Each student who enrolls at Hampden-Sydney is expected to become familiar with the regulations and practices set forth in the following section. Academic rules, regulations, practices, and procedures are fundamental to the total educational program at the College. Questions regarding these regulations may be directed to the student's advisor, the Registrar, or the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Exceptions to these policies may be considered by the Executive Committee of the Faculty under extraordinary circumstances if sufficient justification is offered. Petitions for such exceptions should be directed to the Executive Committee through the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Course work is evaluated in the following terms:

Grades Quality Points
per Semester
A Excellent 4
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B Good 3
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C Fair 2
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D Poor 1
F Failure 0
W Withdrew or Withdrawn 0
WF Withdrew Failing or Withdrawn Failing 0
I Incomplete 0

At the end of every semester, a set of detailed instructions for accessing final grades on line via Tiger Web is sent to each student.

Grade changes may be made by an instructor no later than five class days after the beginning of the next term in which the student is enrolled following the term in which the grade was given. An instructor, wishing to change the grade of a student who has enrolled in May Term, has until the fifth day of May Term for the change to be made. Faculty appeals to change a grade after these deadlines must be approved by the executive committee of the faculty. Student appeals for a grade change must follow the procedures outlined in the section below entitled "Grade Appeals."

A student who believes that his final grade reflects an arbitrary or capricious academic evaluation, or reflects discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation, or veteran status may employ the following procedures to seek modification of such an evaluation:

1) He should first discuss the grade with the faculty member involved before the end of the drop period of the next academic term.

2) If the student's complaint is not resolved, the student may appeal the grade to the department chair. It is the student's responsibility to provide a written statement of the specific grievance with all relevant documentation (syllabus, graded work, guidelines for papers, presentations, etc.) attached.

3) If the department chair is unable to resolve the grade appeal to the satisfaction of both the student and faculty member involved, or the person giving the disputed grade is the department chair, then a written appeal with all relevant documentation may be made to the Dean of Faculty. The Dean may make recommendations to the student or instructor and will try to find an equitable solution to the dispute.

4) All parties to the grade appeal process are to maintain strict confidentiality until the matter is resolved.

The complete policy is available in the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Grades of Incomplete (I) must be removed by a date determined by the instructor, but no later than five class days after the beginning of the semester following the semester in which the Incomplete is given. Until an Incomplete is resolved, it will be counted as an F in the calculation of a student's grade-point average. Incompletes that have not been removed by the end of this period will be converted to permanent grades of F.

A student who receives a grade of Incomplete for the spring semester, who, as a result, is potentially subject to suspension, and who wishes to enroll in May Term, has until the fifth day of May Term to complete the work for which he has received the grade of I (Incomplete). If such work has not been completed by the fifth day, or if the work is completed and the resulting cumulative academic record warrants suspension, the student shall be withdrawn from any May Term courses in which he is enrolled and any tuition paid will be refunded.

The Dean's List is compiled at the end of each semester. It lists those students who have earned at least a 3.3 grade-point average that semester, for at least 15 credit hours of work.

Graduation with honors shall be accorded to students who meet the following requirements:

  • Summa cum laude, grade-point average of 3.7;
  • Magna cum laude, grade-point average of 3.5;
  • Cum laude, grade-point average of 3.3.

For honors in a particular department, see The Honors Program: Departmental Honors in this Catalogue.

If by the eighth week of classes a student, in the judgment of his instructor, is doing unsatisfactory work, the instructor may send him a deficiency report. The report includes a statement of the student's grade at that point in the semester as well as the reasons for the grade. Copies of the report are sent to all students' advisors and to the Dean of Faculty, and to parents or guardians of freshmen and first-semester sophomores. A student who receives a deficiency report is expected to consult his advisor and the instructor who issued the report, and to take action to improve his academic performance.

A student is in good academic standing if at the end of any semester he has an accumulated grade-point average of at least 2.0 and the credit hours listed below; a student who falls below the 2.0 average or the number of credit hours listed below is not in good academic standing:

Semester 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hours 12 26 41 57 73 89 105


1. A student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below the following standards will be placed on academic probation:

Effective Semester in College 1 2 3 4 5 6 or more
Accumulated Grade-Point Average 1.2 1.5 1.7 1.85 1.95 2.00

2. A student who is subject to continuing probation at the end of any probationary semester will be suspended from enrollment, unless he shows, in the judgment of the Executive Committee of the Faculty, marked improvement in his academic performance or evidence of an honest effort at improvement.

3. A student on academic probation who falls below the following standards will be suspended from enrollment:

Effective Semester in College 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Accumulated Grade-Point Average - 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9

4. A student who receives a grade of F in more than 50% of the hours he has attempted in any one semester will be suspended from enrollment.

5. A student who returns to Hampden-Sydney after an academic suspension or other absence and whose academic record justifies his being on probation at the time of his return will be placed on academic probation. A student who returns after an academic suspension will ordinarily be held accountable to the standards pertaining to probation and discretionary suspension (as described in regulations 1 and 2 above) applicable to the semester at the end of which he was suspended, thus dropping back one semester relative to the requirements specified in those standards. This status will not be changed by transfer credit of up to ten hours earned between suspension and readmission. However, the standards pertaining to mandatory suspension (as described under regulation 3 above) will remain as stated.

6. The semester standing of a transfer student with respect to academic probation regulations will be determined by the sum of hours transferred from other institutions and hours attempted at Hampden-Sydney.

As a condition of continued enrollment at the College, a student on academic probation is required to work with the Office of Academic Success to improve his academic performance.

If a student is dismissed from the College or if he withdraws voluntarily, he must make formal application for readmission. He should contact the Admissions Office for the proper forms and for information regarding readmission. The student's application will be considered by the Faculty Admissions Committee, which will review his academic record and citizenship at Hampden-Sydney (and in some cases his secondary-school record) as well as his activities during the period of his separation from the College. Each decision is made on an individual basis, and it is up to the applicant for readmission to demonstrate convincingly that he should be readmitted. The Admissions Committee is in no way obligated to readmit any student, no matter what the circumstances of his withdrawal or the terms of his suspension.

A student who desires to audit a class may do so with the permission of the instructor. The student will receive no credit for an audited course, but he will earn a grade of "AU" if all requirements specified by the instructor for auditing are met. With the permission of the instructor, students may change an audit course to a credit course before the end of the drop period.

A student may repeat once any previously passed course. The student, however, will receive credit for the course only once. The grade from the first time the course was taken will remain on the student's permanent record. Hours attempted and quality points earned will be counted for both times the course is taken and will be included in the computation of the student's cumulative grade-point average. (A student may repeat a course previously failed until he passes it. However, all failing grades earned during earlier enrollment in the course remain on the student's permanent record and are included in the computation of the student's cumulative grade-point average.)

Students may apply to receive credit hours for college courses taken through another accredited college or university if they earn a grade of C or higher. The grade and hours earned are entered on the student's transcript, but no quality points are given and the grade-point average is unaffected. Grades in courses taught in a foreign country by Hampden-Sydney professors and courses offered in a program in which Hampden-Sydney College has policy-making and administrative oversight (e.g., the Virginia Program at Oxford) are computed in the grade-point average. Students receive credit only for courses which are equivalent to those available at Hampden-Sydney and which are not being presented toward a degree at any other college or university. Students receive no credit for online, correspondence or distance-learning courses. Students may use credit hours earned through another college or university, including summer courses, to satisfy core, major, or elective requirements of the Hampden-Sydney curriculum, provided that authorization is granted by the appropriate Hampden-Sydney department chair. A student who wishes to receive transfer credit for credits earned at another institution is responsible for providing the Registrar's Office with transcripts of the work promptly on completion of the coursework. To ensure transfer of credit for summer coursework taken elsewhere, a student must obtain departmental approval prior to enrollment. Dual enrollment credit courses are treated as transfer credit.

During the summer before he enrolls, each new student receives from his advisor recommendations for first-semester courses and instructions on registering for courses online. Subsequently, he consults with his advisor on courses for each following semester and receives from the advisor the PIN which enables him to register online.

Students are encouraged to consult with their advisors before making changes to their schedules. Once a student has registered:

  1. He may add an open course through the first week of classes in any semester.
  2. He may add a closed course with the written permission of the instructor through the first week of classes in any semester.
  3. He may drop a course without record during the first two weeks of the semester provided that his remaining course load is at least 12 hours. Courses dropped in such a manner will not appear on the student's permanent record.
  4. He may drop a course after the first two weeks of class through the ninth week of classes provided that his remaining course load is at least 12 hours. Courses dropped in such a manner will appear as a "W" on the student's permanent record.
  5. A student hopelessly deficient in one course may, with the permission of the instructor, advisor, and Registrar, drop that course after the deadline for withdrawing. The grade for the semester will be recorded as "WF."
  6. Specific deadlines for withdrawing from courses are given in the Academic Calendar.

Every student needs to carry a course load of 15-16 hours each semester in order to make satisfactory progress toward the 120 hours required for graduation.

Every student must carry a minimum course load of 12 hours each semester. To take fewer than 12 hours the student must receive the permission of his advisor and the Dean of Faculty. For further information, see the following section on Part-Time Enrollment. No student may take more than 19 hours in any semester without special permission of the Executive Committee of the Faculty.

A student is considered a full-time degree candidate in each semester if he is enrolled in courses with a minimum of 12 credit hours. With the permission of the Dean of the Faculty, students who are degree candidates may enroll on a part-time basis and take fewer than 12 hours of academic credit in a semester. Part-time students are not normally permitted to live on campus. A student who begins a semester as a full-time degree candidate enrolled in 12 or more hours of classes and who subsequently reduces his enrollment to fewer than 12 hours is not entitled to part-time status or fees. Further information about part-time status may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

With the permission of the Dean of Faculty, students who are not candidates for degrees may enroll for academic credit. Except under unusual circumstances, special students may enroll for no more than 7 hours of credit. Enrollment as a special student does not constitute or imply admission to the College as a candidate for a degree. Credits earned by special students may be applied to degree candidacy once the student has been admitted to the College through the normal admissions procedure. A student who begins a semester as a full-time degree candidate enrolled in 12 or more hours of classes and who subsequently reduces his enrollment to fewer than 12 hours is not entitled to special-student status or fees. Further information about special-student status may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Attendance policies

  • In each course freshmen are permitted one unexcused absence per semester for each credit hour earned by passing the course for the semester.
  • There is no college-wide policy on the number of unexcused absences from class allowed any sophomore, junior, or senior. Professors inform each of their classes at the beginning of each semester what attendance is expected.
  • All students must present assigned homework promptly and must be present for all assigned tests and quizzes unless excused by the Dean of Students.
  • Students are expected to attend class on the day before and the day after scheduled vacations. Faculty members will hold classes on the day before and the day after vacations.

Excused Absences

  • An excused absence entitles the student to make up any work done for a grade during the class period missed. It does not excuse the student from doing the assignment for the period missed, nor from the responsibility for the subject matter taken up during that period. Whenever possible the student should inform his instructor, turn in assignments, and arrange to make up classroom work to be missed, before he is absent. If the student delays in attending to this matter, his excuse may be nullified.
  • A student is excused from class if he is absent for a trip officially sanctioned by the College, such as a scheduled intercollegiate athletic trip involving a team which is recognized as part of the athletic department's program, a Men's Chorus trip, a pep band trip, a field trip connected with a course, etc. In these cases it is unnecessary to obtain an excuse from the Office of Student Affairs unless requested to do so by the professor.
  • Other excuses from class are issued at the discretion of the Dean of Students. There are no formal medical excuses.

Excessive Absences

  • A faculty member who believes that a student's absences are damaging his work in a course will inform the Dean of Faculty, who will in turn notify the student by mail. Written notice from the Dean's Office constitutes a final warning about absences in that course. No prior verbal warning is required. If a student receives warnings about absences in more than one course, the Dean of Faculty, or his/her designee, will ask the student to come in for a meeting to discuss if there are problems that can be resolved with the assistance of campus resources.
  • If, after such a warning, a student continues to miss classes, the professor will again notify the office of Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of Faculty or his/her designee will determine whether the student should be withdrawn from the course. If the student is withdrawn and has the right to drop the course without penalty at the time of the withdrawal, no grade for the course will appear on the permanent record; otherwise, the student will receive a grade of WF (withdrawn failing) in the course.
  • Any appeal for reinstatement to the course must be made in writing to the Executive Committee of the Faculty within one week after the student has been notified of his withdrawal. Unless and until the Executive Committee reinstates the student, he may not take part in the course.
  • If the student is withdrawn with grades of WF from two courses during the same semester, the student will be suspended for the remainder of that semester and will receive grades of W in all of his other courses. A student suspended in this manner must apply to the Admissions Office for readmission to the College and ordinarily will not be readmitted for the following semester. The Executive Committee may set time limits upon the student's suspension consistent with his academic and disciplinary record.

Final examinations are held at the end of each semester. Final examinations may be given only during the regularly scheduled examination period unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • If a student has two final examinations scheduled at the same time, he should reschedule one examination in consultation with the instructors.
  • If a student has more than two final examinations within any two consecutive days, he may reschedule afternoon examinations to the study days or to other days acceptable to the instructors involved.
  • When more than one section of a course is taught by the same professor, students may take the examination with any section the professor approves. Approval, however, must be obtained before the beginning of the examination period.
  • A professor may move an examination to an earlier period in the examination schedule if all the students in the course agree. No final examination may be given before the first day of the examination period (with the exception of examinations in Rhetoric courses).
  • A student who desires to take a final examination outside the regularly scheduled period for some reason other than those specified above must obtain the permission of the Dean of Faculty.

A senior who has been doing passing work in a course prior to examination week of his final semester but who fails the final examination in that course may, upon the recommendation of the instructor concerned and the approval of the Dean of the Faculty, be allowed to take a re-examination. The re-examination stands in lieu of the regular examination and must be averaged with all other grades used in the computation of the final grade, which may be no higher than D.

Before a student may withdraw from the College, he must have the approval of the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of Students. A student resigning on or before December 1 in the fall semester or April 15 in the spring semester will receive a grade of W in all of his classes. A student resigning after December 1 in the fall semester or April 15 in the spring semester will receive a grade of WF in all courses. He is not ordinarily eligible to return the next semester.

In the event that a student withdraws from the College for medical reasons, sufficient documentation from the student's healthcare professional must be provided to the College, in writing, within three weeks of the date of resignation. This documentation must also be reviewed and approved by College medical professionals. A student who has been granted a medical withdrawal is not ordinarily eligible to return the following semester. Appeals for exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Readmissions Committee. In the case of an appeal, written documentation satisfying the College of the student's readiness to resume his education is necessary but does not guarantee readmittance.

A student who has been at Hampden-Sydney for at least a semester can apply to the Office of the Registrar for approval of a leave of absence. Students who are granted such leaves will be guaranteed readmission, provided that they confirm re-enrollment and pay a reservation deposit of $500 by April 1 (for the fall term) or November 1 (for the spring term). Candidates for leave of absence may not be on academic probation, nor have any disciplinary or honor proceedings pending against them. If a student is placed on probation or suspension, either for academic or for disciplinary reasons, subsequent to being approved for the leave of absence, permission for the leave will be revoked. Deadlines for applying for such leaves are, for the spring semester, the preceding December 1, and for the fall semester, the preceding April 15. The maximum leave will be one year. Students who do not comply with the conditions governing the leave of absence will be obliged to reapply for admission through the Admissions Office.

College authorities reserve the right to exclude at any time a student whose conduct or academic standing they regard as unacceptable; in such a case fees will not be refunded or remitted, in whole or in part.

Hampden-Sydney is sensitive to the needs of its learning-disabled students. Before matriculating at Hampden-Sydney, a student with a learning disability or perceptual handicap should make himself known to the Associate Dean for Academic Support and supply the Dean with documentation of his particular disability. Subject to the approval of the Dean of the Faculty, the Associate Dean for Academic Support, together with the student's advisor, will help the student design an academic program that will fit his aptitudes and skills as well as meet the College's requirements. The policies relating to learning disabilities may be obtained from the Dean of Faculty or the Associate Dean for Academic Support.


Hampden-Sydney College has always aspired to uphold high standards and principles, particularly in the relationships between students and faculty members. Hence, it seems appropriate that a statement pertaining to some of these relationships in the academic area, the primary concern of the College, be based on the expectation that only the highest standards are consonant with the traditions of the College.

These policies and procedures are not intended as rigid rules, but rather as examples of expected practice. Nor is this statement to be considered all-inclusive, for additions and deletions probably will be necessary in the future. Nevertheless, faculty and appropriate administrative personnel will be expected to work diligently to see that the spirit of the statement is upheld for the benefit of the entire academic community.


  • Professors should announce a major (full-period) test at least one week in advance. Material to be covered on a full-period test or examination should be clearly specific (e.g., "chapters 5-10 and notes").
  • The relative value of each part of a full-period test or examination should be indicated to the class before work is begun.
  • Graded tests and papers should be returned to students within two weeks with appropriate comments (either oral or written) about the evaluation and apparent deficiencies.
  • A professor should go over a graded final examination with a student if requested to do so.
  • Whoever administers a test or examination should be available for questions from students during the testing period.
  • If a student feels that an error in grading has been made, he may request that specific questions be reviewed. If a professor acknowledges that an error has been made, a proper adjustment in the grade should be made.
  • Should two full-period tests fall on the same day, a student is expected to take both of them on the day assigned. Should more than two full-period tests be scheduled for the same day, the difficulty should be resolved between the professors and the student.
  • Major full-period tests should not ordinarily be scheduled during the final five days of classes.
  • Except when it constitutes the majority of the grade, a research paper should ordinarily be due before the final five days of classes.


  • Insofar as is feasible, the relative importance of course elements such as tests, papers, and the examination should be specified during each semester.
  • In view of the Honor Code's prohibition of giving or receiving aid without the consent of the professor on tests, quizzes, assignments, or examinations, the professor should make clear when help may and may not be given or received.
  • The student should be able to find out his approximate class position and course grade (if possible) at appropriate intervals during the semester.
  • Instructors have sole authority to assign course grades. However, a student who believes that a final course grade is erroneous or unfair may appeal the grades.
  • A professor may not require attendance at class sessions in addition to those regularly scheduled, unless they are approved by the Dean of Faculty.
  • The professor should schedule tests and other class activities for best educational advantage. Students have a responsibility to avoid pressuring professors for concessions or adjustments in class schedules to suit their outside activities.

Prepared by the Student-Faculty Relations Committee, March 3, 1972. Passed by the Faculty on April 10, 1972. Amended April 1998.