For more information about policies and procedures, visit the Office of the Registrar.
To browse the 2014-2016 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2012-2014 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2010-2012 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2008-2010 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
The 2006-2008 Catalogue is still available online as a PDF. To browse it, click here.
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COURSE CATALOGUE : ACADEMIC POLICIES
Principle of Academic Integrity
The faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges has oversight of the curriculum and the classroom experience, and insists that students undertake all academic exercises with the utmost honesty and integrity. This principle of academic integrity lies at the heart of our learning community and forms the foundation for everyone’s academic efforts.
Starting with adherence to the principle of academic integrity, the individual student bears responsibility for his or her own education and must undertake all academic work with complete honesty and integrity. As well, each student must do his or her best to assure that this principle extends to all others in the community.
Categories of academic work covered by the principle of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Examinations: Giving or receiving assistance during an in-class or take-home examination, quiz, or any other academic exercise, except as specifically authorized by an individual course instructor, violates this principle.
- Papers: The presentation or reproduction of ideas, words, or statements of another person as one’s own, without due acknowledgment, is considered plagiarism and violates this principle.
- Library Use: Failure to sign for materials taken from the library, destruction or theft of any library materials, and similar abuses of library privileges infringe upon the rights of other students to fair and equal access and violate this principle.
- Reports and Laboratory Exercises: Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance and the fabrication of data or research results violate this principle.
- Computer Use: Any deliberate attempt to prevent other users’ access to computer services, deprive them of resources, or degrade system performance violates this principle. The use of programs or files of another computer user or the use of another person’s account number or password without permission also violates this principle. Failure to attribute the source for any information or writing derived from any computer source (database, website, internet, etc.) and incorporated in any academic work submitted is also a violation.
- Advising and Registration Forms: Forging an adviser’s signature or altering any signed document will result in the student’s de-registration. The student will not be allowed to re-register until the adviser has approved any changes. Any student suspected of forgery of any faculty or administrator signature may face disciplinary action by the student’s dean or the Committee on Standards.
Academic dishonesty is determined in every case by the evidence presented and not by intent. Questions of intent and circumstances under which an infraction occurred may be considered in determining a sanction. For more information on plagiarism, please see “Plagiarism Defined” at the end of this chapter.
Course Credit for Non-HWS Learning Experiences
a. Advanced Placement
Admitted students who have achieved a score of four or five on an Advanced Placement (AP) test may receive course credit toward graduation in accordance with published guidelines of The College Board. In most programs, advanced placement examinations covering a semester’s work receive one course credit; examinations covering a full year’s work are given two course credits. Advanced placement scores of four or five may also be considered for placement purposes by the appropriate department or program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Application of advanced placement work toward major or minor requirements requires approval from the department or program chair. Approval of AP course credits as equivalents for the purposes of prerequisites for any courses or of substitutes for major or minor requirements, and establishing the total number of AP credits allowed toward a major or minor (not to exceed seven, in any event) is at the discretion of the appropriate department or program chair. AP course credits may not be used to satisfy any of the eight goals.
Students are allowed a maximum of seven AP course credits. Students are allowed a maximum of 16 non-HWS credits to count toward the 32 required for graduation. Only 7 credits of the 16 credits may come from credit by examination (AP,IB, CLEP, RCE- see below).
b. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The Colleges participate in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of The College Board. CLEP is a credit-by-examination program which provides students with the opportunity to earn course credits by taking CLEP exams in a variety of fields corresponding to the Colleges’ curriculum. The Colleges’ credit-granting score is 50, or higher, on a CLEP exam, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). Approval of CLEP course credits as equivalents for the purposes of prerequisites for any courses or of substitutes for major or minor requirements, and establishing the total number of CLEP credits allowed toward a major or minor (not to exceed four, in any event) is at the discretion of the appropriate department or program chair. CLEP course credits may not be used to satisfy any of the eight goals. Students are allowed a maximum four CLEP course credits. Students are allowed a maximum of 16 non-HWS credits to count toward the 32 required for graduation. Only 7 credits of the 16 credits may come from credit by examination (AP,IB, CLEP, RCE- see below).
c. International Baccalaureate (IB)
Hobart and William Smith Colleges recognize academic work taken toward the International Baccalaureate (IB) and grant credit for specific performance levels on the exams for higher-level (HL) courses. The amount of credit is determined after an official copy of results has been received by the Dean’s Office. Guidelines for the granting of credit are comparable to those for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, with scores of 5, 6, or 7 on HL courses generally receiving credit. Approval of IB course credits as equivalents for the purposes of prerequisites for any courses or of substitutes for major or minor requirements, and establishing the total number of IB credits allowed toward a major or minor (not to exceed seven, in any event) is at the discretion of the appropriate department or program chair. IB course credits may not be used to satisfy any of the eight goals.
