Course Catalog

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Academic Information

The general Academic Information in this section applies to each of the graduate schools of the University: the Graduate School, the Graduate School of Business, and the M. Christopher White School of Divinity, except where otherwise noted. See the section on each school for academic information specific to that program.


When changes are made in academic requirements, those in effect the year of a student’s most recent continuous enrollment apply. Otherwise, changes are effective upon publication in this catalog.



Registration includes academic advising, selection of courses, and payment of fees. During preregistration, students should consult with their academic advisers on course selection and other degree requirements. However, it is the responsibility of the student, not the academic adviser, to ensure that all University graduation requirements are met.


Students will not receive credit for any course for which registration has not been completed. Unless students and their advisers consider it essential, they should not change the schedule after registration.



Students must register according to the information given at preregistration. Continuing students who register after the published deadline must pay a $50 late registration fee. Students may register for a course after the first class meeting only with the prior approval of the professor and the dean or program director.



Changes in a student’s schedule may be made by going online to MyWebb via


A student who withdraws from a course after the drop/add period must fill out the online withdrawal form on the Registrar’s website: The student is responsible for carrying out the withdrawal and must secure written documentation of the withdrawal. When a student officially withdraws from a course, a grade of “W’’ (withdrew) is recorded during the first four weeks of the fall and spring semesters, or during the first week of a summer term. After this period a “WP’’ (withdrew passing) or “WF’’ (withdrew failing) is assigned by the professor based upon an assessment of the student’s work to date in the course. No hours attempted are recorded for “W’’ and “WP’’ grades.


The last day for dropping an individual course is four weeks after midterm or a date not to exceed 75% of the course. The specific date is established each semester by the Registrar and published in registration materials sent out by each graduate school. After this time the only courses which will be dropped are those which a student drops when withdrawing from school.


Before withdrawing from a class or classes, students should refer to the “Charge Reduction Policy for Class Withdrawal” in the “FINANCES AND FINANCIAL AID” section of this catalog in order to understand the financial implication for their account.



Any registered student who experiences medical trauma or a chronic illness that may prevent completing the semester may apply for a medical withdrawal from the University. A medical withdrawal request must be filed with the Registrar’s Office prior to the start of final exams and must include documentation submitted from a physician or psychologist trained in the diagnosis of the medical condition.


A qualifying medical condition, as determined by the physician or psychologist, must prevent the student from participating in all classes remaining during the current semester. A medical withdrawal is a complete withdrawal from the University. The supporting documentation from a physician or psychologist accompanying the medical withdrawal request must be submitted on official letterhead from the physician or psychologist and must be addressed to the Gardner-Webb University Registrar. The medical documentation must also include the physician or psychologist’s name, title, professional credentials, license and certification number, and should address the following:


  1. Description of the condition that has made the student unable to continue in school.
  2. Date the examination, assessment, or evaluation was performed.
  3. In the event that the medical withdrawal is the result of an injury or accident, the date the injury or accident occurred.
  4. In the event the medical withdrawal is due to chronic illness, the date the illness made it necessary to stop attending classes.

A student will be notified of the approval decision following a review of the medical documentation. If the request is approved, the student will receive a final grade of “W” for each class (except in instances of Academic Dishonesty).


Upon medical withdrawal from the University, a student must apply for readmission to the University to continue studies. The student must provide documentation from the same physician or psychologist, when possible, stating the student is able to continue academic studies at the University. This documentation should follow the same format as above.



Persons infected with a communicable disease will not be excluded from initial enrollment or employment or restricted in their access to University facilities or services unless a medically based judgment by the primary care physician in consultation with the University’s physician establishes that exclusion or restriction is necessary to the welfare of the infected individual or the welfare of other members of the University community. Additionally, persons who know, or have reasonable basis for believing, that they are infected by a communicable disease are encouraged to share that information, on a confidential basis, with the physician, so that the University may make reasonable accommodations that will respond to their health and educational needs.


Persons who know, or have reasonable basis for believing, they are infected with a communicable disease are encouraged to seek expert advice about their health circumstances and are obligated, ethically and legally, to conduct themselves responsibly in accordance with such knowledge for the protection of other members of the university community.



Each student admitted to graduate study is assigned a faculty adviser who assists the student in developing a program of study. Advisement sessions are scheduled each semester for all graduate students. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with the adviser at the scheduled session or to make arrangements for an alternative meeting time. An appropriate schedule of courses leading to uninterrupted study and completion of all requirements is assured to fully accepted students who remain continuously enrolled. Course scheduling, however, may prevent acceleration of the completion of degree requirements. Other schedule options are available.



The University reserves the right to cancel or discontinue any course because of small enrollment or for other reasons deemed necessary. In order to assure quality instruction, the University reserves the right to close registration when the maximum enrollment has been reached and to make changes in schedule and/or faculty when necessary.




In the Graduate School, a full load is six semester hours during the summer term and three to six hours during each regular semester, depending on the student’s program. The maximum course load for which students may register during fall and spring semesters is nine semester hours. It is strongly recommended that students who are employed full-time register for no more than six hours during any term. (The maximum load includes coursework taken elsewhere for transfer into a student’s Gardner-Webb program.) Under extraordinary circumstances exceptional students may request to exceed the maximum course load; such a request must be approved by the student’s advisor, the program coordinator, and the Dean of the Graduate School.



In the Graduate School of Business a full course load is six semester hours during fall semester and spring semester, and three semester hours each summer semester. Most students take six hours during fall and spring and three hours each summer semester. The maximum course load for students is nine hours during fall and spring semesters and three hours each summer semester. It is recommended that students who are employed full-time register for no more than six hours during fall and spring semesters.


Most students begin the program in August, but entry during spring and summer is an option. Students who begin in August and successfully complete two courses each fall, spring, and summer will graduate at the end of their second summer of study, 24 months after beginning the program. Students taking less than two courses in a semester will most likely graduate in three or four years. Six calendar years are allowed for completion of the degrees.



A minimum full-time course load for M.Div. degree students is nine hours per semester. The maximum course load for M.Div degree students is eighteen hours per semester. A class load of more than fifteen hours per semester must be approved by the student’s faculty mentor. It is suggested that new students restrict their class loads to nine to twelve hours in the initial semester.


The definition of a full-time load is made for those students requiring certification of full-time status for participation in insurance programs, the receipt of veteran’s benefits, or the regulations of U.S. Immigration. Students enrolled full time are eligible to apply for various financial aid packages. The students should consult with the Financial Planning office regarding the availability of financial aid.



Any Gardner-Webb student may audit a course for a $150 fee. The auditor is expected to complete the special auditor registration form and to complete all course requirements, with the exception of tests and examinations. Approval of the professor and the Dean or Director is required.




When a student has experience and/or training comparable to that taught within a particular graduate course, the student may request the option of taking a challenge examination to demonstrate mastery of the course content. This challenge examination will be an in-depth and comprehensive assessment of the student’s ability to answer questions on course content. An acceptable grade on the examination will permit the student to receive credit for the course. However, the student will be held responsible for all course material on the comprehensive examination or in the capstone experience, as applicable.


To request the opportunity to take a challenge examination, the student must present, in writing, justification for such an examination to the dean of the school or chair of the department in which the course is offered. *The request must be made after consultation with the advisor and within the first twelve semester hours or the first calendar year of graduate study, whichever comes first. The request must be accompanied by payment of a challenge exam fee of $100 per credit hour. The dean of the school or chair of the department will appoint a committee to review the request, and if it is approved, will appoint the examining professor. If the examination results are acceptable, the examining professor will report the results, via the Certification of Successful Challenge Examination form, to the director/coordinator of the student’s graduate program, who will sign the form and submit it to the Dean of the Graduate School or the Director of Business Graduate Programs, as applicable. That dean will notify the Registrar, who will credit the student with the appropriate number of hours for the course. No grade will be assigned or averaged into the quality point average.


*Note: The number of total hours challenged or transferred may not exceed a student’s graduate program guidelines.



In several locations on campus, the Gardner-Webb University student has ready access to a wide variety of computer facilities, including five minicomputer systems and numerous microcomputers. Computers are an integral part of many programs.


Access to Internet is provided through computer labs on campus and other locations.



Online learning is a method of delivering coursework that is rapidly gaining prominence in American higher education. Gardner-Webb University offers a number of fully online courses, as well as web-enhanced face-to-face courses, to students in selected graduate programs. Four programs are available fully online: the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.), Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), International Master of Business Administration (I.M.B.A.), Master of Arts Elementary Education, Master of Arts Middle Grade Education, Master of Arts Executive Leadership Studies. The following certificate/licensure programs are online: School Administration Add-On Licensure, MBA Plus Certificate (ALL), Post Master’s Nursing Administration and Education Certificates.


Students inexperienced with online learning who wish to take an online course will be assisted in developing the skills necessary to succeed in that learning environment through the following opportunity: CMP 501, Online Orientation – Graduate is a non-credit, tuition-free course required for all students taking an online course for the first time at Gardner-Webb, or after significant changes have been implemented in the course delivery platform. It is designed to familiarize the student with the basic skills needed to succeed in an online or web-enhanced course. Topics covered include basic computer configuration for Blackboard, sending a message through the mail tool, submitting an assignment through the dropbox as an attachment, taking a sample assessment and posting a discussion thread.


Coursework in CMP 501 is self-paced, and it is possible to complete it in a few hours. Instructors will work with students until the topics and skills have been mastered; however, enrolled students must pass the course before they will be permitted to begin an online course.



The Dover Memorial Library is an active and integral part of the University’s academic program. The Library’s collections, available on open stacks, support all areas of the curriculum with a total item count of approximately 850,000, including 230,000 volumes, 600,000 microforms, and many other materials such as videos, compact discs, and computer files. The Library has print and/or online full-text access to more than 11,000 periodicals and is a selective depository for federal government documents.


In addition to its collections, the library provides numerous services to reinforce and enhance the instructional process for both on and off-campus students.


Professional librarians are available for individual and group instruction. Interlibrary loan, audiovisual, and production (lamination, transparencies, etc.) services are available. The Library’s home page,, provides access to our online catalog and databases as well as information about the Library facility and the Library’s resources, services, and policies.



Student identification cards are prepared at the time of registration. These cards are necessary in order to use the Dover Memorial Library and other facilities where identification is required. Currently enrolled students may check out materials, use interlibrary loan, etc. Library privileges require compliance with stated policies affecting return of materials. Failure to comply may result in fines and suspension of check-out privileges.



The Noel Program for the Disabled provides support to the deaf, the blind and other students with documented disabilities. In order to assess each disabled student’s needs and to provide the necessary support services, professional documentation of a disability or disabilities must be furnished no later than three weeks prior to the beginning of services. Documentation must be current. Upon acceptance to the graduate program, documentation should be sent to the Noel Program.



The University Writing Center, located in Craig Hall, offers free assistance on any problem related to writing to all Gardner-Webb students. A staff of qualified graduate and undergraduate students, under the direction of a faculty specialist in writing, provide individual and group tutoring and answer questions upon request. Consultants “teach” and “guide” rather than simply correct papers. Consultations are available to students at satellite campuses through online video or text chat.



Regular class attendance is an important student obligation. Students are responsible for all course work conducted in class meetings. Students are required by university policy to attend a minimum of 75% of the scheduled class meetings. Furthermore, it is the prerogative of the professor to set a more stringent class attendance policy. During the first week of the semester, the professor will clearly state, in writing, the attendance policies which will govern the class. Students are responsible for knowing the number of absences that they accumulate.


Absence from class does not excuse the student from responsibility for class work. Planned class absences for official business or foreseeable personal circumstances must be negotiated with the professor before the absence and plans made for completing course work missed.



Comprehensive final examinations or assessment products are required in every course by the end of the semester. If a comprehensive exam is given, a student who does not take the examination at the scheduled time will receive a failing grade in that subject unless excused by the professor. If the student is excused, the grade will be recorded as Incomplete (I).




Graduation is dependent upon quality as well as upon quantity of work done. Letter grades are used. They are interpreted in the table below, with the quality points for each hour of credit shown at the right.


GradesHours Attempted Per Credit HourQuality Points Per Credit Hour
D (Divinity Only)11
Fx (Failure for Academic Dishonesty10
I (Incomplete)00
IN (see below)00
W (Withdrew without penalty)00
WP (Withdrew Passing)00
WP (Withdrew Failing)10
@W (Administrative Withdrawal)00
@F (Administrative Failure for absences)10
NG (No Grade reported by professor)00


The inclusion of letter grades A-, B+, and B- within each course’s grading scale is at the discretion of the instructor or program. The complete grading scale to be used is announced at the beginning of each course.


An ‘I’ grade is assigned only when a small amount of coursework (i.e., test, project, research paper, or final exam) is not complete, and the reason for the incomplete work is of a serious nature and beyond the student’s control. The assigning of an ‘I’ grade must be accompanied by the completion of an ‘I’ Grade contract, with one copy given to the student, one kept on file by the professor, and one submitted to the Associate Provost within seven days after grades are submitted. The student must complete the coursework by the date provided by the professor. The professor should submit the change of grade form no later than 90 days after the last day of the term in which the ‘I’ grade was assigned, or earlier.


The grade of IN is assigned in the following cases:


(1) individuals in a practicum or internship who are prevented by circumstances beyond their control from completing their practicum or internship by scheduled deadlines;


(2) students in courses with a multi-semester component (e.g., Nursing Project/Thesis, or ENED 691) which are not completed by grading deadlines.


A W will be assigned when a student withdraws from a course during the first four weeks of the semester or the first week of a summer term or if granted a medical withdrawal (see pp.13-14). After these time periods, a WF or WP is assigned by the professor based upon the professor’s assessment of the student’s work to date in the course.


The @W represents an administrative withdrawal from a course. It is assigned to any student on an official class roll who has never attended a class session.


The @ F represents an administrative failure of a course. It can be assigned by either the professor or the registrar’s office to any student who exceeds the permissible number of absences in a course. This grade is treated the same as the regular F; it counts against the student’s grade-point average and is repeatable only under the provisions outlined below.


Even when a grade of @W or @F has already been assigned by the registrar’s office, a professor may assign a regular F at the end of the term as he/she deems appropriate.


Once a grade has been submitted to the Registrar, it cannot be changed except in the event of a clerical error or an error in calculation, or as a result of the appeal process described below.


A student who has a question about a grade should consult the professor as soon as possible. A student who believes a grade to be inaccurate or unfair may address the matter following the process described below under “Academic Grievance and Appeal Procedures.”


Under no circumstances will a grade be changed, after having been reported to the Registrar, without the approval of the Associate Provost of Schools.


Grades will not be recorded if the student’s account is in arrears unless satisfactory arrangements have been made with the Business Office.




See sections of the catalog for Graduate School, Graduate School of Business, and School of Divinity for each school’s policies on probation, suspension, repeating grades, and dismissal.



A student may not take courses for transfer credit from another institution while on suspension or probation.




A student who returns to graduate study after a period of five or more years, having earned in a different graduate program a GPA below the 3.0 required to be in good academic standing at Gardner-Webb University, may petition the full Graduate Council to have the previous GPA (along with attendant hours attempted, hours earned, and quality points) rendered inactive in his/her graduate record. Eligibility for such petition is further limited by the following conditions: a student may petition for Academic Renewal one time only, the policy is applicable only to grades earned on graduate coursework at Gardner-Webb University, and it will not apply to failing grades assigned as a result of disciplinary action. Furthermore, the prior courses and grades will remain on the transcript with notation, and they must be applied to consideration for any academic award. A petition for Academic Renewal should include an explanation of the factors contributing to the previous poor academic performance and reasons that this history does not apply to the present circumstances. Academic Renewal must be approved by majority vote of Graduate Council.



The Registrar will furnish transcripts of credit upon written request. Official copies are $10 each, and this fee should accompany the request.


No transcript will be issued until all the student’s accounts have been settled satisfactorily.



Gardner-Webb University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This Act is designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.


Institutional policy explains in detail the procedures to be used by the institution for compliance with the provisions of the Act. Copies of the policy can be found in the Office of the Registrar. That office also maintains a Directory of Records, which lists all student educational records maintained by the institution. Information known as Directory Information will be published unless the student specifically requests that the Registrar’s Office withhold this information. Directory Information is defined as the following: student name, local and permanent addresses, telephone numbers, date of birth, major(s), dates of attendance, previous educational institutions attended, and degree and awards received.


Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Office of the Registrar.