Academic Policies

Academic Advising

Professional staff academic advisors will assist in course selection with attention to degree requirements, course prerequisites, and other academic matters. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the student to maintain normal progress, to select the proper courses, and to meet all graduation requirements.

Academic Honesty

The university expects all members of its community to act with responsibility. As an accredited institution of higher learning dedicated to the transmission of knowledge and the free inquiry after truth, Concordia strives to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and seeks to heed the commands for honesty found in the Scriptures.

The university’s definition of academic honesty and disciplinary procedures may be found in the Code of Conduct.

Academic Probation and Disqualification

A student having a semester grade point average (GPA) below 2.00 will be placed on probation for the following semester.  Students on probation may register for no more than 13 academic units.  Any student whose GPA has fallen below 2.00 for 2 semesters and whose institutional GPA is below 2.00 will be academically disqualified as a degree student.  Any student whose institutional GPA is less than 1.00 in a single semester will be academically disqualified as a degree student.  Upon dismissal the student has the right to appeal to the designated Dean.  A student can only appeal once during their tenure at Concordia University.

Add-Drop-Withdrawal Changes: Non Q&I Core Curriculum

A full-semester course may be added during the first week of the semester without the instructor's approval. During the second week of the semester, a full-semester course may be added with the instructor's approval.

A full-semester course may be dropped during the first 2 weeks of a semester without being recorded on the student's permanent record. A student who does not attend the first day of class may be dropped at the instructor's prerogative. This is done only for impacted courses (closed courses with students waiting to add the course).

A full-semester course may be withdrawn from in week 3 through 11 with a grade of “W” and with the instructor's or dean/assistant dean/department chair's approval. Students may not withdraw from full-semester courses after week 11. Only students withdrawing from the university will be granted withdrawal status.

Changes for courses that meet during the first or second half of the semester must be made during the first week of the course.

All dates for adding, dropping, and withdrawing are published in advance of the academic year. It is the student's responsibility to complete and to submit the proper form on time for an add, drop, or withdrawal to be officially processed and implemented. Students may not petition because of a missed deadline.

Failure to follow the official procedures outlined above will result in credit not being granted for courses not officially added or the assigning of the grade of “F” for courses not officially dropped. Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal from a class.

Add-Drop-Withdrawal Changes: Q&I Core Curriculum

A Q&I Core course, which may not be dropped, may be added or changed during the first 2 weeks of the semester with the consent of the academic advisor. 

Students are not permitted to withdraw from a Q&I Core course without the written approval of the instructor and Q&I Core director. Such approval will normally be considered for 1 of 2 reasons:

  1. an exceptional, documented personal tragedy that has prevented the student from participating in and fulfilling the requirements of the course, or
  2. complete withdrawal from the university.

Under normal circumstances and in accordance with the academic virtues of responsibility, merit, and integrity, no student will be permitted to withdraw from a Q&I Core course because of academic performance. Add/drop/withdrawal forms and additional information may be obtained in the Office of the Registrar.

Assessment Program

Student development is the focus of Concordia’s mission. Therefore, achievement of the undergraduate learning outcomes and graduate learning outcomes is assessed throughout the student’s time at Concordia in ways that go far beyond the grades achieved in the classes taken. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes are assessed at various points in the areas of Written Communication, Oral Communication, Systematic Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning, Christian Literacy and Faith, Service to Society and Church, Informed and Responsive Citizenship, and Specialized Knowledge for all undergraduate students. Students in graduate programs will be assessed in the areas of Scholarly Research, Integrated Learning, Ethical Leadership, Effective Communication, Reflective Practice, and Community Engagement. Some assessments occur within specified courses; others occur outside regular course activity.


Students who wish to enroll in a course without receiving credit may choose to audit the course until the last day to add each semester. Exams and papers assigned to students taking the course for credit do not apply to audit students; all other expectations are the same. A notation of “Audit” will be assigned upon satisfactory completion of the course. Audited courses do not count toward graduation requirements. Additional information may be obtained in the Office of the Registrar.

Class Attendance

Registered students have freely accepted personal responsibility for enrollment and class attendance. Students are expected to attend all class and laboratory sessions for the courses in which they are enrolled.  Students are expected to notify their instructor(s) of planned absences in advance and unplanned absences, due to sickness or emergency, within a reasonable period of time. Instructors are expected, per university policy and procedures, to record student attendance. Course syllabi will specify each instructor's procedures for handling absences consistent with university, school, and program requirements.  

