Santa Clara University


Frequently Asked Questions

Cancelled Courses

The decision to cancel a course is sometimes made a few days before the quarter begins, but the deadline to swap/drop without a penalty is often after the cancellation. How can I avoid the late fee?
When a course is cancelled, the process automatically withdraws a student from the class and credits any paid tuition to his/her SCU account. At the same time, a mechanism is put into place to waive any late registration fee. If for some reason the fee is still charged, you would just need to email LeAnn Marchewka at including your name, student ID number and request that the fee be waived.

When a required course is cancelled, what do you suggest I take?
As the Engineering Graduate Programs office does not do any academic advising, we always suggest that you meet with your advisor or the department chair for other options.

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Changing Programs

I want to change my degree program from Computer Engineering to Software Engineering. What is the procedure?
Please complete the Change of Major form and submit it to the Engineering Graduate Programs office for processing. Once the change has been approved, it will be reflected in ecampus and you will receive a letter confirming the change. This process usually takes approx. 3-5 business days to complete.

I’m ready to transfer from my certificate program into a master’s program. What do I do?
You would need to complete another online application and choose the Master’s Degree option. (The application fee would be waived). With the exception of the GRE requirement, the documents which were required for the certificate program are the same for the MS degree so you would not have to resubmit them. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have completed the certificate with a 3.5 GPA or better, the GRE requirement is waived. However, if your GPA is below 3.5, you would be required to take the GRE and have the results sent directly to SCU from ETS.

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What do I need to do to participate in the commencement ceremony?
You will need to complete an online Petition to Graduate Form following the deadlines. Once that process is completed, you will also need to complete the University's online Response Form for the Commencement Office.

May I still participate in the Commencement Ceremony even if I have not completed the required 45 units by June 11th?
Any student who wishes to participate must have all requirements completed by the end of the spring quarter, otherwise she/he would have to wait until the following June.

Are tickets required for admission to the Commencement Ceremony?
Yes, but only for your guests. Each graduating student will be allotted six tickets for Commencement. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. Students may pick up their tickets and academic attire at the campus bookstore beginning May 28, 2010. A picture ID is required to pick up tickets.

What if I need more than the allotted 6 tickets?
If you require more than 6 tickets, please contact the Commencement Office directly for assistance: 408/551-5326.

Will I need an admission ticket as well?
No. Students in academic attire participating in the ceremony are not required to have an admission ticket.

If I would like to invite guests from outside of the United States, what do I need to do?
You will need to complete the Commencement Invitation Request form and submit it to the Graduate Programs office for processing. Your letter will be ready for pickup within 24-48 hours.

What will I need to wear to the ceremony?
Caps and gowns are required for all graduates participating in the Commencement Ceremony. They must be purchased through the Campus Bookstore. You will be able to purchase your attire May 28-June 10, 2010. The bookstore hours are as follows:

8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday
8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Friday
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Saturday

The complete outfit includes cap, tassel, gown, and hood.

What does it mean to graduate With Distinction?
A student who completes the required 45 units with a 3.8 or higher GPA will graduate With Distinction. This designation will appear both in the congratulatory graduation letter from our Associate Dean and on your official SCU transcript. (It does not appear in the Commencement Book nor will there be special mention of it at the ceremony).

Graduate Academic Excellence in Engineering Award
In recognition of academic excellence in the Engineering Graduate Degree Program, this award is given to the three engineering graduate students who complete their degree requirements with the highest GPA over the year. The awards are presented at the annual Graduate Engineering Commencement Reception and the awardees names are listed in the commencement program . (They are not, however, read during the commencement ceremony).

Go to the University Commencement page for information about event location, hotels, map, disability accommodation, and commencement program.

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Where can I find faculty contact information?
Contact information for both full and part time faculty may be found on our website

How are advisors assigned?
A full-time faculty academic advisor is specifically assigned to only those students in the Computer and Software Engineering, and Engineering Management MS programs. The advisor’s name will appear in a student’s letter of admission. Students in all other majors may choose their own advisor based on area of interest. Faculty information is available either the on each department’s website.

I don’t see my advisor’s name in ecampus. What do I do?
Your advisor's name will not be entered into ecampus until a program of studies has been submitted. However if you have already submitted the POS, just send an email to LeAnn Marchewka including your name, SCU ID number and the name of your advisor. Your advisor’s name will be entered into the ecampus system, after which time you will be able to view that information in your Student Center.

