Skip to main content

Notice

Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Regulations (04-test) > Undergraduate (04-test) >

Working Rules and Procedures

1. Course Loads: The normal course load in each of the four terms of the aca-demic year is three courses. While two- or four-course loads are allowed within specified limits, no matriculated undergraduate may have in any term a load of fewer than two courses or may in any term take, or receive credit for, five or more courses. Any registered student not officially enrolled in at least two courses by the end of the tenth day of classes in a term is liable to administrative withdrawal. Should a student have what he or she believes is a compelling reason for adding a course after the tenth day, a petition may be addressed to the Registrar. The peti-tion must explain fully the circumstances that have arisen since the start of the term to cause the request, and must be accompanied by written permission from the intended instructor. For regulations regarding withdrawal from courses after the tenth day of classes see page 103.

a) Two-Course Loads: A student may have a two-course load in any three terms, as a maximum, during his or her college career. There is no reduction in tuition associated with the taking of a two-course load. (See the section on tuition reduc-tion, page 125, for possible exceptions involving disabilities.)

The end of the tenth day of classes of any term is the deadline for a student to reduce a course load from three to two or increase it from two to three. No change in either direction may be made after that date. See the first paragraph of this sec-tion for the possibility of filing a petition to add a course. There are no special restrictions as to the taking of Credit/No Credit courses or courses under the Non- Recording Option that apply to the course load chosen.

Election of a two-course load is intended to permit increased concentration of effort upon the student’s courses or to allow other unofficial academic effort. Although it is not necessary for a student to have at least one extra course credit accumulated before undertaking a two-course term, the election of a reduced load should not impair normal progress toward graduation.

b) Four-Course Loads: A student may without permission or extra charge under­take during a college career a four-course load up to a maximum of three times. Each qualifying student has until the end of the tenth day of classes of any term within the maximum of three to add a fourth course or to drop a fourth course elected after the start of the term. Note: It is not possible to elect four courses until the term in question has begun. If a fourth course is dropped later than the deadline specified, one of the three uses of this provision is thereby lost. A fourth course may be dropped until the end of the sixth week of classes. After that, the rules for withdrawal from courses apply.

A student who has already exhausted the quota of three four-course loads may undertake additional four-course loads only by permission of the Registrar; the student is charged extra tuition in the amount of one third of the normal (page 124). Such students should be sure to note that the decision to drop such a fourth course after the tenth day of classes does not result in full exemption from the extra tuition, but instead one reduced with time according to the tuition refund policy (page 130).

2. Election of Courses: After approximately seven weeks of each term every stu­dent scheduled to be enrolled as ‘R’ or ‘O’ elects courses for the following term. In elections of winter and spring courses all students make use of the newly issued Elective Circular, which updates this bulletin, and in the spring (or summer) the corresponding Elective Circular and the Prospectus of Courses. By fall the new edition of this bulletin in turn supersedes the Prospectus.

On occasion a student who has already taken and passed a course will elect it again, sometimes with the intention of improving upon the earlier performance. Such is not allowable unless the course is of the type in which a project is carried farther (e.g., Biology 87) or in which the content is different (e.g., French 10 in a different one of its listed forms). Violation of this regulation results in loss of credit and grade points for the second election. (Sometimes a student gains permission from the Registrar to elect such a course as the two just mentioned as a no-credit, grade-only, non-averaged third or fourth course. Such a course does not count in that term’s course load.) Students may not elect a course that has been renumbered but is wholly or effectively identical to one already passed; they should also make sure that a repetition in course number is not also a repetition in content that will lead to loss of credit.

Election of a course nearly equivalent to one for which course credit has been granted on entry, will entail loss of credit; please see page 115.

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

Full directions for electing courses are contained in the Elective Circular. Numerous courses have enrollment limits set prior to release of the Elective Cir­cular; others are limited as enrollments grow. If the demand exceeds the limit, stu­dents are enrolled according to priorities established by the offering departments. Dartmouth College reserves the right to cancel the offering of any listed course when the enrollment is fewer than five students.

A student must secure the written permission of an instructor in a course that requires permission. If unable to make contact with the instructor of such a course, a student may either select a course in which permission can be obtained (if needed) or may go ahead and elect the desired course without the specified per­mission. In either case electives must be filed by the normal deadline. Students who elect courses requiring permission and who have not obtained such permis-sion have approximately three weeks following the deadline to submit the permis-sion to the Registrar’s Office. After this three-week period, a student who has not submitted a permission card is dropped from the course roster of the course requir-ing the permission.

Many courses at the College have prerequisites, either in the form of prior course work, permission of the instructor, or both. It is the responsibility of each individ­ual student to see that he or she has met the requirements for each course elected. Failure to heed published prerequisites may place the student in an untenable posi-tion in the course. Effective in the 2003 summer term, an instructor may require a student to drop a course during the first eight class days of the term if the student lacks the published prerequisite courses.

Effective Fall 2003, an undergraduate student may request to take a course at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration provided the course is cross-listed by an Arts and Sciences department or program. The Committee on Instruction will deny an undergraduate student petition to take a course at the Tuck School of Business unless the course has been cross-listed.

Each term, students who have filed proper course elections for the following term may make changes in them through the last day of classes in the current term.

 Note concerning electing a course for credit versus auditing the course: Any student wishing to earn credit for a course offered at Dartmouth must elect the course for a term in which he or she will be registered (having the enrollment pat-tern letter R or O), paying tuition, and actually performing in that term the full nor-mal work of the course. Accordingly, it is not permissible for a student to do the work of a course when not registered and then elect it for credit in a later term when officially registered.

With the permission of the instructor, a student may choose to audit a course instead of electing it for credit. The student should not expect to participate in class discussion or laboratory work, or expect the instructor to read or grade any work the student undertakes. No formal record is kept concerning courses audited; the student may not call on the instructor to write letters concerning his or her accom-plishment or suggesting the quality of performance.

 3. Registration and Course Changes: At the beginning of each term, students must electronically check-in for the term using a process available from the ban­nerstudent home page. This process requires the on-line verification/update of the student’s local address and an enrollment commitment (check-in) for the term. The check-in process indicates for each student holds that may have been placed on registration due to failure to settle the tuition bill or Dartmouth Card account, file a major when due, or meet certain other College requirements. If holds exist, information is provided to indicate where and how to remove the holds.

The check-in process is available each term on the day before classes begin. Stu­dents are required to complete the check-in process (including clearance of any holds) by 4 p.m. on the third day of class for the term. A fifty-dollar charge will be made for check-in after this time. Students who are obliged to check-in late may petition the Registrar for waiver of this charge for good and sufficient reason. Any student scheduled to be in residence who has not completed the check-in proce­dure ten calendar days after the term begins is subject to administrative withdrawal from college immediately thereafter. Any student whose enrollment pattern calls for a residence term (R), but whose plans change, should be sure to change the pat­tern by the end of the ten days; otherwise he or she will be charged two hundred dollars (see page 98) instead of the previously indicated one hundred dollars (see the first Note in section 2 above).

 Beginning with the first day of classes, students are eligible to change courses at the Office of the Registrar. Each term a five-day period is available for the add­ing, dropping, or exchanging of courses or sections. In sectioned courses students have normally been placed, in accordance with Faculty wishes, in a section that will lead to as even balancing of section sizes as possible; the same practice must be followed when a student shifts into a sectioned course. As a consequence, no permission is normally needed if a student wishes to move from a larger to a smaller section; a shift in the opposite direction (including that involving initially equal sections) requires the permission in writing of the designated director of the course.

During the second five class days of a term a student may add or exchange courses by securing the written approval of the instructor of the intended new course. Students should note that the last day of this period is the tenth class day of the term, i.e., the final day to settle on a load of three or, if desired and allowable, two or four courses. Be sure to study carefully Section 1 (pages 99-100). Any stu­dent not officially enrolled, at the end of the tenth day of classes in any term, in at least two courses becomes liable for administrative withdrawal.

 After this second five-day period a student may exchange courses only by obtaining the written approval of the instructor of the intended new course, the written certification of the instructor of the course the student wishes to drop that he or she is not failing the course, and the written agreement of the Registrar to the overall change.

On May 29, 1995, the Faculty approved changes in procedures for dropping or withdrawing from courses. These procedures took effect with the 1995 Summer term.

Each term is divided into three parts with regard to the rules and procedures gov-erning course drops and withdrawals. The specific dates involved appear in the Calendar beginning on page 5 of this Bulletin. As the various deadlines are regu-lated by faculty policy and are consistently administered, students should be care-ful to be aware of them each term.

During the first ten class days of a term, as indicated above, students may drop courses as they please. Courses dropped in this period will not appear on the tran-script. For students taking four courses, as indicated on page 100, this period extends to the end of the sixth week; however, any student remaining enrolled in a fourth course after the end of the second week has used up one of his or her three allowed four-course terms without extra tuition, even if the fourth course is later dropped.

After this period, and until ten class days before the last class day of the term, students may withdraw from a course at their own discretion. They must, as a courtesy, notify their instructor of their intention, and obtain the instructor’s sig-nature on a course withdrawal card. This card must be filed in the Office of the Registrar on or before the withdrawal deadline. The course remains on the stu-dent’s transcript with the notation W for Withdrew. First-year students must also obtain the signature of one of the deans in the First-Year Office. Neither the instructor nor dean has the authority to forbid the withdrawal (excepting the case of first-year English and first-year seminar courses).

During the last ten days of classes in the term and subsequently, students must petition to withdraw from a course. Such petitions must be accompanied by a writ-ten response from the instructor in the course, and confirmation that the student has discussed the matter with his or her class Dean. It will be expected that almost none of these petitions will be approved except in the most extreme medical or other circumstances, arising after the deadline. Petitions are reviewed and approved or denied by a committee that meets weekly during this period. Students whose petitions are denied may appeal to the COS Subcommittee. Once the final examination period has begun, it will be assumed that students intend to complete their courses, and no course withdrawal requests will be accepted.

It is important to note that no student may have more than three terms in which he or she is enrolled in only two courses (courses from which the student has with-drawn do not count toward the course load). A student may never be enrolled in just one course.

At any time during a term, students may see on the Student Information System Web site at http://www.dartmouth.edu/bannerstudent/ the courses in which they are officially enrolled, as well as classrooms and instructors. Checking this source in the first two weeks of the term is advised in order to ensure that course elections officially on file match the student’s intentions.

4. Administration of Courses; Scheduling of Final Examinations; Pre-Examina­tion Break; Final Grades: Not later than two weeks after the start of each aca-demic term, every course instructor should provide students with a list of the papers, reports, examinations, and other requirements that are the components for a grade in the course, and the approximate dates on which the work is due.

By vote of the Faculty, effective the spring term of 1981-1982, during the last five days of classes of each term, no major tests or examinations may be given. Routine quizzes and drills may, however, be administered. Also by vote of the Fac­ulty, in every term there shall be a mandatory two-day break (Pre-Examination Break) between the last day of classes and the first final examination, during which no classes or tests may be scheduled. The academic calendar beginning on page 5 lists the various dates term by term. Because of the adoption of Memorial Day as a College holiday in 1998, the two days of the Pre-Examination Break in spring term will normally fall on Monday (Memorial Day) and the following Thursday, with final class days on Tuesday and Wednesday and examinations beginning on Friday.

Since problems sometimes arise in the reconciling of classroom and extracurric-ular schedules, the Executive Committee of the Faculty has established the regu-lations of the following three paragraphs:

‘Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Though academic sched­ules may sometimes conflict with College-sponsored or College-recognized extra­curricular events, there are no excused absences for participants in such activities. Students who participate in athletics, debates, concerts, or other activities should check their calendars to see that these events do not conflict with their academic schedules. Should such conflicts occur or be anticipated, each student is responsi-ble for discussing the matter with his or her instructor at the beginning of the appropriate term. Instructors may be accommodating if approached well in advance of the critical date.

‘Such accommodations can be made only when the conflict occurs because of a scheduled College-sponsored or College-recognized event. No participant should expect to be excused in order to attend a team meeting or orientation session, prac-tice session, meal, or other such activity.

‘No College-sponsored or College-recognized regular-season event may be scheduled during a Pre-Examination Break or a Final Examination Period.’

Effective fall term 2002, the Registrar announces the annual schedule of final examinations at the beginning of the academic year. The schedule is arranged so that any instructor can allow up to three hours for the final exam. If a student is scheduled to have two examinations in actual conflict or three examinations on a single calendar day, the student may seek relief from one of the instructors to take that examination at another mutually convenient time during the final examination period. Therefore, students should be prepared to be available for examinations through the last day of the examination period. It is not uncommon for a student to have two examinations on a single calendar day or three examinations in two days. In these circumstances, no adjustment should be expected.

 Whether regularly scheduled or ‘take-home,’ all final examinations occur dur­ing the announced examination period; no undergraduate may be either allowed or required to take any final examination prior to the start of the examination period. A student who is not able to take a final examination or otherwise complete a course on time due to illness or other compelling cause must work with the instructor and the Dean of the College Office to make arrangements for an Incom-plete well in advance of the examination or other deadline. Be sure to consult the section on standings of ‘Incomplete’ (page 92).

Whether or not there is a final examination, the instructor submits grades not later than four days after the end of the final examination period, subject only to the following stipulation: in those courses in which there is the requirement of a term paper or overall project, but no final examination, instructors may defer the required date for students to submit this work as late into the examination period as they may find convenient, provided that the final grades are nonetheless reported to the Registrar not later than four days after the close of the examination period. If, however, the paper or project is to be submitted prior to the beginning of the examination period, the final grades are to be reported not later than five days after the start of the examination period.

Several days thereafter, the Office of the Registrar posts grade reports (see pages 5-10). At that time, students may access their grades on the Dartmouth Student Information System at http://www.dartmouth.edu/bannerstudent/. The Sidecar/ KClient authentication system is required to ensure security. Should you wish to learn a grade prior to this you must obtain it from your instructor. By vote of the Faculty every instructor has the obligation to make grades available to the stu­dents; the instructor may leave grades with a secretary, ask you to supply a self- addressed postcard, or use any other convenient method that does not violate con-fidentiality. The Office of the Registrar will not supply these grades; such is done only in the case of standings of Incomplete for which grades have since been assigned.

The assignment of final grades is the responsibility of the instructor. A student who questions the appropriateness of a grade should confer with the instructor. If the instructor agrees, he or she will make a written request, with the approval and cosignature of the department/program chair, to the Registrar; the request must indicate one or more specific ways in which the student was done an injustice. A simple change of mind will not suffice. Should the Registrar not approve this peti-tion, the instructor may appeal to the Dean of the Faculty. If the instructor declines to request a change in grade, the student may seek aid in turn from the chair, the Associate Dean of the Faculty for the appropriate division, and the Dean of the Faculty; it is unusual for such appeal to go beyond the chair. All student appeals for change of grade must be initiated by the last day of the term following that in which the course was taken. 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 in grade may be made on the grounds of course work completed after the term in which the course was offered other than in the case of an official incomplete.

5. Election of a Major: As indicated under the Requirements for the Degree (page 74) every student is entitled to file a choice of major after the end of the first term of the first year and must do so by the end of his or her fifth term or, in some cases, immediately thereafter.

Students in residence (R) during the winter term of their second year must file their major by the second Thursday of spring term, whether or not they will be in residence that term. As a practical matter, most students who will not be enrolled in the spring term must file the major before leaving at the end of the winter. Stu­dents not in residence in their second winter will be required to file their major by the last day of class in their next term of residence. Since no student is required to file a major before the end of the fifth term of enrollment (R, O, and X all being included) in a few cases the deadline for filing is delayed from that indicated above until the end of the fifth term of enrollment is reached. Any student who does not meet the deadline for filing the major will be ineligible to register for any subse­quent residence term until a valid major card is on file at the Office of the Registrar.

Early in the appropriate term, every student required to file a major will be mailed a set of three identical major cards, giving the student’s name and estab­lished enrollment pattern, for indicating the type and field of major, the specific courses chosen, and the approval (by signature) of the chair of the department or program (or other authorized faculty member designated by the chair). In filling out the card the student and faculty member must be careful to list in the so labeled section the courses that are prerequisite to the major, whether already taken or in part still to come. In the main section for the actual major courses list exactly eight for a standard major (or nine or ten for one of the standard majors so requiring), or exactly ten for a modified major. One card is to be turned in at the Office of the Registrar; the others are for the student and the department.

Since most students will be filing a major early in the second spring term, the Prospectus of Courses is published just as students register for that term. This bul­letin shows the courses that are planned over a two-year period, and the terms and sequences in which they will be offered.

 Important Note: In working out your major with the department or program adviser you may find it necessary to modify the enrollment pattern shown on the major card mailed to you (which is identical to that you have on file). If you do modify the pattern, be sure to alter your official enrollment pattern card at the Office of the Registrar when you turn in your major card or within the next day or two. It is the official enrollment pattern card, and not a major card or any other document, that certifies your actual enrollment pattern.

Clearly, it takes a great deal of time and effort to work out a desirable major pro­gram, and the more individualized it is, the more thought, consultation, and pos­sible committee action will be required. Be sure to become familiar with the descriptions in this bulletin (pages 83-89). Highly structured standard majors, such as Engineering Sciences, and worthwhile individualized ones, although quite opposite in nature, are likely to require the earliest starts and most careful plan­ning. Bear in mind that most advanced and many elementary courses are offered only once a year, and that quite a few are offered only every other year. As indi­cated earlier, it is to allow the careful planning especially needed for the Dart­mouth Plan that this bulletin and the Prospectus of Courses cover a two-year period.

Frequently students are reluctant to sign up for a major because they do not feel sure enough that they are ready to make a suitable choice. They should not worry unduly in this respect: what is necessary is to make a start. Many students change to another major; there is no penalty of any sort for making a change, but note that students may not change major (or type of major) later than the first week of their last term in residence.

 As indicated earlier in this bulletin (pages 83-89), there are three main possibil-ities for majoring, namely, the Standard Major, the Modified Major, and the Spe-cial Major. You should be sure to review these descriptions. As suggested by the name, most students pursue a Standard Major as offered by most departments and programs. At this point some comments are offered concerning multiple majors.

Multiple Major: Many students major in two separate fields, often quite dissim-ilar, for instance, Theater and Government. To do so, the student must obtain agreement of the two departments (or programs, or one of each) and file with the Registrar a form signed by both Chairs. The culminating experience must be sat-isfied for both majors. In designing the dual major program, it is not possible to use any individual course as part of both majors (although a course may be part of one major and prerequisite to the other, or prerequisite to both majors). A student may start with one major and later add, through appropriate filing, a second. Either or both of the majors may be Standard, Modified, or Special. The student may at any time decide to return to a single major. Note that the regulation concerning the deadline for making a change of major (or type of major) is not intended to keep a student who has been carrying a dual major from dropping one major in the last days of the term preceding graduation.

6. Preparation for Graduation: A Dartmouth student of the Class of 1988 or later class is eligible for graduation at the end of any term in which he or she has completed at least six terms in residence with course count of at least thirty-five and the various other requirements listed on pages 70-74, including the comple-tion of the major as certified by the major department or program.

Students whose enrollment patterns indicate that they plan to receive the degree during the current academic year must apply for the degree. Students are annually notified of deadlines and instructions for this process. The student must indicate exact plans for completing the minimum 35 credits required, that is, by what com­bination of R, O, X, and T study the total will be achieved. Students who have studied elsewhere and failed to supply a suitable transcript of credits eligible for transfer, and certain others, may not be approached since they do not appear to be current degree candidates. It is up to them and to any student who wishes to grad­uate at other than the usual time to inform the Office of the Registrar and his or her major department of this intention. No student who has failed to apply for the degree will be graduated.

 Students are advised not to study off-campus or to plan to transfer credits in their last term, particularly if it is the spring term: the only acceptable evidence of work performed is a Dartmouth faculty grade report or an official transcript in the case of transfer credits. Students who do hope to transfer credits in time for grad-uation must, therefore, order a transcript at the earliest possible date.

 It is the duty of each student to keep track of progress in completing the various requirements. The Office of the Registrar maintains a degree audit report for each student that is available from the Bannerstudent home page. The audit indicates the current standing of the student with respect to each degree requirement (other than those pertaining to the major).

 FINAL NOTES: No student may graduate who has any course recorded as incomplete, ON, or AD, no matter how large the course count. The problem may be resolved by normal completion of the course or conceivably by a drop without penalty if authorized by the Registrar and if the final course count is still at least thirty-five. Otherwise the course may be assigned the grade of E without credit, provided again the final course count is still adequate. Note, however, the follow-ing regulation:

A student not in good academic standing as a result of his or her performance in the last term of enrollment preceding intended graduation, but otherwise eligible for graduation, may graduate only with special approval of the Committee on Standards.