2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    Sep 22, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Graduation Requirements: The Hamline Plan

Graduation Cap

The following sections list the Hamline University undergraduate graduation requirements. Successful completion of these requirements results in a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Science degree. Requirements for transfer students, if they are different, are noted within each section in italic print. Other than where specified, Hamline Plan requirements can be fulfilled by transfer coursework.

The Hamline Plan requirements do not constitute a set number of courses. Courses that fulfill Hamline Plan categories are designated with the appropriate Hamline Plan course tag on the class schedules. Grades of D- or higher are required in order to receive Hamline Plan designations. All students are responsible for understanding the Hamline graduation requirements. Contact the Registration and Records office or the Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) for clarification on any of the graduation requirements.

Applicable Bulletin

Students are responsible for meeting the graduation requirements as listed in the Bulletin in effect when they enter Hamline University, or at the time of readmission if they have withdrawn. If graduation requirements change after that date, students may choose to meet the requirements from any subsequent Bulletin during their enrollment. This pertains to the Hamline Plan categories, the number of required majors and/or minors, breadth of study, minimum number of credits and GPA, and residency credits.

Students are assigned the requirements for their majors and/or minors based on the program of study declare date. If major/minor requirements change after that date, students may choose to graduate under the new requirements. To change the effective date for major/minor requirements, students should contact the office of Registration and Records.

Withdrawn students who return after more than one academic year away must fulfill the major/minor requirements in effect at the time of readmission. Only with the written approval of the appropriate department chairperson or program director can students elect to fulfill the major/minor requirements from a previous Bulletin. The department chairperson or program director assists with this choice and ensures that such changes are officially recorded with Registration and Records. 

First-Year Seminar (FYSem) - 1 course

All new first-year students (age 24 or younger upon enrollment at Hamline) are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester. First-year students who transfer Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) work are not exempt from this requirement. Students may not drop or withdraw from First-Year Seminar nor complete it on a Pass/No Pass grading basis.

Transfer students are exempt from this requirement unless special circumstances are determined in the admissions process.

Expository Writing (E) - 1 course

This requirement is generally fulfilled by FYW 1120 - Composition and Research, which must be completed during the first year at Hamline. Students who receive Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) English composition credit must still register for FYW 1120. The AP or IB English credits count for credit toward the degree, but Hamline faculty members believe writing is an essential skill and thus require a first-year college-writing experience.

Students who receive credit for a PSEO or College in the Schools (CIS) English composition course are typically granted an equivalency for FYW 1120. 

Writing Intensive (W) - 3 courses

Writing-intensive courses must be taken at Hamline. Two of the required writing-intensive courses are provided within a student’s major, one at the 1000- or 3000-level and one at the 5000-level. The third course can be completed through writing-intensive offerings in any area of the student’s choosing.

Transfer students do not transfer writing-intensive courses to Hamline. The number of courses required will be reduced for transfer students needing fewer than three years at Hamline to complete their degree.

Speaking Intensive (O) - 2 courses

The required speaking intensive courses can be taken at any time and in any academic department.

Transfer students may transfer one speaking-intensive course to Hamline; one must be taken at Hamline. Students transferring as juniors (64 or more semester credits) are required to take only one speaking-intensive course, but it must be taken at Hamline.

Formal Reasoning (R) and Quantitative Reasoning (M) - 1 or 2 courses

Students must complete both categories of Reasoning. This can be accomplished through one formal reasoning course and one quantitative reasoning course, or through one course that carries both the R and M designations.

Disciplinary Breadth

Students take courses in each of the following four areas. Please note that not all courses within an area of study will have an associated Hamline Plan designation. Look for the Hamline Plan course tag in Workday to verify the course meets a Hamline Plan requirement. 

Fine Arts (F) – 2 courses (8 credits)*
Fine arts courses may be found in areas such as: digital + studio art, art history, creative writing, music, and performance, production, and community (theater).

*Music performance, ensemble, or lessons courses that are fewer than four credits must be taken enough times to equal eight credits in order to fulfill the fine arts requirement. Three-credit transfer courses may satisfy one fine arts course requirement.

Humanities (H) – 2 courses
Humanities courses may be found in areas such as: English & communication studies, modern languages, philosophy, and religion.

Natural Science (N) – 2 courses (at least one must have a lab)
Natural science courses may be found in areas such as: anthropology, biology, chemistry, criminal justice & forensic science, and physics.

Social Science (S) – 2 courses
Social Science course may be found in areas such as: anthropology, economics, history, legal studies, political science, psychology, and social justice & social change.

Diversity (D) - 2 courses

Students are required to complete courses which engage them in intellectual discourse and reflection about and across differences. Diversity courses may be found across the curriculum.

Global Citizenship (G) - 1 course

Courses that address global citizenship can be found in many departments, including Global Studies, Modern Languages, and Political Science.

Collaboration (C) - 1 course

Students complete coursework that focuses on developing and strengthening collaborative skills. Collaboration courses may be found across the curriculum.

Independent Critical Inquiry and Information Literacy (Q) - 1 course

This requirement follows a developmental arc that begins with experiences in the First Year Seminar, is built upon in mid-level courses in a student’s major, and culminates in an advanced-level course. The Q is documented at the final, culminating course.

LEAP: Liberal Education as Practice (P) - 1 course or registered experience

One course or experience is required. Students are encouraged to participate in LEAP experiences in their majors and to engage in more than one LEAP experience during their Hamline career. LEAP experiences include LEAP (P) courses as well as faculty-advised internships, undergraduate research projects, apprentice teaching, and qualifying independent studies/projects.

Transfer students fulfill this requirement at Hamline under the direction of a Hamline faculty member.

Major Requirements

Students must complete one major. A major is a field of concentration, ranging from 40-72 credits, depending on its requirements. At least 16 credits in a student’s major must be taken at Hamline. A major must be declared by the end of the sophomore year and may not be declared before the spring semester of the first year. Students must be aware of the requirements for their major as outlined in the Hamline Undergraduate Bulletin and are expected to meet the major requirements that are in effect at the time they declare. Grades of C- or higher are required for all major courses, and the GPA for all major courses together must average 2.0 or higher. Undergraduate program sheets listing requirements for each major are available at www.hamline.edu/ugrequirements

Individually designed majors can be developed by students who have other needs and goals, if the courses are available (see Flexible Curriculum Option). See All Academic Programs  for a list of all available academic programs.

Transfer students must take at least 16 credits in their major at Hamline. Transfer students must meet with a faculty advisor upon arrival at Hamline to determine the transferability of their major courses. Written approval of major courses by the advisor is recommended as soon as possible after the first advising appointment. Advisors approving transfer work have the right to ask the student for course descriptions and have the option to defer the decision to the department chair.

Double Majors

A double major is the awarding of one degree with two majors. A student must declare both majors and fulfill all requirements of each in addition to satisfying all university requirements. Double majors must be within the same degree (e.g., both must be either a B.A. or B.S.). Following the conferral of the degree, the student transcript will note one baccalaureate degree with two majors. Students completing two majors with differing degree types (e.g., chemistry under the B.S. and German under the B.A.) are considered double degree students. See Double Degrees below for more information.

Students pursuing two majors must:

  • Have at least four unique courses in both majors
  • Complete 48 credits outside both major departments–in these cases, each major will usually count outside the other

Majors Available within the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC)

A major that Hamline does not offer may be completed through any of the other four ACTC colleges if it is obviously within the liberal arts tradition (examples are classics at the University of St. Thomas or geology at Macalester College). Additionally, a major of up to eight specialized courses with a specific career orientation may be completed at one of the other ACTC colleges provided the student also has an appropriate liberal arts major at Hamline. Students who wish to complete a major at another ACTC college must submit a flexible curriculum major proposal to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The form is available at www.hamline.edu/registrar/forms.

Flexible Curriculum Option

The flexible curriculum option is offered for students who wish to develop a major or minor that is unique to their needs, but which satisfies the spirit and intent of Hamline’s graduation requirements. Such a major or minor might involve a coherent interdepartmental sequence of courses that addresses a particular topic or theme. 

The flexible curriculum option requires the approval of an appropriate Hamline faculty advisor and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Students should be prepared to state why their proposal is important to their program or educational intellectual development. Flexible curriculum proposal forms can be obtained in the Registration and Records office or at www.hamline.edu/registrar/forms and must be approved no later than the end of the junior year.


A minor is not required to graduate from Hamline although many students take advantage of the opportunity to complete minors. Most minors require five or six courses. Students completing a minor that is similar to their major must have at least three unique courses in the minor that are not used in the major. Multiple minors with overlapping coursework must also have three unique courses in each minor. Grades of C- or higher are required for all minor courses, and the GPA for all minor courses together must average 2.0 or better. See All Academic Programs  for a list of all available minors.

Transfer students must seek approval from their minor department chair for transfer work to apply toward a Hamline minor.

Breadth of Study Requirement (credits outside the major department)

Students must complete a minimum of 48 credits outside of their major department. These credits usually come from courses that do not have the designation of the major department.

Majors that require supporting courses from other departments may count those courses toward the breadth of study requirement. Interdisciplinary majors usually have an area of concentration. The concentration courses and any courses that have the designation of the major department are counted as inside the major; supporting courses from other departments count as outside the major for the purposes of the breadth of study requirement. When completing an interdisciplinary major that does not have a concentration, all courses not from the major department and all courses not specified as required will count toward breadth of study.

If students choose to take courses that are within their major department but are beyond what is required for their major, those courses will not count toward the breadth of study requirement. Students completing multiple majors must have 48 credits outside each major department. In these cases, each major will usually count outside the other.

Total Credits and GPA Requirement

All Hamline undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 128 credits to graduate and obtain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. 

Residency Credits

28 of the last 32 credits, and at least 56 total credits, must be completed in residence at Hamline, within the ACTC exchange, or through Hamline approved off-campus programs. Students must complete at least 52 credits graded on an A-F scale and earned in Hamline courses under cross-registration with ACTC colleges to be eligible for Latin honors at graduation.

Conferral of Degree

The conferral of degree will occur once all graduation requirements have been satisfied and the degree has been cleared by Registration & Records. Once the degree has been conferred, the academic record is considered sealed and no changes will be made. The academic record includes, but is not limited to the following: grades, GPA, majors, minors, degree type, etc. Once a degree is conferred, a student may not return to add a major, minor, or concentration to that degree.

Double Degrees

The double degree is the concurrent awarding of two different baccalaureate degree types (e.g., B.A. and B.S.). A student who completes two majors within one degree type will be awarded a double major (one degree with two majors), not two degrees regardless of the number of credits earned. (See Double Majors above.) A double degree may not be earned with the same major (e.g., a B.A. and B.S. in Physics). Following the conferral of both degrees, the student will receive two diplomas.

A Hamline University student may earn two different degrees if the following criteria are met:

  • Degree types must be different
  • At least 140 credits must be completed
  • Both sets of degree requirements must be fulfilled before either degree is awarded

Subsequent Degrees

Some students decide to return to their studies after they have received their first baccalaureate degree. A subsequent degree is the awarding of a baccalaureate degree different from the first degree awarded. A student may not earn multiple degrees of the same type. A student returning to Hamline University to complete a second baccalaureate degree must apply for admission and meet admission criteria for that degree.

To receive a second baccalaureate degree, a student must complete (1) all degree requirements not satisfied by the previous degree and (2) a minimum of 12 additional credits taken in residence at Hamline University. Coursework seven or more years old approved by the academic department might apply toward the second baccalaureate degree.