The Compass Curriculum builds on the strengths of Wheaton’s liberal arts tradition while providing opportunity for flexibility and innovation. To achieve these ends, Compass is defined by: student choice and deep reflection, innovative honors and scholars programs, interdisciplinary, collaborative and global learning, and robust and intentional advising.

You earn your Wheaton College baccalaureate degree when you successfully complete a minimum of 32 course credits, fulfill the curricular requirements outlined below, and attain a minimum grade-point average of 2.00 across all credits earned at Wheaton College and in your major.

At Wheaton College, the unit of credit is the semester course. One course credit is awarded upon a passing grade of a semester course. The recommended semester load is four course credits. Students seeking to enroll in fewer than four credits or more than 5.5 credits must have the permission of the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS).

Required Curricular Elements

Five curricular elements are required for graduation:

1) Connected First-Year Experience (FYE)

This small seminar style course will introduce students to multiple faculty members and multiple disciplinary perspectives.

2) Sophomore Experience

The Sophomore Experience offers a hands on experiential opportunity for students to engage in learning outside of the traditional classroom setting.

3) Mentored Academic Pathway (MAP)

Students will use use the Mentored Academic Pathway (MAP) to reflect on their Wheaton experience. The MAP is document that students will develop over four years with the mentorship and support of their full advising team.

4) The Major (9 to 16 courses)

A major is a sequence of courses in a single discipline or academic area. Each major has specific requirements.

5) Achieve 32 total credits with at least 16 outside of the major area of study

Students are able to use this space to explore additional opportunities that enrich their Wheaton experience.

Signature Elements of the Compass Curriculum – Beyond the Requirements

All students, including YOU, are invited to pursue additional opportunities in the Compass Curriculum. All of the following programs, the Honors and Scholars Programs, LEAPS, and minors, and are designated on your official transcript when complete.

1) Eliza Wheaton Scholars program

The Eliza Wheaton Scholars program recognizes students who engage across the breadth of the liberal arts. Students must complete the requirements of the Eliza Wheaton Scholars program to earn Latin Honors.

2) Global Honors program

Global Honors asks students to discover and experience cultures outside of the USA, learn a second language, and reflect on their place in the world.

3) Taylor and Lane Scholars program

Taylor and Lane Scholars address questions of social justice, inclusion, equity and diversity through engagement within and beyond the classroom experience.


Certificate-style programs that link academic classroom work, real-world experience, and professional mentoring.

5) Minor

A set of five to six courses that give a student the opportunity to engage with an additional area of interest outside of their major.