Degree Requirements

Degrees are awarded at the end of the term in which the student completes all requirements; a formal commencement is held only at the end of the Winter Term.

Degrees Awarded

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:

  1. The degrees are different.
  2. The student completes 168 credits.
  3. The student completes all requirements for both degrees.

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.

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.

Completion of Distributive Requirements

All students are expected to complete the Distributive Requirements (general education program) required by Alma.

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.

Comprehensive Evaluation

All seniors at Alma College will complete a Comprehensive Evaluation in their major fields or POEs as a requirement for graduation.

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.

The form of the comprehensive evaluation of any department will be determined by the department. Departments 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.

Advanced Level Courses

Advanced Level Courses, identified by an asterisk before the number, must total at least 44 credits. Students with Interdepartmental Majors (COM and POE) must earn 56 credits in advanced level courses.

Spring Term Requirements

Two Spring Term courses must be successfully completed. One of the two Spring Term courses taken must be a designated “S” course. “S” courses take advantage of the unique format of Spring Term by crossing geographical, cultural or disciplinary boundaries. Transfer students who enter with sophomore standing or above must complete one spring term course and it must be a “S” course.

Residency Requirement

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 136-148 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 Mathematics 099 does not count toward the 136-156 credits required for graduation.

Statute of Limitation for Degree Requirements

If candidates are unable to fulfill all requirements by August 30 of the year for graduation, a five-year grace period is allowed for completion of deficiencies. 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.