Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Audit Procedure Questions

1. How and when will I receive my Official Degree Audit?

Official Degree Audits are initiated after you have applied for graduation on Wolverine Access and we have received all of your major and minor release forms. We recommend you complete these steps two semesters prior to graduation. This way, you will still have plenty of time to complete any unfulfilled requirements. Under normal circumstances, we will email your audit letter to your umich.edu account within 2-weeks after these steps are complete. You may also want to click on Timelines and Deadlines for more details.

2. What requirements will be checked in my Official Degree Audit?

The auditors check all LSA requirements, including type of degree, credits, residency, general, majors  and minors. You can check out the  LSA Requirement Checklist to get an idea of the outline most auditors use when evaluating your transcript.

3. Do I need to have more than one audit?

No, not unless you add a major or minor, or there is a change in your major or minor release. We will automatically do a final audit during graduation for all students who have applied for that graduation period.

4. If I'm writing an Honors Thesis for just one of my majors, who does my audit?

If you are writing a thesis, you are automatically enrolled in the Honors Program, and will have your audit done by them. If at any point you decide not to write a thesis, you need to contact them to formally exit the Honors Program.

5. Why don't the auditors use my current courses to fulfill degree requirements?

The Auditors cannot be sure that you will pass and receive credit for your current courses, so current courses are excluded from your audit to give you the most accurate report of your degree status.

6. Why is the audit I see on Wolverine Access different from the official audit I just received from the auditors?

The Wolverine Access audit is not your official degree audit. Although it is programmed with general college and major requirements, it often requires "exceptions" to be entered by general and major advisors to show that requirements have been met by means other than what was originally programmed into the system. If these exceptions are not entered, then the requirement will not appear as being met on your Wolverine Access audit. This is one reason why we recommend students get an official degree audit at least two semesters prior to graduation.

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General Requirement Questions

1. What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree?

A Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree requires 60 "BS eligible" credits, which are credits in math and science (calculus, biology, chemistry, etc.). A Bachelor of Arts Degree has no such requirement. To see if coursework is BS eligible, look in the LSA Course Guide or the Undergraduate Course Catalogue; BS eligible courses are noted with a (BS) after the title.

In LSA, you can have more than one major but we can only grant you one degree, no matter what your majors are. For example, if you are majoring in English and Biology, you would receive a BA with both majors, or a BS with both majors. (Remember, to receive a BS degree you need a minimum of 60 credits in BS approved math and science courses). It's best to have this discussion (BA or BS?) with your department advisors when you are declaring, just to make sure everyone enters your information into M-Pathways correctly.

2. I thought a course I transferred in from another school would meet my First-Year (or Upper-Level) writing requirement, but it still shows incomplete on my audit. How can I fix that?

All courses that meet the First-Year and Upper-Level Writing Requirements need to be approved by Sweetland  Center for Writing. If they approve it, they will write an exception in your on-line file which will allow us to count it in your audit. You can find lists of pre-approved transfer courses here. To have Sweetland evaluate your course, contact them at 1310 North Quad, (734) 764-0429.

3. My audit letter says my distribution is incomplete. How can I tell which courses cover which areas?

Both the LSA Course Guide and the Undergraduate Course Catalogue indicate if a course fulfills distribution requirements by using the following abbreviations:

  • HU (Humanities)
  • SS (Social Science)
  • NS (Natural Science)
  • MSA (Math & Symbolic Analysis)
  • CE (Creative Expression)
  • ID (Interdisciplinary)

NOTE: Any coursework that counts toward your major cannot count toward your distribution credit.

To satisfy the Distribution Requirement, you need:

EACH OF THESE   THREE OF THESE

7 credits HU

7 credits SS

7 credits NS

 

*plus*

3 credits HU

3 credits SS

3 credits NS

 

3 credits MSA

3 credits CE

3 credits ID (or up to 9 credits)

21 credits total   9 credits total

 

4. My audit letter states that I need different distribution credits from what my advisor told me I needed. Why is it different?

It's possible your advisor did not know that one of the courses they used toward distribution was being used toward your major (such as cognate courses). If there is a discrepancy, please contact your auditing office (Honors Program, Residential College, or LSA Auditors' Office) and they will re-examine your distribution credits.

5. I would like to talk to someone about my audit letter. Who can I speak with?

Contact your auditing office (Honors Program, Residential College, or  LSA Auditors' Office) with your question. We will answer your questions as thoroughly as possible, but may have to refer you back to a general or department advisor. 

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Major and Minor Questions

1. Do I need to submit a Major and Minor Release every semester?

No. A new major or minor release form would only need to be submitted if the courses you are using to fulfill your major or minor requirements are different from what is specified on the current release (see below).

2. What should I do if I want to use a different course than what is specified on my major or minor release?

We are required to hold students responsible for EXACTLY what department advisors say on the release forms. If you want to make any changes, just have a department advisor send us an updated release specifying the changes. We will then send you an updated audit.

3. If I don't complete my minor (or second major), can I graduate anyway?

We will not approve you for graduation if you have declared a major or minor and have not completed the requirements. If you no longer want to pursue a major or minor that you have declared, you must officially drop it from your records by sending an e-mail to your auditing office (Honors Program, Residential College, or  LSA Auditors' Office)

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Transfer and Study Abroad Credit

1. Can I use transfer or study-abroad credit to count towards distribution?

Yes, but it must be approved by an LSA general advisor. If they approve it, they will enter an exception in your student file, which will allow us to use it when doing your official degree audit.

2. I thought a course I transferred in from another school would meet my First-Year (or Upper-Level) writing requirement, but it still shows incomplete on my audit. How can I fix that?

All courses that meet the First-Year and Upper-Level Writing Requirements need to be approved by Sweetland  Center for Writing. If they approve it, they will write an exception in your on-line file which will allow us to count it in your audit. You can find lists of pre-approved transfer courses here. To have Sweetland evaluate your course, contact them at 1310 North Quad, 734-764-0429.

3. I plan to complete my UM requirements at another university or on a study abroad program. Will this affect my graduation?

It may. If your final credits are being transferred in from another school or Study Abroad program, then your graduation may be delayed.

If the credits are not posted on your UM transcript when we are doing final audits, then you will receive an e-mail and/or letter from us stating that you have not met the requirements for graduation. If this happens, we ask that you notify us when your final credits have been posted to your UM transcript. We will then re-evaluate your records for graduation and, if your requirements have been met, we will retroactively graduate you to the graduation period in which all requirements were complete. In the end, your degree will look no different on your diploma or official transcript. 

Remember: We will not accept transfer credit from a two year program (community college) if you have already completed 60 credits. For details on transfer credit policies and procedures, see www.lsa.umich.edu/transfer.

NOTE: Some study abroad programs take months to post on the UM transcript. You will not be approved for graduation until the final grades have posted to your UM transcript. This delay may cause problems for students who plan to attend graduate school or start employment immediately after finishing classes. When these credits post to your UM transcript, you must email LSA Auditors to let us know the credits have posted and we will reevaluate your records for your degree.

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Graduation and Commencement Questions

1. I'm going to complete my degree requirements earlier/later than originally planned. How do I change my graduation date?

To change your date of graduation, just stop by or e-mail your auditing office (Honors Program, Residential College, or  LSA Auditors' Office). We will need something in writing from you that has your name, ID#, and desired date of graduation. We will then make the change in Wolverine Access. Remember - your graduation date may be different than your commencement date! (See below.)

2. I will finish my classes in August (or December), but my family wants to attend the Spring Commencement (April/May). For which graduation date should I apply?

You should apply for the graduation date that occurs after all of your requirements are complete, but be aware of the following policies regarding which ceremonies you are eligible to attend. Commencement ceremonies that have a prominent speaker will adhere strictly to these guidelines.  Ceremonies that have less prominent speakers will be more flexible regarding who can attend what ceremony. 

Graduation occurs three times every year:

    1. At the end of Winter semester (April/May)

    2. At the end of Summer semester (August)

    3. At the end of Fall semester (December) 

Commencement occurs two times every year:

    1. At the end of Winter semester (known as "Spring" commencement)

    • Intended for current Winter and the following Summer graduation candidates, as well as those who graduated the previous Fall.

    2. At the end of Fall semester (known as "Winter" commencement)

    • Intended for current Fall graduation candidates, as well as those who graduated the previous Summer.  

Check out our Commencement site for more information on the differences between graduation and commencement, and how to make sure your name is in the commencement book. Remember, although you initially apply for graduation in Wolverine Access, any changes to the date need to be made by contacting your auditing office (Honors Program, Residential College, or  LSA Auditors' Office). For more details about commencement dates, tickets, caps and gowns, and transportation, click on Graduate's Guide to Commencement.

3. My degree has not yet been conferred, but I need a letter for my employer telling them I'm almost done. Can I get that from you?

Yes. If you have received your Official Degree audit, your auditing office (Honors Program, Residential College, or  LSA Auditors' Office) can provide you a letter that states you are "on track" for graduation. We can provide these letters up until the date that degrees are conferred. After degrees have been conferred, verification is provided by the Office of the Registrar.

4. How and when will I be notified if I successfully graduated?

The auditors will send a verification e-mail to your umich e-mail account after they complete a final audit and determine that all of your requirements have been met. Because they have to wait for all grades to be posted before completing the final audits on all students, it can take several weeks for the e-mail to arrive. The degree will be conferred on your transcript around the same time you receive the e-mail (see Timelines and Deadlines), and you will receive your diploma 3-4 weeks later. If you have questions about your diploma, or want to order an Official Transcript, see the Office of the Registrar's website.

5. How do I know if I am receiving Distinction? Where will it be posted?

Degrees with distinction are awarded on the basis of rank, which is determined by the cumulative GPAs of the LSA graduates. Students who rank in the top 3% of the class receive a degree with "Highest Distinction," those in the top 10% receive "High Distinction," and those in the top 25% receive "Distinction." Levels of distinction are noted on both the diploma and the transcript. To find out what the most recent ranges were, click on Degree Verification and Diplomas.