Academic Policies & Procedures
Here, you'll find information on the advanced placement test (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), class attendance, credits and grades, course repeats, grade reports, grade appeal policy, academic eligibility and class standing, examinations, registration, withdrawal, conduct and readmission.Advanced Placement and Exemption
Exemption from one or more of the degree requirements and/or admission to advanced courses may be granted on the basis of the Advanced Placement Tests of the College Board, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, transfer credit, or, in some cases, placement tests taken at Sweet Briar. Neither academic credit nor placement is awarded for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), experiential learning, or Armed Services experience. Requests for information about the Advanced Placement Tests should be made to the College Board or the student’s high school counselor.
Since the College wishes to enable every student to advance at a rate commensurate with her ability and previous preparation, any student who has not participated in the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs, but believes that she is capable of doing the work of an advanced course or should be exempted from a degree requirement, may so indicate to the Dean. Placement tests and conferences with department chairs will be arranged to meet the needs of such students
Advanced Placement Test (AP)
A student who receives a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement Test will be granted credit for a year’s course or for a term’s course, as well as exemption from both the department’s introductory course, if there is one, and any appropriate general education requirement. Students must request that ETS send official score reports to the Registrar’s Office.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Sweet Briar College recognizes the challenging nature of the International Baccalaureate program of study. Six semester hours of credit will be granted to a student presenting a score of five or higher on any of the International Baccalaureate higher-level examinations. On the recommendation of the individual department, advanced placement or credit or both may be awarded to a student presenting a score of 4 on any of the International Baccalaureate higher-level examinations.
The College maintains that regular class attendance is essential to its educational plan. It is the responsibility of the student to attend all classes and to keep up her work. Faculty may take class participation into account in grading.
Credits, Grades, and Quality Points
The College requires 120 semester credit hours to be presented for graduation. Grades are assigned as follows:
|Grade||Description||Quality Points||Affect GPA||Earn Credit|
|* Incomplete indicates that a substantial piece of|
requiredworkin acoursehas notbeencompleted
because of exceptional circumstanceswhich merit
an extension of time.
A minimum grade point average of 2.00 in the major and overall is required for graduation.
Grade point averages are calculated to the second decimal point and are not rounded up or down. With specified exceptions, only graded work pursued at Sweet Briar is used in determining the grade point average. A minimum of two years of residence and 60 credit hours earned at Sweet Briar are required for the degree.
Pass/Credit/No Credit Grading Option
A student with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 may, with the approval of her advisor and the instructor, choose to take a total of two courses on a “Pass/Credit/No Credit” basis. A student in her first term at
Sweet Briar is not eligible for this option. Under this grading option, students who earn grades of “C-” or higher will receive a final grade of “P;” those who earn grades of “D+,” “D,” or “D-” will receive a final grade of “CR;” and those who earn a grade of “F” will receive a final grade of “NC.” Courses offered on a P/CR/NC grading option only are excluded from the two courses limit.
Some academic departments have policies which further limit or prohibit the use of this grading option on courses that could count toward a major or minor. Consult the major and minor requirements listed under each department for such restrictions.
If a student earns a grade below C- in a course, she may repeat the course. Course repeats are subject to the following conditions:
a) The repeated course must be the same course or its equivalent and must be taken at Sweet Briar College. Topical seminars repeated under this policy must have the same course content. When course content differs, the topical seminar may be repeated and is not subject to the conditions of this policy.
b) Grades for all course attempts will appear on the student’s transcript and will be included in all GPA calculations, but credit will be applied only once toward fulfilling degree requirements.
c) A student cannot repeat a course that is a prerequisite for a course already completed.
d) Grades earned in all course attempts will be included in the calculation for all honors.
e) Departments may designate a course as nonrepeatable. This exclusion must be included in the course description in the Catalog.
f) Students must designate at the time of registration her intent to repeat a course under the conditions of this policy. Forms for this purpose are available from the Office of the Registrar.
Sweet Briar defines a credit hour and awards credit in accordance with the federal definition of a credit hour.
Generally, all courses, with the exception of some senior capstone seminars, meet a minimum of 50 minutes of scheduled class time per week for each credit hour over the course of a 15-week semester. Senior seminars, which are 300- or 400-level courses requiring more independent work and participation by the student, meet for a minimum of 40 minutes of scheduled class time per week for each credit hour over a 15-week semester. Generally, one semester hour of credit represents a total of three hours per week of in-class and out-of-class work.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended (FERPA) provides that academic transcripts may be furnished to parents (or legal guardians) of a student without the student’s written consent only when
the parents establish the student’s status as a dependent according to the Internal Revenue Service code.
It is Sweet Briar’s expectation that each student should take the responsibility to inform her parents of her academic progress. However, if parents wish to receive copies of final grade reports, they should contact the Registrar’s Office for information on how to receive them.
Grade Appeal Policy
A student who feels that a grade reported to the Registrar’s Office is incorrect and is prepared to present evidence to support this grievance, must use the following procedure:
1. Initiate the procedure by voicing the complaint to the instructor before the end of the subsequent semester.
2. If the complaint is not resolved at the first level, the student may then take the matter to the chair of the department for mediation. If the instructor is the chair of the department, proceed to the next level.
3. If the matter is still not resolved at the department level, the student may then refer the matter to the Dean of the Faculty for further mediation.
The Dean will investigate the matter and take appropriate action. A grade may be changed only if such change is necessitated by a clerical error or other oversight. Grade changes are limited to the semester subsequent to that
in which the work was done.
Academic Eligibility and Class Standing
Any student who fails to achieve a cumulative credit ratio of 2.00 at the end of any term will be reported by the Dean to the Eligibility Committee, which may place the student on academic warning, academic probation, academic suspension, or declare her ineligible to continue her college course. Normally, a student with a GPA below 1.80 shall be placed on academic probation.
The status of a student who has been placed on academic warning or academic probation for three consecutive semesters shall be reviewed by the Eligibility Committee, who may suspend the student or declare her ineligible to continue.
Students not making satisfactory progress toward the degree or who experience extreme academic difficulty in a given term may be placed on academic warning or academic probation even if their cumulative GPA is greater than 2.00.
No student on academic warning or academic probation may hold any extracurricular office or compete on club or varsity teams.
Class standing is determined by completion of credit hours as follows:
|Class||Credit Hours Earned|
90.00 or more
Satisfactory Progress Requirement
Students must demonstrate progress toward the degree by completing a minimum number of semester hours and maintaining a minimum credit ratio. Only courses taken for credit will be used in calculating the minimum hours
earned: withdrawals, incompletes, and noncredit courses will not be included.
For full-time students, satisfactory academic progress is demonstrated by advancing to the next class each year. Students who fail to meet this standard are ineligible to receive needbased financial aid. They may regain eligibility
to receive need aid once they regain satisfactory academic progress.
In the fall term of her fourth year, a student must have passed at least 87 semester credit hours, must have a cumulative credit ratio of not less that 1.90.
In the fall term of her third year, a student must have passed at least 54 semester credit hours and have a cumulative credit ratio of not less than 1.80.
In the fall term of her second year, a student must have passed at least 21 semester credit hours and have a cumulative credit ratio of not less than 1.70.
For part-time students, satisfactory progress is demonstrated by compliance with the following schedule:
|End of Year||Minimum semester hrs||Minimum GPA|
Students who fail to meet this standard are ineligible to receive need-based financial aid.
They may regain eligibility to receive need aid once they regain satisfactory academic progress.
The academic progress of all students shall be monitored twice a year by the Eligibility Committee. The status of a student, who at the beginning of the academic year, has failed to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the degree shall be reviewed by the Eligibility Committee, who shall place her on warning, probation, or declare her ineligible to continue at the college.
Examinations are given in all courses at the end of each term, unless the instructor decides upon some other means of assessment. Students self-schedule their examinations within the period provided in the official calendar for the term. All tests and examinations are given under the Honor System. Violation of its requirements constitutes a serious offense.
Students, both new and returning, must complete their registration for courses on the dates specified by the Registrar’s Office each year. To carry more than 18 credit hours per semester, a student must have special permission from her advisor and the Dean.
Withdrawal from the College
A student who wishes to withdraw from college during the academic year must present to the Dean the written approval of her parents or guardian stating the reasons for withdrawal and must clear all financial obligations before her transcripts will be released.
The College reserves the right to exclude at any time any student whose conduct or academic standing it regards as unsatisfactory.
Readmission to the College
Readmission after withdrawal from Sweet Briar is not automatic. To request readmission, students should write to the Dean of the Faculty.