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Supplement to the Schedule of Classes

Schedule of Classes

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Important Dates


Students may preregister for the Spring 2021 term anytime from November 30 through December 11, 2020 by meeting with their adviser and entering their course selections directly into the pre-registration system via Ask Banner.  Specific instructions including a description of the preregistration process are available from the Office of the Registrar.


Registration Changes (Add/Drop/Withdrawal)

Students may make changes to their schedule at the beginning of each term by completing a Drop/Add form and returning it to the Registrar’s Office in accordance with the following procedures:

Adding Courses

Students may add courses beginning the first day of classes for six days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) each term. The last day to Add for “A” term is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The signature of the adviser and instructor is required. Adding courses after this deadline is allowed only under unusual circumstances and only with the additional approval of the appropriate Dean.

Dropping Courses

Students may drop courses beginning the first day of classes through Friday, October 16, 2020 by obtaining the signature of the Adviser. Courses dropped later than this deadline require the additional signature of the appropriate Dean and will be graded “WD”. Approval will be granted only under unusual circumstances. Students dropping a course after the October 16th deadline without permission of the appropriate Dean, automatically incur a failing grade in that course.

Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Course

This option allows students to withdraw from a class after the drop deadline through the ninth week of full-semester classes or the fourth week for six-week classes as long the they remain enrolled in a full-time load of 3.5 units.  Note that while dropping a course leaves no record on the transcript, withdrawing from a course will leave that course on the transcript with a non-puntitive grade notation of WD and 0 units earned, hence no credit towards either the Vassar degree or the major.
A student considering this option should meet with their advisor and/or their class advisor in the Dean of Studies Office to discuss the potential academic impact of the withdrawal.  To make the request, a student should complete a “Request for withdrawal from course(s)” form signed by their advisor and submit it to the Dean of Studies Office for consideration.  The form is available from the Dean of Studies Office.
Withdrawing from a class that leaves a student with less than 3.5 units or after the ninth week of classes (fourth week for six-week classes) can only be done for reasons of health or serious emergency.  In such a case, the student should make an appointment with their class advisor in the Dean of Studies Office for information about the process and verification/documentation needed. 
Student Intitiated Course Withdrawal Deadlines:
Full semester courses: December 18, 2020
1st 6 week coures: October 16, 2020
2nd 6 week courses: December 18, 2020

Year-long Course Notations

Some courses must be taken for a full year for credit. These courses are designated with an YL in the Schedule of Classes. Both semesters of these courses must be completed for students to receive credit (Example FREN 105-FREN 106).


Six-week Courses Only

Beginning and ending dates for six-week courses as well as final dates for Add/Drop and the Non-Recorded Option selection are:

Last day for
Fall 2020 Add Drop NRO
First six weeks: Begin Monday, August 31 and end Friday, October 16     9/8  9/21 10/16
Second six weeks: Begin Monday, October 19 and end Wednesday, December 9  10/26 11/9 12/9

Special Permission

Courses designated Special Permission SP in the Schedule of Classes require the signature of the instructor of the course, or in the case of the English department and the American Culture program, the Chair/Program Director’s signature.


Non-Recorded Option (NRO)

Courses available under the Non-Recorded Option are designated NR in the course schedule, to the right of each course.  The following departments restrict this option to Non-Majors Only:  Afrs, Amst, Anth, Art, Asia, Astr, Bioc, Biol, Chem, Chin, Cmpu, Cogs, Dram, Econ, Educ, Engl, Enst, Esci, Essc, Fren, Geog, Germ, Grst Hisp, Hist, Intl, Japa, Jwst, Lals, Math, Meds, Musi, Neur, Phil, Phys, Poli, Psyc, Soci, STS, Urbs.  Students are responsible for being aware of departmental requirements before taking courses in their major under the Non-Recorded Option.  Some departments have further restrictions to the Non-Recorded Option, and these are listed below:

  • Art – 105-106 may be taken NRO by Jr's and Sr's only.
  • Anth - 1 introductory course taken NRO may count towards the major if a letter grade is received.  If a PA is received for an introductory course then 13 courses are needed to fulfill the major requirements.
  • Econ - 120 may be taken NRO by majors as well as non-majors. Econ 200, 201, 209 can be taken NRO by non-major Sr's only. 
  • EducMajors, correlates and students pursuing certification should not take Education courses NRO.
  • Fren - NRO not allowed in the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris.
  • Intl - 106 may be taken NRO by Jr and Sr non-majors only, 110 may be taken NRO by majors as well as non-majors.
  • Ital – NRO not allowed in the ECCO Program in Bologna.
  • Poli - 140, 150, 160, and 170 may be taken NRO by Jr’s and Sr’s only.
  • PsycStudents may not elect the NRO in any psychological science course after they have declared their major. Any psychological science course taken under the NRO before the major was declared may not be counted toward the 10 units required for the major although it may be used to satisfy a requirement that a specific course be taken.
  • Soci - 151 may be taken NRO by Jr’s and Sr’s only. 
  • Pre-med students should not take courses required by med schools under NRO.

In order to elect the NRO in a designated course, a student should file a NRO form, signed by his or her adviser, with the Office of the Registrar, by Friday, October 18, 2019 indicating on the form the lowest letter grade he or she wishes to have recorded on his or her permanent record.  After this deadline, a student may neither change the choice of the NRO nor change the minimum grade elected.

The election of a course under the NRO counts in the total NRO Vassar work allowed each student (4.0 units), even if a letter grade is received.

A regular letter grade will be assigned at the end of the course by the instructor, who will, before turning in grades to the Registrar, have knowledge of whether the student has elected the NRO, although the instructor will not have knowledge of the minimum grade set by the student.

There are three possible outcomes for a course under the option:

  1. If the grade assigned by the instructor at the end of the course matches or surpasses the student’s elected minimum grade, the letter grade will be entered and will serve as a regular letter grade, computed in the grade-point-average.
  2. If the grade assigned by the instructor at the end of the course is lower than the students elected minimum grade, but is still passing (D or better), the entry on the student’s permanent record, and on future transcripts will be “PA”.  The letter grade will not serve any purpose.  The standing of the PA is permanent; requests to revoke it and reveal the letter grade assigned by the instructor will be refused.
  3. If the letter grade assigned by the instructor at the end of a course is an F, this F will be recorded as such and will serve as a letter grade, computed in the grade-point-average on the student’s permanent record.

Under most circumstances, year long courses designated with a hyphen in the Schedule of Classes are taken on the same grading basis (NRO or Letter Grade) each term.  Therefore, students who elected in “A” term to take the first half NRO need not complete another form for “B” term unless they want to change their election for the second half of the course.  Some departments require that students take both halves on the same grading basis.  Check with your instructor for departmental policy.

Please note that in the case of Provisionally Graded courses both halves of the course must be taken under the same grading basis.  No changes in grade option or minimum grade for these courses are allowed during the “B” term.

Questions regarding this option should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.


First-Year Writing Seminars

Courses which satisfy the First-Year Writing Seminar requirement are designated FR and are limited to First-Year students only.


Limited Enrollment

Courses which are limited in enrollment are designated with a LE in the schedule.


Quantitative Course Requirement

All Vassar students are required before their third year to complete at least one unit of course work that shall develop or extend the student’s facility in quantitative reasoning. Qualifying courses are designated by the faculty and are noted in the schedule of classes with a QA. Exemption from this requirement may be granted to students who have completed equivalent coursework as certified by the Dean of Studies. 


Provisional Grades

A department may offer Provisional Grades for the A-B and A/B courses.  For the student electing both terms of such a course the final grade received at the end of the year automatically becomes the grade that will be recorded on the student’s academic record for both the first and second semester.  For the student who elects only the “A” term of an A/B course, the first semester grade is final.

A Provisionally Graded course taken for the year A-B and A/B must be taken under the same grading option for both semesters (i.e., Graded or Non-Recorded).  Courses which are provisionally graded for 2020/21 are designated with a PR in the schedule.


Field Work (Community-Engaged Learning)

Open to all students who have as a prerequisite or corequisite an appropriate course in the Community-engaged learning proposed.  The signature of the instructor and Director of Community-Engaged Learning to add and the Director of Community-Engaged Learning to drop is required.

Community-engaged learning is listed consistently throughout the Schedule within each department as either 1/2 unit (section 01) or 1 unit (section 02).  To register, select the appropriate department, course and section number and obtain the signatures noted above.  Please be certain that the instructor’s name is legible.


Independent Work 298 and 399

298 Independent work is open to all students who have as a prerequisite one semester of appropriate intermediate work in the field of study.  298 requires the signature of the instructor.

399 Senior Independent work also requires the signature of the instructor and is open to students in their Senior Year plus other qualified students who have taken 200 level independent work in the discipline with the recommendation of their instructor.

As with Field Work, Independent Study is listed consistently throughout the Schedule within each department as either .5 unit (section 01) or 1 unit (section 02).  To register, select the appropriate department, course and section number and obtain the signatures noted above.  Please be certain that the instructor’s name is legible.


Committee on Leaves and Privileges

Students who wish to register for more than 4.5 units or less than 3.5 units must have the permission of the Committee on Leaves and Privileges.  Forms are available in the Office of the Dean of Studies.

