2023-2024 Course Catalog

Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Saturday, December 2, 2023, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

Academic Procedures and Regulations

Academic responsibilities

Opportunities, obligations, and responsibilities

Academic procedures and regulations, together with degree, program, and course requirements and the honor system 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 degree requirements and maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Students are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the contents of the course catalog, the student handbook, and other contracts and official notices of the university. Degree requirements and requirements for majors, minors, or interdisciplinary areas are set by specific catalog year, while academic regulations and procedures are effective as of the date they are approved by the university unless otherwise noted.

Confidentiality of student records

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 student handbook.

Catalog of record

Students complete degree requirements using the course catalog in effect at the time they matriculate as degree-seeking students. Students have the option of choosing a different year’s course catalog as their catalog of record. The catalog of record must be from the student’s period of enrollment as a degree-seeking student. The catalog of record is used to certify all degree requirements, including majors, minors, interdisciplinary areas, and general education. Students may not satisfy requirements from more than one catalog. Students should consult with their academic advisors and with department chairs and program directors regarding the applicability of current course offerings to the requirements they intend to complete.

Academic expectations

Academic success

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 Wellness 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.

Recognizing expectations as a key to success

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 or injury. Students who miss class for illness or injury 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, Wellness Services can e-mail notice to the instructors). If a student misses the equivalent of two weeks of classes or a similar number of assignments, then the student and the instructor should meet with the Dean of Academic Success to discuss whether the student will be able to complete the course or, especially late in the term, needs to withdraw or arrange for an incomplete.

Students with known health conditions that could affect their course work should meet with their instructors at the start of term to plan how to deal with problems that might arise. They should notify instructors in advance if they will be absent for medical testing or treatment and should alert instructors right away if they are too ill to come to class or to complete an assignment. If students are unable to meet their course requirements, they should contact the Dean of Academic Success to arrange a withdrawal or incomplete.

Personal crisis. Personal crises, such as accidents, trauma, 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 Wellness, Student Life, 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.

Academic advising

Philosophy of advising

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.

The advising process

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 online. The online form will route to the new advisor for final approval.

Students are encouraged to consult with other faculty members, department chairs and program directors, the Director of Academic Advising, or the Center for Academic Success for further advice.

Honor system

Honor Code

To maintain the atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence among students and faculty and to ensure that students are judged according to their own merits, the Lawrence University community has established the following Honor Code:

No Lawrence student will unfairly advance their own academic performance or in any way limit or impede the academic pursuits of other students of the Lawrence community.

The Lawrence community firmly believes in the value of the academic atmosphere that 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, particularly as the Honor Council provides extensive information to all students. The council does not consider ignorance or negligence as an excuse when determining whether or not an Honor Code violation has occurred.

Pledge and reaffirmation

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 hereby reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Code” (or "IHRTLUHC") followed by their signature on all submitted work or by providing an equivalent indication on work submitted electronically.

Honor Council

The Honor system is administered by the Honor Council, which consists of up to thirteen 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, the member has two options:

  • contact the faculty member involved, a faculty member on the Academic Integrity Committee, or a member of the Honor Council; or
  • discuss the concern 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 Honor System Charter and related information on the Honor System webpage.

Accommodations for students with disabilities

Nondiscrimination on the basis of disability

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.

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

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (amended in 2008), Lawrence 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.

Requesting academic accommodations

Students who have a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are entitled to academic accommodations. In keeping with the university’s educational philosophy emphasizing student independence and responsibility, requests for accommodations must be initiated by the student. No 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 should be made as early as possible and no later than the start of the term in which the course is offered.

To request academic accommodations, a student should complete an eligibility form, submit documentation as outlined in the accessibility services website and meet with the Director of Accessibility Services. The meeting allows for the student and the director to have a conversation about past accommodations, to identify limitations that prevent access and inform the student of their rights. Accommodations are not retroactive. All accommodations are recommended to be arranged a week prior to the term to ensure that they are in place when needed. Any testing accommodations must be arranged at least one week prior to the test or examination. More information can be found on the Accessibility Services website.

Term system and course loads

Three-term system and course loads

Lawrence University has a three-term schedule--fall, winter, and spring--plus an optional December term (described in the catalog under "December Term"). Each regular 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. Students may register for up to 22 units (exclusive of music ensembles) without overload approval or fees.

Standard class periods

The normal class periods are three 70-minute sessions per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (MWF) or two 105-minute sessions per week on Tuesday and Thursday (TR) as follows:

  • 8:30–9:40 a.m. MWF
  • 9:50–11:00 a.m. MWF
  • 11:10 a.m.–12:20 p.m. MWF
  • 1:50–3:00 p.m. MWF
  • 3:10–4:20 p.m. MWF
  • 8:30-10:15 a.m. TR
  • 10:25 a.m.-12:10 p.m. TR
  • 12:40-2:25 p.m. TR
  • 2:35-4:20 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.


A per-unit fee is assessed for 23 or more units in a single term, exclusive of music ensembles, up to the maximum load of 27 units. Every student who qualifies to overload may take a single term at 23-24 units during their time at Lawrence with no additional charge, and during that term the per-unit fee will be charged for 25 units or more. Overload fees are not refunded if a student withdraws from a course after the class change period, in which case the course counts as attempted units and remains on the transcript with a W.

To qualify to overload, a student must be in good academic standing, have a "B" average for the preceding three terms, and have permission from their academic advisor. To register for an overload, a student submits a Request to Overload form with the advisor's signature to the Registrar's Office, and once the approval has been entered into the system, the student adds the extra course(s) in Voyager. A petition is required to register for an overload after the class change period.

Fewer than 15 units in a term (including music ensembles) is considered an underload. At times a student might find it educationally advantageous to reduce their course load for one or more terms. A student considering a reduced load should consult with their academic advisor 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. A student with less than a full course load may be charged tuition on the incremental fee plan (see Tuition, Fees, and Financial Assistance).


The schedule of classes for current and future terms is published online at http://www.lawrence.edu/s/registrar/catalog, and announcements about registration and course offerings are sent to students at their Lawrence e-mail address. Registration is conducted through the student portal, which is accessible both on and off campus. Instructions can be found at http://www.lawrence.edu/s/registrar/registration. Students can view their registration status and assigned registration time in the registration portal.

Before registering for classes, students must meet with their academic advisor and obtain any required course approvals from instructors. They must also clear any other registration holds (Registrar’s Office, Financial Services, or Wellness Services). Students with a registration hold should contact the appropriate office directly.

Students are responsible for checking their registration at the start of each term and maintaining 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 fee to correct registration errors (see "Petitions and Fees for Late Registration" below).

Advance registration for degree-seeking students

Registration for the next academic year begins in the Spring Term. All continuing, degree-seeking students are eligible to register at this time and should consult with their academic advisor about their plans before the registration period opens. Continuing students must have registered for classes in order to participate in the housing selection process.

Registration for new first-year students, new transfer students, visiting-exchange students, and Waseda Program students occurs in the summer. Course planning and registration information is sent to new students, who are invited to schedule an online meeting with an academic advisor to select courses for the next academic year. Students entering Lawrence in the middle of the academic year register once they have been admitted and processed by Admissions and the Registrar's Office.

Term registration for degree-seeking students

All students are expected to be properly registered for the current term by the end of the class change period, which is the first five days of classes. To add or drop classes, a student must first clear all registration holds. Once the term begins, students can still
register for any class with open seats and no waitlist. However, for classes in which the enrollment limit has been reached or that requires instructor approval (APR), students must wait for the instructor to enter approval in the student portal, and then the student may register for the class. Special registration forms for student-initiated courses, supervised accompanying, or the S/U option must also be submitted before the end of the class change period. After this period, a class may be added or dropped only by petition to the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration, and late fees and overload restrictions apply.

After the class change period, the registration system remains open for future terms so that students may make class changes or add their name to class waitlists for the upcoming term. Registration for continuing students is closed during the summer, when there are registration periods for incoming first-year and transfer students.

Registration for non-degree students

Individuals attending classes as non-degree students will only be able to register for courses with instructor approval.  For some courses, approval might not be granted until the first week of the term if the course has limited enrollment. Such students include high school students in the Early College Credit Program (ECCP), college graduates seeking teacher certification, and members of the local community taking courses for personal growth. Priority is given to degree-seeking students when classes are over-subscribed.  Non-degree seeking students that have never taken a course at Lawrence must apply through the Lawrence University Admissions Office.  Non-degree seeking students that have taken any courses at Lawrence previously, must submit the Non-Degree Seeking Student Reinstatement form for each desired term of enrollment.  Non-degree seeking students can elect to take courses for credit or audit.  

Petitions and fees for late registration

Students who need to adjust their registration after the start-of-term class change period has ended must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. Students may submit a petition within one year of the conclusion of the term of enrollment in question. To discourage unapproved overloads, no petition to add a course as an overload will be accepted after the class withdrawal deadline for the term in which the course is taken (see "Overloads/Underloads"). When the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration approves a late correction to class registration, the following fees apply:

  • $25 per late class cancellation or addition approved from the sixth day of classes through the class withdrawal deadline (the second Friday after midterm reading period), up to a maximum of $200 for the term.
  • $50 per late class cancellation, late withdrawal, or class addition approved after the class withdrawal deadline 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, or a delay in placement due to an audition, placement test, or similar requirement. The student is responsible for documenting the exceptional circumstance as part of the petition.

Courses and exams

Limited-enrollment classes and Waitlists

Classes with limited enrollment are clearly marked in the Class Schedule. If a limited enrollment class is full, a student can add themselves to the waitlist. Waitlist enrollments should not exceed 18 units per term. Students may be removed from waitlisted courses if they exceed this maximum. Students registered or waitlisted for a limited enrollment class who no longer wish to take it should drop the class. If an open seat becomes available prior to the start of the academic term, students are contacted by the
Registrar’s Office (in the order of their waitlist rank) and given the option to enroll.

Students on the waitlist must attend the first class meeting if they still wish to obtain a seat. At that time, the instructor may cancel the registration of students who do not attend (Please note: They are not required to do so and some do not.) and offer admission to the class to students on the waitlist in order of their waitlist rank.

Instructors who offer admission to students on a waitlist or to other students who attend the first class meeting will record their approval for students to register using the Instructor Menu in Voyager. Such approvals are displayed for students on the Check
Registration Times and Status page in Voyager. Students must accept the 'approval' by using the regular add/drop procedures in Voyager to add the class to their schedules.

WARNING: Instructors cannot register students.

Prerequisite checking

Prerequisites provide important information to students constructing their academic program plans. A course prerequisite may be composed of class standing, a list of specific courses to have been completed, a description of skill level previously achieved, or some combination of these. 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 is expected that 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 approval. Students who believe transfer credit or credit from advanced-placement examinations should be applied to the prerequisites also must contact the instructor for approval 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.

    Class attendance

    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.

    Final examinations

    All final examinations are given and taken during the examination period, and no examinations or tests may be given in class or as take-home exercises during the last week of classes. It is a faculty member’s prerogative to establish the conditions for their particular exam. If no specifications are given, the exam will be taken in class without books, notes, or discussion among the students, and without the aid of technology.

    An examination schedule is published by the registrar before the fifth week of the term. 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. 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. Students who have three examinations on the same day may request a change of time for one of them. Students may also petition for a change of exam times for reasons of health, family considerations, or summer academic programs. Petitions to change final exams for travel purposes will not be approved.

    Students should be aware that faculty may not accept final assignments or other work for credit after the end of the last scheduled final examination of the term, unless a student has been granted an incomplete.

    Withdrawing from a course

    Students are permitted to withdraw from a course after the class change period through the second Friday after midterm reading period (about two weeks before the last day of classes). The course instructor and the student's faculty advisor must approve the Withdraw from Course webform. A grade of W is recorded on the student’s record and has no effect on grade-point averages. A course withdrawal does not reduce the number of units used for billing purposes.

    A student must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration to withdraw 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 their career at Lawrence, or
    • the student is on probation, or
    • the student has been referred to or sanctioned by the Honor Council for a matter related to the course, or
    • the student is requesting to withdraw after the withdrawal deadline.

    Withdrawing from a course reduces a student's active course load for the term. Changing the active course load to less than full time (fewer than 15 units for a single term) can affect the status of a student visa, eligibility for financial aid and scholarships, eligibility for veteran's benefits, athletic eligibility, insurance, and other matters that require full-time student status. Students should investigate the possible consequences before submitting a course withdrawal form. International students should consult international student services. Students receiving scholarships, financial aid, or veteran's benefits should consult the financial aid office. Athletes should contact their coaches. All students should check their insurance requirements.

    Requesting an incomplete

    Students are expected to complete the work in each course by the deadlines established by the instructor, and the final deadline for any work is the scheduled exam time. However, a grade of incomplete may be awarded at the discretion of the dean of academic success, working in partnership with the instructor, if requested by the student, under the following guidelines:

    1. approximately 70% or more of all course requirements have been completed (even if not yet graded); and
    2. unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control (usually restricted to serious and sudden physical or mental illness, family emergency, or unpreventable lab or practicum issues) impede completion of the remaining work for the course by the term deadline.

    Poor planning, having a significant amount of work to complete at the end of the term, desiring extra time to do higher quality work, or failing to back up work are not, in fairness to other students, considered circumstances beyond a student's control. Instructors and students with questions about whether the conditions for an incomplete are met should consult with the dean of academic success.

    Incompletes are normally granted at or near the end of the term. Students must initiate the process to request an incomplete by meeting with the dean of academic success before the scheduled final exam time. If the course does not have a scheduled exam time, the student must meet with the dean before the last exam time of the term. If the conditions for an incomplete are met, the dean of academic success will send the instructor an Incomplete Information Form to specify the work to be completed.

    For fall, winter, spring and summer terms, students have four weeks after the last day of classes to complete an incomplete. For December term, students have one week after the last day of classes to complete an incomplete. Extensions are granted only in rare cases with extraordinary extenuating circumstances such as significant medical issues or family emergencies. Documentation must be provided to the dean of academic success before a decision is made. Extensions require the approval of both the course instructor and the dean of academic success.

    If the student does not submit the remaining work by the incomplete deadline, the student will receive a course grade based on completed work with zero credit for any missing work.

    Exceptions to the above guidelines are at the discretion of the dean of academic success.

    Grading system

    Grading scale and grade symbols

    Grade Description Computation of grade points
    A Excellent 4 x value of the course
    A– Excellent 3.75 x value of the course
    B+ Good 3.25 x value of the course
    B Good 3 x value of the course
    B– Good 2.75 x value of the course
    C+ Satisfactory 2.25 x value of the course
    C Satisfactory 2 x value of the course
    C– Satisfactory 1.75 x value of the course
    D+ Passing, but unsatisfactory 1.25 x value of the course
    D Passing, but unsatisfactory 1 x value of the course
    D– Passing, but unsatisfactory 0.75 x value of the course
    F Failing 0 x value of the course
    W Withdrew No course credit. Does not affect grade-point averages.
    S Satisfactory Equivalent to a C– or better. Course credit. Does not affect grade-point averages.
    U Unsatisfactory Equivalent to D+ or below. No course credit. Does not affect grade-point averages.
    I Incomplete Course work remains to be completed by a set deadline after the end of term. An incomplete is granted by the dean of academic success for extenuating circumstances (severe illness or emergency) where most of a course has been completed. The incomplete grade (I) is replaced by the earned course grade after the work is completed or the deadline has lapsed.
    IP In Progress Designates a tutorial or independent study that will continue in the subsequent term (the student must register in the next term for the same course number and title). The IP is 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 taken 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.
    R or # Repeated Course Credit is not applied to degree. Grade is not used in computation of degree GPA and major or minor GPA. Original course grade does remain in composite 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 than 72 hours after the published examination period. The Faculty Subcommittee on Administration reviews student records for academic progress shortly after grades have been submitted.

    Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option

    The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option is provided to encourage students to explore new academic disciplines. A student must designate the S/U option for a course by the end of the class change period at the start of the term. At any time during the term or after the course has been completed, the student may change the basis of grading from S/U to letter grade (A-F) to have the letter grade recorded on the transcript and included in grade-point averages. Students may not change from a letter grade to S/U.

    Instructors submit letter grades (A-F) for all courses that are not offered S/U only, and the registrar then converts the letter grade to S or U for any student who has elected the S/U option. A grade of A- to C- becomes Satisfactory (S); a grade of D+ or below becomes Unsatisfactory (U). A Satisfactory grade provides course credit, while an Unsatisfactory grade does not. Neither grade affects grade-point averages. If a student earns a grade of A in a course with the S/U option applied, the S/U mask will not apply and the A grade will remain on the transcript and calculate into the GPA. 

