Jun 22, 2024  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree and Graduation Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

  General Education Requirements

  Proficiency Intensive Requirements

  Other Graduation Requirements

Second Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Graduating with Honors

Eligibility for Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Double Majors

Double Degrees

Tennessee Transfer Pathway

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

To complete a bachelor’s degree at ETSU, you must do all of the following:

  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. 

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credit hours, excluding developmental studies courses.

    • at least 50 of these hours must be at 4-year colleges or universities (excluding community colleges);

    • at least 25% of the total hours required for the degree must be taken at ETSU (30 hours for 120-hour program, etc.);

    • at least six hours in the major must be completed at ETSU.

  1. Be enrolled at ETSU for at least two semesters during the junior and senior years, including the last full semester.

  2. Complete all general education requirements.

    • Some majors and degree programs require students to take specific courses to fulfill general education requirements. Students should consult the catalog and their academic advisors regarding general education requirements for their majors and degree programs.

  1. Complete ETSU’s proficiency-intensive requirements.  (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.)

  2. Pass the information technology proficiency exam or CSCI 1100 , Using Information Technology.  It is highly recommended that this be completed during the first calendar year of enrollment at ETSU.

  3. Take the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) and all other exams required by your major department or college.

  4. File a Notice of Undergraduate Intention to Graduate, a major check sheet and a minor check sheet (if a minor is required for the degree) at least two semesters before the term in which the student plans to graduate.

  5. Clear financial and other obligations to the university.

Students who do not complete the degree within six years from the date he or she first registered at ETSU  must complete the new requirements if the program of study has changed.

Second Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

To complete a second bachelor’s degree at ETSU, students must complete the following:

  1. Apply for a second bachelor’s degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admission, which will create a second degree contract for the student.     

  2. Complete the requirements specified on the second degree contract, including an additional 30 hours post-baccalaureate ETSU credit, requirements for the new degree, and all Tennessee Board of Regents undergraduate degree requirements.

Graduating with Honors

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

Cum Laude




Magna Cum Laude




Summa Cum Laude




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

ETSU International Studies Distinction

Successful completion of the following components will provide the notation “with International Distinction” on the ETSU transcript:

  • TWO general education courses (6 credits), one selected from each of the following:

Select ONE from:
ANTH 1240  Introduction to Cultural Anthropology OR  GEOG 1012  Introduction to Cultural Geography
Select ONE from:
ENGL 2330  World Literature OR ENGL 2430  European Literature

  • Enrollment in ETSU PSCI 2210  Introduction to Comparative Politics OR PSCI 2220  Introduction to World Politics (3 credits).

OPTION: Transfer of an approved equivalent course from another regionally accredited U.S. higher education institution. Approval must be obtained from the Chair of the ETSU Political Science Department, who will forward the approval to the International Advisory Council.

  • Proficiency in a foreign language as indicated by ONE of the following:

Grades of B or better in at least two semesters of formal language instruction at the college sophomore or higher levels; courses must be included on the students’ ETSU transcript, whether taken at ETSU or transferred from a different accredited university.

  • Documentation of B grades or attainment of ACTFL Intermediate-Mid or ILR Level 2 language acquisition as evaluated by examinations offered from specialized language schools or programs; costs associated with examinations or programs are the responsibility of the student.

ETSU international students meet this requirement by pursuing a foreign language other than their native language or English. English proficiency is an admission requirement to the university and cannot be used. It also is recognized that international students will receive benefit from this program only if the requirements contribute to a strong and distinctive experience beyond their current international experience at ETSU.

NOTE: Alternative formal tests of language proficiency may be approved by the International Advisory Council in the future, depending on student needs in diverse languages. Costs associated with approved language proficiency tests are provided by the student.

  • A minimum of two ETSU courses (3000 or 4000 level) in the area of major designated as having significant international content (6-8 hours). These courses must be taken at ETSU and have been previously approved by the department.

Independent Studies can be used to satisfy one of these course requirements if a description of the course of study is provided by the faculty member and approved by the department chair. A copy of the course description and chair approval should be forwarded to the International Advisory Council.

  • An international study experience of at least 28 contiguous days abroad in an approved study abroad or exchange experience. This academic experience must be documented on the student ETSU transcript by enrollment in ETSU Study Abroad or by transfer of enrollment from other higher education institutions (minimum 3 credit hours). Study Abroad for language is encouraged, but credit must be at the junior/senior level of language study. The international study requirement may NOT be met with language study at the freshmen or sophomore levels. ETSU international students must complete a study abroad experience in a country other than their native origin.

  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 at graduation

  • Student Declaration: Students will declare an “Intent to Graduate with International Distinction” no later than one year prior to their expected graduation date. Early advisement and declaration are recommended (Office of Undergraduate Advisement and/or advisors in the degree program). The Honors College will host a website describing the program requirements; listings of appropriate courses identified in degree program areas; advisor contact information for those program areas; and a downloadable Intent form. Students who successfully meet all requirements will be approved jointly by the Honors College and the appropriate degree program. Names of approved students will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar, who will be responsible for adding the notation “with International Distinction” to student transcripts and/or diplomas.

Eligibility for Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Only students who have received approval from the Graduation Office may participate in graduation ceremonies. There are two 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.

Double Majors

A double or multiple major is the simultaneous 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.) Students may qualify for multiple majors by meeting the total requirements of each major. Double majors are not required to have minors.

Double Degrees

Students may concurrently receive double or 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.

Tennessee Transfer Pathway

Fulfillment of requirements for both the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee System.