2022-2023 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

Occasionally, changes are made to academic regulations at Furman. Unless otherwise indicated, these changes will be applicable to all students enrolled at the time the change is adopted as well as to all students who re-enroll after a period of absence.

Academic Integrity

The goals of the academic program are achieved only if all members of the university community uphold and comply with the highest standards of academic conduct. Honesty, respect, and personal responsibility are principles that guide academic life at Furman, in and out of the classroom. Plagiarism, cheating, inappropriate collaboration, and other misrepresentations of one’s own work threaten the values of the campus community. Accordingly, violations of the ethical standards of the institution will have severe consequences, such as failure in a course, and/or suspension or dismissal from the university.

Students at Furman have a serious responsibility to uphold academic integrity by behaving honorably in their own academic work and by promoting academic integrity among their peers. If students are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty, it is their obligation to consult with faculty members so they fully understand what is expected.

For more information about academic integrity at Furman, students should consult the Student Handbook  or visit www.furman.edu/integrity.

Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree

All candidates for the baccalaureate degree must be competent in reading with comprehension, communicating intelligibly both in speech and in writing, and solving problems which require fundamental critical and analytical skills. General education courses, major field of study requirements, engaged learning opportunities and a strong program of undergraduate research offer a significant number of opportunities for students to acquire these competencies. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree from Furman University must:

  • Successfully complete at least 128 credits with at least 60 of these credits earned through Furman courses including the final 28 credits.
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 2.00 in all course work completed through Furman.
  • Complete all general education requirements.
  • Complete the Pathways (PTH) Program requirement. 
  • Complete the Cultural Life Program (CLP) requirement.
  • Complete a major field of study of at least eight courses for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree or a major of at least thirteen courses for the Bachelor of Music degree.

The bachelor’s degree may also be conferred on a student pursuing a professional degree (engineering) who began undergraduate study at Furman and who meets the following criteria:

  • Attain approval of the planned degree program by the chair of the sponsoring academic department.
  • Successfully complete at least 96 credits that contribute to the Furman bachelor’s degree before beginning course work elsewhere, including all general education requirements.
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 2.00 in all courses completed through Furman.
  • Submit evidence of successful completion of appropriate first year course work for a professional degree or successful completion of one year’s courses in an approved dual-degree program.
  • Complete the Pathways (PTH) Program requirement.
  • Complete the Cultural Life program (CLP) requirement.

Since the award of the bachelor’s degree is contingent upon earning at least 128 credits, a student may receive only one degree at the completion of these credits. Students meeting the requirements for more than one type of bachelor’s degree must inform Enrollment Services which type of degree they intend to receive.  A student who has received a bachelor’s degree from Furman may earn a second major on a post-baccalaureate basis, but cannot earn a second bachelor’s degree from the university.

Credit Award

Academic credit at Furman is awarded based on the successful completion of learning outcomes at an individual course level. All courses are approved by the university’s faculty through a process that requires review and action by all appropriate academic programs and the recommendation of a six-member elected curriculum committee. Course-level learning outcomes are usually described in syllabi developed by the instructor(s) of record for each course section in consultation with other faculty members in their academic department or associated programs.

Contact with the course instructor is a key component required for students to meet learning outcomes at Furman. Accordingly, regular class attendance is expected of all students. Furthermore, students are typically expected to engage in activities connected to the completion of course learning outcomes for three or more clock hours for every hour of contact they have with the course instructor. In keeping with accepted practice in American higher education, Furman uses the semester hour as the unit for expressing the completion of academic credit.

General Education

The general education curriculum is dedicated to providing students the opportunity to acquire the skills, the experiences and the knowledge needed to achieve broad philosophical, historical, aesthetic and scientific bases for understanding and judging human experience, in the hope that they will enjoy lives characterized by broad vision, self-knowledge, independent action, tolerance and concern for others. As means to that end, the university requires all students to complete a set of courses designed to:

  • Invigorate and stimulate intellectual curiosity
  • Broadly prepare students in a diverse set of disciplines, including the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and the fine arts
  • Encourage intellectual inquiry in sufficient depth to allow one to contribute to a greater body of knowledge
  • Develop expressive capabilities in writing, speaking, and the arts
  • Cultivate world citizenship-an understanding of those not like oneself
  • Integrate knowledge into a meaningful synthesis

The general education requirements include:

Two courses focused on writing, which must include:

  • A first year writing seminar (FYW)

The seminar may be applied toward a student’s major, but may not be required for the major or serve as a specific prerequisite for another course.

Using the passions of the Furman faculty for ideas and discovery to ignite the interests and passions of students, small, discussion-centered seminars encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. The seminar will engage the material with the intention of fostering careful thought, intense discussion, and precise, vivid writing, while significant pedagogical attention will be explicitly devoted to the improvement of the student’s writing and the development of information fluency.

  • A writing-research intensive course (WR)

The course fulfilling the writing-research requirement may also meet core, global awareness, major or interdisciplinary minor requirements.

A course completed after the first year writing seminar which involves a major writing project requiring research and the use of citations in a format appropriate for the discipline. All courses fulfilling the requirement will utilize an iterative process to develop a high-quality finished product. Students will further develop their information fluency and understand the relationship of citations to the broader issue of academic integrity.

Eleven courses meeting core requirements, which must include:

Each course can fulfill only one core requirement. No more than three courses from a single department may be used to satisfy the core requirements.

  • Two courses in the empirical study of the natural world, at least one with a separate laboratory component (NW and NWL)

Through these courses, students should understand how to study causality in the physical universe by constructing falsifiable hypotheses that are testable with evidence from the physical universe. Students should also be exposed to the major scientific theories within a discipline, and understand how these explanatory models were constructed and are currently applied. Students should also appreciate the tentative, progressive, and cumulative nature of scientific knowledge.

Students seeking the Bachelor of Music degree can fulfill this requirement by completing only one course. The course does not need to include a separate laboratory component. Bachelor of Science degree candidates must complete this requirement in courses appropriate for majors in the natural science (courses numbered 110 or greater in Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Neuroscience, Physics, Sustainability Science) disciplines.

  • Two courses in the empirical study of human behavior and social relations (HB)

These courses will have as an underlying focus the empirical methodologies employed to describe, understand, and predict the behavior of individuals and groups. The aim will be to foster an appreciation among students for the value and meaning of empirically derived knowledge in our world.

  • A course using historical analysis to study past human interactions (HA)

Courses focus primarily on the historical development of human populations, institutions, and activities, as well as the methods and challenges involved in historical analysis. These courses will provide systematic descriptive coverage of particular places, groups, ideas, institutions, or societies as they moved through time.

  • A course in the critical, analytical interpretation of texts (TA)

A reflective, critical approach to reading deepens aesthetic appreciation of the resources of language and sharpens the ability to assess and evaluate the documents and messages that inform us and influence our choices. Included in this category are courses in literary studies and other disciplines that study the structures and methods by which texts create and convey meaning.

  • A course (or four-credit equivalent) in the visual and performing arts (VP)

Visual and performing arts courses will help students develop an appreciation for how music, theatre, film, digital and/or multimedia artworks, and the visual arts can enrich us as human beings, express the vision of individuals, speak to the human condition, and foster an understanding of other cultures, societies, and times. These courses will also introduce the notion of the arts as a language with its own vocabulary, grammar and expressive capabilities.

Students may fulfill this requirement with a four credit course aimed specifically at appreciation or they may choose to complete a series of courses in music performance focused on skills development. Students choosing to fulfill the requirement through skills development in music performance studies must successfully complete one credit or more in a single instrument or voice during four consecutive semesters.

  • A course in mathematical and formal reasoning (MR)

The courses that constitute this category all require the student to master rigorous techniques of formal reasoning and to apply the techniques of both formal reasoning and creative intuition in problem solving situations. Each course in this category will apply those techniques in the mathematical interpretation of ideas and phenomena, the creation and analysis of algorithms, and/or the symbolic representation of quantification, validity, proof, completeness, and consistency.

Students seeking the Bachelor of Music degree do not need to fulfill this requirement, while Bachelor of Science degree candidates must complete this requirement with a calculus course numbered 150 or greater.  Students seeking the Bachelor of Science may also fulfill the requirement by completing both a calculus course and a statistics course which each fulfill the mathematics and formal reasoning general education requirement. 

  • A course in foreign language (FL)

The sustained, in-depth study of foreign languages is essential to appreciate other parts of the world and other moments of the past, as well as to develop a fuller understanding of one’s own world and one’s own language. To assure a meaningful acquaintance with a foreign language, all students will complete at least one course demonstrating proficiency in a foreign language and culture, depending on their level of preparation, as determined by a placement exam.

Students are required to complete a course numbered 201 or greater in a foreign language discipline. The only exception exists for Bachelor of Science degree candidates beginning in the 110 course (Elementary I) who are required to complete a course numbered 120 (Elementary II) or greater in one of the same disciplines.

Students whose first language is not English typically satisfy the requirement in a language other than their first language, either by successfully completing another language sequence at Furman or by substituting ENG-111  and one additional course in American literature, culture or civilization. Students seeking to pursue this option should consult with the Associate Academic Dean for a list of the courses approved by the department chairs in Asian Studies, English, Classics, and Modern Languages and Literatures. These substitute courses may not be used to satisfy any other core general education requirement.

Students with significant prior exposure to a modern foreign language outside the classroom should consult with the chair of Asian Studies or Modern Languages and Literatures, as appropriate depending on language, to determine if it is possible to fulfill the GER in that language at Furman.

  • A course considering ultimate questions (UQ)

Courses considering ultimate questions invite students to engage metaphysical, religious and ethical questions in a direct and explicit way by examining ways in which individuals and societies have articulated what constitutes a good and meaningful life-as that is reflected in various past or present cultural or individual understandings of our obligation to others; our relation to the transcendent; and how these find expression in a rich variety of written, oral, and performative texts.

  • A course emphasizing the importance of the body and mind (MB)

Courses emphasizing the importance of the body and mind will support Furman’s mission statement expressing a commitment to “develop the whole person-intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.” Students will gain a greater understanding and experience corporeality (i.e., bodily existence) in relation to intellectual, social, emotional, and ethical contexts keeping within the spirit of developing the whole person.

Two courses meeting global awareness requirements, including:

Courses fulfilling a global awareness requirement may also meet core, major or interdisciplinary minor requirements. A single course may not be used to fulfill both global awareness requirements.

  • A course addressing humans and the natural environment (NE)

Humans are affecting the dynamics of the planet; they are changing the composition of the atmosphere, the currents in the oceans, and the productivity of natural ecosystems. Because modern societies require more energy, food, and materials than ever before, we are increasingly dependent on stable, productive, and sustainable natural systems. Ironically, our societies are becoming increasingly urban and increasingly insulated from nature just as these ineluctable dependencies are becoming increasingly important. In order to foster an appreciation for these dependencies, courses will emphasize some aspect of the interactive relationships between humans and the natural environment.

  • A course focusing on world cultures (WC)

World cultures courses will help students achieve a heightened awareness of the diverse cultures and traditions that have formed our world, and to reflect on the relationships between their own and other cultures. Courses will focus on the traditions, beliefs, experiences, and expressions of peoples of, or originating from, Asia, Africa, Latin America, or the pre-colonial Americas.

Pathways Program

Furman requires all students to participate in the Pathways Program . Typically, students will be placed in a 1-credit Pathways course each semester (fall and spring) in which they are enrolled on campus during their first and second year, up to a maximum of 4 credit hours. Students will be assigned to a Pathways section based on the recommendation of the Associate Dean for Mentoring and Advising and the Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience. In exceptional circumstances, students may request to change section assignments through the Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience. .

Similar courses completed at other institutions considered equivalent to a Pathways course may be evaluated to fulfill for credit hour purposes only; however, transfer credits may not be used to fulfill the Pathways program requirement.

The Pathways program builds on concepts and themes across semesters, but each course in the sequence is not a pre-requisite for the next course in the sequence. Thus, students who are not enrolled on campus during one or more of their first four semesters of college (i.e., transfer students, students who take a leave of absence, go on study away, etc.) will not take a Pathways course for the semester(s) they are absent and will enroll in the next course in the sequence when they return. 

Students who earn a failing grade (“F”) in a PTH course may not retake a PTH course and will be enrolled in the next PTH course. Any student who earns an “F” or “NP” in a PTH course must meet with the Associate Academic Dean and the Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience before the subsequent semester. The Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience, in conversation with the PTH instructor, will establish remediation actions that the student must complete for the student’s Pathways Program graduation requirement for that semester to be deemed fulfilled.

Students may request an incomplete in a PTH course from the instructor. The incomplete can be granted when the instructor, in conversation with the Associate Dean for Mentoring and Advising and Associate Academic Dean, deems circumstances warrant extensions to the established grading contract.   Students may opt to use the pass-no pass grading option for a PTH course in accordance with the pass-no pass policy.

Students may not drop or withdraw from any individual PTH course without approval. Students who experience challenging circumstances stemming from their Pathways program involvement should contact any faculty member or any of the following: Assistant Dean for First-Year and Second-Year Experience; Associate Academic Dean; Director of the Center for Inclusive Communities, or their designee; Title IX Coordinator; Chair(s) of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee; Vice President of Spiritual life; Director for the Student Office of Accessibility Resources (SOAR); Bias Incident Response Team.  

After this initial conversation, if the student wishes to seek a modification to the Pathways graduation requirement, the roles noted above, along with the contacted faculty member, will discuss appropriate options, which the initial contact will then share with the student. Options may include, but are not limited to, 1) the student being approved to switch PTH course sections; 2) the group above submitting an appeal on the student’s behalf to the Appeals Committee advocating the student be withdrawn from the Pathways program; 3) referring the student to submit a request on their own behalf to the Appeals Committee to be withdrawn from the Pathways program in line with the process for appealing other graduation requirements.    

Students who are approved to be withdrawn from the Pathways program will work with the Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience to either: (1) Coordinate participating in an individualized-mentored tutorial section of the PTH program or (2) Coordinate completing selected remaining components of the PTH program. Students who elect this latter, individualized-substitution process will not receive course-credit for any remaining PTH courses.  Students who are approved to withdraw from the Pathways program will have an academic advisor assigned, within a reasonable time not normally exceeding ten (10) days, in consultation with the Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience.  

Cultural Life Program (CLP)

Each student must attend a total number of CLP events equal to four times the number of semesters (fall and spring) in which he or she enrolled for courses on the Furman campus, not to exceed a total of 32 events. For example: a student enrolled on campus for four years (8 semesters) would be required to attend 32 CLP events, while a transfer student enrolled at Furman only two years (4 semesters) would be required to attend 16 CLP events.

Students are expected to attend CLP events regularly throughout their undergraduate career at Furman. Registration priority is based on class standing as determined by credits earned and CLP events attended.

The list of approved CLP events is updated weekly and available through at clp.furman.edu. Attendance at CLP events is carefully monitored. Concerns regarding the accuracy of event attendance records must be addressed no later than the last day of class of the term in which the event occurred. Students must present photo identification at each event they attend. Extraordinary circumstances or substitutions may be considered by the Appeals Committee and/or the Office of Academic Affairs. 

Major Field of Study

All students must declare a major once they have completed 58 (or more) credits via Furman courses; any student failing to do so will not be permitted to register for any future semester. Students choose courses that will contribute to the major in consultation with their academic advisor and the chair of the department. The student and department chair sign and retain a copy of the field of study declaration and major requirement checklist which specifically identifies courses each student should complete to fulfill major requirements.

Majors may be required to enroll in a seminar during the senior year, complete a comprehensive examination in the major, or earn a 2.00 grade point average in the major. Typically, at least 20 credits in the major must be completed through Furman courses.

Individualized Curriculum Program (ICP)

Students who have educational goals outside of majors offered at Furman may propose an individualized curriculum program. Students approved for the program select courses under the supervision of a faculty committee and the student’s advisor. In preparing the program, the student should keep in mind the following:

  • Typically, a minimum of a 2.50 GPA is required.
  • Proposed individualized curriculum programs should be consistent with Furman’s liberal arts philosophy.
  • The program should contain thematically related courses that will meet the educational goals of the student.
  • Individualized curriculum programs should not be used to concentrate work in a narrowly pre-professional way or to avoid certain courses in established major programs.
  • The ICP may replace a traditional major, but students pursuing this option are still expected to complete all other graduation requirements.

The student should plan the program from among courses offered at Furman or courses at other institutions approved by the ICP committee. Generally, it will be to a student’s advantage to apply to the program no later than the conclusion of the sophomore year.

Interdisciplinary Minors

While all Furman students are required to successfully complete an academic major in order to receive a bachelor’s degree, students may also choose to supplement their major by studying a specific topic from the perspective of different academic disciplines.

A minor typically consists of four to six courses (16 to 24 credits) of related course work. At least 12 of the required credits should be completed in courses numbered 200 or greater. Electives applied toward an interdisciplinary minor may be enrolled with a pass-no pass grading option. Courses enrolled to meet major requirements may also fulfill interdisciplinary minor requirements.

Graduation Honors

Students who have earned at least 64 credits at Furman are eligible for graduation honors. Students earning a grade point average of at least 3.90 in all Furman course work are designated as summa cum laude graduates. Students earning a grade point average of at least 3.65, but less than 3.90 will be magna cum laude graduates and students earning a grade point average of at least 3.40, but less than 3.65 are considered cum laude graduates.

Advising and Registration

Students are assigned academic advisors with whom they should meet regularly to plan educational programs based on their interests, aptitudes, and educational goals. Advisors play an important role by offering informed advice about course selections, by providing information about co-curricular and extracurricular educational opportunities such as study away, internships, and undergraduate research, and by referring the student to campus support services. Students must consult with their academic advisor before registering for courses each term. Registration priority is based on anticipated completion date when the student establishes degree-seeking status and CLP events attended. Detailed information about advising and registration can be obtained at enroll.furman.edu.

No student may register for any course after more than 5 percent of a term has passed, four class days in a fall or spring semester, without the explicit permission of the department and/or instructor. No course adds of any type are permitted once 15 percent of a term is complete, eleven class days in a fall or spring semester. Absences caused by late entrance into a course will count in the student’s attendance record.

A fee of up to $500 will be charged for late registration after established deadlines have been reached.

All students should be aware that the final responsibility for satisfying graduation requirements solely rests on the student, not the academic advisor. Each student must be responsible for his or her own enrollment.

Individualized Instruction (Internships, Independent Study, Research, and Tutorial Courses)

Internships, Independent Study, and Research opportunities offered on a “for-credit” basis are available in many academic departments each term. Students should consult with the department of interest to determine their eligibility for this type of instruction and identify a faculty member to supervise the internship, independent study, or research experience. Approval for completing this type of experience should be gained before the term in which the work will be completed.

A student may enroll in as many individualized internships, independent study, and research courses (those numbered 500 - 599, excluding MUS) as approved, but only 12 credits earned from such courses may contribute to the 128 credits required for the award of the bachelor’s degree. Content of courses already published in this catalog may not be offered through independent study. Traditional courses may be enrolled on a tutorial basis through arrangement with the offering department. Courses offered in this format will be registered with the same course number and title.

Class Standing

Class standing is updated globally at the conclusion of each term. Class standing will be updated on an individual basis during a term if final grades for previously enrolled courses are submitted, transfer credit is accepted, or course equivalencies are posted based on the results of testing, such as AP or IB exams.

Class Standing Credits Earned
Freshman fewer than 28
Sophomore between 28 and 57
Junior between 58 and 87
Senior 88 or more

Enrollment Status

Full-time students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits each semester. The normal course load for the academic year is 32 credits; 16 credits in each semester, both fall and spring. Moreover, students may only register a single two-credit experience during the May Experience term and no more than 8 credits in either summer session.

Students may not be enrolled at Furman and another college or university during the same term.

Study Away

Furman offers a wide variety of options for studying away from campus each year. Student participation is typically planned significantly in advance and is competitive. Consult with the Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education for more information about how participation for each program is determined.

Travel study programs are directed by Furman faculty members who accompany students throughout the experience. Credits and grades earned in courses taught by Furman faculty contribute to degree requirements and the grade point average on the same basis as on-campus instruction, while some programs are designed in a hybrid format combining Furman faculty taught courses and pre-approved transfer credit offered by cooperating institutions. Participants in semester-long travel study programs typically enroll in four courses for which they can earn up to 16 credits.

Affiliate and exchange programs provide further opportunities for Furman students to study away from campus through partnerships with other universities all over the world. Typically, transfer credit is awarded for the successful completion of courses approved in advance by Furman and the cooperating institution. No more than 20 credits completed in a given term elsewhere can be considered.

Students may not enroll for campus-based independent study courses while participating in any Furman-sponsored study away experience. Students may also not enroll beyond the standard course load expected for the specific study away experience without prior approval. Some faculty-led study away experiences require students to reside on campus either before the start of travel or upon their return to campus after the travel portion of the experience is complete. In this instances, student participants in these study away experiences may not enroll for any type (credit-bearing or zero credit) of on-campus instruction without prior approval. Exceptions will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances with the approval of the Associate Academic Dean and the Rinker Center for Study Away & International Education.

