Sep 24, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

 This page contains information about the following topics:


Academic Grievance Procedure

All efforts should be made to observe the Code of Professional Conduct, as described in this section of the catalog. Grievances may nonetheless occur. In such cases, they are often best resolved informally by the individuals directly involved. If informal resolution cannot occur, formal procedures may be followed. Grievances do not include grade disputes (see Grade Review policy), and should follow the guidelines below:

  • The aggrieved student should attempt to resolve the matter informally with the faculty member or other official involved. If this attempt does not resolve the matter, or if the student has sufficient reason to believe that the faculty member cannot resolve it, the student should contact the dean of the division. This must be done within ten calendar days following the time of the alleged violation or grievance.
  • The dean will attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of both the student and faculty member, which may involve contacting the department coordinator/program director. Written statements may be requested from both parties by the dean, who will attempt to resolve the issue in a timely fashion.
  • During the process of making a decision, the dean may appoint a committee from within the division to review all the pertinent data and make a recommendation to the dean. The decision of the dean shall be final and forwarded in writing to all parties, including the Associate Vice President for Learning Effectiveness.

Certain programs leading to licensure or certification may have student handbooks with policies that vary from the university catalog. Students should refer to their program handbooks regarding the Academic Grievance Procedure, e.g., Nursing Student Handbook.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism and cheating are serious breaches of academic honesty. In general, plagiarism is defined as the presentation of someone else’s work in whatever form: copyrighted material, notes, film, art work, reports, statistics, bibliographies, and the like, as one’s own, and failing to acknowledge the true source. Quoting word-for-word, or almost so, or using the argumentation of another source without acknowledging this dependence also constitutes plagiarism. Cheating is defined as the giving or attempting to give or to receive unauthorized information or assistance during an examination or in completing an assigned project. Submission of a single work for two separate courses without the permission of the instructors involved is also a form of cheating.

If students are unsure whether a specific course of action would constitute plagiarism or cheating, they should consult with their instructor in advance.

Penalties for plagiarism and cheating vary with the degree of the offense and may take the form of the following academic sanctions:

  • the grade of F for the work in question;
  • the grade of F for the course;
  • notification of the division dean and/or the Associate Vice President for Learning Effectiveness of the misconduct of the student;
  • recommendations that the student be suspended or dismissed from the University.

Academic Standing

(See Nursing Student Handbook for academic information pertinent to the nursing program.)

To remain in good standing, a graduate student must earn and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.000.  If the student falls below a 3.000 cumulative grade point average, the student will be placed on academic probation and has only one additional semester to regain satisfactory standing. A student demonstrating an inability to perform at the graduate level will be subject to dismissal. Any extension of this time will be subject to the recommendation of the dean of the division.

If a student earns two failing grades, the student may be dismissed from graduate study. A failed course may only be repeated once. Only the second grade earned affects the grade point average, but the failing grade still remains on the transcript. Courses in which a student receives a grade of B/C or better cannot be repeated for credit.

Internships and practicums are not regarded as regular courses and normally cannot be repeated when a failing grade is incurred. Individual programs may vary regarding internship and practicum requirements; therefore, students should consult with thier program directors.

Academic Suspension or Dismissal

Rivier University reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student for failure to maintain a satisfactory academic record or demonstrate acceptable behavior in keeping with the University mission and/or the Code of Professional Conduct.


The auditing of courses is permitted only with an official registration. A student who audits courses receives no credit and is exempt from all assignments and examinations. Class participation is desired, but the student should communicate with the instructor on expectations.

The academic and learning outcome requirements of some courses do not allow them to be taken on an audit basis. Audit status is authorized on a space-available basis. A change of status from Credit to Audit or vice versa can be made only within the Add/Drop period.  A course that has been audited cannot be repeated for academic credit.

A record of attendance for an audit student is kept as with any other student. When a student attends at least 80 percent of class meetings, audit status is recorded on the academic record; otherwise the student receives a W.

Change of Name or Address

Changes in a student’s home address, or phone number can be updated through MyRiv Student portal. Name changes are made by the Office of the Registrar when accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.

Classroom Statement on Attendance

The classroom, whether face-to-face or online, is the heart of the education experience at Rivier University because it provides a formal setting for the important exchanges among faculty and students. Regular and punctual attendance at all classes is essential for maximum academic achievement and is a major responsibility of Rivier University students.

As part of its commitment to a quality educational experience for all members of the Rivier community, the University formally requires specific attendance policies to be developed by its instructors and reviewed by the Division Deans and the Associate Vice President for Learning Effectiveness. Any attendance policy used by an individual professor as a criterion for evaluation must be specified in the course syllabus and presented to students during the first week of classes. These policies can be found in respective course syllabi, and may include reasonable penalties and sanctions for excessive absences. In general, students should know the following is expected:

  • Students are expected to attend all class sessions.
  • In the event of prolonged illness or other emergency, graduate students should notify the instructor in writing, as well as the dean of the division. It is the student’s responsibility to make up work missed during an absence from class and to confer with the instructor when their absences may jeopardize satisfactory academic progress.
  • For students taking online or 7-week courses absence from three or more classes may jeopardize their ability to succeed; therefore, the student’s continuation in the course will be determined by the instructor and the dean of the division. If a student is absent from the first two classes of the course, the student cannot continue in the course without approval of the program director and/or dean.

Statement on Student Use of Electronic Devices in the Classroom

Regarding the use of electronic devices (such as cell phones, PDAs, pagers, MPE/iPods, laptops, etc.), students may not use these or other electronic devices during a face-to-face class unless permitted by the course instructor. If the instructor permits use of these devices, they are to be used for appropriate class activities only. If a learning disability is substantiated to require the use of one or more of these items, the student must contact the Office of Disability Services (897-8497), which will then work with the student and the course instructor as appropriate to facilitate reasonable accommodations. Augmentative communication devices are excluded from this policy (please refer to the Student Handbook policy on disability regarding these). If an emergency situation requires students to leave a cell phone on, they should inform the course instructor at the beginning of the class and leave the phone in a non-intrusive mode so as not to disrupt the class.

Confidentiality of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

(3)The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Code of Professional Conduct

All students who enter the graduate program at Rivier are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct. The Code contemplates that professional, ethical and mature behavior is expected of each student at all times. Every student must conduct himself or herself from the moment of matriculation with maturity and professionalism. Every graduate student is expected to read the code and be responsible for its contents.


Rivier University recognizes the need for a Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) to govern the behavior of graduate students in all fields of academic endeavors. The components of this code are designed to prevent occurrences that would discredit the university or individual graduate students.


The scope of the CPC is limited to actions by students which occur as a result of their association with the university in either on or off campus settings. This code governs activity in the classroom and in any professional setting where the student is identified with Rivier University.


  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to plagiarize. Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of someone else’s work in whatever form: copyrighted material, notes, film, artwork, reports, statistics, bibliographies, and the like, as one’s own, and failing to acknowledge the true source. Quoting word-for-word, or almost so, or using the argumentation of another source without acknowledging this dependence also constitutes plagiarism.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to cheat during the conducting of an examination. Cheating is defined as giving, receiving, or using unauthorized materials during the conducting of an examination. Disclosing examination questions by a student who has taken an examination or receiving examination questions by a student who has not taken an examination, is cheating under the CPC.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to hand in the work of another student as your own work.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to participate in any unauthorized cooperation between two or more students in the preparation of material to be turned in for a grade when collaborative work is expressly prohibited by the instructor.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to intentionally keep a copy of examination questions after the testing period has elapsed if the instructor expressly specifies that the examination questions are to be returned.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to take another student’s book or personal property from Rivier University premises without authorization. Students’ papers (including examinations) are the property of the individual student. Reading such material without the consent of a student to whom the material belongs is a violation of the CPC.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to fail to check out or return library materials to their proper location within the appointed time or to deface any library materials.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to alter or deface any official documents or records of Rivier University.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to intentionally make false or misleading statements either to the administration, the faculty or other persons associated with the University.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to present a resume containing false or misleading information to prospective employers or to other individuals associated with Rivier University
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to conduct oneself in a nonprofessional manner during an internship, practicum, clinical or any other professional activity while representing Rivier University
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to conduct oneself in a manner inconsistent with the mission of Rivier University or with expected professional and ethical behavior.

Infraction of the Code of Professional Conduct

Penalties for plagiarism and cheating vary with the degree of the offense and may take the form of the following academic sanctions:

  • The grade of F for the work in question;
  • The grade of F for the course;
  • Notification of the divisional dean and/or the Associate Vice President for Learning Effectiveness of the misconduct of the student;
  • Recommendations that the student be suspended or dismissed from the University.

All efforts should be made to observe the Code of Professional Conduct. Grievances may nonetheless occur. In all cases where a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct has been alleged, informal redress by the persons involved is the first step. If informal resolution cannot occur, formal procedures may be followed.

Degree Requirements

For specific degree requirements of each program, consult the appropriate section of this catalog.  To earn a Rivier University graduate dgree, students must achieve the following:

  1. Earn a cumulative average of 3.000 (B) in all courses taken at Rivier University.
  2. Complete all departmental requirements for the degree program, which may include the following:

Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive examinations for some Master’s degree programs are administered in March, July, and November, or at a time arranged between the student and the program director or divisional dean. The student is allowed to take the comprehensive written examination upon completion of the total number of courses for the degree, or during the semester in which course work is completed. The student must notify the  program director/dean of an intention to take the comprehensive examination. Any student who fails the examination is allowed to retake it once.  Students should check with the department program director for alternatives to the comprehensive examination.

Examinations for Education Programs

Students enrolled in education programs leading to certification are required to successfully complete all elements of the Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills Assessments and Praxis II Subject Assessments outlined in their program of study. The Foundations of Reading Exam is also required for Early Childhood and Elementary certification programs.  Contact the Division of Education for details.


Portfolios are required in some degree programs and are submitted at the end of a student’s course work  or program completion and represent a profile of their work completed at Rivier University.


A master’s thesis is applicable in some programs. The thesis topic, together with a tentative outline and bibliography, must be presented for approval to the thesis advisor of the major department.

Degree Program Completion Requirements

All work for a master’s degree and for the Certificate of Advanced Study must be completed within six years of matriculation. All work for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven years of matriculation. Any extension time or time limitation must be reported in writing. Approval is given by the dean of the division and the Associate Vice President for Learning Effectiveness

Directory Information

Rivier University, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), may, without the student’s approval, release the following directory information: Student’s name, ID card picture, address, telephone number, major field of study, class year, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received (if any), place of employment, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, and e-mail address. Students are given the opportunity to restrict the release of any or all directory information at the time of registration.

Drop/Add Policy

Graduate students should refer to their program department for procedures regarding dropping and/or adding a course. The Registrar’s Office provides specific dates each semester for the drop/add period whcih can be found in the university’s academic calendar. A student is responsible for following current registration policy.

Earning Two Degrees

Under some circumstances, students enrolled in a Master’s degree program at the University, or students who earned a Master’s degree and graduated from the University, may seek additional study. For example, graduates of a Rivier University Master’s degree program may wish to return to the University to earn a second degree in a different field.

Process for Continuing to a 2nd program of Studies

Students enrolled in, or graduates of, a Master’s degree or other Graduate level program at Rivier University are encouraged to continue their studies to further their professional expertise in a related or other field of study.  When considereing a second Master’s degree, the following guidelines should be followed.

  1. Students who are completing a Master’s degree program and wish to pursue a different Masters’s dgree program without interruption in their studies may do so without formally reapplying to the University.
    • Students must obtain the authorization of the program director or dean in their new area of specialization.
    • If the request is approved, students must complete the Degree/Program Change Form which the program director or dean signs and forwards directly to the Registrar’s Office.
    • Students are subject to the degree/program requirements in effect at the time of the degree/program change.
  2. Graduates of a Master’s degree program who continue their studies without interruption but in a different Master’s level program may do so without formally reapplying to the University.
    • Students must obtain the authorization of the program director or dean in their new area of specialization.
    • If the request is approved, students must complete the Degree/Program Change Form which the program director or dean signs and forwards directly to the Registrar’s Office.
    • Students are subject to the new degree/program requirements then in effect.
  3. Students or graduates of any Master’s level program or Doctoral program who interrupt their studies for more than one year, and then wish to continue in the same or another Master’s level program:
    • Must seek readmission to the University through the Graduate Admissions Office.
    • Are subject to the degree program requirements then in effect.

Enrollment Status

Full and Part-time Status

Full-time and part-time enrollment status for fall, spring, and summer terms, is determined according to the following table:


Credits Status
9 Full-time
5-8 Half-time
1-4 Less than half-time




8 Full-time
4-7 Half-time
Psy. D.  
Credits Status
6 Full-time
3 Half-time
Credits Status
8 Full-time
3-7 Half-time


 Examination Attendance

A graduate student who is absent from an announced test, a mid-term examination, or a final examination and wishes a makeup examination must obtain the approval of the instructor.

Grade Report

At the end of each term , faculty post final grades to the student portal, MyRiv for each student. To protect the confidentiality of student records, grades or GPA are never reported by telephone or faxed. Presentation of a valid photo ID must be made to receive a copy of transcripts or grades in person. “Unofficial copies” of the grade report can be obtained from the student portal, MyRiv.

Grade Review

When a student finds cause to question a final grade, s/he has the right to request a review of the course grade. All such requests must address the process followed in arriving at the final grade and not the professor’s evaluation of the student’s work.

A request for a review of a final grade must be made in writing by the student to the instructor of the course no later than 15 calendar days from the posting of the official final grade report by the Office of the Registrar. The student must also send a copy of this request to the divisional dean.

If there is no resolution between the student and instructor, and the student continues to believe the grade to be in error, the student may appeal in writing to the department coordinator/program director of the program in which the course was offered, or to the divisional dean if the grade review is between the student and the department coordinator/program director.

If no satisfactory resolution is reached after contacting the department coordinator/program director, the student may appeal to the divisional dean. The dean will make the final decision, which is binding, and send notification of the decision to the Office of the Registrar for processing.

Grading System

A student’s rating in each course is determined by the combined results of tests, examinations, class and laboratory work, written and oral presentations, projects, and other requirements made by the instructor of the course. This rating is reported by the instructor in accordance with the grading system shown below. Grade reports are issued by the Office of the Registrar.

Course grades represent the instructor’s assessment that a student has demonstrated the following skills at an appropriate level of achievement for that course:

  • an understanding of course material and discipline-specific concepts;
  • the ability to apply one’s understanding and knowledge;
  • the ability to communicate in writing, orally, visually, and/or quantitatively;
  • the ability to think critically about course concepts;
  • the ability to make and support value judgments about course material;
  • the ability to amalgamate concepts and ideas and shape observations, broadening the scope the course.

A (4.000)
Indicates a level of excellence in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 94-100)

AB (3.500)
Indicates a high level of achievement in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 90-93)

B (3.000)
Indicates a satisfactory level of achievement in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 84-89)

BC (2.500)
Indicates a low level of achievement in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 80-83)

C (2.000)
Indicates that a student has taken the course but that the student’s knowledge of the subject matter reflects an unsatisfactory level of achievement. (Numerical equivalent: 74-79)

F (0)
Indicates that the student has insufficient understanding of the course material and insufficient achievement in applying, communicating, or evaluating and synthesizing course material. No credit is given. (Numerical equivalent: 0-73)

NF (0)
Indicates that the student has not given official notification of withdrawal from a course in writing. An NF (administrative failure) is counted as credits attempted, equal to an F on the student’s record.

P (0)
Indicates that the student has passed a course or sufficiently completed a non-graded course that has been designated by the program faculty and has been approved by the Academic Council for P/F grading. The accumulation of grades of pass (P) in proposal and dissertation research does not imply completion of the research; such grades indicate satisfactory progress. (Numerical Equivalent: 84-89)

Indicates withdrawal from a course, which can be done no later than the tenth week of a regular semester or by the end of the fourth week of a summer session.

A student is expected to complete the requirements of each course by the end of the semester or term in which the course is offered. If for some major reason beyond her/his control the student is prevented from taking the final as scheduled or does not complete some part of the course requirements, the student may ask the instructor to assign the temporary grade of Incomplete “I”. This request must be made before the scheduled final examination. It is the student’s responsibility to remove this temporary grade before the end of the fourth week of the following semester or term. (See the University Calendar). Otherwise, the student automatically incurs an F for the course. In unusual cases, the student may request in writing an extension of this period. The extension may not exceed a three month period and must have the approval of the Associate Vice President for Learning Effectiveness.

AU (0)
Indicates that the student has merely audited the course without credit.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available in some academic departments. Students interested in graduate assistantships should contact the Vice President of Academic Affair’s office.


Application for Graduation

Students submit a formal notification of intent to graduate, The Application for Graduation form, to the Office of the Registrar. This form is available from the Office of the Registrar or can be found on the the University’s website in the Registrar/Couse Schedules pages. Deadlines for returning the forms are August 1 for the September 2 graduation; December 1 for the January 2 graduation; and February 1 for the May graduation. All official transcripts, CLEP scores and Challenge Exam scores must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the application deadline dates. Students should not assume that filing the Application for Graduation assures that the degree will be received that year. Students are advised to check with their program director/faculty advisor in their department to be certain that all requirements for graduation have been met. Students who complete degree requirements before May graduation are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Students are responsible to make sure that all financial accounts are settled in full before diplomas can be issued.

Conferring of Degrees

Degrees are conferred by the University in September, January, and May. However, the University holds only one Commencement exercise each year in May.

When the student completes all degree requirements, the Office of the Registrar will, upon request, provide a letter attesting to this fact prior to receiving the diploma. An Application for Graduation must be received in the Office of the Registrar in order for a diploma to be ordered.


The student must have financial clearance from Student Financial Services at the time of registration for each term. The University website also has registration information at

A student may not attend class until they have obtained financial clearance and are officially registered.

Students who have earned twelve credits at Rivier University and have not officially applied for admission into a degree program are not allowed to register for courses until they complete the admissions application process or file their non-degree status with the Office of the Registrar.

Repeat Policy

 Students who receive a grade of F (0.0) in a course may repeat it once for credit. All grades, including F grades remain on a student’s transcript, but only the last grade earned for a repeated course is used in computing the cumulative grade-point average. A repeated course is counted only once in fulfilling degree requirements. (See Nursing Department section for information pertinent to Nursing students.)

Senior Citizens

Persons 60 years old or over may enroll in a number of courses for half the tuition cost plus fees, on a space-available basis, if courses are taken for credit. If courses are taken for noncredit, only the fees are charged.


Official transcripts may be requested in writing via mail, fax, on the Registrar/Course Schedules web page, or in person, for a fee. Requests for official transcripts must include the student’s name, social security number, approximate dates of attendance, the address where the transcript is to be sent, and the student’s signature. No transcript will be released until all financial obligations to the University are met. Official transcripts carry the University Seal along with the registrar’s signature. The envelopes will be sealed with the registrar’s stamp, and the official “transcript enclosed” stamp. All official transcripts being issued to students directly will be stamped “issued to student”.

Electronic transcript delivery (secure e-mail) is the preferred delivery method for Rivier via eSCRIP-SAFE. Transcripts to institutions that are participating in the eSCRIP-SAFE network will be delivered electronically. If the institution is not on this list students may request that the transcript be sent to an individual by providing the name and email address of the recipient and the Registrar’s Office will deliver it electronically through eSCRIP-SAFE’s out-of-network service. This service is ONLY available for students whose entire academic record is from Fall 2004 to present.

Unofficial transcripts may be accessed via the student portal, MyRiv, on the Rivier home page. The unofficial transcript may be printed out.

Transcript requests forms are available from the Registrar’s Office at The completed form is to be returned to the Registrar’s Office. (Fax: (603) 897-8811)

At this time, Rivier University determines that the use of facsimile equipment is not a secure means of transmitting educational records. Because the University cannot safeguard the privacy of the student’s records, the University will not fax transcripts, grade reports or other academic information.

Medical Leave/Withdrawal Policy

A medical leave or withdrawal request may be granted when verifiable medical situations prevent a student from continuing thier classes, finalizing Incompletes, or completing course requirements.

All application for a medical leave/withdrawal require documentation.  Appropriate documentation for a medical leave/withdrawal consists of a letter from the attending healthcare provider that specifies the following:

  • The date of onset of illness
  • The last date of class attendance
  • The dates under professional care
  • The general nature of their medical condition, and
  • The anticipated date of return to school (if appropriate)

Students will need to complete and submit a Medical Leave/Withdrawal Form and provide appropriate medical documentation to the Office of the Registrar for consideration.  If approved, students requesting a medical leave/withdrawal for the semester/term will need to be withdrawn from all courses for that semester/term that have not yet concluded.

Withdrawal from the semester/term may have financial implications or obligations that result in the student having to return a portion of any federal financial aid received.  Financial implications should be discussed with the Director of Student Financial Services, and, if applicable, the Veterans Coordinator. 

Final decisions regarding medical leave/withdrawals reside with the Registrar and are not subject to appeal. 

Requests for medical leave/withdrawal must be submitted no later than the final day of instruction for the semester/term in question.

Readiness to Return

While a student is on a medical leave/withdrawal, they no longer have the status of an enrolled student at Rivier University.  In order to return and re-enroll as a student at the university, the student must provide required documentation (Return from Medical Leave/Withdrawal Form) from their healthcare provider. 

If a student has been absent from the university from three years or longer, the student will need to contact the University Office of Admission to submit an application for readmission.  All students should check their program handbook or with their program director for program requirements.

Withdrawal from a Course

After the add-drop period is over, but before the posted final day to withdraw, students may request in writing to withdraw from a course with a “W”.  Students can do so by submitting a course withdrawal form or by sending an email to the Office of the Registrar from the student’s email address.  The deadline to withdraw from a course is published in the university’s academic calendar.  If a student stops attending a course at any time before the posted last day to withdraw without officially withdrawing, the final grade will be an “NF” for the course.  The Office of the Registrar must receive all withdrawal requests by the final day to withdraw from a course.  Please refer to the financial information section of the catalog for details on tuition refunds. Refunds apply to tuition only; fee are non-refundable. 

A student may not withdraw from a course during the last three weeks of the semester/term, i.e., the last three weeks of classes.

Consult the Division of Nursing and Health Professions for nursing program requirements. 

Withdrawal from the University

Students may discontinue their education by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing of their intent to withdraw.  Oral notice is not sufficient.  Student must also complete and submit the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form.  Undergraduate students can submit the form to their Academic Advisor or Student Success Coach.  Graduate and doctoral students can submit the form to the Office of the Registrar. 

Federal financial aid recipients who withdraw from the University once a semester has started for any reason (personal, academic, medical, etc.) must contact a Student Financial Services representative to determine the impact the withdrawal date may have on eligibility for federal funds that have either disbursed, or could have disbursed, to their student account.

Depending upon the date of the withdrawal or leave of absence, students may be subject to a return of Title IV funds.  This is a federal calculation the Student Financial Services Office must make for any federal aid recipeint withdrawing during a period of enrollment.  Refund of fees or charges will be based on the date that the student last attended a class. 

Return of Title IV Funds

If a withdrawal takes place prior to completing 60 percent of any period of enrollment, the Student Financial Services Office must recalculate the amount of federal aid the student has “earned” or “could have earned” based upon the date of withdrawal and the number of days attended.  If the calculation determines that the student has earned fewer federal dollars than were disbursed to the student account, the university is required by federal law to return a portion of funding to the federal government. 

If, however, the student has earned more than has been disbursed to their account, the university will process a post-withdrawal disbursement to the student account.  For all post-withdrawal disbursements, the univeristy will notify the student by letter and ask the student to confirm if they would like to receive these funds. 

Students should review the Student Financial Services Office policy on withdrawals and refunds in the online Rivier University Catalog to determine if they are eligible for a tuition refund based upon their date of withdrawal.  Federal funds may not cover unpaid institutional charges upon withdrawal. 

In addition, federal loan recipients who withdraw from the university entirely are required to complete an exit interview.  The Student Financial Services Office will notify students by email as to the exit interiew responsibilities, along with the steps that must be taken. 

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence is a period during which students defer their studies but maintain their matriculated status and may be granted to any student in good academic standing  and in compliance with the code of professional conduct (refer to Code of Professional Conduct policy).  During this time, they are not entitled to any of the services of the University provided by the payment of tuition or fees. An application for a leave of absence may be filed at any time during the academic year for the following semester/term(s). The total leave allowed a student during their graduate program is one calendar year.

A student who desires a leave of absence must complete a Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form and submit it to their advisor or success coach in order to officially arrange for a leave.  A date of return will be agreed upon, in advance, between the student and the advisor or success coach, and stated on the Leave of Absence form. A copy of this form is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. Students enrolled in Rivier Online programs who are not taking classes for two consecutive terms, including the summer semeter/terms, must discuss this with their Success Coach.  There may be a form required to stay in Good Standing with the university.  Failure to complete the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form may result in an Administrative Withdrawal as outlined in the policy above.  The only exception to this policy pertains to students in Graduate Nursing programs who are not required to complete an LOA form in the summer semester/term, but must do so in the Fall and Spring semester/terms.

Students who return to the university immediately after the approved period for a leave of absence will not be required to submit an application for readmission.  A student who does not return on the agreed date will be considered to have withdrawn from the university.  If, at a later date, the student considers returning to the university, the student will have to reapply to the university.  A student who does not offically apply for a leave of absence, but just stops attending classes must reapply to the university to finish his/her degree.  (See the admissions section of the catalog for details on readmission).

Students are advised that lending agencies do not consider a leave of absence a substitute for registered status.  Students should contact Student Financial Services regarding their loan repayment and financial aid status while on leave of absence. A leave of absence in excess of 180 days will activate loan repayment.

Nursing students on leave must notify the program director/department coordinator in writing at least three weeks prior to the semester they wish to re-enter.  Students returning from a leave will be admitted to the Nursing courses on a space-available basis.

Access to Campus Services

Access to services such as Reging Library, Muldoon Health and Fitness Center, etc., is cancelled when a student goes on a leave or withdraws.  Students should return all library books and other equipment to avoid fees.  Students on leave may not participate in university clubs, sports, etc. 

International Students

Leaves of absence or University withdrawal can have significant visa-related implications for international students.  It is important that international students contact the Office of Global Engagement (OGE) to speak with an advisor before submitting a leave of absence or withdrawal request.