Completion of a Degree


Baccalaureate Degrees

Requirements for the baccalaureate degree at UAB include at least 120 semester hours of appropriately distributed courses, a UAB GPA of 2.00, a 2.00 GPA on all college work attempted (Higher Education grade point average), and satisfaction of the Blazer Core Curriculum, major, minor (if required), and residency requirements, along with all other criteria specified by the school or department governing the major.

Students are subject to the catalog policies in effect at the time of their most recent admission as a degree-seeking student, with the following exceptions. Seven years after the date of their first enrollment as a degree-seeking student, policies of the catalog currently in effect become applicable. The student who is not enrolled at UAB for 12 consecutive months must meet the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment. For courses required for the major or minor, the administering department(s) may establish written policies for the re-certification of courses taken more than seven years previously.

A student in consultation with their academic advisor may choose to move their catalog year forward to take advantage of new degree requirements or programs of study.  A student may only move forward to new catalog requirements, but not backward.  A change in catalog year is irreversible.


At least 25 percent of the total semester hours required for graduation must be taken at UAB. At least 21 of the last 30 semester hours must be taken at UAB or on a program supported by the UAB Office of Education Abroad.  Courses taken as alternative credit or as a non-degree student (excluding post-baccalaureate students) may not be used to satisfy the residency requirement. A minimum of nine semester hours required for the major (at or above the 400 level) must be completed at UAB or on a program supported by the UAB Office of Education Abroad. Individual departments may have additional requirements.

Total Credits and Averages

The minimum total credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree is 120 semester hours. The student must have a higher education grade point average of at least 2.00 (C) in all credit hours attempted at all institutions including UAB and an average of at least 2.00 (C) in all credit hours attempted at UAB.

Distribution of Credits

In addition to the overall requirements mentioned above, there are important requirements for the distribution of credits. All programs of study leading to the baccalaureate degree have as an essential component a common Blazer Core Curriculum. Students majoring in the Schools of Business, Education, Engineering, Nursing, and Health Professions satisfy Blazer Core Curriculum requirements in addition to specific school requirements and requirements in their chosen major(s). In the College of Arts and Sciences students meet Blazer Core Curriculum requirements, requirements for a major specialization, and any requirements for a minor, specialization or concentration, if required.


Requirements for majors vary and can be found in the sections of this catalog on the specific academic unit responsible for the major. A minimum C average in the major is required for graduation. Furthermore, the academic unit responsible for the major may require the student to repeat, or otherwise compensate for, any course required for the major in which a grade below C was earned. Majors should be declared or changed online. Some majors are subject to additional admission requirements and enrollment limitations.

Double Major

Students who wish to double major must maintain an affiliation with one school and graduate under that school's core curriculum and major requirements. In addition, the student must complete the requirements for the second major including all prerequisites.  Students graduating with a double major will receive one degree with two majors.  The diploma and degree designation will follow the primary school and major.  It is important for students to maintain contact with advisors of both majors so that requirements are completed for both majors.

Dual/Multiple Degrees

A bachelor’s degree is based on at least 120 semester hours of coursework. For each additional degree, a student must complete at least 30 semester hours of work over and above the work done for the first degree. As with the first degree, work done for each additional degree must include any necessary prerequisites for the new major and all major requirements. The residency requirement must be met for each degree.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, a student may earn a second bachelor’s degree by completing in residence, with an average of C or better, at least 30 semester hours of work taken subsequent to awarding of the first degree. Work done for the second degree must include any necessary prerequisites for the new major and all major requirements. Blazer Core requirements are considered fulfilled by the first degree.  The first degree, whether earned at UAB or another regionally accredited institution, must be based on at least 120 semester hours of fully accredited work. No minor is required for the second degree. A student interested in earning a second degree is required to have the program of study approved by the school in advance.


The availability of minors is indicated in the sections of this catalog on the various schools. The course requirements for the minor are specified in the catalog section for the department offering the minor. The department offering the minor may require the student to repeat, or otherwise compensate for, any course required for the minor in which a grade below C was earned. Whether a minor is required for a particular major is specified in the catalog section for the school in which the major resides.

Individually Designed Majors and Minors

Students with specific career goals or with unique intellectual objectives may propose majors and minors designed to meet their individual academic needs. The Individually Designed Major/Minor is designed to assist the student who would like a major or minor for which there is no established curriculum.  The following policies govern the program: 

  1. The student must be enrolled at UAB with a degree-seeking status
  2. The student is expected to meet all core curriculum, general studies, school, and any requirements designated by the dean of the college or school.
  3. The student must satisfy all university policies for completion of a degree.  This includes the university's residency and capstone requirement.
  4. A comprehensive academic proposal should be submitted which includes a rationale for pursuing the individually designed major/ minor as well as a list of academic objectives and learning outcomes must accompany your application.
    1. The proposal may include your academic interests, reasons why you are passionate about the topic you have chosen as a major, societal significance of the topic, the courses you have chosen, and your career goals.
    2. The proposal must be focused, organized, detailed, and thorough. At least 3.5 pages in length, double-spaced, and grammatically correct.
    3. The proposal should articulate educational goals for critical thinking, knowledge, and delineate the expectations for your educational experience.
    4. In addition, the proposal should contain a list of learning outcomes. The learning outcomes articulate what you will be able to do at the end of your studies. These can be knowledge-based or skills-based outcomes. A minimum of 5 to 6 outcomes are expected.
  5. An Individually Designed Major must have a minimum of 40 semester hours with 20 hours at the 300 level or above (including 9 hours at the 400-level or above). An Individually Designed Minor requires 21 semester hours with 9 hours at the 300-level or above. All courses must be passed with a 'C' or higher. A course may not be used to satisfy both a major and minor requirement.
  6. A student should first submit an application for IDM to an academic advisor in the school most directly associated with the proposed program of study. The student and advisor should develop a plan of course work to meet the goals of the IDM. The application must be approved by the appropriate department chair (if applicable) and dean of the college or school. Any changes from the originally approved program must also be approved by the dean. Substitutions for courses are rare and must be submitted by the student's academic advisor and approved by the dean.
  7. When the proposal is completely approved it will be filed with the Office of the Registrar. A student will not be recognized as an Individually Designed Major/Minor until their program has been filed.
  8. Certain schools cannot award degrees for Individually Designed Majors/Minors due to accreditation requirements. Students should discuss this with their academic advisor.

The Individually Designed Major or Minor must be reviewed and approved by the departments involved, by the dean of the school in which the degree will be awarded, and by the Office of the Registrar. For advising on program development consult your academic advisor.  For approval procedures, consult the Office of the Registrar,; 1300 University Blvd. Campbell Hall 117A, Birmingham, AL  35294.

Limitations on Some Types of Credit

For some types of credit, there are limitations on the amount that can be applied toward the minimum hours required for a baccalaureate degree (usually 120 semester hours).

  1. For credits transferred from a two-year college, the limit is no more than one-half the number required for a baccalaureate degree, provided that the work is freshman (100) or sophomore (200) level.
  2. For alternative work, including Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, credit by examination, evaluation of non-collegiate-sponsored courses, credit for military services courses, International Baccalaureate credit, and credit by portfolio, the limit is no more than 45 semester hours.

Bachelor’s Degree with Honors

The Higher Education grade point average is used in conferring academic honors at graduation and is based on all college work attempted. Honors designations are conferred according to the following GPA Ranges:

GPA Range Designation
3.50 - 3.69 cum laude
3.70 - 3.89 magna cum laude
3.90 or above summa cum laude

Honors designations at commencement are based on the grades reported at the end of the previous term and may not reflect all earned honors.

Procedures for Applying for a Degree

Students are advised to file an online application for degree at least two terms prior to completing work for a baccalaureate degree. This will allow time for the application to be processed and completion of degree requirements to be verified. The absolute deadline to apply for degree is the tenth day of the term in which the student plans to graduate. Online applications are available at


Official UAB graduation ceremonies are held in April, August, and December for graduates of the preceding semester or term. Graduates are listed in the commencement program for that term. Students who have completed the requirements for baccalaureate degrees are urged to attend.

Students receive their diplomas approximately four to six weeks after the end of the regular term in which they complete their degree requirements, provided the application for degree is submitted by the published deadline.  Diplomas are considered ceremonial documents which will list the name of the degree awarded only.  The academic transcript will list the full program of study including majors, minors, concentrations and certificates earned. 

Please visit the commencement website for additional information