College of Arts and Sciences Policies

College of Arts & Sciences Policies

Graduation Requirements

All students completing a major in the CAS must complete 120 credits (or more if required for their program) that include Engaged Learning, College of Arts and Sciences General Education Curriculum (CAS GEC)/Fine and Performing Arts General Education Curriculum, or the general education curriculum associated with their major, required courses for major(s) and/or minor(s), and potential electives; the last 30 credits must be taken at Rider. To graduate, all students must earn a 2.0 or higher GPA, both cumulative and in the major, and, if applicable, in the second major or minor.

Independent Research and Creative Expression

Students who wish to explore specific topics of inquiry as a result of coursework may take up to 12 semester hours of independent research and creative expression toward graduation. To be eligible for independent research and creative expression a student must be a junior or a senior in good academic standing. Only one project can be scheduled per semester for 1-4 credit hours. Each independent research and creative expression proposal must be approved by a faculty sponsor, the department chairperson, and the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences by no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Planning for independent research and creative expression should begin during the semester before the student registers for the credits.


Internships are unique opportunities for connecting the skills and theories learned in the classroom to experiences in the workplace. They also provide students a chance to explore future career goals while earning academic credit. Students may apply up to 8 semester hours of internship toward graduation. To be eligible for an internship, a student must be at the junior or senior level and be in good academic standing. Only one internship can be scheduled during a semester for 1-4 credit hours. The number of credits earned is based on departmental policy and the number of hours completed at the internship site. Students must work a minimum of 120 hours to earn 3 credits. A faculty sponsor, the department internship coordinator, and the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences must approve the internship by no later than the third week of the semester in which the internship is to be completed.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Eligible students in the College of Arts and Sciences interested in taking a course as a pass/fail to gain experience and credit without affecting their grade point average may apply for the pass/fail grading option through the CAS Dean's office during the course registration period. The dean’s office will notify the student once the form has been reviewed and the course has been approved by the department to be offered under the pass/fail option. The student will have until the end of the sixth week of the semester to notify the Dean’s Office if s/he decides to change to a regular grading status.

This option is available only to students with a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.5 and who have earned at least 45 credits. The pass/fail option may only be used for elective credits; it will not apply to any courses that are being used to complete a major, minor, or core requirement. The pass/fail option can be used for no more than 2 courses and a maximum of 8 credits. The pass/fail option will be “blind” to the instructor, thus the student’s work will not be assessed any differently from other students in the class. A student must earn at least a C in a pass/fail course to receive credit. The pass/fail course will not factor into the GPA and the student’s transcript will indicate only a P (pass) or U (fail) for the course.

Undergraduate Students Taking Graduate Courses

Students who are eligible to take CAS graduate courses during their senior year must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Under most circumstances, up to six credits of graduate courses may be taken as an undergraduate and would be included in the regular, full-time tuition fee.  These credits may be applied to the undergraduate degree requirements, including in the calculation of undergraduate GPA.  Should the student matriculate into the CAS graduate program, these credits, but not the grades, would be subsequently transferred to the graduate transcript. 

Students enrolled in Rider's Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Counseling Services and Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will be allowed to take up to 15 credits of graduate coursework during their senior year that counts toward both the bachelor's and master's degrees. These credits, but not the grades, would be subsequently transferred to the graduate transcript. For students in the Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Counseling Services and Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs earning a B.A. degree in Psychology a maximum of 6 graduate credits may be applied to their undergraduate major requirements.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Music Education /Master of Music Education (BM/MME) 4+1 degree program are permitted to take 600-level courses once they attain junior status (60 or more earned credits) and 700-level courses when they reach senior status (90 or more earned credits). Students must maintain an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above in order to take graduate level courses.

Continuing Education Program Policies 

Rider's Continuing Education Program (CEP) recognizes that learning is a lifelong process and that students need flexible learning opportunities. Students enroll in continuing education for a variety of reasons: to earn a degree, to develop their professional skills, learn more about our complex society, expand their personal lives, earn a certification, prepare for graduate study or prepare for a career change.  CEP students may take courses during the day, evening, and online. 

Prospective students are welcome to make an appointment with a CEP academic advisor to discuss program goals and have a transcript credit evaluation.  Enrolled students may contact Dr. Brooke Hunter, Associate Dean, 609-895-5378 or with any questions.

Changing to Degree Candidacy (Matriculation)

Non-matriculated students interested in degree candidacy should consult an academic advisor before applying for admission to a degree program. An applicant for matriculation must have at least a 2.0 average at Rider and meet the admissions requirements as described for degree candidates. (Specific majors may require a higher grade point average.)

When students qualify for matriculation, they will receive credit toward their degrees for all applicable courses previously completed satisfactorily. Students are bound by the degree requirements and transfer credit policy in effect at the time of matriculation.

Students who have earned more than 21 credits at Rider as non-degree candidates may be asked to explain their educational goals and, if appropriate, to matriculate.

Audit and Alumni Audit

Students who want to attend classes without taking examinations or receiving grades may audit courses when class space allows. Audited classes will be indicated with the notation of “X” on the transcript.

The extent to which an auditor may take part in a course’s activities is determined by the student and the instructor. In addition to the audit fee, students auditing a course carrying separate fees must pay all such required fees.

Students who want to enroll as auditors should apply and register with the CEP admissions counselor during the scheduled evenings of the first week of class. Students who register on an audit basis may not change from audit to credit during a semester. However, a student who has audited a course may take that same course for credit in a later semester at full tuition.

Students who register on an audit basis may not change from audit to credit during a semester, except during the add period. Students originally registered for credit may change to audit status during the add/drop period. Students should refer to the academic calendar of each term [Spring, Summer, Fall, JTerm] for specific add and drop/add dates.

Rider alumni who want to audit courses receive a special discount and should contact a CEP admissions counselor.

Credits by Nontraditional Means

Credit earned for college-level knowledge obtained through means other than traditional classroom work at an accredited college may be considered for transfer. Students should consult with a CEP admissions counselor to discuss the transferability of nontraditional credit.

Nontraditional transfer credits include:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits;

  • Advanced Placement credits;

  • Formal military credits which meet Rider standards and procedures;

  • DANTES Subject Standardized Test that meets credit recommendations established by the American Council on Education;

  • Validation or assessment of specific courses approved by a Rider faculty member;

  • Prior learning assessment (PLA) based on demonstrated learning acquired through life and work experience approved by Rider faculty.

Old Credits Policy

The academic record of a student returning to Rider after an absence of 10 years or more will be re-evaluated to determine the applicability of old courses to present requirements. Grades earned in courses taken 10 years or more before returning will not be counted in the student’s present grade point average. Old courses that are judged applicable to current degree programs will be used to meet degree requirements.