Academic Regulations and Policies

In the Centre community, students practice self-governance. This implies individual freedom, which is linked with community responsibility. Students are encouraged to speak out and become involved in the College Council, Student Government Association, and other student organizations that determine campus policies. Experiences in residence halls, in fraternities and sororities, in student and College governance, and in athletics—all are powerful occasions for education. Centre’s regulations are expressions of the fundamental educational commitments of our community—commitments to academic integrity and to opportunities for education and personal growth.

Academic services and policies are coordinated through the Office of the Dean of the College and the Associate Dean's Office. The academic policies and procedures of the College described herein have been established to advance the objectives of the curriculum, to encourage high academic standards, and to provide efficient service for student records.

For a listing of other non-academic College policies, including conduct and residence regulations, consult the Student Handbook.

Grades and Grading System

The following grading system applies to all students matriculating at Centre.


A 4.000

A- 3.670


B+ 3.330

B 3.000

B- 2.670


C+ 2.330

C 2.000

C- 1.670


D 1.000


U 0.000

WU 0.000 Withdrew Unsatisfactory


P A passing mark awarded for work at the C- level or above in courses offered or taken on a pass/unsatisfactory basis.

WP Withdrew Passing

I Incomplete

W Withdrew

AU Audit

NC No Credit (Internships only)

*Not used in computing the grade point average (the total of grade points earned divided by the number of quality points attempted).

A grade of “I” (Incomplete) is awarded only when the student is unable to complete the course for unavoidable cause such as illness, death in the family, or accident. Incomplete grades must be approved by the Associate Dean before the end of the academic term. The “I” automatically becomes a “U” unless a final grade is turned in within 30 days after the end of the term or unless a further extension is granted by the Academic Standards Committee on the written request of the instructor.

Grade Changes

Members of the faculty may not, except by action of the Academic Standards Committee, change a final grade after it has been filed with the Registrar. Grade changes based on clerical errors may be approved by the Associate Dean and reported to the Academic Standards Committee. Requests to change a grade for reasons other than clerical must be made in writing to the Academic Standards Committee. Requests to change a grade for any reason must be made no later than the end of the sixth week of the following long term.

Grade Appeals

Grading is a matter of professional judgment and is the responsibility of the course instructor. Questions concerning the reasonableness of grading should be addressed first to the course instructor no later than the end of the sixth week of the following long term. If after consultation with the instructor the student believes that a final grade has been unfairly determined or that considerations other than professional judgment have influenced the grade, petition should be made to the Associate Dean. If after conferences among the instructor, the student, and the Associate Dean there is still disagreement, an appeal may be made in writing to the Academic Standards Committee. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee is final.

Grade Reports

End-of-term grade reports are available to students via CentreNet approximately five days after the last final exam. Students who do not complete all required online course evaluations will not be able to access their grades for an additional fifteen days. Grades are not mailed to students unless specifically requested in writing. In the long terms (Fall and Spring), midterm grade reports (if reported by the instructor) are reported to the student online through CentreNet.

End-of-term grade reports will be mailed to parents only at the written request of the student, or if the parents submit a request in writing accompanied by a tax return or other official document which verifies the student’s status as a dependent. If a student wishes to have a copy of grade reports sent to another individual or organization, he/she should contact the Office of the Registrar.

The Office of the Registrar maintains most biographical data on students. In particular, all address changes, including parent address changes, should be reported to the Office of the Registrar.

Classification of Students

Students are normally enrolled at the College only as declared candidates for a degree. Class standing is based upon the following progression in course work successfully completed:

First-Year: 0-26 credit hours

Sophomore: 27-53 credit hours

Junior: 54-82 credit hours

Senior: 83 or more credit hours

Part-Time Students

Normally, degree candidates are required to enroll full time. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support and the Dean of Students. Students not yet completing eight long terms of full-time enrollment and not suffering from extraordinary circumstances must enroll full time. Part-time students are responsible for meeting all of the College’s requirements for graduation. Normally, students enrolled on a part-time basis or as special students are not eligible for the Dean’s List during that term nor are they eligible to represent the College in intercollegiate athletic competition. Only those students who have completed eight long terms of full time enrollment at the College may be eligible to represent the College in intercollegiate athletic competition, after consultation with the Director of Athletics, as part-time students in their ninth long term (provided they are registered for all they need to complete their degree requirements). See “Other Financial Information” section under “Comprehensive Fee, Payment Plans, and Refund Policies” for tuition policies for part-time students.

Special Students

A limited number of persons may enroll from term to term as special students. Special students are not candidates for a degree but may receive graded credit for work successfully completed. Should a special student later decide to declare candidacy for a degree, such credits are applied to the degree program only after review and approval of the Academic Standards Committee. Special students usually are permitted to take not more than half a normal load of study. Graduation from an accredited high school, or the equivalent, is normally prerequisite to admission to special-student status.

Visiting Students

Students currently registered at any other educational institution may enroll at Centre only as visiting students. Such registration requires written recommendation by the institution of primary registration. Visiting students are accepted from other colleges and universities for a period of not more than one year and, under special arrangement, on a term-to-term basis from high schools in the vicinity of the College seeking to provide advanced college placement opportunities to outstanding students. Visiting students from high schools are permitted to take not more than two courses in any long term and not more than three courses in any academic year. Registration for special students and for visiting students is on a space-available basis. Additional information and application forms for special students and visiting students are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Academic Records

Transcript of Record

The official record of the academic accomplishment of each enrolled student is the transcript of record maintained and certified by the Registrar. All courses attempted and the grades awarded, the award of the degree when conferred, and the major program for degree recipients are certified on the transcript. Grade averages include grades in Centre College courses only. Transcripts are furnished upon the written request of the student. Transcripts are released only if a student’s financial account at the College is clear.

