May 19, 2024  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog June 1, 2021- May 31, 2022 
2021-2022 Academic Catalog June 1, 2021- May 31, 2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academics - Advising & Course Selection

Academic Advising

Each student is assigned an academic advisor from his or her major field of study. Students who have not decided on an academic major are assigned a temporary advisor from the Center for Academic and Career Development (CACD) until a choice of major is declared. Staff from the CACD facilitate students’ exploration of various academic majors and careers. Students are encouraged to select a major before the end of the first year. The University Calendar identifies a two-week period of time for academic advising and course selection each semester.

The University and each academic program have a variety of resources available including DegreeWorks, Progression Sheets and 4-Year Plans to aid students in selecting and completing coursework in a timely manner. Freshmen should complete English 101, 102, and a math class during the freshman year.  All students should plan on completing 15-16 credit hours each semester in order to complete all program requirements in 4 years.

The academic advisor is a student’s best resource for all questions concerning curriculum, requirements, course selection, change of major, and academic progress.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Students may add or drop courses without penalty through the end of the first week of courses with the approval of the academic advisor. Instructor approval to add a course will only be needed when the course is closed and/or the student does not meet the course prerequisites.

Courses dropped during the first week of the semester will not appear on the student’s transcript, provided the courses are dropped by the end of the first week of class or the third instructional day of a summer term.  Students will not be charged for 16-week classes dropped within the first five days of the regular semester. Courses  conducted as 5-week or 8-week classes during the regular fall or spring semester may be dropped through the end of the day of the third class meeting. Similarly, students will not be charged for 5-week summer classes that are dropped before the end of the third day of class.  Financial aid will be determined on enrollment status at the end of business on the fifth day of a regular semester or third day of a summer term.

The deadline for dropping classes with the grade of W will be 4:00 PM on the last day of class of the current semester or summer term.

A student dismissed from class for disruptive behavior will receive a grade of F and may not subsequently withdraw from the class. Each student who remains enrolled in the course past any of the above deadlines will be assigned a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, or P.

A student who does not attend the first session of a class for which he/she is registered or who stops attending a course within the first five days of a regular semester (first three days of a summer term) may be removed from the course by instructor request for non-attendance.  However, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to officially drop a course in consultation with his/her academic advisor.

Any student who wishes to withdraw from all courses in which he/she is enrolled for any given semester/term should refer to the following section:  Withdrawal from the University .

Adding Minors and Additional Majors

Students may add a minor program of study or an additional major program of study to accompany the primary major, the general education program, and elective courses needed for the degree.  In the case of minor programs of study, the program should fall within the 120 semester credit hour total in order to be completed on time and to fall within the guidelines set for state and federal financial aid. 

An additional major may also be added, as long as students haven’t already completed the requirements for their primary major.  Once students have completed the requirements for their primary major, along with their general education program and enough elective semester credit hours to reach 120-semester credit hours total, they have successfully completed all coursework for the degree.  No further coursework is required at that point, nor would it fall within the guidelines set for state or federal financial aid.  If students wish to complete two separate majors, and have them both fall within the guidelines set for state and federal financial aid, then students will need to plan their coursework so that the two majors may be completed during the same semester. 

Students should not add minors or majors that they have no reasonable ability to complete.  Seniors wishing to add an additional major may do so only with prior approval of the Provost’s Office.

Applicable Catalog

Students entering Concord University shall follow the curriculum provisions and degree requirements of the Catalog at the time of first registration, unless the provisions of a later Catalog seem more appropriate and they choose, with the advice of an advisor and with notification to the Registrar’s Office, to follow the later Catalog. A student may not select part of a program from one Catalog and part from another.

Certain new regulations may become effective, regardless of when the student first enrolled at Concord. Students will be notified of these changes and are responsible for meeting the new requirements.

Students enrolled under previous catalogs must follow the latest catalog regulations under these circumstances:

If a student completes fewer than six semester hours during any one academic year, calculating from one fall registration to the next, he or she becomes subject to the provisions of the latest Catalog.

If there are changes in major or minor fields or in teaching options within teacher education, the latest requirements for that major or minor or teaching option must be met.

If a student changes from one degree program to another, all requirements for the newly-selected degree, as set forth in the latest Catalog, must be met.

Academic advisors will assist in clarifying program requirements and recommended courses, as well as assist with the scheduling of each semester’s work. The Registrar’s Office, upon request, will inform a student of the state of the requirements which have been met toward a declared program of study and those requirements which remain to be met. A student should request a Progression Sheet from the Registrar’s Office as soon as having attained junior standing (60 credit hours). A student can view his or her transcript and registration at any time through Concord’s student portal (MyConcordU).

The staff in the Center for Academic and Career Development (CACD) will confer with students about career questions or personal problems which may be affecting their college work. No one, however, will or can take responsibility for student performance. This responsibility is that of the student alone.

Students should be familiar with the following rules that govern academic work.

Auditing Classes

Upon approval of the course instructor and academic advisor of record, any student may elect to audit a course.  However, audit enrollment in a course will not be considered for full-time status calculation and/or Financial Aid eligibility.  Students may select to audit a course no later than the close of business on the fifth instructional day of a semester.  Likewise, once a student enrolls for a course with an audit status, he/she may not change status in that course to registered once the fifth instructional day of the semester ends.  Course assignments/requirements associated with audit enrollment will be determined by the course instructor.

Center for Academic and Career Development

The Center for Academic and Career Development (CACD) is a “one-stop-shop” to help students succeed at Concord University. The CACD is committed to assisting students throughout their time at Concord and with making the transition from academic pursuits to a successful career path. The CACD works in conjunction with many departments and offices at Concord, including the Office of Financial Aid, Business Office, Registrar’s Office, Counseling Center, Office of Disability Services, Student Support Services, Drop-in Tutoring, Housing and Residence Life, academic colleges and faculty, as well as community organizations. The CACD assists students with everything from choosing a major, registering for classes, locating a tutor, and strengthening study skills, to formulating a career plan, preparing professional documents, finding an on-campus job (Federal Work Study or CU Connect), and connecting with internship opportunities, to helping with individual concerns. The Center for Academic and Career Development is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additional appointments may be made by emailing or Students who attend classes at the Erma Byrd Center are also encouraged to contact us – we can provide services virtually or in-person on an as-needed basis. More information on the CACD is available at

Classification of Students

Students are classified according to the number of semester hours successfully completed.

Freshman 0 to 29 hours
Sophomore 30 to 59 hours
Junior 60 to 89 hours
Senior 90 hours or more

A “full-time student” is any student seeking a degree who is enrolled for twelve or more hours. A student who is seeking a degree, but who is enrolled for fewer than twelve hours, is classified as a “part-time student.” The term “non-matriculating student” applies to those who are not seeking a degree . The following policies on academic standards and academic standing apply to all three categories of students:

Dean’s List

The Office of the Provost publishes a list of full-time students who were registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours and attained a grade point average of 3.5 or above at the end of each regular semester.

Definition of Terminology

To help students better understand the terminology used in their curricular program planning, the following definitions apply at Concord University:


All bachelor-level degree programs consist of a total of 120 semester credit hours.  When we speak of a student’s overall curriculum, we are referring to courses taken to satisfy the general education requirements, the requirements for the major field of study, any minor field of study (if desired), and elective courses.


Consisting of between 39-40 semester credit hours, the General Education Program is an essential element of a student’s overall curriculum designed with specific student learning expectations focusing on the attainment of foundational knowledge and essential skills needed for a comprehensive undergraduate education.  Through study in the basic disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences, students not only gain a solid foundation for specialized studies, they are also equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a richer understanding of the various modes of inquiry, the differing ways of knowing needed for establishing a broad educational underpinning and a foundation for lifelong learning.

A major represents a degree-seeking student’s primary field of study.  A major is a structured plan of study ranging from between 33-80 semester credit hours.  Within the major, courses may either be specifically required or chosen from distributed lists.  Clusters of courses (typically 4 to 6) may constitute a specific emphasis area, track, or concentration within the major (see definitions below).  The purpose of a major field of study is two-fold: first, to provide students the experience of studying a subject area in depth; and, second, to provide specialized education or credentialing within a specific field of study.


Some major fields of study are structured in such a way as to allow for differing emphasis areas, tracks or concentrations within their list of requirements, often in addition to a core of courses common to all emphasis areas, tracks, or concentrations.  These emphasis areas, tracks, or concentrations consist of a specified list of related courses (typically 4 to 6) that provide the student with specialized knowledge or specific credentials within the broader disciplinary field. 

A minor is an optional, secondary field of study for a degree-seeking student, requiring between 15-29 semester credit hours, exclusive of student teaching.  No student may declare a major and a minor in the same discipline. 


