2018-2019 Pitzer Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2018-2019 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Standards and Regulations

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 32 course credits (of which at least 16 must be taken while registered at Pitzer), meet the educational objectives of Pitzer College, including the completion of a major and attain at least a 2.00 “C” Grade Point Average (GPA) overall and in their field of major and minor, if applicable. Grades earned from courses accepted for transfer credit are not included in the calculation of grade point averages.

Transfer students may not count more than 16 Pitzer equivalent course credits taken outside of The Claremont Colleges toward the 32 required for graduation.

New Resource students may transfer up to 24 Pitzer equivalent course credits toward the 32 required for graduation. However, no more than 16 of those can be transferred from a 2-year college.

Graduation Procedures

  1. The “Major/Educational Objectives” form must be on file in the Registrar’s Office by midterm of the first semester of the junior year.

  2. The “Application for Graduation” form must be on file in the Registrar’s Office by midterm of the first semester of the senior year.

  3. The “Degree Verification” form must be on file in the Registrar’s Office by midterm of the second semester of the senior year.


The College has one graduation ceremony each year, which takes place the Saturday after the end of final examinations. It is a degree-granting ceremony in which diplomas are conferred and in which only those students who have fully completed the College’s graduation requirements since the last ceremony are allowed to participate.

Transfer Credits

In order to be eligible for transfer credit, coursework must be offered by another regionally accredited college or university in the United States and a grade of “C” or better must be earned. A faculty member in the appropriate discipline must approve each transferred course. Note that field groups may apply additional criteria to determine whether a course can be accepted for transfer credit. Transfer credit approval forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

All academic credits (semester and quarter units) transferred into Pitzer College will be translated into equivalent Pitzer course credits according to the following conversion: four semester units or six quarter units equal one Pitzer course. Please check with the Registrar’s Office to confirm transfer credit totals.


Semester Units

Pitzer Equivalent

Quarter Units

Pitzer Equivalent


























Transfer credit is not allowed for coursework taken abroad while on a leave status during the fall or spring semester. Transfer credit for work done abroad during the summer may be granted credit when prior approval is obtained from the appropriate field group and the Registrar’s Office.

Of the 32 courses required for graduation, no more than 16 Pitzer equivalent courses will be accepted as transfer credit, except New Resource students.

New Resources students may transfer up to 24 Pitzer equivalent course credits, with a maximum of 16 Pitzer equivalent course credits from a two-year institution. Transfer credit does not calculate into a student’s Pitzer GPA. Courses approved for transfer credit may not be used to fulfill more than half of a student’s major or minor requirements. Individual field groups may stipulate more stringent requirements for majors and minors. Petitions to deviate from field group regulations must be approved by the field group.

 Advanced Placement (AP) Program Exams

Courses designed to accompany the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program demand college-level work and the Pitzer faculty may grant credit for superior performance on an AP examination. Criteria may vary by field group, but no score lower than four will be considered for credit. Credit is not granted for exams that duplicate each other, such as AP and IB English Literature.

  • AP credits are applied toward the 32 coursecredit graduation requirement, but may not be used to satisfy an Educational Objective requirement.
  • In general, AP credits do not apply to field of major requirements. Consultation with the appropriate adviser/field group is required for possible exceptions.
  • In all cases when credit has been awarded for AP exams, that credit will be rescinded if courses are taken which duplicate or significantly overlap the AP courses.
  • Students may count no more than four AP and IB credits (combined) toward graduation

2018-2019 General Guidelines*

Pitzer awards course credit in all AP subjects/courses.  One course credit is granted for each test score result of 4 or 5 with some exceptions made by individual field groups.  Exceptions are noted below.

  • Calculus AB: Score of 4 or 5 earns 1.00 credit for MATH 30 only after passing MATH 031, Calculus II
  • Calculus BC: Score of 4 or 5 earns 2.00 credits for MATH 30 & MATH 31 only after passing MATH 032, Calculus III.
  • English Language: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • English Literature: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • French Language: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • French Literature: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • **European History: Score of 4 earns 0.00 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • **U.S. History: Score of 4 earns 0.00 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course
  • **World History: 1.00 Pitzer course is granted for World History after completing HIST 021 PZ /ANTH 021 PZ, ‘The World  Since 1492’, with a “B” or better.
  • Spanish Language: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • Spanish Literature:  Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • Statistics: Score of 4 or 5 earns 1.00 credit for MATH 52 only after passing a college statistics course for which Introductory Statistics is a prerequisite, such as MATH 157,158, or 159 at Pomona College.
  • Macroeconomics: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • Microeconomics: Score of 4 earns 0.50 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • Comp Gov’t. & Politics: Score of 4 earns 0.00 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.
  • U.S. Gov’t. & Politics: Score of 4 earns 0.00 Pitzer course. Score of 5 earns 1.00 Pitzer course.

*Guidelines apply to entrance year of student
**Note:  Only 1.0  course in the field of History may be awarded.

International Baccalaureate

No more than four AP and IB credits (combined) will be granted. Four credits may be granted for an IB diploma. Credit for exams may be awarded only for higher-level exams (with a score of at least five) at a ratio of 4 semester units per exam. If certification diploma is not completed, individual courses or exams completed toward the certificate may be given credit. Credit will not be awarded for subsidiary exams. IB credits are applied toward the 32 course credit graduation requirement, but may not be used to satisfy the Educational Objective requirement.

In all cases when credit has been awarded for IB exams, that credit will be rescinded if courses are taken which duplicate or significantly overlap the IB courses.


