Feb 29, 2024  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree and Graduation Requirements

Degree requirements for programs of study initiated under provisions of this catalog shall remain in effect for six years.  Students must use a single catalog for all graduation requirements, and cannot use a combination of catalogs.  Requests to change a catalog year must be approved by the student’s major advisor.  Students not completing requirements within the six-year period must graduate under the catalog edition that is published in the first year of enrollment after the expiration of the six-year term.  The six-year limitation may be extended for interruption by military service where enrollment is resumed within one year after release from service.

If graduation does not occur within six years of the catalog of record, students must (1) shift to a catalog that falls within the six-year timeframe, or (2) receive a catalog extension from the dean of the college of the major.  Students are strongly encouraged to submit Catalog Year Change Request form as soon as possible for the purpose of obtaining accurate progress-to-graduation.  Failure to change or extend the catalog year can delay graduation.

Degree-seeking students are assigned to the current catalog at the time of first entrance into ETSU.  Students who are readmitted are assigned by default to the current catalog.  High school students enrolled in ETSU courses will be assigned to a catalog after they become degree-seeking students.  Transfer students may receive a no obligation change back to the catalog in effect upon their first entrance into higher education by request to the graduation office in the Office of the Registrar.  Such requests should be filed using the approved Catalog Year Change Request form.

The course offerings and requirements of ETSU are continually under examination and revision. This catalog presents the offerings and requirements in effect at the time of publication, but is no guarantee that they will not be changed or revoked. However, adequate and reasonable notice will be given to students affected by any changes. This catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and does not constitute a contract between the student and East Tennessee State University.

ETSU reserves the right to make changes as required in course offerings, curricula, academic policies, and other rules and regulations affecting students to be effective whenever determined by the institution. These changes will govern current and formerly enrolled students. Enrollment of all students is subject to these conditions.

Current information may be obtained from the following sources: Admission Requirements-Office of Admissions; Course Offerings-department offering course; Degree Requirements-Office of the Registrar; Fees and Tuition-Office of the Comptroller.

ETSU complies fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The complete statement of policy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. East Tennessee State University is fully in accord with the belief that educational and employment opportunities should be available to all eligible persons without regard to age, gender, color, race, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

ETSU provides the opportunity for students to increase their knowledge by offering programs of instruction in the various disciplines and programs through faculty who, in the opinion of ETSU, are qualified for teaching at the college level. The acquisition and retention of knowledge by any student are, however, contingent upon the student’s desire and ability to learn while applying appropriate study techniques to any course or program. Thus, ETSU must necessarily limit representation of student preparedness in any field of study to that competency demonstrated at that specific point in time at which appropriate academic measurements were taken to certify course or program completion.

Bachelor Degree Requirements General

  1. Earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in all courses (ETSU, including transfer) and published requirements for the major and/or concentration and the minor, if applicable.
  2. Students must complete the requirements of their program of study which shall be a minimum of 120 semester hours credit (exclusive of courses designed as not applicable toward the baccalaureate degree) including the general education core requirements, a major, and a minor, if required. The major and minor are usually chosen from different departments and each program of study must be approved by the chair (or advisor) of each department. The major and minor programs (or area concentration) must be approved by the chair of the departments concerned.
  3. Transfer students must complete enough work in residence at ETSU in both the major and minor to satisfy the chair of the departments that they are qualified in the major and minor fields. Transfer students must take a minimum of six semester hours at ETSU in the major field.
  4. Students must satisfy a residency requirement of not less than two semesters during the junior and senior years, including the last full semester. The residence requirement shall be no less than 25 percent of the total requirements of the program of study (i.e., 30 semester hours for a program of study of 120 semester hours). Not less than 12 semester hours may be counted as a semester of residence.
  5. A minimum of 50 semester hours of credit must have been completed in a senior-level college or university.
  6. Students must have demonstrated proficiency in written and spoken English.
  7. Students must complete the Core Exit Exam and all other required exit exams, such as the Major Field Test. These exams must be completed with due seriousness and diligence. The results of these tests are important to the university and are used in the evaluation of academic programs. The Core Exit Exam, which measures general education, should be taken as soon as general education requirements are met and not later than the beginning of the senior year. The Major Field Test is required in selected departments and administered during the senior year. Departments requiring the Major Field Test and Core Exit test dates are listed each semester on the web at http://www.etsu.edu/reg/graduation/exitexams.aspx.
  8. Students must file an Intent to Graduate form and approved major and minor sheets with the Office of the Registrar, Graduation Office, no later than the close of the first month of the senior year. The deadline for this filing is included in the academic calendars of the catalogs. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that this deadline is met. No diploma or transcript will be issued to students with outstanding financial obligations.
  9. Compliance with any changes which may be made in the curricula may be required for students not completing degree requirements within six years from the date of first registration.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from ETSU or any other regionally accredited college or university may subsequently earn a second bachelor’s degree from ETSU in a second discipline by the following: 1) complete an additional 30 hours post-baccalaureate ETSU credit; 2) complete, without exception, the requirements for the major appropriate to the new degree (This requirement may be met by the major and minor of the curriculum for the first degree if appropriate to the second degree.); and 3) complete all Tennessee Board of Regents  undergraduate degree requirements. A student pursuing a second bachelor’s degree is subject to all departmental admission requirements and to all departmental and university graduation requirements. Application to enroll for a second bachelor’s degree must be made through the Office of Admissions. Applications and all official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by August 15th for fall semester and December 15th for spring semester.

