Academic Policy FAQs

Students, faculty and staff have many questions about Trinity's academic policies.  Below are some of the commonly asked questions about undergraduate policies, with brief answers.  For more information on any question, please consult the Bulletin or the Student Handbook.  You may also contact the Registrar's Office or the Dean of Students Office for clarification.  For information on policies for the graduate program, please consult the Graduate Academic and Non-Academic Regulations page.

The questions are arranged by topic.  You may scroll down the list, or click on the links below to be taken to the appropriate section.

Registration

Grading

Pass/Low Pass/Fail

Majors and Minors

Applying for Graduation

General Degree Requirements

Transfer Credit, AP Credit, and Credit for Other Exams

Faculty Honors/Honors at Graduation

Academic Probation/Required Withdrawal


Registration

Q:  When does registration start for each semester?
A:  Advance Registration for the spring semester occurs in November, and registration for the fall semester occurs in April.  Advance Registration lasts for eight days, and the dates for each semester are listed on the Academic Calendar.  

Q:  What is Advising Week?
A:  The week preceding Advance Registration is called Advising Week.  During this week, you must meet with your academic advisor to discuss courses for the upcoming semester as well as your plans for future semesters.  Your advisor will also assist you in developing a list of alternate courses in case some of your first choices are no longer available when you register the following week.  During this meeting, your academic advisor will remove your advising hold so you can register for classes. 

Q:  In addition to an advising hold, what other holds can block my registration?
A:  There are many holds placed by different offices.  Some of the common ones include Student Accounts, the Health Center, the Office of Study Away, the Quantitative Literacy Center, and the Women and Gender Resource Action Center.  Each of these offices sends out notices when the holds are placed, and it is your responsibility to contact them for instructions on clearing the hold.
You can view your holds by logging into TCOnline and reviewing them in your Student Center.  The hold will list the appropriate office to contact for additional information.

Q:  When does Add/Drop start and how long does it last?
A:  Add/Drop starts shortly after Advance Registration ends, and continues through the first six class days of the next semester.

Q: When is the last day I can drop a course?

A:  For a full semester or Q1 course, the last day to drop a class is the 6th day of classes.  Other sessions have different deadlines that are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Q:  When is the last day I can withdraw from a course?
A:  Students may withdraw from a full semester or Q1 course through the Friday of the fourth week of classes.  Other sessions have different deadlines that are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Q:  May I withdraw from a course after the fourth week of classes if I am failing it?
A:  No.  Withdrawing after the fourth week is only permitted under extraordinary circumstances, and failing a course is not considered an extraordinary circumstance.

Q:  How do I request to withdraw from a course after the fourth week of classes?
A:  You will need to submit a written petition to the Academic Affairs Committee to request any schedule changes (late add, late drop, late withdrawal).  The petition form is available online or in the Registrar's Office.

Q:  I am enrolled in a two semester thesis.  How are the credits counted toward full-time standing?
A:  The full credits count towards full-time standing for both semesters.  However, the credits (and grade) are not earned until the completion of the second semester.  For tuition purposes, half the credit is counted for each semester.

Q:  I want to repeat a course.  How will this impact my record?
A:  In general, students may only earn credit once.  If you are repeating a course you failed the first time, you have not earned credit yet, so you may retake the course.  The grades from both attempts will appear on your record and will be calculated in your GPA. 
However, if you earned a D- or higher the first time, you have already earned credit for the course, so you will not earn any credit the second time you take the course.  Therefore, in order to be considered full-time, you must be enrolled in four credits in addition to the repeated course.  The grades from both attempts will appear on your record and will be calculated in your GPA.  Also, if the repeated course takes you above 5.75 credits, you may be subject to a tuition surcharge, even though you will not be earning credit for the second enrollment.

Q:  Are there any courses that can be repeated for credit?
A:  There are a few, such as Music Lessons, Independent Studies, Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Music Ensembles, Theater and Dance Performance courses, and special topics courses (when a different topic is offered).  However Physical Education courses may NOT be repeated for credit.  Please consult the Bulletin or academic department if you have questions.

top

Grading

Q:  I am enrolled in a two semester thesis.  How will this be graded?
A:  You will receive an IP (in progress) for the first semester, and this grade will be a permanent grade on your record.  The final grade will be awarded and calculated in to your GPA for the second semester.    

Q:  I am unable to complete a course within the semester.  How do I request an Incomplete?
A:  You will need to petition the Academic Affairs Committee for an Incomplete.  These are only granted in very limited situations and the request must be submitted by the last day of classes.  Please see the Student Handbook or contact the Dean of Students Office for more information.

Q:  I just checked my grades online and found an NGR on my record.  What does this mean?
A:  NGR stands for "no grade received."  This may be entered by a faculty member when coursework for a student is missing, or administratively when the faculty member hasn't entered a grade by the grading deadline.  If you see this grade on your record, contact your instructor immediately for more information.  NGR grades convert to F approximately fifteen days after the end of each semester.

top

Pass/Low Pass/Fail Registration and Grading Policies

 

Q:  How do I designate a course Pass/Low Pass/Fail?
A:  Use TCOnline to make this change to a course.  The deadline to make this change is the last day of the add/drop period.

Q:  How do I change a Pass/Low Pass/Fail grade back to a letter grade?
A:  Once the add/drop period has ended you must come to the Registrar's Office to complete a form.  The deadline to make this change is the last day of classes (NOT the last day of exams).

Q:  How are regular grades converted into Pass/Low Pass/Fail grades?
A:  If you earned a C- or higher, you will receive a Pass (P).  If you earned any form of a D, you will receive a Low Pass (LP).  If you failed the course, you will receive a Fail (F). 

Q:  How do Pass/Low Pass/Fail grades impact my Grade Point Average (GPA)?
A:  Pass and Low Pass have no impact on your GPA, although you will earn the credit for the course.  Fail will act as a regular F in calculating your GPA, and you will not earn any credit for the course.

Q:  What courses may I take Pass/Low Pass/Fail?
A:  This option may be used only for elective credits.  These courses may not be used to fulfill proficiency, general education, distribution, major, or minor requirements. 

Q:  How many courses may I take Pass/Low Pass/Fail?
A:  You may select the Pass/Low Pass/Fail option for only one course per semester, and for a maximum of four courses during your time at Trinity.  If you select to take a course Pass/Low Pass/Fail and change it back to a letter grade at the end of a semester, this still counts as one of your four courses.

Q: Do courses only offered as Pass/Fail count towards this limit?
A:  No.  Courses such as Physical Education or Exploratory Internships do not count towards the one credit limit for the semester, or for the four total courses you are allowed.

Q:  Are there any other restrictions on Pass/Low Pass/Fail courses?
A:  If you are on academic probation you may not elect to take a course Pass/Low Pass/Fail.

top

Majors and Minors

Q: How do I declare a major or minor? 
A:  Contact the Department Chair, Program Chair, or Minor Coordinator to request to discuss your intended major or minor.  Take a major or minor declaration form (available in the Registrar's Office) with you to that meeting, and the Chair/Coordinator will outline the courses you need to take, assign you an advisor, and sign off on the form.  Once you have all required signatures, bring that form to the Registrar's Office for processing.  

Q:  What is the deadline for declaring a major?
A:  You may declare a major at any time once you arrive at Trinity, but you must declare at least one major by the Friday after Spring Break of your sophomore year.  Students who transfer in as Juniors must submit their form by the start of their second semester on campus.  IDP students must declare a major before the end of the semester in which they will complete 24 credits.  You may change your major or add a second major at any time through the first semester of your senior year.  To change or declare a major after that point, contact the Registrar's Office for special instructions.  The exception is the deadline to declare an Economics major.  All Economics majors (even as a second major) must be declared by the same deadline as required for your first major.  No late declarations will be accepted by the department.

Q:  What happens if I fail to declare a major by the deadline?
A:  If you miss the deadline to declare a major, a registration hold will be placed on your record and you will not be able to register for the next semester until you have declared a major.

Q:  What is the deadline for declaring a minor?
A:  You may declare a minor through the first semester of your senior year.  To declare a minor after that point, contact the Registrar's Office for special instructions.

Q:  How do I design my own major or minor?
A:  The instructions for creating a self-designed major or an interdisciplinary minor may be found in the Student Handbook, and the forms are available online (self-designed major) (self-designed minor).  All self-designed majors and minors must be approved by the Curriculum Committee, and must be approved prior to the start of your junior year. 

Q:  What is the minimum grade I must earn to count a course toward my major or minor?
A:  Most majors and minors require a minimum grade of C- for a course to count toward fulfillment of requirements, although some departments require higher grades in certain courses.  See the Bulletin and/or your academic advisor for further details.

Q:  May I use a Pass/Low Pass/Fail course as part of my major or minor?
A:  No.  Courses used in a major or minor must be taken for a letter grade.

Q:  Can a course taken for my major double-count toward a minor?
A:  Yes.  If you have a five course minor, you may count two courses from your major toward your minor, and if you have a six course minor, you may count three courses from your major toward your minor.

Q:  Can a course taken for my first major double-count towards a second major?
A:  This depends on the majors.  Please see the Bulletin and/or your academic advisor for further details.

Q:  How do I add a second major or minor?
A:  Each major and minor requires a separate form, so you will need to complete a second declaration form and obtain all required signatures.

Q:  How do I drop a major or minor?
A:  You will need to complete a major or minor declaration form, check the box indicating you want to drop that major or minor, obtain the required signatures, and submit the form to the Registrar's Office.

top

Applying for Graduation

Q:  I'm a senior.  How do I apply for graduation?
A:  You need to complete a degree application and submit it to the Registrar's Office.  This application requires your advisor's signature to verify that you and your advisor have reviewed all outstanding requirements and they will be completed by the end of the spring semester.  The form is also available in the Registrar's Office.

Q:  When do I submit my degree application?
A:  Degree applications are due by the Friday of advising week for the spring semester of your senior year.  Since you are required to meet with your advisor during advising week, it is recommended that you take the application with you to that meeting.

Q:  What happens if I don't submit my application by the deadline?
A:  Any senior who has not submitted a degree application by the deadline will have a registration hold placed on their record.  This hold will not be lifted until the completed application (including advisor signature) has been submitted.

Q:  I have two majors.  Do both advisors need to sign my form?
A:  No.  Only one signature is required. 

Q:  I am graduating early.  When do I apply for graduation?
A:  If you will be graduating in May, you will need to meet the Advising Week deadline to have your records updated and enroll with the Senior class.  If you will be completing your requirements one semester early, you will submit your degree application with your original class year, but indicate the December completion on the form.

Q:  I know I need to return to Trinity for another semester beyond my senior year.  Do I need to follow the same application deadline?
A:  No.  However, you do need to notify the Registrar's Office ahead of the deadline that your expected graduation date has changed so that a hold is not placed on your record.

Q:  When do I apply for graduation if I am finishing my requirements over the summer or the following fall?
A:  You will submit your application at the start of the summer, or during the fall semester, as appropriate.  

Q:  If I am completing my last requirements over the summer or the next fall, can I participate ("walk") in the commencement ceremony for my original class year?
A:  No.  All degree requirements must be completed before you can participate in the ceremony.

Q:  If I am completing my requirements after the ceremony, when will I receive my diploma?
A:  Trinity only awards degrees in May of each academic year.  If you complete your degree after that date, you will receive your diploma the following May.  However, you may request a letter that states you have completed your degree.  These letters are issued after August or December, and are accepted by employers and graduate programs as verification of completion until your degree is officially awarded.

top

 

General Degree Requirements

Q:  If I have two majors, and one is eligible for a Bachelor of Science and the other is only eligible for a Bachelor of Arts, will I receive two different degrees?
A:  No.  You must choose to earn either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts, because you are completing only one overall degree.

Q:  How many Physical Education Credits may I earn toward the 36.0 credits required for my degree?
A:  No more than 1.0 credit (four courses) may count toward your degree.

Q:  How many internship credits may I earn toward the 36.o credits required for my degree?
A:  A maximum of 2.0 exploratory internships (four experiences) may count toward your degree.  You may earn additional credits for academic internships that are offered by some departments, depending on courses offered and program requirements.

Q:  How many teaching assistantship credits may I earn toward the 36.0 credits required for my degree?
A:  No more than 2.0 teaching assistantship credits may count toward your degree. 

Q:  Are there any other course credit limits?
A:  Yes.  No more than 4.0 credits in applied music, 3.0 credits in techniques and applications of Theater and Dance, and 2.0 credits in THDN 109 may count toward the 36.0 credits required for your degree.  See the Bulletin for additional information.

top

Transfer Credit/AP Credit, and Credit for Other Exams

Q:  How many credits may I transfer to Trinity?
A:  Students must earn 18.0 credits in residence or in certain Trinity-sponsored programs (e.g., Trinity's Rome Campus) to be eligible for a Bachelor's degree.  Therefore, students generally transfer in a maximum of 18 credits.

Q:  I was admitted as a first-year student, but I took a course at a local college before I came to Trinity.  How do I earn credit for that course?
A:  Have the school where you took the course send an official transcript directly to the Registrar's Office.  Depending on the course, you will be contacted if additional information is needed.

Q: I want to take a course next summer.  How do I earn credit for that course?
A:  Students need to obtain approval for courses prior to enrolling.  Complete an Application for Transfer Credit, have it signed by your academic advisor (and department/program chair if it is for major or minor credit), attach a course description, and submit it to the Registrar's Office for review.  Then, after you have completed the course, have the school send an official transcript directly to the Registrar's Office.  Please consult the Student Handbook for additional information about policies and procedures.

Q:  How many credits may I earn through Advance Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or other exams?
A:  A maximum of 9.0 credits will be accepted from these exams.  These credits also count towards the maximum number of transfer credits you are allowed. 

Q:  May I count these exam credits toward my major?
A:  Some AP and IB exams have been evaluated to be equivalent to specific courses, and a department may allow those credits to fulfill major or minor requirements.  See the Bulletin or contact the department for additional information.

Q:  If an exam has been evaluated as equivalent to a Trinity course, may I take the course for credit?
A:  If you take the equivalent course, the AP credit will be removed from your record.

Q:  Can AP and IB credits be used to fulfill general education/distribution requirements?
A:  No.  AP and IB credits may not be used to meet these requirements, other than the second language foundational requirement.

For more information about Transfer Credit Policies, click here.

top

Faculty Honors/Honors at Graduation

Q:  How do I earn Faculty Honors for the semester?

A:  Students must earn a semester GPA of at least 3.667, on four graded courses, and with no individual grade below B-, and no incomplete grades pending.  IDP students enrolled part-time for both semesters will be eligible at the end of the academic year if they meet the above criteria when their fall and spring grades and credits are combined.

Q: How does a two semester thesis affect my ability to earn faculty honors?
A:  Students pursuing a two credit, two semester thesis must earn letter grades in three credits (instead of four) during the first semester of the thesis (and meet the same grade and GPA criteria).  The final thesis grade and credits will be used to determine eligibility for the second semester.  Students enrolled in a two semester, one credit thesis must still earn four additional credits during the first semester of the thesis.

Q:  I earned a Pass for one of my courses.  How does this affect my ability to earn faculty honors?
A: You must earn letter grades for a minimum of four credits to qualify for faculty honors.  For example, if you complete five credits with one credit graded P and four additional graded credits, you will be eligible for faculty honors if you earn the appropriate semester GPA.  But, if you complete 4.5 credits with one credit graded P and only 3.5 additional graded credits, you will not be eligible.  This is true whether the course is only graded Pass/Fail or if you elect to take a course Pass/Low Pass/Fail.

Q:  How do I qualify for honors at graduation?
A:  Latin honors are awarded based on your final GPA.  Cum laude is awarded to students earning 3.667 - 3.799, magna cum laude is awarded to students earning 3.800 - 3.899, and summa cum laude is awarded to students earning 3.900 and higher.  For information about departmental honors and honor societies, please consult the department/program or the Bulletin.

top

Probation/Required Withdrawal

Q:  How could I incur Academic Probation?
A:  Students admitted prior to Fall 2016  will be placed on Academic Probation if they receive an F in .5 or more credits, earn a semester GPA of less than 1.667, or earn fewer than 4.0 credits in a semester without prior permission of the Academic Affairs Committee.  (Part-time IDP students must complete 2/3 of credits attempted for a semester instead of a minimum of 4.0 credits).  

Studens admitted Fall 2016 and later will have their cumulative GPA used instead of  the semester GPA.  They  need to earn a minimum 1.667 GPA the first semester, and maintain a 2.000 GPA after their first semester.  Full details of the probation policy are available in the Student Handbook.

Students withdrawing during a semester may incur Academic Probation unless it is waived for extenuating circumstances.

Q:  Will I incur Academic Probation if I earn fewer than 9.0 credits in one academic year?
A:  No.  You need only earn 4.0 credits in each semester; 9.0 credits a year is a standard guideline for completing 36.0 credits in four years.

Q:  How could I be placed on Required Withdrawal?
A:  Students will be placed on Required Withdrawal if they incur Academic Probation two semesters in a row, or three times if not in succession.  Students may also be placed on Required Withdrawal after one semester for "neglect of work."  

Q:  Can I incur Academic Probation for summer courses?
A:  Yes.  Students may be placed on Academic Probation (or Required Withdrawal) based on their grades, grade point average, or if they fail to complete at least 2/3 of credits attempted during the summer session (in lieu of full time standing for the fall and spring  semesters).

Q:  How long does Required Withdrawal last?
A:  Students are placed on Required Withdrawal for one year.

top