2016-17 General Bulletin

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135 Yost Hall
Phone: 216.368.4310; Fax: 216.368.8711
Amy Hammett, University Registrar and Director of Student Information Systems and Services

This is an archived copy of the 2016-17 Bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit http://bulletin.case.edu.


Students register at the time indicated by the University Registrar , as shown in the Student Information System (SIS) or as indicated by individual graduate/professional schools. Undergraduate student registration for fall begins in April and continues through the beginning of classes in August; undergraduate student registration for spring begins in November and continues through the beginning of classes in January. Only those students who have no outstanding financial obligations to the university are eligible to register. The Office of Student Financial Services will bill those students who have registered for the next semester.  The tuition payment will be due in full by the last day of the drop/add period. The schedule of classes is available electronically and can be accessed through SIS.

The University Registrar's website includes the academic calendar  and the dates for late registration and drop/add . SIS includes a complete real time listing of courses offered. Students use SIS to register for classes; refer to the listing of registration start dates for each school to determine registration eligibility. No zero-credit only registrations (e.g., zero-credit physical education courses) are allowed unless approved as part of ongoing degree programs.

Registration deadlines will be strictly enforced.  Only students officially registered, according to the official SIS class roster, are permitted to attend that class.  Instructors may permit students to sit in on occasional classes at their discretion, but students who wish to attend class regularly without receiving credit should register as auditors.  Unregistered students are not permitted to take part in laboratory activities.

Courses of Instruction

All courses at the university, except courses in the Medical School, Law School, School of Dental Medicine, and School of Nursing are numbered according to the following plan:

  • 100-199 Elementary courses
  • 200-299 Intermediate courses
  • 300-399 Advanced undergraduate courses
  • 400-499 Lower level graduate courses (some are open to undergraduates; consult with the appropriate department)
  • 500 and above Advanced graduate courses

Roman numerals (I, II, etc.) after course titles indicate segments of a multi-course sequence. Arabic numerals in parentheses after course titles indicate the semester credit hours for each course.

Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official

The School Certifying Official, housed in the Office of the University Registrar, 135 Yost Hall, administers the regulations governing the educational benefits and opportunities open to veterans under various federal laws. For more information see o ur Veterans Education Benefits page , call 216.368.4310 or email registrar@case.edu .

Exceptions to Policies

Requests for exceptions to any academic or administrative policy must be submitted within three months of the end of the semester for which the exception is sought.

Course Audit Program for Senior Citizens

Case Western Reserve University's Course Audit Program for Senior Citizens (CAPSC) allows senior citizens (age 65 and older) to take on campus courses at a reduced tuition rate.   For more information, contact the CAPSC Coordinator in the Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at capsc@case.edu .

Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) contains several provisions that are important to students. First, the university may not release personally identifiable student records to a third party, with certain specific exceptions, unless the third party has requested the information in writing and the student has consented, again in writing, to its release. The university may release directory information about a student, however, unless the student submits a written request that any or all such information not be released. Second, a student may request, in writing, an opportunity to inspect and review the student's official files and records maintained by the university and may, if appropriate, challenge the accuracy of those records. The university is permitted a reasonable time, not to exceed 45 days, to respond to such a request. Third, a student may file with the Family Policy and Regulations Office of the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning what he or she believes to be the university's failure to comply with FERPA. Finally, a student may obtain from the Registrar a copy of this policy, which the university has adopted to meet the requirements of FERPA. The information below is presented in compliance with the provisions of FERPA, which require the university to notify students annually of their rights and the university's policies and procedures. Specific procedures may vary slightly among the schools and colleges of the university, and each student is encouraged to inquire at his or her own dean's office if any question arises.

Access to Files

A student may request, in writing, an opportunity to review the contents of the student's educational file. Certain materials are excluded from review as specified in FERPA. Among these are:

  • Records kept in the sole possession of faculty, staff, and other personnel, used only as a personal memory aid, and not accessible to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
  • Records created and maintained by law enforcement units solely for law enforcement purposes that are not maintained by persons other than law enforcement officials.
  • Records created and maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other professional or paraprofessional acting in that capacity in connection with the provision of treatment to a student. Such records can, of course, be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice.
  • Employment records of a student made and maintained in the normal course of business. Such employment records may be obtained in the Student Employment Office or Human Resources under the policies applicable to those offices.
  • Financial records of a student's parents, or any information contained therein.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the file before January 1, 1975.
  • Records for which the student previously waived his or her right of access.
  • Records that contain only information about a person after that person is no longer a student, such as alumni records.