Pitzer does not grant credit for the College Level Examination Program, even when students transfer from a college which gives credit for CLEP exams.

Second BA

Students who have a BA will be required to be in attendance at Pitzer College for at least four semesters, to complete 16 courses at The Claremont Colleges and to complete satisfactorily all the requirements of the Educational Objectives of the College. Students with a Pitzer College BA may add an additional major by completing satisfactorily all requirements of that major. GPA is frozen at time of graduation and will restart if graduate is approved to re-enroll.

Changes in Major Requirements

Students are bound by the major requirements which are in force (as stated in the catalog) at that point when they formally declare their major. If changes are subsequently made in the major requirements, students may choose to satisfy either the old or new requirements upon consultation with their major advisers.

Preregistration and Registration

Preregistration occurs toward the end of each semester for the following semester.

Students must consult their faculty advisers during preregistration and registration periods. Registration/enrollment is complete when students have obtained adviser approval and registration clearance, registered for classes and paid tuition and other fees. Students who do not enroll by the applicable deadline are assessed a late fee. It is presumed that students in residence who fail to preregister are not returning to the College.

 Enrollment in Courses Offered by Other Claremont Colleges

Academic interchange among the undergraduate Colleges and The Claremont Graduate Institutions provides opportunities for curricular enrichment and active membership in the wider community of The Claremont Colleges. Students may register on their own campus for courses open to them in the other Claremont Colleges, subject to the following conditions:

 First-year students normally register for their entire program at their college of residence for the first semester. Exceptions may be made in fields of study not available at their own college or if equivalent courses at their own college are full or not offered that semester. During the second semester, first-year students may register for one course outside their college of residence.

Sophomores normally may register for no more than one course per semester outside the College of residence.

Juniors or seniors normally may register for no more than one-half of their total program in any one semester outside the College of residence.

Exceptions to the above must be approved by the faculty adviser.

Registration for courses in the following joint programs are not considered outside registrations even if they are taught on other campuses: American Studies; Art History; Asian Studies; Asian American Studies, Black Studies; Chicano Studies; Classics; Media Studies; Gender and Feminist Studies/Women’s Studies; Languages; Linguistics; Mathematics; Music; Philosophy; Religious Studies; Science; Science, Technology, and Society; and Theatre/Dance. Intercollegiate courses designated by the letters “AA,” “AF,” or “CH” affixed to the course number are counted as Pitzer courses.

Course Load

The equivalent of four course credits each semester is the normal student load. Three to five course credits is the permissible range during any given semester and ten course credits during any one academic year. However, a tuition surcharge will be made for each course credit over five per semester. This surcharge is assessed after the final date to drop classes without a recorded grade and is nonrefundable.

To take more than five course credits in one semester, students must petition the Academic Standards Committee. However, students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year who have attained a cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 3.00, have no incompletes and have the consent of their advisers may register for up to six course credits in any semester without petitioning the Academic Standards Committee. Students on academic probation may only enroll for up to four course credits each semester; students on academic probation wishing to enroll in more than four course credits must petition the Academic Standards Committee.

To be classified full-time for any semester, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 3.0 course credits. During the summer session, full-time status may be achieved by taking a combination of Summer Session courses and independent study courses. Students may take a maximum of two course credits per Summer Session and two summer independent study course credits. Students are classified as part-time if registered for fewer than three course credits in any one semester. The Registrar’s Office must be notified of part-time student status by the last day for entering classes. No adjustment in charges is made for students who become part-time after that time.

Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may not enroll in a full-semester course after registration is closed except by petition to the Academic Standards Committee and with consent of the instructor and adviser.

With the approval of the faculty adviser, a course may be dropped and expunged from students’ records if proper application is filed with the Registrar by the date specified in the College Calendar as the “final day to drop classes.” In the event of seriously extenuating circumstances, students may petition the Academic Standards Committee to drop a course after this date.

Students may withdraw from a course after the deadline for dropping courses, but no later than the last day of classes, only if work in the course has been satisfactory (defined as “C” if the course is being taken “Pass/Non-Credit,” “D” or above for all other courses) and only with the signed approval of the course instructor and faculty adviser. For these approved withdraws, students’ transcripts will show “W” (Withdraw). Students may not withdraw from a course after the last day of classes. Withdraw forms must be on file in the Registrar’s Office by the last day of classes. The last day for graduating seniors to withdraw from a course in the spring semester would be one week prior to “The Last Day of Classes.” Check the Academic Calendar for the exact date. Petitions for late withdraws will be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee.

Repeating Courses

There are a few courses in the catalog specifically identified as being repeatable for credit (for example Creative Writing). All other courses for which a student has received a prior passing grade are not repeatable for credit. If a student repeats a course that is not repeatable for credit, the course will appear on the student’s academic transcript, although academic credit will not be given for the course again. If a student does not receive a passing grade for a course (no academic credit applied), the course may be repeated for credit. Repeating a course does not remove the original course from the transcript. Both the grade for the original course and the repeated course will be posted and will calculate into the student’s grade point average.

Auditing Courses

Alumni and students regularly enrolled at The Claremont Colleges may audit courses with the consent of the instructor. Such arrangements will not be officially recorded and the auditor will not receive credit. Persons not regularly registered at The Claremont Colleges may audit courses, provided they obtain the instructor’s permission and pay the regular auditor’s fee.

