Academic Requirements and Regulations for Students Who Enter Fall 2020 and beyond

Requirements for Degree

Students are responsible for completing all requirements for graduation.

  1. A minimum of 120 credit hours of course work. A minimum of 60 credit hours must be completed at Skidmore College.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Fulfillment of a Scribner Seminar, (unless exempted), the Bridge Experience, and a Senior Experience Coda.
  6. Fulfillment of the foundations requirement: Expository Writing, Applied Quantitative Reasoning, Global Cultural Perspectives, and Language Study.
  7. Fulfillment of the inquiries requirement:  Artistic Inquiry through Practice, Humanistic Inquiry through Practice, and Scientific Inquiry  through Practice.
  8. 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 receive only one degree and must notify the Registrar’s Office of their choice prior to graduation.

Maturity-Level Requirement

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.

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  (CAS) 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 Skidmore, which is awards 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.

Integrations 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 and cocurricular opportunities that facilitate entering students’ successful integration into the Skidmore College community. Through New Student Orientation, Scribner Seminars, and other Campus Life programming, students learn to balance freedom with responsibility, solve problems, and develop strategies for academic achievement.

All students are required to enroll in a Scribner Seminar during the fall semester of their first year. Students not completing the Seminar will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the director of the First-Year Experience. The CAS will, when deciding on the disposition of such cases, reference guidelines approved by both CAS and the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) and included in the CAS Operating Code.  Scribner Seminars may not be used to meet any other college requirements.

The Bridge Experience:  The Bridge Experience requirement encourages students to understand how power and justice have shaped the experiences of people with a variety of identities in the United States and how these people have responded to the reality of inequality in their lives.  The Bridge Experience has two components:  A Content/Theory/Reflection component that explores how unequal distributions of power affect different individuals, groups, and communities in contemporary America and a Practice/Application component that encourages students to reflect upon their own positions in their respective communities and on campus and to connect their study of power, justice, and identity to other areas of their education and to the world beyond the classroom. Practice/Application projects not only require students to demonstrate a critical understanding of power, justice, and identity, but also learn how to communicate and share their insights with a broader audience.

Students must complete the Bridge Experience on campus, though some designated travel seminars may fulfill the requirement.

The college strongly encourages students to complete the Bridge Experience requirement in their sophomore or junior year.

The Senior Experience Coda:  The Senior Experience Coda is a moment for students to produce a piece of original work that demonstrates their intellectual or artistic development during their Skidmore careers.  Additionally, the Senior Experience Coda provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their academic past and look to the future by integrating many aspects of their liberal arts education and imagining themselves as citizens in the world they are facing beyond graduation.
Students typically fulfill their Coda within their major, but they are free to pursue interdisciplinary experiences and codas offered by other departments and programs.

Students may choose to fulfill their Coda within their major, but they are free to find interdisciplinary experiences and codas offered by other departments and programs.

The Senior Coda experience will be informed by the following themes:

  1.     Creativity:  Students will produce original work and engage with individual ideas through analysis, invention, or creation.
  2.     Relevance:  Students will connect to the broader world, which may mean the broader world of academic discourse and/or the world outside of Skidmore College.
  3.     Integration:  Students will consciously and reflectively examine their liberal arts education.

Foundation Requirements

Expository Writing: 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 Writing Seminar I. Designated writing courses offered by the English Department and in various disciplines can be taken to fulfill the expository writing requirement. Skidmore’s writing program includes tutorial help at the Boshoff Writing Center.

Courses that  satisfy the Expository Writing Requirement may be English Department writing courses (EN 105 Writing Seminar II, EN 105H Writing Seminar II, or EN 110 Introduction to Literary Studies) or specially designated writing-intensive courses in other disciplines.

Each department or program also provides students with opportunities to learn and practice the particular conventions of writing within their discipline. Departments  or programs determine the exact nature of the requirement. The specifics are provided in the description of the major.

Applied Quantitative Reasoning (AQR): All students must successfully complete an Applied Quantitative Reasoning course (AQR) by the end of their junior year.

Students can satisfy the prerequisite to enroll in an AQR course in one of three ways:

  1.     Achieving a score of at least 650 on the MSAT I examination, a score of at least 570 on any Mathematics SAT II examination, or a score of at least 28 on the Mathematics ACT examination
  2.     Earning the necessary score on an online quantitative reasoning placement diagnostic administered before they enroll in their first-semester courses.
  3.     Successfully completing a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning course (FQR).

Students who do not have the required MSAT I, Mathematics SAT II, or Mathematics ACT score to place into an AQR course will take an online quantitative reasoning placement diagnostic prior to course registration for their first semester at the college to determine if they have the requisite background and aptitude to succeed in an AQR course. Students who do not demonstrate on the diagnostic placement that they are prepared for an AQR course must  take either MA 100:  Quantitative Reasoning or a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning course (FQR).  Students who place into MA 100 will need to complete successfully MA 100, an FQR course, and an AQR course by the end of their junior years to satisfy the requirement, while students who place into FQR will need to complete successfully an FQR course and an AQR course by the end of their junior years to satisfy the requirement.  

Global Cultural Perspectives:  Students must successfully complete a designated course that will allow them to develop intercultural understanding and global perspectives by turning their attention away from western, Eurocentric cultural traditions to study such topics as the global south, first nations/indigenous peoples, colonialism/formerly colonized nations, and mass migration.  Courses that satisfy this requirement may include comparative approaches to these topics.

Language Study:  Students must successfully complete a course that focuses on acquisition and or analysis of a language other than English.  For Self-instructional Languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian, and Korean), WLX-101 does not fulfill the Language Study Requirement.

Inquiries Requirements

Artistic Inquiry through Practice:  Students must successfully complete a course that will allow them to develop an understanding of creative expression through hands-on engagement in a performing, visual, digital, or literary art.

Humanistic Inquiry through Practice:  Students must successfully complete a course that examines contemporary or past cultural values, helping them to cultivate critical judgment as they study how people process and record the human experience.

Scientific Inquiry through Practice:  Students must successfully complete a course that will allow them to learn about the nature of science through scientific practices that they employ to understand particular aspects of the world. Students will consider the process of scientific thinking as a set of inquiry-based methodologies and will become versed in the design of scientific studies. Students will also learn a body of disciplinary knowledge.

Major Requirements

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:

  1. 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.
  2. For a major and a minor program, or for two minor fields, there can be no more than a two-course overlap in total.
  3. 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.
  4. The Scribner Seminars and EN 105 Writing Seminar II (EN 105H Writing Seminar II) may not fulfill any other college requirement.
  5. 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.

Course Loads

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.

Advanced Standing

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 and programs award AP credit toward the major or minor: Art, Art History, Black Studies, 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 two consecutive semesters. If students do not return to study in the semester they indicate on their application, they are administratively withdrawn from the College and may apply for readmission. 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. 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 requires information from both the student and a letter of support from a medical provider who has treated them for the symptoms that led to their medical leave. Applications must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing and must be received from the student well in advance of the first day of classes by the posted deadlines. All medical and therapeutic assessments must be provided by appropriate, licensed clinicians/physicians who are not related to the student or their 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 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.