Academic Regulations and Graduation Requirements: Common Advising Questions

Much of the following information has already been presented in the preceding pages. Here the questions are organized alphabetically for the convenience of advisors and advisees.

  • Academic Regulations

    What are Wesleyan’s graduation requirements?

    The graduation requirements are:

    • Grade point average of at least 74.00
    • Completion of one major
    • At least six semesters of residency (for students entering as first-year students)
    • 32.00 credits, with no oversubscription, of which at least 16.00 must be earned at Wesleyan or in Wesleyan-sponsored programs.


    What does “Good Standing” mean?

    To be in Good Standing, a student must earn satisfactory grades (C- or better, although four Cs would put a student below 74.00) and must maintain sufficient credits for progress towards the degree. A student must enroll in at least 3.00 credits per semester and is expected to maintain a credit pace of 4.00 credits per semester. Students who earn unsatisfactory grades or maintain insufficient credits are subject to academic discipline.


    When is academic discipline imposed?

    Depending on the circumstances, students who earn unsatisfactory grades or who do not maintain sufficient credit are subject to the various levels of academic discipline—Warning, Probation, Strict Probation, Required Resignation, and Separation

  • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Other Pre-matriculant Credit

    Is it possible to earn credit for Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests?

    Yes, depending on the test, the score, and the requirements of the Wesleyan department in which the credit is being posted. Only 2.00 AP or IB test credits can be applied to the 32.00 credits required for graduation. AP and IB credits cannot be used to satisfy General Education Expectations nor can they be used to fulfill major requirements. These credits may not be used to reduce the normal course load or substitute for failing or unsatisfactory grades, but some departments may allow them to serve as prerequisites.

    How is this done?

    The student must complete a Request for AP Credit form—except for English, Biology, Computer Science, and Physics—and return it to the Registrar’s Office. Students wishing to post credit should consult with their class dean.

    What about other college courses taken in high school?

    Only courses taken on a college campus and taught by a member of that college's faculty will be considered for pre-matriculant credit.

  • Attendance

    What is Wesleyan’s attendance policy?

    Regular class attendance is expected at Wesleyan, but there are no University-wide regulations governing attendance (except for students on Strict Probation, who must attend all classes). Individual instructors may determine attendance requirements for their own courses. However, students should always go to class!

  • Auditing Courses

    Is it possible to attend a class unofficially?

    With the approval of the instructor, a student may audit a course. Audited courses will not appear on a student’s class schedule until the end of the semester when the instructor will add the student’s name to the class roster and note “AU” if the student has met the terms of the audit.

  • Collegiate Programs

    What are collegiate programs?

    Wesleyan's five collegiate programs—College of East Asian Studies (CEAS), College of the Environment (COE), College of Integrative Sciences (CIS), College of Letters (COL), and the College of Social Studies (CSS)—offer special interdisciplinary concentrations that extend through the sophomore, junior, and senior years. Application for admission to CEAS, COL and CSS takes place during the spring semester of the first year.

  • Credits

    How much is a credit worth?

    One Wesleyan credit is worth 4.00 semester hours.

    Is it possible to enroll in more than 4.00 credits per semester?

    Yes, with the approval of the faculty advisor. Generally, students who enroll in more than 4.00 credits are adept at managing the extra workload, but the possibility always exists that academic success may be affected by these additional courses. It is recommended that students successfully complete their first year with 4.00 credits each semester before attempting more. There is no extra tuition charge for enrolling in more than 4.00 credits. The faculty advisor will need to raise the student’s credit limit during the Drop/Add period.

    What does “pace” mean?

    Students are expected to maintain 4.00 credits per semester to reach a total of 32.00 credits by the end of the eighth semester. Students who fall more than 2.00 credits behind this pace or who earn fewer than 3.00 credits during the semester are subject to academic discipline. The following chart identifies the minimum and pace credit totals students are expected to maintain over the course of eight semesters at Wesleyan.

    Semester Minimum Credit Pace
    1 2.00 4.00
    2 6.00 8.00
    3 10.00 12.00
    4 14.00 16.00
    5 18.00 20.00
    6 22.00 24.00
    7 26.00 28.00
    8 32.00 32.00

    Is it possible to enroll in fewer than 4.00 credits per semester?

