Course Related

Course Code Designations


Alcohol & Drug Counseling
Ancient Languages
Biblical Languages
Biblical Literature and Interpretation
Carlstrom Deaf Studies 
Children & Family Ministries
Critical Thought
Elementary Education
Fine Arts
General Studies
Intercultural Studies
Interdisciplinary Studies
Internship - Ministerial
Modern Languages
Physical Education
Practics/Professional Course
Sports Management
Social Work
Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Urban Studies

Credit Hours, Program Length, and Course Loads

Credit Hours

North Central University (NCU) operates on a traditional semester system and offers academic credit in terms of the semester credit hour.

Each semester hour of on-campus course credit requires one hour of instruction (50 instructional minutes) weekly for a 15‐week semester, with an expectation of 2 additional hours of out‐of-class work by students. Thus, in traditional classroom settings, NCU awards an hour of credit for each 2,250 minutes of expected student work. 

Each semester hour of one distance learning or hybrid course credit is defined as: an equivalent amount of instruction and student work leading to equivalent learning outcomes, as required for an on-campus class as defined above.

Departments, Schools, and Colleges follow this rule in establishing the number of credit hours awarded in nontraditional settings including Directed Research, Internships, Senior Projects, and accelerated courses. This standard is consistent with the credit hour definition found in Department of Education regulation 34 CFR §600.2. 

The following credit-hour statement will be included in the syllabus of every North Central University course as of the 2013 Fall semester:

"NCU Credit Hour Policy states that for every course credit hour, the typical student should expect to spend at least three clock hours per week of concentrated attention on course-related work, including but not limited to time in class, as well as out-of-class time spent reading, reviewing, organizing notes, preparing for upcoming quizzes/exams, problem solving, developing and completing projects, and other activities that enhance learning.  Thus, for a three credit course, a typical student should expect to spend at least nine hours per week dedicated to the one course."

Program Length

The university requires a minimum of 60 undergraduate credits for the associate degree, 120 undergraduate credits for the bachelor’s degree, and a minimum of 30 graduate credits for the master’s degree.  However, the degree requirements of some individual programs may demand more than the minimum number of credits, Specific program requirements are communicated in the university’s academic catalog.

Course Load

  • A student must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credit hours per regular semester to be considered full-time. A minimum class load of 17 hours per semester is necessary to complete most bachelor’s degrees in a four-year period. A student enrolled in less than 12 credits is classified as part-time.
  • A student may not enroll for more than 18 credit hours during enrollment at NCU in a semester unless he or she has maintained a 3.0 GPA during the previous semester and has permission from the Registrar.
  • The maximum academic load possible to register for during a summer session is 15 credit hours.
  • Students who receive veteran’s benefits or Pell Grants must take a minimum of 12 credits each semester to receive their maximum award. Full-time status for Minnesota State Grant is 15 credits.

    Students are encouraged to work in order to meet their financial needs and commitments. North Central also desires to assist students in anticipating the demands that they will be experiencing in college life. 
    Therefore, to maximize the probability that all students will succeed in their college courses, the following employment workloads have been suggested based upon the number of credits taken:

Number of Credits Per Semester       

Maximum Number of Hours Per Week
Student Teaching (education majors)

Attendance Policies

Class Attendance

Class attendance is necessary for the ongoing process of education in the student’s life. There are no excused absences for any purpose. Absences will not be questioned nor will they affect the earned grade as long as they are not excessive. “Excessive absence” from a class means that a student has missed approximately 25 percent of the class period and, therefore, will be dropped from the class. Should this occur during the first 10 calendar weeks of the term, a grade of “W” will be placed on the student’s transcript, meaning that the student forfeits any grade or earned credit for the class. Should the excessive absence occur after the tenth calendar week of the semester, a grade of “WF” will be assigned, meaning that the earned credit will affect the student’s cumulative GPA. Being late for class on four occasions is equivalent to one absence. 
    For all 100 and 200 level courses, the following standards will apply:

Class Meets    

Credit Value

Absences Allowed




M, W, F



M, W, F



M, W, F



T, Th



T, Th










    For 300 and 400 level courses, the instructors shall have the right to set any policy they choose, as long as it is not more stringent than allowing one classroom hour of absence for each credit. 
    In order to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to education and learning for all students, proper classroom etiquette must be observed. For this reason, infants or young children will not be allowed in the classrooms, and other disruptions such as cellular phones are also considered inappropriate for the classroom. 
    Upon arrival to a class where the professor is initially absent, students should not vacate the classroom until 10 minutes after the starting class time has elapsed – 15 minutes for those professors with doctorates. Professors shall notify the class if they anticipate being absent. No instructor shall use attendance in any way for bonus points, penalties or exemptions from exams.   
    Any appeals regarding class attendance must be made to the Registrar’s Office before the end of the following semester.

Class Attendance Policy for Athletes

The NCAA requires each member institution to have a policy which insures a Student-Athlete will have the opportunity to compete at a high level athletically without sacrificing the opportunity to excel academically. The NCAA desires to protect the integrity and validate the lessons students receive in both arenas. The North Central University Athletic Attendance Policy will contain the following provisions:

  1. The faculty member teaching the class will receive a schedule, including departure times, from each Student-Athlete at the earliest date possible. Student-Athletes must obtain the Professor’s signature on a form or schedule copy. This signature will aid the Athletic Department in tracking the responsibilities of each athlete.
  2. The faculty member teaching the class must substitute an equal opportunity for the Student-Athlete who must miss a class due to athletic competition and an assignment for a grade or credit occurred (test, quiz, project, etc.).
  3. Student-Athletes who must miss a class to represent NCU in an athletic event will not be penalized nor be in jeopardy of failing a class due to the absence or absences if all absences have been used for athletic events; however, an athlete is NOT entitled to any extra absences for a class beyond the written policy contained in the class syllabus.
  4. Faculty members who encounter any difficulty with a Student-Athlete or have questions are encouraged to contact either the coach or athletics department. It is our desire to facilitate the complete education of the Student-Athlete and not create a sense of entitlement for athletes.

