1400 University Degree Requirements and Graduation

A degree will be awarded only to a student who meets both the university requirements and the standards of performance, academic requirements, and residence requirements of their college and of their degree program. See below for a complete explanation of university requirements. Consult your college’s chapter of this catalog for your degree program’s requirements. Once a degree has been conferred that academic record is considered closed.

1405 Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are the goals students achieve in their programs of study. They represent the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students should gain to successfully complete the requirements of a course, major, and degree. A special set of general learning outcomes cover the goals for all students at the University. Students begin mastery of the University’s learning outcomes in the core (first two years of study) and continue to develop these skills throughout their major. The learning outcomes for all students are:

Area A1. Written Communication

Students produce well-organized communication that exhibits logical thinking, demonstrates appropriate style for circumstance and audience, meets conventional standards of usage, and acknowledges the use of information sources when necessary. Students demonstrate comprehension of written material: purpose, message, and rhetorical situation.

Area A2. Mathematics

Students understand and apply mathematical concepts and reasoning using verbal, numeric, graphical and/or symbolic forms.

Area B. Institutional Foundations

Students effectively analyze, evaluate, and provide convincing reasons in support of conclusions, considering opposing points of view when appropriate.

Area C. Humanities/Fine Arts

Students effectively analyze the meanings of texts and/or works of art or music, express ways that culture shapes values, and critically evaluate them.

Area D. Natural and Computational Sciences

Students demonstrate understanding of the physical universe, the nature of science, and the scientific method, and/or understand and apply mathematical concepts and reasoning using verbal, numeric, graphical or symbolic forms.

Area E. Social Sciences

Students effectively analyze the complexity of human behavior, and how historical, economic, political, social, and/or spatial relationships develop, persist, and/or change.

Area I. US Perspectives

Students demonstrate understanding of the United States and its related political, social, and/or institutional developments.

Area II. Global Perspectives

Students demonstrate understanding of political, social, economic, and/or institutional developments across the globe.

Area III. Critical Thinking

Students effectively analyze, evaluate, and provide convincing reasons in support of conclusions, considering opposing points of view when appropriate.  (The outcomes for Areas B and III are the same.)

1410 Core Curriculum Requirements

Georgia State University requires all students seeking a baccalaureate degree to satisfactorily complete a basic core of general education subjects. Georgia State’s core curriculum provides students with a broad background in general education and reflects the special mission of this university as an urban research institution with an international, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural focus. Because of ongoing evaluation changes may occur in the core curriculum. Every attempt will be made to notify students when these changes occur.

Areas A through E of the core curriculum are designed to provide students with a wide array of courses as a means of gaining a basic education in the liberal arts and assisting students in their choice of a major. Students should normally choose among the courses in areas A to E and select a major before taking courses in Area F. Students who have chosen a major before the completion of Areas A through E can review the departmental sections of the catalog to see specific recommendations for course selection. Some programs, such as art, music, and nursing, require students to begin major-related coursework in their freshman year to meet course sequencing requirements.

There are restricted choices for some majors in Areas A and D. Students must follow the degree-specific requirements listed in Areas A and D for the programs they are pursuing.

Students who are planning to transfer to Georgia State from other institutions in the University System of Georgia should note that this is Georgia State’s core curriculum and is to be followed by students who choose to complete the core curriculum at this university. The core curriculum at a student’s current University System of Georgia institution may contain different courses. However, Georgia State will grant credit for any approved core curriculum course taken at a student’s current University System of Georgia home institution even if it is different from the course offered at Georgia State.

The core curriculum completed at one System institution is fully transferable to another System institution for the same major. However, specific situations may result in minor exceptions to this general rule. Students seeking credit for University System of Georgia core curriculum courses that were not accepted during Georgia State’s admissions process or who believe that the system rules of transferability of the core curriculum are not being honored can make an appeal. Appeals should be initiated by filling out a form available in the University Advisement Center,  25 Park Place, Suite 1300 and 1400.

1410.10 Area A1: Written Communication (6)

Students who satisfy the Advanced Placement Standard of the Department of English may take ENGL 1103 in lieu of ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102. Students who select this option will choose an additional humanities course from core Area C1. A grade of C or higher is required in ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102, or in ENGL 1103 (open to qualified students with departmental consent), in order to receive degree credit.

Effective Fall 2010, for freshmen entering the USG system Fall 2010, students who have earned 60 hours but have not completed Area A1 must enroll in the next course necessary to make progress toward completing this Area in every semester in which they take classes. Effective Fall 2011, this hour limit is lowered to 45 hours for freshmen entering the USG system Fall 2011, Spring 2012, and Summer 2012. Effective Fall 2012, the hour limit is lowered to 30 hours for freshmen entering the USG system Fall 2012 and thereafter. Institutions are allowed to move to the 45/30 hour limits before they are required to do so. For students with Learning Support requirements in reading or writing, taking the required Learning Support course(s) counts as making progress toward completing Area A1.

1410.15 Area A2: Mathematics (3-4)

If a 4 hour course is selected, the additional hour will be counted in Area F or Area G. Majors in biology, chemistry, computer science, geoscience (B.S.), mathematics, neuroscience, science and math education, and physics are required to take Math 1113 or higher in Area A. Business students are encouraged to take MATH 1111 or higher in Area A. If it is not taken in Area A, it must be taken later in the program. Exercise Science students are encouraged to take MATH 1111 in Area A.

Note: A math placement test is recommended for all students who do not have credit for an Area A math course and is required for students who wish to take MATH 1111, College Algebra, or higher. The test is offered at scheduled times in the university’s testing center. See www.gsu.edu/testing and click on Tests and then Math Placement.

Effective Fall 2010, for freshmen entering the USG system Fall 2010, students who have earned 60 hours but have not completed Area A2 must enroll in the next course necessary to make progress toward completing this Area in every semester in which they take classes. Effective Fall 2011, this hour limit is lowered to 45 hours for freshmen entering the USG system Fall 2011, Spring 2012, and Summer 2012. Effective Fall 2012, freshmen entering the USG system Fall 2012 and thereafter, the hour limit is lowered to 30 hours. Institutions are allowed to move to the 45/30 hour limits before required to do so. For students with LSP requirements in mathematics, taking the required LSP course counts as making progress toward completing Area A2.

1410.20 Area B: Institutional Foundations (4)

Additional information about institutional options is available online at advisement.gsu.edu/self-service/core-curriculum/institutional-options/.

Select two courses from the following:

Pers 2001 is a group of interdisciplinary courses that provides a better understanding of the contemporary world through the study of different cultures. Only one course from this group may be used to fulfill requirements in Area B.

Pers 2002 is a group of interdisciplinary courses that deals with scientific approaches to important issues on the environment, public health, or technology. Only one course from this group may be used to fulfill requirements in Area B.

The University System of Georgia requires all students to demonstrate competence in critical thinking. Students satisfy these requirements by earning a passing grade in PHIL 1010, SPCH 1000, PERS 2001, or PERS 2002. (See Section 1435)

1410.30 Area C: Humanities and Fine Arts (6)

Select two courses from groups 1, 2, and 3 below. The two courses may not come from the same group.

1. Humanities

2. Fine Arts

  • AH 1700 Survey of Art I (3)
  • AH 1750 Survey of Art II (3)
  • AH 1850 Survey of Art III (3)
  • FILM 2700 History of the Motion Picture (3)
  • MUA 1500 Jazz: Its Origins, Styles, and Influence (3)
  • MUA 1900 Dramatic Music from the Renaissance through the Twentieth Century (3)
  • MUA 1930 Music, Society, and Culture (3)
  • THEA 2040 Introduction to Theatre (3)

3. Foreign Language

Turk 2002 Intermediate Turkish II (3)

The J. Mack Robinson College of Business recommends that B.B.A. students include a foreign language course in Area C. The College of Arts and Sciences recommends that B.A. students and specified B.I.S. students not include a foreign language course in Area C (See Section 3090.45 in the Arts and Sciences section of the catalog).

Students in these degree programs should follow departmental recommendations on foreign language selection in Area F. The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies requires B.A. students majoring in economics to complete a foreign language in Area F.

Some foreign language courses are not open to native speakers of that language. Please consult the course description before making a selection in this area.

Placement exams in French, German, and Spanish are available. See Section 1310.20 for more information.

1410.40 Area D: Natural and Computational Sciences (11)

Complete the options listed under either majors other than natural sciences, health sciences, and mathematics or natural sciences, health sciences, and mathematics majors.

Majors other than Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, and Mathematics:

1. Select one two-course sequence. (8)

  • ASTR 1010 Astronomy of the Solar System (4) and
  • ASTR 1020 Stellar and Galactic Astronomy (4)
  • GEOG 1112 Introduction to Weather and Climate (4) and
  • GEOG 1113 Introduction to Landforms (4)

2. Select one course (must be from a discipline different from one selected in group 1 above). (3)

If a 4 hour course is selected, the additional hour will be counted in Area F or Area G. The Robinson College of Business recommends that B.B.A. students take Math 1070 in Area D. If it is not taken in Area D, it must be taken later in the program. PHYS 2030K is recommended only for broadcast journalism, speech, theatre, and music majors.

Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geoscience (B.S.), Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, and Science and Math Education Majors: It is recommended that students select a sequence appropriate to the major.

1. Select one two-course sequence. (8)

2. Select either Math 2211 (Calculus of One Variable), a course with a higher number that is appropriate to the major, or a course that has been approved by the major department (see individual departmental degree requirements).

Nursing, Nutrition, and Respiratory Therapy Majors:

1. Select one two-course sequence. (8)

Note: Nutrition and Respitory Therapy majors must choose CHEM 1151K and CHEM 1152K

The Brydine F. Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions recommends that students take CHEM 1151K and CHEM 1152K. Please note that Physics has a prerequisite of MATH 1112 or MATH 1113 before you can register for this course.

2. MATH 1070 Elementary Statistics (3)

1410.50 Area E: Social Science (12)

Students who satisfy the requirements of Section 1, United States Politics and History, by examination and choose not to take Hist 2110 and PolS 1101 must select two additional courses from Section 3, Social Science Foundations. No student may take more than six hours in Area E from any one department.

1. United States Politics and History – Legislative Requirement (0-6)

Georgia law requires all students to pass examinations on (a) the history of the United States and the history of Georgia and (b) the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Georgia. Students may satisfy these requirements by earning passing grades in Hist 2110 and PolS 1101. (See Section 1425)

The University System of Georgia requires all students to demonstrate basic knowledge of the United States. Students satisfy these requirements by earning a passing grade in Hist 2110 or PolS 1101. (See Section 1435)

2. Global Economics, Global Politics, and World History. Requirement: Select one course (3)

The University System of Georgia requires all students to demonstrate basic knowledge of the global issues. Students satisfy these requirements by earning a passing grade in ECON 2100, HIST 1111, HIST 1112 or POLS 2401. (See Section 1435)

3. Social Science Foundations: Select one course (see note above) (3-9)

  • AAS 2010 Introduction to African-American Studies (3)
  • ANTH 1102 Introduction to Anthropology (3)
  • CRJU 2200 Social Science and the American Crime Problem (3)
  • ECON 2105 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • ECON 2106 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • GEOG 1101 Introduction to Human Geography (3)
  • AAS 1140/HIST 1140 African and African-American History (3)
  • PSYC 1101 Introduction to General Psychology (3)
  • SOCI 1101 Introductory Sociology (3)
  • SOCI 1160 Introduction to Social Problems (3)
  • WGSS 2010 Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)

The Robinson College of Business recommends that B.B.A. students take Econ 2105 and Econ 2106 in Area F and then choose other social science foundation courses in Area E. The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies recommends that B.A. and B.S. students NOT take ECON 2105 and ECON 2106 in section 3 of Area E.

1410.60 Area F: Lower Division Major Requirements (18)

Courses in Area F, which constitute the remaining 18 semester hours in the core curriculum, may be found in the college sections on degree requirements. These listings should also be consulted to see if there are any courses recommended from among the offerings in areas A to E. Students seeking a B.S. in mathematics and secondary school teaching will be required to take an additional nine semester hours of introductory education courses above the general requirement of 18 semester hours.

1415 Area G & Beyond

Courses beyond the core curriculum that are required by the college and/or major department constitute the remaining course degree requirements and are comprised of courses related to a major, major requirements, courses in a minor or concentration, and electives. Consult the college chapters in this catalog for a full explanation of these requirements.

1420 Regents Reading and Writing Requirements

Effective March 9, 2010, Georgia State students were granted an exemption by the University System of Georgia and are no longer required to take the Regents’ Test. This exemption does not necessarily apply should a student transfer out of GSU to another institution in the University System of Georgia. Students should contact their new institution about its Regents’ Test policy. More information can be found at the University System of Georgia website.

1425 Federal and State Constitution and History Requirements

As required by Georgia law, all students must demonstrate knowledge of the history and constitutions of the United States and of Georgia. To demonstrate this knowledge, students must pass HIST 2110 and POLS 1101 at Georgia State, have previously completed these courses at a University System of Georgia institution, or pass the proficiency examination in these legislative requirements available for students at the Testing Center. See the Testing Center for additional information counselingcenter.gsu.edu/testing/tests/historyconstitution/.

Students who transfer in American Government or Constitution courses from a non system school will be required to take the Georgia History and Constitution exams or retake the courses at Georgia State.  Transfer students who have fulfilled any or all parts of this requirement will be advised of that fact at the time of admission and evaluation of transfer credit.

Note:  If a student meets this requirement with all four examinations, the student must select additional course(s) from Section 3, Social Science Foundations in Core Area E.

1430 Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW) Requirement

Effective for students entering fall term 2009 and thereafter, all students seeking baccalaureate degrees are required to pass two critical thinking through writing (CTW) courses in their majors. Students should consult the section of this Catalog that describes their major for its CTW requirements. CTW classes are unique to Georgia State University and therefore students cannot transfer equivalent credit from other universities.

1435 Critical Thinking, United States, and Global Issues Requirements

Critical Thinking (CT): The University System of Georgia requires all students to demonstrate competence in critical thinking. Students satisfy these requirements by earning a passing grade in PHIL 1010, SPCH 1000, PERS 2001, or PERS 2002. (See Section 1410.20)

United States (US): The University System of Georgia requires all students to demonstrate basic knowledge of the United States. Students satisfy these requirements by earning a passing grade in HIST 2110 or POLS 1101. (See Section 1410.50)

Global Issues (GL): The University System of Georgia requires all students to demonstrate basic knowledge of the global issues. Students satisfy these requirements by earning a passing grade in ECON 2100, HIST 1111, HIST 1112 or POLS 2401. (See Section 1410.50)

1437 Major Requirement and Minors Policy

In order to graduate, students must complete at least one major. Students may take a minor but they may have no more than two minors per degree. Double majors may have no more than two minors. Dual degree students may have no more than two minors for each degree (for a total of four).

Certain majors require a specific minor. This requirement is listed in the section of this Catalog that lists the requirements of that major.

No unit may prohibit a student from pursuing any minor available at Georgia State.

1440 Academic Residence Requirement

Academic residence is defined as being enrolled in one or more courses at Georgia State University; this is not to be confused with status as a legal resident of the State of Georgia for fee determination purposes. The minimum academic residence requirement for each baccalaureate degree is as follows:

  • The candidate must earn 39 semester hours at Georgia State in courses numbered 3000 or above with an average grade of at least a C (2.00 GPA); and
  • At least one-half of the hours comprising the major must be taken at Georgia State.

Up to 9 hours of 3000/4000 credit earned at another institution as part of an official Georgia State University joint degree, dual degree, or exchange program may be counted toward the academic residency requirement.

Transfer credit, credit by examination, credit by validation, CLEP credit, AP credit, IB credit, and courses specifically excluded by university policy cannot be used to meet the academic residence requirement.

1450 D Grade Credit Restriction

Georgia State University will allow no more than 12 semester hours of D grades to apply toward degree requirements of a baccalaureate program of study. This 12 semester hours includes both credit completed at Georgia State (resident credit) and transfer credit. Certain degree programs may designate a lesser number of D grades as acceptable. Consult your college’s chapter of this catalog for stricter requirements.

1460 GPA Requirement

In order to earn any Georgia State University baccalaureate degree a student must have at least a 2.00 institutional grade point average. If a student takes a course multiple times at another institution or at Georgia State, the grade earned in the final attempt will determine the applicability of the course to the degree requirements. (For example, some programs require a grade of C or better in a particular course). For details on taking a course more than once, see Section 1330.35.

1470 No I Requirement

No student may graduate with a grade of “I” (Incomplete) on his or her record for that degree program. All permanent grades for incomplete grades and grade changes for previous semesters should be received in the Office of the Registrar, Academic Records, in writing at least one week prior to the end of classes for the term. It is the student’s responsibility to see to it that incomplete grades are properly recorded in the appropriate offices by this deadline.

1480 Semester Hours Requirement

The curriculum for a baccalaureate degree at Georgia State University requires a minimum of 120 semester hours. Some programs require a higher number of semester hours. Students should consult the description of their program in this catalog to determine the number of semester hours required. Students must earn 25 percent or more of the credit hours required for the degree through Georgia State direct instruction.

The semester hours for graduation are calculated as follows:

Semester hours included:

  • Academic credit (transfer and Georgia State) in which grades A, B, C, D, S, or P are earned (except as excluded below) and
  • Credit earned through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and any other approved credit-by-examination

Semester hours excluded:

  • All hours earned in courses that are repeated except the final attempt
  • Hours earned in courses with course numbers below 1000
  • Courses (transfer and Georgia State) that are required to meet College Preparatory Curriculum deficiencies
  • GSU 1010, GSU 1050, and GSU 1060
  • Physical education “skills” courses KH 1010, KH 1020, KH 1030 (previous course prefixes: HPRD, HPRS, PE)

Questions may be directed to the Graduation Office, Citizen’s Trust Building, 75 Piedmont Avenue, registrar.gsu.edu/graduation/.

