Types of College Credit
Elective Credits are college credits applied to graduation and account for any courses 100-level and above that do not meet a specific (general education, major, college, etc.) graduation requirement.
Institutional Graduation Requirements (IGRs) are graduation requirements established by the degree-granting institution. These requirements will vary by the institution or college the student attends.
Major or Program Credits are the college courses that are required of the particular major or program the student intends to complete. These courses typically fall within the major or program field of study, with the number of credits required determined by that major or program.
System General Education Requirements (SGRs) are courses approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents (SD BOR) to impart common knowledge and intellectual concepts to students and to develop in them the skills and attitudes that an organization’s faculty believe every educated person should possess. All students completing an undergraduate degree through a SD BOR institution must successfully complete coursework to fulfill the identified general education goals in written communication, oral communication, social sciences, humanities and arts/diversity, mathematics, natural sciences, and information literacy.
What typically fulfills the requirements for an undergraduate degree at South Dakota State University?
Most undergraduate programs require a student to complete a minimum of 120 credits at the 100 course level or above. Some programs (i.e. Engineering) require a minimum of 130 credits. Students
will complete approximately 35 credits in system general education and institutional graduation requirements. Many academic programs require at least 60 credits in major or program requirements. Please note that this number varies by academic program; careful understanding and planning of major or program requirements is necessary. Programs vary greatly in the amount of elective coursework with an average of about 25 credits; this provides students an opportunity to explore other fields of study and interests and to add a minor or even a second major.
A large number of incoming credits does not in itself guarantee a shorter path to a degree!
The curricular requirements of many programs are linked to the requirements and standards of professional accreditation. How (and whether) a student’s credits apply to degree requirements will determine the student’s time to degree. Although credits from the dual credit program will count at SDSU, those credits may not help to fulfill the particular requirements for a specific degree. For example, though a student may earn a substantial number of credits in a foreign language by satisfactory completion of the language placement test (and though satisfactory testing and the resulting credits in a foreign language certainly represent an admirable level of academic achievement), those credits will not significantly advance progress toward a degree if the student’s program does not require 1) foreign language proficiency and/or 2) elective course work.
Distribution of Credits