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Course Registration

The Progress Sheet

The progress sheet is a valuable guide to chart the student’s progress toward a degree. Progress sheets for all academic programs are available in this publication and outside the University Registrar’s office. The sheets list course requirements on one side and the suggested course sequence on the reverse. They are updated yearly to reflect any program changes. Students follow the progress sheet for the academic year in which they entered Finlandia University.

Semester Course Load and Semester System

Finlandia University offers courses on the semester system. The normal full-time course load for the fall and spring semesters is 12 to 16 credits, with additional tuition for any credits over 18. The normal full-time course load for the summer semester is 12 credits, with additional tuition for any credits over 12. All credits are counted toward the additional tuition. Fewer than 12 credits attempted in any semester is considered a part-time course load. More than 18 credits attempted in the fall and spring semesters, and more than 12 credits in the summer semester, is considered a course overload. Only students with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better may register for an overload, with a maximum of 21 credits in the fall and spring semesters, and a maximum of 15 credits in the summer semester. The departmental dean of the students major must grant consent to the override prior to the University Registrar approving any course overload.

Selection of Courses

The initial semester schedule for incoming students is determined by academic placement, course selection, academic program progress sheets, and class availability. Before the end of the drop/add period, students must meet with their assigned academic advisor to review program requirements and career goals. The name of the student’s academic advisor appears in the upper right-hand corner of the semester schedule or is available online.

All students are assigned an academic advisor in the student’s selected program of study. Students who wish to change their degree, major, concentration, or advisor should obtain a “change of curriculum and advisor” form from the Registrar’s office. Since the academic advisor is an integral part of the student’s educational program, it is important for the student to establish an ongoing relationship with his or her advisor. The academic advisor provides the student with assistance in the following areas:

  1. Reviews general academic practices and policies of the university;
  2. Meets with each student individually to plan, review, and approve semester schedules;
  3. Helps the student draft a semester schedule and a tentative degree completion plan, using the master schedule and recommended course sequence as a guide;
  4. Distributes and reviews degree program requirements and recommended course sequence.
  5. Points out specific credit and course requirements;
  6. Discusses course substitution requests as needed;
  7. Explains the student assessment process;
  8. Discusses degree completion, career options, and transfer and advanced degree opportunities; and
  9. Answers questions and refers student for help as needed.
  10. The student should meet with his or her advisor on a regular basis. The advisor’s signature is required on all drop/add cards.  If a student’s academic advisor is not available, the signature of the Dean of Students, Academic Success Coach, or the dean of the major’s department may also be accepted.

Class Standing

Class standing is based on total credits earned as follows. Total credits include transfer, AP, CLEP, ICE, IBO, experiential learning, and credits earned at Finlandia University.

Credits EarnedClass Standing
0-29 Freshman

Dropping and Adding Courses

The drop/add period allows students to modify their class schedules. All course schedule changes must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. A signed drop/add card must be received in the University Registrar’s office by 4:00 p.m. on the final day of the drop/add period for fall, spring, half-semester, and summer courses.  

Courses may not be dropped or added after the end of the drop/add period. Courses dropped during the drop/add period do not appear on the student’s transcript or grade report. At the end of each semester’s drop/add period, student accounts will be charged in accordance with the final class schedule. Please check with the University Registrar’s office for more information.

Withdrawing from Courses

The withdrawal period allows students to withdraw from courses after the drop/add period has ended. Students may withdraw from a course(s) by submitting a withdrawal card to the University Registrar’s office by 4:00 p.m. on the final day of the withdrawal period. The withdrawal card must be signed by the student and the student’s advisor (or departmental dean, Dean of Students, or Academic Success Coach). Withdrawal cards without the required signatures will not be processed. See the Academic Calendar for dates of the withdrawal period for fall, spring, half-semester, and summer courses.

Students withdrawing from classes will receive the grade of “W” for the course(s). “W” grades do not count towards semester or cumulative GPA. Please check with the University Registrar’s office for more information.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who discontinue their enrollment at the university without following the complete withdrawal process will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn. The last date of attendance will serve as the student’s unofficial withdrawal date and will be determined by one or a combination of the following criteria:

  1. Lack of attendance in classes using the last date of recorded attendance by faculty
  2. Late notification of a school official by which the student notifies a university official that he or she is leaving past the deadline for a complete withdrawal
  3. Vacating residential housing, upon confirmation that the student is not attending classes

If the last date of attendance cannot be determined using the above criteria, the university will use the midpoint of the semester (50%) as the student’s official end-date.

Students who completely withdraw from the university without following the complete withdrawal process will be assigned a grade of “F” in each of their courses as per the Complete Withdrawal Policy.

Administrative Withdrawals

Administrative withdrawals are reserved for extreme situations in which a student must withdraw from a course or a semester past the official withdrawal date. Administrative withdrawals must be approved by the Chief Academic Officer, Registrar, and Dean of Students. Students approved for administrative withdrawal will receive the grade of “W” for each course, congruent with the University’s standard withdrawal policy.

Complete Withdrawal from the University

Students who wish to completely withdraw from the university must obtain a withdrawal form from the Dean of Students. Students must personally present the withdrawal form to, and obtain the signatures of, director of financial aid, director of student accounts, and the university registrar.  Students that are living on-campus will also need to obtain the signature of the Director of Residence Life.

All withdrawals must be in writing. The effective date of withdrawal is the date the university registrar signs the form. When students completely withdraw from the university, tuition, fees, and room and board are charged in accordance with the refund policy outlined in the Student Accounts section of this publication.

Failure to attend classes does not constitute official withdrawal from the university. Students who intend to completely withdraw from the university, yet fail to complete the above withdrawal procedure, are financially responsible for all semester charges and will receive an “F” in each of their classes. The withdrawal period ends at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday of the tenth (10th) week of classes in the fall and spring semesters, and at the to-be-published deadlines for the summer semester. The summer dates will be published during the spring 2021 semester.

Student Leave of Absence Policy

The Student Leave of Absence (LOA) policy allows degree-seeking, undergraduate students to take an official leave from their studies at Finlandia for a period of up to one year. During this one-year period, undergraduate students may be readmitted to the University through the Admissions Office, without having to officially reapply. However, upon return from the LOA, students are required to reactivate their enrollment status through Admissions.

To take an official Leave of Absence, students must report to the Dean of Students’ office to complete the appropriate paperwork. Upon approval of the LOA, resident students are required to vacate student housing within 24 hours. Students officially taking a Leave of Absence are not eligible to participate in varsity or intramural athletics, student clubs or any University-sponsored activity or organization.

Students considering taking a Leave of Absence should immediately speak with their academic advisor or program director about their options, the process of taking a Leave of Absence, and the procedure and timeline of applying for readmission. Students receiving financial aid are required to meet with Financial Aid personnel prior to the approval of the LOA.

An official Leave of Absence will not be approved for students subject to dismissal due to academic deficiencies or disciplinary actions.

Students requesting to start a Leave of Absence during an academic semester may choose to officially withdraw from their courses thus receiving “W”s for their courses following the official withdrawal policy and procedure for the university; or receive incomplete grades (I or IP as determined by the student, advisor, and registrar) for their courses. Students opting to take incomplete grades must establish course completion strategies as part of the LOA request and are thereby expected to complete their work as outlined in the Leave of Absence agreement. Incomplete grades that are not successfully completed according to the agreement will automatically convert to an “F” as per the University’s Incomplete Grade Policy. Administrative withdrawals will be processed if the LOA request is granted past the official withdrawal date. Administrative withdrawals will appear as “W” grades on the student’s transcript.

Students receiving approval for an official Leave of Absence will be allowed to complete their degree following the prescribed progress sheet under the original catalog date. If any of the courses within their degree program have been changed or no longer offered, the University will work with the student to provide acceptable alternatives through the University’s course substitution process.

Process for Applying for an Official LOA

All requests for an official LOA are to be submitted in advance, in writing, and will include the reason for the request, signed by the student, and dated. Unforeseen circumstances, such as an accident, may impede this process. As such, an LOA may be granted on condition that the required paperwork will be submitted at a later, pre-determined date.

  1. Obtain LOA paperwork from the Dean of Students
  2. Meet with the academic advisor and/or program director to discuss options
  3. Meet with Financial Aid office to discuss the impact of the LOA on financial aid and what impact not returning from the LOA will have on your repayment terms
  4. Submit completed paperwork to the Dean of Students
  5. The application for the LOA will be reviewed by a team of university professionals to include the registrar, dean of the college in which the program is offered or program director, financial aid representative, dean of students, and chief academic officer
  6. The decision will be rendered within 7 business days – It is important to note that not all LOA requests are granted
  7. Students will be notified by phone and postal mail of the final decision
  8. Approved LOA requests will include the timeline for readmission
  9. Once approved, the LOA agreement will be managed in the Registrar’s Office

To be granted an LOA, there must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return to complete their degree. Students on a Leave of Absence may return to classes prior to the expiration date. During the LOA, the university will not impose additional charges and will not award additional financial aid for courses or classes the student needs to complete in order to catch up to where the Leave of Absence began. A Leave of Absence will not exceed a 12-month period.

Students who do not return from their Leave of Absence will be considered withdrawn from the university at the end of their last semester of regular enrollment and will be required to return federal financial aid funds as per policy. Students are thereby advised to discuss these consequences with the Financial Aid Office prior to applying for the official Leave of Absence.

military loa

Student Military Leave of Absence Policy Statement

Finlandia University supports students who are members of the United States Armed Forces and Reserve Units. To assist them, as well as protect and safeguard their status as Finlandia students, and in accordance with federal law, the University has adopted a Student Military Leave of Absence Policy.


This policy applies to Finlandia students who are U.S. military personnel seeking military withdrawal and reentry to the program that they previously attended, or academic completion of current coursework after deployment. They are eligible for readmission under this provision if, during their leave, they performed or will perform voluntary or involuntary active duty service in the U.S. armed forces, including active duty for training and National Guard or Reserve service under state or federal authority, and received a discharge other than dishonorable or bad conduct.


  1. A student who meets the above definition may be granted a Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) from Finlandia University for the period of active duty and up to one year after returning from extended periods of active duty.
  2. Students with the MLOA are not required to apply for readmission or pay readmission fees.
  3. To facilitate the return process, the student’s record will be noted as a leave of absence for military service.

Requirement of Notice

A student requesting leave for military service must give advance written notice by completing a Finlandia University Student Military Leave of Absence Authorization Form (see appendix).

        1. The student must also submit a copy of military orders as soon as they are available. If the student is required by the military to leave immediately, a family member or other designated party may submit a copy of the orders and complete the Student Military Leave of Absence Authorization Form (MLOA) on the student’s behalf.
        2. To be readmitted, the student must give written or email notice of the intent to reenroll to registrar@finlandia.edu as soon as reasonably possible after the completion of the period of their service. If the student is recovering from a service-related injury or illness, they must notify registrar@finlandia.edu
        3. A student who does not submit a timely notification of intent may not be eligible for the benefits outlined herein.

Authorization for Student Military Leave of Absence

All students who will be absent from Finlandia University for either short periods or extended periods of active duty are required to complete the MLOA.

The MLOA form is available online, from the Dean of Students, or the University Registrar. The completed authorization form must be submitted to the Dean of Students.

Short Periods of Military Duty (Up to 2 weeks)

Finlandia University’s academic community includes a number of veteran and military students. At times these students may be called to fulfill their duties for training or short-term deployment, which cause students to be absent from classes for a short period of time. These absences qualify as “excused absences” which means that the absence, with an approved MLOA, is not subject to penalty and coursework may be satisfied through agreement between individual instructors and students.

      1. A student who will be absent for up to two weeks will be allowed to make up any missed work within a reasonable time frame (generally up to 30 days) without a grade penalty. In addition to completing the MLOA, it is the responsibility of the student to communicate in writing directly with each instructor, as far in advance as possible, so appropriate accommodations can be made. Students are also strongly encouraged to complete coursework in advance, whenever possible.
      2. Faculty members are expected to make reasonable academic accommodations or opportunities for students to complete course assignments and/or exams (see c. below) without penalty to the course grade for class absence(s) or missed deadlines due to military training or obligations. Students will provide faculty members with a copy of their approved MLOA and official military documentation (paper, electronic orders or a Unit’s memorandum) with as much advance notification as possible for absences that will result from temporary responsibilities of their military obligations. For time-sensitive state or federal emergencies/activations where written documentation may not be available until the end of the obligation, the student is responsible for securing the orders to provide to faculty members upon return to the University.

Extended Periods of Military Duty (More than 2 weeks)
A student who will be absent for more than two weeks after classes begin should request a complete withdrawal from the current term, in addition to filing the MLOA.

      1. The student will receive a full refund of tuition and fees paid to Finlandia University if the MLOA is filed prior to the last day to withdraw from classes. (usually two-thirds into the semester).
      2. If the MLOA is received after the last day to withdraw from classes, the student has the following options:
        • A full refund of tuition and fees, but no credit awarded for work completed during the semester.
        • An incomplete grade in all courses (with instructor agreement) with the right to complete all coursework without further payment of tuition or fees and a designation that the incomplete was incurred due to active military service. When the student is called to active military duty, and reaches agreement with the instructor(s) to take an incomplete, the student will have up to one calendar year following the end of the semester that the incomplete was given to complete any incompletes.
        • A grade in each course, if the instructor of each class believes sufficient work has been completed to warrant assigning a letter grade.
        • Options ii. & iii. may be combined should circumstances warrant.

Additional financial considerations are noted below:

          1. All applicable financial aid awards will be refunded to the appropriate agencies, and repayments of federal student loans will be calculated in accordance with federal guidelines.
          2. Students will be required to return University property, such as keys to residence halls, University computer equipment, library books, etc. prior to their departure. If time does not warrant, students may have a family members or other designated parties accomplish this on their behalf.
          3. Students will receive prorated refunds for housing and meal-plans, if applicable, based on taking the percentage of days registered at the University over the total number of days in the semester (i.e., beginning with the first day of class and ending on the last day of finals).

Spouses of Service Members Called to Active Duty

Students who are spouses of service members and have dependent children are able to withdraw from classes with a full refund of tuition if the spouse is called to active duty. The same terms and conditions apply to these students as to the service members. Students must present the service members’ orders in addition to filing the MLOA.


The University will allow the student to reenroll in the next class or classes in the same program, with the same enrollment status, number of credits, and academic standing as when the student was last in attendance. The student may also request a later date of enrollment or, if unusual circumstances require, the institution may allow the student to enroll at a later date.

      1. If the program determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program at the point the student left off, the program must make reasonable efforts at no extra cost to the student to enable the student to resume and complete the program.
        • Such reasonable efforts include, but are not limited to, providing a refresher course and allowing the student to retake a pretest, as long as the efforts do not place an undue hardship on the program.
        • If reasonable efforts are unsuccessful or the program determines that there are no reasonable efforts that the program can take, the program is not required to re-enroll the student.
      2. Re-enrollment in certain degree programs may require a student to wait until a semester when the classes needed are offered again.
      3. If a student elected to take an incomplete in a course, the student must complete the course requirements within one calendar year following the semester the incomplete was given. Extensions beyond one calendar year must be approved by the University Exceptions Committee.
      4. Circumstances that cannot be addressed by this policy will be handled through consultation with the dean of the appropriate academic college. Appeals of a decision by a dean may be made to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

College of Health Sciences Programs Withdrawal and Dismissal

Faculty members of the programs within the College of Health Sciences reserve the right to dismiss a student whose health, conduct, scholastic standing, and/or clinical or internship performance does not comply with the designated program expectations. Students enrolled in the Health Sciences programs are held to standards of conduct that differ from and may exceed those expected of other Finlandia University students. It is the responsibility of each Health Sciences student to read and understand the Finlandia University academic catalog and the student handbook for the program in which the student is enrolled. Students are expected to consult with departmental personnel if specific problems or questions arise.

Office of Registrar Staff

2020-21 Catalog

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