Jan 16, 2021  
2020-2021 Rivier Academic Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Rivier Academic Catalog

Academic Policies


Rivier University

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


1. General Requirements

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a. Associate Degree

An associate’s degree program consists of a minimum of 60 credits, ordinarily 20 three-credit courses, distributed along the General Education (core) Program requirements; the requirements for a major; and electives.

b. Bachelor Degree

A bachelor’s degree program consists of a minimum of 120 credits, ordinarily 40 three-credit courses, distributed among the General Education (core) Program requirements; the requirements for a major; exploration area electives; general electives; and requirements for a minor, if applicable. Students majoring in certain programs may have additional requirements that decrease the number of electives in their program and/or increase their credit requirements for graduation. For more information on requirements, please refer to the section entitled “The Curriculum.”

Specific Degree Requirements

  1. A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 for all undergraduate course work taken at Rivier University;
  2. A minimum average of C (2.0) in the major field, or the more rigorous requirement of a specific department.

Undergraduate Residency Requirement

To earn a degree from Rivier University a student must meet the following residency requirements.

  1. A minimum of 30 semester credit hours must be taken at Rivier University for a Bachelor degree. A minimum of 15 semester hours for an associate degree;
  2. At least half of the major (and/or minor) course requirements must be taken at Rivier University;
  3. The last 10 courses must be taken at Rivier University for a Bachelor degree; or the last five courses from an Associate degree.
  4. All courses in the final semester must be taken at Rivier University.

c. Graduate Degrees

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

  • Earn a cumulative average of 3.0 (B) in all graduate level courses taken at Rivier University.
  • 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 or the divisional 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

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.

Thesis

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. 

II. Matriculation

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Matriculating students have been accepted into an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program.

Enrollment Status

Undergraduate Course Overload Policy

A normal full-time class load is five courses/15 credit hours. Undergraduate students wishing to register for 18 credits or more during a given semester must have a B (3.000) average and must obtain the approval from their Academic & Career Advisor or their Success Coach. Any Day student would be subject to additional per-credit charges, above and beyond the full-time load.

Please note that course overload requests of 19 hours or more are only approved for students in academic good standing, regardless of a student’s anticipated graduation date.

If you are on academic probation and wish to take more than 16 hours per semester, you will need get approval from your Academic & Career Advisor.

Full- and part-time enrollment status for each fall and spring semester is determined according to the following tables.

Undergraduates   Graduate   Doctoral  
Credits Status Credits Status Ed.D.  
12 or more Full-time 9 or more Full-time Credits Status
6-11 Half-time 5-8 Half-time 8 Full-time
1-5 Less than half-time 1-4 Less than half-time 4-7 Half-time
        Psy.D. * & DNP  
        6 Full-time
        3-5

Half-time

*Internships in the Psy.D. Doctoral program at 0 credits are considered full-time.

Class Status for undergraduate students is determined according to total credits earned and recorded on the student’s permanent academic record at Rivier University.

Freshman   0-29
Sophomore   30-59
Junior   60-89
Senior   90 to completion

 2. The Classroom

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Statement on Attendance

The classroom, whether face-to-face online, is the heart of the educational 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, essential for maximum academic achievement, is a major responsibility of Rivier University students. Failure to attend and contribute to the classroom environment significantly and demonstrably reduces the quality of the educational experience for everyone in the classroom. As a result, absences almost always impact the quality of performance.

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 professors and reviewed by the dean of the division. 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.

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. In the event of prolonged illness, accident, or similar emergency, it is the responsibility of the student to notify, in writing, both the professor and, for undergraduates, their academic and career advisor or success coach. For graduates, include the program director/coordinator(s) or dean(s) of the division. Students must remember that it is always their responsibility to make up the work they may have missed during an absence from class. Students are directed to confer with their professors when their absences jeopardize satisfactory progress. Whenever a professor is absent without notification, students are expected to wait fifteen minutes before leaving and to sign an Attendance List, which a class member delivers to the Office of the Registrar.

Professors are strongly encouraged to record attendance and alert the Office of the Registrar when a student fails to attend the equivalent of two weeks of courses (two absences for a course meeting once a week, four absences for a course meeting twice a week, six absences for a course meeting three times a week). The student will then be alerted that he/she is in danger of falling under the ‘habitual nonattendance policy” (see below).

For graduate 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.

Habitual Nonattendance Policy

Habitual nonattendance is defined as an absence in any course (for any reason whatsoever) equating to three full weeks of missed class sessions (three absences for a course meeting once a week, 6 absences for a course meeting twice a week, 9 absences for a course meeting three times a week, and two or more absences within a14-day period in an online course.

Faculty members will notify the Office of Academic & Career Advising or Success Coach when a student has reached the habitual nonattendance criteria for their course(s). The academic and career advisor or success coach, will then attempt to resolve the issue of habitual nonattendance with the student. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Office of Academic Advising of any intention to withdraw from a course or to withdraw from the University. If the student, however, has not officially withdrawn from the course(s) by the University’s published last date to withdraw from a course, the faculty member will assign a grade of F.

Resident students who have documented habitual nonattendance in one or more classes may also be in jeopardy of violating the Resident Attendance Policy (see Student Handbook).

Students who have attended no class sessions of a course or courses from which they are registered by the end of the drop/add period may be dropped from each course not attended. If a student never attended any courses during the drop/add period, the student may be withdrawn from his/her full schedule of courses of study of 12 credits should consult with their academic advisor.

Statement on Classroom Behavior

Please refer to the Student Handbook for information on this policy.

Statement on Student Use of Electronic Devices in the Classroom

Regarding the use of electronic devices (such as cell phones, tablets, iPads, laptops, etc.), students may not use these or other electronic devices during class unless permitted by the course instructor. If use of these devices is permitted by the instructor, 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 (603) 897-8497, which will then work with the student and the course instructor as appropriate to facilitate whatever determination is reached regarding 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.

Graduate Code of Professional Conduct

All students who enter graduate programs at Rivier University 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 themselves from the moment of matriculation with maturity and professionalism. Every graduate student is expected to read the code and be responsible for its contents.

Purpose
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.

Scope
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.

Violations
It shall be a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct:

  • 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.
  • To hand in the work of another student as your own work.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To fail to check out or return library materials to their proper location within the appointed time or to deface any library materials.
  • To alter or deface any official documents or records of Rivier University.
  • To intentionally make false or misleading statements either to the administration, the faculty or other persons associated with the University.
  • To present a resume containing false or misleading information to prospective employers or to other individuals associated with Rivier University
  • To conduct oneself in a nonprofessional manner during an internship, practicum, clinical or any other professional activity while representing Rivier University
  • 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 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.

Online Courses

An undergraduate student who is enrolled as a full-time day student is expected to fulfill program and degree requirements through day course offerings. Any full-time day student desiring to enroll in an online course must first consult with an academic and career advisor. Requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis, for upper-level day students who are in academic good standing. Day students enrolling in online courses understand they will pay the full-time day tuition rate regardless of the mix of on-ground and online courses, and any supplemental charges and fees, if applicable.

Day students who wish to enroll in online classes will pay a $125 “Online Course Fee” effective for the Fall 2020 semester. If the course in which they wish to enroll is a requirement of their major and it is not offered at all on-ground, this fee will be waived. If the student can take the required course on-ground in another semester, then the fee will not be waived. 

 Add/Drop Period

At the beginning of each semester, a student is allowed one week in which to make changes in courses selected. Add/Drop for undergraduate students can be made online or by contacting an Academic & Career Advisor, who also authorize the changes. Professional studies, graduate and doctoral students can add/drop a course through MyRiv.

Requests for course changes after the published Add/Drop deadline in the Academic Calendar will be honored only for sufficient cause and after due consideration.

Taking a Leave of Absence

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Medical Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

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

All applications 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 been 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 for three years or longer, the student will need to contact the University Office of Admissions 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 Rivier 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 (last date of attendance needs to be submitted with NF grades). 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; fees 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.

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. 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 an any time during the academic year for the following semester(s). The total leave allowed a student is one calendar year. A student who desires a leave of absence must complete a Leave of Absence form and submit it to his/her 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 will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. Students enrolled in Rivier Online programs who are not taking classes for two consecutive terms, including the summer semester/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 withdrawal policy.

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 officially 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).

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 a 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.

a. Access to campus services

Access to services such as Regina Library, Muldoon Health and Fitness Center, etc., is canceled when a student goes on 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.

b. International students

Leaves of absence or University withdrawals 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.

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. Students 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 recipient 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 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 University 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 interview responsibilities, along with the steps that must be taken.

Majors, Concentrations and Minors

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Majors

Definition: A program of study comprised of a coherent set of courses within a discipline, related disciplines, or a professional area, which represents the curricular content of a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree major typically consists of at least 30 credit hours.

Students who wish to declare or change their major should contact their Academic & Career Advisor, Student Success Coach or appropriate Program Director. Certain majors have specific grade-point average (G.P.A.) requirements that need to be met prior to acceptance into the major. Please refer to the department section for details.

Double Major (Undergraduate Students Only)

A double major is defined as an academic program that consists of one degree and a minimum of two majors (i.e. B.S. Business/Criminal Justice). 

  • A student earning a double major must complete the General Education (core) requirements specified by the degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science), earn a GPA of at least 2.00 in both majors, and satisfy all other University graduation requirements.
  • Students must indicate one of the majors as a primary major.
  • The student must complete all courses required by each major.
  • No more than four courses used to satisfy the requirements of one major may be counted toward the requirements of the other major. 
  • Students who intend to pursue two majors must work out a plan with their academic and career advisor or success coach and have the plan approved by the coordinator from each major’s department.
  • Students will receive a single diploma designating the degree associated with the primary major; however, both majors will be listed on the transcript.

The student must complete a Declaration of Major/Minor Form.

Concentrations

Definition: A coherent subset of courses that constitutes a prescribed track within a major. Typically a concentration consists of three to six courses (9-18 credits hours).

Minors

Definition: A minor is a coherent set of five to seven three or four credit courses (typically 18-24 credit hours) in a discipline or related disciplines other than the major. Although minors are not required, a student may earn a minor in an undergraduate discipline designated by the University. Students should discuss their intent to earn a minor with their Academic & Career Advisor as early as possible, and no later than the end of the junior year.

  • A total of nine credits used to complete major requirements may also be used to complete requirements for the minor.
  • Courses used to satisfy requirements for the minor may also be used to satisfy core and exploration area course requirements.
  • Credits earned in courses used to satisfy multiple requirements will count once toward the total number of credits required for graduation.
  • A Declaration of Major/Minor Form must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Upon completion of the degree, the minor will be posted on the official transcript.

Graduation

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Each candidate must submit a formal notification of intent to graduate to the Office of the Registrar for a degree to be awarded. Forms for this purpose are available from the Office of the Registrar, the Academic & Career Advising Office, or from via university website at www.rivier.edu/academics/registrar/commencement/. There are three graduation dates per year September 2, January 2 and the Commencement ceremony in May. The deadlines for filing for graduation are August 1 for September; December 1 for January; and February 1 for the May commencement.

Students who complete degree requirements before the May graduation are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. All official transcripts, CLEP scores and Challenge Exam scores must be received before the final semester of attendance, otherwise the application will be deferred to the following semester. Students should not assume that filing the Application to Graduate assures that the degree will be received that year. They are advised to check with their department chair and their Academic & Career Advisor to be certain that all requirements for graduation have been met. All financial accounts must be settled in full before diplomas are 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. (See Application for Graduation.)

Examinations

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Challenge Examination

The Challenge Exam is a one-time examination in a specific area created by Rivier University as the equivalent to a course. Courses which have been audited cannot be challenged. The method of assessment may vary with the subject matter, but in all cases should enable a comprehensive appraisal of the student’s knowledge. A student who earns a grade of C or better on the Challenge Exam is exempted from and given credit for the course counterpart of the examination. Since the challenge is on the student’s part, it is her/his responsibility alone to prepare for it; no retake is allowed. Courses that may be challenged are at the discretion of the department chairperson. Likewise, only students matriculating at Rivier may request a Challenge Exam. Ordinarily, Challenge Exams are given on the first Friday of December and the first Friday of April. Procedures, guidelines, and fee schedules are available from academic advisors. At least one month prior to the exam date, the student obtains a challenge form from the advisor and then contacts the department chair for approval. LPN’s wishing to challenge courses for advanced placement standing, see Admissions section.

Final Examinations

A final exam period is provided during the final week of the semester. The schedule is published by the Office of the Registrar. If a student is unable to take the final exam as scheduled, she/he must notify the instructor. Exams other than finals may be retaken at the discretion of the instructor.

Grades and Credits

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Undergraduate Grading System

Grades are based on definite published criteria available in the Office of the Registrar. Letters are used to indicate grades; each is assigned a given value in grade points per semester hour.

Excellence
A   100-93   4.000 grade points
A-   92-90   3.667 grade points
High Achievement
B+   89-87   3.333 grade points
B   86-83   3.000 grade points
Achievement
B-   82-80   2.667 grade points
C+   79-77   2.333 grade points
C   76-73   2.000 grade points
Low Achievement
C-   72-70   1.667 grade points
D+   69-67   1.333 grade points
D   66-63   1.000 grade points
Insufficient Achievement
F   (62 and below)   0.000 grade points
Special Categories
* P   Pass
*PR   In Progress
* AU   Audit
* NC   No Credit
* I   Incomplete/Contract Approved
* W   Withdrawal from Class/Official Notification
**NF   Administrative Failure / No Official Notification
  * No Grade Points
  ** Counted as credits attempted, equal to an F
on the student’s record

To determine a student’s academic status, the University uses a grade point system. Each qualitative grade has the numerical values listed, e.g., a grade of A has a value of 4.000; a grade of B has a value of 3.000. Grade points are computed by multiplying the course credit by the numerical value of the grade earned. For example, a three-credit course completed with a grade of C carries 6.00 points (3 ×2.00). The grade-point average (GPA) is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Graduate 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 (0.000)
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 (0.000)
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 (0.000)
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)

W
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.

I (Incomplete)

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 their 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 dean of the division.

AU (0.000)
Indicates that the student has merely audited the course without credit.

Audit Policy

The auditing of certain 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 nature of some laboratory courses and other skills courses does not allow these 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 within the Add/Drop period. A course which has been audited may not be repeated for academic credit. A record of attendance 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.

Incomplete Grades

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. (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.

Repeated Courses

Undergraduate students are encouraged to speak with their Academic & Career Advisor or Student Success Coach before registering to repeat a course taken at Rivier University. Students who wish to repeat any course must take the same course. While only the last grade is used in calculating the cumulative grade point average, the original grade remains on the transcript. Each repeated course is counted only once in fulfilling degree requirements.

Graduate students who receive a grade of F (0.000) 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.)

At the end of the term the Office of the Registrar authorizes the posting of grades to the student portal, MyRiv for each student. To protect confidentiality of student records, grades or GPA are never reported by telephone or faxed. Presentation of a valid Rivier University ID or other form of identification must be made to receive a copy of transcripts or grades, if the student comes in person. “Unofficial copies” of the grade report can be obtained from the student portal, MyRiv.

Grade Report

At the end of the term the Office of the Registrar authorizes the posting of grades to the student portal, MyRiv for each student. To protect confidentiality of student records, grades or GPA are never reported by telephone or faxed. Presentation of a valid Rivier University ID or other form of identification must be made to receive a copy of transcripts or grades, if the student comes in person. “Unofficial copies” of the grade report can be obtained from the student portal, MyRiv.

Grade Review

Students have the right to request a review of a final 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 grade report by the Office of the Registrar. The student sends a copy of this request to the divisional dean.

If there is no resolution between the student and the 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 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.

Honors: The Dean’s List (Undergraduate Students Only)

The University honors its students for high academic achievement and significant contributions to the University community through the Dean’s list. The Dean’s list is compiled at the end of each semester. The criteria are:

  • The student must be matriculated at Rivier;
  • The student must achieve a semester grade point average of 3.500;
  • The student must be a full-time student, carrying a minimum of twelve graded credit hours. (Excluding Pass/Fail courses)
  • The student cannot have any grade of “I” (Incomplete) or “PR” (In Progress)

Graduation and Honors

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 University’s website in the Registrar/Course Schedule 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 before the student’s final semester. 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.

To graduate (undergraduate students), by the end of their final semester, a student must have attained a cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 or higher, graduate students must attain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.000 or higher.

Honors for baccalaureate degree students are awarded on the following basis:

  • a minimum of 30 graded credits earned at Rivier: (no grades of “P”-passing)
  • grade-point average as follows:

cum laude 3.500

magna cum laude 3.700

summa cum laude 3.900

Academic Standards

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Academic Standing

To remain in good standing a student must maintain an average of C (2.000) each semester. A cumulative average of C is the minimum requirement for graduation. Further, a C (2.000) average in one’s major field is mandatory in all departments; in some, the required average is higher. Nursing majors should refer to “Progression/Retention” in the department section. Students who fail a required course must repeat the course successfully. Authorization from the program director/coordinator or dean of the division of the University is required to make up a course at another college. Approval should be made prior to taking courses elsewhere. Courses taken outside Rivier University will not increase GPA. This permission is seldom given for courses in the student’s field of concentration. Only a grade of C (2.000) or better will be accepted in transfer from another college. A failed course repeated at another institution will not affect the GPA.

Academic Probation

To remain in good academic standing a student must maintain an overall grade point average of 2.000 in each semester at Rivier University. A cumulative average of C (2.000) is the minimum University requirement for graduation; specific programs may have more demanding requirements.

Full-time Students

Undergraduate students who fail to maintain a 2.000 average will either be dismissed or placed on probation for their next semester of attendance. At the end of the probation semester, their academic progress will be reviewed by the their academic and career advisor or success coach. At this time, a student may be removed from probation, or dismissed from the University. Nursing majors should refer to “Progression/Retention” in the department section.

Part-time Students

Students who fail to maintain a 2.000 average for two consecutive sessions of part-time study will be placed on probation for their next semester of attendance. At the end of that semester, their academic progress will be reviewed by their academic and career advisor or success coach. After taking the new grades into consideration, the student may be removed from probation, continued on probation, or, after a minimum of two semesters on probation, dismissed from the University. Nursing majors should refer to “Progression/Retention” in the department section.

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 divisional dean of the misconduct of the student;
  • recommendations that the student be suspended or dismissed from the University.


Academic Grievance Process

All efforts should be made to conduct ourselves with justice, integrity, and consideration for those with whom we interact. Grievances may, nonetheless, arise. In such cases, they are often best resolved by the individuals directly involved. However, there could be instances when this does not occur.

Procedure

The aggrieved student should approach and attempt to resolve the matter informally with the faculty member involved. If this attempt does not resolve the matter, or if the student has sufficient reason to believe that she/he will not be heard by the faculty member, she/he should contact the division dean. This must be done within ten calendar days following the time at which no resolution could be reached with the faculty member. The division dean will attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of both student and instructor. Written statements may be requested of both parties by the division dean, who will attempt to resolve the issue as soon as is reasonably feasible. The decision of the dean shall be forwarded in writing to all parties.

If the student remains unsatisfied, she/he may file a formal grievance within ten days of this communication. This grievance, with all relevant data attached, is submitted in writing to the dean of the division of the University, who will appoint and chair a review committee, consisting of two faculty or staff from outside the department involved. A meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible and the decision communicated in writing to the parties involved within three days of the meeting. Formal representation by legal counsel is not permitted. The meeting is academic in nature, and the student represents their self at this meeting. Within ten days of this communication, a final appeal in writing may be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will review all the pertinent data and make the final decision on the matter.

Repeat Policy

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. Graduate students who receive a grade of F (0.0) in a course may repeat it once for credit. (See Nursing Department section for information pertinent to Nursing students.)

Student Records

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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.

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:

  • 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 Office of 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.
  • 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 their 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.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorized 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 their tasks.

    A school Official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill their 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.

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 20202-4605.

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Directory Information

Rivier University, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), may release without the student’s consent the following directory information: student’s name, 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.

Unit of Credit

The unit of credit is the semester hour. One semester hour of credit is granted for the successful completion of one hour (50 minutes weekly instruction), or two to three hours (100-150 minutes) of laboratory work, for approximately 14 weeks.

Transfer Credits

Transcripts of credits earned at other institutions and presented to Rivier University for admission or transfer of credits become part of the student’s permanent records and cannot be issued, reissued, or copied for distribution. Courses accepted for transfer credit will be listed on the student’s transcript with a designation of “TR”, the number of semester hours awarded, the title of the course, and the name of the institution where the course was taken. Grades received for transfer courses will not appear on the Rivier University transcript, and the grades and related quality points are not calculated in the semester or cumulative grade point averages. However, the transfer credits awarded to contribute toward the student’s total of cumulative earned and attempted hours. Except in extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances, once transfer credits have been approved and a transfer student’s program has been finalized, the student is expected to take all courses at Rivier University.

Transcripts/Academic Record

Official transcripts may be ordered for current students through their MyRiv portal, through the Rivier University website, in writing via mail or in person for a fee. Alumni and previous students may utilize the Rivier University website, or other avenues listed above to request transcripts. Requests for official transcripts must include the student’s name, approximate dates of attendance, the address where the transcript is to be sent, and the student’s signature (orders through our online provider, Parchment, allow for an electronic 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.

Electronic transcript delivery via secure e-mail is the preferred delivery method for Rivier University. Transcripts to institutions that utilize Parchment will be sent directly to the contact listed by the receiving institution, unless otherwise specified.

Unofficial transcripts may be accessed via the student portal, MyRiv, on the Rivier home page. The unofficial transcript may be printed out and is unable to be sent electronically.

Transcript requests forms are available online from the Office of the Registrar at www.rivier.edu/academics/registrar. Payment can be made online via credit or debit card.

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.

Registration Policies

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Registration Procedures

An officially registered student is one who has submitted course selections with the necessary approvals, and has made the necessary financial arrangements with the Student Financial Services Office. Officially registered students may confirm their registration via the student portal, MyRiv. Students receive notification of the registration process from their Academic & Career Advisor, Success Coach, Program Director, or the Office of the Registrar. Continuing students select courses in October and March for the spring and fall semesters, respectively. Under this procedure, continuing undergraduate day students should schedule appointments with their Academic & Career Advisors. Undergraduate professional studies evening students should schedule appointments with their Academic & Career Advisor or contact their Success Coach. Graduate students are encouraged to contact their Program Director.

Full payment of fees must be made on or before August 10 for the fall semester and on or before December 10 for the spring semester in order for the student to be officially registered. Students are not admitted to class nor do they receive credit unless they have officially registered. Students may not be enrolled in a class after the designated add/drop period. Exceptions to this policy are rare and can be made only by the Registrar.

The student must have financial clearance from the Student Financial Services Office at the time of registration for each term.

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 graduate 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.

Summer Registration

Registration for summer sessions begins in March and continues through the start of the summer session. Financial clearance must be obtained from the Student Financial Services at the time of registration for this session. Students should contact their advisor for specific registration requirements.

General Policies

For the policy on cross-registration refer to the section on Course Load. The University reserves the right to withdraw, postpone, or combine classes, to limit registration, or to change instructors. Part-time students are charged the tuition rate of the division (day or evening) in which the class is offered.

Courses at Another Institution

Students who have been accepted into degree programs at Rivier University are expected to complete their degree requirements on campus. Only under extenuating circumstances, with prior approval from the dean of the division, will students be granted permission to take courses off-campus. Students must complete their last semester at Rivier University, and must adhere to the Residency Requirements.

Veterans’ Benefits

In cooperation with the Veterans’ Administration, Rivier University participates in numerous veterans’ benefits programs. Students who are eligible (covered) for veterans’ benefits as determined by the Veterans’ Administration should contact the Veterans’ Coordinator at the time of application or the start of the semester. The Veterans’ Coordinator is located in the Office of the Registrar, Adrienne Hall. To obtain benefits, the student must be enrolled in a degree program. Applications for Veterans’ benefits may be obtained directly from the Veterans’ Administration by visiting https://www.va.gov/. For additional information, please visit https://www.rivier.edu/admissions/veteran-services/.

Note: Covered individuals are any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or chapter 33, Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits.

Covered individuals must provide a “certificate of eligibility” or a “Statement of Benefits” obtained by the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Rivier University Veterans’ Coordinator. Upon receipt of this document, and registration of courses, the covered student will be allowed to participate in classes with the full rights of any other student. Should the VA have a delay in payment, the covered student will not need to seek additional funding as a result of delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.

Emergency/Inclement Weather Closing Policy

Rivier University communicates weather-related closure/delay information on local radio, TV, the Rivier University homepage, the University phone system, and the Everbridge emergency notification system. It’s a good idea to create an Everbridge account in order to be alerted of Emergency closings. To check on an account, go to: https://member.everbridge.net/index/3091830992273716#/login.

The University cannot make a decision that takes into account everyone’s commuter location and travel direction. As always, we ask each person to be safe. If conditions in a student’s area are not safe, we ask that the student not put themselves in danger. Communicate with faculty, supervisors, or advisors if weather prohibits or delays travel.

Per policy/protocol, the University makes every attempt to announce a closure or morning delay no later than 6 am on the day of the closure. If the University closes campus in the afternoon, an attempt is made to announce an early closure by 2 pm on the day of the closure.

In the event of campus closure, faculty will work to maintain the engaged academic time required to meet the learning outcomes for every course. Canvas tools for this purpose include Discussions, Assignments, Quizzes, VoiceThread, or other uploaded consumable content (files, videos, hyperlinks). Real-time activities in Canvas (Conferences, Collaboration) are also an option. Through these and other means, faculty continue to engage students with course content and evaluate student learning during and after unanticipated closures.

If Rivier is closed for unforeseen reasons (e.g., weather), scheduled events, functions, and programs will be canceled or rescheduled, unless the University determines that campus conditions are safe enough to hold the event. Any time that weather presents a concern for a campus event being held, it is expected that event sponsors and contacts will confer with the University’s Public Safety Office (to determine campus conditions and safety of travel) and Sodexo (external sponsor event management).

Additional Opportunities

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Internships

Several departments of the University offer traditional practica or internships, such as student observation and teaching for education majors, clinical experiences for nursing students, and field work opportunities for majors in the behavioral sciences, business, and communications fields. Many departments recommend internship experiences for qualified students. Not only are such involvements valid learning experiences which earn academic credit, but they also provide opportunities for a more meaningful total education. Students are confronted with problems of the work world, and their values are tested in real life situations.

Qualified students are also encouraged to study abroad or to participate in exchange programs which will enhance the total learning experience.

NHCUC Student Exchange Courses

Rivier University belongs to a consortium of New Hampshire colleges, the New Hampshire College and University Council (NHCUC). Under the Student Exchange Program of the NHCUC, full-time degree seeking students may enroll for one or more courses a semester, or for one or two semesters as full-time students, on a space-available basis during the regular academic year. Courses must be approved by the academic advisor. Study at an NHCUC institution is regarded as transfer credit. A grade of C must be earned as a minimum, and grade points are not figured into the student’s average at Rivier.

Students remain as degree candidates and continue to pay Rivier University tuition, but they make their own room and board arrangements when they plan to spend a full semester at an NHCUC college.

Off-Campus Study

Prior to registering for any off-campus course including the New Hampshire college consortium, the student submits the course number, title, and description to his/her academic advisor. The University is under no obligation to accept credits for unauthorized courses. A course for which a student has received at least a 2.000 (C) is eligible for transfer. Students transferring a nursing-related science course into the nursing program must have earned a minimum of a B (3.000) in the course to receive credit. An official transcript from the institution must be forwarded to the Office of Academic & Career Advising upon completion of study.

Refer also to NHCUC Student Exchange Courses.

Study Abroad and Teaching Trips (Day Students)

Rivier University offers a comprehensive study abroad program to students of all majors. Details about the program can be found on the Rivier University website under “Global Engagement,” or by stopping by the Office of Global Engagement in Memorial Hall. Students who wish to enrich and expand their educational experience through study abroad for a summer, a semester, or a year should discuss their plans well in advance with the Office of Global Engagement, their faculty advisor and with their academic advisor in the Academic & Career Advising Office. Students planning to spend the junior year abroad are encouraged to initiate the process for study abroad early in their sophomore year in order to be assured of a place in the foreign study program of their choice. Approval by the student’s academic advisor for study abroad plans is necessary to ensure that courses taken fulfill the Rivier University requirements.

In addition, Rivier University offers “Faculty led” trips. Courses are intensive in nature, taught by Rivier faculty, and are held during semester breaks and the summer. Faculty led courses change each year, in response to demand from students and willingness of faculty. The Office of Global Engagement website and office can provide detailed information on Faculty led trips planned for the academic year.