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Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts

The degree of Bachelor of Arts is awarded by the Board of Trustees to qualified students who have been recommended by the Faculty. Certain changes in degree requirements, which take effect for the Class of 1998 and later classes, were voted by the Faculty and Trustees in 1992; members of the Class of 1997 and earlier classes should consult previous editions of this bulletin for details of the distribu-tion and major requirements as they apply to them.

The degree requirements, given in detail below, fall into several basic categories: Residence (fall, winter, and spring of the first and senior years and summer fol-lowing the sophomore year), Course Count (35 courses passed), Specific Course Requirements (including English and First-Year Seminar, Foreign Language and General Education requirements), a Physical Education Requirement, and a Major Requirement. The details of each of these requirements are given in the following sections as they apply to students who matriculated as first-year students. Students who matriculated at Dartmouth after one or two years’ work at another institution should note the modifications of the graduation requirements that apply to them, as given below on page 74-75.

I. A student must fulfill the academic requirements of the College and must, as an absolute minimum, complete six terms in residence, registered and enrolled in courses. (Terms spent elsewhere while enrolled in absentia in the various Dart-mouth off-campus programs do not serve for any part of this requirement, nor do exchange or transfer programs.) A student must be in residence for all three terms of the first year, for the summer term following the sophomore year, and for the fall, winter, and spring terms of the senior year, in every case being registered and enrolled in courses. A student will normally be enrolled for twelve terms, but will be allowed thirteen if two of these are summer terms. For further details and infor-mation regarding certain exceptions, see the section on Enrollment Patterns on page 97.

II. A student must pass thirty-five courses, although this number may be reached in part by specified credit on entrance or awarded by transfer from another insti­tution. No credit will be awarded for a course dropped or withdrawn from before completion; unless the withdrawal is authorized, the course will be included with a failing grade in the student’s cumulative average. No more than eight courses passed with the grade of D (including those received under the Non-Recording Option) may be counted toward the thirty-five courses required for graduation. No more than 17 transfer courses may be counted toward graduation.

No student may count toward graduation more than a combined total of eight final standings of CT (Credit), NC (No Credit), NR (Non-Recorded from courses under the Non-Recording Option), and E (when resulting from courses under the Non-Recording Option). See pages 95-97.

A student otherwise eligible for graduation but not in good academic standing as a result of his or her performance in the last term of enrollment preceding intended graduation may graduate only with the approval of the Committee on Standards. No student may graduate with the standing of Incomplete in any course even though the count of courses passed may exceed thirty-five (page 108).

III. A student must pass the following courses, although they may be substituted in part by credits on entrance or by proficiency demonstrated then or later. Either a passing letter grade or a CT (Credit) will suffice. The standing NR assigned under the Non-Recording Option will not serve.

A. English: English 5; English 2-3; or a proficiency equivalent to that achieved by English 5. Students must complete the requirement by the end of the second term of the first year. Neither English 5 nor English 2-3 is eligible for use of the Non-Recording Option (pages 95-97).

B. First-Year Seminar: One seminar chosen from an approved list which is avail-able on the College website: These semi-nars, which have English 5 (or 2-3) as prerequisite, are designed both to further the student’s proficiency in writing and to provide an opportunity for participation in small group study and discussions with an instructor on a subject of mutual interest (page 385). This requirement must be completed during the first year. A First-Year Seminar may satisfy a distributive or world culture requirement if so indicated in the seminar book. It is never possible to include a First-Year Seminar as an actual part of a major. No First-Year Seminar may be taken under the Non- Recording Option (pages 95-97).

C. Language: Foreign language courses numbered 1, 2, and 3; or proficiency equivalent to three terms of study in one foreign language at the college level, or fluency in some language other than English. A student must demonstrate the abil-ity (1) to read with understanding representative texts in a foreign language; and in the case of a modern foreign language, (2) to understand and use the spoken lan-guage in a variety of situations. Every student will take qualifying tests upon entrance. If the student passes these examinations, he or she will have fulfilled the Foreign Language Requirement. Where no department or program exists to deter-mine a student’s fluency in a language, the Associate Dean of Faculty for the Humanities shall make whatever arrangements are necessary for such a determi-nation.

Unless exempted, as above, a student must normally complete the requirement before the end of the seventh term, either in a language offered for admission or in another language begun at Dartmouth. There are two options: (1) study on the Dartmouth campus in any of the languages offered, or (2) participation in one of Dartmouth’s Language Study Abroad (D.L.S.A.) programs offered in several of these languages (pages 108-111 and 478).

Language courses numbered 1, 2, or 3 and other beginning language courses (e.g., Greek 11, 12, and 13) may not serve under any circumstance in partial satis-faction of the General Education requirement. They may not be taken under the Non-Recording Option (pages 95-97) until the Foreign Language Requirement has been satisfied in another language (and then only if the department so autho-rizes); no course studied off-campus may be taken under the Option.

The language requirement may be waived under certain special circumstances: see page 77.

D. General Education Requirements (Class of 2007 and earlier classes): There are three separate requirements under this heading: World Culture Requirement, Interdisciplinary Requirement (for the Class of 2004 and earlier classes), and Dis­tributive Requirement. These requirements are outlined below, and are explained in detail (including the codes used to designate which courses fall into which cat­egories) beginning on page 77.

1. World Culture Requirement. Each student must take and pass one course in each of three areas: European, North American, and Non-Western.

2. Interdisciplinary Requirement (for the Class of 2004 and earlier classes). All students must complete one course from an approved list of courses which are interdisciplinary in focus. Such courses will be taught by two or more faculty members, normally with appointments in different departments, who will bring to the topics of the course their different approaches and methods of analysis. This definition does not imply that courses labelled Interdisciplinary are the only ones taught in the College by faculty with legitimate interdisciplinary credentials, inter­ests, or agendas. Many courses that are interdisciplinary in method or orientation may be taught in various departments or programs, but only those courses labelled Satisfies the Interdisciplinary Requirement in this bulletin will count as such for purposes of this requirement.

3. Distributive Requirement. Each student must take and pass ten courses, as fol-lows:

one in the Arts;

one in Literature;

one in Philosophical or Historical Analysis or Religion;

one in International or Comparative Study;

two in Social Analysis;

one in Quantitative and Deductive Sciences;

two in the Natural Sciences;

one in Technology or Applied Science.

One of the courses in the Natural Science or Technology categories must have a laboratory, field, or experimental component.

A course may satisfy categories in two, or even all three, of these requirements. For example, a course might satisfy the European category in the World Culture requirement and the Literature category in the Distributive requirement. Conse­quently, by careful choice of courses, it is possible to satisfy all of these require­ments with just ten courses. Note also that the fact that a course falls within the student’s major department or program does not invalidate its use toward meeting these requirements.

Courses satisfying distributive requirements must be taken subsequent to college matriculation. Credits received prior to matriculation, even for courses which would qualify for one or more of these requirements if taken after matriculation, do not count, even though they receive course credit or advanced placement credit. Also, courses satisfying these requirements must be passed with a regular letter grade or CT (Credit); courses which are failed, or for which the regular grade has been replaced by NR due to the student’s election of the Non-Recording Option, do not satisfy these requirements. Graduate courses (those numbered 100 or higher) never serve in satisfaction of any part of these requirements.

D. General Education Requirements (Class of 2008 and later classes): There are two separate requirements under this heading: World Culture Requirement, and Distributive Requirement. These requirements are outlined below, and are explained in detail (including the codes used to designate which courses fall into which categories) beginning on page 77.

1. World Culture Requirement. Each student must take and pass one course in each of three areas: Western Cultures, Non-Western Cultures, and Culture and Identity.

2. Distributive Requirement. Each student must take and pass ten courses, as fol-lows:

one in the Arts;

one in Literature;

one in Systems and Traditions of Thought, Meaning, and Value;

one in International or Comparative Study;

two in Social Analysis;

one in Quantitative and Deductive Sciences;

two in the Natural Sciences;

one in Technology or Applied Science.

One of the courses in the Natural Science or Technology categories must have a laboratory, field, or experimental component.

A course may satisfy categories in two of these requirements. For example, a course might satisfy the Western category in the World Culture requirement and the Literature category in the Distributive requirement. Consequently, by careful choice of courses, it is possible to satisfy all of these requirements with just ten courses. Note also that the fact that a course falls within the student’s major depart­ment or program does not invalidate its use toward meeting these requirements.

