Miami University: Documents and Policies: General Bulletin

Divisions, Majors, and Minors

Academic Divisions and Departments

Miami University has seven academic divisions: College of Arts and Science, Richard T. Farmer School of Business Administration, School of Education and Allied Professions, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Fine Arts, School of Interdisciplinary Studies (Western College Program), and Graduate School.

Within the undergraduate divisions are the academic departments, offering major and minor programs. So, for example, if your major is systems analysis, you are in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The Western College Program works differently; it is explained in that chapter.All majors, minors, degrees, and certificate programs are listed in the General Information chapter.

For a degree, you must fulfill three sets of requirements: the Miami Plan for Liberal Education, the requirements of your academic division, and the requirements of your major. If you have admission prerequisites to be met, those also must be completed. Often these requirements overlap; that is, one course may fulfill several requirements.


Your major is your primary field of study, such as architecture, geography, etc. Your major program requirements are described in your academic division chapter of this Bulletin. For example, requirements for a degree in geography are listed in the The College of Arts and Science chapter. All majors are listed in the General Information chapter.

Although you do not need to choose a major when you enroll, you are required to choose a division. In most cases, if you use your first year to take courses that fulfill a part of the Miami Plan and divisional requirements, you can still complete a major with no delay.To declare your major, after taking classes for a semester or more, request a change/declaration of major form from your divisional office, complete the information, and have your department chair sign. When you return it to your divisional office, your program information is transferred to your academic records.


A minor is a second field of study taken along with a major. Taking a minor is optional. This is a specific program that may widen your primary area of interest or increase your career opportunities. Most minors require fewer hours than majorsall require at least 18 semester hours in a specified program. Minors may be offered within one department or across several departments.

Minors are offered in many fields of study. A list of minors is in the General Information chapter; requirements for each minor are included in each division's chapter.

To earn a minor, these are the minimum requirements (some minors require more):
  • Notify the department or chair of the interdepartmental committee that you will be taking the minor.
  • You must have a 2.0 grade point average (g.p.a.) for all courses in a minor. Some minor programs may require a higher g.p.a.
  • All courses taken for the minor must be for a grade, not for credit/no-credit, unless exceptions are stated.
  • When you apply for graduation, you must indicate on your application that you are receiving a certain minor. A minor can be awarded with an associate or a bachelor's degree.
You may have more than one minor. All minors you complete are noted on your academic record. Courses used to satisfy the requirements for one minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for another minor or major. Not all major programs allow students to record certain minors, and some minors are open only to certain majors. Check with your adviser for more information.

Students who entered the university in 1997-98 academic year or later may use a minor to meet the Miami Plan Thematic Sequence requirement if the minor is outside their department of major and if it includes a Thematic Sequence. See the Miami Plan chapter for more information.

Changing a Major or Minor

To change your major or minor, go to your divisional dean's office and request a change/declaration of major form, fill in the information, and have your department chair sign it. When you return the form to your divisional office, your program information is transferred to your academic record.If you need to change divisions, go to the new divisional dean's office to request the form.

Additional Major, Minor, or Degree

With careful planning, you can complete requirements for more than one major, minor, and/or more than one degree. Early in your program, notify the Registrar's office, your divisional office(s), and departments involved, so this will be noted on your academic records and you will have advisers for your programs.

You must pay a graduation fee for each degree you earn.

If you have already received a bachelor's degree from another accredited college or university, you can qualify for a degree from Miami by earning an additional 32 semester hours and meeting all requirements for the additional degree.

Miami Plan Thematic Sequence

To enroll in a Thematic Sequence, contact the person or department listed in The Curricular Guide to the Miami Plan for Liberal Education published by the Office of Liberal Education or a Course Schedule or Course Planning Guide, published by the Office of the Registrar. See the Miami Plan chapter in this Bulletin.

Physical Education

Physical education is optional. No more than 10 semester hours of physical education courses numbered 110 - 170 can count toward a bachelor's degree; no more than five semester hours can count toward an associate's degree.

Credit More Than 10 Years Old

If your course of study is prolonged beyond 10 years, curricula changes adopted after your entrance date as a degree candidate may be required by the university, division, or department.

Students who have earned credits more than 10 years before their planned graduation date must petition to their divisional committee of advisers to validate these credits. Students are responsible for supplying course descriptions or a college catalog from those colleges previously attended.

