Academic Procedures

Add-Drop Procedure 

  • To add or drop a course after initial registration, or to change a grading option, use an Add-Drop form, available from in MyMBU -> My Academics -> Registrar Forms. A student may not add a course after the first week of classes. The student’s faculty advisor must sign the form. Once approved, forms may be emailed to 
  • In the traditional fall and spring terms, MBCW/UC students in good academic standing (i.e. not on probation) may register for up to 6 hours of online courses each semester. Students with junior or senior status may, with advisor approval, enroll in additional online courses, but extra fees may apply. Online courses offered during summer term are open to all students with no limit on credit hours and are billed at the current per-credit-hour rate as published in the current catalog. 
  • A student may withdraw from a course after the second week, up through the eighth week of a two-term course and the third week of a one-term course. Withdrawals are designated with a W, which will appear on grade reports and the permanent transcript. Marks of W do not affect grade point average. 
  • If a student ceases attendance without formally dropping or withdrawing from a course, the student will receive a grade of F, which affects grade point average, or NC, which does not affect grade point average. 
  • Students may drop courses for documented medical or providential reasons at any time within the current term or, in extenuating circumstances, retroactively if requested with documentation in the semester immediately following, upon submission of medical information to the Student Engagement Office. The Student Engagement Office will inform the Office of the University Registrar and the medical withdrawal will be processed. Students will be awarded grades of W. 
  • During May Term, a student may add classes only through the first day of classes. Courses dropped on the first day will not appear on the transcript. Students may withdraw from a May Term course through the sixth day of classes in May Term, receiving a mark of W. The student may change grading option up through the sixth class day. 

Declaration of Majors and Minors 

Defined Majors 
Students are encouraged to declare a major by the start of their second year. They are expected to do so by the beginning of the junior year. The Major/Minor Declaration form, obtainable from the Office of the University Registrar, is used for this purpose. Appropriate faculty signatures are required to encourage students to learn all they can about their prospective majors before declaring. A minor may be declared only after the student has declared a major. The Major/Minor Declaration form is used for this purpose and filed in the Office of the University Registrar. 

Defined majors are listed at the end of this Academic Policies section. They have required courses of study, found in this catalog in the Undergraduate Course Descriptions section. Defined majors must consist of at least 33 semester hours. 

Independent Majors 
Please see the Academic Policies for Student-Designed Coursework. 

Double Majors 
Students declaring a double major must fulfill all the requirements of each major separately, including separate senior requirements (unless otherwise noted). Double majors may be any combination of defined and independent majors. A student may have no more than two majors. 

Each minor must require at least 18 semester hours. No more than six semester hours may be applied to both a major and a minor (extended to eight semester hours if there are only two courses) or to two or more minors. To earn a minor, the student must have a cumulative unrounded GPA of 2.0 in the minor course of study. At least nine hours applicable to the minor must be earned in work completed at MBU. A student may have no more than two minors.

Changing Majors and Minors 
Changing a major or and/or a minor may be done by completing the appropriate section of the Major/Minor Declaration Form and filing it in the Office of the University Registrar. 

Overloads and Credit Load Limits 

  • Academic load limits for full-time students are shown in the chart below. 
  • Enrollment in more than 18 semester hours per semester (unless the enrollment is for only five courses) constitutes an overload. Overload fees will apply above 20 hours to all courses except fee-based applied music.
  • No student may enroll for more than 24 semester hours in a semester, or in more than one academic course during May Term except in the case of certain May-term study abroad courses.
  • Overloads must be approved by the student’s advisor and a college dean using forms available online in MyMBU -> My Academics -> Registrar Forms. Completed forms may be emailed to  
  • Students with cumulative GPA above 3.5 can register during the regular registration period.

Academic Period 

Normal Load (s.h.) 

Minimum Full-Time Load (s.h.) 

Maximum Full-Time Load (s.h) 

Fall Semester 




Spring Semester 




May Term * 

Summer (optional) 


Full-Year Total 




*Note: Normal progress toward graduation is based on participation in two May Terms during a four year career, but participation in May term is not a requirement for graduation. 

Transfer of Credit

Credit may be transferred for courses completed at other institutions that are accredited by regional accrediting agencies or the American Association for Liberal Education. The course must be identifiable with MBU’s liberal arts curriculum. The university considers the transfer of credit for military training based on official American Council on Education transcripts on a case by case basis. Courses with grades below C-are not accepted. Coursework completed under Pass/No Credit and similar options is not accepted. Grade points or their equivalent will not be transferred. 

If a transferable course taken at another institution is deemed to be equivalent to an MBU course in which the student previously earned a C, D or F, the effect of the MBU grade will be removed from the student’s cumulative GPA. Appropriate MBU faculty must certify the general equivalence of the transfer course. It is the student’s responsibility to furnish whatever evidence the certifying faculty may find sufficient. 

No more than 84 semester hours of transfer credit can be counted toward the graduation requirement. No more than 10 semester hours may be transferred during any one summer program without the approval of the university registrar. 

Credit earned at other institutions in programs sponsored or cosponsored by MBU is not transfer credit and will be included in the MBU cumulative GPA — e.g., Seven College Consortium, Oxford Program, etc. 

GPA Amnesty

GPA policy for students returning to MBU after at least five years.

A Mary Baldwin University undergraduate who has left college without completing a bachelor’s degree and is accepted into MBCW, University College, or MBU Online has the option to apply for GPA Amnesty before the end of the first week of the first semester of their readmittance to MBU.

A student may use this upon reacceptance to Mary Baldwin after five years of academic inactivity.* The student must notify their advisor in writing before the first day of the semester in which they return. The request must be approved by the university registrar. After completing a semester or summer earning at least six semester hours with a term GPA of at least 2.0, any of the student’s previous MBU courses (prior to their readmittance) in which the student received less than a ‘C-’ would be removed from the calculation of the cumulative GPA on the transcript.

Students may only use this option one time while they are an undergraduate at Mary Baldwin University.

GPA amnesty does not apply in the case of financial aid or satisfactory academic progress calculations.

*Academic inactivity is defined as adding no additional academic work to the MBU transcript for five calendar years of 12 months from the date of last entry of credit.


Voluntary Withdrawal: Students who withdraw from the university must reapply through the Office of Admissions. Students are subject to the catalog and university requirements applicable to the student’s class at the time of re-entry. In all cases of withdrawals, please refer to the Credit and Refund Policy listing in the Tuition section this academic catalog for information regarding financial arrangements. Residential students withdrawing from college must depart the Mary Baldwin campus within 48 hours of the official date of withdrawal. 

Financial or Personal Withdrawals: Students may voluntarily withdraw for financial, medical, or personal reasons. The student should complete a Withdrawal Form, an exit interview, and an appointment with the financial aid and business offices. 

Counseled Withdrawal: A student may request and be granted a counseled withdrawal from the university. If, in the judgment of both a dean of the college and the vice president of student engagement or designee, it is either in the student’s best interest or the best interest of the college, a student will be granted a counseled withdrawal. A Withdrawal Form should be completed and an exit interview held. In addition, an appointment must be held with the financial aid and business offices of the university. 

Disciplinary Withdrawal: Students may be required to withdraw from the university for disciplinary reasons, having been served a major penalty by the Honor Council, Judicial Board, or administration. With the approval of a dean of the college, an instructor may require that a disruptive student withdraw from an individual class. 

Academic Withdrawal: Students may be required to withdraw from the university for academic reasons under the requirements for suspension or dismissal. If a student is on academic deficiency status at the time of withdrawal, that status will apply if the student should subsequently return to the university. 

Effect of Withdrawal, Suspension, or Dismissal: When students withdraw or are suspended or dismissed, all outstanding temporary grades (NR or I) will be converted to permanent grades based on the instructors’ assessments of work completed as of the date of withdrawal. Current work in progress will be dropped or changed to W (withdrawal), depending on the effective date of withdrawal. Students who are completing off-campus will be withdrawn after their Mary Baldwin academic record has been inactive for one calendar year from the last additions to the academic record. 

Leaves of Absence 

Residential undergraduate students may arrange a Leave of Absence by applying to the Student Engagement Office (all other MBU students apply to their respective program director). A student on leave may return to Mary Baldwin University by filling out the Returning Student Application found on the main Admissions webpage. The student must also complete a personal statement and any additional requirements stated on their Leave of Absence Form. Upon re-entry, the student continues under the graduation requirements in effect at the time of original entry. Only one leave of up to two consecutive semesters will be granted. Leaves of absence are not granted in the last two weeks of the semester. A student who does not return at the end of the agreed leave period will be automatically withdrawn form the University and must reapply through Admissions. Such a student must meet the criteria of the Office of Admissions and is subject to the catalog and university requirements in effect at time of re-entry. At the time the leave of absence is granted, all academic work in progress is given a final grade, including W (withdrawal), as appropriate. The student is neither allowed to finish “incompletes” while on leave of absence nor to enroll in new Mary Baldwin credit work. In all cases of leaves of absence, please refer to the Credit and Refund Policy section of this academic catalog for information regarding financial arrangements. Residential students leaving college must depart the Mary Baldwin campus within 48 hours of the official date of leave. 

Counseled Leave: In certain circumstances, the Student Engagement Office or program director may set conditions that must be met during the leave of absence in order for the student to return. In such a case, the student may be required to furnish information concerning those conditions for review by the Student Engagement Office or program director prior to his/her reentry to the university. 

Medical Leave: A student may be granted a leave of absence for medical reasons. In order to obtain such a leave, the student must get certification from an attending physician and present it and the request for leave to the Student Engagement Office or program director. In order for a student to return from medical leave, the attending physician must submit to the Student Engagement Office (or program director) a statement certifying that the student is mentally and/or physically able to resume classes at the university. A student who is on academic deficiency status at the time he/she begins a leave of absence will continue on that status upon his/her return. A student who does not return at the end of the agreed leave period must reapply through Admissions. Such a student must meet the criteria of the Office of Admissions and will be subject to the catalog and university requirements in effect at time of re-entry.