To qualify for the baccalaureate degree, a student must meet the degree requirements established by the faculty for the class in which he or she has matriculated.
The number of full-credit courses (or the equivalent) required for graduation is 32. They must be completed with passing grades; a grade of C- or higher must be achieved in at least one-half of the courses taken at Hamilton. No more than 15 course credits in a single department earned after entering the College, including transferred credits, may be counted toward the courses required for graduation. Each unit of credit is equivalent to four semester hours.
A student must complete at least one-half of the courses required for graduation while in residence at Hamilton and be in residence for the final semester of study. Residence means enrollment in programs conducted by the College, on or off campus.
The normal pattern for earning the baccalaureate degree is four consecutive years of study. The requirements must be completed within seven calendar years from the date of matriculation.
A student must complete the requirements for a regular concentration, a double concentration or an interdisciplinary concentration with a cumulative average of at least 1.7 in all courses taken at Hamilton that are approved for the concentration. Seniors must take at least one course each semester in their concentrations unless granted an exemption by the department or program chair. All students must complete the Senior Program in their concentrations.
Each student elects a concentration in the second semester of the sophomore year. For each student the requirements for the concentration elected are those specified in the edition of the College Catalogue published for that student's sophomore year.
Students declare their concentrations in the spring of their second year, before preregistration for fall semester courses. By the end of the second year, a student must have completed at least two courses in the department or program of concentration, and must have received a cumulative average of 1.7 or higher for all work taken in that department or program. The concentration is listed on the official transcript. A student may change from one concentration to another only with the approval of the departments or programs involved and the Committee on Academic Standing.
While students normally declare a single concentration, it is possible for a student to complete and gain recognition for concentrations in two departments or programs, provided that approval to elect a double concentration is granted by the department or program chairs involved. A student may not count a course as part of the concentration requirements in more than one department or program. When approved, both concentrations are listed on the official transcript. Those who have been granted permission for a double concentration may drop one of them at any time by informing the appropriate department chair and the registrar. A student who declares a double concentration may not also declare a minor.
A student may design and declare an interdisciplinary concentration involving two or more departments. After consulting with and gaining approval from the appropriate department chairs, the student must submit the proposed interdisciplinary concentration in writing for approval by the Committee on Academic Standing, which will evaluate the proposal according to standards similar to those for a regular concentration. The student must have a cumulative average of at least 1.7 in all courses approved for the concentration. The student must specify a Senior Program that meets the approval of the committee.
A student with a concentration in a single department or program may declare a minor in one or two other departments or programs that offer a minor, or in an interdisciplinary minor program previously approved by the Committee on Academic Policy. Students declaring a minor must consult with and gain the written approval of the appropriate department or program chair. Declaration of a minor in the same department or program as the student's concentration requires approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. To enter a minor, a student must have completed at least one course in the discipline and must have earned a cumulative average of at least 1.7 in all courses counting toward the minor. This average must be maintained if the minor is to be listed along with the concentration on the official transcript. A minor consists of five courses as approved by the department, program or committee under which the work is undertaken. A student may not count any course as part of both a concentration and a minor, or as part of two minors. See "Hamilton College Calendar" for deadlines to declare a minor.
All students must complete a Senior Program in their concentrations. For additional information, see "Senior Program."
The College requires satisfactory standards of correctness in all written work. Students are encouraged to take writing-intensive courses, which are offered by most departments and programs. Writing-intensive courses include any so designated by the Committee on Academic Policy. The description of each course indicates whether it is writing-intensive.
The Writing Program requires that every student pass at least three writing-intensive courses, each taken in a different semester. One must be taken during the first year of study and a second completed by the end of the second year. This requirement should be completed by the end of the junior year.
Writing-intensive courses in mathematics or courses in which assignments are written in a language other than English may count for no more than one of the three required courses. In exceptional circumstances, the Committee on Academic Standing will allow a student to earn no more than one writing-intensive credit by completing a suitably constructed independent study. At least one course must be outside the student's area of concentration.
The College offers peer-tutoring in writing at the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center. Many courses require first-draft writing conferences, and writing conferences are also available on request. Many students take advantage of peer review of their drafts.
The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Center is another option for students who are non-native English speakers or for those seeking to improve their English language skills.
Students who experience difficulties with the writing components of a particular course are encouraged to seek such assistance and to consult with their instructors and advisors. They may also consult the director of the Writing Center or the ESOL center about other services available. See "Academic Support Services."
Courses that fulfill the Writing Program requirements are published each semester in the pre-registration booklet available in the Office of the Registrar. They are also listed as writing-intensive in the course descriptions. See "Courses of Instruction."
Hamilton's English for Speakers of Other Languages Program (ESOL) offers services to students who are not native speakers of English and those who are interested in English language instruction. Two courses give students the opportunity to become familiar with American academic expectations and to master English language skills. Fundamentals of Composition I is offered in the fall, and Fundamentals of Composition II is offered in the spring. Both focus on individual needs and on the practice of language skills -- reading, writing, listening and speaking -- through text preparation, discussions and written assignments. Composition 101 is open to first-year students only, while Composition 102 is open to students of all classes.
Students may take advantage of the resources available through the ESOL program and may meet with the coordinator at any time to discuss course work or academic issues related to the program. Information on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and other language-based tests, intensive English programs, graduate programs in ESOL/applied linguistics and ESOL job opportunities is available in the ESOL office located in Buttrick Hall. Students are welcome to use the program's library, which covers topics on language skills, ESOL methodology and English language acquisition. Students who are interested in teaching or tutoring ESOL should see the descriptions for the following courses listed under Education Studies:240 (Methods of Tutoring English for Speakers of Other Languages) and 340 (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
The College requires effective use of public and academic discourse as defined and appraised by the faculty and the College community. Many courses across the curriculum, including proseminars and seminars, require class participation through discussion, performance and debate, as well as through individual or group presentations. Most departments require a public presentation of their concentrators' Senior Projects. Students may develop their speaking abilities and public presence through courses in Theatre, Communication and Oral Communication. Course descriptions found in the online catalogue include "Oral Presentation" if an instructor has designated a course as such. See the "more information" link in the online course listings or the instructor for more information on the type of oral presentations required for that course. Students who experience difficulty in meeting the College's expectations for effective oral communication are encouraged to pursue a plan for progress in consultation with their instructors, advisor and/or associate dean of students (academic).
Every student must demonstrate basic quantitative literacy by passing the quantitative skills examination offered during Orientation, passing a course having a significant quantitative/mathematical component or completing a non-credit-bearing tutorial through the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center. The quantitative skills examination tests basic mathematical and quantitative knowledge, including computation, algebra, analysis of graphs and charts, and probability.
During Orientation, the QSkills Exam is offered to first-year and transfer students. Students who do not pass the exam or who do not take the exam should meet with their academic advisors during Orientation Week to plan how to fulfill the quantitative literacy requirement. Courses currently designated as containing a significant quantitative/mathematical component are Archaeology 106, Biology 101, 102 and 115, Chemistry 120, 125, 190 and 255, Computer Science 105, 110 and 123, Economics 101, 102, 230, 265, 275 and 285, Geosciences 209, Government 230, Math 100, 113, 114, 115, 123 and 253, Neuroscience 280, Philosophy 240 (Symbolic Logic), Physics 100, 105, 120, 130, 135, 160 and 190, Psychology 101 and 280, and Sociology 302. A listing for each semester can be found online in Web Advisor and in the back of the course schedule booklet. Please check with the registrar for any additions or changes to this list. Tutorial help for students taking quantitative courses is available at the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center.
The non-credit-bearing tutorial offered each semester contains four modules: Basic Computation, Algebraic Expression, Graphs and Charts, and Proportional and Functional Reasoning. Students meet weekly with their tutors to prepare to take a final module exam. Participation in tutorials and the exam score are taken into consideration for the fulfillment of the requirement.
This requirement should be completed by the end of the second year. More information about the quantitative literacy requirement can be found under "Academics" on the Hamilton Website or by contacting the director of the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center.
Hamilton expects that every student will demonstrate facility in quantitative and symbolic reasoning by completing one or more courses in at least one of the following three categories:
Courses across the curriculum that fulfill this requirement are described as Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning courses under Courses of Instruction. They are also listed online in Web Advisor and in the printed course schedule booklet distributed before each registration period. The College offers tutoring in the area of quantitative and symbolic reasoning through the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center and the Peer Tutoring Program. This requirement should be fulfilled by the end of the second year at Hamilton.
Every student must participate in the program of instruction offered by the Physical Education Department. Each student is required to pass tests in swimming and physical fitness. A complete specification of the requirement is stated in the "Physical Education" section. Instruction is available in badminton, fitness, golf, jogging, lifeguard training, power walking, racquetball, skating, squash, swimming, tennis, toning, volleyball and yoga. Except under unusual circumstances, it is expected that the requirement will be completed in the first year. All students must complete the physical education requirement by the beginning of Spring Break of the sophomore year and before studying away.
Transfer students and January admits should register for a physical education course upon matriculation and consult with the department chair about completion of the requirement. Prior instruction may be applicable to Hamilton requirements
All qualified students receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts, which is conferred once a year at the graduation ceremony. The degrees are conferred only upon students who have completed all the baccalaureate requirements described above, who have no outstanding bills at the College and who are present to receive their diplomas (unless they have requested and received authorization from the Committee on Academic Standing for conferral in absentia). Only students who have completed all the requirements for the degree may participate in the graduation ceremony.
Matriculation at Hamilton is contingent upon a student's written acceptance of the Honor Code regulations. The code covers all coursework and course examinations at Hamilton during a student's college career. Complaints alleging violations of the Honor Code shall be submitted in writing by instructors or students to the chair of the Honor Court or to the associate dean of students (academic).
After the first semester of study, a student may engage in independent study during the school year in place of a regular course. The student's independent study proposal must receive the approval of the faculty supervisor, the appropriate department chair, the student's faculty advisor and the Committee on Academic Standing. Normally, arrangements are completed in the semester preceding that of the independent study; late petitions may be denied. Independent study requires discipline and responsibility, and therefore the faculty takes into account the maturity of the student and the level of his or her knowledge and academic background when it considers proposals for independent study. A student normally will not engage in more than one independent study in any one semester, and may not engage in more than two independent studies in any one academic year.
Independent study may take many forms, but normally it consists of the study of material unavailable in the formal College curriculum, of laboratory or field research, or of the creation of some body of work in the creative arts, such as poetry, fiction, musical composition or visual art.
The College recognizes that off-campus internship and apprenticeship experiences can be a valuable supplement to a student's academic program. Students beyond the first year (eight courses) who are in good academic standing are eligible to engage in such internships and apprenticeships. Students may seek to earn academic credit based on an internship or apprenticeship experience in one of two ways. First, students may apply to the Committee on Academic Standing, prior to beginning an internship or apprenticeship, for approval to earn 1/4 credit (using the credit/no credit option only). The committee's determination to award credit/no credit is based on a letter of evaluation submitted by the project supervisor and, at the discretion of the committee, an interview with the student conducted by the associate dean of students (academic). The Office of the Dean of Students will place the project supervisor's letter of evaluation in the student's permanent file. Students may not apply credits earned for internships in this manner toward the requirements for their degree, including the regulation requiring the completion of a minimum of 32 credits. Second, under the direction of a regular member of the faculty, and with the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing, students pursuing approved off-campus internships and apprenticeships may use their off-campus experience as the basis for a 1/2-credit or one-credit independent study conducted during a regular semester once the student returns to the College. Such an independent study will be governed by the same policies that apply to all independent studies.
Under certain circumstances, a student may cover a course independently and receive credit on the basis of demonstrated proficiency. The course covered in this manner must be one that is normally offered in a regular semester. Such study is ordinarily undertaken during the summer recess and permits the student to move rapidly into advanced courses for which there are prerequisites, or to make up a course failed during a preceding semester.
A student wishing to cover a course independently must obtain the approval of a faculty supervisor, the appropriate department chair, the faculty advisor and the Committee on Academic Standing.
Both Hamilton's commitment to excellence and its need to operate within its resources have implications for course enrollment policy. Except for independent studies and courses with limited enrollments, a student shall be free to elect, during the calendar periods for registration, any course for which the prerequisites have been met. However, a senior who desires to elect a 100-level course must first obtain permission from the instructor.
Full-time students normally elect courses equal to four credits during both the fall and spring semesters. During each of these semesters, students may carry no more than five, and no fewer than three, full-credit courses. Any exception must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing (see also "Overelection Fee" under "Tuition and Fees").
Part-time study at Hamilton is available only to special students and to those participating in the Hamilton Horizons Program (see "Admission").
A student may change (add or drop) courses during the first five calendar days of the fall and spring semesters after consultation with the advisor. An add/drop form must be completed and returned to the Registrar's Office within the five-day period.
Classes may not be added after the first week without permission of the Committee on Academic Standing. After the first five calendar days of either semester, a student who is taking four or more courses may drop a course up to one week after midterm, after consulting with the advisor and the instructor of the course. The dropped course counts as one of the 37 courses that a student can elect without extra charge (see "Overelection Fee" under "Tuition and Fees").
After the drop deadline, a student may drop a course without the penalty of failure only with approval from the Committee on Academic Standing. Only extraordinary circumstances warrant the committee's approval of such a request.
A student's academic performance is graded by the instructor at the close of the semester with one of 13 grades. Each of these grades is used to determine a student's average and class standing, according to the table below. The lowest passing mark is D-.
The letter grades with their numerical equivalents are shown below:
The foregoing numerical equivalents of the letter grades are established to enable the registrar to construct students' grade point averages and class ranks, which are necessarily numerical. An instructor assigns a letter grade to indicate his or her qualitative (not numerical) assessment of a student's work.
Thus, for example, an instructor would assign "C+," "C" or "C-" to indicate assessments of "satisfactory," and the instructor may use any information he or she considers appropriate, including, but not limited to, numerical information to decide whether a student's work is "satisfactory." The registrar's conversion of the instructor's letter grade into an element of a student's grade point average is a separate matter.
Evaluation of performance in a course is represented by a single grade which combines grades for work in the course and for the final examination in a ratio determined by the instructor. When a student elects to take a course on a credit/no credit basis, standing in the course is represented by the notation of Cr, NC, or F (see "Credit/No Credit Option"). When an independent study or an appropriately designated course is carried for two semesters, the grade reported at the end of the first semester is tentative. The grade assigned by the instructor at the end of the second semester becomes the final mark for both semesters.
Students who fail a course may repeat that course; if the failed course is repeated, however, both grades will be included both on the permanent transcript and in the cumulative average. A failed course may not be counted toward the course credits required for graduation, but it is counted toward the 37 courses that a student may elect without extra charge.
After the drop period, and following a warning to the student, an instructor may request the Committee on Academic Standing to remove from the course a student who is willfully and consistently neglectful of assigned work or other course obligations. If the committee concurs, a grade of F will be entered on the student's permanent transcript.
Any grade of incomplete reported by an instructor must first be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing. Such approval is given rarely and only in circumstances beyond a student's control, such as a medical or family emergency. Approval permits the student to complete the required work for the course by a deadline set by the instructor and the chairperson of the Committee on Academic Standing. Normally this deadline will be no later than six weeks from the end of the semester for which the grade of incomplete was assigned. If all remaining work is not submitted by the deadline specified when the incomplete is granted, the grade will automatically be changed to F.
An instructor may not change a grade, other than the removal of an incomplete within the deadline, without the approval of the chair of the Committee on Academic Standing.
To encourage greater breadth in course election, the faculty has adopted a rule that allows a student to elect four courses over the four-year period on a credit/no credit option. No more than one such option may be exercised in any given semester. Graduate and professional schools generally look with disfavor on the use of this option in coursework considered crucial to the graduate field.
The credit/no credit option is subject to the following rules:
In certain courses, students may be evaluated "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory."
The online description of the course will include the notation "Evaluated Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory," which will apply to all students registered for the course. The recorded evaluation (S or U) will under no circumstances be convertible to a conventional grade.
Under this option, full-credit courses that are evaluated satisfactory/unsatisfactory may be counted, but may not be required, for the concentration or minor, and they may not be elected by students in their first semester. The combined number of full-credit satisfactory/unsatisfactory and credit/no credit courses that a student may elect is four.
Based on grades submitted by instructors, a numerical academic average is determined for each student for each semester and cumulatively for all work taken at Hamilton. This information is available to the student and to those parties authorized by the student to receive it. Grades in courses accepted for transferred credit are excluded from the student's average.
Grades earned in courses taken by independent coverage are included in the cumulative average. Grades for the Hamilton Junior Year in France Program, the Academic Year in Spain Program, the Associated Colleges in China Program, the Hamilton Program in New York City, the Hamilton Term in Washington, the New York State Independent College Consortium for Study in India and The New England Center for Children Cooperative Learning Program are included in the cumulative average.
Every student is expected to attend class regularly. A student who must be absent because of medical or family emergency should notify the Office of the Dean of Students and his or her instructors. Absence for any reason does not remove the student's responsibility for learning the material covered during the absence, for turning in assignments, for obtaining materials distributed in class and for knowledge of the next assignment. Instructors may drop students from a limited-enrollment course if they are absent at any time during the first week of classes.
When an instructor believes that lack of attendance is affecting a student's academic performance, the instructor may warn the student or ask the Committee on Academic Standing to do so. The committee may drop from the course a student who fails to heed such a notice. If the committee drops the student, a grade of F will be recorded.
Students who are indisposed by illness that might inhibit their academic work should contact their instructors before assignments are due. The instructors will determine whatever alternative arrangements, if any, will be available to the student. Except for confinement to bed upon the order of the College physician or nurse, the Health Center will not excuse a student from academic obligations.
The reading period shall comprise three days, with the final examination period beginning on the night of the third day and extending for four additional days. The final examination period has three scheduled examination sessions per full day. If a student is scheduled to take more than one examination in a single session, or if a student is scheduled to take three examinations in a single day, the student should ask an instructor to reschedule one final examination. If the rescheduling presents a problem for the student or the instructor, the student should consult the Office of the Dean of Students. A student shall not be required to take three examinations in a single day. Other reasons for rescheduling will be evaluated by the instructor, who must approve the time change.
The faculty assumes that every student admitted to Hamilton will be able to qualify for graduation. However, the opportunity to continue at Hamilton is a privilege that a student must earn by academic achievement. A student separated from the College for academic deficiency (see below) is not in good academic standing. A student on academic probation (see below) is not in good academic standing but remains eligible for financial aid.
Hamilton reserves the right, at any time, to suspend for any period or to separate from the College any student whose academic performance or personal conduct on or off campus is, in the sole judgment of the College, unsatisfactory or detrimental to the best interests of the College. Neither the College, nor any of its trustees, officers, faculty or administrative staff shall be subject to any liability whatsoever on account of such suspension or separation. A student who is separated or suspended from the College or who withdraws is required to leave campus within 48 hours, unless permission to remain longer is granted by the dean of students.
Instructors may at any time during the term submit written reports for all students whose standing in a course is unsatisfactory (borderline or failing). Students and their advisors receive copies of these warnings. A student who receives two or more such warnings in the same semester must consult with the associate dean of students (academic).
The Registrar's Office determines class status by the number of courses a student has completed satisfactorily.
The Committee on Academic Standing will place on academic probation for the succeeding semester a student whose substandard achievement is reflected in the semester's final grades in any of the following ways:
A student who is on academic probation is ineligible for study abroad. The Committee on Academic Standing may also prevent or limit participation by students on academic probation in prize competitions, intercollegiate athletics and other extracurricular activities, including the holding of offices in chartered undergraduate organizations.
The Committee on Academic Standing will normally recommend that a student's degree be withheld for one year if a senior's record during the final semester at Hamilton would have resulted in probation.
The Committee on Academic Standing will normally suspend from the College for a period of one year a student who has:
A student suspended for academic deficiency will be notified in writing of the committee's decision, the reasons for the suspension, the length of the suspension and the conditions under which he or she will be considered for readmission to the College.
A student readmitted from a suspension for academic deficiency will be placed on academic probation for the semester immediately following readmission.
The Committee on Academic Standing will normally expel from the College any student who is readmitted from an academic suspension and whose record subsequent to readmission makes him or her subject to academic probation or to another suspension.
Expulsion is permanent dismissal from the College. A student who is expelled may not be readmitted and will have no further opportunity to qualify for a degree from Hamilton.
A student who is suspended or expelled from the College as a consequence of an action taken by the Committee on Academic Standing (academic failure), the Judicial Board (social infractions) or the Honor Court (academic dishonesty) will have recorded on his or her permanent transcript a note explaining the reason or reasons for the suspension or expulsion as follows: "suspended (or expelled) from the College on (date)_______________for the reason of _______________."
With faculty approval, qualified students may spend one to three semesters of study in an approved program overseas or at another American institution, or may receive credit for part-time study while on personal leave or during summers. The College tries to be responsive to the needs of students seeking diverse educational settings or courses not offered at Hamilton. At the same time, transferred credit can have a significant effect on the meaning and value of the Hamilton degree and thus must represent work that meets Hamilton's standards. The College considers the opportunity to earn transferred credit a privilege, rather than a right, and evaluates carefully the merits of all transferred credit petitions.
Every student intending to study away from Hamilton should prepare by taking the appropriate foundation courses. Consultation with the appropriate department chairs and the associate dean of students for study abroad early in the sophomore year is advised.
The conditions for transferred credit are as follows:
Transferred credit, including summer school and advanced placement credit, is counted toward the courses required for a degree. Such credit is entered on the transcript. The grade, however, is not included in the student's average and, therefore, does not affect class rank, which is determined solely on the basis of grades awarded for courses taken in Hamilton programs.
Once transferred credit has been entered on a student's transcript, that credit may not be removed from the transcript without approval of the Committee on Academic Standing.
Foreign students who enter Hamilton as first-year students and desire transferred credit for work done at a foreign college or university should consult the associate dean of students (academic) during their first year.
Upon returning to Hamilton, the student must have an official transcript sent to the Office of the Registrar documenting completion of the approved program. No credit will be approved for courses taken credit/no credit. Students must receive letter grades or equivalents from off-campus programs.
To earn credit toward a Hamilton degree for study abroad, a student must:
Students applying to the Hamilton programs in China, France or Spain, or the Hamilton-affiliated program in India may, with the support of the appropriate program director and the concentration advisor, apply to the Committee on Academic Standing for a waiver of the 82 average rule.
To earn credit toward a Hamilton degree by work transferred from study abroad in a country whose language is not English, a student must meet the following requirements:
The Committee on Academic Standing may, upon the recommendation of an academic department at Hamilton, modify these requirements for specific students or programs of study abroad.
Transcripts of college work to date will be reviewed by the registrar, in consultation with the Committee on Academic Standing, to determine the courses that will be accepted for transfer. (See the preceding section for the criteria used.) Transfer students must complete at least half of their undergraduate program at Hamilton to receive a Hamilton College degree.
When the transcript has been evaluated, the registrar will send the transfer student a statement of accepted courses and an estimate of the Hamilton credit equivalency, and upon matriculation will enter the courses and grades on the student's Hamilton record. The registrar will assign a class year based on the number of credits accepted for transfer. A transfer student is governed by the academic regulations that pertain to the class in which he or she has been placed.
All transfer students must take the quantitative skills proficiency examination. They must consult with the Physical Education Department regarding completion of the physical education requirement. If awarded junior standing, a transfer student must declare a concentration upon matriculation. Courses taken elsewhere may be counted toward the concentration if approved by the appropriate department.
Acceleration permits students to graduate one full year ahead of the normal date of graduation. Students wishing to accelerate must apply to the Committee on Academic Standing for permission to do so no later than the end of the first semester of the sophomore year. The committee will consider both the advisability of acceleration and the means of achieving it. Approval will be granted only to those students whose academic ability and personal maturity are judged adequate.
A student may request from the associate dean of students (academic) an academic or personal leave of absence. A student may request from the dean of students a medical or psychological leave. Students should consult with their academic advisor and the appropriate dean prior to requesting leave. Leaves of absence may be granted for a specified period of time, normally one or two semesters. Students on leave are expected to return to Hamilton at the conclusion of the approved leave.
While on leave, students will be informed of preregistration at the appropriate time in the semester preceding their return, and are responsible for meeting the same deadlines as currently enrolled students. Arrangements for housing must be completed before students leave campus. In order to do this, students must complete a proxy form and register it with the Office of Residential Life. Students who fail to preregister or who leave Hamilton without formally being granted a leave of absence will be withdrawn and must reapply to the dean of students. A request for a change in a student's leave, or cancellation, must be made to the appropriate dean. Should the dean approve the request to cancel a leave, the student must pay the continuation fee and then may exercise his or her own on-campus options, to the extent that the College schedule allows.
All requests for a leave of absence must be received by the published deadlines. Students with an approved leave do not pay the registration fee, preregister or participate in the housing or meal plan lotteries. The registration fee is refundable until May 1; after that date it is forfeited.
Students may occasionally need to arrange a leave of absence after the spring or fall deadlines for reasons beyond their control. These students should apply to the dean of students, who may allow financial and other regulations to be waived. When a leave is granted, the dean of students may also specify special conditions for the student's readmission to Hamilton.
Students intending to pursue an academic program at another institution, either at an American college or in a foreign study program, must request in writing an academic leave from the associate dean of students (academic).
Students may request in writing a leave for personal or financial reasons from the associate dean of students (academic).
Students who have a professionally diagnosed medical or psychological condition that interferes with their academic or social life at Hamilton may request from the dean of students a medical or psychological leave of absence. For such a leave to be considered, the student must authorize the director of Student Health Services and/or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services, as appropriate, to provide confirmation of the presence and severity of the condition to the dean of students.
In extraordinary circumstances when a student is unable or unwilling to take a voluntary leave of absence, the dean of students or a designee may place a student on an involuntary leave of absence if it is determined that the student's actions pose a direct threat to the safety of others or disrupt the learning environment for other students. Before an involuntary leave is considered, the dean of students will consult with the student and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) and encourage a voluntary leave of absence.
Prior to placing a student on an involuntary leave, the dean of students or a designee will meet with the student and explain the reasons why it is under consideration. The student will have an opportunity to respond. In determining whether an involuntary leave is necessary, the dean of students will confer with campus officials who can help evaluate whether a student’s behavior poses a direct threat to the safety of others or disrupts the learning environment for other students. The dean of students or designee may require an assessment by health care professionals who can assist in making an informed decision. In all cases, reasonable accommodations that would mitigate the need for an involuntary leave will be considered. In a case where a student’s behavior is judged by the dean of students or designee to pose an immediate and substantial disruption or threat to the safety of others, the dean or designee may take immediate action to place the student on an involuntary leave, providing the student an opportunity to respond to the action in a reasonable period of time.
Students who take a leave during a semester will normally be on leave for the remainder of that semester plus the subsequent semester. Students who have been on medical or psychological leave of absence must apply to the dean of students to return. Normally this request should be made 30 days in advance of the proposed date of return. Requests will be granted only after the director of Student Health Services and/or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services informs the dean of students that he or she is satisfied that the student is ready to return; this will normally require the student to supply documentation from appropriate professionals confirming that the condition leading to the leave has been resolved.
A student suspended for academic deficiency will be notified in writing of the decision of the Committee on Academic Standing, the reasons for suspension, the length of the suspension and the conditions under which he or she will be considered for readmission to the College. A student readmitted from a suspension for academic deficiency will be placed on academic probation for the semester immediately following readmission.
Students may be suspended from the College for disciplinary reasons. Readmission to the College after the semester of suspension is not automatic, but requires application to the dean of students. A student readmitted from suspension for disciplinary reasons will normally be placed on disciplinary probation for the semester immediately following readmission. Readmission will normally be denied if the conditions specified at the time of suspension have not been met. Hamilton reserves the right to defer readmission if space is not available.
Students who leave Hamilton while a semester is in progress or at the end of the semester, and who do not wish to return at a future date, are required to formally withdraw from the College by meeting with the associate dean of students (academic) and following the proper exit procedures.
Former students or students who have completed withdrawal procedures may apply to the dean of admission for readmission to the College. Applications for readmission are to be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wishes to return.
A registration fee of $500, deductible from the fall tuition bill, is required of all students who intend to continue at Hamilton. This fee is due by April 1 of each year. It may be refunded up to May 1; after that date it is forfeited.
Preregistration is held in November for the following spring semester and in April for the following fall semester. In order to preregister for the fall semester, students must have paid the registration fee. Students who have not preregistered may be withdrawn from the College.
In order to continue in college housing, returning students select their rooms for the next academic year through the housing lottery at the end of the spring semester. In order to be eligible, students must have paid the registration fee, have their accounts clear and have preregistered for classes for the fall semester. The housing lottery information booklet, published in the middle of the spring semester, contains additional requirements pertaining to the process and student eligibility.
Students wishing to live off campus must participate in a separate process which is normally offered only to rising seniors. Any permission to live off campus is granted on a yearly basis only. Students are advised to not sign a lease until they have been granted permission to move off campus by the College during the spring.
Each student must participate in a meal plan while classes are in session. All first-year and sophomore students must participate in the 21-meal plan. Most junior and senior students will participate in the 7-, 14- or 21-meal plan, depending on where they live. Certain housing locations permit students to take fewer meals in the dining halls. However, all students (including off-campus residents), at a minimum, must participate in the seven-meal plan. Students with medical restrictions need to consult with the director of residential life. (For more on meal plan placement.)
College regulations defining access to student records under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.