Published on Rhodes College: Rhodes Catalogue (

The Educational Program

Printed from:

Academic Partnerships

There are some students who desire the benefit of an undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences prior to pursuing a more technical or specialized degree and career. Such students are able to take advantage of several dual degree or second degree programs arranged between Rhodes and other universities.

For those students who are interested in pursuing studies in engineering, Rhodes offers three Dual Degree Programs. Dual Bachelor’s degree programs are offered in cooperation with Washington University in St. Louis and Christian Brothers University (Memphis). Masters programs in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering are offered in cooperation with the University of Memphis. There is also a BS/BS/MS program available through Washington University. Students outside the science disciplines are also encouraged to combine those studies with engineering. The coordinator of these programs at Rhodes is Dr. Ann Viano (Department of Physics), and students interested in pursuing a dual degree engineering program should meet with the coordinator as early as possible in their college careers.

In addition to dual degree programs, Rhodes also provides opportunities for students to plan for post baccalaureate study within the medical sciences. These opportunities, through The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Vanderbilt University, are coordinated by Ms. Jessica Kelso.

Dual Degree Engineering Programs

Bachelor or Master of Science in Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis

Students can spend three or four years at Rhodes, and then, after acceptance to the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University, complete two or three years of engineering study. In the dual bachelor's degree program, the student receives two degrees, a BS (or BA) from Rhodes and a BS from Washington University after completing a 3-2 or 4-2 plan (three or four years at Rhodes followed by two years at Washington University). The student who pursues a Rhodes major in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or Fine Arts will generally complete the Rhodes portion in four years, applying elective hours to the Dual Degree core requirements. Students can also opt for a 3-3 plan that results in a BS from Rhodes and both a BS and MS from Washington University. Financial aid does not transfer from Rhodes to Washington University for any of the programs described above, but the student can apply for aid from Washington University. More information about the dual degree options with Washington University can be found here:

To satisfy the Rhodes graduation requirements and the entrance requirements to Washington University, all students must do the following:

  1. Satisfy all Rhodes Foundations requirements as described earlier in this section of the catalog. 
  2. Take the following core courses required for admission into the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University: Mathematics 112 (if necessary), 122, 223, 251; Chemistry 120, 125; Physics 111, 113, 112, 114; Computer Science 141. 
    • For biomedical engineering add the following core courses: Biology 130, 131, 140, 141; a 2nd semester of general chemistry with lab.
    • For chemical engineering add the following core courses: Biology 130, 131; a 2nd semester of general chemistry with lab.
  3. Complete the modified major requirements at Rhodes (if the chosen major is one listed below). If the Rhodes major is not one listed below, all major requirements listed in the Rhodes catalog for the chosen major must be fulfilled, including senior seminar.
    • Chemistry Major/Chemical Engineering: Chemistry 211, 212, 240, 311, 312.
    • Physics Major/Biomedical Engineering: Physics 211, 250, 305, 304 or 307; Biology 140, 141.
    • Physics Major/Electrical Engineering: Physics 211, 250, 301, 302, 304, 307 or 325.
    • Physics Major/Mechanical Engineering: Physics 211, 250, 304, 305, 307.
    • Computer Science Major/Computer Engineering: Computer Science 142, 241, plus one of CS 330, 335, 355 or 360; Mathematics 201, and either Mathematics 311 or 370.
    • Mathematics Major/System Science and Mathematics: Mathematics 201, 261, 311, 370, 465.
  4. Maintain a GPA (math/science and overall) of 3.25 at Rhodes for acceptance into the BS/BS program or 3.50 for the BS/MS program at the Washington University.

Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Christian Brothers University

This dual degree program is a 3-2 year plan of study that results in a Bachelor of Science from Rhodes and Bachelor of Science in engineering from Christian Brothers University at the completion of five years of study. The student spends three years at Rhodes and completes all foundation requirements and the modified major requirements listed below for a major in physics, chemistry, or biochemistry/molecular biology, depending on the course of engineering to be pursued. The student may also take select courses at Christian Brothers University during this time. The student applies to the engineering program at Christian Brothers University during the third year and becomes a full-time CBU student for two additional years. Financial aid does not transfer from Rhodes to Christian Brothers University.

To satisfy the Rhodes graduation requirements and the entrance requirements to Christian Brothers University, all students must complete the following:

  1. All Rhodes Foundation requirements with the following stipulations:
    • One of the F1 courses should be a philosophy course.
    • A minimum of 80 credits of the Rhodes BS portion must be fulfilled with Rhodes courses.
  2. The following pre-engineering core courses:
    • Physics 111, 112, 113, 114
    • Math 112 (if necessary), 122, 223, 251
    • Chemistry 120, 125
  3. The following additional Rhodes courses depending on the Rhodes major and course of engineering study to be pursued at Christian Brothers University. Courses in parentheses are CBU courses that are suitable substitutes for the Rhodes courses and will satisfy the major requirements at Rhodes:
    • Physics Major/Mechanical Engineering: Physics 211, 250, 304 (or CBU ECE 221), 305 (or CBU ME 202), 306 (or CBU program option course); Computer Science 141 (or CBU ME 112)
    • Physics Major/Civil Engineering: Physics 211, 213, 250, 304 (or CBU ECE 221), 305 (or CBU ME 202), 406 (or CBU ME 305); Computer Science 141 (or CBU CE 112)
    • Physics Major/Electrical Engineering – electrical engineering curriculum: Physics 211, 213, 250, 406 (or CBU ME 305), one upper level physics elective at the 300 level or higher; Computer Science 141 (or CBU ECE 172)
    • Chemistry Major/Chemical Engineering- chemical engineering curriculum: Chemistry 211, 212, 240, 311, 312
    • Biochemistry Molecular Biology Major/Chemical Engineering- biochemical engineering curriculum: Biology 130, 131, 140. 141, 307, 325; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 310; Chemistry 211, 212, 240, 414
  4. The following CBU courses should be taken during the first three years of the program through the Rhodes-CBU exchange program (the Crosstown Agreement), depending on the Rhodes major and course of engineering study to be pursued at Christian Brothers University:
    • Physics Major/Mechanical Engineering: ME 121, ME 305
    • Physics Major/Civil Engineering: CE 105, MATH 308
    • Physics Major/Electrical Engineering - electrical engineering curriculum: ECE 221, ECE 222
    • Chemistry Major or Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Major/Chemical Engineering – either curriculum: CHE 231, CHE 232
  5. A minimum GPA of 2.5 at the time of application to Christian Brothers University is required. Only grades of “C” or higher will transfer to Christian Brothers University (“C-” and lower do not transfer).

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Memphis / University of Tennessee

This accelerated program serves students who are interested in completing a Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering (BME) and ideally are advanced in math and science at the start of their Rhodes career. Students who participate in this program complete both BS and MS degrees in five years. The typical student in this program takes three years of coursework at Rhodes, and then completes two years of coursework and masters thesis research in the joint program in biomedical engineering at the University of Memphis / University of Tennessee. All students become eligible for graduate assistantships after the completion of their undergraduate coursework. The graduate assistantship includes a full tuition (for graduate courses only)-and-fees scholarship and may include a monthly salary. 

Students can apply for this program once they have reached sophomore standing and have completed one semester of coursework. Applications consist of an application form, one letter of reference and a copy of the student’s transcript. Each applicant will be required to complete an interview with a pre-graduate advisor. In order to remain in the program past the junior year, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.25.

The following requirements must be met to earn the two degrees:

  1. Complete all Foundation requirements for the Rhodes degree.
  2. Complete the following core courses: Mathematics 112 (if necessary), 122, 223, 251; Computer Science 141; Chemistry 120, 125; Physics 111, 112, 113, 114
  3. Complete the following requirements for the specific major chosen at Rhodes
    • For the Chemistry major: Chemistry 211, 212, 240, 311, 312; Physics 304*, 305*.
    • For the Physics major: Physics 211, 213, two approved courses at the 300-level or higher*; a second semester of general chemistry from an institution offering a year-long introductory chemistry sequence 
  4. Complete the following additional undergraduate requirements at the University of Memphis:
    • Biomechanical Engineering 2810 (Introduction to Biomechanics/Mechanics of Materials)
    • Mechanics 3331 (Mechanics of Fluids)
    • *If Physics 304 has not been taken, add EECE 2201 (Circuit Analysis I). If Physics 305 has not been taken, add Mechanics 2332 (Dynamics). These courses will be transferred to Rhodes. Additional undergraduate credits in mathematics, science, or engineering may be transferred to meet requirement 5 below.
  5. Complete the number of credits required for the Rhodes bachelor’s degree (from the first three years at Rhodes plus undergraduate courses transferred from UM). Successful completion of requirements 1-5 is necessary to fulfill the requirements for the B.S. degree.
  6. Complete the following graduate courses at the University of Memphis and/or The University of Tennessee:
    • BIOM 7209 (Measurements and Instrumentation)
    • BIOM 7101 (Biomedical Engineering Analysis I)
    • BIOM 7004, 7005 (Life Science I, II)
    • BIOM 7996, minimum 6 credits (MS Thesis)
    • One additional graduate mathematics elective course and three additional graduate engineering elective courses. These elective courses are selected in consultation with the graduate advisor.
    • Enrollment in the BME seminar/professional development course(s) is also required.
    • Students are expected to complete an oral thesis defense.

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at The University of Memphis

This program serves students who are interested in completing a Bachelor’s degree with a major in physics from Rhodes and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Memphis. Students who participate in this program receive both degrees after five years. The typical student in this program takes three years of coursework at Rhodes, followed by two years of coursework and research at the University of Memphis. All students become eligible for graduate assistantships after the completion of their undergraduate coursework. The typical graduate assistantship includes a full tuition-and-fees scholarship and a monthly salary.

Students can apply for this program once they have reached sophomore standing and have completed one semester of course work beyond the first year. In order to remain in the program past the junior year, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.25.

The following requirements must be met to earn the two degrees:

  1. Complete all Rhodes Foundation requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
  2. Complete the following Rhodes courses: Mathematics 112 (if necessary), 122, 223, 251; Computer Science 141; Physics 111, 112, 113, 114, Physics 250, Physics 304 (or equivalent)
  3. Complete the following additional Rhodes courses (or equivalents) to complete the physics major at Rhodes: Physics 211, 213, 301, 302
  4. Complete 128 credits of undergraduate coursework from Rhodes, the University of Memphis, and any other institutions.
  5. Complete the following graduate courses for the planned electrical engineering option:
    • Memphis Signals and Systems Option
      • An additional 18 graduate credits
      • 6 credits of EECE 7996 (Thesis)
      • EECE 7251 (Random Signals and Noise)
      • EECE 6235 (Probabilistic Systems Analysis)
      • EECE 3211 (Electronics I)
      • EECE 3204 (Signals and Systems II)
      • EECE 3203 (Signals and Systems I)
    • Memphis Power Option
      • EECE 3201 (Circuit Analysis II)
      • EECE 3203 (Signals and Systems I)
      • EECE 4201 (Energy Conversion)
      • EECE 6235 (Probabilistic Systems Analysis)
      • EECE 7251 (Random Signals and Noise)
      • 6 credits of EECE 7996 (Thesis)
      • An additional 15 graduate credits
  6. The following courses or their equivalents are suggested as prerequisites to the University of Memphis portion of the program: EECE 2222 (Digital Circuits), EECE 2201 (Circuit Analysis I)

Second Degree Programs

University of Tennessee Health Science Center BSN and Doctor of Nursing Practice Admission Agreement

Rhodes Students are eligible for guaranteed admission to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing to pursue training as a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner. Students also have the option of completing a PhD in nursing. This guaranteed admission pathway includes an accelerated 12 month BSN followed by training for certification and licensure as a Family Nurse Practitioner or one of several other advanced nursing specialties. The contact person for this program is Ms. Jessica Kelso.  

Vanderbilt University Master of Science in Nursing Prerequisite Agreement

The Vanderbilt School of Nursing, in agreement with Rhodes College, allows for all but one of their program’s prerequisite courses to be completed with Rhodes course work. An additional online nutrition course is needed. The Vanderbilt School of Nursing offers an accelerated path to master’s level advanced practice nursing, i.e. to become a nurse practitioner or midwife. The contact person for this path is Ms. Jessica Kelso.

Georgetown University Master of Arts in Latin American Studies

Rhodes students are eligible to apply for a Five-Year Cooperative Degree Program offered by Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS). The program allows undergraduates with a demonstrated commitment to Latin American Studies the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies in five years. Dr. Elizabeth Pettinaroli is the contact person for information on this opportunity.

Printed from:

Academic Regulations

The Board of Trustees vests responsibility for curriculum, instruction, and the regulation of academic affairs with the President and the Faculty. They in turn allocate this responsibility and implement it through various committees and individuals.

Three committees are chiefly responsible for regulating the academic program. The Educational Program Committee, which includes students in its membership, is responsible for the overall academic program, including requirements for the degree and departmental offerings. The Foundations Curriculum Committee, which also includes students in its membership, is responsible for the overseeing coursework that satisfies Foundations requirements. The Standards and Standing Committee has broad responsibility, subject to faculty review, to frame and implement procedures to insure that the instructional standards and aims of the College are met.

The regulations that follow are not comprehensive but are included here for the sake of easy reference by faculty and students. Any variation from academic regulations requires the formal approval of the Faculty. Students submit requests for variations from academic regulations to the appropriate faculty committees that make recommendations to the faculty. Requests for reconsideration of faculty decisions in light of new evidence will be considered by the committees making the initial recommendations.

Registration and Course Load

All students are required to register for classes during the Pre-Registration/Registration processes held prior to the first day of classes each semester. No late registrations will be accepted after the end of the Drop/Add period in any semester or summer term.

Fall or Spring Semester Registration and Course Load

Qualification as a full-time, degree student requires registration for a minimum of twelve (12) credits in a semester. A normal course load for a full-time student is 16 credits. Registration for fewer than 12 or more than 19 credits by a full-time student must be approved in advance by the Standards and Standing Committee. Students must be aware that in order to earn the total credits for a degree, sixteen credits in each of the eight semesters is needed. Less than 16 credits in any one semester must be matched by more than 16 credits in another semester or by summer session credits.

Degree-seeking students who register for eleven (11) credits or less in any one semester are classified as part-time students. It should be noted that students living in the residence hall must pay the full comprehensive tuition, regardless of the number of credits taken in the semester. Part-time students are not eligible to live in the residence halls; however, pending the availability of rooms and approval by the Dean of Students, part-time students may be allowed residence in College residence halls. Part-time status also affects eligibility for financial aid and intercollegiate athletics.  Computation of the total credits permitted per semester includes directed inquiries and concurrent enrollment at other consortium institutions. Direct registration at another institution may not be counted toward the full-time enrollment status.

First-year students may take up to four 4-credit courses and up to three additional credits each semester of their first year. A year’s residence with satisfactory grades is the usual prerequisite for taking more than the maximum number of courses.

Degree students may obtain permission to audit no more than one course per semester, without payment of fee, by agreement with the professor concerned. Audited courses are not included in the number of credits carried, nor are they recorded on the permanent record. Special, non-degree students (those students not seeking a degree) may enroll in more than eight (8) credits only with the permission of the Dean of Admission.

Summer Term Registration and Course Load

Students may register in 4 credits in each 5-week session of summer term.  Registration in more than 4 credits in a 5-week session requires approval by the Registrar.  Students may carry no more than 12 credits in a summer term.

Foundation Courses

Only certain courses in the Rhodes curriculum and in each department are approved to meet Foundation requirements. Each of these courses is designated in the course description in this catalog and on the class schedule for each semester online. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of what courses in which they may be enrolled satisfy foundation requirements. Such courses are submitted by faculty members to the Foundations Curriculum Committee for approval. It is not possible for students to request foundation credit approval by the Committee for any coursework with the exception of Foundation 11. Self-initiated requests for F11 credit for certain coursework or experiences may be requested using the appropriate form available online.

Course Prerequisites and Co-requisites

Course prerequisites and co-requisites are requirements for entry into a course that state the background, experience, or related coursework that is needed for success in that course and to establish a relative order in which certain courses need to be taken.

These requirements are set by the department based on experience and judgment. Students are responsible for knowing the prerequisites or co-requisites of any courses for which they register. Students who register for courses for which they do not meet such prerequisites may be asked to drop those courses from their schedules.

A prerequisite is a requirement that must be met in advance of taking the course. If the prerequisite is stated as a course by number, then that course must have been completed satisfactorily at Rhodes or accepted by Rhodes as transfer credit from another institution before the student can enroll in the desired course.

A co-requisite is a requirement that must be met at the same time as the course is being taken if that requirement has not already been met. If the co-requisite is stated as a numbered course, then that co-requisite course must be taken at the same time or credit for the co-requisite course must have already been earned.

A linked co-requisite is a course requirement that must be taken at the same time as the course to which it is linked. In most cases, the linked co-requisite courses will be a three-credit lecture course and a one-credit laboratory. Enrollment in one linked co-requisite course is permitted if the course has been failed previously, or is eligible to be repeated due to a final grade. If enrollment in one linked co-requisite is discontinued either by dropping or withdrawing, a student may not continue enrollment in the other linked course. Successful completion of both linked courses is required in order for a foundation requirement to be met.

In some cases, a prerequisite may not be stated in terms of a numbered course. For example, a prerequisite may be “a designated course or permission of instructor” or “Permission of the department.” In some cases, a prerequisite may require a specific class standing, e.g. “Junior or Senior class standing” or “First-year students only.” These conditions express flexible arrangements that a department may use to manage course prerequisites. “Permission of the instructor” is the most flexible and requires that the student receive the approval of the instructor before enrolling in that course. A student who does not meet a specific course-numbered prerequisite for a desired course must get permission of the department prior to enrolling in that course. Students not meeting a specific class standing requirement may be asked to drop the courses from their schedules.

Class Standing

Under the foundations curriculum, a minimum of 30 credits are required for admission to the Sophomore class, 63 credits for admission to the Junior class, and 96 credits for admission to the Senior class. It should be noted that a minimum of 32 credits must be earned per year in order to accumulate the 128 credits needed for graduation in four years.

Class Attendance

Rhodes, as a residential college of the liberal arts and sciences, considers interactive engagement with other students and the professor, in a structured setting, to be one of the essential and central components of the academic program. Students enrolled at the institution make a commitment to participate fully in their education, which includes attending class. Absenteeism is not to be taken lightly.

Any student who fails to attend the first day of a class without providing prior notice of his or her absence to the instructor of the course or the chairperson of the department may be asked to drop the course upon request of the instructor. The student is responsible for dropping the class officially upon notification that such action has been taken.

Specific attendance policies are set by individual instructors, who state them in the course syllabus and during the first class session. Faculty should be mindful in setting attendance policies that college-sanctioned activities may require participating students to be off campus and consequently miss class. Faculty are discouraged from penalizing students solely for such absence and should normally, at their discretion, accommodate such a student (e.g., an alternate date for a test.) However, it is the student’s responsibility in undertaking college-sanctioned activities (e.g., varsity athletics, internships, and off-campus competitions connected with courses) to understand that their participation may come at the cost of absences from other courses or even forfeiting credit on certain assignments when making them up is not feasible. If, in accordance with the course policies, the instructor determines that excessive absences are jeopardizing a student’s ability to obtain a passing grade in the course, the instructor may make written request to the Dean of the Faculty that the student be removed from the course with a grade of F. If a student is removed from two or more courses in the same semester for this reason, the student may be asked to withdraw from the College.

Mandatory attendance at events outside of the regularly scheduled class period (e.g., lectures, seminars, concerts) will normally be included in the syllabus at the start of the semester, and will usually include some scheduling flexibility so that students may make informed decisions regarding their co-curricular educational and employment commitments. If exams or additional class sessions are scheduled outside of the regular class period, faculty members will give alternative times so that students may honor out-of-class educational and employment commitments if possible.

Class Preparation

A student is expected to spend a minimum of forty-six hours of academic study for every enrolled credit. This principle applies to tutorial and directed inquiry study as well as to regular course work during the academic year. Time spent on a per assignment basis will vary depending on the nature of the class assignments; however, on an average, a minimum of ten hours per week outside of class is expected for active preparation for a four-credit course.

Schedule Changes

During the first week of classes in each semester, or the first two days during a 5-week summer session, courses may be added (based on seat availability) and/or dropped from a student’s schedule. Students may drop full semester classes until the end of the third week of a fall or spring semester, or the 5th day of class in a 5-week summer term session. The drop/add period for those courses that run during one of the 7-week sessions within the semester will be during the 1st week of that session only. No extended drop period exists for these partial semester courses. Approval of a course underload must be obtained if the resulting course load is less than 12 credits. No credit will be awarded retroactively for courses for which a student failed to register properly, including physical education.

Any student who fails to attend the first day of class without providing prior notice of his or her absence to the instructor of the course or the chairperson of the department may be removed from the course upon notification of the instructor to the Registrar.

The student is then responsible for then dropping the course.

Withdrawal From Class

Students withdrawing from a course between the beginning of the fourth week and the end of the eleventh week of a semester will receive a grade of W (withdrew). Students withdrawing from a course between the 6th day and the 18th day of a 5-week summer session will receive a grade of W.  The W grade is not computed in the student’s grade point average.

Withdrawal from a course is not official until the appropriate form with all required approvals is submitted by the student to the Registrar’s Office. A request to withdraw from a class which does not receive the approval of the instructor and the faculty advisor may be appealed to the Standards and Standing Committee.

The request to withdraw from a class after the stated deadline requires the approval of the Standards and Standing Committee in addition to the approvals of the instructor and the student’s faculty adviser. Students are expected to continue to attend classes until there is official notice that the request for withdrawal from class has been approved. No request for withdrawal from a class will be considered after the last day of classes.

Unauthorized withdrawal from any class constitutes a failure in the course. A student who withdraws from all courses in a semester is considered to be withdrawn from the college and must follow the appropriate procedure described below.

No student will be permitted to withdraw from a course in which he or she is under investigation for violating the Honor Code until the alleged violation has been adjudicated. A student may not withdraw from a course in which he or she has been found “In Violation” of the Honor Code.

Interruption of Participation in the College
It is not uncommon for some students faced with family circumstances, health or other problems, or academic difficulty to consider interrupting participation in the College for a semester or longer. Students who find themselves in such situations are encouraged to confer with their academic advisers, the College Counseling Office, or Student Life to discuss the variety of options available and the implications, advantages, and disadvantages of these options (personal, academic, and financial.)

Leave of Absence

Application for and the granting of a Leave of Absence indicates a continuing relationship between the student and the College. Students may decide to apply for a Leave of Absence for a wide variety of reasons and the terms of the Leave of Absence granted are designed to reflect the individual’s needs and circumstances. These terms range from the resumption of studies at the time specified without further approval by College authorities to the requirement that the student satisfy the College that conditions are now such that the individual is likely to succeed and prosper on return.

A Leave of Absence is granted only for one or two full semesters, and a student must make the request for a Leave of Absence in writing in advance to the Faculty Standards and Standing Committee. Students should obtain the necessary information and forms from the Dean of Student office. Students who are granted a Leave of Absence must contact the Dean of Student office in order to initiate the normal process of leaving campus.

A Leave of Absence is not normally granted for periods in excess of one year. A Leave of Absence is not given for the purpose of studying at another institution nor can it be given to students who are not in good academic standing. If circumstances warrant, a student may be approved to enroll in up to two courses at another institution while on leave. Students on Leave must return to the College at the specified time or be deemed to have withdrawn from the College necessitating application for readmission.

Withdrawal from the College

In some instances, a student may decide not to apply for a Leave of Absence but to withdraw from the College. Students who decide to withdraw from the College, either during or at the end of a semester, must contact the Dean of Students office in order to initiate the withdrawal process. A letter of withdrawal must be filed with Student Life and the entire withdrawal process completed before the student can be officially withdrawn from the College.

Students who decide to return to the College after having withdrawn must apply for readmission. If a student withdraws from the College during or at the end of a semester, it is expected that readmission, if approved, will not take place until one full academic semester has lapsed. Applications for readmission are available from Rhodes Express. (See also “Voluntary Withdrawal and Removal from Campus” in the Campus Regulations and “Readmission of Students” in the Admissions section of this catalogue.)


The Honor Code represents what the students, the faculty, and the administration believe to be the best environment for the pursuit of the College’s educational aims. All tests and examinations are conducted under the Honor Code, and students are asked to indicate on their tests and final examinations that they have abided by the principles contained in the Honor Code.

Normally every course for which credit is given has a final examination as a component. Final examinations are intended to assess students’ mastery of the subject matter of the course and are normally comprehensive in scope. In some courses the purposes of a final examination are best served by special testing: take-home examinations, departmentally administered oral examinations, special projects and assignments, for example. Whatever the testing method, the important factor is that students are asked to synthesize major concepts, approaches, and facts from the course, and to demonstrate that they can do this on their own.

Final examinations are given during the examination week according to the published schedule. A student with three examinations in a row (not to include reading days) may petition the Dean of the Faculty to re-schedule no more than two examinations for later times in the examination period. Other changes because of extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness) must also be approved by the professor and the Dean. A professor may offer optional exam times for an entire class within the examination period, except for a Reading Day. Each member of the class must choose one of the optional times at least one week before the first day of examinations. The feasibility of implementing this option is left to the professor’s discretion. If exams are scheduled outside of the regular class period, students should be given alternative times which accommodate their other commitments.

A student who has a failing average on course work may be counseled before the final examination about the status of that work and about the role the final examination will play in determining the final grade, but the student is not excluded from taking the final examination. A student who has a passing average on course work but fails the final examination, and as a result has a failing average for the course, may be permitted to take a re-examination at the discretion of the instructor. The conditional grade of E (reexamination) is given in this case. The reexamination must be taken no later than the end of the second week of classes of the following semester.

A student who has a passing average on course work and who fails the final examination, but who earns a passing final grade, may be given the appropriate letter grade for the course.

Unexcused absence from a final examination automatically results in failure in the course. A student who is prevented by illness or other reason from taking the final examination at the scheduled time must present a written excuse or doctor’s certificate and will be given a conditional grade of X (incomplete). In some courses, due to the lesser weight given to the final examination in determining the final grade for the course, a professor may not wish to give the grade of F for an unexcused absence or the grade of X in the event of an excused absence. The professor’s policy on this matter is made clear at the beginning of the course so that there is no misunderstanding and so that it is clear that this situation is an exception to the general college policy. Consult the section on Conditional Grades for policies governing E and X grades.

Conditional Grades: Reexaminations and Incompletes

A student with a grade of E (see Examinations) must notify the Registrar at least one week in advance of the scheduled time that the reexamination will be attempted. If the student passes the reexamination, a grade of D-, D, or D+ will be earned, unless the course was taken Pass/Fail, in which case the grade of P will be recorded. Seniors in the final semester of attendance may be eligible for reexamination without delay, at the discretion of the professor, if they fail a final examination and are given an E grade.

The grade of X (incomplete) may be requested by a student who is unable to complete coursework because of circumstances beyond their reasonable control (e.g., illness, injury, incapacitation, or other emergency). The conditions for requesting an incomplete are as follows:

  • The student should have a passing grade either at midterm or at the time of the petition.
  • The amount of unfinished coursework, including any final exam, should not exceed that assigned in a typical three-week period during a full semester (or an equivalent interval within a summer-session course).
  • The petition must be agreed to by all parties involved (student/professor/adviser) by the course's assigned final exam day and no earlier than the final three weeks of the semester. (The completed form itself must be submitted either electronically or in hard copy no later than the final grade due date.)

All unfinished work must be completed and submitted to the course instructor before the first day of classes in the student's next term of enrollment (fall, spring, or summer). Students returning to Rhodes after an approved Leave of Absence or an off-campus study program must also have resolved all incompletes prior to this start date. Faculty must have a final grade turned in to the Registrar by the end of the last day of the term's drop/add period. If there are other circumstances that should be taken into account, they should be addressed prior to signing the form; and acceptable completion date must be agreed upon by all parties, but no later than the third week of the following semester.

If none of the student's incomplete work is submitted before the day classes begin in their next enrolled term, the conditional grade (X) will be converted automatically to the provisional grade submitted by faculty on the Conditional Grade Report Form. If illness or other extraordinary circumstances prevent a student from meeting this deadline for submission of unfinished work, then a petition requesting an extension must be submitted to and approved by the Standards and Standing Committee prior to the deadline for submission of the work.

Grades and Grade Points

In official recording of academic work, the following symbols are employed: A, excellent; B, good; C, satisfactory; D, passing; P, pass; E, re-examination; X, incomplete; IP, course in progress; F, failure; W, withdrew; NG, grade not submitted by professor. E and X grades are conditional and may be removed. The grades of B, C, and D are employed with plus and minus notations. The grade of A is employed with the minus notation.

Grade points are used to determine a student’s grade point average. The number of grade points awarded per credit hour for each grade is as follows:

Grade PtsGradeGrade Pts

The total number of grade points earned for all courses are divided by the number of credits attempted in order to calculate the grade point average. Credits with a grade of Pass are not included in the determination of the grade point average although those credits with a grade of Fail are included. The grade of W is not computed in the grade point average. Conditional grades earn no quality points and no credits until they are removed. Credit and grade points earned by students who return for additional course work after receiving a degree are not computed with the final degree grade point average. Instead, a new grade point average is computed for all work attempted after receiving a degree.

The major grade point average is computed using the same formula as above. In computing the grade point average in the major department, all courses taken in the major department, not just those courses required for the major, and any required cognate courses in other departments are used.


A student may enroll in a class on a pass-fail basis with the permission of the instructor. No more than one course per semester with a maximum of six courses total is permitted. Courses that are graded pass-fail only do not count against that limitation. The Pass/Fail option may not be used in courses taken to satisfy foundation requirements with the exception of F11 and may not be used for courses taken to satisfy major or minor requirements including cognate courses.

The student wishing to take a course on a pass-fail basis must determine from the instructor the letter grade equivalent and the requirements for a grade of Pass. The pass-fail form with the instructor’s signature must be returned to Rhodes Express during the first eleven weeks of class in a semester.

Courses with grades of Pass count neither for nor against a student in the computation of grade point averages, but a failing grade is computed in the grade point averages.

Grade Reports

Reports of student’s grades are available online on the Rhodes website at mid-semester and at the end of each semester. Students are responsible for keeping other family members correctly and currently informed of their academic standing and progress.

Honor Roll and Dean’s List

An Honor Roll and a Dean’s List are compiled at the end of each semester. To be considered for Honor Roll or Dean’s List, a student must be enrolled in at least 16 credits of academic work. To qualify for the Honor Roll, a student must achieve a semester grade point average of 3.85 or better. To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must achieve a semester grade point average of 3.70 or better. Those students who choose to take a course under the Pass/Fail option must have a minimum of 12 (twelve) additional graded credits of work to be considered for either of these honors. Students who are enrolled in the Honors Program or independent Research and receive a grade of IP for that work will have their qualifying grade point average determined on all other graded work.

Academic Good Standing

Students are considered to be in Academic Good Standing unless they are on Academic Probation or Suspension. Rhodes Express will send statements to that effect to other institutions in order for current Rhodes students to attend summer sessions or other programs.

Academic Probation and Suspension

To graduate, a student must have an overall grade point average of 2.00 (C) for all work attempted and for all work attempted in the major department. A student is subject to academic probation if the major grade point average falls below 2.00. A student is subject to academic probation or suspension if the cumulative grade point at the end of any semester or summer term falls below a minimum standard, which is dictated by the number of cumulative credits the student has earned. The cumulative standards are as follows:

Number of Credits Earned
Minimum GPA to Avoid SuspensionMinimum GPA to Avoid Probation
97 or more2.002.00

In addition, a student is subject to probation in any semester in which the student earns fewer than twelve (12) credits and earns a grade point average of less than 1.50. NOTE: Students placed on probation due to semester grade point average who also enroll in summer courses at Rhodes will have their records reviewed at the end of the summer term. If they earn a minimum of four (4) Rhodes College credits with a minimum summer term grade point average of 2.00, they may be returned to good standing. The summer term grade point average is defined as the aggregate grade point average of all Rhodes summer work.  

A student on academic probation is not considered to be in good academic standing. Such students are ineligible to participate in some extracurricular activities, including intercollegiate athletics. A student is removed from academic probation upon attainment of the minimum standard grade point average based on the number of credits earned.

After being placed on academic probation, a student may be continued on academic probation for no more than two consecutive semesters. At the end of the third consecutive semester on academic probation, the student must be removed from probation or placed on academic suspension.

Academic suspension may be imposed at the end of the fall or spring semester. Fees will not be refunded or remitted, in whole or in part, in the event of a suspension imposed by the College.

The period of suspension is one semester. Summer term does not fulfill this suspension period.  Following suspension, a student may apply for readmission. Any student placed on academic suspension by the College for a second time may not be readmitted.

No credit may be transferred for work done at another institution during the period of academic suspension.

A student has the right to request reconsideration of academic suspension. The Faculty Standards and Standing Committee considers the request. The Committee may allow the student to continue on academic probation into the next academic semester under specified conditions for academic achievement if it finds that the failure to achieve academically was due principally to extenuating circumstances and that the student has taken appropriate measures to ensure future academic success.

Semester grade point averages are affected by the conditional grades of X and E. The above provisions will apply when either of these grades is on the record in question. The action to suspend or be placed on academic probation may be delayed until it is determined what the grade point average will be when the conditional grades are removed.