All requests for academic leaves of absence, special privilege with respect to curricular requirements, acceleration, etc., should be directed to the committee through the Office of the Dean of Studies.  All requests for privileges must be accompanied by the signature of the adviser.  Requests for academic leaves and for acceleration must be accompanied by proposed academic programs approved by the adviser.  Students on personal leave of absence may not take any academic work without the permission of the Committee on Leaves and Privileges.


Special Students and Special Programs

Non-Matriculated students and students interested in special programs should consult with the Office of the Dean of Studies and /or one of the following:

  • Teacher Preparation (Childhood Education) – Erin McCloskey
  • Teacher Preparation (Adolescent Education) – Erin McCloskey
  • Pre-Medical Program –  Lisa Kooperman or Pre-Medical Advisory Committee           
  • Pre-Law Program – Career Development Office
  • Education Abroad Program – Kerry Stamp
  • Self Instructional Program –  Lioba Gerhardi
  • Office of Community-Engaged Learning (Field Work) –  Lisa Kaul
  • Independent Program –  Gwen Broude

Classroom Building Codes

Code Building
AFC Athletics/Fitness Center
BH Blodgett Hall
BLS Bridge for Laboratory Sciences
CH Chicago Hall
CN College Center (labs in basement)
CP Chapel
DF Center for Drama and Film
DS Doubleday Art Studio
EH Ely Hall
FS Field Station
KH Kenyon Hall
LA Loeb Art Studio
LI Thompson Library
NE New England Building
NH New Hackensack
OB Vassar College Observatory
OH Olmsted Hall
OLB Old Laundry Building
OUT Outdoors - Tent
PT Powerhouse Theater
RH Rockefeller Hall
SC Eleanor Butler Sanders Hall
SH Skinner Hall
SP Sanders Physics
SW Swift Hall
T Taylor Hall
WA Walker Field House

Outdoor Classroom Locations

T1 Rockefeller Tent
T2 Chapel Tent
T3 Library Tent
T4 Blodgett Tent
T5 Center for Drama Tent
T6 Commencement Hill Left Tent
T7 Chicago Tent
T8 New Hackensack Tent
T9 Pratt Tent
T10 Commencement Hill Right Tent

Ungraded Only Courses (Graded "SA" or "UN")

Community-engaged learning (290), Independent Work (298,299) and Reading Courses (297) are all considered Ungraded Work. Other courses, including some half unit courses and many theses/senior projects may be designated as Ungraded as well at the discretion of the department. All Ungraded work is noted in the schedule of classes with an SU grade type.

Special Note;  Grades of "DS" -  Independent Work and Ungraded Theses/Senior Projects may allow for grades of "DS" (Distinction) in addition to "SA" and "UN",  where appropriate and where the department policy indicates.

Ungraded Limit — Students may elect a maximum of 5 units of Ungraded Work. For transfer students, this limit is reduced by 1-unit for each year of advanced standing awarded to the student. This ungraded limit does not apply to any units taken in excess of the 32-unit minimum required for graduation. 


Legal Class Time Periods

Peak periods for teaching purposes are indicated with an asterisk (*)

50 Minutes Class Periods
MTRF 8:30, 9:30, 10:30*, 12:00, 1:30, 3:10
W 8:30, 9:30, 10:30*, 12:00, 1:30
75 Minutes Class Periods
TR 9:00, 10:30*, 12:00*, 1:30*, 3:10, 4:35, 6:30pm (can start 7:00, 7:30, or 8:00)
MW (or WF) 9:00, 10:30*, 12:00*, 1:30*
MR 3:10, 4:35, 6:30
2 Hour Classes
F 10:30 restricted to 200 & 300 level classes
TR 10:30*
MTWRF 1:00*
MTRF 3:10
MTR 4:00
MTR 6:30pm (can start 7:00, 7:30, or 8:00)
3 Hour Class Periods 4 Hour Laboratories
MTR 3:10 – 6:10 MTWRF 9:00 – 1:00
6:30pm – 9:30pm MTRF 1:30 – 5:30
7:00pm – 10:00pm MTR 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • It is expected that 100 and 200-level courses will meet at least two times per week. Requests for exceptions must be made to the Committee on Curricular Policies.
  • All faculty teaching at least 3 courses over the academic year must teach at least one course during the year in a period that does not have an asterisk next to it.
  • *Note: Asterisk time periods are considered Peak Periods for teaching purposes.

Please Note: Academic and Non-Academic policies and procedures, as well as specific Academic and Non-Academic events, are subject to periodic review and revision. Such changes may apply to matriculated students. Procedures for their implementation are published at appropriate times and in appropriate places.