Students are allowed a maximum of seven IB course credits. Students are allowed a maximum of 16 non-HWS credits to count toward the 32 required for graduation. Only 7 credits of the 16 credits may come from credit by examination (AP,IB, CLEP, RCE- see below).
d. The Regents College Examination Program (RCE)
The Colleges participate in the Regents College Examination Program (RCE) which is administered by the State University of New York, State Education Department. RCE is a credit-by-examination program which provides students with the opportunity to earn course credits by taking CLEP exams in a variety of fields corresponding to the Colleges’ curriculum. The Colleges’ credit-granting scores/grades on RCE exams are as follows: for a numerical standard score, 53 or higher; for a letter grade, A or B. The Colleges’ do not award course credit for RCE exams taken for a Pass/Fail grade. Approval of RCE course credits as equivalents for the purposes of prerequisites for any courses or of substitutes for major or minor requirements, and establishing the total number of RCE credits allowed toward a major or minor (not to exceed four, in any event) is at the discretion of the appropriate department or program chair. RCE course credits may not be used to satisfy any of the eight goals. Students are allowed a maximum four RCE course credits. Students are allowed a maximum of 16 non-HWS credits to count toward the 32 required for graduation. Only 7 credits of the 16 credits may come from credit by examination (AP,IB, CLEP, RCE- see below).
It is the obligation of the student to apply for the examination to the Regents College Examination Program, New York State Education Department, Albany NY 12224.
Course Load Policy
The normal course load for Hobart and William Smith students is eight full-credit courses in an academic year, evenly distributed across the two semesters. Students in good academic standing may take three, four, or five courses in any particular semester. Enrollment for a fifth course must occur during the drop-add period (first week of classes) and processed in person using the registration/drop/add form, not through PeopleSoft Student Self Service. Students should be aware that 32 total credits are required for graduation, and therefore an average course load of less than four courses in any semester may lengthen the time required to complete the degree requirements and to graduate. Students who have fallen behind in credits must submit to their dean an academic recovery plan that they have created in consultation with, and approval by, their academic adviser.
Good academic standing will be defined as maintenance of a minimum GPA of 2.0 (C), while accruing 7 courses passed in the First Year, 15 by the end of the Sophomore Year, 23 by the end of the Junior Year, and 32 by the end of the Senior Year.
Course withdrawals carry no penalty but do not diminish the minimum requirements for the degree. Tuition remains the same if a student takes three, four, or five full credit courses in a semester. Additional tuition will be charged for more than five full credit courses.
Credit Hour and Out of Class Supplementary Work
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are on a course unit system. Students are required to successfully complete 32 full credit units for a degree. Each full credit course carries 1.00 unit and is equivalent to 4 semester hours.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges comply with the New York State definition of credit hours: “A Semester hour means a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments.” The expectation of the Provost and Dean of Faculty is that for every hour of in-class instruction, students spend an average of 2-3 hours outside of class working on supplementary assignments.
A minimum of 30 of the required 32 courses presented in satisfaction of the Colleges’ graduation requirement must be full-credit courses. At least 28 of these courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than four half-credit courses can be counted towards the 32 courses, of which no more than two can be half-credit teaching assistantships, no more than two can be half-credit independent study, and no more than two can be half-credit internships. Effective with the graduation classes of 2018, in addition to the above, no more than two can be half-credit Reader’s College courses.
