Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Regulations



Enrollment

Immunization and Health Statement Policy

Prematriculation requirements include a physical examination, health statement and a current immunization record. It is a requirement of the College/University Immunization Law, Illinois Public Act 85-1315, effective July 1, 1989, that persons born on or after January 1, 1957, who are enrolled in designated Illinois public and private colleges and universities, present evidence of immunity against certain diseases. This law prohibits registration for any subsequent semesters until the requirements are fulfilled and provides for cancellation of registration for any students who fail to submit the appropriate immunization records.

Dates of Entry and Matriculation

A student’s date of entry is the first day of the semester in which they enroll at North Central College. A student retains this date of entry as long as they do not leave the College for more than one semester at a time, not including summer. The student may graduate using the catalog in effect at the date of entry. A student who is not in attendance for two or more consecutive semesters, not including summer, must use the catalog in effect on the first day of the semester in which they are readmitted to the College. A student’s matriculation date is the date on which they become a degree candidate. A student may choose to move to any catalog effective after the date of entry should a new major or minor become available that meets their career and educational interests. Doing so requires adherence to all general education, major and minor requirements within the effective catalog.

Classification of Students

Students are classified as either degree candidates or non-degree students.

Degree seeking students are admitted to degree candidacy by the vice president for enrollment management upon enrolling at North Central College during a regular semester after satisfying the College’s admission guidelines. Others seeking admission to degree candidacy must submit a written application to the vice president for enrollment management, supported by evidence of their ability to undertake the College’s academic program.

Degree candidates fall into four traditional classifications:

  • First Year — Students with less than 28 credit hours
  • Sophomore — Students with at least 28 credit hours but less than 60
  • Junior — Students with at least 60 credit hours but less than 90
  • Senior — Those with 90 or more credit hours

Non-degree seeking students are those not admitted to degree candidacy, regardless of course load. Students in this category may be transient or summer only students, those who already have a degree or who state that they do not wish to earn a degree.

A non-degree seeking student who wishes to apply for degree candidacy must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00. Such students must take their last 32 of 40 credit hours at North Central College as a degree-seeking student if they intend to earn a degree. Once a student becomes a degree candidate, they cannot be reclassified as a non-degree seeking student. A degree candidate who drops from full-time enrollment to part-time enrollment remains a degree candidate.

Major/Minor/Concentration

Each major, minor and/or concentration must be declared by filing a Major/Minor Declaration Form with the Office of the Registrar. Students must take at least 12 credit hours in each major, at least eight credit hours in each minor and four credit hours in any concentration at North Central College. These credit hours must also be unique to the major and minor. If fewer hours of coursework are unique, the student must complete an equivalent number of additional elective hours in the major or minor. A minimum 2.000 grade-point average in the major, minor and/or concentration is required. Some academic programs may have higher requirements. Any course which can count toward a major or minor does count and is included in the GPA calculation. Note: required support courses are not considered part of the major or minor.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is expected of all students, although the instructor of each course sets the attendance standard for that course. A student who is absent from class for any reason should contact the instructor.

The College expects attendance on the first and last day of a semester as well as the class days immediately preceding and following College holidays. If there is a waiting list for a course, the instructor may remove from the course roster any student who is absent the first day, unless the student has notified the instructor in advance of their absence. An absence from a class does not constitute withdrawal from a course.

Student Identity Verification

North Central College provides each student who applies to the College, including those enrolling in fully online academic programs, with a unique North Central College email account, username and password. Formal College communications are sent via this official North Central College email address and students use their unique ID and password to access a variety of North Central College resources and services via the student portal.  The portal provides student access to information including, but not limited to, course schedules, financial aid information, grades, billing records, and the course learning management system.

Within the North Central College learning environments, a number of procedures are utilized to confirm the identity of students who participate in, complete, and receive credit for academic courses and to ensure protection of educational records. One or more of the following methods may be used to verify a student’s identity and to appropriately manage access to information and course resources:

  • Secure Single Sign-On login to the portal using the assigned user name and password
  • Presentation of a valid North Central College photo ID
  • Verification of personally identifiable information previously collected by the College (e.g., last 4 digits of Social Security number, student’s personal email address on file, date of birth, home address).
  • Examinations proctored in person require presentation of North Central College photo ID or other valid state or government issued photo ID. If the test administrator questions the first ID a second valid photo ID may be required.
  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification will be used as they become available.

All methods of student identity verification comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable laws regarding the protection of personally identifiable information.

Medical Conditions

Students are cautioned that participation in some classes requires the use of chemicals and/or physical exertion. Therefore, students with such conditions as pregnancy, asthma and skeletal or muscular disorders are encouraged to consult with the faculty member and/or physician(s) prior to participating in such classes so that proper precautions can be taken to prevent injury or exposure.

Prolonged Illness

Students unavoidably absent from classes because of illness should keep in touch with the Dyson Wellness Center, success coaches and instructors. Students who must be absent from classes longer than three weeks may elect to withdraw from some or all courses through a petition process. The usual criteria for withdrawal is applied except that the date of withdrawal is calculated as the date on which illness first prevented attendance in classes.

Other Interruptions of Attendance

Students in good standing who transfer to another institution where they remain in good standing and who wish to return to North Central College may be readmitted through arrangements with the Office of Admission.

Stopping Out

A student who withdraws from North Central College for one semester and then returns may continue to use graduation requirements detailed in the catalog that was in effect when the student first enrolled. Students who stop out longer than one semester (excluding Summer) must use the catalog that is in effect when they reenter; such students must also reapply for admission .

Withdrawal from Courses and/or the College

Students may drop a course themselves through their Merlin account or with the assistance of the Office of the Registrar. Be sure to consult the published deadlines for withdrawals and refunds.

