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Academic Services

Policies and Procedures

Academic Performance Changing/Adding/Dropping Your Program of Study
Adding A Course Directed Study
Advanced Standing Credit (First-Years) Dropping A Course
Auditing A Course Graduation
Course Away Honor Code
Course Load/Overload Internships
Course Substitutions Pass/Fail
Credit Hours Registration
Cross-Registration Religious Observances Policy
Declaring or Changing a Major Transfer Credit (Transfer Students)

Academic Performance

Students whose academic performance is below standard are strongly urged to maintain close contact with their academic advisors and Academic Services. While Bentley academic and administrative staff are dedicated to helping students attain their collegiate goals, students are ultimately responsible for their success at the university.

Students with an overall grade point average (GPA) below a 2.0 are placed on academic probation. Students with a semester GPA below a 2.0 will receive an academic warning the first time their semester GPA is below a 2.0.

A newly admitted First Year or transfer student will be automatically reviewed by the Academic Performance Committee for possible suspension or dismissal if the student’s GPA is below a 2.0 during the first semester of enrollment.

Students are also placed on academic probation, regardless of overall GPA, if two or more courses taken under a full-time load (or accumulated equivalent) receive F grades. In addition, members of varsity athletic teams must maintain a minimum overall GPA set by the NCAA to remain eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Students with a satisfactory overall GPA will receive an academic warning if they have earned at least one of the following in the most recent semester:

• A semester GPA below a 2.0

• More than one “F”, “W” or “I” 

A student who has earned F’s in six or more distinct courses is subject to dismissal.

Students on academic probation are subject to review by the Academic Performance Committee. Committee actions can include reducing course loads, requiring attendance in a study skills course, suspension and, ultimately, permanent dismissal from the University.

Students subject to such action are contacted individually and must follow the Committee’s directives to improve their academic performance. Continued inadequate academic performance can also jeopardize students’ eligibility for federal financial aid.

Students who are suspended (normally for a one-year period), may petition for re-admission in writing to Cathy Carlson, Associate Provost,  Academic Services and Operations. The deadline for re-application is March 15 for a fall semester re-entry and October 15 for a spring semester re-entry. Students who wish to re-enter should be prepared to accept a reduced course load and other conditions outlined by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Declaring or Changing a Major 

Policy: Students are encouraged to declare a major in the first semester of their sophomore year. Students may, however, change majors as often as they choose. 

Procedure for changing, adding, or dropping your program of study can be found in Workday.

Advising Issues: Because all BS majors, except Actuarial Science, Data Analytics, and Mathematical Sciences, share the same General Education and Business Core requirements, there is tremendous flexibility in changing a major prior to beginning major courses.  However, once students have begun a major, there are some logistical considerations: 

  • The major in Corporate Finance and Accounting and the major in Information Systems Audit and Control both have a 30-credit major requirement. The curriculum is somewhat complex because of the pre-requisite structure and will require careful planning. Also, these majors have only 1-2 open business-related electives.  All students should be encouraged to meet with a departmental adviser.  
  • Management and Marketing majors have two business-related electives in the major and include two unrestricted electives and 1-2 business-related electives. Therefore, these programs, along with Managerial Economics, are the most accommodating for later major changes.  
  • The Managerial Economics major combines economics with a variety of other concentrations.  
  • Accountancy, Corporate Finance and Accounting, Computer Information Systems, and Information Systems Audit and Control involve a relatively lock-step progression through their major courses. See degree requirements under Majors and Minors and with a departmental advisors for assistance in planning for these majors. 

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Other Resources:

Major selection workshops are scheduled each semester through the Office of Academic Services and the Academic Advising Center. See the program schedule for upcoming events.

The academic advisors in the Academic Advising Center are available to speak with students and are able to create degree requirement summaries for a variety of majors so that students will know how their courses will fit into a new program. 

Career Services provides a wide variety of career development services - personal counseling, workshops, on-line services - to assist students in making the connection between their major and possible careers.

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Adding or Dropping Courses

Adding Courses:

Policy: Students may add courses through the first week of the semester only. Courses may be dropped through the second week. If a course is dropped during the second week, a student's tuition may be impacted. See Adding/Dropping or Swapping a Class in Workday for more information. 

Procedure: Courses may be added, dropped or swapped through Workday. Tip: using the "swap" function in Workday protects your current registration if you are not successful in adding a new course. Students must obtain the approval of the department chair to add a course that is closed. 

Students with Financial Holds: A student with a financial hold may not add courses to his or her schedule without first meeting with Student Financial Services. Students may drop courses, but they must do so in person at the Registrar's Office by completing a Course Change form. 

Withdrawing from Courses:

Policy: Students may withdraw from courses during the first two-thirds of the semester. These withdrawal deadlines are strictly enforced.

Procedures: Students may withdraw from a course in Workday or by filing a "Course Change Form" with the Registrar's Office (RAU 111). Students are not required to have sign-off from faculty instructors. Under extenuating circumstances (e.g., serious illness), students may petition the Office of Academic Services for a late withdrawal.

Advising Issues: While there are certainly legitimate reasons to withdraw from a course, students may find it worthwhile to explore opportunities for additional academic support to be able to succeed: working with the course instructor, seeking help through the Learning Center, and obtaining one-on-one tutoring may be advisable. Some red flags: 

Withdrawing from a course could:

  • impact financial aid (refer student to financial aid counselor). 
  • delay completion of an important course pre-requisite, thus jeopardizing timely completion of a necessary sequence. 
  • put a student in violation of the course attempt policy.

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Course Substitutions

Policy: Any student may substitute another course for a failed elective. While only the new course grade will calculate into the students GPA, all courses and grades continue to appear on the transcript.

Procedure: Student must fill out a "Course Substitution Form" at the Registrar's Office (RAU 111).

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Credit Hours

Bentley University follows Federal regulations and New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) guidelines in the definition of credit hours. At Bentley, one credit hour "reasonably approximates not less than: (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.”

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Auditing Courses

Policy: For Undergraduate Students Only. Audit status is given for a course in which students participate, and for which they pay full tuition, but do not earn credit. A student is permitted to audit any course being offered by the university provided he or she obtains permission from the instructor. Students may take the examinations for the course, but receive no credit for them.

Procedure: Audit must be declared before the end of the third week of classes with the requirements for the retention of such status to be spelled out by the individual instructor to the student. If the requirements are not fulfilled, the AU can be changed to a W. After the first three weeks, the AU cannot status cannot be changed to a credit status. Audit forms must be filed with the Registrar's Office.

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As Bentley attracts more highly qualified students and offers a greater range of challenging courses, the pass/fail option has become a way for interested students to risk taking elective courses that are intellectually challenging without jeopardizing their GPA as long as they pass the course as defined below.

Policy:  Available to second, third, and fourth year students.

  • The pass fail option can be used for one (1) course in your Bentley curriculum.
  • A pass/fail option can only be used for courses that are Business electives, Arts and Science electives, or Unrestricted electives.
  • Students are not permitted to use pass/fail grades toward their General Education, Business Core and Major requirements.
  • That pass/fail option may be used for courses taken in a minor.
  • That pass/fail option may not be used for Honors courses.
  • Certain BA majors are not able to use the Pass/Fail option for the Business minor.
  • 5-year students are restricted from taking pre-program required courses or courses for advanced credits standing as pass/fail.
  • Students may not use the pass/fail option for courses taken in Bentley-sponsored education abroad programs.
  • Students may not use the pass/fail option for internships, directed studies, tutorials, SL 120, SL 121, or study tour courses.
  • An academic department may request that a particular course be excluded from the pass/fail option.  Exclusions are noted with “not eligible for P/F” along with course prerequisites on the on-line course listings and in the registration booklet.


Grading Scale:

  • Faculty will submit alphabetical grades that will be converted by the Registrar's Office. The pass/fail designation will be updated after all grades are received. For more information on the Pass/Fail policy, see the University catalogue.
  • When converting numerical grades, students electing this option will receive a grade of "P", "D", or "F".
    • A "P" (equal to or better than a C-) will earn academic credit and is not calculated in the term and cumulative GPA.
    • A "D" (D- to D+) will earn academic credit and is calculated in the term and cumulative GPA. A grade value of 1.0 will be used in calculating the term and cumulative GPA.
    • An "F" will not earn academic credit and is calculated in term and cumulative GPA. 


  • Students must complete and sign a Pass/Fail Declaration Form and submit it to the Registrar's Office. Forms are available at the Registrar's Office and online in the virtual kiosk.
  • The form must be received prior to the end of the add/drop period. No faculty member or department chair can waive this deadline.

The decision is irrevocable.  Be sure to check the accuracy of your declaration. No changes will be permitted after the deadline.

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Policy: Bentley confers degrees three times per year, matching the date of the meetings of the Board of Trustees:

  • Students completing requirements in the summer session are considered October/November graduates;
  • Students completing requirements in the fall semester or wintersession are considered February/March graduates;
  • Students completing requirements in the spring semester are considered May graduates.

Bachelor's degree students may participate in the May commencement exercises as "Commencement Participation" if they are within 6 credits of completing their graduation requirements, as long as all other criteria are met (i.e., overall and major GPA are 2.0 or higher, all financial obligations have been met). The actual degree will be conferred and graduation honors determined when all course work has been completed.

Associate degree recipients must complete all degree requirements to participate in commencement exercises.

Concentration certificate students do not participate in the formal commencement, but are conferred once all requirements are met.

Procedures: All degree and certificate recipients must apply for program completion with the Registrar's Office through Workday. Applications are due early in the semester in which courses are to be completed - see the Academic Calendar for specific dates. Late applications will be subject to late fees of $50 or $100.

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All continuing students register through Workday:

Full-time Students:  
Fall Registration:  Preceding April 
Spring Registration: Preceding November 
Summer Registration: Preceding April through start of Summer II

Students access web registration grouped by class standing and alpha categories.

Fall Registration:  Begins late July
Wintersession/Spring: Begins early December 
Summer I and II:   Begins mid-April

Course Prerequisites

All undergraduate students enrolled in degree programs are screened for satisfactory completion of pre- and co-requisites, including class standing. Under extenuating circumstances, department chairs may waive a prerequisite. 

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Course Load/Overload Policy

Policy: Standard course load is defined as follows:

Full-time day students: 12 to 16.5 credits

Undergraduate students may take a course overload of 18 credits without permission if their cumulative GPA is 2.7 or higher (Fourth year with a GPA of 2.0 or higher). Undergraduate students with a GPA below 2.7 must obtain permission to take an overload. New students may not register for 18 hours until they have completed one semester of study at Bentley.

Procedure: Submit a written petition to the Office of Academic Services during the Drop/Add period.

Summer Course Overload Policy effective Summer 2021 

For the summer 2021 term only,  undergraduate students who meet the regular policy criteria for credit overload will be allowed to take up to 19 credits at Bentley.

No more than 19 credits total may be applied to your Bentley degree for the summer 2021 term, including Bentley and Course Away credit.  The summer term is defined as courses offered between the end of the Bentley spring term until the beginning of the Bentley fall term, including the May intensive.  Students taking courses for credit beyond this limit may not apply the additional course credits to their academic program.

Students with questions about the Course Overload Policy should email Academic Services,

Course Overload Policy Summer 2020

Students may enroll in no more than 13 credits of summer course work, 16 if their current GPA is at least a 2.7. This includes summer credits earned at Bentley*, regardless of course delivery mode, transfer credits earned at another institution through the Course Away process, or a combination of Bentley and Course Away (transfer) credits. Students taking courses for credit beyond this limit may not apply the additional course credits to their academic program.

* Summer courses are defined as courses taken between the end of the Bentley spring semester until the beginning of the Bentley fall semester in any given calendar year. Bentley summer courses include May intensives.

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Transfer Credit (Transfer Students)

Policy: Any 3-credit course (semester hours) from an accredited college or university in which a student has received a grade of C (2.0) or higher is potentially transferable. Courses are evaluated for content comparability.  For additional details, please see the Transfer Credit guidelines for transfer students.

Procedure: Transfer credit is evaluated by the Undergraduate Admission Office. Students must submit official transcripts from their previous institution. If a course has not been previously evaluated by the University, a course description or syllabus may be requested. Appeals of transfer credit may be directed to Leslie Doolittle, Assistant Dean, Academic Support & Advocacy.

Advanced Standing Credit (First-Years)

Policy: See Undergraduate Admission for detailed information.

Procedure: Advanced standing credit is evaluated by the Undergraduate Admission Office. Students must submit official documentation from the issuing institution. Appeals of Advanced Standing Credit may be directed to Leslie Doolittle, Executive Director of Academic Support Services.

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Tuition: All internships that are approved for credit will be assessed tuition. Internship courses are subject to all tuition refund deadlines as well as the deadline policies for add, drop, and withdrawal.

One-Credit Internship Opportunity

Bentley is now offering a new one credit internship course and this new course allows undergraduate students to earn one academic credit for internship work experience completed during the summer, fall, or spring semesters. The student must complete a minimum of 45 hours of work at the internship over the span of at least four weeks in order to receive credit for the course. Students will need to have completed a minimum of 30 credits prior to taking this class in order to be eligible. This class can only be taken once. Students can decide to take this class as a business or arts and science elective.

In order to be approved for this course, the student must fill out aonline form available through the undergraduate course catalog. Once submitted, the student’s form will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Business or the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, depending on how they want the credit to count in their degree audit. Students must apply within thirty days of the academic semester during which the internship takes place. Credit will not be granted retroactively. Upon approval, the Associate Dean will assign the student a professor who will oversee the academic work associated with the internship and assign the student a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Three-Credit Internship Opportunity

Student Eligibility for credit internships:

  • Third year or forth year level standing—see department guidelines for specific course prerequisites
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (Finance 2.7 and IDCC is 3.3)
  • Approval of departmental internship coordinator prior to acceptance of internship

Course requirements vary by department, but usually include weekly journals, a term paper, and meetings with the internship coordinator. Minimum work hours are established by individual departments, ranging from a minimum of 12 hours per week for 12 weeks to 35 hours per week for Fall, Spring, or Summer sessions. Internships last for one semester only or through the full Summer Sessions and end when the semester ends.

Maximum credits: Students may pursue a maximum of two 3-credit internships during the undergraduate program.  Only one internship (3 credits) can be used in your major field of study.

Registration: Students should register for an internship during registration period and must register no later than the "add/drop" period of the semester during which the work is done, unless otherwise approved by the Internship Coordinator. That is, if you are working during the summer, you must officially register for a summer internship. Departmental Internship coordinators can be found here.

Not all internships are considered credit-worthy, and not all students qualify to pursue an internship for credit. It is important that you meet with the appropriate internship coordinator to determine what sort of internship opportunity is available to you. The Office of Career Services can also provide you with resources to help you find a suitable internship.

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Directed Study

Policy: Qualified students can, under the guidance of a faculty member, undertake directed study to conduct in-depth investigation or analysis of a specialized topic. To be eligible, students must have a 3.0 cumulative average; or a 3.3 cumulative average for the previous two semesters; or a 3.3 cumulative average in at least 12 credit hours within the curriculum area the directed study will be done. Students may not take more than two directed study courses in any semester. Students may apply directed study credits only as electives, or, with departmental permission, as credit for major courses.

Procedure: Interested students should submit a directed study proposal in writing to the appropriate faculty member. Upon faculty approval, the proposal, along with a petition, is forwarded from approval to the department chairperson and the associate undergraduate dean.

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Policy: Tutorials enable students to complete a regular course when it is not offered in the university's schedule. All academic regulations apply to tutorials, and students register under the course's regular catalogue number.

Procedure: To initiate a tutorial, students must have a special need for the proposed course, e.g., the course is needed to complete a degree at a particular time. Approvals are required from the appropriate faculty member, department chairperson and associate undergraduate dean.

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Religious Observances Policy

Bentley University is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive campus culture. We recognize the diversity of religious traditions represented in the campus community, and affirm the rights of students to receive reasonable accommodations when their sincerely held religious observances conflict with an academic requirement, except when such an accommodation would create an undue hardship. We offer reasonable religious accommodations in accordance with Massachusetts state law and Bentley core values.

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151C, Section 2B states:

Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section. A copy of this section shall be published by each institution of higher education in the catalog of such institution containing the list of available courses.

The following are guidelines for students and faculty to follow in order to arrive at an agreed upon accommodation:

For students:

If a student anticipates being unable to attend class, take an exam, or turn in an assignment because of a religious observance, they are strongly encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors at the outset of the semester, but not less than two weeks before the day of the religious observance in order to ensure that the faculty member and the student can adequately determine an appropriate accommodation. Students are expected to work with the faculty member to identify an accommodation that satisfies the specific need of the student while maintaining the necessary academic requirements.  In general, reasonable religious observance accommodations will be made for the day of the religious observance but not for any days preceding or succeeding it.

For faculty:

Faculty are expected to respect the religious traditions of their students and make reasonable accommodations when academic requirements conflict with a student’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices, unless when such accommodations would cause undue hardship. Faculty should not expect the student to disclose their religious affiliation in order to receive a religious accommodation. Faculty are expected to work with the student to identify an accommodation that meets the student’s needs and those of the class and that maintains equity for all students in the class. A day missed under this accommodation cannot be counted against the attendance policy.

For students and faculty:

Academic Services is a resource to students and faculty when determining reasonable accommodations for religious observances. Students and faculty can reach out to Academic Services at any time with questions regarding how to agree upon a reasonable accommodation. A student is encouraged to work with their professors directly, but they may also choose to work solely with Academic Services, who will then liaise with their professor. Once an accommodation is agreed upon, that agreement should be documented in writing; an email between the student and professor can serve as such documentation.

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