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2.1.9 Baccalaureate Degree Programs

General Requirements for Graduation

The following graduation requirements apply to all students. Meeting graduation requirements is the individual responsibility of each student. The student and advisor should check the student’s program of courses frequently to assure that the student is fulfilling the following graduation requirements (all references to hours indicate semester credit hours.)

Total Hours

The actual hour requirement for an undergraduate degree varies by the program or combination of programs that a student elects. A student must have a minimum of 120 hours of credit acceptable toward graduation. Some courses may not count toward graduation. These restrictions are noted in the course descriptions. Some curricula or combinations of fields require additional hours. If all specified requirements are completed with fewer than 120 hours, a student must elect sufficient additional course work to total at least 120.

A student may apply for and receive two bachelor's degrees at the same time.  To receive two degrees simultaneously, two different majors are required.  The degrees may be the same (e.g., two B.A. degrees) or different (e.g., a B.A. degree and a B.S. degree).  All specified major requirements for both degrees must be met as well as all general graduation requirements for both bachelor's degrees.  A minimum of 150 credit hours is required to receive both degrees.

Specific Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)/ Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Requirements

There are a variety of baccalaureate degrees. Students graduating from B.A. or B.S. degree programs must meet specific requirements beyond major and other graduation requirements. A student pursuing the B.A. degree will acquire knowledge of a foreign language as demonstrated by successful completion of LAN 115 (or equivalent).

A student pursuing the B.S. degree will complete a three-hour natural science, mathematics, statistics, or technology (SMT) course beyond General Education requirements. (See also III, below.)

General Education

There are three ways to complete General Education requirements at Illinois State University. The first way is to complete Illinois State’s General Education Program. The second way is to complete the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum available through the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI). This program, designed for transfer students, is a statewide agreement between participating colleges and universities and some private schools that is designed to facilitate timely degree completion.

The third way is to complete a baccalaureate-oriented Associates Degree.

  • Students who have completed an Associate of Arts (A.A.) from any regionally accredited post-secondary institution will be considered to have met the Illinois State University General Education requirements.
  • Students who have completed an Associate of Science (A.S.) from an accredited, participating Illinois college or university, must complete the IAI GECC either as part of their A.S. degree or by completing the GECC at Illinois State or by transfer credit.  All distribution requirements of each GECC category must be followed; that is, both a humanities and a fine arts course must be completed and at least two different disciplines must be represented in Social and Behavioral Sciences.
  • Students who have completed an A.S. from any regionally accredited post-secondary institution outside the state of Illinois will be considered to have met the Illinois State University General Education requirements.

Major-Minor Options

Each candidate for a B.S. or B.A. degree must complete a major field of study. Completion of a second major, a minor, or a second minor is optional unless specified by the student’s major. A teacher education student who is a candidate for a B.S., B.A., B.S. in Ed. or B.M.E. degree must complete professional education requirements and a major approved for teacher education.

Some teacher education programs require the completion of requirements for a second teaching field.  At least half (with a minimum of nine) of the credit hours for a minor must be distinct from any hours the student counts toward a major within the same department or school.  A department or school seeking an exception must provide convincing evidence that the resulting major/minor combination confers a breadth of knowledge that meaningfully exceeds what the major alone would provide.  This policy applies to both first and second majors and minors.

Senior College Hours

The senior college hours (courses numbered 200 or above) must total at least 42 hours. Coursework transferred from other colleges and universities is not counted as senior college credit if freshmen and sophomores are regularly permitted to enroll in such work. No credit from two year colleges may be counted as senior level.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average for all courses taken at Illinois State University must be 2.0 (C) or higher. In addition, the student must have a grade point average of 2.0 (C) (or higher as required by certain programs) in the courses required in the major, and in the minor if the student has a minor.

Removal of Incompletes

A student may not graduate with incomplete grades. Each Incomplete grade (I) must be removed at least six weeks before December or May commencement, or two weeks before August graduation, if the course is to be used in meeting graduation requirements.

Residence Requirements

Unless otherwise specified in a specific program, at least 30 of the last 60 hours completed toward the baccalaureate degree must be earned at Illinois State.

Time Limit for Courses as Prerequisites

Because disciplinary knowledge advances and course content changes as a consequence, some courses taken seven or more years prior to an advance registration period will not automatically be accepted as prerequisites for other courses. When a department or school determines that applicability of a course will lapse, it will designate this in the prerequisite listing as "taken within x years." For example, for MAT 146, the prerequisite might read "C or better in MAT 145 taken within 10 years required."

Global Studies Requirement

Every student graduating from Illinois State University must have successfully completed a course designated as a course in the cultures and traditions of societies or peoples from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, or Indigenous Peoples of the World. Such designations are located in course descriptions.

Professional Practice and Independent Study

A student may count no more than 16 hours of professional practice courses (198, 298, 398) toward graduation.  Some programs allow fewer than 16 hours. A student may count no more than 6 hours of independent study (287) credit toward graduation.

Disciplinary hold

A student may not graduate with a disciplinary hold on his or her record.

General Education Category Requirements

General Education Curriculum Requirements (Native Students)

Native Students under the 2012-2014 and earlier catalogs complete the Illinois State University General Education Program, requiring 14 courses, totaling 42 semester hours, as outlined below:

Inner Core (5 courses required)

  • Two required courses taken by all students (Communication and Critical Inquiry, Composition and Critical Inquiry)
  • One course chosen in mathematics
  • Two courses chosen from the natural sciences

Middle Core (5 courses required)

  • One course from each of the five Middle Core course categories (Quantitative Reasoning, Language in the Humanities, United States Traditions, Individuals and Civic Life, and Individuals and Societies)

Outer Core (4 courses required)

  • One course from each of four discipline groups (Science, Mathematics and Technology; Fine Arts; Humanities; and the Social Sciences) 

Depending on the major, a student may be exempted from one General Education category (maximum of one course) because of disciplinary expertise gained in the major as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Native Students under the 2014-2016 and later catalogs complete the Illinois State University General Education Program, requiring 13 courses, totaling 39 semester hours, as outlined below:

  • Communication and Critical Inquiry
  • Composition and Critical Inquiry
  • One course chosen from the Mathematics category
  • Two courses chosen from the Natural Sciences category
  • One course chosen from Individuals and Civic Life
  • One course chosen from Language in the Humanities
  • One course chosen from Quantitative Reasoning
  • One course chosen from United States Traditions
  • One course chosen from Science, Mathematics and Technology
  • One course chosen from the Fine Arts category
  • One course chosen from the Humanities category
  • One course chosen from the Social Sciences category

Depending on the major, a student may be exempted from one General Education category (maximum of one course) because of disciplinary expertise gained in the major as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

General Education Curriculum Requirements (Transfer Students)

Each student seeking a bachelor’s degree must satisfy the requirements of the General Education Program.

  1. A transfer student who has completed a baccalaureate-oriented Associates Degree (A.A.or A.S.) from a regionally accredited post secondary institution will be admitted to Illinois State with junior standing and all General Education requirements completed.
  2. A transfer student entering from a college or university participating in the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum may complete these requirements at the participating institution or Illinois State, in lieu of Illinois State General Education requirements.

All other students must meet the minimum requirements for each core requirement in the program—a total of 42 hours. The Proficiency and Placement Examinations section of the University Undergraduate Catalog describes how a student may meet some of the General Education requirements through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or other proficiency examinations.

General Education Policy Applicable to Certain Programs

  • Interdisciplinary Studies Major: General Education coursework may be used to fulfill requirements of the Interdisciplinary Studies Major.
  • Teacher Certification: Illinois State University's General Education program requirements meet the State of Illinois general education requirements for teacher certification.
  • International Studies: Credit in General Education may be earned through the Study Abroad program.

Degree Programs

Undergraduate degrees available at Illinois State University include the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees. When applying for graduation, the student indicates the specific degree that he or she is qualified to receive. Other requirements are specified for each degree below.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Arts degree provides for the acquisition of written and oral communication skills, creative thinking, abilities in the critical analyses of texts, the understanding of cultures, and a working knowledge of social, political, and historical contexts. The degree is typically pursued by those students whose academic emphasis in their major area of study is directed toward the humanities, arts, and selected areas of the social sciences disciplines.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and knowledge of a foreign language as demonstrated by successful completion of LAN 115 (or the equivalent). A student seeking a B.A. degree takes LAN 115 in place of Quantitative Reasoning.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Science degree provides for the acquisition of oral and written communication skills and the acquisition of analytical skills for examining and solving problems. The degree is typically pursued by those students whose academic emphasis in their major area of study is directed towards the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, or a technological field.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and increased knowledge of the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and/or technology. This knowledge is demonstrated by the successful completion of a three-hour course, beyond those required for General Education, selected from an approved list of courses that involve natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and technology (SMT).

Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.in Ed.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Science in Education degree encourages acquisition of communication skills, development of analytical skills for examining and solving problems, and the understanding of cultures with special emphasis on application to the art and science of teaching. The degree is typically pursued by students interested in the teaching profession.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and increased knowledge and skills related to professional standards established by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) through the successful completion of professional education requirements and approved teacher education major requirements.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree provides graduates with knowledge and skills in communication, critical thinking for analyzing and solving problems, and an understanding of the societal changes that impact health care. Courses from the Humanities, Psychology, Physical and Social Sciences, as well as the use of technology, provide a foundation for scientific inquiry and application of nursing knowledge and theories to diverse populations and settings.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and nursing field of study requirements.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree encourages the acquisition and display of talent in theatre and art, with special emphasis on aesthetic performance and understanding. The degree is typically pursued by individuals interested in the creative and fine arts.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and art or theatre field of study requirements for B.F.A. degree.

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Music degree encourages the acquisition and display of talent in music, with special emphasis on aesthetic performance and understanding. This degree is typically pursued by individuals interested in music performance.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and music field of study requirements for B.M. degree.

Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The Bachelor of Music Education degree encourages the acquisition and display of talent in music, with special emphasis on teaching music. This degree is typically pursued by individuals interested in becoming music teachers.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation; music field of study requirements for B.M.E. degree, and professional education requirements.

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) Degree

Statement of Purpose - The B.S.W. encourages acquisition of communication skills; development of analytical skills for examining and solving problems; and the understanding of social, cultural and legal structures with special emphasis on application to the profession of social work.  The degree is pursued by all undergraduates in the School of Social Work and is recognized as the first professional degree in the field that prepares undergraduate students for beginning generalist social work practice.

Statement of Requirements - General Education requirements, general requirements for graduation, and Social Work major requirements.

Programs of Study

Definition Of Major, Minor, Sequence, and Concentration

  1. A major is a cohesive combination of courses, including introductory, intermediate, and advanced course work that designates a student’s primary area of specialization. Majors are designated on University transcripts.
  2. A minor is a combination of courses designed to provide a cohesive introduction to an area of study beyond the student’s major. Minors are designated on University transcripts.
  3. A sequence is a subdivision of a major in which there are specific requirements. Sequences of the same major generally share a common core within a major. Sequences are designated on University transcripts.
  4. A concentration is a subdivision of a major without specific requirements that is provided for advisement only. Concentrations are not designated on University transcripts. All informal curricular recommendations made by departments (such as emphases, tracks, areas of study, specializations, etc.) should be considered concentrations. Concentrations are advisory only; no approval process is required.

Requirements and Limitations for Degree Programs, Majors, Minors, and Semester Hours Mandated by a Major Department

All hours that are required to graduate within a specific program, including required prerequisites, are included in the calculation of hours mandated by the program. Exceptions to the following guidelines may be approved only by agreement of the University Curriculum Committee and the Academic Senate.

  1. No undergraduate degree program should require more than 124 hours of course work. (See *Exemption below)
  2. A major that awards the B.A., B.S, or B.S. in Education degree should not require more than 55 semester hours in the major department. (This limit does not apply to the B.F.A., the B.M., the B.M.E., the B.S. in Nursing, and the B.S.W. degrees.) 
  3. The B.A. degree requires successful completion of LAN 115 (or equivalent). The B.S. degree requires successful completion of an additional three-hour natural science, mathematics, statistics, or technology (SMT) course beyond the General Education requirements. SMT courses must list specific prerequisites from Inner Core Mathematics, Natural Science, and/or Natural Science Alternatives, or from the Middle Core-Quantitative Reasoning category. 
  4. The major should not mandate more than 82 hours excluding General Education requirements. (The 82-hour limit should be seen not as an ideal, but as a maximum to be approved only in rare cases. A department or college is obligated to make a strong case to the University Curriculum Committee for mandating 62 semester hours or more.) 
  5. Students should be given maximum opportunity to exercise individual choice when selecting General Education coursework. 
  6. A major program may stipulate General Education courses as part of the major requirements only if such courses serve as prerequisites for other courses required by the major. A minor program may stipulate General Education courses as part of the minor requirements regardless of whether such courses serve as prerequisites to other courses required by the minor. 
  7. Depending on the major, a student may be exempted from one General Education category (maximum of one course) because of disciplinary expertise gained in the major as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Students in certain interdisciplinary programs are afforded additional flexibility in meeting General Education requirements.
  8. A minor, including all required prerequisite hours, may include 18 to 36 hours. In no case may the minor include more than 25 hours from the department offering the minor.
  9. Academic departments, in consultation with the college deans, may establish supplemental criteria for admission to the University and to department programs. These may include prerequisites [e.g., previous course work, talent-based competencies], required levels of previous academic performance, and minimum scores on required tests.
  10. The 2.00 grade point average is established as the undergraduate standard for minimum performance in admission of transfer students, admission of re-entering students, probation, reinstatement, continuation in the major, and graduation. Some majors or sequences may have higher requirements.

*Exemption from the 124-semester hour limit to a baccalaureate degree may be granted to individual major programs based normally upon (but not limited to) certification requirements, disciplinary standards, or professional credentialing standards.  Such exemptions will be rare and must be approved by the University Curriculum Committee. 

It is the responsibility of the School/Department to demonstrate the need for such an exemption after making a constructive, documented effort to restructure the courses in its curriculum to fit the program within the 124-semester hour limit.  Requests for renewal of such exemptions are to be made during regularly scheduled program review.

Guidelines

  1. Requests for exemption will originate in the School/Department housing the program and must be approved by the College Curriculum Committee.
  2. Documentation will include an item-by-item link between degree requirements (courses and content) and the professional standards and/or certification requirements that the program meets.
  3. Documentation should include a comparison with similar programs in the same CIP code at other institutions.
  4. Programs requiring exemption due to State of Illinois Teacher Certification requirements must have prior approval of the Council on Teacher Education.  University approval, however, is reserved to the University Curriculum Committee.

Initiating body: Academic Senate, University Curriculum Committee

Contact: Vice President and Provost (309-438-7018)

Revised on: 01/2016


2016-08-04T10:48:15.085-05:00 2016
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