Degree Requirements

To earn a bachelor’s degree (bachelor of arts or bachelor of science), a student must:

  • Complete 32 full academic courses (equal to 128 semester hours), plus two physical education credits;
  • Earn one PE credit by the end of the first year and an additional one by the end of the sophomore year1;
  • Meet the general education requirements of the college before the beginning of the senior year2;
  • Of the 32 academic full courses (128 semester hours) presented for a bachelor’s degree, no more than 13 full courses (52 semester hours) may be presented in any single subject. Students and their advisors are strongly encouraged to develop a program of study for the junior and senior year that reflects breadth of involvement in disciplines beyond their principal academic interest;
  • Complete an academic major;
  • Attain a grade point average of at least 2.00 on all academic work at Sewanee;
  • Spend at least four semesters in residence, including the final two semesters;
  • Earn a minimum of 64 semester hours of credit at Sewanee.
  • Additionally, a student must satisfy all financial obligations to the University. The University will neither confer a degree nor provide transcripts to any student or former student who has unsatisfied financial obligations to the University.

During the first two years, many of the student’s courses are options listed within prescribed categories of general education. During the last two years, a student’s courses are usually selected from those offered in a major field of study but also include ample electives.

The College offers a broad undergraduate education in the arts and sciences rather than highly specialized training. Toward this end, and to fulfill the aims suggested by the fourth item listed above, no major is allowed to require more than 11 courses in the major field. In keeping with our liberal arts tradition and values, we recognize that our unique intellectual experience depends upon immersive engagement in the greater Sewanee academic community. Accordingly, degree-seeking students are required to engage in full-time residential study, and spend the final two semesters in residence (that is, not on a study-away program).  It is in these final semesters that students are best situated to benefit from faculty mentoring, to pursue advanced research and study, to engage with their peers, and to contribute to the intellectual vitality of the University. During the final year, each student is required to pass a comprehensive examination in the major field before graduation. A student who at the time of the comprehensive examination does not have at least a 2.00 grade point average is not allowed to take the exam until the grade point average has been raised to that required level.

Additional Requirements for a Bachelor of Science

In addition to satisfying all requirements for the bachelor of arts degree, a candidate for the bachelor of science degree must:

  • Complete a major in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, forestry, geology, mathematics, natural resources and the environment, neuroscience, physics, or psychology;
  • Present four courses outside the major field from biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics, statistics, or those courses in environmental science, forestry, neuroscience, and psychology designated as meeting the general education requirement for observing, experimenting and modeling.
  • At least two of the four courses must be laboratory courses and all four must be taken at Sewanee.