2020-2021 University Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

Requirements for Graduation

Colgate confers one undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Arts (AB). A minimum of 32 academic course credits is required for graduation. A maximum of 2 credits from add-on fractional credit courses may count toward this requirement.

All students must meet the following requirements: a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 for all Colgate courses and a GPA of 2.00 in the major. Both full and fractional credit courses are included in the GPA. Colgate grades range from a high of A+ (4.33) to F (0.00).

It is the student’s responsibility to know where he or she stands in terms of completing graduation requirements. Students may track academic progress and plan for future semesters using Colgate’s degree audit program, which is available in the Colgate portal. Unofficial transcripts are also available in the portal, or students may request a copy from the Office of the Registrar. Students should consult with their department chair or program director and with the registrar’s office if there are questions regarding major, minor, or graduation requirements.

Students must meet all requirements of the academic program in order to be eligible for graduation, including the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, major, foreign language, and writing (if stipulated at admission). Additionally, physical education, residency, and all financial obligations to the university must be satisfied.

Degree requirements must be completed within 12 years of initial matriculation. Petitions for exemptions to this rule will be considered only in exceptional circumstances, and approved petitions for degree completion may require additional coursework to reflect changes in the university’s academic program.

Residency Requirement

Matriculated students entering as first-year students are required to complete seven terms in academic residence at Colgate. Transfer students are required to complete a minimum of four terms in academic residence at Colgate. A student participating in a Colgate study group is considered to be “in academic residence” for the purposes of this requirement. One semester of participation in an approved program will also count toward this requirement.

Physical Education Requirement

Students must complete two units of physical education at Colgate. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the requirement by the end of sophomore year. A complete listing of physical education and outdoor education activities may be found on the physical education department web page. Athletes may earn one physical education credit for each full year of participation on varsity teams. Students may earn a maximum of one physical education credit per club sport. Questions about physical education credits should be directed to the Department of Physical Education.


Students are expected to participate in official course registration on the announced dates for each term of attendance. Later registration will jeopardize admission to courses.

A student’s registration will be canceled if the student is not confirmed in residence on campus by the sixth day of classes in a semester. Similarly, a student will be unable to initiate on-campus course registration after that deadline.

Students failing to meet announced deadlines for financial obligations in any term will be placed on a “financial hold” status and normally will not be permitted to register or make schedule adjustments until the hold has been resolved.

Registration changes made during the drop/add period must be processed via the Colgate portal or must be submitted in person to the registrar’s office for processing by the announced deadline of the drop/add period for a term. The drop/add period for a course that meets less than or outside of the regular academic term is through the eighth day of the session. Students failing to finalize their registrations with the registrar’s office on time will be assessed a $50 penalty. No financial penalty will be assessed for a course withdrawal during the withdrawal period. Please see Withdrawal from a Course, below, for deadlines.

Students are not permitted to modify their course schedule after the end of the drop/add period, except with special permission granted by the Committee on Standards and Academic Standing (CSAS).

Normal Course Loads

A normal full-time course load is 4.00–4.50 course credits per semester. During early registration, students may register for no more than 4.50 course credits. Students not on academic warning who wish to take 5.00 course credits in any term may add additional courses to their schedules during the drop/add period. Because of the demanding academic load, students who wish to register for 5.00 course credits are urged to discuss this matter with their faculty advisers. Students may register for 5.50 course credits only with the written permission of their faculty adviser. Students may not take or receive credit for more than 5.50 course credits in any term except with the approval of their faculty adviser and the associate dean of the faculty, which must be secured by the end of the drop/add period.

First-year students are expected to take 4.00–4.50 course credits per term and may deviate from this plan only with permission from their academic adviser. Juniors, Seniors, or special students who plan to take fewer than 3.00 course credits in any term should refer to the section on Per Course Billing .

