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What is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree?

The Bachelor of Arts degree provides an educational foundation of significant breadth and depth.

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in the College, a student must earn 120 credits which satisfy general education requirements and the requirements for a major. 

The College has more than 50 majors in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. The College also offers over 30 minors. 

Students with a BA degree from the College continue directly into careers, graduate schools, and professional schools such as Medicine and Law. 

What is a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree?

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree, a student must earn 120 credits which satisfy general education requirements and the requirements for one of the College majors that offer a BS degree.

The requirements for the BS degree are typically more rigorous than those of the corresponding BA. The departments of Astronomy-Physics, Behavioral Neuroscience, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, and Physics offer BS degrees.

Students with a BS degree from the College continue directly into careers, graduate programs in the sciences, and professional schools, such as Medicine and Law.

What is a “concentration” within a major?

Some departments and interdisciplinary programs offer concentrations within their major. Students in these departments or programs may concentrate in designated areas of study that also meet the requirements of the major. 

Concentrations typically involve special topics, applications, or disciplines, and may include courses taken in other departments or schools of the University. A student’s concentration appears, along with the major, on his or her transcript.

What is an Interdisciplinary Major?

Interdisciplinary Majors represent areas of study that cannot be subsumed in a single College department and draw on faculty and classes from different departments. 

These include African-American & African Studies; American Studies; Archaeology; Asian Pacific American Studies; Bioethics; Cognitive Science; East Asian Studies; Echols-Interdisciplinary; Environmental Thought and Practice; German Studies; Human Biology; Jewish Studies; Global Development Studies; Latin American Studies; Linguistics; Medieval Studies; Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies; Neuroscience; Political and Social Thought; Political Philosophy, Policy and Law; Media Studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality; and the self-designed interdisciplinary major.

What is the self-designed Interdisciplinary Major Program?

Students who want to focus on an area for which there is no departmental or interdepartmental major program may apply for acceptance into the Interdisciplinary Major Program

Students design a plan of study that includes at least 30 credits of courses, in addition to a 6-credit thesis. The program must also be approved by three faculty sponsors, who will serve as the student’s major committee. 

What is a Distinguished Major Program (DMP)?

Many departments and programs offer a Distinguished Majors Program for students who show exceptional promise in their major field of study. 

This program consists of at least 12 credits of advanced work and a thesis, special project, experiment, or exhibit based on at least six credits of supervised research, advanced laboratory work, or advanced study, as determined by the department. 

Successful completion of the program with a University cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 will qualify a student for graduation with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction.

What is the Department of Politics Honors Program?

The Department of Politics offers an Honors program which enables third and fourth year students of special ability and interest to pursue a course of independent study under the guidance of department faculty. 

Honors students devote their time primarily to their chosen subjects for two years, during which they read independently in that field and participate in tutorials and seminars conducted by their departmental tutors. 

Honors program students are evaluated by visiting examiners from other colleges and universities. Depending upon this evaluation, they may receive degrees with “honors,” “high honors,” or “highest honors” as the only grades for two years of work. Please consult the Department of Politics for more information.

Last updated: May 30, 2024
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