A bachelor's degree is an academic title granted to a student who has completed a specific course of study. Degree titles are authorized by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and program leading to the degrees are administered by the University, a college, a school and sometimes a program board or coalition of faculty.
The faculty of UNC has established four general requirements you must meet in order to earn a baccalaureate degree:
- Earn a minimum of 120 semester credit hours.
- Have a University of Northern Colorado cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00. Certain programs may have additional requirements (e.g. recommendation for teacher licensure for elementary education requires a UNC cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75).
- Have at least 40 credit hours in courses designated as Liberal Arts Core.
- Meet all requirements for the bachelor's degree in your major field of study, as listed in the catalog when the first major was officially declared. This may include required minors, licensures, and/or endorsements.
- You complete all degree requirements (the Liberal Arts Core, major(s), minor(s), teacher licensure) as designated in the catalog of the academic year in which your primary major is declared.
- NOTE: A change from one major to another (or a change of one emphasis to another within the same major) effects a change of catalog year into the catalog in effect when the major change occurred.
- Each catalog is in effect for a six-year time limit.
- At the expiration of a catalog’s six-year time limit, you may select any subsequent catalog up to and including the current one, provided you are or were in attendance at the University during that academic year.
- You may change at any time to any subsequent catalog year as long as you attended UNC during that academic year; this change requires submission of a major/minor change form
- If your catalog has expired, you must also submit a major/minor change form to update your catalog.
- If your program does not exist in the desired subsequent catalog, you must instead
declare a new program, also using the major/minor change form.
If your major or minor has changed names in the subsequent catalog, you must obtain signature approval from the academic department of the new major or minor
Course Substitutions and Course Waivers
Course Substitution – any program course requirement, as approved through the curriculum process and listed in the catalog that is replaced/substituted by another course. All course substitutions must ensure the maintenance of academic program integrity and should be in the same area as the required course or in a closely related field. Course substitution decisions are made only by the related academic unit. Additionally, course substitutions have direct academic impact on other UNC courses. Academic impact must be considered when a request for course substitution is made.
Course Waiver – any program course requirement, as approved through the curriculum process and listed in the catalog, that is deemed unnecessary to be completed by an individual student due to the student’s non-course experiences and/or demonstrated existing knowledge. All course waivers must ensure the maintenance of academic program integrity. Course waiver decisions are made only by the related academic unit. Academic impact must be considered when a request for course waiver is made.
A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit in correspondence and/or continuing education courses will be accepted toward graduation.
All correspondence courses and/or transfer work must be completed, received, graded and recorded by the end of the semester of graduation.
Major and Minor Requirements
A major is a concentration of courses in a student's declared area of primary academic study which, when accompanied by appropriate supporting courses, leads to a degree. Majors are recorded on the student's permanent record. The requirements for a major are specified in the catalog of the academic year in which the student declares a major.
Certain courses are required for the major, but electives may be selected from a range of alternatives prescribed by the program. Students who are unsure of their major may enter the University as “Exploring” and are advised by Academic Support and Advising. Students are required to declare a major by the time they have completed 30 credit hours toward graduation, including transfer credit. Undergraduate students may transfer from one major to another by filing a Major/Minor Change Form as long as they meet the requirements of the new program. Please note: a change of emphasis area constitutes a change of major. Students changing majors must meet with an academic advisor in the newly declared major to obtain a PIN.
An emphasis area includes specified courses that provide a particular focus within a major. Emphasis areas for majors are recorded on the student's academic record.
An academic minor involves less extensive concentration in a discipline but still imposes specific requirements. An undergraduate minor is a specific set of courses in a subject area or academic discipline. A minor does not alone lead to an academic degree, but may be required by some majors. A minor differs from an emphasis area in that a minor is not a focus within the student's major.
The requirements for a minor are specified in the Catalog of the academic year in which the student declares a first major.
To complete a major from UNC, a student is required to earn a minimum of nine upper-division UNC credits (300-400) or UNC approved Study Abroad credits (300-400) in that major. To complete a minor, a student is required to earn a minimum of six upper-division UNC credits (300-400) or UNC approved Study Abroad credits in that minor.
A maximum of 12 credit hours of coursework can be shared between a major and a minor. Exceptions to this policy may be found in the requirements for individual programs as described in the UNC catalog.
The student must meet all requirements and pass all courses required by the school/college or program from which he or she selects a major or a minor. These requirements vary and are specifically stated in the section of this catalog that summarizes each academic program offerings including its majors and minors.
Each undergraduate student is strongly encouraged to work closely with his or her assigned faculty advisor in selecting Liberal Arts Core courses, major and minor offerings and elective courses from other disciplines. Students declared as Exploring and selected "seeking" majors are advised by Academic Support and Advising. If a student has more than one major or minor they are encouraged to see advisors in each area of study prior to course registration.
Submission of Transfer Credit
Official transcripts from all colleges and universities containing transfer credit necessary for completion of degree requirements must be received by the Office of the Registrar before the semester of graduation.
Previous Credit Earned
Course credit earned 10 years before the baccalaureate degree is to be granted may be applicable toward the UNC degree at the discretion of the academic department for the course subject matter.
AP course credit earned 10 years before the baccalaureate degree is to be granted may be applicable toward the UNC degree at the discretion of the academic department for the course subject matter.
ACT/SAT course exemptions (e.g. ENG 123) granted 10 years before the baccalaureate degree is to be granted may be applicable toward the UNC degree at the discretion of the academic department for the course subject matter.
Minimum Residency Requirement
You must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in UNC courses. In addition, 20 of the last 30 credit hours of a degree program must be earned in UNC courses. Exceptions to this residency policy may be found in the requirements for individual programs as described in the UNC catalog.