Feb 02, 2023  
Online Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 
Online Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 Archived Catalog

Academic Policies

Policies which apply to the JBU Online Undergraduate Program (OU) are set forth in this section. Additional requirements applicable to specific OU programs are stated in the curricular outlines that appear in the academic programs requirements section of the catalog. OU observes the general academic policies of the university, except as indicated below.

The ultimate responsibility for understanding university policies and meeting all degree requirements rests with the student.

Students Subject to the Catalog Provisions

All students are subject to the provisions of the catalog which was in effect at the time of their first enrollment at John Brown University, with the exception of charges for tuition, etc., which apply only for a specified period of time. If a student leaves JBU and later returns, that student is subject to the catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

Changes in Requirements and Regulations

The university reserves the right to make modifications in policies, procedures, and regulations: e.g., grading system, transfer of credit, guidelines for degree requirements, housing regulations and charges, tuition and fees, and admission standards, and to make such modifications applicable to any or all currently-enrolled students. When modifications occur, sensitivity to reasonable dates of implementation and appropriate categories of currently-enrolled students affected will be exercised. Students will be notified of such changes through their advisor, written notices, and campus publications.

Course Credits

The basic unit of course credit is the semester hour.

Enrollment Status

JBU Online Undergraduate students are considered full-time if enrolled in a total of twelve hours per 16-week semester (online semesters are comprised of two eight-week terms, except summer).


Students are not permitted to enroll in courses for which they have not completed all prerequisites. A prerequisite course must have been completed with an acceptable passing grade before enrollment in the given course is permitted. 

Transfer of Credit

Credit which has been earned at another institution will be reviewed by both the Registrar and the Department Head, and the applicability to courses in the chosen degree program will be determined. Each course accepted for transfer must have a minimum grade of ‘C’. All work completed at previous institutions will be posted as ‘CR’ on the student’s JBU transcript. Thus, only JBU course work will apply toward the student’s grade point average. Credits from institutions which are not regionally accredited may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Currently enrolled students planning to take course work at other institutions must receive prior written approval of their advisor and the Registrar. Official course descriptions of proposed work may be required.

Transfer of Credit into the Major

Some students may previously have completed courses which are deemed equivalent to certain JBU courses. Applicability of credit is determined by the Registrar’s Office, who may establish a maximum number of outside credits to be transferred, depending upon the type of curriculum and the awarding institution.

Articulation Agreements

JBU has established articulation agreements with several area community colleges. Please refer to this web site, www.jbu.edu/admissions/transfers/articulation-agreements/, for further information.

Credit Options

The credit applying toward a degree may include as many as 60 semester hours earned by means of alternative activities, such as credit by exam (30 hours maximum) and credit for prior learning (30 hours maximum) or credit for military training. In addition to taking elective courses, there are several non-traditional credit options available for students to earn credit toward a JBU Online Undergraduate degree, including:

Credit by Examination

Students may earn credit through selected nationally recognized standardized tests. Such tests include the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Dantes Subject Standardized Tests, and certain other tests approved by the American Council on Education (ACE). A maximum of 30 credit hours may be earned by examination.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

The university recognizes that collegiate-level learning may occur outside the college/university classroom and has established specific procedures and policies for evaluating and granting credits for such learning. CPL may be earned only for documented and currently held learning, and is not granted simply for experience. This learning may have resulted from personal study, travel, work experience, workshops and seminars, military training, or other professional or vocational experiences. The guidelines recommended by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning will generally be followed, except where they might conflict with existing policies of the university.

Some classroom-based corporate or military learning experiences have been evaluated for college credit equivalency by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), or other nationally recognized organizations. In these cases, official transcripts or other direct documentation must be provided.

Students in the JBU Online Undergraduate Program are encouraged to develop a portfolio of prior learning. JBU assesses that learning according to standards set by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. Some of these standards are:

  • Credit should be awarded only for learning and not for experience.
  • College credit should be awarded only for college-level learning.
  • Credit should be awarded only for learning that has a balance, appropriate to the subject, between theory and practical application.
  • The determination of competence levels and of credit awards must be made by appropriate subject matter and academic experts.
  • Credit should be appropriate to the academic context in which it is accepted.
  • Credit for Prior Learning provides JBU with a means of assessing learning associated with previous life-learning situations.

Visit with your admissions counselor for more information about non-traditional credit options.

Maximum Experiential Credits

The maximum total credit allowed for vocal and instrumental ensembles toward the requirements of a bachelor’s degree is four hours.

