Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

JST Academic Policies & Procedures

Leaves of Absence

A leave of absence is one or more semesters during which a student is matriculated in a JST degree program but does not register for classes. Students may request a leave of absence, in writing, from the JST Associate Dean, stating fully the reasons for the request. A leave of absence indicates a break in a student's program. While on leave a student may not use the resources of the GTU Library, JST Dean's Offices, student services, or the faculty. A leave is granted for either one term or one year. Note that a student may not graduate during a leave period, and must return to active status in the semester he or she wishes to graduate.

GTU MA students should refer to the MA handbook for policies and fees.

Late Completion of Thesis Work for Graduation

While students cannot graduate while on a leave of absence, they are permitted to graduate in a semester when they are not registered, provided they meet the following requirements:

-They were registered and paid tuition in the semester immediately prior to the one during which they seek to graduate.

-They have successfully defended AND filed the thesis or dissertation by the end of the late registration period for the semester when they seek to graduate.

For example, if a student plans to graduate in May of a given year but does not meet the filing deadline of May 1, she may apply for Fall graduation if she intends to defend and file her thesis/dissertation by the last day of late registration—which is the second week of the semester.

Extension of Program

Each degree program has a time limit within which the program must be completed. The chart below indicates the time limits for expected graduation.If the student exceeds that time limit, she or he must petition in writing for a program extension. The student should petition the JST Associate Dean for an extension, stating the reason for requesting the extension and including a realistic and detailed schedule of completion of the program.The student's advisor must approve the petition, by separate letter or email.An extension is granted for one year only.Under special circumstances, a student may request a second extension.


Time Limit


4 calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program


6 calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program


4 calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program


2 calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program


4 calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program


5 calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program

Withdrawal from Program

A student may voluntarily withdraw from a degree program or be withdrawn/terminated involuntarily. Students who are withdrawn will not be able to enroll in courses or complete the degree program. Thus, withdrawal/termination severs the relationship between the student and the Jesuit School of Theology. It is generally a permanent decision.

Reinstatement Requests

If a student has withdrawn from a degree program at JST, within two years of withdrawal he or she may petition the Associate Dean for reinstatement. Such petitions are extraordinary;there is no presumption of a right to re-enter. If reinstatement is granted, students will be required to re-apply through the normal admissions process. They would normally be required to redo or recertify all work, although exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Associate Dean.

Failure to Register

JST reserves the right to terminate/withdraw a student from a degree program when the student neither registers for classes nor petitions for a leave of absence in any given semester. At the discretion of the Associate Dean, students who do not respond to the School's letter or email requesting registration and/or do not petition for leave of absence will be removed from active rolls, and their matriculation in JST programs will be terminated. A student who has been terminated may petition for reinstatement within two years. See the above paragraph, "Reinstatement Requests" for further details.

Continuing Registration

All JST students in programs that culminate in a final thesis or project (Th.M. and S.T.L.) are considered to be in continuing registration once they have completed their course work as well as the required registra­tion for the thesis, project or synthesis paper, but have not yet finished the final paper. S.T.D. students enter continuing registration status after four semesters of full-time registration in the S.T.D. program.Students in continuing registration status will register for and pay for 6 thesis or dissertation units, yet will be considered full-time students.

Students in the M.A. programs should follow the policies and procedures regarding continuing registration status as spelled out in the GTU M.A. Handbook.


Grading is either according to the traditional letter-grade scheme or on a pass-fail basis, at the student's option in each course, with approval by the instructor. A grade once recorded cannot be changed on the transcript through any subsequent work of the student. Students in all degree programs must maintain a 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) to graduate. Students will not receive course hour credit or distribution credit for any course in which they fail to earn a grade of B- or better.

Letter Grades
A (excellent), B (good), C (fair), D (poor), F (failure). The grades B, C, and D may be modified by a plus (+), and grades A, B, C, and D can be modified by a minus (-).

Grade Points
Grade points per unit are assigned as follows: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, and F=0. When attached to the grades B, C, or D, plus (+) grades carry three-tenths of a grade point more per unit than the unsuffixed grade (e.g., B+ = 3.3). When attached to the grades A, B, C, or D, minus (-) grades carry three-tenths of a grade point less per unit than the unsuffixed grade (e.g., A- = 3.7). The maximum number of points for any course is a 4.0. A student's GPA is calculated upon the earned grade points in all courses where a letter grade is assigned.A grade of Pass carries no grade points and is excluded from all grade point computations.


A Pass in any course is equivalent to "B" or better work. Students in the M.Div. and MTS programs may take a pass/fail grade for no more than one-third of the required credits for graduation in the respective program..Master of Theology (Th.M.), Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.), and Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) students are expected to take all courses on a letter grade basis;however, students may petition the Associate Dean for permission to take a course pass/fail on an individual basis.

GTU M.A. students may not apply courses taken for pass/fail toward the M.A. degree.

The petition to take a course pass/fail is subject to the approval of the instructor and must be made before the last class meeting date.


Students may choose to audit a course or courses. Auditors are required to register and pay the regular tuition charge. While students receive no academic credit for audited courses, class attendance is required, and such courses are recorded on the student's transcript record with "Audit" written in the grade column.

Students auditing Jesuit School of Theology classes must formally register ("Audit") for those classes, and students' names should appear on class lists.

Students must attend class in order to successfully receive an "Audit" on their transcript. The instructor decides whether or not auditors will be allowed in a course and what class requirements must be met.


An 'I' (Incomplete) grade is a temporary grade awarded when for academic or personal reasons the student will not be able to complete all coursework within the semester schedule.Students who have maintained adequate progress in a course may petition the course instructor for an incomplete grade by the last day of the term.The petition must indicate the unfinished coursework and a schedule for completing each outstanding item.Incomplete coursework must be completed no later than the end of the third week after the term ends.The petition for an 'I' must be submitted to the Associate Dean for approval.The decision to grant an incomplete is within the discretion of the instructor and the Associate Dean.Students who do not complete their course requirements and do not petition for an incomplete will be graded based on the work as submitted to the instructor as of the date on which grades are due.

The instructor will submit the earned grade to replace the grade of "I" by the end of the sixth week after the term ends.If no grade is submitted to the Registrar by that time, the Incomplete grade becomes an "F".

Petition forms to request an Incomplete are available online and in paper outside the Registrar's Office.It is the student's responsibility to complete the Incomplete request form and submit it to the Registrar no later than the last day of the term.

The GTU policy on Incomplete grades is as follows: "Students are responsible for finishing a term's work within the term. In order to take an Incomplete the student must fill out a petition for an Incomplete before the last day of the term. Incomplete work is due to the teacher three weeks after the end of the term in which the course is taught. Instructors are required to remove the Incomplete by the sixth Friday after the end of the term."

NOTE: In courses taken by cross-registration from UCB, the student will, without exception, be required to follow the policy of UCB with respect to: 1) the possibility of removal of an Incomplete and 2) the time intervals within which removal must be effected.

Policies and Procedures on Student Appeals of Grades

I. Policy Guidelines

These policies and procedures on student appeal of grades are designed to protect the rights of faculty members as well as the rights of students.

Grades are not negotiable. There should be no questioning of a faculty member's academic judgment on a grade. In registering for a class, students implicitly agree to allow the faculty member to make a qualitative judgment about the students' command of the subject matter, which will be expressed as a letter grade. Any questioning or appeal of a grade should therefore be limited to procedural concerns, e.g., to grade calculations or failures to follow grading policies set forth in the syllabi. Any procedural complaint regarding a change of grade must be initiated within four weeks of the beginning of the next scheduled term, not including the summer session.

Any decision to initiate a change of grade should remain the faculty member's. Thus, the results of any system of grade-appeal should not be binding upon the faculty member.

II. Procedure Guidelines

A student with a complaint must first discuss the matter with the faculty member.

If the matter is not resolved at this level, the student may then take the matter to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will discuss the case with the faculty member and may recommend that the faculty member review the grade. If the student is not satisfied with the response at this level, he/she may raise the issue with the Dean and the Dean will proceed in similar fashion. Should the student request it, the Dean will pass the matter on to the University Provost.

This process of review gives the Associate Dean, Dean, and Provost the right to discuss the matter with the faculty member and, if they think it appropriate, request that the faculty member review the grade. Any recommendations made will not be binding upon the faculty member against whom the complaint is lodged. The decision to change a grade remains with the faculty member.

Academic Probation Policy

The Jesuit School reserves the right to dismiss students whose academic progress is unsatisfactory. Students in degree programs must maintain a 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) to graduate. Students whose Grade Point Average (GPA) falls below 3.0 in two successive semesters, or who fail to address outstanding incomplete grades, are subject to academic probation. Students failing to show improvement after being placed on probation are subject to dismissal at the discretion of the Associate Dean in consultation with the Dean. Students who are dismissed for academic reasons normally cannot be readmitted to a degree program.

Inclusive Language Policy

The academic community of the Jesuit School recognizes that the language and images used in daily communication both form and reflect the way persons perceive, regard, and treat one another. The school affirms the usage of unbiased and inclusive language in written, oral, and visual communication.

Sexual Harassment Policy

The Jesuit School strives to be a place of work and study that embodies the journey of faith and the promotion of justice that is the mission of the Society of Jesus and the School. The Jesuit School is therefore committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all persons who participate in School programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including sexual. Every member of the School community should be aware that the Jesuit School is strongly opposed to sexual harassment and that such behavior is prohibited both by law and by School policy. It is the intention of the School to take whatever action may be needed to prevent, correct, and, if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this policy. The full text of the School's Sexual Harassment Policy is contained in both the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook, which are distributed annually to the members of the JST community. Copies of the Handbooks are available in the Office of the Associate Dean.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Annually, the Jesuit School informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. This Act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act. A link to the policy can be found online here as well as in the JST Student Handbook. A copy may also be requested from the JST Registrar.

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