Academic Requirements FAQ

What are the requirements for graduation?

  • 120 credits are required for graduation, of which 60 must be completed at Goucher College.
  • The minimum grade point average (G.P.A.) to remain in good standing is 2.0.
  • Completion of a major — students are required to declare a major by the second semester of their sophomore year.
  • Completion of all Liberal Education Requirements (11 learning outcomes in all).

What is a major?

A major is a course of study that a student selects. He or she is required to complete all the requirements for the major to graduate.

What types of majors offered at Goucher College?

  • Departmental (traditional) major — The student follows a program outlined by a particular department for at least 30 credit hours, of which a least nine credit hours should be at the 300 level.
  • Double major — The student fulfills the requirements for majors in two departments.
  • Individualized interdisciplinary major — This major requires an application process. The student works with a primary faculty sponsor and members of different departments beginning in the fall semester of sophomore year to create a major composed of 45 or more credit hours. Courses should focus on methods and content from three or more disciplines and exhibit breadth and depth of analysis.

How do students declare a major and/or minor?

Once a student has determined a major course of study, it is necessary for him or her to declare a major and change to a major adviser. The student should make an appointment to meet with the department chair. He or she should also print out the major declaration form and take it to the meeting to be assigned a new adviser. Once the student has secured the signature of the chair, he or she must hand the completed form in to the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies.
Students who are unsure about a major may feel free to meet with a number of chairs until they can make a decision.

What are Liberal Education Requirements?

There are 11 skill sets that must be fulfilled. See the Academic Catalogue.

What is College Writing Proficiency (CWP)?

Students must be granted writing proficiency by the faculty in the Writing Program. Please note that a college writing course taken in another institution will not fulfill this requirement. To find out more information, see the Writing Program website.

What is the Foreign Language Proficiency?

Some students will be granted proficiency as they enter the college through the language placement exam. Others will work though the language classes to receive proficiency. Once a student has completed the 130 level of a language successfully (achieving a D or above), her or she will have obtained proficiency. Those students not enrolling in Goucher foreign language courses — either because they are pursuing a language at a college other than Goucher, or because they are a native speaker of a language other than English — should complete the Foreign Language Agreement (PDF).

Note: Students who have a documented learning disability that may prevent them from successfully gaining the foreign language proficiency should visit Accessbility Services for more information.

How do I receive credit for an internship?

Internships are required for majors in communications and media studies, political science, women, gender and sexuality studies, and business management, although many students who are not required to complete an internship still choose to do so. Internships offer a great chance to "try out" a career field, and they help students build their resumes because employers are looking for students with experience outside the classroom. Students can choose to do an academic or non-academic internship. Credit is not awarded for non-academic internships, and students do not need to follow standards for academic internships. For academic internships, credit is awarded through an academic department by following the internship checklist and completing an Internship Learning Agreement (ILA). The Career Development Office (CDO) assists students in their search for internships, whether the internship is academic or non-academic.

For more information about finding internships, the Internship Checklist, submitting an Internship Learning Agreement (ILA) and deadlines to do so, please see the CDO website.

What are prerequisites?

Some courses require that students have a certain standing in the college, or that they have taken a required course or have achieved college writing proficiency. This information is found at the end of the course description in the academic catalogue.

What is an elective?

An elective is a course that is not one that is required for a major. It will count toward the student's credit total, however.

What is a transcript?

A transcript is a document that indicates all the courses and grades a student has received throughout his or her course of study at the college.

What is an academic plan?

Students should think about an academic plan during their first year and again once they declare a major. It is a plan that outlines the courses a student needs to take to complete the degree. This needs careful consideration and planning because there are some courses that are only offered once every four semesters. Students' academic advisers can help develop this plan. Academic plans may shift; it can be thought of as a guide to help the student navigate through the college and major requirements.

What are course numbers and section numbers?

The course numbers and section numbers are used in all registration and transcript materials, along with the course title.

What are the expected credit hours and workload?

In the majority of instances, a student will take a class for credit. The credit allotted to each class is listed in brackets after the course title in the academic catalogue. The credit load usually indicates the number of contact hours for the class — a three-credit course meets for three hours per week. Students are expected to do 2-3 hours of work outside the classroom for each credit hour, so a three-credit class would assume students have 6-9 hours of independent work doing research, writing papers, completing homework, reading relevant material, etc.

