Southwestern Adventist University

Undergraduate Bulletin 2011-2012 PDF

General Academic Information and Policies

Academic Policies

The rules and regulations by which a university operates its program are called academic policies. At Southwestern Adventist University these policies are continually under review by the faculty to assure consistency with the curriculum and fairness to students. The Academic Policies Committee oversees the implementation of these policies.

Academic Semesters

The academic year is divided into semesters:

  • Fall Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Summer Semester

The academic calendar is printed inside the front cover of the Bulletin. It shows important dates and deadlines for each semester.


The University attendance policy requires regular and punctual class attendance. No assigned work is excused because of absence, no matter what the cause. Records of class attendance are kept by the faculty. Students who miss an instructional experience are expected to meet with the class instructor to discuss their absences as soon as possible. Except for emergencies, the student should make arrangements with his/her teachers prior to any absence. When an accumulation of absences reaches the point of endangering a student's academic status, the class instructor should report this situation to the student and the Vice President for Academic Administration. The instructor should not assume that continued absence from class indicates an official withdrawal until notified by the Registrar.

Official university absences may be granted by the Vice President for Academic Administration for either academic or activity reasons. Academic Absences include class and major field trips while Activity Absences include music, mission, gymnastics, and recruitment trips. Faculty or staff who wish to have an event sanctioned for official university absence status must submit the names of all students, including date and hours absent from campus, to the Vice President for Academic Administration's Office no later than one week prior to the date of the activity. The Vice President for Academic Administration will review and approve/deny the request as appropriate and forward the names for publication and distribution to all faculty through e-mail. Students may miss classes because of approved Academic Absences and may miss up to one class hour for each credit hour of the class for approved Activity Absences. Arrangements for additional absences must be worked out by the student and the teacher involved. Faculty will report to the full faculty the names of students who actually attended that activity. When an official university absence occurs, faculty members must either average work missed or allow the student to make it up at the faculty member's discretion.

Serious illness or family emergencies may be verified by the Vice President for Student Services but are not considered official absences.

Illnesses that will be verified are those involving hospitalization or serious injury. When a serious illness or emergency has been verified, each instructor should assist the student in making up missed work or the instructor may average missed work into the student's grade. Faculty members should specify the appropriate time frame for making up missed work.

Unapproved absences should not exceed one class hour for each credit hour of the class. Unapproved absences beyond this number may subject the student to a lower grade, or failure, in the course. Classes missed when a student registers late will count as unapproved absences.

Class Schedule

Class schedules are available on-line through the web portal.  Although every effort is made to be accurate in listing course offerings, the University reserves the right to make essential course changes, to discontinue any course for which an insufficient number of students register, or to change the semester in which a course is offered.

Student Class Load

A student's class load is the total number of credit hours enrolled during a semester.

Class Load   Credit Hours
Part-time 1-5
Half-time 6-11
Full-time 12-17
Overload 18 or more

In order to graduate in 4 years or eight semesters, a student's class load must average 16 credit hours per semester.  A class load of 12 credit hours meets the minimum class load requirements for international students, financial aid and veterans.


Every registered student is provided with a Southwestern e-mail account (  Regular notices about assignments, activities, schedule changes, campus closings, and other important matters are delivered via this account.  Students should check their Southwestern account at least once a day for these messages.  The University views announcements posted here as having been delivered to the student body.

Severe Weather Protocol

In the rare event of severe weather, an announcement will be made between 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. indicating that classes will be delayed or cancelled, or that the University will be open as usual on the following day. If it is not determined until early morning that classes must be delayed or cancelled, an announcement will be made by 6:00 a.m. You may check the following for official delay or closing announcements: University radio station, NBC 5 KXAS TV,, or the University switchboard operator at (817) 645-3921.


Southwestern Adventist University