May 20, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Requirements for Degrees


Undergraduate Degrees in the Liberal Arts

William & Mary confers in course the following degrees, each under the jurisdiction of the Faculty or School indicated:

Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

The M.A. is offered in American Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, and History. The M.S. is offered in Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, and Psychology. The Ph.D. is offered in American Studies, Anthropology, Applied Science, Computer Science, History, and Physics.

School of Business Administration

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Master of Accounting (M.Acc), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.).

School of Education

Bachelor of Arts in Education (B.A.Ed.), Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Certificate, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

School of Law

Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Legal System.

School of Marine Science

Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

The undergraduate degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science are liberal arts degrees.  The term “liberal arts” refers to the sort of education that sets the mind free.  A liberal education, although it has no single fixed definition, is more than a haphazard accumulation of courses.  Its essential purpose is to liberate and broaden the mind, to produce people with vision and perspective as well as specific practical skills and knowledge.  Undertaking a liberal arts education entails a commitment to experimentation. It means building on your talents and interests, but also venturing into unfamiliar subjects out of intellectual curiosity.  The liberal arts ask us to think, talk, and write about diverse topics; to see questions from various angles; to challenge our assumptions, and to become acquainted with different ways of seeing the world.  

A liberal education also presupposes certain proficiencies. Foremost among these is clear expression in both speech and writing, for clear thinking is useless without the ability to express those thoughts coherently and persuasively.   Two more invaluable foundations of a liberal education are experience with a foreign language, and an understanding of quantitative reasoning.  The proficiency requirements of the university establish basic minimums for writing, oral communication, foreign language, and quantitative reasoning.  Students are encouraged to go beyond these minimums to whatever extent their ambitions and interests suggest.

Finally, every student chooses a major to pursue in depth the exploration of a specific academic discipline or interdisciplinary area. Here, students have opportunities for independent study and, if they qualify, work on an honors project.

The Faculty of Arts & Sciences of the university determines the degree requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees, including the determination of the regulations governing academic standards, grading and class attendance. Obligation to its educational mission gives to the university the right and responsibility, subject to the employment of fair procedures, to suspend, dismiss or deny continuance of a student whose academic achievement does not meet established university standards.

Requirements for degrees are stated in terms of credit hours that are based upon the satisfactory completion of courses of instruction. Usually one credit hour is given for each class hour a week through a semester. A minimum of two hours of laboratory work a week throughout a semester will be required for a credit hour. A continuous course covers a field of closely related material and may not be entered at the beginning of the second semester without approval of the instructor.

Credit for Pre-Matriculation Examinations

College Board Advanced Placement (AP): Entering students interested in receiving academic credit and/or advanced placement for college level work undertaken during high school should take the College Board Advanced Placement Examination. These examinations are graded by the College Entrance Examination Board on a 5 point scale.

International Baccalaureate Programme (IB): Entering students who took IB examinations as part of their high school experience may present their scores for credit consideration. These examinations are graded by the International Baccalaureate Organization on a 7 point scale. Credits are granted only based on examination results; no credit or waivers are granted for the diploma itself, although the diploma programme is recognized as a strong college preparatory curriculum.

A-Levels (A/AS): Entering students who took A-Level examinations as part of their high school experience may present their scores for credit consideration. These examinations are administered and graded by three agencies: University of Cambridge, AQA and Edexcel on a graded scale of A through E.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP):  Examinations are graded on a scale from 20 to 80.  Based on faculty review of examination content, the university offers equivalent course credit for those CLEP exams identified below, when a score equivalent to a “B” is earned.

DSST (formerly DANTES):  Examinations are graded on varying scales. Based on faculty review of examination content, the university offers equivalent course credit for limited DSST exams.

Excelsior (UExcel) examinations:  Entering students must provide Excelsior transcripts during the admission process and no later than the end of the first semester in residence at the university.  Examinations are scored on a grading scale of A through F. The university does not grant credit for upper-level Excelsior examinations.

General Rules:  AP, IB, and A-Level examinations must have been taken prior to high school graduation or within six months thereafter, but in all cases before entering William & Mary.  CLEP, DSST, and Excelsior examinations must have been completed and scored prior to matriculation at William & Mary.  Entering students must provide CLEP and DSST score reports during the matriculation process and no later than the end of the first semester in residence at the university.    Credit is not granted for examinations taken after matriculation at the university nor during leaves of absence.

The policies in each department governing credit and/or advanced placement for scores on these examinations vary according to how the material covered by examinations fits the curriculum of the department. Members of the William & Mary faculty regularly review curricular documents to update the examination equivalencies.

Credit received through these pre-matriculation examinations may be applied toward proficiency, minor, and major requirements, and additional credits in the Knowledge Domains; however, they do not satisfy COLL 100, 150, 200, 300, 350, or 400 requirements, as those courses must be taken at the university.  Further, exemptions from courses may not be applied toward General Education Requirements.

William & Mary grants credit or course exemptions as noted on the Pre-Matriculation Grid  for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and A-Level Examinations, CLEP, DSST, and Excelsior.  

Credit by Examination

Students at William & Mary may request academic credit for courses by examination based on prior learning. Interested students should petition the Committee on Degrees for permission to take an examination for credit. If the petition is granted, the department at the university in which the course is normally offered sets an appropriate examination and certifies the results to the registrar. The department may, at its discretion, conduct a review of course portfolio documents as part of the examination process. Students may not receive credit by examination after registration for their final semester under any of the following circumstances:

  1. they are enrolled in the course at the time of the request,
  2. they have previously revoked credit for the same course,
  3. upper level course work in the same subject has already begun,
  4. the same course has previously been failed, or
  5. for any foreign language course at or below the 202 level.


Credit for Military Training

Students with prior service in the Armed Forces of the United States may present the Joint Services Transcript or other documentation to the Office of the University Registrar.  Equivalencies to William & Mary courses rarely exist, but where they do, credit may be granted with departmental approval.  The ACE Guide will be consulted, but its recommendations do not automatically apply.

Revoking Credits Earned Before Matriculation

The Committee on Degrees will allow students to revoke college credits earned in high school (including AP, IB, and dual enrollment), in the military, or at a previous college, if the department believes that the preparation received was inadequate to succeed in subsequent coursework. No petitions will be considered without departmental approval. Students who have revoked credit for a course may not subsequently receive credit by examination for the course. The decision to revoke credit is final.  The revocation of credits renders a student ineligible to receive GI Bill® benefits.

