Academic Requirements

There are three components of earning a baccalaureate degree at Emerson College:

  • Earning a minimum of 128 credit hours
  • Fulfilling all liberal arts requirements
  • Fulfilling all major requirements

While there are many possible paths to graduation, most students automatically reach 128 credit hours by taking a 16-credit course load each semester for four years (16 credits per semester x 8 semesters = 128 credits).

Our liberal arts curriculum is broadly oriented to expose students to disciplines across the social sciences, languages, literature, natural sciences, math, and the arts. The Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies is also home to Emerson’s highly competitive Honors Program and the Interdisciplinary Studies major. 

Beyond the liberal arts and major requirements, students must complete general elective courses to meet the 128 credit minimum. Students have this built-in flexibility to declare a minor and/or take general elective courses in their areas of interest.

Emerson offers almost 30 majors in communication and the arts. Major requirements are detailed in the Undergraduate Catalog. We invite you to meet with us to learn more.

Changing Your Major

All major changes require approval by the chair of the respective academic department. Additional requirements may exist depending on the desired major. For more information, please contact the Academic Advising Center.

Double Majoring

Students may double major by fulfilling all requirements for two distinct majors in two separate departments. No single course is allowed to fulfill a requirement in both majors. Any student considering a double major should meet with an advisor as early as possible. Students majoring in Media Arts Production, Media Studies, Media Psychology, or Business of Creative Enterprises may not double major. 


Minors consist of 16 to 20 credits of related coursework and allow students to formally explore an area outside their major. A minor is not required, though many students find it is a compelling way to give focus to elective credits. To learn what minors are offered at Emerson, consult the Undergraduate Catalog or contact us for a detailed list of minors and minor requirements. Matriculated students can declare a minor via the Minor Change Request form.