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Graduation Requirements

The College of Liberal Arts offers the baccalaureate degrees Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music. To earn a degree, a candidate must successfully complete the General Education Program, specific degree, and major program requirements.

All candidates for graduation with the Baccalaureate Degree must:

1. Satisfactorily complete 31 credits, of which no more than 2 may be earned in internships. At least 15 of these credits must be earned in residence. Additionally, at least 8 of the final 10 degree credits must be earned in residence or in Willamette-approved off-campus study programs. (Note: One Willamette credit is equal to 4 semester hours or 6 quarter/term hours).

2. Apply no more than 12 credits in a single department and no more than 14 credits in any major program toward the minimum of 31 credits required for graduation. Internship credits are exempted from this limitation.

3. Satisfactorily complete the General Education Program which includes:

  • College Colloquium
  • Three writing-centered courses
  • Two Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning courses
  • Study in a language other than English

In addition, students will complete work in each of six broadly defined modes of inquiry that encompass crucial elements of a general education:

  • Understanding the Natural World
  • Creating in the Arts
  • Examining Values
  • Thinking Historically
  • Interpreting Texts
  • Understanding Society

Please see the General Education at Willamette section, for a more complete description of these individual requirements.

4. Satisfactorily complete an approved major program, including the Senior Year Experience. The following majors leading to the degree Bachelor of Arts have been approved by the faculty:

A student may devise a special major program to meet individual needs or objectives not served by the above listed major programs. Such a program must: (a) satisfy the criteria for approved major programs; (b) be endorsed by a special committee of three faculty members, from at least two departments, who are familiar with Willamette's academic programs and goals; (c) be submitted for approval by the Academic Council no later than the end of the sophomore year, or in the case of a student transferring more than 12 credits to Willamette University, by the end of the first semester in residence.

A student may carry out a double major in two fields simultaneously provided that the student: (a) meets all graduation requirements for both majors, and (b) completes separate senior experience requirements for each major. When these senior projects are thematically related, they must represent distinctly separate and independent projects or experience of the sort specified in the respective requirements for each major. A special major program may be part of a double major only if each major is comprised of at least six total credits that do not contribute to the other major.

In addition to completing one or more approved major programs, a student may declare a minor in one of the following disciplines which have been approved by the faculty:

5. Achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 (C), and a grade point average in the major of at least 2.00 (C). Courses presented toward fulfillment of the General Education Program must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

Regalia Guidelines

In order to provide students with an opportunity to express themselves through Commencement regalia, while preserving the traditions of the occasion for others, the following guidelines shall be observed:

Students marching in the Commencement ceremonies of the College of Liberal Arts must wear the approved cap and gown. They may personalize their ensemble through:

  1. Altering the tassel of their cap
  2. Adding honor cords, stoles, or other standardized marks of disciplinary affiliation
  3. Adding stoles, feathers, or other markers of tribal, ethnic, or religious identity
  4. Decorating the top surface of their mortarboards

All alterations or additions must conform to generally acceptable community standards of good taste, and should not detract in either content or magnitude from the dignity of the occasion. Students with excessive or questionable displays may be requested to alter them prior to marching; the final decision lies in the hands of the Faculty Marshall. Students who are unsure of the suitability of their plans may seek pre-approval from Academic Council by submitting their requests in writing no later than the final day of classes in spring semester.  Approved by Academic Council February 22, 2017.

Marching at Graduation

Students who are registered for coursework that upon completion will fulfill all remaining graduation requirements may participate in commencement with their graduating class. The following stipulations apply:

  • A student's graduating class refers to the cohort that a student would be expected to graduate with based on that individual's credit at entry and the expectation of normal academic progress
  • Graduation requirements are understood to include total credits, major requirements, and all general education requirements
  • All students participating in commencement must have earned cumulative and major grade point averages of at least 2.0 (including the spring semester prior to the commencement ceremony)
  • The additional required credits in which a student is registered at the time of commencement may represent courses attempted and not successfully completed, or courses yet to be taken
  • The required credits will be completed by the end of fall semester or no later than the middle of January of the following year if taken at an institution with a different academic calendar.

Bachelor of Music

Candidates for the Bachelor of Music should see the Music Department section for additional requirements specific to that degree. The foreign language requirement differs for the Bachelor of Music.

Double Degrees Policy

Willamette offers no formal program enabling a student to earn degrees concurrently. In special cases, a student may petition for permission to earn two degrees, one in music (B.M.) and one in another field (B.A.). In this case the following guidelines will be relevant:

  1. Petitions must be submitted prior to the end of the second semester of the sophomore year.
  2. Petitions must contain:
    1. a complete program proposal, including the student's objectives in pursuing the double-degree program,
    2. a full statement of completed and proposed courses, and
    3. the intended date of graduation.
  3. A minimum of forty (40) credits must be earned.
  4. Within the minimum forty (40) credits, a maximum of twenty (20) may be earned in courses having a prefix of Music.
  5. Approval of both academic advisors, the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and the Chairs of both the Department of Music and the Academic Status Committee is required.
  6. All University graduation requirements, including requirements for each degree and major, must be met.

Second Degree

Students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree from Willamette University may apply for readmission in order to earn an additional major, minor, or to convert a previously earned minor to a major under the same degree type. These students must meet residency, general education, and major and/or minor requirements as listed in the catalog in effect at the time of their readmission. No additional degree will be awarded. Financial aid is not available.

Students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree from Willamette University and wish to pursue a degree different from the one previously earned may do so by completing a minimum of 10 additional credits, including all currently applicable general education and residency requirements listed in the catalog in effect at the time of their readmission. Federal financial aid may be available but students should consult with the Office of Financial Aid to verify eligibility.

Students may apply for readmission by completing a CLA Application for Readmission and submitting it to the Registrar's Office.