CUC Set to Require Fewer Credits to Graduate

Natalie Jensen

Concordia University Chicago will reduce the minimum number of credits required for bachelor’s degrees from 128 down to 120.

The CUC administration decided in January to lower the credit requirement and to allow up to 90 transfer credits, a jump from the previous 66-credit limit, beginning this summer. As a result, August 2022 could see the first CUC students earning a bachelor’s degree with 120 credits.

This plan is intended to make the school more accommodating for incoming transfer students and to reduce the overall workload for four-year students. 

“More is not necessarily better,” said university provost Erik Ankerberg, Ph.D.

The plan also helps transfer students who have already completed two years of college to complete the rest of their studies in less time. “It’s fairly common for students to have to stay a third year or into a third year if they’re transferring in,” said Ankerberg.  CUC expects to see an increased number of transfer students as a result of these changes.

Transferring between colleges can be a long process while students and their advisors figure out which credits will transfer and which will not.  

“Thankfully all of my classes from Triton [College] transferred, except for one class,” said junior Karen Sam.

Students often consider the tuition cost and their potential graduation date when looking for colleges to complete their degrees. “Reducing the number of credits is a great idea,” said Sam. “It helps ease the transfer process.”

The graduation credit reduction can also cut down on the number of courses students have to take each semester. Instead of taking the full 18 credits, students can take 15 credits per semester to meet the 120 credit minimum over the span of their four years.

The streamlined course load also provides greater flexibility if students decide to switch their major, pursue a double major, or add a minor.

“I do think it is a good idea to reduce the workload for students,” said senior Emily Cyrwus. Many students, including Cyrwus, a lacrosse and tennis player, are student athletes and hold part-time or full-time jobs. “Even having one less class reduces so much stress,” said Cyrwus.

The number of general education credits will also be slightly reduced in the next year’s academic catalog. Students will still be required to take certain CUC-specific courses, including theology. The overall reduction in credits, however, does not apply to majors that require additional credits due to Illinois state guidelines.

Loyola University Chicago and University of Illinois Chicago also require 120 credits to graduate. These universities all follow the Illinois Articulation Initiative, a statewide agreement that governs college student transfers. More than 100 colleges throughout the state, including CUC, follow the agreement. 

Ultimately, Ankerberg said, the credit reduction plan is intended to help four-year CUC students and transfer students to complete their studies successfully. “Our first commitment is to provide high quality education,” said Ankerberg.

This article has been updated.