Academics & Registrar FAQ


Visit our master FAQ page for questions and answers from each department. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you still cannot find the answers you need. We are here to help!

Is GIAL accredited?

Yes, GIAL is regionally accredited by SACSCOC. For complete information visit our accreditation page.

When do my classes start?

Specific start dates vary by program so be sure to check the Course Schedule. Expected start dates are as follows:

• The Certificate in Applied Linguistics coursework begins in either Spring Session 1 (January) or Fall Session 1 (Mid-July).
• The BA program coursework begins in the Fall Session 2 (August).
• Graduate courses begin according to the particular session and term for which they are scheduled.

What is a session vs. a term?

Each regular TERM (Fall and Spring) is composed of 20 weeks and broken into three 4-week and one 8-week modules referred to as SESSIONS. The Fall term begins in July and ends in December. The Spring term begins in January and ends in June. There is also a 12-week Summer term that has limited course offerings. The Summer term starts in May and ends in August.  Courses at GIAL may last more than one session.  For example, many 8-week courses are offered through sessions 2 and 3.

What is an intensive course?

An intensive course requires completion of online course work in preparation for and following the intensive on-campus instructional time. For intensive course offerings visit our Online & Intensive Courses page.

Who is my academic advisor?

Your GIAL academic advisor is listed in Campus Café under the MY INFO – Contact Information tab.  GIAL considers the academic advising process to be an integral part of each student’s program and provides academic advisors to assist students in selecting courses each term. New students are initially assigned academic advisors and will need to have their advisors approve their schedule prior to completion of registration and payment for classes. Students can request a change of advisor through the Registrar’s Office at any time.

Who is the course instructor?

Instructor names are listed on the course schedule and in  Campus Café under the ALL USERS – Course listing tab. You can learn more about your instructor by visiting our Faculty profiles page.

How do I register for classes?

Registration is completed online using Campus Café. Registration opens March 1st for the Summer and Fall terms and September 1st for the Spring term. Visit our Registration page for more information.

What is the difference between GIAL online and Campus Café?

Campus Café is used by students to apply, register for classes, and update their contact information.  GIAL Online is used by students to take online courses and interact online with many of their on-campus courses.

Can I waive prerequisites?

Students may petition, on a course-by-course basis with proper documentation, to waive prerequisite(s) based on equivalent course(s) taken elsewhere.  Some courses can be waived by permission of the instructor only.  Some specific courses from certain universities are pre-approved and do not require a petition.   Contact your advisor if you have questions or would like to submit a petition.

How do I pay tuition and fees?

Visit our How to Pay page for complete information about paying your tuition.

What is the Drop/Add policy?

*Note: The drop course limits are not the same as tuition refund deadlines.

Adding Courses
Classes may only be added through the second class day of the session during which the course is being offered.

Dropping Courses
Students dropping a course after the third business day and within the time limits for dropping a course will receive a grade of “W”. The time limits for dropping a course are as follows:

  • Through day 7 (in a 4-week session)
  • Through day 15 (in an 8-week session)
  • Through day 21 (in a 12-week session)
  • Through day 30 (in a 16-week session)

In most cases a student may not drop a course or withdraw from GIAL after the aforesaid dates. Under extreme circumstances, the Dean of Academic Affairs may consider a petition to drop a course or withdraw from GIAL after these dates.

Can I get a refund if I drop a course?

*Note: The tuition refund deadlines are not the same as the drop course limits.

The refund policy specifies deadlines for requesting refunds and amounts of refunds for tuition and fees.

Refund for Dropping Course(s)

A student will receive a full refund of tuition and fees for any course dropped prior to the end of the first day of class. For a credit course dropped after the first day of class, the student will receive a refund of tuition only on the following scale (calculated separately for each course):

  • Before the end of the third business day = 75%
  • Before the end of the sixth business day = 25%
  • After the sixth business day = 0%

*Note: Dropping coursework may result in ineligibility for financial aid and in the student’s being liable for repayment of tuition covered by scholarships.

Dropping an Audited Course

Any audited course dropped prior to the end of the first day of class will receive a refund of tuition and fees. No “AU” grade will be recorded on the transcript. An audited course which is dropped after the first day of class will receive no refund and an “AU” grade will remain on the student’s transcript.

What textbooks do I need?

How To Determine What Textbooks You Need

  1. Log into info.gial.edu.
  2. Click on the link located near the bottom of the Campus Café Home Page screen.
  3. This will link you to the GIAL textbook listing for the upcoming term.  Be sure to purchase the correct edition of each required textbook.

NOTE:  GIAL does not have a bookstore so you will need to purchase these textbooks online before your classes begin.

Where can I buy textbooks?

Where can I buy textbooks?

GIAL does not own or operate a bookstore. You will need to buy your textbooks online. You may use the big vendors or try http://www.BookFinder4U.com which searches multiple online bookstores.

Another option: The GIAL Student Body Association maintains a website (http://gialbookexchange.weebly.com) for students to sell, buy, lend, and borrow textbooks.

What textbooks do I need?

How do I audit a course?

In order to audit a course, an Audit Permission Form must be approved by the instructor and submitted to the Registrar’s Office before the end of the third day of class or before completing 10% of a course that meets on an irregular basis. Appropriate tuition and fee adjustments apply. Such changes may affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid. Audited courses do not qualify for financial aid. The number of auditors in any course may be limited, requiring approval of the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Auditors may participate in class discussions, submit written assignments, and take exams only at the invitation of the instructor. Audit students are not permitted to submit the final assignment. Students who desire to fully participate and engage in all instructional activities must register for credit. Additional requirements are placed on auditors at the sole discretion of the instructor who will communicate these requirements to the student when the instructor’s permission to audit is obtained.

Changes from audit status to credit or vice versa may be made only with the signed permission of the instructor on the Student Change Permit and must be made no later than the end of the third day of classes that meet on a regular basis or before completion of 10% of a course that meets on an irregular basis.

What is GIAL’s attendance policy?

Attendance is monitored for enrolled students in all courses. Students must be present for a minimum of 80% of their scheduled classes, and any student missing five consecutive days without a reasonable excuse is in violation of the attendance policy. Faculty may assign a portion of the grade in their course as an attendance grade. GIAL is required to report attendance policy violations for International students and students receiving federally-funded assistance.

How do I request a transcript?

Visit our Transcript Request page for information on how to request a transcript.

Is admission to GIAL the same as admission to a degree program?

No. Students need an approved Intended Plan of Study (IPS) to be admitted to a GIAL degree program. Students should complete an Intended Plan of Study form with the help of their advisor and then submit the IPS to the appropriate department for approval. Find the IPS forms on our Academic Forms page.

What is an Intended Plan of Study (IPS)?

The Intended Plan of Study (IPS) documents a student’s degree and concentration choice and identifies the terms required course work will be completed to graduate at the designated date chosen. Students intending to complete a graduate degree program must have Graduate admission status and submit an approved Intended Plan of Study form. Students intending to complete a BA degree at GIAL will complete, with the help of his/her academic advisor, an Intended Plan of Study during the first semester of classes. Visit our Academic Forms page to download the IPS for your program.

How long would it take to finish an MA degree?

Taking a full-time load, a student can usually complete a degree in three terms. An additional term may be necessary if the student has not completed the prerequisite courses before coming to GIAL. The undergraduate prerequisite courses are offered as part of the Certificate in Applied Linguistics.

Can I transfer courses for the MA programs?

GIAL reserves the right to make final determination of transfer credit acceptability. The student must petition to transfer credit for any coursework to be considered as part of a GIAL graduate program of study (up to a maximum of 15 graduate credit hours and which have a minimum grade of “B”).  Courses submitted for transfer credit must have been completed no more than 10 years before completion of the GIAL graduate program. Transferred credits must explicitly list the GIAL course for which they are being accepted. Transfer credit is accepted only from regionally accredited institutions of higher education or from institutions accredited by the American Theological Society (ATS) or the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). (See the current GIAL Catalog for full details)

Do I really have 10 years to complete my degree?

Yes.  The degree must be completed within 10 years of the date when the first graduate course applied to the degree was taken.  If the degree is not finished at that time, any credits over 10 years old are lost.  The lost credit hours must be replaced.

What are comprehensive exams?

Comprehensive exams (Comps) are taken near the end of a student’s MA studies. Comps cover subject matter in the student’s major concentration, and are an opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of that material. The format of the examinations differs somewhat between the departments, although the function is the same. The examinations are scheduled two to five weeks before the end of the term.  See the Academic Calendar for specific dates. Students that choose to write a thesis do not take comprehensive exams.

Do I have to write a thesis?

No. A graduate student has the option of choosing the Thesis or Non-thesis (comprehensive exam) option for all graduate degrees offered at GIAL. The undergraduate degree does not require a thesis or comprehensive exam.

How do I transfer undergraduate semester hours (ush) for the BA program?

Students should complete the Petition to Transfer General Education Credits form.  Visit our Undergraduate Transfer Policy page for more information.

Where is Language Development (LD)?

The Language Development Department (LD) is now the Applied Anthropology Department (AA). The MA in Language Development is now an MA in Language and Culture Studies. Courses that started with LD in the past now start with AA.