Any student contemplating withdrawal from all coursework in a given semester, or withdrawal from North Central should begin the process with the Success Team in the Oesterle Library or by calling (630) 637-5111. The amount of refund for withdrawing from all courses or the college is determined by the date in which the request for withdrawal is received.

Students contemplating withdrawal from all courses should consult the Business Office and the Office of Financial Aid if they are receiving financial aid (including grants, scholarships and loans), because withdrawal may prove to be more expensive than they realize.

Student Veterans who have received an order “to perform a period of service” should discuss their options with their Success Coach or Academic Advisor. Students who face severe financial or physical hardship which significantly impacts their ability to continue their course of study and be successful, may be considered for late withdrawal.

Records Retention

The Office of the Registrar maintains the physical academic records of admitted applicants, matriculated students and graduates for a maximum of 5 years after the later of application, non-attendance or graduation. This includes but is not limited to application and related correspondence, high school and college transcripts, general petitions and other related documentation.

The applicant, student or graduate’s academic record at the College is maintained permanently in an electronic format. This includes but is not limited to application information, courses enrolled and withdrawn, grades and credits earned, courses, grades and GPA accepted in transfer and applied to a degree awarded, degrees, certificates and honors awarded.

The official academic record is available to the student in the form of an official transcript. The official transcript is a term-by-term display of courses enrolled and withdrawn with grades, credits and GPA points earned, with the term and cumulative GPA, degrees, certificates and honors awarded.

Credit and Credit Hour Policies

Credit Unit

The unit of credit at North Central College is the credit hour, which is equivalent to one semester hour of credit or one and one half hours of credit under quarter plans. Previous academic work by transfer students is evaluated and translated into credit hours. Official evaluations are completed only in the Office of the Registrar.

Definition and Assignment of Credit Hours

In accordance with federal regulations, state guidelines, and Higher Learning Commission standards, North Central College defines a credit hour as the amount of work that approximates one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class work per week for a semester, or an equivalent amount of work for a shorter time period.

The course workload, represented by the assessment of intended learning outcomes and evidence of student achievement will be the same regardless of mode of instruction (traditional classroom, blended, online). At minimum, an equivalent amount of work will be expected for all other academic activities established by the institution including laboratory work, independent study, practica, internships, studio courses that result in the awarding of academic credit.

The assignment of credit hours for a course are determined during the course approval process and monitored by the Academic Programs and Policies Committee (APPC) or the College Graduate Studies Council (CGSC).

Types of Individualized and Specialized Instruction

Directed Study is the study of a course listed in the catalog on a tutorial basis. With the approval of the department chair and the appropriate College or School dean, a directed study is limited to rare cases for juniors and seniors.

Independent Study is the study, on a tutorial basis, of a topic not covered in course offerings listed in the catalog. With the approval of the department chair, the student and the faculty member agree upon the subject, but the responsibility for developing and completing the independent study lies primarily with the student.

Independent study opportunities are listed as course numbers 299, 399 and 499. They are normally available to juniors and seniors and require a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average or a 3.000 grade-point average in the major.

The first draft of the completed independent study form must be submitted to the supervising faculty member no later than the seventh week of the semester prior to the semester in which the independent study is to be completed. Application forms must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day to add a course for the semester in which the student plans to do the independent study. See the detailed semester calendars  for more deadline dates.

Richter Independent Study Fellowships provide North Central College students an opportunity which is truly distinctive among undergraduate institutions. Grants up to $5,000 are awarded for independent study projects of unusual merit and scope. These projects normally require fieldwork, first-hand observation, interviews or access to primary information sources. Recent projects have involved travel abroad to Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition, small grants are available for faculty-led group projects and travel grants are available for participation in academic conferences. Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and must be in good academic standing. Selection is competitive and is made by the Richter Independent Study Committee on the basis of an evaluation of proposals submitted by interested students. Detailed information as to the proposal process and the selection criteria is available in the Office of Academic Opportunities.

Internships give students an opportunity to apply their general liberal arts background to the professional work environment. The corporate and scientific communities in the area near North Central College provide excellent opportunities for students to enrich their classroom experiences in this manner. Students may participate in an internship experience either for academic credit or on a non-credit basis.

Through credited department-based internships—courses numbered 297, 397 and 497—the student, in conjunction with a faculty supervisor and an on-site supervisor, designs a course of study that explores a particular subject in the context of the work environment. Each credit hour of internship requires a minimum of 50 hours on-site field experience and 10 hours of academic research and writing. Students must complete and submit the Internship Agreement Form prior to beginning the on-site experience. The internship must be completed by the end of the semester in which the student receives academic credit. Completion of the required field experience hours is necessary to earn a passing grade. If the required hours are not verified by the on-site supervisor, a failing grade is assigned.

Non-credited internships are also available through Career Development. A minimum of 150 hours of on-site field experience is required for passing notation of the non-credited internship on the official transcript.

Credit by Examination and Competency

Advanced Placement Credit (AP)

Students who took an advanced placement course in high school and scored a grade of 4 or 5 on the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination are awarded college credit at North Central College. Departments vary in accepting a score of 3 for the awarding of college credit. No college credit is awarded for scores of 1 or 2.

Consult the Advanced Placement Credit Table  to determine the credit awarded for each examination.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students who participate in the International Baccalaureate program are awarded college credit for scores of 5, 6 or 7 in higher level subjects. No credit is granted for standard level subjects.

Consult the International Baccalaureate Credit Table  to determine the credit awarded for each examination.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

North Central College grants CLEP credit to enrolled students for both general and subject matter examinations in accordance with the following guidelines:

CLEP general examinations must be taken by students enrolled at North Central College prior to attending college-level classes. Students may receive five credit hours for meeting the College’s score requirement on each examination. A maximum of 25 credit hours may be earned through the general examination.

CLEP subject examination credit is granted by North Central College in many areas. Further information can be obtained in the Office of the Registrar. Students should check with their success coaches to determine applicability to degree requirements.

Students may not receive CLEP credit in an area of study in which they have taken college-level coursework. CLEP examinations in foreign languages do not count towards the humanities and fine arts requirement.

Consult the CLEP Credit Table  to determine the credit awarded for each examination.

The College will award up to 28 credit hours for demonstrated competence obtained through CLEP . Credits earned in this manner may not be applied toward the residency requirement, unless the student will complete at least 32 classroom credit hours at North Central College. 

Maximum Credits

The maximum number of credit hours that may be taken in one subject prefix code is 64 credit hours. Students who wish to exceed the maximum may do so by earning extra credit hours beyond the 128 credit hours required for the degree. Some programs may also require more than 64 credit hours.

Unless an exclusion is given elsewhere in this catalog, the 64 credit hour maximum applies even to courses that are not accepted for the major in a department.

A maximum of 16 credit hours earned through independent studies and internships, including Richter study, may be applied toward the 128 credit hours required for graduation. Formal courses attended at another institution are not included in this restriction.

Residency

A minimum of 32 of the last 40 credit hours must be completed at North Central College as a degree candidate. Alternatively up to 8 hours may be taken elsewhere and returned as transfer credit during the student’s senior year. Pre-approval through the Office of the Registrar is required. In addition, at least 12 credit hours in the major,  8 credit hours in the minor, and 4 credit hours in a concentration must be completed at North Central College. CLEP credit may only be used towards the 32 of 40 hours residency requirement if the student will complete a total of 32 credit hours of classroom coursework at North Central College.

Transfer Credit

Students with college credit are expected to submit all official transcripts to the Office of Admissions prior to their first semester at North Central College. Students who do not submit all transcripts will have a hold placed on their record prohibiting registration in their second semester until all documents are received.

Transcripts will be evaluated for the awarding of credit which may be applicable to degree requirements. To get the most out of your first educational planning session with your Success Coach, it is highly recommended to have your official transcripts submitted at least one semester prior to beginning classes at NCC.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts are required for the awarding of transfer credit. An official transcript is required for each school a student attended. NCC will not accept credit earned at one school that is listed on another school’s transcript. A transcript will be accepted as an official document if it meets the following criteria:

  • Indicates North Central College or the student as the recipient of record,
  • Is sent electronically directly from the issuing institution to North Central College,
  • Is a printed transcript in the original sealed envelope, with school insignia.

Regional Accreditation

College credit is accepted for transfer from colleges and universities with regional accreditation, covering the period of time the student was enrolled. This includes accreditation candidacy periods if accreditation was granted unless otherwise specified by the academic program.

The College may also accept credit from colleges who are members of the American Council on Education (ACE). Students should not that credit of this type is typically awarded as elective credit. Courses that are vocational or technical in nature, or courses designed strictly for professional programs are not usually transferable.

Associate Degrees

As a participating IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) institution, students transferring with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from the United States will have satisfied the general education requirements for a Bachelor Degree. A maximum of 64 credits will be accepted. Additional coursework may be used to satisfy specific degree requirements but not overall degree hours. Please note that degrees must be conferred prior to beginning coursework at North Central College. Degrees conferred after beginning coursework at NCC will not automatically satisfy all general education requirements. Courses will be evaluated individually to determine eligibility.

Students seeking the Bachelor of Applied Sciences (B.A.S.) degree transferring with an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) with a specific major accepted for admission into this degree program will have satisfied the general education requirements for the Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree. The AAS does not automatically satisfy the general education requirements for other bachelor degrees. A course-by-course evaluation will be necessary to determine which general education requirements have been met.

Students transferring from an Associate Degree granting institution (i.e. Community College, Junior College or other 2-year college) can transfer a maximum of 64 credits, with or without having earned an AA or AS degree. Students having earned an associate’s degree other than the AA or AS may or may not have met the general education requirements at North Central College. A course-by-course evaluation will be completed to determine which general education requirements have been met. Coursework beyond the 64 credit maximum may be used to satisfy specific degree requirements but not overall degree hours.

Bachelor Degrees

Students transferring with a Bachelor Degree from the United States seeking to complete a second degree at North Central College will have satisfied the general education requirements. Students must complete a minimum of 32 hours and meet all degree requirements for the second degree.

International Credit and Degrees

Students with a college transcript from an international institution are required to have it translated to English. We recommend having it also evaluated by a NACES member professional evaluation agency. It is highly recommended to shop around as prices will vary significantly between companies. You can use the NACES website to search for current members, www.naces.org.

If we are unable to complete an evaluation of a translated transcript that does not accompany a professional evaluation; (i.e. determine the equivalent of U.S. semester hours, grade scheme, course equivalency), we may need to require you to have your transcript evaluated by a NACES member professional evaluation agency.

  • Please note that beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, incoming students will be required to have their international transcripts evaluated by a professional evaluation agency.

Students transferring with a Bachelor or Associate of Arts or Sciences degree from an international institution, whether from an English speaking country or not, will not automatically be considered to have met the General Education requirements at North Central College. A course-by-course evaluation will be conducted to determine which general education requirements have been met.

Credit for Military Training

Students with military training should submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) directly to the Registrar’s Office. The amount of elective credit awarded may be limited.

Students dually enrolled in the ROTC programs with Wheaton College and Illinois Institute of Technology may be awarded credit for their achievements. Submit and official college transcript directly to the Registrar’s Office.

Language Credit

Students may earn credit for language student either through course work taken at another college or university or a qualifying score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam. For students with language credit who wish to major in that same language, they will be placed into their courses based on placement testing and not on the credit they have been awarded. The original credit awarded may be converted to elective credit.

How Credits Apply

  1. Transfer students who are awarded less than 28 total credits hours from one or more institutions must complete the Cardinal Directions requirements for First Year students.
    • Transfer courses and credit hours will be applied to appropriate degree and general education requirements where applicable.
  2. Transfer students who are awarded 28 or more total credits hours from one or more institutions must complete the Cardinal Directions requirements for Transfer Students.
    • Transfer courses and credit hours will be applied to appropriate degree and general education requirements where applicable.
  3. Transfer students with an eligible Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree (applicable only to the BAS) are awarded up to 64 credit hours and must complete the Cardinal Directions requirements for Transfer Students.
    • Transfer courses will be applied to appropriate degree requirements where applicable.
    • Area Designations will be satisfied.
    • Mission Designations will be satisfied.
    • Quantitative Analysis and Writing Intensive Requirements will be satisfied.
  4. Transfer students with an eligible Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree are awarded up to 64 credit hours and must complete the Cardinal Directions requirements for Transfer Students.
    • Transfer courses will be applied to appropriate degree requirements where applicable.
    • All General Education Designations will be satisfied, including Area, Mission, Well Being, Experiential Learning, Quantitative Analysis and Writing Intensive.

No Credit is granted for:

  • Religion courses with a missionary or evangelical basis (as opposed to analytic)
  • ROTC credit earned at previously attended institutions.
  • Courses determined to be equivalent to remedial level (pre-college level), regardless of the course level from the transfer institution.
  • High School courses (except those through Dual Credit programs in which College credit was earned)
  • Students should submit their College transcript to the Office of Admissions.
  • High School equivalency test preparation courses.
  • Continuing Education (CPU) or non-credit courses.
  • Course credit awarded at another institution through demonstrated competency or proficiency testing such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or CLEP.
  • Students may submit their official AP, IB and CLEP scores to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation of credit. Credit is awarded based on the student’s scores and catalog year of entry.
  • Course credit awarded or waived at another institution through college entry testing such as ACT or SAT scores.
  • Course credit awarded from a school that is not a college or university (e.g. they are not a degree conferring institution), regardless if they are members of the American Council on Education (ACE).

Semester, Quarter and Trimester Systems

North Central College is on the semester credit hour system. Quarter hours are accepted by converting to semester hours (multiply by 1.5). Trimesters are accepted by converting to semester hours (multiply by 1.5) if the home institution follows a quarter or trimester credit system.

Registration

Course Load

A student must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to be considered a full-time student. The average course load is sixteen credit hours. Dropping below 12 credit hours may result in a loss of financial aid or athletic eligibility. Students considering dropping below 12 credit hours should consult with the Office of Financial Aid, and if applicable, with the faculty athletics representative or the Office of the Registrar concerning athletic eligibility.

Overload Registration

Students may not register for more than 18 credit hours in any semester without permission. A cumulative gradepoint average of at least 3.33 and approval of the Success Coach and Registrar is required.

Changes of Registration

Before making any change of schedule or program students are expected to consult their success coach. All enrollments in the College or in courses, as well as all withdrawals from the College or courses, are to be officially completed within the prescribed timelines. Informal attendance or withdrawal is not recognized. Both the educational program and the financial aid program of the College depend upon the cooperation of student, advisor and administration in all academic commitments.

Adding Courses — Beginning the first day of the semester through the end of the add period, a student may only enroll in new courses with the approval of the instructor. See the detailed semester calendars  for more information.

Dropping/Withdrawing from Courses — A student may drop or withdraw from a course(s) after the beginning of the semester until the published deadline. After which time the student will receive the grade earned in the course. Please reference the detailed semester calendars  for drop and withdrawal deadline dates as well as the refund schedule.

The effective date is the date that drop or withdrawal procedures are completed. Absence from class does not constitute withdrawal from a course.

Any student contemplating dropping or withdrawing from a course is advised to consult the Office of Financial Aid since a student whose course load falls below 12 credit hours may immediately forfeit certain types of financial aid. Student athletes should consult the faculty athletics representative or the Office of the Registrar before dropping below 12 credit hours.

Any student contemplating withdrawal from all coursework in a given semester, or withdrawal from North Central College should begin the process with the Success Team in the Oesterle Library, or by calling (630) 637-5111.

Prerequisite Policy

A prerequisite is a requirement an academic department or program deems necessary for a student to satisfy prior to taking a course. Prerequisites are typically other courses, a student classification (e.g., senior standing) or placement examination results. Students may register for courses in future semesters if prerequisites are in progress. The College reserves the right to cancel a student’s registration in a course in which the student has not met the minimum requirement in all prerequisites.

Students must earn a minimum grade required in all prerequisite course work. Some courses may require a minimum grade higher than D to be earned in the course prerequisite(s). See the Course Descriptions  section of this catalog to view information regarding prerequisite requirements.

Repeated Course Registration

An undergraduate student may only repeat a course in which a final grade of D or F was received. The repeated course grade replaces the original grade in calculating the cumulative grade-point average, but both grades appear on the transcript.

If a student repeats a course or completes other courses which may be considered duplicative, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Office of the Registrar during the first two weeks of the semester in which the work is being completed so that the proper adjustment can be made in the total number of credit hours and the grade-point average. The Office of the Registrar is not responsible for notifying students of a loss of credit because of duplication before the student files an Application for Graduation. The student’s academic record is carefully reviewed after application is made, and loss of credit due to duplication of courses is reflected on the graduation audit report provided to the student.

Students wishing to repeat courses at a two-year college may only repeat the equivalent of 100- or 200-level courses.

Courses in which the student initially earned a letter grade cannot be repeated pass/no pass.

Registration in Zero Credit Hour Courses

Part-time degree seeking students must register for credit in applied music lessons and music ensembles, even if a zero credit hour option is available.

Non-degree seeking students—part-time or full-time—must register for credit in courses where a a zero credit hour option is available.

Auditing Courses

Some students, particularly non-degree seeking students, may wish to audit a class for the sake of learning. Auditors are expected to attend class regularly. The extent to which an auditor participates in graded exercises (e.g. papers, quizzes, examinations) and the extent to which an instructor grades an auditor’s work are determined by mutual agreement between the instructor and the auditor.

Students may only register for an audit during the first two weeks of the semester or eight-week session. To register for an audit, a student must submit an Add a Course form with the instructor’s signature to the Office of the Registrar. Some courses may be closed to auditors, such as applied music lessons, music ensembles, and practica. After the first two weeks of a semester or eight-week session, students may not change their registration from an audit to a graded format or from a graded format to an audit. Audit fees apply, see the Student Expenses  section of this catalog.

No credit or grade points are earned in an audited course, and such courses may not be used to meet graduation requirements, fulfill a prerequisite or any other requirement. Audited courses are noted with a grade of “AU” on the official transcript.

Registration at Multiple Institutions

A degree candidate at North Central College may register for courses only at North Central College, not simultaneously at North Central College and another college or university. This policy applies to online and correspondence courses as well. Such cross-registration is only permissible at consortium colleges with whom North Central has arranged for that option. Consortium cross-registration is initiated at North Central College and forms are available online from the Office of the Registrar.

Degree candidate students may take courses at another college or university during summer semester for transfer back to North Central College with prior approval. Courses must be evaluated for transferability prior to beginning the course. Forms are available online from the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate Registration

A maximum of six credit hours of graduate coursework taken at North Central College may apply toward the 128 credit hours required for an undergraduate degree. Only seniors (with 90 or more credit hours) with a cumulative GPA of 3.000 are eligible to register for graduate courses. An approval form, signed by the student’s success coach, the instructor(s) of the graduate course(s), the Associate Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and the Registrar is required for registration. The approval form is available through the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. A course substitution form, signed by the appropriate department chair/program coordinator, must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar if a graduate course is to fulfill a particular undergraduate major or minor requirement.

Graduate coursework taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree can not later be applied toward a graduate degree or certificate at North Central College. Graduate coursework taken as an undergraduate, and not applied to an undergraduate degree, may apply toward a graduate degree or certificate at North Central College.

Exceptions to these limitations are granted for the following College approved accelerated or partnership programs:

Accelerated 3+2 B.S. in Health Science and Master of Athletic Training (MAT)

Students enrolled in the 3+2 B.S./MAT program may apply up to 20 credit hours of graduate coursework to the bachelor of science degree. Under no circumstances may more than 20 credit hours of MAT graduate coursework apply to an undergraduate degree.

Accelerated 3+2 B.S. in Exercise Science and Master of Athletic Training (MAT)

Students enrolled in the 3+2 B.S./MAT program may apply up to 20 credit hours of graduate coursework to the bachelor of science degree. Under no circumstances may more than 20 credit hours of MAT graduate coursework apply to an undergraduate degree.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (GETS) Partnership Program

Juniors or seniors with at least 12 completed credit hours in Religious Studies and permission of the department chair of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department may enroll in courses at GETS. Approved students may apply up to 15 credit hours of graduate coursework taken at GETS toward a North Central College undergraduate degree. Under no circumstances may more than 15 credit hours of GETS graduate coursework apply to an undergraduate degree.

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Dual Credit Program

Juniors or seniors with approval from the Engineering program chair may enroll in select graduate coursework at IIT. Approved students may apply up to 9 credit hours of graduate coursework taken at IIT toward a North Central College undergraduate degree.

Registration Restrictions

Students are eligible to register for classes according to their priority date and time provided they have no registration restrictions. Restrictions include but are not limited to the following:

  • an outstanding financial obligation to the College,
  • an outstanding document to the Registrar’s office, usually a college or high school transcript,
  • outstanding immunization records to Dyson Wellness,
  • pending disciplinary hearing or action,
  • pending academic dismissal or dismissal appeal,
  • incomplete activities such as academic advising, anti-violence training, etc.

Grades and Grade Point Averages

North Central College uses the following letter grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D and F.

Temporary Grades: 

  • PR (In Progress) grades must be replaced by the last day of classes of the following semester (excluding summer) or they convert to a final grade of “F”. “PR” grades have no effect on the GPA.
  • “I” (Incomplete) grades may be given to a student who carries a course at a passing level until near the end of the semester and then, because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, is unable to complete it on schedule. “I” grades must be replaced by Friday of the eighth week of the following semester (excluding summer) or they convert to a final grade of “F”. “I” grades are calculated as an “F” until the final grade is submitted.

To compute grade-point averages (GPA), the College uses a 4.0 scale: “A” (4.0); “A-” (3.7); “B+” (3.3); “B” (3.0); “B-” (2.7); “C+” (2.3); “C” (2.0); “C-” (1.7); “D” (1.0); and “F” (0.0).

Students earn grade points for each course completed with grades A through F at North Central College and transferred in from other collegiate institutions. These grade points correspond to the letter grade listed above and are multiplied by the number of credit hours of the course. A student’s GPA equals the number of grade points divided by the number of credit hours attempted. For example, if a student earns an A-, B+, B, and C in four 4-credit hour courses in a semester, they earn 48 grade points [(4x3.7) + (4x3.3) + (4x3) + (4x2) = (14.8 + 13.2 + 12 + 8) = 48] and the GPA for the semester will be a 3.000 (48 ÷ 16 = 3.000).

Other Grading Options:

  • “P” (Pass) and “NP” (No Pass) grades are only allowed in designated courses. “P” and “NP” grades have no effect on the GPA.
  • “AU” (Audit) indicates a course was audited and the grade has no effect on the GPA.
  • “WD” (Withdrawn) indicates a student withdrew from the course after the published 100% refund period and the grade has no effect on the GPA.

Grade Appeals

College faculty enjoy academic freedom to craft courses and grade work in a manner consistent with their expertise and college policies. A faculty member’s professional judgment is presumed to be accurate. Except for clerical errors or miscalculation, grades will be changed only in extremely rare instances.

A student who believes that the final grade received in a course does not reflect the quality of the work performed has the right to meet with the instructor of the course and be given a review of the manner in which the grade was determined. Either the student or the instructor or both may bring a peer or a third party to this meeting. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision to the department chairperson who supervises the instructor concerned. The chairperson will consult with the instructor and determine whether a grade change is appropriate or a basis for appeal. Bases for appeal are 1) deviation from the course syllabus in a way that disadvantages the student, and 2) evidence of capricious assessment or implementation of class policy. The department chairperson may recommend a grade change to the academic dean. A student who disagrees with the chairperson that one of the two criteria have been met may subsequently appeal to the dean.

Appeal of a grade issued in a course taught by a department chairperson will be made directly to the dean. Appeal of a grade issued in a course taught by a dean will be made to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or their designee.

Grade appeals must be made within a ninety (90) day period following the last day of the semester in which the grade was received and include the following items:

  • A brief explanation of the circumstances, rooted in one of the two criteria for appeal noted above,
  • A copy of the course syllabus, and
  • Copies of relevant materials such as graded work or email correspondence with the instructor

Academic Standing

Dean’s and President’s Lists

The Dean’s List consists of full-time students whose GPA for the semester is 3.600 or higher. Part-time students who earn at least 8 credits in a semester with a semester GPA of 3.600 are recognized on the President’s List.

Students with an Incomplete (I) or In Progress (PR) grade are not eligible for the Dean’s list until those courses are completed and the grades change to final letter grades. When a final grade is submitted, the semester GPA will be re-calculated and used to determine Dean’s List eligibility for the semester.

Good Standing

Good Standing is defined as achieving and maintaining both a semester and cumulative GPA of 2.000.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Students falling behind in their studies to the point where the degree may soon be out of reach are placed on academic probation. This action warns the student and the success coach that real problems exist that must be diagnosed and addressed. The student who cannot reverse direction after a period of probation may be dismissed from the College.

A student is placed on academic warning at the end of any semester in which his or her term grade-point average falls below 2.000.

A student is placed on academic probation at the end of any semester in which his or her cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.000 and is required to meet with their Student Success Coach to develop and education success plan.

A student is subject to dismissal after two semesters on academic probation – consecutive or interrupted.

A student who is dismissed may apply for readmission after one year upon demonstrating an improvement in motivation or preparation for college work.

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of integrity with respect to their academic pursuits. Academic dishonesty typically falls into one of two categories: cheating and plagiarism. 

A. Cheating

All work submitted for evaluation must be the student’s own. Attempts to obtain credit for work other than one’s own constitutes cheating, as does aiding another student in such an attempt. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copying another student’s work and submitting it for evaluation
  • Submitting the same or similar work for more than one course without notifying the instructors
  • Communicating with anyone in any form during an in-class examination
  • Having notes, books, or electronic devices present during an in-class examination unless explicitly permitted by the instructor
  • Submitting online assignments that are not one’s own work
  • Falsification of academic paperwork

B. Plagiarism

  1. Defining Plagiarism: Plagiarism means offering of someone else’s words, ideas or conceptions as if they were one’s own. Students are indeed encouraged to draw upon the information and wisdom of others, but in the spirit of scholarship they are always expected to state such indebtedness so that a) their own creativity can be justly appreciated and b) their use of sources, like a scientist’s experiment, can be verified by others. Plagiarism differs from this productive use of sources in that the similarity of the original and the borrowings are very close; it is acknowledged inexactly or not at all; and it shows little or no creative application by the borrower. Plagiarism is a prime intellectual offense in that the borrower is faking the learning process. No learning community can thrive if its members counterfeit their achievements, deceive their teachers, and take unfair advantage of their fellow students. Since the integrity of the whole academic community is thus at stake, the penalties are high.
  2. Identifying Plagiarism: To establish the occurrence of plagiarism it is not necessary to prove intent. All students are responsible for knowing or learning what academic honesty is. At North Central College, plagiarism will be deemed to have occurred when one or more of the following external evidences is present:
    1. The writing of a student includes word-for-word passages taken without explicit and accurate acknowledgment from a source written by another, provided that the cumulative borrowing includes at least ten words. “Explicit and accurate acknowledgment” means the use of quotation marks and a verifiable citation of source, either in parentheses or by footnote, at the point of indebtedness. (The mere listing of the source in the bibliography is not sufficient acknowledgment by itself.)
    2. The writing of a student closely resembles another source in thought, order or diction (including synonyms) for a cumulative resemblance of three or more sentences, without explicit and accurate acknowledgment as defined in 1) above.
    3. Two or more papers or exams, submitted at the same time, contain resemblances in factual or stylistic detail which are decidedly outside normal probabilities of coincidence. The likelihood of plagiarism will be deemed even higher a) if the students were known to be in close physical proximity at the time of writing, and b) if the factual details involve unusual error. In the event of such resemblances, all parties involved will be judged responsible.
    4. A paper or exam contains terminology or information which the student, on questioning, cannot explain.
    5. A paper or exam contains unusually detailed data for which the student does not produce a verifiable source.
    6. These same principles hold for the inclusion of borrowed diagrams, mathematical statements, tables, and pictures.
  3. Citations: In citing any sources, the student implicitly guarantees the accuracy and fullness of acknowledgment.

    1. The instructor may properly request the student to bring in those sources so that such guarantee may be confirmed. Such a request, made routinely in many schools, carries no implied criticism.
    2. If students are unsure about whether their writing has sufficiently acknowledged outside sources, students should consult with either their course instructor or the Writing Center before submitting the final copy.

C. Sanctions

Determination of an infraction of the Academic Honesty policy is solely at the discretion of the instructor. Any instructor who has assembled evidence of academic dishonesty will first offer the student a chance to provide an alternate explanation of the evidence or to admit fault. If the inference of academic dishonesty remains, the instructor will consult with the academic dean and inform the student of the sanction. The sanction will be related to the student’s previous record of academic honesty. Typically, a first offense will result in a zero for the assignment, a second offense will result in failure of the course and a third attempt can result in dismissal from the institution.

D. Records

Any sanction beyond reprimanding the student will be reported to the academic dean for notation in the student’s file. Notation of the incident will not appear on a student’s official transcript, but will be included in a student’s permanent file.

Eligibility for Athletics

To represent North Central College in intercollegiate athletics, a student must comply with regulations of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For questions regarding athletic eligibility, contact the faculty athletics representative or the Office of the Registrar.

Graduation and Degree Requirements

Graduation Requirements

  1. The minimum credit for graduation is 128 credit hours, with a maximum of 64 hours in any one subject prefix code. Some programs require more than 128 credit hours. The following regulations are strictly enforced.
    1. At least 64 credit hours are to be taken at a four-year college or university.
    2. A minimum of 32 of the last 40 credit hours must be completed at North Central College as a degree candidate.
    3. At least 12 credit hours in the student’s major, 8 credit hours in the student’s minor and 4 credit hours in the student’s concentration must be earned at North Central College. CLEP and experiential credit may not be used to meet these two requirements. At least 12 hours of coursework in each major and at least eight hours of coursework in each minor must be unique.
    4. Only courses numbered 100 or above count toward the 128 minimum credit hours required for graduation.
    5. Graduate credit may be applied toward an undergraduate degree only if the credit is from North Central College graduate programs and the student has prior official permission.
    6. A maximum of 28 credit hours earned through CLEP and/or experiential credit may be applied toward the 128 credit hour requirement for graduation. Such credit may count towards the residency requirement only if the student completes at least 32 credit hours at North Central College.
    7. A maximum of 16 credit hours earned through internships and/or independent studies, including Richter study, may be applied toward the 128 credit hour requirement for graduation.
    8. A maximum of eight credit hours may be earned in activity courses from the Department of Kinesiology .
    9. A maximum of six credit hours may be earned in practicum courses unless otherwise required in the major.
  2. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 or higher is required.
  3. A minimum grade-point average of 2.000 is required for all courses in a major, minor or concentration. Some programs require a higher grade point average.
  4. Completion of all general education requirements is required.
  5. Completion of an approved major is required.
  6. Each student must submit an application for graduation with the Office of the Registrar for the semester in which they will be completing degree requirements. The graduation application fee of $200 is waived if it is received by the published deadline. Graduation may not be deferred to a later semester in order to avoid paying the graduation fee.

Degree-specific Requirements

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

For a B.A. degree, the student will demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. This learning objective will typically be met in one of five ways:

  1. Language study through LANG 102, or
  2. Three years of language study in high school with an average grade of B in those language courses, or
  3. Participation for one semester in a designated study abroad program that develops linguistic skills in a language other than English, or
  4. Transfer students who enter with 51 or more credit hours, who did not meet the learning objective by another category, may fulfill the requirement with LANG 390 - Topics in Language and Culture  or CLSS 190 - Words and Ideas From Greece and Rome , or
  5. Students with extensive experience living in a non-English language context may fulfill the language requirement by:
    1. provision of an official transcript attesting the completion of (the equivalent of) an 8th grade or higher education in a non-English language school, or
    2. passing an exam that determines proficiencies in a non-English language equal to or greater than the LANG 102 outcomes.

Additionally, the home department may choose to identify up to 8 credit hours that allow the student to demonstrate additional depth or breadth of competency beyond the general education requirements in one or more of the following areas:

  • writing or oral communication
  • creation or performance of works of art (including literary and musical works)
  • critical analysis or interpretation of art, literature, or social performance
  • construction or evaluation of arguments concerning morality, ethics, theology, aesthetics, or epistemology
  • competency in identifying causes and consequences of certain historical events, or social structures, or social institutions
  • foreign language

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

For a B.S. degree, the home department will identify 12 to 16 credit hours of courses that prepare the student to achieve two or more of the following outcomes:

  1. Student demonstrates discipline specific methodological proficiency, guaranteeing a degree of depth not necessarily achieved in the corresponding B.A. degree, if it exists. In some majors, the B.A. degree will have an equal degree of disciplinary depth and the B.S. requirements are met by courses external to the major.
  2. Student demonstrates basic competency in a programming language.
  3. Student demonstrates basic competency in statistics and/or data analysis beyond any 100‐level general education competency.
  4. Student demonstrates basic competency in calculus and the applications most relevant to the discipline of study.
  5. Student demonstrates basic competency in the life or physical sciences (lab/nonlab) beyond any general education competency requirement.

Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.)

For a B.A.S. degree, the home department will identify courses within the major or previously earned credentials required for admittance to the program that ensure students have achieved the following outcomes:

  1. Students demonstrate basic competency in the life or physical sciences (lab/non-lav) beyond any general education competency requirement.
  2. Students demonstrate basic competency in statistics and/or data analysis beyond any 100-level competency.
  3. Students demonstrate the ability to construct or evaluate arguments concerning professional ethics and apply the concepts to the field of their choice.
  4. Students demonstrate basic competency in leadership theories and concepts applied to their field of choice.

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.)

The following Business Core courses, which are included as part of each B.B.A. major, fulfill the B.B.A. degree requirements:

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

For a B.F.A. degree, the student will demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. This learning objective will typically be met in one of five ways:

  1. Language study through LANG 102, or
  2. Three years of language study in high school with an average grade of B in those language courses, or
  3. Participation for one semester in a designated study abroad program that develops linguistic skills in a language other than English, or
  4. Transfer students who enter with 51 or more credit hours, who did not meet the learning objective by another category, may fulfill the requirement with LANG 390 - Topics in Language and Culture  or CLSS 190 - Words and Ideas From Greece and Rome , or
  5. Students with extensive experience living in a non-English language context may fulfill the language requirement by:
    1. provision of an official transcript attesting the completion of (the equivalent of) an 8th grade or higher education in a non-English language school, or
    2. passing an exam that determines proficiencies in a non-English language equal to or greater than the LANG 102 outcomes.

