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What is the W&L Spring Term?

Spring Term Basics

  • One Course: Students take one and only one 4-credit course
  • Four Credits: Each regular course is worth four credits
  • Course Load: 4-5 credits (regular course + a single PE/1-credit course)
  • No overloads or underloads are allowed
  • No Pass/Fail: All courses must be taken for a letter grade
  • Four Weeks: The term is four weeks long
  • Registration: Students register in mid-January (class details, including syllabus, are requested for a November 1 posting)
  • Full Engagement: Students are fully engaged by their 1 academic course

A History of W&L's Spring Term

The Spring Term at Washington and Lee was created in 1970. This radical concept in education came about partly as a result of the ferment in educational thinking in the late 1960's, as many new ideas were experimentally put forth at American universities.

Quality Enhancement Plan

W&L selected its Quality Enhancement Plan for the SACS reaffirmation of accreditation process completed in 2009. After a lengthy selection process that included 3 campus-wide open forums and an extensive array of other efforts, ultimately yielding over 200 individual concepts and suggestions, the QEP selection committee formulated a final list of 12 outstanding suggestions. From this list, the committee put forward a recommendation of two final concepts, from which the President and Provost chose the Spring Term Revitalization as the idea that most powerfully fulfills the QEP concept.