Repeating a Course Because of Grade

Any student who has received a grade of D-, D, or D+ in a course may repeat the course for a higher grade. No additional credit may be earned when repeating a course for a higher grade. Any student who has failed a course may repeat the course for credit.

The credits attempted and the grade points earned for each attempt of the course are included in the calculation of the student’s major grade point average and cumulative grade point average. However, only one failure of a course will be calculated in the grade point averages.

Grade Queries and Appeals

There is no more fundamental relationship in an academic program than that of the instructor and student. The Faculty and its academic officers work to support and to sustain a meaningful and productive instructor-student relationship to secure the educational aims of the College and of the members of its Faculty. Clearly the relationship is not one between equals, and this is most clearly evident when the instructor must assign a grade for the work required of, or expected of, a student.

Grade Queries. On occasion a student may believe that a grade assigned is incorrect. The student has the right to initiate a discussion with the instructor to determine that the grade given is in fact correct. If a mistake has been made, the instructor changes the grade and requests that the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs direct the Registrar to change a grade that has been officially entered on the student’s academic record.

Grade Appeals. In the event that, after consulting with the instructor, the student is not satisfied that a grade has been assigned fairly, the student may write an explanation of why he or she believes the grade assigned is not justified. The student gives this statement to the instructor, who may decide that the explanation warrants a reconsideration of the grade assigned. If the instructor decides not to change the assigned grade and discussion with the student does not result in the student’s agreement with this decision, the instructor asks the department chair to review the procedures for determining grades in the course, the student’s request, and the instructor’s response to it. The faculty member provides a written statement to the department chair about why the original grade is valid. Should the chair of the department determine that no lapse in procedure has occurred and that full attention has been given to the explanation by the instructor, the matter is closed. The chair of the department communicates this decision to the student and the instructor. Should the chair of the department determine that the procedure was not properly followed or that additional attention to the explanation is warranted, the chair discusses the situation with the instructor or the chair may obtain additional evaluations of the student’s work. These evaluations may be requested from colleagues within the Faculty whose knowledge and expertise are appropriate to a review of the student’s work. Having completed this additional evaluation, the chair’s determination about the grade closes the matter. The chair of the department communicates this final decision to the student, the instructor, and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Special Provisions. The period of time during which appeals of final grades can be made expires at the end of the fourth week of the semester following the posting of the grade.

In the event that appeals for reconsideration of grades involves grades assigned by a chair of a department, then the appeal procedure will be conducted by the senior member of the department, or the next senior member of the department in the event that the chair is the senior member. In instances where there are no other senior members in the department, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will oversee the inquiry.

The provisions outlined above are meant to apply to situations in which appeals for reconsideration of grades are made by students. If a student’s complaint involves a belief that he or she has been discriminated against because of the practices in managing a course, the Dean of the Faculty is the administrative officer to receive any such complaint. It may be that the Dean will ask that the general provisions above be followed in an investigation of possible discrimination.

Cheating and Plagiarism

The term “cheating” is defined as the attempt or act of giving or receiving unauthorized aid from any source on academic coursework. Cheating includes plagiarism. Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, words, or statements that are not their own without appropriate acknowledgment. This prohibition extends to the output of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and editors, including, but not limited to, text, image, sound, video, coding content, and online translators.  Use of AI generated content in the completion of coursework without proper acknowledgment is considered an act of plagiarism unless such use is expressly permitted by the course’s instructor.  It is the student’s responsibility to consult with their professor for policies and procedures for properly acknowledging and citing sources.


Complete college records for each student are kept by the Registrar. Requests for transcripts must be in writing. Requests received via fax machine will be accepted although transcripts will not be transmitted via the fax. No transcript will be issued to students, current or past, whose financial accounts are delinquent.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a Federal law which states (a) that a written institutional policy must be established and (b) that a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student education records.

Rhodes College accords all the rights under the law to enrolled students. No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students’ education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the institution as defined below, to officials of other institutions in which student seek to enroll, to persons or organizations providing students financial aid, to agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the Act. Only those members of the Rhodes College community, individually or collectively, acting in the students’ educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include personnel in the Office of the Registrar including student workers in that office, and the professional staff of the Office of Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Institutional Research, and College officials with a legitimate educational interest as determined by the Registrar. A College official may be determined to have legitimate educational interest if the information requested or released is necessary for the official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contractual agreement; (b) perform a task related to a student’s education; (c) perform a task related to the discipline of the student; or (d) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.

At its discretion the institution may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act including student name, parents’ names, campus and home addresses and telephone numbers, cellular phone number, email address, photograph, dates of attendance, year of graduation, degree and honors awarded or expected, academic major, and faculty adviser. Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the Registrar in writing at least sixty days prior to the first day of class for the fall semester. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the institution for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold Directory Information must be filed annually.

The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of their education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable. The Registrar at Rhodes College has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student educational records, which include admissions, personal, academic, and financial files, and academic and placement records. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the Registrar listing the item or items of interest. Only records covered by the

Act will be made available within forty-five days of the request.

In addition, the law only affords students a right to copies of their education records if a denial of copies would effectively prevent the students from exercising the right to inspect and review the records. Therefore, students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions. The College reserves the right to deny copies of records, including academic transcripts, not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  1. The student lives within commuting distance of the school;
  2. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the school;
  3. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student;
  4. The education record requested is an exam, or set of standardized test questions;
  5. The education record requested is a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere.

Education records do not include records of instructional, supervisory, administrative, and educational personnel which are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute. Other records not included are those of the campus safety department, student health records, employment records (except those records of student workers), or alumni records. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the students’ choosing.

Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the Act: financial information submitted by their parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission to the College, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may discuss their problems informally with the Registrar. If the decisions of the Registrar are in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended; and they will be informed of their right to a formal hearing. Student requests for formal hearings must be made in writing to the Dean of the Faculty who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students of the date, place, and the time of the hearings. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the students’ expense. The hearing panels which will adjudicate such challenges will be the Faculty Standards and Standing Committee.

Decisions of the hearing panel will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decisions of the hearing panels, if the decisions are in favor of the students. If the decisions are unsatisfactory to the students, the students may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records, or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing panels. The statements will be placed in the education records, maintained as part of the students’ records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.

Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act may request, in writing, assistance from the President of the College to aid them in filing complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20201

Revisions and clarifications of this policy will be published as experience with the law and the institutional policy warrants. Annual notice of compliance with the Act is published in the Rhodes College Catalog.

Printed from:

Foundations Curriculum

The Foundations Curriculum

In the Fall of 2007, the Foundations Curriculum, an academic curriculum that establishes a new approach to the study of the liberal arts and sciences at the College, was fully implemented. The Foundations Curriculum was adopted by the Faculty in order to achieve several goals:

  1. To assist students to understand the goals of a liberal arts education and to take greater responsibility for their education. The curriculum gives students greater freedom to follow their academic interests and aspirations within a framework of Foundation requirements that are fundamental to the study of the liberal arts;
  2. To provide a more transparent and streamlined curriculum by framing the degree requirements in terms of skills and content areas;
  3. To bring greater focus to the courses students take and to recognize that their activities inside and outside the classroom should be mutually informative and energizing;
  4. To create the opportunity to offer more courses reflective of the scholarly interests of the faculty and to develop innovative courses that respond to the developing currents in contemporary thought; and,
  5. To establish four courses as the standard load per semester in order to allow for a more focused educational experience for all of our students. The Foundations curriculum enhances the way in which the four components of the Rhodes education work together: the Foundation requirements (commonly referred to as “F1”, “F2”, etc.), the concentration in a Major, the choice of elective courses, and participation in co-curricular activities.

The Foundation of the Liberal Arts Requirements

The Foundation requirements establish a framework for liberal education and life-long learning. Unless mentioned otherwise in the description, Foundation requirements will be met by taking one course specified as meeting that requirement, and most requirements will have courses in several different departments that do so. 
Upon completion of the requirements and the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree from Rhodes, each graduate of the College should be able to:

  1. Critically examine personal, social, and cultural values. An education in the liberal arts must engage students in critical examination of the relationship between the values they hold as individuals and their social and historical location. The cultural context of a liberal arts institution in the United States is itself marked by values, a moral orientation, and operative assumptions that are in need of exploration and open to critical reflections. Thoughtful engagement with the complex legacies of texts and traditions that have been formative of this culture is an especially effective way to gain skills for critical thinking, self-awareness, and communication across differences of value. Courses that fulfill the F1 must satisfy the requirement of the Bellingrath Trust to offer academically 'sound and comprehensive' exploration of biblical texts and traditions. Courses that fulfill this requirement will engage students in a critical examination of personal, social, and cultural values through the academic study of biblical literature and of traditions that are productively compared with it. This requirement is satisfied by completing a set of two coordinated courses at the 100-level (e.g., 101, 102) and one course at the 200-level or higher. The first two courses must be completed during the first year and the second course must also fulfil the F2i. The third course at the 200-level or higher must be completed after the first year.
  2. Develop excellence in written communication. The ability to express concise and methodical arguments in clear and precise prose is essential to success in most courses at Rhodes and in most of the vocations Rhodes graduates pursue. Students will receive significant training in writing during the first two years through one (1) course (F2s) focused on learning to write, including such skills as critical analysis, clear expression, and effective argumentation, and two (2) writing intensive courses (F2i) focused on using writing to learn discipline-specific content. These three required courses will provide the initial steps in the student's deliberate development as a writer. Given the developmental nature of this foundation requirement series, students are encouraged to take F2s prior to or concurrent with but not after F2i; writing in discipline-specific F2i courses relies on the skills learned in F2s. This requirement will be satisfied by one writing seminar (taken in the first year) and two writing intensive courses, one of which will be in the 2nd semester of the first year F1 sequence. Normally, all three courses are to be completed by the end of the second year. Writing intensive courses and writing seminars may explore material in any discipline or may be interdisciplinary. However, the writing seminars will have as their central focus writing skills.
  3. Engage in historical thinking about the human past. Historical thinking requires a deliberative stance towards the human past as it is constructed and interpreted with primary sources, such as human artifacts, written evidence, oral traditions, and artistic expressions. It requires understanding of historical forces and actors and engagement with interpretive debate, through the skillful use of an evolving set of methodological practices and tools. 
  4. Read and interpret literary texts. Literary texts provide challenging and influential representations of human experience in its individual, social, and cultural dimensions. Critical and sensitive reading of significant works refines analytical skills and develops an awareness of the power of language.
  5. Create art and analyze artistic expression. Humans express themselves creatively through art forms that are aural, visual, and performed. Creating and studying art are particularly effective ways of understanding art. This requirement may be satisfied with a designated course in which the primary and sustained focus is artistic creativity.
  6. Gain facility with mathematical reasoning and expression. Some human experiences are most effectively expressed in mathematical language, and important areas of intellectual inquiry rely on mathematics as a tool of analysis and as a means of conveying information.
  7. Explore and understand scientific approaches to the natural world. Our experience of the world is profoundly influenced by a scientific understanding of the physical realm of our existence.  To make informed decisions about the production and application of scientific knowledge, students need to understand the way science examines the natural world.  Students acquire such knowledge by learning scientific facts and by understanding and engaging through laboratory work the powerful methods by which scientific information is obtained.
  8. Use theory and empirical research to explore aspects of human experience and interaction and apply these to contemporary issues. Responsible citizenship entails critical evaluation and interpretation of theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding contemporary conditions that influence the well-being of individuals and their communities. A sound understanding of the institutions and practices that shape and are shaped by human behavior will allow students to become more informed participants in critical conversations that transform our world.
  9. View the world from more than one cultural perspective. The individual of today's world must be able to understand issues and events through multiple cultural perspectives by developing abilities that facilitate intelligent and respectful interaction in various cultural contexts.  These abilities include recognizing, understanding and articulating the similarities and differences of cultural perspectives, including one's own.
  10. Demonstrate intermediate second-language proficiency. Proficiency in a second language allows a level of access to a culture that is not achievable through sources in translation. Intermediate proficiency includes the ability to understand and communicate with members of the target culture, negotiate differences between the second language and the first, and use the second language as a tool for human communication.
  11. Sustained Engagement: Connect academic study to community, global, or professional engagement. Sustained engagement involves developing the knowledge, skills, competencies, and values that prepare students to be thriving professionals and engaged members of local and global communities. Rhodes students become engaged citizens through involvement in activities related to their academic interests and professional goals. Sustained engagement to fulfill the F11 requires a minimum of 138 hours (equivalent to three Rhodes credits) and includes credited and non-credited experiences with measurable student learning outcomes. Although professional, community, and global engagement are not mutually exclusive activities, professional engagement normally includes paid and unpaid academic internships, working in research labs, ROTC military training, and Curricular Practical Training (CPT); community engagement includes student fellowships, community-based research, and Rhodes courses and certificates with community-based learning components; global engagement includes study abroad/away experiences.
  12. Develop skills to become an informed, active and engaged student-citizen. The F12 provides opportunities to explore core aspects of one’s community and one’s self.  Students will learn how to thrive within a learning environment, and how to develop the skills and discover resources necessary to flourish as an individual, as a scholar, and as an active citizen of the interconnected communities of Rhodes College, Memphis, and the wider world. This requirement is fulfilled through the successful completion of a first year seminar at Rhodes as approved by the Foundations Curriculum Committee.

Printed from:

Foundations Programs in the Humanities

Questions about the meaning and purpose of life are central to human existence. Every area of the Rhodes curriculum touches in some way upon such questions, whether directly as in moral philosophy, epic poetry, and political thought, or indirectly as in studies of the history of medieval Europe, economic theory, and the physical structure of the universe. The programs Life: Then and Now (“Life”) and The Search for Values in the Light of Western Religion and History (“Search”) help students think about these issues and so provide the foundation for the entire curriculum.

Life and Search students meet in small groups led by faculty members to analyze challenging and controversial texts that have shaped and reshaped thought, particularly in Western societies. Because of its prominence in world history, these courses pay special attention to the Bible and the traditions that have emerged in relationship to it. Life and Search courses endeavor to make the familiar unfamiliar by examining critically the logical and historical foundations of received opinion and texts. They also make the unfamiliar familiar by studying traditions, artifacts, and issues that most students have not yet encountered. Through both programs, students learn to appreciate the role of historical context in shaping values, beliefs, and practices and to reflect critically on their own values, beliefs, and practices. Life and Search stress skills that are central to the whole curriculum: careful reading, analytical writing, critical thinking, and discussion.

At the start of their first year in the College, most students choose to pursue Life or Search (or other coordinated courses outside Life or Search that fulfill the F1 Humanities requirement), and generally remain in their chosen program until they have completed it. Search and Life share many features but also are distinctive. The following descriptions clarify the differences.

Life: Then and Now

The student who chooses the Life: Then and Now program completes a three semester sequence of courses. The first courses are taken in the fall and spring semesters of the first year. The third course may be taken at any time in the remaining three years of the student’s college career.

The first two courses in the Life sequence are Religious Studies 101-102, The Bible: Texts and Contexts. These courses introduce students to the academic study of the Bible and the traditions of interpretation and reflection based upon it. This two semester sequence follows a basic chronological development, from the earliest biblical sources to modern interpretations. The first semester of the course is taught by members of the Department of Religious Studies with primary competence in the study of the Bible and the second semester by members with expertise in theological reflection and the disciplines of the history of religion. Both courses emphasize careful textual analysis, clear and effective writing, and active discussion with peers. Complete descriptions of these courses may be found in the Religious Studies section of the catalogue.

The third Life course is chosen from a variety of offerings in Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Greek and Roman Studies. These courses build on the skills and base of knowledge developed in first year Life and further refine and augment them. The third Life course is selected from an array that includes advanced study of the Bible, theology and ethics, philosophy, and the history of religions. The spectrum of upper-level Life courses will change periodically to reflect student and faculty interests but includes staples such as “Archaeology and the Bible,” “King David,” “Sex and Gender in the New Testament,” “Paul,” “Contemporary Theology,” “Holocaust,” “Islam,” and “Religious Traditions of Asia,” “Religion in America,” “Medieval Philosophy,” and “Ethics.” With a wide variety of choices, students may select a third Life course that suits their interests and best complements their overall academic plan.

The Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion

The “Search” curriculum is a three-semester sequence of Humanities courses that focuses on major works that have formed the western tradition. In a small, seminar setting, Search students and faculty engage in sustained examination of vital questions arising from an individual’s relationships to the natural world, human society, and the products of human culture.  We approach these questions by interrogating central texts within, and written in contestation of, western intellectual traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Students read the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an in conjunction with other selected works from the ancient and medieval worlds. The texts we study over the course of our three semesters speak directly to each other, often radically critiquing the traditions out of which they emerge.  In Search, we critically examine the assumptions that emerge from these disputed traditions, assumptions that underlie cultures and institutions in the modern world.  Throughout, we stress the skills that are central to the whole curriculum (careful reading, analytical writing, critical thinking and discussion), and we equip students to enter into a lively and lifelong conversation of ideas. 

Humanities 101 and 102

The first semester of Search focuses on the ancient world and follows the history and literature of the Israelites and the Greeks.  Texts include the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Hebrew Bible, and the selected works of Homer, Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle.  The second semester of Search covers literature from the Hellenistic period to the Middle Ages.  Texts include Virgil’s Aeneid, the New Testament, the Qur’an, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. During the first year of the course, all Search colloquia follow a common syllabus; every 2-3 weeks, all Search students meet for a plenary lecture delivered by one of the Search faculty.


Humanities 201

The third semester of Search pursues the questions raised in the first year as they play out in the modern world. Students trace the roles of biblical and classical heritages in the shaping of the values, character, and institutions of Western culture and its understanding of self and world.  Different sections follow different themes and disciplinary focuses determined by the instructor.

Printed from:

Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning

Lori Garner, Director.
Shantih Smythe. Director of College Events.

Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning is Rhodes’ commitment to learning as a lifelong process. Since its inception in 1944, the Center has been an integral part of the College, successfully engaging adults of the Mid-South in the liberal arts and sciences. Meeman Center promotes personal and professional development by extending Rhodes’ tradition of excellence in liberal arts education to individuals and businesses. All programs, courses, and trips offered by Meeman Center are described in detail in brochures available on request from the Meeman Center office or on the web.

Non-Credit Courses

Lifelong learning courses are offered in literature, art, languages, science, current events, history, religion, philosophy, and other areas of interest. Courses vary in length and run in the Fall (September through November) and Spring (January through May). The instructors are Rhodes faculty and invited experts, including Rhodes alumni. Online registration is available at

Institute on the Profession of Law

Meeman Center offers an annual ethics seminar for attorneys to earn dual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) units. The seminar emphasizes national speakers, broad issues in law, and enlightened discussion and reflection. Rhodes faculty are a vital part of the Institute, both as planners and participants. The Institute is certified by the Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi Continuing Legal Education Commissions.

Continuing Education Units

Generally, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are earned through any Meeman Center non-credit course. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hours are earned through the Institute on the Profession of Law and certain other CLE Commission-certified continuing education courses. Contact the Meeman Center office for more information.

Printed from:

Opportunities for Individualized Study

The Fellowships Program

Rhodes recognizes that a liberal education extends beyond the classroom and encourages our students to take part in outside study, research, creative activity, internships, and community service—locally, nationally, and internationally. A Fellowship is defined as an activity outside the conventional classroom that complements and broadens the student's program of liberal arts educationFellowships support co-curricular experiences in which students take intellectual ownership in a faculty- or staff- mentored project or experience. 

At its best, experiential learning allows a student to practice skills and explore more deeply principles acquired through coursework. Most often the opportunity to discover and create on one’s own builds confidence and passion. Students return to the classroom with renewed interest and focus.

Rhodes has pioneered several programs such as Self-designed Student Fellowships, Rhodes St. Jude Summer Plus, the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, the Mike Curb Institute for Music, Urban Education Summer Institute, and the Rhodes Summer Service Fellowship Program that provide diverse opportunities for student engagement beyond the classroom. These programs have been so popular and transformative that the college is now engaged in an effort to offer even more opportunities for students to pursue their own personal interests, particularly through projects that involve sustained mentorship and a commitment to the three student learning outcomes associated with experiential education:

  • Participate in an experience that complements and broadens the student's program of liberal arts education
  • Develop critical reflection skills
  • Create a final product related to the fellowship activity

The Fellowships Program can also provide funding for those projects that require it, with the regular application deadline occurring in February.

For more information, contact the Director of Fellowships and Undergraduate Research (

The Honors Program

The Honors program is a culminating experience in the major field, for seniors only. It is the principal means whereby a student may do more independent, intensive, and individual work than can be done in the regular degree programs. The Honors work offers an excellent introduction to graduate study as it employs the full resources of library and laboratory and encourages independent research and study.

All Honors programs include a project of a scholarly and creative nature. This project can be research culminating in a written report or thesis, or it can be a creative project as represented by an original production. An oral presentation of the final project is also expected. A copy of the final report or production is placed in a permanent file or on display in the library.

Students considering Honors normally take a one-credit tutorial in the second semester of the junior year. Emphasis in the tutorial will be selection of a topic, preliminary research and definition of the project, and preparation of the Honors application.

Although each department and program sets its own departmental and program requirements for Honors, there are general College requirements for the Honors program. To be eligible for the Honors program a student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average and a major grade point average of 3.50 at the time of application for honors. The student must graduate with a cumulative grade point average and a major grade point average of 3.50 in order to receive the honors designation at commencement.

At least four credits per semester in the senior year must be earned in Honors Tutorial courses. Up to eight additional credits of tutorial or related course work may be counted, resulting in a maximum of sixteen credits of Honors in the senior year.

Special attention is necessary to ensure the completion of the Honors project in time for it to be evaluated and approved. For this reason, a special timetable for submission, reviews, and approvals of Honors projects is set by each department and program. Failure to meet announced deadlines may result in the failure to gain Honors recognition.

Descriptions of the requirements for Honors are listed in each departmental and program section of this catalogue. The Honors Registration form is available as a downloadable form on the Rhodes Express website.

Directed Inquiry

The term directed inquiry indicates a type of independent study designed to give more individuality than is provided by regular coursework. A directed inquiry is a project agreed upon by a student and professor; it may be a laboratory experiment, special readings on a given topic, some type of art work, a group of essays, etc. The details of the project are agreed upon by the student and the professor. Directed inquiries may not be used to satisfy general degree requirements.