Traditional Courses Taken at JBU

Students who enroll in any JBU classes that are not part of the JBU Online Undergraduate Program will be subject to the policies of the traditional university program (parking privileges, drop/add schedules, registration deadlines, fees, etc.) as appropriate. These policies are found in the JBU Traditional Undergraduate catalog.

Graduate Pathways

John Brown University undergraduate students may begin work on a graduate degree after reaching junior status (60 completed hours) by declaring a Graduate Pathway. Once students declare a Graduate Pathway, their Academic Plan will reflect the courses required, and they will be assigned a graduate advisor in addition to their undergraduate advisor.

John Brown University undergraduate students may receive permission to substitute JBU graduate courses for required or elective courses in an undergraduate degree program and then subsequently count those same courses as fulfilling graduate requirements in a related graduate program that the institution offers. A maximum of 12 graduate hours may apply toward both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. Some graduate courses are offered only online or at our off-campus locations in Rogers and Little Rock. Online graduate courses are 8 weeks in length.

Undergraduate students requesting to take graduate courses must have junior or senior standing, possess a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 or higher. Applicability of specific graduate courses toward undergraduate degree requirements is determined by the respective undergraduate department head. Grade points earned in graduate courses are included in the student’s undergraduate GPA, but courses with grades below the graduate minimum (C for most programs, B- for graduate counseling programs) will not apply toward a graduate degree.

Online undergraduate students pay the graduate tuition rate for their graduate courses.

Declaring a Graduate Pathway does NOT guarantee acceptance into a JBU graduate program. Students still must apply and be accepted for the Graduate program.  Graduate courses taken by undergraduates may or may not be accepted as graduate courses at other institutions. This will be determined by that institution’s policies.

Graduate Credit Toward Undergraduate Degree

John Brown University undergraduate students may receive permission to substitute JBU graduate courses for required or elective courses in an undergraduate degree program and then subsequently count those same courses as fulfilling graduate requirements in a related graduate program that the institution offers. Undergraduate students requesting to take graduate courses must have junior or senior standing, possess a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 or higher, and receive permission from the respective graduate department head. Applicability of specific graduate courses toward undergraduate degree requirements is determined by the respective undergraduate department head. A maximum of 12 graduate hours may apply toward both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. 

Maximum Course Load

To be considered a fulltime student, JBU Online Undergraduate students must complete 12 hours during a semester. However, students are allowed to complete up to 18 hours during one semester (nine hours in the first eight-week term and nine hours in the second eight-week term). Students who have been placed on academic probation will be limited to 12 hours during one semester.

Attendance Requirements

Because of the intensive nature of the curriculum and the participatory structure of course work in these programs, it is imperative that students engage and participate in each week’s activities.

Missing three weeks (3 absences), excused or unexcused, will result in a grade of ‘F’ and restriction of access to the course in Blackboard.

For all classes, students are expected to login to the Blackboard module regularly (at least 3 days a week) to check the announcements and work schedule, and complete all assignments for the week. (The due date for assignments may not be extended for purposes of achieving attendance.)

An absence for online class is defined in two ways (either of which will incur an absence):

  1. not submitting any assigned work for the week;
  2. not demonstrating evidence of reading assigned chapters or viewing assigned videos, tutorials, or other media posted by the professor.

Evidence includes:

  • posting to discussion forums,
  • responding to other students’ posts, and
  • logging in to participate and engage in course materials.

An Excused Absence is defined as an absence that is unforeseen, due to emergency or life threatening situation (required documentation). In cases of excused absences, class work can be submitted for credit, but it still counts as an absence.

  1. Death or serious illness in the immediate family.
  2. Local emergencies requiring immediate attention (examples: tornado damage, flooding, etc.).

Students are responsible for providing written evidence by email to their advisor and instructor with any supporting documentation attached to substantiate “excused absences.”

An Unexcused Absence is defined as an absence that are cannot be documented or for personal reasons. In cases of unexcused absences, class work cannot be submitted for full credit.

  1. Non-emergency medical/work/personal reasons, which cannot be documented. 

Instructors are neither obligated, nor expected to permit a student to make up work missed because of unexcused absences. If a student is allowed to make up such work, full credit may not be allowed.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the professor in advance of any activity that will interfere with class attendance. Such notification must be made using JBU email.

Administrative Withdrawal

Students who have not logged into a course by the second Wednesday of the class will be administratively withdrawn from the course by the Registrar’s Office.

