The Reed educational program pays particular attention to a balance between broad study in the various areas of human knowledge and close, in-depth study in a recognized academic discipline. All students take a one-year course in humanities. Distribution requirements that include the arts and humanities, social sciences, mathematics, foreign languages, and natural sciences expose the student to many different methods of intellectual inquiry. Typically, students begin to focus on one particular field by the close of their sophomore year. In declaring a major, students work with their faculty adviser to plan a program that meets departmental, divisional, and college requirements. They take a qualifying examination in their major field at the end of their junior year. Seniors engage in a one-year research project and prepare and defend a thesis based on that research.
In addition, interdisciplinary majors are available in:
To supplement these established interdisciplinary majors, special programs that link two or more disciplines may be approved. The student’s advisers (one from each of the relevant departments) and the departments concerned must review and approve the proposed program.
Introductory courses that have no prerequisites are 100-level courses, 200-level courses are introductory courses that normally have some prerequisite, 300-level courses are intended for students with a background in the discipline, and 400-level courses are advanced courses with more than one prerequisite.
For the most part, courses considered basic to the discipline of a department are given every year. In addition, departments expand their offerings by including work in other areas in a two- or three-year cycle.
A student may elect to complete a minor in fields where a minor has been established. Minors typically require five or six courses, and represent an identifiable level of achievement within the relevant field. Classes taken in the student’s major department or, in the case of interdisciplinary majors, in the student’s major departments cannot be counted towards a minor.
Departments or programs that offer majors are not required to offer minors. Ad hoc minors are not available, even by petition. There is no limit on the number of minors a student can complete. Available minors are listed below.
The minor shall be declared by completion and submission of the declaration of minor to the registrar’s office. This must be approved by the adviser and by a faculty member in the minor field to indicate that the curricular expectations of the minor have been explained and discussed with the student. The completion of a minor will be recorded when the student graduates.
|Comparative race and ethnicity studies||Film and media studies||Russian|
|Economics||Greek and/or Latin||Theatre|
To be eligible to receive the bachelor of arts degree from Reed College, students must fulfill eight basic requirements:
- sufficient units of academic work,
- college distribution requirements including Humanities 110,
- the physical education/community engagement/experiential learning requirement,
- major departmental requirements,
- divisional requirements (except for the Arts, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, and Linguistics divisions),
- junior qualifying examination,
- senior thesis, and
- senior oral examination.
Descriptions of these requirements follow. The specific major requirements are found in the department listings, and divisional requirements are found in the division listings.
Academic credit at Reed is defined in terms of units. One Reed unit of credit, the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours. The normal yearly program for students is from seven to nine academic units (excluding credit for physical education), in order to fulfill the 30 units required for graduation. The minimum program in a semester for full-time enrollment is three units.
The minimum credit required for graduation following a four- or five-year program of study is 30 units of academic work plus six quarters of physical education/community engagement/experiential learning.
To be eligible for graduation, students must complete two full years of study at Reed (a minimum of 15 academic units), including the senior or thesis year, in which a student must complete a minimum of six academic units. At least two of these units, one of which must be in a course other than thesis, must be earned in each of the two thesis semesters. These six units, however arranged, constitute a full program for the senior year and require payment of full tuition each semester, even if the number of units being taken in one of the two semesters falls below three. The work of the thesis year is to be done while attending Reed, except in special programs such as the dual degree programs in computer science, engineering, and forestry–environmental sciences (see “Dual Degree and Special Programs”). Such programs typically require three years of study at Reed and an additional two at the cooperating institution. Residence in Reed-approved study abroad programs will not count toward the college’s two-year residence requirement.
The course distribution required of all Reed undergraduates is carefully designed and frequently reevaluated to ensure that students become broadly proficient in the arts and sciences signified by a liberal education.
The three-unit Humanities 110 requirement engages students with important questions, concepts, and historical moments and develops many of the skills required for succeeding at Reed: writing, active preparation, and conference participation.
In order that students study a wide array of disciplinary methods, understandings, objects, and approaches, students are also required to take three units within the following three broad groupings of the liberal arts:
- Humanities and the Arts (Group I);
- History and Social Science (Group II); and
- Natural, Mathematical, and Psychological Science (Group III).
So that students develop both a broad understanding of the methods of each grouping and a sustained understanding of the methods of one discipline within each grouping, students are required to take two of the three units in the same subject and one of the three in a second subject. To ensure that all students are involved in primary data collection and the analysis of those data, at least one of the units used for Group III must be substantially devoted to this; and, in order that students be exposed to a range of classes in the humanities and arts, no more than two units in Group I can be from language classes or from literature classes.
The following regulations apply to each and all of the current distribution requirements:
- No course can count towards more than one of the above categories.
- “Subject” is defined as the subject designator for the course. Exceptions include (1) Humanities 411, which does not count toward group requirements, (2) all literature courses, which are considered one subject, and (3) all language courses, which are also considered one subject.
- No more than two units from any subject can be used towards the distribution requirements. The one exception is humanities, where the cap of two units excludes Humanities 110 or, in the case of transfer students, other humanities courses being used to satisfy the Humanities 110 requirement. A given group cannot be satisfied by a combination of three courses that, due to one or more cross-listed courses, could be listed under the same subject.
- No distribution requirement can be taken as credit/no credit.
- No distribution requirement can be satisfied by waiver or by examination (e.g., AP, IB, or other examination).
- No thesis course or independent study course can be used to satisfy a distribution requirement.
- A course that is cross-listed between a department and a program will count for the group for which the departmental course counts.
Students must take three units in each of the following four categories:
Humanities 110: Required of all first-year students and of all transfer students. Sophomore or junior transfers may substitute either Humanities 220 or two units from Humanities 211, 212, 231 and 232, and one additional unit from Group I or Group II for the Humanities 110 requirement.
Group I: Three units from one of the following subjects, of which two must come from the same subject: art, comparative race and ethnicity studies, dance, humanities, language courses (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian, Spanish), literature courses and creative writing (ancient Mediterranean studies, English, Chinese, comparative literature, creative writing, French, German, Russian, Spanish, or literature), music, philosophy, theatre. If two units are being taken in language classes, the two units must be in the same language.
Group II: Three units from the following subjects, of which two must come from the same subject: ancient Mediterranean studies (only archaeology and ancient history classes), anthropology, comparative race and ethnicity studies, economics, history, humanities, international and comparative policy studies, linguistics, political science, religion, sociology.
Group III: Three units from the following subjects, of which two must come from the same subject: biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, psychology. A substantial portion of at least one unit used to satisfy the Group III requirement must be devoted to primary data collection and the analysis of that data.
Learning outcomes of the distribution requirements are listed below.
After successfully completing their humanities requirement, students will be able to
- Craft, analyze, critique, and defend arguments using evidence;
- Express ideas in writing persuasively;
- Frame questions that elicit productive analysis;
- Contribute constructively to a classroom discussion.
After completing their Group I requirement, students will be able to
- Understand how arguments can be made, visions presented, or feelings or ideas conveyed through language or other modes of expression (symbols, movement, images, sounds, etc.);
- Analyze and interpret texts, whether literary or philosophical, in English or a foreign language, or works of the visual or performing arts;
- Evaluate arguments made in or about texts (whether literary or philosophical, in English or a foreign language, or works of the visual or performing arts).
After completing their Group II requirement, students will be able to
- Evaluate data and/or sources;
- Analyze institutions, formations, languages, structures, or processes, whether social, political, religious, economic, cultural, intellectual or other;
- Think in sophisticated ways about causation, social and/or historical change, human cognition, or the relationship between individuals and society, or engage with social, political, religious or economic theory in other areas.
After completing their Group III requirement, students will be able to
- Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements;
- Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it;
- Collect, interpret, and analyze data.
Physical Education/Community Engagement/Experiential Learning
Satisfactory completion of three semesters of approved activities is required before graduation. The program is administered as a minimal requirement in order to introduce students to physical education, community engagement, and experiential learning activities and to encourage them to participate. Each semester is divided into two quarters for such activities; six quarters of approved activities must be completed to meet the requirement. Students are encouraged to complete this requirement in their first two years.
Only one PE, community engagement, or experiential learning credit may be earned during any quarter. Students may apply no more than two of the six credits from self-directed classes (numbered 201–204, e.g., independent climbing, meditation, off-campus PE, running club, or swim fitness), by completing community engagement activities (numbered 301–304), or by experiential learning credit. Students must register after securing permission from the SEEDS staff to enroll in community engagement. The remaining four credits must be completed in an instructional PE class (numbered 101–104). This requirement must be completed while enrolled at Reed.
Proficiency in a foreign language as a requirement for graduation is a matter left to the discretion of the departments and divisions. Some stipulate a language requirement, and most departments or divisions that do not require foreign language study do recommend that such study be included in the student’s program whenever possible. Check the departmental and divisional listings for specific information.
Admission to a Major
Students must declare a major once they have completed 16 or more units, and should declare no later than the end of the sophomore year. If a student is enrolled in courses the completion of which would bring the student’s total number of units to 16 or more, the student will not be allowed to register for subsequent semesters until declaring a major. A student achieves junior standing and comes under the jurisdiction of one of the established divisions or one of the established interdisciplinary committees of the college after completing a minimum of 13 units of coursework and filing an approved declaration of major form, indicating the completion of the required introductory work and outlining the remainder of the program to be taken in order to graduate.
In addition to the declaration of major, students declaring a double major or an ad hoc interdisciplinary major must also file a statement of the rationale for such a major. The departments involved will review the statement to evaluate the rationale for the proposed program. The appropriate departments, divisions, and committees are expected to review the records of all newly declared juniors and advise them whether the proposed program of study is satisfactory, or whether certain course changes are required. Specific course and credit distribution requirements for majors are detailed in the descriptions of the departmental and interdisciplinary programs.
Junior Qualifying Examination
After declaring the major, students must pass a qualifying examination administered by the major department and/or interdisciplinary committee before being allowed to begin a thesis in the senior year. Typically, these examinations are given near the end of the junior year. The objectives of the qualifying examination are to gauge the student’s mastery of the discipline or related disciplines, to serve as a diagnostic aid in identifying weaknesses in the student’s preparation for advanced study or thesis work in that discipline, to assist the student in unifying the knowledge of a major field of study, and to assist the major department or interdivisional committee in assessing the effectiveness of its own program. It is possible that a student who does not demonstrate competence in a field may be required to take further work. The review may also identify those who appear to need more time to develop their capabilities for the sustained independent work of the senior thesis. A second failure of the qualifying examination will debar the student from candidacy for a degree in that department. The student may be encouraged to transfer to another department or division.
The qualifying examination is not meant to qualify only the best students and in actuality does not operate that way. The student’s performance in the examination as well as in all previous coursework is discussed in full departmental or interdisciplinary committee meetings to assess the student’s readiness to begin work on a thesis.
Senior Thesis and Oral Examination
The distinctive feature of a student’s senior year is the sustained investigation of a carefully defined problem—experimental, critical, or creative—chosen from the major field and is considered one part of an overall senior-year program. The problem is selected, then developed through the year by the student, with the support of the faculty thesis adviser. At the conclusion of the year, the student submits to community scrutiny a thesis describing the problem and its attempted resolution.
The thesis involves substantially more than the writing of a long paper in a course; it requires the development of new knowledge and a wide variety of skills and permits students to integrate all aspects of their academic experience.
The candidate for graduation takes a final comprehensive two-hour oral review under the direction of the major division, department, and/or interdisciplinary committee. The oral examination may cover the work of the student’s entire program, but emphasis is on the thesis and major field. The committee of examiners typically includes faculty members from the student’s own department and division; faculty members from a second division; and, on occasion, professionals from outside the college.
Instruction at Reed College emphasizes learning as a common adventure of students and teachers in which both cooperate closely in classes, group discussions, laboratories, studios, and individual conferences. The faculty seeks to deal with students as individuals with differences in experience, attitudes, and interests that have important bearing on their development. On their part, students are expected to recognize the responsibility placed upon them to participate actively in the intellectual life of the college, to discover their educational objectives, and to strive to attain them.
The methods of instruction vary with the subject matter of the courses, the number in the class, and the judgment and preferred pedagogy of the instructor. Most courses are characterized by teaching based on conferences, studios, or laboratories, in which students and faculty members work closely together. In conferences ideas, facts, methods of analysis, and interpretations are exchanged, challenged, and defended by both students and faculty members, who jointly share responsibility for the learning process. Laboratory-based teaching allows students to become familiar with science as an active process of continuing inquiry. Studio courses provide intensive experience in the study and practice of artistic disciplines.
In the junior and senior year, independent work is given greater importance as the student selects a major focus for study. The culmination of this experience is the senior thesis, in which the student researches a topic with the guidance of a faculty adviser.
Many departments hold weekly seminars in which there are presentations by faculty, students, and visiting scholars. Frequent lectures and symposia further expand the opportunities for intellectual exchange available to Reed students.
Reed College encourages students to measure academic achievement by self-assessment of their grasp of course material and intellectual growth. Students’ work is closely observed and frequently evaluated by faculty instructors. Students receive frequent written and oral comments on their work.
The college does not wish to divide students by labels of achievement. While a conventional letter grade for each course is recorded for every student, the registrar’s office does not routinely distribute grades to students, providing work continues at satisfactory (C or higher) levels. Students whose records are satisfactory may obtain their grades from their faculty advisers or the course instructor, if they wish to do so. Unsatisfactory grades are reported directly to the student and the student’s adviser. Students are encouraged to discuss the evaluation of their work in individual conferences with their faculty instructors and advisers. Students may request a copy of their transcript through the registrar’s office.
Student progress in all courses is reviewed six times each year: at the fourth and eighth weeks and at the end of each semester. In addition to the course grade, faculty members submit comments giving their assessment of the student’s difficulties when a student’s work is incomplete or below the expected standard. At the end of each semester, the progress of first- and second-year students is reviewed by the Administration Committee of the faculty, and that of upper-division students by the divisions in which they are majoring. Faculty comments are considered along with the grade record in deciding whether an academic action should be taken.
Each student has a faculty adviser who offers guidance and counseling on program, performance, and career goals. An adviser is assigned initially according to the student’s interests and may be changed at the request of the student through the registrar’s office.
All students should confer with their advisers at least three times during the year: at the beginning of the year to review their planned course of study, at the beginning of the second semester for an overall review of progress, and in the spring at the time of registration for course selection and program planning for the following year. Additionally, every new student should confer with the adviser following the first progress review in the fall. Every student in academic difficulty should confer with their adviser and with the instructor in each course where performance has been unsatisfactory.
All faculty members hold regular office hours to discuss students’ progress and performance in their courses. The dean of students and other members of the student life staff are also available to discuss educational and personal concerns. The registrar’s office manages the assignment of academic advisers for continuing students. Students who wish to explore changing advisers should check with the registrar’s office for assistance.
Reed’s educational technology center and other campus computing facilities are designed to provide students and other members of the college community with a rich and diverse set of tools for learning, research, and communication. Students have unlimited access to physical and virtual computing labs, known as information resource centers (IRCs), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Instructional technology is used in every academic discipline at Reed, and there are specialized student computing labs in art, biology, chemistry, language studies, linguistics, the performing arts, physics, psychology, and other areas.
Students and faculty members who purchase computer equipment and peripherals through the college receive discounts on hardware and software. Low-interest loans are available from Reed to help students finance computers; in addition, seniors and students on financial aid are eligible to receive a computer on loan for the academic year through the student technology equipment program.
Reed’s wireless network reaches all residence halls, classrooms, labs, offices, and study areas, and many other campus spaces. Students must register their personal computers and handheld devices in order to access networked resources. All computers connected to the campus network must have up-to-date antivirus and antispyware protection software.
Software troubleshooting; hardware repair; consulting about purchases; training in the use of Macintosh, Windows, and Linux computers; and other technology services are available to all students.
For more information about computing at Reed, visit the computing and information services website at reed.edu/cis.
The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is Reed College’s professional visual arts exhibition space and is located in the Reed College library. The mission of the Cooley is to present exceptional historical and contemporary art in dialogue with the academic program of the college and for the enrichment of the larger community. Exhibitions are curated by director Stephanie Snyder ’91, in close collaboration with Reed faculty and occasional guest curators. The Cooley’s programs complement courses in the visual arts and humanities and are accompanied by publications, lectures, and symposia. Reed students intern at the Cooley, receiving rigorous mentorship in curatorial issues, K-12 museum education, and gallery operations. The Cooley also founded and organizes Reed’s Calligraphy Initiative, which offers weekly calligraphy classes for students and the Reed community. Cooley exhibitions in 2011–2018 included The Academy of Saturn, an exploration of networked culture’s affective intimacies by UK artists Thomson & Craighead; Stacy, a video-based performance project by queer feminist artist Wynne Greenwood that subsequently traveled to the New Museum, New York; Qalam, Persian and Arabic Calligraphy from the Early Middle Ages to the Present; Will Return, a performance and object-based installation by noted New York artist and Reed alumna Jamie Isenstein ’98; Lloyd Reynolds: A Life of Forms in Art, the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of renowned Oregon calligrapher, visual artist, Reed College professor, and humanist Lloyd Reynolds (1902–1978), cocurated with Gay Walker ’69, Reed College Special Collections Librarian; Bruce Nauman: Basements, an exhibition of Nauman’s early studio films from 1967 to 1969; and Kara Walker: More & Less, an exhibition that included Walker’s most recent film, Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale (2011), and a body of prints and multiples from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.
The library is a central part of the intellectual and cultural life at Reed. Its primary mission is to provide collections and services that support the educational goals of the college. Book stacks are open to encourage browsing of the collections. Study desks, carrels, and comfortable seating are distributed throughout the building, which also supports wireless network access. A computer-equipped reading room is a popular place for writing and research. Library staff members endeavor to maintain an atmosphere that is informal and conducive to study.
Reed’s library houses a collection of over 680,000 volumes. It is a depository for U.S. government publications and maintains special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials. The library manages a collection of nearly 230,000 digital images that support instruction and research in art, classics, humanities, history, and other disciplines.
Reed’s carefully built collection provides strong support for student coursework and for individual research interests. Students can consult a variety of databases and online resources to access journal articles, e-books, data, maps, and images on a wide range of subjects. Reed students have borrowing privileges at most Oregon and Washington academic libraries. Students can place direct online requests for books and other resources in these other library collections and have the titles delivered to Reed.
The library is open over 120 hours each week. Librarians staff the reference desk to aid students in their research and answer reference questions using email, online chat, and text messaging. They offer class-related instruction in the use of library resources and methods for exploring print and digital resources.
Students are encouraged to consult a reference librarian for more information on library resources and services. The library’s website can be found at library.reed.edu.
The instructional media center (IMC), on lower level one in the library building, includes a language lab, a video viewing room, a multimedia lab, and a large collection of videos. Streaming audio and video are provided for courses and to individuals in the Reed community via the IMC. Additionally, the IMC provides audiovisual equipment for checkout, including headphones, laptops, audio/video recorders, projectors, DVD/VCR players, and screens.
The Office of Academic Support: Academic, Quantitative, and Writing Skills; Peer Tutoring
The Office of Academic Support, housed in the Dorothy Johansen House (DoJo), offers academic coaching on quantitative skills and academic/study skills, as well as peer tutoring for many subjects and skill areas, including writing, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, languages, mathematics, and physics.
Professional staff members offer coaching in skills such as reading effectively, studying for exams, and time management, as well as quantitative skills for math, science, and social science courses. Peer tutors are fellow undergraduates who have a deep understanding of Reed’s approach to academics. Tutors have been recommended by their professors and are trained to provide not answers, but guidance.
These free resources are available to students at all stages of their Reed career; students should discuss with their adviser how academic support can help them manage the demands of Reed's challenging coursework.
Performing Arts Resource Center
The Performing Arts Building includes a shared library and computing facility known as the PARC (performing arts resource center). This facility includes sound recordings, music scores, videos, computers, and other information resources that support studies in the performing arts. In addition, a core collection of current performing arts journals and reference materials is available. A performing arts librarian, an instructional technologist, and other staff support the use of collections, technology, and services for dance, music, and theatre.
A compendium of academic policies describing registration procedures, grades and evaluation, course load, and other practices and requirements underlies the academic program at Reed. The policies are found in the Faculty Code, a copy of which is available to students online. All students have access to the Guidebook to Reed, which sets these forth comprehensively in a readily accessible format at reed.edu/academic/gbook. A brief summary of key policies follows here.
Students who wish to request exemption from or waiver of an academic policy must submit a petition to the Administration Committee or their division. The petition should include the rationale for the exemption or waiver and the support of the student’s adviser and relevant instructors. Petitions and the instructions for filing them are available in the registrar’s office and online at reed.edu/registrar/forms.html.
Registration and Course Load
Students normally register for a course load of three to four and a half units per semester. One Reed unit of credit is the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours. Enrollment in an overload (five units or more) or an underload (fewer than three units) is by special permission only. Registration for the full year takes place in spring of the preceding year for continuing students and during summer and orientation for new students. Registration for a semester is not possible after the second week of classes. A second registration period opens after fall break for the spring semester; at that time all students should update or confirm the spring program for which they are registered and confirm their financial arrangements. Any change in program that seems advisable in light of the fall semester academic experience may be made during this time but no later than the second week of the spring semester.
Students are responsible for the work in all of the courses for which they are enrolled once registration has been completed. To make a change of program once classes begin, the student must update their registration online or submit to the registrar’s office a completed add-drop form, approved by the faculty adviser and the course instructor. Enrollment in physical education, community engagement, or experiential learning courses must be complete by the end of the second week of classes. No course may be added to the student’s program after the end of the second week of the semester. A student may drop a semester course by Monday of the sixth week of the semester, and no notation of that course will be made on the student’s permanent record. Withdrawing from a semester course after Monday of the sixth week, and on or before Monday of the 10th week of the term, will result in the grade of W being recorded. Students may drop a yearlong course through Monday of the 10th week in fall. Students who withdraw from a yearlong course after Monday of the 10th week in fall through Monday of the sixth week in spring will have a W recorded for the course. Students may not withdraw from courses after the deadlines outlined above.
A student electing to enroll in a course for credit/no credit (see “Grades,” below) must do so by filing a form in the registrar’s office by Monday of the 10th week of class.
A student who wishes to engage in an independent study must secure the approval of the department and division, and must register for the course in the registrar’s office by the end of the second week. Independent study is ordinarily available only to juniors and seniors, and no more than four units of independent study may be applied toward the degree.
Transfer Credit and Cross-Registration
Matriculated students may transfer credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities, with certain restrictions. One such restriction is that students typically may not transfer credit in excess of the credit allowed for the equivalent Reed course. Students should secure approval of courses before registering at another school, and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that an official transcript of the work is sent directly to the registrar at Reed. Transfer credit may be used to meet certain degree requirements if faculty approval is secured in advance. Courses must be taken for a letter or numeric grade, and students must earn a grade of C− or better. Students may obtain a transfer credit approval form and additional information from the registrar’s office.
Reed College is a member of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities. With prior approval of the registrar’s office to cross-register, Reed students who are enrolled full time at Reed are eligible to register at a number of other independent colleges in Oregon for one course each semester in fall and spring, at no additional fee. These courses and grades appear on the Reed transcript, but the grades are not included in calculating the Reed grade point average.
For more information regarding transfer and advanced placement, see “Admission Policies” in the Admission section of this catalog.
Reed has a conventional four-point grading system, although traditional grade reports are not given to students unless they request them. Passing grades for undergraduates are A+, A, A−, B+, B, B−, C+, C, C−, and D. The failing grade is F. A grade of S (satisfactory) may be recorded at the first progress review of the year; an IN (incomplete) may be recorded as a temporary final grade if the level of the work done up to the point of the IN is passing, and the work could not be completed for reasons of health or extreme emergency. U (unfinished) is recorded as a temporary grade for a thesis not completed on time. Work in courses graded as incomplete must be completed by the Friday 10 days prior to the first day of instruction in the semester following their issuance, whether or not the student is enrolled in that semester (see the academic calendar). The instructor may set an earlier deadline for completion of this work. Students who fail to complete the required work for courses graded as incomplete will be assigned a final grade based on the work completed. Work in thesis graded as unfinished must be completed by the first day of classes in the semester following the semester in which the grade was recorded. Students who fail to complete the thesis by the deadline will be assigned a failing grade.
During the junior or senior years students have the option of taking, as part of their regular academic load, a maximum of two units of work on a credit/no credit basis. Such a course may not be used to meet the college distribution requirements, the requirements for the major, or the requirements for the division, and may not be taken in the student’s major department. If the work for the course is judged to be of C level or higher, the grade is reported as Cr (Credit); if the work is at the level of C− or lower, it is to be reported as NCr (No Credit). In neither case is the grade or unit value used in the grade point computation. An enrolled student who chooses to audit a course may do so with the instructor’s permission, but no record is made of the audited course in the permanent student record.
The academic record of each student is reviewed six times a year. The following are official academic actions that the faculty may take at the end of a semester, in order of increasing concern: official warning, probation, denial of registration, and dismissal from college. Students are notified of any academic action following the grade review. A student who is placed on probation is expected to submit a progress plan, developed with the adviser and one of the deans in student life. Students who meet the terms of their progress plan in the next semester usually will be cleared from probation; students who fail to meet the terms of their progress plan will likely be denied registration and may be dismissed. A student who has been denied registration and wishes to return must apply for readmission through the registrar’s office; the application may be granted if the student successfully demonstrates that the difficulties that resulted in denial of registration have been successfully addressed. Dismissal from the college is final.
At the end of the academic year, the divisions, the interdisciplinary committees, and the Administration Committee review the records of students who have been enrolled full time for the year and who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship. If awarded, such commendations will appear on the student’s permanent record.
Seventy-three percent of first-year students matriculating in the fall of 2015 graduated by summer 2021.
Leave of Absence and Withdrawal from the College
Students who are eligible to register may apply for a leave of absence upon the recommendation of their adviser and in consultation with one of the deans in student life. Students should request leaves of absence through the student life office before the start of the semester. The final deadline for enrolled students to take a regular leave during the semester is the deadline to withdraw from a semester course. The deadline for a medical leave is the last day of classes; students should consult with the student life office about that process. A student who wishes to withdraw from the college should work with the student life office before withdrawing. Students who have withdrawn and wish to be readmitted must apply for readmission through the registrar’s office. Applications should be filed by June 1 for the following fall semester or by December 1 for spring semester. Deadlines for students applying for financial aid are earlier. Information on financial aid and forms for application are available from the financial aid office.
Students may obtain a copy of their transcript or have one sent to a third party by submitting a signed request to the registrar’s office. Normally transcripts will be sent within three working days of receipt of the order. Additional information about student access to grades is found under “Evaluation,” earlier in this section.