Undergraduate 2020-2021

Major and Minor Information

http://www.unco.edu/registrar/

The catalog used to determine major requirements is the catalog in effect at the time the major is declared. A change of major will effect a change of catalog; a change of emphasis is considered a change of major. Minors, additional majors, licensures and endorsements follow the major catalog. Regardless of a student's catalog year, any course taken at UNC after Summer 2006 may be used to satisfy a particular Liberal Arts Core requirements if and only if it is listed as an approved Liberal Arts Core course in the relevant area in the Catalog in effect at the time at which it was taken.

http://www.unco.edu/registrar/major-minor-cert.aspx

To change a major or minor, complete and print the Major/Minor Change Form, then submit it to the appropriate academic office(s) for signature approval. The completed form must then be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. (Changes to licensure or endorsements are approved in the School of Teacher Education). A minor cannot be declared unless a degree-seeking major has been declared.

Major and Minor Requirements

A major is a concentration of courses in a student's declared area of primary academic study that, 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 chosen 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. The School of Nursing advises Exploring the Liberal Arts Nursing Students.

Students are required to declare a major by the time they have completed thirty (30) credit hours toward graduation, including transfer credit (See 30-Credit Policy for Exploring the Liberal Arts Students). 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. 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 Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Exploring the Liberal Arts

Exploring the Liberal Arts or “Exploring” is a term used by UNC for students who have not yet decided on or declared a specific major. Typically, students choose to be Exploring for one or more of the following reasons. They:

  • are uncertain about what they want to study.
  • have many interests and want to explore several options first.
  • declared a major but no longer want to pursue it.
  • were not initially admitted to their preferred major.

Students should take their interests, skills, values, goals, and abilities into consideration when choosing a major. Soar advisors will work with Exploring students to help them navigate and connect with additional resources on campus to identify goals.

UNC new or transfer students, who are unsure about what program of study is best suited to their goals, can choose to be designated as Exploring the Liberal Arts when they enter the University. A clear path for degree completion is of the utmost importance. For this reason, students designated as Exploring the Liberal Arts are required to declare a major by the time they have completed thirty (30) credit hours toward graduation, including transfer credit. (See 30-Credit Policy for Exploring the Liberal Arts Students).

Students with a declared major who wish to change their major status to Exploring the Liberal Arts should contact Soar to make an appointment for review and approval. Students who request this change must have fewer than eighteen (18) credits of registered and/or previously earned hours combined. Students who would like to explore other major or minor options may receive services from Soar regardless of their current major status. Soar advisors can help any student with the process of selecting a new major, yet may only advise students on course registration and provide a Personal Identification Number (PIN) if the student is declared as Exploring.

30-Credit Policy for Exploring the Liberal Arts Students

The 30-Credit Policy directs students towards successfully completing a degree at the University of Northern Colorado. 120 credits are required to complete a degree at Northern Colorado. A student who has earned 30 credits should have completed one quarter of the requirements for earning a degree. Usually students reach 30 credits after either their second or third semester. Ensuring that students have a clear path for degree completion is of utmost importance to Northern Colorado, and the 30-Credit Policy illustrates this commitment to student success.

The 30-Credit Policy requires students who have earned 30-credits to declare a major. Credits used in calculating earned hours at Northern Colorado include all applied transfer credit, college credit earned in high school, and Northern Colorado credit hours. A No-Major Hold is applied to Exploring the Liberal Arts students’ accounts upon the completion of 30 credits. Once a student has completed the appropriate paperwork and met any admission requirements for declaring a chosen major, the No-Major Hold is removed from the student’s account.

Seeking Programs

A Seeking Program is a collection of core course requirements that incoming students must complete prior to declaring a full major. The material covered in these courses provides the foundation for more focused and detailed study as students progress towards declaring the intended major.

The following areas are Seeking Programs:

  • Dietetics
  • ASLEI (American Sign Language English Interpretation)
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

Starting in a Seeking Program serves several purposes:

  • It allows students to develop a strong, discipline-specific knowledge base before progressing to more sophisticated concepts. Through this exposure, they are better equipped to determine whether the intended major is the best fit for them academically.
  • It provides a clear map for a student's sequence of courses, which is important for four-year graduation planning.
  • Students who struggle in foundation courses are likely to struggle throughout the major. A low GPA can have long-term consequences for students’ post-baccalaureate plans, such as finding employment or gaining admission into a graduate or professional school. By providing students with grade-related feedback early in their college experience, Seeking Programs allow them time to find a more suitable major if applicable.

Students matriculating into UNC under Seeking Programs will be required to change to adopt the most current catalog once officially accepted into a major. Like all students at UNC, those in Seeking Programs are required to declare a major by the time they have completed thirty (30) credit hours toward graduation, including transfer credit. 

Concurrent Degrees and Multiple Majors

Students who complete multiple majors can be awarded multiple degrees if they complete an additional 30 credits (above and beyond the 120 credits required for the first degree) for each additional major. For example:

  • Students who complete two majors and 150 or more credits can receive two degrees.

  • Students who complete three majors and 180 or more credits can receive three degrees.

The following examples illustrate transcript and diploma display when the additional 30 hours are completed, and also when fewer than 30 additional hours are completed.

Student who complete two majors and 150 or more credits earn a double degree. Example: For a student with a first major of Business Administration and a second major of Geography:

  • Transcript display:

Bachelor of Science

Major: Business Administration

Major Concentration: Finance

 

Bachelor of Arts

Major: Geography

Major Concentration: Global and Area Studies 

  • Diploma display (two separate diplomas are produced):

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Business Administration

 

Degree of Bachelor of Arts

Geography

Emphases are not printed on the diploma.

Single Degree, Multiple Majors

Students who complete two majors but have fewer than 150 credits earn one degree with two majors. Example: For a student with a first major of Business Administration and a second of Geography:

  • Transcript display:

Bachelor of Science

Major: Business Administration

Major Concentration: Finance

 

Major: Geography

Major Concentration: Global and Area Studies

  • Diploma display (a single diploma is produced):

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Business Administration

Geography

Emphases are not printed on the diploma.

Single Major, Multiple Emphases

 

Students who complete one major with multiple emphases (in selected majors where allowed) earn one major and one degree, regardless of the number of credits completed.

Example: For a student with a major of Business Administration, with emphases in Finance and Accounting:

  • Transcript display:

Bachelor of Science

Major: Business Administration

Major Concentration: Finance

Major Concentration: Accounting

  • Diploma display (a single diploma is produced):

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Business Administration

Emphases are not printed on the diploma.

Degrees and majors are approved through the Colorado Department of Higher Education. All credits acquired during pursuit of a degree are incorporated in that degree and may not be used to satisfy any future degree. Students may not pursue both an undergraduate and a graduate degree program simultaneously without prior approval from both the Office of the Registrar and the Graduate School.

Only course work that is required for a degree will count towards a student’s enrollment status. Additionally, if a student has completed the degree requirements for a single degree, even if the student has not applied for graduation, that student is no longer eligible for Title IV aid for that program. The fact that a student might be getting a dual degree and has not completed the requirements for the second degree does not change this.

Questions regarding multiple majors and concurrent degrees should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

Undergraduate Certificate Completion

Students who intend to complete an undergraduate certificate must apply the semester before completion through the Office of the Registrar by emailing graduation@unco.edu. The following guidelines apply for the completion of the certificate:

  • A $50.00 application fee will only be charged one time per certificate and is applied to your student account. If a student plans to complete a Bachelor’s Degree program as well, another $50 fee will be charged to their student account once their second application is accepted. If the student is completing both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Certificate program and apply for graduation and certificate completion in the same semester, the student will only be charged the $50 graduation fee once.
  • Certificates can be completed and noted on the transcript at any time of the semester once all requirements have been completed.
  • All certificates must be declared in the Fall 2014 catalog and forward in order to complete and cannot be retroactively awarded.
  • Any certificate completed in the Fall 2016 catalog and forward will receive an official certificate, certificates cannot be retroactively awarded.
  • The catalog used to determine certificate requirements is the catalog in effect at the time the certificate is declared. If a certificate is being completed in conjunction with a major, it does not have to follow the major catalog year.
  • To change or declare a certificate, complete and print the undergraduate certificate program form (https://www.unco.edu/registrar/forms.aspx).

Updating/Changing Certificate Programs

A student may select at any time a newer, active catalog year as long as they attended UNC during that respective academic year; this change requires submission of a Undergraduate Certificate Declaration.

Students may not declare or select at any time certificate programs that no longer exist.

Certificates are not recognized nor awarded at the commencement ceremony.

Certificate Release

  • Certificates will be released two weeks after the release of official transcripts that notes the completion of the certificate.

  • Certificate mailing addresses must be updated/provided at least three weeks before the release of Certificates. If the student does not provide a certificate mailing address by that time, the student's certificate will be mailed to his or her permanent address. In the event there is no permanent address on file, the parent address will be used instead. If the student does not have an active mailing address on file, his or her certificate will be held for one year. After one year, a fee will be required to re-issue the student's certificate.
  • The student may change their Certificate Mailing address through the Update Addresses and Phones link up to three weeks before the certificate release date.
  • The student's certificate will not be released if the student has a hold on his or her account. If the student's hold is released after the release date of certificate, please contact the Office of the Registrar at graduation@unco.edu or 970-351-4UNC (4862).