Additional Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree
All entering students, including transfers, are required to participate in appropriate assessment activities. These include, but are not limited to, the CIRP (a freshman survey used nationwide) and the Student Relationship Assessment (SRA). Students are re-tested as seniors with an Exit Assessment and the results are used as the basis of a longitudinal study.
Major Subject Area
The undergraduate major defines the primary focus for a bachelor's degree. Every bachelor's degree is associated with the fulfillment of the requirements of at least one major program. Typically, requirements for a major program constitute about one-third of the bachelor's degree requirements, the Core Curriculum another third, and the remaining third of the bachelor's degree is available for supporting course work, electives, or minors in fields outside the major. Some majors, especially those programs designed to prepare students for specific professions (e.g., Construction Management and Education), may require most of the course credits not used to meet Core Curriculum requirements, while those programs most oriented toward the liberal arts will generally seek to maximize the opportunities for students to select from a broad range of course work.
Each bachelor's degree program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours in the major field, including a minimum of 18 hours of upper-division courses - at least two courses of which must be taken in residence at John Brown University. The associate dean, division chair, or department head has the prerogative of approving substitutions for courses specified by a major department.
In order to ensure that the major field constitutes a unique body of credit, the major field must include 24 or more semester hours of course work not counting toward any other degree requirements in the major field, Core Curriculum, or other majors, minors, or concentrations.
Most bachelor's degrees require a minimum grade point average of 2.25 for major area course work. The College of Education requires a 2.5 average for professional education and specialized field courses.
Minor Subject Area
An undergraduate minor is a formally recognized aggregate of courses in a designated secondary subject area, discipline, or interdisciplinary program usually outside of (but often complementing) the student's degree major and in which knowledge is gained in a coherent pattern of courses.
Completion of a minor requires 18 to 21 semester hours, in accordance with the department's specifications, including at least six hours of upper-division courses. In order to ensure that the minor field constitutes a unique body of credit, the minor field must include 12 or more semester hours of course work not counting toward any other degree requirements in the major field, Core Curriculum, other minors, or concentrations. The minimum grade point average for course work in the minor is 2.0.
Each candidate for a bachelor's degree is required to submit a minimum of 35 hours in upper-division (junior-senior) courses, identified by numbers 3000 and above. Included in this total are the eight upper-division hours specified in the Core Curriculum, courses in the major and minor fields, as well as electives.
In general, Bachelor of Arts curricula specify 12 semester hours in one foreign language; however, a specific curriculum may permit a combination of two languages. New Testament Greek fulfills the language requirement in the Biblical Studies curricula and may substitute for modern foreign language in other majors, given written approval of the department head. High school or other credit in languages may establish a waiver of part of this requirement.
Most Bachelor of Science programs do not require foreign language.
Minimum Total Semester Hours
Completion of any bachelor's degree at John Brown University requires at least 124 hours of academic credit. Certain programs exceed the minimum.
Sufficient course work must be completed to offset any deficiency in total number of semester hours, in addition to all other specific requirements, preferably in an area which will enrich and broaden the student's acquaintance with the major areas of knowledge and/or strengthen mastery of a field of concentration.
Grade Point Average
The grade point average of all degree work must be at least 2.0, in the minor subject at least 2.0, and in the major subject at least 2.25. College of Education programs require a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7, and at least 2.5 in professional education, the teaching field, and any other state-required courses.
All seniors are required to participate in designated assessment activities as a condition of graduation. Such activities may include, but are not limited to a standardized test in the student's major field and exit interviews with faculty members in the student's major department and/or members of the Core Curriculum Committee.
Fulfillment of the residence requirements for the bachelor's degree from John Brown University consists of the following:
1. Completion (after achieving junior standing) of at least two full-time semesters in residence.
2. Completion (by means of courses taken in residence) of at least 36 of the final 45 semester hours of credit presented in fulfillment of degree requirements. CLEP credit is not considered as "taken in residence."
Correspondence and Extension Work
A maximum of 30 hours of degree credit may be earned through correspondence and extension work. Each course must include a proctored exam and must be approved in advance by the major advisor and registrar. Approval forms are available in the Registrar's Office.
Transfer of Credit
Credit which has been earned at another institution will be reviewed by both the registrar and the appropriate college or division faculty, and the applicability to courses in the chosen degree program will be determined. Each course accepted for transfer must have a minimum grade of 'C'. All work completed at previous institutions will be posted as 'CR' on the student's JBU transcript. Thus, only JBU course work will apply toward the student's grade point average.
John Brown University accepts credit from regionally accredited institutions and Bible credit from schools accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Transfer credits from international affiliated institutions are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Currently enrolled students planning to take summer courses or correspondence work at other institutions must receive prior written approval of the major advisor and the registrar. Official course descriptions of proposed work are required.
Maximum Experiential Credits
The maximum total credit allowed for vocal and instrumental ensembles toward the requirements of a bachelor's degree is eight hours for music majors and four hours for non-music majors; two hours may apply to associate's degrees. The maximum allowed for broadcasting and journalism practicums is twelve hours toward bachelor's degrees in Communications, six toward other bachelor's or associate's degrees in Communications, and three toward other associate programs. Most students pursuing biblical degrees are required to earn four Biblical Studies internship credits; however, these students are permitted to earn as many as six hours, and the Youth Ministry degree requires an eight-credit experience. Majors outside the division may include a maximum of three Biblical Studies internship hours.