2023-2024 Edition

Academic Catalog

General Regulations

The University expects all students to fulfill faithfully and effectively their responsibilities as members of the Wesleyan community. A student may be suspended or be required to withdraw from the University or from any course at any time when, in the judgment of the class dean or the faculty, respectively, the student fails to meet this obligation satisfactorily.

Unit of Credit

One unit of Wesleyan credit requires 120 to 160 hours of academic work. This work typically consists of 40 hours of scheduled class time, which is made up of 39 hours of class meeting time,1 and one scheduled final exam or the equivalent of at least one hour of additional work. In addition, 80 to 120 hours of out-of-class work are expected. A one-credit course that does not conform to a standard meeting pattern of at least 40 hours must still require 120 to 160 hours of academic work. For courses that award more or less than one unit of credit, the required hours of academic work are normally prorated to conform to the above formula.


The established standard meeting times allow up to 10 minutes for transition to and from other classes.


Students must comply with the regulations for matriculation with the University as announced by the registrar. A student who does not enroll in the University by the announced deadline will be considered administratively withdrawn from the University. Bachelor of Arts students who enroll in fewer than three credits may be subjected to disenrollment.

Medical Report

Every student entering the University for the first time must submit health information as requested by the director of University Health Services.

Payment of Bills

It is the student’s responsibility to see that payment deadlines are met. Failure to do so prevents the student from enrolling, participating in course preregistration, and participating in the housing selection process. Diplomas, grades, and transcripts also will be withheld until university bills have been paid.

Selection of Courses

Detailed information concerning course offerings is given in the Wesleyan University Course Catalog; WesMaps, Wesleyan’s online curriculum home page; and the Course Supplement, a condensed listing of all course offerings for each semester. These publications should be consulted for information concerning time and place of class meetings, additions or changes, and cancellations.

Changes in and Withdrawal from Courses

Students may not add courses (including tutorials) to their schedules after the drop/add period. Exceptions will be made for courses that start after the beginning of the semester, provided that the required drop/add or tutorial forms are submitted to the Office of the Registrar within five class days after the start of the course.

A student who withdraws from a course, the only option after the drop/add period, will receive a notation of “W” and the course will remain on the student’s transcript. The deadline for withdrawal by choice and without penalty from a full-semester course is one week before the end of classes. A student may withdraw from a first- and third-quarter course one week before the end of the corresponding quarter. For second- and fourth-quarter courses, the deadline for withdrawal corresponds to the withdrawal deadline for full-semester courses. To withdraw the student must submit to the Office of the Registrar by the stated deadline a withdrawal slip signed by the instructor, the faculty advisor, and the class dean.

An instructor may require a student to withdraw from a course if the student fails to meet the announced conditions of enrollment. The student will be required to submit a completed withdrawal slip to the Office of the Registrar to make the withdrawal from the course official.

Students who withdraw from the University before the stated withdrawal deadline will also be withdrawn from their courses. For a student withdrawing after the stated withdrawal deadline, the courses will remain on the transcript and they will be graded accordingly.


Subject to any conditions set by the instructor, a registered Wesleyan student may be permitted to audit a course without charge. The instructor may add to the grade roster the name of any student who has attended with sufficient regularity to have the course listed in the academic record as audited, without credit. Permission to audit does not include permission to have tests, examinations, or papers read or graded. Wesleyan alumni and members of the community, please see Nondegree Undergraduate Students.

Class Attendance

A student is expected to attend class meetings regularly. Since the faculty intends that class attendance be primarily the student’s responsibility, no precise limitation of absences has been prescribed for all students. It is understood, however, that absence from class is regarded as the exception, not the rule. An instructor should notify the class dean of any student who is absent from class for one week or three consecutive classes, whichever comes first. Students on strict probation must attend all classes in which they are enrolled.

Instructors are entitled to establish definite and precise rules governing attendance. Any student who is repeatedly absent without excuse from scheduled academic exercises at which attendance is mandatory may be required to withdraw from the course.

Unsatisfactory Progress Reports

It is expected that faculty will submit in a timely manner an Unsatisfactory Progress Report (UPR) to the class dean for any student who is doing unsatisfactory work. UPRs help the class deans identify students who are having academic difficulties and allow the deans to work with instructors to reach out and work with these students. Early intervention proves to be the most effective method for helping students experiencing academic difficulties. UPRs should be submitted for:

  • Students who are doing unsatisfactory work (lower than C-) or experiencing difficulties that will result in unsatisfactory work;
  • Students who are experiencing substantial difficulty with the course even though they may have a satisfactory grade of C or better;
  • Students who are on strict probation. The Deans’ Office notifies instructors if such a student is in their course.

Submission of Grades

Under normal circumstances, only the instructor of record can submit a course grade. However, in cases where the instructor is no longer employed by the University or has become unavailable, the department chair, or a faculty member designated by the chair, may, upon review of the student’s work, submit a grade. Grades can only be given for work assigned and submitted during the academic term, except in the case where a student has requested an incomplete (please see Incompletes/Completion of Work in Courses).

Change of submitted grade by the instructor

A change of a submitted grade may be made by the instructor on the following grounds:

  • Administrative error
  • Error in calculation of grade
  • Lost work submitted during the academic term was found
  • Submission of outstanding work from an incomplete whereby the final grade is not lower than the provisional grade

Student Grievance Procedure including Appeal for a Grade Change

The process for appealing a grade or contesting any aspect of a course (including the scheduling of classes and examinations) is:

  • The student discusses the grade or the contested issue with the instructor of the course; if the student is not satisfied that a reasonable explanation has been provided, or if the student wants to address an issue in confidence, then
  • The student appeals to the department/program chair; if not satisfied, then
  • The student appeals to the academic dean of the department or program’s division (Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, or Natural Science and Mathematics); if not satisfied, then
  • The student appeals to the provost.

All appeals of grades received in the fall or winter term must be initiated by the student before the end of the following spring term; all appeals of grades received in the spring or summer term must be initiated by the student before the end of the following fall term.

Under normal circumstances, a grade appeal beyond the instructor will only be granted with the consent of the instructor. In cases where the instructor has become unavailable or an official investigative proceeding has determined that the instructor behaved discriminatorily toward the student, however, the department chair, or a faculty member designated by the chair, may determine the result of a grade appeal.

Incompletes/Completion of Work in Courses

All the work of a course must be completed and submitted to the instructor by the last day of classes. The only exceptions to this are final examinations and, in courses without a registrar-scheduled final examination, significant assignments such as final take-home exams, semester-long projects, and term papers, which must be due no sooner than the first day, and no later than the last day, of the exam period, and preferably at the time slot reserved for the registrar-scheduled examination. A student who is unable to meet these deadlines, for the reasons listed below, may request the permission of the instructor to meet the requirement no later than 30 days after the last day of exams. If the instructor grants the extension, a grade of Incomplete (IN) must be submitted to the registrar at the time grades are due. Grades of Incomplete must be accompanied by a provisional grade. If the student does not submit the outstanding work in the course by the deadline, the provisional grade will become the final grade.

Any provisional incomplete grades remaining by the end of the drop/add period of the subsequent semester will automatically be converted to the provisional final grade by the Office of the Registrar.

A student may receive up to two incompletes per semester by this method. To receive incompletes in more than two courses, the student must petition his or her class dean. The petition can be granted only on grounds of illness, family crisis, or other extraordinary circumstances. To petition for a brief extension of the Incomplete deadline, based on these same criteria, students must make a request to their class dean. The class dean will make the decision about whether the petition will be granted in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs and the course instructor.

Incompletes will not be granted for summer or winter sessions. Rare exceptions to this policy may be made in the case of serious emergencies, by petitioning the class dean. For the impact of incompletes on students’ records for the purposes of academic review, students should consult their class dean. Students on strict probation will not be allowed to receive incompletes without the prior approval of their class dean.

Students who started at Wesleyan prior to Fall 2018 can petition for an extension of the incomplete deadline based on the policy that was in place in 2017.

Repeatable Courses

Courses that may be repeated receive a designation in WesMaps and may be taken twice at most for a letter grade (AF). Please see Graduation Requirements for additional regulations governing repeatable courses.

Courses retaken for low grade

A student who receives a C- or below in a non-repeatable course may repeat the course once. The original grade remains on the transcript and both grades are calculated in the grade point average. The course may count only once toward general education expectations and the 32 graduation credits.

Failed Courses (below D-): Students who fail a course may add this course to their plans during pre-registration or drop/add.

Low Grades (C- to D-): A student who wants to retake a course due to a low grade may submit an enrollment request for the class only during the drop/add period. The registrar will flag the enrollment request to indicate that the course is being repeated due to low grade.

Regulations Governing the Scheduling of Classes

Classes will meet each week for three class periods of 50 minutes each, for two class periods of 80 minutes each, or for one class period that corresponds as closely as possible to the standard time periods described below.

Meeting Patterns

Classes that meet three times weekly may meet only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Classes that meet twice weekly may meet within regulated times on Tuesday and Thursday or Monday and Wednesday afternoons, or on any two mornings combining Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (MW, MF, or WF). Courses that meet once weekly may meet in the afternoon or evening on any day. Classes and laboratory sessions should be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. and in the evenings after 7:10 p.m.

Morning classes

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, classes are scheduled for three periods of 50 minutes each beginning at 8:50 a.m., 9:50 a.m., or 10:50 a.m. On Tuesday and Thursday, classes are scheduled for two 80-minute periods beginning at 8:50 a.m. and 10:20 a.m.; any combination of two on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (MW, MF, or WF) may be scheduled at 8:20 a.m. or 10:50 a.m.

Afternoon classes

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, classes are scheduled for three periods of 50 minutes each. Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday classes are scheduled for two periods of 80 minutes each. All afternoon classes should begin at 1:20 p.m. or 2:50 p.m.

Exceptions to these rules require approval by the Educational Policy Committee. Ordinarily, classes should not overlap more than one standard period between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday classes may be scheduled as desired by departments.

All additional required components of class schedules beyond the regular meetings should be announced, with dates and times if possible, on the online course catalog listing before the preregistration period begins. All dates and times should be announced no later than the first class meeting. Thereafter, additional components may only be required if alternatives are available for students who have academic or required varsity athletic schedule conflicts.

Reading Period

This period is designated for students to prepare for examinations and complete assignments due at the end of the semester. To protect the integrity of that period, the faculty have established the following regulations:

  • Final exams, comprehensive examinations covering materials from the course of the entire semester, are to be given only during the formal exam period established by the faculty.
  • Classes can be held only during the class period established by the faculty; make-up classes should be held during that established class period.
  • In courses without a registrar-scheduled final examination, significant assignments such as final take-home exams, semester-long projects, and term papers must be due no sooner than the first day, and no later than the last day, of the exam period, and preferably at the time slot reserved for the registrar-scheduled examination.
  • Student organizations should not schedule retreats, programs, or meetings that require student attendance during Reading Period.
  • Departmental, program, and college activities that require student participation should not be held during Reading Period, with the exception of oral and written examinations covered by alternative exam calendars.
  • Sessions or information programs that require student attendance should not be held during Reading Period.
  • No required assignments should be due during the Reading Period.

Scheduled Final Examinations

The schedule of final examinations will be issued in advance. The time of any examination may be changed by unanimous request of the class and with the approval of the instructor, but it must be set within the period designated by the faculty for examinations, and the change must be reported promptly to the registrar. The faculty has voted to comply with the following guidelines:

  • That “hour exams” be limited to 50 minutes so that students who are scheduled to leave for other classes may not be placed at a disadvantage
  • That final examinations be limited to three hours unless otherwise announced before the examination

If a student is absent from the final examination with the permission of the instructor, a grade of absent will be assigned. A grade of absent will be accompanied by a provisional grade that will become the final grade if the final examination is not made up by the end of the first full week of classes of the subsequent semester. The exam should be scheduled at a time mutually agreed upon by student and instructor, where both should be aware of the policy governing on-campus housing availability during times when the University is not in regular session. Grades are due in the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of drop/add in the subsequent semester.

If a student has three or more final examinations on one day or four in two days, the student may request a rescheduled examination from one instructor.

Leave, Withdrawal, Readmission, and Refund Policy

The following categories indicate the conditions under which a student’s registration at Wesleyan may be interrupted. These designations are recorded on the student’s permanent record.

Leave of Absence – Undergraduate

Wesleyan permits students to interrupt their college careers for a semester or year to pursue other experiences. A Leave of Absence is limited to one year but may be extended upon request to the faculty advisor and class dean. Students will be reclassified to the appropriate class year at the end of the semester in which they file their leave. Students who have obtained prior approval may earn academic credit while on leave and will be reclassified, if appropriate, once these credits are posted to their transcript. Students may not go on a leave to study abroad.

Credits earned while on leave must be processed two weeks prior to the semester in which a student returns for purposes of class-year classification. Students who interrupt their enrollment at Wesleyan by taking a leave for more than four consecutive semesters must apply for readmission.

A leave of absence will not be granted after the drop/add period at the beginning of each semester. Students who do not enroll or renew their leave by the end of the drop/add period in the expected semester of return will be administratively withdrawn from the University. Application for readmission is available online and will be considered by the Office of the Deans.

Leave of Absence – Graduate Studies

Students in a Graduate Studies program may temporarily interrupt study due to personal exigencies or for medical reasons.  There are two types of graduate leave: Graduate Leave of Absence and Graduate Medical Leave. 

Guidelines for Graduate Leave of Absence and Graduate Medical Leave may be found in the Graduate Studies Handbook.

Medical Leave

A medical leave is authorized by the vice president for student affairs on the basis of a recommendation from the medical director of University Health Services (UHS) or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Students on a medical leave must leave campus and focus on the evaluation of, treatment for, and management of the illness or condition that necessitates the leave. The appropriate class dean will communicate the terms of the leave as well as the conditions and procedures for returning to Wesleyan. When a medical leave is authorized, students are withdrawn from the courses in which they are enrolled. In exceptional cases, some incomplete grades may be granted, depending on course content and the date of the leave. (Note that any semester in which a student takes a leave and receives at least one grade is counted as a semester in residence for purposes of graduation.)

Full policy and additional information are available at:  wesleyan.edu/studentaffairs/wellbeing/medicalleave.html.


The five forms of withdrawal fall into three main categories: voluntary, involuntary for academic reasons, and involuntary for nonacademic reasons. Withdrawal from the University does not include withdrawal from courses if it occurs after the course withdrawal deadline.


Withdrew. A student has voluntarily left Wesleyan.

Involuntary for Academic Reasons

  • Required resignation. A student has been asked to leave the University for academic reasons, with the privilege of applying for readmission after the recommended period of absence.
  • Separation. A student has been asked to leave the University for the second time for academic reasons and does not have the privilege of applying for readmission.

Involuntary for Nonacademic Reasons

  • Suspension. A student has been asked to leave the University for other than academic reasons for a specified period.
  • Dismissal. A student has been asked to leave the University for other than academic reasons without the privilege of applying for readmission.


Students who have withdrawn or have been required to resign may apply to the Office of the Deans for readmission. The readmission application requires a $50 fee and other accompanying materials specified at the time of departure. Students wishing to enter the University for the fall semester must notify the Office of the Deans of their intent by May 1 and submit readmission materials by June 1; for the spring semester, notification must by made by November 1 with materials submitted by December 1. Candidates are strongly urged to meet all requirements well in advance of deadlines, since housing assignments and financial aid awards cannot be made until readmission is granted. Credits earned while away are subject to the conditions described in Transfer of Credit. Bachelor of arts students who wish to be admitted to the bachelor of liberal studies program upon readmission to the University must have been away from the University for at least three years before they would be allowed to switch degree programs in this manner. Bachelor of liberal studies students who wish to be admitted to the Bachelor of arts program at any point must apply as transfer students to the Admissions Office.


For guidelines governing refunds to students who terminate enrollment, please visit https://www.wesleyan.edu/studentaccounts/refunds.html.
For guidelines governing VA Pending Payment Compliance, please visit https://www.wesleyan.edu/registrar/enrollment/veteran_certification.html.