Jul 15, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 

Education B.S. Contract Major

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Contract Major - Education

The College of Education offers students opportunities for constructing an individualized program of study which differs from the university’s regular major and minor programs. Such an individualized course of study, termed the B.S. contract major, utilizes existing university courses. The requirement of the contract major replaces the requirement of a regular departmental major. (See the section “University Graduation Requirements.”)

The B.S. contract major allows a student with unusual and well defined academic interests to design a major with the advice of a faculty sponsor.

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


Students seeking approval for a contract major in the College of Education must have at least sophomore standing and must file an application with the College of Education.  Information and forms can be obtained from the College of Education student services office.


A student may formulate a proposal for a major program of study appropriate to the College of Education which differs substantially from existing major programs but utilizes existing courses. The student must select a faculty sponsor from the major department in the College of Education in which the majority of the course work is being taken. The student formulates the proposal in consultation with the faculty sponsor. The program must be logically structured around a meaningful and interesting theme or topic. Students desiring programs involving a substantial amount of course work in colleges other than the College of Education will be required to secure a cosponsor from the discipline housing such course work.

The student who wishes to propose a B.S. contract major must

  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50.
  • justify the new curriculum and define the goal to be achieved.
  • 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, but no more than 12 semester hours of course work for these kinds of activities will be permitted in the contract.
  • include in the program at least 50 semester hours of credit in courses basic to the area of study. These 50 semester hours
  • may not be used to fulfill general education requirements;
  • must include at least 35 semester hours of course work offered by the College of Education;
  • must include at least 30 semester hours of course work at the 300-400 level (of the 40 total upper-division hours required by the university);
  • must include at least 15 semester hours outside the department in which courses for the contract major are primarily offered; must include a capstone experience

A student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s faculty sponsor, the curriculum committee of the department in which the majority of course work is being taken, the College of Education Curriculum Committee, and the College of Education Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

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.

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