Suffolk University Follows the Federal Government’s Definition of a Credit Hour:

“ 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 not less than - 

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

(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 credit hours.”

Classes typically meet during several standard course times:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 50 minutes, twice a week Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday for 75 minutes, and for 2 hours, 40 minutes once a week. The period between 12:05PM and 01:15PM on Tuesday and Thursday is reserved for student activities, faculty meetings, guest lectures, and cultural events. No undergraduate classes are held during this time period.

CLEP examinations provide undergraduate students the opportunity to gain college credit in specific areas of study. The Suffolk University Center for Learning and Academic Success administers the CLEP program.

The classification of students is determined by the number of credit hours completed. Freshman standing is assigned to students with 1 through 23 completed credit hours; sophomore standing, to those with 24 through 53 completed credit hours; junior standing, to those with 54 through 83 completed credit hours; senior standing, to those with 84 completed credit hours or more.

Federal financial aid regulations stipulate a student must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester to be considered full-time, between 9-11 credits per semester to be considered three-quarter time, and at least 6 credits per semester to be considered half-time. During the summer semester, which is subdivided into modules, full-time, three-quarter time, and half-time status is determined based on the number of credits enrolled throughout the entirety of the term. Graduating students in their last semester are considered full-time (except for financial aid purposes) if they are registered for all remaining degree requirements, even if they are registered for less than full-time status.

All international students are required to complete at least 12 credits each fall and spring semester.

Enrollment statuses for fall, spring, and summer terms are listed in the table below:

Full Time Three-Quarter Time> Half-Time Less than Half-Time
12-17 credits
9-11 credits 6-8 credits
<6 credits

Restrictions: English Language Institute (ELI) students can only take 0 credit courses.

Once matriculated into a degree program at Suffolk, students are expected to complete all of their coursework at the University. Exceptions are made for international study or where academic hardship merits consideration. A student must be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or better with no Incomplete grades) and have transferred fewer than 63 outside credit hours into Suffolk. If approved for a course at another institution, a student must attain a grade of "C" or higher in order to receive transfer credit. It is expected that students will complete their final 30 credit hours at Suffolk University. New students in their first semester without final grades may not be approved for outside courses. Courses taken at other institutions may affect student eligibility for graduation honors. 

Students who feel their situation warrants an exception must apply through the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center.

Twelve to 17 credits constitutes a normal full-time schedule. Students who meet the following criteria can register for 18 credits (fall and spring term):

  • Student has been in attendance at Suffolk University for two full semesters excluding summer sessions
  • Student has a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher

Students who do not meet the above criteria or who wish to enroll in more than 18 credits in either the fall or spring term or more than 8 credits per summer module must petition the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center.

Students registered for more than 17 credits will be charged an excess credit rate during the fall and spring terms. Students are charged per credit hour during the summer sessions. Students should NOT assume financial aid will cover excess course charges.

The purpose of an independent study is to provide students with unique study opportunities with an individual faculty member. The guidelines with respect to independent studies are as follows:

  • Students must gain authorization prior to registration by developing a robust and rigorous proposal. A description of the independent study project must be approved by the individual faculty member, by the department chair, and the dean’s office of the respective school.

    CAS: Independent Study Form [PDF]
    SBS: Independent Study form [PDF]
  • Adjunct faculty are not eligible to supervise an independent study.
  • Independent studies may be taken for variable credit; a single independent study cannot be taken for more than 4 credits in CAS and 3 credits in SBS.

Additional guidelines for BSBA students:

  • Only juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible.
  • Independent Studies cannot replace a required course or duplicate an existing course. They allow students to research and study an area of interest not covered by Suffolk courses.
  • The deadline to turn in a proposal to the Dean’s Office is the first three days of the semester in which you plan to complete an Independent Study. If the proposal is denied, this leaves sufficient time for students to revise and resubmit to the faculty, department chair, and Dean's Office. 

Transfer applicants are considered for admission based on work completed at a regionally accredited two- or four-year college or at international institutions approved by the Ministry of Education in the country where the institution resides. In some cases, transfer applicants with less than one year of college completion are also considered based on the results of the high school transcript and test scores. Credit is generally transferable provided that such coursework is successfully completed and equivalent to that offered at Suffolk University.

In the Sawyer Business School, transfer credit is awarded only for courses equivalent to freshman/sophomore years. Courses not required at Suffolk University until the junior/senior years may qualify for validation credit. Students admitted to the Sawyer Business School are required to complete at least 50 percent of business credit hours at Suffolk University.

A minimum of 45 hours in any bachelor degree program must be earned at Suffolk University, including all major and general education requirements. Requirements for specific degrees are listed by major in the undergraduate degree section. In all cases, students must complete all major and University requirements to qualify for a bachelor degree. This may necessitate completing more than the required hours for graduation. In addition, the final 30 credits of any degree must be completed at Suffolk University. 

Part-time degree applicants are expected to meet the same requirements as full-time degree students.

In the College of Arts & Sciences, a two-course residency requirement must be satisfied for completion of a minor and a four-course residency requirement must be satisfied for the completion of a major.

In the Sawyer Business School not more than two courses may be transferred in toward any major and no more than one course may be transferred in toward any minor. Capstone requirements may never be transferred into the Business School. All upper level business courses being considered for transfer must be approved by the Sawyer Business School Dean's Office.

A transcript is an academic document or electronic image maintained by the Office of the Registrar reflecting the unabridged student academic history at Suffolk University. Transcripts include course work from other institutions whose credits are awarded at the time of entrance or approved transfer credit after the student enrolls at the University.

The University reserves the right to refuse to issue a transcript of any student who has not fulfilled all financial obligations due to the University. A financial hold will be placed on a student record if the student is either delinquent or has defaulted on loans and/or has not completed required financial exit interviews or counseling.

Transcript requests must be submitted online or in writing to the Office of the Registrar.

Selected business courses taken elsewhere at the freshman or sophomore level, but offered by Suffolk University at the junior or senior level, require validation in order to be eligible for transfer of credit. In order to validate a course, students must have: 

  • Earned a grade of “C” or better in the course to be validated; and
  • Successfully completed, with a grade of “C” or better at Suffolk University, an advanced course in the subject field for which the transfer course is a foundation.

Upon completion of the advanced course, a student must complete a Validation of Transfer Credit Form in the Registrar’s Office. The course(s) which may be validated will be listed on the student’s Suffolk University transcript and Credit Evaluation. The Credit Evaluation is the student’s original document of transfer credit provided by the Undergraduate Admission Office when the student was first admitted to the University. If a student has taken a junior/senior level course that is not required at Suffolk University, it cannot be validated.

Learning goals and objectives reflect the educational outcomes achieved by students through the completion of this program. These transferable skills prepare Suffolk students for success in the workplace, in graduate school, and in their local and global communities.

Students May Validate:
By Successful Completion (minimum grade of "C") of:
ACCT 321 ACCT 322
FIN 315 FIN 413
ISOM 310 ISOM 313
ISOM 313 ISOM 423
ISOM 423 ISOM 424

When validating, no more than two transfer courses may be applied toward your major requirements.

Questions regarding transfer credit and validation procedures should be referred to the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center, 617-573-8345.