Academic advising at Whitman College begins when the student submits an application for admission. Before initial registration at Whitman, staff members in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) assign each first-year student to a faculty or staff member who serves as the student’s premajor adviser until the student declares a major. The student chooses a major before the end of the second semester of his or her sophomore year; and will select a member of the department or teaching area in the student’s major field to serve as the student’s adviser.
In addition to premajor and major advising, advisers are available to assist students in selecting preprofessional courses suitable as preparation for graduate and professional study. Advisers also can assist students planning to study off-campus or to enter other special programs of the college.
The General Studies Program: The goal of the General Studies Program is to inform the whole of the student’s undergraduate education with a structure and consistency that complement and broaden the program of major studies. Whitman recognizes that flexibility is necessary in order to accommodate differences in background, interest, and aptitude. General Studies is Whitman’s method of ensuring that student programs have overall coherence and that the wide range of the college’s intellectual resources are utilized without enforcing lockstep requirements.
Specifically, the General Studies Program is intended to provide: 1) breadth and perspective to allow exposure to the diversity of knowledge, 2) integration to demonstrate the interrelatedness of knowledge, 3) a community of shared experience to encourage informal continuation of education beyond the classroom, and 4) a context for further study in the many areas appropriate for a well-educated person. To achieve these goals, the faculty has devised the following curriculum:
- The First-Year Experience: Encounters: two four-credit courses to be completed by all students during their first year of study at Whitman College, with the exception of transfer students entering with junior standing.
- Distribution Requirements: All students must complete the Distribution Requirements (see “General Studies Program” in the Courses and Programs section of this catalog).
First-year students who wish to defer the First-Year Experience until the sophomore year must receive the permission of the Board of Review. Transfer students entering with fewer than 58 acceptable credits (below junior level) must complete the First-Year Experience unless, upon appeal, the Board of Review finds that they have successfully completed comparable courses at another institution.
Major Studies Requirements:A major study program is a coherent array of courses designed to develop mastery of the basic ideas and skills in a particular field or area. Every candidate for a bachelor’s degree must complete such a program. The major study may be an established departmental program, an established combined program, or an individually planned program.
The choice of a major can be made at any time after the student has been admitted to the college, but must be made before the end of the second semester of the sophomore year. The selection of a major should be made in consultation with the student’s premajor adviser and the adviser or advisers for the proposed major study.
Whitman College offers departmental major study programs in the areas listed as follows. Departments also may provide an option for emphasis within the major.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies
Foreign Languages and Literatures: French, German Studies
A combined major study program integrates work from two or more departments, from a department and one or more of the extra-departmental teaching areas, or from two teaching areas within a department, to provide concentration in an area of study. The faculty has established combined major study programs in the following areas:
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology
Film and Media Studies
Race and Ethnic Studies
Specific requirements for each of the established major study programs may be found by referring to the respective departmental listing in the Courses of Instruction section of this catalog. The requirements that apply to a student are those published in the most recent edition of this catalog at the time a student completes the second semester of his or her sophomore year or, in the case of junior-level transfer students, the catalog for the year of entrance to the college. These requirements may be altered as necessary in individual cases by the departments with the approval of the Board of Review.
In addition to the combined major, an individually planned major study program may be developed by students with unique interests and intentions. The individually planned major permits the development of a concentrated study in some area which crosses two or more disciplines, or which currently does not offer a standard major, thus permitting an area of concentration not available in other major study programs. Prior to the end of the student’s fifth semester or the equivalent, he or she must select a major committee consisting of at least three faculty advisers (at least two of whom must be tenured or tenure-track) appropriate for the proposed major. With the guidance of the advisory committee, the student must specify the requirements for a coherent major study program and develop a rationale. The rationale must clearly demonstrate the need for an individually planned major rather than an established combined major or a departmental major and minor. Moreover, the proposed individually planned major must be approved by the Board of Review and subsequently assessed by the Curriculum Committee. Additional requirements appear in Guidelines for the Construction of an Individually Planned Major, available from the Registrar’s Office.
Regardless of whether the student declares a standard, combined, or individually planned major, a minimum of two-thirds of the specific course and credit requirements for the major must be completed in the on-campus program of the college, and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 must be earned by a student in all of the courses taken within the department or departments of his or her major study. A student with a combined major must maintain a GPA of at least 2.000 in each subject area of the major. A student with an individually planned major must maintain a GPA of at least 2.000 in the courses specified in the major.
A program of study is prepared with the advice and consent of the student’s major adviser or advisory committee to ensure that all major and degree requirements are completed. At an appropriate time during the student’s senior year, the major department or major committee certifies that the degree candidate has completed an acceptable program of study.
Every candidate for a bachelor’s degree must, in his or her senior year or subsequently, complete with a passing grade a senior assessment in the field of the major study.
The examination may be entirely oral, or it may be part written and part oral. The advanced tests of the Graduate Record Examination, if taken during the senior year, may be used in partial satisfaction of the written major examination. Major examinations when passed are graded “passed” or “passed with distinction.” A student who fails to pass the major examination may take a second examination, but not before two weeks after the first examination. A candidate who fails to pass the second examination is not eligible to take another until three months have elapsed.
A minor study allows serious participation in a secondary interest area without the burden of designing a more comprehensive interdisciplinary program as required for an individually planned combined major. The election of a minor study program is optional.
Minor study programs include 15 to 20 credits within the particular field or area to be completed with a minimum grade-point average of 2.000. The approved minor programs are:
Art History and Visual Culture Studies
Film and Media Studies
Latin American Studies
Race and Ethnic Studies
Specific requirements for each of the minor study programs may be found in the respective departmental or area listing in the Courses and Programs section. Unless approved by the appropriate departments and/or programs, courses used for minor requirements may not also be applied to requirements in the major or any other minor. In addition, a minimum of three-fifths of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor must be completed in the on-campus program of the college. Refer to the specific major and minor descriptions elsewhere in the catalog.
Every candidate for a bachelor’s degree must complete not fewer than 124 credits in appropriate courses and with acceptable grades. A minimum of 54 credits must be earned in residence in the on-campus programs of the college, and at least 44 of these credits must be earned in regularly graded courses at Whitman College apart from all P-D-F and credit-no credit work. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 is required for all work attempted at Whitman College (the number of grade points earned must be equal to or greater than twice the graded credits attempted).
As described in the following paragraphs, the college restricts the amount of credit in certain courses and programs allowed toward degree and major requirements.
Students who have previously studied a foreign language in secondary school, college, or elsewhere must take a placement test before enrolling in a course in this same foreign language at Whitman. Students who complete Spanish 206 at Whitman also must take a placement test to determine which third-year Spanish course they should take. Each language area places students in the appropriate level of language study after considering the results of the placement examination and the individual circumstances of the student. Students with no previous language experience are not required to take the placement test. Students who have already taken a foreign language course at the college level cannot repeat the same level course and receive both transfer credit and Whitman credit.
A maximum of 16 credits in activity courses will be allowed toward the minimum of 124 credits required for graduation.
A maximum of eight credits will be allowed in the following category:
- Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics activity courses (see Activity Courses listing under “Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics” in the Courses and Programs section of the catalog)
A maximum of 12 credits will be allowed in any one of the following categories:
- Dance (except 234)
- Music (Music 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 251, 252, 261, 262)
- Rhetoric Studies (Rhetoric Studies 121, 221, 222)
- Theatre (Theatre 231, 232)
No more than 16 credits toward the minimum of 124 credits required for graduation are allowed in any one, or combination of, the following courses in applied music: Music 163, 164, 263, 264, 363, 364, 463, 464.
Whitman College grants no academic credit for work experience or internships per se, though it may grant credit for academic coursework linked to internships. This policy applies to internships that are part of courses in various Whitman departments, to internships that are part of courses administered by approved Off-Campus Study programs, and to internships that are part of courses for which a student receives transfer credit.
Off-Campus and Transfer Credit for Major Requirements
A maximum of one-third of the specific course and credit requirements for the major may be satisfied by work completed in an off-campus program of the college and/or transfer credit. Generally, this means a maximum of 12 semester credits for a major requiring 36 semester credits. Some departments have imposed greater restrictions, and such limitations are stated in the departmental information in the Courses and Programs section of the catalog. Credit which does not apply toward major requirements may be used to meet degree credit requirements within the general limitation for study abroad and transfer credit.
The 124 credits required for the bachelor’s degree must be completed in not more than nine semesters or equivalent, except that additional time may be allowed in unusual cases by vote of the Board of Review.
Residence at Whitman College is required of all degree candidates during the last two semesters immediately prior to completion of degree requirements. A student who has on record no fewer than 116 acceptable credits and who has met the minimum residence and the credit requirements may be allowed to complete the remaining credits for the degree requirement at another institution under the following provisions: 1) such work, within the maximum of eight credits, must be approved in advance by the student’s major adviser and a record of the proposed work must be filed with the Registrar; and 2) the work must be completed in the interim between the student’s last residence in the college and the date for the awarding of degrees in the following fall.
Degrees are awarded at the commencement ceremony in May and on specified dates in September and December. A degree may not be conferred in absentia at commencement except by special action of the Board of Review taken in response to a petition showing satisfactory reasons for the candidate’s inability to take the degree in person. A student who has met the residence requirements and who has successfully completed at least 116 credits toward graduation may participate in commencement, though a degree will not be conferred until all the requirements for graduation are met.
Two baccalaureate degrees may not be conferred on the same student at the same time, but the student may earn a second baccalaureate degree by completing at least 30 additional credits in residence following the date of completion of all requirements for the first degree and by completing the requirements for a second major study in a field different from that presented for the first baccalaureate. If there has been a change in the general degree requirements, the student must satisfy the degree requirements in effect at the time of the granting of the second degree.
Work satisfactorily completed at an accredited collegiate institution is accepted for transfer provided it is academic in nature and is generally applicable toward a liberal arts program of study. In general, professional or vocationally oriented courses are not accepted for transfer.
A record of all academic work undertaken in other collegiate institutions, including a record of correspondence and distance learning work and registration in summer sessions, must be presented to the Registrar by every student who has undertaken such work. Students who fail to provide such transcripts may be guilty of unethical conduct and may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension or dismissal from the college.
No credit will be granted for coursework, including extension and online courses, taken in another collegiate institution while the student is in residence at Whitman College unless written permission to register for such courses is obtained in advance by the student from his or her adviser and from the Registrar. Nothing in this rule makes mandatory the granting of any credit by Whitman College.
Whitman College grants no academic credit for work experience or internships per se. See the Academic Credit for Internships section.
A total of 70 credits of advanced standing transferred from other accredited collegiate institutions is the maximum non-Whitman work creditable toward a bachelor’s degree. This includes credit allowed on the basis of scores earned on the Advanced Placement Test of the College Board, higher-level courses for the International Baccalaureate, Running Start courses, or certain military service. Credit earned exclusively from two-year colleges is limited to 62 semester credits applicable toward a bachelor’s degree.
