The requirements for graduation at Chapman are commensurate with the school’s liberal arts philosophy. The program of studies is designed to ensure a breadth of subject matter in the liberal arts as well as a depth in the preparation in the major field. A student’s curriculum includes preparatory courses, the General Education program, major requirements and free electives and must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of 120 credits.
- A minimum of 42 credits earned in upper-division coursework.
- A minimum of 48 credits earned at Chapman, 30 of which must be upper-division, with 15 of those 30 upper-division credits in the student’s major.
- Completion of all general education requirements.
- A maximum of 24 credits transferred after matriculation.
- A 2.000 Chapman cumulative GPA and a 2.000 cumulative GPA for all work leading to the degree, including transfer work.
- A 2.000 GPA for all major coursework and all upper-division major coursework.
- Resolution of all “NR”, “I”, “TI” and “SP” notations.
- For a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a minimum of 60 credits outside of the discipline of the major.
All transfer credit applied toward the degree must be evaluated and approved by the Office of the University Registrar. In addition, transfer work going toward the student’s major or minor may require departmental approval. No transfer work with grades earned below “C-” will be accepted toward meeting graduation requirements, but all earned grades will be counted in the student’s overall cumulative grade-point average.
Once students are enrolled at Chapman University, it is strongly recommended that, prior to taking courses elsewhere, students check the online transfer articulation database to determine whether the courses are transferable to Chapman University. Please see the Transfer Credit and Articulation webpage for more information. Students should check with the Office of the University Registrar if they have any questions regarding whether a course at another institution will transfer to Chapman.
Students transferring courses after matriculation also need to check that they are not exceeding credit load limits for the semester (See Course Load in Academic Policies and Procedures).
Limitation of Credit
The number of credits allowed toward any baccalaureate degree may be limited by the following:
- A maximum of 32 credits may be earned in passing courses by examination.
- The maximum number of credits acceptable from two-year colleges is 70.
- A total of not more than 15 credits of baccalaureate-level correspondence, extension or continuing education courses may be accepted. Of these 15 credits, no more than 6 credits may apply toward general education credit and no more than 6 credits may apply toward the major. General education courses must be approved by the Office of the University Registrar and major or minor courses must be approved by the department chair or program director of the major or minor.
- A maximum of 4 credits in physical activity courses and 12 credits in applied dramatic art, dance performance and music ensembles will be counted toward the baccalaureate degree with the following exceptions: dance minors, B.A. in Dance major and members of athletic teams may take up to 12 credits in physical activity courses toward their baccalaureate degrees. B.F.A. in Dance majors may take up to 22 credits of physical activity courses, which includes dance technique, toward their degree. Credit taken beyond the limit will not be counted towards the minimum 120 credit requirement.
- A maximum of 12 credits of independent internship may count toward the baccalaureate degree. Independent internship courses may be taken P/NP only.
- Credits from institutions of collegiate level that are not regionally accredited are not accepted in transfer.
- No more than 27 credits taken at Chapman in non-degree seeking status may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. Students who have not been admitted by the time they have completed 27 credits in a non-degree seeking status will not be allowed to register for additional courses.
- No more than 32 credits will be awarded for dual credit (college work taken while concurrently enrolled in high school or GED program), including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit.
Introductory Mathematics Requirement
Chapman University requires all students to satisfy an introductory mathematics requirement. Completing that requirement allows them to enroll in a course that will satisfy the General Education Program’s Quantitative Inquiry category. Satisfying the introductory mathematics requirement alone does not count towards completion of the General Education Program’s Quantitative Inquiry category.
Meeting the introductory mathematics requirement
The introductory mathematics requirement must be met within a student’s first semester at Chapman University. Meeting any one of the following criteria will satisfy this requirement.
- Passing score on the Chapman’s Algebra Test.
- Beginning with the class entering in spring 2021, Chapman University adopted a test-optional admission policy. This means most applicants can choose if they want their SAT or ACT scores reviewed with their application. If you choose to report your test scores, then the introductory mathematics requirement is met if you have a score of:
- 570 or higher on the mathematics portion of the SAT for tests taken March 2016 or later, or a score of 540 or higher for tests taken prior to March 2016
- 23 or higher on the mathematics subscore of the ACT
- Passing grade in MATH 100 taken at Chapman University.
- Passing grade in a qualifying transfer course completed before the student’s first day of classes at Chapman. Students should check with the University Registrar at Chapman to verify if a particular transfer course meets this requirement.
Choosing and completing the correct introductory mathematics course
Any admitted student who has not met the introductory mathematics requirement by any of the test scores above or by qualifying transfer course must register for MATH 100 in their first semester.
- MATH 100 is for students who will not be advancing to calculus-based mathematics course, and instead plan to take a course such as statistics or other mathematics course with a prerequisite of MATH 100.
- MATH 101 is for students who met the introductory mathematics requirement and will be taking a calculus-based mathematics course, usually as required for their major.
- MATH 100 and MATH 101 are Pass/No Pass courses.
- Once a student begins taking classes at Chapman University, a student must complete this requirement in residence at Chapman.
- Students may not drop MATH 100 without the permission of the Mathematics Advising Team.
Students who are required to take MATH 100 and who do not make progress in completing the mathematics requirement by the end of their first semester of attendance may be subject to credit limitation at the discretion of the Undergraduate Academic Council, which oversees student progress for this requirement.
MATH 100 and MATH 101 count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.
General Education Program
General education (GE), sometimes known as core curriculum at other schools, is a required selection of courses in areas of study designed to provide a broad educational background and emphasize the core values of a university in providing an undergraduate education.
Chapman’s GE program reflects the University’s mission to provide each student with a personalized education of distinction that leads to an inquiring, ethical, and productive life as a global citizen. It is designed to allow students to explore and expand their horizons, open creative possibilities and encourage flexibility, and develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of learning and knowledge that will set Chapman students apart as dynamic and visionary citizens of the world.
Students may share credits between GE requirements and degree requirements in the following ways:
- Up to 9 credits from the degree program or major with GE Liberal Arts and Sciences Focus and Global Focus courses. Courses offered in the major’s primary discipline are included in this limit even if they are not being used in the major.
- Up to 6 credits from a minor. Courses in the minor’s primary discipline are included in this limit even if they are not being used in the minor.
- Additional majors and minors are held to the same sharing restrictions as those listed above.
Students may not share courses in a Themed Inquiry with their major or major discipline, or with other GE requirements.
Liberal Arts and Sciences Focus Courses (18-19 credits)
Courses in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Focus categories are distinguished primarily by inquiry approaches rather than individual disciplinary areas. They engage students in both active learning and reflective thought, emphasizing critical inquiry in major liberal arts areas. All students take courses that have a primary focus in the following areas of inquiry:
- Artistic Inquiry (3 credits): Students compose critical or creative works that embody or analyze conceptually an artistic form at a baccalaureate/pre-professional level.
- Natural Science Inquiry (3-4 credits): Students engage in scientific investigation to explore the knowledge produced by scientific processes.
- Quantitative Inquiry (3 credits): Students use quantitative methods to help analyze problems in particular academic or social contexts; develop in-depth arguments supported by quantitative evidence; and communicate those arguments in both verbal form and quantitative displays (e.g., tables, graphs, mathematical equations or other relevant format).
- Social Inquiry (3 credits): Students explore processes by which human beings develop social and/or historical perspectives.
- Values and Ethical Inquiry (3 credits): Students articulate how values and ethics inform human understanding, structures and behavior.
- Written Inquiry (3 credits): Students establish active, genuine, and responsible authorial engagement; communicate a purpose–an argument or other intentional point/goal; invoke a specific audience, develop the argument/content with an internal logic organization; integrate references, citations, and source materially logically and dialogically, indicating how forms of evidence relate to each other and the author’s position; and compose the text with: a style or styles appropriate to the purpose and intended audience, a consistent use of the diction appropriate to the author’s topic and purpose, the ability to establish and vary authorial voice(s) and tone(s), a choice of form(s) and genre(s) appropriate to purpose and audience (forms may be digital and/or multimodal), and rhetorically effective use of language.
First-year Focus (3 credits)
In First-year Focus courses, the student critically analyzes and communicates complex issues and ideas. FFC courses focus on critical engagement, exploration and communication related to complex issues rather than on mastering a body of material. The First-year Focus course is required of all new students beginning their first year of academic enrollment at Chapman. The requirement is waived for students who have completed 24 or more credits from another institution of higher education prior to matriculation. Dual credit (AP, IB or college-level coursework) completed while in high school is not included; the 24 transferable credits must follow the completion of secondary school. Transfer students who have attended a four-year college or university prior to attending Chapman and have taken a first-year seminar course that is 3 credits and meets the FFC learning outcome may have that first-year seminar course reviewed to see if it may substitute for Chapman’s FFC requirement. A syllabus is required and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for review (See General Education (GE) First Year Focus Course (FFC) Requirement Waiver in Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.)
Global Focus (12 credits)
- Global Studies Inquiry (6 credits): Students connect contemporary social and/ or environmental topics to their origins and analyze their effects on our increasingly globalized world. Students may choose 2 courses from a pre-approved list. Interterm or summer international travel courses (usually 3 credits) may be used towards completion of this requirement. Students may choose to spend a semester abroad, which fulfills this category in lieu of coursework. Study abroad for a semester or an international travel course are strongly recommended
- Citizenship, Community, Service Inquiry (3 credits): Students select a learning experience that focuses on citizenship, community or service and study the theoretical and applied aspects of political, civic or social engagement in group affiliations. This can be accomplished by taking an approved course or engaging in service-learning experience under the advisement of a faculty member, which is registered for 3 credits as an internship or individual study.
- Language Inquiry (3 credits): Students complete part of their general education program in a language other than English. This may be accomplished through a language course at or above the 200-level [third semester proficiency], which may be a language acquisition course or a course taught in the language that demonstrates documented functional language use at the intermediate level or above. Students are expected to start satisfying this requirement no later than the beginning of their sophomore year. The High School State Seal of Biliteracy, marked by a gold seal on the diploma or transcript, will not waive the language inquiry as part of Chapman’s General Education requirements. For further information on fulfilling Chapman’s Language Inquiry category, see the Language Exams website provided by the Academic Advising Center.
Exploration Focus (minimum of 12 credits)
The goal of the Exploration Focus area, which requires a secondary area of study, is to provide students with a breadth of learning and a depth of knowledge. The purpose of requiring a secondary area of study outside of a student’s major is to provide a cohesive set of courses to complement a major or to explore an area of interest completely outside the major area of study in order to enrich personal or professional goals. Students must declare a Themed Inquiry, second major, minor, or enroll in the University Honors Program prior to completing 60 credits. Students who complete 60 credits and do not have one of the above will be assigned a registration hold.
To complete the Exploration Focus area, a student must complete one of the following:
- Second Major,
- University Honors Program, or
- Themed Inquiry (12 credits)
- Exploring an area of interest as either one disciplinary subject in depth or one topic from several disciplinary approaches, students complete 4 related courses selected from a pre-approved list of topics that are outside of the student’s designated program or major. At least 2 courses in the themed inquiry must be upper-division. No course in the student’s major discipline, even if not used in the major, can be used to satisfy the themed inquiry requirement.
- Transfer students with 30 or more credits prior to matriculation at Chapman may not use any of these courses to satisfy Themed Inquiry requirements, since they are given a waiver of courses in this category based on credit completion (See General Education (GE) Block Transfer in Academic Policies and Procedures).
Majors and Minors
Credits and specific courses are determined by academic units (departments, schools or colleges). Major requirements are located within department/college/school listings. Students must follow the General Education and major requirements of the same catalog year.
Majors are subject to the following credit guidelines:
- A Bachelor of Arts may be no less than 33 credits and no more than 51 credits, unless noted otherwise the catalog. Students earning a Bachelor of Arts degree are required to take 60 credits outside of their major.
- A Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Science may be no less than 60 credits and no more than 80 credits.
Students must follow the General Education and major requirements of the same catalog year.
A minimum of 21 credits of upper-division coursework in the major are required. A lower-division course accepted as a substitution or equivalent to an upper-division course does not count toward the 21-credit of upper division coursework requirement.
A minimum of 2.000 average on a 4.000 scale in the major overall and in upper-division coursework are required.
Declaration of a Major
An undergraduate student must declare a major prior to completing 60 credits. Students who complete 60 credits and have not declared a major will be assigned a registration hold. Some majors require a separate application process prior to acceptance.
Declaration of a Secondary Area of Study
Students are required to declare a secondary area of study as part of degree requirements. A secondary area of study is defined as a second major, minor, themed inquiry, or enrollment in the University Honors program.
A second major or minor may not be in the same discipline as a student’s major. When declaring a second major or minor students should be aware that certain combinations are not allowed due to significant overlap in course requirements that do not allow the second major or minor to be considered to be a different discipline as the major. The Office of the Provost determines the acceptability of these combinations. The Office of the University Registrar will review all requests before making changes to students’ academic programs and notify students if their requested combination is not allowed.
Students declaring a themed inquiry may not use any courses in their major or in the discipline of their major, even if those courses are not required or used in the major, to complete the themed inquiry.
Students must declare a themed inquiry, minor, second major, or enroll in the University Honors program prior to completing 60 credits. Students who complete 60 credits and have not done so will be assigned a registration hold.
A student may only declare a themed inquiry if a second major, minor or enrollment in the University Honors program is not declared.
A self-designed major is possible for a student who wishes to explore complex questions that draw from more than one traditional discipline or cross disciplinary boundaries in terms of content, theory, methodology and practice. In a self-designed major, it is expected that the student will analyze and synthesize information from multiple perspectives to construct new forms of knowledge.
A self-designed major should reflect a program of study that cannot be replicated through any of the University’s existing majors or by any major/minor combination that is offered. The program of study must be coherent and characterized by intellectual diversity, research, scholarship, and creativity. Like other majors, a self-designed major must provide curricular depth and include the following:
- a set of foundational courses dependent upon the discipline
- advanced courses that give coherence and depth to the major; and
- a significant capstone project, which synthesizes and integrates learning in the major
There should be, as appropriate to the field of study, a research methods course, theoretical studies classes, skills development classes and practical application classes.
The self-designed major must rely primarily on courses offered at Chapman. A self-designed major is not meant to provide for academic studies that current faculty and curricular offerings cannot support. No more than two courses may be used from another institution, whether domestic or international (including study abroad).
The majors currently offered by the College’s academic departments and interdisciplinary programs are carefully designed and rigorously reviewed by the faculty for intellectual depth and coherence. Students who wish to propose a self-designed major should expect that their proposals will be held to the same standards. The self-designed major petition process therefore requires a significant amount of time and reflection, development of appropriate learning outcomes, and demonstration that the courses chosen for the major address the development of the student in achieving the stated learning outcomes. A student wishing to pursue a self-designed major must work closely with their advising faculty in the relevant departments to construct their major proposal to meet these requirements.
In order to demonstrate intentionality and appropriate planning in the design process of the self-designed major, the application for approval must be filed by the appropriate deadlines, may not be filed until a student has completed a full semester at Chapman, and should be completed before no more than 50% of the courses in the self-designed major have been completed and/or before the student has earned 75 completed credits.
Students must be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Approval is required by the following:
- a faculty advisor
- a sponsoring department and
- the Undergraduate Academic Council
Detailed guidelines, forms and a timetable for submission for a self-designed major are provided on the Self-Designed Major application form found on the Registrar’s Office Student Services Forms webpage.