    Students who have completed 54 units may elect to take one class per term on an S/U basis. The class must be outside the major/minor department or program and other major/minor required courses except as noted below:

    • Students with a minor in Chinese may take a course in Japanese on an S/U basis, and students with a minor in Japanese may take a course in Chinese on an S/U basis.
    • Students with a minor in Latin may take a course in Greek on an S/U basis, and students with a minor in Greek may take a course in Latin 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.

    Repeating courses

    A course may be repeated under certain circumstances:
    NOTE: When a course is repeated, both original and repeated courses remain on the record but only one course (if credit is earned) will be counted toward the degree.

    • Students may repeat courses in which they have a grade of F.
    • Students are permitted to repeat up to 18 units in which a grade of D+ or lower* (U if graded on an S/U basis) is received. 
    • For "topics" courses, the repeated course must be the same topic as the original course, or a topic approved by the home department. 
    • First Year Studies 100, 101, and 201, cannot be repeated once credit is earned for these courses.  

    When a course is repeated, the second grade is recorded on the academic record and the original grade is replaced by R. Only the second grade is counted in the degree GPA and major or minor GPA. Both the original grade and repeat grade are counted in the composite GPA (see "Grade Point Averages"). 

    *VA eligible students should consult with their advisor and the Registrar's office before deciding to repeat a course in which a D+, D, or D- has been earned.

    Grade reporting and transcripts

    Grades become visible to students, academic advisors, and administrative staff in the Voyager Information System once all end-of-term processing has been completed. 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. 

    To obtain an official transcript, a student must make a request through their Voyager account, giving permission to release the transcript to a third party. Charges for an official transcript vary according to delivery method; specific fees are explained in the Voyager transcript ordering process on the registrar’s office website. Students should be aware that official transcripts will not be sent after the last day of classes until grades for the term have been posted and academic standing review is complete. Official transcript requests are usually fulfilled within 1-3 work days. Students are free to use their Voyager list of courses and grades as an unofficial document in cases where an official transcript is not required.

    Official transcripts are issued only for students whose accounts with Financial Services are clear.

    Grade changes

    Change of a term grade may be requested by an instructor if an error in the calculation or reporting of a grade has occurred or if a re-evaluation of work already completed leads to a revised judgment. Faculty may not permit students to undertake additional work or to re-do existing work in order to improve a grade after the end of the last scheduled final exam of the term. To request a grade change, the instructor must submit a form indicating the change and the reason for the change to the Registrar. Changes requested for re-evaluation of work will be forwarded to the Associate Provost for review and approval.

    Grade point averages

    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 required for the major. The major GPA is calculated and visible in Degree Works for declared major(s).  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 required for the minor. The minor GPA is calculated and visible in Degree Works for declared minor(s).  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 a major and optional minor or interdisciplinary area

    Declaration of a major

    Students are strongly urged to declare a major by the end of winter term of the sophomore year (or once they have 90 earned units) 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 no later than the beginning of the junior year (or once they have 108 earned units) and may do so at any time by completing a Declaration of Major, Minor, or Interdisciplinary Area webform. Students must also have an academic advisor in their major department no later than the beginning of the junior year. Neither declaring a major nor changing advisors should preclude a student from seeking additional counsel about their course of study from any member of the faculty, especially from the chair or director of a department or program in which the student is completing a minor, interdisciplinary area, or teacher certification.

    If a student-designed major has been approved by the Instruction Committee, the registrar's office will update the student's major. The approved major requirements are kept on file in the registrar's office and viewable in Degree Works.

    Declaration of a minor or interdisciplinary area (if desired)

    In addition to a major, a student may choose to complete the requirements for a minor or interdisciplinary area. A student may indicate the intent to pursue a minor or interdisciplinary area on the Declaration of Major, Minor, or Interdisciplinary Area form available in the registrar's office. An advisor in the minor or IA is not required, and students are encouraged to consult with the appropriate department chair or program director about their course selections.

    Teacher certification (if desired)

    A student who wishes to pursue teacher certification must apply for admission to the teacher education program. See the Education section of the catalog for more information.

    Credit for AP, IB, and transfer courses

    Credit for Advanced Placement examinations

    The Advanced Placement program of the College Board offers high school students the opportunity to study prescribed courses and take nationally administered examinations in many subject areas. Lawrence awards 6 units in the appropriate area 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 total. Individual departments may decide to award additional credit.

