Academic Information

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    • 2017

      August 28 Monday First Days
      September 4 Monday Williams Reads
      September 5 Tuesday First-Year Student Advising
      September 7 Thursday Fall Semester classes begin
      Org Meetings for classes that don't meet the first two days, 7:00-9:00 pm
      September 16 Saturday Convocation
      October TBA One of first three Fridays Mountain Day
      October 9-10 Monday-Tuesday Reading Period, no classes
      October 27-29 Friday-Sunday Family Days
      November 11 Saturday Homecoming
      November 22-26 Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving Break
      December 8 Friday Fall Semester classes end
      December 9-12 Saturday-Tuesday Reading Period, no classes
      December 13-18 Wednesday-Monday Final Exams
      December 19 Tuesday Vacation begins

      2018

      January 3 Wednesday Winter Study Period begins
      January 15 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no classes
      January 26 Friday Winter Study Period ends
      January 31 Wednesday Spring Semester classes begin
      Classes follow a Thursday schedule
      Org Meetings for classes that don't meet the first two days, 7:00-9:00 pm
      February 1 Thursday Claiming Williams Day, no classes
      February 2 Friday Classes resume their assigned schedule
      February 16-17 Friday-Saturday Winter Carnival, no classes
      March-April 17-1 Saturday-Sunday     Spring Break
      May 11 Friday Spring Semester classes end
      May 12-15 Saturday-Tuesday Reading Period, no classes
      May 16-21 Wednesday-Monday Final Exams
      June 2 Saturday Class Day/Baccalaureate Service
      June 3 Sunday Commencement
      June 7-10 Thursday-Sunday Alumni Reunions

      Number of Class Meetings

        Mornings  Afternoons Evenings
      M,W,F T,Th M,Th W T,F M
      Fall Semester 36 25 25 12 24 12
      Spring Semester 36 25 25 12 24 12

      The Winter Study Period covers 23 calendar days.

      Approved by the faculty on March 11, 2015; revised May 3, 2016; revised May 10, 2017.

      Williams College Policy on Observance of Religious Holidays

    • 2018

      August 27 Monday First Days
      September 3 Monday Williams Reads
      September 4 Tuesday First-year student advising
      September 4-14 Tuesday-Friday Drop/Add period
      September 6 Thursday Fall semester classes begin
      Org Meetings for classes that don't meet the first two days, 7:00-9:00 pm
      September 8 Saturday Presidential Induction
      September 15 Saturday Convocation
      September 27 Thursday Last day to register for Winter Study travel courses
      Last day to submit Winter Study 99s to faculty sponsors
      October TBA One of first three Fridays Mountain Day
      October 8-9 Monday-Tuesday Reading period, no classes
      October 22 Monday Last day to drop a fifth course
      October 26-28 Friday-Sunday Family Days
      October-
      November
      29-5 Monday-Monday Spring 2019 preregistration
      November 3 Saturday Homecoming
      November 7-9 Wednesday - Friday Winter Study registration
      November 15 Thursday Last day to change grading option of a course to pass/fail
      November 16 Friday Last day to withdraw from a course
      November 21-25 Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving Break
      November 26-30 Monday-Friday Final Winter Study registration period
      November 30 Friday Last day to claim exam hardship
      December 7 Friday Fall semester classes end
      December 8-11 Saturday-Tuesday Reading period
      December 8-16 Saturday-Sunday Self-Scheduled and Take-Home Exam period
      December 12-17 Wednesday-Monday Scheduled Final Exam period

      2019

      January 3 Thursday Winter Study begins
      January 21 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no classes
      January 25 Friday Winter Study ends
      January-
      February
      28-8 Monday-Friday Drop/Add period
      January 30 Wednesday Spring semester classes begin
      Classes follow a Thursday schedule
      Org Meetings for classes that don't meet the first two days, 7:00-9:00 pm
      January 31 Thursday Claiming Williams, no classes
      February 1 Friday Classes resume their assigned schedule
      February 15-16 Friday-Saturday Winter Carnival, no classes
      March
      16-31 Saturday-Sunday Spring Break
      April 4 Thursday Last day to drop a fifth course
      April 22-29 Monday-Monday Fall 2019 preregistration
      April 25 Thursday Last day to change grading option of a course to pass/fail
      April 26 Friday Last day to withdraw from a course
      May 3 Friday Last day to claim exam hardship
      May 10 Friday Spring semester classes end
      May 11-14 Saturday-Tuesday Reading period
      May 11-19 Saturday-Sunday Self-Scheduled and Take-Home Exam period
      May 15-20 Wednesday-Monday Scheduled Final Exam period
      June 1 Saturday Baccalaureate Service
      Class Day
      June 2 Sunday Commencement
      June 6-9 Thursday-Sunday Alumni Reunions

      Number of Class Meetings

        Mornings  Afternoons Evenings
      M,W,F T,Th M,Th W T,F M
      Fall Semester 36 25 25 12 24 12
      Spring Semester 36 25 25 12 24 12

      The Winter Study Period covers 22 calendar days.

      Approved by the faculty on February 10, 2016; revised March 3, 2016; revised May 10, 2017.

      Williams College Policy on Observance of Religious Holidays 

    • 2019

      September TBA First Days
      September 2 Monday Williams Reads
      September 3 Tuesday First-Year Student Advising
      September 5 Thursday Fall Semester classes begin
      Org Meetings for classes that don't meet the first two days, 7:00-9:00 pm
      September  7 Saturday Convocation
      October TBA One of first three Fridays Mountain Day
      October 14-15 Monday-Tuesday Reading Period, no classes
      October 25-27 Friday-Sunday Family Days
      November 9 Saturday Homecoming
      November-December 27-1 Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving Break
      December 6 Friday Fall Semester classes end
      December 7-10 Saturday-Tuesday Reading Period, no classes
      December 11-16 Wednesday-Monday Final Exams
      December 17 Tuesday Vacation begins

      2020

      January 6 Monday Winter Study Period begins
      January 20 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no classes
      January 30 Thursday Winter Study Period ends
      February 5 Wednesday Spring Semester classes begin
      Classes follow a Thursday schedule
      Org Meetings for classes that don't meet the first two days, 7:00-9:00 pm
      February 6 Thursday Claiming Williams Day, no classes
      February 7 Friday Classes resume their assigned schedule
      February 14-15 Friday-Saturday Winter Carnival, no classes
      March-April
      21-5 Saturday-Sunday     Spring Break
      May 15 Friday Spring Semester classes end
      May 16-19 Saturday-Tuesday Reading Period, no classes
      May 20-25 Wednesday-Monday Final Exams
      June 6 Saturday Class Day/Baccalaureate Service
      June 7 Sunday Commencement
      June 11-14 Thursday-Sunday Alumni Reunions

      Number of Class Meetings

        Mornings  Afternoons Evenings
      M,W,F T,Th M,Th W T,F M W
      Fall Semester 36 25 25 12 24 12 12
      Spring Semester 36 25 25 12 24 12 12

      The Winter Study Period covers 24 calendar days.

      Approved by the faculty on May 10, 2017.

      Williams College Policy on Observance of Religious Holidays

  • To be eligible for the Bachelor of Arts degree a student must complete the following requirements within eight semesters, including any semesters for which a student receives credit while not in residence at Williams:

    • Pass 32 semester courses (4 per semester):
      • at least 29 of which must be regularly graded A-E, including 19 with grades of C- or better;
      • a maximum of 3 P/F courses, with a limit of 1 P/F per semester;
      • a student may not repeat a course for which degree credit has been awarded.
    • Pass four Winter Study courses.
    • Fulfill the four-part distribution requirement with graded courses taken at Williams or at programs under the direction of Williams College faculty:
      1. Divisional requirement: three graded semester courses (with two different prefixes) in each division, two of which must be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
      2. Writing-Intensive (WI) requirement: two writing-intensive courses, one by the end of sophomore year, and one by the end of the junior year.
      3. Difference, Power, and Equity (DPE) requirement: one before graduation, however, students are urged to complete the course by the end of sophomore year. (Class of 2019, 2020, 2021: students who have successfully completed an EDI course do not need to complete a DPE course; students who have not taken an EDI course can satisfy the requirement by completing a DPE course. Class of 2022: students must satisfy the DPE requirement).
      4. Quantitative/Formal Reasoning (QFR) requirement: one by the end of junior year.
    • Complete all requirements for the major with a cumulative average of C- or higher.
    • Complete four quarters of physical education by the end of the sophomore year in at least two different activities.
    • Take the swim test at the start of the first semester at Williams—students who fail to complete the test must pass a basic swim course.
    • Be in residence at Williams, including Williams Mystic and Williams Oxford, a minimum of six semesters except for students who transfer in as juniors, in which case the minimum is four semesters. Students must be in residence for both semesters of their final year.

    Here is a complete overview of degree requirements.

  • Record Policies

    Williams College has policies regarding the kinds of information that will be included in the permanent record of students as well as policies regarding the retention, safety and security, and disposal of records. Its information-release policies respect the rights of individual privacy, the confidentiality of records, and the best interests of students and the institution.

    Privacy of Records

    Williams College values the privacy of its students and complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which governs access and release of information from student educational records.

    The Student Records Disclosure Policy is emailed annually to ensure students are aware of their rights.

    Permanent Records

    An official transcript is a copy of a student's permanent academic record.

    Retention of Records

    • Records that document the academic progress of matriculated students: This series may include but is not limited to high school and other college transcripts, admission applications, major and concentration declaration forms, independent study petitions, summer school and study away petitions, petitions for exceptions to College academic policies, applications for withdrawal from the College, and transfer admissions to the College. These types of records are retained for five years from last enrollment.
    • Records related to grades: Paper/email submissions of grades and grading changes, reports of unsatisfactory grades, pass/fail designations, fifth course options, withdrawal with W grade forms, and audit validation forms are retained for seven years beyond end of pertinent term.
    • Official transcript at the time of graduation is a permanent record.