Jun 15, 2024  
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies


Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the academic policies contained in the catalog. Failure to do so does not excuse students from the requirements and regulations described herein.

Academic Advisor

Students are assigned major or minor advisors who should be consulted regularly to assist with academic planning, adjustment to college studies, graduate school preparation and planning, and career development. Registration and any subsequent schedule alterations must have advisor approval. While advisors are available for advice and consultation, it is the student’s sole responsibility to be familiar with College policies and deadlines and to complete all graduation requirements.

Academic Honors

Honors are based on all grades earned at Gordon College.

Dean’s List. To qualify for the dean’s list for a given semester, students must complete at least 12 eligible credits (not counting satisfactory/unsatisfactory courses or Incompletes) with an average of 3.50-3.74 and no grade below C.

Presidential Honors. To qualify for presidential honors for a given semester, students must complete at least 12 eligible credits (not counting satisfactory/unsatisfactory courses or Incompletes) with an average of 3.75 or better and no grade below C.

Departmental Honors. Available in certain majors for students maintaining a 3.50 GPA in their major with an overall cumulative GPA of 3.00. A substantial research project, presented and defended to faculty, is generally required. See departmental listings.

Graduation Honors. Honors listed in the commencement program are computed on Gordon grades earned through the fall semester. Final graduation honors are awarded and recorded on transcripts for students. 

Students who have completed a minimum of 42 credits at Gordon and who have the following final cumulative grade point averages:

Summa cum laude: 3.75 to 4.00

Magna cum laude: 3.60 to 3.74

Cum laude: 3.50 to 3.59

Students who have completed less than 42 credits at Gordon and who have the following final cumulative grade point average:

             With distinction: 3.75 to 4.00

Kenneth Pike Honors Program. GPA requirements for Pike Scholars are outlined in the Pike Honors Program description . Pike Scholars complete unique academic goals through individualized, interdisciplinary programs of study.

Adding/Dropping Courses

Courses may be officially added or dropped with advisor approval on my.gordon.edu or by processing forms through the Registrar’s Office. Notification to the instructor or failure to attend is not sufficient. Changes may be processed without academic record or fee until the fifth day of the semester or quad except for special add/drop, withdrawal and refund policies for Summer Term, applied music, La Vida and Discovery, or withdrawal from the College. Thereafter changes may only be processed through the Registrar’s Office, and $10 will be charged for each withdrawal. Students may withdraw from a class through the fourth week of a quad class or the ninth week of a full-semester course. A “W” will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. Unofficial or late withdrawal from a course will result in a grade of F. Withdrawal or drop from La Vida or Discovery requires a signature from the La Vida Office.

Students should keep in mind the impact of course changes on block tuition. See Registration Deadlines and Financial sections. Billing is based on total credits of registration during a semester, less any refund for dropped courses. Withdrawing after the full refund deadline does not remove the credits from the block tuition calculation. Adding a quad course may increase tuition if the total hours, including withdrawals, exceed a tuition block.

Academic Status

Good Academic Standing. To remain in good academic standing, students must 

  • maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) at or above the cumulative GPA consistent with their Academic Program Credits (see table below) and
  • successfully complete at least 12 credits per semester as full-time students. Credit taken between semesters may be applied to credits completed during the previous semester if a grade or official transcript has been received by the Registrar’s Office by the start of the next semester.

Students must be in academic good standing to be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics sponsored by the College or for participation in a co-op placement. Students not in good academic standing who wish to participate in leadership positions in extracurricular activities will be subject to the approval of the Center of Student Development. Note: Federal satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid vary from the College’s academic standards, and are monitored separately by the Student Financial Services Office. See Financial Aid Section .

A student’s academic standing will be checked at the end of each semester. The following policy will be used to determine good academic standing.

  Academic Program Credits* Cumulative GPA  
0-26 1.60
27-55 1.80
56-above 2.00

*Academic program credits include credit hours transferred into Gordon and all courses attempted at Gordon, including failed courses. The cumulative GPA is calculated only on Gordon grades.

Academic Warning. When a student’s term GPA falls below 2.0 but the cumulative average is above the minimum required for good academic standing, the student will be placed on academic warning.

Academic Probation. When a student’s cumulative GPA falls below the minimum required for good academic standing, the student will be placed on academic probation. Any full time student who fails to pass 12 credits or to earn a 1.25 term GPA in any semester is subject to being placed on academic probation regardless of cumulative GPA.

Removal from Academic Probation. At the end of the probationary semester, a student will be removed from academic probation only if the student’s cumulative GPA meets the cumulative GPA required for good academic standing as detailed in the table above. 

Suspension. A student on academic probation whose cumulative GPA remains below the required cumulative GPA after the probationary semester is subject to suspension. Any student who earns a term GPA of less than 1.00 in a given semester may also be suspended without probation regardless of the cumulative GPA. Incomplete grades are excluded from the calculation when applying this policy. A full-time student whose cumulative GPA meets the GPA required for good academic standing but who fails to pass 12 credits for two consecutive semesters may be suspended. A student has the right to appeal any suspension.

