The Academic Program

The Provost and Dean of the College oversees the academic program at Holy Cross. The Provost is assisted by the Deans and Associate Deans of the College, the Class Deans, the Registrar, the Director of Academic Services & Learning Resources, and advisors from special academic programs.

The Class Deans are responsible for monitoring the academic progress of students in their respective classes and for coordinating the College’s academic advising program.

The Registrar’s office maintains student records. Services include enrollment, processing transcript requests, and classroom management. The office also verifies student enrollment for insurance companies, veterans’ benefits, and loan deferments.

The Office of Academic Services & Learning Resources offers academic advising and academic support services, including assistance in learning skills and planning for a major.

General Requirements

Holy Cross offers a curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree, which some students earn with College honors. To meet the requirements for graduation, all students must both complete 32 semester courses successfully and record a minimum of eight semesters of full-time study.

To qualify for a degree from the College, at least one half of a student’s courses, including the two full semesters of the fourth year, must be completed at the College of the Holy Cross. Students are permitted, however, to participate in Holy Cross programs, such as the Washington Semester, Semester Away and Study Abroad, in the first semester of their fourth year.

Each student’s curriculum consists of common requirements, a major, and freely elected courses. In designing their curriculum, students are limited to a total of three programs combining majors, minors, and concentrations, only two of which can be majors.

Common Requirements

All students are required to complete courses in the areas of the curriculum described in the following pages. To enter into and engage with these different areas — to see them as parts of a larger whole — is essential to becoming a liberally educated person. These requirements provide students with the opportunity to explore basic modes of inquiry and to encourage them to develop a reflective attitude with regard to different ways of knowing and the bodies of knowledge associated with them. Taken together, these areas of study reflect the College’s understanding of the foundation of a liberal arts education.

Students are able to select from a range of courses that fulfill each of the requirements. These courses offer an enriching and exemplary introduction to the methods and content of a broad area of inquiry, giving students a sense of what is distinctive about each area, the kinds of questions it asks and the kinds of answers it provides. Such courses lead to an awareness of both the possibilities an area of study presents and the limitations it confronts. Guided by these requirements, Holy Cross students come to appreciate the complexity of what it means to know as well as the interrelatedness of different ways of knowing, thereby acquiring the basis for an integrated academic and intellectual experience. Students are therefore encouraged to think carefully, in consultation with their advisors, about the courses they take to fulfill these common requirements.

The requirements include one course each in Arts, Literature, Studies in Religion, Philosophical Studies, Historical Studies, and Cross-Cultural Studies; and two courses each in Language Studies, Social Science, and Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

The Arts and Literature

The Arts and Literature are concerned with the study of aesthetic forms as expressions of meaning, as vehicles for exploring the nature of reality, as sources of beauty, and as objects of knowledge and critical scrutiny.

In studying the arts — the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, and film — there is the opportunity to explore ways of knowing and universes of expression beyond the essentially cognitive or discursive. A distinctive feature of the arts is the relationship between form and content: meaning is conveyed by both the medium and the subject matter of the work. Central to the study of the arts is the development of one’s understanding, appreciation, and critical capacity in encountering particular works and genres as well as one’s awareness of both the limits and possibilities of the creative imagination. Courses in this area, whether historical or contemporary in approach, interpretive or oriented toward practice, seek to foster a recognition of the distinctive role of the arts in culture, in liberal education, and in the enrichment of the human condition.

In studying literature, there is an opportunity to explore the multiple ways in which the spoken or written word may disclose features of life that might otherwise remain unarticulated and thus unknown. Critical reading and writing are fundamental to literary study. Specific features of literary study include analysis of literary form and technique, examination of the relationship between literary works and social/historical context, and exploration of methodological and theoretical perspectives on literary inquiry. More generally, the study of literature highlights the communicative, expressive, and revelatory power of language itself. Courses in this area therefore have as their main focus those works that, through their special attention to language, serve both to inform and to transform readers.

Students are required to complete one course in the Arts and one course in Literature.

Studies in Religion and Philosophical Studies

As indicated in the College’s Mission Statement, “critical examination of fundamental religious and philosophical questions” is essential to a liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition. As areas of common inquiry, studies in religion and philosophical studies provide an invitation to dialogue about such questions, furthering the search for meaning and value at the heart of intellectual life at Holy Cross.

Studies in Religion address the search for ultimate meaning by exploring such themes as the nature of the sacred, the relationship between the human and the divine, and the spiritual dimension of human existence. Against the backdrop of this search, studies in religion also address questions about the responsibilities human beings owe to each other and to their communities, the cultural significance of religious beliefs and practices, as well as the personal and social nature of religious experience. Courses in this area include the study of indigenous religions as well as major religious traditions of the world — i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Daoism; religious ethics; the analysis and interpretation of sacred texts; and the study of Catholic theology and spirituality.

Philosophical Studies explore fundamental questions about the nature of reality and what it means to be human, truth and knowledge, ethical values, aesthetic experience, and religious belief. The aim of philosophical inquiry is to wonder about what is taken for granted by the theoretical and practical frameworks upon which we ordinarily rely. Such inquiry seeks, in a variety of ways, to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the world and our place in it. By reflecting on matters essential to all disciplines, philosophical studies can help students to see their education as forming an integrated whole. Since it is a vital feature of philosophical inquiry that it wonders about its own goals and methods, courses in this area should allow for this kind of reflection as well. Such courses may be either topical or historical in approach, focusing on fundamental questions or the different ways of thinking about those questions that have emerged over time.

Students are required to complete one course in Studies in Religion and one course in Philosophical Studies.

Historical Studies

Historical Studies involve systematic inquiry into the human past. Historians use primary and secondary sources to analyze and reconstruct the past and to explore the relevance of the past to the present. Historical studies may focus on the interpretation of broad changes over time as well as particular moments, events or social conditions in their wider historical context. Studying history also involves the study of historians, their writings and their influence on our current understanding of the past. Courses in this area provide students with historical perspective by introducing them to a significant segment of human history and by teaching them to locate and use evidence in evaluating the historical interpretations of others.

Students are required to complete one course in Historical Studies.

Cross-Cultural Studies

Cross-Cultural Studies seek to stimulate critical reflection on the theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues involved in encountering other cultures and to help students to think systematically about the fundamental assumptions underlying cultural differences. In light of this task, courses in this area often explore non-Western structures of social organization, artistic expression, meaning, and belief. Given the complexity of the Western tradition, however, courses that explore deep cultural differences within this tradition can also serve to raise significant issues of cross-cultural analysis. By challenging one to understand different world-views, cross-cultural inquiry provides an opportunity to understand more fully — and perhaps to transcend — one’s own cultural presuppositions.

Students are required to complete one course in Cross-Cultural Studies.

Language Studies

Language Studies involve the study of languages other than one’s own. Such study contributes to an awareness of cultural differences that are shaped by and reflected in language. The study of modern languages allows students to develop the ability to communicate with people of different cultures through speech or writing. The study of classical languages also enhances students’ general understanding of different cultures through the medium of written texts. In all cases, the study of another language contributes to a greater understanding of one’s own language, and to a fuller appreciation of the role of language and literature in human experience and thought.

Students continuing the study of a language begun prior to college will pursue their study of that language at a level commensurate with their language skills. Placement into the appropriate level will be determined by the appropriate language department, based on their evaluation of prior coursework, tests, and consultation with the student. Students choosing to begin the study of a new language at Holy Cross must complete both semesters of an introductory language course.

Social Science

Social Science investigates human behavior and the structures, institutions, and norms operative in social life. The main objectives are to identify, through empirical and systematic observations, both universal and particular patterns of human behavior and to explain or interpret human relationships, cultures, and social phenomena. Courses in this area provide a broad and substantial introduction to basic concepts of social scientific inquiry. These courses are designed to offer an opportunity to reflect on the methodological assumptions and theoretical foundations of social science in its various forms, including anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Students are required to complete two courses in Social Science.

Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Natural Science is the systematic investigation of living and nonliving aspects of the physical universe. Its methods of investigation involve the observation, description and classification of broad patterns in nature and the testing of hypotheses that provide tentative explanations of the processes underlying these patterns. The traditional goal of natural scientific inquiry is to explain a large array of natural phenomena using a small number of theories valued in many cases for their predictive power. The measurement and demonstration of quantitative relationships and the development of abstract models is often fundamental to this enterprise. Courses in this area provide the opportunity to explore natural science, focusing on the process of scientific discovery through the use of experimental and theoretical methods of investigation.

Mathematical Science gives structure to and explores abstractions of the human mind. In addition, it often provides natural science with models on which to build theories about the physical world. Computer science, the study of algorithms, data structures, and their realizations in hardware and software systems, is also included in this area. Computer science addresses the fundamental questions: What is computable in principle, and what tasks are algorithmically feasible? Courses in this area encourage the development of logical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and general problem-solving skills. Such courses also seek to foster an appreciation for mathematical thought as a fundamental mode of inquiry in its own right.

Students are required to complete two courses in Natural and Mathematical Sciences, at least one of which must be in Natural Science.

Montserrat

Montserrat, an innovative program for first-year students, cultivates life-long approaches to learning through a rigorous, multi-disciplinary academic experience. The seminar, a small, discussion-based class, in which students work intensively with professors on a broad variety of topics, lies at the heart of the program. Students will master a body of material and learn methodological approaches; in the process, they will develop the critical faculties and the writing and speaking skills necessary for success in meeting significant challenges during their education at Holy Cross and in their lives after Holy Cross.

The seminars are grouped into six different thematic clusters (Self, Divine, Natural World, Global Society, Core Human Questions, and Contemporary Challenges), each of which contains seminars examining the theme from a variety of perspectives. All the students in a particular cluster live together in the residence halls to facilitate discussion of ideas from multiple perspectives, in informal settings, outside of class. Reinforcing and enhancing the seminar and cluster experiences are exciting cocurricular events and activities organized by professors, the Holy Cross Library, Chaplain’s office and Student Affairs. These may include a foreign film series, athletic events, spiritual retreats, trips to museums, theatrical performances and concerts, and environmental initiatives in the residence halls. All of these experiences will foster lasting relationships and a sense of belonging in the Holy Cross community; encourage a passionate commitment to local and global community; and fuel an enduring quest for intellectual, personal and spiritual challenges.

Majors

Students must fulfill the requirements of a major, which must be declared between the second semester of the first year and the enrollment period preceding the third year. A major normally consists of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14 courses selected from a group of courses within a department. Certain courses, however, may not count toward the minimum or maximum number of courses in a given department, and some departments require additional courses in allied fields. More details about the requirements of individual majors are found in later sections of this catalog under the corresponding departmental descriptions.

Students who exceed the maximum number of courses in a major incur a deficiency for every course above the maximum. Deficiencies may be satisfied by AP credit, courses transferred to Holy Cross from other institutions, and fifth courses taken for letter grades.

The following majors qualify for the Bachelor of Arts degree: accounting, anthropology, Asian studies, biology, chemistry, Chinese, classics, computer science, economics, English, environmental studies, French, German, history, international studies, Italian, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, Russian, sociology, Spanish, studies in world literatures, theatre, visual arts: history, and visual arts: studio. Information on student-designed Multidisciplinary Majors appears in the section of the Catalog on the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Students are expected to confirm their plans for the fulfillment of major and degree requirements with the designated faculty advisor.

Electives

In addition to the common requirements and a major, students pursue free electives. There are several curriculum options available at the College to assist students in organizing their elective program. In addition to double majors and minors, described here, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the academic options listed under Special Academic Programs and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Students are limited to three program options, only two of which may be majors.

Double Major

A double major is one of the curriculum options available at the College. Students desiring double-major status must receive the approval of the Chairs of the departments the student is entering, the academic advisor, and the Class Dean. An application for double-major status must receive approval in time to allow completion of all requirements for both majors with the normal eight semesters of enrollment. Students must complete a minimum of 18 letter-graded courses outside each major. Those who do not complete 18 courses outside a major incur a deficiency for every course below this minimum. Deficiencies may be satisfied with AP credit, courses transferred to Holy Cross from other institutions, or fifth courses taken for letter grades.

Minors

Minors are available in American Sign Language and deaf studies, anthropology,  Chinese, computer science, education, environmental studies, French, geosciences, German, Italian, philosophy, physics, religious studies, Russian, visual arts: history, and visual arts: studio. Students are not required to have a minor field of study but are invited to consider such an option in designing their undergraduate curriculum. Typically, the minor consists of six courses, some of which are required and some of which are selected by students in consultation with an advisor. For information on the requirements for completion of minors, see the departmental descriptions in this Catalog. Information on student-designed Multidisciplinary Minors appears in the section of the Catalog on the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Advanced Placement

Holy Cross participates in the College Board Advanced Placement Program and the International Baccalaureate Program. One unit of credit is awarded for an Advanced Placement score of 4 or 5 in any discipline recognized by the College. One unit of credit is awarded for a score of 6 or 7 on a Higher Level International Baccalaureate Examination, again in a liberal arts subject. The College does not award credit for that IB Standard Exam. AP and IB credit may be used to satisfy deficiencies and common area requirements. Each academic department has its own policy regarding the use of AP or IB credit for placement in courses and progress in the major. See departmental descriptions for further information.

Granting College Credit

Holy Cross will grant college credit for courses taken in high school provided: 1) they are taken at a regionally accredited college or university (i.e., on the campus), or 2) they are taught at the high school by a full-time faculty member of a regionally accredited college or university, and 3) they are worth at least three-semester hours of credit. College courses taken during high school may be used to fulfill common requirements and/or to remove deficiencies incurred during the student’s enrollment at Holy Cross.

A final grade of B or better is required and the courses must be similar in rigor and content to those normally offered at Holy Cross. Complete descriptions of each course for which the student is requesting credit must be forwarded to the Class Dean. Approval for credit rests with the Class Dean in consultation with the appropriate Department Chair at Holy Cross.

Early Graduation

Incoming first-year students who have received credit for four (or eight) college-level courses may request early graduation. These credits may be a combination of transfer, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate credit, but must include at least one college course. A request for early graduation should be based on the following supportive grounds:

1. Evidence of serious consideration as to the desirability of an accelerated degree program and the counsel and encouragement of a faculty advisor and the Class Dean in planning the scope and the sequence of future coursework;

2. A distinguished record of academic achievement during the first year.

Requests for an accelerated-degree program must be submitted during the first year. Final approval will not be granted until after the completion of the first year. Students should submit requests to the Class Dean. A final decision in the matter of early graduation rests with the Dean of the College.

Transfer Courses

Courses taken by current Holy Cross students at other colleges and universities as well as courses taken in the period between high school graduation and the first semester at Holy Cross  may be accepted in transfer: 1) if they satisfy degree requirements, that is, if they are used to remove deficiencies or to fulfill major or common requirements; or 2) if they satisfy requirements for College-sponsored academic programs, that is, if they satisfy requirements for minors or concentrations. Online, hybrid or blended courses require additional approval by the class dean and are limited to two courses.

In addition, College policy stipulates the following:

1. Courses taken at other institutions by students currently matriculating at Holy Cross may not be used to advance class standing.

2. Transfer courses must be approved by the Class Dean. The appropriate Department Chair must approve courses to satisfy requirements for majors, minors, and concentrations.

3. Only grades of C or better, earned in courses taken at a regionally accredited institution, will be accepted by the College.

4. Transfer courses must carry the equivalent of at least three semester hours of credit.

Students who anticipate taking courses elsewhere for credit must submit a Permit to Attend Another Institution form for approval by the Registrar and Class Dean (and Department Chair as appropriate).

Transfer Students

Holy Cross will accept a maximum of four full semesters of credit for students who transfer to Holy Cross from other colleges or universities. To earn a Holy Cross degree, students are expected to complete a minimum of four full semesters (and 16 letter-graded courses) at Holy Cross or in a Holy Cross program. These four semesters must include the two of senior year.

Students who transfer to Holy Cross with fewer than three full-time semesters but who have received credit for four (or eight) college-level courses taken prior to matriculation as a college student may request early graduation. These credits may be a combination of transfer, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate credit, but must include at least one college course. A request for early graduation should be based on the following supportive grounds:

1. Evidence of serious consideration as to the desirability of an accelerated degree program and the counsel and encouragement of a faculty advisor and the Class Dean in planning the scope and the sequence of future coursework;

2. A distinguished record of academic achievement during the first year at Holy Cross.

Requests for an accelerated-degree program must be submitted during that first year. Final approval will not be granted until after the completion of the first year. Students should submit requests to the Class Dean. A final decision in the matter of early graduation rests with the Dean of the College.

The Advisory Program

The Class Deans are responsible for coordinating the College’s academic advising program. Holy Cross provides each student with a faculty advisor who assists the student with curriculum planning and course selection. The assignment of the advisor is made in the summer prior to enrollment. During the first three semesters, students may be advised by faculty outside their major department. Students entering the third year will have faculty advisors in their major department. The Office of Academic Services and Learning Resources provides additional academic advising for students across the College.

Enrollment

Information and instructions concerning enrollment are distributed by the Office of the Registrar to all students approximately one week prior to the advising period preceding the enrollment period.

Enrollment in courses takes place beginning in the preceding semester. Students are not permitted to make changes in their course schedules after the first week of classes. Withdrawal from a course will be permitted during the first 10 weeks of the semester with the grade of W. The W grade is not included in the calculation of the GPA.

Failure to comply with the procedures specified by the Registrar for enrollment, changes of course schedule, and withdrawal from a course may result in either denial of credit or failure in the course.

Course Repeat

With permission of the Class Dean, a student may repeat a failed course. The original grade of F remains on the transcript and is calculated into the GPA. Students are not allowed to repeat a course in which they have received a passing grade.

Student Attendance at Class

Students enrolled in a course are expected to attend class regularly and to fulfill all obligations of the course as outlined by the professor. During the first week of the semester, professors generally announce, orally or by distributed outlines, the course requirements and methods of evaluation, including their policy on attendance and class participation. If this information is not given, students should request it.

In cases of unforeseen absence (e.g., because of illness), students should contact the professor as soon as they are able. Arrangements for foreseen absences (e.g., participation in college-sponsored athletic events) should be made with the professor well in advance of the anticipated absence. Most faculty will make accommodations for students who miss class for compelling reasons. All faculty have full authority to make whatever arrangements they think reasonable.

Unless excused by the faculty member or the Class Dean, absences may result in an academic penalty. Although students may not be failed in a course exclusively on the basis of unexcused absence from class, their attendance and participation obviously have bearing on the professor’s assessment of their academic progress. Attendance and class participation may be used, therefore, in the calculation of final grades.

Students should remember that it is always their responsibility to make up any material they may have missed during an absence from class.

Excused Absence Policy

Students who are unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused and provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement, provided this does not create an unreasonable burden upon the College. No fees of any kind shall be charged for making available to students such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to students because they availed themselves of these provisions. Students are asked to contact the appropriate Class Dean in advance of an absence due to religious belief.

Some professors may require an excused absence from the Class Dean. Deans can excuse a student’s absence for compelling and verifiable reasons, including extended illness, a death or medical emergency in the family, a wedding in the immediate family, and participation in a college-sponsored athletic event. To obtain an excused absence, students should notify the appropriate Class Dean and provide verification of the grounds for the excused absence. Verification can be provided by the Department of Athletics, Chaplains' Office, Counseling Center, Office of the Dean of Students, Health Services, a private physician, or the student’s family.

Students who have missed an in-course test for a serious and verifiable reason (such as personal illness, death in the family, or family emergency) have the right either to a make-up test or an exemption without penalty from the original test; the choice is left to the discretion of the professor. Exemption without penalty requires the reweighting of other tests and assignments in the course of the semester.

Faculty may require an excused absence from an in-class examination from the Class Dean. The Class Dean will authorize in writing a student’s absence from an in-course exam only for serious and verifiable reasons and only for those who have presented their cause within a reasonable time. Only the professor can provide exemption without penalty from the original test.

Students who, for serious and verifiable reasons, are not able to take the scheduled final must make arrangements for a make-up examination. These arrangements may be made directly with the faculty member; the date, time and place of the make-up exam are determined by mutual agreement. Alternatively, students may request an absentee examination. An absentee examination is approved both by the professor and the Class Dean. Ordinarily, the absentee examination is administered on the last day of the examination period. Students unable to take a scheduled final must notify the professor at the earliest possible time. If the professor requires an excused absence, the student must contact the Class Dean.

Academic Integrity Policy

All education is a cooperative enterprise between faculty and students. This cooperation requires trust and mutual respect, which are only possible in an environment governed by the principles of academic integrity. As an institution devoted to teaching, learning, and intellectual inquiry, Holy Cross expects all members of the College community to abide by the highest standards of academic integrity. Any violation of academic integrity undermines the student-faculty relationship, thereby wounding the whole community. The principal violations of academic integrity are plagiarism, cheating, and collusion.

Plagiarism is the act of taking the words, ideas, data, illustrative material, or statements of someone else, without full and proper acknowledgment, and presenting them as one’s own.

Cheating is the use of improper means or subterfuge to gain credit or advantage. Forms of cheating include the use, attempted use, or improper possession of unauthorized aids in any examination or other academic exercise submitted for evaluation; the fabrication or falsification of data; misrepresentation of academic or extracurricular credentials; and deceitful performance on placement examinations. It is also cheating to submit the same work for credit in more than one course, except as authorized in advance by the course instructors.

Collusion is assisting or attempting to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty.

At the beginning of each course, the faculty should address the students on academic integrity and how it applies to the assignments for the course. The faculty should also make every effort, through vigilance and through the nature of the assignments, to encourage integrity in all forms.

It is the responsibility of students, independent of the faculty’s responsibility, to understand the proper methods of using and quoting from source materials (refer to http://libguides.holycross.edu/citationhelp or standard handbooks such as The Little Brown Handbook and The Hodges Harbrace Handbook), and to take credit only for work they have completed through their own individual efforts within the guidelines established by the faculty.

The faculty member who observes or suspects that the policy was violated should first discuss the incident with the student. The very nature of the faculty-student relationship requires both that the faculty member treat the student fairly and that the student responds honestly to the faculty’s questions concerning the integrity of his or her work.

If the faculty is convinced that the student violated the Academic Integrity Policy, he or she shall impose an appropriate sanction in the form of a grade reduction or failing grade on the assignment in question and/or shall assign compensatory course work. The sanction may reflect the seriousness of the dishonesty and the faculty’s assessment of the student’s intent. In all instances where a faculty member does impose a grade penalty because of a policy violation, he or she must submit a written report to the Chair or Director of the department and the Class Dean. This written report must be submitted within a week of the faculty member’s determination that the policy on academic integrity has been violated. This report shall include a description of the assignment (and any related materials, such as guidelines, syllabus entries, written instructions, and the like that are relevant to the assignment), the evidence used to support the complaint, and a summary of the conversation between the student and the faculty member regarding the complaint. The Class Dean will then inform the student in writing that a charge of dishonesty has been made and of his or her right to have the charge reviewed. A copy of this letter will be sent to the student’s parents or guardians. The student will also receive a copy of the complaint and all supporting materials submitted by the professor.

The student’s request for a formal review must be made in writing to the Class Dean within one week of the notification of the charge. The written statement must include a description of the student’s position concerning the charge by the faculty. A review panel consisting of a Class Dean, the Chair or Director of the department of the faculty member involved (or a senior member of the same department if the Chair or Director is the complainant), and an additional faculty member selected by the Chair or Director from the same department, shall convene within two weeks to investigate the charge and review the student’s statement, meeting separately with the student and the faculty member involved. The Chair or Director of the complainant’s department (or the alternate) shall chair the panel and communicate the panel’s decision to the student’s Class Dean. If the panel finds by majority vote that the charge of dishonesty is supported, the faculty member’s initial written report to the Class Dean shall be placed in the student’s file until graduation, at which time it shall be removed and destroyed unless a second offense occurs. If a majority of the panel finds that the charge of violating the policy is not supported, the faculty member’s initial complaint shall be destroyed, and the assignment in question shall be graded on its merits by the faculty member. The Class Dean shall inform the student promptly of the decision made. This information will be sent to the student’s parents or guardians.

The Class Dean may extend all notification deadlines above for compelling reasons. He or she will notify all parties in writing of any extensions. Each instance of academic dishonesty reported to the Class Dean (provided that the charge of violating the policy is upheld following a possible review, as described above) shall result in an administrative penalty in addition to the penalty imposed by the faculty member. A first instance of violating the policy on academic integrity results in academic probation effective immediately and continuing for the next two consecutive semesters in residence. Additionally, the student must participate in a workshop on academic integrity, arranged through the Class Dean. A second instance results in academic suspension for two consecutive semesters. For a third instance, the student shall be dismissed from the College. Dismissal from the College shall also be the result for any instance of violating the policy that occurs while a student is on probation because of a prior instance of violating the policy. Multiple charges of violating the policy filed at or about the same time shall result in a one-year suspension if the student is not and has not been on probation for a prior violation. Multiple charges of violating the policy filed at or about the same time shall result in a dismissal if the student has ever been on probation for a prior instance of violating the policy. Suspension and dismissal are effective at the conclusion of the semester in which the violation of the policy occurred. Students who are suspended or dismissed for violating the policy may appeal to the Committee on Academic Standing, which may uphold the penalty, overturn it, or substitute a lesser penalty. A penalty of dismissal, if upheld by the Committee, may be appealed to the Provost and Dean of the College.

Written Expression

Students and faculty alike share responsibility for promoting the effective and wise use of language. Language is central to education since it is the chief means by which the transmission and exchange of ideas take place. Nowhere are clarity and precision of language so important or so difficult to achieve as in writing. Therefore, students and faculty ought to take special care to encourage excellence in writing.

To achieve this end, students should:

1. Recognize that they are expected to write well at all times;

2. Realize that the way they say something affects what they say;

3. Write, revise, and rewrite each paper so that it represents the best work they are able to do.

Similarly, faculty members should:

1. Set high standards for their own use of language;

2. Provide appropriate occasions for students to exercise their writing skills;

3. Set minimum standards of written expression for all courses;

4. Acquaint the students with those standards and inform them of their responsibility to meet them and the consequences if they do not;

5. Evaluate written work in light of effectiveness of expression as well as content;

6. Aid students in their development by pointing out deficiencies in their written work and assist them with special writing problems arising from the demands of a particular field of study.

Examinations

In-Course Examinations. The number of exams a student takes in a single day should not exceed a total of two. The word exam here refers to mid-term exams and to those major in-course tests that cover several weeks’ material and take a whole period or major portion of a period to administer. It does not include routine quizzes based on day-to-day assignments and lasting only part of the period.

Students with more than two in-course exams on a single day may obtain permission from the appropriate Class Dean to make up the exam or exams in excess of two. This permission must be requested in advance of the scheduled examinations.

Students who have missed an in-course test for a serious and verifiable reason should follow the Excused Absence Policy.

Final Examinations. Final examinations are administered during the final examination period at the end of each semester. The schedule of final examinations is established by the Registrar at the time of enrollment. Students should consult this schedule before making end-of-the-semester travel plans.

Students who, for serious and verifiable reasons, are not able to take the scheduled final must make arrangements for a make-up examination, according to the Excused Absence Policy.

If a severe storm occurs on a Saturday of the examination period and a faculty member finds it impossible to reach campus to administer a final examination, the examination will be rescheduled on Sunday at the time originally scheduled. If a severe storm occurs on any day Monday through Thursday, the examination is rescheduled to the next day at 6:30 p.m. If a severe storm occurs on Friday, the examination is rescheduled to Saturday at 2:30 p.m. In all cases, the examination will be held in the originally scheduled room. If an examination must be scheduled to another room, you will be notified by the Registrar’s Office.

Please note that the College will not close or postpone scheduled examinations unless the President elects to close the College. Students are expected to be present for their final examinations. In the event, however, that a severe storm prevents a student from reaching campus to take an examination which the faculty member is present to administer, the student must make arrangements with the faculty member for a makeup or take the missed examination on the regularly scheduled absentee examination day which is the last Saturday of the examination period. It is the absent student’s responsibility to find out whether or not the examination was held at the scheduled time so that he or she will know when and where to take the missed examination.

Grading System

A student’s standing will be determined by the results of examinations, classroom work, and assignments. Each semester, one grade will be submitted for each course for each student; this will be a composite grade for oral presentations, reading assignments, classroom discussions, tests, the final examination, etc.

There is no official College translation of percentage scores into letter grades. Reports of academic grades are made available to students and sent to their parents or guardians at the end of each semester.

The following symbols are used to indicate the quality of the student’s work in each course:

Grade Point Multiplier Symbol Description
4.00 A Excellent
3.70 A-  
3.30 B+  
3.00 B Good
2.70 B-  
2.30 C+  
2.00 C Satisfactory
1.70 C-  
1.30 D+  
1.00 D Low Pass
0.00 F- Failure
IP In Progress  
W Withdrawal without Prejudice  
AU Audit  
I Incomplete  
P Pass  
NP No Pass (Failure)  
NG Not Graded (Overload)  
J Grade not submitted  

The grade of I is changed to F unless a subsequent grade is submitted to the Registrar within one week of the last day of final examinations. The grade of I may be changed to extended incomplete by the appropriate Class Dean upon petition by the faculty member or, after consultation with the faculty member, at the initiative of the Class Deans. Withdrawal from a course, with the approval of the Class Dean, after the add/drop period will be graded W during the first 10 weeks of the semester. Ordinarily students are not permitted to withdraw from a course after the 10th week. The deadline for withdrawal from a course is published by the Registrar at the beginning of each semester.

A student who, during a given semester, has not earned passing letter grades (other than P) in four courses which count toward the 32-course graduation requirement incurs a deficiency.

Grade Points. Each of the grades from A to F is assigned a multiplier, as indicated, which weights the grade in computing averages. Multiplying this weighting factor by the number of semester units assigned to the course gives the grade points earned in it.

None of the other grades in the above list carries grade-point multipliers; units associated with such grades are not used in calculating the grade pont average.

Grade Point Average. Dividing the total number of grade points achieved in all courses by the sum of the units assigned to these courses determines the grade point average (GPA). The semester GPA is calculated using units and grade points earned in a single semester; when all the student’s units and grade points to date are used, the calculation yields the cumulative GPA.

Only those grades earned in courses taught at Holy Cross (including the courses associated with the Washington Semester Program) and those earned in academic year courses offered through the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts agreement are calculated into a student’s grade point average. Grades earned in college sponsored programs abroad or in a Study Away Program appear on the Holy Cross transcript but are not calculated into the GPA.

Retention and Return of Graded Materials

Unless the nature of the examination precludes returning it to the student, all non-final examinations are to be returned with corrections. Students have the right to review any non-final examination that is retained by the professor. Such a review must take place at the time of an appointment made by the student to confer with the professor and should occur shortly after the time when the student receives the grade for the examination.

Final examinations may be returned to the student if the professor is willing and if return is feasible. However, when the final examination is not returned, it shall be retained by the professor for three full semesters, so that a student may see and review the examination and discuss any questions concerning its evaluation.

Faculty who will not be at the College in the subsequent semester (because of separation or leave) will deposit, with the Department Chair, final examinations along with the record of evaluations used to determine students’ final grades. The Chair will make the arrangements necessary to allow students to review their final examinations. Any papers or other graded materials not returned to the student are subject to the same provisions as are indicated for final examinations.

