Academic Guidelines

Salem Community College students are expected to take responsibility for their own academic success and achievement within the program of study.


Academic Status

A student who has earned 29 or fewer credits is considered to be a freshman. A student who has earned 30 or more credits is considered a sophomore. A full-time student is a student who is registered for 12 or more credits during the semester. A part-time student is one who is registered for 11 or fewer credits during the semester.


Maximum Course Load

Students may not enroll for more than 19 credits during the Fall or Spring Semester or 8 credits during the summer sessions without special permission from the Provost – Chief Academic Officer or designee. Students requesting permission to take credits in excess of these limits should have a GPA above 3.0 and the support of the Associate Dean or Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs.

Application of Previously Earned Credits to Certificate Programs Students who previously earned an associate degree from Salem Community College and reenter in a certificate program must complete a minimum of three major courses in the new program.


Auditing Courses

Students who wish to audit a course must obtain permission from the Provost – Chief Academic Officer or designee. Students who audit a course must register during the registration period on a noncredit basis and must pay tuition and all applicable fees. Students may not receive an audit for a course after the late registration period. Credit for an audited course cannot be established later, except by enrolling in the course (for credit) in a later semester and completing all course requirements.


Declaration of Major (Matriculation)

All students must declare a major prior to completing 24 graduation credit hours. As part of the declaration of major process, students should schedule a conference with a Student Affairs advisor to discuss their educational and career goals. Students will receive a degree audit that outlines the course of study for the program's duration.


Change of Major

Students who wish to change their major shall adhere to the following procedure:

  • Make an appointment to see a designated advisor. During the conference, review the reasons for the desired change.
  • Speak with a faculty member in the old major to clarify any concerns. Speak with a faculty member in the new major to determine if the new program of study is more appropriate.
  • After making a decision, obtain a new degree audit from their advisor and discuss the transferability of courses taken from the old program to the new one, the length of time it will take to complete the new program and the remaining courses needed to be completed. During the conference, a new plan of study will be developed.
  • Obtain the signature of the advisor on the change-of-information form which verifies that the major change procedure has been completed.


Academic Standing

Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward completing program requirements and must have successfully completed more than 50 percent of the credits attempted in any semester with a grade of "C" or higher to be in good academic standing. Also, students must be progressing at a rate that assures a GPA of 2.0 over the total number of credits in the program.

Students who fail to satisfactorily complete more than 50 percent of the credits for which they are registered during any semester, may be notified of unsatisfactory progress approximately halfway through the semester. These reports are advisory and do not appear on the transcript. Students with more than one semester of unsatisfactory progress are subject to academic probation or suspension. Withdrawals are not included in the calculation process to determine whether or not a student has made satisfactory academic progress.


Repeating Courses

Students can take courses more than once and the highest grade attained will be used in calculating the GPA. However, all courses and grades will remain part of the official transcript.



Students requesting course substitutions are required to get written permission from Academic Affairs before enrolling in the course in question. The substitution/waiver form must be filled out by the student, approved by Academic Affairs and placed in the student's permanent file. It is the student's responsibility to secure approval for all deviations from the requirements of their program of study.



Students who wish to withdraw from all courses must fill out a schedule change form, available in Student Affairs. Students who withdraw from the College prior to midterm will receive a "W" on their transcript. Only the Provost – Chief Academic Officer or designee can assign the "W" designation after the last day to withdraw.

A student may not withdraw by telephone. Failure to fill out the required forms will result in "F" grades appearing on the student's official transcript.