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.