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Degree Requirements

To ensure that students acquire a broad base of general knowledge, as well as extensive familiarity with at least one area of specialization, the College has established general degree requirements. These requirements are identical for the BA and BS degrees.

Completion of Eight Semesters of Approved Coursework

Students are required to complete 128 credit hours (e.g., 32 4-credit courses), with an average grade of “C’’ or better. No more than 20 courses from a single department may be counted toward the degree.

For students not majoring in music or a simultaneously completing a BM degree at the Eastman School of Music, no more than 16 credit hours of applied music instruction and eight credit hours of River Campus ensemble may be counted toward the degree.

The following Hajim School majors require additional credit hours for degree completion:

  • Audio and music engineering (132 credit hours)
  • Biomedical engineering (131 credit hours)
  • Chemical engineering (132 credit hours)
  • Electrical and computer engineering (130 credit hours)
  • Optics and optical engineering (129 credit hours)

Completion of the Primary Writing Requirement

All students, whether incoming freshmen or transfers, must satisfy the primary writing requirement. The majority of students fulfill the requirement by earning a "C" or better in WRT 105: Reasoning and Writing in the College, or WRT 105E or WRT 105A&B, versions of 105 chosen by students who need more support to meet the demands of college-level writing.

Students who believe that they are already proficient college writers may petition to substitute a University of Rochester writing-intensive course for WRT 105. The substitute course may not also be used to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement (see below). Transfer students who have completed a WRT 105 equivalent at another institution and received a “B” or better may petition to use this course to satisfy the primary writing requirement.

Students admitted to the College through the English for Academic Purposes Program fulfill the requirement by earning a grade of “C” or higher in WRT 103: EAPP Critical Reading, Reasoning, and Writing, and WRT 104: EAPP Research, Reading, and Writing. Ten of the 16 credits earned in EAPP will be applied toward degree requirements.

Completion of the Rochester Curriculum

Satisfactory completion of a major with an average grade of “C” or better. Each major contains an upper-level writing requirement which explicitly incorporates student writing into its curriculum and/or requirements. Students are expected to formally declare their major program after getting it approved by the appropriate faculty advisor in the department or program by the time noted below. The divisional classification of all interdepartmental majors, as noted in the following paragraph, is determined by the students and the faculty committee responsible for the major.

Satisfactory completion, with an average grade of "C" or better, of an approved divisional cluster composed of at least three courses in each of the two divisions outside the area of the major. For students pursuing a degree within the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied sciences, each set of courses for the divisional clusters will be in one of the two divisions: humanities or social sciences Students may also construct a program from existing majors and minors, as long as the principle of distribution over the three divisions is maintained.

Students who complete degree programs in audio and music engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, optical engineering, or optics need to complete only one divisional cluster outside the area of their major.

Students formally declare their Rochester Curriculum, i.e., their major and two divisional clusters, no 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 students' three areas of focus. All students accepted into the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences become responsible for two full years of equipment fees. These are normally assessed during each semester of the junior and senior years.

Departments of the College discourage students from registering for the next course in a continuing science sequence if an appropriate grade level (“C–’’ or above) has not been achieved in the preceding course. It has been shown that students' success in such a sequence is directly related to performance in the preceding course. Students so advised are asked to seek assistance in their future program planning from the College Center for Advising Service and from their College advisors.