Academic Information and Policies

Academic Catalog 2010–2011

Gustavus Adolphus College Honor Code

Every Gustavus Adolphus College student is required to sign the following
statement before final admittance into the College:

As a community of scholars, the faculty and students of Gustavus Adolphus College have formulated an academic honesty policy and honor code system, which is printed in the Academic Bulletin and in the Gustavus Guide. As a student at Gustavus Adolphus College I agree to uphold the honor code. This means that I will abide by the academic honesty policy, and abide by decisions of the joint student/faculty Honor Board.

Through information provided in syllabi and/or other means, faculty members will explain to students how the Honor Code will operate in their respective courses. The following statement is suggested as a pledge for students to sign on all graded assignments and projects:

On my honor, I pledge that I have not given, received, or tolerated others’ use of unauthorized aid in completing this work.

A similar statement may be signed by students at the beginning of a course, indicating that their work for that course will comply with the academic honesty policy and the Honor Code.

Gustavus Adolphus College is proud to operate under an honor system. The faculty and students have jointly created an Honor Board to enforce this policy. In signing this statement a student is promising that his or her work complies fully with the authorized aid as defined by the professor. It is each professor’s responsibility to state course penalties for academic honesty policy violations, and to define the level of authorized aid appropriate to the work in the course or to the particular assignment. However, the student is responsible to ask questions about any reasonable doubt regarding the professor’s definition.

Under the academic honesty policy, the instructor informs “the student and the Office of the Provost of the nature of the offense, the penalty within the course, and the recommendation of the instructor as to whether further disciplinary action is warranted.” The in-course penalties and notification of the Provost’s Office should end the matter in most cases. However, if a student disputes the allegation of academic dishonesty, the student can request an Honor Board hearing.

A six-member Honor Board panel (three students and three faculty members) will investigate and hear the case. Both the accused student and the instructor have the right to submit statements and documents and/or be present for the proceeding. A 4–2 vote is needed to decide that the student is indeed guilty of an academic honesty policy violation. If the Board rules that a violation occurred, all other provisions of the academic honesty policy will apply, including the instructor’s in-course penalties, and possible probation or suspension for repeated offenses. If the student is not found guilty it will be presumed that no violation occurred, and the faculty member will not penalize the student for an honesty violation. (Honesty aside, the quality of the student’s work is still subject to the instructor’s professional judgment.)

The Honor Board pool comprises six students and six faculty members. From this pool of twelve, three students and three faculty members will be appointed by the Office of the Provost to investigate and adjudicate cases involving the academic honesty policy. Potential student members are required to complete an application, and are interviewed and nominated each spring for the next academic year by the Student Senate Academic Affairs Committee. After receiving the nominations, the Student Senate Cabinet appoints the student board members. The faculty members are invited to indicate an interest in serving on the board, and are then nominated by the Academic Operations Committee. The Faculty Senate makes the appointment of faculty board members each spring. Each Honor Board member participates in an orientation session and is instructed on the importance of confidentiality and proper investigation procedures.

The proctoring of exams will be at the discretion of the instructor.

An integral part of the honor code is non-tolerance of violations. This non-tolerance policy recognizes that we are not only responsible for our own ethical conduct but are also members of a vital community with obligations to contribute to its ethical climate. Under this code students are not expected to police others’ actions. Rather, students agree to report violations of which they become aware and for which failure to do so would constitute an honor code violation. Maliciously making a false accusation will be considered a violation of the honor code.

Academic Honesty Policy

The faculty of Gustavus Adolphus College expects all students to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty, and to refrain from any action that impinges upon academic freedom of other members of the college community. In all academic exercises, examinations, presentations, speeches, papers, and reports, students shall submit their own work. Footnotes or some other acceptable form of citation must accompany any use of another’s words or ideas. Students are especially cautioned that quoting or paraphrasing from electronic sources without proper citation is as serious a violation as copying from a book or other printed source.

In the case of cheating or plagiarism, the instructor will inform the student and the Office of the Provost of the nature of the offense, the penalty within the course, and the recommendation of the instructor as to whether further disciplinary action is warranted. Another instance of academic dishonesty will result in review of the student’s record by the probation committee and may result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a pattern of academic dishonesty continues, the student may be permanently dismissed from the College.

A student may not submit work that is substantially the same in two courses without first gaining permission of both instructors if the courses are taken concurrently, or permission of the current instructor if the work had been submitted in a previous semester.

The faculty regards the damaging of library materials and failing to sign out or to return them properly, and the misuse of computer files and programs as equally serious violations of the ethical standards of courtesy, fairness, and honesty that bind together a community of scholars.

Individuals who use the College’s computer facilities assume the responsibility of seeing that these resources are used in an appropriate manner. Misuse of computer hardware, software, data, and output is a violation of College policy and regulations and may also be a violation of law if data of other computer users are disturbed or the privacy of individuals is violated.

Finally, students who serve the College in positions of responsibility in which they deal with test materials, letters of recommendation, and other matters that must be held in confidence are expected to maintain confidentiality and to adhere to the same high standards of personal integrity.

Student Education Records

Gustavus Adolphus College accords its students all rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and related state laws.

Under FERPA provisions, as amended in December 1974, enrolled students have the right to inspect their education records. Education records do not include personal records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel; security department records; student health records; employment records; or alumni records.

In addition, under Minnesota law, individuals, whether enrolled students or not, have the right to be informed, upon request, of the content and meaning of their Gustavus student records (except those confidential by statute).

Students may request the amendment of their education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights. Written requests for such amendment should be made directly to the office where the information is maintained.

The College will not disclose information from students’ education records without their written consent except to the extent authorized by law.

At its discretion, the College may provide directory information to any inquirer. Directory information includes: periods of enrollment, degrees awarded, honors, major(s), date of graduation, home and college addresses, e-mail and telephone numbers, and date of birth. Students may prevent directory information about them from being disclosed by formally notifying the Office of the Registrar.

Students who believe that their rights under FERPA have been abridged may file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20201.

The complete College policy on student education records is available to any individual upon request from the Registrar’s and Dean of Students’ offices.

Classification of Students

Students at Gustavus Adolphus College are classified by their enrollment status (full-time or part-time), by their class standing (first-year, sophomore, junior, senior, special), and by their academic standing (Dean’s List, in good standing, academic probation).

The normal enrollment status for degree-seeking students is full-time (3 or more course credits in a fall or spring semester); special approval from the faculty committee on petitions is required for degree-seeking students to enroll part-time.

A student’s class standing is determined by the number of courses completed. To be classified as a sophomore, a student must have earned 7 courses, juniors require 16, seniors require 25, and second-semester seniors require 30.

Standards for academic standing classifications are described in detail in this section of the Academic Bulletin within sections titled “Academic Honors” and “Academic Probation.”

Catalog Applicability

Students who matriculated prior to September 2005 must fulfill the pre-2005 general requirements for graduation. Students who matriculate in or after September 2005 must fulfill the new (current) general requirements for graduation. Students may elect to satisfy the departmental major requirements of any of the catalogs in effect during their years of enrollment at Gustavus. A student who is readmitted after more than three years out of the College must complete the departmental major requirements of the most current catalog at the time of readmission or any one of the catalogs in effect during their subsequent years of continuous enrollment at Gustavus. With regard to other matters that are unrelated, or are only marginally related, to degree requirements (such as grading or various administrative procedures), changes apply to all students and exception is granted only by decision of the Petitions Committee.


Incoming students register for classes individually on campus in the summer after their high school senior year with an admissions counselor or faculty member, or by mail or phone. The academic advising program continues this counseling during orientation in September and throughout the first year.

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for processing the registrations for all courses offered at the College and for maintaining the official transcript of each Gustavus student. The transcript is a permanent record of a student’s formal academic experience, which includes:

  1. All courses for which the student was registered at the end of the second week of the regular term or the end of the fourth day of January Interim.
  2. Any changes in course registration made after the second week of the regular term or the third day of January Interim.
  3. Grades for all courses from which the student did not withdraw.
  4. A student’s academic probation status or suspension from the institution.
  5. Majors and minors are noted on the transcript if they are complete and if they are part of the student’s graduation application.

A student’s transcript and correspondence files are confidential; no one other than Gustavus staff members is allowed access to these records without student permission. Official copies of a student’s transcript are made available only after receipt of a written request from the student. See “Access to Student Records” for further specific information about record confidentiality.

A student’s progress toward graduation is measured by the total number of courses completed and the distribution of those courses in the specified general education areas of the College. For the purpose of communicating with other institutions and for evaluating course work transferring into the institution, the College considers each of its full courses to be the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours.

Each student is responsible for selecting courses and registering them with the Office of the Registrar prior to each term in the academic calendar. This proposed course of study must be approved by the student’s academic adviser before it is processed.

Adding and Dropping Courses

College policy does not allow students to register for full-credit courses after the end of the second week of the Fall and Spring semesters or the third day of the January Interim. Individual faculty may set stricter limitations on entry into their courses. Registration for partial-credit courses may occur any time up to and including the first meeting day of the course.

A student may withdraw from (drop) a full-credit course during the first two weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters and the first three days of January Interim without having that course participation recorded on the transcript. For partial credit courses in Fall and Spring semesters, only one week is allowed. Course withdrawals after this time will be recorded on the student transcript as a “W.” No withdrawal from a course is permitted after the tenth week of a full-semester course, the fifth week of a half-semester course, or the third week of a January Interim course. Courses for which a student is registered after these times will receive final grades.


Students who wish to have an adjustment in degree or registration requirements must submit a petition to the Academic Petitions Committee. The committee meets monthly and comprises an Academic Dean, the Registrar, and two appointed faculty members. Petitions for late adjustments in course registration have a processing fee assessed for each change. A change in the academic record will not be made more than one year after the record was created. Appeals of committee decisions are made in writing to the Provost. For further information contact the Office of the Registrar.

Disability Accommodations

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) work together to ensure “reasonable accommodation” and non-discrimination for students with disabilities in higher education. Students who have a physical, psychiatric/emotional, medical, learning, or attentional disability that may have an effect on their ability to complete assigned course work should contact the Disability Services Coordinator in the Advising Center, who will review the concerns and decide with each student what accommodations are necessary.

The faculty recognizes that occasionally a requirement for graduation needs to be adjusted in order to provide reasonable accommodation for a student with a documented disability. In cases where such a need is determined by the College’s Disability Services Coordinator, the student seeking such accommodation will be instructed to file a petition with the Academic Petitions Committee. The committee will review the request and, when appropriate, determine adjustments to the requirement in consultation with the relevant academic department. For more information, contact the Disability Services Coordinator in the Advising Center.

Earning Course Credits

The requirements for a course may be met in one of the following ways:

  1. By successful completion of the course.
  2. By earning a grade of 4 or above in the Advanced Placement Test of the College Examination Board (college credit given).
  3. By earning a grade of 4 or above in the higher level exams of the International Baccalaureate.
  4. By passing an examination for certain designated courses administered by the appropriate department (college credit given).

Credit Transfer Guide

Transfer credit is awarded only after receipt of an official transcript from the host institution and is subject to the following standards:

  1. One Gustavus course is the equivalent of four semester or six quarter credits.
  2. Courses must be from another regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  3. Courses must not be a repeat of previous coursework nor more elementary than previous coursework.
  4. Courses must be appropriate for a college liberal arts curriculum.
  5. Courses must be graded “C–” or higher.
  6. Internships must meet Gustavus academic requirements and be approved in advance.

Gustavus students planning transfer coursework should meet with either the Registrar or Assistant Registrar prior to registering.

Course Numbers and Levels

  1. Courses numbered 100–199 are in Level I and are considered to be introductory.
  2. Courses numbered 200–299 are in Level II and assume a capacity for the independent acquisition of material and the mastery of methods and subject matter in Level I courses.
  3. Courses numbered 300–399 are in Level III and are usually oriented toward the major and require a basic factual and theoretical knowledge appropriate to the discipline. Students in these courses typically are juniors or seniors.

Overload Guidelines

The normal course load for full-time students is 3 to 4.8 courses per semester. Students may not register for more than this during their first semester at the College. After successfully completing at least one semester of full-time study, a student may choose to register for a maximum of 5.8 courses in a semester and pay a pro-rata overload fee. This fee is waived for those with a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 or higher.


A student may register for a course on an audit basis by obtaining permission of the instructor of the course. Participation in a course as an auditor does not require completion of course assignments or exams, but does require regular attendance. The audit is recorded on the student transcript at the end of the term with a grade of “V,” upon verification by the instructor of regular attendance. Without such verification, a withdrawal is recorded.

Registration on an audit basis will not lead to academic credit, although a registration can be changed from credit to audit or from audit to credit during the regular add/drop period with permission of the instructor. Changing from audit to credit status may require the payment of additional fees depending upon the student’s total course load. For regular students carrying three or more courses for academic credit, there will be no charge for a course audit provided that the student’s total load (both for credit and audited courses) does not exceed 4.8 courses. Audit fees for part-time students or for students carrying more than 4.8 courses are listed in the section of this catalog titled “Expenses and Financial Assistance.”

Academic Schedule Conflicts


The heart of Gustavus Adolphus College is its academic program. Regular class attendance is expected and takes priority over other College activities. Because the College offers diverse activities that carry varying degrees of academic credit, students participating in sports, music, debate, and similar activities will inevitably encounter conflicts. Difficult choices must be made.

The College has developed a daily schedule that is designed to minimize conflicts between the many curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities that are offered. Faculty members are responsible for making their attendance policy clear, in writing, at the beginning of the term. Faculty members who require attendance at activities outside of the scheduled class times (such as evening examinations, special lectures, field trips, rehearsals, practices, or conferences) should notify students as far in advance as possible, so that in the event of conflicts, alternative ways of meeting these requirements can be negotiated. Each student is accountable for

all work missed because of absences from class, and instructors are not required to make special arrangements for students who have been absent.

Class absences will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the instructor. If a student is going to miss class for any reason, the student should discuss this with the instructor as early as possible. Students choosing to be absent should recognize that their lack of participation in that community of scholars may redound negatively upon their final grade. Absences for any reason may be taken into account in the evaluation of a student’s work, and a student may be dropped from the class if the student misses more classes than allowed by the professor.

