Converting Williams Units to Semester Hours


Prior to 1967-68, Williams College followed the traditional two semester calendar.

Beginning with the year 1967-68, the 4-1-4 plan has been followed.

Williams has no summer session.


Prior to 1967-68, 40 semester courses were required for the degree. Each course was considered the equivalent of three semester hours. The 401-402 course and certain other courses carried double credit.

Starting with 1967-68, 32 semester courses, four winter study projects, and four units of physical education were required for the degree. Our course system considers all full semester courses to have equal weight toward completing the degree requirements. Full semester courses typically meet for a minimum of three hours a week, with the expectation that at least an additional ten hours of academic engagement be spent in class, lab, discussion, studio, film viewing, reading, research, writing, and/or other forms of intellectual and creative work related to their class.

The Winter Study Program enhances the breadth of our traditional liberal arts curriculum. The four unit requirement encourages students to explore topics both within and outside the traditional liberal arts curriculum, provides opportunities for domestic and international travel, and allows students to participate in research and fieldwork that will enrich their education and that may lead to possible careers.

If it is necessary to convert course units to credit hours, we suggest that each full semester course be considered the equivalent of 3.75 credit hours.