As a University of Maryland student, you are an informed and active participant in your education. Academic advisors are committed to assist you in meeting your educational and career goals.

The university’s Student Academic Success-Degree Completion Policy aims to promote undergraduate student success. The policy establishes a structured framework and criteria to guide all students to completion of an undergraduate degree within a reasonable period of time.

To help students meet these requirements, all first semester BSOS students as well as those adding and/or changing their major , are required to create an academic plan. The academic plan Helps establish a path to graduation by charting all major, general education (CORE or Gen Ed), and elective courses needed to earn a minimum of 120 credits required to graduate. It also demonstrates students' understanding of degree requirements for their new major and illustrates the ability to complete the new major in a timely manner.


  • Full-time degree-seeking students are expected to graduate in four years.
  • Students are expected to create a four year plan towards graduation.
  • Students are expected to successfully pass important benchmark courses by certain semesters to ensure they are on track to graduate in a timely fashion.
  • The exact benchmark courses and timeframe for completion vary by major.
  • Students who do not successfully pass benchmark requirements risk being dismissed from their major.
  • Students with questions about benchmark requirements should contact their academic advisor. 
  1. Know your general education and benchmark/gateway requirements.
  2. Access the Major Checklist for your major.  Each academic unit within the college has a 4-year template, or major card, which formats the general education, benchmark/gateway, and other course requirements for the major. You can view a sample four-year plan by major.
  3. Access your Degree Audit in Testudo. Run an audit for the major in which you are currently enrolled 
  4. Access the Graduation Planning Form.  (Add to Forms page)
    1. Complete the front of the form. Read and initial the Statements of Understanding. 
    2. Complete the back of the form; Name, UID, Intended/Planned Major and Cumulative Credits
  5. Register and attend an Academic Planning Workshop – for instructions on how to complete the form in its entirety.
  6.  The Academic Plan should include all general education, major and elective courses. 
  7. Submit the Academic Plan to or if you are a student who is adding or changing their major, forward the plan to

Benchmarks - Courses completed within a specified number of semesters in order to continue in the major. Students in AASD, ANTH, ECON, GEOG, GIS, GVPT, HESP, and SOCY must complete benchmarks.

Gateways - Students must satisfy specific entrance requirements in order to apply to or remain in the major. CCJS and PSYC are Limited Enrollment Programs. 

ElectivesAny credits needed beyond CORE/General Education and major requirements. While a student may utilize these credits as they wish, they are encouraged to take courses beneficial to their interest as well as post graduate plans (i.e. courses in other areas of interest; internships or research opportunities, minors and certificates, Study Abroad, Learning and Living programs).