Academic procedures and regulations, together with degree, program, and course requirements and the code of student responsibility, form the basis for the equitable and orderly conduct of student academic life at Lawrence University. These rules accord students opportunities, such as the ability to develop a personalized course of study or change a course selection after the first class meeting. They also impose obligations and responsibilities, such as planning a course of study to complete program requirements and maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Students are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the contents of the course catalog, the Online Student Handbook, and other contracts and official notices of the university.
Lawrence requires students to give consent in writing before any personally identifiable information from their education records can be released, except to the extent allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It is each student’s responsibility to communicate information about grades, academic progress or disciplinary actions to parents, guardians or other family members.
For further information about student rights with respect to education records, FERPA, and release of education records, see the Online Student Handbook.
Students may choose to complete degree requirements using the course catalog in effect at the time they matriculate as degree-seeking students or the current catalog at the time they plan to complete their degree. If requirements for a major, minor, or interdisciplinary area change, students should consult the department or program chair and their major advisor regarding the applicability of current course offerings to the major requirements they intend to complete. Academic regulations and procedures are effective as of the date they are approved by the university unless otherwise noted.
Most Lawrence students do fine most of the time. Nevertheless, on occasion some students find themselves out of sync not only with the expectations of their instructors but also with their own expectations of themselves. Attendance may trail off, coursework may be avoided, and assignments may be turned in late or not at all. Despite students’ best efforts, pressures and anxieties build, course performance suffers, and it becomes hard to see a pathway to academic success. At these times, it is essential that students recognize what is expected of them and how to take the steps needed to put themselves back on track.
Through institutional resources and the efforts of its faculty, Lawrence strives to assist students who find themselves in academic difficulty. Mudd Library, the Center for Academic Success, and Health and Counseling Services are among the most prominent resources that Lawrence offers to help students succeed. Likewise, faculty members seek to foster academic success among their students not only in the classroom but also during office hours, at study or review sessions, and through online tools and resources.
When a misunderstanding or discrepancy emerges between what faculty members and students expect from each other, this gap can adversely affect the learning that takes place in the classroom, laboratory, or studio. The notes that follow seek to reduce this sort of gap by making expectations clear.
Communication. Regular communication with faculty, administrators, and staff may be the single most important element in student success at Lawrence. Students are urged to communicate with instructors right away if they are experiencing academic difficulty and to seek help from the many resources made available by the university.
Engagement and respect. Students should see it as their responsibility to engage fully in all class activities and to demonstrate respect for fellow students, instructors, and course materials. Respect is demonstrated by encouraging and supporting others and never demeaning or degrading fellow Lawrentians; by adhering to the honor code and university rules and regulations; and by caring for our facilities, grounds, and equipment. Students can expect instructors, administrators, and staff to treat them with respect at all times, especially with regard to issues of race or ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Furthermore, they can expect their instructors to hold them to clear and consistent academic standards and to assess their work in a fair and timely manner with an indication of how it might be improved.
Attendance. Although different instructors spell out attendance requirements for their courses in different ways, students should consider it their responsibility to attend all class sessions and lessons and to be on time and well prepared. Missing class or arriving late can result in unexcused absences or a lowered grade for class participation. If students must miss class or arrive late, they should make every effort to inform their instructors beforehand. Faculty can be very understanding of student difficulties, and unforeseen conflicts, unexpected crises, and even the rare case of forgetfulness may be excused in light of normally good attendance and class preparation.
Deadlines. Students should consider it their responsibility to turn in all assigned work by the specified deadlines and to abide by the policies for assignments established by each individual instructor. When it is impossible for students to meet their deadlines, prompt and direct communication with the instructor, or with a staff member or administrator when communication with the instructor is not possible, is crucially important. Likewise, students can expect that instructors will clearly announce all deadlines and policies for assignments, including penalties for late or missing work.
Academic, extracurricular, and professional conflicts. Students should request permission in advance to miss class for academic, extracurricular, or professional activities that conflict with regular classes or lessons. While they may be sympathetic to such conflicts, instructors are under no obligation to grant permission and may do so at their own discretion. Instructors who schedule curricular activities (such as field trips, rehearsals, conferences, or competitions) outside of regular class time should remind students to request permission to miss any regularly scheduled classes or lessons that might conflict with those activities.
Illness. Students who miss class for illness should contact their instructors for guidance in making up missed work. If they miss more than two consecutive class sessions or a major assignment or examination, they should see a nurse, doctor, or counselor for a medical excuse. With permission, Health and Counseling Services can e-mail the excuse to instructors. If an illness extends to two weeks or longer, or occurs at or near the end of term, students should communicate with the Center for Academic Success to discuss whether they will be able to complete their courses or need to request an incomplete, withdraw from a course, or withdraw from the term (take a leave).
Personal crisis. Personal crises, such as trauma, severe anxiety or depression, or family emergencies, are handled with empathy by staff and faculty. Adjustments to course requirements or deadlines are granted at the discretion of instructors in consultation with appropriate staff or administrators. Communication on the part of students is paramount. Unless they alert their instructors, or a staff member from Health and Counseling Services, Student Affairs, or the Center for Academic Success, students can expect no adjustments in requirements. Faculty and staff are committed to serving students in moments of crisis, but they can act only on the basis of what they know.
If difficulties arise. Faculty expect students to be fully engaged in the classes for which they are registered: to attend regularly, to be well prepared, to participate in discussion, to complete assignments, and to communicate with instructors as outlined above. Students who are not meeting these expectations will be referred to the Center for Academic Success for help.
In those rare cases where a student who has not been attending classes also does not respond to requests from the Center for Academic Success, the student may be withdrawn from the term and placed on administrative leave. The university reserves the right to determine when an administrative withdrawal is appropriate and what conditions must be met before the student is allowed to return. Academic implications (credit and grades) and financial implications (tuition, fees, and financial aid) will vary depending on the circumstances.
In general, students are strongly urged to seek help from the Center as soon as difficulties arise so they can stay on track for academic success. That is why the Center exists, and it is in the interest of everyone to put these resources to their best use.
The philosophy that underlies academic advising at Lawrence reflects the university’s emphasis on student responsibility and independence. Students have the responsibility for planning and pursuing their own academic programs. All students are assigned a faculty advisor to help with understanding strengths and weaknesses, setting goals and utilizing resources at Lawrence.
Advisors are not expected to make decisions for advisees except in the case of an underload or overload request, nor are they expected to engage in a personal counseling relationship. Advisors are required to sign petitions and forms only if they have had the opportunity to provide their best advice on the decision.
Advisors have the responsibility to advise the student. Students have the responsibility of making the decision.
Lawrence has a faculty-based advising system. All full-time members of the teaching faculty serve as academic advisors to students. New students are assigned to faculty advisors on the basis of academic interests and availability of faculty for advising. Junior and senior students are required to have advisors in their majors. Any student, however, may change an advisor by completing the Academic Advisor Form available in the registrar’s office and obtaining the signature of the new advisor on that form.
Students are encouraged to consult with other faculty members or the Center for Academic Success for further advice.
To help maintain an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence among students and faculty members and to ensure that each student is judged solely according to his or her own merits, the Lawrence University community has established the following honor code:
No Lawrence student will unfairly advance his or her own academic performance nor will the student in any way intentionally limit or impede the academic performance or intellectual pursuits of other students of the Lawrence community.
The Lawrence community firmly believes in the academic atmosphere this Honor Code is intended to ensure. An academic honor system secures freedoms, conveniences and privileges that otherwise would not be available to students, creating an atmosphere in which they can learn without constant surveillance.
Students are responsible for understanding the Honor Code, and the Honor Council provides extensive information to all students. The council does not consider ignorance or negligence as excuses when determining whether or not an Honor Code violation has occurred.
As members of the Lawrence University community, students are required to sign the following Honor Pledge. By doing so, they affirm their belief in the value of the stipulations of the system:
I hereby affirm that I understand and accept the responsibilities and stipulations of the Lawrence University Honor System.
Furthermore, students must reaffirm the Honor Code by writing “I reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Pledge,” followed by their signatures, on all submitted work.
The Honor system is administered by the Honor Council, which consists of ten students. The Council is responsible for educating the Lawrence community about the honor code and for acting as a judicial body when suspected violations occur. Every member of the Lawrence community is responsible for upholding the honor system.
If a member of the community suspects a violation, he or she has two options:
- contact the faculty member involved, the administrative advisor to the Honor Council (appointed by the Provost), or a member of the Honor Council
- discuss the concerns directly with the student involved. The reporting of a suspected violation does not commit the student to pursuing additional action.
For more information, please refer to the full Honor System Charter and related information contained on the Honor Council webpage.
Accommodations for students with disabilities
“No otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
— Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The commitment of Lawrence University to provide a quality liberal education carries with it a commitment to a learning environment that provides all students with an equal opportunity for academic success.
Lawrence, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (amended in 2008), recognizes that qualified students who have diagnosed disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, are entitled to an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational program of the university and that reasonable academic accommodations may be necessary to provide that opportunity.
Students who have a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are entitled to academic accommodations. The academic accommodation system at Lawrence is based on the university’s educational philosophy emphasizing student independence and responsibility. All requests for accommodations must be initiated by the student. No automatic notification of instructors occurs without a student request, and no student is required to tell instructors about a disability or to request accommodations. If a student does choose to request accommodations, the request must be made no later than the start of the term in which the course is offered.
To request appropriate accommodations, a student should meet with the accessibility services coordinator in the Center for Academic Success. The student will be asked to provide appropriate documentation of the disability, including its impact on the student and recommended accommodations to ameliorate that impact. Once the disability is documented, the student may request accommodations for specific courses through the accessibility services coordinator. Accommodations should be arranged during the first week of the term, and any testing accommodations must be requested at least one week prior to the test or examination. More information can be found on the Center for Academic Success website.
Term system and course loads
Lawrence University has a three-term schedule. Each term consists of ten weeks of classes followed by three days of examinations, which are considered an integral part of the term. The term ends with the completion of final exams. A standard course load is three courses per term (6 units each) or the equivalent, with additional credit (1 unit each) for music ensembles.
The normal class periods are three 70-minute sessions per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (MWF) or two 110-minute sessions per week on Tuesday and Thursday (TR) as follows:
8:30–9:40 a.m. MWF
9:50–11 a.m. MWF
11:10 a.m.–12:20 p.m. MWF
12:30–1:40 p.m. MWF
1:50–3 p.m. MWF
3:10–4:20 p.m. MWF
9–10:50 a.m. TR
12:30–2:20 p.m. TR
2:30–4:20 p.m. TR
Courses are recorded using a term-course system. A standard course is six units. For purposes of transcript evaluation, six units may be considered the equivalent of three and one-third (3-1/3) semester hours or five (5) quarter hours. A six-unit course that includes extra class or laboratory sessions is the equivalent in content to courses that carry five semester hours or eight quarter hours at some other institutions.
Students who arrange their programs in the normal pattern take three courses (18 units) each term. A course load of 15 units per term is required for certification as a full-time student; a course load of 21 units is required for full-time status in the student-teaching semester and semester-length off-campus programs.
Students must receive permission from their advisors to take 24 or more units in a single term. A “B” average for the preceding three terms is generally expected of students requesting permission to overload. Students in the university should normally take no more than two partial courses (less than 6 units each) above the standard three-course load in any one term. Students will be assessed additional tuition for course loads exceeding 23 units in one term. See the Overload Policy for details.
Students who desire to overload must submit an overload form to the Registrar’s Office at the beginning of the term and before the eighth day of classes. Students may find it educationally advantageous to choose a reduced program for one or more terms. Students considering a reduced load should consult with their academic advisors and carefully investigate the consequences of dropping below full-time status. Less-than-full-time status can affect time to completion of the degree, financial aid, additional tuition charges, insurance, loan deferments, immigration status, and eligibility for participation in athletics.
