Undergraduate Academic Policies

This section of the catalog describes the undergraduate academic policies of Wheelock College. In addition to the policies described here, there are requirements for students enrolled in various professional academic programs. Questions about academic policies, procedures, or requirements should be directed to an academic advisor, Academic Dean, and/or the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Finally, the academic policies described in this catalog and on the college website may refer to other documents (e.g., handbooks and pamphlets) that explain certain policies, procedures, or requirements more fully and may be obtained from the Registrar’s office.

Grades and Course Status

Instructors submit final grades to the Registrar by the deadline stated in the academic calendar.
For undergraduate students, Wheelock College uses a system of letter grades that are equivalent to the following numerical quality points.

Letter Grade Quality Point Equivalent
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 Minimum passing
F 0.00 Failing
P 0.00 Passing
R 0.00 Satisfactory progress in a continuing course

In addition, a transcript may show the following statuses in the grade column.

I 0.00 Incomplete
WD 0.00 Withdrawal
AU 0.00 Auditing
NG 0.00 No Grade Given

An Incomplete (I) may be given to a student only for health reasons or in extraordinary circumstances. It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor to request an Incomplete. Unless the student has requested an incomplete, the faculty cannot assign an incomplete.

Withdrawal (WD) is recorded by the Office of Academic Records and Registration when a student officially withdraws from a course before the course withdrawal deadline published in the academic calendar. A faculty member cannot submit a request for withdrawal. Only a student can submit that request.

A graduate student who wishes to audit (AU) a course may do so with the approval of the instructor and the appropriate Academic Dean. To audit a course, a student must register for the course at registration or within the Drop/Add period. The tuition fee for auditing a course is two-thirds of the normal course tuition.

Satisfactory in a continuing course (R) is the grade submitted by an instructor to indicate satisfactory progress in a continuing independent study, field study, thesis, or course that has been approved by the instructor and the appropriate Academic Dean as a two-semester study, thesis, or course. At the end of the second semester, a letter grade, Pass (P), or Incomplete (I) will be given. If an "R" is changed to an Incomplete (I), the student must have complied with the Incomplete procedures of the college. Refer to policies for Incompletes in the relevant section of the current Wheelock College Course Catalog. At the end of each semester, any "R" grades from the previous semester that have not been resolved will be reviewed by the Scholastic Review Board and letters will be sent to the course instructor, students affected, and department chair.

Pass/Fail Option

Each semester, an undergraduate student may elect a total of four credit hours to be taken under the Pass/Fail option. During a four-year course of study, no more than thirty-two credit hours may be taken under this option, though the restriction does not apply to courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis, such as some practica and fieldwork.

A grade of “P” (Pass) does not affect a student’s cumulative grade point average, but a failing grade of “F” (Fail), whether it is awarded under the letter grade system or the Pass/Fail option, is computed in the cumulative grade point average.

The following restrictions apply to the election of the Pass/Fail option:

  • Any course that is not required to have a minimum can be taken Pass/Fail with advisor approval (form available on MyWheelock portal).
  • Students must receive letter grades in courses that they select to fulfill General Education requirements or in their majors and professional concentrations, excluding practica.
  • Only one course in a student’s minor may be taken under the Pass/Fail option.
  • Students on probation must take all courses (except courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis) for letter grades.
  • Students must declare their choices of the Pass/Fail option by the Drop course deadline. After this time, neither students nor instructors may change the grading election.

For full-semester courses, students must declare their choices of the Pass/Fail option before the fourth class meeting. For seven-week courses, the Pass/Fail option must be declared before the second class meeting. After these deadlines, neither students nor instructors may change the grading election.

Incomplete Grades

It is the student's responsibility to request an incomplete (I) by submitting to the instructor a completed "Request for Incomplete Form". If a student makes such a request for more than one course, he or she must complete and submit a separate form for each course. Forms are available on the MyWheelock portal and at the Office of Academic Records and Registration. The instructor, at his or her sole discretion, may grant the student's request. The instructor will submit the completed form to the Office of Academic Records and Registration at the same time that he or she submits final grades.
All incomplete work must be submitted by the student to the instructor so that the instructor may submit a change of grade to the Office of Academic Records and Registration before the deadline for submitting changes of incomplete grades as posted on the Academic Calendar. Students who plan to enter a practicum in the semester following the granting of an Incomplete must finish all work prior to beginning the practicum. If a grade has not been submitted by the deadline, the grade of "I" will be administratively changed to a failing grade "F".

Deadline to Change a Final Grade

A faculty member may change a grade he or she has assigned no later than 12 months after the original grade submission deadline. After this time the students and instructor must petition the appropriate academic review board for an exception to the grade change policy. Once a student’s degree is conferred, the student’s academic statistics are considered final and no grade changes are permitted.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is recognition of academic achievement for undergraduate students during the academic term. A student is eligible when he or she meets the following academic standards at the time the Dean’s List is compiled:

  • earns a minimum semester grade point average of 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale);
  • successfully completes a minimum of twelve credit hours on a letter-grade basis during the semester; and
  • does not carry any Incomplete grades (I) or Failing grades (F) for the semester at the time the Dean’s List is determined.

Note: A student enrolled in 20 credits where 19 credits earn grades of “A” and 1 credit earns a grade of “F” will have a term GPA of 3.8.

Declaration of Academic Program

By the end of the fall semester of sophomore year, every undergraduate student must declare an academic program, by submitting a completed Declaration of Program form to the Office of Academic Advising and Assistance.

Declaration of a Minor

Students wishing to declare a minor should contact their academic advisor and then complete the Declaration of Minor form and submit the completed form to the Office of Academic Records and Registration for final approval. The deadline for declaring a minor is the first semester senior year.

Undergraduate Class Standing

Class standings for undergraduate students are defined by credits earned, according to the chart below:

Standing Credits Earned
First Year (FY) 0 – 27
Sophomore (SO) 28 – 61
Junior (JR) 62 - 97
Senior (SR) 98 -

Academic Status

To complete degree requirements in four years, full-time undergraduates normally carry a course load of between sixteen to eighteen credit hours per semester. For the purposes of financial aid, on-campus housing, and eligibility for the Dean’s List, a course load of twelve credit hours per semester is considered full-time. During his or her first semester at Wheelock College, a student may enroll in courses totaling no more than eighteen credit hours. Thereafter, except during a semester when he or she is enrolled in a practicum, a student may enroll in courses totaling no more than twenty credit hours. During a semester in which a student is enrolled in a practicum, he or she may enroll in courses totaling no more than sixteen credit hours unless he or she has received prior approval from the Scholastic Review Board. To obtain such approval, a student must complete and submit to the Scholastic Review Board a Request to Overload form, which is available on MyWheelock portal and at the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

Latin Honors

Latin Honors at Wheelock College is just one way that we honor the hard work and dedication of our students. As of December 17, 2017, all graduating seniors who meet the cumulative grade point average requirement outlined below are eligible to be considered for Latin Honors. Qualification for Latin Honors depends on grades earned in a minimum of 68 credit hours earned at Wheelock College. To be eligible for Latin Honors, a student must not have engaged in any serious disciplinary infractions or have violated policies of academic honesty. Consideration for Latin Honors is only available for students earning a B.A, B.S., or B.S.W.

  Latin Honors
    Cumulative GPA
     cum laude
        3.80-3.89
 magna cum laude
         3.9-3.95
 summa cum laude
         3.96-4.0

Academic Standards

Undergraduate Students

A 2.0 (C) cumulative grade point average is the minimum acceptable standard for all undergraduate students. An undergraduate student must maintain this standard to graduate from the College and to enter a practicum. Also, all undergraduates must attain a grade of “C” or higher in the professional studies courses and the pre-professional courses required for the professional program in which they are enrolled. (This policy does not apply to foundation courses in Arts and Sciences.) In addition, a student must demonstrate during pre-practicum courses a strong likelihood that he or she will be able to complete successfully the requirements of an Arts and Science major and/or professional major. The Scholastic Review Board monitors an undergraduate student’s academic progress.

Honors Program Minimum GPA

Students in the Honors program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3. Students falling below this average will receive a warning from the Honors Committee immediately after the semester during which the GPA average appears on the transcript. Students have two semesters subsequent to the warning to raise their GPA to the required minimum. Students will be removed from the program if their GPA should fall below 3.3 again in any subsequent semester.

Undergraduate Student Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Only undergraduate students who are seniors may enroll in graduate program courses. To avoid additional charges for taking graduate program courses, seniors must enroll in a minimum of twelve credit hours of undergraduate level courses in the semester in which they enroll in graduate program courses. Seniors may take a maximum of six credit hours of graduate program courses. If a senior enrolls in more than six credit hours of graduate program courses, or less than twelve credit hours of undergraduate level courses, the student’s financial obligations to the College and his or her financial aid may be affected.

To enroll in a graduate program course, a senior must:

  • obtain and complete the Request to Enroll in Graduate Course form found on the MyWheelock portal;
  • obtain approval to enroll from the Dean of Student Success who will certify the student’s eligibility;
  • obtain written approval from the student’s academic advisor and appropriate Academic Dean (who will consult with course instructor whenever possible); and
  • submit the completed and signed Permission to Enroll form to the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

The above policy regarding undergraduate enrollment in graduate program courses does not apply to BS/MS degree program candidates.

Credit For Prior Learning (Undergraduate)

An entering undergraduate student is eligible to receive credit for prior learning if he or she:

  • is at least twenty-five years of age;
  • has not attended an institution of higher education for at least three years;
  • applies for such credit after he or she has earned at least twelve credit hours at the College; and
  • has his or her request reviewed by The Scholastic Review Board.

The following standards apply to the assessment of prior learning:

  • a maximum of thirty-two credit hours may be granted;
  • a fee equal to the tuition charge for a two-credit course will be charged to the student;
  • to support the request, the student must submit detailed information regarding the prior learning in the form of a portfolio to the Scholastic Review Board; and
  • the student’s portfolio must be submitted to the Scholastic Review Board before the middle of the second semester in which the student is enrolled at the College.

Additional guidelines and procedures regarding credit for prior learning are available from the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Credit for prior field experiences is not usually given, due to accreditation standards. For more information about a specific program, the student must contact the Dean of the program’s School.

Transfer Credit

Undergraduate students may transfer credit hours for courses successfully completed at other accredited institutions of higher education by:

  • obtaining and completing the Transfer of Credit Application form available on MyWheelock or from the Office of Academic Records and Registration;
  • submitting course description(s) of the course(s) at the other institution for review and approval by the Office of Academic Records or the Office of Academic Advising; and
  • submitting to the Registrar an official transcript issued by the other institution.

Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken Pass/Fail. No credits will be transferred unless the undergraduate student received a grade of “C” or higher in the course. If an undergraduate student seeks to transfer credit to fulfill a requirement in the student’s professional major, additional requirements may apply. Contact the Office of Academic Records and Registration to obtain additional information.

Residency Requirement for Undergraduate Students

An undergraduate student must complete a minimum of 67 credits at Wheelock College to receive a Bachelor’s degree. A student’s final semester must be completed at Wheelock. Under special circumstances a student may request an exception to this policy. However, students cannot complete more than 8 final credits outside Wheelock.