Quick Reference FAQs for Students

Course Load & Credits Pass/Fail Courses
Foundation Requirements F1 Sequence
Transfer Credit Grades & Repeating a Course
Withdraw from a Class Withdraw from College
Academic Standing Checking your Midterm Grades

Course Load and Credits for Graduation

How many credits are needed for graduation?
128 credits

What′s a typical load for a first-year student?
16 – 19 credits. First-year students may take up to four 4-credit courses and up to three additional credits (e.g., applied music instruction) each semester of the first year.  In determining the number of credits to take, students should also consider the number of hours they′ll be employed (if any) during a semester.

What′s the minimum load to be considered full-time?
To be considered a full-time student and to be eligible to live in the residence halls, a student must be enrolled in 12 credits. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however; check with the Registrar if there is a question.

In what other instances does it matter if a student is considered full-time?
In some cases, full-time status is necessary for a student to remain on a parent′s health or auto insurance. Full-time status also affects a student′s ability to receive financial aid, to play varsity sports, and to pledge a fraternity or a sorority.

How is financial aid affected?
In order to receive Rhodes funded scholarships or grants, the student must be enrolled for 12 credits or more through the drop/add period each semester. After the drop/add period has ended, if a student withdraws from a course, the aid for that semester is not affected. However, the student receiving financial aid should be making normal academic progress; i.e., a first-year student must earn at least 28 credits in order to receive aid as a second-year student; AP credit does NOT factor into earned credit. (See the Financial Aid section of the College Catalogue for more information.)
* Students who have TELS awards may find their scholarship affected by withdrawal from class. See next question for more information.

How is a full-time student′s status affected if the student withdraws from a class or classes during the semester?
As long as the student WAS ENROLLED in at least 12 credits at the beginning of the 4th week of the semester, the College considers that student to be full-time regardless of whether the student′s course load falls below 12 credits because of withdrawals. TWO IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS EXIST: Students participating in varsity athletics must be enrolled in at least 12 credits for the duration of the semester.  Additionally, students who receive the Hope scholarship must remain enrolled in at least 12 credits for the duration of the semester or risk loss of the scholarship. An appeals process is available, and students with a TELS award should consult with the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

What constitutes an overload and an underload?
An overload is 20 or more credits. An underload is less than 12 credits and is considered part-time. Both an underload and an overload require the student to file a petition with the Registrar BEFORE the student goes through enrollment clearance. First-year students are not permitted to take an overload during their first year of attendance.  Additionally, it is not advisable for a first-year student to request an underload. (Students will be charged an additional fee for every credit over 19 for which they are enrolled.)

Foundation Requirements
What are the purposes of the Foundation requirements?

  • To direct students into courses that cover a broad range of human inquiry and creativity.
  • To provide students with a variety of approaches to exploring, analyzing, and appreciating the world around them.

What do these Foundation requirements look like?

  • There are twelve requirements. Three of these require up to three courses. Eight of these require only one course. The remaining one is a citizenship requirement which is a one-credit bearing course to be completed in the first semester.
  • Each Foundation requirement is expressed as a description of what a student should be experiencing and learning in these courses. Students should read these descriptions carefully.
  • Courses from a variety of departments will fulfill each requirement.  Some courses will satisfy two requirements but no course will satisfy three.

How should a student fit the Foundation requirements into his/her schedule?

  • A number of these requirements should be fulfilled early on. By the end of the second year, most students should have completed the following three requirements:
    • Search, Life, or Cultural Knowledge (F1) 
    • Writing requirements (F2)
    • Foreign language* (F10) (*Language classes may be completed later than the end of the second year.)
    • Citizenship*(F12) (*To be completed during the first year.)
  • A student should not worry too much about fulfilling the other Foundation requirements early on. Some of these and other requirements can be fulfilled through requirements for the major and minor. For example,
    • As a Music major or minor, a student would be able to fulfill all or part of the following requirements: F2, F3, F5, F9.
    • As a Politics and Law major, a student would be able to fulfill all or part of the following requirements: F2, F8, F11.
  • Many of the other Foundation requirements can be fulfilled as a student pursues current interests and explores other areas of interest. Students should be encouraged to choose their courses on the basis of interests, curiosity, and long-term plans. Chances are good that in doing so, they will satisfy a Foundations requirement or two.

