How to Earn a Certificate or Associate Degree
To earn a UAF degree, you must satisfy three sets of requirements: general university requirements; certificate or degree requirements; and program (major) requirements. These requirements are all described in this section of the catalog. Requirements for your major are found in the Certificate and Associate Degree Programs section.
If your degree program is delivered collaboratively within the UA system (e.g., information technology specialist, early childhood education, human services, rural human services), then the credits you earn from each UA institution will be counted toward fulfillment of the degree requirements and fulfillment of the minimum institutional residency requirements. Institutional residency requirements are the minimum number of credits you must earn from the campus where you earn a degree.
General University Requirements
You must earn at least 30 semester credits for a certificate and 60 semester credits for an associate degree, including transfer credits, at the 100-level or above. At least 15 semester credits applicable to any certificate or associate degree must be earned at UAF. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required in all work as well as in your major field. You must earn a C- grade or higher in all courses required for your degree, unless otherwise specified by your major (major, minor, general education requirements and degree requirements). Some majors require higher GPAs for major coursework.
Unless otherwise specified by the appropriate academic unit, a course may be taken more than once toward fulfilling degree, certificate or major requirements. However, credit hours for such courses count only once toward total credits required for the degree or certificate.
|Minimum number of credits required||30 credits||60 credits|
|Credits that must be earned at UAF (residence credit)||15 credits||15 credits|
|Grade point average required||2.0 cumulative and in major||2.0 cumulative and in major|
|Minimum grades required for major||No grade lower than C- in courses required for major. Some departments have higher requirements||No grade lower than C- in courses required for major. Some departments have higher requirements|
|Catalog year that can be used to meet requirements||May use any catalog in effect when enrolled as a degree-seeking student, regardless of major; five-year limit on catalog year||May use any catalog in effect when enrolled as a degree-seeking student, regardless of major; five-year limit on catalog year|
|Second degree requirements||Only one A.A. degree may be earned; 12 credits beyond first A.A.S. degree and all requirements for the second degree must be met|
For information on catalog year, please visit the Catalog Year section on the Academic Standards page.
You may declare a major when you are admitted to UAF as a degree undergraduate student. If you haven’t chosen a major, you’ll be enrolled as a general studies student. Nondegree students are not eligible to declare a major, be assigned class standing or receive financial aid.
Students enrolled in associate degree or certificate programs who want to declare a bachelor’s degree major must apply for admission to a degree program following the standard admission process for bachelor’s degree programs. (See admission requirements in How to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree.)
- Changing Your Major
Undergraduate students may change majors by completing a change of major form available from the Office of the Registrar forms page. A change of major becomes effective the semester it is submitted. Students who wish to change majors from one level to another level (e.g., from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree) must apply for admission to the degree program following the standard admission process.
An area of emphasis, including the major core courses within a student’s degree program, is termed a concentration. Some programs at UAF require a concentration, others do not. A student may only earn one degree in a specific discipline once. Using different concentrations within a degree program to count as different degrees is not allowed.
To receive an additional certificate, you must complete the requirements for each certificate. You are not required to complete any additional credits beyond the requirements for each certificate.
Second Associate Degree
To receive a second Associate of Applied Science degree, you must earn at least 12 credit hours beyond the first associate degree as well as complete all requirements for the major. As long as you have completed the additional 12-hour requirement, you may be awarded two degrees in one semester.
Degree Requirements and Time Limits
You may complete degree requirements in effect and published in the UAF catalog in any one of the previous five academic years in which you are enrolled as a degree student for a certificate or associate degree. You are considered enrolled in your degree program when you complete the appropriate degree student registration procedure. If you do not enroll for a semester or more, or if you enroll through the nondegree student registration process, you aren’t considered enrolled as a degree student during that time.
Exceptions to Degree Requirements
Occasionally an undergraduate student may request an exception to an academic requirement or regulation. Requests for an academic dispensation must be approved by petition. If you submit a petition on the basis of a disability, the coordinator of Disability Services will be consulted. Undergraduate Petition forms are available at the Office of the Registrar or on the Office of the Registrar's forms page. Forms must be returned to the Office of the Registrar with required approval signatures. The Office of the Registrar will note your petition in DegreeWorks once the appropriate person or committee has made a decision. Academic petitions fall into three categories, and each involves different processes:
- General Education Requirement Petitions
If your petition deals with baccalaureate general education requirements or the Associate of Arts or Science library science requirement, your advisor and the head of the department of the academic area involved must grant approval. Submit your signed petition to the Office of the Registrar. It will then be forwarded to the chair of the Faculty Senate Core/General Education Requirement Curriculum Review Committee for consideration.
- Major or Minor Degree Requirement Petitions
If you want to waive or substitute courses within your major or minor requirements, you need approval signatures from your advisor and the department or program head of your major or minor area. Submit your signed petition to the Office of the Registrar.
- Petitions for Other Requirements
If your petition deals with general university and/or specific requirements for your degree or other academic policies, you need approval from your advisor and the dean or director of the college or school in which your major is located. Submit your signed petition to the Office of the Registrar. It will then be forwarded to the provost for consideration.
Residence credit is course credit earned through any unit of UAF. Formal classroom instruction, correspondence study, distance-delivered courses, individual study or research at UAF are all considered residence credit. On the other hand, transfer credit, advanced placement credit, credit for prior learning, military service credit and credit granted through nationally prepared examinations are not considered residence credit, nor are credit-by-examination credits earned through locally prepared tests. None of these types of credit can be applied to UAF residency requirements.
Most universities have residency requirements that call for a certain number of credits toward a degree to be earned at the degree-granting school. At UAF, the residency requirement for both certificates and associate degrees is 15 resident credits.
Alaska Native-Themed Requirements
The Alaska Native-themed requirement is a degree requirement for all baccalaureate, associate of arts and associate of science degrees. The requirement may be met by taking a designated Alaska Native-themed course anywhere in the student's course of study, including general education requirements, major requirements, minor requirements and electives.
You are responsible for meeting all requirements for graduation. You are encouraged to work with your advisor and use DegreeWorks throughout your college career to ensure you are on track to graduate.
- Application for Graduation
You need to formally apply for graduation. An application for graduation and nonrefundable fee must be filed with the Office of the Registrar. We encourage you to apply the semester prior to the semester you plan to graduate. If you file your application by the published deadline, the graduation application fee is $50. If you miss that deadline, you can submit a late application for graduation by the published late graduation deadline for the semester. The fee for a late application is $80. Applications for graduation filed after the late deadline are processed for graduation the following semester. Students who apply for graduation and who do not complete degree requirements by the end of the semester must reapply for graduation and repay the fee.
- Diplomas and Commencement
UAF issues diplomas to graduates three times a year: in September following summer sessions, in February at the end of fall semester and in June at the end of spring semester. Students who complete degree requirements for UA Board of Regents approved academic programs during the academic year are invited to participate in the annual commencement ceremony at the end of spring semester.
Names of students receiving degrees/certificates appear in the commencement program and are released to the media unless you submit a written request not to do so to the Office of the Registrar. Graduates are responsible for ordering caps and gowns through the UAF bookstore in early spring.
- Graduation with Honors
Graduation with honors is a tribute that recognizes academic achievement. Candidates who have earned a minimum of 15 credits in residence at UAF and a minimum
institutional grade point average of 3.50 at the associate level will graduate with honors.
GPA calculations for graduation with honors do not include:
● Credits that were excluded due to retaking a course or through the Fresh Start program
● Noncredit courses, transfer credits, and credit by examination
Please see Grading System and Grade Point Average Computation for more information on how the UAF Institutional GPA is calculated.
Students who meet these academic criteria will graduate according to one of the following honor levels:
|Honor||UAF Grade Point Average (GPA)|
|Summa Cum Laude||3.90 or higher|
|Magna Cum Laude||3.75 - 3.89|
|Cum Laude||3.50 - 3.74|
These designations are effective for all who graduate Fall 2021 going forward and will not be retroactively applied to anyone who graduated prior to Fall 2021
Once those requirements are met, a cumulative GPA is calculated combining all college work attempted at UAF, as well as all college work attempted at any other institutions you've attended, including repeated credits and any credits may not have been accepted for transfer to UAF. The combined cumulative GPA must also be 3.5 or higher for a transfer student to graduate with honors.