The incomplete, or “I”, is a temporary grade indicating that a student has been granted permission by the instructor or the dean to complete work for a course after the end of the semester without penalty. A request for an incomplete must be supported with a credible account of the student’s problem and with documents (a note from a physician, for example) wherever appropriate. An instructor may grant an incomplete for any part of the semester’s work except the final examination; only a dean can excuse a student from a final examination. It is understood by both the student and faculty member that when an incomplete is granted, the student is responsible for submission of work and the faculty member is responsible for submission of grade by the following deadlines. For fall semester incompletes, it is required that all outstanding student work be completed and submitted by the fourth week of spring semester and the final grade submitted by the faculty member to the registrar by the end of the sixth week or the “I” grade becomes a grade of “F,” unless the professor of record indicates an alternative grade that will replace the incomplete. For spring semester incompletes, it is required that all outstanding student work be completed and submitted by the end of the fall semester drop/add period and the final grade submitted by the faculty member to the registrar by the end of the second week of classes for the fall semester or the “I” grade becomes a grade of “F,” unless the professor of record indicates an alternative grade that will replace the incomplete. An extension in time to complete the work may be granted if a petition is submitted to the appropriate dean’s office on or before the deadline. An accepted petition is an agreement between the student and faculty member that the work will be completed and graded by a specific time, and allows the grade to be changed from “I” to the grade earned. Any student who takes more than two incompletes over three consecutive semesters is reviewed by the Committee on Standards.
There are two kinds of course withdrawals. The voluntary course withdrawal (see “a” below) is available to students twice in their career. The first course withdrawal may be used during the first two years and the second during the second two years, and at the discretion of the student. The authorized course withdrawal (see “b” below) is available to students only under exceptional circumstances beyond their control. All requests for retroactively withdrawing from a course, petitions for retroactive grade changes, or petitions for a retroactive change of grade status must be made within a calendar year from the last day of the semester of the course in question.
a.) Voluntary Course Withdrawal. Before the end of the 11th week of a semester, a student may submit a voluntary course withdrawal from one course during his or her first two years, and another course during his or her second two years. The Voluntary Course Withdrawal Form must be filed (including all required signatures) by the student at the dean’s office by noon on Friday of the 11th week of the semester. A course withdrawal from the Maymester or Summer Session will not count as a voluntary withdrawal or towards the total number of voluntary withdrawals. If the voluntary withdrawal is in order, it is communicated immediately to the student’s adviser and instructor. Students may not use a voluntary withdrawal if they stand accused of a violation of the principle of academic integrity or if they have been found responsible for such a violation.
b.) Authorized Course Withdrawal. With the exception of the two voluntary withdrawals described above, withdrawal from any course after the first five days of class, and prior to the due date for the semester’s grades, is granted only for serious and compelling reasons beyond the student’s control. A student seeking to withdraw under such circumstances must petition the Committee on Standards (COS). COS makes its decision based on input from the student (rationale), input from the course instructor, and documentation of any extenuating circumstances, as appropriate, e.g., input from a health care provider. Approved withdrawals are communicated immediately to the student’s adviser and instructor.
Course withdrawals under this policy, either voluntary or authorized, carry no penalty, do not diminish the minimum requirements for the degree, and do not reduce tuition charged for that semester.
We do not offer an unauthorized withdrawal. Students remain enrolled in and will receive a grade for any class which appears in their registration.
Students who register for a course and fail to attend for the remainder of the semester (without properly dropping or withdrawing from the course) may be issued a grade of ‘F’ for non-attendance.
Students’ transcripts include a record of each course taken at the Colleges. Students may choose between a letter-grade and a “CR/DCR/NC” grading option in many of the courses taken. This choice is indicated at the time of registration for the course but may be changed with the signed approval of the advisor at any point prior to the end of the 11th week of the semester. The appropriate Change of Grading Option Form must be filed by the student at the registrar’s office by the end of the 11th week of the semester.
For the purpose of calculating grade point averages, the following designates the numerical values of various grades: A+= 4.3; A = 4.0; A- = 3.7; B+ = 3.3; B = 3.0; B- = 2.7; C+ = 2.3; C=2.0; C- 1.7; D+ = 1.3; D = 1.0; D- = .7; F=0.
Courses taken “CR/DCR/NC” are not calculated in the GPA. For the purpose of review, a grade of CR indicates course work was C- or better. A grade of DCR indicates course work sufficient for credit for the degree, but lower than a C-. A grade of NC indicates work lower than a D- and is not sufficient for credit towards the degree. No more than four grades above F but below C- (D+, D, D-, or DCR) may be counted toward the 32 semester equivalent courses toward the degree.
The assignment of grades remains in all cases the final responsibility and prerogative of the instructor, subject only to the Colleges’ policies on authorized withdrawals and changes of grade, as described above. Disagreement with or disappointment in an instructor’s evaluation of his or her work may not be considered grounds for a student’s request for reconsideration of a grade. A student may petition that the grade awarded in a course be reconsidered, if the student believes that (1) a computational error exists, (2) that the instructor has not arrived at the grade in a way consistent with the evaluation of other students’ work, or (3) that the instructor has deviated from the stated grading policy for the examination or course. The appeal procedure is as follows:
(1) A student considering such an action must first consult with his or her dean. The dean will consult with the instructor and attempt to assist in resolving the student’s concern. Normally, this involves a review/reconstruction of how the student’s final grade for the course was determined by the course instructor. If the dean is unable to resolve the difficulty directly with the instructor, the dean will consult the department chair or program coordinator, who will enter into dialogue with the instructor.
(2) In the event that the dean is unsuccessful in resolving the student’s concern, that student may submit his or her request to the chair of the Committee on Standards. The chair will determine if there are grounds for a referral to the Committee for a grade appeal hearing. In the event of a grade appeal hearing, the Committee may, at its discretion and after consultation with the student’s dean, instructor, and adviser, ask the instructor formally to reconsider his or her computation of the grade if it feels that adequate grounds for reconsideration may exist. If the instructor agrees to reconsideration or the Committee is convinced that the instructor has adequately met the student’s concerns, the matter ends there. If the instructor declines such reconsideration, the Committee may, at its discretion, forward a formal report of the case to the dean of faculty for the dean’s information.
No student is permitted to submit any academic work, examination, or revision of previously submitted work with the intent of affecting a grade change after a final grade has been entered by the instructor with the Registrar’s Office. An instructor may change a grade only when a computational error exists. Such changes must be submitted to the Dean’s Office for approval. Subsequent to the submission of a final grade, a grade may be changed in only two ways, both of which require appropriate documentation: (1) to an alternative grade, by an instructor and with the approval of the student’s dean, when a computational error has been made; or (2) to a retroactive authorized withdrawal, in very extraordinary circumstances, by the Committee on Standards, acting in consultation with the student’s instructor, adviser, and dean. Approved retroactive authorized withdrawals will be communicated immediately to the student’s adviser and instructor. (Forms for the retroactive authorized withdrawals are available in the Deans offices.) All requests for retroactively withdrawing from a course, petitions for retroactive grade changes, or petitions for a retroactive change of grade status must be made within a calendar year from the last day of the semester of the course in question.
How to Calculate GPA
Quality Points = Points that are awarded based upon grade received times the credit that each course is worth.
Graded Course Credit = Graded course credit counted towards the GPA.
Grade Point Average (GPA) = Total Quality Points divided by total Graded Course Credits.
Academic Standing and Progress to the Degree
Students are expected to make normal, or satisfactory, progress toward the degree.
Any student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0 (C) at any point, or whose semester average falls below 1.0, or whose course count (CC) falls below the benchmark for their entering class (four courses per semester times the number of semesters the class has been enrolled), will come up for review by the Committee on Standards, with the following likely outcomes of their review:
a) Academic Warning is the likely outcome when a student’s semester average falls below 2.000, but above 1.000.
b) Academic Probation is the likely outcome of a first review when a student’s cumulative grade point average is lower than 2.0. Students placed on academic probation are expected to be in good standing (2.0 GPA) within two semesters.
c) Continued Academic Probation is the likely outcome of a review when a student previously on academic probation has been successful in removing part of the deficiency, but not the entire deficiency. Students on continued academic probation are expected to be in good standing (2.0 GPA) by the end of their next semester.
d) Suspended—Academic is the likely outcome of a review when a student earns less than a 2.0 term average while on academic probation or continued academic probation. A student may also be suspended for academic reasons when he or she fails to gain good standing (2.0 GPA) after being on continued academic probation, or if he or she has earned less than 1.0 for the semester, regardless of the student’s cumulative average.
e) Dismissal is the likely outcome of a second academic suspension, either for academic deficiency or social conduct or a combination of the two. Any student dismissed from the Colleges loses his or her standing as a matriculated student and may not receive a Hobart or William Smith degree.
f) A student who fails a First-Year Seminar, or an approved substitute, for a second time, is reviewed by COS, with the likely outcome that the student will be permanently separated from the Colleges.
Leaves of Absence
Leaves of absence may be granted for personal growth or to participate in academic programs not sponsored by Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Approval of the student’s dean is required. The Colleges are not obliged to accept toward the degree coursework for which prior tentative approval had not been procured.
All students must have passed at least 22 courses to enter their senior year.
All requirements for the degree must be met by the end of the 10th semester in residence.
For continuing HWS students, courses that are to be taken in transfer toward degree requirements must have prior approval of the student’s dean, and, as appropriate, the student’s adviser, the student’s department, program, or Individual Majors Committee. Only courses passed with a grade of C- (1.7) or better, are accepted for transfer credit. When transfer credit is awarded, course credits may be transferred but grades for those classes are never entered on an HWS transcript and they are not used in the calculation of a student’s GPA. Grades of transferred courses, therefore, have no impact on the student’s GPA at the Colleges. Courses which are composed predominantly of high school students and taught by high school teachers in a high school setting are not transferable to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, even if they appear on another college’s or university’s official transcript. No college course that has been applied toward the minimum requirements for a student’s high school diploma, or which serves as substitute for a high school required course, can be transferred to Hobart and William Smith. Other requirements for HWS transfer credit include:
Distance learning (online) courses cannot be transferred.
Only courses of three or more credit hours are eligible for transfer credit. There can be no partial transfer credit or “bundling” of partial credits or credit hours for toward a full credit transfer course.
Courses must be taken at an accredited institution and must be considered by the faculty at Hobart and William Smith to be in the liberal arts and have substantial overlap in course content with what is currently taught at HWS.
Students may transfer a maximum of 16 courses. A.P. credits cannot exceed 7. Combined A.P. and transfer credits cannot exceed 16. Final decisions concerning transfer credit rest with the dean of the student’s college.
All students must have submitted to his or her adviser an acceptable Baccalaureate Plan to be admitted to Baccalaureate Candidacy and their senior year. The Baccalaureate Plan records those educational goals and requirements the student has addressed and how the student proposes to meet those not addressed, including plans for completing all majors, minors, and goals.
Commencement exercises are held annually at the end of spring semester. Students are recommended for a degree upon completion of requirements pertaining to their class. A student who has a 2.000 GPA and who is within two courses of completing all outstanding degree requirements is allowed to participate in Commencement exercises, once voted “upon completion” by the faculty. By longstanding institutional policy, practice, and consensus, there are NO exceptions to this rule. If a student completes all remaining degree requirements prior to Oct. 1 of the current year, the student will receive his or her degree dated, May of that current year.
The requirements for the degree described above apply also to transfer students. One year of the residency requirement may be waived, provided the transfer student is capable of presenting the faculty with two years of acceptable coursework from another accredited institution of higher learning.
Courses may be designated “repeatable” if they are fundamentally creative and/or experiential in nature, such that student performance is cumulative or held to a progressively higher standard of expectation across successive registrations and/or the content of student experience is substantially different with each offering of the course. Repeatable courses are identified as such in this Catalogue, subject to any published limit which may be established by the sponsoring department. Additionally, students may elect to take an Independent Study (450) without limit. Each registration of such courses carries full credit and is calculated independently in a student’s grade point average.
Special Topic Courses
Courses designated as “Special Topics” registrations may vary in content by semester or by instructor. Each unique offering is considered an independent course and ordinarily carries a title extension indicating the topic in a given term. Each carries full credit and is calculated independently in a student’s grade point average.
Credit Bearing Internships
Students may earn course credit for an internship experience in two ways:
- Half Credit Internship - Students may register for a half-credit (.50) internship INT 199. The INT 199 credit-bearing internship course registration allows students to receive half credit for an approved internship. Internships must include a minimum of 120 on-site contact hours, and students must keep a journal of their experience for submission to their faculty adviser. Students may receive financial compensation for their internship, including wages. A maximum of two INT 199 internships may count toward graduation requirements. Students should meet with their faculty adviser to discuss the internship, and to make sure all required documentation has been submitted and received. Once their adviser has approved the internship, students should bring the form to their dean for final approval. An evaluation form the site supervisor should be sent to the adviser, after the internship is completed, and the adviser will submit a CR/NC grade. Any international student doing an INT 199 must have the signature of approval from the Director of International Students Affairs.
- Full Credit Internship - Some programs and departments offer a 499 full credit (1.00) internship course. Students may register for that credit with the permission of their department/program chair.
Students are advised to be in close contact with their adviser as they plan their internship experience.
Course Repeat (does not apply to “repeatable courses”)
Students may repeat courses in which they have earned a grade below a C- (1.7). Courses with a grade of C- or better may not be repeated. The deans will not approve any exceptions. The student’s permanent transcript records each time a course is taken, including the grade. In computing the student’s GPA, the highest grade will be used. Courses repeated at other institutions and transferred to the Colleges are not included in the GPA nor are they treated as HWS course repeats. Repeated courses count only once toward the 32 courses required for graduation.
Approved Standardized Time Periods for Schedule Development: Unless otherwise stated, all courses meet for three 55-minute or two 85-minute class periods each week. Senior seminars meet once a week for 165 minutes. Time periods are defined in the chart below. See the Registrar’s published schedule of classes each semester for additional lab times where applicable.
PERIOD 1 MWF 8:00AM-8:55AM PERIOD 8 TR 8:45AM-10:10AM
PERIOD 2 MWF 9:05AM-10:00AM PERIOD 9 TR 10:20AM-11:45AM
PERIOD 3 MWF 10:10AM-11:05AM PERIOD 10 TR 11:55AM-1:20PM
PERIOD 4 MWF 11:15AM-12:10PM PERIOD 11 TR 1:30PM-2:55PM
PERIOD 5 MWF 12:20PM-1:15PM PERIOD 12 TR 3:05PM-4:30PM
PERIOD 6 MWF 1:55PM-2:50PM
PERIOD 7 MWF 3:00PM-3:55PM
PERIOD 2A Any two of M,W and F, 8:35AM-10:00AM
PERIOD 6A Any two of M,W, and F, 1:25PM-2:50PM
PERIOD 7A W and F, 3:00PM-4:25PM
PERIOD S1 M 1:30PM-4:15PM
PERIOD S2 T 1:30PM-4:15PM
PERIOD S3 W 1:30PM-4:15PM
PERIOD S4 R 1:30PM-4:15PM
PERIOD S5 F 1:30PM-4:15PM
All students are encouraged to register on days and times specified and published by the Registrar. However, class or scheduled laboratory time may not be used for the purposes of registration. No registration is accepted after the fifth day of classes, and students who have not registered are asked to leave campus. Students who fail to meet their financial obligations to the Colleges may be denied registration or deregistered from classes. (See “General Payment Schedule” in Admissions, Expenses, Financial Aid.)
All students are required to consult with their faculty advisers prior to registration. If a student registers for a course without meeting all prerequisites and without written approval of the adviser, his or her enrollment in the course may be canceled at any time by the instructor offering the course. Students declare their course selections via the Web-registration system or by submitting a registration form signed by their faculty adviser.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges reserve the right to cancel any course without prior notice should minimum enrollment not be reached, or staffing situations necessitate it.
Students may be deregistered from a course prior to the first day of classes if they have already received credit for the course through advanced placement or transfer credit from another institution. Students may also be deregistered from courses prior to the first day of classes if they have not met the required financial obligations to the Colleges at that time, or made arrangements with the Student Accounts Office to do so. In the event of deregistration, re-registration is on a space available basis, and students may not be able to re-enter the courses for which they were previously enrolled. Deregistered students who have been cleared by the Student Accounts Office may attempt to reregister into their original class schedule before the first day of classes. Students are urged, therefore, to resolve all financial responsibilities within the established deadline.
Students may be deregistered from a course if they do not have the required prerequisites for course entry.
