Academic Policies

Here you will find Marymount California University’s academic policies. We encourage you to review them carefully so that you know what to expect and what is expected of you.

If you have any questions, please stop by or contact us by email or phone.

The official university catalog is the primary resource for students who are considering changing their program. We strongly encourage students to meet with Academic Affairs, specifically advising and even the department chair before submitting any change to your academic program to the Office of the Registrar.

Students must meet the degree requirements (general education and major/minor) of the catalog under which they matriculated or may select a later catalog for a year in which they are enrolled. Changing to a later catalog must be requested in writing through the Office of the Registrar. Other than the degree requirements, students must adhere to the academic requirements, policies and procedures detailed in the current catalog.

Such requirements include but are not limited to course prerequisites, minimum grades for transfer work, tuition and fees, honors, probation and suspension requirements. Information regarding any changes in degree programs, graduation requirements, or academic policies will be made available via the Marymount California University website.

Printed and signed forms may be faxed to (310) 303-7204, scanned via email from your Marymount email account to registrar@MarymountCalifornia.edu, or walked into the Office of the Registrar. All forms turned in without the required signatures of approval will be returned to the student, and no changes will be made to student academic records. For detailed information on your program of study, please review the university catalog under which you were admitted.

In light of the disruption COVID-19 has caused, MCU will offer students the option to convert their spring 2020 semester letter grades to credit or no credit that will not affect their GPA. Students will be able to choose between keeping their letter grade in each class or a credit/no credit option. Any grade of C or above would translate into a credit designation while a C- and below would be recorded as NC. This policy enables them to complete their work, yet not be penalized for circumstances beyond their control. In some cases, it will be better to earn grades, so it is advisable to meet with an academic advisor before deciding to change grade options. The deadline to file the credit/no credit petition is April 24. 

Credit / No Credit FAQ

How will I be graded in my courses?
For any full-semester or second-half semester Spring 2020 course, you can change the grade option through April 24 via academic petition. At the conclusion of the semester, the Registrar will update any grades for which you have requested the credit/no credit (CR/NC) option. You will indicate which grades (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C) you want replaced by a CR grade if you choose the CR/NC option on the credit/no credit form. Note that if you choose this option, you will earn a NC for a C- or below grade.

Will this affect my degree progress?
Undergraduate students need to maintain an average GPA of 2.00 to make degree progress. In some cases, it will be better to earn grades, so it is critical to discuss with your academic advisor before deciding to change grade options.

What are examples of why I should not to switch to CR/NC?
Each student’s degree progress is based on his/her major and degree requirements.

  • If you have a grade of CR, you cannot repeat it.
  • A grade of an A or B is a greater benefit to your GPA than a CR.
  • A grade of a C- or D may meet a degree requirement if not a prerequisite to another course. A NC grade does not.
  • A NC grade does not earn units; if units are needed for athletic or financial aid eligibility, it may be better to keep a letter grade of C- or D.
  • A grade of NC is helpful to the GPA if you expect to earn a grade of F.

Will changing my grade to credit/no credit affect my financial aid?
Courses taken credit/no credit will still count toward pace of progression and maximum time frame for satisfactory academic progress. Grades of credit/no credit will not impact GPA; however, a no credit grade can negatively impact pace of progression. Please review the satisfactory academic progress policy for more details and consult with student financial services.

I am a Mariner athlete. Will this affect my eligibility?
Discuss with Trenna Hill, the faculty athlete representative, to determine if this is a viable option for you. Please note that a course where credit is earned will count toward units for eligibility, but will not impact your GPA.

I am an international student. Will this change have an impact on my visa status?
No. As long as you remain enrolled full-time, changing how the course is graded will not impact your status. It may impact your degree progress, so be sure to discuss with your academic advisor or Ryan O’Connell, director of international student services.

What if I need to earn letter grades for professional programs, graduate school or employment?
Consult with your advisor, graduate school or professional program for guidance, or opt to keep the letter grade.

How will this change my GPA?
A credit/no credit grade is not calculated in the GPA. Your current GPA would not change.

What if I change my mind after April 24 or when I see my final grades? Can I make this request after April 24 or change back to a letter grade?
The petition to receive a CR/NC grade must be received by April 24. On the form, you will indicate for what letter grade(s) you want to get a CR or NC grade instead of a letter grade. Once you have made that choice and submitted the form, the petition is final.

How can I make the change to credit/no credit grading?
Complete an academic petition and the request CR/NC form with your advisor. Forms are available at the Registrar Forms Center. In completing the form, you need to indicate whether you wish a letter grade or credit/no credit grade for each of your courses. Approval is required. In addition to your signature, you must also have signatures from your academic advisor and the vice president of student affairs. Your academic advisor will assist you through the process. The Registrar will change the grade after the final grade is posted based on the information you provide on the form.

If I get a CR instead of a letter grade, would I still be eligible for the Dean’s List?
Yes, however, students earning an NC grade in a course will not eligible for the Dean’s List in that term.

Students earn academic credit measured in semester units. An academic hour is defined as 50 minutes.

Undergraduate Courses

  • 1 semester unit = a minimum of 15 hours of “class time or direct faculty instruction” plus a minimum of 30 hours of out-of-class student work per academic term, for a total of 45 hours of student time on task per semester unit.
  • Non-classroom credit-bearing academic activities, such as laboratory work, studio work, internships and field practicums, require an amount of work at least equivalent to that required for classroom-based units as identified in the syllabus. For example: science laboratories = 45 hours per academic term per unit of credit; studio art classes = 30 hours per academic term per unit of credit; internships and practicums = 60 hours per academic term per unit.
  • As courses make use of new or mixed modalities, quality and content will be ensured through reasonable equivalencies, clear learning outcomes and evidence of student achievement.

Graduate Courses

  • 1 semester unit = a minimum of 15 hours of “class time or direct faculty instruction” plus a minimum of 45 hours of out-of-class student work per academic term, for a total of 60 hours of student time on task per semester unit.
  • Non-classroom credit-bearing academic activities, such as laboratory work and field projects, require an amount of work at least equivalent to that required for classroom-based units as identified in the syllabus.
  • As courses make use of new modalities, quality and content will be ensured through reasonable equivalencies, clear learning outcomes and evidence of student achievement.

After the add/drop deadline, a student may withdraw from a course until the established deadline to withdraw, as published in the catalog. A course from which a student has withdrawn will remain on the transcript with a grade of “W.” A grade of “W” does not affect the student’s GPA.

A student who wishes to take a leave of absence from the university must submit a leave of absence request before separating from the university. Students forfeit the opportunity to petition for a leave of absence if one has not been submitted to the Registrar prior to the start date of the next academic term following their departure. Students on leave will maintain their academic standing in place at the time of the start of the leave of absence. Students dismissed from the university are not eligible for a leave of absence. Any leave of absence paperwork filed before the dismissal will be void.

Submitting a leave of absence request will enable the student to maintain continuous enrollment and academic status for up to two semesters. A leave of absence will be granted for a maximum of one academic year. Special circumstances (beyond the student’s control) may occasionally call for a longer leave, which may be granted through an academic petition to Academic Affairs. A maximum of two leaves of absence may be requested during a student’s enrollment.

Students on a leave of absence must contact Academic Affairs to initiate the process of return. Any outstanding health requirements, transcripts and/or account balances must be cleared prior to registering for classes.

Official transcripts of all coursework taken while away from Marymount California University must be submitted to the Registrar upon completion of coursework. Course placement is determined on the basis of transcripts received by the end of the add/drop period.

Students who break their continuous enrollment without filing a leave of absence request or whose leave of absence has expired must reapply for admission to Marymount and will be subject to the degree requirements as stated in the catalog for their term of readmission. Returning to Marymount after a break in status is not guaranteed.

The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal law to monitor the academic progress of federal financial aid recipients. When accepting financial aid, the student acknowledges his/her obligation to maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the standards detailed below. If a student fails to meet these standards, the student will receive a financial aid warning or be placed on suspension.

1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

a. Qualitative Standards: Undergraduate students must maintain the cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. Graduate students must maintain the cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Transfer units are not included in this calculation.

b. Quantitative Standards: Both undergraduate and graduate students must complete 67% of units attempted. Transfer units are not included in this calculation. Grades of F, IN, NC and W count as units attempted with zero units earned. All attempted units at MCU are counted whether or not financial aid was received.

c. Maximum Timeframe Standards: Both undergraduate and graduate students must complete their degree program within a 150% timeframe (150% of the specific degree program’s published length or 1.5 x number of credits).

2. Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

a. Financial Aid Warning: When a student does not meet satisfactory academic progress standards for the first time, he/she will be placed on one-term financial aid warning. Once a student has received a warning, he/she must complete at least 67% of attempted units and earn cumulative GPA of 2.0 (3.0 for graduate) or above. Otherwise, the student will be disqualified from receiving financial aid in the subsequent term.

b. Financial Aid Suspension: When a student does not meet satisfactory academic progress standards during a warning or probation period, the student will become ineligible for financial aid. When the student is able to meet satisfactory academic progress standards, he/she may regain eligibility.

c. Financial Aid Probation: When a student is placed on suspension, he/she can submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid if there was a legitimate reason he/she was unable to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. If the appeal is approved, aid may be reinstated for the term, and the student will be placed on probation. The student must show satisfactory academic progress at the end of the probation term in order to regain eligibility to receive aid for the subsequent term.

Thinking of transferring to Marymount California University? Please visit the Office of Admission for specific requirements.

Transfer evaluation is the process of reviewing individual courses from other institutions and determining how credit will be awarded. Marymount will accept comparable college coursework earned at other regionally accredited colleges and universities. Credit from international universities will be accepted if the institution is recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education.

Courses are officially evaluated for degree credit or for credit toward general education and general transferability once the student has been accepted and paid a commitment deposit. A pre-evaluation and degree sheet is completed for all applicants once an application has been completed. Marymount evaluates transfer credits within established college policies and guidelines. We strongly encourage you to review the catalog regarding the transferability of coursework and the policies that pertain to it.

Transcript evaluators from advising pre-evaluate all applicants, and the Registrar completes final evaluations.

Marymount places no limit on the total number of units a student may accumulate while enrolled. However, most four-year colleges/universities limit the number of units a student may transfer from a two-year college. Therefore, each student is responsible to work closely with his/her academic advisor to establish and complete a program of study at Marymount that will enable the student to accumulate an optimal number of units relative to degree and/or transfer goals.

A student who wishes to completely withdraw from the university must secure a withdrawal form from the Registrar and obtain the specified signatures. The completed form must be returned to the Registrar by the last day of the semester prior to finals week. Only then does the withdrawal become official. Failure to follow the prescribed procedure will result in an “F” for all courses in progress. Please refer to the university catalog for the schedule of refunds.

A student who withdraws from the university during a term will receive grades of “W” for that term’s courses. In keeping with the refund schedule in the catalog, a student who leaves the university during the add/drop period will receive a grade of “W” for all coursework registered. However, grades already recorded (e.g. for half-semester classes) will remain on the transcript. Withdrawal from the university does not relieve the student from any account balance that remains. Please reference the schedule of refunds for refund policy and amounts.