2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Academic Information

Course requirements for all degree, endorsement, and certificate programs are outlined in the Program section of this catalog.

Term Information

Concordia University Chicago operates in a semester system.  Various sessions shorter in length than the semester are offered.  Academic credit is granted in semester hours.

Grading/Grade Quality Points/Incomplete Grades

Graduate students are required to earn an average of three quality points for every credit hour required in his/her program toward graduation. A grade of D+, D , D- or F in any graduate-level course cannot be applied toward a graduate program and will not be used in a final degree audit.  

All attempted graduate credit will be included to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA. Final program audit requirements include a minimum of 3.0 CGPA in all attempted graduate-level coursework. If a Concordia-Chicago course is repeated, the highest grade will be used in calculating the grade-point average.  All attempts to repeat the course will remain on the student's record and transcript.

The unit of credit is the semester hour. Normally one semester hour of credit is awarded on the basis of one 50-minute class session per week equivalent. The outside preparation required is approximately twice the time of instruction. 

Grade Quality Points

Grade Quality Points
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
F (Fail) 0.00
P (Pass) 0.00
I (Incomplete) 0.00
NG (Not Graded) 0.00
NP (No Pass) 0.00

The Incomplete (I) Grade

An Incomplete (I) grade is a temporary grade requested by the student and approved by the instructor to postpone course work due to extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness, death in the family). An agreement must be made between the student and the instructor outlining the remaining work needed to complete the course by submitting the signed Incomplete Grade Authorization Form to the Registrar’s Office. This signed form and related documentation must be received by the Office of the Registrar by the appropriate deadline below.  Incomplete submissions, late submissions, or submissions for students who do not meet the criteria (good standing in the course and experienced/experiencing extenuating circumstances) will not be processed.  Students must resolve the incomplete grade within six (6) weeks from the date the course ends. Upon completion, the instructor will change the “I” to the appropriate letter grade by submitting the Change of Grade form to the Office of the Registrar. If the student fails to complete the course work, or a Change of Grade form is not submitted, a grade of “F” is recorded. Permission for additional time beyond the six-week deadline may be granted only with the approval of the instructor and the Registrar. Whether or not the student is enrolled during the following term has no effect upon this completion date. In the event that the original instructor is no longer available to grade the work, the Department Chair, where applicable, or the Dean will identify the faculty member who will resolve the incomplete. The form is here: Incomplete Authorization form

Incomplete Grade Submission Deadlines

Semester/Session Incomplete Request Deadline
5-Week Friday of Week 4
8-Week Friday of Week 7
11-Week Friday of Week 10
16-Week Friday of Week 15

Students must contact the Office of Financial Aid once the grade change has been processed in order to re-evaluate their SAP status for the semester they did not meet SAP. The Director of Financial Aid will review and make any necessary changes to the SAP status. 

Repeated Courses

Students are allowed to repeat a course to fulfill degree requirements with certain exceptions. If a Concordia Chicago course is repeated, the highest grade will be used to calculate the grade point average. The course must be an allowed repeatable course or a grade improvement is required in order to meet the degree program minimum requirements. A grade of ‘P’ would not be considered a repeatable course. Any student receiving Federal or State financial aid will have additional restrictions based on regulations established by the Department of Education, Illinois Student Assistance Commission and Department of Veterans Affairs.

If receiving financial aid, a student may repeat a course for which a passing grade (ex. F or W) was not previously earned regardless of the number of times. This will be factored into the student's attempted hours versus earned hours (see SAP policy for completion rate). If repeating a course with a passing grade (D- or higher), a student will be allowed to retake the course one additional time. This will apply whether or not financial aid was received for the first passed course. On the third attempt of retaking a passed course, the student will be required to pay out of pocket. For specific questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at financial.aid@cuchicago.edu or 708-209-3113.

If receiving military educational benefits, a student may retake the course one additional time. If a third attempt is needed, the student may be responsible for the amount already paid in a previous semester.  A debt letter will be sent directly to the student from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For specific questions related to military educational benefits, please contact the Veterans Certifying Official in the Office of Financial Aid at 708-209-3113.

Change of Grade/Grade Appeal

All grade appeals must be resolved within eight weeks after final course grades are due. Students may appeal a course grade for a substantial, unreasonable, or unannounced departure from the syllabus, rubrics, course outcomes, and/or assignments. The Grade Appeal Process and Form is found in CUConnect. If needed, the contact names of division chairs and deans are found on the current organization chart in CUConnect.

