University of Chicago College Course Catalog
Part 3 of 3

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In Part 3

Academic Standing

Special Opportunities

Academic Regulations and Procedures, Cont.

Course Load. Students register for three or four courses per quarter. Over the typical four-year program (twelve quarters), a student normally registers for at least six four-course quarters and as many as six three-course quarters. The decision about registration for three courses or for four courses is made in consultation with the student's College adviser. Although students may progress at varying rates toward the degree, no student may register for more than fifteen quarters without the permission of the dean of students in the College.

A student is considered full time whether registered for three or four courses; the tuition is the same in either case. Students must formally petition the College dean of students for permission to take a fifth course. The petition will be considered in the fifth week of the quarter, at which time, if it is approved, the student will be registered and billed for the fifth course.

A student who is not registered for at least three courses is considered a part-time student. Such students have their financial aid reevaluated and must request permission to remain in University of Chicago housing.

Repetition of Courses. When a student repeats a course, both courses appear on the student's transcript and both grades are averaged into the student's GPA. A student who receives financial aid may repeat a course only if he or she is also registered for three nonrepeated courses.

Preregistration. After consultation with their College advisers, students preregister for the entire academic year of autumn, winter, and spring quarters. First-year students register during Orientation Week; students in residence register at the end of spring quarter for the following academic year. The preregistration of a student in residence, however, does not become official until he or she has confirmed registration before autumn quarter classes begin.

Changes in Registration. Course registration may be changed by a student's College adviser during the first five weeks of each quarter. A change of registration is any course "drop," any course "add," or any substitution of one course for another. No changes in registration are permitted after Friday of fifth week. (Section changes are subject to the same deadlines, but do not require an adviser's signature. See the Time Schedules for how and where to make section changes.)

Restrictions. The privilege of registration (as well as use of University services and facilities) will be denied students who have been placed on restriction. Restriction may result from a student's failure to fulfill financial obligations to the University or to comply with University rules and regulations. Whenever possible, students are warned of an impending restriction and are notified when one has been imposed. Students must clear the restriction with the administrative or academic office which imposed it before they can be registered. Students who have not cleared the restriction by the end of the fifth week following the quarter in which the restriction was imposed will have their registration cancelled. Students who are not registered may lose their financial aid for that quarter.

Leaves of Absence. Leaves of absence are frequently granted to students in the College. Students planning a leave should consult with their College adviser and also arrange for an interview with one of the College deans of students. In the case of leave granted for medical reasons, the dean of students may require information from a physician or therapist as a condition of the student's return to the College.

Withdrawal from the College. Students who decide not to return to the College must formally withdraw their registration. To do so, students should contact the Office of the Dean of Students in the College. At the time of withdrawal, students are advised of the conditions under which they may resume their studies in the College.

Grades. The following marks are used for undergraduate courses (the number weight assigned to each grade for computation of grade point averages (GPA) is listed in parentheses when applicable): A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), D+ (1.3), D (1.0), F (0.0), I, N, P, R, and Q. The marks A, B, C, D, and P are passing marks and confer course credit. The mark F indicates unsatisfactory work and does not confer credit.

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The familiar grades A through F are known as quality grades and carry a specific weight in calculating official grade point averages. These averages are regularly calculated only to determine Dean's List, academic probation, and general honors. They may influence awards like Phi Beta Kappa and departmental honors. Official transcripts do not include grade point averages.

There are two grading options open to students who wish to record a passing grade rather than a quality grade: Pass/No Credit (P/N) and Pass/Fail (P/F). Students considering P/N or P/F grading should consult with their College adviser early in the quarter because both these options are subject to conditions and restrictions. Whether a course with a grade of P can be counted toward a student's degree depends on how it is to be used in the student's program. All general education courses must be taken for quality grades and most courses satisfying concentration requirements must be taken for quality grades. However, some concentrations permit a limited number of P's.

For P/N grading, students must register with their College advisers during the first two weeks of the quarter. For P/F grading, the student and instructor reach an informal agreement, at the discretion of the instructor and according to departmental policy, before the instructor submits a grade for the course; no action is required by the student's College adviser.

The mark P indicates that the student has submitted sufficient evidence to receive a passing grade. As some departments give credit only for a grade of C- or better, students should establish with the instructor what constitutes passing work. A mark of P may not later be changed to a quality grade, and a quality grade may not be changed to a P. Although the P confers course credit, it is not calculated in the GPA. Students who do less than passing work (as defined by instructor and department) in a P/N course receive a mark of N. The N confers no credit and is not included in the calculation of the GPA. Students who do not pass a P/F course receive an F which counts as a zero in the calculation of the GPA.

The mark R means "registered." Students must register for the grade R during the first two weeks of the quarter. An R, requiring this special registration and conferring no credit, is seldom used by College students. No stigma is attached to the mark R, however. An R may not be changed later to any other grade.