Courses satisfying distributive requirements must be taken subsequent to college matriculation. Credits received prior to matriculation, even for courses which would qualify for one or more of these requirements if taken after matriculation, do not count, even though they receive course credit or advanced placement credit. Also, courses satisfying these requirements must be passed with a regular letter grade or CT (Credit); courses which are failed, or for which the regular grade has been replaced by NR due to the student’s election of the Non-Recording Option, do not satisfy these requirements. Graduate courses (those numbered 100 or higher) never serve in satisfaction of any part of these requirements.

IV. A student must complete satisfactorily the program of Physical Education (see page 560).


V. A student must receive credit for completion of a major program at least sat­isfactorily, as certified by the department, program, or other appropriate body supervising the major. The supervising body may in advance require a minimum grade average in the major or other demonstrations of learning in the field of the major. A student may elect a major at any time after the first term of the first year and must do so by the end of his or her fifth term, or immediately thereafter, depending upon the student’s enrollment pattern (see pages 97-99). The major is elected by securing the approval of the appropriate body and filing the choice with the Registrar. A student may change major, or type of major, at any time through the end of the first week of the last term in residence, but not thereafter.

 A full statement of the purpose and the various forms of the major follows on pages 83-89. Only those courses passed with a letter grade, or a grade of CT (Credit) if previously approved, may be counted in satisfaction of the major. Courses failed, or taken under the Non-Recording Option and resulting in a stand­ing of NR (Non-Recorded), may not be used toward completion of the major.

VI. A student is expected to make satisfactory progress at all times toward the degree. All students should be familiar with the requirements for satisfactory aca­demic progress as set forth in the Student Handbook. The Committee on Standards has been empowered by the Faculty to place a student on Risk, Warning, or Pro­bation, or to vote Suspension or Separation for failure to meet the academic stan­dards detailed there.


For students who matriculate at Dartmouth after having spent one or two years at another institution, the academic regulations and degree requirements described above (and, in some cases, in the following pages) have been modified by vote of the Faculty on January 13, 1986 and May 1, 1989. The modifications are as fol-lows.

1. Maximum number of course credits: Students transferring to Dartmouth will be allowed a maximum credit of 17 courses and advanced placement credits. No further transfer credits will be allowed after matriculation.

2. The minimum number of enrolled terms will be six for all transfer students.

3. A summer term residence will be required of all transfer students. Students transferring after their first year will be in residence the summer following their sophomore year. Students transferring after their second year will be encouraged to be in residence this same summer. The Office of Admissions should complete the admissions process early enough to allow students to plan for the appropriate summer in residence and notify students accordingly.

4. No credits will be allowed in departments or programs not represented in the Dartmouth undergraduate curriculum for transfer students.

5. Non-Recording Option (NRO) and Credit/No Credit (CT/NC) elections: Stu-dents entering after their first year will be allowed 2 NR’s and a total of 6 CT/NC plus NR’s. Students entering after their second year will be allowed 1 NR and a total of 4 CT/NC plus NR’s.

6. Two- and Four-Course Terms: Students entering after their first year will be allowed a two-course load in any two terms and a four-course load in any two terms. Students entering after their second year will be allowed a maximum of one two-course load and one four-course load. Within those limits no permissions are required nor are there changes in tuition.

7. Students admitted after their first year must file a major card and an enroll-ment pattern according to the deadline for second-year students. Students admit-ted after their second year must file a major card and an enrollment pattern during the first term in residence at Dartmouth.

8. Course equivalencies are determined by the Registrar or his/her designate. In the event of a question concerning the equivalency or appropriateness of a course, the department involved will be consulted. Courses applied for major credit must be approved by the major department.

9. Degree requirements for transfer students are the same as for all other stu-dents, with the exception of the First-Year Seminar, first-year residence, and phys-ical education requirements, which are waived. All transfer students must satisfy the senior residence requirement.


 A Degree Audit giving each student a report of progress toward the degree is available on the Dartmouth Student Information System via the secure Bannerstu­dent home page: <>. The data in this report is updated approximately every two weeks. It shows progress toward meet­ing all degree requirements, with the exception of the major requirement. Each student is responsible for tracing degree progress. The Office of the Registrar, the Dean of the College Office, and the First-Year Office are available to aid in inter-pretation of the audit and to clarify progress toward graduation.


Each student has secure access to a web address on which to conduct many offi­cial transactions and to obtain personal academic information. The address, called the Bannerstudent home page, is <>.

Students use this site for official transactions such as to check in for each term, select courses, file an enrollment pattern, and apply for the degree. Personal aca­demic information such as class schedules, grades, and the degree audit report can be viewed here. To provide maximum security, the KClient/Sidecar authentication software must be installed on any computer accessing this information.


Support for the academic work of individual students is available through numerous offices, programs, and individuals at the College. Included are faculty members who serve as first-year or major advisors, and the Deans in the Offices of the Dean of Students and the Dean of First-Year Students. Dartmouth provides an Integrated Academic Support Program for first-year students, an Academic Skills Center (including a Tutor Clearinghouse and the Student Disabilities Coor­dinator), and a Composition Center. Details may be found in the Student Hand­book.


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates that: ‘No qualified hand-icapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance.’ According to federal regulations, students with documented non-visible disabili-ties (examples: learning, psychiatric, ADD, head injuries) have the same legal entitlements as students with physical disabilities and are therefore entitled to aca-demic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids.

Students whose documentation is on file at the Academic Skills Center and who are requesting academic adjustments for documented disabilities (for example, additional time on exams, a private room for testing, or other accommodations) should first consult with their instructors. If the student and instructor do not agree on an appropriate accommodation, the student and instructor should seek consul-tation with the Student Disabilities Coordinator/Section 504 Coordinator in the Academic Skills Center. If the dispute remains unresolved, the student may appeal to the department chair, the Associate Dean for the division, and, ultimately, the Dean of the Faculty. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the class deans, and the staff at the College Health Service are available for consulta-tion by students and faculty about accommodation and disability issues. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action receives formal complaints from any member of the Dartmouth community claiming to be aggrieved by alleged discrimination prohibited by Sections 503/504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Students with known or suspected learning disabilities may request assistance of the Student Disabilities Coordinator in the Academic Skills Center. The Coordi-nator assists students with information on assessment, counseling, and waivers of the foreign language requirement (see below). Students may also request informa-tion from the Dean’s Office, 111 Parkhurst Hall.


The foreign language requirement may be waived in certain special cases upon petition to a committee established to rule on these requests. Normally, such a waiver will not be granted in the absence of a verified diagnosis of a related learn­ing disability by a specialist in the field. Students who think they may warrant a waiver of the language requirement because of a disability should contact the Stu­dent Disabilities Coordinator in the Academic Skills Center. Petitions will be con­sidered only from students with documented learning disabilities who have not yet completed the language requirement. No requests for ‘grade waivers’ will be con-sidered apart from petitions to waive the requirement. That is, even students with a documented learning disability cannot petition to have their language grades not count in their grade-point average once they have completed the language require-ment.

For a student with an approved foreign language waiver, grades in all courses taken to satisfy the language requirement will be identified on the transcript with a suitable symbol. Further notation on the transcript will indicate that these grades, though not incorporated in the student’s cumulative grade point average, will carry course count as do all other grades. (Grades of D or above are included in the course count; grades of E are not.)

Students granted a waiver will be permitted to use the Non-Recording Option in elementary language courses. All the regulations governing use of that option will apply except that learning disabled students who have received a language waiver are allowed a total of five (5) uses of the Non-Recording Option, two of which can be applied only to introductory courses in the same language. If the grade matches or surpasses the student’s selection, it will appear on the transcript; any grade of NR will count as one of the five uses of the option allowed, and any grade of E will appear on the transcript. However, no grade assigned in the course will be incor-porated into the student’s grade point average.


This section describes the categories of the General Education requirement. The following section beginning on page 81 addresses some procedural matters regarding these requirements.

1. Interdisciplinary Course Requirement (one course required for the Class of 2004 and earlier): Although disciplines and disciplinary ways of understanding remain central to higher education, the existence of disciplinary divisions may incorrectly suggest that all knowledge is inherently partitioned in ways that corre-spond to these divisions. To reintegrate separate disciplinary approaches, Dart-mouth has for many years encouraged interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary work, both within and between departments. Moreover, interdisciplinary study has gained in importance nationwide in recent years, during which traditional disci-plinary boundaries have been questioned and new interdisciplinary approaches and programs have been widely instituted.

While interdisciplinary approaches are pursued by various faculty members in different departments, for purposes of this requirement an interdisciplinary course is defined as one taught by two or more faculty members, normally with appoint­ments in different departments, who bring to the topics of the course their respec­tive approaches and methods of analysis.

2. World Culture Requirement (Class of 2007 and earlier classes). All Dart-mouth undergraduates in the Class of 2007 and earlier classes must satisfactorily complete one course from each of the three areas listed below:

          a) European (EU). Europe, including Eastern Europe and the classical Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman civilizations of the Mediterranean. Dartmouth Col-lege is clearly situated in the Western cultural tradition. For this reason, at least one course with a European focus is required.

b)       North American (NA). United States and Canada, including African, His­panic, Asian, Native American, and other components of North American culture. Dartmouth College is also clearly situated in a North American context separate from, even if related to, European culture. Western ideas and institutions have unique forms in the United States and Canada. This requirement is accordingly not redundant in relation to the European requirement. Moreover, African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and other cultures have persisted and interacted with those of Europe in North America; the United States and Canada require their own focus and curricular place.

c) Non-Western (NW). Non-western cultures, including postcolonial ones, and all other cultures not subsumed under the two categories above. The world in which Dartmouth graduates will function is one in which ignorance of the non- Western majority is an increasing liability. Knowledge of non-Western peoples and cultures is thus an increasing practical necessity as well as a form of enrich­ment. This requirement situates the European and North American traditions in the important global context of the late twentieth century.

2. World Culture Requirement (Class of 2008 and later classes). All Dartmouth undergraduates in the Class of 2008 and earlier classes must satisfactorily com-plete one course from each of the three areas listed below:

          a) Western Cultures (W).  The cultures of the classical Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman Mediterranean, and of Europe and its settlements.  The disciplines of the Arts and Sciences as they are studied at Dartmouth developed in these cul-tures, as did the institution of the liberal arts college itself. For this reason, Dart-mouth students are required to take at least one course with a focus on the cultures of the West.

b) Non-Western Cultures (NW). Non-Western cultures, including those with a history of colonialism. The world in which Dartmouth graduates will function demands an understanding of its non-Western majority.  Knowledge of non-West­ern peoples, cultures, and histories is thus an increasing practical necessity as well as a form of intellectual enrichment.  Courses that satisfy this requirement have as their primary focus understanding the diverse cultures of the non-Western world.

c) Culture and Identity (CI). All students are required to take a course studying how cultures shape and express identities. Courses satisfying this requirement examine how identity categories develop in cultures and as a result of interactions between cultures. Forms of identity to be studied may include but are not limited to those defined by race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and ethnicity. Courses in this category may study the relations of culture and identity with reference to cultural productions from any part of the world.

3. Distributive Requirement (Dist). All Dartmouth undergraduates must satisfac-torily complete ten courses divided as indicated below:

a) Arts (one course): (ART). Courses fulfilling this requirement usually focus on one or more art or media forms, using historical, critical, and/or participatory methods. Dartmouth aims to foster creativity, to encourage the acquisition of artis-tic skills and disciplines, and to equip students with the historical knowledge and interpretive powers that will allow them to be informed participants in the world of the arts and contemporary media.

b) Literature (one course): (LIT). Rigorous critical reading and writing are cen-tral to all academic discourse; although these skills are not taught exclusively in literature courses, they are actively cultivated in those courses. Knowledge and appreciation of literary texts, and of the diverse cultural histories embedded in them, remain crucial to any liberal arts education. In recent times, the emergence of literary theory has transformed literary study and broadened the scope of liter-ary criticism to include cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. Literary theory also poses fundamental questions about the ways in which language and literature represent the world. Courses that satisfy this requirement are usually in the lan-guage and/or literature departments.

 c) For the Class of 2007 and earlier: Philosophical or Historical Analysis or the Study of Religion(s) (one course): (PHR). Courses fulfilling this requirement introduce students to the study of religion, philosophy, or history. Such courses are not restricted to a particular cultural, geographical, or historical focus and may include ancient or contemporary studies. This requirement obliges students to study the evolution of some ideas, beliefs, or institutions, and the corresponding forms of human practice. Studying belief-systems or epochs also gives students a critical introduction to basic processes of human inquiry. At one time the core of the Western classical education, the study of philosophy, religion, and history con-tinues to have an important role.   Courses that satisfy this requirement are usually in the departments of philosophy, religion, history, or classics, but certain courses in other departments may satisfy it as well.

c) For the Class of 2008 and later: Systems and Traditions of Thought, Meaning, and Value (one course): (TMV).  Courses satisfying this requirement provide stu­dents with systematic, critical understanding of philosophical issues or systems of religious belief and practice.  They address the ways human beings have concep­tualized and put into practice claims about such topics as the meaning of human existence and the nature of truth, knowledge, or morality.  Such courses are not restricted to a particular cultural, geographical, or historical focus and may include studies from a wide variety of cultures and time periods.

d) International or Comparative Study (one course): (INT). In addition to under­standing the traditions of particular cultures, an educated person needs to be aware that no nation, society, or culture exists in isolation. To an increasing degree, an international dimension informs all human endeavors, including economic, polit­ical, social, ideological, religious, and artistic ones. Thus all students are required to elect one course that considers interrelationships among societies, cultures, or nations and/or the methods or approaches employed in comparative studies. We seek to ensure that Dartmouth students will be internationally as well as nationally informed.

e) Social Analysis (two courses): (SOC). Category description for the Class of 2007 and earlier: Subjects covered in these courses include theories of individual and social human behavior, methods of social observation and analysis, and issues of civic life and public policy. Although the concept of social science—the notion of applying the “scientific method” to human social phenomena—did not fully emerge until the nineteenth century, the social sciences have become an important tool in our efforts to understand ourselves and our world. They also serve an important purpose in the development of public policy. Students of modern social science need to be familiar with such means of investigation as experiments, mod-eling, observation, comparison, statistical sampling, interviews and surveys, and the use of records and artifacts.

Social Analysis (SOC) category description for the Class of 2008 and later: Courses in this category examine theories of individual and social human behav­ior, methods of social observation and analysis, historical analysis and inquiry, and issues of civic life and public policy.  Social scientific and historical analyses are important tools in our efforts to understand ourselves and others, the contempo­rary world and its past.  They also serve an important purpose in the development of public policy.  Courses in social analysis familiarize students with the critical interpretation of evidence and such means of investigation as experiments, mod­eling, observation, comparison, statistical sampling, interviews and surveys, the use of records and artifacts.

f) Quantitative and Deductive Science (one course): (QDS). Mathematical sci­ences are fundamental to much scientific and social scientific investigation, while the underlying mode of deductive reasoning continues to inform many ways of obtaining knowledge. In this category, students must pass a course in mathemat­ics, in mathematical statistics, or in symbolic logic, the underpinning of mathe­matical reasoning. Modern mathematics includes areas as diverse as topology, probability, and combinatorics, as well as the more familiar algebra, geometry, and analysis.   An understanding of some basic mathematical techniques is essen­tial for appreciating ways in which the world can be visualized and studied. At the same time, such understanding helps in testing the suitability of many of these visualizations, and gives tools to examine the fit between natural phenomena and their abstract models.

g) Natural and Physical Science (two courses): (SCI or SLA). These courses introduce students to scientific methods of inquiry as well as research methodol­ogy and interpretation. One of these courses must provide a laboratory, experi­mental, or field component as an integral part of its structure (courses in the Technology and Applied Science category may also be approved as satisfying the one-course laboratory requirement.) An understanding of the basic principles and terminology of science, and of the ways in which scientists obtain, validate, judge, test, and then rejudge information, is an essential form of education for this cen­tury and the next. Students should acquire some expertise in scientific discourse: in the ways in which facts are acquired, tested, and challenged, and in some of the scientific principles that help to explain physical, cosmological, chemical, and biological processes.

Many science courses are taught with coordinated laboratory activities. In some cases these laboratories take the form of a field trip, outdoor or off-campus, to a site or facility at which the student can examine first hand some phenomenon, fea-ture, or object.

h) Technology or Applied Science (one course): (TAS or TLA). These courses introduce students to the methodology, vocabulary, and theory of applied science, and they explore as well the social contexts, benefits, and threats of technology. They enable students to understand the process by which the discoveries of basic science have been translated into the products, facilities, services, and devices that technology provides, and to understand the environmental, ethical, and social implications of the applied sciences. These courses are generally in Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Science, and in other curricular areas that con-sider the applications and consequences of scientific discovery.


Certain courses, such as English 2, 3, and 5, language courses numbered 1, 2 and 3 or equivalents, Independent Study courses, and all graduate courses (numbered 100 and higher) do not qualify to satisfy any part of the General Education require­ments. All other courses may potentially satisfy one or more of these require­ments. Departments and programs must propose their courses for such credit and have the proposals approved by the faculty Committee on Instruction. Courses that have already received such approval are noted in this Bulletin using codes described below. Certain courses, usually those whose topic varies from offering to offering, may satisfy different categories for each offering. Such courses are indicated by a notation such as ‘Dist: Varies’ in the course listing, with the exact category of each offering appearing in the Timetable of Courses for the term.

While every effort has been made in this Bulletin to provide information that is as accurate and complete as possible regarding the categories satisfied by courses in the curriculum, it is inevitable that a few changes or additions will occur in the period before students elect courses for a term. Thus information provided in the Timetable of Courses for each term may officially supersede that found in this Bulletin. If any changes occur later, all students enrolled in the course will be noti-fied individually. Every effort will be made to keep these changes to an absolute minimum.

It should be noted that some courses might almost equally well fall into either of two categories. However, with two exceptions noted below, each course may sat-isfy only one category for the Distributive requirement, and also only one category for the World Culture requirement. In such situations a decision, which may be somewhat arbitrary, must be made as to which category to select. Students must follow the decision that has been made; there is no appeal of this decision, nor may students petition (then or later) to have a course count for them in a category other than the one selected by the department or program. In cases where the category of a course has been changed, the category in effect in the term in which the course was taken will be used.

The following phrase or codes are used in the course listings in this Bulletin to indicate the categories for each course:

Interdisciplinary Requirement:

       I         Satisfies the Interdisciplinary Requirement

World Culture Requirement (WCult):

       For the Class of 2007 and earlier:

       EU         European

       NA         North American

       NW         Non-Western

       For the Class of 2008 and later:

       W         Western Cultures

       NW         Non-Western Cultures

       CI         Culture and Identity

Distributive Requirement (Dist):

       ART         Arts

       LIT         Literature

       PHR         Philosophical or Historical Analysis or Religion, or

       TMV         Systems and Traditions of Thought, Meaning, and Value

       INT         International or Comparative Studies

       SOC         Social Analysis

       QDS         Quantitative and Deduction Sciences

       SCI         Natural Sciences (without laboratory component)

       SLA         Natural Sciences (with laboratory component)

       TAS         Technology or Applied Science (without laboratory component)

       TLA         Technology or Applied Science (with laboratory component)

Each course listing in the ORC has information on General Education catego-ries. For example, ‘Dist: ART, WCult: EU’ indicates that the course in question satisfies the Art category for the Distributive requirement and the European cate-gory of the World Culture Requirement. If no listing occurs (for example, if WCult does not appear) then the course does not satisfy any part of the requirement in question.

Certain courses cover both European and North American topics, and are coded in the form ‘WCult: EU or NA.’ In this case, each student may use the course for whichever of the two categories European or North American that he or she wishes. Likewise in the Distributive requirement, certain courses satisfy both the International and Comparative category and a second category, and would be listed in the form ‘Dist: INT or ART,’ for instance. Again it is each student’s choice as to which category to choose. However, in each case, a given course can satisfy only one requirement for any individual student (that is, in the example given, either INT or ART but not both). The INT category is the only category under the Distributive requirement that can be combined with another category in this way, and the European and North American are the only two categories under the World Culture requirement that may be so combined (these are the two exceptions men-tioned above).


The purpose of a major is to provide a coherent program of study in a discipline or area of knowledge. The College offers a number of options designed to meet the needs of students in their selected major programs of study. These options, in addition to Standard Departmental Majors and program majors, include a Modi­fied Major or a Special Major. A Modified Major usually comprises work in two departments with emphasis in one. The Special Major exists to accommodate stu­dents who wish to design special interdisciplinary or interdivisional programs of study. It is also possible for a student to have combinations of majors and minors; however, a student cannot exceed two additional majors or minors beyond the required major (for a total of three).

No more than half of courses required for the major, including prerequisites, may be satisfied by transfer.

In planning a major program of study the student is urged to consider carefully these different options; each is described in detail below. Consultation with appro-priate departmental chairs, advisers, and other faculty members is an important and necessary part of planning a major program. Procedures for students wishing to file more than one major are described on page 107.

The Committee on Instruction is empowered, for all types of major, to allow individual and general variations from the usual patterns that will assist a given student or improve a major without damaging the basic concept.


Each department and program includes among its major requirements a culmi-nating activity, normally during the senior year, academically challenging and appropriate to the discipline and mission of the department or program. To this end, the following principles apply:

1. The requirement may involve individual projects (theses, directed research and writing, laboratory research, creative projects), senior seminar(s), group tuto-rials or colloquia, or some combination of these. If the requirement exclusively involves graded individual projects, a department or program may provide on a regular basis an informal but mandatory senior colloquium or set of group tutorials (these would not necessarily need to be graded) to encourage students to exchange ideas and to share with one another and with members of the faculty reports about progress with their individual projects.

2. The requirement will assume a solid grounding in the substance of the disci-pline and expect and encourage development of a relatively sophisticated under-standing and use of its methods, thereby fostering the student’s ability to articulate his or her work and ideas in writing, oral presentation, and/or discussion.

3. The requirement must be taken for credit and graded. All majors must satis-factorily complete this requirement.

4. The requirement must involve at least one course credit but may take the form of a single project extended over two or three terms (e.g. a 3-term tutorial, labora-tory, creative or research/writing project) with credit and grade recorded upon completion of the final term of the project.

5. Departments may offer more than one sort of senior academic activity in order to maintain rational teaching loads for faculty while providing appropriate options to be elected by or designated for students on the basis of their interests and aca-demic achievements.

The implementation of this requirement for each individual major is described under the department or program section in this Bulletin.


The Standard Departmental Major consists of eight to ten courses in the major subject in addition to those courses prerequisite to the major. (With the agreement of the major department at least some of the ‘prerequisite’ courses may be taken after the filing of the major.) Prerequisite courses, unlike those actually part of the major, may be taken under the Non-Recording Option and, with the special approval of the department, need not necessarily be passed. Every course counted as an actual part of the major must be passed with a recorded letter grade or pre-viously authorized CT; courses completed with standings of NC, NR, and E are not included.

The major must be a unified and coherent whole, not a series of relatively unre-lated courses. When appropriate, however, courses from other departments or pro-grams may be substituted for one or more in the area of the major. For instance, an English major often includes as one of the eight courses a comparative litera-ture offering, or Chemistry, a physics course. However, such courses must serve in satisfaction of the major (not simply as a prerequisite to the major) in the other department unless a course has been specifically approved and listed in this Bul-letin as suitable for the major credit in the department of the student’s major. For example, Computer Science 15, while a only prerequisite for the Computer Sci-ence major, is specifically identified as a suitable major course for a Mathematics major. Biology 14 through 17, on the other hand, can all serve as prerequisites for the Biology major. Once any two of them have been completed as prerequisites, two further courses from this group may be applied towards the Biology major. The same policy would apply to counting these as major courses in another depart-ment. Only after two of the courses had been taken could additional courses from this group count as major courses. It may also be appropriate to include a pertinent College Course (page 246) or Student-Initiated Seminar (page 654).

Courses within the major, or offered by the major department or program, satisfy whatever Distributive, World Culture, or Interdisciplinary credits are normally attached to those courses. In other words, these requirements are completely inde-pendent of choice of major.

The Department or Program may set a minimum grade average for admission to and/or completion of the major. It may also impose the requirement of a thesis, comprehensive examination, etc.

 When a student finishes a standard major as here outlined, the Department or Program determines whether the student has adequately completed (i.e., passing, or reaching an announced minimum average) the courses of the major on file, along with other specified requirements. If so, the Department or Program notifies the Registrar of the completion of the major and, accordingly, satisfaction of this requirement for graduation. On graduation, the student’s record indicates comple­tion of the major in, for example, Comparative Literature or Physics. No form of Honors or Distinction in the major is allowable, unless the student has undertaken an Honors Program (see the next paragraph), although the student may receive overall honors, e.g., Magna cum Laude, as the result of grade point average for all courses taken at Dartmouth.

Students with appropriate grade averages and the desire to do so may apply to do an Honors Program in the major (i.e., Honors Major). By so doing they may on graduation achieve Honors or High Honors in the major; please see The Honors Program (pages 88-89) and Honors in the Major (page 116-117).

The procedures for the filing of a major begin on page 83. After a student files a major, changes may be made by consulting the authorized major adviser, complet-ing three new cards, having them signed, and filing one of them with the Registrar.


Departments may offer modified majors, intended to fit the needs of students who have a definite interest in the major department but are also interested in some specific problem or topic, the study of which depends on courses in related fields.

Basically a modified major contains ten courses, six in one field and four in a second field or perhaps in more than one area. It should be planned as a unified, coherent whole, and not consist of a series of unrelated courses. Students must file a written statement with the primary department and with the Registrar, explaining their rationale for the courses selected for the modified major. Each department sets its own prerequisite and prescribed courses for a Modified Major, within the limit described above, and in greater detail in the following paragraphs. Courses which form part of a modified major are subject to the same requirements described in the section ‘Standard Department Major’ above; they must serve in satisfaction of a major in the department offering the course unless specifically listed in this Bulletin as suitable for a modified major. The Registrar may refuse to accept a modified major that does not meet the ‘unified and coherent’ requirement. If the issue cannot be resolved between the Registrar and the department(s) con-cerned, it will go to the Committee on Instruction for decision.

The primary part of the major must consist of six courses in a single major-offer­ing department/program (e.g., English, Biology, History, Comparative Literature). The secondary part must consist of four courses, none of which may bear the same department/program title as that of the primary part. (Exception: when a depart­ment offers officially distinct subjects, as indicated by differing names, an internal modified major may be constructed, e.g., of six French and four Italian courses [or the converse].) Furthermore, there will always be at least one course prerequisite to the primary part and normally one or two prerequisite to the secondary part. In case the primary department/program has no prerequisites for its standard major, seven courses are required in the primary part of a modified major.

If a student desires a modified major consisting of the necessary primary part with six courses from one department or program and four courses that are not from a single second department or program as the second part, the major requires the approval of the chair (or approved faculty delegate) of the primary department/ program only. There is no direct advantage to securing a second approval. When a student completes the major, it will be entered in the permanent record as, for instance, ‘Psychology Modified,’ no indication of the second part appearing.

It is also possible for a student to arrange a Modified Major that will receive full recognition. The student works with one major-offering department/program (pri­mary) and a second such, or a non -major-offering department/program (second­ary). The major card must show six courses (plus prerequisites) in the primary field (standing for department or program) and four courses (plus prerequisites) in the secondary field. The various prerequisite courses should be identified as such. The primary field, as noted, must be a department or program authorized to offer a major; the card will bear the signature of the chair (or faculty delegate) of this department or program indicating specific and overall approval. The card will also be signed below the first signature by the chair (or faculty delegate) for the sec­ondary department or program, again indicating specific and overall approval. Both faculty members, in signing the major card, indicate that the resulting major is an intellectually integrated package; it must not be a ‘major’ and a ‘minor’ with little or no relationship between the two fields. When such a major has been com­pleted, the final records will show a major for, say, ‘History Modified with Eco­nomics,’ or ‘English Modified with Women’s Studies.’ Please note that a student might take exactly the same courses, but not have the signature of approval by the secondary department or program; if so, the major would be recorded as ‘History Modified’ or ‘English Modified.’

In other respects a modified major is like a standard one. A student may or may not carry out an Honors Program, the potential results being wholly similar. Please be sure to consult the last paragraph of the previous ‘Standard Departmental Major’ section and pages 83-89 for directions on the filling out and filing of the major cards.


A student may pursue a special major program of study provided that it pos-sesses intellectual coherence and educational merit and has the approval of two faculty advisers and of the Divisional Council of the primary adviser.

After consultation with an appropriate faculty member or members the student wishing to pursue a special major should submit in writing the proposed individ­ualized program of study to the Chair of the appropriate Council. The proposal should state the purpose and objective of the program of study and list ten interre­lated courses, no more than three of which may consist primarily of independent reading, study, or research. The proposal must also include a detailed supporting letter from the faculty member who agrees to be the primary adviser and the writ­ten endorsement of an additional faculty member who is the intended instructor of at least one of the ten courses, this faculty member to serve as secondary adviser. Finally, at least one course must be listed consisting of independent study or research in association with the primary adviser. It may be the case that an inde­pendent research course in a special major has a minimum GPA requirement. In those cases, the minimum GPA for the research course becomes a requirement for the special major.

A proposed special major program will be reviewed by the Council, which will consider in its evaluation the intellectual coherence of the program, the program’s relevance to career objectives, and the academic qualifications of the applicant. The Council may, at its discretion, call upon the applicant and the advisers to explain the proposal in person.

Since, to date, some of the four councils have not met in the summer, students who will be due to file a major in (or before) the summer term should make appli-cation early in the spring term or should file a related standard major from which they may later shift. Again, the approval of a special major is a quite demanding process involving many steps. Necessarily, securing it requires considerable elapsed time. The applicant should not apply for such a major unless he or she has a carefully planned program that is of great personal interest. A Special Major is not likely to be approved if the applicant is simply not interested in pursuing a Standard or Modified Major; the appropriate Council requires evidence that one of these usual majors will not suffice. Students who graduate with a Special Major often start with a standard or modified major and later develop the plan for an indi-vidualized program.

 Important note: Petitions for a special major will not normally be accepted by any of the divisional councils, or by the council for special programs, unless the petition is presented early enough to allow the student three full terms of regularly enrolled course work at Dartmouth before graduation.

 Upon approval of a Special Major, the council will notify by letter the student, the advisers, and the Office of the Registrar; the letter will give the title of the major and list the courses therein. The student will then file with the Office of the Registrar a completed major card with the signatures of the two advisers; he or she will also supply the advisers and the Divisional Council with signed duplicate major cards.

The major adviser and the Council shall have the right to reconsider a program at any time they may regard the candidate’s work as unsatisfactory. Moreover, changes in the course program of the special major will not be made without the approval of the student’s adviser and the Associate Dean of the appropriate divi-sion, and confirmation by the Dean to the Office of the Registrar.

Upon completion of the major program, and upon receipt of a recommendation from the two advisers, the Council will decide the student’s final standing in the major.


Each of the various forms of major makes available an Honors Program that is required of candidates for Honors or High Honors in the major, the awarding of these to be decided upon when the student’s department or other appropriate supervisory body is about to certify to the Registrar the completion of the major.

The program requires work that is clearly greater in depth and scope than that expected in the normal major program. As soon as a student declares a major, he or she should receive a description of the Honors Program including requirements for eligibility, the procedure for admission, and the name of the faculty member in charge of the program.

This additional undertaking shall take the form of supervised independent work on an individual or small-group basis to enable students to progress toward an understanding of their major field at an accelerated pace. It includes a thesis — or its equivalent, such as an experimental investigation — as well as the writing of papers or other creative activity suitable to the major subject. Beyond these stipu-lations a department (or other supervisory body) may at its discretion impose such additional requirements as a start upon the Honors Program in the junior year, a more demanding reading program than it requires of regular major students, and the use of honors courses or honors seminars. Examinations in the Honors Pro-gram will be regulated by the department. Students may receive a maximum of two course credits for participation in the program.

Admission to an Honors Program is by application to and with the consent of the department or other supervisory body. Each department or program publishes in this bulletin the criteria and procedure for admission to its Honors Program. The minimum requirement for admission is a grade point average of 3.0 in the major and a 3.0 general College average at the beginning of the senior year or at any other time that an application for admission is made. The Committee on Instruc-tion is empowered to make small downward adjustments of these requirements when a department strongly supports the application of a candidate who does not quite qualify.

As indicated above, Honors Programs will vary, but all will include independent, sustained work. Those students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program with a ‘B+’ average or better will earn Honors recognition in their major or, in appropriate cases, High Honors. High Honors will be granted only by vote of the department on the basis of outstanding independent work. Departments and pro­grams are urged to make an interim evaluation of honors students after one term and to recommend the continuation of those students only whose work demon­strates the capacity for satisfactory (B+) work. Students who satisfactorily com­plete the Honors Program will have entered on their permanent record, e.g., High Honors in Chemistry, or Honors in History.

No record will be kept for completion of an Honors Program in the absence of the awarding of Honors or High Honors, since the department or program has thereby indicated that the performance was not ‘satisfactory’ (in the applied sense of the word).

Honors work in the Special Major requires a recommendation from the student’s two advisers with full description of the planned approach to the appropriate Council; this recommendation must be submitted in time for the Committee to make its decision by October 1 of the senior year.

Students not meeting the usual requirements for the Honors Program may seek special admission to an Honors Program with departmental support and approval of the Committee on Instruction.


Students who wish to elect a minor must officially sign up for it no later than the third term prior to graduation. A student cannot exceed two additional majors or minors beyond the required major (for a total of three). If the minor has been com-pleted at the time of graduation, it will then be noted on the student’s transcript, but the fact that a student is working toward a minor will not appear on the tran-script prior to graduation.

Minors may be offered by departments, programs, or groups of faculty, and must be approved by the Faculty. A minor consists of at least six courses, no more than two of which may be designated as prerequisites (although more than two prereq-uisites may be required). The courses beyond prerequisite must be suitable for the major in those departments and programs offering a major, or of similar level in other departments and programs. The entire program for each minor is to form a unified and coherent intellectual whole. One or more faculty members will be des-ignated as advisers for each minor.

A student enrolls in a minor by filling out a card similar to a major card, indicat­ing the courses constituting the minor program, along with the terms in which the courses will be taken. The filing of a copy of this card, signed by the adviser, in the Office of the Registrar and with the department, constitutes the actual act of enrolling for the minor. A minor may not be in the same department as the stu­dent’s major (either part of the major in the case of a modified major), except when completely separate majors are offered by the same department (French and Ital­ian, for instance) and would be acceptable as the two parts of a double major. As with Dual Majors, no course may count toward both a major and a minor or toward both of two minors (although a course may be part of one of these and prerequisite to the other, or prerequisite to both, subject to the approval of both departments). At most one course in the minor, including prerequisite courses, in which the standing of NR is received may be used toward satisfying the minor. Individual departments may disallow courses with NR standing to count toward their minors; this is presently the case in the Engineering and Chemistry minors.

No more than half of all courses required for the minor, including prerequisites, may be satisfied by transfer.

A student may develop a special interdisciplinary minor working directly with two or more faculty advisers. A proposal for a special minor, including a written rationale, must be approved by the department or program chairs and by the appro-priate Divisional Councils. A special minor normally shall include no more than one course taken prior to petition and approval.


1.Regularly Graded Courses: Since the fall term of 1973-1974, the grade assigned at the completion of a course has been one of the following: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or E. The following guidelines offer general criteria for eval-uation and grading, with ‘plus’ or ‘minus’ designations indicating that, in the opinion of the instructor, the student has performed at a level slightly higher or lower than the norm for that category.

A:   1. Excellent mastery of course material

      2. Student performance indicates a very high degree of originality, creativity,

          or both

      3. Excellent performance in analysis, synthesis, and critical expression, oral

         or written

      4. Student works independently with unusual effectiveness

B:   1. Good mastery of course material

      2. Student performance demonstrates a high degree of originality, creativity,

          or both

      3. Good performance in analysis, synthesis, and critical expression, oral or


      4. Student works well independently

C:   1. Acceptable mastery of course material

      2. Student demonstrates some degree of originality, creativity, or both

      3. Acceptable performance in analysis, synthesis, and critical expression, oral

         or written

      4. Student works independently at an acceptable level

D:   1. Deficient in mastery of course material

      2. Originality, creativity, or both apparently absent from performance

      3. Deficient performance in analysis, synthesis, and critical expression, oral

         or written

      4. Ability to work independently deficient

E:   1. Serious deficiency in mastery of course material

      2. Originality, creativity, or both clearly lacking

      3. Seriously deficient performance in analysis, synthesis, and critical expres-

         sion, oral or written

      4. Cannot work independently

The following grade point values are assigned: A, 4; A-, 3 2/3; B+, 3 1/3; B, 3; B-, 2 2/3; C+, 2 1/3; C, 2; C-, 1 2/3; D, 1; and E, 0.

In view of the many grades assignable and differences in faculty policies, every faculty member will explicitly declare criteria for grading to students in his or her courses and provide as much information as possible with respect to an individual student’s progress and the evaluation of the final grade assigned.

 A course assigned a grade of E does not add to the student’s total (course count) counting toward the minimum of 35 for graduation, nor does it serve in satisfying any other graduation requirement. The E is, however, a permanent part of the stu-dent’s record, is included in all calculations of his or her grade point average, and is shown on transcripts.

On May 23, 1994 the Faculty voted that transcripts and student grade reports should indicate, along with the grade earned, the median grade given in the class as well as the class enrollment. Departments may recommend, with approval of the Committee on Instruction, that certain courses (e.g., honors classes, indepen-dent study) be exempted from this provision. Courses with enrollments of less than ten are also exempted. At the bottom of the transcript there is a summary statement of the following type: ‘Exceeded the median grade in 13 courses; equaled the median grade in 7 courses; below the median grade in 13 courses; 33 courses taken eligible for this comparison.’ This provision applies to members of the Class of 1998 and later classes.

A student who has failed a course may elect it again. In this situation both of the grades are recorded and included in the cumulative average; only one course credit is earned. The same general principle applies to Credit/No Credit courses.

At the end of each term every undergraduate is supplied with a grade report list-ing the courses taken, the grade in each, the term and total overall course count, and the grade point average for the term and overall. This information is available on the Web at <>.

At the end of each term every student’s term and cumulative grade point average (GPA) are calculated. The GPA calculation includes solely courses taken at Dart-mouth on a regular A through E grading scale (GPA courses). The calculation uses quality points which are three times the usual grade values to prevent the accumu-lation of errors: an A counts as 12 points, A- as 11, B+ as 10, B as 9, B- as 8, C+ as 7, C as 6, C- as 5, D as 3, and E as 0. The GPA is the sum of the quality points divided by three times the GPA courses. This quotient is rounded to two decimal places.

The grade reports show alongside a course entry, when appropriate, an asterisk to indicate the intention of the instructor to award a citation. Citations are designed to procure an official record of information about undergraduates who have made particularly favorable impressions on members of the faculty because of their unusual talents, dependability, initiative, resourcefulness, or other meritorious characteristics that are not indicated adequately by academic grades. The actual statement of citation will be included in a student’s transcript whenever such is issued unless the instructor has failed to supply it at the time of issuance of the transcript or the student does not wish it to be included.

If a student has elected a course under the Non-Recording Option, the grade assigned by the instructor is shown, then the limiting grade selected by the student, and finally the officially recorded standing. If the assigned grade has at least matched the grade limit, the assigned grade becomes the official grade; if not, the standing ‘NR’ (Non-Recorded) is posted unless the assigned grade is E. Please consult the section on the Non-Recording Option (pages 95-97).

It should be noted that grades that are high enough to satisfy the various degree requirements may not be indicative of overall satisfactory progress and may lead to action by the Committee on Standards; consult the Student Handbook.

If an instructor decides to request a grade change, the written request with brief justification must have the signature of approval of the department chair and be forwarded in writing to the Registrar. No change will be made for course work completed after the term in which the course was offered, except in the case of an Incomplete. Normally, all requests for change of grade must be submitted by the instructor to the Registrar by the last day of the term following the term in which the course was taken. If the grade change is in response to a student appeal, the student must have initiated the appeal in writing to the instructor by the last day of the term following the term in which the course was taken. If the instructor decides to request a grade change as a result of a student appeal, the grade change request must be submitted by the instructor to the Registrar by the last day of the second term following the term in which the course was taken. No change of grade will be approved by the Registrar after the second term following the course.


There are various circumstances in which the final grade in a course cannot be submitted by the instructor during the usual period immediately following the end of the final examination period. Three different designations, I (Incomplete), ON (On-Going), or AD (Administrative Delay), may appear temporarily on the end of term grade reports and on transcripts, depending on the circumstances, as described below.

There is no grade of Incomplete. Incomplete is a temporary notation placed on a student’s record to indicate that the work in a course has not yet been completed and therefore a grade has not yet been submitted by the instructor. The assignment of Incomplete in a course may be made only by the Dean of the College upon request of the student and the instructor. Failure to complete a course on time with-out prior approval by the Dean will result in the grade of E. Generally speaking, an Incomplete is approved when there are circumstances that are judged to be beyond reasonable control by the student.

If the request is based on such an academic reason as an unanticipated difficulty in obtaining sources or the failure of a critical experiment, the student should con-sult first with the instructor. Approval by the instructor of the student’s request should be in writing and should set forth the circumstances. This document should then be sent directly to the Dean of the College.

If the request for an Incomplete is based on non-academic reasons (illness, unavoidable absence, etc.), the student should make it directly to the Dean of the College*, who will grant or deny the request after consultation with the instructor in the course.

All Incompletes are granted for a specific period to be established jointly by the student and the instructor with the concurrence of the Dean of the College. If the student fails to complete the work of the course within the agreed period and no extension is granted, the instructor reports the appropriate grade for the student based on the student’s performance, no credit being allowed for the fraction of the work not turned in. If the instructor fails to report a grade, the Dean, after consul­tation with the instructor, the department or program chairman, or both, may ask the Registrar to record the grade of E (or in courses offered on the Credit/No Credit basis, the final standing of NC). Extensions of time beyond the original deadline are granted only in exceptional cases. A request for an extension must be received by the Dean of the College before the established period has expired, and are granted or denied after consultation with the instructor.

 NOTE: All requests for the temporary standing of Incomplete must be received by the Dean of the College on or before the last day of the corresponding exami­nation period.

 The designation ON (On-Going) may be used on transcripts when the assign-ments of a single course necessarily extend beyond the limit of a single term. Examples of such circumstances are individual lessons in Music, which typically extend over three terms, or certain senior honors courses where the work in a pre-liminary course cannot be evaluated until a second course and/or a thesis or other project is completed. The designation of ON must be approved by the Department or Program Chair and designated as such prior to the first day of class. Students must be notified in writing at the beginning of the course by the professor that the final grade in the course will be delayed. For each course, the date when the final grades will be given, normally no later than the end of the following term, must be included in the request for use of the ON designation, and this date must be filed in the Registrar’s Office. Grades for any course not having such permission must be assigned at the end of the term in which the course is offered.

The designation AD (Administrative Delay) may be used on transcripts when the grades of one or more students in a course cannot be reported on time due to administrative or personal factors, but where the use of an Incomplete is not appro-priate. Examples of such circumstances are a serious illness of the instructor at the time grades are due or delays in receiving grades from Off-Campus programs. Requests for use of this designation, including an agreement on the date when the final grades will be submitted, will be made by the instructor or Chair to the Registrar.


Certain courses are offered on a Credit/No Credit basis. A student electing one of these courses receives a grade of CT (Credit) or NC (No Credit). A grade of NC is defined as failure to complete the course satisfactorily according to criteria to be announced by the instructor at the beginning of the term. Such a course will be counted, if the grade is CT, toward the minimum of thirty-five needed for gradua-tion and toward the General Education Requirement and similar requirements, should the course be in other respects eligible for such a purpose. If approved pre-viously, a Credit/No Credit course may be counted toward the Major Requirement.

Courses under this system carry no grade units and are not used in establishing a cumulative average. If a student receives a grade of NC, the course is recorded as such, and no increase in course count is achieved As in regularly graded courses, there can be a temporary standing of Incomplete; for amplification con-sult the previous section on Regularly Graded Courses.

While endorsing the system here indicated, the Faculty believes it necessary to ensure that students have on their records an adequate number of regular letter grades. A limit has been set for each student of overall eight final standings of CT, NC, NR, and E (the last standing only when assigned in an NRO course). Accord­ingly, the degree of use of ‘Credit/No Credit’ courses affects the election of courses under NRO and vice-versa. (If a student never uses the Non-Recording Option, or does so but always regains the eligibility temporarily invested, that stu-dent may accordingly elect as many as eight Credit/No Credit courses.)

The concept of essentially non-graded courses was developed mainly to offer an improved way of dealing with subject matter that is intrinsically ill-suited for grading. It may be applied, however, to any area when an instructor desires, pro­vided in every case that the authorization of the Department or Program offering the course has been obtained sufficiently in advance. An individual course may accordingly be offered in different terms as a regularly graded course or in the fashion described here. The publications normally used in the electing of courses, the appropriate Elective Circular, and, after the term starts, the Timetable of Class Meetings will give the list of Credit/No Credit courses for the given term. No change in either direction may be made after publication of the Elective Circular, and no individual student may be graded in a fashion different from the announced pattern.

 It should be indicated that in a given term all sections of a course offered that term in two or more sections must be offered under the same pattern: all must be regularly graded or all must be Credit/No Credit (with the pattern having been ear-lier announced, as indicated previously).

Students should be sure to recognize the differences between a Credit/No Credit course and a course taken under the Non-Recording Option, as described in the following section. A department or program sets the grading pattern for a Credit/ No Credit course. A student may elect a CT/NC course but may not determine the grading mode. However, the student does have the option to choose the Non- Recording Option unless the course has been placed ‘out of bounds.’


To support and encourage students who would like to elect courses that may pose greater than usual academic risk, the Faculty offers the Non-Recording Option (commonly, but erroneously, called ‘Pass-Fail’) to students who are not currently on Probation, Warning, or the first term following assignment of Risk (indications of academic deficiencies). Under this option, students may elect under certain conditions to exclude a grade in one (and only one) regularly graded course from the record in a given term, in the sense that the grade will not be shown on transcripts or included in the calculation of grade point averages. There is a regular grade, however, that is used internally to the student’s advantage or dis-advantage; for instance, a ‘non-recorded’ D will be counted toward the maximum of eight D’s allowable in the minimum course count for the degree and will make the student liable for academic action by the Committee on Standards. The grade of E invalidates the student’s election of the option while constituting the use of an eligibility; the E is recorded, and it is averaged normally.

Since various departments and programs, or instructors, believe certain courses are unsuitable for use of the option, a list of courses that are ‘out of bounds’ is maintained and published. Each of the four Elective Circulars issued lists the courses that are to be out of bounds in the corresponding term; the various editions of the Timetable of Class Meetings give the corresponding lists for the term just starting. Departments may not make any change following the printing of the Elective Circular for a given term, and are specifically enjoined from granting an exemption from the out-of-bounds status to an individual student. Along with numerous individual courses, all First-Year Seminars, all courses studied off-cam-pus, all beginning language courses (taken in satisfaction of the Language Requirement or prior thereto), and almost all graduate courses are out of bounds for application of the option.

Each undergraduate is allowed a maximum of three uses of the option that result in a standing of ‘Non-Recorded’ (NR); when a student has been assigned three NR’s he or she is no longer eligible to make any further use of the Non-Recording Option. It is possible to elect use of the option and do work in the course of such quality that the regular final grade is recorded. The regulations follow:

Within the first fifteen days (usually eleven class days) of a term a student who is not on probation or warning, or in the first term of ‘risk,’ and has elected an eli­gible course may file a card indicating use of the Non-Recording Option in that single course. (The student’s own NRO card for the particular term is available in the Office of the Registrar; the card must not be removed from the office.) At the same time the student will indicate on the card either the lowest letter grade he or she is willing to have recorded and used in averaging or the intention to have a final standing of NR (Non-Recorded). After the fifteen-day deadline the student may neither change the choice of course under NRO nor drop the use of the option unless he or she leaves the course (usually by replacing it with another, required permissions having been obtained).

At any time after this initial period, but not later than five class days before the last day of classes for the term, a student under the option may revise the original (or already altered) choice of lowest acceptable grade or of NR by making a new entry on the card.

A regular letter grade will be assigned by the instructor, who has not been informed which members of the class are under the option (although instructors are entitled to know how many students elected the option).

