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What Are the Different Types of General Degree Requirements?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Different types of general degree requirements often depend upon the school a student attends, though some are quite common among various programs. Many schools, for example, require a certain number of class credits must be completed and attained by a student, often with a particular portion of them coming from the school a student is graduating from. Colleges and universities also typically have general degree requirements regarding the Grade Point Average (GPA) that a student has to have while completing courses. There are also usually requirements regarding certain classes that all students must take, such as entry level writing and communications courses.

General degree requirements usually indicate those qualifications that all students must meet to graduate from a college or university, regardless of the program they are in. Most schools, for example, require that students complete a certain number of classes, often measured through credit hours, prior to completion of a program. These general degree requirements may break down further, often stipulating that a number of courses be completed based on the type of degree a student is receiving, either one in science or the arts. Many colleges also require that students complete a certain portion of their coursework, usually the last one or two years, at the university from which they wish to graduate.

A student at a graduation ceremony.
A student at a graduation ceremony.

It is also quite common for universities and colleges to have general degree requirements regarding the GPA or Grade Point Average of students. This is a numerical value determined by the grades that a student receives, often using a scale in which an “A” is 4.0, a “B” is 3.0, a “C” is 2.0, and a “D” and “F” are 1.0 and 0.0 respectively. Schools may have general degree requirements of a certain GPA for all students who wish to graduate. The GPA is determined as the average of grade points from all classes taken; common requirements are usually around 2.0 or more. This requirement sometimes only applies to those courses a student needs to complete for his or her particular college, such as the College of English or College of Life Sciences at a university.

Other general degree requirements involve the types of courses students have to complete and the declaration of a major focus for studies. Many schools require that students have a general education with a broad base of learning, especially undergraduate programs. This means that universities often require that students complete some general studies courses such as introductory writing and communications classes. Schools frequently have general degree requirements for students indicating that they must declare a major. This declaration indicates the particular field in which the student has focused his or her learning, and students may need a minor focus or secondary major at some schools.

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    • A student at a graduation ceremony.
      A student at a graduation ceremony.