Students enrolled in either The College or the Williams School must conform to a number of general requirements for degrees and to related regulations.
The Baccalaureate Degree
The curriculum at Washington and Lee University permits students flexibility and individual responsibility in their choice of courses. With the help of a faculty adviser, students choose a series of courses that will lead them along one of several routes to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The Board of Trustees awards degrees upon the recommendation of the faculty.
Requirements for a Degree
A student qualifies for a degree by completing the following requirements of the faculty:
Effective with students entering in Fall 2004 and later, a candidate for any undergraduate degree must present a minimum of 113 credits with passing grades, including one credit for work done in 100- and 200-level physical education skills courses. A candidate who entered earlier than Fall 2004 must present a minimum of 121 credits with passing grades, including the one credit for work in physical education.
To graduate, a student must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.000 in the following categories: in all work attempted at Washington and Lee; in all Washington and Lee work used to meet degree requirements; in all work used to meet major requirements; and in all course work taken in the major subject.
The “major” is defined as a group of no fewer than 30 credits, and typically no more than 50 credits, required and/or optional credits designated by a department or an individual and subject to the approval of the Committee on Courses and Degrees. The “major subject” is the group of courses within the specific discipline(s) named by the major and submitted to satisfy degree requirements for the major (e.g., economics courses satisfying requirements of the economics major). In the case of interdisciplinary majors, the “major subject” includes each discipline contributing at least 12 credits toward major requirements.
Permission to substitute courses in major requirements may be granted, in exceptional circumstances, by the department or interdisciplinary major or program advisory committee through its head.
All students entering in Fall 2007 and later must complete Foundation and Distribution Requirements , usually completed by the end of the sophomore year. Students who entered prior to Fall 2007 are held to the General Education (GE) requirements .
Washington and Lee will confer a degree only upon completion of a minimum of six terms of resident study as a full-time student.
Unsuccessful Degree Candidates
The Committee on Courses and Degrees may make exceptions to the Residency Requirement in order to permit unsuccessful degree candidates to complete their degree requirements by taking no more than two term courses at another approved institution and, if required, by counting those grades in their cumulative grade-point average at Washington and Lee. Courses taken under such an exception during summer school are still subject to the restrictions listed under Summer School Credit .
Applications for degrees must be filed with the University Registrar on or before May 15, if the degree is to be taken in December, and on or before September 15, if the degree is to be taken in June. Late applications may be made only on payment of a penalty fee of $50 and will not be accepted after January 15 for June candidates.
Postponement or Withholding of Degree
In the case of any student against whom the state has preferred criminal charges, and for whom the University has not been able to complete disciplinary procedures, the faculty may postpone a decision as to whether a degree should be awarded. The Board of Trustees may also postpone or withhold approval of a degree (see Board of Trustees Policy on Withholding of Degrees ).
The Bachelor of Arts Degree
The candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts must, before graduation, complete the requirements of the faculty, as listed above under The Baccalaureate Degree. If admitted to the School of Law, the student may elect to meet these requirements of the B.A. degree in conjunction with first-year law studies (see below).
The Bachelor of Arts degree is given with majors in the following departments and interdisciplinary majors:
East Asian Languages and Literatures
Journalism and Mass Communications
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Romance Languages major, with a French emphasis
Romance Languages major, with a Spanish emphasis
Russian Area Studies
Sociology and Anthropology
The Bachelors of Science Degree
The degree of Bachelor of Science is conferred upon those students who have completed a course of study with emphasis (50 credits) in the fields of the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, and who have fulfilled the above requirements of the faculty. The degree is designed for those who are attracted by scientific work, whether or not their plans involve its direct application, and for those who intend to pursue graduate study in certain scientific fields.
Students should seek advice from a member of the appropriate departments in planning their schedules.
If admitted to the School of Law the student may elect to meet these requirements of the B.S. degree in conjunction with first-year law studies (see below ).
The Bachelor of Science degree is given with majors in the following departments and interdisciplinary majors:
Bachelor of Science With Special Attainments in Chemistry
The College offers the following major leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science with Special Attainments in Chemistry degree and is designed primarily for those who wish to pursue graduate work in chemistry or chemistry-engineering:
The requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science with Special Attainments in Chemistry are flexible enough to meet the needs of all undergraduate students who are seriously interested in chemistry. The curriculum affords an excellent basis for graduate work, either with a view to teaching or research, or for chemical engineering. It also provides the full training ordinarily expected of college graduates at the bachelor’s level who seek positions as chemists in industry. Upon satisfactory completion of this course of study, the student is offered associate membership status in the American Chemical Society. (See Chemistry major leading to a BS with Special Attainments in Chemistry degree )
Bachelor of Science With Special Attainments in Commerce
The Bachelor of Science degree with Special Attainments in Commerce is given with the following group majors:
Accounting and Business Administration
All modifications in these three Bachelor of Science programs must be approved by the Williams School faculty and the Committee on Courses and Degrees.
Additional Bachelor's Degree
Students who have already received either the B.A. or the B.S. degree may wish to obtain the other bachelor degree. In order to receive the other degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of each of the two degrees, either separately or concurrently, and must present a minimum of 27 credits more than the baccalaureate requirement for one degree for that year. In other words, the minimum requirement to earn both a B.A. and a B.S. degree is 140 credits (113 credits for a single degree). A student must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.000 in the following categories: in all work attempted at Washington and Lee; in all Washington and Lee work used to meet degree requirements; in all work used to meet major requirements; and in all course work taken in the major subject.
Students may not receive two B.A. degrees or two B.S. degrees.
The Bachelor's Degree in Combination With First-Year Law Studies
Students of Washington and Lee University may apply in the junior year for admission to the School of Law. If accepted for admission pursuant to the School of Law’s normal admissions requirements, the student, upon satisfactory completion in full of the first year of work in the School of Law, may substitute those law credits for the remaining free electives required for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, subject to the following undergraduate requirements:
- All undergraduate work toward the combination degree must be completed before any work in law is undertaken and may not be done concurrently.
- All but 30 degree credits toward the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree must be completed prior to enrollment in the School of Law. Undergraduate credits must include completion of all requirements for the major, as well as all Foundation and Distribution or General Education requirements, as appropriate.