Curricular Advising

Effective Catalog

It is the student's responsibility to complete the curriculum prescribed in the University catalog in effect, or as modified, when s/he matriculates.  See Registrar Graduation.

Undergraduate Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 120 semester hours of coursework is required for a baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA. However, more than 120 semester hours may be required depending upon the major field of study. Some majors have minimum GPA requirements higher than a 2.0. Specific requirements depend upon date of entry or date of major declaration and vary from major to major. Students are advised to review the particular requirements for a bachelor's degree in their programs with their faculty advisors or academic advisors, and review their Analysis of Academic Progress on WESS.

The total 120 credits required for graduation will be earned in one of three categories: general education requirements, major requirements, and general or free electives. Depending upon the type of bachelor’s degree, general education at Montclair State University ranges from 22 to 42 credit hours. Specific requirements are linked below. View a list of majors - links lead to the graduation requirements specific to each program. Additionally, on the following page, you will find departmentally approved recommendations of four-year graduation plans for each major:  montclair.edu/student-development-campus-life/enrollment/four-year.

Double Majors

Students are permitted to have a "double major"; one major must be designated as the primary and the other the secondary; students will complete the general education requirements for the primary program in addition to the major and collateral requirements for both majors (they do not need to complete two sets of Gen Ed). Students are encouraged to meet with advisors from both of their programs.

Non Applicable Credits

Montclair State accepts most credits transferred from regionally accredited, degree-granting Colleges and Universities. Transfer credits are not accepted for basic skill courses, ESL courses lower than level 100, or courses where the earned grade is lower than a C-. A student will be informed of the exact number of transferable credits in their Analysis of Academic Progress (in WESS). Departmental and Faculty advisors can run the same analysis of academic progress for any of their advisees in the Faculty and Advisors Self Services page (FASS) in the Web for Faculty page on the MSU Web site. Additionally, MSU accepts credits through CLEP, AP, the NYU Proficiency Test in Foreign Language, and DANTES. Students with questions about transfer credits not appearing in the Analysis of Academic Progress should be directed to the Admissions Office.

General Education Requirements

Major and Minor Requirements

View a list of majors—links lead to the graduation requirements specific to each program. Additionally, on the following page, you will find departmentally approved recommendations of four-year graduation plans for each Montclair State University major.

World Languages and Cultures Requirement

This requirement consists of two parts, World Languages and World Cultures.

For the World Languages portion of this requirement, students wishing to continue a language with which they have some experience, either academic or personal, must take a placement test. If they place at the second semester level, they must take 6 semester hours (2 sequential courses) to fill the requirement. If they place at the third semester level or higher, they must take only 3 semester hours (one course) at the level at which they place, or a course in English about a foreign culture or civilization. Students wishing to begin a new language, with which they have no experience, must take 6 semester hours of that language. More information, including course options, can be found at the link above.

Note: The first semester level course of a language is meant for true beginners who have no experience with the language. Students with experience, either academic or personal, will be placed at the second semester level or higher. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the appropriate department chair.

View:  Language Placement Testing.

Basic Skills Competency Requirement in Math, Reading and Writing

Students who are determined to need coursework in basic skills on the basis of placement test results will be required to enroll in and successfully complete the requirement as indicated below. No student may withdraw from developmental courses, and failure by regularly admitted students to comply with the requirement as stated below will result in the rescinding of admission to the University and the denial of course enrollment.

1. Basic Skills competency in Mathematics is determined by the following:

  • All students with SAT MATH scores greater than or equal to 550 or complete high school Algebra II with a grade of “B-“ or better, and transfer students with 24 or more credit hours are exempt from all remedial coursework in mathematics, and do not need to take an algebra placement test. These students should confer with their academic advisor and enroll in the appropriate 100-level course in MATH
  • All other students are required to take an algebra placement test
  • A score greater than or equal to 71 on the elementary algebra section of ACCUPLACER exempts the student from remedial coursework in elementary algebra, a score below 71 requires the student to take MATH 071 or MATH 061. These courses do not count towards the degree

The Policy Regarding Completion of Required Developmental Coursework in Mathematics can be found at Placement Tests - Basic Skill Policy:  Math.

2. Basic Skills competency in Reading is determined by the following:

  • •    All students with SAT Critical Reading scores greater than or equal to 550, who completed BOTH high school English and History in their junior year with course grades of B or better, and transfer students with 24 or more college credits accepted by Montclair are exempt from all remedial and developmental coursework in reading, and do not need to take a reading placement test. These students should confer with their academic advisor and enroll in appropriate college-level courses.
  • •    All other students are REQUIRED to take a reading placement test. A score greater than or equal to 72 on the reading section of ACCUPLACER results in exemption from remedial or developmental coursework in reading. A score below 72 on the reading placement test results in the REQUIREMENT to enroll in READ 099, "Pre-college Reading"

View:  New Policy Regarding Completion of Required Developmental Coursework in Reading.

3. Basic Skills competency in Writing is determined by the following:

  • Students who score below 520 on SAT Critical Reading and below 410 on SAT Writing should register for Introduction to Writing (ENWR100). For most students, this original registration will become the final placement.
  • However, final placement will not be determined until students have arrived on campus, attended their first two writing classes, and completed an essay. It is critical for students to know that they will be asked to write an essay, due the first day of class, based on readings and an essay assignment that will be sent directly to students via email. Students are encouraged to look out for this email from the first-year writing program.?The placement process is extended into the beginning of the semester because it enables us to ensure that each student is at best advantage for a successful academic career – quite simply, what we can learn about students from a week in class is immeasurably greater and more important than what we can learn about students from their performance on a few standardized tests. If a student needs to have a class changed, the first-year writing program will work carefully to make such a class change is minimally disruptive. For more information, please refer to First Year Writing Placement.
  • Transfer students with 24 or more college credits accepted by Montclair ARE NOT required to enroll in any remedial or developmental coursework in writing. These students may enroll in the major-specific writing courses for their academic programs.

Speech Requirement

All students attending Montclair State University MUST complete the Fundamentals of Speech Communication course (CMST 101) as part of their General Education Requirement. If a student has transferred from another institution and has had speech credits accepted by Montclair State University, then this requirement does not apply. Students who have not yet taken the Fundamentals of Speech course may challenge out of the class by taking the following steps:

Call the Communication Studies office (973-655-7471) to determine eligibility for the exam and the Registration date. The exam is appropriate for candidates who have had some formal coursework and training in public speaking.

  • If eligible, the student is responsible for a $100.00 fee for the Speech Challenge Exam (payable at the Office of Student Accounts).
  • On the Registration date, the student must present a receipt from the Bursar to Life Hall 050 to schedule an appointment time for the actual exam, and pick up the Waiver Exam packet of information. The student must register in person.
  • The exam consists of a 10-12 minute extemporaneous persuasive speech on an assigned topic utilizing at least two presentation aids. The Information Packet outlines all other requirements and includes the specific evaluation rubric used by examiners.
  • The expectation for a waiver is that the student’s presentation will minimally be comparable to a ‘B-’ grade of a student taking the course.
  • If the examiners judge that the student has met the department’s criteria, then the student will be waived from the Fundamentals course. The student will NOT receive three (3) credits for the waiver, but may opt to take an elective course in place of Fundamentals of Speech if additional credits are needed.
  • If the examiners judge that the student has NOT met the department’s criteria, then the student will NOT be waived and must register for the CMST 101 course.

NOTE: We strongly recommend that students do not wait until their senior year to take this exam! There is a 35-40% failure rate, which may cause the student to not meet the requirements for their desired graduation date.

The exam is scheduled twice during each academic year, once in the fall and once in the spring semester. Please contact the School of Communication & Media office at: (973) 655-7471 in early September or late January for information about scheduled dates.