Catalogue PDF Version

Catalogue - PDF Version

For more information about policies and procedures, visit the Office of the Registrar.

The faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges has oversight of the curriculum and the classroom experience and insists that students undertake all academic exercises with the utmost honesty and integrity. This principle of academic integrity lies at the heart of our learning community and forms the foundation for everyone's academic efforts.

Starting with adherence to the principle of academic integrity, the individual student bears responsibility for their own education and must undertake all academic work with complete honesty and integrity. As well, each student must do their best to assure that this principle extends to all others in the community. Categories of academic work covered by the principle of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Examinations: Giving or receiving assistance during an in-class or take-home examination, quiz, or any other academic exercise, except as specifically authorized by an individual course instructor, violates this principle.
  • Papers: The presentation or reproduction of ideas, words, or statements of another person as one's own, without due acknowledgment, is considered plagiarism and violates this principle.
  • Library Use: Failure to sign for materials taken from the library, destruction or theft of any library materials, and similar abuses of library privileges infringe upon the rights of other students to fair and equal access and violate this principle.
  • Reports and Laboratory Exercises: Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance and the fabrication of data or research results violate this principle.
  • Computer Use: Any deliberate attempt to prevent other users' access to computer services, deprive them of resources, or degrade system performance violates this principle. The use of programs or files of another computer user or the use of another person's account number or password without permission also violates this principle. Failure to attribute the source for any information or writing derived from any computer source (database, website, internet, etc.) and incorporated in any academic work submitted is also a violation.
  • Advising and Registration Forms: Forging an advisor's signature or altering any signed document will result in the student's de-registration. The student will not be allowed to re-register until the advisor has approved any changes. Any student suspected of forgery of any faculty or administrator signature may face disciplinary action by the student's dean or the Committee on Standards, a faculty, student, and administrative committee charged with enforcing the academic and behavioral expectations of the Colleges' community. (For more information about the Committee on Standards, please review the Disciplinary Process section of the Handbook of Community Standards.)

Academic dishonesty is determined in every case by the evidence presented and not by intent. Questions of intent and circumstances under which an infraction occurred may be considered in determining a sanction. For more information on plagiarism, please see The Handbook of Community Standards.

Student Information

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The maintenance and disclosure of education records are regulated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Education records generally include files, documents, and material in whatever medium (handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, and microfiche) maintained by the Colleges or by a party acting for the Colleges, which are directly related to students. This policy will be interpreted consistent with FERPA and does not expand upon or diminish any rights provided under FERPA.

Education records do not include:

  • Records of instructional, supervisory, administrative, and certain educational personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and used only as a personal memory aid, and which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record;
  • Records created by a law enforcement unit of the institution, which are maintained solely for law enforcement purposes and not disclosed to individuals other than law enforcement officers of the same jurisdiction;
  • Records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution, which are made and maintained in the normal course of business, relate exclusively to individuals in their capacity as employees, and are not available for use for any other purpose. (By contrast, records of individuals in attendance at the Colleges who are employed as a result of their status as students are education records, e.g., work-study.);
  • Records relating to a student who is 18 years of age or older, which are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional to be used solely in connection with the provision of the treatment to the student; and not disclosed to anyone other than individuals providing such treatment; and
  • Records created or received by the institution after an individual is no longer a student in attendance, and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.

Guide To Release of Student Information. Hobart and William Smith Colleges use the highest standards of reasonableness both in providing students access to their records and in assuring the confidentiality of these records in terms of their release to third parties.

Directory Information. The Colleges may release directory information about a student without prior permission. Directory information is defined as certain information contained in an education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of a student’s privacy if disclosed. Hobart and William Smith Colleges has designated directory information, according to the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended, to be the student's:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Class/year level
  • Dates of attendance
  • Date of graduation
  • Degree and major, awards or honors received
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended by the student
  • Date and place of birth
  • Activities list
  • Height and weight of athletes
  • Photograph

The above information may be released by the Colleges at any time to any persons or agencies deemed to have a legitimate interest. Students have the right to limit disclosure of directory information. Students are given the opportunity during the course-registration process to check the accuracy of any directory information maintained by the Colleges and to restrict the right of the Colleges to release the directory information listed. Such requests must be filed annually (by the third week of fall semester classes) or through the student self-service system via the HWS PeopleSoft website. (See "Campus Personal Information" and click on "FERPA Restrictions")

Restricted Information. Generally, the Colleges will not release information in a student’s education records to third parties except at the written request of the student or as required or permitted by law. The following categories of information are considered confidential information and cannot be released to a third party without written consent from the student. The written consent must indicate which records are to be released (including copies of grade reports), to whom and for what purpose.

  • Student ID numbers (SSN or College ID)
  • Courses elected
  • Schedule of classes
  • Student’s gender
  • Grades, academic evaluations, GPA, number of courses completed
  • Academic transcripts
  • Information directly relating to a student that is not specified as "Directory Information"

There are, however, exceptions to this release policy. Federal law allows the Colleges to release education records under specified circumstances, without the permission of the student, to certain external parties (e.g., government offices, accrediting agencies, the College Entrance Examination Board) and to certain internal Colleges personnel with a legitimate educational interest in the information. Among other things, the Colleges may disclose education records without written consent of students to the following:

  • School officials determined to have a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the Colleges in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the colleges has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing their tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility.
  • Officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled, on the condition that the issuing institution makes a reasonable attempt to inform the student of the disclosure; in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid.
  • Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of educational agencies or institutions, to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs, or to improve instruction;
  • Accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
  • Parents of a student who have established the student's status as a dependent as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (parents may be required to show proof of the student’s dependency by submitting a copy of their income tax statement).
  • In compliance with judicial orders or lawful subpoenas. In such cases, the Colleges will first make a reasonable effort to notify the student of such lawful order or subpoena before the records are released (unless otherwise specified according to the provisions outlined in FERPA regulations § 99.31(9)(ii)).
  • Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

Notification of Rights Under FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the Colleges receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the registrar or dean written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. There is no charge for this service; however, if a student wishes a copy of any records and the College permits copying, a fee to cover the cost of copying will be charged.

The following are exceptions of education records that students may not inspect: confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation placed in the student’s education records prior to January 1, 1975; financial information provided by parents or guardians; or any recommendations written after January 1, 1975, to which the student has waived (in writing) the right of access.

If the education records of a student contain information about other students, the requesting student may inspect and review or be informed of only the specific information about that student.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.

A student who wishes to amend any portion of their education records should write to the Colleges' official responsible for keeping the record in question, clearly identify the part(s) of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. (Students may challenge the accuracy of a recorded grade, but not the legitimacy of the grade per se.)

If the Colleges decide not to amend the record as requested by the student, the Colleges will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. The student will have the right to appeal the decision to the Committee on Standards. The members of this committee will be convened promptly, and the student will be given their decision in writing by the Vice President for Campus Life or their designee. At the hearing, the student has the right to be represented by any member of the Colleges community. If the decision of the Committee on Standards is unfavorable to the student, the Vice President for Campus Life or designee will inform the student of their right to insert a comment about or an explanation of the record in question in their own file. The Vice President for Campus Life or designee will also inform the student of their right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education. If the Committee on Standards recommends that the record in question be amended, the amendment will be made promptly and the student will be given a copy of the revised record. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that §99.31 of the FERPA regulations authorize disclosure without consent (see above).
  2. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Hobart and William Smith Colleges to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)

Chosen Primary Name, Gender, College-Affiliation and Pronoun
Hobart and William Smith Colleges recognize that their students may identify themselves with names other than their legal names and/or have gender identities and/or use pronouns different from their sex assigned at birth. The Colleges also acknowledge that a chosen primary first name, gender, and/or pronoun should be used whenever possible in the course of a student’s education to ensure a supportive academic and living environment that will facilitate a healthy and welcoming educational and personal experience for all students at the Colleges. Therefore, consistent with its general practices for amending other students’ records, the Colleges will permit use of a chosen name, chosen primary name, gender, and/or pronoun, provided that such use is not for the purpose of misrepresentation.

Students wishing to have a chosen first name appear on course rosters (for faculty and coaches), their student and faculty-facing PeopleSoft systems, and in other Colleges-systems such as internal health records (to the extent possible), student conduct records, and housing records may submit their Chosen Name on their PeopleSoft student center. But doing so will only change the student’s chosen name in those systems and will not affect their transcript, diploma, e-mail, directory listing, or student identification card.

Chosen Primary Name. Students wishing to have a chosen first name as their primary name which would appear in addition to the places above, may register their Chosen Primary Name. Students who are applying to or enrolled at the Colleges who have a chosen primary name may complete the Chosen Primary Name, Gender, College-Affiliation and Pronoun Request form found on the Registrar’s page. The Chosen Primary Name will be reflected on all internal records of the Colleges, including, but not limited to, course rosters (for faculty and coaches), student and faculty-facing PeopleSoft systems, internal health records (to the extent possible), student conduct records, housing records, the students’ Colleges identification card, directory listing, e-mail, official transcript, and diploma unless the student has requested both a new Chosen Primary Name and a Chosen Name—in such cases, the Chosen Name (treated as a nickname) will override the Chosen Primary Name but the Chosen Primary Name will still appear on transcripts and diplomas. Please note that some of the records used by the Colleges’ systems (such as Payroll (including tax documents), Financial Aid, external health records used when communicating with insurance or other providers, and VISA records) are required to carry legal names and thus are unable to accommodate any name other than the student’s legal name. Students who have listed a chosen primary name different from their legal first name, but who still prefer to have their legal first names and/or biological or legal sex appear on their official transcripts and diplomas, may complete another Chosen Primary Name, Gender, and Pronoun Request Form at least 6 weeks prior to graduation to register a new Chosen Primary Name (such as the student’s legal first name and/or biological or legal sex). The Registrar’s Office will send a reminder each semester for students to confirm their chosen primary name.

Gender and/or College Affiliation. Students may list a gender other than their legal sex on the Chosen Primary Name, Gender, and Pronoun Request Form. Their gender identity will be reflected in all Colleges’ systems. Students who change their gender may choose to change their college affiliation (Hobart or William Smith) in order to better match their gender identity. Choosing to change College affiliation may result in a new Dean’s Office assignment.

Chosen Pronoun. The use of a chosen personal pronoun provides one way for students to identify themselves and their gender identity/expression. Gender and/or chosen pronouns will appear on course rosters and in other educational records. Pronouns do not appear in the Campus Directory. You can expect your Chosen primary name, gender, and chosen pronoun to be honored within the Colleges’ community with other students, faculty and staff.

Registering a Chosen Primary, Gender, College-Affiliation, and/or Chosen Pronoun. In order to notify the Colleges of a Chosen name, gender, College-affiliation, and/or pronoun, students may complete a Chosen Name, Gender, and Pronoun Request Form (https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?HWSColleges&layout_id=50) and submit it to the Registrar’s Office or fax it to 315-781-3920.

Students who wish to request a chosen primary name, College-affiliation, gender, and/or chosen pronoun should consider submitting such requests together, as failure to do so will result in use of the gender and pronoun typically associated with the legal name and/or legal sex of record until the student submits a request for their preference.

Please be advised that changing your name and/or gender in the Colleges’ student records is not the same as legally changing your name and/or sex through the courts (or in the case of sex, through a birth certificate in some states) and you may be challenged when you are asked to provide proof of your legal name and/or identity for employment or government purposes, such as obtaining a passport.

Any student requesting a chosen name, gender, and/or pronoun who does not want the Colleges to share their legal name with external organizations can request a FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) directory exclusion, which revokes the Colleges’ right to share any of the student’s information with any outside source. Requesting a FERPA exclusion means that the student will not be listed in the directory and the Colleges cannot confirm the student’s status (e.g., for the purposes of credit card and insurance verifications, etc.). In addition, please note that there are some exclusions to FERPA that require the Colleges to disclose chosen primary names, Chosen names, as well as any previous names, such as to Homeland Security, and local, state, and federal law enforcement. For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office located in Demarest, 315-781-3651. Please note that it is not possible for a student to change to a Chosen primary name in the Colleges’ system and simultaneously be listed by their legal name in the directory.

The Colleges encourage students to give serious consideration to the request to use a chosen name, gender, and/or chosen pronoun. Inappropriate use of this policy, as determined by the Vice President for Campus Life, may be cause for denying the request. Individuals are free to select their Chosen primary names, gender, College-affiliation, and/or chosen pronoun provided that it is not for the purpose of misrepresentation (using inappropriate names or using the process to avoid a legal obligation).

Enrolled students who wish to change their legal name and/or biological sex on Colleges records, may follow the process for changing a legal name and/or sex on official Colleges records.

Previous Students, Alumni, and Alumnae. Students who have transferred or withdrawn from the Colleges, alumni, and alumnae seeking to change their legal name and/or sex on Colleges’ records, follow the process for changing a legal name and/or sex on official Colleges’ records. Information on changing legal information can be found here (http://www.hws.edu/offices/registrar/gender_policy.aspx).

Residency

Course Load Policy
The normal course load for Hobart and William Smith students is eight full-credit courses in an academic year, evenly distributed across the two semesters. Students in good academic standing may take three, four or five courses in any particular semester. Enrollment for a fifth course must occur during the drop-add period (first week of classes) and be processed on PeopleSoft Student Self-Service. Students should be aware that 32 total credits are required for graduation, and therefore an average course load of less than four courses in any semester may lengthen the time required to complete the degree requirements and to graduate. Students who have fallen behind in credits must submit to their dean an academic recovery plan that they have created in consultation with, and approval by, their academic advisor.

Good academic standing will be defined as maintenance of a minimum GPA of 2.0 (C), while accruing seven courses passed in the First Year, 15 by the end of the Sophomore Year, 23 by the end of the Junior Year, and 32 by the end of the Senior Year.

Course withdrawals carry no penalty but do not diminish the minimum requirements for the degree. Tuition remains the same if a student takes three, four, or five full credit courses in a semester. Additional tuition will be charged for more than five full credit courses.

Credit Hour and Out of Class Supplemental Work
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are on a course unit system. Students are required to successfully complete 32 full credit units for a degree. Each full credit course carries 1.00 unit and is equivalent to 4 semester hours.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges comply with the New York State definition of semester hours. (See: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/core-regs-task3.docx) The expectation of the Provost and Dean of Faculty is that for every hour of in-class instruction, students spend an average of 2-3 hours outside of class working on supplementary assignments. At HWS, that means that one course requires at least 45 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 120 hours of supplemental assignments.

Full-Credit Requirement
A minimum of 30 of the required 32 courses presented in satisfaction of the Colleges’ graduation requirement must be full-credit courses. At least 28 of these courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than four half-credit courses can be counted towards the 32 courses.

Senior Standing
All students must have passed at least 22 courses to enter their senior year.

Academic Residency Restrictions
All requirements for the degree must be completed by the end of the student's 10th semester in residence. If requirements are not completed at that point, the Committee on Standards will review the student, with permanent separation the likely outcome.

Leaves of Absence
Leaves of absence may be granted for personal growth or to participate in academic programs not sponsored by Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Approval of the student's dean is required. The Colleges are not obliged to accept toward the degree coursework for which prior tentative approval had not been procured.

Policies governing medical leaves of absence are different and explicated in The Handbook of Community Standards.

Transfer and Course Credit for Non-HWS Learning Experiences

There are three types of credit granted for non-HWS learning experiences: credit by exam, transfer credit, and dual enrollment. First-year HWS students who are not transfer students are allowed to receive up to seven full credits for non-HWS learning experiences completed prior to beginning at HWS, including all transfer credit, credit by exam, and dual enrollment courses. Students may additionally receive transfer credit for courses taken at another institution after they have started their program at HWS, for a total of sixteen transfer credits all together. All current HWS students should obtain required departmental and faculty approvals prior to registering for non-HWS courses using the Transfer Credit Request form. Students who transfer to HWS from another school may be granted a total of sixteen credits for prior non-HWS learning experiences (transfer, credit by exam, and dual enrollment) that meet all criteria. No student will receive more than a total of sixteen credits for non-HWS learning experiences. There are additional specific limits to the numbers of credits that can be earned for each type (described below).

The courses and exams for which credit is granted must be distinct from the courses taken at HWS. That is, credit will not be granted for a learning experience that is substantively the same as a course taken while at HWS. Credit previously granted may be removed should a student subsequently take a similar course. Discretion to exclude credit on this basis belongs to the department chair.

Transfer Credits
Transfer credit may be granted for college-level courses completed at another institution prior to beginning study at HWS. Transfer students may be granted up to sixteen credits for work completed at another institution. Entering first-year students may be granted up to seven credits for courses taken elsewhere. Transfer credit may also be granted for college-level courses completed after an HWS student has begun their study at HWS. Please note that once a student is matriculated, approval from a dean and any relevant faculty department/program chairs and/or advisors must be obtained (in writing) in advance of the transfer courses being taken. To make this request, students may use the Transfer Credit Request form.

Transferred courses fulfill general elective requirements and may be counted toward the thirty-two credits required for the degree. These credits may additionally be used to satisfy major and minor requirements, but only with the expressed approval of the individual department or program. The use of transfer credits to satisfy prerequisite requirements for other parts of the curriculum, or to satisfy any of the eight goals, also requires approval by the individual departments or programs.

Courses taken at another institution through an approved HWS program, such as Global Education, are not considered transfer credits and do not require transfer approval for general credit. However, they may require departmental approval to be used to address a major or minor requirement.

Transfer credit is granted only after receipt of an official transcript from the other institution, and only courses passed with a grade of C- (1.7) or better are accepted. When transfer credit is awarded, grades for the courses do not appear on the HWS transcript and are not calculated as part of a student’s grade point average (GPA).

Please note these additional restrictions on the awarding of transfer credit:

  • Courses must be taken at a regionally accredited institution, must be in the liberal arts, and must have content relevant to the current academic departments at HWS.
  • Only letter-graded courses may be transferred. Courses taken pass/fail or credit/no credit are ineligible for transfer.
  • Only courses of three or more credit hours are eligible for transfer credit. There can be no partial transfer credit or "bundling" of partial credits or credit hours toward a full credit transfer course.
  • To receive transfer credit for courses taken outside the U.S. a student must submit a course-by-course evaluation by an evaluation service that is a member of either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES) or the Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE).
  • HWS does not accept credit for NOLS or Semester at Sea.
  • EMT courses are not generally accepted. However, if an EMT course has substantial academic content (e.g., the EMT course taken at Finger Lakes Community College), a student may submit a syllabus along with their transcript for review by the Chair of the Health Professions department.

Credit by Exam
HWS recognizes established credit by examination programs and grants general elective credits for up to seven credits for incoming first-year students as outlined below. These credits may additionally be used to satisfy major and minor requirements, but only with the expressed approval of the individual department or program. The use of credit by exam credits to satisfy prerequisite requirements for other parts of the curriculum also requires approval by the individual departments or programs. Credit by exam courses may not be used to satisfy any of the eight aspirational goals required by the curriculum. Students must request that their scores be sent from the institution administering the exams directly to the Colleges; scores cannot be taken from the student’s High School transcript or personal copy.

Advanced Placement (AP). Admitted students who have earned a score of four or five on an Advanced Placement test may receive general elective course credit toward graduation in accordance with published guidelines of The College Board. Additionally, some AP exams are considered equivalent to HWS courses and may be used toward major or minor requirements and prerequisites in the same manner as the equivalent HWS course. See the table below. Generally, each exam with a score of four or five represents a semester of work and will count for one course credit. Examinations that cover a full year’s work allow a student to earn two credits.

Exam Name

# of Course Credits

Equivalent HWS Course(s)

AP 2-D Art and Design

2

At discretion of Department

AP 3-D Art and Design

2

At discretion of Department

AP Art History

2

1 100-level Art History course credit and 1 general elective credit

AP Biology

2

BIOL 167 with score of 5, General Elective for a score of 4

AP Calculus AB

1

Math 130

AP Calculus BC

2

Math 131

AP Chemistry

2

General Elective

AP Chinese History and Culture

1

General Elective

AP Comparative Government & Politics

1

General Elective

AP Computer Science A

1

CPSC 124

AP Computer Science Principles

2

General Elective

AP Drawing

2

At discretion of Department

AP English Language and Composition

2

General Elective

AP English Literature and Composition

2

General Elective

AP Environmental Science

1

General Elective

AP European History

2

General Elective

AP French Language and Culture

2

General Elective

AP German Language and Culture

2

General Elective

AP Human Geography

1

General Elective

AP Italian Language & Culture

1

General Elective

AP Japanese Language & Culture

1

General Elective

AP Latin

2

General Elective

AP Macroeconomics

1

General Elective

AP Microeconomics

1

General Elective

AP Music Theory

2

General Elective

AP Physics 1

2

At discretion of Department

AP Physics 2

2

At discretion of Department

AP Physics 3

2

At discretion of Department

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

1

At discretion of Department

AP Physics C: Mechanics

1

At discretion of Department

AP Psychology

1

Psychology 100

AP Spanish Language and Culture

2

General Elective

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

2

General Elective

AP Statistics

1

General Elective

AP United States Gov and Politics

1

General Elective

AP United States History

2

General Elective

AP World History: Modern

2

General Elective

College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The Colleges participate in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of The College Board. CLEP is a credit by examination program which provides students with the opportunity to earn course credits by taking CLEP exams in a variety of fields corresponding to the HWS curriculum. The HWS credit-granting score is 50 or higher on a CLEP exam, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). Students are allowed a maximum of four CLEP course credits.

International Baccalaureate (IB). Hobart and William Smith Colleges recognize academic work taken toward the International Baccalaureate program and grants credit for specific performance levels on the exams for higher-level (HL) courses. The amount of credit is determined after an official copy of results has been received by the Dean's Office. Guidelines for the granting of credit are comparable to those for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, with scores of 5, 6, or 7 on HL exams generally receiving credit.

The Regents College Examination Program (RCE). The Colleges participate in the Regents College Examination Program which is administered by the State University of New York, State Education Department. RCE is a credit by examination program which provides students with the opportunity to earn course credits by taking exams in a variety of fields corresponding to the Colleges' curriculum. The Colleges' credit-granting scores/grades on RCE exams are as follows: for a numerical standard score, 53 or higher; for a letter grade, A or B only. The Colleges do not award course credit for RCE exams taken for a Pass/Fail grade. Students are allowed a maximum of four RCE course credits.

It is the obligation of the student to apply for the examination to the Regents College Examination Program, New York State Education Department, Albany NY, 12224.

General Certificate of Secondary Education Advanced Level (GCSE A-Level). Hobart and William Smith Colleges award two credits for each A-level exam passed at the grade of C or higher. An official copy of the results must be sent to the Colleges’ Office of the Registrar.

Dual Enrollment
Dual enrollment (DE) credit is defined as college credit earned during a student’s high school experience prior to high school graduation. Examples of dual enrollment courses are those taken through the Gemini Program of the Geneva City School District and the Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) program. Students may request credit for up to seven dual-enrollment courses toward the thirty-two credits required of the degree. DE course credits may additionally be used to satisfy major and minor requirements, but only with the expressed approval of the individual department or program. The use of DE credits to satisfy prerequisite requirements for other parts of the curriculum also requires approval by the individual departments or programs. DE course credits may not be used to satisfy any of the eight aspirational goals required for the degree.

Students may submit any dual enrollment course for review for transfer credit. Once approved for general elective credit, and possibly credit toward a major or minor, the individual course is recorded on the Dual Enrollment List of Pre-Approved Courses (below). Courses on this list may be used by subsequent students without further review. Courses not on this list can also be submitted for review.

Dual Enrollment List of Pre-Approved Courses

Institution

Course

Credits at Transfer Institution

HWS Accepted Credit

Bergen CC

HIS 112 - US History Since Reconstruction

3

General Elective

Bergen CC

PHY 185 - Intro to Physics

 

Equivalent to PHYS 140

Bronx CC

BUS 10 - Intro to Business

3

Elective in MGMT

Bronx CC

POL 11 - American National Government

3

General Elective

Elon University

BIOL 106 - The Science of Life

3

Equivalent to BIOL 150

Elon University

CLA 181 - Classical Mythology

3

Major or Minor in Classics

Elon University

PHIL 110B - What Can We Know?

3

Equivalent to PHIL 100

Finger Lakes CC

BIO 110 - Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology

3

General Elective

Finger Lakes CC

COM 100 - Human Communication

3

General Elective

Finger Lakes CC

ECO 100 - Survey of Economics

3

Equivalent to Econ 160

Finger Lakes CC

HIS 100 - Early Western Civilization

3

General Elective

Finger Lakes CC

HIS 206 - N. American Indian History/Culture

3

General Elective

Finger Lakes CC

SPN 101 - Spanish I

3

Equivalent to Span 101

Finger Lakes CC

SPN 102 - Spanish II

3

Equivalent to Span 102

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

HIST 086 - Intro to World Civilization

3

General Elective

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

MAT 260 - Precalculus

5

General Elective

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

MATH 227 - Statistics

4

General Elective

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

MUS 101 - Fundamentals of Music

3

General Elective

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

POL 001 - Government of United States

3

General Elective

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

SOC 001 - Introduction to Sociology

3

General Elective

Los Angeles Harbor Coll.

SPAN 021+SPAN 022 - Fundamentals of Spanish I and II

3

Equivalent to SPN 101

Mohawk Valley CC

MATH 108 - Concepts in Mathematics

3

Equivalent to MATH 100

Mohawk Valley CC

MATH 110 - Elementary Statistics

3

General Elective

Mohawk Valley CC

PS 101 - American Government

3

General Elective

Onondaga CC

ENG 104 - Freshman Composition and Literature II

3

General Elective

Onondaga CC

HIS 106 - An American History, Part I: 1800-1900

3

General Elective

Onondaga CC

HIS 107 - An American History, Part II: 1900-Modern Decade

3

General Elective

Onondaga CC

MAT 143 - Pre Caluclus with Trigonometry

4

Equivalent to MATH 100

Onondaga CC

MAT 161 - Calculus I

4

General Elective

Onondaga CC

PSY 103 - Intro to Psychology

3

Equivalent to PSY 100

Siena College

PHYS 110 - General Physics IA

4

General Elective

Siena College

PHYS 120 - General Physics IIA

4

General Elective

SUNY Oswego

French 0336 - French 4

3

Equivalent to FRN 201

SUNY Oswego

SPA 201 - Intermediate Spanish

3

Equivalent to SPN 201

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

CHE 113 - Forensic Science

4

General Elective

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

ECN 203 - Economic Ideas and Issues

3

General Elective

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

MAT 221 and 222 - Elementary Probability and Statistics I and II

4/each

Equivalent to PSY 201

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

MAT 295 - Calculus I

4

Equivalent to MATH 130

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

PAF/PST 101 - Intro to the Analysis of Public Policy

3

General Elective

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

SOC 101 - Intro to Sociology

3

Equivalent to SOC 100

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

WRT 105 - Studio I Academic Writing

3

Equivalent to WRRH 100

Syracuse Univ. SUPA

WRT 114 - Writing Culture

3

Equivalent to ENG 190

Thomas College

MS 205 - Pre-Calculus

3

Equivalent to MATH 100

Thomas College

MS 231 - Calculus I

3

Equivalent to MATH 130

Thomas College

MS 232 - Calculus II

3

Equivalent to MATH 131

Thomas College

SC 215 - Dual Enrollment Biology

3

General Elective

Tompkins Cortland CC

BIOL 101 - Principles of Biology I

3

General Elective

Tompkins Cortland CC

BIOL 102 - Principles of Biology II

3

General Elective

Tompkins Cortland CC

CHEM 101 - Principles of Chemistry I

4

Equivalent to CHEM 110

Tompkins Cortland CC

CHEM 102 - Principles of Chemistry II

4

General Elective

Tompkins Cortland CC

SPAN 201 - Intermediate Spanish I

3

Equivalent to SPN 102

Univ. at Albany

AART 144 - Photography and related Media

3

General Elective

Univ. of Pittsburgh

PS 0200 - American Politics

3

General Elective

Univ. of Southern Maine

HTY 141 - African American History through 1865

3

100-level History course

Univ. of Southern Maine

MAT 152 - Calculus A

3

Equivalent to MATH 130

Westchester CC

BIOL 121 - Anatomy and Physiology

4

General Elective

Academic Day Schedule – Effective Spring Term 2024

Chart

Class Periods

Period

Days

Times

Duration of Meetings

Meetings per Week

Contact Hours per Week

C1

MWF

8:30 am - 9:30 am

1 hr

3 times

3 hrs

C2

MWF

9:40 am - 10:40 am

1 hr

3 times

3 hrs

C3

MWF

10:50 am - 11:50 am

1 hr

3 times

3 hrs

C4

MWF

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

1 hr

3 times

3 hrs

C5

TR
and F

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
1:10 pm - 2:10 pm

1 hr

3 times

3 hrs

C6a

MW

8:00 am - 9:30 am

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C6b

MWF

8:00 am - 9:30 am

1.5 hrs

3 times

4.5 hrs

C7

MW

1:10 pm - 2:40 pm

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C8

MW

2:50 pm - 4:20 pm

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C9

MW

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C10

TR

8:40 am - 10:10 am

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C11

TR

10:20 am - 11:50 am

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C12

TR

1:10 pm - 2:40 pm

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

C13

TR

2:50 pm - 4:20 pm

1.5 hrs

2 times

3 hrs

 

Labs

Period

Days

Times

Duration of Meetings

Meetings per Week

Contact Hours per Week

L1

M

9:40 am - 12:40 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L2

M

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L3

M

7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L4

T

8:40 am - 11:40 am

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L5

T

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L6

W

9:40 am - 12:40 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L7

W

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L8

W

7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L9

R

8:40 am - 11:40 am

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L10

R

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

L11

F

9:40 am - 12:40 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

 

Seminars

Period

Days

Times

Duration of Meetings

Meetings per Week

Contact Hours per Week

S1

M

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

S2

M

7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

S3

T

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

S4

W

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

S5

W

7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

S6

R

1:10 pm - 4:10 pm

3 hrs

1 time

3 hrs

 

Education Seminars

Period

Days

Times

Duration of Meetings

Meetings per Week

Contact Hours per Week

ED1

T

7:30 am - 8:30 am

1 hr

1 time

1 hr

ED2

R

7:30 am - 8:30 am

1 hr

1 time

1 hr

 

Dance Studios

Period

Days

Times

Duration of Meetings

Meetings per Week

Contact Hours per Week

D1

MWF

9:40 am - 11:10 am

1.5 hrs

3 times

4.5 hrs

D2

MWF

11:20 am - 12:50 pm

1.5 hrs

3 times

4.5 hrs

D3

MWF

1:10 pm - 2:40 pm

1.5 hrs

3 times

4.5 hrs

D4

MWF

2:50 pm - 4:20 pm

1.5 hrs

3 times

4.5 hrs

D5

TR

2:50 pm - 4:50 pm

2 hrs

2 times

4 hrs

 

Art Studios

Period

Days

Times

Duration of Meetings

Meetings per Week

Contact Hours per Week

A1

MW

9:40 am - 12:25 pm

2.75 hrs

2 times

5.5 hrs

A2

MW

1:25 pm - 4:20 pm

2.75 hrs

2 times

5.5 hrs

A3

TR

8:55 am - 11:40 am

2.75 hrs

2 times

5.5 hrs

A4

TR

1:25 pm - 4:20 pm

2.75 hrs

2 times

5.5 hrs

Registration

Registering for Courses
All students are encouraged to register on days and times specified and published by the Registrar. However, class or scheduled laboratory time may not be used for the purposes of registration. No registration is accepted after the fifth day of classes, and students who have not registered are asked to leave campus. Students who fail to meet their financial obligations to the Colleges may be denied registration or deregistered from classes. (See "General Payment Schedule" in the Tuition and Expenses section below.)

All students are required to consult with their faculty advisors prior to registration. If a student registers for a course without meeting all prerequisites and without written approval of the advisor, their enrollment in the course may be canceled at any time by the instructor offering the course. Students declare their course selections via the online registration system or by submitting a registration form signed by their faculty advisor.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges reserve the right to cancel any course without prior notice should minimum enrollment not be reached, or staffing situations necessitate it.

Deregistration
Students may be deregistered from a course prior to the first day of classes if they have already received credit for the course through advanced placement or transfer credit from another institution. Students may also be deregistered from courses prior to the first day of classes if they have not met the required financial obligations to the Colleges at that time or made arrangements with the Student Accounts Office to do so. In the event of deregistration, re-registration is on a space available basis, and students may not be able to re-enter the courses for which they were previously enrolled. Deregistered students who have been cleared by the Student Accounts Office may attempt to reregister into their original class schedule before the first day of classes. Students are urged, therefore, to resolve all financial responsibilities within the established deadline.

Students may be deregistered from a course if they do not have the required prerequisites for course entry.

Dropping and Adding Courses
Students may drop and add a course during the first five days of class via the online registration system or in person with an add/drop form. No signatures are necessary to make changes during the add/drop period unless the student needs permission to enroll, does not meet pre-requisites, or is being overloaded into a class. Registrations and student class schedules are finalized at the end of the five-day drop/add period. Students are accountable for all courses for which they are enrolled from that point on, and those courses are reflected on the permanent academic transcript. If a student has attended a course in which they were not properly registered, no credit or grade is recorded. If a student stops attending a course but fails to drop or withdraw properly, a grade of "F" may be assigned by the instructor of the course and recorded on the permanent academic transcript.

Under certain circumstances, changes may be allowed beyond the add/drop period. Half credit courses may be added/dropped with the approval of the instructor(s). Half credit courses may be dropped until the end of the eleventh week of classes with the approval of the instructor(s). Students seeking to only add a full credit course beyond this period require the approval of their instructor for the late add. Normally any full credit course dropped beyond the add/drop period will require the student to withdrawal (voluntary or authorized – see the dean of the College) from the course. If the student receives dean's approval to swap (add/drop) beyond the add/drop period, the student will need the additional approval of the instructor of both the class to be added and the class to be dropped, as well as the approval of their advisor.

For a voluntary withdrawal, students only need the permission of their dean. Authorized withdrawals go through the Committee on Standards and require input from the instructor of the course and the student's dean.

Course Audit Policy
Matriculated HWS students and current faculty/staff who wish to audit a class must obtain approval from the instructor offering the class. This approval must be granted either using the Course Audit Registration Form or an email from the instructor to the Registrar's Office. Matriculated students can only audit one class in a given semester and no more than four course audits during their undergraduate career; there are no limits to the number of courses a faculty/staff member can audit. There is no additional tuition for matriculated students or current faculty/staff who register to audit a course.

Non-matriculated HWS students who wish to audit a class must obtain approval from the instructor offering the class. This approval must be granted either using the Course Audit Registration Form or an email from the instructor to the Registrar's Office. There is a nominal fee to audit a course as a non-matriculated student More information can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

The following conditions apply when auditing a course:

  • Audits may be added only during the add/drop period of the semester.
  • Audited classes carry no credit and do not apply toward graduation requirements, or enrollment status.
  • Students and faculty/staff auditing a course are not expected to submit any work for the course unless the instructor requires it as part of the auditing arrangement.
  • The instructor of an audited course is not expected to grade any work from an auditing student, nor track an auditing student's participation or attendance.
  • Auditors cannot change a course from an audit to a graded course (including CR/DCR/NC) at any time during the semester they are auditing the course.
  • The instructor of record reserves the right to de-register an auditor at any time.
  • A notation of "AUD" will appear on auditors' transcripts for audited courses.

Repeatable Courses
Courses may be designated "repeatable" if they are fundamentally creative and/or experiential in nature, such that student performance is cumulative or held to a progressively higher standard of expectation across successive registrations and/or the content of student experience is substantially different with each offering of the course. Repeatable courses are identified as such in this Catalogue, subject to any published limit which may be established by the sponsoring department. Additionally, students may elect to take an Independent Study (450) without limit. Each registration of such courses carries full credit and is calculated independently in a student's grade point average.

Special Topic Courses
Courses designated as "Special Topics" may vary in content by semester or by instructor. Each unique offering is considered an independent course and ordinarily carries a title extension indicating the topic in a given term. Each carries full credit and is calculated independently in a student's grade point average.

Credit Bearing Internships
Students may earn course credit for an internship experience in two ways:

  • Half Credit Internship - Students may register for a half-credit (.50) internship INT 199. The INT 199 credit- bearing internship course registration allows students to receive half credit for an approved internship. Half-credit internships must include a minimum of 85 hours, of which at least 60 must be on-site contact hours, and supplemental activities regarding the experience as required by the faculty advisor. Students may receive financial compensation for their internship, including wages. A maximum of two INT 199 internships may count toward graduation requirements. Students should meet with their faculty advisor to discuss the internship, and to make sure all required documentation has been submitted and received. Once their advisor has approved the internship, students should bring the form to their dean for final approval. An evaluation from the site supervisor should be sent to the advisor after the internship is completed, and the advisor will submit a grade. Any international student doing an INT 199 must have the signature of approval from the Director of International Students Affairs.
  • Full Credit Internship - Some programs and departments offer a 499 full credit (1.00) internship course. Students may receive financial compensation for their internship, including wages. Full-credit internships must include a minimum of 170 hours, of which at least 120 must be on-site contact hours, and supplemental activities regarding the experience as required by the faculty advisor. Students should meet with their faculty advisor to discuss the internship, and to make sure all required documentation has been submitted and received. Once their advisor has approved the internship, students should bring the form to their dean for final approval. An evaluation from the site supervisor should be sent to the advisor after the internship is completed, and the advisor will submit a grade. Any international student doing an internship must have approval from the Director of International Students Affairs. 

Students are advised to be in close contact with their advisor as they plan their internship experience.

Attendance
The faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, recognizing the responsibility of the individual student for their own education, assumes class attendance to be crucial to academic success at the Colleges. This responsibility is three-fold:

The Colleges: No student shall be suspended or refused admission because they are unable to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement because of religious obligations and practices. The Colleges accept responsibility for making available accommodations for students who wish to observe their religious observations or participate in their religious practices. The course instructor will provide each student who is absent from class because of religious obligations and practices an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement missed because of such absence. It is the student's responsibility to communicate to the instructor, in a timely manner, their intention to observe. The student must consult with the instructor regarding an alternative time and place for an examination or other academic exercise. No fees shall be charged to students for costs incurred in providing special classes, examinations, or work requirements. The deans and provost will jointly mediate any difficulties between a student and a faculty member in implementing any appropriate accommodation.

In effecting these provisions, the Colleges' administration and faculty agree to exercise the fullest measure of good faith and agree that no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who avails themself of the Colleges' policy on religious observances.

It is not institutional policy to provide medical excuses when a student has been absent from class.

Regarding incompletes and absences from final examinations, either a student's dean or the instructor may allow an incomplete based on coursework, but only a dean can excuse a student from a final examination. Incompletes and excuses from final exams are given normally only for reasons beyond the student's control. In this instance, the dean communicates with both the student and the instructor of the course.

The Faculty: Each faculty member is responsible at the beginning of the semester for announcing in writing their attendance policy and the effect that absences may or will have on a student's final standing and grade in the course. Each instructor respects the time allotted other academic and extracurricular exercises by not rescheduling academic exercises for which attendance is required. Rescheduling classes at times other than those published by the registrar causes conflict with other regularly scheduled classes and activities. Should it be necessary to meet at non-regularly established times, the instructor of the class provides an alternate opportunity for making up the rescheduled meeting if a student requests it. Faculty members may require additional activities, such as individual conferences with the professor, attending symposia, films, etc. Faculty members should include a schedule of such additional activities in the syllabus at the start of the semester.

Student Responsibility: Students are expected to attend all their regularly scheduled classes, laboratory periods and other academic exercises. Should an absence from regularly scheduled academic exercises be unavoidable (beyond a student's control), it is the student's responsibility to communicate with the professor, preferably beforehand, concerning the absence. Individual faculty members have the authority to drop students from a course for non-attendance on the first class day, unless the student has made prior arrangements with the dean or has extraordinary circumstances. The Deans cannot excuse a student from class. However, at the request of the student, the student's Dean or designee may convey to the faculty information about personal emergencies, including medical illness, faced by the student when the student is unable to convey the information themselves. Students are advised that absence from class, for whatever reason, does not excuse them from meeting course requirements and objectives. Students who register for a course and fail to attend for the remainder of the semester (without properly dropping or withdrawing from the course) may be issued a grade of ‘F' for non-attendance.

When a conflict exists between the attendance policy of an instructor and the student's planned extracurricular activities, the student must decide where their priorities lie before enrolling in the course. By remaining in the course, the student agrees to accept the attendance policy set by the professor.

Intercollegiate Athletics and Post-Season Competition. The Hobart and William Smith Faculty recognize that intercollegiate athletics is an activity endorsed and supported by the Colleges. Whenever a student represents the Colleges in post-season competition, and such representation occurs when the student is scheduled to complete an academic activity or requirement (test, lab, paper, assignment, etc.), or attend class, the professor will permit the student to complete that academic activity or requirement at some other appropriate time or place under appropriate supervision. Immediately upon notification of the post-season competition, the Dean of the student's College will circulate to the faculty a list of students entitled to such an accommodation for the required academic activity or requirement and students will consult with their faculty members regarding an alternative time or place for the academic activity or requirement. The Deans will resolve any difficulties in implementing this accommodation.

The policy governing the relationship between athletics participation and academic requirements is founded upon several premises. First and foremost, students’ academic work and participation take precedence over athletics participation. A second premise is that the Colleges value the benefits of intercollegiate activities for participants and the Colleges’ community and consequently support strong athletics programs. Finally, as members of a shared community, faculty, coaches, and student athletes can and will operate within a spirit of cooperation. All these following policy guidelines are in accord with NCAA Division III rules:

  • The director of athletics will arrange the schedules of competition to minimize missed class time.
  • Coaches may not require student-athletes to miss class to attend practices or meetings with the exception of NCAA Championship competition.
  • Coaches will advise student-athletes of the schedules of competition prior to registration in order to help student-athletes choose classes that minimize class conflicts and, at the same time, maintain the integrity of their academic needs.
  • Faculty members will announce class attendance policies and other requirements at the beginning of their courses.
  • Faculty members will generally avoid the situation where the only opportunity for a student to make up a test or complete a required activity outside of the regularly scheduled class or designated evening hours occurs.
  • Student-athletes are responsible for making arrangements for completing any work missed because of an athletic competition.
  • Participation in post-season, tournament competitions necessitates prompt notification by the athletic director to the Dean of the student’s college. The Deans will circulate to faculty a list of students and encourage attendance flexibility on the part of the faculty.

Grading

Grades
Students' transcripts include a record of each course taken at the Colleges.

For the purpose of calculating grade point averages, the following designates the numerical values of various grades: A+ = 4.3; A = 4.0; A- = 3.7; B+ = 3.3; B = 3.0; B- = 2.7; C+ = 2.3; C = 2.0; C- 1.7; D+ = 1.3; D = 1.0; D- = .7; F = 0. Courses taken "CR/DCR/NC" are not calculated in the GPA. For the purpose of review, a grade of CR indicates course work was C- or better. A grade of DCR indicates course work sufficient for credit for the degree, but lower than a C-. A grade of NC indicates work lower than a D- and is not sufficient for credit towards the degree.

Change of Grading Option
All courses are to be offered as graded only with the exception of those approved by the Committee on Academic Affairs (CoAA) to be offered as CREDIT/D-CREDIT/NO CREDIT only. A full-credit course may only be changed to a CR/NCR/DCR grading option after the course is completed and the instructor has submitted a final letter grade to the Registrar. Students may change from a letter grade to a CR/DCR/NCR grade anytime between when their letter grade is posted until two weeks after the deadline for Incomplete grade submissions. For courses taken in the Fall semester, students would have until the eighth week of the Spring semester to make a change. For courses taken in the Spring semester, students would have until the end of the fourth week of the Fall semester to make a change. Seniors in their final semester will be able to change their grading option up until the end of the eleventh week of the same semester they are taking the course.

A student may change a full credit course from a letter-graded option to a CR/DCR/NC graded option by submitting a form, approved by the student's advisor, to the Registrar under the timelines mentioned above. However, students may not change a full credit course from a letter-graded option to a CR/DCR/NC graded option if they stand accused of a violation of the principle of academic integrity or if they have been found responsible for such a violation. Students also may not change a course they are repeating to a CR/DCR/NC grading option, unless that course is designated as a Topics course and they are taking a different topic than the one they were previously enrolled in.

Changing a full credit course from letter-graded option to CR/DCR/NC graded option is not reversible. Once the action has been taken, the change is final and no petitions to the Committee on Standards will be allowed, unless a student is petitioning to use the course toward a major and/or minor. The Change of Grading Option policy limits students to a total of four CR/DCR/NC grades.

Students entering HWS prior to Fall 2018. The academic policy governing grading options is different for students who began their program prior to fall 2018. Students in this category are bound by the policy outlined in the catalogue associated with their matriculation year.

Grade Appeals
The assignment of grades remains in all cases the final responsibility and prerogative of the instructor, subject only to the Colleges' policies on authorized withdrawals and changes of grade, as described above. Disagreement with or disappointment in an instructor's evaluation of their work may not be considered grounds for a student's request for reconsideration of a grade. A student may petition that the grade awarded in a course be reconsidered, if the student believes that (1) a computational error exists, (2) that the instructor has not arrived at the grade in a way consistent with the evaluation of other students' work, or (3) that the instructor has deviated from the stated grading policy for the examination or course. The appeal procedure is as follows:

  • A student considering such an action must first consult with their dean. The dean will consult with the instructor and attempt to assist in resolving the student's concern. Normally, this involves a review/reconstruction of how the student's final grade for the course was determined by the course instructor. If the dean is unable to resolve the difficulty directly with the instructor, the dean will consult the department chair or program coordinator, who will enter into dialogue with the instructor.
  • In the event that the dean is unsuccessful in resolving the student's concern, that student may submit their request to the chair of the Committee on Standards. The chair will determine if there are grounds for a referral to the Committee for a grade appeal hearing. In the event of a grade appeal hearing, the Committee may, at its discretion and after consultation with the student's dean, instructor, and advisor, ask the instructor formally to reconsider their computation of the grade if it feels that adequate grounds for reconsideration may exist. If the instructor agrees to reconsideration or the Committee is convinced that the instructor has adequately met the student's concerns, the matter ends there. If the instructor declines such reconsideration, the Committee may, at its discretion, forward a formal report of the case to the dean of faculty for the dean's information.
  • If the instructor does not respond to a request for information within one month or, when a case arises at the end of the semester, until the end of the fourth week of the following semester, the chairperson of the department or program can consult with the student's dean and work with the Provost to evaluate the student's work and consider revising the grade. All decisions by the Provost are final.

Grade Changes
No student is permitted to submit any academic work, examination, or revision of previously submitted work with the intent of affecting a grade change after a final grade has been entered by the instructor to the Registrar's Office. An instructor may change a grade only when a computational error exists. Such changes must be submitted to the Dean's Office for approval. Subsequent to the submission of a final grade, a grade may be changed in only two ways, both of which require appropriate documentation: (1) to an alternative grade, by an instructor and with the approval of the student's dean, when a computational error has been made; or (2) to a retroactive authorized withdrawal, in very extraordinary circumstances, by the Committee on Standards, acting in consultation with the student's instructor, advisor, and dean. Approved retroactive authorized withdrawals will be communicated immediately to the student's advisor and instructor. (Forms for the retroactive authorized withdrawals are available in the Deans offices.) All requests for retroactively withdrawing from a course, petitions for retroactive grade changes, or petitions for a retroactive change of grade status must be made within a calendar year from the last day of the semester of the course in question.

Course Withdrawals
There are two kinds of course withdrawals. The voluntary course withdrawal and the authorized course withdrawal. The authorized course withdrawal is available to students only under exceptional circumstances beyond their control. All requests for retroactively withdrawing from a course, petitions for retroactive grade changes, or petitions for a retroactive change of grade status must be made within one calendar year from the last day of the semester of the course in question.

Voluntary Course Withdrawal. A voluntary course withdrawal may be performed by a student at any time up to and including the last day of classes of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the course. However, spring semester seniors will only have until the end of the 11th week of classes to withdraw from a course so that graduation requirements can be finalized. Students will be allowed to take four (full-credit) voluntary course withdrawals provided the action would not reduce the student's net course count below -2. For a voluntary course withdrawal not allowed by the above process, the student must petition the Committee on Standards. Students will be required to obtain a signature from the Office of Financial Aid prior to any other signatures on the course withdrawal form to ensure there are no unanticipated financial aid consequences. A course withdrawal from the Maymester or Summer Session will not count as a voluntary withdrawal or toward the total number of voluntary withdrawals. If the voluntary course withdrawal is in order, it is communicated immediately to the student's advisor and instructor. Students may not use a voluntary course withdrawal if they stand accused of a violation of the principle of academic integrity or if they have been found responsible for such a violation.

Authorized Course Withdrawal. With the exception of the four voluntary course withdrawals described above, withdrawal from any course after the first five days of class, and prior to the due date for the semester's grades is granted only for serious and compelling reasons beyond the student's control. A student seeking to withdraw under such circumstances must petition the Committee on Standards (COS). COS makes its decision based on input from the student (rationale), input from the course instructor, and documentation of any extenuating circumstances, as appropriate, e.g., input from a health care provider. Approved withdrawals are communicated immediately to the student's advisor and instructor.

Course withdrawals under this policy, either voluntary or authorized, carry no penalty, do not diminish the minimum requirements for the degree, and do not reduce tuition charged for that semester.

Students who are not approved for either voluntary or authorized withdrawal remain enrolled in the course and will receive a grade. Students who register for a course and fail to attend for the remainder of the semester (without properly dropping or withdrawing from the course) may be issued a grade of ‘F' for non-attendance.

Incompletes
The incomplete, or "I", is a temporary grade indicating that a student has been granted permission by the instructor or the dean to complete work for a course after the end of the semester without penalty. A request for an incomplete must be supported with a credible account of the student's problem and with documents (a note from a physician, for example) wherever appropriate. An instructor may grant an incomplete for any part of the semester's work except the final examination; only a dean can excuse a student from a final examination.

It is understood by both the student and faculty member that when an incomplete is granted, the student is responsible for submission of work and the faculty member is responsible for submission of the final grade by the deadlines listed below. When a faculty member includes an "I" grade on the grade roster they will also be required to submit the "current" letter grade for the course, calculated including all incomplete work for the course, along with comments indicating what work is incomplete. The student's transcript will show an "I" for the course either until they complete the remaining work or until the deadline for incompletes passes. Once the completed work has been graded by the faculty member a final grade will be indicated on the transcript. If the deadline passes without an updated grade, the transcript will reflect the "current" letter grade submitted at the time of the incomplete. For fall semester incompletes, it is required that all outstanding student work be completed and submitted by the fourth week of spring semester and the final grade submitted by the faculty member to the registrar by the end of the sixth week. For spring semester incompletes, it is required that all outstanding student work be completed and submitted by the end of the fall semester drop/add period and the final grade submitted by the faculty member to the registrar by the end of the second week. In the event the student does not complete the outstanding work for the incomplete, the student's grade earned in the course will be determined by the professor, and will include zero credit for any assignments that were not completed (e.g. if the missed assignment is worth 20% of the final grade, the student would receive a zero for that assignment, and the final grade would include that zero score).

An extension in time to complete the work may be granted if a petition is submitted to the appropriate dean's office on or before the deadline. An accepted petition is an agreement between the student and faculty member that the work will be completed and graded by a specific time and allows the grade to be changed from "I" to the grade earned. Any student who takes more than two incompletes over three consecutive semesters is reviewed by the Committee on Standards.

Course Repeat (Does Not Apply to ‘Repeatable Courses’)
Students may repeat courses in which they have earned a grade below a C-. Courses with a grade of C- or better may not be repeated. The deans will not approve any exceptions. The student's permanent transcript records each time a course is taken, including the grade. In computing the student's GPA, the highest grade will be used. Courses repeated at other institutions and transferred to the Colleges are not included in the GPA nor are they treated as HWS course repeats. Repeated courses count only once toward the 32 courses required for graduation. Courses can only be repeated for a letter grade and not for CR/NC/DCR. The letter grade will be used when repeating a course with any instance of the course having earned a grade of NC or DCR.

Academic Standing

How to Calculate Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade

Quality Points

A+

4.3

A

4.0

A-

3.7

B+

3.3

B

3.0

B-

2.7

C+

2.3

C

2.0

C-

1.7

D+

1.3

D

1.0

D-

0.7

F (Failure)

0.0

GPA is calculated by first summing the earned Quality Points and dividing by the total Graded Course Credits.

  • Quality Points= points awarded based on grade received times the credit that each course is worth.
  • Graded Course Credits= graded course credits that count toward the degree.

1.1.1.1          Example:

Course

Course Credit

Graded Course Credit

Quality Points

ENG 214 Victorian Poets

1.00

0.00 CR

0.000

HIST 228 African-American History II

1.00

1.00 B+

3.300

HIST 231 Modern Latin America

1.00

1.00 B

3.000

HIST 327 Central America and the US

1.00

1.00 A-

3.700

TERM TOTALS:

4.00

3.00

10.00

TERM GPA: 3.330 (Total Quality Points (10.00) divided by Graded Course Credit (3.0) = 3.330 GPA)

Note the following grades are not calculated as part of the grade point average:

  • CR = Credit (Passed with C- or better)
  • DCR = Passed with a D+, D, or D- grade
  • NC = Not sufficient for credit toward the degree (Prior to 2012, NC included courses passed with a D+, D, or D- grade)
  • AW = Authorized course withdrawal
  • SAW = Special authorized course withdrawal due to COVID
  • VW = Voluntary course withdrawal
  • W = Withdrawn from course(s) and left College
  • I = Incomplete

Academic Standing and Progress to the Degree
Students are expected to make normal, or satisfactory, progress toward the degree. Any student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0 (C) at any point, or whose semester average falls below 1.0, or whose course count (CC) falls below the benchmark for their entering class (four courses per semester times the number of semesters the class has been enrolled), will come up for review by the Committee on Standards, with the following likely outcomes of their review:

  • Academic Warning is the likely outcome when a student's semester average falls below 2.000, but above 1.000.
  • Academic Probation is the likely outcome of a first review when a student's cumulative grade point average is lower than 2.0. Students placed on academic probation are expected to be in good standing (2.0 GPA) within two semesters.
  • Continued Academic Probation is the likely outcome of a review when a student previously on academic probation has been successful in removing part of the deficiency, but not the entire deficiency. Students on continued academic probation are expected to be in good standing (2.0 GPA) by the end of their next semester. Suspended-Academic is the likely outcome of a review when a student earns less than a 2.0 term average while on academic probation or continued academic probation. A student may also be suspended for academic reasons when they fail to gain good standing (2.0 GPA) after being on continued academic probation, or if they earn less than 1.0 for the semester, regardless of the student's cumulative average.
  • Dismissal is the likely outcome of a second academic suspension, either for academic deficiency or social conduct or a combination of the two. Any student dismissed from the Colleges loses their standing as a matriculated student and may not receive a Hobart or William Smith degree.
  • A student who fails a First-Year Seminar, or an approved substitute, for a second time, is reviewed by COS, with the likely outcome that the student will be permanently separated from the Colleges.

Transcript Notation Policy for Crimes of Violence
Pursuant to New York State Education Law, Article 129-B § 6444.6, if a student is found responsible through HWS' conduct process for crime(s) of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act (20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII) ("Clery crimes of violence"), the Vice President for Campus Life and/or their designee will direct that a notation be placed on the student's transcript.

Where the sanction is a suspension, the following notation will be used: "SUSPENDED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION."

Where the sanction is expulsion, the following notation will be used: "EXPELLED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION."

If a student respondent withdraws from HWS while such HWS conduct charges are pending for allegation(s) related to Clery crimes of violence, and the student declines to complete the student conduct process, the Vice President for Campus Life and/or their designee will direct that the following notation be placed on the student's transcript: "WITHDREW WITH CONDUCT CHARGES PENDING."

Students who withdraw from HWS and decline to complete the student conduct process forfeit any right to resume the conduct proceedings at any point in the future.

Conduct charges are considered "pending" once a student is informed in writing that there are allegations that the student may have violated HWS's Code of Conduct.

Further Appeals. A student whose transcript states "SUSPENDED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION" may appeal, in writing, to the Vice President for Campus Life to have the notation removed. Appeals may be granted if:

  • One year has passed since the conclusion of the suspension;
  • The student has completed the term of suspension and any conditions thereof;
  • and the Vice President for Campus Life and/or their designee has determined that the student is once again "in good standing" with all applicable HWS academic and non-academic standards.

A student whose transcript states "EXPELLED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION" or "WITHDREW WITH CONDUCT CHARGES PENDING" is ineligible to appeal to have the notation removed. Students who were expelled or withdrew with such notifications on their transcripts will leave HWS with the status "not in good standing" and will be ineligible for readmission to HWS, absent any vacating of a finding of responsibility.

If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed.

Graduation and Commencement

Baccalaureate Candidacy
All students must have submitted to their advisor an acceptable Baccalaureate Plan to be admitted to Baccalaureate Candidacy and their senior year. The Baccalaureate Plan records those educational goals and requirements the student has addressed and how the student proposes to meet those not addressed, including plans for completing all majors, minors, and goals.

Conferral Dates
Degrees are conferred three times each year. In May degrees are voted and conferred on students who complete their requirements in the spring semester. Students who complete over the summer have degrees conferred in August and students who complete their requirements during the fall semester have degrees conferred in January. Commencement in May is meant to celebrate all students who graduate in August, January, and May together in one ceremony.

Once a student has graduated, no changes may be made to their academic record. This includes changes to the grading basis, grade changes (including incompletes), or changes to majors or minors.

Commencement Exercises
Commencement exercises are held annually at the end of spring semester. Students are recommended for a degree upon completion of requirements pertaining to their class. A student who has a 2.000 GPA and who is within two courses of completing all outstanding degree requirements is allowed to participate in Commencement exercises, once voted "upon completion" by the faculty. By longstanding institutional policy, practice, and consensus, there are NO exceptions to this rule.

Policies and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Services team is housed in the Center for Teaching and Learning which offers a range of services designed to create learning opportunities that can assist all students on campus in meeting their educational goals and the academic standards of the Colleges. The CTL staff includes individuals who specialize in helping students with reading, writing, time management, and general study skills. The Disability Services team is available for advising, consulting, and arranging services and accommodations for students.

The students and prospective students of Hobart and William Smith Colleges are protected from discrimination on the basis of disability in line with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability law. By such legislation, individuals with disabilities are guaranteed certain protections and rights of access to programs and services. Eligibility is based on the existence of an identified physical or mental impairment or disability that substantially limits a major life activity.  

A disability determination, however, should not be based on abstract lists as categories of impairments, as there are varying degrees of impairments as well as varied individuals who suffer from the impairments. In fact, the regulations note that a finding of disability is not necessarily based on the name or diagnosis of the impairment the person has, but rather, on the effect of that impairment on the life of the individual. Some impairments may be disabling for particular individuals but not for others, depending upon the stage of the disease or disorder, the presence of other impairments that combine to make the impairment disabling, or any number of other factors. 

This is why a determination of disability must be made on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Whether a substantial limitation upon a major life activity exists, depends upon an analysis of (1) the nature and severity of the impairment, (2) the duration of the impairment, and (3) the permanent or long-term impact of impairment. Thus, the key factor in answering the question of whether there is a substantial limitation is the actual effect on the individual’s life.

Mission Statement
Disability Services in the Center for Teaching and Learning seeks to provide students with disabilities access to the Colleges’ educational programs, activities, and facilities. The CTL also offers all students the opportunities that may help them achieve their academic potential. In seeking to meet these commitments, we recognize that students differ in their needs and learning styles. The Center for Teaching and Learning is committed to ensuring equitable participation in the programs and activities of the Colleges. The goals of Disability Services at HWS are as follows: 

  • Assist students in the registration and documentation processes; arrange for appropriate, reasonable accommodations and support services to students with documented disabilities.
  • Encourage and assist students to develop greater independence.
  • Increase faculty and professional staff understanding of the rights and needs of students with disabilities.
  • Assist the Colleges in complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and subsequent reauthorizations, as well as other relevant disability law.

Rights and Responsibilities 

Students
Students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other disability law. These laws protect students from discrimination based on actual or perceived disability. These laws also entitle students with disabilities access to all programs and activities of the Colleges if they are otherwise qualified to participate. To receive disability related accommodations, students must voluntarily self-disclose their disability, either in writing or in person to the Disability Services team in the Center for Teaching and Learning. They must then complete the registration process with the Office of Disability Services and provide that office appropriate documentation of their disability.

After establishing eligibility for disability related services, students are required to follow established procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations and services. Documentation guidelines are available from the CTL and on the HWS website https://www.hws.edu/centers/ctl/disability-services.aspx. 

The Colleges
In order to establish eligibility for disability related services and to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations, the Colleges have the obligation to review documentation relevant to establishing a student’s disability status and accommodation needs. When documentation is found to support a student’s disability status and requested accommodations, it is the responsibility of the Colleges to provide reasonable accommodations that will not pose an undue financial or administrative burden on the Colleges.

The Colleges reserve the right to decline any accommodation request that is not sufficiently supported by documentation or which would fundamentally alter a degree requirement, program, course, or activity. In other words, it is essential that the documentation clearly demonstrates a reasonable link between the specified accommodation(s) and the disability related, functional limitations exhibited by the student, and that accommodations do not substantially alter the core objectives and standards of degree requirements, programs, courses, activities, or standards established by the faculty.

Application for Services
Students are not obligated to self-disclose a disability. However, self-disclosure is required in the disability registration and intake processes that are integral in establishing eligibility for disability related services and accommodations.

When students anticipate such needs, they must identify themselves to the Disability Services team in the Center for Teaching and Learning. Submission of the Intake Form on Accommodate will initiate the registration process. Students who complete the Intake Form with sufficient documentation will be contacted by the Disability Services team in a timely manner to set up an Intake Meeting.  

Students may initiate the process and complete the Intake Form at any point their college career. 

Disability Documentation
Written documentation must be provided by a qualified professional with training and experience relevant to the diagnosed disability. To receive accommodations and specialized services, the documentation must establish that the person has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, learning, working, and performing manual tasks. Examples of supporting documentation include:

  • Individualized Education Program (IAP)
  • 504 Plan
  • Summary of Performance (SOP)
  • Educational/Neuropsychological Evaluation
  • Medical documentation
  • Doctor’s note

Note: Individualized Education Plans and 504 Plans are procedural documents covering children ages 3-21. They are documents that summarize the needs and services deemed essential to their students and limited to their K-12 setting. These students are guaranteed a free and appropriate public education until they graduate from high school or reach the age of 21. Colleges and universities, on the other hand, are obligated to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both are civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination based on disability. The provision of services and accommodations are ways in which the Colleges can assure equal access to a college education to students with disabilities. Colleges and universities are not required to provide a free and appropriate public education. Educational plans and special education services are not mandated.

Accommodations and Services
In order to receive accommodations and special services, it is the responsibility of the student to voluntarily self-disclose their disability and then complete the intake process. It is the responsibility of the Colleges to review all relevant documentation and discuss with the student the range of possibilities for accommodations and/or services.

Recognizing that disabilities vary widely in their impact on the academic life of students, the determination of reasonable accommodations is achieved on an individualized basis. Prior history of an accommodation is not, in and of itself, sufficient to establish the need for the provision of an accommodation. Providing unbiased and reasonable access to all programs and activities of the Colleges is the purpose of accommodations. Ultimate responsibility for determining reasonable accommodations and services lies with the Colleges.

Once disability status is established, each student is required to meet with a member of the Disability Services team to determine the services and accommodations that are necessary. Once the initial Intake Meeting is completed, students can request their accommodations digitally via the Accommodate portal each semester. Individualized letters are then prepared for each of the student’s professors, outlining the accommodations that are appropriate for that course. These letters are sent on the student’s behalf by the Disability Services team.

The student is encouraged to discuss with each professor the details about how accommodations will be handled for each course.

Some accommodations require additional forms and agreements to be signed and uploaded to Accommodate in order for the accommodation to take effect. Examples of such accommodations include: 

  • Permission to record lectures
  • Consideration accommodations

Temporary Accommodations
Disability Services provides temporary accommodations to students with temporary medical related needs, such as:

  • prolonged illness
  • recovery from surgery
  • concussion

Procedure for Receiving Non-Academic Accommodations 
Students may require meal plan and/or housing accommodation(s) if their disability limits a daily life function. All Non-academic Accommodation requests are reviewed by a committee once a month. To request accommodations of a non-academic nature such as special housing needs, dietary concerns, or physical accessibility issues, students must complete and submit the appropriate documentation. If this is a first request for an accommodation, students must complete the Intake Form on Accommodate. If this is an additional request to existing accommodations, students must complete a Supplemental Request on Accommodate.

Requests which are supported by the documentation and which are deemed appropriate and reasonable will be granted in as timely a manner as possible. Application deadlines and materials, that fall under the purview of this committee, can be found on the disability services website: https://www.hws.edu/centers/ctl/disability-services.aspx. Students may submit a request at any time; however, deadlines for this process are firm. Requests submitted by November 15th will be considered for the following spring semester. Requests submitted by February 15th will be considered for the following fall semester.

HWS does not accept additional documentation or application materials on appeal for cases already decided by the committee. New or additional documentation or application materials may be submitted with a new accommodation request by a posted deadline, using the medical and/or disability accommodation process.

Confidentiality
The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) established guidelines for confidentiality of all disability-related information. All information provided by the student will be treated as highly confidential, maintained in a separate, secure file with limited access, and only shared when there is a compelling need to know. Need-to-know is specified as the following: when a school official—administrator, supervisor, faculty, or support staff—is expected to take a specific action on the student’s behalf. 

When a student with a disability request is approved for an accommodation or service, the appropriate person will be notified. Information identifying the specific disability is not shared, only that appropriate documentation has been received, and that the accommodation is necessary to fulfill the Colleges’ obligation to provide equal access under ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Right to Review a File
Students have access to all of their disability-related documentation, requests, and letters on the Accommodate profile.

Accommodation Disputes and ADA Grievance Procedure

Informal Dispute Resolution Process
Students may appeal a decision regarding an accommodation or service.

The Colleges protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to be free from harassment and discrimination and offer reasonable accommodations. The Colleges have adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination based on disability, which is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If a student feels that they have been subjected to discriminatory actions on the basis of disability, they may file a grievance with the Colleges’ 504 coordinator: Michelle Lee, Director of Human Resources, leem@hws.edu.

*More information regarding Section 504 can be found in the Handbook of Community Standards.

Title VII and IX Non-Discrimination Policy and Grievance Procedure
A formal grievance may be initiated following the Title VII and IX Non-Discrimination Policy and Grievance Procedure as published in the Handbook of Community Standards. The informal resolution process is not a prerequisite to the filing of a formal complaint.