Degree Requirements (A.04.01)


All Undergraduate Students.


The University of St. Thomas awards the following bachelor’s degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Pastoral Theology (BTh)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)

The purpose of this policy is to outline the requirements for these degrees.


01. Core Curriculum

“In promoting this integration of knowledge, a specific part of a Catholic University’s task is to promote dialogue between faith and reason, so that it can be seen more profoundly how faith and reason bear witness to the unity of all truth …a vital interaction of two distinct levels of coming to know the one truth leads to a greater love for truth itself, and contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the meaning of human life and of the purpose of God’s creation.”

–Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 17

The founders of the University of St. Thomas stated clearly that their objective was to fashion an institution that would prepare men and women for life. Neither they nor their successors excluded professional training and education from the curriculum. They admitted, however, in the first University catalog, that their educational ideal was “primarily cultural.” They sought “the education of the whole man and his preparation for life on all human levels as opposed to a restricted professional formation.”

All students at the University of St. Thomas study literature, history, mathematics, natural science, a foreign language, social science, communication skills (speaking, writing) and fine arts. Liberal education should include at least some appreciation of these areas of study. Unlike those attending many similar institutions, our students, regardless of their religion (and all are welcome), must also must also engage in extensive study of both theology and philosophy. The first University catalog stated that “the University of St. Thomas gives the place of honor to theology as queen of the sciences.” In so doing, the University is reaffirming the traditional practice of the Church in her university program, since Pope Gregory IX issued the charter of the University of Paris in 1232, the first in the Christian West. According to that tradition, “religious truth is not merely a portion of general knowledge, but its very condition.” Philosophy was, and is, viewed as complementing theology by responding to the deepest questions posed by our minds as we seek to understand our relation to God, nature, time and culture.

The breadth provided by the core curriculum better prepares our students for their chosen major programs and their professions. The earliest University catalogs, including the first one, for the 1947 inaugural year, cited a passage from the writings of Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) to explain the objectives of the University of St. Thomas:

Here, then, I conceive, is the object of the Holy See and the Catholic Church in setting up universities; it is to reunite things which were in the beginning joined together by God, and have been put asunder by man. It will not satisfy me, what satisfies so many, to have two independent systems, intellectual and religious, going at once side by side, by a sort of division of labor, and only accidentally brought together. It will not satisfy me, if religion is here and science there, and young men converse with science all day long and lodge with religion in the evening. I wish the intellect to range with the utmost freedom, and religion to enjoy an equal freedom, but what I am stipulating is, that they should be found in one and the same place, and exemplified in the same persons.

– Sermon I, Sermons on Various Occasions

The core curriculum is the foundation of the University’s liberal education, in its extent and interconnections a program of studies that forms and informs minds, attempting to liberate them from ignorance of essential truths about human existence, accomplishments, and dignity. Shared by all students, this curriculum is the principal means by which the University imparts its core values and carries out its combined moral, intellectual, and religious mission.

Core Curriculum Goals (Approved 2004)

  1. To promote the pursuit of knowledge both for its own sake and to form habits of mind through which knowledge can mature into wisdom and understanding can stimulate the contemplation of truth, goodness, and beauty.
  2. To educate the whole person – academically, socially, and spiritually – in order to prepare students for meaningful lives and inspire them to continuous learning that confronts essential and enduring questions about the meaning and conduct of human life.
  3. To encourage an ongoing dialogue between faith and reason and the encounter between culture and the Gospel as ways of integrating knowledge, achieving an organic vision of reality, and deepening an understanding of God and His revelation in the person of Jesus Christ as mediated through Scripture and the Church.
  4. To affirm the dignity of the human person as the source of social justice, respect for human rights, and regard for the proper interests of communities.
  5. To develop competence in critical thinking, critical reading, effective writing, and oral communication in necessary relation to the skills of gathering, interpreting, synthesizing, and presenting information with integrity and clarity.
  6. To understand the bearing of the past on the present and the future and to appreciate the historical character of human inquiry in exploring the principal philosophical, religious, political, literary, and aesthetic traditions of Western and world culture.
  7. To cultivate a critical appreciation of art and literature that arouses wonder and forms the imagination in its engagement with the enduring cultural and spiritual values inherent in great works of human creativity.
  8. To develop aptitude in quantitative reasoning together with knowledge of the methodology of the natural and social sciences in order to foster appreciation of scientific thinking for understanding nature and human behavior.
  9. To inculcate ethical thinking in judging conduct and reflecting on the moral implications of developments in science, technology, business, and society in order to promote making decisions on the basis of transcendent moral values.
  10. To nurture the study and appreciation of other languages and cultures as a means of promoting charity, understanding, and respect for the diversity of cultural forms, religious beliefs, and social practices; and, in all, to help prepare students for a life of service in a culturally diverse and changing world. (Approved 2004)

Core Components

1. Theology and Philosophy

24 credit hours combined total as follows:

  1. 9 credit hours of theology: THEO 1300, then THEO 2300, and then any upper-division THEO course.
  2. 9 credit hours of philosophy: three consecutive courses in either the historical or the systematic sequence; and
  3. 6 credit hours of approved courses in theology and/or philosophy.
Core Theology requirements

All students (except transfers with 60+ credit hours: see below) complete 3 courses (9 credit hours) in theology, The additional 6 credit hour requirement in theology/ philosophy may be completed by taking both courses in theology, philosophy or by completing one course in each discipline for a total of 24 credit hours. These courses must be taken in the order shown.

The first three 3 theology courses are:

  1. THEO 1300/3300 Teachings of the Catholic Church
  2. THEO 2300/3310 Introduction to the Sacred Scriptures
  3. THEO Any 3000/4000-level THEO course

Students who transfer 60 or more credit hours may satisfy the theology core requirement by completing THEO 3300 (See 1300 / 3300 under Course Offerings below.) and THEO 3310.

Core Philosophy requirements

Students choose either the systematic sequence or the historical sequence as the first three philosophy courses required for the core curriculum, but they must complete one entire three-course sequence. These courses must be taken in the order shown.

Systematic Sequence
  1. PHIL 1311 Philosophy of the Human Person
  2. PHIL 2314 Ethics
  3. PHIL 3313 Metaphysics
Historical Sequence
  1. PHIL 1315 (3315) Ancient Philosophy
  2. PHIL 2316 (3316) Medieval Philosophy
  3. PHIL 3317 Modern Philosophy

Students taking the four- or five-course requirement must complete either of the three-course sequences and any other one or two courses. PHIL 1311 and 1315 may not both be taken, nor both PHIL 1315 and 3315. Students who enroll with 60+ hours of transfer credit and who intend to take only the two-course requirement should take PHIL 3315 and PHIL 3316 to ensure earning sufficient upper-division credit for graduation.

The 9 credit hour core requirement in philosophy cannot be completed with courses from both sequences, nor may both first-year philosophy courses be applied to the combined core requirement in theology and philosophy.

Courses beyond the initial 9 credit hours may be taken in either sequence with the exception just noted. Freshmen are required to complete 6 credit hours of theology and/or philosophy in their first 30 hours of enrollment.

Students who transfer with 1-29 credit hours are required to complete the 24-hour requirement as outlined above.

Students who transfer with 30-59 credit hours are required to complete 9 credit hours in both theology and philosophy, as follows: THEO 1300, THEO 2300 and one additional upper-division THEO course. One three-course sequence in philosophy.

Students who transfer with 60+ credit hours are required to complete 6 credit hours in both theology and philosophy. Following are the recommended courses for students who need upper-division credit to fulfill the graduation requirement of 36 credit hours of 3000-4000 level courses: THEO 3300, THEO 3310, PHIL 3315, PHIL 3316.

All students are required to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours in both theology and philosophy at the University of St. Thomas.

2. English

12 credit hours completed in the order shown below. Freshmen are required to complete 6 credit hours of English in their first 30 hours of enrollment.

Freshmen and transfer students with no English credits:

  1. ENGL 1341 The Classical Tradition: Literature and Composition I
  2. ENGL 1342 The Middle Ages and Renaissance: Literature and Composition II
  3. ENGL 2312 The Modern World: Literature and Composition III
  4. ENGL Any 3000/4000-level English course except 3341 or 4399

Students transferring in 3 credit hours of English credit must take:

  1. ENGL 1341 The Classical Tradition: Literature and Composition I
  2. ENGL 1342 The Middle Ages and Renaissance: Literature and Composition II
  3. ENGL 2312 The Modern World: Literature and Composition III

Students transferring in 6 credit hours of English credit must take:

  1. ENGL 3312 Perspectives in World Literature &
  2. ENGL Any other 3000/4000 level English course except 3341 or 4399

Students transferring in 9 credit hours of English credit must take:

  1. ENGL 3312 Perspectives in World Literature.

3. Foreign Language

Six credit hours, that is, two courses completed in the approved order. Languages offered are Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, French, German, (Classical) Greek, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish.

4. History

Six credit hours of history from the following selections:

Freshmen and sophomores:

  1. HIST 1335 - World Community I and
  2. HIST 1336 - World Community II


  1. HIST 2333 - United States to 1877 and
  2. HIST 2334 - United States since 1877

Students transferring 60 or more credit hours may take:

  1. HIST 3303 - Europe: The Middle Ages and
  2. HIST 3304 - Europe: The Early Modern Age


  1. HIST 3331 - Age of Revolutions: Europe 1715-1870 and
  2. HIST 3332 - Era of Great Wars: Europe 1870-1950

The two history core courses do not have to be taken in sequential order.

5. Social and Behavioral Sciences

Six credit hours from among economics, geography, international studies, political science, psychology and sociology.

6. Natural Sciences

Eight credit hours of laboratory sciences (2 four-credit lecture & lab courses, or 2 three-credit lectures with corresponding one-credit-hour labs) from among astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science and studies, geology and physics. Students who transfer natural science courses that did not include a laboratory component may fulfill the core requirement in whole (6 credit hours) or in part (3 credit hours). Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

7. Mathematics

Three credit hours of college-level mathematics.

8. Oral Communication

Three credit hours.

a. School of Arts and Sciences – one of the following courses:

  1. COMM 1331 - Public Speaking
  2. COMM 2332 - Persuasion and Argumentation

b. Pastoral Studies majors:

  1. YBPH 3200 - Homiletics Practicum

c. Cameron School of Business (Accounting, General Business, Marketing and Finance majors):

  1. MGMT 3320 - Business Communications

d. School of Education:

  1. MS 3333 - Oral Communication

9. Fine Arts

Three credit hours. Ensemble, studio and applied fine arts courses do not fulfill the core requirement

a. Schools of Arts and Sciences and Business - one of the following courses:

  1. ARTHS 1350 - Introduction to the Visual Arts
  2. ARTHS 2351 - Survey of Art I
  3. ARTHS 2352 - Survey of Art II

Any upper-division Art History course

  1. DRAM 1330 - Introduction to the Theatre
  2. DRAM 3329 - Screenwriting
  3. DRAM 3331 – Playwriting
  4. DRAM 3340/3341 Theater History I & II

Approved Special Topics courses in DRAM

  1. MUSC 2363 - Basic Musicianship I
  2. MUSC 3340 - Music and Western Civilization
  3. Any upper-division Music course Arts-related Special Topics (4393) courses with departmental approval.

b. School of Education:

  1. MS 3376 – Essentials of Fine Arts

The upper-division courses are appropriate for transfer students who need 3000/4000 level credit hours. See individual department course listings for any enrollment restrictions

02. Additional requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees

  1. Completion of:
    1. a major or approved program in which at least 50 percent of the required upper-division credit hours in the major field are completed at the University of St. Thomas (exceptions: no requirement for General Studies, Liberal Arts or Integrated Humanities majors);
    2. at least 36 credit hours of upper-division credit (3000-4000 course numbers);
    3. at least 120 hours of quality credit (a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0);
    4. the final 36 credit hours earned in residence at the University.
  2. Transfer students entering with 60 credit hours or more must attempt the mathematics requirement within their first year of attendance at the University. All other students, transfer and non-transfer, must attempt the mathematics requirement within their first 60 credit hours (including transfer hours).
  3. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree will ordinarily follow the degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their first matriculation into the University, or they may follow the requirements of any subsequent catalog in effect during their continued enrollment. To update to a newer catalog, please use the Declaration of Catalog Form found on the myStThom student portal. Students who leave the university for four or more consecutive regular semesters (fall and spring) subsequently reenroll must follow either the degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their reenrollment or the requirements of any subsequent catalog in effect during their continued enrollment. Ordinarily, a student must follow all the requirements of the catalog chosen. Exceptions may arise if the program requirements must be revised to implement new educational standards recommended or required by federal or state agencies, professional societies or the University’s faculty.
  4. Students must file for graduation the semester prior to graduation via myStThom. The Office of the Registrar will post the dates by which a graduating student should file for graduation.
  5. All financial obligations to the University must be satisfied before the University issues a diploma or an official transcript to a student.

03. The Major

To receive a bachelor’s degree, a student must complete the requirements of at least one major program. A major consists of a defined group of courses, usually within a single discipline, designed to give the student in-depth knowledge of a specific field of study. A major may also consist of a planned group of courses from more than one discipline.

A major requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, at least 15 of which must be upper division. In a single subject area, the major should not exceed 42 semester hours for the BA, 45 semester hours for the BBA, and 48 semester hours for the BS. When major programs require courses from another discipline, however, the combined total number of hours may exceed these limits. A minimum of 50 percent of the required upper-division hours must be completed at the University of St. Thomas (except in the case of the Liberal Arts/General Studies majors, for which there in no minimum requirement).

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in their major. This requirement applies to both majors in a joint major program. With the approval of the appropriate school dean, individual departments may set higher standards for their majors. Students may not take courses required for their major on a “Pass/Fail” basis.

A student may formally declare a ma major by completing the Declaration/Change of Major Form and filing it with the Registrar. A student must declare a major after completing 59 credit hours. This is usually done during the early academic advising period before classification as a junior occurs, and is a requirement for registration beyond 59 credit hours. Students who have reached 60 hours (junior status) without having declared a major will have a hold placed on their records that will prevent them from registering for classes.

04. Multiple Majors

The University offers both double-major and joint-major options. In all cases, students must confer with the appropriate department chairs to develop degree plans ensuring that course and credit-hour requirements are current and documented.

05. The Minor

The University encourages students to complete one or more minors; that is, a planned sequence of courses in a discipline other than the student’s major. A minor consists of between 15 and 24 credit hours, at least 9 of which must be upper-division credit, and 9 of which must be taken at the University of St. Thomas. Consult the department and program sections of this catalog for requirements for specific minor programs.

Students are responsible for timely consulting of departments offering subjects in which they wish to earn a minor or the director or contact person for a minor program to ensure fulfillment of the requirements. Each minor is noted on the student’s transcript.

A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 is required for a minor. A student may not take courses required for a minor on a “Pass/Fail” basis.

06. Joint Major Programs

A joint major is a two-track program of study. It provides the opportunity for a student to develop a wider range of interest than allowed by a single-discipline major. A joint major is distinguished from a double major. Whereas a double major includes all major requirements of the departments involved, a joint major consolidates the requirements of the cooperating departments.

A joint major program is developed by two cooperating departments and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. All core requirements of the University must be met.
  2. The student must have approval of both cooperating departments and have an advisor from each.
  3. Neither department will require as many credit hours in its portion of the joint major as it requires for a regular major.
  4. Neither department will reduce the credit hours required within its discipline by more than 6 credit hours.
  5. Neither department will reduce its related requisite hours by more than 6 credit hours.
  6. If both departments require a capstone experience, the student must complete only one of them.
  7. The student must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in both majors or a higher GPA if a department requires it.

For details, prospective joint majors should consult the catalog entry of the departments in which they have an interest and take care to follow #1 and #2 above.

07. Additional Bachelor’s degree

A student with a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas may earn an additional bachelor’s degree by completing the degree requirements. A minimum of 36 additional credit hours is required.

A student with a bachelor’s degree from another recognized accredited institution may qualify for a UST bachelor’s degree by earning a minimum of 36 credit hours at the University of St. Thomas for each additional degree and by fulfilling the general core requirements for the degree and the specific requirements for the new major program. The exception to fulfilling the regular UST core curriculum in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). See the School of Nursing section of the catalog for more details.

Students planning to earn an additional degree should consult Office of Academic Advising to develop a degree plan prior to first registration at the University.

08. Additional Majors or Minors

Graduates of the University of St. Thomas who hold a baccalaureate degree may earn additional majors and minors by completing the departmental requirements for each major or minor. The student is responsible for tracking this additional coursework and notifying the academic department and the Office of the Registrar that the requirements for their additional majors/minors has been completed. If notification is not sent to the Registrar’s office (via email from account) by the end of the final semester of coursework, no further major/minors will be added to the student’s record. If a UST graduate has earned a minor at UST then the student is not able to earn a major in that same area of study at UST. A student who has earned a BA Degree in General Studies, Liberal Arts, or a BA/BS in Integrated Humanities at UST may not earn a major at UST in any of the concentrations/minor areas of these degrees.


APPROVED: Dr. Robert Ivany
Date of Original Formation: 9/1/2010
Revision Number:
Revision Date: 12/7/2020
Effective Date: 12/7/2020