Jun 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog

Academic Credit Policies

Academic credit

Undergraduate and graduate

The unit of measure for student progress through the academic program is the semester credit hour. One semester credit hour is generally equated with one hour of class each week within one semester.

No student is allowed credit for a course unless formally registered by the registrar, or given credit for a course in which the student is registered as an auditor, even though the student has taken all the quizzes and examinations and completed all the required work.

Credit-hour definition

At the University of Saint Joseph a credit hour is defined as the amount of class time including out-of-class work to meet the learning outcomes set forth. Generally, for each academic credit assigned to a course, students spend one hour per week in class and are required to spend two hours on out-of-class assignments per each hour of instruction spent in the classroom for a 15-week semester. For online courses or accelerated courses, students are required to spend the equal amount of total time per credit hour as spent in on-campus courses. However the mix of time spent in direct instruction and time spent on assignments and other work may vary. Laboratories, internships and practicums vary by program in terms of the number of hours required, but in general it is two-three hours per week per credit.

No student is allowed credit for a course unless formally registered by the registrar, or registered as an auditor even though the student has taken all the quizzes and examinations and completed all the required work.

Experiential learning

Independent study


A student who wishes to study in an area that is not available among the course offerings of a department may undertake independent study. Two levels of independent study, exploratory and advanced, are provided. To be accepted for an exploratory independent study, a student must have achieved at least a 2.50 GPA during the previous semester. A student applying for an advanced independent study should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and must have the approval of the appropriate department chairperson and the dean of the school prior to registration. Approved applications for exploratory or advanced independent study must be submitted to the registrar at registration. Courses listed in the catalog may not be taken as independent study.


A student who wishes to study in an area that is not available among the course offerings of a department may undertake independent study. Students are encouraged to build independent study or research projects into their programs as a way of testing their understanding of the mastery and techniques of scholarship and a demonstration of ability to gather, analyze and present data within their field of specialization.

Applications for Independent Study/Research and Advanced Independent Study/Research are available from department chairpersons. Completed application forms and registration are accepted through the add/drop period of each semester. Courses listed in the catalog may not be taken as independent study.


Undergraduate and graduate

Internships provide students with a semester of work experience in their field of study and assist them in making informed decisions on career direction. An intern is usually a junior or senior with a minimum GPA of 2.5, who is recommended for an internship by her/his advisor for the benefit of the student, the work setting and the University. Academic credit will be determined by the faculty sponsor and approved by the department chairperson. The director of Career Services works with the faculty sponsor (as determined by the academic department) to assist students in arranging internship opportunities.

Credit hours
40 hours minimum

1 credit (for certification programs)

120 hours (8 hours/week for 15 weeks)

3 credits

240 hours (16 hours/week for 15 weeks)

6 credits

Departments with separate arrangements:

  • Counseling and Family Therapy
  • Education/ Special Education
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Nursing

See departments for specific details.


Graduate assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are available through Graduate Admissions and Academic Services. The Graduate Assistantship Program offers matriculated graduate students the opportunity to gain valuable academic and workplace experience in the University of Saint Joseph community in exchange for tuition assistance or stipend. Eligible students must submit the Student Application with an attached resume to Graduate Admissions and Academic Services. Student applications can be found at www.usj.edu/graduateassistantship.

When to apply?

The Student Application for each academic year is posted the first week of April and must be submitted by early May. Applications will be accepted after that time; however, those applicants will only be considered if a position opens during the academic year.

Study abroad


The University of Saint Joseph encourages students from all academic disciplines to study abroad for an academic year, a semester or short-term period (summer, winter or spring breaks). Students may choose from a list of approved study abroad programs sponsored by colleges, universities and agencies in this country as well as in host countries.

The University also has exchange agreements with several international partners. The University provides study abroad opportunities in collaboration with these institutions in places such as the Netherlands, Japan and Guyana. In addition, the University offers faculty-led short-term study tours in collaboration with outside providers.

A study abroad advisor will assist students in finding the appropriate programs for their academic and career needs. When students have chosen a program, the advisor will guide them through the study abroad registration. This process includes getting approval of transfer credits as well as insuring that financial aid, insurance and other requirements are met. Students should begin planning their study abroad experience early in their academic career.

Students accepted for study abroad are expected to:

  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Work with the study abroad advisor to insure they meet all requirements for study abroad
  • Submit a formal evaluation of the overseas educational experience to the study abroad advisor immediately after returning

Students studying abroad are charged a processing fee per semester of international study. Please contact the bursar for current rates. Processing fees are also charged on a sliding scale for short-term programs. Application forms, a list of approved programs and the Study Abroad Handbook are available online or from your study abroad advisor.  For more detailed information please refer to our website, speak with your academic advisor, or contact our study abroad advisor Dr. Wayne Steely (wsteely@usj.edu)



Auditing courses

Undergraduate and graduate

Any student may audit one course per semester on a space-available basis. The same registration limits apply to undergraduate students (greater than 18 credits requires approval) regardless of whether a course is taken for audit or for credit. See Academic Workload section for more information.

In addition, individual departments may place restrictions on what courses are available for audit based on available space or other academic and administrative reasons. Part-time undergraduates and graduate students who elect to audit courses at registration will be charged one-half the regular per-credit tuition rate plus fees. Course audits carry no academic credit and no grade points. Even though a course audit will appear on a student’s academic record and transcript, the course is not factored into the determination of part-time or full-time status. Audited courses are not eligible for financial aid. An audit course may be changed to a for-credit course (and vice versa) until the drop deadline of the session in which the course is offered. To do that, complete an updated registration form at the registrar’s office.

Individual instructors determine what is expected of students auditing their courses and must communicate those expectations in writing at the beginning of each course. It is the responsibility of auditing students to confirm those expectations with their instructors to successfully audit a course. Students who, at the determination of the course instructor, meet the minimum expectations of the audit will receive a notation of Audit (AU) on their transcript. Students who the instructor determines to not meet the minimum expectations of the audit will have the course expunged from their academic transcript.

USJ alumni and residents at the McAuley retirement community who can demonstrate the appropriate educational background may audit one course per semester. Their tuition for the audit will be waived, after they pay the comprehensive student fee and any other course-related fees.

Course attendance

Undergraduate and Graduate
Students assume responsibility for attending all lecture and laboratory meetings and for maintaining standards of academic performance established by the instructor. It is the prerogative of each faculty member to establish policy for student absences from lecture and laboratory sessions and from tests.

Academic workload: full-time, part-time status, less than part-time

A student who registers for 12 or more credits automatically becomes a full-time student. Students who are enrolled in 9 to 11.5 credits are considered 3/4 time; students who are enrolled in less than 9 credits are considered part-time. Students enrolled in fewer than 6 credits are considered less than part-time.

Full-time undergraduate students are expected to enroll for a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 credit hours of work each semester. The typical course load for a full-time student is 15 credit hours. A resident student must maintain full-time student status. Full-time students who wish to enroll for more than 18 credits in a given semester must have the written approval of their advisor, the department chair and the dean of the school.

A full-time graduate student is enrolled for 9 or more credit hours of work each semester. Students enrolled in 6-8.5 credit hours are considered part-time. Students enrolled in less than 6 credit hours will be considered less than part-time.

Credits for each undergraduate level

A student is considered a degree-seeking student at the University of Saint Joseph once officially accepted by the Admissions Committee. Depending on the number of credits earned, the student is classified as first-year, sophomore, junior or senior:

  • Senior - 84 earned credits
  • Junior - 54 earned credits
  • Sophomore - 24 earned credits
  • First year - less than 24 earned credits

Repeated courses

Undergraduate and graduate
Students who successfully repeat a course they previously failed will receive additional GPA credits, graduation credits and grade points. Students successfully repeating a course previously passed receive GPA credits and grade points but do not receive additional graduation credits. The GPA will be calculated for repeated courses using the most recent grade obtained for completion of that course. A student’s transcript will show grades for both courses. The second course entry will show a notation that the course was repeated. It should be noted that financial aid is not available for classes taken more than twice.

Transfer credit for current students

Also see New students transferring credit to USJ  

Pre-approval is required to take courses at another institution, to ensure that coursework completed will be transferable. You may request pre-approval for courses to be completed in the U.S. on the Request to Receive Course Work from Another College form. Courses which were applied to a previously completed degree will not be transferred to a new degree program.  If you have already completed course work at another institution and did not obtain pre-approval, you may still request transfer credit for work completed. However, there is no guarantee that transfer credit will be awarded. If you have requested and obtained pre-approval, you only need to have your official final transcript from the institution you attended sent to the Office of the Registrar in order to complete the transfer credit process. 

University of Saint Joseph
Office of the Registrar
1678 Asylum Ave
West Hartford, CT 06117

You do not need to submit the transfer credit request form a second time. Approval forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Only official transcripts from other schools may be used to evaluate or award credit.

You will be contacted if any additional information is required during the transfer credit evaluation process. Depending on the date of receipt, this process may not be completed prior to the course enrollment deadlines of your returning semester. Therefore, you should not rely on this credit in determining your course schedule or credit load for your semester of return. Approved transfer credit will appear on both your unofficial and official University of Saint Joseph transcripts. The institution attended and credits awarded will be noted on the transcript.

Ordinarily, a maximum of six credits may be transferred from another regionally accredited graduate school into a University of Saint Joseph graduate program. Exceptions to this maximum are noted under specific program descriptions. To be eligible for transfer credit, a course to be transferred must have been completed within the last seven years and carry a grade of B or higher.  Courses which were applied to a previously completed degree will not be transferred to a new degree program.

Transfer of credits is not granted automatically. Application forms for transfer of credit are available online at www.usj.edu/gradforms. An official transcript of the credits and a completed Transfer of Credit form must be received in the Office of the Registrar. A student may also be asked to have a course description sent with the transcript, if necessary. No transfer credit will be considered until the student has been matriculated. Approval is granted by the department chairperson after consultation with student’s advisor.

Undergraduates earning graduate credit at USJ

Seniors of high academic standing (as defined by their major departments) may earn up to six graduate credits, subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must submit an application form approved by the student’s advisor, instructor of the course, department chair and dean of the school
  • The undergraduate student will be responsible for the same assignments as graduate students with a comparable quality of work expected
  • Credit earned in graduate courses is applied to the completion of a student’s undergraduate degree. Following graduation and matriculation into a graduate program, up to six graduate credits can be applied toward a graduate degree
  • Departments may restrict graduate courses available within this option. They may also impose whatever additional restrictions they deem appropriate for their discipline. Departments will be asked to describe particular restrictions and file them with the Graduate Office, the provost and the registrar.