Academic Regulations & Graduation Requirements

Courses, credits, and graduation

Trinity credit information, course rules and regulations, and graduation requirements are clearly spelled out below. Questions can be directed to your faculty advisor or the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Regulations

Trinity applies the following rules and regulations to all students. Here you’ll find detailed descriptions of credits, course registration, and the grading system.

Students who have been admitted to the College are classified according to the number of semester hours of credit they have earned as follows:

  • Freshman fewer than 30 hours
  • Sophomore at least 30 but fewer than 60 hours
  • Junior at least 60 but fewer than 90 hours
  • Senior 90 hours or more

Students are unclassified if they have not been admitted as degree-seeking students but are enrolled on a limited basis.

Courses must be academic and similar in nature to courses offered at Trinity Christian College. Only college-level coursework with a grade of C (2.0) or better is accepted. A maximum of 65 credits may be transferred from a community college. Although a minimum grade is required, grades do not transfer. The grade-point average is computed only on work offered by or through Trinity Christian College.

Trinity reserves the right to accept or reject courses for transfer credit. Only philosophy and theology courses from Reformed institutions will be considered for fulfilling the general education requirements. Remedial or vocational courses are not transferable. Accepting courses for transfer and applying them toward degree requirements are separate considerations. Courses that transfer as elective credits may not be applicable to specific requirements. All students must meet the residency requirements: completing 45 hours at Trinity, completing at least 12 hours in the major and 6 hours of the minor at Trinity, and completing 12 of the last 20 hours at Trinity.

Trinity is an ACE Accredited school.

A maximum of 32 semester hours may be obtained through the transfer of non-classroom or test-based credit, of which 8 hours can be applied to a major for credit by examination. Additionally, a student may not obtain credit by examination after auditing or receiving a failing grade in the corresponding course. Trinity does not award academic credit for life experience.

Some students are able to earn college credit in certain subjects. This may be earned in any of the following ways:

  1. Advanced placement – At the time of admission, first-year students may submit scores from an Advanced Placement (AP) examination conducted by the College Board. A score of 3 or better is required to receive college credit. English, Mathematics and Physics require a score of 4 or better to receive credit. The amount of credit granted depends on the test score.
  2. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) – A satisfactory score as determined by the American Council on Education (ACE) is required to receive credit through CLEP. The amount of credit granted depends on the particular test taken. No credit will be awarded for science CLEP exams. A lab is required by the College for students to receive credit for a science course.
  3. International Baccalaureate (IB) – IB credit is granted to students who receive a grade of 5 or greater on higher-level classes. No credit is given for subsidiary-level work.
  4. Military service – Trinity awards credit for educational experiences during military service according to the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) as published in “The Guide to the Evaluation of Military Experiences in the Armed Services.” The amount and type of credit awarded is dependent upon the training completed and the compatibility of the credit recommendations with other Trinity transfer credit policies.
  5. Ontario Academic Courses (OAC) – Credit is granted for courses that have appropriate Trinity equivalents and in which the student has earned a grade of 75 or higher. General education requirements may be waived in cases where the student has earned a grade of 60 to 74.
  6. Spanish Language Proficiency – New students may be eligible for Spanish placement credits on the condition that they take the Web-CAPE exam at the beginning of the semester in which they take their first Spanish course, enroll for the Spanish course into which they were placed, and earn a grade of B or better. Placement credits are available only for Spanish 201 (if placed into 202) or 201-202 (if placed into a 300 level course). Transfer students with college-level Spanish on their transcripts are not eligible for credits by placement.

The average student load is 16 hours per semester. A heavier load is permitted only with the approval of the advisor. An overload is taking more than 18 hours per semester. Students taking an overload are assessed a per credit fee as established by the College, except for full-time students in the Honors Program who take an honors course that semester. A student’s previous academic record and current employment responsibilities are important factors in the number of semester hours he/she is permitted to take. Twelve hours is the minimum number for classification as a full-time student.

Credits at Trinity are given in semester hours. Courses numbered 100 and above count toward graduation. Each semester hour requires one period per week of class work and approximately two hours per week of preparation.

Academic Advisement When a student is admitted to the College, a faculty advisor is appointed to give the student assistance in developing a program and to monitor progress toward completion of that program. During the advising periods each semester, the advisor will help select courses that meet the goals of the student’s program. The initial advisor appointment is made on the basis of the student’s interests as stated on the application form. A student should visit the Registrar’s Office to request a change of advisor whenever interests or goals change.

