1. Grading Options:For the fall and spring
semesters the regular grading option is: A, A–,B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–,
D+, D, D–, NC (no credit); the alternate
grading option is S (satisfactory), SD (passing), N (no credit). The grade
of S is equivalent to a C– or
better. Courses taken on the alternate grading option do not compute in the
Macalester grade point average. For January or summer independent study,
registered at Macalester, the options are the same.
Activity Courses: S and N will be the only grades in
any of the physical education activity courses, dance technique courses and
forensic practicum courses. Music majors and minors will be graded on the
regular grading option for ensembles and performance courses; non-music
majors and minors should refer to the music department section of this
catalog. Theater and dance majors and minors will be graded on the regular
grading option for practicum courses; non-majors will receive S or N grades
for these courses.
2. Written Evaluations: Instructors may provide written evaluations of
performance for those students who request them. A student who opts for a
written evaluation may take the course on either grading option. A student
who chooses a written evaluation is encouraged to file with the instructor
a statement of his or her objectives, to aid the instructor in the
evaluation. The request for written evaluation must be made at the time of
grading option selection and requires the approval of the instructor.
Students may request to have the written evaluations accompany transcripts,
with the understanding that either all or none of the written evaluations
will be sent.
3. S, SD, N Option
Regulations: Each student is limited to
one course taken under the S, SD, N option without written evaluation, in
the fall and spring semesters. Courses may be taken under this option in a
summer term, but each course so taken reduces by one the number of such
options available to the student in the fall or spring semesters. There is
no limitation on the number of courses a student may take under the S, SD,
N option with written evaluation, or in activity courses. Courses taken
under this grading option may not be included on major, minor or concentration plans
without specific departmental approval.
4. Time of Selection of
Grading Options: The choice of grading
option is made by the student from the available options at the start of
the fall or spring semester or by the published deadline for summer term.
Forms must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by the published
5. Incompletes: Students are expected to complete the work in each
course by the deadlines established by the instructor; the final deadline
for work cannot exceed the end of the final examination period for that
term. However, a grade of incomplete may be awarded at the discretion of
the instructor, if requested by the student, under the following conditions:
1) at least three-quarters of the required work for the course has been
completed, 2) unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control
(usually restricted to illness or family emergency) preclude completion of
the remaining work for the course by the semester deadline, 3) the student
is not on strict academic probation. Note that poor planning or having a
lot of work to complete at the end of the term are not, in fairness to
other students, considered circumstances beyond a student’s control.
Faculty and students with questions about whether the conditions for an
incomplete are met should consult with the Director of Academic Programs.
If the conditions for an incomplete are met, a course
completion agreement form specifying the work yet to be completed must be
submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the final
examination period. Both the student and the instructor are expected to
sign the form. For a fall semester course,
students have until the first class day of the spring semester to complete
an incomplete; for a spring semester course, students have until July 1 to
complete an incomplete. Students may not
petition to extend the college deadline for the completion of an
Incomplete, except with the approval of the course instructor and the Dean
of Students. Medical reasons or family emergencies are typically the only
conditions under which an extension will be granted. If the student and the
professor have set a deadline for completion of the work that is earlier
than the official college deadline, the faculty member may approve an
extension of that deadline up to the official deadline for that term.
Students who have multiple incompletes for a term will
be reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee and are subject to the
College’s satisfactory academic progress rules. Students who plan to
request more than one incomplete for a term are advised to consult with the
Director of Academic Programs, who serves as Chair of the Academic Standing
Committee. As in all matters, it is also wise for students to discuss their
circumstances with their faculty advisors.
6. Grade Point Averages: The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by the
Registrar’s Office. Each grade is assigned a point value, as follows:
The GPA is calculated by dividing the total grade
points by the number of semester hours attempted on the regular grading
system. Grades for courses taken on the S, SD, N grading option, or courses
with a grade of W, will not figure in the GPA. Grades for courses
transferred to Macalester are not included in the GPA.
7. Repeated Courses: In cases where a course is repeated both courses remain on
the record and one course (if the grade is D– or above) will be counted toward the degree; grades for both
courses will be included in the GPA.
8. Reporting of Grades: Instructors report grades to the Registrar’s
Office. Written evaluations will be reported on standardized forms provided
along with the grade report forms. Copies of standard written evaluations
will be provided to the student and the instructor. The original copy will
be kept in the Registrar’s Office.
9. Recording of Grades: For each student there is only one transcript, and all
grades are recorded on it. A copy of the written evaluations for each
student will be filed as a supplement to the official transcript. Students
choose whether or not to include the written evaluations with transcripts
they request, with the understanding that either all or none of the written
evaluations will accompany the transcript.
10. Auditing Courses: To audit a course, a student must register in the
Registrar’s Office with the approval of the instructor. Refer to the
section on Tuition and Fees in this catalog for information on additional
charges (if any) for auditing an additional course. A student may only
audit one course per semester.
An audited course will appear on the transcript with a grade of AU. That grade is only indicative of a registration as an auditor and does not imply atendance or a particular level of success in the course.
The following policies are observed by students and
faculty with regard to final examinations:
The Registrar announces in advance a final examination
schedule. In this schedule, each course is reserved a place and a
designated two-hour period for a final examination.
Students may negotiate exemptions or changes in
schedule with instructors whenever circumstances warrant such
considerations. Students who are scheduled for three or more examinations
on the same day have the option of rescheduling with their instructor one
of these examinations.
Proctoring, special materials, time allotment and
other matters pertaining to the actual circumstances of the examination are
entirely the responsibility of the instructor.
Through a strong faculty advising system, the College
assists students in making informed curricular decisions. Students begin
with advisors who usually are their instructors in first year courses.
After students select a major, they may change to an advisor in that
department or program. Information about faculty advising is available from
the Academic Programs Office.
Registration and Validation
Students are required to register and/or validate
(confirm previous registration) at definite times announced in advance by
the Registrar’s Office. Students are responsible for accurate
registration; credit can be received only in those courses for which a
student is properly registered. A student is also held responsible for
every course for which he or she registers unless he or she officially
cancels it within the stated deadlines explained below.
Registration and validation are not complete or
official until fees are paid or arrangements for payments have been made
with the Student Accounts Office.
Late Registration and Validation Fees: Returning
students will be charged a late fee for registering after the announced
times of registration. The fee for late registration is $100. Late
registration will be accepted during the first two weeks of classes with
the payment of the late fee. Students may not register or validate after
that time except with special permission from the Registrar.
Student Course Load
A student normally enrolls in courses earning 16
credits during each of the fall and spring semesters. A student may not
register for more than 20 credits in a single semester. A course load of at
least 12 credits is required to be considered a full-time student.
A student may add a course at the start of the fall or
spring semester by obtaining the written or on-line permission of the
instructor of the course. Transactions must be completed by the published
deadlines, whether on-line or by returning the properly signed form to the
Dropping and Withdrawing From Courses
A student may drop a course at the start of the fall
or spring semester on-line or by completing the proper form available in
the Registrar’s Office. Transactions must be completed by the
published deadlines, whether on-line or by returning the properly signed
form to the Registrar’s Office. An officially dropped course will not
appear on the student’s record or transcript. Part-time students and
students whose course load changes from full-time to part-time as a result
of officially dropping a course are subject to the tuition refund policy
described elsewhere in this catalog.
For courses where first day attendance is required, as
specially noted in the class schedule, instructors have the option of
dropping students who did not meet that requirement. For all courses,
instructors have the option of dropping students who have not attended
within the first week of classes. The Registrar’s Office must be
informed by the instructor which students should be dropped for
A student may withdraw from a course between the end
of the second and ninth weeks of classes by obtaining the signature of the
instructor of the course on the proper form available in the
Registrar’s Office and returning the form to the Registrar’s
Office by the published deadlines. If a student officially withdraws from a
course, a “W” (withdraw) grade will be recorded on the record
and transcript. A “W” grade is not computed into the GPA.
If a student remains registered after the ninth week
of classes, one of the grades described under Grading Options must be
Classification of Students
Normal progress toward graduation is as follows:
Class standing granted and number of semester hours for that standing: Sophomore, 32; Junior, 64; Senior, 96.
Special student classification is assigned to students
not seeking a degree from Macalester.
The Dean’s List at Macalester College is
published at the end of each semester. For fall semester, it will be
published one week after the grade submission deadline. For spring
semester, it will be published three weeks after the grade submission
deadline. To be eligible for the Dean’s List a student must have been
registered as a full-time, degree-seeking student and may not have been on
a study away program. Furthermore, a student must have achieved a semester
grade point average of at least 3.75, twelve or more credits on a regular
(A, A-, B+, etc.) grading option, no grades below C-, and no withdrawal or
incomplete grades for the semester. Grades for activity, practicum, and
technique courses in dance, music, and physical education are not factored
into eligibility for the Dean’s List.
Probation and Dismissal
The College monitors the academic performance of every
student in order to offer support and services to those students who are
not making satisfactory academic progress. Students are expected to earn
their degree within a four-year period. The academic record of every
student is reviewed at the end of each semester by the Academic Standing
Committee of the faculty. Academic status is calculated at the end of a
term only. After the Academic Standing Committee has reached its decisions
at the end of a term, a student’s status will normally only be
reconsidered by the Committee in cases where an action has been taken which
prevents a student from re-enrolling in the College and there has been a
change to the student’s academic record. Probationary status is never
a part of a student’s public record unless the student gives
authorization to release this information.
Academic probation is intended as an indication to a
student that he or she is not making the expected progress toward the
completion of a Macalester Bachelor of Arts degree. Every effort is made
through faculty advisors, the counseling services of Winton Health Services
and the MAX Center to provide counseling to students who are placed on
As a result of the Academic Standing Committee’s
review of student records, a student may be placed on one of the categories
of probation listed below. In addition to the specific term performance
guidelines indicated below, the Committee also takes into consideration a
student’s classification, his or her cumulative grade point average
and any prior probationary status in determining the appropriate category
Academic Warning. Students
with a term grade point average between 2.00 and 2.50 and/or at least one
NC grade in a course carrying two or more credit hours may be placed on
Academic Warning if the Academic Standing Committee sees reason to be
concerned about their level of achievement.
Academic Probation. Students
with a term grade point average below 2.00 and/or two or more NC grades in
a course carrying two or more credit hours will be placed on Academic
Strict Academic Probation.
Students will be placed on Strict Academic Probation when they are liable
for academic probation for a second consecutive semester or when the
Committee considers their record to indicate serious academic difficulties
which warrant the addition of specific criteria to be met during the next
semester in order to be removed from this probationary status. These
criteria usually are: a term grade point average of a least 2.00 and no
grade lower than C–; registration as a full-time
student taking twelve or more credit hours; no grades of Incomplete. A
student on strict academic probation is ineligible to practice or compete
in intercollegiate athletics, to hold an elected office or a leadership
position in a student organization, to undertake a role in a major music or
theatre production or forensic activity, to apply for study abroad or to
register for an internship.
Suspension. A student
will be suspended from the College for failure to meet the criteria
established for removal from Strict Academic Probation. Additionally,
students are suspended for one or two semesters after two consecutive
semesters on academic probation or strict academic probation unless the
Academic Standing Committee finds that this action would not be
appropriate. Under exceptional circumstances, the Academic Standing
Committee may suspend students from the College without first placing them
Students who wish to return after a suspension must
apply for readmission to the College. In order for a student to be
readmitted, the Academic Standing Committee expects to see evidence that
the student is ready to return and have a successful experience. Shortly
after receiving a suspension letter, students are expected to work out a
plan with either the Dean of Students or the Director of Academic Programs
for how they will provide this evidence of readiness to return. In most
cases students will attend another institution of higher education during
their suspension period and earn grades which demonstrate their ability to
perform successfully in an academic environment.
Dismissal. A student
is subject to dismissal from the College whenever, in the view of the
Committee, his or her level of scholarship is so low as to make the
completion of a Macalester degree unlikely.
Students should be aware that maintaining good
academic standing does not automatically insure continued financial aid
eligibility. Refer to the financial aid section of this catalog for
Appeals of suspensions must be based on procedural
grounds and be made in writing by the following deadlines. For actions
taken following Fall term, appeals must be received as soon as possible but
no later than five days prior to the beginning of the Spring term. Students
should be advised not to return to campus until they have learned the
result of their appeal. For actions taken following Spring term, appeals
must be received as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the
date of the Academic Standing Committee letter. Appeals should be made to
the Provost through the
Director of Academic Programs. The Provost may or may not choose to hear
the appeal. The Director of Academic Affairs will inform the petitioner and all concerned College officials of the
results of the Provost's determination. The decision of the
Provost is final.
Macalester College expects academic honesty from all
students and faculty. Academic honesty encompasses accurate portrayal of
contributions and appropriate use of resources.
For more specific information about Macalester’s
Academic Integrity Policy please refer to the Academic Programs website, or contact the Director of Academic
Withdrawal from the College
A student may request complete withdrawal from the
College at any point in a term. Students should make an appointment with
the Dean of Students to complete the appropriate withdrawal form. In order
to obtain tuition or room and board refunds, the student must follow the
policy described under “Refunds.”
The Dean of Students may grant a temporary withdrawal
for a duration of one semester up to one year to any student requesting to
temporarily withdraw from Macalester for personal reasons or for the
purpose of attending another institution.
In order to request a temporary withdrawal, a student
must have completed the first term as a new student and be in good academic
standing. First year students withdrawing in their first term at Macalester
are not eligible to return before the following Fall.
A form requesting a temporary withdrawal must be
completed in the Dean of Students Office no later than the 10th day of the
current term. Any student who wishes to leave Macalester for the purpose of
entering military service or fulfilling mandatory religious obligations
shall be granted a temporary withdrawal upon notification of the Dean of
Returning students should note the following:
Applications for financial aid and housing in the term following a
temporary withdrawal, and room and board deposits, must be made by
deadlines required of all students in residence. A temporary withdrawal
does not exempt or defer a student from repayment of Macalester loans, or
extend the deadlines for the makeup of incomplete courses.
Questions about a temporary withdrawal should be
addressed to the Dean of Students Office.
Involuntary Temporary Withdrawal
A student may be placed on involuntary withdrawal when
she or he demonstrates developing and/or continuing behavior that threatens
the life or health of themselves or another member of the Macalester
community or if there are clear indicators a student will be unable to make
academic progress. The Dean of Students is responsible for placing a
student on involuntary withdrawal.
A student placed on involuntary withdrawal must
request readmission to the College. The complete involuntary withdrawal
policy may be found in the Student Handbook. Questions should be addressed
to the Dean of Students Office.
Readmission to the College
Any student who has not temporarily withdrawn from the
College, or who was suspended from the College, or who did not complete the
prior semester at Macalester, is required to make application for
readmission to the College for the term in which he or she wishes to
register. Application forms should be requested of and returned to the
Registrar’s Office at least one month prior to the date of intended
registration. When a student is readmitted to the College, he or she must
then satisfy the graduation requirements in effect at the time of
readmission in order to complete their degree.
Credit by Examination
Any full time, degree-seeking Macalester student may
receive credit for a course listed in the catalog by successful completion
of an examination or other type of evaluation to be determined by the
instructor. There is a fee for Credit by Examination (see Tuition and Fees
Section). Credit and a grade will be certified to the Registrar’s
Office by the instructor and endorsed by the department chair. Such credit
may be granted only during a fall or spring semester in which the student
is registered for at least twelve semester credits, or a summer term in
which the student is registered for at least four semester credits. The
grade received will be included in the student’s GPA.
A student is limited to earning eight semester hours
of credit by examination in courses not described in the catalog and each
such course must be approved by the Educational Policy and Governance
Committee before work is begun.
The student will receive no instruction from a faculty
member in obtaining credit by examination. No such credit will be granted
for a course previously registered, or audited. The student may not sit in
on the class.
The student is expected to demonstrate a competence
comparable to, but not necessarily identical with, that attained by
students receiving credit for the course in the usual manner.
Note: Departments may
designate those lower level courses for which credit may not be received if
comparable courses have been taken at the secondary level.
Transfer of Credit
Generally, liberal arts courses taken at regionally
accredited undergraduate institutions, and comparable in content to
Macalester courses will be considered for transfer. The grade earned must
be at least a C–; grades of S or P must be
certified in writing by the instructor of the course to be the equivalent
of C– or better before that
course can be transferred.
Students who have attended non-accredited or
non-regionally accredited institutions must have their work validated by
examination or by showing competence to carry advanced work successfully.
Award of credit in such cases may be delayed for one or more semesters
awaiting such evaluations.
The Macalester course system is based on the semester
credit. Macalester does not award more credit for transfer courses than
what is awarded by the host institution for those courses, as indicated on
the host’s official transcript. Therefore, semester credits will be
transferred as equivalent from the host institution, and quarter credits
will be converted at a ration of six (6) quarter credits equivalent to four
(4) semester credits. No strict correlation exists between contact hours in
courses taken off-campus and credits awarded by Macalester.
No more than the equivalent of one half of the
semester credits required for graduation may be transferred from another
institution to Macalester. No more than the equivalent of eight (8)
semester credits earned through a correspondence program or through
distance learning may be included among the academic credits transferred to
For students admitted to Macalester through the
first-year admissions program, Macalester will
accept for credit no more than the equivalent of twenty Macalester credits
from courses earned at a college or university prior to matriculation at
Macalester. Summer session college credits, Minnesota Post-Secondary
Education Options Program credits, International Baccalaureate credits, and
Advanced Placement Program credits are included under this limitation. (The
only exception to this limitation applies to students who have achieved the
equivalent of twenty-four Macalester credits solely through College Board Advanced Placement
Examinations.) Credits earned through Advanced Placement Exams,
International Baccalaureate or GCE A-Level examinations cannot be used to
meet the college’s general distribution requirement.
College- or university-level courses must be taken directly at the college or
university from which the credit is granted. Macalester will not award
credit for courses which were taken in secondary school, or which were used
to satisfy any of the requirements for graduation at the student’s
ROTC is designed to prepare students to be
commissioned officers in the United States military. Air Force ROTC is
available to Macalester students through the Associated Colleges of the
Twin Cities at the University of St. Thomas. For more information call St.
Thomas at 651-962-6320 or 1-800-328-6819, ext. 6320. Navy and Army ROTC is
also available to Macalester students at the University of Minnesota. For
more information on Navy ROTC, call 612-625-6677. For more information on
Army ROTC, call 612-626-1584. Although Macalester College does not grant
credit for ROTC courses, participation in this program will be noted on the
College Board Advanced Placement Examinations
Students who have taken the College Board Advanced
Placement Examinations may be eligible for advanced placement and
appropriate credit. Freshmen who wish to have their scores considered
should have them sent to Macalester College. Scores of 3, 4, or 5 may result in credit or
exemption. Academic departments determine which scores result in credit or
exemption for their subject. Some departments require the student to
discuss their scores with the department chair before a credit
determination is made. A score of 2 will receive no credit, but the
academic department involved may recommend some exemption. A score of 1
will receive neither credit nor exemption. Advanced Placement credit is
only granted on the basis of the examination scores.
Macalester does not recognize the College Level
Examination Program (CLEP) tests for advanced standing.
International Baccalaureate and General Certificate of
Students whose scores on Higher Level Examinations of
the International Baccalaureate Program are 5, 6, or 7 receive the
equivalent of four or eight semester hours of credit for each such
examination. Credit is determined by the appropriate academic department on
an individual basis and is subject to the limitations described in Transfer of Credit under the
Advanced Standing Section.
International students who have not earned university
level academic credit will have their advanced standing limited to no more
than twenty semester credits. Those who have completed A-Level Examinations
in order to earn a General Certificate of Education (GCE) receive the
equivalent of eight semester credits for each A-Level Examination with a
score of A, B, C, or D. No more than the equivalent of twenty semester
credits can be earned in this manner.
Minimum Size of Classes
The College does not hold itself bound for instruction
in any elective course for which fewer than five students have registered.
Such classes may, however, be organized at the option of the department
with approval by the Provost.