Elective courses refer to those courses a student may take that are not specifically required or on distributed lists within any program such as a major or a minor or as part of the general education program.  Since all degree programs at the bachelor’s level require 120 semester credit hours total , students often need to take elective courses beyond their major and general education courses in order to fulfill the 120 semester credit hour requirement.

Evening Classes

Concord University offers some of its regular campus courses in the evening both on campus and at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center. The schedule of courses for any semester will indicate which courses will meet in the evening. Students successfully completing these courses are given residence credit if they are fully admitted to the University. Regular students may take evening classes as part of their full schedule. For those taking less than full course loads, including persons enrolled only for single courses, part-time fees will be assessed, as described here.

Independent Research, Independent Study, and Internships

Independent Research and Independent Study

Independent Research and Independent Study courses are designed to allow students to pursue independent research projects in specialized areas other than and beyond the content material of any other specific course listed in the Catalog. The purpose of the Independent Research or Independent Study is to encourage individual research initiative and independent study habits. No Independent Research or Independent Study course, therefore, will be used simply to substitute for any other course listed in the Catalog. Specific academic departments may have special curriculum or processes in place to guide students in individual research, and may, perhaps, incorporate such experiences into senior capstone courses or projects.  Although each Independent Research or Independent Study course is tailored differently to suit individual departmental differences, all Individual Research or Independent Study courses will meet the following minimal requirements:

Before undertaking an Independent Research or Independent Study course, a student must present a written proposal outlining the study project and the anticipated research methods to an appropriate faculty member and to their academic advisor. The faculty member and the academic advisor will evaluate the proposal, recommending changes if desired, before granting final approval. Upon 

approval, the faculty member will develop a syllabus for the course and work with the student’s advisor, their Department Chair, Dean, and the Office of the Registrar to have the course put into the student’s schedule.  The faculty member will also evaluate the project and assign a final grade for the course at the end of the semester.


Like other independent courses, Internship experiences, that is working with an outside agency or organization for college credit, take place in a variety of ways.  In some academic departments, these experiences are arranged in advance as part of specific programs, and are sometimes referred to as “shadowing” experiences, or are perhaps undertaken as part of senior capstone courses or projects.  Internships such as these should be arranged through the student’s academic advisor. Other internships come about through the efforts of the Office of Career Services, in cooperation with Concord University’s extensive network of alumni members and community leaders interested in providing student workplace experiences to enhance success after graduation.  These internship opportunities will be posted by the OCS and the OCS staff will review student qualifications to ensure the best fit for these opportunities.  Other internships can be initiated by the students themselves, in conjunction with a cooperating organization or business, and with the full knowledge and approval of students’ academic advisors.

In whatever manner the internship experience arises, and through whatever processes, students are responsible for ensuring and demonstrating to their academic advisors that the internship experience involves sufficient work to warrant the earning of college credit.  Upon approval, the faculty member will develop a syllabus for the course and work with the student’s advisor, their Department Chair, Dean, and the Office of the Registrar to have the course put into the student’s schedule.  The internship, and all work undertaken to complete the internship, must occur during the semester in which the student has registered and during the semester in which the student’s grade is recorded.

Online Programs

Concord offers the following online programs:  online Elementary Education, online Digital Professional Communication, online Bachelors of Social Work, online sociology, and online sociology/criminology. The online programs are designed for students who are unable to come to the Athens or Beckley campus and will complete all coursework asynchronously.

Off-Campus Program

In accordance with the Standards for Off-Campus Instruction, adopted by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Concord University delivers some of its classes and programs at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center. 

Off-campus courses qualify as resident credit for Concord students and satisfy the Standards for Assuring Quality in Off-Campus Credit Instruction, adopted by West Virginia’s Higher Education system in January 1992.

These Standards include: a) the same admission, assessment, and placement standards as those which apply on-campus; b) a substantive mix (as close to 50%-50% as possible) between part-time and full-time faculty to ensure standards of academic quality; and c) the same course prerequisites, student assignments, number of instructional hours, degree of library and laboratory use, and other features of improved student performance as are required in Concord’s on-campus classes.

Out-of-State Academic Programs

West Virginia provides for its residents who wish to pursue academic programs not available within the State through the Academic Common Market and through contract programs. Both programs provide for West Virginians to enter out-of-state institutions at reduced tuition rates. Contract programs have been established for study in veterinary medicine, optometry, architecture, podiatry, and travel industry management. The Academic Common Market provides access to numerous graduate programs. The programs are restricted to West Virginia residents who have been accepted for admission to one of the specific programs at designated out-of-state institutions. Further information may be obtained through the Registrar’s Office.

Planning a Course of Study

Graduation from Concord University requires a minimum of 120 semester credit hours.  Each degree program includes three components - semester credit hours required for the major program of study, semester credit hours required for the general education program, and elective semester credit hours.  A semester credit hour is equivalent to a class meeting once a week for what is typically a fifteen-week semester; a course carrying three semester credit hours, therefore, would normally meet either two or three times a week, either for 75 minutes per class meeting or 50 minutes per class meeting, respectively, throughout the fifteen-week semester. The semester credit hour value of Concord courses is to be found in the academic catalog as a number in parentheses at the end of each course title.  A normal course load for fall or spring semester would be four or five courses totaling roughly fifteen or sixteen semester credit hours.  Fifteen semester hours taken each semester for eight semesters would complete the total of 120 semester credit hours in four academic years without summer study. Completion of 120 semester credit hours of coursework, however, does not constitute completion of a Concord University degree unless the total includes all of the specified courses required for the degree being sought.  Most degree programs can be completed within 120 semester credit hours; certain combinations of majors and minors, or teaching fields, may require more than 120 credit hours for satisfactory completion (see further information under “Adding Minors and Additional Majors”).

Students may find it necessary to take courses in one or more summer terms in order to complete degree requirements within four calendar years.  Eight credit hours may be taken in each of the two terms offered each summer session for students who are not on academic probation.  Students on academic probation may take three semester credit hours in each of the summer terms.

Concord University reserves the right to prescribe not only the courses required for a degree, but the order in which those courses may be scheduled by a student.

Public Service Learning Internships

Each fall and spring semester, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission sponsors a number of off-campus student internships. The majority of these are in-state government offices in the Charleston metropolitan area. They are normally a full semester in length and are designed to familiarize participants with the activities and responsibilities of West Virginia’s public agencies. Students accepted into the program receive financial support during their internships and are awarded up to fifteen hours of college credit upon satisfactory completion of the internship requirements. Further information may be obtained through the Registrar’s Office.

Semester Credit-Hour Load

Classification as a full-time undergraduate student requires enrollment in at least twelve semester hours of coursework each regular semester (fall and spring). Fifteen credit-hours are highly encouraged to complete a 120- hour program in a four-year time frame. Classification as a full-time graduate student requires enrollment in 9 -credit hours of coursework each semester.  (Note:  Graduate students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours, each regular semester, in order to be considered for financial aid eligibility.  Graduate enrollment for Summer I and Summer II may be combined to determine the student’s six- hour financial aid eligibility requirement.)

*The maximum permissible course load for undergraduate students each regular semester is as follows:

  • Fifteen credit hours for students who are on Academic Probation.
  • Eighteen credit hours for incoming freshmen, returning students who are not on academic probation and who have a grade average of less than 3.00, and, transfer students in good standing.
  • Twenty-one credit hours for those students who have a grade average of 3.00 or greater.

*The maximum permissible course load for graduate students each regular semester is as follows:

  • Six credit hours for students on Graduate Academic Probation (GPA less than 3.00).
  • Nine credit hours for students who are not on Graduate Academic Probation (GPA 3.00 or better).

*The maximum permissible course load for each of the two terms of the summer session is as follows:

  • Six hours for undergraduate students who are on Academic Probation.
  • Seven hours for undergraduate students who are not on Academic Probation.
  • Six for graduate students who are on Graduate Academic Probation (GPA less than 3.00).
  • Nine for graduate students who are not on Graduate Academic Probation (GPA 3.00 or better).

*Students may not complete more than their maximum permissible credit hour load at any time unless an Academic Exception Form has been submitted to and approved by the Office of the Provost.


Workshops on and off campus may be scheduled, depending on the needs expressed and the availability of Concord faculty for such service. Workshops occasionally are scheduled as courses on campus. Credit is given to those properly enrolled. Workshops usually carry one to three hours of credit and may not be taken for credit in that subject more than once. Non-credit workshops may be arranged for particular purposes in consultation with University officials. All workshops are subject to approval by Concord University, and they must meet the requirements of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.