Academic Policies

The School for Professional Studies adheres to Saint Louis University's undergraduate academic catalog for its undergraduate policies and procedures. Find the most current version of SLU policies at the Office of the Registrar. Graduate students will find the academic policies for graduate students in the Graduate Education Catalog.

Admission, Grades and Graduation

Academic Integrity

As a Jesuit institution of higher learning, Saint Louis University recognizes the importance of maintaining academic integrity. To that end, the University has established a policy to govern academic integrity, which the School for Professional Studies follows.

All students, faculty, and staff are expected to adhere to the spirit of this policy.

Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity

Saint Louis University and its faculty are committed to supporting our students and seeking an environment that is free of bias, discrimination and harassment. The University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity provides information, policies and procedures regarding Title IX concerns.

Clear, Probationary, Conditional and Deferred Admission

Clear admission applies when the student has met all admission criteria. Probationary admission may be granted to a student who has less than the minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA or has less than 15 hours of transferable college credit. In consultation with their admission counselor, probationary admitted students are required to register for the following as their first courses:

  • PST 1000: Learning Resources and Strategies
  • CIS 1150: Concepts and Applications of Technology
  • English composition course

Remaining courses may be chosen from the following:

  • ARTH 1005: Approaching the Arts
  • BIOL 1405: Biology of Health and Disease
  • CMMK 1210: Public Speaking in Organizational Life
  • CIS 1300: Information Systems and Technology
  • ENGL 2025: Introduction to Literary Studies (pre-req ENGL 2005)
  • HIST 1115: Origins of the Modern World to 1600 (pre-req ENGL 2005)
  • HIST 1125: Origins of the Modern World from 1600 to Present (pre-req ENGL 2005)
  • MUSC 1005: Approaching the Arts: Music
  • PHIL 1055: Historical Introduction to Philosophy (pre-req ENGL 1505)
  • PHIL 1105: Intro to Philosophy: Critical Thinking (pre-req ENGL 1505)
  • POLS 1105: Intro to Politics (pre-req ENGL 1505)
  • PSYK 1010: General Psychology (pre-req ENGL 2005)
  • SOC 1105: Intro to Sociology (pre-req ENGL 1505)
  • SOC 1205: Intro to Anthropology (pre-req ENGL 1505)
  • THEO 1005: Theo Foundations (pre-req ENGL 1505)

In order for the student to gain clear admission, he or she must complete these courses with an SPS minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. If the student's SPS cumulative GPA is below 2.0 at the end of the first fall or spring semester in which they have enrolled, the student will be subject to dismissal at the end of that semester. If the student meets the criteria permitting an appeal of the dismissal, the appeal form must be submitted according to the established timeline.

Conditional and probationary admission applies when the student has not submitted all official transcripts. Conditional admission allows an applicant to enroll for one semester only. In order to be considered for enrollment in future terms, the student must ensure that the University receives all requested documentation before the end of the first semester (end of summer, fall II and spring II terms). Until an official transcript evaluation can be completed, there is no guarantee that courses taken will apply toward a specific degree and, because transfer GPA cannot be calculated, students must follow the aforementioned guidelines for probationary admission.

If the student's transcripts are received and the transfer GPA meets the requirements of clear admission, the student's status will be updated to "Clear." If the student's transcripts are received and the transfer GPA does not meet the requirements of clear admission, the student's status will be updated to "Probational admission." The student who does not meet these conditions will be dismissed.

Continuous Progress Policy

The objective of the continuous progress policy is to assist students in moving more efficiently toward degree completion and the achievement of their educational goals.

When an eligible SPS student does not register for courses in a given eight-week term, he or she is considered a "stop out" for that term. When a student is stopped out for one term, they are still a SPS student and register in courses for future terms.

When possible, students should avoid being at "stop out" status for consecutive terms or an entire semester without future registrations as there can be implications financially and academically.

Students have the option of requesting a leave of absence in those instances where it is necessary to be stopped out for a full semester. With a leave of absence, a student can maintain their current academic plan for the degree program when they re-enroll.

Students who have stopped out for a semester, have not been granted a leave of absence and are not registered for future SPS courses will be considered closed inactive. To continue courses, these students have to reapply for admission and develop an updated academic plan for the degree program.

All SPS students must pass a minimum of one course each fall and spring semester to avoid being academically dismissed.

If you have additional questions, contact an academic advisor or admission counselor at 314-977-2330.

Requesting an Incomplete

A request for an incomplete must be made in writing during the seventh or eighth week of the SPS eight-week term. Incompletes requested during weeks one through six of a term will be denied and students will be encouraged to withdraw from the course.