Academic advising is an important area of faculty responsibility in a supportive environment that emphasizes the importance of teaching and learning. Throughout the educational program at Trinity, each student is offered advisement in the selection and planning of his/her academic program. Academic advising is seen as a continuous process through which the student clarifies and evaluates personal goals in life, career, and education. Ultimately, however, a student’s educational program is his/her own responsibility. By recognizing the student’s right to personal decisions and freedom of choice, Trinity seeks to stimulate and support the individual person’s development and maturation.

The following registration procedure has been established for students in the traditional program at Trinity.

  1. Shortly after the mid-point of each semester, the process of academic advisement begins for the subsequent semester.
  2. Registration information is sent electronically to students and faculty and is also available online.
  3. Students sign up to meet with their faculty advisors to review their academic history, including the courses for which they are currently registered, and to plan for the next semester’s course load.
  4. Once a course schedule is developed and mutually agreed on, the student registers online through the student portal at the assigned time. Note: Students with holds on their accounts cannot complete the registration process until the holds are cleared. Business Hold – Students are directed to the Business Office to make arrangements for payment and for permission to register. Immunizations Hold – Students are directed to the Student Development Office for arrangements and for permission to register. Registrar’s Hold – Graduating seniors who have not completed the Application to Graduate form are directed to the Registrar’s Office.
  5. After registration is completed, students may print off a copy of their course schedules online through the student portal.
  6. Billing statements with due dates are mailed to each student on dates established by the Business Office.
  7. Final registration for the semester is held the morning before the first day of class.

Independent study offers students the opportunity to explore a selected topic when the academic interests cannot be met by regular curricular offerings. Students must be matriculated to the College and in good academic standing to enroll in an independent study. Credit earned through an independent study is determined by the supervising faculty member.

A maximum of six (6) hours of independent study can be computed in requirements for graduation. A maximum of one course (3-4 hours) of independent study may be used to fulfill the requirements for a given major or minor. Students should complete the Independent Study Request form in cooperation with the instructor who will determine the format of the independent study. The form is available in the Registrar’s Office, as well as online. The completed request form should be submitted by the student to the Registrar’s Office. Final approval of the independent study is granted by the Provost in accordance with faculty load. Instructors are not obligated to offer independent study courses.

A student may elect to audit a course rather than take it for credit. Permission to audit a course must be obtained from the class instructor. An auditor may attend all classes and participate in all activities of the course but does not have an obligation to fulfill any of the requirements of the course, nor does the instructor have an obligation to evaluate the auditor’s work. Changes from audit to credit (and vice versa) is allowed until the grade “W” is no longer used during the semester. Full-time students are permitted to audit a course at no cost. All others are charged $100 per credit hour. An audit form is available online and at the Registrar’s Office and must be submitted at the time of registration.

Students are expected to attend all class and laboratory sessions for which they are registered. A student’s attendance record may affect the instructor’s evaluation of his /her classwork. Any anticipated absence on the part of the student must be cleared with the instructor. Penalty or makeup privileges for absences are left to the discretion of the instructor. In the case of a prolonged absence, it is the duty of the student to notify his or her instructors and the Student Development Office. Faculty members are requested to bring to the attention of the Student Development Office student absences that could be considered detrimental to the student’s academic performance.

Each instructor is expected to emphasize in the syllabus the importance of class attendance and to inform students of policies and procedures regarding absences, makeup privileges, and the extent to which class attendance is factored into the final grade for the student’s performance. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of the reasons for all class absences.

Through the first full week of classes, courses may be dropped or added without any charge for the registration change, but appropriate tuition charges will apply. After the first full week, a charge will be assessed for any change in registration. After the tenth day of a semester, students cannot add a course. Changes in registration and withdrawals from courses must be done through the Registrar’s Office at the student’s initiative.

Withdrawal from Courses A student may withdraw from a course without a transcript entry through the first full week of the semester. After the tenth day of the semester, every registered course will have a transcript entry. A student is not permitted to withdraw from a course after the tenth week of the semester.

One of the following grades will be issued for each course taken at Trinity and will appear on the official transcript:


Points Per Semester-Hour

A Excellent


B Good


C Satisfactory


D Unsatisfactory


F Failing


P/F Pass/Fail is used for internship courses


AU Audit


CR/NC Credit/No Credit is used for interim courses and FYF courses


NR No Report is issued for grades not submitted


I Incomplete (hours included in GPA calculation)


W Withdrew (2nd – 6th week of the semester)


WP Withdrew passing (after 6 weeks of the semester)


WF Withdrew failing (after 6 weeks of the semester)


R Repeated course


Plus (+) grades add 0.3 grade points per hour and minus (-) grades subtract 0.3 grade points per hour. Grade-point average is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of semester hours attempted. To meet graduation requirements, a student must earn at least 125 hours with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0.

This academic achievement is recognized for students who achieve a semester GPA of 3.5 or better and complete the semester as a full-time student.

The incomplete grade “I” is a temporary grade indicating that work for the course is not complete. Instructors may assign an incomplete “I” grade in a course that the student cannot complete on time due to extenuating circumstances, such as major illness or a death in the family, by filing an Incomplete Grade Request form with the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the current grading period. The date by which a student must complete a course is determined by the course instructor, but may not be more than 30 days after the last day of the term in which the “I” grade was awarded.

In extenuating circumstances, requests for an extension beyond one semester should be made, in writing, to the Registrar prior to the previously approved deadline. Both the instructor and student must agree to the extension. Students with incomplete grades, whose GPAs are below good standing, are not eligible to enroll in the following semester until the incomplete grades are finished.

A student’s course grade, after having been submitted by the instructor, shall not be changed unless an incorrect grade, by reason of clerical error or miscalculation, has been submitted for the student. All exceptions to the above policy must receive the approval of the Registrar and the Provost. Instructors may pick up a Grade Change form at the Registrar’s Office.

The policy for repeating a course to improve a previously earned grade includes the following provisions:

  1. The repeated course is subject to regular registration and financial policies.
  2. The higher grade earned will be used to determine the student’s GPA and academic status. The lower grade will still appear on the transcript with a notation indicating that it is a repeated course, which will no longer affect the calculation of the cumulative GPA.
  3. Students may transfer credit for courses failed at Trinity; however, the transfer grade does not replace the failing grade on the official transcript. How the transfer grade is applied to program admission requirements is determined by the department.

Graduation Requirements

Trinity Christian College offers a variety of majors and programs rooted in biblically informed liberal arts education for students who desire to earn a bachelor’s degree. Also available are master’s degrees in counseling psychology and special education. More information about the master’s programs can be obtained from the Graduate Studies Catalog.

Trinity grants the following bachelor’s degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

The formal requirements for graduation with a bachelor’s degree through the traditional program are the following:

  • 120 total credits.These credits consist of courses fulfilling major, minor, and Foundations requirements, as well as electives.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00.The cumulative GPA is calculated on the basis of all courses taken at Trinity. A GPA of 2.00 is also required for all courses within the major, unless otherwise specified by the department. Please refer to the department’s section of the catalog for program requirements.
  • All of the requirements for an academic major and minor.A minor is not required for students who major in programs that lead to a BFA, BS, BSN, or BSW degree.
  • The Foundations curriculum requirements.These vary slightly by the type of major.
  • The residency requirement for the traditional program.Students must complete at least 45 hours of the total credits required for graduation at Trinity. In addition, at least twelve hours of all major courses and six hours of all minor courses must be completed at Trinity, and 12 of the last 20 hours must be completed at Trinity.
  • Completion of the senior college assessment of student learning outcomes.These include major and Foundations learning outcomes.

All students wishing to earn a degree from Trinity must complete a graduation application the semester prior to their graduation. Graduation applications are available from the Registrar’s Office and online. Students seeking to graduate must submit an application even if they do not plan to participate in commencement ceremonies.

Trinity holds two commencement ceremonies each year: in December and May. Students can participate in either commencement ceremony but must have completed all the graduation requirements with the exception of two courses.

Because students may participate in commencement exercises with outstanding coursework, participation does not equate with graduation. Rather, degrees are conferred at the end of each term (December, May, and August) for students who have met all academic requirements during that term.

Following the final degree audit and confirmation that financial obligations have been met, diplomas are mailed and final transcripts indicating degrees and academic honors are made available.

Academic achievement upon completion of a degree program is recognized at graduation and on the final transcript in the following categories.

Graduating with honors  ––    GPA of 3.500 to 3.699
Graduating with high honors  ––  GPA of 3.700 to 3.849
Graduating with highest honors  ––  GPA of 3.850 or higher

To qualify for one of these honors, the graduating student must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours at Trinity.