What are the graduation requirements?

We won't replicate all the requirements here; there is a nice (and thorough) explanation of them on pages 27-35 of the Course Catalog.

However, here are a few things for Bachelor of Arts candidates to keep in mind.

To graduate, you will need to complete 216 units—approximately 36 courses. (A "unit" is a component of one Lawrence University course; most courses are 6 units.)

This means you'll generally take 9 courses each year, neatly divided into 3 courses for each trimester (Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms).

Academic work during your time at Lawrence breaks roughly into three parts:

  • General Education requirements, which include:
    • Freshman Studies (two terms)
    • Distribution Requirements
      • one course from each of Lawrence's four major divisions: fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences
    • Diversity Courses (two courses)
      • a global perspective (i.e., outside Europe and the U.S.)
      • a dimensional perspective (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender) 
    • Competency Requirements (at least three courses)
      • one writing or speaking competency
      • one quantitative analysis
      • foreign language, achieved by completing one course at level 200 level or above, which is essentially the third course in a language sequence. Students may fulfill this with a 4 or 5 on an AP foreign language exam or by passing a proficiency test administered by a Lawrence foreign language department.
  • Academic major requirements, a concentration of courses in an academic area of your choice
  • Elective courses, flexible space in your curriculum which you can use to:
    • complete another major
    • complete a minor or two
    • complete a whole bunch of courses that you find interesting, but don't add up to a major or minor

Note that any course you take in your first term at Lawrence will fulfill at least one of the three graduation components—General Ed, major, or electives.

In other words, you will not set your graduation off course by the choices you make this summer... and you'll still be able to review and modify your registration when you meet with your advisor during Welcome Week.

Key Resources

Planning Your Academic Program. This is a list of important things to consider and do as you prepare for your academic life at Lawrence. We suggest that you use a computer (not a smart phone) to navigate the website, because the list of things is pretty long. If you'd rather use a smart phone, simply download the PDF of the site, and use your favorite PDF reader (Kindle, Adobe Reader, etc.) to navigate and annotate the page as you like.

The Course Catalog, wherein you will find all of the official academic policies of Lawrence, along with degree requirements and descriptions of each of the courses Lawrence offers. (You will also find a couple mentions of the word, "wherein.") Some of this you will read, but much of it you will scan. For the summer, use the 2015–2016 version. (The 2016–2017 edition will be available in the fall.)

Class Schedule. Before you jump to the website, note that you should click the link in the second box that says "Class Schedule or Schedule Search." Either link will help you get a sense of what courses will be offered at what times this fall. If you visit the Class Schedule before July 1, you'll note that Spring 2016 classes are the first courses listed. Scroll down till you get to Fall 2016 to see what pertains to you.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit and Placement Policy 2015–2016. You might consult this as you're considering the classes you'll take in the fall term.

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