One academic credit corresponds to approximately 45 hours of work, inside and outside of class, over the appropriate time period.
The normal full-time course load is 15 credits. In order to meet the graduation requirement of 120 credits, a student must average 15 credits per semester over 4 years. The minimum allowable load for a full-time student is 12 credits per semester. Entering freshmen and students on academic probation may find a load of fewer than 15 credits advantageous, though signing up for just 12 credits has its own risks.
The maximum allowable load (without additional charge) is 18 credits of active work per semester. Students may register for more than 18 credits only by vote of the faculty. There is a fee for each credit in excess of 18, payable in advance (see Special Fees).
The following are the number of earned credits generally corresponding to a student’s class standing:
- 0 credits = Freshman 1
- 12 credits = Freshman 2
- 25 credits = Sophomore 1
- 42 credits = Sophomore 2
- 55 credits = Junior 1
- 72 credits = Junior 2
- 84 credits = Senior 1
- 102 credits = Senior 2
Please note that class standing is also dependent upon Plan progress and credit distribution, as outlined elsewhere in the academic regulations (e.g., a student may have enough earned credits to qualify as a Senior 1 according to the above chart but not enough credits on Plan, so his/her status may actually be Junior 2). In addition, restrictions apply to credits transferred from other colleges, credits by examination, or credits earned through Advanced Placement. (See also Credit Placement.)
Students receiving VA benefits must consult the Registrar to make sure they are in compliance with VA rules.
International students must consult with the Office for International Services to be sure they are in compliance with their visa status.
Students wishing to drop a course must submit to the Registrar the appropriate form (available outside the Registrar’s Office or on the web; see Forms) signed by both the academic advisor and the faculty instructor. Students may drop a course up to 2 weeks (or posted date) after final course selection without the course appearing on the permanent record. Full-time students are not allowed to drop credits if doing so would bring them below full-time (12 credits) status at any point in the semester.
If a student withdraws from a course after the deadline for dropping a course, a grade of WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing) must be assigned by the instructor. Students must withdraw from a course by submitting completed paperwork to the Registrar, at least one week prior to the last day of classes to avoid receiving a letter grade (A-F). Full-time students are not allowed to drop credits if doing so would bring them below full-time (12 credits) status at any point in the semester.
Credits assigned to the course will still be counted in the total for the semester but will be considered inactive. Students are permitted a maximum of 18 credits of active course work. An extra charge will be assessed whenever a student is enrolled for more than 18 credits of active course work in a semester. (See special fees.)
Students wishing to add a course after final registration must submit to the Registrar, at least one week prior to the last day of classes, the appropriate form signed by both the academic advisor and the faculty instructor. (See special fees.)
Students may, with the consent of the instructor, increase or decrease the credits of a course, up to one week prior to the last day of classes, by submitting to the Registrar the appropriate form signed by both the academic advisor and the faculty instructor. Faculty reserve the right to change credits through the end of the semester. Other policies may apply for incompletes and in absentia work. Students are expected to maintain accurate registration schedules during the semester. Full-time students are not allowed to drop credits if doing so would bring them below full-time (12 credits) status at any point in the semester.
Some courses build skills or change in ways that make them repeatable regardless of grades given. Official descriptions for such courses include the statement “May be repeated for additional credit.”
For other courses, the following rules apply: 1) A student may repeat a course for credit, once only, if he/she has earned a grade of D or F. Both courses and their grades remain permanently on the transcript; however, the credits will be earned only in the course with the higher grade. 2) A course with a final grade of Permanent Incomplete (PI), WP or WF will count as one attempt and may be repeated only once for credit. 3) A student receiving an Unsatisfactory Plan grade may not enroll subsequently for the same or similar course if the initial U will convert to degree credits upon completion of the Plan.
The Dean of Faculty may grant an Incomplete if extraordinary circumstances make it impossible for a student to complete work on time. A family emergency, medical crisis, or outside catastrophe beyond the control of the student may warrant an Incomplete. Incompletes are not granted in cases of time mismanagement or to relieve end-of-term pressures.
(1) A student requesting an incomplete must fill out an Incomplete Request Form (from the Registrar), which lists the work to be completed.
(2) The student must then meet with the Director of Academic Advising to discuss the request and options.
(3) The student must then speak with the Dean of Faculty, who may ask for corroborating evidence of the circumstances that warrant the Incomplete.
(4) Once the Dean has authorized the Incomplete, the Director of Advising will secure the signature of the faculty member in whose course or tutorial the Incomplete is sought.
(5) The faculty member certifies that it is possible for the student to complete the work given additional time and assigns a default grade, should the work not be completed.
(6) Finally, the Director of Advising will submit the form to the Registrar.
Requests for incompletes are accepted only during the week before the deadline for withdrawing from classes/adding credits. All requests must be submitted by the deadline for withdrawing from classes/ adding credits.
Work is to be completed and received by the faculty member within one month from the last day of classes. If work is not completed, the default grade will be entered on the transcript. Faculty members are asked to submit a revised grade to the Registrar as soon as work is completed, but no later than the second faculty meeting of the year. In rare cases, such as when coursework cannot be completed outside of the course or when the original justification for the incomplete persists beyond the deadline, it is possible for the student to receive a Permanent Incomplete.