University Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for a baccalaureate degree. Thirty credits must be UND institutional credit. Institutional credit is academic credit awarded by the University. The following sections describe the requirements which must be met by all students seeking the baccalaureate degree. These include regulations concerning majors, minors, grade point average, upper division courses, and residence.

Essential Studies Program Requirements

An overview of the philosophy guiding the Essential Studies portion of the University’s graduation requirements is provided in the immediately preceding section of the catalog. The complete philosophy statement and the specific goals of the Essential Studies program are found at  The courses that can be used to satisfy the Essential Studies graduation requirements can be found at:

Upper Division Courses Required

A minimum of 36 semester credit hours must be completed in upper division courses by all undergraduate degree recipients. All courses numbered 300 and above and taken at a four-year institution are defined as upper division.


The specific requirements of a major or related fields concentration are determined by the department or program responsible for the major or concentration subject to approval by the University Curriculum Committee. A major requires at least 32 credit hours related to an academic area.

Program Sub-plans

A sub-plan is a group of courses within an approved academic degree program or major which is identified in the institutional catalog. Sub-plans are either transcriptable or non-transcriptable. Transcriptable sub-plans (options, specialization, emphases, concentrations or tracks) require a minimum of 16 undergraduate distinct credit hours or a minimum of 9 graduate distinct credit hours.


Minors shall consist of a minimum of 16 semester hours of coursework with the course distribution established by the appropriate department or departments with the approval of the University Curriculum Committee. Minors may consist of courses associated with a department or discipline, e.g., chemistry; a specialty within a department, e.g., office administration, etc.; or a collection of courses which cross disciplines, e.g., international studies. A minor is not required by the University but may be required in some programs for an undergraduate degree. A student may declare a minor in the office of the dean of the college in which the minor is offered.

Program Certificate

A program certificate is a specialized course of study requiring at least 9 credit hours at the undergraduate level.

Double Use of Courses

  1. Courses within a major or required by a program may, at the same time, fulfill Essential Studies Requirements for the University. (There are a few exceptions to this general rule. These exceptions are stated under departmental requirements, for example under the Communication program.)
  2. In certain cases courses may count toward a major (or minor) and, at the same time, fulfill “Extradepartmental Requirements” for another major or program. Consult college or departmental offices for more information.

Grade Point Average

To qualify for a degree a student must achieve a minimum 2.00 (C) average on all University work. For students with transfer work, it is required that the overall average (including transfer work) be 2.00 (C) and that the average work taken at the University of North Dakota be 2.00 (C). Some undergraduate colleges require higher averages. (See requirements under specific college information.)

Residence Requirements

A candidate for the bachelor’s degree who enters with transfer credit must obtain from the University a minimum of 30 semester hours of institutional credit. Fifteen semester credits in the student’s major and three semester credits in the minor, if a minor is declared, must be institutional credit. Some colleges of the University may require more than 15 hours of institutional credit in the major.

Institutional Credit includes degree credit courses:

  1. taken in residence;
  2. taken through Continuing Education.

Credits earned by examination, e.g., Foreign Language Placement and Special Examination for Credit, do not count as Institutional Credit.

Exceptions to General Graduation Requirements

Any exception to the above general degree requirements must be requested by the student at least six weeks prior to his or her expected graduation date. Petitions must be initiated in the office of the student’s dean.

Formal Application for the Degree Sought

Candidates for degrees should make online application within the first four weeks of the semester in which the student expects to receive the degree. The application is available in Campus Connection. Students applying for two or more degrees to be awarded simultaneously must apply separately for each degree and receive approval from each college granting the degrees.

Conferring of Additional Baccalaureate Degrees

Second baccalaureate degrees may be earned by completing the requirements for the degree without regard to previous baccalaureate degrees earned at UND.

Early Graduation Policy

Students meeting all of the requirements for graduation except approval by the University Senate who: 1) complete an internship or co-op which is required for the degree at a time inconsistent with the normal academic calendar, and 2) need an official transcript certifying the awarding of a degree for official licensure or certification as a condition of employment, may appeal to the Senate Executive Committee to obtain a transcript reflecting graduation. If granted, the Registrar's Office posts both the degree and a graduation date different from the one graduation date established by the University as required by the State Board of Higher Education on the academic record.