A bachelor's or baccalaureate degree is earned upon the completion of at least 180 college quarter credits1. These credits must include the completion of University general education requirements, additional College/School graduation requirements, and an area of specialization (i.e., a major). Proceeding at a pace of 15 credits per quarter (autumn, winter, and spring), you will complete 180 credits in four years.
Your 180 credits will be spread across several areas:
- University general education requirements
- English composition (5 credits)
- Additional writing ("W" courses) (7 credits)
- Quantitative and symbolic reasoning (Q/SR) (4-5 credits)
- Areas of Knowledge (40 credits, with a minimum of 10 credits each in Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA); Individuals & Societies (I&S); and Natural World (NW)
- Additional College/School graduation requirements
Every College and School has additional graduation requirements that meet or exceed the University general education requirements. A notable entry here is the Foreign Language Requirement of the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Education, and the School of Social Work. To find out the additional graduation requirements for each College/School, please consult the General Education Requirements of UW's Schools & Colleges chart.
An area of specialization, usually in a single department (50-90 or more credits).
- Minor (optional)
An additional area of specialization (25-35 credits). Students are not required to have a minor.
- General electives
As many credits as necessary to bring the total to 1801. Depending on the size of your major(s) and whether you a minor, you may or may not need any general electives.
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 of Arts and Sciences, Information School, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, and School of Social Work also require a 2.00 minimum gpa in your major at the time of graduation. Some programs require a higher GPA, overall and/or in the major.
To graduate with a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete a minimum of 180 academic credits1. In the College of Arts and Sciences, at least 90 of the 180 credits must be completed outside the student's major department.
To graduate with a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete at least 45 credits in residence at the UW. Residence credit has nothing to do with whether or not you are a resident of Washington state. Residence credits are UW credits earned at the campus granting the degree.
Not only must you complete 45 credits in residence at the UW, but 45 of your last 60 credits must be taken in residence; this is referred to as the final-year residence requirement. The idea is that in order to earn a UW degree, the majority of your final courses — which are usually upper division courses in your major — should be taken at the UW. Exceptions to the final-year residence rule may be made by each individual college; talk with your department adviser if you want to seek an exception.
Residence Credit Includes:
- Day and evening courses from the quarterly time schedule at the student's home UW campus, including fieldwork and individual-study courses that don't require that the student be on campus, but not including C-prefix or DL-prefix online learning courses
- Evening Degree Program courses
- Credit courses offered by UW Professional and Continuing Education taken by students in good academic standing, except C-prefix and DL-prefix online learning courses
- Foreign study credit earned through UW-sponsored International Programs and Exchanges that are recorded on the transcript as UW credit
Residence Credit Does NOT Include:
- Transfer courses
- UW online learning courses, including both UW C-prefix and DL-prefix courses
- Any UW courses taken by students on drop status
- UW-Bothell or UW-Tacoma credits, for students matriculated at the Seattle campus, and vice-versa. Only credits earned at the campus granting the degree are considered residence credits.
- AP and International Baccalaureate credit
- Advanced placement credit
- Credit by examination
- College in the High School, including courses sponsored by UW Professional and Continuing Education
- Armed Forces Training School credit
- Foreign study credit that appears on the student's transcript as transfer credit
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.
After a student has been admitted to the UW, types of UW credit which count toward this matriculation requirement include "regular" credit courses listed in the quarterly Time Schedule, credits taken at another UW campus, credit courses offered by UW Professional and Continuing Education, and all UW online learning courses.
2 Beyond the UW admission requirement, foreign language is only required for majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, and the School of Social Work.