May 23, 2018  
2014-2015 College of Liberal Arts Catalog 
2014-2015 College of Liberal Arts Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies


Academic Accommodations

Academic Accommodations are handled in the Office of Academic Services.

Academic Advising

Information about Academic Advising is available in the Office of Academic Services

Academic Honors

Drew awards three types of academic honors at graduation:

Latin Honors

Latin honors, based on the cumulative grade point average, are awarded in three grades: cum laude (3.60–3.74), magna cum laude (3.75–3.89), and summa cum laude (3.90 and higher). A student must complete at least 48 credits of study at Drew and have received no more than one grade of F or the equivalent to be eligible for graduation with Latin honors.

College Honors

College honors are awarded to students who  successfully complete all the requirements of the Baldwin Honors Program.

Specialized Honors

Specialized honors are awarded to students who prepare and successfully defend a substantive thesis on a topic within an academic discipline or interdisciplinary area in their senior year. For more information, consult the program pages.

Academic Integrity

The College regards academic honesty and scholarly integrity as indispensable to genuine learning and true scholarship. Cheating on examinations, papers or computer assignments, offering work done by others as one’s own, using the words and ideas of others without proper acknowledgment, improperly providing information, papers, or projects to others, or falsifying the nature or results of one’s research are inimical to learning and scholarship, and infringe on the mutual faith and trust essential to the academic enterprise.

Sanctions are imposed for demonstrated breaches of academic honesty or scholarly integrity. The faculty regulations provide procedures for dealing with allegations of academic dishonesty, with due attention to the rights of the student or students involved. If dishonesty is determined, the sanctions may range from requiring that an assignment be redone to automatic failure of a course to dismissal from the College.

All members of the academic community are obliged, by that membership, to report instances of presumed dishonesty to the appropriate officials.

Academic Standing

Satisfactory Progress

a) Regularly enrolled college-classified students are expected to maintain full-time registration in the College (12 credits or more per semester). Students carrying full-time registration averaging 16 credits per semester will normally complete the degree in four academic years (8 semesters); in no case may a full-time student expect to spend more than five years (10 semesters) earning the degree unless an exception to this rule is granted by the Committee on Academic Standing.


a) Full-time students will be put on academic probation for any of the following reasons:

• A fall or spring semester term grade point average of below 1.8;

• A cumulative grade point average, or a grade point average in all majors, at the end of the fall or spring term below the standards described in the table below:


Credit Completed

Cumulative GPA Major GPA
0 - 24 1.5  
25-48 1.8  
49-72 1.9 2.0
>72 2.0 2.0


• A failure to satisfactorily complete 24 credits by the end of the first year, 48 credits by the end of the second year, 72 credits by the end of the third year, 100 credits by the end of the fourth year, and a degree by the end of the fifth year. A year consists of a fall and spring term;

• A withdrawal from all classes in a fall or spring semester.

b) A student on probation who at the end of a fall or spring semester has satisfactorily completed at least 12 credits, earned a term grade point average of at least 2.0, and met the minimum credit and grade point levels described above will be returned to good standing. A student on probation who at the end of a fall or spring semester has not returned to good standing may be dismissed; at a minimum they will remain on probation. Students may spend at most two consecutive semesters on probation before being dismissed.

c) A student on probation cannot enroll in more than 17 credits without the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. A student will not be granted an incomplete at the end of a semester in which he/she is on probation without the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing.


a) A student who has been dismissed may petition the Committee on Academic Standing to be readmitted after he/she has been away for at least one fall or spring term. Such re-admissions are granted only in unusual cases, and in no cases may a student be readmitted twice.

Merit Scholarship Awardees

a) Students holding the merit awards are expected to complete 12 credits and earn a minimum grade point average each semester as specified in their award letters in order to remain in good standing with respect to their merit scholarship awards. The Baldwin Honors Program Advisory Committee and the Drew Scholar and Merit Award Committee administer the provisions of these merit awards.


Students are responsible for class attendance and for the prompt and regular performance of all assigned work. Faculty members are not obligated to give makeup examinations or laboratory sessions for unexcused absences.

Course Ending

The instructor may announce a date when a course will close and all work is due. If no such announcement is made, the final examination closes a course; or, if there is no final examination, the course closes on the last class day of the semester. Grades are based on the work a student has submitted by the date the course closes.

Grade Point Average

Only work completed at Drew is included in the computation of the average. Grade points are assigned as follows to each credit hour attempted on a graded basis: A = 4.00, A– = 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B = 3.00, B– = 2.67, C+ = 2.33, C = 2.00, C– = 1.67, D+ = 1.33, D = 1.00, D– = 0.67, F = 0.00.

No other grades are included in the computation of the average. The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points earned from grades on the A to F scale by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Grades and Information Release to Parents

Grades are made available to students via Treehouse Self-Service. Students may also give parents access to grades via Treehouse Self-Service.

To set up proxy access for your parents or guardian to view your grades in Treehouse Self-Service:

  1. Navigate to the Treehouse Students Tab.

  2. Select Parent/Guardian Proxy Access within the Help & Services box.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to add new proxies and set up authorization to the desired information.

In addition to setting up online access to grades, you may also set up parent/guardian access for registration, billing, and financial aid information. Moreover, you will have the option to assign a “passphrase”. The passphrase can be used by your parent or guardian to verbally confirm their identity and authorization to your information when they are speaking with University offices on your behalf. A printable guide to proxy access is also available.

The College does not issue official mid-semester grades, but individual instructors may send warning notices during the semester to students whose performance is less than satisfactory. The mark of Incomplete” (“I”) may be given at the end of a semester only with the approval of the instructor and the Director of Academic Services. When permitted to receive a mark of “I”, the student and the instructor determine the time and conditions under which the mark may be removed. Where a final grade for an Incomplete has not been submitted by the end of the second week of classes, a grade of “F” will be recorded by the registrar and that will be the final grade for the course. See the Academic Calendar for the dates in each term when the previous term’s incompletes will be changed to “F’s”.


The grades awarded in the College are:

A, A- excellent
B+, B, B- good
C+, C, C- satisfactory
D+, D, D- marginal
F fail
I incomplete
P pass, quality of work equivalent of D- or higher
IP course in progress, grade deferred
AU audited
W withdrew
NR grade not submitted by instructor

Every course is in the charge of one instructor, who is responsible for assigning grades.


A student with sophomore or higher standing who is carrying a full-time course of study may elect one course per semester on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis, up to at most 20 credits, to be applied toward the degree. Courses applied to the major or minor and courses used to meet the general education requirements may not be taken on a P/F basis unless the course has been designated as only carrying the P/F grade. Courses graded P carry full credit toward graduation but are not included in the computation of the cumulative GPA. Courses graded F do not carry credit toward graduation and are included in the computation of the cumulative GPA.

No course originally taken on a graded basis may be retaken under the P/F option, although a course originally taken on the P/F option and failed may be retaken on a graded basis. The P/F option is not available in courses that are taken off campus. Students indicate their desire to take a course P/F only prior to or during the first two weeks of the semester.

Registration and Changes in Registration

Students register for courses at times announced by the Office of the Registrar. No student may register later than the end of the first week of classes. Students may add courses during the first week of classes and in the second week with the consent and permission of the instructor. All original registrations and any later changes require the approval of the student’s adviser. No course may be added after the end of the second week of classes. Courses dropped between the end of the second week and the end of the ninth week of classes are graded “W”. Courses dropped after the ninth week are graded “F”. Students may petition the Academic Standing Committee for changes in registration that do not meet these regulations but must document extraordinary circumstances. For policies regarding half semester, or summer courses, please see the Academic Calendar which posts appropriate dates each semester. Information about registration can be found on the Registrar’s website. This include details about registering for Specialized Honors Courses, Independent Studies and Music Lessons.

Reservation of Rights

The University reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in the University’s academic program, courses, schedule, or calendar whenever in its sole judgment it is deemed desirable to do so.  The foregoing changes may include, without limitation, the elimination of colleges, schools, institutes, programs, departments, or courses, the modification of the content of any of the foregoing, the rescheduling of classes, with or without extending the enhanced academic term, the cancellation schedule classes, or other academic activities. If such changes are deemed desirable, the University may require or afford alternatives for scheduled classes or other academic notification of any such change as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.

Retaking Courses/Forgiveness Policy

Retaking a course

A student may retake a course in which he or she has earned a grade of F, D-, D or D+.  For courses retaken after a first grade of F, both the original F and the grade earned when the course is retaken are calculated in the GPA. Credits are awarded for the second course enrollment, assuming the student earns a passing grade.

For courses retaken after a first grade of D-, D or D+, both the original and the subsequent grade are calculated in the GPA, but credits for the course are only awarded once.  Students may not retake either the College Seminar or College Writing.  Courses transferred from other institutions are not covered by this policy.  Only credits from other institutions transfer, not grades.

Requesting Forgiveness of an Earlier Grade EFFECTIVE FALL 2015

Students wishing to repeat a course in which they have earned a grade of D+, D, D- or F may receive permission for forgiveness of the earlier attempt only once.  In exceptional cases, students earning a C- who wish to retake a course with forgiveness may petition to the ASC for permission to do so.   Although the earlier grade will still be listed on the transcript, it will be marked with an asterisk (*), indicating that the grade is not counted in the student’s GPA.  

Students will not be permitted forgiveness for a low or failing grade in a course in which they were found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation.  The Common Hour, College Seminar, and College Writing are not eligible for the forgiveness policy.  Students may not request to use the forgiveness policy when enrolling in a course at another institution.

The later grade will be the one counted in the GPA, even if the student earns a lower grade on the second attempt.  Each student is limited to a collective total of 12 forgiveness credits during their entire undergraduate career. Students may not invoke the forgiveness policy more than one time for any given course.  Withdrawing from a course after requesting forgiveness in that course will be considered a forgiveness for that course.

The forgiveness policy will not be applied automatically. Students must make a formal request for forgiveness through the Registrar’s Office as described below.  The request to retake a course under the forgiveness policy must be made at the time of registering to retake the course, and may not be requested retroactively after the Add/Drop period in the semester when the course is retaken.  To obtain approval to retake the course under the forgiveness policy, the student must complete the “Request to Repeat a Course with Forgiveness” form, which is available on the Registrar’s Office webpage under “Registration instructions.”   As noted above, the deadline for the filing of the form is the end of the Add/Drop period for the semester in which the course is repeated.  Approval to retake a course under the forgiveness policy is not automatic.  Students seeking to retake a course with forgiveness will not be officially enrolled in the course until the end of the registration period, to ensure that all students seeking to take the course for the first time have the opportunity to register.  All deadlines are posted on the Academic Calendar.

Special Major

A student may develop a special major rather than elect one of the existing departmental or interdisciplinary majors. There must be a strong educational advantage for doing so, one that cannot be served through any of the traditional majors. Choosing options such as a double major or major/minor(s) is preferred to designing a special major.


To submit a proposal for a special major, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.1.

  1. In developing a special major proposal, the student must work primarily with a faculty member who agrees to serve as the major adviser. The proposal shall be reviewed by the Assistant Dean, who will present it, if it is acceptable (i.e., if it meets the guidelines, is well written, and is without error in spelling or grammar), to the Committee on Academic Policy and Curriculum (CAPC) for evaluation and action.
  2. If a student has or later declares a second major, no more than two courses from one major may count toward the other.


A special major proposal is expected to include:

  1. a short descriptive title.
  2. significant academic work in at least three disciplines.
  3. a minimum of 60 credits, no more than 12 of which may be at the introductory level.
  4. a rationale for the proposal that explains its purpose, specifying how and why the proposed special major provides a learning experience not available in the pursuit of a traditional major and demonstrating creativity, intellectual integrity, and ability to synthesize.
  5. an integrated, coherent, focused program of inquiry supported by a schedule of courses and/or programs that constitute the special major and a statement that justifies the selection of each course.
  6. a statement of endorsement from the major adviser addressing the merits of the proposal and the student’s argument for the special major. It is the responsibility of the adviser to check the proposal for content, presentation, and adherence to these guidelines, prior to submission.
  7. the form with the required signatures of faculty and administrators.

Any exception to these guidelines must be approved by the CAPC following receipt of a petition submitted by the student and supported by the major adviser.

The final version of the proposal is to be submitted to the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Faculty Development. Submit both a hard copy with the signed cover form and an electronic copy of the proposal.

Due Dates

Special majors should normally be approved by the second semester of the sophomore year. They are to be submitted to the CAPC no later than October 15 for a student declaring a major in the Fall semester and no later than March 15 for a student declaring a major in the Spring semester. Any exception to submitting a proposal later than the second semester of the sophomore year requires a petition to the CAPC. Petitions will be evaluated on the basis of the strength of the proposal, the academic record of the student, and the educational merits of the case for exception..

Related Considerations

General education requirements must be met.

  1. Special majors must be presented individually. Approval of a special major in one instance in no way implies approval of similar subsequent proposals.
  2. Examples of well written proposals are available in the Office of the Associate Dean.

Student Education Records

Drew University students have the right to access, and the assurance of privacy for, their Drew educational records. These rights are in keeping with Public Law 93-380, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also known as the Buckley Amendment), and University policy. The full text of Public Law 93-380 and a full statement of Drew University policy and procedures with respect to student education records are on file and may be consulted in the Offices of the Registrar and the Dean of Campus Life and Student Affairs and in the Office of Financial Assistance. See the Drew University official FERPA policy 

Transcripts of Record

Consult the Registrar’s office.

Voluntary Withdrawal

A student who is in good academic standing may arrange for a voluntary withdrawal or temporary leave of absence without loss of status through the Offices of the Dean of Student Life and the Registrar. Students who withdraw without such approval must request readmission under the rules and procedures that govern new applications; their priority for University-based financial assistance will be affected. Requests for withdraw/LOA and for Reentry are made through Treehouse.