Jul 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Grading




Class attendance is a necessary part of the learning process. Instructors typically explain their individual or departmental attendance policy during the first class meeting and/or in their course outlines. Never attending or stopping attendance may adversely affect financial aid eligibility. Students who do not attend class should officially drop or withdraw from the class. If students choose to withdraw from class, they should consult with an advisor and the financial aid office to determine the impact of the course withdrawal on degree planning and financial aid requirements. Students must maintain at least 12 credits to be considered a full-time student. The recommendation is 16 credits per semester to stay on track for a 4-year graduation.

If You Miss a Class

For minor illness when absence may be one or several days (such as cold, flu, sore throat):

  • Inform the professor of the illness and arrange to make up missed work.
  • Visit the Wellness Center in Winslow Hall for assessment and treatment.
  • If you wish, you may indicate in writing that the Wellness Center may verify to the professors that you have visited them. You are still responsible for meeting academic and attendance requirements for each course.

If a serious medical condition or accident is verified by the Wellness Center staff, and it requires missing five consecutive days of class or more, the Office of Academic Life will notify your professors about the anticipated length of your absence. After recovery, it is your responsibility to meet with each professor to arrange to make up missed assignments and tests.

If you are called home for a family emergency, such as a death or a personal issue:

  • Notify the Office of Academic Life at ext. 2251 or 410-857-2251.
  • Your professor will be notified about your absence, but it is your responsibility to satisfy any missed work and to provide documentation for the length of time you are out.

Academic Class


The College assigns students’ class levels according to the following credit criteria:

  0 to 31.5 credits = freshman
  32 to 63.5 credits = sophomore
  64 to 95.5 credits = junior
  96 or more credits = senior


Academic Load


Students, in consultation with an academic (faculty) advisor, decide the number of credit hours (the academic load) that they will carry. The normal student load is 16 credit hours per semester. There is an extra fee for students carrying more than 20 credit hours per semester. Within the limits described below, the student should develop a schedule based on demonstrated academic ability.

1. Full-time status at McDaniel College requires registration for 12 credits.  Students who wish to graduate in 4 years should take 16 credits per semester (128 credits are required to graduate).  If students opt for a 12-credit semester, the College offers opportunities to earn additional credit to stay on track for a 4-year graduation plan. Students may participate in summer session courses at McDaniel, take summer session coursework at another college, take additional credits during the Fall or Spring semester, take additional Jan term courses, or register for other options including but not limited to: internships, independent studies, physical activity and wellness classes, etc. Additional tuition/fees may apply. Courses taken at another college should be pre-approved by the Registrar’s Office. Alternatively, students may opt to adjust their anticipated completion date to allow more time to earn credits.

2. The minimum number of semester hours that may be carried by a full-time student is 12. Students may carry fewer hours only with permission from the Office of Academic Affairs. Among the consequences of dropping below a full time load are:

a. Loss of athletic eligibility for the semester;

b. Loss of financial aid from some sources;

c. Possible loss of room privileges

3. Students may reside in college housing during the January Term only if they are registered for a standard January Term course, participate in a winter intercollegiate sport, or are given permission to do so by the Director of Residence Life.

4. All residential students (those living in College-owned housing) will pay full tuition rates.



First-year students are assigned to the professor teaching their first-year seminar. New transfers are assigned to a professor teaching a course in their declared major or if they are undecided about a major, to the Assistant Dean for First Year Students. As students declare a major (no later than registration for junior year), they select or are assigned an academic advisor who assists in planning for the completion of a program of study, selecting courses to satisfy a major, discussing career opportunities, and referring students to appropriate campus resources. Declaration of Major forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Each semester, students must meet with their advisor to discuss their course selections for the following semester.

Changing Advisor

When students select or change a major, they should seek an advisor in the appropriate department. To process this change, students should obtain a Declaration of Major form from the Registrar’s Office, secure signatures from the Department Chair and both the new and former advisors, and return the form to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

Course Schedule


To be reflected accurately on the students official record, course registrations and subsequent changes must be recorded in the Registrar’s Office before specified dates. Add/Drop forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

  1. Registration takes place in September for Jan Term, November for the spring semester and in March for the fall and summer semesters. Students are required to meet with their advisors to assist with course selection prior to registration. Advisors must clear students for registration.  Students with restrictions on their student accounts may be prevented from registering.
  2. Students may add courses during the first week of standard semesters Students may drop courses online during the first two weeks of a standard semester (see academic calendar for the exact dates).  Courses dropped before the drop date will not be included on the permanent record. After the add deadline, a student will not be permitted to add additional classes. An exception may be allowed only after the student consults with his/her advisor and receives permission from the instructor(s) involved.  A late fee of $30 will apply for each course added after the deadline. 
  3. After the deadline date for dropping a class, a student may withdraw from a course before the established withdraw deadline (see academic calendar for the exact dates).  Students must submit a Course Withdrawal form signed by both the advisor and the instructor(s).  The withdrawn course will appear on the student’s permanent record with a grade of “W.” If the change will result in an the student dropping below full time status (12 credits), signatures of a financial aid officer and the Director of Housing are required.  During standard semesters, there is a late withdrawal period of one week.  A late fee of $30 will apply for each late withdrawal.
  4. A student may drop/withdraw from courses only in accordance with the published Academic Calendar. A student who stops attending a course during the official drop/withdrawal period and does not officially drop/withdrawal from that course will receive a grade of “XF.”

Credit from Other Sources


In addition to classes taken at the College, students can accumulate credits in other ways.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) scores are normally accepted by the College for placement and credit on the following basis:

  • Scores of 4 or 5: Student normally receive four credit hours.  In some cases up to 8 credit hours may be awarded.
  • Score of 3 or lower: No advanced placement or credit is given. AP Calculus scores of 3 – get placement into MAT-1118 Calculus II and satisfy both basic Arithmetic and basic Algebra.

AP credit may be applied to fulfill both major requirements and the general education requirements as appropriate. The number of AP credits awarded is subject to change depending on changes in the tests and at the discretion of the department chair.


College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores in liberal arts subject area examinations will be accepted by the College. Placement and credit will be granted to students whose scores are equal to or above the American Council of Education’s recommended minimum scores.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

The College recognizes IB-level work and grants a maximum of one year of credits (32 hours) for examinations in higher-level courses only. Credits are awarded as follows:

  • Score of 5 or higher: Student normally receives four credit hours but in some cases up to 8 credit hours may be awarded.
  • 4: Student will receive credit at the discretion of the appropriate department.
  • 3 or lower: Student will not receive credit.

IB credits may be counted toward general education requirements, major or minor requirements, or electives in the same manner as Advanced Placement credits. Students should confer directly with departments to determine exact placement in departmental courses.

Summer School

McDaniel College offers an array of undergraduate courses, some of which are online. If a student wants to take a course at another school during the summer, he or she must complete a Transfer Credit Request form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office before registering at the off-campus location. Approval from the appropriate department chair/academic dean also may be required.

Transfer Credit

The College grants transfer credit for courses that are standard liberal arts courses or that compare to the offerings of the College, from accredited institutions where the accrediting agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Students seeking transfer credit from coursework earned at an institution outside the U.S. must submit an official transcript(s) that has been evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service.  McDaniel College recommends World Education Services (wes.org) but will accept an evaluation from any National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (naces.org) member.

Students entering McDaniel College from high school who seek credit for courses taken at a college while still attending high school will be notified by the Office of Admissions of transfer credits after they are accepted for admission and once the final college/high school transcript is received.

Students applying to McDaniel should request that an official college transcript be sent to the Admissions Office for review. Matriculated McDaniel students should request that a transcript be sent to the Registrar’s Office.   Note that many schools charge a nominal fee for forwarding transcripts.

Students wishing to transfer credit from Maryland 2-year institutions are encouraged to use ARTSYS, an electronic course-by-course evaluation system to determine the transferability of courses. Students should also consult with the Transfer Coordinator at their current institution for guidance on the use of ARTSYS and/or any questions about transferring.

Credit will be awarded when the grade from the sending institution is a “C-” or better, with the exception of ENG 1101, where the grade must be a “C” or better.  (The grade of “CR”, “P” or the equivalent is transferable for elective courses provided there is proof the letter grade would have been a C- or better.)

Transfer credit that is more than 10 years old may be accepted as elective credit but will be reviewed on a case-by-base to meet general education, major and/or minor requirements.

Grades from transfer courses are not used in the calculation of the student’s McDaniel College grade point average. Students may not replace a grade earned at McDaniel College with an equivalent transfer course grade.

The following limitations will be placed on the total number of hours allowable towards graduation by transfer:

1.      A maximum of 96 hours will be allowed from a four-year institution.

2.      A maximum of 64 hours will be allowed from a two-year institution.

3.      A total combined maximum of 96 hours from both two and four-year institutions will be allowed.

Transfer students must meet the graduation and residence requirements current at the time they matriculate.   Please note:  Only grades earned at McDaniel College and affiliated programs are calculated in the grade point average. In addition, a student must complete 64 credit hours at McDaniel College in order to qualify for general honors. Credits earned in affiliated study abroad programs, AP, IB and CLEP will be counted toward the 64-semester hour total.

