Academic and Enrollment Policies

The school year at Southwestern Seminary is divided into two regular semesters, fall and spring, and two special semesters, summer and winter. Southwestern Seminary awards one semester credit hour for every fourteen hours of classroom instruction. In fall and spring semesters, instruction occurs over the course of a fourteen week semester. In summer and winter terms, instruction occurs over shorter periods of time.

In private music lessons, one semester hour of credit is equivalent to fourteen weekly lessons of 25 to 30 minutes each. In music ensembles, one-half hour of credit is awarded for a minimum of two hours per week per semester. Non-music students may take Chapel Choir and Chapel Orchestra for one-hour of credit.

Online and hybrid courses cover the same material as the in-class sections although this may be delivered in formats other than classroom instruction. Student preparation outside of class varies by student ability and subject area, but in general, students are expected to devote two hours outside of class for every hour in class. The seminary registrar is responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded in accordance with the above formula.

Absences

Students are expected to attend all meetings of all classes in which they are enrolled. A student’s grade may be penalized for absences. Students absent from more than 20% of the class sessions will not receive credit for the course.1 During the fall and spring semesters this means that students missing more than six (75-minute) class meetings of a three-hour class, more than six (50-minute) class meetings of a two-hour class, or more than 3 class meetings of a one hour class will not receive credit for the course. The maximum number of absences from chapel for students enrolled in Spiritual Formation courses is 9.

1During summer and winter terms, professors may establish a more restrictive attendance policy due to the condensed nature of those courses. Please consult the course syllabus for details.

Academic Difficulty

The following procedures of warning, probation, and suspension apply to students enrolled in undergraduate or master’s degrees in each of the six schools.

Academic Warning. Any student who does not attain a semester average of 2.001 while his/her overall average is above 2.001 will receive an academic warning. This means that the student’s grades for that semester are below the average required for good standing.

Academic Probation. Students whose total grade point average falls below 2.001 will be placed on academic probation for the next semester in which they are enrolled. These students will be permitted to enroll for a maximum of six hours, and possibly less, if so advised.

Continued Academic Probation. Students whose cumulative grade point average remains below 2.001 despite a semester average above 2.001 will be placed on continued academic probation for the next semester in which they are enrolled. These students will be permitted to enroll for a maximum of six hours, and possibly less, if so advised.

Academic Suspension. Failure to attain a semester average of 2.001 in a semester of academic probation will result in immediate suspension as a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for one year.

Final Suspension. A student who is re-admitted after a suspension will be placed on Academic Probation. Failure to maintain a 2.001 average in any semester of academic probation following a suspension will result in immediate and permanent suspension.

Re-admission. A student who has been placed on academic suspension is eligible to apply for re-enrollment no earlier than one calendar year (two semesters and a summer session) following the suspension. Requests for reinstatement must be addressed in writing to the Office of the Registrar. A student readmitted after suspension will enroll under academic probation.

1In the M.A.W., M.A.C.M., and M.M. (2.75), and D.M.A. (3.00). Students who are suspended while enrolled in these programs may elect to continue studies at Southwestern by changing to another degree with lower minimum GPA requirements. See advanced degree sections for minimum GPA requirements in those programs.

Admission, Continuance, Graduation

The faculty of each school determines the requirements for admission to, continuation in, and graduation from degree programs in that school. Students seeking a second degree at the same level should be aware of policies regarding the transfer of credits from one degree to a second. These are outlined below under the section "Transfer Credit Policy."

The faculty of each school reserves the right and authority to refuse approval of a candidate for graduation or to terminate the continuance of a student in an academic program for any reason or reasons. The faculty decides the validity of such action, even if the student has met and is currently meeting the academic and other requirements for the degree program.

Advanced Standing with Credit

Students who have completed any of the following introductory courses in their undergraduate work with an A or B are eligible to earn master's credit for those courses upon the successful completion of an advanced standing exam.

Old Testament I New Testament III
Old Testament II Biblical Greek I
Old Testament III Biblical Greek II
Biblical Hebrew I Church History I
Biblical Hebrew II Church History II
New Testament I Baptist Heritage
New Testament II  
   

No more than 25% of a degree program may be completed through advanced standing with credit. Advanced standing exam applications are made through the Office of the Registrar.

Advanced Standing without Credit

Students who have completed introductory courses in their undergraduate work with an A or B may be eligible to receive advanced standing without credit. This enables the student to enroll in advanced courses in the same subject area instead of the introductory courses required for the degree. For instance, students who have completed a course in biblical hermeneutics for their bachelor's degrees with an A or B can complete an advanced exegetical course instead of repeating the survey course at the master's level. An evaluation of the undergraduate transcript must be performed or the student will not be eligible to receive advanced standing without credit. Evaluations are requested through the Office of the Registrar.

Advisors

The Registrar's Office serves as the advising office for all students except those in the School of Church Music and those in advanced programs (Th.M. and all doctoral programs). Degree program outlines containing the essential content, objectives, and units of study are available to students. Students are expected to keep a record of the completion of courses required for graduation. A schedule of classes for each semester is available online through WebAdvisor. Students should consult the Registrar's Office when encountering special problems.

Auditing

Eligible courses with seats still available after classes begin may be audited for no credit. All individuals interested in auditing must be accepted as a student through the Office of Admissions. Attendance and work expectations must be discussed with the professor of record prior to registration.

Students may only switch from credit to audit status if they meet the withdrawal criteria.

Class Schedules

Schedules listing classes offered each semester are available through WebAdvisor and the website.

Class Work

All class work is due on the date set by the professor. Professors communicate class work details for each course through the course syllabus.

Conditional Enrollment

Conditional enrollment is permitted for students in their final semester of college with the provision that they submit an official transcript from their college, showing grades for completed courses and the classes in which they are enrolled but have not yet completed. Students may not complete more than 15 hours of seminary work before completing a baccalaureate degree. Upon the completion of the baccalaureate degree, the student will submit to the Registrar's Office an official transcript from the college or university with the degree posted. This transcript is a prerequisite to enrolling in any graduate degree program at the seminary.

Conference and Directed Study Courses

On rare occassion, a student might complete an conference course (one-on-one study) to meet the need for a required course in the curriculum. Students must secure the agreement of a faculty member and the approval of the department in which the course is offered. Only special circumstances will merit approval. The school will provide written notification to the student that the conference course has been approved and the student will be registered.

At the invitation of a professor, a student may be invited to participate in a directed study. The purpose of a directed study with a professor is to allow the student to study subject matter at a greater depth than is currently included in the curriculum. This professor-to-individual, or professor-to-small group study will be submitted to the appropriate department office for approval. Directed studies are restricted to material not currently presented in existing curriculum plans. An outline and contract for the study will accompany the request for approval. When approved, the Dean's Office will complete registration for the course.

Students will be limited to two conference courses or directed studies during the tenure of the degree for which they are enrolled. Conference courses and directed studies completed with elected or appointed faculty are considered on-campus hours.

Dean's List

The Dean’s List is computed for the fall and spring semesters only. Undergraduate and master’s level students must be enrolled full-time and earn at least a 3.90 for the semester to be included on the Dean’s List.

Disability Assistance

The Seminary has disability parking and ramps into buildings on campus. Each building with more than one floor is equipped with an elevator. The Seminary will strive to accommodate most reasonable needs that a disabled person might have (e.g. consider modification of examination method, consideration of making a professor’s lecture notes available, etc.). Please contact the Office of the Registrar in Scarborough Hall 106, 817-923-1921 ext. 3040 to provide documentation of disabilities. All academic assistance requests should be worked out with individual professors at the beginning of each semester. At the request of the student, the Registrar's Office will provide disability summary information to instructors specified by the student. Southwestern Seminary has not been funded to pay for or subsidize the cost of personal support services that a student may require.

Expiration of Credits

Credits older than ten years cannot be counted toward graduation.

Final Examinations

At the close of each semester a week is given to written examinations. All students are required to take the examinations. Students who are unavoidably prevented from taking final examinations at the appointed time due to emergencies such as illness or a death in the family are entitled to make up a final examination. Arrangements for this examination must be made with the professor and must be completed by the third week of the following semester.

Full Time Enrollment

Fall and Spring. Undergraduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 semester hours to be classified as full time; registration for a minimum of 9 semester hours is full time for graduate students. Special permission must be granted to enroll in more than 18 hours per semester. Such permission must be secured in writing from the registrar before registration.

Students actively fulfilling church planting and missions components of their programs will be considered full time students. Students enrolled in the thesis phase of any master’s degree will be considered full time students. Students taking any number of hours or in the writing/project phase of a doctoral program or the Master of Theology program will be considered full time students. Students enrolled in 6 hours while on probation or enrolled in all classes required for graduation will be considered full time.

Summer Students. Both undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 semester hours to be classified as full time in the summer. Doctoral students are considered full time in the summer due to the work they perform in preparation for comprehensive examinations and dissertations.

Grading

Grading at Southwestern is by letter. A numeric scale serves as a guide for each letter grade. Grades are reported to students through WebAdvisor. All Student Rating of Teaching reports for the semester must be completed before grades can be viewed. Grades cannot be reported orally from any office on campus.

Grades are designated as follows:

A+ (100-98) Excellent   C - (72-70) Satisfactory   I Incomplete
A (97-93) Excellent   D+ (69-68) Low Passing   IP In Progress
A- (92-90) Excellent   D (67-63) Low Passing   IU Grade not reported
B+ (89-88) Good   D- (62-60) Low Passing   W Withdrawal
B (87-83) Good   F (Below 60) Failure   NF Non-Attendance failure
B- (82-80) Good   E   Conditional   NP Non-Passing
C+ (79-78) Satisfactory   P   Passing      
C (77-73) Satisfactory   AU   Audit      

A grade of “E” (conditional) is earned only in continuing courses. This grade can be raised to a “D” by doing “C” grade work in the remainder of the course; otherwise, it becomes an “F”.

The “I” (incomplete) grade is given when the course is not completed by the end of the term for acceptable reasons. If this grade is not removed within eight weeks of the end of the semester, it becomes an “F”.

Students are permitted to withdraw from courses and receive a “W” only during the first half of any course. Students desiring an exception to this rule must petition through the Registrar's Office. “W” will not be calculated in the grade point average.

The grade of “NF” (non-attendance failure) may be given by a professor for excessive absences by a student or when a student stops attending the class. This grade will be computed in the grade point average like the grade “F”.

Grade points at Southwestern Seminary are assigned as follows:

A+ 4.0 A 4.0 A- 4.0
B+ 3.0 B 3.0 B- 3.0
C+ 2.0 C 2.0 C- 2.0
D+ 1.0 D 1.0 D- 1.0
F 0.0 I 0.0 IU 0.0

Grade Appeal

The normal procedure of appeal begins with a consultation with the professor and dean in the school concerned. For unresolved problems, students contact the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Fleming Hall 105, ext. 4300.

Online Restriction

Four master's degrees may be earned completely online: Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M.) and Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.). Most other master's degrees may be completed up to 66% online. For details on other master's programs please contact the Office of the Registrar at 817-923-1921 ext. 2000 or by email at registrar@swbts.edu

F-1 Visa students can only enroll in one online class per semester and no online classes in the final semester of study.

Petitions

Should there arise a scenario in which an exception to an academic policy seems necessary, students may submit a petition form through the Registrar's Office.

Records

It is Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's policy to maintain the confidentiality of student education records.

No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from a student's education records without the written consent of the student except to personnel within the institution, to persons or organizations providing student financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, to Texas Department of Criminal Justice personnel for students enrolled at the Darrington campus, to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons, and to parents of minors who can demonstrate the minor’s dependent status on the most recently submitted IRS forms.

Within the Seminary community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the student's educational interest or involved with campus safety are allowed access to student education records.

The institution does provide directory information to include: student name, address, telephone number, email address, major field of study, dates of attendance, class schedule, degrees, and awards received. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar in writing. Directory information is provided for only one student at a time. Requests for directory information for more than one student at a time must be approved by the Registrar.

Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the institution until the student requests a change in writing.

Students may inspect, review, and challenge the information contained in their education records, request a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they think the decisions to be unacceptable. The Registrar at Southwestern has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions, personal, academic, financial, and placement records. Education records do not include records of administrative and education personnel. These records are the sole records of the administration and education personnel who prepare them.

Students may not inspect and review financial information submitted by their parents, confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review, or education records containing information about more than one student. When records pertain to more than one student, the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student.

Requests for amendments to grades after a student has graduated will not be considered unless there is substantial evidence of inaccuracy on the Seminary's behalf.

Repeating Courses

Courses for which grades of “F” have been received may be repeated without limit.

Courses for which grades of “D-” or better have been earned may be repeated upon receiving approval from the registrar. A maximum of 3 passed classes per degree program may be repeated.

Only the credits and grade for the repeated attempt count toward degree completion and the grade point average. All entries on the transcript, however, remain a part of the student’s permanent academic record.

