Frequently Asked Questions

Most of the most common student questions are answered in three documents: the Student Handbook, the Academic Catalog, and Academic Regulations and Procedures. Information is easy to find using the table of contents or index.  Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions in the Dean of Students Office.

If in the last days of the term I get very ill and therefore I am unable to complete a final paper or take a final exam, what should I do?

Contact your instructor whenever you believe you cannot meet a deadline. But if believe you will be unable to complete work before the end of the final exam period, you must request an extension from your class dean. Extensions are granted only if you can document that "extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's control" prevented you from completing work at the end of the term. Obtain Extension Request forms from the Dean of Students Office and make an appointment with your class dean.

What should I do if I am ill or have a family emergency during the term and may miss classes or due deadlines?

Contact your course instructor whenever you believe you cannot meet a deadline, and make necessary arrangements. If the instructor requests verification of your illness, contact Student Health and Counseling and ask them to send documentation to your class dean, who will notify your instructor. If you must leave campus, contact your class dean. Student Health and Counseling and Dean of Student's Office do not provide "excuses," but rather communicates and provides information for your instructor.

Can I "S/CR/NC" a course in my major? Can I get Carleton credit for summer school work? Can I take St. Olaf courses? ( Or any other of a thousand questions about academic policies.)

The first place to look is the Academic Regulations and Procedures handbook; its alphabetized Contents page makes it easy to find answers to most academic policy questions. The answers to these three questions are there: no; usually not; and yes. The College Academic Catalog is the other source of academic information. If you can't find the answer there, or need interpretation of what you read, contact your class dean or the Registrar.

Should I double major?

Double majors are very difficult at Carleton, and therefore are generally discouraged. But this question deserves extensive thought and conversation. Start with someone who understands or has information about your academic abilities and interests: your faculty advisor, an instructor, or your class dean. Friends, parents, or the Student Departmental Advisors (SDA) in your possible majors can also be helpful. See the Academic Catalog or specific department chairs for descriptions of majors.

In order to double major, you will need to complete a petition that goes to the Academic Standing Committee.

What should I do if I am having a conflict with a course instructor, or feel that I have been unfairly graded?

Whenever possible, address these concerns directly and immediately with your instructor. Most often a full open discussion will result in understanding and resolution of issues. If this fails, then contact the Chair of the instructor's department; and finally, if necessary, the Dean of The College Office. If you need support or assistance in that process, consultation with your class dean or with George Shuffelton, Associate Dean of the College, may be helpful.

I am interested in changing my class level and/or my graduation year/term.  What do I do?

  1. Completed 6 terms at Carleton
  2. Declared a major
  3. Satisfactory Writing Portfolio
  4. Print your Degree Audit and do the following:
    a. indicate on the degree audit (on a blank space) that you would like to change your class year/class level/graduation term
    b.  mark on the degree audit the specific courses and term/year you are planning to fulfill the remaining graduation requirements for your major, distributions, and quantity credit electives
    c.  sign and date the form yourself, and then secure signatures of your major adviser and the major department chair, which suggests that your plan to graduate matches the College requirements
  5. Submit the completed paperwork to the Registrar's Office in lower Laird

    This academic petition process is described in the Academic Rules and Regulations under Academic Progress.  Check this site for any other questions regarding academic policy and exception to policy.