Students register for classes through Self-Service, available on Earlham’s portal. Academic advisers work with students to assist in decision-making about the courses to be taken. Each semester, students are notified via e-mail of the two-week academic advising period, one-week registration period and policies associated with registration. Continuing students typically register in November for the spring semester and May term, and in April for the fall semester. 

Students should start exploring the course schedule for the upcoming semester using the Course planning tool, which is also accessible by the academic adviser. 

Seniors (88 earned credit hours and above) and rising seniors will be given priority registration to ensure their access to the classes they need to complete their degree. The credit count includes any transfer credit that has been awarded. 

All students must meet with their academic advisor prior to registering to build a course schedule that will help them progress to graduation on time, and to receive their registration pin. 

Students not registered by the end of the one-week registration period will be charged a fee of $25, with the following exceptions: students enrolled in off-campus programs, readmits, returnees from leave and new students. 

Course load 

All students registered for a minimum of 12 credits are considered as full-time and will be billed as such unless they have approval from the Registrar for part-time status (only for graduating seniors in their last semester). At the conclusion of this process students registered for more than 18 credits will be billed an overload fee. Applied music lessons, first-year Honors and LIFT courses, as well as EPIC 171, are not considered a part of an overload.  

Changes in registration 

Students, in consultation with their advisors, may make changes to their course schedule within the deadlines specified as follows:

  • ADD/DROP: Courses may be added or dropped during the first five class days of the Fall and Spring semesters. During this period, courses dropped will not appear on the student’s transcript and course fees will be refunded. The add/drop period for May terms runs through the first day of classes.
  • WITHDRAW: After the Add/Drop period has passed, students may withdraw from a course until the Friday of the tenth week of classes for the Fall and Spring terms. For May term the last day to withdraw from a class is the end of the first week of classes. Students are expected to consult with their academic advisor prior to doing so. When a student withdraws from a course, a grade of W will be recorded on the transcript. The student’s GPA will not be impacted. Withdrawals may be processed through Student Self-Service or through the Registrar’s Office, withdrawals are effective the day on which they are made. Course fees will not be refunded. 
  • CREDIT/NO CREDIT:  With the consent of the instructor, academic adviser and the registrar, students may select the CR/NCR grading option in an on-campus course up to the Friday of the end of the tenth week of classes. Once the CR/NCR option is elected, it cannot be changed back to the letter grade option. Students may only petition for one course within a semester and only two during their Earlham career. A student may not take the credit/no credit option in their major or minor. 

Students are not permitted to withdraw from a course (without approval) if doing so will reduce their course load to less than a full-time status. 

Please be advised that a course withdrawal may impact the student’s satisfactory academic progress and financial aid eligibility. Students should consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding any possible impact.

Retaking courses 

A student may petition to retake any Earlham course — except an Earlham Seminar — as part of their regular semester course load. In such cases, the highest grade earned for the same course appears on the student’s transcript; only the highest grade is calculated into the student’s GPA. The lowest grade is replaced on the transcript with RT (Retake). The petition for retaking a course is available in the Registrar’s Office. A course may be retaken only one time toward grade improvement.

A course being retaken will be counted in the course load for tuition charges for the semester in which the student is enrolled, but the student will receive credit ONLY ONE TIME for a given course. 

If a student fails an Earlham Seminar, they are required to complete a Writing Intensive course in their sophomore year for degree completion (this doesn’t eliminate the need to take a Writing Intensive course within the student’s declared major). At the time of this completion, the “failing grade” in the Earlham Seminar will be changed to a RT.

Registration fees/Late charges 

Careful planning with your adviser should help you avoid late charges. These charges also are applicable to transfer students. Late charges are posted to a student’s account when: 

  • A student changes their registration after the published deadline: $25 (after early semester break: $50).
  • A student fails to submit a declaration of major form by the end of their fourth semester of enrollment or by having attained 60 credit hours: $25.
  • A student fails to submit a declaration of major form by the end of their fifth semester of enrollment or by having attained 75 credit hours: $50.
  • A student fails to submit a declaration of major form by the end of their sixth semester of enrollment or by having attained 90 credit hours: $100.
  • A student fails to submit a declaration of major by the end of each succeeding semester after the sixth semester of enrollment or having attained 90 credit hours: $100.

Registration holds 

Registration holds prevent students from registering for classes. If you have a hold, contact the office who placed the hold on your account: 

  • Accounting Office 003 Carpenter Hall 765-983-1333 
  • Registrar’s Office 018 Tyler Hall  765-983-1515 
  • Student Life  Earlham Hall  765-983-1311

Once a hold is resolved, registration can occur during the designated dates.

