All-College Degree Requirements


Principia offers academic programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. This section describes degree requirements, the programs through which these requirements are met, and the intended student learning outcomes associated with specific programs. See Summary of Degree Requirements - Bachelor of Arts or Summary of Degree Requirements - Bachelor of Science for a summary of degree requirements described here in full.

Student Responsibility

Students have direct online access to their own academic records via BannerWeb. It is the student’s responsibility to check this record for accuracy each semester and to be certain that he or she is registering for the courses necessary to complete the degree requirements. Students should consult their advisors or the staff of the Registrar’s Office with any questions regarding these requirements. In addition, Degree Works tracks a student's progress toward graduation and should be checked regularly for updates.

Academic Course Requirements

  • Major - In order to ensure depth of study, a student must complete one of the majors corresponding to the degree being pursued. All the majors available at Principia are listed on the Academic Programs page and are described on the individual program pages.
  • General Education Requirements

Total Semester Hours

A student must earn a total of 120 semester hours. Transfer work, credit by examination, Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and International Baccalaureate Examination credits may be included according to the regulations governing these options found on the Academic and Non-Academic Credit Rules page.

Grade Point Average

At the time of graduation from Principia College a student must have an overall grade point average of 2.000 (the equivalent of a C average) or higher. Only grades earned in credit courses at Principia College are used in computing the grade point average. See also Grades and Grading.


A student must be enrolled, full- or part-time, under direct supervision of Principia faculty or staff, for a total of at least three semesters, earning a minimum of 36 semester hours from Principia. Also, a student must be enrolled for two of the three semesters immediately prior to graduation under direct supervision (including abroads, but not internships) of Principia faculty or staff. A student not meeting this requirement may apply for a waiver of residency. Please see the Registrar's Office for details.

Students pursuing two degrees must fulfill two additional semesters in residence, being enrolled for a minimum of five semesters and earning a minimum of 66 semester hours at Principia, under direct supervision of Principia faculty or staff.

Purpose of the Residency Requirement

We require a student to be enrolled for at least three semesters to ensure a full Principia experience, which includes:

  1. Living and learning in a community of people applying Christian Science to personal and academic challenges;
  2. Growing in response to the educational demands and standards of such a community; and
  3. Benefiting from the support provided to help community members meet those demands.

We also require that a student be enrolled for two of the three semesters immediately prior to graduation under direct supervision (including abroads, but not internships) of Principia faculty or staff to ensure that:

  1. A student is on campus during most of the junior and senior years. (This is prime learning time because it is the period in which most of the integration of one’s education takes place. Students should be working directly with our faculty at this time.)
  2. A student is on campus during this prime contribution time. (This is likely to be the time students make the greatest contribution to community life.)
  3. A student is fulfilling The Principia Pledge and living by the Principia Community Commitment.

Dilemmas & Decisions (D&D) Seminar

Values-based decision making is an essential element of the development of character, which according to Principia's founder, is the "most important work that Principia has to do" (Education at the Principia, p. 77). The D&D seminar meets for a total of 30 hours essentially evenly distributed over the student's time at Principia. During the seminar, students will:

  1. Articulate basic concepts of values, dilemmas, and decisions
  2. Apply various tools to ethical dilemmas and assess comparative value systems
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of morality and ethics to Christianity and Christian Science