Policies, Procedures, Standards and Guidelines

This Commonwealth University policy page is under development. As an interim measure, with the exception of the temporary academic and other student-facing policies approved by Secretariat, Bloomsburg policies and procedures will be in effect and accessible here. The new shared governance bodies for Commonwealth University are currently going through the process of developing and adopting new policies, procedures, standards and guidelines.

Illustration of Mountain

Policies, Procedures, Standards and Guidelines

Illustration of Mountain

University Policies

These interim academic policies grew out of the Academic Policies and Procedures Subgroup, which completed its work on January 22, 2021. They were edited into their current form on August 19, 2022, approved by Secretariat in August 2022, and renewed in February 2023. Since the Commonwealth University (CU) Senate Constitution took effect April 15, 2023, these interim academic policies are in force pending CU Senate review. These policies supersede local campus policy equivalents, with the following exception: until CU is under one SIS, any policy requiring technology to calculate is still as stated for each individual institution (examples include dismissal, dean's/president's lists, and commencement honors).

Academic Dismissal
Creation of a single policy for Undergraduate Academic Standing, Renewal, and Intervention. With levels for Academic Good Standing (above 2.0), Academic Warning (below 2.0 1 semester, Req Academic Recovery Plan), Academic Probation (continue below 2.0 2nd semester; Req Academic Recovery Plan), Academic Suspension (continue below 2.0 3rd semester; out 1 semester; return on Probation), Academic Dismissal (continue below 2.0 upon return, out 2-year min.), and Academic Renewal (min 2-year sep, grades C- or less removed). Specific procedures specified for Academic Difficulty and Recovery pertaining to intervention in policy. The goal is to prevent students from accumulating significant deficiency in GPA through early identification and meaningful recovery planning, and clear documentation of outreach and expectations through the University's official advising system. 

Academic Major
An academic major is the main field of study in an academic program. For baccalaureate degrees, the academic major (comprised of core and cognate courses) and general education are the two principal components of the degree. For master's degrees, the academic major (common core), concentration or specialization, and the capstone experience(s) are the principal components of the degree. An academic major can be a sequence of courses, activities, and/or experiences constituting a major field of study, culminating in a credit-based degree or certificate. Students should select a major as early as they are comfortable making the choice. All students will be expected to have declared an academic major prior to the completion of the third semester (45.0 semester hours). Delay in declaring a major may result in spending additional time in completion of a degree. All students should be aware that there is no assurance they will be able to declare any program they choose. Programs with limited capacity may be restricted or closed. The request to change a major will be reviewed by the relevant department chairperson. 

Academic Minor
A minor is an organized program of study that comprises the fundamental requirements of an academic major (core and cognate courses) equivalent to a minimum of 18 semester hours. As a secondary field of study, the academic minor should reflect a minimum of six credits of advanced standing coursework from the academic major. Exceptions to the advanced standing requirements may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Minors are available to undergraduate students enrolled in associate and bachelor degree programs. Minors may not be added to previously completed undergraduate degree programs. 

Academic Probation
Creation of a single policy for Undergraduate Academic Standing, Renewal, and Intervention. With levels for Academic Good Standing (above 2.0), Academic Warning (below 2.0 1 semester, Req Academic Recovery Plan), Academic Probation (continue below 2.0 2nd semester; Req Academic Recovery Plan), Academic Suspension (continue below 2.0 3rd semester; out 1 semester; return on Probation), Academic Dismissal (continue below 2.0 upon return, out 2-year min.), and Academic Renewal (min 2-year sep., grades C- or less removed). Specific procedures specified for Academic Difficulty and Recovery pertaining to intervention in policy. The goal is to prevent students from accumulating significant deficiency in GPA through early identification and meaningful recovery planning, and clear documentation of outreach and expectations through the University's official advising system.

Academic Standing
Good academic standing for undergraduate students is a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA). Some programs require a higher overall GPA to complete the program. Refer to specific program requirements.

Act 48
Act 48 of 1999 requires persons holding Pennsylvania professional educator certification to complete continuing education requirements every five years to maintain active certification. Students wishing to report completion of college-level credit-bearing courses complete the form located on the Registrar's Office website.

Students may add and drop courses until the end of the eighth day of the semester using [OneSis]. This deadline is adjusted for nonstandard semesters or course offerings.

Advanced Placement (AP)
The various subject examinations offered through the College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) are approved by the faculty for the award of credit.

Application for Graduation
Candidates for graduation must submit their intent to graduate by completing the Application for Graduation process through [OneSis] one year prior to the commencement ceremony. The Registrar's Office will send a graduation outlook of outstanding requirements to the student and academic advisor. During the student's final semester, immediately following the conclusion of the semester's add/drop period, the student's academic advisor and department chairperson will confirm to the Registrar's Office the student's eligibility to graduate. 

Attendance Policy
Regular and punctual class attendance is expected and is the foundation for academic success. When class work is missed due to extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control, the student communicates the need for special arrangements as soon as the need is known. Official documentation is provided to verify the reason for the absence if requested by the instructor. Legitimate excuses may include illness, serious mitigating circumstances, official military service, or official university representation. In these cases, faculty members will permit students to make up all graded course components without penalty in a reasonable manner at a time agreeable to the instructor and student. Students must provide documentation before absences can be excused. All instructors are expected to make their class participation and attendance policies clear in the course syllabi. Policies stated in syllabi must be consistent with the university's attendance policy. Faculty will accept notification from the Dean of Students or Health Services offices as verification of excused absence for students who are unable to notify faculty through no fault of their own.

Audit (AU)
A student interested in auditing a course (attending class, but receiving no grade or credits) must submit the Audit Form before the end of the Add Period (first eight calendar days of the semester). The ability to enroll is subject to space availability. The class instructor must grant permission for any student to audit a course. Not all courses are available for audit. Courses with high degrees of specialized equipment and/or one-on-one faculty-student interaction (such as science labs) are generally not open to audit. Exceptions to this policy may be petitioned to the Dean of the college for review. The cost for auditing is $25. 

Change of Major/Minor
Change of major/minor forms are available on [OneSIS]. Once a change of major is approved by the department chair of the receiving department (the department housing the major the student wishes to declare), applications are processed by the Registrar's Office. Note: All majors require permission of the department chairperson in order to declare.

Class Standing
Class standing is determined by the total number of credit hours earned including credits accepted in transfer from other accredited colleges.

First Year: 0-29 credit hours earned
Sophomore: 30-59 credit hours earned
Junior: 60-89 credit hours earned
Senior: 90+ credit hours earned

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
We participate in the national College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Credit is granted for CLEP SUBJECT examinations, but not for the CLEP GENERAL examination. Subject examinations are available in the areas of Composition and Literature, World Languages, History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business.

CLEP offers a way to earn college credits for prior learning and may shorten the length of the college experience. The minimum score to earn credit is 50. No letter grades are recorded; only credit hours for the corresponding university catalog course title and number are recorded. CLEP may not be taken to replace a failing grade. Information regarding CLEP examinations is available from the Registrar's Office.

Commencement Honors
Superior scholastic achievement is recognized at Commencement. A bachelor's degree student must have completed at least 45 credit hours used to calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) at the degree granting [campus] prior to the final semester to receive honors recognition at Commencement. Honors designations are based on cumulative grade point average (GPA) as indicated:

Cum Laude         3.500 to 3.749
Magna Cum Laude     3.750 to 3.949
Summa Cum Laude     3.950 to 4.000

Students who meet honors requirements upon completion of their final semester with a minimum of 60 credit hours at the degree-granting campus will have such recognition noted on their permanent record.

An associate's degree student must have completed at least 30 credit hours at the degree-granting campus prior to the final semester to receive honors recognition at commencement. A cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher is required for this recognition, associate's degree with honors. 

Commencement honors does not apply to graduate level degrees.

Complete Degree/Program Requirements Off Campus

  1. All first baccalaureate degree students must complete at least 30 of their last 60 credits from the degree granting institution. All first associate's degree students must complete at least 15 of their last 30 credits from the degree granting institution.            
  2. All first baccalaureate students must take at least 50% of the credits required for the major from a PASSHE university.          
  3. Program exceptions to this policy are approved by the Office of the Chancellor. 
  4. Students wishing to take final courses at another institution must fill out a Prior Approval Form to ensure the course will transfer properly and allow the advisor and department to sign off on the transfer. 
  5. Students wishing to take courses at another PASSHE Institution and transfer back the grade are required to complete the Visiting Student Form. This form can be obtained from the Registrar's Office. 
  6. Courses to be transferred that do not have a current course equivalency will require the student's advisor/department chair to submit a Petition for Exception to Undergraduate Graduation Requirements.

Course Load
A full-time undergraduate student has 12-18 credits. To schedule more than 18 credits in a semester, the student will need permission. Students who have less than a 3.0 GPA will need the permission of the academic advisor, department chair and dean through the petition process. Students who have higher than a 3.0 GPA will need the permission of their academic advisor and department chair.

Course Time Limit
Students who have been away from college for a variety of reasons are welcome to return. Departments may require students to repeat courses previously completed at their campus or another institution if there is evidence the content has changed significantly since the student last took the course. 

Credit by Exam (EX)
A student may petition for the privilege of establishing credit in a course or courses listed in the undergraduate catalog through a comprehensive examination given by the department instead of through registration and course attendance. This form is available from the Registrar's Office webpage. A student may not petition for an exam in a course audited or in which a failing grade was previously recorded. The administration of the exam is the responsibility of the department that offers the course. The exam must cover the course syllabus in a comprehensive manner. A copy of the completed Credit By Exam form must be sent to the Registrar's Office for credit to be awarded. A fee (1/3 of the tuition) is charged for courses taken by Credit by Exam regardless of the outcome of the exam. If the student passes the exam a grade of EX is assigned for the course. If the student fails, no record is made.  

Credit Hour
Clock hour or credit hour equivalency is 50 minutes of in-person instruction or its online equivalency.

Dean's List
The Dean's List is issued at the close of each fall and spring semester. It includes only undergraduate matriculated students. A student must earn at least 12 credits for which a letter grade is received (P/F and S/U grades are excluded) to be eligible. The semester grade point average (GPA) must be between 3.500 and 3.999 inclusive.

Dual Degrees
Students who are enrolled in dual degree programs (e.g. majors with different degrees), and who meet the requirements of both programs of study, may be awarded both degrees after having met the total credit hour requirements for the programs. For awarding dual master's degrees at least 12 hours will be required beyond the minimal credit requirements for the degree program with the most required credits.

Dual/Multiple Majors
Students may complete multiple majors and must have a major advisor in each program. Students must meet all requirements for both majors including general education requirements. Double majors in some departments may require more than the minimum 120 credits for graduation. 

Due Process (Appealing a Grade)
The grade appeal process should follow the Academic Appeal Process: Informal & Formal. Bloomsburg has a specific Grievance process in place similar to Lock Haven grade appeal but broader. We recommend this broader appeal process. Informal: 1. Instructor 2. Chairperson 3. Dean. Formal file grievance as specified. (see PRP 3592 Academic Grievance Procedure)

Grade Change
It is the student's responsibility to review final grades at the close of a semester or other academic session. In normal circumstances, grade changes can be made only by the instructor issuing the grade. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. death, retirement, or permission of the instructor) the department chairperson may be permitted to make a grade change. 

Only grade changes, excluding incomplete grades (see below), due to grade miscalculation are accepted after the grade entry deadline of each semester/session. The change is completed in writing at the Registrar's Office no later than four weeks into the semester (fall or spring) following the session/semester for which the course was registered. (Ex: A course registered and graded in the fall semester or winter intersession may be changed up to four weeks into the spring semester; a course registered and graded in the spring semester or summer sessions may be change up to four weeks into the fall semester.) Grade changes require signature of chair and Dean or Associate Dean. Once the grade is issued, financial aid may be impacted and cannot be reversed. No grades may be changed for a student after the student has graduated. The student's cumulative grade point average is frozen at the time of graduation and cannot be changed. Students who have reason to believe a grade was incorrectly issued will follow the University's Grade Appeal Policy.

Academic year 22-23 will follow current local policy.


A = 4.00                      
A- = 3.67                      
B+ = 3.33                      
B = 3.00                        
B- = 2.67                     
C+ = 2.33                      
C = 2.00                     
C- = 1.67                      
D+ = 1.33                      
D = 1.00                      
F = 0.00                       

The grades earned by each student for academic credit at Bloomsburg are assigned by those faculty who are responsible for the courses in which the student is enrolled. Grades are given based on the criteria specified during the first week of the academic term. Other grades assigned to students not included in the computation of quality point averages are:  

I = Incomplete  
P = Passed 
F = Failed                     
V= Audit  
W = Withdrawal 
R = Research In Progress  
X = No Grade Reported                    

The Quality Point Average is computed from the record of courses taken at Bloomsburg using the assigned grades of A through F listed above. Multiply the number of semester hours for each course by the number of quality points for the grade in the course and add the products. Divide the sum obtained in the first step by the total number of semester hours represented by the courses. If a course has been successfully repeated, credits are only counted once in the computation. The most recent grade (regardless of whether it is higher or lower) will be the grade used for the QPA calculation. If a course is successfully repeated another institution, the credits for the course initially taken at Bloomsburg are deleted from the computation.

Lock Haven:
Grades are a reflection of academic performance. Prospective employers and graduate schools consider grades when making decisions about employment or admission. Grades are a record of achievement satisfying learning, interest, application, and motivation. Grades are submitted by faculty using online grade entry. Grades are due by the deadline on the academic calendar, typically Tuesday at 3 PM following the close of a semester. A quality point is the unit of measurement of the quality of work done by the student. For graduation, students must have to their credit twice as many quality points as they have semester hours, or a 2.0 GPA. Quality points are computed as follows:

A = 4.000 Excellent 
A- = 3.700 
B+ = 3.300 
B = 3.000 Good 
B- = 2.700 
C+ = 2.300 
C = 2.000 Fair 
C- = 1.700 
D+ = 1.300 
D = 1.000 Passing 
E = .000 Failure 
EW = .000 Failure (unofficial withdrawal) 
F = Failure* 
P = Passed* 
CH = Credit w/Honors* 
CR = Credit* 
NC = No Credit* 
I = Incomplete* 
S = Satisfactory (Undergraduate -- D or higher)* 
U = Unsatisfactory (Undergraduate -- less than D)* 
AU = Audit* 
W = Withdrawal* 

* Does not affect GPA; "passed" indicates a grade of "D" or better. The GPA is obtained by dividing the total quality points a student has earned at Lock Haven by the total of semester hours attempted or scheduled (less those semester hours taken as pass/fail, repeated, or credit/no credit or transferred).

Professors provide students written syllabi which include the criteria for academic evaluation, prior to the end of the first week of class. Mansfield uses a 4-point grading scale, as shown below, to evaluate academic performance.


A = Excellent 4.0
A-  = 3.7
B+  = 3.3
B = Above Average 3.0
B-  = 2.7
C+  = 2.3
C = Good Standing 2.0
C-  = 1.7
D+  = 1.3
D = Minimally Passing 1.0
D-  = 0.7
F = Failure, Earned 0.0
F* = Failure, Unearned 0.0
The following designations may be used in addition to the grades shown above:

AU = Audit
EX = Credit by Examination (D- grade or better)
I = Incomplete
P/F = Pass/Fail (D- grade or better)
S = Satisfactory (D- grade or better)
U = Unsatisfactory
W = Withdrawal from a course after the drop period
NC = No Credit
The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours of work attempted. The cumulative GPA is the index by which a student's academic standing is judged.

Graduate Degree Completion Time Limit
Graduate programs must be completed within a maximum of seven years unless specific programs list otherwise. Doctoral programs must be completed within a maximum of seven years unless specific programs list otherwise.

Graduation - Commencement Participation Policy
Students are expected to attend the commencement ceremony following the semester in which they have been certified for graduation. In the case that a commencement ceremony is not held in the semester of completion at the attending campus- August completers may walk in the previous May commencement. December completers may walk in the May commencement.

Graduation Requirements
It is the student's responsibility to understand the university requirements for the chosen major and for graduation.

Students who graduate from Commonwealth University with an associate's degree must meet the following requirements:

  1. Earn the minimum number of credit hours for the particular major, plus any required preparatory (0090) courses. Preparatory courses completed increase the total number of credit hours required for graduation.
  2. Earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major unless otherwise specified.
  3. Complete requirements for general education and the major.

Students who graduate from Commonwealth University with a baccalaureate degree must meet the following requirements:

  1. Earn the minimum number of credit hours for the particular major, plus any required preparatory (0090) courses. Preparatory (0090) courses completed increase the total number of credit hours required for graduation.
  2. Earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major unless otherwise specified.
  3. Complete requirements for general education and for the major.
  4. Complete 42 credits of the total credits required for a degree at the 3000-course level or higher.
  5. Complete a second-year language proficiency or minor for a B.A. degree. Second-year language proficiency is defined as successful completion of the 2202 level of a foreign language. 

Students who graduate from Commonwealth University with a recommendation for teacher certification must meet the following requirements:

  1. Earn the state-mandated minimum GPA for your cohort group (determined when first "gates" requirements are met and not sooner than 48 credits).
  2. Complete a teacher preparation certificate program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  3. Complete all Commonwealth University requirements for a baccalaureate degree.
  4. Pass all state mandated examinations (e.g. Praxis/PECT) for the appropriate area(s) of teaching certification.
  5. Present evidence that state mandated clearance requirements as specified under Act 34 and Act 151, Act 114 (PA FBI), and PA School Code 23.44 (proof of a negative TB Tine Test) have been met.

A student may earn a university degree with less than the state-mandated minimum GPA, lacking the required clearances, or without having passed all required certification examinations, but the University will not recommend that student to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for certification.

No student may be granted an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree from the University without earning at least 25% of the required total credits for the degree. Transfer credit may be awarded for up to 50% of the major requirements including major-related electives. If the remaining credits do not meet University guidelines for general education, they are applied as free electives.

Each student will receive a "Graduation Outlook" upon completion of the Application for Graduation. The "Graduation Outlook" notes courses and/or requirements still necessary to be completed for graduation including any deficiency in the cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major. A final outlook showing deficiencies will be sent after the end of the Add/Drop period in the semester in which the student intends to graduate.

IB Credits
International Baccalaureate collaborates with secondary schools around the world on programs for students ages 16 through 19. The two-year comprehensive curriculum allows participating students and IB graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems. In addition to applied academics, the IB program works with students to develop responsible citizenship, leadership skills, and cultural sensitivity. Credits are awarded for higher-level subjects. No credit is awarded for subsidiary-level subjects.

Entering IB students may receive 6-8 credits for each higher level IB examination completed with a minimum test score of 4. There is no limit to the number of courses for which IB may award credit. No letter grades are recorded, only credit hours for the corresponding university catalog course title and number. Official score reports for the IB examinations sent directly from the testing service are required. Credits are recorded by the Registrar's Office.

Incomplete Grades (I)
An "I" (Incomplete) grade is used to denote unfinished work because of serious mitigating circumstances beyond the student's control. It is a privilege granted because of circumstances, not a right to be expected by the student.
The I is submitted by professors at their discretion on the grade report form at the end of the semester. The professor and the student will identify the specific requirements to be satisfied in order to convert the I to a letter grade. The student is responsible for the removal of an I grade by the last day of classes, not including finals, of the subsequent semester, except in cases where serious circumstances prevail and a request for an extension is made by the faculty member to the Registrar's Office. If the I grade is not cleared within the allotted time period, a final grade of F is recorded. Satisfactory record of partial progress is necessary for an incomplete grade to be considered.

Independent Study and Individualized Instruction
Individualized Instruction is available on a restricted basis. Ordinarily permission to take a course by individualized instruction (II) is reserved for students who are close to graduation and who have not been able to meet a degree requirement because of a mitigating circumstance. Individualized instructions may not be used to retake a course the student has previously failed.  

A student's decision to move from the home institution's area or a conflict with another obligation, such as a job, will not normally be sufficient to justify an Individualized Instruction. A call to military service or a serious extended illness, on the other hand, may be viewed as a sufficient mitigating circumstance. 

An Individualized Instruction is not normally approved if there is evidence that a student delayed taking a course or dropped a course earlier in their academic career and did not make a clear attempt to complete it as part of a regular schedule. 

Independent Study provides academic opportunity that can enhance a student's education. 

Independent Study (IS) is available in each curricular field. The appropriate curricular prefix precedes the course number XXXX, and the credit hours vary from one to three. Independent studies will be approved only when there is sufficient evidence of the potential of the study to advance the student's scholarly development. To qualify, a student must have earned at least 30 semester hours and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.500. 
Independent Study may be repeated for more than three credit hours total, but each Independent Study project may be for no more than three credit hours. Independent Study is an activity initiated by a student to increase their already advanced knowledge in a particular academic discipline. A specified subject is examined in an intensive manner with guidance by a faculty member who has special expertise in that field. 

All requests for Independent Study should be accompanied by an appropriate and scholarly proposal that has been carefully reviewed by the student and the faculty director who will supervise the Independent Study. The proposal should include a plan of activities to be undertaken, the "products" to be expected from the study (for example, a paper, a performance, a research report, or presentation to a departmental symposium), a timetable for the study, and an estimate of the amount of effort that will be applied to the study so that the appropriate amount of credit can be assessed. A request for Independent Study must be completed prior to the start of the semester or summer session for which the Independent Study is sought.

Maintenance of Matriculation
Students who are off campus completing approved course work consistent with program requirements and thereby meet degree or program requirements in effect at the time of initial matriculation are considered to be in a continuing matriculated status.

Mid-Semester Grades
Midsemester grades should be reported for all students in all courses. A separate policy for Early alerts and interventions has been developed as a recommended Course Progress, Early Alerts and Interventions Policy.

Military Service Credit
Students who have completed basic training in the Armed Forces of the US and have a DD-214, NGB-22 or similar discharge documents will receive 2 transfer credits for EXERSCI 100-Military Basic Training and 2 GEPS for Goal 9 Health Living. 2 GEPS for Goal 10 Citizenship are awarded in MILSERV 99 Honorable Military Service for service in the Armed Forces of the US based on DD-214, NGB-22 or other similar discharge documents indicating General or Honorable separation conditions. (see: PRP 3344 "Evaluation of Military Experiences for Academic Credit") 

Additional course equivalencies and credit hours may be granted through the Military Academic Credit Review Board (MAC-RB). This provides a system whereby the unique and widely variable training, work, and experiences of military students and veterans can be professionally and systematically analyzed to provide a college/discipline specific individualized analysis of their military record. The analysis will be conducted by academic faculty experts and other with deep knowledge of the curriculum.

Minimum Academic Standards
All degree-seeking students must meet the minimum academic standards of the institution. The minimum academic requirement for continuation in an undergraduate program is a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). The minimum academic requirement for continuation in a graduate or doctoral program is a 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA).

Pass/Fail (P or F)
Students may take a maximum of nine credits on a pass/fail basis; however, no more than one course each semester may be taken under the pass/fail option. Pass credits are not reflected in the student's GPA; however, a passing (P) grade is counted as credit hours earned. Students may neither change the pass/fail option to a letter grade nor select the pass/fail option after the first ten calendar days of the semester. A passing grade is considered D or better. A grade of F will impact the GPA. Two failures will constitute a loss of the option. Pass/Fail application forms are available online at Academic Forms. The following restrictions apply:

  1. One course in General Education may be taken as Pass/Fail.
  2. One course in the major or academic minor may be taken as Pass/Fail at the discretion of the program department and requires the chairperson's signature. this may not apply to all programs. Please consult with your academic advisor and department chairperson.
  3. One course as a free elective may be taken as Pass/Fail.
  4. Students may not repeat a course using the Pass/Fail option.
  5. If a Pass/Fail grade cannot be used towards an individual course or there is a minimum grade standard for a course, then this requirement will be clearly stated in the catalog and will supersede the general policy restrictions.

Petition Process
Under special circumstances, curriculum requirements may be modified. 

Major Variance: With the approval of the relevant dean, a department chairperson may substitute or waive course requirements in a major by informing the Registrar's Office in writing of such requested program changes.  

General Education Variance: With written support of the chairperson of the impacted course department, requests shall be submitted to the Dean with prior approval of the student's academic advisor or program coordinator and department chair. 

Waivers in educator preparation require review by the Dean of the College of Education and Human Studies.

Waiver of University Policies or Regulations: when any rule or regulation of the University causes an unfair hardship, a student may petition the Dean for an exception. In these instances, students should contact their advisor for assistance in preparation of petitions. Denials may be appealed to the Office of the Provost.

Preferred Name
In accordance with Commonwealth University's mission of being an inclusive, comprehensive, public university that prepares students for personal and professional success in an increasingly complex global environment, the University has established this preferred name policy. Commonwealth University recognizes that many students use a first name other than their legal first name. Therefore, the University has created this policy and these procedures to allow students to indicate their preferred first names to the University community even if they have not changed their legal first names. While any student is welcome to use a preferred first name, this option has been developed to respond to the needs of some international students, transgender/non-conforming identified students, and others who prefer the use of a nickname. These may include, but are not limited to, individuals who prefer to use:

  • a middle name or nickname instead of a first name;
  • an anglicized name;
  • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing, or a name that better represents the individual's gender identity.

Policy Definitions:
Student: Any admitted full- or part-time individual with undergraduate, graduate, non-degree, or alumni status. Student status will continue as long as the student has a continuing relationship with Commonwealth University.

Legal First Name: Refers to the first name that identifies a person for legal, administrative, and other official purposes. A person's legal first name generally is the name of the person that was given for the purpose of registration of the birth and which then appears on a birth certificate.

Legal Last Name (surname): Legal last name used, which cannot be changed/altered within the University's information systems unless it has been changed through a legal process outside of the University.

Preferred Name: A name designated in the University systems and communications as the preferred alternative to the individual's legal first name. Only first names may be changed to a preferred name.

SCOPE: This policy pertains to both prospective students and current students and primarily impacts procedures in Admissions and Student Affairs.

RESPONSIBILITY: Student Affairs will review the policy periodically. Cabinet approves the policy and any subsequent changes.

PROCEDURE: Note: As long as the use of a preferred first name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the University acknowledges that a preferred first name may be used in the course of University business and education. Therefore, the University will permit students to change their names within the University's information systems so that a preferred first name will be used instead of the legal first name.

Prospective Students: Prospective students may indicate their preferred first name when submitting an inquiry to Admissions, when filling out a request-for-more-information card, and/or on the [Insert name] University application form.

Continuing Students: Students who are currently enrolled may submit their preferred name using the form available via hyperlink in [insert source]. All such submissions are subject to review by the Dean of Students.

Restrictions/Limitations: The ability to use a preferred name is a limited accommodation of a preference. Preferred first name requests will be denied or revoked when the name is deemed inappropriate, including, but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation, fraud, obscene language, misrepresentation, or misuse of this policy. Students will be subject to disciplinary action through the Office of the Dean of Students in accordance with University policy and the Student Code of Conduct for misuse of this policy.

Appeals: Students who feel their preferred first name change was denied unjustly may file an appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Where the preferred first name will appear:

  • Student Identification Cards*
  • Official Student Email Display Name
  • Online Student Directory
  • Class and Grade Rosters (for students taking courses)
  • University Diploma
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Sites
  • Other instances where a legal name is not required

*A one-time waiver of the fee to update the Student Identification Card with the preferred first name will be provided. Subsequent changes will incur the University's standard replacement/loss ID fee.

Where a preferred first name will not appear:

  • Legal Documents and Reports Produced by the University
  • Student Financial Records
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Documents
  • Medical Records
  • Transcripts
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Degree Verifications
  • Student Employment Documents
  • Employment Verifications
  • Employment Documents
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other Payroll Documents
  • Benefits Enrollment
  • Third Party Database Systems

Preparatory Courses
Courses with course numbers beginning with zero do not count toward degree completion.

President's List
The President's List is issued at the close of each fall and spring semester. It includes only undergraduate matriculated students. A student must earn at least 12 credits (full-time) for which a letter grade is received (P/F and S/U grades are excluded) to be eligible. A 4.000 semester grade point average (GPA) must be achieved.

Priority Registration
Certain populations are identified as requiring priority registration to ensure timely program completion. Registration will occur prior to start of regular registration. These populations include student athletes, at-risk (Act 101/EOP/TRiO), BOG scholarship recipients, honors program, students with disabilities, and veterans. 

Progress Reporting and Academic Intervention
Roster reconciliation as verification of student enrollment in a course occurs at the end of the add/drop period. Faculty will report a student's progress via Starfish at the end of the third week of classes for all students who are missing class, unprepared for class and/or underperforming in class. At the halfway point in each semester, faculty will submit mid-semester grades for all courses. When a student's GPA is less than 2.0 for that semester (calculated using mid-semester grades from the current semester only), the student is designated for academic intervention. Prior performance in previous semesters is not considered in this GPA calculation. 

Within two working days of the deadline for the mid-semester grade posting, each department secretary runs a query for advisors that lists the advisees designated for academic intervention. Query results are provided to advisors and to department chairs. Department chairs notify students via email, with a copy to each student's advisor, that they have been designated for academic intervention. This email encourages students to contact their advisor as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. 

Advisors will communicate with their advisees within a week of the mid-semester grade posting deadline. The advisor and advisee will then create and implement an individualized plan for success that includes the mandatory use of appropriate academic support resources, such as those provided by the Student Success department (tutoring services, supplemental instruction, the Writing Center, etc.). Records of participation will be maintained and consulted during any future dismissal appeal decisions.

Repeating a Course
Students are limited to a total of six repeated courses, with a limit of three repeats for any specific course. The most recent grade, regardless of whether it is higher or lower, will be the grade used for the GPA calculation. Students may not repeat a course using the pass/fail or credit-by-exam option. For Graduate Students: Graduate students can repeat a single course for grade improvement only once. Graduate students will be limited to a maximum total of two repeats across the program. The most recent grade (regardless of whether it is higher or lower) will be the grade used for the GPA calculation.  

For Post Baccalaureate students, the Course Repeat Policy will be the same as the one for Graduate Students. That is, Post Baccalaureate students can repeat a single course for grade improvement only once with a limit of a maximum total of two repeats during the Post Baccalaureate career.

Second Baccalaureate Degree
A student who possesses a baccalaureate degree may earn a second bachelor's degree upon completion of the following requirements: 

  1. A minimum of 30 credit hours following the first degree (internships, observation/participation, and student teaching credit hours are not counted in the required minimum), 
  2. All requirements for the major in which the second degree is to be earned, 
  3. General Education is considered closed on the first degree except for any specific General Education requirements for the second degree if not already completed, and 
  4. Earn the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major required by the program. 

The GPA of the original degree will be "sealed." There will be a new and totally distinct GPA for the new degree.

Semester Off Campus
Undergraduate students wishing to take all classes for a fall or spring semester at a regionally accredited non-PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) college or university located within the United States are required to secure prior approval by petitioning the Dean. The process will also require completion of the Transfer Credit Form. The Undergraduate Petition and Transfer Credit Form are both available on the Registrar's website at Academic Forms. To attend another PASSHE university, please refer to the Visiting Student policy. To attend a college or university outside of the United States, please refer to the Study Abroad and International Exchanges policy.

Student Transferring in Prior Credits Within Commonwealth University

During the Academic of 2022-2023, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education restructured Bloomsburg University, Lock Haven University, and Mansfield University into a combined institution of Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania (CU). Students who had transfer coursework from one integrated university to another integration university will have attempted hours, quality points and an overall grade point average on their Commonwealth University transcript that differs from the legacy degree granting institution.

Any student’s record with their cumulative GPA recalculated as a result of the migration of data from the legacy institutions (Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield) into Commonwealth University of PA will have their GPA be recalculated to exclude the originating courses thus resetting the cumulative GPA to their legacy institution GPA. Students may reset the credits to the CU cumulative GPA upon request to the Registrar.

Download this policy as a .pdf.

Visiting Students
Students enrolled full-time at a PASSHE university may elect to participate, for a limited period of time, in the Board of Governors' Visiting Student program offered at sister institutions. Information regarding the Visiting Student program is available online through the Registrar's Office.

Withdrawal from a Course (W)
After the add/drop period is completed, and continuing until the final instructional day of the semester prior to finals, a student may withdraw from a course and a grade of W will be recorded on the transcript and remain as part of the student's permanent academic record. There is no limit to the number of courses from which a student may withdraw; however, this decision may impact your financial aid eligibility. Although not required, students are encouraged to consult with the instructor to verify their grades and status in the course and to meet with their advisor to discuss potential benefits and concerns of withdrawing from a particular course.  

Withdrawal from the University
Recommendation to add an Undergraduate Leave of Absence from the University Policy specifying that students may "declare a leave of absence" by communicating they will not be enrolling at the University in the current or upcoming semester but plan to continue in the near future. By doing so they ensure they will not have to apply for re-admission, that their student records will be maintained, and their student status will be re-activated upon submission of a Resume Studies Request and that they will have access to ongoing academic advising services. The policy specifies 7 categories of leave including academic, financial, health-related, military service, personal or family, professional opportunity, and service or mission as well as the steps for a student to declare a leave of absence.

Interim Student-Facing Policies (10)

Commonwealth University Student Handbook

  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Academic Calendar
  • Academic Services
  • Student Services
  • Sexual Misconduct Policy
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Mission, Vision, Values
  • Resources and Links
  • Student Complaints and Concerns
Policies officially sanctioned by CU-Bloomsburg that have university-wide applicability. Anything not covered by above policies defaults to Bloomsburg's previous PRP (policies, rules, and procedures).

University Standards

Standards will be listed here when available.

University Guidelines

Guidelines will be listed here when available.

Illustration of Mountain

Procedures for Promotion and Tenure

Information concerning procedures for promotion and tenure are found on the staff network "S" drive under Documents.

Commonwealth University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies.

For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures and for inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and its implementing regulation, contact: 

Additionally, inquiries concerning Title IX and its implementing regulation can be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Region III, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East - Suite 505, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Phone: (215) 656-6010; Fax: (215) 656-6020.

PRP Template for Internal Campus Use