Independent Study

Although academic work consists primarily of courses taught in the classroom, laboratory, and field, there are a number of opportunities for independent study. Students may register for independent study during each term of the regular academic year. The essential features of the independent study program are as follows:

  1. Students may apply for independent study through a specific department/program, for which they receive course credit (0.50 or 1.00) and a grade. The credit weight must be decided at the time of application and may not be changed without administrative approval.
  2. Not more than one half of a student’s course load in any one term may be courses of independent study, except with the permission of the associate dean of the faculty. Permission must be secured before the beginning of the term.
  3. Independent study courses must be approved by the faculty supervisor and the appropriate department chair or program director no later than the last day of the drop/add period in any term.
  4. Independent study courses are not offered to students free of charge. Tuition is charged for independent studies according to the established rates whether taken as part of a full-time or part-time course load.
  5. A student who wishes to take an independent study course during a fall or spring semester when not in residence at Colgate must secure the approval of the faculty supervisor, the appropriate department chair, and the Associate Dean of the Faculty before the beginning of the term. Students must also make appropriate arrangements with the registrar’s office for independent study courses well in advance of the beginning of the term. Work equivalent to the course credits earned must be completed during the semester in which the credit is received.
  6. Independent study courses are registered according to the level of the course, which usually corresponds to the student’s class level. Sophomores who enroll for independent study courses will normally be registered at the 291 level, juniors at the 391 level, and seniors at the 491 level. First-year students normally do not enroll in independent study courses.
  7. In rare cases, students may take a conventional course independently. This should be done only for compelling reasons, and explicit permission must be received in advance from the faculty supervisor and the appropriate department chair. Students enrolling in such a course will be registered according to the normal course number, to which the suffix Z is appended to indicate that the course is taken independently.
  8. All work for independent study courses must be submitted by the last day of classes in the term to give the faculty supervisor sufficient time to evaluate the student’s performance and submit the final course grade to the university registrar.

For additional information regarding independent study policies and procedures, please refer to the registrar’s office web page at colgate.edu/registrar.

Registration Restrictions

A student may not register for a course that is a prerequisite for a course for which he or she has already received credit, unless permission is granted by the department chair/program director and the associate dean of the faculty. A student may not take crosslisted courses and receive credit for both courses. Students may not register for any courses that overlap in any of their scheduled times.

Repeating a Course

With written permission from the instructor, a student may repeat a course in which a grade of C–, C, or C+ is earned. Any course in which a grade of D+, D, D–, F, or U was received may be repeated in subsequent terms without permission of instructor. A student may not repeat a course in which a grade of B– or higher was earned. Students should declare to the registrar’s office prior to registration that the course is being repeated.

A prerequisite course may not be repeated after the successful completion of a subsequent higher level course. Courses, including discontinued courses, may not be repeated by substituting a similar or comparable course currently in the curriculum. A repeated course must be taken in the same grading mode (i.e., conventional letter grade or S/U) as the original course. Additionally, the course must be taken in the same method (e.g., a conventional course cannot be repeated on an independent basis). Courses taken on a Colgate study group may not be repeated on campus, and courses taken on campus may not be repeated on a Colgate study group, without the permission of the department chair/program director and associate dean of the faculty. A Colgate course may not be repeated by means of transfer credit from another institution, although credit for a course, with no GPA adjustment, may be earned if a student earned a grade of F or U in the equivalent Colgate course.

Only the highest grade of a repeated course will be calculated into the term and cumulative GPAs. Should a student earn the same grade on a second or subsequent attempt, only the first grade earned will be reflected in the student’s term and cumulative GPAs. Credit from the repeated course will not be counted toward overall graduation credits. Students who complete a Colgate course that is a repeat of (or equivalent to) a transfer course or Advanced Placement will not receive duplicate credit. All grades earned in courses, including transfer or Advanced Placement, remain on the student’s transcript, but will be noted as repeated. When a course is repeated after a grade of F has been assigned as a result of University Student Conduct Board action, both the original grade of F and the subsequent grade will be calculated into the cumulative GPA.

