May 28, 2024  
2024-25 Catalog 
2024-25 Catalog

Academic Policies

This content has not yet been updated for the 2024-25 Academic Year.

A compendium of academic policies describing registration procedures, grades and evaluation, course load, and other practices and requirements underlies the academic program at Reed. The policies are found in the Faculty Code, a copy of which is available to students online. All students have access to the Guidebook to Reed, which sets these forth comprehensively in a readily accessible format at A brief summary of key policies follows here.

Students who wish to request exemption from or waiver of an academic policy must submit a petition to the Administration Committee or their division. The petition should include the rationale for the exemption or waiver and the support of the student’s adviser and relevant instructors. Petitions and the instructions for filing them are available in the registrar’s office and online at

Registration and Course Load

Students normally register for a course load of three to four and a half units per semester. One Reed unit of credit is the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours. Enrollment in an overload (five units or more) or an underload (fewer than three units) is by special permission only. Registration for the full year takes place in spring of the preceding year for continuing students and during summer and orientation for new students. Registration for a semester is not possible after the second week of classes. A second registration period opens after fall break for the spring semester; at that time all students should update or confirm the spring program for which they are registered and confirm their financial arrangements. Any change in program that seems advisable in light of the fall semester academic experience may be made during this time but no later than the second week of the spring semester.

Students are responsible for the work in all of the courses for which they are enrolled once registration has been completed. To make a change of program once classes begin, the student must update their registration online or submit to the registrar’s office a completed add-drop form, approved by the faculty adviser and the course instructor. Enrollment in physical education, community engagement, or experiential learning courses must be complete by the end of the second week of classes. No course may be added to the student’s program after the end of the second week of the semester. A student may drop a semester course by Monday of the sixth week of the semester, and no notation of that course will be made on the student’s permanent record. Withdrawing from a semester course after Monday of the sixth week, and on or before Monday of the 10th week of the term, will result in the grade of W being recorded. Students may drop a yearlong course through Monday of the 10th week in fall. Students who withdraw from a yearlong course after Monday of the 10th week in fall through Monday of the sixth week in spring will have a W recorded for the course. Students may not withdraw from courses after the deadlines outlined above.

A student electing to enroll in a course for credit/no credit (see “Grades,” below) must do so by filing a form in the registrar’s office by Monday of the 10th week of class.

A student who wishes to engage in an independent study must secure the approval of the department and division, and must register for the course in the registrar’s office by the end of the second week. Independent study is ordinarily available only to juniors and seniors, and no more than four units of independent study may be applied toward the degree.

Transfer Credit and Cross-Registration

Matriculated students may transfer credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities, with certain restrictions. One such restriction is that students typically may not transfer credit in excess of the credit allowed for the equivalent Reed course. Students should secure approval of courses before registering at another school, and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that an official transcript of the work is sent directly to the registrar at Reed. Transfer credit may be used to meet certain degree requirements if faculty approval is secured in advance. Courses must be taken for a letter or numeric grade, and students must earn a grade of C− or better. Students may obtain a transfer credit approval form and additional information from the registrar’s office.

Reed College is a member of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities. With prior approval of the registrar’s office to cross-register, Reed students who are enrolled full time at Reed are eligible to register at a number of other independent colleges in Oregon for one course each semester in fall and spring, at no additional fee. Cross-registered courses and grades appear on the Reed transcript, but the grades are not included in calculating the Reed grade point average.

For more information regarding transfer and advanced placement, see “Admission Policies ” in the Admission  section of this catalog.


Reed has a conventional four-point grading system, although traditional grade reports are not given to students unless they request them. Passing grades for undergraduates are A+, A, A−, B+, B, B−, C+, C, C−, and D. The failing grade is F. A grade of S (satisfactory) may be recorded at the first progress review of the year; an IN (incomplete) may be recorded as a temporary final grade if the level of the work done up to the point of the IN is passing, and the work could not be completed for reasons of health or extreme emergency. U (unfinished) is recorded as a temporary grade for a thesis not completed on time. Work in courses graded as incomplete must be completed within four weeks of the end of the semester (see the academic calendar). The instructor may set an earlier deadline for completion of this work. Students who fail to complete the required work for courses graded as incomplete will be assigned a final grade based on the work completed. Work in thesis graded as unfinished must be completed by the first day of classes in the semester following the semester in which the grade was recorded. Students who fail to complete the thesis by the deadline will be assigned a failing grade.

During the junior or senior years students have the option of taking, as part of their regular academic load, a maximum of two units of work on a credit/no credit basis. Such a course may not be used to meet the college distribution requirements, the requirements for the division, or the requirements for the major or minor, and may not be taken in the student’s major department. If the work for the course is judged to be of C level or higher, the grade is reported as Cr (Credit); if the work is at the level of C− or lower, it is to be reported as NCr (No Credit). In neither case is the grade or unit value used in the grade point computation. An enrolled student who chooses to audit a course may do so with the instructor’s permission, but no record is made of the audited course in the permanent student record.

Academic Action

The academic record of each student is reviewed six times a year. The following are official academic actions that the faculty may take at the end of a semester, in order of increasing concern: official warning, probation, denial of registration, and dismissal from college. Students are notified of any academic action following the grade review. A student who is placed on probation is expected to submit a progress plan, developed with the adviser and one of the deans in student life. Students who meet the terms of their progress plan in the next semester usually will be cleared from probation; students who fail to meet the terms of their progress plan will likely be denied registration and may be dismissed. Students who have been denied registration or dismissed from the college may appeal the decision. The appeal decision is final. A student who has been denied registration and wishes to return must apply for readmission through the registrar’s office; the application may be granted if the student successfully completes the conditions of their readmission and demonstrates that the difficulties that resulted in denial of registration have been successfully addressed. A student that has been dismissed may not reenroll at the college.


At the end of the academic year, the divisions, the interdisciplinary committees, and the Administration Committee review the records of students who have been enrolled full time for the year and who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship. If awarded, such commendations will appear on the student’s permanent record.

Leave of Absence and Withdrawal from the College

Students who are eligible to register may apply for a leave of absence upon the recommendation of their adviser and in consultation with one of the deans in student life. Students should request leaves of absence in Iris, Reed’s secure online student portal, before the start of the semester. The final deadline for enrolled students to take a regular leave during the semester is the deadline to withdraw from a semester course. The deadline for a medical leave is the last day of classes; students should review the medical leave of absence webpage for that process. A student who wishes to withdraw from the college should begin the process by making their request in Iris. Students who have withdrawn and wish to be readmitted must apply for readmission through the registrar’s office. Readmission applications should be filed by June 1 for the following fall semester or by December 1 for spring semester. Deadlines for students applying for financial aid are earlier. Information on financial aid and forms for application are available from the financial aid office.


Students may obtain a copy of their transcript or have one sent to a third party by submitting a signed request to the registrar’s office. Normally transcripts will be sent within three working days of receipt of the order. Additional information about student access to grades is found under “Evaluation .”