Academic Calendar and Course Load

Semesters and Summer Terms & Winter Intersession

The fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks long. The two summer terms are seven and six weeks long, respectively. Winter Intersession runs for 10 days between the fall and spring semester.Students must enroll in at least one academic semester or term within a three-year period to maintain active enrollment.

Academic Program Course Load

A normal course load for full-time students is 12 to 16 credits during a semester and six to nine credits during a summer term. Foreign students and students receiving state financial aid must be enrolled full-time, i.e., 12 or more credits per semester. A student who wishes to take 16.5-18 credits in a given semester must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

A student who wishes to take 19-21 credits in a given semester must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher; any such course load must be approved by a divisional chairperson. An academic dean must approve requests in excess of 21 credits.

Academic Standing

Transfer Credit

Credits transferred from other regionally accredited colleges and universities will be included in the total number of credits earned at ECC. In order to transfer, such credits must relate to courses and programs offered by ECC. Courses transferred from other institutions of higher learning must carry grades of “C” or higher.

Transfer students must complete a minimum of 30 credits, including half their major course requirements at ECC. Credits from institutions not accredited by regionally accredited agencies (e.g., Middle States) will not be accepted; however, credit may be granted to students who “test out” (i.e., demonstrate mastery of subject content via examination), when such tests are available.

The same guidelines pertain to students who wish to transfer courses into the College’s certificate programs; half of the credits for such programs must be completed at ECC.

Testing Out – Letter Grade

The College has initiated a “testing out” procedure in some courses to allow students to receive credit for a course when they can demonstrate the level of proficiency necessary to satisfy the requirements for the course. Students must register and pay for the course.

Students must consult with the academic division where the course is offered.

Credit by Examination

ECC’s Credit by Examination Program enables students with appropriate knowledge and experience to secure college credit. Credit will be granted to students admitted to ECC who pass examinations approved by Enrollment Services and appropriate academic departments. In some instances it may not be possible to offer credit by examination because no relevant test exists in certain disciplines. When granted, a grade of “CR” will be entered as transfer credit on each student’s transcript.

Credit by examination may be granted for the Defense Activity for Non-traditional Educational Support (DANTES) and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Students interested in applying for credit by examination should contact either the Enrollment Services Express Center or the appropriate academic division.

Change of Major

To change a major or to add a second major, a student should discuss the proposed change with a counselor or faculty advisor, complete a Change of Major form, and return the signed form to the Enrollment Services Express Center. Graduation requirements will be those in effect on the date the student matriculates in the new major.

Repeating a Course

When a student earns a “D” or “F”,  he or she may repeat the course in an attempt to earn a higher grade. Although the “D” or “F”remains on the transcript, the higher of the two grades will be counted in the cumulative grade point average. When a student earns a “D” or “F” in a remedial/developmental course (i.e., a course below the 100-level), the student must repeat the course before enrolling in the next course in the sequence. A student may not repeat a course more than once except with the written permission of a counselor.

Academic Progress

Guidelines for academic progress and good academic standing include the following:

  • Good Academic Standing is defined as a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above. Students are advised that they must attain an overall GPA of 2.0 or above to graduate from ECC’s degree or certificate programs.
  • Probation is defined as a cumulative combined GPA of less than 2.0. A student whose cumulative combined GPA goes below 2.0 is placed on probation.
  • Suspension (for one academic period) occurs when a student with a cumulative combined GPA of less than 2.0 earns a GPA of less than 2.0 in a successive term.
    •  A student who is suspended from the College may appeal for reinstatement or may remain suspended for one semester before applying for reinstatement. Students returning after suspensionare not eligible for financial aid until they have successfully completed nine credits with grades of “C” or above.
    • A student who is reinstated after suspension must complete a minimum of nine credits with a GPA of 2.0 or higher to be considered as making satisfactory academic progress.
    • A previously suspended student who is readmitted and who attains a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 two terms after being readmitted will be dismissed.
  • Dismissal from the College for two years occurs when a student who has been reinstated after suspension receives an academic period GPA of less than 2.0. Students returning after dismissal are not eligible for financial aid until they have successfully completed nine credits with grades of “C” or above.
  • Academic probation is defined as a cumulative combined GPA of less than 2.0 followed immediately by a semester GPA of 2.0.

