Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements
To earn a bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science), a student must:
• Complete 32 full academic courses (equal to 128 semester hours), plus two physical education credits;
• Earn one PE credit by the end of the freshman year and an additional one by the end of the sophomore year;
• Meet the general distribution requirements of the college before the beginning of the senior year;
• Of the 32 academic full courses (128 semester hours) presented for a bachelor’s degree, no more than 13 full courses (52 semester hours) may be presented in any single subject. Students and their advisors are strongly encouraged to develop a program of study for the junior and senior year that reflects breadth of involvement in disciplines beyond their principal academic interest;
• Complete an academic major, including one writing-intensive course (or its college-approved departmental or program equivalent) in the major. Note: To be accepted as a major in a particular field of study, a student must have maintained at least a 2.00 GPA in the courses already taken in that field;
• Attain a grade point average of at least 2.00 on all academic work at Sewanee;
• Spend at least four semesters in residence, including the final two semesters;
• Earn a minimum of 64 semester hours of credit at Sewanee;
• Pass a minimum academic load of three courses per semester (as well as seven during the upperclass years).

During the first two years, many of the student's courses are options listed within prescribed categories of general education. During the last two years, a student's courses are usually selected from those offered in a major field of study but also include ample electives.

The college offers a broad undergraduate education in the arts and sciences rather than a highly specialized education. To facilitate accomplishment of the fourth bulleted item above, no major is allowed to require more than 11 courses in the major field. During the final year, each student is required to pass a comprehensive examination in the major field before graduation. A student who at the time of the comprehensive examination does not have at least a 2.0 grade point average is not allowed to take the exam until the grade point average has been raised to that required level.

The General Distribution Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree (applies only to the Class of 2016 and earlier)

1. Language and Literature
a. English 101 or Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
b. Two writing-intensive courses or Interdisciplinary Humanities Program. Effective with the class of 2014, this requirement is modified to one writing-intensive course in English or in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program, with the expectation that the second writing-intensive course will be successfully completed, before graduation, in the student's major.
c. A foreign language at the third-year level or above. In Spanish the course must be 300 or, if placement is higher, a substitute course specified by the Spanish department.
The foreign language requirement may also be satisfied by the completion of two different language courses through the second-year level.

2. Mathematics, Computer Science, and Natural Science
a. One course in mathematics (except not Statistics 204) or Computer Science 101 or Computer Science 157
b. Two courses in the sciences, one of which must be a laboratory course
In psychology, 100, 251, 357, 358, and 359 are laboratory science courses; 101 and courses at the 200 level (except Psyc 202, 206, 213, 251, and 280) are non-laboratory science courses, which meet the natural science requirement.
In forestry, all courses except forestry 201, 260, and 319 may be counted toward this requirement.
In biology, all courses except biology 109 and 119 may be counted toward this requirement.

3. Social Science
a. History 100 or Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
b. One course in 100-level anthropology, Anthropology 298, 100-level economics, or 100-/200-level politics

4. Religion and Philosophy
a. One course in either religion or philosophy* or Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
*In philosophy, any course at the 100 or 200 levels (except Philosophy 201, Logic) satisfies this requirement.

5. Art and the Performing Arts
a. One full-course in the arts, art history, music (except for the specific combination of Music 102 and 103 — two half-courses), theatre (except for two half-courses), or completion of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program

6. Physical Education
a. Two semesters of physical education

Additional Requirements for a Bachelor of Science
(applies to all students)
In addition to satisfying all requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree, a candidate for the Bachelor of Science degree must:
• Complete a major in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies: chemistry, environmental studies: ecology and biodiversity, environmental studies: natural resources and the environment, forestry, geology, mathematics, physics, or psychology;
• Present four courses outside the major field from biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics, statistics, or those courses in forestry and psychology designated as meeting the general distribution requirement in natural science (see 2.b above).
• At least two of the four courses must be laboratory courses, all four must be taken at Sewanee, and none may be graded on a pass/fail basis.

Additional Requirements for a Second Bachelor's Degree
Students who have already received either the B.A. or the B.S. degree may wish to obtain the other bachelor degree. In order to receive that other degree, the student must successfully complete all requirements for the other degree (including a major) and at least eight additional full courses while enrolled as a regular full-time student in the college for two additional semesters. Students may not receive two B.A. degrees or two B.S. degrees from Sewanee.

Earning an Additional Major, Minor, or Certificate of Curricular Study after Graduation

Students who have already received the B.A. or B.S. degree and wish to earn an additional major, minor, or certificate of curricular study may do so by successfully completing at least eight additional full courses while enrolled as a regular full-time student in the college for two additional semesters and by fulfilling all requirements for the additional major, minor, or certificate of curricular study.

Additional Degree Policies
(applies to all students)
1. The faculty requires a student to have completed all academic general distribution requirements courses before the beginning of the student’s last two semesters. Students must also have earned one PE credit before the end of the freshman year, and a second PE credit before the end of the sophomore year. Exceptions may be made by petition to the College Standards Committee. A student must request and receive College Standards Committee approval to meet any general distribution requirement outside the time frame specified.

2. Without specific approval from the Office of the Dean of the College, a student may not complete a general distribution requirement with an Independent Study (444) course or courses. The only exception is Physical Education in which 444 does count.

3. General distribution courses must be taken and passed in the College of Arts and Sciences by all except transfer students. Only coursework taken by these students prior to admission to the college may be evaluated as possible substitutions for prescribed courses.

4. Effective with the class of 2014, it is expected that all students will, in the course of fulfilling requirements for their academic major, take at least one course within the major (as described under General Distribution Requirements, Writing-Intensive Courses) that exposes students to the conventions of writing and research expected in a given discipline.

Major Fields of Study
To receive a bachelor's degree, a student must declare and complete the requirements for a major field of study. There are thirty-six majors from which to choose:

American Studies
Anthropology
Art
Art History
Asian Studies
Biochemistry
Biology
Chemistry
Classical Languages
Computer Science
Economics
English
Environmental Studies: Ecology and Biodiversity
Environmental Studies: Environmental Arts and Humanities
Environmental Studies: Environment and Sustainability
Environmental Studies: Natural Resources and the Environment
Forestry
French
French Studies
Geology
German
Greek
History
International and Global Studies
Latin
Mathematics
Medieval Studies
Music
Philosophy
Physics
Politics
Psychology
Religion
Russian
Spanish
Theatre Arts


For information on requirements for specific majors, please refer to "Departments and Academic Programs."

A major consists of more than a collection of courses. Each department or committee offering a major helps students plan a coherent program of study. Having the deadline for declaring a major allows this planning. In addition, before graduation, a student must pass a comprehensive examination in the major, demonstrating critical and creative abilities as well as an understanding of the principles of the subject. Comprehensive examinations are graded either using the usual pattern (A+, A, A-, B+, etc.) or Pass/Fail, as each major department or committee chooses. Those using Pass/Fail grading may also choose the category "Pass with Distinction."

During the second semester of the second year, a student selects a major field of study under the following guidelines.

1. To be accepted as a major in a particular field of study, a student must have maintained at least a 2.00 GPA in the courses already taken in that field. A student who has completed two years of study and is in good academic standing, but who has not achieved a 2.00 GPA in the intended major field of study, may be permitted to register for one additional year. A student who, at the end of an additional year, is still not qualified to declare a major will not be permitted to enroll again.

2. Each candidate for a degree must pass a comprehensive exam in the major field of study. To be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, a student must have a 2.00 GPA in the major field and have been accepted as a major at the beginning of the semester before the semester in which the exam is to be taken.

3. No more than two courses (eight semester hours) used to satisfy requirements for a major may be used to fulfill requirements for another major, minor, or certificate of curricular study.

Minor Fields of Study and Certificates of Curricular Study

A student may choose to complete a Minor Field of Study or, where appropriate, a Certificate of Curricular Study in an academic discipline, but doing so is not required for graduation. A Certificate recognizes a program of coursework that involves a relatively large proportion of practicum training and requires a capstone project. A Certificate is mostly intended to encourage mastery of a particular skill germane to liberal arts study; it is typically more specialized than either a Major or Minor Field of Study.

A minor or certificate is designated on the student's permanent record and transcript in addition to the required major. A student may declare a minor or certificate in the fourth semester, but no later than mid-semester of a student’s last enrolled semester. At the time of declaration, the student must have maintained at least a 2.00 GPA in the courses already taken in that subject. In addition, the student must graduate with at least a 2.00 GPA in the minor or certificate.

Each department or program has the option of requiring or not requiring a comprehensive examination in the minor subject or for the certificate. Should a scheduling conflict between a student's major and minor comprehensive examinations arise, this is resolved by rescheduling the examination in the minor or certificate.

No more than two courses (eight semester hours) used to satisfy requirements for a minor or certificate of curricular study may be used to fulfill requirements for a major or another minor or certificate of curricular study.

Minors [Certificates] are currently offered in:

Anthropology
Art
Art History
Asian Studies
Biochemistry
Biology
Business
Chemistry
Classical Languages
Computer Science [See Mathematics and Computer Science]
Creative Writing [Certificate] [See English]
Economics
Education
Film Studies
Forestry
French and French Studies
Geology
German
Greek [See Classical Languages]
History
International and Global Studies
Latin [See Classical Languages]
Mathematics
Music
Neuroscience
Philosophy
Physics & Astronomy
Politics
Psychology
Religion
Religion and Environment
Russian
Shakespeare Studies
Spanish
Theatre Arts
Watershed Science [Certificate] [See Environmental Studies]
Women's and Gender Studies

For information on requirements for specific minors and certificates, please refer to "Departments and Academic Programs."

Degrees with Honors, Valedictorian, and Salutatorian
A student who fulfills the degree requirements with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 graduates summa cum laude. A student with a GPA of at least 3.50 and less than 3.75 graduates magna cum laude. A student with a GPA of at least 3.25 and less than 3.50 graduates cum laude.

In addition, a student deemed worthy of special recognition in the department or program of the academic major graduates "with honors" in that field. (This is generally separate from a "with distinction" evaluation on a comprehensive examination, although departments and programs establish their own criteria for graduation "with honors.")

The College Standards Committee declares class valedictorian and salutatorian. These students must be members of the Order of Gownsmen and must have pursued a full college course at Sewanee. Exceptions may be made for students spending no more than two semesters at an officially sanctioned off-campus program.

Academic Advising
Although each student has ultimate responsibility for becoming familiar with and meeting graduation requirements, the college believes that conscientious and well-informed advising on an individual basis is an important part of the academic program. Each student is assigned an advisor from the faculty or administration, whose responsibility it is to help plan and supervise the student's academic program and to be available on other matters. An academic advisor approves the student's schedule of courses at registration and should be consulted with regard to any subsequent changes.

First-year students, or freshmen, are sometimes divided into small groups within each dormitory, and each group is assigned an academic advisor for the year. An upperclassman residing in the same dormitory — an assistant proctor — works with the academic advisor and the group of freshmen in dealing with academic and personal matters.

Second-semester freshmen, to the extent practicable, are allowed to choose an advisor from among the teaching faculty.

Third-year students, or juniors, and fourth-year students, or seniors, all of whom have declared academic majors, are advised by a designated teaching faculty member of the academic department in which they are majoring.

Academic advisors work closely with the dean and associate dean of the college, the dean of students, the University counselors, and the registrar. Students are frequently referred to these and other offices for advice and assistance.

Grading System

Student work is evaluated according to the following system: A for excellent, B for good, C for satisfactory, D for passing, F for failing, I for incomplete work (see below), W for withdrawn, WF for withdrawn failing, and P for passing in a pass/fail course. Grades are recorded in the registrar's office, and, with the exception of I, may not be changed except in cases of clerical error. Such extensions can be granted only by that office. Such changes — i.e., those based on a clerical error should be made no later than the semester following the one in which the original grade was given.

The grade I (incomplete) is given only when a professor deems that a student has failed to complete the work of a course for legitimate and unavoidable reasons. The incomplete must be replaced with a grade within one week after final examinations. An extension exceeding one week requires that a student supply very clear evidence of extenuating circumstances to the Associate Dean of the College.

Averages are computed in grade points. Each graded semester hour of academic credit carries with it a corresponding number of grade points as follows:

A+ 4.33     B+ 3.33      C+ 2.33      D+ 1.33      F 0.00

A 4.00        B 3.00        C 2.00        D 1.00

A- 3.67       B- 2.67      C- 1.67       D- 0.67

Class standing and eligibility for graduation are determined by the number of semester hours and cumulative grade point average a student has earned.

Dean's List
To qualify for the Dean's List, a student must have a semester average of 3.625 or higher after completing a semester with credit for at least three and one-half academic courses, at least three of which were taken for a grade. This list is published each semester by the Office of the Dean of the College.

Grade Appeal
A student who believes that he or she has been assigned a course grade which is unfair or inappropriate, and who has been unable to resolve the matter with the faculty member directly, may appeal to the College Standards Committee. Appeals should be initiated no later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given. Such appeals are made by letter to the committee via the Associate Dean of the College and are taken up as regular agenda items at the next scheduled meeting. The Associate Dean informs the faculty member involved of the appeal and invites this faculty member to respond to the student's claim.

The concept of academic freedom as practiced at the college prohibits the committee or any administrative officer from forcing a faculty member to change a grade. Therefore, an appeal serves more as a form of peer review than an appeal per se. The committee may suggest a solution to the dispute, may request that both the faculty member and the student justify their positions, and may recommend legislation to the faculty that might prevent conflicts from occurring in the future.

All faculty members should be aware that they may be asked to justify their personal grading procedures, and should keep adequate records of class performance. In addition, faculty should not request grade changes later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given.

Exam Rescheduling
With the approval of the teacher or teachers involved and the Associate Dean of the College, students may arrange their exam schedules so that they are not compelled to take three examinations on one calendar day or more than three examinations on any two consecutive calendar days in the examination week. Every such arrangement must be completed by the last day of the semester. Whenever possible, the morning examination will not be changed. Permission will not be granted to schedule an examination outside the regular examination week, except in case of illness. If a student has a course under an instructor who teaches more than one section of the course, the student may take the final examination with another section if the instructor gives permission.

Transcripts
The official record of all grades earned and all courses attempted or completed is the permanent record from which transcripts are made. Upon written request of the student, the registrar will send "official" transcripts to institutional addresses, providing the student's account is paid in full. In addition, the registrar's office has agreed to provide for an upper class student, upon request, an additional sheet indicating basic information about a student along with a cumulative grade point average and rank and percentile within the class.