Orientation and Advising

For new students in the College, a required orientation program and a required meeting with the student’s lower-division academic advisor precede the beginning of classes and the drop/add period. Some required orientation programs also occur during fall semester of the first year. The lower-division academic advisor provides guidance during and between registration periods until the student declares a major. 

During orientation, advisors meet with students both individually and in small groups. A meeting with the advisor is required before all subsequent registration periods. Students are encouraged to take the initiative in arranging additional meetings at any time to seek advice or other assistance. The lower-division advisor works with the student until the student declares a major, typically during the fourth semester. Then, an advisor in the student’s major department is assigned.


Registration for continuing students in the College and the School of Business undergraduate program typically begins in March for the fall and the summer terms, and in October for the spring term. Consultation with the academic advisor must be completed before registration. New students entering in the fall term register during the prior summer. Readmitted students and those approved for resumption of full- or part-time status, once officially advised, may work with the Office of the University Registrar staff to enroll in classes. Students currently enrolled at the University may register for the summer sessions classes. All tuition and fees must be paid in full to Student Financial Services by the announced deadlines.


Classification of students by class standing and as full-time or part-time is calculated in terms of semester hours earned. 

The requirements for classification are as follows:

  • Sophomore—completion of no fewer than 25 hours toward a degree;
  • Junior—completion of no fewer than 55 hours toward a degree;
  • Senior—completion of no fewer than 87 hours toward a degree.

Course Load

Most courses in the College and the School of Business undergraduate program have a value of 3 credit hours, but they may vary from one-half hour to five hours. The normal load for a full-time undergraduate student is 15 credit hours per semester. The maximum credit hours allowed in the College without permission is 17, and the maximum allowed in the School of Business is 18. A student who feels that he or she has valid and compelling reasons to register for more than the maximum hours in a semester must seek permission starting each semester after registration has opened for all students (see academic services calendar for exact date). Only if the advisor, the appropriate staff of the Office of Academic Advising, and the Committee on Academic Affairs agree that the proposed course load is in the best interest of the student will permission be granted. Non-business or non-accounting majors wishing to take courses in the School of Business must have met the specific courses’ prerequisites and have permission of the instructor. Enrollment in the course is subject to space availability.

Twelve hours per semester constitute minimum full-time enrollment for undergraduates at the University, but only an average of at least 15 hours will lead to the requisite 120 hours for graduation in 8 semesters without additional summer or transfer hours. Recipients of Wake Forest scholarships and loans, as well as some types of federal aid, must be enrolled for at least 12 hours. Recipients of veterans’ benefits, grants from state government, and other governmental aid must meet the guidelines of the appropriate agencies.

Part-time Students

A student may not register for part-time status (i.e., fewer than 12 hours in a single semester) without specific permission from the Office of Academic Advising by the last day to add a class. Students enrolled on a part-time basis are not eligible for the Dean's List.  Approval for part-time status requires that students pay for such work on a per hour basis. Petitions for part-time status after the last day to add a class will be denied, except in the case of special circumstances, and the student will be required to pay full tuition. Part-time students may be ineligible for campus housing unless an exception is made by the Office of Residence Life and Housing.  For information regarding the consequences of part-time status on tuition, housing, or financial aid, students should visit the offices of Student Financial Services, Student Financial Aid, and Residence Life and Housing.

Summer Full-time Status Policy

A Wake Forest University undergraduate student registered for one (1) or more credit hours at Wake Forest University during the summer is considered to be a full-time student during the summer part-of-term in which they are enrolled (Session I, Session II, or Full Summer). 

Important Note: The above definition of full-time status during the summer session may not be coincident with requirements for Federal financial aid eligibility in the summer. For more information, contact Financial Aid (email; 336-758-5154)

Class Attendance

The responsibility for class attendance lies with the student, who is expected to attend classes regularly and punctually. A vital aspect of the residential college experience is class attendance; its value cannot be measured by testing procedures alone. Students are considered sufficiently mature to appreciate the necessity of regular attendance, to accept this personal responsibility, to demonstrate the self-discipline essential for such performance, and to recognize and accept the consequences of failure to attend. Students who cause their work or that of the class to suffer because of absence or lateness may be referred by the instructor to the appropriate dean in the Office of Academic Advising for suitable action. Any student who does not attend classes regularly or who demonstrates other evidence of academic irresponsibility is subject to such disciplinary action as the Committee on Academic Affairs may prescribe, including immediate suspension from the College or from the School of Business.

Students who miss class while acting as duly authorized representatives of the University at events and times approved by the appropriate dean are considered excused. The undergraduate faculties are sensitive to the religious practices of members of the student body. At the beginning of the semester, students who will be absent from class for religious observances should confer with the instructor(s) about the date of the absence. The disposition of missed assignments will be arranged between instructor and student. Students anticipating many excused absences should consult the instructor before enrolling in classes in which attendance and class participation count heavily toward the final grade. For policies pertaining to absences resulting from illness or other extenuating circumstances please see the statement under Deacon Health.

Auditing Courses

When space is available after the registration of degree-seeking students, others may request permission of the instructor to enter a class as auditors. No additional charge is made to full-time students in the College or the School of Business; for others the fee is $75 per hour. Permission of the instructor is required. An auditor is subject to attendance regulations and to other conditions imposed by the instructor. 

Although an auditor receives no credit, a notation of audit is made on the final grade report and entered on the academic record of students who have met the instructor’s requirements. An audit may not be changed to a credit course or a credit course changed to an audit after the first official day of classes for each semester or term.

Dropping a Course

Students may drop full term courses through the 26th class day. The last day in each term for dropping a class is listed on the Academic Calendar. A student who wishes to drop any course on or before this date must follow the procedure prescribed by the registrar. 

Drop/Add of Partial-Semester Courses

Students adding or dropping classes lasting for shorter durations than the full semester and/or that begin after the opening of the semester may add or drop those classes any time prior to the first class meeting, but instructor’s permission may be required. The add and drop period for such classes is proportionate to the duration of the course. Consult with the Academic Services Calendar or the Office of the University Registrar for the enforced add and drop dates. 

Course Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from one or more  full term courses from the 27th class day until five days after interim grades are due. Students may withdraw from one or more half term courses from the 14th instructional day until the 22nd instructional day of each respective half of term. Intentions of course withdrawal (see details below) are due by 5pm on the respective last day for withdrawal. The last day in each term for withdrawing from a course is listed on the Academic Services Calendar

A "W" grade will be recorded on a student's transcript for any course withdrawal during this period. In order for a course withdrawal to be processed, a student must contact the Office of Academic Advising.  The student must consult with his or her course instructor and  faculty advisor. The instructor and faculty advisor must indicate that consultation has occurred, not that they necessarily approve of the student's decision. Once the Office of Academic Advising has received the required information, the Office of the University Registrar will process the course withdrawal. 

Independent Study, Individual Study, Directed Reading and Internships

Such work is ordinarily reserved for junior and senior students in the undergraduate schools. Any student requesting approval for such a course must possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in Wake Forest courses. All such course requests must be approved by the appropriate department. The academic requirements must be completed during the semester in which a student is enrolled.

The number of credit hours the student registers for in an independent study, individual study, directed reading, or internship course may not be changed during the add period unless approved by the sponsoring faculty member.

Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

In exceptional circumstances, undergraduate students may enroll in Wake Forest graduate-level courses. Such students must have junior or senior status and must obtain written permission from the course instructor, the student’s advisor, and the associate dean for academic advising. Typically, undergraduate students will not be allowed to take 600-level classes for credit if the related 300-level class is available; undergraduate students who wish to take a cross-listed course at the graduate level must follow the procedure described above. Graduate programs have no obligation to admit undergraduate students to their courses and do so at their own discretion.