Undergraduate Academic Policies and Definitions

Attendance Policy

You should be present at all regularly scheduled class meetings and you are personally responsible for notifying your professors of absences. If you miss any classes due to illness, emergency, or unforeseen circumstances, obtain documentation in case it is requested. Attendance is important—your grade may depend on it. If you need to miss several days of class, please come to the Dean of Students Office so we can facilitate   your absences with your professors.

Mid-Semester Grades

Professors use mid-semester grading to keep students informed of their progress. But students who are performing satisfactorily often will not receive midsemester grades. To view mid-semester grades, log in to myWM, and go to Banner Self Service. If you aren ot making satisfactory progress, a report will show up after fall break. Faculty submit grades throughout the month of October and beginning of November, so check back often.

Full Time Enrollment

Full-time students must register for a minimum of 12 credits and may register for a maximum of 18 credits. To register for an underload (less than 12 credits) or an overload (more than 18), you must submit a petition to the Committee on Academic Status through the Office of the Dean of Students before the last day to drop classes. You can find petition forms in the Dean of Students Office (109 Campus Center). Students with unauthorized underloads may be placed on academic probation, withdrawn, and/or charged with a conduct violation.

Degree Evaluation System

Students can run a degree evaluation at any time from Banner Self Service. This degree evaluation will tell students if they have fulfilled general education requirements, proficiencies, major requirements, and graduation requirements. We recommend that all students view their degree evaluation at least once or twice a semester. Remember that you are responsible for meeting all degree requirements. Read the catalog, run your degree evaluation, and stay informed.

Ten-Semester Rule

Students must complete their degree requirements in 10 semesters of enrollment at the College. Fall and Spring semester each count as a full semester. Summer terms, transfer credits, and approved underload semesters are counted as the number of credits attempted divided by 15. You'll need permission from the Committee on Degrees to exceed this rule.

The Six-Year Rule

Students who fail to graduate within six calendar years of their date of entrance relinquish the right to graduate under the standard requirements and must re-enter the College as a degree candidate for the final time prior to graduation. If a student has not been enrolled at the College for five calendar years or more since the end of the last semester of registration at William & Mary, the student’s record is subject to re-evaluation under regulations available in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Continuance Standards

Students must meet minimum cumulative GPA and cumulative credit standards each semester at William & Mary. If you do not meet these standards you will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation and Warning

Academic warning and academic probation are two different things. Any student not on academic probation who earns less than a 2.0 semester GPA receives an Academic Warning letter. A student goes on academic probation if he or she fails to meet the Continuance Standards.

Seventy-Two Hour Rule

Of the 120 semester credits required for graduation, you can not earn anymore 48 semester credits in a single subject field within the School of Arts and Sciences. Although students may earn more than 48 semester credits in a single subject, a minimum of 72 semester credits must also be earned in other subject fields. Note that the maximum number of credits applied in a single subject field is different for the School of Business and School of Education.

  • Business: 60 semester credits
  • Elementary Education: 33 semester credits
  • Secondary Education: 24 semester credits

Students can take one class Pass/Fail in each full-time semester of their junior and senior years. The Pass/Fail option is not available during the summer session or in business classes. To take a class Pass/Fail, you must select this option through Banner Self Service prior to the end of the add/drop period. Changes to the Pass/Fail option are permanent after the end of the add/drop period.

Official Campus Communication

We communicate with you through your William & Mary Apps e-mail account and your CSU mailbox. Check both regularly. It is imperative that you have provide the College with your cell phone number so that we can contact you in emergencies. Periodically, the College will ask you to verify your mailing address and local phone number. If your mailing, home, or local address or phone number has changed, please update them on myWM as soon as possible. If you have not yet given the College emergency contact information please go to myWM and navigate to Personal Information, then Update Emergency Contacts.

Information Releases

We designate personal information like your name, address, and major as Directory Information and this can be released to the public. If you do not want this information released, then you must complete the Request for Confidentiality Flag form. It is available on the University Registrar’s website. Forms should be turned in to the University Registrar’s Office, Room 108, Blow Memorial Hall.

It is the College’s policy not to release academic, financial, or judicial information to parents without your written permission. If you have not already released this information via the required data survey for new students, and you wish for your parent or guardian to have access to your information, you must complete a release card at the Office of the Dean of Students. In addition, information will be released to a parent who provides tax reports that show you were declared as a dependent in the most recent year. For more information, consult the Undergraduate Course Catalog under Academic Records, Confidentiality, and Privacy.


Holds can be placed on your student record and prevent you from registering, receiving transcripts, and obtaining diplomas. You can see any holds and the services they prevent by checking your Holds in myWM. To take care of holds, contact the appropriate office.

Academic & Social Status

The social status of a student is determined by the number of full-time semesters at the College and elsewhere and is reported as first year, second year, etc. Housing, parking, and dining decisions are based on a student’s social status. The number of total credits earned toward a degree from the College determines the academic status of a student and is reported as freshman, sophomore, and so forth. A listing of both is in the Undergraduate Course Catalog under “Classification of Students.”

Key Publications

The Undergraduate Catalog and the Student Handbook are sources of essential information for students. The Catalog contains academic status and degree requirements in addition to course descriptions. Your rights and responsibilities at the College are described in the Student Handbook (MyWM).

Dropping/Withdrawing from Classes

If it does not take you below 12 credits, you may drop a class with no record on your transcript during the add/drop period. Thereafter you may withdraw from a class with a “W” on your transcript up until the Friday of the ninth week of classes. You will be put back into any classes if the drop/withdrawal takes you below 12 credits.