Degree Requirements

The Registrar and Academic Systems office is a resource for students with questions regarding General Education and Degree Requirements.

The Registrar and Associate Registrar have office hours scheduled each week throughout the academic year to meet with students. Students who would like to schedule an appointment should call ext. 5949.

We encourage students to meet with us rather than emailing a particular question. The requirements described below from the Bates College Catalog describe the Degree and General Education requirements. Department/program chairs should be contacted for all questions regarding major requirements.

Degree Requirements

Students may pursue courses leading to the degree of either bachelor of arts or bachelor of science. When determining graduation eligibility, students are held to the curriculum and degree requirements listed in the catalog for the year in which they matriculated at Bates. If officially withdrawn and readmitted, students are held to the curriculum and degree requirements listed in the catalog in the year in which they are readmitted, or as determined by the Committee on Academic Standing upon readmission. Each student is solely responsible for completing all of these requirements.

Each candidate for graduation must complete the following requirements:

1. Either (a) thirty-four course credits, two of which must be Short Term course credits, and sixty-eight quality points. No more than two Short Term courses may be applied toward the thirty-four course credit requirements; or, (b) thirty-three course credits, three of which must be Short Term courses, and sixty-six quality points. No more than three Short Term courses may be applied toward the thirty-three course credit requirement. Option (b) is available only to students who graduate in the three-year program. The following values are used in the computation of quality points:

GPA Table
A+ = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3 F = 0 ON = 0
A = 4.0 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0 F# = 0 W = 0
A- = 3.7 B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 D- = 0.7 DEF = 0 P = 2

2. A major field of study. Students successfully complete all prescribed work in a major comprising at least eight courses and including a senior thesis or capstone experience, as determined by the major department or program.

3. Registration in each regular semester for no fewer than three or no more than five
academic courses.

4. Enrollment in courses at Bates for the final semester of the senior year. Senior work in the major field must be completed in residence.

5. Physical education activity credits. The physical education requirement may be satisfied by completing two ten-week physical education activity courses. Students may also meet the requirement through department-approved participation in intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and activity courses, or any combination. This requirement should be completed by the end of the first year in residence.

6. General Education requirements. See page 19 for a full desciption of the General Education requirements.

7. Bachelor of science requirements. In addition, candidates for the bachelor of science degree must complete Chemistry 107 (A or B) or First-Year Seminar 398 and 108 (A or B), Mathematics 105 and 106, and Physics 107 or First-Year Seminar 314 and Physics 108 or First-Year Seminar 274. Students with Advanced Placement credit, International Baccalaureate credit, A-Level credit, or approved transfer credit may fulfill the requirement for one or more of these courses.

8. Liberal Arts-Engineering Dual Degree Plan. After three or four years (depending on the engineering program) of full-time study at Bates, qualified students may enroll in a two-year engineering program at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Case Western Reserve University, or Washington University in St. Louis. Upon completion of this five- or six-year program, students receive both an undergraduate degree in engineering from Bates College and a bachelor of science from the engineering school affiliate. Students who wish to pursue this line of study should consult with the faculty advisor for the Dual Degree Plan within the first two weeks of their undergraduate careers.

9. Academic honors. The College recognizes academic achievement though three kinds of honors: general honors, major-field honors (see page 21), and Dean’s List (see page 24).

There are three levels of general honors, based upon cumulative grade point average: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude.

General honors are calculated as follows: By the start of each academic year, the registrar computes the minimum cumulative grade point average necessary to rank students in the top 2 percent, 8 percent, and 15 percent of the combined last three graduating classes. In 2011–2012, students with GPAs of 3.94 or higher earn the distinction of summa cum laude; GPAs of 3.83 to 3.93, magna cum laude; and GPAs of 3.73 to 3.82, cum laude.