Minimum requirements for a degree

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has minimum standards of progress and performance that must be observed as students work toward a degree.

Minimum grade-point averages

LAS has both cumulative and curricular-specific minimum grade-point averages for graduation:

  • College and combined GPA. Students must earn a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 (C) or better in all coursework taken on this campus applying to their LAS degree. Students who take off-campus courses must also earn a minimum "combined" GPA of 2.00 (C) or better when transfer grades are averaged with LAS grades. All secondary education majors must achieve a minimum 2.50 in these cumulative GPAs.
  • Curricular GPA. Students must meet minimum academic performance standards in their major. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.00 (C) or better in all courses taken on this campus included in their major GPA. Students who take off-campus courses used in their major must also earn a minimum "combined" GPA of 2.00 (C) or better when transfer grades in their major are averaged with LAS grades included in their major GPA. Some departments require a higher cumulative GPA for graduation. All secondary education majors must earn a 2.50 GPA in all courses in the major taken on this campus.

Students can track their progress towards meeting these minimum standards by consulting their degree audit, their admissions/records officers in LAS Student Academic Affairs, or their departmental advisors.

Minimum total credit hours

You must successfully complete at least 120 semester hours to graduate in the Sciences and Letters Curriculum and secondary education curriculum. In specialized curricula, however, the total hours needed to graduate may differ. Therefore, you should consult the Academic Catalog.


One of the special features of LAS programs is that most majors allow you the opportunity to take a wide variety of courses. You can use these electives to prepare for professional study, to complement the liberal arts component of your program, to prepare for business and career opportunities, or to explore additional areas of interest.

In addition to all the courses you use to meet the minimum specific graduation requirements of the college, you may use as electives:

  • any course sponsored by a unit in the college;
  • any course in a unit sponsoring a major in the college (that is, art—excluding applied art courses, computer science, economics, music—excluding applied music courses, and physics); and
  • up to 24 hours of courses offered by departments and schools in other colleges on campus (for example, accountancy, business administration, engineering, applied art courses, and applied music courses).

You may also apply up to four hours of basic physical activity courses toward the total hours required for graduation. Professional physical education courses and 199 courses carrying two or more hours of credit may be applied to the total hours required, up to a maximum of 24 hours of elective courses from colleges other than LAS.

Courses that do not count toward a degree in LAS

The following courses or combination of courses do not fulfill requirements toward graduation in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

  • Repeated courses
  • More than 24 hours of elective courses taken outside LAS
  • More than 4 hours of religious foundation courses
  • More than 24 hours of aviation courses (courses accepted for credit as free electives must be from the Pilot Training Curriculum)
  • More than 8 hours of basic kinesiology courses (numbered 100-110)
  • Until FA23: More than 6 hours of ROTC courses (courses must be from the approved list)
  • More than 12 hours of calculus and analytic geometry
  • More than 12 hours of basic physics
  • More than 11 hours of 100-level life science courses toward a major in the School of Integrative Biology or School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • More than nine hours of basic rhetoric (including Rhetoric 102, 103, 104, 105; English as a Second Language 113, 114, 115; Speech Communication 111, 112)
  • More than 10 hours of second-year non-primary language proficiency
  • First- and second-semester non-primary language proficiency
  • More than 18 total combined hours of independent study courses (usually numbered 290 through 294 but these courses could be offered at 300 and 400 levels as well) and undergraduate open seminars (199 courses)
  • More than 12 hours of 199 courses (excluding discovery courses)
  • Algebra (Mathematics 012 or equivalent) for students beginning June 1989 or later
  • More than 12 hours of LAS 110
  • CHEM 101, if taken before Fall 2004 (unless approved for credit by a dean)

Advanced hours

Advanced courses include most 300- and 400-level courses. There are some first- and second-year 300-level courses that, although acceptable for satisfying the language requirement, may not be used as advanced hours:

  • African Languages SWAH 403-404, WLOF 403-404, ZULU 403-404, BMNA 403-404 (second-year courses)
  • Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Turkish 403-404 (second-year courses)
  • Asian Studies 445
  • Baltic 401, 402, 411, 412
  • Basque 401, 402
  • Catalan 401, 402
  • Chinese or Japanese (intensive first- and second-year courses)
  • Coptic 401
  • Greek 403, 404
  • Latin American Studies 445 (tutorial)
  • Linguistics 404
  • Portuguese 400, 401-402
  • Sanskrit REL 412, 413; SNSK 403, 404
  • Speech and Hearing Science 321

No transfer work from a community college is considered advanced for purposes of this requirement.

Specifically approved individual study and seminar courses and courses taken on study abroad programs (recommended by the department as advanced) may be included. Students with credit transferred from another four-year (baccalaureate-granting) institution should contact LAS Student Academic Affairs concerning use of the transferred credit for this requirement.


Advanced credit hours earned in the major

Students in all LAS curricula must earn at least 12 advanced-level hours in core departmental courses (normally 300- to 400-level) in residence on this campus.

Total credit hours earned from this university

  • For students who matriculated before fall 2006. Students must spend either the first three years, earning not less than 90 semester hours, or the last year, earning not less than 30 semester hours, in residence on the Urbana campus uninterrupted by work elsewhere. Additionally, 45 of the last 60 hours applied to the LAS degree must be completed at a four-year school. Credit earned by proficiency examination, correspondence courses, advanced placement examinations, or extramural coursework will count toward the first 90 hours of residency but not the last 30 hours. The hours counting toward academic residency must be applicable to the degree you are pursuing.
  • For junior or community college students who matriculated at Illinois before fall 2006. After attaining junior standing, you must earn at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or any other approved four-year institution at least 60 semester hours acceptable toward your degree. In addition, you must earn your last 30 hours on the Urbana campus in order to receive a degree. You also must be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences for at least two semesters prior to the awarding of an LAS degree. This is the college residency requirement. Consult your admissions/records officer in LAS Student Academic Affairs with questions.
  • For students who matriculated fall 2006 or later. In addition to specific course and scholastic average requirements, each candidate for a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign must earn at least 60 semester hours of Illinois credit, of which as least 21 hours must be 300- or 400-level courses at this campus (Student Code Art 3-801). Consult your admissions/records officer in LAS Student Academic Affairs with questions.

If you complete your last semester or year at another institution, including study abroad, but wish to receive a degree from this university, you may encounter delays in graduating if other schools do not send transcripts in time.

In addition to the university residency provisions discussed above, LAS has two college-specific residency requirements:

  • You must complete two semesters in residence in LAS.
  • You must complete 12 advanced hours in their major on the Urbana campus.