Degree Requirements

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

GENERAL BACCALAUREATE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

In addition to specific requirements of the major and minor fields of study, the following requirements must be satisfied by all students seeking the baccalaureate degree.

Candidates for a baccalaureate degree must earn a minimum of 120 semester hours of academic credit and complete three specified courses in physical education. A transfer student who has completed an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree in a transfer program will not be required to fulfill the physical education requirements. All fulltime freshmen baccalaureate students must complete UNIV 1000 - The GSW Experience.
NOTE: A student who changes major may have to complete additional hours of course work beyond those required for completion of the program.

All baccalaureate programs require at least 21 hours of upper division courses in the major field and at least 39 hours of upper division work overall.

A grade point average of 2.00 or higher is required for graduation. Some curricula require a higher average. Grades from transfer credit are calculated for graduation with honors purposes only.

A candidate must earn in residence at least twenty-seven of the forty hours of credit earned immediately preceding graduation. Candidates admitted to the University for the final year of work must be in residence for a minimum of two semesters and must complete at least thirty hours of credit including fifteen hours of upper division credit in the major field.

Degree candidates may earn credit by Advanced Placement (AP) Testing Program, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, departmental challenge exams, and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), or through transient credit, but not more than fifteen hours in the major discipline and not more than thirty total hours of credit earned in any of these ways will count toward degree requirements.

All candidates for baccalaureate degrees must satisfactorily complete the General Core Curriculum requirements.

Candidates for the B.A. degree must present credit for at least six hours of a single foreign language sequence at the level specified by individual majors. RHSC foreign language deficiency requirements do not count as part of this sequence.

International students from non‐English‐speaking countries who achieve the required TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to GSW will satisfy the foreign language requirements for the degree they are pursuing at GSW. These students will still need to fulfill total credit hour requirements for their degree by substituting elective hours for the hours that would have been required in foreign language. International students from English‐speaking countries must meet the foreign language requirement either through a CLEP exam in another language or through foreign language courses. Multilingual students who are residents of the United States may fulfill their foreign language requirements either by taking the appropriate CLEP tests, or by taking the required foreign language courses.

A candidate must complete all courses used to meet Core Area A requirements with grades of C or better. 

Candidates are required to satisfy the provisions of the Georgia State Code 32-171 as amended by The General Assembly, which requires all candidates for a degree to pass two specific courses in or an appropriate examination on the history of the United States, the history of Georgia, the United States Constitution, and the Constitution of Georgia.

Candidates for the B.A. degree must complete a minor field of study or a certificate program. The minor or certificate will consist of 15-19 semester hours in the field of study with at least nine hours at the upper division course level.

Students in some degree programs and majors are required to take an exit examination prior to graduation. A minimum score may be required. Students should contact their advisors for specific details.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

All baccalaureate students are required to take PEDS 1010, PEDS 2000 and one activity course from the PEDS activity courses. Students should complete all the requirements during their first two years of enrollment. A transfer student who has completed a transferable Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree will not be required to fulfill the physical education requirements.

Exceptions are granted to veterans with DD214 documentation reservists with at least one year of service, students barred by a physician's recommendation, and students entering the B.S. in Nursing Program. There is no requirement for veterans with at least one year of active duty or for reservists with at least one year of service. Veterans and reservists must present documentation to the Registrar's Office in the form of a DD214 in order to be awarded the P.E. exemption. This exception does not apply to majors in Exercise Science & Wellness, Health & PE, and Recreation. Students barred by a physician's recommendation are required to complete PEDS 2000 and HPER 2040. For graduation, all B.S. in Nursing Program students are required to have credit for one PEDS course.

P.E. courses taken at another institution and showing on the student's transcript will count toward this course requirement.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Catalog for Graduation Evaluation

Under the guidance of the academic advisor, a student may select to be evaluated for graduation from any catalog in effect during the time of enrollment provided the enrollment has been continuous.

Students readmitted or reinstated will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog in effect at the time of readmission or reinstatement or any catalog in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment.

Students changing majors will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog in effect at the time of the change or any catalog in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment.

Each student is responsible for determining the appropriate catalog to be used for academic advisement and for evaluation of graduation requirements. Catalog selection applies only to the course requirements of that catalog. All other academic procedures and graduation requirements must be satisfied according to regulations in effect at the time of graduation. Students desiring further information on the selection of an appropriate catalog may contact their major department chair/academic dean or the registrar.

Application for Graduation- Undergraduate Students

The Application for Graduation for fall semester must be completed on or before December 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. The Application for Graduation for spring semester must be completed on or before May 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. Students who plan to graduate at completion of summer term must apply on or before September 1 prior to the year in which the degree is expected. Applications for graduation are available at the Registrar's Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.

Graduation Term

Apply no later than one year prior to graduation date

Fall

December 1

Spring

May 1

Summer

September 1

ORIENTATION

Georgia Southwestern State University requires a one credit hour orientation course (UNIV 1000) of all new, full-time freshmen. New entering transfer students with less than nine hours must also enroll in UNIV 1000. This highly structured freshman orientation/advisement program has been instituted at Georgia Southwestern State University to facilitate the new student's transition to college-level work.

UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA CORE CURRICULUM

The Core Curriculum of the University System of Georgia was established for the purpose of aiding and facilitating the educational progress of students as they pursue baccalaureate degrees within and among the units of the University System.

The Core Curriculum provides for (1) sixty semester credit hours of which forty-two are in general education and eighteen are in a major area of study, (2) the assurance of acceptance of transfer of the Core Curriculum or a fractional part thereof toward a baccalaureate degree, and (3) the preservation of the maximum possible amount of institutional autonomy.

Every institution in the USG will have a core curriculum of precisely 42 semester hours and an Area F of precisely 18 hours. All students must meet the core requirements of the institutions from which they receive their degrees. These are the USG requirements:

Area

Area Name

Description

Hours Required

A1

Communication Outcomes

Courses that address learning outcomes in writing in English

At least 6 hours

A2

Quantitative Outcomes

Courses that address learning outcomes in quantitative reasoning

At least 3 hours

B

Institutional Options

Courses that address general education learning outcomes of the institution’s choosing

At least 3 hours

C

Humanities, Fine Arts, and Ethics

Courses that address learning outcomes in humanities, fine arts, and ethics

At least 6 hours

D

Natural Science, Mathematics, and Technology

Courses that address learning outcomes in the natural sciences, mathematics, and technology.

At least 7 hours. At least 4 of these hours must be in a lab science course.

E

Social Sciences

Courses that address learning outcomes in the social sciences

At least 6 hours

F

Lower-Division Major Requirements

Lower division courses required by the degree program and courses that are prerequisites to major courses at higher levels.

18 hours

 

GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENTS

The specific courses which must be completed by all students working toward the baccalaureate degree are listed below. These courses are begun in the first semester of college enrollment and should be completed during the first two years.

General Core Requirements

Area A: Essential Skills

Core Area A1 (Communication) Learning Outcome—6 hours

Students will be able to write effectively for a variety of audiences to demonstrate collegiate-level writing development in various contexts.

ENGL 1101 - Composition I

 3 hours

ENGL 1102 - Composition II

 3 hours

For freshmen entering the USG system Fall Semester 2012 or later, students who have earned 30 credit hours but have not completed Area A1 must enroll in the next course necessary to make progress toward completing this Area in every semester in which they take classes. 

Core Area A2 (Quantitative) Learning Outcome—3 or 4 hours

Students will be able to analyze and apply mathematical concepts in various forms in order to solve a variety of quantitative problems.

Select one:

MATH 1101* – Intro to Math Modeling

 3 hours

MATH 1111 - College Algebra

 3 hours

MATH 1113 – Precalculus

 3 hours

MATH 1120 – Calculus I

 4 hours

For freshmen entering the USG system Fall Semester 2012 or later, students who have earned 30 credit hours but have not completed Area A2 must enroll in the next course necessary to make progress toward completing this Area in every semester in which they take classes.

MATH 2204 (Elementary Statistics) may not be used to meet Core Area A.2 requirements. MATH 1113 (Precalculus) is required in Area A for mathematics and science degree programs. MATH 1120 (Calculus I) is required by Georgia Institution of Technology for the dual degree program. Students who meet Core Area A requirements by earning credit for MATH 1120 will have the extra credit hour used in Free Electives, if applicable in their degree program.

*Programs accepting MATH 1101-Introduction to Math Modeling to meet Core Area A requirements:

  • All Business programs - BBA 
  • Nursing program – BSN 
  • All BA programs 
  • BFA program 
  • BS in History with Teaching Certification 
  • BS in Political Science, Psychology, Sociology
  • BSEd in Special Education 

*Programs confirmed as NOT accepting MATH 1101-Introduction to Math Modeling to meet Core Area A requirements:

  • All Education programs with the exception of Special Education – BSEd 
  • BS in Biology, Chemistry, Geology 
  • Dual Degree engineering programs 
  • BS in Mathematics 
  • BS in Mathematics with Teaching Certification 
  • BS in Computer Science 
  • BS in Information Technology

All students on a 2011-2012 curriculum sheet or later higher must earn a C or better for all core Area A courses including math. This includes those who changed majors during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Math Lab Options

Most students entering as new freshman are required to take the Math Placement Test before they enroll. Based on the test scores and SAT/ACT scores students may be required to take a one hour math lab (MATH 1111L or MATH 1101L) along with MATH 1111 or MATH 1101. This requirement will be used to meet the ACAM 0999 requirement that students may have had prior to Fall 2011.

These lab classes are open, but optional, to students who need extra academic support in order to attain success in MATH 1101 or 1111. Students must register for the math course in order to enroll in the lab.

Area B: GSW Institutional Options - 4-5 hours

Core Area B (Institutional Options) Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to evaluate information critically.
  • Students will be able to understand cultural differences
  • Students with 10 semester hours in Area D must complete 5 semester hours in Area B.
  • Students with 11 semester hours in Area D must complete 4 semester hours in Area B.
  • Students who complete more than the necessary hours in Area B will have the extra hour or hours used in Free Electives, if applicable for their degree program.

Select from the following courses:

LIBR 1101 - Foundations of Information Literacy

 1 hour

CIS 1000 - Computer Literacy

 3 hours

SOSC 1101 - The World and Its People

 3 hours

ENGL 2200 - Introduction to Professional Writing

 3 hours

COMM 1110 - Fundamentals of Speech (recommended for teacher education and exercise science majors)

 3 hours

Foreign Language  (must be a 2000 level or higher foreign language course)

 3 hours

THEA 1110 - Performance Skills for Business and Professions (recommended for teacher education and exercise science majors)

 3 hours

WMST 2001 - Introduction to Women's Studies

 3 hours

POLS 2401 – Introduction to Global Issues

 3 hours

Area C: Humanities/Fine Arts - 6 hours

Core Area C (Humanities and Fine Arts) Learning Outcome

  • Students will be able to articulate factual and conceptual knowledge concerning literature, and one of the fine or performing arts.

Select one of the following - 3 hours:

  • ENGL 2110 - World Literature
  • ENGL 2120 - British Literature
  • ENGL 2130 - American Literature
  • Select one of the following - 3 hours:
  • ARTC 1100 - Art Appreciation
  • MUSC 1100 - Music Appreciation
  • THEA 1100 - Theater Appreciation

Area D: Mathematics, Science, Technology - 10-11 hours

Core Area D (Natural Sciences) Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to interpret symbolic representations of data relevant to the physical world.
  • Students will be able to evaluate the relationship between observation and inference in the natural sciences.

Di: Non-Science Majors Only

One lab science course from List A below

 4 hours

One science course from List A or List B below

 3 or 4 hours

One course from List A, List B, or List C below

 3 or 4 hours

 

Dii: Science Majors

One two-course lab science sequence from List A below

 8 hours

One course from List A, List B or List C below

 3 or 4 hours

 

List A (4 hours each)

  • BIOL 1107 & BIOL 1107L - Essentials of Biology I Lecture and Lab
  • BIOL 1108 & BIOL 1108L - Essentials of Biology II Lecture and Lab
  • BIOL 2107 - Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 2108 - Principles of Biology II
  • GEOL 1121 - Introductory Geosciences I
  • GEOL 1122 - Introductory Geosciences II
  • CHEM 1151 & CHEM 1151L - Survey of Chemistry I Lecture and Lab
  • CHEM 1152 & CHEM 1152L - Survey of Chemistry II Lecture and Lab
  • CHEM 1211 & CHEM1211L - Principles of Chemistry I Lecture and Lab
  • CHEM 1212 & CHEM1212L - Principles of Chemistry II Lecture and Lab
  • PHYS 1111 - Introductory Physics I
  • PHYS 1112 - Introductory Physics II
  • PHYS 2211 - Principles of Physics I
  • PHYS 2212 - Principles of Physics II

List B (3 hours each)

  • BIOL 1107 - Essentials of Biology I Lecture
  • BIOL 1108 - Essentials of Biology II Lecture
  • BIOL 1500 - Applied Botany
  • CHEM 1100 - Everyday Chemistry
  • CHEM 1211 - Principles of Chemistry I Lecture
  • CHEM 1212 - Principles of Chemistry II Lecture
  • ENVS 1100 - Introduction to Environmental Science
  • GEOL 1142 - The Geology of Georgia
  • GEOL 1211 - The Earth's Evolving Environment
  • GEOL 1221 - Solar System Exploration
  • PHYS 1221 - Solar System Astronomy
  • PHYS 1222 - Stellar Astronomy

List C (3 or 4 hours each)

  • CIS 2000 - Desktop Publishing and Multimedia Presentations
  • CIS 2100 - Computer Interfacing & Configuration
  • CSCI 2100 - Assembly Language Programming
  • CSCI 2500 - Discrete Structures
  • MATH 1113 - Precalculus
  • MATH 1120 - Calculus I
  • MATH 2204 - Elementary Statistics
  • PSYC 1102 - Psychology as a Natural Science

NOTE:

BIOL 1107/1107L and 1108/1108L are not open to students with credit in BIOL 2107 or BIOL 2108.

PHYS 1111 and PHYS 1112 are not open to students with credit in PHYS 2211 and PHYS 2212.

PSYC 3301 Psychological Statistics and SOCI 3331 Sociological Statistics cannot be used to meet Core Area D requirements.

Students who earn 12 hours in Core Area D will have the extra hour used in Free Electives, if applicable in their degree program.

Area E: Social Sciences - 12 semester hours

Core Area E (Social Sciences) Learning Outcome

Students will be able to articulate factual and conceptual knowledge concerning societal dynamics.

POLS 1101 - American Government

 3 hours

HIST 1111 - World Civilization I or HIST 1112 - World Civilization II

 3 hours

HIST 2111 - US History I or HIST 2112 - US History II

 3 hours

Select one course from the following: 3 hours

  • ECON 2105 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • HIST 1111 - World Civilization or
  • HIST 1112 - World Civilization II (additional World History course)
  • PSYC 1101 - Intro to Psychology (suggested for students pursuing certification in teaching fields)
  • SOCI 1101 - Intro to Sociology

Additional General Education Outcomes

In addition to the learning outcomes for individual Core areas, the institution specifies outcomes that are reached through courses in more than one Core area. A student may fulfill the US Perspectives overlay requirement by taking either HIST 2111 or 2112 in Area E, and the Global Perspectives overlay requirement by taking either HIST 1111 or HIST 1112 in Area E.  A student may fulfill the Critical Thinking overlay requirement by completing Area A1 of the Core.

US Perspectives

Students will be able to articulate factual and conceptual knowledge concerning historical and societal dynamics within the United States. Courses fulfilling the US Perspectives Goal:  HIST 2111, HIST 2112 (Required in Area E)

Global Perspectives

Students will be able to articulate factual and conceptual knowledge concerning world-wide societal dynamics.  Courses fulfilling the Global Perspectives Goal:  HIST 1111, HIST 1112 (Required in Area E)

Critical Thinking

Students will be able to analyze and evaluate the main issues that relate to problems or texts, and then apply an organized, coherent and accurate response.

Area F: Courses Related to Major - 18 semester hours

Areas A-F of the Core Curriculum require a minimum of 60 semester credit hours.

CORE TRANSFER

Students completing any core curriculum course will receive full credit for that course upon transfer to another USG institution within the same major, even if a core area is not completed and even if it means giving transfer credit across areas (e.g., credit of a math course in Area C).  Core courses required by GSW but not by the student's previous USG institution might have to be taken to prepare the student for upper division course work. However, the student will not be required to complete more than the number of credit hours required for native students to earn the degree, excluding physical education and orientation. Students in this category who change majors may have additional core courses to complete, particularly in Core Areas A, D and F.  A student transferring to GSW with an Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Science in Nursing degree from a college or university within the University System of Georgia will be required to meet GSW core requirements. Core courses already completed at the previous institution will be considered on a course-by-course basis.

For further information about Core Transfer, contact the Registrar’s Office.

DOUBLE MAJORS

A GSW student who wishes to meet the requirements for more than one major within the same baccalaureate degree classification (B.A., B.S., B.B.A., B.S.Ed.) is pursuing a double major. Requirements for completion of a double major follow.

All degree requirements must be met for both majors.

Once major course requirements, exclusive of elective and minor requirements, have been met for the first major, a minimum of twenty-one semester credit hours must be completed for the second major.

The twenty-one hours (minimum) of credit for the second major may be taken in lieu of minor and elective requirements for the first major.

A minimum of fifteen of the additional hours for the second major must be at the 3000-4000 level within the degree program.

Approval to complete a double major must be granted by the appropriate department chair or academic dean and be on file in the Registrar's Office no later than the date of application for graduation.

SECOND BACCALAUREATE DEGREE

For Students Who Have Earned a Previous Baccalaureate Degree from GSW 
A student who has completed a baccalaureate degree from Georgia Southwestern State University may earn a second baccalaureate degree at Georgia Southwestern State University of the same or different designation (B.S., B.A., B.B.A., B.S.Ed., B.F.A., B.S.N.) conferred on the same or later date by meeting the following requirements:

All major degree requirements in the second degree must be met, including Core Area F. Courses completed for the first baccalaureate degree can be combined with courses completed after admission for the second degree to meet requirements for the second degree.

A minimum of thirty semester credit hours in addition to those required for the first baccalaureate degree must be earned at Georgia Southwestern State University.

A minimum of twenty-one semester credit hours of the above thirty hours must be 3000-4000 level courses in the major for the second degree.

If the second degree includes a minor, courses taken for the major of the first degree can be used to meet this requirement.

 Additional requirements may be established for Core Areas A and D.

For Students Who Have Earned a Baccalaureate Degree from a University System of Georgia Institution
A student who has completed a baccalaureate degree from a University System of Georgia institution may earn a second baccalaureate degree at Georgia Southwestern State University of the same or different designation (B.S., B.A., B.B.A., B.S.Ed., B.F.A., B.S.N.) by meeting the following requirements:

  • All major degree requirements in the second degree must be met, including Core Area F. Courses completed for the first baccalaureate degree can be combined with courses completed after admission for the second degree to meet requirements for the second degree.
  • A minimum of thirty semester credit hours in addition to those required for the first baccalaureate degree must be earned at Georgia Southwestern State University.
  • A minimum of twenty-one semester credit hours of the above thirty hours must be 3000-4000 level courses in the major for the second degree.
  • If the second degree includes a minor, courses taken for the major of the first degree can be used to meet this requirement.
  • Additional requirements may be established for Core Areas A and D.

For Students Who Have Earned a Baccalaureate Degree at a Non-System Institution, Including International Students
A student who has completed a baccalaureate degree from a Non-System institution may earn a second baccalaureate degree at Georgia Southwestern State University of the same or different designation (B.S., B.A., B.B.A., B.S.Ed., B.F.A., B.S.N.) conferred on the same or later date by meeting the following requirements:

All major degree requirements in the second degree must be met, including Core Area F. Courses completed for the first baccalaureate degree can be combined with courses completed after admission for the second degree to meet degree requirements for the second degree.

A minimum of thirty semester credit hours in addition to those required for the first baccalaureate degree must be earned at Georgia Southwestern State University.

A minimum of twenty-one semester credit hours of the above thirty hours must be 3000-4000 level courses in the major for the second degree.

If the second degree includes a minor, the major from the first degree earned will be used in lieu of the minor.

International students must present a professional evaluation of credits earned for the first degree and confirmation of the awarding of the baccalaureate degree.

The Georgia Legislative History and Constitution requirements must be met.

Additional requirements may be established.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING/ PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT

Credit for prior experiential learning is available in selected undergraduate degree programs. A student in one of these degree programs should notify his or her academic advisor to determine if this policy applies. If applicable, the advisor notifies the appropriate academic dean or department chair, who convenes a faculty committee to review the student's portfolio to determine if credit for prior experiential learning is warranted and if so, the number of semester credit hours to be awarded. The total number of credit hours awarded for experiential learning cannot exceed 21 semester credit hours.

GSW grants no graduate level credit for experiential learning except under the supervision of the institution.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process through which students identify areas of learning from their past experiences, demonstrate that learning through appropriate documentation, and submit their materials related to specific course objectives so that they can be assessed and possibly awarded academic credit. PLA will reduce the repetition of relevant, course-related material for students with prior learning (or with prior degrees). Students must complete PLA 2000, Prior Learning Documentation Course, to be eligible to apply for PLA credit. Students should contact Dr. Charles Huffman for more information.

MILITARY CREDIT

As an institutional member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium (SOCC), Georgia Southwestern State University provides service members with an option to petition for credit for military education/training when deemed applicable to a degree program. Credit for prior military experience and training is determined on an individual basis, following the guidelines published by the American Council on Education for the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Students should submit official documentation of military education/training (AARTS, SMART, or Community College of the Air Force transcript) to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation of degree-related training. Students should see the Office of the Registrar for additional information.