    Credit awarded for advanced-placement examinations may be used to fulfill general education competency and diversity requirements as appropriate, though not distribution requirements, which require courses to be taken at a college or university. Individual departments or programs will determine whether advanced-placement credit fulfills major or minor requirements and where to place students who wish to undertake further work in the discipline or field.

    Credit for International Baccalaureate program

    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 for each IB higher-level examination and 3 units for each subsidiary-level examination. Students who have not earned an IB diploma but have completed individual IB examinations may receive 6 units for each higher-level examination. A maximum of 48 units 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.

    Credit awarded for IB examinations may be used to fulfill general education competency and diversity requirements as appropriate, though not distribution requirements, which require courses to be taken at a college or university. Individual departments or programs will determine whether IB credit fulfills major or minor requirements and where to place students who wish to undertake further work in the discipline or field.

    Transfer credit

    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, in the case of foreign institutions, World Educations Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE). Grade reports or transcripts submitted by students are not accepted. Students may be asked to provide course descriptions, syllabi, or other information if a determination cannot be made from the transcript or report information alone.

    Coursework from other institutions may be used to satisfy general education distribution, diversity, and foreign language and quantitative reasoning competency requirements where appropriate, though not the writing or speaking competency requirement, which must be completed at Lawrence. 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.

    Only courses applicable to the programs and degrees offered by Lawrence and graded at a C- or better will be transferred. Credit is granted on the basis of 6 Lawrence units for three-and-one-third semester hours or five quarter hours, so a three-credit semester course is normally credited as 5 units at Lawrence. Transfer credit and transfer grades are used only in the computation of the composite GPA, not in the degree GPA or major or minor GPA (see "Grade Point Averages").

    Transfer of credit for new students

    Incoming students with transfer work 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 units 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 composite grade-point average; a notation of courses that may be transferred pending completion of work, review of course descriptions and syllabi, and/or review by a Lawrence department; a notation of courses denied for transfer credit due to unsatisfactory grades or because the content is not applicable to a Lawrence degree; a statement of the work required for graduation; and a statement of the student's academic class standing on entry. Depending on work transferred and the major selected at Lawrence, a transfer student may need to complete additional units beyond the minimum required for a Lawrence degree in order to fulfill all degree requirements.

    Transfer of credit for continuing students

    A Lawrence student who wishes to attend summer school or undertake a period of study at another institution must complete the transfer course approval form. The form must include the title and description of each course; the length of the session or term and, for summer work, the number of hours of participation in class, laboratory, field, or studio; and approval from the student’s academic advisor and from the chair of the department or director of the program that would offer the course were it part of the Lawrence curriculum. A syllabus may be requested if needed to determine whether a course can be approved for transfer credit. 

    Transfer credit will be applied to degree requirements as appropriate based on the subject of the course. If the student would like the transfer credit to fulfill a particular general education requirement, this should be stated in the transfer course approval form, and a syllabus may be needed to make this determination. It is expected that the student and academic advisor will have reviewed the implications of transfer credit for degree and residence requirements. Transfer credit is used only in computing the student’s composite GPA and will not affect the degree GPA or major or minor GPA.

    The registrar's offic will notify the student of courses approved for transfer. 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 official documentation to be sent to Lawrence upon completion of the work as described under "Transfer Credit" above.

    Completion of the language competency requirement

    Lawrence's general education requirements include competency in a language other than English. The language must be a natural language that is natively spoken or signed by one or more linguistic communities. Students demonstrate proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. For non-written languages (e.g., American Sign Language/ASL), students demonstrate proficiency in listening and speaking only. For written-only languages (e.g., Latin and Ancient Greek), students demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing only. Students may demonstrate proficiency through coursework, examination, or documentation as described below.

    Approval of transfer credit, arrangement of testing, review of documentation, and certification of satisfying the language competency requirement are under the purview of the language coalition, a coalition of the language departments at Lawrence. Ask any language department faculty member for the name of the current language coalition chair.


    • Completing a Lawrence University language course at the level of 200 or above (for the Bachelor of Arts degree or B.A./B.Mus. double degree) or 102 or above (for the Bachelor of Music degree and the Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree).
    • Completing a course at the appropriate level in a Lawrence-affiliated off-campus program with a language component. A list of programs with qualifying courses is available through the off-campus programs office.
    • Receiving transfer credit for a course at the appropriate level completed at another college or university (see "Transfer Credit"). The petition for transfer credit should request that the course satisfy the language competency requirement. The Faculty Subcommittee on Administration will request approval from the language coalition chair.


