University Credit Requirement for the Major - Revised

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University Credit Requirement for the Major - Revised

To: All Faculty and Academic Advisors


Dennis Ray, Chair, Undergraduate Council and Celeste Pardee, Assistant Director for Academic Policies/Organizations

Subject: University Credit Requirement for the Major - Revised

Date: April 25, 2016

In Summer/Fall 2016 for undergraduates in the 2016-17 Catalog, two revisions will take effect in the University Credit Policy for the Major. The revisions clarify which courses should be counted in the 18-unit residency requirement for the major, while acknowledging that departments may make exceptions as appropriate. The Undergraduate Council approved this recommendation from the University Academic Advising Council (UAAC) in February 2016 and the proposal was approved by the Faculty Senate on April 4, 2016. 

Approved Revision:

Removal of "related" and "supporting course work" from the University Credit Policy and the addition of a note on exceptions (View the policy here):

Majors for undergraduate degrees require a 2.000 or better grade point average (GPA) for all University Credit work in the major as defined on the Academic Advisement Report or for any work in the major satisfied by the Special Examination for Grade. All grades for repeated courses will be calculated in the major GPA, with the exception of grades that have been replaced by the Grade Replacement Opportunity (GRO) and those removed from the grade point average through Academic Renewal.

Major course work should include no fewer than 18 units of University Credit. Major course work is defined as the major, pre-major and/or professional core. Departments may also include supporting foundation course work in the major as appropriate. The University Credit requirement applies to all majors in the student's academic program.


The purpose of a University Credit requirement in the major is to ensure that students complete a significant portion of the major with UA course work. "Supporting course work" (e.g., introductory mathematics and lab science) is not considered part of the major in the same sense as the pre-major and professional core. Foundation courses may be prerequisites, but they don't constitute the essence of the major and aren't usually calculated in the major GPA. By removing "supporting course work" from the University Credit Requirement, students will understand that 18 units of the major should be UA course work.

Courses that don't apply toward the major GPA should not be included in the major University Credit requirement. For example, the biological science programs requires a number of courses in calculus, general and organic chemistry, and physics. Those courses are "supporting" in that they prepare students for the major. But, they are not considered part of the major and aren't calculated in the major GPA, with few exceptions (e.g., MCB has specified that the 2nd semester of organic chemistry be calculated in the major GPA).

Management of the Revisions:

The Major Academic Advisement Reports (UAccess-Student system) should be configured to exclude "supporting coursework" (e.g., math and science prerequisites) from the University Credit requirement for the major, unless the major department specifies that one or more supporting courses be included.

Current students who have taken (or are taking) supporting courses toward their major University Credit requirement should not be disadvantaged by these revisions. Therefore, the configuration of the UAccess-Student system should be effective for incoming students in the 2016-17 Catalog.

Questions about the revised University Credit Requirement may be addressed to Celeste Pardee, Curricular Affairs, at 520-621-5375, or at

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