Jun 15, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023 
Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023 Archived Catalog

Academic Policies

Policies which apply to all JBU undergraduate programs are set forth in this section. Requirements applicable to specific degree programs are stated in the curricular outlines which appear in the academic program sections of the catalog.

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. Students may change to a later catalog with approval of their advisor and college dean or department chair.

On-campus students must complete a change of catalog form found online. Students may submit a change of catalog form until they have completed 75 hours. After that point, no further catalog changes will be permitted except in case of extended absence, as described in Graduation Requirements after Extended Absence.

On-campus students who leave JBU but return within five years will return under their same catalog. Returning after a five year period requires entry under the current catalog at that time.

Students in the online program are automatically subject to the current catalog when a change of major form is submitted. Students may remain in their current major but change to a future catalog with advisor and associate registrar approval on the change of major form. Online students who leave JBU online undergraduate studies but later return will be evaluated individually for the appropriate entry catalog by the associate registrar. Those who have been out for more than five years will be required to enter under the current catalog.

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 the advisors, written notices, and campus publications.

Academic Year

John Brown University’s school year for on-campus students comprises two semesters–fall and spring. Each semester consists of 73 days of instruction followed by a four-day examination period. In addition to the fall and spring semesters, on-campus students may also take online courses during the summer semester.

For online students, the school year consists of three semesters–fall, spring, and summer. Each semester is divided into two terms, A & B, each consisting of 8 weeks in the fall and spring and 7 weeks in the summer.

Commencement exercises follow each fall and spring semester, scheduled on the Saturday after the on-campus final examination week.

Course Credits

The basic unit of course credit is the semester hour.

One semester hour of credit, for on-campus course work, normally represents participation by the student in the activities of one fifty-minute class period per week for 15 weeks together with adequate preparation through the use of approximately two hours outside of class for each period in class. Where additional supervised time is required such as for laboratories or listening sessions, an extended period of two to three hours may replace one regular class period. One hour of practicum credit requires weekly involvement of three to five hours, depending on the nature of the assignment.

For online course work, one semester hour of credit represents the amount of work required to achieve a reasonable approximation of the student learning outcomes that can be addressed in the context of the equivalent on-campus course.

Email Communications

Any and all email communications for university related matters between students and JBU faculty or staff should use official JBU email accounts.

Enrollment Status

A full-time on-campus student is one who is enrolled for 12 or more hours per semester.

Online undergraduate students are considered full-time if enrolled in 6 hours per eight week term, for a total of twelve hours per 16-week semester.

Classification of Students

All students are classified as a sophomore when at least 30 semester hours of course work have been successfully completed; junior-60 hours; senior-90 hours. 

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 department chair and the associate vice president for academic administration. Students enrolled in degree programs have priority over non-degree students in class registrations and on waitlists.

On-Campus non-degree seeking students must meet the admissions requirements required for JBU On-Campus Undergraduate Programs in order to register. Such students may enroll for no more than 11 hours per semester, and credit earned may count toward a degree only after students reapply and are accepted for admission under regular student status.

Online non-degree seeking students must meet the admissions requirements required for JBU Online Undergraduate Programs in order to register.

Academic Advising

All undergraduate students are assigned an academic advisor. Students who are enrolled on campus as undeclared are advised by an advisor who works solely with undeclared students until such time as the student declares a major. Students are responsible for conferring with their advisor for schedule planning each term as well as for determining a graduation plan and other major-related issues. 

Advisors will help guide students in planning, but are not responsible for students’ meeting graduation requirements. This responsibility lies with each individual student.

Availability of Courses

Accompanying the description of each course is an indication of the semester in which the course is to be offered. This data is subject to occasional modification. Accordingly, the university reserves the right to withdraw, with reasonable notice, any course offering for a particular semester.

Required Enrollment in Specific Core Curriculum Courses

All new on-campus students must complete COR 1002  Gateway Seminar in Community, Calling, and Faithful learning during their first semester of attendance.

Online students must complete COR 1103  Orientation to Learning during their first 8-week term. 

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Students are not permitted to enroll for 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. A corequisite is a course in which a student must be enrolled and satisfactorily participating simultaneously to the given course. The instructor of a course can waive a prerequisite for a specific student. 