Credits for a directed inquiry range from one to four. Forty-six hours of work, including outside reading, experiments and conferences, are required for one credit. No more than twelve credits may be earned in any one department. The maximum number of credits for all directed inquiries allowed is twenty-four. Normally a first-year student may not undertake a directed inquiry until after the completion of one semester of regular studies. Special students are generally not eligible for directed inquiries.

Proposals for directed inquiries must be submitted for approval to the chair of the department. Appropriate forms are available online. These forms call for details such as the beginning and ending dates of the project and set forth specific rules governing such things as extensions or other possible considerations. The student should become familiar with this form well in advance of the date intended to submit a proposal so that everything will be in order and approved by the department when submitted. Applications for directed inquiries are to be submitted in time for the department to act and submitted to the Registrar before the date set for the project to begin. Normally a student will not be permitted to take more than one directed inquiry at a time.

In the event that more than two students are interested in a directed inquiry on the same topic, a special topics course may be taught. Such courses must conform to the standard forty-six hours of study per credit.

The Tutorial Plan

The tutorial plan of instruction, like the Honors Program and the Directed Inquiry, has as its chief purposes the individualizing of instruction and the provision of a means whereby students may go beyond the scope of a class course, both in the amount of work done and the kinds of interests pursued. The method is often that of extensive reading under guidance, and conferences with the tutor on the material read, either individually or in a small group.

The content of a tutorial is usually that of a regular catalogue course that is not scheduled to be taught during a particular term. A student may request that the course be taught in the tutorial fashion if a member of the faculty is available and agrees to direct the course. Approval by the faculty member, the chairperson of the department involved, and the Registrar is necessary for the tutorial to be scheduled. At a minimum, forty-six hours of study are required for each credit or a total of 184 hours of study for a four credit course.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Interdisciplinary programs exist to provide an appropriate structure within which to offer study opportunities that do not fit within the bounds of existing departments, to bring together faculty and students from several disciplines to study areas of interest that cross traditional departmental lines and require an interdisciplinary approach, and to inform the campus community at large of the nature and importance of these areas.

Descriptions of Interdisciplinary Programs in the Courses of Instruction section of this catalogue.


Rhodes recognizes the need and the value of integrating traditional academic work and practical application. Internships are important ways in which students may have this experience. Internship credit is given for involvement in off-campus work related to a student’s academic work and supervised by a faculty member of the corresponding department. Internships are defined within the course structures of several academic departments. Requirements for acceptance as an intern are set by each department. Typically, only junior and senior students are eligible to earn credit for an internship. Internship experiences earning 3 (three) or more credits will satisfy the F11 requirement, require at least 10 hours of work per week, and the student is expected to integrate academic work with on-the-job activities. Internship experiences earning 1 (one) or 2 (two) credits normally require at least 6 hours of work per week, will include a reflective component such as a journal or final paper, and the student will meet with the faculty supervisor at least twice to discuss the internship and reflective component. Special internship opportunities can be proposed subject to approval by the department concerned. Interested students should contact the chairperson of the department and the Career Services Office.

Students pursuing an internship experience arranged through a department and/or the Career Services Office must register for the appropriate course in order to earn academic credit. This credit is considered part of the course load during a regular semester and during summer session. Forty-six hours of work, including on-site work as an intern, outside reading, and conferences, are required for one credit. Students with summer internships must register for the credit and pay the summer session tuition in order to receive the credit. Not all internships are paid, but those that are paid must meet the above requirements to qualify for academic credit.

No more than eight (8) credits in internships may be earned in one department per semester. A student may apply toward a degree a maximum of eight (8) credits of internship.

The Nancy Hughes Morgan Program in Hospital Chaplaincy

This program is designed for pre-medical students and persons going into other health-care related disciplines, the ministry, and counseling fields. It offers a carefully supervised internship in local hospitals where students serve as chaplains’ assistants, develop counseling skills, and sharpen their abilities to listen and respond to patient needs.

The Memphis Consortium of Colleges

Through arrangements between Rhodes and Christian Brothers University, or Rhodes and The University of Memphis, Rhodes students may take courses at those institutions during the fall and spring semesters. Only a certain set of courses is available at Christian Brothers and The University of Memphis; a student should contact the Registrar for further information.  To participate, the student must register for the desired class at either college and include the class on the semester’s course schedule at Rhodes.  This registration process is completed using the Crosstown Registration form available on the Documents and Forms Page of the Express website. 

To be eligible to participate in the Consortium, students must enroll in at least twelve (12) hours per semester at Rhodes to be considered full time. The course credit counts toward the semester’s credits at Rhodes; and as long as the consortium course does not result in a course overload for the semester, there is no additional tuition charge. The final grade for the course is computed in the student’s grade point average as if it were a Rhodes grade. Normally, only one course may be taken per semester through the Consortium arrangement.

Printed from:

Opportunities for Study Abroad and Domestic Off-Campus Study

Rhodes encourages its students to study off-campus through the programs it administers or through programs administered through other institutions. Off-campus study, whether domestic or international in scope, requires substantial prior planning. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study should formulate and clarify their plans well in advance.

Off-campus study opportunities are coordinated by the Buckman Center for Global Engagement. The staff in the Buckman Center can assist students in researching off-campus study programs and can facilitate completion of the program’s application process. Students are responsible for meeting with their academic advisors to discuss program choices and for course selections. Students applying to study off-campus must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, unless specified higher by the program, and must be in good social and academic standing.

Students may study off-campus on a one-semester or year-long Rhodes Program, Exchange Program, or Affiliated Program. In general, students pay tuition, room, and board to Rhodes and receive tuition, room and board on the program (there are some differences, depending on the type of program; these are specifically noted in the sections below). Rhodes institutional aid and federal/state aid are portable for these programs. In any given year, Rhodes offers over 600 such options for off-campus study.

Off-Campus Study Application Process

Each student who intends to pursue off-campus study must complete the Off-Campus Study Application available on the Buckman Center website. This Application, after being changed from “pending” to “accepted”, grants approval for the program of study and, subject to general college policies regarding transfer credit, assigns appropriate credit for the academic work successfully completed. Normally a student cannot earn more credit while on a semester study abroad program than could have been earned in a regular semester at Rhodes. The Buckman Center website contains instructions, checklists, deadlines, application materials, and policies.

Types of Off-Campus Study Available

Briefly, there are three broad categories for off-campus study, listed below. For more detailed information on each of these, please click the links to be taken to their page in the Catalogue.

Petitioning to Study Abroad with Non-Affiliated Programs

A student may petition for variance from the policy regarding Affiliated Programs via a Buckman Center application reviewed by the Executive Director of the Buckman Center for Global Engagement. Petitioners may request approval to participate for a semester abroad with non-Affiliated Programs from a discrete list of exceptional programs maintained by the Buckman Center. Petitions may be granted or denied based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: the quality of the petition, the rationale on the inadequacy of an Affiliated Program for the student's academic purpose, and the number of petitions already granted for that term, among others.

If the petition is granted, the student will be able to participate on the program by paying tuition, room, and board (in some cases, partial or no board) to Rhodes and receive tuition, room and board (or partial or no board) on the program abroad, using portable institutional and federal/state aid on the petitioned program. Credit earned on these programs is treated as transfer credit. Petitioners are encouraged to secure placement on an Affiliated Program prior to the relevant deadlines for in the event their petition is denied.

Transferring Credit from Study Abroad & Away

With the exception of Rhodes' own summer and semester programs, credit from study abroad and away programs is treated as transfer credit. The policies for transfer credit can be found here.

Printed from:

Requirements for a Degree

Rhodes College offers a four-year program of study in the liberal arts and sciences leading to the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree. Candidates for either degree must complete the Foundation Requirements. Students majoring in a science may earn the Bachelor of Science degree. Rhodes also offers a Master of Science degree in Accounting.

The Bachelor’s Degree

The Bachelor’s degree is granted to students who have completed the required 128 credits and the appropriate degree requirements. The degree requirements under the Foundations Curriculum include at least thirteen courses (52 credits) and as many as sixteen courses (64 credits) as described below. Although 52 total credits are required, several of these credits will be satisfied by courses taken in a particular major. Moreover, the total number of credits required to satisfy the writing and language requirements may vary because the foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of a proficiency exam. In addition, some courses satisfy more than one foundation requirement, effectively decreasing the number of required courses. Thus, the number of credits available for electives is dependent upon several factors: the major, whether the degree is the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science, how many courses a student must take to satisfy the writing and language requirements, and how many courses outside the major a student must take to satisfy the foundation requirements.

Once the degree is conferred, no additional course work may be taken and applied to that degree. Additional course work may be applied toward a second degree or taken in a non-degree seeking status, however.

Bachelor of Arts. The Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded to those students who complete the degree requirements as stated above and more fully described below, including the completion of the requirements for a major as outlined in the appropriate section of this catalog.

Bachelor of Science. The Bachelor of Science degree may be earned by students who complete the appropriate requirements for a degree with a major in Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, or Physics. Self-designed interdisciplinary majors may earn a Bachelor of Science degree if all of the departments involved offer a BS degree or if at least one of the departments involved offers a BS degree, the major requires at least 28 credits of natural sciences and math, and the student completes a total of at least 36 credits of the natural sciences and math. Please see the Interdisciplinary Studies section of the catalogue for a fuller description of self-designed interdisciplinary majors.

Although the College, through various advising methods, assists a student in planning and following a program of study which will lead to a degree, the student is ultimately responsible for keeping track of progress toward a degree, for knowing and fulfilling all degree and major requirements, and for arranging a course of study accordingly.

Total Credits for the Degree

A total of 128 credits are required for the Bachelor’s degree. A student must earn at least 50 percent of these credits at Rhodes. The senior year, defined as 32 credits or the last 25 percent of the total credits required, must be spent in residence. No more than eight (8) of these credits may be transfer credits.

A student must earn a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.00 (C) to qualify for the degree. A student may apply toward a degree a maximum of eight (8) credits in internships.

A maximum combined total of credits equaling 25 percent of the degree requirement may be earned through Advanced Placement, Cambridge Pre-U, International Baccalaureate, and Option International Baccalaureate examinations. A student earning both transfer credits and Advanced Placement, Cambridge Pre-U, International Baccalaureate and/or Option International Baccalaureate credits may apply those credits to a Rhodes degree up to a maximum combined total of fifty percent of the total credits required for a degree.

Concentration of Study in a Major Discipline

Students’ majors may be directly related to an anticipated vocation, but that is not their primary purpose in a liberal arts curriculum. The qualities of mind and abilities that will serve students best in their careers are developed within the curriculum as a whole. The major is a refinement of intellectual discipline and a deepening of understanding of an area of study. The academic enrichment gained through a major affords access to other disciplines as well as an appreciation of the complexity of other fields of study. Students should consider carefully how all of the courses they select can enrich and complement work done in the major.

The Choice of Elective Courses

The Rhodes curriculum is designed specifically to offer students opportunities to combine a carefully structured and intense study of at least one subject with the broad and diverse understanding that is characteristic of an education in the liberal arts and sciences. Although required to meet certain objectives, the Foundation courses may be selected from a wide range of course offerings. These are only the beginning of a student’s exploration of the fields of human knowledge and creativity. In selecting courses beyond these requirements and outside the major discipline, students should consider the ways in which their education can be broadened, complemented, and enriched.

Participation in Co-Curricular Activities

A comprehensive liberal arts education includes regular engagement with cultural activities and diverse perspectives not only in the classroom, but also in the college community and in communities beyond the college. Students become full participants in the campus community as they join others in a variety of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. These include student government, music ensembles, athletics, campus publications, theatre productions, and many others. Service-learning opportunities, international education opportunities, and undergraduate research provide students and faculty with ways to integrate classroom and laboratory work with out-of-class experiences, and a student’s experience in a course can be enriched in significant ways by the selection of complementary co-curricular activities.

The Major

A student must complete any one of the department-based majors, one of the interdisciplinary majors listed elsewhere in this catalogue or an approved interdisciplinary major formulated in consultation with faculty members.

Detailed descriptions of the department-based majors are given under the departmental descriptions in the section entitled “Courses of Instruction.” The Interdisciplinary majors are described in the section “Interdisciplinary Study,”

No major may require more than fifty percent of the total credits required for the degree. At least fifty percent of the course requirements for a major or minor must be Rhodes credit. All majors require a capstone experience that gives the students an opportunity to demonstrate their progress towards the educational goals established for their majors. This capstone experience usually includes demonstrations of proficiency in writing and speaking and a familiarity with the foundations and contemporary concerns of the major discipline.

A 2.00 (C) grade point average in the major is required for graduation. The major grade point average is determined by computing the grade point average of all courses required for the major as described in this catalog and any other courses taken in the declared major. The computation of a major grade point average for an interdisciplinary major shall include all courses described as required and as elective courses.

A student pursuing a double major or a second Bachelor’s degree may use no more than four (4) of the same courses to satisfy requirements in both majors unless specified as required by one or both of the majors.

In the case of changes in the requirement for a major, students may follow the requirements stated in the catalogue that defines their general degree requirements or in any later catalogue except in cases where changes in departmental course offerings makes the original major requirements impossible to meet.

Declaration of a Major. Students must declare an intended major or majors no later than mid-term of the spring semester of their sophomore year. Students in good standing will be accepted as majors by any department they may choose but must first discuss their suitability for work in the department with the department’s chairperson. At the same time the prospective major should make a tentative plan of course work to be completed in the student’s remaining semesters. A faculty advisor from the major department is assigned or selected by each new major to aid in this planning. Forms for declaring a major are available online here. Students declaring two majors will have an advisor in each major department, but one advisor will be designated as the primary advisor. Students who are delinquent in filing a declaration of major will not be allowed to register for classes until the appropriate form is received by the Registrar. While students may change majors, changes made after the sophomore year may be difficult to accommodate in the remaining semesters.

Interdisciplinary Major. Some students prefer to study in an area that can best be covered by combining the work in two or even three academic departments. Interdisciplinary majors are important ways in which the faculty can meet the special academic needs of these students.

The section listing titled “Interdisciplinary Study” summarizes existing interdisciplinary major requirements for pre-approved curriculum structures. Students who wish to declare any of the established interdisciplinary majors may do so by filing the normal Declaration of Major form with the Office of the Registrar. Any deviation from the program of study outlined in the description must be approved by the chairpersons of the departments involved.

Students who wish to declare an interdisciplinary major that does not have a program of study already defined should follow the appropriate steps in order to secure the necessary approvals within a reasonable time and to ensure an adequate review of the proposed program of study. Those steps are detailed in the “Interdisciplinary Studies” section of this catalogue. The proposed program of study must include specific provisions for a senior seminar or integrating senior experience. The “Declaration of Interdisciplinary Major” form, available online, is used to record the approvals and to advise the Registrar of the College.

Intent to Graduate Form

All candidates for degrees must submit to the Registrar an “Intent to Graduate” form at least two semesters prior to the intended date of graduation.

The College expects all students to conduct themselves as responsible citizens of our academic community. Persistent or extreme departures from this standard may be sufficient cause for suspension or expulsion at any time prior to graduation. Students under academic or disciplinary suspension are not permitted to graduate from Rhodes until eligible for readmission. Students under academic or disciplinary expulsion are permanently separated from the College and not permitted to graduate from Rhodes. Expulsion may occur at any time before a diploma is awarded. 

If a student is the subject of a pending College investigation at the time of graduation, the student may not be eligible to graduate. Rhodes also reserves the right to exclude from graduation persons who are the subject of an ongoing state or federal criminal process at the time of graduation. In such cases, no refunds of tuition, fees, or room and board will be made, and the College, its students, faculty, administrative judicial committees, and officers shall not be under any liability. 


Rhodes requires attendance at the May commencement exercises by all candidates for a degree including candidates whose work was completed in December and candidates whose work will be completed in August. Students who complete degree work in December are included in the graduating class in May of the next calendar year. Rhodes will recognize students who complete degree work in August as members of the preceding May’s graduating class. In order to participate in commencement exercises, August candidates must be within near-expectation of completing the requirements for a degree and have the approval of the Faculty Standards and Standings Committee or the Dean of the Faculty, if the Standards and Standings Committee cannot be convened in a timely manner. The College confers degrees (signified by the date of the degree of the diploma and in official records) at the end of each regular semester (December and May) and in August, but diplomas are awarded only at the May commencement.

Academic Minors

Academic minors are available to students who wish to supplement their major field of study with another academic area, giving both more depth and breadth to their course work. In addition to departmental minors, interdisciplinary minors are available within the established interdisciplinary programs in the curriculum.

Normally, a student is required to complete at least five specified courses to earn a minor. At least four of the courses in the minor must be outside the requirements of the student's major or majors and any other minors. Forms for declaring a minor are available online and should be completed no later than the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year.

A student must earn a grade point average of 2.00 in the courses required for an academic minor in order for the minor to be posted to the final academic record.

Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate certificate programs at Rhodes College provide additional, often interdisciplinary undergraduate coursework beyond the major/minor. Each certificate program offers a carefully designed sequence of courses focusing on an area supplemental to the student's discipline, which may encompass multiple disciplines and help build knowledge and skills in a specific area. Certificates can enhance student credentials and offer additional career opportunities.

An undergraduate certificate program offers a focused form of study. These programs are appropriate for graduate study preparation or professional development. Certificate offerings can respond with agility to the evolving needs of the professions, student preferences, and funding opportunities.

Requirements for enrollment in an undergraduate certificate program:

  1. Students must be currently enrolled Rhodes degree-seeking undergraduate students.
  2. Additional criteria for admission, such as GPA and prerequisite course work, may be established within individual program guidelines.

Second Degree

A student may earn a second Bachelor’s degree upon earning at least 32 credits beyond the total credits required for the first degree and completion of all requirements for a second major. A student may not earn two Bachelor of Arts degrees or two Bachelor of Science degrees. A student planning to earn a second degree must declare that intention no later than the beginning of the last semester of enrollment. All academic work for both degrees is included in the cumulative grade point average of the double degree recipient.

A Rhodes graduate who wishes to return to the College to earn a second undergraduate degree must earn an additional 32 credits beyond the number of hours earned for the first degree as well as complete the second major. For a returning student, a second cumulative grade point average will be computed using only the additional hours earned for the second degree.

Changes in Degree Requirements

A student may satisfy the requirements for a Rhodes degree as described in any catalogue that has been in effect during the student’s enrollment. Students readmitted to Rhodes may graduate under requirements in effect during the original period of enrollment or by following a program incorporating features of the current catalog, including the number of credits required for graduation, and the earlier degree requirements and approved by the Standards and Standing Committee. Students may not declare a major if it has been dropped from the College’s curriculum, even if the major was available at the time of enrollment. In addition, degree and/or major requirements may have to be modified in order to fit current curricular offerings.

Academic Achievement

The candidate for the degree who attains a cumulative grade point average of 3.95 in all Rhodes work will be recommended for the degree summa cum laude.

The candidate for the degree who attains a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 in all Rhodes work will be recommended for the degree magna cum laude.

The candidate for the degree who attains a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 in all Rhodes work will be recommended for the degree cum laude.

The major with honors requires special independent study work in the major field during the senior year. The Honors Program is described under Opportunities for Individualized Study. Rhodes does not rank its graduates.

Awarding of Posthumous Degrees

A posthumous degree may be awarded to a deceased undergraduate student who was within 16 credits of the completion of the requirements for graduation or to a deceased graduate student who was within 6 credits of the completion of the requirements for graduation. The student must have been enrolled during the past two regular semesters. The remaining credits would have completed all degree requirements, and the cumulative and major GPA requirements must be met. The appropriate degree may be awarded posthumously on the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty with the approval of the Faculty Standards and Standing Committee and the President. The student’s transcript will show a notation that the degree was awarded posthumously.

The Master's Degree

A master's degree at Rhodes requires at least 32 graduate credits in a coherent field of study. Rhodes courses numbered 500 or higher are graduate-level courses.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Post-baccalaureate certificate programs at Rhodes College provide additional, undergraduate or graduate coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree and major/minor. A post-baccalaureate certificate at Rhodes requires 12 to 24 undergraduate or graduate credits taken after an undergraduate degree has been earned. Undergraduate courses counting towards a baccalaureate degree cannot be used as coursework towards completing the post-baccalaureate certificate. Each certificate program offers a carefully designed sequence of courses focusing on an area supplemental to the student's discipline, which may encompass multiple disciplines and help build knowledge and skills in a specific area. 

Unlike masters programs, post-baccalaureate certificates are not degree programs. Certificate curriculum may be composed of undergraduate or graduate courses. Post-baccalaureate certificates also differ from majors and minors in that they are undertaken after the awarding of the baccalaureate degree. Moreover, certificate programs may include a significant experiential component directed toward professional development. Certificate offerings can respond with agility to the evolving needs of the professors, student preferences, and funding opportunities.

Requirements for Enrollment in a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

  • Student must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Students applying for a Rhodes post-baccalaureate program must have a 2.5 minimum undergraduate GPA in order to be accepted. Additional criteria for admission, such as a higher GPA, standardized test scores, and prerequisite coursework may be established within individual program guidelines. 
  • Undergraduate courses counting towards a baccalaureate degree cannot also be used as coursework towards completing the post-baccalaureate certificate.
  • To remain enrolled, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in all coursework and be satisfactorily attentive to their responsibilities in experiential components of the program.

AP/Cambridge Pre-U/IB/OIB Credit Evaluation

A maximum of 32 credits may be earned through Advanced Placement, Cambridge Pre-U, International Baccalaureate, and Option International Baccalaureate examinations. It is the responsibility of the student to have official reports of examination scores in Advanced Placement, Cambridge Pre-U, International Baccalaureate, and/or Option International Baccalaureate sent to Rhodes College. Student copies of score reports are not acceptable for formal evaluation. Receipt of official score reports and formal evaluation of AP/Cambridge Pre-U/IB/OIB score reports must be completed by the first day of a student's first semester of enrollment as a degree-seeking student at Rhodes.

Transfer Students

Students who transfer to Rhodes have their previous college work evaluated for transfer credit upon their acceptance for admission. Credit will be awarded following the guidelines outlined below for the evaluation of academic work for transfer credit. Transfer students are responsible for having final copies of transcripts sent from each institution attended. Official evaluation of transfer credit will not be completed until these final transcripts have been received in the Office of the Registrar.

