2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Course Information

Accomodations for Students with a Documented Disability

Students with a documented disability who require accommodation access to class should contact Access Services at access@lesley.edu.

Full documentation of Lesley's support services can be found in this catalog in the section on "Student Life and Academic Development".

Course Waiver/Substitution

When it can be determined that a student has successfully completed a course at Lesley or at another accredited institution which is substantially the same as a required course in one of the degree programs offered in the college, a waiver or substitution may be granted. Applications for course waiver/substitution must be approved and signed by the appropriate division director before submission to the Registrar. Approval of the course waiver/substitution does not reduce the total number of credits required for the awarding of the degree, but allows the student, in consultation with an advisor, to select another approved course for the same number of credits, which may then be taken in lieu of the waived or substituted course.

Online Courses

LA+D students may take online courses on a case-by-case basis with approval of academic advising and faculty mentor. CLAS students may take online courses on a case-by-case basis with approval of their academic advisor.

Independent Study

The University offers students the opportunity to engage in independent study with a faculty mentor to pursue interests in topics not available in the regular curriculum. An independent study may be undertaken for 1 to 6 credits. A student may take no more than three Independent Study courses for up to 9 credits in total, which may be applied to their cumulative course credits.  These credits are available to any student who has earned 60 credits (or, with permission of the Chair, 30 credits), has a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and has demonstrated significant ability to work independently. The deadline to register for an independent study is the last day of the Drop/Add period.

Numbered as 4999, Independent Study courses are designed with consultation and consent of the faculty mentor. Once approved by the faculty mentor, the independent study contracts, including the amount of credit to be assigned, and the student's unofficial transcript are reviewed and authorized by the division chair. After approval the contract is then forwarded to the Office of the University Registrar by the student for final registration processing.

In certain, limited circumstances, an independent study for an individual or a group of students replicates a course needed for graduation; such an independent study allows students to complete program requirements even if the course is not available to the students in question as part of the regularly scheduled offerings.

Course/Studio Assistantships

A student may be asked to serve as a Course/Studio Assistant in a particular course that the student has taken previously (or otherwise demonstrated competency). In this role, the student studies the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating the course, while assisting with the preparation and teaching of the course. Students who decide to accept this honor register for course number 4089 under the appropriate discipline prefix. A Course/Studio Assistant Approval form, signed by the faculty and approved by the division director, is required for registration.

A student may not serve as a Course/Studio Assistant in the same course more than once and may not complete more than a total of two courses in this manner.

Contact the appropriate Academic Advising Center for the correct forms and procedures.

Add/Drop Policy

During the first two weeks of each semester, a student may add or drop a course. For accelerated courses, either on ground or online, the add/drop period is the first week. During this period, any course that is dropped will not be recorded on the student's permanent record. However, if after the second week of classes, a student withdraws from the college, withdrawal grades will be reflected on the academic record as required by the student refund policy. During the add/drop period, first semester freshman and transfer students are required to have their advisor's signature on each add/drop form (for CLAS only). After the first semester, students may add or drop a class on LOIS up to the end of the WebReg period. However, all students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor before making any changes to their schedule to ensure timely graduation.

Add/drop forms can be obtained from the Registrar's Office and the Undergraduate Academic Advising Centers. The form can also be found on the Registrar's Office web page at lesley.edu/students/student-records-registration-schedules/forms under "Registration".

Course Withdrawal Policy

The policy regarding withdrawal from courses becomes effective after the add/drop period terminates. If a student withdraws from a course or from the college prior to the end of the tenth week of the semester* or prior to the end of the fifth week for accelerated courses, s/he will receive a grade of "W" on their transcript. No credit will be given, nor will this be counted in computing the cumulative grade point average. A student who withdraws or discontinues studies in any course after that date will receive a grade of "F." During the withdrawal period, students (CLAS only) are required to have their advisor's signature on each add/drop form.

* Refer to the Academic Calendar for exact dates (lesley.edu/students/academic-resources/academic-calendars).       

Transferring Undergraduate Credit-Matriculated Students

This section applies to currently matriculated Lesley students.  Transfer of credit information for incoming students may be found in the "Admissions" section of this catalog.

A matriculated Lesley student in good standing may enroll in a course at another accredited college during the academic year, or summer. The following conditions govern the transfer of credit earned at another institution, to Lesley.

  • A total of 90 credit hours are transferable to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), and 66 credit hours are transferable to the College of Art and Design (LA+D), depending on the student's program and providing certain requirements are met.
  • A grade of C or better is necessary for transfer of credit; letter grades for transfer are not recorded on the student's permanent record. Grades of "P" (Pass) will be accepted for transfer.
  • CLAS: Written approval must be obtained from the student’s academic advisor and the Director of Academic Advising before  a course is taken for transfer credit. Students should contact the CLAS Undergraduate Academic Advising Center for more specific information and the approval forms.
  • CLAS students must meet with their advisors to determine the appropriate courses for their program of study prior to submission of the transfer approval form to the Director of Academic Advising.
  • CLAS: Upon completion of courses, students must request in writing an official transcript from the college/university where courses were completed to be sent to the Lesley University Registrar's Office.
  • CLAS: Credit for student teaching and other practica or internships must be approved by the appropriate Division Chair.
  • LA+D: It is strongly recommended that students check with LA+D advising staff to ensure transfer credits will meet requirements before courses are taken for transfer credit.
  • LA+D students need approval from the faculty internship representative.
  • LA+D: Upon completion of courses, students must request in writing an official transcript from the college/university where courses were completed to be sent to the Lesley University Registrar's Office.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Lesley University recognizes that adult students may have had professional and life experiences that parallel college level learning.

The PLA process begins with a three (3) credit course, AWRIT 4010 Prior Learning Assessment Preparation. In this course, faculty guide students to identify and document their learning experiences into a comprehensive portfolio. AWRIT 4010 is offered on a Pass/Fail basis and submission of a PLA portfolio is a requirement for completion of the course, regardless of whether or not it will be assessed for credit. Students may apply for as few as three (3), and as many as forty-five (45) credits that, if awarded, will count toward degree requirements. In addition to the cost of the three-credit course, students pay a $100 per credit assessment fee at the time they submit the PLA portfolio (students must submit this fee prior to having their portfolios assessed and regardless of how many credits are ultimately awarded).

PLA portfolios are reviewed by a committee who determines whether the student has provided sufficient evidence of learning to warrant the award of credit. Students are notified of the committee’s decision by the PLA coordinator in the Center for the Adult Learner. Students wishing to appeal award decisions should contact the PLA Coordinator for instructions. All appeals will be reviewed by the Assistant Vice President for Adult Learning Programs whose decision related to credit awards will be final.

Awarded credits are incorporated into a student’s degree plan as transfer credits and are calculated as part of the maximum 90 allowable transfer credits for LCAL students. PLA credits may be applied to requirements in the major, general education, or electives in the BS/BA in Liberal Studies program. (Approval may be required for some credits to count towards traditional CLAS majors.)

Students interested in earning credit through PLA should discuss their eligibility with their advisor early in their degree planning. Potential PLA credits should be considered and discussed as part of a student’s transfer credits at the time of enrollment; credits through PLA are ideally taken in, and no later than, the third semester of a student’s plan. Students wishing to learn more about the process should contact their advisor or the PLA coordinator in the Center for the Adult Learner, Julianne Corey at jcorey2@lesley.edu.