 There are three possible outcomes for a course under the option:

1. If the grade actually assigned by the instructor matches or surpasses the stu-dent’s final choice, it is entered and serves in all respects as a regular letter grade. The student regains the eligibility for use of the option he or she had temporarily lost.

2. Should the grade be lower than the student’s final selection (or should the actual choice have been NR), as long as the grade is not E, the entry on the stu-dent’s permanent record, or on transcripts therefrom, is NR. The letter grade is not used in computing any recorded grade average, but is available for internal use (e.g., in connection with the limit on the number of D’s allowable). The course is included in the student’s sum of credits toward graduation, but does not serve in partial satisfaction of the Distributive, World Culture, Interdisciplinary, or Major requirement. The student will have exhausted one of the quota of three eligibilities available during his or her career at Dartmouth. The standing of NR is permanent: requests to revoke it and reveal the letter grade originally assigned by the instruc-tor must be refused.

3. Should the assigned letter grade be E, this grade is recorded and averaged in the normal fashion no matter whether the student chose a grade or NR. The student receives no course credit and uses one of three NRO eligibilities.

 Most students will wish to file a card indicating, for instance, that a grade of B- or higher should become a regular grade, and thereby count in all respects, while restoring the use of the option. If a student wishes during the term, in effect, to can-cel a use of the option he or she should file a second grade limit of D; accordingly, any passing grade will have the ‘liberating’ effect of the B- mentioned in the pre-vious sentence; that is, the grade actually assigned by the instructor will be recorded and included in averages. A student may decide that B- is too high a tar-get, but be unwilling to have a grade lower than C posted; in that case the B- should be changed to C.

Students should note the crucial NRO dates (published in this bulletin and in the various time tables) for selecting the option (or changing the course chosen or withdrawing from the election of the option) and for altering the choice of grade. The Registrar does not grant extensions of either deadline for action for any but the most extenuating and compelling circumstances. Should a student withdraw from the course selected for NRO after the end of the initial fifteen days, he or she does not use the eligibility associated with the designated course, but is not able to make use of NRO in that term.

 The recording of NR is irrevocable. Students sometimes desire the release of the concealed letter grade, e.g., for use in a major, for general education credit, or for admission to a graduate school with possible advanced placement. Under the terms of the Non-Recording Option such is not permissible; requests must be refused. Students are accordingly advised against risking misuse of the option, as in the cases just mentioned. However, they may in effect‘withdraw’ from the use of the option by changing to a grade limit of D.

Uses of the option resulting in the standing of NR or grade of E (up to the max-imum of three) are included in the total of eight courses that may be taken Credit/ No Credit, or under the Non-Recording Option with the just indicated results.

 Final notes: A standing of NR prevents the course from being used for the Major Requirement or the World Culture, Interdisciplinary, or Distributive Requirement. However, prerequisite courses to the major may be taken under the Non-Record-ing Option.


Each year a number of students are admitted temporarily on a non-degree-can-didate basis, some for a one- or two-course load for a single term, others, mainly ‘College Exchange’ students, for a full load, normally for three terms. Possible candidates should consult the Assistant Dean of the Faculty, 103 Wentworth Hall.

While the degree regulations do not apply to Special Students, most of those applying to specific courses do; such students should note particularly the follow-ing section on ‘Working Rules and Procedures.’

During the summer term there is room for a number of qualified special students who may elect one, two, or three courses (on a partially prorated tuition basis). During the winter, listings of courses, along with information regarding tuition, room, and board, will be available. Requests for information may be addressed to Director of Admissions, Admissions Office, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. 03755.


Shortly after the start of the spring term every first-year student must file with the Registrar’s Office his or her enrollment preferences for the remaining (nor-mally) nine terms that permits, within a period of four academic years (or fifteen terms after matriculation), the satisfaction of the degree requirement of thirty-five courses passed. Routine changes in enrollment pattern may be made in the Office of the Registrar.

The deadline for making a change in enrollment pattern for any immediately fol­lowing term from R (for Residence) to another status is five weeks after the start of classes of the previous term, excepting that the deadline for making such a change for fall term is five weeks after the start of classes of the spring term. A student making such a change later will be charged one hundred dollars (see page 102), or if not until after the ninth day of the new term, two hundred dollars.

A change to Residence (R) for any term in which severe overcrowding is antic­ipated may be granted only provisionally (enrollment pattern of P) and require that the student find off-campus housing. A student wishing to take more than a year without being enrolled (more than four consecutive terms with enrollment patterns of only L or A) must withdraw from the College after the fourth such term. Inter­national students should consult with the International Office about implications for their status with the INS before initiating more than one leave term within the United States or before initiating a withdrawal.

A student desiring to file an enrollment pattern distributing the thirty-five courses over a period of five academic years (sixteen to nineteen elapsed terms), or to change a previously approved pattern to a new one of this type, must petition the Registrar; five-year patterns will not normally be approved until a student has progressed at least well into the sophomore year and has filed a major card. The Registrar will normally approve any appropriate pattern, provided that the student can make satisfactory progress toward the degree. The student’s department or program chair must certify that the proposed pattern will not jeopardize satisfac-tory completion of the major. Should a student wish to appeal a negative judgment of the Registrar, he or she may petition the standing subcommittee of the Commit-tee on Standards.

Every student is required to be in residence, registered and enrolled in classes in the fall, winter, and spring terms of the senior year (the fourth year after matricu-lation or the last year if a student is a later graduate). If a student is able, through some combination of advanced standing and extra-course terms, possibly with one or more transfer terms, to satisfy all other requirements in fewer than eleven terms (of residence [R], Dartmouth off-campus study [O], and official Dartmouth exchange programs [X]), the student is not subject to the senior residence require-ment. He or she may graduate on completion of all other requirements during the junior year or may attend, if preferred, in chosen terms of the senior year.

Students not able or intending to graduate in fewer than eleven terms must rec­ognize that the ability to complete all other requirements by the end of eleven or twelve terms does not free them from any part of the fall/winter/ spring senior res-idence requirement. Accordingly in planning and modifying their enrollment pat-terns students should be careful to be on leave sufficient terms in the sophomore and junior years to avoid having an overall twelve-term pattern when eleven terms would have sufficed, or a thirteen-term pattern when only twelve terms were required.

The summer off-campus FSP in Beijing or in Tokyo may be used in satisfaction of the summer residence requirement. Under special circumstances the Registrar may waive the requirement of a summer residence term, but no more than forty such waivers (including exemptions for three-term athletes) will be allowed for any college class. In appropriate cases the Registrar may allow the substitution of the earlier or later summer term if there is great academic or personal justification.

The vote of the faculty dealing with summer residence and also with senior year residence is:

‘All students are required to be in residence during the summer term that follows the sophomore year because the Dartmouth curriculum is being so designed as to take advantage of the presence of an entire class during that time, by, for example, offering special courses introductory to the major. Substitution of any other sum-mer term for the summer term following the sophomore year may be permitted for a particular student only when it can be demonstrated that such a change will sig-nificantly enrich that student’s academic program.

‘Complete waiver of the summer residence requirement, as distinct from a shift in summer, will be granted only in truly exceptional circumstances, such as signif-icant enrichment of the student’s academic program, cases of demonstrable seri-ous financial hardship, a serious personal or health problem, or participation in varsity athletics in the fall, winter, and spring terms of every year.

‘All students, except those requiring fewer than eleven terms to complete the degree, are required to be in residence during the fall, winter, and spring terms of the senior year. Exemptions from this senior year residence requirement will be made only when it can be demonstrated that such a change will significantly enrich the student’s academic program, as, for example, through participation for a term in a Dartmouth-sponsored Off-Campus Program, or to avoid a serious per-sonal or health problem.

‘All requests for a shift in the summer residence term, for a complete waiver of the summer residence requirement, or for a partial exemption from the senior year residence requirement must be made by written petition to the Registrar; senior waiver petitions must be accompanied by revised major cards. Participation in a Dartmouth-sponsored Off-Campus Program during the senior year will automati­cally qualify the student for a compensatory adjustment to the senior year resi­dence requirement if the Off-Campus Program is in the student’s major department. In all other cases petition must be made as described above. The Reg­istrar’s decision may be appealed to a subcommittee of the Committee on Stan­dards, as described in the Organization of the Faculty of Dartmouth College.