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    All-College Degree Requirements Policy

    Responsible office
    Responsible party
    Last revision
    September 2017
    Approved by
    Faculty Executive Committee
    Approval date
    July 2014
    Effective date
    July 2014
    Last review
    July 2019
    Additional references


    All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus are within the scope of this policy. If there is variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy.


    The following requirements apply to all students entering in Fall 2018 or after. The Bachelor of Arts degree is earned upon fulfillment of the conditions described below. Students must satisfactorily complete 32 units of academic credit.

    I. Students must satisfactorily complete a major course of study. No major may require more than 14 units in any one department and no more than 16 overall (including prerequisites). In departmentally based majors, the two units beyond the 14-unit limit can be courses outside the department or adjunct courses. There are more than 40 possible majors at Colorado College, including a major of the student’s own design, the Independently Designed major. Students at Colorado College may complete a double major. The following rules must be observed:

    The two majors may be from traditional departmental majors or an interdisciplinary major and a departmental major as long as the latter is not a discipline making up part of the interdisciplinary major.

    • Both departments must approve the option.
    • In no case may more than three courses within the majors overlap.
    • The student must have an advisor in each major.
    • The student must complete all-college requirements.
    • The completed major(s) will be recorded on the student’s official transcript.

    II. Completion of the Critical Perspectives requirements: Global Cultures (1 unit); Social Inequality (1 unit); Scientific Investigation of the Natural World (2 units, including at least one lab or field course); Quantitative Reasoning (1 unit). Courses may meet more than one designation (for example, a course may be designated both “Social Inequality” and “Global Cultures”) but students must choose one designation or the other, except in the case of “Quantitative Reasoning,” which may be fulfilled along with any of the other Critical Perspectives requirements. Courses of one-half unit credit and independent study and reading courses do not count toward Critical Perspectives requirements.

    [1] Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures courses focus primarily on the study of non-Western societies, or some aspects of them, including by means of intensive study of a non-Western language.

    [2] Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality courses focus primarily on how inequality — with respect to nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, class, and/or sexuality — is produced, reproduced, experienced, and resisted. They analyze critically the social and cultural differences, traditions, and experiences of marginalized or subjugated populations in the United States or globally, investigating the social, political, economic, cultural, psychological, and/or historical processes that shape the emergence and status of such populations. In so doing, these courses may examine such matters as the nature of power and domination, political economy, social justice movements, identity formation, and/or cultural and artistic productions.

    [3] Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World enhances students’ understanding of the natural world and of the methods central to modern science. It gives students opportunities to explore the broader earth system and universe, a sphere of inquiry that includes but is not limited to humans. In a world influenced by science and technology, informed citizens need to be familiar with the distinctive ways of thinking characteristic of the sciences and need to cultivate skill in quantitative reasoning. These courses will meet the description of the preceding paragraph and will accomplish some combination of the following:

    • Explicitly address the nature of the scientific method;
    • Give students direct experience in the gathering and analysis of scientific data;
    • Emphasize the use of quantitative reasoning;
    • Introduce the foundations and principles of scientific knowledge;
    • Enhance scientific literacy.
    • At least one of the two units must involve significant laboratory or field experience.

    [4] Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning courses develop students’ ability to work with and interpret numerical data, to apply logical and symbolic analysis to a variety of problems, and/or to model phenomena with mathematical or logical reasoning.

    III. Two blocks (or equivalent) of college-level language.

    Colorado College believes that learning a language gives any student an important intellectual experience of cultural difference. A student may learn about other cultures in a variety of ways, but we believe interpreting and expressing individual experience and cultural values in another language is necessary for enhanced international and multicultural awareness. This requirement reflects the conviction that a liberal education is incomplete when it includes no language study. Learning a language other than one’s native tongue is not equivalent simply to acquiring a tool for practical use. It is a means to enter fully and directly into the vital perspectives and unique workings of another culture. In addition, language study helps students understand grammar, enhances vocabulary, and significantly supports general literacy.

    The language requirement, which may not be fulfilled with adjunct courses, may be fulfilled in two ways:

    • Two units in any of the languages offered at Colorado College.
    • An acceptable language program at any accredited college or university, in any non-English language, equivalent to two units of language at Colorado College, if approved by the Registrar’s Office

    IV. First-year Experience (FYE) — A two-block course required of all first-year students addressing issues likely to stimulate debate and including critical reading, effective writing, and a research project.

    V. Students entering in the Fall 2017 will receive writing evaluations in the FYE program. Students receiving a writing evaluation of "needs work" in an FYE class will complete at least one Writing Intensive or writing adjunct (GS 257 or GS 260) course prior to their fourth semester on campus. (See the Writing Program section for more information.)

    VI. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0.

    VII. Courses taken at other institutions will be granted as much equivalent credit as deemed appropriate by the Registrar’s Office.

    VIII. All students must complete 32 units of credit to qualify for a Colorado College B.A. degree. Those students who have two units or less to complete toward their 32 units (in both all-college and the major requirements) may be allowed to march in Commencement ceremonies without receiving a diploma. There are no exceptions and no appeals to this policy. As described below, a specified number of the 32 units must be taken in residence, here at Colorado College, or through Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs, detailed elsewhere in this catalog.

    The following rules apply to the academic residence requirement:

    • Students who enter Colorado College as first-semester, first-year students must complete 24 units at Colorado College or Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs. Transfer students are required to complete a minimum of 16 units at Colorado College or Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs.
    • All Colorado College students are required to complete their last eight units at Colorado College, except for students participating in Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs. Students who have completed 16 units at Colorado College may petition to the Dean’s Advisory Committee to waive up to four units of the eight-unit rule.
    • Because different departments have their own residence requirements for their major, students should consult their major department before conducting any off-campus study in their major. These policies should not be confused with residential life policies regarding college housing.