Academic Policies

Statement of Petition Policy

On the advice of the Registrar, students may petition the Academic Standing Board for exceptions to rules concerning academic policies and procedures. However, the Board will consider only those petitions submitted sufficiently far in advance so that, if denied, the petitioner will still have time to remedy the deficiency by suitable re-scheduling or other appropriate action.

Attendance Policy

A hallmark of a Denison education is the small, interactive, and participatory classroom, situated on a residential campus. Therefore, it is essential that students be present on campus and be active participants in their courses. Attendance policies are designed to promote the success and well-being of the individual students as well as the community of learners in each class and each co-curricular undertaking. For oneself and one’s peers, attendance and presence on campus are vital to the Denison education.

It is expected that all students will attend and participate in regularly scheduled classes. If a class is missed, for any reason, the student is responsible for determining what occurred in the missed class. Absence from a class will not be accepted as an excuse for not knowing class material. Students are responsible for all information, discussion, and conceptual analysis that takes place during classes.

Attendance policy is set by the instructor. It is the responsibility of the instructor to establish

  1. a policy on class attendance,
  2. any criteria for excused absences when attendance is required, and
  3. a policy for makeup of missed work.

The latter is particularly important because class absence is a loss of opportunity for learning. It is vitally important that each faculty member review these points in class early in the semester. The course syllabus is the contractual agreement between instructor and student. It is important that the instructor outline clearly the expectations and all other factors that determine grades and penalties.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide any needed documentation for class absences, including medical excuses. At the student’s request, Whisler Health Center will issue a dated documentation of visit in the event of a situation requiring class absence.

Each semester, students must be on campus and attend the first meeting of their registered classes. If circumstances prevent a student from arriving on campus for the first day of classes, the student must notify the Dean of Students. Students who miss class for an extended period of time during a semester because of personal, medical, or psychological reasons must also notify the Dean of Students. Without prior notification and approval for these types of absences, the student may be withdrawn or be required to take a leave of absence by the Dean of Students in consultation with the Associate Provost and relevant campus offices and individuals (including faculty).

Denison’s orientation programs are designed to welcome and introduce new students to our campus resources, community, and culture. All students attending Denison for their first semester (new First-Year Students and Transfer Students) are required to attend Denison’s mandatory orientation programs. Failure to attend and/or complete the required orientation activities may result in a student being withdrawn or having their offer of admission revoked.

Absence Policy

Students at Denison University are expected to give the highest priority to their academic commitments. However, sometimes conflicts arise among various academic pursuits. At these times, students, faculty, staff, and administrators all share the responsibility of recognizing, minimizing, and resolving these conflicts.

Legitimate Conflicts: Courses and activities that earn academic credit at Denison may place legitimate demands on a student’s time outside of the regularly scheduled meeting times for that course or activity. This may give rise to potential conflicts to regularly scheduled classroom/lab hours. Such activities might include, but not be limited to, course-related field trips, fine arts performances (but not rehearsals), and varsity sports contests (both regular season and all post-season contests, but not scrimmages or practices).

When the demands of one course or credit-bearing activity impinge upon another, the student and the faculty or staff members are encouraged to work together to achieve a reasonable accommodation that resolves the conflict without sacrificing the academic integrity and rigor of the course or activity. Moreover, all parties (students, faculty, staff, and administrators) have the following specific responsibilities when dealing with legitimate conflicts.

Scheduling responsibilities of all faculty, staff, and students:

a) to confine course instruction and examinations to the time slots for the course, following the course grid and final examination assigned times, unless specific exception has been granted for the course by the Provost’s Office;

b) to indicate clearly on the course syllabus the policies and expectations for class attendance, assignments, and examinations, and, if attendance at a supplemental event (such as a lecture, field trip, or performance) is expected and that event occurs at a time outside of the regularly scheduled meeting times, to inform students of the event as soon as possible;

c) to provide students alternative means of meeting the requirements of the course when attendance at a supplemental event for that course is scheduled for a time outside of the course’s regularly scheduled meeting times;

d) to avoid scheduling any supplemental events in the Monday-Friday 4:30- 6:30 p.m. time period;

e) if a scheduling conflict arises (that is, if a student is asked to attend a supplemental event, an athletic competition, or a similar university activity at a time in which they are required to attend another class).

i. the student should inform both faculty or staff members immediately and seek a mutually agreed upon resolution;

ii. the faculty members should work with the student to resolve legitimate conflicts without sacrificing the academic integrity and rigor of the course;

iii. faculty and staff members should provide an alternative way for students to meet course requirements or the expectations of credit-bearing activities;

iv. in situations when the student, faculty, and/or staff member cannot reach an acceptable resolution to the conflict, the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs will be asked to provide consultation to all parties. 

Academic Integrity

Every Denison student is expected to know and uphold University standards in matters of academic honesty. Students who practice academic dishonesty assault their own integrity as well as that of the University. Behavior that is in direct violation of these standards is discussed in the student handbook. Each Denison student is expected to be familiar with this policy. Please note that violations may result in suspension or expulsion from the University. Denison’s Code of Academic Integrity is the foundation of the university’s commitment to and policies regarding Academic Integrity.

Student Classification

Classification of students is determined by the amount of academic credit earned.

  • First-Year Standing - A student is classified as a first-year student if hours earned are fewer than 26 semester-hours of credit.
  • Sophomore Standing - A student must have earned 26 semester hours of credit.
  • Junior Standing - A student must have earned 60 semester hours of credit.
  • Senior Standing - A student must have earned 90 semester hours of credit.

Eligibility Rule

A regularly enrolled student registered on a full-time basis (normally 12 semester-hours or more) and in good academic standing shall be eligible to participate in all college and intercollegiate activities. The student whose scholastic record falls below a 2.0 average will not be permitted to participate in intercollegiate athletics. First-year students are eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics during their first semester.

Credit Earned by Advanced Placement Testing

First-Year Students and Transfer Students who score a 4 or 5 on a College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Examination (AP) will usually receive academic credit for their scores. Should results be presented in academic disciplines or areas that are not part of the Denison curriculum, credit will be subject to departmental review and credit hours may or may not be assigned. Two other kinds of advanced placement testing can be considered for credit. A student presenting “A” marks on the British System “A” Level Examination or a score of 6 or 7 on an International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Subject Exam may ask the appropriate Denison department for advanced placement credits. In a few instances positive results from advanced placement examinations can be applied toward general education or major/minor credits but departments reserve the right of review and the final determination of how such credits count.

Recognition of Credit Earned Elsewhere

Denison accepts transfer credit for courses that are either equivalent to a course in the Denison catalog or at a level deemed appropriate by the department or program (hereafter called “the Department”) in which credit is being sought. Requests to have transfer credit fulfill a major, minor, or concentration requirement are subject to approval by the Department. The initial determination of the satisfaction of a competency requirement, including Power and Justice (P), Quantitative Reasoning (Q), Oral Communication (R), and Writing Competency (W), will be made by the academic department closest to the discipline in which the transferred course was taught. Appeals to the initial determination may be directed to the General Education Competency Committee for the P, Q, and R requirements, and to the Writing Committee for the W requirement. Denison will not normally accept credits earned in disciplines other than those in the Denison curriculum. Transfer credit will be honored only if taken at an accredited college or university and only if the student submits an official transcript of credit within 180 days of the course completion. Students considering off-campus work for Denison credit (especially summer school work) must confer with the Registrar, their academic advisor, and the chairperson of the Department (or a designate) prior to enrolling elsewhere. The University has no obligation to award transfer credit for course work that was not approved in advance. The courses must be completed with grades of “C” or better in order to be considered for transfer credit. Course work completed in non-traditional fashions, such as distance learning formats, web-based formats, Post Secondary Enrollment Option, including college courses for which high school credit was also granted, CLEP and other college credit bearing instruments, may be subject to review by the Registrar and the Department.

Grades Earned Elsewhere / Transfer Grades

Grades received at another institution shall not be computed into the Denison quality-point average, or be used to remove Denison quality-point deficiencies. Denison will not award credit for work below “C” on transfer from another institution. Students who have received prior approval of the Denison Off-Campus Study Office will have their grades earned at the program site appear on their Denison record. The grades will not be included in GPA calculations.

For information on withdrawing, visit Dean of Students ↪

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