1490.10 Application for Graduation

All candidates for a degree must file a formal application for graduation with the Graduation Office. Students apply online and pay the graduation fee by logging into PAWS. To access the Graduation Application, select the Enrollment tab. The Application for Graduation link is located under the Updates/Requests Student Record section of the page. Once the link is selected, step-by-step instructions will be provided regarding the application process.

Students should apply two semesters prior to their anticipated term of completion.  For undergraduates this is normally when a student has earned 90 credit hours. Baccalaureate candidates must apply by the following deadlines before their expected term of graduation:

Term of Expected Graduation Deadline
Fall Semester June 15
Spring Semester September 15
Summer Semester January 15

This allows the university to audit the student’s records while there is time for the student to be notified and any issues to be addressed.

The Graduation Office will inform the student’s college when the application is filed. The Office of Academic Assistance of the student’s college will conduct an audit and inform the student of any remaining requirements. The Graduation Office conducts an independent audit the expected semester of graduation to ensure that all degree requirements will be satisfied.

Once a student applies for graduation by the deadline, the student can change their graduation date to a future date by completing the Change of Graduation  form, located on the graduation web site. Official transcripts of prior term course grades from institutions other than Georgia State University must be in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by the last day of registration of the semester of graduation. Any other documentation pertaining to non-Georgia State courses which is needed to determine if transfer credit can be granted (such as catalog descriptions or course outlines) must be received by the student’s Office of Academic Assistance by the last day of registration of the semester of graduation.

Students who wish to be transient students or who wish to participate in cross-registration for their remaining course work will graduate one semester after the term in which the last course to be transferred to Georgia State University has been taken. Such students must obtain advance permission to complete their degree elsewhere from their college’s Office of Academic Assistance.

1490.20 Graduation with Honors

Scholastic recognition at graduation will be given to each baccalaureate student who maintained a high grade point average. The specific award is based on the cumulative grade point average that the student has during their last term at Georgia State University.

Cum Laude 3.50-3.69
Magna Cum Laude 3.70-3.89
Summa Cum Laude 3.90-4.00 or higher

Honors noted on diplomas or transcripts are based on the cumulative grade point average at George State University after the last term grade point averages are calculated.

1490.25 Graduation Ceremonies

University Commencement Ceremonies are held at the end of the fall and spring academic terms. Individual academic areas may hold convocations at the end of both the fall and spring terms. You should consult with your academic college. In order to participate in the University Commencement ceremony, a student must have completed all degree requirements in accordance with rules and regulations found in this catalog. Students who have registered for all remaining degree requires in the summer and have applied for summer degree conferral may elect to participate in the spring ceremony. However, degree conferral will not occur until successful completion of the summer term. While the University holds only two Commencement ceremonies, degrees are conferred at the end of each term; fall, spring and summer, and diplomas are mailed approximately four weeks following degree conferral. Diplomas are mailed to the student’s mailing address of record. Students should keep their mailing addresses updated through PAWS at paws.gsu.edu. Allow four weeks following the official date of degree conferral for delivery of the diploma.

Students who indicated on the graduation application that they are attending the commencement ceremony are to purchase their regalia from the Georgia State University Bookstore. The bookstore can be reached at 404-413-9700, by e-mail at bookstore@gsu.edu, or online at http://services.gsu.edu/service/university-bookstore/. Commencement photography is also available. Complete information will be sent to degree candidates by the midpoint of their scheduled semester of graduation. If a student later decides not to attend the ceremony, he or she must notify the Graduation Office at 404-413-2248 or e-mail at graduation@gsu.edu.

Additional information concerning graduation procedures can be obtained through the graduation website.

1490.30 Exit Examinations

The university and the student’s college may require the completion of additional competency tests appropriate to a student’s program of study prior to graduation. Information relative to these tests is available in the student’s college.

Any student failing to demonstrate required proficiency on any competency test may be required to complete such additional courses as are necessary to correct the deficiency. Courses required and completed under this provision may be with or without academic credit and may be required without regard to prior course credits in these disciplines.

1490.40 Posthumous Undergraduate Degrees

A posthumous undergraduate degree shall be awarded at the request of or with concurrence of the family or friends of the deceased if, at the time of death, the student was 15 or fewer semester hours short of the semester hours required to complete the degree the student was seeking and the student had a minimum Georgia State University cumulative GPA of 2.00. Additionally, a posthumous degree may be awarded through the normal process of petition for a waiver of the university’s graduation requirements. A request for a posthumous degree should be made to the Office of the Dean of Students.