Academic definitions and terminology

Degrees and awards

Below are the general definitions of the undergraduate degrees offered by Roosevelt University. Each specific degree offered in a college has its own unique requirements for completion. Students should refer to the specific requirements listed for their chosen academic program.

Bachelor’s degrees

The U.S. Department of Education defines a bachelor’s degree as requiring at least four but not more than five years of full-time equivalent college-level work. This definition also includes bachelor's degrees in which the normal four years of work are completed in three years.

Bachelor’s degrees at Roosevelt University require the completion of at least 120 credit hours and include coursework taken at Roosevelt as well as coursework accepted for transfer by Roosevelt University.

Certificates and diplomas

Certificates and diplomas certify satisfactory completion of a post-secondary education program. All Roosevelt certificates meet the regulatory requirements of the Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Dual degrees

A dual degree refers to a student simultaneously completing the requirements of two distinct degree programs (such as a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts). Students in dual-degree programs must fulfill all of the requirements for both majors as well as the general education requirements for both degrees, typically requiring more than the normal 120 credit hours. Dual-degree students will be awarded two separate degrees upon completion of their programs.. Examples of dual-degree students are:

  • Students completing both a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
  • Students completing both a Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology and a Master of Business Administration.

Program definitions


Undergraduate students select a specific subject area in which they will specialize, called a major. Typically Roosevelt majors are between 30 and 36 credit hours (10 to 12 classes), or about one-fourth of the total hours required for a bachelor’s degree. Majors usually include core or required courses, elective courses in the major field, and possibly required courses in other fields. The remainder of the hours toward the full degree will be filled by general education courses, elective courses, and possibly a minor or concentration.

Double major

A student with a double major completes the requirements of two distinct majors within the same degree (such as Bachelor of Arts). Students in double-major programs must fulfill all of the requirements for both majors as well as all of the general education requirements for the degree. In some cases, this may require the student to complete more credit hours than are required for the degree. Students completing a double major will receive one degree upon completion of the program, and their academic transcript will list both majors. Examples of a double major are:

  • Students completing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology and an additional major in Political Science.
  • Students completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with an additional major in Chemistry.


Undergraduate students may choose one or more secondary areas of specialization, called minors, along with their majors. Minors typically require between 12 and 18 credit hours (four to six classes). Students majoring in one program often elect to complete a minor in other programs.

There are three types of minors:

  • Departmental or single-discipline minors.
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-discipline minors.
  • Thematic minors.

Students should confirm with their academic advisors that the minors they hope to pursue can be coupled with their majors. 


A concentration provides a thematic focus of study through 9 credit hours or more of interrelated courses in a subject area. Courses applied as a concentration must be identified and pre-approved by the college. Students pursuing a concentration must be enrolled in a degree program.