Academic Support Services

Students may see a dean about any academic concern they may have. Some areas where consultation with a dean is strongly suggested, or even necessary, follow below:

  • difficulty with course work
  • wish to withdraw from a course
  • taking a medical or personal leave of absence

Students should see one of the deans about a number of issues and procedures that arise in planning academic programs:

Committee on Academic Standing: Those students who are submitting petitions to the Committee on Academic Standing might wish to discuss the matter with one of the deans. (All the deans sit with the Committee on Academic Standing to advise its members on student cases; the Dean of the College and the Associate Dean for First–Year Students are voting members of that Committee.)

Complaints About Grading: Except in those cases where a grievance committee has found an assigned grade to have been the result of discrimination, nothing in the grievance procedure affects the responsibility and authority of individual members of the faculty to evaluate and grade the work of students in their courses. In the event of other allegations of improper or unfair grading, the Dean of the College may investigate and mediate, but final responsibility for grading rests with the instructor.

Contract Majors: Sophomores interested in designing contract majors should contact Dean Rashanda Booker This conference will help them to prepare their applications, which are then due early in the spring semester.

Withdrawing from a Course: First–year and first–semester transfer students may be permitted to withdraw from one course (incurring a deficiency but no grade penalty) as late as the tenth week of the semester. Upperclass students also may once in subsequent years withdraw from a course under the same conditions. A withdrawal, recorded on the transcript as a “W,” is granted only with the approval of the instructor and a dean and only if there is complete agreement between the instructor and the dean that, despite conscientious effort to do the work, continuation in the course would be detrimental to the overall educational interest or health of the student. The deficiency thereby incurred must be removed in the normal manner.

Withdrawing, Transferring, or Returning: About 40 or 50 students each year request personal leaves of absence and withdraw from the College in good standing. Such time away, often as a period of reassessment and self evaluation, can prove to be educationally beneficial. A single withdrawal in good standing is granted for not less than one year and not more than three years. Students who withdraw in good standing are readmitted with the approval of the Dean’s Office and are expected to complete the degree without further interruption.

Students may request permission from the Dean’s Office to withdraw at any time. To withdraw in good standing during a term, however, a student must withdraw no later than eight weeks into the term. Please see the Williams College Refund Policy,including dates in effect, for more information

Students who are considering transferring from the College, and those planning for or returning from a leave of absence, should to contact the Associate Dean of the College, Stephen Sneed.

General Advising

While respecting students’ privacy and confidentiality, the deans may at times refer students to the Health Center, to the Psychological Counseling Service, or to the Chaplain’s Office.

First-Year Warnings

In the middle of each semester, instructors report to the Registrar those first-year students whose grades at that time are unsatisfactory. The students and their academic advisors receive notices of warnings as a matter of routine. The Dean’s Office may inform parents of students who receive two or more warnings.

Special Advisors

Architecture: Ann McCallum x2307
Business Schools and Business Opportunities: Robin Meyer x2311
Divinity Schools: Richard Spalding x2483
Engineering: Jefferson Strait x2008
Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships: Katerina King x3044
Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences: Department Chairs
Health Professions Advisor: Career Center x2311
International Student Advisor:  x3455
Law Schools:  Michelle Shaw x3356
National Science Foundation: Department Chairs 
Peace Corps:  Career Center x2311
Public and International Affairs Schools and Foreign Service: James McAllister x4373
Special Academic Programs: Molly Magavern x3747
Student Writing Tutorial Program: Stephanie E. Dunson x4615
Study Abroad Programs: Tina Breakell x4262
Teaching, M.A.T. Programs: Susan Engel x4522
Williams College Fellowships: Katerina King x3044
Winter Study Practice Teaching: Susan Engel x4522

Other Academic Advising Resources

Study Away –  210 Hopkins Hall x4262

The Writing Workshops –  Hopkins Hall, X4615

Math and Science Resource Center – Thompson Physics 113, 114 and 207 x4672

Office of Special Academic Programs – Hardy House x3747