University Degree Requirements Policies Affecting Degree Requirements and Graduation Graduation with Honors Commencement



University Degree Requirements

UIC has several degree requirements that apply to all students pursuing an undergraduate degree, regardless of major. University degree requirements serve as minimum standards; many colleges set higher standards than the minimum required by the University. A student must always fulfill the degree requirements outlined by the major college.

University degree requirements bring a level of consistency and quality to all undergraduate degrees awarded at UIC. By setting standards that are met or exceeded by the colleges, the University ensures the integrity of all the degrees it awards.

University degree requirements include the following:

  • General Education Requirements (see the General Education section of the catalog)
  • Grade Point Average Requirement
  • Enrollment Residence Requirement
  • Semester Hour Requirement

The minimum University degree requirements are outlined below. Important Note: Students should consult their college section of the catalog for specific information on how to meet the degree requirements set by the college.

General Education Requirements

Students should consult the General Education section of the catalog for a complete description of the University’s General Education Program as well as their college/department sections of the catalog to determine how to fulfill the General Education requirements within their degree program.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement
All candidates for a degree must have at least a 2.00/4.00 grade point average in all work taken at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in all work taken in the major field, and in all work accepted by the University (transfer work plus work taken at UIC). A student may be required to meet higher minimum grade point averages in certain degree programs.

Students should consult their college section of the catalog for more information on the grade point average requirement for their degree program.

Enrollment Residence Requirement
The enrollment residence requirement must be satisfied. In all academic units except the College of Business Administration, either the first 90 semester hours or the last 30 semester hours of University work must be taken at UIC. In the College of Business Administration, the last 30 semester hours must be taken at UIC. In addition, at least one-half of the semester hours required in the student’s major area of study must be completed at UIC. Concurrent attendance at the University of Illinois at Chicago and another collegiate institution, or enrollment during the summer at another institution, when approved by the student’s college, does not interrupt the UIC enrollment residence requirement for graduation. Credit earned through CLEP and proficiency examinations, and through the University of Illinois Guided Individual Study and extramural courses, neither applies toward nor interrupts the enrollment residence requirement. Under exceptional circumstances, the enrollment residence requirement may be waived by the dean of the student’s college upon petition of the student.

Enrollment Residence Requirement in the Minor

A student must complete at least one-half of the course work required for the minor field in enrollment residence at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Semester Hour Requirement

The minimum number of semester hours required for a degree is 120. The required number of hours varies within the colleges, schools, and degree programs. The student should refer to the section of this catalog that covers the college and curriculum to determine the hours required for a particular degree. The college office also provides this information.


Policies Affecting Degree Requirements and Graduation

Admission Requirements

All admission requirements for the student’s chosen degree program must be met.


All deficiencies in entrance credit must be removed prior to graduation.

Degree Program Name Change

If a college, school, department, or program changes the name of a major or curriculum or the title of a degree program as a result of reorganization, continuing students in the affected major, curriculum, or degree program will be transferred to the newly titled/named major, curriculum, or degree program.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all requirements of their chosen college and degree program.

When degree requirements change, continuing students and those whose attendance has been interrupted for no more than two years may choose either the new requirements or the degree requirements in effect at the time the students were admitted. Students whose attendance has been interrupted for more than two years are responsible for meeting the requirements of the University and college as well as the degree program in effect at the time of the student’s reenrollment.

If a curriculum is eliminated in its entirety, or if required courses are eliminated from a particular curriculum, the department, school, or college reserves the right to offer substitute courses as deemed appropriate by the unit’s faculty. Students may have to fulfill new requirements when external accrediting or certifying agencies change their professional requirements.

Repeat Policy for Standard Graded Courses
Students may repeat a course to increase their knowledge of the subject matter. There are circumstances under which repeating a course is advisable and to a student’s advantage. There are also circumstances where repeating a course may disadvantage a student and narrow a student’s options. Some colleges require students to discuss any plan to repeat a course with their academic advisor before they register to repeat the course.

Courses with A or B grades may not be repeated. Normally, courses with a C grade may not be repeated. Courses with D or F grades may be repeated once without written permission. In all cases, the original grade for the course and the grade for each repeat will appear on the transcript. The original grade will be calculated into the grade point average, unless the student initiates a request for Repeating a Course with Grade Point Average Recalculation as described below. Only one registration for the course counts toward the total number of credits required for graduation. A course cannot be repeated after receiving credit in a course for which the repeat course is a prerequisite.

To repeat a course more than once requires written permission from the student’s college dean. Students who have been dismissed may not appeal on the grounds of intention to repeat courses. Certain courses may not be repeated; students should consult their college before repeating a course.

Repeating a Course with Grade Point Average Recalculation

Important Note: Grade point average recalculation for a repeated course is not automatic. The student must initiate a request in the college office as outlined below.

For the grade point average recalculation policy to apply, a student must declare to his or her college the intent to repeat a course for a change of grade. Students must submit this request to their college before the end of the official add/drop period, no later than the second Friday of the fall and spring semesters, the first Wednesday of Summer Session 1, or the first Friday of Summer Session 2. The course must be repeated within three semesters of the receipt of the original grade, and it must be taken at UIC. Only one registration for the course counts toward the total number of credits required for graduation.

Undergraduate students are allowed grade point average recalculation in up to four repeated courses. Under the course repeat policy, all courses taken and their grades appear on the transcript in the semester in which they were taken. Under the grade point average recalculation policy, the grade earned the first time the course is taken will be dropped from the calculation of the cumulative GPA and the grade(s) earned when the course is repeated will be used in the calculation. This rule holds, even if the second grade is lower than the first. If a course is repeated more than once, the first grade is not counted in the GPA, but all other grades for that course are calculated in the cumulative GPA.

Double Major, Double Degrees, and Second Bachelor’s Degree

The following general definitions are offered for informational purposes. Students should consult their college section of the catalog for information about the options available to them and the policies associated with those options. In addition, students should check with an academic advisor before pursuing one of these options.

Double Major

A double major consists of one bachelor’s degree with two majors. A double major does not ordinarily have, as a requirement, additional semester hours beyond those required for a single major. To double major, students must complete all of the requirements for two majors within one college. A double major is generally not permitted when there is substantial overlap in course work between the two majors.

Double Degrees

Double degrees consist of two bachelor’s degrees completed concurrently. Double degrees require a minimum of 30 additional semester hours beyond those required for the first degree. To receive double degrees, students must formally request acceptance into the second degree program and complete all requirements for each of the degree programs. Double degrees can be within one college or across two colleges. Students who obtain double degrees receive a diploma for each degree. Double degrees are generally not permitted when there is substantial overlap in course work between the two degree programs. No more than two bachelor’s degrees may be awarded concurrently.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

A second bachelor’s degree is available only for students who have already been awarded a bachelor’s degree at UIC or another institution. A second bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours at UIC after completion of the first degree. Students must apply to, be admitted, and complete the requirements for the second bachelor’s degree. A second bachelor’s degree is generally not permitted when there is substantial overlap in course work between the first and second degrees. Students pursuing two degrees concurrently must follow the policies for Double Degrees, not Second Bachelor’s Degree.

Student Disciplinary Policy

The Student Disciplinary Policy is the University’s student conduct process to handle allegations of misconduct by UIC students. The Student Disciplinary Policy addresses both academic misconduct (such as plagiarism, cheating, or grade tampering) and behavioral misconduct (such as theft, assault, under-age drinking, and drug use.)

The main purpose of the student conduct process is to ensure that students receive due process—which means that every student should have a fair opportunity to express their side of the story before any decisions are made about their disciplinary case. The student conduct process was designed to be educational in nature. The Student Disciplinary Policy is available online at

Guidelines Regarding Academic Integrity

As an academic community, the University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to providing an environment in which research, learning, and scholarship can flourish and in which all endeavors are guided by academic and professional integrity. All members of the campus community—students, staff, faculty, administrators—share the responsibility of insuring that these standards are upheld so that such an environment exists. Instances of academic misconduct by students, and as defined herein, shall be handled pursuant to the Student Disciplinary Policy.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

Cheating: Either intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, people, or study aids in any academic exercise, or extending to or receiving any kind of unauthorized assistance on any examination or assignment to or from another person.

Fabrication: Knowing or unauthorized falsification, reproduction, lack of attribution, or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism: Intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise.

Bribes, Favors, Threats: Bribing or attempting to bribe, promising favors to or making threats against, any person, with the intention of affecting a record of a grade, grade, or evaluation of academic performance. Any conspiracy with another person who then takes or attempts to take action on behalf or at the direction of the student.

Examination by Proxy: Taking or attempting to take an exam for someone else other than the student is a violation by both the student enrolled in the course and the proxy or substitute.

Grade Tampering: Any unauthorized attempt to change, actual change of, or alteration of grades or any tampering with grades.

Nonoriginal Works: Submission or attempt to submit any written work authored, in whole or part, by someone other than the student.

Student Academic Grievance Procedures

The Student Academic Grievance Procedures define an administrative process through which students may seek resolution of complaints or Grievances regarding academic standing during their enrollment at UIC.

Student Academic Grievance Procedures Eligibility

  1. These Procedures may only be used by Students:
    1. with a Complaint or Grievance regarding academic standing during their enrollment at UIC.
    2. about an academic decision made about them by an agent (e.g., faculty or staff member, administrator, committee) of the University of Illinois at Chicago that directly and adversely affects the Student.
  2. These Procedures may not be used:
    1. in deciding or appealing issues relating to student discipline under the purview of the Senate Student Judiciary Committee;
    2. in resolving any complaint, request, or question involving student records subject to campus procedures established under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and contained in the Guidelines and Procedures Governing Student Records (;
    3. by applicants for admission;
    4. in review of any decision by any university administrator or properly constituted board or committee relating to allocation of resources to support any unit’s projects or programs.

For a complete description of the procedures, students should consult the Web site


Graduation with Honors

The UIC Senate and the University of Illinois Board of Trustees establish the criteria under which students are awarded department, college, and University honors. Campus standards for college and department honors are described below. Currently applicable standards appear in the appropriate college and department sections of this catalog.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Distinction shall be based on grade point average and on other criteria considered appropriate by the department in which the major is completed and by its college. The transcripts carry the designation distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction, as appropriate.

General College Honors

General College Honors shall be awarded to a specific percentage of students, to be decided by the college, but not to exceed 15 percent of the students graduating in the college. The diploma and transcript carry the notation of such an award. Graduation with college honors benefits the student when being considered for a graduate fellowship, job placement, or some other competitive opportunity.

University Honors
University Honors are awarded to graduating students whose overall (UIC institutional plus transfer work, if applicable) grade point average falls within the following honors categories:

Summa cum laude: 3.90 and above
Magna cum laude: 3.75 to 3.89
Cum laude: 3.50 to 3.74

Transfer students must have earned a minimum of 42 hours at the University of Illinois at Chicago at the end of the term prior to the term of graduation and have a minimum of 60 hours completed at UIC upon graduation.

In addition, transfer students must have an institutional (UIC) grade point average of 3.50 in order to qualify for University Honors.



A degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago is awarded by action of the Board of Trustees on recommendation of the appropriate college and the Senate. Degrees are awarded three times a year, at the end of the fall, spring, and summer terms. The student receives the degree in a stated curriculum.

Students completing all degree requirements for their declared major will need permission from their college to enroll in additional undergraduate courses. After the degree has been awarded, students must submit a new application for admission to UIC in order to continue studying at the University.


The colleges hold their own commencement ceremonies at the end of the spring semester. At each college ceremony, undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students are individually recognized as degrees are conferred. Graduates from the preceding summer and fall terms and current spring semester are eligible to participate in the Spring Commencement ceremonies.

Check with the college for eligibility requirements. Additional information, including the schedule of ceremonies, maps and parking, and cap and gown information, can be found online


Diplomas for both undergraduate and graduate students are mailed approximately three to four months after the degree award date.

Change of Name

To be reflected on the diploma, name changes must be submitted to the Office of Registration and Records, 1200 Student Services Building, by the last day of the degree expected term.

Duplicate Diplomas

If the original diploma is destroyed, a duplicate diploma may be ordered by contacting the Office of Registration and Records, 1200 Student Services Building. There is a fee for the replacement diploma, and it bears the signatures of the current officials of the State and University.