2022-2023 University Catalog 
    Jan 28, 2023  
2022-2023 University Catalog

Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures


The general requirements for a bachelor’s degree are intended to achieve four major goals:

  • an individualized academic program reflecting each student’s special needs, interests, and aspirations;
  • sufficient work in a variety of academic areas to introduce breadth into the academic program;
  • an exploration in depth of at least one area of knowledge;
  • a sufficient number of elective hours to enable the student to pursue secondary interests that support and supplement other requirements.

The University attempts to provide an atmosphere in which the student can develop the abilities to think creatively and critically, to make honest and objective judgments, to perceive and utilize patterns of balance between personal needs and the needs of others; and, finally, to work independently in exploring areas of knowledge and growth beyond those studied formally in the classroom. In line with these principles, the academic program undertaken by each student is comprised of the general requirements described in this section, a major in an academic area, a minor in an academic area, an approved experiential learning experience and elective courses the student carefully chooses to pursue special interests.

The student, working with a faculty advisor, is responsible for planning his/her own course of study. While academic advising is a process of communication and information exchange between student and advisor, the ultimate responsibility for program, course selection, and meeting graduation requirements rests with the student.


Except those subsequently noted, Baldwin Wallace University grants the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) to students who complete the requirements for graduation in majors designated with these degrees. The degree of Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S. in Ed.) is granted to students who major in adolescent & young adult education, early childhood education, middle childhood, and mild/moderate educational needs. The degrees of Bachelor of Music (B.M.) and Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) are granted to those students who complete the respective programs in the Conservatory. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) is awarded to our nursing graduates. Acting majors earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) degree.

A student who desires two bachelor’s degrees must meet the following requirements: (1) The candidate must meet the particular subject requirements for both degrees and the core requirements. (2) An additional 30 credit hours must be completed at Baldwin Wallace beyond the requirements of the first degree. (3) There can be no duplication of departmental major fields. As an example, a student earning a Bachelor of Music degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree cannot elect a major in music for the BA degree. (4) Comprehensive examinations or their equivalent, as required by major departments, must be completed.

For information on graduate degrees offered by Baldwin Wallace University, see Graduate Program Requirements .

The University Core

All undergraduate students at BW pursue a course of study sufficiently varied to acquaint them with a broad spectrum of knowledge and to provide them a strong foundation in core academic skills. The knowledge and skills that students utilize and develop through their core courses are essential to their success in their academic work as well as in their personal and professional lives.

The core requirements include: foundation courses in Mathematics, English Composition, and First-Year Experience (FYE 100 ); breadth courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences; Writing and Quantitative Extension courses; wellness courses in Health and Physical Education; coursework in International Studies; and coursework in Diversity Studies. Each core course provides an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and skills in at least one of the following areas:  effective communication; application of complex thinking skills; human behaviors, cultures, and the natural world; how to contribute to the common good and employ ethical reasoning; behaviors that promote lifelong health and wellness; as well as develop depth in an academic area outside of their major.

Specific area, course and credit requirements for fulfillment of the University core are described in Undergraduate Program Requirements .

Core Curriculum Requirements for Transfer Students

A2BW – Transfer Students with an Associate Degree

BW will accept the associate degree, including 24 credits of the Ohio Transfer 36 (OT36), as meeting the Baldwin Wallace University Core, excluding the following requirements:

  • Students who have not completed the equivalent of ENG 131 as part of their Associate degree are required to complete ENG 131 at BW. 
  • Students who have not completed the required math for the core and/or major as part of their Associate degree are required to complete the required MTH at BW. 
  • The EXP requirement must be completed at BW.

Transfer Core for students without an Associate Degree:

Transfer students with 25 credits or more in transfer will follow the Ohio Transfer 36 (OT36) to meet core requirements at Baldwin Wallace.

The Ohio Transfer 36 contains Core Ohio Transfer General Education Foundation courses (24 credits):

  • 3 cr. English Composition and Oral Communication
  • 3 cr. Mathematics, Statistics and Logic
  • 6 cr. Arts and Humanities (2 different disciplines)
  • 6 cr. Social and Behavioral Sciences (2 different disciplines)
  • 6 cr. Natural Sciences (at least 1 lab course)
  • Plus 12 credits of additional coursework from the disciplines listed above.
  • Note: the equivalent of ENG 111 cannot count toward the English Composition or Arts and Humanities areas.

The transfer core does not apply to freshmen. Incoming first year freshmen, regardless of the number of transfer credits, follow the current BW core requirements.  (Freshmen with a 2.75 GPA or higher completing an associate degree through CCP do receive the A2BW core waiver.)

Academic Majors and Minors

The Academic Major: Students must complete a major in an academic area, and are encouraged to declare a major early in their sophomore year. Students who meet the minimum requirements of the University may major in any course of study offered by the University. Some majors may have special requirements needed for admission into the program.

If the major is in a single academic department, it will include a minimum of 23 semester credits of courses in the department plus additional requirements as stipulated. These may include specific courses, a specified number of credits in excess of 23 semester credit hours, courses in other departments, proficiency examinations, and other appropriate activities such as recitals, exhibitions and student teaching.

Transfer students are required to complete at least 40% in their major field of study at BW. Exceptions may be made by an individual department based on an examination or other appropriate evaluative methods. Some departments require more than 40%.

A self-directed interdepartmental major may be arranged in consultation with the heads of the departments concerned. Interdepartmental majors must include coursework from three departments and a minimum of 36 credit hours, of which 15 must be at the 300-400 level. Written copies of the agreement specifying the requirements for the interdepartmental major must be signed by the heads of these departments and filed with both the University Registrar and the student’s faculty advisor. This request must be made prior to the student’s earning 91 semester credits towards a degree at Baldwin Wallace University.

Only four credits of “D” (D+, D, and/or D-) in a major may be counted toward the total number of credits required in a student’s major department. If a student exceeds the four-credit rule, the major department will decide if the student should take an additional course(s) beyond the minimum credits required for the major or repeat the course(s) graded “D.” If a student is required to repeat a course, the total number of credits required for graduation will be increased. Post-baccalaureate programs may adhere to different policies.

The Academic Minor: All students* must complete an academic minor. (A second major will also satisfy this requirement.) An academic minor consists of at least 17 semester credits as specified by the department offering the minor. A minimum of six of the 17 credits must be earned at Baldwin Wallace. A student may fulfill the minor requirement in any department or school, as long as the minor selected is not identical to the student’s major or is not otherwise prohibited by the department in which the major resides. Consult the section of the catalog that describes the requirements for each major to identify those minors that are not permitted.

*Does not apply to Music majors (other than Music in Liberal Arts), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, Accelerated Nursing program, or students pursuing licensure in Early Childhood Education.

A self-directed interdepartmental minor may be arranged in consultation with the heads of the departments concerned. Interdepartmental minors must include coursework from two departments and a minimum of 17 credit hours, of which 9 must be at the 300-400 level. Written copies of the agreement specifying the requirements for the interdepartmental minor must be signed by the heads of these departments and filed with both the University Registrar and the student’s faculty advisor. This request must be made prior to the student’s earning 91 semester credits towards a degree at Baldwin Wallace University.

Please note, students may only declare either one major and one minor, one major and two minors, or two majors. Students should declare a major early in their sophomore year and all credentials must be declared prior to earning senior standing (91 semester credits).

Specific major and minor requirements, course descriptions and other programs of study are described in detail in the Undergraduate Program Requirements  section of this catalog.

The Experiential Learning Requirement

Experiential learning is a process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences. Experiential learning encompasses a variety of activities which already exist as structured experiences within the BW curriculum, including internships, service learning, undergraduate research, study abroad, and other creative coursework and professional experiences within majors and minors.

