Chapter III: Degree Requirements and Graduation Procedures, and the Academic Minor Option
The College awards three basic degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor in General Studies (B.G.S.). The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B.S. Chem.), a special degree, also is granted.
The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees require competent use of the modes of thought which characterize each major area of knowledge, and a deep understanding of at least one subject area. Each student is required also to achieve competency in the use of the English language, to acquire second-year college-level proficiency in a language other than English, must receive credit for an approved course addressing questions on race and ethnicity, and must fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirement. Beyond these general requirements, which serve not to limit but rather to enhance the value of the educational experience, students are free to choose elective courses to complete a minimum 120 credits. The difference between the A.B. and B.S. degrees is that the B.S. degree requires 60 credits of approved courses in the physical and natural sciences and/or mathematics. A secondary teaching certificate requires the A.B. or B.S. student to earn additional credits (see the School of Education Bulletin).
The Bachelor in General Studies degree encourages students to take responsibility for structuring their own multidisciplinary academic programs within guidelines emphasizing upper-level courses elected in three or more departments. This degree also requires a minimum 120 credits, and includes the College English Composition requirement, the Race and Ethnicity requirement, and the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. At least 60 credits of courses numbered 300 or above must be completed, and no more than 20 of these 60 credits may be in one department.
The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is described in Chapter VI under Chemistry.
This chapter describes the requirements of the A.B., B.S., and B.G.S. degree programs as well as the procedures for graduation. Chapter IV describes associated academic policies. Honors students must always consult the Honors Program about special degree requirements, courses, policies, and procedures, and petition the Honors Program for any exceptions to the rules.
Students are always responsible for knowing and meeting degree requirements. A student may either comply with the degree requirements stated in the Bulletin effective during the first term of enrollment in the College or with those in the Bulletin effective at the time of graduation. Students should also consult the most current Bulletin for concentration requirements since the applicable rules are determined at the time the student declares the concentration.
Degrees and the Selection of a Degree Program
Students must submit a Declaration Form (available in 1255 Angell Hall) indicating their choice of degree program to the Academic Advising Center, sometime between the second term of the freshman year and the beginning of the junior year. It is generally done after consultation with a concentration or BGS academic advisor.
To qualify for a degree from the College, a student must complete a minimum 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C). The overall GPA of courses included in the field of concentration (see Concentration Policies below) for an A.B. or B.S. degree (unless stated differently for particular concentrations in Chapter VI) or counted toward the 60 credits of upper-level courses required for a B.G.S. degree must be at least 2.0. (GPA is explained in Chapter IV.)
Administered by the Gayle Morris Sweetland Writing Center, the composition requirement consists of two parts.
Part I: Introductory Composition. Placement into an appropriate writing course in LS&A is based on student self-assessment. This voluntary placement system is designed to allow students to select the course that will most appropriately challenge them. Writing Workshop instructors are available in 1139 Angell Hall to help students make this choice. (Writing portfolios are no longer required of entering students.)
Students may fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement in three ways:
The Introductory Composition Requirement should be completed in the first year.
Part II: Upper-Level Writing Requirement. All LS&A students must complete the Upper-Level Writing Requirement any time after they have completed the First-Year Writing Requirement but preferably in their junior year. To complete the requirement, students should enroll in one of the approved advanced writing courses. A list of approved courses for a particular term is available from the Student Academic Affairs website (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/saa/) and the Sweetland Writing Center web site (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/swc/requirements/advcourses.html). A course approved to meet the requirement one term is not necessarily approved in subsequent terms. The College strongly recommends that the course be in the student's field of concentration or area of academic interest. Students must modify the approved course for "ECB" through Touch-Tone Registration. The course instructor must certify that the student has met the requirement at the end of the term.
All students admitted to the College for the Fall Term of 1994 and thereafter must meet the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) requirement. The goal of this requirement is to ensure that every graduate of the College achieves a certain level of proficiency in using and analyzing quantitative information. Students may fulfill this requirement either by:
QR courses may come from a wide range of disciplines representing the natural and social sciences, as well as some areas of the humanities.
Quantitative reasoning is first and foremost reasoning. It is not mathematical manipulation or computation, but rather the methodology used to analyze quantitative information to make decisions, judgments, and predictions. It involves defining a problem by means of numerical or geometrical representations of real-world phenomena, determining how to solve it, deducing consequences, formulating alternatives, and predicting outcomes.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses may not be used to meet the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Courses transferred from another college or university do not generally carry QR credit, except in the following circumstances: (1) QR is considered fulfilled for all science, math, and computer science concentrators who transfer in the prerequisites; (2) Transfer credit for Physics 125, 126, 140, 240 and any statistics course receive (QR/1) credit. Courses used to satisfy the QR requirement may also serve to satisfy other College requirements; e.g., students who are working towards an A.B. or B.S. degree may elect a QR course that also counts toward meeting the Area Distribution, Concentration, or other College requirement.
All students admitted to the College for the Fall Term of 1991 and all terms thereafter must meet the Race and Ethnicity requirement. The requirement is met when, at some point before graduation, the student has received credit for one course from a list of approved courses published each term on the Student Academic Affairs website (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/saa/). The Curriculum Committee of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts is the approving agency for courses, and the expectation is that a wide variety of courses offered by departments and programs throughout the College will be approved each term. Credits transferred from another college or university do not meet the requirement, except by successful petition to the Academic Standards Board. Students who are working toward an A.B. or B.S. degree may elect a course to meet the Race and Ethnicity Requirement that also counts toward meeting the Area Distribution or the Concentration or Composition requirements. Likewise, students who are working towards a B.G.S. degree may elect a course to meet the Race and Ethnicity requirement that also counts among their 60 credits of courses numbered 300 or above, or toward the Composition requirement.
Courses approved to meet the Race and Ethnicity requirement will address issues arising from racial or ethnic intolerance. In approving the requirement, the faculty of the College made the following statements:
To qualify for a degree, a student must complete a program of study which includes primarily LS&A courses or equivalent LS&A transfer credit.
LS&A courses are listed in this Bulletin. Courses offered by other academic units (e.g., Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Natural Resources and Environment) of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and not listed in this Bulletin are non-LS&A courses. Non-LS&A course work should not be confused with transfer credit (defined in Chapter VII). Out-of-residence credit may transfer to the College as credit equivalent to LS&A courses or non-LS&A courses.
Non-LS&A course work earns credit toward a degree and honor points according to the following policies:
Requirements Particular to the A.B. and B.S. Degrees
By the end of the sophomore year, students should have met the language requirement, made substantial progress toward completing an area distribution plan, and completed prerequisites for a concentration.
Second language study contributes importantly to a liberal education, not only as a means of access to the cultural and intellectual heritage of the world's non-English-speaking majority, but also as a way to gain a new reflective understanding of the structure and complexity of English itself.
Fourth-term proficiency in a language other than English is required and may be met by any one of:
In meeting the language requirement, students must earn a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course to proceed on to the subsequent course. Any exception to this rule must be granted by a designated faculty representative in the department.
The final course in an elementary language sequence used to fulfill the Language Requirement must be elected on a graded basis, or, for Residential College students in a Residential College language course, with a narrative evaluation. (Effective for all students admitted to the College in Fall Term, 1995 and thereafter.)
The language requirement cannot be fulfilled by out-of-residence credit which is elected after the student has begun degree enrollment in LS&A unless the appropriate language department has approved that plan in advance.
Students who wish to meet the requirement with proficiency in a language not listed above (including American Sign Language) should contact the Academic Standards Board. A student whose first language is not English and who attended a high school where that language was the language of instruction is considered to have met the requirement.
By means of this requirement the College seeks to instill an understanding and an appreciation of the major areas of learning. Students are not expected to master all areas in detail, but should develop a coherent view of essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods which typify these disciplines.
Courses offered by the academic departments and programs of the College are divided into five area categories: the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, mathematics and symbolic analysis, and creative expression. Each of these divisions represents a different perspective on human knowledge and learning; some departments and programs overlap these divisions while others may stand outside them.
All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the College must fulfill the 30-credit Distribution Requirement.
This broad intellectual experience, which forms an essential part of a liberal arts education, is to be achieved in the following way:
General Policies for Area Distribution Plans
An area distribution plan may include:
Art and Design (Division 010)
101. Ceramics I.
111. Painting I.
114. Drawing Mini-course.
115. Basic Drawing I.
116. Basic Drawing II.
121. Fibers: Introduction.
125. Basic Design I.
126. Basic Design II.
131. Graphic Design I.
161. Photography: Introduction.
191. Sculpture I.
254. Jewelry Casting.
261. Photography I.
Architecture (Division 005)
201. Introduction to Communication Skills.
202. Graphic Communication.
218. Visual Studies.
Performance - Piano (Division 639)
Dance (Division 671)
101. Introduction to Modern Dance.
102. Introduction to Modern Dance.
111. Introduction to Ballet.
112. Introduction to Ballet.
121. Introduction to Jazz Dance.
122. Introduction to Jazz Dance.
241. Afro-American Dance.
Ensemble (Division 672): All Courses
Courses in other Music Performance divisions (viz., other than Piano Performance) may also be used for Creative Expression, but enrollment is restricted to students of advanced ability. Request forms for performance instruction are available at the Information Office, Room 2249, School of Music, North Campus.
An area distribution plan may not include:
The concentration requirement provides an opportunity to pursue a thorough investigation of a subject or problem. If education is to be a connected, developmental experience, then fundamental skills, abilities, and knowledge must be used continuously. Concentration programs organize students' work in such a way that later experiences relate to and extend earlier ones.
Students normally declare a concentration during the second term of the sophomore year, although some students make a decision earlier. To declare a concentration, a student should develop a plan with a concentration advisor and then submit a Declaration Form signed by the advisor to the Academic Advising Center. A student may, with the approval of a concentration advisor, change the plan. Students who wish to change concentrations must discuss their plans with a concentration advisor in the new concentration and submit a new Declaration Form.
Students may choose a concentration from:
Afroamerican and African Studies
Students with academic interests outside existing area, departmental, inter-departmental, and special concentration programs may propose their own field of concentration and, on approval, elect the Individual Concentration Program which is described in Chapter VI.
A student electing a double concentration must meet all requirements for both concentrations. Courses, including cognates, elected as part of one concentration plan may be used, when appropriate, to satisfy the requirements of the second concentration. However, one of the two concentration plans must be independent of the area distribution plan. Each concentration plan must be developed in consultation with and approved by a concentration advisor.
A Concentration Release Form (see "Graduation Procedures" below in this chapter) for each concentration declared should be submitted to the Academic Auditors before the final term in residence. A double concentration is recorded on the transcript only if both release forms are received before graduation. If a student who has submitted a Diploma Application completes the requirements for only one of the two concentrations and wishes to defer graduation to complete the second, the Academic Auditors must be notified. Otherwise a degree is awarded in one concentration. After the date of graduation, a student completing additional work which fulfills another field of concentration can have the additional field entered on the transcript. The student will need to file an additional Concentration Release Form with the Academic Auditors.
Requirements Particular to the B.G.S. Degree
Within the 120 credits required for the degree and the minimum 60 credits of courses numbered 300 or above, specific guidelines must be met:
Second Bachelor's Degree
Individuals with a bachelor's degree who want to earn a second degree must obtain permission from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Normally at least two calendar years will have transpired between the awarding of the first baccalaureate degree and the beginning of the second baccalaureate degree program. Applicants must pursue an academic program significantly different from that of the first baccalaureate degree. Except in the case of joint degrees (see Chapter V), the College does not award concurrent bachelor's degrees. Students interested in two concentrations should read the section "Double Concentration" above.
