Mar 20, 2023  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Studies

The College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies at Life University provides a broad-based educational experience for our students. The College offers an accredited post-baccalaureate program and four Master’s degrees that will prepare the student for careers in a variety of professional fields.

The post-baccalaureate dietetics programs provide didactic and internship opportunities for students who aspire to achieve Registered Dietitian credentials.

The Master’s in Sport Health Science leads to careers in fields such as sports chiropractic, exercise science, athletic coaching, sports injury management, and performance nutrition.

The Master’s in Clinical Nutrition leads to careers in organizations such as physician’s offices, hospitals, schools, health clubs, nursing homes, and food companies in areas such as research, development, sales, marketing, public relations and public education. Nutrition professionals with a Master’s degree are often considered first for positions in specialty fields such as pediatrics, critical care, and geriatrics, as well as management positions.

The Master’s in Athletic Training leads to careers in the healthcare profession providing comprehensive care to athletes and physically active individuals. A Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) is involved in the prevention, assessment or evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. An ATC may be employed in high schools, colleges, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs, corporations and other health care settings.

The Master’s in Positive Psychology leads to careers in research, management, and leadership in business organizations, educational institutions, and governments, as well as health care. With three tracks covering coaching psychology, secular ethics and contemplative science, and general positive psychology, students are prepared for careers in the field or advanced degrees of their choice.

The faculty and staff promote an atmosphere in which open communication and free exchange of ideas can flourish in a supportive environment.

Graduate Academic Programs


Clinical Nutrition, M.S.   

Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics (Post-Baccalaureate Program)  

For questions contact:

Assistant Dean of Nutrition, Dr. Denise Pickett-Bernard

1269 Barclay Circle Marietta, GA 30060 • 770-426-1740 •

Sport Health Science

Athletic Training, M.A.T.  

For questions contact:

Interim Program Director, Dr. Roxanne Caron

1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060 •770-426-2771 •

Sport Health Science, M.S.  

For questions contact:

Assistant Dean of Sport Health Science, Dr. Cathy Faust

1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060 • 770-426-2771•

Positive Human Development and Social Change

Positive Psychology, M.S. (General Track)(Offered Online Only)  

Positive Psychology, M.S. (Secular Ethics & Contemplative Science Track)  

Positive Psychology, M.S. (Coaching Psychology Track)(Offered Online Only)  

For questions contact:

Assistant Dean of Positive Human Development and Social Change, Dr. Cory Viehl
1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, Georgia 30060 • 678-331-4341 •

Graduate Tuition and Fees

All tuition and fees are due and payable upon registration but not later than the end of the second week of classes each quarter. If awarded financial aid falls short of total charges for the quarter, the student is responsible to pay the difference.

Tuition fees at the master’s degree level are $257.00 per credit hour plus a $350.00 quarterly fee.

The annual tuition for the Dietetic Internship (DTR 511 ) is $8,000 (student fee exempt).

Auditing is available to students, staff, and faculty as well as interested persons from the general public (some course restrictions may apply). Students who audit a course will be charged $100 per course (+ $20 parking fee, as applicable). Students who wish to audit only portions of a course for course hours will be charged $100 per 30 hours (+ $20 parking fee, as applicable).

All Main Campus students are assessed a $350.00 quarterly student fee.

Note: Tuition and fee rates are subject to change. The University and its various divisions and departments reserve the right to modify requirements, policies, and fees without prior notice.

Financial Aid Awarding Policy

A student must have at least half-time status in a program of study to apply for financial aid. You cannot combine credits from more than one program to meet the half-time status. If your registration changes from when you were awarded, you must contact the Financial Aid Office. See or call the Financial Aid Office if you are unsure of your financial aid status.

Undergraduates will be awarded based on 15 hours per quarter.

Graduate students will be awarded based on 12 hours per quarter.

Doctor of Chiropractic Program students will be awarded based on 25 hours per quarter.

Failure to pay all charges due on a student’s account will restrict his or her ability to register for future quarters, receive (order/send) official transcripts and diplomas, or graduate with a degree.

Reminder: A student must have at least half-time status in a program of study to qualify for most types of financial aid. For financial aid purposes, half-time enrollment status in Life University’s graduate programs is a minimum of 5 credit hours. 9 credit hours is considered full-time. Students who plan to skip enrolling in classes for one or more quarters should notify the Registrar in writing.

If a student withdraws from a class, refunds of tuition paid are given based on a sliding scale depending on the date of withdrawal from the class. No refund of tuition or fees is made for withdrawn courses when a student is dismissed, suspended, or expelled for disciplinary reasons.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

Effective July 7, 2011 (supersedes all former policies)

The United States Department of Education and most agencies providing financial assistance require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in their course of study to continue receiving funding. Failure to maintain SAP will result in the loss of Federal Title IV financial aid as well as State and other aid.

Federal Title IV financial aid includes the Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Subsidized Loan, Unsubsidized Loan, Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Graduate PLUS loan and Federal Work-Study. State aid includes the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG), HOPE Scholarship and Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (LEAP).

The student’s entire academic history is evaluated to determine whether or not he/she is maintaining SAP. This evaluation is not affected by whether or not aid was previously received or whether a student has changed programs. The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or grade forgiveness.

Graduate Program Expectations

Master’s students will be evaluated at the end of each quarter. Students in the Graduate (GR) program are expected to complete at least 67 percent of all attempted hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Graduate students will be evaluated every quarter.

Students not meeting SAP will be placed on financial aid warning for one quarter. If at the end of their warning quarter students are still not meeting SAP, they will become ineligible. Students may regain Federal eligibility by enrolling using their own resources or alternative funding sources until they have met a cumulative 3.0 GPA and completed 67 percent of their courses.

SAP is measured in three ways:

  1. Qualitative Standard (Grade Point Average – GPA):
  • The cumulative GPA is provided by the Registrar’s Office, and is listed at the bottom of the student’s transcript.
  • Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
  1. Quantitative Standard:
  • All students are expected to complete at least 67 percent of all courses attempted.
  • Attempted courses are defined as those for which one has registered and been charged, in which grades of A, B, C, D, F, W, WF, I, P, SP, NP, WNP or IP are given.
  • Completed courses are defined as those in which grades of A, B, C, SP or P are given.
  1. Time Frame

All students are expected to finish their degrees after having attempted coursework not to exceed 150 percent of their graduate program requirements (measured in credit hours attempted).

Students seeking a Master’s degree may not receive financial aid after having attempted graduate credit hours that exceed 150 percent of degree requirements.


If there are extenuating circumstances beyond their control, students have the right to appeal their SAP determination. The appeal must be directly relatable to the academic period for which the student is being evaluated and cannot have been previously submitted for review.

Appeals must be submitted in writing using the SAP appeal form obtained by speaking with a Financial Aid Counselor and MUST include supporting third-party documentation. Appeals without supporting documentation will not be accepted. Students are required to submit a statement regarding why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation.

Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval and if the appeal is denied students will be responsible for paying the Institution any balance owed without Federal funds. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee (FAAC) will consider each appeal on its own merits and the decision of the FAAC committee is final.

During the FAAC review it will be determined if the student can or cannot meet SAP after the next quarter of enrollment. This will be done by looking at the student’s current transcript of completed classes and the GPA for all quarters attended at Life University in the appropriate program.

SAP Academic Plan

Any student who has their SAP decision successfully appealed and cannot meet SAP after the next quarter of enrollment will receive an Academic Plan and be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

The Academic Plan will be individualized and specific to each student in order to put the student on track to successful academic progress in no more than four quarters.

If at any time during an Academic Plan students do not meet the terms of their plan, they will lose their Federal aid and will not be eligible to appeal. If, when presented with the Academic Plan, the student chooses not to accept it, the student will need to pay using other resources until meeting the minimum requirements for SAP.

Students who choose not to appeal or have their appeal denied may regain their eligibility for financial aid by enrolling using their own resources or alternative non-Federal funding and bringing their academic performance into compliance with this policy.

Students who separate from the Institution without appealing when not meeting SAP, lose their right to appeal the decision.

Students returning to the Institution and not meeting SAP upon their return will be responsible for using their own resources or using Private loans.

Once the students are meeting SAP, they must self-identify to the Financial Aid Office and request to be reevaluated for Federal aid.


Financial Aid Probation—A status assigned to a student who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated. Probation can only be granted if the school determines the student should be able to meet the school’s SAP standards by the end of the subsequent quarter. A student on Financial Aid Probation may receive Title IV funds for one quarter.

Financial Aid Warning—A status assigned to a student who fails to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and has his/her academic progress evaluated at the end of each payment period, and is utilized when an Institution chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid.

Obtaining a Second Degree at LIFE

For SAP purposes, students who have earned one degree at LIFE and wish to work toward a second degree will start over again, just as if they were new students.

Transfer Courses

For SAP purposes, transfer courses accepted as credit toward the Life University degree will be counted in the quantitative standard, but not the qualitative standard.

Graduate Academic Policies

Students should refer to each degree program page for any additional requirements specific to their program(s) of interest.

Application Process

Applications for admission to a graduate program may be obtained by writing the Life University Office of Enrollment, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060, USA, by telephoning 800-543-3202 or 770-426-2600, by e-mailing, or by visiting and clicking on the “Admissions – Apply Now” link.

A student applying for admission is required to submit the following materials to Life University’s Office of Enrollment:

  1. A completed application for graduate study accompanied by an application fee of $50.00 (The fee is non-refundable and constitutes part of the applicant’s admissions credentials.);
  2. An official copy of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts (if applicable) showing courses, grades, and date(s) of graduation (Transcripts must come directly from the college/university where the coursework was accomplished and sent directly to Life University’s Office of Enrollment.);
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test scores depending on program area (Applicants are urged to complete all testing well in advance of applying for admission to Life University.);
  4. Three original letters of recommendation, written expressly for the Master’s program, providing personal evaluations of the applicant’s previous professional, educational, and work experiences; and
  5. A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, and two-page cover letter stating his or her goals and objectives for pursuing a graduate degree.

Application Process for International Students

Please see Admission Procedures for International Students  for further information.

Application Schedule

A student may begin their course of study at Life University in any quarter as applications for admission are accepted quarterly throughout the year for all concentration areas except for the Master of Athletic Training degree program (MAT). For the Master of Positive Psychology program admission to the program will be for Fall quarters only, beginning Fall 2018

Applications are considered in the order in which they are received. The Master of Athletic Training program is an exception. Acceptance into the professional graduate MAT degree program is limited to an annual basis (program starts in July of each year). Due to the competitiveness of the MAT degree program, application materials should be received by February 1 of each year. Beginning 2018, acceptance into the Master of Positive Psychology program will be limited to an annual basis with the program starting October of each year and  all applications  must be received by May 1st of each year.

All admissions requirements for the specific Master’s degrees should be met and all official documentation, including official GRE/MAT scores, received by Life University’s Office of Enrollment 30 days (45 days for all international students) prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended matriculation.

Admissions Process

For all categories of applications, communications and files are maintained by Life University’s Office of Enrollment.

Recommendations for admission status are sent to the Graduate Admissions Committee.

After review by the Graduate Admissions Committee, recommendations for admission status, including denial, are confirmed by the Assistant Dean of the respective degree programs in the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and approved by the Dean.

Admission Requirements

  1. Degree Requirements
    1. A prospective student must possess, at a minimum, either a Bachelor’s degree or a Doctor of Chiropractic from a regionally accredited institution.
    2. Students having an undergraduate degree and enrolled in the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Life University may enter a graduate program providing they fulfill all other admission requirements.
  2. Attainment of Degree

Chiropractic students without an undergraduate degree may apply to the Master’s program upon completion of a total of 180 quarter or 120 semester hours. However, the master’s degree will not be awarded until the first professional degree or undergraduate degree is conferred.

Admission Status

Categories of Admission

Students may be accepted in their respective graduate programs with full, provisional, or at large status.

Accepted – Full:

A student must have submitted the following materials and met the appropriate standards to be considered for admission in full standing:

  1. Completed application to the Master’s program
  2. Minimum GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during last 90 quarter or 60 semester hours
  3. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) with a score of 280 or better cumulative, or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) results with a minimum score of 40
  4. Three original letters of recommendation, written expressly for the Master’s program, providing personal evaluations of the applicant’s previous professional, educational, and work experiences
  5. Other identified admissions criteria, such as resume and personal statement of goals and objectives, and/or interview if invited by their program’s admission committee
  6. Completed prerequisite coursework.

Accepted – Conditional:

Any student who has been admitted to any of the Undergraduate or Graduate academic programs must provide all required documentation (as defined in the Conditional Acceptance Letter) to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the first quarter of attendance. Failure to submit the required documentation will result in a registration hold (preventing further registration) until such time that the required documentation is received.

Accepted – Student-at-Large:

Student-at-large status is designed for students who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses that are related to their academic or professional background. These students are not necessarily seeking an advanced degree. Students who do not meet the requirements for full standing or provisional acceptance may apply for student-at-large status and, at a later time, apply for acceptance as a degree-seeking student. Students accepted under this status are not enrolled as degree-seeking candidates in the Master’s degree program and, therefore, do not qualify for financial aid.

