Requirements for the B.S. Contract Major
The College of Health and Human Sciences offers students the opportunity of constructing individualized programs of study which are different from the university’s regular major and minor programs. Such an individualized course of study, termed a contract major, utilizes existing university courses and leads to the degree Bachelor of Science (B.S.). To receive the degree, a student must satisfy all university graduation requirements. The requirement of the contract major replaces the requirement of a regular departmental major. (See the section “University Graduation Requirements.”)
The contract major program allows a student with unusual and well defined academic interests to design a major with the advice of a faculty sponsor. The program must be logically structured around a meaningful and interesting theme or topic. The student interested in pursuing a contract major should discuss the matter with an adviser in the department offering the majority of the academic work proposed for inclusion in the program. Program proposals should be submitted to the associate dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences and must be approved by the College Contract Major Committee.
The student who wishes to propose a contract major must
- have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50.
- justify the new curriculum and define the goal to be achieved. The college encourages curricula that are professional in orientation and similar to those offered in accredited programs at other universities.
- design a multidisciplinary program that may be accommodated within existing university resources and facilities. (The program may include internships, independent study, or special projects on or off campus, up to a maximum of 12 semester hours.)
- include in the program at least 50 semester hours of course work comprising courses basic to the area of study. No more than 36 semester hours should be taken in any one disciplinary area; at least 15 semester hours must be committed to disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These 15 semester hours may be included in the contract or may be in addition to the contract. In either case, none of these hours may also be counted toward the general education requirement.
- earn at least 30 semester hours of the contract major program in upper-division courses.
A student who completes an approved contract major and all other graduation requirements will receive the degree Bachelor of Science with a contract major in _______ (the theme specified in the contract).
The college reserves the right to deny contract majors that overextend the resources of a department.
Requirements for the B.G.S. Degree
The focus of this program is baccalaureate-level education for health and human sciences professionals. This interdisciplinary individualized program of study leads to the degree Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) in health and human sciences. To receive the degree, a student must satisfy all university graduation requirements. The requirement of the B.G.S. major replaces the requirement of a regular departmental major. (See “Other Graduation Requirements.”)
Applicants must be health or human sciences professionals who hold a professional credential, certificate, or license in a health or human sciences field and have completed an applied associates degree program or equivalent number of credits. Other professional recognitions in health or human sciences may be considered on an individual basis. Applicants must be eligible for admission to NIU.
The B.G.S. program allows a student with well-defined academic interests to design a major in the health and human sciences with the assistance of a B.G.S. adviser. The student who wishes to earn this B.G.S. degree must
- have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.
- submit a written professional goals statement for approval.
- design a multidisciplinary program, with the approval of a B.G.S. adviser, that may be accommodated within existing university resources and facilities.
- include in the program at least 50 semester hours of course work comprising courses basic to the area of interest. These 50 semester hours must include at least 21 semester hours in upper-division courses from the College of Health and Human Sciences and must not include more than 24 semester hours from the offerings of a single department in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
- complete 30 semester hours at NIU, excluding proficiency credit.
Upon successful completion of these 50 semester hours, the student may be awarded up to 30 semester hours of proficiency credit for the learning experiences and education in the discipline in which he or she holds certification and/or licensure.
A student who completes an approved program and all other graduation requirements will receive the degree Bachelor of General Studies in health and human sciences.
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 health or human sciences related position or pursuit of an advanced degree or certification.