Academic Integrity and Classroom Conduct
Students are admitted to Bridgewater State University with the expectation that they will accept and abide by the standards of conduct and scholarship established by the faculty, administration and student governing boards. The university reserves the right to require students to withdraw who do not maintain acceptable academic standing. The university also reserves the right to dismiss, with due process, students who do not meet the requirements of conduct and order or whose behavior is inconsistent with the standards of the university.
Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of truth. In this pursuit, academic honesty is of fundamental importance. Faculty, students and administrators all have a responsibility to value, demonstrate and safeguard academic integrity as one of the university’s most essential institutional values.
The university has an obligation to establish and promote standards of academic integrity, and each member of the university community has the responsibility to understand, support and practice them. When standards of academic integrity are followed, teaching and learning can proceed in an environment of trust. When such standards are violated, teaching and learning are in doubt and suspicion. Therefore, the best interests of the university community require that cases of alleged academic dishonesty be addressed seriously but equitably.
At Bridgewater State University, academic honesty is expected of all students; plagiarism and cheating are not condoned and are subject to academic penalty, which may result in a failure for the course in which the violation took place. A violation may result in a reduced grade, suspension or dismissal from the university.
Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating and dishonest practices. The procedure for implementing an academic penalty for academic misconduct is as follows:
- The instructor shall notify the student of the alleged violation, and they shall discuss the matter usually within seven days of the notice of the alleged infraction. The instructor and/or the student may request that the department chair, or other party from the university, be present at this meeting. The instructor shall notify the department chair and the associate provost for faculty affairs of the nature of the alleged violation, the outcome of the meeting held with the student, and the penalty, which may include a reduced grade on an assignment or in the course, including failure. The instructor reports the case to the Academic Review Panel, and may refer the case for review. The instructor shall inform the student that further action may be taken by the associate provost for faculty affairs, in cases of repeat offenses. The associate provost for faculty affairs will refer cases of repeat offenses to the Academic Review Panel.
- If the matter is not resolved, the student or instructor may request a hearing within five school days before the Academic Review Panel, and the student and instructor, each with a representative serving in an advisory capacity, should either choose to have one, shall meet with the panel to discuss the alleged violation of university policy. The Academic Review Panel shall conduct its investigations, usually within 15 days following notification, and shall follow the requirements of due process. Based upon the allegations or evidence received, the panel may recommend further sanctions, or no change in sanctions, or a reduction in sanctions, and will take into account any previous infractions only after it concludes its investigation of the present case. Further sanctions may include suspension or expulsion.
Requests by students for hearings by the Academic Review Panel will be considered on the basis of inappropriate sanctions, violation of due process, procedural error that negatively impacted the outcome, or new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the meeting with the instructor.
The Academic Review Panel will consist of three faculty members and two student members of the academic policies committee, appointed annually by the chairperson of that committee; three members must be present, including at least two faculty members, to constitute a quorum. In addition, the associate provost for faculty affairs will serve in a nonvoting capacity as advisor to the panel and will maintain a record of reported violations by students. Multiple offenses by a student may have a bearing on the sanctions imposed by the panel. All evidence before the Academic Review Panel is confidential.
Any decision of the Academic Review Panel shall be forwarded in writing to the associate provost for faculty affairs, who shall inform both the student and the instructor of the decision in writing by hand delivery or by return-receipt-requested, addressee-only mail. Once a student has received notice from the instructor that he or she has been charged with an academic integrity violation, the University reserves the right to award a letter grade or impose other sanctions as determined by the instructor or Academic Review Panel even if the student has withdrawn from the course, should proceedings by the instructor or the Academic Review Panel conclude that such sanctions are appropriate. Where applicable, a formal written notice will be sent to the Registrar’s Office so that the student’s record can be adjusted.
An appeal by either party shall be made to:
Dr. Barbara Feldman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Boyden Hall, Room 104
Classroom Conduct Policy
Because all students and faculty at Bridgewater State University are entitled to a positive and constructive teaching and learning environment, Bridgewater State University students are prohibited from engaging in behavior or activity that causes the disruption of teaching, learning, research or other academic activities necessary for the fulfillment of the university mission.
