Skip to main content

Academic Policies

Graduation requirements as well as academic standing/progression vary according to the Program and may be found in each Program Student Handbook. For student support type services offered, please see the University Student and Program Student Handbook.


Abbreviated course descriptions are presented in this Catalog. At the start of each course, students are provided a course syllabus indicating the course objectives and goals, a listing of required and recommended readings, the methods used, and examination given to assess learning and grading policies and a statement of classroom attendance requirements. Please note, examination policies differ by program. Students should refer to their respective Program Student Handbook.

Grading System

The following grades are used by the University Registrar's Office. Information regarding graduation requirements can be found in each Program Student Handbook.



Grading Points


Symbol Meaning




  Advanced Standing




  Courses Audited without Credit



E or I




FC, FD or FP

  Remediated Failure




  High Pass




  In-Progress Course








F (Failure)



P (Pass)












GPA Calculation

A student’s grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of units attempted. No grade points are assigned for courses that were incomplete, courses audited by the student or any P/F coursework. If a course is taken more than once, the original grade remains on the student’s record; both units and grades are computed in the GPA. However, the newer grade is the standing grade used to determine requirement completion.

Definitions of other grades/notations used:

  • “Advanced standing” indicates credit given for previous equivalent work. Forms to waive a course are available from University Student Affairs.

  • “Audit” indicates that a student was granted permission to attend lectures in a class for no credit. Students may not audit laboratories or clinical assignments.

  • An “incomplete” indicates that assignments have not yet been completed. It does not refer to the adequacy of
    the performance.

  • The student’s Program determines if course remediation is an option for the student. Successful completion of a remediation will result in a grade change to FP, FC or FD (see Program Student Handbook). A fee to remediate deficiencies and for make-up examinations may be charged.

  • “Pass” indicates credit given for satisfactory completion of a pass-fail course.

  • “High-Pass” indicates credit given for outstanding competency completion of a pass-high-pass-fail course, typically a clinical course.

  • Some courses are taken over the course of a year, thus repeated each quarter. These In-Progress courses will be designated by an “IP.” A grade is recorded in the final quarter of the course.

  • “Withdraw” indicates that the student withdrew from the course or the Program.

Incomplete Grade

An incomplete grade indicates that assignments have not yet been completed. It does not refer to the adequacy of the performance. An incomplete grade for failure to complete assignments must be removed at a time designated by the instructor of record; but, no later than three weeks following the completion of the quarter or it will automatically be changed to failure unless an extension is granted by the Program Dean/Director. A student receiving an incomplete grade in a clinical course may have the completion of the work deferred for a period of time longer than three weeks subject to the written approval of the instructor of record.

Course Failures

All course failures in required coursework must be successfully remediated or repeated according to the student’s Program policy for program progression.

  • Remediation: Students receiving an F grade must satisfactorily repeat the course or a remediation program. Successful completion of a remediation program will result in a grade change of FP, FC, or FD, depending on the Program (see Program Student Handbook).

  • Repeated Courses: The initial grade of F remains on the student’s record and the repeated course grade earned will also be on transcript. Both credit hours and grades are computed in the grade point average.

Examination Review Policy

Examinations are a part of a student’s record (see Education Records); therefore, students have access to review their examinations. Students must follow the procedures outlined by their respective program and/or faculty instructor for the course. In general, students are expected to attend examination review sessions if they are offered by a faculty member. If a formal exam review is not offered, students may schedule an appointment with the faculty member to review the examination. It is expected that students will not copy or replicate any part of the examination. Nor will students distribute any information from the examination to other students either in the form of actual test questions or in the form of tips or study guides. Any such action is considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. It is expected that faculty will make reasonable appointments available to students and allow students ample time to review their examinations in their entirety. Examination review provides students an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. While asking for explanations is expected, it is not appropriate to challenge the validity of the question. Appeals on exam questions should follow the Program-specific appeals process.

Grade Posting

Student grades are posted at the discretion of the instructor and in a manner that will attempt to maintain confidentiality. The University does not permit unauthorized disclosure of grades. Official course grades may be accessed via the Students Tab of the portal. For further information, refer to "Student Records Policies and Procedures" in the University Student Handbook.

