Academic Regulations – Introduction to Academics at CYA

Students will find that academic life at College Year in Athens resembles in many ways that of their home institution. Your professors are American or have been trained in the United States, others come from a Greek or European academic background. It is common for European academics to expect students to do a great deal of independent reading, and to go beyond the required texts they are assigned in class.

Class Meet Times

Usually CYA classes meet Monday through Thursday, from 08:45 to 18:50 and in some cases 19:45. However, sometimes Fridays are used for regular classes or field study. (Please consult your calendar.)

Final Exams

Final Exams take place during the last week of the semester. The schedule is posted on the semester calendar. Students must take their exams at the scheduled times. Rescheduling, only for extreme medical circumstances, must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Course Credits and Grades

  1. The unit of credit is a course. The minimum as well as the normal load per semester is four courses, but students may enroll in a fifth. Students are allowed to drop and add courses during the first two weeks of the semester. The deadline is posted.
  2. The grade in a course is based on written, or written and oral examinations, satisfactory completion of all course assignments, class attendance and participation.
  3. The grading scale is A to F. The grade of WF may be assigned to students dropped from a course for any of the following reasons:
    • unexcused absences
    • unacceptable behavior in class
    • academic dishonesty
  4. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will issue a notice of academic warning to students whose mid-semester academic performance is deficient. Students on academic warning are expected to improve their grades; failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program.
  5. No courses are graded on a Pass/Fail basis except for prearranged tutorials.
  6. In general, students are not allowed to audit courses. Audits are not recorded on the transcript.

Class Attendance and Examinations

  1. Students are required to attend all class sessions, unless they are prevented from doing so by a compelling reason such as illness. No distinction is made between classroom sessions and those held onsite.
  2. Unexcused absences can have the following consequences:
    • academic probation
    • a lower grade
    • being dropped from the course and receiving a grade of WF
  3. Field study is an integral aspect of the curriculum, and active participation is required. Absences from field study trips or from scheduled visits to sites or museums are regarded as unexcused absences and will be dealt with accordingly (see #2 above).
  4. Instructors may not establish for their courses an attendance and class participation policy that is less strict than the general policy expressed in #2.
  5. Only the Vice President for Academic Affairs can record an absence as excused.
  6. A written final examination of at least two hours and thirty minutes or an equally weighty alternative is required in each course. A final examination shall not be given at any time other than that stated in the final examination schedule.
  7. Unexcused absences from tests or examinations will result in the grade of F for the test or examination in question. Provision for makeup tests or examinations will be made only with the permission of the instructor and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  8. In the event of illness on an examination day, the student must inform the Vice President for Academic Affairs before the commencement of the examination. A doctor’s note must be provided in order for an absence from an examination to be excused and for a make-up to be arranged.
  9. An Incomplete is given only for a deferred examination or work not completed because of illness or serious personal emergencies. An Incomplete Grade Form must be completed and signed by professor and student then submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval. An Incomplete grade must be resolved within three months from the end of the semester; otherwise, the grade becomes an F.

Making Class Changes

Please note: All class changes must be processed through the Registrar’s Office on the first floor of the Academic Center.

Students are registered for classes before the semester begins. When a course has more than one section, adjustments are sometimes made to balance class size or to place students into academically homogeneous sections. If students notice that a change in a section has created a conflict, they are asked to notify the Registrar immediately.

The drop/add period takes place during the first week of classes (Monday-Thursday). Once the Drop/Add period has ended, changes can be made only with special permission from the Vice President for Academic Affairs. We make every effort to assist students in registering for courses that are appropriate to their academic needs. However, students may not always be able to make the changes they want, either because classes are full or class times conflict. It is important to note that classes cannot be changed for non-academic reasons—for example, in order to avoid early classes, or late classes, or classes on Tuesday/Thursday.

Students are responsible for informing their college or university of any course changes. We recommend that students receive written approval for these changes from their advisor back home, and that they keep copies of all approval forms for when they return home.

academic regulations internal

Opting to Take a Course at a 400-level

All non-language courses may be taken at a higher level. Students who wish to take advantage of this option should talk with their professor to find out what extra work will be required. To register for a 400-Level course students must fill out the appropriate form with their professor listing all the extra requirements for taking the course at a higher level. The form can be downloaded from the internal website. After the form has been signed by the professor, it must be signed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and then turned into the Registrar. Please note this option will not be available after midterm exams.

Independent Study

Independent Study is granted only when a CYA course is not offered and it is needed for the student to graduate on time. It involves guided reading, research and written work under the direction of the faculty member who normally teaches the course. The application for Independent Study must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students must first contact their study abroad advisor and check Independent Study eligibility. Students must submit the topic and detailed proposal (including methodology and bibliography) for approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs who appoints the member of the faculty who will act as supervisor.

Final project will be submitted to the supervisor for assessment, and will be orally presented in front of an audience (members of relevant faculty and/or Academic Committee).

The Independent Study will count as a regular course in maintaining the student’s full-time status.

Grading System

CYA follows the grading system commonly used in the United States.

Regular courses:
A = Excellent
B = Good
C = Satisfactory
D = Pass
F = Fail

W = Approved withdrawal after drop/add period
WF = Unapproved withdrawal/failure

PD = Pass with distinction
P = Pass
F = Fail

Withdrawal Procedures

To withdraw from the program a student must:

  1. Have a conference with the Executive Director of Student Affairs and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  2. Fill out, sign, and turn in a Change of Status Form to the Registrar.
  3. Have an exit interview with CYA President.

Students withdrawing from the program are advised to review the refund policy stated in the catalogue and online.

Disputed Grades

CYA policy on disputed grades is based on two assumptions. The first is that the instructor who has taught a course is the person best able to judge how well the student has performed in that course and assign a grade. The second assumption is that students can ask their instructors to explain and/or reevaluate the grades assigned to them in given courses. It should be made clear that no grade changes can be made on the basis of additional work assigned after the course has finished.

It follows that students may direct questions about grades in general and final grades in particular to their instructors. It also follows, however, that under normal circumstances a final grade may be changed only upon the instructor’s request.

Questions about grades unanswered at the level of student and instructor can be brought before the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In such cases the disputed assignments and exams will be reviewed by two instructors with relevant expertise and their decision shall be final. No changes of grades entered on the transcripts can be made after the lapse of three months from the date of their entry.


At the end of the program one official copy will be sent to the student’s college or university at the address specified on the study abroad approval form and one copy will be sent to the student’s permanent mailing address. If necessary, a third copy is sent to the school of record. The CYA website,, has information on ordering additional copies. Students who have questions about transcripts should see the Registrar.

Additional copies of transcripts may be ordered by following the directions provided in the alumni section of the CYA website:

Very important: Students should keep electronic copies of their course syllabi just in case the home institution requires them for transferring credits.

Please note that CYA adheres to The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, which forbids the emailing of transcripts or their release without the student’s written consent.

Field Study

Field study, perhaps the most memorable part of the study abroad experience at CYA, is considered an integral part of the academic program and is intended to introduce students to the full range of Greek history and culture. Students travel to Crete, the Peloponnese and Delphi in the fall, and the Peloponnese, Delphi and Northern Greece in the spring. Although all students will visit the major sites, specific itineraries will differ according to the theme they have chosen. The aim is to provide students with an understanding of Greece, its environment, history and culture throughout the ages.

An itinerary is provided before each trip. Students are expected to be on time; if they miss the bus they will have to arrange their own transportation which usually means a taxi and it can be very costly. The same rules regarding class attendance apply to field study trips.

Unexcused absences from trip activities will affect student’s grades and/or academic standing.

Students are expected to have with them their CYA-issued ID cards and their museum cards when they are on field study or attending onsite classes, as they may be asked to show proof of their student status when visiting museums and sites.

Please note the following rules:

No alcohol or food to be consumed on buses.
Greek law requires that passengers buckle up for safety.

No alcohol to be consumed in hotel rooms.
Keep the noise down especially during siesta hours and after 10 p.m.

These rules also apply to CYA sponsored optional field study.

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