Academic Policies

Governing Policies for Satisfying Academic Requirements

Students Subject to the Catalog Provisions

All students are subject to the provisions of the catalog which was in effect at the time of their first enrollment at John Brown University, with the exception of charges for tuition, etc., which apply only for a specified period of time. However, students may change to a later catalog with approval of their advisor and dean or division chair by completing a Change of Catalog form in the Registrar's Office. Students may submit a Change of Catalog form until they have completed 75 hours. After that point, no further catalog changes will be permitted except in case of extended absence, as described in Graduation Requirements after Extended Absence.

Changes in Requirements and Regulations

The university reserves the right to make modifications in policies, procedures, and regulations: e.g., grading system, transfer of credit, guidelines for degree requirements, housing regulations and charges, tuition and fees, and admission standards, and to make such modifications applicable to any or all currently-enrolled students. When modifications occur, sensitivity to reasonable dates of implementation and appropriate categories of currently-enrolled students affected will be exercised. Students will be notified of such changes through the advisors, written notices, and campus publications.

Course Credits

The basic unit of course credit is the semester hour. One semester hour of credit normally represents participation by the student in the activities of one fifty-minute class period per week for 15 weeks together with adequate preparation through the use of approximately two hours outside of class for each period in class. Where additional supervised time is required such as for laboratories or listening sessions, an extended period of two to three hours may replace one regular class period. One hour of practicum credit requires weekly involvement of three to five hours, depending on the nature of the assignment.

Academic Year

John Brown University's school year comprises two semesters, with the fall term completed before the December holiday break. Each semester consists of 73 days of instruction followed by a four-day examination period. Commencement exercises follow each semester, scheduled on the Saturday after final examination week. In additional to the fall and spring semester, JBU offers traditional undergraduate courses in a four-week term (summer terms) starting on the Monday following spring commencement.


Orientation activities for all new students begin before fall registration and may continue into the semester. The goal of the Orientation Program is to help each student make a smooth transition to college life at JBU.

Full-Time Student

A full-time student is one who is enrolled for 12 or more semester hours.

Classification of Students

A student will be classified as a sophomore when at least 30 semester hours of course work have been successfully completed; junior-60 hours; senior-90 hours.

Academic Advising

All undergraduate students are assigned an academic advisor in connection to their chosen major. Students who are undeclared are advised by an advisor who works solely with undeclared students until such time as the student declares a major. Students are responsible for seeing their advisor for schedule planning each semester as well as for determining a graduation plan and other major-related issues. Advisors will help guide students in planning, but are not responsible for students’ meeting graduation requirements. This responsibility lies with each individual student.

Summer Terms

John Brown University offers a four-week May term which begins the Monday after spring commencement. Students may earn as many as six credit hours, with most available courses satisfying requirements in the Core Curriculum. Summer tuition for undergraduate work is one-half the regular credit hour rate. Housing and meal plans are available on campus during the session.

Credit by Examination

Means of establishing credit include the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement Programs (AP), International Baccalaureate Program (IB), A and AS Level Exams, and in some cases, departmental course equivalency exams. A maximum of 30 semester hours of such credit may be applied toward the bachelor's degree; 15 maximum for the associate's degree. Students are not permitted to take the CLEP test for any course in which they are currently enrolled or have been enrolled in during the current semester. Details about examination approval and course equivalence are available from the Registrar's Office. Graduating seniors must have completed all CLEP exams before the first day of their final term in residence. CLEP exams are administered by the Office of Academic Assistance.

If a departmental course equivalency exam exists for a course, qualified students may earn credit by passing the examination with a grade of ‘B’ or better. Students interested in taking the equivalency exam should obtain a departmental course equivalency exam request form from the Registrar’s Office, obtain approval for taking the equivalency exam from the head of the department in which the course is offered, pay the equivalency exam fee in the cashier’s office, and then schedule the exam with the head of the department. The head of the department will forward the departmental course equivalency exam form to the Registrar’s Office. Where appropriate, credit for the course will be added to the transcript with a grade of CE (credit by examination). No fee, other than the initial equivalency exam fee, must be paid to receive institutional credit.

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