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:

Preparatory Skills Requirement

The mathematics preparatory skills requirement may be satisfied by a passing score on the mathematics placement test, a score of 570 or higher on the mathematics section of the SAT for tests taken March 2016 or later, a score of 540 if taken prior, a score of 23 or higher on the mathematics subscore of the ACT or a qualifying transfer course* at the time of matriculation. Any student entering or returning to the University whose preparatory skills requirement has not been met will be automatically enrolled in the appropriate course (Math 98 or Math 99). Students may not drop the course during fall or spring semesters unless the requirement is satisfied through alternative means before the last day to withdraw from courses. Additionally, students may not drop the course until the Office of the University Registrar has fully processed the qualifying score or transfer course and the Office of the Provost has granted permission to drop. Students given permission to drop Math 98, but not Math 99 before the last day to add classes will be enrolled in Math 99.

Failure to pass either course prevents the student from completing the requirement on time, resulting in a violation of the policy. Upon receiving a no–pass grade in MATH 99 or upon completing two full semesters without fulfilling the preparatory skills requirement, the student must petition the Undergraduate Academic Council for permission to continue his or her studies at Chapman. Failure to receive approval from the Undergraduate Academic Council prior to the first day of classes will cause all classes except for MATH 98 or MATH 99 to be dropped from the student’s schedule and further registration will be prohibited until the math preparatory skills requirement is completed.

Students who drop Math 98 or 99 during the spring or fall semesters without the express permission of the Office of the Provost will be administratively re–enrolled in the course, will receive a No Pass grade, will be put on administrative probation and will not be allowed into further coursework until the requirement is completed. Failure to attend the assigned course is also subject to the above penalties.

Once a student matriculates at Chapman, the preparatory skills courses will have to be taken at Chapman. [A student who is waived out of a mathematics prerequisite to a course they are enrolled in will still have to take MATH 98 and 99.] Students who need preparatory skills courses must complete them satisfactorily by the end of their first year at Chapman. Otherwise, they will not be allowed into further coursework until the requirement is completed.

Preparatory skills credits do not count toward the 120 credits required for graduation. All preparatory skills courses are graded Pass/No Pass.

*Courses at the precollege level (e.g., algebra) are not transferable and will not satisfy this requirement.

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 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. 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 preapproved 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 that focuses on citizenship, community or service and study the theoretical and applied aspects of political, civic or social engagement in group affiliations. This can be accomplished by taking an approved course or engaging in a service–learning experience under the advisement of a faculty member. The service–learning experience must include an academic component and be registered for credit.

    To be eligible for Citizenship, Community and Service credit the service–learning experience must receive prior approval. The service–learning experience may be one of the following:

    Pre–approval may be obtained by sending a copy directly to the vice provost for undergraduate education prior to beginning the project. Approval for GE status will not be provided after a project is completed. To obtain this pre–approval students must send a copy of the course registration form for one of the following:

    1. 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], a 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.
  3. 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 preapproved 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.

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: