How much should a student plan to study each week at William & Mary?
Study time varies from student to student, but most need to spend from two to two and a half hours per week studying outside of class for every hour they are in class. So, with a normal load of 15 credit hours, the average student should plan to spend anywhere from 30 to 38 hours per week studying. The Dean of Students office offers convenient small group workshops your student can attend to learn strategies for more effective time-management and studying routines. Additionally, individual academic counseling is provided to assist students with more specific academic needs.
May a student take summer coursework at a college near home and transfer the credits to W&M?
William & Mary students who wish to receive credit for summer courses at other institutions must request approval in advance from the Office of the Registrar. Ordinarily, only pre-approved elective courses (i.e., not Proficiency, GER, Major or Minor courses) with a grade of ‘C’ or better are transferable. Transfer credits apply to the 120 hours needed for a degree, but the grades in these courses are not included in the William & Mary GPA and they cannot be used to meet the College’s continuance requirement.
Does William & Mary offer classes in the summer?
William & Mary does offer summer sessions on campus and at the Washington Office. You student can enroll in one or both of the two five week, on-campus summer sessions, with an eight credit limit per session. The Committee on Academic Status approves requests for overloads. The campus summer session schedule is published in the spring of each year on the Registrar’s website.
The Washington Summer Session classes count toward all campus requirements just like any course on campus. Find more information about the Washington Summer Session.
Majors & Academic Honors
How can a student select a major? How much emphasis should be given to the marketability of the degree in a specific major?
The marketability of specific majors is transient. We advise William & Mary students to major in what they enjoy the most. What is salable today could very well be unsalable tomorrow, especially given the accelerated nature of our economy and culture. Nowadays, most Americans change from one job to another several times during their first five years after college. In this kind of job market, how you think is more important than what you know. The ability to communicate effectively, to solve problems, to relate to other people, to analyze and synthesize data—these are the kinds of transferable skills your student will develop at William & Mary, regardless of their major.
May a William & Mary student design his or her own major?
Of course! But students must submit proposals for interdisciplinary majors to the Charles Center’s Committee on Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies (CHIS). If the Committee approves the student’s program, then the student, under the close supervision of a faculty advisor, will proceed with degree work in the same way as a student with a traditional major. Interdisciplinary majors are also eligible to complete honors study.
What kinds of academic honors are available to William & Mary students?
Full-time degree-seeking undergraduates with at least 12 credit hours and a 3.6 grade point average receive a “Dean’s List” designation each semester on their transcripts.
At commencement, Latin Honors are awarded to students based on GPA.
- Cum laude: 3.50
- Magna cum laude: 3.65
- Summa cum laude: 3.80
Students can complete an independent study/honor’s thesis through our departmental Honor’s Program. Students that take advantage of this opportunity can graduate “with honors,” “with high honors,” or “with highest honors” in their major field of study.
Various honor societies at William & Mary exist to promote interest in special fields of learning or to recognize students for their outstanding scholastic achievements or leadership:
- Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded at William & Mary in 1776 and it is the oldest Greek-letter fraternity in the United States! They induct seven percent of the senior class each year. Selection is based largely on scholarship. Students receiving Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees are eligible for membership.
- Beta Gamma Sigma is the national honor society that recognizes academic excellence in schools of business administration. The society was founded in 1907 to encourage and reward scholarship and accomplishment in the field of business studies and to foster principles of honesty and integrity in business practice.
- Omicron Delta Kappa is an honorary society comprised of junior and senior students selected on the basis of scholarship, service, character, and leadership in various areas of college life.
- Mortar Board is an honorary society whose members are elected during their junior year on the basis of service, scholarship, and leadership.
- Golden Key is an international academic honors organization that recognizes scholastic achievement in all undergraduate fields of study.
- Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma are two national honor societies that annually select freshmen of academic distinction. The minimum scholastic average required for membership is 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. Eligibility is based on grades of the first full semester or on the cumulative average of the first full year in college.
How flexible is the final exam schedule?
Due to the large volume of exams (approximately 22,000 per semester), we don’t make many exceptions to the schedule. Faculty members are not allowed to change exams. If your student has multiple exams in a row or an extraordinary circumstance like an illness, he or she may request changes from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.