Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work; violations of academic integrity are serious offenses. Students found guilty of any form of academic dishonesty - including, for instance, forgery, cheating, and plagiarism - are subject to disciplinary action.
When a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, the faculty member should first consult the student about the suspected violation.
After this consultation, if the matter appears to be a violation, the faculty member is responsible for gathering the pertinent and necessary information and reporting the violation to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising.
The Director of Academic Programs and Advising then meets with the student, confirms the violation, and determines the appropriate sanction depending on whether it is a first, second or third violation.
A first violation typically results in a grade of zero for the assignment in which the violation was found. In addition to this sanction an educational component through the library typically accompanies a first violation.
A second violation typically results in suspension for a semester. The suspension may occur at any point during the semester and will result in the student being withdrawn from all classes and removed from the residence halls. The student remains responsible for all fees associated with the semester. Readmission to the college is possible after the suspension period.
A third violation will result in suspension, and typically dismissal, from the College. Dismissal entails the same aspects of separation from the College as suspension; however, readmission is not possible. A dismissed student is permanently excluded from the College and forfeits all rights and degrees not already conferred at the time of dismissal.
Students may appeal decisions regarding academic integrity policy violations and sanctions. Appeals will be considered on the basis of: procedural errors that unfairly and/or materially affected the outcome of the case; actions taken that are arbitrary, unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence; or, new information that was not available at the time of the original decision.
1. Appeals must be written and sent to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising. After ensuring the appeal includes all of the relevant facts pertinent to the decision, and articulates a rationale for appealing, the Director will send the appeal to the Academic Standing Committee.
2. The Academic Standing Committee, minus the Director of Academic Programs and Advising, is the final body responsible for acting on the appeal. If the Committee finds no grounds for the appeal the violation and sanction stand.
Forgery includes the alteration of college forms, documents or records, as well as the signing of such forms or documents by someone other than the proper designee.
Cheating is the dishonest or unauthorized use of materials for academic work. Examples of cheating include:
*Copying another’s papers or notes during an exam
*Talking about a test or looking at another’s paper during an exam
*Altering a graded exam or paper without informing the instructor and resubmitting it for re-grading
*Gaining unauthorized access to past exams from a course
*Removing tests from a classroom or office without prior consent
*Discussing an exam you have taken with other students, either from your class or from another section of the same course, who have yet to take that exam
*Providing false or exaggerated excuses to postpone due dates
*Lying to an instructor or college official to improve your grade or to get special privileges
*Submitting work done in another class without prior permission of both instructors
*Having another person do your work for a course (including unauthorized collaboration)
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person’s work (words, ideas, data, etc.) in a graded or published piece or in a speech. The following are examples of plagiarism:
*copying all or parts of another person’s paper, article, or notes and representing it as your own
*submitting a paper copied in full or in part from one purchased from a paper writing service or obtained electronically
*failing to fully cite (author, article title, book or journal, page number, date of publication) each instance where you have incorporated another’s ideas or quoted words into your own written or oral work.
While instances of forgery and cheating are often clear cut, cases of plagiarism can be more complicated. Plagiarism can be intentional, as when a student knowingly submits as one’s own work a purchased paper, or a paper that was written entirely or in part by another student. But plagiarism may also be the result of misuse of sources, which occurs when writers cite information incorrectly or incompletely. In this case, the author may make a good faith effort to acknowledge the sources, but because this is a learning process, a student author may make errors in documentation and integrating quotes and paraphrases into their own work. While unintentional, the misuse of sources is still plagiarism. It is very important, therefore, for students to make sure they understand how to properly cite sources, to take advantage of the research and writing assistance provided by staff in the library and the MAX Center, and to confer with their instructors when they are unsure if they are using sources appropriately.
Procedures and Sanctions
When a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, the faculty member should consult the student about the suspected violation.
1. After this consultation, if the matter appears to be a violation, the faculty member is responsible for gathering the pertinent and necessary information and reporting the violation to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising.
2. The Director of Academic Programs and Advising then meets with the student, confirms the violation, and determines the appropriate sanction depending on whether it is a first, second or third violation.
a. A first violation typically results in a grade of zero for the assignment in which the violation was found. In addition to this sanction an educational component through the library typically accompanies a first violation. For additional information about this module see the associated link on the library’s website, www.macalester.edu/library/academicintegrity.
b. A second violation typically results in suspension for a semester. The suspension may occur at any point during the semester and will result in the student being withdrawn from all classes and removed from the residence halls. The student remains responsible for all fees associated with the semester. Readmission to the college is possible after the suspension period.
c. A third violation will result in suspension, and typically dismissal, from the College. Dismissal entails the same aspects of separation from the college as suspension; however, readmission is not possible. A dismissed student is permanently excluded from the College and forfeits all rights and degrees not already conferred at the time of dismissal.
Students may appeal decisions regarding academic integrity policy violations and sanctions. Appeals will be considered on the basis of: procedural errors that unfairly and/or materially affected the outcome of the case; actions taken that are arbitrary, unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence; or, new information that was not available at the time of the original decision.
1. Appeals must be written and sent to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising. After ensuring the appeal includes all of the relevant facts pertinent to the decision, and articulates a rationale for appealing, the Director will send the appeal to the Academic Standing Committee.
2. The Academic Standing Committee, minus the Director of Academic Programs and Advising, is the final body responsible for acting on the appeal. If the Committee finds no grounds for the appeal the violation and sanction stand.
Additional Information and Resources
Students can learn more about how to document sources and how to avoid plagiarism from writing resources on the MAX (Macalester Academic Excellence Center) website and from the Library website.
Faculty may find Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA (Writing Program Administrators) Statement on Best Practices, a useful resource in creating assignments and developing strategies to help students understand and learn to avoid plagiarism. The statement is available at http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf.
Academic Integrity sample syllabus statement:
Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work; violations of academic integrity are serious offenses. Students found guilty of any form of academic dishonesty – including, for instance, forgery, cheating, and plagiarism – are subject to disciplinary action. Examples of behavior that violates this policy, as well as the process and sanctions involved, can be found on the Academic Programs and Advising website, http://www.macalester.edu/academicprograms/academicpolicies/academicintegrity/.
Advising and Course Registration
A student may add a course at the start of the fall or spring semester by obtaining the registration override (Add Okay-start of term) from the instructor of the course. This permission is granted via 1600grand. Once the instructor has granted the override, the student must complete the transaction in 1600grand to be officially registered in the course. All registration transactions must be completed by the published deadlines (see the Academic Calendar for important dates and deadlines).
Through a strong faculty advising system, the College assists students in making informed curricular decisions. Students begin with advisors who usually are their instructors in first year courses. After students select a major, they may change to an advisor in that department or program. Information about faculty advising is available from the Academic Programs and Advising Office.
The Academic Standing Committee reviews the record of every student whose term GPA is 2.5 or lower. The Committee is concerned with a student’s current ability to be successful and may assign one of the following statuses based on the term GPA. Because the focus of the review is on term GPA, these statuses are not sequential. In other words, a student may be Suspended or placed on Strict Academic Probation without first being assigned a more lenient status. However, in such circumstances the Academic Standing Committee will seek input from the student before making a final decision. Students are responsible for checking their grades and their Macalester email following each semester to facilitate the work of the Academic Standing Committee. Students are also encouraged to contact the Director of Academic Programs and Advising regarding their circumstances and to discuss the academic standing process and their options.
Academic Warning. Students with a term grade point average between 2.00 and 2.50 and/or at least one NC grade in a course carrying two or more credit hours may be placed on Academic Warning if the Academic Standing Committee sees reason to be concerned about their level of achievement.
Academic Probation. Students with a term grade point average from 1.75 to 1.99 may be placed on Academic Probation. Additionally, students with a persistent pattern of poor grades and/or course withdrawals may be placed on Academic Probation if the Committee is concerned the pattern will impede timely completion of the degree. Students on Academic Probation are typically not eligible to register for credit bearing internships. Students may apply for study away while on probation; however, approval to participate is conditional. See the Center for Study Away website for additional details.