Concurrent Registration

Students who wish to take coursework outside of Concordia University Irvine may register concurrently at other regionally accredited institutions. It is recommended that students consult with their academic advisor before taking courses to make sure the course(s) will fulfill degree requirements. If the course is being used for a major or minor requirement, approval will be required from the Department Chair for that major/minor. No student may receive credit for more than 21 units in a semester, including units from regular courses taken on campus, courses taken off campus, individualized study courses, and correspondence courses. No more than 6 units may be taken outside of Concordia during a student’s last semester. Additionally, only grades of C- or better may be transferred; only transfer grades of C or better may be applied to major or minor requirements.

Consortium Agreement

Students wishing to be considered full time (12 units) by being part time at Concordia University and part time at another accredited institution may enter into a consortium agreement and receive Title IV federal financial aid. A minimum of 9 units must be taken at Concordia and all units taken must apply towards the student’s degree. Additional information can be supplied by the Financial Aid Office

Course Registration and Load

To be considered full-time, an undergraduate student must be registered for a minimum of 12 units each semester. However, an average of 16 units per semester is required to reach 128 units within 8 semesters or 4 years.

Only students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher may register for more than 18 units in 1 semester. No student may receive credit for more than 21 units in a semester, including units from regular courses taken on campus, courses taken off campus, individualized study courses, and correspondence courses. Each semester a student wishes to take more than 18 units, an Application for Overload must be filed with the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling in the additional course(s). In most cases, students taking more than 18 units per semester will be assessed an overload fee. Contact the Office of the Bursar for more details.

Undergraduate students are required to register each year for the following academic year thereby reserving classes for the following academic year. Specific dates are published yearly through the Office of the Registrar, and each undergraduate will be sent information explaining the procedure.

A late charge of $100 will be assessed to those students who do not complete Fall or Spring registration by the deadlines published in the university’s Academic Calendar, available through the Office of the Registrar.

Course Repeats

Selected courses—usually those dealing with the development of a skill rather than with the assimilation of information—may be repeated for credit. All other classes may not be repeated for credit but may be repeated for purposes of raising the grade. In such cases, both grades are entered on the transcript but only the higher grade is used in computation of the cumulative GPA.

Dean's List

A full-time student whose semester GPA is 3.80 or higher is recognized as an outstanding student and is placed on the Dean’s List. A full-time student whose semester GPA is between 3.50 and 3.79 is recognized for Academic Commendation. Students must carry a minimum of 12 units to be considered for recognition.

Dual Bachelor Degrees

Concordia University Irvine will award a maximum of two bachelor’s degrees, one of which must be a Bachelor of Arts and the other a Bachelor of Science, under the following conditions:  (1) the student has completed a minimum of 30 distinct units with 24 distinct upper division units for each degree; (2) at least 75% of the units earned in the major toward each degree are distinct; and (3) the student has completed all prerequisites, supporting courses, Q&I general education requirements, residency requirements and departmental requirements for each major.

Grade Replacement

A current student who wishes to repeat a course outside of Concordia University Irvine (CUI) and replace the CUI grade may do so under the following guidelines:

  1. The process is not automatic and the student must initiate a Petition for Grade Replacement by Transfer Course form through the Registrar’s Office prior to taking the course outside of CUI.  The Dean of the school for which the course is being replaced will approve/deny the petition. 
  2. Grade replacement by a transfer course is only available to undergraduate students and only coursework applied to an undergraduate degree may be considered for grade replacement.  
  3. All CUI grades will remain on a student’s transcript.  The CUI grade being replaced will be notated next to the grade by an “E” (excluded) on the transcript and the CUI grade will be excluded from the cumulative GPA.
  4. A student may not take more than three (3) distinct courses for Grade Replacement.
  5. A student may not petition for Grade Replacement if there are any officially reported academic integrity infractions for the course. 
  6. The course taken outside of CUI must have the same credit value as the one taken at CUI.
  7. If CUI does not have an official articulation agreement for the course, an approved Substitution Form must be attached to the Petition for Grade Replacement by Transfer Course form.
  8. The course has not been previously repeated for Grade Replacement.
  9. The grade earned in the enrollment at CUI was a C-, D+, D, D- or F.
  10. A student has not been awarded an undergraduate degree from CUI.
  11. Academic standing will not be adjusted for the term of the grade replacement.

Grading System

Concordia University computes the grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0-point scale (see below). Specific grading requirements for each course will vary greatly and the letter grades cannot be defined here other than in a general manner.

A 4.0 grade points Excellent
A- 3.7 grade points
B+ 3.3 grade points
B 3.0 grade points Good
B- 2.7 grade points
C+ 2.3 grade points
C 2.0 grade points Satisfactory
C- 1.7 grade points
D+ 1.3 grade points
D 1.0 grade points Barely Passing
D- 0.7 grade points
F 0.0 grade points Failure

Au (Audit)
Assigned for classes attended for no credit and for the purpose of gaining information without the requirement of tests or papers.

I (Incomplete Default grade: C, D, or F)

Assigned when a student, with the consent of the instructor, postpones the submission of certain work because of extenuating circumstances. For the traditional undergraduate program, incompletes must be removed within 7 weeks from the beginning of the next semester (excluding summer sessions) unless an extension is granted by the instructor with an approval from the dean. Incompletes incurred during summer sessions must be removed within 7 weeks from the beginning of the Fall semester with the same stipulation. Incompletes will be calculated for academic standing using the default grade. Students with incomplete grades are subject to academic probation and academic dismissal based on the default grade. Failure to remove an incomplete will result in the automatic change to the alternate grade given at the same time as the incomplete. For all graduate degree and nontraditional bachelor’s degree programs, incomplete deadlines are established by the program and published in the program handbook.

IP (In Progress)
For undergraduate programs, an "IP" is assigned when an educational experience (e.g., student teaching, practicum, internship, etc.) is designed to extend beyond a single grading period. Students have 1 calendar year to complete the requirements for the course. The calendar year begins on the first day of the semester the student enrolled in the course. The “IP” grade will default to the grade of “F” after the 1-year period if the work is not completed.  For graduate degrees, the "IP" grade is assigned for courses that are designed to take more than one term to complete.  The "IP" will remain on the transcript and the student will receive a grade in a subsequent term.

P (Pass) / NP (No Pass)
Assigned in selected courses and educational experiences where a letter grade is not assigned (e.g. Capstone projects, Doctoral dissertations, Master’s theses, Internships, Practicums, and other courses as determined by individual programs and published in the program handbook). The P/ NP grade is not factored in for Grade Point Average (GPA) purposes.

W (Withdrawal)
For the traditional undergraduate degree program, full-semester courses may be dropped without record of enrollment during the first 2 weeks of the semester and during the first week for shorter terms.  From week 3 through week 11, courses may be withdrawn from with a “W” with the approval of the instructor or Dean/Assistant Dean of the school.  A “W” in a Core Course requires the approval of the Director of Core.  No courses may be withdrawn from after week 11.  For all graduate degree and nontraditional bachelor’s degree programs, withdrawal deadlines are established by the program and published in the program handbook.

It is the student’s responsibility to bring any error in grades to the attention of the instructor within 1 semester following the issued grade. Grade changes are made only because of computation or recording errors and must be corrected no later than the last day of classes of the next full semester. Submission of extra work after a semester is completed will be permitted only when a grade of “Incomplete” was assigned for the specific course.

Honors Program

Dr. C.J. Armstrong, Director

The university offers an Honors Program for students meeting the Honors admission requirements. Admission to the program for incoming freshmen is offered upon acceptance to the university based on standardized test scores in combination with the high school GPA, application essay(s), and overall academic portfolio. Admission to the program for current or transfer students may be granted by petition to the Honors Program director and with faculty recommendations.

The Honors Program makes available a variety of courses and activities that enhance learning and challenge highly motivated students under the banner of Scholarship & Service. Each semester sections of the Q&I general education curriculum are identified in the schedule as being Honors sections. Honors sections provide depth as well as breadth in an academic area, thus challenging and motivating Concordia’s best student scholars. Honors courses employ primary-source readings, seminars, tutorials, research projects, oral presentations, collaborative activities, field trips, special assignments, and/or an integrative approach to topics. Typically, Honors students enjoy smaller class sizes to enhance learning.

Focused research and writing activities can earn Honors points. Examples include the President’s Academic Showcase and Honors Investigations. Such Honors endeavors provide close mentoring by professors and individualized, directed learning. Honors points can also be earned through approved Honors sections, study-abroad opportunities, taking foreign language courses, completing a double major, a minor outside of the major, or other approved Honors activities. To remain an Honors student in good standing, Presidential Honors Scholars must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and complete a President's Academic Showcase by their junior year; Honors Scholars must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher and complete an Honors Investigation, or President's Academic Showcase, by their junior year. Other students in the Honors Program must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher; they are encouraged to do a Showcase or Investigation.  Each Honors student's GPA is evaluated at the end of the academic year.

