Department Requirements

Each major has its own requirements for the degrees that it offers. The CNS Majors and Minors page provides a list of all majors with links to departmental websites, which list the requirements. Students are encouraged to meet with a departmental adviser to learn more about their departmental degree requirements.

BS Degree: CNS Requirements

Students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree are required to complete at least 60 CREDITS OF COURSEWORK in courses offered by the departments in the college (or approved courses offered by departments outside the college). Credits earned to satisfy General Education and major requirements count toward this requirement.

BA Degree: CNS Requirements

Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate level, by one of the following methods:

  • Completion of a foreign language course at the fourth semester level (Intermediate II or Intermediate Intensive courses numbered 240-249). Intermediate II courses may be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • Degree credit equivalent earned through an appropriate score on a College Board Foreign Language Achievement Test (SAT II) or a College Board Advanced Placement Test.
  • Proficiency demonstrated in a test designed by a University of Massachusetts Amherst language department, or a test administered and validated by a local faculty member if the language is not one offered by a department at the university.
  • Satisfactory completion in high school or college of either a fourth-level foreign language course, or of a third-level course in one language and a second-level course in another language.
  • Successful completion of one year in a high school in which English is not the language of instruction.
  • Successful completion of a semester or year's study abroad program that leads to foreign language proficiency at the fourth semester (Intermediate II) level as approved by the appropriate language department.

Students who have not satisfied the Foreign Language requirement should select a foreign language course each term in residence until the requirement has been satisfied. The university offers sequences that satisfy this requirement in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish. Students who have not yet completed the Foreign Language requirement may not apply their Pass/Fail option to foreign language courses numbered below 240. Students who are certified by the Disability Services Office as having a significant hearing impairment or documented learning disability that seriously limits the acquisition of foreign language skills may qualify for special accommodation. These students should meet with their academic dean in the CNS Advising Center.

Secondary Majors and Degrees

A student whose primary major is not in CNS but who is pursuing a second major in CNS will not be subject to the CNS college requirements. Students pursuing a second degree in CNS will be subject to either the BS or the BA requirements described above, according to which degree they are pursuing, whether or not their first degree is in CNS.