Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog


Registration is required for each semester and accelerated or summer session. Students must be officially registered in order to receive credit for a course(s). Therefore, the student must complete registration procedures, including satisfactory arrangement of payment for fees by cash, financial aid, or other means in accordance with University policy and procedures. A full-time student is one who is enrolled for at least 12 credit hours during the semester

Academic Advisement

Students are assigned to a faculty advisor to ensure students are following the general education core and program curricula in the correct sequence and are taking the approved course loads during matriculation. Faculty advisors are encouraged to meet with their student advisees at least twice per semester, either in person or remotely. To ensure that students meet with their academic advisors, an advising hold is placed on the student’s record and can only be removed by the advisor after the advisement, thus allowing the student to register for classes. Each student is provided a Personal Identification Number (PIN) by the Office of the Registrar that is used to access their records via the web. 

Advanced Academic Placement

Shaw University participates in the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. Students who earn advanced credit in high school based on exam scores and criteria submitted by the College Board are accepted by the University, and count towards satisfying both core curriculum (General Education) and major (program) degree requirements, consistent with published institutional policy.

Auditing a Course

A person who has been admitted to the University may be registered, with the permission of the instructor, as an auditor in a class (no academic credit). An auditor is not required to take an active part in class activities or to pass examinations. A student who takes a course as an auditor may not repeat it later for credit. Tuition is charged at the prevailing rate. Students who audit a course submit no daily work, take no examinations or quizzes, and receive no credit for the course. The instructor is not required to give a final grade or final evaluation of the student’s progress.

Formal application must be processed prior to the student’s entering a class for audit. The student applies for admission to the class by writing to the instructor; after receiving the approval of the instructor and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student presents such approval to the University Cashier with the required payment. The cashier validates the request and provides a copy for the Director of Records and Registration.

Buckley Amendment (FERPA)

The University policy for the administration of student educational records is in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-380). Personal identifiable information contained in student educational records will not be disclosed to persons outside the University without the prior consent of the student. Under this policy, the student also has the right of access to student educational records maintained by the University or any department within the University. A copy of the University policy dealing with the privacy of student educational records is maintained in the Office of Records and Registration.

For the purposes of this Regulation, “student” means an individual who is or has been in attendance at the university. It does not include persons who have been admitted but did not attend the university or individuals enrolled solely in non-credit courses. “Attendance” starts when the individual matriculates or declares their intention to enroll at the university, whichever comes first.

Access to Student Educational Records

Students who want to inspect their education records should direct that request to the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar shall provide access to the records during regular business hours. However, parts of their records may not be inspected by students (e.g., students may not review financial records of their parents, certain letters of recommendation, or certain medical records). The University will comply with the request from a student to review their records within a reasonable time, but in any event not more than forty-five days after the request is made.

Generally, students may obtain copies of their education records if circumstances make on-site inspection impractical and the student is in good standing. For example, a request for copies may be denied if the student lives within commuting distance of Shaw University, or there is a “hold” on the student’s records, or an unresolved disciplinary action against the student, or the requested records include exam or test questions.

When copies are provided, the student may be charged a reasonable fee for the actual copying expense.

A student who believes that their educational records contain inaccuracies or misleading information may provide information to challenge that record, and may have his or her own statement of explanation in the record. Any complaint pertaining to student records should be made directly to the Office of the Registrar.

Directory Information

Shaw University may disclose “directory information” without student consent. Directory information consists of:

  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade level
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended
  • Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc. (A student’s SSN, in whole or in part, cannot be used for this purpose.)

Privacy of Records

Shaw University shall not disclose the education records of a student to other persons unless that student has given consent in writing or an exception exists under FERPA:

  • “School officials” including employees or agents of the university, advisors, faculty, university committee members
  • Persons or companies with whom the university has contracted may inspect a student’s records regardless of consent, but only the specific student information needed provided they have a legitimate educational interest in the records. “Legitimate educational interest” means an activity that a school official, agent or contractor is undertaking in the name of the university for which access to an educational record is necessary or appropriate to fulfill that individual’s responsibilities for the university. Contractors are bound by the restrictions on redisclosure under FERPA.
  • Other educational institutions seeking information for the purpose of admission or enrollment
  • The university may disclose the final results of campus disciplinary proceedings in which a student respondent is charged with a violent crime or non-forcible sex offense. Upon the request of the complainant, disclosure may be made regardless of whether the respondent was found responsible. Disclosures to third parties may be made only if the student respondent is found responsible. Disclosure in this situation is limited to the name of the violator, the type of student code violation found to have occurred, and the sanction imposed by the university.
  • Other exceptions when the university may disclose educational records without the student’s consent include, but are not limited to, the following situations: parents of dependent students, other educational institutions, to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena or court order, to protect the health and safety of the student or others in an emergency, in litigation and implied waivers by the student.

Students may block disclosure of directory information. To block disclosure of directory information, a student must notify the Registrar’s Office. Even if a student blocks directory information, it may still be disclosed or inspected by those persons authorized to inspect education records without consent.

Changes in Course Registration (Add/Drop/Withdrawal)

Any change in a student’s registration must be made during the official add/drop period. Changes to the schedule must have approval by the student’s academic advisor and the Registrar before the course is changed. Changes in registration can normally occur only within the prescribed dates shown on the academic calendar. A student may add/drop a course electronically during the prescribed period. However, after the add/drop period, a student cannot change their schedule electronically. A student can only withdraw from a course after the add/drop period; they cannot add a course. If a student withdraws from a course, the student will receive a grade of “W.” A student cannot withdraw from all courses using this procedure. To withdraw from all courses, a student must withdraw from the University using the approved procedure to withdraw from the University.

Course Credit

Shaw University uses the Federal Definition and the Carnegie Unit to determine semester credit hours awarded to students for coursework. The University awards a Carnegie Unit of credit to students for satisfactory completion of one (1) fifty (50) minute session of classroom instruction or direct faculty instruction. A unit of credit equates to three (3) hours of student work per week (1) hour lecture plus two (2) hours of homework or three (3) hours of lab for not less than 16 weeks or the equivalent time in non-traditional terms.

Distance Education courses are governed by the following:

Shaw University defines one (1) credit hour as 15 hours of student engagement in the online classroom. An additional 15-45 hours of readings, homework and out-of-class work are expected. For each three-credit-hour course, students are expected to participate in in-class (online) student engagement for at least 45 hours. Shaw University does not award for coursework taken on a noncredit basis.

Course Overload

A student may not enroll in more than 18 hours without having an approved overload form approved by the Advisor, Department Head, and Dean. Overload course registration can not exceed 24 credit hours per semester. Students must meet minimum requirements, including grade point average of a 3.0, to request a course overload. Course Overload forms are approved by the Advisor, Department Head, and Dean for submission to the Office of the Registrar.

Course Substitutions

Students may substitute no more than two courses in a program. Substitutions must contribute educational value to the program in which the student is enrolled and be judged to contribute toward the student’s primary objective. The authorization to substitute a requirement does not reduce the total hours required for a degree. The student is still held responsible for the total aggregate of hours shown in the curriculum outline. Recommendations to substitute one course for another must be approved by the Advisor, Department Head and Dean, with final approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for submission to the Office of the Registrar.

Credit for Special Educational Experience

Credit for life experience, military experience, military schools, and similar educational experience is awarded based on recommendations of the American Council of Education and approval of the Department Head with final approval of the Dean for submission to the Office of the Registrar.

 Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is awarded for prior non-academic credentials, knowledge, skills, and competencies that students have obtained as a result of prior learning experiences. CPL credits are reviewed and awarded by the appropriate Shaw University academic unit, based on learning experiences obtained prior to enrolling at Shaw University.

To be eligible to apply for CPL, a student must be admitted to Shaw University and declare a major, since credit awarded is applied to the student’s specific major program of study. A minimum of 25 percent of the total number of credits for any Shaw University degree or certificate program must be earned at Shaw University.

Shaw University students who, through individual study or experience, have gained equivalent knowledge of the content and outcomes of undergraduate courses offered by the University may be eligible for CPL. Prior learning experiences, when properly documented by the student seeking CPL, may be evaluated for consideration by the appropriate Shaw University academic unit.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) provides the opportunity for a student to earn academic course credit by credential or by examination at Shaw University for off-campus college level learning as follows:

Credit by Credentials:

  • A classroom and/or formal on-the-job training program sponsored by a business, industry, agency, the military, an educational institution, association or organization
  • Training demonstrated by the award of a license or certificate issued by a State or Federal regulatory agency or recognized professional association.
  • The knowledge gained is of collegiate quality and equates to the content and learning outcomes of a similar course included in the current curriculum at Shaw University.
  • Credit for Prior Learning will not be given if credit has already been granted through other courses, whether through transfer, examination credit (including CLEP) or some other method.

Prior-Learning credits may not be used for

  • CPL will not be awarded if credit has already been granted through other courses, whether through transfer, examination credit (including CLEP), or some other method.
  • Competency courses, including math, oral speech, writing and writing-intensive, and quantitative reasoning (QR)
  • Shaw University residency requirements

Credit for Prior Learning Evaluation Responsibilities

Shaw students who feel qualified to have prior experiences evaluated for CPL, have the responsibility to contact their respective academic Dean via e-mail within the first semester of enrollment at the University, including a detailed resume and supporting documentation (i.e., certificates, certifications, exam results, etc.) listing the experience, coursework, and/or training that may be eligible for CPL.  The Dean will forward the documentation to a subject-matter expert advisor within the appropriate department to identify the prior experiences that are eligible for CPL. Any CPL awarded will apply to general electives, related studies, and by exception with the appropriate Department Head’s written approval may apply to the general education requirements.

For additional information on procedures, fees, and courses exempted by examination, consult the Office of the Registrar.

 Credit by Examination

Shaw University recognizes the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Departmental Examinations, Exemption Examination,(allows a student to start at a higher level class) College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), Defense Act for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES),and Advanced Placement Programs.

College Level Examination Program:

Students taking the CLEP examination must score 50 or better to receive credit for the examination. No more than 6 credit hours will normally be accepted for CLEP credit.

Department Examination:

Students are allowed to take a departmental examination to earn challenge credit for a course. Students must file a request for a departmental examination within two weeks after the scheduled closing date for registration within that same semester. Applications must be approved by the Department Head, with final approval by the Dean, before taking the credit by exam. Credit by Examination is authorized in all areas, but it is the prerogative of the department faculty to exclude specific courses that are demonstrably unsuited for credit by examination. Students should contact the Department Head or Academic Advisor for eligible course listings. Any course that a student has previously taken or is currently enrolled in cannot be taken by Credit by Examination. Credits earned through Credit by Examination are not used in the computation of a student’s grade point average (GPA), which means that final grades may be “S” or “U.” No more than 6 credit hours of departmental examinations will normally be accepted.

Exemption Examination:

Students may wish to take an Exemption Examination to exempt them from entry level courses. Credit will not be granted in this instance, but the successful student may enroll in the higher-level class.

College Entrance Examination:

College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), Defense Act for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and Advanced Placement Programs, may not exceed a combined maximum of 60 credit hours.

For additional information on procedures, fees, and courses exempted by examination, consult the Office of the Registrar.

 Advanced Academic Placement

Shaw University participates in the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. Students who earn advanced credit in high school based on exam scores and criteria submitted by the College Board are accepted by the University, and count towards satisfying both core curriculum (General Education) and major degree requirements, consistent with published institutional policy.

Eligibility for Registration

Eligibility for registration is determined by the following categories:

New Student:

Upon receipt of a letter of admission, the new student is eligible for registration on the stated days of registration upon completing the orientation program and/or meeting with their academic advisor. 

Re-admitted Student:

A student previously registered at the University who was not registered during the preceding semester must apply for and be granted readmission by the Admissions Office before being eligible for registration. Registration may occur after meeting with their academic advisor.

Continuing Student:

A student registered in the immediately preceding semester or the summer session proceeding the Fall semester is eligible to register, assuming good standing and enrollment in a continuing program, after meeting with their academic advisor.

Enrollment Verification, Degree Verification, and Electronic Requests for Official Transcripts

Shaw University utilizes the services of the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to provide enrollment verification, degree verification, and electronic requests for official transcripts. NSC receives data (i.e., for enrollment and degree verifications) electronically from Shaw University and, in compliance with FERPA, dispenses the information electronically to requesting lending institutions, prospective employers, background investigation firms, and credit granting agencies.