Learning that is considered “experiential” includes all the following elements:
1. Reflection, critical analysis and synthesis
2. Opportunities for students to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for the results
3. Opportunities for students to engage intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially, or physically
4. A designed learning experience that includes the possibility to learn from natural consequences, mistakes, and successes

The experiential learning requirement may be met by either completing a pre-approved course or by completing an individually designed experience. Students who choose to complete an individually designed experience will work with a faculty or staff mentor who will approve the experience; help to connect classroom knowledge and out-of classroom experience; and guide them as they reflect on the experience. Every BW student must complete the Experiential Learning Requirement prior to graduation. Transfer credit will not be accepted to meet the BW experiential learning requirement. http://www.bw.edu/academics/experiential-learning/

Grading System

At the completion of a semester’s work, students are graded in each subject. Grades given are:

Grade Quality    
A+ 4.000 S Satisfactory hours earned toward degree, equivalent to A, B or C, no quality points
A 4.000 U Unsatisfactory. No hours earned toward degree, equivalent to C-or below
A- 3.667 I Incomplete
B+ 3.333 W Withdrawal prior to completion of 60% of the course
B 3.000 WP Withdrawal passing after completion of 60% of course with registrar’s approval
B- 2.667 WX Withdrawal failing after completion of 60% of course with registrar’s approval
C+ 2.333 AU Audit. No credit
C 2.000 NR Non-reported grade by instructor
C- 1.667 CIP Courses in progress
D+ 1.333 T Temporary grade for continuing course, work must be validated by subsequent letter
D 1.000   grade to count for credit
D- 0.667 F# Failure for stop attending a class
F 0.000 * Grade Forgiveness. First attempt not in GPA
    ^ Returning Student Forgiveness. First attempt not in GPA.

Quality points are used in calculating the student’s grade point average (GPA). To find the GPA, multiply the number of credit hours in a course by the quality point value of the letter grade (A, four, B, three, etc.); then add the quality points earned for each course and divide by the total number of graded credit hours attempted. Courses graded S, U, I, T, AU, NR, W, WX, and WP are not used in computing GPA.
A GPA Calculator can be found at https://www.bw.edu/one-stop/plan-degree/gpa-calculators/.

Incomplete Grades

The mark “I” is given only when, through no fault of his/her own, a student is unable to complete the work. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor why he/she is unable to complete the work, and the instructor shall determine whether the mark “I” is justifiable. Students receiving an “I” Incomplete grade have until the end of week six, of the immediate subsequent Fall or Spring semester in which they are enrolled, to complete all coursework before they are converted to a grade of “F”. All “I” grades will convert to an “F” one calendar year following the completion of the semester in which the “I” grade was given. Extensions to the above deadlines may be recorded, by the instructor of the class, in the grading tool.

Temporary Grade

The mark “T” is given in courses which are completed over a two- or three-semester period. The “T” indicates that the course work is progressing satisfactorily. A completion date must be stipulated when the instructor submits the “T” grade. Failure to complete work by the established date will result in the grade of “F” being automatically awarded. Work which is given a “T” must be validated by a subsequent letter grade to count for credit.

Non-Reported Grade

The mark “NR” is given when no regular grade is reported by the instructor. The “NR” must be replaced with a regular grade. A letter grade for outstanding NR’s must be reported to the Office of Registration and Records no later than the last day of the sixth week of the next term of registration. Unreported NR’s by deadline become “F” grades.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades

S/U Grading (Pass/Fail) In order to provide students the opportunity to explore a greater variety of academic disciplines outside their major fields and at the same time reduce the stress of competition with majors in these disciplines, Baldwin Wallace has instituted a “satisfactory-unsatisfactory” (S/U) grading system. Performance in a course equivalent to the traditional “A+” through “C” level will be considered satisfactory (S), while a “C-” through “F” level of performance will be deemed unsatisfactory (U). Students earning an “S” grade will receive credit toward graduation for the course. A “U” grade will appear on the student’s transcript but will not provide credit toward graduation. S/U grades do not affect the student’s grade point average (GPA). The S/U option is designed to operate on two levels and may be initiated either by the faculty or by the individual student as stipulated below.