As degree candidates, transfer students must satisfy all of the degree requirements outlined in this catalogue. Of the total credits required for a Rhodes degree, a minimum fifty percent must be earned at Rhodes and a maximum of fifty percent may be accepted as transfer and Advanced Placement credit.

Transfer credit for students who transfer to Rhodes will be evaluated following these guidelines according to the Foundation requirements:

  1. Courses presented with two or three semester hours or less than six quarter hours will be given the appropriate and corresponding number of credits of transfer credit.
  2. Credit from several courses may be combined to total four or more credits and therefore satisfy a foundation requirement.
  3. A three-credit course may be used to satisfy a Foundation requirement if the corresponding course in the Program of Study meets that same requirement.
  4. A three-credit course may be used to satisfy a major requirement if the corresponding course in the Program of Study meets that same requirement unless specifically disallowed by the Program of Study chair where the course is offered.

Transfer Credit

Credit from Other Institutions. Rhodes students may enroll in courses at other colleges and universities and transfer credits to Rhodes. A student who desires to have a course transferred from another institution must have the course approved in advance of course enrollment. Courses not receiving prior approval may not be accepted for transfer credit at the discretion of the Program of Study chair and the Registrar. Transfer courses require the following approvals:

  • A transfer course that has a Rhodes equivalent (including Foundations courses) must be approved by the appropriate chair.
  • A transfer course that does not have a Rhodes equivalent and does not satisfy Foundation requirements must be approved by the appropriate chair.
  • A transfer course that does not have a Rhodes equivalent and can potentially satisfy Foundations requirements must be endorsed by the appropriate chair first and then approved by the Foundation Curriculum Committee.

Students seeking concurrent enrollment at another institution during a regular semester must have permission from the Standards and Standing Committee prior to registering at the other institution. Concurrent enrollment credits are included in the computation of the total credits permitted in one semester but are not included in the determination of full-time status. Course credit earned at another institution during non-approved concurrent enrollment may not be accepted for transfer credit.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that an official transcript from the other institution is forwarded to the Registrar at Rhodes. Final evaluation of transfer work must be completed within twelve (12) weeks of the completion of the course(s) in question. In some programs of study, a proficiency examination must be passed in order for the transfer credit to be accepted.

Credit from Study Abroad/Away. Rhodes students who study abroad/away in an approved program or Maymester will normally satisfy the F11 requirement, unless the program has been noted by the Buckman Center for International Education’s Director as particularly unsuitable for this purpose.

In addition, students may, satisfy up to one additional Foundation requirement in a summer program, up to two additional Foundation requirements in a semester program,  and up to three for a year-long-program. The Director of the Buckman Center in consultation with the Registrar and the Foundations Curriculum Committee as necessary will determine the appropriateness of the course(s) taken abroad/away for Foundations credit.

Credit Conversion. Credits awarded for courses vary by institution and by international program. Rhodes adheres to the credit conversion guidelines specified below.

Type of Domestic/Global Credit System:

Course Credits at Host University:

How These Credits Transfer to Rhodes:

United Kingdom

15 credits

4 credits

United Kingdom

20 credits

5 credits

United Kingdom

30 credits

8 credits

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)

2 credits

1 credit

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)

4 credits

2 credits

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)

6 credits

3 credits

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)

8 credits

4 credits

United States/Affiliated Programs

1 credit

1 credit

United States/Affiliated Programs

2 credits

2 credits

United States/Affiliated Programs

3 credits

3 credits

United States/Affiliated Programs

4 credits

4 credits

Credit from Special Programs. Students wishing to participate in special programs at other collegiate institutions are required to obtain permission and approval in advance from the appropriate academic officer acting on behalf of the Faculty Education Program Committee. In most cases, this approval will come from the Director of the Buckman Center, the Registrar, and the chair of the department at Rhodes in which the coursework will be pursued. The Registrar, in consultation with department chairpersons and the Dean of the Faculty, must approve all work at other institutions in advance of beginning the work. In some cases it may be necessary to postpone approval until course syllabi, papers, and tests are examined.

All credit earned on study abroad programs, exchange programs, and cooperative programs such as Washington Semester is evaluated as transfer credit.

The Transfer Credit Guidelines. The following guidelines are used in evaluating academic work from other institutions for transfer credit:

  • To be accepted for credit, each course must be judged comparable in terms of content and quality to a course in the curriculum at Rhodes or be consistent with the liberal arts and science curriculum and of comparable quality to that expected of courses at Rhodes. Chairs make these judgments prior to the student enrolling in the course; in many cases the Registrar can act with the authority of chairs. In some Programs of Study, a proficiency examination must be passed in order for the transfer credit to be accepted. The chairs and the Registrar assign credit toward a degree in such a way as to match comparable work at Rhodes.
  • The course work must be taken on the campus of a regionally accredited college or university or while on a study abroad program approved through the Buckman Center for International Education.
  • For courses taken online prior to matriculation, up to 8 credits may count towards the 128 credits required for a bachelor's degree. After matriculation, up to 8 online transfer credits may be used for degree requirements with the preapproval of the chair in the relevant program of study. If the discipline is not represented at Rhodes, the student can request that the Registrar, in consultation with the Associate Provost review the course for credit. The student will provide requested documentation.
  • Rhodes students who study abroad/away in an accredited long-term program that has been pre-approved through the Buckman Center for International Education will normally satisfy the F11 requirement. Students may satisfy up to one additional Foundation requirements while abroad/away in summer, up to two additional Foundation requirements in semester-long programs, and up to three additional Foundation requirements for a year-long program. The Director of the Buckman Center will recommend to the Foundations Curriculum Committee, in consultation with the Registrar, and chairs as necessary, the appropriateness of the course(s) taken abroad for Foundations credit. This recommendation will be done in accordance with guidelines as provided by the Foundations Curriculum Committee.
  • No more than eight transfer credits may be earned in any one summer.
  • All course work taken at other institutions for which Rhodes receives a transcript will be evaluated for transfer credit, and if pre-approved for transfer credit, will be posted to the student’s record.
  • When a program of study course transfers as three (3) credits, the Registrar and Department/Program Chair may adjust the program of study requirement by no more than one (1) credit, though the student must still complete 128 credits to graduate with a bachelor's degree.
  • A maximum of 64 credits or fifty percent of the total credit required for a degree may be accepted towards a Rhodes degree. No student may earn additional transfer credit once that credit limit has been reached.
  • Transfer credits based on a quarter system are converted to the Rhodes credit basis using the formula that one quarter-hour equals two-thirds credit. Fractional transfer credits will be credited.
  • Students earning both transfer credits and Advanced Placement, Cambridge Pre-U, International Baccalaureate, and/or Option International Baccalaureate credits may apply a maximum combined total of fifty percent of the total credit required for a degree to the Rhodes degree. A student with such credit must earn at least fifty percent of the total credit required for a degree in residence at Rhodes.
  • Of the 32 credits earned to qualify for the senior year in residence, a maximum of eight credits may be transfer credit.
  • Transfer credits are accepted if the grade is C- or higher. However, all grades earned by Rhodes students participating in study abroad/away programs with affiliated partners will be recorded on the transcript  regardless of whether credit is earned. If the term grade point average at the end of any semester abroad or away falls below a minimum standard articulated in the Academic Probation and Suspension section of the catalogue, it is subject to review by the Standards and Standing Committee upon receipt of the official transcript. 
  • Transfer courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis must be passed with a grade of C or better. Confirmation of such a grade must be received by the Registrar before the course will be accepted for transfer credit. Transfer credits are credited to the Rhodes transcript as credits only; they are not computed in or used to determine the grade point average. With the exception of F11, courses taken Pass/Fail cannot be used to fulfill Foundations requirements.
  • Courses taken on a college campus prior to matriculation by accepted students, including those which are taken in conjunction with a dual enrollment program at the secondary school level, will be accepted for credit under the same guidelines as stated above, including review by the appropriate chair at Rhodes, only if such coursework does not satisfy high school graduation requirements or requirements for admission to Rhodes. Such courses must be taken on a college campus, not in a high school even if taught by collegiate faculty. Credit for such courses must be requested during the summer prior to enrollment at Rhodes. Students who have not graduated from high school who present such courses for transfer credit are not considered transfer students.

Printed from:

The Paul Barret, Jr. Library, Information Services

Barret Library, made possible by a major gift from the Paul Barret, Jr. Trust, opened in August, 2005. Paul Barret, Jr., a graduate of the class of 1946 who died in 1999, was the nephew of Mr. and Mrs. A.K. Burrow, who provided for the construction of the 1953 Burrow Library.

Barret Library is home to Information Services (under Academic Affairs), a union of Library Services, Information Technology Services, and Academic Technology Services.  Together, the division is committed to providing acquisition, organization, and circulation of resources with a wide range of technology resources to support the diverse work of faculty, staff, and students; as well as instruction to classes and individuals in effective information and technology literacy.

Services offered in Barret Library include a 24-hour study space (Middle Ground), group study rooms, and assistance with technology and academic research. Also included in the Barret Library are areas for peer-tutoring, writing assistance, computer labs, the Digital Media Lab, Podcast/Recording room, and the distraction reduced testing room for those students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services. Information Services staff support over 150 technology-equipped classrooms and event spaces across campus.

The Library collection includes materials that constitute valuable resources for undergraduate instruction in a liberal arts institution. This collection has been carefully built over a period of years by the teaching faculty with input from students and the library staff. The research catalog is part of WorldCat, which connects and shares thousands of library catalogs across the country. The interface allows you to see holdings within other libraries as well. The collection includes access to a large amount of online content including electronic journals, e-books, databases, and film streaming services that support the college’s curriculum.

In addition to the reference and circulating collections there are four special collections: the Rhodes Archives, the Richard Halliburton Collection, the Walter P. Armstrong, Jr. Book Collection and the Shelby Foote Collection (made possible through the generosity of Riea and Steve Lainoff). The Walter P. Armstrong, Jr. Book Collection includes special items of value added to the library through the years and the collection of first editions of English and American authors, many of them autographed. The Halliburton Collection consists of manuscripts and artifacts relating to the life of this noted travel adventure writer.

The Rhodes Archives consists of publications about Rhodes of an historical nature as well as student honors papers and books written by faculty and alumni. The Archives also retains all available copies of College publications including yearbooks, catalogues, the student newspaper and handbooks. There is an extensive collection of still images which document life at the College.

DLynx, the Archives digital repository, provides access to digital items of historical value and materials created by faculty, staff, and students. These materials include: digital copies of the Sou’wester (the student newspaper), student honor papers, and hundreds of images of student life from past decades. The Sou’wester, the student newspaper, has been digitized from November 1919 to the present date. The Ranking Web of World Repositories” lists DLynx as 113 out of 1646 digital collections in North America which places it in the top 10%.

In order to effect optimum inter-institutional library service to the students, faculty, and staff of the Greater Memphis Consortium, the Barret Library joins the following libraries in making their collections available to each other’s students and faculty: Christian Brothers University Library, Hollis F. Price Library of LeMoyne-Owen College, Ned W. McWherter Library of the University of Memphis, and the Memphis Theological Seminary Library. Students are also entitled to library cards in the Memphis Public Library, which is an especially valuable community resource. The Barret Library operates an active and invaluable interlibrary loan service for its faculty and students with libraries outside the Memphis area.

Printed from: