Academic Regulations and Policies
The Semester Calendar
Allegheny divides the academic year into two semesters of 15 weeks each. A month-long break, beginning in late December, separates the semesters. Vacations occur during October and in the third week of March.
During semesters, classes typically meet two or three times per week for periods of 75 or 50 minutes. Associated laboratories are usually scheduled separately, although they may be scheduled at the regular class time if appropriate. A Registration Guide listing class times and examination periods for all courses to be offered is made available electronically to all students prior to Registration.
The Credit System
Most courses receive four semester credit hours, and they are designed to require no more than one-fourth of a student’s time. Some courses may receive one, two, or three semester credit hours.
The usual academic load is 16-17 semester hours in each semester and 32-34 semester hours for the year. Students may take up to 20 semester hours per semester without special permission.
A student is considered to be a first-year student from the date of matriculation until the semester following completion of the 28th semester hour, when the student becomes a sophomore. A student becomes a junior in the semester following completion of the 60th semester hour, and a senior in the semester following completion of the 92nd semester hour.
The schedule of examinations is published with the schedule of courses on the Registration Web page. Students are expected to arrange their travel and vacation plans in accordance with the examination schedule. Requests for changes in examination times should only be made in the most extraordinary circumstances; approval must be received from the department concerned.
Student grades are reported on either a letter basis or Credit/No Credit basis.
4.00 grade points
3.70 grade points
3.30 grade points
3.00 grade points
2.70 grade points
2.30 grade points
2.00 grade points
1.70 grade points
1.30 grade points
1.00 grade points
0.00 grade points
NC: No Credit
The following notations are also used in reporting student work:
Leave of Absence granted during the semester
Withdrawal from the College during semester
Credit/No Credit (“CR” “NC”)
Students may take up to four credit hours per semester on the Credit/No Credit basis, but may not present for graduation more than 16 credit hours of their coursework on this basis. APL courses are excluded from these totals.
If students wish to take a course on the Credit/No Credit basis, they must inform the Registrar by the end of the second week of classes for 14-week courses or, for seven-week courses only, by the end of the second week of the module. Cards for this purpose are available from the Registrar. Students are cautioned that some courses may not be taken using this option. Courses not eligible for the Credit/No Credit system are so indicated in their course descriptions in the section entitled “Courses of Instruction.”
Credit, “CR,” will be awarded for course performance equivalent to, or higher than, a passing letter grade, “D.” No credit, “NC,” will be awarded for course performance equivalent to a failing letter grade, “F.”
Grades of Incomplete
Faculty stipulate grades of Incomplete (“IN”) when they believe that extenuating circumstances preclude completion of the work on time by the student. The student is responsible for providing evidence for the extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the faculty member, who has sole authority to grant the Incomplete. Incompletes are awarded with the expectation that the work will be completed by the student in a timely fashion. When instructors submit a grade of Incomplete, they also will submit the grade that will be awarded should no further work be submitted by the student. The instructor should formulate a plan for timely completion of the incomplete work, and this plan should be addressed in the Academic Performance Report the instructor submits explaining the Incomplete grade and specifying a tentative grade.
Examples of circumstances in which the Incomplete is appropriate include, but are not limited to, serious illnesses or injuries that preclude a student from finishing work for a course; cases where the course grade depends on the outcome of an honor code hearing; or death of an immediate family member. An Incomplete should not be assigned when a student simply fails to turn in a final exam or project, nor when there is little likelihood that the student will be able to make up a large quantity of incomplete work (due, for example, to prolonged illness); in the latter case a Withdrawal (see below) may be more appropriate.
After appropriate consultation with the student, the instructor will determine the date by which incomplete work must be completed. In all cases, the work must be completed no later than 30 days after the first day of classes of the semester or summer session in which the student is next registered. Students who have an “IN” but do not register in a subsequent semester or summer session must complete the work within 12 months. Extensions to these deadlines may only be granted by the Provost of the College or designee. If no information is provided by the instructor by the end of the 12 months, the grade that was originally submitted at the time the “IN” was assigned is posted to the transcript.
When the instructor submits the completed grade to the Registrar, this completed grade is posted to the transcript and calculated into the grade point average for the semester in which the student was registered for the course. If no completed grade or other communication is received by the Registrar from the faculty member, the grade that was originally submitted at the time the “IN” was assigned is posted to the transcript and calculated into the grade point average.
Students who have an “IN” but do not register in a subsequent semester or summer session must complete the work within 12 months. If no information is provided by the instructor by the end of the 12 months, the grade that was originally submitted at the time the “IN” was assigned is posted to the transcript.
By Faculty vote, changes in course grades are allowed only in the case of a demonstrable mathematical error in the compilation or recording of a grade; all such grade changes must be made by the Provost of the College.
Withdrawing from a Course
If, as a result of extraordinary extenuating circumstances, a student wishes to withdraw from a course after the appropriate course registration change period has expired (see “The Change Period,” below), the student may ask the instructor to grant a Withdrawal. A Withdrawal can only be granted to a student whose performance has been significantly affected by unexpected circumstances beyond the student’s control. For example, a Withdrawal may be granted in the event of a prolonged serious illness, or if there is a serious and incapacitating change in a student’s family situation. A Withdrawal cannot be granted simply for poor academic performance or failure to attend class. The student is responsible for providing evidence of extraordinary extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the faculty member, who has sole authority to grant the Withdrawal. When such a request is granted, the student’s transcript will show a grade of “W.” This grade will not be included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.
With the exception of the First-Year/Sophomore Seminars, students may repeat courses at Allegheny, provided the courses are offered again. Whenever a student repeats a course, the academic record and transcript will reflect all course enrollments and the grade earned for each enrollment. From the time of completion of a repeated course forward, only the credit and grade for the most recent attempt will be counted in computing grade point averages. If, however, a student withdraws from a repeated course, the academic record and transcript will include the withdrawal, and the grade previously earned will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages. Students may repeat a course initially taken on the graded basis for Credit/No Credit; however, Credit (“CR”) must be earned or the grade previously awarded will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages. In the event a student receives a grade of Incomplete (“IN”) for a repeated course, the grade previously earned will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages until such time as the student completes the coursework and a final grade has been submitted.
Transfer of Courses
Transfer credits must be approved by the Office of the Dean of the College and, if they apply toward the student’s major or minor, by the department concerned. To be acceptable for transfer credit, a 14 course must be taken in residence at a fully accredited institution and be of a liberal arts nature. It should not duplicate any course already taken or which the student plans to take at Allegheny, and a letter grade of “C” or higher must be earned. Correspondence courses are not acceptable for transfer credit. Transferred course credits count toward the graduation requirement of 131 semester hours, but the grades for such courses are not included in the student’s academic average. The Allegheny transcript does not indicate the grades of transferred courses.
The number of credits that can be transferred toward the undergraduate degree is limited by the residency requirement applicable to the individual student. Residency requirements also place limitations on the way in which students may chronologically schedule transfer courses and courses taken in residence as they work to complete the undergraduate degree. For more complete information, see “The Residency Requirement.”
Transcripts received from other accredited institutions are evaluated by the Office of the Dean of the College as promptly as possible. Students desiring to have work completed at other institutions considered for transfer credit should arrange to have official transcripts or other appropriate documents forwarded to Allegheny College as soon as possible. No transfer credit can be awarded until the appropriate documents have been received by the College.
College Credit for Prior Coursework
Allegheny can accept a maximum of 32 credits from first-time freshmen for work completed prior to matriculation. This includes Credit by Examination (see below), credit obtained for college-level courses offered at high schools by accredited colleges and universities, which are treated as transfer credit, and transfer credit for work taken in residence at accredited colleges and universities. (See “Transfer of Courses” above.)
Students who wish to receive credit for college-level courses offered at high schools or who are now considering taking college or university courses elsewhere should contact the Office of the Registrar for advice about transfer credit and/or selection of courses.
Credit by Examination
Students may earn college credit at Allegheny by participating in the Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the Educational Testing Service, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the International Baccalaureate (IB) testing programs. Students may receive credit by examination for a maximum of 20 semester credit hours (five courses). The 20-credit maximum also includes college-level courses offered at high schools. (See “College Credit for Prior Coursework” above.)
Students who receive scores of four or five on an AP examination will receive academic credit. Placement will be determined by the appropriate department. AP credit and course placement are considered only after receipt of official examination scores from the Educational Testing Service.
Individuals who perform well on certain CLEP tests may receive both credit and placement, usually at the first-year or sophomore levels. Departments, in consultation with the Office of the Dean of the College, periodically establish which credits may be earned by standardized testing. Students who score five or better on the higher examinations of the IB testing programs may be granted credit and placement by some departments.
All students seeking academic credit for an internship must obtain faculty approval and must register for the internship during the semester or summer session prior to beginning the internship experience. Approval for academic credit for internship experience will not be granted for internships in progress or following their completion. The student’s transcript will reflect internship enrollment for the semester or summer session in which the student actually participates in the internship experience. Students may present a maximum of eight semester credit hours of internship credit within the first 131 semester credit hours needed for graduation.
Students interested in participating in an internship experience that is not listed as a departmentally sponsored internship should consult with their academic advisors and the Director of International Programs and Services. Information on possible internships is available in the Office of Career Services.
Students must register for all courses for which they seek credit. New students register for Fall courses during a designated registration period in July. Continuing students (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors) may preregister each semester for the subsequent semester during the an assigned registration period. Students granted a Leave of Absence who have been approved to return may also register during the normal preregistration period. Students who are currently enrolled in an approved study abroad or visiting student program, other returning students, or any student unable to register at the normal time should consult with their advisor and the Registrar.
The normal process of registration involves the use of the College’s WebAdvisor portal. Through WebAdvisor, advisors may grant approval for students to register. Once students have been approved to register, they may register for courses electronically at the times specified in the on-line registration schedule. However, for classes requiring the instructor’s permission or that are full, a special card signed by the instructor is required to register for a course. Signed cards are also required to add any course once classes are in session or to drop a class after the first two weeks of the semester have elapsed.
The Change Period
Students may add 14-week courses through the first two weeks of the semester. Students may drop 14-week courses through the first five weeks of the semester. Students may add seven-week courses through the first two weeks of the module in which the course is offered; they may drop seven-week courses through the first three weeks the module is offered.
Before the start of classes, open classes may be added via WebAdvisor whenever registration is open and the student is eligible to register. Once classes begin, an Add card signed by the instructor is required to add any class. Students should be aware that, after a class starts, instructors will become increasingly reluctant to admit additional students. Add cards will only be accepted during the first two weeks of classes. Other classes, such as courses requiring the instructor’s permission (“signature courses”) or classes that are full, also require signed cards for registration.
Up through the first two weeks of classes, any course may be dropped using WebAdvisor whenever registration is open. After that period, signed Drop cards are required to drop a course. Drop cards will only be accepted during the first five weeks of classes. To add or drop any class, students must submit a completed change of schedule card to the Registrar’s Office by the deadlines published in the Registration Guide. Students should be aware that, after a class starts, instructors will become increasingly reluctant to admit additional students. Dropped courses do not appear on the official transcript but remain a part of the student’s institutional record.