Major Regulations

In addition to major requirements, please familiarize yourself with these major regulations that govern the structure of your education here:


COL students are assigned an adviser when they are admitted to the major. However, any changes in academic plans, COL course substitutions, leaves of absence, withdrawal from COL, must be discussed with and approved by the Director. 

(2) NO GRADES for most COL courses, but not all:

Evaluations of COL courses, study abroad, junior comps, and senior projects are as follows:

Colloquia and electives:

Letter grades are not given in courses taken for COL major credit, and COL seminars do not generally have final examinations. All COL course credit must be taken selecting the credit/uncredit (CR/U) option. COL and non-COL instructors alike will write detailed evaluations of their COL students’ work at the end of each semester, and these are kept on record (and discussed with each student upon request). These evaluations are not for outside use, and they are not sent out in support of job and graduate school applications. Instead, upon request, they are used as a basis for a letter of evaluation (written by the Director) and letters of recommendations (written by faculty members) in support of such applications.

For electives not cross-listed with COL: When a COL student wishes to substitute a university course for a COL course requirement, the substitution course must be approved by the COL director. It is then the student's responsibility to have a COL substitution form (available in the COL office) signed by the substitution course instructor agreeing to the stipulations listed on the form. The completed form must be returned to the COL administrative assistant by the stipulated deadline so that the course can be listed on the student's transcript as a COL credit. If the form is not received within that time, the course will be shown as a regular University course and may not be used to satisfy a COL requirement.

Study abroad courses:

Since such courses, although required by the major, are not counted for major course credit, you may elect either a graded or ungraded mode for the assessment of your study abroad courses. However, (a) you must take all of the foreign study in the same grading mode, and (b) it is not possible to change the grading mode later than 10 days after the beginning of classes in the foreign study program.

Junior comps:

The Junior comprehensive examination (junior comps, as they are known) is evaluated with citations of Honors, High Honors, Highest Honors (in very exceptional cases), or Credit (or No Honors). An ungraded option (pass/fail) is available. Students also receive written commentaries by the two outside examiners about their written and oral performances.

Senior projects:

Senior theses: The suggested length of a thesis is between 65 and 100 pages. Performances and exhibits should be accompanied by approximately 20 pages of writing. Theses and projects are evaluated by two readers (one from COL, one from outside of COL), and can lead to citations of Honors, High Honors, or Credit (No Honors). Students also receive written commentaries by the two readers about their work.

Senior essays: The suggested length of a senior essay is 30-40 pages. Essays are evaluated by one reader (from COL) and can lead to citations of Honors or Credit, but not of High Honors. Students also receive the reader’s written commentaries about their work.

(3) GENERAL EDUCATION EXPECTATIONS - as they apply to the College of Letters:

As is the case for other Wesleyan students, COL students are expected to complete Stage 1 and 2 General Education expectations before graduation. Since the COL is an interdisciplinary major in literature, history, and philosophy, it is possible for at least three of a student's GenEd expectations to be satisfied by COL courses. However, the completion of GenEd expectations is not required for graduation in the COL or for departmental honors.

Please note that in accordance with university policy, a student who does not meet their GenEd expectations will not be eligible for University Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, honors in general scholarship, and may not declare more than a combined total of two majors, certificates, and minors. For help with planning to meet your GenEd expectations, please consult with your faculty advisor.


The COL transcript is a separate entity from the university transcript or the university academic record. It includes everything shown on your university transcript as well as your COL courses, results from the junior comprehensive examination, and the senior thesis. It is the transcript that COL students will use when they graduate and apply to graduate schools or for jobs. It is created in concert with the Registrar’s Office at North College. When an official transcript copy is needed for outside use, the student should request it from the Registrar's Office. A description of the COL program is also sent out with the transcript as well as, if the student explitictly requests it, a  “Director’s Letter.” Students' needing a new or updated director's letter should request it at least a month in advance of the date by which they need it.