Types of Degrees

The College of Liberal Arts offers five bachelor’s degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Individualized studies (BIS)
  • Bachelor of Fine arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Music (BMus)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
This degree can be only be earned in the College of Liberal Arts' departments and programs. Its breadth and diversity make it valuable as a base for many kinds of careers or for advanced study. To complete a BA, you need to choose a major, which is a concentration of courses that gives you a basic knowledge of a field of study. We offer several majors that prepare you for specific professions as well as interdepartmental programs that combine different fields of study.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
To earn a BFA, you must be admitted to the BFA program in art, dance, or acting (a collaboration with the Guthrie Theater). You must satisfactorily complete a rigorous course of study in the liberal arts and also demonstrate superior professional promise and outstanding technical or creative/artistic ability in the field.

Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS)
To earn this degree, you work with an advisor to propose a program of study composed of three areas of concentration that is based on your personal academic objectives. You can include an area that is offered by another University of Minnesota college. Proposals are evaluated and approved by advisors for each area of study.

Bachelor of Music (BMus)
The School of Music offers the BMus degree for students who demonstrate superior professional promise in performance, composition, theory, music education, or music therapy.

Bachelor of Science (BS)
Bachelor of science degrees are offered in seven areas: child psychology, speech-language-hearing sciences, economics, geography, sociology, technical writing and communication, and urban studies. The BS degree provides heavier concentration on the major than the BA, thus leading to more specialized undergraduate study.

Degree Distinctions

As a College of Liberal Arts student, you may graduate with Latin honors, Distinction, or both. These citations do not become official until all requirements for the award are fulfilled.

Latin Honors

Students graduating from CLA through the University Honors Program may receive Latin honors. As an honors student, you take part in a rigorous course of study, research, scholarship, or other creative work in the major, culminating in an honors thesis representing independent work done under the direction of a faculty supervisor or mentor.

Distinction Designations

Students earn graduation “with distinction” or “with high distinction” based on cumulative grade point average at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with at least 60 graded credits completed here.

  • “with distinction”: 3.75 or higher in coursework completed here at the time of graduation
  • “with high distinction”: 3.90 or higher in coursework completed here at the time of graduation