Academic Catalog and Handbooks

2023-2024 Edition


Class Attendance

Academics is the priority at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Attendance is fundamental to engagement, involvement, and community in the Benedictine liberal arts tradition, a hallmark of our institutions. Class attendance is a student obligation and a student is responsible for all the work of all class meetings. A student absent from class for any reason assumes the responsibility for work that has been missed. It is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor in advance, if possible, of an absence. It is also the student’s responsibility to initiate communication with the instructor to determine what, if any, credit can be obtained for missed classes. Absences in class will likely impact a student’s ability to fulfill course requirements and therefore, the student’s final grade.

Each instructor determines the attendance policy for his or her class. Because attendance is integral to course design, these policies may be set by instructors at the departmental or individual level. For example, students may be required to interact with others in the class, to demonstrate the ability to think and argue critically, or to participate in group projects. Instructors also determine whether make-up work is possible and if so, its parameters. Students are entitled to information about course procedures, attendance policy, content, and goals, especially in relation to the grading policy. Students can find this information on their course syllabus.

Attendance policies should reasonably accommodate college-sponsored events, short-term illness, and family emergencies. College-sponsored events include varsity and junior varsity athletics and college sponsored activities led by faculty or staff, not including student organizations. Faculty and staff who organize such events should make all efforts to minimize disruption of course attendance. Directors of college sponsored events will provide notification to students well in advance of each event necessitating absence from class. It is up to the student to communicate and work with their faculty regarding the absence.

Remote Teaching and Learning

Because the mission of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University is based on residential liberal arts education and we understand the value of an in-person learning environment, most of our undergraduate courses will be taught in-person, with the expectation that both faculty and students are in the classroom. Remote learning is offered in courses specifically designated as synchronous hybrid (some students are in the classroom while some learn remotely) or fully online (remote learning and remote teaching) as approved by the Academic Dean and appropriate department chair.

On an individual basis, a student may request remote attendance for a single or limited number of class periods when they cannot attend in-person because of a college-sponsored event, short-term illness, or a family emergency. The opportunity to attend class remotely is at a faculty member’s discretion and will depend upon the course’s learning goals and pedagogical design. There will be instances where remote learning is not an option. Faculty will address their process for remote learning and whether it is possible in the course syllabus. Students may not request permission to learn remotely in order to travel other than for college-sponsored trips.

Remote instruction may be offered only occasionally and at the discretion of the instructor. In the case of a weather-related emergency or other campus shutdown, for example, instructors may move to remote instruction entirely at their discretion. Faculty may request permission from their department chair and/or Academic Affairs to teach remotely for single or limited number of class periods during a semester. For example, a faculty member who needs to attend a conference might find it beneficial to teach a class remotely while at the conference rather than having to cancel classes.

Course Numbers

Courses are organized numerically in three groups:

  • 100-299 (lower-division undergraduate courses);
  • 300-399 (upper-division undergraduate courses);
  • 400 and above (graduate courses).

These numbers distinguish the level of specialization and expertise required at the beginning (100 level), intermediate (200 level), and advanced (300 level) of college study. Courses at the 100 level introduce students to a particular discipline and may involve review of high school material, whereas others require no prior knowledge. These introductory courses are usually prerequisites for coursework at the 200 and 300 level. At the 200 level, students demonstrate intermediate understanding and mastery of concepts, professional standards, methods, and skills. Courses at the 300 level demand independent and critical mastery of methods as well as the ability to integrate theoretical knowledge appropriate to the discipline. These advanced courses may be limited to majors/minors in the program or may be open to others as electives or common curriculum courses.

Final Examinations

The academic calendar concludes each semester with a one-day study and three-day test cycle. Faculty may administer final exams, final projects or presentations for their classes only during the exam period officially scheduled by the Registrar's Office. Cumulative final examinations, projects or presentations, may not be given during the regularly scheduled class days of the semester, except for night classes. If there is to be a cumulative final exam in a course, students must be given the opportunity to review all tested materials by the last scheduled class. The faculty member has the right to retain the tested materials.

Study day is meant to support student preparation for the final exam period. Faculty or departments may offer study sessions to assist students in their preparation. Please do not schedule required activities on this day (no final exams, final projects or presentations).

Fall 2023 Finals Schedule

Spring 2024 Finals Schedule

Instructors of each full-term course are expected to announce at the beginning of the course whether a two-hour final examination, final project or presentation will be given. Such an exam will be administered during the three-day test cycle according to the schedule above. Note that a class is assigned a test time and day in the schedule according to the cycle and time period it meets during the semester. Night classes may use their last regularly scheduled class period for a final exam or request a multi-section common exam time.

One period has been reserved on each of two test days for the administration of a common exam for multiple-section courses who so desire. A list of such courses, and their exam times, will be announced this fall. The legend, MS, in the accompanying chart signifies times set aside for these multi-section common exams.

Course Auditing

Students intending to audit a course (earn no credit) are required to complete an Audit Change of Status Form during the first four weeks of class. Auditors are expected to attend all regular classes. Courses audited are not included in determining the total credits earned; however, the credit value of any course audited is calculated in the total tuition cost. A student who enrolls for audit status may change to credit status only during the first week of class.


In exceptional circumstances, students may petition for a substitution from specific academic regulations. Forms for requesting a substitution are available from the registrar's homepage. Students should first consult with their academic advisor. Department chairs are the approving officials for substitutions from requirements within majors and minors. Substitutions from academic regulations beyond major and minor fields require the approval of the academic dean or the dean's designee. Requests for these non-departmental substitutions should be directed to the Academic Advising Offices. The guiding principle in considering requests for any substitution is fidelity to the academic standards of the colleges.