Transfer Credit

General Rules for Transfer Credit

  1. Transfer credit is posted to the student record upon matriculation in a degree program.\

  2. Official transcript or official test score reports must be received before academic credit is awarded.

  3. A grade of “C” (2.0) or higher is required (“C-” is not acceptable). In the case of a course taken on a Pass/Fail basis, a grade of “P” is acceptable only when the student provides a letter from the faculty member who taught the course certifying that the student’s work was at the level of C or above.

  4. The course generally must have been taken at an accredited institution. Consult the University Registrar’s Office regarding exceptions.
  5. Transfer credits from institutions on the quarter system or other systems will be translated into semester credits.
  6. “Equivalent” course credit is granted when the course is similar to a course presently offered for academic credit at the university. “Equivalent” transfer credits may satisfy proficiency, minor, and major requirements only when they are earned pre-matriculation, or with the express preapproval of the Committee on Degrees.
  7. “Elective” course credit is granted when the course is not similar to an existing William & Mary course, but is recommended for credit by an existing academic program or department at the university. Courses granted elective transfer credit will count toward the total number of academic credits required for the baccalaureate degree, but they may not be used to meet proficiency, minor, or major requirements unless approval has been granted by the major/minor/program advisor.
  8. Transfer credit will not be granted for courses that belong in one or more of the following categories:
    1. Correspondence courses
    2. Courses in professional, vocational, or sectarian religious study
    3. Courses below the level of introductory courses at the university
    4. College orientation courses
    5. Courses taken while a student is not in good academic standing.
  9. Transfer grades do not affect degree requirements, grade point average, or class rank.
  10. While there is no limit to the number of credits that may be transferred, William & Mary requires that at least 60 credit hours, including a minimum of 15 credits in the major and a minimum of 9 credits in the minor, be earned in residence at the university.
  11. Course credit will be determined based on W&M’s Credit Hour Policy.  For lecture-style courses, this requires at least 750 minutes (12.5 hours) of direct instruction, plus approximately 25 hours of additional study and instructional work and exams per credit.  When courses are taught in short sessions, or under other circumstances, departmental review may be required to determine transferability.

Transfer Credit for Newly-Admitted Students

The Office of the University Registrar is responsible for evaluating transfer credit for newly admitted transfer students. Evaluation of transfer credit begins after a student has been selected for admission and has indicated an intention to enroll. Students should not assume that credit will be granted for all courses completed at their transfer institution.

Transfer of Credits from Virginia Community Colleges and Richard Bland College

Students transferring (not new freshmen) with an Associate of Arts, Associate of Sciences, or Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in a baccalaureate-oriented program from the Virginia Community College System or Richard Bland College are granted junior academic status (defined as at least 54 credits). An associate’s degree in General Studies is not considered a baccalaureate-oriented program, unless approved as such by the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia. For a list of approved programs, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

These students are considered to have completed lower-division general education requirements but still are required to fulfill the university’s foreign language proficiency requirement; COLL 150; COLL 200 (3 credits); and the ARTS Proficiency; upper-division COLL requirements (e.g., 300, 350 and 400); and major requirements (See “General Education Requirements” section below). The Guide for Transfer Students from Virginia Community Colleges provides additional information and is located on the University Registrar’s Office’s website. Performance information concerning these transfer students will be shared confidentially with the two-year colleges from which they transfer.

New Freshmen who enter with an associate’s degree earned primarily through dual enrollment credit will not be granted automatic junior status or general education requirement exemption, but they will receive credit for courses as noted in the “General Rules” section above.

Transfer of Credit from Foreign Institutions

William & Mary recognizes that international students may arrive on campus having completed studies equivalent to college courses. To be eligible for possible transfer credit, all students who have completed a 13-year secondary program or who have attended a university outside of the United States must submit translated syllabi for each thirteenth year or university course with their application for admission. Once these students have been admitted to the university and have declared their intention to enroll, they must submit an official copy, from the testing agency, of the student’s final results/scores to:

William & Mary
Office of the University Registrar
Attn: Transfer Credit Coordinator
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795

Additionally, incoming students with international educational experiences may be required to send their academic credentials to the American Association for Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) for preliminary determination of transferable credit. If an AACRAO evaluation is required, once AACRAO has determined the amount and subject of transferrable credit, the University Registrar’s Office will determine exactly what credit, if any, will be granted.

Students should contact the Transfer Credit Coordinator (757-221-2823) in the Office of the University Registrar to determine whether they are required to go through AACRAO.

Application forms are available from AACRAO: One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 22036, or 1-800-293-9161 , or

The cost of this evaluation is approximately 200.00 US Dollars. Obtaining an external evaluation does not ensure the awarding of credit.

Studying Away from the University after Matriculation

Transfer credit for work taken elsewhere after William & Mary matriculation requires pre-approval and should be considered in consultation with a pre-major/major advisor. Students must be in good standing at William & Mary in order to request or receive approval of transfer credit.

  • For elective credit, pre-approval is granted by the University Registrar’s Office.
  • For major/minor credit, pre-approval is required from both the University Registrar’s office and the department or program.
  • For satisfying proficiencies or COLL requirements, pre-approval is required from both the University Registrar’s office and the Committee on Degrees.
  • Pre-approval is not guaranteed and is only granted under special circumstances.

NOTE: Students on medical leave are limited to taking a maximum of 6 pre-approved credits. Students on academic suspension are not eligible to take and transfer credits from another institution.

Study Abroad

William & Mary students who wish to participate in a Study Abroad program must register with the Global Education Office in the Reves Center for International Studies. Special circumstances apply:

  1. Pre-approval of transfer credits by the academic departments is required for all study abroad programs except the William & Mary “faculty-led” or “faculty-assisted” programs. The transfer credit pre-approval process should be  completed before the student’s participation in the program abroad; find the form on the Reves Center’s website.
  2. While abroad, students must enroll in at least 12 credits per semester (full-time status is required). A maximum of 18 credit hours per semester may be earned.
  3. For non-William & Mary programs, an official transcript must be sent to the Global Education Office in the Reves Center for International Studies immediately upon completion of the program. Transfer credits are only granted upon receipt of the official transcript, and for classes in which a “C” grade or higher is earned.
  4. For departmentally-approved Study Abroad credit, earned credits may count towards a major, minor, or elective.
  5. Students can satisfy COLL 300 requirements by earning at least three credits in a William & Mary sponsored international program; third-party programs also require completion of an essay for COLL 300 credit.  They may also satisfy COLL requirements on such programs where the course is designated as a COLL in this catalog. For non-William & Mary “faculty-led” or “faculty-assisted” programs, COLL requirements cannot be satisfied.  Petition may be made to the Committee on Degrees to satisfy the COLL 300 requirement in a non-William & Mary sponsored international program.
  6. Grades are not posted on the William & Mary transcript, nor calculated into a student’s GPA, unless the courses were taken on a William & Mary “faculty-led” or “faculty-assisted” program.
  7. For non-William & Mary study abroad programs during university breaks, students returning to W&M for the semester may only register and transfer credit for programs which end at least two days prior to the start of the semester to ensure that students are able to return to campus by the first day of classes. Studying abroad on non-William & Mary programs is not a university-excused reason to miss class.

Domestic Study Away

William & Mary students who wish to enroll full-time in a specific academic experience (e.g., “New York City Term”) offered by another U.S. institution may request certification as “Domestic Study Away.” In this status, the student remains an active William & Mary student and may be able to use financial aid for tuition if a “consortium agreement” can be created (consult the Financial Aid Office for information). The approval process must be completed by the last day of classes for the term before the Domestic Study Away. See the Registrar’s Office website for the form and instructions.

Take Courses Elsewhere-Summer

During the summer, students may take courses at another institution while between academic terms at William & Mary. Before enrolling at the other institution, the student must complete the “Permission to Take Courses Elsewhere” form on the University Registrar’s Office website. It must be approved and submitted prior to the last day of spring classes. A maximum of 16 credits may be transferred for work taken during one summer.

Take Courses Elsewhere-Fall/Spring

During the regular academic term (Fall, Spring), students are expected to enroll full-time (unless otherwise approved) at William & Mary with a minimum of 12 credits. If personal circumstances or opportunities require the student to leave Williamsburg, but the student wishes to take courses while away, the student must first withdraw from the university through the Dean of Students Office, and then complete the “Permission to Take Courses Elsewhere” form.

In addition to completing the form, students seeking major, minor, proficiency, or COLL credit must petition the Committee on Degrees, and students seeking internship credit must petition the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education. Students who wish to take transfer credits while on a medical leave are cautioned to take no more than 6-8 credits, due to the expectation that the student will be addressing medical needs while on leave.

Pre-approval must be received before the student enrolls at the other institution. Links to the pre-approval form can be found on the University Registrar’s Office’s website. The student must be readmitted to the college by the Dean of Students Office before transfer credit is posted to the record.

Take Courses Elsewhere-Winter

During the winter, students may take courses at another institution while between academic terms at William & Mary. Before enrolling at the other institution, the student must complete the “Permission to Take Courses Elsewhere” form on the University Registrar’s Office website. It must be approved and submitted by December 1st during the fall semester. A maximum of 4 credits may be transferred for work taken during a winter. Students may petition the Committee on Degrees for up to 6 credits. *Please note: Winter term courses can only begin after W&M fall courses have completed and must be over before W&M spring term courses begin.

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

William & Mary degrees and certificates are conferred three times a year, at the end of the spring, summer, and fall terms.  Graduation candidates who complete degree requirements between conferral dates are eligible for conferral with the subsequent term.

Degrees and certificates are officially conferred by the university’s president, to whom authority has been granted by the Board of Visitors.

For undergraduate awards, the university registrar certifies completion or satisfaction of all curricular requirements prior to conferral.  Undergraduate degrees are conferred based on the degree requirements approved by the faculty or school academic governance bodies and published in the undergraduate catalog.  The university registrar’s office maintains the degree audit system used by undergraduate students to monitor their progress. 

Specific conditions regarding time limits on catalog applicability, credits-in-residence, course requirements, etc., appear below.

I. General Requirements

One hundred and twenty credit hours are required for graduation. Students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for all courses at William & Mary for which they receive grades of A, B, C, D or F. Students also must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for all courses in their major(s).

Students must fulfill the general degree requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation at the university and the major requirements set forth in the catalog when the major is declared. Students who fail to graduate within six calendar years of the date of entrance to the university relinquish the right to graduate under the requirements set forth in the catalog at the time of entrance and major declaration, and must fulfill the requirements set forth in the catalog under which they re-enter the university as a degree candidate for the final time prior to graduation. If a student has not been enrolled at the university for five calendar years or more since the end of the last semester of registration at William & Mary, the student’s record is subject to re-evaluation under regulations available in the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Once a student’s degree has been conferred, the academic record is closed and it cannot be changed or amended.

Credit Hour Residency Requirement

No degree will be granted by the university until the applicant has completed a minimum of 60 credit hours in residence at William & Mary. A minimum of 15 credit hours in the major and 9 credit hours in the minor must be taken in residence at William & Mary.

Ten Semester Rule

A student must complete degree requirements within 10 semesters. A fall or spring semester during which a student attempts 12 or more academic credits counts as one semester under the 10 semester rule. The number of credits attempted through summer session (at W&M or elsewhere), transfer credits earned since graduation from high school, and approved underloads are added together and divided by 15, the normal course load during a regular semester. For example, six hours attempted during Summer Session count as 6/15 of a semester. Credits earned through grades of “W”, “I”, and “G” are included in this calculation. AP, IB, and dual enrollment credits, as well as courses for which a student received an approved medical withdrawal, do not apply toward the 10 semester rule. As long as 10 full semesters have not been completed, a student may take a regular academic load (as well as an approved overload) in fall or spring or up to 16 credits in summer session.

Seventy-Two Hour Rule

Of the 120 credit hours required for graduation for a B.A. or B.S. degree with an Arts & Sciences major, a minimum of 72 credit hours must be earned in subject fields outside the student’s primary major. In other words, no more than 48 credit hours in a single subject field may be applied toward the 120 credit hours required for graduation. Although students may earn more than 48 credit hours in a single subject, a minimum of 72 credit hours must be earned in other subject fields. For example, if an English major has 55 credit hours in English, then she or he will have to earn a total of 127 credits to graduate.

[Exceptions to the 72 hour rule occur in the East Asian Studies concentration within the Asian and Middle East Studies major (consult the “Global Studies ” section); for students declaring a major in Art, not Art History (consult the “Art and Art History ” section); for students declaring a Bachelor of Business Administration or Bachelor of Arts in Education, for whom at least 60 credit hours must come from Arts & Sciences academic subjects (consult the “School of Business Administration ” or “School of Education ” section).]

Credit Hour Limitations in Dance, Applied Music, Military Science, Wellness Applications, and Statistics


Although students may take as many credits as they wish of dance technique and Performance Ensemble (DANC 111 , 112, 115, DANC 211 , DANC 212 , 213, 214, DANC 261 , DANC 262 , DANC 264 , DANC 311 , DANC 312 , DANC 321 , DANC 322 , DANC 411 , DANC 412 ), a maximum of 14 credits may be applied toward the 120 credits required for a degree for those not minoring in Dance. For students minoring in Dance, a maximum of 16 credits of these courses may count toward the 120 credits. This limit does not include other Dance Program courses, such as dance history, freshman seminars, composition, practicum, independent projects, or Alexander Technique.

Applied Music

While students may take as many credits as they wish of applied music lessons and ensemble, a maximum of 14 credits may be applied toward the 120 credits required for a degree for those not majoring in Music.

Military Science

Students may not apply more than twelve Military Science credits toward the 120 credits needed for graduation.

Wellness Applications

Students may apply no more than four wellness application credits toward the 120 credits needed for graduation, with the exception of Kinesiology & Health Sciences majors, who are eligible to utilize a maximum of six. Students may register for only one Wellness Application course in each semester; however, the course may be repeated in future semesters if the topic varies.


Several departments offer introductory statistics courses: The School of Business Administration (BUAD 231 ), the departments of Economics (ECON 307 ), Kinesiology (KINE 394 ), Mathematics (MATH 106  and MATH 351 ), Psychology (PSYC 301 ), and Sociology (SOCL 353 ). No more than two of these introductory statistics courses may be counted toward the 120 hour degree requirement.

Notice of Candidacy For Graduation

Students who intend to graduate must apply one year prior to their anticipated graduation semester.  The application is online and available mid-February-mid-October for the upcoming graduation year.  Information regarding the graduation application is located on the Registrar’s web site at

Requests for Exemption

Students requesting exemption from any of the requirements for the degrees of B.A. and B.S. must petition the Committee on Degrees. Students who wish to initiate a petition should contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Petition forms are available at at

II. Course Specific Requirements

A. Foreign Language Proficiency

All William & Mary students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language commensurate with the 202/203 level or above at William & Mary before they graduate. A foreign language is understood to mean a natural language other than English. Students should work towards fulfilling the Foreign Language Proficiency requirement in their first or second year at the university. Completion of the foreign language requirement is accomplished in any of the following ways:

Prior to enrollment at William & Mary:

1. completion of Level IV in high school of an ancient or modern foreign language;

2. graduation from a high school where the main language of instruction was not English (official High School transcript must be in language of instruction; English translation must be provided);

3. transfer credit for a language course taught in the target language at a level equivalent to or above the 202/203 level at William & Mary;

4. transfer credit obtained via internationally accredited exams such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-levels, etc., in some specific languages (for those languages, please check the section on “Credit for Pre-Matriculation Examinations” ;

Students seeking to demonstrate foreign language proficiency by means of option 1 or 3 may use American Sign Language.

After enrolling at William & Mary:

5. completion of a language course at William & Mary, taught in the target language, at a level equivalent to or above the 202/203 level;

6. obtaining a score of “intermediate” or higher on both the Oral and Writing Proficiency ACTFL standardized tests for a language other than English (not administered by William & Mary).

7. through study abroad, only if:

a) prior approval for the course has been obtained from the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, and

b) the course is taken in a country where the language is the official language.

Students seeking to demonstrate proficiency at W&M by means of options 2 or 6 may petition the Registrar. Petition forms may be obtained at the Registrar’s website. Petitions for fulfillment of the FLP should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

For students seeking to demonstrate proficiency at W&M by means of option 5, please note, the 202/203 level (or above) proficiency course courses taken after matriculation at the university may not be selected as pass/fail. Foreign Language Proficiency course prerequisites may not be selected as pass/fail during the term in which the course is taken. Once the prerequisite courses are completed and graded, they may be selected as pass/fail retroactively.

Some modern languages offer combined language tracks: 103 is the equivalent of 101 and 102 in one semester; 203 is the equivalent of 201 and 202 in one semester. Hence, 203 fulfills the Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement. Since both 202 and 203 bring students to the same proficiency level in the target language, a 203-level modern language course may not be used to fulfill major requirements in majors that require courses above the 202 level.

Students seeking to start or to continue training in a language offered at W&M should:

  1. Make sure that their transcripts adequately reflect previous training in the target language (if any), and reach out to the Registrar’s Office with questions about transfer credit.
  2. Choose appropriate W&M course enrollment by consulting the website for placement of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, or students who wish to take a placement examination in Greek or Latin should contact the Department of Classical Studies. The ancient languages in which one may demonstrate proficiency at William & Mary are Greek and Latin. Students may discuss with the Chair of Classical Studies the possibility of demonstrating proficiency in other ancient languages.

Placement exams can be completed before the student’s first full-time semester at William & Mary.


Students with Documented Learning Disabilities:

Students with documented learning disabilities, aural/oral impairments or other disabilities that make the study of a foreign language impossible or unreasonably difficult should consult with the Director of Student Accessibility Services upon matriculation and, if appropriate, petition the Committee on Degrees to modify the foreign language requirement. Guided by test results and the recommendations of professionals, the committee may allow the substitution of other appropriate courses. Except under extraordinary circumstances, substitution of courses will not be approved after pre-registration for the senior year. Selection of the courses must be made in consultation with the assistant dean for undergraduate academic affairs, Arts & Sciences. These courses cannot be used to satisfy any General Education Requirements or a minor or major requirement. They may not be taken using the Pass/Fail option.

B.  Writing Proficiency

  1. All students must satisfactorily complete with a grade of C- or better, normally by the end of their first year at William & Mary, a one-semester course with the C150 (College 150) attribute.
  2. Major Writing Requirement: In addition, all students must satisfy the Major Writing Requirement described by each department, program, or school. Students must satisfy the lower division writing proficiency requirement before attempting the Major Writing Requirement. If the department, program, or school specifies a graded course or courses to satisfy the requirement, the student’s grade(s) in that course or those courses must be C- or better. The purpose of the Major Writing Requirement is to ensure that students continue to develop their ability to write in clear, effective prose, which contains sustained and well-developed thought. The Major Writing Requirement must provide students with a series of opportunities to practice their writing, especially as commented upon by an instructor. Each student is expected to complete the writing requirement before the beginning of the graduating semester, normally during the junior and senior years; where the requirement may be met through a Major Honors paper, a senior paper, or the like, it may be completed as late as the end of the graduating semester. When a student has a double major, the requirement applies in each major.

C. Mathematics Proficiency

This one-course requirement will be satisfied by:

  • pre-matriculation transfer or test credit for a course in calculus or statistics;
  • any William & Mary course in calculus or statistics;
  • or any William & Mary course with a ‘MATH’ attribute.

D. Creative and Performing Arts Proficiency

This requirement will be satisfied by two credits with an Arts Proficiency attribute in the same creative or performing art.  The purpose of this proficiency is to understand the artistic process. Accordingly, by actively involving students in exercises that require artistic choices, these courses aim for an experience-based understanding of how the artist communicates. A course that satisfies  this proficiency requires a student to begin to understand an art at the foundation level through artistic activities involving each of the following: developing their artistic skills; and applying the principles of the art through projects and/or exercises.


III.  The General Education Curriculum

In keeping with its educational objectives, the university requires its undergraduates to experience a broad array of General Education courses from the first through the fourth year, and to plan a major field of study suited to their needs and interests, which are expected to shift and grow over time.  The general degree requirements specified below allow students to share a common intellectual experience, to explore new interests, and to recognize and pursue intellectual talents. 

The College Curriculum (COLL)

General Education at William & Mary is known as “COLL”, for College Curriculum.   

These general education requirements can be completed via a wide array of courses, because COLL classes are spread across the departments and programs in Arts & Sciences.   COLL 100 and COLL 150 must be completed in the first year.  Work toward COLL 200 requirements may begin in the first year, and one course must be taken in the second year.  COLL 300 typically takes place in the third year.  COLL 400 is a capstone experience that typically occurs in the fourth year.  Unless specifically offered as Pass/Fail courses, courses used to satisfy COLL requirements may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.

Overlap in requirements. A single course may fulfill only one COLL requirement (COLL 100, COLL 150, COLL 200, COLL 300, COLL 400, or one of the extra courses in the domains); a course may fulfill one COLL requirement and a proficiency. A maximum of three courses may be counted toward the COLL requirements and toward the major(s).

COLL 100 courses are devoted to “big ideas:” significant questions and concepts, beliefs and creative visions, theories and discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the world.   COLL 100 courses challenge students to think rigorously, and to develop and practice communication skills beyond the written word.  COLL 100 courses introduce students to the university’s library and other academic resources, and to the ways in which information is accessed, evaluated, and communicated.  All COLL 100s carry 4 credits.  One COLL 100 is required for each freshman.  Students must receive a C- or better in COLL 100 for the course to apply to the degree.

COLL 150 courses are small seminars that explore deeply a particular topic via close readings of texts, data, or methods of inquiry.  The goal of COLL 150 is to initiate students into the culture of critical thinking, persuasive writing, and independent inquiry that is at the core of the undergraduate program.  COLL 150 seminars highlight student discussion.  All COLL 150s carry 4 credits.  Students must receive a C- or better in COLL 150 for the course to apply to the degree.  One COLL 150 is required of each freshman and all transfer students regardless of credits already earned.

COLL 200 courses may be offered by any academic unit at the university.  COLL 200 courses are anchored in one of three knowledge domains, and deliberately look outward to one or both of the other two knowledge domains.   The knowledge domains are:

Arts, Letters, and Values (ALV)

Courses in this domain examine the expression and evaluation of values and attitudes. Courses may develop the ability of students to express their own values and attitudes or to develop their own evaluations using literature, art, music, performance, or philosophy. Others may examine the expressions and evaluations themselves historically, cross-culturally, or via the social and cognitive processes that produce them.

Cultures, Societies, and Individuals (CSI)

Courses in this domain examine the realm of human cultures, societies, and individuals through their development, organization, and interaction. Some courses employ mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and scientific experimentation; some, the analysis of artifacts and texts; and others, observation, inference, and extrapolation. Students learn to describe, theorize, and explain human cultures, societies, and individuals in their variety over time and space.

Natural and Quantitative Reasoning (NQR)

Courses in this domain examine the natural world and physical universe and the means by which humans observe, measure, model, and interpret it. Courses explore the process of scientific discovery, including the methods required to gather and assess empirical data, investigate the predictions of existing theories, and develop experimentally testable hypotheses. Courses may also focus on mathematical or computational methods as applied to these investigations. Students develop their understanding not only of the foundations, implications, and uses of scientific knowledge but also how scientific approaches can be used to create tangible products.

Each COLL 200 course significantly enhances student knowledge of a specific topic and also calls upon students to think about how its discipline fits into the broader framework of the Liberal Arts. Thus, each course emphasizes ideas and methods central to its domain(s) while also looking outward to one or both of the other domains. To the extent possible, COLL 200 courses also give students the opportunity to put methodologies represented in the course into practice. Every student must take a total of nine credits explicitly labelled COLL 200, with at least one course in each of the three domains of not less than three credits. One COLL 200 must be taken in year 2.  Transfer students must take one COLL 200 during their first year at William & Mary. COLL 200 courses may or may not have prerequisites.

Additional credits in the Knowledge Domains:  General education also requires undergraduates to take at least nine more credits in the three knowledge domains of ALV, CSI, and NQR, with at least three credits in each domain. 

Appropriate courses in the Undergraduate Catalog thus will be explicitly labelled as fulfilling COLL 200 credit, with specific mention of their anchor domain (9 credits required, with at least three credits in each domain).  Appropriate courses may also be labelled as ALV, CSI, or NQR (9 credits required, with at least three credits in each domain.)

The COLL 300 requirement typically takes place in year 3.   COLL 300 joins students with people, places, and ideas that lift them out of their familiar surroundings and deepen the way they see themselves in the world.   COLL 300 asks students to use their knowledge, their emerging expertise in framing questions, and their communication skills to engage the world in a self-reflective, cross-cultural way.   Students may fulfill COLL 300 either through a single course of 3 credits or a sequence of courses totaling 3 credits with C300, C30C, C30D, or C30G attribute(s).   William & Mary faculty-led international programs carry COLL 300 credit, irrespective of the courses taken while studying abroad. William & Mary-sponsored third-party international programs may fulfill COLL 300 credit upon transfer of credit and completion of the COLL 300 essay.  Regular academic courses may also carry the C300 attribute as the result of a study-away experience.  Domestic transfer students who previously attended an international institution for a full term, on a full-time basis, will automatically receive COLL 300 credit. Finally, certain COLL 300 courses remain on campus and bring together undergraduates and experts on cross-cultural and/or international topics.

The COLL 350 requirement enhances students’ knowledge and facilitates their critical analysis of the workings of power, privilege, and inequity in U.S. society and globally, past and present. The goals of the COLL 350 are: 1) to provide students with a rigorous academic space in which to explore differences in perspective while foregrounding reasoned and respectful discussion as the means for achieving common ground; and 2) to deepen students’ understanding of justice, equity, and the value-laden processes of social inclusion and exclusion through institutional, cultural, and normative practices that are both historical and ongoing.

To meet these pedagogical goals, COLL350 courses will: 1) examine social norms, institutional practices, and patterns of belonging and marginalization by exploring race and at least one other key social category including, but not limited to: class, disability, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, immigration status, language, religion, sex, and sexual orientation; 2) emphasize respectful dialogue among students as an integral component of the course; and 3) enable critical reflection by requiring students to make substantial and sustained connections between the course material and contemporary life in the United States.

The COLL 350 attribute may be applied to COLL 100s, 150s, 200s, 300s, and 400s. Students who take such courses will earn credit toward both requirements. [Note that this dual-counting will expire with the 2025-26 catalog.]

The COLL 400 requirement is a capstone experience which typically takes place in year 4, and usually in the student’s major.   These capstone experiences require students to take initiative in synthesis and critical analysis, to solve problems in an applied and/or academic setting, to create original material or original scholarship, and to communicate effectively with a diversity of audiences. Students can fulfill this requirement through upper-level seminars, independent study and research projects, and Honors projects, as deemed appropriate by departments, programs, or schools. COLL 400 may but need not have an interdisciplinary focus as students can synthesize material within as well as across disciplines. COLL 400 capstone experiences must be at least 3 credits.

IV. The Major and Minor

Declaring a major assures students of an advisor in their department or program (and thus important advice on course selection), as well as an advantage in registering for courses in some majors.

Students may declare a major after completion of 39 credits (including AP, IB, and other transfer credit; see “Overall Credits” at bottom of Banner transcript).

Students must declare a major after completion of 54 credits (including AP, IB, and other transfer credit; see “Overall Credits” at bottom of Banner transcript).

EXCEPTIONS:  Students who matriculated as social freshmen with 15 or more AP, IB, or dual enrollment credits must declare once they have earned 39 credits post-high school at W&M (see “Institutional Credits” on the Banner transcript). Transfer students who entered with 54 or more credits must declare at the end of their first semester at the university.

A major in Interdisciplinary Studies must be declared before pre-registration in the final semester of the junior year.

The Declaration of Major for a changed or second major must be filed with the Office of the University Registrar no later than the last day of add/drop in the semester of graduation.

Students intending Arts & Sciences majors officially record a major through their academic department/program and the Office of the University Registrar. A student may change a major at any time by using the same process. Students planning majors in the Schools of Business or Education must apply and be admitted. Check the Business  and Education  sections of the catalog for prerequisites and admissions criteria.

Students may declare one major, or two majors, or one major and one minor. If there are two majors, one must be designated as primary. Degrees are based on the primary major. University policy prohibits the awarding of a second baccalaureate degree; completion of two majors does not constitute completion of two degrees. A maximum of eight credits can be counted toward both of two majors or toward a major and a minor. A minimum of 15 credit hours in the major must be taken at William & Mary.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in American Studies; Anthropology; Art and Art History; Chinese Language and Culture; Classical Studies; Economics; English Language and Literature; French and Francophone Studies; Global Studies; Government; Hispanic Studies; History; Interdisciplinary Studies;  International Relations; Japanese Studies; Kinesiology and Health Sciences; Linguistics; Music; Philosophy; Psychology; Public Policy; Religious Studies; Sociology; and Theatre. The Bachelor of Science degree is granted in Biology, Chemistry, Computational and Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Geology, Interdisciplinary Studies, Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, and Psychology.  The Bachelor of Business Administration degree includes majors in Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance and Marketing.  The Bachelor of Arts in Education degree includes a major in Elementary Education.

The Interdisciplinary Studies degree administered by the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies provides opportunity to major in Africana Studies; Environment & Sustainability; Film & Media Studies; Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies; Integrative Conservation; and Medieval & Renaissance Studies.  Applications and details on degree requirements and policies are available in the program offices.

Self-designed, B.A.

A student, working in consultation with a faculty advisor, may formulate an interdisciplinary major that is uniquely tailored to their interest. The responsibility for formulating a sound academic program of interdisciplinary study lies with the individual student and the advisor, and the proposed major must be approved by the appropriate Arts & Sciences Vice-Dean and relevant faculty committee before it can be declared. Normally, students pursuing a self-designed major base their program upon a solid understanding of an established discipline, and must include courses from at least three departments, with no more than half of the credit hours from any one department. More than two courses at the introductory level are seldom approved. For instructions and additional information on Self-Designed majors, please visit the Arts & Sciences web site.

Self-designed, B.S.

A student, working in consultation with a faculty advisor, may formulate an interdisciplinary major that is uniquely tailored to their interest. The responsibility for formulating a sound academic program of interdisciplinary study lies with the individual student and the advisor, and the proposed major must be approved by the appropriate Arts & Sciences Vice-Dean and relevant faculty committee before it can be declared. Normally, students pursuing a self-designed major base their program upon a solid understanding of an established discipline, and must include courses from at least three departments, with no more than half of the credit hours from any one department. More than two courses at the introductory level are seldom approved. For instructions and additional information on Self-Designed majors, please visit the Arts & Sciences web site.

Candidates for the B.S. degree must successfully complete, in addition to satisfying the NQR requirement, three additional science courses from departments and programs that offer a B.S. degree. Science-based courses from departments and programs that do not offer a B.S. degree (for example Marine Science) may also fulfill this requirement, at the discretion of the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies. None of these three additional science courses may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.


In addition to the required major, a student may elect to pursue a program of studies designated as a minor. A minor consists of 18-22 credit hours of courses approved by a department or program, and at least 9 credits must be earned at William & Mary. Courses completed for a minor may also satisfy COLL requirements. None of these courses may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. A student must earn at least a 2.0 grade point average in the minor. Information about specific minors can be obtained from the appropriate department or program. A maximum of two courses may be counted toward both a major and a minor. A student who intends to complete a minor must officially declare the minor with the department or program, then submit the Declaration of Minor form to the University Registrar. The Declaration of Minor request may be filed after completion of a minimum of 39 credit hours and must be filed with the Office of the University Registrar no later than the last day of add/drop in the semester of graduation (if you plan to graduate in the summer, the deadline is the last day of add/drop in the spring).  A student who declares two majors may not declare a minor.

