Arts and Sciences

General Information

The College of Arts and Sciences offers work toward the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, as well as pre-professional programs for such fields as medicine and law. The College is organized into departments grouped under three large divisions: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Freshman and sophomore courses in the college carry numbers between 1000 and 2999; these are sometimes called “lower division” courses. They address general education with emphasis on breadth rather than depth. Subjects required or recommended for freshmen and sophomores include English, foreign languages, world civilizations, oral communication, mathematics, and basic courses in each of the three subject-matter divisions. Specific course work is prescribed for pre-professional students.

Courses in the last two years of the liberal arts program are numbered 3000 through 4999, and are sometimes called “upper division” courses. While essentially a continuation of the lower division work, the last two years in the college provide for specialization in one or two subject areas. Academic majors are available in the following fields: biology, biotechnology, bioinformatics, black studies, chemistry, economics, engineering physics, English, environmental studies, foreign languages, general science, geography, geology, history, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, Latino/Latin American studies, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s studies.

The pre-professional programs of study are determined largely by the requirements of the graduate or professional schools which students intend to enter. If arranged carefully, they provide a sufficient variety of courses so that their objectives are virtually the same as those of the four-year course leading to the B.A. or B.S. degrees. These programs are not academic majors and a student seeking a degree from UNO must complete the requirements of a major as well.

Admission to the College

All students who have not yet earned any college credit and who are eligible to enter the university are accepted for admission to the college. However, admission of transfer students or students who have previously been enrolled at UNO is evaluated on an individual basis. A 2.0 grade point average in previous course work is required.

Application deadline for admission: August 1 for fall semester, December 1 for spring semester.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

The requirements specified below became effective the fall of 2005. All students entering the university during or after this semester are subject to the requirements below. Students entering prior to this time are subject to those requirements in effect at the time of their initial admission, as long as they have maintained continuous enrollment. If there is doubt as to which graduation requirements apply, consult the Office of the Dean.

Senior Check

After completing 91 hours of course work, students must have their schedules checked in the Dean’s Office each semester until graduation. Assuming satisfactory completion of all approved courses, this process will assure the student’s graduation date. Should this procedure not be followed, responsibility for meeting graduation requirements falls on the student; if errors are made they can prevent graduation at the anticipated date.

Total Hours

Candidates must present a minimum of 120 hours of college credit.

Quality of Work

Candidates for the degree must attain an average grade of at least “C” (2.0) in all college work, including work transferred from other institutions. Depending on the major or minor, they must earn a grade of at least “C-” (1.67) in all departmental courses presented in satisfaction of a major and/or minor, and in all courses presented in satisfaction of the “enhancement of fundamental competencies” requirement, the “general understanding” requirement, the “cultural diversity” requirement and the “distribution” requirements. To qualify for a grade of “CR” in any course in the College of Arts and Sciences, a student must qualify for a grade of at least “C-” (1.67) in that course. All grades reported by the faculty to the registrar become part of the students’ permanent records, and are included in the computation of their grade point averages even though some of these grades may be for work done in excess of the 120 hours required for graduation. In order to graduate, students must attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (“C”). The only exception to this rule is provided in the section of these requirements entitled “Amnesty Clause.”

Residence

Thirty of the last 36 hours required for the degree must be registered for and carried at UNO.

Enhancement of Fundamental Competencies

(A grade of “C-” or better is required for all course work in the Enhancement of Fundamental Competencies area.)

English and Writing

Nine credit hours including English 1160 or equivalent and one additional writing course specified by the student’s major. Students placing above English 1150 and/or English 1160 by the English Proficiency Placement Exam need only complete six or three credit hours in writing courses, respectively.

Retroactive Credit Option

Students can apply for retroactive credit for ENGL-1150 (with a grade of CR) if they meet the following conditions:

  • Place into the 116 level by the Department of English’s English Placement and Proficiency Examination (EPPE) or present a score of 4 on the Advanced Placement (AP) examination taken on or after August 25, 2008 (either Language and Composition or Literature and Composition exams); and,
  • Take and successfully pass (with a C- or better) ENGL-1160 or ENGL-1164 at UNO.

Students can apply for retroactive credit for ENGL-1150 and ENGL-1160 (with grades of CR) if they meet the following conditions:

  • Place into the 200 level by the Department of English’s English Placement and Proficiency Examination (EPPE) or present a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) examination taken on or after August 25, 2008 (either Language and Composition or Literature and Composition exams); and,
  • Take and successfully pass (with a C- or better) an approved “third writing course” at UNO.

Advanced Placement

The English Department at UNO will no longer accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit for AP tests taken on or after August 25, 2008. For these tests, scores on either the Language and Composition or Literature or Composition examinations will be used to place students into the appropriate English composition course at UNO based on the following scale:

The English Department will still award credit for AP scores of 3 (ENGL-1150), 4 (ENGL-1150 and ENGL-1160), or 5 (ENGL-1150 and ENGL-2160) on AP tests taken before August 25, 2008.

Additional College Degree and General Education Requirements

At the time of printing, additional college Degree and General Education requirements in the areas of Mathematics and Quantative Literacy, History and Distribution requirements were under review. Please consult the online catalog or the College of Arts and Sciences for up-to-date requirements.

Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy

In addition to the university math requirement, each student must meet a quantitative literacy requirement by completing a three credit hour course in mathematics, computer science, statistics, logic or other quantitative topic as specified by the student’s major and approved by the college.

History

Each student must complete a six-hour, two-semester 1000-level sequence of courses in world civilizations (HIST 1000 and 1010).

Transfer students who have taken two semesters of Western Civilization may count three hours toward the World Civilizations II requirement (History 1010) and then take three hours of History 1000 to complete their World Civilizations requirement, or they may take History 2190.

Second Language

Students must present 16 credit hours of college work in one foreign language, American sign language, or equivalent. Successful completion of four years of a single language in high school or four college semesters will satisfy this requirement. For unusual circumstances, please contact the foreign languages department

A student fulfilling the foreign language requirement through a combination of high school and college work must complete the fourth semester college course of their chosen language.

To enroll in any French, German, Russian or Spanish course beyond 1110, a student who has not successfully completed the prerequisite courses at UNO must take the appropriate placement exam and qualify for the desired course. All students are subject to this requirement including transfer students. UNK/UNL students are not exempt from this requirement. The Department of Foreign Languages reserves the right to cancel the registration of any student who has not met the prerequisites for a course. Transfer courses at the 3000/4000 level are subject to the approval of a departmental adviser and the department chair. All foreign language courses must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better to continue to the next course.

The Department of Foreign Languages will grant retroactive credit for French, German, Russian, or Spanish 1110, 1120, 2110, or 2120 subject to the following conditions:

  • a student who completes any French, German, Russian, or Spanish course in the 1120-2120 sequence with a grade of “C-” (1.67) or better at UNO without having completed the previous courses may be granted credit for those previous courses;
  • a student who completes a 3000-level course in French, German, Russian, or Spanish with a grade of “C-” (1.67) or better at UNO without having completed the 1110-2120 sequence may be granted credit for any of the courses 1110, 1120, 2110, and 2120 for which credit has not already been earned.

Additional Distribution Requirements

The distribution requirements of the college are designed to ensure that all students complete a broad variety of courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Students may apply up to four credit hours of course work from their departmental major toward satisfaction of the appropriate distribution requirement. Appropriate courses may be used to satisfy both cultural diversity and distribution requirements. No course used to satisfy an “enhancement of fundamental competencies” requirement or a “general understanding” requirement may be applied toward a distribution requirement.

The University has established minimum General Education requirements. The College of Arts and Sciences has additional distribution requirements designed to further the purposes of liberal education by encouraging student in other areas.

The College requirements below are in additional to the University General Education requirements.

Humanities/Fine Arts

Three additional hours from a third discipline as well as the World Civilizations requirement.

Social Sciences

Three additional hours from a third discipline.

Natural and Physical Sceinces

Three additional hours from a third discipline and an additional lab.

Major Field

Each candidate for the Bachelor of Arts degree must present a major including at least 18 credit hours of upper division work, i.e., 3000 and/or 4000-level courses, designated as appropriate by the faculty in one of the following fields: biology, black studies, chemistry, economics, English, foreign languages, general science, geography, geology, history, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, Latino/Latin American studies, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s studies. A candidate meeting the requirements in each of two fields may present a double major in these fields.

Minor Field

Although not required for graduation, a student may elect a minor in addition to the major. The minor must contain at least 12 hours of upper division work. See the respective departments for details. Minors are offered in the following Arts and Sciences fields: anthropology, biology, biotechnology, black studies, chemistry, Chicano-Latino/a studies, English, environmental studies, foreign languages (French, German, Russian, Spanish), geography, geology, history, mathematics, medieval/renaissance studies, Native American studies, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s studies. Students may also complete a minor offered by another college.

Maximum Hour Limits

Forty-Five Hour Rule

No candidate may count more than 45 credits in any one discipline toward the minimum 120 credits required for a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree.

Four Hour Rule

No candidate may count more than four out of 120 credits in physical education activity classes.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree

The Bachelor of Science degree provides greater opportunity for concentrated and specialized study in a particular field, generally in the natural or social sciences. The requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree are the same as those for the Bachelor of Arts degree except as follows:

Major Field

Each degree candidate must present a major including at least 18 credit-hours of upper division work (3000 or 4000-level) designated as appropriate by the faculty in one of the following fields: biology, bioinformatics, biotechnology, chemistry, economics, engineering physics, environmental studies, geography, geology, history, interdisciplinary studies, mathematics, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Foreign Language

Foreign language is not required for students completing a B.S. degree. Instead, students must complete cognate courses as described in the next paragraph.

Cognate Courses

Each department or program shall designate a minimum of 15 credit hours from cognate fields outside the student’s major department. These courses must support the student’s work within the major. Each department shall determine criteria and procedures for the selection of courses for each student; these criteria and procedures shall be approved by the Educational Policy Committee of the College.

Other Information

Grade Appeals

If a student believes that a grade has been assigned erroneously, the instructor of the course should be contacted immediately. If the problem cannot be resolved with the instructor, and if the student believes that the instructor’s grading reflected prejudice or capriciousness, then he/she should contact the chairperson of the department in which the course was taught. If a solution satisfactory to both student and instructor cannot be reached at the department level, either one may petition the Educational Policy Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences for a final hearing. Such a petition must be made in writing. It must state explicitly the basis for the appeal and must include supporting data. Appeals to the college committee must be filed no later than the end of the next regular semester following receipt of the grade. All course materials relevant to student evaluation must be retained by the faculty member for this time period or returned to the students; students are responsible for custody of any materials returned to them.

The chairperson of the department in which the student wishes to file the grade appeal should be contacted for additional information.

Honors Program

The Arts and Sciences General Honors Program provides highly motivated students an exceptional educational opportunity, enabling them to challenge and expand their intellectual capacities through a special program of multidisciplinary seminars, close working relationships with distinguished faculty, and participation at an academic level not generally possible in the usual curricular offerings. Students in good standing may be considered for admission to Arts and Sciences General Honors Program. For further information contact the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.

Dean’s List

Students may earn a position on the Dean’s List by fulfilling the following criteria:

  1. The student must earn a GPA of 3.5 or better for courses taken at UNO during the semester provided 12 or more semester hours were completed.
  2. The part-time student must earn a GPA of 3.5 or better for courses taken at UNO on a continuous part-time basis. These students may be placed on the Dean’s List when they complete course work in 12 semester hour blocks at UNO, i.e., 12, 24, 36, 48, etc. Continuous part-time basis is defined as taking one or more courses totaling 1-11 semester hours during each fall and spring semester each academic year.

Academic Amnesty

Students, after 24 consecutive credit hours of successful work at UNO, UNL or UNK (with at least a 2.5 grade point average), may petition the Educational Policy Committee to have either or both of their first two semesters’ grades removed from their cumulative grade point average. No other semesters may be considered. With concurrence of the committee, those courses in which a minimum grade of “C-” (1.67) is earned may continue to count as hours toward graduation. This petition is subject to the following stipulations:

  • The student shall be at least four years removed from the semester or year to be deleted.
  • The student is responsible for initiation of the petition.
  • This petition must come through the student’s counselor or academic adviser to the Dean of the college.
  • The student has to complete at least 24 semester hours of successful work at any of the University of Nebraska system universities (UNO, UNL and UNK) for the period in which amnesty is being requested. The grade average for all courses taken since the amnesty period at the University of Nebraska system (UNO, UNL and UNK) shall be at least a 2.5.
  • The period of time considered for amnesty is the first two semesters of college work which are included in the UNO GPA.
  • Only the first two semesters can be used for academic amnesty – and those first two semesters must have been taken at the University of Nebraska (UNO, UNL or UNK).
  • The Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office will make the calculations based on college rules and simply list amnesty cases as a report item on the Educational Policy Committee agenda unless there is some reason for the committee to examine a case more closely.
  • Individuals who apply under this rule may not be considered for degrees with honors at graduation.
  • There shall be no physical obliteration of any part of the student’s record.

Therefore, students may petition to have grades from courses in either or both semesters of their University of Nebraska freshman year removed from their cumulative grade point averages, but may count courses in which they earn at least a “C” toward graduation requirements. Academic amnesty is not allowed after a student has graduated.

Program Requirements Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science with the Secondary Teaching Certificate

Students who plan to teach can meet the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science as well as the requirements for the Secondary Teaching Certificate. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences who are considering the possibility of teaching careers should consult the Dean’s Office.