Academic Standards and Review

The Honor Code

The Skidmore Honor System was established at the request of the student body in 1921. Each student, in accepting enrollment at Skidmore College, agrees to the following code:

I hereby accept membership in the Skidmore College community and, with full realization of the responsibilities inherent in membership, do agree to adhere to honesty and integrity in all relationships, to be considerate of the rights of others, and to abide by the College regulations.

All members of the Skidmore College community, including students, faculty, and staff, are parties to the honor contract and are expected to abide by its provisions. The Honor Code covers all aspects of integrity, whether academic or social. The Student Handbook attends to codes of social behavior, defines academic integrity violations, and outlines the College judicial system and procedures. Every Skidmore student is required by the Honor Code to become thoroughly conversant with the standards of academic and social integrity that prevail at the College. The Integrity Board and the Board of Appeals will not regard claims of ignorance, of unintentional error, and of academic or personal pressures as an adequate defense for violations of the Honor Code.

Academic and Social Integrity

Because Skidmore College functions as a tightly integrated community of curricular and cocurricular experiences, a strict allegiance to its standards of conduct is essential for every student’s well-being and intellectual growth. Students should make certain they understand the high value Skidmore places on honesty, cooperation, and consideration, and the penalties the College imposes for infractions in these areas. Skidmore not only promotes intellectual honesty vigorously but responds severely to such offenses as plagiarism and cheating on exams. Any Honor Code violation may affect the student’s graduate school or transfer recommendations and the student’s eligibility for academic prizes and awards, for Dean’s List or graduation honors, and for membership in Skidmore or national honor societies.

The Basic College Regulations outlined in the Student Handbook are considered vital to community welfare, student safety, and high standards of ethical and social integrity. The list of regulations is not exhaustive. In all areas of Skidmore life, members are expected to embrace high standards of fair play, integrity, and honor. Careless abuses and violations of these regulations are considered major breaches of the Skidmore Honor Code and may involve the withdrawal of the privilege of membership in the Skidmore College community. In addition to these Basic College Regulations, the actions of members of the College community are governed by and subject to the laws and ordinances of the local, state, and federal governments.

With respect to both academic and social integrity, the Integrity Board may require a student to fulfill various stipulations in order to restore the student to good standing with the College community. Students who have not completed their Integrity Board stipulations may be prevented from further registration at Skidmore and denied the awarding of further credit; they may also be denied participation in off-campus academic programs.

Academic Standards

In order to qualify for a degree from Skidmore College, a student must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.000 in all course work and 2.000 in the major field, as well as in any declared minor. The student’s academic record includes:

  1. an indication of each course for which the student was officially registered at the College;
  2. an indication of credit earned;
  3. the grade assigned for each course; and
  4. both the semester and cumulative GPAs.


Grades are assigned on the following basis:

Letter Grade Description
A+, A Distinguished work
A-, B+, B Superior work
B-, C+, C Satisfactory work
C-, D+, D, CR Passing, poor-quality work
F, U Failure, no credit earned

S/U, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

S/U grades do not affect the student’s grade-point average, but a student receiving an Unsatisfactory will not receive credit for the course. The College criterion for Satisfactory is the equivalent of a C or better (not C-). A student may take no more than one course in a semester for an S/U grade, excluding courses that are only offered S/U. A student may take a maximum of 16 credit hours for an S/U grade, excluding internships. The S/U option is offered at the discretion of the department or the instructor of the course. The semester schedule will indicate which courses may be taken for an S/U grade. Students must indicate their choice of the S/U grade option at the time of registration. No change may be made after the deadline published on the academic calendar.

Courses taken S/U fulfill all-College requirements as long as a grade of S (or CR for spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021) is earned. Grades of S (including CR) do not always fulfill major and/or minor requirements. Students should check the department’s website for S/U limits and restrictions.

Note: For the spring 2020, summer 2020 and fall 2020 terms a grade of CR (credit) is granted for students who earned the equivalent of a C-, D+ or D. The spring 2020 term will not be included in the limits outlined above.

AU, Audit

Students may officially audit a course with the approval of the instructor. An AU grade does not affect the student’s grade-point average; it reflects approved participation for no credit. Students may enroll for a maximum of 6 credits per semester and must make the audit selection by the end of the drop/add period. Students who do not attend will be awarded an AW (Audit Withdrawal). An audit fee will be charged per course to any student not already enrolled full-time and paying the full tuition rate.

W, Withdrawal

Students may request withdrawal without penalty from a course with the permission of the instructor, advisor and approval from the Committee on Academic Standing. Withdrawal, W, is not figured in the grade-point average. No credit is earned.

A student is limited to a maximum of two withdrawals (W) while completing the baccalaureate degree but may petition the Committee on Academic Standing for additional withdrawals to address significant challenges. Students must submit the withdrawal without penalty application by the deadline published on the academic calendar.

WF, Withdrawal Failing

A student who departs from a course at any time during a semester without permission to withdraw or who departs from a course during the last three weeks of classes may be given a WF grade. Students may also petition for a WF grade, which must be approved by the instructor, advisor, and the Committee on Academic Standing. WF is figured in the grade-point average as an F. No credit is earned.

I, Temporary Incomplete

A grade of I may be given to a student who has diligently completed a substantial amount of the course work but who, because of unforeseen academic, medical, or personal difficulties, has been unable to complete the work for the course.

In such cases, an I may be submitted by the instructor if both the instructor and the student agree that exceptional circumstances warrant an extension of time beyond the normal deadlines of the term. (An incomplete grade will make the student ineligible for Dean’s List Honors for the term if the student completes fewer than 14 credit hours by the regular grading deadline.) The student is responsible for making arrangements for completing the course with the instructor and the Office of the Registrar. The extension period may not be longer than six weeks after the end of the fall or spring semesters, or more than six weeks after either of the summer terms. At the end of the extension period, the instructor may submit a grade based on the work completed.

A student may not graduate with an incomplete grade still outstanding on the transcript. In such a situation, the student will be moved to the next graduation period, with the expectation that any required work will be submitted in a timely fashion. This policy pertains even if the student has completed all other degree requirements.

IF, Incomplete Failing

If the instructor does not submit a grade by the end of the extension period, the I becomes a permanent grade of IF, figured in the grade-point average as an F.

L, Leave

A student who is approved for a medical or personal leave during the semester 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.

Grade Change

All grades are considered final once they are submitted to the Office of the Registrar. An instructor may request a change in the student's grade if the instructor has made a computational or clerical error. No grade may be changed on the basis of retesting or supplementary work. Except in the circumstances outlined in the Policy to Appeal a Final Failing Grade (Faculty Handbook, Part Two, III, D—effective June 2010), petitions to change grades must originate with the faculty members concerned and be brought before the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) for consideration. With the consent of the instructor and CAS, grades may be changed as a consequence of academic misconduct or upon the recommendation of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Rights (CAFR). The function of the CAFR is to receive inquiries and complaints concerning academic freedom and rights and to consider formal charges of violations of academic freedom and rights from any member of the College community including students. Inquiries concerning grades must be initiated by students (including seniors) as soon as possible after grades have been released, and no later than the first two weeks of the following semester.

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

Each grade is assigned a point value as follows:

Grade Points
A+, A 4.000
A- 3.670
B+ 3.330
B 3.000
B- 2.670
C+ 2.330
C 2.000
C- 1.670
D+ 1.330
D 1.000
F, WF, IF 0.000

No points are assigned for S, U, AU, AW, W, or I. The GPA is calculated by multiplying the points assigned to each grade received by the number of credit hours the course carries, then totaling these products and dividing by the total number of credit hours considered.

The GPA for the semester is computed at the end of each semester. The cumulative GPA for all courses taken at the College is also computed at the end of each semester.

As a general principle, courses for which a grade of D or higher has been earned may not be repeated for academic credit; the exceptions to this regulation are noted in individual course descriptions. If a course for which the student received a grade of F is repeated at the College, both grades remain on the record and both are included in the GPA. With the exception of designated programs and cross registrations, credit granted by Skidmore College for work taken at another institution or by examination is not included in the GPA.

Academic Review

At the end of each semester, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews the status of all students to determine academic standing. It determines, upon the basis of achievement, who will be given Honors on the Dean’s List, who will be placed on probation, who is eligible for continuation, and who will be disqualified.


All academic honors and memberships are subject to Skidmore’s Honor Code; thus, eligibility for honors requires a clear academic integrity record.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List term honors are computed for the fall and spring semesters as of the established date for submitting semester grades.

Honors are awarded to each matriculated student who satisfactorily completes at least 14 credit hours by the regular grading deadline and who achieves a 3.650 GPA for that semester. (A grade of Incomplete, which temporarily places the credits earned below 14, makes the student ineligible for the Dean’s List, even if the Incomplete is resolved successfully.) (GPA calculations are made to three decimal points.)

Graduation Honors

College Honors

Seniors with distinguished academic records may graduate cum laude (3.650-3.749 GPA), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899 GPA), and summa cum laude (3.900-4.000 GPA) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Academic Standing and with the approval of the faculty.

Departmental Honors will be awarded to any student who graduates from Skidmore after no fewer than three semesters and who meets the following conditions:

  • unless otherwise specified by the department or program, a GPA of 3.500 or higher for all work in the major;
  • the completion of any other academic criteria established by the department and described in the Catalog;
  • a GPA of 3.000 or higher based on all work taken at Skidmore;
  • a favorable recommendation by the department; and
  • approval by the faculty upon recommendation by the Committee on Academic Standing.

Double majors must meet the above criteria for each of the majors. (The student may earn departmental honors in one, both, or neither major.)

These criteria also apply to interdepartmental and to self-determined majors. The 3.500 or higher GPA applies to the interdepartmental course work considered as a whole.

Periclean Honors Forum

Seniors will graduate as members of the Periclean Honors Forum if they have

  • a GPA of 3.500 (with no two consecutive semesters of a GPA below 3.500);
  • demonstrated exemplary academic and social integrity;
  • completed a minimum of three Honors Forum courses, or a total of 7 Honors Forum credits, by the end of the senior year, and a senior-year capstone experience; and
  • completed an approved Citizenship Project before the end of the junior year.

The Periclean Honors Forum administers the Periclean Scholar Awards, recognizing outstanding senior projects from the entire senior class (not just Periclean Honors Forum students).

Phi Beta Kappa

Skidmore College was granted a charter by the national honor society of Phi Beta Kappa in 1970, and the Phi chapter was installed in February 1971. Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree are eligible for election on the basis of academic standing and rules of eligibility established by the chapter, in accordance with the regulations of the national society.

Students who qualify for consideration on the basis of grade-point average must also demonstrate breadth of interest in the liberal arts by choosing courses beyond the introductory level in at least three academic disciplines, while maintaining high academic achievement and academic integrity. Adequate preparation in a foreign language and mathematics (though not necessarily at Skidmore), competence in writing, and fulfillment of certain Skidmore residency requirements are also necessary.

Outstanding students are thus encouraged to pursue a program that is not only liberal but diversified and challenging.

Academic Prizes

The recipients of academic prizes are determined by the faculty, and prizes are awarded at the annual Honors Convocation and/or at Commencement.

Note: Any violation of the academic Honor Code may affect a student’s eligibility for the distinctions described in the preceding “Honors” section.

Student Opportunity Funds

From its own resources and through the generosity of alumni and friends of the College, Skidmore offers small grants to help students complete special academic projects and to present the results of their research at professional conferences. Petitions for academic funds should be submitted to the associate dean of faculty with responsibility for student academic affairs. Funds are limited and are awarded on a competitive basis.


Students whose semester or cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 will be considered on academic probation. A second semester on probation will prompt a review of the student’s record by the Committee on Academic Standing and may lead to the student’s disqualification. Students should consider probation a serious warning and seek out all resources to improve academic performance. A student on probation should eliminate or greatly diminish cocurricular participation in order to focus on his or her studies.  At the discretion of the Skidmore College administration, a student on probation may be denied participation in such activities, including participation in athletic team practice or competition.

Instructors are encouraged to notify students of their class standing at mid-semester, but it is the responsibility of individual students to be aware of their standing and to meet all academic obligations.

Standards for Continuation

A student is not in good academic standing when:

  1. The Committee on Academic Standing has determined that the student has not earned a sufficient grade-point average to continue as a matriculated student at Skidmore College. The student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000.
  2. The student does not complete the all-college requirements in a timely and successful fashion. First-year students not successfully completing the Scribner Seminar will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing in consultation with the Director of the First-Year Experience. Students must complete the Expository Writing requirement by the end of the sophomore year. Students must complete the Applied Quantitative Reasoning requirement by the end of the junior year. All other requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Student progress in these areas is reflected in the degree audit, which students receive from the Office of the Registrar.
  3. By the end of the junior year or thereafter, the student has not earned a 2.000 GPA in the major.
  4. The student earns a second semester of “probation” status.
  5. The student has been granted a “waiver” of minimal continuation standards in order to improve his or her academic standing. (See Disqualification.)

Students who do not meet the minimum standards for continuation may be disqualified.

As determined by the Committee on Academic Standing, in consultation with the director of athletics and the associate dean of the faculty with responsibility for student academic affairs, a student who is not meeting continuation standards is ineligible for athletic team practice or competition.

Students receiving TAP assistance must meet New York State requirements for academic performance and progress toward the degree (see Financial Aid: New York State Programs). 

Students receiving federal aid must meet Federal Financial Aid Academic Progress (see Financial Aid: Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress).

Semester-credit progress towards the degree

Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. The following table provides the minimum number of credit hours students should earn counting from their first completed fall or spring semester.

by end of semester credit hours completed
1 6
2 18
3 30
4 45
5 60
6 72
7 84
8 96
9 108
10 120

Students who do not attain these minimum number of credit hours should plan to meet with an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Advising and develop a plan to make satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Students receiving TAP assistance must meet New York State requirements for academic performance and progress toward the degree (see Financial Aid: New York State Programs). 

Students receiving federal aid must meet Federal Financial Aid Academic Progress (see Financial Aid: Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress).

Summer Credits and Grades

A deficiency in credit may be made up in summer school at another institution (by prior approval) or in Skidmore Summer Sessions, but a deficiency in the grade-point average can only be improved by work taken at Skidmore. A student’s status of “probation” or “waiver,” as determined by the Committee on Academic Standing, may not be altered through course work undertaken during the summer at Skidmore or elsewhere but may only be addressed through a subsequent fall or spring semester completed at Skidmore. In a few cases, however, CAS may stipulate a combination of summer and regular term courses for a student on waiver status. Please contact the Office of Academic Advising for additional details regarding policies.


Students who do not meet the minimal standards for continuation or the other criteria for adequate progress toward the degree, as determined by the Committee on Academic Standing, will be disqualified from further study at Skidmore College.

In some cases, the committee may offer the student a one-semester waiver that allows the student to work toward an acceptable level of academic quality. The waiver decision will be based on academic evidence indicating the student’s potential for success.


Any student who wishes to withdraw from Skidmore should notify the Registrar’s Office in writing at once (see Refunds). With faculty permission, a grade of W may be assigned for courses in which the student is officially enrolled, except if the date of withdrawal is during the last three weeks of classes, in which case a grade of WF is assigned.

Students who do not register for courses in any semester by the end of the first week of classes will be considered to have withdrawn officially from the college. Students who are not meeting continuation standards and are approved for a leave of absence and subsequently withdraw will be disqualified.


The college reserves the right to dismiss any student

  • who does not meet its academic standards;
  • whose continuation, in the opinion of college authorities, is not contributing to the best development of the student; or
  • whose behavior is inconsistent with the ideals and standards of Skidmore College.

Any student receiving notice of dismissal shall vacate the college residence within 48 hours and return all college-owned property. Refund of fees for tuition, room, and board will be in accordance with the policy for withdrawals (see Refunds).


Students who have withdrawn from Skidmore or have been disqualified may apply for readmission, providing all financial obligations to the college have been met. A student who has been academically disqualified must earn a full year of strong grades (generally B or better) at another institution before being considered for readmission. Readmission is never automatic and depends on competitive academic standards and the overall enrollment priorities of Skidmore. Students dismissed or disqualified from the College may not participate in any regular or affiliated Skidmore academic program without first being officially readmitted to the College by action of the Committee on Academic Standing. Information regarding readmission procedures can be obtained from the Office of Academic Advising.