The Incremental Fee Plan may be applicable if an overload or underload program is elected.
During the first two weeks of December, Lawrence offers brief, intensive courses that can be taken for credit (3 units) toward a Lawrence degree. December Term or "D-Term" courses are designed to be exciting experiences that offer new perspectives, unusual content, or interesting activities. These enrichment courses are not accelerated versions of courses normally offered during the academic year and are not required of any student.
D-Term courses have separate tuition and fees for room and board. Tuition is significantly discounted to make the courses affordable, so no additional financial aid is available.
The Lawrence faculty are offering the D-Term courses listed in the course schedule with a DECM prefix. Each student may register for one D-Term course, and each course must have five students to be given. If a course is canceled, students will be offered the chance to enroll in another course. Registration is through the Voyager system.
Registration for all students is conducted through the Voyager Information System, which is accessible both on and off campus via the Internet. Announcements and other information about registration and course offerings will be sent to students at their Lawrence e-mail addresses. Instructions for registration can be found at http://www.lawrence.edu/s/registrar/registration.
Students may view their registration status and assigned times in Voyager. In order to register or make schedule changes during each assigned period, students must meet with their faculty advisors, obtain any required course approvals from instructors, and clear all registration holds (Financial Services, Health Center, Registrar’s Office and deans). Students with registration holds on their records should contact the appropriate office directly.
The schedule of classes for current and future terms is published at http://www.lawrence.edu/s/registrar/catalog.
Advance registration for the next academic year begins in the Spring Term. All continuing, degree-seeking students will be eligible to register at this time. Students are expected to consult with their academic advisors about their academic progress and proposed program for the following year before the registration period opens. Continuing students must advance-register in order to participate in the housing selection process.
Advance registration for new freshmen, transfer students, visiting-exchange students and Waseda Program students begins over the summer. Preliminary registration materials and program-planning information will be sent to new students by the dean of academic success. During Welcome Week in the fall, new students will meet with their academic advisors and make any necessary changes to their course registrations using the Voyager Information System. Students entering Lawrence in the middle of the academic year will register at the beginning of the term in which they first enroll.
After the first round of advance registration, students may register and make class changes for future terms during the first two weeks of classes and from the fifth through the tenth week of classes each term. Students should check their registration-status page in Voyager for assigned registration days and times. The last opportunity for students to register or make class changes for any term is during the first ten days of classes (first two weeks).
It is the student’s responsibility to maintain an accurate registration record. Failure to do so can result in (1) receiving no credit for a completed course; (2) receiving a failing grade in a course not taken; (3) failing to be certified as a full-time student for insurance, financial aid, immigration or other purposes; and (4) being assessed a late registration fee to correct registration errors. Students who need to correct class registrations after the tenth day of classes must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. The deadline for submitting these petitions is the last day of classes of the academic term immediately following the term for which a registration change is being requested.
After the term begins, students wishing to register for a limited-enrollment class must obtain the approval of the instructor. Please see the section on limited enrollment classes (below). Beginning the sixth day of classes of the term (beginning of the second week), students must obtain the approval of the instructor to register for any class. In order to make class changes, all registration holds (academic advising, Financial Services, deans, Health Center and Registrar’s Office) must be cleared. The deadline for submission of special registration forms (registration for tutorials, independent study, internships and supervised accompanying; S/U option form) is also the end of the tenth day of classes for the term.
Individuals attending classes as non-degree students are required to register at the beginning of each term and may not advance-register for future terms. Such students include members of the local community taking courses for personal growth, college graduates seeking teacher certification and high school students in the Lawrence Academy Program. Non-degree students must obtain the approval of each instructor and meet with their academic advisor before they will be able to register through the Voyager system. Priority will be given to degree-seeking students when classes are over-subscribed.
$25 per late class cancellation or addition approved from the third week of the term through the last day of classes, up to a maximum of $200 for the term.
$50 per late class cancellation or addition approved after the last day of classes for the term, no maximum.
The Faculty Subcommittee on Administration may waive the late registration fee when a class change was delayed due to exceptional circumstances such as illness, family emergency, a curricular decision that could not be made by registration deadlines, etc. The student is responsible for documenting such an exceptional circumstance as part of the petition.
When a limited-enrollment class is filled, students may request to be added to the waiting list. Waiting list requests can be made through the Voyager registration system during the term just prior to the one in which the class is offered (for example, in winter a student may waitlist for spring). Students may remove themselves from waiting lists using the "add/drop classes" option in the Voyager registration system.
At the beginning of the term, all students registered for a limited-enrollment class and any students on the waiting list who still wish to enroll must attend the first class meeting. At that time, the instructor may choose to cancel the registration of students not in attendance and admit students to the class from the waiting list. Students admitted to the class by the instructor must use the Voyager registration system to add the class after the instructor has entered approval to register.
Prerequisites provide important information to students constructing their academic program plans. A course prerequisite may be composed of a list of specific courses to be completed, a description of skill level previously achieved or a combination of both. Prerequisites are listed in the class schedule and the course catalog. This information is provided by instructors and academic departments to help students understand what prior preparation will be expected and will contribute to a successful experience in the course. It is the responsibility of the student to review prerequisites before registering for a class.
It is assumed that all students will have completed the prerequisites for every course for which they are registered prior to the first day of classes. Students who do not meet the prerequisites but are interested in taking the course must contact the instructor for permission. Students who believe transfer credit or credit from advanced-placement examinations should be applied to the prerequisites also must contact the instructor for permission to take the class.
During the first week of classes, instructors may cancel the registration of students who have not met prerequisites. Students may be asked to document that the prerequisites for a course are complete.
Students are permitted to withdraw passing (WP) from one of their classes after the second week of the term and through the Friday of the seventh week of the term. The instructor must confirm the student’s last date of attendance and certify the student completed all work and earned a passing grade. Written acknowledgement from the student’s faculty advisor also is required. A form is available from the registrar’s office for this purpose. The grade of WP is recorded on the student’s record but has no effect on the grade-point averages.
A student must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration to withdraw passing if any of the following apply:
- the student is withdrawing from more than one class in the term, or
- the student has already withdrawn from three classes during his or her career at Lawrence, or
- the student is on probation, or
- the student is unable to complete the class after the seventh-week deadline.
Students may withdraw failing (WF) from a class through the last day of classes for the term with the permission of the instructor, the faculty advisor and the dean of academic success. A grade of WF is recorded on the student’s record and appears in the grade-point averages as an F grade.
Students who officially withdraw from the university during the term will have grades of WP and WF posted on their record depending on whether they were passing or failing their classes at the time of withdrawal. WF grades in this particular case will not be included in the grade-point averages.
Instructors may, at their own discretion, require attendance and/or take attendance into account in determining grades. Students should check class-attendance expectations with instructors at the beginning of each term. Whatever the attendance expectations may be for a class, students are responsible for all class obligations.
Students who wish to cancel or withdraw from a class after the term begins should notify the instructor of their intention promptly, as the instructor will be asked to verify the date the student last attended.
All final examinations are given and taken during the examination period. An examination schedule is published by the registrar before the fifth week of the term. Individual students who wish to change the time of a scheduled examination must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration no later than Wednesday of the tenth week of classes.
Petitions to change final exams for travel purposes will not be approved. An exam time for the whole class may be changed only with the unanimous consent of the class members and with the permission of the provost and dean of the faculty. During the last week of classes, no examinations or tests may be given in class or as take-home exercises.
Individual students who wish to change the examination time for single courses must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. Students who have three examinations on the same day may request a change of the time of one of them by such a petition. The Faculty Subcommittee on Administration also entertains petitions for change of examination times for reasons of health, family considerations, summer academic programs, etc.
It is a faculty member’s prerogative to establish the conditions for his or her particular exam. If no specifications are given, however, the exam will be taken in class without books, notes, or discussion among the students.
|Grade||Description||Computation of grade points|
|A||Excellent||4 x value of the course|
|A–||3.75 x value of the course|
|B+||3.25 x value of the course|
|B||Good||3 x value of the course|
|B–||2.75 x value of the course|
|C+||2.25 x value of the course|
|C||Satisfactory||2 x value of the course|
|C–||1.75 x value of the course|
|D+||1.25 x value of the course|
|D||Passing, but Unsatisfactory||1 x value of the course|
|D–||0.75 x value of the course|
|F||Failing||0 x value of the course|
|WF||Withdrew Failing||0 x value of the course, except upon approved withdrawal from the term (see * below)|
|WP||Withdrew Passing||No course credit. Grade does not affect grade-point averages.|
|S||Satisfactory||Equivalent to a C– or better, but does not affect grade-point averages|
|U||Unsatisfactory||Equivalent to D+ or below, but does not affect grade-point averages; no course credit|
|I||Incomplete||May be reported only for students who did not complete the coursework because of circumstances beyond their control, such as illness. Students must submit a request for an incomplete to the dean of academic success before the end of the last day of classes. The dean will consult with the instructor in making the decision. An incomplete must be removed by the date set by the dean, subject to approved extensions; failure to complete the work can result in the recording of an F (U if the course was carried on an S/U basis).|
|IP||In Progress||May be used to designate the first term of tutorial work or independent study for which students will be registered for additional credit for two or three terms; replaced by the final grade when that grade is reported.|
|AU||Audit||This option may not be used by degree-seeking students and confers no credit.|
|NR||Not Reported||No valid grade reported. Grade will lapse to F (U if the course was carried on an S/U basis) if a valid grade is not reported shortly after the end of the term.|
|*||Withdrawal From Term||No course credit. Grade does not affect grade-point averages.|
|#||Repeated Course||Credit is not applied to degree and grade is not used in computation of degree GPA|
All grades, except approved incompletes or IP grades, are final when they are recorded with the registrar. Grades are due, according to faculty legislation, 72 hours after the end of the examination in the class or, if there is no examination, no later then 72 hours after the published examination period. The Faculty Subcommittee on Administration reviews student records for academic progress shortly after grades have been submitted.
The S/U option is provided to encourage students to explore new academic disciplines. The decision to exercise this option must be made by the end of the second week of classes. It is not intended to be used as a means of grade protection after students have assessed their ability to complete required coursework satisfactorily. The S/U option may not be used in some courses. Please refer to the course description for more information.
Students who have completed 54 units may elect to take one class per term outside their major/minor and major/minor department on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. See additional guidelines for language and art majors and minors below:
- Students with a minor in Latin may take a course in Greek on an S/U basis.
- Students with a minor in Greek may take a course in Latin on an S/U basis.
- Students with a minor in studio art may take a course in art history on an S/U basis.
- Students with a minor in art history may take a course in studio art on an S/U basis.
- Students with a minor in Chinese may take a course in Japanese on an S/U basis.
- Students with a minor in Japanese may take a course in Chinese on an S/U basis.
Additionally, students who take 24 or more units in a term may also exercise the S/U option for the overload class. No more than four grades of S or U resulting from the option may appear on a student’s transcript at any one time.
Students may at any time (e.g., during the term in which a course is taken S/U or after the course has been completed) change the basis of grading in a course from S/U to a letter grade; they may not change from a letter grade to S/U. Instructors submit letter grades (A-F) for all courses not offered strictly on an S/U basis. The registrar then converts the letter grades to S or U for those students who have elected the S/U option. Grades of C- or above become Satisfactory; grades of D+ or below become Unsatisfactory. A satisfactory performance ensures credit toward graduation but does not affect grade-point averages. An unsatisfactory performance does not confer credit, nor does it affect the grade-point average.
Students are permitted to repeat courses in which a grade of F is received. Both the original F and the new grade will be recorded on the permanent record. Only the second grade, however, will count in the degree GPA. If the course is in the student’s major or minor department, only the second grade will count in the major or minor GPA. Both the original F and the repeat grade will count in the composite GPA (see “Grade Point Averages”)
Students who have withdrawn from a class (WP or WF) have not completed the course and are free to take it again. A grade of WF is treated like an F when a course is repeated. Only the grade for the repeated course will count in the degree and major GPAs. Both the original WF and the repeat grade will count in the composite GPA.
Students must submit a Repeated Course form to the Registrar’s Office to initiate the procedure for repeating a course and to have the new grade replace the F in the degree GPA.
Grades become visible to students, academic advisors and administrative personnel in the Voyager Information System once all end-of-term processing has been completed, approximately 7-10 days after the last day of final examinations. Grades will not be given to students on an individual basis until grade processing is complete, nor will they be given to students over the phone. Students may obtain unofficial transcripts of their academic history and a degree summary report through the Voyager Information System.
Students are responsible for keeping parents, guardians, scholarship foundations, insurance companies and any others as needed informed about their academic progress. A grade report will be sent to parents only upon the written request of the student. A form for this purpose can be obtained in the registrar’s office.
To obtain an official transcript, a student must make a request in writing, giving permission to release the transcript to a third party. A charge of $5 (which includes tax) will be assessed for each official transcript requested. Additional fees will also be assessed for special shipping arrangements such as overnight delivery or fax. Students should be aware that transcripts will not be sent after the last day of classes until grades for the term have been posted and the academic-progress review is complete. Transcript requests are usually fulfilled within 3-5 days.
Official transcripts are issued only for students whose accounts with Financial Services are clear.
A grade submitted to the registrar can be changed only with approval of the university faculty at the request of the instructor. The instructor must submit a request for a change of grade in writing to the faculty secretary. The change will take effect upon approval of the faculty minutes in which the request is recorded.
A change of grade is permitted for reassessment of work previously evaluated or for the correction of an error in the calculation or reporting of a grade. The instructor states which reason applies. Grade changes are not permitted for work submitted after the class has concluded.
Lawrence uses four grade-point averages: major, minor, degree and composite. The averages are used to determine academic progress, fulfillment of degree requirements and honors in course at graduation.
The major GPA includes all courses in the student’s major department and those courses outside the department required for the major. Courses taken on the Lawrence campus, as well as courses completed at approved Lawrence off-campus programs (see Off-Campus Programs) are included in the major GPA. Courses accepted for transfer credit from other institutions are not included. A student must earn a major GPA of 2.000 or above to graduate.
The minor GPA includes all courses in the student’s minor department and those courses outside the department required for the minor. Courses taken on the Lawrence campus as well as courses completed at approved Lawrence off-campus programs are included in the minor GPA. Students must earn a minor GPA of 2.000 in order to complete the minor and have it recorded on their academic record.
The degree GPA includes all courses taken on the Lawrence campus or at approved Lawrence off-campus programs. It is used to determine academic actions and, in conjunction with the composite GPA, honors in course at graduation. A student must earn a degree GPA of 2.000 or above to graduate.
The composite GPA includes all courses included in the degree GPA plus any courses taken at other colleges and universities. The composite GPA is used, in conjunction with the degree GPA, to determine honors in course at graduation and selection for awards and membership in honorary societies.
Declaration of majors, minors, and interdisciplinary areas
Students are strongly urged to declare a major by Winter Term of the sophomore year and to find an academic advisor in the major department who can help the student plan a program of studies for the junior and senior years. Advising and registration for the upcoming year take place in spring term.
Students are required to declare a major by the beginning of their junior year but may do so at any time by completing a Declaration of Major, Minors, or Interdisciplinary Areas form available in the registrar's office. Students must also have an academic advisor in their major department no later than the beginning of their junior year. The declaration of a major and change of advisors does not preclude students from seeking additional counsel about their academic programs from any member of the faculty.
In addition to completing degree and major requirements, students may choose to complete the requirements for a minor or an interdisciplinary area. Students may declare their intent to pursue such programs by completing a Declaration of Majors, Minors, or Interdisciplinary Areas form available in the registrar's office. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate department chair, program director, or faculty advisor on a regular basis about their course selections.
Credit for AP, IB, and transfer courses
The Advanced Placement program of the College Board offers high school students the opportunity to study prescribed courses in many subject areas and to take nationally administered examinations on these courses. Lawrence will give 6 units in the appropriate discipline for a score of 4 or 5 on an advanced placement examination, except for multiple examinations with substantial shared material, for which the credit granted may be limited to 6 units. Individual departments may decide to award additional credit.
Credit awarded for advanced-placement examinations may be used to fulfill the competency and diversity General Education Requirements as appropriate. Such credit may not be applied to distribution requirements. Individual departments will determine whether advanced-placement credit fulfills major or minor requirements and the placement of students who wish to undertake further work in that discipline.
Credit may be awarded for International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations in subject areas applicable to the liberal arts curriculum at Lawrence University where a student has earned a score of 5, 6 or 7. Students who have earned an IB diploma may receive 6 units of credit for each IB higher-level examination and 3 units of credit for each subsidiary-level examination. Students who have not earned an IB diploma but have completed individual IB examinations may receive 6 units of credit for each higher-level examination. A maximum of 48 units of credit may be awarded.
Current subject areas acceptable for credit include: language A1, second language, economics, history, Islamic history, philosophy, psychology, social and cultural anthropology, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental systems, mathematics, computer science, film studies, music, theatre arts and visual arts. Placement in Lawrence courses based on IB examination credit will be determined by the appropriate academic department or program.
Credit awarded for IB examinations will be applied to competency and diversity General Education Requirements as appropriate. Such credit may not be applied to distribution requirements. Individual departments will determine whether advanced-placement credit fulfills major or minor requirements and the placement of students who wish to undertake further work in that discipline.
Academic work completed at other institutions of higher education will be evaluated to determine the courses and credit to be transferred and applied to a Lawrence degree. Evaluations are based on official transcripts received directly from U.S. accredited colleges and universities, or a report from Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., in the case of foreign institutions. Only courses applicable to the programs and degrees offered by Lawrence and graded at a C- or better will be transferred. Students may be asked to provide course descriptions, syllabi or other information if a determination cannot be made from the transcript information alone. Credit is normally granted on the basis of 6 Lawrence units for three-and-one-third semester hours or five quarter hours.
Coursework from other institutions may not be used to fulfill the writing or speaking General Education Requirements. Individual academic departments and programs will determine if transfer credit fulfills major, minor, or interdisciplinary-area requirements. Students should review the requirements for their degree for important information on residence requirements and limits on the total transfer credit that may be applied to a Lawrence degree. Transfer credit and transfer grade points are used only in the computation of the composite GPA.
Transfer students must have official transcripts sent to Lawrence from their former institutions as part of the application process. Once a student is admitted, the registrar will evaluate the work for transfer. The registrar’s evaluation will include: a list of courses accepted toward a Lawrence degree; the Lawrence unit value awarded to each accepted course; the total units accepted; a statement of the value of the grades earned at the former institution in the student’s cumulative composite grade-point average; a notation of courses that may be transferred pending completion of work, review of descriptions and syllabi, or review by a Lawrence department; a notation of courses denied for unsatisfactory grades or because the content is not applicable to a Lawrence Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music degree; a statement of the work required for graduation; and a statement of the students academic class standing on entry. Depending on work transferred and major selected at Lawrence, transfer students may need to complete additional credit beyond the minimum required for their Lawrence degree program in order to fulfill all degree requirements.
Students who have taken college-level courses while in high school may be granted up to 42 Lawrence units for such work.
Students who wish to attend summer school or undertake a period of study at another institution must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration for approval of their proposed course of study. Petitions must include titles and descriptions of courses; length of session or term and, in the case of summer work, number of hours of participation (class, laboratory, field or studio); and statements of support from the student’s advisor and from the chairs of the departments that would offer the courses were they part of the Lawrence curriculum. In some cases syllabi may be requested in order to make a determination. Normally no more than 12 Lawrence units may be earned in a summer session. The transfer credit will be applied to degree requirements as appropriate based on the subject of the course. If the student wishes the work to fulfill a particular general education diversity or competency requirement, that desire should be clearly stated in the petition (usually a syllabus will be needed to make this determination). It is expected that the student and academic advisor have reviewed the implications of transfer credit with respect to degree requirements such as the residence requirements. Transfer credit is used only in computing the student’s composite GPA. It will not change the student’s degree GPA.
The Faculty Subcommittee on Administration will notify the student of courses approved for transfer and grades required. The student will also be notified if an examination at Lawrence will be required before credit is awarded. The student will be expected to arrange for the appropriate documentation to be sent to Lawrence upon the completion of the work (see the general rules for transfer credit above). Grade reports or transcripts submitted by the student will not be accepted.
Completion of the language competency requirement
Students fulfill the language requirement by demonstrating proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at the level of 200 or above (B.A. or B.A./B.Mus.) or 102 or above (B.Mus.) or the equivalent. For classical languages (Latin or Ancient Greek), students must demonstrate proficiency only in reading and writing. Students with previous language study or experience, including native speakers of languages other than English, may demonstrate proficiency in any of the ways described below.
Coursework or examinations in languages taught at Lawrence
- Students may begin or continue language study at Lawrence and fulfill the requirement by completing a course at the level of 200 or above (B.A. or B.A./B.Mus.) or 102 or above (B.Mus.).
- Students may participate in certain affiliated off-campus programs with language components and fulfill the requirement by completing a course at the appropriate level. A list of programs with qualifying courses is available through the off-campus programs office.
- Students may fulfill the requirement by passing the Lawrence University proficiency examination in a language other than English at the appropriate level. The language department will determine placement and whether the language competency general education requirement is satisfied. Degree credit is not awarded for these examinations.
- Students may fulfill the requirement by obtaining a score of 4 or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination or a score of 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Examination in a language other than English at the high level. This option carries credit equivalent to one six-unit course.
- For Spanish only, students may fulfill the requirement by obtaining a score of 630 or higher on the SAT II Spanish or Spanish with Listening exam or by presenting documentation for CLEP credits in Spanish: four CLEP semesters (B.A. or B.A./B.Mus.) or two CLEP semesters (B.Mus.). This option carries no academic credit.
Coursework or examinations in languages not taught at Lawrence
Students who have studied a language other than those taught at Lawrence, including students who have participated in an affiliated off-campus program with a language component, may use this language to fulfill the requirement by demonstrating proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at the level of 200 or above (B.A.) or 102 or above (B.Mus.). For non-written languages, students must demonstrate proficiency only in listening and speaking. Proficiency may be demonstrated in any of the following ways:
- By completing equivalent coursework at the appropriate level. Courses may be taken at another institution and transferred to Lawrence. Students should check with the Center for Academic Success to make sure that a course will be accepted before they take it.
- By taking and passing a proficiency examination in the language. This process may be facilitated locally by the Center for Academic Success. Where proficiency examinations are not available locally, students may petition to use another form of evaluation administered and certified by an outside authority who will (a) identify that authority’s expertise in the language, (b) describe the methods by which the authority assessed the proficiency of the student, and (c) provide a diagnostic report on the level of proficiency the student has obtained in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students should contact the Center for Academic Success for help preparing the petition and confirming the acceptability of the outside authority.
Additional options for native speakers of languages other than English
Students who are native speakers of a language other than English have additional options for fulfilling the language requirement. For written languages, students must demonstrate proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. For non-written languages, students must demonstrate proficiency only in listening and speaking. To satisfy the university’s language requirement, the language must be a natural language that is natively spoken (or signed) by one or more linguistic communities. Students should submit the necessary documentation by the end of the freshman year (or the first year for transfer students).
- The language requirement will be waived for international students whose high school program was conducted in a language other than English. The student must provide documentation (such as a high school diploma) to verify that this was the case.
- If the student’s high school program was conducted primarily in English, the student must demonstrate proficiency in the native language in another way. For languages in which proficiency cannot be assessed by a Lawrence faculty member, students must provide a letter from a person in authority (such as a headmaster or teacher) along with relevant documentation attesting to the student’s language proficiency. The letter or documentation may not be from a family member or relative of the student. Students should contact the Center for Academic Success for help providing suitable documentation to meet the requirement.
Lawrence University normally expects students to complete their work toward graduation in four years (or five years in the case of students in the B.A./B.Mus. double-degree program). At the time of matriculation, the university determines the class standing of each student on the basis of transfer and advanced placement credits, if any, accepted by Lawrence. Thereafter, the number of credits earned at Lawrence and the degree grade-point average determine a student’s academic progress.
Generally, full-time students are expected to progress toward graduation according to the following guidelines. At the end of the freshman year, or three terms, a student should have completed at least 48 units and have a minimum degree GPA of 1.833. At the end of the sophomore year, or six terms, a student should have completed at least 102 units and have a minimum degree GPA of 2.000. Students who do not meet these guidelines or who receive failing grades or other indications of unsatisfactory progress may be warned, placed on academic probation or strict probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from the university. Academic performance in December Term will not change a student's academic standing, though the December Term course grade will be included in a student's grade point average, which could affect academic standing in subsequent terms.
Students must be in good academic standing to participate in off-campus programs sponsored by Lawrence, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest or other organizations with which Lawrence has consortial agreements. Students placed on strict probation are not eligible to participate in either extracurricular performances or sports (varsity, junior-varsity or club), nor may they hold a position of responsibility, elected or volunteer, in any Lawrence University Community Council-sanctioned activity or Greek organization. The spirit of this eligibility restriction is to limit any significant extracurricular activity but not necessarily to eliminate nominal participation, such as attendance at a meeting.
Additional information on policies governing academic progress and standing is contained in “Guidelines for Academic Action,” which may be obtained from the Center for Academic Success.
A student who wishes to leave the university for any reason should request a leave of absence or withdrawal by completing the request form available from the Center for Academic Success. The dean of academic success, using faculty legislation, will review the request and, upon its approval, will notify all appropriate university offices. A student who has not been attending classes and has not responded to communications from university offices may be placed on leave by the university.
A student granted a leave is expected to return at the end of the leave (and may return earlier) or to request an extension before the leave expires. Any student who does not do so is withdrawn from the university. Any student who, without a leave of absence, terminates enrollment at Lawrence or in a Lawrence-sponsored program is withdrawn from the university. A student who has been withdrawn must petition to be readmitted. A student placed on leave by the university will be expected to address the problems that led to the leave before returning to continue a course of study.
Petitions for readmission are reviewed by the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. The petition should include a clear and detailed explanation of why the student terminated enrollment or overstayed a leave of absence, what academic or other worthwhile activities occupied the student while withdrawn from the university, and why the student wants to be readmitted.
A student who does not follow these procedures for a leave or a withdrawal or who fails to meet refund deadlines may forfeit the continuing-enrollment deposit.
Students who find that their interests have changed may apply to transfer to a different degree program within the university. An application for transfer is made as a petition for admission to the intended program. B.Mus. students who wish to transfer to the B.A. degree program should direct their petitions to the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. B.A. students who wish to transfer to the B.Mus. degree program should direct their petitions to the Conservatory Committee on Administration.
Students in the five-year B.A./B.Mus. degree program may drop one of their degrees and move to a single-degree program (either the B.A. or the B.Mus.) by notifying the registrar’s office.
Any student considering transferring to a different degree program should, at a minimum, consult with his or her advisor, the dean of the conservatory, and the dean of academic success in order to assess the consequences of such a move. A petition for transfer should not only speak to the reasons for the change but also present a plan for completing the requirements of the new degree program. In the case of transfer to the B.Mus. degree program, an audition or other qualifying examination may be required. Students who transfer to a different program after their second year of study usually will need to extend the time required for completion of their degrees.
Lawrence confers degrees at the end of the Fall and Spring Terms each year but holds its Commencement only once, in June. Degrees are not conferred automatically. Students must apply for graduation by completing an application distributed by the registrar’s office. Receipt of a completed graduation application initiates a review of the student’s academic record for completion of degree requirements. All grades, official transcripts, and other certifying documents, such as the major-completion form, must be filed at the registrar’s office before a degree can be awarded. Students enrolled in the five-year B.A./B.Mus. program must complete all program requirements before receiving either degree.
Once a degree is conferred, a student may not apply additional credit to that degree.
Participation in Commencement is a privilege earned by students who complete degree requirements. Students who expect to finish and receive their degrees by the end of the calendar year may petition to participate in Commencement the June before their degree is conferred. Petitions to participate in Commencement must be submitted to the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration no later than April 15.
When a degree is conferred, a citation is posted to the student's record noting the date and nature of the degree awarded. This information will be included in all transcripts requested after the degree date. Diplomas are printed once each year and distributed at Commencement in June. Official transcripts, diplomas, and letters certifying completion of all requirements will be released only for students whose accounts with Financial Services are clear.
The Dean’s List is an annual honor roll of students demonstrating exemplary academic performance. The list is compiled at the end of June after Term III grades have been posted. To be included on the Dean’s List a student’s record must meet the following qualifications:
- The student must have earned a 3.400 GPA for the year in all A-F graded courses.
- The student must have earned at least 36 units in A-F graded courses during the year.
- The student must have no unsatisfactory grades (U, D+, D, D-, or F) in courses taken during the year.
- The student must have no grades of I or NR, except where the NR is due to a faculty member’s not turning in grades for the course.
The faculty of Lawrence University grants honors at graduation both to encourage students to do superior academic work and to recognize superior performance. Honors in Course and Honors in Independent Study recognize two distinctive kinds of academic achievement; some students each year receive both types of honors. Students who have distinguished themselves in fulfilling the requirements for the bachelor’s degree are awarded Honors in Course, primarily on the basis of their cumulative grade-point averages, while those who have completed significant independent projects may submit their work for evaluation for Honors in Independent Study. Both types of honors are indicated in the Commencement program and on official transcripts, and both are granted in three grades—cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude—by vote of the faculty acting on the recommendation of the university Committee on Honors.
Performance in courses taken at Lawrence or as part of Lawrence-approved off-campus programs (degree GPA), as well as a student’s entire academic record (composite GPA), determines a student’s eligibility to receive honors. The committee uses as guidelines the following grade-point averages:
3.40 to 3.69 for cum laude
3.70 to 3.89 for magna cum laude
3.90 to 4.00 for summa cum laude
Honors in Course are not awarded automatically, however. The committee examines all students’ records individually and recognizes that in certain situations cumulative averages are not accurate measures of a student’s achievements in course. If, for example, a student has taken an unusually large number of courses on a S/U basis, has completed an unusual student-designed major or has performed with distinction on a departmental examination, the committee may consider departmental or committee evaluations and other relevant data.
Students who transfer from other colleges or universities, as well as students who undertake virtually all of their coursework at Lawrence, qualify for Honors in Course on the same basis. Students normally must achieve the stated guidelines in both the degree GPA and the composite GPA to qualify for a given level of honors.
Students may also earn honors at graduation through the successful completion of an honors project (see "Honors Projects" in Student-Initiated Courses.)
Petitions for exceptions to academic regulations
University regulations govern the academic progress of students, the welfare of the community and the equitable and orderly conduct of university affairs. On occasion, however, individual circumstances may warrant exceptions to established regulations, and students may petition the appropriate officer of the university or university committee for such exceptions.
- Petitions for exceptions to social regulations should be directed to the dean of students.
- Petitions for exceptions to academic regulations should be directed to the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration via the registrar or dean of academic success.
- Petitions for exceptions to conservatory requirements should be directed to the dean of the conservatory.
- Petitions concerning business affairs should be directed to the vice president for finance and administration.
Petitions will be reviewed by the appropriate entity and decisions communicated to the petitioning students. In the specific case of corrections to class registration (dropping or adding a class), petitions must be submitted by the end of the academic term immediately following the term for which a class registration correction is being requested.
Petitions should contain a clear and detailed statement of the exception requested and the reasons for the request. Students should review petitions with faculty advisors and others who may be involved, such as instructors, department chairs or deans, and seek their approval. Petitions for exceptions to academic regulations must contain the signature of the student’s advisor(s) and, depending on the exception requested, the instructor’s or department chair’s signature may also be required.
Any appeals of academic decisions should be directed to the provost, who is the chief academic officer of the university.
The grievance procedure is a way to address concerns that are not covered by other university processes (academic petitions, honor council or judicial board hearings, or complaints of sexual misconduct or employee discrimination). If you have a concern about the actions or lack of action of another member of the Lawrence community, you should follow the procedure below.
Where possible, discuss the concern with the other person to seek a mutually acceptable resolution. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe doing so, proceed to #2 or 3.
Seek counsel from a supervisor, advisor, residence hall director or residence life advisor, counselor, dean, colleague, etc., who may suggest possible solutions, refer you to a university procedure for addressing this type of concern, or act as an informal mediator to help resolve the dispute.
- Formal review
If the matter remains unresolved, request a formal review by the appropriate university authority:
- vice president for student affairs for a concern about a student’s actions;
- provost and dean of the faculty for a concern about a faculty member’s actions; or
- vice president for finance and administration for a concern about a staff member’s actions.
To call for a formal review, send the university authority a written statement of the concern and any action taken to resolve it. The preferred way to receive a grievance is by email with “grievance” in the subject line.
The authority will acknowledge receipt of the grievance within two weeks and will work to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. The authority may guide the party to an applicable university procedure or investigate the matter by:
- sharing the statement with the other party and asking for a written response;
- seeking additional information from one or both parties or from others who have knowledge of the dispute; and
- consulting sources on university procedures and regulations or seeking advice from appropriate counsel.
On the basis of this information, the authority will determine whether either party acted inappropriately and what corrective action needs to be taken. If the authority determines that the situation is not a matter for university governance, the authority may recommend actions, but neither party is bound to act on those recommendations. The authority’s written decision and directives or recommendations will be sent to both parties, preferably by email.
If the authority’s decision does not resolve the matter, you or the other party may request that a panel hear the grievance. To call for a panel, send the authority a written statement of your reason for the appeal and your willingness to abide by the panel’s decision. The preferred way to receive an appeal is by email with “appeal” in the subject line.
The authority will acknowledge receipt of the appeal within two weeks and will compose a panel to hear the grievance. The university authority will ask you and the other party each to submit the names of three faculty or staff members. The authority will select one person from each list and name a third person to the panel. If either party to the grievance is a student, the third person will be a student member of the judicial board who has no involvement with the dispute; otherwise, the third person will be a member of the faculty or staff. The authority will designate one panel member as chair.
The panel will be given all written statements related to the grievance, including the university authority’s decision and directives or recommendations. The panel may interview any or all parties and others with knowledge related to the dispute. On the basis of this information, the panel will render its decision, preferably by consensus but otherwise by majority vote. The panel’s written decision will be sent to both parties and the university authority, preferably by email. All parties are expected to abide by that decision.
While the grievance procedure is meant to resolve disagreements that affect members of the Lawrence community, it may not be possible to solve a problem to everyone’s satisfaction. The university expressly forbids any retaliation or threat of retaliation for filing a grievance, and any party that fails to follow the directives of the university authority or grievance panel will be subject to disciplinary action. This ensures that the process can lead to a genuine resolution.