Curriculum for Special Programs

Students in the Professional Studies program, who are identified as participants in this program at the time of admission to the University, follow an alternative general education curriculum, called the Curriculum for Special Programs. 

If you are completing the curriculum for special programs, you must adhere to policies, complete requirements, and fulfill competency areas listed below under Graduation Requirements. This alternative curriculum does not replace the University Foundations requirements.

In addition to the graduation requirements outlined below, it is important for you to be aware of the standards related to completion of a minor, limitations on credit toward a degree, and transfer policies.

Graduation requirements

All students completing a first bachelor’s degree at Seattle Pacific University are governed by the following requirements and policies:

  • A minimum 180 college-level, quarter credits.
  • At least 60 credits earned in upper-division (UD) courses (those numbered 3000–4999).
  • At least 45 college-level credits earned in residence as a matriculated student. (Credits earned by examination do not satisfy the residence requirement.)
  • At least 25 of the final 45 credits for the degree must be earned from Seattle Pacific University, with the exception of approves study abroad credit.
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in all courses applicable to the degree.
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in all college-level courses taken at Seattle Pacific University.
  • With the exception of courses from pre-approved study abroad programs, no more than 30 credits may be earned from another institution after a student has matriculated at SPU.
  • You may not take courses concurrently from SPU and another institution during the regular academic year (autumn through spring quarters) unless participating in an approved study abroad program.
  • “Pass” grades do not fulfill requirements in the major or minor, in the General Education curriculum or in the University Scholars curriculum.
  • Satisfactory completion of an academic major. (Student in the Professional Studies Program complete a minor at SPU rather than a major.)
  • All degree requirements for a major or minor are determined by the Undergraduate Catalog in effect for the quarter in which you are accepted to the major or minor.
    • For example, if you are accepted to a major in Autumn Quarter 2018, you are subject to all major requirements listed in the 2018–19 Undergraduate Catalog.
    • First-year students are encouraged to apply for a major no later than April of their sophomore year, or as soon as they are eligible based on that major’s admission policies and procedures.  
    • Professional Studies majors should apply for their minor by the end of their first year at SPU.
    • Transfer students who enter as juniors or seniors should apply to a major as soon as they are eligible based on that major's admission policies and procedures.
    • Major and minor applications are available online in Banner, in most cases.
  • Policies and procedures related to application for graduation and degree posting:
    • You must be accepted into a major prior to applying for graduation. (Professional Studies students must be accepted into a minor rather than a major.)
    • You are responsible for applying for graduation. Apply through the Banner Information System by selecting Student Menu then Graduation Menu. For application deadlines, see the Graduation section of this catalog.
    • You may change your application for graduation, but you should notify your undergraduate academic counselor of the change at least one quarter in advance of the previous intended quarter of graduation.
    • Your degree will not be posted to your academic transcript, nor will your diploma be ordered, until all requirements are completed, including any outstanding I and N grades.

“W” requirements

Writing “W” courses (typically 3000- and 4000-level) build upon your earlier work in WRI 1000 and WRI 1100 by providing instruction in the technical and stylistic requirements of writing appropriate to a particular discipline.

These courses have a substantial writing component. Students write at least two papers and a minimum of 3,000 words (about 12 double-spaced pages) of final-draft prose. Faculty members spend at least one class period providing instruction in writing, and they evaluate written work for both content and form — not only for what is said, but also for how it is said. These courses provide opportunities for revision, as well.

  • If you enter SPU with freshman or sophomore standing, you are required to complete 8 credits in writing (“W”) courses prior to graduation.
  • If you enter as a junior, you are required to complete 5 credits in writing (“W”) courses prior to graduation.
  • If you enter SPU as a senior, you are required to complete 3 credits in writing (“W”) courses prior to graduation.

Mathematics Placement

Appropriate placement in mathematics courses depends upon your intended major, as well as eligibility criteria. Eligibility can be demonstrated through an SAT or ACT math score, the Washington state General Math Placement Test (MPT-G), or transfer of a college course. Find out more about your Mathematics Placement requirements.

General Education requirements

University Foundations

(10–15 credits)

Note: If you enter with freshman or sophomore standing, you must complete UFDN 1000, UFDN 2000, and UFDN 3100.

If you enter SPU with junior or senior standing (90 transferable credits or more), you are required to take only UFDN 3001 and UFDN 3100.

Academic Inquiry & Writing

(3–5 credits)

Choose from among the following courses.

Social Sciences (WKSS)

(10 credits)

Choose from among the following courses.

    Natural Sciences (WKFS and/or WKAS)

    (10 credits total)

    Fundamental Sciences (WKFS)

    Applied Sciences (WKAS)

    Quantitative Reasoning (WKQR)

    (5 credits)

    Choose from among the following courses.

    Arts (WKA)

    (10 credits)

    Choose from among the following classes.

    Humanities (WKH)

    (10 credits)

    Choose from among the following courses.


    We will distribute more than $100 million in financial aid in 2017–18!

    Always make sure to file your FAFSA by the priority deadline to ensure you are receiving the most help possible. 

    Graduation checklist

    The 2017–18 graduation requirements checklists

    Refer to your checklist to ensure that you’re taking the required courses and credits you need to earn your degree in a timely manner.


    Are you a post-bacc student? 

    Unless stipulated by your major or minor, as a post-baccalaureate student, you are not required to fulfill competency requirements.