Students are responsible for ensuring that they complete all requirements for their degrees and certificates listed in departmental handouts and the official College catalog.

Financial aid students should go to the financial aid site: financial aid to review the Academic Progress Policy for students receiving financial aid.

Appeal Process

A student suspended or dismissed from the College may appeal for reinstatement through the Academic Review Committee (ARC) by submitting an appeal letter to the Dean of Student Affairs. The Review Committee will meet with the student and review the appeal. A reinstated student will not be eligible for financial aid until he or she has successfully completed nine credits with grades of “C” or higher.

Financial aid students should go to the financial aid site: to review the Academic Progress Policy for students receiving financial aid.

No Show

Regular and prompt attendance is essential for academic success. Faculty members take attendance at each scheduled class session. Students are expected to attend and be on time for all classes. Individual faculty members may establish specific attendance policies. It is the responsibility of the student to know and follow the attendance policy as required for each course. Students with excessive absences may be referred to a counselor. Insufficient attendance at regularly scheduled classes may result in failure or removal. A student who is absent from all classes during the first ten class days of the fall and spring semesters will be recorded as a “No Show.” A withdrawal will appear on the student’s record and the student will be notified of the “No Show” status by the Registrar’s Office. Students are advised that “No Show” status in one or more courses may affect their eligibility for financial aid and veterans’ benefits. Students who stop attending classes and do not formally withdraw will be recorded as “not in attendance” and will receive grades of “F.” This status may also affect their eligibility for financial aid and veterans’ benefits.

Academic Forgiveness

The College’s academic forgiveness policy provides previously enrolled students who have been away from the college for at least three years and have successfully completed a minimum of 12 college level credits with grades of “C” and above with an opportunity to pursue a single “fresh start” at ECC. Under this policy, all courses together with grades earned prior to readmission will remain on the student’s transcript but will not be used in computing the student’s overall grade point average; neither can any of the previously taken courses be used to fulfill degree or certificate requirements. Applications must be made through an academic counselor who will review and discuss it with the student before submitting it to the chairperson of the division or department in which the student intends to pursue a major. If approved by the chairperson, it is forwarded to the appropriate dean.


Grading System

  • A Superior 4.0
  • B+ Very Good 3.5
  • B Good 3.0
  • C+Above Average 2.5
  • C Satisfactory 2.0
  • Passing 1.0
  • Failing 0.0
  • I Incomplete 0.0

Incomplete grade denotes that student has completed 75% of assigned course work with a grade of “C” or better but did not complete all course requirements. The faculty member must attach a completed Essex County College “Incomplete Grade Form” to the final grade sheet. After six months, the original “I” will be recorded as an “F” unless it is changed by the instructor.

  • NG No Grade Received 0.0
  • T Tutorial 0.0
  • W Withdrawal 0.0 (Grade denotes official withdrawal from a course or from the college.)
  • AU Audit 0.0 (Grade denotes student was not enrolled in the course for credit.)
  • CR Credit 0.0

Grade reserved for courses passed by examination or accepted as transfer credit and indicates satisfactory completion of a course. Grades of “D” may not fulfill certain course prerequisites and major course requirements and will not transfer to other institutions.

Grades of “W,” “AU,” “CR” and “I” are not counted in the computation of grade point averages.

Course or Total Withdrawal Policy

All course or total withdrawal requests must be submitted online through Web Services. Withdrawal requests can be submitted the day following the published last day of add/drop for a particular semester or term through the end of the specified withdrawal period.

CAUTION: Withdrawing from a course may affect a student’s financial aid eligibility, NJSTARS eligibility, veteran’s benefits, athletic eligibility, F-1 Visa status, and timely completion of degree requirements. Students are strongly urged to speak with their instructor or a counselor before withdrawing from classes.

