A WestConn Education
A WestConn education gives students a strong liberal arts foundation, depth of knowledge in a chosen field, effective intellectual, interpersonal, and technological skills, and the ability to learn and continue learning. Degree programs are designed to meet these primary objectives of the university mission. WestConn strives to give its graduates the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to reach their goals in personal and professional life.
Bachelor's degree programs at the university begin with general education, in which students learn ways of knowing the world through the arts and humanities; the social and behavioral sciences; the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science; and health and exercise sciences. The development of foundation skills in writing and computation, essential for work at an advanced level, is ensured as part of general education.
Students take a second significant step by choosing a major, a program in a particular field of study leading to a degree. Some students also decide to complete a minor, a lesser concentration, and most include elective courses as their program allows. This catalog shows the many choices available, including innovative majors, learning through experience, and the opportunity to design your own program leading to a degree. At every stage WestConn faculty serve as guides and advisers.
As stated in the mission, the high quality of a WestConn education means that the university serves Connecticut as “an accessible, responsible, and creative resource.” WestConn graduates have gone on to distinguished public service, as well as distinction in many fields of business and the professions. The university welcomes students from many backgrounds and is committed to their success.
Degree Requirements for Undergraduates
Western Connecticut State University awards the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of business administration, bachelor of music, and associate in science to students who have successfully completed the prescribed courses of study. Students are required to attain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (a “C” average) for graduation in most degree programs. However, some degree programs may require a higher grade point average for graduation (see program sheet).
The university’s requirements for graduation as stated in the undergraduate catalog at the time you are matriculated (admitted to a degree program) will be honored at the time you graduate. If you change your major, graduation requirements will be those listed in the catalog at the time of the approved change.
If your matriculation is interrupted (if you withdraw from the university and are readmitted), the requirements for graduation will be those stated in the catalog at the time of your readmission.
To be awarded a degree from Western Connecticut State University:
You can earn credits towards an undergraduate degree at WestConn as follows:
Matriculated Students – A matriculated student is one who has met all requirements for admission and who has been formally admitted to a degree program.
Nonmatriculated Students – A nonmatriculated student is one who has not been formally admitted to a degree program at the university.
Waivers may be granted for curriculum requirements. All waivers (except those for the physical education requirement which is based on physical disability or veteran status) require replacement with approved courses to match the total number of semester hours waived.
Foreign Language Requirement
All students enrolled in B.A. programs and secondary education majors must fulfill the foreign language requirement in one of the following ways:
1. By completing through the third year of one foreign language in high school with an overall "C" average.
2. By studying a total of three years of two foreign languages in high school with an overall "B" average.
3. By successfully completing a foreign language proficiency examination, or by providing the necessary documentation outlined in the language waiver policy in this catalog.
4. By successfully completing a language immersion experience of one semester abroad. Consult the Department of World Languages and Literature or Western's International Center.
5. By successfully completing the specified language courses at WCSU. Students may fulfill the foreign language requirement by successfully completing an Introductory II second-semester course in languages offered in the Department of World Languages and Literature, or any one semester of a language course at the intermediate level or above that is taught in the target language, not in English.
Foreign Language Requirement Waiver
(For Students whose native language is other than English)
Physical Education Requirement/Waiver
All students for bachelor and associate degree programs must take two semester hours of physical education activity courses or HPX 177, Fitness For Life, unless the requirement is waived for medical reasons or by veteran’s exemption. Up to one semester hour of credit earned for varsity athletic participation may be used in meeting this requirement.
Earning a Second Bachelor’s Degree
If you have earned one bachelor’s degree from Western Connecticut State University, you may be eligible to pursue a second bachelor’s degree at Western. The second major must be different from the first, although the degree may be the same, e.g., B.A. in psychology and B.A. in English.
After you have earned the first degree, you must apply to the Admissions Office for acceptance as a candidate for the new degree program (acceptance will depend on program requirements).
You must complete a minimum of 30 semester-hour credits (classroom credits, excluding CLEP and other alternates) including all requirements specific to the new degree, such as a foreign language requirement.
The general education requirements at Western Connecticut State University are designed to expose students to the broad spectrum of human knowledge in the areas of writing and communication skills, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural and computational sciences, and health promotion and exercise sciences. Students matriculated for all degrees are required to complete courses in these five broad areas.
You are advised to complete required courses in writing and communication skills as soon as possible, since these areas significantly improve your ability to handle further course work; other general education requirements may be fulfilled throughout the undergraduate program.
Many departments prescribe some specific general education courses in addition to required major courses. Students selecting courses to fulfill general education requirements in a program should carefully read the requirements of their chosen major (in the department section of this catalog and the official program sheet for the major) to determine which general education courses must be taken. Students should consult their advisor regularly.
You are advised to keep a record (preferably using a department’s official program sheet) of general education requirements completed. Overall requirements are as follows:
Selecting a Major
Students may select a major at the time of admission to the university or may request admission as undeclared.
To declare a major at the time of admission, students should consult the section of this catalog on the selected major to check for any special admission and/or retention standards. A department may request an interview with prospective students.
If undeclared, students should discuss course selection with an advisor in the Academic Advisement Center, (203) 837-8397.
All students must declare a major by the time they earn 60 credits in order to continue enrollment at the university.
Each major program leads to a degree, and students should obtain and study the program sheet for their major. Program sheets may be obtained from the department, the office of the school dean, or the Admissions Office. Program sheets list the degree requirements for each major. As students consult with their faculty advisor in the major, the program sheet will guide selection of courses to meet general education and major requirements.
Continuation in Major
Certain major programs have specific retention standards. See the appropriate catalog section where the major is described.
Change of Major
To change or declare a major, you will need to:
Any WCSU student who wishes to fulfill the requirements for more than one academic major may do so. Both majors will be listed on the student’s transcript. However, only one degree will be awarded.
If you qualify for more than one degree, e.g., both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science, you must notify the Registrar’s Office as to which degree you wish to receive at commencement.
You are advised to exercise caution in selecting more than one major because the requirements you must meet for two majors will limit your ability to take elective courses.
You are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of both majors as well as any special general education requirements in the majors.
A contract major is a coherent program of studies leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree, proposed by a student in consultation with a faculty advisor. The program must fulfill general education and other university-wide degree requirements including a major comprised of a minimum of 36 credits related to a specialized topic, theme or area of concentration. Credits in the major may be drawn from the course offerings of one or more academic departments and at least half of them must be taken at WestConn. The contract must be approved by the chairs of the departments from which three or more courses for the major are taken and by the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Standards.
Proposals are normally presented prior to the completion of 75 credits. They must exhibit academic integrity and rigor. Therefore, students are cautioned that the later a proposal is presented, the greater the chance that more than the minimum number of credits for the bachelor’s degree will be required to complete the contract major. The student applicant must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and must have completed the general education requirements in writing and communication skills and mathematics. At least 24 credits in the major must be taken at the 200 level or above. Inclusion of a senior thesis or project is strongly advised.
The intent of the contract major is to allow students whose academic interests extend beyond existing majors sufficient flexibility to design a program of studies appropriate to their educational goals.
Departments and faculty advisors in fields related to the student’s interests may provide guidance on developing the proposal. Additional information is available from Dr. James Munz of the department of philosophy, White Hall 021b, (203) 837-8782.
Honors Interdisciplinary Bachelor’s Degree (HIBDP)
The HIBDP is a special kind of honors contract major. Recognizing that the traditional division of knowledge into subject areas or disciplines is, to some degree, artificial, the university makes it possible for the highly motivated student to pursue a specialized course of study that examines in depth a single theme or idea from the perspective of two or more disciplines. A student might, for example, wish to pursue a course of study focusing on the Middle Ages, combining the disciplines of history, literature, philosophy, art history, music history and Latin. The student who chooses this option works closely with a faculty advisor and thesis director. The specific procedures for establishing an Honors Interdisciplinary bachelors degree program are listed below:
Special Study Opportunities
University Honors Program
The University Honors Program was founded in 1987 to foster and nurture academic excellence among outstanding students in all of the three schools of the university. The Honors Program has four primary goals: 1) to provide an opportunity for academically gifted and motivated students to excel in response to the challenge of an honors enrichment curriculum; 2) to expose students to some of the central modes of inquiry used by fields to understand problems and find solutions; 3) to provide opportunities for students to become part of an active and dynamic honors community and, 4) to emphasize the importance of bringing a multidisciplinary awareness to understanding the world around us. The program has two paths: 1) the full three-year program open to first year students and first semester sophomores, and 2) a one-year or associate option open to juniors, seniors and transfer students.
The full Honors Program requires that students take a one-credit course entitled “The Nature of Inquiry (HON 100), complete three honors activities, take one honors courses in each of the four “modes of inquiry” and complete the interdisciplinary capstone seminar (HON 400). Students also may, if they choose, perform honors enhancements in courses in their major or minor areas of study and/or participate in an Honors Teaching Practicum (HON 497). Students wishing to take part in the one year or associate version of the Honors Program must complete one honors activity, one honors course and the capstone seminar (HON 400). All required core honors courses, with the exception of Honors 100, may go toward fulfilling general education credit in the area where the course or seminar is offered.
More information on the program, including program benefits and admission requirements, is available at www.wcsu.edu/honors or from the Honors Program Director, Dr. Steven Ward, at 203-837-8459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty Developed Course (1 to 4 Semester Hours)
From time to time any academic department may offer an experimental course, labeled X98, to determine its value to the total departmental program or in response to a particular request from a group of students.
Student Independent Study (1 to 6 Semester Hours)
Opportunities to develop an individualized area of study are available to all students in the university under all department auspices. The following course description applies university-wide and describes the process by which a student may be registered for credits through a course of his/her own design. The course number is determined by the academic level of the project. Any student may earn 1 to 6 S.H. of credit through a Student Developed Study. However, there is no limit to the number of credits a senior may earn.
This vehicle is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to develop his/her own learning experience. The student will design a project, labeled X99, and secure a faculty sponsor to work with. A Student Developed Study may be utilized more than one time. Open to students of all classes. Prerequisite: Permission of faculty sponsor and department.
Director of Cooperative Education: A. Ciarleglio
Career Development Center, Student Center, 2nd Fl., 837-8265
Director of Career Development Center: M. Gernert Student Center, 2nd Floor, 837-8266
Cooperative Education is an additional component of the total educational program at WestConn. Combining formal classroom work with meaningful on-the-job experience in cooperation with business, industry, governmental agencies and other employers provides professional development, academic achievement and personal growth. Students interested in cooperative education may register for CED 297 as a free elective or through an individual department where direct approval of the student’s major academic adviser will also be required.
CED 297 Cooperative Education Option I (1-12 Semester Hours)
With prior approval from the Office of Cooperative Education, students may register for co-op credit according to the following procedures:
(Any Label) 297 Cooperative Education/ Option II (1-12 Semester Hours)
Upon request, you may register for co-op education credit and receive a letter grade, which is awarded through an academic department. You will need to obtain permission to earn a letter grade for this option from both the Co-op Office and the department chairperson prior to registration for co-op. The supervision and evaluation of students working under this option will be coordinated by either faculty co-op coordinators or the co-op staff. The following procedures apply to registration through Department 297:
Study Abroad (ISEP)
WestConn works with the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) to make study abroad available and affordable for all students. The ISEP network, made up of 225 higher education institutions in the U.S. and around the world, makes it possible for WestConn students to pay the WCSU tuition, room, and board costs in order to study at universities in Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as Central and South America.
There are two programs from which students may choose: ISEP I and ISEP-Direct. The ISEP I Program is a one for one exchange: for every student whom WestConn sends abroad, the university accepts one incoming international student. The ISEP-Direct Program facilitates direct admission to those international universities in the ISEP network which are in high demand, and yet have a limited number of ISEP I places. Under the ISEP-Direct Program, the student pays the fees of the host university, which are usually somewhat higher than WestConn costs.
You need not speak another language to be an exchange student, since many of the ISEP university programs accommodate English speaking students. Courses taken as an ISEP student are transferrable to WestConn.
International study, a maturing educational experience, also adds an attractive qualification to any student’s subsequent professional employment.
In order to foster such a background among its students, WestConn also annually joins the three other campuses of the CSU System in offering spring and summer study abroad. Courses are taught overseas with CSU faculty and course designation, which permits grade transfer for work accomplished according to the same academic standards and requirements as are expected on campus.
For application forms and information on either the ISEP or CSU System Courses Abroad Program, call Dr. Robert Whittemore, Coordinator of WestConn’s International Center at (203) 837-8461, Social Sciences Dept., Warner Hall, 204.