Appealing Suspension. A suspension may be appealed within 15 days from the date on the suspension notification. Appeals must be in writing, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office, and must include an assessment of the reasons for the academic difficulties and a rationale for the appeal. Appeals are reviewed by an academic programs subcommittee. The academic dean will make the final decision. If a suspension appeal is granted, the student will continue on academic probation one additional term with academic progress reviewed again after that term.

Readmission/Termination. Suspended students may apply for readmission after two semesters have elapsed. When applying for readmission, students must present evidence of academic turnaround and of potential academic success at Gordon College. Readmission is not automatic and is contingent upon evidence that the student has gained the ability and motivation to succeed at Gordon College. Requests for readmission will be considered by the Admissions Committee. If accepted for readmission, a student must meet the College’s academic standards. If this has not occurred after two semesters maximum, the student will be subject to termination.

Termination is permanent suspension with no option for readmission.


If a student thinks he or she is being treated unfairly and not in accordance with announced academic policies, and discussion with the faculty member proves unfruitful, he or she may seek redress through the following procedure:

1. The issue should first be discussed with the student’s faculty advisor in an attempt to resolve it at the lowest level.

2. If the issue cannot be thus resolved, the student may then proceed to discuss the issue with the department chair or the division moderator in which the course is offered.

3. If a perceived injustice is not resolved in this manner, a student may seek formal resolution by stating the case in writing and submitting it to the Dean of Faculty. The decision of the Dean of Faculty is final.

Attendance Policy

Gordon College is committed to a holistic view of learning that encourages students to participate in a variety of educational opportunities both in and beyond the classroom. In fact, Gordon offers such a wide array of educational activities that occasionally schedules for various learning programs conflict with one another. When scheduling conflicts arise, classroom requirements take priority. Faculty members have jurisdiction over attendance policies in their classes, and students are required to abide by the attendance requirements described in course syllabi.

Faculty members, however, are encouraged to support the wide variety of programs at the College by exploring ways a student can make up portions of the course missed because of College-sponsored events. On occasion athletic teams, missions programs, musical groups and other College programs schedule events or tours that conflict with class times. Students will be expected to confer with faculty well in advance of such dates to discuss possible alternatives, normally before the end of the second week of the semester. (Student-athletes are not allowed to seek alternatives to class sessions to attend athletic practices. Faculty members should also recognize that student-athletes themselves are sometimes given short notice about playoff competitions or makeup competitions in athletics.) Students are responsible for all work missed and may be required to complete additional assignments in lieu of class attendance.

If a student does provide adequate notification, the College expects all faculty members to make reasonable accommodation for the student. However, the faculty member has the right to determine whether or not a student should be excused from a class session to participate in another College-sponsored event, taking into consideration the student’s academic performance, the nature of the subject matter covered during the class session and the number of absences either incurred or requested by the student.

Some faculty members plan field trips as part of their courses. If at all possible, such trips should be scheduled at times that do not require absences from other classes or conflict with obligations students have accepted as members of athletic teams, student life programs, musical groups, etc. If an academic field trip is scheduled during a time that conflicts with other courses or other College-sponsored events, the faculty member scheduling the field trip must allow the student an alternative way of fulfilling the requirement of the field trip.

No College events or field trips requiring class absence may be scheduled during the first five school days of the quad or semester, during final exams (quad or full-semester) or during the annual LEAD conference in the spring unless approved during the prior semester by the Academic Programs Committee.

Division of Education’s practica have priority over other College-sponsored events that occur during practica periods.

In addition to meeting classroom requirements for their courses, students must also meet Christian life and worship attendance policy requirements as defined below under Christian Life and Worship Requirement.


Auditors are students attending lecture or discussion classes for personal enrichment and not for academic credit. Attendance must be with the consent of the instructor provided there is classroom space. Auditors neither complete course requirements nor earn academic credit. Class attendance is required, but other participation is not permitted. Practica, independent study courses, physical education activities, labs, writing, or applied art or music courses may not be audited. Auditors should register for the course and bring an Audit Form to the Registrar’s Office to have the audit status confirmed. To be able to access course materials through Blackboard or other learning management software the student must be officially registered as an auditor by the Registrar’s Office. The instructor will grade the student AU or W based on the record of attendance. Only audited courses graded AU will appear on the permanent record. If not registered at the start of the term, a student may bring an audit form to the Registrar’s Office at the completion of the course with the instructor’s signature certifying at least 75% class attendance. Auditing status may only be changed to credit status by the fifth day of the semester or quad.

Full-time students may audit four semester hours per semester free of charge; the spouse of a married student may also audit four semester hours per semester without charge. All other students pay one-half tuition and must apply through the Admissions Office. Gordon or Barrington graduates may audit four semester hours of undergraduate credit per semester free of charge except for a $10 registration fee. Auditors are also responsible for any course fees.

Catalog Requirements

Since curricula may change from year to year, core and major requirements are determined by the catalog in use during the year in which a student enters. A student has the option of declaring a catalog in use during any year of attendance at Gordon and meeting all the requirements of that catalog. Core, major and/or degree requirements may not, however, be selected from more than one catalog. The College reserves the right to alter some program requirements as necessary to remain in compliance with licensure or guild standards, or to reflect curricular changes.

Christian Life and Worship Requirement

Attendance Requirement. All full-time students living on campus must receive 30 Christian Life and Worship credits each semester regardless of work schedule. Commuters are required to receive 20 Christian Life and Worship credits. Seniors in their last semester before graduating do not have a Christian Life and Worship requirement, unless they were on probation in a previous year. Seniors are still encouraged to attend Chapel and Convocation and take advantage of the many Christian Life and Worship events offered.

Christian Life and Worship Opportunities. Students receive Christian life and worship credit for attendance at any of the following events (see chapel and convocation schedules for details):

  • Chapel services in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel at 10:25 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday that classes are in session (about 30 per semester)
  • Convocations in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel at 10:25 a.m. on alternate Fridays
  • Christian Life and Worship credit-bearing events held at various locations around campus, usually in the late afternoon or evening (about 30 per semester)
  • Gordon College Symposium held every April, providing a wide variety of venues for which students may receive up to six chapel/convocation credits

Records and Accountability. Records of attendance are kept in the Chapel Office. All students are expected to remain in good-standing with their Christian Life and Worship requirement. After one semester of non-compliance, offending students will be placed on probation; parents of dependent students will be notified and a record is kept in the student’s file. A second semester of non-compliance will result in suspension from the College for one semester. Following a semester of suspension, students will be eligible to re-apply to the College. Students returning from suspension will be required to meet the chapel requirement each semester until their last semester as a graduating senior. Any attempt to falsely represent one’s attendance record will result in disciplinary action.

Special Cases. Married students and parents of young children may apply to have their Christian Life and Worship requirements reduced to 15 credits per semester, if they return a petition to the Chapel Office by the second week of the semester. Participants in off-campus academic internships and/or student teaching, which directly conflict with morning chapel and convocation times, must notify the Chapel Office. An academic internship/student teaching form may be obtained from the Chapel Office. This form must be completed by the student, the faculty advisor and internship supervisor, and returned to the Chapel Office by the second week of the semester. Students who miss a week or more of classes due to a serious illness may file for two credits per each week of missed classes by having a medical notification sent to the Chapel Office.

Class Standing

Class standing is determined by the number of credits successfully completed. Non-matriculated students do not have class standing.

Freshman: 0-26
Sophomore: 27-55
Junior: 56-85
Senior: 86 and above

Classification of Undergraduate Students

Full-Time Students: Degree candidates taking 12 or more credits per semester.

Half-Time Students: Degree candidates taking 7-11 credits per semester.

Part-Time Students: Degree candidates taking 6 or fewer credits per semester.

Special Students: A special student is one who chooses such a status and is not a candidate for a degree. This status is granted for one year only, following which the student must request degree candidacy, terminate attendance, or petition the Academic Programs Committee for continuation of special status.

Consortium Visitors: Full-time, one-term visiting students from another Christian College Consortium member institution.

Consortium Visitor Program

Undergraduates with a minimum 2.0 GPA enrolled at one of the Christian College Consortium member institutions may be considered for enrollment on another consortium campus. Enrollment is limited to one term on the campus visited, but additional studies as a special student deferred from Gordon may be possible if approved by the registrars of both institutions. No Gordon aid or scholarships are available for a second semester. Enrollment may be restricted by limitations in institutional enrollments, individual course enrollments or because of prerequisite course requirements. Contact the Registrar’s Office.

Course Load

To be considered full-time, students must take 12 or more credits per semester. A normal load is 16 credits. Twenty credits may only be taken with advisor approval; students wishing to take more than that must submit a petition to the Registrar’s Office.

Credit and Course Organization

Gordon’s four-year, 124-credit baccalaureate degree program is conducted within a semester academic calendar. The academic year is divided into two 14-week semesters (fall and spring), plus a week for final exams. Sixteen credits per semester constitute a normal registration. Additional courses may be offered in a mid-year January term, and in Summer Term.

The unit of credit for courses is indicated in semester hour credits. Normally each course carries 4 credits, which represent three 60-minute clock hours per week of instruction for 15 weeks in addition to substantial out-of-class study assignments. Two-credit courses may meet all semester with reduced hours or as a quad class meeting for only half of the semester (seven weeks).

100-199 Introductory courses
200-299 Open to all students with necessary prerequisites
300-399 Open to upper-level students with necessary prerequisites
400-499 Open only to seniors

The College reserves the right to withdraw a course and/or to restrict registration where enrollment warrants such action.

Deferred Enrollment

Students who expect to re-enroll at Gordon within a year of leaving must complete a deferral form. Contact residence hall director or the associate dean of students in the Center for Student Development. Deferred students who do not return in one year lose Gordon status and must apply for readmission. If no deferral form is completed, students may encounter difficulty clearing financial accounts, obtaining records and transcripts, and returning to Gordon at a later date.

Degrees Granted

Bachelor of Arts. The Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded to students who graduate with majors in the following areas:

  Accounting History
Art International Affairs
Biblical Studies Linguistics
Biology Music
Business Administration Philosophy
Christian Ministries Political Science
Combined Languages Psychology
Communication Arts Physics (including 3-2 Engineering program)
Economics Social Work
English Language and Literature Sociology
Finance Spanish
French Theatre Arts

Bachelor of Science. The Bachelor of Science degree is awarded to students who graduate with majors in the following areas:

  Biology Mathematics
Biochemistry Middle School Education*
Chemistry Physics 
Computer Science Recreation, Sport and Wellness
Early Childhood Education  Secondary Education*
Elementary Education  
Elementary Art Education  

* Education majors must complete a second major allowed by the Massachusetts Department of Education’s licensure requirements, and Middle School and Secondary Education majors will normally be awarded the degree appropriate to their liberal arts major (art, biology, English, history, etc.).

Bachelor of Music. The Bachelor of Music degree is awarded to students who graduate with majors in the following areas:

Music Education
Music Performance

Second Degree. Students may complete two or more majors but will be awarded one degree based on their first major. If a student wishes to complete a second, different degree, all the current requirements of the appropriate core and the major for the new degree must be completed for that degree with a minimum of an additional 32 credits taken in residence at Gordon after completion of all requirements for and receipt of the first degree.



All written work for a given semester is normally due no later than the last day of final examinations for that semester. The instructor has the right to grant an extension up to-but not beyond-the due date for grades. No work may be submitted after that time unless the student has submitted an Incomplete grade request form prior to the end of the semester. A final grade or an incomplete must be reported for every student. Faculty should notify the Registrar’s Office of last date of attendance if a student stopped attending without official withdrawal.

Final Examinations

A final examination or other appropriate in-class activity is required during scheduled quad and semester final exam periods. Faculty are not authorized to change final exam times. Quad and final exam schedules are clearly detailed on class schedules each term and on the College website. Final examinations may not be changed due to travel arrangements or outside commitments or conflicts. However, students are not required to take more than two in-class final exams on any given day. Students with three or more final exams on the same day may petition to have one examination time reassigned. Contact the Registrar’s Office. Changes are not allowed for any other reason. The Academic Programs Committee will only consider petitions demonstrating severe emergency. Students failing to take final exams receive automatic zeroes, which are averaged into the final course grade.

Finalization of Registration

All students enrolled in on-campus courses are required to finalize their registration at the start of each semester. Finalization forms will appear at the start of the semester when the student first logs onto the go.gordon.edu website with their username and password. The process includes a review of and an opportunity to update the name, address and emergency contact information on file at the College. Failure to finalize indicates a student did not return to campus and may result in removal from class registration, residence hall assignment and other privileges of a Gordon student.

Grades/Grade Changes/Enrollment Discrepancies

Students are responsible for checking each term’s enrollment and grades on the my.gordon.edu website. Grade reports are not mailed to the student except by special request. Any discrepancy in enrollment should be reported to the Registrar’s Office immediately. Students who feel there may be an error in a grade should contact the faculty member within the first 30 days of the following semester. Requests for changes of final grades must be submitted by the instructor and received by the Registrar’s Office within the following semester. If the transcript reflects an enrollment discrepancy, the student must contact the Registrar’s Office within the first 30 days of the following semester.

Grades may not be changed based on additional work submitted after the completion of the semester unless a student qualifies for and requests an Incomplete grade prior to the end of final examinations. Incomplete grade requests should only be approved when a student fails to complete work on time due to unpreventable and unforeseeable circumstances.

Grading Policy

Grades are indicative of the level of achievement with respect to such qualities as initiative, intellectual curiosity, creativity and mastery of subject matter.

Grades. A student is expected to maintain the 2.00 cumulative grade point average required for graduation-unless the major department has a higher minimum cumulative GPA. A “D” grade, while sufficient to receive credit for a course, reflects performance below the minimum required for satisfactory progress or the minimal course grade required by some major departments.

The GPA is calculated on the semester credit hours attempted at Gordon, and is determined by dividing total quality points earned by the total GPA hours. If a student repeats a course, both attempts will appear on the record, but course credits received only once and only the higher grade earned will be used to calculate the grade point average. Grade points are assigned according to the following chart:

Grade Grade Points   Meaning
  A+   4.0   Exceptional
  A   4.0   Excellent
  A-   3.7    
  B+   3.3    
  B   3.0   Good
  B-   2.7    
  C+   2.3    
  C   2.0   Satisfactory
  C-   1.7    
  D+   1.3    
  D   1.0   Low Pass
  D-   .7    
  P   0.0   Pass for Noncredit Course
  F   0.0   Failure to Pass
  S*   -   Satisfactory, C or better
  U*   -   Unsatisfactory, C- or lower
  W   -   Withdrew
  I   -   Incomplete
  WAU   -   Withdrew to Audit
  WIP   -   Work in Progress

* Applies only to courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading. Students may take up to 8 degree credits with satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grading. S/U courses must be electives, not a requirement for core, major or minor. Request forms must be submitted to the registrar before the end of the fourth week of a quad class or the ninth week of a full-semester course (or June 1 for summer classes). Students on summer international seminars may select S/U grading within one week of their return. Instructors submit letter grades for all students; the Registrar’s Office converts grades of C and above to S when posting them on transcripts. Grades of C-, D+, D, D- or F are recorded as U (unsatisfactory). No academic credit is earned for unsatisfactory grades, but the grade does not affect the grade point average. Students electing satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading in a course may revert to regular grading up to the last day of classes before final exams by submitting a written request to the Registrar’s Office. Zero-credit courses are recorded as P/F, with D- as minimum passing grade.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for graduation, a student must:

  • Apply for graduation
  • Earn a minimum of 124 semester credit hours
  • Meet the residency requirement of a minimum of 32 credits earned at Gordon; take 32 of the last 40 credits for the degree either at Gordon (or in a Gordon, CCCU or Consortium program by petition).  No more than eight credits of core courses may be taken off-campus after matriculation at Gordon.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above
  • Fulfill the liberal arts Core Curriculum requirements specified in the catalog unless exception is made due to the student’s major requirements.
  • Fulfill the major course or other requirements specified in the catalog, taking a minimum of 20 credits in that major at Gordon and earning any specified minimum GPA or course grades in that major. Major courses which also fulfill core requirements may be used towards both core and major minimum residency requirements.
  • Be endorsed by the major department(s)
  • Complete all coursework in the final semester (no incomplete grades) unless a petition to change degree status is approved in advance
  • Take all required examinations, including comprehensive examinations in departments requiring them
  • Be in good standing regarding behavioral expectations
  • Attend graduation exercises unless excused in advance

Students are entirely responsible to fulfill all graduation requirements. Advisors are available for advice and consultation. Since curricula may change from year to year, core and major requirements are determined by the catalog in use during the year in which a student enters. A student has the option of declaring a catalog in use during any year of attendance at Gordon and meeting all the requirements of that catalog. Requirements may not, however, be selected from more than one catalog. The College reserves the right to alter some program requirements as necessary to remain in compliance with licensure or guild standards.

Participation in Commencement

Students who wish to participate in graduation ceremonies prior to final completion of their degree may petition to do so if they meet certain conditions. Petitions will only be considered which reflect realistic arrangements for fulfilling remaining requirement(s) and which meet the following requirements:

  • Petition must be received by the Registrar’s Office prior to March 15.
  • No more than 8 (eight) credits may remain on Commencement Day. Unmet requirements may be fulfilled either through Gordon or off-campus courses preapproved by the department and the Registrar’s Office. Advance registration at Gordon or approval of off-campus courses must be completed/obtained before the student’s name may go on the commencement program. Participation in commencement ceremonies prior to completion of academic requirements is a privilege extended to students by Gordon College and assumes a serious commitment to complete outstanding requirements within the stated deadlines. Failure to complete requirements and/or submit official transcripts of off-campus work will result in a replacement diploma fee and a degree date reflecting the later completion or date the final official transcript of off-campus work is received by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Remaining requirements must be completed during the summer or fall immediately following commencement.
  • All work must be completed and submitted before the first day of fall term for a September 15 degree or by the end of the fall semester for a December degree.
  • Transcripts of all off-campus work must be received by October 15 for a September degree or by February 15 for a December degree. After that date the degree will automatically be awarded as of the next degree date following receipt of the transcript (not when work was completed).

Guided Study

Guided studies are tutorials which fulfill all requirements for a course listed in the catalog. The course must be required. The student must demonstrate that the course could not be taken at the regularly scheduled time and is necessary:

  • To resolve a conflict between required courses; or
  • To substitute for a required course not offered during the term needed

Contact the Registrar’s Office. Completed forms must be submitted to the registrar and approved no later than the fifth day of the semester or, in the case of summer enrollment, by June 1.

Incomplete Grades

The grade I (Incomplete) is allowed when requested by a student who fails to complete course requirements on time due to unpreventable and unforeseeable circumstances, if the instructor considers the student’s reason valid. Incompletes normally may not be granted solely on the basis of a request for more time or a desire to submit additional work to earn a higher grade. Faculty must submit the Incomplete Grade Request form by the last day of final exams detailing the remaining work to be completed and providing the grade to be entered if additional work is not received. The Incomplete must be made up no later than seven weeks after the start of the next semester. The instructor may set an earlier date at the time the Incomplete is granted.

The final grade must be submitted by the instructor by the due date. If no final grade is provided, the grade on the Incomplete Grade Request form will be processed. If no grade was provided on that form, the incomplete will revert to an “F” or failing grade.

The Incomplete is recorded in the semester in which the student began the work, and the final grade replaces the “I” on the transcript in the term taken. Deferring or withdrawing from college does not extend an incomplete or waive remaining requirements. When an incomplete is given, the course is counted as part of the student’s load in that semester. If the incomplete grade reduces the credit earned to less than 12 credits, the student is ineligible for the Dean’s List or Presidential Honors. Seniors graduating in May may not receive an incomplete in the final spring semester. September or December degree candidates participating in graduation must complete all their work in the summer or fall respectively and are not entitled to grades of incomplete for their final term of study.

Independent Courses

See “Independent Study” or “Guided Study.” An independent course is a privilege extended to students by faculty who supervise a limited number of students; hence a request may not always be approved.

Independent Study

Independent study courses are designed to provide curricular enrichment and flexibility, hence cannot be an existing course. A 2.75 minimum GPA and the approval of the supervising instructor and department chair are required for enrollment. Independent studies are full semester courses and may not be taken as quad courses. Credit may vary from 2 to 4 credits. A maximum of 8 credits is allowed toward a degree (except for Pike Scholars). Contact the Registrar’s Office. Completed forms must be submitted to and approved by the registrar no later than the fifth day of the semester or, in the case of summer enrollment, by June 1.


Internships are academic experiences intended to allow students to make practical connections between their fields of study and the world of work. As such they should be seen as important and useful transition experiences for students and should carry the full weight of and respect for academic rigor found in any other academic experience in the majors. Internships are defined as being limited to a maximum of 8 credit hours in a student’s undergraduate program of study, with a minimum expectation of 28 on-the-job hours for each academic credit hour earned. A student who meets the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 may apply for an internship. The internship must be prearranged and approved by a faculty advisor and the registrar prior to the student’s beginning the internship and must be done with a professional practicing in the field; requires a minimum of two personal visits by the supervising faculty; and will be graded following the same guidelines as for other academic experiences. The deadline to enroll in an internship is the same as other registration deadlines (fifth day of a semester or June 1 for summer). Tuition for internship credit is the same as for any other academic credit. Internships may not be repeated; subsequent internships must be thoroughly different experiences and with totally different organizations.


Gordon College offers 40 majors with 42 concentrations (see degrees granted). Credit-hour requirements of the core and major generally leave room for elective credit with which to explore the liberal arts and cross-disciplinary courses. Students are encouraged to declare majors during the freshman year but may change majors or add an additional major at any time with the approval of the department and registrar. A student who chooses not to declare a major by the end of the sophomore year must sign a waiver form before being allowed to register for the junior year. Students must complete all of the core requirements and all departmental requirements of each major with a minimum of 20 semester hours of Gordon credit for each major. Students have the option of choosing one catalog in use during any year of attendance at Gordon, but they must meet all the requirements of that one catalog. Requirements may not be selected from more than one catalog. The College reserves the right to alter some program requirements as necessary to remain in compliance with licensure or guild standards. Contact the Registrar’s Office. See Academic Program Section: Majors, Minors and Concentrations and Departmental Curriculum  for major requirements.


Gordon offers 34 departmental and 13 interdisciplinary minors. A minor is a prescribed or individually tailored group of at least five related semester courses (a minimum of 20 credits) taken outside the student’s major discipline. It must be approved by the Registrar’s Office and either the department in which it is offered or a faculty committee. Although transfer credit may be applied to a minor, at least 50 percent of the credit must be taken at Gordon. Contact the Registrar’s Office.

NECCUM Cross-Registration

Full-time Gordon students with a 2.0 minimum cumulative average may cross-register for up to two daytime courses per term at any other NECCUM (Northeast Consortium of Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts) institution. The course selected should not be a course available to the student at Gordon unless there is a course conflict. Contact Gordon’s Registrar’s Office. Gordon students must be withdrawn at least two years before being allowed to take courses at Gordon College as a NECCUM visitor from another institution.

Off-Campus Programs

Students may earn credit by participating in a number of programs conducted away from the Gordon campus. See the Off-Campus Programs section under Academic Programs . Contact the Global Education Office.


Outdoor Education Core Requirement

A critical component of Gordon’s First-Year Experience is La Vida Expeditions or Discovery. These programs are designed to help students with the transition to college. To complete this outdoor education requirement, students must take La Vida or Discovery during their first year. Please visit www.gordon.edu/lavida/collegeprograms for more information on each class. Special drop and withdrawal policies apply due to hiring and scheduling requirements of these courses. Similar courses taken at other institutions may not be used to fulfill La Vida or Discovery unless they meet the following specific requirements. In order to be considered, the course must be a wilderness camping adventure program that is a minimum of 10 days in length and is specifically designed to promote personal and Christian spiritual growth. Additionally, three writing assignments are required: setting personal goals, writing in a daily journal, and a typed 1,000-word final reflection paper. The program must also appear on the student’s academic transcript of a regionally accredited college or university. Approval is not automatic. Students must contact the La Vida Center to start the approval process within 30 days of the start of their first term at Gordon. 

Either La Vida or Discovery is a core requirement for transfer students who enter Gordon College with freshman or sophomore standing. Any student who enters Gordon at or beyond age 25 or transfer students who come with junior or senior standing, excluding AP credit, are excused from the requirement. Even though not required, we recommend that these students consider taking one of these courses because they have proven to promote personal growth and are an effective way to get connected with other students on campus. Students who decide to transfer out of Gordon after their first year are still required to take La Vida or Discovery. Students who are not able to complete La Vida or Discovery due to a documented health issue are encouraged to petition for Concepts of Wellness through the Recreation, Sports, and Wellness department.

Both the Compass and Summit programs also meet the requirements for this section of the Core Curriculum. Minimal paperwork is needed to receive credit and can be obtained by contacting lavida@gordon.edu. Contact Nate Hausman, Director of Education and Program Development, with any questions.


A petition process exists for students who find it necessary to seek an exception to any academic policy, procedure or regulation. A petition form is available online or from the Registrar’s Office. The request should be stated clearly and specify the conditions or circumstances supporting an exception. Approval of petitions will be granted only in cases in which extenuating circumstances are evident and substantiated. After the Academic Programs Subcommittee considers the petition, the student, appropriate faculty and administrative offices will be notified of the decision. No assumption of approval should be acted on in advance.

Physical Education Requirements

To complete the physical education activity requirements, students must take two quad physical activity classes of choice prior to the start of the junior year. Students who enter Gordon at or beyond age 25 are excused from the physical education requirement.

Activity classes may be taken off campus at accredited colleges provided the course will appear on an official college transcript and meets the minimum of 20 contact hours. Preapproval of the specific course is strongly recommended. No activity class or sport may be repeated for physical education credit. One physical education activity class only may be waived by participating in an approved club or varsity sport supervised by faculty or staff and recorded on the academic transcript. Completion of an armed forces basic training experience or R.O.T.C. may also fulfill one activity requirement.

Placement Examinations (Foreign Language)

The core requirement in language study at Gordon College is two semesters of study of the same language at the elementary or beginning level. The requirement may also be fulfilled in the following ways:

  • Students may submit to the Registrar’s Office official scores for either the Advanced Placement Exam or the SATII Achievement Test in order to validate either one or two semesters of Gordon’s language requirement as follows (Gordon’s code for the SATII Achievement Test is 3417): A minimum score of 400 in French or Spanish will place a student in FRE 102  or SPN 102 , respectively. A minimum score of 500 on any SATII language test will fulfill Gordon’s one-year language requirement. A minimum score of 4 on any Advanced Placement language exam will fulfill Gordon’s one-year language requirement. Official scores must be sent directly from the College Board to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students who have had more than two years of language instruction in high school must take a placement test at Gordon before enrolling in any course in French, Latin or Spanish. The placement tests in these four languages are diagnostic tools administered during fall Orientation as well as in early January, and no academic credit is awarded. However, if students have placed out of a particular language course, they will not receive credit for taking the same language course at Gordon. Students may not take the placement test more than once in the same language.
  • The on-campus placement test must also be taken by all students wishing to continue their study of language at the intermediate level (201) or above. Please note this includes those students who already have an SATII, BYU or Advanced Placement score on file.
  • Students who have earned high school credit for level three of a language other than French, Latin or Spanish, or those proficient in another language, must independently arrange to take either the SAT Achievement Test (www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/SAT/about/SATII/whichlang.html) off campus or a language correspondence test through Brigham Young University (flats.byu.edu). Official scores must be submitted directly to the Registrar’s Office by the appropriate testing agency. Contact the department chair for more information.
  • Students whose native language is not English may use a TOEFL or IELTS score or a transcript from a secondary school where instruction was conducted in the native language, to validate Gordon’s language requirement. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office directly from the testing agency. Official secondary school transcripts are required in order to be considered for validating the foreign language requirement. Students may not receive credit for a Gordon language course which they have validated by testing or for which they have received transfer credit.


Prerequisites are listed under the departmental course descriptions. A student is responsible for ensuring that he or she has satisfied all prerequisites before registering for a course. A student who has registered without satisfying prerequisites or obtaining permission may be required by the instructor to withdraw from the course.

Privacy of Records and Directory Information (FERPA)

Gordon is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; thus, most records pertaining to enrolled students may be reviewed by the student upon request and by appointment. In January 2012 the FERPA regulations expanded the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information contained in such records may be accessed without consent. Federal or state authorities may allow access to records to third parties evaluating a federal- or state-supported education program, to certain researchers, or to longitudinal studies linked to other federal or state data sources. A complete statement of the College’s policy and procedures is available from the Office of Student Life.

FERPA permits release of “directory information” without authorization unless the student notifies the Registrar’s Office, in writing and within the first two weeks of a semester, of a specific request that the College not release such information. Careful consideration should be given to the consequences of a request to withhold directory information, and the College cannot assume responsibility for any consequences from honoring an instruction to withhold directory information.

Directory information includes a student’s: name; month/day and place of birth; major field of study; full- or part-time status; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; most recent previous educational agency or institution attended; and photograph, video or web image. Weights and heights of members of athletic teams may also be released.

Privacy Policy. Gordon’s privacy policy allows access to current and permanent addresses, telephone listings, email addresses, class schedules and listings on course rosters to on-campus members of the Gordon community. All other personal data is restricted to only Gordon faculty, staff and student workers, pursuant to their College responsibilities, or to contractual agents of the College, such as an attorney, auditor, the National Student Clearinghouse or a collection agent. Gordon College may make use of an individual student’s photograph, video or web image, or campus scenes including the individual, in College publications, promotional materials or on the website. An effort will be made to obtain permission for use whenever possible.


Withdrawn students who wish to return to Gordon must apply for readmission with the Admissions Office. Readmits who return after five years will have their credits reevaluated by the registrar and be responsible for the requirements of the current catalog. If courses in the original catalog are no longer offered or if professional requirements have changed, the Core Committee and/or departments must be consulted for alternatives and additional requirements may need to be met. See Grading Policy.

Readmits who meet the following criteria at the date of withdrawal will be given the option of completing either their original or the current catalog requirements.

  • Completed and filed an application for graduation before withdrawing
  • Met the residency requirement, having taken at least 32 credits at Gordon; at least 20 major credits fulfilled at Gordon; 32 of the last 40 credits must have been in residence
  • No more than 8 credits remained to complete degree


Registration instructions are distributed by the Registrar’s Office and course schedules are available on the College website. Students register online via my.gordon.edu website, with advisor approval, or in the Registrar’s Office. Students may register if they are financially clear (having met deadlines for payment of bills, deposits and submission of information sheet), have medical clearance and have been advised. During registration students register for the entire semester-including quads. Independent courses and internships require additional paperwork to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Some courses also require instructor or department chair permission. See Registration Deadlines . Students must be officially registered for a course to receive credit. The deadline to register for the term is the close of the fifth day of classes each semester or before the first day of a Summer Term class. Online courses may require earlier deadlines. Full-semester courses may be added only during the first week of the semester (the fifth day of classes); quad courses may also be added during the first week of that quad (the fifth day of classes). Students may neither register for nor receive credit for two courses taught at the same hour.

Repeated Courses

Students may repeat courses previously passed or failed to improve grades. All grades remain on the transcript, but only the highest grade earned is used to calculate the grade point average and credit is only awarded once. A repeat form should be submitted to ensure correct calculation of the repeat. Substitutes will not be made for courses no longer offered. Courses repeated at another institution will not alter the grade point average at Gordon. Repeats do not qualify for financial aid eligibility under Title IV funding. Contact the Registrar’s Office and Financial Aid Office.

Summer Term

Gordon College offers a selection of credit and enrichment courses from various disciplines each Summer Term. These classes are offered on varied schedules to meet student needs; morning, afternoon and evening offerings are available as well as online courses. Most classes start the Monday immediately after Commencement and are generally finished by the middle of June, but others, particularly sequenced courses, may extend into the summer. Classes taken for credit are billed at a reduced rate per credit hour since financial aid is not available. Courses are also available for enrichment only at a lower rate per credit. Summer housing is available; an activity fee covers costs of special programming.

Because Summer Term courses are very intensive, students should plan carefully to avoid outside commitments. Special refund and withdrawal policies apply to this term’s traditional and online courses. See Summer Term web pages.


The Registrar’s Office is responsible for issuing official transcripts of work completed at Gordon. All obligations to the College must have been met before a transcript is issued, including all financial accounts with Gordon College and compliance with the terms of any student loans. While requests are processed as quickly as possible, allow up to five working days for verification of clearance and processing. A transcript fee is charged.

Current students may process an electronic transcript request through my.gordon.edu. A credit card (Mastercard or Visa) is required to order transcripts online, and there is a $1 transcript fee plus a $3.00 processing fee. Former students who do not have access to My.Gordon may order transcripts online from Gordon’s website at www.gordon.edu/transcripts

Transcripts may be sent electronically through a secure, web-based process, sent by U.S. mail or picked up in the Registrar’s Office. Electronic delivery of transcripts is possible wherever web access is available with a high level of security. Recipients are notified of availability by email, and the student is notified by email when the transcript is sent, when it is viewed and by whom it was opened.

Transcripts may also be requested by a written, signed request submitted to the Registrar’s Office by mail with a check or money order, or in person with a cashier’s receipt to cover the transcript fee. A transcript fee of $3 is charged for each transcript ordered through the Registrar’s Office. Allow five working days for verification and processing. Credit cards may only be used with the online transcript ordering service. A paper transcript is only official when it bears the signature of the registrar and the raised seal of the College.

Transcripts or copies of transcripts from other colleges or institutions used during admissions or for evaluation of transfer credit may not be released by Gordon. Copies of transcripts must be obtained by the student from the institution holding the original record.

Transfer of Credit after Matriculation (Off-Campus or Summer)

Current Gordon students wishing to transfer academic work to Gordon must obtain advance course approval from the Registrar’s Office. Off-Campus Course Approval forms are available in the Registrar’s Office or on the website. Students must indicate on the form the equivalent Gordon course or the requirement the course should meet, with approval by departmental advisor(s). To be approved, courses must be from a regionally accredited institution and be comparable to those offered at Gordon. Transfer credit will only be granted if an official transcript is received and work is completed with a grade of C minus or above. Documentation of satisfactory completion (C or above) must be provided for any Pass or Satisfactory grade. Grade points are not transferable; thus a grade point deficit cannot be reduced by taking non-Gordon courses.

Verification of Enrollment or Degree

Students needing verification of enrollment or degree should contact the Registrar’s Office or mail verification forms to the office. Degrees and enrollment are also verified through the National Student Clearinghouse.


Students not returning to Gordon must complete either a withdrawal form or a senior withdrawal form. Graduating seniors will be sent forms from Student Financial Services. All others contact their residence hall director or the Office of Student Life for regular withdrawal forms. An exit interview with Student Financial Services is required by the federal government for students who have received Stafford Loans or Pell Grants. Accounts must be paid in full. If full payment cannot be made, payment must be made under a promissory note which will include monthly interest. Students who withdraw during the first four weeks of a semester may receive a tuition refund (see Financial section ). Students who plan to re-enroll at Gordon within a year of leaving should complete a Deferral of Enrollment form to eliminate the reapplication process (see Deferred Enrollment).

Students who withdraw unofficially, or withdraw after the deadline to receive W grades, receive automatic F grades and incur full financial obligation for the semester not completed. Failure to officially withdraw may result in an inability to obtain a financial refund.