Academic Information

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  • 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.


    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.