Definition of Academic Terminology
The following terms are provided for clarification.
Undergraduate Student - one who has not attained a baccalaureate degree, but is taking courses for credit.
Tuition - the money charged students for academic courses.
Semester Hour - the basic unit of measurement in determining the time spent in class. For example, a course giving one semester hour of credit usually meets for one hour of instruction each week during the semester.
Credit - the unit of academic value placed on every university course. A student is given a credit for each semester hour of academic work satisfactorily completed.
Quality Points - units for measurement to determine the quality of work a student does. See the grading system under Academic Standing for quality point equivalency for letter grades.
Grade Point Average - The average quality point earned per semester hour. It is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the number of hours attempted 4.0 is a perfect GPA.
Definition of Academic Credit Hours
Course Numbering System
Course descriptions are arranged alphabetically by subject prefix description. Courses are identified by a course prefix up to four letters and a course number that indicates suggested level and/or type of course.
At Belmont, the first digit in the course number indicates the year level of the course, as follows:
Courses which begin with number 1 are primarily for freshmen; those beginning with 2, primarily for sophomores; 3, primarily for juniors and seniors; 4, primarily for seniors. 5 and 6000 level courses are gradaute level.
Some courses are offered only in the fall and/or spring semesters. Some courses are only offered in alternating years or based on need. Please consult individual departments and/or catalog course listing for course schedule rotations.
Beginning in the Spring 2004 semester, Belmont University converted from a three digit academic numbering system to a four digit academic numbering system. For example ENG 110 became ENG 1100. In the majority of cases the new number was generated by added a zero (0) to the end of the existing digit.
Courses are numbered as follows:
1000-2990 Undergraduate, lower division
3000-4990 Undergraduate, upper division
5000-6990 Graduate, Doctoral and First Professional
A credit hour is an amount of work represented by intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates:
1. For a traditional, face-to-face lecture class, not less than one contact hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work, including but not limited to reading, studying, conducting research, writing, performance practicing, rehearsals and other learning activities each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or
2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including distance education, lab and lecture/lab, tutorial, seminar, independent study, thesis, studio, internships/practica, student teaching, clinical, physical education, discussion/quiz/recitation and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. For face-to-face lecture classes, this shall equate to a minimum of 750 minutes of classroom contact, including final exams, per credit per semester.
Belmont University offers courses and programs of various lengths throughout the year. These include fall and spring semesters, summer terms. In order that courses are identified clearly on official records, the academic calendar is divided into three terms: fall and spring semesters, and summer term of equal length. Specific dates are published in the academic calendar.
A course or program is identified with one of these terms depending on the start date of the course. Any course or program that begins on or after the first date of each term and up through and including the last date of that term is said to belong to that term. This includes any part-of-term, which is designated as part of a published semester or term. The end date is not considered in designating the term.
All credits are expressed as semester hours, regardless of length of term or dates of beginning and ending of a course or program.
Each student is personally responsible for completing all requirements established for his or her degree by the university and department. It is the student’s responsibility to inform herself/himself of these requirements. A student’s advisor may not assume these responsibilities. Any substitution, waiver, or exemption from any established requirement or academic standard may be accomplished only with appropriate approval.
Advisors help students with their schedules, but the primary obligation for knowing and meeting all graduation requirements rests with the student.
The normal class load for a university student during the fall or spring semester is 16 hours of course work per week. The minimum load for full-time status is 12 hours of course work per week, and the maximum load is 19 hours of course work per week. To register for more than 19 hours, the student must gain permission from his or her academic advisor and submit the proper from tot he Registrar’s Office. Any student who enrolls for more than 19 hours without proper authorization will be required to reduce the load to 19 hours or less. Students on probation may register for no more than 16 hours. Further, such students are required, when at all possible, to repeat courses in which they received a grade of D or F.
During each summer term, the minimum load for full-time status is 6 hours for undergraduates and the maximum is 16 hours. To register for more than 16 hours (including concurrent enrollment), the same procedure must be followed as for an overload in a regular semester.
Student Class Attendance Policy
Belmont University is committed to the idea that regular class attendance is essential to successful scholastic achievement. Absence is permitted only in cases of illness or other legitimate cause. Attendance is checked from the first class meeting. Late registrants will have accrued some absences prior to formal registration in the course. In the case of excused absence from class, students have the right and responsibility to make up all class work missed.
- Provost’s Excused Absences
If a class absence is necessary because of an activity by another class or university organization, the sponsor of the activity will provide a detailed memorandum on the letterhead of the unit to the Provost at least two (2) weeks prior to the event. The memo will provide the names of students involved, the type of event, and the date range of the event. If approved the Provost will countersign the memo, generating a Provost’s Excuse, and copies will be provided by the sponsor to each student to present to instructor as an excused absence with the allowance for the student to make up missed class work.
- Failure for Non-Attendance
Should the number of absences other than Provost’s Excused Absences exceed 20% of class meeting time (applicable to every term and part-of-term course) for a given student, the faculty member may assign the grade “FN” (failure for nonattendance) to that student.
- Student responsibilities
Students are responsible for notifying faculty members if they miss class(es). They are to provide documentation in support of absenteeism for the faculty member to review and evaluate according to course attendance policies. Student with excused absences (as approved by the faculty or through the Provost’s Excuse) are able to make up all classwork missed during the absenteeism period.
- Faculty responsibilities
Faculty members will provide an absenteeism policy on each course syllabus and review and explain the policy to all students. Faculty members providing for excused absences will review requests for those not covered by the Provost’s Excuse and communications relating to unexcused absences and approve them according to the course syllabus. They will honor absences that are properly documented and provide either the same or in-kind assignments and provide opportunities for students to make up missed coursework during or immediately following an excused absence period.
Students may appeal a disputed absence matter to the chair of the faculty member’s department or to the appropriate dean’s office should the faculty member be the department chair. The appropriate dean’s decision will be final. Proper documentation must be provided in support of the appeal. If the appeal is approved, the chair or dean will communicate the reason for the approval and the remedy to the faculty member who will permit the student (s) to make up missed coursework in a timely manner.
Changing a Schedule
Students may change schedules during open registration periods for that term. Students should be in consultation with the faculty advisor. After the first week of classes or the designated “Drop & Add” period schedule changes are no longer available on-line and only granted by exception. Courses withdrawn after the date specified in the academic calendar are not subject to refunds. Students may not withdraw from a course in the 30 calendar days from last day of the semester or last day published for WP/WF.
Change of Name or Address
Any current student needing to change pertinent personal data during a semester should fill out “Personal Data Change Request” at Belmont Central or fill out a request on the web and email to the appropriate university office. Changes of address must be made prior to exam week each semester. In order for a name change to be processed, the student must bring an official document for a copy to be made in Belmont Central. An official document includes: a marriage certificate, a court order, a driver’s license with a picture ID, or a social security card.
Belmont University reserves the right not to offer any course in which fewer than 10 students enroll.
Any department may offer special studies courses under the number 1990-4990 for 0-4 hours credit. In these courses an opportunity is provided for the student to pursue an area of special interest under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the appropriate department chairperson, and the dean is required before enrolling in these courses. Directed study courses may be offered by some departments (see departmental course listings). Such courses are created and overseen in the same manner as special studies courses.
This catalog is a listing of courses. The mere listing of a course does not guarantee its offering any particular semester or year. Certain courses may be offered only when demand warrants their offering.
Withdrawal from the University
Students wishing to completely withdraw must obtain a university withdrawal agreement form online or from Belmont Central. Upon completion of the form, it is returned to Belmont Central for processing or may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No financial credit will be given after the fifth week of classes. A telephone call giving intent to withdraw does not constitute an official withdrawal. Students may not withdraw during the last 30 days of a semester.
As a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students, the program reinforces Belmont’s unique mission of providing “an academically challenging education that enables men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage, and faith.” Belmont’s Convocation program is a shared experience that encourages the development of well-rounded individuals. Through Convocation, students participate in various programs that encourage:
- Learning outside the classroom
- Pursuing life-long learning
- Valuing the arts
- Exploring issues relevant to life, culture, and faith
- Serving others
- Contributing to community life at Belmont University.
Convocation includes lectures, presentations, discussions, performances, art exhibits, and a community service component. Academic Lectures focus on the presentation of topics relating to a field of scholarly significance, current event, or prominent issue. Christian Faith Development programs focus on introducing a student to the Christian faith, exploring connections between the Christian faith and life, or offering opportunities for worship and teaching. Culture & Arts programs focus on cross-cultural experiences or the visual and performing arts. Personal/Professional Growth programs focus on enhancing students’ emotional development, personal skills, or professional competencies or opportunities. Community Service is an activity which is not required as part of an academic syllabus or academic honor society, does not offer any remuneration (pay, goods, services) to the student, and is of benefit to the university or greater community.
Students earn credits by participating in programs. Traditional undergraduate students gain credits by attending approved programs that are listed on the official Convocation schedule. Students enrolled in the University College program for non-traditional students may choose the portfolio method that allows them to also gain credits for programs offered outside of the university’s approved schedule of programs. Community Service credit is obtained by completing a form that indicates and verifies the nature of the service.
Students must complete a specific number of credits in each category. Requirements are based on the catalog under which the student graduates and the number of academic hours transferred to Belmont at the time of enrollment. Specific requirements can be found in The Bruin Guide or on the Convocation Website at:
Academic Honor System
The members of the Belmont University community seek to provide students a high-quality education while encouraging in the entire community a sense of ethics, social responsibility and interdependence. We believe that trust is a vital part of this enterprise and that self-discipline and responsibility to one another are also essential elements. We also believe that any instance of dishonesty is a violation of the values of the Belmont University community. Therefore, the Belmont University Academic Honor System aims to cultivate a community based on trust, academic honesty and social responsibility.
Complete information about the Academic Honor System, including Belmont University’s Honor Pledge, student expectations, and more can be in The Bruin Guide, which is available online. Students may link to it by pasting the following url into their browser:
Please note, the above information is provided to help answer some questions you may have about Belmont’s Academic Honor System. It is not official statements of policy or process. The Bruin Guide states official policies and processes and supersedes this information.
|94 or more
All courses offered for academic credit at Belmont University shall be graded on the following basis except as described below.
||is a grade of distinction.
||represents excellent work, above average.
||indicates average work.
||represents minimally acceptable work.
||indicates non-acceptable work; no credit is received.
||Courses offered at Belmont University which fit the exceptions stated below will be graded on P/F basis. A grade of P indicates that the student has satisfactorily completed the course. However, the student does not receive quality points and the grade of P does not affect the student’s overall GPA.
- Continuing education and community service courses which do not offer academic credit.
- Courses which offer academic credit, but which are not offered for classroom instruction at regularly scheduled hours. Such courses may include, but are not limited to, independent studies, co-operative education, internships, and travel study courses.
- Courses which offer academic credit, but whose published course descriptions indicate that they will be offered on P/F basis only.
A student with 64 or more “earned hours” (Junior or Senior status) may elect to earn up to twelve (12) semester hours of academic credit on “pass / fail” bases. The 12 semester hours must be in courses which are general “free” electives in the student’s plan of study. Students electing this option may not do so with courses in the major, minor or BELL Core unless the course is only offered and listed in the catalog as P/F. To earn general “free” elective credit on P/F basis, the student must: (a) secure the agreement of the academic advisor that the course is a general free elective and the student’s classification is appropriate. (b) The student who elects P/F grading may not change back to a graded scale. (c) Upon registration for the course, but generally not later than mid-term, the student should E-mail their advisor (who should approved the P/F option). d) The advisor should forward to the course’s professor (noting prefix, title and CRN) acknowledging the course is a free elective and under this policy the student (name and BU ID) is exercising their option to request a final grade of pass or fail. A copy of the E-mail from the advisor should be sent to the student, professor and Registrar for record keeping purposes.
I is an incomplete and is used only in cases of uncontrollable circumstances. Responsibility for completing the work must be assumed by the student. All incomplete work must be finished before mid-term of the next semester. An I is calculated as an F. The grade will be changed to an F at the midterm of the semester following the one in which it was earned unless a grade is submitted by the instructor.
W indicates the student withdrew during the first four weeks of the semester before a P/F status can be determined.
WP indicates the student is passing at the time of withdrawal. Permission to withdraw may be obtained from Belmont Central except that no student will be permitted to withdraw in the last 30 days of the semester. Failure to obtain this permission results in an F for the course. A WP does not affect the grade point average.
WF indicates that the student is failing at the time of withdrawal during the university’s “withdraw passing / failing” period in the term, or during a time after this period when the student is administratively withdrawn by action of the university. A WF counts as an F when computing GPA.
FN indicates that the student failed the course due to excessive absences. Should the number of absences other than Provost’s Excused Absences exceed 20% of class meeting time (applicable to every term and part-of-term course) for a given student, the faculty member may assign the grade “FN” (failure for non-attendance) to that student. FN counts as an F when computing GPA.
AU indicates Audit. Academic credit is not received when auditing a course. The GPA is not affected. (Tuition and fees still apply to audited courses.)
NR indicates Not Received. This means that the professor did not turn in the grade(s) by the deadline at the end of the semester. This does not affect the student’s GPA. However, the student does not have credit for the course until the appropriate grade is entered. The professor must complete a grade change form to change the grade and the student will be notified stating their grade and updated GPA when processed.
FX grade on the student’s transcript will indicate that the failure of the course was due to an Honor Pledge violation. The grade will be treated as an F for purposes of the student’s grade point average. After appeal, any decision resulting in a grade of “FX” will automatically be reviewed by the Provost. During a student’s last semester prior to graduation, s/he may have the “FX” changed to an F on the transcript in the following manner:
- The student must have retaken and received a passing grade in the class in which the “FX” was given;
- The student must have no subsequent violations of the Honor Pledge while a student at Belmont;
- The student must write a letter to the Provost requesting the removal of the “FX”;
- The student must propose and perform an activity or program that promotes academic integrity on campus and which will be mutually agreed upon by student and the Honor Court. The Honor Court will certify that the program has been completed in a letter to the Provost.
If the student satisfactorily completes the four conditions above, the Provost will instruct the Registrar to change the “FX” to a grade of “F” on the student’s transcript.
Refer to the Academic Honors System in this catalog for information regarding Honor Code violations.
IP indicates In Progress academic work. Course work is continued. Does not count in GPA calculations. The IP grade is only available for undergraduates taking study abroad courses which are ongoing or while pending receipt of transcript / grade information from the study abroad institution. In rare circumstances a specific course(s) due to circumstances (e.g. external research or an approved concurrent course) may extend beyond the end of the regular term and if approved by the dean may carry an IP grade beyond the end of the term. IP grades should establish a grade resolution date, or be subject to the timeline and grading for incomplete grades.
Each hour of academic work taken for credit in the university is evaluated in terms of its relative quality, as shown by the grade received in the course. The various grades and their corresponding quality points are:
||4.0 quality points for each hour of credit.
||3.7 quality points for each hour of credit.
||3.3 quality points for each hour of credit.
||3.0 quality points for each hour of credit.
||2.7 quality points for each hour of credit.
||2.3 quality points for each hour of credit.
||2.0 quality points for each hour of credit.
||1.7 quality points for each hour of credit.
||1.3 quality points for each hour of credit.
||1.0 quality point for each hour of credit.
||0.7 quality point for each hour of credit.
||0 quality points and no credit.
Students may view final grades and grade point averages the week following the last exam of the semester through their MyBelmont account. Mid terms grades are not recorded to the student’s academic transcript. Mid term grades serve as a notification to students regarding their academic progress in their courses. Students may view mid term grades through their MyBelmont account.
The student may repeat any course which was previously taken at Belmont if the student wishes to improve the grade. The student will not be allowed to repeat the course more than once with the exception of an “F” grade which may be repeated an unlimited number of times. The last grade earned will be posted to the transcript as the officially recognized grade for the course unless it is lower than the first grade. The original grade will remain on the transcript but will not be figured into the cumulative grade average. All “repeat” courses must be taken at Belmont. A course grade transferred from another institution may not be removed by repeating the course at Belmont.
Students have the right to appeal grades directly to the instructor if they believe that an incorrect grade has been assigned for the course. If a grade issue is not resolved after contact with the instructor, the student may appeal in writing to the department chair / associate dean of the college. This must occur by the mid-term point of the next semester. In the written appeal the student must be prepared to demonstrate and document an unusual circumstance that warrants a review of the grade and evidences of the grade s/he believes should have been given by the instructor. All written appeals will be reviewed within one month of receipt and responded to in writing either confirming or changing the posted final grade. A copy of this response will go to the Registrar’s Office for the student’s record.
Further appeal is through the administrative structure of the college in which the course was taken, with final appeal to the Dean of the college. Any appeal must be in writing and include appropriate documentation to support the student’s position that a grade change is warranted.
The final grade is the instructor’s posted grade, which may be viewed in the student’s grade report on-line at the close of the term or part-of-term. It is solely the responsibility of the student to check that grades are posted for all courses taken during a semester and note the grade given for each class. All grade appeals must be requested by the mid-term point of the next semester. Unless an active appeal is under review, after the mid-term point of the next semester, neither instructors nor the university will consider a grade change.
Once a final grade has been posted the student may not petition the instructor to do additional work or extra credit to raise the grade awarded. Any grade change as a result of such action will be disallowed.
For grades of IP or I, once the I or IP is replaced (required prior to mid-term of the follow semester) by a grade, including a change to F, that becomes the posting date of the final grade. Administrative grades such as W (withdrawal) are handled through the Registrar’s Office.
Academic Standing: Dean’s List, Academic Probation, and Academic Suspension
Student’s academic performance at Belmont University for Dean’s List and Academic Probation is described as their Academic Standing which reflects the Belmont University grade point average (GPA) in the last term of enrollment (see policies below). Academic Suspension is based on the total number of GPA credit hours completed at Belmont on a scale provided in the suspension table below.
Academic Good Standing
Enrollment in good standing is granted to all fully admitted students who maintain a cumulative Belmont University grade point average of 2.0 or higher. However, a student’s academic status may change to Academic Probation if any academic term/semester Belmont GPA or cumulative Belmont GPA is less than 2.0. Academic Suspension from the University is based on a scale provided in the suspension table below.
Recognition to undergraduate students achieving dean’s list will be sent to their Belmont email address at the end of each semester. Semester eligibility is based upon the following:
- A minimum load of 12 semester credit hours for fall and spring semesters. Summer Dean’s List is based on a minimum 9-hour load over the summer term.
- No grade below a C in any course including P/F (pass/fail) and zero credit courses.
- A quality point average of 3.5 or better.
- Eligibility is also based upon completing of all course work by the last official day of the semester with the exception of “in progress” (IP) for study abroad courses. Hours taken as audit or P/F courses are not included in the minimum credit hour load count.
Table of Academic Standards (Probation and Suspension)
|Overall Belmont GPA Hours
||Probation if any semester GPA or cumulative Belmont GPA is less than
||Suspension if Belmont Institutional GPA is less than
A student is placed on Academic Probation and recorded on the student’s transcript as an official part of the student record when a student’s Belmont University grade point average (GPA) in any semester (fall, spring or summer term) or their cumulative Belmont University GPA is less than 2.0. Academic probation and academic suspension are not necessarily a process of progressive discipline. A student may move immediately to suspension or dismissal if the grade point average meets the criteria indicated in the Academic Standards table above. Probation is checked at the end of fall, spring and summer terms. Students on probation may take no more than 16 hours while on Academic Probation, and are required and expected with the 16 hour allowance as soon as possible, to repeat courses in which they received a “D” or “F”. A student on Academic Probation in the current or last term of enrollment is not in “Good Standing.”
A student not meeting the minimum grade point average (GPA) on Belmont work as shown in Academic Standards table above will be placed on academic suspension. A student placed on academic suspension is ineligible to enroll at Belmont University during their suspension. A student who receives a first academic suspension from Belmont may petition for readmission to the university after one semester of non-enrollment. A student who receives a second suspension may appeal for readmission after one year from the date of the last suspension. A third suspension results in dismissal from the university with no opportunity for readmission. Each Academic Suspension is recorded on the Belmont transcript as an official part of the student record. Suspension is checked at the end of fall, spring and summer terms. A student on suspension may not enroll in the summer semester, but the fall and spring semesters are the semesters counted for suspensions. A student on Academic Suspension (including “dismissal”) in the current or last term of enrollment is not in “Good Standing.”
|First suspension according to chart above
Ineligible to enroll next semester.
If suspension occurs following the spring semester, ineligibility includes summer and fall.
|Second suspension according to chart above
Ineligible to enroll next two semesters.
If suspension occurs at the end of the spring semester, ineligibility includes: summer term (which includes Maymester), fall semester, and spring semester.
If suspension occurs at the end of the fall semester, ineligibility includes: spring semester, summer term (which includes Maymester), and fall semester.
|Third suspension according to chart above
||University Dismissal - No readmission possible
Academic Suspension is a period of time away from Belmont meant to encourage the student to seek to develop habits that will contribute to the student’s academic success if they return to Belmont. As a result of being placed on academic suspension all courses that the student registered for in a future term (for example, through priority registration) are automatically dropped from the student’s schedule. In addition, during the period of the suspension Belmont does not accept any credit in transfer from another institution. If another institution elects to admit a Belmont student during that student’s academic suspension from Belmont, any courses completed at the other institution during the student’s academic suspension will not transfer back to Belmont University.
Academic Suspension Appeal
Belmont University recognizes that a singular unique involuntary situation may occur that has a direct impacted on the grade point average (GPA) resulting in academic suspension. This can usually be isolated to one or two semesters. An academically suspended student does have a right of appeal to be filed no later than three weeks after the end of that semester’s final exams, or by the date specified in the suspension letter. The appeal letter must be sent from the student to the University Registrar. The Registrar will work in coordination with the Dean of the college of the student’s major / degree to review the appeal.
An appeal is a request to waive the “ineligible to enroll at Belmont” status or a request to be allowed to take and transfer back a specific course(s) from another postsecondary institution during the period of suspension. For any appeal to be considered, two things must be articulated: 1) the student must clearly demonstrate a unique involuntary situation that can be linked to academic performance and provide evidence that the unique involuntary situation has been, or in process of being corrected; 2) there is a reasonable belief that the student will be academically successful if allowed to re-enroll and take courses before the time limit of the suspension has elapsed. If a student’s appeal receives the support of the Dean and the student is approved to continue in the ensuing semester at Belmont, the student will only be allowed to repeat D or F courses and the number of hours taken will be limited.
Academic Stipulations upon Return
Upon return with a status of Academic Suspension in the prior semester of enrollment the student will be automatically placed under Academic Stipulations (student status will show as Probation while attending that semester). The student should meet with their academic advisor and plan a schedule to primarily repeat courses of a “D” or “F.” If the student’s GPA in the returning semester is below a 2.0 the student is suspended again immediately with no appeal possible. The third suspension results in University Dismissal with no readmission possible. This stipulation supersedes the “Table of Academic Standards.”
Academic Standards and Graduation
Regardless if a student has been on probation and / or suspension in the past or not, the following criteria must be met in order to graduate from Belmont: C average (2.0) G.P.A. on the total hours attempted at Belmont University and an overall cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 on all postsecondary institutions, colleges and universities attended. C average (2.0) G.P.A. is required over all work done in both the major and the minor areas (including transfer work used to meet degree requirements). See the graduation requirements for a full list of graduation criteria.
Rules Governing Student University Representation
Students on academic probation are subject to restrictions related to the participation in activities that may require absence from academic courses, based on the following criteria:
Students on academic probation at the start of a term, who also have a cumulative Belmont GPA below 2.0: Students in this category will not be permitted to represent the university in activities which require, or allow voluntary, absence(s) from academic courses during that semester. This applies to all students including those who participate in regularly scheduled activities for organizations such as athletics (both a team members or in roles that support athletic teams or their practices), academic teams, performance groups, or any other University organization.
Students who do not begin the semester on academic probation but who have a GPA below 2.0 in one, or more, course(s) at mid-term: Students in this category may not represent the university in activities which would require them to miss classes in which they are deficient. If the deficiency is removed, the Dean of the college sponsoring the representing group / team may grant permission for the student to participate after an academic review.
Students on academic or disciplinary probation cannot participate in study abroad programs (see Study Abroad page at http://www.belmont.edu/studyabroad/students/policies.html).
The university reserves the right to stipulate a student must be in good standing to travel and miss classes.
A student has the option to add a second major to the first or “primary” major. The first or primary major determines the associated degree being sought and with it the BELL Core (general education) requirements. For example, a student declares music business as the primary major, the degree defaults to a Bachelor of Business Administration as the only degree option for a music business major.
- If the choice of two majors (or more) have different degrees options, the student must choose a primary degree to follow, meaning that the associated BELL Core, (and specifically the required BELL Core Degree Cognates) with that degree is required. For example, a history major has a degree choice between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science as listed in the academic catalog. As selected by the student, the degree of choice prescribes the BELL Core requirements and its Degree Cognates.
- If the two majors carry the same degree option then the degree program will default to the degree that is applicable to both majors.
Exceptions to the basic guiding policy for student selecting the primary major where the degree is pre-determined and defaulted by Belmont as follows:
- A degree in which a state or national license or unique identifier to specific field of study is primary and thus the default degree (e.g. BSN; SWK).
- A major that requires or that has professional or career licensing or certification contingent on a specific degree will be considered the default degree
- For example a student seeking national certifications found in coordination with an Exercise Science major will default to a BS degree as the “primary.”
In some cases the degree has benefits in degree progression and often pre-requisites corresponding to the major and should be considered as the primary / default (e.g. BBA).
If a student is a double major and drops one major, then the student must choose (or confirm) the degree if the remaining major sought has degree options (e.g. some majors have a B.A. or B.S. option). If the remaining major only has one degree option then that becomes the default degree. Students must be mindful that dropping a major could result in a change of degree and thus a change in some required BELL Core Degree Cognates.
A student that opts to add a second major to a primary degree should always review in the catalog technical or pre-requisite courses required for the second major that may not be required for the first major or be represented in the primary required BELL Core Degree Cognates.
Double majors are not required to have a minor.
Unique provisions in double majors with duplicate courses
In the case of a student with two majors that have some of the exact same course requirements for both majors, up to 2 courses (not to exceed 8 hours) will be “waived” in the student’s secondary major that are duplicated in the primary major.
If more than two courses are duplicated in the double major the student in coordination with the major advisor must find appropriate substitute course(s). All other requirements for both majors must be completed.
Majors with a duplicate course in a minor
In the case of a student with a major that has at least one exact same course requirement for both the major and minor, up to 1 course (not to exceed 4 hours) can be “waived” in the minor. If more than one course is duplicated in the major and minor then a course substitution will be required in the minor.
In all cases of course waivers, students must still meet residency requirements in the major and minor. Total hours to meet minimum requirements for the program of study and degree must also be met.
A double degree is defined as earning more than one bachelor’s degree concurrently with a different bachelor’s degree. Students enrolled prior to June 1, 2018 who had already formally declared a double degree and remained on the BELL Core (General Education) officially with their catalog of entry, may complete the double degree. Such students may also change to a double major. All double degrees must be completed by summer 2021.
Students entering after June 1, 2018, are not eligible to seek double degrees except for a (Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) as follows:
The student must be accepted into the BSN degree program. This is the primary degree, with the BBA degree as the second degree program. All BELL Core courses must be completed for both degrees, including associated Degree Cognates with each degree and all major level course requirements in both majors.
Belmont offers more than 90 undergraduate majors through its nine colleges and schools – Business Administration, Entertainment and Music Business, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Sciences and Mathematics, Theology and Christian Ministry, Music and Performing Arts, Art and Design, and University College. The major / minor links on this page may be used to review Belmont’s majors offered with specific degrees, minors, and programs eligible for teacher licensure.
Each department sets forth its individual requirements for a major and a minor. Additional work in the major will count as free electives and may be used toward graduation requirements. A student should choose a major field of study as early as possible. All students must “declare” a major and minor prior to the junior year. A student changing his/her major or minor must notify Belmont Central immediately. A student may seek licensure to teach in the State of Tennessee by completing state licensure requirements through the Department of Education. Forms are available in the Belmont Central Office. For more information on major/minor forms, see graduation section of this catalog.
Curriculum for Working Adults
This university is committed to meeting the educational needs of working adults. To this end, Belmont systematically offers the general education core on a rotating basis so that each course is offered in the evening at least once each fourth semester.
It should be pointed out, however, that Belmont will be unable to guarantee that any student can fulfill all degree requirements for traditional majors by attending only evening classes.
For a more complete explanation of programs specifically designed to meet the needs of working adults, see the University College section of this bulletin.
Belmont University offers pre-professional courses of study in dentistry, engineering, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and theology.
Since professional schools vary considerably in their admission requirements, the student is advised to first select the professional school he wishes to attend, then select pre-professional courses accordingly; however, to follow the core curriculum is a safe procedure. The Belmont University faculty advises the student at the time of registration in the selection of courses which will meet the requirements of the professional school of the student’s choice.
Law schools in the United States admit students with baccalaureate degrees who demonstrate a high potential for law study. The American Bar Association (ABA) does not recommend any specific undergraduate majors to prepare for a legal education and law students represent almost every academic discipline. It is important for an undergraduate student to select a major that is interesting and challenging while taking advantage of course work that can develop critical thinking and research and writing skills. A student who takes a broad range of challenging courses from demanding instructors is best prepared for law study.
Additionally, nationally accredited law schools require students to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is the second primary component in the law school admission process. Most undergraduate students take the LSAT in the spring of their junior year or in the summer prior to their senior year. The law school admission cycle will begin in the fall of their senior year.
Belmont students enjoy firsthand access to law school information with the College of Law located on campus. For more information about preparing for law school, contact the Belmont University College of Law Admissions Office.
Graduate schools in medicine and health-related fields have a wide variety of curricular pre-requisites. Students who wish to take pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, or pre-cytotechnology curricula should contact the Pre-Health Advisor for details concerning courses, admissions procedures, entrance examinations and volunteer experiences.
Refer to the current university graduate catalog for degree program requirements. For more information about preparing for physical therapy, contact the School of Physical Therapy.
FERPA and Privacy
FERPA - Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
What does “FERPA” stand for and why is it important?
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
- This federal law requires Belmont to protect the privacy of students’ education records
Rights guaranteed to students by FERPA
- The right of access to education records
- The right to consent to the release of records to third parties
- The right to challenge inaccurate or misleading information in an education record
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning non-compliance with FERPA
Do parents or legal guardians have access to a student’s education records?
- A student, regardless of age, is the “legal entity” once he or she begins to attend Belmont. FERPA rights belong to the student, not the parent or guardian.
- This means that students must consent before a record is disclosed to the parents or legal guardians.
- A student can authorize Belmont to discuss his/her educational records with parents/guardians by filling out the Consent to Release Educational Records.
What are education records?
Information recorded in any form that is directly related to a student and maintained by a college or university and by those acting for the college or university.
When is Consent Not Required?
- To individuals within the university with legitimate educational interest
- To officials at an institution in which student seeks to enroll
- To comply with a court order or subpoena
- To parents of students who are dependents for income tax purposes
- To parents in cases of drug or alcohol violation when the student is under the age of 21
- In connection with a health or safety emergency if necessary to protect the student or others
- If the data is considered directory information
What is Directory Information?
- Name, address, telephone number
- Campus e-mail address
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance, degrees and awards received
- Previous educational agencies or institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
What if a student wants to prohibit the disclosure of directory information as well?
- Students who do not want their directory information released may visit the Office of the Registrar to complete the appropriate form. Once the form is filed, the student’s record is flagged as “confidential” and no directory information is disclosed except as required by FERPA.
- The confidentiality hold prohibits the release of information including but not limited to transcripts, enrollment verifications, and degree verifications.
- If the student needs Belmont to release information from the student record, the request must be made in writing, accompanied by legal proof of identity. This applies whether the information is for the student’s personal use or for use by a third party.
- Graduation, withdrawal and dismissal from the university do not automatically lift the confidential status on a student’s record. The record will remain confidential until the status is revoked by the student, in writing, accompanied by legal proof of identity.
- If a confidentiality request is not filed, Belmont University assumes that a student does not object to the release of directory information.
For additional information, please visit:
Procedures for Protecting Students Privacy in Distance Education Courses
Belmont University is committed to protecting student privacy for students enrolled in all courses regardless of the mode of instruction (on-line, hybrid, classroom, etc.). All of the university policies regarding student privacy and information security applied through FERPA apply to distance education courses. Faculty teaching distance education courses are expected to uphold these polices and follow these procedures:
- Teach distance education courses using BlackBoard, the University’s learning management system, in order to ensure security of student work and grades.
- Use the University’s secure BannerWeb site to report student grades.
- Use BlackBoard or the University’s email system for all official, confidential communication such as providing feedback on student work, releasing grade or course progress information to students, etc.
- Keep student work, scores or grades confidential. Students in the course should not have access to other students’ work or grades.
- Keep course BlackBoard or UR email account information secure. Do not share any login information with anyone, give anyone unauthorized access to the BlackBoard course or assign a student the role of instructor or graduate assistant in BlackBoard unless the graduate assistant is assigned a teaching role in the class and has an educational need to know.
- Follow FERPA guidelines for sharing student educational record information with other faculty, staff, parents or others outside the university.
All students should officially “declare” a major and minor after 64 credit hours, and must declare a major and minor after 94 credit hours. After the major/minor form has been filed at Belmont Central, the student will be notified of the courses which must be taken in order to graduate. Any course that does not follow the bulletin (for the degree program) in course title must have a substitution form (Program of Study Change Form) submitted. These can be obtained from the advisor or the Dean of the College.
Students must file a graduation application online through their “My Belmont” account by the posted deadlines for each graduation date. These dates are listed in the Academic Calendar in the front of this catalog. At the beginning of the semester of that graduation, the student will be billed for the non-refundable graduation fee. If a student fails to complete the graduation process in a given semester (as requested on the student’s Graduation Application), the student must reapply for graduation and an additional $50 fee is charged for each subsequent application.
General Degree Requirements:
- A minimum of 128 semester hours of university work numbered 1000 and above, with a minimum of 32 credit hours taken in residence at Belmont University. Some majors may require more than the minimum of 128 credit hours in order to earn the degree.
- The last 32 semester hours of course work on which a degree is granted must be done in residence at Belmont (with the exception of approved active articulation agreements), unless a Senior Residency Waiver is granted by the University Registrar for specific credit hours. (See Senior Residency Waiver Policyat the bottom of this page)
- C average (2.0) G.P.A. on the total hours attempted at Belmont University and an overall cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 from all postsecondary institutions, colleges and universities attended. GPAs are not rounded.
- C average (2.0) G.P.A. is required over all work done in both the major and the minor areas (including all transfer work except for courses determined not to be transferable that are remedial or orientation). GPAs are not rounded.
- All degree requirements (including convocation) must be finished and officially recorded with the University Registrar prior to commencement in order to be eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony.
- 24 hours of a student’s major must be in courses numbered 2000 or above, unless otherwise approved under that major in the university catalog.
- A completed minor of at least 18 hours is required of every student, except those seeking the Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Fine Arts, University College students, students who have double majors, those seeking elementary licensure, or majors approved in the catalog without a minor required. Students may not minor in the same subject discipline as the major (i.e. have the same major and minor), unless university approved and so stated under that major in the university catalog. A minimum of 6 hours of the minor must be taken at Belmont.
- A completed major of at least 30 hours. A minimum of 12 hours of the major must be taken at Belmont.
- A student may graduate by meeting degree requirements listed in the university catalog for either the year in which she/he enters Belmont University or the one for the year in which she/he graduates. A student who is not enrolled for a period of two (2) consecutive academic years must meet the graduation requirements for either the university catalog under which he/she reenters Belmont or the one for the year in which he/she graduates.
- At least 64 hours must be taken from accredited senior colleges and universities.
- To fulfill graduation requirements, students must earn a specified number of credits as designated in the University Convocation Program. (See The Guide, or access the convocation website from the Belmont home page.)
- It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Registrar’s Office regarding the applicability of transfer work to the Belmont degree program.
- The general policies and procedures in the latest (current) edition of the university catalog are always applicable to all students.
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
- The holder of a bachelor’s degree from Belmont University wishing to pursue a second degree from Belmont University must complete all the following requirements:
- A minimum of 30 hours must be completed at Belmont, plus any Bell Core (General Education) requirements not previously earned for the new degree.1
- A student seeking a second degree at Belmont may not earn the same degree previously earned.
- The requirement for a minor is waived for students who have an earned bachelor’s degree.
- A major as outlined in the catalog must be completed.
- A student earning a second (different) degree is eligible to participate in graduation commencement. The graduation GPA calculation will be the cumulative GPA of all academic work. GPAs are not rounded.
- The holder of a bachelor’s degree from another university wishing to pursue a second degree from Belmont University must complete all the following requirements:
- A minimum of 32 hours must be completed at Belmont, plus any Bell Core (General Education) requirements not previously earned for the new degree.1
- A student seeking a second degree at Belmont may not earn the same degree previously earned.
- The requirement for a minor is waived for students who have an earned bachelor’s degree.
- A major as outlined in the catalog must be completed.
- A student earning a second (different) degree is eligible to participate in graduation commencement. The graduation GPA calculation will be the cumulative GPA of all academic work.
1 Students who have previously completed a four-year, baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. university shall be exempt from Bell Core (General Education) requirements at Belmont, except for the six-hour Religion requirement and Bell Core courses required of that degree not previously earned in the prior degree as follows: the math requirements for the B.S. and B.B.A. degree (whichever degree is sought) and two 2000+ level same language requirement for those seeking the B.A. All second degrees must include minimum hours matching the student in either 15 or 16 above, plus it includes the complete “major” requirements, plus unmet Bell Core courses as outlined above.
Belmont degree recipient adding a major post-graduation.
- Students may elect to add another major post-graduation when that major is taken with no intention of earning a degree. Because a student may not earn the same degree again, this may be the option used if the major is exclusively within a degree already earned. Upon completion of the requirements for the second major, the transcript will note the original degree GPA, the GPA of the additional work, and add in the comment section at the top of the transcript “second major completed in (name of major), (date).”
Undergraduate Senior Residency and Waiver
All degree seeking students are required to take their last 32 credit hours in their degree / program at Belmont University. Prior to registration for the course(s), students seeking to take courses outside of Belmont must request a waiver of the senior residency requirement. Any credit hours taken without prior approval will not be accepted in transfer. See the Senior Residence Waiver policy and criteria on the Transfer Credit page.
Students approved for Senior Residency or in a Study Abroad program in their final semester of study are responsible to ensure that official grades are received by the deadline for all graduating senior grades near the end of the term. Without grades, completion of degree requirements cannot be confirmed. Students not meeting degree requirements may not participate in graduation / commencement.
Academic Honors (Graduation)
Academic honors are calculated on all grades from all institutions of higher education attended. Undergraduate students who earn a Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) between 3.50 and 3.749 are graduated Cum laude (with honors). Students who earn a G.P.A. between 3.75 and 3.949, are graduated Magna cum laude (with high honors). Students who earn a G.P.A. between 3.950 and 4.00 are graduated Summa cum laude (with highest honors).
Graduate (Master and Doctorate) Degree Requirements
- Complete the specified program curriculum.
- Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better (unless stated otherwise in a specific graduate school program)
- Complete all degree requirements within the time period specified for each program if such a timeframe is specified. Time limits shall be computed from and will include the first term of credit applied to the degree program.
- Meet the minimum credit hours published in the catalog for that program.
- All graduate programs must have 30 semester credit hours or greater. Credit hour requirements for award of the sought degree are specified in the program’s curriculum published in the University Graduate Catalog for each program and degree.
Students must file a graduation application online through their “My Belmont” account by the posted deadlines for each graduation date. These dates are listed in the Academic Calendar in the front of this catalog. The student will be billed for a non-refundable graduation fee of $250 for candidates of a Master degree and $275 for candidates of a Doctoral degree to cover graduation expenses of academic regalia and diploma. An additional $100 fee will be charged for late applications and an additional $50 fee will be charged for each subsequent application, due to failure to complete the graduation process.