College of Arts and Sciences

General Information

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of the following departments, each offering work in specific undergraduate degree programs:  Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Communication and Media, Computer Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, English, History, Language and Cultural Studies, Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Statistics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, and Sociology.

Graduate study degree programs, administered through the Graduate School, are also offered in the following departments of the College of Arts and Sciences: Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biology, Chemistry, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Statistics,  Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychological Sciences. 

 The College offers a wide range of courses, accredited baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees and multi-disciplinary certificates. Details about each degree may be found in the programs section of this bulletin.

Requirements for Undergraduate Study

All majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, including Bachelor of Liberal Studies, must meet the following requirements:

  • Requirements of their chosen baccalaureate degree (i.e., B.A., B.S., etc.) in accordance with the policies of the College of Arts and Sciences, explained below.
  • Requirements of the department for their selected major or interdisciplinary program.
  • Requirements for the University’s general education & university requirements.
  • Completion of INTDSC 1003 University Studies for all students admitted to UMSL with fewer than 24 academic credit hours.

Detailed information concerning all degree requirements can be found by visiting the Marcus Allen Advising Center.

Academic Policies

Grade Requirements

To graduate, all majors in the college must satisfy one of the following grade point options:

  • Have a minimum UMSL campus grade point average of 2.0 and have met all other grade point restrictions for the degree or program.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

To expand cultural awareness, students in some academic units may be required to complete a course that emphasizes Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Pacific aboriginal, Native American, or a comparable culture. Courses that satisfy this requirement involve substantial material independent of the cultures' interactions with European cultures. If a course focuses on one facet of a culture, it must treat the topic within the context of the culture as a whole. A list of courses which satisfy this requirement can be found in the Undergraduate Study Graduation Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Residency Requirements

Transfer students must complete at least 30 of the last 36 hours of their degree program in residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Unless otherwise specified, a transfer student must complete 12 hours of graded work at UMSL at the 2000 level or above within the minimum number of hours required for each major.

Unless otherwise specified, a transfer student must complete at least six hours of graded work at UMSL at the 2000 level or above within the minimum number of hours required for each minor. Students should consult the minor department for specific residency and grade requirements.

Specific Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

After fulfilling the general education and specific major degree requirements, students are to take the remaining hours required to complete the bachelor's degree from courses (which the appropriate department has evaluated as being of university-level quality) from one or more of the following areas or their university-quality equivalents at other institutions: Anthropology/Archaeology, Art (appreciation, history, studio), Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Geology, History, Mathematics/Computer Science, Media Studies, Modern Languages (French, Japanese, Spanish), Music (appreciation, history, performance), Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Theatre, Business, Education, Engineering, or Interdisciplinary. Other areas or courses not listed require approval by the chair of the student's department.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

All B.A. degree candidates must successfully complete a curriculum which includes a departmental major or an approved interdisciplinary field. A major must include at least 30 credit hours but no more than 45 hours. The College offers the B.A. degree in anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, English, history, mathematics, modern languages, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Foreign Language Requirement

Candidates for the B.A. degree are required to complete 13 credit hours or the equivalent in proficiency in one foreign language. Foreign language guidelines are as follows:

  1. Students entering with no high school language units must enroll in Language 1 or may enroll in the 2115 series (see section 4).
  2. Students with the degree of proficiency equivalent to 13 hours of college-level work in French, German or Spanish may obtain exemption by passing the department's placement exam. The specific dates for the exam are posted on-line or may be obtained from Languages and Cultures at 314-516-6240.
  3. Native speakers of language other than English may meet the foreign language requirement by presenting a transcript from a university or secondary school of their native country. The department will certify native speakers of those languages which are taught at the university. Those who are proficient in other languages must submit certification of competence to the college.
  4. Language 2115 A, B, C (Intensive) will satisfy the foreign language requirement. Aptitude testing is required prior to enrollment. For more information, call the Department of Languages and Cultures at 314-516-6240
  5. Students may not repeat, for either credit or quality points, an elementary course if they have already completed a higher-level course for which the elementary course, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite.

Applied Music and Studio Art

Students not majoring in music may count no more than eight hours in music ensemble performance (EN PER 1400, EN PER 1410, EN PER 1500, EN PER 1520, etc). Students in the college not majoring in studio art may count any number of studio art hours toward a degree in the college. This includes transfer credit.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The College offers the B.S. degree in mathematics, biochemistry and biotechnology, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, computer science, criminology and criminal justice, economics, physics (with emphasis in applied physics, astrophysics, engineering physics, or optical biophysics), and sociology. The requirements are generally the same as for the B.A. degree with the following exceptions:

  1. More credit hours in the major discipline may be counted toward satisfying the 120 hours needed for graduation. See departmental degree requirements for information.
  2. Not all departments require foreign language proficiency. See departmental degree requirements for information.

Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS)

(See Interdisciplinary Programs for complete description)

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS)

(See Interdisciplinary Programs for complete description)

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and Administration (B.S.P.A.)

The B.S.P.A. degree program is administered through the Political Science Department and offers two emphasis areas. Public Administration emphasizes management in the public and nonprofit sectors. Public Policy allows focus on a particular policy area with attention to analytic training and research skills.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

The College offers the B.F.A. degree in studio art.  A foreign language is not required. Students choosing an emphasis in drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking or general fine arts must take at least 75 credit hours in studio art (including 30 hours in the foundation art program). Students seeking K-12 art teacher certification take a minimum of 50 credit hours in studio art (including 30 hours in the foundation art program) and must fulfill the General Education Requirements in both the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Music (B.M.)

The College offers the B.M. degree in music education, performance and with elective studies in business.  The requirements are the same as for the B.A. degree with the addition of music education courses for music majors seeking state teacher certification. Although foreign language proficiency is not required, foreign language study is required for applied voice students.


A number of minors is available at UMSL. Some are offered by individual departments, while others are interdisciplinary in nature and involve several departments. The requirements for the various minors are listed in either the departmental or interdisciplinary sections of this Bulletin.

Special Programs

Certificate Programs

Graduate and undergraduate certificate programs are offered in Child Advocacy Studies, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Entrepreneurship, Gender Studies, Health Communication, Internet and Web, Media Production, Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing, and Technical Writing.

International Studies Certificate

In cooperation with International Studies and Programs and other Colleges, the College offers certificate programs in African, East Asian, European, International, and Latin American studies. The College also cooperates in offering the International Business Certificate.

Departmental Honors

Majors in the following departments may pursue departmental honors: biology, chemistry, economics, English, history, modern languages, and political science. Majors in criminology and criminal justice may pursue placement on the chair's list.

Cooperative Education and Internship Programs

Cooperative education and internship programs are available for students seeking career-related employment while enrolled in school. These programs afford Arts and Sciences students an opportunity to gain practical experience. Co-ops and internships are administered through Career Services, 278 Millennium Student Center.

College of Arts and Sciences Extension

Credit courses are offered at off-campus locations through the College of Arts and Sciences. These courses are open to UMSL students and qualify for regular academic credit toward degrees in the college.

Latin Honors Requirements

In accordance with the University's Latin Honors policy, candidates graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences in the 2023-2024 Academic Year must meet the following GPA qualifications:

Summa Cum Laude3.98
Magna Cum Laude3.909
Cum Laude3.734