  1. Withdrawal date starts after the Add/Drop period.
  2. Refer to the term calendar for withdrawal dates. Calendar is available in MyECC portal and on the College Web Site under Current Students.
  3. All withdrawal requests must be submitted online through Web Services. bursar_how_to_withdrawl.pdf
  4. Withdrawal Requests are processed upon submission. If the withdrawal request is submitted successfully, registration is changed to a withdrawal status and ‘W’ grade is posted. Failure to withdraw by the established deadline date, will result in a grade of “F.”
  5. Tuition will be adjusted according to the Tuition Refund Policy. Fees are non-refundable. The amount of tuition refund depends on the date the withdrawal request is submitted online. Students who withdraw after the established refund dates will be responsible for payment of the entire bill.

Grade Point Average

Academic achievement during a semester or term is measured by a student’s grade point average (GPA). The measure of academic achievement for all work completed is referred to as the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

A semester GPA is determined in the following way:

  1. Allowing 4 points for an “A,” 3.5 points for a “B+,” 3 points for a “B,” 2.5 points for a “C+,”2 points for a “C,” 1 point for a “D,”and 0 points for an “F,” multiply the number of points equivalent to the letter grade received in each course by the number of semester hours for the course, thus arriving at the grade points earned for each course.
  2. Add the grade points in each course to obtain the sum of grade points for the semester’s work.
  3. Divide the total grade points by the total number of semester hours attempted. The result is the grade point average.The following example illustrates the GPA of a student with grades in five courses. Semester Point Grade Course Grade Hours Equivalents Points
  • Biology B 4 x 3.0 12
  • Math C 3 x 2.0 6
  • English C+ 3 x 2.5 7.5
  • Sociology C 3 x 2.0 6.0
  • Business B 3 x 3.0 9
  • 16 40.5

40.5 (total grade points) divided by 16 (semester hours attempted) = 2.53 GPA

The GPA is calculated in the same way as the semester GPA except that all attempted semester hours are taken into account. The student’s CGPA will include only those courses taken at Essex County College.

Grade Reports

Final grades are recorded as part of each student’s permanent record. Mid-term grade warnings are issued to each student whose work is unsatisfactory. Warning grades are for advisory purposes only and are not part of students’ permanent academic transcript Students can view grades online.

Grade Changes – Time Limit

All approved grade changes must be submitted to the Enrollment Services Express Center (Registrar’s Office) within one year of the original grade assignment.

Class Standing

A freshman is defined as a matriculated student working toward a degree who has earned 29.5 or fewer college-level credits. A sophomore is defined as a matriculated student working toward a degree who has earned 30 or more college-level credits.

Dean’s List

A Dean’s List is published every semester. Full-time students named to this list must have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in that semester and have no “I” grades or any grade lower that “C” for the semester in which the student is named. Only college-level courses are computed. Part-time students are also eligible. To qualify, part-time students must also have earned a 3.5 or higher grade point average, no grade of “I,” no grade lower than “C,” and at least 12 college-level credits within a given academic year (e.g., 2002-03, 2003-04).


A transcript is the student’s permanent academic record. Students can access their transcript online. Official transcripts are directly sent to other colleges or third parties, upon written request and authorization by the student. A Student Copy Transcript is issued upon written request and authorization by the student. A Transcript fee is charged to current and former students for each transcript that is generated. Transcripts will not be issued until all outstanding obligations to the College are satisfied.


Degree Students

Upon completion of 40 college-level credits, all currently enrolled matriculated students will receive degree compliance report to track progress in their primary major. Students wishing to pursue a second degree should meet with an advisor in the major department and complete a second degree request form. Request must be approved by the division chairperson and the academic dean. Second degree students must complete a Degree Audit Request form in the Enrollment Services Office immediately during their final semester.

Certificate Students

Students in Certificate programs should file a Certificate Audit Request form at the Enrollment Services Office during their final semester.

Graduation Requirements

Students who have successfully completed all requirements for degrees and academic certificates (30 or more credits) will be graduated from the College. Students are governed by the graduation requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation. In order to graduate, students must have cumulative GPA’s of 2.0 or better. Additionally, students must earn grades of “C” or better in all major courses. Credits transferred from other regionally accredited colleges and universities or earned via examination or Advanced Placement will be included in the total number of credits earned. To graduate with an Associate Degree, transfer students must complete a minimum of 30 credits toward their degree and at least half of their major course requirements at Essex County College. Transfer students in a certificate program must complete at least half of their total required credits at Essex County College, including half their major course requirements.

Second Degrees and Certificates

Students may earn a second degree if certain conditions are met. Students interested in declaring an additional major should do so through their academic chairpersons using a college-provided form (“Application for Second Degree”), indicating which major is primary and which major is secondary. Students must submit this form before they have accumulated 45 college credits. All requirements in both majors must be met in full. Students may not earn two separate degrees in the same discipline – e.g., accounting (A.S., A.A.S.), computer science/applied computer science. The “Application for Second Degree” form will be completed by the student and his or her advisor, approved by the chairperson or director, and then by an academic dean or vice president, who will forward it to the Registrar. The Registrar will notify the student of the status of the application. A srudent has not been approved for a second degree until the Registrar isues an official notification.

Students may also earn multiple certificates – academic certificates (30 or more credits) and/or certificates of completion (less than 30 credits). Courses used to satisfy the requirements for one certificate can be used to satisfy requirements for other certificate programs and degrees. However, it should be noted that a student who earns a degree in a given program cannot subsequently earn a certificate in that same program without taking additional course work.

Graduation with Honors

Students will be graduated with honors as follows:

  • Highest Honors CGPA 3.85 to 4.00
  • High Honors CGPA 3.65 to 3.84
  • Honors CGPA 3.50 to 3.64

These honors will be noted on students’ transcripts.


An annual commencement (graduation) ceremony is held at the conclusion of the Spring Semester. Students who have completed degree or certificates with 30 ormore credits will be invited to participate in the anual commencement ceremonies. Students who are completing their degree or certificate requirements during the first summer term will be permitted to participate in the annual commencement.

Academic Integrity

Essex County College’s trustees, faculty, and administrators are dedicated to mutual respect and the free exchange of ideas in classroom, laboratory, and other academic settings. Students who enroll at ECC join with these other individuals to observe guidelines regarding free inquiry, academic honesty, and civility in the classroom and related forums. The College’s administration recognizes the common interest of faculty and students in the pursuit of truth and understanding. This includes the right to present and the obligation to receive divergent views when legitimate intellectual differences exist. Students are advised that their obligations in this respect include but are not limited to the following:

  • To present only such homework assignments, term papers, examination papers, etc. that are the results of their own work;
  • To honestly pursue research and scholarship by acknowledging sources used in term papers and other assignments;
  • To refrain from fabricating sources and data;
  • To practice fairness in competing with peers through recognition of others’ rights to gain access to information and materials, respect for others’ right of access to facilities and equipment, and adherence to rules governing their use;
  • To accurately represent the results of experiments, surveys, and other findings; and
  • To respect the rights of others to hold differing views based on reason, research, and recognized standards of evidence.

Moreover, any theft or alteration of academic materials, or the destruction of the academic work of others, constitutes a serious breach of academic integrity. In the case of an alleged infraction, the appropriate divisional or departmental chairperson will handle the matter and if necessary initiate formal charges with an academic dean.

Student Right-to-Know

Students are advised that graduation rates and time to graduation by program are available from the Office of Institutional Research. Graduation rates for student athletes on scholarships are available from the Dean of Student Affairs’ Office.

Essex County College has qualified faculty and staff to help both day and evening students. We invite you to tour our megastructure or West Essex Campus, visit with faculty, and speak with an admissions officer. To schedule a tour or receive an application form from the main campus, write or call:

Essex County College

Enrollment Services Express Center

303 University Avenue

Newark, NJ 07102

(973) 877-3100


Essex County College

Office of Recruitment and Retention

303 University Avenue

Newark, NJ 07102

(973) 877-1941