Transfer Credit

Concordia University Chicago is proudly accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The College of Education is also accredited by the prestigious Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Concordia-Chicago also holds a number of program-specific accreditations, such as NASM. Typically, credits transfer to other accredited institutions, yet it is the receiving institution’s decision to accept and apply another university’s credits according to its policies. Students are responsible for contacting the receiving institution about their transfer credit policies.

After the completion of 12 semester hours of coursework at CUC, no more than 50 percent of combined transfer credit and previously-applied CUC credit may be applied to a program. Application to have transfer of credits apply to a graduate program must be made by the student through the advisor. These credits must be approved for a degree program by the appropriate program coordinator, division chair and the Registrar. Only courses taken within the past eight years with a grade of “B” or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education will be considered for transfer credit. A CUC student’s cumulative GPA is calculated solely on courses taken at CUC; transfer coursework is accepted as credit. Courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis will not be accepted for transfer credit*. Workshop credit taken outside of CUC will not be accepted for transfer credit.

*The only exceptions to this rule are specifically-approved transfer credit from CU-Portland: EDAD-650 (applied to CUC EDL-6951 or EDL-6952) or EDAD-652 (applied to CUC EDL-7894, EDL-7895 or EDL-7896).

Course Substitutions/Waivers

Occasionally, a student may find that he/she has taken a course as part of another graduate degree program that is essentially the same as a required course in his/her current Concordia-Chicago degree plan. It may be possible to waive that specific course requirement, but it will be necessary to substitute another graduate-level course for the same number of credits for the one that is waived. Application for a course substitution must be made by a student through the graduate advisor. The waiver must be approved by the appropriate program coordinator, division chair, and the Registrar.

Endorsement/Licensure Transfer Credit

Students pursuing any licensure, endorsements, or certificates are required to complete a minimum of 50 percent of the semester hours of required coursework specifically selected to meet state requirements at Concordia University Chicago. Once coursework has been specified, it cannot be changed without the approval of the appropriate program coordinator, division chair, and the Registrar.

Workshop Credit

Workshop credit earned at Concordia-Chicago will count toward program requirements, where applicable. Workshop credit taken outside of Concordia University Chicago will not be accepted for transfer credit.

Independent Study

Independent Study courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to pursue a specific interest above and beyond the department curriculum offerings. The independent study is available for full-time CUC students only.  Courses in the curriculum may not be taken by independent study, nor can an independent study duplicate the content of an established course. Grading procedures and policies concerning incompletes also apply to independent study courses. Graduate students are subject to the following limitation: a maximum of two, three-semester-hour independent study courses in a 30-hour master’s program.

The Independent Study Application form is available through the student's GPS advisor or in CUConnect. Specific proposal information is included on the form. The proposal and form are to be turned in to the student’s GPS advisor one semester prior to the beginning of the semester of enrollment. Once approved by the GPS advisor, the application is to be presented to the department chair, along with the proposal, for his/her approval and signature.

Directed Study

Under special circumstances, directed studies are available to non-guest students in order to complete a degree or endorsement program when a course is not available. Approval by the appropriate department chair and the dean is required.

Required Course for International Students

International students pursuing a master’s degree at Concordia University Chicago are required to take EDU-6015 Seminar in Higher Education in addition to the courses required for their degree program. The Seminar is a three-credit course taken during the student’s first semester as an enrolled student. This course will serve as an introduction to the U.S.-based higher education learning environment. Students will work to develop academic language, graduate-level study skills and gain essential support with cultural and institutional acclimatization. This course may be waived it if the student earned at least sixty semester hours at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the United States prior to admission to their CUC graduate program, and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Registration Policies and Procedures

Time Limit for Degree Completion

All credit toward a degree, approval, certificate or endorsement must be completed within 8 academic years after registration for the first course counted toward the degree/program. A petition for time extension is to be addressed to the appropriate division chair and dean.

A student who has completed a course within a 24-month period is considered on active graduate status. A student who is absent for 3 consecutive semesters or more will be placed on inactive graduate status. Such students are required to report to the Office of Graduate Admission and Student Services for reinstatement prior to registration for courses.  When reinstated, the student will follow the program requirements in the current catalog.

Course Load

A full-time graduate student course load at CUC is defined as being enrolled in six (6) or more credit hours per semester. Half-time graduate student course load is three (3) to five (5) credit hours per semester. Less than half-time status is defined as any credit value less than three (3) credits per semester. The standard graduate student load at CUC is six (6) to nine (9) credit hours per semester. Graduate students who wish to enroll in more than nine (9) credits per semester must seek approval from their program’s division chair via their Graduate Program Specialist (GPS).

CUC’s course load is aligned with the U.S. Department of Education’s financial aid standards for the awarding of full-time and half/part-time financial aid. Veteran’s Benefits, military aid, state aid and institutional aid are also aligned to these standards to determine eligibility for financial aid.

Prerequisites

A prerequisite is a requirement that students must successfully complete prior to taking a course. Please note that not every course has a prerequisite – prerequisite information is found in the catalog course description. With student success being the focus at CUC, if a student has not yet completed the prerequisite, they will be required to meet the minimum prerequisite at the time of registration based on the current catalog.  Students who completed the prerequisite requirement prior to the standardization will not have to retake the prerequisite if they previously earned a lower eligible grade or score than currently required.

Course Add/Drop Policy

Courses can be added to or dropped from a student schedule anytime during the first five days of the semester/term.  All registration documentation must be accompanied by a student's official signature or must be done electronically via the student portal. Non-registered students may not participate in the course after the first week of the course.

Graduate students who have not connected in Blackboard with their course/instructor within the first ten (10) business days of the term, and cannot be reached by their GPS advisor or who do not respond to their GPS advisor regarding their course participation status within the first ten (10) business days of the term, will be dropped from the course by their GPS advisor. 

NOTE: Failure to attend class after the 100% refund period does not constitute an automatic withdrawal from the course. Graduate students MUST drop courses via their GPS advisor after the 100% refund period. Failure to drop a course will result in no refund and a grade of "F" on the student's transcript after the 100% refund period.

Dropping a Course

The following procedures are to be used in the event of withdrawal from a class. All withdrawals must be completed in writing, with the student’s signature. The Course Add/Drop form must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission and Student Services. Unauthorized withdrawals from a course or the University, i.e. failure to attend class, will result in the grade of “F.”

Full Semester Course Policies:  

  • During the first two (2) weeks of the term, a graduate student may withdraw from a course for a 100% refund by submitting a Course Add/Drop form to the Office of Graduate Admission and Student Services. The course will not appear on the student’s transcript. 
  • By the Friday of the third week, a graduate student may withdraw from a course for a 67% refund. The course will not appear on the student’s transcript.
  • From the fourth week through the Friday of the tenth week, a graduate student may withdraw from a course for no refund. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. 
  • After the tenth week of the semester, a “W” will be granted only for extraordinary circumstances approved by the Dean of Students. Unauthorized withdrawals from a course or the University, i.e. failure to attend class, will result in the grade of “F.”

Eight-Week Courses:

  • During the first two (2) weeks of the term, a graduate student may withdraw from a course for a 100% refund by submitting a Course Add/Drop form to the Office of Graduate Admission and Student Services. The course will not appear on the student’s transcript.
  • By the Friday of the third week, a graduate student may withdraw from a course for a 67% refund. The course will not appear on the student’s transcript.
  • By the Friday of the fifth week, a graduate student may withdraw from a course for no refund. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. 
  • After the fifth week, a “W” will be granted only for extraordinary circumstances approved by the Dean of Students.  Unauthorized withdrawals from a course or the University, i.e. failure to attend class, will result in the grade of “F".

Please see the Academic Calendar for other graduate term policies.

Physical or Financial Hardship Withdrawal Policy

If a student is unable to successfully complete their courses due to documented financial, physical, or mental health reasons, they may request a hardship withdrawal through the Office of the Dean of Students. Students may request a hardship withdrawal when the emergency or situation that they are experiencing makes it impossible for them to continue in the course(s) for which they are registered. Students experiencing a physical or financial hardship who wish to appeal tuition charges and/or fees are encouraged to complete a form through the Dean of Students Office. Supporting documentation related to the physical or financial hardship is required. More information can be found on the Concordia-Chicago website .

Program Procedures for All Graduate Students

Advisor

Course registration is the responsibility of the student. All students will be assigned a Graduate Program Specialist (GPS) advisor. Master of Church Music and Master of Arts in Music students will be assigned a music faculty advisor. It is strongly recommended that the student meet with his/her advisor before registering for courses to plan for appropriate coursework to be taken. It is important to make frequent contacts with the advisor, who will assist the student in an orderly progression from enrollment to graduation.

Satisfactory Progress

All students will be monitored for satisfactory academic progress at the following points: after twelve (12) semester hours; after twenty-one (21) semester hours; before approval of the capstone experience and before graduation. Students are considered to be making satisfactory progress if the grade-point average is 3.0 or higher and all deficiencies have been removed. Students not making satisfactory progress will be placed on academic probation. Grades of D and F earned in graduate level coursework cannot be used in their final degree audit.

Capstone/Dissertation Experiences

Nearly all Master's-level students must complete a capstone experience as part of their degree requirements. Some graduate programs have course-embedded capstone experiences which, depending on the program, can include a recital, portfolio, research project, internship experience or practicum requirement. Students receive graduate credit while enrolled in the capstone course if all requirements have been successfully met.  See specific capstone requirements listed in the program section of this catalog.

Doctoral students complete a dissertation.  More information about the process is available in Blackboard's Collegial Cloud.

Intent to Graduate/Complete

The "Intent to Graduate/Complete" application triggers the degree or program completion processes, which includes degree and program completion audits.  All students who intend to complete their program or degree must file an Intent to Graduate/Complete by the deadline.  An “Intent to Graduate/Complete” application, found in Banner Self-Service, must be submitted electronically to the Office of the Registrar no later than the posted deadline.  Deadlines for filing the Intent:  

  • Summer graduation/completion:  June 1
  • Fall graduation/completion:  October 1
  • Spring graduation/completion:  March 1

Students who miss the deadline to file an intent have a right to file an appeal to be recognized for candidacy.  The policy and process are found in CUConnect.  

Professional Education Requirements for Illinois Teacher Endorsements and Licensures

The state of Illinois certifies all Illinois early childhood, elementary, and secondary teachers and those pursuing advanced licensure/endorsement. Concordia-Chicago offers several programs leading to state approved licensures/endorsements. Students completing one of these should make application for licensure or endorsement through the Licensure Officer.

Initial Illinois Teacher Licensure Applicants

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and wish to pursue initial Illinois teacher licensure through Concordia-Chicago’s approved entitlement program may apply for admission to the University through the Graduate Admission Office.

To be considered for admission the student must have an evaluation completed by Concordia University Chicago. Before an evaluation can be done, the student must:

  • Pay a $50 non-refundable evaluation/admission fee or be admitted as a degree-seeking student in a licensure program.
  • Submit official transcripts of all college/university coursework from each institution attended.

Upon receipt of the fee and official transcripts, the student’s academic record will be evaluated to determine the coursework needed for licensure by entitlement through Concordia University Chicago. The fee will be applied toward tuition of the first course in which the student enrolls, if enrollment begins within one year from the time the fee was paid. When the evaluation is completed, the student has two options in the pursuit of teacher certification:

  • Option I: Complete a Master of Arts in Teaching program.
  • Option II: Complete a second bachelor’s degree in one of CUC’s approved undergraduate programs.

If the student seeks Option I, a graduate degree (i.e., MAT), the student must complete the appropriate admission process as outlined in this catalog. If the student seeks Option II, an undergraduate degree, the student must complete the appropriate undergraduate admission process and meet the standards for acceptance, including minimum GPA, as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Graduate students may receive credit for documented prior learning. Such credit may, if appropriate, be applied to the licensure requirements in the general education area, but such credit cannot be applied to the student’s graduate program.

While enrolled in the entitled State Teacher Licensure Program, all candidates should meet with their advisor to:

  • Prepare and file a completed and approved licensure plan of study leading to Teacher Licensure;
  • Be admitted to the Professional Instructional Courses in the College of Education; and,
  • Be admitted to the Professional (i.e. Student Teaching) Semester.

Post-Baccalaureate Programs

For licensure/endorsement programs not associated with a degree, at least one-half (50 percent) of the coursework must be taken in residence at Concordia University Chicago. Students seeking Illinois Licensure/Endorsements also must meet the current course and test requirements of the state. The state of Illinois requires completion of a test in the area of licensure/endorsement (with raised test validity age to 10 years) being sought, and the appropriate Assessment of Professional Teaching (edTPA) if needed. To be licensed, or to receive an endorsement to a license, a person must be of good character, in sound health, at least 19 years of age and a U.S. citizen.

Academic Status/Academic Probation/Academic Dismissal

Academic Status Review

A graduate student is considered to be in Good Standing when the Concordia-Chicago Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is at or above a 3.0 for all graduate work attempted. A grade of D+, D, D- or F in any graduate level course cannot be applied toward any graduate program. A student who has attempted nine or more semester hours and falls below the 3.0 CGPA will be placed on one of the following probationary or dismissal statuses: Academic Probation, Academic Probation Continued or Academic Dismissal.

Academic Probation

A student in Good Standing who falls below a CGPA of 3.0 will be placed on Academic Probation. Under Academic Probation the student may continue to be enrolled for one additional semester. The student may continue enrollment after this probationary semester if:

  • The cumulative GPA is at or above 3.0, and therefore the student regains the status of Good Standing.
  • The term GPA is at or above 3.0 even though the CGPA remains under 3.0; such a student will be placed on Academic Probation Continued. A student on Academic Probation whose additional term GPA falls below 3.0 and who has a cumulative GPA below a 3.0 will be subject to Academic Dismissal. Academic Probation is based solely on GPA calculations. The only basis for appeal of this status is for calculation error and the appeal must be submitted in writing to the Registrar.

Academic Probation Continued

A student under Academic Probation whose probation semester results in a Term GPA at or above 3.0 but still has a CGPA below 3.0 will be placed on Academic Probation Continued. The student may continue enrollment after this probationary semester if:

  • The cumulative GPA is at or above 3.0, and therefore the student regains the status of Good Standing; or,
  • The term GPA is at or above a 3.0 even though the CGPA remains under a 3.0; such a student will remain on Academic Probation and be granted an additional probationary semester of enrollment. Academic Probation Continued is based solely on GPA calculations. The only basis for appeal of this status is for calculation error and the appeal must be submitted in writing to the Registrar.

Academic Dismissal

A student under the status of Academic Probation or Academic Probation Continued whose probation semester results in a term GPA below 3.0 and a CGPA below 3.0 will be placed on Academic Dismissal. Students placed on Academic Dismissal will not be allowed to continue enrollment and will be dropped from the graduate program. Furthermore, students who are academically dismissed are not eligible to reapply for admission as a Guest Graduate or in another program of study. Academic Dismissal is based on GPA calculations. Appeals to be reinstated under Academic Probation Continued must be submitted in writing to the appropriate dean.

Official Transcript and Received Document Policies

Paper Transcript(s): An official transcript is usually printed on special watermarked paper. It includes the registrar’s signature and/or the institution’s seal, and should arrive packaged in a sealed envelope from the institution. Paper transcript(s) delivered to Concordia University Chicago by hand or mail will be accepted as long as the envelope containing the transcript(s) remains sealed. If the envelope has been opened, tampered with, damages, or compromised in any way the transcript(s) will be considered unofficial.

E-transcript(s) (electronic):  An e-transcript is official when sent directly to Concordia University Chicago from the originating institution. E-transcript(s) forwarded to Concordia University Chicago from the applicant/student, whether it be the PDF of the document(s) or a link to the download service, will be considered unofficial.

Received Documents: The Office of the Registrar does not release received documents such as transcripts, test scores, etc., that have become the property of Concordia University Chicago. Since Concordia-Chicago is not the official, legal custodian of record for any documents that did not originate at the institution, the office does not have the appropriate authority to release them. Therefore, please contact the originating institution or organization that produced the original records in order to obtain such documents.

Concordia University Portland (CUP) Teach-out 

In 2020, Concordia University Chicago was named as the official teach-out institution for two graduate degree programs from Concordia University Portland:  Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Education (EdD). CUP students in good academic and financial standing are guaranteed admission to Concordia-Chicago, and receive a customized degree completion plan supporting each student’s goals and concentration selections. Concordia-Chicago will accept 100% of credits earned at, or accepted as transfer credit by, Concordia University Portland toward a related degree program. This option is available to all MBA and EdD students who have attended and earned credits toward their degree program at Concordia Portland within the last three (3) calendar years.  All admissions to Concordia-Chicago are subject to standard University requirements, policies and procedures.