General Requirements

Each student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements and for ensuring that the registrar’s office has received all credentials.

Each candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts is required to complete 32 units of academic work with a C average or better. With some exceptions, each semester course is assigned one unit of credit. Specific courses, designated by their departments and approved by the Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy, are assigned 1.25 units of credit. To be eligible for 1.25 units of credit, a course must meet for 300 minutes or more per week and involve, in addition, substantial time spent on course-related work outside scheduled class meetings. Departments may also request permission from the Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy to offer courses for 0.5 units of credit. A student may earn no more than 2 units toward the degree as the result of the accumulation of fractional units through 1.25 unit courses taken at Wellesley; the same two-unit limit applies to the accumulation of fractional units through 0.5 unit courses. A unit of credit is equivalent to four semester-hours or six quarter-hours.

The normal period of time in which to earn the degree is eight semesters and the average course load is four courses per semester. First-year students are encouraged to carry a maximum of four courses each semester, but upper-class students may take five. A minimum of three courses is required of all students in residence. Exceptions to these rules require approval of the Academic Review Board

Courses are classified as Grade I, II, or III. Introductory courses are numbered 100–199 (Grade I); intermediate courses, 200–299 (Grade II); advanced courses, 300–399 (Grade III). Each student must include in her program at least four units of Grade III work, at least two of which shall be in the major. At least two units of Grade III work must be taken in a student’s last two years. Major requirements vary with the department or program. Please see departmental or program listings for specific major requirements.

In order to ensure a broad exposure to the liberal arts curriculum and to avoid premature specialization, of the 32 units required for graduation, students must elect 18 units outside any one department. Of the last four semesters completed for the degree, a normal course load must be taken at Wellesley in two consecutive semesters.

In addition, all students must complete the physical education requirement, as described here, for which no academic credit is given.