- Degrees are awarded by the Regents of the University on recommendation of the faculty, not by colleges or departments or campuses. The University sets degree requirements and standards, but departments, colleges, and campuses have the delegated authority to determine the requirements and standards related to programs and majors, so long as they are consistent with this policy.
- All credit awarded by the University, regardless of the campus or type of instruction, must be recognized by all University campuses, must appear on the transcript, and must count toward the requirements for the degree (subject to the requirements and standards established by departments, colleges, and campuses). In some cases, a student may accumulate credits that, while recognized by the University, are in excess of what may be required for the degree program in which he or she is enrolled.
- Students may not earn two baccalaureate degrees in the same major (e.g. B.A. and B.S. in Economics) from any campus(es) of the University.
- A student fulfilling requirements for two majors within different degree structures (e.g., one B.A. and one B.S) may earn two degrees. The student must complete all additional requirements for the degree, beyond completion of the major (e.g., the language requirement for the B.A. degree).
- Baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of 120 semester credits. College/campus approval is required for any baccalaureate degree programs that require more than 120 credits. Academic units that propose baccalaureate degree programs requiring more than 132 credits must also receive approval from the appropriate chancellor or provost in consultation with the Senate Committee on Educational Policy.
- The accumulation of 120 or more credits, without meeting requirements and standards set out in this policy and by departments, colleges, and campuses, does not entitle a student to a degree.
- Requirements regarding breadth of study (i.e., liberal education requirements) and other campus-wide graduation standards must be approved by the faculty governing body for that campus.
- Limits on use of S/N grades (see Administrative Policy: Grading and Transcripts for definitions of S and N).
- The maximum proportion of University S/N credits permitted within the total University credits in the degree is 25%.
- [Twin Cities only] No unit will allow S/N grading in major course work unless the S/N grading system is preset by the unit for specific courses.
- [Twin Cities only] For a student who completes only the minimum number of 30 credits at the University, no more than 8 of the 30 credits may be taken S/N.
- [Twin Cities only] Subject to the overall University policy contained in 8a, above, colleges, campuses, and programs may specify what courses or proportion of courses taken by its students or its prospective students must be on the A-F or S-N grading system.
- [Crookston only] Courses being used to satisfy Crookston major and liberal education requirements must be taken A/F unless the course is only offered S/N.
- [Twin Cities and Rochester only] D grades are not permitted in major, minor, or certificate courses. Required courses for the major, minor, or undergraduate certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward satisfying the major, minor, or certificate requirements (including transfer courses). All other courses, including courses in the major or minor field that are not required to complete the major or minor, will count toward a degree if the student earns a D or better.
- (Morris only) No more than 8 credits in Music Ensembles, Mus 1300 through Mus 1340, no more than 4 credits in SSA 12xx skills courses, no more than 4 credits Varsity Athletics, SSA 14xx, and no more than 32 credits of IS 3796, 3896, 3996 may be applied to the 120 credit degree requirement.
- GPA requirement for graduation. A student who is admitted to a degree program or major and who completes all requirements of the degree, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 in University of Minnesota coursework, will be allowed to earn a degree. The cumulative GPA is based on only University of Minnesota course work. No academic unit may impose additional grade point standards or conditions to graduate.
This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.
The policy establishes a minimum consistent standard that all undergraduate students must reach in order to earn an undergraduate degree. The standard applies across the University system and is intended to ensure that students have a strong foundation for their future endeavors. This policy supports the University of Minnesota mission of teaching and learning.
Departments, colleges and campuses are empowered to determine the requirements and standards related to their degree programs and their majors and minors, but these must be consistent with the University's policy standards.
This policy implements criteria and requirements for accreditation established by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Academic Major
- A student's main field of specialization during his or her undergraduate or graduate studies. The major is recorded on the student's transcript.
- Academic Minor
- A student's declared secondary field of study or specialization during his or her undergraduate or graduate studies. A minor typically consists of a set of courses that meet specified guidelines and is designed to allow a sub-major concentration in an academic discipline or in a specific area in or across disciplines. The minor is recorded on the student's transcript.
- Baccalaureate Degree
- An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete the undergraduate curriculum. Also called bachelor's degree.
- Degree Structure
- The type of baccalaureate degree. Most baccalaureate degrees offered at the University of Minnesota are within the bachelor of arts (B.A.) structure or the bachelor of science (B.S.) structure. However, degrees are also offered within other structures such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) or Bachelor of Science in Business (B.S.B.).
- Requirements for the Major and Minor
- The set of courses that constitute the program of study in a focused area for a particular degree program. These courses make up a portion of the University of Minnesota degree.
- Colleges or campuses
- Prepare request to establish standards higher than those set in the policy. Communicate the new standards, if approved.
- Executive Vice President and Provost
- Consider collegiate or campus requests on higher standards and communicate the decision.
- October 2014 - Clarifications related to Higher Learning Commission accreditation requirements.
- March 2013 - Minor Revision, Comprehensive Review. 1. Clarifies that a student may not earn two degrees in the same major. 2. Specifies that the minimum GPA requirement of 2.0 must be earned from the courses taken at the University of Minnesota. Transfer credits from other universities will not be used in this calculation.
- June 2012 - Major Revision, Comprehensive Review: 1. Specifies that Ds will not be allowed in courses required for the minor, which has been the current practice on the Twin Cities campus. 2. Clarifies that this rule applies to Rochester as well.
- August 2011 - Major Revision, Comprehensive Review: Eliminates the skills requirements for the Twin Cities, Crookston, and Rochester, to allow students choices as to how to use their electives. There are sufficient other controls in place to ensure that an undergraduate degree does not have an excess of electives.
- December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
- April 2009