May 29, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations


Immunization and Health Statement Policy

Prematriculation requirements include a physical examination, health statement and a current immunization record. It is a requirement of the College/University Immunization Law, Illinois Public Act 85-1315, effective July 1, 1989, that persons born on or after January 1, 1957, who are enrolled in designated Illinois public and private colleges and universities, present evidence of immunity against certain diseases. This law prohibits registration for any subsequent terms until the requirements are fulfilled and provides for cancellation of registration for any students who fail to submit the appropriate immunization records.

Classification of Students

Students are classified as either degree candidates or non-degree students.

Degree seeking students are admitted to degree candidacy by the vice president for enrollment management and athletics upon enrolling at North Central during a regular term for full-time study after satisfying the College’s admission guidelines. In addition, any recent high school graduate meeting those guidelines who enrolls for part-time study during a regular term is also considered a degree candidate. Others seeking admission to degree candidacy must submit a written application to the vice president for enrollment management and athletics, supported by evidence of their ability to undertake the College’s academic program.

Non-degree seeking students are those not admitted to degree candidacy, regardless of course load. Students in this category may be transient or summer only students, adults who already have a degree or adults who state that they do not wish to earn a degree.

A non-degree seeking student who wishes to apply for degree candidacy must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00. Such students must take their last 30 credit hours (or 36 of their last 42 hours) at North Central as a degree-seeking student if they intend to earn a degree. Once a student becomes a degree candidate, he or she cannot be reclassified as a non-degree seeking student. A degree candidate who drops from full-time enrollment to part-time enrollment remains a degree candidate.

Degree candidates fall into four traditional classifications:

  • First Year — Students with less than 27 credit hours
  • Sophomore — Students with at least 27 credit hours but less than 54
  • Junior — Students with at least 54 credit hours but less than 84
  • Senior — Those with 84 or more credit hours

Dates of Entry and Matriculation

A student’s date of entry is the first day of the term in which he or she enrolls at North Central. A student retains this date of entry as long as he or she does not leave the College for more than one term at a time, not including summer. The student may graduate using the catalog current at the date of entry or any catalog effective after the date of entry. A student who is not in attendance for two or more consecutive terms, not including summer, must use the catalog which is current on the first day of the term in which he or she is readmitted to the College. A student’s matriculation date is the date on which he or she becomes a degree candidate.

Advanced Placement Credit

Students who took an advanced placement course in high school and scored a grade of 4 or 5 on the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination are awarded college credit at North Central. Departments vary in accepting a score of 3.

International Baccalaureate

Students who participate in the International Baccalaureate program are awarded college credit for scores of 5, 6 or 7 in higher level subjects. No credit is granted for standard level subjects.

Competency Credits

The College will award up to 28 credit hours for demonstrated competence obtained through CLEP and experiential learning. Credits earned in this manner may not be applied toward the residency requirement, unless the student will complete at least 36 classroom credit hours at North Central. Evidence of competence may be measured by examination or by an assessment committee.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

North Central grants CLEP credit to enrolled students for both general and subject matter examinations in accordance with the following guidelines:

CLEP general examinations must be taken by students enrolled at North Central prior to attending college-level classes. Students may receive five credit hours for meeting the College’s score requirement on each examination. A maximum of 25 credit hours may be earned through the general examination.

CLEP subject examination credit is granted by North Central College in many areas. Further information can be obtained in the Office of the Registrar. Students should check with their faculty advisors to determine applicability to degree requirements.

Students may not receive CLEP credit in an area of study in which they have taken college-level course work. CLEP examinations in foreign languages do not count towards the humanities and fine arts requirement.

Experiential Learning Credit

Experiential credit may be requested by following application guidelines available in the Office of Academic Affairs. A student may be tested or assessed in the same credit area only once in any 12-month period and only twice overall. Experiential credit is not awarded for a lower-level demonstration after a student has successfully completed a higher-level academic course in the same area.

Since experiential credit may not count towards the residency requirement, students must apply well in advance to allow ample time for assessment. Credit awarded by other institutions is accepted at North Central if it meets the College’s norming criteria.

During Enrollment

Credit Unit

The unit of credit at North Central is the credit hour, which is equivalent to one semester hour of credit or one and one half hours of credit under quarter plans. Previous academic work by transfer students is evaluated and translated into credit hours. Official evaluations are completed only in the Office of the Registrar.

Course Load

To be considered a full-time student, a student must maintain enrollment for at least eight credit hours per term. A student may enroll for a maximum of 12 credit hours per term. The average study load is ten credit hours per term. Students dropping below eight credit hours should consult the Office of Financial Aid about possible loss of financial aid. Student athletes dropping below eight credit hours should contact the faculty athletics representative or the Office of the Registrar about athletic eligibility.

Overload Registration

Registration for more than 12 credit hours in any term requires a cumulative grade-point average above 3.33 and approval from both the faculty advisor and the associate academic dean. In Winter term, students may register for up to five hours in D-Term and up to 12 hours in the regular term without approval. Overload charges still apply.

Changes of Registration

Before making any change of schedule or program students are expected to consult their faculty advisor. All enrollments in the College or in courses, as well as all withdrawals from the College or courses, are to be officially completed within the prescribed timelines. Informal attendance or withdrawal is not recognized. Both the educational program and the financial aid program of the College depend upon the cooperation of student, advisor and administration in all academic commitments.

Adding Courses — Beginning the first day of the term through the end of the sixth week, or the third week for a course which is five weeks long, a student may only enroll in new courses with the approval of the instructor.

Dropping/Withdrawing from Courses — A student may drop or withdraw from a course(s) as follows:

  • Through the first eight calendar days of the term a student may cancel enrollment in a course without grade or notation on the academic record if all official steps are completed by the eighth day.
  • From the ninth calendar day through the end of the sixth week of the term, or the third week for a course which is five weeks long, a student may drop a course with the notation WD on the academic record.
  • After the sixth week of the term, or the third week of a five-week course, any student who does not complete a course receives a letter grade in the course.
  • The effective date is the date that drop or withdrawal procedures are completed. Absence from class does not constitute withdrawal from a course.

Any student contemplating dropping or withdrawing from a course is advised to consult the Office of Financial Aid since a student whose course load falls below eight credit hours may immediately forfeit certain types of financial aid. Student athletes should consult the faculty athletics representative or the Office of the Registrar before dropping below eight credit hours.

Repeated Course Registration

An undergraduate student may only repeat a course in which a final grade of D or F was received. The repeated course grade replaces the original grade in calculating the cumulative grade-point average, but both grades appear on the transcript. If a department requires that a minimum grade of C be earned to fulfill major or minor requirements and the student earns a C-, the course must be retaken; however, the repeated course grade does not replace the C- grade or otherwise impact the grade point average.

If a student repeats a course or completes other courses which may be considered duplicative, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Office of the Registrar during the first two weeks of the term in which the work is being completed so that the proper adjustment can be made in the total number of credit hours and the grade-point average. The Office of the Registrar cannot be responsible for notifying students of a loss of credit because of duplication before the student files an Application for Graduation. The student’s academic record is carefully reviewed after application is made, and loss of credit due to duplication of courses is reflected on the graduation audit report provided to the student.

Students wishing to repeat courses at a two-year college may only repeat 100- or 200-level courses.

Auditing Courses

Students may audit courses by registering through the Office of the Registrar or online. No credit or grade points are earned in an audited course, and such courses cannot be used to meet graduation requirements, to fulfill a prerequisite or any other requirement. Audited courses are noted on the official transcript with a grade of AU. Students must register for an audit during the first two weeks of a term. After the first two weeks of a term, students may not change their registration from an audit to a regular course or from a regular course to an audit. Audit fees apply, see the Student Expenses  section of this catalog.

Registration at Multiple Institutions

A degree candidate at North Central may register for courses only at North Central, not simultaneously at North Central and another college or university. This policy applies to correspondence work as well. Cross-registration is permissible at consortium colleges with whom North Central has arranged for that option. Consortium cross-registration is initiated at North Central and forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate Registration

A maximum of six credit hours of graduate coursework may be available to seniors with the approval of their faculty advisor and special permission from the dean of graduate and continuing studies. An approval form, which must accompany the registration, is available in the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

If an undergraduate course is not available, a parallel graduate course may apply toward an undergraduate degree. A maximum of six graduate credit hours counts toward the 120 credit hours required for an undergraduate degree. Graduate courses taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree will not later be applied toward a graduate degree at North Central.

Alternatively, graduate coursework taken as an undergraduate may apply toward a graduate degree at NCC. This coursework will not be applied toward the 120 hours required for an undergraduate degree or any other undergraduate requirement.

Grades and Grade Point Averages

North Central uses the following letter grades:  A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D and F. A grade of PR indicates a course in progress, but not completed by the end of the term. Grades of P (Pass) and NP (No Pass) have no effect on the grade-point average and may be used for laboratory sections, remedial courses and clinical experiences. A grade of AU indicates the course was audited.

An “I” grade is used to indicate incomplete work and is calculated as an “F.” It may be given to a student who carries a course at a passing level until near the end of the term and then, because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, is unable to complete it on schedule. A final grade must be reported by the middle of the following term or the grade lapses to an F. All remaining work for an incomplete course in Spring Term must be completed by the middle of the following Fall Term.

To compute grade-point averages, the College uses a 4.000 scale: A = 4.000, A- = 3.700, B+ = 3.300, B = 3.000, B- = 2.700, C+ = 2.300, C = 2.000, C- = 1.700, D = 1.000 and F = 0.000. Each course earns grade points by multiplying the points corresponding to the letter grade by the number of credit hours for the course. A student’s grade-point average equals the number of grade points divided by the number of credit hours attempted. For example, if a student earns an A-, a B+ and a C in three 3-credit hour courses in one term, he or she would be credited with 27 grade points (11.1 + 9.9 + 6 = 27) and the grade-point average for the term would be a 3.000 (27 ÷ 9 = 3.000). If those grades were A, B and F, the grade-point average for the term would be 2.333.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is expected of all students, although the instructor of each course sets the attendance standard for that course. A student who is absent from class for any reason should contact the instructor.

The College expects attendance on the first and last day of a term as well as the class days immediately preceding and following College holidays. If there is a waiting list for a course, the instructor may remove from the course roster any student who is absent the first day, unless the student has notified the instructor in advance of his or her absence. Generally speaking, however, absence from a class does not constitute withdrawal from a course.

Medical Conditions

Students are cautioned that participation in some classes requires the use of chemicals and/or physical exertion. Therefore, students with such conditions as pregnancy, asthma and skeletal or muscular disorders are encouraged to consult with the faculty member and/or physician(s) prior to participating in such classes so that proper precautions can be taken to prevent injury or exposure.

Prolonged Illness

Students unavoidably absent from classes because of illness should keep in touch with the Dyson Wellness Center, faculty advisors and instructors. Students who must be absent from classes longer than three weeks may be instructed to withdraw from some or all courses. The usual criteria for withdrawal is applied except that the date of withdrawal is calculated as the date on which illness first prevented attendance in classes.

Other Interruptions of Attendance

Students in good standing who transfer to another institution where they remain in good standing and who wish to return to North Central may be readmitted through arrangements with the Office of Admission.

Stopping Out

A student who withdraws from North Central for one term and then returns may continue to use graduation requirements detailed in the catalog that was in effect when the student first enrolled. Students who stop out longer than one term (excluding Summer) must use the catalog that is in effect when they reenter; such students must also reapply for admission.


Any student contemplating withdrawal from all coursework in a given term should contact the Office of the Dean of Students. The amount of refund for complete withdrawal is governed by the date on which withdrawal procedures are completed in the Office of the Registrar. Students contemplating withdrawal from North Central in mid-term should consult the Business Office and the Office of Financial Aid if they are receiving financial aid, because withdrawal may prove to be more expensive than they realize.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List consists of full-time students whose grade-point average for the term is 3.600 or higher. Part-time students are recognized at the end of each academic year if they have earned at least eight credit hours with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.600 or higher during the academic year in which they were enrolled as part-time students.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Students falling behind in their studies to the point where the degree may soon be out of reach are placed on academic probation. This action warns the student and the faculty advisor that real problems exist in motivation or study skills, and that they must be diagnosed and addressed. The student who cannot reverse direction after a period of probation will be dismissed from the College.

A student is placed on academic probation at the end of any term in which his or her cumulative grade-point average falls below 1.800 before the completion of 27 credit hours (below 2.000 after the completion of 27 credit hours) or at the end of any term in which the grade-point average for that term is below 1.500. Probation is defined as not in good academic standing.

A student is subject to dismissal after two terms on academic probation—consecutive or interrupted. A student is also subject to dismissal immediately after any term in which his or her grade-point average for the term is below 1.000.

The student who is notified of dismissal may appeal the decision in writing to the chair of the Academic Standing Committee. A student who is dismissed may apply for readmission after one year upon demonstrating an improvement in motivation or preparation for college work.

Academic Dishonesty

Any instructor who has assembled evidence of plagiarism will first offer the student a chance to provide an alternate explanation of the evidence or to admit fault. If the inference of plagiarism remains, the instructor may choose one of these options, listed in order of increased severity according to the extent and evident deliberateness of the deceit. The first two options suppose that the plagiarism is not extensive, that it would not have given the student substantial academic advantage such as full course credit or high course grade or that the instructor has clear reasons to believe that the plagiarism can be accounted for by ignorance, which, though subject to discipline, is genuine.

  1. Reprimanding the student and requiring either a revision of the work or an additional paper or exam
  2. Lowering the grade for the paper or exam (even as far as F) without opportunity to regain the lost credit

The remaining three options come into play if the plagiarism is extensive, if it gave the student substantial academic advantage or if the student had previously been warned against it.

  1. Directed withdrawal of the student from the course
  2. Failure of the student for the course
  3. Referral of evidence to the dean of faculty for appropriate disciplinary action (which may go so far as suspension or dismissal)

Any sanction beyond 1) will be reported to the Dean of Faculty for notation in the student’s file. The record of past plagiarism for a given student may affect the disposition of any new case. No notation will appear on the student’s permanent transcript, nor will any notation be sent off campus with the student’s records.

Eligibility for Athletics

To represent North Central in intercollegiate athletics, a student must comply with regulations of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For questions regarding athletic eligibility, contact the faculty athletics representative or the Office of the Registrar.

General Petitions

Students seeking exceptions from all-College or specific degree requirements must file a General Petition with the Office of the Registrar, explaining the reason for the request. All persons related to the petition (e.g., the instructor, a physician and the faculty advisor) should sign the petition and attach all supporting documentation.


Graduation Requirements

  1. The minimum credit for graduation is 120 credit hours, with a maximum of 51 hours in any one department. Some programs require more than 120 credit hours. The following regulations are strictly enforced.
    1. At least 60 credit hours are to be taken at a four-year college or university.
    2. There are two ways to meet the residency requirement: 1) the last 30 hours must be earned at North Central as a degree candidate, or 36 of the last 42 hours must be earned at North Central as a degree candidate.
    3. At least nine credit hours in the student’s major and six credit hours in the student’s minor must be earned at North Central. CLEP and experiential credit may not be used to meet these two requirements. At least nine hours of coursework in each major and at least six hours of coursework in each minor must be unique.
    4. Only courses numbered 100 or above count toward the 120 minimum credit hours required for graduation.
    5. Only 100- or 200-level courses may be repeated at a two-year college.
    6. Graduate credit may be applied toward an undergraduate degree only if the credit is from North Central graduate programs and the student has prior official permission.
    7. A maximum of 28 credit hours earned through CLEP and/or experiential credit may be applied toward the 120 credit hour requirement for graduation. Such credit may count towards the residency requirement only if the student completes at least 36 credit hours at North Central.
    8. A maximum of 12 credit hours earned through internships and/or independent studies, including Richter study, may be applied toward the 120 credit hour requirement for graduation.
    9. A maximum of eight credit hours may be earned in physical education activity courses.
  2. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 or higher is required.
  3. A minimum grade-point average of 2.000 is required for all courses in a major or minor. Some programs require a higher grade point average.
  4. Courses in which the student initially enrolled for a letter grade cannot be repeated pass/no pass.
  5. Completion of all general education requirements is required.
  6. Completion of an approved major is required.
  7. Each student must make application for graduation in the Office of the Registrar during the first term of the senior year. A late fee of $150 is imposed if the application is received after Monday of the third week of the term prior to the term of graduation. A late fee of $200 is imposed if received after the first day of the term of graduation.

Degree-specific Requirements

  1. Requirements for the B.A. degree, in addition to the major, are:
    1. Language study through MCL 102, or
    2. Three years of language study in high school with an average grade of B in those language courses, or
    3. Participation for one term in a designated study abroad program that develops linguistic skills in a language other than English, or
    4. Transfer students who enter with 48 or more credit hours, who did not take three years of foreign language in high school with an average grade of B, may take MCL 390 , or
    5. Students with extensive experience living in a non-English language context may fulfill the language requirement by:
      1. provision of an official transcript attesting the completion of (the equivalent of) an 8th grade or higher education in a non-English language school, or
      2. passing an exam that determines proficiencies in a non-English language equal to or greater than the MCL 102 outcomes.
  2. Requirements for the B.S. degree, in addition to the major, are:
    1. MTH 152  
    2. A minimum of nine credit hours, determined by the discipline, from two of the following four areas:
      1. Computer Science
      2. Statistics (PSY 250 , BUS 241 , ECN 241  or MTH 342 )
      3. Mathematics above MTH 152  
      4. Life science or physical science course(s) outside the major discipline, beyond the courses used to fulfill general education requirements, and that count toward a major in a science discipline.
    3. Some majors may have additional requirements for the B.S. degree.

General Education

The general education curriculum at North Central College was designed by the faculty to offer a well-balanced, interdisciplinary and integrative experience over the course of a student’s academic career.

Core courses from across the curriculum introduce students to the liberal arts and sciences, giving particular attention to writing, oral communication and critical thinking. Interdisciplinary components of the core make connections among areas of study.

All-college requirements build upon the core, emphasizing interdisciplinary themes, collaborative learning and problem-solving from multiple perspectives. Pursued concurrently with studies in the majors, they prepare students for entering a world in which communication across specializations and the ability to place subjects in multiple contexts play as important a role as professional expertise.

General education requirements are listed below. A full description of individual components of the curriculum begins on the Academic Program  of the catalog.

The Core Requirements

Composition: six credit hours
Speech Communication: three credit hours
Mathematics: three credit hours
Life and Physical Sciences: six and one half credit hours, including one laboratory course
Humanities and Fine Arts: nine credit hours distributed over three courses*
Social Sciences: nine credit hours distributed over three courses*
Interdisciplinary Requirement: three credit hours;  IDS 125 or ENG 125
* Within the 18 credit hours required in the Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences, up to six credit hours may be taken in the same department.

The All-College Requirements (ACR)

Religion and Ethics: three credit hours; may be taken as a separate course, as part of the core requirements or as one of the two ACR seminars
Intercultural Seminar*: three credit hours
Leadership, Ethics and Values Seminar*: three credit hours
* The courses used to fulfill the ACR seminars must be drawn from two different disciplines and must be taken at North Central

General education requirements may be met by study in appropriate courses. Course descriptions in this catalog include a notation regarding which component of general education is fulfilled by each course. Students are expected to work with their advisors to develop a plan for meeting these requirements that best suits their previous experience, needs and interests.

Although each of the general education requirements implies enrollment in an appropriate college-level course, the student may fulfill selected requirements by demonstrating the attainment of the proficiency or training which essentially meets that requirement. Demonstrated proficiency or training may include work study projects, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the CEEB Advanced Placement Program, special emphases in approved experimental courses, actual performance (as in writing or speaking) and unusual high school concentrations. The faculty advisor will help the student explore the opportunities for such demonstrated proficiency and help make arrangements for it. Students must complete the interdisciplinary seminar and both ACR seminars (Intercultural and Leadership, Ethics and Values) at North Central College. Students who transfer in with 18 or more hours are exempt from the interdisciplinary requirement.


Each major and/or minor must be declared by filing a Major/Minor Declaration Form in the Office of the Registrar. Transfer students must take at least nine credit hours in the major and six credit hours in the minor at North Central. A 2.000 grade-point average in the major field is required. Students must declare their major by the Spring term of the sophomore year.

Multiple Degrees

A student wishing to earn both a B.A. and a B.S. degree, whether from North Central College or in conjunction with a degree previously earned at another college or university, must earn at least 30 additional credit hours—beyond the requirements for the first degree—at North Central. Students may not earn two identical degrees from the College.

Completing An Additional Major or Minor After Graduation

A student who has received a B.A. or a B.S. degree from North Central may complete the requirements for an additional major or minor after graduation, subject to the following restrictions.

  • The student must supply official transcripts documenting all undergraduate or graduate course work from colleges and universities attended after earning the NCC bachelor’s degree.
  • North Central accepts in transfer only that undergraduate course work that applies to the additional major.
  • CLEP, experiential and advanced placement credit are not accepted after the North Central degree has been earned.
  • At least nine credit hours in the additional major and/or six credit hours in an additional minor must be earned at North Central College.
  • All coursework must be completed within two years of the date the original degree was earned.

Maximum Credits

The maximum number of credit hours which may be taken in one department is 51 (one credit hour is equivalent to one semester hour or one and one-half quarter hours). Students who wish to exceed the maximum may do so by earning extra credit hours beyond the 120 required for the degree. Some programs may also require more than 51 credit hours—for example, the Athletic Training program requires 51.5 hours of HPE credit, so a minimum of 120.5 credit hours is needed to graduate.

Unless an exclusion is given elsewhere in this catalog, the 51 credit hour maximum applies even to courses which are not accepted for the major in that department (e.g., CHM 100).

Any course which can count toward a major or minor does count. At least nine hours of coursework in each major and at least six hours of coursework in each minor must be unique. If fewer hours of coursework are unique, the student must complete an equivalent number of additional elective hours in the major or minor. A single course may be used to satisfy requirements in the case of double majors, majors and minors and interdisciplinary or intradisciplinary majors and minors with overlapping course requirements. Note: required support courses are not considered part of the major or minor.

A maximum of 12 credit hours earned through independent studies and internships, including Richter study, may be applied toward the 120 credit hours required for graduation. Formal courses attended at another institution are not included in this restriction. The maximum number of credit hours which may be earned through CLEP or experiential credit is 28, but such credit may not be applied towards the residency requirement unless the student will complete at least 36 classroom credit hours at the College.

Degrees and Commencement

All work for the degree must be completed and all documentation received in the Office of the Registrar on or before the last day of the examination period for that term. Students completing all requirements for the degree in any term receive the degree on completion of that term and are recorded as members of the graduating class for that academic year.

Students who are graduating in June are expected to attend commencement. Students completing requirements for the degree at other times during the academic year may elect to participate in commencement the following spring.

In addition, students may be granted permission to participate in the commencement ceremony before completing all requirements if:

  1. they have a graduation application approved by the Office of the Registrar on file, and
  2. their current cumulative grade point average is 2.000 or higher (3.000 for graduate students) and 2.000 or higher in their major, and
  3. they are registered for and will complete graduation requirements by the end of Summer Term.

Students who qualify and wish to take advantage of this option must file both the Commencement Participation Form and the Application for Graduation form in the Office of the Registrar on or before Monday of the third week of Winter Term indicating their intent to participate in the commencement ceremony. If either of these forms is submitted after the third Monday of Winter Term, the late fee structure detailed here is in effect.

Graduation Honors

The B.A. and B.S. degrees are awarded summa cum laude (with highest honor) to any student whose final cumulative grade point average is 3.900 or higher. The degree is awarded magna cum laude (with much honor) to any student whose final cumulative grade point average is 3.750 to 3.899, and the degree is awarded cum laude (with honor) to students whose final cumulative grade point average is 3.500 to 3.749. The final cumulative grade point average used to compute eligibility for graduation with honors includes all coursework taken at North Central and all coursework accepted in transfer from other institutions.