Total Hours Required for Graduation

Students who want to earn a baccalaureate degree must earn a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit. Some students may want to earn additional semester hours to complete additional Tracks, Emphasis Areas, or Certificates.

 

Each student's Degree Audit records the number of hours earned toward graduation. Students should note their progress by reviewing the Degree Audit frequently.

 

 Student Classification by Hours Earned

Student classification refers to the familiar names for the four undergraduate years of a baccalaureate degree: freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Your classification is not determined by the number of years of college course work you have taken but by the number of semester hours you have earned.

If you have earned…

then you are classified as a…

0-29 semester hours

first-year student (freshman)

30-59 semester hours

second-year student (sophmore)

60-89 semester hours

third-year student (junior)

90 or more semester hours

fourth-year student (senior)

 

Students in non-degree or certificate-only programs are classified as an “unclassified student.”

 

Residence Requirement

To earn a degree from University College, students must satisfy the University of Iowa (UI) hours of residence requirement. Credit hours earned in all courses offered by the University of Iowa are considered UI residence hours. Credit hours earned from colleges and universities other than the University of Iowa are considered non-resident credit.

 

Credit by examination may be resident or non-resident credit. Credit by examination earned while a student is enrolled in a college of The University of Iowa is considered UI residence credit. Credit by examination earned while a student is enrolled in a college or university other than The University of Iowa, and brought to Iowa as part of a transfer transcript, is considered non-resident credit.

 

To earn a degree from University College, students must complete one of the following University of Iowa hours of residence options:

  • Earn the final 30 semester hours after admission to the University of Iowa *, or
  • Earn 45 of the final 60 semester hours after admission to the University of Iowa, or
  • Earn an overall total of 90 semester hours after admission to the University of Iowa.

 

* Students in the BLS and BAS degree programs may meet residency by earning 30 semester hours of the degree in residence credit after admission to University College.

 

Credit by Examination

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit by examination from all approved sources is accepted toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation.
 

Credit by examination is awarded for Advanced Placement Program (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and International Baccalaureate (IB).  Please refer to the Office of Admissions Credit by Exam Options (www.admissions.uiowa.edu/academics/credit-exam-options)

 

Credit by Examination Policies

  1. A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit by examination will be accepted toward the minimum 120 semester hours required for graduation. 
  2. Ordinarily, credit earned through examination is applied first to the general education requirements. Credit also may be applied to other degree requirements, a certificate, or as elective credit.
  3. Individual degree programs determine whether any credit by examination will be accepted toward degree requirements. Under University College policy, no more than 15 semester hours of credit by examination may be approved for use in the major.
  4. Most credit by examination is placed on the permanent record at the end of the student's first session of enrollment.
  5. Credit hours earned through examination are ungraded and are not used to compute the GPA.
  6. Credit by examination that is part of a student's transfer record is not considered residence credit. Other credit by examination hours are residence credit.
  7. Credit by examination brought to the University of Iowa on transcripts from other institutions will be evaluated by Admissions under the same rules as other transfer credit. The University will validate exam credit from transfer students who bring 12 or more semester hours of regular class credit. See Credit by Exam Options on the Office of Admissions website for details.
  8. Some AP, CLEP, and IB tests may overlap. Credit hours earned from overlapping tests will result in duplication, and students will not earn credit from all the tests.
  9. Students cannot earn credit from a CLEP test if they have already received college credit for an equivalent course or if they have been enrolled for more than three weeks in an equivalent college level course. Students interested in taking a CLEP test should consult with their academic advisor and complete a CLEP eligibility form before registering to take a test.
  10. Students may use appropriate scores on University of Iowa mathematics and World Languages tests to complete the high school course requirements. Credit is not awarded for these exams, which function primarily as placement exams. Students may complete high school course requirements in English, Mathematics, Natural Science, or Social Studies with credit-earning scores on AP, CLEP, and IB tests (see Credit by Exam Options).