Any changes to an approved Self-Designed Major must be filed with the Office of the University Registrar using the General Petition Form Undergraduate, and submitted to the Undergraduate Academic Council for approval.
These guidelines are subject to change by the Undergraduate Academic Council.
Dual Major with the Same Degree
- Completion of all requirements for both majors (such as Political Science and French) is required.
- Each major must have 18 unique credits.
- Both majors will be in the same catalog year.
- Diplomas will be awarded concurrently.
Dual Bachelor’s Degree (two different degrees)
- Dual degrees (such as a B.A. and B.S.) may be pursued concurrently; diplomas will be awarded concurrently.
- Completion of all requirements for both degrees is required.
- Both degrees must be in the same catalog year.
- Students will be held to the General Education requirements for one degree.
- Each major must have 18 unique credits.
Second Major with the Same Degree
Once a degree has been conferred:
- A student must apply for readmission to seek a minor or a second major in the same degree. However, if a student has not broken enrollment (see Interrupted and Re-Enrollment in Undergraduate Admission) the student need not apply for readmission. A second diploma will not be issued.
- Each major must have 18 unique credits.
Second Bachelor’s Degree with First Degree Earned at Chapman
Once a degree has been conferred:
- A student must apply for readmission to seek a second bachelor’s degree, a second major or a minor. However, if a student has not broken enrollment (see Interrupted and Re-Enrollment in Undergraduate Admission) the student need not apply for readmission.
- A program evaluation by the Office of the University Registrar should be requested before beginning the program.
- Students will not be held to the General Education requirements of the second degree.
- Each major must have 18 unique credits.
Second Bachelor’s Degree with First Degree Not Earned at Chapman
- A student must apply for admission and meet all standard admission requirements.
- A student must meet standard degree credit, residency, upper-division and major requirements.
- General Education requirements will be waived for all areas other than the foreign language requirement if the first degree was completed from a regionally accredited institution.
- Each major must have 18 unique credits.
Students may choose to do a minor to complete the secondary area of study requirement.
A minor may have no less than 21 credits and no more than 30 credits, unless otherwise noted in the University Catalog.
A minor must be outside the discipline of a student’s major and may only be approved if there is a guarantee of 12 unique credits that can be taken in the minor that are not duplicated through core or elective choices in the student’s major program.
For a student with an interdisciplinary major, the designated discipline is the department/subject in which the greatest number of upper-division credits are used in the major
A minor may be completed only in those departments listing specific minor requirements, unless a self-designed minor is submitted for approval (see process below),
A minor must have:
- A minimum of 12 upper-division credits. A lower division course accepted as a substitution or equivalent to an upper division course does not count towards this requirement.
- A minimum of 6 upper-division credits completed in residence.
- A 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor and a 2.000 GPA for all upper-division coursework in the minor, unless the program determines a higher standard.
A self-designed minor is possible for a student who wishes to explore complex questions that draw from more than one traditional discipline or cross disciplinary boundaries in terms of content, theory, methodology and practice. In a self-designed minor, it is expected that the student will analyze and synthesize information from multiple perspectives to construct new forms of knowledge and/or creative expression.
A self-designed minor should reflect a program of study that cannot be replicated through any of the University’s existing minors or by any major/minor combination that is offered. A self-designed minor is not meant to provide for academic studies that current faculty and curricular offerings cannot support. If a minor is not offered in the particular area of study of the self-designed minor at Chapman, a statement must be provided by the chair, unit director or associate dean of the academic unit as appropriate stating that the self-designed minor program can be supported by the academic unit.
The program of study must be coherent and characterized by intellectual diversity, research, scholarship, and creativity. Like other minors, a self-designed minor must provide curricular depth and a clear pedagogical through-line. It should include the following:
- a set of foundational courses dependent upon the subject of the minor
- advanced courses that give coherence and depth to the minor; and
- an upper division course, individual study or internship that provides the opportunity to synthesize and integrate the learning in the minor
The self-designed minor must rely primarily on courses offered at Chapman. No more than two courses may be used from another institution, whether domestic or international (including study abroad).
The self-designed minor must meet the same requirements that apply to existing minors:
- The minor must be in a discipline outside of the student’s major. For interdisciplinary minors, the discipline of the minor will be considered as the subject area or areas in which the most courses are required.
- For students with an interdisciplinary major, the designated discipline is the subject in which the greatest number of upper-division credits are required in the major.
- A minimum of 21 credits, 12 of which may not be duplicated by the major or any other minor. Such duplication includes a review of all possible elective choices that may be taken in the student’s current major or minor, whether or not the student intends to take any of these electives, and compared with courses listed in the self-designed minor.
- A minimum of 12 upper-division credits. A lower-division course accepted as a substitution or equivalent to an upper-division course does not count toward this requirement.
- A minimum of six upper-division credits completed in residence.
- A 2.000 cumulative GPA and 2.000 GPA for all upper-division coursework.
The self-designed minor is not intended to allow students to simply “redesign” existing minors to suit their personal preferences in courses or schedules. Accordingly, a self-designed minor must not contain more than 40 percent of the requirements of an existing minor, and it may not include more than 2 courses or up to 8 credits, whichever is less, not offered by Chapman University.
The minors currently offered by the College’s academic departments and interdisciplinary programs are carefully designed and rigorously reviewed by the faculty for intellectual depth and coherence. Students who wish to propose a self-designed minor should expect that their proposals will be held to the same standards. The self-designed minor petition process therefore requires a significant amount of time and reflection, development of appropriate learning outcomes, and demonstration that the courses chosen for the minor address the development of the student in achieving the stated learning outcomes. A student wishing to pursue a self-designed minor must work closely with a full-time faculty member in the relevant department(s), who will serve as the advisor to the minor and will assist the student to construct their minor proposal to meet all requirements.
Approval is required by the following:
- a faculty advisor
- a sponsoring department, or departments in the case of interdisciplinary minors, and
- the Faculty General Education Committee
In order to demonstrate intentionality and appropriate planning in the design process of the self-designed minor, the application for approval:
- must be filed by the appropriate deadlines
- may not be filed until a student has completed a full semester at Chapman
- should be filed before the student has completed no more than 50% of the courses in the self-designed minor and
- must be filed before the student has earned 75 completed credits
Students must be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of filing to be eligible to apply for a self-designed minor.
Self-designed minor applications are due no later than the end of week 8 of each full semester to receive approval to begin the following semester. Applications received after that date will not be approved until the following semester. Students are advised that it may take up to 3-4 weeks for review and approval, and no approvals are given over the summer.
Detailed guidelines, forms and a timetable for submission for a self-designed minor are provided on the Self-Designed Minor application form found on the Office of the University Registrar’s Student Services Forms webpage. Self-designed minors are submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and are reviewed for approval by the General Education Committee.
Any changes to an approved Self-Designed Minor must be filed with the Office of the University Registrar using the General Petition Form Undergraduate, and submitted to the General Education Committee for approval.
These guidelines are subject to change by the General Education Committee and/or the Undergraduate Academic Council.
Change of Major/Minor Form
Adding or changing a major requires an approval signature by the department chair or program director of the new major. Dropping a major does not require an approval signature. Approval signatures must be on the form submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.
Some majors require a separate application process prior to acceptance.
Some minors require approval signature of the department chair or program director, as noted on the form.
Change of Major/Minor Forms are accepted and processed by the Office of the University Registrar throughout the year except during registration periods in November and April. Any Change of Major/Minor form submitted later than one week prior to the first day of scheduled registration appointments in November or April will not be processed until the conclusion of the two-week registration appointment period.
In addition the following changes to student academic records will not be made during the registration appointment period:
- Change of existing major or minor program.
- Addition of a major or minor program.
- Change of a declared area of study.
- Change of a declared emphasis.
- Change of a declared concentration.
- Addition of or change to Themed Inquiry.