used in the Undergraduate Repeat Policy.
- The Undergraduate Repeat Policy will only be applied when the same course number/title is retaken, unless there has been a university approved course number/title change and the department confirms that the courses are the same. Course replacements/substitutions are not eligible for the Undergraduate Repeat Policy.
- Undergraduate courses in which a grade of B, C, D, F, or FN was awarded are eligible for the Undergraduate Repeat Policy. Courses which are not eligible for the Undergraduate Repeat Policy are: pass/fail courses, zero-credit courses, CSERs, and courses with grades of AU (audit), I, M, Q, R, W, WF, X, and Z, or those courses failed due to academic dishonesty. Also, courses that are designed as repeatable courses within certain majors will not have the Undergraduate Repeat Policy applied automatically.
- Activation of the Undergraduate Repeat Policy for a prior semester will not affect the academic standing or dean’s list award for that semester. Academic standing or dean’s list in a prior semester can only be changed as a result of an approved grade change.
- Once a student has a conferred degree, the Undergraduate Repeat Policy may not be used on a course taken prior to degree conferral to improve the cumulative GPA which was recorded at the time of degree conferral. The repeat of a course after degree conferral could, however, be used to improve the student’s overall Undergraduate GPA at Liberty.
Final grade has been earned and posted
Break in Enrollment
A break in enrollment occurs when a student has not actively taken a class within one full academic year. The academic year begins with start of the fall semester and ends with the conclusion of the summer term.
Students who break enrollment will be required to follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the University.
Any military students wishing to be readmitted who broke enrollment due to deployment must contact the Office of Military Affairs.
Students must maintain satisfactory standing in order to remain at Liberty. Satisfactory academic standing for students enrolled in an undergraduate program is:
|Level 1 (0–23.99 hours)||1.50|
|Level 2 (24–47.99 hours)||1.65|
|Level 3 (48–71.99 hours)||1.85|
|Level 4 (72 or more hours)||2.00|
Academic Standing for Liberty University Online students is calculated at the end of the Fall and Spring term, or upon completion of all courses within those terms, and is based on the student’s cumulative GPA. At the discretion of the Registrar’s Office, a student may have his/her standing updated to good standing after completion of all courses in the Summer term. Please refer to the end of this sub-section for a chart listing the cumulative GPA’s required for good academic standing for all current degree programs.
Liberty University Online students failing to attain and maintain the minimum GPA required are placed on Academic Warning. During the next term, these students should plan to limit enrollment to a 13-semester-hour course load and may be required to take CLST 100 ( c.h.) or CLST 101 ( c.h.).
At the end of the term on Academic Warning, Liberty University Online students who fail to raise their cumulative GPA to the required academic level (see above) are placed on Academic Probation. During the next term of attendance, these students should plan to limit enrollment to a 13-semester-hour course load and may be required to take CLST 100 ( c.h.) or CLST 101 ( c.h.).
Additionally, students who are enrolled full-time and fail all courses will be placed on Academic Probation, unless they were previously on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension. Students who are enrolled fulltime and fail all courses while on Academic Probation or Suspension will progress to the next academic standing level.
At the end of the term on Academic Probation, Liberty University Online students who fail to raise their cumulative GPA to the required academic level (see above) are placed on Academic Suspension. Students who desire to return to Liberty in the future must appeal to the Registrar’s Office in writing through the designated portal.
The Registrar’s Office will review the appeal, and if it is approved, an Academic Contract will be formulated. The student must agree in writing to abide by the terms of the contract before being permitted to register for courses. If a student is a re-applicant to Liberty University Online, the student must agree in writing to abide by the terms of the contract prior to being approved for re-admission.
If a student is denied to return under a contract, he/she will not be permitted to submit a new appeal unless he/she has been away from Liberty for a minimum of two academic years.
Liberty University Online students who are permitted to take classes while Academically Suspended and who fail to raise the GPA to the required academic level (see above) by the end of the term or fail to meet the terms of their Academic Contract will be Academically Dismissed, and will not be allowed to appeal to return to Liberty until a period of at least two academic years has passed.
Approval for readmission under Academic Amnesty must be granted by the Office of the Online Provost. To qualify for academic amnesty, a student must have been academically suspended or academically dismissed from the University, as well as must satisfy the subsequent guidelines for readmission.