Change of Grade

Faculty may change a final grade submitted to the Registrar. A grade can be changed if the original grade was inaccurately calculated or recorded. However, a grade may not be changed based on additional work by the student after the original grade has been submitted.

Faculty wishing to change a grade should submit an online Change of Grade Form. The form requires approval from the Chair of the department and Class Dean.

Final Grade Review Policy

Every student has the right to a formal review of a disputed final grade. The initial attempt by a student to resolve a disputed final course grade must be made with the faculty member involved. If a student believes a satisfactory grade explanation has not been obtained from the faculty member, who is at the time teaching at the College, then the student may request a formal grade review through the Class Dean. This request for a formal review of a final course grade must be written and submitted to the appropriate Class Dean no later than the conclusion of the fifth full week of classes in the semester subsequent to the issuance of the grade.

The written statement must include a description of all attempts made by the student to resolve the disputed grade with the faculty member involved and the reason(s) for requesting a formal grade review. The Chair of the department of the faculty member involved shall receive a copy of the student’s written request from the Class Dean and review it with the faculty member.

If, after this review, the faculty member believes that the grade should not be changed, within three weeks of receipt of the request for a formal grade review a written statement will be submitted to the student, to the Department Chair, and to the appropriate Class Dean that explains the final course grade as issued and responds to the specific reason(s) for which the student has requested a review.

A request for a formal review of a grade given by a Chair in that individual’s own course shall be forwarded by the Class Dean to a tenured faculty member of the Chair’s department, if available, or, if not available, to a tenured faculty member in a related field, and the same review procedure will pertain.

A request for a formal review shall be forwarded to the Department Chair if the faculty member is no longer teaching at the College.

A student request for a formal review of a final course grade issued by a faculty member who, because of leave, is not teaching at the College in the semester subsequent to the issuance of the grade must be filed in writing with the appropriate Class Dean no later than the fifth week of the following semester. If possible, the review procedure should be concluded by the end of that semester. If the nature of the faculty member’s leave makes this impossible, the review procedure should be concluded no later than the third full week of classes after the faculty member has resumed teaching responsibilities.

Honor Grades

The following criteria determine honor grades:

Dean’s List

Dean’s List status requires the passing of four or more letter-graded courses with no failing grades during the semester and the following GPAs: First Honors: a semester GPA of 3.70 or above; and Second Honors: a semester GPA of 3.50 to 3.69.

Graduation Honors

Summa Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.87 or above; Magna Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.70 to 3.86; and Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.50 to 3.69.

In calculations of the GPA for the Dean’s List or for graduation honors, only those units and quality points earned at Holy Cross and the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts are included.

Fifth Course

Students, after consulting with their faculty advisor, may take a fifth course without charge.

The following policies are in effect with regard to the fifth course:

1. Enrollment in a fifth course takes place during the first week of classes, each semester.

2. A fifth course may be used by students for enrichment purposes, to satisfy a common area or academic program requirement, or for the removal of a course deficiency. In the latter case, the fifth course must be taken for a letter grade.

3. Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 in order to register for a fifth course.

4. First-year students must obtain permission from the appropriate Class Dean before registering for a fifth course.

5. A fifth course taken for a letter grade will be included in the calculation of the cumulative average.

Pass/No Pass Grading

The grades of P and NP are the Pass/No Pass grades. The option of Pass/No Pass grading is available only for those students taking five courses in a semester.

Following are the qualifications for the Pass/No Pass Option:

1. Students who wish to take a course on a Pass/No Pass basis shall have until the fifth Friday of the semester to decide which of the five courses chosen during the enrollment period is to be taken on the Pass/No Pass basis. A Pass/No Pass form must be completed and filed with the Registrar during the period designated for the declaration of the Pass/No Pass option.

2. Pass/No Pass courses do not count toward the 32 courses required for graduation.

3. Pass/No Pass courses cannot be used to remove deficiencies.

4. Courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis may be used to satisfy common requirements.

5. Pass/No Pass courses may be taken within the student’s major, minor, or concentration but cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of these programs.

6. Pass/No Pass grades will not be averaged into a student’s GPA but will be placed on the student’s record.

7. At any point during the semester a student may choose to convert a Pass/No Pass course to a letter graded course.

8. Beginning in fall 2013, after final grades have been posted, a student has the option to uncover the letter grade associated with a Pass grade. Requests to uncover a Pass must be made in writing to the Class Dean. Once the letter grade has been uncovered, the course becomes a letter-graded course and the grade cannot be converted back to a Pass. All requests to uncover a Pass must be made no later than one week prior to the date of the student’s graduation.

Auditing Courses

Students may elect to audit a course if they are enrolled in four other courses for credit in a semester. They must complete an audit form obtained from the Class Dean or the Registrar’s office. This form must be signed by the student, the faculty member teaching the course, and the Class Dean and returned to the Registrar by the end of the add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. If approved, the audited course will appear on the student’s transcript but no academic credit will be given nor may the audit be converted later into a letter-graded or Pass/No Pass course. An audited course cannot fulfill common requirements, academic program requirements, remove a deficiency or count toward the 32 courses required for graduation.

In order to receive an audit, students must fulfill attendance requirements and all other conditions set forth by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Degree students are not charged for auditing a course. Special students are charged the same tuition as they are when registering for credit.

Transcript of College Record

An official transcript of the College record will be issued by the Registrar’s office, only with the written consent of the student. Transcript requests will not be accepted by telephone. A transcript is official when it bears the impression of the Seal of the College and the signature of the Registrar of the College.An official transcript may be withheld by appropriate college officials in cases where a financial obligation remains.

Academic Probation

There are two forms of academic probation. Students may be placed on academic probation for a first instance of academic dishonesty and for failure to achieve the required grade point average.

Probation and Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy

Students are placed on probation for a first instance of academic dishonesty. Probation continues for two full semesters following the violation. As soon as students are placed on or removed from probation, they will be notified in writing by the Class Dean. When placed on probation, a copy of the notice will be sent to their parents or guardians.

Probation and Academic Performance

Academic Probation is determined by a student’s low cumulative average (GPA) at the end of the preceding semester. It is not a penalty but a warning and an opportunity for improvement.

The following rules delineate the GPA limits of academic probationary status:

A first-year student having a cumulative average of less than 2.00 at the end of first semester will be on probation the second semester.

A first-year student having a cumulative average of at least 1.75 but less than 2.00 at the end of the first year will be on probation for the first semester of the second year.

A second-year student with a cumulative average of at least 1.85 but less than 2.00 at the end of the first semester will be on probation for the second semester of the second year.

A transfer student with a GPA of 1.75 but less than 2.00 at the end of the first semester at Holy Cross will be on probation for the second semester. Thereafter, transfer students must achieve the cumulative average required of their class year.

A student who fails to maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA at the end of all semesters after the third will be suspended in the first instance and dismissed in a subsequent instance.

Students who are eligible for suspension or dismissal because of a low cumulative GPA, but whose appeal has been granted by the Committee on Academic Standing, are automatically placed on probationary status.

Probationary status is removed the next semester, by the achievement of the cumulative average required for that semester.

As soon as students are placed on or removed from probation, they will be notified in writing by the Registrar. Copies of the notice will be sent to their parents or guardians, advisors, and Class Deans.

Removal of Deficiency

Students are expected to complete four courses with a passing letter grade each semester. Each of these courses must be worth at least one unit of credit. Students who withdraw from a course, fail a course, or enroll in fewer than four courses incur a deficiency.

A deficiency may be removed by Advanced Placement credit, by enrollment in a fifth course for a letter grade, or by the transfer of an approved course taken at another institution. Courses taken on a Pass/No Pass may be used to remove deficiencies if the passing letter grade is uncovered. Courses taken on an Audit basis may not be used to remove deficiencies.

Students should consult with a Class Dean to determine the best way to make up the deficiency in a timely manner. Students with multiple deficiencies may jeopardize class standing and financial aid eligibility.

The units attempted in a course in which a student incurs a deficiency will remain on the student’s transcript; if the deficiency is a result of course failure, the F will continue to be used in calculating the GPA.

Academic Suspension and Dismissal

A student will be suspended from the College for any of the following reasons:

1. Two course failures (any combination of F or NP in courses taught at Holy Cross, including the Washington Semester Program, through the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts, and in Study Abroad or Study Away Programs) in any single semester;

2. A total of six course failures (any combination of F or NP) on one’s Holy Cross transcript;

3. A cumulative GPA of less than 1.75 after the second semester (end of first year), of less than 1.85 after the third semester, and of less than 2.00 after the fourth semester (end of second year) or any subsequent semester. A transfer student will be suspended after the first semester at Holy Cross if the GPA is less than 1.75; thereafter, transfer students are subject to the limits of suspension stipulated for their class year.

4. A second violation of the academic integrity policy by a student who is not currently on probation for violation of the policy.

A first suspension is for one academic year. After the one-year suspension, readmission is unconditional if the student is in good financial and disciplinary standing with the College. Students who wish to return to the College should notify the Class Dean well in advance of the semester they wish to return. A second suspension, whether for academic reasons or because of violation of the policy on academic honesty, results in academic dismissal, which is ordinarily considered final separation from the College. A student will also be dismissed for a second violation of the academic integrity policy while on probation for a first violation or for a third violation overall. A student who is suspended or dismissed must leave the campus community and ceases to be entitled to campus activities.

Appeals of suspensions or dismissals for academic reasons may be made to the Committee on Academic Standing. The letter of suspension or dismissal from the Class Dean will provide students and parents with the necessary details of appeal. The Class Deans are available for consultation regarding appeal procedures and will also inform the student of the final Committee decision. Dismissals upheld by the Committee on Academic Standing may be appealed to the President of the College.

Voluntary Withdrawal from the College

Students who withdraw voluntarily from the College are entitled to separation in good standing under the following conditions:

1. They must not be liable to dismissal for disciplinary reasons.

2. They must not be liable to dismissal for academic reasons.

3. They must return all College property.

4. They must settle all financial indebtedness with the College.

5. They must properly notify the Class Dean of their intention to withdraw.

Students who withdraw from the College must leave the campus community and are no longer entitled to campus activities.

Readmission to the College

Students who have withdrawn in good standing and who wish to be readmitted to the College must apply to the appropriate Class Dean. Any materials for readmission required by the Class Dean (a letter requesting readmission, letters of recommendation, transcripts of all intervening work, statements of good standing, and other substantiating documents) must be received by the Class Dean 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester.

Even when a withdrawal from the College is voluntary, readmission is not automatic.

Leave of Absence Policy

A student at the College may request permission to be absent from the campus for a period of one or two semesters. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., military service, health) the leave may be granted for a longer period of time. A leave must be renewed prior to its expiration before it can be extended; otherwise the student will be withdrawn from the College when it expires. Students may not advance in class standing by taking courses at other institutions while on Leave, nor may students recover their original class standing once they return to Holy Cross. Students anticipating a Leave of Absence should consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding the status of loans during the period they are on leave.

A Leave of Absence is granted with the following conditions:

1. The request for a Leave of Absence ordinarily is made during the semester prior to the proposed Leave, and usually begins at the end of a regular semester.

2. A Leave of Absence for health-related reasons may be requested at any time.

3. A Leave of Absence that is requested to begin during a semester is considered an academic exception and is subject to the Academic Exceptions Policy (see below). In particular, the Class Dean makes a decision about the request and, in granting the Leave, may include conditions that must be met in order for the student to return to the College. These conditions are communicated to the students in writing. The Class Dean may consult with family members, health professionals, or professional staff in appropriate campus offices (e.g. Residence Life, Counseling Center, Health Services) in determining these conditions and monitoring the student’s compliance with these conditions before readmission.

4. A student must be in good academic standing at the end of the last semester before the Leave is to begin.

5. A student is required to file in writing, with the appropriate Class Dean, his or her reason for requesting or renewing a Leave of Absence.

6. A student on Leave of Absence must leave the campus community and ceases to be entitled to campus activities.

7. Students on Leave must notify the Class Dean of their intent to return to campus. Any materials for readmission required by the Class Dean ordinarily must be submitted 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester.

8. A student will be required to pay a fee of $30.

Academic Exceptions Policy

Students may ask for a postponement of academic responsibilities (incompletes, extensions, or late withdrawals from one or more courses) for personal and health reasons. Students request academic exceptions from the Class Dean. The Class Dean makes a decision about the request, which may include conditions that must be met in order for the student to complete courses or register for courses in a subsequent semester. These conditions are communicated to the student in writing. The Class Dean may consult with family members, health professionals, faculty members or professional staff in appropriate campus offices (e.g., Residence Life, Counseling Center, Health Services) in designating conditions and monitoring the student’s compliance.

Academic accommodations are also possible under the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and applicable local, state and federal statutes regarding nondiscrimination against persons with disabilities.

Involuntary Leave of Absence

Students who the College has reason to believe may harm or threaten to harm themselves or others, and who do not seek a Voluntary Leave of Absence, may be asked to leave the College involuntarily. Circumstances leading to an Involuntary Leave of Absence include but are not limited to:

1. Actions that result or might potentially result in injury to the student or others, or serious destruction of property.

2. Statements that threaten the safety of that student or that threaten the safety of others.

Before making a decision to place a student on Involuntary Leave, the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee will investigate the incident(s), interviewing the student and/or other individuals deemed appropriate (e.g., other students, family members, health professionals).

When the Vice President for Student Affairs decides to place a student on Involuntary Leave of Absence, the reasons for the decision, the length of time for the leave, and the conditions for re-enrollment will be communicated in writing to the student and the student’s Class Dean, who will notify the Registrar.

An Involuntary Leave of Absence is effective immediately and the student may be required to leave the campus immediately, even if he or she appeals the action. A student placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence is subject to all provisions of the Leave of Absence policy of the College.

To satisfy the conditions of an Involuntary Leave of Absence, the student must present evidence to the Vice President for Student Affairs that the problem no longer precludes safe attendance at the College and that he or she is ready to resume studies. If the student is to be re-enrolled, the Vice President for Student Affairs communicates this decision to the Class Dean who notifies the Registrar.

If a campus office has been involved in recommending conditions for re-enrollment, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall consult that office in evaluating the student’s request for re-enrollment. The Vice President for Student Affairs may also consult with one or more other professionals regarding the student’s request and the evidence presented and may require that the student be interviewed by a professional associated with the College.

Appeal of Involuntary Leave of Absence

A student placed on an Involuntary Leave of Absence has 10 business days to appeal the decision.

Appeals are directed to the President of the College or a designee and must be in writing, stating the reasons for the appeal and the desired resolution. The appeal will be considered within five business days of the request.

The decision of the President of the College is final.

Directory Information Notice

The items listed below are designated as Directory Information and may be released at the discretion of the College. Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA), students have the right to withhold the disclosure of any or all of the categories of Directory Information. Written notification to withhold Directory Information must be received by the Registrar.

Directory information includes: the student’s name, address, telephone number, email address, date and place of birth, photograph, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, class level (i.e., first-year, second-year), enrollment status (i.e., full-time or part-time status), degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

A request to withhold all of Directory Information in no way restricts internal use of the material by the College such as the release of academic information to College officials whose positions justify such release of information to them, or to College committees charged with the selection of students for College and National Honor Societies.

Please see Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – Privacy of Student Records below for further information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - Privacy of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA) gives eligible students certain rights to their education records. These rights are:

1.  The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.  A student should submit a written request to the department that maintains the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The department will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be made.

2.  The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. They should write to the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing. NOTE: The right to challenge grades does not apply under FERPA unless the grade assigned was inaccurately recorded.

3.  The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee.  A school official also may include a volunteer or a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service or function instead of using College employees or officials and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks). A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.

FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations —

  • To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the College, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
  • Information the school has designated as "directory information" under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11)).  Please see the College’s Directory Information Notice above.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the College determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the College’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))

 

4.  The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA as they pertain to access and disclosure of student’s education records. Students who believe their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act have been violated may file a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Honor Societies

National Honor Societies

Alpha Sigma Nu — the honor society of the Jesuit institutions of higher education, is unique among honor societies in that it seeks to identify the most promising students who demonstrate an intelligent appreciation of and commitment to the intellectual, social, moral, and religious ideals of Jesuit higher education through active service to the college and wider community. Students who rank in the top 15 percent of their class may be considered for membership. Each chapter can nominate no more than four percent of a particular class. Selection is based on scholarship, loyalty, and service.

Phi Beta Kappa — founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious national honor society of the liberal arts and sciences. Election to Phi Beta Kappa is recognition of academic achievement and is intended for students who have demonstrated particular breadth in their undergraduate program. Each year, the Holy Cross Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa nominates for membership fourth-year students from the top 10 percent of their class who have demonstrated excellence in the liberal arts, completed one course in mathematics, demonstrated language competence equivalent to the second semester of an intermediate-level language course, and satisfied all common requirements. In addition, the Chapter nominates third-year students who have completed at least 20 semester courses, satisfied the above requirements, and demonstrated an exceptional level of academic achievement.

Disciplinary Honor Societies

Alpha Kappa Delta — the international sociology honor society is an affiliate of the American Sociological Association and awards recognition to high scholarship in sociology.

Delta Phi Alpha — the national German honor society, devoted to recognizing excellence in the study of German, to providing an incentive for higher scholarship, to promoting the study of the German language, literature, and civilization and to emphasizing those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to the search for peace and truth.

Dobro Slovo — the National Slavic Honor Society recognizes academic excellence in the study of languages, literature, art and culture.

Eta Sigma Phi — the national collegiate honorary society for students of Latin and/or ancient Greek. The society seeks to develop and promote interest in classical studies among the students of colleges and universities; to promote closer fraternal relationships among students who are interested in classical study, including inter-campus relationship; to engage generally in an effort to stimulate interest in classical studies, and in the history, art, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Holy Cross is home to the Delta Lambda Chapter.

Gamma Kappa Alpha — the national Italian honor society, dedicated to promoting and sustaining excellence in the study of Italian language, literature and culture, honors students who complete the Italian major program with distinction.

Omicron Delta Epsilon — the national society in economics, which selects as members students who have distinguished themselves in the study of economics.

Phi Alpha Theta — the national honor society in history, devoted to the promotion of the study of history by the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and thought among historians.

Phi Sigma Tau — the international honor society in philosophy, which awards distinction to students having high scholarship and personal interest in philosophy.

Pi Delta Phi — the national French honor society, devoted to recognizing outstanding scholarship in French language and literature, to increasing Americans’ knowledge of and appreciation for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulating and encouraging French cultural activities.

Pi Mu Epsilon — the national mathematics honor society that promotes scholarship and interest in mathematics. Members are elected based on their proficiency in mathematics.

Pi Sigma Alpha — the national honor society in political science, which selects students who have distinguished themselves in the study of the discipline.

Psi Chi — the national honor society in psychology affiliated with the American Psychological Association, seeks to honor excellent scholarship and nurture student involvement in psychology.

Sigma Delta Pi — the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, invites Spanish majors who have achieved excellence in Hispanic studies to be inducted into the Holy Cross chapter.

Sigma Phi Omega — the national society seeks to recognize the excellence of those who study gerontology and aging. The society is an affiliate of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and the Gerontological Society of America, and it seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, and services to older persons.

Sigma Pi Sigma — the national physics honor society, which seeks to recognize outstanding scholarship in physics.

Sigma Tau Delta — the national English honor society, was established at Holy Cross in 1987. Eligible English majors are elected to membership and actively engage in the promotion of English studies.

The Lambda Alpha Anthropology Award — the national honor society for anthropology serves to recognize exceptional performance, is affiliated with the American Anthropological Association and awards recognition to high scholarship in anthropology.

Theta Alpha Kappa — the national honor society in religious studies and theology embraces three areas of primary concern to students of religion: God, humanity, and community. Its aims are to further the study of religion and theology at the graduate and undergraduate level; encourage excellence in research, learning, teaching and publication; and to foster the exchange of ideas among scholars.

Annual Awards

Fourth-Year Competition

The George J. Allen, Ph.D., ’65 Psychology Award is given to a fourth-year psychology major who best exemplifies the integration of empirical scientific research and community service.

The American Institute of Chemists Foundation Award goes to an outstanding, fourth-year chemistry major for a demonstrated record of ability, leadership, and professional promise.

The Pedro Arrupe Medal for Outstanding Service is awarded to a graduating senior whose faith in the gospel is made visible through his or her work for justice, both at Holy Cross and beyond.

The Asian Studies Program Award is presented to a fourth-year Asian Studies major or concentrator who has submitted the most outstanding piece of scholarly or artistic work as judged by a committee of Asian Studies faculty. The award also recognizes distinctive academic achievement in the Asian Studies curriculum and contribution to the Asian Studies Program.

The Beethoven Prize is awarded to a fourth-year student for the best historical or analytical essay on music or an original composition.

The Nellie M. Bransfield Award is given to a fourth-year outstanding actor/actress.

The Joseph C. Cahill Prize is awarded to a graduating chemistry major for excellence in chemistry.

The Frank D. Comerford Award is given to a fourth-year student for superior ability in public speaking.

The Philip A. Conniff, S.J., Prize is awarded by the Classics department to a fourth-year Classics major for excellence in the study of the Latin language.

The Caren G. Dubnoff Political Science Award for Academic Excellence is given to a fourth-year political science major for outstanding academic achievement in political science.

The Economics and Accounting Achievement Award honors the student who has contributed most significantly in scholarship, enthusiasm and/or service to the Economics department.

The Father Flatley Medal is awarded to a fourth-year student who displays the greatest degree of talent for (and love of) Philosophy.

The Rev. John W. Flavin, S.J., Award in Biology is given to a fourth-year biology major who has shown excellence in scientific achievement, humanitarian service, or contribution to the vitality of the Biology department and the College.

The Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Award First established in 1993 in recognition of academic excellence in Women’s Studies, the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Award today honors a student who has achieved excellence in academic work from the perspective of critical feminist and/or gender theory and who has demonstrated engagement with issues of pressing concern to women and LGBTQIA+ persons.

The Dr. Marianthi Georgoudi Memorial Award is given to the outstanding graduating psychology major as judged by the faculty of the Psychology department. This award is in memory of Dr. Georgoudi, who had been a member of the Holy Cross Psychology department.

The George H. Hampsch Award is for outstanding contribution to the Cause of Peace. This award is in memory of Dr. Hampsch, who had been a member of the Philosophy department.

The Rev. William F. Hartigan Medal is awarded for the best essay on a subject of religion.

The Rev. Robert F. Healey, S.J., Greek Prize is awarded by the Classics department to a fourth-year Classics major who has attained a high degree of proficiency in the study of Ancient Greek.

The Holy Cross Club of Worcester Prize is awarded for outstanding scholastic achievement by a fourth-year student from the Worcester area.

The Hypercube Inc. Award is awarded annually by the Chemistry faculty to a graduating chemistry major for excellence in chemistry, who will be going to graduate school.

The Thomas P. Imse Alpha Kappa Award is given to a fourth-year sociology major who is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta. This award is in recognition of scholarly excellence and demonstrated commitment to learning for the service of humankind.

The Robert Edmond Jones Award is awarded by the Theatre Department for achievement in the areas of design and technical theatre.

The Edward V. Killeen, Jr., Prize is awarded for general excellence in chemistry throughout the pre-medical course.

The Latin American and Latino Studies Award is presented to a fourth-year Latin American and Latino Studies concentrator who has demonstrated academic excellence in the program through the quality and diversity of their coursework at Holy Cross and abroad. The award also recognizes outstanding participation in cultural and other promotional programs on- and off-campus and significant engagement in service to the Latino community.

The John C. Lawlor Medal is awarded to the outstanding student and athlete throughout the college course.

The Leonard Award is given for proficiency in oratory, debating or like competition. This award is given to the student who is selected as the Valedictorian of the graduating class.

The Heather C. Lochmuller ’98 Award was established in 1999 in memory of Heather. It is awarded to a fourth-year chemistry major for outstanding service to the Chemistry department.

The Rev. John J. MacDonnell, S.J. Computer Science Award is awarded for proficiency in computer science.

The Gertrude McBrien Mathematics Prize is awarded for proficiency in mathematics.

The George B. Moran Award goes to a fourth-year student who has given evidence of scholarship and leadership in College activities.

The Nugent Gold Medal is awarded for general excellence in physics.

The John L. Philip Memorial American Sign Language Award is given to a graduating student who has demonstrated an interest in, and motivation to learn, American Sign Language (ASL) and to bring that learning to life. This student has integrated his/her classroom knowledge of ASL and Deaf culture with respect for, and interaction with, members of the Deaf Community.

The John Paul Reardon Medal and Award was established in 1985 by John Paul Reardon, a former faculty member, in memory of the late Rev. J. Gerard Mears, S.J. The medal and award are given annually to a graduating student for excellence in studio art.

The Susan Rodgers Anthropology Award honors the one anthropology student who has demonstrated superior achievement in the discipline while an undergraduate at Holy Cross.

The George Bernard Shaw Award is given for the best essay in dramatic literature or film.

The Study Abroad Independent Project Prize is given for initiative, seriousness of purpose, and excellence in a Study Abroad Independent Project.

The George Vidulich-Andrew Vanhook Award is given for an excellent research thesis and presentation in chemistry.

The Vannicelli Washington Semester Program Award is given for the best thesis in the Washington Semester Program.

The Varsity Club Norton Prize is given to an outstanding student athlete.

The Shirley Verrett French Prize in Memory of the Rev. Lionel P. Honoré, S.J. is awarded to the top French major in the graduating class as determined by the French faculty.

The Vin Forde Memorial Award is awarded annually by the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the values of Vin Forde: dedication to the academic study of religion alongside a manifest commitment to both the Catholic and civic communities, represented in the individual’s service to the College, Church, and broader community.

The Edward F. Wall, Jr., Prize is awarded annually to a fourth-year student whose research essay in any field of history is judged by the Department of History to be exemplary. The prize is in memory of Edward F. Wall, Jr., a former Chair of the department and Class Dean, who was a member of the faculty for 34 years.

The Carter G. Woodson Prize is given to a fourth-year student for outstanding scholarly or artistic achievement in African American Studies.

Third- and Fourth-Year Competition

The Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry is given for excellence in analytical chemistry.

Third-Year Competition

The Markham Memorial Scholarship Award is given to a third-year student majoring in philosophy who demonstrates the highest aptitude for philosophical inquiry and whose commitment to his or her studies best exemplifies the belief that “critical examination of fundamental religious and philosophical questions is integral to a liberal arts education.”

The John D. O’Connell Prize for Accounting Excellence was established in 1994, to honor the distinguished services of the College’s senior accounting professor. Given to a third-year accounting major for academic achievement, service and leadership. The awardee, selected by the accounting faculty, is honored for continuing the traditions associated with Professor O’Connell — pursuit of academic excellence, demonstrated leadership in service to the community and demonstrated interest in and commitment to the profession of public accounting.

The Rev. John F. Redican Medal is given for general excellence to a third-year student who has made a unique contribution to the College’s intellectual life.

Third-, Second-, and First-Year Competition

The Undergraduate Award for Achievement in Organic Chemistry is for excellence in organic chemistry.

Second-Year Competition

The Teresa A. Churilla Second-Year Book Award in Biology is given in memory of Teresa A. Churilla, a Biology major, to a second-year student of biology who best exemplifies the ideals of intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, and scientific promise that characterized Teresa.

The Mrs. Kate C. Power Award is given to the highest-ranking student in the second-year class.

First- and Second-Year Competition

The Joseph J. O’Connor Purse is for excellent debating by a first-year or second-year student throughout the debating season.

First-Year Competition

The Annual CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award goes to an outstanding student in the first-year chemistry sequence.

The Ernest A. Golia ’34, M.D., Book Award is given to a first-year student who is a non-Classics major for excellence in any course offered by the department.

The Anthony P. Marfuggi Student Award is for academic excellence in the first year of study.

Competition for All Students

The Academy of American Poets Prize is given for the best poem or group of poems submitted to the English department.

The Elias Atamian Family Book Award is given to a student who has excelled in Middle Eastern Studies.

The Bourgeois French Prize is awarded for the best essay on a subject relating to the culture and history of the French and their descendants in the United States.

The Crompton Gold Medal is awarded for the best scientific essay or research paper submitted during the school year.

The John J. Crowley Memorial Prize is awarded for the best essay on a religious, literary, historical, economic or scientific subject.

The Patrick F. Crowley Memorial Award is given for proficiency in oratory and debating.

The John J. Cummings, Jr./BAI Award is for the best essay or research paper submitted during the academic year on a subject relating to financial institutions.

The James Fallon Debating Purse was founded in 1901 by Rev. John J. Fallon, of the class of 1880, for year-long excellence in debating skills.

The Thomas A. Fulham Environmental Studies Prize is given to a student in recognition of his or her work in safeguarding our physical environment.

The Edna Dwyer Grzebien Prize is awarded for excellence and commitment in the study of modern languages.

The Walter Gordon Howe Award is for excellence in percussion performance.

The Monsignor Kavanagh Medal & Award are given for the best original essay on some phase of Catholic art or Christian archeology.

The William E. Leahy Award is given in memory of William E. Leahy, of the class of 1907, for leadership as a debater.

The Leonard J. McCarthy, S.J., Memorial Prize is awarded for the best essay in the criticism of English or American Literature.

The Purple Prize is awarded for the best poem submitted to The Purple.

The James H. Reilly Memorial Purse is given to the student who has contributed the best poem or short story to The Purple.

The Freeman M. Saltus Prize is awarded for excellence in writing essays on labor or economics.

The Strain Gold Medal is given for the best essay submitted during the academic year on a subject taken from the field of philosophy.

The Maurizio Vannicelli Prize in Italian Studies is awarded for the best essay on a theme of Italian literature or culture.

National Scholarships and Fellowships

The Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies advises students applying for various prestigious awards to support post-graduate study (Beinecke, Fulbright, Goldwater, Javits, Marshall, National Science Foundation, Rhodes, Rotary, St. Andrews Society, and Truman Scholarship, among others).

Students should begin preparing for these competitions early in their undergraduate careers. Individuals should seek faculty assistance during the first three years to develop the necessary projects, ideas, credentials, and research initiatives that will serve as the foundations of finished proposals. Individuals who are interested should also meet periodically with the Director of the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies, who will help them determine which awards would be suitable for their interests and talents and help them develop their proposals and personal statements.

In most cases, students submit preliminary applications to the Committee on Graduate Studies, and members of the Committee review dossiers and conduct personal interviews to select candidates for institutional recommendations. For those independent applications that do not require institutional endorsement, the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies is happy to provide assistance. Faculty members are encouraged to recommend students to the attention of this Committee.

Some of the awards are directed to students in specific majors. For example, the Goldwater Scholarship is for second- and third-year students of math and science who are nominated by the faculty in the departments of biology, chemistry, physics and math. The Truman Fellowship is for those interested in pursuing studies leading to public service. Students apply for this award in their third year and should consult with the Director of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies in their second year. The Beinecke Scholarship, also applied for in the third year, is for students planning graduate study in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. Many fellowships require application in the first semester of senior year. Materials concerning these and other awards are available from the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies and on the Graduate Studies web page.