If disruptive behavior occurs, whether in the classroom or another academic environment, a faculty member has the right to remove the student from the classroom setting. Examples of potentially disruptive behavior may include, but are not limited to, using derogatory, vulgar and insulting language directed at an individual or group, unsolicited talking in class, sleeping in class, using or activating mobile technology, arriving at or leaving the classroom while class is in session, and/or failing to comply with the legitimate request of a university faculty member.
If a student exhibits disruptive behavior, the faculty member may ask the student to stop the behavior. If the student does not comply with the professor’s request, he or she will be asked to leave and the professor will indicate the expected appropriate conduct to be able to return to class. If the student agrees to the faculty member’s instructions and returns to class but subsequently continues to engage in disruptive behavior during future class sessions, the faculty member will forward written documentation of the student’s behavior to the respective department chairperson, who will meet with the student to review the matter and determine an appropriate course of action. While the courses of action will vary, they may include referral to advising or counseling, reduction in grade, or withdrawal from the course.
If the student does not comply with the course of action and continues to engage in disruptive behavior, the student may be withdrawn from the course after a review conducted by the associate provost for faculty affairs. This action may have implications for the student’s full-time status, financial aid, health insurance and resident status.
Students who exhibit behavior that immediately endangers or seriously disrupts the establishment or maintenance of an appropriate learning environment in the classroom are subject to an immediate review by the associate provost for faculty affairs. If, at any time, faculty or students feel threatened, they should call Campus Police at 1212.
In all cases involving an individual with a disability, including mental disabilities, this policy will operate to make determinations based upon an individual’s behavior rather than upon the individual’s status of having a disability. Students have a personal obligation to obtain medical care for conditions that may affect their conduct, and to take any related medications as prescribed by their physicians. Under applicable disability laws, students with disabilities are responsible for their disruptive conduct.
The vice president for academic affairs will act as the sole and final appeal for any decisions made by the associate provost for faculty affairs.
The student may also be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Make-up Tests and Examinations
The procedure for making up an examination held during the semester is determined by the individual instructor or the department. If a student misses an examination, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor immediately so that alternative arrangements may be made.
The privilege of making up a final examination will be granted only when the cause has been the serious illness of the student or a member of his or her immediate family. All such excuses must be documented by a medical doctor and submitted to the instructor of the course.
In order for a degree-seeking or non-degree student to maintain good academic standing at Bridgewater State University, his/her cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) must remain above 2.0.
Students should review the chart below to determine if their GPA will result in an academic warning, probation, or separation from the university:
|Earned Credit Hours
|Separation Below This GPA
|90 and above
|must maintain 2.00 or better
In order for a first semester transfer student to avoid separation from the university, his/her cumulative GPA must remain at 1.5 or above. After the first semester, a transfer student follows the table above.
Students on academic probation are limited to 13 semester hours during the semester they are on probation. In addition, academic probation may involve 1) an adjustment in the student’s academic load, 2) frequent interviews between the student and advisor for the analysis of difficulties and for checking the student’s progress, 3) a stipulation that certain courses be taken to improve the student’s academic performance, 4) restrictions on the student’s extracurricular activities, and 5) other such precautions as are deemed advisable.
Students who have been academically separated from the university may not take courses at the university (day or evening) for at least one academic semester. After this time period, students may apply for readmission through the Office of Admission. Although not required, it is recommended that readmission applicants give evidence of at least one semester of academic work with a 2.5 GPA or higher at some other institution of higher learning. Students who have previously completed courses at a college or university are reminded that course work taken elsewhere will not necessarily be accepted as transfer credit. Additionally, of the 90 total credits that may be accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University and applied to the baccalaureate degree, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions.
An undergraduate degree-seeking student who is academically dismissed twice can only apply for readmission after a three-year period. If readmitted, the student is placed on academic probation and must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to continue.
The grade point average of the student will be resumed after readmission. Students who have left the university for a minimum of three years may be given special consideration upon written appeal to the vice president for academic affairs.
NOTE: Academic readmission or reinstatement to the university does not guarantee renewed financial aid eligibility. The student must contact the Financial Aid Office to be considered for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In addition to being in good academic standing (please see the preceding section), a student is defined as making satisfactory academic progress when the academic record shows successful completion of a specified number of credits per semester. Full-time students must earn a minimum of 10 semester credits each semester to achieve satisfactory academic progress.
Students should note that many financial assistance programs require participants to make satisfactory academic progress in order to remain eligible. The definition of satisfactory progress for this purpose differs from that stated in the policy above.