Independent Study

Independent Study is restricted to juniors and seniors and is to be used only when particular courses are needed to meet graduation requirements. No student may take more than eight semester hours through Independent Study., Students may not register a course an Independent Study course that was previously failed. Courses taken through Independent Study must be approved by the Advisor and Department Head with final approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean for submission to the Office of the Registrar. 

Interinstitutional Registration - Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC)

Shaw University is a partner in the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges Consortium.  That partnership provides an opportunity for cross registration of undergraduate students among CRC member institutions.  The member institutions include Meredith College, NC State University, William Peace University, St. Augustine’s University, Wake Technical Community College, and Shaw University.  The CRC cross registration is designed to allow undergraduate students to take courses at other institutions.  While the institution expects that undergraduate students, who are earning a Shaw University degree take their courses at Shaw University, there may be occasions when taking courses at one of our CRC institutions could add value to our students’ academic journey.  

Each semester, students in programs leading to degrees in any one of these institutions have the opportunity to select and register for courses from the combined courses offered at CRC schools, provided the course is not available at their home institution. Space in a CRC course or availability of a CRC course is not guaranteed.  Even though credits earned in the CRC program are not considered to be transfer credits at Shaw University, written permission, on forms provided, is required in all cases prior to registration at a CRC institution. The student is required to meet registration requirements and follow procedures being used at Shaw University and the institution to be visited. Credit for courses taken at CRC institutions is processed and posted for Shaw University students the same as for courses taken in residence.

This privilege is subject to the regulations of the school in which the student is currently enrolled.

To registrar for a CRC course:

  • Shaw University undergraduate student must enroll for a minimum of 12 hours (full-time status) for the semester. The hours taken at the CRC institution may count as part of the 12 hours.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Be enrolled in a degree seeking program at Shaw University.
  • A student is not eligible to take CRC courses during their freshman year.
  • Distance learning/online courses at NCSU and Wake Tech are not included in the CRC options.
  • The course cannot be a duplicate course for which the student has already received credit.
  • The maximum credits a student may take through CRC shall be approved by the student’s advisor.
  • Tuition is charged for CRC through Shaw University; however, the student will be responsible for student fees (including lab fees, art fees, etc.) and any books or supplies required for the CRC course. These expenses are NOT covered by Financial Aid.

To withdraw from a CRC Course:

  • Must first notify the Registrar at the attended school and follow all regulations for the withdrawal in place at the attended school.
  • The Registrar of the attended school will notify the Shaw University Registrar of the withdrawal.

CRC Registration is not available during the Summer Sessions/Accelerated Terms

Interinstitutional registration among Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC) must be approved by the Advisor, and the Department Head, with final approval from the Dean for submission to the Office of the Registrar at Shaw University as well as the Registrar of the college to be visited.

Information about the program is available on the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges website at http://crcraleighcolleges.org/courses/cross-registration/. 

Repeating a Course

A student cannot receive credit twice for the same course. If a course is repeated in which credit hours are earned, the student’s permanent record will be adjusted by subtracting the hours of the lower grade from the total hours earned. Credit hours will then be recorded only for the higher grade. Only the new grade/quality points will be used to factor the resulting cumulative GPA. The previous grade, e.g. “F” (0), will be deleted as a factor and the new grade, e.g. “B” (3), will be used - thus increasing the cumulative GPA. If you repeat a course you previously passed such as with a “D” you will not receive an additional three (3) credit hours for the course.

A = 4 points

C = 2 points


B = 3 points

D = 1 point



F = No Credit (0)


GPA is determined by multiplying the number of credit hours a course yields by the grade point value of the letter grade received, and dividing the total number of semester hours attempted (minus those courses repeated) into the total number of grade points earned. For instance, the student receiving the grades shown in the following example has a GPA of 2.53.



A (4 pts.)

12 quality points (3 x 4)



B (3 pts.)

9 quality points (3 x 3)



D (1 pt.)

3 quality points (3 x 1)



B (3 pts.)

3 quality points (1 x 3)



C (3 pts.)

6 quality points (3 x 2)


13 credits


33 quality points

GPA 2.53 (33 quality points divided by 13 hours)

Student Status

For the purpose of defining student status, undergraduates taking 12 or more credit hours during the semester are considered to be full-time students. Undergraduates taking 11 or fewer credit hours during the semester are considered to be part-time.