Independent Study and Internships


  • Independent study is a way of exploring an area in more depth between a faculty director and a student who already know one another or when the project falls in an area with which the student has had some prior familiarity.
  • Low priority should be given to requests that duplicate existing courses.

Academic Components:

  •  In order to receive course credit, independent study and internships must contain an academic component. Merely completing  hours at a placement or in an extracurricular activity is not sufficient to gain academic credit.

  • The independent study form should clearly give a detailed description of the study, the learning objectives, the academic work to be completed, and how the student will be evaluated. For example, faculty directors and students should specify reading lists (or at least the first set of assignments if the remaining readings are to be determined at a later date), the project to be completed (e.g., paper, video, artwork), and frequency of meetings with the faculty director. All independent study must be approved by the Curriculum Committee.

  • In cases of an internship where a student chooses not to obtain course credit through an independent study, but would like to demonstrate that the internship contributes to their education, a zero-credit independent study option administered by Career Services is available, as explained below.

The Curriculum Committee uses the following information to approve the independent study:

Detailed project description:

This provides a general outline of the project including where the placement is going to take place, how long students will work at the placement and what activities they will be working on. Placements should consist of a structured environment with adequate on-site supervision that exposes students to new opportunities for learning. Positions that allow for new experiences often provide the best forum for learning. Although a position involving a small stipend or housing allowance might be approved, rarely would a placement that involves pay be approved. A general guideline for time spent at the placement is a minimum of 80 hours for the entire semester or summer. Anticipated academic objectives for the placement should also be included in this section.

Activities to be completed:

This encompasses the academic activities that the students will participate in during the semester. These activities are intended to ensure the accomplishment of the proposed academic objectives and could include readings, meetings with faculty, or field notes. These activities should be structured to ensure that all dimensions of learning are addressed during the placement.

Means of evaluation:

This refers to how the academic performance is evaluated. Normally, students submit a project (e.g., paper, video, artwork) that combines prior course work, new subject area learning and the placement experience. The site supervisor must provide written confirmation of hours satisfactorily completed.


  • No more than three different independent studies should be offered by a faculty member each semester and no more than five in the summer.
  • Independent study credit may be given only for work accomplished during the semester or summer the student is receiving credit.
  • Students cannot take more than two course credits in independent studies in any one semester, unless approved by the faculty adviser and the Academic Standards Committee. Descriptions should show a clear separation of content when two independent studies are arranged in the same semester. An independent study normally carries one course or half-course credit. A quarter course independent study may be approved by Curriculum Committee, but only once per student.
  • A proposal for an independent study  that involves more than one course credit in a single semester or over multiple semesters must be approved by the Curriculum Committee. The Committee’s decisions in such cases will be governed by the educational merit of the proposal and will be consistent with policies governing regular courses. For example, since most courses cannot be repeated for credit, the Committee will not approve a second semester independent study. in cases where the second semester independent study replicates the work of the first semester. A second semester independent study that is the part of a sequence such as CHEM 014L KS  and CHEM 015L KS  may be an exception to this rule. Normally, the Committee will not approve a third semester of course credit.

Field of Study:

  • An independent study is given credit only in the field(s) of appointment of the faculty member offering it and should reflect the teaching or research interests of the faculty member.
  • An independent study cannot be used to fulfill the Educational Objectives of the College, unless approved by the faculty adviser and the Curriculum Committee. In the case of the Natural Sciences objective, approval must also be given by a faculty member in the Keck Science Department.


  • The due date for independent study forms is one week after the last day of pre-registration prior to the semester when the independent study will be conducted (see Academic Calendar).  Summer independent study projects are due by the seventh week of the fall semester unless an earlier date has been set by the instructor.  Independent study forms received after the last meeting of the Curriculum Committee must be approved by an associate dean or dean of faculty.
  • Independent study forms submitted late must include a completed “petition to add” form with evidence that the independent study has been in progress. Approval from the Curriculum Committee to add an independent study after the last date to add courses is subject to an assessment by the Committee that the goals of the study can still be achieved in the remaining part of the semester and have not been affected by the late start. Consideration of a late independent study by the Curriculum Committee should not be interpreted as a preliminary statement of approval.

Guidelines for Internship and Community Service Independent Study for Course Credit

To earn academic credit for an internship or community service placement, students must negotiate an independent study with a faculty member and that independent study must have an academic component. Merely completing hours at a placement is not sufficient to gain academic credit. The academic component normally involves the completion of a project (e.g., paper, video, art work) that combines subject area learning with the placement experience.

For placements in the fall or spring, independent study credit is given in the semester in which the placement occurs, and the academic component must be completed that semester.  In case of summer internships or community service, the placement experience can be applied to an independent study in either the summer or the subsequent fall semester.  The independent study enrollment (summer or fall) shall reflect when the academic component is to be completed.

As with independent studies in general, the faculty member will serve as director. An independent study is most successful when the faculty member and student already know each other and when the project falls in some area with which the student and faculty director have some familiarity. Academic credit is given only in the field of appointment of the faculty director, unless otherwise approved by an apposite field group.

There are several levels of learning that can take place as a result of such a placement. Students can gain a better understanding of their academic discipline, gain critical thinking skills, enhance ethical values, gain both personal and professional skills and explore possible career fields. It is the responsibility of both students and faculty directors to ensure that learning takes place in all or at least several of these areas.

To request credit for an internship or community service placement, students must submit a independent study form which is available from the Registrar. This form is due at the same time as other independent study proposals.

Guidelines for Internship Based Independent Study: Zero-Credit Option

Students have the option of demonstrating that an internship contributes to their education by registering for a zero-credit independent study overseen by Career Services. Although no academic credit is awarded, students are expected at the outset of the internship to identify learning objectives, and, upon completion, to submit a reflection paper that includes self-evaluation of these learning objectives and a brief evaluation of the overall experience. A general guideline for time spent at the placement for zero credit is 80 hours total for the semester or summer. Students must register for the independent study no later than one week after beginning the internship and the placement must be completed within the summer or semester that the independent study will be recorded. The site supervisor must provide written confirmation of hours satisfactorily completed. For zero-credit internship based independent studies taking place during the fall or spring semester, approval of the student’s academic adviser is also required. For further details on requirements, deadlines, and procedures, please see the Office of Career Services.

Evaluation and Grading

The final grade in each course is determined by the instructor and is based on the students’ accomplishments in the course. Examinations may be given at the discretion of the instructor with or without previous announcement. It is the students’ responsibility to be present at all examinations and to submit class assignments as scheduled, unless excused by the instructor in advance. Unexcused absences from examinations are made up only with the permission of the instructor. No changes may be made in the final examination schedule except in cases of serious illness or other extenuating circumstances. A fee may be charged for any special examination.

Grading System

 A Student’s work is usually graded on the following grading system: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F. Sometimes it is graded P (Pass) or NC (Non-Credit). A grade of “P” is given for work of “C” or better.

The P/NC option exists so that students might benefit by taking a course without the pressure of a letter grade appearing on the transcript. The P/NC option allows students to select at the outset of the semester, with the permission of the instructor, the system of evaluation under which they would prefer to take a class. In the event of seriously extenuating circumstances, students may petition the Academic Standards Committee to invoke or reverse the P/NC request after the deadline.

Students may take only one course each semester on a P/NC basis. To do so, students should obtain the instructor’s signature on a P/NC form available from the Registrar’s Office. In some majors, courses taken to fulfill the major requirements cannot be taken on a P/NC basis. Consult with your major adviser. Refer to Academic Calendar for listed deadlines.

Instructors may designate some or all of their courses as courses which are offered on a P/NC basis, but students in such courses must be given a letter grade commensurate with the quality of their work if they apply to the instructor by the last day to drop classes without a recorded grade. If students take such a course and do not request a letter grade, then that course does count as the one course which can be taken on a P/NC basis during that semester.

Students who elect the P/NC option should be advised that in some cases they may experience difficulty in transferring their academic records to other undergraduate or graduate institutions or meeting their requirements in certain majors. Students are advised to check the requirements of those specific institutions or majors before deciding on the P/NC option.

The letter “N” is not a grade but is used to signify that students are doing satisfactory work at the end of the first semester of a single course that spans two semesters; “N” indicates that students will continue a two-semester  course and will receive a grade at the conclusion of the course.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students’ GPA is computed by adding the grade points given for each grade received (a grade of A is given 4.00 points; A-, 3.67; B+, 3.33; B, 3.00; B-, 2.67; C+,2.33; C, 2.00; C-, 1.67; D+, 1.33; D, 1.00; D-, 0.67; F, 0.00) and dividing the result by the total number of graded courses taken. In order to graduate, a student must have at least a C average (a 2.00 GPA) based on grades received in courses taken at The Claremont Colleges and including those received in those Study Abroad programs for which grades enter the student’s GPA. In addition, a student must achieve at least a C average (a 2.00 GPA) in their field(s) of major. Grades in courses taken elsewhere are excluded from the computation of grade point averages, although the courses themselves may be accepted for transfer credit toward the work required for graduation.

Students who do not maintain a grade point average of sufficient quality to ensure eventual graduation are subject to dismissal. The Academic Standards Committee normally dismisses students whose records indicate an inability to regain, within a reasonable length of time, a grade point average which will qualify them for graduation. Students whose academic records are otherwise less than satisfactory may receive notification from the Academic Standards Committee on behalf of the faculty. Students whose cumulative GPA drops below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation until the cumulative GPA of 2.0 is regained. Students on academic probation may not receive any incompletes.

Grade Changes

It is expected that the grade awarded at the end of the formal course period or of a previously approved “Incomplete” interval, will be the final grade in the course. With the approval of the Academic Standards Committee, instructors may change a grade up to one year from the date on which the grade was originally awarded. The grade may be changed only for reasons of clerical error or other seriously extenuating circumstances.  The completion of additional course work beyond the normal final date for such completion falls under the rules governing “Incompletes” and is not, in itself, considered justification for a change of grade. Petitions to change a grade (other than a previously approved “Incomplete”) must be submitted to the Academic Standards Committee within the allowable one-year time period as per the appeal procedure listed below.

Grade Disputes

The normal presumption in the administration of grades is that the professor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of a student in her or his courses and to assign grades to that work. Students are expected to thoroughly discuss problems or concerns related to a course or a grade with the professor teaching the course.  If the problem persists, the Office of the Dean of Faculty, which oversees all matters related to the curriculum and instruction, can assist in discussing and mediating a resolution.

A student who has substantial grounds for believing that, apart from questions of the quality of his/her work, a particular grade was assigned in a manner that was arbitrary or unjust-or that crucial evidence was not taken into account-may pursue the following options:

The student must first thoroughly discuss the matter with the professor, after having consulted with his/her adviser. It is expected that every effort will be made by the student and the professor to come to an agreement at this stage.