  1. Students applying for student-at-large status must provide an official copy of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts (if applicable) showing courses, grades, and graduation date(s). Transcripts must come directly from the college/university where the coursework was accomplished and sent directly to Life University’s Office of Enrollment.
  2. There is no limit to the number of hours that may be accumulated as a student-at-large, but hours may be limited as determined by the individual Graduate Program.
  3. If a student seeks to change the admission status from student-at-large, all required admissions materials must be submitted for review. It is the prerogative of the Graduate Admissions Committee and the Dean to accept or reject the application for graduate study.

Denied Acceptance

This status is assigned to each applicant whose file has been deemed completed by the Office of Enrollment, evaluated by the transcript analyst, presented to the Graduate Admission Committee, and subsequently denied acceptance by the Committee and/or the Dean.

Admissions Statute of Limitations

An accepted applicant applying to the Graduate Program is expected to enroll in the quarter for which they have applied. The applicant may request to change the intended enrollment date by providing written notification to the Office of Enrollment regarding a change in the intended enrollment date and secure approval of the change. An accepted applicant failing either to give notice and to obtain prior approval of a change, or to enroll within one calendar year of the quarter for which he/she was originally accepted, will be required to reapply for admission. Life University reserves the right to request any or all of the required admission materials and fees for reapplication.


Any previously admitted Life University student, regardless of prior admission status, who voluntarily or involuntarily remains out of school for less than three consecutive quarters, must first petition for readmission at the Registrar’s Office. This readmission petition may be referred to the Graduate Admissions Committee for evaluation.

Reapplication for Admission

If a student remains out of school for three consecutive quarters or more, for any reason, that individual must first reapply for admission (new application and application fee required) through Life University’s Office of Enrollment and their reapplication will be evaluated for readmission by the Graduate Admissions Committee and/or the Dean of the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.

Academic Progress and Degree Completion


  1. All graduate students will be advised each quarter by their assigned (as specified in their acceptance letter) Academic Advisor in their respective department.
  2. Web registration/add/drop is not permitted for Master’s students, as they are required to complete a degree plan with their graduate academic advisor.


It is advised that students be in attendance at all classes, residencies, and laboratory periods for which they are registered to avoid penalties for inadequate work due to absences. Each student is expected to attend, be prepared and participate in course learning experiences.

Students who are absent or who fail to responsibly notify their faculty member and abide by the provisions of the course syllabi will risk dismissal from the classroom and failure of the class, by decision of the faculty member. Instructors may be able to accommodate students whose absences are caused by illness and job or family-related responsibilities, but the student is responsible for all missed work.

Course Loads

A course load of nine credit hours of graduate level work is considered full time. A graduate student may register for up to sixteen credit hours but may not exceed this limit.

Courses and Credits

Transfer of Credits

A student may be able to transfer up to 12 quarter hours (nine semester hours) of graduate credit (depending on program) earned at another regionally accredited institution (international credits may be considered based on submission of a transcript evaluation from an accepted foreign credit evaluation clearing house i.e. World Education Services [WES] or AACRAO). These hours must be equivalent to courses taught at Life University. Equivalency is determined by the program coordinator/ department.

The following are required before transfer of credit from another institution will be considered:

  1. Evidence that courses are equivalent in content and quality to those given at Life University. It is up to the transferee to prove equivalency. Examples of evidence include college catalog, course description from class, syllabi, etc.
  2. An official transcript indicating that work has been completed with a grade of “B” or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from a regionally accredited institution.

See the Completion of Degree and Graduation section of this catalog for time and completion policies.

Transient Credit Work

Students who desire to take courses at other institutions must receive prior approval from the program coordinator and the assistant dean. Courses requested for transient credit will be examined to ensure that they are not a duplication of work already completed and that they are appropriate to the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. After review and approval by the program coordinator and assistant dean, the transient credit form will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.

Non-degree Credit

Life University also offers graduate-level courses, workshops and seminars for professional development, including the post-baccalaureate dietetic programs. Applicants may enroll if they have earned a bachelor’s degree. An official transcript of all college-level work should be submitted prior to enrollment in courses. (Students taking workshops are not required to submit official transcripts.)

Non-credit Coursework

Life University offers the opportunity for students to audit courses for no academic credit. Prerequisites must be met for all courses. Approval may be required by the program coordinator in the program area in which the course is offered.

Prerequisite Courses

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of at least a “C” or better.

Good Standing Requirements

Each degree seeking student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and be in “Good Standing” academically.

To be in “good standing” academically, a degree seeking student must, after completing twelve credit hours, maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 with no outstanding or unresolved failed classes.

Students should be on track to complete their degree program within 150 percent of normal program length (9 quarters) or less.

Grading Policy

Consistent with graduate level studies, all grades earned will be counted towards calculating the student’s GPA.

Dropping Courses

Dropping courses is defined as removing one or more, but not all, classes currently scheduled. Students who wish to drop a course after the registration period, must complete a Schedule Adjustment form and submit it to the Student Advocacy Center by Monday (Week 8) of the current quarter. If a student does not complete a Schedule Adjustment form to formally drop a course, the student may receive an “I” incomplete, “F” fail, or “NP” no pass grade(s). Refer to the current Academic Quarterly for the listing of prorated refund schedules and dates for dropped course(s).

Withdrawal from the University

Withdrawal from classes is defined as removing all classes currently scheduled. Students who wish to withdraw must do so, in writing, by Monday of week 10 and will receive a grade “W” beginning week 2. Students who withdraw prior to week 7 will receive a grade “W.” From week 7 to week 10, withdrawal grades are assigned either as “WF” or “WNP.” See the current Academic Quarterly for specific withdrawal deadline dates.

Graduate Minimum Academic Progress

A student’s minimum progress is tracked both by grades and cumulative grade point average. If a student does not meet a graduate program’s standards of minimum progress, the student may be placed on probation or dismissed from the degree program.

Degree seeking students who do not maintain “good standing” academically will be affected by the following academic restriction policies or termination:

Academic Probation

Academic probation is a warning to a student that the quality of his or her academic performance is below acceptable standards. If this situation is not remedied, then the student will not be eligible for advancement to candidacy.

A student is placed on academic probation at the end of any quarter in which his/her cumulative grade point average drops below 3.0. A student who receives an academic probation warning must immediately seek help by contacting his/her advisor to determine a course of action to remedy the situation.

Three consecutive quarters of academic probation or two failing grades (either in the same class or two different classes) will result in termination from the program. As standard with graduate level studies, all grades earned will be counted in the calculation of the students’ overall graduate GPA.

Academic Termination

Termination will occur for a student who fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress or who demonstrates academic misconduct in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Two consecutive quarters of academic probation will result in termination from the program.
  2. Any provisional student that does not achieve a GPA of 3.0 during their first 12 credit hours of course work will be removed from the program.
  3. A student who receives two failing grades will be subject to termination from the program.

Appeals Process

Students have the right to appeal discrepancies in their Satisfactory Academic Progress to the Dean of the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.

Student Complaint Process

Concerning academic questions or complaints, the student should first go to the instructor involved. If questions are not satisfactorily handled or the complaint adequately handled, the student should go to the instructor’s immediate supervisor (the assistant dean/division chair). The next step in the student complaint process is for the student to go to the associate dean of the college in which the student is enrolled, and then to the dean of the appropriate college if needs are not satisfactorily met through the associate dean. If students wish to appeal the decision of the dean, they should contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will make the final decision.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Graduate Program is devoted to the discovery and communication of knowledge. In this endeavor, academic integrity is critically important and taken very seriously. Students within the program are expected to adhere to their professional code of ethics and to the University’s ideals and values of truth and integrity.

It is the responsibility of the student to refrain from infractions of academic integrity, from conduct that may lead to suspicion of such infractions and from conduct that aids others in such infractions. It is the responsibility of the faculty, administration and students to establish and maintain an environment that supports academic integrity. In addition, to the preceding considerations, the program and the department must assess student learning. This is accomplished through evaluation.

It is expected that the student complete all tasks within the time structure and framework/structure dictated by the course syllabus. Each student has an obligation to respect the rights of other students and the faculty in completing all academic assignments.

Academic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism and facilitating infractions with respect to examinations, professional writing in course assignments, alteration of records, or computer fraud. Academic dishonesty also includes being aware of another student’s dishonesty and failing to report awareness of the student’s behavior.


