Requirements for Degrees
Degrees are awarded at the end of the term in which the student completes all requirements; a formal commencement program is held only at the end of the Winter Term. The College awards the following degrees which require total credits as listed:
|Bachelor of Arts||136 credits|
|Bachelor of Science||136 credits|
|(68 of the total credits must be in Science and Mathematics)|
|Bachelor of Fine Arts||148 credits|
|Bachelor of Music||136–156 credits|
Specific requirements for the B.F.A. and B.M. degrees are listed in the Art and Design and Music sections of the catalog.
Earning an Additional Bachelor's Degree
A student may earn more than one bachelor's degree if:
- The degrees are different.
- The student completes 168 credits.
- The student completes all requirements for both degrees.
Note: Students who earn a Bachelor of Music degree cannot also earn a Bachelor of Arts degree unless they qualify on the basis of a major other than music.
Students who desire multiple degrees must make application to the Registrar's Office during the week of registration of the term prior to graduation. All degrees for which a student qualifies will be awarded as completed.
Statute of Limitation for Degree Requirements
If candidates are unable to fulfill all requirements, including requirements for teacher certification, by August 30 of the year of graduation, a five-year grace period is allowed for completion of deficiencies. This grace period is further defined as a maximum of nine years after the date of initial enrollment at Alma College. After the five-year period, the student must re-apply for candidacy and have his/her record re-evaluated under the requirements then in force. If those requirements are significantly different, the candidate may be required to complete additional work for the degree and/or teaching certificate. Certification requirements are subject to change by action of the State Board of Education and may not be reflected in this catalog.
Alma College Credit
An Alma College credit is equivalent to 0.9 semester hours or 1.33 quarter hours.
Cumulative Point Average
The Cumulative Point Average (CPA) must be at least 2.0 for all degrees. This average is based only on grades achieved at Alma College or in its programs. Grades earned at other institutions will not be incorporated into this evaluation. Credits earned with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better at other institutions and accepted for transfer by Alma College will count toward the 136–156 credits required for the degree.
Area of Concentration
Each student must declare an area of concentration before the end of the sophomore year by filing the approved form with the Registrar's Office. This area of concentration may be a Departmental Major (36 credits as prescribed by the department), an Interdepartmental Major (56 credits in courses approved by two or more departments and the Educational Policy Committee), or a Program of Emphasis [POE] (56–68 credits in courses selected by the student to meet a specific educational goal as approved by the POE Committee no later than November 15 of the junior year).
The CPA in the area of concentration must be at least 2.0 ("C") for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music degrees. For the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a 3.0 CPA in the major is required. For teacher certification purposes, a 2.75 CPA is required for all coursework and for all majors and minors. Courses outside the area of concentration must total 68 credits.
Programs of Emphasis (POEs)
With the assistance of a faculty advisor, students may design an area of concentration composed of 56–68 credits in courses chosen to meet specific educational or career goals. In recent years, students have graduated with POEs in such fields as arts management, anthropology and political science, environmental policy and sustainability, and music technology. For more information, contact the Provost's Office.
Most major departments require graduating seniors to complete a comprehensive evaluation. Departments will determine the form of the comprehensive evaluation and may require students to take a nationally normed test, such as the Graduate Record Examination, off campus. Regardless of the form of the evaluation, the department shall determine the minimum criteria for passing with distinction, passing and failing.
Departments have the discretion to require satisfactory performance on a comprehensive evaluation for completion of the major. Results of evaluations that are non-credit bearing will not be recorded on the student's transcript.
Failure of the comprehensive evaluation will not affect degree status unless a department specifies that successful completion is necessary to satisfy major requirements. Students may retake the comprehensive evaluation only with the permission of the department (or in the case of a POE, the POE Subcommittee of the Educational Policy Committee of the faculty). Only the results of the most recent effort will be recorded.
A student may count up to eight credits of one major or minor in a different major or minor when those courses appear within the requirements, unless a department states otherwise within a departmental listing.
If a course is a required prerequisite or cognate to a major, it is automatically available for application to a different major or minor when that course appears within the requirements.
Note that no course, which counts toward any teaching major or teaching minor, may count toward any other teaching major or teaching minor.
Upper Level Courses
Upper Level Courses, identified by an asterisk before the number, must total at least 44 credits. Students with Interdepartmental Majors or a POE must earn 56 credits in upper level courses.
Spring Term Requirements
Two Spring Term courses must be successfully completed, one of which must be a designated ("S") course. Transfer students of sophomore standing or above must successfully complete one Spring Term course and it must be an course. These designations are found in the Spring Term Course Booklet published each January.
courses take advantage of the unique format of Spring Term and cross geographical, cultural or disciplinary boundaries. The course requirement applies to classes entering Fall 1995 and after. The Registrar's Office maintains a list of approved courses. A term spent off campus in an approved Alma College program (ex. Philadelphia, Germany, France, etc.) may meet the student's requirement. The student must still take two Spring Terms.
Seniors are required to enroll in classes offered on the Alma campus or through Alma College programs during the Fall and Winter terms immediately prior to graduation.
Of the 136–156 credits required for a degree, students may apply up to the following number of credits from the classes listed below:
|8 credits||Music 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158 and 159|
|6 credits||Exercise and Health Science 100–165|
|8 credits||Theatre/Dance 150, 151 and 152|
|8 credits||Practicums (numbered 385, 386 and 387 in any department)|
|24 credits||Independent Study (in a single department)|
|36 credits||Practicum, Independent Study, Field Experience, Internship or Directed Teaching (in total)|
|68 credits||By transfer from a two-year institution|
Credit earned by enrollment in English as a Second Language or in Mathematics 099 does not count toward the 136–156 credits required for graduation.