2010 - 2011 Degree Requirements
Governing Catalog | Residence Requirement | Academic Major | Academic Minor | Second Bachelor's Degree | Liberal Education Requirements | Fulfilling LE Skills Requirements | Transfer Credit | AP | CLEP | Challenge Exam | IB
Westminster offers courses leading to the undergraduate degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. The faculties of the four schools determine which of these degrees is to be awarded under each instructional program.
Students may meet degree requirements as specified in the Academic Catalog in effect at the time of their entrance into the college, or they may elect to meet requirements given in a later academic catalog. All major, minor, and liberal education requirements must be contained within a single issue and may not be selected from several issues.
Students who leave the college for no more than two regular semesters retain the right to be considered under their previous catalog and retain the right for six years following the date of entrance to graduate under requirements current at the time of entrance.
Undergraduate students earning baccalaureate degrees from Westminster must complete a minimum of 36 hours of coursework at the college. In addition, undergraduate students must complete in residence:
A maximum of 88 credit hours of external credit is accepted toward a degree. External credit includes any transfer credit, credit by examination, and credit earned through Prior Learning Assessment.
Students may appeal for an exception to the residency policy to the Registrar in writing. Appeals should clearly explain extenuating circumstances and provide a graduation plan. Any courses approved for transfer within a student's last 36 hours must be pre-approved as part of the appeals process.
The college offers the academic programs (majors) listed below:
Declaring a Major
All students must formally declare an academic major once they have completed 60 or more credit hours (junior standing, see "Class Standing"). Students with junior standing who have not met with an academic advisor and formally declared their major will not be eligible to register for upcoming semesters. Forms for declaring majors and minors are available in the START Center, each academic school office, or the Office of the Registrar. You may contact any of these offices for additional information.
A major is an area of specialization within the degree. Students may complete more than one major at the same time but may not complete more than one degree at the same time.
Courses that are required for both majors may be used to fulfill requirements for both majors, but elective courses may be used in only one major. In other words, the hours may be used only once.
Information about combining two Gore School of Business majors may be obtained from the Gore School of Business or the Office of the Registrar.
Students may choose two majors, one that leads to a B.A., and one that leads to a B.S., but may receive only one degree. The first-listed major on the graduation application determines the degree awarded.
Students who successfully complete the Customized Major will have developed:
Highly motivated and creative students may propose individualized programs of study that combine work across multiple traditional disciplines. A Customized Major must consist of a coherent sequence of classes selected from the offerings of at least two academic departments or programs. This sequence must be unified by a consistent conceptual framework that reflects clear focus, along with both breadth and depth of inquiry. There must be a demonstrable relation to a specific set of career or educational objectives, and the program must culminate in an integrative project or thesis.
Possible subjects for Customized Majors include historical periods, keystone ideas, enduring questions, and new problems. For instance, a student might study Modernism in history, literature, art, and music; or she might explore the ideas of freedom and responsibility in philosophy, sociology, and political science; or she might combine insights from environmental studies, communications, and education to investigate the challenge of teaching ecological literacy. With the Customized Major, the possibilities are limited only by the student's imagination and capacity for self-direction.
The Customized Major is not designed for students who are unable or unwilling to satisfy the requirements of existing academic programs.
Applicants must have completed the equivalent of one full-time semester of academic work at Westminster College and must have earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher in all classes completed here.
The Customized Major must consist of fifty (50) semester credit hours, 80% of which must be taken at Westminster College.
Only classes passed with a C or higher may be counted toward the major.
The curriculum should reflect a reasonable balance and sequence of introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses, and should include at least one course in research methods from one of the primary disciplines.
It is strongly recommended that each student complete a minimum of eight (8) hours of foreign language classes, though introductory language classes should not be counted toward the major.
As many as eight (8) semester credit hours may be satisfied in field-based coursework such as independent study, internships, community work, and supervised work experience.
Each student must complete a capstone project that integrates insights, information, and methods from the relevant disciplines into a focused inquiry or experience. This project must be proposed to the Advisory Committee (see below) at the beginning of the senior year. The results of the project should be presented in a public forum at Westminster or elsewhere. The completed capstone project must be submitted to the Director by the last day of classes in the student's final semester.
Applying to the Program
Since the application process can take several months, students interested in pursuing the Customized Major should contact the Director as early as possible in their academic career.
The Director will conduct an extensive intake interview with each prospective major, assess the applicant's academic history and interests, provide advice on the process of designing a Customized Major, and refer the student to faculty members who can provide field-specific advice regarding the selection and sequencing of courses into a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum.
The applicant will design an individualized plan of study in consultation with an Advisory Committee consisting of two or more faculty members from across the College. The application to the program should include:
The application should be submitted to the Customized Major Director for approval at least three semesters before the applicant's planned graduation date.
Some Examples of Customized Majors
Completing Additional Major or Minor After Graduation
Westminster graduates may choose to complete an additional major or minor after their graduation date and are allowed to use their same governing catalog as long as they stay continuously enrolled. Requirements must be completed within one year of their graduation date and students must meet all requirements in residence at Westminster. The student must notify the Registrar's Office of his or her intention to complete an additional major or minor.
The college offers an academic minor in most areas of instruction. Each instructional program lists specific minor requirements. Several majors require an accompanying minor. In lieu of a minor, students may support their majors with a broad variety of courses selected in consultation with their academic advisors.
A minimum 2.0 GPA is required for coursework used to fulfill requirements for an academic minor. Minimum GPA requirements are listed for each academic minor. Only grades of C- or better may be presented to satisfy minor requirements.
Courses that are required for both a major and a minor may be used to fulfill requirements for both the major and the minor, but elective courses may be used in either the major or the minor. The hours may be used only once.
In addition to the above-listed majors, the college offers minors in many of these areas plus minors only in Anthropology, French, Gender Studies, Paleontology, Political Science, and Religion.
Information about combining Gore School of Business majors and minors may be obtained from the Gore School of Business or the Office of the Registrar.
Students who have earned a bachelor's degree and are working toward a second bachelor's degree must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours at Westminster College beyond the first degree and must meet all degree requirements. Students may not complete two degrees concurrently. Students who already have earned a bachelor's degree are considered to have met liberal education and upper division hour requirements. Transfer students who have earned a bachelor's degree are automatically awarded 88 credit hours of transfer credit.
Nursing prerequisite courses need to be fulfilled by students with prior degrees. Individual evaluations of comparable coursework will be made by the nursing program.
Coordinator: Barbara Schulz Smith, Ph.D.
As part of Westminster's commitment to develop new models of teaching and learning, several interdisciplinary learning communities are available to first-year students. These interdisciplinary courses are designed to help students:
Learning communities at Westminster link two classes together with a common theme. Typically, at least one of the classes also fulfills a liberal education requirement. Sometimes, a course is paired with an INTR course which is a course designed for first-year students as a seminar class that focuses on issues of college life. The majority of learning community classes are designed for first-year students and are NOT upper division (300-level) credit.
Learning communities are taught primarily by full-time faculty members. This is one of the bonuses of learning communities. Students get to meet and interact with professors who have chosen to teach first-year students as part of their teaching responsibilities at Westminster.
If you entered Westminster during the Fall of 2006 (or after this date) as a first-year student, you will need to take at least one learning community during your first year here. These interdisciplinary classes vary widely on theme and topic areas. By way of example, learning community classes have included the pairing of Psychology and English Composition, Speech and Philosophy, Anthropology and the Arts, and Business and Statistics. Many additional choices are offered each semester. Current learning community (LC) class offerings are listed in the class schedule and on the Westminster Learning Community website.
Note: Students who do not pass one or both courses contained within a first-year learning community are not required to repeat the learning community experience but will be required to successfully pass any liberal education category represented by courses within the learning community.
The liberal education program at Westminster College is designed to foster in students those values and intellectual skills that are necessary as a foundation for learning and to provide students with experience in the academic disciplines of the liberal arts. The following college-wide goals form the core of liberal education courses and are reinforced across the curriculum in major areas of study:
The following course requirements are established for all students seeking an undergraduate degree. Students must earn a grade of CR or C- or above in liberal education coursework to fulfill graduation requirements.
Meeting Mathematics Requirements
The following guidelines are used in determining when students have met mathematics requirements. (Students without ACT or SAT scores or students who are unsure about mathematics placement must contact the START Center for placement testing.)
Placement in English
The following guidelines determine in which level of English coursework a student should enroll.
Basic Speech Requirement
Passing SPCH 111 satisfies the basic speech requirement in the Writing and other Communication Skills category. A student with prior formal speech and presentations coursework may be eligible to have the basic speech requirement waived. Any waiver of the basic speech requirement will require an interview with the chair of the Speech/Theatre Program and the delivery of a specifically assigned presentation in front of a designated audience that satisfactorily demonstrates the student's proficiency. Competence must be shown in two speaking formats: informative and persuasive. The request for a waiver of the basic speech requirement must be made, with no exceptions, at least one semester prior to the semester in which the student plans to graduate. The requirement may be challenged only one time; the challenge process occurs only once per (fall or spring) semester. More information and the form is available in the Start Center.
Fulfilling Foreign Language Requirements
Foreign Language requirements are listed as part of the major requirements for each major (see individual academic program listings). Most majors require one of the following two options:
Eight credit hours in one of the following ways:
Successful completion of any college-level foreign language course that is the equivalent of four credit hours, or five quarter hours, satisfies part of the foreign language requirement as will adequate AP or CLEP examination scores. Students might also qualify to take a Westminster College challenge examination in French or Spanish with departmental approval.
Students who are bi-lingual (native proficiency) are exempt from this requirement but must meet with language faculty to receive a waiver. Effective Fall 1994, Westminster faculty approved American Sign Language for foreign language credit.
A maximum of 72 credit hours may be awarded from two-year institutions. A maximum of 88 credit hours transferred from all collegiate institutions (two-year and four-year) attended may be applied toward meeting the total number of hours required for graduation.
Note: It is not possible to earn upper division hours from a two-year school.
Only 88 credit hours may be earned from non-institutional credit. External credit is defined as any credits applied to a degree that are earned by external means, such as transfer, CLEP, AP, or other sources.