V. Honors and Special Programs

Departmental Honors

The Department Honors program, administered by the Roy R. Charles Center, provides special opportunities through independent study for the intellectual stimulation and development of outstanding students in certain departments and interdisciplinary programs. Participating departments and programs include Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Applied Science, Art and Art History, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese Language and Culture, Classical Studies, Computational and Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, English, Environment and Sustainability, European Studies, Film and Media Studies, French and Francophone Studies, Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Geology, Global Studies, Government, Hispanic Studies, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Relations, Integrative Conservation, Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Mathematics, Music, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychological Sciences, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Russian & Post Soviet Studies, Sociology, and Theatre.

Prospective candidates for the Department Honors program should first familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Honors program as described here and in the Guidelines, and with any additional requirements or deadlines applicable in specific departments or programs. For further information about Department Honors, consult the Charles Center website at

Requirements for Admission to Department Honors
  1. Grade Point Average. A grade point average of either 3.0 on a cumulative basis by the end of the junior year or 3.0 for the junior year alone is required. Note that some departments / programs require a higher grade point average - students should check with their department / program to determine their eligibility.
  2. Completion of the department / program approval process and submission of the online Application for Admission for Department Honors with the digital signatures of the student, the Honors advisor, and the department Chair (or program Director, if applicable) to the Charles Center. This online Application form must be completed by 12 p.m. on the first day of class of the semester in which the student is to begin the Honors project. Please note that departments or programs may have earlier deadlines or additional requirements for admission to Honors - check with your Honors advisor and/or department for details.

Registration for Honors 495 and 496

Charles Center staff will create all of the appropriate Honors sections and register students for both 495 and 496. Students will receive a confirmation email from the Charles Center once they have been registered for their specific Honors section. For questions concerning registration for Department Honors please call 757-221-2460.

Examining Committee Appointment

Each examining committee must consist of three or more faculty members, with representation from at least two academic departments. Any current William & Mary faculty member who is eligible to assign grades may serve on an Honors committee, including visiting and adjunct faculty. Departments / programs have different methods of selecting faculty for committees. For example, in some departments the selection is centralized, in others the selection is up to the thesis advisor and student. Students should ask their Honors advisor and / or department about the procedure for selecting faculty in their department or program.

Charles Center staff will request Honors committee recommendations from the department chair or program director (or their designated representative); recommendations from students or individual Honors advisors are not accepted. Once the committee recommendations are submitted the formal committee appointments will be made by the Charles Center through an email to the committee chair with copies to the remaining committee members and the Honors student.

Thesis Submission and Oral Examination

Two weeks before the last day of classes of the student’s graduating semester (or the next class day if this date falls on a holiday or vacation day) a copy of the completed thesis must be submitted to each member of the examining committee.

If, after reading the thesis, the members of the committee find it provisionally acceptable, the oral examination may be scheduled. It is up to the student to schedule the defense date and time in coordination with all of the committee members and to arrange for a location for the defense. It is also the student’s responsibility to remind the committee members of the date, time, and location of the defense.

The exam will consist of an oral examination lasting at least one hour. The main purpose of the examination will be to ask questions about the honors thesis, but the candidate may also be asked to discuss other topics that are related to the thesis. Students should check with their advisors about the protocol for oral exams within the department or program.

The examining committee will determine if an honors designation will be awarded, and if so, at what level (Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors). In reaching its decision about awarding honors, the committee will be guided by the quality of the honors thesis and by the candidate’s performance on the oral examination. The Honors advisor must submit the Reported Level of Honors online form to the Charles Center immediately following the completion of the oral exam.  .  Please note that the Anthropology, Applied Science, Art and Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Studies,  Computational and Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Economics, English, Environment and Sustainability, Film & Media Studies, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies,  Government, International Relations, Integrative Conservation, Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychological Sciences, Public Policy, and Religious Studies, and Sociology departments/programs assign only Honors (rather than High or Highest) to successful projects.  Geology and Data Science only award Honors and High Honors to successful projects.

Successful Honors Projects

A candidate who successfully completes Honors 495 will receive a grade of “G” at the end of the first term of the project. Following the honors defense in the second term of the project, a final grade for both Honors 495 and 496 will be determined by the Honors advisor. The Honors advisor is responsible for submitting the grade for 496 and the University Registrar’s Office will then change the grade for 495 to match the 496 grade. If the 495 grade should be different from the grade assigned for 496 the advisor will have to submit a grade change form to the University Registrar’s Office.

Unsuccessful Honors Projects

Under no circumstances may Honors 495 and/or 496 remain on the transcript of a student who is not awarded Honors by the examining committee.

  1. If it becomes evident before the end of the first term that the student will not complete the project, either
    1. the student must withdraw from Honors 495 with the approval of the thesis advisor (the advisor must notify the Charles Center by email; or
    2. if it is too late for the student to withdraw from the course, the project advisor must change the Honors 495 designation to an appropriate alternative, such as independent study, by submitting the Converting Honors to Independent Study online form. The Charles Center, in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office, will then make the change in the student’s registration.
  2. If the project continues into the second semester and it then becomes evident that the project will not be completed by the submission deadline (two weeks before the last day of classes of the student’s graduating semester), the faculty advisor must either:
    1. change Honors 495 and 496 to appropriate alternatives (in most cases, independent study) by submitting the online Converting Honors to Independent Study form indicating both the course numbers and number of credits; or
    2. declare an incomplete, which can only be done in extraordinary circumstances and with departmental approval. The student and advisor must agree to firm new deadlines for the thesis and the defense and must submit these deadlines to the Charles Center.
  3. If upon reading the thesis the members of the examining committee decide that the thesis does not merit honors and elect not to examine the student, or if, upon completion of the oral defense the examination committee determines that the thesis does not merit honors, the advisor must change Honors 495 and 496 to appropriate alternatives by submitting the online Converting Honors to Independent Study form and award the student grades for these courses.

