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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees require competentcy in each major area of knowledge and a deep understanding of at least one subject area. Each student is required also to achieve competency in the use of the English language, to acquire second-year college-level proficiency in a language other than English, to receive credit for an approved course addressing questions on race and ethnicity, and to fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirement. Beyond these general requirements, students are free to choose elective courses to complete a minimum of 120 credits. The difference between the A.B. and B.S. degree is that the B.S. degree requires 60 credits of approved courses in the physical and natural sciences and/or mathematics.

Credits and Grade Point Average 

A student must complete a minimum 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or better (124 for B.S.-Chem.). The overall GPA of courses included in the field of the major for an A.B. or B.S. degree or counted toward the 60 credits of upper-level courses required for a B.G.S. degree must be at least 2.0.

College Writing Requirements (A.B., B.S., B.G.S., B.S.-Chem.)

  • First-Year Writing Requirement
    The goal of the First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) is to prepare students for the type of writing most often assigned and valued in University courses. Students cannot fulfill the requirement through Advanced Placement (AP) scores. The FYWR should be completed in the first year with a minimum grade of C-. The majority of students fulfill the first-year writing requirement through English 125 (Writing and Academic Inquiry) and English 124 (Academic Writing and Literature), but there are a few other courses around the University that also fulfill the requirement. Engineering 100 does not fulfill the FYWR in LSA.

  • Upper-Level Writing Requirement
    The goal of the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR) is to teach students to recognize and practice the range of writing activities and forms typical of academic and professional contexts. Students must satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement before electing one of the courses approved to satisfy the ULWR. A minimum course grade of C– is required in order to satisfy the ULWR. Over the course of the term, students will complete several writing assignments that are related to course content and intended to help students practice the rhetoric of their specific discipline. Possible assignments may include journals, research papers, critical analyses, and/or lab reports. Students will receive feedback on their writing from their ULWR instructor and are expected to revise much of their work throughout the term. Upper-Level Writing Requirement courses offered for a particular term can be found in the LSA Course Guide.

Race & Ethnicity Requirement (A.B., B.S., B.G.S., B.S.-Chem.)

Students choose one course from a list of approved courses that cover issues relating to race and ethnicity, racial and ethnic intolerance, and inequality. The goal is to prepare students to live and work in a multiethnic, multiracial environment.

Quantitative Reasoning Requirement (A.B., B.S., B.G.S., B.S.-Chem.) 

Students are required to take one or two courses from an approved list that focus on the methodology of quantitative analysis. The goal is to ensure that students achieve a level of proficiency in using and analyzing quantitative information.

Non-LSA Coursework (A.B., B.S., B.G.S., B.S.-Chem.) 

To qualify for a degree, a student must complete a program of study that includes primarily coursework from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts or equivalent LSA transfer credit.

Candidates for the A.B., B.S., or B.G.S. degree must complete a minimum of 100 credits of LSA courses, thus allowing 20 credits of non-LSA coursework in the 120 required for the degree.

Language Requirement (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.) 

Students are required to complete fourth-term proficiency in a language other than English, most often by earning credit for the fourth term of a University of Michigan language course. The goal is to offer a means of access to the cultural and intellectual heritage of the world's non-English speaking majority, as well as to provide reflective understanding of the structure and complexity of English itself. LSA offers over 30 different languages that meet this requirement.

Area Distribution (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.) 

Students must complete 30 credits outside of their major distributed over the following five categories: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Mathematical and Symbolic Analysis, and Creative Expression. Through this requirement, students gain an understanding and appreciation of the major areas of learning and a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods that typify these disciplines.

Major (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.) 

The major provides the option for a student to pursue a thorough investigation of a particular subject or discipline. Course requirements of majors offered vary from 24 to 48 credits. In addition to the more than 75 majors offered, a student has the option to develop his or her own major through the Individualized Major Program (IMP).

Option for Minors (A.B., B.S., B.S.-Chem.) 

A.B. and B.S. students have the opportunity to complete a minor as part of the degree program. Departments have the option of whether or not to offer a minor, and many develop several. As departmental minors are created and approved, students may choose to add a minor to their academic plan.