Dropping and Adding Courses
Students may drop and add a course during the first five days of class via the Web-registration system or in person with an add/drop form. No signatures are necessary to make changes during the add/drop period unless the student needs permission to enroll, does not meet pre-requisites, or is being overloaded into a class. Registrations and student class schedules are finalized at the end of the five-day drop/add period. Students are accountable for all courses for which they are enrolled from that point on, and those courses are reflected on the permanent academic transcript. If a student has attended a course in which he or she was not properly registered, no credit or grade is recorded. If a student stops attending a course but fails to drop or withdraw properly, a grade of “F” may be assigned by the instructor of the course and recorded on the permanent academic transcript.
Under certain circumstances, changes may be allowed beyond the add/drop period. Half credit courses may be added/dropped with the approval of the instructor(s). Half credit courses may be dropped until the end of the eleventh week of classes with the approval of the instructor(s). Students seeking to only add a full credit course beyond this period require the approval of their instructor for the late add. Normally any full credit course dropped beyond the add/drop period will require the student to withdrawal (voluntary or authorized- see the dean of the College) from the course. If the student receives dean’s approval to swap (add/drop) beyond the add/drop period, the student will need the approval of the instructor of both the class to be added and the class to be dropped, and the advisor in addition to the dean’s approval.
For a voluntary withdrawal, students only need the permission of their dean. Authorized withdrawals go through the Committee on Standards and require input from the instructor of the course and the student’s dean.
The faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, recognizing the responsibility of the individual student for his or her own education, assumes class attendance to be crucial to academic success at the Colleges. This responsibility is three-fold:
I. The Colleges: No student shall be suspended or refused admission because he or she is unable to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement because of religious obligations and practices. The Colleges accept responsibility for making available accommodations for students who wish to observe their religious observations or participate in their religious practices. The course instructor will provide each student who is absent from class because of religious obligations and practices an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement missed because of such absence. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate to the instructor, in a timely manner, his or her intention to observe. The student must consult with the instructor regarding an alternative time and place for an examination or other academic exercise. No fees shall be charged to students for costs incurred in providing special classes, examinations, or work requirements. The deans and provost will jointly mediate any difficulties between a student and a faculty member in implementing any appropriate accommodation.
In effecting these provisions, the Colleges’ administration and faculty agree to exercise the fullest measure of good faith and agree that no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who avails himself or herself of the Colleges’ policy on religious observances.
It is not institutional policy to provide medical excuses when a student has been absent from class.
Regarding incompletes and absences from final examinations, either a student’s dean or the instructor may allow an incomplete based on coursework, but only a dean can excuse a student from a final examination. Incompletes and excuses from final exams are given normally only for reasons beyond the student’s control. In this instance, the dean communicates with both the student and the instructor of the course.
II. The Faculty: Each faculty member is responsible at the beginning of the semester for announcing in writing his or her attendance policy and the effect that absences may or will have on a student’s final standing and grade in the course. Each instructor respects the time allotted other academic and extracurricular exercises by not rescheduling academic exercises for which attendance is required. Rescheduling classes at times other than those published by the registrar causes conflict with other regularly scheduled classes and activities. Should it be necessary to meet at non-regularly established times, the instructor of the class provides an alternate opportunity for making up the rescheduled meeting if a student requests it. Faculty members may require additional activities, such as individual conferences with the professor, attending symposia, films, etc. Faculty members should include a schedule of such additional activities in the syllabus at the start of the semester.
III. Student Responsibility: Students are expected to attend all their regularly scheduled classes, laboratory periods, and other academic exercises. Should an absence from regularly scheduled academic exercises be unavoidable (beyond a student’s control), it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the professor, preferably beforehand, concerning the absence. Individual faculty members have the authority to drop students from a course for non-attendance on the first class day, unless the student has made prior arrangements with the dean or has extraordinary circumstances. The Deans cannot excuse a student from class. However, at the request of the student, the student’s Dean or designee may convey to the faculty information about personal emergencies, including medical illness, faced by the student when the student is unable to convey the information him or herself. Students are advised that absence from class, for whatever reason, does not excuse them from meeting course requirements and objectives. Students who register for a course and fail to attend for the remainder of the semester (without properly dropping or withdrawing from the course) may be issued a grade of ‘F’ for non-attendance.
When a conflict exists between the attendance policy of an instructor and the student’s planned extracurricular activities, the student must decide where his or her priorities lie before enrolling in the course. By remaining in the course, the student agrees to accept the attendance policy set by the professor.