No transfer credit is applied toward a Whitman degree unless it is of average (C- or 1.7 on a numerical grade scale) or better quality. Credit may be awarded for transfer work graded as Pass/Fail, but only if the original institution's minimum "pass" grade is equivalent to a C- or better. However, Off-Campus Studies courses (courses taken outside the United States and on US-based Partner Programs) must be taken for a letter grade or its numeric equivalent. Transfer credit will not be awarded for Off-Campus Studies courses graded as Pass/Fail.
Grades awarded by other institutions are not made a part of the student's Whitman record, except for grades awarded through Off-Campus Studies Partner Programs, which appear on the Whitman transcript, but are not calculated into the grade point average.
Students who have participated in one or more Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses must arrange to have their scores or transcripts sent directly to Whitman College by the institution awarding credit. These courses may be applied toward the 124-credit degree requirement and certain majors and minors, but may not be used to satisfy Distribution Requirements.
The amount of credit allowed from various extramural sources is restricted as follows:
Credit Earned Through Exams
The college’s standard policy for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exams is to award a maximum of eight degree credits for each subject test on which a score of 4 or higher is earned. Similarly, for International Baccalaureate (IB) exams a maximum of eight degree credits will be awarded for each program examination on which a score of 5 or higher is earned. There are several exceptions to this standard policy, and they are noted below.
Credit awarded under this policy may be applied toward the 124-credit degree requirement, but may not be used to satisfy Distribution Requirements. A maximum of one year’s credit (30 semester hours) may be accepted as general degree credit. AP and IB credit will not be granted if the equivalent course is completed at Whitman College.
Whitman College does not accept or award credits for the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) general or subject examinations. Such credits awarded by other institutions will not be accepted for transfer. The college also does not accept transfer credit awarded on the basis of placement or challenge examinations at other institutions.
A score of 5 is required for certain exams, as noted below. For the Physics C: Mechanics test a score of 5 is required along with successful completion of Physics 135. Also, AP credit does not cover chemistry laboratory courses. Students must have completed and passed Chemistry 135, or an equivalent college chemistry course, in order to enroll in Chemistry 136.
|AP Examination||Credit||Whitman Equivalent|
|Biology (score of 5)||4||Biology 111|
|Computer Science (A)||3||Mathematics 167|
|Economics (score of 5)|
|English (score of 5)|
|Language and Composition||4||English 110|
|Literature and Composition||4||Elective|
|score of 4||3||Elective|
|score of 5||4||Elective|
|score of 4||4||French 150|
|score of 5||8||French 150, 200|
|German Language||4||German 205|
|Government and Politics|
|History (score of 5)|
|American/U.S.||6||History 105, 106|
| Calculus AB, or AB subscore of
|Calculus BC||6||Mathematics 125, 126|
|Music Theory (score of 5)||2||Music 125|
|Physics C: Mechanics (score of 5)||3||Physics 155*|
|Spanish Language (score of 5)||8||Spanish 205, 206|
|*Credit for Physics 155 is awarded after successful completion of Physics 135.|
Whitman recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. Credit may be given for scores of 5, 6, or 7 in selected higher-level IB examinations. A maximum of one year’s credit (30 semester hours) may be accepted as general degree credit.
International Baccalaureate examinations currently accepted at Whitman, along with amount of credit and the appropriate equivalent courses, appear below (must receive scores of 5 or higher, maximum of eight credits). IB credit will not be granted if the equivalent course is completed at Whitman College.
|IB Examination||Credit||Whitman Equivalent|
|Biology||8||Biology 111, 112|
|Economics (minimum score of 6)||6||Economics 101, 102|
|English A1 or A2||8||English 110, 4 credits elective|
|French B||8||French 150, 200|
|German B||8||German 205, 206|
|History Americas||6||History 105, 106|
|History Europe||3||History 183|
|Physics||8||Physics 155, 156|
|Spanish A1 or B||8||Spanish 205, 206|
Whitman will review credit earned through the Running Start Program and similar dual enrollment programs on a course-by-course basis. Coursework is eligible for credit only if the class(es) are taught on the college campus by college faculty, and no more than one-third of the participants consists of high school students. Credits awarded will be for classes at a commensurate level and in subject matter relevant to the Whitman College liberal arts curriculum. See the Financial Aid, Running Start and Similar Programs section for more information.
Whitman does not award credit for coursework completed in a high school classroom and appearing on a transcript from a college or university.
A maximum of 62 semester hours of credit may be transferred from accredited two-year colleges. Whitman will accept credit on a course-by-course basis from the Associate of Arts or Sciences degree programs.
Not more than 10 credits of extension and/or online work may be credited toward a bachelor’s degree, and such work must be completed in institutions that hold membership in the University Professional & Continuing Education Association.
No more than 38 semester credits (19 for one semester) from study abroad programs, including the Partner Programs of the college, may be applied toward degree requirements. Off-Campus Study credit does not count toward the Whitman College residency requirement. Application of credit toward major requirements is subject to the general college limitation and to any specific departmental policy with respect to off-campus programs and transfer credit. Students who wish to receive Whitman credit for any study abroad course must receive prior approval from Off-Campus Studies at Whitman by submitting the Whitman Off-Campus Studies Application by the appropriate deadline. Credit earned during the regular school year on an off-campus program that is not a Partner Program of the college will not be accepted for transfer toward the Whitman degree.
Non-partner Summer study programs, however, may be approved by the Off-Campus Studies Committee for transfer but only if prior approval has been granted by the Off-Campus Studies Committee. To request summer study abroad transfer credit approval, students must submit the Summer Study Abroad Transfer Credit Application to Off-Campus Studies at least three weeks prior to their program's application deadline.
Credit for programs completed during military service may be allowed as recommended in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services, provided that satisfactory military training and discharge credentials (DD214) are submitted. The work involved must be appropriate to a liberal arts degree program. A maximum of four credits may be awarded as sport studies, recreation and athletics activities provided that the period of service was more than one year’s duration. All service-related credit granted applies only to the 124-credit requirement for the degree and may not be used to satisfy the Distribution Requirement or major requirements. If credit for basic military training has been granted to satisfy high school requirements, it may not be counted as college credit.
For students who are admitted to the combined study plan programs in engineering, forestry and environmental management, law, foreign language, oceanography, and international studies, the transfer credit provisions of the college are modified to fit the patterns of the combined plans. When the student completes residence in the combined plan school, Whitman College allows the transfer credit which is necessary in the pattern of the combined plans to meet the degree requirements of 124 credits.
Regular students are those who are admitted to pursue a degree program with the assumption that they complete such a program in approximately eight semesters. Regular students normally take no fewer than 12 and no more than 18 academic credits to ensure adequate progress in their degree programs. An average of 15.5 credits per semester is required to complete the 124-credit degree requirements in eight semesters. Regular students are classified according to the number of credits on record as follows:
Senior: 90 or more but not graduated
Graduating seniors, who need eight or fewer credits to complete their degree requirements at the beginning of their final semester, should contact the Dean of Students Office to request regular student status on a pay-per-credit basis. Students may not be concurrently enrolled at another college in order to meet the credit requirements for pay-by-credit status. Full tuition will be charged for students enrolled in more than eight credits. All requests for this status must be submitted to the Dean of Students by the last day to add classes each semester.
Students who add additional credits after the last day to add classes must stay within eight or fewer credits to keep their pay-by-credit status. Graduating seniors who drop classes after the deadline for requesting pay-by-credit status will remain at full tuition even if they drop below eight credits.
Special students are regularly admitted students who wish to pursue a degree program but for certain reasons can do so only at the rate of one or two courses per semester. Applications for special student status must be submitted to the Dean of Students prior to the last day to add classes of the semester in which they are requesting this status. Special students may not represent any college organization, participate in intercollegiate athletics, and are not eligible to be pledged to or hold active membership in organized social groups, except by permission of the Dean of Students.
Nondegree-seeking students are those who are approved by the Office of Admission to take certain courses at Whitman College but not to pursue a degree or program. Nondegree-seeking students may not represent any college organization, participate in intercollegiate athletics, and are not eligible to be pledged to or hold active membership in organized social groups. If nondegree-seeking students wish at any time to become regular students they may apply to the Committee on Admission and Financial Aid in the usual way. Nondegree-seeking students generally may not maintain residence in college housing.
Postgraduate students are those who hold a bachelor’s degree and are admitted to pursue further academic work.
Auditors are persons admitted to courses but not for credit. Auditors are not allowed in “activity” courses or in courses with studio or laboratory exercises. A regular or special student may audit courses with the written consent of his or her adviser and of the instructor concerned and without formal registration in the audited courses. Nondegree-seeking students who wish to audit courses and those admitted to the college solely as auditors must secure the written consent of instructors concerned. The college does not keep permanent record of audited work.
Every student is required to register in a program of study at the beginning of each semester. Registration is for one semester only and carries with it no right for continuance in the college. The extension of the privilege of reenrollment to any other semester is always at the option of the officers of the college.
The 18-credit limit for registration shall be exclusive of sport studies, recreation and athletics activity courses and those other activity courses for which the 16-credit limitation applies (see Credit Restrictions). Applied music courses are not considered activity courses. Permission to register for more than 18 academic credits after the preregistration period may be granted by the Board of Review upon written petition by the student provided that:
- The student has both cumulative and previous semester Whitman grade-point averages of at least 3.5.
- The student’s adviser signs the petition indicating his or her approval of the student’s overload.
- The student submits the petition with attached signatures from all of his or her current semester Whitman professors, confirming, as of week nine or later, that he or she has met course deadlines consistently (if a student is abroad, on leave, or registering in the semester in which the overload will occur, they shall instead need signatures from all of the professors currently on campus from the student’s last completed semester courses at Whitman).
Requests for more than 18 academic credits that do not meet the above criteria will be granted by the Board of Review only in truly exceptional circumstances in which there is exigent need to take an academic overload (such as the need to graduate).
The instructor of a class may have a student without an authorized absence removed from the class roster if the student fails to attend the class in the first calendar week that it meets. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of an authorized absence. The instructor must notify the student and the Registrar of the intent to remove the student from the class roster at least 24 hours before he/she is removed from the class roster.
Registration procedures and regulations are described in detail by the Office of the Registrar prior to each semester’s registration.
Any form of falsification, misrepresentation of another’s work as one’s own (such as cheating on examinations, reports, or quizzes), or plagiarism from the work of others is academic dishonesty and is a serious offense.
Plagiarism occurs when a student, intentionally or unintentionally, uses someone else’s words, ideas, or data, without proper acknowledgement. College policy regarding plagiarism is more fully explained in the Whitman College Student Handbook. Each student is required to sign the Statement on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism. Cases of academic dishonesty are heard by the Council on Student Affairs.