See the “Financial Aid” section of this catalog for further information concerning satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.
Students are responsible for satisfactory attendance in each course for which they are registered. Satisfactory attendance shall be determined by the instructor within the context of this policy statement. The approval of excused absences and the assignment of make-up work are the prerogative of the course instructor. The university’s health service does not make judgments about whether a student can attend class except in rare cases when attendance would be harmful to the student’s health or the health of others. In general, students will be excused without penalty for reasons such as illness, participation in official university events, personal emergencies and religious holidays. Students should consult with faculty members in advance of any absence whenever feasible.
NOTE: If a student fails to attend the first three class hours of a course, the instructor has the option of dropping the student from the course.
If a student has a concern with regard to the attendance policies or a faculty member has a concern about a student’s excessive absence, he or she should confer with the chairperson of the department.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Law on Absence of Student Due to Religious Beliefs (Chapter 151C, Section 2B)
Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.
Awarding of Undergraduate Degrees
Students who believe they are ready to receive their degree from Bridgewater State University are required to complete a formal degree application. These applications are available in the Registrar’s Office. Each student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements and for ensuring that the Registrar’s Office has received all credentials.
Bridgewater State University holds an annual commencement ceremony in May. However, transcripts are finalized and diplomas are issued for August, December and May degree completers. Students who complete their degree the preceding August and December are invited to attend the May commencement ceremony.
Recommended degree application deadlines are listed below:
April 15: for summer/August degree completion
August 1: for fall/December degree completion
December 20: for spring/May degree completion
Curricula leading to baccalaureate degrees are so planned that a student carrying 15 credit hours each semester will ordinarily be able to complete the requirements for graduation in four years or eight semesters. Degrees will be awarded to candidates who have fulfilled the following:
- Submission by the student of a Degree Application to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the graduation review for that semester/term (see recommended deadlines listed above).
- A MINIMUM of 120 earned degree credits, distributed according to the core curriculum requirements, the requirements of the declared major and any free electives.
- Satisfactory completion of all requirements for a bachelor’s degree must be under a catalog in effect within eight years of the date of graduation. The catalog used, however, may be no earlier than the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation or, in the case of a change of major, concentration or minor, no earlier than the catalog in effect when the major, concentration or minor was formally declared.
Note: This policy does not apply to students enrolled in programs governed by state and/or federal regulations where current academic requirements may need to be met. Students should check with their departments where applicable.
- A MINIMUM of 30 credit hours completed through Bridgewater State University, as a degree-seeking student, including at least one half of the required courses in the major and any minor field (excluding cognate requirements). Note: Of the 90 credits that may be accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University and applied to the baccalaureate degree, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions.
- A MINIMUM of 15 credit hours of the final 30 credit hours of a student’s degree program completed through Bridgewater State University.
Note: Any course taken at another accredited institution after admission to Bridgewater State University must have departmental preapproval. A student must complete a Request for Transfer of Undergraduate Credit Taken After Admission form for each course in advance of enrollment in the course.
- A MINIMUM cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (or higher if required by the major at Bridgewater State University).
- Any other academic requirements of the student’s major department as approved by university governance procedures.
- A MINIMUM major and minor grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (or higher if required in the student’s major(s) and minor(s) requirements taken through Bridgewater State University). The major GPA includes all courses completed in the major field (excluding cognate requirements), unless otherwise specified by the individual department. The minor GPA includes all courses required for completion of the minor, regardless of the department in which the courses are offered.
a. The credit earned in an introductory college skills course may not be used to satisfy the Core Curriculum Requirements nor may it be applied toward the minimum number of credits required for graduation in any major.
b. One diploma will be issued to students, and one degree earned, regardless of the number of major programs completed. Students with double majors will be awarded the degree (BA, BS or BSE) based on their primary major. The diploma will indicate the degree earned, and honors awarded based on the students’ final grade point average. The degree earned, honors awarded and all majors and minors completed will be listed on the student’s academic transcript. Please note: students will not receive their diplomas or transcripts until all financial debts to the university have been paid.
Conferral of a degree occurs when the registrar finalizes the student’s academic record and confirms that all requirements have been satisfied. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not constitute conferral of the degree. Similarly, inclusion of a student’s name in such publications as the commencement program does not confirm eligibility for the degree.
Graduation Requirements - Second Degree Program
Upon admission to a second undergraduate degree program (see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog), the student will meet with an advisor from the major department to plan a course of study based on the current requirements of that major. That course of study must be approved by the chairperson of the department and forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. Any changes in that course of study must also have the approval of the advisor and the chairperson and be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. If a student does not complete the course of study within four years of admission, the department may require the student to change the course of study to reflect changes in major requirements. (Note: This time period does not apply to students enrolled in programs governed by state and/or federal regulations where current academic requirements may need to be met. Students should check with their departments where applicable.)
The graduation requirements for a second degree are as follows:
- The completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours through Bridgewater State University, as a degree-seeking student, beyond the first degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (or higher if required by the major department).
- The completion of at least one half of the required courses in the second degree major (excluding cognate requirements) through Bridgewater State University. The remainder of the major requirements may be satisfied by the transfer of courses from another accredited institution.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (or higher if required by the major department) in the student’s major requirements taken through Bridgewater State University. The major GPA includes all courses completed in the major field (excluding cognate requirements), unless otherwise specified by the individual department. The minor GPA includes all courses required for completion of the minor, regardless of the department in which the courses are offered.
- The completion of all cognate requirements for the major as outlined on the advisor-approved course of study.
The Bridgewater State University Core Curriculum Requirements are satisfied by the student’s first bachelor’s degree, whether that degree was earned through Bridgewater State University or another accredited institution. Each student, however, must fulfill the state-mandated requirement in United States and Massachusetts Constitutions.
Both the cumulative grade point average (GPA) and the major grade point average (GPA) for the second degree will be based on all grades received through Bridgewater State University, and all undergraduate courses will appear on one continuous academic record. A student must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in order to remain in good academic standing at the university and continue in the program. Upon completion of the second degree, the student will be eligible to attend commencement and graduate with honors based on the cumulative GPA for all undergraduate-level work attempted through Bridgewater State University.
Graduation With Honors
Academic excellence for the baccalaureate program is recognized by awarding degrees summa cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher), magna cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.6 to 3.79), and cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.3 to 3.59). The cumulative GPA determined for honors is based on all university-level work attempted through Bridgewater State University.
The Commencement Program is printed prior to grades being submitted for the student’s final semester; therefore, the Registrar’s Office must print the honors designation that a student has earned up to the time of publication. The student’s diploma and finalized transcript, however, will reflect the official honors designation based upon the student’s final grade point average.
For additional information concerning graduation visit www.bridgew.edu/graduation.
Credit Hour and Grading System
An undergraduate academic credit hour is equivalent to one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks of each semester. Therefore, a three-credit class has an expectation of approximately three hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of six hours of out-of-class student work over that same time period. An equivalent amount of engagement is required for laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, web-based courses and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. For purposes of this definition, “one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction” traditionally equals 50 minutes.
The university uses the letter-grade system of marking to indicate the student’s relative performance: A (Superior); B (Good); C (Satisfactory); D (Poor); F (Failure); IP (In Progress); W (Withdrawn). Grades in the A, B, C, and D ranges may include a designation of plus or minus. In computing averages, grades are assigned the following numerical values:
Certain courses such as internships and practica may be offered on a Pass (P)/No Pass (N) basis. Courses whose credits cannot be used toward degree credits earned are assigned grades of Satisfactory (S)/Unsatisfactory (U). No numeric value is assigned to grades P, N, S or U. A symbol of WA may be given to any student who ceases attending a course without withdrawing between the end of the drop/add period and the end of the withdrawal period.
Grades for all courses (day and evening) at Bridgewater State University become a part of the student’s record and are used in computing the GPA.
Each course accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University will show one of the following transfer symbols on all academic documents. No numeric value will be assigned, and the student’s BSU GPA will not be affected.
TA, TA-, TB+, TB, TB-, TC+, TC, TC-, TD+, TD, TD-, TR
A student may audit (AU) a course to gain knowledge in a particular subject area without earning credit or a grade. Students auditing a course attend and participate in classes; however, they are exempt from examinations. The course is automatically designated “AU” and becomes part of the student’s permanent academic record. Audited courses will not be used to fulfill degree or graduation requirements. Students must submit a completed Course Audit Request form before the close of the drop/add period. Forms are available at the Registrar’s Office.
