Satisfactory Academic Progress

As required by federal law, and as a condition of the institution’s Program Participation Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, and to maintain the College’s participation in Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) programs, Colby College has established this Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy to determine whether a student is making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation in his or her educational program and may receive assistance under Title IV of the HEA. This policy follows the federal guidelines that became effective July 1, 2011. Colby’s SAP policy is maintained by the SFS Office, coordinated with the Admissions and Financial Aid office, and guidelines are published annually in the Colby College Catalogue.

To be eligible to receive federal financial aid, a student is required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in his or her course of study according to these standards.

SAP standards are based on cumulative measures of a student’s qualitative (grade-based), and quantitative (time-based) progress toward degree completion. The SFS Office is responsible for evaluating students’ SAP before authorizing disbursement of federal financial assistance to each student’s account. Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of each semester.

New or conflicting information that may have an impact on SAP reviews will be taken into consideration when evaluating SAP, even if the information is provided after SAP has been calculated. For example, if after SAP has been calculated at the end of a term, and the SFS Office receives late notification of a grade change from the previous fall or spring term, SAP will be rechecked using the new information.

Application of Standards

Colby’s SAP policy applies to all students receiving federal financial assistance, regardless of enrollment status or degree major. SAP standards apply to all federal financial assistance programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Assistance Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, including Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Parent PLUS Loans, and financial assistance from the state. Students receiving aid from outside scholarships may be subject to different SAP standards as established by the agency granting the scholarship.

Academic Standards

The academic standards established by the faculty of the College apply to all students, but Colby’s SAP standards are separate from, and in addition to, the academic standards. The College’s SAP policy is stricter than the institution’s standards for a student enrolled in the same educational program who is not receiving assistance under a Title IV, HEA program as required by federal regulations. Students who fail to meet these academic standards may be subject to academic probation or dismissal from the College.

Students whose semester GPA falls below a 2.0 in a semester will be placed on academic probation. Students whose semester GPA falls below 1.7 or 2.0 while on probation may be academically dismissed from the College.

Good Standing =/>2.0 Semester GPA and =/> 12 Semester Credits

Academic Probation 1.70 – 1.99 and/or <12 Semester Credits

Academic Dismissal <1.70 or 2.0 while on probation

Graduation Requirements

To be considered a candidate for graduation, students must successfully complete 128 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.

Qualitative Progress Standards

The following qualitative standards were designed to assess the quality of coursework completed by students as they progress toward degree completion. The College measures a student’s progression toward degree completion using a fixed grade point standard on a 4.0 grade point average scale. For qualitative purposes, satisfactory academic progress requires a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better at each evaluation point. By the end of a student’s second academic year, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least a “C” (2.0) or have an academic standing consistent with Colby’s graduation requirements.

Minimum GPA = 2.0
Colby College does not offer remedial coursework; thus, such coursework is not included in the qualitative assessment of SAP. Similarly, audited classes are not included.

Transfer credits accepted by Colby College which count toward a student’s program count as both credits attempted and credits completed when calculating qualitative progress. Non-accepted credits are not included in the qualitative calculation.

Course incompletes will be converted to failing grades after the end of the semester and will count as credits attempted but not earned when qualitative progress is assessed.

Course withdrawals will count as credits attempted but not earned.

Students may receive financial aid to retake coursework in previously passed or failed courses, however, aid eligibility is limited to one retake per course. If a student repeats a course where credit has not been earned such as a failed course, the higher grade will be used to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA. If a student repeats a previously passed course, the higher grade will be used to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA.

The director of SFS measures a student’s qualitative progress by reviewing students’ cumulative GPA at each evaluation point.

Quantitative Progress Standards

The following quantitative standards were designed to measure student’s progress toward program completion relative to the normal pace students are expected to maintain at Colby. Thus, the quantitative standards specify the pace at which students must progress through their program to ensure they will graduate within the maximum timeframe and students who receive financial aid must meet the quantitative requirements to retain their eligibility for financial aid. The policy also specifies the maximum timeframe in which a student must complete his or her educational programs.

Maximum Timeframe

Colby College defines maximum timeframe as 110 percent of the published length of the program in attempted credits. 128 x 1.10 = 140 credits max timeframe


Students receiving financial assistance are expected to complete their educational program within eight semesters. Occasionally, a student may be permitted to attend a ninth semester when unusual circumstances exist, provided the student has obtained permission from the Dean of Studies. 128/8 = 16, 16×9 = 140 credits attempted.

Students must successfully complete at least 90 percent of their cumulative attempted credits to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Attempted credit hours are totaled and multiplied by 0.90 to determine the number of credit hours a student must have earned to be considered making progress. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted.

For example: a student who has taken six semesters and attempted 96 credits must have successfully completed at least 87 credits to be considered making satisfactory pace toward completion.

Colby College does not offer remedial coursework; thus, such coursework is not included in the quantitative assessment of SAP. Similarly, audited classes are not included.

Transfer credits accepted by Colby College which count toward a student’s program count as both credits attempted and credits completed when calculating pace for SAP. Non-accepted credits are not included in the pace calculation.

Course Incompletes will be converted to failing grades after the end of the semester and will count as credits attempted but not earned when Pace is calculated.

Course withdrawals will count as credits attempted but not earned.

If a student repeats a course, both the original course and the retaken course will be counted as attempted credits when calculating pace.

The director of SFS measures a student’s quantitative progress by reviewing completed credits as a percentage of attempted credits after each semester.

Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

At the time of each evaluation, a student who has not achieved the required GPA, or who is not successfully completing his or her educational program at the required pace, will be notified in writing of the results of an evaluation that impacts their eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial assistance.

SAP Statuses

Students’ SAP reviews will result in a student being placed on one of the following statuses:

Making SAP
Not Making SAP – Financial Aid Warning
Not Making SAP – Financial Aid Suspension
Not Making SAP – Financial Aid Probation

Making SAP

A student who has met the SAP qualitative and quantitative standards of this policy is making satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. This student is in good financial aid standing with the College and is eligible to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs during the next semester of enrollment, providing the student remains in good academic standing with the College and meets all other program requirements.

Not Making SAP – Financial Aid Warning

The first time a student fails to meet either the qualitative or quantitative standards of this policy at any evaluation point they will be automatically placed on financial aid warning for one semester. Students on warning will remain eligible for financial aid for the remainder of the semester in which they are placed on warning. Students cannot be placed on financial aid warning for more than one semester back-to-back, thus it is imperative that students engage with the appropriate resources on campus to ensure their success. A student who has returned to good financial aid standing for at least one term but later does not meet SAP standards can be placed on a second term of financial aid warning.

Not Making SAP – Financial Aid Suspension

Students who do not meet the SAP benchmarks for a second consecutive evaluation will be placed in a status called financial aid suspension. Students in this status are ineligible for financial assistance unless the student has appealed and has been placed on financial aid probation. Students may continue at Colby without financial assistance provided the student remains in good academic standing with the College and meets all other program requirements.

Not Making SAP – Financial Aid Probation

Students in a Financial Aid Suspension status will be notified in writing and given the opportunity to appeal. If the student’s appeal is successful, their status will be changed to financial aid probation and they will regain Title IV eligibility for one semester.

All SAP appeals must be submitted to the director of SFS according to the process outlined in the appeals section of this policy. If the director of SFS after consultation with the student’s advising dean, approves an appeal, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. A student on financial aid probation temporarily regains their eligibility to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs for one semester of enrollment.

Regaining Eligibility

A student not making SAP may re-establish eligibility for aid and SAP by meeting qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP policy.


Students may appeal a determination that they are not making SAP to the director of SFS to account for mitigating circumstances (i.e. family member’s death, injury, illness, or other special circumstances). To be eligible for an appeal, the director of SFS must determine that the student will be able to meet SAP standards by the next evaluation point. If it is not possible for the student to meet SAP standards by the end of the semester but it is determined that his/her deficiencies may be cured with more time, students may be placed on an academic plan at the discretion of the director of SFS. An academic plan must ensure that, if followed, a student will be making SAP by a specified point in time. Students who successfully appeal an SAP determination will be placed on financial aid probation and will remain eligible for aid for one semester or until the end of the semester specified in their academic plan. Students who do not successfully appeal remain ineligible for aid until they meet the minimum SAP criteria.

Students must submit a written appeal to the director of SFS within seven calendar days after the beginning of the term. The director of SFS, in coordination with the director of New Student Financial Aid, will respond to all appeals within seven days of receipt of a request for SAP appeal. As with any professional judgment decision, appeals are only considered on a case-by-case basis, to account for unusual circumstances.

