Graduate Online Academic Information

Academic Calendar

Grace Christian University operates on a semester basis. A school year consists of two semesters, each of which for Graduate Programs consist of 24 weeks (four courses which are each six weeks
long). The Graduate Studies Program schedule includes multiple breaks throughout the year. Consult the Academic Calendar for specific dates.

Unit of Credit

The unit of credit is the semester hour. A semester credit represents 3,000 minutes of coursework or its equivalent. Due to the program’s online format, courses have been designed to total the requisite hours of study for each three-credit class.

The following table represents the minimum workload for each type of course. Workload includes student engagement in reading, research, online discussions, assignment preparation, and writing.

Type of Course Minimum Work Load
All Graduate three-credit courses (online only)

All undergraduate three-credit courses (on-campus/hybrid/online)

All undergraduate two-credit courses (on-campus only)

All undergraduate one-credit courses (on-campus only)

150 hours

112.5 hours

75 hours

37.5 hours

Course Numbers

Courses numbered 100-299 are lower division courses and are generally for freshman and sophomore students. Courses numbered 300-499 are upper division courses and are generally for junior and senior students. Courses numbered 500+ are graduate level courses.

Course Overload

Graduate students are not permitted to take more than one six-week graduate level course at a time. GRADUATE ONLINE ACADEMIC CATALOG 69 TABLE OF CONTENTS / Academic Information


Academic advising is provided by an assigned faculty or staff member to allow an ongoing series of consultations between students and an advisor. Therefore, every student admitted to the University is assigned an academic advisor. Advisors are available to offer counsel to students regarding academic policies and procedures, in registering for courses each semester, in checking progress toward obtaining their degree and in matters relating to personal and spiritual growth. While advisors and advisees share in the advising process, each student is responsible for meeting his/her educational goals and satisfying graduation requirements.


For Online programs, learner attendance is defined by posting once per calendar week (not weekly content) in response to discussion questions or assignments (academic work). Emailing other course participants (including the faculty) does not count towards attendance. When a student drops or withdraws from a class, the last date of attendance (LDA) is to be reported as the last calendar date a student submitted academic work. Academic work could be a discussion board post or an assignment. If no academic work is submitted, the student’s LDA is considered prior to the start of the class. The LDA determines the refund of tuition as well as any required return of financial aid funds. Participation differs from attendance. While a learner may be in attendance (having submitted academic work), the participation may not be exemplary. Participation in a class involves being interactive with fellow learners and faculty, whether in discussions, activities, or projects. Participation in each course will vary depending on the circumstances.


• A student who is inactive in Week 1 and Week 2 may be administratively dropped from the course. A $100 drop fee will apply.

• A student who attends a course during Week 1 and/or Week 2 of the course and is then inactive in the course for two consecutive weeks may be administratively withdrawn from the course and issued a W grade. Whether the student’s last date of attendance in the course is during Week 1 or Week 2 of the course will determine the refund and fees implications.

• A student who is withdrawn or dropped from a course due to two consecutive weeks of inactivity and is inactive in his or her next course may be administratively withdrawn from the institution.

In the event of a personal emergency, the student should contact their instructor and academic advisor as soon as safely possible.  Accommodations for such emergency situations will be dealt with on a case by case basis at the approval of the faculty and/or administration.


Because of the accelerated nature of graduate courses, it is important that coursework is submitted on time. The following policies outline due dates and penalties related to late submissions. Discussion forums are designed to encourage active learning and communication on topics relevant to the module. It is important then that this discussion be timely.

• The initial post for each discussion forum must be posted by 3:00 am EST/EDT on Saturday. No late initial posts will be accepted.

• All response posts must be posted by 3:00 am EST/EDT on Tuesday. No late response posts will be accepted.

Other assignments (including essays, journals, and projects) must be submitted by 3:00 am EST/EDT on Tuesday to avoid any penalty. Exceptions to this policy may be granted in the case of extenuating circumstances and with prior approval from the instructor.

• 24 Hours Late – Assignments submitted within 24 hours past the due date will have a 10% late penalty of the final assignment grade.

• 48 Hours Late – Will receive a 20% late penalty of the final assignment grade.

• 3-7 Days Late – Will receive a 50% late penalty of the final assignment grade.

• Beyond 7 Days Late – Assignments submitted beyond 7 days past the due date are not accepted and will receive a zero.