No games or activities, with the possible exception of tournaments, may be scheduled during final exams. For students who must miss final examinations because of such tournaments, faculty members will provide reasonable and appropriate alternatives for satisfying the course requirement.


Faculty members and others scheduling courses offered by special arrangement, activities associated with courses but not reflected in the Master Course Schedule, or other approved activities should make every effort to avoid conflicts with the courses listed on the Master Course Schedule. The person scheduling these activities should make the schedule of dates and times for them available to participating students as far in advance as possible in written form. Some flexibility will need to be built into these activities, recognizing that students have already constructed a schedule based on the Master Course Schedule.

Normally, classes and laboratories will be scheduled during the first eight periods of the day, and varsity sports, choirs, bands, etc. will be scheduled after seventh hour. Some exceptions, such as late laboratories, are unavoidable, but efforts should be made to minimize conflicts by making other options available to those students affected.

As an increasing number of courses are scheduled to meet in the evening, those who arrange evening events, such as lectures and evening exams, must become more sensitive to the issue of conflicts. Courses with associated events in the evenings should be indicated as such in the Master Course Schedule. The written syllabi for these courses should list the planned evening events and should indicate possible solutions to conflicts.

Intercollegiate sporting events should be scheduled in order to minimize the number of classes students will miss and to minimize travel as much as possible. Most should be planned for weekends, holidays, and vacations, not weekdays. Neither practice nor dressing and taping time should be acceptable excuses for missing class.

Independent Study

Students may pursue individualized courses of study for Independent Study credit in courses 291 and 391. Each department will provide guidelines specific to that department. The student must obtain permission from the department and the instructor directing the study. The course will be entered on the student’s transcript under the name “Independent Study.” Special approval from the Petitions Committee is needed to register for more than one course credit of independent study per semester.

The student who wishes to design a course of study and pursue it independently should write out a proposal for an Independent Study course and take the written proposal to the instructor. The proposal must contain, in addition to a statement of intention, a list of the readings, experiments, projects, and reports which the

student proposes to complete in the course. If the instructor and department approve the proposal, the proposal form will be signed.

A student wishing to complete an Independent Study course in an international location must submit their completed application to the Office of International Education according to the deadlines printed on the proposal form available in the Office of the Registrar.

Registration for all independent studies in the Fall and Spring semesters must be completed during the first two weeks of the semester. For Interim Experience registration deadlines, see the IEX course catalog. First-year students may not enroll in an independent study for January.

Course by Arrangement

Some regular courses in the curriculum are appropriate for offering outside of the normal scheduling system as special tutorials or individual study. Courses by arrangement are not appropriate for students wishing to retake a course. With the department chair’s and the instructor’s written approval, a student can register such a course as a “course by arrangement,” carrying the same title and credit as normally.

Declaring a Major

All first-year college students at Gustavus Adolphus enroll in the Bachelor of Arts program without a declared major, and they are advised in the first year by the instructor of their First Term Seminar or a faculty member teaching in Curriculum II. Subsequent enrollment in a major is accomplished by completing a Declaration of Major form, normally by the spring semester of the sophomore year, in consultation with a major adviser. Students must have a major declared to be eligible to register for classes in the spring semester of the junior year. Students may select the major requirements of any academic catalog during the years of their institutional enrollment. At the time of graduation, majors and minors are noted on the student transcript if they are complete and if they are part of the student’s graduation application.

Individualized Distributive Majors

Distributive majors that are established programs are described in the catalog. Other distributive majors can be developed to meet the specific needs of an individual student. These majors are usually interdisciplinary with a particular focus, such as a single historical period, a geographical area, or a specific theme.

A student who wants to propose an individualized distributive major must be in good academic standing. The student selects an advisory committee of three faculty members in three relevant disciplines to assist in developing a course of study. At least ten semester courses, including at least three Level III courses and a senior seminar, project, or internship are to be selected with the approval of the advisory committee. Final approval of the major takes place at a meeting of the student, the faculty advisory committee, the Registrar, and an Associate Provost. The role of the Registrar and the Associate Provost is consultative; final approval is the responsibility of the faculty advisory committee. The individualized major must be approved by the end of the sophomore year. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Internship Program

The Internship Program at Gustavus Adolphus College consists of two components: January Career Exploration (268) and semester/summer internships (368). Career exploration placements are normally designed to give students a closer look at potential career choices through working and observing. Semester/summer internships are designed to give students experience in their chosen career and are an extension and application of prerequisite academic skills. Internships are available in all disciplines. Preapproval by the Internship Director is required for any non-Gustavus internships which students intend to transfer into the degree program at Gustavus.