  • Faculty Option: The S/U option may be used, with the approval of the Curriculum Advisory Board of the University faculty, for those courses in which the department concerned feels that the students taking the course cannot be successfully graded according to the traditional “A+” through “F” system. There is no limit to the number of such courses a student may take.
  • Student Option: Sophomores, juniors and seniors not on academic probation may also elect a maximum of four credit hours per semester, up to a maximum of 20 credit hours, to be graded on an S/U basis. A student may take any course except those in his major or minor department, those required by his major or minor department and foundation courses ENG 131  and the core MTH course on an S/U basis. All other courses, including the general curriculum requirements, may be taken under the S/U option. If a student declares their major as undecided but, at a later date, majors in the department that was taken as a S/U, the professor will be asked to submit a grade and it will be calculated into the GPA. The decision by the student to take a course on this basis must be declared to the registrar by the last day of the fourth week of the term. The student may, within the same period, nullify the election of this option. Students being graded under the S/U option must fulfill all requirements of the course.

Repeated Courses and Grades

Any course in which a grade of “C-” through “F” is received may be repeated; credit toward the degree (hours earned) may be received only once. However, the hours and quality points represented by each attempt will be included in the grade point average (GPA). See Grade Forgiveness Policy for an alternative option available to undergraduate students. See Returning Student Grade Forgiveness Policy for an alternative option for students who have not attended for a minimum of 5 years.

Audit Credit

Grades are not given for non-credit (audit) work. A student who desires a grade in a course must take it for credit. Courses are offered for credit or audit. A student taking a course on an audit basis will agree with the course instructor to participate in certain aspects of the course (often this is class attendance). If this agreement is fulfilled, the course instructor will authorize the registrar to indicate on the student’s transcript that the course was taken on an audit basis. If the agreement is not fulfilled, a grade of “W” will appear on the transcript. Changes from audit to credit may not be made after the first week of the semester.

Grade Forgiveness Policy

All undergraduate students can retake a course only once and the new grade replaces the previous grade in their GPA calculation. While both grades would still appear on a university transcript, the first grade would not count toward the GPA and would be designated as such. The total number of forgiveness credit hours (attempted a second time) shall not exceed 10 and may only apply toward 300 or lower level courses. Student credits forgiven under the old Freshman Forgiveness Policy will count toward the maximum 10 credits in this policy.

Returning Student Grade Forgiveness Policy

A student returning to Baldwin Wallace University can request to benefit from the Returning Student Grade Forgiveness Policy. Under that policy, the student’s grade point average (GPA) does not include the grades earned in prior attempts at Baldwin Wallace University.

The following requirements apply:

  1. The returning student must have been separated from Baldwin Wallace University for a minimum of five years.
  2. The returning student must have either
    1. Demonstrated academic improvement at another two- or four-year accredited institution by earning a minimum GPA of 2.75 for a minimum of 12 credit hours.
    2. Earned a GPA of 2.75* upon completion of 12 credit hours after being re-admitted to Baldwin Wallace University.
      (*Candidates for licensure must meet the required GPA as stipulated by their school of study.)
  3. After re-admission, the student must earn the minimum number of credits required by the residency requirements of the University.
  4. All grades previously earned at Baldwin Wallace University will remain on the student’s transcript, whether passing or failing, but will be marked with a code ^ explaining that these grades have been “forgiven” and were not used to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA.
  5. Only those courses in which the student earned a non-failing grade will be counted toward graduation.

Graduation Requirements

It is the responsibility of the student to meet all requirements for graduation. Students are eligible for the bachelor’s degree when they have fulfilled the following requirements:

  1. They must have completed the minimum designated credit amount of their degree program. These credits must include the requirements for a major and a minor in an academic area, in addition to the general core curriculum requirements and completion of an approved Experiential Learning Requirement.
  2. Students must have at least a 2.00 grade point average.
  3. All financial obligations to the University must have been met.
  4. Students are required to complete 45 of the required credits for graduation at BW.
  5. Students must successfully complete the comprehensive examinations if required by the major department.
  6. Students must participate in any assessment activities for which they have been selected unless they have been excused by the Assessment Director.
  7. Students must file an application for graduation no later than the beginning of the semester preceding the one in which they expect to graduate. The application is available on the students My Records menu.
  8. Graduating seniors are expected to attend the Commencement exercises.