 If a resolution of the problem is not forthcoming, the student may then appeal his/her case to the Office of the Dean of Faculty at the college sponsoring the course.

 If the Office of the Dean of Faculty is unable to bring the student and faculty member to a mutually acceptable agreement, the Dean may, at his/her discretion, appoint one or more persons to arbitrate the controversy, preferably persons agreed upon by both parties. The Dean of Faculty would then be bound to charge the Registrar to take whatever action the arbitrator(s) recommend(s).

Grade Disputes in Cross registration

By action of the Academic Deans Committee, the policies governing grade disputes in cross-registration situations are as follows:

Students charged with academic dishonesty in a course taken outside their home college shall be tried according to the procedures for handling such cases in their home institution. Faculty members are obligated to accept the decision of the student’s college, and may not impose a penalty should the appropriate hearing panel fail to find guilt. Any student grievance concerning a grade given by an instructor as a result of such a hearing decision will also be handled according to the rules of the student’s home college.

All other grievances concerning grades are handled by the procedures of the college sponsoring the course.


An Incomplete grade of “I” is given ONLY when illness or other seriously extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent the full completion of required work by the date grades are due to the Registrar (as indicated on the Academic Calendar). An Incomplete should not be given when based solely on failure to complete work or as a means of improving a grade by doing additional work after the date grades are due to the Registrar. If a substantial amount of coursework has not been completed, the option of a withdraw from the course may be more appropriate.

An Incomplete may be given at the instructor’s discretion under the following circumstances:

  • A majority of all course requirements to date has been completed
  • The student’s work to date is passing
  • Attendance has been satisfactory 
  • An illness or other extenuating circumstance legitimately prevents completion of required work by the due date (In cases of illness, the instructor may request verification by a medical practitioner.)
  • The Incomplete is not based solely on a student’s failure to complete work or as a means of improving the grade by doing additional work after the grade report time
  • The instructor completes and submits the form, Assigning an Incomplete and includes the default grade to be assigned if the work is not completed by the due date. The default grade is based on the portion of the coursework already completed, factoring in uncompleted work.

Final coursework for Incomplete grades is due to the instructor on the first day of classes of the following semester, unless an earlier completion date is set by the instructor. Instructors will be requested by the Office of the Registrar to submit a final grade for the Incomplete during the second week of classes of that following semester.

  • If the coursework is not submitted by the agreed-upon date and/or no grade is submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the due date, the Office of the Registrar will automatically assign the default grade. The default grade is identified by the instructor at the time the Incomplete is requested, on the basis of the portion of the coursework already completed, factoring in uncompleted work.
  • Students on Academic Probation are not permitted to take any Incompletes.
  • Students who withdraw from the College, take a leave of absence, or participate in study abroad programs (other than Pitzer Study Abroad Programs) will have one semester following their departure date to submit final work for an Incomplete.
  • When illness or other seriously extenuating circumstances continue to prevent the student from submitting final work by the stated due date, the instructor may request an extension of the due date. Any additional request from the instructor for an extension of the due date must be approved by the Academic Standards Committee; however, extensions may not exceed one semester from the date on which the Incomplete was originally awarded.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Each instructor has the privilege of establishing attendance requirements.

If a student fails to attend the first two meetings of a course (or one course meeting for courses meeting only one time per week) and the absences were not approved in advance by the instructor, the faculty member of record may ask the registrar to drop the student from the course. However, students will not automatically be dropped from a course if they do not attend. The registrar may permit reinstatement into a dropped course when documented circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the student from attending the course and communicating the absences with the instructor.

Student Classification

Students’ class level is determined on the following basis: students who have successfully completed eight course credits are classified as a sophomore; sixteen course credits, a junior; twenty-four course credits, a senior. Transfer, AP and IB credits all count towards class status.

Student Records and FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (FERPA) is the Federal law which requires educational institutions to establish a written policy with regard to the privacy rights of students. It also requires such institutions to make a statement describing their procedures with regard to students’ privacy rights available.

Pitzer College shall maintain the confidentiality of education records in accordance with the provisions of FERPA, and shall accord all the rights under the law to all students who are or have been in attendance at Pitzer College.


For the purpose of this statement, Pitzer College has adopted the following definitions of terms:

Student: any person who attends (as of their first day of classes) or has attended Pitzer College.

Education records: any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, digital, or other medium) maintained by Pitzer College, which is directly related to students. Education records include, but are not limited to, admissions, personal, academic, certain personnel, financial, and placement records.

Education records do not include the following:

  1. A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member, if it is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker’s temporary substitute, if appropriate.
  2. An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment. (Employment records of persons who are employed solely as a consequence of College attendance, e.g. work-study students, are education records.)
  3. Records maintained by Campus Safety, if the record is maintained solely for law enforcement purposes and is revealed only to law enforcement agencies of the same jurisdiction.
  4. Records created and maintained by physicians, psychologists, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional staff, acting or assisting in a professional capacity, if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
  5. Alumni records, which contain information about students after they are no longer in attendance at Pitzer and which do not relate to the persons as students.

Annual Notification

Pitzer College will notify all registered students annually of their FERPA rights through publication of such in the Academic Support Services , which is distributed to all students every year and is available on the Pitzer website and in this catalog.

Right of Inspection

Students may inspect and review information contained in their education records upon request to the appropriate record custodian. Pitzer College has designated the Registrar as the staff person responsible for the coordination of inspection and review procedures for student education records.

Request For Review

Students wishing to review their education records must present a written request to the Registrar. The request must identify as precisely as possible the records they wish to inspect.

The Registrar or another appropriate college staff member will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible, and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access will be given within 45 days or less from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records related to them.

Students have the right to a copy of their education record which is subject to review only when failure to provide a copy of a record would effectively prevent the student from inspecting and reviewing the record, as determined at the discretion of the Registrar. No copies will be made for students living within commuting distance of the College. A copy of an education record otherwise subject to review may be refused if a “hold” for non-payment of financial obligations exists or in case of an unresolved disciplinary action involving the student. No copies of original documents, or of source documents which originate from and exist elsewhere, including any high school transcripts or transcripts from other academic institutions, will be made. Copies are made at the student’s expense and at a fee determined by the Registrar.

Limitations on Students’ Right of Access

Under the law, Pitzer College reserves the right to refuse to permit student inspection or review of the following:

  1. Financial information submitted by parents.
  2. Confidential letters and/or recommendations to which students have waived right of access or which were placed in their files before January 1, 1975.
  3. Education records containing information about more than one student. In such a case, if possible, access will be allowed to the part of the record pertaining to the inquiring student.
  4. Records connected with an application to attend Pitzer College, if the application was denied.
  5. Records excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

Disclosure of Education Records

No person outside Pitzer College shall have access to, nor shall Pitzer College disclose, any personally identifiable information from a student’s education record, without the written consent of the student, except as permitted by law. The consent must specify the education record disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made, and must be signed and dated by the student. In accordance with the law, Pitzer College reserves the right to disclose education records without written consent to:

  1. “School officials” who have a “legitimate educational interest”. “School officials” shall mean any person who is a trustee, officer, agent, or employee of Pitzer College, or of The Claremont Colleges, as appropriate.  “Legitimate educational interest” shall mean any authorized interest or activity undertaken in the name of the College, or of The Claremont Colleges, and in the educational interest of a student, for which access to an education record is necessary or appropriate to the proper performance of the task. At Pitzer College this shall include access by personnel in the Offices of the President, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Students, Registrar, Admission, Alumni, Development, Trustees, PITZER Faculty, legal counsel, and any others authorized by the President, to the extent that the foregoing persons are acting within the course and scope of their employment or authority, and access is necessary or appropriate as defined above.
  2. To authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and State and local educational authorities, if the information is necessary for audit and evaluation of federal, state or locally supported programs and only if such agencies or authorities have a policy for protecting such information from re-disclosure and for destroying such information when it is no longer needed for such purpose (unless access is authorized by federal law or student consent).
  3. To persons or organizations providing student financial aid in order to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the award.
  4. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
  5. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
  6. To organizations conducting certain studies for or providing contracted services to the College, provided there is no further external disclosure of personally identifiable information and the information is destroyed when no longer necessary for the projects.
  7. To accrediting organizations carrying out their functions.
  8. To persons in order to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
  9. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
  10. To parents of students under 21 years of age, who are claimed as economic dependents on the federal tax returns of one or more parent.
  11. To officials of another school where the student seeks to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled, if the disclosure is for the purpose of the student’s enrollment or transfer.

Pitzer College will keep a record of all third party requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student’s education record for at least one semester. The record will specify the education records disclosed, the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed, the date of the disclosure, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information, if appropriate. This written record may be reviewed by the student upon request. No record of disclosure is required for disclosures made to a student for his or her own use, disclosures made with written consent of a student, disclosures made to a Pitzer “official” with a “legitimate educational interest,” or for disclosures of “directory” type information.

Directory Information

At the discretion of the Registrar or the Dean of Students, Pitzer College may confirm or disclose “directory information” to the general public. The College defines “directory information” in accordance with FERPA to include:

  • ID number
  • Full name
  • Preferred name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Addresses
  • Email Addresses
  • Sex
  • Ethnicity
  • Telephone numbers
  • Photograph and videos
  • Adviser names and email addresses
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance and classification
  • Previous academic institutions attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Currently enrolled students may request the College not to disclose Directory Information by notifying the Registrar in writing within two weeks after the first day of classes for the fall semester. All written requests for non-disclosure of Directory Information by current students will be honored for the period of one academic year only; therefore, requests to withhold Directory Information must be filed annually. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. Alumni may request non-disclosure of Directory Information at any time; such requests will be honored until otherwise notified. Pitzer College assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of Directory Information indicates individual approval for disclosure.

Correction of Education Records

Students have the right to request to have their education records amended, if they believe the records are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their rights. Pitzer College has established the following procedures for requests to change records.

  1. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, should first request the Registrar to amend the record. All such requests must be made in writing. When making such a request, students must clearly identify the part of the record they believe is incorrect, and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy or other rights. It is the responsibility of the student to provide legal documentation (i.e. official birth certificate, court record, or marriage certificate) for requests for name changes. Official College records are not altered, if former students change their names after they leave the College.
  2. If the decision of the Registrar is in agreement with the request of the students, the appropriate records will be amended, and the students will be notified in writing of the amendment. If the decision is not in agreement, the Registrar will notify the students of the decision, and advise them of their right to a formal hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their rights.
  3. Within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the notice from the Registrar, students may address requests for a hearing in writing to the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of the Faculty will, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, inform students of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
  4. The hearing will be conducted by one or more disinterested individuals designated by the Dean of the Faculty. The panel will deliver a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented, state the findings of fact, and provide the reasons for the panel’s decision. The decision of the panel will be final. The written report shall be mailed to the students and any other concerned party within 30 days after the date of the hearing.
  5. At the hearing, students shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in their original request to amend their education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney, at their expense.
  6. If the College determines that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the students’ right of privacy or other rights, it will notify the students that they have the right to place a statement in their education record commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth their reasons for disagreeing with the decision. The statement will be maintained as part of the students’ education record as long as the contested portion is maintained. And, if Pitzer College discloses a contested portion of a record, it will also disclose the students’ statement.
  7. If it is determined that the education records at issue are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the students, the education records shall be amended in accordance with the decision and the students shall be informed of the amendment in writing.

