Advising Services—Current Students

Degree Requirements

A. Completion of eight semesters of approved course work

I.e., 32 four-credit courses or 128 credit hours, with an average grade of “C” or better. No more than 20 courses from a single department, no more than 12 credit hours from Naval Science, and no more than eight credit hours of ballet and dance technique may be counted toward the degree. For students not majoring in music, no more than sixteen credit hours of applied music instruction and eight credit hours of River Campus ensemble may be counted toward the degree.

B. Completion of the writing requirement

1. Primary Writing Requirement. Entering students must establish competence in writing effective prose. Students who have not established such writing competence must complete, with a grade of C or better, WRT or CAS 105: Reading and Writing in the College. This course prepares students for disciplinary writing at the college level. It provides instruction and practice in the skills of clear and effective writing and of written argument.

2. Upper Level Writing Requirement. Every major is expected to acquire significant experience in writing as part of the requirements for the major. Each major explicitly incorporates student writing into its curriculum and/or requirements. This writing experience typically occurs in at least two courses, but students should consult individual departments about the specific requirements for each major.

C. Completion of the Rochester Curriculum

1. Satisfactory completion of a major with an average grade of C or better. Each major explicitly incorporates student writing into its curriculum and/or requirements. Students must file a major program approved by the appropriate faculty adviser in the department or program by the time noted in paragraph 2a below. The divisional classification of all majors is shown in the table in the section on Majors.

2. Satisfactory completion, with an average grade of “C” or better, of one divisional cluster composed of at least three courses in each of the two divisions outside the area of the major. Each set of courses for the divisional clusters will be in one of the three divisions: humanities; social sciences; natural science, mathematics, and engineering and applied sciences. Students may also construct their Rochester Curriculum from existing majors and minors, as long as the principle of distribution over the three divisions is maintained. (The divisional classification of all minors is shown in the table in the section on Minors.) Students who complete an engineering major that is professionally accredited need to complete only one divisional cluster outside the area of the major.

a. Students formally declare the Rochester Curriculum, i.e., their major and two divisional clusters, simultaneously with their official declaration of their major, not later than the beginning of their junior year (by the time 64 credit hours have been taken). Students may alter their program until the final semester of the senior year. The College transcript will reflect the student’s three areas of focus.

b. Each set of courses for divisional clusters is approved by the department or interdisciplinary faculty committee and the College Curriculum Committee. A faculty group, or an undergraduate with two faculty sponsors, may propose an interdisciplinary divisional cluster for approval by the Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Programs.

The responsibility for meeting requirements of degree programs is the student’s.

  • Note also:
  • Required courses for the degree may not be taken on a Satisfactory/Fail basis, i.e., major (including allied field), courses used for a minor or certificate, for primary or upper-level writing, or for divisional Clusters.
  • Students majoring in ABET-accredited Engineering programs or Optics should speak with their departmental advisers about additional distribution requirements.
  • Beginning with the Class of 2010, the following policy governing the overlapping of courses will apply: No two majors may overlap by more than three courses. No major and minor may overlap by more than two courses. No two minors may overlap by more than two courses. Allied field courses taken outside the department of the major that are part of the core program are subject to this overlap policy, as are foundational courses that are prerequisite requirements and from the department of the major. Non-departmental ancillary course requirements (such as chemistry for biology majors) are not subject to this restriction.