The University Catalog contains requirements regarding the following Academic Regulations:

  • Requirements for Graduation
  • Residency Requirement
  • Physical Education Requirement
  • Registration
  • Normal Course Loads
  • Independent Study
  • Registration Restrictions
  • Repeating a Course
  • Grading Policies
  • Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option
  • Withdrawal from a Course
  • Class Attendance
  • Class Standing
  • Minimum Academic Progress
  • Academic Warning and Suspension
  • Off-Campus Study
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Transfer Credit Policy and Procedures
  • Advanced Placement and Pre-matriculation Transfer Credit
  • Transfer Student Program
  • Petitions for Exemptions
  • Changes to Academic Records
  • Degree Conferral

Policy for Participating in the Commencement Ceremony

Colgate holds commencement (graduation ceremony) annually in May. The following criteria outline eligibility for Colgate students to participate in this ceremony.

  • To fully participate in commencement (i.e., to graduate), students must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 32 courses and have fulfilled the distribution requirement, Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requirement, all concentration requirements, and language and writing requirements (as required). All physical education requirements must be complete.
  • Students who have not completed their graduation requirements but have successfully completed at least 28 course credits and six semesters in residence may apply to participate in the commencement ceremonies. An “Application for Commencement Participation” must be submitted to the registrar’s office by 4:00 p.m. on the Monday prior to commencement. With approval, students in this category will be eligible to participate in all aspects of the commencement ceremony. These students’ names will be included in the commencement program with a symbol and associated reference indicating the anticipated graduation date. These students will receive an empty diploma cover on stage and will not receive their diploma until all degree requirements have been satisfied. Students may participate in only one commencement ceremony.
  • Students who have not successfully completed at least 28 Colgate course credits and six semesters in residence will not be permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies on any basis and will not be listed in the commencement program, irrespective of their class year upon matriculation at Colgate University.

Questions about this policy should be referred to the Office of the Registrar in Lathrop Hall.

Policy on the Review of a Grade

Although the individual faculty member is the sole judge of students’ academic performance in a course, students have a right to be informed of the basis for the evaluation of their academic performance in courses of instruction.

The dean of the faculty and the Dean’s Advisory Council have established the following procedure for students who desire a review of an instructor’s evaluation of their academic performance in a course: The student should first discuss the matter with the instructor in the course, who should endeavor to explain the basis for his or her evaluation of the student’s academic performance. If the student finds this to be unsatisfactory, he or she may request that the division director (or department chair/program director) convene a meeting of the instructor, student, and division director (and/or chair/director), at which the instructor will explain the standards and criteria used in evaluating the student’s academic performance in the course in question. At this meeting, the student may present reasons why he or she feels that the evaluation was incorrect or improperly made. The final responsibility for evaluating students’ academic performance in a course, however, rests with the instructor.

If the division director (or department chair/program director) finds that there is reason to believe that the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s academic performance was prejudiced or capricious, the division director (or chair) should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the associate dean of the faculty for such action as the associate dean finds appropriate.

Grades appearing on a student’s academic record may normally not be changed after one semester from the end of the term in which the grade was awarded. Grade changes initiated by the course instructor(s) must follow the “Changes of Grade” policy laid out in the Colgate University Faculty Handbook. Under extraordinary circumstances, grade changes beyond one semester but before graduation may be approved by the associate dean.

Policy on Transcript Notation

Ongoing Non-discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Investigation and Hearing or Student Conduct Board Charge

The University reserves the right to place a hold on the release of a student’s transcript if that student has an investigation or charges against them pending for violation(s) of the Student Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or for charges under the Code of Student Conduct.

Suspension or Expulsion

For crimes of violence, including, but not limited to, sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act, institutions shall make a notation on the transcripts of students found responsible after a conduct process that they were:

  1. "Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation" or
  2. "Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation."


For the respondent who withdraws from the institution while such conduct charges are pending, and who declines to complete the disciplinary process, institutions shall make a notation on the transcript that they “Withdrew with conduct charges pending.”

The University reserves the right to not permit a student to withdraw if that student has an investigation or charges against them pending for violation of the Student Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or for charges under the Code of Student Conduct. Should a student decide to leave and not participate in the investigation and/or hearing, the University may opt to proceed in absentia to a reasonable resolution and that student will not be permitted to return to Colgate unless all sanctions have been satisfied.

Removal of transcript notation

Appeals seeking removal of a transcript notation for a suspension may occur, but the notation must remain at least one year after conclusion of the suspension. Appeals for removal of a transcript notation should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator for violations of the Student Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy and to the Dean of the College for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. Notations for expulsion shall not be removed. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to:


For violations of the Student Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Renee Madison

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

For violations of the Code of Student Conduct

Kimberly Taylor

Dean for Administrative Advising and Student Conduct

121 McGregory Hall

Policy on Exemption from Policies and Regulations

The diversity of experiences brought to the campus by some of our students occasionally provides plausible grounds for exemption from a particular requirement or regulation based upon unique circumstances. Students who wish to petition for an exemption from a University requirement or regulation should first consult an administrative dean, who can advise them of the procedures to follow in their particular case.

The Petitions Committee receives petitions from students seeking exemption from the graduation requirements of the University, including the transfer credit limit, the residency requirement, and the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum program. The committee does not exist to hear “petitions in general” from students, nor does it exist to hear appeals from administrative decisions. Students should consult an administrative dean and their academic adviser before developing a petition. Exceptions are normally granted on the merits of the alternative academic plan that is proposed or requested.

The Committee on Standards and Academic Standing (CSAS) hears petitions from students seeking exceptions from routine deadlines or policies (late course drops and adds, withdrawal from a course after the announced deadline, etc.) that are not mandated by the University Catalog graduation requirements. This committee meets regularly during the academic year, and students may file a petition through an administrative dean. This committee, with expanded faculty membership, also meets at the end of each semester in academic review mode to hear petitions from students who are subject to academic dismissal.

Policy on Academic Suspension and Readmission

The Committee on Standards and Academic Standing (CSAS) reviews the academic performance of all students at the end of each term. Failure to meet the academic standards in a term, as described in the University Catalog, will result in academic suspension. Students who have been academically suspended are not eligible to return until two semesters have elapsed. 

Students who have been academically suspended may appeal this decision by filing a written appeal to the CSAS in accordance with the procedures outlined in their dismissal notification letter. If a student’s appeal is granted, their status is changed from “academically suspended” to “retained on academic warning.” A second academic dismissal is permanent.

Following an academic suspension, the student must leave campus and abide by the Policy for Student Presence on Campus While a Student Is Separated from the University contained elsewhere in the handbook.

Colgate’s academic standards are contained in the University Catalog in the Academic Regulations chapter under the headings of “Minimum Academic Progress” and “Academic Warning and Suspension” and are worthy of careful review.


One fall and one spring term must elapse before an academically suspended student is eligible to return to Colgate. Students must apply for readmission through their administrative dean, according to the following timetable:


  • Fall term March 15
  • Spring term October 1

**Note: If transcripts of academic work cannot be submitted by the due date, they may be submitted at the end of the term. This may result in a delay of the readmission decision. Please note that all other materials must be received by the indicated due dates. 

Failure to meet the above deadlines may result in a denial of the petition or delay readmission until a subsequent semester. Students returning from academic suspension are automatically placed on academic warning for the first term back. The administrative dean will outline the terms of academic warning in the readmission letter.

Requirements for Readmission

Students who have been academically suspended must demonstrate that they have the capacity to succeed in a structured and rigorous academic environment before they are able to resume their studies at Colgate. They must be employed in a full-time job for at least six consecutive months or successfully complete at least two full-time courses (grades of “B” or higher) at an approved four-year college or university in the student’s home country. Dismissed students must consult the Colgate registrar in advance for approval to take courses at another institution for subsequent transfer to Colgate. Note also that no more than six course equivalents may be transferred to Colgate from all sources (e.g., pre-college, Advanced Placement, and other colleges). Credit for courses taken elsewhere will not be granted until the readmitted student successfully completes one full term at Colgate and is removed from academic warning.

Academically suspended students who wish to return to Colgate should consult their administrative deans in planning their time away. Administrative deans need to approve a student’s plans to demonstrate their capacity to succeed in a structured environment. 

Readmission Application

The application for readmission should address the issues that led to the academic suspension and present evidence supporting the student’s success upon returning to Colgate. The student’s petition, which will be evaluated by the CSAS, must include the following:

  1. The student’s written statement describing how the time away has been spent, addressing the issues that led to suspension and persuasively arguing why those problems will not reoccur if the student returns to Colgate.
  2. If the student’s plan to work full time for six consecutive months has been approved by the administrative dean, the student must document the employment and provide two letters of recommendation, at least one of which is from the employer who supervised the student’s work.
  3. If the student’s plan to enroll in at least two full courses at a four-year college or University has been approved, the student must provide a transcript showing that grades of “B” or better were earned in the courses. Two letters of recommendation are also required. Preferably, at least one letter should be from the professor who taught one of the two courses.
  4. Other materials that may be relevant and/or may have been required at the time of suspension (a letter from a health care professional confirming the student’s readiness to return if psychological and/or medical problems contributed to the suspension).
  5. An interview with the student’s administrative dean.
  6. Optional: additional letters of recommendation.

The information contained in this publication applies to the academic years 2022–2023, but this handbook is not to be regarded as a contract between the student and the University. The University reserves the right to change requirements, policies, rules, and regulations without prior notice in accordance with established procedures.

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