The mark I (Incomplete) indicates that a student has not completed the requirements of the course before the end of the quarter (defined as the date of the final examination or the due date of the final paper or the end of the tenth week of the quarter) but has made satisfactory arrangements with the instructor, on an official Incomplete Form, to complete the remaining work. A request for an Incomplete must be submitted to the instructor before the end of the course. The Incomplete Form must be obtained from the student's College adviser, but approval to complete work late is at the discretion of the instructor and/or according to departmental policy. Incompletes must be finished within a period of time agreed upon between student and instructor. In the absence of a specified due date, the work must be completed within one year. When the work is completed, the grade for the course is entered on the transcript beside the I, which remains on the academic record. If the course work has not been completed within the specified time period and an extension has not been granted, the student will automatically receive a W.

The mark Q stands for "Query." It is entered on the student's grade report by the registrar when the instructor has failed to submit a final grade for a student or has entered an I for the student without also submitting an Incomplete Form. Students with a Q on their grade reports should consult the instructor immediately about the reason for the Q. Students must have the Q replaced with a grade or with an official Incomplete before Friday of the fourth week of the quarter, or the Q will be converted to a W. A W may not subsequently be changed to any other grade.

Grades submitted by instructors to replace Q's will be entered on the academic record beside an I unless the instructor states that the student's work was completed on time. The Q should not be interpreted as an informal Incomplete or as a way to avoid an I on the transcript. Rather, students are strongly urged to protect themselves against misunderstandings and missed deadlines by arranging for an official Incomplete if one proves necessary.

The mark W (or WF or WP) means that the student has decided after the fifth week of the quarter not to complete the work of the course. Students who wish to exercise this option must request a W before the end of the quarter (as defined above). The instructor and/or the department have the option to issue a W, a WF, or a WP. No credit is conferred for any of these marks. A W may not subsequently be changed to any other mark.

Students who register for graduate-level courses are subject to the policies governing graduate grading. Students should discuss the implications of these policies with their advisers before registering for courses numbered 300 and above.

Academic Standing

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Dean's List. Full-time students whose grade point averages are 3.25 or above for an academic year (in which they have completed a minimum of nine courses with at least seven quality grades) are placed on the Dean's List for that year and their official transcripts marked accordingly. Please note that for the purposes of the Dean's List the point equivalency of an outstanding I is zero. A determination is made each year on the basis of grades available in the registrar's office on July l. Students participating in any off-campus study programs are not eligible for the Dean's List.

General Honors. Students are awarded general honors at the time of graduation if their overall GPA is 3.25 or above. (See concentration descriptions for requirements for special honors in the field of concentration.)

Probation. Students with grade point averages below 1.75 are placed on academic probation, as are students who have not passed at least 75 percent of all the courses for which they have registered. Students on probation may not be eligible for certain kinds of financial aid. A first-year student who does not complete at least nine courses may also be placed on probation for the following year.

Continuing students have "on probation" officially noted on their transcripts. While the probationary period varies according to individual circumstances, most students have a period of one year in which to meet the terms of their probation. Others are placed on quarter-to-quarter probation and have their status evaluated each quarter. In either case, students who do not meet the terms of probation may lose the privilege of registering in the College.

Entering students may be given an "academic warning" at the end of their first quarter in residence based either on their academic performance or lack of progress as defined above. No official notation is made on their transcripts. For these students, "warning" represents a quarter's grace period during which they are expected to work closely with the advisers and deans in the Office of the Dean of Students in the College in order to improve their performance.

For the purpose of determining eligibility to participate in varsity sports, all students eligible to register are considered to be in good standing.

Awarding of Twelfth Grade Certificate. Students who entered the College before graduation from high school and who expect to qualify for a Twelfth Grade Certificate in the spring quarter should file an application with the registrar before the first week of spring quarter. In order to be eligible for the certificate, they must have completed during their first academic year a minimum of nine courses with an overall grade point average of 1.75 or better and the physical education requirement. Certificates are mailed following the end of spring quarter. No certificate is awarded without an application.

Petitions. Any student who wishes to appeal for special consideration under a College regulation or an interpretation thereof may file a petition with the dean of students in the College.

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Academic Honesty. All students in the College are included in the following statement, issued by the dean of the College, regarding academic plagiarism and cheating:

As students and faculty of the University of Chicago we all belong to an academic community with high scholarly standards of which we are justly proud. Our community also holds certain fundamental ethical principles to which we are equally deeply committed. We believe it is contrary to justice, to academic integrity, and to the spirit of intellectual inquiry to submit the statements or ideas or work of others as one's own. To do so is plagiarism or cheating, offenses punishable under the University's disciplinary system. Because these offenses undercut the distinctive moral and intellectual character of the University, we take them very seriously, and punishments for committing them may range up to permanent expulsion from the University of Chicago. The College therefore expects that you will properly acknowledge your use of another's ideas, whether that use is by direct quotation or by paraphrase, however loose. In particular, if you consult any written source and either directly or indirectly use what you find in that source in your own work, you must identify the author, title, and page number. If you have any doubts about what constitutes "use," consult your instructor or simply cite the source.

