Degree Completion Planning

Your Degree Completion Plan (DCP) is a tool designed to help students more efficiently map the path towards timely graduation. Students nearing or exceeding 45 credits and/or have a DCP hold on their account should complete the DCP along with their ENVS checklist for their next advising meeting. Details for the DCP are outlined below. 

Note: If you have less than 45 credits, it is still an excellent idea to complete your DCP, however you do not need to submit it until a DCP hold has been placed on your account.

Meet with your advisor!
Meet with your advisor!

The Degree Completion Plan is a useful tool to help you reach your academic career goal. It is, however, a "living document" in that it will likely change over the course of your Towson career so it is important to be flexible. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to ensure they are on track to meet their graduation and career goals. Advisors and advising tools are here to help but the most successful students are likely to be those that put effort into planning their future.

How do I complete the DCP?

Watch this video to help you complete your DCP and follow the steps outlined below. Make sure to have scrap paper to write down notes, prerequisites, and course options as you go along. 

Steps to complete your ENVS Degree Completion Plan:

  1. Open the necessary documents and websites
    1. Open Your Academic Requirements - Go to Towson Online Services, click on 'Self Service', and then 'Student Center'. On the left hand side, next to your schedule, select 'Academic Requirements' from the drop-down menu. This report provides all the requirements for graduation [e.g., total college credits, core courses, major requirements, etc.]. For many, viewing the .pdf version of the Academic Requirements is easier than viewing it online.
    2. Open the ENVS checklist for you concentration - Go to the ENVS Advising Checklist web page forms and click on the concentration that you have chosen [your 'sub-plan' in people soft]. The ENVS checklist is a tool to help with advising and planning. It is probably easiest to complete the ENVS checklist and the Degree Completion Plan at the same time. 
      1. On the ENVS checklist mark an 'X' for courses you've taken, and mark an 'IP' for courses in progress, and place a 'SP' or 'FA' followed by the year of the semester you intend to complete the course (e.g. SP22 for spring 2022). You should only include anticipated courses for the coming semester, as you will complete this checklist each semester before advising.
      2. Save the checklist using your last name and the term and year in the file name: Lastname_SP2022.doc
    3. Review Course Rotation Planner - Other departments within the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics or the College of Liberal Arts offer the majority of courses in the Environmental Science and Studies program. The compiled list of courses on the ENVS course rotation page tell you which semester courses in different departments are offered.
    4. Download your DCP - Click on the DCP spreadsheet to open it in Microsoft Excel or save it to your computer. NOTE: If you do not have Excel on your computer you can contact OTS for information on downloading a version at a significantly discounted rate or you can use any one of the computers on campus.
  2. Record what courses you need to take - On a separate sheet of paper write down what courses you need to take before graduation. These courses will be found in your Academic Requirements and your ENVS concentration checklist. Make sure that any courses you've completed show up as completed on your 'Academic Requirements' page – any discrepancy should be reported to your advisor AND discussed with the office of Admissions' transfer evaluation office – they approve courses that have been transferred.
  3. Check Your Prerequisites - Using the TU online course catalog, write down the prerequisites for the courses you have not completed. Check to see if you have completed the prerequisites; if so, cross them off. If not, this will aid you in deciding which courses need to be completed first.

    Example: BIOL 310 Conservation Biology has several potential prerequisites. In this case, if you took BIOL 206/ BIOL 206L, BIOL 205, and CHEM 131/CHEM 131L you would have met the requirements and can enroll for the course.
    "BIOL 310 Conservation Biology (4)
    Application of ecological theory to conservation of biological diversity. Exploration of past and present processes leading to and maintaining diversity and how such processes are impacted by human disturbance. Average of three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 206/ BIOL 206L (BIOL 202), BIOL 205 or BIOL 207 or BIOL 208, and CHEM 131/ CHEM 131L."
  4. Review the ENVS DCP Example -  You can use this as a rough guide of how to complete your final semesters at Towson, there will be variation based on your chosen track/concentration.
  5. Complete your ENVS Degree Completion Plan spreadsheet - Click the ENVS Degree Completion Plan link to access the Excel template and create an individualized academic plan with the courses you need to complete in order to graduate. Again, keep in mind your prerequisites.
    1. After the spreadsheet is open in Excel, fill in the top information.
    2. Input the Total credits earned to date.
    3. Input the Total credits enrolled in current term.
    4. Input the Total upper-level (300-400) credits earned to date.
    5. Input the Total upper-level credits enrolled in current term.
    6. Note that several inputs will update and add credits automatically (indicated on template).
    7. Fill in the remaining schedule by term. Indicate the term and year and go from left to right and then down in sequence. Include the requested information for each course.
    8. START with the next semester in which you will be enrolled then complete the other semesters.
    9. Make sure you have a minimum of 120 units in the Total credits on Plan below box when completed.
    10. Make sure you include all Core courses you have not completed as well as all major requirements.
    11. Make sure you have a minimum of 32 units of upper-level (300-400) courses.
    12. Remember you will have to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to graduate.
    13. When you're done, save your file (use your student ID number_last name as the file name e.g., 01234567_FISHER) and attach the file in an email to your adviser.
  6. Schedule a MANDATORY meeting with your advisor - E-mail the completed electronic version of both your ENVS checklist and the ENVS Degree Completion Plan (DCP) to your advisor AND request a meeting. You and your advisor will review the plan and when finished and approved, the hold on your account will be removed by your advisor. You and your advisor will each keep a copy of the approved ENVS DCP.

TIPS for completing the ENVS degree completion plan and ENVS checklist:

  • Using scratch paper, you can figure out a logical sequence of courses making sure that prerequisites are taken first. Electives can be noted simply as 'electives' and core courses as 'core' without providing course details.
  • It is a good idea to distribute your major requirements across your remaining semesters (NOTE the prerequisites!), then note when you can complete your core requirements and then fill in any remaining credits.