Online Courses taken by On-Campus Students

Online courses are offered to on-campus undergraduate students through the JBU Online Undergraduate Program. Each course is either seven or eight weeks, with assignments due weekly. The student will pay all on-campus undergraduate per-credit tuition charges for online courses. If the courses fall in the standard 12-18 hours of an on-campus student, there is no additional charge. Only one 3-hour course is permitted per eight-week term (two classes per semester in different terms) and registration for online courses is subject to available seating.

Students may not add these courses on or after the first day of class due to the compressed nature. Students may drop the course until the last day of the third week of class. After that, the student will receive the grade earned in the course.

To take an online class, the student must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher and must be taking a minimum of 9 hours on-campus classes, unless special permission is granted by the registrar.

Students in their first semester at JBU cannot enroll in online classes.

On-campus Courses taken by Online Students

Online students who enroll in any JBU classes that are not part of the JBU Online Undergraduate Program will be subject to all requirements of the on-campus policies (i.e., add/drop schedules, registration deadlines, fees, etc.) as appropriate. Online students taking an on-campus class will be charged their normal per credit hour rate for the class. 

Maximum Course Load

The normal maximum semester load is 18 credit hours for on-campus students, but the student’s grade point average affects the limit for the next semester. A full-time student who has a 3.0 cumulative GPA at JBU will be permitted to enroll for an increased load. First-time freshmen students are limited to a maximum of 18 hours during their first semester.

On-campus students enrolling for any credit hours beyond 18 in a semester will incur additional tuition charges at one-half the regular per-hour rate, regardless of prior grade point average. Enrollment for more than 21 hours is permitted only upon approval of a petition to the dean of academic services. On-campus students may take up to six credit hours in a summer term. A student whose grade point average for the previous semester was 3.25 or better may petition to enroll for additional hours.


Next Semester Max for On-Campus

Cum below 2.0 (Academic Probation)

15 semester hours

Cum 2.0 to 2.99

18 hours

Cum 3.0 to 3.24

19 semester hours

Cum 3.25 to 3.49

20 semester hours

Cum 3.5 or better

21 semester hours

The normal semester load for online students is 12 hours (6 per term). This is considered full-time.

Online students are allowed to take up to 18 hours per semester but not more than that due to the compressed nature of the online courses. Online students who have been placed on academic probation will be limited to 13 hours in one semester (maximum 6 hours per term). 


Next Semester Max for Online

Cum below 2.0 (Academic Probation)

13 semester hours

Cum 2.0 to 3.49

15 semester hours

Cum 3.5 or better

18 semester hours

Residence Requirements

See Bachelors Degree for information.  

Maximum Experiential Credits

The maximum total credit allowed for vocal and instrumental ensembles toward the requirements of a bachelor’s degree is twelve hours for music majors and four hours for non-music majors; two hours may apply to associate’s degrees. 

Auditing Courses

Students may register for courses as an ‘audit’ with instructor approval, either at initial registration for the term or by official change of registration prior to the stated deadlines referenced below.

Online students must also notify their advisor when adding, changing, or dropping an audit course.

The student’s name will be entered on the class roll, and the class will appear in the student’s academic record, but without credit and with a 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 registrations and subject to the same regulations.  

The last day to add a course under ‘audit’ status and the last day to change a course from ‘audit’ to ‘credit’ status is the last day to add a course. The last day to change from ‘credit’ to ‘audit’ status is the last day to drop a course. Specific dates are provided on the JBU university calendar. Students auditing a class may be asked to drop if the seat is needed for a student who requires the class for credit.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Courses for on-campus students may be added after initial registration, provided the procedure is completed by the close of the second week of classes. Courses dropped by the approved procedure before the end of the eighth week of classes will not appear on the permanent record. Non-completion of a course thereafter will result in a letter grade based upon the student’s performance relative to the required work for the complete course.

On-campus students may not add online courses on or after the first day of the online class due to the compressed nature. Students may drop online courses until the last day of the third week of the online class. After that, the student will receive the grade earned in the course.

Online 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 associate registrar and are subject to a late fee.

If an online 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 (see Adjustment of Accounts). The course will not appear on the transcript. 

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

Transfer Credit

Credit which has been earned at another institution will be reviewed by both the registrar and the department chair, 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. Transfer credits from international affiliated institutions are evaluated on a case by case basis. John Brown University accepts credit from institutions accredited by accreditation bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.