Graduation with Honors

Honors are based on all undergraduate work at Baldwin Wallace. Candidates for academic honors at the end of the senior year are recognized at Commencement. Eligibility is determined by the completion of the minimum designated credit amount of their degree program with the following minimum grade point averages:

For a degree cum laude 3.60
For a degree magna cum laude 3.75
For a degree summa cum laude 3.90

In order to receive a diploma with academic honors, a student must have completed at least 45 at Baldwin Wallace in courses graded A+ through F.

Transfer students are eligible to graduate with honors provided their grade point average earned at Baldwin Wallace meets the stated minimum requirements.

Dean’s List

Degree-seeking undergraduate students with superior academic standing are recognized each semester by the Dean.  Any full-time student who achieves a GPA of at least 3.8 for twelve or more graded hours (not including grades of S), or part-time student who achieves a GPA of at least 3.8 for six or more graded hours (not including grades of S), in the Fall or Spring semester will be placed on the Dean’s List.  To be eligible for the Dean’s List, no student may have a grade of U (unsatisfactory), I (incomplete), NR (non-reported), or WX (withdraw failing) as of the day final grades are due in the Registrar’s Office.

Alpha Sigma Lambda

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the premier national honor society for non-traditional students. The local chapter, Beta Upsilon, is one of more than 300 throughout the country. It sponsors campus scholarships open to all qualifying undergraduate adult, transfer, and military students. Membership selection occurs once a year. Members are selected from the highest 20 percent of eligible students who have a minimum 3.2 GPA, 24 graded hours at Baldwin Wallace and are matriculated in an undergraduate degree program.

Dayton C. Miller Honor Society

The Dayton C. Miller Honor Society was founded at Baldwin Wallace University in 1948 and recognizes the top 100 current student GPA’s. This ceremony is in memory of Dayton C. Miller (Class of 1886), one of the most distinguished graduates of the University. Dr. Miller was noted for his research into the science of acoustics and for his unique collection of flutes, currently held by the Smithsonian.  He served as secretary and later president of the Baldwin Wallace University Board of Trustees, and he was active in the University community until his death in 1941.

Requirements for induction:  Students who have earned a minimum of 70 semester hours, with minimum of 45 semester hours at BW, and whose GPAs are in the top 100 current BW student GPAs are eligible for the honors society, if they are not already a member.

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar can be found at https://www.bw.edu/one-stop/registration/calendar/.

Academic Assessment Program

As stated in the University mission, Baldwin Wallace University strives to provide a rigorous academic program characterized by excellence in teaching and learning within a challenging and supportive environment that enhances students’ intellectual and spiritual growth. Toward that end, and consistent with accreditation standards, Baldwin Wallace University has developed a comprehensive plan to assess student academic outcomes. By determining what Baldwin Wallace students learn, the University seeks to continuously monitor and improve the quality of its academic program (pedagogy, curriculum, instructional resources and student services). Baldwin Wallace’s Assessment Plan focuses on measuring academic outcomes (performance) at appropriate points during students’ University careers. To this end, students are assessed at both the core curriculum level, which may occur at the institutional or program level, and at the program (academic major) level. From these data, the University produces aggregate and group level comparisons of student performance over time. While not all students will be asked to participate in core curriculum assessment at the institutional level, it is possible that a student may be selected more than once (for example, during their freshman and senior year). It is important to note that when a student does participate in these University-wide core assessment activities, in no way will the student’s performance affect a course grade, graduation eligibility, class rank or overall grade point average. Program-level academic major assessment activities may or may not impact student grades, at the discretion of individual departments.

In addition to the assessments described above, students are asked to voluntarily participate in national surveys at different points in their academic careers to assess their engagement and satisfaction with various aspects of their experience at the University.