3. Undergraduate Curriculum

This module provides information concerning UAF’s academic structure, undergraduate curriculum, and graduation requirements. Information concerning transfer credits and alternate ways to earn credit will also be discussed.

Academic Structure 

It’s helpful to understand some terminology associated with the structural composition of UAF so you can successfully advise students and be prepared to conduct Degree Works audits in Module 5.

University  – a university is an institution of higher education that provides more than one level of education and is composed of more than one college or school. The University of Alaska (UA) system comprises 3 universities:

All three universities have a unique mission and are accredited separately by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Campus – UAF is spread across 7 community campuses and eCampus:

Level – UAF comprises 2 levels of education:

  • Undergraduate: baccalaureate (Bacc), associate (Assoc), certificate (Cert) and occupational endorsement (OE) programs
  • Graduate: doctorate, master’s, graduate certificate programs  

College or School – A college or school is made up of a collection of academic departments that are programmatically, philosophically, or historically related to one another.  There are 9 colleges and schools within UAF that offer undergraduate degree programs and a Division of General Studies for undeclared and degree completion students:

Academic Department – an academic department or program provides a home for one or more major programs of study.  There are 75 academic departments, programs or centers at UAF housing graduate and undergraduate degree programs:

Graduation Requirements

In order for students to obtain their undergraduate degree program at UAF, they must complete requirements in 3 or 4 areas, depending on their degree program:

  1. General University Requirements
  2. Baccalaureate Core Curriculum Requirements (not required for OE, Cert, or most Assoc degree programs)
  3. Degree Requirements
  4. Major/Minor Requirements

Students are encouraged to track their progress towards degree by meeting with their academic advisor and using Degree Works. Ultimately, students are responsible for meeting all graduation requirements.

The UAF Catalog lists a breakdown of UAF academic departments that have oversee undergraduate majors, concentrations, and minors.

Graduation Application and Commencement

Students must apply for graduation fall, spring, or summer, by completing the Application for Graduation form (or applying for graduation online) and submitting it with the $50 processing fee to the Office of Admissions and the Registrar’s Graduation Services in 102 Signers’ Hall before the deadline printed on the form. Students graduating in OE programs do not formally apply for graduation.  The department faculty of the student’s program will certify the student’s requirements and contact the Office of Admissions and the Registrar’s Graduation Services when all major requirements have been met.

Commencement is only held in the spring for students graduating from the current spring semester and the previous fall and summer semesters. Consult UAF’s graduation policies concerning specific deadlines and requirements for applying for or postponing graduation and attending commencement.

Institutional Honors 

Graduation with honors is based on the combined cumulative GPA of all coursework attempted at UAF or other institutions attended by the student, including repeated course credits and courses that were not accepted as transfer credits due to low grades. Students must have at least 24 residence credits for an associate’s degree and 48 residence credits for a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for graduation with honors.

The combined cumulative GPA used to calculate institutional honors is not recorded on any official documentation, therefore, the cumulative GPA listed on the student’s transcript and on Degree Works may be very different than the combined cumulative GPA used for graduation with honors.  The honors distinction is noted on the student’s official transcript and diploma, and the student receives a gold cord to wear at commencement.

Distinction GPA
Cum Laude 3.5 – 3.74
Magna Cum Laude 3.75 – 3.89; 3.90 – 4.0 if any grades are lower than an A- (3.7)
Summa Cum Laude 3.90 – 4.0 with no grade lower than an A- (3.7)

Any student who meets the residence and GPA requirements may graduate with honors. However, only students admitted into the Honors Program may graduate as an Honors Scholar or Honors Thesis Scholar.

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