For graduates of schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor campus the two baccalaureate degrees should be different (for example, not two Bachelor of Arts or two Bachelor of Science degrees). The second degree program cannot be a BGS degree. Applicants who already have an LS&A degree must earn at least 30 credits in residence in LS&A beyond the credits required for the first degree, and at least 15 of those must be in the new field of concentration. Graduates of a different Ann Arbor unit must earn at least 30 credits while registered in LS&A, all of those over and above the credit hours required for the first degree, and the second program must include a minimum of 108 LS&A credits. To be considered for admission to a second baccalaureate degree program, all applicants who have a baccalaureate degree from the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan must have the same minimum grade point average as the College requires of cross-campus transfer students.
Applicants whose first degree comes from any other institution (including UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint) will be required to complete at least 60 credits in residence at the Ann Arbor campus. The student must be registered in LS&A for at least 30 of these, and all 30 credits must be over and above the credits required for the first degree. The second degree program must include a minimum of 108 LS&A credits. To be considered for admission to a second baccalaureate degree program, these applicants must have the same minimum grade point average as the College requires for students who transfer from institutions other than the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus.
Students who wish to be dually enrolled, that is, enrolled simultaneously in LS&A and another division, school, college, or university, must request permission from the Academic Standards Board in advance of registration. This policy does not apply to UM Extension. Qualified seniors who are interested in the Concurrent Undergraduate-Graduate Studies (CUGS) Program should read that section in Chapter V.
Students enrolled in two colleges or schools of the University must complete a separate registration for each academic unit. These students are assessed tuition based upon the number of credits elected in each unit, normally to a maximum of the higher full program fee.
Students who have completed 90 hours Credit Toward Program (CTP) should submit the Diploma Application and Concentration Release Form for each concentration in the term preceding the one in which they expect to graduate. In this way students can have an audit of their degree requirements prior to registration for the final term.
Degrees are conferred in May, August, or December, though graduation ceremonies are held in May and December only. To qualify for graduation, a student must meet degree requirements and submit a completed Diploma Application to the Academic Advising Center in 1255 Angell Hall. At the same time, candidates for an A.B. or B.S. degree must submit a signed Concentration Release Form. The deadline for submitting these forms is four weeks after classes begin in a term (one week after classes begin in the Summer Half-Term). Students who meet the deadline will be listed in the Commencement Program, will have an expedient audit of degree requirements, and will be able to receive the diploma following approval of the final degree list (8-10 weeks after Commencement).
Students whose forms are received after the deadline but before the last day of classes in the term of expected graduation may still be considered for graduation but their degree certification cannot be processed as quickly and they should not expect to be included in the Commencement Program. The degree audit will be delayed. In some instances, it will be necessary to defer graduation.
Students who do not complete degree requirements in the term a Diploma Application has been filed must file a new Diploma Application in order to be placed on any subsequent degree list. Students who have met the degree requirements but have not yet been graduated may obtain a Letter of Certification from the Academic Auditors in 1409 Mason Hall. Such a letter is usually acceptable as evidence that requirements have been met and a degree will be awarded.
Beginning in 1999, students in the College are given the option of electing one or more academic minors offered by units within the College. Note that electing to earn an academic minor is optional; it is not a requirement; and note too that there is no limit on the number of academic minors a student may elect. Departments and programs in the College now have the option of creating academic minors, and as such minors receive College approval they will be listed with their requirements and other pertinent information on the Student Academic Affairs website at
In subsequent years, academic minors and their requirements also will appear in the annual LS&A Bulletin.
Although the opportunity exists for students to propose their own individual concentration program, an individual minor is not allowed. An academic minor will require no less than 15 credits of course work, will show structure and coherence, and will contain some upper-level courses. Students who declare and complete an approved academic minor will receive a notation on their student transcript but not on their diploma.
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