Undergraduate Academic Policies

Academic Policy on Undergraduate Majors

An undergraduate major is a structured and coherent primary course of study.  It allows undergraduates to develop a specialized, in-depth field of study as part of their educational experience at UIS.  All undergraduates must complete the requirements for one major program to earn a baccalaureate degree at UIS.

Majors may focus on a single discipline or provide an interdisciplinary approach to a field of study.  Majors are usually offered by academic departments within a college, but interdisciplinary majors may be co-sponsored by two or more departments, even if those departments are in different colleges.

Typically, a major consists of a core of required courses and a set of electives from which students may choose.  Majors usually consist of 30 - 36 credit hours.  Majors are recorded on student transcripts.

Academic Policy on Undergraduate Minors

An undergraduate academic minor is a grouping of courses that has clearly stated academic objectives.  It may be located in a discipline or may combine different disciplinary perspectives focusing on a common set of questions or a theme.  Minors provide basic competency in a discipline, or basic understanding of the questions or theme.  Minors contain core course(s) to provide direction and unity, and they may contain a set of options or electives beyond the core to allow flexibility.

At UIS, minors usually include 15 - 24 credit hours.  Students may not adopt a minor in any major they declare.  Students who adopt minors must be degree-seeking undergraduates who also have a major.  Minors are recorded on student transcripts.

Academic Policy on Undergraduate Concentrations

A concentration is a grouping of courses within an undergraduate major, and constitutes a portion of the major.  A concentration is distinct from a minor in that a minor broadly introduces a student to a field of study while a concentration focuses on a sub-field within a discipline.  Typically, a concentration is defined as a minimum of nine or more hours that a student may take as part of the degree program.  Concentrations are housed only in departments with majors and are recorded on student transcripts.