Undergraduate 2020-2021

Graduation Requirements

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is an academic title granted to a student who has completed a specific course of study. Degree titles are authorized by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and programs leading to the degrees are administered by the University, a college, a school and sometimes a program board or coalition of faculty.

The faculty of UNC has established four general requirements that a student must meet to earn a baccalaureate degree:

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credit hours.
  2. Have a University of Northern Colorado cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00. Certain programs or majors may have additional requirements.
  3. Have at least 40 credit hours in courses designated as Liberal Arts. The Liberal Arts Core program is described under Undergraduate Studies, See “The Liberal Arts Core”.
  4. Meet all degree requirements in the student's major field of study, as listed in the Catalog current when the first major is officially declared. This may include required minors, licensures, and/or endorsements.

Course Substitutions and Course Waivers

Course Substitution

Any program course requirement, as approved through the curriculum process and listed in the catalog that is replaced/substituted by another course. All course substitutions must ensure the maintenance of academic program integrity and should be in the same area as the required course or in a closely related field. Course substitution decisions are made only by the related academic unit. Additionally, course substitutions have direct academic impact on other UNC courses. Academic impact must be considered when a request for course substitution is made.


Course Waiver

Any program course requirement, as approved through the curriculum process and listed in the catalog, that is deemed unnecessary to be completed by an individual student due to the student’s non-course experiences and/or demonstrated existing knowledge. All course waivers must ensure the maintenance of academic program integrity. Course waiver decisions are made only by the related academic unit. Academic impact must be considered when a request for course waiver is made.

Catalog Requirements

Requirements for graduation are checked as follows:

  1. Student completes all degree requirements (the Liberal Arts Core, major(s), minor(s), teacher licensure) as designated in the catalog of the academic year in which his or her primary major is declared.

    NOTE: A change from one major to another (or a change of one emphasis to another within the same major) effects a change of catalog year into the catalog in effect when the major change occurred.

  2. Each catalog is in effect for a six-year time limit.

  3. At the expiration of a catalog’s six-year time limit, the student may select any subsequent catalog up to and including the current one, provided the student is or was in attendance at the University during that academic year.
  4. A student may change at any time to any subsequent catalog year as long as they attended UNC during that academic year; this change requires submission of a major/minor change form (found at https://www.unco.edu/registrar/forms.aspx). If a student’s catalog has expired, the student must also submit a major/minor change form to update their catalog. If a student’s program does not exist in the desired subsequent catalog, the student must instead declare a new program, also using the major/minor change form. If a student’s major or minor has changed names in the subsequent catalog, the student must obtain signature approval from the academic department of the new major or minor.

Correspondence Credit and Transfer Work

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit in correspondence and/or continuing education courses will be accepted toward graduation.

All correspondence courses and/or transfer work must be completed, received, graded and recorded before the end of the semester of graduation.

Degree Conferral Policy

Academic records will be locked upon degree conferral. Under no circumstances will changes be made to the academic record after degree conferral.

When all degree requirements have been completed, a degree must be awarded and completed in the term that it is brought to the attention of the Office of the Registrar. Students cannot request a delay in awarding a degree once all degree requirements have been satisfied.

Major and Minor Requirements

A major is a concentration of courses in a student's declared area of primary academic study which, when accompanied by appropriate supporting courses, leads to a degree. Majors are recorded on the student's permanent record. The requirements for a major are specified in the catalog of the academic year in which the student declares a major.

Certain courses are required for the major, but electives may be selected from a range of alternatives prescribed by the program. Students who are unsure of their major may enter the University as 'Exploring' and are advised by Soar. Students are required to declare a major by the time they have completed 30 credit hours toward graduation, including transfer credit. Undergraduate students may transfer from one major to another by filing a Major/Minor Change Form as long as they meet the requirements of the new program. When a student with a Seeking or Exploring program declares a degree bearing program, the Seeking and/or Exploring program will be removed from their curriculum at the time of the Major/Minor Change process. Please note: a change of emphasis area constitutes a change of major. Students changing majors must meet with an academic advisor in the newly declared major to obtain a PIN.

An emphasis area includes specified courses that provide a particular focus within a major. Emphasis areas for majors are recorded on the student's academic record.

An academic minor involves less extensive concentration in a discipline but still imposes specific requirements. An undergraduate minor is a specific set of courses in a subject area or academic discipline. A minor does not alone lead to an academic degree, but may be required by some majors. A minor differs from an emphasis area in that a minor is not a focus within the student's major.

The requirements for a minor are specified in the Catalog of the academic year in which the student declares a first major.

To complete a major from UNC, a student is required to earn a minimum of nine upper-division UNC credits (300-400) or UNC approved Study Abroad credits (300-400) in that major. To complete a minor, a student is required to earn a minimum of six upper-division UNC credits (300-400) or UNC approved Study Abroad credits in that minor.

A maximum of 12 credit hours of coursework can be shared between a major and a minor. Exceptions to this policy may be found in the requirements for individual programs as described in the UNC catalog.

The student must meet all requirements and pass all courses required by the school/college or program from which he or she selects a major or a minor. These requirements vary and are specifically stated in the section of this catalog that summarizes each academic program's offerings including its majors and minors.

Each undergraduate student is strongly encouraged to work closely with his or her assigned faculty advisor in selecting Liberal Arts Core courses, major and minor offerings and elective courses from other disciplines. Students declared as 'Exploring' and selected 'seeking' majors are advised by Soar. If a student has more than one major or minor they are encouraged to see advisors in each area of study prior to course registration.

Submission of Transfer Credit

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities containing transfer credit necessary for completion of degree requirements must be received by the Office of the Registrar before the semester of graduation.

Previous Credit Earned

Regardless of the time a course was taken before the UNC baccalaureate degree is to be granted, it may be applicable toward the UNC degree to satisfy Liberal Arts Core Requirements and count toward the minimum 120 hours that are required for a UNC degree. Acceptance of course work of AP/SAT/ACT scores older than 10 years to satisfy major, minor, licensure, endorsement and/or certificate requirements is at the discretion of the respective department. Please see the respective individual programs in the UNC catalog for more information in regards to the program policy on course work older than 10 years.

Residency Requirement

A student must have earned a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in UNC courses. 20 of the last 30 semester credit hours of a degree program must be earned in UNC courses. Exceptions to this residency policy may be found in the requirements for individual programs as described in the UNC catalog.