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File: Academic Policies > Curriculum Policies

Development of a Major in a Baccalaureate Degree Program 

Policy summary

This policy provides a framework for the specification of the courses of instruction in the major.

Policy Owner

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Approval Date

 February 2, 2015 

Effective Date

2016-17 Catalog of Courses 

Search Terms

 pvpaa, d, development, curriculum, major  

Scheduled for Review

 Spring 2020 

Policy Statement

1.  The academic, professional, or technical specialization in a baccalaureate degree program is provided through the courses of instruction in the major.

2.  The major should provide a survey of the discipline and its major subfields or a survey of an interdisciplinary area and its major subfields.

3.  Within a major, the only sub-specializations allowed, at this time, are concentrations.    All existing options in a major must be brought forward for designation as a degree program, restructured as concentrations, or deleted from the curriculum.

4.  The courses of instruction in a major must be organized and labeled in the Catalog of Courses as follows:

     A.  Prerequisite courses (if applicable)

            i.  All courses prerequisite to the core and major elective courses of instruction must be listed as prerequisite courses exception:

                    a.  Comp 150

                    b.  Math 105, Math 110, or Math 113

     B.   Core courses

           i.  Core courses must be offered under the auspices of the degree program.

     C.  Major electives

          i.   Major electives may be organized into sub-categories leading to a sub-specialization known as a concentration.

                 a.  All courses required for a concentration should be courses approved for 300- or 400-level designation.

                 b.  The name of, rationale for, and specification of the courses of instruction in a concentration are considered revisions of a degree program for purposes of faculty and administrative       review and approval as specified in Curriculum Oversight Policy.

       D.   Auxiliary courses (if applicable)

          i.  Auxiliary courses are those courses of instruction required by one degree program that are offered under the auspices of another degree program.

          ii.   All courses prerequisite to a course specified as an auxiliary course must be listed as auxiliary requirements excepting:

               a.  Comp 150

               b.  Math 105, Math 110, or Math 113

5. If the proposed major is not analogous to that offered by any comparable institutions, a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 courses, or a minimum of 30 or maximum of 45 credits, of instruction may be specified for a major, inclusive of prerequisite courses, core courses, major elective courses, auxiliary courses, and prerequisites to any auxiliary courses. 

        A. Courses that fulfill core or auxiliary requirements as well as general education courses will count toward the 10-15 course or 30-45 credit minimum-maximum rule.

        B. A survey of comparable institutions should be undertaken to determine typical credit requirements at comparable institutions. These benchmark values may be dependent on external accreditation, certification requirements, and/or similar criteria. Comparable institutions include other liberal arts colleges as identified by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges or similar bodies. A primary goal of proposed majors should be to meet applicable external accreditation, certification requirements, etc,

6.   Any exceptions to policy statement 1-5 must be authorized by the Provost.

7.  The faculty decision about how the courses of instruction should be completed must be presented in a Map to Graduation.

          A.  The Freshman Map to Graduation must demonstrate how the courses of instruction should be completed in four academic years, excluding  Summers.

          B.  The Transfer Map to Graduation must demonstrate how the courses of instruction for a program governed by a statewide transfer articulation agreement can be completed in two years.

          C.  The Transfer Guide must identify the courses of instruction that can be completed at a community or junior college and those that

Reason for Policy 

This policy provides a framework for the specification of the courses of instruction in the major in alignment with Fort Lewis College Policy 4-4 Baccalaureate Degree Requirements and 4-1 Honest Credit Counting Protocols. 


For following policy:  Faculty and academic administrators

For enforcement of policy:  Provost

For oversight of policy:  Provost 

For notification of policy:  Policy Librarian

For procedures:  Faculty Senate, Provost, Registrar

Cross-Referenced Policies

Curriculum Oversight Policy

Revision History

This policy supersedes Academic Affairs Policy 4-4:  Major Requirements approved April 2013.  It revises the minimum-maximum credits for a major from 40-81 credits to 10 to 15 courses or 30-45 credits.