General Baccalaureate Degree Policies and Requirements
General degree policies
Majors and options
A major is an academic program of study.A major may be divided into options or emphasis areas that consist of a core area of study plus selected topical courses related to the specified option. The diploma will list the major and not the option. For example, a student majoring in Marketing with an option in Advertising and Promotion will have Marketing listed on the diploma. Both the major and the option title will be listed on the student transcript.
Multiple degrees and/or multiple majors
For students with two majors, the first will determine the students’ department and dean for various administrative purposes.
Students who complete the requirements for two or more majors under the same degree in the same semester will be awarded one diploma listing all majors. If either major requires a minor, the other major will fulfill this requirement. An additional major option or university certificate will not fulfill a minor requirement.
Students who complete the requirements for two or more different degrees in the same semester will be awarded a diploma for each degree.
Multiple use of courses
Courses may be counted toward meeting the requirements in more than one area (major and minor, two majors, major and general education requirements, etc.) unless specifically prohibited by the academic departments and/or degree requirements and so stated in the catalog.
Courses completed for graduate credit other than approved mixed credit courses cannot be applied toward an undergraduate degree program, nor can courses taken for undergraduate credit be applied toward a graduate degree program.
Additional undergraduate degree and/or major
Students who have previously earned a baccalaureate degree may return to pursue an additional major or degree. A student may also pursue multiple majors and/or degrees at the same time.
A student may not receive a second baccalaureate degree with the same major (even if the option within the major is different) as a degree previously earned unless one of the degrees is an education degree (e.g. Bachelor of Science in Education or Bachelor of Music Education) and the other degree is not.
Students pursuing multiple options of the same major must graduate with the multiple options during the same semester of graduation as the student may not return in a later semester and be awarded the same major again.
Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) are considered to have fulfilled general education requirements for the subsequent major/degree. Additionally, for students pursuing a subsequent degree that requires a minor, the major on the previous degree will fulfill the requirement. If students choose to pursue a minor, it may not be in the same field of study as a previously earned major or minor, and must be of the same degree type as the subsequent degree.
Minors may only be awarded as part of an earned degree. A minor cannot be awarded independently and students cannot complete a minor post-graduation to a previously awarded degree.
A Bachelor of Science in Education or Bachelor of Music Education degree may be granted without a recommendation for a teaching certificate if the graduate does not present evidence of good moral character as determined by the Professional Education Committee.
Credit for courses completed in the major more than eight years before the student’s date of graduation may be disallowed by the major department.
Bachelor’s degree requirements
Catalog of graduation
Students shall satisfy the General Education, General Baccalaureate Degree Requirements, and Scholastic Honors requirements in effect upon first enrollment as a degree seeking student at Missouri State. Major and minor requirements and other specific degree requirements in effect at the time the student is admitted to that program shall be satisfied. Candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Education and Bachelor of Music Education degrees must meet all Missouri state teacher certification requirements in effect at the time the certificate is granted.
If a student re-enrolls after an absence of one calendar year or more from Missouri State, requirements in effect at the time of readmission as a degree seeking student must be satisfied. Any undergraduate student who re-enrolls at Missouri State within one year of being released from military assignment shall be allowed to continue under the same "catalog of graduation." Any undergraduate student who had been admitted to a degree program or any graduate student with an approved program of study prior to mobilization and who re-enrolls within one year of being released from military assignment shall not be subject to any additional degree requirements enacted in the interim.
Transfer students from Missouri public colleges and universities may follow the general education and general baccalaureate degree requirements in effect at Missouri State when they first enrolled (or re-enrolled after an absence of one calendar year or more) as degree seeking students at the institutions from which they transferred. The general education catalog year for these students will be established at the point of admission on the basis of this policy. Students who elect instead to follow the general education and general baccalaureate degree requirements in effect during their first semester may do so by notifying the Office of the Registrar.
Constitution study requirement
No student may graduate without complying with the state law known as Senate Bill No. 4, 1947 requiring a course of instruction in U.S. and Missouri constitutions and institutions. This requirement is met by students who take PLS 101 and either HST 121 or 122 at MSU (which also fulfill a general education requirement). It is also met by students who transfer to MSU from another public institution in Missouri having completed an Associate of Arts degree, bachelor’s degree, or the 42 hour general education core.