Course Overload

Registering for more than 17 credits in any semester is considered a course overload. Typically, students who have not yet successfully completed 28 credits at Furman are not permitted to overload.

Students who have completed at least 28 credits at Furman and are in good academic standing (i.e., not on academic probation) may enroll for up to 19 credits a semester. Furthermore, students who have completed at least 28 credits, but no more than 91 credits with an overall grade point average of 3.00 may register for up to 20 credits in a single semester, while students who have completed 92 or more credits with an overall grade point average of 2.30 will qualify to register for up to 20 credits in a single semester without seeking additional permission. 

All other requests to register for more than the normal course load of 17 credits a semester, for more than 2 credits during the May Experience term, or 8 credits in either summer session will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances with the approval of the Associate Academic Dean. Additional tuition charges will apply for each credit beyond 20 in a semester.

Any registrations exceeding the normal course load may only be accomplished during the drop-add period at the beginning of a term.

Students permitted to register for an overload while on study away will be assessed tuition for any credits beyond the standard course load if additional expenses are incurred by Furman on the student’s behalf.

Adjustment to Course Load

When a granted accommodation involves a student’s taking a reduced course load, the University still classifies the student as full time for the purposes of residence, University insurance coverage, participation in extracurricular activities and intercollegiate athletics (pending approval by the NCAA), academic honors such as Dean’s List designation, and scholarship/financial aid, in each case as allowed by federal and state law. Students who are taking a reduced course load as part of a disability accommodation are eligible for an exception to the comprehensive tuition fee so that they may be charged on a per-course basis or, alternatively, the University may provide additional funding to offset the comprehensive tuition fee. To make these arrangements, students should contact SOAR prior to the beginning of the term in question.

Course Auditing

Students may enroll in courses on a zero credit basis by registering as an auditor. They may register to audit courses before the conclusion of the drop-add  period.

Students seeking to audit a course in which they have previously received credit must receive permission from the course instructor and the appropriate department chair. The inverse is also true in that once a course has been successfully audited, students must gain permission from the course instructor and department chair to complete the course again for credit.

Typically, tuition for course auditing is 50 percent of the standard per credit rate. Students obligated to the comprehensive tuition fee may not have to pay additional tuition to audit a course. Please contact Enrollment Services for specific information.

Guest Learners

Members of the community, not currently enrolled at the university on any basis, may regularly observe or participate in instruction with the permission of the instructor strictly on a space-available basis. The participation will NOT appear on an academic transcript. A $200 administrative fee will be assessed for this type of participation to address costs associated with the instruction.

Credit by Examination (Course Challenge)

With the approval of the instructor who will administer the exam, the chair of the department in which the course is offered and the Associate Academic Dean, any student seeking a degree at Furman may earn credit for a course by demonstrating mastery by examination. Students may not challenge an independent study, research course, course offered during May Experience or any course for which they previously completed either for credit or as an auditor. Moreover, a course challenged may not be enrolled with a pass-no pass grading option.

Students should consult with the instructor to determine examination requirements and standards before registering for the course challenge. The student should expect no more assistance than being informed of the material to be covered on the exam. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to attend class meetings of the course being challenged.

Course challenges should be registered during the normal registration period for the term. A credit by examination fee of $100 will be charged if the challenge is outside the bounds of the comprehensive tuition fee. The examination must be completed before the end of the term in which it is registered. The grade earned for the examination will appear on the permanent academic record consistent with courses that yield traditional letter grades.

Class Attendance

The instructor sets the attendance requirement for each course.  

The following guidelines should be considered in effect unless otherwise stated in the course syllabus: Freshman will be withdrawn from a course if absent, for any reason, 15 percent of the class meetings. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be withdrawn from a course if absent 25 percent of the class meetings. In both cases, a failing (F) grade will be recorded unless the absences were due to providential reasons, in which cases a withdrawal (W) grade may be assigned after consultation with the Associate Academic Dean.

Course Drop-Add

Students may drop a course with no designation on their permanent academic record during the drop-add period each semester. The drop-add period normally includes the first eleven days of classes in both the fall and spring semesters. However, no course adds are permitted, without explicit permission of the department and/or instructor and the Associate Academic Dean, once four days of classes in both the fall and spring semesters have elapsed. Students may not drop or add courses during the May Experience term after the end of the first day of classes. Students may drop or add courses during the summer sessions during the first three days of classes. 

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor(s) before dropping a course in which class meetings have already occurred.

Course Withdrawals

Students may initiate withdrawal from a course after the end of the drop-add period, but prior to the conclusion of the forty-ninth day of classes in the fall and spring semesters. Students may initiate withdrawal from a course during the May Experience term after the first but before the end of the eleventh day of classes. Students may initiate withdrawal from a course during each summer session after the third but before the end of the seventeenth day of classes. 

A course from which the student withdraws will be recorded as a withdrawal (W) on the student’s permanent academic record. Such courses will be reflected in the total credits attempted for the semester but do not factor into the calculation of a student’s semester or cumulative GPA. Students may re-enroll in a course from which they have previously withdrawn. 

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor(s) before requesting a course withdrawal. Course withdrawals must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, after being verified by the Associate Academic Dean. Students withdrawing from all courses in a given term, but who intend to return during the next semester, should make a request to the Associate Academic Dean to be placed on a leave of absence.  

A student may not withdraw from a course after the withdrawal deadline has passed without special permission from the Associate Academic Dean. Permission will ordinarily not be granted except for reasons of acute illness, injury or other emergencies that necessitate extended absence from class or prohibit the student from completing course requirements.

Final Examinations

Because faculty consider final examinations and other culminating experiences to be essential educational instruments, all courses conclude each term with a final examination or other culminating experience. The omission of a final examination or other culminating experience should only occur in unusual circumstances and must be approved by the department chair and Associate Academic Dean. Examinations or culminating experiences shall be given according to the schedule distributed each term by the Associate Academic Dean and Enrollment Services. Any changes in the scheduling of an examination or due date of the culminating experience for a course must have the approval of the Associate Academic Dean. Instructors who conclude their courses with an assignment other than a final exam must provide students the opportunity to submit that assignment during the scheduled final exam time.

Students are expected to complete examinations when scheduled. Instructors teaching two or more sections of the same course may allow students to complete the exam with either section at their discretion, but instructors may not require students to do so nor are they obligated to allow students to do so.

No student will be expected to complete three scheduled final exams on the same day and may seek a scheduling exception in this circumstance by making a request to the Associate Academic Dean. In such cases, the second of the student’s three exams on the given day will be rescheduled, allowing for the maximum time between the scheduled exams on the same day.

Students seeking a change in the scheduled final exam time for any other reason must submit a written appeal to the Associate Academic Dean that explains and provides documentation for the reason for the request. In cases of extreme extenuating circumstances the Associate Academic Dean will approve that an alternate final exam time be provided to the student. The alternative time will be scheduled in consultation with the instructor. Circumstances that would garner such approval typically involve significant health situations. Personal and family travel and a perceived difficulty will not be granted official approval.

For all appeals that do not meet the standards for official approval, the Associate Academic Dean will provide verification of the requested reasons to instructors when the student has submitted appropriate documentation. In such cases, the instructor is the ultimate authority in the provision or denial of an alternative final exam time, based on the specific course policies for missed exams. 

Any alternative exam time that is provided for a student must not conflict with one of their already scheduled final exam times.


Traditional letter grades at Furman include:

A Excellent. The mark of highest distinction earned by those students whose work represents the best that can be expected of a student at Furman.
B Good. The mark of distinction earned by those students whose work represents a high degree of achievement in meeting the characteristic demands of the course.
C Satisfactory. The mark earned by those students who have attained such familiarity with the content of the course and such ability to apply this knowledge as may be expected of a student who gives to the course a reasonable amount of time, effort, and attention.
D Marginal. The lowest passing grade representing inferior work. It indicates that the student would be seriously handicapped in attempting subsequent courses for which this work is a prerequisite.
F Failure. The mark indicates unconditional failure. No credit earned.

Course enrolled on a pass-no pass basis will be graded:

P Passing. The mark indicates satisfactory or more than satisfactory completion of course requirements.
PD Marginal Pass. The mark equates to a traditional letter grade of D.
NP Not Passing. The mark equates to a traditional letter grade of F. No credit earned.

Zero credit courses are graded:

S Satisfactory.
U Unsatisfactory.

Other final grades include:

AU Audit. Satisfactory completion of an audited course.
W Withdrawal. The mark indicates a student withdrew from the course before its completion. Withdrawal marks at Furman do not include an evaluative component, passing or failing.

Temporary designations may include:

I Incomplete. The designation signifies that the work of the course has not been completed or the examination has been deferred because of illness or some other cause beyond the control of the student.
NR Not Reported. The designation indicates that the course instructor has not reported the student’s grade.
TS Travel Study. The mark indicates that grades are still pending for a Furman travel study course.
Q Question. The mark indicates an administrative issue is pending concerning this course.
CIP Course In Progress.

Incomplete designations are to be recorded only when the instructor is convinced that a student has been unavoidably prevented from completing the required work in a course. Incomplete grades must be changed no later than 40 calendar days after the final grade deadline for the term in which the course or courses will be transcripted. Incomplete grades for students on academic probation must be changed to permanent grades no later than the start of the following semester. All incompletes are converted to failing grades after this deadline has been reached.

The temporary grades of Not Reported and/or Question must be resolved by immediate action. Travel study grades are expected to be replaced by a final grade no later than 40 calendar days after the final grade deadline in which the course or courses will be transcripted, while marks of Course In Progress are typically addressed at the conclusion of a specific future term clearly defined at the beginning of the course.

A student who has a question concerning a grade should discuss the matter with the instructor as soon as possible. If after such consultation the student believes that the assigned grade resulted from error or malfeasance, the grade may be formally appealed under procedures published in the Faculty Handbook. Copies of these procedures are available from the Associate Academic Dean.

Final grade assignments may be refined utilizing plus and minus grades. All grades correspond to quality point values that determine a student’s grade point average. For each hour attempted, letter grades earn quality points as follows:

A+ = 4.00
A = 4.00
A- = 3.70
B+ = 3.30
B = 3.00
B- = 2.70
C+ = 2.30
C = 2.00
C- = 1.70
D+ = 1.30
D = 1.00
D- = 0.70
F = 0.00

The grade point average is computed by dividing the total quality points earned at Furman by the number of credits attempted in courses for which the student received a traditional letter grade (AF). For academic purposes, grade point averages are always truncated at two decimal places.

Pass-No Pass Grading Option

The pass-no pass grading option encourages students to enrich their education beyond the general education requirements, their majors, and areas of academic strength. Instructors are not aware students have elected the pass-no pass grading option. At the end of the term, they will submit a traditional letter grade for each student. Traditional letter grades are converted as follows: satisfactory or better (C- and higher) to passing (P); marginal (D+, D and D-) to marginal pass (PD); and failing (F) to not passing (NP). Grades of P, PD and NP do not affect the grade point average.

Students may not elect to use the pass-no pass grading option until they have successfully completed 28 credits of Furman coursework. 

A student may elect to enroll up to 13 credits through the pass-no pass grading option during their undergraduate career at Furman. No student may elect the pass-no pass option for more than 9 credits in a single semester. 

Courses enrolled through the pass-no pass grading option may not satisfy a general education requirement. Students may use the pass-no pass option in a course that fulfills any general education requirement, however once the pass-no pass option is elected, the student forfeits any general education credits associated with the course. For this reason, pass-no pass requests for courses which carry any general education credit must be approved by the student’s advisor. Additionally, students may not use the pass-no pass grading option for any prerequisites leading to the fulfillment of the FL GER. Once the FL GER has been fulfilled, students may enroll in courses in another foreign language through the pass-no pass grading option, provided that the courses are not a major requirement or offered through a student’s major department.

Students may not elect the pass-no pass grading option for any major requirement or any course offered through their major department. A course in which a passing (P) or marginal pass (PD) grade has been recorded before the time of major declaration may not contribute to a student’s major requirements unless specifically approved by the major department.

Students may not request to use the pass-no pass grading option unless they are in good academic standing at the time of the request, regardless of the semester in which the course in question was completed. Students may not exercise the pass-no pass grading option for any course registered during a term when they are on academic probation. In addition, students may not select this option for any course registered in a term after serving a suspension for academic reasons. Students may not select the pass-no pass option in any situation, including a specific course, where a student has been found responsible for an academic integrity violation.

Students may not elect the pass-no pass option for courses offered through Furman study away programs.  Exceptions to use the pass-no pass grading option for courses associated with study away programs may be requested by individual program directors and will be granted only with the approval of the Associate Academic Dean and the Director of the Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education. If such approval is granted, it will be made available to all students in the course.

Once students have successfully completed 28 credits at Furman, they may elect the pass-no pass grading option for any course they have enrolled consistent with stated eligibility rules at any time during their academic career but no later than the conclusion of the final exam period during their last term at Furman. However, courses enrolled prior to the implementation of this policy in fall 2016 are not eligible for the retroactive application of a pass-no pass grading option.

All courses that a student completes through the pass-no pass grading option contribute to the 13-credit limit and, once selected, the pass-no pass grading option designation cannot be revoked. Withdrawal from a course graded through the pass-no pass grading option will not contribute to the 13-credit limit. Courses graded on a pass-no pass basis only do not contribute to meeting the 13-credit pass-no pass grading option limit.

Grade Reports

Final grades must be submitted within 48 hours after the conclusion of the examination period, excluding Sundays, using the online submission tool. Students may access their grades for the term via MyFurman as soon as they have been verified.

Dean’s List

Full-time candidates for an undergraduate degree who earn a grade point average of at least 3.40 during any regular term are included on the Dean’s List at the end of that term. Students must successfully complete at least 12 credits in courses with traditional letter grades during a semester to be eligible. Students with outstanding incomplete designations for the term in question do not qualify.

Academic Probation

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above in all coursework completed through Furman. Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above are in good academic standing. Students with a cumulative grade point average below 2.00 are not in good academic standing and will be placed on academic probation.

Students are not evaluated for probation until the conclusion of their first academic year (two regular semesters).  While students who have a cumulative GPA below 2.0 at the end of their first enrolled semester will not be evaluated for probation, they will be officially notified of not meeting this standard.

Students on academic probation cannot enroll in more than 17 credits in a single semester (eight credits in each summer session), cannot participate in Furman study away programs, cannot use the pass-no pass grading option, and may be disqualified from other academic activities.

Academic suspension status for the spring semester is evaluated at the conclusion of the subsequent May Experience.

Students who do not return to good academic standing by the conclusion of the subsequent semester must serve a one-year (two regular semester) academic suspension. Students who earn a semester grade point average of 2.25 or above in the subsequent semester may avoid academic suspension, provided that they have enrolled in at least twelve credits in the subsequent semester in question. Such students remain on academic probation until their cumulative grade point average comes above a 2.00, but by virtue of their improved academic performance are allowed to avoid suspension. Students who attempt fewer than twelve credits in the semester following academic probation status cannot avail themselves of this option; they can only return to good academic standing through raising the cumulative grade point average above 2.00 by the end of the semester. Students who remain on academic probation for two successive semesters are evaluated for academic suspension.

In addition, any student who earns a Fall or Spring semester GPA less than .500 will serve an immediate one-year (two regular semester) academic suspension.

Students returning from suspension must maintain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.25 with at least twelve credits enrolled until the cumulative grade point average passes the 2.00 minimum threshold and they return to good academic standing. Students who neither earn a semester grade point average of 2.25 in the semester following academic suspension nor return to good academic standing are dismissed from the university and may not return to enrollment.