Chapel Attendance

Chapel services are regarded as central in the spiritual life of the school, and attendance is required. The complete chapel attendance policy is spelled out in detail in the Student Guide and Calendar. A satisfactory chapel attendance record is required for readmission.

Auditing Classes

Courses not needed to complete degree requirements may be taken on an audit or self-enrichment basis. Attendance is not kept, work is not graded, examinations or grades are not given and credit is not recorded. All students attending or participating in any course must officially register with the University. One-third of the regular tuition rate will be charged for audit courses. Audit-only students may not utilize campus services such as the Computer Lab, the Student Success Center, Student Development, etc. Students may not accumulate greater than 30 hours of audit credit. Enrollment status on any class (for example, from audit to regular credit) will not change after the last day to add a class for that semester. Music lessons cannot be audited.

Class Standing

A student’s class status is based on the number of credit hours successfully completed toward graduation (HG):


0–29 Credits 
30–59 Credits 
60–89 Credits 
90 or more Credits

Students enrolled in the third year of a three-year diploma course are classified as seniors and are eligible to participate in senior class activities, have voting privileges and hold office in the senior class.

Correspondence Courses

NCU students are prohibited from enrolling in Global University correspondence courses without prior approval. The following exception may be granted upon written request.

  1. The student has achieved sophomore status and is unable to advance in their major or complete all graduation requirements through the residence program due to circumstances beyond the student's control. The student may be permitted to enroll in a Global University course if the course is not available through the fall/spring program course offerings and the student cannot complete the course through Directed Research.

NCU residential students wishing to take a Global University course in lieu of an NCU residential course must fulfill the following steps:

    1. Petition the Department Chair of their major for permission to take a course outside the normal NCU scheduled courses.
    2. If the course is not offerred by the department of the student's major (a course with a course designator that is offerred by another academic department), the student must also receive permission from the Department Chair of the department offerring the course.
    3. If approved, request approval from the Registrar’s Office, who will determine if all university transfer credit policies are met.
    4. If all approvals have been granted, the student may enroll in that course by contacting Global University.

    Correspondence, distance education or Advanced Standing course work taken through Global University during enrollment at NCU will not count as a part of the full-time course load. During a student’s final 33 credits of a degree program, 27 credits must be taken in residence. Correspondence credits will not be accepted as residence credits. Credits that violate this policy will not be accepted for transfer. The combined total of Directed Research and correspondence work cannot exceed 15 credits in a student’s program.

    Course Numbering System

    Class listings in this catalog give all the information needed for completing the registration forms. The course descriptions give the full title and course number.

    Significance of the course numbers:

    100-199 Freshman-level courses

    200-299 Sophomore-level courses

    300-399 Junior-level courses

    400-499 Senior-level courses

    Degree Audit Sheets

    The Registrar’s Office provides each student with a Degree Audit sheet via UNET, indicating courses required and completed. The official copy is kept in the Registrar’s Office. Student and advisor copies can be obtained at any time through the UNET registration system. It is the responsibility of the student, with the assistance of the advisor, to see that all program requirements are accounted for before applying for graduation.

    Repeated Courses

    Students who wish to retake any NCU course may do so under the following provisions:

    1. Courses that were previously failed–or for which an acceptable passing grade was not earned–may be repeated and will count toward the determination of the student’s financial aid enrollment status and will be eligible for financial aid;
    2. Any other course that is voluntarily repeated will not count toward the determination of the student’s financial aid enrollment status and will not be eligible for financial aid, regardless of the grade received previously;
    3. Refunds for previously attempted courses will not be awarded or credited on retake attempts;
    4. The most recent grade for a course voluntarily retaken will be the transcript grade used to factor the GPA; earlier attempts will “show” but will not “count” toward factoring the GPA. This will be an automated process. Once a course is voluntarily retaken, the credits for earlier attempts of the same (regardless of the grade earned previously) will be adjusted on the transcript as follows:
      • Hours Registered (HR) (same as HA)...will “ accumulate”
      • Hours Earned (HE)...credits will “zero out”
      • Hours Toward Graduation (HG)...credits will “zero out”.
      • Students may request in writing to have a previously failed class replaced with an “x” on their transcript.
    5. Graduation credits for any course will count only once;
    6. This provision does not apply to transfer credits or to those courses which are designed to be repeated periodically within certain departments or programs; for example, Music Lessons. Such coursework is designated as being “repeatable.”

    Directed Research

    This independent study program is designed to enable seniors in residency with schedule conflicts to complete degree requirements. Students are limited to a maximum of 12 credit hours in their total program. The combination of directed research and correspondence credits cannot exceed 15 credits in a student’s program. Juniors participating in NCU-sponsored Study Abroad programs may be pertmitted to complete courses via Directed Research while overseas, provided that on-site or online alternatives are not available to them.
        The registration becomes official once the Directed Research application form, with all necessary signatures, is submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Payment of the entire amount of tuition plus Directed Research fees of $100 per credit is required before beginning course work. All course work must be completed within the time frame of the semester in which it is initiated. Directed Research fees are non-refundable.

    Prerequisite Courses

    Course prerequisites must be completed. Prerequisites are listed with each course description in this catalog. See course descriptions for additional details.

    Summer Sessions

    The dates for summer sessions are indicated on the University calendar. Classes with fewer than six students in summer sessions may be cancelled at the discretion of the professor. The University reserves the right to cancel any course for which enrollment is considered insufficient.