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Academics

The SCU caliber of instruction continues to be intellectually rigorous, student-focused, and grounded in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, care for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.


Calendar, Registration & Enrollment

The March 29 - June 10 dates for the Spring quarter 2020-21 undergraduate academic calendar are unchanged. With Santa Clara County’s move to the Red Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, we are able to offer approximately 10-15% of our classes in modified face-to-face format in the spring term in keeping with the higher education guidance for the Red Tier. 

The spring term begins on Monday, March 29. To allow students moving to campus to participate in Santa Clara’s testing and quarantine protocols, we are asking that all undergraduate instruction during the first week of the term (March 29-April 3) take place online. For approved hybrid courses, in-person activities can commence on Monday, April 5. 

For more information on spring 2021 undergraduate enrollment deadlines, please view the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Calendar. Students will have until April 5 to make changes to their class schedule. If you have specific questions regarding class availability or registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Unit Overload Policies

Student registration policies differ for different registration windows. Students can confirm the dates of their registration windows by going to their student center on e-campus and selecting “Enrollment.”

First Registration Window (February 16 - 25). Students may enroll in no more than 19 units during this registration window (students with a declared major in Engineering, Physics, or Engineering Physics may enroll in up to 20 units). From March 1-28, students having completed 131 units and having a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or higher, may enroll in up to 20 units without approval from a University Advisor in the Drahmann Center. An additional 2-unit class or two 1-unit classes can be added via an online add form which can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.  

Late Registration Window (March 29 - April 5). Students may enroll in more than 19 units (more than 20 units for Engineering, Physics and Engineering Physics majors) during this registration window, which is the first week of the quarter. Students who are in the University Honors Program or have a  cumulative grade point average at Santa Clara of at least 3.3, may enroll in up to 25 units without approval from the Drahmann Center. Upper division students who do not meet these criteria may overload up to 25 units only with approval from the Drahmann Center.  Any student wishing to register for more than 25 units must obtain approval from the Director of the Drahmann Center. To request permission to add overload units, please go to the Drahmann Center website and complete the Petition for Unit Overload - Spring 2021 form. If a class is closed, a permission number from the instructor or department is required.


Coursework and Grading

All spring undergraduate classes have detailed class notes (e.g., what percent is synchronous vs. asynchronous, class recordings for those not able to attend in real time, exam information, etc.) in both eCampus and CourseAvail. We encourage students to review and confirm their current class schedule or search for alternative classes that better fit their schedule.

For Spring 2021, the following grading changes will be implemented:

Option to Withdraw

The deadline by which undergraduates may withdraw from a class with a “W” has been extended from the end of week 4 to the end of week 10 (Spring quarter: Friday, June 4). 

Pass / No Pass (P/NP) Option

All undergraduates, regardless of class standing, may select the pass/no pass (P/NP) option for any undergraduate course.

The deadline for selecting the pass/no pass (P/NP) option has been extended from the end of week 4 to the end of week 10 (Spring quarter: Friday, June 4).

The pass/no pass (P/NP) grading option is permitted for all core, major, minor, elective, and prerequisite courses.

Courses taken pass/no pass (P/NP) in Spring 2020, Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 will not count toward the limit of 6 pass/no pass courses taken in total at Santa Clara.

Per the Undergraduate Bulletin, a passing (P) grade is equivalent to a letter grade of "C" or better.

Important Considerations for Students:

Choosing to withdraw from a course late in the quarter or to take courses with the “P/NP” grading option may have implications for international students, students receiving Financial Aid, NCAA athletes, students with ROTC or GI Bill scholarships, and recipients of some privately funded scholarships. Therefore, we encourage students to consult with their academic advisor, Office of the Registrar, or Drahmann Academic Advising Center, in addition to any other relevant office (e.g. Financial Aid, ISS, Athletics, ROTC, and Veterans Administration) before choosing either of these options. 

Students who are considering a pass/no pass (P/NP) option should note that a pass/no pass (P/NP) grade is not factored into a student’s grade point average. Additionally, students who receive a grade of no pass (NP) will not earn academic credit for the course, whereas credit is earned for a letter grade between “C-” and “D-”. Finally, it is important to note that some external organizations (external funders, graduate and professional schools) have specific letter grade requirements.

Requests for the “P/NP” grading option can be made at the Office of the Registrar website, using this Request for Pass/No Pass online form. Withdrawals from courses can be completed via eCampus.

Requests to change a grading option for courses completed in Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 will not be considered.


The Learning Environment

We continue to draw upon student feedback and expertise in online instructional design to guide faculty in developing courses that take advantage of the latest technology and best online teaching practices to bring enhanced and inclusive learning opportunities to our students. With every course redesigned to optimize the remote nature of instruction, students experience a variety of flexible course modalities—a mix of real-time, professor-led classes, recorded lectures, activities and assignments, virtual class discussions with classmates and instructors, and one-on-one online time with professors. Faculty record course content so students across all time zones have access.


Academic Resources for Students

The following suite of academic support services are available online; limited in-person offerings may also be available in some areas. Any student coming to campus to access facilities or services will be required to follow all safety protocols including wearing a face covering at all times, maintaining social distancing, and completing daily symptom checks. Testing or other screening may be required for access to these buildings. SCU campus facilities will have reduced occupancy limits to comply with State and County restrictions. We encourage you to visit these websites and make appointments to meet with our staff if you have questions or need support.

  • The University Learning Commons and Library The library will reopen for reservable study space starting April 5 (after spring term COVID-19 entry testing of campus is complete) to support students and faculty who need access to quiet study/instruction space and reliable internet access. Those needing access to the space in the spring may use the online reservation system. Reservable study hours will be posted on the library services guide. Although open hours and capacity will be limited, the Learning Commons continues to provide access to electronic resources through its website and physical materials through its pick-up service and residential delivery service, as well as virtual reference consultations and information literacy instruction.
  • Benson Memorial Center will be open at reduced capacity to provide study space for students with unrBenson Center reliable internet access. In addition to the individual study spaces available in the lower level, Parlor B on the first floor of the Benson Memorial Center is open and dedicated to quiet use only—no Zoom and no cell phone use. Beginning Monday March 29th the Center will be open 7 a.m. to  10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Academic Advising: Students can meet virtually or by phone with an academic advisor in the John B. Drahmann Academic Advising and Learning Resources Center to discuss academic resources such as time management, study skills, etc., discuss majors and minors and plan for next year. Visit the Drahmann Center website and select “Make an Appointment” to schedule an appointment time.
  • Academic Technology provides a broad range of technology resources, equipment and services to support students, faculty, and staff, including:
  • The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) is designated by the University to ensure equal access for students with disabilities to all academic and University programs. Students with disabilities seeking academic accommodations may apply online. Refer to the documentation guidelines for assistance with submitting appropriate documentation. Please visit the OAE website to learn more about how OAE may be able to support you, including virtual drop-in hours available weekly (see website for day, time, and link to meet with an advisor). You may also email oae@scu.edu to schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.
  • OneStop Enrollment (Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid Office) Staff are available to assist you with your billing, financial aid and registration needs.
  • Registrar Contact The Office of the Registrar for questions related to student academic records, course scheduling and registration, grades, awarding of degrees, and final exam schedule.
  • Tutoring Students are highly encouraged to schedule weekly appointments for the entire term, as tutoring is most effective when done on a consistent basis. Tutors are all currently enrolled undergraduate students who have completed the courses in which they tutor, giving them a great understanding of the course content. Tutoring is provided at no additional cost to SCU students. Visit the Tutoring Center website for a list of available subjects or to make an appointment. For tailored writing and math support, visit the HUB Writing Center and Math Learning Center.  
  • The HUB Writing Center can help you with many of your writing projects. Make an appointment to discuss your essays, research papers, lab reports, cover letters for internships or other applications, and more. Access our appointment system through the HUB’s website
  • The Math Learning Center is online for spring quarter! Online appointments should be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. Once the appointments are scheduled, tutors will follow up with an email containing the Zoom meeting link.

Labs, Performance, and Specialty Courses and Research

In the winter quarter, undergraduate and graduate students began returning to our laboratories, studios, project and performance spaces under reduced occupancies to comply with current state and county social distancing protocols. For spring quarter we anticipate being able to expand the number of students allowed to return to active use in these spaces following established area specific COVID-19 safety plans. All students, faculty and staff accessing these spaces are required to participate in SCU's COVID-19 testing protocols.


Programs Abroad

SCU has suspended all Winter and Spring 2021 programs abroad in the interest of the health and safety of our students.The fluctuating nature of COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult for SCU to plan for or provide the same level of care at each of our many program locations abroad. Globally, pandemic outbreaks continue to ebb and flow. Universities around the world continue to remain primarily online and offer limited housing options. Many embassies and consulates are not issuing student visas. Many countries have travel bans in place barring US citizens from entry and quarantine requirements for exceptions. More information about the impacts of this decision can be found on the Study Abroad COVID 19 FAQs site.

Some departments across the University have launched virtual global programs for students at this time including the Global Innovation Fellowship and Global Community Engagement Fellowship. There are new Global Virtual Internships available for Summer 2021. 

Applications for 2021-22 Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring abroad and domestic experiential learning programs were due January 2021. Approximately 31% of the junior class applied for programs. To date, 356 students have confirmed their participation.  We continue to monitor programs in keeping with current health and travel conditions and provide regular updates to students.  A list of program cancellations is available here.

To help support our international students who are not able to enter the United States due to travel, visa and COVID-19 restrictions, we launched our new Shanghai Start Program taking place across Winter and Spring Quarter 2021. The new study abroad program is specifically for international undergraduate students in China.


LEVL Up (Learn and Embrace Virtual Learning) Mini-Course

Students have the opportunity to participate in LEVL Up (Learning and Engaging in Virtual Learning, a mini-course created by Santa Clara students for SCU students to support you as a virtual learner. This optional course on Camino is for everyone -- first year students through seniors -- and you can start any time. Actually, now is a perfect time to start! 

LEVL Up is designed to help you identify what's working and what's not working for you in your online courses. Then it gives you tools and strategies to get even better. Last, it challenges you to try one new thing to improve as a virtual learner.

If you're still not sure, check this out: over 3,700 Santa Clara students have started the course, over 2,000 badges have been distributed, and over 450 students revisited LEVL Up over winter break. 

For those of you who have completed the LEVL Up course, congratulations on earning your certificate! 

If nothing else, try to follow this advice by Ryan, one of our LEVL Up Student Leaders: "Believe in the skills you have now... there's a reason why you're here."