The evaluation of students’ work is the responsibility of the instructor or supervisor of the class. It is expected that the assessment methods will include a final evaluative exercise unless the instructor deems it impractical or unnecessary. These exercises may include written or oral examinations, take-home examinations, papers, and/or oral reports. The instructor should inform the students of the methods of evaluation at the start of each course.
Students are required to take the final examinations according to the schedule distributed by the Registrar’s Office. A student who is absent from a final examination and has an authorized incomplete for that absence may take the examination at a later date (see Incompletes, as follows).
A student who misses a final examination and has no authorized incomplete may not take such an examination at a later date, and the instructor shall determine the grade for the course without the examination.
Midterm Grades. Each semester, on or before the date designated as midterm in the official academic calendar, the quality of the student’s work is reported to the Registrar’s Office if it is of D or F quality. These interim reports are the basis of advisory action.
Final Grades. Letter grades are assigned grade points as indicated below and are used to denote the quality of a student’s work. All work recorded with these grades (graded credits attempted) is used in the calculation of grade-point averages.
GPAs are computed by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of graded credits attempted.
The following symbols carry no grade points; work recorded with any of these symbols is not used in the calculation of GPAs:
P: The symbol P is used to designate credit earned for those courses completed under the P-D-F grade option in which the student has received the equivalent of a C- or better grade. Certain courses also may be designated as graded on a P-D-F basis only; such courses are identified on the student’s permanent record.
CR: Denotes that credit is allowed for a course graded on a credit-no credit basis.
NC:Denotes that no credit is allowed for a course graded on a credit-no credit basis. The use of the CR and NC grades is limited to activity courses and other courses specifically designated by the faculty.
X: The symbol X, which is used to designate a deferred grade, may be assigned only if prior approval has been granted by the Board of Review.
I: The symbol I, which is used to designate an incomplete grade pending completion, may be assigned only under the conditions listed in the section which follows.
W: This symbol is used to indicate the official withdrawal from a course after the sixth week but prior to the end of the 10th week of classes. Additional information is provided in the section which follows.
NR:An administratively recorded temporary symbol used when a standard grade has not been submitted by the instructor.
Incompletes. A grade of incomplete (I) may be authorized upon request by a student who has completed at least half of the required work of a course with a passing grade, but who is unable to complete the requirements of the course due to reasons of health or emergency, and for no other reason. Any request for an incomplete must be submitted prior to the end of the semester for which the incomplete is requested.
A student who meets these criteria may initiate a request in the Office of the Dean of Students for an incomplete for reasons which are consistent with the following guidelines:
- An absence of not more than three weeks due to: a) the death or serious illness of a member of the student’s immediate family, or b) military orders.
- For reasons of health which persist for not more than four consecutive weeks.
The request must include information concerning the duration of the illness or emergency and indicate how the work not completed is related to the period of illness or emergency. The instructor must provide written verification that at least half of the work has been completed with a passing grade, specify what work is required to complete the course requirements, and indicate whether or not he or she regards the completion of the requirements to be feasible.
The Dean of Students will determine the appropriate action after consulting with the Health Center Director or the Director of Counseling.
Any request for an incomplete not covered by these guidelines will be submitted to the Board of Review for consideration.
When a grade of incomplete has been authorized, the instructor shall record a provisional grade. The provisional grade is the default grade that the student will receive if he or she fails to do the work required to complete the course. As such, it should be calculated assuming a grade of zero on all outstanding work. The result of this calculation in many cases will be an F, and under no conditions should the provisional grade be an A.
Work to be applied toward the final grade in a course with an incomplete must be turned in by the deadlines listed in the next section. If the deadlines are not met, the grade of I will be converted to the provisional grade and will stand on the student's permanent record. For the period of time between the authorization of an incomplete and its resolution according to the schedule below, the pending incomplete will appear as the grade of I on the student's transcript.
Deadlines associated with incompletes:
- If the student is on probation, a grade change must be reported to the Registrar within three weeks after the last day of final examinations for the semester in which the grade was incurred.
- If the student is in good standing, the requirements of the course must be completed by the end of the third week of classes in his or her next semester in residence.
- Faculty members shall report the completion of such grades to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the fourth week of the semester. The absence of a report from the faculty member by this time will result in the conversion of the grade of I to the provisional grade.
- Students not in residence must complete the requirements for the course no later than six months after the incomplete has been incurred.
- Incomplete grades will be converted to provisional grades for students dismissed from the college.
- A student may petition the Board of Review to extend these deadlines.
Students with incomplete grades on their academic records will not be permitted to graduate, even if all other degree requirements have been satisfied. Such students may participate in commencement ceremonies. In this context, the deadlines listed above still apply.
The Dean of Students shall provide a memo to students with incompletes that reviews the college's policies on incomplete grades and the applicable deadlines within two weeks of the initial authorization of the incompletes.
Withdrawals. If a student withdraws from a course or from the college after the sixth week but prior to the end of the 10th week of classes, he or she shall receive a grade of W (withdrawal). If the student withdraws or discontinues studies in any course after that date (unless specifically permitted to do so by the Board of Review for reasonable cause such as a family distress, serious illness, or other emergency), he or she shall receive a grade of F. Withdrawal from the college requires the filing of the proper form in the Registrar’s Office and consultation with the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.
Deferred grades. Grades may be deferred at the request of an instructor in cases where it is impractical to file a grade which is dependent, for example, upon a requirement such as completion of a thesis or special project. Acceptable reasons are normally those which are beyond the control of the student and do not include the inappropriate allocation of time to complete the course or project. The instructor must obtain the consent of the Board of Review prior to submitting deferred grades.
Grade Report. Semester grade reports will be made available to students via the Web, and upon request sent to the student at the home address or other address designated for grades.
Grades for Partner Programs. Off-Campus Study courses on Partner Programs, both study abroad and Whitman’s U.S.-based Partner Programs (AU Washington Semester and The Philadelphia Center), will be recorded on the student’s Whitman record, including all grades reported by the program, but with the exception that these grades will not be used in the calculation of semester and cumulative grade averages, nor will these credits be considered as part of the Whitman College residency requirement.
A grade reported by an instructor becomes a part of the permanent records of the college and may not be changed by the instructor or any other official of the college without the approval of the Board of Review. A faculty member may request a change in grade by submitting a brief written statement to the Board of Review which states the basis for the change requested.
Students who register for a class on a P-D-F basis will be assigned a grade of P if they earn a grade of C- or above. If a D or F grade is earned, those grades will be recorded as for any graded course and will be used in the computation of the grade-point average. Students in good standing are eligible to select courses on a P-D-F basis, under the following conditions: credit in P-D-F courses which may be counted toward the completion of graduation requirements is limited to one-third of all credits earned at the college up to a maximum of 40, and with the exception that all students must complete a minimum of 44 credits in regularly graded courses in the on-campus programs of the college. Students initially must register for all courses (except those designated as P-D-F or credit-no credit courses by the faculty) on a regularly graded basis. During the 10th week of the semester, students may, after consultations with their advisers, change their registration for selected classes to a P-D-F basis. The P-D-F option may enable some students to enter areas of study comparatively unfamiliar to them without the potential of lowering their overall GPA so long as the earned grade is at least a C-.
A student must complete a special form, have it signed by his or her adviser, and file it with the Registrar during the 10th week of classes to be eligible to take a course on a P-D-F basis.
The P-D-F option may not be applied to any course designated as a General Studies course. Courses taken with the P-D-F grade option cannot be used to satisfy Distribution Requirements. In addition, each department or program has formulated a policy with regard to limiting or denying the P-D-F option in courses taken within the major subject. Unless otherwise noted for a specific department or program in the Courses and Programs section of this catalog, courses taken with the P-D-F grade option after declaration of the major cannot be used to satisfy the course and credit requirements for a major.
Note:Users of the P-D-F option should be aware that certain graduate and professional institutions may discount GPAs in which substantial parts of a student’s record include P-D-F grades. They assume that students using this option either choose to be graded in subjects where they will receive higher grades or that they will not make the same effort in P-D-F courses, thus distorting their GPA upward. Students should be conscious of the risks in overuse of this grading option. Program advisers (e.g., medicine, law) should be consulted by students interested in advanced study in the respective areas prior to electing to use the P-D-F grade option.
Each semester, students receive notification at least twice to verify their course registrations. The first notice appears immediately following final registration, and the second occurs at the end of the 10th week of classes. Both notices provide a link to the appropriate Web page that lists all of the courses which will appear on the student’s grade report and permanent record; that is, those courses for which the student is currently registered, including an indication of the P-D-F grade option, and those for which a W grade will be recorded.
Credit cannot be granted for courses in which a student has not been officially registered. It is the student’s responsibility to check the registration information reports carefully and consult the Registrar’s Office concerning procedures for correction of errors and omissions. It is the Board of Review’s policy not to approve requests for registration in any course after the close of the semester in which registration was required.
Courses may not be repeated for credit unless the course is approved for multiple enrollments because of changing subject matter. If a student elects to re-enroll in a course in which he or she previously received credit with a passing grade in order to improve his or her knowledge of the subject matter, the course for the second registration is marked as a repeat and neither the grade nor the credit for this registration is included in the calculation of the semester, cumulative, or major grade-point averages. However, if a student successfully repeats a previously failed course, the grade and credit for both the failed and completed courses are included in the calculation of the semester, cumulative, and major grade-point averages.
