Every undergraduate degree will look different. Generally, degrees are earned upon the successful completion of at least 180 college quarter credits distributed in the following areas:

5090 credits
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At least 180 credits in total
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  • English composition
    and additional writing
  • Quantitative and
    Symbolic Reasoning
  • Foreign language (where applicable)
  • Diversity
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  • Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA)
  • Individuals & Societies (I&S)
  • Natural World (NW)
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Basic Skills
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Areas of Knowledge
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50–100 credits
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  • Prerequisite courses
  • Core courses
  • Program electives
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The figure is a pie chart. It indicates that a Bachelor's Degree at the UW consists of at least 180 credits in total.

General Education

50 to 90 of those credits must fulfill General Education requirements in two broad areas:

Basic Skills
  • English composition and additional writing
  • Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning
  • Foreign language (where applicable)
  • Diversity
Areas of Knowledge
  • Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA)
  • Individuals & Societies (I&S)
  • Natural World (NW)

Major

A Bachelor's Degree must also include 50 to 100 credits of an identified Major, consisting of:

  • Prerequisite courses
  • Core courses
  • Program electives

Electives and Optional Minors

The remaining credits are electives and optional minors.

In addition to coursework, to graduate you must meet grade, credit, residence, and matriculation requirements. 

Grades

Generally, to graduate with a baccalaureate degree, a student must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all work done in residence (see below) at the University. The College or School may also require a 2.00 minimum GPA in the major at the time of graduation. Some programs require a higher GPA, overall and/or in the major.

Credits

To graduate with a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete a minimum of 180 academic credits. In the College of Arts and Sciences, at least 90 of the 180 credits must be completed outside the student's major department.

Residence requirement

To graduate with a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete at least 45 credits in residence at the UW. Residence credits are UW credits earned through the campus granting the degree.

Matriculation requirement

A matriculated student is one who has been admitted to a UW school or college, as a premajor or declared major. To be granted an undergraduate degree, a student must complete at least 45 UW credits as a matriculated student.

Electives

The courses you take to meet the requirements for your degree will almost certainly not exactly total the 180 credits you need to graduate. The credits you need to bring your total to 180 are called "general electives." If you choose a major that requires 50 credits you could have up to 65 credits that can be anything at all. There are a few programs, mostly in the sciences and engineering, that are so full of required courses that there are few or no electives. On average, most students end up with 30 credits or so of electives.