Currently enrolled on-campus students planning to take course work at other institutions must receive prior approval from the major advisor and the registrar on this form. Official course descriptions of proposed work are required.

Online students must complete a transfer of credit approval form that should be submitted to the associate registrar for approval or denial.

Credit Options

On-campus students may apply as many as 30 credit hours earned also as credit by exam, credit for prior learning, or credit for military training.

The credit applying toward a degree for online students may include as many as 60 credit 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 all students to earn credit toward a JBU 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, ALTALang (for languages not covered by CLEP), and certain other tests approved by the American Council on Education (ACE). A maximum of 30 credit hours may be earned by examination. CLEP and DSST (Dantes Subject Standardized Tests) must be completed before you begin your last semester at JBU.

If a departmental course equivalency exam exists for a course in an on-campus major, qualified students may earn credit by passing the examination with a grade of ‘B’ or better. Students interested in taking the equivalency exam should obtain a departmental course equivalency exam request form from the Registrar’s Office, obtain department chair approval (in which the course is offered) for taking the equivalency exam, pay the exam fee in the cashier’s office, and then schedule the exam with that department chair. The form should be turned in to the Registrar’s Office by the department chair. Where appropriate, credit for the course will be added to the transcript with a grade of CE (credit by examination). No fee, other than the initial equivalency exam fee, must be paid to receive institutional credit.

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. Students 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. Applicants should contact their admissions counselor, and enrolled students should contact their advisor for more information about non-traditional credit options. 

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 should develop a portfolio of prior learning and a JBU assessment is conducted as stated above. 

Independent Study

Independent study courses are those in which students do not meet in a typical classroom setting but study independently under the regular supervision of a full-time faculty member. The topic of study may be an area of special interest normally outside of the existing curriculum. A student must complete an application for Independent Study form that is available through the Registrar’s Office. Approval must be provided by the professor supervising the independent study and the dean from the college in which the course resides.

Only students who are in good standing academically (2.0 or higher cumulative GPA) and have no current incompletes on their record may take an Independent Study. Only one Independent Study per term is allowed.

A non-refundable fee of $145 per hour will be charged to the student. In some special circumstances, the college dean may waive the fee. The student will pay all normal per-credit tuition charges for hours below 12 or above 18 hours. Students in the online program require permission in advance, from the associate vice president for academic administration, to take an independent study.

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, in lieu of declaring an Accelerated Master’s Program. The same requirements apply: 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 chair. Graduate courses must have been taken at JBU or through a JBU approved study abroad program. Applicability of specific graduate courses toward undergraduate degree requirements is determined by the respective undergraduate department chair. Graduate minimum grade requirements are ‘C’ for most programs, and ‘B-’ for graduate counseling programs. A maximum of 12 graduate hours may apply toward both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. 

Accelerated Master’s Program

John Brown University undergraduate students may begin work on a graduate degree after reaching junior status (60 completed hours) by declaring an Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP). Once students declare an Accelerated Master’s Program, 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. Graduate courses must be taken at JBU. Some graduate courses are offered only online or at JBU’s off-campus locations in Rogers and Little Rock. Online graduate courses are either 8 or 16 weeks in length.

Undergraduate students requesting to take graduate courses must have junior or senior standing and 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 chair. 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.

On-campus undergraduate students pay the undergraduate tuition rate for their graduate courses. If the courses fall in the standard 12-18 hours of an on-campus student, there is no additional charge. If the course puts the on-campus student above 18 hours, the student will pay overload tuition (see Cost of Attendance ).

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

Declaring an AMP 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.

International Baccalaureate Program

Credit is awarded for higher level international baccalaureate (IB) courses accompanied by scores of five or above on the respective IB exams. JBU course equivalences and the number of credit hours awarded are determined upon evaluation of the IB work by the associate registrar.

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.

Correspondence and Extension Work

For a bachelor’s degree, a maximum of 30 hours of degree credit may be earned through correspondence and extension work. For an associate’s degree, a maximum of 15 hours of credit may be earned. Each course must include a proctored exam and must be approved in advance by the major advisor and registrar. Online students submit this approval form and students on campus complete this approval form.

Grading System

Indication of each student’s progress is reported regularly by instructors. The following grading system is used for all courses.

