Jul 20, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures

All students at Fitchburg State University are expected to be familiar with and act in accordance with academic policies and procedures. Students acting outside of these policies may be subject to administrative action. Special consideration may be given to students admitted or later identified as physically disabled, learning disabled, or economically or educationally disadvantaged.

General Course Requirements

To fulfill requirements for a bachelor’s degree, students must complete either the requirements of the General Education Program (explained in The Curriculum  section of catalog) or the requirements of the Honors program, as well as the requirements for their major.

The Major

Undergraduate degree candidates must declare and complete a major in one program of study offered by the university. Requirements for undergraduate majors are described in the Undergraduate Day Programs and Undergraduate Evening Programs sections.

Declaring a Major

Students may declare a major when they are admitted to the university. If a change of major is desired, students must complete a change of major card available in the Registrar’s Office. For application and policies related to educator licensure programs, visit the Admissions  section of this catalog.

Pre-Majors (undeclared)

Students with 45 semester hours of university course work must apply for and be admitted to a major prior to registering for additional courses. All pre-majors are assigned to advisors in the Career Counseling and Advising Center.

Transfer students with 45 or more credits when admitted as pre-majors have until either October 1 or March 1 of their first semester at Fitchburg State University to declare their major.

Requirements for a Major

A 2.0 cumulative GPA and 2.0 GPA in courses in the major are the minimum requirements for both admission to and completion of all major programs. Some majors, however, may have requirements higher than a 2.0 GPA in major courses for either entrance or completion.

Requirements for a Minor

A 2.0 cumulative GPA and 2.0 GPA in courses in the minor are the minimum requirements for both admission to and completion of all minor programs. As with the majors, some minors, may have requirements higher than a 2.0 GPA for either entrance or completion.

Dismissal from a Major

Students not making satisfactory progress in completing the academic requirements of the major may be asked to select another major.

Professional programs of study may require a departmental review of students to determine if they are qualified to continue in the major. If in the review process the student is judged as unsuitable for the profession, regardless of academic standing, the student may be asked to select another major.

Successful completion of an academic program in any major field or professional program does not obligate the faculty to recommend licensure or certification, even if the candidate is awarded the academic degree.

Grading Policy

Grades are awarded on a numerical scale as follows:

4.0 A 95 –100
3.7 A- 92 – 94
3.5 A-/B+. 89 - 91
3.3 B+ 86 – 88
3.0 B 83 – 85
2.7 B- 80 – 82
2.5 B-/C+ 77 – 79
2.3 C+ 74 – 76
2.0 C 71 – 73
1.7 C- 69 – 70
1.5 C-/D+ 67 – 68
1.3 D+ 64 – 66
1.0 D 60 – 63
0.0 F 0 – 59
  IN Incomplete
  IP In Progress
  W Withdrawn
  AU Audit
  S Satisfactory
  U Unsatisfactory

Professors who assign grades to students using the percentage scale may choose to adjust their scale to accommodate for variations in difficulty of the exam, assignment, or task.  In these cases the professor will inform the students of the initial score, the adjusted score, and the reason for the adjustment.

All grades except 0.0, U, IN, IP, W, and AU are passing grades and earn credit toward the degree.

Grade Guidelines

All requirements and grading standards identified in individual class syllabi must be met.

The Grade of 4.0

The grade of 4.0 implies excellence in thinking and distinguished performance within the domain of a subject and course, along with extensive development of a range of knowledge acquired through the exercise of critical thinking skills and abilities. This level work is consistently clear, precise, well-reasoned and displays depth of insight.

The Grade of 3.0

The grade of 3.0 implies sound thinking and performance within the domain of a subject and course, along with the development of a range of knowledge acquired through the exercise of critical thinking skills and abilities. This level work is generally clear, precise, well-reasoned and displays some depth of insight.

The Grade of 2.0

The grade of 2.0 implies mixed thinking and performance within the domain of a subject and course, along with some development of a range of knowledge acquired through the exercise of critical thinking skills and abilities. This level work is inconsistently clear, precise, well-reasoned and does not typically display depth of insight.

