Williams College offers a course of study leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The course requirements prescribe both the number of
courses to be completed and the minimum grade level to be achieved; the curriculum also requires that each student explore several fields of
knowledge and concentrate in one. The full requirements for the degree include meeting the minimum academic standards stated below,
residing at the College, fulfilling the distribution requirement, completing a major, and completing the physical education requirement.
The academic year is divided into two regular semesters and a Winter Study Period. The student takes four courses in each semester and
during January pursues a single program of study on a pass-fail basis.
Winter Study Period, which began in 1967, is intended to provide students and faculty with a dramatically different educational experi-
ence. The differences are in the nature of the courses, the nature of the learning experience, and the change of educational pace and format
from the fall and spring semesters. These differences apply to the faculty and students in several ways: faculty can try out courses with new
subjects and techniques that might, if successful, be used later in the regular terms; they can explore subjects not amenable to inclusion in
regular courses; and they can investigate fields outside their usual areas of expertise. In their academic work, which is graded Honors, Pass,
Perfunctory Pass, or Fail, students can explore new fields at low risk, concentrate on one subject that requires a great deal of time, develop
individual research projects, or work in a different milieu (as interns, for example, or on trips outside Williamstown). In addition, Winter
Study offers studentsan opportunity formore independence and initiativeinaless formalsetting, more opportunity to participate in cultural
events, and an occasion to get to know one another better.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE
To be eligible for the Bachelor of Arts degree a student must pass 32 regularly graded semester courses and receive grades of C minus or