COVID-19: Essential Information

Winter Term 2021 Courses

Winter term offers both students and faculty unique opportunities for study and learning. Each student may enroll in only one academic, credit-bearing course; each instructor teaches only one course. Students may study independently or as participants in a course, in their major fields or in disciplines they have never studied before. The winter term curriculum consists of a variety of courses, both interdepartmental and departmental, at various levels, from beginning to advanced. Some students also have the opportunity to undertake a winter internship instead of formal study.

Normally, a department may require its students to take no more than one of its winter term courses, in addition to winter term senior work, during four years. Students are urged to take winter term courses in substantially different areas in their first two years.  A minimum of two Winter Term credits are required.  A maximum of four winter term and a maximum of three summer study credits may count toward the graduation requirement of 36 credits.

Winter Term ClassesGrading SystemIndependent Study
Waitlist for Visiting CoursesIntroductory Language CoursesDistribution Requirement Credit
Physical Education ClassesAuditingApproval Required Courses
College Writing Courses  

2021 Winter Term Classes

In a typical winter term, all courses meet a minimum of eight contact hours per week, and many courses require additional hours. In winter term ’21, the balance of class meeting time to outside-of-class engaged time will vary from course to course.  This winter term will begin on Tuesday, January 19.  Due to the brevity of the term, it is imperative that each student attend the first class and all classes.  Students who miss the first class of winter term must have an excuse from their Student Life Dean.

What’s new in Winter Term ‘21

You will notice some new course formats this Winter Term.  For example, one course that’s listed in multiple departments will have a shared lecture section and be linked to labs in different disciplines where students apply their learning to authentic questions of interest to them, a few large interdepartmental issues-based courses will be offered in which students attend a series of events on an important issue of our day and gather in smaller discussion groups to reflect on and make sense of that issue, and a handful of other courses will be co-taught by faculty and practicing professionals across an array of departments.  You will also notice some courses offered by faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and some by faculty at the Middlebury Schools Abroad.  We encourage you to explore the full range of Winter Term course offerings as you prepare for registration.

Winter Term Grading System

Winter term courses normally are graded A through F. Some courses, because of their special nature, are graded on an Honors/Pass/Fail basis but must first be approved by the Curriculum Committee. Internships are graded Credit/No Credit. Independent Projects are graded on an A-F basis unless special arrangements are made through the dean of curriculum (e.g., occasional independent projects where the instructor decides that the special nature of the course is better suited to honors/pass/fail grading).

All winter term course work must be completed by the end of the winter session. Grades of Incomplete will be submitted according to existing procedures in consultation with the Student Life Dean, and such work must be satisfactorily completed by the end of the following spring semester.

Students who receive grades of D or F in winter term courses or independent projects are placed on probation. Students who receive an F may need to make up the course credit, but not necessarily during a winter term.

Theses, honors projects, and senior work undertaken or completed during winter term as part of a larger project will be graded under the regular A-F grading system, the grade to be based upon an evaluation of the completed project as a whole.

Waitlists for Visiting Instructor Courses

Please Note: a waitlist is not generated before registration begins or before a class is fully enrolled. Contact information for visiting instructors is not provided before classes begin in January, and visitors do not manage their course waitlist until the term begins.

An electronic waitlist option is available in Banner for each visiting instructor’s course. If a course that you are interested in has filled before you are able to register, please add your name to that waitlist in Banner during registration.

If you would like to be placed on a waitlist for a visiting instructor’s course after the registration period has ended (Dec 7), please contact Kathleen Parent @ She will monitor this process until classes begin in January.    

If you would like to inquire about a waitlist for a course taught by a Middlebury faculty member, please contact the instructor of that course directly.

Winter Term Independent Study (0500 Work)

Students with 8 or more credits may submit a proposal to their faculty sponsor for winter term independent work either as a continuation of their major or minor or as work outside of their major or minor as long as:

  • They have not completed more than two units of winter term independent work; and
  • They have received the approval of the chair or director of the department or program in which the work will be completed

Students are not allowed to pursue independent projects during their first winter term.

How to Apply: Contact a faculty member in the department/program in which the work will be done to ask if they will advise the project; once approved by the faculty member, the student should register for that faculty member's independent project section during the registration period (or by Banner override during add/drop).
Deadline: Ongoing until the Add Deadline

Students are not allowed to pursue independent projects during their first winter term.

Winter Term Internships

Winter term internships involve significant high-level exposure to the fundamental work of an organization, with ties to a student's academic and/or professional interests. They challenge students to apply their liberal arts learning in a real-world setting, and provide students with an opportunity to reflect meaningfully on the connections between their classroom learning and their outside-the-classroom experiences. Internships can be pursued during winter term and students can apply for the opportunity to earn academic credit for their work in reflecting upon, and making meaning of, the internship experience. The Curriculum Committee oversees this process, in partnership with individual faculty members and with the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI).

 To apply, students identify an internship opportunity and a faculty member whom they wish to advise them in connection with the internship. If the faculty member agrees that the internship provides a worthwhile opportunity for the application of liberal arts learning, the student and faculty member together develop a plan for the academic work that will express the student’s thoughtful reflection on the internship and its connections to their learning. The student then applies for internship credit by submitting an application (e.g. creating an “Experience”) in Handshake and lists the name and contact information of their internship sponsor and faculty academic sponsor in the application. The two sponsors will receive links via a Handshake email to their respective online forms, which they will complete, indicating their support of the internship terms.  All information is detailed on the CCI website.

Students in these approved winter term internships spend a minimum of 4 weeks at 25 hours per weeks (or 100 hours total) at their internship site, and complete the agreed upon academic work. Winter Term 2021 internships for credit may take place during the date range from January 4-Feb. 12, 2021, with a start date on or after Jan. 4 and with an end date no later than Feb. 12, 2021. At the end of the internship, the student and the on-site work supervisor submit evaluation reports. The faculty member grades the student’s work in response to the internship on a Credit/No Credit basis. Students with fewer than 8 credits may not undertake winter term internships for credit, and students who take more than one internship in four years should pursue substantially different learning experiences in each. A student may not repeat the same winter term internship for credit. A relative may not function as an internship supervisor. If the internship is in a non-English speaking-country, the committee will expect competence in the language of that country, although exceptions apply. Students can also pursue internships during winter term without receiving academic credit.

 More information about internship opportunities and the application process for winter term internship credit is available from CCI (at go/WTinternships or contact Cheryl Whitney Lower, ext. 5798). More information about the faculty member’s role, appropriate academic work in connection with internships, and grading of such work is available from the Dean of Curriculum Suzanne Gurland, ext. 5323.
Deadline for students to submit Application for Winter Term Credit: December 2, 2020.

 Register, Register, Register!  If you are waiting for approval on a proposed internship, you must register for a placeholder Winter Term course during Winter Term registration in case the proposal is denied. Once your internship is approved, you will receive instructions from CCI on how to register or switch your course registration in Banner Web to the internship.


Prior permission of the instructor is required for any audit. There is no credit for any form of auditing; students cannot audit a winter term course unless they are also enrolled in another academic credit-bearing course. To obtain "official audit" status, in which case the course will be recorded on the student's transcript, the student must make a request to the instructor, and the student and instructor must agree in writing on conditions for satisfactory completion of the audit.  These students must register via the registrar’s office for this formal Audit status. 

     Community members living in the Middlebury area may audit courses only with the permission of the instructor and the dean of curriculum or designee. Community members interested in auditing a course at the College must complete the Community Member Audit Request form, available at, and obtain the requisite permissions indicating approval. Current high school students may not audit courses at Middlebury College.

Introductory Language Programs

Students enrolled in a fall semester 0101 language course who plan to continue in the spring must register for the winter term language course if that language has one.

Distribution Requirement Credit

Winter term courses that may be used to satisfy academic categories and the cultures and civilizations requirement are so indicated in the course description.

Physical Education (PHED) Classes

Students may enroll in PHED classes during winter term to satisfy the PE requirement, but they must also be enrolled in a credit-bearing academic course. For information on PHED offerings, please click on

Approval Required Courses

To register for any of the following courses, you must first get the approval of the instructor. Even with prior approval, you must still register in BannerWeb during the registration period. The deadline to apply for an approval-required course is November 30, 2020

DANC 0380

Dance Company of Middlebury

ENVS 1047

Contemp Practice Social Change

INTD 1074

MiddCORE 2021

INTD 1089Middlebury Entrepreneurs
PSCI/PSYC 1048Social Change Big Challenges

College Writing Program

After successfully completing a first-year seminar, every student must complete by the end of the fourth semester, or as determined by the student's major department or program, at least one course designated as a College writing course (CW). Students are responsible for completing both college writing requirements prior to graduation, and are strongly advised to fulfill their second CW credit before they begin their final semester at Middlebury.  The following courses offered during the January 2021 winter term will fulfill the college writing (CW) requirement. 

Writing Program Courses


Histories of Struggle
EDST 1009

Soc Justice & Evol Spirituality

ENAM 1046

Advanced Expository Writing

INTD 1035

 Oratory Symposium


The winter term course schedule is available at: