Requirements for Degree
Students are responsible for completing all requirements for graduation.
- A minimum of 120 credit hours of course work. A minimum of 60 credit hours must be completed at Skidmore College.
- Satisfaction of the grade-point standard. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 in all course work completed at Skidmore College and a 2.000 in all course work in the major field, as well as in any declared minor.
- Fulfillment of the liberal arts requirement. Candidates for the bachelor of arts degree must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours of course work designated as liberal arts. Candidates for the bachelor of science degree must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of course work designated as liberal arts. Double majors completing both B.A. and B.S. requirements must complete 90 hours of liberal arts credit. Only one degree is awarded.
- Fulfillment of the maturity-level requirement. Successful completion of a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work at the 300 level at Skidmore College. Twelve credit hours of 300-level course work must be taken in the senior year, 6 of these 12 in each major field.
- Fulfillment of a Scribner Seminar, unless exempted.
- Fulfillment of the foundation requirements: quantitative reasoning 1 and 2 and expository writing.
- Fulfillment of the breadth component in four areas: arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.
- Fulfillment of the culture-centered inquiry requirement: two courses, one course at the appropriate level in a foreign language or foreign literature in its nontranslated form, and one course designated as either non-Western culture or cultural diversity study.
- Declaration and satisfaction of requirements for a major program.
In addition, the student is responsible for fulfillment of all financial obligations to the college and for successfully fulfilling all social and academic integrity obligations stipulated by the Integrity Board, the Dean of Student Affairs, and the Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Students are encouraged to monitor progress toward degree completion by referencing degree audits produced weekly by the Office of the Registrar.
Liberal Arts Requirement
Courses designated as “non-liberal arts” in the course listings are of a professional nature and do not carry liberal arts credit. All B.A. degree candidates must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours of course work designated as liberal arts. All B.S. degree candidates must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of course work designated as liberal arts.
Double majors completing both B.A. and B.S. requirements must complete 90 hours of liberal arts credit. Students in this situation are awarded only one degree and must notify the Registrar’s Office of their choice prior to graduation.
Courses designated in the catalog by numbers in the 100s and 200s are intended mainly for first-year students and sophomores, and those in the 300s for juniors and seniors. All degree candidates must successfully complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work on the 300 level at Skidmore College. Twelve credit hours of 300-level course work must be taken in the senior year, at least 6 of these 12 in the major field. Students with double majors are expected to complete at least 6 hours at the 300 level in each major during their senior year.
The minimum of 24 300-level course credits must be earned in Skidmore courses, not at other colleges and universities unless part of an approved study-abroad or domestic study program. The Committee on Academic Standing adheres closely to this minimum expectation, in the belief that some substantial core of the student’s advanced, culminating academic work should be completed at the institution, Skidmore, which is awarding the student’s baccalaureate degree. With the exception of Skidmore-approved domestic and abroad programs, students may earn no more than 8 maturity-level credits away from Skidmore. CAS does not limit the amount of maturity-level credit that may be awarded in transfer for students participating in an approved off-campus study program.
Interdisciplinary Requirements: Scribner Seminar
In their first year at college, students build connections to academic and residential communities, identify intellectual interests, and encounter faculty expectations for excellence. The First-Year Experience Program provides curricular, cocurricular, and residential opportunities that facilitate entering students’ successful integration into the Skidmore College community. Through New Student Orientation, Scribner Seminars, and other Campus Life and Residential programming, students learn to balance freedom with responsibility, solve problems, and develop strategies for academic achievement. Scribner Seminars may not be used to meet any other college requirements.
All students are required to enroll in a Scribner Seminar during the fall semester of the first year. Students not completing the Seminar will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the director of the First-Year Experience. The CAS will reference guidelines for disposition of cases approved jointly with the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning and included in the CAS Operating Code.
Expository Writing (AEW): Students are required to complete successfully one designated expository writing course by the end of the sophomore year. Students placed in EN 103 Writing Seminar I must complete this prerequisite course by the end of the first year. In some cases, students may be required to complete certain preparatory courses in their first semester, prior to enrolling in EN 103. Designated writing courses offered by the English Department and in various disciplines can be taken to fulfill the expository writing requirement. Such courses may be English Department writing courses (EN 105, 105H, or 110) or specially designated writing-intensive courses in other disciplines.
Skidmore’s writing program includes tutorial help at the Writing Center.
Each department or program also provides students with opportunities to learn and practice the particular conventions of writing within their discipline. Departments determine the exact nature of the requirement. The specifics are presented in the description of the major.
Quantitative Reasoning (AQR/AQ2): All students must fulfill the QR1 requirement, demonstrating competence in basic mathematical and computational principles, in any one of the following five ways:
- scoring 630 or better on the Old MSAT I exam (taken January 2016 or earlier);
- scoring 650 or better on the New MSAT I exam (taken March 2016 or later);
- scoring 570 or better on any mathematics SAT II exam;
- achieving a score of 28 or higher on the ACT mathematics exam;
- passing Skidmore’s quantitative reasoning examination before the end of the first year; or
- successfully completing MA 100 before the end of the sophomore year.
In addition, by the end of the junior year, all students must have fulfilled the QR2 requirement by successfully completing a designated course in mathematics, statistics, or other numerical operations in various academic disciplines, or in the use of computers for the manipulation of mathematical, social-scientific, or scientific data. All QR2 courses have QR1 as a prerequisite and must be 3 or 4 credits. Fulfillment of the quantitative reasoning requirement is indicated in individual course descriptions.
Students are required to complete courses successfully in the fields of arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Fulfillment of the requirement is indicated in individual course descriptions.
Arts (AAR): Students must complete one course for 2, 3, or 4 credits, or two 1-credit courses designated as Arts.
Humanities (AHU): Students must complete one course for 3 or 4 credits designated as Humanities.
Natural Sciences (ANR): Students must complete one course designated as Natural Science. All courses satisfying the requirements must include a laboratory component.
Social Sciences (ASO): Students must complete one course for 3 or 4 credits designated as Social Science.
Culture-Centered Inquiry Requirements
Students fulfill this requirement by completing one course in a foreign language plus a second course designated as either non-Western culture or cultural diversity study.
Foreign Literature and Language (AFL): All students must choose one 3- or 4-credit course at the appropriate level in a foreign language or foreign literature in its non-translated form.
Non-Western Culture (ANW): Students may fulfill the requirement by successfully completing one 3- or 4-credit course designated as Non-Western.
Cultural Diversity Study (ACD): Students may fulfill the requirement by successfully completing one 3- or 4-credit course designated as Cultural Diversity.
A major field of study selected from the Skidmore College degree programs must be formally declared by the second semester of the sophomore year, prior to registration for the junior year. Requirements in a department are stated in the departmental announcements. Students are limited to two majors and three minors. Skidmore College will recognize both majors but only award a single degree, either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.
A qualified student may propose a self-determined major, which must contain a core of at least 30 credit hours pertinent to the student’s central interest. See Self-Determined Major for procedures for designing such a program.
Capstone experiences such as final projects may be required in the senior year at the discretion of major departments.
A minor field of study in a department or interdisciplinary program may be elected no later than the beginning of the senior year. All minors require a minimum of 18 credit hours. See departmental announcements for specific requirements. Students are limited to two majors and three minors. Interdisciplinary minors may be elected in such areas as Asian studies, environmental studies, film and media studies, international affairs, Latin American studies, and gender studies. A GPA of 2.000 is required in the minor field.
Multiple Counting of Courses
As a general principle, one course can be used to meet only one major, minor, or all-College requirement. There are a few exceptions to this rule:
- In the case of a double major, and with the permission of both major departments and the Office of the Registrar, a maximum of three courses may be counted toward both sets of major requirements.
- For a major and a minor program, or for two minor fields, there can be no more than a two-course overlap in total.
- With reference to items 1 and 2 above, certain major or major/minor overlaps are not permitted. Students should check such exceptions in the Catalog and with the Office of the Registrar.
- The Scribner Seminars and EN 105 Writing Seminar II (EN 105H Writing Seminar II) may not fulfill any other college requirement.
- Certain courses, as approved by the College Curriculum Committee and so indicated in the Catalog, may meet two all-College requirements.
Acceleration and Reclassification
Students are classified according to their expected date of graduation at time of admission. Permission to accelerate and graduate with an earlier class may be given to students in good academic standing with the approval of their major departments and the Committee on Academic Standing. Applications to accelerate must be submitted in writing to CAS not later than one year prior to the anticipated date of graduation. The Office of the Registrar offers assistance to students contemplating acceleration.
Students who do not complete a full-time course load each semester may be reclassified to a later class by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with CAS.
Students with AP or transfer credit taken during high school must make a formal application before changing class years. A feasible completion plan must be approved, including completion of the major.
The standard course load for a full-time student is 15 credit hours each semester, and students are encouraged to balance their commitment to quality and rigor with realistic expectations of the workload involved with specific course enrollments. An overload is defined as any program registration over 18 hours to a maximum of 20 credit hours. Eighteen hours allows students registered in four 4-credit classes to continue to participate in 1- and 2-credit performance classes. It is not recommended that students use 18 semester hours to attempt to complete six 3-credit classes.
The Committee on Academic Standing reviews all applications for overloads to determine academic eligibility, based on stated criteria. Students in their first semester are not permitted to enroll in more than 18 credits. For all other students, a minimum GPA of 3.000 is required for an overload. The Committee will not consider an overload application for more than 20 credit hours.
