Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Transcripts, Verifications, Replacement Diplomas and the Grade Point Average

How do I get a transcript?

Head over to our page all about how to obtain a transcript. The information there will get you on your way.

Can you verify my enrollment?

Yes! You can download and print an enrollment verification form by clicking this link (will open as a .pdf). You can submit that in person, through the mail or by fax--be sure to sign it. Our contact information is at the top of the form.

Can you verify my degree?

Unlike transcripts or verifications of enrollment, we can verify that you graduated from Macalester without a signature--degree information is public information. Give us a call, write us a note or send us an e-mail requesting verification that you did indeed graduate from Macalester College and we'll take care of that for you.

Are you able to certify my diploma or help me get an apostille?

Sure we can help with that. You should e-mail Julie McEathron (mceathron@macalester.edu) for assistance in this process.

Can I get a replacement diploma? (Mine was eaten by my Irish Wolfhound.)

We would be glad to order a replacement diploma for you. Let's talk details. We'll need a request (in writing) for a replacement. It must bear your signature and should also include where you would like us to send it once we have received it from our vendor. You will need to include $30 with your request and then you can mark your calendar--once we receive your request, it will take between six and eight weeks for you to receive your new diploma. You can mail your request to Registrar's Office at the address at the bottom of this page.

How do I change my name on my academic record?

At Macalester College, the "name of record" is the legal name under which the student was admitted.  Students wishing to change the name in the official academic record at the college must provide the Registrar's Office with acceptable documentation of the new legal name. Acceptable documentation will include marriage certificate, social security card, passport, driver's license or court order. Upon receipt and verification of this documentation, the registrar's office will change the student's name in the official academic record. There will be a record kept of the former name. At the Registrar's Office discretion, minor changes (e.g., spelling corrections) may also be made.  In such cases, the student may be required to provide documentation to support the change.

May I participate in commencement?

If you graduated in the December prior to commencement, you are definitely welcome to walk with your classmates the following May. If you need more credits than what you are registered for in spring, you may still participate in commencement provided you will have no more than eight credits left to complete. You should schedule an appointment to discuss your eligibility and degree completion plans with the Registrar--call our office and we'll be glad to set that up.

Can I graduate early?

If you meet all of the requirements for graduation, sure you can. We know that isn't as helpful as you might want, but we'd be glad to schedule an appointment for you and the Registrar to meet and discuss the possibility of graduating early. Making sure that all of the requirements of graduation are met is sometimes tricky and it's best if you take the time to sit down with the Registrar if you'd like to graduate early.

How can I finish my degree or be readmitted after a while away?

Send the Registrar's Office an e-mail or give us a call and let us know what your plans are. Once you hear from us what remaining requirements you have, you might need to apply for readmission to the college, or finish up by transferring course work in from elsewhere. We'll know more once we chat about about the details, and can then get you started in the right direction. We work closely with the Dean of Students Office when circumstances warrant a possible readmission, so you may want to touch base with that office too. The application deadline for Fall readmission is July 1 and the deadline for Spring readmission is November 1.

Registration, Grading, GPA, 1600grand and Contact Information

How can I find out my network password in order to log onto 1600grand?

You will need to contact the ITS Help Desk at 651.696.6525.

When do I register for next semester?

For the fall, for returning students, registration generally starts in April--for spring, it generally starts in November.  Watch your e-mail for detailed instructions on how to register for the upcoming semester. That e-mail will help you find the exact date and time you can begin to register. For general dates of the registration process, take a glance at the Academic Calendar.

How can I add or drop a class? When is the last day that I can do it?

You register in advance for the next semester and you can add and drop classes throughout your pre-registration period. After the pre-registration period ends, registration is closed until the 1st day of classes for that semester. Once the semester gets started you'll have time to add or drop classes. There's a deadline, but don't wait for the deadline--take care of it so you get onto class lists! You'll be able to drop classes in 1600grand and add classes in the Registrar's Office with a professor's signature--use the add/drop slips available in the hall outside of our office in 77 Mac. If you miss the deadline (please don't) there is a three-day grace period on the first three days of the week following the add/drop deadline during which, with a $100 fee, you can still add or drop a course.

You can get to the academic calendars here on our site. There you'll find the specific dates you'll need to know.

When is the last day I can withdraw from a class?

Approximately nine weeks into the semester.  There is a deadline, so check out the academic calendar for that date!

How do I take a class "pass/fail"?

Oh yeah. Come by and get a grading option form. You can change a graded class to Macalester's version of "pass/fail" (S/D/NC) without the instructor's signature, but keep in mind that you can take only one course under this option in any given semester, though with the signature of the instructor you can do more than one. The grading option form also includes options for written evaluations and letter grades for courses that are normally offered S/D/NC. If you do this and earn a D in the class, you'll see the grade SD on your record. If you fail the course, you'll see the grade N.

How do you figure my GPA?

The GPA is calculated by dividing total grade points by the number of semester hours attempted on the regular grading system. Transfer work does not factor in.

Can I take a fifth course?

Well, like most things, that depends. As a full-time student, you can take between 12 and 18 credit hours for the regular, full-time tuition charge. You can register for more than 18 credits if you pay a per credit fee (the Expenses section of the College Catalog has a schedule of fees). If, in the other semester of that academic year, you take between 12 and 14 credits, then you will be exempted from that per credit fee. In any semester, you may register for a maximum of 20 credits (this doesn't include music lessons and ensembles).

Can I audit a class?

Yes! You can audit one class each semester by completing an add/drop slip, writing "audit" in the field where you would normally indicate whether you were or adding or dropping a course, getting the professor's signature and returning the form to our office by the drop/add deadline. Audited courses will appear on your transcript. Expectations for what an auditing student must/may do vary widely among professors.

How can I take an incomplete?

You should (must!) review and complete with your professor the form called the Course Completion Agreement. Keep in mind that it must be submitted to the Registrar's Office on or before the date that final grades are due to the office.

When is the last day that I can finish my incomplete?

For Incompletes taken for the fall semester, the work is due no later than the first day of classes of the spring semester. If you took an Incomplete for the spring semester, your work must be done on or before July 1. The professor may require you to finish by an earlier date.

How do I register for the Summer Physics Institute?

In order to register, you should visit the Institute's site and complete the registration process that they describe there. All questions regarding the Institute should be referred to Dr. Kim, whose contact information is also included on the site.

How do I get my grades each semester?

Get your grades online through 1600grand.

What's a J grade?

A J grade is assigned only during midterm grading. It means that the professor for the course did not have enough information to assign you a midterm grade. Say you're taking a course where the grade is derived from the grades on a final paper and a final exam--come midterm, the professor still does not have any grading information to use in assigning a midterm grade.

How do I get credit for Music lessons/ensembles?

To receive credit for ensemble or private instruction participation, you must take the same class in two consecutive semesters. Take African Music Ensemble in two consecutive semesters and you get the credit for both at the end of the second semester. You can earn a maximum of eight credits through ensemble and private instruction--additional participation is noted on your record, but not for credit. Completed credit counts in the GPA. Study away does not disrupt sequence.

Can I get credit in January?

Yes, you can. You can register for either one or two credits for January--sign up for a sponsored program, independent study or internship. The deadline is in early December--don't miss it! There is no drop/add in January!

My parents moved. How do I let you know my new home address and phone number?

You can come by the Registrar's Office and ask for a change of address form that you can fill out and return to us or send us an email at registrar@macalester.edu, including the new information.

And how do I tell you about my summer contact information?

Sometime near the end of the Spring semester, there will be an email request from the Mail Services in the Campus Center.  Fill out that form and return it to the Post Office. We receive that information from them.

What is "Directory Restriction?" How do I get my information restricted? Or get the restriction removed?

Certain information is publicly available unless you request that it be otherwise.  For instance, if someone (an insurer, an old friend, a current or potential employer, or anyone who might be curious) calls up and asks if Johan Smith is a student at Macalester, we can confirm or deny that and provide whatever information is available on the college directory, which might include your e-mail address and telephone number.  If you are on Directory Restriction, then we will not release any information regarding your status at Macalester.  We cannot answer questions about you if you are on Directory Restriction, unless it is for internal Macalester use.

Do you want your directory restriction removed?  Come into the Registrar's Office and let us know.

Majors, Minors and Concentrations

How do I declare a major, minor or concentration? When should I do it and is there a deadline?

First, you will want to come by the Registrar's Office and grab a form for each major, minor or concentration you intend to declare. You will fill that out, observing the requirements of the majors, which you can find in the Catalog and then review it with both a faculty member in the concerned department and the chair of that department. They will each need to sign off on your plan before you submit it to the Registrar's Office.

You should declare your major as soon as you know what it will be, but you will be required to declare one as a second semester sophomore.

You won't be allowed to register for classes for the first semester of your Junior year until you have declared a major.

Do I need to update my major, minor or concentration plan?

Keep in mind that these are some of the documents that will determine your graduation eligibility--you will want to keep these up-to-date. If you are making changes in the courses that you want to use in fulfilling your major, you can come by and get a copy of your major plan, revise it and have it signed off on again. If you're making substantial changes or your form is messy and difficult to read, you can just use a new form.

So, how can I drop a major, minor or concentration plan?

This is maybe the easiest thing you can do at Macalester College! Come by the Registrar's Office and tell us you'd like to drop a major. We'll retrieve your major plan, cancel it and then you're done. We will not cancel your only major plan--you have to have one.

What is a concentration?

Concentrations are interdepartmental programs--among them are African Studies, Critical Theory, and Urban Studies, as examples. It is different from a 'minor concentration' and uses a different form when declaring.

Requirements, General Education Requirements, Transferring Credits, AP/IBE/GCE and Readmission

I think I've met the second language requirement with coursework taken outside of Macalester. Can I taken an exam and get evaluated or can I meet the requirement by transferring credits?

If you'd like to take an exam, you could take the SAT II (with listening) for the language in question. Otherwise, you can have a transcript sent from the institution you attended. As long as the transcript clearly relays that you completed what would be equivalent to a fourth semester (Intermediate II) in the language, your record will be marked as having met the second language requirement.

Can I get credit for AP/IB/GCE?

You can, in many instances, get credit. Head over to our page that is exclusively on the topic and if you have any questions after reviewing that, please be in touch!

Can I get credit for college-level work done while I was still in high school?

Yes. You'll need for that coursework to meet a few conditions though. The coursework cannot have been used to satisfy any graduation requirements at your high school (there's a form we use to confirm that) and it must have been offered as regular, undergraduate coursework at the institution you took the course from. The course(s) must have been taught on the college campus--we don't grant credit for "College in the Schools" programs. If the course meets those requirements, contact that institution and have them send a transcript directly to the Registrar's Office here at Macalester. You can transfer a maximum of 20 credits to Macalester. If you have other questions, feel free to contact us.

How can I finish my degree or be readmitted after a while away?

Send the Registrar's Office an e-mail or written letter and let us know what your plans are. Once you hear from us what remaining requirements you have, you might need to apply for readmission to the college, or finish up by transferring course work in from elsewhere. We'll know more once we chat about about the details, and can then get you started in the right direction. We work closely with the Dean of Students Office when circumstances warrant a possible readmission, so you may want to touch base with that office too. The application deadline for Fall readmission is July 1 and the deadline for Spring readmission is November 1.

High School Students, Summer Classes, Senior Citizens

How does a high school student register for a class at Macalester?

Students that are interested in taking classes at Macalester while in high school should be in touch with the Admissions Office--they will give you the details of eligibility.

Does Macalester have summer school?

We do not offer regular summer classes. Current and former students who didn't earn a degree may register for independent projects and internships. Macalester is home to the Summer Physics Institute, which is run by Professor Sung Kyu Kim in the Physics Department. More information on the Institute is available on their website.

Is there a program at Macalester for Senior Citizens?

There is no program exclusively for senior citizens at Macalester College, but there are opportunities that are open to anyone, such as auditing regular courses or taking them for credit. Contact the Registrar's Office to find out how to go about registering for a course and to check on current fees.

Faculty: Grading, Catalog Copy, EPAG and Scheduling

How do I change a grade?

You may not change the grade through 1600grand. Instead, submit the grade change request by e-mail, in person or in writing to the Registrar's Office. The request should include which course, which student, what grade you would like for her to receive and why you would like to change the grade. As mentioned in Macalester's grade change policy, it is only acceptable to change a grade when correcting a grade calculation error and when a professor locates a student's work, paper, project, etc. that was previously considered missing.

When are final and midterm grades due?

Check our page of Academic Calendars. Be sure you've selected the academic year that you're interested in.

When is catalog copy due?

Requests for catalog copy are sent out in early November. The Registrar's Office expects to set a deadline of late February for copy to be entered by departments into Acalog, the college's catalog publishing system.

How do I add or delete a course from the catalog?

A request to add or delete a course from the catalog should be made in advance to EPAG. Use the course change proposal form and submit that to the Registrar.

What is EPAG?

EPAG is the Educational Policy and Governance Committee. You can find the minutes of their meetings on their webpage.

Who is on EPAG and who is the chair?

See the EPAG webpage.

When is the schedule for next year due?

We'll send out a request for the next academic year's schedule in early December and it will include a more specific deadline, usually at the end of the first week of classes of the spring term.

How do I make changes to the schedule?

The chair should summarize and submit schedule changes to the Registrar's Office. If you are making changes on the spreadsheet of courses for your department, please highlight those changes for us.

How do I reserve a classroom?

If you need the room between 8 and 4:30, Monday through Friday during the academic year, then call the Registrar's Office. We only handle reservations for classrooms in academic buildings--for other buildings or rooms during those time frames, contact Campus Programs. For reservations at any other time, one should contact Campus Programs to reserve a room.

What kind of technology is in a classroom?

Check out the Media Services website to see which rooms have what you're looking for--all classrooms are now "smart" classrooms.