Academic Rules and Regulations
General Requirements For Graduation
Credits Earned, Grade-Point Averages
Participation in Commencement
Certifying that Degree Requirements are Completed
Students Proceeding to Cooperative Degree Programs
Academic Difficulty: Probation and Dismissal
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Mandatory Academic Leave
Dismissal from the College
Essential Terms and Procedures
Pre-Enrollment and Registration
Part-Time Enrollment ("Special Status")
Overloads and Overload Fees
Continuing Education Courses and Enrollment by High School Students
Second Bachelor's Degree
Advanced Placement (AP)
International Baccalaureate Examinations
Cambridge A-Level Examinations
Cumulative Gradepoint Index
Dean's List and Graduation Honors
Phi Beta Kappa
Multiple Majors and Minors
Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from Courses
Class Attendance and Excused Absences
Leaves of Absence, Voluntary Withdrawal and Readmission
Leaves of Absence
Withdrawal from the College and Readmission
Privacy and Access to Student Records
Credits Earned, Grade-Point Averages
To graduate, a Knox student must successfully complete at least 35.8 credits. These include any approved transfer credits, off-campus program credits and credit-by-examination. (For details, see the sections on “Transfer credits,” and “Credit-By-Examination”) To graduate, students must have a 2.0 (C average) or better grade point average in courses counted for graduation. Students must also have a 2.0 average or better in all courses required for the major and minor.
Participation in Commencement
All students who have satisfied the requirements for the degree can participate in Commencement, including those who have officially graduated in the middle of the year and those who have graduated out of residence. Students who have not satisfied all graduation requirements but have completed at least 32.8 credits by the end of the spring term are allowed to participate in Commencement without receiving the degree. Such students who will have completed at least 29.8 credits at the end of winter term and who wish to participate in Commencement must register for at least 3 credits in the spring term and must sign a form acknowledging that failure to complete at least 32.8 credits by the end of spring term will keep them from participating in Commencement; the form must be submitted to the Registrar no later than the end of winter term. Students who participate in one Commencement are not allowed to participate again in a later Commencement, unless they have earned a second degree (see below).
At least 13.5 of the credits required for graduation must be earned at Knox College. Students must be enrolled in residence at Knox for at least two of the last three terms immediately before graduation and for at least six of the final twelve credits. The final term must be in residence, except for students on approved off-campus programs. “In residence” means taking classes taught on the Knox campus by Knox faculty. This requirement is waived for students completing approved cooperative programs leading to professional degrees.
The normal time for earning a Knox degree is four years. Students may graduate in fewer than four years if they have completed all requirements, including residency, by the end of their last term and if they notify the Registrar of their desire to graduate early.
Certifying that Degree Requirements are Completed
Each student is responsible for completion of all requirements for the degree and should check progress regularly with his or her advisor and by reviewing the Degree Audit, which is available continuously at the Registrar's web site.
In cases where the student is finishing degree requirements out of residence (which requires permission of the Academic Standing Committee), the Office of the Registrar does not certify completion of the requirements until it has received an official transcript from each of the institutions where the work has been done. In exceptional cases, where the Registrar has determined that the official transcript is forthcoming, the Registrar may accept informal communication from another institution.
There are cases when students require substitutions for degree requirements. These must be made prior to the last term before graduation. Note also that all majors and minors must also be declared prior to the last term before graduation. Such late substitutions or declarations may incur a late fee as indicated in the “Tuition and Fees” portion of this catalog. The use of transfer, off-campus, or exam credits toward major or minor requirements must be approved by the appropriate program chair. Other substitutions must be petitioned to the Curriculum Committee through the Dean of the College.
When the Office of the Registrar certifies that degree requirements have been completed, the degree is ordinarily conferred at the next meeting of the Knox faculty at which such business is normally conducted. Exceptions may be approved by the Registrar.
Students Proceeding to Cooperative Degree Programs
Students participating in a cooperative program leading to a professional degree as well as a Knox degree should consult with the Registrar by the third week of the fall term of their final year at Knox to ensure that they complete the necessary Knox requirements before leaving for the professional school. The end of the first year at the cooperating institution is the earliest possible time a student may receive a degree. In many cases, additional time is necessary. Students should check with the Registrar if they have questions regarding when the Knox degree will be received.
In cases where students fail to meet the academic standards of the College, Knox reserves the right to place students on academic probation, on academic leave, or to dismiss them from the College. The Academic Standing Committee monitors students' academic status at the end of each term. In considering students’ academic situations, the committee treats each student’s case on its merits. It may consider courses attempted, credits and grades earned and the trend of performance.
