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How to Graduate in 4 Years

Can you graduate from the University of Minnesota in four years? Definitely, if you follow basic guidelines and plan carefully. Many students have graduated in four years. You can learn from their example. For more details on how this can work for you, contact the advising and academic services office in your collegiate unit and check out the 30-60-90 UMD Student Success Roadmap.30-60-90 Roadmap

Basic guidelines

  • Complete a course load of 15 to 18 credits each semester.
  • Enroll in May and summer sessions to catch up or get ahead.
  • Keep your grades up so that you can avoid repeating courses.
  • Coordinate your liberal education courses with your major requirements.
  • Make full use of the academic advising available to you.
  • Decide on a major early and stick with it.
  • Put your effort and hours into school.
  • Schedule your time to fit your academic plan rather than scheduling your time around work or extracurricular activities.
  • Seek help if you are having problems.

Four years: How did they do it?

Would you like to graduate in four years? Many University of Minnesota students do. These students followed the basic guidelines. How did they do it?

  • They completed at least 15 credits every semester. The University of Minnesota requires a minimum of 120 credits to graduate. Many graduates finish with more than the minimum number of credits.
  • If they fell behind, they went to summer school to make up the credits. Summer classes can also be used to ease your academic load during the school year.
  • They did not repeat courses. They worked to get satisfactory grades in every class and they planned carefully to insure that they met all requirements. Repeating courses to meet requirements or raise your GPA slows you down. Keeping up with all current assignments, reading, and attending all class sessions, works wonders towards getting a good grade in the first place.
  • They did not drop more than one or two classes during their college careers. Dropping courses wastes both time and money.
  • They took courses that met more than one requirement. For example, Chem 1151 is a required course for the Biology B.S. and it can be used for liberal education Physical & Biological Sciences with Laboratory. Chem 1151 can fulfill a liberal education requirement and a major program requirement.
  • They regularly met with their advisers. Meet often with your adviser, and when you do be prepared with ideas about which courses you would like to take. Also visit your adviser if you need other academic assistance. Use peer advisers if they are available in your program. Drop by your department office to check out information about department events, changes in programs, admission to upper division, deadlines, and other useful information.
  • They did not change majors. Every time you change your major, you come close to starting over. If you do not know which major you want, a common condition for new freshman, check the requirements for the majors you are interested in and take courses that are required by more than one program. You can certainly graduate in four years if you change your major, particularly if you change early in your freshman year, but with each change comes the possibility of stretching out your time in school.
  • They arranged their personal schedules around school, not the other way around. Registering for early morning or late afternoon sections of classes, when necessary, will help you to complete your program sooner.
  • They sought help with problems or personal difficulties as they arose.
  • They applied for graduation by the appropriate deadline.
  • They applied early for any financial assistance.