Graduation Requirements

A student graduates from Albion College after meeting a series of requirements including course work, satisfactory grade point average, a major, residency and others as outlined under specific degree requirements stated below. Students generally graduate after eight semesters.

Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.)

The degree of bachelor of arts (B.A.) is conferred upon students who have met all of the following requirements for graduation:

Minimum Units--Students must complete a minimum of 32 units (128 semester hours) of course work to graduate. An Albion unit is equivalent to four semester hours. Included in the total are the core requirement described earlier, courses leading to the major(s) and minor(s), and elective courses which make up one-half to one-third of each student's total courses. There are limits on the number of physical education activity courses, music ensembles and internships that may count toward graduation. Normally students complete degree requirements within eight semesters. If students have not completed graduation requirements within eight graded semesters, they must petition the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions for permission to continue enrollment for each additional semester needed to complete requirements.

Grade Point Average--To qualify for the bachelor of arts degree, a student must have a 2.0 grade point average in all course work. A minimum 2.0 grade point average in one major field is also required for graduation. Students should note that to earn the designation of a second major, a 2.0 grade point average also must be achieved in that major. A department also may require additional demonstration of competence (minimum course grade requirements, comprehensive examination, senior recital or the like) to complete a major. Graduating students (2006 and after) earning a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher qualify for graduation recognition as described under "Academic Honors and Activities."

Core Requirement--Graduating students must have completed the core requirement. Please refer to the earlier description.

Writing Competence Requirement--Students must pass the Writing Competence Examination to graduate. Please refer to the earlier description.

Majors and Minors--Students must declare at least one major but no more than two majors prior to graduation. Although students may declare a major as early as the freshman year, this is generally done during the sophomore year. Students may fulfill the major requirement in one of three ways: departmental major, interdepartmental major and individually designed major. The maximum number of units required for a departmental major is 10 units in that department and an additional four units in other departments. No more than 16 units in any one department may be counted toward graduation. (A language major in the Foreign Languages Department means that no more than 10 units are required in the specific language declared as the major.) Further information on interdepartmental and departmental majors may be found in the "Departments and Courses" section of this catalog, while the individually designed major is described in the "Academic Programs" section. Students also have the option to declare a minor. Further information appears in the "Academic Programs" section and in the "Departments and Courses" section.

Residence Requirement--To be a candidate for an Albion College degree, a student must complete the last 12 units in residence. Students who have earned six units at Albion prior to the beginning of their senior year may elect out of residence two units of the last 12 units required for graduation. All other students must complete their last 12 units of work in residence. Residence is defined as academic work completed on campus, in combined course programs, approved internships, or through off-campus programs approved by the Off-Campus Programs Advisory Committee.

Application for Degree--Graduating students must file an Application for Degree in the Registrar's Office the year previous to graduation.

Application for Second Degree--If a student who has already earned a baccalaureate degree from a college or university applies to earn a second degree from Albion College, the student will be required to meet the resident requirements for all transfer students.

Participation in Commencement Exercises--Students who are within three units of the minimum graduation requirements for the B.A. degree may petition for permission to participate in commencement exercises.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (B.F.A.)

Bachelor of fine arts students must complete a minimum of 34 units (136 semester hours) of course work to graduate. Included in this total are the core requirement and at least 16 but not more than 21 units in visual arts. In addition, B.F.A. candidates must fulfill the writing competence requirement and the requirements on grade point average, residence and application for degree described in the preceding section on the bachelor of arts degree.

Students who are within three units of the minimum graduation requirement for the B.F.A. degree may petition for permission to participate in commencement exercises.

For more specific requirements, refer to the Department of Art and Art History section of the catalog.

General Academic Regulations

In addition to the aforementioned graduation requirements, Albion College expects each student to meet the following academic regulations:

Grading System--Students are graded according to the following designations:

Grade Quality Points Grade Quality Points
4.0 4.00 1.7 1.70
3.7 3.70 1.3 1.30
3.3 3.30 1.0 1.00
3.0 3.00 0.0 0.00
2.7 2.70 CR/NC CR/NC
2.3 2.30 I 0.00 (Incomplete)
2.0 2.00 NR No Report of a Grade

4--represents work outstanding in quality. The student not only shows unusual mastery of the required work for the course, but also has independently sought out and used additional related materials, demonstrating the ability to discover new data, to develop new insights and to bring them to bear on the work at hand.

3--represents work which is higher in quality than that of a 2.0, or more than satisfactory. The student has shown the ability and the initiative to fulfill more than the basic requirements of the course.

2--represents work which fulfills all of the basic requirements for the course. It means that the student has a grasp of the material and techniques or skills sufficient to proceed with more advanced courses in the area.

1--represents work seriously attempted but which is below the 2.0 level in quantity and quality. The student is advised not to continue advanced work in the field.