Veterans’ Records

Under the requirements of CFR §14209(f), Retention of Records, the College keeps all records and accounts pertaining to each period of enrollment of veterans and other eligible persons intact and in good condition for at least three (3) years following the termination of the enrollment periods. If the Registrar receives a written request from the General Accounting Office or the Veterans Administration no later than 30 days prior to the end of the three-year period, the College will keep the records longer as requested.

Athletic Eligibility

For students to be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics at Pitzer College, students must be enrolled in at least three full-credit courses or equivalant  (12 semester units) during the semester of participation. The Academic Standards Committee, in consultation with the Registrar and the Faculty Athletic Representative, will declare ineligible for intercollegiate athletic competition any student whose academic performance the committee deems seriously deficient (below a 2.00 GPA or on academic probation). Such ineligibility shall be reviewed at the conclusion of each semester of ineligibility.

Academic Credit for Athletes

Pitzer student-athletes will earn a quarter credit for every season that they participate in Pitzer-Pomona Athletics. Athletes must complete the entire season to earn credit. Athletic credit will not be incorporated into a student’s GPA. Athletic participation will be listed on transcripts.  However, no matter how many sports an athlete plays within a year, they will only receive .25 of a credit, the equivalent of credit for one-sport. For example, if an athlete plays both basketball and volleyball, they will only receive .25 a credit for every year they play. This is for Division III sports, not club sports or physical education classes.

Physical Education Classes

Pitzer students may enroll in physical education classes at the other colleges. These courses will not count as credit toward graduation and are graded on a P/NC basis only.These courses will appear on the transcript.

Other Regulations

Medical Requirements

Medical insurance is mandatory for all students. All students must have medical insurance/emergency information on file with the Office of Student Affairs. All students are required to update this information every year via the portal online. If no proof of medical insurance is provided by the stated deadlines you will be automatically enrolled in and billed for the Claremont College’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Students can obtain a 100 percent refund one week before or on the first day of class. After the first day of class the medical coverage charge is non- refundable. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the College informed of changes in medical coverage and coverage must be confirmed every year.  If you have any questions regarding medical insurance, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 909.607.2821 or visit: https://www.pitzer.edu/student-accounts/health-insurance/

Leaves of Absence and College Withdraw

Students may sometimes find it desirable or necessary to interrupt their college education for a time. When a financial, medical, or other problem makes it impossible or unwise for students to continue in college, they may apply to the Office of Student Affairs for a leave of absence or withdraw from the college. When a leave of absence is taken before the final date to drop courses (no recorded grade), any courses the student was enrolled in will be removed from the transcript. When a leave of absence is taken after the final day to drop courses, a grade of W (Withdraw) will be recorded for each registered course in that semester. Leave of Absence forms must be submitted by the last day of classes for the semester.

A leave of absence permits students to return to Pitzer without applying for readmission to the College. Leaves will normally be approved for no more than two semesters. If students decide not to return to the College after a leave of two semesters, they will automatically be withdrawn from the College and must reapply for admission to return thereafter. Students may request an extension of a leave for one additional semester in case of extenuating circumstances.  Students will be placed on a leave of absence for failure to register for classes by the tenth day of the semester.

For information on refunds in case of leaves or withdraw, please refer to the section on “Refund Policies”. For information regarding re-admission, please refer to the Office of Admission.

Readmission to Pitzer

If a student wishes to return to Pitzer after being withdrawn from the college, they will need to apply for readmission during the specified application periods. The deadlines are October 10th for spring admission and April 1st for fall admission. A Readmission Application is available online on the Admission website. Along with the evaluation by the Admission office, Admissions consults independently with the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to determine if the student is eligible to return to Pitzer College. In order to return, students must be in good academic, disciplinary, and financial standing. If readmitted, the Academic Standards Committee or Office of Student Affairs may define the probationary terms under which the student may continue enrollment. Students who fail to meet the terms of probation following readmission normally will be dismissed from the College.

Medical Leave of Absence


The purpose of a medical leave of absence (MLOA) is to provide a student time away from campus for the treatment of a physical or mental health condition that impairs a student’s ability to be successful academically and/or to participate as a member of the Pitzer community.  The authority to grant a MLOA and permission to return from a MLOA resides within the Division of Student Affairs which will work in collaboration with the Registrar’s Office, Students Accounts, Financial Aid and the Dean of Faculty to streamline the process once approved.

Each leave will be individualized based on the needs of the student and handled on a case-by-case basis. Students who request and obtain a voluntary MLOA during an academic semester may be eligible for assistance navigating the following:

  • Tuition adjustments or refunds
  • Impact on financial aid award
  • Opportunity to petition for late course withdrawal if needed
  • A coordinated treatment plan in collaboration with Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services or Student Health Services as needed

While on a MLOA, a student may register for classes for the following semester only after being approved to return by the Office of Student Affairs. Students on medical leave are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic adviser several weeks in advance and have an academic plan in place to allow time for the hold to be removed, in order to be prepared for class registration.

Leaves will normally be approved for no more than two semesters. Students who do not return after a leave of two semesters will automatically be withdrawn from the college and must reapply for admission to return thereafter. A petition for a third semester based on medical needs may be submitted to the Academic Standing Committee in collaboration with Pitzer Academic Support Services for a third semester in severe cases.


A student will be expected to vacate college housing within 48 hours of the approval of the leave, which includes removal of all belongings. The student will complete a request to cancel residence and board contracts in consultation with a member of the Residence Life staff including returning all keys. Failure to properly check out may result in additional charges.

Application for Reinstatement from MLOA

Application for reinstatement must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs before Pre -Registration week for the intended return semester.  Applications for reinstatement will NOT be considered after the deadline.  

Step 1 - Prepare a written statement about readiness to return to campus as a student, explaining what is different now from past experience i.e. what mechanisms are now in place to support the student in being a successful at Pitzer.

Step 2 - Contact Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS) or Student Health Services (SHS) (for physical health reasons) to set an appointment for a re-entry evaluation and provide documentation of treatment efforts/resolution. For students who do not live locally, collaboration with the student’s medical professionals and MCPAS or SHS staff will be required along with a release of information for effective assessment by all parties.

Step 3 -Contact the Office of Student Affairs

After MCAPS OR SHS evaluation is complete the student should contact the Office of Student Affairs for a reinstatement appointment with one of the Deans in the Student Access and Support Services Office and provide all relevant copies of paperwork.


The Academic Support Team will make a determination regarding reinstatement based on the recommendations provided by MCAPS and/or SHS and any additional information provided by the student. Reinstatement is based on the student’s readiness to manage an academic course load and safely function in our community. The student and other necessary College offices will be notified in writing of the determination, and if approved, will outline any stipulations or conditions of reinstatement.  Appeals of this decision may be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

College Governance

Pitzer’s governmental structure makes it virtually unique among American colleges. The College has never had the traditional student government which restricts student participation to limited areas. Instead, students are represented on all the standing committees of the College including those which deal with the most vital and sensitive issues of the College community. This system offers interested students an active educational experience, though it demands time, energy and a real commitment on the part of those who participate. Standing committees are responsible primarily for the formulation, review and implementation of policy relating to the educational program and student life.

In most instances, policy decisions of the standing committees are made in the form of recommendations to College Council, which is the primary legislative body of the school, made up of the faculty, staff representatives and 16 student representatives, eight of whom are elected by the student body and eight chosen from the student members of the standing committees.

The standing committees are, briefly, as follows (See the Faculty Handbook for further details at www.pitzer.edu/offices/dean_of_faculty/handbook)

Faculty Executive Committee: The primary executive committee of the College, responsible for facilities planning and the smooth and effective functioning of College affairs.

Academic Planning Committee: Responsible primarily for the long-term planning of the educational program of the College and, as part of that task, for proposing new faculty positions and the formulation of new programs and majors.

Academic Standards Committee: Responsible for assuring that students adhere to the academic standards of the College, for considering student requests for waivers of academic requirements and for approving the completion of degree requirements.

Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee: Responsible for making recommendations  and advise the President in matters of faculty appointment, contract renewal, promotion, tenure, dismissal, sabbatical and all other leaves.

Budgetary Implementation Committee: Responsible for constructing  the annual budget of the College and recommending to College Council policy regarding enrollment, financial aid, annual increments in staff and faculty salaries, fringe benefits and expectations  relating to inflation and investment income.

Campus Life Committee: This Committee is responsible for working with relevant student, faculty, alumni and trustee groups to develop and implement annually, a comprehensive plan for enhancing the intellectual, cultural, artistic and social life of the campus. In addition, it oversees programs and support structures that foster the development of a closer intellectual community on campus.

Curriculum Committee: Responsible primarily for coordinating  and reviewing the annual curriculum of the College, for recommending on an annual basis the addition of courses, for approving special majors and independent studies and for approving new program and major requirements.

Diversity Committee: Responsible for assisting the College in meeting its commitment to affirmative action in student, faculty and staff recruitment and for assisting the College in creating an environment which is maximally supportive to students from underrepresented groups and which embraces and values diversity.

Judicial Committee: Responsible for interpreting and enforcing the student code of conduct.

Research and Awards: Allocation of funds for faculty and student research is handled through the Dean of Faculty’s office.

Student Appointments Committee: Responsible for selecting students to serve as the non-elected representatives on the other standing committees. Students who would like to participate in College governance are urged to apply to the Student Appointments Committee through the Dean of Students’ Office in the spring semester for appointments for the following year. In addition, vacancies on standing committees usually arise throughout the year, so students should inquire at any time if they are interested in participating.  Participation in College governance is one of the most exciting educational opportunities the College offers. Through participation, students play a central role in shaping the College.

Student Senate: Responsible for discussing and making policy recommendations to College Council pertaining to student life and community issues. Members of the Student Senate are elected by the student body and serve as the student voting representatives to College Council and as the elected student representatives to the College’s Standing Committees. Students can also make direct recommendations concerning student life issues to the President by means of a proposition signed by 30 percent of the Pitzer community and then approved by both a Proposition Board and the community as a whole.

Study Abroad Committee: Responsible for formulating policy relating to the College’s Study Abroad program, for overseeing the program and for approving students for participation.