Academic Rules FAQ

Please note: The following information is provided to assist students in resolving commonly encountered issues. While we strive to post all relevant information, it is possible that not every conceivable situation is covered. In other words, the fact that a policy is not mentioned here does not necessarily mean that no such policy exists. Students are always encouraged to address questions to their academic advisor, Department Chair, or the Assistant to the Dean.

For other important academic rules of the University that are not covered here, please visit Academic Regulations on the Web pages of the Office of Registration Services.

Taking Courses Outside of WPU
Q: Can I take a course at another institution?
A: Possibly, but it depends on a number of factors. They are:
- Once a student has become a major or minor in the Cotsakos College of Business, all coursework that is offered by the Cotsakos College of Business must be taken at William Paterson University.
- Only students in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 2.0) can take courses elsewhere.
- If a student has failed a course at William Paterson University, the only way to exclude the failing grade from GPA calculations is by retaking the same course at William Paterson University with a passing grade.
- Students cannot transfer in more than 70 credits total from a two-year institution.
- Students cannot transfer in more than 90 credits total from a four-year institution.
- Students who have 30 or fewer credits left before they complete their graduation requirements must take those credits in residence at William Paterson University.
- Students cannot take more than 19 credits in a Fall or Spring semester (14 credits in the Summer and 3 credits in the Winter). This limit applies to both courses taken at William Paterson University and elsewhere.

If a student meets all these conditions, he/she needs to obtain a Visiting Student Authorization form (available here or at any academic department). The first step is to receive the approval from the Chair of the Department that is offering the course at William Paterson University for the equivalency of courses. (If the intended course is offered at a NJ Community College, equivalencies can be looked up at https://www.njtransfer.org/artweb/chgri.cgi.) Subsequently, a student's academic advisor, Department Chair, and College Dean need to approve as well.

Residency Requirements
Q: Can I transfer in a course from a two-year institution (community/county college) that is a 3000- or 4000-level Cotsakos College of Business course?
A: No. Only 1000- and 2000-level Cotsakos College of Business coursework is eligible for transfer from a two-year institution (community/county college). The course content must be equivalent.

Q: Can I transfer in a course from a four-year institution that is a 3000- or 4000-level Cotsakos College of Business course?
A: Yes, but only if the course was taken with a grade of C or better at an AACSB-accredited four-year institution and upon approval from the Department Chair and College Dean. Two courses, ACCT 3110 (Intermediate Accounting I) and FIN 3200 (Corporate Finance) require a grade of B or better to be transferable.

Q: Is there a limit on how many business courses I can transfer in?
A: Yes. At least 50 percent of all major credits and at least 50 percent of all credits that satisfy the major/concentration requirement must be earned through completed coursework at the Cotsakos College of Business.

Q: As a major in the Cotsakos College of Business, can I take a Cotsakos College of Business course at a community college or another university?
A: No. Once a student becomes a major in the Cotsakos College of Business, all business coursework must be taken in residence at William Paterson University. Exceptions such as courses taken as part of a Study Abroad program will be considered on a case-by case basis and require the approval of the Department Chair and the College Dean.

Semester Load
Q: How many credits can I take in a Fall or Spring semester?
A: The normal limit is 19 credits. Students whose overall and major GPAs are 3.0 or higher can get permission from their Department Chair and College Dean to take up to 23 credits per semester. Please note that tuition and fees above the full-time flat rate will be charged for credits above 19 (see http://www.wpunj.edu/studentaccounts/tuition-and-fees/undergraduate.dot for details).

Q: How many credits can I take in the Summer session?
A: The limit is 4 courses / 14 credits. Additionally, courses must be scheduled so that no more than two courses run consecutively.

Q: How many credits can I take in the online Winter session?
A: The limit is one course. Please note that it is not possible to get permission to take more courses than that.

Internship
Q: I already have a job that is related to my major. Can that count as an internship?
A: No. One of the requirements of an internship is that it is a new work experience.

Minor
Q: Some of the courses for a minor are also courses for a major. Can these courses count towards both the minor and the major?
A: Up to 50 percent of minor requirements can simultaneously count towards a major. At least 50 percent of the minor requirements must be met with coursework that is unique to the minor, i.e., they cannot be double-counted. 

Second Degree
Q: How many courses do I need to take to earn a second undergraduate degree?
A: In order to earn a second undergraduate degree, a student (i) must meet all major requirements as well as prerequisites and (ii) must take at least 30 new credits. Please check with the respective Department Chair or the Assistant to the Dean if you have any questions about how these requirements apply to your individual situation.

Commencement
Q: I am taking my last credits in the Fall semester. Can I "walk" in May Commencement?
A: No. Students who complete their last degree requirements in the Fall semester are eligible to participate in the following year's Commencement.

Q: I am taking my last credits in the Summer. Can I "walk" in May Commencement?
A: It depends. A student can get permission to "walk" in May Commencement if he/she is scheduled to graduate in August and is enrolled for the last requirements (maximum of two courses / seven credits) in the Summer. If a student meets these conditions, he/she should contact the Assistant to the Dean for permission to "walk" in May Commencement after he/she has registered for the last (one or two) summer course(s).