Some students are definite in their choice of a major when entering college although most students choose in the spring semester of the freshman year when registering for the sophomore year. Majors are available in a wide variety of disciplines. Refer to the Conservatory of Music section of this catalog for the Music majors. Refer to the Education section for information related to obtaining secondary education licensure.
Within several of these majors, various specializations are available. For example, the art major includes concentrations (16 hrs) in art history, community art and missions, and studio art. For advising purposes, a department might suggest a special emphasis (8-15 hrs) of designated courses beyond the core courses for all majors. Those concentrations and emphases that are noted in the catalog will be noted on the student's transcript.
Students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours plus the capstone course in their major from Wheaton College, except in the case of Foreign Language majors who complete their study-abroad requirement in an accepted non-Wheaton College program; these students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours plus the capstone course in their major from Wheaton College.
Any baccalaureate degree requires the completion of at least one major. Within a single degree*(BA, BS, or BM), a student may complete more than one major, provided that the areas are sufficiently distinct. At most, twelve hours of major coursework (not including supporting courses) may be counted toward any pair of majors. Combinations of majors that are not allowed include: Math and Applied Math; Environmental Science and Biology; Environmental Science and Geology; English with Literature Concentration and English with Writing Concentration; Biblical & Theological Studies and Biblical Archaeology; Political Science and International Relations; Business/Economics and Economics; Interdisciplinary Studies and a discipline represented in the Interdisciplinary Studies major. (This list is not exhaustive; please contact the Registrar's Office for questions on other combinations that may have strong overlap.) The requirement for credit hours completed at Wheaton College must be met for each major.
*For information about double majors with the Conservatory, please refer to the Degree Requirement segment in the Conservatory section of the catalog."
There are programs designed to prepare students for medicine, dentistry, nursing, and other health professions. There also is a program available through the Military Science Department leading to a commission in the United States Army at graduation. Refer to Science Area Programs or the Military Science section for specific information about the programs.
While not required for graduation, many departments offer academic minors which give students an opportunity to receive a concentration of course work in an area outside their major. A minor will be awarded only in an area that is distinctly separate from a student's major. A minor will not be awarded in an academic area that is part of an interdisciplinary or integrative major. Up to eight hours of applicable course work can be counted for both a student's major and minor. Supporting courses are not counted as part of these eight hours. Students must complete a minimum of eight semester hours in the minor at Wheaton. The minor GPA must be at least 2.00. Refer to the Arts and Sciences and Conservatory of Music sections of this catalog for specific requirements for minors.
Wheaton allows undergraduate students to pursue vocational or multidisciplinary certificates which will be granted only upon the completion of a Wheaton College baccalaureate degree. Typically, such a certificate involves approximately 24 hours of coursework. Certificate coursework can count towards general education requirements (if applicable), a major, minor, and certificate. At least one-half of the hours for a certificate must be completed in residence at Wheaton. In order for a certificate to be awarded, a student needs a minimum gpa of 2.00 in the certificate courses and a minimum overall gpa of 2.00.
Each certificate program has a faculty or staff coordinator. A student interested in pursuing a certificate needs to complete a declaration of certificate form and file it with the registrar’s office; this will result in the certificate coordinator being assigned as the student’s certificate advisor. Students should declare their interest in pursuing a certificate at least one year prior to their planned graduation date.
The following multidisciplinary certificates are available:
Early Christian Studies (see )
Gender Studies (see )
Human Needs and Global Resources (see )
Neuroscience (see Psychology)
Peace and Conflict Studies (see )
Pre-law (see section)
The following vocational certificates are available:
Journalism (see )
Leadership (See )
Military Science (see )
Youth Ministry (see )
Each freshman is assigned to a faculty advisor who helps in orientation to campus life and in personal or academic concerns, including the choice of a major field. After deciding on a major field of study, which can be as early as the first semester of the freshman year, but no later than the end of the first semester of the sophomore year, the student is assigned to a departmental advisor, who offers assistance in academic and personal matters.
An orientation program is arranged at the beginning of each semester to acquaint new students with campus and with college life. It is imperative that incoming freshmen and transfer students be present for orientation which includes sessions with faculty advisors and student leaders, testing, and informative programs.
During the summer, each incoming freshman receives through the mail a “Course Guide for Freshman Registration” with instructions for making an appropriate selection of fall semester courses. Schedules are prepared in advance of the student's arrival on campus. Freshman advisors are available during the time of orientation to assist students in making any needed revisions to their schedules.
Students who expect to enroll in the following semester must complete advance registration during the scheduled time. Financial accounts must be paid before students may advance register. Any student who, in the judgment of the administration of the College, does not recognize his/her responsibilities in the academic community will not be allowed to enroll in the following semester. If a student fails to meet academic qualifications for the current semester, the Registrar may cancel the advance registration after grades are reviewed.
All regular resident students are expected to register for the full semester with a minimum of 12 credit hours. A student must be registered for at least 12 hours to be considered a full-time student.
A normal load is 4 full semester courses (or 3 full courses and 1 quad course in each half of the semester).
Generally no more than 4 quad courses (2 in each half of the semester) should be taken in a 16-hour schedule. No more than 5 quad courses (3 in one half of the semester, 2 in the other half) may be taken without permission of the advisor and Registrar.
A student may enroll in an 18-hour schedule without special permission. However, students wishing to take over 18 hours must have their advisor’s and the Registrar's approval. Students with less than a 3.0 cumulative grade point average should not seek such approval.
All schedule changes must be made through the Registrar's Office or using Banner Self Service (through first two weeks of semester only). No schedule change is complete until it has been submitted to the Registrar's Office (or confirmed on Banner Self Service) by the prescribed deadline date. (See Registrar's Calendar in this catalog.)
Full semester courses may be added only during the first two weeks of the semester; quad courses may be added only during the first week of that quad. Courses may be dropped during the first two weeks of the semester or quad with no transcript notation. After the second week, all courses dropped will be recorded as W (withdrawal).
Full semester courses may not be dropped after the twelfth week. Quad courses may not be dropped after the fifth week of the course.
A full refund is allowed for any difference in tuition charges due to reduced load when such a drop takes place during the first week or second week of the term. No refund is allowed thereafter.
An advisor's signature is required for all undergraduate students on drop or add forms after the second week of the semester for full semester or A quad courses and after the second week of B quad for B quad courses.
Juniors and seniors may enroll in elective courses on a pass/fail grading basis. Such work may not include courses in one's major, minor, general education, certificate, or teacher certification requirements. Only 4 hours in any one term may be taken pass/fail (excluding those courses taught on a pass/fail basis only) and the total number of elective pass/fail courses may not exceed 16 hours. In order to receive a pass "P" grade, a student must receive a regular grade of C- or better. Therefore, the possible grades for a pass/fail course are P, D, or F.
A pass/fail request form may be filed at the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the 12th week for a semester course or the 5th week of a quad course. (See Registrar’s Calendar for specific dates.) Once the 12th week (or 5th week) is past, the pass/fail option cannot be changed back to a regular letter grade option.
Students may repeat courses in which a D or F grade is received. Only one course in which a C- or above is received may be repeated. No course shall be repeated after a subsequent course is taken (i.e. one for which the first is a prerequisite). Any appeal from this limit should be requested through the Academic Petition process. With repeated courses, only the second grade will count in the grade point average, but the original grade and course will remain on the student's academic record. The Notification of a Repeated Course form is available in the Registrar’s Office.
Any student may audit up to two courses a semester by filing an approved audit application at the Registrar's Office by the second week of the course. A $50 audit fee is charged per course. An audit does not meet any Wheaton requirement. No credit is given for courses audited. To have the audit recorded on a student’s transcript, the student is required to complete certain course requirements. In addition to the audit fee, any course fees will also be charged. Private lessons and independent studies cannot be audited. Students may not take any class for the purpose of preparing for the foreign language competency exam as an audit.
Any student desiring an exception to academic requirements, published deadlines, or procedural policies may submit a written academic petition to the Registrar. Academic Petition forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. A petition should contain corroborating evidence of the extenuating circumstances that would warrant an exception to policy being granted. Petitions may be granted or denied.
Any student finding it necessary to withdraw from the College must complete the withdrawal process. The withdrawal form is available at the Student Development Office and must be signed by the indicated college officials. The completed, signed withdrawal form should be returned to the Registrar's Office. Students withdrawing from courses after the second week of classes will have W (withdrawal) recorded on their transcripts for those courses.
A student who leaves the College during the semester without completion of the withdrawal process as described above will receive grades of "F" for incomplete courses and may forfeit all fees or deposits paid to the College.
If a student is asked to withdraw or is dismissed for disciplinary reasons, a "W" will be recorded on the transcript for courses in which the student is enrolled. The regular refund policy applies for a student who is dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
The purpose of a Leave of Absence (LOA) is to provide students time away from Wheaton College for treatment of a physical or mental health condition that impairs a student’s ability to function successfully or safely as a member of the Wheaton College community. Wheaton College has designed this policy to ensure that students are given the individualized consideration and support necessary to address their particular circumstances. Please see the Student Development office (SSB 218) for the details of this policy.
Any student who will not be housed or enrolled in classes on campus for one or two semesters may make application for approved off-campus enrollment for a professional internship or practicum, study abroad program, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities program, or Christian College Consortium enrollment. Students desiring off-campus approval should work with the Global and Experiential Learning Office and apply for this status via thewebsite. When such approval is given, the student's enrollment status is maintained for that term, and the student may return after the deferred enrollment semester without reapplying to the Admissions Office. If not qualified for deferred enrollment, a student must complete the not returning form with Student Development and file a returning student application for readmission through the Admissions Office.
Regular class attendance is expected of all students. A professor may excuse legitimate absences. It is the student's responsibility to report such excuses to the professor in writing. Verification of legitimate excuses may be sought by a professor from appropriate sources. Excused absences may count toward the total number of absences allowed.
Appropriate classroom demeanor is expected of all students. A faculty member may remove any student from a class if the student exhibits uncivil conduct, which includes behavior that is disinterested, disengaged, disrespectful, disruptive, defiant, or disturbing.
Final examinations must be taken as scheduled. No student is required, however, to take more than two examinations a day unless carrying five courses. Arrangements for any change of examination in such cases must be made in writing to the appropriate department chair with a copy to the instructor of the course no later than the Friday before examinations begin. Evening and late afternoon classes have examinations at their last regular class session unless otherwise announced. The specific final exam schedule is printed in the course schedule and is available on the Web at www.wheaton.edu/Academics/Services/Registrar/Schedules .
Ten grades are given for passing work, with significance as follows: A, distinctive; A-, B+, B, superior; B-, C+, C acceptable; C- and D, inadequate; P, satisfactory, no grade assigned.
Grade points are granted on the following basis:
The grade of F is given for unacceptable work. No credit is earned except by repeating the course. The failure remains on the permanent record of the student.
Courses officially dropped during the first two weeks of the term are not recorded. After that time the student will receive a W (withdrawal) grade for all courses which are dropped by the drop deadline. The W grade does not affect the student's grade point average.
A student should resolve any questions about grades as soon as possible after grades have been received. A student has four months from the day grades are issued to question the grade earned. After that date grades will be considered final. Within the four-month period, a grievance by the student should be resolved with the instructor of the course. See the Student Handbook for the grievance procedure. Under no circumstances may a student's grade be raised by doing additional work or correcting work already done after a grade has been reported.
An incomplete grade (INC) may be assigned only for deficiencies as the result of illness or situations beyond the control of the student and not because of neglect on the part of the student. The Incomplete Grade application is available in the Registrar’s Office and requires instructor’s and Registrar’s approvals. The filing deadline for the form is the last day of finals (or last day of quad for A quad courses). An incomplete grade must be made up by the end of the sixth week from the end of the course. If the course is not completed within the six-week time limit, a grade of F will be assigned. The six-week time limit may be extended only by special permission of the Registrar and approval of the instructor. Students must submit an academic petition for an extension before the six-week time limit is up. In no case may an incomplete be extended beyond six months from the end of the semester. An incomplete (INC) grade will not affect the student's grade point average. However, when the course is completed and a grade assigned, that grade will be included in the student's grade point average. An INC grade makes an undergraduate student ineligible for the Dean’s List. Once the drop deadline has passed, a class cannot be dropped after an incomplete has been entered.
In-Progress (IP) grades will be given when work cannot be completed by the end of a semester for course work such as an Independent Study (495), Internship or Practicum (496-499). The completion deadline for finishing the work in order to receive a grade will lie with the professor. The IP grade will not affect the student's grade point average. However, when the course is completed and a grade assigned, that grade will be included in the student's grade point average.
By affirmation of the Wheaton College Community Covenant, all students, faculty, and staff are expected to understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and to take personal responsibility and accountability for their work. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense against an academic community and against the standards of excellence, integrity, and behavior expected of its members. Academic dishonesty degrades the educational and research mission of the College. Truth and honesty are to be followed in all academic endeavors, including the taking of examinations and in the preparation of class reports and papers. Areas of concern related to academic integrity include plagiarism, cheating, fabrication of information or data, unauthorized collaboration, lying, defrauding, misrepresentation, or deception related to assigned or voluntary academic work. The definition of academic dishonesty, the method for reporting violations, and the procedures of the disciplinary process are stated in the “Policy on Academic Honesty” in the Student Handbook, available in the Student Development Office.
For academic discourse, spoken and written, the faculty expects students to use gender inclusive language for human beings.
The policy is both theological and missional.
Evangelical Christians continue to have differences about how to interpret scripture in reference to many questions about what it means to be male and female, but we are united in the affirmation that both men and women are fully human, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
The college seeks to equip students for service in the world for Christ. Students need to be ready to communicate in that world. We want our students to succeed in graduate school, in the corporate world, and in public communication, all settings in which gender inclusive language for human beings is expected and where the inability to use such language may well be harmful to the Christian witness.
Evangelical Christians are not separatists. Missionally, we have long been committed to being in the world and in the broader culture, following the example of Christ our Lord who does not “belong to the world” but who was sent into the world by the Father and so sends us (John 17:14, 18). We are commanded to be in the world for the sake of the gospel. Paul counsels Christians in Corinth to attend to the consciences of others giving “no offense to Jews or Greeks” (1 Cor 10:32). Paul also draws on the doctrine of the goodness of creation (1 Cor 10:26), reminding the church in Corinth that it will not be polluted by engagement in the world because the world is God’s.
Language remains fluid, and professors should discuss specific guidelines for practice with students.
Helpful resources for practice include:
National Council of Teachers of English guidelines,.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition) 61-76.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th Edition) 49-50; 259-260.
The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition) 301-304.
The policy does not apply to language used for God nor does it require any rephrasing of quotations. The policy does not imply answers to contested questions about the best standards for biblical translation.
To encourage scholarship and culture, the following scholastic honors are recognized at Wheaton College:
DEAN'S LIST HONORS. Awarded each semester to students carrying 12 or more hours and making a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
GRADUATION HONORS. Academically outstanding seniors receive graduation honors. To graduate cum laude, a student must have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average at Wheaton; magna cum laude, at least a 3.7 average; and summa cum laude, a grade point average of 3.85 or higher.
Most departments offer honors courses for their advanced students. A student seeking Departmental Honors must apply to the department of his or her major. If accepted, the student will take one course for honors credit, write an honors thesis, and defend that thesis before a faculty committee. A student who completes all the requirements will, upon graduation, receive a special certificate indicating the honors designation. Buswell Library will keep a copy of each completed thesis on file. For more information and for application forms, please contact the appropriate department. Departments offering Honors Programs include Biblical and Theological Studies, Biology, Business and Economics, Chemistry, Communication, English, History, Philosophy, Physics, Politics and International Relations, and Psychology.
WHEATON COLLEGE SCHOLASTIC HONOR SOCIETY. The faculty each year selects a limited number of students for membership in the Scholastic Honor Society. Selection is made on the basis of high scholarship, Christian maturity, and general promise.
ALPHA KAPPA DELTA, the national sociology honor society is open to students of sociology (majors and minors) in recognition of high achievement. The name of the honorary denotes its purpose: social research for the purpose of service. AKD sponsors meetings and activities for interested students.
ETA BETA RHO is a national honor society for the recognition of outstanding ability and attainment in the Hebrew language and literature.
LAMBDA ALPHA, Illinois Beta Chapter, is a national honor society for the recognition and promotion of excellence in the study of anthropology. It is open to sociology/anthropology majors and minors.
LAMBDA PI ETA, established by the National Communication Association, is an honor society in communication. Junior and senior students with at least 12 credit hours in communication courses and high academic standing are eligible.
OMICRON DELTA EPSILON is a national honor society for the recognition and promotion of excellence in the study of economics.
PHI ALPHA THETA is the international honor society in history. Students of high academic standing and with honor grades in 12 or more hours of history are eligible.
PHI SIGMA TAU, Illinois Beta Chapter, is open to students who have a live interest in philosophy and who have done superior work in at least two philosophy courses. Its varied program includes off-campus speakers, as well as the discussion of papers prepared by members.
PI GAMMA MU, the Illinois Eta Chapter, is open to students having high standings in subjects in the social science field.
PI KAPPA DELTA is a national honor society in forensics to provide recognition for individual achievement in oral communication. Individuals with experience in intercollegiate competition in debate, public speaking, and the performance of literature are eligible for membership.
PI SIGMA ALPHA, the national political science honor society, is affiliated with the American Political Science Association. High academic achievement and the completion of ten or more hours of political science are required for membership consideration. The Wheaton chapter promotes dialogue on issues related to the study and practice of politics.
PSI CHI is the national honor society in psychology. An affiliate of the American Psychological Association, its purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain scholarship in the science of psychology.
SIGMA PI SIGMA is a national honorary physics society. The standards for membership in the local chapter are high scholarship, a life consistent with the ideals of Wheaton College, and a genuine interest in physics. Any student taking a second upper-division physics course may be considered for membership.
THETA ALPHA KAPPA is a national honor society that recognizes academic excellence in baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate students and in scholars in the fields of Religious Studies & Theology. Students who have completed three semesters and who have earned a 3.5 GPA in Biblical Studies and/or Theology and a 3.0 GPA overall are welcome to join.
Students are expected to pass enough hours and maintain a grade point average sufficient to be considered as making satisfactory academic progress. A student's academic status will be checked at the end of each semester and at the end of summer school. The following policy will be used to determine academic status.
Academic Warning — When a student's grade point average for a semester is below 2.00 but the cumulative average is above the academic status scale requirement, the student will be placed on academic warning for the following semester.
Academic Probation — When a student's cumulative grade point average falls below the appropriate level of good standing on the academic status scale, the student will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Any full-time student who does not pass 12 semester hours or fails to make a 1.25 average in any semester is subject to being placed on academic probation. Any part-time student (enrolled for less than 12 credits during a semester) who does not pass three-fourths (3/4) of the credits in which s/he was enrolled or fails to make a 1.25 average in any semester is subject to being placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation cannot participate in intercollegiate athletics. Participation in leadership positions in extracurricular activities will be subject to the approval of the Student Development Office. Students who withdraw in the midst of a semester will not be assessed for academic standing on the basis of attempted/completed hours. If any courses are completed, the academic status of the withdrawn student will be assessed against the GPA standards for semester and cumulative gpa. The financial policies related to refunds for students dropping classes during the term are not impacted by this policy.
*Including transfer credits
Appeal of Academic Probation — A student with ADA documentation on file with the Academic and Disability Services Office who is placed on Academic Probation may appeal for a status change to Academic Warning if they meet the Academic Status Scale for GPA and passed three-quarters (3/4) of a minimum of 8 completed hours in the term, but failed to pass 12 hours in the term. The petition form is available in the Registrar’s Office and will be acted on by the Academic Policies Committee. The appeal must be submitted within 2 weeks of receipt of notice of Academic Probation status, bear the recommendation of the Academic and Disability Services office, and include corroborating evidence of the extenuating circumstances that would warrant an exception to policy being granted. An appeal may be granted or denied.
Continuation of Academic Probation — If for the probationary semester the student's grade point average is above the academic status scale but the cumulative average is still below the academic status scale, the student will be continued on academic probation.
Removal from Academic Probation — A student will be removed from academic probation at the end of the semester when the cumulative grade point average meets the academic status scale.
Academic Dismissal — A student on academic probation whose grade point average for the probationary semester is below the academic status scale is subject to academic dismissal. Full-time students whose cumulative grade point average meets the academic status scale but who do not pass 12 hours for two consecutive semesters are also subject to academic dismissal. Part-time students who do not pass three-fourths (3/4) of the total credits attempted at Wheaton College are also subject to academic dismissal. Students dismissed may apply for readmission after one year has elapsed. When applying for readmission, the student will be asked to present evidence of potential academic success. This action is recorded on the student's academic record.
Appealing Academic Dismissal — A student who wishes to request an exception to dismissal status must do so within three days from the time the dismissal notification (written or verbal) is received. The student must file a written petition with the Registrar's Office stating the reasons for the appeal. The appeal will be acted on by the Academic Policies Committee of the College. Students who also wish to appeal their financial aid status should do so with the instructions provided below.
Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to receive financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer. When a student is placed on academic probation status, financial aid will still be awarded for one additional semester, and the student will be placed on financial aid warning. When a student qualifies for academic dismissal, financial aid will not be awarded. If, therefore, a student appeals a dismissal status and the appeal is granted, the student will also be allowed to petition to be placed on financial aid probation for one semester. Such a petition may be granted or denied, and the student must demonstrate extenuating circumstances and propose actions to remediate the probation status. Such extenuating circumstances that will be considered include events such as death of a relative, injury or illness of the student, or other extraordinary circumstances that have significantly affected the student’s ability to achieve academic success.
If a student receiving financial aid has appealed an academic dismissal and is granted an exception to dismissal, they must submit an appeal for Financial Aid probation in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. See Student Financial Services for more information on this appeal process.
If a student who has been dismissed applies at a later date for readmission and the application is granted, the student will enroll on a probation status but will not be eligible for financial aid until the dismissal conditions have been remedied or unless a petition to be placed on financial aid probation is granted. Such a petition may be granted or denied, and the student must demonstrate extenuating circumstances (as cited above) and propose actions to remediate the probation status. The normal expectation is that the dismissal conditions would be remedied at another acceptable college by repeating courses in which low grades were received at Wheaton.
In addition to meeting the College's satisfactory academic progress scale for GPA and hours passed in a semester, full-time enrolled students must meet the following credit hour progress scale to continue to receive financial aid:
Credit Hour Completion Scale
It is the policy of Wheaton College to foster a campus environment that is conducive to learning, promotes the College's educational purposes, maintains reasonable order, and protects the rights and safety of all members of the College community. In extraordinary circumstances, the College may place a student on an involuntary leave of absence or take other appropriate action for reasons of personal or community safety. Examples of such situations might include, but are not limited to: suicidal threats or ideation; self-starvation, severe purging, or dangerously low body weight; and serious threats of harm to others. The procedure will be initiated (i) only after reasonable attempts to secure a student’s voluntary cooperation for a medical or psychological evaluation or leave of absence have been exhausted; or (ii) if a student refuses to agree to, or does not adhere to reasonable conditions established for, the student's return or readmission to the College, continued presence on campus, or continued presence in College housing. The Involuntary Leave Policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate students of the College and to all College locations, programs, and activities. A full description of the policy is available from the Dean of Student Care and Services’ office (Student Development).
All requests for academic transcripts must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar. Transcripts will not be released to currently enrolled students and former students who have not paid their college bills in full or who are delinquent in loan repayments. Students have four months from the end of a term to question their transcript entries for that term.
Revision Date: June 1, 2017
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