2022-2023 Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook 
    Nov 30, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook

Graduate and Professional Student Services

Graduate and Professional Student Services (GPSS) is the student’s resource center for Student Success, Financial Services, Records, Registration, Disability Services, Student Wellness and any other needs the student might have. The student services counselors specialize in helping students to overcome barriers to success in their personal and academic journeys. We are dedicated to providing you with the tools, mentoring, and accompaniment to enable and enhance a transformational education at PLNU.  We will be committed to you from the point of admission through graduation and even beyond.

Student Success

The Center for Student Success supports our Graduate and Professional Studies students throughout their academic journey. It provides student services such as academic advising and planning, resource workshops, and connects students to career services, writing support, tutorial services, and wellness resources. The Center itself is located on the first floor of the Mission Valley Campus. If you have any questions about how to access resources at PLNU, please start by calling or emailing the Center for Student Success at 619-563-2850 or studentsuccess@pointloma.edu.

Financial Aid

The financial aid program at Point Loma Nazarene University consists of: Federal, state, and institutional grants; Federal Direct Loans; and external scholarships and grants awarded by corporations and civic organizations. Financial assistance is intended to recognize and assist students who otherwise would be unable to attend the university. For detailed financial aid information, click here.


Registration for most Graduate Programs is done by the student after meeting with their academic advisor. In the event that there is a problem with registering for classes, the Student Success Counselor can assist in registering for classes. Students are responsible for reviewing the courses in which they have been registered.

Registration for undergraduate programs is automated and students will be informed when they have been registered for their next course by their Student Success Counselor. In some programs, students have the opportunity to self-register for courses after their first semester.

Students are responsible for dropping (or submitting a request to drop) classes they don’t plan to attend/complete.

Wellness Center Services

PLNU’s Wellness Center collaborates with a wide array of interdisciplinary physical, emotional, and preventative health services to provide high-quality, student-focused care. The Wellness Center works to deliver healthcare as an affirming expression of our faith, empowering students through health education to cultivate a culture of holistic wellness and to enhance academic, personal, spiritual and professional success. 

The PLNU Wellness Center provides confidential medical care, counseling services, and nutritional consultation for all students. (Charges for some medications and diagnostic tests may require a fee.)  For more information please refer to https://www.pointloma.edu/offices/wellness-center.

Disability Services

GPSS is dedicated to assisting students with disabilities by providing the opportunity for success and equal access at the PLNU through the Educational Access Center (EAC).  We serve students and faculty in providing reasonable accommodations as outlined by federal and local laws.  We also strive to create an inclusive, safe, and respectful learning environment. We promote awareness, equity, and training to help each individual use their God-given gifts and talents in their area of study.

The EAC evaluates disability documentation, determines eligibility, and implements reasonable accommodations for enrolled students as guided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and university policy. Information can be accessed on our website at https://www.pointloma.edu/offices/educational-access-center.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Policy

Point Loma Nazarene University affirms that all human life, including life developing in the womb, is created by God in His image and is, therefore, to be nurtured, supported, and protected. A student, no matter their marital status, who becomes pregnant will receive grace-filled care and support. Point Loma Nazarene University does not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy or childbirth-related conditions or recovery. Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and the Title IX Office to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence and stay on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.

Title IX Coordinator

Accommodations: Pregnant students are able to access accommodations and support in the same way as someone who has a temporary condition. The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to determine that such accommodations are necessary and appropriate. As with other Title IX and EAC accommodations, information about pregnant students’ requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary in order to provide the reasonable accommodations. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information unless necessary. Administrative responsibility for these accommodations lies with the Title IX Coordinator, who will maintain all appropriate documentation related to accommodations.

Leave of Absence: The University can also grant pregnant students a medical leave of absence at the students’ request for one semester and then effectively will reinstate the student to the same status as was held when the leave began. The leave term may be extended in the case of extenuating circumstances or medical necessity.

As long as a student can maintain appropriate academic progress, faculty, staff, or other University employees cannot require a student to take a leave of absence, or withdraw from or limit their studies as the result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, but nothing in this policy requires modification of the essential elements of any academic program.

Continuation of a student’s scholarship, fellowship, or similar University-sponsored funding during the leave term will depend on the student’s registration status and the policies of the funding program regarding registration status. Students will not be negatively impacted by or forfeit their future eligibility for their scholarship, fellowship, or similar University-supported funding by exercising their rights under this Policy.

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding students will be granted reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible. Bathroom stalls do not satisfy this requirement. PLNU also provides students and employees with access to designated lactation spaces on campus. To access use of this space, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Parental Accommodations for All Parents

This policy provides at least six weeks of “Parental Accommodation” for students who become parents through birth, adoption, guardianship, or fostering. This policy can also be applied to a student who has a child who is hospitalized.

During this time the student is entitled to a reasonable extension of deadlines and academic expectations to accommodate the student’s new parental responsibilities including assignments, exams and other requirements, as determined in consultation with student’s professors. These accommodations may suspend requirements for class attendance, exams, other course-related requirements, lab work, or work toward a degree. The accommodation period preserves student status, funding, health insurance, and housing eligibility.

In addition to the accommodation period, students are permitted to take a leave of absence.  This leave can be in the form of personal or medical leave for one semester, with a possibility of extension.

For more information, contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Title IX Coordinator

Tutoring Services

The GPS Writing Center provides feedback on written material including: organization, voice, grammar, and citation. The Writing Center serves all students and locations providing Writers Workshops on a variety of helpful topics. They also work alongside you either in person, over the phone, or online-remote service to help sharpen your writing skills. The Writing Center is located at the Mission Valley Regional Center. To set up an appointment, please email gpswritingcenter@pointloma.edu.

GPS partners with Tutor.com to offer 24/7 online tutoring services. Tutor.com offers innovative services designed to meet students’ needs including subject specific studying, writing support, and a host of tools and resources to increase a student’s study techniques. To access Tutor.com services, email studentsuccess@pointloma.edu.

Graduate and Professional Career Services

Managing your career is an important way to live your calling as a student in our Graduate and Professional Studies programs. You may be changing industries, going for a promotion, or looking to hone professional skills.

Our team offers the following, in addition to partnering with your faculty on career presentations through classes in all academic departments.

Small-group Advising Sessions

These sessions take place throughout the week both in-person and virtually, featuring strategies on updating resumes and LinkedIn profiles, interview preparation, job search, and alumni networking. 

Research shows group sessions and peer advising are highly effective in the process of career management. Students expand their network and learn from each other as they ask relevant questions, practice active listening, and reflect with career service facilitators. Since our GPS students are made up of a variety of industry professionals, connecting with one another can bring about valuable opportunities.

Join us by registering on Handshake via your OneLogin or stopping by our office during open advising hours to receive the support you need. Also, take advantage of the many job and internship opportunities available on Handshake.

We are here for you throughout your career journey!

Connect with us at careerservices@pointloma.edu.

Military Programs and Services

Military Programs and Services interacts with all military-connected students to include: Active Duty, Veterans, Reservists, National Guard, and dependent spouses and children enrolled in the Extended Learning programs whether they are utilizing benefits or not. Many of our military-connected students are introduced to the university through outreach efforts on local military bases and veterans support organizations. The convenient nature of evening and hybrid programs make Extended Learning degree programs attractive to the military-connected community.

Financial Aid

Point Loma Nazarene University is a Yellow Ribbon participant. As such, Military Programs and Services advises prospective and enrolled students on unique aspects and details of military educational benefits including the Post 9/11 GI Bill (CH 33), Veterans Readiness and Employment (CH 31), and Tuition Assistance. Students can also receive tailored career coaching, transition assistance and networking advice as a service.