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Academic Policies and Procedures

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Credit Hours

One credit hour is given for one 50-minute class per week for 14 weeks or the equivalent.

Registration Sessions

Registrations are accepted via the college’s web system, Self-Service, or in person. Students are notified of their dates to register in advance by email. Currently, enrolled students are given priority registration rights.

  • Registration for Summer Terms occurs in February.
  • Registration for Fall Semester occurs in April.
  • Registration for Spring Semester occurs in October.

Academic Load

Fall/Spring Hours
Full-time 12–16
Part-time 6–11
Less than part-time 5 or fewer
Maximum for students on probation 13
Full time for students with financial assistance 12
Full time for students with veterans' benefits 12
Minimum for international students 12

Overload Hours

Students who wish to register for more than the maximum number of hours must have at least a 3.0 GPA. Students who wish to take more than 20 credit hours in a regular semester (Fall or Spring) must also have the permission of their academic advisor and the dean of the appropriate school.

Prerequisite Requirements

Certain courses at the college have course and skill prerequisites. The prerequisites for a course are listed in the academic catalog, class schedule, and course syllabus. Students are permitted to pre-register for a course that has prerequisites provided the prerequisite coursework is in progress at the time of the registration session. Students are responsible for making sure they have met prerequisites and grade standards prior to the beginning of each semester. The college reserves the right to withdraw a student from any course for which prerequisites and grade standards have not been met.

Undergraduate students must take a Writing Emphasis course (or equivalent course in the Honors College curriculum: HON 201, HON 202 or HON 203) within their first three terms of full-time enrollment at Westminster. A full-time semester is 12-16 credits hours during fall and spring semesters.

In the event that a student fails the Writing Emphasis in their third semester, the student must continue enrolling in a WE course every term until pass.

In the event that a student fails WRIT 109, and therefore, they cannot be placed into a Writing Emphasis by their third semester, the student may complete the Writing Emphasis requirement by their fifth semester.

Writing Placement

Course Text-Based Criteria Advisor Determination From High School Transcript
Writing Emphasis Courses 7 or higher on each SAT Essay Dimension (reading, analysis, writing)
8 or higher on ACT Writing Subject Test
20 or higher on ACT English
510 or higher on SAT EBRW
490 or higher on old version of SAT Verbal
28 or higher on TOEFL Writing
7 or higher on IELTS Writing
4 or 5 on AP English Language/Composition Test
5 or higher on IB High Level English Test
B or higher in AP English Class
B or higher in IB High Level English Class
WRIT 110—First Year Writing Workshop 16-19 on ACT English
430-509 on SAT EBRW
470-489 on old version of SAT Verbal
5 -6 on each SAT Essay Dimension (reading, analysis, writing)
7 on ACT Writing Subject Test
21-27 on TOEFL Writing
6.0 on IELTS Writing
C+ or lower in AP English Class
C+ or lower in IB High Level English Class
WRIT 109—Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay 15 or lower on ACT English
420 or lower on SAT EBRW
460 or lower on old version of SAT Verbal
4 or lower on each SAT Essay Dimension (reading, analysis, writing)
6 or lower on ACT Writing Subject Test
20 or lower on TOEFL Writing
5.5 or lower on IELTS Writing
Where multiple scores indicate conflicting placements, the highest placement is used.

May Term

May Term is offered for undergraduate students during the first four weeks of Summer semester. May Term is designed to help students fulfill upper division elective requirements, as well as to offer unique courses where students can gain in-depth knowledge of interesting topics in classes which are not offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. May Term also gives instructors the opportunity to teach courses that devote focused attention to a subject that emphasizes their areas of expertise. May Term classes are typically two credits, and meet for six hours in class each week.

In addition to regular course offerings, we also offer several international and domestic study tours each May term under the direction of Westminster faculty. May Term study experiences have taken Westminster students to places such as southern Utah, California, New York, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, China, and many countries in Europe. The cost of a study experience is not included in May Term tuition.

Please note that if a student wishes to use a May Term Study Experience to receive world language credit towards fulfilling his/her world language requirement, then that language must be the native or predominant language of the country of destination, and a world language faculty member must co-teach the course, and a student must have already passed at least one semester of world language instruction in the same language at the college level.

Students can apply their earned discount credits towards tuition for the Summer semester. Payment of full-time tuition for Fall and/or Spring semesters earns two hours each, for a possible total of four hours.


The college may place administrative holds for students with outstanding financial obligations, overdue library books, library fines, bad checks, or other obligations to the college. Once a hold has been placed, students may be prevented from registering or obtaining diplomas or official transcripts until the obligation is met. Unofficial informational transcripts are available on Self-Service.

Late Registration

Students may register until the end of the first full week of classes, or for classes that start later in the semester, up until the day before the second day of classes. Specific dates are listed in the Academic Calendar. Beginning with the first day of classes, students must obtain instructor permission to enroll in any classes by obtaining the instructor’s signature on an Add Card.

Confirmations of Class Schedules

Students can check their schedule and print a confirmation at any time using Self-Service or they may come to the Registrar’s Office during office hours to receive a copy. Students are expected to check these confirmations carefully and report discrepancies to the Registrar’s Office. The computerized confirmation reflects the courses for which the student is actually registered.

Wait Lists

Once a class has closed, a student has the option of being put on a wait list for that class. As space becomes available, students are added in the class automatically by the Registrar’s Office during the pre-registration period. Once classes begin, a student must turn in an Add Card with the instructor’s signature in order to be officially enrolled in the class. Although many students get into their classes from the wait list, students are encouraged to choose alternate courses whenever possible.

Adding Courses

Students may add courses until the end of the first full week of classes. Specific dates are listed in the Academic Calendar. Beginning the first day of classes, students must obtain instructor permission before adding and can no longer add courses via Self-Service.

Cross-listed and Meets-with Courses

Courses may be cross-listed with multiple department prefixes.  When a course is cross-listed in two or more ways, it remains a single course. Students work from the same syllabus toward the same learning outcomes, and there is no differentiation of instruction.  Course numbers, titles, descriptions, and prerequisites should normally match.  Regardless of which course prefix a student registers under, the course counts toward the same requirement in their degree audit.  Lower-division courses may not be cross-listed with upper-division courses, and upper-division courses may not be cross-listed with graduate courses

Two different courses, including courses at different levels, may meet with each other. They should normally have different syllabuses and learning outcomes with clearly differentiated instruction, particularly when lower-division, upper-division, or graduate courses meet together. There should be clear pedagogical and/or operational reasons for the courses to meet at the same time in the same place. A course that meets with another counts in a student’s degree audit only under its own prefix and course number.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all sessions of each class. Student attendance is tracked through the end of the first two weeks, also referred to as the census date.  Students who have not attended any of their courses through this limited attendance taking period and have not made arrangements with their faculty members and/or made tuition payment arrangements may be administratively withdrawn and a grade of AW will appear for applicable courses on the student’s transcript.  After the census date, specific attendance requirements are established by each instructor, and such requirements are enforced by the college. Students are responsible for making sure they have dropped courses that they do not plan to attend.

Census Date

Census date is the point at which a student’s enrollment is locked for reporting and financial aid purposes. Census coincides with the end of the first two weeks of each semester. At this point in the semester, credit hours for financial aid are locked for the semester and aid is adjusted to reflect these official enrolled credits. For example, a student received aid at the beginning of the term based on full-time enrollment and then dropped credits. Aid is revised on the census date to match eligibility based on the number of credits enrolled. Students withdrawing from all courses after the census date may have further adjustments to federal aid eligibility based on the Return of Title IV calculation.  The institution uses this census date for fall enrollment reporting.

Excused Absence Policy

Westminster College recognizes that students may occasionally have to miss classes for legitimate reasons. The college further recognizes that not every learning experience a student has in college takes place in a classroom or by a predetermined schedule. Further, we are dedicated to giving students the space and time they need to fulfill spiritual and cultural obligations, to care for their own wellbeing, and to foster their own intellectual and professional growth. The college therefore encourages faculty members to excuse absences that are necessitated for reasons that spring from their priorities. At the same time, class attendance is especially important in a student-centered learning environment at Westminster. The excused absence policy is designed to help instructors balance these possibly competing values, and to inform them of certain legal obligations pertaining to class attendance

If instructors choose to establish them, course-specific attendance policies must appear on the course syllabus and must be available to students within the first week of classes. Course-specific policies can supersede this policy when it comes to college-sponsored activities (item 1 below), but not when recognized religious holidays, authorized ADA accommodations, or military service require absences.Westminster College expects students to attend all class meetings with the following excused exceptions:

  • Absences necessitated by college-sponsored activities, including athletics, academic-conference attendance, or mock trial contests. Students must provide documentation from the office sponsoring the events necessitating absences before the end of the add/drop period each semester. The documentation should provide a comprehensive list of all possible absences, including those that may not be necessary (for example, post-season competition). In some rare cases, the sponsoring office may not have complete information about events so early in this semester. Instructors should be informed in writing of these uncertainties before the end of the add/drop period.
  • Absences required by religious or cultural observances of substantial import. Before the end of the add/drop period, the student must provide the instructor a comprehensive written list of absences necessitated by religious or cultural observances.
  • Absences required under a college-administered ADA accommodation. The office of Disability Services will communicate the nature of the accommodation to the faculty member.
  • Absences required by a student’s military service. Before the end of the add/drop period, the student must provide the instructor a comprehensive written list of absences necessitated by military service.