The office to which the request is made will arrange an appointment within a reasonable period of time (not to exceed 45 days) for the student to review the file in the presence of a member of the office staff.

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Students may ask the university to amend a record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write to the university official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

The student may request copies of those records to which he or she has access under the terms of FERPA. The student will be charged a nominal fee per page for these copies.

Release of Personally Identifiable Records

FERPA affords the student the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the university discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The university also discloses education records to organizations conducting studies for educational agencies or institutions under certain circumstances.

Directory Information

For the convenience of faculty and fellow students, FERPA provides for a category known as directory information, which may be released without requesting the eligible student's specific prior consent. Rather, the act requires that students be notified annually of the types of information included in this category and be given an appropriate period in which to express, in writing, any preference that such information about themselves not be released. For this purpose, directory information is defined to include:

  • Name (including both maiden name and married name, where applicable)
  • Address, telephone listing, and electronic mail address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Anticipated graduation date
  • Enrollment Status (undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Weight and height (members of athletic teams)

Any student who would prefer that the university not release such information about himself or herself should so notify the Office of the University Registrar, in writing, prior to the first week of classes in the fall semester. Students entering the university at midyear may submit such notice during the first week of classes of the spring semester.


A transcript of grades will be released only upon written (or electronically authenticated) request of the student, either in person, by mail or by online request through our transcript servicing partner. A fee is charged for each transcript copy. Neither transcripts nor diplomas will not be issued to, or on behalf of, students who have not discharged delinquent obligations to the university.

Student Right to Know

The Student Right to Know and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires that universities throughout the country produce statistics and/or information on the following subjects:

  1. retention and graduation rates;
  2. financial assistance available to students and requirements and restrictions imposed on Title IV aid;
  3. athletic program participation rates and financial support;
  4. other institutional information including: the cost of attendance, accreditation and academic program data, facilities and services available to students with disabilities, and withdrawal and refund policies;
  5. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Policy; and
  6. crime statistics on campus.

The university makes this information available in the following ways:

  1. Data on retention and graduation rates is available in the Office of the Provost in Adelbert Hall (216.368.4389 ) and is posted on the University Registrar's website (case.edu/registrar/general/statistics/completion-rates/ ).
  2. Information on financial assistance, including descriptions of application procedures and forms, and refund policies, may be obtained from the Office of University Financial Aid (case.edu/financialaid/ ) in Yost Hall (216.368.4530 ).
  3. Information concerning athletic program participation and financial support may be obtained from the Physical Education and Athletics Department in Veale Center (216.368.2867 ) or by visiting ope.ed.gov/athletics/ .
  4. Other institutional information, such as that listed in No. 4 above including undergraduate cost of attendance (case.edu/financialaid/undergraduate/cost/ ), graduate cost of attendance (case.edu/financialaid/gradprof/cost/ ), accreditation and academic program data (case.edu/ir/cwru-facts/accred/ ), facilities and services available to students with disabilities (students.case.edu/education/disability/ ), and withdrawal and refund policies (case.edu/registrar/dates/withdraw/  and case.edu/financialaid/documents/Student-Guide-to-Financial-Aid.pdf ), may be obtained from the above links or by contacting the Offices of: University Financial Aid, Provost, Student Affairs, and University Registrar.
  5. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) policy is available at http://case.edu/registrar/general/ferpa/ .
  6. Case Western Reserve University's annual security report is updated annually by Oct. 1 and is available online at case.edu/police  by selecting the "Security Statistics" button. A full print copy of the report is available at case.edu/police/media/case.edu/police/documents/secrpt15.pdf  or can be obtained by contacting the crime prevention office at 216.368.1243 .
The report includes: 
  • Statistics for the previous three years concerning certain categories of reported crimes—including hate crimes in certain categories, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking—that occurred on campus, in off-campus buildings or properties owned or controlled by the university, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus.
  • Summaries of institutional policies regarding safety and security, reporting of crimes, sexual misconduct, drug and alcohol use, timely warnings and missing persons investigations. The university maintains a daily crime log that can be accessed at case.edu/police .
  • Information on emergency notification, emergency response and evacuation procedures. Emergency procedures for students, faculty, staff and visitors can be reviewed at case.edu/emergencymanagement .

Case Western Reserve University also produces an annual fire safety report that includes fire statistics for on-campus housing, summaries of fire policies and evacuation procedures. The university maintains a fire log for all fires that occur in on-campus housing. The report and log are available at case.edu/ehs/FireSafety/ .

Any emergency on campus should be reported to CWRU Police & Security Services at 216.368.3333 . This number is staffed 24 hours a day. 

