The Challenges of Continuing Education: University of Chicago

The University of Chicago, more than most schools, prides itself on a “culture of innovation.” The school has historically lived up to this credo. UChicago reimagined the template for higher education when, upon its founding in 1890, it offered a new collegiate model incorporating both English-inspired Liberal Arts and German-inspired intensive research.

UChicago is similarly innovative when it comes to continuing education, becoming one of the first schools to offer opportunities explicitly for adult learners. Today, UChicago offers several options for non-traditional students to continue their learning, including:

  • Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies
  • University of Chicago Professional Education
  • Chicago Booth Executive Education
  • Harris Executive Education
  • Continuing Medical Education

Regardless of which program you enroll in (or have already enrolled in), you are expected to live up to the high expectations that all UChicago students face. If you encounter any academic, behavioral, or other types of problem during your continuing education period, consider hiring attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento to resolve the issue for you.

Academic Expectations at UChicago Continuing Education Programs

Within each continuing education program at UChicago lies several specific courses and areas of study. For example, those enrolled in the Professional Education program can study Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Big Data in Marketing, Corporate Financial Strategy, Sustainability in Business, and a variety of other courses.

Each program and course will come with minimum academic expectations. All students are generally required to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or greater. Expectations may vary between non-degree and degree courses, but you will face standards nonetheless.

If you fall short of minimum academic standards, you could face probation, suspension, dismissal, or other adverse consequences. You will also be expected to earn your grades on your own merit without unauthorized assistance.

If you have any academic issues while continuing your education at the University of Chicago, retain our team as soon as possible.

Types of Degrees and Certificates You Can Obtain Through UChicago's Continuing Education Programs

Several of the continuing education programs at UChicago are not degree programs but instead award certificates of completion to students. The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is the metric that UChicago uses to signal the successful completion of these courses.

A CEU is accompanied by a number, such as 5.2. This number indicates how much time the student has invested in successfully passing a continuing education course, with one CEU equaling roughly ten hours of “instructional time.” Every student who completes a given course receives the same amount of CEUs, even if a student spends more time or effort completing the course than another student.

In order to earn the CEUs allotted for a UChicago continuing education course, you will need to:

  • Complete all assigned coursework in a satisfactory manner
  • Engage in activities required for course completion
  • Complete all required examinations
  • Complete all other milestones set out by the course professor

Put simply; you'll need to pass the course in order to receive the accompanying CEUs. These CEUs indicate to prospective employers and certification boards that you have invested a certain amount of time in a specific course and that you are proficient in that area of study.

The Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies does offer some degree programs, including a Master of Liberal Arts tract. Continuing education programs for medicine and education also include degree programs. These programs have their own grading metrics and requirements for obtaining the degree you seek.

Degree requirements vary from one continuing education field to another. To earn a Master of Liberal Arts, you will need to complete four core courses in humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences, four electives, and a thesis course.

Whether you are pursuing a degree or compiling non-degree certificates during your continuing education at UChicago, you can run into progression issues.

Academic Progression Policies

Each continuing education course at UChicago may have unique progression standards. A Masters student at UChicago may be undertaking a multi-year endeavor, and the university may expect them to hit certain milestones within certain timeframes. On the other hand, a continuing education student taking courses for a certificate may simply need to pass the course successfully.

UChicago's 2022-23 Catalog provides a general set of expectations for all students. Students' performance is assessed each academic quarter, and they are considered in good standing if:

  • They have completed the minimum amount of required course credits with passing grades (which is 300 units per quarter for undergrads)
  • They have maintained a grade point average of 2.0 or higher

Students who fail to meet these or other academic benchmarks set by the university will typically enter academic probation. Though UChicago does not indicate a period of probation on your transcript, it serves as notice that continued academic struggles could trigger suspension or dismissal. If a student fails to meet both the GPA and course credit benchmarks, they may face immediate suspension.

University of Chicago has a gracious leave of absence policy that may extend to continuing education students. If you fail to sufficiently elevate your academic performance while on probation, the school may ask you to take a leave of absence for up to a year. The university may review your re-entry after the leave has ended.

There are ways to avoid probation, suspension, dismissal, or a mandated leave of absence. Our team can utilize all academic appeal and grievance policies, consult UChicago's Office of General Counsel (lawyers), or alert the school to any medical or psychological condition that explains poor academic performance.

Attendance Policies

Like most universities, UChicago's continuing education professors may have individualized attendance policies. However, as a top-tier academic institution, it is safe to assume that all continuing education students will need to attend classes and course-related activities regularly.