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Academic Policies

Integrity, accessibility, and transparency in all our policies


Academic Credit

Credit for courses taken at the Consortium may be used toward a degree elsewhere at the discretion of the degree-granting institution. Agreements between the Consortium and participating institutions enable credit to be transferred to the home institution or allow students to enroll in Consortium seminars under a home institution's course number, thus gaining credit from that institution. Because credit arrangements vary among institutions, students expecting to receive credit from their home institution by transfer or other mechanism should consult the cross-registration policies of their home institution. GCWS maintains an academic record for every student enrolled in a seminar.

Student Attendance and Participation

Student attendance and participation are essential to the life of a seminar. It is the student's responsibility to attend all classes and participate fully. A student's class participation and attendance are carefully considered in final grades. Students who must be absent are required to telephone or e-mail an instructor prior to class.

Course Evaluations

Toward the end of a seminar, students will be asked to complete, during the regular seminar meeting time, an anonymous Course Evaluation Form. Completed forms are submitted to the GCWS staff to be kept in the Consortium files for review by the GCWS Board of Directors. Copies of evaluations are given to the instructors only after final grades have been submitted.



Written requests for withdrawal must be submitted to the GCWS staff after the seminar has begun and before the eighth week of the course. Ceasing to attend class does not constitute official withdrawal from a course. Notification submitted solely to the instructors is insufficient. WD on the transcript and grade report designates that a student has officially withdrawn from a seminar. Failure to provide written notification to the GCWS staff will result in the grade of F.

Conflict Management

Students who believe that they have been treated improperly for any reason are encouraged to raise their concerns.  Difficulties with other students should be brought to the attention of the course instructors and/or with the GCWS staff. 

Students who believe that they have been treated improperly by the course instructors, who have concerns regarding the assignment evaluation practices or with their course grade are encouraged to pursue the following steps:

  1. Discuss concerns with the faculty teaching team first.

  2. If discussion is not appropriate, bring concerns to the attention of the GCWS Board Representative at the student’s home institution. (Contact the GCWS staff to find out how to get in touch with this representative.)

  3. This faculty member will work with the student to resolve the issue and will brief the GCWS Board co-chairs of the situation. Individuals will not be reprimanded or discriminated against for initiating an inquiry or complaint and the rights of the individual against whom a complaint is made will be protected.


Instructors assess student performance on the basis of the completion of assigned papers, presentations, and/or examinations, class participation, and attendance. Students may choose to be graded by letter grade or "Pass/No Credit" option. The grading option is chosen and designated on the Consortium registration form.

Possible grades are as follows:

Letter Grades: Letter grades can vary by institution.

Incomplete: INC. Because of the time-limited appointments of Consortium faculty, incompletes are strongly discouraged. Incompletes can only be granted in exceptional cases and with the consent of all instructors of the course. Students and instructors should to agree on a due date for outstanding work (e.g., no more than 2 weeks after the original due date) and inform the GCWS staff of this arrangement in writing, including signatures of student and instructors. Instructors' option not to accept incompletes will be upheld if this is stated on the course syllabus.


Grade Reports

Grade reports will be sent to all students after the close of the course.


Official GCWS transcripts will be sent to the home institutions of only those students who have indicated on the registration form that they have arranged to receive credit for this course in their home institutions. This transcript will be sent to the appropriate official (registrar or sponsoring faculty), along with copies of any cross-registration or other forms required by the home institution to facilitate credit transfer. Requests for additional transcripts should be made in writing to the GCWS staff.


Academic Integrity, Harassment, Accessibility

Students will be subject to the academic integrity of their home institutions as well as MIT. Links below for each instiution policy on academic integrity, harrassment and accessibilty.