Degree Works FAQ Skip Navigation

Overview


What is Degree Works?
Degree Works is a web-based tool designed to help students and advisers monitor progress toward degree completion. Degree Works uses degree requirements from the University Catalogue and re-organizes the student’s transcript categorically to produce an easy-to-read audit. The audit is divided into blocks to show all of the necessary requirements and how courses taken or in-progress count toward those requirements. Each block contains checkboxes to easily identify what courses and requirements are complete, almost complete, or still outstanding. Degree Works can be used as part of advising sessions to determine course selections (in conjunction with the Course Offerings for the term) and review graduation requirements.
What are the benefits of Degree Works?
Degree Works is intended to support and enhance Colgate's commitment to academic advising. Students and advisers are able to:
  • View detailed requirements for the degree, major, and minor
  • See how completed, in-progress, and approved transfer/AP course work applies to degree requirements
  • Identify courses needed to complete specific degree requirements
  • View cumulative and major/minor GPAs
  • Plan course selection for future semesters using the Look Ahead feature
  • Generate What-If audits to view hypothetical major and/or minor changes based on current and projected course work
  • Calculate a GPA based on projected performance for the term
  • Calculate the grade combination(s) needed to achieve a target GPA
Degree Works is intended to support and complement academic advising but not to replace face-to-face advising sessions or the University Catalogue.
How do I access Degree Works?
Faculty members: from the Colgate portal, select Degree Works from the Faculty Toolbox tab, then click the Degree Works link.
Administrative staff: from the Colgate portal, select Degree Works from the Dean's Dashboard tab, then click the Degree Works link.
How do I view an advisee's audit?
If you have officially assigned advisees, their names will be preloaded when you access Degree Works. To view a different advisee, simply select the student from the Name drop-down box and the audit will generate.
I signed a student’s declaration form but he/she is not showing up in my pre-populated advisee list. When will the audit appear in my list?
Advisees will appear in your pre-populated list as soon as the approved declaration form is received and processed by the registrar’s office. If you need to advise a student before they appear in your list, you can search for the student by ID or name, using the Find button in the upper left corner of the window.

Please note that you will not be able to navigate back to your pre-populated advisee list after using the Find button. Your list will repopulate the next time you access Degree Works.
Can I view an audit of a student who is not my advisee?
Unlike the current Faculty and Advisor Dashboards, Degree Works will allow you to search for and access the audit of any currently enrolled Colgate student, even if s/he is not your advisee or in your course, provided that you have legitimate educational interest (per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA], see below). We recognize that much academic advising at Colgate is done informally—for instance, meeting with a prospective major or discussing graduate plans with a senior seminar/research student who is not your official advisee—and this enhanced access supports that important function.

To find a student who isn't an advisee, click the Find button on the upper left corner of the window. You can search for a population of students (e.g., by major and class year) or you can search for an individual student by name or ID. After you enter your desired search criteria, click Search to populate your results at the bottom. If you have multiple results, you can select which students to view by clicking or unclicking the check box next to their name. Once you've identified your population, click OK to bring up the audit.

Under FERPA, a school official has a "legitimate educational interest" if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities in support of Colgate's academic mission. Faculty and staff members with access to student education records are legally responsible for protecting the privacy of the student by using information only for legitimate educational purposes to advise or assist students. An advising relationship that meets the requirements of legitimate educational interest can be defined formally, when a student is officially assigned to an adviser, or informally, when a student outside a department or program needs advising that requires access to his or her education record. Please be advised that neither curiosity nor personal interest qualifies as legitimate educational interest. More information about FERPA can be found on the registrar's web page (http://www.colgate.edu/offices-and-services/registrar/ferpa).
How current is the information in a Degree Works audit?
The information in Degree Works is refreshed every time you access an audit. If the information isn't up-to-date it could be due to outstanding paperwork (e.g., declaration paperwork that hasn’t reached the registrar’s office yet) or an outstanding transcript for transfer work.
Can a student register for classes in Degree Works?
Degree Works provides information on degree requirements and assists with planning for registration, but students must still register through Banner Self-Service. Degree Works lists all courses that will fulfill outstanding requirements, but does not provide information about specific course offerings for a particular semester, nor term-specific information, such as meeting dates, times and instructor information. Students must still use the Course Offerings each term to identify the courses for which they plan to register.
How do I Exit Degree Works?
From your degree audit window, select the Exit degree Works tab in the upper right corner of the window.

FERPA


FERPA Information for faculty and staff
Degree Works users are required to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which was originally passed by Congress in 1974. FERPA is designed to protect the privacy of students by limiting third-party access to student education records. Please review the FERPA information on the Office of the Registrar web page (www.colgate.edu/offices-and-services/registrar/ferpa) prior to accessing Degree Works for the first time. 

Under FERPA, a school official has a "legitimate educational interest" if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities in support of Colgate's academic mission. Faculty and staff members with access to student education records are legally responsible for protecting the privacy of the student by using information only for legitimate educational purposes to advise or assist students. An advising relationship that meets the requirements of legitimate educational interest can be defined formally, when a student is officially assigned to an adviser, or informally, when a student outside a department or program needs advising that requires access to his or her education record. Please be advised that neither curiosity nor personal interest qualifies as legitimate educational interest.

Degree Audit


How is the degree audit structured?
The audit is organized into categorical sections called blocks. The first block provides student demographic information and photo, and is displayed at the top of the audit, followed by requirement blocks:

Degree in Bachelor of Arts
summarizes the requirements to earn a degree including course credit, general education, major, and GPA. Students who have not yet declared a major will have a block for “Seeking a Bachelor of Arts Degree.” This will change to the specific degree block when a major is formally declared.

General Education Requirements
summarizes all of the requirements that fall under the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum.

Common Core Requirements
details each CORE area (i.e., Scientific Perspectives, Communities and Identities, Legacies of the Ancient World, and Challenges of Modernity).

Global Engagements
specifies if the requirement has been satisfied and, if not, directs students to view the Course Offerings to find GLEN courses approved for a specific term.

Areas of Inquiry
details each area and displays completed or in-progress course work counting toward this requirement.

Writing Requirement For most students, the writing requirement is satisfied upon admission. If not, this block will display as incomplete until a qualifying WRIT course is successfully completed.

Foreign Language Requirement
For most students, the language requirement is satisfied upon admission. If not, this block will display as incomplete until a qualifying (200-level) language course is successfully completed.

Physical Education Requirement
shows how many remaining PHED units are needed to complete the requirement.

Major and minor
displays detailed requirements within each major and/or minor. Specific components of the major or minor are listed individually and are checked off as the student progresses.

Major/Minor GPA
appears only for those majors and minors that count all courses in the department/program toward the GPA. Otherwise, the student’s major or minor GPA comprises only the courses used to satisfy the major or minor requirements and can be found in the regular major or minor block header.

Additional/Elective Courses
lists those that do not satisfy any requirement or are not needed to fulfill a requirement (e.g., another course is being used).

Insufficient Courses
lists any failed, withdrawn, or repeated courses that cannot be used to fulfill a requirement.

In-progress Courses
lists all registered courses that have not yet received a grade. After registration, and before the end of the current term, it will list both fall and spring courses.

Not Counted
lists courses that are taken out of sequence or have other issues that should be addressed with the registrar’s office. If there are courses listed in Not Counted, please contact the registrar’s office immediately.
What view formats are available for an audit?
The Student View is the default format and contains the most comprehensive information about a student's academic program and progress toward degree completion. The Registration Checklist view condenses the audit to show the outstanding requirements only. To change from the default Student View to the Registration Checklist, locate the Format drop down menu above the audit, select Registration Checklist, then click View.
What do the symbols signify next to each requirement on the audit?
= complete
  = not complete
  = will be complete when in-progress courses are successfully completed
= nearly complete - see your adviser
@ = any course number
* = course is either a pre-requisite or requires a pre-requisite
IP = course in progress

