Academic Policies

Incomplete (I)

An “I” (incomplete) grade may be given if the student was unable to complete the required academic work, or was unable to take the midterm examination or the final examination at the scheduled time for just cause or justifiable excuse such as medical or family emergency. It is the responsibility of the student to explain the justifiable reason to the instructor and to determine alongside the instructor the work needed to be completed and to provide a mutually agreed upon completion date. An “I” must be corrected within the first two weeks of the following quarter. Multiple Incomplete grades may lead to academic probation or academic dismissal from the University. Incomplete grades will automatically convert to “F” grades when not corrected within the time frame indicated. If the instructor who issued the “I” grade is no longer teaching, the Academic Dean will determine the work needed to complete the course and assign it to an instructor who is currently teaching the same course. The student is responsible for completing the academic deficit in a timely manner. Each make-up examination requires a fee of $50.00.

Repeated Course (R)

Students can repeat any course only once. If a higher grade is earned in the repeated course, the lower grade will be recorded as “R” in the official transcript. Only the higher grade will be included in the GPA. A student who is required to repeat a course must complete it within the maximum time frame and is charged tuition at the regular published rate. All course repetitions count as courses attempted for purposes of determining satisfactory academic progress.

Grade Changes

Grades, which are given at the discretion of faculty, reflect the academic achievement of the student. To change a grade, the instructor must provide the Academic Dean with

appropriate reasons and evidence for the change of grade in writing. The Grade Change Form must be submitted by faculty to the Academic Dean before the change can be processed by the Registrar. Students wishing to contest a grade must do so in writing to the Academic Dean by the second Wednesday of the following quarter.

Any requests to change grades made after this day will not be honored.

Grade Appeal Process

Most of grade appeals can and should be resolved by the student’s direct discussion and communication with the faculty member involved. A student appeal of a final grade must be formally initiated within three (3) months following the posting of the grade. If the three (3) month deadline has lapsed, the grade becomes permanent on the student’s transcripts.

The following due process must be followed by students who wish to file a grade appeal:

  1. The student shall meet with the faculty member involved in an attempt to resolve the complaint.
  2. The student shall submit a written appeal to the Program Director to whom the faculty reports. The written appeal must specify the nature of the complaint and the relief the student is seeking. The Program Director will then schedule a meeting with the student and the faculty member involved in an attempt to resolve the complaint. The Program Director and faculty member involved will then communicate a decision in writing to the student.
  3. If the matter is not resolved at Step 2, the student shall submit a written appeal outlining the nature of the complaint and the relief sought to the Academic Dean. Academic Dean will then schedule a meeting with the student to hear the student’s complaint. Academic Dean shall schedule a meeting with the student and the Hearing Committee consisting of the Academic Dean and three randomly selected full-time faculty in order to hear the student’s complaint. The composition of the Hearing Committee shall be randomly determined by the Academic Dean on the basis of each individual.

Student Complaint

The committee will not function as a standing committee. Academic Dean will communicate the decision of the Hearing Committee in writing to the student. The decision of the Hearing Committee is final. This process will be accomplished in a reasonable period of time not to extend beyond six (6) months of the occurrence of the incident. A student’s failure to comply with the steps of the aforementioned process will nullify the complaint.

Grading Policies


The institution’s standards for student achievement Grading Standards:

A = 4.0 grade points = Excellent

B = 3.0 grade points = Above Average

C = 2.0 grade points = Average

F = 0.0 grade points = Failure

W = Withdrawal

P = Pass CBT = Credit by Transfer

CBE = Credit by Examination

AUD = Audit course, no credit

Units of Credit

GSU utilizes the quarter unit to award credit. One quarter didactic unit is equivalent to ten (10) contact hours. One quarter clinical unit is equivalent to twenty (20) contact hours.

General Policy on Grading

It is an integral part of the teaching responsibility of the faculty to provide careful evaluation, timely assignments, and appropriate grades for each enrolled student. In the absence of compelling reasons, such as a mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence, the grade determined by the instructor of record is to be considered final. Final course grades must be submitted by the faculty to the Office of Records no later than noon of the second academic day after the end of the Final Examination period.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A student’s grade point average (GPA) is computed by the following formula: Total Grade Points Earned Total Units Attempted with Letter Grade

Standards for Student Achievement

Students must achieve a 2.0, or “C”, average to receive credit for a particular class. Students may retake any classes for which they have not achieved this passing grade at applicable standard tuition fees. An undergraduate student who falls below a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is academically dismissed. Graduate Students must maintain an overall G.P.A of 2.0 or the student will be placed on academic probation. A graduate student who falls below a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is academically dismissed.

Grade Reports

At the end of each course, notification of the student’s academic standing and report of grades achieved while in enrollment at the University are provided to each student. Grades are normally provided within two weeks following the completion of the course. If there are any unpaid charges or other penalties on record against a student, request for transcripts and class grades will be withheld unless arrangements to the contrary have been made in advance with the administration. Questions regarding grade reports, academic credit, or transcripts should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.

Completion Time Minimum Completion Time: Students must be enrolled for a minimum of two and a half (2.5) academic years to complete the program.

Maximum Completion Time:

Students who fail to meet graduation requirements within eight (8) years of the date of their first admission must meet the requirements in effect at the time. Their graduation can no longer be based on requirements effective at the time of their entrance. Students readmitted to the University must meet the graduation requirements and all other policies in effect at the time of their readmission.

Registration Requirements

Continuing students are required to register for courses each quarter by the scheduled registration deadline. The registration deadline is usually three to four weeks before the beginning of the new quarter. A late fee of $100 is charged to those students who do not register by the posted registration deadline.

The University expects students to enroll in consecutive quarters. Students must notify the Registrar in writing if they do not plan to register for a quarter. Students are allowed official leave of absence status for three consecutive quarters without penalty. A student who does not register for the fourth consecutive quarter must apply for re- admission before continuing with studies. The student must be accepted for re- admission by the Admissions Committee and becomes subject to all academic and administrative policies, procedures and degree requirements in effect at the time of re- admission.

Study Load Limits

Students normally enroll for 12 to 18 units each quarter. A student who is maintaining a “C” grade average may be allowed to enroll in up to 21 units with the Registrar’s approval. In exceptional circumstances, a student who is performing well above average may petition the Academic Standards Committee for approval to enroll in up to 24 units. In the written petition, the student must show that there are special circumstances that should be considered. Students are cautioned that petitions for such increased study loads are very carefully and thoroughly evaluated.

Add or Drop a Course

Students may drop a course during the first week of a quarter without penalty and have until the second week of the quarter to add a course. An add/drop form must be used to process all add/drops with the student’s name, student ID number, signature and date. Neither written notes nor phone calls are acceptable for adding or dropping a course.

All add/drop forms are subject to the approval of the Associate Academic Dean for student’s language section, approval of the Financial Aid Officer (if applicable), being signed by the Registrar and processed through the Business Office.

Any student attending a course in which they are not officially registered, will not receive credit for the course but will be assessed full tuition. To receive credit, the course must be repeated with proper registration and payment of tuition.

For dropped courses, refunds are calculated from the date the Drop Form is delivered to the Business Office. Failure to officially drop a course will result in full tuition charges for the course and a failing (F) grade. A grade of Withdrawal (W) will be placed on the student’s transcript for a course officially dropped after the start of the second week but before the ninth week of the quarter.

Students receiving financial aid are cautioned that a change in their enrollment could result in a change in their eligibility for aid. Students receiving financial aid must notify and receive approval from the Financial Aid Officer prior to any change in their schedule.

Course Withdrawal

A student may withdraw from any course up until the ninth week of the quarter. Students who withdraw from a course must repeat that course in order to receive credit. Refunds for course withdrawals shall be made according to the University’s tuition refund policy.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence refers to a specific time period during a student’s ongoing program of study when they are not in academic attendance. It does not include non-attendance for a scheduled break in a student’s program. A student on an approved Leave of Absence is permitted to complete the coursework he or she began prior to their Leave of Absence.

Only one Leave of Absence may be granted during any twelve (12) month period and cannot exceed one hundred and eighty (180) days, including Summer Quarter. The twelve-month period will begin on the first day of the student’s most recent Leave of Absence.

For the Leave of Absence to be approved, the student must do all of the following: Provide a written, signed, and dated request for the Leave of Absence, prior to the time period the leave is to occur unless unforeseen circumstances prevent the student from doing so.

If the Leave of Absence is not approved, and the student leaves anyway, then the student is considered to have withdrawn from the University. If the student is receiving funding, this funding will be returned and/or cancelled. Upon returning, any such student previously receiving financial aid, must reapply.

Withdrawal from the Program

A student not formally withdrawn from the program or fails to register for the quarter without filing a “Leave of Absence” form with the Registrar is considered withdrawn from the University.

Attendance Polices

Classroom Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled class sessions and are required to arrive on time. Absence may be excused for childbirth, documented illness, injury, death in the family, or other emergency situations acceptable to the Academic Standards Committee. Students should call the Registrar or a Dean as soon as practical on the first day of absence, and give an estimate of the duration of the absence. Failure to give prompt notice is considered a breach of professional etiquette. Special arrangements may be made to make up missed classes.


All work missed due to absence or lateness must be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor in order to receive credit for the course. Instructors may arrange for make-up examinations in cases of excused absence (see section on make-up examinations for details). Instructors are not required to provide make-up examinations missed due to unexcused absence or lateness and may assign a failing grade for that examination.

Excessive Absences

Excessive absence is defined an excess of 20% of scheduled classroom hours in didactic course or absence in excess of 10% of scheduled clinic training hours. Instructors will report excessive absences to the Registrar. The student may be asked to appear before the Academic Standards Committee. Failure to appear at the meeting may result in a failing grade and may also result in suspension or dismissal.

If the excessive absences are classified as excused, the Committee may recommend to the instructor that make-up work be arranged, or that the student be suspended from the class without a penalty grade assigned. If the excessive absences are not classified as excused, the Committee may:

  • Place the student on probation, giving provisions for return to good standing.
  • Suspend the student for the remainder of the class meetings without a penalty grade assigned. Any tuition refund due shall be that provided for in the university refund policies. The date of notice of termination of study, as required for all tuition refunds, shall be the date of the Committee’s decision
  • Suspend the student for the remainder of the class meetings with a failing grade assigned.

  • Recommend to the President that the student be dismissed from the University.

Clinical Training Courses

Unexcused absence or lateness to a scheduled clinic observation session or a scheduled internship session is considered to be a serious breach of professionalism. Trainees must be aware that patients come to our clinic expecting to be examined and treated in a timely and courteous manner. Lateness and absence are discourtesy to patients, fellow trainees, and the clinic staff. All students with unexcused clinic absences will be required to meet with the Dean of Clinical Education before returning to clinic duty.

The clinic office should be notified as soon as possible after a student realizes that she/he will not be at the clinic at the schedule time. A telephone answering machine will take calls before the office opens. In order to receive full credit for hours of clinical experience, the student must remain in the clinic for the entire assigned shift.

Students are reminded that all clinical training is enrollment by specific course registration for a specific number of academic units and not by the clock hours. Time missed due to excused absences up to 10% of the hours assigned to that course may be rescheduled at the convenience and availability of the clinic by the Dean of Clinical Education. No tuition penalty shall be applied but the faculty will consider the absences in assigning a final grade to the course.

Probation, Dismissal and Maintaining “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP) 

Probation is the time period in which the student must improve academic achievement

to avoid being dismissed. Full time students must complete at least 36 units per academic year (9 months) with no less than a C (2.0) average to maintain satisfactory progress; however, to complete the program in four academic years students must successfully complete 58 units per academic year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is a cumulative measurement. A student who has not maintained SAP for an academic year will be put on academic probation. The student is then required to meet to discuss options for re-establishing SAP. Students have the following year to re-establish their SAP.

In addition to maintaining SAP students must complete and pass the pre-clinical written and practical exam before attaining 185 quarter credits. Written exceptions can be obtained from the Provost or Academic Dean.


Grades submitted by instructors after completion of courses are considered final. Any petition for a grade change due to special circumstances must come from instructors and will be considered on case by case basis by the Academic Standards Committee. Completion of coursework and payment of fees does not guarantee graduation from the University .

Incomplete Grade (I)

An incomplete grade must be converted to a passing grade in the next quarter or it will be converted to a Fail (F).

Audit Courses (AUD)

Students who wish to audit a class may do so if they have previously taken and passed a course at GSU. Audit and other non-credit course are not included in fulfilling the requirements for SAP.

Proficiency Examinations

Examinations help faculty evaluate student progress at various stages of the program. Other examinations may be required as deemed necessary.

  • Pre-Clinical Examination: This examination consists of separate written and practical sections, which must be passed before a student may perform any acupuncture or herbal treatment in the clinic.
  • Clinical Proficiency Examinations: Phase Exam 1 must be completed before entering Phase 2 Clinic Internship. Phase Exam 2 must be completed before entering Phase 3 Clinic Internship and as follows for Phase Exam 3.
  • Comprehensive Examination: The Written Examination is usually taken within six months of the end of the student’s program. A passing grade is required for the award of the degree and for the University’s recommendation to a licensing agency. All clinical proficiency examinations must be passed before the student is eligible to attempt the comprehensive.