Definitions of Majors, Minors, and Areas of Specialization
The following definitions are to be considered University norms for evaluation and approval of master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degree programs. The definitions and the limitations that accompany them are based upon the University’s policy of emphasizing breadth of study in the basic disciplines with emphasis on the humanities in fulfillment of Kentucky State University’s liberal studies role and mission. Course content shall be appropriate for University-level courses. Departures from these norms must be justified by the nature of the program and must have the recommendation of the Faculty Senate and approval of the Board of Regents.
Master’s Degree Program
A master’s degree program is a planned and approved program of study leading to graduation with a master’s degree. Each master’s degree program requires at least 30 graduate semester credit hours and no more than 45 graduate semester credit hours. The master’s degree program must be completed within six years of initial enrollment as a degree seeking graduate student. Some programs require degree completion within fewer years of initial enrollment. Please consult the program descriptions in the graduate program sections.
Baccalaureate Degree Programs
A baccalaureate degree program is a planned and approved program of study leading to graduation with a baccalaureate degree. It should be possible to complete a baccalaureate degree program in eight semesters of normal full-time study. The minimum semester credit hour requirement shall be 120, and no program should require more than 144 semester credit hours. A student may elect to exceed this maximum in meeting personal education objectives. Each baccalaureate degree program shall include the Liberal Studies Requirements of the University (unless specific courses have been officially substituted or waived) and a major. Minors, areas of specialization, pre-major, prerequisites, and support courses may be required. Individual students may elect to take a minor or a second major to meet personal education objectives. Unless otherwise specified, any course taken to satisfy a requirement (including electives) for one program may be used to satisfy a requirement for another program. A minimum of 42 semester credit hours in upper-level courses is required for graduation.
Associate Degree Programs
An associate degree program is a planned and approved program of study leading to graduation with an associate degree. It is possible to complete an associate degree program in four semesters of normal full-time study. The minimum semester credit hour requirement shall be 60, and no program should require more than 76 semester credit hours. A student may elect to exceed this maximum in meeting personal education objectives.
Each associate degree program, except the Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies, shall include required major courses, support courses, and at least 15 semester credit hours of the Liberal Studies Requirements of the University. The liberal studies component shall include courses designed to develop skills in oral and written communication and in computational skills. The liberal studies component shall also include courses drawn from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural sciences/ mathematics.
A major consists of a planned sequence of courses usually within a single discipline; however, a major may consist of a planned group of courses from more than one discipline. At least 18 semester credit hours in the major must be upper-level courses. A student who has not declared a major after completing 60 credit hours will not be permitted to register for classes.
A minor consists of a planned sequence of courses. The minor shall consist of a minimum of 18 semester credit hours and shall not exceed 21 semester credit hours. A minimum of 12 semester credit hours in the minor shall be above the 100 level.
The Area of Specialization
Some major programs consist of a core program of study within the academic unit as well as required additional study in one or more areas of specialization selected from options within or related to the discipline. The area of specialization shall consist of a minimum of 12 upper-level semester credit hours.
Pre-majors, Prerequisites, and Support Courses
A degree program may identify and require courses as are justified for proper completion of the major. Courses may be from within the discipline (premajors or prerequisites) or from other disciplines (prerequisites or support courses). Such credits thus required are not included in the limitations stated for the major, the minor and the specialization as stated previously, but are included in the limitations for the total number of semester credit hours for an associate or baccalaureate degree.
Liberal Studies Requirements
The Liberal Studies Requirements are described elsewhere in this Bulletin. These courses, whether unique requirements or optional requirements, may also serve as pre-majors, prerequisites, or support courses, but may not be included in requirements for a major, a minor, or an area of specialization. A student may not take a Liberal Studies Requirement on a pass-fail basis.
Free electives may be selected by the student from any courses not required in the particular degree program, excluding remedial and non-credit course offerings. They may also be used to meet hourly requirements for graduation not specified in those sections of The Bulletin pertaining to the General Education/Liberal Studies Core or the student’s major or minor.
The limitations in the definitions may be modified to meet accreditation, licensing, and/or certification requirements.