2015-2016 Catalog 
    Jun 14, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Course Load

All degree-seeking undergraduate students may pre-register for up to 4.0 units of academic course credit along with up to 0.75 course unit of co-curricular partial-credit courses, such as music lessons, ROTC, Speech and Debate, or theatre performance. Students who have completed at least 3.0 units of academic courses in the immediately preceding semester and who received a semester grade point average of at least 10.50 may overload up to a total of 5.0 course units of academic course credit during the add period at the start of the semester. Students may not exceed 6.0 units of total credit, including co-curricular partial-credit courses. There is no additional charge for more than 4 courses.

Overloading students who receive a low grade notices in any course (except PE) must drop back to no more than 4.0 units of academic credit. These students may remain enrolled in an additional 0.75 unit of co-curricular credit, not to exceed 4.75 total units.

3/2 majors  and Science and Management majors  may pre-register for 5.0 academic courses with permission from their major advisor or the Dean of Faculty. Any student requesting an exception to this policy must petition the Academic Standards Committee  and present compelling reasons (with appropriate documentation) for the exception.

The minimum full-time course load is 3 full academic courses per semester. Students who wish to carry less than 3 courses must petition the ASC in writing for permission to attend the College on a part-time basis. The request should include the reason for the request as well as the student’s plans for completion of degree requirements. Part-time students usually are not eligible for on-campus housing. Part-time students are charged per course. See Part-Time Student Tuition  for details. Students on probation are normally required by the ASC to carry the equivalent of 4 academic courses.

Classification and Satisfactory Academic Progress

Degree-seeking undergraduate students are expected to maintain good academic standing and make satisfactory academic progress toward a goal of graduation within 4 academic years (8 semesters). Students are classified in their progress toward the degree as follows:

  Freshmen 0-6.9 course units completed
  Sophomores 7-14.9 course units completed
  Juniors 15-22.9 course units completed
  Seniors 23 or more course units completed

Students who do not earn sufficient credits and/or who do not maintain good academic standing may face financial aid consequences in accordance with Title IV regulations.


Pre-registration for courses scheduled to be offered the following semester is conducted during the second half of the semester on specified days and times based upon the anticipated commencement year for each student. Students must consult their assigned faculty advisor prior to pre-registration and obtain advisor approval to register. All registered students who plan to return to the College the following semester are expected to participate in pre-registration. The College may prevent students from pre-registering for the following semester if they have failed to meet financial or other obligations to the College.

Changes in Registration: Adding and Dropping Courses

Students are enrolled only in those courses for which they are formally registered. Deadlines for adding and dropping courses are listed on the Academic Calendar .

During the first 10 days of the semester, CMC students may add courses with permission of the instructor. During the same period, students may drop courses without instructor permission. Before making any changes, students are urged to seek advice from their faculty advisor. Registration is not complete until appropriate registration transactions are completed and students have paid (or made arrangements to pay for) tuition and other fees. After the first 10 days of the semester, petitions for late registration will only be considered by the ASC in very unusual circumstances. Such petitions with supporting documentation, including a letter of support from the instructor of the course, must be submitted to the Registrar for the Academic Standards Committee.

If a student fails to attend the first two meetings of a course (or one course meeting for courses meeting only one time per week) and the absences were not approved in advance by the instructor, the faculty member of record may ask the Registrar to drop the student from the course. However, students will not automatically be dropped from a course they do not attend. The Registrar may permit reinstatement into a dropped course when documented circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the student from attending the course and communicating with the instructor.

After the 10th day of the semester but before the final date to withdraw, students may drop from courses without grade penalty. Requests for permission to drop a course after the withdrawal deadline will only be approved by the ASC under unusual circumstances. See Late Withdrawal (W) Grades .

The College reserves the right to refuse registration to any students for unsatisfactory scholarship and/or other reasons as determined by the ASC. Students who are ineligible to register may not attend courses, incur charges to their student accounts, live in campus housing, or participate in athletics or other college activities until they are formally re-enrolled at CMC.

Students who stand accused of academic dishonesty in a course prior to the withdrawal deadline may not drop that course while the accusation is under investigation by the Academic Standards Committee. This prohibition shall remain in effect should the student subsequently be found culpable. In any case in which a student stands accused of academic dishonesty but is NOT found culpable, he or she shall be given the opportunity to withdraw from the course either within one week of the disposition and notification of the case or in accord with the normal deadline date, whichever is later.

Cross-Registration: Enrollment in Courses Offered by Other Claremont Colleges

Academic interchange among the undergraduate colleges and between an undergraduate college and The Claremont Graduate University provide opportunities for curricular enrichment and active membership in the wider community of The Claremont Colleges. CMC students register on their own campus for all courses open to them at the other Claremont Colleges. Registration for courses that are part of joint or cooperative CMC programs is not considered cross-registration for CMC students. CMC students register on their own campus for courses open to them at the other Claremont Colleges, subject to the following conditions:

  • Freshmen or sophomores may register for one course per semester outside their college of residence.
  • Juniors or seniors may register for one-half of their total program in any one semester outside their college of residence.

Courses in the following areas are not subject to the limitations stated above: Keck Science, lower level languages, Military Science, Africana Studies, Chicano Studies, Theatre, Media Studies (courses with an MS prefix), Gender and Women’s Studies.

Several CMC departments also have arrangements for joint and cooperative programs with departments at one or more of the other Claremont Colleges under which their courses are excluded from cross-registration restrictions. It is, however, the privilege of each individual college to restrict cross-registration in their courses, even if the course is not considered cross-registration under the rules listed above.

Exceptions to cross-registration restrictions must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty.

Independent Study

Qualified students with junior standing and in at least their 3rd year of study at CMC (or the equivalent) may design a course in an area of study not covered in the regular curriculum as an independent study project. Interested students must prepare a full statement of their intended program of study, including a bibliography and an outline of the research or study planned. Independent studies must be approved and supervised by a faculty reader who must meet with the student on a regular basis and supervise the work. Independent studies are taken for a letter grade unless the supervising faculty reader requires otherwise; they may be for a full (1.0) or for a one-half (0.5) course credit. Independent studies must result in a paper of substantial length (approximately 40-50 pages for a full unit of credit) unless the faculty reader and the Dean of the Faculty explicitly approve another project. Registration procedures and deadlines for independent study are identical to those of regular courses. Petition forms are available from the Office of the Registrar.

Independent studies will only be approved if there is a valid academic reason for students to take an independent study. Only students with a GPA of B (9.00) or better during the previous semester at CMC may petition for an independent study. Juniors and seniors may not take more than one independent study per semester, unless the Academic Standards Committee grants them permission for compelling academic reasons. Freshmen and sophomores will not be allowed to take an independent study, unless the Academic Standards Committee grants them permission for compelling academic reasons. Independent studies in the area of a student’s major must be approved by the appropriate department chair in advance of registration. Petitions which require the approval of the Academic Standards Committee must be given to the Registrar, in a timely manner, for submission to the ASC prior to the last day to add a course.

Individual faculty members ought not (and untenured faculty may not) oversee more than a total of five (5) independent studies and senior theses per semester. An exception will be made for faculty members who supervise an independent study taken by several students at the same time. Such an independent study will be counted as one independent study for the supervising faculty member.

Repeated Courses

Students may only repeat a course if they receive a grade of F, NC, or W the first time. In such cases, both grades will be included on the transcript and factored into the student’s grade point average. Students may not earn credit for a course when they have already completed another course in which mastery of the subject area is presumed. For example, students who have completed FREN 033 CM  may not subsequently take FREN 002 CM  for credit; students who have completed MATH 031 CM  may not subsequently take MATH 030 CM  for credit. Students who repeat a course or take a course that is a prerequisite for one previously completed will not receive credit for the second course.

However, the Colleges do offer some courses that have a different context each semester and may be repeated for credit. The catalog descriptions identify these courses. For information on the calculation of a grade of F in the grade point average, see Grade Point Requirements .

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend regularly all classes in which they are enrolled. Instructors have the privilege of establishing regulations regarding attendance in their classes and may request the Registrar or Dean of Students to intercede if students have serious attendance problems.

