Nonconforming Class Policy
The University of Denver operates on the quarter academic calendar for all units other than the Sturm College of Law, which operates on the semester calendar. Many academic, regulatory and business processes are governed by the institution’s academic calendar. These include billing, financial aid, grading, accreditation, athletics regulations and reporting.
Scheduling Noncomforming Credit Classes
The quarter calendar comprises four standard quarters (autumn, winter, spring and summer) of approximately ten weeks plus a final exam period during the traditional academic year. Nonstandard interterm session of varying length are established between quarters. The standard semester calendar comprises three semesters (autumn, spring and summer) of approximately fifteen weeks plus a final exam period during the traditional academic year. All credit-bearing classes are established within this term structure. Noncredit courses are scheduled in a distinct term, based on the calendar year.
Most credit-bearing courses or academic experiences at DU occur within defined academic terms. The University recognizes that learning experiences are not bound by these terms. Credit-bearing courses (or other activities such as experiential learning) may occur in various time periods that do not conform to defined academic terms. Courses shorter than standard terms (modules) may be scheduled as appropriate. Federal financial aid regulations restrict the extent to which courses may exceed standard terms. Courses may not extend more than a total of two weeks before the beginning or after the end of the standard term. Credit-bearing experiential learning activities (e.g., clinical, practicum, internship, externship) may exceed the two-week limit only when DU has little or no control over the length of the experience and may not exceed a standard term by more than 50%. (I.e., 15 weeks for a quarter or 22 weeks for a semester experience.) Courses that exceed these limits must be established as multiple classes.
Nonconforming courses are established within the institutional academic term structure based on the following criteria:
- Credit-bearing activities are generally established within the term in which learning activities begin. For example, if a six-week course begins in the middle of winter quarter and extends past the end of winter quarter, the course will be established as a winter quarter class.
- If a course or other activity substantially overlaps a subsequent term, it may be established within the subsequent term. Specifically, if more than 50% of educational activity (e.g., scheduled lectures or documented distance learning activities) occurs in a term subsequent to that in which a course begins, it may be established in the subsequent term. For example, a student-teaching internship that occurs in a secondary school may occur from late August through mid-December. That course may be established within autumn quarter. Scheduling determinations are made by the Scheduling Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar in consultation with Financial Aid or other relevant offices.
Many internal and external activities are governed by the assigned academic term. These include registration, billing, financial aid administration, refund processing, grading, transcripts and others. Academic units should be mindful of scheduling ramifications. For example, billing is based on the academic term as is refunding for dropped classes. Billing and refunding processes are administered by the Bursar’s office and governed by numerous regulations. Grading and other academic practices must be handled consistently for nonconforming classes. For quarter-credit classes, grades must be submitted within one week of the end of the scheduled academic activities. Instructors must individually schedule grading and similar academic processes with the Registrar’s Office for nonconforming classes.