COURSE PLANNING AND REGISTRATION
Semester System | California Graduate School of Theology (Cal Grad) operates on the semester system. The unit for counting credit is the semester hour, which consists of one fifty-minute period of class work per week in a normal semester. Nine (9) units or more per semester is considered a full load.
In addition to the normal Fall and Spring semesters, concentrated modular periods are offered in the summer and winter in short intensive time-frames. These course schedules are designed especially for the busy pastor and Christian school teacher or administrator who cannot make long term commitments toward an advanced degree program.
Transfer Credits | Transcripts are evaluated by the Registrar under the guidelines established by the faculty. Course credits with a minimum grade of "C" earned at other graduate theological schools and seminaries are accepted at full value to the extent that the courses are comparable to Cal Grad's stated requirements. The maximum amount of credit transferable is listed under each degree description.
Course Selections | Each student upon entering California Graduate School of Theology is assigned to an advisor. Students should understand that all questions concerning academic problems should be taken first to the advisor and only later, when a problem remains unresolved, to the Registrar. Required courses are offered on a regular basis and elective courses are generally offered on a rotating basis. Information on the elective courses offered for any given semester can be obtained from the Registrar.
Registration | Official registration is required at the beginning of each semester, and students will not be admitted into classes without formal registration.
Adding and Dropping | Any changes after a student and an advisor have arranged the student's semester program are discouraged. No course can be added after the third week of classes. Any course dropped during the first three weeks will not be recorded on the student's permanent record. From the beginning of the fourth week of classes through the end of the fifth week of instruction, all drops will be recorded as a "W," Withdrawal. No course is considered officially added or dropped until the proper form is submitted to the Registrar in order that the student's schedule may be properly changed.
Withdrawal | A student withdrawing during the semester must submit a Petition for Withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office. The petition will then be reviewed by the Academic Dean. The effective date of withdrawal shall be the date the Academic Dean's signature is affixed. Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal. Withdrawing without prior approval will result in a failing grade which will forfeit any financial refunds otherwise due.
Auditing | A student who wishes to audit, or take courses without credit, must indicate his or her intention at the time of registration. Audit students do not take examinations, and are not required to complete assignments. Courses audited cannot be counted toward meeting graduation requirements, and also cannot be taken in subsequent semesters for credit. Only lecture courses may be audited.
Independent Study | Students are allowed to apply for a certain amount of Independent Study units each semester for the M.A., M.Div., D.Min., Th.M., and Th.D. degrees. Details on how many are permitted for each degree are listed under each degree program description in the Degree Programs section of this website.
All work is graded with letters which are assigned points as follows:
A 4.00 Excellent
B 3.00 Good
C 2.00 Satisfactory
D 1.00 Poor
F 0.00 Fail
Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) | A student's gpa is calculated by dividing the student's total number of earned points by the number of semester hours attempted. The grade of W is not used in calculation of the g.p.a.
Incomplete | The grade of "I" will be assigned by the instructor only if the student has been unable to complete the course on time due to unavoidable circumstances. Students must submit a petition for an Incompletegrade to the Registrar's Office prior to the deadline for grades for instructors.
Each Incomplete must be made up by the end of the second week after the close of the semester in which it was granted. If the work is not completed and submitted by the deadline, the grade designated by the instructor at the time the request for the "I" was made will be recorded.
Changes in Grades | All grades will be recorded in the Registrar's office as reported by the instructor in each course. Once grades are recorded, only the instructor, or in special cases, the Academic Dean, can submit requests for changes in writing to the Registrar.
Class Attendance Requirement | All students are expected to attend all classes, except under extenuating circumstances. Excusable circumstances include illness, injury, childbirth, death of a family member, or other serious events.
Three (3) instances of tardiness are also counted as an absence. All students must have 80% attendance of all courses, regardless of the nature of the absences. Those students who fail to maintain satisfactory class attendance in any subject shall not be permitted to take the final exam in that particular subject. If attendance fails to improve, the instructor, at his/her discretion, may dismiss a student for unsatisfactory attendance.
Leave of Absence | If a student cannot maintain progress on a degree program for more than one term, then he or she must request a leave of absence from the Academic Dean. A leave of absence may be granted for reasons relating to family or economic hardship, and allows one to resume his or her studies without having to apply anew for admission.
Academic Probation and Suspension | Students who do not maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 will be placed on academic probation for one semester, and will be notified in writing. At the end of the probationary semester, if the student has not achieved the required minimum grade point average, the student will be suspended from Cal Grad.
Under extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal the suspension in writing to the Admissions Committee. All decisions made by the committee shall be final. Requests for an appeal must be made within the first five days of the semester of suspension. The results of an appeal are conveyed to the student as soon as possible. In the event that the appeal is denied, the student will be dismissed from the school, and will receive a "W" in all courses for the semester. Dismissals are considered final.
Students must be in good academic standing in order to graduate. Some degree programs have additional requirements that must be met before a student is able to graduate. Details are outlined under each degree program description in this catalog. Students are responsible for meeting the graduation requirements set forth in the catalog published at the time of their matriculation for the degree they are seeking. All candidates for graduation must be approved by the Degree Committee. To receive this endorsement students must have acted responsibly in manifesting wholesome Christian character and adhering to the standards of this school.
Students who change programs are responsible for meeting the graduation requirements of the new program. Students who take an extended leave of absence for more than one year are subject to the graduation requirements in effect at the time of their reinstatement unless written permission was obtained prior to the extended leave.
Intent to Graduate | Students who plan to participate in commencement must complete and submit an Intent to Graduate application to the Registrar's Office. This must be done no later than the beginning of the Spring Semester of the year in which the student plans to graduate. Prior to commencement, the Registrar will evaluate each candidate's academic record. Copies of the evaluations will be sent to the student, his or her advisor, and the Academic Dean.
Financial obligations | In addition, students must clear their accounts of any remaining balances before graduation. Students who fail to do this will not have access to any services, including transcripts, conferral of degree, diploma, or enrollment into another degree program.
Dissertation Requirements | Students are encouraged to give thought to the choice of a dissertation topic from the very beginning of their programs. Dissertation proposals must be submitted to the Registrar within two years of initial admission into the program. Upon approval of a proposal, an advisor will be selected and assigned according to the student's topic of research. Dissertations must be worthy of publication and demonstrate the student's ability to conduct independent research, deal constructively with theological issues, and communicate clearly and effectively in written English. Specific instructions and due dates appear in the manual on dissertations.
Students who wish to attend commencement services in May must finalize their dissertation by the 1st of May. If they cannot complete it by this time but still wish to participate in commencement ceremonies, they may petition for an extension. The student must show that he or she is able to complete his or her dissertation by August 31 of the same year in order to be approved for an extension. In the case that the student is not able to complete it by August 31, the student will graduate the following May.
Commencement | All candidates for graduation are expected to participate in the annual commencement exercises which take place at the close of the Spring Semester. Those who cannot attend the commencement because of extenuating circumstances must make a formal request in writing to the Registrar to receive the degree in his or her absence.
STUDENT RECORDS AND TRANSCRIPTS
Confidentiality of Student Records |
Cal Grad follows the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Acts of 1974 and regulations adopted thereunder (45 CFR 99) and California Education Code, Section 67100, which state that educational institutions shall not release educational records to non-school employees without prior consent of the student.
Right of Access | Also in accordance with the same regulations, with a few exceptions provided by law, students at California Graduate School of Theology may see any of their educational records upon request. Students are also entitled to copies of all records to which they have access. Students further have the right, under established procedures, to challenge the factual accuracy of the records, should they find discrepancies between the school records and their own. Students also have the right of access to recommendations and evaluations in the cases of admissions and applications for employment.
Transcripts | Official transcripts are issued by the Registrar only at the written request of the student together with the $20 transcript fee. The student must give his/her full name used while enrolled in the school, date of birth, Student or Social Security number, dates of attendance, and degree(s) received, if any. No transcripts will be issued for anyone who has failed to meet any financial obligations to California Graduate School of Theology.