- Not enrolled at the University for a period of two (2) years. For example, if the student’s last enrollment was in the Fall 2018 term, he/she would not be eligible to appeal for Academic Amnesty until after the Fall 2020 term.
- A student seeking readmission under academic amnesty must first appeal in writing to the Registrar’s Office through the designated portal. The request must be stated clearly and contain:
- the reason for the request, and
- efforts made to improve during absence from Liberty.
- Corroboration may be requested of the student (e.g., transcripts from other institutions, certificates, awards, etc.).
- Students who were Academically Dismissed because of academic dishonesty are not eligible for Academic Amnesty.
The Registrar’s Office, upon reviewing the written appeal, must receive approval from Community Life, Student Financial Services, and the Office of the Online Provost before readmission will be granted.
If approved for Academic Amnesty, the student will be readmitted under the following provisions:
- Previously earned grades of “A,” “B,” and “C” will remain on the student’s record and will calculate into his or her GPA. As determined by the Office of the Online Provost, grades of “D” and “F” are revised to “Q.”
- Students who have been granted Academic Amnesty are not eligible for graduation honors.
- If any prior certificate or degree has been awarded through Liberty University, grades earned during that time cannot be excluded when Academic Amnesty is applied. All grades earned toward a previously awarded certificate or conferred degree will remain on the student’s transcript.
- All previously assigned academic standings will not change and will remain part of the student’s academic records for the respective terms for which they were earned.
- If, after the first term of enrollment following readmission under Academic Amnesty, the student’s cumulative GPA falls below the minimum cumulative GPA required for good academic standing, the student will be Academically Dismissed, and will not be permitted to submit any further appeals for permission to continue his/her studies through Liberty University.
Liberty University Online Code of Honor
Certificate, Undergraduate, and Graduate Students
Academic and Personal Code of Honor
Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.
Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.
While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University. Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.
The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety online at https://www.liberty.edu/students/community-life/graduate-and-online-students/.
Students who are unable to complete coursework by the last day of class due to unavoidable circumstances such as personal illness/injury or family emergencies may appeal to their instructor for a temporary course grade of “I” (Incomplete). A grade of “I” may not be changed to a withdrawal if requested after the end of the course. The authority for the decision to grant an incomplete completely lies with the instructor. The reason for denying a student’s request for an incomplete may include, but is not limited to, the student’s inability to earn a passing grade with completion of the remaining requirements, as well as an insufficient reason for the request. Students must initiate the request for an incomplete directly to the instructor by the last day of class (before the final exam period for residential classes).
The instructor will establish a new deadline for the completion of the remaining coursework, based on the circumstances. The instructor may grant up to two weeks beyond the last day of the term (or sub-term for Liberty University Online courses) for non-medical circumstances and up to four weeks beyond the last day of the term (or sub-term for Liberty University Online courses) for personal medical circumstances.
For extreme personal medical circumstances, a maximum of eight weeks for Liberty University Online courses and 16 weeks for residential courses may be given as long as sufficient medical documentation (from a medical professional) is presented along with the request. However, while the decision to grant an extended incomplete remains with the instructor, the request and medical documentation needs to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The instructor will be responsible to communicate the remaining requirements, as well as the extended deadline, to the student.
The instructor will post a final grade within two weeks from the deadline established for the incomplete. If a final grade is not posted within two weeks of the deadline, a grade of “F” may be posted by the registrar’s office.
The GPA is unaffected by the incomplete until a final grade is posted after the deadline. However, grades of “I” will count as hours attempted and not completed, and will negatively affect a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Liberty University understands the demands placed on today’s service member and we are willing to work with our students when their military duty causes delays in their academic progress. According to military policy for Tuition Assistance, the University must post grades within 30-days of the end date of the course. If a military student needs additional time to complete their course requirements due to deployments, extended cruises, unit operational tempo, or other duty-related extenuating circumstances, they have two options:
- They may contact their professor and request up to an additional 3 weeks to complete the requirements.
- Should they need more time, they can request a military withdrawal.
Military students must notify their Military Education Office of a course Incomplete if they are receiving Tuition Assistance. Incomplete requests and supporting documents may be faxed to (434) 455-1287 or scanned and emailed to email@example.com, or mailed to:
Liberty University; Liberty University Online
Office of Military Affairs
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Grading Policies and Procedures
Liberty University Faculty members, both residential and online, must submit final grades for all students to the Registrar at the end of each term. Faculty teaching online courses should have grades submitted to the Registrar on or before the second Wednesday after the course ends. Faculty teaching residential courses should have grades submitted to the Registrar one week after the end of each semester. Liberty University Faculty members, both residential and online, are urged to promptly complete and submit final course grades. Confidentiality of student grades falls under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. Please see the FERPA section and policies for more information.