0--represents work unsatisfactory in either quantity or quality. It results in the student's not being able to continue with further work in the field and results in no credit, although it is recorded on the permanent record.

Note: intermediate grades of 3.7, 3.3, 2.7, 2.3, 1.7 and 1.3 may be awarded.

CR/NC--credit/no-credit. A credit or no-credit grade is given in a course selected for unit credit without quality points. CR is equivalent to a grade of 2.0 or better. The purpose of CR/NC is: (1) to allow students to explore new areas of study outside their majors at no risk to their grade point averages; (2) to provide a method for evaluating academic experience different from usual course work, e.g., internships. Students are limited to one unit of CR/NC per semester except for some internships and off-campus programs, and to no more than eight units in the total of 32 units required for graduation. Students should note that the College is unable to predict how graduate schools and prospective employers will evaluate CR/NC. The CR/NC grading option may only be elected up to the end of the second week of classes each semester. See the academic calendar for exact dates. The choice of CR/NC as a grading option is noted on the instructor's class roster.

I--incomplete. Incomplete grades are given only because of illness or other unavoidable circumstances as approved by the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. A grade of incomplete from the first semester of the academic year must be removed by the end of the second week of the second semester. A grade of incomplete from the second semester of the academic year must be removed within four weeks of the end of the semester. The requirements for the removal of incomplete grades from Summer College may be obtained from the Registrar's Office. At the end of the specified time period, the faculty member will assign a grade based on the amount of work satisfactorily completed.

NR--no grade reported. Student needs to see instructor.

AU--audit. Students are expected to attend classes, complete all assignments, etc. Students receive a numeric grade but no credit.

P--work in progress. This grade is awarded only for directed study and thesis work that requires an extension of time for completion. Students must re-register for the course in their next semester of attendance. Failure to complete the work during this time will result in a grade based on the amount of work satisfactorily completed. The grade of "P" carries no quality points.

Grade Reports--Grades are issued at mid-semester to first-year students, all students on academic probation and other students performing below a 2.0 in a particular course. Final grades are issued to all students at the end of each semester. Parents of freshmen and parents of students on academic probation also receive mid-semester and semester final grade reports. Final grades become a part of the official academic record of each student.

Withdrawal from Courses--A student may withdraw from a course up to and including the Friday of the tenth week of the semester by turning in to the Registrar's Office a request form bearing the signatures of the student's instructor and adviser. Performance in the course will be recorded on the permanent record as a grade of W. The grade of W does not carry grade point value.

Student Classification--Students are classified as follows:


0.00-5.99 units
6.00-13.99 units
14.00-21.49 units
21.50 or more units

Repeat Courses--A student taking a course for the first time who receives a final grade of 0.0, 1.0, 1.3, or 1.7 may repeat said course without the permission of the student's advisor or the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. A student wishing to repeat a course more than once may do so only with the permission of the student's adviser and the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. Although both original and all repeated grades appear on the permanent academic record, only the most recent grade for the course is included in calculating the grade point average and in meeting graduation requirements. A student may not repeat a course in which the final grade was 2.0 or higher.

Repeat course work to improve grades must be taken at Albion; grades from another institution may not be transferred for this purpose.

Off-Campus and Extension Credit--Before enrolling at other accredited institutions for academic work to be applied toward the graduation requirements at Albion, students attending Albion College must secure written approval for each course from the registrar, using the Transfer Credit Approval Form. Courses taken by extension in an officially designated extension center of an accredited college or university are credited on the same basis as resident transfer credit. A maximum of two units (eight semester hours) of correspondence course work will be accepted if it is approved by the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. (See also the residence requirements for graduation.)

Course Load--The standard student course load is four units per semester excluding physical education activity courses, applied music and music activity courses. The minimum student load is three units. Approval from the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions must be obtained if a student wishes to carry less than the minimum course load. A student is eligible for a course load of 4.75 or five units with a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or greater. A student who wishes to carry an overload and does not meet this eligibility requirement must petition to carry an overload.

Additional tuition and fees apply for a course load above 4.5 units. If, during the first week of classes, a student drops from an overload status, a refund will be made. Following this period, if a student withdraws from a course overload, the course will remain on the student's bill as a billable unit. No refund will be made of any portion of tuition or fees related to the withdrawn course.

Course Schedule Changes (Dropping/Adding a Course)--All schedule changes or dropping or adding of courses must be made and confirmed either via the Albion College Information System (ACIS) or in the Registrar's Office. Changes made from the first day of classes through the first week of classes will be permitted upon application to the Registrar's Office. Normally, no changes may be made after the first week of classes. In exceptional cases it may be to the best interest of the student to adjust his/her program after the first week. Such changes will be recognized only when they have been approved in advance by the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. It is the responsibility of the student to petition through the Registrar's Office for any change whatsoever to his/her program. The student is expected to continue with the original class schedule until changes are formally approved.

