Evaluating Academic Performance

Credit Hours

DRBU follows the federal government’s definition for credit hours, defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, section 600.2, which states:

One credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional-established equivalence that reasonably approximates no less than:

1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of student work out of the classroom each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit.

2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of a credit hour.


Grade Reports

Academic evaluation at DRBU is intended to nurture a holistic view of knowledge and learning. The faculty recognizes that grades alone can fall short of this ideal, often giving an incomplete picture of each student’s learning and academic achievement. Therefore, narrative reports from student conferences supplement letter grades in each student’s academic record. Because overemphasis on grades may result in thoughtless competition and encourage an unexamined sense of success or failure, students at DRBU are encouraged to pursue learning for its own sake. DRBU views grading as a means to this end and discourages students from pursuing grades as ends in themselves.

BA in Liberal Arts
Letter grades are assigned by the professor(s) of each course at the end of every semester following a conventional grade scale of A, B, C, D, or F.

A letter grade of C indicates satisfactory work for undergraduate students. Students whose cumulative grade average falls below a C average will be placed on Academic Probation [see section below]. Students who receive a failing grade in a course are also placed on academic probation. Grades are assigned according to the following grade point scale:

A—Excellent (A+ = 4.0, A = 4.0, A- = 3.7)
B—Good (B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7)
C—Satisfactory (C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0, C- = 1.7)
D—Minimal Pass (D+ = 1.3, D = 1.0)
F—Failing (F = 0.0)

I/(grade)—Incomplete with a default grade (see “Incomplete Grades”)
O—Absent (see “Attendance Policy”)
W—Withdrawn (see “Withdrawing from a Course”)
RP—Repeated course (see “Repeating Courses”)

Grade point averages are determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of units attempted.

A student who believes he or she has received an undeserved grade should consult the professor of the course immediately. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean of Academics may facilitate the discussion between the professor and the student. The final decision regarding grade changes resides with the professor of the course. The professor may submit a grade change to the Registrar no later than six weeks into the subsequent semester.

To qualify for graduation, undergraduate seniors are required to earn a grade of C- or higher in every class during their senior year. On rare occasions, the faculty may recommend that a BA degree be awarded to a student who did not satisfy this requirement. Such a recommendation may involve the successful completion of supplementary work assigned by the professor of the class in which work has been unsatisfactory.

MA in Buddhist Classics
Letter grades are assigned by the professor(s) of each course at the end of every semester following a grade scale of A, B, C, or F.

A grade of B- or higher is considered satisfactory for graduate level work. Graduate students must earn at least a B- in the required courses. Students who earned a grade lower than B- in a required course will need to repeat the course. Students whose cumulative grade average falls below a B average will be placed on Academic Probation [see section below]. Students who receive a failing grade in a course are also placed on academic probation.

Grades are assigned according to the following grade point scale:

A—Excellent (A+ = 4.0, A = 4.0, A- = 3.7)
B—Good (B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7)
C—Unsatisfactory (C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0)
F—Failing (F = 0.0)

I/(grade)—Incomplete with a default grade (see “Incomplete Grades”)
O—Absent (see “Attendance Policy”)
W—Withdrawn (see “Withdrawing from a Course”)
RP—Repeated course (see “Repeating Courses”)

Grade point averages are determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of units attempted.


Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade (I) may be given only in the case of a serious emergency (e.g., medical emergency or a death in the family) at the discretion of the professor. Outstanding course work must be completed before the beginning of the succeeding academic semester or no later than four weeks after the end of the semester, whichever is sooner. The professor may set an earlier or a later deadline for pedagogical reasons or extenuating circumstances.

Under no circumstances should a student re-enroll in a class to complete an I grade. Once the final grade is received by the registrar, the initial I grade will disappear from the transcript. Students must submit a form requesting an incomplete grade before the end of the semester. Check the DRBU Course Schedule for the deadline to request an incomplete grade. The student must fill out a request form for an incomplete grade and seek approval from the professor of the course. The Incomplete Grade Form includes the following information:

1) The reason for requesting an incomplete grade.

2) A brief description of the outstanding work to be completed and the deadline for submission.

3) The default grade that is to be recorded permanently on the transcript if the outstanding work is not made up. The default grade reflects the grade the student would have earned in the class prior to submitting the outstanding work.

Incomplete grades are restricted to cases where the student has satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course work and has not exceeded the maximum number of allowed absences. Students who exceed the maximum number of absences will receive an O (absent) for the course and are required to repeat the course to receive credit.


Retention of Student Records

Paper and electronic student records are maintained in the DRBU Office of the Registrar at the main campus in Talmage, California. Paper records are filed for a minimum of 5 years after a student completes a degree, and electronic transcripts are retained permanently.


Transcripts

Transcripts for current students and alumni may be ordered from the Office of the Registrar either in person or by fax. Contact the Office of the Registrar for a copy of the Transcript Order Form. The cost for each transcript is $6. Please allow two weeks for processing. Transcripts are normally delivered by USPS first-class mail; express shipping is also available with an additional charge. Official transcripts from other institutions that have been submitted for admission and evaluation of credit become the property of the University. For security reasons, official transcripts cannot be sent via email or fax.


Academic Probation

BA in Liberal Arts
The Dean of Academics places on academic probation a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 (C average) or a student who receives a failing grade in a course. The Dean may also place a student on probation when the student’s conference committee determines his or her work is unsatisfactory in many respects. Academic probation permits the student to continue at DRBU in the hope that his or her performance will improve. A special student conference, consisting of all of the student’s current professors, will be convened in the middle of the following semester to monitor the student’s progress and to provide feedback and support. If the student’s work is determined to be unsatisfactory at the time of the mid-term special conference, the student may be dismissed from the University.

Academic probation involves a trial period of, unless otherwise stated, one semester, by the end of which the Dean, in consultation with the student’s conference committee, will determine whether the student is returned to good standing or is dismissed at the end of the probationary period for failure to perform satisfactorily.

DRBU’s BA program is built on an integrated curriculum, with classes organized into cohorts that ideally progress through their programs in the specified number of years. When a degree student fails a class at DRBU, he or she falls behind in a sequential and cumulative learning process. Therefore, one failure results in academic probation and two failures may lead to dismissal from the University.

MA in Buddhist Classics
The Dean of Academics places on academic probation a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 (B average). The Dean may also place a student on probation when the student’s conference committee determines his or her work is unsatisfactory in many respects. A graduate student who fails a course is also placed on academic probation. Students who failed a second course may be dismissed from the University. When a graduate student has been placed on probation, a special mid-term student conference, consisting of all the student’s current professors, will convene in the middle of the following semester to monitor the student’s progress and to provide feedback and support. Students who fail to perform satisfactorily by the time of the special mid-term and the regular conferences will be dismissed from the University.


Dismissal for Academic Reasons

It is anticipated that every admitted student has the ability to successfully pursue a course of study at DRBU. However, as stated above, a student may be dismissed for academic reasons under the following circumstances:

  • If a student on academic probation performs unsatisfactorily as deemed by the Dean of Academics in consultation with the special mid-term student conference committee.

  • If a student on academic probation performs unsatisfactorily as deemed by the Dean of Academics in consultation with the regular end-of-term student conference committee.

  • If a student fails a second course.

The final decision for dismissal resides with the Dean of Academics and the Instruction Committee. Students who have been dismissed for academic reasons, however, may apply for readmission at a later date. Students who wish to seek readmission should consult with the Dean of Academics, who will stipulate conditions for readmission.


Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

The following criteria are used by DRBU in the determination of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving financial aid:

  • A student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress when he or she is permitted to advance to the following semester. The Dean of Academics grants this permission at the end of every semester, upon the recommendation of the student’s conference committee.

  • A student on academic probation is considered to be eligible for financial aid.

  • A student’s financial aid may be reduced during a semester in which he or she is repeating a course. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Dean of Students in cases of an involuntary withdrawal due to serious illness or other severe and mitigating circumstances.