Grade points per credit 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:

CR - Transfer credit
I - Incomplete work
S - Satisfactory
U - Unsatisfactory
NC - No credit earned
WP - Withdrew, passing
WF - Withdrew, failing
W - Withdrew

Syllabi for on-campus undergraduate courses should specify the specific grading scale used to determine the letter grade earned. Online undergraduate courses all use the following grading scale.

Grading scale for online undergraduate courses:

 Percentage   Letter Grade
93 - 100 A
90 - 92.99  A-
87 - 89.99  B+
83 - 86.99 B
80 - 82.99  B-
77 - 79.99  C+
73 - 76.99 C
70 - 72.99  C-
67 - 69.99  D+
60 - 66.99 D
0 - 59.99 F

Incomplete Grades

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

An ‘I’ grade must be made up within a time frame established by the instructor but no more than 30 days after the last day of the term.

Upon completion of the course work, the instructor will notify the Registrar’s Office to replace the ‘I’ grade with the earned grade. 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.

If warranted, the instructor may request an extension date for the incomplete grade from the dean of academic services.

Internship Grading

Internships and practicums may be evaluated using standard letter grades. However, because of the subjective nature of the experiences, grades of ‘S’ or ‘U’ normally are assigned. Credit hours accrue in either case.

Grade Renewal

A student may repeat any course on his or her academic record with prior approval of the department and the registrar, with the understanding that all courses and grades will remain on the permanent record. However, only one taking of the course may contribute hours to the total for graduation, and only the highest grade received will be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative grade point average. If the student receives permission and renews a grade by means of transferring an equivalent course from another institution, the completed course is posted with a grade of ‘CR’, and any prior attempts are excluded from graduation hours and the grade point average.

Withdraw Policy

A student may petition for permission to withdraw from all course work for a semester after the last date to drop a course. Such a petition should be directed to the Dean of Academic Services. Every student withdrawing from the university before the end of a semester is required to submit an application for withdrawal, have it properly signed by the necessary officials and return it to the Registrar’s Office. Failure to execute such an application may result in refusal to grant any possible adjustment to the student and will result in the student being assigned the grade earned in the course.

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

In the event of withdrawal from school, courses are posted on the transcript with each showing a grade of ‘WP’ (withdrew, passing) or ‘WF’ (withdrew, failing). No credit is earned for the term.

Adjustment of Accounts

On-Campus Students

Students in on-campus programs withdrawing from the university may be entitled to an adjustment of tuition, course fees, and music lesson fees. Adjustments for on-campus students in traditional 15-16 week on-campus courses, and for on-campus students in 7-8 week online courses are according to the following schedule:

During the first week of the term  100% adjustment
During the second week of the term  80% adjustment
During the third week of the term  60% adjustment
During the fourth week of the term  40% adjustment
During the fifth week of the term  20% adjustment
After the fifth week of the term  No adjustment

Room and board will be pro-rated weekly over 16 weeks per semester.

Non-course fees will not be adjusted after classes have begun.

In the event of medical withdrawal prescribed by a physician, special consideration may be given to tuition adjustment. Refer to the Medical Leave Policy.

Online Students

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

During the first week of classes  100% adjustment  No grade
During the second week of classes  80% adjustment  W
During the third week of classes  40% adjustment  W
After the third week of classes  No adjustment  Earned grade

In the event of medical withdrawal prescribed by a physician, special consideration may be given to tuition adjustment. Refer to the Medical Leave Policy.

For all students, other non-tuition fees are not refundable. See adjustment policies for on-campus undergraduate programs (above) and graduate programs in the graduate catalog if enrolling in courses from those programs.

Late Enrollment

Any on-campus student who enrolls after the close of the regular registration period may be subject to limitations in the course load. No student is permitted to enroll for the semester after the end of the tenth day of classes.

For online students, registration is closed the Wednesday before the first class date of each term.

Inclement Weather Policy

The main campus of John Brown University rarely cancels classes due to inclement weather, even on days when local schools may be closed. With the majority of our students living on campus, JBU strives to maintain academic continuity and quality as much as possible. However, we recognize that weather conditions may occasionally prevent instructors and off-campus students from safely traveling to campus.

Tier 1 Details - In effect at all times unless Tier 2 is declared by administration

If an instructor is unable to make it to campus, they should notify students and their college dean by email whether their classes will be held remotely or cancelled. They should also post an announcement in the course Blackboard site and have someone post a notice in their classrooms. If an off-campus student is unable to make it to campus, they should notify their instructor, and the instructor should make reasonable accommodations. Instructors are encouraged to make a Zoom link available for remote participation if the scheduled class is conducive to a remote format.

For graduate courses at locations other than the main campus, any closures will typically be announced on the Crisis Alert System (CAS) and social media by 2 pm on the date of inclement weather. Instructors and students should also follow the previous procedures as appropriate if safe travel is impossible.

Inclement weather should generally not impact online courses, though related power outages may limit access to the internet. In those situations, instructors and students should communicate with each other and make reasonable accommodations.

Tier 2 Details - Only in effect if declared by administration

In some rare situations, extreme weather may require that all in person classes go remote. If this is the case, the university will make a general announcement to that effect through multiple communication channels, e.g., email, social media, Crisis Alert System (CAS). Instructors should then follow up with students about details for their classes.

Attendance Requirements

A student must be registered for a class and on the official roster in order to attend. This includes students who are attending under audit status. Attendance at and participation in all class sessions is regarded as essential, except for times when students are absent for reasons beyond their control. Class activities are planned for the benefit of all students. 

Because of the intensive nature of the curriculum and the participatory structure of course work in online courses, it is imperative that students attend every scheduled class and participate in each week’s activity for courses delivered online.

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

Online courses will continue as scheduled regardless of weather.

Late Assignment Policy

All students are expected to submit all assignments when due. 

For on-campus courses, instructors may develop their own late policies which should be specified in the syllabus.

For online courses, the following late policy applies. Due dates are posted in the course syllabus. 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 they are not submitted within seven days of the original due date. 

Classroom Etiquette

Students are expected to be respectful of the learning process, their instructors, and their fellow students, both in person and online. Faculty members have the authority to manage their classrooms and learning environment to ensure these expectations are met. 

Results of Failure to Attend Class

A grade of ‘F’ is given for any course in which a student has missed half or more of the class meetings, whether the absences are excused or unexcused, unless the student has completed withdrawal from the class before the stated deadline. An absence is recorded for each class missed by a student, including the first meeting of a class following registration, regardless of the reason for the absence.

In 8-week or shorter online courses, three absences, excused or unexcused, will result in a grade of ‘F’.

An absence for an 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.

In all instances, the responsibility for attending class rests with the student (logging in is NOT considered attendance).

An Excused Absence

Students will be allowed to make up for full credit work missed because of an excused absence. In cases of Excused absences for online classes, class work can be submitted for credit, but it still counts as an absence. Under the following circumstances an absence will be excused:

  1. Death or serious illness in the immediate family.
  2. Participation in intercollegiate athletic events.
  3. Class field trips which are required as class assignments*.
  4. Club trips which are designated as educational in nature*.
  5. Trips sponsored or sanctioned by the university authorities as university business.
  6. Trips required by Armed Services or the Veterans Administration.
  7. Local emergencies requiring the immediate attention of certain students (i.e. tornado damage, flooding, etc.).
  8. Jury duty.
  9. Other reasons which are acceptable to the instructor.

* Professors and club sponsors must propose educational trips to the associate vice president for academic administration for approval as excused absences. Educational trips should be planned in such a way as to minimize potential conflicts with other classes as much as possible.

Absence due to illness of the student does not necessarily qualify as excused. Each instructor has the prerogative to establish policy on this issue. The policy is to be clearly stated in the syllabus. Other absences are considered unexcused.

Procedure for Excused Absences

 Although the instructor is obligated to allow the student to make up for full credit work missed because of an excused absence, such credit must be established through the initiative of the student in accomplishing the work to the full satisfaction of the instructor. Prior notice is expected for any known activities which will interfere with class attendance.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the professor in advance of any activity in another class that will interfere with class attendance. Such notification must be made in a manner consistent with the stated expectations in the professor’s course syllabus. 

An Unexcused Absence

An unexcused absence is defined as an absence that cannot be documented or that is for personal reasons, such as work or non-emergency medical procedures. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the professor in advance of any activity that will interfere with class attendance.

Faculty are neither obligated nor expected to permit a student to make up work missed because of unexcused absences, including unexcused absences for which no penalty is assessed in accordance with the attendance policy. If a student is allowed to make up such work, full credit may not be allowed.

The number of unexcused absences in a course may be used as a factor in determining a student’s grade. It is the obligation of the instructor to explain the policy at the beginning of the course. If the student attends more than half of the class meetings and thus is eligible for credit, the attendance factor may not exceed 25% of the total grade basis in the course.

Non-Attendance Resulting in Withdrawal

Except in cases of extenuating circumstances, students who do not attend any class for ten consecutive days may be withdrawn from John Brown University for non-attendance. It is the responsibility of the student to contact instructors, advisor, the registrar, Student Accounts Services, and Financial Aid if extenuating circumstances exist.

Courses taken by on-campus students will not be recorded if the withdrawal occurs before the eighth week of the semester. Students will have a grade of ‘WP’ (withdrawn, passing) or ‘WF’ (withdrawn, failing) recorded if they are withdrawn after the seventh week of the semester. 

Online students are administratively withdrawn if they have not logged in to Blackboard by the second Wednesday of class.

If an online student is withdrawn 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 receive a grade of ‘WP’ (withdrawn, passing) or ‘WF’ (withdrawn, failing).

Chapel Attendance

Chapel is an essential part of fulfilling John Brown University’s basic mission of providing a “Christ-centered higher education” and therefore, attendance is a requirement for all on-campus students (see Student Handbook). The purpose of chapel is to gather the university family in the context of worship to better know, love, and glorify God, to gain His perspective on our learning, and to grow together as a Christ-centered community while committing ourselves to serving in the world as Jesus’ disciples. Chapel is not a replacement for participation in a local church, and students are encouraged to find a home church while at JBU. Students are also encouraged to take part in the various ministry and discipleship opportunities provided through the university Student Ministries Office.

Online students are welcome to attend chapel. Attendance is not a requirement of the online program however chapel is open to all who wish to participate. Chapel, livestream if available or past chapel services, can be viewed at: https://auth.eaglenet.jbu.edu/CampusMedia.

Academic Integrity Policy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fabrication: Submitting altered or contrived information in any academic assignment. Examples include: falsifying data, text material, or sources.
  4. 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 associate vice president for academic administration, 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.


A student who feels that he or she has been unfairly accused or unjustly treated may appeal to the associate vice president for academic administration by sending an email including a well-written appeal letter with specific facts and any documentation available.

Academic Probation

On-Campus Students:

  1. A full-time student with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) less than 2.0 will be placed on probation the following semester.
  2. The maximum enrollment per semester for any student on academic probation is 15 credit hours. Students should understand that such limited enrollment may lengthen the time required to meet graduation requirements.
  3. A student whose CGPA is still below 2.0 after being on probation for two successive terms, or a student with less than a 1.0 semester GPA, will be suspended unless a petition for re-enrollment is approved by the Committee on Scholastic Petitions.
  4. A student may enroll after one semester of academic suspension if a petition is approved by the Committee on Scholastic Petitions.
  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 Committee on Scholastic Petitions.
  6. A student on Academic Probation may remain eligible for some types of financial aid, if standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress are met.

Online Students:

  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 semester for any student on academic probation is 12 credit 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 semester 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 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 academic probation may remain eligible for some types of financial aid, if standards for satisfactory academic progress are met.

Academic Grievance Process

This process applies to alleged violations of student’s rights such as unequal treatment, violation of grading procedures as stated in the course syllabus, disagreements over assigned course grade, disagreements over accommodations given, or other academic matters.

  • Student complaints about a faculty person should be discussed first with that faculty person.
  • If talking with the faculty person fails to bring resolution, the student may meet with the appropriate college dean and present a concise, well thought out, written statement of the problem and the desired resolution.
  • The college dean will offer to meet with the student and the faculty person in question. If the student is unwilling to attend such a meeting, the college dean is at liberty to dismiss the complaint at that point. If the student consents to the meeting, then the college dean will be responsible for documenting the proceedings and outcome of the meeting in writing.
  • The accused faculty person or the aggrieved student may request a second meeting within seven days to which both the faculty person and the student, within limits set by the college dean, may invite colleagues and students. Written documentation of the proceedings and outcome of this second meeting is the college dean’s responsibility as well.
  • If the problem is still not resolved to the satisfaction of either party, an appeal may be made to the associate vice president for academic administration.

Academic Appeal Process

Occasionally a student may wish to appeal an academic action such as a graduation requirement or a withdrawal penalty. Such appeals should be made in writing to the associate vice president for academic administration. In most cases, the student should first request the support of their academic advisor, department chair, or college dean. 

Scholastic Awards

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

Degree Honors

Upon completion of the associate’s or 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 credit 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-cumulative grade point average at least 3.6
Magna Cum Laude-cumulative grade point average at least 3.8
Summa Cum Laude-cumulative grade point average at least 3.9

Students who have between 39 and 59 credit 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.

University Honors Degree

Each student who has successfully completed twenty-one hours of honors courses and maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 (or a cumulative Honors GPA of 3.75), as outlined under Honors Scholars Program, will be granted a diploma certifying that they have earned a University Honors Degree. Such graduates will be awarded stoles and identified in the commencement program.

Graduation and Commencement

An application for graduation form is provided as part of the online pre-registration process for students registering for their final semester 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. For on-campus students, if grades for the transfer work will not be reported at least five weeks prior to commencement, the student must obtain a Commencement Participation Approval form from the associate registrar.

Students may petition the associate vice president for academic administration for permission to participate in commencement with courses pending as long as they have a plan to complete any pending course work within a few months of commencement. Students enrolled at JBU who complete their degree during their final term of attendance are only eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony held at the end of that semester.

Any student 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 semester, declaring their intention to participate in commencement. Failure to do so may result in the student not being listed in the commencement program. Furthermore, participation eligibility is dependent upon compliance with all of the deadlines posted on the JBU 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 four 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 credit 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. Otherwise, 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.

Fresh Start Policy

A student who re-enrolls in the university after an absence of seven or more years and completes one full-time term or term with a 2.0 GPA or higher may request a “Fresh Start” by petitioning the associate vice president for academic administration. This petition must be made within one term following the first term in which a 2.0 or greater is earned. 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’. 

Transcript Request

An official transcript of a student’s academic record may be obtained by submitting a request through the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) at https://tsorder.studentclearinghouse.org/school/ficecode/00110000. The request will be processed provided the student has made satisfactory arrangements with the Business and Financial Aid Offices with respect to financial obligations. Payment is made at the time the student submits the transcript request through the NSC website above.

FERPA Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) extends to all former and presently enrolled students at John Brown University the right of access to certain educational records maintained by the institution. Student rights include (a) inspection and review, (b) explanation or interpretation of contents, (c) duplication of the record at a standard fee, and (d) a formal hearing, if necessary, to challenge the contents of any such record.

“Educational records” include those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by this institution or by a person acting for this institution. Not included in this term are:

  1. Records in the sole possession of the maker thereof, which are not accessible or revealed to any other person.
  2. Records maintained by a professional or paraprofessional in medical or psychological treatment of the student and which are not available to anyone other than the persons providing such treatment.
  3. Records of employees of this institution who are not presently in attendance and which pertain solely to their employment.
  4. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the student’s file prior to January 1, 1975.
  5. If the student first signs a waiver the student will not have the access to confidential recommendations subsequently compiled respecting:

a. admission to JBU

b. application for employment

c. receipt of honorary recognition

  1. Financial records of parents of students.

Requests for access to educational records should be submitted in writing directly to the school official responsible for custody of the records. A standard form, “Student Request to Review Record,” is available at the Registrar’s Office. Consistent with time and record security limitations, access must be granted or permission denied and a reason stated within 45 days of the request to review the record. Access will be denied only for reasons specifically authorized by the act and applicable regulations.

An informal record review and resolution of conflict is urged. If this process does not prove satisfactory, the student may petition the Student Rights Committee for a formal hearing. Petitions for a hearing should be submitted through the registrar.

The Student Rights Committee has been appointed specifically to deal with student petitions under applicable federal laws and regulations, such as the Buckley Amendment. The student has the right to challenge the content of the record only on the ground that it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student. No challenges will be heard regarding the merit upon which individual grades have been based. The record may be amended, based upon the committee’s findings, or the student may insert in the record a statement commenting upon or rebutting the document.

All determinations of the Student Rights Committee are subject to a final review by the associate vice president for academic administration, if requested by the student in writing, within two weeks of the committee’s decision.