Advising Frequently Asked Questions
Alphabetized Index to Question Topics
1. What is the Academic Calendar and where does a student get one?
The Academic Calendar is a yearly calendar published at the beginning of each fall semester. It shows all the important dates such as when classes begin, last day to Add/Drop a class, change from credit status to audit status, official holidays, recesses, beginning of exam week, etc. It can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar, at the following link
2. What is an Academic Program Change form?
An Academic Program Change form is used to change and/or add the following: degree, major, teaching field, advisor, minor, or concentration.
3. What are the consequences of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty?
Cheating in all its forms, including plagiarism and cheating on visual work, is considered an academic matter to be controlled and acted upon by the individual faculty member. However, a pattern of academic dishonesty (two or more instances), cases beyond the reach of a single professor, and severe cases may be referred to the Office of Student Affairs as academic dishonesty is a violation of Section VII of the Student Code of Conduct. Penalties for academic dishonesty range from failure of an assignment, failure of a course, suspension or expulsion from Shepherd, et alia. Refer to the Catalog and the Shepherd University Student Handbook for specific guidelines and regulations regarding Academic Dishonesty.
4. What is the MedSTEP Program?
MedSTEP was launched in 2003 as a joint project between Shepherd University and the West Virginia University School of Medicine. The program helps prepare students for medical school as well as ease the financial burden of the application process. It is a competitive process, and all applicants are not guaranteed acceptance. Those who are accepted will complete their undergraduate degree and required premedical courses at Shepherd University. Students will be guaranteed an interview only if they meet required academic and professional standards. The basic science portion of the MD curriculum will be completed at WVU’s Morgantown campus. Students will return to the Eastern Division to complete the clinical portion of their degree work (typically the third and fourth years). Admission to MedSTEP is open to a select number of Shepherd students who have completed their freshman year and will be nominated by the science faculty at Shepherd in the spring semester. The application process includes a review of the academic record, recommendation letters, SAT and/or ACT test scores, and a personal interview by representatives of the WVU School of Medicine Admissions Committee.WVU and Shepherd University are aware of the great need for physicians in the Eastern Panhandle and have developed this program as a part of their mission to serve the state and region.
- Acceptance to Shepherd University for a degree meeting the pre-med requirements
- Personal statement demonstrating interest in a medical career
- Written letters of recommendation from a science teacher, a community leader, and either your principal or guidance counselor
- Demonstrated leadership, maturity, service, and scholarship
- Minimum high school GPA of 3.5 or greater overall and in all science courses
- Minimum standardized test scores of 24 for the ACT and/or 1100 for the combined verbal and math sections of the SAT
Once all applications are received and reviewed, selected students will be interviewed by members of the WVU School of Medicine Admissions Committee. As many as five students per year will be selected to participate in the MedSTEP program.
Students accepted into MedSTEP must meet the following qualifications to assure acceptance to the WVU School of Medicine:
- Maintain a GPA of 3.5 for all courses
- Participate in monthly seminar-enrichment activities, including study skills, medical related education, experiences, and community service
- Participate in pre-planned, medically-related activities over the summer
- Maintain standards of honesty, integrity, citizenship, and service
In the Spring of their junior year, students will need to complete the standard AMCAS application process for early admission to WVU School of Medicine. This includes taking the Medical College Aptitude Test and achieving the required score.
Shepherd University Undergraduate- MedSTEP students follow the requirements for a four year degree in Biology or Chemistry. See the Shepherd Catalog for exact courses required for four year degree. WVU School of Medicine requires additional coursework for admission to the School of Medicine. These courses would be taken while at Shepherd and include biochemistry, psychology, philosophy, sociology, epidemiology and U.S. history.
For More Information Contact:
Coordinator, Student Programs
WVU Health Sciences Center,
Eastern Division Office of Student Services
2500 Foundation Way
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 264-9202 ext. 6316
Fax: (304) 596-6330
5. What is the PharmSTEP Program?
The PharmSTEP (Pharmacy Students in the Eastern Panhandle) program is for incoming freshman at Shepherd University who have a desire to attend pharmacy school.
The PharmSTEP program assures that bright, dedicated students attending Shepherd University may automatically continue their training to become pharmacists at WVU School of Pharmacy and receive superb guidance, supervision, and educational opportunities not generally available to college students. We are looking for college students who are committed to becoming pharmacists in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
The program is open to students who are committed to becoming pharmacists in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The following items are needed for your application:
PharmSTEP Admission Requirements:
- Graduating high school GPA ≥ 3.5 (send official school transcript)
- ACT composite score ≥ 26 or SAT composite ≥ 1250 (send official copy of scores)
- ACT math score ≥ 26; or SAT math scores ≥ 620 (send official copy of scores)
- Apply to Shepherd University
Apply to PharmSTEP Program:
- Complete and submit the following forms by March to Michelle Alder at the address below. Application
- Letter of recommendation from your high school science teacher (accompanied by recommendation form)
- Letter of recommendation from your high school principal or guidance counselor (accompanied by recommendation form)
- Personal statement describing your interest in becoming a pharmacist and in entering the PharmSTEP program
- Interview – students selected will be interviewed during the month of March
PharmSTEP Program at Shepherd University:
- Enroll in pre-pharmacy courses (semesters 1-4)
- Maintain GPA of ≥ 3.0
- Participate in the STEP activities and shadowing
- Prepare and register for the July PCAT during the 2nd semester
- Score ≥ 50th percentile composite score
- Apply through PharmCAS for WVU School of Pharmacy Early Decision
Admission to WVU School of Pharmacy:
- Notification of admission by mid-October
- Finish prerequisites by end of 4th semester and maintain GPA of ≥ 3.2
Applications and Questions may be addressed to:
Coordinator of Student Programs
WVU Health Science Center, Eastern Division 2500 Foundation Way
Martinsburg, WV 25401
6. What is the DentSTEP Program?
Rising sophomores at Shepherd University who are recommended by Shepherd University faculty may apply for potential early provisional admission to WVU’s D.D.S. program. Individuals who complete their first year at Shepherd University and aspire to earn a dental degree are eligible to apply to DentSTEP.
Admission to DentSTEP is available to a maximum of two students annually through a competitive application and interview process. West Virginia residents receive priority consideration. Because the WVU School of Dentistry values diversity and recognizes its importance in addressing access to quality oral health care, individuals from populations that are under-represented in dental school, including African American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, first-generation college and economically disadvantaged, are encouraged to apply.
Shepherd University is responsible for DentSTEP student recruitment since enrollment at Shepherd University is a key program requirement. DentSTEP students participate in pre-health professions seminars and community service activities while enrolled at SU.
DentSTEP applications are available to all Shepherd University students who meet the specified criteria below.
Students admitted to DentSTEP must:
- Have completed a minimum of 30 semester hours and a maximum of 75 semester hours, with a minimum of a 3.60 GPA, to include at least two of the required biology, chemistry and math core courses each semester.
- Complete one chemistry, one biology and one math core course per semester during their freshman year.
- Complete the physics core courses by the completion of their sophomore year.
Prior to admission to DentSTEP, students must have at least 10 hours of documented observation in at least one general dental practice.
Upon acceptance to DentSTEP, students sign a commitment statement affirming their intention to satisfy program requirements and participate in DentSTEP activities.
DentSTEP participants typically are expected to complete all course work required for enrollment in the WVU School of Dentistry D.D.S. program and earn their undergraduate degree at Shepherd University within four years.
DentSTEP Ongoing Requirements
To continue participation in DentSTEP while enrolled at Shepherd, students must:
- Maintain 3.60 overall and science GPAs.
- Maintain standards of honesty, integrity and citizenship.
Students accepted into the SU/WVU School of Dentistry DentSTEP program will be guaranteed conditional admittance to the WVU dental program if they:
- Successfully complete all prerequisite courses for dental school admission and all other requirements, including immunizations and criminal background clearance.
- Possess overall and science GPAs of 3.60 or above at Shepherd University.
- Take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and score at or above the average Academic and Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) scores achieved by the previous WVU entering dental class.
- Fulfill preparatory community service (minimum 50 hours) and dental shadowing requirements (minimum 50 hours in various general dental practices).
- Successfully complete dental school application and interview requirements.
- Demonstrate honesty, integrity, leadership and citizenship.
- Individuals who receive provisional acceptance to the WVU School of Dentistry educational programs must pass a Criminal Background Investigation (CBI) at their own expense prior to final acceptance to the WVU School of Dentistry.
Students interested in Shepherd and DentSTEP should also visit Shepherd University online regarding college admission requirements.
The DentSTEP application period is Feb. 1-April 1.
Please complete and return the linked DentSTEP application.
7. What should students do if they become active duty?
The student should contact the registrar’s office
9. Are tutorial services available to students?
Yes, the Academic Support Center is located in the Howard N. Carper, Jr. Learning Commons in the Scarborough Library, and tutorial services are free. Appointments can be made online.
10. Where can a student get academic help?
The student should first go to the instructor. If additional help is needed, the student should go to the Academic Support Center located in the Howard N. Carper, Jr. Learning Commons in the Scarborough Library.
11. When is the ADD/DROP period?
During the first five days of a regular semester or the first two days of each summer session, students are permitted to change their original schedule. The adding and dropping of classes will be permitted via RAIL during this time period. See posted signs for the designated area to process time conflicts and overrides.
12. How are advisors assigned? How do I change my advisor?
Department Chairs are responsible for assigning all advisors. If a student wishes to change his/her advisor, the student should contact the Chair of the Department of his/her major. This change can take place anytime after the third week of a semester. The student must complete and return an Academic Change form available in the Office of the Registrar.
13. Does Shepherd University offer any Associate’s Degrees?
14. How does a student graduating from a two-year program get accepted into a Bachelor’s degree program at Shepherd?
A student must apply for admission into the four-year program. Contact the admissions office.
15. Will a course taken through a Community & Technical College apply to a four year bachelor’s degree? (Also See Q#95)
Once enrolled at Shepherd University, a student must receive prior approval to enroll in and transfer any additional course work from another institution. Transfer approval is subject to the following conditions:
A student must be in good academic standing (GPA > 2.00). Courses taken during a period of academic suspension will not be approved for transfer.
A Shepherd course for which a grade of D, F, or W was received may not be repeated elsewhere, even when an articulation agreement exists for the course. No Shepherd University D or F grade can be replaced by an equivalent transfer course.
Courses in the major, minor, or teaching field cannot be taken at another institution.
Only courses from accredited institutions of higher education may be transferred to Shepherd.
A maximum of 72 transfer semester hours from accredited two-year institutions may count toward graduation requirements.
The last twelve hours of course work before graduation must be completed at Shepherd.
A GPA deficiency earned at Shepherd University cannot be made up at another institution.
A Transfer Approval form(“Green Form”) must be completed, including appropriate faculty signatures, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling at another institution. Both forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.
Exceptions to any of these policies must be petitioned through the Admissions and Credits Committee for final action.
16. What is the class attendance policy?
Attendance policies are determined individually by each professor. The attendance policy is usually outlined in the syllabus which is generally handed out the first day of classes.
17. How can a student Audit a class?
The student may register for the class for Audit during the regular registration period or, in accordance with the University Calendar, go to the Office of the Registrar, located in Ikenberry Hall, and change the registration from credit status to audit status. The deadline to make the change is listed in the Academic Calendar Note: A student may not be able to audit a class within his/her own major/degree.
18. How does a student who has been Home Schooled attain admission to Shepherd University?
Students who have been home schooled must submit scores for the General Educational Development (GED) Test to be considered for admission as freshmen. Applicants will be considered for admission if they attain a standard score of 40 on each of the five parts of the GED and have an average standard score of 45 or above on the entire test. Copies of the applicant’s home schools transcript, ACT or SAT scores, and the GED test scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the school and testing centers.
19. What are limited Enrollment Programs?
Certain degree programs at Shepherd University have limited enrollment due either to enrollment capacity limitations or to special academic requirements. The University reserves the right to establish limited enrollment for additional programs at any time. When enrollment is limited due to capacity constraints, the University will take in-state residency into consideration as a preferred criterion, but not as a controlling criterion. Applicants will be evaluated by the department faculty and interviews or auditions (in the case of performing arts programs) may be required. See individual programs in this catalog for specific details on admission requirements.
20. Is there Career Advising on campus?
Yes. The primary purpose of the Career Advising is to aid students in developing, evaluating, and effectively initiating and carrying out career plans. Career advising is housed in the Advising Assistance Center, located on the ground floor of the library. A comprehensive website is available for up-to-date services and program information. Information regarding graduate examinations (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.) is also available.
21. Is it possible for a student to challenge/or receive credit for a course by examination?
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a testing program for students who feel their experience and knowledge of a particular subject field are such that they could waive course credit through examination. Credit for a limited number of subjects is available through CLEP testing. For more information see the CLEP coordinator in the Advising Assistance Center (located in the library). Individual departments may also have policies to allow students to receive credit for courses through an examination process. Contact the individual instructors or department chairs for more information.
22. How many courses may a student challenge via CLEP?
CLEP examinations are offered in only certain subject areas. For more information, contact the Advising Assistance Center located in the Learning Commons on the ground floor of the Library.
23. Where does a student go to change name/address and/or SS#?
A student wishing to change his/her name, address, and/or correct a SS# should complete a Personal Information Change form available in the Office of the Registrar, Ikenberry Hall. A sample of the Personal Information Change form can be found in Section VII (Beige pages) of this Handbook.
24. How are students classified?
First-year status: 29 semester hours or less; Sophomore status: 30-59 semester hours; Junior status: 60-89 semester hours; Senior status: 90 or more semester hours.
25. What is a full-time student?
Shepherd University defines a full-time student as one taking 12 or more credit hours per fall/spring semester. A student taking 6 hours in one summer session is defined as full-time.
26. What is a part-time student?
Shepherd University defines a part-time student as one taking 11 or fewer credit hours per fall/spring semester. A student taking fewer than 6 hours in one summer session is defined as part-time.
27. Does a student need a computer account?
Yes. Many professors make assignments based on a student’s ability to email answers and questions to the instructor; correspondence is expected via the student’s official Shepherd email account, not a personal email account. All Shepherd University students are assigned a computer account at the beginning of their university career. They should visit the User Support Desk in the Howard N. Carper, Jr. Learning Commons on the Ground floor of the library, to set up a student account.
28. Is there a Counseling Center on campus?
Yes. The Counselor’s office is located on the ground floor of Gardiner Hall, and appointments may be made by calling (304) 876-5161. The website has up-to-date information. Counseling sessions are both confidential and free.
29. Where does a student with a physical or learning disability go for assistance?
The office of Accessibility Services is located on the ground floor of Gardiner Hall, (304) 876-5122 ,or through the website, and is available to assist students with physical and learning disabilities.
30. Can an international student or a non-native speaker be exempted from the Core Curriculum Writing Component: ENGL 101 & ENGL 102?
No. All students must satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement for ENGL 101 (or ENGL 101A/B) & ENGL 102 with a minimum grade of “C.”.
31. Can a student place out of ENGL 101 into ENGL 102?
Yes, the student should contact the Advising Assistance Center located on the ground floor of the Library to arrange for CLEP examination. Students can also place out via the Advanced Placement Examination taken in high school; contact the Admissions Office for details.
32. Does Shepherd offer an Engineering Degree?
There is an engineering concentration in mathematics and students interested in engineering should enroll as a mathematics major, which qualifies them for financial aid. They would follow the two year engineering curriculum and be able to transfer after two years to a four-year engineering program, or they could chose to remain at Shepherd and get a four year degree in mathematics. Two-year degrees are no longer offered at Shepherd University.
33. May an instructor give an “early” final exam?
No. However, exceptions may be granted with the approval of the Provost.
34. Where does a student go to inquire about/apply for financial aid (scholarships, grants, etc.)?
A student should go to the Financial Aid Office located on the ground floor of Gardiner Hall.
35. Is there an academic progress requirement for a student receiving Financial Aid?
Yes. Academic progress is measured once each year to determine that a student is making progress toward completion of his/her academic program. Federal regulations require the student to successfully complete a given percentage of the courses for which he/she is registered. A complete description of the requirement is sent to each student receiving financial aid and is printed in the Catalog in the Scholarships and Student Financial Aid section.
Students are strongly encouraged to visit the Financial Aid Office Website for information and useful links.
36. What Study Abroad Programs are available to students?
For study abroad information on Shepherd University trips and non-Shepherd programs, visit the website.
37. What is the Academic Forgiveness Policy?
Any student who is returning to university with less than a 2.0 GPA and has not been enrolled as a full-time student during the past five years may apply for Academic Forgiveness after the student has earned 12 credit hours that apply toward graduation with a minimum GPA of 2.0. During the first semester of re-enrollment, a student desiring academic forgiveness must complete a written request form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar.
38. Are all first-year required to take the First-year Experience course (FYEX)?
Yes, the course is not an elective. However, first-year students are required to register for the class as appropriate for their major. They should see their advisor prior to selecting the FYEX course. Transfer students are exempt from taking an FYEX course if they transfer in 30 hrs, or have a 3.0 GPA. However, transfer students are required to consult the Department Chair of their major with respect to a major-specific FYEX
39. What are the Core Curriculum Courses?
The Core Curriculum program is required for all bachelor’s degrees (except the R. B.A. degree, which requires only 36 semester hours of Core Curriculum courses). Core Curriculum courses are divided into three tiers with the those in the first two tiers usually taken during the student’s first two years of university work and are designed to give the student a foundation in the humanities, laboratory sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and wellness for a total of 42 semester hours of course work is required.
40. Is there a Core Curriculum foreign language requirement at Shepherd University?
Students in the B.A. program (not including education) are required to complete 12 hours in the same foreign language, except music students whose requirements must be approved by the chairs of the Music and English and Modern Language departments.
41. May courses in the Core Curriculum satisfy requirements in the major/minor?
Yes, in most cases. There is, however, a limit of 8 credit hours of overlap between the Core Curriculum and major/minor
42. How are mid-term grades distributed?
Mid-semester grade reports are available for all students on RAIL. Academic advisors are given a copy of their advisees’ grades, as well.
43. How does a student receive a grade of W?
A student receives a grade of W by withdrawing from a full semester after the first five days of class (Add/Drop period) through the first Friday after mid-term grades are distributed. See the Academic Calendar for the specific date each semester. The form used to withdraw from a class is available from the Academic Advisor or Department Chair. The form must be signed by the Academic Advisor and the instructor of the dropped class and then turned into the Office of the Registrar by the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar.
44. What are the grades awarded at Shepherd University?
A = Superior; B = Good; C = Average; D = Below Average (lowest passing grade); F = Failure; I = Incomplete; W = Withdraw; P = Pass; IF = Failure due to irregular withdrawal; AU = Audit; CR = Credit only awarded
45. What are Quality Points?
Quality Points are point values assigned to each semester hour of credit. A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1; F = 0; IF = 0. A three credit hour course in which a student earns an A would earn 12 Quality Points for that class.
46. What is the Grade Point Average (GPA)?
The GPA is determined by dividing the number of hours attempted into the number of quality points earned.
47. Under what circumstances would a student receive a grade of I?
A grade of I may be given to a student who has completed the majority of requirements for the course but because of extenuating circumstances may be unable to complete all stated requirements of the course.
48. How does a student request a grade of Incomplete (I)?
A student must communicate with the professor of the class for which the student wishes to request an Incomplete. If the professor is in agreement, the professor will submit the proper form to the Office of Registrar with the final grade roster containing the Incomplete grade.
49. How does a student have an Incomplete (I) removed?
Students must submit work required to complete the course to the instructor at least ten days prior to the date that final grades are due for the following regular semester. (For example, fall semester incomplete work would be due prior to the end of the following spring semester.) When the work has been evaluated, the instructor must return all copies of the incomplete grade form to the Office of the Registrar with the new grade, no later than the date that final grades are due for the current semester. If the Incomplete grade is not made up according to schedule, it automatically becomes an F. When an incomplete grade is changed, the student’s grade point average is recomputed.
50. When is a student given a grade of IF?
An IF is received if a student does not attend class and does not officially withdraw from a class by the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar. A grade of IF is computed as an F in the student’s GPA.
51. May a student take courses on a Pass/Fail basis and what is the process?
Courses that are deemed general electives may be taken on a pass/fail basis. General Studies courses, required courses and electives in the major, or required courses and electives in the minor may NOT be taken for a pass/fail grade. Students must complete and return a Pass-Fail Option form to the Office of the Registrar by the dates listed in the Academic Calendar.
52. How is a student named to the Dean’s List?
To be named to the Dean’s list, a student must carry at least 15 credit hours of work or be in the professional teaching block and must maintain a 3.4 average for the semester.
53. How does a student appeal a final grade?
A student must offer convincing arguments that good cause exists for changing a grade. (See the Student Handbook for definitions of good cause.) As Step 1, the student should confer with the professor who gave the grade. If the professor decides the grade should not be changed, the student should proceed to Step 2, which is an appeal to the Department Chair. If necessary, the student should proceed to Step 3, which is an appeal to the appropriate Academic Dean, and finally to Step 4, an appeal to the Appeals Committee. See the Student Handbook for the procedures to follow in Steps 1-4.
54. Are graduate programs offered through Shepherd University?
Yes. Students who are interested should contact Dean Scott Beard or visit the Graduate Studies Web site.
55. What are the credit hour requirements for graduation with a bachelor’s degree?
The minimum number of credit hours for a baccalaureate degree includes 120 credit hours of courses numbered 100 and above. (This may include transfer credits that have been evaluated by Shepherd University as courses numbered 100 and above.) Of the necessary hours for graduation, 42 hours must consist of courses numbered 300 and above. (This may include transfer credits that have been evaluated by Shepherd University as courses numbered 300 and above.)
56. Does Shepherd University require a student to pass a comprehensive exam as a graduation requirement?
No. The University does not require such an exam; however some programs may.
57. What is the forty-two hour rule?
Students must have 42 hours of upper level courses (those numbered 300 and above) to graduate.
58. When does a student apply for graduation?
The student must apply for graduation at the beginning of his/her senior year. To do so, a student must pick up a graduation packet from the Registrar’s Office; this contains step-by-step procedures and deadlines.
59. Are graduating seniors exempt from final exams?
Final semester seniors (graduating at the end of either the fall or spring semester) with a quality point average of 3.0 or better in a given course may be excused from the final examination at the option of the professor. This policy does not include Core Curriculum courses and does not apply to courses taken during summer sessions.
60. What if a student misses the deadline to apply for graduation?
The student should go to the Registrar’s Office immediately for instructions. The student may be required to petition the Admissions & Credits Committee.
61. Can a student graduate with 2 degrees simultaneously?
Yes. A student can earn two different Bachelor’s degrees (BA, BS, BSW, BME, etc) by meeting all the requirements listed in the Catalog for both degrees. Students may NOT earn two BAs, two BSs, etc. Students attempting to earn two degrees need to take Core Curriculum courses only once. Students receiving both a Bachelor’s of Science and a Bachelor’s of Arts must take four semesters of foreign language to fulfill the requirements of the BA. Additionally, in order to receive two degrees, the student must apply for both degrees when applying for graduation.
62. What is Shepherd’s Academic Residency requirement?
A student must complete at least 30 semester hours of course work at Shepherd University to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. The last 12 hours of course work must be completed at Shepherd University. The Admissions and Credits Committee must approve any exceptions to these requirements. Non-teaching degree candidates must earn a minimum of 15 hours of major field credits at Shepherd University. Teaching degree candidates must earn a minimum of 8 hours of major field credits at Shepherd University (the student should contact the Education Department).
63. What GPA is required to graduate?
The GPA required for graduation is a 2.0 minimum in these areas: overall GPA (transfer work and Shepherd work), Shepherd University GPA, major field GPA, and minor field GPA. Higher minimums are required for some majors.
64. Are health services available to students on campus?
Yes. The Health Center is located on the ground floor of Gardiner Hall. See the website regarding services. The Health Center is free to all students, paid for by the student health fee. Some special services require additional fees.
65. What is the Honors Program?
The Shepherd University Honors Program provides a variety of honors level courses to students who meet its high academic standards of eligibility and provides a mark of distinguished academic achievement for students who complete the Honors curriculum. The Honors Program invites students with a 3.6 or higher high school GPA at the time of application to Shepherd University to apply and interview with the Honors Program Director. A student may also be invited to apply to the Honors Program upon the recommendation of his/her professor during or just after his/her 1st semester at Shepherd University. The Honors Center is located on the ground floor of Miller Hall.
66. What is a major?
A major is a concentration of courses in an academic curriculum of study. In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree, a student must declare a major field of study.
67. What is a minor?
Unless the student is participating in a program with a comprehensive major, the student must also choose a minor field of study. The minor is a curricular program that requires fewer courses than the major and that usually complements the chosen major.
68. What if a student wishes to pursue a major that is not available at Shepherd University?
A student wishing to pursue a major that is not available at Shepherd University can take Core Curriculum classes. The student should then investigate other schools to transfer the credits earned at Shepherd University.
69. How does a student change a major/minor or teaching field?
A student may change his/her major or teaching field(s) at any time he/she chooses, but the student should be aware that a change of major or teaching field may postpone the graduation date until all new requirements are met. The Academic Change form is available in the Office of the Registrar.
70. What is a double major?
A double major, one degree, is satisfied with two major fields in the same degree category; the Office of the Registrar will not evaluate an additional minor field.
71. Is there a Veteran’s Service Office?
Yes. An administrator in the Office of the Registrar serves as the certifying official for veterans who are entitled to benefits. The Student Affairs Office is located in the Student Center, (304) 876-5325.Obtain information on theVeterans Programming on the Veteran’s website .
72. Is ROTC available to Shepherd students?
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is available to Shepherd University students through an agreement with the University of Maryland at University Park. For more information about AFROTC at Shepherd, refer to the Catalog.
73. Is there an office responsible for multicultural concerns and issues on campus?
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, located in 201 Student Center, provides counseling and support services to ethnic minority students and to all students regarding diversity awareness. It conducts multicultural education workshops, forums, and programs. It administers the Multicultural Leadership Scholarship. The Director of Multicultural Student Affairs administers this office. International students are welcome to spend time in this office; in addition, international students have a contact in the Student Affairs Office, 101 Student Center, and in the Admissions Office.
74. How does a student write for the university newspaper?
Students interested in writing for The Picket can contact their office.
75. What does it mean to be placed on Academic Probation; and how does a student get off Probation?
For Freshman/New Transfer Students: At the conclusion of the first semester of attendance at Shepherd University, a student must attain a 2.0 Shepherd University GPA. If the student fails to achieve a 2.0 in the first semester of residency, the student will be placed on academic probation.
For Continuing Students: A student in good academic standing who has been enrolled for more than one semester and whose Shepherd University GPA or cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 in any semester will be placed on academic probation.
The student on academic probation is no longer in good academic standing, but is allowed to continue course work while improving the GPA.
The student who begins a semester on probation and withdraws from the University after the first five weeks of the semester will be suspended through the end of the next regular semester and may apply for readmission by completing an application for admission.
To be removed from probation and return to good academic standing, a student must attain BOTH a 2.0 Shepherd University GPA and a cumulative GPA (including course work attempted at other institutions).
76. When is a student placed on Academic Probation?
A student is placed on Academic Probation when the student’s Shepherd University and/or cumulative average falls below a 2.0 GPA.
77. How does a student get a copy of his/her current class schedule?
A schedule of classes will be sent with the student’s bill. A student may also access RAIL web using his/her PIN number to secure that information.
78. What is a subject/course number?
A subject/course number is a number that represents a specific course within the appropriate department. For example, the subject/course number for Writing & Rhetoric I is ENGL 101. Students use this number during the registration process. Courses numbered 300 and above are referred to as upper division courses. Generally, 100 level courses are for first-year students; 200 level courses are for sophomores; 300 level courses are for juniors; and 400 level courses are for seniors.
79. What is a CRN?
CRN refers to course request number. This five-digit number is found at the far-left column of the Shepherd University Schedule of Classes. It is an identification number for each section of a course and required for RAIL or in-person registration.
80. What is RAIL?
RAIL stands for Remote Access Information Line. RAIL provides web based services, enabling students to register online, add and drop classes during the Add/Drop period, access their class schedule, access final grades, access their financial aid information, Degree Evaluations and Transcripts.
81. What is a PIN?
The login PIN stands for Personal Identification Number and is the student’s birthdate–unless previously changed. A student’s advisor during academic advisement provides an alternate pin after the student’s schedule has been approved. A student will not be able to register without a login PIN and an alternate PIN.
82. What is the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree?
The RBA degree is an external degree offered at Shepherd University and nine other public universities in West Virginia. It is a very flexible degree program designed to encourage mature persons with some university credits or no prior university credits on record to return to university and complete baccalaureate degree studies. There is no major or minor requirement in this program.
83. If a student misses the November/April registration, how does he/she register for classes?
A student who misses the November/April priority pre-registration session may login to RAIL and register at any time after his or her assigned time, through the first five days of classes (add/drop period). A late registration fee may apply.
84. Where does a student get a Schedule of Classes?
The schedule is available at the Shepherd University website. The website will indicate the number of available spaces remaining in each class.
85. When is late registration?
Late registration usually begins via RAIL on the evening of the final in-person registration session for a regular semester. Students may also late register during the ADD/DROP sessions which take place during the first five days of classes. Specific dates may be found in the Shepherd University Schedule of Classes. Late registration is for those returning students who missed registration in November/April (or new students who missed registration on their dates in January, June, July, and August). Contact the Registrar’s Office for further details.
86. Can a student repeat a class?
Yes. As stated in the Catalog:
For coursework earned Fall 2018 or later:
A student who earns a D or F grade in any course (or upper-division C, as described above) in any course earned Fall 2018 or later may repeat the course prior to receiving a baccalaureate degree. In order to qualify for this academic forgiveness provision, the course(s) must be repeated at Shepherd University. In such a case, the student’s grade point average shall be based on the subsequent grade or grades, not the original grade of D or F. The original grade shall not be deleted from the student’s record, and will be removed only from the calculation of the GPA.
For coursework earned at Shepherd University (or approved in advance for transfer) Fall 2018 or later, there is a strict limit of 21 credits forgiven by repeat. Only the forgiven credits are included in the 21-credit count. This 21-credit limit will include any upper-division grades of C forgiven as described in the previous section. Repeat course forgiveness assigned on work earned prior to Fall 2018 (including repeats posted to pre-admission transfer work) is disregarded for this limit.
Once a grade has been removed from the GPA calculation via repeat-course forgiveness, it may not be altered further.
For coursework earned prior to Fall 2018:
A student who earns a D or F grade in any course earned prior to Fall 2018, and completed no later than the semester or summer term that the 60th semester hour is attempted may repeat the course prior to receiving a baccalaureate degree. In order to qualify for this academic forgiveness provision, the course(s) must be repeated at Shepherd University. In such a case, the student’s grade point average shall be based on the subsequent grade or grades, not the original grade of D or F. The original grade shall not be deleted from the student’s record, and will be removed only from the calculation of the GPA.
Once a grade has been removed from the GPA calculation via repeat-course forgiveness, it may not be altered further
87. What determines in-state residency?
In-state residency is determined by living a period of at least 12 months in West Virginia prior to the date of university registration. Consideration will be given to factors such as ownership or lease of a permanently-occupied home, full-time employment within the state, paying West Virginia property tax, filing West Virginia income tax returns, registering motor vehicles in West Virginia, possessing a valid West Virginia driver’s license, and marriage to a person already domiciled in West Virginia. Catalog Residence Policy
88. What is the Inclement weather policy?
Shepherd University does not normally cancel or delay classes due to inclement weather. However, in the event of severe inclement weather or other emergency, if a decision is made to cancel or delay classes, announcements are made on local radio and television stations. Refer to the Shepherd University Student Handbook, the Information for Students section, under the heading “Snow,” for a list of area radio and television station broadcasting such announcements. Students may also call (304) 876-5000 for up-to-date information on weather cancellations.Refer to the Cancellation Policy Website.
89. If a student is on Academic Suspension, how does he/she enroll?
If this is the first time on Academic Suspension, the student may apply for readmission after sitting out one semester by completing an application for admission. If this is the second suspension, the student may apply for readmission after sitting out one full academic year by completing an application for admission. Refer to the policy published in the catalog
90. When is a student placed on Academic Suspension?
The student placed on probation prior to the beginning of the fall semester must attain a 2.0 GPA on his or her combined hours for the fall, spring, and summer session(s) to avoid suspension and be eligible to return for the following fall semester. Failing to meet the minimum GPA for these terms will result in suspension.
The student placed on probation prior to the beginning of the spring semester must attain a 2.0 GPA on his or her combined hours for the spring and summer session(s) to avoid suspension and be eligible to return for the following fall semester. Failing to meet the minimum GPA for these terms will result in suspension.
During a period of academic suspension, no credits earned at another institution will be accepted at Shepherd.
91. What is a transfer articulation agreement?
It is an agreement between Shepherd University and several community colleges in the Mid-Atlantic region to accept course work for transfer credit(s) that has been previously approved by the appropriate academic departments in which the course under question resides.
92. How are transfer courses evaluated?
Transfer courses are evaluated by using articulation agreements and course descriptions.
93. Who evaluates transfer courses?
The Office of Admissions, the Academic Department and the Office of the Registrar share responsibility for evaluating the transcript and updating articulation.
94. Can a student take courses elsewhere after enrolling at Shepherd University?
Once enrolled at Shepherd University, a student must receive prior approval to enroll in and transfer any additional coursework from another institution. Transfer approval is subject to the following conditions:
- No Shepherd University D or F grade can be replaced by an equivalent transfer course.
- Only courses from accredited institutions of higher education may be transferred to Shepherd.
- A maximum of 72 transfer semester hours from accredited two-year institutions may count toward graduation requirements.
- The last twelve hours of coursework before graduation must be completed at Shepherd.
- A GPA deficiency earned at Shepherd University cannot be made up at another institution.
A Transfer Approval or Consortium Registration form must be completed, including appropriate faculty signatures, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling at another institution. Both forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.
Exceptions to any of these policies must be petitioned through the Admissions and Credits Committee for final action.
95. How does a student get a transcript of grades?
A student can request through RAIL , or fill out a request, for an official transcript in the Office of the Registrar. The application is also available online. The request must have the student’s signature. Copies of transcripts will be available after three working days. The first copy is free; the cost for each additional copy is $5.00. When time is of the essence, a student may request a transcript to be available in 24 hours. The cost is $15.00. Unofficial transcripts are available on RAIL at no charge.
96. What are the tuition and fees for Shepherd University?
Tuition and fees may change from year to year. Current tuition and fees are listed in official University documents or may be obtained from the Cashier’s Office located in Ikenberry Hall.
97. Who advises undecided students?
The advisors of the Advising Assistance Center located on the ground floor of the Library advises undecided majors.
98. May first-year students and sophomores take upper division courses?
Yes, with permission of the department chair that houses the course or as long as all prerequisites have been met.
99. Where does a student go to verify enrollment in university (for insurance, work, etc.)?
A student should go to the Office of the Registrar, Ikenberry Hall, and fill out an Enrollment Verification form (a printable certificate verifying official enrollment is available through RAIL beginning the third week of each semester).
100. Where does a student go to withdraw from Shepherd?
Complete withdrawal from the University is processed through the Office of the Registrar. The procedures on the Withdrawal form must be followed. Unauthorized withdrawals from school are reported as a grade of “IF.”
101. What is the tuition refund policy for students who drop a course or who withdraw from the University?
There is no refund for partial withdrawal after the Add/Drop period. There may be a refund for complete withdrawal from the University depending on date of withdrawal. The schedules for refund are located in the catalog under Section IV Expenses and Financial Assistance. For exact dates, please see the Shepherd University Fee Sheet or go to the Business Office, 2nd Floor, Ikenberry Hall.
102. After withdrawing, must a student re-apply to the university to attend the next semester?
Students in good academic standing who must discontinue their studies for a brief time will be considered eligible to re-enroll in future semesters, as long as they return after no more than two consecutive regular semesters (not including summer sessions), and do not take courses at another institution during that time without prior approval from the University. (For procedures to take courses with permission during a time of absence, see Question 95. Students who are on suspension, who take courses at another institution without prior approval, or who are absent from studies for more than two consecutive regular semesters (not including summer sessions), must re-apply through the Office of Admissions. Students wishing to return after absence, and who do not need to re-apply through the Office of Admissions, should check the Semester Schedule of Classes for advisement dates, and make an appointment with their advisor.
103. Is there a deadline to withdraw from a course?
Yes. Deadline dates are listed in the Academic Calendar and are also published in the Record. If the Withdrawal form is not submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline, the grade of IF will result. See the Academic Calendar for Semester specific dates.
104. Must a student offer any reason for withdrawing from a course?
105. Where can a student get help with various kinds of harassment (including that based on race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status)?
The Campus Police located in Moler Hall, (304) 876-5202.
The Student Affairs Office located in the Student Center, Room 101, (304) 876-5214.
The Multicultural Student Affairs Office located in the Student Center, Room 201, (304) 876-5453.
The Residence Life Office located on the ground floor of Miller Hall, (304) 876-5172.
For sexual harassment involving an employee and a student, Ms. Karen Green (email@example.com), Ombudsperson, White Hall (as well as the Campus Police and the Student Affairs Office).
106. Where can a student get help if he or she has been sexually assaulted?
A Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Program is available at Shepherd University. Victim-advocates are designated University staff members who possess expertise in sexual assault issues, have extensive experience in sexual assault crisis intervention, and have received appropriate training in the medical and legal issues related to sexual assault. A current list of victim-advocates is available from the Dean of Students as well as the Student Affairs Office located in the Student Center.
Important Phone Numbers:
Health Services 304-876-5161
Counseling Services 304-876-5276
Dean of Students 304-876-5478
Jefferson Memorial Hospital 304-728-1600
City Hospital (Berkeley Co.) 304-264-1000
Shenandoah Women’s Center 304-263-8292 (24-hour Hotline)
107. How is one class substituted for another one?
All substitutions required the completion of a Substitution/Waiver form signed by the Academic Advisor and Department Chair of the required course.
108. What is the difference between a Drop and a Withdrawal from a class?
A Drop must be completed within the first five (5) days of classes and will not be reflected on the transcript. A Withdrawal must be completed by the first Friday after the districbution of mid-term grades. See the Academic Calendar for specific dates. A grade of “W” will be reflected on the transcript.
109. How does a student order and pick-up the cap and gown for graduation?
Students may order their cap and gown from the bookstore.
110. Is there a Graduation Ceremony for December and August graduates?
No. However graduates are encouraged to participate in the following May ceremony.
111. What are Learning Communities?
A learning community represents a group of students who take two (2) of the same classes, which are linked by theme or content. For more information and brochures, contact (304) 876-5461.
112. Is there a computer literacy requirement for graduation?
No, there is no computer literacy requirement, courses taken within the Core Curriculum have specific learning outcomes that satisfy computer literacy.
113. Can a student enter a four-year program at Shepherd University without declaring a major, i.e., as an “undecided” student?
Yes. Professionals in the Advising Assistance Center will advise BA/BS students who are undecided.