The following guidelines have been established for the Internship Program at Gustavus:

1. A student will be permitted a maximum of four course credits of career-related experiential education to be counted toward graduation requirements. This maximum includes: Career Exploration (268), Internships (368), Psychology Practicum (PSY-396), Teaching Career Exploration (EDU-268), and Student Teaching (EDU-392, 393, 394, 395). Additional credits (beyond the maximum of four) can be taken as a course audit (standard tuition applies), but would not be counted toward graduation. Applying internship credit towards a major is determined by the academic department.

2. A full semester/summer internship may carry a value of up to three course credits. The amount of credit is based on a fourteen-week academic semester and a ten- to twelve-week summer term, and will depend on the number of hours worked, with hours distributed over the entire term. Three course credits is the equivalent of full-time work (35–40 hours per week). Two course credits is the equivalent of half-time work (20 hours per week). One course credit is the equivalent of part-time work (10–12 hours per week). Beginning and ending dates are based on the College’s academic calendar. A Career Exploration normally carries a value of one course credit, representing 40 hours of work per week for four weeks. No student may register for less than .50 course credit for any internship.

3. Regular semester internships are for juniors and seniors. Interim Experience Career Exploration is for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

4. All Career Exploration interns are expected to maintain a daily journal and conduct at least one informational interview. Other projects may be assigned at the discretion of the faculty sponsor. Full semester/summer interns work with a faculty sponsor to determine academic assignments. These may include a weekly journal, a final project (research, paper, presentation, etc.), and/or related readings.

5. All internships and career exploration experiences will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Tuition charges and eligibility for financial aid follow established college policy.

6. A student who is on academic or disciplinary probation will not be permitted to participate in an internship or career exploration. Students who register in such accept the financial risks associated with being barred from participating should they be on academic or disciplinary probation or suspended when the term begins. These financial risks include, but are not limited to, unrecoverable deposits, fares, reservations, and pro-rated group costs.

7. The College reserves the right to remove a student on academic or disciplinary probation from an internship or career exploration if it deems such action to be in the best interest of the student, the College, or the host organization.

8. A student wishing to complete a Career Exploration or Internship course in an international location must submit their completed application to the Office of International Education according to the deadlines printed on the proposal form available in the Office of the Registrar.

International and Domestic Off-Campus Programs

Gustavus Adolphus College is committed to the idea that an internationalized dimension is essential to a quality education, to building scholarly standing, to augmenting service to society, and to developing a critical awareness of the common problems facing the world. We value diversity and cohesion, and acknowledge that there are many different ways of knowing. Internationalized education at Gustavus should move students to understand the richness of culture, the complexities of religion and ethnicity, the nuances of power, and the histories of many peoples which result in different world views. Our goal is to prepare students who can communicate freely with others in the realm of ideas, think critically, and who can act as responsible, concerned citizens of an ever-changing world.

To achieve the goals stated above, the Center for International and Cultural Education works individually with students who wish to study off-campus and advises them about the many opportunities available which integrate learning on-campus with a study experience in a domestic or international off-campus setting. Programs are available for most major, minor, and interdisciplinary programs—from community development studies in India to biochemistry in Australia or England; from foreign language study worldwide to January Interim courses led by Gustavus faculty. A brochure listing international and domestic off-campus study programs approved by the College, as well as application procedures and policies, is available from the Center for International and Cultural Education or visit the the CICE website. Course information for January off-campus study courses is available in March for the following January.

Participation in any approved off-campus study program is available to qualified students. The following are some of the policies which govern student participation in semester, year-long, and January off-campus studies programs. For a complete list of policies and procedures, including cancellation, refund, health, and safety policies, please see the Center website.