    • 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 requirement is satisfied. Degree credit is not awarded for these examinations.
    • Passing a proficiency examination in a language not taught at Lawrence. The testing may be facilitated locally by the chair of the language coalition. Where a suitable option is not available, a student may petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration to use an evaluation administered and certified by an outside authority who will (a) identify the 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 (or listening and speaking for a non-written language or writing and reading for a non-spoken language). The student should contact the chair of the language coalition for help preparing the petition and confirming the acceptability of the outside authority.
    • With the exception of German, 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 six units of credit.
    • For Spanish only: 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.
    • A proficiency level score of 2 or higher on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI). This option carries no academic credit.


    • Presenting a diploma or letter from a principal or headmaster (not related to the student) certifying that the student graduated from a high school where instruction was primarily conducted in a language other than English. The student should request the registrar's office to review the documentation in consulation with the chair of the language coalition to determine if it satisfies the language requirement. The student is encouraged to contact the chair of the language coalition for help confirming the acceptability of the documentation.

    Native speakers whose high school program was conducted primarily in English will need to demonstrate proficiency through examination or, where examination is not possible, documentation attesting to the student's language skill from an authority (not related to the student) approved by the chair of the language coalition.

    Academic progress

    Expectations for academic progress

    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 classification 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 45 units and have a minimum degree GPA of 1.75. Students who do not meet these guidelines or who receive failing grades or other indications of unsatisfactory progress may be placed on Notice, placed on Academic Probation, placed on Academic Suspension, or Required to Withdraw from the university. Students should review the Academic Standing Policy for specific gpa requirements.  Academic performance in December Term does 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.

    Additional information on policies governing academic progress and standing is contained in “Academic Standing Policy,” which may be obtained from the Registrar.

    Leaves of absence and withdrawal

    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 leave of absence is a temporary interruption in a student's enrollment and refers to the specific time period when a student is not in attendance and pursuing academic work at the university. Students who have taken a leave are not eligible to work or live at the college until the term identified for their return. A student may request a total of three terms of leave of absence during their time at the university.
    • A withdrawal is requested when the student will not return to the university. Like a leave of absence, students who withdraw are not eligible to work or live at the college once the withdrawal has been processed.

    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.

    A student who has not been attending classes and has not responded to communications from university offices may be placed on an administrative leave by the university.

    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.

    If a student who has been withdrawn wishes to return to the university, they must petition to be readmitted.

    Petitions for readmission are reviewed by the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration, the Dean of Students Office, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Title IX, and the Registrar's Office to determine a student's eligibility to return. 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.

    Leave of absence until graduation

    A student who must take a leave of absence until graduation (leave until graduation) will have no plans to complete more courses at Lawrence but plans to earn their degree from Lawrence at a future time.

    Common reasons for students to take a leave until graduation:


    1. Students who have completed all graduation requirements and will not return for future terms (e.g., students who successfully completed degree requirements in Winter Term and who will have their degree conferred in June of the same year).
    2. Students leaving Lawrence without an expectation to return but have not yet completed all degree requirements (e.g. students who are taking final units at another accredited institution and have received pre-approval to complete their units elsewhere).
    3. Students who leave Lawrence for a cooperative degree program (any cooperative program except for the public health 4+1 program).

    Commencement ceremony participation is not required for students on leave until graduation but is an option for all eligible students.

    Students who are not currently enrolled and have not taken a leave until graduation may miss important university communication about their degree completion, and thus may not have their degree conferred.

    The term maximum for general leaves of absences do not apply to a student’s eligibility for a leave until graduation.

    Students will need to verify their degree completion plans with their advisor and the registrar’s office before completing the leave until graduation. Students also must submit an Intent to Graduate Form before final degree requirements are reviewed.

    To request a leave of absence, withdrawal or leave until graduation, students will contact the Center for Academic Success to initiate the process.

    Transfer between degree programs

    Students who find that their interests have changed may apply to transfer to a different degree program within the university. The Degree Change Form should be submitted for admission to the intended program.  A B.A. student who wishes to transfer to the B.Mus. or B.M.A. degree program will require approval from the Conservatory Committee on Administration.

    Any student considering transferring to a different degree program should consult with their academic advisor, the dean or associate dean of the conservatory, and the dean of academic success in order to assess the consequences of such a move. The Degree Change Form must include the reasons for the change and 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. A student who transfers to a different program after the second year of study will usually need to extend the time required to complete the degree.

    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 completing the Degree Change Form.

    Conferring of degrees and graduation

    Lawrence confers degrees at the end of fall and spring terms but holds its Commencement once a year in June.  Degrees are not conferred automatically.  A student must indicate their intent to graduate by completing a form distributed by the registrar’s office.  Once a student submits an Intent to Graduate form, a process will begin to audit the student’s record to be sure all degree requirements are met prior to the degree being conferred.  All grades, official transcripts, and other certifying documents, such as the major/minor/interdisciplinary area completion form(s), 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, and a student may participate in Commencement only once. A student who expects to finish requirements and receive the degree after the subsequent fall term may complete the Request to Participate in Commencement Form the June before the degree is conferred. A student enrolled in an affiliated cooperative degree program who has completed the required units at Lawrence and the first year at the professional school may also complete teh Request to Participate in Commencement Form with the matriculation class, as may a student entering Lawrence's year-long elementary teaching apprenticeship who has completed all degree requirements and is deferring conferral of the degree. The Request to Participate in Commencement Form must be submitted 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 is included in all transcripts requested after the degree date. Diplomas are distributed following Commencement in June. Transcripts and diplomas are released only for students whose accounts with Financial Services are clear.

    Academic honors

    The Dean's List

    The Dean’s List is an annual honor roll of students demonstrating exemplary academic performance. The list is compiled at the end of the academic year once all grades have been recorded. For a student to be included on the Dean’s List, the student’s record must meet the following qualifications:

    1. The student must have earned at least 36 units in Lawrence courses during the academic year. Lawrence courses include courses taken on the Appleton campus or in a Lawrence-sponsored or affiliated off-campus program.
    2. The student must have earned a GPA of at least 3.500 in those courses, with no unsatisfactory grades (D+, D, D-, F, or U).

    For students with pending grades due to incompletes or off-campus study, inclusion on the Dean’s List will be determined once all grades for Lawrence courses are received.

    Honors at graduation

    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 on the basis of their 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 transcript for students that have met all degree requirements and have their degree conferred.  Honors are granted at three levels—cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude—by vote of the faculty acting on the recommendation of the university Committee on Honors.

    Honors in Course

    A student's eligibility to receive Honors in Course is based on performance in courses taken at Lawrence or as part of Lawrence-approved off-campus programs (degree GPA) and on the student’s entire academic record including courses taken at other colleges or universities (composite GPA). The committee uses as guidelines the following grade-point averages:

    • 3.500 to 3.749 for cum laude
    • 3.750 to 3.899 for magna cum laude
    • 3.900 to 4.000 for summa cum laude

    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 must achieve the stated guidelines in both the degree GPA and the composite GPA to qualify for a given level of honors.

    Honors in Independent Study

    A student may earn Honors in Independent Study through the successful completion and defense of an honors project. Honors in Independent Study are awarded at the levels of cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude based on criteria listed under "Honors Projects" in the Course Catalog.

    Petitions and grievances

    Petitions for exceptions to university 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. Note that petitions for late registration changes or overloads have deadlines described under "Registration."
    • 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.

    A petition should contain a clear and detailed statement of what is being requested and the reasons for the request, including extenuating circumstances (accident, illness, family emergency, etc.). An academic petition should be prepared with assistance from the academic advisor and/or the dean of academic success and others who may be involved, such as a course instructor, department chair or program director, registrar, or dean, whose signatures may be required. For guidance on what to include in a petition, students are encouraged to read the academic petition form available on the registrar's website and to consult with the dean of academic success.

    Any academic matters that remain in dispute will be decided by the provost, who is the chief academic officer of the university.

    Grievance procedure

    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.

    1. Discussion

      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.

    2. Consultation/mediation

      Seek counsel from a supervisor, advisor, residence hall director or community 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.

    3. Formal review

      If the matter remains unresolved, request a formal review by the appropriate university authority:

      • vice president for student life 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:

      1. sharing the statement with the other party and asking for a written response;
      2. seeking additional information from one or both parties or from others who have knowledge of the dispute; and
      3. 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.

    4. Appeal

      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.