Enrollment Status 

Each semester, a student may be: 

  • enrolled at Earlham College and studying on campus;
  • enrolled and studying off campus in an approved Earlham or Earlham-approved program;
  • on an approved leave:
    • Academic Leave of Absence (ALOA),
    • Personal Leave of Absence (PLOA),
    • Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA);
    • finishing away; or
    • withdrawn from the College. 

Please consult the appropriate sections of this catalog for the specific academic policies that apply to each status. 

Academic majors and minors 

The major usually consists of 10 to 14 courses, and may include one or more capstone requirements, such as a senior seminar, senior thesis or comprehensive examination. Guidelines for the major are established by the department/program. Students declaring an intention to major must receive approval from the department/program convener and must submit a Declaration of Major to the Registrar’s Office no later than the end of their fourth semester. 

Applied Minors and Academic Minors are available in 52 departments and programs. Students should file their intention to minor in a field with the Registrar’s Office no later than the fifth week of the eighth semester. 

Declaring a major 

Students are required to file a declaration of major at the Registrar’s Office no later than the end of their fourth semester; transfer students must declare a major after earning 58 credits. Regular majors require approval from the department and the Registrar. Interdepartmental majors require approval of each participating department and the Registrar.

Each major will have a course designated as writing intensive and research. This requirement for graduation ensures that every student learns to write and conduct research within their chosen field of study. 

Earlham allows students to apply for an independent, self-designed major. Petitions for such majors are considered by the Curricular Policy Committee and the Registrar, and are evaluated on these considerations: whether the proposed major is intellectually coherent, whether it is feasible, whether they contain all the required courses (R, WI, Capstone) and whether it is sufficiently different from available, curricular options. Please see the Petition to Propose an Independent Major form available from the Registrar’s Office website for details and deadlines.

Students who fail to declare their majors by the end of the fourth semester are fined $25. If the major is not filed by the end of the fifth semester, a $50 fine will be assessed; if not filed by the end of the sixth semester, a $100 fine will be assessed each semester thereafter. It is essential for students to declare their majors in a timely manner to ensure that all courses required for the major are available as well as to assist in planning for senior capstone experiences, comprehensive examinations, internships, research and off-campus study opportunities. 

Declaring a minor 

Students who plan to declare a minor must have declared their major and submitted the form to the Registrar’s Office for approval. Please review each of the requirements with the Academic Department or Program. Earlham allows students to apply for an independent, self designed minor. With departmental approval, the minor must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for approval by no later than the fifth week of the eighth semester.

Senior capstone requirement  

Effective August 2004, Earlham’s Comprehensives was re-labeled the “Senior Capstone Requirement.” Every academic major at Earlham culminates in a senior-year demonstration of proficiency and accomplishment in an area of study. This demonstration may be an examination, a public presentation or exhibit, completion of a thesis, or successful participation in a designated senior seminar. It may be some combination of these. 

The faculty of the department or program shall determine the form of the Capstone Requirement and advise majors in a timely manner of its form. It is consistent with variety of majors that there be a variety of Capstone Requirements. All Capstone Requirements, however, must have these common features: 

  1. Every program should devise and use means that adequately demonstrate achievement in the student’s work. The objective is to measure accomplishment. Results will continue to be accorded the grades of NP, P, HP or H. Completion with an H (Honors) will continue to be one of the requirements for Departmental Honors. (The grade of HP, that is “High Pass,” may be used to indicate greater discernment among passing grades.)
  2. Faculty in every program shall discuss Capstone results annually as part of its ongoing self-assessment.
  3. The Capstone Requirement will normally be completed in the student’s final year of residency, though preliminary work may begin a semester earlier.
  4. If it is practicable, programs should devise Capstone Requirements that students will complete at least 30 days before Commencement so that unsuccessful students may amend their performance in time for graduation. If such an arrangement is not practicable, then programs must provide sufficiently continual advice that errant students may improve their work in a timely fashion. Students who fail the Capstone Requirement twice may petition the associate academic dean, registrar and major department or program for permission for a third attempt. If the petition is approved, the student must wait six months before the third attempt.
  5. Accompanying the petition must be a detailed plan of preparation (or a plan for completing the seminar, project or thesis), a plan that has the written approval of the department or program convener. The petition must be submitted to the associate academic dean and registrar for approval at least six months before the student expects to receive his or her degree. 

Athletic eligibility 

An Earlham student-athlete is expected to be making satisfactory progress toward his/her degree and must be registered for a minimum of 12 semester credit hours to be eligible to participate. A student who is not meeting the progress toward their degree requirements may be placed in one of four categories: academic caution, probation, final probation or suspension from the College.

A student who is placed on final probation at the end of a given semester will not be eligible to participate in traditional regular-season contests during the ensuing semester. However, a student-athlete may remain on their athletics team, participate in practices and in non-traditional season practices and contest(s) with their respective program at the discretion of both the Director of Athletics and their head coach. A student-athlete may return to traditional regular-season competition only after being removed from final probation at the end of a semester.