Academic Policies

All academic policies are outlined in The Bulletin

Semester Credit Limits

Liberal arts students may take a maximum of five and a half credits, and engineering students may take a maximum of six and a half credits each semester. To add an additional credit, you will need to petition your advising dean at the beginning of the semester.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time

Full-time status at Tufts is defined as attempting a minimum of three credits in a semester.

After completing Tufts’ residence requirement of eight semesters of full-time study, you may choose to graduate or enroll part time. To enroll part time in your ninth semester, you must consult academic Advisor, then complete the part-time status form and submit it to your Advising Dean no later than the beginning of your second to last semester at Tufts.

If you choose to attend part time in your ninth semester, you will be charged tuition for each half credit based on the number of registered credits listed in SIS at the time the form is submitted for approval.

The Pass/Fail Option

The purpose of the pass/fail option is to encourage students to extend their academic interests. Your course instructors do not know if you have elected to take a course pass/fail. You are graded as usual throughout the course and will get a final grade of pass if you achieve a D- or higher. Please keep in mind the following points about the pass/fail option:

  • A pass does not affect your grade point average, but a failing grade is counted in your GPA.
  • You may not take arts and sciences courses pass/fail to fulfill foundation, distribution, major, or minor requirements.
  • Engineering majors may not take introductory, foundation, or departmental concentration courses pass/fail.
  • In most cases, you may not take more than one course per semester pass/fail. 
  • You may count a maximum of eight pass/fail credits toward the total credits required for graduation.  If you choose to take a course pass/fail, you will not be permitted to repeat the course for credit in a subsequent semester.
  • Please refer to the academic calendar.  After the stated deadline, you must either complete the course under the existing grading system or withdraw from the course. 

Complete Your Paperwork for Pass/Fail

Withdrawing from a Course

If you choose to drop a course after the official drop deadline each semester, the course will remain on the your record. Instead of receiving a grade, the class will be marked with a “W” for “withdraw.” This simply means the course is part of your permanent record, and is in no way a measure of your performance in the course. There are lots of reasons students choose to withdraw from courses, and your advisor or advising dean can offer the best advice about what will work for you.

Incomplete Grade

An “incomplete” indicates that the instructor has allowed you more time to complete the requirements for the course. Incompletes may only be awarded if you have done substantial work in the course and the instructor believes there are valid reasons for granting an incomplete. To receive an incomplete, speak with your professor to discuss the details of an incomplete and complete the necessary paperwork.

If you are granted an incomplete, you will be required to complete all coursework within the first six weeks of the next semester, or by the date the chosen by the instructor. In special circumstances you may request an extension of this deadline by submitting your request in writing to Dowling Hall.

Grade Changes

Submitted grades are final and not subject to negotiation. Exceptions should be limited to correcting clerical and calculation errors. If you believe there is an error, you may discuss your grade with the course instructor and/or make an appeal to the department chair, program director, or if necessary, a dean of faculty in Ballou Hall. Grade change requests must be made no later than six weeks into the following semester.

Repeating a Course

You may choose to take a course for a second time at Tufts, but policy limits how you can receive credit. It is important to consider why you would choose to repeat a course and remember that grades earned at Tufts are never removed from your record.

Some courses at Tufts may be repeated for full credit:

Course Notes
Physical Education You can receive up to two credits; if you take courses beyond this limit, they will be recorded as “no credit.”
Music (Performance) Check with department for details.
Dance (Performance) Check with department for details.
Studio Art Check with department for details.
Creative Writing (Intro) You may take twice in each genre.
Creative Writing (Intermediate) Only fiction and poetry may be taken twice for credit.

 

If you’re interested in taking a course again because you’re unhappy with the grade you earned the first time, please keep in mind that Tufts’ duplicate policy prevents students from earning full credit more than once for a course. The first grade you earn determines the way credit is received for the repeat course:

First Grade Earned
Second Grade Earned
Pre-matriculation credit Full Tufts credit; pre-matriculation credit is removed from transcript.
Grade of C- or better Second grade will not be counted for degree or cumulative average.
Grade of D+, D or D- Both grades appear on transcript. The credit value of the original course will be removed, but the full impact of the grades of both the original and repeated courses will be calculated into the cumulative grade point average. The repeated course, if passed, will receive the full credit value.
Grade of F  Both grades appear on transcript.

 

This can be a big decision, so make sure to discuss it with your Student Success Advisor, Advisor, or Advising Dean.