Students who are pursuing a second bachelor’s degree and would like to perform a change of major may do so by submitting a new application to the Office of Admissions (no additional fee required). A new second degree contract will be drawn up with the requirements to earn a second bachelor’s degree with the new major.

Graduating with Honors

Baccalaureate degree candidates receive honors distinction, at graduation, based upon the cumulative college-level grade point average as indicated below:

Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.60
Magna Cum Laude 3.65 - 3.84
Summa Cum Laude 3.85 - 4.00

The grade point average used in conferring academic honor at graduation includes work at ETSU as well as all other college work attempted.

Double Majors

Simultaneous Fulfillment of Requirements for Multiple Baccalaureate-Level Majors in a Single Degree Designation

A multiple major is the completion of two or more majors leading to the same degree designation (e.g., completion of a B.S. degree with majors in History and Political Science). A student may qualify for multiple majors by meeting the total requirements of each major. Consult the “Degree Programs, Majors and Concentrations” section found elsewhere in this catalog. Double majors are not required to have minors.

Double Degrees

Simultaneous Fulfillment of Requirements for Multiple Degrees

A student may concurrently receive multiple undergraduate degrees at a single degree level by satisfying the total requirements for each degree (e.g., B.A., B.S., B.B.A., etc.) and major.

Fulfillment of Requirements for both TBR and the University of Tennessee System Institutions

The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation mandating the transferability of 50 semester hours effective at all public institutions of higher education in Tennessee. A transfer track module that incorporates both the TBR and the University of Tennessee System minimum degree requirements consists of 60 semester hours in eight categories of courses and includes a provision to incorporate 12 to 15 semester hours of premajor courses and/or electives. Completion of the module will permit students to transfer to any public institution of higher education in Tennessee.

Students transferring from other state public universities should consult the catalog from their home institution for a full list of courses satisfying each module.

Achievement Test Requirements

All students will be required to take one or more tests designed to measure General Education achievement and/or achievement in selected major areas as a prerequisite to graduation. In addition, students may be required to take other tests deemed necessary by the institution. The results of these tests will be used for evaluation of academic programs and student achievements. A commitment to performing well is expected.

Eligibility For Participation In Graduation Ceremonies

It is the policy of East Tennessee State University that only students who have completed their degree requirements participate in graduation ceremonies. There are two graduation ceremonies each year. May graduates attend the May ceremony. Students who finish requirements in any of the summer terms receive their diplomas in late August and are invited to attend the following December ceremony along with the December graduates.

Additional Transfer Information

Applicants holding an associate’s degree designed for transfer to a university are granted credit toward completion of the baccalaureate degree for appropriate courses completed for the associate’s degree program. Applicants holding an associate’s degree not designed for transfer to a university are granted credit for level-one (freshman and sophomore) courses that are equivalent to level-one courses offered by the university.

Where a student was not awarded an associate’s degree designed for transfer purposes, ETSU will accept those level-one (freshman and sophomore) courses completed at a community college which have been determined to be equivalent to level-one courses offered by the university, as creditable toward completion of relevant requirements for degree programs at ETSU, to the same extent that level-one courses would be creditable toward completion of the degree programs by the university’s native students with the same degree major.

A student transferring credits from a two-year collegiate institution must complete as a requirement for the baccalaureate degree a minimum of 50 semester hours in an accredited senior institution. Residency and other degree requirements of the university must be met.

Grades accepted in transfer become a part of the ETSU grade point average. Transfer grades are computed as the same grades would be computed had they been earned in residence at ETSU, including repeated courses. However, ETSU does not recognize forgiveness policies or academic bankruptcies administered by other institutions. In the case of the application of such a policy prior to transfer, all grades are treated at their original face value. If original grades are not contained in original transcripts, then all previous courses are assumed to have been failed.

Students beginning college study fall 1989 or later who have not completed 60 semester hours of transferable work and who have not earned an associate’s degree designed for transfer are subject to the same high school units requirement described under “Freshman Admission.” Eligible transfer students who have not completed all these courses will be admitted, but must remove any deficiencies within the first 30 semester hours after initial enrollment. Following a review of transfer credit, it may be determined that a transfer student must complete the test in part or total before registering for classes.

Transfer students with less than 60 semester hours of credit who have not earned college-level math or English credit must undergo COMPASS assessment in the appropriate area(s). Assessment in reading may be required.

All transfer applicants should request that the registrar of each college attended mail an official transcript to the ETSU Office of Admissions. Students who began college fall 1989 and thereafter should request that both college and high school transcripts be sent to the Office of Admissions.

Other Graduation Requirements

ETSU students also meet graduation requirements designed to reinforce skills in oral communication, using information technology, and writing. These skills are essential for professional success, satisfying personal relationships, and civic engagement. These graduation requirements are as follows: (Note: Beginning in summer 2016 undergraduate students, including transfer students, will no longer be required to complete proficiency-intensive course requirements.   Instead, students will gain the proficiencies throughout their programs of study.  This change will apply to all students entering ETSU in summer 2016 or thereafter and also to students on earlier catalogs.  Students will not have to switch to the new catalog for the change to apply to them.)

Using Information Technology

Students must demonstrate a working knowledge of word-processing, spreadsheets, electronic communication, and online searches during their first calendar year of enrollment or prior to accumulating 33 semester credits at ETSU. This requirement may be met by passing the UIT proficiency exam or by successfully completing CSCI 1100 - Using Information Technology . Students may register to take the UIT proficiency exam by going to http://www.etsu.edu/uit or by calling the Using Information Technology Office at 423-439-6964. Registration for summer proficiency testing begins the first week in May.

Proficiency-Intensive Course Requirements

Oral communication, information technology, and writing skills are essential for success on the job and in our personal lives. To help build these skills throughout the college years, ETSU requires all students to meet “proficiency-intensive” requirements. These requirements do not necessarily add course hours to a student’s program of study, but typically are met by courses being taken for the major or general education or as electives. Certain courses within every major, as well as selected courses in the general education core, are declared oral communication-intensive, using information technology-intensive, or writing-intensive. These courses offer students the opportunity to practice the identified skills while learning the subject matter of the course. ETSU’s proficiency-intensive courses are indicated in the Schedule of Classes each term. ETSU’s proficiency-intensive requirements do not apply to students pursuing second baccalaureate degrees.

Students must meet proficiency-intensive requirements through courses taken at ETSU. Faculty committees at ETSU review and monitor all proficiency-intensive courses to make sure they meet several criteria. Because courses from other institutions cannot be evaluated and monitored in this way, transfer courses do not satisfy ETSU’s proficiency-intensive requirements.

Oral Communication-Intensive Courses

Students must complete a minimum of two oral communication-intensive (ICOM) courses. At least one of these courses must be in the student’s major or minor.*

Using Information Technology-Intensive Courses

Students must complete a minimum of one using information technology-intensive (ITEC) course in the student’s major or minor.*

Writing-Intensive Courses

Students must complete a minimum of four writing-intensive (IWRT) courses. At least two of these courses must be in the student’s major or minor.*At least two of the four courses must be at the 3000-4000 level.

* (NOTE: Any course taken in the department in which a student is majoring counts as in the major. If a student changes majors, proficiency-intensive courses in the old major still count as in the major.)

Reduced Proficiency-Intensive Requirements

The following categories of students are required to take one oral communication-intensive course, one using information technology-intensive course, and two writing-intensive courses:


A. students with associate degrees or who complete such degrees after entering ETSU;

B. students with 50 or more transferable semester credits upon entering ETSU;

C. readmission students who earned at least 50 credits at ETSU before 1995;

D. readmission students with at least 50 transferable semester credits upon first re-entry to ETSU; and

E. readmission students who have at least 50 semester credits in categories C and D combined upon

    first re-entry to ETSU.



Students who are required to take the COMPASS test and who are assessed as being deficient in reading must complete DSPR 0800  prior to accumulating 33 semester credits at ETSU.

Graduation Procedures

  1. Not later than the close of the first month of the senior year, each candidate for a degree must file a Notice of Intention to Graduate (application for degree), and approved major/minor sheets with the Office of the Registrar, Graduation Section.
  2. All scholastic deficiencies must be removed at least one week before the date on which the degree is to be conferred.
  3. All fees and financial obligations must be settled in full at least one week before the date on which the degree is to be conferred. Neither the diploma nor transcripts can be released until all accounts are cleared. Additional information is available at www.etsu.edu/reg/graduation.
  4. All candidates for degrees are encouraged to take advantage of the placement service in the Office of Career Placement and Internship Services, located in the D.P. Culp University Center.
  5. Degrees are conferred three times a year, at the end of the fall, spring, and summer terms.