Academic Progress to Degree


Academic Progress to Degree

The general requirements for an undergraduate baccalaureate degree from The Ohio State University are governed by section 3335-9-30 of the University Faculty Rules. The specific graduation requirements are specified by the college or school that oversees the curriculum being pursued. Most baccalaureate degrees require 121 semester credit hours (special accreditation requirements may specify more required credit hours). In order to graduate with the desired degree in four years, it is imperative that students plan carefully and follow the guidelines in their college of enrollment (a good overview of benchmarks can be found in Arts and Sciences). The following recommendations will keep a student on track for on-time degree completion:

  • Maintain an average course load of 15 to 18 credits each semester.
    • Do the math - if your major requires 121 hours, and considering the 1 credit hour University Survey course required of everyone, 15 hours per semester is the minimum required credit hour load to account for the remaining 120 hours!
    • For more information, go to Finish In Four
  • Meet regularly with your academic advisor.
  • Select a major early, and stick with it.
  • Consult your DARS audit report often, but discuss it with your advisor to assure accuracy.
  • Make certain that prerequisites are satisfied when necessary.
  • Be sure that your choices for satisfying the General Education course requirements align with your major.
    • Note that the requirements vary across degrees - choices for one degree may not apply for a different degree.
  • Pass every course, and avoid unnecessarily repeating courses.
  • Work or extracurricular activities can potentially interfere with academic progress. Plan your work schedules carefully.
  • Seek help if you run into any hurdles or problems.
  • It may be necessary to enroll in May or summer sessions to catch up, stay on track, or get ahead.

Pathway to a degree in 3 years
Many students are arriving at the OSU with credit hours completed while still in high school, or credits completed by examination. In some cases, this will allow degree completion in fewer than four years. Sample academic plans for early completion can be viewed at

The expectation of progress to degree in some departments and colleges is realized by the completion of a 4-Year Plan. This 4-Year-Plan is designed as a tool to assist students in mapping a path toward the degree. The plan is subject to change due to revision of courses and changes in semester of offering, so it is important that students consult with their academic advisor to understand degree requirements; to select major, minor, general education, and elective courses; and to clearly identify prerequisite courses and course sequencing. Sample 4-Year-Plans for selected degree programs are listed below.

Important note:
Satisfactory Academic Progress has a slightly different meaning with regard to financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) denotes a student's successful completion of coursework that is applied to a certificate or degree program, as it impacts financial aid. Regulations require that all students who receive the benefit of Federal Title IV assistance must maintain SAP. The Ohio State University Office of Student Financial Aid is required to monitor student aid recipients' progress. For more information about SAP, visit the Student Finacial Aid SAP policy at