Academic Regulations and Policies
Academic Calendar Grades Sex Discrimination, Harassment, Misconduct
Academic Integrity Grade Appeal Student Bereavement Policy
Academic Policy Exception     Grade Point Average       Student Records
Academic Standing Independent Study Student Right to Know
Alternative Credit Leave of Absence Technology (Use of)
Attendance Military Deployment Transcripts
Audit Program Evaluation Transfer Credit Policy
Contact Hours Registration UG Student Enrollment in GR Courses
Credit Load Repeating Courses Withdrawal
Double/Slash Courses Research Collection  
Dual Degree Arrangements    
Academic Calendar

Regardless of delivery methods, the academic year is divided into two semesters, each 15 weeks in length plus a final exam week. The summer session typically runs 14 weeks.

Academic Integrity

All members of the Viterbo University community are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner and adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity. Furthermore, Viterbo University students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic honesty befitting their enrollment in this Catholic Franciscan university. They will not engage in plagiarism, cheating, lying, or stealing, nor will they tolerate those who do so. Fundamental to the principle of independent learning and professional growth is the requirement of honesty and integrity in the conduct of one’s academic life. Academic dishonesty in any form is a serious offense against the academic community. Each academic program will review the standards of academic integrity and have students acknowledge their acceptance of the standards.

Academic Integrity Policy

Viterbo University students, faculty, and administration share the responsibility of maintaining a standard of academic honesty. The faculty must create an atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere includes sufficient safeguards to control dishonesty including an orderly testing room, restrictions on text messages, etc. Students are responsible for understanding and refraining from academic misconduct.

Academic Misconduct Policy

Academic misconduct is any activity that may compromise the academic integrity of the university, or subvert the educational process. Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to,

  • Violating course rules as contained in the course syllabus or other information provided to the student; violating program regulations as established by departmental committees and made available to students;
  • Knowingly providing or receiving information from others during examinations; or possessing or using unauthorized materials during examinations;
  • Knowingly providing or using assistance in the laboratory, on field work, in scholarship, or on a course assignment when said work was to be completed individually;
  • Submitting plagiarized work for an academic requirement.
    Plagiarism is the representation of another’s work or ideas as one’s own whether intentional or unintentional; it includes the unacknowledged paraphrasing or word-for-word use of another person’s work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person’s ideas. Each student is responsible for understanding plagiarism and the consequences of committing plagiarism. The Viterbo University library offers information about plagiarism and how it can be avoided. Viterbo students are strongly encouraged to complete an online tutorial on avoiding plagiarism, which is available
  • Submitting substantially the same work to satisfy requirements for one course or academic requirement that has been submitted to satisfy requirements for another course or academic requirement, without permission of either the instructor of the course for which the work is being submitted or the supervising authority for the academic requirement;
  • Falsifying or fabricating laboratory results, research results, or any other assignments;
  • Serving as, or enlisting the assistance of a substitute for a student in the taking of examinations;
  • Altering grades or marks in an effort to change the earned grade or credit;
  • Altering university forms or records, or using such forms or records without authorization; or
  • Engaging in activities that unfairly place other students at a disadvantage, such as taking, hiding, or altering resource material, or manipulating a grading system.

A faculty member who suspects a student of academic misconduct shall follow these steps.

  • Notify the student in writing of the allegation.
  • Contact the program director (graduate program) and /or the department chair or dean of the school  (undergraduate program)
  • Contact the vice president for academic affairs to notify that office that the student is involved in an allegation of academic misconduct and to discover if the student has previously violated the academic integrity policy.

Procedures for Unintentional Violations of Academic Misconduct Policy (undergraduate/graduate)

If the student has not previously committed academic misconduct, the faculty member shall determine whether this academic misconduct is intentional or unintentional. Unintentional academic misconduct occurs when a student attempts to acknowledge, quote, and/or cite sources but does so inadequately or incorrectly. In determining if the misconduct is intentional or unintentional, the faculty member may consult with the student and/or program director. Students may have only one report of unintentional academic misconduct; more than one unintentional offense shall be treated as intentional academic misconduct.

If the faculty member determines that the misconduct is unintentional, the faculty member:

  • Must provide a written warning that the continuation or repetition of academic misconduct will be cause for additional disciplinary action; and
  • May award a failing grade on the assignment; or
  • May require the student to resubmit the corrected assignment or complete an alternative assignment. The faculty member shall determine the grade for the resubmitted or alternate assignment.

In determining the appropriate sanction, the faculty member shall consider all pertinent facts, including the nature of the offense, mitigating and aggravating circumstances, and the student’s response to the event. The faculty member shall notify the vice president for academic affairs that the misconduct was determined to be unintentional so that the vice president for academic affair’s office may properly monitor all faculty notifications for patterns of academic misconduct.

Procedures for Intentional Violations of Academic Misconduct Policy (undergraduate/graduate)

Graduate Program Procedures

If the faculty member determines that the misconduct was intentional, he or she shall refer the incident to the director of the relevant graduate program. The director of the program shall collect all pertinent facts, including the nature of the offense, mitigating circumstances, the student’s response to the event, and the failure of the individual to comply with past sanctions. The program director shall make the final determination of whether or not academic misconduct occurred and, if so, whether said misconduct was intentional or unintentional.

If the program director finds that the student has intentionally violated the academic integrity policy, the program director will notify the student in writing and make a recommendation to the vice president for academic affairs who shall impose sanction(s). At a minimum, the student shall receive a failing grade in the course. Most cases of intentional academic misconduct at the graduate level will result in either suspension or expulsion from Viterbo University.

Undergraduate Program Procedures

If the faculty member decides that the misconduct was intentional or the student admits the academic misconduct, then one or more or the following sanctions may be imposed by the faculty member:

  • Award a failing grade on the test or paper; or
  • Require the student to take another test or resubmit the paper;
  • Award a failing grade for the class. (This action must have the approval of the school dean of the discipline of the misconduct.)

In the event that the student disputes the allegation of academic misconduct or has previously been found in violation of the academic misconduct policy, the incident will be referred to the dean of the relevant school. Imposing sanctions will be deferred pending the dean’s finding on the allegation. The school dean shall collect all pertinent facts, including the nature of the offense, mitigating circumstances, the student’s response to the event, and the failure of the individual to comply with past sanctions. The school dean shall make the final determination of whether or not academic misconduct occurred and, if so, whether said misconduct was intentional or unintentional.

If the faculty member or school dean meets with a student, the student may have a consultant present. The consultant may provide notes to the student during the meeting, but is not permitted to respond to questions for the student during the meeting. If the student is found to be in violation of the academic misconduct policy, the dean forwards her or his recommendation to the vice president for academic affairs, or designee, who may impose sanction(s) listed in the Code of Student Conduct.

The student will be notified in writing of the findings by the vice president for academic affairs.  A copy of the decision letter will also be sent to the vice president for student development, or designee. This action is required for maintenance of complete disciplinary records.

Procedures for Subsequent Violations of Academic Misconduct Policy (undergraduate/graduate)

If the student’s record shows previous academic misconduct, the matter shall be handled by the vice president for academic affairs, who may impose one or more of the following sanctions:

  • Interim suspension – Suspension from classes, campus facilities, university premises and/or university-sponsored functions, for an interim period pending disciplinary proceedings. A student suspended on an interim basis may discuss with the academic vice president or designee the reliability of the information related to the student’s academic misconduct.
  • University suspension – Separation from the University for a specified period of time. The academic vice president may specify conditions for readmission
  • University expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from the University.

The vice president for academic affairs will communicate the decision in writing to the student. The academic vice president will also send a copy of the letter to the vice president for student development, or designee.

In accordance with procedures set forth in the Viterbo University Student Handbook, students may appeal any decision for breach of academic honesty to the University Board of Review. (See academic appeals below.) In any appeal case the breach of the academic policy itself takes precedence over the sanction given for the violation. 

Procedural Norms for Academic Appeals

In accordance with procedures set forth in the Viterbo University Student Handbook, students may appeal any decision for breach of academic honesty to the University Board of Review. (See academic appeals below.) In any appeal case the breach of the academic policy itself takes precedence over the sanction given for the violation.

Appeals Process for the Academic Integrity Policy

When a student disputes the charge of breaching the academic honesty policy or the sanction given for the violation:

  • The student should address in writing the specific complaint to the individual faculty member and include copies of all communication used in the initial stages of the investigation.
  • If the student disagrees with the faculty member’s decision, the student may continue the written complaint and include copies of all communication used in the stages of the investigation to the program director (graduate) or chairperson of the relevant department (undergraduate).
  • If the student disagrees with the program director or chairperson’s decision, the student may continue the written complaint and include copies of all communication used in the stages of the investigation to the dean of the relevant college.
  • If the student disagrees with the dean’s decision, the student may continue the written complaint and include copies of all communication used in the stages of the investigation to the vice president for academic affairs.

If the informal appeals do not satisfactorily resolve the grade dispute, the student may file a formal, written appeal to the Board of Review.

When called upon, the Board of Review will meet during:

  • Fall in-service week in August (To address all spring and first seven-week summer session appeals.)
  • The last week in November (To address all summer and first eight-week fall session appeals.)
  • The second week in April (To address all fall and first eight-week spring session appeals.)

Formal grade appeals to the Board of Review must be filed within the first four weeks of the subsequent semester following the finalization of grades in the Registrar’s office. This written appeal shall include:

  • A request to the chairperson of the Board of Review to meet to hear the appeal.
  • An initial statement of the problem, including both a chronology of events leading up to the informal appeal, and a description of the previous attempts to resolve the dispute with the instructor, chairperson, dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Submission of a name of a member of the Viterbo University faculty, administration, general staff, or student body to serve on the Board of Review on the student's behalf.

The Board of Review will acknowledge the receipt of the appeal within five working days and notify the student of the next Board of Appeals meeting date.

A copy of the written appeal shall be presented to the vice president for academic affairs and the aggrieved faculty member, program and/or department by the Board of Review within five working days. The respondents shall in turn present in writing a response with any necessary documentation to the Board of Review with five working days. The vice president for academic affairs shall name a member of the Viterbo University faculty, administration, general staff, and/or student body to serve on the Board of Review on the respondent's behalf.

All parties affected by the appeal shall have a copy of the student’s written grievance no later than three working days before their meeting with the Board of Review. All parties that the Board requests to participate in the hearing will be notified in writing no later than three working days before a meeting convenes.

Any additional evidence deemed necessary by the Board to consider the appeal adequately shall be solicited in writing no later than three working days before the meeting date. All written statements and documentation shall be made available to both the complainant, the respondent, the vice president for academic affairs, and to the president by the chairperson of the Board of Review no later than one working day in advance of the meeting.

The Board of Review may let stand the decision of the vice president for academic affairs, reverse it, or take another course of action, including but not limited to remanding the issue to any previous party in the appeals process. If after thorough review of a grade dispute, the Board of Review finds a serious injustice in the awarding of the grade, it may recommend a grade change to the president of the university. The grade change can be affected only by the action of the president on the specific recommendation of the Board of Review.

The recommendation(s) of the Board of Review shall be submitted to the president and conveyed in writing within 24 hours of the end of the hearing to the student who filed the appeal, the affected faculty member, the affected department's chairperson, and the vice president for academic affairs.

The decision of the Board of Review may be appealed by either party to the president of the university. The appeal must be written and submitted to the president within two weeks of the recommendation by the Board of Review. After considering the appeal, the president shall render a decision, which is final. The president shall notify both parties of the decision within one week of this appeal.

Other than the deadline for initiating the appeals process, all deadlines stated in the appeals process may, given good cause, be lengthened or shortened by the reviewing entity upon the request of either party or at the reviewing entity’s own discretion.

All records and correspondence in such cases will be kept in the office files of the vice president for academic affairs until graduation.  Students’ academic transcripts shall exclude academic misconduct violations except for cases of expulsion.

Academic Policy Exception

Students seeking an exception to any university academic policy listed in this academic policy section may petition the vice president for academic affairs for an exception. The Academic Policy Exception form is found on the registrar’s office Web page. This form cannot be submitted without the permission of the student’s advisor, department chair and college dean.

Academic Standing

Graduate students must earn a C or better in all courses and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. A student who earns less than a grade of C or NC (no credit) in any course must retake the course and achieve a grade of C or better. Any student who falls below a semester or cumulative grade point average of 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and while on academic probation must achieve a grade of B or better in all courses and must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better to earn a graduate degree.

A student on academic probation who receives a grade below a B in any course may be dismissed from the program. A student is removed from academic probation after his/her cumulative grade point average reaches a 3.00 or better. See program sections of this catalogue for specific requirements of each graduate program.

Dismissal for academic reasons (e.g., grades, academic dishonesty, professional integrity issues) precludes readmission.

Alternative Credit

Viterbo University will accept a maximum of 45 credits from American Council on Education (ACE) recommended work, Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Support (DANTES), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement Examination, International Baccalaureate, or Credit for Prior Learning towards a bachelor degree. CLEP equivalents are acceptable for students in graduate programs requiring prerequisite coursework. Exam or alternative credit work taken within the last 10 years ago will be accepted. Individual schools or departments may also require that exam equivalent coursework in the major be current with academic and professional standards.

Advanced Placement

Viterbo University participates in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program whereby high school students may enroll in advanced high school courses, take the AP exam and receive college credit (with the appropriate score). The student must be enrolled as a degree seeking student at Viterbo University to receive credit. The Advanced Placement course equivalency policy is on the registrar’s office’s Web page for further information.

American Council on Education

Viterbo University will grant credit for educational experiences evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). Viterbo University will accept a maximum of 45 credits from American Council on Education (ACE) recommended work, DANTES, or College Level Examination Program.

Credit by Examination

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a national program administered through the College Board. Viterbo follows The American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines and recommendations for minimum scores for awarding credit in subject examinations. There is a fee for each examination. Currently enrolled students or incoming students who enroll the subsequent semester may register for exams. Students should visit the Academic Resource Center Web page for information about CLEP test dates. The CLEP course equivalency policy is on the registrar’s office’s Web page for further information.

Credit for Prior Learning

The credit for prior learning (portfolio) program is for students who feel they have significant college-relevant learning from lifetime/work experience applicable toward college credit. The portfolio process must be completed during a student’s first calendar year of enrollment. A limit of six credits may be earned by portfolio by master’s degree students and a maximum of 15 credits may be earned by portfolio by bachelor degree students.

To participate in the credit for prior learning program, a student must:

  • Be currently enrolled.
  • Meet with the program director/coordinator/advisor to get instructions and make a plan for completing the portfolio.
  • Complete Parts A and B of the Application for Credit for Prior Learning, and submit the portfolio review fee of $100 to the Business Office (obtaining their signature in Part C of the Application for Credit for Prior Learning).
  • Construct a portfolio containing lifetime/work learning applicable to the student learning outcomes of a course in the Viterbo University catalog.
  • Submit the portfolio to the program director/coordinator/advisor. The portfolio will be sent to the appropriate faculty reviewer(s) for evaluation.
  • Upon receipt of the Application for Credit for Prior Learning with parts D and E completed by the faculty reviewer(s), and approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), the program director/coordinator/advisor will notify the student of the decision.
  • Take the Application for Credit for Prior Learning to the Business Office and pay the current portfolio fees for each credit approved by the faculty reviewer. The tuition and fees schedule is located on the Business Office web page.
  • Submit the completed application form, with all required signatures, to the Registrar’s office so the approved credits can be awarded.

Students who would like to know more about credit for prior learning are encouraged to contact their advisor, program director, or program coordinator. Not all programs accept credit for prior learning.


Viterbo University challenges students to be learners who assume responsibility for being part of a community of scholars. Student presence and participation in the classroom is an important component of this challenge. Each student is encouraged to develop a professional work ethic that reflects responsibility, initiative, and teamwork. In light of the above, students are expected to attend all classes. Students who are absent from class miss opportunities to contribute to the learning environment of the classroom and to learn from their colleagues. Each program has specific attendance policies. Absences from class may result in a loss of college financial aid. Federal regulation requires that students make satisfactory progress toward a degree in order to retain federal financial aid. Students not able to attend classes due to military obligations should refer to the military deployment policy.


Students pursuing a degree at Viterbo University may wish to audit a course for personal or professional knowledge. Students who are auditing are not required to complete assignments or take examinations, but auditors are expected to attend classes. If their attendance is unsatisfactory, auditing students will be administratively withdrawn from the course. Students receive no credit for courses that they audit; a grade of “AU” is entered on their records. Audited courses do not count toward students’ degree requirements. To audit a course, students must complete an audit form obtained from the Office of the Registrar. The completed form includes the instructor’s signature, which signifies consent for the student to audit the course. Students must return the completed form to the registrar’s office no later than Friday of the first week of class. After the first week of classes, students may not change their course status from audit to credit. In exceptional circumstances a student may change the status of the course from credit to audit. In that case, students must file the paperwork no later than the midpoint of the class. Students may also repeat audited courses for credit in subsequent semesters. Students may not repeat courses for which credit was received as audited courses in subsequent semesters. The tuition and fees for audit courses are the same as for credit courses.

Community members (non-degree seeking students) may also audit a course. The same policies and deadlines apply to non-degree auditors. Interested students should submit a non-degree student application online, for initial entrance to Viterbo University. Non-degree students should check the current fee schedule, published on the business office web page, for rate.

Contact Hours

Viterbo defines one credit hour as 750 minutes over 15 weeks. In addition, each credit of a course requires that students spend two hours of work outside of class per week.

Regardless of format, all sections are required to meet the required credit hour standards by any combination of instructional time and outside work. Outside work could include additional outside reading, group work, service projects, field work, clinical rotations, among other learning activities.

Laboratory periods, clinical, internships, and practicums vary in length depending upon the requirements of the course. Normally one credit hour equals no less than 30 actual clock hours.

Minimum class and outside work time are calculated according to the following formula.

[750 + 1800]  X  the number of credits of a course = 

the minimum number of minutes of instructional time and outside work required

For example: a three credit course requires a minimum of 7,650 total minutes.

Regular Contact Hour Spanning the Duration of the Course

Instructional activities begin on the scheduled start date and occur regularly (that is, at least weekly) until the scheduled end date of the course.  For partially online or blended courses, the scheduled start date may or may not be the first face-to-face meeting of the course.

Credit Load

Full-time credit load for graduate students is a minimum of six credits during any academic term, including summer. To reflect reasonable expectations for successful learning and course completion, a student may not take more than 15 graduate credits per semester.

Double Numbered (“Slash”) Courses

Requirements for a slash-listed course (e.g., courses in which both graduate and undergraduate students attend the same class but receive credit under different course numbers) must be significantly different for students at different levels (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students) enrolled in the same course.  Students taking the courses as higher level courses are expected to meet higher-level expectations through additional work and/or higher standards. 

Syllabi must clearly specify how the nature (quality and quantity) of the work expected of students and the criteria for evaluation of the work aligns with expectations of that degree level.  Academic unit leaders (e.g., department chairs, program directors) are responsible for assuring that course syllabi within their unit meet this policy through timely audits of syllabi prior to distribution to students.

A double numbered or slash course completed at the undergraduate level may not be retaken at the graduate level.

Dual Degree Graduate Program Arrangements

The policy governs graduate dual degree program arrangements including: (1) dual master’s; and (2) dual master’s/doctoral program arrangements. 

A dual degree program arrangement is an academic structure in which students pursue two separate degree programs and receive two separate program completion credentials (e.g., certificates, endorsements, degrees).  Normally, a dual degree program arrangement integrates two academic fields that are sufficiently related to each other to make integration practical, yet are sufficiently distinct to avoid duplication.

Dual degree program arrangements allow graduate students to enhance their educational experience and study related fields simultaneously with identified efficiencies in time and cost. Dual degree program structures may combine degree programs between individual Viterbo University units, or with programs offered through other institutions. 

Credit sharing is permitted.  In crafting such arrangements, University faculty and administrators shall preserve the essential academic integrity of each underlying component degree program. Dual degree programs must be approved by the Viterbo University Graduate Council and meet the following requirements:

  1. Statement of Intent – Proposals for dual degree program arrangements must be accompanied by a written statement explaining:
    1.  the academic purpose behind the degree program,
    2. the academic symmetries that exist between the underlying fields of study, and
    3. specifications concerning the composition of an advisory committee, with representation from both programs.
  2. Shared Credit Limit - A minimum of 50% of required credit hours must be unique to each degree and cannot be used for dual credit. Departments and programs may impose more stringent shared credit limits.  An exception to the institutional credit sharing limit is that a Viterbo University certificate program may be double counted in its entirety within a Viterbo University degree program.
  3. Students must meet all curricular requirements of both programs (e.g., must pass all comprehensive exams, practica, clinicals, etc.).
  4. No dual degrees will be awarded retroactively.

A student’s scholarship rating in each subject is determined by the results of examinations, the general character of the student’s daily class work, and other methods of assessment of learning. Students view final grades via the online student information system, VitNet. The grading system follows:

A     (4.0 grade points*) - Superior work. This indicates not only high achievement, but also unusual degree of inititive
AB   (3.5 grade points) - Between A and B
B     (3.0 grade points) - Higher achievement than average
BC  (2.5 grade points) - Between B and C
C     (2.0 grade points) - Average and satisfactory work
CD  (1.5 grade points) - Between C and D
D    (1.0 grade points) - Work fulfilling minimum requirements
F     (0.0 grade points) - Failure in the course

U    (0.0 grade points) - Administrative F; awarded to students who do not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the enrollment period. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. The U will calculate in a student's grade point average as and F would (zero grade points). It also may be replaced, per the repeat policy, as an F would.

SU   (0.0 grade points) - Administrative Suspension; awarded to students who do not offiically drop a course, but who are not participating in course activities. The SU will calculate in a student's grade point average as an F would (zero grade points). It also may be replaced, per the repeat policy, as an F would.

CR  -  Credit Granted (C or better work)
NC  -  No Credit Granted
AU  -  Audit (no credit)
-  Incomplete; student has done passing work but must still meet certain requirements before the grade can be determined.

*Grade points are for each credit


A grade of incomplete is given infrequently and only under unusual circumstances that are beyond the student’s control such as a serious illness or death in the family or unanticipated complications in an original research project. To be considered for an incomplete, the student must have at least 50% of the course work complete and have a passing grade in the course. Students will find the form to request a grade of incomplete on the registrar’s office Web page. The student must seek the approval of the instructor, department chair, and dean or vice president for academic affairs. The completed form with approving signatures needs to be submitted to the registrar’s office by the last class period (not the final exam day).

The student is responsible for completing the required course work by the agreed upon deadline. The instructor is responsible for submitting a replacement grade to the registrar’s office. If the incomplete grade is not removed and the replacement grade from the instructor is not on file in the registrar’s office by mid-semester of the subsequent semester or summer session, the incomplete grade converts to an F.

Grade Appeal (Academic Review Process)

When grievances arise in regard to a course grade, the student should first discuss the matter with the individual faculty member. If a satisfactory conclusion is not achieved, the matter may be brought, in turn, to the respective department chairperson, school dean, and then to the vice president for academic affairs. Matters still in dispute may finally be taken to the Board of Review. Formal, written grade appeals must be filed within the fourth week of the subsequent semester (fall, spring, and summer) following the finalization of grades in the Registrar’s Office and in accordance with procedures available in the student handbook.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average of a student’s work is the ratio of the grade points to the number of credits attempted. Courses taken under the credit/no credit option as well as courses completed at another institution are not included in the grade point average.

Independent Study

Independent study is one way Viterbo University students can enjoy individualized learning. Independent study allows students to proceed at their own pace and take more responsibility for their own learning. Since independent study requires initiative and allows for considerable freedom, students should plan the proposed study carefully with help from the directing faculty. The same number of student/faculty contact hours as a regular course must be maintained. The plan must be approved by the academic advisor, department chair, and dean of the discipline of the independent study. Students must complete this form and file it with the Office of the Registrar upon registration, but no later than the end of the first week of classes for the term of the independent study. Students must complete the work of the independent study within the semester they register for the course. Over the course of their Viterbo University career, students may take a maximum of six credits of independent study.

Independent study courses may be of three types:

  1. Directed study, research and/or readings in an area that is not included in the regular course offerings. (The course appears on a student’s transcript with the title Independent Study.)

For undergraduate independent study, the directing faculty member and student will decide if the course should be for lower- or upper-division credit. The student will register for the agreed upon 288 (undergraduate lower division), 488 (undergraduate upper division), or 588/788 (graduate) credit.

  1. Departure from the regular credit value of a course, such as independent work on one portion of an existing course. (The course appears on a student’s transcript with the title Independent Study.)

For undergraduate independent study, the directing faculty member and student will decide if the course should be for lower- or upper-division credit. The student will register for the agreed upon 288 (undergraduate lower division), 488 (undergraduate upper division), or 588/788 (graduate) credit.

  1. The independent study of a course listed in the current university catalog.

Students may ordinarily undertake this third option only under special circumstances. (The course appears on a student’s transcript by its catalog title prefaced with IS.) Students may not take a course as an independent study if it is listed in the current class schedule. The level of the course will determine what level of independent study the student will register for: 288 (undergraduate lower division), 488 (undergraduate upper division).

Leave of Absence

Graduate students may need to stop continuous enrollment for various reasons and should speak with their advisor about their decision. Semester-based program students who will not be taking a course the subsequent semester, but intend to return to Viterbo to complete a program should register for NENR-000 the subsequent semester/summer session(s). This will allow for the students’ technology accounts and student records to remain active. Students will not be billed tuition for this course, nor will they receive financial aid or attendance verification.

The student may register for NENR-000 for a maximum of three continuous semesters/terms (fall, spring, summer). The student is responsible for registering for the NENR-000 via VitNet or Student Planning for each subsequent term, prior to the end of the first week of the subsequent term. After the third semester of NENR-000, the students’ record and technology accounts will be deactivated. Students wishing to return to complete a program/degree, and are eligible to do so, will need to complete the reentry process and will be subject to the catalog and requirements at the time of reentry.

Medical Leave of Absence
In the event that a student needs to leave campus for an extended period of medical treatment, either physical or psychological, the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) may grant them a medical leave of absence that lasts for longer than a continuous year in accordance with the following guidelines.

  • If the student returns after three full, consecutive semesters, including summer, they will come into the current catalog at the time of re-entry.
  • The student returns to the same program (major) as was declared upon last day of attendance.
  • The student is not considered an officially enrolled student when not registered for any courses. The student also is not designated as being on a leave of absence for any official purposes.
  • The request for medical leave must be submitted to the VPSA, the Director of Student Success, or the Director of the Academic Resource Center at or prior to the time the student is requesting the medical leave.
  • Only the VPSA may grant medical leave, but they will consider the recommendation of the Director of Health Services, Director of Counseling Services, or other appropriate health care providers.
  • The student is responsible for notifying the registrar’s office of changes in name, address, telephone number, or email address while on leave of absence.
  • Financial payments to Viterbo University will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy.
  • The student is responsible for completing a Transfer Course Approval form if they decide to complete coursework at another institution during the leave of absence.

In order to initiate reentry to Viterbo after medical leave a student must obtain the permission of the VPSA by:

  • Receiving the necessary medical treatment.
  • Providing medical documentation from the appropriate healthcare provider indicating that the student is fit to return to Viterbo.
  • Consulting with the Director of Health Services for physical health conditions, or the Director of Counseling Services for mental health conditions.
  • Submitting a request to return from medical leave of absence in writing to the VPSA, the Director for Student Success or the Director of the Academic Resource Center. 

The VPSA will make the decision whether or not to approve the student to reenter Viterbo in consultation with either the Director of Health Services or the Director of Counseling Services, depending on the reasons for the leave. Viterbo reserves the right to require additional consultations between the student and appropriate health care professionals.  Upon obtaining the approval of the VPSA, a student may formally apply for reentry according to guidelines specified below.

  • To initiate the reentry to Viterbo, the student is responsible for submitting an application (Apply Online link on the Viterbo home page) to indicate the term of return, as well as confirm/update other demographic information.
  • Upon readmission, if the student had been living in a residence hall prior to the leave, they will be granted a space for the following semester provided that on-campus living is not a recommended restriction by the appropriate health care provider.

Military Deployment

Viterbo University has set forth the following policy for students serving in a branch of the armed forces and called to active duty, including state activation of members of the National Guard.  This policy also applies to students who are spouses of activated service members if they have a dependent child.

The director of student success will serve as the main contact for the student. In all cases, the director of student success will work with the student to determine if any online or other course enrollment for subsequent terms is possible while the student is deployed.

  • The student must provide a copy of his/her orders.
  • If the deployment occurs after a semester begins and will be for the duration of the semester or longer, then the following will apply:
  • If the student decides he/she cannot continue his/her studies, he/she may request a full refund of tuition charges and mandatory fees for courses that cannot be completed.  All or a portion of tuition charges and mandatory fees may be waived by the business office. No refund of non-mandatory fees will occur. Any room and board charges will be prorated based on the dates of attendance. Financial aid adjustments will be made in accordance with federal and state financial aid regulations. If a balance remains on a student’s account after all adjustments have been made, the account will be flagged as “no interest” until the student returns or it is determined the student is not continuing studies at Viterbo University.
  • At the discretion of the faculty member, a student may continue a course using communication means available (Moodle, email, etc.). All charges and financial aid pertaining to the courses in which the student continues enrollment will remain.
  • If a student has completed a short term course but is enrolled in other courses that have not been completed, the charges and financial aid related to the completed course will remain and the rest of the charges and financial aid will be adjusted appropriately.
  • A grade of W will be applied to all the courses from which the student decides to withdraw due to the deployment.
  • If the deployment or mandatory training is short term (beginning and ending during the same semester),  every effort will be made, in consultation with the faculty members involved, and deans or department chairs,  to accommodate the short term absence.
  • If the deployment occurs between semesters, it is recommended that the student contact the director of student success to discuss options.

Program Evaluation

Students will be asked to provide input and evaluation at various intervals during their program of studies and after graduation. Course evaluations will be done at the end of each course. Instructor evaluations will be completed at scheduled intervals. Interim/midpoint assessments may be conducted to allow students to reflect on their progress toward meeting the graduate outcomes and indicate their satisfaction with the program. Student input for quality improvement is always welcome by instructors, advisors, directors, and deans.


Registration for subsequent semesters is completed via VitNet or Student Planning, the online student information system. Registration for spring typically occurs in early November and for fall in early April. Students are expected to see their advisor prior to registration to discuss their course selection and obtain their registration time. All coursework must be registered for the term in which the work is done. Students must confirm their enrollment in the business office prior to the beginning of the semester. Students who have pre-registered for classes but decide not to attend Viterbo University must contact the director of student success of the change in plans prior to the beginning of the semester. Students are liable for all charges until this official notification is made. The registration deadline is Aug. 15 for the fall semester, Jan. 1 for the spring semester, and May 1 for the summer session.


Schedule changes (undergraduate and graduate semester-based program students) may be made via the VitNet online system any time after a student’s initial registration time, with the following parameters.

A full semester course may be added through the first week of the semester. When students wish to change a section or credit value for a full-semester class, they must drop and then add the class. These changes must also be completed by the end of the first week of the semester. At the request of the advisor, and only with the consent of the instructor, a full semester course may be added after the fifth day but before the 10th class day of the semester.

Compressed courses may be added until the first day of the class.

Students may drop full-semester courses during the first eight weeks. See the Important Dates on the registrar’s office Web page for deadlines as they are different for each term. A drop will result in the deletion of the course from the permanent record. Full semester course drops completed after the eighth week through Monday of the 11th week will result in a grade of W. No full-semester drops are allowed after the deadline to receive a grade of W. Drop deadlines for courses other than 15 weeks in length are prorated accordingly. For all courses, the official drop date is the date the drop is completed in VitNet.

Repeating Courses

The following policy applies only to courses that are not repeatable for further credit, and does not override the right of any program/department to set policies that restrict the repetition of their courses:

Students may take a course no more than three times.   Each grade is listed on the permanent record. Unless the course is repeatable for credit, only the last grade is used in computing the grade point average. Repeating courses may affect financial aid, academic progress, and athletics eligibility. Grades from courses repeated at other institutions to replace grades earned at Viterbo University will not be used in computing the grade point average. Students must seek approval before taking a course at another institution.

Research Collection

Protocol for Graduate Culminating Scholarship Submissions and Submission Process can be found on the library web page.

The Viterbo Research Collection accepts complete, final and accepted culminating scholarship projects from students in Viterbo University graduate programs. Projects must include a completed signature page in order to be accepted into the collection.

Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct

Respect of others, responsibility for one's behavior and adherence to standard of conduct are essential to building a safe and healthy university community. Therefore, sexual misconduct will not be tolerated at Viterbo University, as it is a crime and a serious violation of trust, dignity, and rights. Sexual misconduct shows disregard for standards outlined in the Viterbo University Code of Student Conduct, state, and federal law.

At Viterbo University, force, coercion, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation are considered forms of sexual misconduct.  A definition of each term can be found in the headings on the left side of this webpage. Additionally, consent is essential in the prevention of sexual misconduct and requires speech indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or participate in sexual activities. Silence, previous sexual relationships, or current relationships are not an indication of consent. The use of alcohol or drugs may limit the capacity to give consent. (A college study with 119 schools participating nationwide reported alcohol involved in nearly 72 percent of rapes. Harvard School of Public Health, 2004).

A student or employee charged with sexual misconduct may be disciplined under the Viterbo University Code of Student Conduct and/or prosecuted under Wisconsin criminal statutes. Viterbo University may pursue disciplinary action independent of the criminal system which may result in removal from the university. Results of campus disciplinary proceedings involving sex offenses are provided to the person filing the report as well as the accused. The Vice President for Student Development will assist persons who have been assaulted in making necessary changes to academic schedules, housing assignments, etc. Please be aware of the difference between reporting groups and understand that non-confidential resources are required by law to report the act of sexual misconduct so an investigation can take place.


Resources and Supports

Confidential Viterbo Support Resources

LeeAnn Van Vreede, Director of Counseling Services

Student Development Center


Sue Danielson, Director of Health Services

Student Development Center


Fr. Conrad Targonski, Dir. of Campus Ministry and University Chaplin

370 Murphy Center


*These employees will report the incident of sexual misconduct, but will omit any identifying information.

Confidential Community Resources

Mayo Franciscan Healthcare Safe Path


Mayo Franciscan Healthcare SANE Nurses


Gundersen Sexual Assault Services


Gundersen Sexual Abuse Counseling and Support Services


Great Rivers 211 Information and Referral Hotline

Dial 211 or 1-800-362-8255

New Horizons Shelter for Battered Women


Student Bereavement Policy

Viterbo University recognizes that a time of bereavement can be difficult for a student.  Therefore, the university provides a Student Bereavement Policy for students facing the loss of a family member.

In the event that a student experiences a death of an immediate family member or relative as defined below, the student may be excused from class for funeral leave, subsequent bereavement, and/or travel considerations for up to 3 academic days, which need not be consecutive. If additional days of excused absence are needed, the student may submit this request to the Director of Student Success.

Students who opt to use the Bereavement Procedure may be granted up to 3 days of excused absence from class to mourn the loss of immediate family members or relatives. This could include:

  • Spouse or Domestic Partner
  • Parent, step-parent, or parent-in-law
  • Guardian
  • Child, Step-child
  • Brother, step-brother or brother-in-law
  • Sister, step-sister, or sister-in-law
  • Aunt, Uncle
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren

In the event that a death occurs to a family member or friend that is not specifically covered by the policy, students can communicate the circumstances to the Director of Student Success to determine on a case by case basis if it is covered by this policy.


To request bereavement leave, a student must notify the Director of Student Success by email, phone or in person and, upon request, provide documentation.  Upon approval, the Director or representative from the Center for Student Success will contact the student’s advisor, and faculty for each of the student’s courses. Additionally, students are encouraged to contact their instructors prior to their absences.

Missed Academic Work

Upon notification of the absence from the Director or representative of the Center for Student Success, each faculty member shall excuse the student from class according to this policy and provide an opportunity to complete missed exams, quizzes, and other required work.  The student is responsible for all material covered in class and must work with each individual professor to complete any required work.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure

At any point during the student’s original bereavement leave, the student may decide to request a leave of absence, withdraw from classes or seek incompletes for courses.  Students are required to work with the Director of Student Success on any of these requests and each request is subject to university policy as defined in the Viterbo University Undergraduate Catalog. 

Student Records

Right to Privacy

Viterbo University annually informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended.

This act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with The Family Educational Policy Compliance Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

Local policy explains in detail the procedures to be used by the institution for compliance with the provisions of the act. A copy of the policy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. This office also maintains a directory of records which lists all education records maintained on students by this institution.

Viterbo University hereby designates the following student information as public or “directory information.” Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion—name; address (home, local/campus, and email); telephone listings; date of birth/age; major/minor field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of athletic team members; dates of attendance; full-time/part-time status; photograph; registration course schedule; class level; academic level; degrees/academic recognitions/awards received; name/address/occupation of parent/guardian/spouse; and educational institutions or agencies attended. Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Office of the Registrar by the end of the second week of each semester and the first week of summer school. Forms requesting the withholding of “directory information” are available through the Office of the Registrar.

Viterbo University assumes that failure on the part of any student to request specifically the withholding of “directory information” indicates individual approval for disclosure.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to the education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when Viterbo University objects to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without consent PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Student Right to Know

In compliance with the Student Right to Know Act, the graduation/completion rates of full-time, degree-seeking, first-time undergraduate students entering Viterbo University with a completion rate of 150 percent of normal time to complete an educational program must be published.

Technology (Use of)

All semester-based students are given a Moodle, email account, and VitNet account. Moodle is Viterbo University’s online course management software for most programs.

The assigned email address is used throughout the length of the student’s time at Viterbo University and is the official means of communication to students. Students are responsible for reviewing all information transmitted to their Viterbo account, and are advised to check it daily.


A transcript is a complete and unabridged copy of all academic work attempted at Viterbo University and work accepted in transfer to Viterbo. Course and grade information contained on the transcript are released only upon written consent from the student as required by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A transcript will not be mailed as a result of a telephone call, email, or Fax request. Records from other schools will not be photocopied or sent elsewhere. No transcript will be issued until all financial accounts have been cleared with the university. There is a per transcript fee.

The Viterbo University transcript does not include any academic standing notations. The transcript will, however, include a notation if the student has been expelled from the institution.

Transfer Credit Policy/Transfer Students

Viterbo’s graduate programs welcome applications from students attending, or having attended, other regionally accredited graduate programs. In cases where a specific agreement is held between Viterbo University and a non-regionally accredited institution for transfer between graduate programs, credit will be transferred in accordance with the agreement. Transfer students will be considered for admission as long as they have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0, are free to return to their previous college or university, and are considered to be in good academic standing both at their previous school and at Viterbo University.

Transfer applicants shall follow admission requirements set forth above. Individual consideration will be granted in the awarding of transfer credits by the specific program. Transfer credits must have been completed within the timeframe specified by the program. In order to be considered for transfer, the grade earned must be at least a B and fulfill program requirements. Only letter-graded coursework is accepted in transfer.

Students who wish to transfer credits must have an official transcript sent to the Viterbo University registrar after the completion of the graduate course. Courses will be evaluated for equivalency, and the director will provide written notification of acceptance of transfer credit to the student. Students enrolled in a graduate program at Viterbo University who wish to take a course at another institution must obtain prior approval from the program director to ensure the course will be transferred into the program.

Undergraduate Student Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate students, in bachelor degree seeking programs, may enroll in a maximum of nine graduate credits. Students must be approved by the graduate program to enroll in the graduate course(s). The credit is designated as graduate credit on a graduate transcript.  The credits will not appear on an undergraduate transcript and will not be included in the undergraduate credit totals.

Maximum student credit load for dual enrollment (graduate/undergraduate) is 16 credit hours for a semester or summer term. Students can enroll in no more than six graduate credits in the semester and no more than a total of 10 credits in an accelerated format (not full semester courses).

To be registered for the graduate course(s), undergraduate students must submit an add form with the graduate program director’s approval to the registrar’s office, by published registration deadlines for the semester. The student’s undergraduate tuition and fees are charged, and these graduate credits are counted as part of the student's course load in determining full-time status.

Withdrawal from Viterbo University

A student who wishes to withdraw completely from the university during a semester must complete an official withdrawal form and meet with his/her academic advisor. The official date of withdrawal is the day the form is received in the Office of the Registrar. This process must be completed prior to final examination week. Any applicable refunds for courses less than 15 weeks in length are prorated according to the deadline dates printed in the class schedules for the fall, spring, and summer terms. A student who wishes to reenter for any subsequent term must complete a reentry application form for re-acceptance. Failing grades are recorded for students who do not officially withdraw from the university.