Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Graduation Requirements

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:

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 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.

Limitation of Credit

The number of credits allowed toward any baccalaureate degree may be limited by the following:

Mathematics Preparatory Skills Requirement

Chapman University requires all students to satisfy a basic mathematics preparatory skills requirement within a student's first two semesters at Chapman University. Meeting any one of the following criteria will satisfy the mathematics preparatory skills requirement.

Any admitted student who has not met the requirement by test score or by qualifying transfer course must register for either MATH 98 or MATH 99. Once a student begins taking classes at Chapman University, a student must complete this requirement in residence at Chapman. Students placed into MATH 98 must complete MATH 99 the following term. MATH 98 and MATH 99 are Pass/No Pass courses. Students may not drop MATH 98 or MATH 99 without the permission of the University Registrar.

Students who are enrolled in either MATH 98 or MATH 99 and do not receive a Pass grade must meet with the mathematics program director before the next registration period in order to be able to register for classes. The program director will work with the student to develop a plan of action to complete this requirement.

Students who so not make progress in completing the mathematics preparatory skills requirement by the end of their first year of attendance may be subject to credit limitation at the discretion of the Undergraduate Academic Council, which oversees student progress for this requirement.

Mathematics preparatory skills credits do not count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.

General Education Program

Students may share credits between General Education requirements and degree requirements in the following ways:

Students may not share courses in the Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster with their major or major discipline, or with other General Education requirements.

Shared Inquiry Courses (18–19 credits)

Courses in the Shared Inquiry 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:

Exploration Clusters (27 credits)

All Chapman students design a uniquely Chapman experience in the First–Year Foundations Course (FFC), an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster and the Global Citizen Cluster through focused, self–selected courses or experiential learning opportunities.

  1. First–Year Foundations Course (3 credits):

    In FFC, the student critically analyzes and communicates complex issues and ideas. FFC courses focus more on critical engagement, exploration and communication related to complex issues than on mastering a body of material. The First–Year Foundations 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 in 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.

  2. Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster (12 credits):

    Exploring an area of interest from an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary focus, students complete four related courses selected from a list of pre-approved clusters, outside of the student's designated program or major. At least two courses in the cluster must be upper–division. A second major or a minor fulfills this requirement. Students must declare an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster, minor or second major prior to completing 60 credits. Students who complete 60 credits and have not declared an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster will be assigned a registration hold. No course in the student's major discipline can be used to satisfy cluster requirements, even if the course is not being used to satisfy major requirements.

  3. Global Citizen Cluster (12 credits):
  1. Global Study (6 credits):

    Students connect contemporary social and/or environmental topics to their origins and analyze their effects on our increasingly globalized world. Study abroad, an international travel course or experiential learning pre-approved for this Global Study (i.e., 120 hours of documented work relating to the category) is strongly recommended and may be used to satisfy credits in this portion of the General Education program.

  2. Citizenship, Community and Service (3 credits):

    Students select a learning experience from one of the following three categories:




  3. Language Study (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], an upper-division language course taught in the language or documented functional language use. Students are expected to start satisfying this requirement at the beginning of their sophomore year at the latest.

Majors and Minors


Credits and specific courses are determined by departments, see department listing. 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 as well as a minimum of 2.000 average on a 4.000 scale in the major overall and in upper–division coursework. A lower–division course accepted as a substitution or equivalent to an upper–division course does not count toward this requirement.

Declaration of a Major and an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster (or a Minor or Second 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.

When declaring a minor, second major and/or second minor students should be aware that certain combinations are not allowed. 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 must declare an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster, minor or second major prior to 60 credits. Students who complete 60 credits and have not declared an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster, minor or second major will be assigned a registration hold.

Self–Designed Major

Dual Major with the Same Degree

Dual Bachelor’s Degree (two different degrees)

Second Major with the Same Degree

Once a degree has been conferred:

Second Bachelor’s Degree with First Degree Earned at Chapman

Once a degree has been conferred:

Second Bachelor's Degree with First Degree Not Earned at Chapman

Minors (optional)

SelfDesigned Minor

Change of Program Form

All forms for "Change of Program" require approval signature by department chair of the new program. 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.

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 Program 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. The following changes to student academic records will not be made during the registration appointment period: