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General Bulletin 2006-2008

Other Requirements

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, 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 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 majors—all 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 only be awarded with 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 a Course Schedule published by the Office of the Registrar or go to the Office of Liberal Education Web site ( See the Miami Plan chapter in this Bulletin.

Basic Personal Computer Proficiency

Incoming students are expected to demonstrate a minimum proficiency with the use of a personal computer and basic software programs. These minimum proficiencies include:

  1. the ability to use the Internet to find and retrieve information including: locating an Internet site given a URL; navigating between information sources; doing basic searches using a major Internet search service; and submitting information via on-line forms.
  2. the ability to use electronic mail as a form of communication including: sending an e-mail when given an e-mail address; responding to an e-mail; sending e-mail to a group of individuals; and sending and receiving attachments as part of an e-mail.
  3. the ability to use a word processing program to create and edit documents including: creating a new document; editing an existing document; changing the format of text; and changing margins, page orientation, and other elements of page layout.
  4. the ability to use an operating system including copying or moving a file to or from removeable media; finding files or folders on a local hard drive; and creating a sub-directory (folder).

Students who have not acquired these skills prior to entering the university will be provided with training opportunies during their first semester.

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

Associate’s Degree

An associate’s 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’s 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

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 a bachelor’s degree, basic requirements for graduation include:

  • Fulfillment of the Miami Plan:
        Foundation courses 36 semester hours
        Thematic Sequence 9 semester hours
        Capstone Experience 3 semester hours
        Field (major/minor 80-86 semester hours
        courses, divisional requirements, electives)
    Total 128 semester hours
  • 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 an arts- professional arrangement program, in which you transfer to another university after three years, you must earn 96 Miami hours in the College of Arts and Science. 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. Applications for graduation are available at the Office of the Registrar, 102 Campus Avenue Building. After your application is processed, your account will be assessed the appropriate fee, and you will be billed by the Bursar’s office.

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 should be received no later than 30 working days before commencement.

If you apply for graduation and then do not qualify for the degree, you must pay a re-application fee and notify the Office of the Registrar 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 ( You may also request a DARS at the Office of the Registrar, 102 Campus Avenue Building; a picture I.D. is required.

Student Responsibility

Although all students are offered academic advice throughout their time here—through freshman advisers, academic departments, and deans’ offices—please understand that the final responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements rests with you, the student.

Graduation with Distinction and Honors

Grades from all course work taken at Miami University will be used in calculating eligibility for graduation with honors.

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 requirements of the University Honors Program and achieve a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.5 upon completion of the credit hours required for graduation. University Honors With Distinction are awarded to University Honors students completing an Honors thesis in addition to Honors Program course requirements and a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.5 upon completion of the credit hours required 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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