Minimum Requirements for a Degree with Department Honors

  1. Satisfactory completion of a program of reading and research supervised by a faculty member designated by the chair of the student’s major department. Six hours of credit in a course designated 495-496 in each department offering Honors shall be awarded each student satisfactorily completing the program.
  2. Satisfactory completion of the general requirements for the degree of B.A. or B.S.
  3. Presentation of a completed Honors thesis: A copy of the completed Honors thesis in a form that is acceptable to the major department must be submitted to each member of the student’s Examining Committee two weeks before the last day of classes of his or her graduating semester. (See: Examining Committee)
  4. Satisfactory performance in a comprehensive oral examination on the thesis and related background.

Graduation Honors

Latin Honors: To recognize outstanding academic achievement,William & Mary awards undergraduate degrees cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. The overall grade point average required, without rounding, for a degree cum laude is 3.50, for a degree magna cum laude 3.65, and for a degree summa cum laude 3.80. This honor is noted on the student’s diploma and on the academic transcript.


Internships provide an opportunity to apply and expand knowledge under expert supervision in an on- or off-campus position. Students interested in pursuing internships can meet with their faculty advisor, the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and/or an advisor in the Cohen Career Center for guidance. Not all internships are completed for academic credit. Students seeking academic credit associated with their internship experience must enroll in a credit-bearing internship course that meets the following requirements:

  • Credit-bearing internship courses must provide a structured learning experience and be evaluated by a William & Mary faculty member. To enroll in a credit-bearing internship course, students must be approved by a department or program prior to beginning the internship. Departments or programs may impose additional pre-requisites or requirements to enroll in internship courses.
  • Students must complete a substantive final product as part of their internship coursework. This product must integrate the internship experience with a scholarly component in some way; products that are solely reflective or solely academic (e.g., a literature review) do not fulfill this requirement. This final product could take the form of a paper, presentation, reflection assignment within a pedagogical framework, or any other form determined to be acceptable by individual departments or programs.
  • All internship courses must adhere to the Academic Credit Hour Policy and include direct faculty instruction, independent student work outside of the internship and classroom settings, and a minimum of 30 internship hours per academic credit. The number of academic credits that are awarded for an internship course is determined by the department and program. No more than six credits in internship courses may be applied to major/minor requirements or the 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Students undertaking internships that will take them away from campus for a semester or year must notify the Dean of Students Office before beginning the internship. International students who anticipate receiving payment should contact the Global Education Office at the Reves Center concerning visa requirements.


Pre-Professional Programs

Students may follow programs at William & Mary within a liberal arts framework that will prepare them for study in business, dentistry, education, engineering, law, medical technology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician’s assistantship, public health, and veterinary medicine. Students who are interested in pre-professional programs should plan their programs in consultation with their advisors.

Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Programs

There are no formal pre-medical or pre-dental programs for which students must register at William & Mary. Students preparing for admission to medical or dental school may choose to major in any department. Still, students must have a strong foundation in the sciences. Most medical schools and dental schools include in their admission requirements a number of laboratory science courses: biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and general physics. At William & Mary, these courses are BIOL 203  / BIOL 203L  and BIOL 204  / BIOL 204L ; CHEM 103  / CHEM 103L ; CHEM 206  / CHEM 206L ; CHEM 209  / CHEM 253  or CHEM 207  / CHEM 253 CHEM 312  / CHEM 254  or CHEM 208  / CHEM 254 ; PHYS 101 /PHYS 101L  - PHYS 102 /PHYS 102L  or PHYS 107 /PHYS 107L  - PHYS 108 /PHYS 108L  (Chemistry and Physics majors take 101-102). One year of Mathematics (Chemistry and Physics majors take calculus; statistics courses can also be used towards this requirement) is also recommended.  In addition, taking CHEM 314 , SOCL 250  or SOCL 310  or SOCL 362 , and PSYC 202  will help students to master material covered by the MCAT.  Science courses in addition to these minimal requirements are required by some schools and viewed with favor by many others. One year of English is required by many schools. A College 150 First Year Seminar can be used towards this requirement. Any English literature or composition course can be used toward this requirement. 

Because medical schools begin to reach decisions on applicants for admission early in the fall of the application year, and because the required premedical science courses are essential for success on the MCAT, these science courses should be completed before June of the year in which the student intends to start applying to medical school. All pre-medical students are encouraged to seek academic guidance early in their careers through scheduled consultations with the pre-med advisors at

Combined Degree Programs

Academic programs of students who participate in any combined degree program must be approved in advance by the Committee on Degrees. All William & Mary degree requirements are applicable to students in the 3:2 program. All COLL and Proficiency requirements must be completed at William & Mary. Students must have at least an overall 2.0 GPA and at least a 2.0 GPA in courses taken at William & Mary toward the fulfillment of major requirements. Elective hours toward the major may be completed elsewhere but students must earn as many credits toward the major as required if they were completing all degree requirements at William & Mary. The chair of the department in which the students are majoring will determine which courses elsewhere will count toward the William & Mary major requirements if they happen to be in other subject fields. Students must have earned 120 hours including at least 60 hours at William & Mary, before a degree is granted.

Engineering Schools: William & Mary is an affiliate with the engineering school of Columbia University. Under the “3:2 plan,” a student who is admitted as a transfer to Columbia spends their first three years at William & Mary and two years at Columbia and receives a bachelor’s degree from William & Mary in their primary major as well as a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Columbia. The following courses should be completed by the end of the junior year:

Specific engineering programs typically have several additional required courses. Though a student can in principle choose any desired major while at William & Mary, most of the courses listed above are also required for math and science majors at the university.

Students seeking admission into this affiliated 3:2 program will typically have grades of A and B in their science and mathematics courses with a minimum overall average grade of B. Students are not guaranteed admission or housing at Columbia University, even if the above prerequisites are met.

For more information, please consult Professor Eugeniy Mikhailov ( in the Physics Department.

Fields of Major, Subprograms and Course Descriptions

The chapters on “Academic Programs” and “Majors/Minors describe the requirements for majors and minors in the various field and subprograms offered by the university according to the department and schools offering them. The chapters on Course Descriptions includes the undergraduate course offerings of the departments, schools and particular programs listed according to course number. Courses that can be taken to fulfill general education requirements are indicated by the symbols described below.

Also described in the chapters are the basic requirements for Major Honors in each program.

Explanation of Course Descriptions

(C100, C150, C200, C300, C350, C400, ALV, CSI, NQR, ACTV, MATH, etc.) This course satisfies general education requirements.

The credit hours for each course are indicated by numbers in parentheses.