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What Are the Different Types of Undergraduate Degree Requirements?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Different undergraduate degree requirements are typically categorized into general education requirements as well as those specific to a certain program and to the university in general. The general degree requirements are typically those classes that anyone working to obtain a particular type of degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS), has to complete. More specific undergraduate degree requirements include courses that are part of the necessary curriculum for a certain subject, such as Computer Science or English. There are also typically university requirements that all students, regardless of subject or type of degree, must complete like a course in writing or communications.

In addition to the different types of courses that typically need to be completed as part of a student’s undergraduate degree requirements, many schools also set standards for grades. This means that each class a student takes toward completion of a degree usually needs to be finished with a satisfactory grade. Schools may also have additional requirements for students in an “honors” program or who have a scholarship.

Some of the most basic types of undergraduate degree requirements are general education courses that every student working on a particular type of degree has to complete. These are usually arranged based on whether a degree is a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science, or another type. Students receiving a BA, for example, typically have to take a certain number of years of a foreign language, regardless of the actual degree they are completing. In much the same way, a student working toward a BS may need to complete more science or math classes than students in a BA program.

There are also a number of undergraduate degree requirements that depend upon the specific college a student attends. For example, all students in a curriculum focusing on English, who are part of the College of English, may have to complete certain courses. These core classes usually focus specifically on the subject matter in which a student specializes. This means that the undergraduate degree requirements for a BA in English may be very different from those needed by a student to receive a BA in Art History.

Many universities also have a few undergraduate degree requirements that are independent of the type of degree a student is completing and the field in which he or she focuses. These few core competencies are usually basic courses in subjects such as writing or social history. Many schools require students complete a course in communications, to ensure that graduates have a strong foundation in oral and written communication.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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