John Brown University offers four-year courses leading to the following degrees: Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), 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 Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), and Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed.). Also offered are two-year courses 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 or divisional sections of the catalog. Most departments also have available suggested schedules which indicate courses taken in each semester in a typical program.
The final responsibility for 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 school, 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.
John Brown University undergraduate students may begin work on a graduate degree after reaching junior status (60 completed hours) by declaring a Graduate Pathway. Once students declare a Graduate Pathway, their Academic Plan will reflect the courses required, and they will be assigned a graduate advisor in addition to their undergraduate advisor. Additional information and be viewed under Academic Policies - Graduate Pathways .
Requirements for an Additional Bachelor’s Degree
For two bachelor’s degrees, a minimum of 150 semester 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 semester 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 semester 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.
Additional Information for Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree
All entering students, including transfers, are required to participate in appropriate assessment activities. These include, but are not limited to, the CIRP (a freshman survey used nationwide) and the Student Relationship Assessment (SRA). 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 semester 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 college or division chair or department head has the prerogative of approving 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.
Most bachelor’s degrees require a minimum grade point average of 2.25 for major area course work. The Department of Teacher Education requires a 2.7 average for professional education and specialized field course work. The Department of Nursing requires a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and all NUR courses must have an earned grade of 2.0/C or better.
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 semester 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 Semester 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 semester 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
The grade point average of all degree work must be at least 2.0, in the minor subject at least 2.0, and in the major subject at least 2.25. 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. Nursing students must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 prior to beginning upper-division course work.
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 and/or members of the Core Curriculum Committee.
Fulfillment of the residence requirements for the bachelor’s degree from John Brown University 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 semester hours of credit presented in fulfillment of degree requirements. CLEP credit is not considered as “taken in residence.”
Correspondence and Extension Work
A maximum of 30 hours of degree credit may be earned through correspondence and extension work. Each course must include a proctored exam and must be approved in advance by the major advisor and registrar. Approval forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.
Transfer of Credit
Credit which has been earned at another institution will be reviewed by both the registrar and the appropriate college or division faculty, and the applicability to courses in the chosen degree program will be determined. Each course accepted for transfer must have a minimum grade of ‘C’. All work completed at previous institutions will be posted as ‘CR’ on the student’s JBU transcript. Thus, only JBU course work will apply toward the student’s grade point average.
John Brown University accepts credit from regionally accredited institutions and Bible credit from schools accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Transfer credits from international affiliated institutions are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Currently enrolled students planning to take course work at other institutions must receive prior written approval of the major advisor and the registrar. Official course descriptions of proposed work are required.
JBU has established articulation agreements with several area community colleges. Please refer to this web site, www.jbu.edu/admissions/transfers/articulation-agreements/, for further information.
Maximum Experiential Credits
The maximum total credit allowed for vocal and instrumental ensembles toward the requirements of a bachelor’s degree is twelve hours for music majors and four hours for non-music majors; two hours may apply to associate’s degrees.
The maximum allowed for Department of Communication practicums is twelve hours toward bachelor’s degrees in Communications, six toward other bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in Communications, and three toward other associate programs.
International Baccalaureate Program
Credit is awarded for higher level international baccalaureate (IB) courses accompanied by scores of five or above on the respective IB exams. JBU course equivalences and the number of credit hours awarded are determined upon evaluation of the IB work.