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What is the relationship between the course registration date and tuition payment date?
Bills are run by the Bursar’s office each month on the 1st and are due on the 21st, so any registration done before the 1st will be due on the 21st of the following month. For example, if you register on December 4th, your bill will be due on January 21st.

I enrolled in a class, but never attended it nor dropped it. Now I am being billed. What do I do?
It is a student’s responsibility to be aware of all deadlines which affect you financially and academically. Santa Clara University does not drop students automatically for non-attendance. Students who remain enrolled and do not attend class are not relieved of their financial obligation and must pay all tuition and fees assessed.

I paid my fees for the quarter on the 24th of the month, but I still see a $75.00 late payment fee. Why has it been charged?
Tuition bills are due on the 21st of each month, so any payment received after that due date will be considered late and will be subject to the late payment fee.

I found that I have been charged for health insurance which I do not need. Who do I contact to reverse the charge?
Please send an email with your name and student ID number to Patricia Sandvick in the Cowell Health Center requesting that the insurance fee be reversed.

My SCU account shows that I have an amount of $6,755 due for the quarter, but it should only be $5,322. How do I get it corrected?
Please contact the Bursar’s Office directly at 408/554-4412 and discuss the issue with one of their representatives.

I tried to make a payment online, but every time I went to the Bursar’s Office website (under Make Payment), it says, “Your session has expired.” Who do I contact?
If you used the computer in the kiosk at the Bursar’s Office, they are set to time out in approx. 1-2 minutes so you have very little time to complete the transaction. However, if you are using your personal computer you would need to contact our IT department at 408/554-5700 to report this problem.

What is tuition insurance?
Santa Clara University has partnered with an insurance company called DEWAR, Inc. to provide students with a low cost plan designed to protect against the loss of funds paid for tuition in case it becomes necessary to withdraw from school during the term due to medical reasons. For more information on the Dewar’s Tuition Insurance Plan and to enroll, please visit

Where does the Bursar’s Office send billing reminders and other information?
All correspondence from the Bursar’s Office is sent to a student’s SCU email address only. If you would like to have your mail forwarded to a preferred email address, just follow the instructions found at

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When do final grades show in ecampus each quarter? When a grade is not reported after the grade report period, what should I do?
Grades are due from the instructors 5 calendar days from the end of the final exam period, so you should be able to see them at that point. However, if you are unable to view them please contact your instructor and copy the department chairperson to find out why the grades have not posted yet.

What is the procedure to change my grading option to audit?
You would just need to send an email to LeAnn Marchewka at including your name, student ID number and the class you would like to audit. The grading basis will be changed and you will receipt a confirmation email.

My transcript is showing an incorrect grade. What is the procedure for correcting it?
Only your instructor can change a grade, so please contact him/her to find out what happened. If the grade should be changed, then the instructor will complete a Change of Grade form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar where it will be corrected.

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Leave of Absence

What is the procedure for taking a leave of absence?
If your leave of absence will not exceed 3 consecutive quarters, then there is no formal procedure for doing so. However, if it will be more than 3 quarters then you would email LeAnn Marchewka at including your name and student ID number and request a formal leave of absence.

If I am going to stop taking classes for one quarter, do you need advance notice?
No. You will continue to be term activated for the following quarter so there will be no interruption in registering for classes.

I am a former student who left SCU in good standing before completing my degree and now I wish to resume my studies. What is the procedure for reinstatement?
As long as we still have your original file and documents, you would just need to let us know that you would like to return and you will be readmitted. However, if we do not have your file then you would be required to reapply to the program and resubmit all of the required documents.

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Registration and Records

How do I register for classes?
All registration is done online via ecampus. You will log in using your student ID#, which begins with the letter "W" and is followed by 7 digits, and password.

Once I log in, what will I see?
You will see your Student Center page which includes personal, academic and financial information and is the starting point for registration.

Then, what do I do?
Under the Academics heading , you will see an Enrollment section which offers you the choice to add classes. Click on Add a Class which will take you to the Add Classes panel where you will select the term, then follow the 3 steps for registering a class.

I am still a little confused about the whole process. Where can I find more information?
A complete Help Guide with step-by-step instructions is available for your convenience.

Does “initial registration period” mean that I cannot register afterwards?
The initial registration period refers to the first week during which an appointment is required for enrolling in classes. Once that 1 week period ends, a student may still register at any time (no appointment required) until the Friday of the first week of the quarter. Late registration typically begins on the Monday prior to the first day of the quarter and is subject to a $100.00 late fee. (Always check the academic calendar for specific deadline dates)

Do I need come to the Graduate Programs Office and register in person?
It is not necessary to come to our office unless you are registering for a course which requires the completion of a form, such as Independent Studies.

Can I make changes to my initial registration?
Certainly! You may drop or swap classes up until the Monday before the quarter starts with no penalty, after which time a $50.00 drop/swap fee will be charged. (Please check the academic calendar for specific dates.)

What if I want to register in a class which is already full?
You will need to attend the first day of that class and request a permission number from the instructor. You would then add the class in ecampus and use that number to override the closure of the class.

As a graduate student, may I take an undergraduate class?
Yes, but since you are not able to register for an undergrad class via ecampus, you will need to complete a form giving you permission to do so, have it signed by your advisor and the Assistant Director of Engineering Graduate Programs, then take it to the Office of the Registrar for processing. (Please note that you will be charged tuition at the graduate engineering per unit rate.)

I have been sitting in on a class. If I decide to take it in the end, I will add it later on. Is this OK?
Students are not allowed to sit in on classes without benefit of registration and tuition payment per Santa Clara University policy. Therefore no, it would not be OK for you to add the class later on.

How do I drop a Saturday class that I’m taking?
Any student who is enrolled in a weekend class that meets for the first time after the deadline to drop with 100% tuition refund will have until the Tuesday following the first meeting to drop that course with no loss of tuition. To avoid financial penalty, the course must be dropped manually either by emailing the request to or completing a drop form available in the Engineering Graduate Programs office. Failure to comply with this process will result in a forfeit of tuition.

What is the process for registration in an Independent Studies course?
You would need to complete the Independent Studies form, have it signed by your instructor and department chair, and then submit it to the Engineering Graduate Programs office for processing. If you need to drop an independent study course, you may do so using your normal ecampus access and procedures.

I have a hold on my record which is preventing me from registering for classes. How do I have it removed?
Please contact the office which placed the hold (Bursar’s, Graduate Programs, etc) and request that it be removed as soon as possible. (For your convenience, it is a good idea to check your Student Center prior to the registration period to see if a hold has been placed on your record.)

Which holidays are observed by Santa Clara University and are classes ever held on those days?
All holidays are listed on the academic calendar and will be identified as academic or administrative days off. If a holiday is listed as an administrative one, it will be up to your professor to decide if the class will meet or not on that day.

I am interested in a class which shows 2, 3 or 4 units. Can I decide how many units I would like the class to be worth?
If the class is a lecture which meets in person for the 10 week quarter, then the decision regarding unit value would be up to the instructor and department. In this case, a student would not have the option to choose. However, in the case of thesis or independent studies courses, a student would be able to choose the unit value up to the limit outlined in the bulletin.

Where can I find faculty contact information?
Contact information for both full and part time faculty may be found on our website.

Could you please change the records on file to reflect my new email address?

All students can make changes to their email address by logging into ecampus and editing the information in their Student Center under the Personal Information section. If you would like to have your SCU mail forwarded to a preferred email address, just follow the instructions found at

If I do not receive a passing grade in a course and retake it later, what happens to the original grade?
The original grade will always be part of your academic history, so the two grades would be averaged. The averaged grade would then be used in your final GPA calculation when your degree requirements are audited.

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Transfer Credits

What kind of credits can be transferred into the Program?
Santa Clara University only accepts graduate-level credits taken from an accredited university degree program. Extension and continuing education credits are not accepted for transfer.

How many units can I transfer into the Program?
The maximum units eligible for transfer is 6 semester or 9 quarter units for the MS degree and 12 semester or 18 quarter units for the Ph. D.

How do I transfer the units?
All transfer units must be approved by your academic advisor, so it is necessary that they are indicated in the Transfer Units section on the Program of Studies form. Once your advisor signs the form, submit it to Engineering Graduate Programs office for processing along with an official transcript to verify those transfer units.

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