Degree/Certificate Requirements for Graduation

Catalog Governing Graduation

Students may graduate fulfilling University and departmental major requirements in any single University of Montana-Missoula catalog under which the student has been enrolled during the six years prior to graduation. (For example, the 2013-2014 catalog can be used through summer 2020). The student MUST meet major requirements under the same catalog under which the student is meeting University requirements (general education requirements); minor requirements may be satisfied under a different catalog within the six year period. University or departmental requirements may change to comply with accreditation requirements, professional certification and licensing requirements, etc.

Students transferring to the University of Montana-Missoula may choose to graduate fulfilling requirements under the UM catalog in effect when they were enrolled at their original institution, provided the chosen catalog is not more than six years old at the time of graduation. Eligible students who choose an earlier catalog must notify the Admissions Office at the time of admission so their transfer work can be evaluated accordingly.

Applying for Certificate and Degree Candidacy

To become a candidate for a degree, the student must file formal application at the Graduation desk in the Registrar's Office at the beginning of the semester preceding the semester in which he or she expects to graduate. Deadline dates are specified in the Class Schedule.

Credits Required for a Certificate of Completion

See individual College or School catalog sections for certificate course and credit requirements. Course and credit requirements vary by program. 

Credits Required for a Degree

Associate of Applied Science

To receive an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree from the Missoula College, a student must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credits, of which 51% must be from UM. Possess a minimum grade average of 2.00 in all work attempted at the University of Montana-Missoula and a minimum grade of C- in all classes that count toward program requirements.
  2. Courses numbered below 100 do not count toward the 60 credit requirement, but do fulfill financial aid credit load requirements.
  3. Complete the specialized program degree requirements including the following related subject area of core collegiate-level courses:
    1. Communication: the ability to formulate and adapt messages to a variety of audiences through written, verbal, and nonverbal processes.
    2. Computation: the ability to complete basic algebraic manipulations and achieve mathematical literacy.
    3. Human Relations: the ability to analyze social problems and structure, ethical norms of professions and society, human behavior, or human values systems.
    4. Computer Literacy: the ability to utilize a modern computing system including web applications and an office productivity suite to research, develop and produce information in a 21st century society.
    5. Professional Competency: To ensure all graduates the opportunity to apply specialized skills in a professional environment, it is recommended student complete a program-related internship, field experience, clinical experience, capstone project, or professional certification activity.

Associate of Arts

A total of 60 credits is required for graduation with an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree. The minimum grade average for graduation is 2.00 in courses taken on the traditional letter grade (A F) basis. To receive an Associate of Arts degree all students must complete successfully all the general education requirements for a baccalaureate degree.

Bachelor Degrees

A minimum total of 120 credits is required for graduation with a bachelor degree in most academic programs offered by the University of Montana. A greater number is required in some specific programs; students should consult the appropriate catalog section for their program of interest and discuss their plans with an academic advisor. 

Students may elect to earn more than one degree or major at the bachelor level. Available options include a “double major” or “dual degree”:

  • A “double major” is awarded as one degree with one diploma that may list two or more majors. The graduating student with multiple majors must fulfill the curricular requirements for two or more majors as well as all other requirements for graduation. Two majors will normally be within a single classification of bachelor’s degree (e.g. Bachelor of Sciences). Alternatively, the student may fulfill requirements for two majors across degree classes. In this case the student must declare a primary major that determines the type of degree awarded (BS, BA, etc.) that will be printed on the student’s diploma and transcript. The secondary major shall be annotated on the student transcript as completed.
  • A “dual degree” is awarded as two degrees with two diplomas (e.g. Bachelor Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts). The student must fulfill all of the program requirements for each of the separate bachelor degrees and must comply with the Residency Requirements for Degrees/Certificates (below) for each degree. The two, dual (or multiple) degrees may be earned concurrently or at different times but all dual degree graduates must complete a minimum of 150 credits by completing an additional 30 credits for each subsequent bachelor degree. However, note that academic residency requirements apply differently for University of Montana graduates versus non-graduates seeking dual or subsequent degrees, so the requirements may differ.

General education requirements need only be met once for either a double major or dual degree.

Upper-Division Requirement

All students must complete a minimum of 39 credits in courses numbered 300 and above to meet graduation requirements for the first baccalaureate degree. Upper division credits transferred from other four year institutions will count toward the 39 credit requirement.

Lower-division transfer courses accepted as substitutes for upper-division courses required for a particular major will not count toward the university’s 39 upper-division credit requirement.

Residency Requirements for Degrees/Certificates

University of Montana credit is the credit earned in any course which has been approved to be listed in the University of Montana-Missoula catalog and which has been approved for offering by the department chair and dean of the school or college in which the course is taught. University of Montana-Missoula credit may be offered at any location.

Requirements for Missoula College Certificate of Completion and Associate of Applied Science Degree

A minimum of 51% of the required number of credits must be earned from the University of Montana-Missoula.

Requirements for the Associate of Arts Degree

A minimum of 30 credits of the required number must be earned from the University of Montana-Missoula.

Requirements for the First Bachelor Degree

A first bachelor degree is defined as any bachelor degree earned by a student who has not previously earned a bachelor degree from the University of Montana-Missoula. Thus, the requirements below also apply to any student who previously earned a bachelor degree at another institution and now is seeking a bachelor degree from the University of Montana-Missoula.

  1.  A minimum of 30 credits of the required number must be earned from the University of Montana-Missoula.
  2.  A minimum of 30 credits of the required number must be earned in study on the University of Montana-Missoula campus.
  3. Of the last 45 credits required for the degree, at least 30 of these must be earned from the University of Montana- Missoula. Students attending elsewhere on a University approved exchange may be exempt from this requirement with the prior written approval of their major department chair or dean.

Requirements for the Second Bachelor Degree

In regard to residency requirements, a “second bachelor degree” is defined as any bachelor degree earned by a student who previously had earned a bachelor degree from the University of Montana-Missoula; they have met first degree residency requirements and need only do so once. Students seeking a second bachelor degree or “dual degree” from the University of Montana must complete all academic requirements for each degree (first and subsequent) and earn a minimum of 150 credits by completing an additional 30 credits for each subsequent bachelor degree. For students who have met first degree residency requirements, a minimum of 20 credits of the required additional 30 credits must be earned in study on the University of Montana-Missoula campus.

Students attending the University of Montana who are not University of Montana graduates, but already have a bachelor degree from another institution must meet University of Montana residency “Requirements for The First Bachelor Degree” (above) for the subsequent degree that they are now seeking. This will require at least 30 additional credits of course work to be earned from the University of Montana-Missoula campus with 30 of the last 45 credits earned from University of Montana-Missoula. Students attending elsewhere on a University approved exchange may be exempt from this requirement with the prior written approval of their major department chair or dean.

Transcription of double majors and dual degrees

All majors, minors, degrees and certificates earned from the University of Montana shall be clearly and specifically listed on official transcripts under a single degree or as separate dual/multiple degrees, as appropriate.

Credit Maximums

The amount of credit which may be counted toward the minimum credit requirements for the bachelor (B.A./B.S.), associate of science (A.S.), and associate of arts (A.A.) degrees is limited in certain areas follows:

Category For Bachelor Degree For AA or AS Degree
Technical courses (course number suffix of 'T') - up to 15 technical course credits can be applied toward the minimum credit requirement for all students, except up to 20 technical course credits can be applied to the minimum course credits for students with an earned A.A.S. degree. 15-20 15-20
Career skills 0 0
Study skills courses (e.g. AASC 101, C&I 160) 2 2
Physical education activity/skills courses (e.g. DANC 325, ACT 101-ACT 287, ACTV, MSL 106 and MSL 203) 4 4
Military Science Leadership Courses (contracted students may present 24 credits) 12 12
Music performance (MUSI 102A, MUSI 123, MUSI 135A, MUSI 136A, MUSI 235, MUSI 236, MUSI 218) 6 6
Ensemble music (MUSI 112A, MUSI 114A, MUSI 110A, MUSI 131A and MUSI 122A) 8 8
Credit/No Credit credits 18 18
Internship credits in 198/298/398/498 6 6

Credits attempted in these areas which are beyond the maximum applicable will remain on the students' permanent record but cannot be used toward graduation.

Grade Average Requirement

A minimum grade average of 2.00 in all work attempted at the University of Montana-Missoula is required for graduation.

Graduation with Honors or High Honors

Graduates may be awarded honors with their certificates, associate, and bachelor degrees based on their cumulative University of Montana-Missoula (UM) Grade point average (GPA).

Consistent with Board of Regents policy, the UM GPA shall be computed by dividing the sum of grade points earned by the total credits carried, except that neither the credits nor the grade points shall be counted for a. non-credit, remedial, developmental, or other sub college-level courses; b. courses taken on a credit/no credit basis (pass/fail, etc.); or, c. transferred coursework. To be eligible for graduation with honors, at least 50% of the credits required for the certificate or degree must be credits eligible to count towards the student’s UM GPA.

Graduation cum laude (with honors), magna cum laude (high honors) or summa cum laude (highest honors)

Each semester the registrar shall distribute a list of graduation candidates with a UM GPA that meets or exceeds 3.40. Faculty Senate shall award honors as:

1. Cum laude (Honors): All undergraduate students shall graduate cum laude (with honors) when their cumulative UM GPA meets or exceeds 3.40.

2. Magna cum laude (High Honors): Departments and programs may stipulate additional requirements and then recommend students for graduation magna cum laude (high honors) when the cumulative UM GPA meets or exceeds 3.70.

3. Summa cum laude (Highest Honors): Departments and programs may stipulate additional requirements and then recommend students for graduation summa cum laude (with highest honors) when their UM GPA meets or exceeds 3.90.