Student responsibilities in case of excused absence: An excused absence does not excuse the student from work done in class on that day. The student should discuss the consequences of missing class with the instructor, and is responsible for obtaining notes or other documents associated with the missed meeting and making up any work produced in that meeting (including exams) on a timetable provided by the instructor. The student should understand that some work carried out in class, for example class discussions and associated pieces of writing, cannot be made up in any reasonable way. Instructors should nonetheless make reasonable efforts to help students complete any learning activities they miss because of excused absences (e.g., providing any materials distributed or presented in class and providing opportunities for make-up exams and activities). It is important for students to recognize that no absence is without consequence, and that even excused absences may have some impact on their grades.

In the event that an instructor believes a student cannot complete the course objectives due to excused absences, the student may be advised to drop the class. In the event that a student misses so many class meetings that they cannot achieve the course-learning outcomes, the instructor may work with the Office of the Dean of Students to facilitate the student’s withdrawal from the class.

Please note that this policy only applies if student-athletes have met with their instructors and provided them with the team travel schedule letters before the add/drop date each semester. See “Class Attendance” for more information.

Directed Studies

A completed Application for Permission to take a Directed Studies Course form, signed by the instructor and School Dean, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

Auditing Courses

Students may elect to audit courses at Westminster according to the guidelines listed below. Courses that are entered on students’ permanent records as audited (AU) earn no credit and fulfill no requirements.

Regular Audit

Students may register for a regular audit (one-half of credit tuition) according to the following guidelines:

  • Subject to space availability, students may sign up to audit a class on the first day of class.
  • Only students accepted to Masters degree programs may audit graduate classes.

Alumni Audit

Students who graduated from Westminster and who are not currently pursuing a degree may register for an Alumni Audit ($100 per class, plus a $50 technology fee and any related course fees for Fall or Spring semesters) according to the following guidelines:

  • Alumni must register through the Alumni Relations Office. Registrations accepted by the Alumni Office will be verified two business days prior to the first day of class and are subject to space availability.
  • Alumni will not be added to waitlists when a course is considered full.
  • Alumni Audit applications must be received at least two business days before the first day of the semester.
  • Students wishing to participate in the Alumni Audit program are required to adhere to all college deadlines for withdrawal and payment of tuition and fees. Students who fail to withdraw will be charged accordingly. Alumni Audits will receive a bill from accounting.
  • Students currently pursuing a graduate degree may not participate in the Alumni Audit program for an undergraduate course while taking classes at the graduate level.
  • Not all classes are eligible for Alumni Audits. For example, it is not possible to take music lessons or independent art courses at the Alumni Audit rate due to the costs of hiring instructors. Please contact the Alumni Office for eligible courses.
  • Only students with graduate-level degrees from Westminster College may choose to audit a graduate-level course.  The following programs will allow alumni to audit courses in their programs:
    • Master of Education Program (MED)
    • Master of Community Leadership (MACL)
    • Master of Public Health (MPH)
    • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Master of Business Administration in Technology Commercialization (MBATC)
    • Master of Accountancy (MACC)
  • Ceramics classes include a $250 materials fee.

Academic Advising

Academic advising and mentoring is crucial to Westminster College’s student-centered mission. It is a collaborative process during which advisors work with students to create individualized curricular plans designed to match the student’s life and career goals. In partnership with students, advisors will:

  • Share knowledge about the institution and the curriculum
  • Link students to college and community resources
  • Provide accessible advising
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to differences among diverse student communities
  • Review the requirements for the degree, any special options, and possible electives
  • Identify any deficiencies in the student’s record and ways to correct them
  • Discuss career options

Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

Withdrawing from Courses

For full-semester courses, students may withdraw from classes without penalty before the second full week of classes. For classes that meet in 7-week blocks, students may withdraw without penalty before the second class session. Please refer to the Student Accounts Services web page for the tuition refund schedule.

For full-semester courses, students may still withdraw from class through the eleventh week of class and receive a W. For classes that meet in 7-week blocks, students may withdraw from class before the sixth session and receive a W, which does not affect a student’s GPA. Students who withdraw after these dates receive a grade of WF, which is calculated as an F in the GPA.

Specific withdrawal deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. In the case of illness or injury, family members may complete the student withdrawal from the college. In case of duress or special need, an administrative withdrawal may be initiated by the Dean of Students.