Week
1
2
3
4
5
6

Tuition Refund Percent
100 percent
90 percent
80 percent
60 percent
0 percent
0 percent

Letter Awarded
N/A
W
W
W
W
W

Student criteria:

  1. The student must hold a passing grade (defined as a “C” or better) for all coursework at the sixth week of the term.
  2. Proof of extenuating circumstances must be provided. These circumstances must fall under the definition of “extenuating circumstances” as defined by SPS. These circumstances could be defined as a major, unforeseen life event (e.g., death, prolonged debilitating illness, sudden major change in job status) that occurred within the student's life that would reasonably be expected to have a significant impact on the student's ability to complete remaining course requirements on time and at a level sufficient to pass the course. All incompletes, regardless of circumstance, are subject to the discretion of the department chair. Students feeling that they have extenuating circumstances deserving of an “incomplete” should consult their adviser.

Process for awarding an incomplete during weeks seven or eight:

  1. Student contacts the instructor, explains the circumstances and requests an incomplete. A detailed email outlining the circumstances must be sent to the instructor.
  2. The instructor contacts the program director, discusses the circumstances, and determines if the circumstances merit an incomplete. The detailed email outlining the circumstances must be sent to the program director. The mark of incomplete is given at the discretion of the instructor in consultation with the program director. However, the student must meet both criteria for an incomplete to be considered.
  3. If the instructor in consultation with the program director agrees to award an incomplete, a Petition for Course Extension form must be completed and submitted.

An incomplete course will be awarded a grade of “F” by the Office of the University Registrar if the course is not completed by the approved deadline.

Withdrawal Policy

You may withdraw from classes using Banner Self-Service prior to the start of the term. After that date, you should contact your academic adviser to be sure that all withdrawal procedures are followed.

Notifying the instructor or not going to class does not constitute formal withdrawal. Withdrawals may not be permitted for violations of academic integrity. View the tuition refund schedule for specific deadlines.

Graduation

You can complete your degree at the end of any one of our five terms. You may elect to participate in the University's May pre-commencement and commencement depending on the term in which the diploma is awarded.

If you plan to complete your degree in the summer term, you may participate in the May pre-commencement ceremonies provided you are within six credit hours of completing your degree. All undergraduate, graduate and certificate students must apply for graduation to have their degree and/or certificate conferred.

Learn About Graduating from SLU

 

Appeals Process

Right to Appeal

Students have the right to appeal decisions made by the School for Professional Studies that affect their academic standing if they believe the decision was unjustified, unfair or a violation of their rights. Students may appeal the final grade received in a course or they may make a general appeal.

Examples of general appeals may include, but are not limited to, the following: appeal of academic dismissal, appeal of inactive student status, appeal of admission decision and appeal of transfer articulation.

Procedure for Grade Appeals

The process for students who perceive that a final grade — as defined by the University catalog — is as follows:

  • First, the student is to inform the instructor in writing of the specific complaint within two weeks of the end of the term.
  • If the issue remains unresolved, the student may appeal in writing to the appropriate contact person within two weeks of the instructor's decision.
      • For undergraduate programs, an appeal should be made to the director of that degree program.
      • For graduate programs, an appeal should be made to the associate dean (since program directors also serve as the student's mentor/adviser).
  • The director/associate dean will collect information from both parties in an attempt to mediate a resolution, keeping records of the transactions for the student's file. For graduate program appeals, this process will also involve consulting with the relevant program director.
  • If the dispute cannot be resolved, the student may appeal in writing to the associate dean of Academic Affairs within two weeks of the decision.
  • The associate dean will investigate all aspects of the appeal and collect additional information from both parties individually or together in an attempt to mediate a successful resolution, keeping records of the investigation for the student's file.
  • If the appropriate decision is unclear to the associate dean, an ad hoc committee may be appointed to review the case.
  • The committee will make a written recommendation with 10 days to the associate dean, who will consider the recommendation.
  • The associate dean will notify the student, director and the instructor of the decision. In all cases except those involving a conflict of interest, the associate dean of Academic Affairs will have the final say on grade appeals.
      • For undergraduate courses, if a conflict exists in the appeals process at the program level (e.g., the course in question concerns one taught by the director), the appeal will begin at the associate-dean level. In such instances, the dean will serve as the final arbiter of the conflict.
      • For both graduate and undergraduate courses, if a conflict exists in the appeals process at the associate-dean level (e.g., the course in question concerns one taught by the associate dean), that associate dean will be removed from the process, and the Dean will serve as the final arbiter of grade appeals.

To accommodate this process, faculty members should retain copies of all course work for a minimum of 90 days after the end of the term. All changes of assigned grades are subject to a statute of limitations of one year from the end of the term in which the course was completed.

Undergraduate Student General Appeals

Undergraduate students may appeal any decision they assert to be unjustified, unfair or a violation of their rights.

  • The student should first inform the senior academic adviser (for currently admitted students) or senior admission counselor (for prospective students) in writing via email within two weeks of the original decision in question.
  • The senior adviser or senior admission counselor will gather necessary data to make an informed decision. The student will be notified of the decision via SLU email within five business days.
  • If the student disagrees with the decision of the senior academic adviser or senior admission counselor, the student may then appeal in writing to the associate dean within two weeks of the decision. The associate dean will gather necessary data to make an informed decision. The student will be notified of the decision via SLU email within five business days.
  • The decision of the associate dean is final.
Graduate Student General Appeals

Graduate students may appeal any decision they assert to be unjustified, unfair or a violation of their rights.

