Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements for Undergraduate Students

1. The equivalent of 128 credits is required for the degree.

2.  A student is expected to complete all degree requirements in the equivalent of eight semesters or fewer, depending upon transfer credit.

3.  A student must complete a minimum of 64 credits at the 200 level or higher.

4.  No more than eight one-credit courses may be counted toward the 128 credits required for the degree.*

5.  At least 64 credits must be taken outside any single department (as defined by the course designations).

6.  The minimum cumulative grade point average for the degree is 2.0.

7.  The normal course load per semester is four courses (the equivalent of 16 credits) in order to complete the degree in a maximum of eight semesters. The record of each student who is not enrolled in a minimum of 16 credits will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing at the end of each semester. Poor scholarship is not grounds for diminution of the normal course load. A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to be eligible for on-campus housing. Campus housing is not available for RTC students.

8.  Pre-Registration: Official pre-registration for courses shall be conducted at announced dates during the preceding semester, beginning no earlier than five weeks before the last day of classes. A student may pre-register for a maximum of 19 credits during this period.

9.  Add/Limited Add Periods: The first week of classes each semester is considered the Add Period, during which students may add new courses to their schedules (subject to enrollment limitations, prerequisites and guidelines for over-pointing). The second week of classes is considered the Limited Add Period, during which students may add courses only with the explicit approval of the instructor. After the conclusion of the Limited Add Period, courses may be added only with the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing.

10.  Delete Period: The first two weeks of classes are considered the Delete Period, during which students may delete courses from their schedule without any record on their transcript.

11.  Course Withdrawal: The Course Withdrawal Period begins the day after the conclusion of the Delete Period and ends five weeks before the last day of classes. During this period, a student may withdraw from one or more courses with a grade of “W” recorded on the transcript. Under exceptional circumstances, the Committee on Academic Standing may allow a student to withdraw from courses after the end of the Course Withdrawal Period. A student may not at any time fall more than two courses (eight credits) behind the normal accumulation of four courses per semester. If a student has fallen eight or more credits behind the normal accumulation, the course withdrawal option will not be available, except by explicit permission of the Committee on Academic Standing, until the student has earned additional credit through over-pointing or completing summer courses. A student may only use eight credits of Advanced Placement credit to repair credit deficiencies. Any student who has an Honor Council case pending in relation to a course, or who has received a penalty in relation to a course, is not permitted to exercise the course withdrawal option in that course.

12.  Over-Pointing: Students may take up to 19 credits per term, subject to approval from their faculty adviser.  Any additional coursework is considered over-pointing and is subject to additional guidelines and restrictions.  Students may not over-point during the pre-registration period, but must wait until the beginning of the Add Period.  First-semester first-year students are not allowed to over-point.  

Requirements for over-pointing are as follows:

From 20 to 23 credits: Students must have earned a grade point average of at least 3.0 during the previous semester.  Students whose grade point average from the previous semester was below 3.0 must obtain approval from both their faculty adviser and their academic dean.  Approval forms are available from the Office of the Registrar.

From 24 to 27 credits: Students must obtain approval from both their faculty adviser and their academic dean. 

Students may not take more than 27 credits per semester without the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing.  Under normal circumstances a student may not take more than six courses that are worth four or more credits.

*Not applicable to RTC students.

13. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory: In each semester of the junior and senior years (to a maximum of four semesters), a student with a cumulative and current grade point average of 2.0 may elect one otherwise letter-graded course for which the instructor is required to enter the final mark as either Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U). Return to College students must petition the Committee on Academic Standing to elect the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option. Non-degree students may elect one satisfactory/unsatisfactory course per semester. A grade of Satisfactory will be awarded for course work completed at or above a “C–”; the grade of Unsatisfactory will be awarded for course work completed at or below a “D+”. Neither the Satisfactory nor Unsatisfactory grade will factor into the cumulative grade point average, and credit will only be earned for a Satisfactory grade. A grade of Unsatisfactory automatically excludes a student from Dean’s Honors and Dean’s High Honors for that semester.

The following limitations pertain to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option:

 • This option cannot be exercised for any course that may be counted toward the major, even if the minimum requirements for the major have already been completed.

• Courses taken with this option may not be counted toward a minor or College-wide requirement.

The option may be filed from the first day of classes to the end of the first six weeks of classes. Upon submission of the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory form, the instructor will be notified of the student’s election of the option.

Note: This option does not apply to any course that is graded under the pass/not passed option.

Note: Any student who has an Honor Council case pending in relation to a course, or who has received a penalty in relation to a course, is not permitted to exercise the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option in that course. Should the student have elected the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option prior to the Honor Council deliberations, the final decision of the Honor Council will override the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option, if appropriate.

Due to extraordinary circumstances, the College’s standard policy for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades, as stated in IFF, shall be suspended during the Spring 2020 semester. Instead, the following procedures will be in effect for courses taken this semester:

  • Any matriculated or non-matriculated student, regardless of class year or grade-point average, may employ the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option for any course at Connecticut College. The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option may also be selected for courses taken by Connecticut College students at other institutions (including Study Away programs).
  • All students taking courses at Connecticut College will have until 5:00 p.m. on May 6, 2020 to select the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option. Instructors will be informed as soon as possible which students in their classes have selected this option. Individual students may petition the Committee on Academic Standing to select the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option after this deadline, subject to all other procedures mentioned in this motion. For courses taken at other institutions, students will have one week after their grades are posted on Degree Works to select the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option. The process for students to make this selection will be designed and communicated as soon as possible.
  • There will be no limit to how many courses a student may select for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option.
  • The minimum letter grade necessary to receive a Satisfactory grade will be a D-, as opposed to the usual minimum of a C-.
  • Courses taken this semester with a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory designation may be counted toward a major, a minor, or any College-wide requirement.
  • Courses for which a student has selected the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option will not be considered when computing Latin honors, Dean’s Honors or Dean’s High Honors, or distinction within a major.
  • Once a student has officially selected the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option for a course, that decision may not be reversed. The original letter grades for such courses will not be recorded permanently.

14.  For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2016 to complete the College's General Education program, seven separate and distinct courses are required, each from a separate department, along with the completion of the foreign language and Writing Across the Curriculum requirements. The same course may not count toward more than one area. The same course, however, may count toward General Education as well as the requirements of the major.

15.  Repeating a Course: Normally courses may not be repeated for credit. Any student who has received a passing grade and earned credit for an individual course may not repeat the course; this includes Advanced Placement, summer school and all course work taken at other institutions. Note that this policy does not apply to certain courses, the content of which varies from year to year: Advanced Study Seminars, Individual Study courses, and courses specifically noted in the catalog that by faculty vote may be repeated. A student who has failed a course may repeat it, the original grade remaining on the record and calculated into the grade point average; the second grade is also recorded and calculated in the grade point average.

16.  Students seeking to receive a bachelor’s degree in fewer than four years must obtain approval for their course of study from their major adviser and from the Committee on Academic Standing.

17.  Students who plan to complete degree requirements at the end of a summer or the end of a fall semester must formally petition through their adviser and the Committee on Academic Standing. Students granted such permission should not terminate studies without a careful check of the academic record to see that all credits and grades are in order.

18.  The evaluation of transfer and pre-first year college credit is determined by the Office of the Registrar. Transfer credit is granted only for courses with an approximate counterpart in the Connecticut College curriculum with grades of C or higher.

19.  To qualify as a candidate for a degree at Connecticut College, a student must

• Complete at least two full years of academic work in residence (full-time status) including one semester of the senior year and

• Earn at least 64 credits at Connecticut College.

Summer session credit at Connecticut College may be included in the 64 credits, but summer session does not count as one of the residency semesters.

20.  While transfer students are given credit for approved courses taken at other institutions, they nonetheless must also meet the requirements of rule 19.

21.  The College’s annual commencement ceremony is held in May. Students who have not completed the necessary coursework but who are within eight credits of the total required for graduation may, with the signature of their academic dean, participate in commencement. Such students will be eligible to receive their degrees in the fall semester of the next academic year, as long as they complete the required coursework and submit the appropriate documentation to the Office of the Registrar no later than September 15. The degrees will be conferred in October, upon approval by the faculty and the board of trustees. There will be no separate commencement ceremony during the fall semester. For the purposes of Latin honors and other awards, students receiving their degrees in the fall semester will be considered members of the class that graduated the preceding May.

22.  Students within eight credits of graduation at commencement who submit the necessary documentation after September 15 will receive their degrees the following May, as will any students who complete their degree requirements during the fall semester. In such cases, the College will provide an official letter stating that the student has completed the necessary coursework for the degree. A specific notation will also be made on the student’s transcript indicating that the degree requirements have been fulfilled.

23.  Although advisers will give all reasonable aid and direction, students will be held responsible for errors in their choice of studies. Students should regularly seek guidance on their academic programs; they should consult their academic advisers until they have elected a major and their major adviser thereafter. After such consultation, students are free and responsible to choose their own program, subject only to College, departmental or interdisciplinary program regulations.

* For students who matriculated prior to fall 2019, no more than four-one credit courses may be counted.

For additional explanation of the academic regulations, see Section II in the Student Handbook.

All students should refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress section of this catalog.