Confidentiality of Records

The transcript and other student records are confidential to the College and the student. They will be made available to unauthorized persons only with the consent of the student, under legal compulsion, or in cases where the safety of persons or property is involved. Centre’s complete policies on confidentiality of student records are listed in the Centre Student Handbook.


Academic credit is recorded in credit hours. Credit hours are equivalent to semester hours.

Registration Polices

Course registration policies and instructions are published by the Registrar's Office. Credit will not be awarded for any course taken without appropriate registration through the Registrar's Office. A student must confer with his or her advisor and obtain registration clearance before registering for classes. Registration dates for each term are published by the Registrar. The Registrar may change student registrations to accommodate changes in the schedule of classes, to facilitate optimal access to courses for all students, and to balance sections of courses.

Eligibility for Course Registration

Limitations in course registration are stated in course prerequisites, which are included in official course descriptions. Students are responsible for seeing that they have met stated prerequisites. Juniors and seniors have priority in enrolling in courses numbered 300 or higher during regular registration.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat a Centre College course graded “D” or “U”, in which case only the most recent grade will be computed into the cumulative grade point average. The course must be repeated at Centre College. The original grade (“D” or “U”) remains on the transcript. When repeating a course in which a “D” was received, no additional course credit toward graduation is granted. Grades of “U” in convocations always remain a part of the cumulative grade point average.

  1. Students repeating a letter-graded course must take the course for a letter grade the second time to take advantage of the repeated-grade policy. Likewise, students repeating a pass/unsatisfactory-graded course must take the course on a pass/unsatisfactory basis the second time to take advantage of the repeated-grade policy.
  2. Students may not use the repeated-grade policy to return to the College following graduation to improve their grade point average. Grade averages are restarted following graduation for students who return for additional course work.
  3. The College is not obligated to provide students with an opportunity to repeat any course.

Auditing Courses

Any student who wishes to audit a course must register for that course as an auditor through normal registration procedures. The instructor will indicate whether the audit was completed successfully. Students should consult with the instructor to determine specific expectations for a successful audit. The fee for auditing is the same as for a course taken for credit. Audited hours cannot be applied toward hours counted for full-time enrollment. Normally, only degree candidates may, with the instructor’s permission, attend a course without registering or paying a fee. In this case, no official record of the audit is kept. Subject to the permission of the instructor, the College permits members of the local community to audit classes without following normal registration procedures. The fee for community audits is $100 per class, and registration is handled through the Dean’s Office. The College does not keep a permanent record of such audits.

Course Load

All candidates for a degree are required to register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per long term unless excused by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support, and the Dean of Students for students living on campus. All students take one course during the CentreTerm (three credit hours). In the long terms, students wishing to enroll for more than 16 credit hours must obtain permission from the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support. First-year students may take no more than four three-hour or four-hour courses in their first long term.

Pass-Unsatisfactory Grading

After attaining junior standing, a student may enroll in courses on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis, with a maximum of seven credit hours of Pass-Unsatisfactory course work to be counted for graduation (excluding courses offered only on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis). A maximum of four credit hours may be taken on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis in a given term. First-years and sophomores may enroll in regularly graded applied music courses on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis but those hours will be counted against the seven-hour limit. Courses taken under the Pass-Unsatisfactory grading option may not be applied toward general education and major requirements. The obvious exception to this rule is a course offered only on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis. Major courses taken beyond the minimum requirements of the major also may be taken on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis. Students enrolled in off-campus programs may not elect to take courses on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis during that term, including CentreTerm off-campus courses. Within two weeks after the beginning of a long term or two days after the beginning of a CentreTerm, a student may elect to change from a regularly graded status to a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis. Within eight weeks after the beginning of a long term or two weeks after the beginning of CentreTerm, a student may revert from a Pass-Unsatisfactory status to a regularly graded status. At the conclusion of a course, the instructor will report regular grades for all students and, if a student has registered on a Pass-Unsatisfactory basis, the registrar will record a “P” for grades of “C-” or better, a “D” for grades of “D,” and a “U” for grades of “U.”

Adding and Dropping Courses

Adding a Course

Students may add a course during the first two weeks of a long term and the first two days of a CentreTerm. The instructor’s approval is required during the second week of long-term classes and the second day of CentreTerm classes.

Dropping a Course

A student may withdraw from a course without an entry on the permanent record during the first two weeks of long terms and the first two days of CentreTerm. From that point but before midterm, a student may be permitted to withdraw from a course, but the instructor will be required to report a “WP” or a “WU” and an entry will be made on the student’s record accordingly. Withdrawal from any course after midterm is not permitted. Any exceptions to this rule can only be granted by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support for unavoidable cause, such as illness, accident, or a death in the immediate family. NOTE: Withdrawals from a course resulting in part-time enrollment normally are not permitted. Students are expected to maintain full-time enrollment at the College (12 credit hours or more in the fall and spring terms).

Limitation on Registration in Courses

  1. A student may not apply more than 42 credit hours in any one discipline toward the minimum hours required for the degree.
  2. A student may not register for more than one course numbered 400, 401, or 402 (Individual Study) in any term unless granted permission by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support. Registration for such a course requires submission to the Registrar’s Office of the appropriate form on which the title, description, and method of evaluation are given, as approved by the appropriate program committee chair, the instructor, and the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support. Forms must be submitted to the Registrar no later than one week after the start of the term of the study.
  3. To be eligible for graduation, a degree candidate must complete 54 credit hours at Centre, including 23 of the last 30 credits applied toward the degree.

Enrollment Policies

Voluntary Withdrawal from the College

Any student deciding to withdraw from the College must complete an official withdrawal form and relinquish his or her student ID card in the Student Life Office. Failure to do so will result in a $30 withdrawal processing fee. Students who withdraw voluntarily sever their connection with the College and are denied access to campus housing and other facilities at the College. If the student withdraws from the College after the deadline to drop a course without an entry on the permanent record, the student's instructors will be required to report a “WP” or “WU” and an entry will be made on the student's record accordingly. Withdrawals from the College are not permitted during the final examination period. Any student not enrolled in successive terms, other than the summer term, is considered withdrawn from the College unless granted a leave of absence by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support.

Medical Withdrawal from the College

Students who must withdraw for physical and/or mental health reasons must submit a timely written request to the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support. Requests should be submitted at the time the student intends to stop attending classes. A letter from an appropriate licensed physical or mental health professional must accompany the student's request for a medical withdrawal. The letter should provide sufficient detail regarding the student's diagnosis, current condition, and treatment requirements. If the medical withdrawal is granted by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support, the student will receive grade of “W” in each of his or her current classes. NOTE: Partial medical withdrawals are not permitted (medical withdrawal from one or two courses while the student is permitted to continue in other courses).

Leave of Absence from the College

A student in good standing may request a leave of absence from the College for a specified reason and for a specified academic term or terms (up to one year maximum) by petition to the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support. The request for a leave of absence should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the leave period. Students on leave must relinquish their student ID card at the Student Life Office and are denied access to campus housing and other facilities at the College. Failure to follow these instructions will result in the student's withdrawal from the College. Normally, readmission to the College is automatic at the end of the leave period, except in the case of students who enroll at another college or university during their leave. Such students must submit official transcripts with satisfactory grades and a “Statement of Eligibility to Continue or Return” form completed by an appropriate official at the host institution before they can enroll at the College (see “Application for Readmission” form available from the Registrar's office). Students taking courses elsewhere while on leave of absence should have their courses approved for transfer in advance through the Registrar's Office.

Involuntary Withdrawals and Leaves

If a leave of absence, withdrawal or exception to an academic or residential regulation is based upon medical or psychological factors, the Director of Student Health and/or the Director of Counseling and/or the Director of Residence Life and/or the Assistant Dean for Advising will be involved through the Offices of the Dean of Student Life and the Associate Dean of the College. The Directors and Assistant Dean will usually also be involved in the readmission of any student who is granted a medical or psychological leave or withdrawal. Either Director or the Assistant Dean may recommend to the Dean of Student Life and/or the Associate Dean of the College a mandatory leave or withdrawal for medical or psychological reasons if it would be in the best interest of the student or the College. This action may be taken if, in the opinion of either Director or the Assistant Dean, a student exhibits irresponsible or uncontrolled behavior, which creates or continues either unreasonable risk or clear and present danger to the physical or mental health of the student concerned or others. This mandatory leave or withdrawal will be implemented through the Office of the Dean of Student Life and/or the Associate Dean of the College and is subject to administrative appeal to the Dean of the College, if the student so chooses.

Students who miss more than one-third of a term’s class meetings may be required to withdraw from the College if the Associate Dean and the student’s instructors agree that the student will not be able to make-up missed work in the class.

Readmission to the College

Any former student may apply for readmission. Suspended students must wait one long term before applying for readmission. Applications for readmission are reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee or, in some cases, by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support on behalf of the Committee. The College reserves the right to require sufficient documentation that the student is qualified and ready to resume full-time studies at the College. An on campus interview with the appropriate Dean or College counselor may be required. Applications for readmission are available in the Registrar's Office and on CentreNet. Readmission to the College is never automatic. A student will not be readmitted if required progress toward graduation is not feasible, or if continued separation is considered to be in the best interest of the student or the College. Students must return the completed application, along with all required materials, so that the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support receives it by November 30, December 30, or July 30 for Centre, spring or fall terms, respectively.

Students who were suspended for academic reasons or who withdrew under academic probation must demonstrate a clear understanding of the causes for their academic difficulties, must describe the activities they have undertaken to address and overcome the causes of their problems, and must submit an academic plan for the completion of their degree requirements. Suspended and probationary students who are readmitted will have academic stipulations placed on their continued enrollment at the College. Students suspended twice are rarely readmitted to the College. In the case of a voluntary withdrawal for medical/psychological reasons, or any administrative withdrawal related to a physical or mental health condition, the student must submit a written progress assessment from a treating health professional with the readmission application, describing the student's current condition and indicating that the student is ready to resume full-time studies at the College. The Assistant Dean and Director of Student Academic Support requires a release from the student to discuss current treatment and follow-up needs with the treating health professional. Readmission will not be granted if there is any doubt that the student can manage full-time course work or if the College is unable to provide or the student is unable to secure appropriate follow-up care.

Reinstatement of merit awards for readmitted students is not automatic. Students should check with the Financial Aid Office. In the case of suspended students and students who withdrew on academic probation, specific academic stipulations may condition the reinstatement of a merit award. Enrollment of readmitted students and of students returning from leave of absence is subject to clearance with the Finance Office to make certain that the student has no outstanding financial obligations to the College. In addition, the payment of a $300 nonrefundable deposit is to be made to the Finance Office.

Transfer Credit and Credit by Examination

Only work comparable to that at Centre in level, nature, and field may be accepted for degree credit.

General Policies

  1. Subject to the policies noted below, credit for courses completed with a grade of C- (1.67) or higher may be transferred to Centre and used as degree credit. When appropriate, credits earned at the host institution will be converted to Centre credits in keeping with Centre’s definition of the credit hour.
  2. Normally, credit is transferred only from institutions accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies of the United States. Exceptions may be approved on a case by case basis.

Credit earned prior to high school graduation and credit by examination

Centre’s policies in these areas are designed to reward extraordinary achievement while at the same time supporting our belief that the best Centre College experience is a four-year experience. It is our philosophy that everything a student does prior to high school graduation is preparation for college, and all Centre students enter with exceptional academic credentials. Some of those credentials include college course work and others do not. Consequently, we limit the amount of credit first-year students can be awarded prior to their enrollment at the College:

  1. A maximum of 24 hours of pre-matriculation credits may be awarded to first-year students from all sources (e.g., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual-credit, all other college credit).
  2. Credit will not be awarded for any course or examination completed prior to the start of the junior year in high school.
  3. Credit will not be awarded for any course or examination that serves to satisfy the College’s entrance requirements.
  4. Students who legitimately exceed the 24-hour limit may choose which credits will be awarded, and may adjust his or her choices later subject to the constraints of any other College policies.
  5. Regardless of credit granted, students must complete at least one general education course in residence in each of the following three exploration areas: arts & humanities, social studies, science & mathematics.

Credit by Examination

  1. Advanced Placement: Centre awards a minimum of three hours of credit for scores of 4 or 5 on most Advanced Placement exams. Credit for foreign language requires validation by an institutional exam and may be awarded for a score of 3. Academic programs may award additional credit and assign course equivalencies. Specific policies and course equivalencies are available in the Registrar’s Office.
  2. International Baccalaureate: Centre awards a minimum of three hours of credit for scores of 6 or 7 on higher-level exams. Credit for foreign language requires validation by an institutional exam and may be awarded for a grade of 5 on a higher-level exam. Grades of 5 in some other subjects are reviewed for credit by the appropriate program. Academic programs may award additional credit and assign course equivalencies.
  3. Credit is not granted for CLEP exam scores.
  4. Appropriate international exam scores are reviewed for credit on a case-by-case basis.

College Credit

Credit may be granted for appropriate courses appearing on a college transcript provided the course is taught in a classroom on a college campus, by a college instructor who is not also a high school instructor, in a class that includes college students who are not also high school students. These criteria must be verified in writing by a high school counselor or college official.

Note: Regardless of credit granted, individual major programs have the prerogative to place students in an appropriate course, to waive lower-level requirements, and to determine equivalencies to courses in its curriculum.

Transfer credit for currently enrolled students

Credits earned by a currently enrolled student through work at another college or university may be transferred to Centre if they are approved in advance by the advisor, the appropriate program committee chair, and the Registrar. Requests for credit for courses that do not fit into an existing academic program at Centre must be approved by the Associate Dean.

Forms for securing advance approval are available in the Registrar’s Office. Students must provide a catalog course description and are encouraged to provide a syllabus. Program chairs may require a syllabus before approving a course for transfer credit.

Additional transfer credit policies:

Grades in transferred courses are recorded on the Centre College transcript but are not included in the Centre College grade point average. Grades in non-Centre semester abroad courses are included when determining a student’s eligibility for graduation with honors.

Once enrolled, transferred course work may not be applied toward the College’s general education requirements.

A maximum of two courses from junior-senior requirements of the major may be fulfilled through external credit.

Once enrolled at the College, a student may transfer a maximum of seven credit hours from two-year, junior, or community colleges.

Once enrolled at the College, students may transfer up to six hours of credit for online courses subject to the normal transfer credit approval process. In addition, students requesting transfer credit for online courses must provide, and program chairs must review, evidence of opportunities for instructor and student interaction in the course, and a list of the assessment requirements of the course.

The above restrictions also apply to students who are suspended or withdraw from the College and are subsequently readmitted.

Students enrolled full-time at the College may not receive transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere concurrently.

Class Attendance

Class Attendance

Students are individually responsible for class attendance, but instructors may impose attendance requirements appropriate to any course. Instructors shall explain to students at the beginning of each course their expectations and grading policies with regard to attendance at class meetings. Instructors are also required by the College to keep an accurate record of each student's attendance, which will be available to the student, the faculty advisor, and the officers of the College. In addition, instructors will report at the end of each term the number of class sessions missed by each student. Instructors are also asked to report to the Assistant Dean the names of those students who are absent from class excessively, including those who are absent three consecutive times. 

General Absences

  1. Our approach is that students should be present in our classes to fully engage in the learning experience offered by Centre College. For this reason excessive absences, that is, missing more than one-quarter of a term's total class meetings in one or more classes, are grounds for immediate suspension from the College.
  2. Each instructor sets his/her own guidelines about absences. It is common courtesy to inform the instructor when a student knows he/she will miss a class and to ask for the assignment ahead of the absence. The instructor will not provide a private class or a makeup test. (Makeup tests can be arranged if you are sick. See absences related to illness.)
  3. Prompt attendance at all classes is expected. The penalty for tardiness is left to the discretion of the instructor.
  4. The faculty imposes no extraordinary penalties for absences from classes that meet immediately prior to or following College vacations or recesses. However, students are reminded that these class periods are integral parts of the term and are thus no less suitable for tests and other work than are other class periods throughout the term.
  5. No student may, because of participation in College-sponsored activities, miss more than an hour of class time for each hour of academic credit assigned to a course (for example, three hours of class time in a three-hour course). In four-hour laboratory courses, students may miss three hours of class time and one laboratory session. Students participating in two intercollegiate sports in the same term may miss one additional class meeting, but not an additional laboratory session. This policy applies only to participation in varsity sports, and does not include non-traditional seasons. In the first two weeks of the term, the Athletic Director should send written notification to the Associate Dean and instructors of a student’s two-sport participation and the travel dates for all away contests in both sports. To be excused from any additional class meetings, a two-sport athlete may petition the Associate Dean, through the Athletic Director, at least one week in advance of the proposed absence. The Associate Dean will survey the student’s instructors to determine if the proposed absence could cause the student’s academic standing in any class to fall to a “marginal” or “unsatisfactory” level, in which case the student would not be allowed to miss any additional class. The Associate Dean may allow for the additional absence when the student’s academic standing is satisfactory and when any in-class assignment or exam can be made up. This absence policy for the two-sport athlete will also be applied in the event that an athletic team or individual qualifies for post-season competition (SAA, NCAA, or an approved sanctioned event). When a faculty or staff member sponsors an activity that will keep a student out of class, that activity must be approved in advance by the Associate Dean. If the activity is approved as officially excused, the Associate Dean’s Office will send the faculty a list of excused participants, but it is still the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor and make appropriate arrangements. An excuse is granted only if the student makes up lost work, obtains assignments for the next class meeting (and completes them), and/or turns in any work that was due on the missed class day. In addition, if the student misses an in-class assignment or exam, then the absence is not excused,  unless the professor agrees to arrange for a make-up. Instructors will not provide a private class following the absence. Participation in activities not sanctioned by the Associate Dean will be assessed by the instructor, who may excuse the absence if the situation warrants it.
  6. The College recognizes the profound impact of grief in the life of our students. Those students who have experienced the death of a loved one must contact the Assistant Director of Student Academic Support immediately for an excused absence to attend funeral services. The appropriate College faculty and staff are notified as requested by the student. Students remain responsible for making up any work missed during this time.
  7. When a student misses class to observe a religious holiday, the student must notify both his or her instructors and the Assistant Director of Student Academic Support well in advance. The Assistant Director of Student Academic Support, in consultation with the College Chaplain, will determine if the absence merits an official College excuse. As is the case with all excused absences, the student must arrange with the professor to make up any work or assignments missed as a result of an excused religious observance.