Students are placed on academic probation if their cumulative gradepoint average is below 2.0, or if they receive two credits of F or U in one term. In order to ensure that students are on track to graduate after no more than five years students will also be placed on academic probation if they fail to accumulate credit at the rate of 7 credits per 3 terms of enrollment. Terms in which a student receives all grades of W for reasons of verified illness or other conditions beyond the student’s control may be excluded in the determination of this rate if the student successfully petitions the Academic Standing Committee. Three terms is the maximum time normally allowed for a student to return to good academic standing. Students on academic probation may be returned to good standing at the discretion of the Academic Standing Committee after the cumulative gradepoint average is raised to 2.0 or above and they have earned an average of 7 credits per 3 terms of enrollment. Transfer, summer study, and exam credits count toward the credit accumulation rate, at the rate of 1/3 of a Knox term per Knox course credit.
To remain at Knox, degree-seeking students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress is defined in terms of accumulation of credits toward a degree and as the maintenance of a gradepoint average consistent with graduation requirements.
Students are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress if they:
- earn at least 7 credits for each of 3 terms of enrollment,
- maintain a cumulative gradepoint average of 2.00 or better, and
- complete their requirements for graduation in no more than 18 terms.
Courses graded S/U do not count toward satisfactory progress. Transfer, summer study, and exam credit count toward credit accumulation requirements at the rate of 1/3 of a Knox term per course credit.
For purposes of determining satisfactory progress, grades of W received for the resons of verified illness or other conditions beyond the student's control may be excluded if the student successfully petitions the Academic Standing Committee.
For part-time students (i.e. enrolling for fewer than 2.5 course credits per term), a term of partial enrollment counts as part of a term. Thus, each course credit for which the student enrolls counts for 1/3 of a term toward the satisfactory progress rule.
For details on the financial aid implications of unsatisfactory academic progress, see the section on Financial Aid.
Where the Academic Standing Committee wishes to impose a penalty short of dismissal, it may place a student on mandatory academic leave for one or more (in most cases two) terms. Students on mandatory academic leave need not petition for readmission to the College. Upon their return, they will be placed on academic probation with three credits and a GPA of 2.0 required. During the time they are on leave, their transcripts show that they were dropped for unsatisfactory scholarship. Normally students will be placed on mandatory academic leave after a term has ended, but if a student fails to attend class or submit work for three continuous weeks the Academic Standing Committee may place a student on mandatory academic leave in the course of a term and award the student grades of W for the term. If the Academic Standing Committee places a student on mandatory academic leave in the course of a term, the Associate Dean of the College shall determine the student’s withdrawal date.
Students who withdraw from all courses during a term in which they are on probation, thereby delaying determination of whether probationary conditions have been met, are put into a non-mandatory academic leave status and must obtain approval from the Associate Dean to return the next term.
Students in academic difficulty who return to the College with unresolved grades (i.e., grades of I or NR) do so at their own risk. In such cases the Academic Standing Committee may drop a student if the final grades replacing the grades of I or NR prove to be unsatisfactory, and in these cases dismissal is effective immediately.
Dismissal from the College
Students placed on probation are expected to consult with their faculty advisors and make immediate plans to improve their academic performance. If they do not show evidence of the ability to meet the College’s academic standards, they should expect to be dismissed from the College. The Academic Standing Committee may also set specific requirements for a student to attain in a given term if the student is to avoid being dropped at the end of that term. Students should not assume that they have three terms on probation before being dismissed from the College. A student who has been dismissed for a first time has the right to request readmission; a student who eventually does receive readmission and is then dismissed for a second time for poor scholarship does not. The Academic Standing Committee may also dismiss a student from the College because of a disastrous term (see below).
Students are generally dismissed from the College after a disastrous term. The determination of a disastrous term and decision to dismiss are made by the Academic Standing Committee. The Academic Standing Committee usually considers a disastrous term to be one in which the student has earned 3 units of F, or 2 units of F and 1 unit of D, U, or W. A disastrous term may result in dismissal even if a student has not previously been on probationary status.
A student dropped from Knox for academic reasons may petition the Academic Standing Committee for readmission by contacting the Associate Dean of the College. (Students dropped for disciplinary reasons must direct petitions to the President of the College.) Although the student should first discuss with the Associate Dean the basis for the petition, all such petitions must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean and require favorable action by the Academic Standing Committee. The petition should indicate that the student has overcome the problems that led to earlier dismissal and include substantial evidence that the student is now ready and willing to meet the College’s academic standards. Such evidence may include:
- a statement from the student indicating he or she believes the problems that led to earlier dismissal have been overcome or have been successfully addressed, e.g., through counseling or medical care;
- an academic transcript showing acceptable or better work at another comparable institution;
- a supporting statement from an individual such as the student’s employer, physician or parent; and
- any other evidence the student feels may be appropriate.
A petition may be submitted immediately after dismissal; however, the most persuasive petitions are ordinarily presented after the student has had sufficient time away from the College to correct the problems that resulted in dismissal. In many cases, the College may refuse to consider petitions before a term has elapsed. Where appropriate, the College may readmit a student only under specific conditions. A student may not petition the Committee for readmission more than once in any given term.
Pre-Enrollment and Registration Check-in
Students currently enrolled and those ending leaves of absence should pre-enroll for each succeeding term. Course changes may be made during the first week of the term; after that any changes incur a late fee as indicated in the Tuition and Fees section of this catalog.
Registration check-in takes place at the start of each term, at the times listed in the academic calendar, and serves the purpose of verifying attendance for the term. Payment of the balance of fees is due at that time. Students who do not perform registration check-in are assessed a late registration fee listed in the Tuition and Fees section. All students receive instructions prior to registration check-in and pre-enrollment dates.
All degree-seeking students are expected to enroll full-time. The normal full-time load is three credits per term, with a normal range of 2.5 to 3.5 credits. Students may enroll for fewer than 2.5 credits, but should be aware of potential ramifications. (See paragraph below on Part-Time Enrollment.) Students enrolled for fewer than 2.5 credits pay full tuition unless granted permission to enroll part-time. Two and one-half credits are considered “full-time” for the purpose of intercollegiate athletics.
Degree-seeking students who wish to enroll for fewer than 2.5 credits and pay tuition on a per credit basis must obtain permission from the Associate Dean of the College. Permission is normally granted only when the student has permanent employment or family obligations or needs fewer than 2.5 credits remaining to satisfy all degree requirements. It is the responsibility of students to determine the ramifications of enrolling part-time, including how it may affect eligibility for health insurance and financial aid, including outside scholarships. Part-time students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress at the same rate that is expected of full-time students relative to the course load for which they are enrolling (i.e. at least seven course credits completed for each nine attempted).
Students in good academic standing may enroll for 3.5 credits. Students on academic probation must have approval of the Dean or Associate Dean of the College to enroll for more than 3 credits. Students may enroll for 4 credits only with permission of the Dean or Associate Dean of the College. Permission is normally granted to students on the Dean’s List or with a cumulative grade index of 3.25 or better. No student may enroll for more than 4 credits. Overload Request forms may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.
The College charges all students an overload fee for enrollment in more than 3.5 credits, that number including all credits for which a student is officially enrolled at the end of the first week of classes plus any credits added later. A student is not charged the overload fee if the extra credits during the term in question are being awarded for work done over a year, as is the case for performance in the orchestra, choir or dance. This exception applies only to students receiving 10.5 or fewer credits over an academic year (11 or fewer credits in the case of students in the McNair Program). The College will waive overload fees when a student serves as a teaching assistant or co-leader for credit, but such waivers will be granted when and only when the student makes a written commitment not to count this credit towards graduation. Such a credit may be counted toward graduation if the course is not taken as an overload.
Students may register to audit a course. Regular attendance is required; the extent of participation in class is determined by the instructor. No auditing fee is charged to degree-seeking undergraduates. Within the first three weeks of each term, an audit can be changed to a credit. A student may audit a course previously taken for credit, with permission of the instructor. The audit will appear on the student's transcript, but does not alter the record of the first taking.
Enrollment by Non-Degree-Seeking Students
College and university graduates who hold a bachelor of arts or equivalent degree may take courses at Knox College as continuing education students. Tuition is reduced and enrollment is limited to one course per term and is on a space-available basis. Knox students may return as post-baccalaureate students to complete requirements for teaching certification or to take up to two credits, if approved by the Associate Dean of the College. Credits for this course work may not be used to satisfy requirements for a second degree.
High school honors students may, with a letter of recommendation from a counselor, take one course at the College in any term at a reduced cost. As with other continuing education students, enrollment is on a space-available basis.
In special cases, the Dean of Admission may recommend that an applicant for admission, although not granted admission, may for one term be enrolled for up to three credits. In such cases, the decision for either granting or denying permission to reenroll will be based on the candidate's academic performance during this trial term.
Dependents of employees of the College may take up to one course per term at the College.
The Registrar is in charge of advising for all non-degree-seeking students. Preliminary arrangements to take courses on this special basis should be made well before the beginning of the term in question. Final registration is on the second day of the term. All non-degree-seeking students are subject to the usual rules and deadlines for dropping, adding and withdrawing described in this catalog. Non-degree-seeking students may be refused permission to reenroll if they do not maintain a C average (2.0).
Second Bachelor’s Degree
A person who holds a bachelor’s degree from Knox may be admitted as a candidate for a second bachelor’s degree. In order to earn a second degree, the candidate must satisfy the residence requirement and established degree requirements, including a major field or fields other than those presented for the first degree. In the case that the first degree was earned at Knox, the minimum residence requirement is nine full-term courses.
Credits earned prior to matriculation at Knox are evaluated for transfer by the Registrar on the basis of official transcripts submitted by the student before arrival. Course credits earned at other colleges or universities subsequent to matriculation must be approved in advance by the Registrar. Students must return a completed “Transfer Approval” form to the Registrar's Office no later than two weeks before the end of the Knox term prior to when the transfer course is to be taken. Usually approval is not given for more than 3 credits taken during a single summer. Official transcripts for transfer credits are reviewed by the Registrar in consultation with members of the faculty when necessary. In general, liberal arts subjects in which grades of C or better were earned are accepted. Transfer work is credited at the rate of .3 Knox credits per semester hour, or .2 credits per quarter hour. (Equivalently, one Knox credit is credited per 3 1/3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours.) No more than 18 credits are accepted from community colleges. No more than two credits may be earned through correspondence or Internet courses. Because of the residency requirement, no more than 22.5 transfer credits overall may be accepted. No coursework from foreign universities can be transferred in by students on mandatory academic leave. With the permission of the department chair, transfer credits may satisfy major or minor requirements. Transfer credits are not counted into the grade point average.
Only a few courses may be taken more than once for credit; the Catalog notes “may be repeated for credit” for such courses. If a student repeats any other course, only the credit earned the second time is counted toward graduation, but the record of the first taking remains on the student’s transcript and in the grade point average.
Credit is granted for the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) examinations and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations. Credit may also be awarded for A Level examinations taken in secondary education abroad. A maximum of 9 credits in all subjects may be earned through credit-by-examination. If more than one type of examination (AP, IB, A-levels) is offered in the same subject, credit is awarded for only one of the exams. Credits earned by examination do not satisfy Foundation requirements. With the permission of the department chair, credits earned by examination may satisfy major or minor requirements.
The specific courses for which a student can earn credit on the basis of credit-by-examination are explained below. Each course is one credit. A student who takes multiple exams can only earn credit for a specific Knox course once. A student may take a course for which he or she has been exempted, but the credit earned by examination is then cancelled. All students continuing study in the discipline should consult with the chair of the department to determine the proper course in which to begin work at Knox.
Examination 3 4 5 Art History ART 105 and 106 ART 105 and 106 ART 105 and 106 Biology
BIOL 120 BIOL 120 Calculus AB
MATH 151 MATH 151 Calculus BC MATH 151 MATH 151 and 152 MATH 151 and 152 Chemistry
CHEM 101 and 102 CHEM 101 and 102 Chinese
CHIN 201 CHIN 201 Computer Science A
CS 141 Economics-Macroeconomics
ECON 120 ECON 120 Economics-Microeconomics
ECON 110 ECON 110 English Lang and Comp ENG 101 ENG 101 and 102 ENG 101 and 102 English Lit and Comp ENG 101 ENG 101 and 102 ENG 102 and 120 Environmental Science
ENVS 101 ENVS 101 European History
HIST 105 and 106 HIST 105 and 106 French Language FREN 103 FREN 103 and 211 FREN 103 and 211 French Literature FREN 103 FREN 103 and 211 FREN 103 and 211 German Language GERM 103 GERM 103 and 201 GERM 103 and 201 Gvt & Politics-US
PS 101 PS 101 Gvt & Politics-Comparative
PS 220 PS 220 Human Geography
One credit in GEOG One credit in GEOG Japanese
JAPN 201 JAPN 201 Latin-Vergil
LAT 103 LAT 103 Latin-Literature
LAT 103 LAT 103 Music Theory
MUS 145 MUS 145 Physics B PHYS 110 and 130 PHYS 110 and 130 PHYS 110 and 130 Physics C:Mechanics PHYS 110 PHYS 110 PHYS 110 Physics C:Electricity and Magnetism PHYS 130 PHYS 130 PHYS 130 Psychology
PSYC 100 PSYC 100 Spanish Language SPAN 103 SPAN 103 and 201 SPAN 103 and 201 Spanish Literature SPAN 103 SPAN 103 and 201 SPAN 103 and 201 Statistics
STAT 200 STAT 200 Studio Art-Drawing No credit awarded Studio Art-2-D Design No credit awarded Studio Art-3-D Design No credit awarded U.S. History
HIST 160 and 161 HIST 160 and 161 World History
One credit in HIST One credit in HIST
International Baccalaureate Examinations
Knox recognizes the challenge and rigor of the International Baccalaureate curriculum, whose principles are consistent with the educational goals of the College. Students completing an IB Diploma with a score of 30 or above will receive one year of credit toward the completion of their Knox degree. Credit will be granted to Diploma recipients scoring below 30 and to students completing only IB certificates as follows: Credit for two Knox courses will be awarded for each IB Higher Level examination passed with a score of 4 or above. Standard examinations passed with a score of 5 or above will receive credit for one Knox course. The limit of 9 total credits-by-exam of any kind applies.
Cambridge A-Level Examinations
Students who have completed their secondary education abroad and who have “Advanced Level” or “Advanced Subsidiary Level” passes in liberal arts subjects may apply to the Registrar to have credits awarded which count toward graduation. The awarding of credit is not automatic; it depends on the A-level grade received, the testing syndicate that granted it, a recommendation to the Registrar from the relevant department at Knox and the approval of the Registrar. The application for credit must be made during the first year of residence at Knox. Knox also recognizes the Cambridge Pre-U examinations. A maximum of two credits may be awarded for each examination, but one or no credit may be recommended by the department. A grade of C (3) is the passing requirement for A-levels, and M1-M3 or D1-D3 for the Pre-U exams. Departments may also require a student first to pass a course for which the A-level credit is a prerequisite. Credit is not awarded for ordinary level examinations.
Grades are reported at the close of each term to the student, faculty advisor, Associate Dean of the College and Dean of Students. Instructors are asked to inform the Associate Dean of the College whenever a student’s work in a course becomes unsatisfactory during the term. Grade reports are e-mailed to campus addresses unless paper copies are explicitly requested. Students may request copies of their grades to be sent to their parents or guardians by contacting the Office of the Registrar.
Midterm grades are required for all students doing work below C, for the purpose of directing students to appropriate helpful campus resources. Midterm grades will also be required in Fall Term for all first-year students. These grades are distributed to students, their faculty advisors and the deans. Midterm grades do not affect the gradepoint average.
Grade Description Grade Points per Credit A+, A, A- outstanding 4.0, 4.0, 3.7 B+, B, B- superior 3.3, 3.0, 2.7 C+, C, C- competent 2.3, 2.0, 1.7 D+, D, D- passing, but inferior 1.3, 1.0, 0.7 F failing 0.0 S satisfactory, C- or better - U unsatisfactory, below C- - I incomplete - NR not recorded - W withdrawal - P passing-used in advanced work for Honors to indicate passing work for which a grade will be assigned when the 3-term sequence is completed -
A grade of incomplete (I), with an extension of time to complete work after the end of the term, is granted for situations beyond the student’s control. It is not granted for work simply neglected. In the absence of an approved incomplete, each student’s work for the term, including all examinations, reports, notebooks, essays and laboratory work must be handed in by 4 p.m. on the last day of examinations (or such earlier due dates as the instructor sets). Instructors do not have the authority to set later due dates.
To request an incomplete, a student should:
- obtain an Application for an Incomplete form from the Office of the Registrar or the Associate Dean’s office;
- obtain the written approval of the instructor on the application form;
- receive the approval of the Associate Dean of the College;
- return the completed form to the Office of the Registrar by the first day of final examinations.
Only in exceptional cases, such as serious illness, is the application procedure abridged, when the Associate Dean of the College may initiate the award of a grade of incomplete. Requests for incompletes submitted after the first day of final exams are granted only if they involve circumstances such as illness arising during examination week; all such late requests must be submitted by the end of exam week.
If an incomplete grade is approved, the student normally has four weeks from the last day of exams to complete the work unless another date is specified on the application for an incomplete. All incomplete work must be submitted before the end of the term following the one in which the incomplete is granted. Petitions for extensions of the completion deadline may be submitted to the Academic Standing Committee, but will normally not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. The student is responsible for submitting the completed work to the instructor. No credit is given for late work. Work sent by U.S. mail to the instructor should be sent by registered mail; the College is not responsible for materials lost by regular mail or electronic transmission. Students using electronic transmission should keep copies of the work they have sent as well as proof of transmission. They should also request verification that their work arrived and arrived in a format that could be read. Work should not be sent by campus mail or entrusted to a third party for delivery. The instructors are expected to submit grades within one week of receipt of the remaining course work.
When an incomplete has been granted, the faculty member records the grade that would be given based upon required work for the entire course if the missing work were not completed. This grade is regarded by the Office of the Registrar as provisional. The grade of I is reported to the student by the Office of the Registrar. Only if the student fails to submit any further work by the stipulated deadline does the provisional grade become the final grade.
Students on probation and others whose records are reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee should note that incompletes delay review; such delays may result in late placement on probationary status or in late dismissal even though the committee’s action has to be taken after the start of the next term. Approval of an incomplete does not grant permission to stay in the residence halls after the usual closing date.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 may stipulate for one letter-graded course per term that the grade shall be S or U. A maximum of four courses may be so taken. Instructors do not know when a student has elected to take a course on an S/U basis, and so they issue a letter grade which is converted afterwards to S or U. In order to earn an S this letter grade must be C- or higher. Grades of U do not earn credit and do not satisfy any graduation requirement. No course used to satisfy the Preceptorial, Key Competency, or Foundations requirements, no course required for a student’s major or minor, nor in the department of the student’s major may be taken for elective S/U grading, since the intent of elective S/U is to encourage students to enroll for courses beyond their major field of study and the minimum exploration for a Knox degree. An exception is made, however, for students enrolling in independent studies in their major where the instructor explicitly requests that the course be graded S/U.
A student registers for the S/U option by filing a completed Election of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Form with the Office of the Registrar. Changes may be made during the first three weeks of the term. No changes to or from elective S/U status may be made after the end of the first three weeks.
If a student receives a grade below C- in a course that is part of an established sequence, he or she should meet with his or her faculty advisor to review the wisdom of taking the next course in the sequence.
Cumulative Gradepoint Index
This is defined as the gradepoint average of all courses taken in residence at Knox. This index is used to determine class rank and graduation honors. Transfer and off-campus grades do not figure into the cumulative gradepoint average.
This is defined as the gradepoint average of all courses required for the major. When choices exist, the Registrar selects those courses with the highest grades. Required courses outside the major department specified by course number are counted in this index. A major index of 2.0 or better is required for graduation. If a course required for the major is repeated, the first attempt is not included in calculating the major index. A gradepoint average of 2.0 or better is also required for minors.
A grade entered by the Registrar may be changed only if the instructor’s request is approved by the Associate Dean of the College, in the case of clerical or judgmental errors, or by the Academic Standing Committee in all other cases. Requests based on an evaluation of work submitted after the last day of examinations are not granted.
Faculty regulations require that all grades be based on performance in the course. At the discretion of the instructor, the work to be evaluated may include written work, oral work, studio performance, class participation and attendance or any other forms of work appropriate to the course. Grading or classroom practices that reflect sex or race discrimination or harassment are a violation of faculty regulations. A student who believes his or her grade was based on factors other than performance in the course should first speak with the instructor. The student may make an appeal to the Dean of the College; if, in the Dean’s opinion, the student establishes a reasonable probability that the grading was not in accord with faculty regulations, the Dean may constitute a review board.
Dean’s List and Graduation Honors
For the Dean’s List, a student must have earned at least 2.5 credits in the term, with an average of 3.60 or better and no C, D, F, U or I grades. The Dean may include in the Dean’s List a candidate for College Honors who receives a P.
Graduation honors are based on a student’s cumulative gradepoint index with the minimum requirements as follows: cum laude 3.50; magna cum laude 3.75; summa cum laude 3.90. Such honors must also be recommended by the Academic Standing Committee and voted by the faculty. For summa the Committee normally requires at least 27 Knox credits, 18 of which must be graded on the A-F scale, and no U grades. The quality of transfer credit is also considered for summa. Students participating in Commencement but with remaining requirements to satisfy (including any incompletes or student teaching) are not accorded Latin Honors until all course work is complete.
Phi Beta Kappa
The Delta Chapter of Illinois was founded at Knox College in 1916, the first chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in a liberal arts college in Illinois. Seniors and a small number of juniors distinguished for high academic achievement are elected annually.
Students cooperating with two or more faculty members may design a self-designed major that combines work in several departments. Approval of the Curriculum Committee is required and can occur no later than the end of the second term of the junior year. Heather Hoffmann, Psychology, will act as the contact person for advice on the development of self-designed majors. Students may also declare a self-designed minor with faculty sponsorship. See under “Departments and Courses of Study.”
Multiple Majors and Minors
Students may graduate with a major and a minor; a double major; or a major and two minors. The approval of the Curriculum Committee is required for all such combinations. Combinations are approved only if the course work in one program shows substantial quantity in fields of study distinct from the other program(s). Each program must be essentially independent of the other(s) and the total educational plan of the student must present a sound liberal education. Normally, no more than two credits may overlap between two programs in an approved combination.