Charges for fee courses may be redetermined in the fall due to the uncertainty of costs at the time the catalog is published. The following fees are estimated:
|Special Projects, ArtS 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302: applicable fee for the area of the project (e.g., a special project in photography||$175|
|Book Arts, ArtS 140, 240, 340||$150|
|Ceramics, ArtS 130, 230, 330||$150|
|Drawing, ArtS 115, 215, 315||$100|
|Digital Media, ArtS 180, 280, 380||$150|
|Introduction to Visual Art Practices, ArtS 110||$125|
|Painting, ArtS 167, 267, 367||$120|
|Photography, ArtS 125, 225, 325||$150|
|Photography, ArtS 123, 223, 323||$175|
|Printmaking, ArtS 170, 270, 370||$150|
|Sculpture, ArtS 160, 260, 360||$150|
|Intermediate and Advanced Independent Study, ArtS 221, 222, 321, 322: applicable fee for the area of independent study (e.g., independent study in painting||$120|
|Senior Studio Seminar, ArtS 480||$100|
|Thesis in Art Studio, ArtS 490||$100|
|Honors Thesis, ArtS 498: applicable fee for the area of the honors thesis (studio) work (e.g., honors thesis in printmaking||$150|
|Biology 179||maximum $350|
|Biology 256||maximum $75|
|Biology 279||maximum $350|
|Biology laboratories*||maximum $20|
|Chemistry laboratories*||maximum $20|
|Environmental Studies 260, per semester||maximum $75|
|Environmental Studies 260W, per semester||$775, possible scholarships available|
|Geology* 110, 120, 210||maximum $20|
|Geology 158, 358, per semester||maximum $75|
|Geology 158W, per semester||$775, possible scholarships available|
|Music 163, 164, 263, 264, 363, 364, 463, 464 (see Applied Music Fees below)|
|Music 241, 242||$25|
|Music 480||$900, possible scholarships available|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 112, 114, 212, 214, 312, 314, 350, per semester||$275|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 113, 240, per semester||$225|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 115, per semester||$340|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 117, 118, 217, 218, per semester||$100|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 127, 142, 338, per semester||$75|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 137, 237, per semester||$140|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 138, 238, 248, per semester||$165|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 139, 140, 250, per semester||$180|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 200, per semester||$35|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 226, 342, per semester||$500|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 242, per semester||$615|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 308, per semester||$20|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 332, 334, per semester||$475|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 244, 380, per semester||$280|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 387, per semester||$550|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 390, per semester||$35|
|Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics 395, per semester||$35|
*possible additional fee of $10-$200 for replacement of damaged materials and/or equipment
Applied Music Fees
The fee for a weekly 30 minute lesson is $350 per semester; weekly 60 minute lessons are $700 per semester.
The applied music fee pertains to all students taking private lessons. In addition, for students paying less than the full college semester tuition rate there will be an additional special tuition charge on a per credit basis.
No applied music lessons are given on college holidays and during recesses, and no makeup schedules are provided for lesson schedules which include holidays and recesses. The only acceptable reason for lesson cancellation is illness; in such cases the instructor makes up half of the lessons missed without additional charge.Â
A regularly enrolled student in good standing who wishes to be granted a leave of absence from the college for one or two consecutive semesters must file a written request with the Board of Review. In preparing the request the student is expected to consult with his or her academic adviser and, when appropriate, the Dean of Students. Reasons for a leave of absence may include study in a foreign or domestic program of another educational institution, medical or financial reasons, or other need to interrupt formal academic work for a period of time.
A leave of absence for the purpose of study with another institution (academic leave), either as a full-time or part-time student, is subject to certain additional procedures and restrictions. Application for an academic leave for participation in a foreign study program requires an application to and approval of the study plan by the Off-Campus Studies Committee. An application for an academic leave to complete work in a domestic program of another school must include a program of study approved by the student’s adviser and the Registrar.
An academic leave of up to two semesters may be granted to students whose total academic program has been at Whitman. Transfer students admitted as sophomores or who have completed a full year at another school may be granted no more than one semester of academic leave. Transfer students who have been admitted as juniors are not eligible for academic leaves. Exceptions to this policy must be assessed by the Board of Review.
An application for a leave of absence for health reasons requires the recommendation of the Dean of Students, and a leave for financial reasons requires the recommendation of the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. A student on leave may not reside on campus, attend classes, or participate in the regular activities of the college.
A student on leave of absence may re-enter the college in the semester immediately following the expiration of the leave provided that the student notifies the Registrar’s Office of his or her intention to return by March 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. A student on leave for medical reasons must obtain the approval of the Dean of Students for the return. Students returning from leave for financial reasons must secure the approval of the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. While on leave a student is expected to meet deadlines with respect to room reservations and registration as stipulated for regularly enrolled students.
An extension of the period of the leave may be granted for valid reasons provided that the student submits a petition to the Board of Review during the last semester of the leave, except that an academic leave may not be extended. If the student extends the period of leave without authorization, he or she will be withdrawn from the college.
A leave of absence is automatically canceled if a student registers in another collegiate institution without completing the procedures required for an academic leave. A leave of absence may be canceled provided the Registrar is notified of the student’s intention not less than 60 days prior to the beginning of classes for that semester.
To maintain good academic standing a student must meet the following requirements:
- Earn a grade-point average of at least 1.700 each semester.
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 during the second semester of the first year and subsequently.
- Subsequent to the first year earn a minimum of 24 credits in the two immediately preceding semesters, except graduating seniors completing degree requirements with a normal load for the final (eighth) semester of study who may complete fewer than 24 credits in the previous two semesters.
- Complete successfully the First-Year Experience: Encounters in the first full academic year after entrance. Any deficiency must be removed not later than the end of the fourth semester of college-level work or by the time the student has accumulated 57 degree credits, whichever occurs first.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA in the major study of 2.000 beginning with the end of the fifth semester of college-level work. A student with a combined major must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.000 in each subject area of the major.
Transfer students, to be in good standing, must meet the minimum GPA requirements appropriate to their class standing as determined by the number of transfer credits accepted.
Any student who fails to meet the standards listed above, upon vote of the Board of Review, will receive one of the following:
A student who receives an academic warning from the Board of Review must correct the problem in the next semester. Transfer work may be used to address a credit deficiency Academic Warning, provided that the student completes the Request for Approval of Transfer Credit form prior to registering for coursework at another institution.
The following three actions require concurrence of the Council on Academic Standards.
A student given academic probation is no longer in good academic standing and may be suspended or dismissed from the college if his or her performance in the next semester in residence fails to meet the minimum requirements for good standing, or fails to demonstrate sufficient progress toward that goal. Normally, a student will not be continued on probation for more than two consecutive terms.
A student on probation is restored to good standing when he or she completes the semester of probation with accomplishments that meet the minimum standards listed above.
A student who is suspended is not allowed to complete registration for classes until he or she has the approval of the Board of Review. To obtain such approval, the student is expected to submit a plan of study that demonstrates the feasibility of completing a degree at Whitman College.
A student who had been dismissed from the college for failure to be in good standing may be reinstated on probation upon vote of the Council on Academic Standards in response to a written petition. This petition must state clearly what actions the student will take in order to return to good standing.
The evaluation of a student’s academic performance is the responsibility of the person appointed to teach or supervise a course. A student who questions the validity of a faculty member’s evaluation should first confer with that faculty member. If the matter is not resolved the student may confer with the Provost and Dean of the Faculty who may, in turn, confer with the faculty member. If the issue is not resolved through this conference, the student may petition the Board of Review to consider the case.
The Board of Review may decide not to hear the case, or, hearing the case, may take one of the following actions: 1) deny the petition; 2) in the case of an instructor no longer at the college, the Board of Review may, upon presentation of appropriate evidence, change the grade to credit or no credit; or 3) in the case of an instructor who is a current member of the faculty, the Board of Review may make recommendations concerning possible solutions to the problem.
Students shall have access to their educational records except for:
- Financial records of their parents
- Confidential letters and recommendations placed in the education record prior to January 1, 1975
- If not being used for the purpose specified
- In situations where the student has signed a waiver of right to access to confidential recommendations in regard to admission to the college, employment applications, and receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.
Whitman College shall not permit access to, or the release of, educational records or personally identifiable information contained therein, other than directory information of students, without their written consent, to any party other than the following:
- other school officials, including teachers, within the educational institution who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests;
- in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
- organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such manner as will not permit the personal identification of students by persons other than representatives of such organizations (such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted);
- accrediting organizations, in order to carry out their accrediting functions;
- in compliance with judicial order, or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena, upon condition that the student is notified of all such orders or subpoenas in advance of the compliance therewith by the educational institution; and
- appropriate persons in connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
Parents of a minor dependent student may have access to the student’s record upon demonstration that the student is dependent. Dependency is generally demonstrated by providing a copy of the parents’ tax return, reflecting the student as a dependent, to the Registrar.
Whitman College has designated the following categories as directory information: the student’s name, home address, college address, telephone listing, email listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (of members of athletic teams), dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, academic honors, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and photographs. The college shall allow a reasonable period of time for a student to inform the college that any or all of the information designated should not be released without the student’s prior consent.
A transcript is an official copy of a student’s academic record at Whitman College bearing the official seal and the signature of the Registrar. A request for a transcript must include the student’s signature to authorize the release of the record. Generally, there is a 24-hour preparation period for a transcript.
Transcripts are not issued during the final examination and grading periods. Release of a transcript may be withheld in a case where the financial obligations to the college have not been satisfied. Whitman does not issue or certify copies of transcripts from other institutions.
Whitman College gives several awards to recognize academic honor and achievements:
Recognition of Academic Distinction is awarded after the completion of each semester. This recognition is given to all regular students who have completed a minimum of 12 credits, passed all credits attempted, and have earned a grade-point average of 3.500 or higher on no fewer than nine graded credits during the semester.
Undergraduate Honors are awarded to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors who attain during any one academic year a GPA of at least 3.650 in not fewer than 30 credits of which 24 must be graded on a regular basis (A, B, C, D, F).
Honors in Course are awarded to graduating seniors as follows: summa cum laude to students who have achieved a GPA of 3.900 with no course grades of failure; magna cum laude to students who have achieved a GPA of at least 3.800 and no course grades of failure; cum laude to students who have achieved a GPA of at least 3.650. To be eligible to receive Honors in Course a student shall have been in residence at Whitman College his or her last four semesters or a total of six semesters. The degree candidate shall have earned a total of not fewer than 60 credits at Whitman.
Honors in Major Study are awarded to graduating seniors who show unusual ability in their major fields. To be eligible for candidacy a student must have accumulated at least 87 credits, and have completed two semesters of residence at Whitman College. Admission to candidacy begins with the student’s submitting a proposal describing his or her thesis or project to the appropriate academic department. Once the department (or departments, for combined majors, or major committee for individually planned majors) approves the proposal admitting the student to candidacy for Honors, the department must file an official notification with the Registrar. The application must be submitted to the major department (or departments for combined majors, or major committee for individually planned majors) within the first six weeks of the two-semester period in which the student is eligible. The student has the privilege of doing preliminary planning on the project or thesis during his or her third year.
A candidate must attain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.300 on all credits earned at Whitman and a GPA of at least 3.500 in the major, complete a written thesis or research project prepared exclusively for the satisfaction of this program, and file two acceptable copies of this thesis or report in the college library not later than Reading Day preceding the beginning of the final examination period in the semester in which the student is registered for the honors thesis course, earn a grade of at least A- on the honors thesis or project and the honors thesis course, and Pass with Distinction on the senior assessment in his or her major study.
The following national honor societies have established chapters at Whitman College:
Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national honorary fraternity, established a chapter at Whitman College in 1919. Election is based on evidence of broad cultural interests and scholarly achievement in the liberal arts. Criteria include Whitman grade-point average and the breadth of the program outside the major. Approximately 10 percent of the senior class and one percent of the junior class are elected to membership annually.
Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, established a chapter at Whitman College in 1962. Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. Membership is by invitation and is awarded based on demonstrated potential for research.