Students in good standing who earn the requisite number of Honors points, and do a President's Academic Showcase or Honors Investigation, receive recognition at graduation as an Honors Associate or an Honors Scholar. Honors Associates will accumulate 12-17 Honors points; Honors Scholars will accumulate 18 or more points. 

Individualized Study

Students may apply for individualized study when a required course or Honors course is not offered at an appropriate time, when a student wishes to study a topic not offered in the curriculum, or when a student wishes to receive credit for a President's Academic Showcase or Honors Investigation.  There are 4 categories of individualized study:

  1. Supervised Study
  2. President's Academic Showcase
  3. Honors Investigation 
  4. Special Topic Request

See the Individualized Study Registration form from the Office of the Registrar for descriptions of these categories. Except for the President's Academic Showcase, the instructor fee for an individualized study is $100/unit; the instructor may waive this fee.

No more than 2 courses of individualized study may be taken during the same semester. These units will be counted as part of a student’s course load and will be subject to course overload fees if the course load exceeds 18 units. No more than 5 courses or 20 units of individualized study may be counted toward graduation. Application forms and additional information may be obtained in the Office of the Registrar or from Academic Advising. Supervised Study and Special Topics courses follow the same add/drop/withdrawal deadlines as other courses.

Internship and Practicum

Enrollment in an internship or practicum requires the approval of the department’s program director and may be added or dropped during the first 11 weeks of the semester. Appeals of this deadline may be submitted to the Dean of the school for consideration; however, they may not be added or dropped after a semester has ended. Add/Drop deadlines are posted on the Academic Calendar.

Students must complete the requirements for the internship and/or practicum within four continuous semesters including the semester of enrollment. As an example, if a student enrolls during a fall term, they have until the end of the following fall term to fulfill the course requirements.

A grade of IP (In Progress) will be issued after the first term of enrollment until work is completed.  A Grade Change Form will be submitted by the instructor of record to change an IP to the final grade. Should a student fail to complete the internship or practicum requirements within four semesters, the IP grade will be automatically changed  to a fail grade (F or NP, depending on the program).   If the internship or practicum is a degree requirement, students who fail must re-enroll in the internship or practicum and complete all  requirements prior to awarding of the degree.

Program registration and performance requirements will be provided by the Program Director for the specific subject.  Refer to the Graduation Requirements section regarding unit limitations for internships and practicums.   This policy does not apply to DCE internships in Christ College or any internship/practicum in the School of Education.

Latin Honors at Graduation

The following Latin honors are awarded to qualified recipients of the bachelor’s degree at commencement ceremonies. These Latin honors are determined on the basis of the cumulative GPA of all coursework taken at Concordia University and at all other colleges and universities attended.

Latin honors recognition for graduation ceremonies is based on GPA and credits completed through the previous semester, but the student’s permanent record will designate Latin honors including the final semester’s GPA.

Cum laude (with distinction):
Awarded to students whose cumulative GPA is between 3.70 and 3.799.

Magna cum laude (with high distinction):
Awarded to students whose cumulative GPA is between 3.80 and 3.899.

Summa cum laude (with highest distinction):
Awarded to the students whose cumulative GPA is 3.90 or above.

Right to Petition

Students may petition for the review of certain university academic policies when unusual circumstances exist. After action has been taken on the petition, the student will be notified of the decision. A copy of the action will be placed in the student’s permanent file. Petition forms and additional information may be obtained in the Office of the Registrar. The missing of deadlines is not subject to petition.

Second Degrees

Students who have graduated from other institutions may earn a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University if they fulfill the following requirements:

  1. They complete a minimum of 32 units in residence at Concordia University.
  2. They complete all Concordia University Q&I general education graduation requirements.
  3. They complete all the courses for a major, including a minimum of 50% of the major units in residence.

Students who have received a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University and return to complete the requirements for another major will not be given a second diploma, nor will their transcripts reflect a second degree. They will, however, be certified as having completed an additional major.

Simultaneous Enrollment

Students who wish to broaden their educational experience may enroll for 1 or 2 semesters at another Concordia University System (CUS) institution in another part of the country. The Simultaneous Enrollment Program (SEP) is made possible through a process by which students may enroll at Concordia Irvine and at another college or university in the CUS. Academic credits earned at another CUS institution are recorded as if students earned those credits at Concordia University Irvine. Because the number of participants is limited each year, interested students are encouraged to contact an academic advisor well in advance of their intended stay.

Special Requirements for Majors, Minors, and Emphases

Students may complete a major, minor, or emphasis by completing the required units. The following rules apply with regard to major/minor relationships and multiple majors and emphases.

