Chapter 5: Academic Information

Engineering Honor Code

The Engineering Honor Code is a long-standing Santa Clara tradition; instituted at the request of engineering students, it states: All students taking courses in the School of Engineering agree, individually and collectively, that they will not give or receive unpermitted aid in examinations or other coursework that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading. Students and teachers cooperate and share responsibilities under the code. Teachers are responsible for making clear what aid is permissible and for using procedures that minimize temptations to violate the code. Students are responsible for behaving honorably, for actively ensuring that others, as well as themselves, uphold the code, and for being responsive to violations. Alleged violations should be reported to the Office of the Dean.


Classes are taught in the following time slots: 7:10-9:00 a.m., 5:10-7:00 p.m., and 7:10-9:00 p.m, Monday through Friday with some Saturday and/or Sunday offerings; two-unit courses meet one day per week, and four-unit courses meet two days per week. All students are expected to attend the first class meeting of the quarter. Failure to do so can result in an administrative withdrawal by the professor of the course during the first week of the quarter.

Standards Of Scholarship

Only courses in which the student has earned assigned grades of A, B, or C, with plus (+) or minus (-) variations, may be counted for the Master’s or Ph.D. degree. The student must earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) overall, and a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in their major of the approved minimum 46 units required for the completion of the M.S. degree or the approved minimum 72 units required for the Ph.D. degree. Only credits, not grade points, are transferred from other institutions.

Students who have not met the minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA overall for two consecutive active quarters are eligible for dismissal. The student’s advisor and Department Chair will be notified about their GPA status by email. The decision to be dismissed from the program will be based on a departmental vote, which will be conducted at the request of the advisor and/or Department Chair, and with approval from the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. Students who have been dismissed from the program can appeal to the Department Chair, and subsequently to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

EMGT Major Note: In addition to the cumulative GPA requirement, Engineering Management students must also maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their EMGT and technical stem courses.

Note 1: Only classes with assigned grades of C- or higher will count toward the completion of the certificates, M.S., or Ph.D. degrees. The grades of all courses completed during the certificate, M.S. or Ph.D. program are used to compile the final grade point average (GPA).

Note 2: Directed Research, Independent Study, and Engr courses will not go toward the student's major GPA. Only major subject courses will be calculated in the students’ major GPA.

Grading System

The grades A, B, C, and D may be modified by (+) or (-) suffixes, except that the grade of A may not be modified by a (+). Grade point values per unit are assigned as follows: A = 4.0; A- = 3.7; B+ = 3.3; B = 3.0; B- = 2.7; C+ = 2.3; C = 2; C- = 1.7; D+ = 1.3; D = 1.0; D- = 0.7. F= 0. I (incomplete), P (pass), NP (no pass), NS (no show) and W (withdrawn) are all assigned zero points. Unit credit, but not grade point credit, is awarded when the grade of P is assigned.

The University also uses the following marks: AUD (audit), I (incomplete), and N (continuing work), . No unit credit or grade point value is granted for any of these marks.

Non-graded Courses

Courses such as seminars (with the exception of COEN 400 and ELEN 200), Co-ops, etc., are limited to a total of four units and must be approved by the student’s advisor.

Incomplete Grades

A student’s work may be reported incomplete if, due to illness or other serious circumstance, some essential portion of the coursework remains unfinished after the final examination, or if the thesis has not been completed. An incomplete (I) becomes a failure (F) unless the unfinished work is completed to the satisfaction of the instructor and proper notice is filed with the Office of the Registrar within four weeks from the beginning of the next scheduled quarter, not including summer session. Makeup work must be in the hands of the instructor no later than the end of the third week so that the instructor can meet the four-week submission deadline. An N grade for a thesis course indicates continuing work. A final grade must be submitted before graduation.

Auditing Courses

A student may take courses with a grading basis of “audit” but needs to keep in mind the following:

  • The current graduate tuition rate of $1088.00 per unit + the $180.00 engineering fee will be charged.
  • No grade points or credit will be earned so the class cannot be counted toward the completion of a certificate, M.S. or Ph.D.
  • A student will need to register for the class, then send an email to the Director of Records requesting that the grading basis be changed to “Audit”:
  • The last day to request to audit a course is at the end of the first week of the quarter.

Alumni students can request to audit a course with a reduced tuition fee. Alumni students will need to apply to the Open University program to enroll in classes as an audit. Please contact the Director of Records for the alumni audit form;

Repeating Courses

A student may, with the permission of the department, repeat a course in which a grade of C- or lower was received on the first attempt. All grades, whether received on the first or second attempt, will be used in computing overall student performance. The units from a course may be counted only once in fulfilling graduation requirements.

Withdrawal From Courses

Students may change their course registration as stated in the Academic Calendar. Withdrawal from any course may be accomplished up to the 7th Friday of the term. After the fourth week of the quarter, a withdrawal will be recorded as W on the transcript. After the tenth Friday, an emergency that qualifies may be handled as an incomplete (I). Dropping a course without a formal withdrawal will result in a grade of F. Deadlines are strictly adhered to. There is no tuition refund when a student withdraws from a course if the withdrawal occurs after the tuition refund deadlines listed in the academic calendar.

Program Of Studies

During the first quarter of enrollment, a student in the M.S. degree program is required to meet with a faculty advisor to complete a Program of Studies (POS) form. The program of studies can be found on our graduate engineering website under current student resources. Here are assigned advisors for the following departments

  • Aerospace Engineering-Mohammad Ayoubi and Chris Kitts (Program Advisors)
  • Applied Math-Stephen Chiappari (Department Chair)
  • Bioengineering-Please contact the department for available advisors.
  • Civil Engineering-Please contact the department for available advisors.
  • Computer Science and Engineering- The CSE department will email your advisor information by the end of the first week of the quarter.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering-Please contact the department for available advisors.
  • Engineering Management and Leadership-Paul Semenza (Department Chair)
  • Mechanical Engineering-Please contact the department for available advisors.
  • Power Systems and Sustainable Energy-Maryam Khanabaghi (Program Advisor)
  • Robotics and Automation-Christopher Kitts (Program Advisor)

The POS must include all planned courses, units and any transfer credit approved by the department. The POS must be signed by the advisor and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Programs Office before the end of the first quarter of enrollment. Failure to submit a new POS will result in a registration hold. Variations from the approved Program of Studies may be made either with written approval of the advisor or by submitting an updated Program of Studies form with the advisor’s signature to the Engineering Graduate Programs Office. The final Program of Studies form signed by the advisor must include all units and transfer credits, and must be submitted during the student’s final quarter for graduation.

Please Note: Extension, online and continuing education units are not accepted for transfer credit.

Courses Transferred From Santa Clara University

With the approval of their academic advisor, M.S. students who have an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University can transfer up to 12 units of eligible graduate level coursework into their program.

  • Only those courses completed with a C grade or higher will be eligible for transfer.
  • The units will not transfer if they have been used for another degree.
  • Since these courses were taken at SCU, the grades will count toward the overall grade point average.

Courses Transferred From Other Institutions

All M.S. students have the option to transfer a maximum of 6 semester or 9 quarter units of graduate level coursework from an accredited institution into their degree program with their advisor’s approval. All Ph.D. students have the option to transfer a maximum of 12 semester or 18 quarter units of graduate level coursework from an accredited institution into their degree program with their advisor’s approval. Please keep the following in mind when transferring units:

  • Only those courses completed with a C grade or higher will be eligible for transfer.
  • Extension, continuing education, and online courses may not be transferred.
  • The units will not transfer if they have been used for another degree.
  • Only the credit will transfer, but not grades; so the overall grade point average will be based on coursework completed at Santa Clara University only.
  • An official transcript and course syllabus is required for verification of the units by the student’s advisor and Engineering Graduate Programs.
  • In order to transfer units into a degree program, please follow this procedure:
    • Include the units you wish to transfer in the “Transfer Credit” section of the Program of Studies form and include the Institution Name, Course Number and Title, Grade, Units*, Year and (if applicable) the SCU equivalent course. If no equivalent course is listed, the transfer credit will be processed as general transfer credit (TRCR 300).
      • (*Note that 1 semester unit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter units. Please put the quarter unit value on the Program of Studies so that the final total will be correct.)
    • The student’s academic advisor must sign the Program of Studies form and submit it to the Engineering Graduate Programs Office.
    • The Graduate Programs Office must have an official transcript from the school you are transferring units from to review and approve the transfer credit request.

NOTE: Courses that were taken more than 10 years ago are generally not acceptable for transfer credit. Students who wish to request an exception must petition the department Chair and receive a written approval with a justification. The final approval is given by the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs.

Petition For Graduation

It is a student’s responsibility to file an online petition for graduation no later than the last day to petition for graduate degrees as indicated in the Academic Calendar. The petition to graduate will only be accepted through online submission and may be found on the graduate engineering website under current student resources All graduating students must submit a final program of studies and enroll in at least one unit for their final quarter.

Please Note: Eligibility to participate in the June Commencement ceremony will be based on the completion of all requirements and units by the end of the spring quarter or participation in the ceremony will be delayed until the following June.

Cooperative Education Option

The objective of cooperative education is to provide students with the opportunity, through the interaction of study and work experience, to enhance their academic knowledge, to further their personal work experience, and to learn about working with people. The Cooperative Education option integrates classroom work with practical industrial experience. It alternates or parallels periods of college education with periods of practical training in industry. The industrial training is related to the field of study in which the student is engaged and often is diversified to afford a wide range of experience. To qualify for this study option, students must complete at least 24 graduate level units at Santa Clara University. Please note that COEN 900 level courses and transfer credit do not count toward the 24 graduate level unit requirement.

Students who wish to pursue this option through curricular practical training (CPT) must enroll in ENGR 288. This class is a prerequisite for ENGR 289, and must be taken before you begin an internship. To be eligible to enroll in ENGR 288 students must complete at least 16 units of graduate level courses by the end of their second quarter at SCU, or demonstrate that they will complete 24 units of graduate-level coursework by the end of their third quarter with department chair approval. Those who plan to start (or continue) their CPT after they have taken ENGR 288 must enroll in ENGR 289 (which is allowed for credit up to three times).** Students who were authorized for CPT but did not receive a passing grade in ENGR 288 or ENGR 289 will not be eligible for future CPT authorization since they did not complete the academic requirements associated with their internship.

** Note 1: ENGR 288 is not offered in the summer quarter. Students who plan to participate in a summer internship need to enroll in ENGR 288 in the Spring quarter.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent Enrollment means that a student is enrolled in two places at the same time. An international student at Santa Clara University may be given permission to engage in Concurrent Enrollment provided the student meets the following USCIS requirements:

  • Combined enrollment amounts to a full course of study
  • The student has been granted permission from a faculty advisor to enroll at another college (advisor must sign Concurrent Enrollment Form)
  • Must receive written approval from DSO at International Student Services
  • The student is making normal progress at Santa Clara and is not in danger of probation or disqualification
  • Any NON-vocational coursework from the other school will be accepted for fulfilling degree requirements at SCU

For more information, please email the International Student Services Office at or refer to website:

Non-enrollment Period

Students in the Master’s and Ph.D. program are expected to enroll in at least one unit for the fall, winter and spring quarters, summer quarter is optional to enroll. Those students who do not wish to enroll must submit a leave of absence or a withdrawal form to the Engineering Graduate Programs Office. A leave of absence form is required if a student plans to miss one or two quarters, while a more prolonged absence requires a withdrawal form. Students who wish to resume their Master’s or Ph.D. studies after a leave of absence or withdrawal from the program must submit a returning student request form. The forms can be found on the graduate engineering website; Current Student Resources. Leave of absence or withdrawal forms must be submitted by the end of the first week of the quarter. Returning student’s request forms must be submitted three weeks prior to the start of the quarter returning. Please note the return request is not guaranteed.

M.S. students are required to complete their degree within six years from their original admit term date. The six-year time frame includes quarters during which a student was not enrolled. Ph.D. students are required to complete their degree within eight years from their original admit term date. The eight-year time frame includes quarters during which a student is not enrolled. Certificate students are required to complete their certificate within two years from their original admit term date.

Note that students who miss a quarter and fail to submit the appropriate form(s) with the Graduate Programs Office will be automatically discontinued as a no show status and will be required to submit a returning student form. This is the same procedure for students who took a leave of absence or withdrew from the program.

Withdrawal From The University

Withdrawal from the University is not officially complete until students clear all of their financial obligations with the Bursar’s Office. Students on deferments or a Federal Perkins Loan must also clear their financial obligations with the Credit Counseling Office.

Student Records And Release Of Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the confidentiality of the University records of Santa Clara University students. A student is any person who attends or has attended a class, which includes courses taken through videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic and telecommunication technologies and for whom the institution maintains education records. The University is authorized under provisions of the Act to release directory information to any person on request, unless a student explicitly requests in writing that the University not do so and keep directory information confidential.

A student's directory information is designated as follows:

  • Student's name
  • Address: Campus post office box, local, and permanent addresses (residence hall and room numbers are not disclosed)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Photograph
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Classification level/academic standing
  • Dates of attendance (defined as academic year or quarter)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Degrees (including expected or actual degree date), honors and awards received, and dates
  • Most recent educational agency or institution attended

During the registration period and throughout the academic year, students may request in writing through the Office of the Registrar that directory information be kept confidential. Once filed, the request remains in effect until the beginning of the next academic year or a shorter period if designated by the student. Graduating students must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing to remove the nondisclosure notation from their record.

The University is authorized under FERPA to release educational and directory information to appropriate parties without consent if the University finds an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals in light of the information available at the time.

Former or current borrowers of funds from any Title IV student loan program should note carefully that requests for nondisclosure of information will not prevent the University from releasing information pertinent to employment, enrollment status, current address, and loan account status to a school lender, subsequent holder, guarantee agency, the United States Department of Education, or an authorized agent.

Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records at the following offices:

  • Official academic records, including application forms, admission transcripts, letters of acceptance, and a student's permanent academic record are on file and maintained in the Office of the Registrar and the Graduate Programs Office
  • Records related to a student's nonacademic activities are maintained in the Office of Student Life
  • Records relating to a student's financial status with the University are maintained in the various student financial services offices

Certain records are excluded by law from inspection, specifically those created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist in connection with the treatment or counseling of a student. Parents' financial information, including statements submitted with scholarship applications, is also excluded by law from inspection. Third parties may not have access to educational records or other information pertaining to students without the written consent of the student about whom the information is sought.

Students have the right to request the amendment of their educational records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights. Students may direct complaints regarding academic records to the dean of the college or school in which they are enrolled or to the University registrar. In addition, students have the right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of the Act. Written complaints should be directed to the Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

For further information regarding Santa Clara University's FERPA policy, please refer to

Clery Act

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents as defined by the law. Information presented in compliance with this act is made available to assist current and potential students and employees in making informed decisions regarding their attendance or employment at the University. These reports and other information about the law are available on the Campus Safety website. It is the policy of Santa Clara University that the campus community will be informed on a timely basis of all reports of crime and other information affecting the security of our campus and the personal safety of our students, faculty, staff, and guests.

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