Degree Requirements

A candidate will be considered for a bachelor’s degree upon the completion of a minimum of one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours to include General Education requirements and a major with a cumulative index of 2.00 or better in the major field as well as in the student’s overall program. The number of credit hours awarded for satisfactory completion of courses is ordinarily the same as the number of hours spent per week in the classroom. Two to four hours of laboratory work are considered the equivalent of one hour of class work.

Degree Requirements

General Education
ENG-102Writing II3
Franciscan Studies/Theology Distribution3
Historical Studies Distribution3
Literature and the Visual & Performing Arts Distribution3
Natural Science with Lab Distribution4
Philosophy Distribution3
Quantitative Literacy (Course may be determined by major)3
Social Science Distribution3
Diversity Designation
Writing Designation
Major Requirements (See individual department listings)30+
Other School, Major, Minor or General Elective Requirements53
Total Credits120

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the following courses will fulfill General Education requirements as indicated below. If the course is needed to fulfill a major requirement, the student’s academic adviser should be consulted.

General Education

St. Bonaventure University is a Catholic university dedicated to educational excellence in the Franciscan tradition. We enhance the lives of our students and help them prepare for their futures by providing experiences that build knowledge, skills, and character. Our University has its roots in the traditional liberal arts and sciences, and the general education curriculum values that tradition within the context of the Catholic and Franciscan intellectual heritage.  Its aim is to provide students with foundational knowledge for all majors that aligns with the University’s six student learning goals:

  1. Basic knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences, specialized knowledge in a particular area of study, and the ability to integrate knowledge from different academic disciplines.
  2. The ability to think constructively, critically, and creatively, including competencies in analytic inquiry, quantitative literacy, information literacy, evidential reasoning, and problem solving.
  3. Competence in multimodal communication with special emphasis on oral, written, and digital communication, including an understanding of key issues relating to their use.
  4. A disposition to understand societal issues, seek solutions, and become responsible citizens.
  5. An ability to engage with ultimate questions of a metaphysical, theological, and philosophical nature.
  6. A basic understanding of the Catholic tradition and an appreciation of the intellectual and moral virtues expressed in the Franciscan movement (e.g., humility, compassion, justice with peace, love of wisdom, and the inherent goodness of all creation).

Within the framework of these goals and the University’s Mission, the general education curriculum offers students an educational experience that encourages them to examine critically their own cultural assumptions and to explore openly and fairly other perspectives and cultures.  This deepening appreciation of their own heritage and sensitive openness to alternative frameworks should prepare students to take their place as thinking, moral individuals in a global community.

All incoming students begin their academic careers at St. Bonaventure University through the General Education requirements.   After their first year in residence, students who have declared a major will transfer to the appropriate department and school of the University.  All students are expected to declare a major program of study before they begin their third year in residence at St. Bonaventure University.

Overview of General Education

A 37 hour program to help students appreciate a liberal arts education. Each required specific course and each distribution list have been developed based on a list of learning objectives and assessment procedures.

Required specific courses
ENG-102Writing II3
Select one course from each distribution:22
Franciscan Studies/Theology
Historical Studies
Literature and the Visual and Performing Arts
Natural Science with a lab (4 credits)
Social Science
Quantitative Literacy
Select one course from each designation:
Intensive Writing (W) 1
Diversity (D) 1
Total Credits37

Technology Competence (to be found within the major)

Students must demonstrate proficiency in “Information Literacy and Computer Literacy, and in Technological Competency.


  • Information Literacy (IL): “The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.” (VALUE definition) This will necessarily include web searches, database searches etc. as well as evaluating the quality of information. (Most programs should include such training already).
  • Computer literacy (CL): The ability to use computers and related technology efficiently and comfortably.
  • Technological Competency (TC): The ability to understand how society has been influenced and is continuously changing because of technologies. This includes an understanding of the ethical, legal, philosophical, and security issues with respect to their use.


All students in selecting courses must choose a particular field of concentration, which is called a major. The major consists of a minimum of 30 hours of no fewer than 10 courses. The choice of major should be made before the end of the sophomore year. After the selection of the major, the student must be guided by the requirements of the University in determining the subjects to be taken. The department chair will assign to the student a faculty adviser who will assist each undergraduate in preparing his/her semester program.


  • Art History
  • Criminology
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Health and Society
  • History
  • International Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science    
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Theater
  • Theology
  • Visual Arts
  • Women’s Studies


  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Engineering Physics
  • Health and Society
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology


  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing


  • Journalism & Mass  Communication
  • Professional and Creative Writing
  • Strategic Communication & Digital Media


  • Adolescence Education with Disciplinary Concentration
  • Childhood Studies
  • Childhood Education
  • Childhood and Early Childhood Education 
  • Inclusive Childhood Education
  • Inclusive Childhood and Early Childhood Education 
  • Physical Education
  • Sport Studies 

Health Professions

  • Health Science
  • Public Health

Foreign Language Requirements

School of Arts and Sciences and Jandoli School of Communication majors must satisfy the foreign language requirement for the degree by successfully completing as a minimum a second semester intermediate course or any higher level modern or classical language course (exclusive of courses in translation). Most programs in the School of Education require one full year of a language; the Physical Education major requires 1 course (3 credits).  The Department of Modern Languages reviews the files of new students for language knowledge and recommends placement at a specific level. Students may choose to begin language studies at that level or may change upon consultation with a chair of the department of Modern Languages. All students who have a language requirement can fulfill it in three ways:

  1. Continue the language they started in high school, if it is offered on campus, and reach the level or number of credits required, or
  2. Start a new language at the 101 level and reach the level or number of credits required (see specific majors in catalog), or
  3. Earn the required credits by taking a CLEP exam in French, German or Spanish and meeting the level of number of credits required by the student’s particular major. Students must take the exam at their own expense and must submit official scores to the Records Office. Credit will be awarded based on scores earned and as outlined in the undergraduate catalog.

A student’s foreign language requirement can be waived if the student took the TOEFL and scored at the following minimum levels: 79-80 for Internet-Based Exam, 213 on the Computer-based Exam and 550 on the Paper-Based Exam.  Education majors are not eligible for this waiver.  Please see the chair of the Department of Modern Languages to begin the waiver process.

Double Majors

To have a double major acknowledged on the transcript, students must:

  1. Declare their intent to complete a double major: The official forms for this are available from the Records Office. They must be completed and submitted to the Records Office no later than the second semester of their junior year.
  2. Achieve a 2.00 grade point average in the courses that constitute a double major. This is calculated separately from the first major index.
  3. Choose which degree will be listed on diploma. Only one degree will be awarded.

Individualized Majors

Undergraduate students with clearly defined academic or career objectives have the opportunity to create a tailored degree program for a major not available from the majors listed elsewhere in the catalog.  With the exception of transfer students with an associate’s degree (see below), an interested student must have, at the time of application, completed a minimum of 15 credits at St. Bonaventure University, be in good academic standing and have at least 45 credit hours remaining to complete the proposed degree requirements.

The degree requirements for the Individualized Major must:

  1. Include at least 120 total credit hours
  2. Include at least 30 credit hours, but not more than 51 credit hours, in the major with the following additional requirements:
    1. At least 12 credit hours in the major must be at the 300-level or above
    2. Every student in the Individualized Major program is required to complete
      1. A 300 or 400 level 3- credit course designated as their capstone
        1. To be taken in 2nd semester junior or 1st semester senior year
        2. Course work may be designed specifically for the student’s interest
      2. A 3-credit independent study in their 2nd semester senior year
        1. Designed and supervised by the two  major advisors
        2. Will result in a capstone project that includes some reflection on the major experience as a whole
        3. Will count towards their 12-course minimum major requirement
  3. Satisfy all of the general education and/or core curriculum requirements.
  4. Satisfy the University requirements appropriate to the area of study and degree proposed (e.g. language requirements in schools that require one).
  5. Meet the requirements for the degree proposed (BBA, BA, BS) in accordance with the applicable New York State requirements (Chapter 1 of Title 8, section 3.4.7).

The proposal should be developed in conjunction with both a primary and secondary adviser, selected from the University’s full-time faculty. The proposal submission should include a student-written narrative explaining the rationale for the proposed Individualized Major, the learning outcomes to be achieved, the rationale for the courses composing the major and a proposed title for the major.  The title cannot a title of an established major at SBU or one that requires state licensure or is otherwise regulated by external governments or accreditation agencies. Approval for any IM proposal needs to be given by the two major advisors, the IM program director in consultation with the IM Review Board, and the Provost.  In case of FHCP students, the director of FHCP and the professional school also need to approve.  The Major Change form needs to be signed by the chair of the program in which the student was initially housed (in case of MAP students, the director of the MAP program), the primary advisor, and the director of the IM program.  The degree will be awarded from the School of the University in which the greatest number of major credits will be completed and at least one of the IM advisors has to be housed in that school.

Once approved the documentation will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and will constitute the student’s official approved major program of study.  Any changes to the approved major requirements will require the same approvals as the original proposal. Approved changes may be documented either through formal changes to the approved program proposal or via the established course substitution process.  To earn the Individualized Major degree the student must satisfactorily complete all the approved degree and course requirements and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a minimum major GPA of 2.0.

Transfer Students

Transfer student with an associate’s degree can be placed into the IM program as soon as they have been admitted and a brief outline of their proposed Individualized Major has been accepted by the IM director in consultation with the board.  They will have to submit a full proposal within the first 2 weeks of their second semester at SBU.


To have a minor acknowledged on the transcript, students must:

  1. Declare their intent to complete a minor: The official forms for this are available online at They must be completed and submitted to the Records Office no later than the second semester of their junior year.
  2. Achieve a 2.00 grade point average in the courses that constitute the minor. This is calculated separately from the major index. This stipulation applies to all minors including the non-psychology portions of the B.S. degree in psychology programs and to the non-biology portions of biology combination programs. A minor is not required for graduation. For a listing of required courses, refer to the departmental listings.

Students may obtain minors in the following areas: 

  • Accounting
  • Arabic & Islamic Studies
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • Criminology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Family Business
  • Finance
  • French
  • History
  • Human Services
  • International Business
  • International Studies    
  • Journalism
  • Latin
  • Law & Society
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Movement Studies
  • Music
  • Nonviolence
  • Philosophy: Art & Literature
  • Philosophy: Ethics & Medicine
  • Philosophy: Law & Politics
  • Philosophy: Social Justice
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Sports Management
  • Sport Studies
  • Strategic Communication
  • Theater
  • Theology
  • Visual Arts: Studio Track
  • Visual Arts: Combined
  • Women’s Studies

4+1 Programs

Students may earn both the bachelor's and master's degrees in five years through an accelerated 4+1 program. Students who have applied and been accepted into the graduate Integrated Marketing Communications program begin classes toward the master's degree in their fourth year while enrolled as undergraduate students completing undergraduate requirements. They then finish the graduate program in their fifth year. This program is available for Integrated Marketing Communications and is open to any undergraduate major in the University.

Residence Requirement

To be certified for a baccalaureate degree, candidates must have satisfied the residence requirement. This specifies that the candidates must successfully complete at St. Bonaventure University:

  1. The final 36 credit hours for the degree;
  2. At least half of the number of major courses; and
  3. No fewer than 45 undergraduate credit hours at SBU.

Any petition for an exception from the residence requirement must be directed in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who has the sole authority to grant such exception.

Application for Graduation

Candidates for degrees must apply for graduation during the last semester of study of their senior year by completing the official application form online at or by completing a paper form found at the Registrar’s Office.  Failure to do so may delay certification of their degree and procurement of their diplomas.

Commencement Attendance Policy

  1. Following the fall semester, all senior records will be evaluated. Students who have a 2.00 overall G.P.A., a 2.00 in their major (a 3.00 GPA is required for Education majors), and who have registered for the courses needed to complete degree requirements may be permitted to participate in the Commencement exercises.
  2. If a student does not have a 2.00 overall G.P.A. or a 2.00 in the student’s major (3.00 for Education majors) or is not registered for the courses needed to complete degree requirements, the student will be informed in writing in January that participation in the Commencement exercises will be permitted only if the deficiency(ies) is (are) cleared through course work taken in the spring semester.
  3. If a student ultimately fails to satisfy any degree requirements, but has 6 or fewer credit hours remaining toward degree completion, the student may fill out an undergraduate Commencement participation agreement form to petition to walk in the Commencement ceremonies.  Petitions must be made to the Registrar.

Candidates for degrees should be present at Commencement.  Those who are unable to attend should inform the Registrar’s Office at least one week prior to the ceremony and request permission to receive the degree in absentia.

Comprehensive Examinations

The success with which the student has achieved an overall understanding of the student’s major field is tested during the senior year of the student. This test may take such forms as: a senior seminar course requiring the application of knowledge and skills presumably acquired through the major program, a senior thesis demonstrating mastery of the skills needed for independent study in the major field, or a comprehensive examination, written and/or oral. The specific form of the requirement will be determined by the major department with the approval of the dean of the school (see individual department listings).

No student will be eligible for a degree until the student satisfies this requirement.

If a student fails the comprehensive exam, whatever form the test takes, the student will normally not be permitted to retake the test until the following semester. St. Bonaventure employs a cumulative index of scholarship for the purpose of bringing out the best that is in a student; eliminating those lacking sufficient talent for college work; and aiding and encouraging the hard-working student.