Soar in Four
A Guide to Earning Your Longwood Degree in Four Years
Enrollment management and student success is dedicated to ensuring the successful achievement of graduation from Longwood University. To that end, following the steps in this guide will enable you to take charge of your academic experience.
There are tremendous benefits to graduating in four years with a bachelor’s degree (or even participating in a 4+1 program earning a master’s degree).
- The math isn't hard: It costs you 25% more to graduate in five years instead of four. One additional course each semester will only equal the cost of additional credits and books, saving $$$ on room and board for additional semesters. See what this looks like in terms of actual dollars >>
- Financial aid is not unlimited; taking more than 150 percent of required courses to graduate can result in loss of eligibility to receive federal aid.
- The Commonwealth of Virginia is also committed to students’ completing their degrees in a timely manner. An in-state student who takes more than 125 percent of the classes needed to graduate will be charged a surcharge.
- Celebrate your tassel during Senior Week and commencement activities with your peers.
Steps to Success
- Maintain a close relationship with your advisor.
- Be familiar with the course catalog for your entry year and course sequencing.
- Create a road map to your graduation celebration, and check your degree progress evaluations regularly.
- Stay on top of requirements, for example: GPA or additional degree requirements (ADR), course prerequisites, internship or research experiences, PRAXIS, departmental applications for specific majors and comprehensive exams/Major Field Test.
- Pace yourself. If you need 120 credits to complete your degree requirements, then generally you’ll need to complete at least 30 credits per year (120 total credit hours/4 years). Thirty credits in a year can look very different for every student. Figure out the best option for you—it can differ each year. For example:
- 15 credit hours each semester
- 12 credit hours each semester and 6 credit hours in the summer
- 18 credit hours one semester and 12 credit hours in the other semester
- 12 credit hours one semester, 3 credit hours in intersession or summer and 15 credit hours in the other semester
- Take general education classes that interest you to explore your options when choosing a major. There are many benefits to declaring a major early, but there are greater benefits to choosing the major that best fits you.
- Be flexible with your schedule.
- Apply for graduation after completion of 89 credit hours. This allows advisors to ensure you are on track to graduate with your remaining credit hours.
- Stay on top of completing general education classes. For example, foreign language requirements can take up to four semesters to complete depending on your degree requirements. Waiting until your senior year to start could result in extra semesters.
- Be proactive with your studies. Repeating courses costs more money and can result in extra semesters. Use the resources available on campus, meet with your faculty member outside of class and consider starting a study group.
- Interested in taking a course that does not apply to your major or graduation requirements? That’s great, just be sure to adjust your course plan appropriately to account for these extra credits (for example, take a course in summer school or a higher credit load in a semester).
Changing/Choosing Your Major
- Remember, the requirements for each major are different. Check out the degree progress evaluation and "What If" major change analysis to see which classes apply to different majors.
- Talk to your advisor.
- Visit the University Career Center to explore majors that lead to your career interests.
- Complete a Change of Major Form with the Office of the Registrar.
- Visit the University Career Center to discuss major and career options.
- Consult with the Office of the Registrar when changing, dropping or adding areas of study.
- Visit your my.longwood.edu portal frequently.
- Use "Degree Progress Evaluation" in my.longwood.edu to check your progress toward degree completion.
- Use the "What if" analysis in my.longwood.edu to see what requirements you need to complete if you change majors.