Grading System

The grading system shown below is used at Case Western Reserve University.  For a listing of historical grading systems, visit Grading + Transcript Keys .

Letter Grade Meaning Quality Points Notes
A+4.333College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
A-3.666Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
B+3.333Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
B-2.666Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
C+2.333Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
C-1.666Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
D+1.333Schools of Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
DPassing1.000Not applicable for Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Nursing
D-0.666Schools of Dental Medicine, Law, and College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) only*
ADSuccessful auditn/aIncluded in hours attempted, but not in hours earned or GPA
AEAchieves or exceeds competenciesn/aSchool of Medicine only
APAdvanced placementn/aTest credit or transfer credit only
ASAdvanced subsidiaryn/aTest credit or transfer credit only
COMCommendablen/aSchool of Medicine only
CREarns credit, credit/no credit coursen/a
HHonorsn/a Schools of Law (L.L.M.) and Medicine only
IBInternational baccalaureaten/aTest credit or transfer credit only
IPIn Progress or extends > one termn/aSchool of Medicine only
MMeets or exceeds expectationsn/aSchool of Medicine only
NCNo credit, credit/no credit coursen/aSchool of Law only
NGUnsuccessful auditn/aIncluded in hours attempted, but not in hours earned or GPA
NOGNon-graded coursen/a
NPNo passn/a
RIn progress or extends > one termn/a
SSatisfactoryn/a Master’s/doctoral theses, Schools of Law, Medicine, School of Dental Medicine (M.S.D.) only
SASpecial audit or alumni/senior auditn/aIncluded in hours attempted, but not in hours earned or GPA
TRTransfern/aTest credit or transfer credit only
UUnsatisfactoryn/aMaster’s/doctoral theses, Schools of Law, Medicine, School of Dental Medicine (M.S.D.) only
WWithdrawal from a classn/a
WDWithdrawal from all classesn/a
WFWithdrawn under Acad Regs 5 & 6n/aSchool of Law only

For a list of programs participating in the College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate) plus/minus grading, please visit College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Graduate Plus-Minus Grading.  

Explanation of Grades

The responsibility for assigning grades rests exclusively with the instructor of a course or section, who must communicate the general method of grading to his/her class at the beginning of the course. Final grades in all courses are reported to the University Registrar at the end of each semester for all students and mid-semester grades are reported to the University Registrar for undergraduate students.  The purpose of mid-semester grades is advisory; the grades are not part of a student's official academic record or transcript.  Changes to student grades must be reported to the University Registrar and must have all required approvals.

Incomplete (I)

The grade of I is assigned at the discretion of an instructor provided that:

  1. There are extenuating circumstances, explained to the instructor before the assignment of the grade, which clearly justify an extension of time beyond the requirements established for other students in the class. It is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor of the circumstances preventing completion.
  2. The student has been passing the course and only a small segment of the course remains to be completed, such as a term paper, for which the extenuating circumstances justify a special exception.

An Incomplete grade may not be assigned if a student is absent from a final examination, unless the dean has authorized the absence. Unauthorized absence from a final examination will result in a failing grade. When the student completes the work, the Incomplete is changed to an A, B, C, D, P, F, or NP. (Note: not all schools award all of these grades, see first paragraph of "Grading System" above.)

Undergraduate Students

All work for the Incomplete grade must be made up and the change of grade recorded in the Office of the University Registrar, by the date specified by the instructor, but no later than the 11th week of the session following the one in which the Incomplete grade was received. In certain cases (such as students on probation or graduating students), the dean may establish an earlier date for completion of courses with Incomplete grades. When a student fails to submit the work required for removing the Incomplete by the date established, the instructor shall transmit to the Registrar a final grade that assumes a failing performance for the missing work. In the absence of the assignment of a grade by the instructor the Registrar will convert the I to F when the deadline for making up Incomplete grades from a previous semester has passed. Failure to meet this deadline for removing the Incomplete will result in a failing grade. An instructor may elect to give the grade of F or NP if the Incomplete is not removed within the specified time limit.

Graduate and Professional Students

In order to receive credit for a course marked Incomplete, the student must complete the work by the date specified by the instructor and in no event later than the end of the next regular semester (fall or spring). If the student fails to remove the Incomplete within the specified time, he or she forfeits the privilege of completing the course for credit, and the grade becomes a permanent Incomplete unless the instructor elects to give a grade of F.

