Frequently Asked Questions about the Senior Year
The following anticipates some of the questions you may have regarding Wesleyan's graduation requirements and the graduation process. Additional information can be found in Wesleyan's academic regulations at http://www.wesleyan.edu/registrar/academic_regulations/index.html. If you still have questions, please contact Dean Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or x2757.
What will happen after the Fall semester if I have completed 32.00 credits and all major requirements? Do I have to leave Wesleyan in December?
Not unless it is your eighth semester at Wesleyan or, if you are a transfer student, the last of your allotted Wesleyan semesters. You are entitled to eight semesters (or for transfers, the number of semesters you were assigned at entry), regardless of credit accumulation and major status.
If I am planning to finish in December, will I have graduated?
No, because degrees are only voted by the faculty once a year in May. We can provide you with a letter stating that you have completed all degree requirements and are expected to graduate in May, but we would need confirmation from your major department that all major requirements have been met.
What do I need to do if I decide not to fulfill the General Education Expectations?
First of all, they are not requirements but expectations. This means that fulfilling them is not required by the University for graduation, although you are strongly encouraged to do so as part of a good liberal arts education. Some faculty advisors require that you complete them and some departments or programs make fulfillment a major requirement or requirement for departmental honors, so be sure to check that out with your major department. The consequence of not fulfilling GenEd Expectations is that you are not eligible for certain kinds of graduation honors, such as honors in General Scholarship and University Honors. Phi Beta Kappa also requires that you fulfill the General Education Expectations for eligibility purposes.
Can I still do a thesis and be eligible for departmental honors if I choose not to fulfill the General Education Expectations?
It depends on whether fulfillment is a necessary component of your major requirements or is a condition for undertaking a thesis or being eligible for honors in your department or program. Check with your major department to be sure. If you are a candidate for Honors in General Scholarship (for example, doing an interdisciplinary thesis) or think you have a shot at University Honors (high honors on thesis, nomination, and interview by Honors Committee) or Phi Beta Kappa, then you must fulfill the General Education Expectations.
Leave of Absence
What about taking a leave to study elsewhere during my senior year?
It can be done, but it can get complicated, particularly in the spring semester of your senior year. You must carefully investigate with your major department your ability to use transfer credits to satisfy remaining major requirements, if you have not completed your major. In the spring, you must attend a school whose academic calendar coincides with Wesleyan's, because by May 27, 2012, we will need an official transcript to transfer the credits to your record. This transcript could be difficult or impossible to obtain by this time, which could mean that you will not graduate this year or be a member of the Class of 2012. You also must make sure you already have met your full-time on-campus residency requirement. If you are contemplating taking an academic leave in the fall or spring, see Dean Phillips as soon as possible to review your options.
What happens to my credits if I am oversubscribed?
They remain on your transcript, in your credit total, and are factored into your grade point average. However, the number of useable credits that count toward the 32.00 graduation credits is affected. Although your credit total may be fine, if oversubscribed, you may not have enough useable credits. This is true, by the way, if you exceed other restrictions on the kinds of credits you can count toward your degree (1.00 Physical Education credit or 2.00 Student Forum credits, or a combined total of 2.00 credits of Physical Education and Student Forum credits; 2.00 Teaching Apprentice tutorials; a combined total of 4.00 individual and group tutorial credits; a combined total of 4.00 Education-in-the-Field/Independent Study credits; 2.00 summer school credits per summer; and 2.00 pre-matriculant credits). If over these limits, the number of credits that can count toward the 32.00 is negatively affected.
I heard that I could register on a per-credit basis for my last semester if I was close to 32 credits and therefore avoid paying a full semester of tuition. Is this true?
No. All degree-seeking students at Wesleyan must be here on a full-time ba-sis, and full-time status means being registered for at least 3.00 credits, which is covered by the semester tuition rate. There is only one exception to this for matriculated students: seniors in their last semester who are completing the second half of their honors thesis and need only that credit to complete all degree requirements. These are the only degree-seeking students at Wesleyan who can be on a per-credit basis and they are allowed to register only for the second thesis tutorial. Should you register in the spring for only the second half of your thesis tutorial, understand that this semester will not count towards the on-campus residency requirement. If you are contemplating enrolling on a per-credit basis, you must speak with Dean Phillips early in the fall term to discuss your options.
Participation in the Commencement Ceremony
"I had a friend who left Upon Completion last year. If I'm just a quarter credit short of 32.00 credits because I am oversubscribed, can I still 'walk' with my class in May?"
No. All students who entered in the Fall of 2000 and after must complete all degree requirements to participate in the commencement ceremony and remain a member of the Class of 2012. Because you need only 32.00 credits to graduate, there is no Upon Completion any more. Therefore, it is important that you stay on top of your courses and requirements, check your record via your credit analysis in your e-portfolio at regular intervals throughout the year, and meet with your major advisor and Dean Phillips to make sure you are on track.