    Yes, but all students must enroll in at least 3.00 credits per semester; part-time enrollment is not possible. International students are prohibited by federal law from falling below 3.00 enrolled credits at any point during the semester

  • Education in the Field

    Is it possible to earn course credit for an internship or other off-campus work?

    Yes, a student can earn credit for internship experiences through the Center for Global Study or through Education in the Field. The CSPL internship needs the approval of the CSPL Internship Coordinator and the Education in the Field must have support from a faculty sponsor and permission from the department in which the credit will be posted. However, not all departments sponsor the latter. Up to 2.00 credits per semester may be earned through Education in the Field in conjunction with other course credits during the semester. Education-in-the-Field and CSPL internship credit also can be earned during the summer or while on a leave of absence. However, a fee is charged for each credit earned and posted when the student is not enrolled in the University (during the summer or when a student is on a leave of absence). A combined total of no more than 4.00 credits earned from Independent Study and Education in the Field and no more than .50 CSPL credit can count toward the 32.00 credits required for graduation. Applications for Education in the Field are available from the Deans’ Office and applications for CSPL internships from the Career Center.

    Students should consult the Tuition and Fees site or contact the Student Accounts Office for information about fees for pursuing an independent study, an Education in the Field or CSPL internship, or taking a course at an unaccredited institution.

  • General Education Expectations (GenEds)

    Are there distribution requirements at Wesleyan?

    Wesleyan does not have distribution requirements, but students are encouraged to bring breadth to their programs of study through the GenEd Expectations. GenEd is divided into two stages. In the first stage, to be completed by the end of the sophomore year, students are expected to earn at least 2.00 credits in each of three areas: Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), and Humanities and Arts (HA). Each of these credits must be earned in a different department (a total of six departments). To complete the second stage, students are expected to earn 1.00 additional credit in any department in each division.

    Where can a course’s GenEd information be found?

    Information about the GenEd area and department for every course in the Wesleyan curriculum can be found in WesMaps. Not all courses carry GenEd designations, and the GenEd designation of a crosslisted course is linked only to a single department. AP and IB test credit cannot be used to fulfill GenEd.

    What are the consequences of not satisfying the GenEd Expectations?

    Students who do not satisfy GenEd are not eligible to complete three majors or a combination of three majors, minors or certificates.  Not completing GenEds also means students are not eligible for University Honors or for election to Phi Beta Kappa. Also, some departments require fulfillment of GenEd for completion of the major or for eligibility for departmental honors.

    See the honors website for more information.

    How can progress towards fulfillment of the GenEd Expectations be monitored?

    Information on each student’s progress towards fulfillment of GenEd can be found in the General Education Report, available in the student’s e-portfolio

  • Grades and Grading Modes

    What is a “grading mode”?

    Course credits at Wesleyan are recorded in one of two grading modes: Graded (A-F) or Credit/Unsatisfactory (CR/U). Some courses offer students a choice of grading mode. Grade point average is calculated only from credits recorded with a grade of A-F.

    How does a student choose the grading mode for a course?

    In courses in which students have a choice of grading mode, the final choice must be made no later than fourteen days after the drop/add period ends.

    What are the percentage equivalents of letter grades?

    The following table shows the relationship between letter grades and percentages:

    A+ 98.3 B 85.0 C- 71.7 E 55.0
    A 95.0 B- 81.7 D+ 68.3 F 45.0
    A- 91.7 C+ 78.3 D 65.0
    B+ 88.3 C 75.0 D- 61.7

    What other notations can appear on the academic history and transcript?

    Other notations on the academic history include:

    AU Audit
    W Withdrawal
    X Deferred grade
    IN Incomplete grade
    AB Absent from final examination
    ## (PWD) Problem—Withdrawal
    ## (PHB) Problem—Honor Board


    AU and W are part of a student’s permanent academic record. X, IN, AB, PWD, and PHB are eventually converted into A-F or CR/U grades.

    What are the consequences of failing a course?

    A student who earns a failing grade (E, F or U) earns no credit for the failed course and is subject to academic discipline, which may range from Warning to Required Resignation or Separation, depending on the amount of course credit and the student’s academic standing at the time.

    Can a course be repeated?

    There are a few courses in the curriculum (e.g., Wesleyan Orchestra) that may be repeated for credit. This information can be found in WesMaps. The credit from a repeatable course may count only four times toward graduation credit. Students who earn a C- or below in a non-repeatable course may repeat the course once. The original grade remains on the transcript and both grades are calculated in the grade point average. The course may count only once toward general education expectations and the 32 graduation credits.

    Failed Courses (below D-): Students who fail a course may add this course to their plans during pre-registration or drop/add.

    Low Grades (C- to D-): A student who wants to retake a course due to a low grade may submit an enrollment request for the class only during the drop/add period. The registrar will flag the enrollment request to indicate that the course is being repeated due to a low grade that was earned the first time it was taken. The original failing grade remains on the transcript in addition to the grade earned on the second attempt. Both grades are calculated into the grade point average. Audited courses may be repeated for credit.

    Do parents receive grade reports?

    Wesleyan does not send grade reports to parents. However, through the e-portfolio, students can give their parents access to grade information

  • Incompletes

    What is Wesleyan’s policy on Incompletes?

    All the work of a course must be completed and submitted to the instructor by the last day of classes. The only exceptions to this are final examinations and, in courses without a registrar-scheduled final examination, significant assignments such as final take-home exams, semester-long projects, and term papers, which must be due no sooner than the first day, and no later than the last day, of the exam period, and preferably at the time slot reserved for the registrar-scheduled examination. A student who is unable to meet these deadlines, for the reasons listed below, may request the permission of the instructor to meet the requirement no later than 30 days after the last day of exams. If the instructor grants the extension, a grade of Incomplete (IN) must be submitted to the registrar at the time grades are due. Grades of Incomplete must be accompanied by a provisional grade. If the student does not submit the outstanding work in the course by the deadline, the provisional grade will become the final grade.

    Any provisional incomplete grades remaining by the end of the drop/add period of the subsequent semester will automatically be converted to the provisional final grade by the Office of the Registrar.

    A student may receive up to two incompletes per semester by this method. To receive incompletes in more than two courses, the student must petition his or her class dean. The petition can be granted only on grounds of illness, family crisis, or other extraordinary circumstances. To petition for a brief extension of the Incomplete deadline, based on these same criteria, students must make a request to their class dean. The class dean will make the decision about whether the petition will be granted in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs and the course instructor.

    Incompletes will not be granted for summer or winter sessions. Rare exceptions to this policy may be made in the case of serious emergencies, by petitioning the class dean. For the impact of incompletes on students’ records for the purposes of academic review, students should consult their class dean. Students on strict probation will not be allowed to receive incompletes without the prior approval of their class dean.

    Students who started at Wesleyan prior to Fall 2018 can petition for an extension of the incomplete deadline based on the policy that was in place in 2017.

  • Independent Study

    Can credit be earned for independent study?

    Enrolled students who are interested in independent study for the current term must register for an individual or group tutorial and find a faculty member with whom to work. These tutorials are covered by the semester tuition.

    Independent Study credit can be earned only during a summer or a non-academic leave of absence, with support from a faculty sponsor and permission from the sponsor’s department. No more than 2.00 Independent Study credits can be posted during any given summer or semester of leave. No more than 4.00 credits from Independent Study and Education in the Field combined can count toward the 32.00 credits required for graduation.

    First-year students are not permitted to register for individual tutorials. Applications for independent study are available from the Deans’ Office and online.

    Students should consult the Tuition and Fees site or contact the Student Accounts Office for information about fees for pursuing an independent study, enrolling only in an education in the field, or taking a course at an unaccredited institution during the summer or while on leave from the institution

  • Leaves of Absence

    What is Wesleyan’s leave of absence policy?

    Students take time away from Wesleyan for a variety of reasons. Students considering a leave of absence—either academic or non-academic—should make an appointment with their faculty advisor and class dean to discuss options and deadlines (See Medical Leave below). Leave of absence forms are available on the Deans' Office web site and must be filed prior to the end of the Drop/Add period in which the leave is taken. Please see Student Accounts for refund policies. Leaves of absence are either one or two semesters in length and may be extended to up to four consecutive semesters. A student planning to be on leave for longer than four semesters must withdraw from the University and apply for readmission through the Deans’ Office. A student who plans to enroll full-time in another domestic institution should declare an academic leave of absence. If not, a non-academic leave should be declared (although students on non-academic leave are also permitted to earn transfer credit). To transfer credit from courses taken at domestic colleges and universities, students must get pre-approval from the relevant department(s) in advance. Credit from study abroad will not be accepted from a student on a leave of absence when the leave is taken during the academic year.

    How does a student declare an academic or non-academic leave of absence?

    Students wanting to take a leave for the fall semester must submit the leave form  to their class dean by April 1 of the preceding semester. For a leave in the spring, the form  must be submitted by December 1. Applications submitted after these dates may incur late fees. Students must consult with their faculty advisors regarding their leave plans. Students on leave must notify the Registrar’s Office of their intention to return by the middle of the semester prior to return. Failure to do so may result in loss of housing or preregistration eligibility or, in rare cases, administrative withdrawal from the University.

    What is Wesleyan’s medical leave policy?

    medical leave must be recommended by Wesleyan’s Health Services or Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and may be taken at any point during the semester before the end of classes. Medical leaves are open-ended and do not specify a return date. Students can obtain additional information about the medical leave process from their class dean. Depending on the effective date of the medical leave, the student may be eligible for a partial refund of room, board, and tuition fees. See Student Accounts for information regarding refund policies.

  • Major Programs

    When does major declaration take place?

    Students declare a major during the fourth semester. Students majoring in the College of East Asian Studies, College of Letters and the College of Social Studies are admitted into these programs during the spring of the first year. Students who have not declared a major by the beginning of their fifth semester risk disenrollment from the University. Students whose fourth semester is the fall semester must declare in early October.

    Can more than one major be declared?

    Yes, but double-majoring can significantly limit the breadth of a student’s overall program of study. For additional advice, see Major Declaration.

    A student who does not meet GenEd Expectations by the time of graduation may not declare more than a combined total of two majors, certificates or minors.

    Can major declaration be deferred?

    A student in the fourth semester who is enrolled in a course required for entrance into a major should submit a Major Deferral Form to his or her class dean. The explanation should outline the plan and timeline for admission into a major and must be approved by the student’s pre-major faculty advisor and the chair of the intended major's department.

    What is a University Major?

    The University Major is an interdisciplinary program of study designed by a student and sponsored by at least three faculty members. Applications for University Majors are made through the Deans’ Office and must be approved by the University Majors Committee. The fall application deadline for the University Major is November 1; the spring deadline is April 1.

  • Oversubscription

    What is oversubscription?

    Oversubscription is designed to prevent a student from building a program of study that is too narrow and limits the number of credits in departments and other categories that a student can count toward graduation.

    How is oversubscription monitored?

    Through the Credit Analysis Report, available through the e-portfolio. It records each student’s academic history to show progress toward meeting graduation requirements and monitors oversubscription.

  • Petitions

    How can errors in a student’s course schedule be corrected?

    Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the error, a student may be able to petition to have the course schedule corrected. A student in this situation should contact his or her class dean as soon as possible. Failure to correct course schedule errors can result in unsatisfactory grades being posted to a student’s academic record. Submitting a petition does not guarantee that an exception to a regulation will be granted. The Operations Committee reviews student petitions on a weekly basis.

  • Sequence Courses

    What is a sequence course?

    Sequence courses are two semesters in length. Both semesters must be successfully completed for any credit to be awarded or for the grade to be calculated into the semester or cumulative GPA. A student who does not successfully complete the first semester of a sequence course may not enroll in the second semester without the instructor’s permission. If the second semester of a sequence course is not attempted or successfully completed, credit will not be awarded for the first semester (the grade remains on the transcript but is not calculated into the GPA)

  • Study Abroad and Non-Resident Study

    Where can students find out about study abroad and non-resident study possibilities?