Additionally, the home department may choose to identify up to 0‐8 credit hours that allow the student to demonstrate additional depth or breadth of competency beyond the general education requirements in one or more of the following areas:

  • writing or oral communication
  • creation or performance of works of art (including literary and musical works)
  • critical analysis or interpretation of art, literature, or social performance
  • construction or evaluation of arguments concerning morality, ethics, theology, aesthetics, or epistemology
  • competency in identifying causes and consequences of certain historical events, or social structures, or social institutions
  • foreign language

Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.)

The following Music Education Core courses, which are included as part of the B.M.E. major, fulfill the B.M.E. degree requirements:

Multiple Majors

A double major is allowed under the following conditions:

  • When the two majors are within the same degree type (B.A., B.S., B.B.A., B.F.A., or B.M.E.).
  • When one of the two majors is within the B.A. degree type. In this case the student will need to complete all requirements for each major and the specific B.S., B.B.A., B.F.A., OR B.M.E. (not B.A.) degree requirements.

Students who choose to pursue multiple majors that wish to graduate within the typical 4-year completion period must follow an educational plan designed in conjunction with a Success Coach when they first enroll. Any delay in developing the plan, or deviating from the approved plan, could delay timely graduation.

Graduates may return to complete a second major under the rules outlined above, by completing the specific major and degree requirements in effect for the term of their re-entry.

All other combinations of majors which combine degree types not including the B.A. must follow the Multiple Degrees requirements.

Multiple Degrees

A student may earn more than one baccalaureate degree, either consecutively or concurrently, provided:

  1. The degree types are different.
  2. The student earns at least 160 credit hours if completing the degrees concurrently from North Central College, or earns at least 32 additional credit hours at North Central College if pursuing a subsequent degree.
  3. The student fulfills all General Education requirements.
  4. The student fulfills the major and degree requirements for both degree programs.

Degrees and Commencement

Students who are or will be graduating in the academic year (Fall, Spring or Summer) are considered members of the graduation class of that academic year.

An application for graduation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the published deadline. See the Graduation Application Schedule for submission deadlines.

All work for the degree must be completed and all documentation received in the Office of the Registrar on or before the last day of the examination period for that semester. Students completing all requirements for the degree in any semester receive the degree on completion of that semester and are recorded as members of the graduating class for that academic year.

Prospective Spring Semester graduation candidates are expected to attend commencement. All previous Fall semester graduates are encouraged to participate in the May Commencement ceremony.

In addition, all other students may be granted permission to participate in the commencement ceremony before completing all requirements if:

  1. they have a graduation application approved by the Office of the Registrar on file, and
  2. their current cumulative grade point average is 2.000 or higher (3.000 for graduate students) and 2.000 or higher in their major, and
  3. they are registered for and will complete graduation requirements by the end of the Spring or Summer semester.

Students who qualify and wish to take advantage of this option must submit the Application for Graduation on or before the published deadlines. See the graduation Application Schedule for submission deadlines.

Latin Honors

Undergraduate students receive Latin Honors based on the following criteria:

  • Summa cum laude (with highest honor): students with a cumulative GPA of 3.900 or higher
  • Magna cum laude (with much honor): students with a cumulative GPA of 3.750 to 3.899
  • Cum laude (with honor): students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 to 3.749

The final cumulative GPA is used to compute Latin Honors for publication on the official transcript and the student’s diploma. This includes all coursework taken at North Central College through their final semester and all coursework accepted in transfer from other institutions. The current cumulative GPA us used to compute Latin Honors for publication in the commencement program. For Spring and Summer graduation candidates, this will not be the student’s final cumulative GPA, but rather an expectation of their continued academic performance as their coursework is not yet complete.

Completing an Additional Major or Minor After Graduation

A student who has received a degree from North Central College may complete the requirements for an additional major or minor under the following conditions:

  • The student must supply official transcripts for any undergraduate or graduate coursework completed after earning the initial North Central College degree.
  • After a North Central College degree has been conferred, the College will only accept transfer credits that apply directly to an additional major or minor.
  • A minimum of 32 of the last 40 credit hours must be completed at North Central College as a degree candidate.
  • At least 12 credit hours of coursework in each major and at least eight hours of coursework in each minor must be unique.
  • At least 12 credit hours in an additional major and/or 8 credit hours in an additional minor must be earned at North Central College.
  • Credit by Examination and Competency Credits cannot be applied toward an additional major or minor completed after the initial degree is conferred.
  • The anticipated major or minor meets the requirements listed under the Multiple Majors section.

Transcript and Diploma Release Policy

North Central College issues official transcripts for both undergraduate and graduate students and alumni, along with former students and alumni of Shimer College. Students who owe a past due financial balance are encouraged to contact Student Accounts at 630-637-5689 or studentaccounts@noctrl.edu to discuss opportunities for payment. Official Transcripts will be released for students with past due balances, provided the transcript request meets the requirements for such release as stipulated in Illinois Public Act 103-0054.

Degrees are conferred at the end of each semester. Diplomas will be issued approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester. Diplomas are not released to students owing a past due balance to the College. Diplomas display the degree earned by the student and the date of degree conferral. Majors, minors and concentrations are not displayed on the diploma but are listed on the student’s official transcript.

Exceptions to Academic Regulations

Students seeking exceptions to academic regulations must file a General Petition with the Office of the Registrar, explaining the reason for the request. General petitions must be signed by the student and success coach, and all supporting documentation (e.g. from the instructor, a physician etc) should be attached. The General Petition form may be found on the HUB.