Jul 20, 2024  
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog 

University Graduation Requirements

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Major Program


In-depth study in one major area is required in each baccalaureate degree (except the Bachelor of General Studies). Major requirements often include not only courses within the given discipline but also necessary prerequisites and work in related disciplines.

Students must satisfy all the requirements of their major department. Minors are required in certain programs (check departmental requirements) and may be chosen in any program with departmental approval.

Total Credits

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A minimum of 120 semester hours that can be applied toward the degree is required for graduation. While most programs have requirements that can be satisfied in 120 hours, a limited number of programs have established through the curricular process their need to require more than 120 hours. See departmental sections of this catalog for a semester-hour breakdown and total for each major.

In fulfilling the 120-semester-hour graduation requirement, no student will be permitted to count more than 8 semester hours in elective physical education activity courses, or more than 6 semester hours in workshop or special/multiple topic courses taken outside the student’s major or minor. These limitations include all transfer hours as well as NIU semester hours earned.

Upper-Division Courses

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A minimum of 40 semester hours of the total number must be in courses numbered 300 and/or 400. These must include at least 12 semester hours of major departmental courses taken at NIU.

Course Offerings

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Although the university attempts to accommodate the course requests of students, course offerings may be limited by financial, space, and staffing considerations or may otherwise be unavailable. Nothing in this catalog may be construed to promise or guarantee registration in any course or course of study (whether required or elective) nor may anything be construed to promise or guarantee the completion of an academic program within a specified length of time.

Course Prerequisites and Corequisites

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A prerequisite (PRQ) is a requirement that must be met before a student can register for a course. A corequisite (CRQ) is a requirement that must be undertaken at the same time as a given course (if it has not been completed previously). Students are responsible for following appropriate sequences of courses and should check all course descriptions for prerequisites and/or corequisites.

Students who do not meet PRQ/CRQ requirements but think they are qualified to enroll in a course should consult the department offering the course to determine whether or not it is appropriate to enroll in the course.

Correspondence Courses

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Not more than 30 semester hours can be taken in correspondence courses. (NIU does not offer correspondence courses.) Students should check with their college advising offices before enrolling in correspondence courses. See the statement on “Concurrent Enrollment” under “Academic Regulations.”

Grade Point Average (GPA)

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Students must attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in all NIU credit earned and of 2.00 in the major. The GPA in the student’s major is calculated using all courses taken in the major department, and only those courses taken in the major department, unless the department specifically states otherwise in its section of this catalog. A cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above is required for graduation in a teacher certification entitlement program.

In order for the university to record on a student’s transcript that a minor was successfully completed during the student’s undergraduate program, the student must attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in all courses taken in the minor at NIU.

Residence Requirement

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Candidates for undergraduate degrees from NIU must earn at least 30 semester hours of credit in course work offered by NIU after having earned 80 semester hours. Continuing and reentering students intending to transfer credit to NIU after they have earned 90 semester credit hours or who will exceed 90 semester credit hours upon transfer of that credit must obtain prior approval from their major college office before enrolling in the course(s) which they intend to transfer. Students should also check for other residence requirements in the appropriate college and department listings.


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