Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
Specific requirements for each degree will be found in the catalog descriptions under the appropriate Colleges and Departments.1
All students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree must complete the following university-wide requirements:
- Complete all the General Education requirements;
- Earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0:
- On all work attempted at LSUS;
- On all work attempted at LSUS and elsewhere;
- In a major subject or, for the General Studies student, an area of concentration;
- In the courses of the major subject taken at LSUS or, for the General Studies student, an area of concentration.
(Grades of P, NC, W, or I are not included in determining the grade point average.)
- Complete the College and Departmental requirements for the degree;
- Earn a minimum of 120 hours of credit, exclusive of developmental courses. Not more than 9 hours in mathematics courses numbered below 150 may be counted in the minimum. At least 60 of the total hours must be from a four-year college or university;
- Earn in residence at LSUS a minimum of 25% of the term hours required in the student’s degree program, including 9 or more hours in the major in the major or field of concentration, unless authorized in writing by the student’s Dean. Non-business majors may not take more than 29 hours of degree credit in courses offered by the School of Business. Up to 9 hours of Economics are exempt from this rule;
- Complete a minimum of 30 of the last 40 term hours in residence at LSUS unless authorized in writing by the student’s Dean. For students enrolled in the transfer back agreement with LSU Health Sciences - Shreveport, LSUS grants an exception to the requirement that a student complete a minimum of 30 of the last 40 hours in residence at LSUS;
- Complete the following procedural requirements for graduation:
- During the term immediately prior to the term in which the degree is to be awarded, the Dean of the candidate’s College must evaluate a candidate’s academic degree record for compliance with degree requirements. The candidate must initiate the checkout procedure with their academic advisor who will submit the form to the Department Chair for signature by the deadline. After review, the Chair will submit the degree record to the Dean.
- The candidate will need to complete a graduation application and submit it to the Office of Admissions and Records. The graduation fee must be paid before the application is processed.
- The candidate must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities ever attended whether or not credit was earned.
- At least three days prior to graduation, the candidate must clear any financial indebtedness to the University.
- The candidate is encouraged to participate in commencement ceremonies.
- Under exceptional circumstances, a candidate may request permission to participate in a commencement exercise held in the term immediately preceding or immediately following the one in which the student will complete all degree requirements. Such a request must be made in writing to the Dean of the candidate’s College four weeks prior to the end of classes in the term. Should the candidate make a compelling case, the Dean may recommend approval to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs who will inform all parties of his/her decision. No degree, whether honorary or earned, is conferred except by vote of the Board of Supervisors upon the recommendation of the University or the faculty of the recommending College. Please note the student’s name will only appear in the program printed for the ceremony associated with the term in which they graduate, not the term in which they participate.
It is the expectation of the LSUS faculty, as well as the general public, that every student who participates in the commencement exercise has fulfilled all requirements for the degree and is the rightful recipient of the degree that is to be bestowed. To the extent reasonably possible, LSUS will ensure that those, and only those, who have completed all requirements for the degree will participate in commencement exercises. No person shall be allowed to participate in a commencement exercise except those who have been authorized by the Dean of the candidate’s College and/or the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and verified by the Registrar.
Degrees are granted six times per academic year. Three of the conferral dates are authorized only for accelerated online students. Please refer to the ACADEMIC CALENDAR for dates.
1 Unless specifically authorized by the student’s Dean, a student who has earned one-half of the credits required for a degree at a two-year college may not use in fulfillment of degree requirements additional credits earned in a two-year college not in the LSU System. (See also ADMISSION BY TRANSFER .)
General Education Requirements
The Louisiana Board of Regents requires a student to take courses in selected distribution areas. These courses provide a foundation on which to integrate high-quality academic content with transferable skills; they lay the groundwork for a student’s specialized major and elective courses. The general education curriculum at LSUS fosters the following competencies:
- Systems/Process/Analytic Thinking - A student will be able to break assignments into component pieces, identify the pieces, and establish appropriate deadlines for completion of the task.
- Information/Data-Retrieval Skills - A student will be able to access information appropriate to finding solutions and to assess the credibility of the information sources.
- Problem-solving - A student will be able to take a problem, identify the components, and develop a coherent solution.
- Creative/Divergent/Innovative Skills - A student will be able to create solutions to problems or research queries from two or more standpoints or perspectives with the use of technology.
- Visual/Graphic Literacy - A student will be able to interpret and describe information in a visual graphic medium.
- Oral Presentation Competence - A student will be able to construct and deliver an organized spoken message to a specific audience.
- Writing Skills - A student will be able to compose a written analysis that follows the appropriate rules of grammar and composition.
- Digital Literacy - A student will be able to communicate an idea through digital composition by demonstrating facility with computer-assisted research, writing, and creative endeavors.
- Cultural/Global Literacy - A student will be able to make regional, state, national, or cultural connections or examine the topic in a global context.
Self/Professional Management Skills
- Collaborative Skills - A student will be able to work collaboratively in a team to achieve a common goal through building consensus, decision-making, and completing tasks.
- Ethical Decision-Making - A student will be able to analyze ethical dilemmas and apply relevant values/principles to reach solutions.
- Leadership Skills - A student will be able to lead by communicating a shared vision and by motivating others.
General Education Assessment
To ensure that LSUS students have acquired the previously stated list of competencies, LSUS will assess two of the six competencies each year. The entire general education program will be assessed in a three-year cycle using a variety of assessment methods.
General Education Course Requirements
The following minimum course requirements must be satisfied by any student awarded a baccalaureate degree. Equivalencies to the approved courses require permission of the student’s Dean. Any exceptions require permission from the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
Note: Departments and/or academic programs may require specific courses from the lists below. Students should check the curriculum page for their major for specific academic program requirements and prerequisites.
Approved English Composition courses:
II. SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
Students must choose any two courses from the list below.
Approved Social and Behavioral Sciences courses:
Three hours of approved Mathematics courses at the 100-level or higher and three hours of Mathematics or Analytical Reasoning courses at the 100-level or higher.
Approved Mathematics courses:
IV. NATURAL SCIENCES
Students must take either six hours from approved Biological Sciences and three hours from approved Physical Sciences OR six hours from approved Physical Sciences and three hours from approved Biological Sciences.
Approved Biological Sciences courses:
(Check curriculum page for specific academic program requirements and prerequisites.)
Approved Physical Sciences courses:
(Check curriculum page for specific academic program requirements and prerequisites.)
Students must take three different courses, one from section a. and two from section b.:
a. Literature / Philosophy
Approved Literature/Philosophy courses:
Approved Humanities courses:
VI. FINE/PERFORMING ARTS
Students must take one course from the options below:
Approved Fine/Performing Arts courses:
Total General Education Hours: 39
Required of all first-time freshmen and all transfer students with fewer than 30 total semester hours of credit.
Close adherence to the curriculum will assure that students complete all general degree and major requirements within the normal four-year period. The student should know all the requirements of the degree program and should consult with the faculty advisor when necessary. Each student is held responsible for knowing degree requirements, for enrolling in courses that fit into the degree program, for taking courses in the proper sequences to ensure the orderly progression of work, and for knowing University regulations regarding the standard of work required to continue in the University, as well as the regulations on scholastic probation.
The University catalog prescribes the requirements for each degree. The catalog is published annually and becomes effective at the opening of the fall term. (See also UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS .) Students are assigned the catalog of record in effect at the time of entry to the University. This catalog may be used for a maximum of 10 years, provided enrollment is not interrupted for two or more consecutive traditional 15-week semesters or four accelerated 7-week terms. See GRADUATE STUDIES for regulations that apply to graduate students.
A student may elect to be evaluated for graduation from any catalog in effect during the time they have been enrolled, provided that enrollment has been continuous, and the student does not change majors. If a student changes majors, they will be evaluated for graduation using the catalog in effect at the time of the change, or any subsequent catalog as long as the student in continuously enrolled.
Major Field Mastery
Each student receiving the bachelor’s degree from LSUS must satisfactorily demonstrate mastery of a major field as defined by the faculty in that field. For many degrees, the student must take a major field achievement test.
Earning a Degree with Honors
The baccalaureate degree is awarded with honors to students who earn a minimum of 30 term hours of credit at LSUS and who maintain a high grade point average. To be eligible for honors, students must have a grade point average, including course grades eliminated through the Repeat/Delete option (Summer 1990 - Summer 2004) and the Bankruptcy Policy, that falls within the ranges shown below, both for courses taken at LSUS and for all courses:
||Grade Point Average
|summa cum laude
||3.90 to 4.00
|magna cum laude
||3.70 to 3.89
||3.50 to 3.69
Students may graduate with honors as many times as they meet the requirements.
Requirements for an Undergraduate Concentration
An area of concentration is an alternative track of courses within a major, accounting for at least 30 percent of the major requirements. Establishment of an area of concentration does not require prior approval by the Board of Regents. Areas of concentration are available within most undergraduate curricula. For additional information, see the curricula listed in the appropriate College section.
With the permission of the Dean’s office offering the concentration, students may earn multiple areas of concentration within a major. To do so, they must declare a primary area of concentration and fulfill all requirements for each area of concentration. Each declared area of concentration must include a minimum of six hours of coursework that is unduplicated in any other area of concentration.
Requirement for a Minor
A minor is that part of a degree program consisting of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline or field. Establishment of a minor does not require prior approval of the Board of Regents. The minor usually consists of 15 percent or more of the total hours required in an undergraduate curriculum. Minors are established by Departmental, School, or College faculties. Once a minor has been established, students are subject to the following rules and procedures:
- When a student wished to pursue a minor, the student must obtain permission from his/her Dean’s office.
- The course requirements for the minor, including prerequisites, as published in the LSUS General Catalog, must be followed. Any substitutions in the minor must be approved by the faculty advisor in the Department of the College offering the minor and the student’s Dean’s office.
- A student following a particular catalog for the major field typically follows the minor requirements stated in the same catalog. Exceptions must be approved by the student’s Dean’s office.
- A student must earn a minimum 2.00 GPA in the minor field, although some faculties may impose higher minimum GPA requirements.
- Courses used to satisfy the minor may not be taken on a pass/fail basis, except with permission from the Department and the student’s Dean’s office.
- Degree requirements for minors will be verified by the College in which the student is enrolled. The minor should be declared no later than the semester prior to graduation. All course requirements for the minor must be completed by the time of graduation.
- Minors will not be awarded retroactively after the conferral date.
Requirements for Multiple Majors
A student who wishes to increase career options by demonstrating broader education than is normally suggested by a single major may earn a degree with two majors. The two majors may be in the same or different Colleges as long as
- Neither major is General Studies;
- All general baccalaureate degree requirements are fulfilled;
- All requirements for each separate major are fulfilled;
- The Dean of the College in which the degree will be granted approves; and
- The Dean of the other College approves.
All requirements for multiple majors must be completed before the degree is conferred. If a student completes requirements for only one major and graduates with that degree, they will be required to go into a second degree program to complete requirements for the second major. Second baccalaureate degree programs require a minimum of 30 additional term hours of course work. The additional 30 hours must be earned in its entirety after the conferral of the first degree.
The student’s transcript will show each major completed. For a list of majors at the University, see ACADEMIC PROGRAMS .
Requirements for a Second Bachelor’s Degree
In order to qualify for a second bachelor’s degree, regardless of whether the first was granted by LSUS or by some other college or university, that candidate must earn at least 30 additional term hours of coursework. The candidate must also fulfill all Department and College requirements for the second degree.
Regents’ Certificate of Excellence
In the spring of 1986, the Louisiana State Board of Regents authorized the awarding of a Certificate of Excellence to those graduating students who have successfully completed more than the minimum general education courses and who have completed all requirements for the degree with a grade point average of 3.0. The student who wants to earn this certificate should take the following additional courses in general education:
Sciences (2 additional hours of laboratory)
Two-term science sequence should be met by taking courses required for majors including laboratory courses.
Humanities (6 additional hours)
Six credit hours of a Foreign Language above the introductory level must be a part of the total 15 hours of Humanities.
Requirements for an Undergraduate Certificate
An undergraduate certificate is an undergraduate credential consisting of at least 18 credit hours, at least half of which must be upper-level. A certificate program is a series of courses related to a specific topic or skill.
- Certificate programs must be approved by the Board of Regents.
- Students meeting the requirements for undergraduate admission may pursue an undergraduate certificate.
- An undergraduate certificate may be declared in conjunction with a degree program or as a stand-alone program.
- Students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on all certificate coursework.
- Specific requirements for each certificate will be found in the catalog descriptions under the appropriate Colleges, Schools, and Departments.
- Certificate requirements will be verified by the College in which the student is enrolled.
- Potential receipt of a certificate should be affirmed no later than the semester prior to completion of all requirements.
- Certificates will not be awarded retroactively after the conferral date.