Jul 28, 2021  
2013 - 2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013 - 2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

The Honor System

Among the most significant traditions of The College of William and Mary is the student-administered honor system. The honor system is based upon the premise that a person’s honor is his or her most cherished attribute. The Honor Code outlines the conduct that cannot be tolerated within a community of trust. Prohibited conduct is limited to three specific areas of lying, cheating and stealing. The Honor Code is an agreement among all students taking classes at the school or participating in the educational programs of the College (e.g., study abroad or internship activities) not to lie, cheat or steal. This agreement is made effective upon matriculation at the College and through the student’s enrollment even though that enrollment may not be continuous. A complete description of rights and responsibilities can be found in the Student Handbook.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is recognized at the College as important to the educational development of its students and as both a natural extension of teaching and an important professional obligation on the part of its faculty. Sound academic advice can make the crucial difference between a coherent and exciting education that satisfies personal and professional goals and one that is fragmented and frustrating. It helps the student address not simply course selection and scheduling but also what a liberally educated person should be and know. Because students are responsible themselves for meeting academic goals and requirements, they are urged to take full advantage of the help and information the advisor can offer. Students should take the initiative in making appointments with the faculty advisor for academic and other counsel. New Students are assigned an academic advisor by the Office of Academic Advising. Students are required to meet with their advisors to discuss academic, personal and professional goals; to review the academic regulations and requirements of the College; and to receive help in planning a specific program of study. Freshmen have three required advising meetings during the first year and must attend these meetings in order to register for the next semester. Although students may change their advisor at any time by requesting a change in the Office of Academic Advising, most students retain the same advisor during the sophomore year. After students declare their major, they are assigned an advisor by the department, program or school in which they are completing a major. Students declaring two majors are assigned an advisor in both majors. For details on when students can or must declare a major, see the Catalog section, “Requirements for Degrees, The Major ”.

Class Attendance

An education system centered upon classroom instruction is obviously predicated on the concept of regular class attendance. In support of this concept, the following principles are to be observed:

  1. Except for reasonable cause, students are expected to be present at all regularly scheduled class meetings, including their last scheduled class in each of their courses preceding and their first scheduled class in each of their courses following the fall break, Thanksgiving, semester break, and spring holidays.
  2. Students whose attendance becomes unsatisfactory to the extent that their course performance is affected adversely should be so informed by their instructor and reported to the Dean of Students.
  3. Each student is responsible for notifying professors of absences, and faculty may call the Office of the Dean of Students to ask for verification of student illnesses. In view of the Honor Code, a student’s explanation of class absence should be sufficient in most instances. If required by a professor, documentation of medical absence may be obtained from the Student Health Center.
  4. Students who will miss classes due to personal difficulties or family emergencies should contact the Dean of Students Office as soon as possible.

Final Examinations

A final examination is an important part of the evaluation of each student’s work and is expected in all courses except seminars, colloquia, studio, or writing courses where final examinations may be unnecessary or inappropriate. The final examination schedule can be viewed at www.wm.edu/registrar. Except in narrowly defined circumstances, changes in the examination schedule are not allowed.

Requests to reschedule a final examination within the examination period should be filed with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, located in Ewell Hall, Room 124. Requests may be made when a student has three scheduled final examinations in four consecutive exam periods on consecutive days, when there is a conflict between a student’s scheduled examinations, or when a student wishes to take an examination with a different section of the same course.  All such requests must be made by the last day of classes for the semester. 

All other requests for exceptions to the examination schedule are considered as requests to defer a final examination. These requests should be filed with the Office of the Dean of Students, located in the Campus Center, Room 109, and may be made on the basis of illness or other extenuating circumstances (such as a death or other family emergency, conflict with a religious holiday, or participation in activities by a student representing the College). Final examinations that are deferred will be scheduled for the first full week of classes of the following regular semester. Students with deferred examinations will typically receive an initial grade of “I,” incomplete. In this case, the “I” grade should be changed as early in the following semester as possible.

Final examinations are rescheduled or deferred only for extraordinary and compelling reasons. Students should not assume that a request is approved until they receive written approval from the appropriate dean. Individual faculty members may not grant permission to reschedule or defer a final examination.

At times, unpredictable circumstances present themselves, such as a car breakdown or an accident on the way to a final examination. In such cases a student should contact the Office of the Dean of Students at the earliest available time to determine possible options.

Final Exams and Tests During the Last Week of Classes

Except for final laboratory examinations (including language laboratories and Kinesiology activity classes), no tests or final examinations may be given during the last week of classes or during the period between the end of classes and the beginning of the final examination period or during any reading period. Students who are assigned tests or examinations in violation of this rule should contact the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in Ewell Hall, Room 124.

Academic Records

Transcripts: Transcripts of academic records for The College of William and Mary are issued by the Office of the University Registrar only upon the student’s request. A fee of seven dollars is charged for each official transcript and for unofficial transcripts after the first one.  Official transcripts issued to students will be placed in a signed, sealed envelope and will bear the stamp “Official Transcript Issued to Student.” Official transcripts usually are prepared and released within 3-5 business days. Additional time should be allowed for requests made at the end of the semester or during registration periods. Official transcripts are typically required for admission to a college or university and frequently for employment purposes.

Official transcripts must be requested in writing with the student’s signature or via the secure on-line service through the National Student Clearinghouse . Request options are listed at http://www.wm.edu/registrar. Requests may be mailed to: The College of William and Mary, Office of the University Registrar, Attention: TRANSCRIPTS, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795.

Currently enrolled students and graduates since 2007 may view their unofficial transcript on line via Banner Self Service.

In accordance with the 1988 Virginia Debt Collection Act, Section 2.1-735, transcripts will not be released for students who have outstanding fines or fees, nor are they viewable over the web.

Verification of Enrollment or Degrees: Requests for official verification of enrollment or degrees earned at the College should be addressed to the University Registrar’s Office. Additional information is available on the University Registrar’s web site at http://www.wm.edu/registrar. The College sends regular enrollment and graduation updates to the National Student Clearinghouse, which is used by many loan agencies to verify enrollment. The College cannot verify enrollment or degrees for students who have submitted a request for confidentiality.

Student Records Privacy Policy and Notification of Rights under FERPA

I. Scope

This policy applies to all students in attendance at the College of William & Mary, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (the university).

II. Policy

The university protects the privacy of student records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Virginia Health Records Privacy Act, and provides students with access to their own records in accordance with FERPA.

A. Student Records Rights.

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records, and defines situations in which the university can release information from student records with student consent. Education records, under FERPA, are documents, files, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the university or a university agent. Student rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the university receives a request for access. A student should submit to the University Registrar’s Office a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

    Students who are citizens of Virginia also have rights to their records under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Information about the process for requesting records under the Act, and the university’s obligations, is provided in the university’s Freedom of Information Act Policy.
  2. The right to request the amendment of an element of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

    A student who wishes to request an amendment should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

    If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the student will be notified in writing of the decision and of the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The types of disclosures permitted without student consent are described in Section B, below.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202

See also Section C, below, for a discussion of other university policies relating to student records.

B. Disclosures Permitted Without Student Consent.*

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from a students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials (item 1 below), disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas (item 8 below), disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.

William & Mary may disclose PII from a student’s education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student

  1.  To other school officials whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of visitors; or a student serving on an official committee, such as the Honor Council. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the university who performs an institutional service or function for which the university would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the university with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.

    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university.(§99.31(a)(1))
  2. To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
  3. To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federalor State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.* (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  4. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
  5. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the university, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
  7. To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for
    IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8)). Pursuant to Virginia law, the university will disclose such information, if certain conditions are satisfied, as described under Section C(2) below.
  8. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
  9. To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. Under this exception, William & Mary may disclose PII if the university determines that the person to whom the PII is to be disclosed needs the information to protect the student or other individual(s) from an articulable and significant threat to their health or safety (§99.31(a)(10))
  10. To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
  11. To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the university determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the university’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  12. To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the university, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the university determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))

*In addition, recent federal guidelines permit release of student information for the purpose of data collection and analysis.

In addition, FERPA permits the disclosure of information deemed by the university to be “Directory Information” without written consent. (§99.31(a)(11)) This information includes:

  • Student name
  • Current classification
  • Address (permanent, local, and email)
  • Previous schools attended and degrees awarded
  • Telephone numbers
  • Dates of attendance
  • Current enrollment status
  • Degree(s) earned and dates awarded
  • Major(s), Minor
  • Honors or special recognition
  • Height, weight, and birth date of members of athletic teams
  • Photograph

Students may prohibit the release of Directory Information by completing a “Request for Confidentiality” form, located on the University Registrar’s website at www.wm.edu/registrar/forms. This request must be submitted in person to the Office of the University Registrar and will remain on file indefinitely until written notice is submitted by the student to remove it.

C. Additional University Policies and Practices Relating to Student Records.

  1. Medical/Health Records. Medical information in students records generally is not subject to additional protections, except for records of the Student Health Center and the Counseling Center that are protected by the Virginia Health Records Privacy Act.

    The Act generally prohibits the disclosure of a student’s health information without the student’s consent, unless an exception applies. The Health Records Privacy Act does not have a provision that permits sharing of health records within the institution similar to the “school officials” FERPA exception, but it does allow disclosure of records (other than psychotherapy notes) by the Student Health Center and Counseling Center to the university’s Campus Assessment and Intervention Team. The Act also contains numerous other exceptions, including disclosures in response to a subpoena satisfying specific statutory requirements.

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) does not apply to education records, even if these records contain medical information; HIPAA exempts education records from its privacy regulations, because these records are protected by FERPA.
  2. Other Policies. For additional information regarding students’ rights related to the release of personally identifiable information, see the University Registrar’s website at http://www.wm.edu/registrar or the section entitled ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’ in the Student Handbook. Additional university policies include the following:
    • Release of Academic, Student Conduct, and Financial Information to Parents: Students who wish their parents, guardians, and/or spouse to have access to academic, financial or student conduct information protected by FERPA may provide consent by completing the appropriate form in the Office of the Dean of Students. Students have the right to revoke this consent at any time. Parents of dependent students have the right to information about their children; however, they must provide tax documents if there is no release already on file with the university.
    • Student Assessment: William & Mary conducts periodic reviews of its curricular and co-curricular programs as part of the university’s state-mandated responsibility to monitor student outcomes and assure the continuing quality of a William & Mary degree. Surveys, course portfolios (including examples of student writing), and other procedures are used to gather information about student achievement and experiences. Information collected as part of the assessment program will not be used to evaluate individual performance and will not be released in a form that is personally identifiable. Students who do not want their work to be used in institutional or program assessments must submit a letter indicating that reference to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
      1. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (Federal and State Authorities) may allow access to your records and private information without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is principally engaged in the provision of education, such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.
      2. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and private information without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, such as Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, in certain cases even when the university objects to or does not request such research.

Classification of Students

Academic Classification: A student’s academic classification is based on total credits earned toward a William and Mary degree. These credits include both institutional and transfer hours.

Freshman 0 – 23 credits earned
Sophomore 24 – 53 credits earned
Junior 54 – 84 credits earned
Senior 85 or more credits earned

The College of William and Mary recognizes that many students arrive having completed college credits through a variety of programs including the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Program, or concurrent enrollment programs offered through their high school. These credits are reflected in the student’s academic classification.

Social Classification: Definition of a degree-seeking undergraduate according to the year in which the student could be expected to graduate assuming a 4-year program following high school graduation (e.g., a new freshman in 2013 is designated as “Class of 2017”). For transfer or older students, the social class is defined by calculating or extrapolating eight semesters of full-time-equivalent postsecondary enrollment. Social Class is used for a variety of purposes, including priority registration, housing, athletic tickets, parking, meal plans, and other activities.

Enrollment Statuses

Full Time Status: Students at The College of William and Mary are expected to remain enrolled full-time throughout their academic career. A full-time degree-seeking student must register for at least 12 and not more than 18 credits each semester. (Audits do NOT count toward the 12 credit hour minimum required for undergraduate students.) The normal load for a student planning to graduate with a degree in four years is 15 credit hours per semester, or 30 credits each academic year. An academic year is comprised of the Fall semester and the Spring semester but does not include the Summer Session. Work successfully completed during a Summer Session is counted toward the 120 academic credits required for graduation, as is the case with transfer or advanced placement credit. Students on academic probation are limited to a maximum of 16 credits per semester.

Petitions for underloads or overloads, when warranted by special circumstances, may be granted by the Committee on Academic Status; these petitions should be made in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students on the form located at http://www.wm.edu/offices/deanofstudents/topicforms/index.php. For details regarding Overloads or Underloads, and the deadlines for petitioning, see the appropriate section below.  Students submitting petitions for academic exceptions should continue to attend all classes until notified by the Office of the Dean of Students that the exception has been granted.

Medical Underload: With the written recommendation of a physician or psychologist, students unable to undertake a full academic schedule may petition for a medical underload. Petitions for underloads must be submitted to the Medical Review Committee (a sub-committee of the Committee on Academic Status) through the Office of the Dean of Students. The granting of a medical underload may be contingent upon additional restrictions or requirements. If granted, medical underloads normally do not result in any refund of tuition or fees. Inquiries regarding refunds should be directed to the Office of the Bursar. Students carrying a medical underload will be expected to meet the continuance regulations in this catalog.

Underload: Students must request approval from the Committee on Academic Status through the Office of the Dean of Students to carry fewer than 12 earned hours during a regular semester. Audited classes do not count toward the 12 earned hours, but do count toward the 18 credit hour maximum allowed for undergraduate students. Students carrying an unauthorized underload are subject to withdrawal after the add/drop period, can be placed on probation by the Committee on Academic Status, and/or can be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for failure to comply with College rules and regulations. Students must pay full tuition and fees if they are carrying an unauthorized underload. An unauthorized underload counts as a full semester toward the 10-semester rule. Students carrying an underload approved before the end of add/drop may receive a reduction in tuition, but pay full student fees. Students who are considering a petition for underload should consult with scholarship/financial aid and insurance providers to make certain they understand all the financial implications of a reduction in load. Students carrying an underload will be expected to meet the continuance regulations in this catalog. Requests for underload should be submitted through the Office of the Dean of Students preferably within a period of five days before the first day of registration for the semester in question, but not later than two days before the end of the add/drop period.

Overload: Requests to enroll for more than 18 hours must be submitted to the Committee on Academic Status through the Office of the Dean of Students preferably within a period of five days before the first day of registration for the semester in question, but not later than two days before the end of the add/drop period. An overload is rarely granted to students whose cumulative or regular preceding semester’s grade point average is less than 3.0. Permission to carry more than 18 academic credits is granted only to exceptionally able students. Students wishing to add courses for audit that will cause them to carry more than 18 registered hours must also petition for an overload.

Summer School: Summer school at William and Mary consists of two five-week sessions. Students may not take more than eight hours per session. Requests for overloads must be approved by the Committee on Academic Status. After the end of the add/drop period, students carrying unauthorized overloads will be dropped from the last class added. Summer School information is available in March of each year on the University Registrar’s web site. Additional information is available from the Office of the University Registrar.

Enrollment in Graduate Courses: An undergraduate student at The College of William and Mary may take courses at the College numbered 500 or above for undergraduate credit to be counted toward the bachelor’s degree provided that:

  1. The student has a grade point average of at least 2.5 overall and 3.0 in the subject field of the course;
  2. The student has the appropriate prerequisites;
  3. The material offered in the course is relevant to the student’s program and is not available in the undergraduate curriculum;
  4. The student obtains prior approval of the instructor, the department chairperson, the Graduate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Committee on Degrees; and
  5. The student shall not receive graduate credit for the course.

Undergraduate students of the College who have a grade point average of at least 3.0 may take for graduate credit in their senior year up to six hours of courses normally offered for graduate credit, provided that these hours are in excess of all requirements for the bachelor’s degree and that the students obtain the written consent of the instructor, the chair of the department or dean of the School, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and the Graduate Dean of Arts and Sciences, at the time of registration. Such students will be considered the equivalent of unclassified (post baccalaureate) students as far as the application of credit for these courses toward an advanced degree at the College is concerned.

Registration and Withdrawal

Continuing students should register for their courses in April for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester. Complete registration instructions are available on the University Registrar’s web site at http://www.wm.edu/registrar in October for the spring semester and in March for summer school and fall semester. The Office of the University Registrar also coordinates registration for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Add/Drop: For a period after the beginning of classes a student may add or drop courses. Deadlines and procedures for adding and dropping courses are available on the University Registrar’s web site at http://www.wm.edu/registrar. Students who wish to add or drop classes must do so on or before the published deadlines. Unless correct procedures are followed, course changes have no official standing and will not be recognized as valid by the College. Courses dropped during the add/drop period are not displayed on the student’s academic transcript. A student may not add or drop a course after the last day of add/drop except in unusual circumstances. In these cases, the student must submit a petition to the Committee on Academic Status. Petition forms are available through the Office of the Dean of Students. Petitions to add or drop a course must have the consent of the instructor. The faculty advisor’s recommendation may be solicited as well.

Withdrawal from Course(s): After the add/drop period, students may withdraw with a grade of ‘W’ from a course through the ninth week of classes. The exact deadline is available on the semester combined calendar at https://www.wm.edu/registrar/acad-calendars.php. Students who withdraw from one or more courses must maintain a course load of at least 12 credits and must follow procedures established by the Office of the University Registrar. No other withdrawals are permitted without the approval of the Committee on Academic Status. The petition form is available at http://www.wm.edu/offices/deanofstudents/topicforms/index.php. Petitions for late withdrawal will be approved only for extraordinary reasons.

Withdrawal from the College: A student who desires to withdraw completely from the College after the semester begins must apply to the Dean of Students for permission to withdraw before the end of the ninth week of the semester. A student who acts in that time frame can be confident of approval. After the ninth week, withdrawal is allowed only for unusual circumstances. Students who wish to withdraw after the deadline should consult with the Office of the Dean of Students. Students may provide either oral or written notification of the intent to withdraw, but must also complete the application for withdrawal process to formally withdraw. Failure to be officially withdrawn can result in grades of ‘F’ for all courses carried in that semester. Students who withdraw from the College in the first five full weeks of the semester are generally eligible for a partial refund of tuition and fees. Students on financial aid should always consult with the Office of Financial Aid, and students using VA benefits should always consult with the Office of the University Registrar, before withdrawing.  Questions about refunds should be directed to the Office of the Bursar. For information regarding refund deadlines see Tuition and Other Expenses, Withdrawal Schedule .

Students who wish to withdraw from the College for the upcoming semester must fill out paperwork and complete an exit interview with the Office of the Dean of Students prior to the beginning of that semester. Such action results in cancellation of registration and housing for the following semester. It also assures that no charges will be assessed for the following term.

Medical Withdrawal from the College: With the written recommendation of a physician and/or psychologist, students unable to complete the requirements for registered classes in a semester may petition for a full medical withdrawal from the College before the last day of classes through the Office of the Dean of Students. The Medical Review Committee (a sub-committee of the Committee on Academic Status) reviews this request and supporting documentation. Granting of the full medical withdrawal removes the semester from counting in the College’s 10 semester rule. Such action results in cancellation of registration and housing for the following semester.

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.

Readmission following a full medical withdrawal is not automatic and involves a clearance procedure which includes submission by the student of all necessary documentation addressing the behaviors or conditions which caused the original withdrawal. The student is expected to begin the clearance process not later than July 25 for Fall Semester or November 17 for Spring Semester. Readmission may be contingent upon additional restrictions or requirements for the student’s safety and success. See “Withdrawal from the College” for additional information.

Withdrawal from the College for Students Called to Active Duty in Service to the United States: The Office of the Dean of Students assists students called to active duty during or between semesters, or prior to matriculation at the college. A description of the options available and the tuition refund policy can be found at www.wm.edu/deanofstudents in the “Academic Policies” section.

Academic Suspension from the College: Students who fail to meet applicable probationary standards or continuance requirements will be suspended from the College. For details of requirements, see the Catalog section, “Continuance Standards.”

System of Grading

Letter Grade Quality Points Per Credit Hour Meaning Credit Earned Used to Calculate GPA?
A 4.00 Excellent Yes Yes
A- 3.70   Yes Yes
B+ 3.30   Yes Yes
B 3.00 Good Yes Yes
B- 2.70 Yes Yes  
C+ 2.30 Yes Yes  
C 2.00 Satisfactory Yes Yes
C- 1.70 Yes Yes  
D+ 1.30 Yes Yes  
D 1.00 Yes Yes  
D- 0.70 Minimal Pass Yes Yes
F 0.00 Failure No   Yes
P Pass     Yes No
W Withdraw   No No
WM Medical Withdraw   No No
G Deferred Grade   No No
NG Grade Not Reported by Instructor   No No
I Incomplete   No No
R Indicates that a course must be repeated   No No
O Satisfactory Audit   No No
U Unsatisfactory Audit   No No

Repeated Courses: Certain courses are specifically designated in the College catalog as courses that may be repeated for credit. With the exception of these specially designated courses, no course in which a student receives a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “G”, “I” or “P” may be repeated except as an audit. Any course in which a student receives a grade of “F”, “R” or “W” may be repeated for a grade; if a course with a grade of “F” is repeated, both the original grade of “F” and the grade earned in the repeated course will be included in calculating the student’s Grade Point Average. Students are responsible for ensuring they do not register for a non-repeatable course more than once.

Incomplete Grades: An incomplete grade indicates that an individual student has not completed essential course work because of illness or other extenuating circumstances. This includes absence from the final examination and postponement of required work with approval of the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the instructor to complete the work by a specified date (first full week of the upcoming semester for deferred examinations). “I” automatically becomes “F” if the work is not completed by the last day of classes of the following regular semester, or if the postponed work has not been completed satisfactorily by the date specified by the professor. Incomplete grades granted because of a deferred exam should be changed early in the following semester. The instructor may grant a one-semester extension under exceptional circumstances; after this extension, the “I” reverts to an “F” if sufficient work is not completed to warrant assignment of another letter grade by the instructor. A degree will not be conferred if an incomplete (“I”) grade is on the student’s record.

Pass/Fail: Degree-seeking academic juniors and seniors may elect to take one normally-graded course in Arts and Sciences or Education for undergraduate credit on a Pass/Fail basis during each of the Fall and Spring semesters (Pass/Fail option is not available during the summer session.). This option must be selected during the add/drop period. In unusual circumstances, students may submit petitions to request a change in the grading option after the add/drop period to the Committee on Degrees. Courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis may not be used to satisfy proficiency, minor or major requirements. However, courses taken Pass/Fail in a student’s major and failed will be calculated as part of the student’s major GPA and all courses taken Pass/Fail and failed will be calculated as part of the student’s cumulative GPA. Courses used to satisfy GERs may not be taken Pass/Fail except where courses have been designated Pass/Fail by the College, such as physical activity courses in the Department of Kinesiology. A student may elect to designate one normally graded course as Pass/ Fail in addition to any classes that are designated as Pass/Fail only. Non-degree-seeking students may not select the Pass/Fail option. For instructions on how to select Pass/Fail for a course via Banner Self Service, visit the University Registrar’s web site at http://www.wm.edu/registrar.

Audit: Degree seeking students may audit a course after obtaining permission of the instructor on the Permission to Audit form, which is available at http://www.wm.edu/registrar. Students may not select a course for audit via web registration. Audited courses receive grades. If the student meets the requirements for auditors prescribed by the instructor, the course will be included on the transcript with the grade “O” (satisfactory audit). Where those requirements have not been met, the course will be included on the transcript with the grade “U” (unsatisfactory audit). No credit nor quality points are earned. Audits do not count toward the 12 earned credit hour minimum required for undergraduate students.

Class Rank: The College does not calculate or report class rank for undergraduate students.

Grade Review Procedures

A student who believes that a final course grade has been unfairly assigned must first discuss the grade with the instructor. If the instructor agrees that a grade change is warranted, he or she will propose the new grade within one year of the issuance of the original grade to the appropriate dean for consideration and, if it is approved, the new grade will be entered on the student’s record. No grades will be changed more than one year after initial issuance or after a student’s degree is conferred, whichever comes first. If, after the discussion between instructor and student, the issue has not been resolved, the student must file a formal written statement requesting a grade review and give a full explanation of the reasons for the request. The student must file this request with the appropriate office by the end of the sixth week of the next regular semester following the semester in which the grade was received. Procedures for filing a grade review request differ by School. For Arts and Sciences courses, students should consult the Dean of Undergraduate Studies; for Business courses, students should consult the BBA program director; for Education courses, students should consult the Dean of the School of Education.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List refers to those full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students who have completed at least 12 credit hours for a letter grade and earned a 3.6 Grade Point Average in one semester. This recognition is noted on the student’s academic transcript.

Continuance Standards

In order to graduate, students must have completed 120 credits in academic subjects with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 both overall and in their major. After each semester of full-time enrollment, the student must meet the minimum levels of academic progress established by the College and applied by the Committee on Academic Status. The minimum requirements for Continuance for undergraduates are the following cumulative grade points and credits earned at William and Mary, including grade point and credits earned at William and Mary summer school:

Semester at W&M W&M Cumulative GPA W&M Cumulative Credits
1 1.7 9
2 1.7 21
3 1.85 33
4 2.0 48
5 2.0 60
6 2.0 72
7 2.0 84
8 2.0 96
9 2.0 108
10 2.0 120

The following regulations apply to the College’s Continuance policy:

  • Only W&M credit will count in determining whether students are meeting Continuance Standards. Transfer, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit will not count for this purpose, although as specified by regulations in the Catalog these credits may count toward 120 credits required for graduation and toward general education and major requirements.
  • Transfer students as well as freshmen begin at the College under the Continuance Standards for semester 1 in the above table.
  • Students whose GPA falls below 2.0 in any semester will be placed on Academic Warning and receive a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Students whose academic work falls below the minimum GPA and/or earned credit Continuance Standards will be placed on probation for the following semester.
  • Students on probation may not enroll in more than 16 credit hours per semester. Students who are on probation may not receive any incompletes for coursework during the semester(s) of probation.
  • While on probation, students must earn a 2.0 semester GPA or better and pass at least 12 credits. Failure to do so will result in academic suspension.
  • Students on probation must participate in the Academic Intervention Program administered by the Office of the Dean of Students during their probationary semester. Students on probation also must meet with their Academic Advisor before registering for the subsequent semester. Registration for the following semester will not be permitted until these requirements are met.
  • Students on probation have two regular semesters to bring their academic work up to or beyond the Continuance Standards so long as they earn a 2.0 and pass at least 12 credits each semester. If they are unsuccessful in meeting or surpassing the Continuance Standards during their first probation semester, they remain on probation during the second semester and must participate in an Academic Intervention Program.
  • Students who are placed on probation or are continuing on probation at the end of a semester but earned at least a 2.0 GPA and 12 credits during that semester will be removed from probation if they meet their Continuance Standards by the end of summer school. This applies only for work at W&M summer school. Determination of eligibility for removal from probation will be done at the end of that summer school.
  • Students who do not meet the conditions for probation will be suspended from the College for academic deficiencies. Those suspended for academic deficiencies are not in good standing with the College and are not automatically eligible for readmission. The Office of the Dean of Students will not process an application for readmission from a student who has been suspended unless the student has been reinstated to good standing by the Committee on Academic Status.
  • Students may petition the Committee on Academic Status for individual exceptions to the above Continuance Standards. (Petition Forms are available at the Office of the Dean of Students or on the web at http://www.wm.edu/deanofstudents/forms.php.)
  • Coursework taken elsewhere while not in good standing will not be accepted for transfer at the College.
  • An unclassified student enrolled for 12 or more academic hours must meet the Continuance Standards applicable to the regularly enrolled student.

Continuance Standards for Flexible Track (FlexTrack) Nontraditional Degree Seeking Students: The minimum requirements for Continuance for nontraditional students are as follows:

  • A minimum of 12 credits must be passed in a 12 month period.
  • Students must complete within 10 years all degree requirements in effect at the time of entrance and all major requirements in effect at the time of the declaration of major.
  • The Ten Semester Rule applies to all FlexTrack students.
  • A 1.7 cumulative GPA must be achieved by the end of the term in which nine credits have been completed.
  • A 1.7 cumulative GPA must be achieved by the end of the term in which 21 credits have been completed.
  • A 1.85 cumulative GPA must be achieved by the end of the term in which 33 credits have been completed.
  • A 2.0 cumulative GPA must be achieved by the end of the term in which 48 credits have been completed.
  • A 2.0 cumulative GPA must be achieved by the end of each term of enrollment after 48 credits have been completed.


Students who have been academically suspended and are not in good academic standing with the College, but who wish to seek readmission to The College of William and Mary, must submit a petition for reinstatement to good standing to the Committee on Academic Status. Petitions should be made in advance of the semester of intended return (July 15 for fall, December 1 for spring, or April 15 for summer). For information on specific procedures, contact the Office of the Dean of Students. Reinstatement to good standing and readmission to the College are not automatic, but at the end of certain specified periods the student is eligible to seek these considerations from the Committee on Academic Status and the Office of the Dean of Students respectively. A student who is suspended in January for academic deficiency may apply no earlier than April of the same year for reinstatement and readmission for fall. A student who is suspended in May may apply no earlier than October for reinstatement and readmission to be effective in the spring semester. It is extremely unlikely that a student who is suspended twice from the College for academic deficiencies by the Committee on Academic Status will ever be reinstated to good standing.

Religious Accommodations Guidelines

The College of William & Mary urges its administrators, faculty members, and staff to be sensitive to the religious holidays of organized religions. All persons should be able to participate in the essential practices of their faith without conflict with academic requirements, as long as such practices are in accordance with state and federal regulations and consistent with safety regulations of the College. The College offers the following guidelines:

  1. As soon as possible and no later than the end of the drop/add period, each student has the responsibility to inform his or her instructor of religious observances that are likely to conflict directly with classes and other required academic activities. Each student has the responsibility to arrange his or her course schedule to minimize conflicts. It is understood that when scheduling options exist for religious observances, the student has the responsibility to minimize conflicts.
  2. Based upon prior agreement between the instructor and student, a student who misses a class meeting because of a scheduling conflict with religious observances should be allowed, whenever possible, to complete without penalty the work missed because of such absences. A student who is absent from a test or presentation because of the observance of a religious holiday should be able to reschedule it without penalty. Absence from a final examination requires that the examination be rescheduled through the established process for rescheduling of final examinations by the Dean of Students. Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.
  3. If a scheduling conflict with a student’s planned absence cannot be resolved between the instructor and the student, undergraduates should inform the Dean of Students who will follow the established procedure for a class absence. Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.
  4. Faculty members and administrators in charge of scheduling campus-wide events should avoid conflicts with religious holidays as much as possible.