The legend also appears at the bottom of each audit.
How is a Degree Works audit different from a transcript?
Degree Works uses degree requirements from the University Catalogue and re-organizes the student’s chronological transcript into categorical blocks. Unlike the transcript, which is the final, official documentation of a student’s academic record and degree completion at Colgate, the Degree Works audit is an unofficial advisement tool. The official transcript is issued through the Office of the Registrar upon written request from the student.
How does Degree Works decide which courses to use to satisfy requirements?
The degree audit places each course using a “best fit” scenario. Often multiple possibilities exist, and Degree Works may not choose the same configuration that you may have chosen. This does not mean that it could not be used in another configuration, rather that the tool is providing a possible scenario. The registrar’s office has no control over the “best fit” scenarios, and these may change as the student registers and completes additional courses.
Where do I find my advisee’s major and/or minor GPA?
Most major and minor GPAs are listed in the major/minor block header and are a calculated GPA based on coursework used to fulfill major/minor requirements only. Some majors and minors count all courses taken in the subject area of the department/program, whether they count toward a specific requirement in that major or not. In these cases, you will also see a separate Major/Minor GPA Coursework block below the major/minor requirement block. If present, this block should be used to determine the student’s major/minor GPA.
What if the major or minor requirements listed for my advisee appear to be incorrect?
Major and minor requirement blocks are determined by the declaration year which appears in the major or minor block header. The student is expected to complete the requirements in place for that year. If you believe the declaration year is recorded incorrectly, please contact the registrar’s office.
How will transfer and AP credit appear in the audit?
Approved transfer and AP credit will factor into the audit where appropriate. Approved transfer credit or AP credit will appear on the audit once the Office of the Registrar has received the official transcript or score report.
Why isn’t a transfer course fulfilling a requirement?
It is possible that the course was not approved to satisfy a specific requirement or the Office of the Registrar was not notified. It is also possible that all specific requirements have been met and the course counts only as a degree elective. If you have additional questions regarding transfer credit, please contact the registrar’s office.
What do I do if the information on my advisee’s audit is incorrect?
Please e-mail the Office of the Registrar (degreeworks@colgate.edu) regarding errors or discrepancies in the audit. Provide the student's name and information on the error or discrepancy (e.g., courses within a requirement not coded correctly, courses not applying where expected, discrepancy in student's major or minor declaration year, etc.).
What if my advisee has been approved for a substitution/exception for a requirement, but it does not appear on the audit?
Course substitution or exception requests must be initiated by the department chair/program director and submitted to the registrar’s office. The registrar’s office will confirm that the substitution/exception is consistent with general university policy. Once it has been cleared, it will be applied to the student’s record by the registrar’s office and will appear on the audit.
Does the audit constitute clearance for graduation?
The Degree Works audit is not official notification of degree requirement completion. Final approval of Colgate degree completion resides with the Office of the Registrar. Please contact the Office of the Registrar if you have questions regarding the degree audit or official degree completion status.
What is the Class History?
Class History provides a chronological list of all completed and in-progress course work. The list is ordered by term and includes grade and course credit information. This is not a transcript and does not provide term GPAs or a running cumulative GPA. To view Class History, click the link located above the audit.
How do I print a degree audit?
Use the Print tab at the top of the page or you can choose the View PDF button just above the Student Information block.

What-If Audit


What is the What-If feature?
The What-If feature allows you to work with a student to hypothetically change their major or minor. The What-If audit will show what course work is required for the new major or minor, what courses they have taken that satisfy requirements, and what requirements are still outstanding.
How do I run a What-If audit?
Select What-If from the side menu options in the far left column. Choose the current or a future declaration year (required), then select a major and/or minor. If the major or minor requires an emphasis, you must also select the corresponding emphasis. You may choose several majors and minors to view in one What-If scenario. (Per university policy, students may officially declare two majors or one major and one minor.) You can add projected course work to the What-If audit by entering course information in the Choose Your Future Courses section, below the major and minor pick lists. Once you have chosen the desired major(s) and/or minor(s) and entered projected course work, if desired, click the Process What-If button at the top of the page.
Why am I receiving an error when I run a "What-If" scenario?
The "What-If" tool requires that you make a selection in the "Declaration Year" field. Failure to select a year will result in an error.
My advisee ran a What-If audit, can I see it from my screen?
What-If scenarios are not stored in Degree Works so you can only see the results if you work through a What-If procedure together, or if the student saved a PDF or printed a copy.
If a student uses the What-If feature, does it mean they have declared or changed their major/minor?
The student must complete and submit an approved declaration form to the registrar’s office to formally declare a major or minor. The What-If function is for information purposes only and does not constitute declaration. You will see the header “What-If Audit” displayed at the top of the audit whenever an audit is run on a What-If scenario.

Look Ahead


What is the Look Ahead feature?
This feature allows you to enter projected course work and see how it would apply to the current audit. This could be used to help plan for registration in future terms.
How do I use the Look Ahead feature?
Select Look Ahead from the side menu options in the far left column. Enter a subject and course number and click Add Course. You may repeat the process until all desired courses are entered, then click the Process New button at the top of the page. This will generate a new audit with the projected course work marked in blue and PLAN indicated in the grade column. The What-If audit also includes Look Ahead functionality.

GPA Calculators


What are the GPA Calculator options?
Graduation Calculator determines the average GPA the student will need in their remaining credits to reach their target GPA upon graduation. Enter the current GPA (should default in, if available), credits remaining, total number of credits required (32), and the desired GPA. Click Calculate to view the average GPA needed over the course of the remaining credits.

Term Calculator displays a student’s estimated cumulative GPA based on hypothetical grade information. Enter the current earned credits, current cumulative GPA, and choose an anticipated grade for each in-progress course. (In-progress courses should default in, but can be edited if needed.) Once all of the information is entered, click Calculate to see a revised cumulative GPA based on the estimates you provided.

Please note that cumulative GPA calculations in Degree Works are estimates only and may not be used for awarding of university honors, scholarships, etc. Official cumulative GPAs are recalculated by the registrar’s office at the end of each term and will be used as the GPA of record. Major and minor GPAs are for student and departmental use only and are not a part of a student's permanent record.
Why can’t I select a grade of “S” in the Term Calculator?
"S" and “U” grades do not count in the GPA. Remove courses from the course list for which the S/U grading mode is being used prior to calculating the GPA.