Degree Requirements

Degrees are composed of a University Core Curriculum, documented Community Service participation, documented computer literacy (either by examination or course enrollment), requirements for the major (as well as supportive courses or courses as part of a required minor), and elective courses to equal the total hours required for a degree. The Institutional policies governing these areas are listed below. Specific requirements for the major and their associated support or minor requirements are listed within the disciplines section of this catalog.

A. Institutional Requirements for the Associate Degree

  1. Completion of a minimum of 64 semester hours of course credit, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Academic Literacy courses (developmental or ESL, orientation, etc.) will not count toward this requirement. Some degree programs require more than 64 semester hours of credit..
  2. Completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work at the University of the Incarnate Word.
  3. Completion of 24 of the last 30 semester hours for the degree at the University of the Incarnate Word.
  4. Completion of the Core Curriculum. Some degree programs require a grade of C or higher for Core Curriculum courses that are required for those programs. A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 1311 and ENGL 1312, regardless of the program.
  5. Completion of a major and any related requirements. Specific requirements for each major will be found in the Undergraduate Program section of this Bulletin. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses needed to fulfill the major, concentration, specialization, and minor, where required.
  6. Completion of sufficient elective courses to fulfill the total number of hours required for graduation (64).
  7. Completion of 22 clock hours (non-credit) of Community Service is required for the associate degree. Community Service hours must be completed and documented in the Registrar's Office before you apply to graduate or be attached to the application for graduation.
  8. Payment of all outstanding bills and return of University equipment and library books.

B. Institutional Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

  1. Completion of a minimum of 128 semester hours of course credit, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Academic Literacy courses (developmental or ESL, orientation, etc.) will not count toward this requirement. Some degree programs require more than 128 semester hours of credit.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 42 semester hours of credit in upper division courses (3000 level and above).
  3. Completion of a minimum of 45 semester hours of course work at the University of the Incarnate Word. Of these, 12 semester hours must be in upper division courses in the major field.
  4. Completion of 36 of the last 45 semester hours for the degree at the University of the Incarnate Word.
  5. Completion of the Core Curriculum. Some degree programs require a grade of C or higher for Core Curriculum courses that are required for those programs. A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 1311 and ENGL 1312, regardless of the program.
  6. Completion of a major and any related requirements. Specific requirements for each major will be found in the Undergraduate Program section of this Bulletin. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses needed to fulfill the major, concentration, specialization, and minor, where required.
  7. Completion of sufficient elective courses to fulfill the total number of hours required for graduation (128).
  8. Completion of 45 clock hours (non-credit) of Community Service is required for the baccalaureate degree. Community Service hours must be completed and documented in the Registrar's Office before you apply to graduate or be attached to the application for graduation.
  9. Payment of all outstanding bills and return of University equipment and library books.

C. Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum of University of the Incarnate Word is, as the name implies, the heart or center of the undergraduate educational experience. The Core Curriculum is an integrated and sequenced course of study, which constitutes approximately 52-53 semester hours of a student's degree plan.

The content of the Core Curriculum is dictated by the traditional concept of liberal arts education. It includes a carefully devised study of rhetoric (intelligent reading and correct writing), philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, mathematics and the natural sciences, history, the behavioral and social sciences, language, and wellness.

Unique to the University's approach to the liberal arts, however, is a conscious emphasis on integrating their content elements. This emphasis is rooted in the experience of the academic community that knowledge is not acquired in isolated elements and that wisdom derives from an exploration of truth in all its aspects. A whole person is an organism of body, mind, emotions, and spirit and comes to know truth by way of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic exploration of reality.

In addition to the content of the liberal arts and their integration, the Core Curriculum addresses itself to the major processes identified as requisites for success as an effective participant in the contemporary world, namely, critical thinking and learning, social interaction, wellness development, values formation, and ethical decision making. Because its mission, founded in the Catholic tradition, is based on the premise of a sound faith relationship between the creature and the Creator, the University of the Incarnate Word includes in its Core a study of religion.

The core is a common experience for all UIW students and represents a major vehicle for transmitting the mission values of the University. The Core and Major (specialized curriculum in a particular field of study) are intended to assure that every student accomplishes ten broad educational goals. Objectives under each goal specify learning outcomes to be developed by all undergraduates who complete a degree at UIW. Students are expected to develop knowledge, attitudes, skills, and values in each of the following goal areas:

  1. Critical and Creative Thinking: to analyze information logically and to utilize and transform knowledge in fair-minded, purposeful, and imaginative ways.
  2. Effective Communication: to write and speak clearly and persuasively and to convey meaning effectively in non-verbal contexts.
  3. Media/Technology: to understand the benefits and limitation of technology and media and how to use them in socially positive ways.
  4. Research: to synthesize the gathering, evaluating, and interpreting of data in a study or creative work that can be shared with a community of scholars.
  5. Global and Historical Consciousness: to understand and be sensitive to the ways humans have been influenced by cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions, by economic forces, and by environmental opportunities and limitations.
  6. Aesthetic Engagement: to realize the significant role that aesthetic experience and the visual/performing arts play in shaping meaningful lives.
  7. Quantitative/Scientific Analysis: to use mathematical reasoning and the scientific method to address issues in an increasingly complex, technological world.
  8. Social Justice: to use ethical decision-making skills to evaluate the consequences of personal behavior as well as the policies and practices of groups and systems.
  9. Professionalism: to develop leadership qualities that help achieve personal goals and contribute to the good of society through work.
  10. Integration/Spirituality: to understand the importance of developing as a whole person who is spiritually mature and dedicated to being a productive and responsible citizen.

Appropriate assessment strategies will determine student success in achieving the outcomes under these goals and demonstrate that UIW is accomplishing its educational mission. By this means, UIW offers its students the opportunity to grow as self-filled human beings and competent professionals dedicated to service.

The Core Curriculum is comprised of specific courses from designated disciplines, a Community Service component and demonstrated computer competence. The requirements for each are described below.

1. Core Curriculum Course Listing

Rhetoric: 6 semester hours.

ENGL

1311

Composition I

ENGL

1312

Composition II

Before a student can enroll in ENGL 1311 or ENGL 1312, all requirements in Academic Literacy courses in reading and writing must be completed successfully. ENGL 1311 should be taken immediately following the completion of any requirements. These courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C.

Wellness Development: 3 semester hours.

DWHP

1200 or 3200 Dimensions of Wellness, and a 1-semester hour lifelong physical activity course.

DWHP

is normally taken during the student's first year of study. Transfer and adult returning students take DWHP 3200.

Philosophy: 3 semester hours.

PHIL

1381

Introduction to Philosophy

Religious Studies in the Core Curriculum: 3 semester hours

The required course must be chosen from among the following courses.

First course options:

RELS

1310

Introduction to Theology

RELS

1340

Understanding Catholicism

RELS

1345

Biblical Themes

RELS

RELS

1355

1360

History of Christianity

Christian Ethics

RELS

RELS

RELS

RELS

RELS

RELS

1375

2320

2329

2330

2335

2345

Prayer and Spirituality

Hebrew Scriptures

Religious Movements in U.S. History

Religion, Value and Film

U.S. Latino/a Spirituality

World Religious Quest (recommended for but not limited to international and transfer students)

RELS

3300

The Religious Quest (recommended for but not limited to international and transfer students)

Second course: Students may take any Religious Studies course, provided that they meet any prerequisites for the course.

Second Religious Studies or Philosophy: 3 semester hours.

Any three hour RELS or PHIL course.

Literature: 3 semester hours.

ENGL

2310

World Literature Studies

Fine Arts: 3 semester hours.

Any three-hour Performance or History course in Visual Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre (Computer Art courses will not satisfy this requirement).

Mathematics: 3 semester hours.

Course selection based on degree requirements.

MATH

1304

or

MATH

1306

or

MATH

2303

or an appropriate higher level math course

Before a student can enroll in MATH 1304 College Algebra, MATH 1306 College Geometry, or MATH 2303 Introduction to Probability and Statistics, any requirements for developmental courses in mathematics or for mathematics placement must be completed successfully. Students are encouraged to complete the mathematics requirement during the first year of study.

Natural Sciences: 4 semester hours.

Students may choose one of the following:

BIOL

1401, 1402, 2321 or 2121

CHEM

1301/1101

ENSC

1410

GEOL

1401, 1402, 1415, 1420

METR

1430

PHYS

1301/1101, 2305/2105

History: 3 semester hours.

HIST

1311, 1312, 1321, or 1322

Social Science: 3 semester hours.

PSYC

1301, SOCI 1311, ECON 2301, POLS 1315 or POLS 1316

Foreign Language: 6 semester hours.

Six semester hours in one language (or American Sign Language) other than English

Core Elective Selections: 9-10 semester hours.

Students will select three courses from different disciplines from the choices listed below:

Any Fine or Applied Arts course in Arts, Music, Theatre Arts, or Dance

For ARTS and ARTH: ARTH 1310 Masterworks of World Art, ARTS 1301 Drawing I, ARTS 1311 Design I, Arts 2320 Painting I,

ARTS 2342 Ceramics I, ARTS 2357 Photography I, ARTS 2361 Sculpture I

Communication Arts COMM 1301

Economics ECON 2301

Any English course

Environmental Science 1410

Fashion FMGT 3325

Geology 1415

History Any History course

Introduction to Cultural Studies CLST 1310

Mathematics Any MATH course higher than College Algebra

Philosophy Any Philosophy course

Political Science Any course from the list above or POLS 1391

Religious Studies Any RELS course

Science Any course from the list above

Social Science Any course from the list above or ANTH 1311 or POLS 1391

Speech SPCH 1311

NOTE : Some majors at the University of the Incarnate Word require specific Core elective courses. Students should refer to their respective disciplines before enrolling in Core electives.

2. Community Service Requirement

A total of 45 clock hours (non-credit) are required for all baccalaureate degrees. Associate degrees require 22 clock hours (non-credit) of Community Service. Students may satisfy this graduation requirement by: (1) selecting volunteer opportunities posted by Campus Ministry, or (2) taking courses designated in the University schedule as service-learning courses, or (3) a combination of volunteer opportunities and service-learning courses. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors, early in their university experience, the options for fulfilling the community service requirement and the method of documenting their service.

Students should complete their Community Service hours by the end of the junior year. Community Service hours must be completed and documented in the Registrar's Office before you apply to graduate or documentation must be attached to the application for graduation.

3. Computer Literacy Requirement

By the end of the second semester at the University of the Incarnate Word, students must successfully test for computer competence or complete a Computer Literacy course. If the Computer Literacy course option is selected or required, it will satisfy general electives on the degree plan but will not satisfy the 9-10 hours of Core Electives required. Students may attempt the Computer Literacy competency exam only once. Refer to the Credit by Examination section for policies related to the Computer Literacy requirement.

First Year (FY) Target Core Courses

The University of the Incarnate Word has identified specific goals for the first year student which are designed to help students transition to college and achieve academic success. These goals have been intentionally integrated as outcomes and experiences into first year courses identified as FY Target Core Courses. The Target Core courses are Math 1 and 2 (MATH 0318 and MATH 0319), Composition Bridge (ENGL 0312), Computer Literacy (COMP 1301), Dimensions of Wellness (DWHP 1200), College Algebra (MATH 1304), Composition I (ENGL 1311), Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 1381), and introductory Religious Studies courses (RELS 1310, 1340, 1345, 1355, 1360 and 1375). First year students at the University of the Incarnate Word are expected to take a minimum of four of these courses during their first two semesters at the University. Students should consult their academic advisor on which courses are appropriate for their field of study.

Goals for FY Target Core Courses

D. Degree Plans

After the completion of 32 semester hours, students should apply for admission to study their intended major. This ensures that data about your degree selection, major/minor, and advisor are correct in the student information system. Once approved to the major, an official degree plan will be prepared and sent to the student and his/her assigned advisor. As the university implements CAPP, the automated degree plan system, preparation of the paper-form degree plans will cease. Instead, students will be directed to the degree evaluation system as part of the student information system. The degree plan, either the paper-form version or the online version, will be based on the curriculum in effect at the time of the student's matriculation and identifies all of the courses and requirements for the degree. Once issued, it is the responsibility of the student, in conversation with his/her assigned advisor, to keep the degree plan current. Delay in applying to the major may result in the completion of courses that are not needed for the degree.

Upon application for graduation, the degree plan, either paper-form or automated, will be updated by the Registrar's Office and an official degree audit sent to the student and advisor. Students must resolve degree deficiencies noted in the degree audit by the deadline indicated or they will be removed from candidacy for graduation. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors to plan for graduation and to resolve any deficiency identified that will prevent graduation.

E. Major

For all majors, a minimum grade of C will be required for courses within each major. This requirement refers only to courses in the major discipline and not to other supporting work that may be required. Individual disciplines may, however, have policies more stringent than the University-wide policy. Detailed requirements for each major can be found in the "Undergraduate Programs" section of this bulletin.

Major programs may be modified or discontinued without prior notice because of academic, fiscal, or staffing considerations. Students affected by such changes will be assisted in their efforts to continue their studies in other programs or universities.

F. Minor, Interdisciplinary Concentration, or Specialization

Most majors require a minor, an interdisciplinary concentration, or a specialization within the major. A grade of C or better is required in every course that counts toward the minor, an interdisciplinary concentration, or a specialization. Details of these requirements may be found in the "Undergraduate Programs" section of this bulletin.

The discipline within which a minor is taken defines, within the University standards stated below, the requirements for the minor.

The discipline that requires or accepts an interdisciplinary concentration on a certain topic for students majoring in it defines, within the University standards stated below, the requirements for the interdisciplinary concentration.

A minor is defined as 12 to 24 semester hours in a single discipline, including a minimum of six upper-division hours. An interdisciplinary concentration is defined as a minimum of 18 semester hours, including a minimum of nine upper-division hours, from two or more disciplines in courses focused on the same area. A specialization within a major field is defined as a minimum of 18 semester hours, including nine upper-division hours.

G. Second Major

A student is not restricted in the number of majors he or she may complete for the bachelor's degree. However, if a student wishes to pursue more than one major, all requirements for a single major plus the additional requirements for the other major(s) must be completed. A second major on a different degree program requires the completion of a second degree, rather than the completion of a second major.

H. Second Baccalaureate Degree

A student holding a bachelor's degree from UIW or from another accredited institution may receive a second bachelor's degree provided he or she fulfills the following requirements:

  1. Complete an additional 45 semester hours of residence credit not included in the first degree (18-24 must be at the upper division level in the major field).
  2. Complete all requirements for the additional major and degree including all prerequisites, elective courses, and upper division courses as specified in the appropriate sections of the bulletin.
  3. Two bachelor's degrees may be awarded simultaneously provided that the requirements listed above are met and that the total number of credit hours being applied toward both degrees is a minimum of 173. Graduation honors will be computed only on the first degree.
  4. The Core from the first degree will be considered in fulfillment of the Core for the second degree and all additional courses for the Core of the second degree will be waived if the Core of the first degree assimilates the UIW Core. The Core for the second degree will be required for international students whose Core for the first degree does not contain the elements of the Liberal Arts Core and which are the hallmark of the UIW Core.