Change of Grade
If a student believes that a mistake was made in the original grade recorded for a course, the student may petition the instructor for a change of grade no later than the last day of final exams in the academic semester following that in which the grade was recorded. A change of grade will not be considered after this time.
The dean’s list is published at the end of each semester to honor the academic achievement of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students. A 3.3 average for the semester is required with a minimum of 12 credits earned and no grades of “incomplete” (IN).
Grade Point Average (GPA)
The Grade Point Average indicates the student’s overall academic average. It is calculated on both a semester and a cumulative basis. The GPA is computed by multiplying the grade numerical value received in each course by the number of credit hours per course. These totals are combined, and the result is divided by the total number of semester hours carried.
An incomplete (IN) may be given at the discretion of the instructor. The time by which missing work must be made up, both in graduate and undergraduate courses, is also at the discretion of the instructor; however, this time period may not extend beyond the last day of classes of the academic semester following that in which the incomplete was earned. If a course is not successfully completed by this deadline, the incomplete will automatically be changed to a grade of “F” (Failure), “N” (No Pass), or “U” (Unsatisfactory).
All work must be completed prior to graduation, including resolution of any grades of incomplete. The record is finalized as of the date the degree is conferred.
Mid-Semester Warning Notices
Faculty may elect to send mid-semester warning notices to undergraduate students who are receiving less than a “C-” (1.7) average in any course at that time. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with his/her advisor and the instructor of any course in which a warning is received. Since mid-semester warning notices are not issued by all instructors, students who do not receive notification are cautioned not to presume that they are maintaining a grade of “C-” or better.
Credit cannot be awarded more than once for the same course, whether earned through BSU or in transfer. Credit also may not be awarded more than once for courses which are seen as equivalents to each other, in content or in outcomes. Ex: Credit may not be awarded for more than one first year seminar (_ _ _ _199) or more than one second year seminar ( _ _ _ _298 or _ _ _ _299) regardless of topic. All exceptions (ex. Internships) are marked in the catalog as “repeatable for credit.”
An undergraduate student may choose to repeat a course through BSU. The repeated grade will replace the prior grade in the student’s GPA regardless of which grade is higher. Although both courses and grades will appear on the student’s transcript, credit for the course will be awarded only once as outlined above. (Only courses taken through Bridgewater State University and repeated through Bridgewater State University will be eligible for use under this policy.)
This policy does not apply to courses taken after a student has been awarded a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State University. If a student repeats a course, after having graduated, that course and grade will appear on the BSU transcript, but the student will receive no credit and only the prior grade will be included in the calculation of the student’s GPA.
NOTE: Repeating courses taken in a previous semester may affect certain federal and state benefits, various financial aid programs, loans, scholarships and social security benefits, in addition to athletic eligibility and veteran’s benefits. The Veterans Administration will not pay for a repeated course in which a passing grade has been previously earned. Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements must be met for continued financial aid eligibility.
Holds on Student Records
A hold may be placed on a student record for a variety of reasons: incomplete submission of required documents, outstanding balance, etc. The hold may prohibit registration, viewing grades, obtaining transcripts or receiving a diploma, depending on the type of hold. Students may view the type of hold on their account by logging into InfoBear, clicking on the Student Records link under the Student tab, then by clicking on View Holds.
Readmission and Reinstatement
Undergraduate students who have not registered for courses for one or more semesters, or who have been academically separated from the university and who wish to re-enroll must file an application for reinstatement/readmission with the Office of Admission. See the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog for additional information.
Registration and Enrollment Policies
Change/Declaration of Concentration
To elect a concentration, students must complete a Program of Study Declaration form which is available from the Academic Achievement Center. Students may change their concentration at anytime.
Change/Declaration of Major for Freshmen
All students who enter as freshmen must formally declare a major or choose the status of an undeclared major. The undeclared student should select a major by the end of the sophomore year. Freshmen may change their area of interest by obtaining the necessary form from the Academic Achievement Center. Although early childhood, elementary education and special education majors may not be formally admitted into the teacher education program until the second semester of the sophomore year, they must confirm their continued interest in these majors by the same process used by the other freshmen for declaration of majors. In addition to their education program, students must also elect a major in the liberal arts.
Change of Major for Upperclassmen
Students may change majors at any time by obtaining the Program of Study Declaration form which is available from the Academic Achievement Center, securing the signatures of the department chairpersons involved, and filing the completed form with the Registrar’s Office.
Change/Declaration of Minor
In order to be enrolled in any minor offered by the university, a student must declare the intended minor on the Program of Study Declaration form available from the Academic Achievement Center. Students may change their minor at anytime.
Degree-seeking students who plan on being licensed as secondary or middle school teachers should declare their minor in secondary education during their freshman or sophomore year.
Class Year Designation
Degree-seeking students are designated as being in a given class year based on the number of credits they have earned for courses successfully completed. The list below shows the number of credits that must be earned in order for a student to be designated as a member of a particular class year.
For registration purposes, degree-seeking students will be classified based upon the total number of credit hours earned prior to the semester in which the registration is held.
|Credit Hours Completed
Students may audit courses under the guidelines noted below. The student will receive no academic credit for the courses nor will a grade be reflected in his or her cumulative grade point average.
- A student may audit a course subject to the approval of his or her advisor or department chairperson and consent of the instructor.
- A student is subject to conditions established by the department and/or instructor for the audited course.
- A student registering for credit has course enrollment preference over an auditing student. Therefore, a student must register for audit only during the drop/add period by submitting forms provided by the Registrar’s Office. A student’s status as an auditor in a course cannot be changed.
- A student may register for one audit course per semester. Exception may be granted by petition to the appropriate college dean.
- A student receives no credit for an audited course. The student’s academic record will reflect the course enrollment with the notation “AU”.
- A student will be charged the same tuition and fees for an audited course as for a course taken for credit.
Course Drops and Adds
The Drop/Add Schedule is as follows:
- The Drop/Add period for 15-week semester courses ends after the 6th weekday of the semester.
- The Drop/Add period for seven-week quarter courses ends after the 3rd weekday of the quarter.
- The Drop/Add period for five-week summer courses ends after the 3rd weekday of the session.
- The Drop/Add period for 10-week summer courses ends after the 5th weekday of the session.
- The Drop/Add period for non-regular courses ends one weekday after the first class meeting. However, students cannot add intensive (e.g., weekend or one-week) courses after the first class meeting.
No adds or drops will be permitted after these deadlines. Students are able to drop and add classes online through InfoBear. Alternatively, drop/add forms are available at the Registrar’s Office during the drop/add period. It is advisable that students discuss changes in their schedule with their advisor.
If students fail to drop courses appropriately, a grade of “F” may be entered on their academic record. This grade will be used in computing the GPA.
Full-time undergraduate students must carry a course load of 12 to 18 credit hours or the equivalent each semester. The typical course load is 15 credit hours. Students wishing to carry more than 18 credit hours must receive permission from the appropriate college dean prior to registration. Failure to carry at least 12 credit hours may jeopardize housing, financial aid status, athletic eligibility and health insurance.
Undergraduate students wishing to carry a course load of more than 14 credit hours during the summer must obtain permission from the appropriate college dean prior to registration.
It is recommended that students not carry semester courses during the semester in which they enroll in student teaching.
Note: Intersession credits are included in the spring semester in determining the student’s course load status.
CAPS - College Academic Program Sharing (CAPS) is designed to provide full-time students attending a Massachusetts state college or university the opportunity to study at another state college or university for the purpose of adding a different or specialized dimension to their undergraduate studies. Colleges and universities participating in this program include Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts College of Art, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. BSU students may participate for one or two semesters and complete up to 30 semester hours of credit without going through formal admission or registration procedures. Tuition is covered within the student’s full-time tuition charge at Bridgewater State University. Courses taken under the CAPS program are not included in the student’s GPA. All BSU students who wish to cross-register as part of the CAPS program must apply through the Registrar’s Office, Boyden Hall. Students from another college or university who wish to take courses at BSU through CAPS must work with the Registrar’s Office at their home institution.
SACHEM - Through the Southeastern Association for Cooperation of Higher Education (SACHEM) program, qualified full-time BSU students may cross-register for up to two courses each semester without going through formal registration procedures. Tuition is covered within the student’s full-time tuition charge at Bridgewater State University. Courses taken under the SACHEM program are not included in the student’s GPA. Colleges and universities participating in this program include Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Dean College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Massasoit Community College, Stonehill College, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Wheaton College. All BSU students who wish to cross-register as part of the SACHEM program must apply through the Registrar’s Office, Boyden Hall. Students from another college or university who wish to take courses at BSU through SACHEM must work with the Registrar’s Office at their home institution.
The university permits students to pursue their interests through directed study. Such an undertaking involves independent thinking, hard work and creativity along with the guidance and help of a faculty member. The end result should be a paper or project accepted by the faculty member working with the student. Directed Study, which is limited to three credits with a maximum of six credits for graduation purposes and is primarily for upperclassmen, is available for the pursuit of independent work. Application forms for directed study are available from the student’s major department and should be submitted to the department chairperson for his/her recommendation and then forwarded to the appropriate college dean for approval.
An independent is designed for students who must complete a specific BSU course as part of their program requirements. Students will work independently to fulfill all course requirements as outlined in the BSU catalog and as specified by the faculty supervisor. Application forms for an independent study are available on the Registrar’s Office intranet site or in the Registrar’s Office.
Intercollegiate Athletics Eligibility
The following rules govern intercollegiate athletics eligibility for most students attending Bridgewater:
- A student athlete must be a full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate student.
- A student athlete must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours or the equivalent each semester.
- A student athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
- A student-athlete must pass 24 credit hours (normal progress rule) or the equivalent in an academic year as a full-time student.
- A student athlete must sign the NCAA student athlete statement concerning eligibility, a Buckley Amendment consent and a drug testing consent.
Student athletes are required to undergo both physical and orthopedic examinations prior to competing on intercollegiate teams. Specific information on these exams can be obtained either from the director of athletics or from the head athletic trainer.
In addition, there are very specific requirements which must be met by transfer students from other four-year institutions, transfer students from two-year or junior colleges, and students who have been involved in multiple transfers. For information, please confer with the director of athletics.
On a case-by-case basis, a student enrolled in a part-time academic course load, as an accommodation to a documented disability, will not be excluded from participating in athletic programs. The student shall follow the normal petition and appeal processes through the director of athletics and recreation.
Internship, Practicum and Field Experience
A number of departments within the university offer students the opportunity to enroll in an internship, practicum or field experience for academic credit. Such experiences provide students, usually in their third or fourth year, the chance to undertake a supervised practical experience in their field of study. Normally, field experience opportunities are available only during the fall and spring semesters.
Students interested in such a field experience have the option of consulting with their faculty advisor for details on programs available through the department or developing their own program proposals, subject to the approval of the department. If the field experience desired is proposed by the student, it is the student’s responsibility to locate a faculty member who will provide the necessary supervision.
Application forms for a field experience are available from the student’s department. The completed form must be filed with the chairperson of the department in which the field experience is to be undertaken no later than the end of the first quarter of the semester prior to the semester in which the field experience is to be undertaken. The department will screen all applications in order to select students best suited for the positions available. The chairperson will forward the application forms to the dean of the appropriate college for approval. The completed form must be received by the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the drop/add period to enroll the student.
Applicants to internships must have completed at least 54 credits with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Departments may set higher standards.
Supervision, evaluation and grading of a field experience are the responsibilities of faculty members in the department offering the program. A student may be removed from the program if, in the judgment of the faculty supervisor, it is in the best interests of the student, agency and/or university. Grades are based on written evaluations from both the faculty supervisor and the agency supervisor.
From three to 15 credits in field experience may be earned and applied toward graduation requirements. The number of credits that may apply toward the major will be determined by each department. A minimum of 45 clock hours in the field is required for each credit hour granted.
Normally, students may not be compensated except for minimal amounts to cover such expenses as travel.
Students must have the necessary prerequisite for each course. Prerequisites, if any, are indicated with the individual course listing and are enforced at the time of registration. Prerequisite courses taken at institutions other than Bridgewater State University must be documented (transcript or grade report, and in some cases, course description) prior to registration.
Students who wish to enroll in a course without the prerequisite(s) must obtain a Prerequisite Override form prior to registering for the course. The form must be signed by the chairperson of the department through which the course is offered and, in some cases, the instructor of the course. Students seeking an override of professional education prerequisites for courses taught through the College of Education and Allied Studies must complete a Request for a Student to Take an Upper Level Professional Education Course Without Formal Program Admission form and obtain all required signatures.
Preregistration is held for returning, degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate and joint admission students in November for the spring semester and in April for the fall semester. During the advising period held two weeks prior to registration, a student meets with his/her advisor to review the student’s progress toward meeting core curriculum requirements and specific degree requirements. A class schedule is developed, and the student’s registration form is signed by the advisor. In the case of double majors, the form must be signed by both advisors.
Preregistration is available via the Web and in person. Students who wish to register via the Web must secure electronic permission to register from their advisor at their advising session. Preregistration time is based on the student’s classification (senior, junior, sophomore, etc.) at the close of the previous semester. An undergraduate non-degree student may register for courses after the registration sessions for new degree-seeking students have been held in August and January. For more information about non-degree status, see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog. Students will not be allowed to register for courses until all financial debts to the university are paid and health records are up to date.
Prior to each registration period, course listings, specific registration dates and registration instructions as well as up-to-date information concerning course openings and prerequisites are online through InfoBear under QuickLinks at the Bridgewater State University website www.bridgew.edu/infobear.
Withdrawal From the University
Forms for official withdrawal from the university may be obtained from the Academic Achievement Center located in the Maxwell Library. Professional staff from the Academic Achievement Center will assist in completing the process, including the review of alternatives available to the student. Should the student leave the university without giving official notification, failing grades will be recorded for all courses. After the 10th week of classes, grades will be recorded for all classes and the withdrawal will not be effective until the last day of the semester.
Withdrawal From Courses Following the Drop/Add Period
Students may withdraw from courses following the drop/add period if they submit a Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office by the appropriate semester deadline date, which is posted on the Registrar’s Office intranet site. If a student falls below full-time status after withdrawing from a course, he or she should be aware that eligibility for some sources of financial aid, health insurance, participation in extracurricular activities and on-campus housing may be affected.
The Course Withdrawal Schedule is as follows:
- The withdrawal period for 15-week semester courses ends the weekday following the completion of the tenth week of the semester.
- The withdrawal period for seven-week quarter courses ends the weekday following the completion of the fifth week of the quarter.
- The withdrawal period for five-week summer courses ends the weekday following the completion of the third week of the session.
- The withdrawal period for 10-week summer courses ends the weekday following the completion of the seventh week of the session.
- The withdrawal period for non-regular courses typically ends one weekday following the point when approximately 70 percent of the course has been completed. Students should consult the Registrar’s Office for exact deadlines for withdrawal from these courses.
- Students who are taking a course online or off-campus or who are non-degree seeking must meet established deadlines and procedures.
No withdrawals will be permitted after these deadlines unless the student can demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances (e.g., sudden illness, a death in the family) have prevented the student from withdrawing by the published deadline. Consult the Academic Achievement Center for more information about withdrawals after the deadline.
Course withdrawals will be indicated on the student’s transcript with a “W” and will not affect the calculation of the student’s grade point average.
A transcript is a cumulative, permanent record of a student’s grades and degrees earned at Bridgewater State University. Students may request a copy of an official transcript from the Registrar’s Office, and current students can access their unofficial transcripts through InfoBear. See the Registrar’s Office website for details.
Transfer of Credit After Admission
In order to receive credit for courses taken at other accredited institutions, degree-seeking undergraduate students must obtain approval in advance. Failure to obtain this approval could result in denial of the course credit.
Request forms are available on the Registrar’s Office intranet site and in the Registrar’s Office. Requests for approval of a course from another institution should be accompanied by the course description from that institution’s catalog. Approval must be obtained prior to registering for the course at the other institution. It is the student’s responsibility to have official transcripts sent directly by the institution to the Registrar’s Office upon completion of the course.
NOTE: A minimum grade of “C-” is required for credit transfer. Of the 90 credits that may be accepted in transfer by Bridgewater State University and applied to the baccalaureate degree, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions. Grades for courses taken at an institution other than Bridgewater State University are not used in computing the student’s GPA.
Credit by Examination
The university encourages qualified students to meet certain graduation requirements through “Credit by Examination.” Currently the university will award credit for successful completion of the College Level Examination Program’s (CLEP) general or subject area examinations. In addition, certain departments offer their own examinations for which credit can be awarded. Additional information can be obtained from the Office of Testing Services in the Academic Achievement Center, 508.531.1780.
See the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog for further information concerning credit by examination.
VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy
Consistent with the Massachusetts VALOR Act, the university accepts military course work credit listed on the Joint Services transcript as recommended by the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. For more information, see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog.