Course and Credit Information


Credit Hours

Credit for academic work completed at Roosevelt University is earned in credit hours. Credit hours for each course are listed in the catalog and the course schedule. The number of credit hours determines the hours of active or scheduled instruction required in a course (“contact hours”). For example, a 3 credit-hour course requires 37.5 contact hours per term. For non-standard course formats (e.g., online) to receive equivalent credit, they must meet similar curricular goals and outcomes. That is, the course must contain similar content, goals, objectives, and learning outcomes. Longer periods are required for one credit hour in laboratory courses and certain applied courses in art, drawing and music.

Course Load

A graduate student is considered full-time if they are enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours per academic term).  However, six credit hours of graduate work qualify for full-time status in terms of federal financial aid.

No student is permitted to take more than 12 credit hours without the dean's written consent in which the student is enrolled. The university reserves the right to limit students' programs when it is obvious that students have enrolled for more work than they can handle successfully.

International Student Course Load

Students in F-1/J-1 status must be full-time (per the course load definitions above) during the fall and spring terms. Summer attendance is not required.

Course Numbering System

Courses offered at Roosevelt University are identified by a subject area abbreviation and a course number. Course numbers differentiate courses that are appropriate for particular populations of students and identify varying levels of content in programs of study.

Graduate-level courses are numbered from 400 to 799.


Six credits is the maximum number of internship credits that may be applied toward graduation. 

Prior Learning Credit

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process by which an individual’s experiential learning is assessed and evaluated for purposes of granting academic credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training (CAEL, 2017). Roosevelt students can apply for PLA credit if their graduate program has an approved process for evaluation listed in the graduate catalog.

PLA credit is evaluated and approved by the graduate program or department. The learning experience that students seek credit for must have been accomplished prior to admission to a graduate program at Roosevelt University.

In accordance with the processes outlined by the student’s program of study, an Application for Prior Learning Assessment must be filled out completely and submitted to the program or department at admission. A fee must be paid for each semester hour of academic credit awarded through an approved PLA process. PLA credit is awarded in the second semester of a successful graduate study at Roosevelt University.

Individual departments and programs determine the amount of academic credit that may be awarded. Any program or department may award no more than 12 semester hours of academic credit through Prior Learning Assessment.

Students who have been granted graduate transfer credits from another institution cannot be granted additional PLA credits beyond the 12 semester hour limit noted above. Likewise, students who have been granted PLA credits cannot be granted additional transfer credits beyond the 12 semester hour limit.

Graduate programs and/or departments seeking approval to offer PLA credit should first consult with and obtain the approval of the Provost and the Deans Council. Thereafter, programs and/or departments should follow established college policies and procedures to approve modifications to graduate curriculums.

Thesis, Internship, Practicum, and Dissertation

Some programs require an internship, thesis, practicum, or dissertation for degree completion. Registration must be approved by the graduate advisor and completed in the Office of the Registrar. A student who has not completed a thesis, internship, dissertation, or other final projects by the end of the original term must maintain continuous registration during fall and spring semesters until completing the project. See the How to Register webpage for more detail on procedures for registering for an individualized section.

For master's students, except in the Chicago College of Performing Arts, students must register for the zero-credit course (course number followed by “Y”) to maintain continuous registration for thesis, dissertation, internship, or other final project courses, as directed by their program of study.

Grading and Grade Options

Auditing Course

Students may audit selected courses. Students auditing a course attend classes consistent with the instructor’s attendance policy and may participate in any or all course requirements and examinations. No academic credit is granted for the course, and the grade of audit (AU) is the only grade recorded. It cannot be changed to another grade at a later date. The cost of an audited course is 50% of the regular tuition plus all applicable fees. Students should indicate that they wish to audit the course at the time of registration but no later than one week after the start of the term.  For more detail, please see procedures for registering for an audit course.


A student’s academic progress is indicated by grades A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- or F in completed courses. The grade of D is unacceptable towards graduate degree programs. Only two courses with grades of C may be counted toward completion of a graduate degree. Only one “C” grade may count toward completing doctoral programs in the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. No credit is awarded for a grade of F. Second examinations to raise final grades or make up failures are not permitted.

P/F (pass/fail)

Graduate students may have the option to register for courses with a pass/fail grade option. The number of credit hours of such courses allowed to count toward a degree varies by program.  Some degree programs also have required courses that must be taken as pass/fail. Students should consult with a faculty advisor regarding pass/fail options pertaining to their particular degree program. Students should indicate that they wish to take the course pass/fail at the time of registration but no later than one week after the start of the term. 

IP (in progress)

The grade IP (in progress) is given only for specific courses (such as independent study, thesis, dissertation, practicum, or internship) that may have a span of two or more semesters.

I (incomplete)

A grade of incomplete may be given only with the consent of the instructor and appropriate notification to the Office of the Registrar and the instructor’s dean or department chair.

A student should only receive an Incomplete grade if:

  • The student initiates the request for an incomplete grade before the end of the academic term; and
  • The student is in good standing the course and has completed a majority of the coursework (usually at least 75% of the coursework); and
  • A medical condition or other serious, non-academic extenuating circumstance (as documented with the Office of the Dean of Students) prevents them from completing a small portion of the coursework required to complete the course prior to the end of the term; and
  • The required work may be reasonably completed in an agreed-upon timeframe with the faculty member (no later than the end of the next semester, excluding summer); and
  • The required work does not require the student to retake any portion of the course.

When entering an Incomplete grade in RU Access, the instructor will be required to complete the “I-grade contract” for any student receiving an I grade. Instructors must also communicate to the student via RU email the details listed in the “I-grade contract” (the work to be done and the due dates). If a student’s medical condition or personal circumstances prevents them from communicating with the instructor, a staff member may reach out to the instructor on the student’s behalf. However, the course instructor is still responsible for communicating directly with the student via RU email regarding the incomplete grade and the terms of the I-grade contract.

Students must complete the course requirements by the date the instructor has set, as indicated in the I-grade contract. If no date is indicated, students must complete the course requirements prior to the end of the following semester.

For work completed within the deadline, the incomplete grade will be removed when:

  • The instructor manually updates the final grade using a grade update form, changing the I grade to a letter grade evaluating the student’s academic performance (A, B, C, D, P, F);

  • If the instructor does not update the grade before the end of the following semester (excluding summer), the Registrar will convert incompletes with no grade submitted and no extension granted to the default grade (A, B, C, D, or F). The default grade is the grade submitted by the faculty member when the original incomplete grade was granted. If no default grade is specified, a grade of F will be automatically submitted.

W (withdrawal)

Students may withdraw from a course and receive a grade of “W” upon written request submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the published deadline on the Important Dates and Course Schedule page. Approval by a financial aid counselor is also required if the student is receiving financial aid. Students should also inform their instructors of their intention to drop courses. After the published deadline, no grade of W will be permitted for academic reasons, and the student will be graded solely on academic performance at the end of the term. Stopping attendance or notifying an instructor, advisor, or any other staff or faculty member is not considered an official withdrawal. It may result in receiving a failing grade and being responsible for the full tuition payment. See the Important Dates and Course Schedule page for details on withdrawals, refunds, and petitions for late withdrawal for non-academic reasons.

Late Withdrawal

A student wishing to withdraw from a course after the withdrawal deadline has passed may petition for a late W grade. Petitions for a Late Withdrawal are entertained only because of extraordinary non-academic circumstances, such as unforeseen medical or other personal circumstances that have significantly and unexpectedly inhibited the student’s ability to complete the course(s). Students may request a late withdrawal at any time within one calendar year of course completion. The Petition for Late Withdrawal and information on the approval process is available through the Office of the Dean of Students.

Repeated Courses

Students may retake a course with a grade of C or lower. This requires approval by the program director. Students may repeat up to two courses for a maximum of 7 credit hours to improve grades. Both grades of a repeated course remain on the academic record; however, only the course with the higher grade is used in computing the grade point average and counted toward degree completion. This policy does not entitle the student to a retroactive degree and does not change the historical recording of academic standing.

For more information, please see procedures for repeating courses. For information on repeated courses' eligibility for financial aid is available on the Financial Aid web pages.

Changes to Class Sections 

The University reserves the right to close sections of classes and/or add new sections of classes as conditions warrant. In addition, the University reserves the right to change instructors from those listed in the Class Schedule whenever such a change is necessary. If a student is registered for a canceled class, that student will be dropped automatically and receive a notification in their Roosevelt email. Students should consult with their advisor to find an alternative course. Students receiving financial aid should consult their counselors regarding implications for their aid.