College of Arts and Sciences

College Vision Statement

To be recognized and respected throughout the United States as one of the premier Colleges of Arts and Sciences at a metropolitan university, maximizing our resources to build exceptional programs related to teaching, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and service.

College Mission Statement

The College of Arts and Sciences is a liberal arts college within a metropolitan university.  The college serves as UNO’s standard-bearer for the tradition of liberal education, which emphasizes the importance of breadth of knowing and ways of knowing as central to a student’s education, and defending this view of education from critics who see the tradition as outdated, impractical, and unable to prepare students for the 21st century workforce.  Courses of instruction are offered in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences/mathematics to support a liberal education for the students of the college and to provide a significant portion of the general education requirements of the university.  We offer disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.  The college is committed to outstanding teaching and to significant scholarship and research activities of its faculty and students and encourages involvement with our metropolitan community and the world at large.

The college endorses the goals articulated by the Strategic Plan of the University of Nebraska Omaha to (1) achieve academic excellence, (2) place students at the center of our academic enterprise, and (3) actively engage our community.

College Contact Information:

Arts and Sciences Advising Center

Arts and Sciences Hall, Room 240

402-554-2458

College Website:

http://www.unomaha.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/index.php

General Information

The College of Arts and Sciences offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, with a diversity of majors from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The college also offers advising for many pre-professional programs preparing students for fields in medicine, allied health and law          

Academic majors are available in the following fields: bioinformatics, biology, biotechnology, black studies, chemistry, economics, English, environmental studies, foreign language and literature, 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 and gender 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 planned carefully, the requirements for a pre-professional program can also meet many of the requirements needed for a B.A. or B.S. degree. These pre-professional programs are not academic majors and a student seeking a degree from UNO must complete the requirements of a major as well. Pre-professional information can be found on the Arts and Sciences website.

    Admission Requirements

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

   Maximum/Minimum Credits

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must complete a major, including at least 18 credit hours of upper division work, (3000 or 4000-level courses) designated as appropriate by the faculty in one of the following fields: biology, black studies, chemistry, economics, English, foreign language and literature, general science, geography, geology, history, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, Latino/Latin American studies, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women and gender studies. A student meeting the requirements in each of two fields may present a double major in these fields, provided that the disciplines do not overlap significantly in requirements.

For Bachelor of Arts students, foreign language through the intermediate level is required, as described in the next paragraph.

Foreign Language

For Bachelor of Arts degree-seeking students only, students must complete 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 Arts & Sciences Advising Center.

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, Japanese, 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 (including those from UNK/UNL). 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, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish 1110, 1120, 2110, or 2120 subject to the following conditions:

  • a student who completes any French, German, Japanese, 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.

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: Each degree candidate must complete 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: bioinformatics, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, economics, environmental studies, geography, geology, history, interdisciplinary studies, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

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 Bachelor of Science degree requires 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 should be approved by the Educational Policy Committee of the College.

Minor Field

Although not required for graduation, a student may complete a minor in addition to the major. Arts and Sciences minors must contain at least 9 hours of upper division work. See the respective departments for details. Minors are offered in the following Arts and Sciences fields: Ancient/mediterranean studies, anthropology, biology, biotechnology, black studies, chemistry, Chicano-Latino/a studies, economics, English, environmental studies, foreign language and literature (French, German, Russian, Spanish), geography, geology, history, LGBTQ-Sexuality studies, mathematics, medical humanities, Medieval/Renaissance studies, Native American studies, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies. Students may also complete a minor offered by another college.

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.

    Residency Requirement

30 of the last 36 hours required for the degree must be registered for and completed at UNO.  Some majors may have residency requirements in addition to this and the chairperson for the department of the major should be contacted for information.

    Transfer Credit Policy

The University allows transfer of a maximum of 64 credit hours from community colleges.   STEM majors may transfer 67 credit hours from community colleges.   The Arts and Sciences Advising Center should be contacted for information on transferability of courses applying to College of Arts and Sciences requirements.  Students may be referred to departmental advisors for transferability of courses toward major or minor requirements.   

    Unacceptable Credits

Remedial, developmental, or technical coursework may not be used toward the fulfillment of the 120 credit hour requirement.

Courses taken at a community college that are upper division level courses in the College of Arts and Sciences may not be counted as equivalent to upper division Arts and Sciences courses.  At the discretion of the advisor and the department, these courses may be used toward required or elective coursework but may not be used to meet upper division requirements.

    Quality of Work

Students seeking a degree must maintain an average grade of at least “C” (2.0) in all college work, including work transferred from other institutions. Students must earn a grade of at least “C-” (1.67) in all coursework intended to satisfy general education, major or minor requirements, however some majors may require a minimum of a C (2.0). (Courses passed with less than a C- can still count as elective credit used towards the 120 credits needed to graduate, but will not satisfy specific requirements.) To qualify for a grade of “CR” in any course in the College of Arts and Sciences, a student must earn 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.”

    Grade Appeal Policy

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 the student 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 departmental 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, and 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.

See departments for specific information regarding their grade appeal procedures.. 

    Academic Amnesty

A student who didn’t perform well during one or both of their first two semesters at UNO, UNL or UNK , may petition the Educational Policy Committee to have either or both of their first two semesters’ grades removed from their cumulative grade point average (GPA). No other semesters may be considered. Students may choose to keep courses taken during those first two semesters in which a minimum grade of “C-” (1.67) was earned. If a student chooses to keep these courses, they will count towards degree requirements, credits towards graduation and they will contribute to the cumulative grade point average.

This petition is subject to the following stipulations:

  • The student must 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 advisor to the Dean of the college.
  • The student must complete at least 24 consecutive semester hours of coursework with a GPA of 2.5 or higher from any of the University of Nebraska system universities (UNO, UNL and UNK) before a petition will be considered.
  • The only semesters eligible for amnesty are the first two semesters from any of the University of Nebraska system universities (UNO, UNL or UNK).
  • The Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office will make the calculations based on college rules and report cases in question to the Educational Policy Committee
  • Students who are granted academic amnesty cannot be considered for degrees with honors at graduation.
  • Even if academic amnesty is granted, grades that are removed from the student’s GPA will still show on their academic transcripts, therefore will be seen by anyone evaluating those transcripts.

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.

    Academic Advising

Advising in the College of Arts and Sciences is shared between the professional advisors in the Arts and Sciences Advising Center, and professional or faculty advisors in the departmental majors.  Students start with an advisor in the Advising Center and transition to the departmental major advisor once they have a declared major and at least 27 earned credits.  Undecided students in the College of Arts and Sciences and/or students seeking pre-health programs may be advised by advisors in the Advising Center past 27 earned credits.

    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.

Other information relevant to the college

Additional College of Arts & Sciences Requirements

The College of Arts & Sciences has requirements in addition to the University General Education requirements. These additional requirements are:

Quantitative Literacy

  • One 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.

Additional Distribution Requirements

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 students to explore coursework in other areas. Appropriate courses may be used to satisfy both Cultural Diversity and Distribution Requirements. No course used to satisfy a Fundamental Academic Skills requirement may be applied toward a Distribution Requirement.

The College requirements are:

Humanities/Fine Arts (nine additional credit hours)

  • Three additional credit hours from a third discipline
  • HIST 1000 – World Civilizations I is required
  • HIST 1010 – World Civilizations II is required 

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

Social Sciences (three additional credit hours)

  • Three additional credit hours from a third discipline.

Natural and Physical Sciences (four additional credit hours with a lab)

  • four additional credit hours with a corresponding lab.