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In a move that is responsive to the competitive higher education marketplace, Concordia University, St. Paul will lower its minimum graduation requirements for all bachelor’s degree programs from 128 to 120 credit hours, effective fall semester 2017.
The undergraduate policy committee unanimously voted for the reduction in requirements to align CSP with most public colleges and universities in Minnesota and nationwide which have already adopted the 120 credit minimum. Concordia St. Paul is one of the first private universities in the state to make this change in credit requirements, reinforcing the University’s commitment to making higher education more affordable to students. Overall cost for completing an undergraduate degree will be lowered for some students as a direct result of this change.
“I am proud to be part of a faculty that responds quickly to the rapidly changing marketplace of higher education while maintaining high academic standards and a comprehensive support system for our students,” said Dr. Robert Krueger, Chair of Undergraduate Policies Committee.
The reduced requirements only impact general elective courses and not general education or major requirements. Some degrees will continue to require more than 120 credit hours because of state licensing or program accreditation requirements. All returning undergraduates and incoming freshmen and transfer students will be affected by this policy change.
Already one of the most transfer-friendly schools in the Twin Cities, the reduction further eases the admission process for students looking to transfer to Concordia, while also reducing the time it takes to earn a degree.
“Throughout my whole college career I’ve been taking heavier loads to make sure I graduate on time,” said transfer student Shelby Seurer (’18). “I definitely feel like I’ll be able to focus solely on my degree and even my potential career now. The new change allows me to only take 12 credits in the spring of my senior year, so I will be able to put 100% of my effort into those classes. It will also allow me to get a job in the new free time I will have, which is a huge benefit to me personally.”
It is expected that retention and graduation rates will improve due to this change. The projected average cost savings of eight fewer credits for undergraduate students is approximately $3,000.