Graduation Requirements

In order to receive the baccalaureate degree from the University of Puget Sound, a student must:

  1. Earn a minimum of 32 units. The 32 units may include up to 4 academic courses graded pass/fail, up to 2.0 units in activity courses, and up to 4.0 units of independent study. (See regulations regarding transfer credit and activity credit.)
  2. Earn a minimum of 16 units, including the last 8, in residence at the University of Puget Sound. Residence requirements also exist in core, majors, minors, and graduation honors. (See also the section on study abroad.)
  3. Maintain a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 in all courses taken at Puget Sound.
  4. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all graded courses, including transfer courses.
  5. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all graded courses, including transfer courses, in the major(s) and the minor(s), if a minor is elected.
  6. Successfully complete Puget Sound's core requirements. (Courses taken pass/fail will not fill Puget Sound core requirements) Specific courses satisfying core requirements are listed on Puget Sound's website and in the Bulletin. Students are reminded that specific courses applicable to the core will fulfill core requirements only during the semester(s) that they are officially listed in a Bulletin as fulfilling core.
  7. Satisfy the foreign language graduation requirement in one of the following ways:
    1. Successfully complete two semesters of a foreign language at the 101-102 college level, or 1 semester of a foreign language at the 200 level or above (courses taken pass/fail will not fulfill the foreign language graduation requirement);
    2. Pass a Puget Sound-approved foreign language proficiency exam at the third-year high school or first-year college level;
    3. Receive a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement foreign language exam or a score of 5, 6, or 7 on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level foreign language exam.
    Note: Students seeking a substitution for the foreign language requirement must:
    • Provide documentation of a learning disability that affects the ability to learn a foreign language to the Director of Disabilities Services. The documentation must be current, thorough, and prepared by an appropriate and qualified diagnostic professional. For details on documentation requirements see pugetsound.edu/academics/academic-resources/disabilities-services/.
    • Submit a completed Academic Standards Committee petition form (available in the Registrar's Office) including signatures and recommendations from both the student's faculty advisor and the Director of Disabilities Services. Note: If the Director of Disabilities Services does not support a petition, students may still pursue the substitution by writing a statement to include with their petition explaining their history with learning a foreign language and why they feel unable to successfully complete the requirement. The committee will then evaluate the petition and make a decision, either supporting or rejecting the proposal.
    • Propose two courses to substitute for the foreign language requirement. Students are expected to propose courses that they have not already taken and that are outside of the core requirements and the first major. Students may select two courses from the pre-approved list below or compose an argument for two other related courses with a cultural component. This explanation should accompany the completed petition form.
    Foreign Language Substitution Pre-Approved Options
    Students may select two courses from any one area:
    • Chinese Civilization: ARTH 278 Survey of Asian Art, HIST 245 Chinese Civilization, HIST 246 History of China: 1600 to the Present, REL 234 Chinese Religious Tradition.
    • Japanese Civilization: ARTH 278 Survey of Asian Art, HIST 247 Japanese Tradition, HIST 248 History of Japan: 1600 to the Present, REL 233 Japanese Religious Traditions.
    • Classics: CLSC 210 Classical Mythology, CLSC 211 Greek History, CLSC 212 Roman History HUM 210 Power & Culture in Periclean Athens and Augustan Rome.
    • Islam: REL 212 The Religion of Islam, REL 222 Jihad and Islamic Fundamentalism.
    • Latin America: LAS 100 Introduction to Latin American Studies, HIST 280 Colonial Latin American History, HIST 281 Modern Latin America.
    • Ancient Israel: REL 200 History and Literature of Ancient Israel, REL 201 History and Literature of the New Testament.
  8. Satisfy the Knowledge, Identity, and Power (KNOW) Graduation Requirement by successfully completing one course that has been approved to meet that requirement. Courses fulfilling the KNOW requirement are approved by the Curriculum Committee based on the following rubric:
    • Learning Objectives:
      Courses in Knowledge, Identity and Power (KNOW) provide a distinct site for students to develop their understanding of the dynamics and consequences of power differentials, inequalities and divisions among social groups, and the relationship of these issues to the representation and production of knowledge. In these courses, students also develop their capacity to communicate meaningfully about issues of power, disparity, and diversity of experiences and identities.

