Academics are the heart of the Ottawa University experience: the thinking and learning that take place in the classroom, the conversations with professors and peers, and the engagement and interrogation of ideas. Ottawa University’s liberal arts studies program supports this growth by providing all students a core curriculum that develops critical thinking and intellectual and ethical leadership. In addition to pursuing a specific major, first-year students enroll in three interdisciplinary seminars, as well as one course each from seven general education areas. A series of arts and cultural events complete our students’ liberal arts experience.


Regular attendance in class, laboratory and other appointments is expected of all students. The final grade of any student may be lowered because of absence from class or laboratory at the discretion of the instructor. Instructors keep attendance and report all concerns about lack of attendance to the Office of the Registrar. Excused absences because of illness, family emergencies, or Ottawa University-sponsored activities do not excuse the student from required coursework. Students are responsible for reporting absences to their instructors prior to class. Completion of all coursework is the obligation of each student. If a student misses two consecutive class days, the faculty notifies the Office of the Registrar. This process places the student on the “Early Warning” system. At this point, the student’s schedule is checked to determine if the student is missing any additional classes. First, a notice is sent to the student’s Ottawa University box. The student is told that the faculty member has a concern. The student is asked to call or stop by the Office of the Registrar so that the University can determine what help the student may need. Perhaps the student may need to drop a course. The administration, instructor and academic advisor attempt to help the student determine the best solution to the problem. Often no intervention is required, but persistent failure to attend classes may result in disenrollment from the University.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Academic probation is a statement that the student’s academic performance is below the standard required for graduation and/or adequate progress toward graduation from The College. A student whose cumulative grade point average (for work done at The College) falls below the following standards at the end of any semester will be placed on academic probation:

Semester Credit Hours Earned Cumulative GPA
0 - 23 1.60
24 - 53 1.80
54 and over 2.00


Ottawa University reserves the right to suspend any student whose semester GPA falls below 1.00. For transfer students, the cumulative grade point average is calculated on the basis of all courses on the student’s transcript; however, it should be remembered that transfer students must attain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses taken at The College.

A student who fails, for more than one semester, to earn at least 75 percent of The College’s semester credit hours for which he/she enrolled is placed on academic probation.


In order to help OU students succeed academically, tutoring is offered at no cost to the student. Tutoring sessions include one-on-one or group sessions. Students experiencing difficulty in their coursework should immediately speak with their instructor and seek tutoring services in the  Center for Excellence located in Myers Library. Tutors receive training through the Center for Excellence and are hired by the tutoring coordinator.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Ottawa University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA. Information related to the personal material listed in the campus directory may be requested from the registrar. Students may contact the registrar to complete a form that will prohibit their information from being listed in the directory.

In accordance with FERPA, any release of student information (such as grades) is done only with the student’s written consent. Meetings with University officials and parents about student concerns must include the student. OU’s staff and faculty will take parent concerns under consideration and act appropriately. However, in an effort to maintain clear communication and to foster the development of independence, parents and students are encouraged to communicate directly about any difficulties or concerns.