Strict Academic Probation. Students with a term grade point average from 1.51 to 1.74 may be placed on Strict Academic Probation. The Committee may also place a student on Strict Academic Probation when the record indicates there are serious academic difficulties that warrant the imposition of specific performance criteria. The criteria that students on Strict Probation must meet usually include: a term grade point average of a least 2.00 and no grade lower than C-; registration as a full-time student taking twelve or more credit hours; no grades of Incomplete. A student on Strict Academic Probation is ineligible to compete in intercollegiate athletics (students may practice with the team at the discretion of the coaching staff); hold an elected office or a leadership position in a student organization; undertake a role in a major music or theater production; compete in forensic activities; register for a credit bearing internship. A student may submit an application for study away while on Strict Probation, but any approval would be subject to the condition of getting off Strict Probation during the semester preceding study away. A student who is approved for study away who falls into Strict Probation between the time of approval and the program start date will have approval revoked.
Suspension. A student will be suspended from the College for failure to meet the criteria established for removal from Strict Academic Probation. In addition, students whose term GPA is 1.5 or lower may be eligible for suspension. In some cases a leave of absence may be granted in lieu of suspension. The Academic Standing Committee is the body responsible for making that decision.
Readmission. Students who wish to return after a suspension must apply for readmission to the College. Through that application the Academic Standing Committee expects to see evidence the student is ready to return and have a successful experience. Shortly after receiving a suspension letter, students are expected to work out a plan with the Director of Academic Programs and Advising for how they will provide this evidence of readiness to return. In most cases students will attend another institution of higher education during their suspension period and earn grades that demonstrate their ability to perform successfully in an academic environment. Other offices (i.e. Student Affairs, Student Accounts) are also involved in the readmission review/approval process.
Dismissal. A student is subject to dismissal from the College whenever, in the view of the Committee, the level of scholarship is so low as to make the completion of a Macalester degree unlikely. Dismissal is rare and typically comes after a student has been suspended following readmission.
Appeals of Academic Standing. Students may appeal their academic standing status. Appeals are typically based on procedural grounds; however, if information that wasn’t available during the review process comes to light, that may be included in an appeal.
Students should be aware that maintaining good academic standing does not automatically insure continued financial aid eligibility. Refer to the financial aid section of the college catalog for information.
Attendance and Absences
Attending class is a basic necessity for student learning and intellectual growth at Macalester College. While implementation requires the professional judgment of faculty and staff, and assumes student responsibility in ensuring that their academic goals are not negatively impacted by their college-sponsored co-curricular activities, this policy specifies guidelines for addressing class attendance and absence issues. Questions about this policy should be directed to the AVP/Dean of Students or Director of Academic Programs and Advising.
Attendance in Classes: The faculty recognizes the importance of regular attendance in all courses. Attendance policy in classes, however, is left to the discretion of the individual faculty, except in the cases of College-authorized absences.
College-Authorized Absence for College-Sponsored Activities:
a. Absences from classes and, if necessary, from the campus are authorized for students who, as individuals or members of athletic teams or other organized groups, represent the College in college-sponsored activities. Though absences for college-sponsored activities are authorized by the College, faculty and staff leading such activities should make every effort to ensure minimal disruption of student class attendance.
b. Students who will be absent for college-sponsored activities are responsible for communicating these conflicts with their faculty and describing how they will access the material they missed in those class periods.
Individual Authorizations for Absence: The AVP/Dean of Students is empowered to authorize absences from classes and, if necessary, from the campus for individual students in cases of exigency.
Provisions for Making Up Work:
a. Instructors shall provide opportunity to students to make up work missed during College-authorized absences from class without penalty. If College-authorized absences total more than 10% of the course meeting time, it shall be at the discretion of the instructor whether the student may make up the missed work. College-authorized absences shall not relieve students of the responsibility of making up work that has been missed.
b. If a class will not meet at its regularly scheduled time or will have an additional class meeting outside of its regularly scheduled time, faculty should provide an alternative assignment or consideration for students unable to attend due to a College-authorized absence for a college-sponsored activity. In the event that the absence is not due to a college-sponsored activity, faculty should handle possible conflicts at their own discretion.
To audit a course, a student must register in the Registrar’s Office with the approval of the instructor. Refer to the section on Tuition and Fees in this catalog for information on additional charges (if any) for auditing an additional course. A student may only audit one course per semester. An audited course will appear on the transcript with a grade of AU. That grade is only indicative of a registration as an auditor and does not imply attendance or a particular level of success in the course.
Calendar and Credit
The academic calendar at Macalester is divided into a 14 week fall semester (September to December) and a 14 week spring semester (January to May).
Macalester courses are offered for semester credit. Most courses are offered for four semester credits, but the amount of credit may vary. Each course description in this catalog indicates the amount of credit assigned to the course. Credit policies for physical education activity courses, forensic and theater practica, music ensembles and lessons, and dance technique courses and ensembles are described in the departmental sections of this catalog, under curriculum.
Classification of Students
Normal progress toward graduation is as follows:
Class standing is calculated based on earned semester credits for that standing:
||at least 96 earned credits
||64 - 95.9 earned credits
||32 - 63.9 earned credits
||less than 31.9 earned credits
Special student classification is assigned to non-degree seeking Macalester students.
A student normally enrolls in courses earning 16 credits during each of the fall and spring semesters. A student may not register for more than 20 credits in a single semester. A course load of at least 12 credits is required to be considered a full-time student.
Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC)
According to an agreement among Augsburg College, Hamline University, the College of St. Catherine, the University of St. Thomas and Macalester, students may take one course per semester at any one of the other four colleges tuition free, provided that the home institution has approved the course. Macalester has approved any liberal arts course offered by the other ACTC institutions as being appropriate for cross-registration. Cross-registered courses appear on the transcript of the student’s home school. ROTC courses offered at the University of St. Thomas are available to Macalester students, however registration must be done directly at St. Thomas. Credit for ROTC is not always applicable toward the Macalester degree. The exchange does not apply to January or summer offerings for Macalester students. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office for information on registration procedures and acceptability of credits.
University of Minnesota
Under the auspices of a special contractual agreement, Macalester students may register for some language courses at the University of Minnesota. These are languages not offered at Macalester nor at any of the ACTC schools, and special permission is required. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.
Students may not petition to extend college deadlines regarding dropping or adding a course, changing a grading option, or withdrawing from a course. There will be a grace period of three working days after each deadline during which time a student may complete these transactions by paying a $100 later registration fee. In order to help students meet registration deadlines, the Registrar’s Office will send a reminder prior to the drop/add deadline, with instructions on where to view their officially registered schedule. If the schedule is incorrect, students will still have time to drop/add. With the approval of the Dean of Students, students may obtain a medical withdrawal any time during the term.
Dropping and Withdrawing From Courses
A student may drop a course at the start of the fall or spring semester via 1600grand. Transactions must be completed by the published deadlines. An officially dropped course will not appear on the student’s record or transcript. Part-time students and students whose course load changes from full-time to part-time as a result of officially dropping a course are subject to the tuition refund policy described elsewhere in this catalog.
For courses where first day attendance is required, as specially noted in the class schedule, instructors have the option of dropping students who did not meet that requirement. For all courses, instructors have the option of dropping students who have not attended within the first week of classes. The Registrar’s Office must be informed by the instructor which students should be dropped for non-attendance.
A student may withdraw from a course after the add/drop period though the posted deadline (see the Academic Calendar for dates and deadlines) via 1600grand. If a student officially withdraws from a course, a “W” (withdraw) grade will be recorded on the record and transcript. A “W” grade is not computed into the GPA.
If a student remains registered after the last day to withdraw from a class, one of the grades described under Grading Options must be recorded.
The following policies are observed by students and faculty with regard to final examinations:
The Registrar announces in advance a final examination schedule. In this schedule, each course is reserved a place and a designated two-hour period for a final examination.
Students may negotiate exemptions or changes in schedule with instructors whenever circumstances warrant such considerations. Students who are scheduled for three or more examinations on the same day have the option of rescheduling with their instructor one of these examinations.
Proctoring, special materials, time allotment and other matters pertaining to the actual circumstances of the examination are entirely the responsibility of the instructor.
Macalester students may earn up to two semester credits in independent projects, internships, or Macalester-sponsored off-campus courses. Further information about January study options is available in the Registrar’s Office.
Minimum Class Size
The College does not hold itself bound for instruction in any elective course for which fewer than five students have registered. Such classes may, however, be organized at the option of the department with approval by the Provost.
Registration and Validation
Students are required to register and/or validate (confirm previous registration) at definite times announced in advance by the Registrar’s Office. Students are responsible for accurate registration; credit can be received only in those courses for which a student is properly registered. A student is also held responsible for every course for which they register unless they officially cancel it within the stated deadlines explained below.
Registration and validation are not complete or official until fees are paid or arrangements for payments have been made with the Student Accounts Office.
Late Registration and Validation Fees: Returning students will be charged a late fee for registering after the announced times of registration. The fee for late registration is $100. Late registration will be accepted during the first two weeks of classes with the payment of the late fee. Students may not register or validate after that time except with special permission from the Registrar.
Religious Academic Scheduling Conflicts
It is the policy of Macalester College to make every reasonable effort to allow students to observe their religious holidays without academic penalty. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic responsibilities. It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent, ordinarily within the first fifteen days of the semester.
In cases where a course is repeated both courses remain on the record and one course (if the grade is D- or above) will be counted toward the degree; grades for both courses will be included in the GPA.
Macalester students may earn up to eight semester credits in independent study during the summer through independent projects or internships. A learning contract must accompany each registration. Summer independents and internships are available only to current Macalester students.
In addition to independent study options there are occasionally credit-bearing institutes offered by Macalester faculty. These institutes are open to non-Macalester students.
Further information about summer independent study options or summer institutes is available on the Registrar’s Office website.
As a general rule, there is no financial assistance available for summer study. In addition, no special tuition rates are offered.
Student Complaint Policy
Macalester College maintains processes for the good faith review and resolution of student academic and non-academic complaints. The College’s student complaint process will encourage informal resolution of alleged violations within the office or department involved in the complaint and allow for a formal resolution process if not resolved informally or when informal action is not allowable by federal regulations.
Appealing a Grade
Students who believe that they have been subjected to arbitrary or discriminatory academic evaluation by a faculty member are guaranteed the right to appeal. Arbitrary or discriminatory academic evaluation involves any or all of the following:
A. Grading on a basis clearly irrelevant to the student’s mastery of the course.
B. Grading on a basis which has not been consistently applied to all students taking the same course concurrently.
C. Grading on a basis which is not consistent with prior practices or announced policies in that course during the semester.
D. Grading that does not take into consideration or honor accommodations granted from the Associate Dean of Students, who coordinates services for students with disabilities, following the date such notification was received by the professor.
In questions of alleged improper academic evaluation, students must follow this procedure to appeal:
1. Consult with the individual faculty member. If, after this step, the student still claims arbitrary or discriminatory evaluation, the student moves to Step 2. If the concern is that the faculty member did not take into consideration or honor accommodations granted by the Associate Dean of Students, the student should consult with that Dean.
2. Visit the Director of Academic Programs and Advising, who will confer with the student, hear the student’s position, describe the appeals process and help the student to assess their options. The student should provide the Director with a written statement giving relevant facts and the reason for the appeal. If the student decides to appeal the grade further, they next contact the Associate Dean of the Faculty.
3. The Associate Dean of the Faculty makes a final determination about the appeal grounds. If the Associate Dean finds no grounds for appeal, the grade stands.
4. If the Associate Dean of the Faculty finds that the student’s grade was subject to arbitrary or discriminatory evaluation, the final grade is determined by the chair of the relevant department. If it was the chair whose evaluation is being appealed, the grade is determined by a proximate tenured faculty member chosen by the Provost, ideally from the same department but if necessary from a closely related department. The final grade may go up or down, or may remain the same after review by the chair. This decision by the chair or a proximate faculty member is final.
Appealing a Committee Decision
The faculty maintains four curricular committees to provide the first level of consideration for particular academic matters at the college. Those four committees are: Individually Designed Interdepartmental Majors (IDIM), Academic Standing (ASC), Study Away Review (SARC), and General Education Requirements (GERC). The process for appealing one of these committee’s decisions is as follows:
1. A written appeal is submitted to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising. Typically only appeals with a procedural basis will be entertained.
2. After ensuring the appeal includes all of the relevant facts pertinent to the decision, and articulates a rationale for appealing, the Director of Academic Programs and Advising will send the appeal to the authority designated in the Faculty Handbook as responsible for acting on appeals for that committee. Specifically, the authority responsible for appeals of IDIM and GERC decisions is EPAG; the authority responsible for acting on appeals of SARC and ASC decisions is the Provost.
3. The appeal decisions of EPAG and the Provost are final.
Areas of Study
A concentration in an interdepartmental program consists of not less than twenty nor more than thirty-two semester credits in courses drawn from a list of approved courses linked by some theme or topic.
The Honors Program is designed to enable seniors with demonstrated ability to undertake substantial independent work that culminates in a project of exceptionally high quality. Departments or programs that participate in the Honors Program have designed specific criteria and procedures for pursuing Honors work in their department or program. Departments and programs that have Honors programs are so indicated within their individual sections of this catalog. Requirements for admission to the program vary by department. Detailed information about the specific expectations of the individual departments or programs is available from the departments or programs themselves.
Students expecting to apply for acceptance into the Honors Program should consult with their particular department or program early in their junior year as the official application deadlines are normally during the second semester of the student’s junior year.
Students pursuing an IDIM should work with their IDIM committee to describe the procedures to be followed as well as the type of project to be completed for an Honors project. This information should be included in the original proposal for the IDIM and will be examined as part of the review of the IDIM proposal. Students in the Honors Program are invited to occasional special events and colloquia. Bound copies of the completed Honors projects are added to the library collection, and successful completion of an Honors project is noted on the student’s transcript following graduation.
To insure appropriate depth within an area or related areas of knowledge, students are required to elect among: 1) a departmental major; 2) an established interdepartmental major; or 3) an individually designed interdepartmental major*. Within each of these types of majors the student is required to complete a capstone experience. The purpose of this capstone requirement is to give students experience with reading original research literature, doing original work, or presenting a performance. This requirement may be met in many ways, e.g., senior seminar, independent project, honors project. The means of completing this experience are designated by the major department, interdepartmental programs, and IDIM committees and so indicated in the catalog in the cases of departments and interdepartmental programs.
*Students who declare an IDIM are not permitted to double-major.
A student may obtain more than one major by fulfilling the respective requirements in those majors. Individual courses, where appropriate and approved by the department chairs involved, may be counted toward both majors. A student may not graduate with only one or more minors.
- A departmental major consists of not less than thirty-two nor more than forty-four semester credits in courses within one department. Supporting courses included, a major may not require more than sixty-eight semester credits. Departments will determine those courses, and sequences of courses, which constitute the various patterns for the major in that field. Departments will also designate the appropriate means for completion of the senior capstone requirement within each major. A department may also recommend (but not require) additional electives from among its own offerings or in supporting fields as indicated by the student’s educational and career objectives.
- An interdepartmental major established by the faculty shall consist of not less than thirty-two semester credits nor more than sixty-eight semester credits in courses, including supporting courses. The sponsoring departments will determine those courses, and sequences of courses, which constitute the various patterns for the major in the field. No more than forty-four semester hours may be included from any one department. The interdepartmental program will also designate the appropriate means for completion of the senior capstone requirement within each major. The departments may also recommend additional electives as indicated by the student’s educational and career objectives.
- An individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM), reflecting a disciplined area of inquiry crossing departmental lines, may be designed and submitted for approval to the Educational Policy and Governance Committee acting on behalf of the faculty. The provision for an IDIM-as one of the ways in which a student may satisfy the graduation requirement of a major-is to accommodate students with special educational goals which may be achieved within the College’s overall curriculum but not through any of the existing majors or interdepartmental majors (see 1 and 2 immediately above) set forth in detail elsewhere in this catalog. To take advantage of this provision, students are expected to design their program of study in advance of doing the bulk of the course work for it. Students who declare an IDIM are not permitted to double-major.
In consultation with three faculty members of the student’s choosing, the student must design a program of study which crosses departmental lines and, in doing so, represents a disciplined area of inquiry not possible within the provisions of any of the existing majors in the College’s curriculum. The proposal must include the following:
- A list of courses to be taken to complete the IDIM. This list must include a minimum of forty-four (44) semester credits in courses from a maximum of three (3) departments, and may include up to twenty-four (24) additional semester credits in courses (for a maximum of sixty-eight (68) semester credits) from any relevant department. There must be evidence of progression in the proposed courses. One way to show progression is to use courses that have one or more prerequisites.
- Letters of support from the three (3) faculty who comprise the student’s IDIM committee (a coordinator who will serve as the primary advisor and two additional sponsors). These committee members must be from departments that offer courses listed on the student’s proposal. Two letters of recommendation must be from faculty members who have had the student in class; who may or may not be members of the student’s IDIM committee.
- A carefully prepared written rationale. In this rationale the student is expected to describe the focus and cohesiveness of all the courses of study included in the IDIM and to indicate how this program of study meets the student’s particular educational goals. The IDIM committee will also designate the appropriate means for the completion of the senior capstone requirement within the IDIM. The committee will meet with the student at least once every semester to discuss the student’s progress towards completion of the IDIM.
Students seeking an individually-designed interdepartmental major (IDIM) must apply before the beginning of the registration period for the first semester of their junior year. Proposals for an IDIM will not be accepted after a student has validated their registration for the junior year. The IDIM application is available from the Registrar’s Office. The application should be completed and provided in a scanned .pdf format. Upon receipt of a completed application, the IDIM subcommittee of the Educational Policy and Governance (EPAG) committee will review for consideration. This committee meets on an as needed basis; allow three (3) weeks for the review. Students will be notified of the committees decision and the Registrar’s Office will build the new IDIM in Degree Works.
Students who wish to undertake an Honors project should work with their IDIM committee to describe the procedures to be followed as well as the type of project to be completed for an Honors project. This information should be included in the original proposal for the IDIM and will be examined as part of the review of the IDIM proposal.
A minor in a given department consists of not less than twenty nor more than twenty-eight semester credits in courses within one department. Departments will determine those courses, and sequences of courses, which constitute the various patterns for the minor in that field.
Regulations Concerning Majors, Minors, and Concentrations
Students must file an approved plan for a major no later than the start of the registration period for the first semester of their junior year. A major plan must be filed before their registration can be completed.
When students declare a major, they will be given in writing from the department a full description of the requirements for completing that major. This will include, in addition to course work, a description of any diagnostic and evaluation processes and procedures required as part of the major. Where such processes and procedures are included, copies of representative examinations or other instruments involved will be furnished in department offices and in the library for student use. When changes in major programs occur, students already declared in that area will be permitted to complete the program under the description given them at the time of original declaration or under the new program, at their discretion.
Courses included in a major, minor, or concentration should not be taken on the S, SD, N basis, except with specific permission of the department chair. Ordinarily, if a student decides to change their major to a new area and already had taken courses in that area on an S, SD, N basis, the courses will be allowed by the department, but written permission must be given by the department chair. Courses with a grade of D, D+, or D- may not be included on a plan, except with the specific permission of the department chair.
Credits outside Macalester
College Board Advanced Placement Examinations
Students who have taken the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations may be eligible for advanced placement and appropriate credit. Freshmen who wish to have their scores considered should have them sent to Macalester College. Scores of 3, 4, or 5 may result in credit or exemption. Academic departments determine which scores result in credit or exemption for their subject. Some departments require the student to discuss their scores with the department chair before a credit determination is made. A score of 2 will receive no credit, but the academic department involved may recommend some exemption. A score of 1 will receive neither credit nor exemption. Advanced Placement credit is only granted on the basis of the examination scores.
Macalester does not recognize the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests for advanced standing.
International Baccalaureate and General Certificate of Education
Students whose scores on Higher Level Examinations of the International Baccalaureate Program are 5, 6, or 7 receive the equivalent of four or eight semester hours of credit for each such examination. Credit is determined by the appropriate academic department on an individual basis and is subject to the limitations described in “Transfer of Credit” under the Advanced Standing Section.
International students who have not earned university level academic credit will have their advanced standing limited to no more than twenty semester credits. Those who have completed A-Level Examinations in order to earn a General Certificate of Education (GCE) receive the equivalent of eight semester credits for each A-Level Examination with a score of A, B, C, or D. No more than the equivalent of twenty semester credits can be earned in this manner.
Transfer of Credit
Liberal arts courses taken at regionally accredited undergraduate institutions, and comparable in content to Macalester courses will be considered for transfer. The grade earned must be at least a C-; grades of S or P must be certified in writing by the instructor of the course to be the equivalent of C- or better before that course can be transferred.
Use of transfer credit towards a major, minor, or concentration is subject to the approval of the department or program.
The Macalester course system is based on the semester credit. Macalester does not award more credit for transfer courses than what is awarded by the host institution for those courses, as indicated on the host’s official transcript. Therefore, semester credits will be transferred as equivalent from the host institution, and quarter credits will be converted at a ratio of six (6) quarter credits equivalent to four (4) semester credits.
No strict correlation exists between contact hours in courses taken off-campus and credits awarded by Macalester.
No more than the equivalent of one half of the semester credits required for graduation (64) may be transferred from another institution to Macalester.
Students who have attended non-accredited or non-regionally accredited institutions must have their work validated by examination or by showing competence to carry advanced work successfully. Award of credit in such cases may be delayed for one or more semesters awaiting such evaluations.
For currently enrolled students, Macalester will consider summer and January work for credit transfer. Credits taken during a semester while on a leave of absence will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to transfer credit policies. However, participation in a semester-long study away program, whether domestic or international will not be granted transfer credit. Students wishing to study away for a semester must apply for and receive prior approval from the Study Away Review Committee and comply with study away policies for registration and credit.
For students admitted to Macalester through the first-year admissions program, Macalester will accept for credit no more than the equivalent of twenty Macalester credits from courses earned at a college or university prior to matriculation as a First Year Student at Macalester. Summer session college credits, Minnesota Post-Secondary Education Options Program credits, International Baccalaureate credits, and Advanced Placement Program credits are included under this limitation.
Credits earned through Advanced Placement Exams, International Baccalaureate or GCE A-Level examinations cannot be used to meet the college’s general distribution requirement.
Macalester will not award credit for courses which were used to satisfy any of the requirements for graduation at the student’s secondary school.
ROTC is designed to prepare students to be commissioned officers in the United States military. Air Force ROTC is available to Macalester students through the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities at the University of St. Thomas. For more information call St. Thomas at 651-962-6320 or 1-800-328-6819, ext. 6320. Navy and Army ROTC is also available to Macalester students at the University of Minnesota. For more information on Navy ROTC, call 612-625-6677. For more information on Army ROTC, call 612-625-3062. Macalester College evaluates credit for ROTC courses on a case by case basis.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was designed to protect the privacy of student education records. FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) Macalester College intends to comply fully with the Act as outlined below. Annual notification of rights under FERPA is provided to students. Students who have questions or wish to take action with respect to any of the FERPA rights listed below should contact the Registrar’s Office.
Education Records: Education records include records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution but exclude records maintained by individuals and available only to those individuals or designated substitutes (that is, “personal files”). Student education records are located and maintained by administrators in one or more of the following offices: Admissions; Academic Programs and Advising; Alumni Engagement; Financial Aid; Registrar’s Office; Student Accounts; and faculty advisors’ offices. Note: The Registrar’s Office is the only office authorized to issue official transcripts and certify students’ enrollment status. All requests for such documentation must be directed to Registrar’s Office.
Directory Information: FERPA uses the term “Directory Information” to refer to those categories of personally identifiable information that may be released for any purpose at the discretion of Macalester College without notification of the request or disclosure to the student. Directory Information includes the following: student’s name; local address; local telephone number; e-mail address, date and place of birth; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; and most recent previous educational institution attended. Macalester College releases directory information to military recruiters as required by the Solomon Amendment.
Rights Afforded by FERPA
- The right to inspect and review the student’s own education records
Eligible students have the right to review their education records within 45 days after the day Macalester College receives a request for access. Student records are available to them with the following exceptions: confidential letters of recommendation submitted prior to 1975; records of their parents’ financial status; records related to their student employment that are subject to other laws and are administered by Employment Services; medical and psychological records, which will be released only to a healthcare professional designated by the student; and, if the student signed a voluntary waiver of access, letters of recommendation related to admission, candidacy for awards, and candidacy for employment - these records may be used only for the purpose originally intended. To review their records, students must submit a signed, written request to the Registrar’s Office identifying the records they wish to inspect.
- The right to request an amendment of the education record
Eligible students have the right to seek amendment of education records that they believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask Macalester College to amend a record must submit a written request to the Registrar’s Office. This request must clearly identify the part of the record they wish to change, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record, the Registrar’s Office will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to the student with the notification.
- The right to provide written consent before personally identifiable information is disclosed, except when FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent Eligible students have the right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One such exception is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interest. A “school official” is a person employed by Macalester College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside service providers used by Macalester College to perform institutional services and functions; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official. A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if they must review an education record in order to fulfill professional responsibility.
Upon request, Macalester College discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
- The right to file a complaint
Eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Macalester College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC, 20202.
- The right to withhold disclosure of directory information
Currently enrolled students may withhold the release of their directory information, as defined above (except to school officials with legitimate educational interest), by electing confidentiality. To elect confidentiality, students must file a signed Request for Confidential Status of Directory Information with the Registrar’s Office. Once confidentiality status is designated, it will remain in effect until the student requests in writing that it be removed, even after the student has graduated or otherwise left the College.
Electing confidentiality has significant consequences which should be carefully considered. Once a student’s record has been made confidential, any requests for directory information from persons or organizations outside of Macalester College (such as a degree verification request from a prospective employer) will be refused.
Release of Student Information
Except as specified below, non-directory information will be released only upon signed consent from the student. Any such release will include a notice that further release by the recipient is prohibited by law. A record of the release will be maintained.
In addition to the exceptions listed in item 3 above, FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from students’ educational records without consent: to federal officers as prescribed by law; as required by state law; to agencies or individuals conducting educational research (provided that the administrator of the records is satisfied concerning the legitimacy of the research effort and the confidentiality to be maintained by the researcher); to agencies responsible for accreditation of the institution or its programs; to parents if the student is a dependent as defined by the IRS for tax purposes; to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; and to institutional security officers when necessary for a criminal investigation.
The confidentiality of all records may be broken in an emergency if deemed necessary by the severity of the emergency, the usefulness of the records, and the extent to which time is critical.
Retention of Records
Macalester College reserves the right to maintain only those records it considers useful and to set retention schedules for various categories of those records. However, the administrator responsible for each category of records will ensure that a record being challenged is not destroyed prior to resolution of the dispute.
The Dean’s List at Macalester College is published at the end of each semester following grades being processed to academic history. To be eligible for the Dean’s List a student must have been registered as a full-time, degree-seeking student and may not have been on a study away program. Furthermore, a student must have achieved a semester grade point average of at least 3.75, twelve or more credits on a regular (A, A-, B+, etc.) grading option, no grades below C-, and no withdrawal or incomplete grades for the semester. Grades for activity, practicum, and technique courses in dance, music, and physical education are not factored into eligibility for the Dean’s List. Designating more than 1 course as S/SD/N (“pass/fail”) per semester will make you ineligible for the Dean’s List.
Grade Change Policy
After a final grade has been submitted, a student may not be required nor allowed to turn in extra work, to redo previous work, or to otherwise make adjustments to their work in order to improve the final grade. The only circumstances under which a faculty member may change a final grade once it has been submitted are as follows:
1. The professor has made a calculation error; OR
2. Work previously considered missing is located by the professor, and it is clear the student turned the work in on time.
Grade Point Average
The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by the Registrar’s Office. Each grade is assigned a point value, as follows:
The GPA is calculated by dividing the total grade points by the number of semester hours attempted on the regular grading system. Grades for courses taken on the S, SD, N grading option, or courses with a grade of W, will not figure in the GPA. Grades for courses transferred to Macalester are not included in the GPA.
Grading Options for Students
For the fall and spring semesters the regular grading option is: A, A-,B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, NC (no credit); the alternate grading option is S (satisfactory), SD (passing), N (no credit). The grade of S is equivalent to a C- or better. Courses taken on the alternate grading option do not compute in the Macalester grade point average. For January or summer independent study, registered at Macalester, the options are the same.
Activity Courses: S and N will be the only grades in any of the physical education activity courses, dance technique courses and forensic practicum courses. Music majors and minors will be graded on the regular grading option for ensembles and performance courses; non-music majors and minors should refer to the music department section of this catalog. Theater and dance majors and minors will be graded on the regular grading option for practicum courses; non-majors will receive S or N grades for these courses.
Written Evaluations: Instructors may provide written evaluations of performance for those students who request them. A student who opts for a written evaluation may take the course on either grading option. A student who chooses a written evaluation is encouraged to file with the instructor a statement of their objectives, to aid the instructor in the evaluation. The request for written evaluation must be made at the time of grading option selection and requires the approval of the instructor. Students may request to have the written evaluations accompany transcripts, with the understanding that either all or none of the written evaluations will be sent.
S/SD/N Option Regulations: The number of elective courses students may designate as S/SD/N grading option is unrestricted. (In this context, “elective courses” refer to those courses not on a student’s major, minor, or concentration plan). The deadlines for students to select their grading option will be the last day of classes for the semester. Specific dates are published in the academic calendar. Courses taken under this grading option may not be included on major, minor, or concentration plans without specific departmental approval. Students must earn an S (S/SD/N option) in a course for it to satisfy a distribution, general education, or second-language proficiency requirement.
Time of Selection of Grading Options: The declaration of grading option is made by the student from the available options during a designated period in the fall or spring semester. You must make this declaration no sooner than the beginning of the 10th week of classes and before the last day of classes for the semester. Specific dates are published in the academic calendar. There are no exceptions beyond the deadline and all grading designations are considered final and will not be changed.
Students are expected to complete the work in each course by the deadlines established by the instructor; the final deadline for work cannot exceed the end of the final examination period for that term. However, a grade of incomplete may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor, if requested by the student, under the following conditions: 1) at least three-quarters of the required work for the course has been completed, 2) unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control (usually restricted to illness or family emergency) preclude completion of the remaining work for the course by the semester deadline, 3) the student is not on strict academic probation. Note that poor planning or having a lot of work to complete at the end of the term are not, in fairness to other students, considered circumstances beyond a student’s control. Faculty and students with questions about whether the conditions for an incomplete are met should consult with the Director of Academic Programs and Advising.