Liberty University incorporates a standardized 1,000 point system across all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. The undergraduate programs utilize a 100 point scale, and the graduate and doctoral programs utilize an 80 point scale to differentiate between letter grades. The grading scale will be posted within the syllabus for each course. Students are encouraged to review the syllabus for each course individually to verify the grade scale.
Undergraduate Grading Scale
|A||900 to 1,000|
|B||800 to 899|
|C||700 to 799|
|D||600 to 699|
|F||599 and Below|
Recording of Grades
All grades will be recorded in the Registrar’s Office as reported by the instructors in charge of the various courses. Requests for grade changes may be submitted in writing only by the instructor.
Any extra credit assignments that are a part of the instructor’s syllabus must be completed prior to the final exam for the course. A student may not submit assignments for extra credit after the semester has ended and a final exam has been given.
Liberty University Online Grade Appeals
Liberty encourages students to have open and respectful communication with their professor to resolve any concerns regarding individual course assignment grades and/or the final grade for the course.
Criteria for Appeal
Appeals are accepted only when the grade assigned conflicts with:
- The published grading rubrics for the course assignments
- Written communication (e.g., email, announcements, etc.)
- Calculation error on an assignment (resulting in a change to the final grade)
Appeals, other than those mentioned above, will not be reviewed. The student must provide written documentation that demonstrates the occurrence of one or more of the above grounds for appeal. Documentation may be in the form of email correspondence, graded assignments, proof of timely submission, etc. After submitting the appeal, if additional information is needed, the student will be notified via their Liberty Webmail.
A student wishing to appeal a final grade should first appeal to their professor and seek to resolve the situation with them. If the student wishes to appeal further they must follow the process outlined below:
- Within 30 calendar days of the end of the sub-term, the student may submit a written appeal to the Online Chair, but should do so through the grade appeal form. The student must include the information required above. The Professor will also be notified of the appeal and will be able to provide pertinent documentation, prior to the Online Chair rendering their decision. The Online Chair will have 7 days to review the appeal, from the time of submission. When the review is complete, the student will be notified of the decision via their Liberty Webmail and the appeal portal.
- If the student has additional support for their appeal, the student may re- appeal to the Online Associate Dean through the appeal portal after receiving the decision of the Online Chair. This written appeal must be submitted within 5 business days of the Online Chair’s decision. The Online Associate Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by the faculty member. The Online Associate Dean will have 7 days to review the appeal, from the time of submission. When the review is complete, the student will be notified of the decision via their Liberty Webmail and the appeal portal.
- If the student has additional support for their appeal, the student may re- appeal to the Academic Dean, through the appeal portal after receiving the decision of the Online Associate Dean. This written appeal must be submitted within 5 business days of the Online Associate Dean’s decision. The Academic Dean will review the student's appeal, as well as any information provided by the faculty member. The Academic Dean will have 7 days to review the appeal, from the time of submission. When the review is complete, the student will be notified of the decision via their Liberty Webmail and the appeal portal.The Academic Dean’s decision is final.
Official transcripts are made only at the written, signed request of the student. Official transcripts may be withheld until the student has met all of his/her financial obligations to Liberty University. Official transcripts are not released directly to the student. Requests for transcripts are to be made directly to the Registrar’s Office. There is a $10.00 fee for one transcript. Additional transcript requests made at the same time are $1.00 each.
Students attending, or who have attended, Liberty University are given certain rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and Rules of the Department of Education (34 C.F.R. Part 99) implementing this Act. Additional information and University policies regarding the protection of student records are published online at http://www.liberty.edu/ferpa.