Courses meeting general education, major or minor requirements may be fulfilled by courses taken at another institution. However students who have matriculated at McDaniel should obtain prior approval on a “Transfer Credit” form obtained online or from the Registrar’s Office.

Courses comparable to those offered by the College may not be taken elsewhere for transferable credit during either semester of the regular academic year except with permission of the Associate Dean of Student Academic Life; while such permission is not usually granted, it may be granted in the event of an irresolvable schedule conflict.

Occupational/Life Experience Credit

Students who have done occupational or volunteer work, or have had life experience (including travel, military service or extensive research/creative endeavors) which they feel might be worth college credit, may submit a portfolio to an academic dean.

The portfolio should include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Detailed description of occupational, volunteer, and/or life experience
  • A request to have the life experience credits apply in one of the following ways:
    • A specific course within a major - The portfolio should include a description of the course-specific knowledge gained from the experience.
    • A McDaniel Plan requirement - The portfolio should include a description of how the experience fulfilled the student learning outcomes for that McDaniel Plan requirement.
    • General elective credit - The portfolio should include a description of the college-level learning gained from the experience.
  • An endorsement signed by the former employer or by the head of the volunteer organization or documentation of military service (e.g., evaluation reports, award recommendations, certificate of discharge from active duty)
  • Endorsement by a faculty sponsor and an academic dean

If credits requested are linked to a specific major, the appropriate department chairperson will review thestudent portfolio for course analysis and approval and credit hour determination. Portfolios from students who seek general elective credits or McDaniel Plan requirements are reviewed by the Registrar and an academic dean.

A maximum of 16 life experience credit hours may be awarded. Life experience credit hours are billed at the College’s summer rate.

Study Abroad Credits

Students who attend one of the affiliated institutions/programs (e.g., Budapest) will have their grades, as well as credits, transferred to McDaniel College. Courses taken at an affiliate are considered McDaniel College courses. Students who attend study abroad programs not affiliated with the College must request a leave of absence from the Provost. Only credits (no grades) transfer from non-affiliated programs. 

Final Examinations


According to faculty policy, there is to be a significant examination or other culminating experience during the regularly scheduled final examination time for each student in each course (with the possible exception of senior capstone experiences). Because students need time to prepare for other final examinations, undergraduates cannot be required to submit a take-home final assessment during the last regular week of classes. Such final assessments may be due no earlier than the scheduled final exam time. No test or quiz longer than 15 minutes is to be scheduled during the last week of classes. Times of final examinations for courses are not to be changed without the approval of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, but faculty may allow individual students to take examinations at other times, consonant with the following policy (from the Student Handbook).

The times of examinations may be changed only for medical reasons or to relieve students who have exams scheduled in three or more consecutive half-day periods.

Examinations will not be rescheduled to facilitate social, travel, or employment arrangements. The Provost and Dean of the Faculty must authorize alterations in the examination program.

Students who have medical reasons or conflicts, as above, should discuss with the professor the possibility of taking the examination at another time with another section, or at a mutually agreeable time. This does not require the Dean’s approval. If arrangements cannot be made this way, the student may petition the Provost and Dean of the Faculty for a change of examination.

Grading System


For each course, the instructor determines the progress of the individual and the class by means of class work, tests, special assignments, papers, projects, conferences, and other procedures that might prove valuable.

Faculty are expected to enter midterm grades for undergraduate classes.  Midterm grades are entered prior to the withdrawal deadline so students may have the opportunity to withdraw from a class with a grade of “W” on the transcript. A student should consult with their advisor and the Financial Aid Office to determine the impact of withdrawing from a course.

The scholastic standing of students is indicated by a system of grades designated by the letters A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, CR, NR, and I. A, B, C, and D are passing final grades, A+ indicating work of the highest rank, D- of the lowest. Students receiving the final grade of F must repeat the course if they wish to receive credit for it.

At times, emergent and extenuating circumstances (e.g., a family emergency, documented illness, unavailability of needed materials to complete an assignment) may prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course before the end of the semester. In these cases, the instructor may allow the student to complete the remaining assignments at a later date. The procedure will vary depending upon whether the student would pass or fail the course without completing the outstanding assignments. 