Absences Related to Illness

Our approach is that students should be present in our classes to fully engage in the learning experience offered by Centre College. For this reason, students missing more than one-quarter of a term's total class meetings in one or more classes for medical reasons may be required to take a medical withdrawal from the College.

In the event that a student misses class due to illness and will not miss a graded assignment or lab, it is the responsibility of that student to notify faculty prior to the missed class. If the student misses a class due to illness and will be missing an exam, other graded assignment, or lab, that student should contact the faculty member prior to the missed class and should seek medical attention prior to the missed class in order to obtain a medical excuse.

The following conditions qualify for a medical excuse.

  1. Hospital admission as shown through appropriate documentation from the hospital.
  2. Ill at home with a written excuse from the primary care physician’s office. Confirmation of an illness by the parent may be accepted by the Assistant Director of Student Academic Support in extenuating circumstances.
  3. Evaluated at The Student Health Center prior to the missed class and diagnosed with an illness severe enough to be confined to bed. Medical excuse notification will be sent to appropriate faculty members with the student’s written permission. A medical excuse is not appropriate for minor illnesses and will not be granted retroactively.

In the rare event that a student should need to be excused from a final exam due to illness, the College physician or physician assistant will communicate directly with the Associate Dean before an exam can be rescheduled or an “incomplete” granted. 

If a student is leaving campus to go home because of illness, The Student Health Center should be informed prior to departure. Information regarding medical withdrawal can be found under the Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from the College section of this catalog. 


Final Examinations

Final exam schedules are available prior to registration and are published with the schedule of classes. Once students have enrolled in a course, they have made the commitment to take the scheduled final exam. The instructor may substitute a term paper or other requirement for the final exam. Students will not be allowed to alter their exam schedules because of travel plans, job interviews, special projects or scheduling preferences. Only in cases of bereavement or illness will permission be granted to reschedule a final exam date. The illness must be certified by one of the College doctors or by a physician who is not a member of the student's family, and clearance must be obtained from the Associate Dean. A student who is absent from a final exam without clearance from the Associate Dean receives a "U" in the course.


The Dean’s List is publicized twice yearly, in the CentreTerm for courses completed the preceding fall term and at the beginning of the fall term for courses completed in the preceding Centre and spring terms. The Dean’s List includes all full-time degree candidate students who have attained a 3.600 grade point average or higher in the terms being evaluated. Students must complete eight hours of regularly graded course work in the long term to be eligible for the Dean’s List.

Graduation with Honors. A student who attains a cumulative grade point average of 3.900 or higher shall be graduated summa cum laude. A student who attains a cumulative grade point average of 3.700 to 3.899 shall be graduated magna cum laude, and students with a cumulative average of 3.500 to 3.699 shall be graduated cum laude. Transfer students’ transfer grades, and grades in any long-term, non-Centre, study-away or study-abroad program will be counted when determining eligibility for graduation with honors. Grades earned in summer school elsewhere will not be counted when determining eligibility for graduation with honors.

The John C. Young Scholars Program is a senior honors program that enables selected students to engage in independent study and research. John C. Young Scholars present their results at a public symposium, and their papers are published in journal form by the College.

Junior Marshals. The distinction of junior marshal is awarded to the 19 members of the junior class with the highest academic standing in their class. Eligible students must have completed a minimum of forty-two credit hours in residence at the College. The president of the Student Government Association serves as junior marshal ex officio. Junior marshals participate in Commencement exercises and other College ceremonies.

Phi Beta Kappa. The Beta chapter of Centre College elects students on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character. Juniors and seniors who are candidates for the bachelor’s degree are eligible for consideration if they have completed a certain number of Phi Beta Kappa - eligible courses while in residence at Centre and are in the top of their respective classes. Ordinarily the top ten percent of the seniors and the top three percent of juniors are eligible for election. Election to Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the members of the Centre chapter, subject only to the limitations imposed by the constitution and by-laws of the chapter and no student shall enjoy a right to election solely by reason of fulfillment of the minimum stated requirements.

Other Honors. Descriptions of other prizes and awards for students may be found under the “College Directory” section of this catalog.

Academic Probation, Suspension and Bankruptcy

Graduation requires a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. The College reserves the right to suspend at any time a student whose academic standing or progress is regarded as unsatisfactory, including students on academic probation during a CentreTerm who made unsatisfactory progress that term. In such cases fees will not be refunded or remitted, in whole or in part. All suspensions result in a permanent notation on the student’s academic transcript.

A student who is suspended is immediately denied use of any campus services or facilities and may not participate in campus-sponsored activities. Keys belonging to the College, especially to the residence hall room, must be turned in at the Student Life Office, and the student ID card must be turned in at the Registrar’s Office or the Student Life Office and the premises vacated within 48 hours of dismissal. Any exceptions must be authorized by the Dean of Students or Associate Dean. Failure to complete this process will jeopardize readmission to the College and incur a fine of $30 per day.

Students subject to suspension at the end of a term will be notified via email and will be given at least 48 hours to submit a written appeal detailing any extenuating circumstances for consideration by the Academic Standards Committee.

Academic Probation

  1. A student who at the end of any long term has a cumulative grade point average less than those listed below is placed on academic probation.

    1 long term: 1.650 grade average

    2 long terms: 1.750 grade average

    3 long terms: 1.850 grade average

    4 long terms: 1.930 grade average

    5 long terms: 1.970 grade average

    6 or more long terms: 2.00 grade average

  2. A student who at the end of any long term has a term grade point average below a 1.500 is placed on academic probation regardless of the student’s cumulative grade point average. When a student goes on academic probation, he or she will be required to meet with the Assistant Dean for Advising. The Assistant Dean for Advising will determine the needs of the particular student after an interview and testing as needed and will supervise the student’s progress in consultation with the advisor and instructors. The Assistant Dean for Advising will provide the Academic Standards Committee with information about the progress or lack of progress of the students on probation.

Academic Suspension

  1. Students placed on academic probation under No. 1 under “Academic Probation” must raise their cumulative grade point average to the required level within a year (two long terms and one CentreTerm). Students who fail to meet this requirement are subject to suspension. In addition, during the probationary period, students other than first-years must earn term grade averages of at least a 2.000 to avoid academic suspension. First-years are reviewed term by term and may be suspended during the probationary period if they are not making satisfactory progress toward their cumulative grade point average requirement.
  2. Students placed on academic probation under No. 2 under “Academic Probation” remain on probation if they continue to earn term averages below 1.500. They will be suspended if their cumulative grade point average falls below the levels set under “Academic Probation,” No. 1.
  3. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who earn a term average below 1.000 will be suspended, without benefit of the probationary period. First-years who earn a term average below 1.000 will be subject to suspension.

Academic Bankruptcy

Academic Bankruptcy is a policy which may be used by a student returning to the College after a two-year absence who has earned such poor grades that he or she is unable to meet the grade point requirement for graduation within a reasonable period of time. Conditions and provisions of the Academic Bankruptcy Policy are:

  1. Petitions are accepted only after the student has been absent from the College for at least two years. Students are readmitted with conditional approval for academic bankruptcy. Final approval is granted after the student completes 12 hours of course work with a 2.000 (“C”) or higher average.
  2. Academic bankruptcy may apply to one term only. If the petition is approved, the student forfeits credit for all courses in which he or she was enrolled that term.
  3. Grades for the bankrupted term are not used in computing the grade point average. However, those grades remain on the permanent record and the record will indicate clearly that academic bankruptcy was granted.

Note: Students are cautioned that some colleges and universities will not honor another institution’s bankruptcy policy, including many professional and graduate schools.

Academic Honesty/Dishonesty


A high standard of academic honesty is expected of students in all phases of academic work and college life. Academic dishonesty in any form is a fundamental offense against the integrity of the entire academic community and is always a threat to the standards of the College and to the standing of every student. In taking tests and examinations, doing homework or laboratory work, and writing papers, students are expected to perform with honor. In written and oral work for college courses, students will be held responsible for knowing the difference between proper and improper use of source materials. The improper use of source materials is plagiarism and, along with other breaches of academic integrity, is subject to disciplinary action. 

Plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when the student does not use footnotes properly, quotes without quotation marks, quotes or paraphrases without indicating sources, hands in material as his or her own when it is not, or incurs a combination of these omissions or commissions in any academic exercise. All such behavior constitutes a theft of someone else’s ideas or words. All students will have a classroom discussion and an exercise on proper research, footnoting, and paraphrasing techniques during the early part of their academic career at Centre. Also, students who do not understand proper research techniques should feel free to ask their instructors. Proper footnoting procedures are explained in The Rules for Writers Handbook. Proper citation of sources is essential. Format of the citation is up to each individual professor and every student should carefully follow the guidelines specified.

Recent cases that have caused a great deal of concern have involved the persistent omission of quotation marks around quoted material, the persistent omission of footnotes, improper paraphrasing using material too similar to the original, and handing in another student’s work as one’s own. Of particular concern is inappropriate use of electronic resources.

Other Forms of Cheating. All students should realize that every faculty member is asked to create an atmosphere in the classroom in which the honest are protected. Tests, quizzes, and exams are monitored, many footnotes and sources are checked, and seating during exams is as spread out as possible. Students should never bring notes, texts, or special memory aids into a test, unless the instructor specifically permits this. Students who notice that a fellow student is cheating should feel empowered to tell the instructor. This should never be done lightly or without some degree of certainty. It is, however, important to protect the integrity of the entire class.

When a student hands in a take-home exam, a paper, a lab report, or to-be-graded homework, the assumption is that the work represents the student’s own effort unless other sources are acknowledged. Furthermore, it is expected that this work has been produced exclusively for the course in which it is submitted. Students should not use the same or substantially the same material in different courses without the prior approval of both instructors.

A student who helps another to cheat is also guilty of violating the principles of academic honesty. A committee appointed by the Student Government Association made the following clarifications about academic honesty: (1) Anyone acting in the role of tutor, either in a paid or voluntary capacity, may work on specific homework problems as long as these problems will not be used by the instructor for grading purposes. Students should clarify ambiguous situations such as lab write-ups and computer programs with the individual professor. (2) A proofreader may check for errors and misspellings. Also, proofreaders may check for problems in grammar, usage, diction, and agreement. The proofreader may place a check next to the error but not directly correct the mistake. In a general sense, the proofreader should feel free to discuss topics, ideas, and concepts in the paper. The reader may suggest alterations, but at no time may a proofreader actually write any phrase, sentence, or paragraph for another student.

Two other policy violations are treated as violations of academic dishonesty. They are defacing of library materials and abuses of the Convocation system. They are subject to disciplinary action by the Associate Dean and/or the Student Judiciary.

Each of the three elements of the academic community—students, faculty, and administrators— carries part of the responsibility for maintaining academic honesty. Each case of academic dishonesty, no matter how minor the infraction, must be reported to the Associate Dean of the College before a grade is determined.

The following general procedures have been established for the faculty and are spelled out in the Faculty Handbook:

  • The instructor or a faculty colleague should actively monitor all exams, including makeup exams and exams given early, unless arrangements are made for proctoring through the Assistant Dean for Advising Office. Secretaries, student assistants, and other staff members should not be asked to give or monitor exams.
  • Instructors should not leave the classroom during examinations.
  • Students should bring to class only those materials necessary for taking the examination. All other books, notes, and materials should be left outside the classroom or in a common location within the room.
  • Students should be separated and dispersed throughout the classroom as much as possible. If the instructor anticipates that the scheduled room will be too small to assure adequate dispersal, the Registrar should be informed so that alternate arrangements can be suggested.
  • Students ordinarily should not be permitted to leave the classroom unless the exam is administered in sections. In other cases where it is clearly necessary for a student to leave the room, students should leave individually and the instructor should take reasonable precautions to prevent access to test materials.
  • Instructors with multiple sections of the same course should make separate examinations.
  • Students taking earlier exams or makeup exams should be given exams different from those given the regular class.
  • Instructors should check footnotes and references. For internet references, instructors may use the software service, which delivers a report listing internet sites containing material that corresponds to passages submitted by either a faculty member or a student. To this end, an instructor may require all students in a class to submit papers to an “electronic drop box” that is automatically forwarded to
  • Instructors should vary topics of written assignments to minimize the use of previously written papers.
  • Instructors should repeatedly emphasize the proper referencing of sources, recognizing that the style of referencing varies among academic disciplines.


If the instructor has a concern about a student’s academic honesty, the Associate Dean must be notified. Students may report an instance of alleged academic dishonesty by filing a written account of the details with the instructor. The instructor should then send a copy of the account to the Associate Dean. The instructor and the Associate Dean will consult and decide on a proper course of action, which may include questioning the individual(s) involved or other witnesses to the incident. The following are reasons for alerting the Associate Dean to all suspicions of academic dishonesty:

  • A centralized handling of all academic dishonesty cases has been deemed advisable for the sake of fairness and equitable treatment of all students.
  • Any second offense of academic dishonesty will be automatically brought before the Student Judiciary. The Associate Dean keeps a file on all cases and will check to see if the student has been in difficulty before.
  • The Associate Dean can consult with the instructor about ways of handling the situation.
  • The Associate Dean can help evaluate the evidence.
  • The Associate Dean will call in the student to meet with him or her and discuss the case. The instructor may wish to call the student first, but, although that is advisable, it is not mandatory.
  • For first offenses, the Associate Dean will decide, based on the case in relationship to other cases, whether it must go to the Student Judiciary or not. It must be pointed out, however, that the instructor and the student have the right to go to the Judiciary independently of the Associate Dean’s decision.


  • The student may convince both the instructor and the Associate Dean that no questionable activity has occurred. The case is dropped.
  • The grade can be adjusted to reflect the presence of a problem on the paper, test, or assignment.
  • The student can be asked to do the assignment again.
  • The student can be asked to do a substitute assignment.
  • The student can be warned, but told that another problem of this nature will be brought before the Student Judiciary.

If a student objects to any of these decisions, he/she may choose to take the case to the Student Judiciary for arbitration.


The Student Judiciary arbitrates serious cases. The Associate Dean of the College writes out the charges and requests a time for the hearing from the Chair of the Judiciary. Ordinarily, the instructor is asked to be present at the hearing to discuss the evidence and how conclusions were reached. The Judiciary will usually ask about the assignment. All of this occurs in the presence of the accused who is asked how he or she pleads at the beginning and is then asked to comment, respond, explain, question witnesses, and make a closing statement. The Associate Dean is also asked to make a closing statement. The accused must be present to receive the final decision. At the time the decision is rendered, the Student Judiciary shall indicate in writing a concise statement of the basis for its finding.

The final responsibility for determining the student’s grade in the course rests with the instructor, except in cases in which the Judiciary recommends a lowering or raising of the grade. In cases where a student is suspended as a result of a Judiciary recommendation, the grade of “U” shall be recorded for that course. Students who are asked to appear before the Student Judiciary will be given a written statement explaining their rights and will be told about the appeals process.

Students who believe that proper procedures were not followed, or who believe they received inordinate punishment, or were otherwise denied a fair hearing, may appeal to the Board of Review. The board should not retry the case or hear new evidence. If new evidence has appeared that could materially affect the decision, the case should be sent back to the Student Judiciary.

The student charged may appeal the Judiciary recommendation to the Board of Review in writing with reasons specified within 48 hours of the Student Judiciary’s decision. In the absence of an appeal, all Judiciary recommendations shall be forwarded to the deans for approval and implementation.

If cited to appear before the Student Judiciary, a student may not withdraw from the College before the completion of the judiciary process.

Convocation Requirement and Policies


All full-time students who attend Centre for the entire academic year are required to earn a total of 12 Convocation credits. Students who fulfill the requirement have one hour of “A” figured into their grade point average (GPA) and noted on their transcript. Students who fail to accumulate 12 Convocation credits will have one hour of “U” figured into their GPA and noted on their transcript. Students who are not enrolled on a full-time basis for the full academic year still may complete the requirement by accumulating 12 credits. However, they will not receive a “U” if they do not. (Note: Convocation credits are not credit hours and do not count toward the total number of credit hours necessary for graduation.)