  1. Each major must contain a minimum of 28 units unique to that major.
  2. Each minor may contain no more than 50% of its units that are included in the student’s major or in another minor.
  3. To obtain more than 1 emphasis in any given major, each emphasis must have a minimum of 9 units unique to that emphasis.

Statement of Completion

Students who will graduate with more than 128 units and will continue on into Concordia University’s teaching credential or Master of Arts in Business Administration (MBA) programs may be eligible to count a portion of their final semester’s units in their undergraduate degree toward their credential or MBA degree through a Statement of Completion. Only eligible credential/MBA courses will be counted, and at least 6 units must still be used toward the undergraduate degree. Application forms and additional information may be obtained from academic advising or the Office of the Registrar.

Student Classification

For various purposes on campus (e.g., registration, financial aid) students are classified into levels based on completed semester units. The following levels are applicable to bachelor degree students:

Freshman 0—29.99 units
Sophomore 30—59.99 units
Junior 60—89.99 units
Senior 90 units and above

Student Rights and Privacy

Each student of Concordia University has a right to

  1. review their official educational records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to them, and
  2. challenge such records that are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

It is the policy of the university that unless excluded by state or federal law, no record, files, documents, materials, or personally identifiable information contained therein shall be released to any individual, agency, or organization without the express written consent of the student/alumnus.

Any student desiring to review or challenge their official educational records should contact the Office of the Registrar to determine procedures for such review. Any student desiring to challenge the content of their official educational records should contact the Office of the Registrar.

While the university does not provide general directory services, it may, by law, under special circumstances, release the following information about a student: name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, class schedule, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degree and awards received, and the most recent previous public or private school of attendance. Any student who does not wish such information to be released about their participation or status should notify the Office of the Registrar in writing, at the beginning of each semester. The university is required to comply with all federal regulations governed by the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Transcripts of Record

Students may obtain an official transcript of their academic record by filing a request with the Office of the Registrar. A fee, paid in advance, is charged for transcripts. Official transcripts will not be released to any student indebted to the university. The issuance of partial transcripts is strictly prohibited. Transcripts from other academic institutions are the property of Concordia University and, as such, are under the control of the Office of the Registrar. Transcripts submitted to Concordia University for admission or credit transfer become the property of Concordia University and will not be returned to students or forwarded to other institutions. Under federal policy, students have the right to view the documents in their file; the university will not make copies of these documents.

Transfer Credit

Concordia University will accept transfer units completed at undergraduate, degree granting, US institutions fully accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies. CUI will also accept units from international institutions that are formally recognized by their county's ministry of education (requires transcript evaluation by a CUI-approved agency).

Concordia accepts the following General Education certifications to fulfill most of the university’s Q& I general education requirements:  

  • Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth requirements
  • Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)
  • Oregon and Washington’s Direct Transfer Associate degree (DTA).  Comparable transfer certifications from other states can be considered on a case by case basis.  
  • Associate of Arts (AA) and the Associate of Science (AS) degrees that meet the CSU General Education Breadth requirements

Course requirements for the IGETC, CSU General Education Breadth, ADT, DTA, comparable transfer certifications, and the AA and AS degrees must be completed prior to matriculating to Concordia.  Official certifications and degrees must be submitted upon completion of all required courses.  Deadlines to submit verification or a petition for verification to Concordia are October 15 for fall semester and March 15 for the spring semester of the academic year a student matriculates to Concordia.  Upon verification, Concordia’s general education requirements are waived except for the required Enduring Questions & Ideas core courses and theology courses.  Please refer to Admission Criteria and Academic Information for more detailed information.

A total of ninety-six (96) semester units are allowed for transfer students, of which a maximum of seventy (70) semester units may be transferred from a regionally accredited community college. Additionally, within the 96 and 70 semester units, only 32 non-accredited, credit by exam (AP, CLEP, DSST), and/or military units may be transferred. Concordia will accept grades of C- or better towards Q&I general education or elective credit.  Only grades of C or better may be applied towards a major, minor, or to fulfill program requirements for graduation.

Withdrawal from School

Undergraduate students who no longer wish to continue their enrollment at Concordia University must formally withdraw from the university through the Office of the Registrar by completing a withdrawal form. Withdrawal from all courses may take place through the last day of the semester. Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal from classes and will result in grades of “F.” Contact the Office of the Bursar to learn about the refund policy and financial aid regarding eligibility after withdrawal. Students who return to the university after withdrawing, regardless of the reason, must be readmitted by the admissions department before they will be allowed to register for classes.