Satisfactory (S)

The grade of S given graduate students in the School of Graduate Studies indicates satisfactory progress in evaluating exclusively thesis and dissertation research. The grade S is not counted in determining quality averages. The alternative to a grade of S is U (Unsatisfactory). The grade of I (Incomplete) may not be used in evaluating thesis and dissertation research. In other graduate/professional schools, the grade of S may indicate passing performance in designated courses and advanced seminars.

Conditional (R)

The grade of R is used for work, such as undergraduate thesis and project laboratories, that extends more than one semester and, upon completion of the thesis or project, will be changed to the letter grade awarded for the completed work. The R grade assigned in ENGL 148 Introduction to Composition indicates that a student must re-enroll in ENGL 148 Introduction to Composition. In the following semester; the R grade in ENGL 148 Introduction to Composition remains on the student's record and is not subject to replacement by the final grade earned in ENGL 148.

Audit (AD) and Unsuccessful Audit (NG)

The grade of AD (audit) will be given when a student has officially registered to audit a course and has satisfied the requirements specified by the instructor for this grade. The grade of NG (unsuccessful audit, graduate, and professional schools only) will be given when a student has officially registered to audit a course and has not satisfied the requirements specified by the instructor.

Undergraduate Students

A student may audit a course with the dean's or advisor's approval and the consent of the instructor of the course. An auditor receives no credit for the course.

Registration in a course cannot be changed from audit to credit or the reverse after the end of the drop/add period. At the beginning of the course, the student and instructor should reach agreement regarding the requirements to be met for a grade of AD. The grade of AD is entered on the student's transcript if approved by the instructor of the course. If the instructor does not approve the grade AD, the enrollment is not posted on the transcript. A student may take for credit a course he or she audited in an earlier semester.

Graduate/Professional Students

Dental students: Courses toward degree programs in the School of Dental Medicine may not be audited.

The following statements apply to the Schools of Graduate Studies and Management: The instructor may designate that the student has not completed all requirements for auditing the course and that NG (Unsuccessful Audit) be recorded on the student's transcript. A course once audited may not be repeated for credit, nor may any course for which credit has been given be repeated for credit toward degree requirements. Students will be permitted to change their registration in a course from credit to audit (AD), or the reverse, with written consent of their advisor and the instructor only if the change is officially made on or before the date specified in the academic calendar for the given term.

Other graduate and professional schools: Please refer to individual school sections of this publication, or to individual school student handbooks.

Partial Withdrawal (W)

The grade of W will be given if a student officially withdraws from a course on or before the date specified in the academic calendar for the given term. After this date, the grade as determined by the instructor will be posted.

Complete Withdrawal (WD)

The grade WD is assigned by the University Registrar for complete withdrawal from all course work for the semester. All withdrawal requests are to be submitted to the University Registrar prior to the last day of class.

Grade Point Averages

Grade-point averages are calculated by multiplying the number equivalent of the letter grade by the number of credit hours for the course. The semester grade-point average is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned at the university during a given semester by the sum of the credit hours for all courses in which the student received letter grades of A, B, C, D, or F taken at the university during that same semester. (Not all of these grades are given by all schools.)

For the purpose of semester grade calculations, grade points earned when a grade of Incomplete is replaced by the appropriate course grade are credited to the semester in which the incomplete grade was received, but status action (separation, probation, or restoration to good standing) taken at the end of that semester is not affected unless the grade change occurs by the first day of classes of the following semester. Qualification for honors is based on the same terms.

The cumulative grade-point average is computed by dividing the total grade points earned at the university by the sum of the credit hours for all courses included in the grade-point calculation.

Pass-No Pass

See specific colleges and schools for information about courses that may be taken on a pass-no pass basis and similar options.

Definition of a Credit-Hour

Program Integrity Rules issued by the U.S. Department of Education require institutions to establish a definition of "credit hour."  CWRU's definition was approved by the Faculty Senate on 4/25/12 and applies to all degree programs (undergraduate through graduate/professional):

  1. The assignment of credit-hours to a course occurs through a formal review process conducted at the appropriate levels of faculty governance.
  2. For courses in lecture format, one credit-hour represents the subject content that can be delivered in one academic hour of contact time each week for the full duration of one academic semester, typically fourteen weeks along with a final examination period. For undergraduate courses, one credit-hour also includes associated work that can be completed by a typical student in 2-3 hours of effort outside the classroom. For graduate and professional courses taught in lecture format, 3-4 hours of outside work is expected for each academic hour of contact time.
  3. For courses taught in other than lecture format (e.g., seminars, laboratories, independent study, clinical work, research, etc.), one credit-hour represents an amount of content and/or student effort that in aggregate is no less than that described in (2) above.