Creating Your Own Four Year Plan

Here are the key resources that guide you through how to create your own four year plan.

  1.  Read what the academic catalog says about your intended major.  The catalog includes degree and admission requirements, and sample four year plans. Click here to view a video tutorial on how to navigate the academic catalog.
  2. Read what your majors departmental website says.  It usually has an Academics section and an Admission section to explore. Some departments have checksheets or four year plans uploaded 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 exempt you from a requirement or give you credit for a course. Some transfer courses give you credit hours, but 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 how it will transfer to KU.
  5. Use the Schedule of Classes website if you want to search for particular courses to view the description and know more about the course. 
  6. If you are exploring majors go back to our Exploring Majors webpage to learn more about resources to help you explore! We always recommend taking the Career Center's Hawk Quest quiz. 
  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. Look below to check you have courses listed for each area.
  8. Schedule an appointment with an advisor to take a look at your plan!

What to include in your Four Year Plan:

KU Core

The KU Core is 6 educational goals that have been built to enhance whatever major that you choose! Every major and degree at KU requires completion of the KU Core. Goals can be completed with approved classes or approved experiences. There are hundreds of classes and experiences that have been approved to meet the 6 goals.  This allows you to create a unique undergraduate experience.  Since course offerings change, a good place to start would simply be filling out which goal you might like to complete in which semester. For example, your first semester you might like to complete Goal 3 Humanities. Here is the KU Core website to explore more! 

Degree requirements

Remember the most common types: Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree. BS degrees emphasize more courses in math and sciences. A BA degree requires fourth level proficiency in a foreign language, an additional math course beyond MATH 101, and a science lab that matches the lecture class.  A BGS degree requires that you double major or complete a minor. Visit our KU Degrees tab again for a refresher!

Admission Requirements

Next list out the courses you will need to be admitted to your major. These will always be listed in the catalog under the major you are looking at pursuing! Not all majors have admission requirements, most majors within Professional Schools do! 

Major Courses

List the specific courses that your major/minor requires. Some requirements may say major/minor electives.


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 you may need them to reach your 120 credit hours to graduate. If you have listed all the required courses needed for your major but are still under 120 credits, fill in the rest of your plan with courses that sound fun, interesting, and 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. We can help you check these things too!

  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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