Grades and Course Credits

University Policy

School of Theology Policy

Course Credits and the Semester System

Boston University School of Theology operates on a semester basis. Two semesters and two summer sessions constitute the academic year.

Courses carry 0 to 4 credits; however, most courses (that is, full-semester courses) carry 3 credits, with doctoral-level courses carrying 4 credits. Full-time registration is at least 9 credits per semester. Part-time registration is 1 to 8 credits. For persons who are completing degree program requirements at full-time equivalency, full-time certification status based on part-time registration is permitted at the discretion of the School of Theology.

The payment of School of Theology tuition allows for semester registration of 9 to 14 credits. Students pay for each credit over 14. Students may attend in overload status (more than 14 credits) by permission of the student’s advisor, the registrar, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs).

Most Boston Theological Institute courses are 3 credits, unless the student demonstrates via a petition to the registrar that the course is not a full course at the host school.

Auditing a Course

An audited course will be charged at the normal School of Theology tuition rate. No credit is awarded for an audited course; an audited course therefore does not accumulate as credit or count toward the completion of a degree program.

Pass/Fail Option

Each MDiv, MSM, and MTS student may enroll in one free elective course during the program on a Pass/Fail basis, provided an official petition, complete with appropriate signatures, is filed with the registrar within the first two weeks of the semester in which the course is taught. This option is understood to be in addition to any course offered only on a Pass/Fail basis. A grade of C or higher constitutes passing by School of Theology (but not necessarily University) standards; a grade of C– or lower constitutes failing by School of Theology (but not necessarily University) standards.

Core courses and courses taken to fulfill the requirements of certificates or ordination may not be taken Pass/Fail.

STM, PhD, and DMin students may not enroll for courses on a Pass/Fail basis, unless they are courses that, by faculty action, give only Pass/Fail grades.

Tuition Rates at Other Boston University Schools

Students are encouraged to take courses in other schools and colleges within the University to the extent permitted by each School of Theology degree program. Tuition rates may, however, vary at other Boston University schools and colleges. Students planning on taking a course at one of the other schools must be registered as a full-time student (registered for 9 or more hours) and have a certification code of 1. A student carrying a part-time load (8 or fewer credit hours), who may or may not be “certified full-time,” will be assessed the tuition rate of the school in which the course originates.

Honors Eligibility

Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, and Master of Sacred Music students are eligible to earn honors upon graduation based on the following cumulative GPA scale:

3.7–3.79  cum laude

3.8–3.89  magna cum laude

3.9–4.0  summa cum laude