Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Academic Definitions and Regulations

The Credit Hour

The credit hour is the basic unit of credit awarded for progress toward a degree. Gardner-Webb University defines a credit hour as a reasonable approximation of the student learning outcomes that can be achieved in the context of a course which requires 42-45 hours of student work including both contact time between student and faculty and the student’s independent work. While hours of work and contact time can provide guidance in the establishment of credit-hour equivalencies, it is understood that the student achievement associated with credit hours can only be measured adequately in terms of documented qualitative and quantitative outcomes. The successful completion of a credit hour will always take into consideration expectations based on degree level, discipline, the type of learning experience (e.g., didactic, clinical, practica, or internships), and the mode of delivery (e.g., face-to-face or online). This definition is a minimum standard that does not restrict faculty from setting a higher standard that requires more student work per credit hour. This policy defines a credit hour at Gardner-Webb University in accordance with applicable federal regulations.


Classifications are made at the beginning of the academic year in August or at the time of the student’s enrollment.

A sophomore must have satisfied all entrance conditions and have completed 30 credit hours of work toward a degree.

A junior must have completed 60 credit hours and a senior 90 credit hours toward a degree.

Non-degree-seeking students include all persons not enrolled in a degree program.

Academic Course Load

A full academic course load is 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester and 6-9 credit hours during the eight-week Summer term. Students may attend the Online Undergraduate Program part-time.

The maximum number of hours for which a student in good standing may enroll in a Fall or Spring term is 21.5 credit hours. Academic course load limits include all transient coursework, i.e., work taken concurrently at other institutions. Students with a minimum cumulative Gardner-Webb University grade point average of 3.00 may appeal to the Educational Policies and Standards Committee (EPSC) for permissions to exceed this hour limitation. In no case will approval be granted for hours in excess of 25 credit hours in any given semester. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the chair of the EPSC prior to registration for the semester in question.

The maximum number of hours for which a student may enroll in a Summer term is 15 credit hours.

Course Registration

Registration is conducted prior to Fall and Spring. Phone and e-mail registration procedures have been developed for the mutual benefit and convenience of the University and students. If a student is unable to attend the scheduled advising period, it is the student’s responsibility to contact their student success coach or faculty advisor.

New students are contacted by a success coach and registered for the first semester.

Before registration each student must consult with his or her student success coach or faculty advisor on course selection, General Education requirements, major requirements, and other degree requirements. The student success coach or faculty advisor issues a personal identification number (PIN); however, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all University graduation requirements are met. A student will not receive credit for any course for which registration has not been completed. At the time of registration, the student is responsible for updating their anticipated date of graduation and contact information. Unless the student and his or her success coach or faculty advisor consider it essential, a student should not change the schedule after registration.

Auditing Courses

A Gardner-Webb University student may audit a course for a nominal charge. The Audit Form is located in WebbConnect and must be submitted to Registrar Services prior to the end of the schedule modification period (first week of classes). Individuals who are not Gardner-Webb students may audit a course for a nominal charge provided an application is filed with the Admissions Office.

Auditors are subject to the attendance regulations of the University. Auditors are eligible to participate in class activities and assessments but faculty are not obligated to provide services including, but not limited to, grading, advising, mentoring, or counseling. Additional requirements, if any, are the responsibility of the instructor. Credit will not be allowed for any course for which a student registers as an auditor.

Administrative Changes in Class and Schedule

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

Adding, Dropping, and Withdrawing from Courses

The student’s schedule may be adjusted by adding and dropping courses with the approval of the success coach or faculty advisor during the schedule modification period. Check the Academic Calendar for dates. Courses that are officially dropped by a student do not appear on a student’s transcript. If a student does not officially drop a class but never attends the class, a grade of “@W” will appear on the student’s transcript.

After the schedule modification period, any official withdrawal from a class must be done by the student by submitting the Withdrawal Form located in WebbConnect. When a student officially withdraws from a course, a grade of “W’’ (withdrew) is recorded during the first 40% of the term. After this period, a “WP” (withdrew passing) or “WF” (withdrew failing) is assigned by the instructor based upon an assessment of the student’s work to date in the course. No hours attempted are recorded for “W’’ and “WP” grades. Check the Academic Calendar for dates.

The last day for withdrawing from an individual course is four weeks after mid-term or a date not to exceed 75% of the course. Check the Academic Calendar for dates. After this date only a complete withdrawal from school will be processed.

The directions for withdrawing are listed below.

  1. Login to WebbConnect
  2. Click Registration
  3. Click Withdrawal Information
Notification of the request is sent to the student upon the processing of the withdrawal.

Change of Name or Address

Students are requested to contact Registrar Services at 704-406-4260 in the event of any change of name or address.

Student Honor Societies

Alpha Sigma Lambda

Gardner-Webb University is affiliated with this National Honor Society designed for adult students. Membership in Alpha Sigma Lambda is the highest honor that is bestowed upon Online Undergraduate Program students at Gardner-Webb University. A list of Alpha Sigma Lambda nominees is produced by the Registrar and audited for membership requirements. Alpha Sigma Lambda nominees receive a letter of nomination explaining the requirements of membership and an invitation to an induction ceremony.

To be eligible for ASL, a student must:

  1. Be an adult engaged in balancing the multiple responsibilities of home, career, community, and education;
  2. Have a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA) at Gardner-Webb as well as a 3.5 GPA overall including all colleges previously attended. The cumulative scholastic record of the student as interpreted by Gardner-Webb shall be the basis for computing scholastic eligibility;
  3. Place in the top 10% of his/her class having earned a total of 88 credit hours;
  4. Have earned 24 credit hours from Gardner-Webb University;
  5. Have earned at least 12 of the total credit hours in the Liberal Arts/Sciences;
  6. Be enrolled for at least 12 hours in the semester of induction; and
  7. Have excellent citizenship and character.