The status of students on academic probation who enroll in summer session courses will be reassessed at the conclusion of the second summer session. Failure to return to good academic standing by the conclusion of the second summer session will result in academic suspension and will therefore disqualify a student from enrolling in the subsequent fall semester.

Failure to Progress

Students must make meaningful progress towards completion of the bachelor’s degree during each semester in which they are enrolled at the university. For this reason, students who do not demonstrate sustained patterns of completion may be withdrawn from the university. A “failure to progress” designation will be applied and notification sent to any student who attempts at least 4 credits but completes fewer than 12 credits in any fall or spring semester, including such a semester in which a student withdraws from all courses. Semesters in which students are placed on a leave of absence without attempting any credits will not be designated as a failure to progress.

Any student who receives this “failure to progress” designation in two consecutive semesters (fall to spring, or spring to fall) may be administratively withdrawn from the university. Students withdrawn from the university for failure to progress may only return to enrollment through applying for admission through the Office of Admissions. Students who wish to appeal their administrative withdrawal for failure to progress may petition the Faculty Appeals Committee for permission to remain enrolled; if such petitions are granted, the Committee will establish the terms that will define adequate progress in the upcoming semester, and failure to comply with those terms could result in immediate administrative withdrawal.

Repeating Courses

Degree-seeking students at Furman may not repeat for credit a course for which a passing grade has previously been awarded at Furman. A student may repeat a failed course, with the exception of a Pathways (PTH) course, in which case both the failing (F) grade and the subsequent passing grade will appear on the academic record and be calculated in the grade point average.

Transfer Credit

A student may transfer credit to Furman from another regionally accredited institution for courses that are equivalent to Furman offerings or that would otherwise fit into the liberal arts curriculum at the university, for which a satisfactory grade (C- or better in a traditionally graded course) was recorded.

A student can transfer no more than 64 credits from a two-year college. Once students have earned 64 credits that will contribute to the award of a bachelor’s degree at Furman, they can no longer transfer any credit from a two-year college.

Furthermore, because at least 60 credits must be earned through Furman courses, students may apply no more than 68 credits from any combination of institutions toward the degree. A student’s last 28 credits must be earned through Furman courses. Credits earned from courses taken through Furman-sponsored study away programs (including Furman faculty led, affiliate, and exchange programs) can contribute to a student’s last 28 credits.

Equivalency for courses completed before a student has graduated from high school will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students should be prepared to present evidence as directed by Enrollment Services in consultation with academic department chairs, which could include course syllabi or graded work, demonstrating the courses completed were of appropriate rigor to ensure the possibility of success in future coursework at Furman.

Furman students seeking credit for a course enrolled at another institution are required to consult with Enrollment Services before they begin the coursework elsewhere to ensure its equivalency. Transfer course authorizations and additional information about the process may be obtained through Enrollment Services. Students on academic probation cannot transfer credits into Furman.

Furman will not award transfer credit for courses completed in any country on the U.S. State Department travel warning list. Consult the list at travel.state.gov.

Students completing a course at Furman for which they have previously received credit via transfer or exam equivalency forfeit the initial credit award.

Leave of Absence

A request for a leave of absence is made to the Associate Academic Dean prior to the term for which the absence is requested. A leave will normally be one semester. Under no circumstances shall the leave extend beyond one year. Financial aid requirements, registration deadlines, and all other University obligations are the same for students returning from a leave of absence as stated for students whose enrollment at Furman has continued uninterrupted.

Students planning on traveling to any foreign country during a leave of absence from Furman must sign a waiver in order for the leave to be approved.

Withdrawal from the University

Students intending to permanently discontinue enrollment must initiate a withdrawal from the university by submitting a request to the Registrar. Any withdrawals from the university during an academic term must be reviewed by the Associate Academic Dean.

An online exit interview should also be completed by all exiting students regardless of withdrawal date, during a term or after the term has been completed.

If a student withdraws from the university after the withdrawal deadline for courses in a given term, the student record will normally reflect a withdrawal (W) designation in those courses in which the student had passing grades at the date of withdrawal. A failing (F) grade will be recorded in those courses in which the student had failing grades at the date of withdrawal. Grade determinations for student withdrawals necessitated by serious illness, injury or similar emergencies will be made at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life and/or the Associate Academic Dean.

Transcripts of Student Records

Students may request that a transcript of their permanent academic record be forwarded to a third party through Enrollment Services. All transcripts reflect a summary of the student’s complete academic record. No transcripts will be issued without a request including the student’s legal signature. Transcripts will not be issued for a student who has outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the university.


Students may petition the Appeals Committee for an exception to academic requirements and regulations as set forth in this catalog or as approved by the faculty only under extraordinary circumstances. Appeals must be initiated in a timely manner through the Associate Academic Dean. The deadline for course-based appeals is the end of the second semester following the completion of the term in which the course was enrolled. The student must present the appeal containing the reasons for the request in writing to the Associate Academic Dean. The Appeals Committee will notify the student in writing of its decision. Any student seeking to further appeal a decision of the Appeals Committee must file a written statement of their intention within fifteen calendar days of the decision. The final appeal, presented to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, must state specific grounds for the review or any additional circumstances that might alter the case. The student will be notified in writing of the final decision.