Degree Requirements

A. University Wide Undergraduate Degree Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 128 semester credits.
  • Completion of the core requirements of the University.
  • Completion of all common curriculum from the individual school or college.
  • Undergraduate courses or post baccalaureate course work may not be counted toward a graduate level degree. Graduate and doctoral level courses may not be counted toward an undergraduate or post baccalaureate degree.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
  • Completion of upper-division major and minor requirements with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in those courses. At least 50% of the required upper-division degree credits must be from Gonzaga.
  • Courses graded with a “P” (pass) grade mode can only be used as elective credit. Credit earned with a “P” may not be used to satisfy core, major, minor, or concentration requirements.
  • Senior Residency Requirement: The last thirty semester credits immediately preceding graduation must be earned in Gonzaga University course work.  Students can petition for a waiver of this requirement via the Permission to Transfer Credits/Senior Residence Waiver form available in the Registrar’s Office.  Under a Senior Residence Waiver, students may petition to take up to a maximum of eighteen credits off campus.  Students whose cumulative or major GPA is below a 2.00 are not eligible for a waiver.
  • Formal application for graduation: Students must file an application and pay the graduation application fee according to the instructions and dates published by the University Registrar. Degrees will be awarded upon completion of all requirements in March, May, June, August, October or December, with one public commencement ceremony held in May. Administration of honors level designations will be based on the fall semester credits earned and cumulative GPA for inclusion in the annual May commencement ceremony. The final honors designation if earned by the student, will be reflected on the transcript and the diploma for the semester of degree conferral.
  • Fractional credit is never rounded up on a course nor is the total minimum credits required for a Gonzaga degree of 128 semester credits. The calculation of the cumulative GPA and major GPA is never rounded up.
  • Once a student has graduated from the University and a degree has been posted, no further change can be made to the academic record (i.e. grade changes).
  • Course attendance is not allowed without official registration and financial confirmation.

Note: Payment of all indebtedness to Gonzaga University, the return of all equipment to the appropriate entity, and the return of all books to Foley Library are required prior to graduation.  Holds may be placed on transcripts and diplomas for any of these deficiencies.

B. University Core Curriculum

In addition to their major and minor areas of study, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas that the University considers essential for a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal, and humanistic education. The University Core Curriculum consists of forty-five credits of course work, with additional designation requirements that can be met through core, major, or elective courses.

The University Core Curriculum is a four-year program, organized around one overarching question, which is progressively addressed through yearly themes and questions. Hence, core courses are best taken within the year for which they are designated. First year core courses encourage intellectual engagement and provide a broad foundation of fundamental skills. Second and third year courses examine central issues and questions in philosophy and religious studies. The fourth year course, the Core Integration Seminar, offers a culminating core experience. Taken at any time throughout the four years, broadening courses intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. Finally, the designation requirements (writing enriched, global studies, and social justice) reflect important values and reinforce students’ knowledge and competencies.

Overarching Core Question: As students of a Catholic, Jesuit, and Humanistic University, how do we educate ourselves to become women and men for a more just and humane global community?

Year 1 Theme and Question: Understanding and Creating: How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?

  • The First-Year Seminar (DEPT 193, 3 credits): The First-Year Seminar (FYS), taken in the fall or spring of the first year, is designed to promote an intellectual shift in students as they transition to college academic life. Each small seminar is organized around an engaging topic, which students explore from multiple perspectives. The FYS is offered by many departments across the University.
  • Writing (ENGL 101, 3 credits) and Reasoning (PHIL 101, 3 credits): The Writing and Reasoning courses are designed to help students develop the foundational skills of critical reading, thinking, analysis, and writing. They may be taken as linked sections. Writing (ENGL 101) carries one of the three required writing-enriched designations (see below).
  • Communication & Speech (COMM 100, 3 credits): This course introduces students to interpersonal and small group communication and requires the application of critical thinking, reasoning, and research skills necessary to organize, write, and present several speeches.
  • Scientific Inquiry (BIOL 104/104L, CHEM 104/104L, or PHYS 104/104L, 3 credits): This course explores the scientific process in the natural world through evidence-based logic and includes significant laboratory experience. Students pursuing majors that require science courses will satisfy this requirement through their major.
  • Mathematics (above Math 100, 3 credits): Mathematics courses promote thinking according to the modes of the discipline—abstractly, symbolically, logically, and computationally. One course in mathematics, above Math 100, excluding MATH 193 and including any math course required for a major or minor, will fulfill this requirement. MATH 100 (College Algebra) and courses without the MATH prefix do not fulfill this requirement.

Year 2 Theme and Question: Being and Becoming: Who are we and what does it mean to be human?

  • Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL 201, 3 credits): This course provides students with a philosophical study of key figures, theories, and intellectual traditions that contribute to understanding the human condition; the meaning and dignity of human life; and the human relationship to ultimate reality.
  • Christianity and Catholic Traditions (RELI, 3 credits). Religious Studies core courses approved for this requirement explore diverse topics including Christian scriptures, history, theology, and practices as well as major contributions from the Catholic intellectual and theological traditions.

Year 3 Theme and Question: Caring and Doing: What principles characterize a well lived life?

  • Ethics (PHIL 301, RELI 330, or RELI 331, 3 credits): The Ethics courses are designed to help students develop their moral imagination by exploring and explaining the reasons humans should care about the needs and interests of others. This requirement is satisfied by an approved ethics course in either Philosophy (PHIL 301) or Religious Studies.
  • World/Comparative Religion (RELI, 3 credits): Religious Studies courses approved for this core requirement draw attention to the diversity that exists within and among traditions and encourage students to bring critical, analytical thinking to bear on the traditions and questions considered. These courses carries one of the required two global-studies designations (see below).

Year 4 Theme and Question: Imagining the Possible: What is our role in the world?” 

  • Core Integration Seminar (DEPT 432, 3 credits). The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) offers students a culminating core experience in which they integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the core, and their disciplinary expertise. Some CIS courses may also count toward a student’s major or minor. The CIS is offered by several departments across the University.

The Broadening Courses

  • Fine Arts & Design (VART, MUSC, THEA, 3 credits): Arts courses explore multiple ways the human experience can be expressed through creativity, including across different cultures and societies. One approved course in fine arts, music, theatre, or dance will fulfill this requirement.
  • History (HIST, 3 credits): History courses are intended to develop students’ awareness of the historical context of both the individual and the collective human experience. One course in History (HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 112, HIST 201, HIST 202) will fulfill this requirement.
  • Literature (3 credits): Literature courses foster reflection on how literature engages with a range of human experience. One approved course in Literature (offered by English, Classics, or Modern Languages) will fulfill this requirement.
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 credits): Courses in the social and behavioral sciences engage students in studying human behavior, social systems, and social issues. One approved course offered by Criminology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women and Gender Studies will fulfill this requirement.

The Designations

Designations are embedded within already existing core, major, minor, and elective courses. Students are encouraged to meet designation requirements within elective courses as their schedule allows; however, with careful planning students should be able to complete most of the designation requirements within other core, major, or minor courses.

  • Writing Enriched (WE; 3 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the WE designation are designed to promote the humanistic and Jesuit pedagogical ideal of clear, effective communication. In addition to the required core course, Writing (ENGL 101), which carries one of the WE designations, students must take two other WE-designated courses.
  • Global-Studies (GS; 2 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the GS designation are designed to challenge students to perceive and understand human diversity by exploring diversity within a context of constantly changing global systems. In addition to the required core course, World/Comparative Religion (RELI 300-level), which carries one of the GS designations, students must take one other GS-designated course.
  • Social-Justice (SJ; 1 course meeting this designation): Courses carrying the SJ designation are designed to introduce students to one or more social justice concerns. Students must take one course that meets the SJ designation.

Please consult the University Core Registration Guide posted on the University Core Website for lists of approved core courses in each area: www.gonzaga.edu/core

Major-specific adaptations to the University Core Curriculum

All Gonzaga students, regardless of their major, will complete the University Core Curriculum requirements. However, some Gonzaga students will satisfy certain core requirements through major-specific programs or courses. Any major-specific adaptations to the core are described with the requirements for the majors to which they apply.

C. Catalog Options

Students entering Gonzaga after June 1, 1981 may select the core and degree requirements from any appropriate catalog which is within six years prior to their graduation. Students who entered before June 1, 1981, do not have a time limit regarding the catalog they select. An appropriate catalog is one in effect when a student attends with regular status as an undergraduate in a degree program. Summer session attendance does not qualify. The complete degree requirements of only one catalog must be followed. Selections may not be made from more than one catalog. Substitutions for discontinued courses are required and must be authorized by the proper University authorities.

D. Major Area

Either at the time of entrance or by the end of their second year, undergraduates should declare the particular field in which they wish to do their major work. They are then directed to the proper department for advice in planning a program of study.

The major normally consists of at least eighteen credits of upper-division course work in the major field and such supporting courses as the department requires. The major is listed on the final transcript but not on the diploma with the exception of Engineering, Education, Human Physiology, and Nursing.

E. Minor Area: Minor Courses of Study

An optional minor study program is offered by most of the departments within the University. Specific requirements can be found under the individual departments. The minor must be officially declared and is listed on the final transcript.

F. Second Majors, Minors, and Degrees

Under a Gonzaga baccalaureate degree, a student may complete more than one major and/or minor under that degree type (i.e. Bachelor of Arts with majors in Sociology and in Psychology). Students can receive more than one baccalaureate degree at the same time (i.e. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science). This is accomplished by completing both schools core and major requirements in addition to completing a minimum of 158 semester credits. Students who already hold an undergraduate degree from Gonzaga or any other institution can enroll at Gonzaga for a second degree as a post baccalaureate student. Gonzaga University offers second majors, second minors, and second degrees according to the following norms:

Second Major:

    • The student must fulfill all departmental requirements for the second major and all the core requirements of the school wherein the major is offered.
    • The student must formally declare the second major.
    • At least during the third and fourth years, the student should utilize the advice of a faculty member in the department of the second major.

Second Minor:

    • The student must fulfill the requirements of the department. If the minor is in a school other than the major, the second school core requirements need not be fulfilled.
    • The student must formally declare a second minor.
    • The diploma does not indicate a minor, but it is listed on the transcript.

Second Degree (Undergraduate):

    • The student must fulfill thirty Gonzaga credits beyond the 128 completed for the first degree.
    • The student must fulfill all University core requirements, individual School core requirements and departmental requirements for the second degree; credit and requirements fulfilled under the first degree cannot be repeated in the second degree.
    • The student must formally declare the second degree and apply for the second degree prior to graduation.
    • A second diploma is awarded only when the second degree is distinctly different from the first.

Second Degree (Post Baccalaureate):

    • The student must be admitted to the University by the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
    • The student will enter under the academic curriculum of the current catalog and be subject to the current academic policies. This will require the student to take all courses that are new requirements for the School/College since his/her original degree.
    • The minimum GPA requirement to receive the degree is a 2.00.
    • Students must complete a minimum of thirty credits at Gonzaga University. Any course work considered transferable toward the second degree would require a student to adhere to the course substitution petition process.
    • Courses used to complete another degree either through Gonzaga University or another institution cannot be used toward the second degree.

G. Activity Courses

No more than eight (8) activity credits can be counted toward a baccalaureate degree.

The following courses, which may be repeated, are designated as activity courses: Journalism (JOUR): 220 & 230; Music (MUSC): 131A-131Z, 133-134, 136-137, 143-154, 156, 331A-331Z, 358; Theatre Arts (THEA): 124-125, 226, 260-261, 320, 324; Physical Education (EDPE): 101-188

Exceptions to these limitations:

  • Physical Education Majors (B. Ed.) are, with the permission of the Chairperson of the Physical Education department, allowed a total of four (4) EDPE activity courses beyond the eight (8) credit limit for all activity courses. (twelve (12) credit maximum)
  • Majors and minors in Music or Music Education may exceed the eight (8) credit limit.
  • Majors in Theatre Arts are allowed a total of four (4) performance credits beyond the eight-credit limit (twelve (12) credit maximum).

H. Multiple Usage of Courses for Meeting Degree Requirements

  1. A course may be used to fulfill any number of MAJOR, MINOR, AND CONCENTRATION requirements while also fulfilling a University core requirement. Using a course to meet more than one core requirement is not allowed with the exception of the designation requirements (i.e., Writing Enriched (WE), Global Studies (GS), Social Justice (SJ)).
  2. When multiple usage of a course occurs in meeting degree requirements, the course credit is counted only once. The grade is used in determining the major and minor grade point averages.
  3. The 128 credits required as a minimum for degree completion (and the additional 30 credits required for a second degree) are not reduced by a multiple count toward meeting a major, minor, concentration or core requirement.

I. Pass/Fail Grade Course Limit

No more than five (5) Pass/Fail graded courses can count toward a baccalaureate degree, and no more than two (2) can be taken in any one department. This grading option only applies to courses taken as general elective credit.