May 18, 2024  
2013-2014 Course Catalog 
    
2013-2014 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Academic Policies



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Expectations and Responsibilities

The college emphasizes the responsibility of each student to participate in the educational process. This involves the conscientious preparation of assignments and the recognition of the frequent interdependence of students when individual contribution to a group or class effort is required.

Attendance: Students are expected to attend classes and to complete assignments as required by the instructor. They should expect their academic progress to suffer if they miss classes.

Advising: Students are also expected to meet regularly with their college advisors in the College Advising Center and with their faculty advisors in their major and minor departments. As part of the advising process, students are expected to understand their degree requirements and their academic progress toward the completion of their intended degree.

Co-curricular Activities: The college supports student activities that provide broad opportunity for the exercise of interests and talents. These include participation in the Student Government Association, participation in professional organizations, cultural experiences, social activities, sports clubs, and informal meetings between students and faculty.

The college prohibits the following conduct: All forms of academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the college, forgery, alteration or fraudulent use of College documents, instruments, or identification. For more about this read Academic Integrity

Major Declaration

All Columbia students must declare a major. Transfer students with 45 credits or more will need to make this declaration at the end of their first semester at Columbia or by the time they have accumulated 60 credits. Students may complete a double major; however, both majors must lead to the same degree (BA or BFA). Credits counted towards fulfillment of requirements in one major may not be counted towards fulfillment of requirements in the second major.

Baccalaureate Degree Programs

Columbia’s undergraduate division offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Music (BMus), Bachelor of Science (BS), or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in specific programs. In addition to Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum (LAS Core) requirements, the BA, BMus, BS, and BFA programs may include core requirements and specialized concentrations of courses that enable students to prepare for particular careers.

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts degree plans may meet one or both of the following curricular goals:

Bachelor of Arts in a Major with a Concentration

The degree plan offers various emphases within a basic plan of study. These degree plans ordinarily are divided between core courses and a choice of several groups of courses that offer concentrated or specialized study within the major field. Core requirements are courses that are fundamental to the field, introducing students to the discipline and providing essential skills and general knowledge as a foundation for further study. A concentration is a focused area of study within a major, a specialization that follows, in most cases, the completion of the core requirements. Some departments offer degree plans with a concentration to be taken on an elective basis; however, others, due to professional requirements, require the concentration for the completion of the major. Credit hours required for both the core and concentrations vary according to major.

Bachelor of Arts in a Major without a Concentration

The degree plan provides a breadth of understanding within a field. These degree plans consist mainly of core courses with limited emphases or specializations through minimal variations within the required program. Several of these degree plans are offered in the visual and performing arts departments as options to the BFA degree(s) in that discipline. Required credits vary according to major.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

To qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree, students entering in the Fall 2001 or after are required to complete:

  • 120 credits with a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average;
  • 42 credits in LAS Core courses for students entering fall 2005 or later; 48 credits in LAS Core courses for students entering before fall 2005;
  • a declared major;
  • a writing intensive course completed at Columbia;
  • compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Requirements for all majors can be found on the College’s Web site.

Bachelor of Music

In addition to BFA s in the performing arts, the Music Department offers Bachelor of Music (BMus) degrees in Composition; Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music; and Performance. This initial professional degree requires a total of 84 credit hours in music courses (85 for Performance) within a total requirement of 128 credit hours. The BMus curriculum includes Music core courses, specialization courses, and music lessons and ensembles, including an independent project or senior recital as a capstone experience. Students must declare their candidacy for the BMus by 60 cumulative credits. Upon acceptance in the program students need to follow the Music Department’s standards of performance to be considered for continuation.

Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements

To qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition; Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music; or Performance students are required to complete the following:

  • 128 credits;
  • 36 credits of LAS Core requirements for students entering fall 2005 or later; 48 credits of LAS Core requirements for students entering before fall 2005;
  • 84 credits in music (85 for Performance);
  • declaration of the major;
  • a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major;
  • a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better;
  • a writing intensive course completed at Columbia;
  • compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The visual and performing arts departments offer BFA s in specific concentrations within their disciplines. Requirements range from 66 to 92 credits within a total requirement of 128 credits. These degree plans include a basic core, an in-depth specialization, a historic study of the field, and professional capstone experience. Students must declare their candidacy for the BFA by 60 cumulative credits, following the specific selection criteria as noted by the individual departments.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Requirements

To qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, students are required to complete the following:

  • 128 credits with a minimum departmental grade point average as designated by the department;
  • 36 credits of LAS Core requirements for students entering fall 2005 or later; 48 credits of LAS Core requirements for students entering before fall 2005;
  • a declared major;
  • a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the major;
  • a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better;
  • a writing intensive course completed at Columbia;
  • compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements

To qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree students are required to complete the following:

  • 128 credits;
  • 41 credits of LAS Core requirements;
  • declaration of the major;
  • a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the major;
  • a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better;
  • a writing intensive course completed at Columbia;
  • compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

If a student has already earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia or another accredited institution, he or she may earn a second bachelor’s degree at Columbia by completing required courses specified by one of the major-granting departments or programs of the College. All other academic requirements will be considered fulfilled within the curriculum of the previously granted bachelor’s degree. Credits applied to the original degree and transfer credits cannot count toward this degree; however, specific courses may be waived based on work experiences or courses from the original degree. Not all departments offer second bachelor’s degrees. Please call Undergraduate Admissions for updated offerings.

Minors

Students who have declared a major in a Bachelor of Arts curriculum are encouraged to include a minor to augment and complement their course of study. Minors consist of 18 to 24 credits and provide an introduction or sequenced specialization in an area of study from either a major or a Liberal Arts and Sciences department. Specific credit and course requirements for each minor can be found on the College’s Web site.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum

Columbia College Chicago offers undergraduate students educational opportunities in the visual, performing, media, and communication arts within the context of a comprehensive liberal education. At Columbia, this liberal education centers in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Core Curriculum (LAS Core)-a set of curricula required for all undergraduate, degree-seeking students.

The LAS Core seeks to foster a community of teachers, learners, and leaders that is complementary to a student’s major field of study. The courses in the LAS Core are distributed through four rubrics:

Foundations of Communication: Knowledge and Practices
Students read for comprehension and pleasure while developing their critical thinking skills. They learn how to write and speak persuasively and how to make effective use of both academic and non-academic writing styles and formatting conventions. Most importantly, they develop an informed perspective on the relationship between the liberal arts and sciences and fields within the fine, performing, and media arts.

Culture, Values, and Ethics
Students become acquainted with the diversities of human behavior and social institutions. They examine basic ethical questions that confront humankind, as well as various approaches that attempt to answer those questions. They also develop textual literacies and awareness of literary issues by reading, analyzing, and writing poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.

Historical Narratives and Civic Consciousness
Students develop foundational knowledge of the historical periods they study by being exposed to research methodologies commonly employed by historians, and by learning to critically consider diverse sources to arrive at conclusions and support various theses. Students also develop an appreciation for historiography and how it impacts their ability to think critically about current events.

The Physical and Material World
Students understand and practice the scientific methods of questioning, analysis, testing, and “proving.” They come to appreciate the cumulative nature of advances in the sciences while developing a level of computational literacy sufficient to function responsibly and effectively in society.
 

Requirements and Total Credits

The number of LAS Core credits an undergraduate student must complete in order to graduate depends on the type of degree. BA students must complete 42 LAS Core credits; BS students must complete 41 LAS Core credits; and BFA and BMus students must complete 36 LAS Core credits. Below is a table that outlines specific LAS Core requirements.
 

Rubric Credits
Foundations of Communication: Knowledge and Practices BA BS BFA, BMus
First-Year Seminar (FY) 3 3 3
Writing and Rhetoric I and II (EN) 6 6 6
Oral Communication (SP) 3 0 0
Culture, Values, and Ethics      
Humanities (HU) 6 6 6/3*
Literature (HL) 3 3 3
Social Sciences (SS) 6 6 6/3*
Historical Narratives and Civic Consciousness      
History (HI) 6 6 6
The Physical and Material World      
Mathematics (MA) 3 4 3
Science (SC) 3 3 3
Science with lab component (SL) 3 4 3
Total LAS Core Credits 42 41 36

 

*BFA and BMus students are required to complete 12 total credits within Culture, Values and Ethics by taking either 3 credits in the Humanities and 6 credits in the Social Sciences OR 6 credits in the Humanities and 3 credits in the Social Sciences.

Additionally, degree candidates must complete:

  • 6 LAS Core credits at the 2000 level or higher,
  • one Global Awareness (GA) course. Global Awareness courses focus on areas outside the United States,
  • and one U.S. Pluralism (PL) course. U.S. Pluralism courses focus on diverse communities within the United States.

College-wide Graduation Requirements

College-wide graduation requirements are the standard requirements that students must fulfill in order for Columbia College Chicago to confer their degrees. These standards ensure that graduates have completed the curriculum as it was developed by the faculty.

Writing Intensive Requirement

In addition to the specific requirements for a major and for the LAS Core, students must also successfully complete a course designated Writing Intensive (WI). WI courses emphasize the further development of student writing skills and are offered throughout the college curriculum. These courses are designated by the code “WI” in the course descriptions.

College-wide Electives

Courses other than those that fulfill the LAS Core and major degree requirements are considered to be college-wide electives. A student’s course of study must include as many college-wide electives as needed to achieve the total number of credit hours required for his or her degree. College-wide electives may be selected from any department and program in the College.

Requisites

Prerequisites are course that must be taken prior to a given course.  Course(s) may be listed as prerequisite either because they cover necessary knowledge or skills or they must be taken in sequence.  Co-requisites are courses that may be taken prior to or at the same time as a given course.  Concurrent requisites are courses that must be taken at the same time as a given course. Course Requirements are requirements, other than courses, that a student must meet in order to register for a course.  Course requirements may include a specific number of completed credits, a minimum GPA, a minimum grade in a prerequisite course, departmental consent, audition, or portfolio review.

Requirement Codes

  EN Writing and Rhetoric I & II HU Humanities SP Oral communication
  FY First-Year Seminar MA Mathematics SS Social Sciences
  GA Global Awareness
PL U.S. Pluralism WI Writing Intensive
  HI History SC Science    
  HL Literature SL Science with lab component    

Waiver of College-wide Graduation Requirements

College-wide graduation requirements may only be waived by the Provost (or her/his designee) and only under exceptional circumstances. A student who has not met a requirement for graduation may submit an Academic Petition to the Office of the Provost. Columbia College Chicago does not allow course substitutions or course equivalencies in lieu of a waiver of a graduation requirement.

Registration

Registration for continuing degree-seeking students typically begins in the middle of each semester for the subsequent semester. Registration is conducted online through the college’s Online Administrative Student Information System (OASIS). To participate in registration, students may be required to meet with their faculty advisors for an advising clearance. Students should contact the department of their major for further information. Students must have no outstanding financial, academic, or immunization obligations to the college. (See also Orientation and Registration for New Students )

Dropping/Adding/Withdrawing from Classes

The college’s official schedule revision period ends on the Monday of the second week of classes in the fall and the Saturday of the first week in the spring semester. Students may make changes to their class schedules (i.e., add or drop classes) at any time prior to the end of the official revision period. No classes may be added or sections changed after the first week of classes, but students may drop classes through the second week of the semester and may withdraw through the eighth week during the fall and spring semesters. (Refer to the Summer Semester Schedule for guidelines on dropping or withdrawing from summer classes.) If a student drops a course before the end of the second week, the course will not appear on the student’s academic record. Withdrawals between the third and eighth week will appear on the record as W (Withdrawal), which may affect compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students are advised to consult with a college advisor in the College Advising Center before deciding to withdraw from a class. Failure to attend a class does not equal withdrawal.

Administrative Withdrawals

Columbia College Chicago recognizes there may be extenuating and mitigating circumstances affecting students (death of a relative, significant change in personal circumstances, etc.). A student may petition for a TOTAL administrative withdrawal from ALL classes after the end of the official withdrawal period by submitting a petition supported by appropriate documentation. An administrative withdrawal after the end of the semester will not be permitted if the petition is submitted later than two consecutive semesters (including the summer semester) following the semester in question. Petitions for administrative withdrawals are evaluated and approved or denied by the College Advising Center and Student Financial Services. Students may appeal a denial of petition to the Assistant Dean of Student Development, whose decision will be final.

Leaving the College

Students are strongly advised to see their College Advisor in the College Advising Center before deciding to leave the college. This is a decision that involves a loss of time, effort, tuition, and credit, and should be considered carefully in consultation with a College Advisor. In the event that a student decides to no longer attend the College, he or she must return all school property and make necessary financial arrangements with Student Financial Services prior to his or her departure. The deadline for withdrawals is stated in the calendar for each semester.

Grading System

Grades reflect the instructor’s evaluation of a student’s achievement, improvement, effort, and motivation within the framework of this system. Columbia’s grading system is as follows:

  Grade  Description
Grade Points Awarded
  A Excellent 4.0
  A-   3.7
  B+   3.3
  B Above Average 3.0
  B-   2.7
  C+   2.3
  C Average 2.0
  C-   1.7
  D Below Average 1.0
  F Failure 0.0
  P Pass 0.0
  I Incomplete 0.0
  W Withdrawal 0.0
       

Note: The following departments do not make use of plus/minus grades in assessing graduate student work: Architectural Studies, Dance Movement Therapy and Counseling, Music, Photography.

Treatment of W, I, NG, P, F, and Grades Reported

  • Course withdrawals (W), courses dropped after the add/drop period, are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations.
  • Incomplete (I) grades are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations. Students must apply for an I grade and their request may be approved or denied by the College. The I grade may be issued when a student makes definite arrangements with the instructor to complete course work outside class. Grades of I automatically convert to F’s if the agreed upon work is not completed by the end of the semester after the semester in which the I grade was assigned, but as early as the instructor wishes to stipulate. For this purpose, the summer semester is considered a regular semester. If medical excuses are part of the student’s documentation for requesting an I grade, these must be submitted during the semester in which the incomplete is requested. A student may not complete the work for a course in which an I grade was received by enrolling in the same class in the next semester. An Incomplete Grade (I) can only be issued for an undergraduate student who has met one of the following criteria:
    1. The student has successfully completed all course requirements to date but is faced with unexpected circumstances during the final weeks of the semester resulting in the inability to complete course requirements by the end of the semester.  The student must have, in the instructor’s estimation, the ability to complete missed course requirements outside of class and by the end of the eighth week of the following semester. The instructor must agree to evaluate the student’s work and replace the Incomplete grade before the end of the following semester. A Student-Faculty Agreement for Incomplete Grade  specifying work to be completed and a due date must be signed by both instructor and student and approved by the Department Chair. In the event that an instructor is no longer employed by the College, a program Coordinator, Director, or the Department Chair can evaluate the work and assign the course grade.
    2. An external supervisor for an Internship has failed to submit a final report and grade recommendation by the deadline for grade submission or the Internship conclusion date falls beyond the end of the grade submission deadline.   The Internship Coordinator /faculty member is responsible for obtaining the final evaluation and submitting a letter grade to replace the Incomplete by the eighth week of the following semester.  An agreement specifying the need for the final evaluation from the external supervisor must be signed by both instructor and approved by the Department Chair. In the event that an instructor is no longer employed by the College, a program Coordinator, Director, or the Department Chair can evaluate the work and assign the course grade.
  • Unreported grades (NG) are not included in the grade point average but are considered in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations.
  • Pass (P) grades are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations. The pass/fail option must be declared before the end of the fourth week of class (or, in the summer semester, by the end of the first week of class) by completing a form obtained in the Records Office. The instructor’s approval is required. Once this form is submitted the decision cannot be reversed.
  • Failure grades (F) are included in the computation of the grade point average, and they are considered in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations.
  • Grades of A, B, C, and D (including pluses and minuses) are included in the grade point calculation and are considered in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Columbia College Chicago will evaluate the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) all undergraduate students at the conclusion of the grading period each semester. Columbia will determine a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA); cumulative completion rate (total credits attempted divided by total credits earned); and the student’s total credits attempted to date, including transfer credits.

An undergraduate student is considered to be meeting SAP if the student:

  • has earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better; and
  • has a cumulative completion rate of 67% or better; and
  • has attempted less than 160 credits.

At the end of each grading period, students who are not meeting the above SAP requirements will be placed on Warning for their next semester of attendance.

While on Warning, students must meet with the College Advising Center but are not restricted from taking coursework or receiving financial aid.


If a student on Warning does not meet SAP at the end of the warning semester, s/he will be Dismissed. In order to register for a future semester, a student must meet with the College Advising Center.


Some students may be eligible to appeal their SAP status if they experienced one of the following that hindered their academic performance:

  • Death of a relative; and/or
  • Physical or mental health illness or injury; and/or
  • Extraordinary and unusual change in personal circumstances.

Appeals must be submitted on or before the established deadline for the appropriate term and is subject to approval by the Exception Committee. Students who do not submit an appeal or whose appeal is denied are not eligible to register for future terms of enrollment at Columbia and must follow the Readmission after Dismissal policy.


If an Appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Probation. While on Probation, the student must meet the terms and conditions of their academic plan and are eligible to continue receiving financial aid. Students must meet the SAP requirements after their Probationary term in order to continue their enrollment. In some cases, a student may be eligible for a Probation Continuance if they are unable to meet the SAP requirements after their probationary semester but were meeting their academic plan. These students must meet with the College Advising Center.


Students who do not meet the SAP requirements after a semester on Probation Continuance are Dismissed from Columbia and are not eligible to register for future terms until they follow the conditions outlined in the Readmission after Dismissal policy.


This Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for undergraduate students is effective July 1, 2011. All previous SAP policies students may have in their possession are no longer valid and students may not be “grandfathered” under old policies.

For complete information and a definition of the terms used, visit www.colum.edu/sap.

Class Standing

Class standing for undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Fine Arts is classified by the number of credits earned:

  Standing BA, BMus, or BFA
  Freshman 0-29
  Sophomore 30-59
  Junior 60-89
  Senior 90 and above

Academic Forgiveness

Failure to Meet the Minimum Grade Requirement

Students may progress in major or minor course sequencing or level by earning a minimum grade of C. In all other courses students must earn a minimum grade of D.


Students who fail to earn a minimum grade in any course not designated as “repeatable for credit” (see below) may attempt the course one more time in an effort to earn a higher grade.
 

Retaking Course Work Not Designated as Repeatable for Credit

Students are permitted to attempt a course a second time to improve their earned grade, provided the course is not designated repeatable for credit. Students may retake a course to improve their grade no more than once (total of two attempts). Official Withdrawals from a course (W grade) are not included in the total of two attempts.


The retaken course must have the equivalent course number and title as the initial course, and students will pay tuition and fees for the retaken course. The grade achieved in the retaken course (whether higher, lower, or the same) is included in the computation of the grade point average, and the course is included in the completion rate and maximum graduation time frame calculations. The original course title and original grade remain on the student’s academic record. Any credit earned in the first attempt will be replaced by any credit earned in the second attempt; credit can only be earned once for courses not designated as repeatable for credit. The student’s academic record will reflect the current academic transaction and Satisfactory Academic Progress compliance for each semester of enrollment.


State and federal aid-granting agencies currently authorize financial aid payments to fund the retake of a course for earning a new grade only once during the student’s progress toward degree completion.

Courses Designated as Repeatable for Credit

Students may register in successive semesters for skill-building, special topics courses and workshops classified as repeatable for credit courses on the Course Schedule. The number of times a repeatable for credit course may be taken varies, and students should always consult their faculty advisor prior to registration for these courses. Grades received for courses designated as repeatable for credit will appear separately on the transcript. Tuition and fees are paid each time the course is taken.


Courses designated as repeatable for credit may not be retaken to improve a grade.
 

Academic Options and Opportunities

Independent Projects

Independent Projects are advanced, student-driven learning experiences involving substantial student independence in project design and project execution. Independent Projects are appropriate for students who wish to explore a subject on their own beyond what is possible in regular courses offered by the College. An independent project must not be equivalent in content to courses currently offered by the College. Independent Projects must be approved by a faculty advisor who will also evaluate the final results and award a grade. Credit for an independent project cannot be applied toward the student’s LAS Core Curriculum requirements.

 

Directed Studies

Directed Studies are learning activities involving student independence within the context of regular guidance and direction from a faculty advisor. Directed Studies are appropriate for students who wish to explore a subject beyond what is possible in regular courses, or for students who wish to engage in a subject or activity not otherwise offered that semester by the College. Directed Studies involve close collaboration with a faculty advisor who will assist in development and design of the project, oversee its progress, evaluate the final results, and submit a grade. 

 

Internship Program

The internship program integrates classroom theory with practical work experience by placing students in training positions related to their academic studies. The academic departments work with students and employers to ensure that students are offered a worthwhile learning experience closely related to the academic program. More detailed information about requirements and credit fulfillment can be secured from the academic departments or the College Advising Center.

Study Abroad

Columbia College Chicago strongly encourages students to spend a term abroad. Whether it is a summer, J-term, semester, or full-year program, there are numerous options for students to earn credit while seeing the world. In a global society the true professional artist needs an international consciousness. Through International Programs we offer students the opportunity to challenge their cultural assumptions and develop as artists and world citizens.

Through Columbia’s Cornerstone College-wide International exchanges, students can spend a full semester abroad studying at one of our partner institutions. With Columbia’s departmental programs, students have the opportunity to participate in a Columbia College faculty-led program specific to a course of study run at varied sites and time periods (J-term, summer, and semester-long). Lastly, Independent Study Abroad allows students who are interested in a location, course of study, or time frame that is not offered by Columbia programming to select an option from outside the College and with proper approval, via the Columbia College Study Abroad Agreement, receive credit and federal financial aid.

International Programs serves as the central point for all the various options to earn credit abroad. Please visit the website at: www.colum.edu/InternationalPrograms for more information.

Graduation Audit and Posting of Degrees

Students must complete an online application for graduation from the Graduate Application link on the Students tab in Oasis. The application should be submitted one academic year before the expected graduation date. (For example, if a student intends to complete degree requirements at the close of the spring 2014 semester, he or she should submit his or her graduation application in the spring 2013 semester.) Once the application is received, the Office of Degree Evaluation will send an initial graduation audit. When all degree requirements are satisfied, a final audit will be completed and the degree will be posted. Once the degree is posted, the transcript of a student’s academic record at Columbia College Chicago will not be changed. Attendance at the commencement ceremony does not constitute degree completion or graduation. The diploma and official transcript cannot be issued until all financial obligations to Columbia College Chicago are settled.

Academic Distinction

Dean’s List

Students are eligible for the Dean’s List if they are full-time degree-seeking students (12 or more credits per semester) and have an earned grade point average of 3.75 or higher for the term. The Dean’s List for each school of the College is announced for the fall and spring semesters, and the Dean’s List designation is reflected on the student’s transcript.

Graduation Cum Laude

Students whose final cumulative grade point average is between 3.75 and 3.79 will graduate cum laude (with praise). Students whose grade point average is between 3.8 and 3.89 will graduate magna cum laude (with high praise). Students whose grade point average is 3.9 or higher will graduate summa cum laude (with highest praise).

Valedictorian

Valedictorians are students selected to address the graduating class at one of the College’s commencement ceremonies. A unique valedictorian is selected for each ceremony. Students are selected for this honor based on sustained academic excellence and other outstanding accomplishments that contribute to life at Columbia College Chicago, the community, and/or the arts

Academic Grievances

A student has the right to appeal academic decisions that affect his or her record at Columbia related to grade changes, attendance penalties, and incomplete grades.

Academic Petitions

Columbia College Chicago has established clear and reasonable academic requirements, and students must meet these requirements to remain in good academic standing. Under extraordinary and exceptional circumstances, the student may present a written petition to the dean of the appropriate school requesting an exception to a departmental academic requirement. Exceptions are made only on rare occasions and are based on the specific circumstances of the case at hand. A designated representative of the dean will review the petition and determine whether an exception to an academic requirement is appropriate. That decision will be final. For more information on academic petitions, see an advisor in the College Advising Center.

Grade Changes

Only an instructor can change a grade. The request for a grade change must be submitted by the end of the semester following the term for which the original grade was awarded. Both the department chairperson and the dean of the appropriate school must approve the change.

Procedures for Grade Grievance

The faculty member and chairperson of the department in which the disputed grade was awarded resolve grade grievances. Every attempt should be made to resolve the grade grievance through consultations between the student and the instructor or among the student, instructor, and the department chairperson (or subject-area coordinator when that person is charged with resolving grade grievances). In the event that these consultations fail to resolve the grievance, an appeal procedure is available to students. For the procedure to go forward, written documentation is required. All documents must be dated.

The grading and evaluation policies outlined in the course syllabus will form the basis for resolution of all grade grievances.

  1. A grade grievance occurs when a student protests a grade awarded on the final grade roster. The grievance must be filed within three weeks of the student’s receipt of the grade.
  2. Every grade grievance must be submitted in writing by the student to the instructor who awarded the grade. The student must copy the department chairperson when the original grievance is submitted to the instructor.
  3. The instructor will respond in writing to the student and send a copy to the department chairperson.
  4. If the response from the instructor is not satisfactory to the student, a written petition of appeal to the department chairperson (or, in some departments, to the subject-area coordinator, designated by the chair) must be submitted.
  5. The chairperson or coordinator will respond to the student’s petition of appeal.
  6. If the decision of the chairperson or coordinator is unsatisfactory to the student, he or she may appeal to the dean of the appropriate school, whose decision over every substantive, procedural, or related issue shall be final and cannot be appealed.

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