Registration Policies

Get complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies.


Students are evaluated in all credit-bearing courses that carry a grade.

For those credit-bearing courses offered on pass/fail basis, students are evaluated on their satisfactory completion of all assignments in the time allotted. Pass/Fail grades are assigned as follows: P = C- or better; NP = below C-.

Grade points are assigned as follows: A, superior; B, very good; C, average; D, inferior; F, failure. Grade points are assigned to the above grades as follows: A = 4.0; A- = 3.7; B+ = 3.3; B = 3.00; B- = 2.7; C+ = 2.3; C = 2.00; C- = 1.7; D+ = 1.3; D = 1.00; D- = 0.7; F = 0.00.

The Grade Point Average (GPA) for awarding a certificate “With Distinction” must be at least 3.5 (out of 4) or higher, and shall be based only on credit courses taken from the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. Substituted courses from institutions outside USD shall not be used in this calculation.

“INC”-Incomplete; Issued for coursework of passing quality but not finished during the semester or enrollment period due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. Incomplete grades are contingent upon instructor approval, and instructors are under no obligation to grant them. In cases where an instructor agrees to assign an “INC” grade, it is important to arrive at an agreement about exactly what is required in order to finish the course and what percentage of the grade will be based on the remaining work. If the coursework is completed, the INC grade will be replaced with the new grade. Either a grade of “F” or “No Grade” (NG) will be assigned if coursework is not completed and an arrangement between the student and instructor is not established. A grade of “F” or “NG” in any course becomes part of your permanent academic record.

An “INC” designation is issued only if the student:

  1. Has successfully completed 75% of the assignments (or projects); and has attended 70% of classes (classroom courses only).
  2. Presents extenuating circumstances to the instructor for not completing the course by the final class meeting date or by the online course end date.
  3. Has made prior written arrangements with the instructor(s) to make up any missed work within 60 days of the final class meeting date or online course end date otherwise either a grade of “F” or “NG” will be assigned.
  4. Has completed the as documentation of a written arrangement with the instructor(s).
  5. Online Students Only: Please note that once the scheduled course end date occurs (Online Fixed-Date) or the stated time allowed for the course from enrollment date (Online Self-Paced) or a grade of “Incomplete” is recorded (whichever occurs first) is reached, you no longer have access to the online course materials in Canvas. You must coordinate with your instructor to copy or print out any information from the online classroom or the discussion board that you need for reference as you continue with your coursework beyond the original schedule of the course.

Legacy INC grades: For transcript purposes, students with INC grades prior to this policy implementation will have their grades updated to NG, when a transcript is issued. The NG is permanent and cannot be replaced by students retaking the course. If a student enrolls in the same course a second (or more) time and completes it earning a grade, he/she will have the course listed twice on the transcript, first as an NG and second as a grade received from the new enrollment.

ADA Accommodations

Professional and Continuing Education is committed to promoting knowledge and academic excellence for all learners. The ’s Disability Services helps students with verified disabilities obtain meaningful academic accommodations and support to help improve access to Professional and Continuing Education programs and courses.

If you are a student who would like to be considered for academic accommodations, please visit the and follow the instructions under .


The attendance policy can be found in the course syllabus as there are some differences by instructional type of courses and programs.

Awarding Certificates

All credit courses within the certificate program must be completed with a “C” or higher grade. The final GPA should be 2.5 (out of 4) or higher, based only on credit courses taken from the USD Division of Professional and Continuing Education.

Unless otherwise stated, you have five years after payment of the certificate fee to complete your certificate program requirements.

Registering for a Certificate Program

To be considered eligible for earning a Certificate, each participant must pay a non-refundable certificate enrollment fee of $45. Certificate candidates are encouraged to register in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of additional benefits:

  • Lock in your curriculum to avoid additional requirements if the Certificate requirements change after you have started the program of study
  • Receive valuable advising and guidance to assist you with a broad range of topics, such as courses, certificates, educational planning
  • Record your achievement on your transcript as part of your permanent academic record of accomplishment
  • Receive a Certificate document suitable for framing. Partnership programs may differ. Please visit their web pages for more information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

In compliance with the of 1974, the Division of Professional and Continuing Education is prohibited from providing certain information from the student records to a third party, such as information on grades, billing, tuition and fees assessments, financial aid (including scholarships, grants, work-study, or loan amounts) and other student record information. This restriction applies, but is not limited, to parents, a spouse, or a sponsor.

Students may grant the University permission to release information about their student records to a third party (including parents, step-parents, etc.) by submitting a completed Student Information Release Authorization. The student must complete a separate entry for each parent, family member, or other individual to whom the student wishes to grant access to information regarding his/her student records. Contact PCE for the Release form.


The instructors and staff of the Division of Professional and Continuing Education are here to help the students have a productive and enjoyable experience. If the student has a personal complaint with any aspect of PCE, the student is encouraged to first address the source directly. If the problem cannot be solved, the Student Services Advisor, Academic Coordinator or Director will work with the student to find a solution. Learn more about USD’s Grade Grievance Policy.

Credit Card Payments

Payments processed over the phone, or in person, must be completed using a valid credit or debit card. The name on the card must belong to the individual making the payment. If the name on the card does not belong to the individual making payment, the card will not be accepted unless we have prior receipt via fax only of a hand-signed Credit Card Authorization form.

To obtain the Credit Card Authorization form, please contact Student Services at (619) 260-4585 or [email protected].

PCE accepts the following cards: Visa, American Express, Discover, and MasterCard


Substitutions and waivers refer only to credit courses. Substituting one course for another within a certificate program is a straightforward replacement with the units of the substituted course counted toward the overall required hours for the certificate. When a course is waived a student must complete other courses at USD Division of Professional and Continuing Education in order to make up the total program units required. Waiving courses does not decrease the total units required to complete a Certificate Program.

  • No more than 1/5 of the semester units required for the certificate program may be substituted or waived.
  • A substituted course must be from a regionally accredited academic institution.
  • Each substituted course from another regionally accredited academic institution must be completed with “B” grade or higher.
  • The responsible program director must approve the academic content of each substituted course or the written reference material or each waived course. The responsible program director should forward transcripts or written reference materials documenting substituted or waived courses to the Division of Professional and Continuing Education for entry on the student academic record. After entry, the Division of Professional and Continuing Education will retain these materials for a period of five years.
  • The dean may approve exceptions to these substitution and waiver requirements.

Additional USD Policies

PCE adheres to USD campus policies. Some of these USD policies are listed below:

Academic Integrity

The University is an academic institution, an instrument of learning. As such, the University is predicated on the .


The University prohibits discrimination against current and prospective students and employees on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristics.


The University is committed to and embraces the doctrine that all men and women are creatures of God. Each and all not only deserve but must be afforded the dignity that necessarily follows from acceptance of that doctrine.

Student Conduct

As a member of the community, each student is responsible for understanding and the standards and policies of the .

Loan Deferments

The Division of Professional and Continuing Education does not provide loan deferment letters. A student must be enrolled in a degree program at the university to receive a deferment letter.

Smoking and Tobacco-Free Policy

The university is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable and productive environment for its employees, students and guests. The Surgeon General of the United States has determined that cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness and premature death in the nation. Moreover, research indicates that non-smokers who are regularly exposed to passive (secondhand) tobacco smoke are also at increased risk of illness. Passive smoke appears to be especially deleterious to the health of certain populations, including the elderly, children and individuals with allergies, asthma, respiratory disease, or cardiovascular disease. For these reasons, the Surgeon General has urged employers to implement broadly based health promotion programs with special emphasis on smoking cessation. The response to the Surgeon General’s advice and the medical evidence has been an overwhelming trend toward protection of the health and safety of non-smokers.

Therefore, as an institution committed to providing a safe and healthful environment, the prohibits smoking and the use of any smoking or tobacco products at all times on or in any USD-owned or USD-leased property or facility, either indoor or outdoor. Effective August 18, 2015, all USD property shall be smoking and tobacco-free.

View the ’s .

Enrollment Restrictions by State

All states have varying requirements for out-of-state institutions, institutions offering online coursework, as well as regulations as to whether or not academic programs/courses meet licensing requirements in home states. Therefore, not all states allow for distance education (online) courses to be offered to residents in their state. In those instances, we cannot offer our courses in your home state and have restricted students from enrolling in USD courses. The is unable to enroll students in its online programs who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

This restriction is applicable to online/independent study courses and does not apply to credit validation courses.

Final Grades

All student grades except “Incomplete” are final when submitted by the instructor to USD’s Professional and Continuing Education at the end of the course. An instructor may request a change of grade when a computational or procedural error occurred in the original assignment of a grade, but a grade may not be changed or revised as a result of reevaluation of student work, student reexamination or the submission of additional student work after the end of the course.

USD’s Professional and Continuing Education considers grades to be a matter of academic judgment on the part of the instructor. You may only challenge your grade and request a final grade review in certain circumstances. Grounds for requesting a grade review at the end of the course include:

  1. Application of nonacademic criteria – such as consideration of race, politics, religion or gender–not directly reflective of performance related to course requirements;
  2. Sexual harassment; or,
  3. Clerical or procedural error in the calculation of the student’s final grade.

Consult your instructor if you have a question about your final grade. If the matter is not resolved at the instructor level, you should write to your program director to request a final grade review within 30 days after your final grade is posted to your student account. Within your final grade review request, state which of the above three criteria comprises the grounds for the request. The program director conducts the grade review and informs you of his or her decision – including any remedies, if applicable – within 30 days of receiving the request for review.

If, and only if, the above procedures have failed to resolve the matter, you may appeal the program director’s decision by submitting a letter addressed to the Dean’s Office.

Office of the Dean
Professional and Continuing Education
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

This written request for appeal must be initiated within 30 days after receiving the decision from the program director. The dean’s designee reviews the request for appeal, conducts an investigation and makes a decision – including any remedies, if applicable – within 30 days of receiving the request for appeal. The dean’s designee makes the final decision for unresolved grade appeals for all students enrolled in Professional and Continuing Education courses and programs.

In extenuating circumstances, the above timelines may be extended.