To submit an appeal, students must follow these guidelines:

  1. Submit the following to the SFS Office:

Formal appeal letter describing extenuating circumstances. You must describe why progress was not made and what has changed that will allow for progress to be made at the next evaluation.

If necessary, a copy of your academic plan created with your academic advisor demonstrating how you will achieve SAP.

  1. The SFS Office, in coordination with the Admissions and Financial Aid Office, will review all required documentation once submitted. If your appeal is approved, you must sign an SAP contract for the probationary period.

The SFS Office will review all submitted SAP appeal forms within seven business days of receipt of the appeal. Decisions are made after a careful evaluation of the student’s unique circumstances, federal Title IV requirements, and College policy. Notification will be sent in writing to the student as to the outcome of the appeal review. SAP appeal reviews will result in one of the following outcomes:

Not Approved

A student whose SAP appeal is not approved will remain on financial aid suspension and will not be eligible to receive financial aid until all SAP deficiencies have been repaired.

Approved with Probation

A student whose SAP appeal is approved will be placed on financial aid probation and is eligible to receive financial aid during the next semester of enrollment, provided the student remains in good academic standing with the College and meets all other program requirements.

Approved with an Academic Plan

A student on financial aid probation may be required to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses. In some cases, it may be mathematically impossible for a student to repair his or her SAP deficiencies with one term of enrollment. In such cases, a student’s SAP appeal may be approved with an academic plan to cure SAP deficiencies over more than one term.

Students who successfully appeal a determination that he or she is not meeting SAP standards and who require more than one semester to meet the SAP standards must develop an academic plan with their advising dean to improve their academic progress. Academic plans are developed on a student-by-student basis and designed in such a way that, if followed, the student meet SAP standards by the specified evaluation point included in the scope of the plan. Plans may be as simple as a mathematical calculation that specifies the percentage of coursework the student must complete or as detailed as a course-by-course plan toward certificate completion.

A student on an approved academic plan will be placed on financial aid probation and temporarily regains their eligibility to receive financial aid provided the student meets the SAP standards outlined in the student’s academic plan. The student must also remain in good academic standing with the College and meet all other program requirements.


Updates to the Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy will be published in updates to the Financial Aid Policy and Procedures Manual, Colby Catalogue, and the Colby website as applicable.

Summary of Requirements for Graduation

  • Residence: At least 64 credit hours in four full-time semesters, including the last semester.
  • Quantity: A minimum of 128 credit hours in at least seven full-time semesters.
  • Quality: A minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA
  • Distribution (number of courses):
    • First-Year Writing (1)
    • Foreign Language (up to 3)
    • Arts (1)
    • Historical Studies (1)
    • Literature (1)
    • Quantitative Reasoning (1)
    • Natural Sciences (2)
    • Social Sciences (1)
    • Diversity (2)
    • Wellness
  • Major: Satisfy requirements of a major
  • January Program: Complete three January programs (two for students in residence six semesters or fewer)

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for the degree of bachelor of arts, a candidate must meet specific requirements in residence, quantity, quality, distribution, major, and January Program. Only those seniors who have met all graduation requirements are eligible to participate in commencement exercises. Students are expected to complete all degree requirements to be eligible to participate in commencement.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, students in the graduating Classes of 2023 or 2024, with no more than nine credits left to complete degree requirements and who expect to complete all requirements by the end of September, may participate in commencement with the approval of the Registrar’s Office. Students will receive an empty diploma case at commencement, and degrees will be conferred in October upon review of the completion of degree requirements. Students receiving their degrees in October will be considered members of the preceding class, and Latin honors will be awarded accordingly.

Students who do not meet the above criteria, but because of extreme extenuating circumstances find themselves unable to graduate with their class, may appeal to the Administrative Committee for permission to march with their class and receive an empty diploma cover. Students may take part in only one commencement.

Residence Requirement

Candidates for the degree must earn in residence at least 64 credit hours. They must be resident students at Colby for at least four semesters, including the last semester. A resident student is defined as a full-time student taking at least 12 credit hours and paying tuition charges at the semester rate.

Unless taken as part of an established institutional exchange program, credits earned at another institution while a student is registered concurrently at Colby may not be applied toward graduation requirements.

Quantity Requirement (Credits)

A minimum of 128 credit hours earned in at least seven semesters of full-time college-level study. Among the 128 credit hours, up to 16 may be earned in courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Quality Requirement

At least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. For each credit hour, a mark of:

  • A (Excellent) earns four points
  • B (Very Good to Good) earns three points
  • C (Satisfactory) earns two points
  • D (Minimally acceptable) earns one point
  • F (Seriously deficient, not acceptable) earns zero points
  • Each plus mark (after A, B, C, or D) earned adds .3 quality point per credit hour
  • Each minus mark (after A, B, C, or D) deducts .3 quality point per credit hour

Distribution Requirement

No part of any requirement can be satisfied with the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option.

First-Year Writing
All students, with the exception of incoming transfer students who have completed an equivalent course before entering Colby, must take a first-year writing course (designated W1) during their first year. W1 courses, offered in a variety of subject areas and topics, share a strong emphasis on drafting, argument development, and revision; close focus on individual writing skills and needs; required writing in a variety of forms; frequent professor and peer feedback; and exploration of the ethical, critical, and formal expectations for written work in college.

Foreign Language
This requirement may be met in one of four ways:

  1. By attaining before entrance a score of 640 or higher on the SAT Subject Test in a foreign language or in a Colby language placement test, a score of 4 or 5 in Advanced Placement language or literature, a 6 or 7 in an International Baccalaureate higher-level exam, or 7 on a standard-level exam. Refer to the section on placement in foreign languages in the Academic Advising and Placement section for information concerning Colby language placement tests.
  2. By successfully completing Colby’s intensive language program in Salamanca, Spain, or Dijon, France. The Salamanca language program is available either fall or spring semester; the Dijon program is available in the fall semester only. These programs are open to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors.
  3. By successfully completing the equivalent of three semesters of a modern language (course usually numbered 127 or higher), or of a classical language (course usually numbered 131 or higher). Students will be placed according to ability.
  4. By successfully completing a previously approved intermediate-level language course at an approved college or university (see Transferred Credits in the Academic Procedures section).

Students whose native language is not English or who have studied a foreign language not taught at Colby may fulfill the requirement by presenting evidence of reading, writing, speaking, and listening at an intermediate level of that language. For a language taught at Colby, confirmation from the chair of the appropriate department must be filed with the Office of the Registrar. For languages not taught at Colby, confirmation must be obtained from the Office of the Provost. Documentation or testing may be required.

Distribution Areas
Students are required to pass one three- or four-credit-hour course in each of Areas I, II, III, IV, and VI, and two courses in Area V. Normally, students will be expected to complete these requirements during their first two years. Course descriptions use the letter designations A, H, L, Q, N (and sometimes Lb or OptLb), and S to indicate the area requirement met, if any. (See Key to Course Descriptions.)

  • Area I Arts: Courses in the history, theory, and/or practice of the creative arts. (A)
  • Area II Historical Studies: Courses that investigate human experience by focusing on the development of cultures and societies as they evolve through time. (H)
  • Area III Literature: Courses that focus on literary works of the imagination and/or written texts in which ideas and creative or aesthetic considerations play a crucial role. (L)
  • Area IV Quantitative Reasoning: Courses that focus on quantitative or analytic reasoning about formally defined abstract structures. (Q)
  • Area V Natural Sciences: Courses that focus on the understanding of natural phenomena through observation, systematic study, and/or theoretical analysis. (N) At least one course taken to satisfy Area V must contain a substantial laboratory component (Lb for required lab; OptLb for optional lab).
  • Area VI Social Sciences: Courses that focus on theoretically and methodologically directed inquiry into various aspects of human behavior and interaction. (S)

Students are required to pass two three- or four-credit-hour courses that are centrally concerned with:

  • the structures, workings, and consequences of; and/or
  • efforts at political and cultural change directed against; and/or
  • progress in overcoming prejudice, privilege, oppression, inequality, and injustice.

One of these courses must deal with these issues as they concern the United States (U designation in course description), and one must deal with these issues in a context other than the United States (I).

Wellness Program/Requirement
The purpose of the wellness program is to encourage and assist in the development of responsibility for one’s own lifestyle through programs centered on mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual fitness. Meeting the wellness requirement, which is certified by the Health Center, does not earn academic credit hours.

To fulfill the wellness requirement, all new students must complete the Web-based AlcoholEdu and a two-session sexual violence prevention training program and must attend evening wellness seminars, which cover a variety of topics that the College has identified as fundamental health concerns.

In order to select their second-semester classes in November, students must have completed AlcoholEdu and sexual violence prevention training.

In order to select their third-semester classes in April, first-year students must have attended four wellness seminars (in addition to having completed AlcoholEdu and sexual violence prevention training); midyear entrants must have attended three wellness seminars and have completed AlcoholEdu and sexual violence prevention training.
>Transfer students must complete AlcoholEdu and sexual violence prevention training in the semester they arrive on campus to be eligible to select the next semester’s classes. In order to select their third semester of Colby classes, they must also have attended four wellness seminars.

In order to select their fourth-semester classes in November, students in their second year at Colby must attend a single sexual violence prevention training session focused on advanced bystander intervention strategies.

Major Requirement

Each student must satisfy requirements of a major. First-year students may declare a major or minor during their second semester before electing courses for their sophomore year. A major may be chosen in a single subject, in one of a number of designated combinations, or in an individually designed independent major. Students are required to declare a major prior to selecting courses for their junior year. Students who elect a major during their first year are encouraged to reexamine their choices during their sophomore year. The respective academic departments and programs specify the courses constituting a major; requirements are detailed in the Departments, Programs, and Courses of Study section.

First-year students receiving VA benefits should refer to their Colby Memorandum of Understanding for information regarding major declarations.

With the consent of the departments or programs concerned, a student may change majors. Forms for officially effecting such change can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. A student may change majors at the end of the junior year if the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours with a 2.00 average has been earned in the new major. If in the senior year the average in courses completed toward the major falls below 2.00, the major requirement is not fulfilled and the degree cannot be awarded.
Any student whose major average falls below 2.00 will be placed on probation by the Committee on Academic Standing. A student who fails to regain a 2.00 major average in the subsequent semester has lost the right to continue with that major. Each department or program designates the courses to be calculated toward retaining the major.

Majors Offered
Students may select majors in the following disciplines:

    • African-American Studies
    • American Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Art History
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Classical Civilization
    • Classical Civilization-Anthropology
    • Classical Civilization-English
    • Classics
    • Classics-English
    • Computational Biology
    • Computational Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • East Asian Studies
    • Economics
    • Educational Studies
    • English
    • Environmental Computation
    • Environmental Policy
    • Environmental Science
    • French Studies
    • Geology
    • German Studies
    • Global Studies
    • Government
    • History
    • Latin American Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Music-Interdisciplinary Computation
    • Performance, Theater, and Dance
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Russian Language and Culture
    • Science, Technology, and Society
    • Sociology
    • Spanish
    • Statistics
    • Studio Art
    • Theater and Dance-Interdisciplinary Computation
    • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

These specific options are available within majors:

    • Biology: Cell and Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
    • Biology: Ecology and Evolution
    • Biology: Neuroscience
    • Chemistry: Biochemistry
    • Chemistry: Cell and Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
    • Chemistry: Environmental Science
    • Economics: Financial Markets
    • English: Creative Writing
    • English: Literature and the Environment
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Physics: Astrophysics
    • Psychology: Neuroscience


In addition to a major, students may also elect a minor. A minor normally consists of five to seven courses and involves a coherent progression of courses including both introductory exposure to a field of knowledge and advanced work. A minor must include at least four courses in addition to courses taken to satisfy requirements for any major or other minor. Students must maintain a 2.00 average in the minor. Current minors are as follows:

    • African-American Studies
    • American Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Art
    • Astronomy
    • Chemistry
    • Chinese
    • Cinema Studies
    • Classical Civilization
    • Classics
    • Computer Science
    • Creative Writing
    • Data Science
    • East Asian Studies
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Education: Professional Certification
    • English
    • Environmental Studies
    • French Studies
    • Geology
    • German
    • Human Development
    • Italian Studies
    • Japanese
    • Jewish Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Performance, Theater, and Dance
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Russian Language and Literature
    • Science, Technology, and Society
    • Sociology
    • Statistics
    • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Major/Minor Limits

A student may declare up to two majors and one minor or one major and two minors. All declarations must be properly approved and filed with the Registrar’s Office. Requirements for majors, minors, and options are outlined in the section Courses of Study.

Independent Majors
The option of an independent major is available to students whose academic interests do not match existing majors. A student may design an independent major and submit a detailed written proposal, prepared with the aid of one or two advisors who accept responsibility for the program throughout its course. Many such majors are interdisciplinary; in these cases, two advisors, from different departments, are required. The program must include a balance of lower- and upper-level courses normally totaling one-third or more of the total credit hours required for graduation. Implementation requires the written approval of the Independent Major Committee; this approval must be obtained by the end of a student’s sixth semester at Colby. Students pursuing independent majors must keep in touch with the committee, which must be notified about any changes in their program; substantial changes must be approved by the committee. The target dates for independent major proposals are Oct. 15 for the fall semester and March 15 for the spring semester. Inquiries about independent majors should be directed to the chair of the Independent Major Committee.

January Program Requirement

To be eligible for graduation, each student must complete three January Programs if in residence for seven or more semesters, or two if in residence for six or fewer semesters. First-year students must take a January Program and are given preference in 100-level programs. All students have the option of courses, independent study, or internships. Except under unusual circumstances, no more than one January Program may be taken each year.

January Program Mission Statement
The fundamental purpose of the January Program (also known as Jan Plan) is to broaden and extend the learning experience at Colby by offering students distinctive opportunities not ordinarily available during the traditional academic semesters. By definition, January experiences are intensely focused, emphasizing engagement by faculty and students with a single subject matter or experience. While January experiences share the broader learning goals of Colby’s curriculum, they are especially concerned with strengthening capacities for innovative thinking, independent work, creativity, intellectual exploration, and experimentation.

January Program Core Elements and Dimensions
Jan Plan experiences typically fall into one of three central areas of content and purpose:

    1. Undergraduate Research and Independent Study: Offers students opportunities to work closely with Colby faculty on original research or in courses of student-designed independent study under the guidance and supervision of a member of Colby’s faculty.
    2. Cross-disciplinary Exploration: Encourages Colby students and faculty to explore nontraditional subjects and innovative pedagogies and to push the boundaries of the academic disciplines and the traditional classroom.
    3. Career Explorations: Provides opportunities for students to explore various professional fields and career paths, primarily through funded and unfunded internships and other work experiences both on and off the Colby campus.

Selected courses, designated in the catalogue with “j,” are offered during January. January courses are offered for zero, two, or three credit hours. As a rule, no more than three credit hours may be earned in any January.

Because the January Program assures most students considerable flexibility in the use of their time, it permits them to participate more fully in extracurricular activities in athletics, drama, music, and other fields. While students are encouraged to attend the lectures, seminars, concerts, and art exhibitions scheduled by the College, they are expected to spend 30 to 40 hours a week on their January Program topics.

January Program options are

      • Courses Offered for Credit. Some are created specifically for January; others, originally designed to be offered during semesters, may be modified for January. Such courses are graded in the same manner as semester courses, except that nongraded January courses will be marked credit or fail.
      • Independent Study. An academic project under the direct supervision of a member of the teaching faculty. Projects ordinarily involve the preparation of an extensive paper or other suitable indication of the student’s independent research or artistic efforts. Two options exist for electing January independent study: (a) for course credit that can be applied toward graduation requirements, to be graded as in the first item above; and (b) for January Program credit only, to be graded honors, pass, or fail.
      • Internships. A meaningful and appropriately challenging work experience that provides insight into an industry and career path of interest, most frequently at an off-campus job site and monitored by an onsite work supervisor. An internship during January for Jan Plan credit requires completion of an online application and approval in advance by a faculty sponsor and DavisConnects. A successful Jan Plan internship will receive transcript notation and may earn, with the approval of the faculty sponsor, one academic credit. Complete internship policies can be found at the DavisConnects website,
      • Noncredit Courses. These courses fulfill the January Program requirement, but students do not earn course credit that can be applied toward the credit hours required for graduation. These courses may be offered by experts in fields not included in the regular curriculum and will be graded credit or fail.

A full description of January courses is available on the Web in October, and students select for January at that time. Changes in preregistration may be filed subsequently; however, students failing to register by the third day of the January Program will be considered to have failed the program for that year, with the failure to be noted on official transcripts. A student choosing not to do a January Program in any year must signify this decision during Web registration. (This is not an option for first-year students).

Requirements for Returning Students

A student returning to college after an absence must meet any new requirements for graduation if fewer than 65 Colby credit hours had been earned prior to the absence. If more than 64 credits had been earned, the student may elect to meet either the new requirements or those in effect at the time of initial enrollment.