Graduate Catalog 2022-2023

Student Academic Records – Undergraduate and Graduate

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a Federal Law that sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records.  FERPA governs the disclosure of education records maintained by the university and the access to these records. FERPA rights transfer to the student at the time the student enrolls in Piedmont University.

FERPA provides students with the right to:

  • inspect and review their education records
  • request to amend their education records and to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, including the option for the student to submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the student’s record if the decision of the hearing panel is unacceptable to the student
  • limit the disclosure of directory information by notifying the Registrar. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually with the Registrar
  • file a written complaint with the Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by Piedmont to comply with FERPA.

The Registrar at Piedmont University has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records. FERPA defines student education records as “records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by a university or by a person acting for a university.” Within 45 days of receiving a request, universities must allow students to inspect those education records. Excluded from the definition of student education records are records made about students by faculty and administrators for their own use and not shown to others. Students wishing to review their records must make written, signed requests to the Registrar listing the item(s) of interest. Only records covered by the Act will be made available. Students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions, (e.g., a copy of the academic record for which a financial “hold” exists, or a transcript of an original source document which exists elsewhere). Law enforcement records, student health records, employment records, alumni records, parental tax documentation, letters of recommendation, and records containing information about another student may not be reviewed.

Piedmont University may provide directory information without the student’s written consent in accordance with the provisions of the Act.  Directory information at Piedmont follows: student name, address, telephone number, email address, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and photographic, video and digital images.

In general, the student has the right to control to whom the student’s education record is released.  FERPA allows for release of a student’s education records without the student’s written permission under the following exceptions:

  • to school officials with a legitimate educational interest or “need to know” to fulfill their job obligations
  • to officials at another institution in which the student intends to enroll
  • to the Department of Education or state/local education authorities
  • in connection with the receipt of financial aid
  • to organizations conducting studies to improve instruction or to accrediting agencies
  • in response to a parental affidavit, a judicial order, or lawfully issued subpoena
  • to health and safety officials in response to a health/safety emergency
  • disclosure of disciplinary information to the alleged victim of a crime of violence
  • to parents of any student under the age of 21; a violation of federal, state, local or institutional laws/regulations related to substance abuse

Photo/Video Release Agreement

Piedmont University uses photographic, video, and digital images taken of students on University property and at University events, as well as quotes provided by students, in publications, advertisements, promotional materials and audiovisual productions associated with marketing and student recruiting.

Currently enrolled students may request not to be photographed or videotaped by sending written notification to the Registrar by October 1 of the fall semester and February 15 of the spring semester.

Failure to request in writing not to be photographed or videotaped demonstrates approval for the University to use images in its marketing and student recruitment materials.


A transcript is a record of all courses taken and grades received at the University, as well as those transferred into the University. As such it includes all initial and repeat courses and all courses that fall under the Forgiveness Policy.

Official Transcript Requests

For current information regarding official transcript requests, including the request process and cost structure, please see

Unofficial Transcript Requests

There is no charge for providing unofficial transcripts. They may be emailed as PDF files, faxed, or mailed. Students requesting unofficial transcripts should use the form available on the Registrar’s web page (

Experiential Credit

Learning acquired outside of classroom participation can be a valuable contribution to a liberal arts education, and Piedmont provides an opportunity for enrolled students to receive academic credit for such learning.

The portfolio is the method used whereby students can demonstrate learning prior to and during their time at the University. Because portfolio assessment is competence based, students need to demonstrate mastery of transferable skills acquired through the professional work experience and/or community service. An experiential credit information packet may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. The charge for experiential credit is $50 per credit hour. No experiential credit will be granted during a student’s final semester.


Grades are based on the following grading system. Piedmont University does not record or issue “+” or “-“ grades.

A — Excellent 4 quality points per semester hour
B — Good 3 quality points per semester hour
C — Fair 2 quality points per semester hour
D — Poor, but passing 1 quality point per semester hour
F — Failure 0 quality points
P — Pass 0 quality points
W — Withdrawal 0 quality points
WF — Withdrawal Failing 0 quality points
AU — Audit — No Credit 0 quality points
I — Incomplete 0 quality points
IP — In Progress 0 quality points
NP — No Progress*
0 quality points

In determining the A-F grades for each course, Piedmont University instructors use the following percentage scale:
A – 90% and above
B – 80-89%
C – 70-79%
D – 60-69%
F – 59% and below

*Candidates who show insufficient or no progress during a given semester of the dissertation process will be assigned an NP (No Progress) grade for EDD 9908. After receiving 2 consecutive NPs, candidates are subject to dismissal from the program. An NP grade may also be assigned for EDD 9902, EDD 9903, EDD 9905, and EDD 9906 at the discretion of the professor. The NP grade is only applicable to Area III of the doctoral program.  

Each instructor establishes the quantitative and/or qualitative basis and procedures by which he or she computes grades. Such information is published in each syllabus.

At the end of each semester, a complete report of academic achievement is available on Self Service.


For reasons such as illness or other extenuating circumstances, a student may receive an Incomplete “I” upon the approval of the course instructor and the dean of the appropriate college. Assignment of an Incomplete grade is appropriate only when a substantial amount of work (at least one-half) in the course has been completed. A request for Incomplete grade is not appropriate until after the official date for withdrawal without academic penalty has passed. Application forms may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Failure to remove the “I” by the end of the next semester (if the student continues to be enrolled) at Piedmont University will result in an “F.” For students who do not return to Piedmont University, the “I” must be removed within one calendar year or the “I” will be changed to an “F.”

In Progress

Assigning an In-Progress grade “IP” is at the discretion of an instructor with the approval by the Dean of the college. Failure to remove the “IP” by the end of the next term will result in an “F.”

A grade of “IP” (in progress) may be used in a limited number of courses approved by the Dean of each college for a candidate who initiates coursework which cannot be completed during the semester because of specific circumstances, such as failure to pass the predictor exam, unavoidable delay in completing required practicum hours, or other situation specific to course progression.

The procedures for using the IP grade are as follows:

  • The candidate and instructor meet and decide to initiate a request for an “IP” grade.
  • The candidate fully completes the candidate section of the IP grade form and submits the form to the course instructor.
  • The instructor signs the IP grade form and forwards it to the Dean the college no later than the last day of classes for that term.
  • The Dean makes the final determination if the request is granted and will forward approved requests to the Registrar and instructor. Requests not approved by the Dean will be returned to the instructor who will notify the candidate and then assign an appropriate grade.

Grade Changes

Grades reported to the Registrar and recorded shall not be changed except under the following specified circumstances:

  1. A written statement by the instructor that the grade recorded was a factual error;
  2. Change of grade of “I” or “IP,” as previously outlined;
  3. Recommendation by the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled and/or the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

Grade Appeals

Students who wish to dispute a final grade and are prepared to present evidence to support a grade appeal must initiate the procedure by speaking first with the instructor who assigned the grade in question. If there are no errors in the computation of the grade or other substantial evidence to support an appeal, the student is encouraged to accept the grade assigned. A disagreement about the subjective evaluation of the student’s performance by the instructor is not grounds for an appeal. It is assumed that the instructor, as the subject matter expert, is the one most qualified to evaluate all work submitted. Therefore, for an appeal to be considered, the student must demonstrate an objective discrepancy between the way in which the student was evaluated, and the grading policies and procedures outlined in the course syllabus. In cases where there are substantial grounds for a review of the grade and a resolution cannot be reached between the student and the instructor, the student has the following recourse:

  1. Within two weeks of the beginning of the term following the one for which the grade was posted, the student must submit to the appropriate department chair a letter of appeal with evidence supporting the need for an external review of the grade in question. A form, which describes the supporting material required, is available. The department chair will review the student’s material and consult with the instructor before deciding if the assigned grade should stand. The department chair must provide a written response to the student with a copy to the college dean.
  2. If the student can show evidence that relevant information was not taken into consideration or that the department chair’s decision lacks due process, the student may submit documentation to the appropriate academic dean (in the college where the course was taught) who will determine if new information or insufficient consideration of the student’s case merits further review of the assigned grade. The dean’s decision to proceed or not to proceed will be final in all cases.
  3. If the dean determines that further review is warranted, the dean will review the material and consult with the student and the instructor. The dean may exercise discretion to consult other faculty or students who can provide relevant information. The dean’s decision will be final.
  4. The entire appeal process must be completed within four weeks of the date the grade was appealed.
  5. When the dean or department chair is the teacher of record, the dean will substitute for the department chair and the vice president for academic affairs will substitute for the dean.

Academic Standing

A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to remain in good standing in the program. No more than one grade of C is permitted, and a second grade of C or a grade of D or F leads to automatic exclusion. Academic Honors are not awarded in the Graduate Program.

Course Repetition

A student may repeat a graduate course, but there is no grade forgiveness (removal of a grade from the grade-point average (GPA) calculation). Both grades remain on the student’s transcript and subsequent grades are not included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Academic Probation

All graduate programs require a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to graduate. A minimum 3.0 GPA must be maintained while at Piedmont University to be considered in good standing. Students falling below a cumulative 3.0 or receiving a grade of C in a class will be placed on academic probation. A student who is on academic probation whose subsequent semester cumulative GPA improves and reaches a minimum of 3.0 will be removed from academic probation. A student who is on academic probation whose subsequent cumulative GPA has not improved will be placed on academic exclusion.

Academic Exclusion

A graduate student will be excluded from the University upon earning a second grade of C or a grade of D or F. Any violation of the University’s academic integrity policy also leads to academic exclusion. Academic exclusion is normally for a period of two (2) years.

Academic Dismissal

Students who have been readmitted to Piedmont University after exclusion and receive a grade of C or below will be dismissed from the University. Academic Dismissal is final, and the student may not return.

Athletic Academic Eligibility

NCAA requires students to be full-time. A student is required to be registered for nine credit hours to be considered full-time by Financial Aid standards. To have eligibility, the student must have a gpa of 3.0 or above. If they receive a C grade, they are not eligible until they are one semester removed from the C grade.

Administrative Withdrawal

Piedmont University expects students to take an active role in their academic success. Examples of active engagement in learning include attending every class meeting and diligently completing all learning activities (daily assignments, quizzes, papers, problem-sets, etc.).

The administrative withdrawal policy was created to assist students in establishing good academic engagement and attendance habits. Failure to routinely complete daily and major assignments or attend class places students in jeopardy of being administratively withdrawn from any or all courses at any time during a semester or term. Undergraduate students may be administratively withdrawn regardless of class level.

Administrative withdrawals may affect a student’s financial aid awards, campus residential status, athletic eligibility and/or student visa status as the withdrawal from courses impacts enrolled credit hours.

The policy will be applied in a student-friendly manner holding students accountable for appropriate attitudes and actions demonstrating a seriousness of purpose about academic engagement and learning. The University administration has the authority to withdraw a student from a single course, multiple courses, or the University, and to revoke that student’s registration at any time during a semester or term for failure to comply with academic requirements including, but not limited, to:

  • being absent from any course for the first two days of the class in a term or semester without prior written approval. Written approval, generally via email, may be granted by individual faculty members or the academic dean for the college in which the student resides.
  • demonstrating unsatisfactory academic and course engagement at any point in the semester/ term defined by one or more of the following as:
    • having missed an excessive amount of scheduled class time as defined by individual faculty members’ syllabi, excluding absences for university-related activities for which the student has communicated appropriately with each faculty member involved prior to the absence, arranged for the missed class time/assignments, etc. Students involved in university-related activities (i.e. athletics competitions, field-trips, etc.) are advised to carefully monitor the number of missed classes in a given semester.
    • failing to maintain routine log-in and academic engagement activity during each week for online courses.
    • violating learning or behavioral contracts if applicable

Students who do not fulfill their obligations through appropriate academic engagement risk being administratively withdrawn from any, or all, courses in which this failure to engage occurs. Withdrawals will not occur without sufficient warning and due notice to students. Students who are administratively withdrawn from a single course or all courses in a semester/term:

  • are responsible for all debts and other charges related with the course(s)
  • are not eligible for a tuition refund for the course(s)
  • receive a “W” grade notation if the withdrawal occurs prior to the final date for withdrawal in a term/semester without academic penalty. The “W” grade does not affect a student’s grade point average. Administrative withdrawals after the final date for withdrawal in a term/semester without academic penalty will be recorded as “WF.” No other grades, such as NR, I or IP, may be assigned.
  • may lose their eligibility for campus residential status and will not be eligible for a proration of housing or meal plan expenses. Athletic competition eligibility may also be impacted if the withdrawal drops them below full-time status.
  • may experience changes in financial aid eligibility as a result of the withdrawal. Because financial aid eligibility is based on many factors, financial aid changes related to a withdrawal will vary. Students are responsible to know the effects poor choices related to their academic engagement may have on their financial aid eligibility and status.

If faculty members have reason to inquire about specific cases of administrative withdrawal, they may inquire with the registrar or academic dean for the college in which the student resides. In certain cases, the student’s right to confidentiality may not permit full disclosure of the circumstances.

Because the University affords students the right to appeal academic decisions, it is essential that instructors maintain accurate and consistent records of academic engagement from students throughout the semester/term.

Extenuating circumstances such as family emergencies and serious illness must be documented and may be taken into account. Students participating in intercollegiate athletics and academic field trips are advised to complete all assignments in an appropriate manner for each class, monitoring any absences in addition to these events carefully.

Non-academic Dismissal or Exclusion

Students who are found to be in violation of University regulations, in violation of local and/ or state laws, or for circumstances deemed to be in the best interest of the University, may be dismissed from the University. Students may appeal the decision to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and, in turn, the president, if warranted. Grades of “W” or “WF” may be assigned. Grades of “W” after midterm require the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and will be approved only in cases of acceptable extenuating circumstances. The Title IV Federal Aid Policy may apply. Please see the Tuition & Expenses/Financial Aid section of the catalog.

Graduate Readmission After Exclusion or Dismissal

Students who have been excluded by Piedmont University may reapply after two (2) years has passed by submitting an Application for Readmission form to Graduate Admissions. This form must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester the student plans to attend. The applicant must include a letter of explanation, as well as relevant supporting documents, with the application. The appeal will be directed to the Dean of the College, Student Accounts Office, and Financial Aid Office. The Dean will make the determination to deny or approve readmission on a conditional basis and will notify the student of the decision in writing. A student who is readmitted following an academic exclusion will continue on Academic Probation and is subject to that policy. Any courses with grades of C or below must be repeated, and the student’s GPA must improve upon their return. When granted readmission, the student may petition the Dean to restart their program with a new cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Course Withdrawal

The drop/add period is the first five days of Fall and Spring semesters and the first three days of Summer semester. During this time, students may drop and add courses with the permission of their advisor. Students may not add an 8-week class after the first class meeting has been held.

After the initial drop/add period, a student may withdraw from a class by completing a drop/ add form which must be signed by the advisor and the professor. The professor must fill in the last date of attendance on the drop/add form.

Students who withdraw from a course on or prior to the date noted in the University’s official calendar as the “last day to withdraw without receiving academic penalty” shall receive a “W” for the course and the hours will not be counted in the calculation of GPA. Students will still have to pay for the course. Classes dropped after this date will result in a grade of “W” or “WF” based on the grade at time of withdrawal, and the hours will be counted in the calculation of GPA if a grade of “WF” is earned. Students who stop attending, but do not submit appropriate forms to withdraw will receive a grade of “F.”

NOTE: Before dropping or adding a class, online cohort students must have the approval of the Regional Program Coordinator.

Withdrawal From University

Students who withdraw from the University must complete the necessary withdrawal form provided by the Registrar. Under extenuating circumstances, the Vice President for Academic Affairs may approve a withdrawal for medical reasons.

Students who withdraw from all courses at Piedmont University after the last day to drop a course without receiving academic penalty shall receive a “W” or a “WF” based on the work done in each course at the time of withdrawal.

NOTE: Cohort students must have the approval of and process the withdrawal through the Regional Program Coordinator.

Medical Withdrawals

A student may request and be considered for a medical withdrawal* when extraordinary circumstances prevent the student from continuing classes. The medical situation must be sudden or unexpected and beyond the student’s control. Certification by a licensed medical professional is required, and it is the student’s responsibility to follow all steps in the withdrawal process.
Please note: poor academic performance or lack of deadline awareness cannot be used as rationale for the petition.
Please note that medical withdrawals may still be subject to the Title IV Federal Policies under the Tuition and Expenses section. The student is responsible for tuition and/or charges that may apply.
To apply for a medical withdrawal, contact the Office of Academic Affairs.

*Catastrophic situations affecting individual students (i.e. death of a student, loss of limb, traumatic brain injury, stroke etc.) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.