  • The student should first inform the appropriate graduate program director in writing (via SLU email) within two weeks of the original decision in question.
  • The graduate program director will gather necessary data to make an informed decision. The student will be notified of the decision via SLU email within five business days.
  • If the student disagrees with the decision of the graduate program director, the student may then appeal in writing to the associate dean within two weeks of the director's decision.
  • The associate dean will gather necessary data to make an informed decision. The student will be notified of the decision via SLU email within five business days.
  • The decision of the associate dean is final.

 

SPS Internships

Internship Policy

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) specifies the criteria for something to be considered an internship as follows:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives and goals.
  • Internships may be paid or unpaid. However, a paid internship may not be completed for credit, and an unpaid internship must be completed for credit if it is arranged through the University.
Internship Standards

The School for Professional Studies has specific requirements regarding the eligibility of students to participate in an internship, which include:

  • Before consideration of placement, students must have attained junior status (60 academic hours). Junior or senior status with at least a 3.5 GPA for coursework completed in the major and minor programs. Also, each SPS program director may establish additional requirements for internship eligibility, especially in reference to prerequisite courses or for specific internships.
  • Referral for placement will depend upon congruence among student's qualifications, department guidelines and requirements of the placement site.
  • Students must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the program and the site that they have a commitment to complete the internship once placement is made.
  • The final selection of the placement site must be fully agreed upon by the student, the program director and the internship supervisor.
  • The internship site must result in a new experience for the student. Internships will not be approved for those situations where the student is simply continuing a part-time job or volunteer position with an organization.
  • For unpaid internships (i.e., for-credit internships), students may enroll in no more than one course, not including the internship, during the same term that the internship is taken, unless an agreement is made with the program chair to enroll in more courses.
  • A minimum of 135 hours (45 hours per credit hour) of work must be completed for a three-credit internship. The program director, the student and the site supervisor will agree upon the duration of the internship. The internship may take more than one term to complete
  • Students may complete more than one internship during their course of study at SPS. However, only one internship will be granted for academic credit.
  • SPS oversees only for-credit, non-paid internships. Not-for-credit or paid internships can be obtained exclusively through Saint Louis University Career Services.
Application Process

SPS students interested in applying for an internship must contact their academic adviser or program director. University-wide internship information is also available on Handshake.

After inquiring about the internship, the student must work with their academic adviser to complete a formal internship application. Along with the application for internship, the student must also submit a professional resume to the appropriate program director for approval.

Approval of Internship Applicant

Following the approval of the internship application, internship description and professional resume, the program chair forwards the stated documents to the proposed internship site supervisor for review and approval. After the site supervisor approves the internship, the program director selects a faculty sponsor. The student, the chosen faculty sponsor and the internship supervisor must agree on the student's participation of internship at the specified site.

After all parties have made a verbal agreement, the internship agreement form must be completed. The internship agreement form contains a student section, an internship supervisor section and a faculty sponsor section. The internship agreement form identifies the expectations of the student, internship supervisor, and the faculty sponsor. In order for the internship to be valid, all parties must sign the internship agreement form.

Grading
The faculty sponsor develops a clear list of expectations in relation to the internship and student performance. In addition, the internship supervisor will complete a midterm and end of term evaluation, determining satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress. The faculty sponsor will then consider the list of expectations and the internship evaluations submitted by the internship supervisor and make a recommendation of pass/no pass or A through F as a final grade.
Student Responsibilities

Students should discuss their intention with their adviser or chosen faculty sponsor the term prior to the desired term of participation in the internship.

Students will register and pay tuition and fees in the term in which the internship begins.

Following the completion of the internship, students will complete a student intern evaluation form. This form gives students the opportunity to critique the internship site, internship supervisor, faculty sponsor and the overall integrity of the internship experience.

Academic Recognition

Alpha Sigma Lambda

Alpha Sigma Lambda is a national honor society founded in 1945 to recognize the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. The induction ceremony takes place once a year in the spring. Students selected for membership must meet the following criteria:

  • Enrollment in a degree program, with a minimum of 24 graded credit hours completed
  • Completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours outside of their major
  • A minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA

Visit the national ASL website for full membership details.  

Induction is by invitation only. For more information, contact Troy Turnipseed at 314-977-3431.

Teacher of the Year Nominations

Each year, ASL awards the Teacher of the Year honor to a faculty member. All students are eligible to nominate an instructor. Requests for nomination occur during the spring semester and the award is presented during precommencement ceremonies.

Dean's List

To qualify for the Dean's List, students must be enrolled full time in college-level, graded coursework with a 3.7 minimum semester GPA.

An updated dean's list for SPS is maintained by the University Registrar.