Students who fail to withdraw from courses are liable for all tuition and interest charged to their accounts. Students may be administratively withdrawn on the census date receiving a final grade of AW if they do not attend any classes during the first two weeks of the semester.  Grades of F are assigned at the end of the semester for any classes when students remain enrolled.

Late Withdrawal for Unusual or Extenuating Circumstances

Students sometimes face unusual or extenuating circumstances that prevent them from finishing a course or semester or otherwise complying with institutional deadlines. A Review Committee meets monthly to examine petitions made by students regarding retroactive record changes (e.g., medical withdrawal) and/or full or partial charges of tuition and fees. A student's petition, which includes a detailed letter and appropriate documentation of the unusual or extenuating circumstances, can be submitted to the Registrar's Office (Bamberger Hall, Upper Floor or A form and specific instructions are available on the Registrar’s Office website.

All petitions must be submitted within six weeks after the end of the semester in question. Absent serious extenuating circumstances, requests submitted beyond six weeks after the end of the semester will not be considered. Because tuition insurance is recommended, petitions for removal of tuition charges are rarely approved even if the committee decides to approve a change to the academic record. If a petition for refund is granted, changes will be made retroactive only to the last date of attendance, and tuition charges will be adjusted according to Westminster College's posted refund schedule found on the Student Account Services webpage. Reevaluation by the student's physician or counselor may be required prior to re-enrollment.

Following these guidelines, the Review Committee will either approve or deny all petitions. A student who thinks there has been unfair bias or encountered a procedural error made by this committee may appeal it in writing within ten calendar days to an Appeals Committee chaired by the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The decision reached by this committee is final.

NOTE:  The Review Committee cannot change rules regarding the amount of federal financial aid that must be returned when a student does not fulfill program requirements. Students are encouraged to read "Withdrawing and Its Effect on Financial Aid" section in the academic catalog and call or visit the Financial Aid Office to determine specific implications for anticipated registration changes. In many cases, if a student withdraws from classes both the federal and institutional financial aid award may be adjusted and all unpaid tuition resulting from the cancellation will become due immediately.

Voluntary Leave of Absence

Westminster College recognizes that students occasionally find themselves in circumstances that require a voluntary leave for military or religious service, medical issues, employment, or financial reasons.  A voluntary leave of absence at Westminster College is defined as an interruption of continuous enrollment usually less than three regular semesters (does not include May term or summer term).  An approved voluntary leave of absence does not defer college loans and students should consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding their eligibility to maintain their current financial aid award.

To be eligible for a leave of absence, students must be a currently registered, degree-seeking student.  Some academic programs may impose restrictions upon a leave of absence, so students are encouraged to consult with their academic program or department prior to submitting a request for voluntary leave.  A leave of absence is not required for summer term.  Students under voluntary leave are not required to readmit upon return and may stay enrolled in their declared governing catalog provided they return within the three semesters.   Access to Westminster email and technology accounts remain active during a short-term leave of absence.   Students who fail to return to school after an approved leave of absence will be considered withdrawn by the institution and will be expected to reapply.

Medical Issues

Students experiencing serious emergent illness should consult with the Dean of Students to request a Late Withdrawal for Unusual or Extenuating Circumstances rather than a Leave of Absence.

National or Religious Service

Students may engage in national (i.e., military) or religious service for an extended period of time (longer than three regular semesters) and will not be required to re-apply to the college upon their planned return date.  Westminster will hold institutional scholarships, provided you do not attend another school before returning to Westminster and submit appropriate documentation of national or religious service as part of your leave request.  In most cases, students  will be placed under current, existing catalog requirements in effect at the time of return.

Applying for a Leave of Absence

  1. Discuss your desire to apply for a leave of absence with your academic or program advisor.
  2. Complete the Leave of Absence Form available on-line or in the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Submit documentation of national or religious service if leave will extend beyond three regular semesters.
  4. Meet with representatives in the Financial Aid Office, Student Account Services, and Residence Life/Housing (if applicable).  Students with outstanding financial balances will be required to sign promissory notes and make adequate financial arrangements prior to taking leave.
  5. Completed forms must be turned in to the Registrar’s Office to complete the leave process.

Note:  Students who are unable to apply for voluntary leave in person may designate an individual to apply for them, provided there is a Release of Information Form (FERPA) on file for that designated individual.


Applying for Graduation

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar's Office two regular semesters prior to their planned completion date. Students can apply for December, May, or August graduation dates. Application deadlines are posted in the Academic Calendar.

To apply for graduation, students must obtain degree audits for all academic programs, including the undergraduate Honors College program. Graduation applications are available in the Registrar's Office. Students are expected to meet with their academic advisors to review and sign all required paperwork. Paperwork that is unsigned or incomplete will be returned to the student. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements and their status within four to eight weeks after applying for graduation.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for an undergraduate degree, students must satisfy the conditions outlined in each program and satisfy the following conditions:

  • Quantity Standard– Students must complete a minimum of 124 semester credit hours, 30 of which must be upper-division courses (numbered 300 or above) from a four-year institution. Although some lower division transfer coursework from two-year institutions may be accepted as meeting upper division major requirements, these hours will not be counted toward the 30 upper division hours required for graduation. Students with 123.51 or more hours have completed the quantity standard for graduation.
  • Grade Point Average– Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all work completed at the college. Students must present a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.3 in their major unless otherwise specified in the major program.
  • Fulfill all WCore requirements.
  • Meet all requirements specific to individual majors and minors.
  • Fulfill the residency requirements currently in effect as described under Degree Requirements.

Note: Grades of CR or C- or above satisfy WCore requirements for graduation. However, only letter grades of C- or better may be presented to satisfy major or minor requirements including prerequisites (with the exception of Nursing, which requires a grade of C or better; and Education, which requires a grade of C+ or better in all education classes).

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual student.

Graduating with Honors

Academic Honors are only awarded at the undergraduate level.

Honors noted in the Commencement program for undergraduate students are based upon the grade point average at the end of the fall  semester. Honors designations noted in the program are subject to change based on the calculation of final grade point averages for students attending May and Summer terms.

Grade point averages are not rounded in order to achieve honors. Honors are awarded to undergraduate students who complete 60 hours of coursework at Westminster with letter grades and who meet the following criteria:

  • Summa Cum Laude: Top 10 percent of eligible students*
  • Magna Cum Laude: Second 10 percent of eligible students*
  • Cum Laude: Third 10 percent of eligible students*

* Eligible students are undergraduate students who complete 60 hours of coursework at Westminster with letter grades.

The grade point averages necessary to meet honors criteria are based on the previous year's graduating class GPA. The GPAs required to receive honors for graduation is determined after the entire class has been graduated in August and are published at the beginning of the Fall semester.

Academic Rank

Westminster College does not rank its students.

Dean's List

The Dean's List is an academic honor list computed after Fall and Spring semesters. To qualify for the list, students must complete at least 12 graded credit hours and achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher for the term. Courses graded credit/no credit are not counted toward the 12 hours.


The college-wide commencement ceremony is typically held in May. All students who complete requirements for graduation and are entitled to receive degrees are expected to be present at the commencement exercises. Students who, due to extenuating circumstances, are unable to attend must request that they be excused. Requests must be made in writing to the Registrar's Office.

General Information

Web Services

Students can use Self-Service to search and register for classes, view and print class schedules, print unofficial transcripts, print degree audits, change their address, and pay tuition. At the end of the semester, all final grades are posted in Self-Service. Self-Service requires a login name and password, which can be obtained through the Information Services department.

CANVAS is Westminster’s online learning management system. It includes online tools such as syllabi, discussion boards, electronic reserves and more. Students and faculty are automatically loaded into their CANVAS courses at the start of a semester; however, as students add and drop, this may not be reflected in CANVAS.

The CANVAS database is not connected to the official main college database directly. Students dropped from CANVAS are not considered dropped from courses officially and are still responsible for all tuition charges.

E-mail Accounts

Each student is provided with a Microsoft Outlook e-mail account when they are accepted as a student. This campus e-mail system provides the e-mail address of all the students, staff, and faculty at Westminster. Students are required to check their campus e-mail frequently because important information is sent to students via e-mail, such as registration deadlines, campus events and activities, or general school announcements. Instructors also use Microsoft Outlook to contact students with specific class information. For instructions on how to check student e-mail or, linking college email to an off-campus email address, please contact the Help Desk in the garden level of the Giovale Library or call the IS Support Phone at 801.832.2023.

ID Cards

Student ID cards are available in the Health, Wellness, and Athletics Center. The card gives access to the fitness center and acts as a library card (giving access to all academic libraries in Utah), a meal card, an activity card, and official college identification. A semester sticker on the back of the card indicates that the card has been validated through the term indicated. Identification cards must be validated each semester. Replacement cost is $10.

Parking Stickers and Bus Passes

Please visit the campus patrol web page for information on parking passes.  Westminster offers annual bus passes, good for all UTA buses except ski and paratransit buses, for free. Visit the Health and Wellness Center (HWAC) for more details about this year’s current costs as well as how to obtain a new “swipe card” to serve as a pass. In some cases, you may be asked to show your college I.D. card to use the pass.