Deadline for Final Grades and Grade Changes

Final course grades must be submitted to the University Registrar by the course instructor no later than one week (7 calendar days) after the quarter ends. All changes of a course final grade after this time must be submitted by the course instructor within thirty (30) days of posting of grades by the University Registrar. The exception to this rule is in the case of course remediation completion (see Program Student Handbook for details on course remediation, if offered). Change of Grade Request Forms are available on the faculty tab of portal or from University Student Affairs and must be filed by the instructor.

Protocol for Appealing a Grade

All course instructors are expected to publish their grading criteria at the beginning of the course and to notify students if there are changes during the course. If students are unsure how their grade was determined, they should follow this protocol for reconsideration of the disputed grade:

  • In the case of a lecture exam or lab proficiency/practical exam, the student needs to do all of the following:

    • First, speak with the instructor and ask to review the examination. If the student feels their answer(s) were correct but not accepted by the instructor after this review, the student may file a written appeal with the instructor documenting why their answer(s) were correct.

    • If the student still is not satisfied with the response from the instructor, the student should appeal to the Chief Academic Officer for the Program.

    • Finally, the student may appeal to their Dean/Director, who will make the final decision on the appeal.

  • In the case of an academic course grade, the student needs to do all the following:

    • First, discuss the determination of the grade with the instructor.

    • File a written appeal with the Chief Academic Officer for their Program. 

    • Finally, the student may appeal to their Dean/Director, who will make the final decision on the appeal.

In the case of a clinical course grade, please refer to the Program Clinical Handbook.

All appeals of disputed grades must be written and include documentation supporting the appeal. This may include, but not be limited to, class notes/powerpoint presentations, literary citations on the topic in question, published grading criteria for the course in question and witnesses/witness statements supporting the student’s appeal. If the grading criteria included attendance and/or the taking of examinations on time, and the student wishes to appeal a grade due to an absence, the student must document that they followed program policy on reporting the absence prior to the examination, in order for the appeal to be considered.

If a student alleges that the grade was issued in an arbitrary, capricious, or malicious manner, contact the Program Dean/Director for redress options.

Repeating Coursework or Modified Curriculum

Students repeating coursework or enrolled in a modified curriculum, that have been directed to repeat one or more failed courses, are charged a per credit hour tuition rate when enrolled part-time. The rate is calculated by dividing the total credit hours required by the tuition cost for the Program based on the current annual tuition rate. This amount is multiplied by the number of credits being repeated.

Students, either electing with permission or directed to repeat coursework previously taken and successfully completed with a passing grade of “pass” or a “C” or better, will be enrolled as repeating the course. The course will appear on the transcript and a grade will be recorded. While both grades will remain on the transcript, the newer grade will be considered the standing grade used to determine requirements for graduation. Even if a previous attempt was a passing grade, if a subsequent attempt results in failure, the F grade stands as the current grade for the course.

Students directed or electing with permission to repeat a previously successful quarter of coursework may not be charged tuition fees. Students entering the quarter where they exited will pay tuition for all enrolled course work. Students will be charged a per credit hour tuition fee if enrolled less than full time. 

All students on a modified program are required to have a signed agreement on file with University Student Affairs.

Elective Curriculum

Electives provide options to enhance student learning and allow for more individualized (self-directed) professional development. Programs may require completion of a certain number of elective courses to complete degree requirements (some do not). Elective courses have administrative requirements for development and delivery that include both minimum and maximum enrollment numbers and early registration dates. Generally, students apply to the course instructor for approval/admittance into an elective course. The University Registrar will enroll approved students into elective courses.

Students that complete an elective course will receive a grade on their transcript. Grades may be pass/fail or a letter grade, with the course instructor determining the grading criteria. Elective courses can only use one grading modality (i.e., the instructor cannot grade some students on a P/F basis and other students on a letter-graded basis). No credit for auditing a course is available, though an instructor may choose to allow students to unofficially attend the course. Credit hours acquired during the completion of elective courses will add into the cumulative units in the Program. Failing grades may/may not affect the student’s GPA, depending on whether the elective was given as a P/F or letter-graded course.

General admittance criteria:

  • Programs may require students to be in good academic standing to enroll in optional elective coursework. In addition, individual instructors may set specific GPA standards.

  • Prerequisites are determined by individual faculty and may include (but are not limited to) general course grades, course grades in an individual track and student motivation (possibly assessed by a statement of interest and/or an interview).

University Course Elective Drop and Withdraw Policy

Due to the nature of the curriculum, students do not have the option of dropping or withdrawing from courses in the required curriculum. Students may, with special permission, drop or withdraw from an elective course determined by program policy. Please note, COP does not allow students to withdraw from elective coursework because they are a degree requirement.

The Program will alert its students of the electives offered and will notify the University Registrar of the elective courses and student enrollment. Once the Registrar has received notice from the Program, the student is considered enrolled in the course, regardless of when the course starts. If the student wishes to drop the course, the student is required to contact the instructor and obtain the necessary approval. Program policies will determine if the student will be allowed to drop the elective course and will designate if the drop is permitted and if it is to be recorded as a “drop” or “withdraw.”

A “drop” means the student is no longer enrolled in the course and there is no indication of registration on the student’s transcript. A “withdraw” means the student is no longer enrolled in the course; however, the course is on the student’s transcript and a “W” is noted in place of a grade, indicating the student withdrew from the course. This does not affect a student’s GPA.

Per University policy, no student may drop an elective course after the 2nd week in the quarter and no student may withdraw from the course after the 10th week in the quarter, unless the student is withdrawing from the University.


Marshall B. Ketchum University expects regular attendance at all lecture, laboratory and clinic sessions to which the student is assigned. Each program determines the specific attendance policy and procedures (see Program Student Handbook). The record of attendance is the responsibility of each individual instructor. Permission to be absent must be obtained from the dean/director of the program or the Program designee. Instructors are not obligated to provide special consideration in the case of unexcused absences. Repeated unexcused absences may result in a student being placed on professional probation. In addition, students wishing to participate in off-campus meetings during the academic year must receive academic approval from the dean/director and may not be on academic probation.

The academic credits at MBKU are described in terms of quarter credit hours. One credit hour represents one hour per week in the classroom during a 10-week quarter, two hours per week devoted to laboratory, or four hours per week of clinical work or equivalent contact hours.

Examinations are held in each course and are required of all students taking the course. All students must take all examinations, including final examinations, at the assigned time, unless prior arrangements have been approved by the instructor of record. Each program determines the procedures for reporting if a student must miss an exam because of an emergency (see Program Student Handbook). All missed exams must be made up as specified by the Program. Course grades are assigned by the instructor of record.

Enrollment Status

At MBKU, a student's full-time status is defined differently by the year and the Program they are enrolled in. Please see the below table for the definition for full-time enrollment status for each quarter. One exception is for Pharmacy 2nd and 3rd year Summer Quarter, where full-time is 6 credit hours.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4


12 Credit Hours

12 Credit Hours

9 Credit Hours

9 Credit Hours


12 Credit Hours

9 Credit Hours

9 Credit Hours

12 Credit Hours

Physician Assistant

12 Credit Hours

9 Credit Hours

12 Credit Hours

Not Applicable

Vision Science

8 Credit Hours

8 Credit Hours

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Course Delivery Method Definition

A course may be classified as a distance education course, a hybrid education course, or a face-to-face education course and the principally will be interpreted as 70–75% or greater.

  • A distance education course is offered principally by distance delivery methods.
    • Distance delivery means that the student and instructor are not both physically present at the same time and place. Examples are course activities offered through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing.
  • A face-to-face education course is offered principally by face-to-face delivery methods.
    • Face-to-face delivery means that the student and instructor are both physically present at the same time and place.
  • A hybrid education course is one in which there is a blend of distance delivery and face-to-face delivery methods. The course meets neither the distance education nor the face-to-face definition.

Academic Probation or Dismissal

Rules for academic probations and dismissals vary according to the academic Program and may be found in the Program Student Handbooks. A student on probation/alert may not participate in work-study nor hold office in a class, student association, fraternal, or any other student organization. In addition, students on academic probation may not participate in off-campus meetings during the academic year. Students who are not making satisfactory progress will not be eligible to receive loan monies through programs of the federal government.

Teach Out Policy

In accordance with 34 CFR 602.24(c) of the Secretary’s Recognition of Accrediting Agencies from the Department of Education, the MBKU Teach Out Policy is designed to protect the interests of all students. In the unlikely event of a Program closure or loss of accreditation, the University has resources in place to ensure that each Program can complete the education for each student who has formally matriculated into the Program. Should a Program be discontinued, the University and Program’s accrediting agency shall develop a Teach Out Plan/Agreement which should allow each matriculated student to complete the respective Program of study.