Residence Requirement

Graduate students are required to complete one-third of the coursework for most degrees at the Fort Worth or Houston campuses.1 The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) can also be completed entirely online or at extension campuses. The Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M.) and Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.) can also be completed entirely online. For details on the residence requirement for other graduate degrees, contact the Office of the Registrar.

Undergraduate students must complete at least 25% of the hours for their program at Scarborough College.

1Hours completed at the Houston campus count as residence hours for only the B.S., M.Div., M.A.C.E., M.T.S., M.A.(Th.), and D.Min.

Returning to Southwestern

Former students wanting to return to Southwestern will complete a readmission process. Students who have not been enrolled for more than 3 years (6 consecutive fall and spring semesters) will reapply through the admissions office. Students who have missed 3 years (6 consecutive fall and spring semesters) or less will complete the Former Student Enrollment Update form through the Registrar's Office. Any student who has been divorced since his last enrollment will reapply through admissions.

Seminary-Wide Literary Style

All graduate and undergraduate students from each of the schools of Southwestern Seminary are required to use The Southwestern Seminary Manual of Style as a guide to writing all required research papers, theses, and dissertations.  Professors will assist students in their understanding and utilization of this manual through their course assignments. Students may also contact the Computer Learning Center and Writing Lab (x2771) for additional assistance.

Transcripts

Official copies of transcripts are issued at a cost of $10.00 each. Transcripts are issued only upon official request of the student and when financial accounts, academic standing, and ethical conduct are in satisfactory condition.

Students can access and print unofficial copies of their Southwestern transcript through WebAdvisor for free.

Transfer Credit Policy

A transfer credit evaluation may be requested by applicants to the seminary by submitting the following items to the Admissions Office. Current students submit these items to the Office of the Registrar:

A. Completed Transcript Evaluation Request Form
B. Official copies of transcripts to be evaluated
C. Copy of catalog course descriptions of all work to be evaluated
D. Copy of catalog degree plan of graduate work to be evaluated

A person must be an applicant for general admission before requesting a transfer credit evaluation. Credit may be considered for transfer credit in accordance with the provisions of the transfer credit policy stated below:

  • Graduate credit from institutions which are either accredited or candidates for accreditation by a regional accrediting commission, the Association of Theological Schools, the National Association of Schools of Music, the Association for Biblical Higher Education, or other accreditors recognized by the Department of Education may be considered for transfer credit to master’s degree and advanced degree programs. All advanced level degree transfers will be coordinated through the appropriate advanced study office.
  • Undergraduate credit from institutions described above may be considered for transfer credit to the bachelor's program.
  • Non-accredited institutions with missions and/or educational philosophies consistent with Southwestern Seminary will be evaluated on an individual basis and may not be possible in all programs.
  • The minimum grade for transfer is “C”. Some degree programs require grades above a “C” for transfer. Although the grade is a factor in the transferability of credits, it is the credits and not the grade that will be posted on the Southwestern transcript. Practicum, internship, and other applied courses can transfer with a grade of “P”.
  • The courses must have been substantially parallel to Southwestern courses as determined by the Registrar's Office.
  • Before matriculation, the maximum amount of transfer credit in most master's programs is two-thirds of the degree; for undergraduate students the limit is 75 percent of the degree. For details on a specific master's program, please contact the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students may transfer no more than 9 hours of coursework taken after matriculation at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • A maximum of two-thirds of the credits required for a shorter master's degree can be counted toward a longer master's degree. For completing three or more master's degrees, please contact the Registrar's Office for details.
  • Transfer credit from institutions outside the United States and Canada will be evaluated on an individual basis. A credential evaluation report will be required of each student desiring such credit and will serve as a guide for transfer credit evaluation.
  • Since the final 15 hours of a degree program must be earned in residence, prior approval must be given by the Registrar's Office to transfer any course work within the last 15 hours. Students transferring credits to complete graduation requirements must submit official transcripts at least 60 days before commencement to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Credit for music ensembles can be transferred on the basis of the equivalent number of semesters rather than credit hours.
  • Graduate credits taken more than ten years ago may not be transferred.

Withdrawing from Classes

A student may discontinue any class during the first half of the course and receive the grade of “W”. Withdrawal after this date will be recorded as failure, unless reasons of serious illness or similar emergency can be demonstrated. Petition forms may be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. If approved, the student will receive a grade of “W”.

Students who withdraw may return under their original catalog if they have missed no more than two consecutive regular semesters (Fall and Spring). All other students will return under the requirements of the current catalog unless their absence was due to overseas missionary service.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas