Amendment to University Credit Requirement

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Amendment to University Credit Requirement

To: UA Faculty, Academic Advisors, Student Support Personnel, and Students

From:

Neel Ghosh, Chair, Undergraduate Council
Abbie Sorg, Senior Program Manager, Curricular Affairs

Subject: Amendment to University Credit Requirement

Date: April 9, 2020

In January 2020 the Undergraduate Council (UGC) received a proposal from the University Academic Advising Council to change the University Credit Requirement, to remove the requirement for 18 of the final 30 units of a student's degree to be University Credit, and to instead require that at least 18 of the required 30 units of University Credit must be in Upper Division coursework. This update also necessitates a corresponding update to the Upper-Division Unit Requirement policy. The updated policy was reviewed and approved by the Undergraduate Council, College Academic Administrators Council, and Faculty Senate during the Spring 2020 semester. The updated policy can be found online.

The updated policy is effective beginning with the Fall 2020 semester.

Updated University Credit Requirement:

A minimum of 30 units of University Credit from The University of Arizona is required for the bachelor's degree. Of those 30 units, 18 must be in Upper Division (300+ level) coursework. Various departments have specific University Credit requirements for their majors, and students should consult individual departmental information sections for this information.

Updated Upper-Division Unit Requirement:

The University of Arizona recognizes both breadth and depth of knowledge as important characteristics of a baccalaureate degree. To ensure depth of study beyond introductory levels, the University has a general policy requiring students to complete a minimum of 42 units of upper-division course work for graduation, including 18 units of University Credit. This requirement applies to students graduating under the 1991-93 catalog or any subsequent catalog. The special requirements of some academic programs may necessitate an exception to this requirement. Some degree programs require fewer than 42 units of upper-division credit. For current information, students should consult their advisors, the department which offers their major, or the Academic Advisement Report for their major to determine if their degree program may require fewer than 42 units of upper-division credit.

Justification/Rationale 

  • The prior policy was difficult to manage, requiring manual calculations for each graduating student.
  • The prior policy negatively affected students preparing to graduate for a number of reasons, including students transferring credit completed at other institutions throughout their UA career, students transferring from community colleges or other institutions, military students, students earning credit through CLEP exams, students wishing to participate in Study Abroad during their senior year, and micro-campus students.
  • The Department of Defense MOU and other military pathway agreements, such as the UA-ABC pathways from the CCAF, specifically ask about residency units and final units in residency policies. The University of Arizona is one of a select number of universities qualifying for the AU-ABC pathways. One of the questions they ask is:

Please confirm that a residency of not more than 25% of the degree's credit requirement (30 SH) and no final year of residency will be required by your institution for degree completion.  Also explain options for Airmen to complete the 25% required residency with your institution when traditional classroom opportunities are not available with your institution.

  • The updated policy maintains the intent of the original policy, to ensure that degrees conferred by the University of Arizona reflect a significant portion of students' major coursework completed through University Credit, without the negative effects that the prior policy had on students and advisors.

Questions about the University Credit Requirement should be addressed to Roxie Catts, Director, Advising Resource Center, at 626-7988, or catts@email.arizona.edu.

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