What does it take to graduate from Sewanee?
On the web at www2.sewanee.edu/academics/catalog or in the 2012-2013 College Catalog.
To earn a bachelor’s degree, a student must complete 32 full academic courses (128 semester hours); earn two physical education credits; complete an academic major; and attain a grade point average of at least 2.0 in the major and on all academic work. Degree candidates must spend at least four semesters in residence as a full-time student, including the ﬁnal year to ensure breadth. Each graduate may count toward the degree no more than 13 full courses (52 semester hours) in any one academic area- e.b., biology, history, philosophy, etc. and pass a comprehensive examination in the major ﬁeld.
To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, a student must complete prescribed courses in English and foreign literature; mathematics or computer science and natural science; history and other social sciences; philosophy or religion; ﬁne arts, music, or theatre arts; and physical education. For details, see the College Catalog.
To earn a Bachelor of Science degree, a student must satisfy all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree. In addition, a candidate for this degree must be a major in the department of biology, chemistry, forestry and geology, mathematics and computer science, physics, or psychology. Majors in the interdisciplinary areas of biochemistry, environmental studies (chemistry), environmental studies (natural resources), and environmental studies (ecology and biodiversity) may also be candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science. A total of four courses must be presented outside the major ﬁeld from biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, computer science, physics or those courses in psychology and forestry. Of four courses at least two must be laboratory courses in biology, chemistry, forestry, geology, physics, or psychology. The four courses must be taken at Sewanee and cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis.
During the second semester of the second year, each student should select a major ﬁeld of study. To be accepted as a major in a particular ﬁeld, the student must have maintained at least a C (2.0) average in the courses taken in that ﬁeld. Each candidate for a degree must pass a comprehensive examination in the major ﬁeld. To be eligible for this examination, the student must have maintained at least a C (2.0) average in the courses taken in the major ﬁeld.
What is the grading system at Sewanee?
On the web at www2.sewanee.edu/academic_life/degree_requirements
The work of students in college courses is graded according to the following system: the grade A means excellent; B, good; C, satisfactory; D, passing; F, failing; I, incomplete.
Of course, individual circumstances vary. In general, however, it can be challenging to make A’s. B’s and C’s are common. F’s are rare and may rightly be a cause for concern.
The grade I is given only when a student fails to complete the work of a course for legitimate and unavoidable reasons. This grade must be removed within one week after examinations, subject to the right of the Office of the Dean of the College to grant dispensation but only when extenuating circumstances are clearly evident.
A course may be added only during the ﬁrst ten class days of a semester. A course dropped during the ﬁrst four weeks of classes is not entered on the student’s record. A course dropped after the fourth week of classes, but before the Tuesday following the ﬁrst Monday in November (for the Advent semester) or the Tuesday following the ﬁrst Monday in April (for the Easter semester) is recorded on the student’s record with a grade of W, which does not count in the grade point average. After mid-semester, when changes of this kind are generally not advisable, the signature of the Associate Dean of the College is also required.
A course dropped later than the ﬁrst Monday in November (for the Advent semester) or the ﬁrst Monday in April (for the Easter semester) is recorded on the student’s record with the grade of WF, which is counted as a grade of F. Exceptions may be made (with the approval of the Associate Dean of the College and/or the College Faculty Committee on Degrees) only when there is clear evidence of such compelling circumstances as serious personal illness or death in the family.
The pass-fail grading system is intended to encourage students to take different and challenging courses without undue risk to their academic records. Juniors and seniors with a grade point average of at least 2.0 may take one graded course each semester on a pass-fail basis “as long as they declare the course pass-fail before the published deadline (mid-semester). Courses available in this fashion are designated in the schedule of classes, but the permission of the instructor must be obtained in advance. No required course may be taken pass-fail. Of the 32 full academic courses (128 semester hours) presented to satisfy the graduation requirement, no more than 4 courses (16 semester hours) may be taken pass-fail, unless a course is offered for all students only on a pass-fail basis.
A senior with a grade point average of at least 2.0 may take all courses on a pass-fail basis during the semester in which the comprehensive examination is scheduled, subject to the provisions that no course required for graduation may be taken pass-fail and that the allowable number of hours taken pass-fail not be exceeded.
A student may shift from the normal grading system to pass-fail prior to mid-semester. With the permission of the instructor, a student may change from pass-fail to normal grading up to two weeks after mid-semester.
The grade Pass does not affect the grade point average, but the grade Fail counts as a grade of F.
Averages are computed in grade points. Each graded semester hour of credit carries with it a corresponding number of grade points as follows:
- A+ 4.33 B+ 3.33 C+ 2.33 D+ 1.33 F 0.00
- A 4.00 B 3.00 C 2.00 D 1.00
- A- 3.67 B- 2.67 C- 1.67 D- 0.67
Class standing and eligibility for graduation are determined by the number of semester hours and the grade point average a student has earned.
To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must have a semester average of 3.625 or more after completing a semester with credit for at least three and one-half academic courses, at least three of which were taken for a grade. This list is published each semester by the Associate Dean of the College.
What are the standards of normal academic progress?
All students, except ﬁrst semester freshmen, are required to pass three full courses in order to be eligible to re-enroll the following semester. First semester freshmen are required to pass at least two full courses in order to be eligible to re-enroll the following semester. If a student ceases to carry a course load of at least three full courses, he or she is placed on academic suspension immediately and is not allowed to complete the semester. If a student fails to pass at least three full academic courses each semester (or, in the case of a ﬁrst-semester freshman, two full academic courses), he or she is placed on academic suspension immediately and cannot return for the following term. Those officially suspended for this reason following spring term are also not eligible to attend summer school.
In addition, students must meet the following requirements to be eligible to re-enroll the following year:
- A ﬁrst-year freshman is required to pass at least two ﬁrst semester and at least three second semester and to attain a cumulative grade point average of not less than 1.20.
- A second-year student is required to pass not fewer than seven full courses for the academic year and to have attained a cumulative grade point average of not less than 1.60.
- A third-year student is required to pass not fewer than seven full courses for the academic year and to have attained a cumulative grade point average of not less than 1.80.
- A fourth-year student is required to pass not fewer than seven full courses for the academic year and to have attained a cumulative grade point average of not less than 1.90.
First-year students who fail to meet any of these requirements will be suspended for one semester. A student who has been placed on academic suspension for a semester may apply for reinstatement after the semester of suspension provided they have worked full-time for six months. If, after a period of suspension, a student makes a formal application and is readmitted, he or she will be required to meet the standard for each stage of academic residence.
Students who are not suspended at the end of the ﬁrst semester of a year but who have not attained the grade point average which is required of them for the year or who have not passed at least half of the required courses during the ﬁrst semester of the academic year (2.5 for freshmen) are placed on “academic warning.” Students on academic warning may enroll for the next semester. The purpose of academic warning is to notify the student that failure to meet the required standards by the end of the academic year will result in academic suspension, although warning does not always precede suspension.
First-year students who are suspended only for failure to meet the ﬁve-course requirement are given the option of attending the subsequent Sewanee summer session. In addition, other students suspended because of the three-course rule, but having a cumulative grade point average over 1.80 may be given a course-and grade-speciﬁc option regarding Sewanee Summer School. This applies only to these speciﬁc students and only to summer school in residence in Sewanee.
What should I do if my son or daughter is suspended?
The bases for suspension vary, and parent-offspring communication in the light of the cause of suspension seems critical. It should be noted that recognition of the underlying reasons for a student’s not meeting acceptable standards does not constitute the basis for an appeal. In academic suspension cases the student is not being punished, but provided time to reﬂect on the circumstances and plan for greater future success.
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