To receive Convocation credit, students must 1) scan his/her own Centre College ID card at a Convocation station; 2) be seated before the program begins; 3) remain present throughout the full program; 4) scan his/her own Centre College ID card before leaving the event. Convocation credit can only be given if ID cards are accurately scanned in and out. Student ID cards may need to be replaced in the Student Life Office if the card does not register in the computer scanning system. It is the students’ responsibility to bring their Centre ID card to Convocations and to make sure the card scans accurately. This policy will be strictly enforced, and Convocation credit will not be given to students who arrive late or who leave early or whose cards do not work in the Convocation system.

Please note that seating may be limited for some events. It is wise to arrive early to all Convocations to ensure that your ID card is scanned, and you have a seat. If all seats are taken, students may not be allowed to enter the Convocation event.

Students directly involved with the performance event, including, but not limited to actors and singers, may receive Convocation credit. The Chair of the Convocation Committee will work in conjunction with the appropriate faculty/staff member(s) to give credit to students.

Students who abuse the system by scanning a card for a person who is not present, or scanning multiple cards, or by behaving in violation of the stated policy will lose Convocation credit. Such deceit is considered a violation of academic honesty and the people involved are subject to disciplinary action by the Associate Dean or the Student Judiciary.

As members of an audience, students are expected to be attentive and demonstrate mature, polite, and civil behavior. Computers and books should not be brought to Convocations and cell phones should be turned off during the presentation. Students exhibiting inappropriate behavior will be told to leave by members of the audience, faculty, staff, or student Convocation workers and will not receive Convocation credit.

Convocation Credit

Most events given Convocation status are worth one credit. Special events, designated as campuswide Convocations, are worth two credits. Any event worth more than one credit will be indicated as such in the Convocation Calendar. Normally, the Opening, Founders Day, and Honors Convocations are worth two credits.

Convocation credit is entered and maintained by computer. Students may check their Convocation credit status by going to the current students listing on Centre Net, and selecting Personal/ Convocation Credit. The individual student is responsible for verifying the computer record’s accuracy and for notifying the Chair of the Convocation Committee within one week of the Convocation in question. Students are urged to check their Convocation credits frequently throughout the academic year. Make sure you plan ahead so that you earn the 12 required Convocation credits. Students are encouraged to not wait until the end of the year to obtain the required 12 credits as unanticipated events may keep you from earning your 12 credits. Students may submit a written appeal within two weeks after spring term grades are available to the Convocation Committee Chair requesting changes in their Convocation grade. The petition must explain all the circumstances of why the student did not fulfill the 12 credit requirement. Exceptions to the requirements are rarely granted. Students are required to follow the letter of the policy and be very careful about monitoring Convocation credit.

Students participating in Centre sponsored off-campus study programs receive Convocation credit as follows:
• Fall Term: six credits
• Spring Term: six credits
• Centre-Sponsored CentreTerm off-campus study programs or internship during CentreTerm: one credit

Students who participate in non-Centre study away programs may petition the Convocation Committee before the beginning of the Spring Term. The Convocation Committee will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Convocation Programs
A schedule of Convocation events will be distributed at the beginning of each term and posted on CentreNet. Any change in the Convocation calendar will be posted in the CentreNeXT newsletter. Students should consult the CentreNeXT newsletter and the Convocations page on CentreNet on a weekly basis to see the most up-to-date Convocation information. The College offers an extensive variety of guest lectures, plays, readings, films, and musical performances through its Convocation series, Norton Center for the Arts programs, and special events. Each term, the Convocation Committee considers Convocation proposals submitted by students, faculty, and staff. The Convocation proposal form and associated deadlines for each term can be found on the Convocations page on CentreNet. The Convocation Committee coordinates the selection of Convocations and is the final authority in all Convocation matters. The Committee consists of at least two students, two faculty members, three administration members, and the Chair of the Convocation Committee.

Questions about Convocation policies, procedures, credits, and requests for forms should be directed to the Chair of the Convocation Committee.

Graduation and Commencement

Conferral of Degrees

The degrees of the College, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, are awarded by the trustees upon the specific formal recommendation of individual candidates by both the faculty and the President of the College. The Board of Trustees is the ultimate authority on the conferral of degrees. Degrees are conferred on the Sunday following the last day of final examinations of spring term, and on August 31 for summer graduates. Prerequisite to the faculty recommendation, in addition to satisfactory completion of requirements stipulated in the “Degree Requirements, Course Offerings, and Major/Minor Requirements” sections, is a formal application for the degree filed with the Registrar no later than 90 days before the date of the annual commencement exercises. The conferral of the degree is officially certified by the transcript of record.

Commencement and Presentation of Diplomas

The diploma of the College is a ceremonial certificate attesting to the conferral of a degree. The diploma is presented at the annual commencement exercises to any degree recipient specifically requesting it when applying for the degree and appearing as a participant in the ceremonial exercises. Only students who have completed all degree requirements may participate in commencement. Summer graduates may participate in the following year's commencement. The presentation of a diploma in absentia is made only under exceptional circumstances specifically approved by the Associate Dean of the College, provided the request is made not later than two weeks preceding the annual commencement exercises.

Exceptions to Academic Policy

The Curriculum Committee of the faculty and its subcommittees accept petitions requesting exceptions to academic regulations. Certain regulations allow no exceptions and others may be waived only upon the request of a faculty member. After consultation with the Registrar or the Associate Dean of the College, appeals for exceptions to a rule may be made to the Academic Standards Committee. The appeal should be justified and presented in the form of a written petition, normally with the written endorsement of the student’s advisor and other endorsements as appropriate. Such petitions are placed on the committee’s agenda through the Registrar’s Office.