How to Earn a Baccalaureate Degree

To earn a UAF degree, you must satisfy three sets of requirements: general university requirements, degree requirements and program (major) requirements. General university requirements and degree requirements are described in this section of the catalog; major requirements are found in the Baccalaureate Degree Programs section; for baccalaureate degree requirements in brief, see chart.

If your degree program is delivered collaboratively within the UA system, credits you earn from each UA institution will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements and the minimum institutional residency requirements. Institutional residency requirements are the minimum number of credits you must earn from the campus where you earn a degree.

General University Requirements

For a UAF bachelor’s degree, you need at least 120 semester credits, including transfer credits. Of these, 39 credits must be upper-division (300-level or above).

At least 30 semester credits applicable to any baccalaureate degree must be earned at UAF. Transfer students need to earn at least 24 upper-division semester credits at UAF, at least 12 semester credits in the major and at least 3 semester credits in the minor. You must earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all work as well as in your major and minor fields. In addition, you must earn a minimum C grade in courses required for your major.

Unless otherwise specified by the appropriate academic unit, a course may be used more than once toward fulfilling degree, certificate, major and minor requirements. Credit hours for these courses count only once toward total credits required for the degree or certificate. Certifying that you have met all major and minor requirements is the responsibility of your department faculty, who notify the Registrar’s Office.

If you want to use correspondence study credits from a school other than UAF to satisfy degree requirements, you must have the approval of those courses by the dean of the school or college from which you will graduate; otherwise, you take the risk of not having the courses accepted.

Since ENGL 211X and 213X are writing courses, either will satisfy the second half of the requirement in written communication for the bachelor’s degree. But you can’t enroll in ENGL 211X or 213X without first fulfilling the ENGL 111X requirement. (See Local Advanced Placement Credit—English.)

General University Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees
Minimum number of credits 120 credits
Credits earned at UAF (residence credit) 30 credits
Upper-division credit (courses with numbers between 300 and 499) 39 credits total (some degrees require more); 24 of the 39 must be earned at UAF
Additional UAF credit that must be earned by transfer students 12 credits in the major; 3 credits in the minor
Grade point average 2.0 cumulative and in major and minor
Minimum grades for major No grade lower than C in courses required for major
Catalog year that can be used to determine requirements May use any catalog in effect when enrolled as a degree-seeking student, regardless of major; seven-year limit on catalog year
Second degree 24 credits beyond the first bachelor’s degree and all requirements for the second degree must be met


You may declare a major when you are admitted to UAF as a degree-seeking undergraduate student. If you haven’t chosen a major you’ll be enrolled as a general studies student. Non-degree students are not eligible to declare a major or to be assigned class standing.

Students enrolled in associate degree or certificate programs who want to declare a baccalaureate degree major must apply for admission to a degree program following the standard admission process for bachelor’s degree programs. (See admission requirements in How to Earn a Baccalaureate Degree.)

  • Changing your Major--Undergraduate students may change majors by completing a change of major form available from the Registrar’s Office or online at the registrar website. Regardless of when you submit the form, a change of major doesn’t become effective until the beginning of the upcoming fall or spring semester.


A minor is a component of a baccalaureate degree. The bachelor of arts degree and the bachelor of arts and sciences degrees require a minor. You must satisfactorily complete the requirements for a minor before a B.A. or a B.A.S. degree is awarded. A minor is optional for bachelor of science and bachelor of business administration degrees.

A minor from UAF consists of a minimum of 15 credits, at least 3 of which have to be earned at UAF. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 (C) in the minor and follow minor requirements from the same academic catalog used for their baccalaureate program. An associate of applied sciences degree earned at any regionally accredited college or university may be used to meet requirements for a minor in B.A. and B.A.S. degree programs.

Some minors require more than 15 credits and the process for declaring a minor varies among departments. Refer to specific requirements listed in the Baccalaureate Degree Program section. Approved minors are listed on page 114.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

If you’re a UAF graduate and want to earn a second bachelor’s degree, you must complete at least 24 hours of credit beyond the first bachelor’s degree. You must meet all general university requirements, degree requirements and major requirements for both degrees.

If you hold a bachelor’s degree from another college or university, you must be accepted for admission as a transfer student. You have to meet all general university requirements (including residency requirement), degree and major requirements. If you graduated from a regionally accredited college or university, however, you will be considered to have completed the equivalent of the UAF baccalaureate core.

Double Degrees

If you want to earn more than one UAF bachelor’s degree, you must complete all general requirements as well as all major and minor requirements (if any) for all degrees. You’ll need to earn at least 24 semester credit hours beyond the total required for the first degree before any additional degrees can be awarded. For two degrees you complete at the same time, you may follow requirements from two different catalogs.

Differences Between Double Majors and Double Degrees
  Double Majors Double Degrees
Degree(s) Earned

One bachelor’s degree is earned. The bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree requires the completion of two majors rather than a major and a minor. Majors are selected from those approved for the B.A. degree.

The bachelor of science (B.S.) degree requires the completion of a double major instead of a single major. Majors are selected from those approved for the B.S. degree.

More than one bachelor’s degree is earned. Can be the same degree (e.g. two BAs) or different degrees, (e.g., B.A. and B.S., B.B.A. and B.S., B.F.A. and B.A., etc.).

Each degree is independent of the other. If requirements for one degree are not completed as scheduled, the other degree may be awarded if all requirements are met.

Catalog Year A single catalog is followed for both majors to meet requirements. Different catalogs may be followed to meet requirements for each degree.
General University Requirements and Major Requirements All general university requirements and all major requirements for both majors must be met. All general university requirements as well as all major and minor requirements (if any) must be met for each degree.
Credit Hours Required If one major is from a program that requires 120 total credits and the other major is from a program that requires 130 total credits, the 130 total credits must be completed. At least 24 semester credit hours beyond the total required for the first degree must be completed before an additional degree can be awarded.

Residence Credit

Residence credit is course credit earned through any unit of UAF. Formal classroom instruction, correspondence study, distance-delivered courses, individual study or research at UAF are all considered residence credit. On the other hand, transfer credit, advanced placement credit, credit for prior learning, military service credit and credit granted through nationally prepared examinations are not considered resident credit, nor are credit by examination credits earned through locally prepared tests. None of these types of credit can be applied to UAF residency requirements.

Residency Requirement

Most universities have residency requirements that call for a certain number of credits toward a degree to be earned at the degree-granting school. At UAF, the residency requirement for baccalaureate degrees is 30 resident credits.

Degree Requirements and Time Limits

You may complete degree requirements in effect in any one of the academic years in which you are enrolled as a degree-seeking student. Degree requirements in effect within seven academic years for a baccalaureate degree may be used. You’re considered enrolled in your degree program when you complete the appropriate degree-seeking student registration procedure. If you do not enroll for a semester or more, or if you enroll through the non-degree student registration process, you aren’t considered enrolled as a degree student during that time.

Exceptions to Degree Requirements

Occasionally an undergraduate student may request an exception to an academic requirement or regulation. Requests for an academic dispensation must be approved by petition. If you submit a petition on the basis of a disability, the coordinator of disability services will be consulted. Petition forms are available at the Registrar’s Office or online at the registrar website. Forms need to be returned to the Registrar’s Office with required signatures of approval. The Registrar’s Office will notify you once the appropriate person or committee has made a decision about whether to approve your petition.

Academic petitions fall into three categories and each involves different processes:

  • Core Curriculum Petitions--If your petition deals with baccalaureate core requirements, your advisor and the head of the department of the academic area involved must grant approval. Submit your signed petition to the Registrar’s Office. It will then be forwarded to the chair of the faculty senate core curriculum review committee for consideration.
  • Major or Minor Degree Requirement Petitions--If you want to waive or substitute courses within your major or minor requirements, you need approval signatures from your advisor and department or program head of your major or minor area. Submit your signed petition to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Petitions for Other Requirements--If your petition deals with general university and/or specific requirements for your degree or other academic policies, you need approval from your advisor and the dean or director of the college or school in which your major is located. Submit your signed petition to the Registrar’s Office. It will then be forwarded to the provost for consideration.

Reserving Courses for Graduate Programs

Seniors who have only a few remaining requirements for a bachelor’s degree may take courses at the 400-level or graduate level and have them reserved for an advanced degree. Courses reserved for use toward a graduate program cannot also be counted toward requirements for your bachelor’s degree. To reserve one or more courses, you must be in your final year of an undergraduate program. Submit a written request to the Registrar’s Office during the first four weeks of the semester. The request should identify which semester courses you want reserved for graduate study and not counted toward your bachelor’s degree. (Reserving courses does not, however, assure that a graduate advisory committee will accept them as part of your eventual graduate program.)


  • Responsibility--You are responsible for meeting all requirements for graduation.
  • Application for Graduation--You need to formally apply for graduation. An application for graduation and non-refundable fee must be filed with the Office of the Registrar during the semester you plan to graduate. If you file your application by the published deadline, the graduation application fee is $20. If you miss that deadline, you can submit a late application for graduation and $30 fee up to six weeks before the last class day of the semester or summer term. Applications for graduation filed after the late deadline are processed for graduation the following semester. Students who apply for graduation and who do not complete degree requirements by the end of the semester must reapply for graduation and repay the fee.
  • Diplomas and Commencement--UAF issues diplomas to graduates three times a year: in September following summer sessions, in January at the end of fall semester, and in May at the end of spring semester. Students who complete degree requirements for UA Board of Regents-approved academic programs during the academic year are invited to participate in the annual commencement ceremony at the end of spring semester.

    Names of students receiving degrees/certificates appear in the commencement program and are released to the media unless you submit a written request not to do so to the graduation department. Students who do not want their names released can indicate so on the application for graduation form. Graduates are responsible for ordering caps and gowns through the UAF bookstore in early spring.
  • Graduation with Honors--Graduation with honors is a tribute that recognizes academic achievement. Honors graduates have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in all college work. If a student’s overall cumulative GPA is 3.5 or higher, a student graduates with the distinction of cum laude; 3.8 or higher, magna cum laude; 4.0, summa cum laude. Your cumulative GPA for graduation with honors is based on all college work attempted at UAF, including any repeated or omitted credits due to fresh start.

    For transfer students to be considered for graduation with honors, they must have:
    1. 3.5 cumulative GPA in all attempted UAF credits, and
    2. UAF residence credit of 48 semester hours for a baccalaureate degree or 24 semester hours for an associate degree

    Once those requirements are met, a cumulative GPA is calculated combining all college work attempted at UAF, as well as all college work attempted at any other institutions you’ve attended, including repeated credits and any credits that may not have been accepted for transfer to UAF. The combined cumulative GPA must also be 3.5 or higher for a transfer student to graduate with honors.

Types of Baccalaureate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts--The B.A. degree emphasizes written and oral communication skills, creative thinking, critical analyses of texts, understanding cultures, and a working knowledge of social, political and historical contexts. The degree is typically pursued by students whose major areas of study are directed toward humanities, arts and social sciences disciplines.
  • Bachelor of Arts and Sciences--The B.A.S. degree encompasses the contexts of social sciences, mathematics, science, as well as culture and diversity. Students who want a foundation in these areas as well as a broad spectrum of knowledge pursue this degree.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration--The B.B.A. degree is the undergraduate equivalent of an M.B.A. Students explore a wide spectrum of business-related issues to develop advanced business, management and administration skills required in organizational settings at senior levels, and to accelerate high-level career development in the workplace.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts--The B.F.A. degree has a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare talented students for professional careers in the arts.
  • Bachelor of Music--The B.M. degree encourages acquisition and display of talent in music, with special emphasis on aesthetic performance and understanding.
  • Bachelor of Science--The B.S. degree emphasizes oral and written communication skills and analytical skills for examining and solving problems. The degree is typically pursued by students whose major areas of study are directed toward natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, engineering, computer science and some social science fields.
  • Bachelor of Technology--The B.T. interdisciplinary degree is designed for students with technical or vocational backgrounds who want to enhance their experiences with more advanced academic pursuits.