The master schedule of classes is made available online prior to registration each semester. Classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:20 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; they begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, there is an evening class period Monday through Thursday that begins at 7:30 p.m. The class schedule allows for a twice-weekly Common Hour. The Common Hour is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. on Thursdays and is reserved for College community events. Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. is designated as a free hour and may be scheduled for meetings, multiple-section common examinations, etc.
In order to permit student participation in extracurricular activities, attendance at regularly scheduled classes or labs is not usually required after 4:20 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or after 6:05 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, except for regularly scheduled evening classes.
Some courses involve field trips, lectures, or other activities scheduled outside of regular class hours. These experiences are listed in a course syllabus and course description whenever reasonably possible. If a schedule conflict occurs for a student, s/he should contact the instructor and attempt to resolve the matter as soon as possible, and certainly substantially in advance of the event.
Class scheduling is done through the Registrar’s Office, which maintains all official academic records, sends out transcripts, supervises course registration and changes, and tracks students’ progress in meeting degree requirements. Students register online through Inside F&M for courses that have been approved by their academic advisers. The class schedules of first-year students are prepared during the summer preceding entrance into the College. Subject to the payment of the appropriate fees, students may register for courses during the designated registration period. Exceptions to this are:
1. Students are responsible for satisfying prerequisites for a course; they may not register for courses with listed prerequisites that they have not completed unless they have permission of the instructor of the course or the chairperson of the department in which the course is offered. Credit for a course may be denied or later withdrawn if a student enrolls without the necessary prerequisites or prior approval of the instructor or department chairperson.
2. Certain courses require permission of the instructor prior to registration. Permission of the instructor may be withheld if a student has not completed the necessary prerequisites for a course, or has not done sufficient supplementary reading and work to prepare the student to profit from the course.
3. Registration in all courses is subject to availability of spaces in classes, and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he or she is properly registered in all courses. Departments and instructors may, with the approval of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, establish enrollment limits in courses. Enrollment may not exceed 50 in a course without permission of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty.
4. A student may be prevented from registering for courses if he or she has outstanding obligations to the College, such as an unpaid tuition balance or outstanding health forms, or an undeclared major in or after the fall of the junior year. In such cases, the student will be notified of the registration hold prior to the start of the registration period. The student will be eligible to register for courses once the outstanding obligation is met, providing that this occurs before the end of the add/drop period for the registration term.
A student must be enrolled for at least three course credits a semester (equal to twelve semester hours) to be regarded as a full-time student. The normal student workload is four course credits each semester. Students may register for a maximum of two course credits in any one Franklin & Marshall summer session. Two credits in a Franklin & Marshall summer session is regarded as full-time.
Part-time status is defined as registration for fewer than three course credits in a semester. This option is not available during each of the last two regular semesters in which students are completing degree requirements.
A student may neither initially enroll for fewer than three course credits nor drop to fewer than three course credits during the semester without the approval of the Committee on Academic Status.
A student approved for part-time status will be charged tuition on a per-credit basis. Independent studies, tutorials, directed readings, and internships-for-credit are all billed at the standard per-credit rate.
Part-time status may have some effect on the student’s participation in College activities (e.g., intercollegiate athletics, College governance, etc.). Also, the part-time student may not be eligible for any form of institutional financial aid.
After pre-registration has been completed, students may add open courses to their schedules through Inside F&M. Entering a course later than the second meeting of the class requires the approval of the course instructor. The deadline to add a course is typically 7 calendar days after the start of the semester. Students may “withdraw without record” until typically 13 calendar daysafter the start of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he or she is properly registered in the courses being pursued.
Course credit overloads are subject to the following rules:
1. A course load of four-and-one-half course credits (4.5) is not considered an overload.
2. A student may not take five course credits during his or her first semester of enrollment at Franklin & Marshall College.
3. After the first semester, students who in the previous semester were enrolled as full-time students and earned a semester grade point average of 2.50 or higher automatically qualify to enroll for five course credits.
4. Students who do not automatically qualify must petition the Committee on Academic Status for permission to enroll for five course credits.
5. After the first semester, students who in the previous semester were enrolled as full-time students and earned a semester grade point average of 3.50 or higher automatically qualify to enroll for up to six course credits. Students who meet this requirement and wish to enroll for more than six course credits must petition the Committee on Academic Status.
6. Students may register for more than four course credits beginning the day before the first day of classes.
7. A 0.5-credit course that meets only for half the semester (with a frequency for that half semester equal to that for a full-credit course) shall be considered to contribute a credit load of 0.5 for the entire semester.
Withdrawing from Courses Without Record
A student may withdraw from a course or courses through Inside F&M during the “withdraw-without-record” period (typically 13 calendar days after the start of the semester), and no notation of the withdrawal will be made on the student’s academic record.
Withdrawing from Courses With Record
Withdrawals with record may occur after the “withdraw-without-record” period and before the withdrawal deadline. (The deadline is typically 10–14 calendar days before the last day of regularly scheduled classes.) Withdrawals with record are subject to the following rules:
l. Any student in his or her first semester at the College may withdraw with record from one course provided that full-time status is preserved; the student must submit a completed Course Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office and a “W” will appear on the student’s academic record.
2. After the first semester at Franklin & Marshall College, a student may withdraw with record from two additional courses. This rule means that a student may withdraw from one of four courses in two different semesters or from two of five or more courses in one semester. In each case, the student must submit a completed Course Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office and a “W” will appear on the student’s academic record.
3. Any student who does not follow the required procedures for withdrawing from a course will receive a grade of “F.”
See the 2021-2022 academic calendar for official withdrawal deadline dates.
Withdrawing From Courses and Part-Time Status
When withdrawing from a course (or courses) will result in a student being enrolled in fewer than three course credits, the student’s status changes from full-time to part-time.
1. A student wishing to drop courses and assume part-time status must petition the Committee on Academic Status. Students should not assume that the Committee’s approval is automatic.
2. Dropping to part-time status is an unusual step, and Committee approval depends upon the existence of extenuating circumstances such as health problems or unusual personal difficulties.
3. The deadline for submitting a petition for part-time status is the last day of classes in that semester.
The College encourages students to broaden their educational experience by taking courses across many different disciplines and following their interests into new arenas. To facilitate this exploration, students may take one course each semester P/NP in a four course semester, up to a maximum of six credits over their career at F&M. This means that their transcript will record a “P” for that class rather than a letter grade, as long as the student successfully completes the course. The student gets credit toward graduation for the course, but there is no impact on the cumulative GPA.
How to use the P/NP option:
A student may elect to take a course on a Pass/No Pass basis six times in their F&M career.
A student may elect one course per semester as P/NP. If a student is enrolled in a credit overload (5 or more credits), two course credits may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis that semester.
The Pass/No Pass option may not be used when completing a course that satisfies a requirement for a major, minor, or special studies area of concentration (including specified related courses), nor may it be used for Connections 1 or Connections 2 seminars.
Students may use the P/NP option for classes that satisfy the Explorations phase of the curriculum (that is, courses that meet the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Language Study, and World Perspectives or Non-Western requirements), with a limit of one use for each individual Explorations requirement.
Students may retroactively uncover the grade of a course that they originally took P/NP, but now wish to count toward a major, minor, or special studies area of concentration, or for any other reason. Uncovering a grade from a course elected as Pass/No Pass does not allow for an additional (i.e., seventh) P/NP course.
Students may select the P/NP option for a class at any point until the deadline for course withdrawal with record, which is typically 10-14 calendar days before the last day of regularly scheduled classes.
A grade of D- or better earns a P.
Courses taken Pass/No Pass that receive a grade of “P” earn credit toward graduation, but they are not included in the calculation of grade point averages.
One summer session course credit may be taken each five-week term on a Pass/No Pass basis. This option applies only to courses taken at Franklin & Marshall College or a Central Pennsylvania Consortium school.
To choose P/NP for a class, students submit the correct form to the Registrar’s Office with the signature of their adviser (if the adviser is also the professor of the course, then students should obtain the signature of the department chair or associate dean). The professor will not know the grade status of the students in their courses, because it is irrelevant to how faculty teach, mentor, and grade students. Faculty will grade all student work and submit a final grade for all students, regardless of whether or not the student is taking the course P/NP.
College policy permits a student to repeat a Franklin & Marshall course for a grade only if the previous grade was “D+,” “D,” “D-,” “F,” or “NP.” Please note that a subsequent offering of a particular course cannot be guaranteed.
The following rules apply to repeating a course:
1. When a course is repeated, it counts only once for credit toward the degree.
2. When a course is repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the average in the major or minor. Both grades, however, appear on the permanent record, with a notation next to the original grade indicating that the course was later repeated.
3. Repeated courses must be taken for a regular grade unless the first grade was an “NP.” When the original grade was an “NP,” a student may elect either the Pass/No Pass or regular grading options.
4. No course may be taken more than twice without the approval of the Committee on Academic Status.
5. No course that is a prerequisite to another course may be repeated if the higher level course has been passed successfully (“P,” or “D-” or higher).
6. No course may be repeated by taking a proficiency exam.
7. A student may not use the repeat option more than three times.
8. An allowable repeat of a course must be taken at the same institution where the course was originally taken. In particular, courses originally taken at Franklin & Marshall with a grade of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” “F,” or “NP” may only be repeated at Franklin & Marshall. Students may petition the Committee on Academic Status for exceptions to this policy.
9. As clarification, if a course for which the original grade was “D-” or higher is repeated, and if a withdrawal (“W”) occurs in the repeat, then the original grade and credit are retained. If, however, the course is failed when repeated, the original credit is lost. If a course for which the original grade was “F” is repeated, and if a withdrawal (“W”) occurs in the repeat, then the original grade remains for grade point average calculations.
10. Election of the repeat option requires the submission of a form to the Office of the Registrar.
11. It is the student’s responsibility to verify that repeated courses are properly noted on the transcript.
There is no official auditing of courses at Franklin & Marshall College. Any full-time student may, with the prior permission of the instructor, attend a course for which the student is not registered. There is no record of this shown on the student’s transcript.
At the opening meeting of each course, instructors state their policy on class attendance. Subject to the discretion of individual instructors, students are expected to attend all scheduled meetings, lectures, discussions and laboratory periods that make up the course. Students who violate instructors’ rules of attendance may receive a grade of “F.” In addition, when the rules of attendance are clearly communicated in the course syllabus or in a similarly explicit manner, a student who violates the attendance policy may be dismissed from the course upon the joint agreement of the instructor and the College House Dean. Students who are dismissed from a course for excessive absences may be reinstated only by the joint consent of the instructor and the College House Dean.
Students who believe that they are obliged to miss class for health or counseling reasons should see those offices in advance, unless emergency conditions prevent. The Student Wellness Center does not issue class absence notes and encourages students to communicate with their professors before missing class, although there are certain health situations for which professors will receive communication from the Student Wellness Center or College House Deans, detailed on the Student Wellness Center's web site. Students with other reasons that they believe are valid for missing class should contact their College House Deans, also in advance unless emergency conditions prevent.
The academic calendar of the College is a secular one. A student who has a schedule conflict due to a religious obligation should discuss the situation with his or her professors prior to the date of the conflict; any accommodation would be at the discretion of the faculty member. A calendar of religious holidays is available on the College’s academic calendar web page.
Students may petition the Committee on Academic Status for exceptions to academic policies of the College. Petition forms may be found in the Office of Student Success (College Square), in the Office of the Registrar (Diagnothian Hall), and on the Registrar’s Office website.