  • If the student will fail the course without completing the remaining assignments, the professor may submit a temporary grade of Incomplete (I) for the course. On the Incomplete Grade Form, the instructor stipulates the terms and deadline for completion of requirements with the deadline being no later than the end of the following semester. The instructor submits the Incomplete Grade Form to the Registrar’s Office, provides a copy to the student, and keeps a copy on file. If a change of grade form is not received by the Registrar’s Office by the identified deadline, the I grade will convert to an F no later than the end of the following semester. Students cannot graduate with a grade of I on their academic record. Note that an incomplete grade is not a substitute for an F; instead, it is an indication that the coursework could not be completed by the end of the semester and that a plan has been developed to have that work completed. Professors may not submit incomplete grades at mid-term (see 4.4.11).  
  • If the student could pass the course with a grade of D- or higher when the calculation of the final grade includes zeros for the outstanding assignments, the instructor should submit that final grade. The instructor may still allow the student to turn in outstanding assignments by an agreed upon deadline which should be no later than the end of the following semester.  To provide documentation of the professor’s decision to allow the student to complete work after the semester has ended, the professor should submit information about the terms and deadlines for completion of the requirements to Academic Life.  The student will receive an email record of the online submission.  If the student completes the outstanding work by the deadline and it changes the student’s final grade, the professor should submit a Change of Grade Form. 

In both of the above cases, the deadline should allow sufficient time for the student to complete the work, while providing a swift resolution; the deadline may not extend beyond the end of the following semester.   

Please note that an Incomplete grade may place a student’s financial aid at risk. In addition, incomplete grades may affect and delay the determination of a student’s academic status (i.e., probation, dismissal) and ability to graduate. If the student can secure a passing grade by the end of the semester, the instructor should submit that grade rather than use the Incomplete Grade Form. The instructor may submit a change of grade form should work be accepted by the agreed upon date.

A Not Reported (NR) grade is given for pending Honor and Conduct action.

Students who receive a grade of Incomplete (I) or Not Reported (NR) in any of their courses are not eligible for the Dean’s List for that semester.

Grade Point Average

Grade point average (GPA) is calculated on a 4.00 scale, with the point values per grade as follows:

A+ = 4.0        
A = 4.0        
A- = 3.7        
B+ = 3.3        
B = 3.0        
B- = 2.7        
C+ = 2.3        
C = 2.0        
C- = 1.7        
D+ = 1.3        
D = 1.0        
D- = 0.7        
F = 0        
XF = 0       .

A student’s grade point average is calculated by dividing the number of quality points by the number of semester hours attempted (exclusive of courses graded “incomplete” or “CR”). A grade of “XF” is calculated into the GPA as a grade of “F”.

Grades from transfer courses are not calculated into the McDaniel College grade point average. The courses accepted from other institutions will be recorded on the McDaniel College transcript. Only grades earned at McDaniel College or its affiliated programs will be calculated in the student’s grade point average.

The general quality of students’ work is determined numerically and is called the grade point average (GPA). The GPA is calculated in two steps. First, letter grades are converted to numerical values on the following scale: A+=4.00; A=4.00; A-=3.70; B+=3.30; B=3.00; B-=2.70; C+=2.30; C=2.00; C-=1.70; D+=1.30; D=1.00; D-=0.70; F=0.00; XF=0.00. A student earns quality points for each course completed equal to the number of credit hours for the course multiplied by the point value for the grade. Then, the semester grade point average is calculated by dividing the total quality points achieved by the number of credit hours attempted in letter-graded courses. Thus, a student taking four, four-hour courses (totaling 16 hours) who received one A, one B, and two Cs would have earned a GPA of 2.75 for the semester. (4 X 4.00) + (4 X 3.00) + (8 X 2.00) = 44.0 ÷ 16 = 2.75.

Similarly, an overall GPA for all work attempted at the College is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. Affiliated Study Abroad Programs and certain Special Off-Campus Programs will be used in the calculation of a student’s grade point average. However, transfer credit, AP credit, CLEP credit, and “credit” grades are not calculated in the College’s GPA.

To maintain class standing, students must successfully complete the normal program of credit hours with at least a 2.00, or C, average. The Admissions, Retention, and Standards Committee will review any student’s record whose cumulative grade point average is less than 2.00.

The standard course load is 32 credit hours a year, but students should undertake programs they can handle successfully, no matter what the credit hour totals. The number of credit hours that each course carries is stated in the Schedule of Classes and McDaniel College catalog.

The recommended first semester schedule normally consists of four regular (four semester hour) courses, totaling sixteen semester hours, with the possible addition of one or more courses with lesser credit (0.5-2 semester hours).

Twelve semester hours are the minimum you may carry in order to be considered full time. Failure to maintain full-time status may affect athletic participation, housing, health and automobile insurance, and financial aid.

Change of Grade/Grade Appeal


Once a course grade has been reported to the Registrar’s Office, it may be changed only with the permission of the instructor and the appropriate class year academic dean, and generally only where there has been a recording or arithmetical error. If, however, a student believes that a semester grade has resulted from prejudicial or capricious evaluation, he or she should consult first with the professor of the course, if necessary with the head of the department, and ultimately with the Dean of the Faculty, whose approval is required for all grade changes of this nature.

If the Dean of the Faculty finds insufficient reason to support the student’s complaint, the appeals process is ended. Should the Dean of the Faculty find clear evidence of prejudicial or capricious evaluation, the Dean of the Faculty will recommend to the professor that the grade be changed. If the professor refuses to change the grade, the Dean of the Faculty will ask the Curriculum Committee to appoint an ad hoc faculty committee to consider the case. This committee will be composed of three faculty members, two of whom must come from the professor’s department or a related discipline. The Committee’s decision, which will be rendered within 30 days of the appeal’s submission, will be final.

The deadline for appealing a grade is the last day of classes of the semester following the term in which the course was taken.



Qualified juniors and seniors may elect one course per semester under the Credit-Fail option. To receive credit (CR) for a course under this option, a student must attain a grade of C- or better, but the letter grade is not recorded on the student’s record. Grades of “D+” or lower are converted to “F” under this option. Any grades of “F” obtained under the “credit-fail” option will be used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Students signing up for courses under the Credit/Fail option should indicate a CR under the Grade Method column on an Add/Drop form. A student must declare the Credit/Fail option within the first two weeks of the semester and may not change from a graded basis to Credit/Fail later in the semester. A student may change from Credit/Fail to a graded basis by the last day of regularly scheduled classes in the semester. The instructor normally receives no formal notification of a student’s enrollment in a course under the Credit/Fail option. Students may not choose to take a course Credit/Fail if it fulfills requirements for a major, a minor, general education, or Honors Program requirement,  except for Physical Activity and Wellness classes.

In addition, all internships and some January Term courses (regardless of class level) are graded on a Credit/Fail basis only, with the exceptions of student teaching and social work.



To audit a course (no credit hours or quality points awarded), a student is required to meet with the instructor of the course who stipulates the requirements of the audit.  A completed and signed Add/Drop form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the second week of class.  A grade of “AU” will be reflected on the transcript.  If requirements of the audit are not met, the instructor may request that the audited course be removed from the student’s academic history.

There is no additional charge for a full-time student.  A part-time student is charged one-half the regular tuition.

A student may request a change from audit to credit (letter grade) prior to the end of the semester.  Instructor approval is required and a completed and signed Add/Drop form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before the end of the class/semester.  All course requirements must be completed and any price differential must be paid.

Repeat Policy


A student has the option to repeat and pass a course previously failed in order to gain credit hours toward graduation.  The student will receive the quality points for the new grade, and the original failing grade will no longer be used in the calculation of the grade point average. If a student repeats a course previously passed, they will not gain any new hours toward graduation. The higher of the two grades will be used in the calculation of the grade point average. All grades will remain on the student’s transcript. Transcripts will be marked indicating the repeated courses. There is no limit to the number of times a course may be repeated. With the exception of Study Abroad credits earned from an affiliated program, students may not replace a grade earned at McDaniel College with an equivalent transfer course grade

This policy does not apply to performance music courses (MUSIC 1001-1024, 1101-1105, 1110-1122). You will receive a grade and hours towards graduation each time you take one of these courses. In these courses both grades and credit toward graduation will accumulate each time a course is taken.

Likewise, First-Year Seminars can not be repeated.

Minimum Scholastic Requirements

  1. A student must achieve a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 by spring of the senior year to be in “good academic standing” at the College. In addition, students must earn 128 credits and complete all requirements to earn a degree.
  2. Academic Progress is measured in three areas: A) maintaining a cumulative GPA consistent with the standards for good academic standing, B) successfully completing a required number of credits per semester, and C) receiving a degree in a timely manner.
  3. Below is a schedule of the cumulative GPA a student must achieve based on the number of attempted credits. If a student falls below the GPA requirement, the student may be academically dismissed or placed on academic probation. 

NOTE: Academic dismissal will be accompanied by a suspension of Financial Aid as noted in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy in Financial Aid; however, students who are not academically dismissed may, at times, also have financial aid suspended.  Students receiving financial aid should review the Financial Aid SAP policy for standards related to GPA, pace, and maximum timeframe.

Students who are academically dismissed or have their financial aid suspended will be informed regarding the process to appeal this decision.

Attempted Credits Cumulative GPA Academic Decision
1 - 31.5 <1.25
1.25 - 1.49
Academic Dismissal
Academic Probation
32 - 47.5 <1.50
1.50 - 1.69
Academic Dismissal
Academic Probation
48 - 63.5 <1.70
1.70 - 1.79
Academic Dismissal
Academic Probation
64 - 79.5 <1.80
1.80 - 1.89
Academic Dismissal
Academic Probation
80 - 95.5 <1.90
1.90 - 1.99
Academic Dismissal
Academic Probation
96 and higher <2.00 Academic Dismissal

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Academic Probation

Students who return to McDaniel College on academic probation must schedule a meeting with an academic dean before they return to campus, or no later than the first week of classes. The meeting ensures that effective planning takes place and resources for student support can be put into place. Students should call the Office of Academic Affairs at 410-857-2279, or First Stop at 410-857-2790, to schedule a conference. If students receive financial aid, they are required to contact the Financial Aid Office at 410-857-2233 to determine the status of their aid package.

Academic Dismissal Appeal Process 

If a student believes that that extenuating circumstances were the cause of the academic dismissal, the College’s decision may be appealed by sending a letter to the provost within 10 business days. The letter should be written by the student and should address the following:

The reason for the appeal. 
Why the student did not achieve the required 2.0 GPA, or why he or she could not successfully complete the required semester hours.
What has changed that will allow the student to improve his or her academic standing.

Students are required to secure an advisor’s or a professor’s support in the form of an email or letter that details students’ prospects for academic success. If students receive financial aid, they are required to contact the Financial Aid Office at 410-857-2233 to determine the status of their aid package.


Graduation and Commencement

Graduation occurs at the end of each semester for students who have completed all requirements for their degree as outlined under Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree . Students who anticipate graduation must complete an Application for Graduation during their final semester.

McDaniel College holds one commencement ceremony in the spring of each year. Spring graduates who attend the ceremony will receive their diplomas on stage.

Students who graduate in the summer or fall semesters have the option to attend the ceremony in the following spring. Degrees are conferred on August 15th for summer semester, December 31st for fall semester, and on the day of Commencement for the spring semester..

Diplomas are mailed to all August and December graduates as well as spring graduates who do not attend the ceremony. Diplomas and transcripts will not be released for students with active holds (remaining balances, incomplete exit interviews, etc.).

Petition to Walk at Commencement

Students who have completed their Capstone work and who have one required course remaining to be eligible for graduation, or, are within four credits of the 128 overall credits required, may petition to walk in the Commencement ceremony. To be eligible to petition to walk, a student must have met the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 as well as the minimum GPA of 2.0 for at least one of their respective major(s).

The Petition to Walk form is available from the Office of Academic Affairs and is due no later than May 1st for consideration. It requires students to submit a plan for completing the missing requirement over the summer semester either through an existing McDaniel College summer registration or a transfer credit preapproval. Petitions must be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar and approved by the Associate Dean of Student Academic Life.

Students who are approved to walk in the commencement ceremony must complete their degree with a passing grade in a McDaniel College course during the summer term or provide an official transcript showing a passing grade of “C-” or better for a course from an outside institution. The degree will be awarded on the appropriate date for the semester in which the final requirement is completed. The student will not be eligible to participate a second ceremony the following spring.

Students who do not complete their missing requirement in the summer following the commencement ceremony will be placed on “Hold for Continuance” (HC). If the missing requirement is not completed the subsequent term, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the institution unless a leave of absence is approved.

Program requirements for students returning four or more years after the anticipated completion date noted on their Petition to Walk will be evaluated by an academic dean and/or department chair for the declared major to determine if additional credits are required or appropriate course substitutions may be made.



 In addition to Phi Beta Kappa, there are numerous other honorary societies on campus. Three societies oriented toward general accomplishment are Omicron Delta Kappa, a national society recognizing leadership qualities, Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society recognizing academic excellence in the first year of college, and the Trumpeters, a local society honoring senior students dedicated to service. National and international honor societies which recognize academic accomplishment in specific fields are Beta Beta Beta (Biology), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry), Lambda Pi Eta (Communication), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics), Kappa Delta Pi (Education), Phi Alpha Theta (History), Lambda Iota Tau (Literature), Phi Sigma Iota (Foreign Languages), Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics), Omicron Psi (Nontraditional Students), Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy), Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics), Phi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Psi Chi (Psychology), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences), Phi Alpha (Social Work), and Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Arts).

The College grants three types of honor citations at graduation, College Scholar, Departmental Honors and General Honors, and the Dean’s List at the close of each semester.

  1. General Honors: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude. These honors are recorded on the diplomas and on the student’s permanent records. A cumulative grade point average of 3.90-4.00 is necessary for Summa Cum Laude, 3.70-3.89 for Magna Cum Laude, and 3.50-3.69 for Cum Laude.

Only grades earned at McDaniel College and affiliated programs are calculated in the grade point average. In addition, a student must complete 64 credit hours at McDaniel College in order to qualify for general honors. Credits earned in approved study abroad programs, AP, IB and CLEP will be counted toward the 64-semester hour total.

  1. Departmental Honors: Honors in…(name of the major department). To receive departmental honors, students must:
    1. Have a grade point average of 3.50 in all courses taken in the major.
    2. Satisfy any departmental requirements, such as engaging in seminars or in self-directed study, submitting an essay or passing with distinction a comprehensive examination in the major field.
    3. Be recommended by the department.
  2. The Dean’s List recognizes full-time (12 or more letter-graded credit hours) undergraduate students with outstanding academic performances each semester (including no Incomplete (I) or Not Recorded (NR) grades on their record) on the following basis:
    1. Highest honors, requiring a semester term grade point average of 3.90 or higher;
    2. High honors, requiring a semester term grade point average of 3.70-3.89;
    3. Honors, requiring a semester term grade point average of 3.50-3.69.
  3. McDaniel Honors Program: Students who complete the requirements of the McDaniel Honors Program are recognized as College Scholars on their official transcripts.


McDaniel College conducts an active program of student internships through cooperative programs with government, business, industry, institutions, and individuals. Internships are generally arranged directly through the academic departments or programs of the College, and each internship must be sponsored by a member of the faculty. In general, 37 hours of work during the course of the semester/term equals one credit. An internship that exceeds four credits must have department chair approval. To enroll in an internship, students complete the Internship Registration form available in the Registrar’s Office. Internship Registration forms must be submitted no later than the last day of the semester/term in which the internship takes place.  Credit will not be awarded for internships completed in prior semesters. No more than twelve credit hours of internships may be counted toward the 128 credit hours required for graduation, and no more than two credits of classroom internship within a single department may count toward graduation. Internships are graded credit/fail only. Many study abroad programs also provide internship opportunities in a range of areas and settings.

Leave of Absence and Withdrawal from the College


If a student wishes to leave the College temporarily or permanently, a student can choose two different options.

Students in good standing who wish to leave the College temporarily for personal or medical reasons may request an official Leave of Absence (LOA). An LOA is temporary and can be requested for up to two consecutive semesters. In exceptional circumstances, a third semester of an LOA may be approved.

To request an LOA, prior to the final two weeks of classes and finals week, students must meet with their academic dean. Students will complete an LOA request form, which is reviewed by the Acting Dean of Faculty. For a medical LOA request, students must submit documentation from a medical provider to the college’s Wellness Center within fourteen (14) calendar days. If a student fails to submit the medical documentation on time, the LOA request shifts from medical to personal. The medical documentation required for a Medical Leave of Absence must be completed by the student’s treating physician, licensed mental health provider, or other licensed healthcare professional. The provider must be an impartial professional who does not have an immediate familial relationship with the student. The documentation must include 1) diagnosis or condition; 2) how this condition is resulting in functional impairments that prevent the individual from meeting the expectations of a student; and 3) clear recommendation for medical leave of absence from college.

Students will receive final decisions about LOA requests via email and a letter to their home address on record.

Students who wish to permanently withdraw from the College must meet with their academic dean and complete the withdrawal request form prior to the final two weeks of classes and finals week.

If the request for an LOA or permanent withdrawal from the College is submitted prior to the last two weeks for classes and finals week, the student will receive grades of ‘W.’

During the last two weeks of the semester and finals week, students may request an LOA for the following semester(s) or to permanently withdraw from the College at the conclusion of the semester; however, they are encouraged to work with professors to complete currently enrolled coursework to the best of their ability. During this period, requests for an LOA or permanent withdrawal from the college will not be reviewed until after the submission of final grades from the current semester. In cases of an LOA, students may wish to consult with their professors about the option of an incomplete grade.

When requesting an LOA or permanent withdrawal, students must contact Financial Aid, Residence Life, and the Bursar’s Office to review and discuss procedures in those areas.

Administrative Withdrawals

The College will administratively withdraw 1) students in active status who have not registered for classes before the first day of classes and who have not contacted the College about extenuating circumstances and/or intention to register by the end of the first week of classes, and 2) students whose Leave of Absence has expired and who have not contacted the College to confirm their return before August 15 (if anticipated to return for the Fall semester) or January 15 (if anticipated to return for the Spring semester).

Re-Admission to McDaniel College


Students who have formerly attended McDaniel College, officially withdrawn (not a leave of absence), and subsequently wish to return have a separate application process from new students and a separate application form, which may be obtained from the Office of Admissions. Transcripts must be submitted from any colleges attended since leaving McDaniel. A $50 application fee is required. Housing policies and residential requirements apply as they do for current students. Once a student is re-admitted to the College and commits to returning, it is then possible to talk to an advisor and discuss the course registration timetable for the next semester.

Registration at Other Colleges

Students interested in enrolling in courses at other institutions must complete a Transfer Request form available in the Registrar’s Office. Each student is responsible for having an official transcript sent from the other institution for posting to their permanent record. Please note transfer credits do not affect the student’s grade point average at McDaniel College. Up to 96 credit hours in transfer from four-year institutions and up to 64 credit hours from two-year institutions will be accepted.

Access to Educational Records


Educational records are those records, files, documents, and other material directly related to a student and maintained by McDaniel College or any of its agents. The College assumes an implicit and justifiable trust as custodian of these records. Access to and release of student records are determined by College policy, which complies with Public Law 93-380 (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, often referred to as the Buckley Amendment). Copies of the College Policy on Release of Information About Students and of the U.S. Department of Education regulations implementing Public Law 93-380 are available in the Registrar’s Office. Students receive notification of the rights accorded them under the above documents at the beginning of each academic year. A more complete description of these policies appears in the Student Handbook.

Retention of Records


Transcript records are permanently held by the Registrar’s Office. Documentation pertaining to the registration for each semester is held only for a period of one year. If any questions should arise regarding documentation of enrollment more than one year beyond registration for a course, it will be the student’s responsibility to produce proper documentation to support any claim for a change to their record.

Teacher Certification for Undergraduate Students


Education candidates, including majors and minors, have options regarding when to complete the one-semester student teaching experience. For all options, students are responsible for the additional student teaching fee ($750.00).

OPTION #1 (applies to both majors and minors):

Students may complete their student teaching in the 8th semester of their undergraduate studies. In this case, credits will be billed at the undergraduate rate during the student teaching semester and students will remain eligible for Institutional, Federal, State, and Private aid. Students will graduate in May with a major or minor in Education listed on the transcript; the Approved Program Stamp for Teaching Certification will be placed on their transcript at this time as well.

OPTION #2 (applies to both majors and minors):

Students may complete student teaching in the 9th semester as undergraduate, degree seeking students. Credits will be billed at a rate equivalent to the graduate rate during the 9th semester; Institutional financial aid is not available for credits billed at the graduate rate; however, students may apply for Federal, State, and Private aid. Students will graduate in December, following the 9th semester, with the major or minor in Education listed on the transcript. At this point, the Approved Program Stamp for Teaching Certification will be placed on the transcript. Students may petition to walk in the May commencement ceremony following the 8th semester, but will not be awarded their degrees or have the Approved Program Stamp for Teaching Certification placed on the transcript until the 9th semester has been completed.

OPTION #3 (applies to minors only):

Students may complete student teaching in the 9th semester as post-baccalaureate, non-degree seeking students. In this case, students will graduate in May without a minor in education listed on their transcripts (note that the minor will not be added to the transcript at a later date). Credits will be billed at the graduate rate during the 9th semester. Institutional, Federal, and State aid (as well as the majority of Private scholarships) is not available for non-degree seeking students; students may wish to seek private loans. The Approved Program Stamp for Teaching Certification will be placed on the transcript following completion student teaching.

VA Monthly GI Bill® Rate of Pursuit/Training Time for Chapters 30, 1606, and 35

Training Times

The VA Training Time refers to how the Department of Veterans Affairs views your course load, in order to determine the amount of benefit you will be paid. When your GI Bill® benefit is certified, your school certifying official is required to report the number of credit hours you are taking and your training time for each enrollment period.

The chart below reflects how training time is calculated for graduate students based on the length of the enrollment period and the number of credit hours of enrollment. Keep in mind that the VA training times indicated below are for the individual enrollment periods only. Each sub-term must be considered individually and cannot be combined with other enrollment periods for the assignment of a training time.

Graduate/Undergraduate Summer Term Lengths

Training Time On Campus (8Weeks) On Campus (6 Weeks) On Campus (3 Weeks) Online (8 Weeks)
Full Time 3 2 2 3
3/4 Time 2 1.5 1 2
1/2 Time 1.5 1 .5 1.5
<1/2 Time and >1/4 Time 1 .5 N/A 1
1/4 Time .5 N/A N/A .5


VA Students

Students using Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits (Chapter 33) and Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Benefits (Chapter 31) at McDaniel College will be allowed to attend McDaniel College for up to 90 days from the date the beneficiary provides a certificate of eligibility, or valid VAF 28-1905. A McDaniel College Request for Benefits Form must accompany the certificate of eligibility or Valid VAF 28-1905 and should be submitted to the Veterans A.  McDaniel College will not impose a penalty, or require as student to borrow additional funds to cover tuition and fees due to late payments from VA.