Honors for graduation will be determined by the cumulative grade point average earned at Liberty. Cumulative GPA is calculated to the hundredths place and is not rounded. Bachelor’s degree students who have earned 60 or more hours at Liberty must meet the following GPA standards to earn the corresponding academic distinction:
|3.50 - 3.66||cum laude|
|3.67 - 3.84||magna cum laude|
|3.85 and above||summa cum laude|
Bachelor degree students who have earned less than 60 hours at Liberty must meet the following GPA standards:
|3.60 - 3.76||cum laude|
|3.77 - 3.94||magna cum laude|
|3.95 and above||summa cum laude|
The specific honor calculated on or around April 1 of the student’s graduation year will be printed in the Commencement program, and the student will wear that particular honor cord. The final cumulative GPA will be determined after all grades have been recorded and that final cumulative GPA will determine the specific honor that will be printed on the diploma and transcript.
Associate degree students who have a 3.50 cumulative GPA will receive honors at Commencement. Graduation honors are not applicable to certificate seeking students.
Certificate Completion Requirements
All matriculated students, whether Resident or Liberty University Online, must meet the same academic requirements for certificate completion. Certificate-seeking students must have all of the following requirements successfully completed before being considered candidates for the awarding of a certificate.
- The undergraduate certificate requires a minimum of 18 semester hours. Each program differs; therefore, the student must follow the certificate requirements carefully.
- Each undergraduate certificate program requires a minimum GPA of 2.00.
- To satisfy the requirements for the fields of study, only final grades of C or above, in all certificate courses, will apply towards successful certificate completion.
- Students who return to Liberty to complete a second certificate at the undergraduate level must have at least 3 credit hours remaining at the time of acceptance to the certificate and must take and successfully complete a minimum of 3 additional hours of coursework at Liberty to qualify for a second certificate.
- All 18 semester hours of the certificate coursework must be completed at Liberty.
- Graduate or Doctoral credit may not be applied to an undergraduate certificate.
- A Certificate Completion Application must be filled out at the beginning of the final semester before the certificate can be awarded.
- The Registrar’s Office will process the conferral of a certificate once all certificate requirements have been met, including the minimum GPA requirement and certificate completion application. If a student wishes to take further non-applicable coursework, they must do so under a new application.
All matriculated students, whether Resident or Liberty University Online, must meet the same academic requirements for graduation. Undergraduate students must have all courses in the General Education core and in the declared major and minor completed before being considered candidates for graduation.
- The bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours. Of these total hours, a specified number of upper-level (300-400) courses must be completed with the minimum number being 30 semester hours. Each program differs; therefore, the student must follow the degree requirements carefully. The Associate of Arts degree requires a minimum of 60 semester hours.
- Each undergraduate degree program consists of designated General Education requirements, a major, and electives. Electives may be taken from the undergraduate courses offered in any department. A GPA of 2.00 or higher, unless otherwise specified in a particular major or minor, is required for graduation.
- To satisfy the requirements for the major and minor fields of study, only grades of C or above in upper level courses may be included. This includes directed electives. Certain majors require a grade of C or above in all major courses.
- At least twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for the bachelor’s degree must be completed at Liberty. Twenty-five percent of the semester hours in the major and minor must be completed at Liberty, unless otherwise specified within the degree requirements. At least twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for the associate’s degree must be completed at Liberty, and with the exception of the A.A. in General Studies or the A.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, 25% of the hours in the major component of the Associate degree must be completed at Liberty.
- Submission of Degree Completion Application.
- Graduate or Doctoral credit may not be applied to an undergraduate degree, unless required as part of a dual degree program.
- The Registrar’s Office will process the conferral of a degree once all degree requirements have been met, including the minimum GPA requirement and Degree Completion Application. If a student wishes to take further non-applicable coursework, they must do so under a new application.
All candidates for graduation must be approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees.
Degrees are granted throughout the academic school year. All candidates for degrees may participate in the annual graduation exercises which take place in May.
Time Limits for Degree Completion
Students pursuing a certificate must complete the certificate requirements within three (3) years of the date of matriculation.
Students pursuing an associate’s degree must complete the degree requirements within seven (7) years of the date of matriculation.
Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree must complete the degree requirement within ten (10) years of the date of matriculation.
Any student who does not complete coursework within the permissible time limit for any reason, including discontinued enrollment, must reapply for readmission and will be subject to the requirements of the Catalog and Degree/Certificate Completion Plan (DCP/CCP) in effect at the time of his/her readmission.
A break in enrollment occurs when the student fails to enroll in at least one course during an academic year. The academic year begins with the start of the fall semester and ends with the conclusion of the summer term. Students who break enrollment must apply for readmission and will be subject to the requirements of the Catalog and degree requirements in effect at the time of their readmission.