Degree Requirements

Additional Information for Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree

Entrance Assessment

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 Teacher 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 course work - at least two courses of which must be taken in residence at John Brown University. The college or division chair or department head has the prerogative of approving substitutions for courses specified by a major department.

A second major may be added to any degree program providing all of the requirements of both major fields are met.

Most bachelor's degrees require a minimum grade point average of 2.25 for major area course work. The Department of Teacher Education requires a 2.7 average for professional education and specialized field course work.

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 course work.

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 course work. The minimum grade point average for course work in the minor is 2.0.

Upper-Division Courses

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.

Foreign Language

In general, Bachelor of Arts curricula specify 12 semester hours of foreign language. The specific requirements for a major are listed in the program requirements. A student placed into the intermediate level of a language can meet this requirement with six semester hours of 2000 level courses in LS.

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. Department of Teacher Education programs require a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7, and a minimum grade of 'C' in professional education, the teaching field, and any other state-required courses. Nursing students must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 prior to beginning upper-division course work.

Exit Assessment

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.

Residence Requirements

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 course work at other institutions must receive prior written approval of the major advisor and the registrar. Official course descriptions of proposed work are required.

Articulation Agreements

JBU has established articulation agreements with several area community colleges. Please refer to this web site,, for further information.

Maximum Experiential Credits

The maximum total credit allowed for vocal and instrumental ensembles toward the requirements of a bachelor's degree is twelve hours for music majors and four hours for non-music majors; two hours may apply to associate's degrees.

The maximum allowed for Department of Communication 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. The Christian Ministry and Formation degree requires a six-credit experience while the Outdoor Leadership Ministries degree requires a 12-credit experience. Majors outside the division may include a maximum of three Biblical Studies internship hours.

International Baccalaureate Program

Credit is awarded for higher level international baccalaureate (IB) courses accompanied by scores of five or above on the respective IB exams. JBU course equivalences and the number of credit hours awarded are determined upon evaluation of the IB work.