May a course fulfill more than one Foundation requirement?

  • Yes. A single course may fulfill up to two Foundation requirements. As an example, Art 151 Survey of Western Art fulfills both F3 (Historical Forces) and F5 (Artistic Expression).
  • There is no limit on the number of times a student may “double dip” to fulfill foundation requirements.

Will transfer credit count towards Foundation requirements?

  • Transfer credit will not fulfill Foundation requirements for matriculated students. However, transfer credit may be used to fulfill elective credits or credits toward the major. Approval of the appropriate department chair is required.
  • Students who enter the College with transfer credit (transfer students or dual enrollment students) may use transfer credit to satisfy Foundation requirements under the following guidelines:
    • Courses presented with two or three semester hours or less than six quarter hours will be given the appropriate and corresponding number of credits of transfer credit.
    • Credit from several courses may be combined to total four or more credits and therefore satisfy a foundation requirement.
    • A three-credit course may be used to satisfy a foundation requirement if the corresponding course in the department meets that same requirement.
    • A three-credit course may be used to satisfy a major requirement if the corresponding course in the department meets that same requirement unless specifically disallowed by the department chair.

Will AP/IB credit count toward Foundation requirements?

Only in some instances. As a general rule, Foundation requirements may not be met with Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit. Exceptions are noted below:

  • A student who scores a 4 or 5 on the AP English Language exam will receive credit for First Year Writing Seminar (FYWS 151). A student who scores a 5 on the AP English Language exam will receive F2s credit but will need to complete two F2i courses to fully satisfy the F2 credit.
  • A student who scores a 4 or 5 on the AP English Literature exam will receive credit for ENGL 265. A student who scores a 5 on the AP English Literature exam will receive the F4 credit.
  • A score of 5 on any other Advanced Placement exam will earn Foundation credit if the Rhodes course to which the exam corresponds earns Foundation credit.  All other AP credit will count as elective credit only.
  • The department in which the credit is awarded may determine whether or not major credit will be awarded.
  • A student with AP credit in biology or physics should consult with the appropriate department chair to determine if the student should waive credit and enroll in an introductory course at Rhodes.
  • Only scores of 5, 6, or 7 on the IB higher level exam will be considered for credit.
  • As with AP credit, IB credit will usually count as elective credit under the Foundations curriculum but may satisfy a Foundations requirement with a score of 6 or 7.
  • A student may earn a maximum of thirty-two (32) credits by AP and/or IB exams. That total, and the corresponding maximum amounts for other graduating classes, is equal to one-quarter of the credits required for graduation.  Some adjustment of credit awarded for equivalent classes may be required in order to maintain that limit.
  • Students who enroll in a course for which AP credit has been awarded waive the AP credits based on enrollment in the course. A subsequent withdrawal from or failure of the course will not negate the waiver of the AP credit.

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Grades and Repeating a Course

When may a student repeat a course and what effect does it have on the GPA?
A student who receives a grade of D+ or lower in a course is allowed to repeat that course. All grades earned are recorded on the transcript and each attempt is used in the computation of the GPA with the exception of additional failing grades in the same course, which are not computed in the GPA. It is not always beneficial for a student to repeat a course in order to raise the GPA; a new grade in a repeated course that is below the student′s GPA will actually lower the GPA, not raise it.

When is it appropriate for a student to discuss the grade of incomplete with a professor?
If a student is unable to complete course work, including the final examination, because of illness or other emergency, then the grade of X (incomplete) can be given to the student. The appropriate form for the submission of the X grade must be submitted to the Registrar by the student and the professor by the deadline for the submission of final grades. All unfinished coursework must be completed by the first day of classes in the following semester.

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Pass / Fail Courses

How many pass-fail courses may a student take?
One course per semester, no more than two per year and no more than six courses total. Permission of the instructor is required. The Pass-Fail option may not be used in courses taken to satisfy general degree requirements, foundation requirements, or courses taken to satisfy major or minor requirements, including cognate courses. Failing grades (but not passing grades) are computed in the grade point average.

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F1 Sequence

F1 Requirement

F1 Overview for Advisors 

What are Life, Search, Cultural Knowledge, and History in Historical Context?

These programs are three-semester sequences of courses in Foundational Humanities that begins in the first semester of the first year emphasizing the development of critical thinking skills through careful textual analysis, clear and effective writing, and active discussion with peers.

LIFE: Then and Now. Religious Studies 101-102-200-level

In the first year, the program:

  • Introduces students to the academic study of the Bible and the traditions of interpretation and reflection based upon it.  Students examine representative texts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament in order to understand the Bible's foundational and continuing role in shaping various historical, cultural, and theological phenomena in modern society.
  • Examines the development of theological issues in religious traditions from the early and medieval periods through to the 21st century.
  • Is taught by members of the Religious Studies department.

In the second year, the program:

  • Focuses on particular areas of the study of religion and philosophy, such as a biblical book or corpus (e.g., the letters of Paul), biblical archaeology, sex and gender in the Bible, the letters of Paul, early Christian literature, Holocaust, Islam, religions of Asia, medieval philosophy, ethics, and contemporary theology.
  • Is taught by members of the Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies departments.

The student who chooses LIFE: Then and Now will:

  • Take Religious Studies 101 (RELS 101) in the Fall semester of the first year,
  • Take Religious Studies 102 (RELS 102) in the Spring semester of the first year, and
  • Take a third designated Life course at any time in the remaining three years of the student’s college career.

The Search for Values in the Light of Western History & Religion. Humanities 101-102-201

In the first year:

  • Students read the major texts that make up the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions in historical and cultural context.  In addition to the Bible, readings include the Qur'an, as well as the works of poets such as Sappho, Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Christine de Pizan and philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and St. Augustine.
  • Through careful reading of the texts, students encounter questions about the ideas, arguments, beliefs, and institutions that have shaped Western thought.  and wrestle with questions about justice, ethics, cultural difference, and community.
  • Seminars are taught by faculty members from across the college.

In the second year:

  • Seminars follow a chronological set of readings from the Renaissance to the present, including major thinkers, writers, and artists responding to and challenging the western tradition, such as Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Marx, Freud, W.E.B. DuBois, and Simone DeBeauvoir.
  • Individual instructors focus on specific themes. Past themes have included: “Slavery and Capitalism,” “Monsters and the Body Politic,” “The Classical Tradition,” “Environmental Humanities and Disaster,” “Utopias and Dystopias,”   “Modernity and Freedom,” “Humans and the Natural World.”
  • Seminars are taught by faculty members from across the disciplines, including English, Greek and Roman Studies, History, Modern Languages, Music, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.
  • The following departments accept HUM 201 towards their major:  History, Greek and Roman Studies, Political Science.

The student who chooses the Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion will:

  • take Humanities 101 (HUM 101) in the Fall semester of the first year,
  • take Humanities 102 (HUM 102) in the Spring semester of the first year, and
  • take Humanities 201 (HUM 201) usually in the Fall semester of the second year.

Cultural Knowledge. Ancient and Mediterranean Studies 110-111

In the first year, the program:

  • explores varied communication strategies utilizing an eclectic range of texts including biblical works.
  • is taught by members of the Ancient Mediterranean Studies department.

The student who chooses Cultural Knowledge will:

  • take AMS 110 in the Fall semester of the first year,
  • take AMS 111 in the Spring semester of the first year, and
  • take AMS 210 in the Fall semester of the second year. 

History in Historical Context. History 101 and 102

In the first year, the program:

  • investigates how people across time and within a wide range of divers cultural contest have engaged with Jewish and Christian sacred texts to make meaning and value in their world. 
  • focuses on specific themes or topics, such as: "Women in the Bible", "The Bible and War", "The Bible and Environmental issues", "Asia and Asian/American experiences with the Bible", "African American encounters with the Bible".
  • is taught by members of the History department.

The student who chooses History in Historical Context will: 

  • take HIST 101 in the Fall semester of the first year,
  • take HIST 102 in the Spring semester of the first year, and
  • take a third designated History in Historical Context course at any time in the remaining three years of the student's college career.  







RELS 101​

HUM 101​

AMS 110​

HIST 101​


RELS 102​

HUM 102​

AMS 111​

HIST 102​

3rd ​
(Fall Year 2 for many)​

Any 200+ level F1*​

HUM 201​


-OR- any 200+ level F1​

200-level AMS F1​


HUM 201​


May a student switch from one program to another program?
A student who begins in “SEARCH and has completed Humanities 101-102 may complete the F1 requirement by taking a course that is designated as completing the Life program.  By the same token a student who begins in Life and completes Religious Studies 101-102 may fulfill the F1 requirement by taking Humanities 201. Please see the note below on prerequisites for Search, however.

What caveats should a student keep in mind in registering for their F1?

  • Please note that not all courses in the Religious Studies or Philosophy departments are "Life" courses. 300-level courses in Religious Studies, for example, are not Life courses.
  • Humanities 101 is a prerequisite for 102, and 102 a prerequisite for 201, although these prerequisites may be overridden by the permission of the instructor.
  • Either Religious Studies 101-102 or Humanities 101-102 is a prerequisite for a 200-level Life course.

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Transfer Credit

How many credits may an enrolled student transfer to Rhodes?
Students may transfer to Rhodes up to 50 percent of the credits required for a degree, based on the guidelines found in the College Catalogue.  Transfer credit may not be used to satisfy a Foundation Requirement.

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Withdrawal from a Class

When may a student withdraw from a class?
A student may withdraw from a class from the beginning of the fourth week until the end of the eleventh week of the semester. Withdrawal from a class requires approval of the instructor and the student′s adviser. The withdrawal form can be submitted to Rhodes Express. Once processed, a grade of "W" is recorded on the transcript. 

Is it possible to withdraw from a class after the eleventh week of the semester?
Students seeking to withdraw after the deadline must file a Petition for Late Withdrawal with the Faculty Committee on Standards and Standing. The Committee will hold fast to the deadline for withdrawal requests and will only entertain late requests based on extenuating circumstances. The extenuating circumstances must justify both the lateness of the request and the withdrawal itself. Ignorance of the deadline is not considered a justifiable extenuating circumstance. While awaiting the Committee’s decision, students should continue to attend the class in question.

Does a withdrawal from a class affect a student′s GPA?
The "W" grade has no impact on the student′s GPA.

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Withdrawal from the College

When may a student withdraw from the College?
A student may withdraw from the College if the student knows that he or she does not plan to return. The student will receive all W′s if he or she withdraws by the last day of classes of the semester; otherwise, final grades will be recorded. Students considering withdrawing from the College should contact the academic resource team (x3815) to arrange for an exit interview and to receive withdrawal paperwork.

What is a mid-semester withdrawal?
A student who needs to withdraw from all classes for personal or medical reasons but wishes to return to Rhodes can apply for a mid-semester withdrawal. The student will meet with a member of the student success team, and the application will be processed through the Committee on Standards & Standing. It is generally expected that a student who withdraws during a semester will be placed on a Leave of Absence the following semester in order to have sufficient time to address the issues that led to the withdrawal. A student can do a mid-semester withdrawal until the last day of classes in any semester.


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Academic Standing

What determines academic good standing, academic probation, and academic suspension?

To graduate, a student must have an overall grade point average of 2.00 (C) for all work attempted and for all work attempted in the major department. A student is subject to academic probation if the major grade point average falls below 2.00. A student is subject to academic probation or suspension if the cumulative grade point at the end of any semester or summer term falls below a minimum standard, which is dictated by the number of cumulative credits the student has earned. The cumulative standards are as follows:

Number of Credits Earned Minimum GPA to Avoid Suspension Minimum GPA to Avoid Probation
0-30 1.50 1.60
31-63 1.70 1.80
64-96 1.90 2.00
97 or more 2.00 2.00

In addition, a student is subject to probation in any semester in which the student earns fewer than twelve (12) credits and earns a grade point average of less than 1.50. NOTE: Students placed on probation due to semester grade point average who also enroll in summer courses at Rhodes will have their records reviewed at the end of the summer term. If they earn a minimum of four (4) Rhodes College credits with a minimum summer term grade point average of 2.00, they may be returned to good standing. The summer term grade point average is defined as the aggregate grade point average of all Rhodes summer work.  

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Checking Your Midterm or Final Grades

At the 7th week in the semester, midterm grades will be posted by all faculty. Your final grades will be posted by faculty and available after the semester has ended. You can check your grades in Workday.

If you have questions, please free to contact our office via email at  registrar@rhodes.edu

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