Number of Courses and Quarters

University and College policies specify that you must spend a certain number quarters at the University and College, they identify the total amount of credit needed to graduate, and they set limits on non-Weinberg coursework.

Undergraduate Registration Requirement

All Northwestern undergraduates are subject to the university's Undergraduate Registration Requirement (URR). This requirement, revised in Spring 2012, specifies how many quarters must be spent at Northwestern and how many units of credit must be earned at Northwestern in order to graduate with a Northwestern degree. See the registrar's URR summary for details. The official statement on the URR is in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Weinberg credit and quarter requirements

  • All Weinberg College students must earn at least 45 units of credit in order to graduate. Almost all courses taught at Northwestern are worth one unit. Those worth more or less than one unit also contribute to the total. For example, two half-unit courses count as one full unit toward this requirement.
    Exceptions: Special limits apply to ISP, HPME, and dual bachelor's degree program (BA/BMusic and BA/BS) students.
  • You must be in Weinberg College for the last three quarters before you complete your degree requirements. For example, if you start your Northwestern studies in the School of Communication, but plan to graduate with a Weinberg degree instead, you need to complete the paperwork for an Interschool Transfer in time to make sure that you are a Weinberg student for your last three quarters. (This requirement is occasionally waived for late interschool transfer students who have taken a majority of their classes in Weinberg College. Students who desire such a waiver should contact their College Adviser or the Assistant Dean for Academic Standing.)
  • No more than 6 units of internship credit may be counted toward the required 45 units of credit. Read more about for-credit internships. (For students graduating prior to Fall 2014, the limit was 5 units.)
  • No more than 11 units of credit offered by other schools of the University may be counted toward the 45 units required for a BA degree from Weinberg College. No more than 3 of these units may come from applied music courses. No more than 4 units may come from the military studies programs. Approved School of Professional Studies courses in Weinberg disciplines do not count toward the 11-unit limit. Students majoring or minoring in computer science and those pursuing teaching certification through the School of Education and Social Policy are granted exceptions to the 11-course limit for courses taken toward these requirements. Contact your College Adviser for details.

If you take four 1-unit courses per quarter, three quarters per year, for four full years, then you will end up with a total of 48 units of credit. Only 45 units are required for graduation, so even if you enter with no AP, IB, or transfer credits, you can have three quarters with only three 1-unit courses (which also counts as a full load) and still graduate on time. This gives you some flexibility in planning your schedule, as well as the opportunity to very occasionally drop a course without falling behind.