First-year, first-semester students are limited to a maximum of 16 credits. Thereafter, students with a GPA above 3.0 may take up to 18 credits per semester. Those with a GPA below a 3.0 are restricted to taking a maximum of 16 credits per semester.

Are there special options for enrolling in classes?

Students have the option of taking a class pass/fail, bearing these criteria in mind:

  • They may not use this option in any course required for their major.
  • They may only use this option for two classes per year.
  • They may change to pass/no pass and/or back to a letter grade through the end of the 10th week of the semester.
  • Taking a class for pass/no pass will mean that the grade will not be counted in a student's GPA. To receive the passing grade, he or she must achieve the equivalent of a C- or above.

Audits are rare, and students must receive special permission from the instructor to receive an audit for the class. College policy prohibits changing an audit to credit or vice versa after the add/drop deadline. Taking a class for audit will not affect a student's GPA. Who is the registrar, and what is Student Administrative Services?

The registrar is in charge of all the academic materials and handles all transcripts, grading, college requirements, etc.

Students go to Student Administrative Services (SAS), located in the Dorsey Center, to ask any questions about their transcripts, a missing grade, or transfer credits, as well as to hand in all paperwork for registration or changing of classes.

What is MyGoucher?

All of a student's academic information can be obtained through MyGoucher, including his or her schedule, transcript, academic plan, and grades.

How do students register for classes?

Once a student has met with his or her academic adviser and has discussed the academic plan and courses he or she would like to take, the academic adviser will authorize registration. Students receive notification regarding a date and time that they may register through MyGoucher. No student without authorization will be able to register.

How do students change their schedules?

If a student wants to change a course on his or her schedule, he or she may be able to add and/or drop classes up until the first day of classes. Once classes start, there is roughly a period of two weeks at the start of each semester and a time when some classes, previously closed, will open. For the exact dates to add and drop classes, refer to the academic calendar.

Students may e-mail the professor prior to class starting and ask if he or she would be willing to grant them permission to join the class. If a student must wait until the class meets for the first time, he or she should prepare by printing out an Add/Drop form and take it to that class. Professors may allow new students into the class because another student does not show up for class, a space has opened on the roster, or the professor is willing to take more than the assigned number of students. Once the student has gotten the professor's signature, he or she must get his or her adviser's signature and take the completed form to the Registrar's Office (Student Administrative Services) located in the Dorsey Center.

Note: If a student is unable to see his or her academic adviser, he or she can e-mail a request and ask permission to add or drop the class. Attaching the e-mail response to the form will be acceptable.

What are the options for a student who is not doing well in a class?

He or she should always start by talking to the professor to see what can be done to help. Students should also try to use the services offered by the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) to see and the Writing Center. They may also opt to take the class pass/no pass (if this course is not a course required for the major.)

The last resort is to withdraw from this course. This may be done through the end of the 10th week of classes. Note that this will reduce the number of credits a student is taking and, therefore, may affect his or her full-time status as a student. Student athletes need to be aware that going below full-time status will ban them from playing for the team, and all students who live on campus who go below full-time status must request special permission to remain on campus from the director of Residential Life. What is an academic warning?

Academic warning is when a student with a satisfactory cumulative grade point average receives two or more failing grades or earns a semester GPA below 2.0. The warning indicates that he or she is in danger, and a letter from the associate dean for undergraduate studies will identify resources that will support improvement.

What is academic probation?

When a student's GPA drops below a 2.0 but remains above a 1.6-1.8 (depending upon class level of the student), her or she will be placed on academic probation, which means he or she can continue at the college but may not hold an elected office in any college organization, compete in any varsity sport, or register for more than 16 credits. In addition, while a student is on academic probation he or she must meet conditions that are articulated in a letter from the associate dean for undergraduate studies.

What is academic suspension?

When a student fails to earn a cumulative GPA below that required to remain at Goucher or fails to meet the conditions of academic probation, her or she may be subject to academic suspension. There is a sliding scale ranging from 1.6 to 1.8 depending upon the class level of the student.