Kelly J. Otter, Ph.D.
Walter P. Rankin, Ph.D.
Kristen Consolo, M.B.A
Chief of Staff and Senior Administrative Office
Sarah Garvin, M.A
Assistant Dean, Planning and Program Implementation
Laurie A. Jarema, M.A.
Associate Dean, Finance & Administration
Sissel Malmbekk, M.A.
Associate Dean, Operations
James V. Parenti, M.A.
Senior Associate Dean and Chief Administrative Officer
Jeremy A. Stanton, M.B.A.
Executive Director of Technology
Roseanna C. Stanton, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer
Crystal Watkins, M.A.
Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs & Compliance
MISSION STATEMENT OF SCS
In keeping with the historic mission of Georgetown University, the School educates students to become more reflective, active, purposeful citizens who strive to improve themselves and our shared world, embodying Georgetown’s Catholic and Jesuit values and heritage and respecting the principles and traditions of each individual.
HISTORY OF SCS
The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) at Georgetown was founded in 1956 as the Georgetown University Summer School. The name of the school was changed to the School for Summer and Continuing Education in 1971. Liberal Studies, the oldest degree program within the School, was launched in 1974, offering the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BALS) and the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) to part-time and non-traditional students interested in interdisciplinary education. The Doctor of Liberal Arts (DLS) began in fall 2005.
The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) and Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) programs, emphasizing a balance of theoretical and applied learning, began in 2007 with Public Relations & Corporate Communications and Journalism. Programs in Sports Industry Management and Real Estate began in 2008, and Human Resources Management and Technology Management began in 2009. Both Urban & Regional Planning and Emergency & Disaster Management launched in 2013.
In addition to these degree programs, the Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) offers a variety of non-credit learning options, including open enrollment courses, professional certificate programs, and customized corporate programs in communication, leadership, management, and technology. CCPE combines Georgetown’s traditions of academic rigor and ethical leadership with instruction from leaders in industry, government, and academia.
For over 50 years, the School of Continuing Studies has fulfilled Georgetown University’s mission of educational outreach and inclusivity by offering a wide range of educational options to a diverse community of students and professionals. The School offers more than 600 courses, undergraduate and graduate degrees, and advanced professional certificates.
The School oversees the undergraduate and precollege programs described below.
Semester in Washington
The Semester in Washington, D.C. program is a cohort-based application program that allows students from other academic institutions to study and intern for a semester, earning undergraduate academic credit while exposing students to the expansive resources of Georgetown University and Washington, D.C. Through internships, on-site visits, and guest speakers from Capitol Hill, federal agencies, corporate firms, non-and for-profit organizations, Semester in Washington students gain theoretical insights and experience their practical applications. This exposure provides a unique perspective on current trends and challenges in areas like American politics, international relations, international commerce and trade, journalism and law.
Summer Study at Georgetown
Each year, Summer at Georgetown University offers more than 250 courses and more than 25 programs for high school, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students.
Enrollment in summer courses is open to: (1) newly admitted or matriculated Georgetown undergraduate and graduate students in good standing with permission of their academic deans; (2) undergraduate and graduate students in good standing at other colleges and universities; (3) high school students who have been admitted through the Summer College program; (4) foreign students who can provide documentation of a TOEFL score of 550 and above or 600 for Linguistics courses; and (5) individuals whose educational background and experience qualify them for the courses they wish to take.
The School offers three distinct summer sessions: the presession, first session, and second session. The presession, which starts in mid-May, allows students to take courses during a four week period. Because of the presession’s compressed and intensive nature, students are permitted to take only one course. The first and second summer sessions run consecutively, the first beginning in June, the second in early July; each session lasts five weeks.
Summer Programs for High School Students
The School of Continuing Studies offers a diverse series of programs for high school students. Students can participate in non-credit programs from eight days up to three weeks, depending on the programs. The School of Continuing Studies offers the following non-credit programs: Medical Institute; American Politics; College Preparatory; Creative Writing, Entrepreneurship; Forensic Science; International Relations; Broadcast Journalism; Law Institute; Leadership; Medicine; National Security and Counterintelligence; Sports Industry Management.
The School of Continuing Studies also offers the following credit programs during the five week Summer Sessions to high school students: Summer College I; Summer College II; Fundamentals of Business, English, Economics, Law, Medicine and American Government.
ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR VISITING STUDENTS
All of the credit and degree programs within the School of Continuing Studies are application-based. Acceptance to one undergraduate program within the School does not guarantee or imply acceptance into another undergraduate program within the School or University. Specific student handbooks and policies have been developed to reflect the unique undergraduate populations (such as part-time, non-traditional, or visiting students) served within the School of Continuing Studies. Students in these programs should refer to their program handbook for policies that govern their study (http://scs.georgetown.edu/academic-affairs/student-handbooks).
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LIBERAL STUDIES
The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BALS) was designed for non-traditional students interested in an ethics-based interdisciplinary education. The BALS program helps students build a multidimensional understanding of a complex world. Courses explore topics related to major themes in both academia and life in general: the human and the divine; the individual and society; individual identity; gender; exercising and challenging authority; ethics; and justice. Curricular fields are interdisciplinary in nature. Students can choose individualized study or select one of fourteen fields: American Studies, Catholic Studies, Classical Civilizations, Communications, Entrepreneurship, Humanities, International Affairs, Leadership, Literature and Society, Organizational Leadership, Religious Studies, Social/Public Policy, Theory and Practice of American Democracy, and Urban Analysis and Community Development.
The program is designed to meet the unique needs of working adults, with stimulating classes held in the evenings and on Saturdays. Students can complete their entire degree part-time and without ever setting foot in a classroom during traditional working hours. Acceptance to the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program does not guarantee or imply acceptance into another undergraduate program within the School or University. Students admitted to the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program, who wish to transfer to one of the four undergraduate schools, must apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
A student is officially admitted when a letter of acceptance has been received and registration has been completed. All new students must attend New Student Orientation and register online prior to the beginning of their first semester on the designated date for that term.
Academic and administrative policies
Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all academic and administrative policies, procedures, and deadlines. Questions about any policies should be directed to the B.A.L.S. Associate Dean or to the SCS Office of Academic Affairs & Compliance. In addition to the B.A.L.S. policies described below, additional academic and administrative policies, procedures, rights, and responsibilities (including the Code of Student Conduct; the Honor Code; Disability Support; Immunization Requirements; Tuition Refund Guidelines; and others) that apply to all SCS and University students can be found online at: http://scs.georgetown.edu/academic-affairs/student-handbooks.
Many B.A.L.S. students have already completed some college study, and Georgetown is pleased to offer transfer credit for as many as 64 credits. An admitted student should have received notification of the program’s transfer-credit decisions with notification of admission.
Transfer credit ordinarily is not awarded for study at other institutions after you have started study at Georgetown. In unusual circumstances—such as taking a course not available at Georgetown—an exception to this policy may be granted, but you must consult with the B.A.L.S. program in advance. In addition, students sometimes seek to take summer classes at institutions outside the Washington DC area. Consult with the B.A.L.S. program before registering for such classes, so you can be sure that they will apply to your academic program.
Advanced Placement/CLEP Credit
The B.A.L.S. program offers Georgetown credit for students who have completed certain Advanced Placement examinations and College Level-Examination Program examinations with qualifying scores. These credits count against the 64-credit maximum for transfer credits. In awarding credit for Advanced Placement, the B.A.L.S. program follows the standards outlined in the university’s Undergraduate Bulletin. Credit for CLEP examinations is offered only for scores equal to a course grade of B or higher. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for the College Board to send the AP or CLEP scores directly to the B.A.L.S. program; AP or CLEP scores listed on another college’s transcript will not be evaluated.
The B.A.L.S. program follows recommendations from the American Council on Education to grant transfer credit, on a case-by-case basis, for certain military training. The student should have the AARTS or SMART transcript sent directly to the B.A.L.S. program office for evaluation. These credits count against the 64-credit maximum for transfer credits.
Part-time Student Status
Inasmuch as this program is designed for adult students with existing occupational and/or family responsibilities, the normal course of studies each semester, including the summer semester, is three to six credits, or one to two courses. With special permission of the B.A.L.S. program, a student may enroll in more than 11 credits. In some cases, capacity limits may restrict the school’s ability to permit students to take more than 11 credits in a semester.
Prospective students on J-1 or F-1 student visa status may not apply for admission to the part-time Liberal Studies Degree Program.
The B.A.L.S. program offers extensive academic advising for students in the program. Completing the undergraduate degree can be a challenge for students who are working full-time jobs, must juggle family responsibilities, and have extensive prior college study. The advising staff of the B.A.L.S. program helps students make wise choices in their academic programs and to navigate through difficulties that they may encounter.
Advising of all B.A.L.S. students is handled by the Assistant Dean for B.A.L.S., who is located in the SCS Office Suite at 640 Massachusetts Avenue. Approval of student petitions for overloads, non-B.A.L.S. coursework, and leaves of absence should be submitted to the Assistant Dean as well.
Students are encouraged to develop advising relationships with B.A.L.S. faculty members as well.
Incoming students are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Dean as soon as possible after they receive notice of admission. During the orientation process, incoming B.A.L.S. students are administered assessments in their reading and writing skills.
Continuing students are encouraged to meet with the Assistant Dean at least once each semester prior to the start of preregistration for the following semester’s courses. The Assistant Dean also is available to meet with students who are encountering difficulty in their studies. As needed, the Assistant Dean may refer individual students to support services throughout the university, including the Academic Resource Center, the Writing Center, the Career Center, and Counseling and Psychiatric Services.
Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to contact the Academic Resource Center before the start of classes to allow that office time to review their documentation and to make recommendations for appropriate accommodations, including note takers, books on tape, extended time on tests, interpreting services and enlarged texts, among others. There is a procedure for requesting an accommodation as well as a list of possible accommodations available.
Each semester, the B.A.L.S. program offers a Writing Boot Camp to help students hone their research and writing skills. Throughout the semester, the B.A.L.S. program offers a variety of other study-skills and career-development programs that can further assist students. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these support programs.
A graduate of the B.A.L.S. program will be able to:
- formulate and defend a coherent intellectual argument in oral and written form;
- collect, assess, and synthesize evidence relevant to an issue or question;
- act with intellectual integrity;
- identify and evaluate the ethical dimensions of an issue;
- describe principal elements of the Western intellectual tradition;
- apply the Western intellectual tradition in analyzing current issues;
- identify the key intellectual contributions of non-Western societies;
- relate the principal academic tenets of the student’s chosen degree concentration.
The 13 core courses provide the foundations for successful undergraduate study from the liberal studies perspective. The bulk of the core courses is comprised of a set of 10 interdisciplinary courses that will acquaint you with the evolution of Western civilization from ancient times to the third millennium.
The core courses are:
- BLHS-100: Introduction to Ethics
- BLHS-101: Introduction to the Social Sciences
- BLHS-102: Greeks and Romans
- BLHS-103: Biblical Literature and the Ancient World
- BLHS-104: Medieval Thought and Culture
- BLHS-105: Faith and Reason in the Middle Ages
- BLHS-106: The Renaissance
- BLHS-107: The Early Modern World
- BLHS-108: Enlightenment, Revolution and Democracy
- BLHS-109: The Nineteenth Century
- BLHS-110: War and Peace
- BLHS-111: The New Millennium
- BLHS-120: Writing in an Interdisciplinary Environment
Detailed descriptions of the course are available online in the university’s course catalog at http://courses.georgetown.edu.
A student’s first core course should be one of the following:
- BLHS-100 (Introduction to Ethics),
- BLHS-101 (Introduction to the Social Sciences),
- BLHS-102 (Greeks and Romans), or
- BLHS-103 (Biblical Literature and the Ancient World).
Also, all new B.A.L.S. students should plan to take BLHS-120 (Writing in an Interdisciplinary Environment) during the first two semesters.
Of the concentration courses, one must be a core course in the concentration, and a second must be either a core course in the concentration or a human values course in the concentration.
Concentrations (Curricular Fields)
Three major dimensions of American culture are explored through American Studies: the historical origins and development of the nation; the political and philosophical ideas which brought about the United States Constitution and an evolving political system; and the religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and literary texts which, for more than three centuries, have shaped the nature and direction of American society and civilization. The goal is for students to develop a critical, balanced, and integrated view of American life and society, and in the process to answer the question posed by Hector St. John de Cecoeur in the eighteenth century, “What, then, is the American, this new man?”
Courses in Catholic Studies focus on both the theological and the cultural dimensions of Catholicism, showing the connections between Catholic faith and life. Students explore the theological development of Catholicism from the biblical world through major thinkers of the past to contemporary thought. They also examine the many ways in which Catholicism has shaped a view of God, world, and human experience as manifested in art, literature, ethics, and spirituality.
Classical Civilizations explores many aspects of the ancient Mediterranean cultures of Greece and Rome which present a continuous, constantly developing tradition from the earliest surviving poetry (Homer, about 800 B.C.E.) to the rise of Medieval Europe some 1500 years later. Included are history, literature, art history and archaeology, philosophy, and myth. From this variety of disciplines the goal is a synthesis leading to a more comprehensive view of culture itself, and to an understanding of how ancient Greece and Rome have so profoundly influenced Western thought, art, and politics.
Communications provides students with a broad foundation in the basic skills and knowledge required for success in a wide variety of mass communications related professions. It promotes an understanding of the complexities of the communications industry and introduces students, through interdisciplinary study, to the major roles found in the communications industry. Students take courses in general communications, journalism, media studies, and public relations.
In today’s ever-changing business climate the Entrepreneurship concentration provides students a strong foundation to become leaders within their local, national and international communities. This concentration will address the human and social factors that shape innovation and entrepreneurship through courses based in leadership and social justice. At the same time, students will build a solid base of practical business knowledge from identifying business opportunities, to the application of accounting, marketing, finance and management skills.
In Humanities, students have the opportunity to shape an integrated, interdisciplinary program of study in art, philosophy, theology, literature, and history. In the course of their studies they will come to appreciate the distinct ways in which each discipline seeks to know and reflect the world in which we live. At the same time they will examine and evaluate the enduring insights of these disciplines in an effort to answer for their own lives the abiding private and public questions no person should escape or avoid.
International Affairs courses assist the student in forming a critical awareness of the complexity of issues in foreign policy and international affairs and an ethical framework for making informed decisions about these issues. Besides examining basic value conflicts in international relations such as questions about war and peace, human rights, nationalism and democracy, courses will be offered in international politics, business, economics; defense issues; the developing countries; and special geographic regions.
Leadership focuses on the analytical and practical skills necessary for effective leadership. The integration of practical skills with moral purpose is the defining characteristic. The concentration emphasizes leadership in organizations, whether business, nongovernmental, or governmental, while the educational focus is on developing the leadership capabilities of individuals. Courses are organized around theories of leadership and motivation, team and group dynamics, critical thinking, and ethical decision making.
Literature and Society
Literature and Society offers courses on traditional historical periods, major authors, and the genres of literature. Grounded in a careful reading of texts, the courses also offer students the opportunity to explore the relationship of literature to such disciplines as art, film, theatre, photography, theology, and cultural history. These courses give particular attention to the human values implicit in literature.
The Organizational Leadership concentration provides an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to developing skills in managing and leading within an organizational context. Students develop their skills in negotiating, managing workplace diversity, resolving conflict and setting strategic goals. This concentration builds practices needed to compete in today’s competitive business environment.
Through a variety of courses in the field of Religious Studies, students are invited to deepen their understanding of religion by asking such questions as, Why have humans been so habitually religious? Is religious understanding compatible with reason and science? Can one retrieve anything of significance from ancient religious texts and traditions? What is the relationship between religion and culture? What is theology? What is the status of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other kinds of theology in a religiously plural world?
Social/Public Policy courses analyze the political process; the role of government, private and public organizations/institutions in public policy decisions; national problems such as crime, poverty, and social inequality; and issues such as the role of the media, the intelligence community, and the impact of war. Special attention is focused on scientific discoveries and technological innovations that dramatically affect every aspect of society’s choices regarding science and technology including issues such as bioethics, computerization, privacy and genetic engineering.
Theory and Practice of American Democracy
History, philosophy, and social science combine in this field of Theory and Practice of American Democracy to describe the origins and distinctive character of the American form of democracy; to analyze the political processes by which the consent of the governed is achieved; to confront issues which reflect the ever present struggle to make democracy work for all elements of the society; to consider the continuing influence of the Constitution on American society and movements for change or reinterpretation; and to review institutional or international influences on government such as the media and foreign relations.
