Degree requirements let you describe the minimum a student must achieve in order to earn a particular degree. They include general requirements (overall GPA, credits, etc.) and more particular course requirements—twelve courses of math, fifteen units of art courses with this GPA, etc. After you add degree requirements, you'll be able to see how individual students are progressing towards their degrees with the Degree Audit view on their Profile > Student views.
You can also add requirements for your specializations.
Because degree requirements can change from one year to another, degree requirements are tied to catalog years:
- Catalog years are the same thing as academic years. If you have academic years, you have catalog years!
- Requirements for a given year carry forward for all subsequent years until you define requirements for a new year.
- Typically, students are held to the requirements in effect as of the year in which they started pursuing the degree (the pursuing as of date).
For example, you set up a B.A. for 2005-2006. The requirements change in 2010-2011. J.J. Smith starts pursuing the B.A. in 2007-2008. Sadie Smith starts pursuing it in 2013-2014.
- J.J. is held to the 2005-2006 requirements.
- Sadie is held to the 2010-2011 requirements.
The primary value of adding degree requirements is that it gives student Degree Audits something to work with—and thus, they are useful mostly for current and future students. If a student has graduated already, you don't need to check her progress towards her degree! Here's the most straightforward workflow for setting up degree/specialization requirements:
- Create the degree and/or specializations.
- Set up the course groups you'll need for the degree.
- Go back to the degree/specialization and add your requirements and course groups. Start with the earliest year for which any current students are pursuing a degree.
Adding (and changing) requirements
The instructions below work for both degrees and specializations.
- Go to the degree's page.
- Check to see if the requirement year you want to work with is already entered by clicking the drop-down.
- Requirement years are the same as academic years.
- A student who begins pursuing a degree in, for example, the 2017-2018 academic year will be held to the requirements you establish for the 2017-2018 requirement year.
Now that you've added general requirements to this degree, you can set students in pursuit of this degree for this requirement year (once the degree status is set to active. The next step is to add course groups (see below).
Follow the above instructions to add general requirements to a specialization. If the specialization's requirements are different than those of the degree, the degree audit will hold the student to the more restrictive requirements.
Before adding course groups, you'll need to have created them in Academics > Course Groups. Assuming you've taken care of that...
- Click add next to Course Groups.
- Select the course group from the drop-down. You can only select course groups that have been defined for the requirement year or any previous year.
- Select whether you want to require a certain number of units or courses from this group. If you've enabled clinical hours, you'll have that option here as well.
- Enter the requirement value—e.g. 24 credits, 12 courses, etc.
- If you wish, enter a minimum GPA for this course group. The Degree Audit will calculate the cumulative GPA for the courses in this group; students must meet or exceed it to pass the requirement.
- Enter a minimum course grade for this course group. Grade is reckoned in terms of grade points from the student/course's grade scale. If your grade scale says C = 2.0, and you'd like to require a minimum grade of C, then enter 2.0 in this field.
- Click Save when you're done.
- Repeat these steps for each course group you'd like to add.
Keeping requirements straight between degrees and specializations
Imagine, if you will, that you offer a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a major in Creative Writing. The B.A. requires 150 credits, 30 of which must count towards a major. Here's how you'd set that up:
- The general requirements for both the degree and major should specify 150 overall credits (resident + transfer).
- For the degree's course requirements, specify a total of 120 credits' worth of courses.
- For the major's course requirements, specify a total of 30 credits' worth of courses.
- For the other general requirements, just remember that the degree audit will hold the student to the more restrictive requirements. If the B.A. requires a 2.5 GPA and the major requires a 2.7, students will be held to the 2.7.