      Guidelines:
      • These courses promote critical engagement with the causes, nature, and consequences of individual, institutional, cultural and/or structural dynamics of disparity, power, and privilege.
      • These courses provide opportunities for students to (a) engage in dialogue about issues of knowledge, identity, and power, and (b) consider linkages between their social positions and course themes related to these issues.
      • Courses may also fulfill other program or graduation requirements.
  9. Earn at least three academic units outside the requirements of the first major, and outside the department/program of the first major, at the upper division level, which is understood to be 300 or 400 level courses or 200 level courses with departmental approval and at least 2 prerequisites (courses taken pass/fail will not fulfill the upper division course graduation requirement).
  10. Meet the requirements for a major field of study. A second major or a minor are options for the student. (Courses counting toward the major or minor may not be taken pass/fail unless they are mandatory pass/fail courses.)
  11. Complete all incomplete or in-progress grades.
  12. File an application for graduation with the Office of the Registrar. Applications are due in September for graduation at the end of the next Spring, Summer, or Fall terms

All degree requirements must be completed prior to the awarding of the degree. Degrees are awarded on three degree dates each year in May, August, and December.

Each student is subject to (a) degree requirements published in the Bulletin at the time of graduation, or (b) to degree requirements applicable at the time of matriculation, or (c) to degree requirements listed in any Bulletin published between the student's matriculation and graduation, provided that no more than six years separate matriculation and graduation. Students should be aware that specific courses applicable to the core will fulfill the core requirements only during the semester(s) that they are officially listed in a Bulletin or class schedule.

Courses which were listed as satisfying core or department requirements at the time of matriculation may be altered or removed from the curriculum before a student reaches graduation. In the case of department requirements, a student must plan alternate courses with the advisor.

Students applying transfer credit to their degree requirements must complete at least the fol­lowing minimum core requirements at Puget Sound.

Students entering with freshman or sophomore standing must complete at least a course in Connections plus three additional core areas.

Students entering with junior standing must complete at least a course in Connections plus two additional core areas.

Graduation with Honors

University Honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude) are awarded to those baccalaureate degree candidates who have exhibited academic excellence and breadth of scholar­ship. To qualify, a student must have at least 16 graded units and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.70 from Puget Sound.

Graduation with Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major are awarded to those first baccalaureate degree candidates who have been recommended by their department in recognition of outstanding achievement in the major. No more than ten percent of a department's graduates will receive Honors in the Major.

The Dean's List

Full-time undergraduate students seeking their first baccalaureate degree whose semester grades are among the top 10 percent, who have three or more graded units, and who have no incomplete grades or withdrawals for the semester are named to the Dean's List. A Dean's List indication will appear on the student's permanent academic record.

Major Requirements

Students must declare their major area of study through the Office of Academic Advising by the end of the sophomore year. A major consists of a minimum of 8 units outlined within a de­partment/school or program. One major is required of all graduates. At least 4 units of the major must be completed in residence at Puget Sound. A 2.0 minimum grade-point average is re­quired both for those courses completed at Puget Sound and elsewhere. Courses counting toward the major may not be taken pass/fail unless they are mandatory pass/fail courses.

Graduation with Two Majors

Students who wish to earn the baccalaureate degree with two majors may do so with clearance of the majors by the respective departments, programs, or schools. Whichever major is declared as the first major controls the degree to be awarded. Both majors must be completed before the degree is awarded.

Minor Requirements

An academic minor is not required for a degree; however, if the student elects to earn a minor, it must consist of a minimum of 5 units within the minor area. At least 3 of these must be completed in residence at Puget Sound. Specific requirements for the minor are established by the individual minor area. A 2.0 minimum grade-point average is required both for those courses completed at Puget Sound and elsewhere. Minors must be completed before the degree is awarded. A student may not major and minor in the same department. Courses counting toward the minor may not be taken pass/fail unless they are mandatory pass/fail courses.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Students who wish to earn a second baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 8 additional academic and graded units in residence subsequent to the awarding of the first bac­calaureate degree. Students are required to complete departmental requirements current as of the date of post-baccalaureate enrollment. Each additional baccalaureate degree requires 8 more discrete academic, and graded units earned in residence.

Simultaneous Baccalaureate Degrees

Students who wish to earn two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously must complete, in addition to the university requirements for a baccalaureate degree with two majors, a minimum of 40 total units and a minimum of 24 units, including the last 8 units in residence. For purposes of other academic policies, simultaneously earned degrees may both be considered "first" degrees.