Grading Policies

The grades used to indicate the quality of the student’s performance in a completed course are as follows: A means excellent, B means good, C means satisfactory, D means poor but passing, F means failing. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is obtained by dividing the number of quality points by the number of course credits attempted for grades. Colgate grades are assigned the following quality points to full (1.00) credit courses:

A+ 4.33
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
F 0.00

The following grades are not calculated into the GPA and carry no quality points.

EX Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other international examinations
TR Credit for course work transferred from another institution
S Satisfactory for one-course-per-term grade option (Juniors or Seniors only, effective September 1985) or January project
U Unsatisfactory for one-course-per-term grade option (Juniors or Seniors only, effective September 1985) or January project
O Credit for Physical Education unit
N No credit/No course value for Physical Education unit
T Satisfactory progress in two-term course (converted to standard letter grade at end of second semester)
CR Credit Grade Recording Option (effective Spring 1981-1986)
H Honors for January term project
P Pass in Pass/Fail Option
X Failure in Pass/Fail Option
* Grades in courses taken on approved or affiliated off-campus program

W’s (withdrawal), I’s (incomplete) and NG’s (no grade submitted by instructor) are not included in the calculation of the GPA, as these are administrative notations rather than grades.

Grades appearing on a student’s academic record may normally not be changed after one semester from the end of the term in which the grade was awarded. Grade changes initiated by the course instructor(s) must follow the “Changes of Grade” policy laid out in the Colgate University Faculty Handbook. Under extraordinary circumstances, grade changes beyond one semester but before graduation may be approved by the associate dean of the faculty.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option

The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade option is designed to encourage students to explore new areas outside their majors in the spirit of a liberal education. The following conditions apply to this option:

  1. Students with junior and senior standing may elect to take one 1.00-credit course (plus any required fractional credit add-on components) or two .5-credit courses per semester, for a maximum of 4 semesters, which are evaluated “satisfactory” (S) or “unsatisfactory” (U) instead of by the conventional letter grades.
  2. It is expected that students will take a course and any required fractional add-on component with the same grade option (conventional grade or S/U). In these cases, the total credit value of S/U courses may exceed the usual 1.00 credit limit per semester.
  3. In certain instances, faculty members may require that a stand-alone course or add-on fractional credit course be offered only on a graded or S/U basis. These courses will not count against the 1.00-credit-per-semester limit.
  4. Except in item #3 above, the decision to choose the S/U option rests solely with the student.
  5. A student on academic warning may not take a course S/U.
  6. Courses taken to fulfill the Common Core, Global Engagements, areas of inquiry, language, writing, and major or minor requirements may not be taken S/U.
  7. The choice to take a particular course with the S/U option must be made prior to the end of the withdrawal period as published on the academic calendar.
  8. No course will be officially recorded as using the S/U grading option unless the student has submitted the completed Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option form to the registrar’s office by the deadline.
  9. After the end of the withdrawal period, no changes in the grading mode (conventional grade to S/U, or S/U to conventional grade) may be made.
  10. In the event of a course’s limited enrollment, a student’s desire to take the course on the S/U basis shall not be a criterion in determining his or her eligibility for the course or course section.
  11. To achieve the grade of S, the student must perform at a level that would warrant a grade of C– or better.
  12. Satisfactory completion of a course is entered on the student’s permanent transcript as S, but does not enter into the computation of the GPA. The unsatisfactory completion of a course is entered on the student’s transcript as U, but does not enter into the computation of the GPA. No course credit is awarded for a grade of U.
  13. Seniors, during their final semester, are discouraged from taking a course using the S/U option unless they will have a total of 32 course credits without the S/U course.

For additional information regarding the S/U grade option, please refer to the registrar’s office web page at colgate.edu/registrar.

Withdrawal from a Course

Students are permitted to withdraw from a course without academic penalty until the mid-term date listed in the academic calendar. For fractional credit courses that meet for the first- or second-half of term students are permitted to withdraw without academic penalty prior to the appropriate date listed in the academic calendar. The required course withdrawal form is available in the registrar’s office. Withdrawing from a course after the end of the drop/add period places a W on the transcript for the course. Students are cautioned to avoid a pattern of regularly accumulating W grades on their academic record. Withdrawals after the deadline are not permitted unless there are extraordinary circumstances (such as severe illness) that merit an exception. In those cases, a petition must be submitted to the administrative dean and approved by the Committee on Standards and Academic Standing (CSAS).

First-year students normally may withdraw from courses only for reasons beyond their ability to predict or control and only with approval of the course instructor and faculty adviser. First-year students in the fall semester must also receive approval from their administrative dean to ensure appropriate mentorship and support.

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors may withdraw from courses only with the approval of the course instructor and faculty adviser. Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors are also encouraged to discuss the withdrawal with their administrative dean to ensure appropriate mentorship and support but are not required to obtain their signature. 

International students must receive approval from their administrative dean, in addition to their faculty advisor and course instructor, to withdraw from a course regardless of their class year because such decisions may affect visa eligibility.

Student athletes must consult with the Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services, in addition to their faculty advisor and course instructor, when considering whether to withdraw from a class, as this decision may impact their NCAA athletic eligibility. Students receiving financial aid are limited to a total of 8 semesters of aid and should carefully consider how a withdrawal will impact their ability to complete their coursework within 8 semesters.

Students on academic warning may withdraw from a course only for well-documented reasons and only with approval from their administrative dean, in addition to their academic adviser and course instructor. (See Academic Warning and Suspension below.)


The temporary status of “incomplete” in a course is given only when, for compelling reasons, a student is not able to complete the work in the course by the end of the term. It is used rarely and only as a consequence of extenuating circumstances beyond the ability of the student to predict or control. A student’s request for an incomplete must be made before the end of the term and must be directed to the administrative dean, who will consult with the instructor in the course (or study group director) before making a decision. Faculty do not grant incompletes. If an incomplete is granted by the administrative dean, the dean then informs the university registrar, the student, and the faculty member electronically. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the instructor to complete the work in the course by the established deadline.

An administrative dean will grant an incomplete for a specific period of time, but in most cases the incomplete work must be completed and submitted to the faculty member not later than 20 days from the last day of the term’s final examination period. Extensions beyond the 20-day period will be granted by the administrative dean only as a result of highly unusual circumstances. The instructor will submit the appropriate grade to the Registrar within 10 days after the conclusion of the deadline for completion of work, whether or not the make-up work has been completed. If no grade is submitted, the registrar, after consultation with the instructor and administrative dean, will assign a grade of F.

Class Attendance

Attendance at all classes is expected and is an important part of one’s academic development. Since most faculty at Colgate put a premium on student participation in class, absence is likely to be detrimental to the student’s learning in any course.

Attendance practices for each course will be announced by the faculty member at the beginning of each term. Conflicts between curricular and co-curricular activities should be avoided by careful planning and scheduling of activities. The rare but unavoidable conflict should be worked out well in advance by the student with the faculty member’s permission.

Students may request that an administrative dean notify faculty members about prolonged absences due to serious health problems. Such problems must be verified by Student Health Services. Students should consult an administrative dean immediately if non-health-related obligations will force them to miss several classes. Single or brief absences should be discussed by the student and faculty member without necessarily contacting the student’s administrative dean.

Class Standing

Progress toward degree typically requires the successful completion of a minimum of 4.00 course credits per semester. Class standing is determined by the number of credits earned. A student’s initial class year and expected graduation date may be changed if progression toward degree is interrupted by leaves of absence, course failures, course withdrawals or reduced course loads.

In order to achieve junior class standing, a student must successfully complete 4 semesters and a minimum of 14 course credits. To qualify for senior standing, a student must successfully complete 6 semesters and a minimum of 22 course credits.

Students who receive financial aid should refer to Financial Aid  for eligibility for federal programs.

Minimum Academic Progress

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 each term as well as cumulatively in order to be considered in good academic standing. Students who fail to meet minimum GPA requirements are subject to academic warning or dismissal (see below) and may lose eligibility for federal and/or state aid. See Financial Aid .

Academic Warning and Suspension

The Committee on Standards and Academic Standing (CSAS), chaired by a designated member of the dean of the college staff, reviews the academic performance of all students at the end of each term. Students are expected to meet minimum GPA requirements, not only for each single term but also on a cumulative basis.

  1. A student who fails to meet minimum GPA requirements (see “Minimum Academic Progress,” above), either cumulatively or for any term, will be placed on academic warning during the next term of enrollment at Colgate, or will be suspended.
  2. Any student on academic warning who fails to earn at least a 2.00 GPA for a term will be subject to academic suspension.
  3. Any student who fails three or more courses during a term and/or who has a term or cumulative GPA of less than 1.33 will be subject to suspension even if the student is not on academic warning.
  4. A student readmitted after academic suspension will be placed on warning for the term in which he or she returns.
  5. A student who does not return from an academic suspension within four semesters will be withdrawn from the university and must apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions
  6. A second academic suspension results in permanent academic dismissal.

Off-Campus Study

Colgate Study Groups and Extended Study

Academic regulations, registration changes, and drop/add deadlines for a term apply to students participating on Colgate-sponsored off-campus programs (study groups and extended study). Colgate study group students who enroll in a host university will also need to comply with the host university’s academic regulations and registration requirements. Students making changes to their curriculum must seek Colgate approval (as outlined below) before making final course selections.

A normal course load on a Colgate study group is four courses, unless a fifth course is a required part of the program. Any deviation from this norm requires pre–approval first from the director of the study group and the director of the Office of Off-Campus Study, and subsequently from the associate dean of the faculty.

Use of the satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option for study group courses is highly discouraged. Requests for the S/U grading option for study group courses must be approved by the director of the study group, the director of the Office of Off-Campus Study/International Programs, and the associate dean of the faculty.

Students may satisfy the Global Engagements requirement by participating in all overseas study groups and for the USA-based Santa Fe and NIH study groups. However, GE credit does not apply for the Washington DC study group.

Any seniors electing to participate in a spring extended study will graduate at the next degree conferral date, but will be eligible to apply for participation in the May commencement ceremony. Please refer to the student handbook for details on commencement participation.

Approved Programs

Approved programs have been selected by individual departments to allow students to transfer credit toward the Colgate degree and a complete list of available programs may be found on the Colgate off-campus study application site (colgate.edu/OCS. Students are bound by the academic regulations and registration requirements of their approved program sponsor and host institution in addition to those of Colgate University. Students are expected to enroll in pre-approved courses equivalent to 4 Colgate credits. Any deviation from this norm requires pre-approval from the approved program sponsor, director of off-campus study, and subsequently from the associate dean of the faculty. Students who plan to participate in an approved program must submit a Transfer Credit Application Form, available in the Registrar’s Office or online, prior to departure.

Students may participate in one semester-long approved program. Students with a compelling academic reason who wish to study on a single approved program for two consecutive semesters must successfully petition the Office of Off-Campus Study. Petitions for two different approved programs will not be allowed. Students who successfully petition to participate in an approved program for two consecutive terms may transfer eight (8.00) credits toward the Colgate degree. This is the maximum transfer credit: students who earn eight credits may not receive other transfer credit, such as Advanced Placement or summer credit. This policy does not alter existing policies set by departments and programs for transferring major or minor credit.

Credit from approved programs counts toward the six-course limit for transfer credit. Credit and grades for approved programs appear on the Colgate transcript but are not counted toward the GPA. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) or other ungraded options are not permitted. Courses taken on an approved program do not count toward the Global Engagement requirement.

A student is considered enrolled at Colgate while on an approved program, with the proviso that only one such semester may count toward the seven-semester residency requirement for graduation. Note that Colgate students participating in an approved program where study is conducted at a foreign host university may not elect to study at the host university independently of the approved program provider. Similarly, Colgate students may not opt to withdraw from an approved provider program when a program is cancelled due to a global or host country emergency in order to continue to study at the host university.

Leaves of Absence

Many Colgate students complete the bachelor’s degree by attending Colgate, including participation on a study group or approved program, for eight consecutive semesters, but there are often compelling reasons for students to break this normal attendance pattern. For detailed information regarding leave options, including policies and deadlines, please consult the Colgate Student Handbook.

If unapproved leaves are taken, students are withdrawn from Colgate and must apply for re-admission through the Office of Admission. In addition, students taking an unauthorized leave of absence must be aware that their eligibility for student aid is jeopardized, and that academic work taken elsewhere is not considered for transfer credit. Any student who is uncertain about attending a future term at Colgate is urged to discuss the matter with the administrative dean prior to the deadline to submit a formal request to the Office of the Registrar for transfer credit; April 15 for the fall term and November 15 for the spring term. (See Residency Requirement and Transfer Credit Policy and Procedures in this section.)

Transfer Credit Policy and Procedures

Matriculated students may receive transfer credit for a maximum of six Colgate course credits. (Maximum credits for transfer students are outlined in “Transfer Student Program,” in this section.) This limit includes all courses taken on an approved program, at other institutions during the summer or intersession, during a leave of absence from Colgate, Advanced Placement,  International Baccalaureate or other international exam credits, and college credits earned prior to entering Colgate as a first-year student. (See “Advanced Placement and Pre-matriculation Transfer Credit” in the following section.)

Students who plan to take courses at another institution and receive transfer credit from Colgate must submit a Transfer Credit Application, which is available on the registrar’s office web page or in the registrar’s office. All courses taken off campus must be approved in advance by the Office of the Registrar to be eligible to transfer, and in some cases by the appropriate department or program. Please refer to the registrar’s office web page (colgate.edu/registrar) for detailed information regarding the types of courses that may be considered for transfer and the process for transferring credits toward the Colgate degree.

Colgate University operates on a course credit system for graduation, not a semester-hour or quarter-hour system. Faculty, students, and administrators should be aware that semester- and quarter-hour values are assigned to courses at the majority of institutions in this country and abroad, and the interpretation and evaluation of transfer credit is, therefore, complex. It must not be assumed that transfer credit is automatic or that courses taken at other institutions can be transferred to a Colgate transcript on a one-for-one basis. The semester hour/quarter hour transfer conversion chart is available on the Transfer Credit Application in the Office of the Registrar or on the registrar’s web page (colgate.edu/registrar). The registrar’s office will assist students in selecting appropriate courses, determine the amount of Colgate credit to be granted, and refer students to department chairs and program directors for specific course approvals as appropriate.

An official transcript, as well as any supporting documentation (such as department approval), should be submitted to the registrar’s office within one academic year following the term in which the coursework was completed. After a transfer course has been recorded on a student’s Colgate transcript, it may not be removed. If a student repeats the course at Colgate, the credit weight will be removed from the transfer course, but the transfer course will remain on the transcript.

Advanced Placement and Pre-matriculation Transfer Credit

Upon receipt of an official college transcript, students may be eligible to earn credit for courses taken at a regionally accredited college/university while a student is in secondary school. The courses may be considered for Colgate credit if satisfactorily completed (letter grade of C or better) and bear a minimum of three semester or five quarter hours. Courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory, pass/fail, or other ungraded basis are not acceptable. Courses taught in the high school are not accepted. The course must be taken at the college/university (e.g., with degree seeking candidates and taught by a regular member of faculty). Students may be requested to submit course syllabi or laboratory materials for evaluation purposes. College courses completed prior to matriculation may not be used to fulfill the university areas of inquiry requirement. For required forms and additional information, refer to the registrar’s office web page (colgate.edu/registrar). Colgate credit is normally granted to first-year students who achieve a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) tests or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations (higher level only), and when a department certifies that the exam score indicates a level of competence equivalent to the completion of a specific Colgate course. Individual students may petition for credit from A-Levels or other international examinations. The amount of credit, the conditions under which credit is granted, and/or placement appropriate to the academic development of the student are all determined by the appropriate Colgate academic department. Detailed descriptions of the petition process and credit policies applicable to an entering class may be found on the registrar’s office web page. Credit from standardized examinations may not be used to fulfill the university areas of inquiry requirement.

All requests for credit for academic work completed prior to entering Colgate must be filed with the registrar’s office prior to registration during the fourth semester. Supporting documentation, such as the official transcript(s), official test scores, and/or course syllabi, must be submitted with the pre-matriculation credit application. Students who fail to meet this deadline must submit a written request accompanied by a written statement of support from the academic adviser to the university registrar.

Advanced course placement without academic credit may by granted by departments to first-year students whose performance on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP subject examinations only), CEEB Achievement Tests, or the New York State Education Department’s College Proficiency Examinations gives clear evidence of competence in the courses tested.

Transfer Student Program

The maximum number of non-Colgate course credits for which a transfer student receives credit depends upon the number of acceptable liberal arts courses, grades, and credits from all other college(s) attended, as well as the number of acceptable Advanced Placement (AP) course credits.

After enrolling at Colgate, transfer students may subsequently transfer additional coursework from other institutions, with prior approval, up to the maximum indicated:

Total course credits accepted upon enrollment at Colgate Maximum (not additional) transfer course credits
1.00 – 4.75 6.00
5.00 – 8.75 8.00
9.00 – 12.75 12.00
13.00 – 16.00 16.00






No student may transfer more than 16.00 course credits toward a Colgate Bachelor’s degree.

Any questions relating to the issue of transfer credit should be referred to the registrar’s office.

Students who transfer to Colgate from other institutions will be subject to the requirements of the educational programs that are appropriate to their level of entrance (first-year, sophomore, or junior). These requirements include the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, major, foreign language, writing (if stipulated on admission), and physical education requirements. The specific requirements as they apply to transfer students can be found in the transfer, visiting, and special student fact sheet, available from the Office of Admission.

In order to satisfy Colgate’s residency requirement, transfer students are required to complete a minimum of four terms in academic residence at Colgate or on a Colgate study group. One term of an approved program may count toward the four semester requirement if the student does not exceed the maximum transfer credit limit indicated at the time of admission.

To count for major credit, a course taken elsewhere must be accepted by the appropriate Colgate department chair or program director. After enrolling at Colgate, transfer students are subject to the rules for transfer of credit under the section “Transfer Credit Policy and Procedures,” above. Transfer students must be enrolled at Colgate for at least six terms in order to be considered eligible for the university honor of valedictorian or salutatorian.

Requests for exceptions to these policies, for academic reasons only, must be supported in writing by the student’s faculty adviser and administrative dean and submitted in writing to the Petitions Committee.

Petitions for Exemptions

Exemptions from graduation requirements are granted only by the Petitions Committee. Exemptions are approved for compelling academic reasons, or when a true hardship exists for the student through no fault of his or her own and when no other solution can be found. A petition for exemption should be developed with written support from the student’s faculty adviser and administrative dean.

The Petitions Committee exists to hear petitions concerning all graduation requirements, including residency, the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, and the transfer credit limit. The committee does not review routine administrative requests from students, nor does it hear appeals concerning routine administrative decisions.

Changes to Academic Records

Academic records are sealed upon graduation, withdrawal, or permanent dismissal from Colgate University. No changes or additions to a student’s undergraduate transcript will be permitted after this date. This includes, but is not limited to, grade changes, majors and minors, crosslisted courses, additional transfer credits, or additional courses taken at Colgate following graduation.

Degree Conferral

Colgate University confers degrees three times each year: at the May Commencement ceremony, on August 31 and on December 31. Degrees are conferred only upon students who have been certified by the university registrar to have met all requirements as described in this catalog and have met all financial obligations to the university. Students should refer to the “Policy for Participating in the Commencement Ceremony” in the Colgate Student Handbook.