Late Assignments

Students are required to submit all assignments when due (due dates are posted in the course documents). Homework is designed to prepare students for class collaboration and learning. On a case-by-case basis, instructors may accept late work for partial credit at their own discretion. If late work is accepted it is subject to a 10% reduction per day late. Unless there is an extreme emergency or medical event (documentation is required), assignments will not be accepted for credit, if it is not submitted within seven days of the original due date.

Textbooks and Other Course Materials

Students have options for obtaining most books and materials for their courses. As part of the preregistration process, students are given the option to receive materials from the bookstore at JBU, which is operated by Follett Corporation, by purchasing new, used, or renting. Students may also choose to purchase materials from other sources, but are responsible to make sure they have the correct edition of texts. Students with adequate financial aid may be able to obtain their materials from the bookstore using that aid.

Professional Demeanor

Students are expected to display online behavior that is appropriate to a professional program at a Christian university. Online postings and emails require polite behavior; evidenced in font, word use, and grammar that is indicative of college level, professional communication. A professor may remove any postings that are uncivil, defiant, or otherwise disruptive to the learning environment.

Academic Integrity

As a Christian institution of higher education, John Brown University seeks to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Violations of these standards will result in substantial penalties. Violations and their definitions are as follows:

  • Plagiarism: Submitting as part or all of one’s own work material that is copied or paraphrased from another source, including online sources, without the proper acknowledgment of that source. Examples include: failing to cite a reference, failing to use quotation marks where appropriate, misrepresenting another’s work as your own, etc.
  • Cheating: Using unauthorized material or study aids for assistance on examinations or other academic work. Examples include: looking at a peer’s exam, altering a graded exam, using notes without permission, etc.
  • Fabrication: Submitting altered or contrived information in any academic assignment. Examples include: falsifying data, text material, or sources.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: Helping another student violate this policy. Examples include: allowing one’s work to be copied, working together on an assignment where collaboration is not allowed, doing work for another student.

However, the primary responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with this policy rests with the student.

Faculty Action Regarding Violations of Academic Integrity

All violations of the academic integrity policy will be reported to the Dean, who will maintain a file on student offenses.

First offense: In the first case of dishonesty, the faculty member will normally give the student a zero for the assignment or test on which the student has been dishonest. Faculty members are free to impose more severe penalties if such penalties are announced in the course syllabus.

Second offense: A second violation of the integrity policy in the same course or in any other course will result in an “F” in the course.

Third offense: Any further violations of the integrity policy may result in suspension or dismissal from the university.

Grading System

Indication of each student’s progress is reported regularly by instructors. Grades are issued following each term. The grading scale used as a basis for letter grades is established for all courses.

Grade points per semester hour (in effect as of Fall 1999) are determined as follows:

  A Superior Accomplishment 4.0
  A-   3.7
  B+   3.3
  B Commendable Accomplishment 3.0
  B-   2.7
  C+   2.3
  C Satisfactory Accomplishment 2.0
  C-   1.7
  D+   1.3
  D Minimal Accomplishment 1.0
  F Failure 0.0

The following are not included in grade point average:

  I - Incomplete Work S - Satisfactory
  NC - No Credit Earned U - Unsatisfactory
  WP - Withdrew Passing WF - Withdrew, Failing
  W - Withdrew  

Incomplete Grades

In extenuating circumstances, students may be allowed to receive an incomplete (‘I’) grade for a particular course before the last day of class. Students should submit written request by email to their academic advisor, including any and all supporting documentation.

If an Incomplete is granted, the dean of the online undergraduate program will notify the student, their academic advisor, and the instructor.

All remaining course work must be submitted and graded according to arrangements made with the instructor, but no later than 30 days after the last class date. If the student does not complete the work by this deadline, the instructor will assign a grade based on work received, or the grade will convert to ‘F’ automatically.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Students register for courses during the official published registration time periods. Students may not register for courses after the close of the late registration time period. Course registrations and additions completed during the late registration period must have approval from the dean and are subject to a late fee.

If a student wishes to drop a course during a term, the student must notify their advisor before the class start date. The Student Accounts Representative will credit the student’s account for that course’s tuition. The course will not appear on the transcript.

If the student withdraws after the beginning of the first week of classes but prior to the end of the third week of classes, the student will receive a ‘W’ for the course. After this time, the student will not be eligible for a grade of ‘W’; the student will receive the grade earned.

Withdrawal from the university or dropping a course may have implications for student financial aid or veterans’ benefits.

Tuition will be refunded to the student and a grade of ‘W’ or ‘F’ will be posted based on the following schedule:

Drop Notification/Refunds

Drop Notification/Refunds for JBU Online Undergraduate Courses
  Amount of Refund Grade Earned
During the first week of classes 100% refund No Grade
During the second week of classes 80% refund W
During the third week of classes 40% refund W
After the third week of classes No refund Earned Grade

Other non-tuition fees are not refundable. See refund policies for Traditional Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies if enrolling in courses from those programs.

Re-Enrolling in Courses

If a student drops, withdraws, or fails a course, the student will need to contact their advisor to determine when the course is offered again and how to re-enroll in the course. The cost for a repeated course(s) (those for which the student received a ‘W’ or ‘F’) is full tuition.

Auditing Courses

JBU Online Undergraduate students may register for courses on a non-credit or audit basis provided the proper procedure is followed, either at initial registration for the term or by official change of registration prior to the stated deadlines. The names of such students will be entered on the class roll, and the class appears in the student’s academic record, but without credit and with final grade of ‘AU’ for satisfactory completion or ‘U’ for unsatisfactory completion. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain a statement of grading criteria for satisfactory participation from the instructor. Tuition is charged at one half of the rate of for-credit registration and subject to the same regulations.

Grade Point Average

To receive a degree the grade point average of all degree work must be at least 2.0, and in the major at least 2.25.

Residence Requirements

Fulfillment of the residence requirements for a JBU Online Undergraduate bachelor’s degree from John Brown University consists of completion by means of courses taken in residence of at least 36 hours of credit presented in fulfillment of degree requirements. Of those, at least 32 hours must be in the major field of study.

Scholastic Probation & Required Achievement for Continued Enrollment

  1. A student (enrolled in 6 or more hours during a term) with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) less than 2.0 will be placed on probation the following term and will be required to take IDS 1151.
  2. The maximum enrollment per term for any student on scholastic probation is 12 term hours (maximum of 6 hours in Term A and B). Students should understand that such limited enrollment may lengthen the time required to meet graduation requirements.
  3. A student (enrolled in 6 or more hours during a term) whose CGPA is still below 2.0 after being on probation for two successive terms, or a student with less than a 1.0 term GPA, will be suspended unless a petition for re-enrollment is approved by the Associate Registrar.
  4. A student may enroll after one term of academic suspension if a petition is approved by the Associate Registrar.
  5. A student who is permitted to re-enroll after academic suspension may continue to re-enroll if satisfactory progress is being made toward a 2.0 CGPA as determined by the Registrar’s Office.
  6. A student on scholastic probation may remain eligible for some types of financial aid, if standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress are met.

Minimum Total Semester Hours

Completion of any bachelor’s degree at John Brown University requires at least 120 hours of academic credit. Certain programs exceed the minimum.

Sufficient courses must be completed to offset any deficiency in total number of semester hours in addition to all other specific requirements, preferably in an area which will enrich and broaden the student’s acquaintance with the major areas of knowledge.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

In most cases, a maximum of 15 hours may be completed under non-degree status. Permission to take more than 15 hours is subject to approval by the respective Program Director and the Dean. Students enrolled in degree programs have priority over non-degree students in class registrations and on waitlists. Non-Degree seeking students must meet the admissions requirements required for the JBU Online Undergraduate Program in order to register.

Double Major

Students who wish to pursue a second major within the JBU Online Undergraduate Program must complete all unique hours within the second major. Students are allowed to transfer in up to 25% of the second major from another university. Students who wish to complete a second major must do so prior to graduating. Once a student has graduated they cannot add a second major.

Additional Bachelor’s Degrees

For two bachelor’s degrees, a minimum of 150 semester hours must be completed incorporating all requirements for both degrees. A maximum of 30 credits by exam may be included. All other stipulations of the residence requirements apply to the second as well as to the first degree.

Fresh Start Policy

A student who re-enrolls in the university after an absence of seven or more years and completes one full-time semester or term with a 2.0 GPA or higher may request a “Fresh Start” by petitioning the Dean. If the petition is approved, none of the credits earned prior to the absence will be included in the GPA calculation and only those with a ‘C’ or higher may be used to fulfill graduation requirements. In effect, the Fresh Start treats early JBU work as transfer work. After the “Fresh Start” is applied to a student’s transcript, those courses with a ‘C’ or higher will be designated by ‘CR’ and those with a ‘C-’ or lower will be designated by ‘NC’.