The Grade of 1.0

The grade of 1.0 implies limited thinking and performance within the domain of a subject and course, and the student displays limited critical thinking skills and abilities requisite to understanding course content. The student attempts to acquire knowledge by memorization rather than through comprehension and  understanding. This level work represents thinking that is typically unclear, imprecise, and poorly reasoned, and does not display depth of insight.

The Grade of 0.0

The grade of 0.0 implies poor thinking and performance within the domain of a subject and course, and the student does not display critical thinking skills and abilities requisite to understanding course content. The student relies on acquiring knowledge by memorization rather than through comprehension and  understanding. This level work represents thinking that is regularly unclear, imprecise, and poorly reasoned, and is lacking depth of insight.

Computing Quality Points and Cumulative GPA

  • Quality Points = semester hours carried by the course multiplied by numerical grade. (For example, a three credit course with a grade of 3.0 would earn nine quality points.)
  • Cumulative grade point average = total quality points earned in all courses divided by total credit hours completed.

Repeating Courses and Grade Substitution

Repeating Courses after a Failing Grade

A student may repeat a course in which the assigned grade is a 0.0 or Unsatisfactory. In these cases, the new grade will be substituted for the original grade in calculating the student’s cumulative GPA. The original grade, however, will continue to appear on the transcript. A transfer grade of 1.7 or better eliminates the original failing grade in calculating the cumulative GPA. Because grades from transfer courses are not transferable, the new grade itself is not calculated into the cumulative average.

Repeating Courses after a Passing Grade or Audit

A student may repeat once any Fitchburg State University course for which a 1.0, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, or AU is earned. Courses must be taken at Fitchburg State University and, if at all possible, should be taken within the following year. Students may petition the appropriate academic dean to repeat courses at other colleges.

The repeated course will be indicated as such on the student’s transcript. The higher grade will be counted toward the overall GPA on the transcript.

Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory Grades

Any course can be taken for a S/U grade with the following exceptions:

  • Courses required for a major unless the department has designated them as acceptable
  • Courses taken to fulfill the General Education writing requirement
  • Courses taken to fulfill the General Education quantitative reasoning requirement

and with the following limitations:

  • A maximum of 12 credits of S/U can be applied toward the minimum credits required for a degree
  • No more than two courses in any discipline (as identified by course-number prefix) may be taken S/U
  • Only one course per semester may be taken S/U
  • No quality points are awarded with the S/U grade

Students must request the S/U option by the deadline to withdraw from a course. Once recorded, the designation cannot be changed by the student.

In addition to the above, remedial courses, which do not count toward graduation, may only be taken for a S/U grade.


The purpose of an incomplete is to account for extraordinary circumstances in students’ academic and personal lives and to accommodate a need for extra time.

Instructors may assign an incomplete grade (IN) at their discretion, but only in those cases when it is mathematically possible for a student to pass the class with a 1.0 or higher, on successful completion of the incomplete work. An instructor will initiate the incomplete grade process with the student by filling out an official “incomplete grade form.Instructors will indicate on this form the graded assessments of course content that must be completed and the grade the student will receive in the event that they are not completed. This information will be shared with the primary academic advisor.

Instructors will assign a deadline for completion of the work no later than the last day of classes of the next semester. If the student does not complete the work, the grade indicated on the “incomplete grade form” will be assigned. Extensions may be granted through the petition process.

Students should be aware that, while an IN is not counted in the determination of academic standing, it may have an impact on eligibility for financial aid, athletic participation, and the satisfaction of prerequisite credits.

In Progress

An In Progress (IP) is given in lieu of a grade under extraordinary circumstances where a course spans longer than one semester. IP grades can only be submitted by petition to the registrar by a department chair and must include a final date by which the IP must be completed.


  • An Audit (AU) is entered into the transcript to indicate that a student has been officially enrolled in a course for neither grade nor credit.
  • Students who wish to audit a course during the day must record the audit designation with the Registrar’s Office by the end of the add/drop period.
  • Students who wish to audit a course during the evening must register the audit designation with the Registrar’s Office before the third class meeting.

Withdrawal from an Individual Course

Withdrawals from a regularly scheduled individual course without academic penalty (a “W” on the transcript) may be made through the end of the 11th week as indicated on the University Academic Calendar. Special scheduling or institute course withdrawals will be determined on a prorated basis. A withdrawal is initiated by completing a withdrawal form at the Registrar’s Office in the Anthony building or by emailing the form to your advisor for approval and then to the Registrar’s office. The signature of your academic advisor is required on the form. After this period a grade of 0.0 will be automatically applied unless the appropriate Academic Dean for your major approves a student petition form requesting a late withdrawal. The petition requires documented extenuating circumstances. Students who withdraw by simply not attending the class will receive a failing grade for the class. There is a different process for withdrawing from all classes for a term, see “Withdrawal from the University.” You may also refer to the university “Refund Policy” for further information.

Final Grades

Final grades for courses are available to students online as soon as grades are posted. Contact professors for information about the grades you receive. For more information, see www.fitchburgstate.edu/registrar.

Mid-Semester Grades

Faculty will be encouraged to submit a mid-semester grade for all students that are achieving at the 1.7 grade level or lower, and/or are not attending their classes. The grades should reflect student achievement to date on graded assignments.  Faculty report deficiency grades by the Friday before advising begins.


Unofficial transcripts are available to students online. Official transcripts may also be requested online at www.parchment.com.  For more information, see the Request a Transcript website.


Each instructor has the prerogative to place a value upon class attendance and must inform the class of that value early in the semester. The instructor’s class attendance standard should be stated in the course syllabus. If a student is absent from a class meeting, the student is required to produce appropriate documentation for the instructor’s review.

Section 2B of Chapter 151c of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts reads as follows:

Any student in an educational or vocational institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement  which may have been missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon the school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall  result to students who avail themselves of the provisions of this section.

Academic Standing

All courses completed at Fitchburg State University, including those taken during winter or summer sessions, determine current academic standing. The grades and credit for winter session and summer courses are included in the student’s GPA.

Credits transferred from another institution are applied to a student’s total number of credits earned, but grades earned from transferred credits are not calculated into the cumulative GPA.

Good Academic Standing

To achieve good academic standing, students must:

  • Maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in the major
  • Meet any additional requirements of the major which have been approved by the All-University Committee and are consistent with university policy


Fitchburg State University honors students who have high academic achievement throughout their university career as well as at graduation. The honors are:

President’s List

Honors students for consistently high academic achievement. Students are named to the President’s List when they have attained a semester average of 3.75 or higher for three successive semesters while maintaining full-time status. Incompletes do not count toward the President’s List.

Dean’s List

Honors students who have attained an average of 3.2 or better for the semester while maintaining full-time status. Incompletes do not count toward the Dean’s List.

Summer Dean’s List

Students taking 12 semester hours or more through continuing education during the summer sessions who maintain an average of 3.2. These students can be named to the President’s List if they meet the specified cumulative average.

Graduation Honors

Graduation honors recognize outstanding academic careers as signified by a high cumulative average. To graduate with honors, a student must have completed at least 45 credits with a numerical grade at the university.

Summa Cum Laude honors students who graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher.

Magna Cum Laude honors students who graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.79.

Cum Laude honors students who graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 to 3.49.

Transfer Honors

Students who have a cumulative 3.2 GPA or above at Fitchburg and meet the minimum residency requirement for graduation but do not meet the 45 credit minimum for honors consideration may still be eligible for honors if GPA from the transfer institution(s) combined with the GPA from Fitchburg State, each weighted by percentage of completed courses.

For example, if 25% of courses are taken at Fitchburg State and 75% are taken in transfer, the GPA from the transfer institution will be multiplied by .75, the GPA from courses taken at Fitchburg State will be multiplied by .25 and the two are added together. If the combined GPA reaches the 3.2 minimum, the student is eligible for honors.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 will be placed on probation.

Academic Warning

Students whose cumulative GPA falls in the range of 2.0 to 2.2 will be placed on academic warning.

Students on probation and academic warning must:

  • Meet with their academic advisor before the start of the second week of the relevant semester to review their current course load and arrange periodic meetings throughout the semester;
  • Meet with an academic coach for the number of times stipulated in the probation or academic warning contract.

Students who maintain the University’s academic standards for probation must also meet the financial aid and athletic eligibility requirements for satisfactory academic progress.  (Financial Aid has additional academic requirements for probationary students.  Students should consult the appropriate office to determine their eligibility.)

Students who voluntarily withdraw from the university while on probation will return under a Dean’s Probation contract.


Students will be suspended if:

  • They have a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 for more than two successive semesters;
  • And/or they do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA, as stipulated below.
GPA Credits             Separation Below GPA
0 - 30


31 - 60


61 - 90


> 90


Suspended students are not eligible to enroll in any course in any division of Fitchburg State University for at least one semester.  Following suspension, students must submit a letter, before the deadline established by the Registrar, requesting readmission.  Students who are readmitted after suspension do so under an academic contract.  Suspension status is not changed by a voluntary withdrawal.


Students will be dismissed from the University if, after having been readmitted following a suspension, they do not meet probationary standards as laid out in a contract.

Dismissal status results in the student’s dismissal from all divisions of Fitchburg State University.  A dismissed student may not enroll in any courses in any division of the University for a period of five years.

Course Load

Graduation requirement: a minimum of 120 semester hours in all majors.

Half-time status: a minimum of 6 semester hours each fall and spring, or in combined summer sessions. Students must maintain at least half-time status for eligibility for financial aid.

Full-time status: a minimum of 12 semester hours each semester. Students must maintain full-time status to remain eligible for varsity athletics, academic honors including Dean’s List, participation in student governance, health insurance coverage. Some financial aid options and scholarships may require 12 credits. Both day and continuing education courses are included in calculating total semester hours.

Maximum allowable course load, fall and spring terms: 18 semester hours. Students registering for more than 18 semester hours (whether solely at Fitchburg State University or in conjunction with courses taken at another university) must have the permission of their department chair and appropriate dean along with their major advisor. Students taking overloads without permission may be denied credit for overload courses,regardless of grades earned.

Maximum allowable course load, winter session: Maximum academic load is six credit hours.
Maximum allowable course load, summer sessions: The maximum academic load during the combined summer sessions is twelve credits. Students are strongly advised to avoid taking more than 8 credits in one summer session.
Note: Any student seeking to register for credit beyond the maximum load must submit a student petition with support from their advisor. A student with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 will normally not be granted permission to register for more than the maximum course load in any semester.

Four-year undergraduate degree: At least 15 semester hours per semester are recommended for graduation in four years. Certain majors may require enrollment in specific courses or with specific course loads in certain semesters; students are responsible for understanding requirements for their major.

Program enrollment: Under certain circumstances, day program students may be permitted to enroll full-time for a semester through the Graduate and Continuing Education division, and vice-versa. Approval for such enrollments must be granted by the appropriate dean for your major.

Credit Elimination Policy

The Credit Elimination Policy applies to students who leave the university and desire to return after five or more calendar years. Such students may eliminate all or part of previously earned credits from their transcripts, in units of one semester or more, with the understanding that any eliminated credits will still count as attempted and thus potentially affect financial aid eligibility. When a particular semester of credit is designated to be eliminated, all credits from this semester must be eliminated.

This policy requires that:

  • Credit elimination may only occur once
  • A request for credit elimination must be in writing
  • The appropriate academic dean must approve the request

Transfer Credit

Credit received for courses completed at other regionally accredited institutions of higher education may be transferred to Fitchburg State University and applied toward degree programs if:

  • The courses are equivalent to courses offered by Fitchburg State University or appropriate to programs at the university
  • The grade of the course is no lower than a 1.7 (C-), except for courses taken in the spring 2020 semester.   For spring 2020 courses we will accept grades of P/F or S/U as transfer credit even if they do not have a numerical grade, and we will accept credits for courses in which students received a D (1.0) or above.  
  • A maximum of 75 semester hours credit from two year institutions, college level examinations, and/or military training will be considered for transfer
  • A maximum of 90 semester hours of credit will be considered from four year baccalaureate institutions

Value of transferred credit

  • Transferred credits count only as credit hours earned
  • No quality points or grades are transferred or calculated in the student’s cumulative GPA
  • A minimum of 30 semester hours toward a baccalaureate degree must be completed at Fitchburg State University
  • A minimum of 50% of credits must be completed at Fitchburg State University for Undergraduate certificate programs.
  • For students with one major degree program, no more than 50% of major credits can be completed as transfer credits. In order to receive a minor, a student must complete at least two minor courses (or a minimum of 6 credits) in residence at Fitchburg State University. 
  • Major departments may have additional requirements

Approval of transfer credit may be authorized by the registrar, or academic deans.

International Baccalaureate Credit

The official IB transcript and World Education Services (WES) translation of non-English originals are required.

Fitchburg State University awards transfer credit to students who are recipients of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or Certificate as follows:

IB Diploma recipients may be awarded six to eight semester hours of credit, based on articulation, for each higher level (HL) subject examination passed with a score of 4 or higher.

IB Certificate recipients (those not awarded the Diploma) may also be awarded six to eight semester hours of credit, based on articulation, for each higher level (HL) subject examination passed with a score of 4 or higher.

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit may be awarded. No credit is awarded for standard level (SL) subject examinations.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Defense Activity for Nontraditional Educational Support (DANTES), Departmental Examinations

Students entering Fitchburg State University with college-level training or experience can be tested on college course material to earn credit toward their degree. The Fitchburg State University examination program is especially valuable for individuals who have had learning experiences outside the college classroom (employment experience, life experience, independent study, etc.) which may come to bear upon their formal academic training.

On the CLEP exams, Fitchburg State University adheres to the standards established by the American Council on Education granting credit for tests on which a score of 50 has been achieved. This credit is awarded only to students enrolled in degree programs at Fitchburg State University.

The nearest CLEP and DSST exam site is at the testing center of Mount Wachusett Community College (978) 630-9244.

It is possible to gain up to 60 university credits through the program for all majors except criminal justice. Criminal justice majors can earn no more than 12 credits through examination.

Advanced Placement

For students who score 3, 4, or 5 on the advanced placement examination, the university grants advanced placement status and credit in the area tested. See the Academic Glossary for the advanced placement courses accepted.

Academic Integrity Policy

Every member of the university community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. A student shall not submit work that is falsified or is not the result of the student’s own effort. A student who is in doubt regarding standards of academic integrity in a course or assignment should consult the faculty member responsible for that course or assignment before submitting the work. A student’s lack of understanding of the academic integrity policy is not a valid defense to a charge of academic dishonesty.

A student’s name on any written or creative exercise (e.g., examination, report, thesis, theme, laboratory report, computer program, artistic production, etc.), or in association with an oral presentation, declares that the work is the result of that student’s own thought and study. Any work that the student declares as their own shall be stated in the student’s own words and produced without the assistance of others. Students must make clear through accurate citations when they make use of other sources. Talking during an examination, or possession or use of unauthorized materials or equipment during an examination constitutes an infringement of the academic integrity policy. Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty also constitutes a violation of the academic integrity policy.

Unless permission is received in advance from the faculty member in charge of the course involved, a student may not submit, in identical or similar form, work for one course that has been used to fulfill any academic requirement in another course at Fitchburg State University or any other institution. A student who perceives the possibility of overlapping assignments in courses should consult with the appropriate faculty members before presuming that a single effort will fulfill requirements of both courses. Students should consult course syllabi for additional guidance on matters of academic integrity.

When an alleged offense of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred, the following process will apply:

  1. If the accuser is a faculty member, and they decide to make a formal accusation of a violation of the academic integrity policy, the faculty member will provide the student with a letter describing the case for academic dishonesty within 14 days of discovering the alleged infringement. This letter may be presented to the student in person or delivered to the student’s home, local or campus address or mailbox, or Fitchburg State University email account. The student will either:
    1. agree with the accusation of academic dishonesty and the sanction as imposed by the faculty member, or
    2. disagree with the accusation of academic dishonesty. (A student cannot agree with the accusation of academic dishonesty but disagree with the sanction. Disagreement with a sanction, in other words, is not grounds for an appeal.)

If the student has agreed with the accusation and signed the letter accordingly, the sanction identified by the faculty member will be imposed, and the matter will be considered closed. If the student disagrees with the accusation and again signs the letter accordingly, the student may appeal the matter to the  university conduct board. With all formal accusations of a violation of the academic integrity policy, the faculty member will forward the letter with the student’s signature and other relevant information to the Office of Student Affairs. Faculty are encouraged to inform the Office of Student Affairs regarding Academic Integrity violations prior to submission of formal paperwork. (Proceed to No. 3 below.)

  1. If the accuser is not a faculty member, and they decide to initiate the formal process, the accuser must submit a report and/or relevant information to the Office of Student Affairs within 14 days of discovering the alleged infringement of the academic integrity policy.
  2. Once a case is forwarded or as an appeal (in the form of a report, signed letter and/or other relevant information), the designated student affairs administrator, or designee, will review all relevant information and either:
    1. dismiss the incident due to lack of merit or timeliness or
    2. contact the accused student to schedule a conduct board hearing or
    3. when a conduct board is not available, an administrative hearing shall be utilized.
  3. If the case goes to the conduct board/hearing administrator, the board will determine whether the student is responsible or not responsible for violating the academic integrity policy. If the student is found responsible, the board/hearing administrator will recommend sanctions to the appropriate academic dean, or designee, or, in the case of graduate students, the dean of graduate studies. These sanctions will include those identified by the faculty member and, in the event a student has a prior disciplinary record, may also include the additional sanctions of:
    • a grade of zero on the assignment;
    • a failing grade in the course;
    • suspension from Fitchburg State University;
    • dismissal from Fitchburg State University;
    • or other sanctions.
  4. In cases of undergraduate student violations of the academic integrity policy, the appropriate academic dean (or designee) will either impose the sanction recommended by the conduct board or determine that the sanction is excessive or inadequate and alter it accordingly. In cases of graduate student violations of the academic integrity policy, the dean of graduate studies (or designee) will take the above action.
  5. The student may make a final appeal to the University  Provost only for a sanction of suspension or dismissal.

Note: If the student agrees with the academic dishonesty finding by the faculty member, the case will not go before the conduct board; however, if they have a prior disciplinary record, the designated student affairs administrator may pursue other charges and sanctions once the academic integrity issue has been resolved.

Assessment of Student Learning

In keeping with the Fitchburg State University commitment to excellent educational experiences and high-quality programs for its students, and consistent with practices at other institutions within the state, region, and nationally, Fitchburg State University routinely engages in the assessment of student learning at the course, program, institution and system levels. The learning outcomes assessment process may include a variety of methods such as standardized tests, student surveys, polls, questionnaires, and focus groups. In addition, student coursework and co-curricular work, including but not limited to, exams, papers, written assignments, and presentations, may be retained for the purpose of assessment and continuous improvement. The identity of the student will be protected, student’s name, grade or other identifying information will be removed before the student work is reviewed. Selected student work may be subject to review by a limited cohort of higher educational personnel, primarily faculty. Assessment of student learning is undertaken primarily for the purpose of continuous improvement in the areas of student learning, curriculum development, instruction, and student academic success. Assessment activities will have absolutely no effect on a student’s grade, academic standing, ability to transfer, or ability to be graduated. Fitchburg State University takes all necessary steps to ensure the confidentiality of all student records and student work reviewed through this process in accordance with FERPA regulation.

Additional Undergraduate Day Policies and Procedures

Course Registration

Approval of Course Schedule

Prior to course registration each semester, students must meet with their advisor to review their academic progress and to develop a course schedule for the upcoming semester. Advisors must approve course selections before the student is permitted to register. 

Identification of Class Standing

For the purpose of registration and financial aid, the following classifications are identified:

Freshmen students with between 0-23 earned credits
Sophomores students with between 24-47 earned credits
Juniors students with between 48-71 earned credits
Seniors students with 72 or more earned credits


During the first six class days of the semester, students may either add or drop a course. Although students may make changes to their schedule during the add/drop period without the approval of their advisor, they should confer with their advisor when making changes that affect their progress towards graduation or fulfillment of their major requirements.

University Internship Policies for Undergraduate Students

In order to qualify for an internship, a student must be matriculated and have completed a minimum of 60 credits with at least 12 credits earned at Fitchburg State, and have a 2.0 GPA prior to placement. While these are university requirements, individual
departments may have additional GPA requirements in the major and other entry requirements. In addition:

  • The maximum number of credits a student may earn toward their major through an internship is limited to 12 credits.
  • Additional internship credits may be allowed as free electives.
  • Internship credit cannot be substituted for core and required courses in any major.
  • Students may register for an internship either through sections created for that purpose in the schedule or through the use of a Special Studies Request form.
  • No student will intern at a site or with a site supervisor which poses a conflict of interest.  Conflicts of interest may include, but are not limited to, supervision by a student’s family member, internships doing an existing job, etc.  If a current job site is considered, the internship must include tasks outside of the normal job duties so that it is a true learning experience.
  • No retroactive credit will be given for internship hours prior to registration.

Leave of Absence

Students enrolled in the university may request a period of separation – normally not to exceed two consecutive semesters. Students who are on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) maintain their active status.  Students on good academic standing (i.e., not on academic probation) will be able to contact their advisor directly in order to register themselves for the semester of their return.  Please note: Taking a Leave of Absence does not change the status of a returning student who was not in good academic standing at the start of their Leave of Absence.

A student who has had a one semester leave approved and does not return for the approved semester will be withdrawn unless an extension is granted through the Student Affairs office. A declaration in writing to extend the Leave of Absence to two semesters is required.  

A student who wishes to extend a Leave of Absence beyond two semesters must request that through the Student Affairs Office and present a valid reason for the exception to the two semester limit.

Most common exceptions to the two consecutive semester limit would include military deployment, financial difficulties and medical conditions that require more than two semesters’ recovery. Appropriate documentation (medical documentation, military orders) may be required.

Please note: A leave of absence does not pause federal loan repayment. 

Withdrawal from the University

Students who withdraw from the university, either during or between semesters, must complete a withdrawal form with the Office of Student Affairs. Students who withdraw within the first 11 weeks of the semester will receive a W in each course. 

Students who leave the university after 11 weeks of the semester will receive a grade of 0.0 or U in all their courses unless granted a waiver by the Office of Student Affairs for documented extenuating circumstances. Students who are called to active military duty after 11 weeks of the semester and choose to withdraw from the university (see also Leave of Absence policy) will receive a grade of “W” in all their courses once a withdrawal form is completed through the Office of Student Affairs. 

A degree seeking student who does not register for a course for one year is automatically withdrawn by the Registrar. A degree seeking student who decides to return to Fitchburg State University must initiate readmission through the Registrar’s Office. See Readmission to the University Policy for more details. 

Students who are called to active military duty and choose to withdraw rather than take a leave of absence should contact the Office of Student Affairs immediately in order to expedite the withdrawal and refund process. Upon application through the Registrar’s Office, readmission will be granted following a break in attendance due to service requirements. 

Readmission to the University 

Students may apply for readmission to the registrar for any semester/term no later than one week prior to the start date. Applications received after this date will be considered but readmission is not guaranteed for the semester requested. The registrar will consider academic, financial, and university discipline records, in addition to space available, when granting readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed. 

Veterans who left for active service and were in good academic and disciplinary standing will be granted readmission provided their withdrawal was effective within the last five years and the university was notified of their return to service prior to withdrawing.

Veterans that have been readmitted into the Nursing program may be required to repeat some courses as required by the Nursing Department depending on length away from the program. 

Student Grievance

A student who is dissatisfied with a grade received or with any other aspect of instruction in a particular course is to confer with the instructor, who will explain the reasons for awarding the grade. If such a conference fails to achieve a satisfactory resolution, the student should confer with the department chair. If still unsatisfied, the student may then appeal in writing to the appropriate academic dean to adjudicate the situation.

Additional Undergraduate Evening Policies and Procedures

Course Registration

Students must register for courses within the curriculum requirements as set in the University Catalog of the year of matriculation. However, it is the right of the university to alter the requirements to meet statutory, educational, or professional standards.

For regularly scheduled courses, students must register before the deadlines noted in the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education academic calendar. Early registration is recommended for all matriculated students and applicants in order to secure seats in the courses needed to proceed in degree programs. Please check the website for specific registration dates and late registration dates, which carry a late registration fee.

Senior Level—Graduate Credit Policy

A senior level student (90 semester hours or more) with a 3.5 GPA or better may register for graduate credit courses at the 6000 level and above with the following restrictions:

  • Approval must be obtained from the dean or designee
  • Combined graduate and undergraduate credit load in a semester is not more than 15 hours
  • No more than three graduate credits may be taken in a semester
  • Recommendation of the appropriate undergraduate advisor must be submitted to the dean for approval through a student petition form, which can be found in the registrar’s website
  • No more than nine semester hours of graduate credit may be accumulated by a senior. Graduate credits are applicable to maintain full-time status to receive financial aid
  • Graduate courses taken toward undergraduate degree requirements cannot be transferred into a graduate program at Fitchburg State University

Scheduling of Courses

The School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education schedules courses at times that are convenient for working adults. Schedules are created in the academic departments in consultation with the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education. Most courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening; some courses are scheduled on weekends, and many courses are available online. Winter session courses are online and summer session courses are scheduled during mornings, afternoons, or evenings, as well as online.

Course Drops

Course drops must be made by the deadlines noted in the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education academic calendar. No course drops are permitted after the deadlines. After the deadline, the dropping of a course is considered a withdrawal.

Course Withdrawals

Withdrawals without academic penalty may be made until the deadline noted in the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education academic calendar. Course withdrawal is initiated by contacting the Registrar’s Office at (978) 665-4196 or registrar@fitchburgstate.edu. Any student who withdraws by simply not attending classes automatically receives a failing grade for the course. See tuition and fees refund policy in Tuition and Fees catalog section.

Cancellation of Courses

The university may cancel courses for insufficient enrollment or for other reasons deemed to be in the best interest of the university. Students who sign up for a course which is cancelled may transfer to another course or receive a full refund of tuition and fees.

Withdrawal from the University

A degree-seeking undergraduate student may initiate withdrawal from the university by completing an SGOCE University and Program Withdrawal form. A student who does not register for a course for one year is automatically withdrawn. A degree-seeking student who decides to return to Fitchburg State University must initiate reinstatement through the Registrar’s Office.

Students who are called to active military duty should contact the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education immediately in order to expedite the withdrawal process.

Student Grievance

A student who is dissatisfied with a grade received or with any other aspect of instruction in a particular course is to confer with the instructor, who will explain the reasons for awarding the grade. If such a conference fails to achieve a satisfactory resolution, the student should confer with the department chair. If still unsatisfied, the student may then appeal in writing to their appropriate undergraduate dean or the dean of graduate and continuing education to adjudicate the situation.