Urban Analysis and Community Development
This interdisciplinary concentration provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to better appreciate the challenges and opportunities facing people in urban areas. One goal is to understand oneself in the context of the larger community. A second is to explore the range of communities found in postindustrial and developing countries. A third is to provide a vision of social justice to guide social change so that people work together in constructing communities to make them more just, equitable, and humane. Students learn qualitative and quantitative methods and theoretical frameworks.
In addition to completing the core and concentration, a student must complete 21 credits (7 three-credit courses) in B.A.L.S. courses outside of the student’s concentration. The student’s concentration and electives courses together must include two courses in non-Western studies.
Other Georgetown Courses
With the approval of the B.A.L.S. program, students in the B.A.L.S. program may take a limited number of courses from other units of Georgetown University. Ordinarily these will count toward the electives requirement unless otherwise approved by the program.
A B.A.L.S. student may design an independent study project with any willing Georgetown faculty member. Instructions and forms are available at the B.A.L.S. program Web site. The completed proposal must be submitted to the B.A.L.S. program at least one week before the first day of class.
Courses at Other Institutions
B.A.L.S. students may take a limited number of courses at other Washington DC educational institutions. The student pays the usual Liberal Studies tuition rate, to Georgetown, for such arrangements. Information on the Washington Consortium is available in this Bulletin, and the necessary forms are available from the B.A.L.S. office.
Optionally, a student may complete a thesis, which counts toward credits required in the concentration. The student must have a minimum letter grade average of C and a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 quality points.
There is no across-the-board minimum length for a BALS thesis. The thesis should be a substantial work exceeding the length of customary term papers. The appropriate length will be determined by the faculty mentor, with the approval of the associate dean, taking into account the content of the thesis.
The student’s Thesis Committee is made up of the thesis mentor chosen by the student, the student’s Thesis Proposal Workshop professor, and the Associate Dean. Successful completion of the thesis proposal and its approval will result in a Pass (“S”) grade for the Workshop. Students who must Withdraw (“W”) from the course or Fail (“U”) the course may only register for the course one more time.
Before writing the thesis, the student completes the Thesis Proposal Workshop in the semester in which the student plans to prepare and submit for approval a thesis proposal (the semester before the student enrolls in the Thesis Research/Thesis Writing courses). This is a non-credit, zero-tuition course. Please note: The Thesis Proposal Workshop taken in conjunction with a three-credit course constitutes half-time status. During this Workshop the student joins with other students and the professor offering the Workshop to do the research necessary to create a statement of the nature, purpose, theme of the thesis; an outline of its parts; and a schedule of accomplishing these goals and completing the thesis.
Following the approval of the thesis proposal, a student registers in the three-credit Thesis Research/Thesis Writing courses offered during the fall or spring semesters. Enrollment in these two courses constitutes half-time status. The Thesis Writing course is the final three-credit course for Bachelor’s candidates who choose the three-credit thesis option. Students must also register at the same time for the Thesis Research course, which is for 0 credits, $0 tuition, and carries no grade. The Thesis Writing course is for the actual production of the thesis and carries three credits with regular semester tuition charges and is assigned a letter grade by the student’s mentor reflecting the work on the thesis.
All theses not completed during the first term in which the student enrolls in the Thesis Research and Thesis Writing courses MUST be submitted and accepted by the established deadlines of the following semester (fall or spring, summer not included).
Thesis final deadlines are: May 1 for students enrolled in Thesis Writing/Research in the Fall semester Dec. 1 for students enrolled in Thesis Writing/Research in the Spring semester Failure to complete the thesis by the final deadline results in the grade of “F” for the course and termination of degree candidacy. (If these dates fall on a weekend, the following Monday will be the deadline.)
Undergraduates who receive an “N” for the first semester of the thesis course may request a letter from the Pro-gram Director explaining their student status so that they may continue using the library.
At least annually, each student also is encouraged to review his or her Degree Audit, a computerized analysis of the student’s progress toward the degree that will indicate which requirements remain to be completed. The Degree Audit is available on MyAccess. Every B.A.L.S. student majors in liberal studies, and each must also have a concentration. An admitted B.A.L.S. student is initially enrolled in the concentration that he or she declared in the admissions application. The student can change concentrations at any time by supplying written notice to the Assistant Dean. It usually is prudent to first meet with the Assistant Dean to consider whether changing concentrations will necessitate additional coursework by the student.
Degree Conferral Time-line
In addition to completing the Core courses and Concentration requirements, all students must complete 120 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better to qualify for graduation. In some cases, students may need to complete more than 120 credits in order to satisfy all Core and Concentration requirements. The B.A.L.S. degree must be completed within 10 years of first registration. The B.A.L.S. program can grant extensions with documentation of exceptional circumstances; however, students must submit requests for such extensions in advance or risk being withdrawn from the program.
Due to federal regulations, a B.A.L.S. student who does not register for class in either fall or spring semester will be involuntarily withdrawn from the program. A student can avoid withdrawal by instead requesting a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester. Contact the Assistant Dean for information on requesting a leave of absence and for deadlines for requesting return from leave. The student is well advised to consult with the Office of Financial Aid on the consequences of a leave of absence.
Please Note: The above policy does not apply to summer semesters. Students need not request a leave in order to avoid taking classes during summer.
See the description of the Georgetown University Undergraduate Honor System in the Academic Regulations section of this Bulletin.
Academic Actions: Probation
If a student fails one course during a semester, the student is automatically placed on probation and remains in that status until the terms of the probation are satisfied. In addition, a student will be placed on probation if his/her cumulative quality index is below 2.0 at the end of any academic semester. A student remains on academic probation until a minimal cumulative 2.0 GPA is achieved.
- Academic actions: Academic dismissal (degree candidacy terminated)
- Academic dismissal is determined on one of two grounds: academic integrity or academic ineligibility.
For students in the B.A.L.S. Program, earning one “F” in a semester while on probation, two “F’s” in any one semester regardless of previous record, or at any time an accumulation of three “F’s” results in academic dismissal.
Dismissal Appeal and Readmission after Dismissal
A student who has been dismissed for academic reasons should not expect to be readmitted at a later date. In very rare cases, however, when in the judgment of the B.A.L.S. Dean there is clear evidence of probable future academic success, a written application from the student for readmission may be considered. In those cases, the dismissed student may submit a written appeal to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Compliance who will then refer the case to the B.A.L.S. Standards Committee comprised of three faculty members. This appeal procedure is not to be used for the circumvention of standard requirements or Program policies (e.g., grade point average and thesis requirements), but is instead designed to deal with exceptional, documented cases. Students should consult with the B.A.L.S. Associate Dean about the types of materials to submit in their appeal applications.
The student must present his or her grounds for appeal to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Compliance, in writing, within 60 days of the date of the termination of degree candidacy notification. The Associate Dean will forward the materials to the Standards Committee. The Standards Committee reserves the right to make its judgment based on the written materials alone. If the materials so warrant, a formal hearing may also be held. The recommendation of the Committee to grant or deny the student’s request for readmission will be forwarded to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Compliance who will then notify the student. The Committee may also recommend that the student complete additional steps for an appeal to be considered (such as successfully completing certain courses elsewhere to demonstrate academic commitment). All decisions rendered are considered final and without right of further appeal.
Course Grade Appeal
Liberal Studies faculty members have been chosen due to their unique experience and expertise in their respective fields. As such, SCS strongly believes in the authority of its faculty to determine the academic merit and grades of their students. While students may request a review of their final course grade in the steps outlined below, they should also keep in mind that the faculty member is considered the academic and professional expert in determining their grade. In the case of all grade appeal reviews, the student should be aware that the re-evaluation of the grade could lead to the grade being raised, sustained, or lowered.
The grade appeal procedure is not set up to address allegations of discrimination (please see the “Non-Discrimination Policy” under “University and Program Policies” in this Handbook). However, SCS takes all such allegations very seriously and advises that students who believe they have been discriminated against make a formal complaint through the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (202-687-4798; firstname.lastname@example.org). The Grievance Procedure and Discrimination Complaint form can be found at http://ideaa.georgetown.edu/policies/.
In the event that a student would like to appeal the final grade received for a course, the following steps are to be taken:
- Students should first seek an explanation for the grade through a discussion with the instructor. This process must begin no later than 30 days after the beginning of the semester following that semester in which the contested grade was received. Students should bring copies of the course syllabus and all graded assignments with them to their meeting with the instructor so that they can discuss all aspects of their grade and how it was calculated and recorded. The syllabus should serve as a guideline with the understanding that instructors can make amendments to their syllabi during the semester (adding or deleting assignments, for example, or changing a percentage allocation for an assignment under unusual circumstances) if needed as long as all students in the course are held to the same academic standards.
If, after speaking with the instructor, the student still believes that the final grade was incorrectly assigned, s/he may then appeal in writing to (a) the Associate Dean if the course is specific to the B.A.L.S. program (BLHS/BLHV) or (b) the Chair of the department offering the course if the course is taught outside of the program (such as a HIST or PHIL course). In the case of (b), the student should copy the B.A.L.S. Associate Dean on his/her correspondence to the department Chair.
At this level of appeal, the student should supply a copy of the syllabus, relevant emails, and copies of all graded assignments. This process must begin no later than 60 days after the beginning of the semester following that semester in which the contested grade was received. The course instructor may also be contacted by the Associate Dean or Chair for additional information. Upon completion of this review, the Associate Dean or Chair may decide (1) that there is no basis for the appeal and the original grade will be upheld or (2) that the appeal warrants further review by a faculty committee. In the case of B.A.L.S. course (BLHS/BLHV) appeals, this committee is comprised of three faculty members who have taught within that program. If a committee is called, the Associate Dean will name a chair of that committee and all members will review the information and assignments and then make a formal, written recommendation to the Associate Dean. In re-evaluating the student’s work, the committee can recommend to raise, sustain, or lower the grade. The Associate Dean of the program will make a recommendation to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Compliance. In the case of courses taught outside of B.A.L.S., SCS will follow the grade appeal procedures determined by the relevant department Chair and Georgetown School.
If, after speaking with the instructor and B.A.L.S. Associate Dean, the student would like to appeal a B.A.L.S. (BLHS/BLHV) course grade further based upon procedural grounds, s/he may then submit a formal request to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Compliance and the Dean of the School of Continuing Studies for final review. The Senior Associate Dean will complete an investigation on behalf of the Dean. This process must begin no later than 90 days after the beginning of the semester following that semester in which the contested grade was received. Please note: This final level of appeal reviews the administrative handling of the appeal only. Neither the Senior Associate Dean nor the Dean of SCS will evaluate the academic merit of the work (such as re-grading a paper or test). The decision of the Dean is final and not open to further appeal. In the case of courses taught outside of B.A.L.S., SCS will follow the grade appeal procedures determined by the relevant department Chair and Georgetown School.
Pending Grade Appeal
A student may request a delay in imposing academic termination from the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Compliance, because of a pending grade appeal that could change the student’s status. An approved delay allows the student to register while on termination. This request must be submitted by the student in writing to the Senior Associate Dean at least two weeks prior to the first day of classes of the semester in which the termination has been placed. Submission of a request does not guarantee approval will be granted.
If the grade appeal is successful, the official transcript is corrected and the student continues in classes. If the grade appeal is not successful, the student is required to stop attending all classes immediately. No record of registration for the academic period appears on a transcript and the student receives the appropriate refund as of the decision date.
Earning the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree requires a total of 120 credits, earned at Georgetown or else-where, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. These are divided among Core courses, concentration courses, and electives.
B.A.L.S. degrees are granted in May, August, and December. B.A.L.S. students contact the Associate Dean in their final semester to request and submit a Degree Application by Oct. 1 for December degree completion, Feb. 1 for May degree completion, and May 1 for August completion.
B.A.L.S. students must settle all financial obligations to the University—e.g., overdue tuition, library fines, and late fees—so that their account balance is $0 before submitting their thesis or completing their last course to be eligible to graduate and receive a diploma and final transcript. The financial clearance deadlines are Dec. 1 if completing the degree in December, May 1 if completing the degree in May, or August 1 if completing the degree in August.
All graduates are awarded their degrees and diplomas at Commencement Exercises scheduled in May. Students whose degrees were posted earlier are encouraged to participate in the formal graduation ceremony in May of each year.