Policies & Requirements
To qualify for University degrees, baccalaureate candidates are required to obtain a 2.00 (C) average in their total course of study; to complete a minimum of 120 semester credits; to fulfill the minimum residency requirement designated for University day courses and for each major; to satisfy the regulations and academic standards of the colleges that exercise jurisdiction over the degrees for which they are matriculating; to complete all curriculum requirements and minimum averages in majors specified by the college in which they are enrolled and department(s) in which they are majoring; and to complete the University general education requirements.
Second Majors and Minors
Options for second majors and minor studies are permitted as specified below:
- Students may elect a second major that is offered by the College of Sciences or, upon approval of the Dean, they may elect a second major that is offered by other colleges of the University.
- Students who elect academic majors in more than one college are candidates for one degree only, and they are considered to be degree candidates in the college of their initial major unless they indicate to the contrary at the time they make a declaration of second major by filing for intercollegiate transfer. Accordingly, a student who pursues academic majors in the College of Sciences and another college is subject to all degree requirements as specified by the college of his or her initial major and is subject only to major course requirements (including any collateral and prerequisite courses for the major) as specified by the department of his or her second major. For a full discussion of University requirements concerning second majors, students should consult the relevant section of this publication, which appears under the heading Academic Policies.
- In accordance with the requirements of established minor programs, students who matriculate for degrees in the College of Sciences may undertake a minor from those areas cited below that are distinct from the disciplines comprising their majors. The curriculum committee of the College will from time to time review and, when appropriate, approve new minors in addition to those listed below. Students should consult with their advisors concerning additions to the approved listing of minors. Specific options for minor programs will depend on the major field that a student has elected to pursue and the collateral course requirements that have been specified by their major departments. Students are advised that an aggregation of courses that total 18 or more credits does not constitute a minor area and they are referred to University policies, which appear elsewhere in this publication under the heading Academic Policies: Minor Area Requirements for further discussion. Students who wish to elect a minor program in colleges other than the College of Sciences should refer to the appropriate section of this publication concerning prerequisites, restrictions, and prescribed sequences of courses.
- With the approval of their faculty advisors, matriculating students in the College of Sciences may develop programs of elective courses for the purpose of providing greater personal and professional relevance to their major fields. Such programs may be developed from among those disciplines that are listed above as areas in which elective courses may be authorized for matriculating students of the College of Sciences.
- Matriculating students in the College of Sciences who do not choose to take a second major or a minor must present at least six semester credits in courses that are on or above the 300 level among those elective courses offered in fulfillment of collateral degree requirements.These courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.
Declaring and Changing Major
Students who are matriculating for degrees in the College of Sciences are required to designate degree majors in the college. Students who are admitted to Bachelor of Science programs in the sciences or mathematics are advised to declare their major fields during their freshman year and are required to make such declaration at the end of the sophomore year. Students should consult policies listed elsewhere in this publication under the heading Academic Policies: Major Field Requirements for a complete discussion of declaration of major, declaration of second major, and change of major with intercollegiate transfer.
Students transferring to the College of Sciences from other colleges of the University or from other institutions may expect recognition of previously completed college level courses that are applicable to the degree requirements of the college. Courses of a professional nature that are not relevant to the academic orientation of the student’s major program may not be credited to the minimum degree requirement of 120 credits, and, regardless of any previous recognition by the Office of Admissions or by other colleges of the University, they may not be credited to degree requirements in the College of Sciences. Students wishing to transfer to Bachelor of Music programs are required to demonstrate their vocal or instrumental ability during an audition before the music faculty and are required to complete placement testing in music theory.
Courses from Other Institutions
The Office of Admissions initially evaluates courses that are transferred from other institutions when a student is admitted to the University. Courses are evaluated by major departments in terms of college and program requirements. Courses that are transferred to the University under provisions of the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and that are not creditable to requirements of the College of Sciences or as unrestricted elective courses will be listed on the student’s permanent record but will not apply to the minimum degree requirements. In the event that a student who has transferred to the University subsequently makes an intercollegiate transfer to the College of Sciences, all previously completed courses, including transferred courses from other institutions, will be reevaluated in terms of their applicability to degree requirements of the College of Sciences.
Repetition of Transfer Courses
A student who has been granted transfer credit, and on this basis has been assigned to advanced courses for which the transferred course is a prerequisite, may be advised to repeat such transferred work at the University or to take a more elementary course than that which has been transferred when the competence of the student has been demonstrably inadequate. Permission to repeat the transferred course is granted by filing an academic petition form through the office of the college dean. Since credit may not be granted more than once for the completion of any course, a condition for filing such a petition is the simultaneous filing of a request to revoke recognition of the previously transferred course.
Intercollegiate Transfer to the College of Arts and Sciences
Students wishing to transfer from another college of the University or from baccalaureate continuing education programs of the evening school must file an academic petition, together with a transcript, with the appropriate chairperson and the Dean of Sciences by November 1 for spring semester transfer and by April 1 for fall semester transfer. Students are referred to University policies concerning intercollegiate transfers, which appear elsewhere in this publication under the heading Academic Policies: Change of Major with Intercollegiate Transfer for further procedural details. Records of students who are approved for transfer are reviewed by the Office of the Dean of the College of Sciences and, irrespective of grades previously received in other college programs, all courses that may not be applied to college or program requirements are deleted from the student’s cumulative grade-point average.
The curricula for the Bachelor of Science degrees do not prescribe patterns of courses for specific vocational goals. The students in these programs receive a broad general education in the sciences that will prepare them for further study in professional fields at the graduate level. Students planning to enter professional fields should seek the advice of faculty advisors in the area in which they are interested, as listed below.
Law School Requirements
Pre-law work should include social sciences (especially history, economics, and political science), humanities (especially literature and philosophy), and basic courses in physical sciences and mathematics. Law schools do not specify particular majors for applicants and the field of concentration is not a determinant in admissions. Law schools do, however, vary in specific requirements and the student should, therefore, become familiar with those requirements of the schools to which he or she is planning to apply. The pre-law advisors are Dr. Francis Talty, Director of Academic Programs and Advisor to the Pre-law Society, and Professor William Burke, Legal Studies Coordinator, Falmouth Hall, 302.
Medical/Dental School Requirements
The Council and Association of American Medical Colleges have established minimum requirements for admission to an approved medical school. These include general and organic chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. These are minimums and many medical colleges require course work beyond the minimum. For this reason, it is imperative that a pre-medical student plan his or her college program in close consultation with the faculty advisor for pre-medical students. The advisor for pre-medical students is located in the Department of Biological Sciences, Olsen Hall 604.
Most medical and dental schools prefer a broad, liberal education in addition to specific course requirements. They do not advocate a particular major or majors and the field of concentration is not a determining factor in admission as long as the specified course requirements are met. Many pre-medical students will major in biology or chemistry, but a major in the areas of humanities and social sciences allows sufficient electives to meet the requirements of most schools. Medical and dental schools require an aptitude examination, which is ordinarily taken in the spring semester of the junior year.
The Department of Music offers an undergraduate concentration in music studies for teacher preparation and the degree of Master of Music in Teaching, leading to initial licensure for teaching music in the Massachusetts public schools. More information about this program is available from Dr. Gena Greher or Dr. Alex Ruthmann in the Department of Music.
For those students interested in teaching subjects other than music, the Graduate School of Education offers graduate degree programs designed to prepare elementary and secondary school teachers. These programs provide the course work and the apprentice teaching experience required for initial licensure in Massachusetts and in many other states. See the Graduate Catalog, the Graduate School of Education web site, or the Office of the Dean, Graduate School of Education, for programs and the requirements for admission.