Undergraduate Policies

For additional academic policies, please consult the Undergraduate Course Catalog 2014-15, the Undergraduate Program Course Catalog 2015-2016 Academic Department Addendum, and The Simmons Plan Handbook.

Transfer of Credit
Academic Year

Under limited special circumstances, a regularly enrolled undergraduate Simmons student may obtain credit for, at most, one course taken at another college during a regular academic semester if a petition naming the course, institution, and amount of credit requested is approved in advance by the Administrative Board. The student must demonstrate to the Board that the course is unavailable at Simmons and is an important part of her program.

In addition to the petition to the Administrative Board, the student must also complete a Petition for Transfer Credit. Both forms are available in the Office of the Registrar. Such a course is included in the credit restriction listed under "Heavy Academic Programs". Credit is not transferred for any course completed with a grade of less than C. In some disciplines such as nursing, a grade of C+ is required. Grades received in these courses are not included in the GPA. If the student is a financial aid recipient, she should discuss the impact of this decision on her financial aid package for that semester with a financial aid counselor.

Summer Credit

Before enrolling in summer courses at institutions other than Simmons, students are required to complete the Petition for Transfer Credit form in the Office of the Registrar. When considering a summer school course for transfer credit, the following guidelines must be observed:

  • No credit is given for work done in a summer session lasting less than three weeks.
  • Credit granted will never exceed the face-value credit assigned by the host institution.
  • For a summer session of five weeks or less, face-value credit not exceeding one semester hour per week of the session will be granted. For example: A student who enrolls in two three-credit courses in one five-week session will receive a maximum of five transfer credits.
  • In a summer session of six to eight consecutive calendar weeks, face-value credit not exceeding eight semester hours will be granted.
  • No more than 16 semester hours of summer school credit from other institutions may be credited toward the Simmons degree. This includes summer credit completed at other institutions prior to matriculating at Simmons. A maximum of 16 semester hours of credit may be earned in one summer, regardless of whether the courses are taken at Simmons or at another institution.
  • The lowest grade accepted for transfer credit is C. Credit for a course taken elsewhere with a grade of P can transfer if the instructor from the institution is willing to convert the Pass Grade t a letter grade.
  • Quarter-hour credits transfer as two-thirds of a semester hour.
  • The Simmons University basic writing requirement, math competency requirement, and independent learning may not be met by a summer school course.
  • Courses to fulfill a mode must be indicated on the Petition for Transfer Credit form and a course description must be provided. Summer courses to be considered for the language requirement or major must receive prior approval from the appropriate department chairperson. Attach a course description to the Petition for Transfer credit.
  • Grades for course work accepted as transfer credit are not factored into the Simmons grade point average. Credit only is listed on the transcript.
  • Petitions submitted without the required signatures, course information, exact beginning and ending dates and credit hours cannot be processed and will be returned the student for proper completion. Students with questions about these policies or the interpretation of credit should consult the personnel in the Registrar's Office.
Adding and Dropping Courses
Dropping Courses

An undergraduate student may drop one or more courses after registration and until the Friday of the eighth week of classes by completing the add/drop form available in the Office of the Registrar and having the form signed by her advisor. The Friday of the eighth week of classes is the final date for withdrawing from a course for the fall and spring semesters. Reference the academic calendar for add and drop dates. In the event that a student drops a course after the fourth week of classes, she must also have the form signed by her instructor. A "W" will appear on the student's transcript for all courses dropped after the fourth week. All add/drop forms must be returned to the Office of the Registrar to make the change official. Any student wishing to withdraw from a course after the eighth week of classes must petition the Administrative Board. Only petitions that contain medical verification from the Simmons University Health Center or those that outline unusual circumstances beyond the student's control will be approved. Students who wish to drop a course should review the refund policy carefully and meet with their financial aid counselor before dropping a course.

Dropping a course may affect a student's financial aid (loans) and merit funds (scholarships and assistantships) status. U.S. students must be enrolled at least half time to receive federal loans and usually full time for scholarships and assistantships. International students (non U.S. citizens) must maintain full-time enrollment to remain in status for immigration purposes. Before dropping any course, international students must consult with the international student advisor in the Office of Student Affairs.

Once enrolled in a course, a student is considered to be in that course until such time as she changes her registration in the Office of the Registrar. A student who fails to attend a course from which she has not officially withdrawn receives a grade of "F."

Adding Courses

An undergraduate student may add courses after registration until the end of the fourth week of classes with the instructor's permission. No student will be permitted to add a course after the fourth week of classes except under exceptional circumstances as granted by the Administrative Board. During the first two weeks, a student may add a course, provided she completes an add/drop form and obtains the approval of her faculty advisor. If a student wishes to add a course during the third and fourth weeks of classes, she must complete the proper form and obtain the approval signatures of both the instructor and her faculty advisor.

Heavy Academic Programs

Heavy academic programs are considered to be those in which the student carries more than 20 semester hours of credit per semester. In order to carry 20 semester hours of credits, students must be in "good standing". Undergraduate students wishing to take more than 20 semester hours of credit are required to have the Administrative Board's approval before registering. Students must submit a petition with the recommendation or comments of their advisor or chairperson of their major department to make this request. Completed petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

First-semester students with one or more failing evaluations during the previous semester, and students on probation or removed from degree candidacy may not carry more than 16 hours per semester.

Undergraduate Course Attendance Policy

Because there is a strong positive relationship between class attendance and success in the classroom, Simmons undergraduate students are expected to attend all classes and are responsible for the work associated with all class meetings. Students should consult with their instructor as early as possible upon learning they may miss class time.*

At the beginning of each semester, instructors are encouraged to provide students with written guidelines on their attendance policy and possible grading penalties for failure to attend class or for late arrival to class. Simmons University policies adhere to federal and state regulations on absences due to religious observance, jury duty, military service, and other governmental obligations.

Students are responsible for informing their instructors in advance of absence or tardiness.

  • The Office of Student Affairs, Counseling Center, and Health Center do not provide students with notes excusing them from class or other academic obligations. (Students' healthcare providers may provide them with documentation of illness.)
  • Students who expect to be absent from class should notify their instructors in advance.
  • Students missing more than the maximum allotted classes may not be able to complete the course and may be encouraged or required to withdraw.*
  • Students absent from class for two or more days due to illness should seek medical care. If a medical provider recommends an alteration to a student's schedule or a change in activities as part of a treatment plan, the student should inform their instructors and advisor immediately. Students may be asked to provide the Office of Student Affairs written documentation (in adherence with federal and state privacy and public health regulations) from the appropriate health care provider.
  • Athletes and students involved in other official Simmons games/meets or co-curricular activities should inform their instructors of potential conflicts between scheduled classes and scheduled programs or athletic contests at the start of each semester. The faculty member has sole discretion to allow an absence due to an event in conflict with class or lab time, including Simmons-sanctioned and outside events or commitments.
  • Scheduled classes have priority when in conflict with the out-of-class exam or other activity scheduled for another course.

*Students should consult program-specific handbooks for additional policies, including those on placement and practicum attendance.

Participation in Commencement

Undergraduate students who are within eight semester hours of completing their baccalaureate degree may petition to participate in the May Commencement ceremony. The following rules apply:

  • Students must be within two courses of degree completion.
  • Students who wish to participate in Commencement must complete a Petition to Participate in Commencement, available from the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students who complete their work at institutions other than Simmons must complete the official transfer of credit petition, obtain the necessary signatures, and make certain that their official transcript reaches the Simmons University registrar before their official conferral date. Degree conferral dates are the third Friday of August, third Friday of October, third Friday of January and the third Friday in May.
  • Degrees completed over the summer will be awarded in August or October.
  • Students who do not complete their work over the summer months must apply for a leave of absence no later than September 15.