University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Composition and one course in Communication; and a Math Pathway course.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Interpret spatial patterns using mapping concepts.
  • Describe the components and function of environmental systems.
  • Analyze natural phenomena using quantitative data, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Explain the complex relationships between humans and the natural environment (Environmental Science Emphasis).
  • Analyze data to quantify geologic features and structures (Geology Emphasis).
  • Extract new geospatial information using remote sensing imagery and digital analyses (Physical Geography Emphasis).

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110English I: Introduction To Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals Of Effective Speaking And Listening
Principles Of Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (satisfied in major requirements below)
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits27

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Additional details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.

Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; Satisfied in program requirements below)
Laboratory Science Experience (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Total Credits0

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

Mathematics Coursework
MATH 110Precalculus Algebra (satisfies Math Pathway)3
STAT 235Elementary Statistics3
or CJC 303 Introduction to Statistics in Sociology and Criminal Justice
or SOCIOL 363 Introduction To Statistics In Sociology/Criminal Justice
Science Coursework 1
CHEM 211
General Chemistry I
and Experimental General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
and Experimental General Chemistry II
Pick one of the two following sequences (total of 8 credits): 8
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory
MOTR Essentials in Biology w/ Lab - Botany
MOTR Biology with Lab
General Biology II
and General Biology II Laboratory
MOTR Essentials in Biology with Lab
MOTR Biology w/Lab
General Physics I
General Physics II
Earth and Environmental Science Coursework
Understanding the Earth: Introduction to Environmental Science and Laboratory
and Understanding the Earth Laboratory
or GEOLOGY 220
General Geology
and General Geology Laboratory
or MOTRGEOG 100L MOTR Physical Geography with Lab
Coursework common to all emphasis areas:
GEOG 203Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
GEOLOGY 250LField Methods in Earth and Environmental Science3
or GEOLOGY 251L Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Science: Off-Campus
GEOG 215Weather and Climate4
ENV-STDY 325Cultural Perspectives on the Environment3
GEOG 444Spatial Data Analysis4
GEOG 499WIGeography Seminar3
or ENV-STDY 499WI Environmental Studies Practicum
or GEOLOGY 499WI Geology Seminar
or GEOG 403WI History and Philosophy of Geoscience
Physical Geography Coursework
GEOG 314Principles of Geomorphology4
or GEOG 360 Principles of Biogeography
GEOG 401Advanced Geographic Information Science4
GEOG 402Environmental Remote Sensing and Digital Image Analysis4
GEOG 406Global Environmental Change3
Physical Geography Electives (choose 9 hours from the following):9
Climate Change Impact Assessment and Policy Response
Understanding and Living with Volcanoes
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States and Canada (or any regional geography course)
Geography of Southeast Asia
Satellite Climatology
Field Methods in 3D Imaging of the Environment
For the pairs listed below, students may only take courses for elective credit not already taken for major requirements:
Principles of Biogeography
Principles of Geomorphology
Total Credits74

Math and Science Requirements

The Bachelor of Science degree requires a minimum of 60 hours in math and science coursework. The number of credit hours needed to meet this minimum requirement are listed below.

Additional Math and Science Coursework0

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives16

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).

Four Year Graduation Plan - Courses & Critical Benchmarks for First Time College Students:

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, undergraduate four-year course outlines that inform students on the classes they should take and when to take them. Outlines are updated yearly. Graduate students should visit their program's individual school for program outlines.

The following is a sample course of study. Your path to graduation may vary based on factors such as college credit you earned while in high school, transfer work from other institutions of higher learning, and placement in Mathematics. You are responsible for checking prerequisites to any courses. It is the Student’s responsibility to ensure that all program requirements are met. This guide is not a substitute for academic advisement.

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
5GEOG 203CC4
MATH 1103STAT 235, SOCIOL 263, or CJC 3033
GEFSE 1013COMM-ST 110 or 2773
 GECRT-SS 1013
 14 16
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
CHEM 211
5CHEM 212R
HISTORY 101, 102, or POL-SCI 2103GECUE 2013
 14 15
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
GEOG 4014GEOG 4024
GEOG 3XX/4XX Major Elective3GEOG 3XX/4XX Major Elective3
PHYSICS 210 or BIOLOGY 108 and BIOLOGY 108L (Complete Physics or Biology 2-semester course sequence))4PHYSICS 220 or BIOLOGY 109 and BIOLOGY 109L4
General Elective3General Elective3
 17 17
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
GEOG 314 or 3604GEOG 4063
3XX/4XX General Elective3GEOG 3XX/4XX Major Elective3
General Elective4General Elective3
 15 12
Total Credits: 120

Recommendations to Maintain Progress toward 4-Year Degree Completion

  • Completion of the First Semester Experience (FSE) course in first term.
  • Early completion of Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Math Pathway requirements.
  • Maintain the minimum GPA required for academic Good Standing for your degree program.
  • Completion at least 15 credit hours toward degree each regular semester. (Students may use the summer to ensure completion of 30 hours per academic year or to lighten Fall and Spring course loads.)
  • Enrollment in Critical Courses as listed on the Major Map is recommended in order to maintain timely progress and completion of prerequisite coursework.
  • Early and continuous enrollment in Foreign Language through completion of level required for degree program is recommended. (The Foreign Language placement exam is highly recommended to ensure placement in the correct course level.)
  • Regular consultation with Academic Advisor(s) for program(s) of study is strongly recommended and may be required for some degree programs..

Advising Contact Information

College of Arts & Sciences Student Services

09 Scofield Hall (basement)