A full-time student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. Requests for permission to change to part-time (fewer than 12 hours in the fall or spring semester) status must be filed, before the term begins, with the Office of the Registrar and approved by CAS.
A matriculating student can earn credit at Skidmore for a maximum of 16 semester hours, to be used toward graduation credit requirements, through any combination of Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), other testing programs as indicated below, or college courses transcripted by accredited postsecondary institutions that simultaneously contribute to the high school diploma. Course work will be evaluated using the college’s transfer credit policies.
Credit by Examination
Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), and other testing programs may not count toward all-college requirements. The following departments award AP credit toward the major: Art, Art History, Economics, History, and Mathematics. Please consult their specific section of the Catalog for details.
Four credit hours with a maximum of 16 will be awarded toward graduation for each of the following:
- A grade of 4 or 5 on for each Advanced Placement Test of the College Entrance Examination Board.
- A grade of C or better for each examination taken at the Advanced (“A”) Level of the British General Certificate of Education.
- A score of 5, 6, or 7 for each Higher Level Examination in the International Baccalaureate Program.
- A score of 10-15 for each German Abitur Examination
A maximum of 12 semester hours of credit may be granted through subject examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). All such examinations presented must be taken prior to enrollment at Skidmore.
The college will also grant 2 semester hours of credit for each examination taken at the Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level of the BGCE on which the student received a grade of C or better.
Transfer of Credit
The college may grant credit toward the degree for work taken at another accredited institution for which a grade of C or better is received, to a maximum of 60 semester hours. The maximum of 16 credits of advanced standing work described above are included in this 60-hour total. Transcripts from students who are transferring from a non-U.S. institution will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All transferable courses must generally correspond to courses offered at Skidmore. Matriculated students should receive approval for credit from the Office of the Registrar before registering at another institution. More detailed information regarding transfer credit policies is available on the Registrar’s Office website.
Leaves of Absence
Leaves of absence may be granted for one semester or an entire academic year, but not for a period shorter than one semester or longer than one continuous year. Leaves fall into two categories:
Personal Leaves of Absence without academic credit or for full- or part-time study elsewhere may be granted through the Office of Academic Advising with the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. Personal leaves may be granted for the student’s next semester or year of college study or due to unforeseen circumstances for a semester in which the student is already enrolled at Skidmore. In the latter case, unless a grade has already been recorded at the start of the leave, a grade of L is assigned for all classes that semester. No credit is given for courses assigned an L.
Information on leaves is available in the Office of Academic Advising. Study-abroad opportunities are orchestrated by the Office of Off-Campus Study & Exchanges.
Medical Leaves of Absence may be granted through the Office of Academic Advising in consultation with other campus offices and with the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing, upon receipt of the student’s application, and a statement by either a personal physician or the Skidmore physician. If approved for a medical leave of absence, a student is assigned a grade of L for all classes that semester for which a grade has not been recorded by the Registrar’s Office at the start of the leave. No credit is given for courses assigned an L. Before returning to the college, the student must submit a Return from Medical Leave application. The reentry plan includes information from both the student and the physician and must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing well in advance of the first day of classes. All medical and therapeutic assessments must be provided by appropriate professionals not related to the student or his or her family.
(For information concerning housing, academic requirements, and financial responsibilities, please refer to the current information on leaves of absence on the Office of Academic Advising website.)
Students are required to register officially by the published deadlines for each course for which they expect credit. A student who does not register for courses in any semester by the end of the first week of classes will be considered to have officially withdrawn from Skidmore College.
Students are required to withdraw officially by the published deadlines from any course for which they do not expect or want credit, through College procedures administered by the Registrar. Failure to withdraw from a course will result in a grade of F or WF. Students may withdraw from a maximum of two courses in their careers.
All students registering for 6 or more hours must comply with New York state immunization laws. Specific information may be obtained from the Health Services Office.
Regular class attendance and participation have a major effect on the quality of student performance. Students are expected to meet their instructors’ attendance policies, return from vacations at designated times, and remain on campus for their entire examination period. The College does not sanction early departures from the schedule of classes and examinations or any late return to the established class schedule. Students are not automatically entitled to a certain number of absences. Each instructor will make known to the class his or her policy concerning the effect of absence on the student’s grade. Students who become ill remain responsible for the work missed and should consult with course professors. Students must either complete this work during the regular semester of study or apply for a course withdrawal (W or WF), an incomplete (I), or a medical leave of absence.
The Faculty Handbook establishes the College’s minimum expectation that “any students who miss more than a third of the [class] sessions may expect to be barred from final examination. In such cases, the course grade will be recorded as F.” Faculty may, and frequently do, establish even more stringent attendance policies, and the student is obliged to adhere to the attendance policies announced for each course.
Requests for exceptions to any academic regulation must be filed with the Office of Academic Advising or the Office of the Registrar, and approved by the Committee on Academic Standing.