Faculty Advisement Handbook

Academic Polices

| References Guide to Basic Academic Policies

There are a number of academic policies and procedures, that all faculty should be aware of, both as advisors and as instructors. Students themselves often fail to understand these fully, and there can be serious consequences for students as a result. It can affect both academic progress and their financial situation. Students should be made aware of, and use as reference, the section on Rules and Regulations in the current Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin.

However, because the faculty member is usually the front line for students, the following is an alphabetical list, and a brief description of some common academic situations, along with some special considerations related to these.

In the appendix you will find some materials relating to the academic petitioning process. These include the instruction form for students who want to petition for a waiver of an academic regulation, a list of offices where various student forms are available and samples of commonly used forms for students. All forms are available from the Registrar, the Office of Academic Services and Retention and online.

Academic Forgiveness

Former Adelphi undergraduate students who have been away from the university for at least three years who had a GPA of less than 2.0 can apply for Academic Forgiveness. The applicant would be admitted or readmitted to the school to which s/he is applying under a Final Probation Contract. The student would qualify for “Forgiveness” after completing one semester (12-13 credits) with a GPA determined by the school. In no case would the qualifying GPA be less than 2.3. If the student is successful the GPA prior to readmission would be cancelled. All grades would remain on the transcript. Credits received prior to readmission in which the grade was D-, D, or D+ would be cancelled. Students must complete at least 30 credits at Adelphi after return.

When a former Adelphi graduate student has been away from the University for at least three years and had a GPA of less than 3.0 and is offered admission or readmission to an Adelphi graduate program (based on the admission standards of that program), the student will be admitted or readmitted under a final probation contract to be developed according to standards of the graduate program. The student's GPA would be calculated without previous graduate grades, although all previous classes and grades would remain on the student's transcript.


Within the official time periods students may Add, Drop, or Withdraw (see Withdrawal from a Course below) from a course. They may also change the grading option (see Pass/Fail below). The deadlines are in every academic calendar. In general, students may Add a class up to the middle of the 2nd week of classes, Drop or change the grading option up to the end of the 4th week, and Withdraw up to the end of the 9th week. Any of these actions (except changing the grading option) can have a financial impact. A Withdrawal has a different impact than a Drop. If a student has more than 17 credits there will be an additional charge. Students should be urged to check with Student Financial Services regarding the financial impact of an academic action.

Change of Major

When a student is declaring a major for the first time or changing his/her major they must complete a Change of Major form. This form must be signed by the student and the Chair or Dean of the new major. Remember, going from Undeclared to a major is a change of major. Students must declare a major when they have 60 credits.

Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit

Some graduate courses may be taken for Undergraduate Credit in the junior and senior year, with permission of the department or school.

Special Considerations: If a graduate level course (500 or above) is taken by an undergraduate student, the Registration form or the CLASS system must indicate “taken for U credit”. If it is not so indicated, then the student is given Graduate credit for the course and thereby risks losing the credit towards the undergraduate degree as well as being underloaded which will affect Financial Aid status. In addition, the student is then charged at graduate rates, which are higher.

Graduation Application

Students must apply for graduation. The deadlines are in the academic calendar. The student submits the application to the Registrar.

Students who cannot complete all the requirements in a class can request a grade of Incomplete. “The designation “I” (Incomplete) will be issued when the student has not completed the course requirements by the end of the semester and has obtained permission from the instructor to take additional time to complete the course work. The incomplete designation “I” may be used by instructors only if a student has been excused from the completion of course requirements because of illness or other exceptional, compelling circumstances. Students may have no more than one calendar year after the end of the semester in which the grade was given to resolve Incompletes.

Unresolved Incompletes convert to Fs after this time. This then becomes the final grade.

Independent Study

Independent study is available to students who wish to work one on one with a Professor. In general an Independent Study course is limited to 3 credits. In order to take Independent Study the student must be in good academic standing. The student and the instructor fill out an Independent Study form specifying the project, the assignments, and the method of evaluation to be used. It must be signed by the student, the instructor, the student’s advisor, and the Dean. If it is for more than 3 credits it also needs the approval of the Provost. Each college has its own policy on the number of credits that can be taken in Independent Study. Independent Study cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

Leave of Absenc
A leave of absence is permission to be temporarily away from the University, generally to study at another four-year institution in the US or abroad. A leave of absence is sought in writing from the academic unit prior to the start of the semester.

A leave of absence may be requested for personal reasons. A leave of up to two years can be granted to students in good academic standing and in good financial standing.

Students in poor academic standing will not be granted leaves of absence.

Medical Withdrawal

A student may request a Medical Withdrawal through the Office of Academic Services when an illness or injury prevents the student from finishing a semester. The student must make such a request in writing and supply the recommendations of a doctor or therapist. The doctor or therapist’s letter must contain a specific recommendation that the student discontinue classes for reasons of health. A medical leave must be requested during the semester for which the student is seeking a medical leave. To return from a medical withdrawal the student must supply a letter from a doctor or therapist certifying that the student is able to return to the University.


Nonattendance in a course does not constitute an official Drop or Withdrawal. While there is no University attendance policy each student is responsible for knowing the attendance requirements in each class. If you know your advisee has stopped attending a class (or classes) contact the student and urge him/her to either return to the class or take the appropriate steps to Drop or Withdraw from the class.  Likewise, if a student in your class stops attending try to contact the student.  If you cannot reach the student, or the problem remains, contact the Office of Academic Services (ext. 3150).  Conversely if a student is attending but is not on your roster refer the student to the Registrar or Office of Academic Services. You should not let an unregistered student remain in attendance.


Undergraduate students may not take more than 17 1/2 credits without permission of their advisor, or more than 18 1/2 without permission of their Dean.


Students can choose to take a class on a Pass/Fail basis in many cases.  They can elect this option when they register or within the first 4 weeks of the semester.  If they do not elect it at the time of registration the student can make the change on-line or by submitting an Action Request to the Registrar. A student may not take a course Pass/Fail if it is being used to satisfy General Education requirements.  Also, a student may not take a class Pass/Fail to meet major or minor requirements or if the student is on Academic Probation.

Petitions to Waive Rules

All students have the right to petition for waivers of any academic rule or policy.  This includes requests to drop or add, to withdraw or change grade options after the date, or to waive any other academic rule.  Students direct their request to their academic dean’s office.  Students must have a letter of explanation for the request and any appropriate support documentation for the Dean from an instructor, advisor, or any other relevant individual.  An advisor or instructor’s agreement to a request is not sufficient for acceptance of any petition.  The final decision on all petitions is made in the Office of Academic Services and Retention.

Doing poorly or failing a course is not sufficient reason for waiving an academic regulation.  Students should understand that only under exceptional extenuating circumstance will a rule be set aside.  A successful petition to Add, Drop, or Withdraw from a class might have financial implications. The student should be advised to consult with Student Financial Services.


A student who fails to meet the minimum GPA required for the student’s major or program will be placed on academic probation.  The dean will send to the students the conditions the student must meet to be returned to good academic standing.  An undergraduate student will be limited to 13 credits in a semester while on probation.  A failure to meet the terms set out in the probation contract can lead to dismissal from the University.

Study at Another Institution (not Study Abroad)

Students may request permission to study at another institution under certain limited conditions.  These conditions are:  1) student needs extra credit to graduate on time or to move to the next class 2) student needs a prerequisite for major classes to keep pace for graduation 3) student demonstrates better academic success with 12-13 credits per semester than with 15-17 4) students wants to take class that is not offered at Adelphi University. If a student meets one of these conditions the student must obtain the signatures of the Chair of the department to certify that the course is acceptable, the student’s advisor, the Dean, and  the Office of Academic Services.  The form must be completed prior to studying at another college.  The student must achieve a least a C for the course to be accepted by Adelphi.

Please note that a student cannot take any class at a two year college once they have accumulated 64 credits. An Adelphi undergraduate cannot take a class at another institution to fulfill the Learning Goal requirements of general education.

Study Abroad

Students who wish to study abroad must make arrangements through the Center for International Education office and speak with the Director who is located in Alumnae Hall, Room 111, ext. 3487.

Undeclared Status

Students who do not have an officially designated major are considered Undeclared.  These students are included within the College of Arts and Sciences.  They should see the Dean of Arts and Sciences for any academic matter until declaring a major.  Undeclared students are assigned Freshmen Advisors when they begin at Adelphi, and keep this advisor until they declare a major.  Students who become Undeclared while at Adelphi should see the Dean of Arts and Sciences for advisement or come to the Office of Academic Services and Retention for an advisor assignment.  Students must declare a major by the time they reach 60 credits.

Withdrawal from a Course

Within the first 10 weeks of the semester a student may Withdraw from a class.  A completed Action Request with a signature of the Instructor, or Chair of the department, or the Dean must be submitted to the Registrar.  Students should understand that too many W’s on a transcript raises eyebrows.  Also, not completing a number of classes can have impact on financial aid, and, of course, making normal progress toward a degree. Intercollegiate athletes should inquire of Athletics how a withdrawal will impact eligibility. International Students should check with the Office of International Student Services before withdrawing from a class or classes.

Withdrawal from the University

A withdrawal from the University indicates that it is the student’s intent to permanently sever affiliation with the University.  If a student must withdraw for a time from the University, formal notice must be given to the Dean’s Office of the student’s academic unit.  If the student fails to give such formal notice, financial charges may occur or financial aid may be affected.

Special Considerations:  when withdrawing from the University, it is the student’s responsibility to inform Residential Life, and to sign out of the residence hall.  Students will continue to be billed until they do so. The date of academic withdrawal is NOT assumed to be the same as the date of signing out of the residence hall.

When withdrawing from the University, students should inform Student Financial Services in order to clarify any charges or financial situations.

Readmission is required after a leave of absence, after withdrawal and after dismissal from the University.  All requests to return are made to the academic unit (if Undeclared, students go to Arts and Sciences).

For a leave or a withdrawal in good standing, readmission within two years is granted upon request.  It is recommended that students speak to their advisor.

For a medical withdrawal, students must supply appropriate medical documentation along with a written request to return to the University.  The Director of Health Services may be asked to review requests to return.

For a request for readmission after dismissal, students must apply in writing and meet with their Dean.  A contract for academic conditions of readmission will be given to the student if the Dean agrees to readmit the student.

This page was last modified on September 6, 2013.
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