John Brown University offers four-year courses of study leading to the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.E.), Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.), Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.), Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed.), and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Also offered are two-year courses of study leading to the Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees.
Requirements which apply to all degree programs are set forth in this section. In addition, requirements applicable to specific degree programs are stated in the curricular outlines which appear in the college sections of the catalog. Most departments also have available suggested schedules which indicate courses taken in each semester in a typical program.
The ultimate responsibility for understanding university policies and meeting all degree requirements rests with the student.
Education at John Brown University
John Brown University provides an education that integrates the disciplinary studies selected by the student (the major field) with a more broadly based selection of educational experiences for each student. This combination of the specific with the more general is founded on JBU’s educational philosophies and goals.
John Brown University holds that higher education and career preparation are not synonymous. While JBU has traditionally emphasized preparation for well-defined careers, it has done so within the context of a liberal arts college. Consequently, a John Brown University education consists of three elements: the major, the Core Curriculum, and the Co-Curriculum. The courses in the major prepare the student for a career or for graduate studies, while the Core Curriculum presents a broad exposure to human learning, an appreciation of which is characteristic of the balanced, whole college graduate. Many aspects of the model of wholeness are not addressed in either the major or the Core. Therefore, the extra- or co-curricular aspect of the college experience-the Co-Curriculum-is an important component of JBU’s education program.
Completing a Bachelor’s Degree
All entering students, including transfers, are required to participate in appropriate assessment activities. This includes, but is not limited to, the Spiritual, Emotional, and Relational Assessment (SERA). Students are re-tested as seniors with an Exit Assessment and the results are used as the basis of a longitudinal study.
Major Subject Area
The undergraduate major defines the primary focus for a bachelor’s degree. Every bachelor’s degree is associated with the fulfillment of the requirements of at least one major program. Typically, requirements for a major program constitute about one-third of the bachelor’s degree requirements, the Core Curriculum another third, and the remaining third of the bachelor’s degree is available for supporting course work, electives, or minors in fields outside the major. Some majors, especially those programs designed to prepare students for specific professions (e.g., Construction Management and Teacher Education), may require most of the course credits not used to meet Core Curriculum requirements, while those programs most oriented toward the liberal arts will generally seek to maximize the opportunities for students to select from a broad range of course work.
Each bachelor’s degree program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours in the major field, including a minimum of 18 hours of upper-division course work. One-half of the required upper-division major hours must be taken in residence at John Brown University. The advisor and department chair must approve substitutions for courses specified by a major department.
A second major may be added to any degree program providing all of the requirements of both major fields are met.The second major must include 9 or more semester hours of course work not counting toward any other degree requirements in another major.
Minor Subject Area
An undergraduate minor is a formally recognized aggregate of courses in a designated secondary subject area, discipline, or interdisciplinary program usually outside of (but often complementing) the student’s degree major and in which knowledge is gained in a coherent pattern of course work. Completion of a minor requires 18 to 21 credit hours, in accordance with the department’s specifications, including at least six hours of upper-division course work. The minimum grade point average for course work in the minor is 2.0.
Each candidate for a bachelor’s degree is required to submit a minimum of 24 hours in upper-division (junior-senior) courses, identified by numbers 3000 and above.
In general, Bachelor of Arts curricula specify 12 semester hours of foreign language. The specific requirements for a major are listed in the program requirements. A student placed into the intermediate level of a language can meet this requirement with six semester hours of 2000 level courses in LS.
Most Bachelor of Science programs do not require foreign language.
Minimum Total Credit Hours
Completion of any bachelor’s degree at John Brown University requires at least 120 hours of academic credit. Certain programs exceed the minimum.
Sufficient course work must be completed to offset any deficiency in total number of credit hours, in addition to all other specific requirements, preferably in an area which will enrich and broaden the student’s acquaintance with the major areas of knowledge and/or strengthen mastery of a field of concentration.
Grade Point Average
Most bachelor’s degrees require a minimum grade point average of 2.25 for major area course work. The Department of Teacher Education programs require a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7, and a minimum grade of ‘C’ in professional education, the teaching field, and any other state-required courses. The Department of Nursing requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in the required science course work, and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 prior to beginning upper-division course work (see details in the Guidebook for Nursing Students).
Fulfillment of the residence requirements for the bachelor’s degree for on-campus students consists of the following:
- Completion (after achieving junior standing) of at least two full-time semesters in residence.
- Completion (by means of courses taken in residence) of at least 36 of the final 45 credit hours presented in fulfillment of degree requirements. CLEP credit is not considered as “taken in residence.”
Fulfillment of the residence requirements for online students consists of the following:
- Completion by means of courses taken in residence of at least 36 hours of credit presented in fulfillment of degree requirements. CLEP credit is not considered as “taken in residence.”
- Of those, at least 32 hours must be in the major field of study.
All seniors are required to participate in designated assessment activities as a condition of graduation. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, a standardized test in the student’s major field and exit interviews with faculty members in the student’s major department.
Requirements for an Additional Bachelor’s Degree
For two bachelor’s degrees, a minimum of 150 credit hours must be completed, incorporating all program specifications. Students completing two degrees may fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements of the degree program with the fewest core requirements.
The major requirements of each degree program must include 24 or more credit hours of course work not included in the major field of the other degree program. At least two upper-division courses in the second major field must be taken in residence at JBU. A maximum of 30 credits by exam may be included. All other stipulations of the residence requirements apply to the second as well as to the first degree.
A third bachelor’s degree requires completion of a minimum of 180 credit hours.
Additional Bachelor’s Degree after Conferral of First Degree
When a student desires to begin an additional bachelor’s degree at JBU after having had one or more bachelor’s degrees conferred by JBU, the student must apply through the admissions process as a degree-seeking student.
At the point in time when the first degree is conferred, that degree is frozen. No additional majors, minors, or emphases will be added to the degree, and the GPA for the degree is final. If a second degree is in progress at the time the first degree is conferred, then the student will be allowed to complete the second degree without readmission.
For an additional degree, the Core Curriculum will be considered met except for any additions to the core which have occurred since the catalog under which the student earned the previous degree(s). The student will meet the requirements for the degree in the catalog that is current when he/she applies for readmission. The student must complete at least 30 unique major hours for the second degree and at least nine unique hours for a new minor.