STUDENT HANDBOOK: Academics and Field Work Term


Students are expected to meet with their faculty advisor before or during the period set aside for registration to discuss course choices. Members of the Office of the Provost and Dean can assist students as they prepare for registration and registration conversations with their faculty advisor. Students who have not conferred with their advisors may not be eligible to enroll in courses.

Registration Procedures

New students are registered for courses before arriving for their first term. During the registration completion period (add/drop) changes in program may be made only with the written consent of the faculty advisor and instructor involved.

For registration during the term, students should plan their programs with their advisor. During the registration period, students meet with their prospective instructors for 4000-level courses in order to request placement in the course. For 2000-level courses, students register directly online.

Please note: Students who have outstanding balances due or who have not satisfied other requirements connected to a financial lock (completion of health forms, etc.) will not be permitted to register.


Tutorials are courses designed collaboratively between students and faculty and generally address content and/or learning opportunities that are not represented in the regular curriculum; they also occasionally serve as the structure through which students complete advanced work. They supplement—and do not replace—the curriculum as the central venue for teaching and learning at Bennington. Students with approved Plans may propose an individual or group tutorial with a faculty member if both agree that a tutorial is the best way to address a particular topic or approach. Tutorial applications are to be completed by the student (in consultation with the faculty sponsor), and are due to the Office of the Provost and Dean prior to the start of the registration period the term before the tutorial is to be offered (November for Spring tutorials, May for Fall tutorials). Tutorials appear as regular, credit-bearing courses on one’s transcript; student work is assessed and evaluated based on the expectations set forth in the tutorial application.


Auditing permits students to attend classes; it does not obligate them to hand in any work, nor does it obligate faculty to evaluate work. Students may audit a course only with prior approval from the course instructor and the Office of the Provost and Dean. In order to formalize an audit, students should complete an add form and indicate on the form that they intend to audit. No credit is awarded for audited courses and students may not change an audit to a credit-bearing course after the add period (see below).

Add/Drop/Withdrawal Policy

All students, in consultation with their faculty advisors, may make adjustments to their course schedule at the beginning of each term. This is accomplished through individual outreach to faculty members and completion of Add/Drop forms, which are available online in the Student Forms and Resources section on the Registrar's page and in the Office of the Provost and Dean and require the signatures of the course instructor and faculty advisor. Students who begin a class late (add the class after it has begun) are generally considered absent for the classes they missed and are not excused from completing the missed work. Students should always be certain to check course attendance policies and monitor total absences, especially when they have missed earlier class sessions due to a late addition. 

During the first two weeks of each term, dropped courses are not noted on the transcript; between the third and eighth weeks, they are noted as “withdrawn” on the transcript. Students are not allowed to withdraw from full term courses after the seventh week without permission from the Office of the Provost and Dean and this permission is given only in exceptional circumstances (see withdrawal from a course in the second half of a term below). Note: Deadlines may be different for 3- or 7-week courses.

Students may not withdraw from a course to avoid failing due to an issue of academic dishonesty. 

Withdrawal from a course in the second half of a term. When a course cannot be completed for some exceptional circumstances (e.g., illness, injury, or extreme personal circumstances) following the withdrawal deadline each term, the student must speak with the faculty member, the faculty advisor, and the Office of the Provost and Dean to request permission to withdraw. (Accommodations under ADA and Title IX that include withdrawals after the deadline are reviewed and approved by the Office of the Provost and Dean.) When applicable, documentation from medical care providers must be submitted to the Office of the Provost and Dean for these withdrawals. Withdrawals are noted on transcripts. No refunds are given for withdrawn courses. Normally, withdrawals must be requested before the last day of class each term. No credit is granted for withdrawals; therefore, cumulative pace is affected when students withdraw from a course. See the Quantitative Standard section for information about minimum cumulative pace requirements.