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Creating Your Own Four Year Plan

Here you can find some helpful resources that guide you through on how to create your own four year plan and then some information on the different components that make up a KU degree. 

  1.  Read what the academic catalog says about your intended major.  It has degree requirements, admission requirements and sample four year degree plans. Click here to view a video tutorial on how to navigate the academic catalog.
  2. Read what the department’s website says about your intended major.  It usually has an Academics section and an Admission section. Some departments have checksheets or four year plans on their website.   
  3. Read a copy of your Degree Progress Report (DPR) pulled for your intended major.  It is best to pull a “what if” report for your intended major and not a “pre” DPR. Click here to view a video tutorial on how to read a DPR.
  4. Know if there are any courses you have completed or our fulfilled by transfer credit, ACT/SAT scores, AP/IB credit or dual credit from high school. Sometimes test scores will have you exempt from a class while others will give you credit for the class. For transfer credits sometimes you may get credit, but it won't fulfill a class at KU for your intended degree plan. Visit our Transfer Credit Website to learn more about test scores and looking up classes at other institutions to see if it will transfer to KU.
  5. Use the Schedule of Classes website if you are wanting to search for particular courses to view the description and know more about the course. 
  6. If you are exploring majors visit our our Exploring Majors webpage to learn more about resources to help you explore. 
  7. Finally, here is a four year plan template. This can be used as a guide to see how you can shape your four year degree. 

Components of a KU Degree

KU Core

First you will need to understand the KU Core.  The KU Core is 6 educational goals that all undergraduate students at KU must complete. They can be completed with approved classes or approved experiences.  It is not a prescribed set of courses that you must take. There are hundreds of classes and experiences that have been approved to meet the goals.  This allows you to create a unique undergraduate experience.  When filling out your four year plan template you do not have to choose specific classes that will meet each core yet as class offerings change every semester. For example, you could just choose the semester you will take a Goal 3 Arts and Humanities class and put that down in your template without choosing the class yet. If completing this for an assignment and you need to choose specific classes you can use our KU Core Course Offerings List to help guide you through choosing classes that will fulfill each requirement. Goal 6 is not listed on our list as each major usually has a required class that will fulfill Goal 6. There also may be some courses that are required for your degree plan (IE: Goal 6) that can fulfill a KU Core requirement so read your department website and sample four year plans closely.

Types of Degrees

You will need to understand the different types of degrees KU has to offer. The most common are: Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree.  All degrees require the KU Core.  BS degrees emphasize more in math and sciences. A BA degree requires fourth level proficiency in a foreign language, an extra math class beyond MATH 101 and a science lab that matches the lecture class.  A BGS degree requires that you double major or complete a minor.  A minor is usually 18 hours of coursework.  For some, minors specific classes are required and for others you can choose what 18 hours you take.  For your four year plan list the courses that are required for the type of degree you are going towards.

Admission Requirements

Next list out the courses you will need to be admitted to your program. Some majors may not require any admission courses. If that is the case then you do not need to list those courses. 

Major Courses

List the specific courses that your major/minor requires. Some requirements may say major/minor electives. You do not need to list the specific courses unless you are doing this for an assignment. 


For most degrees at KU you will need to have classes for elective credit. These are classes that are not required for your KU Core, degree or major requirements, but needed to fulfill your 120 credit hours to graduate. After you have listed all the required courses needed, but are still under 120 credits then fill in the rest of your plan with courses that sound fun, interesting and you feel could help you develop as a student.

Check Your Four Year Plan

There are a few details you will need to check to make sure your list is complete. 

  1.  Make sure you have enough major hours. The amount needed will be on your DPR.
  2. Make sure you have enough hours in residence.  This means that a minimum of 15 hours of your major have to be completed at KU.  At least 30 Junior/Senior hours must be completed at KU. 
  3. Make sure you have enough Junior/Senior level classes (classes at the 300 level or above).  You need 45 of these hours.
  4. You will need to complete a total of at least 120 hours. Because of this requirement there is often room for a minor even if you are doing the BA degree (Only 64 of your 120 hours can come from a community college.) 

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