The College awards three basic degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (AB), the Bachelor of Science (BS), and the Bachelor in General Studies (BGS). A specialized Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B.S.Chem) also is awarded.
The Bachelor of Arts and 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 & 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 of 120 credits. The difference between the AB and BS degree is that the BS degree requires 60 credits of approved courses in the physical and natural sciences and/or mathematics.
The Bachelor in General Studies degree encourages students to take responsibility for structuring their own multidisciplinary academic program within guidelines emphasizing upper-level courses elected in three or more departments. This degree also requires a minimum of 120 credits, and includes the College Writing Requirements, the race & ethnicity requirement, and the quantitative reasoning requirement.
Credits and Grade Point Average
A student must complete a minimum 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or better (124 for B.S.-Chem.). The overall GPA of courses included in the field of the major for an A.B. or B.S. degree or counted toward the 60 credits of upper-level courses required for a B.G.S. degree must be at least 2.0.
College Writing Requirements (A.B., B.S. BGS, B.S.-Chem.)
- Part I. First-Year Writing
The First-Year Writing Requirement should be completed in the first year.
Frequently Asked Questions about FYWR
- Part II. Upper Level Writing
Frequently Asked Questions about ULWR
Race & Ethnicity Requirement (A.B., B.S. BGS, B.S.-Chem.)
Students choose one course from a list of approved courses that cover issues relating to race & ethnicity, racial and ethnic intolerance and inequality. The goal is to prepare students to live and work in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial environment.
Frequently Asked Questions about the R&E requirement
Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Requirement (A.B., B.S. BGS, B.S.-Chem.)
Students are required to take one or two courses from an approved list which focus on the methodology of quantitative analysis. The goal is to ensure that students achieve a level of proficiency in using and analyzing quantitative information.
Frequently Asked Questions about the QR requirement
Non-LSA Coursework (A.B., B.S. BGS, B.S.-Chem.)
To qualify for a degree a student must complete a program of study which includes primarily coursework from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts or equivalent LSA transfer credit.
Candidates for the AB, BS, or BGS degree must complete a minimum of 100 credits of LSA courses, thus allowing 20 credits of non LSA coursework in the 120 required for the degree.
The Language Requirement (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.)
Students are required to complete fourth-term proficiency in a language other than English, most often by earning credit for the fourth term of a University of Michigan language course. The goal is to offer a means of access to the cultural and intellectual heritage of the world's non-English speaking majority as well as to provide reflective understanding of the structure and complexity of English itself. LSA offers over 30 different languages that meet this requirement.
Area Distribution (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.)
Students must complete 30 credits outside of their major distributed over the following five categories: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Mathematical and Symbolic Analysis, and Creative Expression. Through this requirement the student gains an understanding and appreciation of the major areas of learning and a coherent view of essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods which typify these disciplines.
Frequently Asked Questions about the distribution requirement
Major (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.)
The major provides the option for a student to pursue a thorough investigation of a particular subject or discipline. Course requirements of majors offered vary from 24 to 48 credits. In addition to the more than 75 majors offered, a student has the option to develop his or her own Individual Major Plan (IMP).
Option for Minors (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.)
AB/BS students have the opportunity to complete a minor as part of the degree program. Departments have the option of offering a minor option and, although some departments will not offer any minor, others may develop several. As departmental minors are created and approved, students may choose to add a minor to their academic plan.
Upper-Level Coursework Requirement
A minimum number of 60 credits numbered 300 or above must be completed, with no more than 20 credits in any one department.
Frequently Asked Questions about the BGS degree