Ferrum College awards the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), and Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degrees, depending on the major that students pursue. All degree candidates must complete at least 121 hours of coursework, of which 30 hours must be at the 300-400 level, with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average within their academic major. At least 50% of the hours required for a major or a minor must be completed at the College. (This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the program coordinator in association with the School Dean.) Please refer to the detailed listing for graduation requirements.
The undergraduate program of study consists of two complementary parts: General Education requirements and Major requirements. Students must complete both sets of requirements to earn the Bachelor’s degree. Some Majors may require the completion of a Minor as well. Students may also meet a Minor requirement by completing a second Major.
General Education Requirements
The General Education requirements are designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge, skill, and understanding that will prepare them to perform successfully as well-informed citizens and professionals in their community, nation, and world. General Education courses also provide an enriching context for the in-depth study required in every major. All students, regardless of their major program of study, must complete the General Education requirements.
The General Education requirements are divided into two types: Foundations courses introduce students to the full range of academic disciplines traditionally associated with college-level education, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and sciences. Perspectives and Interactions courses allow students to engage actively with that breadth of knowledge by developing their abilities to analyze, connect, evaluate, persuade, and communicate. Ferrum College is firmly committed to the idea that the combination of Foundations and Perspectives and Interactions courses in the General Education curriculum provides students with the strengths they need to realize their individual potential and to engage meaningfully in the world around them.
Foundations: the Liberal Arts Requirements
A multidisciplinary range of courses selected from all the academic schools of the College provides the foundation upon which the Ferrum College curriculum is built. All Bachelor’s degree students at the College must complete courses that fulfill the 37-hours of requirements in the Liberal Arts. A detailed list of these requirements is provided on the following page.
Perspectives and Interactions: the Skills Requirements
In combination with the Foundations requirements, the Perspectives and Interactions requirements are designed to develop the level of awareness and essential skills necessary to interpret, evaluate, and utilize knowledge. (Please note that some of these courses may simultaneously fulfill some of the Foundations and Major / Minor requirements.) Students must complete courses that allow them to develop their abilities and understanding in the following important areas:
Oral Communication (Courses Designated as Speaking Intensive)
Speaking Intensive (SI) courses prepare students to enter their careers and communities with the ability to share ideas and information through effective oral presentation. For a detailed description of how to complete this requirement, please see Oral Communication.
Written Communication (Courses Designated as Writing Intensive)
Writing Intensive (WI) courses, offered within a variety of disciplines, challenge students to develop their writing skills beyond the fundamental level established in first-year English Composition courses. In WI courses, students strengthen their abilities in the effective written presentation of research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and argument. For a detailed description of how to complete this requirement, please see Written Communication.
Foundations Courses: Fulfilling the Liberal Arts Requirements
Perspectives and Interactions Courses: Fulfilling the Skills Requirements
(Note: some of these courses may also count towards fulfilling requirements in other General Education areas or in particular Majors and Minors.)
Students must complete requirements in the following categories:
Oral Communication: Fulfilling the Speaking Intensive (SI) Requirement
Writing in the Curriculum
Ferrum College considers writing a vital academic process, a special mode of learning, and one of the best available indicators of a student’s ability to think. Therefore, the faculty expects students to show increasing skill in stating logical, unified ideas, developing concepts, organizing appropriate formats, and using language both correctly and effectively. To help students attain this goal, the faculty expects that the regular instructional program of the College will teach writing skills throughout the student’s four-year program of study.
- All students must complete one full year of freshman composition, one course in sophomore literature, and the College Writing Intensive requirement. The faculty expects that these courses will develop the fundamentals by which all students’ writing skills will improve during the junior and senior years.
- To support students in their development as writers, Ferrum College provides a faculty-staffed Writing Center where students can receive individualized professional assistance with any writing project.
- The College also offers a Fundamentals of Writing course for students who need additional preparation before entering the traditional freshman composition courses.
- Individual departments may establish additional writing elements for their classes.
Written Communication: Fulfilling the Writing Intensive (WI) Requirement
Students can fulfill the WI requirement by completing six hours of courses designated as Writing Intensive with a grade of “C” or higher in the writing assignments. At least three hours of Writing Intensive courses must be at the 300-400 level. (Completing ENG 102 with a grade of “C” or higher is a prerequisite for registering for any Writing Intensive course.)
Students who have completed one 200-level literature course (ENG 200 , ENG 201 , ENG 202 , ENG 203 , ENG 204 , ENG 205 , ENG 206 , ENG 207 , ENG 209 , ENG 210 , ENG 211 , ENG 212 , ENG 213 , ENG 214 , ENG 215 ) to meet the Liberal Arts Requirements may fulfill three hours of the WI requirement by earning a “C” or better in a second 200-level literature course (ENG 200 -ENG 215 ) or in an upper-level foreign language literature class or SPA 403 or SPA 404 .
All courses used to satisfy the Writing Intensive requirement must be taken at Ferrum College. Students who wish to transfer courses specifically designated as writing intensive at other institutions may appeal to the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.
The list of Writing Intensive courses may vary from year to year; courses that can fulfill the requirement are not limited to those listed in the student’s catalog year of entry. A listing of all courses that meet the writing intensive requirement (if successfully taken with a grade of “C” or higher) are found at the following link: Writing Intensive courses .
Experiential Learning: Fulfilling the Experiential Requirements
Experiential Learning courses involve students in direct experiences combined with focused reflection as a way to enhance knowledge and skills. This approach to education connects learning to the world beyond the classroom and links theory with practice. At Ferrum College, students must complete an Experiential Component, which is listed within each program of study in the College Catalog. In addition to the Experiential Component requirement, student must pass at least one course in the Experiential Term (E-Term). E-Term is conducted in the three weeks immediately following Commencement and includes a choice of both on-campus and travel courses in a variety of disciplines. E-Term courses may also apply to other General Education and/or Major/Minor requirements.
A majority of E-Term courses do not have prerequisites and are appropriate for most students, even those entering their second or third semester of college. Courses offered in E-Term vary from year to year; a complete list of choices will be available for consideration during registration for the Spring Semester. Credits for E-Term courses may also apply to other requirements in majors / minors and the General Education curriculum.
Costs for E-Term: For full-time students, there are no additional tuition or room/board costs for the required E-Term session. Any supplementary course costs for travel, materials, laboratory use, etc. in an E-Term course will be listed with the course description as a course fee during preregistration and then applied to the student’s account upon registration. Students are obligated to pay all non-refundable course fees if they do not drop the E-Term course by the fourth week of the spring semester.
Part-time students will be charged for an E-Term course at the credit hour rate that is applied to regular semester courses.
Limited scholarships for travel courses are available; submit application here: E-term scholorship application for further information.
If a student wishes to take more than the one required E-Term course, tuition and room/board costs may be applicable at the current per credit hour rate.
Registering for E-Term: Currently enrolled full-time and part-time students will generally register for an E-Term course when they register for Spring Semester; the last possible date to register for E-Term is the last “add” date during the first week of the Spring Semester.
An E-Term course does not count as part of the 12-hour load required for full-time status. If a student is registered for 18-19 hours in the Spring Semester, adding an E-Term course may put the student in “overload” status for that semester, but overload fees will not be applied.
Students’ academic standing will determine their eligibility for enrollment in E-Term travel courses (see guidelines in Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility ).
The last day to drop an E-Term course is the first day of E-Term classes.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Impact on E-Term Participation
Students who are in good academic standing or have been placed on academic warning or probation may register for any E-Term course and are eligible for travel scholarship opportunities.
If the student is not meeting satisfactory academic progress at the end of the fall semester, the following factors apply:
- Students placed on academic warning or probation for the spring semester, will remain in the E-Term course and will be allowed to retain any travel scholarship that has been awarded.
- Student placed on academic suspension for the spring semester, will be withdrawn from all classes for the spring semester, including the E-Term course. If the student appeals the academic suspension and is allowed to return for the spring semester on probation, the student will be allowed to enroll in any E-Term course.
Students who are on disciplinary probation or higher during the fall semester may not register for an E-Term course that has overnight or off campus travel but they will be eligible to register for on campus E-Term courses. Students placed on disciplinary probation or higher after spring registration or during the spring semester will be removed from the E-Term overnight off campus travel course. The student will be responsible for applicable deposits and fees.
Students who choose to drop an E-Term course due to poor performance in multiple Spring Semester classes may be responsible for all applicable deposits and fees.
Students must utilize online Eight-Semester plans and assistance of faculty advisors in the formulation of an acceptable course of study leading to a degree. Students should review their progress frequently by using the Panther Portal Academic Planning link and Program Evaluation link to be sure they are in compliance with all degree requirements. Both the student and the advisor will review the catalog, program evaluation and academic planning tool each semester and adjust the academic plan based on the course rotations and schedule of offerings. Prior to registration, all second semester sophomore and junior students will be provided with an audit and pre-graduation clearance from the Office of the Registrar.
Students reaching Senior status will be required to complete an Application for Participation in Commencment form with their Advisor. The student and the advisor will update the student’s academic plan in the student planning tool. The student is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance with all degree requirements.
To graduate, a student must:
- successfully complete 121 semester hours, with 30 of these hours at the 300-400 level, maintaining a grade point average of at least 2.0 for hours earned at Ferrum College. Students must also maintain a 2.0 grade point average within their academic major.
- meet the appropriate Liberal Arts Core Requirements and major/minor requirements (including Program Specific Requirements, Experiential Component, and pass one E-Term).
- satisfy the Speaking and Writing Intensive requirements.
- be enrolled for at least one academic year or its equivalent at Ferrum College.
- have completed at least 50% of total hours required for a major at Ferrum College.
- have completed at least 50% of total hours required for a minor at Ferrum College.
- complete the last semester of academic work at Ferrum College.
- clear all financial obligations to the College.
Commencement Participation (Walk Policy)
To participate in commencement, a student may not fall short of the required minimum of 121 credit hours by more than one course or an internship. Also students must have attained at least a 2.0 cumulative and major grade point averages. Students lacking a course or internship must complete the work prior to the beginning of the next fall term. All degree candidates are encouraged to participate in commencement exercises.
Programs of Study (Majors)
A major is a focused, disciplinary or interdisciplinary program of academic concentration. There are two kinds of majors at Ferrum College: those which require a minor and those which do not. If a program of study requires a minor, a student may choose to satisfy that minor by completing a second major. Every bachelor’s degree candidate must complete a major. Programs of more than 39 hours are normally interdisciplinary with significant content drawn from two or more disciplines. A major may require up to 57 hours of which no more than 39 hours can be required in a single discipline or subject designation. In addition to the particular courses required in the major, a school may specify up to 20 hours within the general college Liberal Arts requirement. Note: At least 50% of the required courses for any major must be completed at the College.
Program Specific Requirements
Program specific requirements may consist of up to 12 hours of additional coursework as designated by the Program (Majors & Minors).
Minors are groups of related courses with at least 9 hours at the 300-400 level. At least 50% of the required courses for any minor must be completed at Ferrum College.
Declaring/Changing Programs Majors/Minors
Students may declare a major or a minor in consultation with their academic advisor. Students complete an online form to request program changes.
The catalog for the year in which a student enters Ferrum College is the governing document for requirements for graduation. However, students who change their program of study after their first year of enrollment must apply the regulations in the current year’s catalog.
Earning a Second Degree
A student currently working on a first baccalaureate may acquire a second major or minor by completing the courses and hours required. If a student wishes to earn two different degrees simultaneously (i.e., seeking a B.A. and a B.S.), instead of one degree with multiple majors, he or she must meet the conditions listed below.
To earn a second degree, the student must meet the following requirements:
- All Liberal Arts Requirements in effect at the time of the second degree must be completed (either by current or previous coursework);
- The student must meet all prerequisite and course requirements in the major field of the second degree, with at least half of the required courses in the major taken at Ferrum College;
- The student must complete at least 30 hours of additional coursework at Ferrum College beyond the earned hours of the first degree;
- The student must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher in coursework completed for the major and second degree;
- A person seeking a second degree must be admitted through the regular admissions process.
A second baccalaureate degree may also be earned by persons who already hold a bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College or from another accredited institution.