Undergraduate Degree Requirements

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. 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 units graded credit/no credit, 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 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. Earn a minimum of 6 of the last 8 units in residence at the University of Puget Sound.
  4. Maintain a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 in all courses taken at Puget Sound.
  5. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all graded courses, including transfer courses.
  6. 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.
  7. Successfully complete Puget Sound’s core requirements. (Courses taken credit/no credit 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.
    Students applying transfer credit to their degree requirements must complete at least the following minimum core requirements in residence at Puget Sound.
    1. Students entering with freshman or sophomore standing must complete at least a course in Connections, the second Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry, and two additional core areas. Up to four (4) core courses may be completed with transfer credit.
    2. Students entering with junior standing must complete at least a course in Connections, the second Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry, and one additional core area. Up to five (5) core courses may be completed with transfer credit.
  8. In preparation for a life of global citizenship, all students are required to engage with oral and written skills in a language other than English. Courses satisfying this requirement will also: (1) Introduce students to different ways of speaking, writing, and interpreting the world; (2) foster understanding of alternative perspectives, values, behaviors, and tradition through linguistic, historical, and cultural study; (3) explore commonality and difference between one’s own language(s) and culture(s) and another’s; and (4) encourage deeper appreciation of one’s own language(s) and culture(s).
    The requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways*:
    1. Successfully complete two graded semesters of a single foreign language at the 101-102 college level, or one graded semester of a foreign language at the 200 level or above. (Courses taken credit/no credit will not fulfill the foreign language graduation requirement.);
    2. Pass a Puget Sound-approved foreign language proficiency exam;
    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.
    4. Native speakers of a language other than English may fulfill the requirement by providing proof of proficiency in that language, such as graduation from a foreign high school or completion of a proficiency exam.
    5. Students with documented learning disabilities which affect the ability to process language should consult with the Office of Student Accessibility and Accommodation.
  9. Satisfy the Knowledge, Identity, and Power (KNOW) graduation requirement by successfully completing one course that has been approved to meet that requirement. See below for details.
  10. Earn at least 3.0 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. Only courses taken for a grade (A - D-) will fulfill the upper division graduation requirement.)
  11. 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 credit/no credit unless they are mandatory pass/fail courses.)
  12. Complete all incomplete or in-progress grades.
  13. 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
  14. All coursework must be completed by the last day of the graduation term.

* A student with a learning disability that affects the ability to learn a foreign language should consult with the Office of Student Accessibility and Accommodations.

Knowledge, Identity, and Power Requirement

Please see the Knowledge, Identity, and Power page for details.

Major

Students declare their major area of study by the end of the sophomore year through the Office of Academic Advising. One major is required of all graduates. The specific requirements for a major are established by the department and approved by the Curriculum Committee. Each student must have the major program approved prior to graduation.

An academic major requires a minimum of 8.00 units within a department or program, of which 4.00 units must be residence credit. A 2.00 minimum cumulative GPA is required in all major courses in the department or program. Additionally, a 2.00 minimum GPA is required in all department or program major courses in combination with any ancillary courses required. Some departments or programs may require a grade point average higher than 2.00 for completion of a major or minor. All major courses including those in excess will apply to the major grade point average. Student Academic Requirements reports outline grade point average requirements in detail.

Courses graded with the credit/no credit option may not be counted toward major requirements

Students must meet the requirements for a major or minor as published in the Bulletin unless a requirement is specifically modified by the department. Any such modification must be recorded in writing and sent by the department chair to the Registrar.

Multiple Majors

Students may declare more than one major. For a student who completes majors associated with different bachelor’s degrees, the major declared as the “first” major designates the degree. All majors must be complete before the degree is awarded.

Students may not earn multiple majors from the same department, school, or program. Some exceptions exist:

  1. Computer Science and Mathematics
  2. Chinese and Japanese
  3. Art History and Studio Art

Minor

A minor is not required for the degree. Students declare their minor through the Office of Academic Advising. The specific requirements for a minor are established by the department or program and approved by the Curriculum Committee.

An academic minor requires a minimum of 5.00 units, of which at least 3.00 units must be residence credit. A 2.00 minimum cumulative GPA is required in all minor courses in the department or program. Some departments or programs may require a grade point average higher for completion of the minor. All minor courses including those in excess will apply to the minor grade point average. Student Academic Requirements reports outline grade point average requires in detail.

Courses graded with the pass/fail option may not be counted toward minor requirements.

Students must meet the requirements for a minor as published in the Bulletin unless a requirement is specifically modified by the department or program. Any such modification must be recorded in writing and sent by the department chair or program director to the Office of the Registrar. Minor(s) must be completed before the degree is awarded.

A student may not major and minor in the same department and may not earn multiple minors from the same department. Some exception exist:

  1. Students may major or minor in Computer Science and may major or minor in Mathematics
  2. Students may major and/or minor in different foreign languages.
  3. Students may major in Art History and minor in Studio Art, or major in Studio Art and minor in Art History, or minor in both Studio Art and Art History

Simultaneous Baccalaureate Degrees

Students who wish to earn two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously must complete:

  1. university requirements for a baccalaureate degree with two majors,
  2. a minimum of 40 total units and a minimum of 24 units in residence,
  3. a minimum of 6 of the last 8 units in residence.

For purposes of other academic policies, simultaneously earned degrees may both be considered “first” degrees.

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.

Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement is held once a year in the month of May. In general, a student participates in the Commencement nearest the time of completion of requirements for a degree. Students must apply for a degree by the deadline date for the ceremony in order to be considered for Department Honors and to be listed in the printed Commencement program. Students who are currently on suspension, dismissal or who have been expelled may not participate in the Commencement Ceremony.

Honors

University Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) are awarded to first baccalaureate degree candidates. To qualify, a student must have at least 16.00 graded units taken in residence at Puget Sound and a minimum cumulative grade point average from the University of Puget Sound of 3.70, 3.80, or 3.90 respectively.

Honors in the Major are awarded to those first baccalaureate degree candidates who have been recommended by their major department in recognition of outstanding achievement in the area of the major. Only 10 percent of a department’s graduates will receive Honors in the Major. Students graduating with a Special Interdisciplinary Major (SIM) will receive Honors in the Major if they earn a grade point average of 3.70 or higher in courses required for the SIM.

The citation of Coolidge Otis Chapman Honors Scholar is awarded at graduation to provide recognition for outstanding work done through the university’s Honors Program. This honor, named in memory of a former distinguished member of the faculty, is awarded for completion of all requirements of the Honors Program, including a bachelor’s thesis.

The Robert Trimble Distinguished Asia Scholar is awarded at graduation to students who demonstrated academic excellence in the Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program or Minor and have completed all requirements for this honor as outlined in the Bulletin.