Special Opportunities

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Within the context of our primary commitment to provide students with a superior liberal arts education, the College offers many opportunities to tailor a program to specialized academic and career goals. These opportunities range from independent course work to joint degree programs to programs of study or work away from campus.

Independent Study: Course Work for Credit

Reading/Research Courses. Reading/research courses may be arranged by students who wish to pursue (1) some more specialized area of study after having been introduced to it in an elementary or intermediate course or (2) some specific subject not normally offered as a regular course. Because they assume some prior exposure to the field, reading courses are not open to first-year students and only rarely to students in their second year. Normally students may not register for more than one reading course per quarter.

Senior Projects. Many concentration programs require a senior project. Students in programs without such a requirement are encouraged to fashion an intellectually challenging project that culminates their baccalaureate program. This may take the form of a special exploration in a laboratory or in the field, a library research project, a reading tutorial, a writing project, an artistic production or performance, a documented internship, or an integrative course designed specifically for seniors.

Research Opportunities

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As a major research institution, the University of Chicago offers numerous opportunities for its students to engage in research. In addition to the special programs listed below, students should consult the various departmental listings in this catalog for reading and research courses. Students may also participate in research as a component of term-time employment.

College Research Opportunities Program (CROP). The CROP Directory lists faculty research projects that welcome student participation. Projects may offer credit, or salary, or a letter of reference at project completion. Opportunities are available in a wide range of departments and schools throughout the University, including the Medical Center. Some projects continue throughout the year; others are only for the summer. Copies of the CROP Directory are held on reserve in Harper Library. It is also available on-line via the World Wide Web at

Ford Foundation Research Fellowships in the Social Sciences. Ford Foundation fellowships support research work on the B.A. thesis project during the summer before a student's fourth year. Details are available in the Office of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division, HM 248.

International Traveling Research Fellowship. The International Traveling Research Fellowship supports summer research outside the United States on a project leading to a B.A. thesis. Use of a language other than English, preferably one studied at the College, is a prerequisite for this award. Details are available in the Office of the College Dean, HM 241.

Margaret C. Annan Undergraduate Award in Writing. The Annan prize provides a summer stipend to support a student engaged in a writing project during the summer between the third and fourth years. Details are available in the Office of the College Dean, HM 241.

Richter Fund. The Richter Fund supports undergraduate research expenses up to $1,000 (excluding living expenses) and offers grants of up to $800 for students who wish to pursue an internship with a not-for-profit organization. Details are available in the Office of the College Dean, HM 241.

Summer Research Fellowship in the Biological Sciences. This fellowship provides support for ten weeks of research under the supervision of a faculty member in the summer before a student's third of fourth year. Details are available in the Office of the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, BSLC 104 C.

Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). Designed to provide summer research opportunities for minority students, the various programs grouped under this designation offer significant research experience with a faculty member in the student's area of interest. Details are available from Yvette Adeosun in the Office of Graduate Affairs (Adm 230, 702-7774), and from your College adviser.

Off-Campus Study Opportunities

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Foreign Study Programs. The College sponsors study programs in Berlin and Weimar, Germany; Paris and the Vendée, France; Bologna, Italy; Seville, Spain; and Heredia, Costa Rica. In Great Britain, Chicago students study for the academic year at one of eight institutions with which the College has an enrollment agreement: Bristol, Edinburgh, Essex, Kings College (London), London School of Economics, Sussex, Trinity College (Cambridge), and University College (London). In addition to these opportunities, the College's membership in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) gives Chicago students access to programs in Italy, Russia, the Czech Republic, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Costa Rica, and Zimbabwe. The director of off-campus study, Lewis Fortner (HM 286, 702-8613), advises students interested in any of these programs or in the possibility of foreign study in general.

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Most programs of study abroad assume or emphasize mastery of a foreign language; course work may range from fine arts and the study of non-Western civilization to biology and tropical forest ecology. Students with special interests that cannot be satisfied by any of the University of Chicago-sponsored programs may, in consultation with their College adviser and program chair, arrange to study abroad under the auspices of other colleges or universities. The student's College adviser can suggest sources of information about study abroad and also discuss the implications of foreign study for the student's degree program in Chicago.

Students participating in a foreign study program are not eligible for the Dean's List. Also please note that more than half of the courses required by a student's concentration program must be taken at the University.

Domestic Study Programs. The Associated Colleges of the Midwest also sponsors six domestic study programs for college students. These programs rely not only on classroom instruction, but also involve each participant in fieldwork or an internship. Urban Studies in Chicago combines course work and research practicums with daily internships in social service organizations; Chicago Semester in the Arts offers an opportunity to explore the arts scene in Chicago, from theater and dance to film; Humanities at the Newberry provides an occasion to use the world-renowned collection of the Newberry Library while working on an independent research project; Oak Ridge Science Semester places qualified students in the natural and social sciences as members of research teams at Oak Ridge, a leader in energy research; Urban Education develops teaching skills through classroom and full-time teaching experience; and the Wilderness program, offered each summer in Minnesota, promotes study in field biology and ecology. Interested students should consult Lewis Fortner (HM 286, 702-8613).

Students participating in off-campus domestic study programs are not eligible for the Dean's List. Also please note that more than half of the courses required by a student's concentration program must be taken at the University.

Leaves of Absence

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Sometimes a student best pursues educational goals by spending time away from school. The College recognizes the positive benefits of clarifying personal and academic aims, assessing financial and academic pressures, or taking advantage of an exciting opportunity that may not present itself again. A leave of absence may increase self-confidence, renew a student's enthusiasm for academic work, confirm a career interest, or develop new skills. Career and Placement Services offers job referrals for such students along with advice about planning an effective leave of absence.

Fellowships and Scholarships

The Office of Career and Placement Services maintains files and directories of grants, fellowships, and scholarships. These resources are available to help students secure financial support for research and for scholarly or creative work. Faculty committees and College advisers also work to bring appropriate opportunities and competitions to the attention of undergraduate students.

Preparation for Professional Study

Business. The College provides no specific course of preprofessional studies to prepare students for graduate study in business administration. It is advisable for students interested in such study to equip themselves with verbal and quantitative skills and to gain some knowledge of history and the contemporary social sciences. Writing and speaking skills can be developed in a broad range of course offerings; computational skills in courses in calculus, linear algebra, and statistics; and knowledge of the social sciences through courses in such fields as economics, political science, and sociology.

Each year a number of business schools send representatives to the campus to speak with potential admissions candidates. These visits are announced in the monthly list of recruiters prepared by the Office of Career and Placement Services. The office also maintains an information file on MBA programs, which students are welcome to consult. An additional resource is the MBA Forum held annually in Chicago.

Most graduate business schools require the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), which is administered several times a year on campus. Students planning to apply to business schools within one or two years of graduation should take this test in the summer preceding their final year in the College or in the autumn quarter of that year at the latest. Application materials for the GMAT are available in the Office of Career and Placement Services and in the Office of the Dean of Students of the Graduate School of Business. Increasingly, business schools also expect that college graduates will acquire significant work experience before beginning graduate studies in business.

Further information about preprofessional studies and career opportunities in business is available from the Office of the Dean of Students in the Graduate School of Business.

Law. The College does not offer a prelaw concentration, nor is there a single correct way to prepare for the study of law. More important than a specific area of concentration is the acquisition of certain skills necessary for the intelligent practice of law: the ability to communicate effectively in oral and written expression, a critical understanding of human institutions and values, and the ability to reason closely from given premises and propositions to tenable conclusions. Such skills can be developed in various concentrations and by taking courses in areas such as English language and literature, philosophy, American history, calculus, and economics.

Students interested in a career in law should consult with the prelaw adviser in the College, Tim Blackman (HM 252, 702-9134).

Medicine. Medical schools recognize that a liberal education is an important component of the preparation for a career in medicine. Students who are interested in preparing for medical school are encouraged to concentrate in any area of interest; students can concentrate in any field and still fulfill their premedical requirements. In general, medical schools require the following courses for admission:

In addition, many medical schools recommend or require courses in behavioral sciences and statistics and advanced courses in organismal and developmental biology.

Students planning to apply to medical school or enter other health professions should consult with the chief adviser in the health professions, Sylvia Robertson (HM 268, 702-8611), during their second year in the College.

The chief adviser in the health professions consults with the faculty committee on the health professions on all matters related to curriculum and the medical school application process. The members of the committee are (1) R. Eric Lombard, Associate Professor, Department of Organismal Biology & Anatomy, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, and the College; (2) José Quintans, M.D., Professor, Department of Pathology and the College; Master, Biological Sciences Collegiate Division; Associate Dean, Division of Biological Sciences and the College; (3) Robert J. Richards, Professor, Departments of History, Philosophy, and Psychology and the College; Chairman, Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science; Director, Program in History, Philosophy, & Social Studies of Science & Medicine; (4) Lorna P. Straus, Professor, Department of Organismal Biology & Anatomy and the College; (5) Peter O. Vandervoort, Professor, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the College; Master, Physical Sciences Collegiate Division; Associate Dean, Division of the Physical Sciences and the College; and (6) Michael A. Weiss, Professor, Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medicine, and Chemistry, and the College.

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