Degree and Program Definitions


A major represents a degree-seeking student's primary field of study which embodies a structured plan of study requiring a minimum of 30 credit hours. The major appears on a student’s official transcript. Courses taken to fulfill requirements for a major cannot also be applied to fulfill the requirements of a minor.

Declaring a Major

All students are required to declare a major when they reach 60 credit hours. Students transferring 62 credit hours or more are not required to declare a major before admission, but must do so during their first term at UM-Dearborn.

Double Major

Students who want a double major must meet all requirements in two fields and must officially declare, and be approved for, both majors. Courses that satisfy major and/or cognate requirements for more than one field can be applied simultaneously to both fields. The business studies major may only be a second major.


A bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is an award given for the completion of a series of courses and other requirements and requires at least 120 credit hours along with a focus of study within a major that is at least 30 credit hours for its completion. 

For the definition of a second/dual degree and concurrent degree please see below. 

Bachelor of Arts (AB)

A Bachelor of Arts degree usually encompasses an array of courses drawn from the liberal arts disciplines. The degree is intended to create a well-rounded program of study and should give students a broad perspective of the world through the study of diverse topics. 

Bachelor of Science (BS)

A Bachelor of Science degree has a strong focus of study within the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), or the applied sciences (social, behavioral, and health sciences). The degree emphasizes technical knowledge and scientific methodologies, including professional and practice-based skills learning, along with the requirement of a strong general education program in the Dearborn Discovery Core. Individual programs of study and majors define their own specific requirements for the degree. At a minimum, a Bachelor of Science degree shall have at least 40 credit hours of coursework (at least 20 credit hours of which are in upper-level courses 300 or above) in specified STEM or applied sciences fields.

UM-Dearborn Bachelor of Science Requirements:

  • A minimum of 120 credits

  • Completion of Dearborn Discovery Core course requirements

  • A focus of study in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)

  • At least 40 credit hours of coursework (at least 20 credits of which are in upper-level 300 or above) in specified STEM or applied sciences fields

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) 

The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is a professionally oriented degree that is designed to impart the knowledge and skills, and develop the diversified competencies required to manage and lead modern business enterprise.  It also provides a rigorous preparation for graduate study in business or a variety of related areas.

To satisfy the requirements of the BBA program students must complete prerequisite courses developing fundamental skills in business analysis, writing, and mathematics as well as core courses providing a broad background in the functional areas of business. Students then choose a major field of study in which they develop an in-depth understanding of a business field.  Further enhancements such as a second major, minor, or specialized certificate are also possible. 

Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE)

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degrees, offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science, provide rigorous engineering education built on a foundation in engineering principles, basic science and mathematics. The degrees deliver discipline specific knowledge that prepare graduates to model, analyze, design and realize systems, components and/or processes. Additionally, the BSE degrees emphasize ethical and professional responsibilities, communication skills, team work, and skills for acquiring and applying new knowledge. The BSE curricula are developed to fulfill the accreditation requirements of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

UM-Dearborn BSE Requirements:

  • A minimum of 120 credit hours

  • A foundation in mathematics and science that fulfills the ABET accreditation requirements.

  • A minimum of number of engineering and discipline specific topics that fulfill the ABET accreditation requirements.

  • A culminating capstone design experience.


A concentration is a structured plan of study within a major. The number of credit hours required for a concentration varies, but is included within the required credit hours for the major. If successfully achieved, the concentration appears on a student’s official transcript.


A minor is an approved, coherent concentration of academic study in a single discipline, involving at least 12 hours in courses numbered 300 or above in a particular area of study. Minors are recorded on students' transcripts at the time the petition is granted.

Students in most majors may pursue one or more minors and, upon successful completion of the prescribed course work, have that accomplishment officially recognized on their transcript through established verification procedures that all requirements for the minor have been met and the college of the student's major allows the official recognition of the minor. 

Certain major and minor combinations may be deemed inappropriate either by the college or department of the major or minor. Courses taken as part of a minor may not count toward both a major degree and a minor. Courses taken as cognates can, however, be counted towards the requirements for a minor.

No more than three credit hours of transfer credit, field placements, internships, seminars, S/E-graded courses, and independent study/research may be applied to a minor. 

A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 is required in the courses applied to a minor. The grades (including E’s) in all upper-level courses in the discipline of the minor will be reflected in the minor GPA. Courses elected pass/fail (P/F) cannot be used in a minor. Courses used in a minor cannot dually be used in a major.

Undergraduate Certificate 

An undergraduate certificate is a non-degree credential, less extensive than a degree program, which is designed to provide students with a specialized set of courses that supplement a primary field of study, area of expertise, or provide an interdisciplinary experience within a defined body of knowledge. Certificates are encouraged in areas not currently addressed by an undergraduate degree program and where they might provide added benefits to students beyond existing degree programs. Certificates can be created within specific disciplines or departments, college-wide programs, across departmental/college boundaries with the issuing college having the responsibility for administering/monitoring the certificate program.

Degree-seeking and non-degree students may pursue an undergraduate certificate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn:

1. Degree-Seeking: Undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate certificate. The student must formally declare the certificate program by completing a Declaration of Certificate Form during their enrollment in a degree program. Students can earn the certificate before obtaining their UM-Dearborn undergraduate degree if the certificate approval permits. Students must complete a Certificate Completion Application during the term in which they will be completing the certificate requirements. Program faculty must stipulate in their formal proposal whether the certificate can be posted before degree completion (Stand-Alone) or only upon degree conferral (Linked), along with any additional criterion needed to declare and pursue a certificate program.

2. Non-Degree: Non-degree students may pursue a certificate comprised of a distinct set of courses not wholly aligned with an existing degree program. Non-degree students interested in a certificate program should apply directly through standard non-degree seeking admissions procedures. Students who wish to obtain their certificate must complete the Certificate Completion Application during the term in which they will be completing the certificate requirements. Admissions stipulations regarding certificate programs must be provided in detail in the formal proposal.

All University of Michigan-Dearborn certificate programs must follow the below criteria:

  • All students are required to complete a minimum of nine (9) undergraduate credit hours in order to receive any UM-Dearborn certificate and must meet the specific GPA minimum established for the certificate. Individual colleges or programs may specify a higher minimum credit hour requirement.

  • Students may transfer from another accredited institution into a UM-Dearborn certificate program up to half of the credit hours required by the certificate, but no more than six (6) credit hours of credit. If a certificate requires nine (9) credits of coursework, only four (4) credits can be applied towards the certificate.

  • If a certificate program permits its courses to be taken Pass/Fail, no more than a fourth of the credit hours can be taken as Pass/Fail.

  • All applicable credits earned in the certificate program can be applied toward a University of Michigan-Dearborn degree program.

  • Non-degree seeking students shall only take credits that apply for the certificate program they have been admitted.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

Applicants pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree must submit the Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships and meet the same admission requirements as transfer students. Each of the four academic schools and colleges of the University have their own admission criteria:

Colleges of Arts, Sciences, & Letters 2.50
College of Business 2.70
College of Engineering & Computer Science* 2.75
College of Education, Health, & Sciences** 2.75
*Students must also have a 2.75 recalculated math, science, and engineering GPA.
**Several select programs within CEHHS have a 2.50 GPA requirement. Contact the Office of Admissions and Orientation for more details.