CLA Degree Requirements

Below are the basic requirements for a typical bachelor of arts (BA) degree. There are exceptions and variations on these requirements based on the degree and/ or major that you are pursuing. (In addition to the BA, CLA students may also receive bachelor of music, bachelor of science, bachelor of individualized studies, and bachelor of fine arts degrees.) Talk to your academic advisor for an explanation of the requirements for your degree and major.

Liberal Education Requirements

Students must complete the University of Minnesota liberal education requirements.

Second Language Requirement

Students must either earn:

  • A grade of C- or better or an S in a fourth semester University of Minnesota language class or equivalent transfer course of at least four credits, or
  • A passing score on the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE), which tests reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills at the fourth semester level.

See more information on the second language requirement.

Credit Requirements

If you have questions about the number or type of credits that are required for your degree, you should talk to your academic advisor. Most degrees require:

  • A minimum of 120 total semester credits accepted by CLA. CLA restricts the number of non-liberal arts credits that may count for your degree.
  • At least 48 of your total credits must be taken at the 3xxx, 4xxx, or 5xxx level, also referred to as upper level credits, meaning courses intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
  • For a B.A. at least 18 of these upper level credits must be outside of your major. This requirement assures breadth of learning, that you have studied advanced level coursework in more than your major field. For some other degrees and majors, there are exceptions to this policy.

Residency requirements

  • A student must present at least 30 semester credits awarded by the University campus from which he or she is seeking to graduate.
  • At least 15 credits of the last 30 credits earned prior to the awarding of a University degree must be awarded by the University campus from which the student is seeking to graduate.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 75 percent of their UMTC residency credits with grades of A-D, and up to 25 percent may have a grade of S. S grades are generally not accepted for major or minor requirements.

Major

In order to graduate with a degree from CLA, you will need to complete the requirements for one or more major(s). You will be required to declare a major by the time you have earned 60 credits (usually at the end of your second year).

Major Project

CLA requires that students complete a major project. The project demonstrates analytic and conceptual skills as well as an understanding of the mode of inquiry characteristic of the discipline. For most majors the format of the project is a paper.

Minor

If you would like to supplement your major program, you may choose to complete one or more minor(s); however, a minor is not required.