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Graduation requirements for the Classes of 2020 through 2022

Vassar has adopted the Vassar Intensive and Experiential Work curriculum, which will go into effect on July 1, 2019.  We are very excited about the new “intensives” course offerings that will provide increased opportunities for students to work closely with faculty in teaching and learning opportunities that are different from traditional classes.  While we know that students are excited about the possibilities for new kinds of coursework that the new curriculum will bring, we also fully appreciate that you need to know how this transition will impact you.  In addition to the availability of the new intensives, here are the three biggest changes for you going into the 2019/20 academic year:

  1. The requirement for graduation has been lowered from 34 units to 32 units.  There are corresponding reductions in the limits on transfer units that can be counted towards the 32 units.  Most of the other graduation requirements and limits are remaining the same.  All students in the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 will graduate with 32 units subject to the new transfer unit limits.  Complete details of the new limits can be found using these links: Any student who wishes to consult about how the changes in the general requirements for graduation apply to them should make an appointment with their class advisor in the Dean of Studies Office. 
  2. Major requirements have been revised.  Every department and program has reviewed their major requirements and most of them have made changes.  It is up to each major to decide how students in the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 will complete the major in transition to the new curriculum.  The new requirements for all majors can be found in the Vassar College Catalogue ( Please consult with your major advisor and/or your department chair/program director so that you are sure that you understand what the transition plan is and how they apply to individual students.
  3. The maximum normal course load will be 4.5 units, with no more than 4.0 units of “Classroom” courses. Courses will be clearly labeled as “Classroom,” “Intensive,” or “Other” in the schedule of classes.  The current maximum normal course load is 5.0 units and will change to 4.5 units.  Students wishing to take an overload in a semester — more than 4.5 units in total or more than 4.0 “Classroom” units — will need to petition the Committee on Leaves and Privileges, which will review requests as they do now.

The enormous transformative potential of the new curriculum and the intensive course offerings is profoundly exciting for both faculty and students.  At the same time, the changes have led to uncertainty and we hope that this note will help everyone get the information that they need.