If the conditions for an incomplete are met, a course completion agreement form specifying the work yet to be completed must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the last day of classes for the semester. Both the student and the instructor are expected to sign the form. For a fall semester course, students have until the first class day of the spring semester to complete an incomplete; for a spring semester course, students have until July 1 to complete an incomplete. Students may not petition to extend the college deadline for the completion of an Incomplete, except with the approval of the course instructor and the Director of Academic Programs and Advising. Medical reasons or family emergencies are typically the only conditions under which an extension will be granted. If the student and the professor have set a deadline for completion of the work that is earlier than the official college deadline, the faculty member may approve an extension of that deadline up to the official deadline for that term.
Students who have multiple incompletes for a term will be reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee and are subject to the College’s satisfactory academic progress rules. Students who plan to request more than one incomplete for a term are advised to consult with the Director of Academic Programs and Advising, who serves as Chair of the Academic Standing Committee. As in all matters, it is also wise for students to discuss their circumstances with their faculty advisors.
Reporting of Grades
Instructors report grades to the Registrar’s Office. Written evaluations will be reported on standardized forms provided along with the grade report forms. Copies of standard written evaluations will be provided to the student and the instructor. The original copy will be kept in the Registrar’s Office.
For each student there is only one transcript, and all grades are recorded on it. A copy of the written evaluations for each student will be filed as a supplement to the official transcript. Students choose whether or not to include the written evaluations with transcripts they request, with the understanding that either all or none of the written evaluations will accompany the transcript.
Capstone Experience Requirement
The capstone experience requirement is a course or advanced academic experience that represents a culmination of the learning process within the major.
The purpose of the capstone experience is for students to demonstrate their proficiency in the methods and modes of communication in the discipline or interdiscipline in which they have majored. Proficiency is demonstrated through the creation or performance of advanced work. In addition to receiving faculty evaluation and response, the advanced project is peer-reviewed so that all students in the major are encouraged to reflect on what constitutes acceptable, good, and excellent work at this point in their academic lives. Furthermore, the advanced work should be shared with the Macalester community through public presentations and performances, thereby providing opportunities for celebrating the range of scholarly achievements engendered by a Macalester education.
Specific requirements for the capstone experience are to be determined by each department or interdepartmental major, subject to the guidelines given below and to the approval of EPAG (the Educational Policy and Governance Committee). For a student pursuing an individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM), a description of how the capstone experience is to be completed must be approved as part of the IDIM proposal.
- The department or interdepartmental major may choose to place the capstone requirement within the context of a seminar, specific courses, an independent or honors project, or any combination of these. While the capstone experience is to represent the final stage in the developmental sequence of the major, this does not preclude the possibility that some, or even most of the experience, may occur prior to the senior year.
- The capstone experience must lead to peer-reviewed advanced work appropriate to the discipline/interdiscipline. This could be a paper synthesizing contemporary theory/research, a work of public scholarship, a paper that presents original research, a recital or creation of an original written, visual or performative work.
- The nature of and weight given to the peer-review process is at the discretion of the department or interdepartmental major. Thus, for example, review might be restricted to a small number of students within a senior seminar, or all majors in this discipline might participate in the peer-review process. The peer-review process should be accompanied by instruction in how to evaluate peer colleagues’ work and how to give constructive feedback.
- The culminating works of the capstone experience should be made available to the Macalester community, ideally through public presentations and performances. How these works are disseminated is left to the discretion of the department or interdepartmental major.
Commencement is a ceremony held to celebrate the academic achievements of Macalester College students. Participation in commencement does not mean that a student has graduated. A student will not graduate and a degree will not be conferred until all requirements are met, regardless of participation in the commencement ceremony. Eligible participants must have submitted an Intent to Graduate and include: December and January graduates, May candidates, and other candidates who are within eight credits of completing all requirements may participate in Commencement. Questions about eligibility should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.
Completion of all degree requirements and clearance of all financial obligations is required in order to receive a diploma. Diplomas are distributed four times per year, following each term in which students may graduate.
Conferral of Degree
The conferral of degree will occur once all graduation requirements have been satisfied and the degree has been cleared by the Registrar. Once the degree has been conferred, the academic record is considered sealed and no changes will be made. The academic record includes, but is not limited to, the following: grades, GPA, majors, minors, concentration, and degree type. Once a degree is conferred, a student may not return to add a major, minor, or concentration to that degree.
Students are normally expected to satisfy the graduation requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation at Macalester (or readmission if they have withdrawn). If graduation requirements change after this date, students have the option of satisfying either the requirements in effect at the time of matriculation (or readmission) or the requirements in effect at the time of graduation if such a change is feasible. This provision applies only to all-college graduation requirements. See the preceding section for regulations concerning majors, minors and concentrations.
Explanations and Regulations Concerning Graduation Requirements
All credit courses offered in fall, spring or summer terms are applicable toward the graduation requirements. Course credits may also be earned through successful completion of combinations of activity courses in forensics and music. (See departmental listings in the curriculum section of this catalog.) Credits toward graduation are subject to limitations in certain areas, including maximum credits that may be earned in a single division or in a single discipline, as listed above, or through independent studies, as described under Independent Study .
Students enter Macalester with a wide range of experiences and expectations. Many have only a vague notion of what a liberal arts college is all about. It is critical for the students’ success at Macalester that they receive extra guidance during their first semester to help them adjust to Macalester’s expectations and philosophy. The First-Year Course requirement is designed to help incoming students in their transition to college, specifically to the liberal arts model, and to Macalester’s academic expectations of them. All First-Year Courses have a common emphasis on basic library research skills. To instruct students in writing, every First-Year Course either contributes to Macalester’s Writing General Education Requirement as a WA or WC course or requires concurrent enrollment in a WA or WC course. A critical component of the program is the role of the faculty member as advisor to the students.
||The goals of the First-Year Course requirement are:
- To introduce students to critical inquiry within at least one discipline or interdisciplinary area.
- To introduce students to library research skills.
- To ensure that students receive explicit writing instruction, including opportunity to revise writing, based on faculty feedback.
- To help students adjust to Macalester’s academic expectations.
- To connect incoming students to advisors who get to know the students well from the start.
- To provide a supportive community of other first-year students with shared interests and experiences to aid in the transition to college.
General Distribution Requirements
Not all courses fulfill this requirement. Credits earned through Advanced Placement Exams, International Baccalaureate or GCE A-Level examinations can not be used to meet the College’s general distribution requirement. For courses which meet this requirement see the General Distribution Requirement section of each academic department.
||Each student must take at least:
- Eight semester credits in courses which meet the social science distribution requirement. For a list of course that are designated as meeting the social science distribution requirement, see the General Distribution Requirement section in each of these departments: American studies, Anthropology, Asian Languages and Cultures, Economics, Educational Studies, Environmental Studies, Geography, International studies, Linguistics, Media and Cultural Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies.
- Eight semester credits in courses which meet the natural science and mathematics distribution requirement. For a list of courses that are designated as meeting the natural science and mathematics distribution requirement, see the General Distribution Requirement section in each of these departments: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Philosophy, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
- Twelve semester credits in courses which meet the humanities or fine arts distribution requirement, at least four credits of which are in the humanities and at least four in the fine arts. For a list of courses that are designated as meeting the fine arts distribution requirement, see the General Distribution Requirement section in each of these departments: American Studies, Art and Art History, Asian Languages and Cultures, Classics, English, International Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, Music, Theater and Dance, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. For a list of course that are designated as meeting the humanities distribution requirement, see the General Distribution Requirements section in each of these departments: American Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, Classics, Educational Studies, English, Environmental Studies, French and Francophone Studies, German and Russian Studies, Hispanic Studies, History, International Studies, Linguistics, Media and Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
General Education Requirements
Internationalism (INTL) Requirement
By recognizing that all lives are shaped by historical dynamics and contemporary structures that operate on transnational, international, and global levels, the Internationalism requirement contributes to preparing a thoughtful and principled citizenry that takes account of the complexities of a global society. An understanding of theses complexities dislodges presuppositions about what is universal and what is particular, informs thoughtful consideration of how to address pressing issues, places persons and nations in context, and encourages reflection about one’s identity, agency and responsibility in the world.
Students must take at least one course devoted to the study and analysis of social, cultural, scientific, aesthetic or ethical questions that arise through transnational or international encounters, systems, economies, processes, or dynamics. Courses listed as Internationalism OR U.S. Identities and Difference will only count for one designation and not both.
Students completing the Internationalism Requirement will be able to demonstrate two or more of the following learning outcomes:
- describe aspects of societies or cultural groups beyond the borders of the United States, using analytical frameworks;
- analyze transnational operations of discourses, structures, institutions, or practices such as diasporas (including U.S.-based populations), development, globalization, or distributions of power and resources;
- analyze transnational or international social, cultural, scientific, or aesthetic endeavors;
- evaluate ethical questions that arise through transnational or international encounters, systems, processes or dynamics.
Quantitative Thinking Requirement (Q1; Q2; Q3)
Many policy debates, scientific discussions, political issues, and personal and organizational decisions involve judgments about claims based upon quantitative evidence. To critically evaluate these claims, the individual must have basic familiarity with such concepts as counting, measurement, estimation, and data analysis. Equally important is the capacity to ask and answer questions in a manner appropriate to these quantitative tools and to understand when the use of quantitative tools is or is not appropriate. The purpose of the Quantitative Thinking requirement is to ensure that students have the opportunity to develop such skills. Students will learn approaches to collecting, interpreting, and presenting information about the world based on numerical, logical, and statistical skills.
Students must take one or more courses with a Q3, Q2, or Q1 designation. A single Q3 course completely satisfies the requirement; alternatively, a Q2 course together with another Q2 or Q1 course, or three Q1 courses, can meet the requirement.
- Q1 Fulfills the Quantitative Description goal, plus 1-2 other learning goals.
- Q2 Fulfills the Quantitative Description goal, plus 3-4 other learning goals.
- Q3 Fulfills the Quantitative Description goal, plus 5-6 other learning goals.
In expressing the Quantitative Description learning goal, all students completing the Quantitative Thinking Requirement will be able to:
- Describe objects and/or events quantitatively in terms of their number, probability, proportion, frequency of occurrence, price, volume, weight, etc.;
- Use basic skills such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics and/or logic to examine the relationships between variables.
Depending on the skill(s) emphasized in a course satisfying the Quantitative Thinking Requirement, students may learn the following:
- Interpret common visual presentations of data (e.g., graphs, charts, maps) accurately and critically;
- Create clear and accurate visual depictions of data.
Quality of Data
- Locate or create data appropriate to the question being addressed;
- Describe potential limits to a research study’s validity based either on how well the sample represents the total population (i.e., recognizing potential sources of biases and/or error within a data collection process) or on the fit between the study’s variables and the phenomena it seeks to illuminate (i.e., construct validity).
Association and Causation
- Know the different ways that factors identified in research findings can be linked (e.g., correlation, causation);
- Critically assess the strengths and limitations of research findings involving linkages between factors (e.g., identify cases where correlations might not provide evidence of causality due to “lurking” or confounding variables).
- Apply techniques to quantify the trade-offs associated with phenomena such as time, life expectancy, money, risk, scientific measurement, or environmental quality;
- Demonstrate knowledge of the strengths and limitations of trade-off quantification as a tool for decision making.
- Generate and apply probabilistic information to decision-making;
- Explain the limits of probabilistic information.
Estimation and scale
- Use scale to place quantities in context;
- Generate reasonable rough estimates based on readily available data.
U.S. Identities and Differences (USID) Requirement
By recognizing that social groups and identities emerge from complex cultural, economic, political, social and institutional processes, the U.S. Identities and Differences Requirement focuses on the historical origins and contemporary implications of these power-laden processes. An understanding of identities and differences provides students with particularly important knowledge about the contemporary world, as global citizens need to appreciate the nuance, complexity, and history of group differences. Inequalities in power influence identities and differences throughout the world. The U.S. Identities and Differences Requirement focuses on the United States as an exemplar, but the knowledge and skills that it fosters will be transferable to other national and international contexts.
Students must take at least one course devoted to the study of forms or forces that create, reflect, maintain, or contest identities of, and differences amongst, U.S. social groups (based in, for example, race, class, ethnicity, gender, language, nation, dis/ability, religion, sexuality). Courses listed as Internationalism OR U.S. Identities and Difference will only count for one designation and not both.
Students completing the U.S. Identities and Differences Requirement will be able to:
- Recognize that group identities and differences are socially constructed or historically contingent;
- Examine forms or forces that create, reflect, maintain, or contest identities and differences;
- Evaluate the significance of identities and differences for life and culture in the United States.
Writing Requirement (WA; WC; WP)
Macalester seeks to ensure that all students receive instruction in writing that gives attention to writing as a process (writing is rewriting), and that provides students individually with feedback on the mechanics and substance of their writing. Courses will be classified as teaching argumentative writing (WA), as providing instruction in writing as craft (WC) or as offering significant practice in writing (WP). All students must successfully complete at least three Writing courses. Of the three courses, at least one must be WA and no more than one may be WP. Every student must take either a WA or WC course during the first semester of college, a requirement which may be met by a designated WA or WC First Year course.
Students completing the Writing Requirement will be able to:
- Plan, draft, and revise a piece of prose;
- Demonstrate competence in the writing conventions appropriate to a genre, rhetorical context, and anticipated audience;
- Demonstrate appropriate use of standard written language, including clarity and correctness;
- Express ideas clearly using sentence and paragraph-level structures appropriate for genre and rhetorical context;
- Communicate others’ perspectives effectively;
- Integrate a student’s own ideas with those of others, where appropriate;
- Use evidence to support arguments, interpretations, or findings;
- Cite sources of evidence properly for the intended audience;
- Demonstrate intellectual reach.
Graduation Requirements Summary
Students must earn a minimum grade of a C- (regular grading option) or an S (S/SD/N grading option) in a course for it to satisfy a distribution, general education, or second-language proficiency requirement.
- The number of credits required for graduation will be 128. These credit hours must include:
- Eight (8) semester credits in courses designated as meeting the social science distribution requirement.
- Eight (8) semester credits in courses designated as meeting the natural science and mathematics distribution requirement.
- Twelve (12) semester credits in courses designated as meeting the humanities and fine arts distribution requirement; at least four (4) semester credits must be in courses in the humanities and four (4) semester credits in the fine arts.
- No more than ninety-six (96) semester credits in courses in any one of the four areas: social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, humanities, and fine arts.
- No more than sixty (60) semester credits in courses in a single academic discipline.
- No more than twenty-four (24) semester hours in various types of independent study (courses numbered 601-646).
- No more than four (4) credits of physical education activities.
- No more than eight (8) credits of theater practica.
- No more than eight (8) credits of private studio lessons/ensembles.
- No more than four (4) credits of forensic practica.
- One (1) First Year Course completed in the first semester.
- Four (4) semester credits earned in a course designated as meeting the Internationalism (INTL) requirement.
- Four (4) semester credits earned in a course designated as meeting the U.S. Identities and Differences (USID) requirement.
- Three (3) Writing courses, designated as argumentative writing (WA), writing as craft (WC) or writing as practice (WP). Of the three courses, at least one must be WA and no more than one may be WP. Every student must take either a WA or WC course during the first semester of college.
- One (1), two (2) or three (3) courses satisfactorily completed which are designated as meeting the quantitative thinking requirement. Students may take one or more courses with a Q3, Q2 or Q1 designation. A single Q3 course satisfies the requirement or students may take a Q2 course together with any other Q2 or Q1 course, or students may take three Q1 courses.
- Proficiency in a second language equivalent to four (4) semesters of college instruction in a single language.
- Approved major plan filed and completed.
- A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00.
- At least four (4) semesters spent in residency. At least one of these must be in the senior year. Participation in off-campus study programs does not count toward satisfaction of this requirement.
- Declaration of Intent to Graduate form filed. Degree-seeking students must submit this form to the Registrar’s Office one year prior to the intended date of graduation.
Intent to Graduate
All degree seeking students must file with the Registrar’s Office their “Declaration of Intent to Graduate” form one year prior to the intended date of graduation. The Bachelor of Arts degree is conferred at the end of the term in which the student successfully completes all graduation requirements.
Latin honors are awarded upon graduation. To be eligible for Latin honors a candidate must have earned at least half of the number of semester hours (64 credits) required for graduation in courses at Macalester, and may have no more than the equivalent of one course per semester graded on the S/SD/N grading option.
The designation cum laude is based on achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.65. The designation magna cum laude will be based on achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.80. The designation of summa cum laude will be based on achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.90.
Second Language Proficiency Requirement
Second language proficiency supports Macalester’s central commitments to high standards of scholarship, internationalism, multiculturalism, service to society, and global citizenship. It promotes skills and perspectives associated with many aspects of Macalester’s liberal arts aims and goals for student learning: critical thinking, effective communication, intercultural interactions, and enhanced understanding of local and international communities.
Macalester requires proficiency equivalent to four semesters of college coursework to ensure that, at minimum, students can meaningfully engage in the language and culture. For example, students will be able to initiate and sustain conversations in a culturally appropriate manner, comprehend a variety of texts, and produce written work. Second language proficiency enables students to surpass the limitations of engaging knowledge in only one language. Students proficient in more than one language can achieve more intellectual depth and access a broader range of perspectives. The study of a second language reveals perspectives, challenges assumptions, and nurtures sympathies with world views not one’s own.
Students completing the Second Language Proficiency Requirement will be able to:
- Demonstrate a level of oral writing, listening, and reading proficiency in a second language equivalent to what one would achieve in four semesters of college level instruction, as determined by the Language, Literature, and Culture Department providing instruction in the language;
- Recognize and negotiate cultural differences (e.g., customs, traditions, etiquette, taboos, histories, ideologies, institutions, and literatures) between the target culture and other cultures.
Leaves, Withdrawals, Readmission
Involuntary withdrawal from the College may occur when a student has demonstrated behavior that threatens the health and wellness or safety of themselves or another member of the College community. The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, in consultation with other campus partners, may place a student on involuntary withdrawal.
A student placed on involuntary withdrawal must request readmission to the College. The complete involuntary withdrawal policy may be found in the Student Handbook. Questions should be addressed to the Office of Student Affairs.
Leave of Absence
Leave of absence from the College is defined as when a student has decided not to return to the College for a period of time. In order to be eligible for a leave of absence a student must have completed their first semester at the College. The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or their designee may grant an initial leave of absence for up to two consecutive semesters. Leave of absence forms are available in the Office of Student Affairs and online.
Students returning from a leave of absence are responsible for adhering to all deadlines associated with financial aid, housing, etc. for the semester they plan on returning. A leave of absence does not exempt or defer a student from repayment of Macalester loans or extend the deadlines for the makeup of incompletes, if applicable.
Questions about a leave of absence should be addressed to the Office of Student Affairs.
Readmission to the College
Students are subject to apply for readmission to the College for various reasons. Any student who is required to apply for readmission will be notified at the time their enrollment is initially terminated. Readmission applications are available through the Registrar’s Office and must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to July 1st for a fall semester return and prior to November 1st for a spring semester return. When a student is readmitted to the College they must then satisfy the graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission in order to complete their degree.
Withdrawal from the College
A student may request complete permanent withdrawal from the College at any point in a term. Students should make an appointment with the Dean of Students to complete the appropriate withdrawal form. In order to obtain tuition or room and board refunds, the student must follow the policy described under the “Refunds” section of the college catalog.
Macalester College Classroom Recording Policy
The Macalester College Classroom Recording (MCCR) policy sets forth community expectations regarding the recording (whether audio, video, or streaming) of class lectures, discussions, office hours, and other course-related activity. As an academic community, we value the free exchange of ideas and the privacy of community members. We are also committed to providing appropriate accommodations to students who require recorded lectures as an academic adjustment for documented disabilities. The MCCR policy balances the legitimate uses of classroom recording, the intellectual property of the faculty, and the privacy of individual students and faculty.
In compliance with Federal law, qualified students with disabilities may record classroom activities, as defined above, as a legitimate academic adjustment once verified by the Office of Disability Services. Students with disabilities who wish to record classroom activity must obtain permission from the Office of Disability Services, which will determine whether classroom recording is an appropriate and reasonable accommodation given the individual student’s documentation. The Office of Disability Services will notify the Instructor, and prior to recording of any classroom activity, a recording agreement must be signed by the student and filed with the Office of Disability Services. The recording agreement stipulates that such recordings are for personal academic use only, where personal academic use is restricted to the personal study use of the individual. The student may not share, replicate, or publish the recording, in whole or in part, or use the recording for any other purpose, without the written approval of the instructor. The recording must be destroyed or stored by the Office of Disability Services at the end of the semester.
In cases where a student without a documented disability would like to record classroom activity, the request should be made directly to the Instructor, who will have the sole discretion to determine whether or not to allow the recording. If the Instructor allows the recording, prior to recording of any classroom activity, a recording agreement must be signed by the student and Instructor and filed, either electronically or in hard copy, with the Office of Academic Programs and Advising [insert link to consent form here]. The recording agreement stipulates that such recordings are for personal academic use only, where personal academic use is restricted to the personal study use of the individual. The student may not share, replicate, or publish the recording, in whole or in part, or use the recording for any other purpose, without the written approval of the instructor. The recording must be destroyed or stored by the Instructor at the end of the semester.
When proper approvals are obtained, students enrolled in courses where classroom activities may be recorded will be notified via email prior to the first recorded class session. The identity of a student covered by an accommodation should not be disclosed. Instructors have the authority to, either spontaneously or in advance, prohibit recording of portions of a class session that could contain discussion of personal student information.
Any student classroom recording is to be used only for the personal academic use of the individual student, where personal academic use is restricted to the personal study use of the individual. Macalester College prohibits sharing, distributing, or publishing classroom recordings in any manner.
Instructors may record their own class sessions, but must notify students via email in advance. The instructor may publicly disseminate the recording, but if the recording includes the spoken word, image, or other identifying characteristic of any students, then the instructor must secure the written consent of those students prior to any dissemination [insert link to form here]. The Instructor is responsible for ensuring that any use or sharing of any recording that includes student information is consistent with the written consents and not used or shared for any other purpose. The Instructor will retain the written consents so long as the recording is retained.
Any alleged violation by a student of the classroom recording policy shall be referred to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising, who will investigate the situation and make a decision. Students found guilty of a violation are subject to sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal. If suspended or dismissed, the suspension or dismissal may occur at any time during the semester and will result in the student being withdrawn from all classes and removed from the residence halls. The student remains responsible for all fees associated with the semester.
Students have the right to appeal the Director’s decision. Appeals will be considered on the basis of: procedural errors that unfairly and/or materially affected the outcome of the case; an arbitrary decision; or new information that was not available at the time of the original decision.
Appeals must be written and sent to the Director of Academic Programs and Advising within 30 days following the Director’s decision. After ensuring the appeal includes all of the relevant facts pertinent to the decision, and articulates an appropriate rationale for appealing, the Director will send the appeal to the Academic Standing Committee.
The Academic Standing Committee, minus the Director of Academic Programs and Advising, (the Committee) is the final body responsible for acting on the appeal. In most cases, the Committee will review the appeal based on the written record provided by the Director of Academic Programs and Advising. If the Committee finds no grounds for the appeal, the violation and sanction stand. The Committee’s decision will be final.
For additional information, including forms, contact the Academic Programs and Advising Office.