Criteria for the Acceptance of Transfer Credit
Westminster College awards transfer credit for coursework that meets the following criteria:
Foreign Transfer Credit
All foreign transcripts are evaluated by Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI), which determines the level of coursework taken and the semester hour and grade equivalents. Only coursework that is determined to be equivalent to college-level academic work that meets the criteria noted above will be considered for transfer. Equivalencies to Westminster courses will be determined as outlined below. Transfer acceptance of hours from foreign institutions does not guarantee fulfillment of like courses in majors and minors at Westminster unless approved by the faculty.
Determination of Liberal Education and Major Course Equivalencies
Liberal Education Requirements
Transfer courses fulfill Westminster liberal education course requirements on a course-by-course basis when the transfer courses are deemed equivalent to the corresponding Westminster courses. The Transfer Coordinator makes this determination in accordance with guidelines established by faculty.
Major and Minor Course Requirements
An advisor in the major or minor program of study determines whether transfer credit fulfills specific requirements in the major or minor. A student who receives elective transfer credit for a course may not necessarily be able to apply that course to the major or minor. In addition, some programs have minimum grade requirements.
Transfer Credit and Prerequisite Knowledge
Although the college accepts transfer credit for courses with a C- grade or higher, individual programs may require verification of prerequisite knowledge and may require students to repeat coursework.
Upper Division Transfer Credit
By definition, it is not possible to earn upper division credit from a two-year institution. In certain cases, lower division coursework will be accepted as meeting upper division program requirements; however, these hours will not count toward the 30 upper division hours required for graduation.
Converting Quarter Credit Hours to Semester Credit Hours
A quarter hour is equal to two-thirds of a semester hour, so one quarter hour transfers as 0.67 credit hours. Students transferring from institutions using the quarter system do not lose credit, because semesters are longer than quarters.
Quarter Hours and Westminster Hour Requirements
To be accepted as meeting Westminster College requirements, courses must not only have equivalent academic content, they must also equal at least two-thirds of the Westminster required hours, e.g., a language class must be 2.68 credit hours or more.
Waiver of Liberal Education Requirements
Associate Degrees--Utah and Out-of-State Institutions and Letters of Completion (Utah Schools only)
Students who have Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees from regionally accredited institutions or have official letters verifying completion of liberal education requirements from a Utah institution are considered to have completed the following LE requirements:
The A.A. or A.S. degree does not exempt students from completing the following liberal education requirements:
Students who have Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees are not eligible for waivers.
Students should note that certain liberal education courses also serve as prerequisites or are required courses in their academic programs and would not be waived, even if a previous A.A. or A.S. degree has been attained. All students are advised to check the catalog for individual program requirements.
Credit by Examination
Students may earn a maximum of 40 credit hours under credit by examination programs: Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Challenge Examinations, Nursing Examinations, and International Baccalaureate. Credit by examination is not counted as in-residence credit.
Advanced Placement (AP) examinations in most subjects cover a full-year college course equivalent to eight credit hours. Some subject areas such as Computer Science A, Economics (Macro and Micro), Environmental Science, Comparative Government and Politics, U.S. Government and Politics, Physics C, Psychology, Statistics, and Human Geography, are equivalent to one semester of college-level coursework and are awarded credit based on the credit hours for the equivalent course at Westminster.
A score of 3 is the minimum score accepted by the college; however, individual departments may require a minimum score of 4 to award credit for the equivalent course and/or liberal education requirement. Individual departments determine how they will apply AP credits toward specific major or minor requirements. Students may receive a maximum of 40 hours of Advanced Placement credit. Listed below are the AP tests that fulfill Westminster LE requirements and the required scores.
For a complete listing of the AP examinations, the required scores, and equivalent courses at Westminster, contact the START Center or the Registrar's Office.
CLEP is a national program of examination to evaluate, confirm, and assess the academic achievement of individuals who have reached a college level of education through either traditional or non-traditional means of study.
Note: The CLEP program is currently under review by Westminster College faculty. Acceptance of CLEP testing for specific Westminster courses as listed below is subject to change. For a complete listing of currently honored CLEP examinations, please contact the START Center or the Registrar's Office.
CLEP includes General Examinations in three basic liberal arts areas and Subject Examinations in widely-taught undergraduate courses.
Credit is not awarded if duplicated by previous coursework.
Important Note: The College Level Examination Program prohibits candidates from repeating a CLEP exam of the same title within six months. Scores of exams repeated earlier than six months will be cancelled and test fees forfeited.
CLEP candidates are awarded credit as follows:
For CLEP exams taken since June 2001, a minimum score of 50 is required. A higher score is required for the full 12 hours of Language credit. For more information about CLEP, contact the START Center at 801.832.2282.
Students may earn credit for independent learning in certain academic areas by means of the Challenge Examination. This is a comprehensive examination covering a given course according to the following conditions:
Credit may be given for selected higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) International Baccalaureate examinations. Students are required to submit official transcripts from the International Baccalaureate Organization upon admission to the college. International Baccalaureate examinations currently accepted at Westminster, along with the minimum required score and examination level, appear below.