Student Classification, Progress and Status

Student Classification

A first-year student, or freshman, has fewer than six full academic courses.

A second-year student, or sophomore, has at least six full academic courses (twenty-four semester hours).

A third-year student, or junior, has at least sixteen full academic courses (sixty-four semester hours).

A fourth-year student, or senior, has at least twenty-four full academic courses (ninety-six semester hours).

A "special," visiting or transient student is one without degree-seeking status in the college.

A part-time student is one who is enrolled in fewer than three full courses per semester. Such a student is admitted, by permission of the office of the dean of the college, to certain courses without being required to present the full entrance requirements. Given the required progress standards for degree seekers, part-time students are non-degree seekers or "special" students. Work done by a part-time student does not count toward a degree unless such a student is later admitted as a degree candidate.

 Academic Progress for Degree-seeking Students

Degree-seeking students are expected to be full-time and enroll in at least three full courses each semester. All such students, except first semester freshmen, must pass three full courses to re-enroll the following semester. First semester freshmen must pass two full courses to re-enroll. At the conclusion of each semester, those students who have not met these requirements for that semester are suspended and cannot return the following semester.

In addition, students must meet the following requirements to be eligible to re-enroll the following academic year:

A first-year student must pass at least five full courses (two first semester, three second semester) for the academic year and attain a cumulative GPA of at least 1.20.

A second-year student must pass at least seven full courses for the academic year with a cumulative GPA of at least 1.60.

A third-year student must pass at least seven full courses for the academic year with a cumulative GPA of at least 1.80.

A fourth-year student must pass at least seven full courses for the academic year with a cumulative GPA of at least 1.90.

Students who fail to meet these requirements are suspended for one semester. After academic suspension for one semester, a student may make formal application for reinstatement. If reinstated, he or she will be required to meet the standard for each stage of academic residence.

Students who do not attain the grade point average required for the year or do not pass at least half the required courses during the first semester of the academic year are placed on "academic warning." Students on academic warning may enroll for the next semester. The purpose of academic warning is to notify the student that failure to meet the required standards by the end of the academic year will result in academic suspension; however, given the suspension criteria explained above, it is not possible to place each student on warning prior to suspension.


The Office of the University Registrar produces a schedule of classes and establishes dates and times for registration each semester. All students are expected to give thoughtful consideration to the selection of courses before consulting their faculty advisor. Further, individual students assume full responsibility for compliance with all academic requirements. A student is considered registered only after he or she appears properly on class lists, as indicated specifically in Banner.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Students may drop and add courses subject to the following policies and procedures:

a. During the first 10 days of a semester, students may add and drop courses online. After that, schedule changes are made by submitting a completed schedule adjustment form to the University Registrar’s office.

b. During the first five class days of a semester, a student may add a course with the approval of his or her advisor. After the fifth class day, the student must also secure the approval of the instructor in order to add a course. In exceptional circumstances, students may add courses after the 10th class day with the additional approval of the Associate Dean of the College. Students will be assessed a late add fee of $20 per course for each week commencing after the 10th day of class. Students may not add any course to their schedule, even with a late fee, later than the 20th day of classes.

c. A course dropped during the first four weeks of classes is not entered on the student’s record.

d. A course dropped after the fourth week of classes, but before the Tuesday following the first Monday in November (for the Advent semester) or the Tuesday following the first Monday in April (for the Easter semester) is recorded on the student’s record with a grade of W, which does not count in the grade point average. After mid-semester, when changes of this kind are generally not advisable, the signature of the Associate Dean of the College is also required.

e. A course dropped later than the first Monday in November (for the Advent semester) or the first Monday in April (for the Easter semester) will be recorded on the student’s record with the grade of WF, which is counted as a grade of F. Exceptions may be made (with the approval of the Associate Dean of the College and/or the College Standards Committee) only when there is clear evidence of such compelling circumstances as serious personal illness or death in the family.

f. Students are responsible for the accuracy of their course registrations. They may check their class schedule on the web at any time through their student account. No change in registration is official until it has been submitted and accepted online or until the proper form, bearing the appropriate signatures, has been received and recorded by the University Registrar’s office.

Pass/Fail Courses

Juniors and seniors with at least a 2.00 GPA may take one graded course each semester on a pass/fail basis. Pass/fail designations must be made before mid-semester. No required course or prerequisite for a required course may be taken pass/fail. This means that a student who has completed all major or minor requirements but who wishes to take an additional course or courses in the field of the major or minor may be allowed to do so. Of the thirty-two full courses needed for graduation requirements, no more than four may be taken pass/fail. A few regular courses in the college are offered on a pass/fail basis only, but these are not restricted to juniors and seniors and will not affect a student's eligibility to take other courses on this basis.

Students should establish as early as possible in the semester which, if any, courses will be taken on a pass/fail basis. Up until mid-semester a course may be established as pass/fail with the approval of the faculty advisor and the course instructor. Given the time span for declaring a course pass/fail, students are not allowed to declare a course pass/fail after the deadline. With the permission of the instructor, a student may change from pass/fail to normal grading up to two weeks after mid-semester.

A senior with a 2.00 GPA or higher may take all courses on a pass/fail basis during the semester in which the comprehensive examination is scheduled, subject to the restrictions in the first paragraph.

The grade P, for pass, does not affect the grade point average. If a student fails a pass/fail class, the grade counts as an F.

Courses taken away from Sewanee (e.g., on study abroad or in summer school elsewhere) should not be taken on a pass/fail basis.

Repeating a Course

Students planning to repeat a course previously completed should indicate this fact at the time of pre-registration/registration. Failure to do so can result in an inaccurate record or a change of credit hours; and may delay graduation. Though hourly credit is awarded but once, when a course is repeated both grades are shown on the permanent record card. If, and only if, the earlier grade was lower than C- will both grades be calculated into the cumulative grade point average. However, in order to achieve the 2.00 grade point average required for graduation or the average required to re-enroll, a student may elect to repeat any course where the grade earned is below C-. For the purpose of computing these averages (for internal use) only the latter grade will count even if it is a lower grade. A student with C- or above in a first (or only) taking of a course will have only that grade counted in the Sewanee grade point average.

Transfer Credit and Study Abroad Credit

Because academic success at the University of the South almost always requires four full years of high school preparation, the University does not normally award transfer credit for college courses earned at another college or university prior to a student's graduation from high school. Students may be considered for placement in higher-level courses on the basis of such course work.

Students wishing to transfer college credits earned during the summer prior to enrollment at the University of the South must have those courses approved for transfer in advance by the University Registrar.

Of course, the college allows some transfer credits for students who have been enrolled as degree seekers at another college or university prior to enrolling at Sewanee. The University Registrar assesses transfer work on a course-by-course basis to determine comparability to courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and applicability toward a University of the South program of study. Academic work, with a grade of C or above, from other institutions is generally accepted for credit hours only. (No credit will be accepted for a grade of C minus or lower.) Grades for such courses appear on the transcript, but they are not figured for GPA, final class ranks, academic honors, or Order of Gownsmen status. As each degree-seeking student must earn at least sixty-four semester hours of credit at Sewanee, transfer credit is limited to sixty-four semester hours.

Exceptions:  When students are enrolled in specific off-campus programs which bear a special sanction from the University of the South, the grades earned are treated as though they were given in the on-campus academic program. These programs currently are: British Studies at Oxford, European Studies in Britain and on the Continent, Classical Studies in Rome through the Intercollegiate Center, and programs of the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES).

Students planning to take courses during a summer session at another institution must obtain permission from the University Registrar to attend and approval of specific courses to be taken. Forms are available in the office of the registrar. Summer study through any study abroad program other than Sewanee in China or South Asia, Sewanee in Spain,  Sewanee in France or Sewanee in Russia, the WWII program, or the Sewanee program in Berlin must also have the approval of the associate dean of the college.

Quarter hours are converted to semester hours at 2/3 their face value (example: five quarter hours equal three semester hours).

The University of the South does not award transfer credit for course work taken on a non-credit basis or for "life experiences."

 Notification of Students' Rights with Respect to Their Education Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records (providing they have not waived this right) within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the University Registrar or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University notifies the student of the decision and advises the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures is provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University; a person serving on financial aid committees; a person or company with whom the University has contracted; a person serving on the Board of Trustees or Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

The University designates the following categories of personally identifiable student information as public or "Directory Information." The University may disclose or publish such information at its discretion: student’s full name; current enrollment status; local address and telephone number; permanent address and telephone number; temporary address and telephone number; electronic mail addresses; parents' names, addresses, and telephone numbers; date and place of birth; dates of attendance; class standing (e.g. sophomore); schedule of classes; previous educational institution(s) attended; major and minor field(s) of study; awards and honors (e.g., Dean's List, Order of Gownsmen); degree(s) conferred (including dates of conferral); full-time or part-time status; photographic or videotaped images of the student; past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, including fraternities and sororities; and height and weight of student athletes.

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information by submitting written notification on an annual basis (usually prior to the beginning of the Advent semester) to the University Registrar's Office at: The University of the South, 735 University Avenue, Sewanee, Tennessee 37383-1000. Directory information is then withheld until the student releases the hold on disclosure or until the end of the current academic year, whichever comes first. Students should understand that, by withholding directory information, some information considered important to students may not reach them.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of the South to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901

The University of the South's complete Education Records and FERPA Policy is available from the Office of the University Registrar.