Application for Graduation

An Application for Graduation form, available on-line during the preregistration process, should be completed when registering for the final semester or term in residence before completion of degree requirements. This application provides information regarding the graduation fee, exit assessment requirements, and a final check of the student’s name as it is to appear on the diploma and in the commencement program. A graduation application fee will be charged to the student’s account at the time the application for graduation has been submitted.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

Degree candidates may participate in commencement exercises only upon completion of all degree requirements no later than the last day of the semester. Any course work in progress at other institutions must be completed during terms ending no later than one week following JBU commencement.

Students not enrolled at JBU during the semester in which they plan to graduate must contact the Registrar’s Office in writing during the first two weeks of the term, declaring their intention to participate in commencement. Failure to do so may result in the student not being listed in the printed commencement program.

Eligibility to participate in commencement is limited to the commencement at the end of the student’s final semester in attendance or the commencement at the end of the following semester. Furthermore, participation eligibility is dependent upon compliance with all of the deadlines posted on the commencement web site.

Graduation Requirements after Extended Absence

In general, a student is required to graduate under the requirements of a catalog which is current at the time of graduation. Current catalogs are those dated for the year in which a student’s degree is conferred and for the preceding years.

A student who, after an extended absence, desires to complete graduation requirements under a catalog which was in effect while the student was in residence at JBU is subject to the following:

1.  The student must meet the requirements in the major field as listed in a current catalog completing in the five years prior to graduation a minimum of six semester hours in the major field (as approved by the major department).

2.  If general education requirements were completed under the older catalog, the general education requirements of a current catalog are considered met. In areas (biblical studies, social studies, natural science, etc.) where not all general education requirements were completed, current catalog requirements must be met.

3.  A student completing one of the teacher education curricula must meet Arkansas certification requirements in effect at the time of graduation.

4.  All provisions of the residence requirement must be met.

Scholastic Awards

Full-time students attaining certain standards of scholastic achievement are placed on the President’s or Dean’s List of Distinguished Students at the end of each term. To qualify for the Dean’s list, the student must have at least 3.4 term GPA on a minimum of 12 semester hours, and at least 3.8 term GPA for the President’s list.

Degree Honors

Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, each graduate who has attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or above is recognized with an appropriate degree honor. Eligibility is contingent upon completion of at least 60 semester hours of graded course work at John Brown University. Graduation honors are indicated on the diploma and by the wearing of an appropriate medal on the gown during the commencement exercises.

Cum Laude-Grade point average at least 3.6
Magna Cum Laude-Grade point average at least 3.8
Summa Cum Laude-Grade point average at least 3.9

Students who have between 39 and 59 semester hours of graded course work at John Brown University and have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher will graduate “with distinction.” With Distinction honors are indicated on the diploma and by wearing of an appropriate tassel on the cap during the commencement exercises.


An official transcript of a student’s academic record may be obtained by submitting a transcript request form to the Registrar’s Office, provided the student has made satisfactory arrangements with Student Account Services and the Financial Aid Office with respect to financial obligations. Transcripts are not released unless the student grants permission through a signed statement.

The first official transcript is issued without charge; a $5 fee is incurred for each official transcript thereafter.

Official transcripts of academic credits are not released while the student’s account is in arrears. The university engages professional collection agencies to deal with delinquent accounts, as necessary.

Withdrawal from the Program

Students wishing to withdraw from the JBU Online Undergraduate Program must contact their academic advisor to complete the withdrawal process.

Academic Grievance Process

To file a complaint about a faculty person (the way he/she conducts class, lack of objectivity in grading, etc.) students should follow the process outlined below:

  1. Discuss the specific complaint and the desired resolution with the faculty person. 

  2. If talking to the faculty person fails to bring resolution, you may meet/discuss with the Department Head and present a concise, well-thought-out, written statement of the problem and the desired resolution. 

  3. The Department Head will offer to meet with you and the accused faculty person by phone or online. If you are unwilling to attend such a meeting, your complaint will be considered dropped. If you consent to the meeting, then the Department Head will be responsible for documenting the proceedings and the outcome in writing. 

  4. The accused faculty person or you may request a second meeting within seven days to which both the faculty person and you, within the limits set by the Department Head, may invite colleagues and students. The Department Head, at their discretion, may request the presence of the Dean of the JBU Online Undergraduate Program. 

  5. If the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of either party, a written appeal may be made to the Vice President of Academic Affairs who is empowered to make the final decision. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will respond with a final decision in writing to those involved. 

Appeal Procedure

A student who can provide specific reasons that he/she has been unjustly accused may appeal to the Dean by sending an email including a well-written appeal letter with specific facts and any documentation available. All appeal decisions from the Dean are final.