Requirements for Graduation

All degrees, majors, and minors, are listed in the General Information chapter.

Associate Degree

An associate degree, generally offered only on the regional campuses, requires:
  • At least 64 semester hours, including 16 hours from Hamilton or Middletown campuses (An exception to this is the Associate in Arts; see below.)
  • Fulfillment of the Miami Plan for Liberal Education appropriate to your associate degree.
  • Six of your last 10 hours must be taken at Miami University
  • At least a 2.0 cumulative g.p.a.
  • Fulfillment of your program requirements
  • Applying for graduation whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony
If you continue your education past 64 semester hours and your g.p.a. falls below 2.0, you can still receive an associate's degree if your g.p.a. was 2.0 at the time you finished 64 semester hours and your degree requirements. Your academic record will show when you have completed the requirements, and your associate's degree will be awarded at the next commencement.

Associate in Arts Degree

The Associate in Arts in general studies is available to any Miami University student. For this degree, 32 of the required 64 semester hours must be from any Miami campus. See the program requirements in the Miami University Hamilton and Middletown chapter.

Bachelor's Degree

For the bachelor's degree, the basic requirements for graduation include:
  • Fulfillment of the Miami Plan:
    36 semester hours of Foundation Courses
    9 semester hours of Thematic Sequence
    3 semester hours of Capstone Experience
    80-86 semester hours of Field (major/minor courses, divisional requirements, electives)
    128 semester hours Total
  • Of the total 128 semester hours, at least 32 must be from Miami University (any campus), including 12 of the final 20 hours required for the bachelor's degree.
  • At least a 2.0 cumulative g.p.a.
  • If you are enrolled in one of the professional arrangement programs, in which you transfer to another university after three years, you must earn 96 Miami hours in the College of Arts and Science or 64 hours in the Richard T. Farmer School of Business Administration. In all cases, 32 of your last 40 hours must be from Miami.
  • Applying for graduation whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony.
Application for Graduation

To graduate, whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony, you must submit an application and pay a fee. If you earn more than one degree, you must pay a graduation fee for each. A graduation application is sent to you at the end of your junior year. (You can also get an application from the Commencement Office.) After you return your application to the Commencement Office, your account will be assessed the appropriate fee, and you will be billed by the Bursar's office. (Application fees for doctoral degrees cannot be billed.)

You are encouraged to apply for graduation at least a semester in advance. This way, routine checks can be made in time to inform you of any problems in meeting your degree requirements.

Applications must be received no later than 30 working days before commencement. After that date, applications will be deferred to the following commencement.

If you apply for graduation and then do not qualify for the degree, you must pay a re-application fee and notify the Commencement Office of the date you intend to finish your requirements. All deadlines applicable to first-time applications apply to re-applications.

Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)

A DARS shows your completed course work and current registration matched with degree requirements of your declared major; it identifies deficiencies and lists courses to satisfy specific requirements. The report assists you, your adviser, and the university in determining your progress toward completion of your program requirements and serves as a graduation check.

Your DARS is available online here . You may also request a DARS at the Commencement office, 106 Campus Avenue Building; a picture I.D. is required.

Student Responsibility

Although all students are offered academic advice throughout their time herethrough freshman advisers, academic departments, and deans' officesplease understand that the final responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements rests with you, the student.

Graduation with Distinction

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree can graduate with distinction by achieving a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.5 (cum laude), 3.75 (magna cum laude), or 3.9 (summa cum laude), provided they earn at least 64 credit hours from Miami.

Students pursuing an associate's degree can graduate with distinction by achieving a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.5 (cum laude), 3.75 (magna cum laude), or 3.9 (summa cum laude), provided they earn at least 32 credit hours from Miami.

For students who earn fewer than 64 credit hours from Miami toward a bachelor's degree or fewer than 32 credit hours from Miami toward an associate's degree, the cumulative g.p.a. to determine eligibility for distinction at graduation is the lower of the following averages: (1) average for all courses taken from Miami or (2) combined average using grades from all college-level courses.

Departmental Honors are achieved by students who complete additional study in their major area through a Departmental Honors program.

University Honors are awarded to students who complete the first year, upperclass, and senior course requirements of the University Honors Program and achieve a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.5 upon completion of the required credit hours for graduation.

Departmental Honors, University Honors, President's List, and Dean's List recognitions are described in the Special Opportunities and Programs chapter.

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