Graduation Requirements: Degrees and Cooperative or Dual-Degree Programs Offered

Graduation Requirements

Guilford College uses semester hours for units of credit.

For the baccalaureate degree, students must:

  • earn a minimum of 124 semester hours of credit;
  • earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of C (2.0);
  • complete all general education requirements;
  • complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of credit at Guilford;
  • complete half their major(s) while enrolled at Guilford, with grades of C- or above;
  • complete half their minor(s) while enrolled at Guilford;
  • spend their last semester of study at Guilford;
  • file their application for degree candidacy online at least one semester before their anticipated date of graduation.

Commencement is held once per year, in May. July and December graduates may participate in the next May ceremony.

To receive a diploma, a student must have satisfied all academic requirements, must have cleared all outstanding accounts with the Office of Student Financial Services and must have no judicial action pending. A diploma will not be awarded to any student against whom unresolved judicial charges exist.

Degrees Offered

Guilford offers four baccalaureate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts,
  • Bachelor of Science,
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts and
  • Bachelor of Music.

A student majoring in biology, chemistry or geology is awarded a Bachelor of Arts unless extra work is done to earn a Bachelor of Science. An art major may pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts; a music major may pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Music.

Cooperative or Dual-Degree Programs

Cooperative programs are those in which students take a portion of their undergraduate work (usually three years) at Guilford, completing an additional one to two years at a cooperating institution. At the end of the specified period of time, the student receives a baccalaureate degree from Guilford and a more specialized professional certificate or degree from the second school.

Admission to Guilford does not automatically qualify students for admission to a cooperative program. Students must apply to the schools sponsoring programs that interest them, and their admission is the prerogative of those schools.


Do you want to be an engineer with a solid foundation in the liberal arts and excellent oral and written communication skills? The Guilford physics program may be just the right one for you. At Guilford, students learn how to attack and solve complicated problems by getting to the root causes and analyzing connections between the pieces. In addition, Guilford physics students become excellent communicators to both technical and non-technical audiences. These are critical skills for a successful engineer. More than 30 percent of Guilford physics graduates have careers in engineering or engineering-related fields. At Guilford, these students concentrated on applied physics while also benefiting from our strong writing program and broad liberal arts education. Guilford-trained engineers are not only excellent in finding technical solutions to problems, they understand the relationship between technology and humankind and can communicate effectively with people of diverse cultural backgrounds and technical knowledge. The training in alternate perspectives that a liberal arts education provides will be a critical asset for 21st-century engineers who will need to navigate through complicated problems and find creative solutions.

There are three ways in which Guilford students can prepare for an engineering career:

  1. Students may follow the pre-engineering track of the physics major (and chemistry major for chemical engineering). Graduates may go to graduate school in engineering or enter the workforce directly.
  2. Students may obtain a dual degree by completing a 3-2 program in pre-engineering physics. Students in this program complete three years at Guilford satisfying all the requirements for a B.S. in pre-engineering physics except for thesis and IDS 401 before transferring to an engineering program at an accredited university. After completing the program, the student receives a B.S. in physics from Guilford as well as an engineering degree from the cooperating school. In addition to the advantages of small classes, individualized instruction, and broad background enjoyed by Guilford students, graduates also gain the advantage of standing out from the crowd to potential employers because of their two degrees.
  3. Following two years at Guilford, students may transfer to an engineering school to obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Two years at Guilford would provide students with a basic foundation in science and mathematics as well as experience in writing and exposure to the liberal arts. These classes at Guilford are much smaller and more personalized than at a university, so they provide an excellent way to begin one’s college career. This option is attractive for those students with a weak scientific background or, paradoxically, a desire to pursue physics and math in greater depth than is customary in engineering education.

All three paths for pursuing an engineering career at Guilford require careful planning. Interested students should meet with an advisor from the Department of Physics as soon as possible so that the student and an advisor can develop the best plan of action.


The College offers an accelerated degree program with Elon University Law School (“Elon Law”), leading to the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Elon Law in addition to the bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, completed in five and a half years.

With appropriate guidance, over three years, highly qualified students can complete a minimum of 92 hours, including all major, minor and general education requirements. At the end of two full semesters of law school at Elon Law, students will have completed the undergraduate degree at Guilford College, and a degree will be awarded by Guilford. After an additional three semesters at Elon Law, students who have completed all requirements for the law degree will receive their J.D. degrees from Elon Law. This accelerated program enables qualified students to earn a bachelors degree and a law degree over five and one-half years, compared to seven years to pursue both degrees separately and six years for most dual degree programs.

This program at Guilford College does not guarantee admission to Elon Law. Students must submit an application to Elon Law by February of their junior year. Students also must have taken the LSAT (the law school admission exam) during their junior year. In order to be admitted, students must demonstrate superior academic ability and potential for leadership. LSAT scores and grade point averages must meet Elon Law’s rigorous standards for admission. There are no prescribed majors or minors for law school. Students should demonstrate mastery of their chosen fields of study, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills and critical thinking skills. In their first or second years, Interested students should seek advice from, and work with, pre-law advisors in order to be able to pursue this accelerated degree program. Advisor: Betty T. Kane, Department of Business Administration.

Preprofessional Options

Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry

Students interested in careers in medicine, dentistry, podiatry, osteopathy, chiropractic, pharmacy or optometry must fulfill the prerequisites at Guilford for professional school admission. Health professions advisors provide detailed information on various careers, as well as on professional school admission requirements, application procedures and special programs for minority students. Also available are application materials, financial aid information and study materials for entrance examinations (such as the Medical College Admission Test and the Dental Admission Test).

A health professions advisor assists students in planning an individualized program of study that, for most career fields, includes at least one year each of biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, mathematics and physics. Pre-medicine and other pre-health students may major in the field of their choice while obtaining specialized courses needed for graduate study. Advisor: Anne G. Glenn, Department of Chemistry.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Students receive solid preparation at Guilford for admission to a school of veterinary medicine. To complete prerequisites for application, students usually major in biology. Some veterinary schools also require a course in animal nutrition, which Guilford students can take at North Carolina A&T State University through consortium arrangements, or students can take an approved online course. Advisor: Michele Malotky, Department of Biology.


Students planning to attend law school are urged to contact Guilford’s pre-law advisor and to participate fully in the activities of the Pre-Law Club. Students are encouraged to contact the advisor early in their undergraduate studies for both academic and law school admission advice.

There is no prescribed or preferred major for pre-law students, but law schools seek students who have demonstrated mastery of their chosen fields of study and have completed a balanced liberal arts education. Pre-law students are urged to include foreign languages, political theory, logic (formal or informal), economics, analytical writing and critical thinking among their undergraduate courses, as well as various law courses offered across the curriculum (e.g., business law, criminal law and criminal procedure). Many law schools require solid performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and a 3.0 or higher grade-point average.

The Pre-Law Club provides practice LSATs, regular meetings, guest speakers and visits to nearby law schools. 


The Department of Religious Studies offers preparation which may lead to a career in the ministry or religious education. A broad range of courses preparing the student to enter theological school directly upon graduation includes History of Christianity, Old Testament and New Testament, Contemporary Theology, Quakerism, and various explorations in modern religious problems. Studies in comparative religions are offered regularly. Advisor: Eric Mortensen, Department of Religious Studies.

Note: As a Quaker-founded College, Guilford supports the peace testimony of Friends and does not offer or support courses in military science. Such courses are available on an audit basis at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, also located in Greensboro, for Guilford students who want to enroll through the consortium cross-registration program.