Degree Requirements/Audit (DARS)
Where do you stand?
You have to know where you stand before you can choose courses, but degree requirements can be confusing. Rather than figure this out on your own, there's a tool you can use to determine exactly where you stand: a degree audit.
The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS), available through Dal Online, gives you a personalized and current snapshot of where you stand in meeting your program(s)'s requirements. It lists your complete and/or incomplete requirements and the courses needed to fulfill each requirement. You can also use it to check that courses you are considering taking will meet your requirements using the course cart/planned courses feature.
To begin a degree audit
- Login to Dal Online and, under Web for Students, click on Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) then Submit an Audit.
- Your current program will be the default in the program selection drop-down box. Other current and previous programs are also available by selecting them in the drop-down box. * Then click Run Audit.
- Wait 10 seconds then click view submitted audits. (Or click through right away and refresh the next page until the new audit appears.)
- Double check the date and time to ensure you're opening the audit you just ran then click the program under Vew Link to open the degree audit report.
- Take time to read through your entire degree audit. Yes, it's a lot of text but all of the requirements should be included.
(You can also find step-by-step instructions in Dal Online HELP.)
* To change your program within the same degree or to add a certificate, Declare your Major/Minor under Admissions in Dal Online. To change degrees, Start or Complete an Application under Admissions in Dal Online. For more information see Declaring/Changing Your Major.
Audit Type - excluding future registration and setting graduation year
Most times you'll run your degree audit with the default "All Others" audit type. This pulls in courses from all terms that are open for registration.
If you are graduating at the next convocation, however, you may want to switch the audit type to "Applied to Graduate". This sets the graduation year to the current, for duration of studies checking, and excludes registration in future terms.
If you think you've registered for too many courses, you can also use Applied to Graduate, even if you're not graduating at the next convocation, to exclude all future courses. With that and planned courses, see section below, you can refine your course selection before making registration changes.
To select a different audit type, select it from the drop-down box then click the Select Audit Type button. Then run your degree audit.
Reading your degree audit
See the Guide to Interpreting DARS Report, which includes a legend on p.4, on the Degree Audit Reporting System page in Dal Online.
Your goal is to change the summary line, at the top of the text part of the degree audit,
from "AT LEAST ONE REQUIREMENT IS NOT SATISFIED"
to "ALL REQUIREMENTS WOULD BE SATISFIED - PLANNED COURSES USED" using the course cart
then "ALL REQUIREMENTS SATISFIED-IP COURSES USED" with the right registration
and finally ">> ALL REQUIREMENTS SATISFIED" once everything is completed.
One thing DARS doesn't check is your final GPA and Academic Standing. That is done manually during the final checks of your application to graduate (usually right before the degrees are awarded by Senate).
For help interpreting your degree audit report, contact an Academic Advisor.
Graphs: Audit, Categories and GPAs
The graphs display a general status of the requirements. The most important line on the degree audit is found below the bar graphs, which indicates if all the requirements are being satisfied or not; see 'Reading your degree audit', above, for more information.
The pie chart is not a percentage complete. It is a graphical display of the Earned Credit Hours section, if applicable, which can be found near the bottom of the degree audit.
The Categories are general groupings of courses. The associated GPA's are not official; they just give an idea of the grades in those courses. Click the category bar to see which courses are being included. Navigate back to the full audit by clicking the You are here > Audit link at the very top of the audit.
Planned courses / course cart / what-if courses
Will this course meet a particular degree requirement? Is it ok to take that course?
Try them out before registering. Add/edit planned courses in your course cart, under the pie chart, by running a new or opening a previously-ran Degree Audit.
You will then need to submit a new degree audit, with the Include Planned Courses box ticked, to have the course cart courses pulled into the requirements on the degree audit.
Add courses with the 'Course to add' box near the bottom of the course cart, or from the course description pop-up box when clicking required courses within the degree audit.
Edit courses (number, term, credit hours, grade) by clicking the course in the course cart.
Delete courses by ticking the box to the left of them in the course cart, select 'Delete selected courses from cart' in the Add to cart drop-down box then click Go.
Update the term of all courses in your cart with the drop-down box and Go button at the very bottom of the course cart.
Tip: not sure specific courses you're going to take, put at least the department code and level of the course (first number) so the degree audit picks it up appropriately. E.g. I want to take a 3000-level History course but not sure which one yet; add as HIST3999. If you're adding a bunch of these, make sure they're each unique numbers, e.g. HIST3999, HIST3998, HIST3997.
Course cart courses are removed by term after the add/drop deadline for that term. This will not affect the courses you are actually registered for that term. If the course doesn't end up being offered that term (see the timetable) or you decide to take it in a different term, edit its term by clicking the course in the course cart.
Moving courses to a different requirement on your degree audit
DARS will put a course in the first place it comes to. For Majors/Minors where a course could apply to one or the other (not both), a course will apply to the first major/minor requirement it comes to. To have a course moved to a second major or minor, or back, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Switching requirements to those listed in a more recent academic calendar
Your degree audit will pull the requirements from the academic calendar of the year you started that degree (not when you declare your major/minor/honours, and it resets if you change degrees). If the requirements for your program in a more recent academic calendar are easier to complete, email email@example.com to have that section of your degree audit updated to the newer requirements. See Academic Calendars for the current and previous versions (under PDF Versions). You cannont switch to an academic calendar from before you started your degree.
Hypothetical/What-if Degree Audit
The functionality to run a degree audit for a different program is currently under development. To discuss program options, contact an Academic Advisor.
Tips and Toubleshooting
Course credit hours reduced to zero
You're either signed up to repeat the course (one course will have 'RP' next to the grade and the other(s) will have '>D', which means it's the one not earning additional credit), or there is an exclusion (two courses are similar enough that you can't get credit for both but they're not completely equilvalent). For the latter, check the course description for the Exclusion information. If a requirement is not satisfied because DARS has picked the wrong course to remove credit from, email firstname.lastname@example.org. This does not change the fact that both are still included in your cumulative GPA on your academic record.
If a pending (PT) transfer credit is taking credit away from a completed Dal course, e.g. you decided not to take credit for AP or IB work, email email@example.com to have the transfer credit removed.
Counting a course for more than one requirement
This is not typically allowed, unless specified on the degree audit. Particularly, major/minor/core courses at the 2000-level and above cannot count toward another major/minor.
For BA/BSc, the writing course can also count toward one of the Subject Groups. Each department can only count toward one Subject Group. Courses can count toward one Subject Group and also one major/minor.
Same course required in both major(s) and/or minor
You still need the minimum number of credit hours at the 2000-level or above in each major/minor. The course will count in one of the majors/minors and you'll select another course at the same level to substitute in the other major/minor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your degree audit manually updated.
Some degree audits are not able to check that you have more/equal credit hours at the 2000-level or above in your first major. This is required to be able to graduate. Sometimes we can just switch the majors around to make it ok, except where the major has different requirements when it's the first subject.
'Program Title Not Available' and 'NO DEGREE PROGRAM' Error
For undergraduate programs, please email email@example.com to have the program created in DARS.
For graduate programs, we're slowly creating the programs in DARS; thank you for your patience. Double check the program approval section of the Grad Studies tab in Dal Online to ensure you're meeting the requirements.
Grades of Transfer Credits on Admission
Though the Academic Record lists all finalized transfer credits with a grade of TR, if you look at the degree audit you'll get an indication of what the grade was. These grade-codes are only used by the registration system to ensure the minimum grade for any prerequites is met; they have no effect on the GPA - transfer credits on admission have a neutral GPA affect. TR = grade of C, TB- = B-, TB = B, TB+ = grade of B+ or higher.
In contrast, a letter of permission course (taken at another institution while a Dal/King's student) will have NGR (no grade) until the student has the other instutution send the Dal Registrar's Office an official transcript.
Once you know your degree status, you're ready to choose your classes.