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Pacific Oaks College    
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
  Jun 15, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

General Academic Policies

In this section, you will find basic academic information and policies affecting all students, including grading, registration, Satisfactory Academic Progress, leave of absence, and attendance requirements.

Academic Affairs

The Academic Affairs Department of Pacific Oaks College is the primary unit responsible for the quality of academic programs offered at the College.  Academic Affairs ensures the mission and values of Pacific Oaks are translated into the pedagogy and curricula used and taught.  The academic staff and faculty at Pacific Oaks have a long tradition of providing high-quality courses and learning experiences informed by the faculty’s academic values.  The values have philosophical foundations informed by the works of Paulo Freire-Pedagogy of the Oppressed; Antonia Darder-The Critical Pedagogy Reader; Bell Hooks-Teaching Community: Pedagogy of Hope; Louise Derman Sparks-Anti Bias Curriculum; and Elizabeth Jones-Teaching Adults.  From these scholars, the faculty have embraced the following values:

  • The Democratic Classroom
  • Inclusion/Diversity/Social Justice
  • Caring
  • Building on Strengths/Authentic Assessment
  • Learning through Play
  • Intellectual and Moral Autonomy
  • Transformative Learning

These values are translated and brought alive in each classroom.  From this we provide a curriculum that includes:

  • A relational learning experience that is meaningful, intellectually stimulating, relevant and personal;
  • The Culture Centered model promotes validation, visibility, and meaningful dialogue and inquiry; teaches critical thinking skills in more than one language; and embraces appreciation of multiple ways of learning, communication, exploration, and participation.
  • Uses an Emerging Curriculum, which expresses and validates the integration of life experiences and opportunities in the classroom that emerge from the course of study, and the dynamic responses of students.

The Academic Affairs department includes all academic staff and all faculty levels. It is led by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Deans for the School of Human Development, School of Cultural & Family Psychology, and School of Education.

Global Engagement-Study Abroad & Field Experience

Pacific Oaks Colleges supports educational experiences that expand beyond geographical borders. An education rooted in diverse experiences can help inform any field and can help prepare graduates to work with populations from anywhere in the world. Please visit our website to learn more about exciting international opportunities for students and faculty.

Global Distinction

Pacific Oaks College calls on students to become agents of change and serve the greater global community. Global Distinction is awarded to students committed to including global engagement in their educational journey at Pacific Oaks College. Students must submit a structured portfolio of international activities that took place throughout their degree program for committee review. Please contact for additional information.

Global Distinction will be noted on the student transcript upon fulfillment of objectives.

Visit the registration site for more information.

General Education


Academic Affairs houses General Education (GE), and the School of Global Leadership & Management which offers a BS in Business Administration, and an MA in Organizational Leadership and Management. These programs at Pacific Oaks  are an integral part of the undergraduate education.   Pacific Oaks’ new Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum (ICC) will encompass a program of study that will provide students with the skills they need to excel in whatever disciplines they choose to pursue. PO’s general education requirement aims to expand students’ knowledge, skills, and perspectives through coursework from various disciplines. Beyond the personal academic growth the general education program provides, this core set of standard courses also serves as a shared experience that links all PO students to one another.

A certain number of GE courses may be shared with a student’s degree program. However, GE courses may only be used to complete one GE category.  Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) or college transfer credit may also complete GE courses. Please refer to the Transfer Credit Policy on PLA and transfer equivalencies.

To complete the General Education requirements, each student must complete core courses in the six categories listed below. Core courses are in italics. These six categories can be fulfilled with 13 courses.  All GE courses must be completed with a grade of ‘D’ or better.   Note: Your degree program may require a C or better for some or all courses.

The College recognizes that undergraduate students may need to repeat one or more courses to fulfill degree requirements and/or enhance previously acquired skills. However, students should seek academic advisement before deciding to repeat any course. Students should know that other institutions (e.g., medical schools, graduate programs, and law schools) might not recognize this repeat policy and will use the forgiven grades to recalculate GPAs.  

The following rules apply:

  1. Per the existing Maximum completion timeframe policy, a maximum of 60-semester credits of Pacific Oaks College coursework in which a student earned less than a “C” grade may be repeated to exclude grades (grade forgiveness) from the computation of the student’s overall GPA. 
  2. Students cannot improve the grades of courses taken at Pacific Oaks College by repeating them at another institution.
  3. Undergraduate students may take an individual course no more than three times. Only one repeat per course per semester is permitted to improve the grade.  The highest grade of the three attempts will be counted in the student’s GPA.  The third enrollment in a course will require the permission of the program’s dean, associate dean, or vice president of academic affairs. Subsequent enrollment must be on the same basis of grading as the first.

This policy applies only to baccalaureate credits, i.e., those that count toward the degree.


General Education Courses

Pacific Oaks Culture and Pedagogy (3 credits required)

GEN 100

Success at Pacific Oaks

3 credits

English Communication (9 credits required, at least one course in English Composition and one course in oral communication)

English Composition

ENG 101

English Composition I

3 credits

ENG 201

English Composition II

3 credits

CT 300

Ethics: A Global Perspective

3 credits

GEN 289

Writing and Communications for Empowerment

3 credits

ENG 110

Creative Writing

1 credit

Oral Communication

COM 150

Effective Communication

3 credits

ENG 110

Creative Writing

1 credit

Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits required)

MATH 160

Quantitative Reasoning

3 credits


Integrated Statistics

3 credits

Arts and Humanities ( 9 credits required with at least one course from the arts and one course from humanities)


ART 100

Introduction to Art

3 credits

ART 150

Public Art

2 credits

FILM 100

Introduction to Film

2 credits

LIT 150

Urban Literature

3 credits

MUS 100

Global Music and Culture

3 credits


PHIL 150

Critical Thinking

3 credits

LIT 300

Introduction to Literature

3 credits

HD 475

Arts and Change

3 credits

CT 300

Ethics: A Global Civic Perspective

3 credits

HIS 100

US History

3 credits

GEN 200

Becoming a Global Citizen

3 credits

Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 credits required, three courses from at least two disciplines)

Social Science

CIV 101

Civic Engagement

1 credit

CRIM 300

Introduction to Criminology

3 credits

HIST 200

History of Social Justice

3 credits

SOC 100

Introduction to Sociology

3 credits

POL 100

American Government and Political Issues

3 credits

RESM 235

Research Methods for Social Sciences

3 credits

GEO 200

Cultural Geography

3 credits

Behavioral Science

PSY 101

Introduction to Psychology

3 credits

PSY 103

Developmental Psychology

3 credits

PSY 105

Abnormal Psychology

3 credits

PSY 201

Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

3 credits

Physical and Biological Sciences (7 credits required, One physical science course and one biological science or life science course, at least one of which includes a lab)

Physical Science

ENV 100

Introduction to Environmental Science

4 credits

Biological Science

NUTR 100

Human Nutrition

3 credits

BIO 100L

Introduction to Biology Lab

1 credit

BIO 200

Human Biology

4 credits



Academic Advisors in the Center for Academic Advising will work closely with the Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum (ICC) program Faculty Advisor to assist students with enrolling in their specific ICC course(s) each term/semester.  The ICC Faculty Advisor will create an individualized academic map that will support you in successfully moving into your upper-division degree program. 

Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

  • Students synthesize information, explain issues, analyze concepts and evidence, assess assumptions, define their perspectives and positions, and evaluate the implications and consequences of their conclusions. (WSCUC Core Competency Critical Thinking) (ILO B)
  • Students will be able to develop and express themselves clearly and appropriately orally and in writing for various social, academic, and professional contexts and use appropriate technologies. (WSCUC Core Competency Oral and Written Communication) (ILO B)
  • Students use quantitative reasoning to analyze problems and identify solutions. (WSCUC Core Competency Quantitative Reasoning) (ILO B)
  • Students locate, interpret, determine credibility, and use information effectively, ethically, and legally. (WSCUC Core Competency Information Literacy) (ILO B)
  • Students will be able to understand various institutions (e.g., cultural, political, economic, religious, and educational), their historical backgrounds, and principles of human behavior and social interaction. (WSCUC Core Competency Critical Thinking) (ILO C)
  • Students should demonstrate an understanding of the interconnections of knowledge within and across disciplines. (WSCUC Core Competency Critical Thinking) (ILO B)


Pacific Oaks College follows ACRL’s information literacy standards which align with our Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs):

  1. The information-literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed
  2. The information-literate student accesses required information effectively and efficiently.
  3. The information-literate student critically evaluates information and its sources and incorporates selected information into their knowledge base and value system.
  4. The information-literate student, individually or as a group member, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  5. The information-literate student understands many economic, legal, and social issues surrounding information and access and uses information ethically and legally.

As indicated in the general education curriculum map, information literacy is introduced, practiced, or mastered in most courses. Students will demonstrate mastery in this competency by conducting research online, fieldwork assignments, an annotated bibliography, and literature reviews, using various sources in the Library’s database.  Several courses will include presentations by the Librarian. Course Instructors will assess Information Literacy competencies using rubrics for each type of assignment.

Prior Learning Assessment

Pacific Oaks College recognizes that what students have learned outside the classroom may hold equivalent value to what they would have learned in a comparable college course. This knowledge may have been gained through past work, training programs, in-service courses, volunteer service, cultural or artistic pursuits, community or religious activities, organizational memberships, adult education, noncredit courses, study abroad, and military training not evaluated for credit by ACE or other approved agencies.

Portfolio Development and Assessment: Credit for Learning from Experience

Students admitted to the Bachelor programs with fewer than 87 transferrable credits can enroll in GEN 289 and receive three (3) credits in either English/Communication or General Electives. The course teaches students how to write for empowerment and persuasion and provides documentation of skills and abilities gained through life experiences.

A portfolio allows students to earn Credit for Learning from Experience (CLE) for identifying and articulating the college-level knowledge they obtained throughout their prior learning experiences. Learning must demonstrate an understanding of the experiential learning process by aligning personal experience with the learning outcomes of Pacific Oaks College courses identified as eligible for Portfolio Development. Students learn best practices in identifying areas of course equivalent learning while developing appropriate skills to write portfolios.  Through the Portfolio Development and Assessment process, students may earn up to 24 CLE credit hours required to complete a Bachelor Degree.

Completion of the following is required to participate in the portfolio development and assessment process:

  • Demonstrate a minimum of 5 years of verifiable work experience in a related field.
  • Enrollment in GEN 289, a 3-credit General Elective

Upon completing GEN 289, each student will enroll in GEN 299, a zero-credit “laboratory” for creating and submitting portfolios for the Reflective Study courses. Students may continue to develop and submit portfolios while enrolled in GEN 299 (up to 4 consecutive semesters) and must be actively enrolled (at least half-time) in other courses while completing the portfolio development. Submitted portfolios that meet the identified portfolio development requirements and adequately demonstrate a mastery of the identified Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) will be granted one to three credits of lower division BA-level credit.  Submitted portfolios that fail to meet the requirements as mentioned earlier will not be awarded any credits.

In each of the 8 Reflective Study courses, students may earn up to three credits based on the level of learning demonstrated in each portfolio submitted. All portfolios are reviewed by faculty, who determine the credits to be recorded.  A Recording Fee is charged based on the number of credits earned.


  • Be admitted into a Pacific Oaks Bachelor’s Degree
  • Five years of relevant, verifiable work or life experience
  • Successful completion of GEN 289
  • Enrollment in GEN 299
  • Assessment of portfolios for up to 24 credits


View the Fee Schedule at the bottom of the Tuition and Fees page.


Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for both Ground and Online students comprises a Fall, Spring, and Summer semester. All online courses (in all Schools) and ground School of Education courses are broken up into two separate Sessions; 8-week sessions in the Fall, Spring, and Summer. Ground courses are only offered in 16-week (Fall and Spring) and 12-week (Summer) semesters.

Program/Course Delivery and Length

Pacific Oaks College offers programs and courses both on the ground and online. Not all programs or courses are available in both modalities.


Campus and Instructional Site Courses

Spring and Fall 16-week semesters

Summer 12-week semester

Synchronous Online

Spring and Fall 16-week semesters

Summer 12-week semester

Online and Education

Spring and Fall Session I (8-week session)

Spring and Fall Session II (8-week session)

Summer Session I (8-week session)

Summer Session II (8-week session)


Please refer to the Continuous Enrollment Policy for more information regarding registration requirements and reference the Student Gateway for a complete list of course schedules each semester/session.

Credit Hour

Credit Hour Definition

Academic credit at the College is granted using the semester credit hour system. A credit hour for a lecture, seminar, or thesis course represents 15 hours of instructional activity (e.g., classroom instruction, engagement with web-based instructional materials) based upon a 50-minute hour toward achieving specified student learning outcomes.

For blended or online courses: The 15 hours of instructional activity may include web-mediated synchronous or asynchronous lectures or webinars, interactive tutorials, and online discussions.

On-ground courses: Lecture or seminar classes may be scheduled for 15 or more hours per credit hour, including break times when class sessions are scheduled for longer than one 50-minute hour.

A credit hour also assumes up to 30 additional hours of homework, studying, and/or research.

A credit hour for practicum, fieldwork, or internship coursework represents 45 hours of applied practice and weekly seminar/supervision. A credit hour for an independent study represents a minimum of 5 hours of instructor-student contact and up to 40 additional hours of outside study and/or research.

Credit Hour Review

Course schedules will be reviewed each semester by the Program Director and Dean to ensure that class meeting times comply with the appropriate credit hour definition.  Syllabi will also be audited each semester to assess whether or not the time reasonably expected for a student to complete the assigned readings and specific course assignments align with the credit hour definition.  Another source of data regarding credit hour compliance will be student responses to course evaluation items that assess the amount of time students spend completing homework assignments, studying, or researching/writing papers.

All new course proposals must include sample readings and assignments that align with the credit hour definition and justify the credit hour value requested in the proposal.   All regularly scheduled program reviews will consist of a review of the course readings and assignments from a random sample of courses to evaluate compliance with the credit hour definition. 


Students are responsible for verifying their registration status and course schedule in advance of each semester/session to maintain continuous enrollment. Students may review course schedules and register for classes in the Student Portal. Please refer to the Continuous Enrollment Policy for more information regarding registration requirements.

New students must contact their assigned Enrollment Counselor or Academic Advisor upon admission into the College before registering for classes. Current students are encouraged to meet with their Academic Advisor to plan each semester’s course schedule before registering for classes.

Students are expected to have met all prerequisite requirements for the courses in which they register.


The first week of every semester/session is the Add/Drop week for students.

Before the semester/session starts:

Students should add and drop courses online through the Student Gateway before the start of the semester/session.

During the first week of the semester/session:

Students may also change their course schedules during Add/Drop week and will not be charged a late registration fee.

Students must submit any changes to their schedule by submitting an Add/Drop Form to the Registrar’s Office by the Add/Drop deadline. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for specific registration dates and add/drop deadlines.

Drops officially processed by the Add/Drop deadline will not appear on the student’s transcripts.

After the first week of the semester/session:

Students who wish to drop a course after the Add/Drop deadline must submit an Add/Drop Form to the Registrar’s Office.

Students who drop or are administratively dropped after the first week of class will receive a grade of “W” or “WX.” Students who drop courses after the first week of class may be eligible for a partial refund. Please see the Drop/Withdrawal Refund Schedule in the Catalog’s Financial Aid & Student Accounts section to determine whether a “W” or “WX” will be issued and if a tuition adjustment is necessary.

Students who wish to add a course after the Add/Drop deadline must submit a General Petition along with the Add/Drop Form to the Registrar’s Office. If approved, they will be assessed a late registration fee.

Students who wish to drop all their courses must submit a Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office. Please see the Drop/Withdrawal Refund Schedule in the Catalog’s Financial Aid & Student Accounts section to determine whether a “W” or “WX” will be issued and if a tuition adjustment is necessary.

Registrar’s Office for processing. Please see the Drop/Withdrawal Refund Schedule in the Catalog’s Financial Aid & Student Accounts section to determine whether a “W” or “WX” will be issued and if a tuition adjustment is necessary.

Continuous Enrollment

To maintain continuous enrollment with Pacific Oaks College, students must be registered for and attend Fall, Spring, and Summer courses.

They must participate in any course combination of terms spanning a 16/12 week period. This may include:

  • Courses in the 16/12 week semester
  • Courses in Session I (8 week session) and/or Session II (8 week session)
  • Courses in the 16/12 week semester, and any combination of courses in Session I and/or Session II

Continuous Enrollment

Spring and Fall 16 week semester

Spring and Fall Session I (8 week session)

Spring and Fall Session II (8 week session)

Summer 12 week semester

Summer Session I (8 week session)

Summer Session II (8 week session)


Students must maintain continuous enrollment in courses as outlined above. Students who are unable to register for a semester/session within the semester due to an extenuating circumstance must request a Leave of Absence to maintain continuous enrollment. Please refer to the Leave of Absence Policy for additional information.

Students not registered in courses or on an approved Leave of Absence will be administratively withdrawn due to failure to comply with the continuous enrollment policy. Students who have been administratively withdrawn should refer to the Re-Admit and Re-Entry Policy for additional information.

For additional questions regarding the continuous enrollment policy, please contact the Student Finance Department or the Office of the Registrar. Please refer to this Catalog’s Financial Aid and Student Accounts section regarding minimum credit requirements for financial aid eligibility.  

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. If a student repeats a course, only the most recent grade earned is calculated into the grade point average; the grade point value of the first grade is no longer included in calculating the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) but will continue to be reflected on their official transcript. No grades are awarded for transferred credits, and transfer credit grades are not reflected in the College grade point average. However, they are evaluated when calculating the rate of progress (or pace) for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Evaluation. See Grade Point Classification for additional details.

Grade Point Classification

All academic work in courses, seminars, independent studies, and practicum/internship is evaluated by the instructor and is noted on the student’s transcript. Instructors award one of the following grades:


Grade Points Undergraduate Description Graduate Description
A 4.00 Excellent
B 3.00 Very Good Satisfactory
C 2.00 Satisfactory or Average Below Expectations
D 1.00 Below Expectations Not Applicable for Graduate Program
X 0.00 Unacceptable - No Credit
WX 0.00 Withdrawn-No Credit
P* N/A Pass
NP* N/A No Pass
CR* N/A Credit
NC* N/A No Credit
WP* N/A Work In Progress
W* N/A Withdrawal: see refund schedule for applicability and timeframe
I* N/A Incomplete
NR* N/A Grade Not Reported
AU* N/A Audit


* These grades are not calculated into GPA. Prior to Fall of 2010, a grade of “S” was assigned to courses. When calculating GPAs this grade is equated to a “B” letter grade.

Course withdrawals are not accepted after the final withdrawal deadline stated in the Academic Calendar. Please see the Academic Calendar/Refund Schedule for specific withdrawal deadlines.

Repeating Courses

Courses repeated during a student’s program of study due to non-satisfactory grades will be indicated as a repeated course with the most recent grade calculated into the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

  • Previous grades for any repeated course are not calculated in the CGPA. However, both original and repeated units will be counted as attempted units in Satisfactory Academic Progress Pace (Rate of Progress) calculations.
  • Students who are required to repeat courses for degree program requirements may incur additional charges.
  • Students who fail a course can repeat the course until they have successfully completed it. However, Financial Aid eligibility is limited and should be discussed with a Financial Aid representative.
  • Students who receive a passing grade, may continue to repeat the course to receive an improved grade, and are eligible to receive Financial Aid for one additional attempt. 
  • Additional information regarding rate of progress may be found under the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Although a grade of “C” or higher for graduate students or “D” or higher for undergraduate students is generally acceptable toward graduation requirements, students may retake a course to improve their final grade. Students receiving lower grades in such coursework are required to retake or replace the course(s). Please refer to the Academic Programs section for additional information regarding graduation requirements.

Some courses, such as thesis continuation, can be taken multiple times and are not considered a “repeated course” for the purposes of this policy. Questions regarding financial aid eligibility for a specific course should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid prior to registering for the course.

Course Substitution/Waivers

A course substitution is a course that takes the place of a required course in a curriculum, provided the course substitution meets the content and/or spirit of the requirement. A description of the course to be substituted and how it meets the content and spirit of the requirement must be provided to the student’s Faculty Advisor and/or Academic Advisor and Dean of the school for review and approval.

A course waiver does not result in the awarding of credit. A waiver means that the student does not have to take a required course in the curriculum because the Faculty Advisor and/or Academic Advisor and Dean of the school have determined that the student already has the knowledge and skills taught in the course and would not benefit from repeating the content. Documentation of how the student has met the content and spirit of the requirement must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

The student will be required to make up the credits of the waived requirement, which could be met by completing an elective course of the student’s choosing or a higher-level course recommended by the Faculty Advisor and/or Academic Advisor. A student wishing to deviate in any way from program requirements must have permission from the Dean of the school. Please consult your Pacific Oaks College Faculty Advisor to request a course substitution.

Students who wish to take Pacific Oaks coursework outside their degree/program requirements are allowed to do so under the following guidelines:

  1. Students are required to complete the required Course Substitution Form which must be signed by the student and Dean of the school.
  2. The course substitution needs to be justified. A description of how it maps to the learning outcome must be documented on the Course Substitution Form and approved by the Dean of the school to ensure that the programmatic learning outcomes of the degree are not compromised.
  3. Course Substitution forms and approvals must be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the course being taken.

Students wishing to petition for a course substitution or waiver should gather sufficient documentation and justification to warrant a course substitution/waiver. In conjunction with their Faculty Advisor and/or Academic Advisor, students should complete the Course Substitution Form. The Course Substitution form must be approved by the Dean responsible for the course or curriculum. The approved Course Substitution Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before the student files their application for Degree Conferral form for degree audit and graduation.

Course Audit

Students should confer with an Academic Advisor prior to officially auditing a course. To audit a course, a student must obtain approval from the Dean of the school offering the course and select “Audit” on a registration form and submit the form to the Registrar’s Office. The deadline to request to audit a course is the Add/Drop deadline. No credit is earned from audited classes. A notation of “AU” is assigned to audited classes and is not used in computing the grade point average or rate of progress.

Course prerequisites are enforced in the determination of registration eligibility for the course, and audit fees will be assessed. No preregistration is allowed for courses taken as audit. Course requirements such as homework, exams and papers are not graded by the instructor for students who are auditing a course. Audits do not count for full-time or part-time statuses, loan deferments, financial aid, etc. Students may not change a grading system from an Audit to a letter grade. Not all courses are eligible to be audited.

Incomplete Grade Policy

An Incomplete (“I”) grade is only available to students who have completed 75% of the coursework required for a particular course. Incomplete grades are issued at the instructor’s discretion and are only granted for compelling and extenuating circumstances.

Students must make arrangements with the instructor to discuss the option of an Incomplete grade before the end of the semester/session. If the instructor grants an Incomplete grade, the student and the instructor must complete and sign the Incomplete Contract Form to define the terms and deadline for completing the coursework.

Based on instructor discretion, the student has until the end of the following semester/session to finish their coursework. If the student does not complete the work, their grade automatically defaults to an “X” grade.

The Incomplete grade cannot be used to improve a grade. An “I” grade is not to be awarded in place of a failing grade or when the student is expected to repeat the course. In such a case, a grade other than “I” must be assigned.

The “I” grade appears on grade reports and/or official transcripts until a final grade is determined and recorded. Students who fail to meet the conditions of the Incomplete Contract will automatically receive an “X” grade. The student is responsible for knowing the deadline and the requirements for course completion.

Students who receive an “I” grade in a pre-requisite course will be automatically unregistered from the requisite course if they are registered in the requisite course for the following term/semester.  If a student receives a passing grade in the pre-requisite course before the Add/Drop deadline, they may register for the requisite course but must follow the Add/Drop process.  Upon completing the pre-requisite course, they will not automatically be registered in the requisite course.

An extension of an Incomplete may only be granted by the Dean or designee due to a documented extenuating circumstance. A request for an extension must be petitioned in writing via the General Petition Form before the expiration of the Incomplete Contract, and the instructor must support it. Students who withdraw from Pacific Oaks College with an Incomplete Contract will have until the deadline to submit all required outstanding work.

Grade Appeal

Grade appeals regarding a letter grade must be submitted in writing for review within the semester/session following the grade assignment. Grade appeals are limited to situations where the student believes the grade was unfairly assigned or miscalculated.

A student with questions about a grade should seek to resolve the issue by consulting the instructor. If the instructor determines a grade change is warranted, the instructor will submit a Grade Change Form to the Registrar’s Office. Additional coursework may not be assigned and/or revised to enable the student to receive a higher grade. The Registrar’s Office will notify the student of the grade change.

If the instructor does not approve a grade change, and the student wishes to make an official grade appeal, students may complete the Grade Appeal Form and gather all supporting documents. If the instructor is no longer working with the institution or does not respond within 72 business hours, final Grade Appeal requests will be escalated directly to the Dean.

If the Dean is unavailable, the Grade Appeal will be submitted to the department designee for review. The Dean or designee may confer with the student and the instructor to resolve the issue. In most cases, the instructor’s decision is final unless the Dean determines that extenuating circumstances warrant a review. The Dean will return the decision in writing to the Registrar within two (2) weeks of receiving the Grade Appeal indicating the basis on which the decision was made. If a grade change is warranted, a Grade Change form must be submitted in addition to the Grade Appeal.

The final decision of the Grade Appeal will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and placed in the student’s record. The Registrar’s Office will communicate the decision to the student; no further appeal is available.

Academic Success Program

To ensure academic preparedness, the key to success in learning, Pacific Oaks College provides support through the Academic Success Program and resources, which include the Smarthinking online writing resource and peer tutoring services.

Please contact the Center for Student Achievement, Resources, and Enrichment (CARE) Office with any questions.

Change of Faculty Advisor

Students may request a change of Faculty Advisor for a variety of reasons. Requests should be submitted in writing to the Dean of the corresponding academic school. The student’s Dean must approve a change and an appropriate form must be submitted to the Registrar.

Program Changes

Active students at Pacific Oaks College may petition to make the following changes to their academic programs without applying for readmission:

  • Change of academic program
  • Change of specialization within the same academic program
  • Change of credential
  • Change of modality (100% online or on ground)
  • Change of location or cohort

To qualify for a Program Change, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must be in good academic standing. (See SAP policy for further information on what defines good academic standing.)
  • Students must be in good financial standing. This generally means that a student does not owe a balance to the school or is on a payment plan.
  • Students must not have any pending professional comportment issues in review.

All students who intend to change programs are encouraged to speak with a Financial Aid representative and the Student Accounts Office before petitioning for any program change as they may impact aid eligibility.

Students must discuss all changes with their Faculty Advisor and obtain approval of the form and a signature.  For the following programs, students will be evaluated to determine admissibility beyond the Faculty Advisor’s approval.  Additional documents may be required when requesting the program change as students must meet all corresponding admission requirements at the time of the change request. Changes will not be processed for students who do not qualify.

All change requests must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in writing through a Program Change Request form. The Registrar’s Office typically processes approved change requests at the end of each semester/session.

Due to differences in program requirements, not all Pacific Oaks College coursework from a student’s previous program or all coursework transferred from previous institutions may apply to meet requirements in the new program. A new transfer evaluation will be performed at the time of the change request, and the applicability of previously completed coursework will be determined by the Dean for the new program at the time of the change request. In some cases, additional units may be required in order to complete the program. Please refer to the Pacific Oaks Transfer Credit Policies and Academic Program sections for additional information regarding the transferability of coursework.


Pacific Oaks College expects all students to attend courses and submit all assignments per each course’s requirements. Active participation is an essential component of classes, and attendance is critical to building a learning community. All on-ground and online courses have an online interaction built into the first week of each course, and students are recorded as either absent or present each day based on participation in a graded academic activity during this week (Add/Drop period).

Attendance is defined as participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes posting an introduction, posting in a graded discussion forum, submitting a written assignment or quiz, or submitting another deliverable as defined in the course syllabus. Each instructional week begins Monday and ends on Sunday. Students who do not post attendance during the first week (Add/Drop period) will be administratively withdrawn in the second week of the applicable semester or session.

A student will be automatically dropped from a course for non-participation or non-attendance within the first week of a semester or session (Add/Drop period). A tuition refund will be based on the applicable refund policy (see Drop/Withdrawal Refund Schedule ). 

Absences should occur only for extenuating circumstances such as ill health or critical emergency. Whenever possible, a student should notify the faculty of these absences in advance. It is within a faculty member’s discretion to determine whether absences are excused. Excessive late arrivals, absences, or excessive periods of time without logging into the online component of a course, regardless of the reason, may jeopardize a student’s academic standing. A student’s request for an excused absence indicates the student’s intention to remain enrolled in the course. Faculty members must notify the Registrar’s Office of excused absences.


For information regarding the determination of the withdrawal date, please see the Withdrawal from the College policy  in this Catalog.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Overview

Pacific Oaks College students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of a degree or credential program. 

SAP is a qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) measurement of student academic progress. Various federal regulations governing student financial assistance require that a higher education institution develop standards to measure academic progress toward a degree. In addition, federal regulations require that financial aid recipients make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree or certificate program to remain eligible for financial aid.

Students are evaluated against both qualitative and quantitative standards at the conclusion of a SAP increment.

The following details academic standing and the potential progression of academic standing if Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are unmet.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Qualitative Standards: Cumulative Grade Point Average

Includes all undergraduate and graduate-level coursework attempted at POC, excluding grades of Credit (CR), No Credit (NC), Work in Progress (WP), Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Grade Not Reported (NR), Audit (AU), Pass (P) and No Pass (NP). Only the most recent grade is counted in the cumulative GPA when a course is repeated. Transfer credits are not calculated into a student’s CGPA.

  • Undergraduate students not enrolled in credential programs must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above.
  • Graduate students not enrolled in credential programs must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above.
  • All Graduate and Undergraduate students enrolled in credential programs must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above in credential coursework.

Quantitative Standards: Pace (Rate of Progress), Maximum Time Frame, and Maximum Time to Degree Completion

Pace (Rate of Progress)

ROP is the minimum percentage of attempted credit hours a student must successfully complete to remain in Academic & Financial Aid Good Standing. A student successfully completes a course and earns the credit hours attempted when the student’s performance merits a passing grade. ROP is calculated by dividing the number of credit hours earned by the number of credit hours attempted.

Rate of Progress = Cumulative number of credit hours successfully completed / Cumulative number of credit hours attempted

Attempted credit hours are defined as all courses attempted at Pacific Oaks College and recorded in the student’s record including course repeats, withdrawals, and incompletes. Credits accepted and applied in transfer count as both credit hours attempted and credit hours completed in the ROP calculation. Grades that negatively impact ROP are Fail (X), Incomplete (I), No Credit (NC), Withdrawal (W), and Withdrawal Fail (WX). Repeated courses negatively impact ROP since the original and repeated credit hours are counted as attempted credit hours. Grades included in the ROP calculation appear in the Grading Policies.

All undergraduate, graduate, and certificate students must maintain a minimum of 66.67% ROP for all attempted credit hours.

Maximum Completion Timeframe (MTF):

MTF requires the successful completion of all program requirements within 150% of the published program length as measured in credit hours attempted for the program of study. Credit hours accepted and applied in transfer toward a current enrollment are included as attempted and earned credit hours in determining the MTF. A student’s progress must ensure program completion within the MTF. The number of credit hours required for program completion appears in the programs of study descriptions.

  • Program length is measured based on required credit hours; therefore, a student may not attempt more than 150% of the number of required credit hours in the degree program.

For example, a degree program that requires 60 credit hours for completion may not extend beyond 90 attempted credit hours (60 credit hours X 150% = 90 credit hours). For the degree program to be completed within the MTF, the student must complete a minimum of 66.67% of all credit hours attempted (60 credit hours ÷ 90 credit hours = 66.67%).

A student who exceeds the 150% MTF for a program of study or who cannot mathematically complete the program within the MTF will be deemed ineligible for financial aid and be dismissed from the institution.
Successful completion of all program requirements within 150% of the normal length of the program as measured in credits attempted towards the program. Credits accepted and applied in transfer toward the student’s current degree program are included as attempted and earned credits in determining the maximum timeframe. Students’ progress must ensure academic program completion within the maximum allowable timeframe.

  • The maximum allowable attempted credits are 150% of the required credits in a student’s academic program for both graduate and undergraduate programs.

Maximum Time to Degree Completion:

Students matriculating at Pacific Oaks College are expected to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Students in undergraduate programs are given a maximum of 10 years from their initial start date to complete all degree requirements. Graduate students are given a maximum of 7 years from their initial start date to complete all degree requirements. 

Students matriculating at Pacific Oaks College are required to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Current students who enrolled prior to Fall 2022, who have been enrolled in undergraduate programs for 10 years or longer from their start date will be given one additional year (12 months) to complete their programs. Currently enrolled students (who enrolled prior to Fall 2022) who have been enrolled in graduate programs for 7 years or longer from their start date will be given one additional year (12 months) to complete their programs. 

SAP Review Period

Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed at the end of each SAP increment. Students are evaluated against both qualitative and quantitative standards at the conclusion of a SAP increment. SAP increments are defined as payment periods.

After each evaluation, students who do not meet SAP standards will be notified in writing by the Registrar’s Office. Students must check their school email frequently to respond to any communication regarding their SAP status with Pacific Oaks.

Students who change their program may impact their SAP review period, and their SAP reviews will include all POC coursework taken by the student for previous programs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Not Met

Students who do not meet SAP will be placed in one of the following student statuses:

  1. Academic & Financial Aid Warning
  2. Academic & Financial Aid Probation
  3. Academic Dismissal

Academic and Financial Aid Warning

Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for making Satisfactory Academic Progress at the time of evaluation are placed on Academic and Financial Aid Warning for the next semester/session. Students in this status are required to meet with their Faculty Advisor or Dean to create an Academic Recovery Plan (ARP) to ensure their success in their academic program.

An ARP is an individualized plan that identifies each student’s progress to return to Good Academic Standing. ARPs during Academic and Financial Aid Warnings are written for one (1) semester or two (2) consecutive terms.

Students will be given one (1) semester or two (2) consecutive terms of attempted coursework to meet SAP requirements. All coursework attempted after the term during which the student did not meet satisfactory academic progress is counted as part of the Academic and Financial Aid Warning period. Students who are otherwise eligible to receive Title IV financial aid are eligible to receive Title IV financial aid while on Academic and Financial Aid Warning. Students may be required to re-take coursework previously completed in order to increase the likelihood of successfully meeting SAP and/or graduation requirements. These requirements may affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid funds.

At the conclusion of the Academic and Financial Aid Warning period, the Registrar’s Office will notify students who do not meet SAP requirements. Students wishing to continue their studies must submit a signed, revised Academic Recovery Plan to the Registrar’s Office.

Academic and Financial Aid Probation

Students who have not met SAP standards following a term of Academic and Financial Aid Warning will be placed on Academic and Financial Aid Probation. Probation will not be given automatically. 

All attempted coursework will be calculated to determine your Academic Standing for the following SAP evaluation period. Students in this status are required to meet with their Faculty Advisor to review and sign the Academic Recovery Plan to ensure their success in their academic program.

Students who are otherwise eligible to receive Title IV financial aid are eligible to receive Title IV financial aid while on Academic and Financial Aid Probation if their completed Academic Recovery Plan is on file with the Office of the Registrar. Students may be required to re-take coursework previously completed in order to increase the likelihood of successfully meeting SAP and/or graduation requirements. These requirements may affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid funds.

At the conclusion of the Academic and Financial Aid Probation term, students who do not meet SAP requirements will be dismissed from the College. Dismissed students should refer to the Academic Dismissal Appeal policy.

Academic Dismissal

A student is academically dismissed following the session/semester in which they were placed on Academic and Financial Aid Probation when the student does not meet all SAP requirements.

Students awarded financial aid or ‘veterans’ administration benefits for the coming semester are advised that academic dismissal carries with it the cancellation of any financial aid or benefits. Students who are reinstated may be reconsidered for financial aid at that time. However, reinstatement does not necessarily mean that financial aid will be available for that semester/session or any future semester/session.

Academic Dismissal Appeal

Students who wish to appeal an academic dismissal must demonstrate extraordinary circumstances explaining the unsatisfactory academic performance and a likelihood of success if allowed to continue at Pacific Oaks College.

Students have a right to appeal within 14-days of being notified of their academic dismissal decision.

Dismissal Appeals require the student to submit the following:

  1. General Petition Form to support the appeal request.
  2. Re-Entry Form

Additionally, the appeal must include:

  • A reasonable explanation for the student’s academic performance to date.
  • Any mitigating circumstances related to their performance.
  • Reasonable evidence that the student can be successful in their academic program due to changed circumstances, experience, and/or successful completion of credits during the period of absence.
  • A plan for how the required coursework will be completed to ensure that SAP is met upon the student’s return.

Appeal decisions are based on relevant information that was not available at the time or if procedures were not followed per PO academic policies and guidelines. The Academic Standards Committee (ASC) will determine the appeal decision. All decisions the ASC makes are final and not subject to further appeals.

Approved students will be readmitted in an Academic and Financial Aid Probation status and registered in courses according to their Academic Recovery Plan.

Returning after Dismissal

A student may apply for admission one year after the dismissal date. The student must submit a General Petition Form, an Admissions Application, and official transcripts from previously attended accredited institutions to the Office of Admissions. The Office of Admission/Registrar Office will forward all documents to the Appeal Committee for review.

Prior academic history will be considered in the decision to accept or deny a student’s petition to return.  All students who return after academic dismissal will be placed on probation for one semester/session and complete degree requirements from the current catalog. If the student cannot meet SAP, then the student will be dismissed.

Dismissed students who re-apply to Pacific Oaks College must demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success if allowed to return.

The student must submit the following in support of a readmission from dismissal status:

  • A personal statement demonstrating how their circumstances have changed to allow them to succeed if they are authorized to return to Pacific Oaks.
  • Official transcripts showing any academic coursework that may have been completed at another accredited institution since dismissal.

Approved students will be readmitted in an Academic and Financial Aid Probation status. Verifying this information through an official transcript (if applicable) must accompany the petition for reinstatement. Before beginning coursework elsewhere, it is recommended that students contact Academic Evaluations to review the coursework they plan on taking outside Pacific Oaks College to ensure the courses fulfill the requirements set forth by the College. Following the ‘Schools’ graduation requirements, not all credits may be accepted in transfer upon a student’s return.

Leave of Absence

Pacific Oaks College requires all students to maintain continuous enrollment and encourages them to complete their course of study expeditiously. However, an approved Leave of Absence may be granted in extenuating circumstances. A Leave of Absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study due to an extenuating circumstance.

A student considering a leave of absence must consult their Faculty Advisor and the Financial Aid Office before petitioning. The request should be made before the start of the semester/session in which the student intends to take a Leave of Absence.

An LOA and any additional leaves of absence must not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period.  Students are required to return to their program of study after their LOA ends. Students are allowed a maximum of two (2) LOAs during their program of study.

The minimum requirements for a leave of absence are:

  1. The student must be in good academic standing, per SAP policy.
  2. The form/petition must state clearly and completely the reasons for the leave.
  3. The student must not have any disciplinary, financial, or academic inquiries pending;
  4. Leave of Absence may not exceed 180 days in any 12 months;
  5. The student may not exceed LOA limits or other academic requirements.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

  1. Leave of Absence (LOA) requests must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in writing before the first day of the intended LOA semester/session;
  2. Students must contact the Office of Financial Aid to understand the financial implications failing to return may have on their loan repayment terms and grace periods;
  3. Students must include the reason for the leave request, documentation (if applicable), and the semester/session in which the student intends to return;
  4. Students may request an LOA for up to 1 semester/2 sessions per 12-month period (Fall, Spring, and Summer) as long as they have not exceeded their maximum of two (LOAs) allowed during their program of study. Longer LOAs will not be approved.

LOAs will be noted on the student’s transcript for each approved semester/session until the student returns to school. Students returning from an LOA will return to the same place in their program of study, with the same enrollment status, the number of credits, and academic standing as when they began their leave.  Students who do not return from an LOA by the agreed-upon semester/session will be administratively withdrawn from the institution. To return, administratively withdrawn students must request re-entry or readmission. Please see the Readmission and Re-Entry policies for additional information.

Leave of Absence for Military Service

Active Duty U.S. servicemembers and/or Reservists called to active service may request a Leave of Absence at any point in the academic semester outside of the standard LOA policy without penalty. 

Service members called to duty requesting a Leave of Absence for military service must submit a copy of their military orders along with their Leave of Absence Request. 

If the servicemember’s time of duty exceeds the Maximum Time to Completion Policy, exceptions to the policy may be granted to permit time for degree completion.

If the term of service exceeds 180 days, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the college. POC does not deny readmission to military members for reasons relating to their military service. Students who meet the appropriate criteria will be readmitted with the same academic status as the student had when they last attended the College. This policy is in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008. 

Military service for the purposes of readmission is defined as service, whether voluntary or involuntary, in the Armed Forces, including service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve, on active duty, active duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty under federal authority, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 consecutive days. The cumulative length of all absences for uniformed service (service time only) must not exceed five years. 

The student must notify the college by providing written notice of such service to the Office of the Registrar as far in advance as is reasonable under the circumstances.  This notice does not have to indicate whether the student intends to return to POC.  No notice is required if precluded by military necessity, such as service in operations that are classified or would be compromised by such notice. 

Any service member in a U.S. military reserve unit should provide a copy of all training orders as far in advance as possible. In addition, any military student who did not give advance written or verbal notice of service to a college official may meet the notice requirement by submitting, at the time the student seeks readmission, an attestation, and documentation that the student performed service in the uniformed services that necessitated the student’s absence from the College. 

An affected service member must, upon the completion of a period of service in the uniformed services, notify POC of his or her intent to return to the college not later than three (3) years after the completion of the period of service. However, a student who is hospitalized for or convalescing from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the performance of service in the uniformed services must notify a college official of his or her intent to return to POC not later than two years after the end of the period that is necessary for recovery from such illness or injury. A student who fails to apply for readmission within the required period does not automatically forfeit eligibility for readmission but is subject to all college policies and practices. 

If the student is readmitted to the same program, for the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be assessed the same tuition and fee charges that the student was or would have been assessed for the academic year during which the student left the institution. 

If the student is admitted to a different program, and for subsequent academic years for a student admitted to the same program, the student will be assessed no more than the tuition and fee charges that other students in the program are assessed for that academic year. 

If POC determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program, or will not be able to complete the program, the college will make reasonable efforts at no extra cost to the student to help the student become prepared or to enable the student to complete the program, including but not limited to providing refresher courses at no extra cost to the student.

Withdrawal from the College

Students have the right to withdraw from enrollment at Pacific Oaks College at any time. Students are strongly advised to speak with the Academic, Student Services, Student Accounts, and Financial Aid departments before submitting a withdrawal request, as the timing of their withdrawal may have financial implications.

Withdrawal from Pacific Oaks College can occur in one of two ways, official (student-initiated) or administrative.

Official (student-initiated) Withdrawal:

The official withdrawal process begins with the submission of the Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office. The form is available on the Registrar’s Office and Pacific Oaks College Registrar Forms website.

A student’s withdrawal date is:

  1. The date the student officially notified the institution through the Withdrawal form; or
  2. Any earlier or later date than the institution documents as the student’s last date of academically related activity

To complete the official withdrawal process, the student should:

  1. Complete an advising appointment with their assigned Student Advisor; 
  2. Submit the Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office 
  3. Complete the Exit Interview process through the Financial Aid Office; and 
  4. Reconcile any account balance with the Student Accounts Office 

Administrative Withdrawal:

Pacific Oaks determines that a student is administratively withdrawn when they fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Not meeting the requirement(s) for continuous enrollment
  2. Billing or Financial Aid holds
  3. Admissions Contingency holds
  4. Not meeting the minimum attendance requirements
  5. Non-return from Leave of Absence by student’s indicated return date
  6. Failing to appeal their Probation status or having their appeal declined

For administrative withdrawals, a student’s withdrawal date is:

  1. The last day of the previous session/semester attended; or
  2. Any earlier or later date than the institution documents as the last date of academically related activity by the student

Withdrawal from Pacific Oaks College during any enrollment period, whether official or administrative, may necessitate the return of federal financial aid and is subject to the Pacific Oaks College Drop/Withdrawal Refund Schedule. Students are responsible for any resulting balance owed to Pacific Oaks College. The College does not refund any fees to withdrawn students.

Temporary (student-initiated) Withdrawal:

A temporary withdrawal may be considered if a student does not have a course to take as determined by the institution.

To qualify for temporary withdrawal, the student must have an expected return date to Pacific Oaks. Temporary withdrawal is allowed for a maximum of one semester/two sequential terms in any 12 months. A student who desires an additional term of temporary withdrawal must contact the Academic Advisor for eligibility.

A student granted temporary withdrawal will be reentered through a no-hassle procedure.  Failure to return to active status after the temporary withdrawal period will result in administrative withdrawal from Pacific Oaks.

A student’s temporary withdrawal date is:

  1. The date the student officially notified the institution through the Withdrawal Form; or
  2. Any earlier or later date than the institution documents as the student’s last date of academically related activity.

To complete the temporary withdrawal process, the student should:

  1. Complete an advising appointment with their assigned Student Advisor;
  2. Submit the Temporary Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office
  3. Complete the Exit Interview process through the Financial Aid Office; and
  4. Reconcile any account balance with the Student Accounts Office

Admission to Class

Faculty may admit to class only those students who are officially registered.

Class Cancellations

Classes may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment. In some cases, students may be able to replace a canceled ground course with an online course.

When public health or safety is a factor, the administration will decide to delay the school opening or cancel classes. When public health or safety is a factor, students are encouraged to contact Student Services.

Independent Study

Independent study is a course option available to all students. An independent study can be designed to meet several specific needs: elective or required courses for a specialization, and/or an opportunity for students to explore areas of human development and related topics on their own.

An Independent Study Contract details the study’s objectives and the faculty member enlisted by the student to be the faculty of record on the independent study. This contract must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before registration. It is the student’s responsibility to secure the instructor’s signature on this contract. Independent studies range from one (1) to four (4) credits. Each credit is equivalent to forty-five (45) hours of academic work. Independent studies traditionally consist of books (read and reported on), journals, data gathering (interviews), reflective processes, observation, fieldwork, writing, reporting, and presentations.

BA to MA Excel-lerate Option

With approval, undergraduate students may substitute two MA level courses for two BA courses, as identified on the BA to MA Excel-lerate Application. 

Requirements include:

  1. Recommendations from two faculty members at Pacific Oaks,
  2. Successful completion of at least 84 credits toward the BA program,
  3. Completion of at least nine (9) credits at Pacific Oaks College and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 at Pacific Oaks College.  
  4. Good academic and financial standing,
  5. Fulfillment of all general education and progression requirements,
  6. Only one “excel-lerate” graduate-level course may be taken at a time,
  7. A recommendation from the student’s BA Dean indicating that the student is prepared for graduate-level study, and
  8. Approval to take the MA level course by the Dean for that program.

The Deans for eligible MA programs have identified courses “Excel-lerate” BA students may take.

All applicants to the BA to MA Excel-lerate option must apply to their BA Dean, including a personal statement indicating their commitment to graduate study and a sample of their academic writing. Applications can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

Acceptance into the Excel-lerate program does not imply or guarantee admission to a graduate degree program.  Excel-lerate students wishing to pursue a master’s degree must complete all admissions requirements for their master’s degree of interest to receive an acceptance offer.

BA graduates who are subsequently accepted to a Pacific Oaks College MA program and who have successfully completed “Excel-lerate” MA level courses with a B (3.00) or higher may be applied toward fulfilling the MA program.

Juris Doctor (JD) Pathway Concentration

With approval, Pacific Oaks College (POC) undergraduate students may apply for participation in the POC JD Pathway Concentration in the POC BA programs of Human Development (HD), and Advocacy and Social Justice (ASJ).  BA students in the Elementary Education Track are not eligible for this program.

JD Pathway Concentration across all programs will utilize three identified and approved Colleges of Law Juris Doctorate (COL JD) level courses as concentration electives in their BA program of Record (HD, or ASJ).  Students accepted into this Concentration will be allowed to transfer in credits to POC from COL upon re-entry. 

JD Pathway Concentration Application Includes: (Application can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar)

  • Two letters of recommendations: One from a Core Faculty member in the student’s BA Program at POC. 
  • COL JD Application Personal Statement
  • Successful completion of at least 84 credits toward the BA Program
  • Completion of at least nine credits at POC
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at POC
  • Good academic and financial standing
  • Fulfillment of all general education and progression requirements
  • Acceptance into the COL JD program

*Acceptance into the JD Pathway Concentration does NOT guarantee acceptance into COL’s JD program.

For students accepted into the COL JD program, up to NINE (9) credits of JD level courses successfully completed in the COL JD program will count toward fulfillment of their specialization courses in the BA degree program requirements at POC.  These nine credits also count towards the students JD with COL at the discretion of the COL degree conferral processes and procedures.

Registration at PO for Professional Development or Continuing Education:

Non-Matriculating Students

Non-matriculating students are not seeking a degree or credential but are allowed to enroll in courses at Pacific Oaks College.

Non-matriculating students may register for classes during open registration on a space availability basis only by completing the Non-Matriculating Student Application through the Registrar’s Office.

Non-matriculating students must meet all the prerequisites published in the catalog for enrollment in the individual courses.

Students taking bachelor-level classes must have proof of a high school diploma or GED.

Students taking master-level classes must submit official transcripts indicating completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Non-matriculating students may enroll for up to twelve (12) credits without being officially admitted. Credentialed California teachers attempting to fulfill the transitional kindergarten requirement may take up to 24 credits as non-matriculating students.

If the non-matriculating student formally applies for admission to Pacific Oaks College at a later date, there is no guarantee that such courses taken as a non-matriculating student will be accepted toward meeting degree program requirements. That student will then need to complete the degree requirements in the current Catalog at the time of their formal admission acceptance into the degree program. If formally admitted to a degree program, an official evaluation will be completed to determine which program requirements have been met.

A non-matriculating student is ineligible to receive financial aid. The Non-Matriculating Student Application can be located on the Registrar’s Office website.

Change of Name and/or Address

A change of name and/or address may be processed by completing a Change of Student Information Form located on the Registrar’s Office website.

Name changes require supporting legal documents, including:

  1. Marriage License
  2. Divorce Decree Reinstating Maiden Name
  3. Adoption Documents
  4. Court Order
  5. Valid Passport
  6. Birth Certificate

Name changes cannot be processed through the student portal system. Such changes may be made by contacting the Registrar’s Office.

Application for Degree Conferral

Pacific Oaks College confers degrees six (6) times during the academic year. Please see the Academic Calendar for specific conferral application deadline dates. All degree requirements and contingencies, including but not limited to Incomplete grades, Portfolio, and Thesis, must be completed by the last date of the semester/session of the designated semester/session the degree is to be conferred.

Bachelor’s students must complete all contingencies in their penultimate (second to last) semester/session.

Although a student may have completed all requirements, degree conferral is not automatic. Every degree candidate is required to file a Petition for Degree Completion Form with the Registrar’s Office and pay the appropriate fee. If the student should fail to complete degree requirements by the intended graduation date, the student must submit a new Petition for Degree Completion Form.

The Registrar’s Office must receive all official transcripts to meet contingencies for all coursework leading to baccalaureate degrees by the last day of the semester/session of the student’s anticipated conferral date.

Commencement and Diplomas

Participation in Commencement

A formal college commencement ceremony is held annually. To participate in the commencement ceremony, students must register to attend by the published registration deadline. Submission of the Petition for Degree Conferral does not constitute registration to attend the ceremony. Students may only participate in Commencement once per degree earned. Students may also opt out and choose to participate at a subsequent commencement.

The following students are eligible to participate in the annual commencement ceremony:

  1. Requirements for participation in Commencement are not subject to appeal.
  2. Bachelor’s and master’s degree students who met all degree requirements at the end of the semester/term immediately preceding the annual Commencement.

Students who have not satisfied all degree requirements prior to Commencement may participate if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Student must be in good academic standing
  2. Student must be registered to satisfy degree requirements in the semester/term immediately following the commencement ceremony.

For limits on outstanding degree requirements, please see below:

School of Cultural and Family Psychology

  • Master’s degree student: 10 or less credits left to fulfill degree requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree* student: 9 or less credits left to fulfill degree requirements

School of Human Development & Education

  • Master’s degree student in Education/Early Childhood Education: 9 or less credits left to fulfill degree requirements and portfolio must be current
  • Master’s degree student in Human Development: Student has 6 or less credits left to fulfill degree requirements and Thesis, or Applied Research Project must be completed
  • Bachelor’s degree student in Human Development/Early Childhood Education: 6 or less credits to fulfill degree requirements*   

School of Global Leadership & Management

  • Student has 6 or less credits left to fulfill degree requirements*.

*All undergraduate credits to fulfill degree requirements include both Pacific Oaks credits and courses in transfer.

Diplomas and Transcripts

Degrees are conferred approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks after the date student’s final semester/term. Students must submit a Petition for Degree Conferral by the stipulated deadlines to initiate the degree auditing process. Students must complete all their program requirements before their degree can be conferred.

Students who fail to complete their degree requirements by the end of the semester/session they indicated must file a new petition with an updated semester/session of degree completion.


Please see Tuition and Fees  section of the Academic Catalog for Degree Conferral fees. 

Diplomas are mailed approximately two (2) weeks after Degree Conferrals. Diplomas will not be released until the student has been certified as having met all degree/academic program requirements and all financial obligations to Pacific Oaks College. 

The Registrar’s Office will notify graduates via email once their degree has been conferred, informing them that their diploma will be mailed to the address listed on the Degree Conferral form.

Upon confirmation of degree conferral, students can request official transcripts via the online ordering system. Standard transcript fees may apply.
Replacement diplomas and official transcripts can be requested via the online ordering service.

Transcripts of Academic Records

Official Pacific Oaks transcripts are available by completing the transcript request form accessible via the student portal.  Unofficial transcripts are available to current students to view and print via the Pacific Oaks Student portal.

Transcripts from other institutions that were presented/submitted for admission or evaluation are deemed the property of Pacific Oaks College and will not be returned or copied for distribution.

General Petition

For any petition regarding academic policy or procedure not specifically covered in this catalog:

  1. Students may file a General Petition Form with the Registrar’s Office. 
  2. The petition will be reviewed, and the Academic Standards Committee will reach a decision. 
  3. Such decisions of the Academic Standards Committee are final and not appealable.

 Student Location Policy

Pacific Oaks College requires all students to provide the address where they will be located while enrolled at Pacific Oaks College and actively attending classes. Each student is required to provide this address information in their enrollment application. PO Boxes will not be accepted. This address will be maintained as the “Student Location” and will be used by Pacific Oaks College to send official correspondence and ensure regulatory compliance. Each student is responsible for keeping their Student Location current and notifying Pacific Oaks College of any address change.

A student considering relocating or has relocated to another state, territory, or outside of the United States during their program, whether relocation is permanent or temporary, must contact the Office of the Registrar to process a change to their Student Location.

To initiate a change in a Student Location, access the Student Gateway under “My Contact Information.” The request will then be sent to the Registrar’s Office to update the Student Location. Additionally, students may contact the Registrar’s Office for more information regarding their options to update their Student Location.

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