Curricular Advice for New Students Fall 2018 - UNDER REVIEW
- Course Offerings and Academic Policies are best found in the University Catalog.
- Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
For those first-year students considering a particular major or subject of interest, the departments and programs have made recommendations for courses to take in the first year.
- at least 120 credits, including 60 at W&L
- study full-time at W&L, typically on campus, for a minimum of six terms including three terms prior to graduation
- at least a 2.000 grade-point average in:
- all work attempted at W&L,
- all W&L work used to meet degree requirements, and
- all work used to meet major requirements
- completion of the Foundation and Distribution Requirements (FDR): the basic liberal-arts general education requirements
- completion of at least four experiential learning credits
- completion of at least one major
Specific courses are marked with FDR codes in the course listing and academic catalog. An FDR checklist will be given to you during Orientation.
Foundations: 4 courses
- FW: Writing Foundation: proficiency or course
- FL: Foreign Language Foundation: proficiency or course(s)
- FM: Mathematics or Computer Science Foundation: proficiency or course
- FP: Physical Education Foundation: swimming test and four skills courses
Distribution in Arts and Humanities: 4 courses
- HU: Humanities
- HA: Arts
- HL: Literature
- one additional course in these areas
Distribution in Sciences and Social Sciences: 4 courses
- SL: Science Laboratory: 1 course
- SC: Science, Mathematics or Computer Science: 1 additional course
- SS: Social Sciences: 2 courses in 2 areas
Students must present at least four credits of experiential work taken at W&L toward degree requirements. Approved courses vary in credit, so one student may use four 1-credit applied music classes to meet the requirement, while another student uses a single 4-credit summer internship for all four EXP credits. Courses approved as meeting this Experiential Learning requirement are listed in the University catalog (search using this link: go.wlu.edu/EXP-courses) and on the Course Offerings or Self-Service list with the EXP course type.
- External credit upon entry to W&L: Entering first-year students may receive a maximum of 30 credits from any and all non-W&L courses (AP, IB, college courses while in high school, etc). Of the 30 , no more than nine credits may be counted toward the requirements for a particular major with departmental approval; individual departments may set a limit of less than nine credits counted toward the major.
- Total external credit toward W&L degree: No more than 60 of the 120 credits required for the W&L degree may be earned elsewhere or by any other means than through courses offered at W&L or through formal exchanges (e.g. VMI, Mary Baldwin, Spelman). In other words, first-year incoming credits, transfer credits, courses taken abroad, etc. will not count in the 60 credits to be taken at W&L.
- Last date to receive credit on entrance: All paperwork must be in the University Registrar's Office by the last day of fall-term classes, Friday, December 8, 2017.
Official score reports to W&L
Official score reports must be sent during the summer prior to matriculation in order for registration prerequisites and credits to be awarded. Students are responsible to contact The College Board or IB testing authority and request official score reports sent directly to the W&L University Registrar. It is critical for your fall course registration to have these official scores processed by W&L University Registrar's Office prior to fall registration in order to avoid being stopped for missing prerequisites. Scores reported on high school transcripts or on student score reports are not acceptable. AP/IB/GCE credit earned is posted in Student Planning under the Test Scores link once we have received it. If you receive credit for AP, IB or GCE credit, make sure that you don't register for the same W&L course number or you will lose your external exam credit.
Advanced Placement Program (AP): Score of 4 or 5 required, depending on department. Go to the AP Program Policies page at go.wlu.edu/AP for score equivalencies and ordering information.
International Baccalaureate (IB): Higher-level score of 5, 6 or 7 required. Go to the International Baccalaureate Credit Equivalencies page at go.wlu.edu/IB for score equivalencies and ordering information.
GCE A-level credit: Visit the Cambridge International Exams: A-levels & AICE page for score equivalencies.
- Complete the First-year Student Credit Transfer Form and return it with the requested information (course description and syllabus, official college transcript, information on instructor, location, and texts) to the University Registrar.
- Due date: Forms and transcripts received by August 15 will be evaluated by the appropriate department heads in time for the initial advising session with each student. These courses are often prerequisites for work first-year students plan to undertake in their first term, so it is important for students to have records sent as soon as possible.
- Last date to receive credit on entrance: All paperwork must be in the University Registrar's Office by the last day of fall-term classes, Friday, December 7, 2018.
- What does not transfer: No college course will be transferred if it has been used to meet one of W&L's entrance requirements. Only work comparable to that at Washington and Lee in level, nature, and field may be accepted for degree credit.
- Foreign languages:
- Arabic - contact Prof. Antoine Edwards for placement information
- Chinese - see the East Asian Languages and Literatures Placement Information page
- French - see the Romance Languages Placement Testing page
- German - see the German and Russian Placement Testing page
- Greek - see Classics section of this site
- Hebrew (not for FDR) - contact Religion department head Jeff Kosky
- Italian - see the Romance Languages Placement Testing page
- Japanese - see the East Asian Languages and Literatures Placement Information page
- Latin - see the Classics Placement Testing page
- Portuguese - see the Romance Languages Placement Testing page
- Russian - see the German and Russian Placement Testing page
- Sanskrit - contact Religion department head Tim Lubin
- Spanish - see the Romance Languages Placement Testing page
- Other languages not taught at W&L - see the Native Speakers testing procedure
- Mathematics: The Mathematics Department also administers placement tests. Who should take the placement test is listed in the Mathematics section of Course Recommendations page. Full details about the times and test recommendations can be found on the Orientation Schedule.
- Swimming: All students take a swim test during Orientation week.
- Test Scores link in Student Planning: W&L placement test scores can be reviewed on the Self-Service Student Planning Test Summary screen. The test score indicates the course you placed into. For example, in Student Planning, a French placement test score = 261 means you can register for FREN 261 in fall term. All registration recommendations for W&L placement results can be viewed at Results and Registration Recommendations page.
- Online foreign language testing scores: For foreign languages that you take online over the summer you receive points, a raw score, which W&L uses to place you into the appropriate level language class. The final W&L placement score, not your online points, is posted in Student Planning.
- Disability Accommodations: In order to be eligible for accommodations on placement tests at W&L (as applicable), a student must request accommodations in accordance with the W&L Accommodations Policy and Procedures.
- Normal Course Load: The academic load for first-years is normally between 13 and 15 credits for the fall and winter terms (usually four courses, exclusive of physical education) and four credits for the spring term. A candidate for any undergraduate degree must present a total of 120 credits, which averages out to 13-13-4 each year.
- Choosing courses for the first year: Within Washington and Lee's curriculum, first-years have a large measure of choice in selecting courses. They should distribute their work in such a way as to acquire the fundamentals of a liberal education, selecting courses which will begin to satisfy the Foundation and Distribution Requirements (FDRs) and enable them to explore possibilities for a major or to continue study in a field of special interest.
- Language and Mathematics proficiency: In choosing courses, first-years should consider that their skills in mathematics and language study may deteriorate if they do not continue work in them immediately. Similarly, popular science courses are often closed during the junior and senior year; so first-years are encouraged to complete these requirements early.
- Declaring a Major: Students declare their major in the middle of winter term of the sophomore year. All undergraduates are members of the College unless they choose one of the majors in the Williams School.
- Taking Courses Pass/Fail: First-year students are not allowed to take a course under the Pass/Fail grading option in any course which is offered on a graded basis, with the exception of 100- and 200-level physical education and certain courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis.
- First-Year Seminars: These are sections designed as in-depth explorations of a field of study with a small group of your peers. These seminars are reading- and discussion-based with an emphasis on papers, projects, studio work, or hands-on field experience rather than exams. They may be found in the course listing each term with "FS:" at the beginning of the course title.
Questions may be addressed to University Registrar Scott Dittman, email@example.com, or 540.458.8455.