Athletic Eligibility

To meet the eligibility requirements established by the College and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), students who intend to participate in intercollegiate athletics must be enrolled in a minimum full-time program of study and sustain satisfactory progress toward a degree.


With permission of the instructor, full-time students at Claremont McKenna College, their spouses, alumni, and members of the local community may audit CMC courses without fee. No registration or other academic record is kept of auditors and audited courses. Courses with special fees, including physical education courses, may not be audited.


Mid-Term Examinations and Written Reports

Course examinations are given at the discretion of the instructor with or without previous announcement. It is the students’ responsibility to be present at all examinations and to submit reports as scheduled, unless excused by the instructor in advance. During the semester, examinations can only be made up with the permission of the instructor. No tests or examinations may be scheduled during the last week of classes, except for graduating seniors in May. The instructor cannot change the date or time of final examinations.

Final Examinations

Students should expect final examinations in all courses. Final examinations are scheduled according to a five-college rotating agreement, based upon the day and time courses are offered. Final examination schedules are published prior to pre-registration and cannot be changed by the instructor. Only the Dean of the Faculty may change final examination times. Final examination times for courses meeting at non-standard times are arranged by the instructor in consultation with the students to avoid conflicts with other courses. No tests of any kind are to be given during the last week before final exams, except for graduating students in the spring semester.

Students expected to graduate in May cannot take the regularly scheduled finals during the spring semester. Instructors may require these seniors to take final examinations prior to the due date for graduates’ grades. Non-graduating seniors and other students must take the regularly scheduled final exams in the spring.

Challenge Examinations

New students from high schools without an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate program (AP or IB), or from high schools with limited AP and IB offerings, may petition the Academic Standards Committee for permission to take a challenge examination and receive credit for college-level high school courses similar to AP or higher-level IB courses. Challenge examinations are comprehensive examinations at the introductory level, but students may only request to take a challenge examination in subjects for which CMC grants AP or IB credit. Students who received low scores on AP or IB exams, and students who completed an AP or IB course in high school but did not take the exam, are not eligible for challenge exams.

Interested students must discuss the challenge examination application procedure with the Registrar and submit a petition to the Academic Standards Committee prior to the 10th day of the semester. Challenge examinations must be taken before the last day to withdraw from classes. The ASC will consider all appropriate existing college policies when considering an application for a challenge exam and will ensure existing policies are not violated. Challenge exams do not count toward the residency requirement or full-time status determination. Students must petition for a challenge examination during their first year at CMC.

The ASC will refer approved petitions for challenge examinations to the appropriate department chair, who will make arrangements for the tasks of writing and supervising the examinations. CMC’s academic policies for AP/IB courses and grades will be applied to challenge examinations, and students may not receive credit for more than four AP/IB and challenge examinations. For details, see Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit and Placement . The fee for a challenge exam is $500 per course, payable by cash or check at the time of registration.

Foreign Language Proficiency

Students with demonstrated native proficiency in a language which is not offered for testing at The Claremont Colleges may satisfy the foreign language requirement by one of the following methods:

  • Graduation from a high school where the primary language of instruction was a language other than English.
  • Successful completion of the 10th-year exam in Hindi or another language of the Indian Subcontinent.
  • A certified statement from a tenured modern or classical language faculty member from another regionally accredited American college or university which attests to the student’s ability to read, write, and speak a non-English language with native proficiency.

Students seeking to satisfy their foreign language General Education Requirement by examination or demonstration of native proficiency must provide appropriate original documentation to the CMC Registrar’s Office within one year of matriculation to CMC. There is no credit awarded for placement examinations or native proficiency.

The challenge exam policies do not affect the right of departments to give oral or written placement tests (without credit) to students interested in enrolling in more advanced courses without having completed all prerequisites. The ASC may offer students the opportunity to take examinations for credit and/or placement when considering transfer credit or other academic requests.

The results of challenge exams are recorded on a student’s official transcript, but no grade points will factor into the student’s GPA. Students may not challenge a given course more than once.