Class Attendance--Instructors may drop from their course any student who is registered for the course and not present during the first scheduled meeting. If a student cannot be present at the first class session, he/she must make special arrangements with the instructor prior to the first class meeting in order to maintain a place in the course. A student should always process a drop/add or schedule change form in the Registrar's Office if he/she wishes to drop a course. Furthermore, regular attendance in all classes is expected throughout the semester. Every absence from class is inevitably a loss--usually one which can never be made up. At their discretion, individual instructors may include attendance and class participation as one of the criteria for evaluation of the final grade. Students who are absent from class assume full responsibility for the loss.

Examinations -- Students are expected to be present for written examinations at the close of each semester. Students who are absent from a final examination will be allowed to take the omitted examination only if such absence is caused by illness or other unavoidable circumstances approved by the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions.

Academic Honesty -- Albion College expects its students to take responsibility for their academic endeavors. No student should act in a manner that would harm the academic atmosphere of the institution or diminish the experience of any member of the academic community. Strict standards of academic honesty apply to all academic work at Albion College. Students are expected to do their own work. Cheating on examinations or plagiarism is a clear violation of the College's standards and policies. In preparing essays, reports and other projects, any use of the words or ideas of someone else as though they were one's own constitutes plagiarism. Any student found to have violated the College's policy on academic honesty, including cheating and plagiarism, will be subject to penalties in the course and possible disciplinary sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the College. A Judicial Board finding of academic dishonesty will be noted on the student's transcript. A complete explanation of College policy and procedures concerning academic honesty may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Music Ensembles -- A maximum of two units of credit for participation in a music ensemble (instrumental and vocal) may be applied toward completing the 32 units required for graduation.

Physical Education and Dance -- A maximum of four activity courses (100 level, 1 / 4 unit) in physical education and theatre (dance) may be used toward completing the 32 units required for graduation.

Seminars -- A seminar is usually a small class dealing with a selected topic for each semester. Requirements for enrollment in seminar courses are determined by the individual department.

Directed Studies -- A directed study enables a student to do in-depth research on a topic or to carry out a creative project at a level beyond that offered in course work. Directed studies are open only to juniors and seniors and are taken in a department under the numbers 411 or 412, for either one-half or one unit. To do a directed study, a student must prepare a proposal in writing, which must be endorsed by the proposed faculty supervisor and reviewed by the department chair. The proposal must be filed with the Registrar's Office for credit to be received.

Tutorials -- In a tutorial, a student works individually with a faculty member in an area not covered by courses currently offered in a department, but at a comparable level. To do a tutorial, a student must prepare a proposal in writing, which must be endorsed by the proposed faculty supervisor and reviewed by the department chair. The proposal must be filed with the Registrar's Office for credit to be received.

Tutorials are not intended to replace regularly scheduled courses except when there is no other way program requirements can be met. A regularly scheduled course taken as a tutorial will show the notation ``T'' after the course number on a student's transcript.

Internships and Practicums -- Internship experiences offer opportunity to participate in, observe and analyze the workings of a firm, agency, or organization. (See also p. 75.) These may be undertaken in a practicum class, or as individual internships, offered by a department under the numbers 391-394. Credit for internship experience varies with the placement from one-half to two units. Normally a student will not undertake an internship until the junior year.

Internships and practicums are offered on a credit/no credit basis with not more than four units of credit applying toward the 32 units required for the B.A. or the 34 units required for the B.F.A. degree. This includes internship and practicum experience completed in off-campus programs and at other accredited academic institutions. Unless the internship experience is for an approved off-campus program, a maximum of two units of internship credit may be earned in one semester. All students who apply for an internship or practicum are expected to have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7.

Departmental Honors -- Qualified departmental majors may present papers to be considered for departmental honors. Normally such students will have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in their major department and will have conducted the work as part of a directed study. A student whose grade point average is lower than 3.0, but whose work promises a thesis of high quality, may petition the major department for permission to submit a thesis. A student whose thesis is accepted by the department and registered with the director of the Honors Institute will graduate with ``departmental honors.''

Graduation Recognition -- Three grades of recognition are conferred upon graduation from Albion College. For students graduating in 2006 and after, cum laude is granted to those who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5; magna cum laude is granted to those who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75; and summa cum laude is granted to those who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or above. A student must complete at least 12 units and three semesters of study at Albion College to be considered for graduation recognition.

Graduation Honors -- Students who successfully complete Albion's Honors Institute and maintain a grade point average of 3.5 will graduate ``with Albion College honors.''

Transcripts -- Official transcripts are maintained by the Registrar's Office on all academic work attempted at Albion College. Students may request in writing individual copies of their record or request that copies of their record be mailed to other parties. All requests must bear the signature of the student. Transcripts will not be released for students who have past due accounts with the College.

Transfer Credit -- All course work completed through registration at a regionally accredited academic institution other than Albion will be considered for transfer credit. Accepted transfer credit is recorded on the student's official Albion College transcript indicating where the work was completed, when the work was completed and the number of Albion units earned. No grades are recorded, and transfer credit is not reflected in a student's grade point average.

In order for work to be considered for transfer credit, a student must submit an official transcript of the completed course(s) to Albion College. The Registrar's Office will evaluate each course on the following basis: its liberal arts nature, comparability to courses taught at Albion College, and the grade earned. No courses of a vocational nature or courses in which the student earned below a 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) will be considered for transfer credit. One Albion unit equals four semester hours or six quarter hours. Therefore, three semester hours equal three-quarters of a unit, three quarter hours equal one-half of a unit. Any transfer work which the student requests to be considered for his/her major must be approved in writing by the department chair. All transfer credit must be approved by the Registrar's Office.

Academic Status

The academic record of each student is reviewed at the close of the fall and spring semesters by the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. Specific attention is given to the student's progress in maintaining the minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average that is required for graduation from the College. Students who fail to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward graduation may be required to withdraw from the College. The committee determines academic status and is guided in its decisions by the following standards:

Good Standing -- A student whose semester and cumulative grade point averages are 2.0 or above is considered to be in good standing.

Semester Probation -- A student who has a semester grade point average below 2.0 for one semester and has a cumulative grade point average above 2.0 will be placed on semester probation.

Academic Probation -- A student is placed on academic probation whenever his/her cumulative grade point average falls below the 2.0 level, or when the semester average falls below a 2.0 for two consecutive semesters, even though the cumulative average remains a 2.0 or above.

Terminal Academic Probation -- Some students, because of their extremely low grade point averages, are classified under terminal academic probation and given a specific grade point average to obtain for their work during the following semester. A student who fails to meet the requirements of terminal academic probation may be subject to required academic withdrawal.

Required Academic Withdrawal -- A student is subject to academic withdrawal if his or her academic progress does not meet either of the following minimums at the end of the semester listed:

1.00 with a minimum of 3 units completed at the end of the first semester of attendance;

1.62 with a minimum of 6 units completed at the end of the second semester of attendance;

1.75 with a minimum of 9 units completed at the end of the third semester of attendance;

1.81 with a minimum of 13 units completed at the end of the fourth semester of attendance;

1.90 with a minimum of 17 units completed at the end of the fifth semester of attendance;

2.00 with a minimum of 21 units completed at the end of the sixth semester of attendance;

2.00 with a minimum of 25 units completed at the end of the seventh semester of attendance.

A student is also subject to academic withdrawal if he or she fails to obtain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 for work in three consecutive semesters, or meet the requirements of terminal academic probation.

Other Policies on Academic Status

Veteran's Requirements -- A veteran or eligible person receiving VA benefits cannot be certified by Albion College as a student making satisfactory progress towards a degree if this student is on academic probation longer than two semesters. VA benefits will cease after two semesters of probation. The Veteran's Administration will be notified of any veteran who fails a course or who is not making satisfactory progress. In order to be recertified for veteran's benefits the student must remove all quality point deficiencies and earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

Leave of Absence -- Leave of absence is a privilege extended to those who desire to interrupt, but not to discontinue permanently, their enrollment from Albion for one or two semesters. Applications must be made in writing to the vice president for student affairs prior to the semester in which the student wishes the leave of absence. A student who is granted a leave of absence may participate in enroll ment procedures of regularly enrolled students for such considerations as registration, room lottery and applications for financial assistance. The student is expected to return to Albion following leave.

Voluntary Withdrawal from College -- Students who wish to withdraw from the College during the semester (i.e., withdrawing after enrollment has been completed at the beginning of a semester and before the completion of final exams) should initiate the withdrawal process by contacting the Student Affairs Office and submitting a Student Withdrawal Form.

Readmission -- Graduates or former students may apply for readmission to the College at the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Applications for readmission are to be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wishes to return. Students are charged a readmission fee of $50.

Nondegree Status (Special Student Status) -- Applies to students enrolled for special programs designed to fill particular needs but not usually leading toward graduation. This status normally applies only to students at the freshman or sophomore level. Re-enrollment as a nondegree student is dependent upon the maintenance of a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course in which the student is enrolled. A nondegree student must submit appropriate credentials to the Admissions Office one month in advance of registration. Nondegree students who wish to become candidates for the bachelor of arts degree must formally apply for admission to the College.

Catalog of Entry -- Though departmental and graduation requirements of the College may change while a student is enrolled, it is expected that each student will meet the requirements outlined in the catalog that is in effect at the time he or she entered Albion. The ``catalog of entry'' philosophy is considered applicable for students who leave the College and whose interrupted course of study is not longer than five years.