Major and Minor
Blanket approval has been given, subject to the restrictions noted in the Courses of Study section of the catalog, to the following combinations of a major and a minor:
- two different departments or two modern foreign languages
- a major in Economics, Environmental Studies, Financial Mathematics or Psychology and a minor in Business and Management
- a combination of Biochemistry with Biology and Chemistry
- combinations of Studio Art and Art History
- major and minor combinations within the Classics department
- an English Literature major and a Creative Writing minor
Combinations involving certain interdisciplinary majors and minors create the possibility of enough overlap so as to jeopardize the independence of each program. Blanket approval has been granted to combinations involving one of the following as long as no more than two credits are used in both programs:
- Integrated International Studies with a departmental program;
- Environmental Studies with a departmental program;
- Gender & Women's Studies with a departmental program;
- Black Studies with a departmental program;
- Latin American Studies with a departmental major;
- Religious Studies with a departmental major;
Students wishing to elect combinations other than those granted blanket approval must petition the Curriculum Committee. Students who wish to combine a self-designed major with a self-designed minor must have the approval of the Curriculum Committee.
Blanket approval has been given to any two departmental majors involving two different departments or two modern foreign languages. Blanket approval extends to a double major that combines a departmental major with one of the following established interdisciplinary majors, as long as no more than two credits are used in both majors: American Studies, Black Studies, Environmental Studies, Gender and Women's Studies. Blanket approval has been granted for a double major, one of which is Integrated International Studies, in the following circumstances:
- With a second major in a modern foreign language, as long as no more than three credits are used in both majors;
- With a second departmental major, as long as no more than two credits are used in both majors.
Blanket approval has been given to the combination of a Studio Art and Art History major under the restrictions stated in the Courses of Study section of the Catalog. Also, blanket approval is granted for combinations of any two of the Classics majors under the stated restrictions.
Students who wish to complete a double major other than those given blanket approval must petition the Curriculum Committee. In particular, students who wish to complete a double major, one of which is a self-designed major, must have the approval of the Curriculum Committee.
Students who complete a double major may not also add a minor.
For students electing two minors in addition to their major, each minor is subject to the same restrictions as stated above in the subsection on major-minor combinations. Students wishing to elect two minors not given blanket approval must petition the Curriculum Committee.
Courses may only be added or dropped during the first week of classes of each term. This time is referred to as the “drop-add period.”
To add a course, a student completes a Change of Course form and obtains the permission of his or her faculty advisor and the instructor of the course. The student then returns the signed form to the Office of the Registrar. Change of Course forms may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. After the drop-add period, courses may be added only in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the Academic Standing Committee. Students who fail to turn in a course change form by the deadline may be subject to a late fee of $40.
To drop a course, a student completes a Change of Course form, obtains the permission of his or her faculty advisor and returns the completed form to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the drop-add period. Courses dropped do not appear on a student's transcript.
Students must enroll for all work for which they desire credit. They must accept responsibility for verifying that they are officially enrolled in the courses which they are attending. To assist students in verifying their enrollments, the Office of the Registrar e-mails students their enrollments as of the first day of the term and after the drop-add period. Students should check the final enrollment carefully and report discrepancies to the Office of the Registrar. Students can check their enrollment at any time by consulting the Office of the Registrar’s web site.
After the drop-add period a student may only withdraw from a course or, by the end of the third week, elect S/U grading. (See section on the S/U option for this.) To withdraw from a course, the student completes a course withdrawal form. A “W” (withdrawal) is recorded as of the date the student submitted the completed withdrawal request to the Office of the Registrar. A “W” does not count in grade indices. The withdrawal option should be used very sparingly, since multiple withdrawn courses slow a student's progress toward graduation and can result in violation of the satisfactory academic progress standard, and placement of the student on academic probation.
After the eighth week of classes, withdrawals are permitted only in extenuating circumstances such as illness. Requests based on loss of interest or desire to improve one’s gradepoint average are not approved. Students claiming extenuating circumstances make a withdrawal request to the Associate Dean of the College, who may approve such a request on behalf of the Academic Standing Committee. In the event that a student requests permission to withdraw after the deadline and bases the request on health reasons, the Associate Dean (as proxy for the Committee) will require written verification of illness from a health professional. This should be submitted in a timely way and should show that the professional writing the letter worked with the student during the time the student was ill.
Students are expected to attend classes regularly and to participate fully in class activities. Students who are absent from class, regardless of the reasons for their absence, are responsible for all work assigned in the course. In all cases of excused absence, appropriate deadlines for the completion of work missed must be arranged by the student with the instructor. Students who fail to attend the first day of class and who have not been excused may be dropped from that class.
In case of illness, it is a student’s responsibility to see that written verification of the illness is obtained from the physician or hospital and is provided to one of the Deans of Students, who notifies the student’s instructors. If a student was not seen by a physician or at a hospital, but is known by the Dean of Students to have been ill, the student may request verification of illness from the Office of Student Development. In case of a verified illness, the student is normally excused from the class; but the decision for any excused absence is the prerogative of the instructor.
Instructors may adopt more specific attendance policies in their courses. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the instructor’s policy and to abide by it. Students should be prepared to accept a grade of an F in a course for failure to adhere to the instructor’s attendance policy. Except in the case of documented illness, it is the instructor’s decision whether to excuse a student from class attendance. Reasonable standards of humanity and responsibility are expected to prevail.
Quizzes and examinations are administered during the term at the discretion of the instructor. Students who expect to be absent from class due to scheduled athletic events or class field trips should check well in advance with their instructors about possible examinations.
Final examinations must be held according to the published examination schedule. A student should not make plans to leave the campus before his or her last scheduled final examination. Faculty members may not make changes in the time of final examination for a course without prior approval of the Dean of the College, although in situations of urgent need a faculty member may permit an individual student to take an exam at an alternate time. A student is not normally permitted to make up missed final examinations, except with a documentation of illness submitted to the Office of Student Development and approved by the Associate Dean of the College.
Leaves of Absence
Application for a leave of absence, whether for personal or medical reasons or for participation in individually arranged off-campus study programs, is done through the Office of the Associate Dean of the College. Instructions are included on the application form.
Personal leaves are granted when a student desires to interrupt his or her progress toward a degree for up to one year without withdrawing from candidacy for a Knox degree. Personal leaves enable students to work, travel or pursue interests not involving formal studies that would count towards graduation from Knox. For a student in good academic standing, no qualifications are necessary to obtain a personal leave.
A student who is on academic probation may be required by the Academic Standing Committee to submit a statement of how he or she proposes to complete the degree program after returning from leave.
When a student requests a leave in the middle of a term, the Associate Dean assists the student in arranging for incomplete grades or course withdrawals. No refund of enrollment deposit is made to students who withdraw from the College after going on leave unless approved in advance by the Dean. Students who are on leave at the time of the housing lottery are not eligible to reserve residence hall space until their return to campus.
Withdrawal from the College and Readmission
When a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from all classes during a term, it is the College’s responsibility to determine the student’s withdrawal date for the purpose of the return of Title IV (federal) financial aid and the refund/cancellation of charges and non-federal financial assistance. (See Refund Policy, in Tuition and Fees, and Withdrawals, Refunds and Return of Title IV Funds, in Financial Aid.)
For a student to be considered officially withdrawn, he or she must notify the College in writing or orally of the intent to withdraw by contacting one of the following college officials: the Dean of Students, one of the Associate Deans of Students, or the Associate Dean of the College. The withdrawal date is the date that the student notifies one of the above-named officials of the intent to withdraw and/or begins the withdrawal process by completing a withdrawal/leave of absence form.
Students who have withdrawn must apply to the Dean of Students and the Associate Dean of the College for readmission; the agreement of the Academic Standing Committee is required for the readmission of students who withdrew while on any form of probationary status. Students who are readmitted may be required to satisfy the graduation requirements in effect at the time of their readmission.
If a student ceases attendance without providing official notification to the College, the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the term, except that the College may use as the withdrawal date the student’s last date of attendance at an academically related activity, as documented by the College. Students who leave campus or do not attend classes during a term without providing official notification are dropped from the College and receive failing grades in all their courses (unless the Associate Dean of the College in consultation with the Dean of Students determines that such grades should not be awarded). Such action is not typically taken without notification of the student.
If the College determines that a student did not provide official notification because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, the Associate Dean may determine a withdrawal date related to that circumstance.
Privacy and Access to Student Records
All educational records of the College are managed in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. The act provides that a student may inspect certain records and also limits who may have access to a student’s records without the student’s permission. To inspect his or her records, a student should obtain a request form from the Office of Student Development. Pursuant to the Higher Education Act, students have the option of specifying a confidential contact who will be notified in the event that the student has been reported missing for a period of at least 24 hours. More detailed information on student rights under these acts may be obtained from the Student Handbook or from the Office of Student Development.
At the time of initial enrollment, the full name of a student is entered on his or her transcript record. Students who change their names while they are enrolled may ask that their name be changed on their transcript records. Appropriate documentation should accompany such requests. Such changes are made only if requested by students and only while students are enrolled at Knox. At the time of graduation, the names used on diplomas are those that appear on transcript records. Students who return to Knox with new legal names after receiving their degrees have separate, cross-referenced records established under their new names, but the names that appear on their pre-graduation transcript records are not changed.