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    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Nov 17, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Liberal Arts and Sciences B.G.S. Degree


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Contract Major - Liberal Arts and Sciences


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers students opportunities for constructing two types of individualized programs of study which differ from the university’s regular major and minor programs. These individualized programs, the B.A. or B.S. contract major and the general program in which a student earns a Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree, utilize existing university courses.

Each of the two programs offered by Liberal Arts and Sciences addresses a different set of educational objectives. The contract major allows a student with unusual and well defined academic interests to design a major with the advice of a faculty sponsor. The general program, by contrast, requires no formal major; it is a minimally structured program built around a general curriculum of courses offered or approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The general program is expected to appeal primarily to mature students with broad academic interests whose educational objectives do not include preparation for a specific professional career.

NOTE: The degree Bachelor of General Studies is not as well understood outside the university as traditional baccalaureate degrees. Students earning this degree may be required to convince prospective employers or graduate schools that the degree will enable them to succeed in a particular job or a future educational endeavor.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/Outcomes/general.pdf.

Admission

Students seeking admission to one of these programs in Liberal Arts and Sciences must have at least sophomore standing and must file an application for admission to the program with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Forms can be obtained from the Advising Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Requirements


To receive the degree Bachelor of General Studies, a student must satisfy all university graduation requirements except those of a major. All courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and any other courses specified on the B.G.S. Evaluation of Credit form which were taken at NIU will be used to calculate the minimum 2.00 GPA required for graduation.

The student who wishes to earn a degree through the general program must

  • earn at least 85 semester hours of credit in courses offered or approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with at least 30 of these hours in upper-division courses and at least 50 of these hours earned at NIU or at other baccalaureate institutions.
  • successfully complete at least 15 semester hours in behavioral and social science courses. These include all courses offered by the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography (except physical geography and meteorology courses), Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
  • successfully complete at least 15 semester hours in life, mathematical, and physical science courses. These include all courses offered by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics, as well as courses in physical geography and meteorology. The course used to satisfy the foundational studies quantitative literacy requirement of the General Education Program will not count in this area, however. (See “General Education Requirements.”)
  • successfully complete 15 semester hours in humanities courses. These include all courses offered by the Departments of Communication, English, Foreign Languages and Literatures, History, and Philosophy, except for ENGL 103, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, and COMS 100.
  • complete at least 30 semester hours after formal admission to the general program.

Students following this program may apply no more than 25 semester hours in any one department toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation. Students following this program must also complete at least 50 of the distributive studies hours (humanities, social sciences, sciences) at NIU or other baccalaureate institutions.

Students completing the general program will not receive formal recognition of the completion of a major or a minor on their permanent academic records.

Courses used to fulfill area requirements for the university’s General Education Program may also be used to meet requirements in the second, third, and fourth areas above.

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