Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures
1. The General Education Core Curriculum
Lamar University agrees with the fundamental goals and principles of traditional liberal education. This is explained as stated by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (2014).
Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with a broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
Lamar University's General Education Core Curriculum satisfies the criteria for compliance with the mandates of the Texas State Senate and the rules, recommendations and statement of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board found in Chapter 4 B §4.28-4.31. The required objectives are stated as:
- Critical Thinking Skills - to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information
- Communication Skills - to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication
- Empirical and Quantitative Skills - to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
- Teamwork - to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal
- Social Responsibility - to include intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities
- Personal Responsibility - to include the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2013)
Components of the General Education Core Curriculum
|ENGL 1301||Composition I||3|
|Select thee hours from the following:||3|
|Public Speaking I|
|Business and Professional Speech|
|Beginning French I|
|Beginning Spanish I|
|Select three hours from the following:||3|
|Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences|
|Contemporary Mathematics I|
|Contemporary Mathematics II|
|Fundamentals of Math for Elementary School Teachers|
|Pre Calculus and Elementary Functions|
|Calculus and Analytical Geometry I|
|Calculus and Analytical Geometry II|
|Life and Physical Sciences|
|Select six hours from the following:||6|
|General Biology (Non-Science Majors)|
|Plants and Human Society (Non-Majors)|
|General Biology I (Majors)|
|General Biology II (Majors)|
|Anatomy and Physiology I|
|Anatomy and Physiology II|
|Chemistry for Allied Health Sciences|
|Biochemistry for Allied Health Sciences|
|General Chemistry I|
|General Chemistry II|
|Introductory Environmental & Physical Geology|
|Geology I: Physical Geology|
|Geology II: Historical Geology|
|Elementary Physics I Lecture|
|Elementary Physics II Lecture|
|Introduction to Astronomy Lecture|
|College Physics I|
|College Physics II|
|Elementary Physics I|
|Elementary Physics II|
|University Physics I|
|University Physics II|
|Language, Philosopy and Culture|
|Select three hours from the following:||3|
|Introduction to Deaf Studies|
|Close Reading II|
|Intermediate French II|
|Philosophy of Knowledge|
|Intermediate Spanish II|
|Select three hours from the following:||3|
|Art History I|
|The Art of Computer Game Development|
|Jazz History and Appreciation|
|History of Rock and Roll|
|Arts and Ideas|
|Select six hours from the following:||6|
|U S History I 1763-1877|
|U S History II Since 1877|
& POLS 2302
|Intro to American Government I|
and Intro/American Government II
|Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Select three hours from the following:||3|
|Introduction to Anthropology|
|Business Environment and Public Policy|
|Intro to Criminal Justice|
|Principles and Policies|
|Principles of Economics I Macro|
|Principles of Economics II Micro|
|Intro to Consumer Finance|
|Intro to Political Science|
|Introduction to Sociology|
|Intro Social Work|
|Component Area Option|
|Select six hours from the following: 1||6|
|General Biology (Non-Science Majors) Lab|
|Plants and Human Society (Non-Majors) Lab|
|Business Analysis I|
|Scholars Development Seminar|
|Applications of Quantitative Methods|
|Introduction to Library Research|
|Fundamentals of Information Literacy|
|Introduction to Statistical Methods|
Or any course not already used from any section above
Any excess hours from four-hour math or sciences courses above may be applied here.
- Students should consult their major advisor for recommended or required core courses and prerequisite courses, including Texas Success Initiative requirements.
- Business majors must complete ECON 2301 Principles of Economics I Macro and ECON 2302 Principles of Economics II Micro to satisfy degree requirements.
2. Transfer of Core Curriculum
Students who transfer to Lamar University from another Texas public institution of higher education shall be governed by the provisions of Texas Senate Bill 148 (75th Legislature). Lamar will accept, en bloc, an approved core curriculum successfully completed at another Texas public institution of higher education in lieu of Lamar´s core curriculum. Any student who transfers to Lamar University before completing the core curriculum of another Texas public institution of higher education shall receive academic credit at Lamar for each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the core curriculum of the other institution; however, the student shall be required to complete Lamar´s core curriculum. Students transferring to Lamar from institutions of higher education outside of Texas or from private institutions within Texas shall be subject to the requirements of Lamar University´s core curriculum.
3. Field of Study
Lamar University fully participates in the transfer of Field of Study Curriculum (FOSC) courses from any public two-year institution..
If a student completes all the courses in an FOSC and transfers to another Texas public institution of higher education, the FOSC courses transfer as a block and are applied to the student’s selected major. If a student completes the FOSC, the Texas Core Curriculum, and any college or university courses required of all students regardless of major, the student is finished with all the lower-division courses.
If a student transfers with an incomplete FOSC, each completed FOSC course transfers and applies to the to the degree program, and the institution may require the student to complete additional lower-division courses.
You can learn more about FOSC at Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's website on the topic.
Advising sessions assure that students pursue a prescribed program of study which allows steady progress toward a degree. Advising can help students meet course requirements efficiently and graduate sooner. Advising can also assist students in selecting appropriate concentrations within a major based on interests and goals. We encourage students to cultivate a relationship with his or her academic advisor. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the advisor for regular advising sessions. At a minimum, all students are required to meet with an advisor at least once a semester before registering for classes.
Freshmen and sophomores with fewer than 60 earned credit hours are advised in the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC). Juniors and seniors will meet with advisors within their academic major. Students with over 60 earned credit hours who are on academic probation or are TSI restricted will also meet with UAC advisors to develop success plans. Students enrolled in LU Online accelerated programs will be advised by the advisor for their program. Appointments and other advising/counseling services may be facilitated through the college advising centers.
The UAC supports the mission of Lamar University to engage and empower students by providing comprehensive advising that is proactive and personalized. Students should plan to meet with his or her advisor regularly throughout each semester. Through the advising process students develop skills and knowledge necessary to explore and progress towards their academic and life goals. The advising relationship is a partnership and advisors work with students to match their interests with opportunities at Lamar University and help them integrate their academic and career plans. The UAC's professional advisors proactively assess and respond to student needs and meet with students multiple times each semester to formulate the appropriate plan for student success toward degree completion. UAC advisors help students navigate and connect with the university community through their role as liaisons for major departments and support services.
Additional information about advising can be found at www.lamar.edu/advising
4. Course Loads
The normal undergraduate course load in a regular semester is 15-18 semester hours; for a six-week summer term, six to eight semester hours. Overloads must be approved by the student´s academic dean. No student will be allowed to enroll for more than 21 semester hours in a regular term, sixteen semester hours in a summer term, or four semester hours in a mini-session. Twelve semester hours is the minimum full-time load in fall and spring semesters, eight semester hours in a summer term.
5. Texas Common Course Numbering System
The Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) is a voluntary, cooperative effort among Texas community colleges and universities to facilitate transfer of freshman (1000) and sophomore (2000) level general academic course work. Lamar University is a participant in this effort. The TCCNS provides a shared, uniform set of course designations for students and their academic advisors to use in determining both course equivalency and degree applicability of transfer credit on a statewide basis. When students transfer between two participating TCCNS institutions, a course taken at the sending institution transfers as the course carrying or cross-referenced with, the same TCCNS designation at the receiving institution. For more information, including comparison tables between Lamar and other TCCNS institutions, see http://www.tccns.org.
6. Grade Replacement Policy
Students may replace an undergraduate course grade by repeating a course. If a student repeats a course, the official grade is the higher one, although all grades remain on the student´s transcript. A grade, once earned and entered on a student´s transcript, cannot be removed. The repetition of a course taken at another institution will not replace a grade in the grade point average (GPA) calculation of the Lamar University course. This policy does not apply to classes repeated before the fall of 2000. Once a degree has been conferred, a student may not use the Course Repetition/Grade Replacement Policy for any courses used to award the degree or calculate the cumulative grade point average. For more information, please contact the registrar, (409) 880-8358 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Additional Fees for Repeated Courses
Effective fall 2002, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Rules (Chapter 13, Subchapter B, §13.25) provide a limit to the number of times a student may attempt a particular course. A student attempting a non-repeatable course more than three times at Lamar University will be charged the rate charged undergraduate non-resident students for the repeated course. This rule includes not only courses completed more than two times but also courses the student dropped or from which the student withdrew after the official semester census date.
Exceptions to this policy include:
- hours for remedial and developmental courses and/or interventions, if the course is within the 18-hour limit
- hours for special topics and seminar courses
- hours for courses that involve different or more advanced content each time they are taken, including but not limited to individual music lessons, theatre practicum, music performance, ensembles, certain physical education and kinesiology courses, and studio art
- hours for independent study courses
8. Six-Drop Rule
In accordance with Texas law (SB 1231, 80th Legislature), Lamar University does not permit an undergraduate student to drop more than a total of six courses if the student was a first-time college student as of fall 2007. The total of six includes any course a transfer student has dropped at another public institution of higher education in Texas.
Students may request an exemption from this law based on appropriate documentation of good cause. Forms for requesting a good cause exception to the six-drop rule are available from academic advisors or the Office of the Registrar. “Good cause” includes, but is not limited to, the following reasons:
- a severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course
- the student's responsibility for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course
- the death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person's death is considered to be a showing of good cause
- the active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person's active military service is considered to be a showing of good cause
- the change of the student's work schedule that is beyond the control of the student, and that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course
- other good cause as determined by the institution of higher education.
9. Dean´s List and President´s List
At the end of each semester, each dean prepares a list of full-time undergraduate students (those who complete 12 or more semester hours) who earned for that semester a grade point average of 3.5 or above. This list is the Dean´s List and is announced by the dean of each college. Full-time (12 or more completed credit hours) undergraduates who earn a 4.0-grade point average for a long semester are included in the President´s List. Any student with an "I" grade is ineligible for Dean´s List or President´s List consideration until the "I" is officially changed. Names of students who have a Directory Hold will not appear in the public releases of the Dean´s and President´s Lists.
10. Excluding former work from GPA: Academic Appeals Procedure
After an enrollment lapse of four or more years from Lamar University and after completing successfully (2.20-grade point average or higher) 24 or more hours of work at Lamar University, a student may petition to disregard one or two entire semesters/terms of course work taken previously at Lamar University. The petition shall be filed with the department chair and follow regular channels to the senior associate provost for a final decision. Endorsements and/or recommendations shall be required at each level. When approved by the senior associate provost, disregarded work shall not count in determining the student´s grade point average for academic progress or for graduation. Receiving institutions or agencies may use their own policies to compute a grade point average. Once a degree has been conferred, a student may not use the academic appeals procedure for any courses used to award the degree or calculate the cumulative grade point average.
11. Degree Requirements
A. General Education Requirements - Bachelors Degrees
- Satisfy all admission and graduation requirements.
- Complete the General Education Core Curriculum
- Meet the following minimum requirements
- A grade point average of at least 2.00 on all courses in the major field and on all courses attempted (some departments may require a higher grade point average).
- Successfully complete a minimum of 120 semester hours (some degrees may require more hours). In addition, the following requirements must be met:
- 30 semester hours in residence at Lamar University with at least 24 semester hours earned after attaining senior classification, except for special degree programs in biology
- 42 semester hours at the junior and senior level (upper division), of which 18 hours must be completed at Lamar University
- 24 semester hours in a major field with at least 12 in upper-division courses
- No more than 59 hours may be granted for technical and experiential credit.
- No more than 30 hours of credit by examination may be applied to the bachelor's degree.
- Complete the required courses for the major listed in the catalog.
- Submit an application for graduation through Self-Service Banner.
B. Second Bachelors Degree
A second bachelor´s degree may be granted upon the completion of all requirements for the degree. These students will receive an additional degree/diploma. A minimum of 30 additional hours beyond those required for the first degree, as specified by the department granting the second bachelor´s degree, must be completed at Lamar University. Post-Baccalaureate students seeking a second bachelor's degree are not automatically considered to be core complete and may need to take some core or general education courses that serve as prerequisites for program entry or degree requirements.
C. Multiple Majors within a Single Baccalaureate Degree
Lamar University students may earn two or more majors within a single baccalaureate degree program provided they satisfy all academic requirements for each major. These students will be awarded a single degree/diploma with multiple majors listed. Academic requirements for second majors shall be determined by the department responsible for the second major. Approval of the multi-major degree plan must be obtained, in writing, from the department chair of the second major before the student applies for graduation. Third and subsequent majors shall follow the same procedures. Non-disciplinary majors such as University Studies shall not be allowed in multi-major degree programs. Once a baccalaureate degree is conferred, additional majors may not be added to the degree. In situations where majors cross-disciplinary or degree lines, the baccalaureate degree of the primary major shall be the degree awarded and shall dictate any specific core requirements needed.
D. Minor Field Requirements
In addition to the major field of study in a baccalaureate degree program, a Lamar University student may (or, if required by his or her major program, must) choose a minor field of study from those listed and described in this Catalog. This can only be earned as a part of a degree program, and can not be awarded independently of a degree. The minor will be indicated on the student´s official transcript and, with approval of the student´s department chair, two or more minors may be earned. All minors must consist of a minimum of 18 semester hours, nine of which must be earned in upper-division (3000 & 4000) courses. Minor field hours must be earned in a discipline other than the major field of study. Students must earn a grade point average in the minor field of at least a 2.00 GPA. The specific requirements for each minor will be established by the department or program offering the minor and may include additional hours (total and/or upper-division), specific courses, and/or certain levels of academic performance. These requirements are published in the appropriate section of this catalog. Although not all disciplines of study at Lamar are available as minors, a minor may be offered in any discipline for which Lamar University offers an undergraduate major. Normally, minor coursework is an appropriate subset of the major. In certain instances, interdisciplinary minors (which must have a specified administrative home) and minors in non-major disciplines for which there are a sufficient number and offering of courses are available and are noted in this catalog. Following a review and recommendation from the University Curriculum Council, the Provost approves all minors and decides all disputes regarding minors. Questions about minors should be referred to the appropriate academic department chair or program director.
Within the major field of study, a student may (or if required by their major program, must) choose a concentration area from those listed and described in this catalog. This can only be earned as a part of a degree program, and can not be awarded independently of a degree. This concentration will be indicated on the student’s official transcript. Only one concentration may be completed within a degree, with the exception of the Bachelor of General Studies degree - which requires three. Concentration hours are specialization areas within a discipline and are included in the minimum hours required to complete the degree. The specific requirements for each concentration will be established by the department or program offering the concentration. These requirements are published in the appropriate section of this catalog. Not all programs offer concentrations. Some programs have more than one concentration area to choose from while other programs require completion of a specific concentration area. Following a review and recommendation from the University Curriculum Council, the Provost approves all concentrations and decides all disputes concerning concentrations. Questions regarding concentrations should be referred to the appropriate academic department chair or program director.
In lieu of, or in addition to a degree-granting program, a student may choose to pursue a certificate from those listed and described in this catalog. A certificate offers students a focused study on a narrow subject, rather than the broader range of study offered by a degree. Often, credits earned toward a certificate can also be applied to complete a degree in the same field. Requirements are published in the appropriate section of this catalog. Following a review and recommendation from the University Curriculum Council, the Provost approves all certificates and decides all disputes concerning certificates. Questions regarding certificates should be referred to the appropriate academic department chair or program director.