    Any student who wishes to earn study-abroad credit during the academic year must do so through the Office of Study Abroad. Study-abroad credit may not be earned while a student is on a leave of absence, unless the credit is earned during the summer. Such credit must be preapproved by the Wesleyan department that will grant the credit. Students on study abroad pay Wesleyan tuition and are eligible for financial aid. Grades earned while on study abroad are reflected on the Wesleyan transcript. Study-abroad semesters are not considered “in residence” semesters for purposes of graduation.

  • Summer Study and Winter Study

    Does Wesleyan offer summer courses?

    Students may earn summer credit at Wesleyan through the Wesleyan Summer Sessions, Graduate Liberal Studies Program (GLSP), Wesleyan independent study, Wesleyan Education in the Field, and/or CSPL internship.  These credits must be pre-approved.

    What is the “Wesleyan Summer Session”?

    Wesleyan offers two Summer Sessions, one that begins in late May and the other that begins in early July. Credit earned through the Summer Session is eligible to count toward the graduation requirement. Participation in either or both Summer Sessions does not count toward the residency requirement, as neither session constitutes an academic semester at Wesleyan.  All students in the Summer Sessions are subject to Wesleyan academic and non-academic policies, and are also subject to Summer Session policies. Courses taken during the Summer Sessions are subject to the same academic regulations as courses taken during the regular academic year.

    What is the "Wesleyan Winter Session"?

    This is a week-long program for students to enroll in a one-credit course. For more information, see Winter Study.

  • Transfer Credits

    How are credits from another college or university transferred to the academic record after matriculation to Wesleyan?

    Transferring credit from another college or university requires preapproval for each course from the appropriate Wesleyan department. For credit to be posted, a minimum grade of C- must be earned in courses taken during the academic year, and a minimum grade of B- must be earned in courses taken during the summer. However, the approving department may stipulate a higher grade and/or additional conditions. No more than 2.00 credits may be transferred during any given summer. Only credit (CR) will be posted for transfer credits. Upon completion of the course, a student must request that an official transcript be sent directly to the class dean. Permission to Transfer Credit forms are available from the Deans’ Office

  • Tutorials

    How does a student enroll in a tutorial?

    First-year students may enroll only in group tutorials. A student must electronically submit a tutorial form during the Drop/Add period. A tutorial may not be given when a comparable course is offered in the same academic year. No more than 4.00 individual and group tutorial credits combined can count toward graduation. Forms are available here.

  • Twelve College Exchange Program

    How do students apply for the Twelve College Exchange Program?

    Students interested in participating in the Twelve College Exchange Program must apply through the Office of Study Abroad.

    Which schools participate in the program?

    Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wheaton, and Wesleyan. The Williams-Mystic Seaport Program in Mystic, Connecticut and the National Theater Institute in Waterford, Connecticut also are members of the program

  • Withdrawal from a Course

    How does a student drop a course?

    During the Drop/Add period, students may delete a course from their current class schedule through their e-portfolio. No record of the class will appear on the student’s transcript. After the Drop/Add period (but before the withdrawal deadline), students may withdraw from a course by submitting a withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office, signed by the student’s instructor, faculty advisor, and class dean. The course will remain on the transcript with a “W.”

  • Withdrawal from the University

    How does a student withdraw from the University?

    Any student who wishes to withdraw from the University should contact his or her class dean immediately. Depending on the date of the withdrawal, the student may be eligible for a partial refund of room, board, and tuition. Withdrawal from the University is not possible after the course-withdrawal deadline, which is one week before classes end for the semester.

    If a student has withdrawn from the University, is it possible to be readmitted?

    A student who has withdrawn and wishes to return must apply for readmission through the Deans’ Office. Notification of intent to apply for readmission must be made by May 1 for return in the fall semester and by November 1 for return in the spring. The deadline for receipt of all readmission materials is June 1 for the fall and December 1 for the spring. A student who has withdrawn from the University may not apply for readmission until after one full semester following the withdrawal