Department Handbook
* Note that policies in the current catalog supersede the policies on this page, in the event of discrepancies. 

Student Policies

  1. Required Research: All majors must complete at least 120 (physics) or 180 (chemistry) hours of research before registering for Senior Thesis. Students may perform this research with a CSU faculty member for credit or pay OR as part of an external internship or summer research experience and the hours may be accumulated across multiple semesters. For details about joining a research group, speak to an individual professor. For details about outside research, speak to your advisor.
  2. Repeating Classes: You may not repeat a class for a higher grade more than three (3) times. After the third time, the grades are averaged.
  3. CLEP: Students wishing to test out of coursework and receive credit through CLEP exams MUST complete these exams and have the credits noted on their transcripts before they have completed 90 hours of coursework.
  4. Petitions: Academic Petitions: While you are registered as a student at Chicago State University you may take courses at another university after you have received departmental and university approval to do so. Chicago State University will not accept courses you take at another university while you are registered at Chicago State UNLESS you submit a petition to the Registrar’s Office BEFORE you take the course. Petition forms to take classes outside of Chicago State University are available from the registrar’s website.
  5. “Final 30 Hours of Course Work”: According to university regulations, a student’s last 30 hours (approximately 10 classes) of course work toward a degree must be completed at Chicago State University, not at another university.
  6. Prizes, Honors, Awards: Every year the university recognizes the following distinctions based on Grade Point Average among its graduates: Summa Cum Laude (3.95-4.0); Magna Cum Laude (3.80-3.94); Cum Laude (3.50-3.79). The Department also grants Honors and Merit certificates recognizing students in their third or fourth year who maintain a high grade point average in their major courses or who have served the department and the community. Additional awards through the department including awards from the American Chemical Society and Sigma Pi Sigma are also awarded on an annual basis.
  7. Graduation Applications & Deadlines: Graduating seniors should consult with their advisor to evaluate their credits before submitting an application to graduate. Application forms are available online and must be electronically signed by the advisor.
  8. Exit Survey: As part of the graduation process, all students wishing to file a graduation application should meet with their departmental advisor and complete the exit survey.
  9. Grievance Procedure: Any student who believes he or she has a grievance with a faculty member should utilize the process described here:
  10. Safety: Students enrolled in any chemistry laboratory class must come to class appropriately attired which means they must have closed toe shoes, hair tied back, and any other requirements as specified by their instructor. Students who arrive to lab without the proper safety attire will not be allowed to perform the lab and may not be able to make-up the lab.
  11. Pregnancy: Students who are pregnant should speak to their medical provider about restrictions due to laboratory chemical exposure. Experiment lists and detail about the chemicals used in a particular lab are available from your laboratory instructor.


Course revision is strongly linked to our classroom practices and our instructional materials and delivery are guided by the results of our assessment tools. Faculty and students in our department write papers and give presentations on education reform and our department has been successful in obtaining grants to innovate in our courses. For more information on our teaching and learning innovations please Click here. The department uses assessment formatively and summatively.

If you have questions about assessment in our various programs please contact our assessment coordinators.

Program Assessment Coordinator


Dr. Mel Sabella

General Education

Dr. Andrea Gay Van Duzor

Physics & Engineering Studies

Dr. Mel Sabella

Secondary Education Programs

Chemistry & Physics

Dr. Andrea Gay Van Duzor


Formative assessment enables faculty to modify instruction to ensure students are comprehending content. For instance, several of the introductory physics and chemistry courses use "clickers" to gather real time data on student understanding. During lecture, a professor can pose a multiple choice question which students immediately answer using a clicker. The professor has immediate feedback on student understanding, and students are actively engaged in problem solving even in larger lecture classrooms. 


Summative assessment enables the department to reflect on teaching outcomes to improve courses each semester. The faculty actively engage in summative assessment or courses in the following programs: chemistry, physics, physical science general education, pre-service chemistry teaching, and pre-service physics teaching. Click on the following links to learn more about student accomplishment in our programs and means by which the department is improving its educational programs.