Degree (and specialization) requirements let you describe the minimum a student must achieve in order to earn a particular degree or major/minor. 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 on their Profile > Student views.
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 2022-2023. The requirements change in 2024-2025. J.J. Smith starts pursuing the B.A. in 2022-2023. Sadie Smith starts pursuing it in 2024-2025.
- J.J. is held to the 2022-2023 requirements.
- Sadie is held to the 2024-2025 requirements.
Here's the most straightforward workflow for setting up degree/specialization requirements; after following these setup steps, student Degree Audits will have something to work with:
- 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.
- Do not take the time to set up degree requirements that cover a cohort of students who've already graduated!
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.
- The terms Academic Year, Requirement Year, and Catalog Year are used somewhat interchangeably in reference to degrees.
- If the year already exists, select it from the drop-down and click edit next to Requirements. Skip the next two steps.
- If the year does not exist, click Add requirement year.
- Select an academic year from the drop-down. This will be the requirement year.
- Cumulative GPA: Enter the minimum cumulative GPA a student must achieve to earn this degree. This GPA excludes any transfered GPA.
- Overall GPA: Enter the minimum overall GPA required; this GPA includes any transfered GPA.
- Cumulative units: Enter the minimum number of cumulative credits or hours a student must pass to earn this degree. This amount includes transfer units!
- Resident units: Enter the minimum number of credits or hours a student must earn at your school in order to get this degree.
- If this degree has previous requirement years with course groups (see below), choose if you'd like to import those from one of the previous years.
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. See the section on Keeping requirements straight..., below.
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
Picture if you will a degree and specialization: a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a major in Creative Writing. The B.A. requires 120 credits, 30 of which count towards a major. Here's how you'd set that up:
- The general requirements for both the degree and major should specify 120 overall credits (resident + transfer).
- If you sometimes grant the degree without a specialization, you could enter 90 for the degree and 120 for the specialization.
- If you only grant the degree together with a specialization, enter 120 for both the degree and specialization.
- For the degree's course requirements, specify a total of 90 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.