Academic Recommendation Board

(from Academic Policies)

The Academic Recommendation Board (ARB) has the responsibility to foster change and act as a steward of the curriculum. The ARB regularly reviews the curricular structure and course options and reviews and authorizes changes in degree requirements. Students may petition the ARB if they need to apply for an exception to graduation requirements.

The Registrar’s Office works in conjunction with the ARB and the Academic Affairs Office to develop semester schedules for each registration period. Nominally, courses at Olin are four (4) semester hour credits and meet for 200 minutes per week during a thirteen (13) week semester, followed by a required Expo period which brings the semester length to a total of fifteen (15) weeks.. Some laboratory, design or project courses may vary from this standard pattern.

The Course Substitution and Transfer Board

(from Academic Policies)

The Course Substitution and Transfer Board (CSTB) is a subcommittee of the ARB and has the responsibility of awarding Olin credit for classes taken at another institution. There are three cases where a student can take a class at another institution and get credit toward an Olin degree: cross-registration at Babson, Brandeis or Wellesley; classes taken during a Study Away experience; and classes taken at another institution during a summer or before enrolling at Olin.

The CSTB also determines what distribution and course requirements a non-Olin course can count for. Many courses at the BBW schools have been pre-approved and are posted in a list of Approved BBW Substitutions (see link below). Prior to taking a non-Olin class not on the pre-approval list, students should request permission from the CSTB to count this class toward satisfying a distribution or course requirement.

In order to guarantee the acceptance of substitution credit, students must receive approval from the CSTB, which will ask appropriate faculty to review the course materials before granting approval.  Course or credit substitution is defined as using a BBW course or a different Olin course to meet a course or credit requirement.  Approved substitutions will be recorded on the Olin degree audit and retained in the student academic file.

Similarly, in order to guarantee the acceptance of transfer credit from another institution, students at Olin College must receive prior approval from the CSTB. The committee will ask appropriate faculty to review the course materials before granting approval.   The minimum grade standard for all transfer courses is normally equivalent to a B- or 2.7 on a scale of 4.0. 

The student will be notified in writing of the decision by the CSTB within two-three weeks of the submission deadline.  After the approved course is completed, it is the student’s responsibility to have an official transcript sent to Registrar’s Office, Olin College, Olin Way, Needham, MA  02492.   Upon receipt of a transcript certifying minimum grade standards, credit will be posted to the student’s Olin transcript and degree audit.

Transfer Credit Policy

Request for Course/Credit Substitution

Transfer Credit Pre-Approval Form

List of Approved BBW Substitutions

Committee on Student Academic Performance

(from Academic Policies)

The Committee on Student Academic Performance (COSAP) is charged by the Dean of Student Affairs and Resources and is empowered to review, interpret, and propose academic performance policies. This committee considers petitions to waive existing academic performance regulations and acts as an appellate body for students with academic performance grievances. The committee also examines the records of students who are not making satisfactory progress toward a degree. This committee is chaired by the Dean of Student Affairs or the Dean’s designee (non-voting, except in the case of a tie) and consists of the Registrar (non-voting), the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Advising, and three faculty members. Students wishing to appeal a decision on policy must submit their appeal to the Registrar within one week of the original decision.

COSAP also reviews student petitions for exceptions to policy. The twenty credit maximum course load policy is a typical example of a petition to COSAP. There is no form to complete. Interested students should discuss their course load with their adviser and then write a detailed petition that outlines the rationale. Students should include their adviser on the email petition, as the adviser is always asked for feedback. Petitions should be emailed to no later than the add deadline.