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Integrity of Degree Programs


  • All proposed academic programs will follow the internal approval procedures outlined in the ARC Manual, and external procedures specified by the state.
  • All existing academic programs that alter courses and/or requirements will follow the approval procedures outlined in the ARC Manual.
  • All existing undergraduate academic programs will undergo a regularly scheduled cycle of program review and student-learning assessment including, but not limited to, the review and use of assessment data to improve student learning.
  • All existing graduate programs will undergo an annual review of enrollment, revenue, and expenses, as well as an annual cycle of student-learning assessment.
  • All academic programs will meet the definitions and/or stipulations provide in the sections below.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

An undergraduate degree program consists of a major, the corresponding School core if such exists, the General Education program, optionally a minor and/or second major, and/or free electives.

Major:  A requirement of all undergraduate degree programs, a major focuses on a  particular discipline or an interdisciplinary area. The major requirements, inclusive of any concentration requirements, plus the School core requirements must total at least 40 credits.

A student may not declare two majors if both are within ASB.

For students with two majors, no more than half the courses can double-count in both majors. All writing-intensive courses required for the second major must be completed as well.

Minor: An opportunity to add depth and breadth to a student’s undergraduate degree program, a minor must include between 16 and 24 credits (i.e., including all non-general education prerequisites and excluding all lab science course credits). Courses fulfilling the requirements for the primary or second major may count towards the requirements of the minor, but may not exceed one-half of the credits required in the minor. A School core does not need to be completed for a minor.

Concentration: A concentration is a focused area of study within a major. The following criteria apply:

  • A concentration is typically employed in a major that has distinctive sub-disciplines.
  • Multiple concentrations are possible, but each must follow the 50% rule.  That is, no more than half the courses may double count in both concentrations. (For example, if a student pursues two concentrations each of which requires five courses, no more than two courses can be shared by/double counted in the two concentrations)

The concentration appears on the transcript.

Track: A track is an advising path of courses through a major, which is intended to prepare students for graduate school or a professional career. A track is typically utilized in a major that serves populations of students with distinctly different post-graduation plans (e.g., teaching or some health professions). Multiple tracks within a major are possible.

A track does not appear on the transcript.

School Core: Some Schools require students who declare one of the majors they offer to complete a School core, which emphasizes the School’s theme and provides a context for later work in the major. The School cores vary in the number of credits required. Required School core courses also may fulfill general education requirements.

Students completing a minor outside of the School of their major are not required to complete the core of the School offering their minor.

A student who declares two majors offered by different Schools must complete the School core requirements of both Schools, unless the second major is offered by HGS or SSHS in which case the School core for the second major is not required.

Because the School core complements the major, together the School core and major requirements typically constitute approximately half of the degree program. Thus, unless otherwise required by accreditation standards, the major (including any concentration or track) and the School core combined should not exceed 68 credits.

General Education: The hallmark of a liberal-arts education, the General Education program must provide the student the opportunity to acquire competency in at least communication (both written and oral), reasoning (both scientific and quantitative), critical thinking and analysis, and technology. The General Education curriculum should not exceed 41 credits.

In certain cases, a student may double count courses in the major with courses in the School core or in the General Education curriculum, but a student may not triple count a course in the major, School core, and General Education program. A single course may not fulfill two separate General Education categories, and no more than two General Education courses may double count in the School core or major.

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