Course Catalog

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts degree is the baccalaureate degree conferred on students in all majors except those in the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science, and nutrition, for which the Bachelor of Science is awarded, business and management for which the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is awarded, nursing for which the Bachelor of Science in Nursing is awarded, and social work for which the Bachelor of Social Work is awarded.  In the instance where a student completes a major in both the sciences and in the arts, they may choose either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree. It is not possible to earn two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously.

A candidate for a degree is expected to satisfactorily complete the work of an approved program, including all required courses, within the traditional number of college years. When a student withdraws for a period that would extend the work of her program beyond a traditional length of time, the additional work required for satisfactory completion will be determined by the faculty. A student who temporarily withdraws must meet the degree requirements in effect at the date of their readmission to the University.

Students transferring into Simmons, as well as those working toward a second baccalaureate degree, must spend at least three semesters at Simmons and earn a minimum of 48 semester hours of credit while regularly enrolled in order to be eligible for the Simmons baccalaureate degree.

Current Simmons students who wish to enroll in summer courses at other institutions must first file a petition for transfer of credit in the Office of the Registrar. No more than 16 semester hours of summer school credit from other institutions may be credited toward the Simmons degree. For additional information, contact the Office of the Registrar.

Department or Program Recommendation

Students must be recommended for the degree by their department or program advisor. Students must complete one-third to one-half of the courses required for the major, including a substantial amount of advanced work, while regularly enrolled at Simmons, so that the department can adequately evaluate a student’s candidacy for degree recommendation.

Course Numbering
Simmons courses are designated by a department or program abbreviation and a course number. These numbers can be understood in the following way:
100 All undergraduate students. Some may require specific high school preparation. These courses generally have no prerequisites and are taught at the introductory level.
200 Sophomores and above and for first-year students under advisement or placement by the department. Such courses tend to be more focused than the introductory 100-level courses; prerequisites are at the discretion of the department. A prerequisite for a 200-level course is normally one course in the department (or a complementary department or program) at the 100 level. First-year students should be advised that these classes will likely include upper-class students and will therefore be more challenging than 100-level courses.
300 Juniors and seniors and are normally taken by students majoring or minoring in the field. Such courses are advanced in content and pace and represent a high level of study in the field. Courses at the 300 level generally have prerequisites, typically at least one 100- and one 200-level course.
400 Limited to graduate students in the program or those students approved to enroll by the director of the program offering the course. In general, undergraduates are not permitted to take 400-level courses.
500 Generally, dually listed with an undergraduate course at the 300 level. Graduate students sign up for the 500-level course, undergraduates for the 300-level.

Requirements for the award of the Simmons baccalaureate degree are listed below:

Completion of 128 Semester Hours with a Passing Evaluation

To obtain a broad education, as well as depth of specialization, students must successfully complete a minimum of 128 semester hours for graduation. Most courses in the undergraduate curriculum carry 4 credits. Though a full-time load is a minimum of 12 credits, students typically take four courses (16 credits) per semester. Students must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00, to be calculated from all courses taken at Simmons using the letter grade system in order to graduate. Each student’s program should be a carefully developed plan of study. This plan should include: 1) courses selected to fulfill the overall undergraduate requirements, 2) courses required of and elected by the student in her major, and 3) electives.

A traditional full-time student who takes greater than 18 credits will be charged for any credits over the 18 credit maximum.

Students who are formally admitted to an accelerated degree program (3+1, 3+3, 4+1) may take up to 22 credits under the flat tuition plan. A student formally admitted to an accelerated degree program who takes greater than 22 credits will be charged for any credits over the 22 credit maximum.

Any credit in excess of 22 credits must be approved by the College Administrative Board.

Students must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 to be calculated from all courses taken at Simmons using the letter grade system in order to graduate. Each student’s program should be a carefully developed plan of study. This plan should include: 1) courses selected to fulfill the all-College requirements, 2) courses required of and elected by students in their major, and 3) electives.

Marks and Evaluations

Every student must obtain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00, to be calculated from all courses taken at Simmons using the letter grade system, to be eligible for the baccalaureate degree. The grading system is based upon the following categories:

A = 4.00

A- = 3.67

B+ = 3.33

B = 3.00

B- = 2.67

C+ = 2.33

C = 2.00

C- = 1.67

D+ = 1.33

D = 1.00

D- =.67

F (Fail) = 0 P (Pass)*

AU (formal audit)*

W (Approved Withdrawal)*

*not included in GPA

Grading Options

A student may select grading options by filling out a form in the Office of the Registrar. This may be done at any time from registration up to (but not after) the day designated as the final day to add a course in each semester. Any student who fails to do so will automatically receive letter grades.


A regularly enrolled Simmons student may take at most one for-credit course pass/ fail in any given semester. The following courses may not be taken pass/fail:

  • Modern Languages and Literatures: All language courses numbered 101, 102, and 201; Level I or Level II language courses taken at another institution by a student while she is enrolled at Simmons.
  • Mathematics: MATH 101.

If a student using the pass/fail option receives a P in a course, the student will receive credit for the course, but the P will not be averaged into her GPA. If the student receives an F in a pass/fail course, no credit for the course will be given, and the F will be averaged into the GPA as a zero. Departments may also have specific policies about pass/fail courses for their majors.

Formal Audit

A formal audit may be elected by any fulltime undergraduate student after the first semester, provided that the student has the instructor’s permission and agrees to abide by the instructor’s conditions for the audit. A student may formally audit no more than one course each semester. There is no charge to full-time undergraduate students for a formal audit. A formal audit will appear on the student transcript, but no credit is given. A formal audit may not be used to satisfy any of the undergraduate requirements. More information on the formal audit option is available through the Office of the Registrar.

Informal Audit

Any undergraduate student is permitted to informally audit a course with the permission of the instructor, who will determine with the student expectations for coursework. No record of the student’s work is kept, and the student is not permitted to take the final examination. No credit is granted for an informal audit, and the audit does not appear on her transcript. Informal audits do not go through the Office of the Registrar.

Incomplete Evaluations

Required coursework must ordinarily be completed by the last day of final examinations. In extenuating circumstances, undergraduate students may request an “incomplete” by filing a petition with the Administrative Board. The petition, signed by the student, her advisor, and the instructor, should outline a plan to complete the work. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor her progress and complete all work so that the instructor can submit a final grade by the date set by the Board. Failure to submit work by the approved incomplete extension date may result in a grade of F. Failure to formally petition for an incomplete will result in automatic assignment of an F grade.

Course Repeat Policy

The course repeat policy allows student to repeat up to two courses for credit on a limited basis in order to enhance their understanding of the subject or to improve their overall grade point average. The following principles apply to this policy.

  • A student may repeat at most two Simmons courses for credit.
  • If a course is repeated for credit, both versions of the course will appear on the student’s transcript and be included in the student’s grade point average.
  • A student who repeats one 4-credit course must complete 132 credits in order to still have 128 unique credits and meet that requirement for earning a degree.
  • A student who repeats two 4-credit courses must complete 136 credits to still have 128 unique credits and meet that requirement for earning a degree.

Academic Difficulty

The records of students who are experiencing academic difficulty are reviewed periodically by the Administrative Board, a faculty committee charged with monitoring Simmons’s academic standards.

This responsibility includes reviewing the records of any student who has two or more failures in a semester (including a retroactive withdrawal) any student whose semester or cumulative grade point average is below 2.0, any student who as a result of their achievement in Simmons Summer School has a summer or cumulative GPA of less than 2.00, any student who applies for a leave of absence or withdraws after the eighth week of the semester, or any student whose overall record is considered marginal.

The faculty has given the Administrative Board the authority to take whatever action is deemed appropriate to each individual’s situation. Such actions may include a letter of warning, probation, continued probation, removal from degree candidacy, or exclusion from Simmons. As a result of this review, special conditions may be imposed by the Administrative Board, in which case both the student and a parent or guardian (if the student is dependent) may be notified.

Warnings of academic difficulty are reported to academic advisors, and other student support specialists, by individual faculty members throughout the academic year, and assistance is made available.