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3.5.3 Undergraduate Program Requirements PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 September 2009 07:29

3.5.3 Undergraduate Program Requirements

The institution defines and publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs inclusive of general education requirements. The requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs.

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs

Compliance Judgment




North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University (NC A&T SU) publishes requirements for the undergraduate programs [1] [2], which include the general education core curriculum [3]. The published standards follow the guidelines mandated by the University of North Carolina (UNC) System General Administration [4]. NC A&T SU faculty participate in the review and approval of undergraduate programs via the various curriculum committees [5]. The departmental curriculum committees prepare and submit curriculum packages for departmental approval. Once approved at the departmental level, curriculum packages are sent to the school/college curriculum committee for approval and then on to the New Programs and Curricula Committee of the Faculty Senate. Once the New Programs and Curricula Committee approves the packages, the Faculty Senate votes on them and then the packages are forwarded to the Provost for final approval.[6] The UNC System Board of Governors has approved all current undergraduate programs [7].

General Education Requirements (See SACS 2.7.3 General Education)

All four-year degree programs at the University require a minimum of 124 semester hours and a maximum of 128 semester hours [8]. The general education requirements of the University are satisfied by the University Studies (UNST) program [9]. In order to graduate, students are required to complete a minimum of 37 credit hours of University Studies coursework [10][11][12][13]. Additional information about the general education (UNST) component is available in the response to Principles 2.7.3, General Education and 3.5.1, College-level competencies.

Prior to 2006, the core course requirements at the university consisted of the following [14][15]:

Suggested Courses Minimum Hours


English English 100, 101 6

Social Science History 100, 101 6

Natural Science Biological Science 100,

Physical Science 100

Physics 101

Zoology 160

Chemistry 101, 102 6

Humanities Humanities 200, 201 6

Mathematics Mathematics 101, 102 6

Health or Physical Education 2

Incoming freshmen were also required to complete a 3-hour course in African American Studies and a 3-hour course in Global Studies [14]. These requirements could be met through the student’s general education component, major course requirements, or free electives [16][17].

Beginning in the academic year of 2006, entering freshmen were required to complete 13 credit hours of UNST foundation-level courses during their first 32 credit hours of study at NC A&T S U [11]. The required courses that all students take are:


UNST 100 – University Experience or equivalent 1

UNST 110 – Critical Writing 3

UNST 120 – The Contemporary World 3

UNST 130 – Analytical Reasoning 3

UNST 140 – The African-American Experience:

An Interdisciplinary Perspective 3

During the sophomore and/or junior years, students are required to take the remainder of the UNST courses, which include:

12 credit hours of theme-based courses in a single thematic cluster [11], and

9 credit hours of major-specified courses that support University Studies learning objectives [11]

Students must have completed all freshmen UNST foundation-level courses before taking theme-based UNST courses, which must to be completed prior to beginning the senior capstone experience. The senior capstone experience is from 3-6 credit hours and is specified by the major department [11].

Students select a thematic cluster by consulting with their major advisor or department chairperson. All students must complete 12 credit hours in a single thematic cluster. If students decide to change clusters, they must satisfy all of the course requirements for the new cluster. Theme-based courses are communication intensive and emphasize interdisciplinary learning motivated by societal issues and problems. The thematic clusters are [18]:

  • Science, Technology, and Society [19]
  • Energy, Environment and Society [20]
  • Community, Conflict, and Society [21]
  • Health, Lifestyles and Society [22]

The conceptual definitions and major learning objectives for UNST courses are published in hardcopy, online [23] in the undergraduate bulletin, and at the UNST website [24]. The specific courses that satisfy the UNST curriculum requirements each semester are published in the undergraduate bulletin [23].

Undergraduate Degree Programs: All undergraduate degree programs at NC A&T SU have designated United States Department of Education Classification of Instruction Programs (CIP) codes [25] as well as the UNC Academic Program Inventory (API) codes [25]. The UNC uses the CIP to classify its programs in the UNC API. The CIP classifies all university degree programs into 52 major discipline divisions. UNC constituent institutions offer programs in 30 of the discipline divisions.

North Carolina and the United States. New undergraduate programs must follow the UNC System review and approval process [26][27].

As for undergraduate degree programs generally, the University’s baccalaureate degree programs require a minimum of 124 total semester credit hours. [28] [29][30][31][32][33]. The undergraduate programs are comparable to other degree programs in North Carolina [34] [35] [36] such as similar programs at East Carolina University require 126 credit hours and at Appalachain State University the requirement is 128 credit hours Where applicable, requirements also meet state [37] and national accreditation, licensure, or certification standards. As an example, the Business Education Program, which is housed in the School of Business and Economics, is accredited by The Association to Advance Schools of Business International (AACSB) [38] and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [39].

Degree requirements are published in the undergraduate bulletin. Specific program descriptions include [40]:

  • Vision, mission statements
  • Program objectives
  • Degrees offered
  • General program requirements
  • Departmental requirements
  • Accreditation
  • Career opportunities
  • Required major courses
  • Curriculum guides, and
  • Descriptions of course offerings

Supporting Documents

[1] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010

[2] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010

[3] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008, pp. 66-67

[4] UNC-GA, Code, 400, Academic Programs

[5] Faculty Senate, New Programs and Curricula Committee Procedures for New Programs and Curricula Approval

[6] Faculty Handbook, 2007, p. 12

[7] UNC System, Academic Degree Programs

[8] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008

[9] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008, pps. 66-67

[10] Biology Department Curriculum Guide

[11] University Studies (UNST) -

[12] Business Education Department Curriculum Guide

[13] SOT, Graphic Communications Department Curriculum Guide

[14] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2003-2005, pp. 69-71

[15] Undergraduate Bulletin [Online], 2003-2005

[16] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2003-2005

[17] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2003-2005

[18] UNST Themes

[19] Science, Technology, and Society

[20] Energy, Environment and Society

[21] Community, Conflict, and Society

[22] Health, Lifestyles, and Society

[23] Undergraduate Bulletin, University Studies

[24] UNST, Webpage

[25] UNC-GA, Policy Manual, 400, UNC Academic Program Development Procedures, Degree Program Classification

[26] UNC-GA, Authorization of New Degree Programs

[27] NC Policy Manual 400.1.10001

[28] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008 -- Department of Business Education Program, page 372

[29] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008 -- Department of Physics Program, page 264

[30] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008 -- Department of Family & Consumer Sciences Program, page 108

[31] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008 [Online], Department of Business Education Program

[32] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008 Online -- Department of Physics Program

[33] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2006-2008 Online -- Department of Family & Consumer Sciences Program

[34] East Carolina University, Department of Business & Information Technology

[35] East Carolina University, Department of Information & Computer Technology

[36] Appalachian State University - Department of Business Education

[37] NC Professional Teaching Standards

[38] Accredited Business Schools -- (AACSB - Association to Advance Colleges and Schools of Business

[39] National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education,A&T Accreditation

[40] University Bulletin, 2006-2008, Business Education Department

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 February 2010 10:17 )

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