  1. The student must complete an application and receive approval for the study program from the Center for International and Cultural Education. Extensions of stay and change of programs must have the College’s approval.
  2. Applications for all programs must be submitted by March 1 for fall semester, spring semester, and academic year programs. Applications for off-campus January Interim courses may be submitted between mid-April and mid-September prior to the January Interim.
  3. Applicants for off-campus study should be in good academic standing at Gustavus. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 is required for participation in off-campus study. Some programs require an even higher standard. Sophomore, junior, or senior class standing is normally required in order to participate in a semester or year-long program. Students of any class year may participate in a January Interim off-campus experience.
  4. Study overseas should include study of native language, where appropriate. Advanced language study is strongly encouraged.
  5. The student account in the Finance Office must be paid in full or receive special clearance as a part of the application process.
  6. Students studying off-campus for either a semester or year must be registered as full-time Gustavus students.
  7. Finances for off-campus study are as follows:
    • All students on an off-campus semester or year-long program pay Gustavus tuition plus a program fee which generally includes the on-site costs for tuition, room and board, and any other required costs at the host institution. Because program fees vary, and usually do not include transportation (airfare), students are encouraged to consult the Study Abroad Adviser to discuss estimated costs for each program.
    • Students on off-campus January Interim courses pay a program fee for the actual costs of the program. Because program fees vary depending on the course, the location, and changes in the travel industry, students are encouraged to consult the January Interim Off-Campus Program Coordinator.
    • The Center for International and Cultural Education provides cost estimate sheets for each student approved for off-campus study. Generally, any off-campus study program will cost more than studying on campus. Financial aid, with the exception of student employment, applies toward all Gustavus approved semester and year-long programs. Financial aid does not apply to January Interim off-campus courses, but students may apply for a low-interest loan to cover the cost of the program.
  8. If a student studying off-campus for the Fall semester wishes to enroll in a January Interim course at no additional cost, that student must attend Gustavus on a full-time basis in the following Spring semester. If a student is studying off-campus for both Fall and Spring semesters, that student may enroll for a January Interim course. However, the student will be billed the part-time tuition rate for the course.
  9. Credit earned by the student on approved semester or year-long programs will normally transfer as credit toward graduation, and may fulfill major/minor requirements subject to departmental approval. One successful semester of study abroad in a non-European country satisfies a non-Western culture requirement (NWEST). Credit may be applied toward other area requirements only with the prior approval of the Registrar. Credit for Interim Experience courses count toward graduation requirements, but normally may not count toward major or general education requirements.
  10. In order for the credits to be transferred to Gustavus, the course must be appropriate to a liberal arts curriculum and must not be a repeat of or more elementary than a course a student has already taken. In addition, the student must obtain at least a C– abroad in each course for which they wish to receive credit. A grade of D+ or below does not transfer back to Gustavus. Grades earned on an off-campus study program appear on the Gustavus transcript but are not figured into the GPA unless the course/program was instructed by a Gustavus faculty member.
  11. Students may not participate in an off-campus study program while on academic or disciplinary probation.
  12. Leaves of absence are not applicable to off-campus study programs. For additional information, contact the Center for International and Cultural Education or visit the CICE website.

For additional information, contact the Center for International and Cultural Education or visit the CICE website.

Interim Experience

January Term (IEX) differs from the regular semester in two principal ways: its brief length, approximately four weeks; and the immersion of students and faculty in one subject for that time period. Because of these differences, the mission of Interim Experience is to provide ways for faculty and students to take advantage of this term’s unique qualities in developing courses and other learning opportunities that enrich and expand upon the College’s regular semester curricular offerings. The institutional mission of the College calls for balancing educational tradition with innovation, study within a general framework that is interdisciplinary and international in perspective, and preparation of students to lead lives of leadership and service. The Interim Experience supports this mission by providing opportunity for courses that are innovative, experimental, and/or interdisciplinary. Note the following Interim Experience regulations:

  1. First-year students are strongly encouraged to enroll in a course in January. This may be an on-campus course or a Gustavus or consortium travel course. First-year students may not enroll in career explorations or independent studies.
  2. Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not permitted to participate in career exploration, or study-abroad programs, or in off-campus Interim Experience courses. Students who register in such programs and courses accept the financial risks associated with being barred from participating should they be on disciplinary or academic probation or suspended when the term begins. These financial risks include, but are not limited to, unrecoverable deposits, fares, reservations, and pro-rated group travel costs. The College reserves the right to remove a student on probation from a course or program if it deems such action to be in the best interest of the student, the College, or the program/course. Parents of dependent students are notified when a student is placed on probation.
  3. In courses with a grading option, students will select their option and formally notify the instructor before the third day of the Interim (the add/drop deadline).
  4. Students may enroll in a maximum of 1.25 courses during the Interim. However, fractional courses beyond 1.0 may not be used to reduce the requirements that each student be enrolled for a normal one-course load in at least two Interims.
  5. No IEX course (even if preapproved for general education or a departmental major) can count toward the 32 regular semester courses required for graduation.

Please consult the Interim Experience online course listings and descriptions for more detailed information.

Summer Session

Only internships and independent study are offered in the Gustavus summer session. Information concerning registration procedures for these can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

Final Exams

A campuswide final exam schedule is administered by the Office of the Registrar for Fall and Spring semesters. Faculty policy requires that the last test for a course, whether a comprehensive final exam or a partial last unit test, shall be given in accordance with this schedule. While exceptions may be made for individual students with unavoidable conflicts, instructors may not reschedule the final test date and/or time for the entire class without permission of the Registrar.

Grading System

Coursework will be graded as follows: A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D+, D, F, I (incomplete), P (pass). The grade P, defined as equal to C or better, may be given for Interim Experience courses (not including independent studies) and Fine Arts performance courses, at the discretion of the instructor; Education Department clinical courses; Internships; and Physical Education activity courses. The following values are assigned to letter grades:

Grade Number Value

Grade Number Value
A 4.0
A– 3.66
B+ 3.33
B 3.0
B– 2.66
C+ 2.33
C 2.0
C– 1.66
D+ 1.33
D 1.0
F 0

Grades of P and grades for non-Gustavus courses are not calculated in the grade point average.

Mid-Term Grade Policy

Faculty will report mid-term grades for all students. The options for each class include either A–F grading or S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory).

Incomplete Grade

“I” (Incomplete) is a temporary grade and is given at the discretion of the instructor when a student is unable to finish coursework because of medical disability or problems of comparable seriousness beyond the student’s control. This additional time to complete coursework may not extend beyond the close of the following semester, and earlier limits may be set at the discretion of the instructor.

The grade “I” for a particular student, along with an expiration date, is reported at the end of the term to the Office of the Registrar on a special form, which is signed by both the instructor and the department chair. A record of the student’s outstanding requirements in the course, grading criteria, and a grade for the course to date is filed by the instructor in the departmental office.

If before the end of the expiration date the instructor reports a final grade to the Registrar, that grade will replace the “I” and the grade point average will be computed accordingly. When the expiration date has passed without a grade being reported, an “F’ will replace the “I” and become a permanent part of the transcript record.

Change of Grade

The mark of “I” (Incomplete) is the only grading option available which keeps a course open for additional student work beyond the termination of the semester. Once a grade other than “I” has been recorded on the student transcript, it becomes part of the institutional record and can be changed only to correct an error in the original computation. A grade change cannot be made because additional coursework has been turned in after the end of the term. A change of grade may not be made more than one year after the grade was officially recorded in the Registrar’s Office.

Grade Appeals

Students have the right to be protected against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. A student who wishes to appeal a final course grade on these grounds should first appeal to the instructor. This action should end the matter in most cases, but if not, the student should appeal to the department chair (or a senior faculty member in the department if the chair is the person giving the grade). If that does not resolve the issue, the student may appeal to the Office of the Provost, which will convene the Grade Appeals Board to assist in determining an appropriate resolution. If the Grade Appeals Board determines that the grade should be changed, it would provide the instructor with a written explanation of its reasons and would request that the grade be changed. The instructor should either make the recommended change or provide a written explanation to the Grade Appeals Board for not doing so. Only then, the Provost, upon the written recommendation of the Grade Appeals Board, would have the authority to effect a change in grade over the objection of the instructor. The Grade Appeals Board will consist of five faculty members, one from each Division, nominated by the Academic Operations Committee and appointed to staggered three-year terms by the Faculty Senate. A member of the Grade Appeals Board may ask to be recused from hearing an appeal if the member perceives a conflict of interest. The student appellant may also request to disqualify a member perceived as being potentially biased from hearing the appeal. In the event that a member of the Board is recused or removed, that person will be replaced by another faculty member from the same Division, to be appointed by an Academic Dean in consultation with the chair of the Academic Operations Committee. A grade appeal must be initiated within one year after the grade was officially recorded in the Registrar’s Office.

Repeating Courses

A course may be repeated if this is done before a more advanced course in the subject has been studied. Courses graded “D” or better must be repeated at Gustavus and on a letter-graded basis each time. Grades for each time a course is taken remain on the permanent academic record; however, credit will be given only once and only the better grade (for Gustavus coursework) will be computed into the grade point average. Courses which have been failed at Gustavus may be repeated at Gustavus or at another institution. If they are repeated at Gustavus, the original grade will stay on the transcript but only the new grade, if it is better than the original grade, will be calculated into the Gustavus grade point average. If failed courses are repeated elsewhere, the original grade will stay in the Gustavus grade point average and the new grade will not be calculated into it. Note that First Term Seminar may only be taken during a student’s first semester at the College. Therefore, students may not repeat First Term Seminar.

Academic Honors

At the end of the official grading periods for fall and spring semesters, students who have completed three or more courses and earned a grade point average of 3.700 or higher for that semester are recognized for their achievement by being named to the Dean’s List.

At the end of the official grading period for the January Interim, full-time students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.700 or higher are recognized by being named to the President’s List at Honors Day, held annually in May.

At commencement, students who have a cumulative Gustavus grade point average of 3.900 or higher are designated as graduating summa cum laude; students who have a cumulative Gustavus grade point average of 3.700 to 3.899 are designated as graduating magna cum laude; students who have a cumulative Gustavus grade point average of 3.500 to 3.699 are designated as graduating cum laude.

Academic Assistantships

Each year a full-time student may be appointed as an academic assistant by each department. The appointment is based upon the following criteria:

  1. Academic excellence in major field and in general studies.
  2. Potential for excellence in academic disciplines.
  3. Expressed interest in the appointment by the appointee.

The specific responsibilities for academic assistants will vary somewhat among the departments; however, the responsibilities generally fall into one or more of the following areas:

  1. Conducting a research project.
  2. Conducting or assisting with a departmental research project.
  3. Assisting with teaching a specific course content.
  4. Serving as a student resource person for departmental decisions.

Athletic Eligibility

Students on academic or disciplinary probation may be excluded from participation in extracurricular activities. Eligibility for intercollegiate competition is determined by the standards of the College, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Copies of regulations describing eligibility are available from the Director of Athletics and from coaches.

Academic Sanctions

The College has instituted a set of sanctions, to be imposed by the Academic Probations Committee, in order to respond to problems with a student’s academic performance. These academic sanctions are distinct from the disciplinary sanctions and processes found in the statements of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Judicial Procedures in the Gustavus Guide.

Academic Probation

The College requires that its students attain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average for the awarding of the B.A. degree. Students are placed on academic probation if their work falls below minimal standards or they show a pattern of academic dishonesty. The following standards apply:

  1. First-year students will be placed on probation if they:
    1. *Receive passing grades in fewer than three regular semester courses; or
    2. Have a cumulative grade point average of less than 1.75.

First-year students placed on probation must have their spring semester
registration revalidated by their faculty adviser and the Advising Center.

  1. First-semester sophomores will be placed on probation if they:
    1. *Receive passing grades in fewer than three regular semester courses; or
    2. Have a cumulative grade point average of less than 1.9.
  2. All other full-time students will be placed on probation if they:
    1. *Receive passing grades in fewer than three regular semester courses; or
    2. Have a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0.

*Students who receive grades of “Incomplete” are placed on probation only if the coursework is not completed before the end of the next semester.

Academic records of students on probation in a given semester will be reviewed at the end of that semester by the probation committee and students will be either removed from probation, continued on probation, or suspended from the College for a period normally of one year. Coursework taken in a January Interim or summer session will not affect probationary status until after the next regular semester.

All students receiving financial aid must make satisfactory progress toward completion of a degree in order to maintain eligibility for aid. Probationary status may affect eligibility. (Please see catalog section titled “Satisfactory Progress Standards for Financial Aid Recipients.”)

  1. Students are removed from probation when, at the end of the probationary semester, they:
    1. Receive passing grades in at least three regular semester courses; and
    2. Have a cumulative grade point average at or above the minimum required for their class;
  2. Students who do not meet criteria to be removed from probation may be continued on probation at the discretion of the Academic Probation Committee. In order to be considered by the Academic Probation Committee for a continuation of their probationary status, students must:
    1. Receive passing grades in three regular semester courses with at least a 2.0 grade point average in that semester; or
    2. Make substantial progress toward achieving regular academic standing.

Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not permitted to participate in internship, career exploration, or study-abroad programs, or in off-campus January Interim courses. Students who register for such programs and courses accept the financial risks associated with being barred from participating should they be on academic probation or suspended when the term begins. These financial risks include, but are not limited to, unrecoverable deposits, fares, reservations, and pro-rated group travel costs. Parents of dependent students are notified when a student is placed on probation.

The College reserves the right with 24-hour notification to suspend students if their academic performance is regarded as undesirable during the semester in which they are on academic probation.

Academic Suspension

Students on probation may be suspended from the College if at the end of the probationary semester they:

  1. Receive passing grades in fewer than three regular semester courses; or
  2. Have a cumulative grade point average below the minimum required for their class.

The Academic Probations Committee may also suspend a student as a sanction for violations of the College’s Academic Honesty Policy.

A student who has been suspended may petition the Academic Probations Committee for a reconsideration of the decision.

Academic Expulsion

Expulsion is the permanent termination of student status and may be imposed by the Academic Probations committee for severe or repeated violations of the College’s Academic Honesty Policy. The student’s permanent academic record will carry a notation of “Academic Expulsion.” The decision to impose Academic Expulsion may be appealed to the President of the College.


Students who have left Gustavus in good standing and want to return with no other collegiate experience should make their intent known to the Registrar at least two months prior to the opening of the term to be assured of courses, housing, and financial aid.

Students who have left Gustavus in good standing and want to return after transferring to another institution should apply for readmission through the Admission Office. Transcripts of any transfer coursework should accompany the application.

Students who want to return to Gustavus after having been suspended must apply for readmission on forms available from the Advising Center. The application for readmission should be sent at least two months prior to the opening of the term and must be accompanied by an essay analyzing the reasons for suspension and the reasons for requesting readmission. If the reason for suspension was failure to meet academic standards, the applicant must also provide transcript documentation of successful full-time coursework (2.75 GPA) at another accredited institution. Applications for readmission are acted upon by the Dean of Students, an Academic Dean, the Director of Academic Advising, and the Registrar.

Medical Leave of Absence

When health reasons force a withdrawal from Gustavus before the end of the term, the affected student may apply to the Dean of Students for a medical leave of absence. The leave can be granted only with proper medical documentation. Likewise, suitable medical documentation must accompany the student’s request to the Dean of Students to resume enrollment. Students who are granted permission to withdraw for medical reasons will receive grades of “W” indicating withdrawal for the semester. Upon re-enrollment within one calendar year, students on medical leave will be charged 90 percent tuition for the semester during which they resume enrollment.