Other students must meet the requirement as follows:
Students with an Associate of Arts or bachelor’s degree from an out-of-state institution or non-public Missouri institution: If the student’s transfer credit evaluation includes a course in either American history or American government, the Senate Bill No. 4, 1947 requirement can be met through completion at MSU of PLS 103, a one credit hour course in Missouri Government and Politics. (Some private Missouri institutions include the Missouri government component in their American government class. If students receive transfer credit for such a class, it will be noted on their transfer credit evaluation and they will not need PLS 103.) Students whose transfer credit evaluation does not include a course in either American history or American government must take PLS 101 at MSU.
All other students: Students must complete the MSU general education requirements and thus will complete the Senate Bill No. 4 requirement. If such students received transfer credit for PLS 101 for a course that did not include a student of the Missouri Constitution, they must complete PLS 103. This includes students who receive PLS 101 credit through Advanced Placement.
Credits and grade point average requirements
All candidates for any baccalaureate degree must meet the following minimum credits and grade point average requirements:
- Completed a total of at least 125 semester hours of credit.
- Completed 40 hours of upper division credit (courses numbered 300 and above).
- Attained at least a 2.00 Missouri State cumulative GPA.
- Attained at least a 2.00 combined (MSU and transfer) GPA.
- Attained at least a 2.00 general education GPA on all courses used to meet the student's General Education requirements.
- Attained at least a 2.00 GPA on all courses that are required in the major. (Revised requirement effective October 1, 2015. Learn more)
- Attained at least a 2.00 GPA on all courses that are required in the minor. (Revised requirement effective October 1, 2015. Learn more)
Candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Education degree are also required to meet the following additional grade point average requirements. All GPA requirements include both Missouri State and transfer grades.
- Attain at least a 2.75 combined (MSU and transfer) cumulative GPA.
- Attain at least a 3.00 GPA in the certificate subject area (major field of study).
- Attain at least a 3.00 GPA in any additional certificate subject area.
- Attain at least a 3.00 GPA in the professional education courses.
- Have no grade lower than a “C” in all professional education courses.
Note: Many majors and minors require a GPA higher than the above stated minimums for admission, graduation, or both. Such requirements are listed as a part of the major or minor requirements.
Public Affairs Capstone Experience
All candidates for any baccalaureate degree must have completed a capstone experience (the equivalent of at least three cumulative credit hours) related to the major. The capstone experience allows a student to demonstrate the capacity to synthesize and apply information, demonstrate analytical, practical, and interpretive skills and promulgate ideas acquired from the major to bear on one significant summative experience, project, or class intrinsic to two elements of the public affairs mission. The capstone experiences/projects/classes will be designed and approved by individual departments or programs. The course number and credit hours assigned to the capstone experience will be determined by the department and specified within each major’s requirements.
University exit exam
All students admitted into a baccalaureate degree program must complete a University Exit Exam. Students must take this University Exit Exam prior to graduation and upon the completion of 90 or more credit hours.
Students who complete more than one baccalaureate degree are only required to take the exam one time. Requests for exceptions to the exam requirement due to extreme hardship should be directed to the Office of the Provost. Information regarding the University Exit Exam may be obtained online.
A candidate for a degree who transfers credit from another college must meet the following residence requirements:
- Complete a minimum of at least 30 hours of courses administered by the Springfield Campus.
- Complete at least 12 hours of upper division credit in the major in courses administered by the Springfield Campus.
- Complete at least 6 hours of upper or lower division credit in the minor in courses administered by the Springfield Campus.
- Complete at least 20 out of the last 30 hours in courses administered by the Springfield Campus. Students who have completed at least 90 hours in courses administered by the Springfield Campus, may petition the department head of their major to take less than 20 out of the last 30 hours on the Springfield Campus. If this petition is granted, written approval from the department head must be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar prior to the semester of graduation.
Exceptions to 20 out of the last 30 hours requirement are made for the following: a) Medical Technology majors when the last year is completed at an approved school of Medical Technology, b) Radiography majors when the last two years are completed at an approved school of Radiologic Technology, c) Animal Science major when the last two years are completed at the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine, d) students who participate in a Missouri State study away or exchange program approved by the Office of International Programs, and e) students in the West Plains Campus completion degree programs.
Appeals for exceptions
Students who wish to appeal for exceptions to the general baccalaureate degree requirements should submit an appeal to the Degrees Committee. The procedure for submitting an appeal is maintained by the Office of the Provost.