Cheating: Cheating would include using or attempting to use in any academic exercise materials, information, study aids or electronic data that the student knows or should know is unauthorized.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own. Honesty requires that any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use be fully acknowledged. The language or ideas taken from another may include but are not limited to isolated formulas, sentences or paragraphs to entire articles copied from books, periodicals, speeches or the writing of another student. The offerings of materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment also are considered plagiarism. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas or materials taken from another source is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism is taken very seriously within the graduate program.

Conduct and Behaviors

The graduate program strictly adheres to established policies of conduct and behavior for students, faculty and administration. These policies were established to maintain an atmosphere conducive to the effective education of students. Administrators, faculty, research mentors and students must function as partners to be effective within a community of scholars. Graduate students of Life University’s programs represent professionals within a community committed to the highest codes of behavior and ethics, where few problems should arise.

To clarify what constitutes high standards of behavior and conduct, the following types of misconduct are subject to disciplinary action and include but should not be considered limited to:

  1. All forms of academic dishonesty, cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty and plagiarism.
  2. Violations of the University’s alcohol, tobacco and drug-free environment policy.
  3. Furnishing false information (false identification, etc.) to the University, department, and employee or an employee agent.
  4. Violation of the University’s IRB policies
  5. Engaging in harassment or unlawful discriminatory activities or violating department rules governing harassment or discrimination.
  6. Any act of behavior that interferes with or disrupts instruction, research, conducting the activities of the program, department or University (includes use of cell phones, texting, inappropriate online activities).

(Excerpts of the preceding adopted with permission from the student handbook.)

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is a principle and value that guides academic life and drives the pursuit of intellectual curiosity within the university community. In essence, academic freedom means:

Students and faculty have the freedom within the classroom and within the online classroom environment to introduce, discuss and pursue their content subject matter in a curious but responsible manner. Therefore, within this evidenced based practice environment, academic content may be challenging but should have scientific evidence to support health care claims. Without such scientific evidence, the faculty member or the student is pursuing a “hunch,” not scientific research.

Students and faculty have the freedom to pursue research topics and write for publication, in so far as it is in accordance with policies on research and meet guidelines regarding conflict of interest within the academic community.

Academic freedom can be open to interpretation by the program, department and university officials and requires both faculty and students practice due diligence in consideration of academic content and research pursuits that meet the common good and mission of the program, department and university.

Students and faculty are citizens of a community of learners and part of a larger global community; as such they have rights to freedom of speech, in writing and thereby freedom from censorship. However, as professionals and professionals in pursuit of higher education, both must be mindful of their obligations to their professional community, the program, the department and the university as well as the public and the perceptions of others within the health care community regarding their professional actions. Therefore, words whether written or spoken must be accurate and should exercise restraint, when appropriate and should respect the opinion of others and be validated with scientific literature, when appropriate.

(Adapted from the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors.)

Advancement to Candidacy

Admission to Life University does not imply advancement of a student to candidacy for a degree. Advancement to candidacy is contingent on the approval of the Assistant Dean of the department and the Dean of the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies after the student has met the formal requirements and has demonstrated sufficient proficiency to attain the graduate competencies required for this degree. Advancement to candidacy requires:

  1. All acceptance (admission materials) requirements must be fulfilled;
  2. Successful completion of the area of concentration course work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
  3. Successful completion of a thesis, written comprehensive examination, and/or departmental research project.

Graduation Requirements

The following is a list of the requirements for graduation:

  1. A minimum cumulative 3.0 (“B”) grade point average on a 4.0 scale;
  2. Successful completion of all academic requirements;
  3. Advancement to candidacy status;
  4. Payment of all fees;
  5. Filing of a petition to graduate (completion of the application for graduation form); and
  6. Completion of both the Administrative and Student Records Reviews.
    1. Registrar’s Office – completion of a formal academic records review
    2. Financial Aid Office – exit interviews with a Counselor
    3. Student Accounting – “Perkins” exit interview and rectification of account balance

Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Graduate students may participate in the graduation ceremonies during the quarter in which the student is registered and has taken the comprehensive exam or during the quarter in which the oral thesis defense is scheduled.

Graduation ceremonies are held twice a year in June and December. March graduates and potential June graduates will be eligible to participate in the June ceremony and the September graduates and potential December graduates will be eligible to participate in the December ceremony.

Five Year Completion Rule

A maximum time limit of five (5) calendar years is placed on the completion of all requirements for a graduate degree. Students are expected to complete their program of study and graduate within five calendar years from their program matriculation date. Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress to complete their graduate program requirements within this time limit will be ineligible to graduate.

Appeals to this rule may be made to the Dean of the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.