Academic Progress Policy

Only courses in which a grade of B- or higher is earned may be counted toward a degree.


University of the South Accreditation Notice


Every student, upon enrollment, is assigned the Director of the School of Letters as their academic advisor. The advisor will confer personally with each student during their first summer in the program, and as needed thereafter. The advisor will review each student's progress in the program and course selections for the coming summer each spring, and will communicate with the student as needed.

Assistance for Students with Disabilities

The mission of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is to ensure that students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the programs, services, and activities of The University of the South through the identification and enactment of reasonable modifications to institutional policies and procedures, the provision of auxiliary aids and services, and the establishment of innovative educational services.  The University is committed to a culture of inclusivity that embraces students of all means and backgrounds.

SAS seeks to create an environment wherein the nature and degree of access to programs, services, and facilities and the level of self-determination afforded qualified persons with disabilities are indistinguishable from those available to their peers without disabilities. Students with disabilities are afforded access immediately and unobtrusively at the point of institutional contact. They are recognized for their abilities rather than their disabilities or stereotypical attributes ascribed to their respective physical or mental impairments.

Students applying for accommodation can initiate the process by navigating to the Student Accessibility Services Website and locating the How To Apply page. Students will be asked to complete an Intake Form and provide supporting documentation. Students with questions regarding documentation can review the Documentation Guidelines which can be located on the How To Apply page.  Students who wish to meet with someone before/about the intake process can reach out to to request a meeting with a SAS staff member.

Course requirements

Learn more about MFA program requirements here.

Drug-Free Schools and Campus Regulations
Learn more about the University drug policies here.
Grading Policy

Student work is evaluated with a standard A, B, C, D, and F scale. Grades of I, for incomplete, and W, for withdrawn, may also be awarded. Only courses in which a grade of B- or higher is earned may be counted toward a degree. Grade averages are calculated on the following scale:

A+ 4.33 B+ 3.33 C+ 2.33 D+ 1.33 0.00
4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00  
A- 3.67 B- 2.67 C- 1.67 D- 0.67  

Students must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average to continue in the program. The grade of incomplete may be given at the discretion of the professor, who will assign a deadline for submission of unfinished course work. The incomplete must be replaced with a grade no later than the following April 15.

Honor Code

Resolutions which have been adopted by the student body from time to time to further an understanding of the Honor System include the following and are understood to be in effect upon matriculation:

  • First, that any adequate conception of honor demands that an honorable person shall not lie or cheat or steal.
  • Second, that membership in the student body carries with it a peculiar responsibility for the punctilious observance of those standards of conduct which govern an honorable person in every walk of life. 
  • Third, that since the integrity of the degrees granted by the University must depend in large degree upon the Honor Code, all students in every class must regard themselves as particularly bound by their honor not to cheat in any form, and as likewise bound in honor not to fail to report any cheating that comes to their knowledge.
  • Fourth, that plagiarism is a form of cheating because the plagiarist copies or imitates the language and thoughts of others and passes the result off as an original work. Plagiarism includes the failure to identify a direct quotation by the use of quotation marks or another accepted convention which delimits and identifies the quotation clearly, paraphrasing the work of another without an acknowledgement of the source, or using the ideas of another, even though expressed in different words, without giving proper credit.
  • Fifth, the same paper may not be submitted in more than one course without the prior permission of the instructors in those courses.
  • Sixth, because the preservation of equal access to scholarly materials is essential in any academic community, it is a violation of the Honor Code to fail to check out materials taken from the library, or to remove from the building without proper authorization non­-circulating materials such as reference books, periodicals, or reserved books.


Every student is required to complete and upload health and immunization forms to the University's Student Health Services. 

Library and Information Technology Policies

The library can be accessed online here.

Library and Information Technology policies can be found here.

Refund Policy

NEW IN 2024: Please note you will receive information about required online Title IX and other university training from our partner, Vector Solutions. You will receive an email from Vector Solutions with detailed instructions and be granted access to the training platform. All of the mandatory training for graduate students will be in one video, which runs less than one hour, with a short quiz at the end. 

Student Education Records and Privacy

The University of the South complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA), which is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents.  Links to the Student Notification of Rights with Respect to Their Education Records and the Education Records and FERPA policy are here.

SCHOOL OF LETTERS Suspension and dismissal policy

In consultation with the faculty, the director may suspend or dismiss a student for inappropriate behavior that the director and a majority of the faculty determine to be disruptive or destructive of the learning process and/or community life. If such inappropriate behavior appears to have occurred, the student whose behavior is in question will be notified of the problem by the director and asked to explain the circumstances. If the explanation is judged adequate, the matter will be considered closed. If the director concludes that the student has behaved in a way that disrupts or destroys the learning process and/or community life, the student may be warned, suspended, or dismissed.

The decision of which sanctions to apply rests with the director in consultation with the faculty. Dismissal normally precludes readmission. In the case of suspension, the determination of the term, circumstances of suspension, and conditions for readmission rests with the director in consultation with the faculty. If the director judges that action must be taken before there is adequate time to consult the faculty, the director may do so. Dismissal automatically terminates any contract between the school and the student.

Thesis Students
Transfer Credit

Up to two graduate course credits (or six semester hours) may be transferred from other accredited institutions to count toward a degree from the Sewanee School of Letters. Each course must be approved for transfer by the director, preferably before the work is done. Transfer course credits cannot have been counted towards any other degree, whether taken at Sewanee or another institution, and must be a grade of B or better. Graduate credits, whether they are earned at Sewanee or transferred from another institution, cannot count toward a degree after 10 years have elapsed.


Notice of withdrawal and requests for refund must be made in writing addressed to the director of the School of Letters and must be accompanied by a written notice from the healthcare provider stating that illness-withdrawal is recommended.


All other University expectations and policies can be found here: