Undergraduate Academic Information
The University offers four baccalaureate degrees:
- The Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, Art and Graphic Design, Biology, Communication, English, History, Liberal Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Social Science, Sociology, and Theatre Arts;
- The Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Computer Science, Human Services, and Kinesiology;
- The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and in Musical Theatre; and
- The Bachelor of Music degree.
Evening Degree Programs
The undergraduate evening degree programs at Notre Dame de Namur University are upper-division programs designed to enable career-oriented working adults to complete a Bachelor's Degree in the evening. Majors in Computer Science and Psychology are offered in the regular 15-week fall and spring semesters. Majors in Business Administration, Human Services, and Liberal Studies are offered in six 7-week terms in the fall, spring, and summer. Only students accepted into the Accelerated programs may enroll in 7-week Accelerated courses; however, Accelerated Program students may enroll concurrently in 15-week semester courses. Evening classes generally meet one night per week. Students should consult with their advisors regarding the availability and scheduling of Core Curriculum courses in the evening.
General Degree Requirements
Notre Dame de Namur University has a tripartite structure for Bachelor's degree programs: the Core Curriculum segment promotes connection to the University's mission while developing essential skills, attitudes, and breadth for full participation in our diverse society; the Major segment requires students to achieve depth in a specific area; and the Electives segment provides the opportunity for exposure to other areas of interest. This structure applies to all baccalaureate degrees. Specific requirements for each category of degree follow below. Further details are found under the major.
Total Unit Requirement
A total of 124 semester units is required for the bachelor's degree. These must include a minimum of 46 units in upper-division courses; at least 24 of the upper-division units must be in the major.
A single course may be used to fulfill both a Core Curriculum Requirement and a major or minor requirement. While a single course may be used to satisfy multiple requirements, no course may be counted more than once toward the 124 semester unit requirement.
A maximum of 16 units in performance and activities courses, excluding courses required in the major, may be applied toward the total unit requirement, with a limit of five units per semester. A list of performance and activities courses can be found in the Undergraduate Policies and Procedures section.
The academic major includes a minimum of 24 discrete units of upper-division coursework in the major discipline.
An academic minor requires a minimum of 12 discrete units in the chosen area, of which 6 units must be upper division and taken in residency.
Majors and Minors: Discrete Unit Requirement
Units of coursework counted toward the minimum 24 units required for a major and the minimum 12 units required for a minor cannot be used to meet the minimum unit requirements for another major or minor (i.e., the units must be discrete). For example, a double major must consist of at least 48 discrete units, a major and minor of 36 discrete units, a major and two minors of 48 discrete units.
A student must complete at least 30 units at Notre Dame de Namur University in at least two semesters. The last 12 units toward the degree must be done consecutively at NDNU. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 12 upper-division units in the major at NDNU. (These may be included in the 30 residency units.) Only units earned after matriculation may be applied to residency.
Academic Standing Requirement
To be eligible to graduate a student must have been in clear academic standing during the last semester of study. The student also must have achieved at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA in coursework toward the degree and at least a 2.0 GPA in Major Requirements in any major included on the degree at the time that all other graduation requirements are satisfied.
The Career Development Requirement assists students in transitioning from college into successful and satisfying work. Three units of coursework in Career Development are required for all undergraduates. If a student has three or more years of full-time work experience, has a current resume and can demonstrate knowledge of successful career development, the student's Department Chair/Program Director may waive the requirement. (Note: The Career Development Requirement does not apply to Accelerated students.) Please note that waiving the career requirement does not grant units of credit. See your academic advisor no later than the start of the junior year to ascertain the number of units needed to satisfy the career requirement.
Options for meeting the requirement include:
- Taking Career Development courses at NDNU (courses with CD prefix).
- Doing an internship for credit at NDNU. The following courses count toward the Career Development Requirement: AR108D (2), AR151 (2), CD198 (2-3), CM160 (3), ED136 (3), EN149C (3), GB188 (3), PY109 (1), PY174 (3), PY190A (1), PY190B (2), SO109 (1), SO190A (1), SO190B (2), and TA195 (2).
- Pursuing relevant career development experiences designed in collaboration with a Department Chair/Program Director.
Students who have not completed a United States history course with grade "C" or higher in an American high school or an American international school are required to pass one three-unit course in United States History.
Writing Proficiency Requirement (Applies to students admitted prior to Fall 2007)
As a requirement for graduation, all students who have completed 45 units must meet the University's Writing Proficiency requirement either by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam, offered every semester, or by completing Writing for the Media (CM118/EN118), Advanced Writing (EN106), Technical Writing (CM107/EN107), three units of Writing Center (EN120), or, for Accelerated Evening Degree students only, Professional Writing (EN136). The requirement can also be met through the successful completion of three writing-intensive courses; the student should consult with his or her advisor for details concerning this option. Continuing students should take the Writing Proficiency Exam when they are second-semester sophomores; transfer students entering with more than 30 units take the Writing Proficiency Exam at the beginning of their first semester at the University. Students who do not pass the Writing Proficiency Exam must schedule an appointment with the head of the English Department to plan an appropriate course of action to improve their writing and satisfy the requirement.
Note: Freshmen students who have passed a College Board Advanced Placement Examination(s) in English with a score of three or higher may earn three to six units of college credit and thereby fulfill the College Writing and/or Literature requirement. See Undergraduate Policies for Credit by Examination.
Upper Division Writing Requirement for Graduation
Beginning Fall 2007, all new students must complete three upper-division units in writing. These units may be completed by taking writing-intensive courses in the disciplines (each course satisfies one unit of the writing requirement), by taking units in EN120 Writing Center, or by taking one of the following upper-division courses in writing: EN106 Advanced Writing, EN107/CM107 Technical Writing, EN108 Intermediate Writing, EN118/CM118 Writing for the Media, CM018L/118L The Argonaut,CM143 Newswriting, or EN136 Professional Writing.
These courses are designated as WAC (writing-across-the-curriculum) courses in the schedule of classes and include writing in the discipline. Each one of these courses satisfies one unit of the upper-division writing requirement. Students may take these courses in their discipline or in another discipline.
Specific Degree Requirements
Bachelor of Arts
A curriculum which may require a maximum of 60 units of coursework in or out of the major department beyond the Core Curriculum Requirements. A minimum of 24 upper-division units is required in the major.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
A rigorous curriculum designed to prepare talented students for professional careers in trhe arts. The BFA in Art leads to a professional degree in art or graphic design. The BFA in Musical Theatre leads to a professional degree in musical theatre. The BFA or itys equivalent is generally a prerequisite to graduate professional studies (MFA). A total of 72-78 units of work in the major is required for the BFA. Students in the program are encouraged to enroll in selected summer courses to spread the program requirements more evenly over four years.
Bachelor of Music
A curriculum designed to serve the needs of students who desire a stronger concentration in performance than is provided by the requirements for the BA degree in music. A minimum of 80 semester units must be taken within the field of music.
Bachelor of Science
A curriculum which may require a maximum of 75 units of coursework in or out of the major department beyond the Core Curriculum Requirements. A minimum of 33 units shall be required in the major or in directly related fields, and of these at least 24 units shall be upper-division work in the major department.
Degrees with Multiple Majors
While a student may be eligible for a degree with multiple majors, Notre Dame de Namur University does not award degrees of more than one type (for example, a BA and a BS) simultaneously. Students completing requirements for majors in more than one degree type must declare a primary major that dictates which degree is awarded.
Second Bachelor's Degrees
Students admitted to a second bachelor's degree program must complete at least 30 units of course work toward the second bachelor's degree at Notre Dame de Namur University, taken in at least two semesters after admission. See Undergraduate Admission for admissions requirements. This NDNU course work must include a minimum of 12 upper-division units in the second major. In addition, each student must follow NDNU's Core Curriculum Requirements in effect at the time of (re)admission. These same requirements apply to students whose prior bachelor's degree was earned at NDNU. Such students must be readmitted to the University after their prior NDNU degree was awarded. The 30 units that they must complete in residence, as well as the minimum of 12 upper-division units in the second major, must be in terms subsequent to the term in which their prior NDNU degree was awarded.
Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors
Students may design interdisciplinary majors under the guidance of an academic advisor and by agreement of the chairs of the departments concerned. The major will involve a program flexible enough to satisfy the individual needs of the student but structured enough to insure a practical group of related courses that includes at least 24 upper-division units and a concentration in one area. The following interdisciplinary majors are examples of possible programs:
Humanities A broad background in the humanities and a special competence in English, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, or Religious Studies.
Languages and Literature Training in linguistics, literary criticism, English and foreign languages and their literatures.
Marketing Communication Broad training in Business and Marketing that builds understanding of organizations and skill in the appropriate use of the media to promote products. [Closed to New Students Effective Spring 2007]
Philosophy and Religious Studies A selection of courses from these two areas to bring focus to the intersection of faith, reason, spirituality, and ethics.
Software Engineering and Management Courses from Computer Science and Business appropriate to entry-level technical management.
Students may design interdisciplinary minors under the guidance of an academic advisor and by agreement of the chairs of the departments concerned. The minor will involve a program flexible enough to satisfy the individual needs of the student but structured enough to insure a practical group of related courses that includes at least 12 units. The following interdisciplinary minors are examples of possible programs:
Justice and Peace
In accordance with the federal Student Right to Know (SRTK) regulations, information regarding NDNU's graduation rate for full-time undergraduate students is available from the Registrar's Office.
Placement and Diagnostic Tests
English as a Second Language
International students with TOEFL scores below 100 on the internet-based test, both freshman and transfer, take an English as a Second Language Test in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The results of this test are used to determine appropriate placement of the students in English or ESL classes.
All students who enroll in a program of study at NDNU and who have to take a Mathematics course at NDNU as part of their program or in order to satisfy the Math Core Curriculum requirement, must take the Math Placement Test. Students are required to take the Math Placement Test in order to assure their appropriate placement in the Math classes they need to take, and ultimately to enable their success in Mathematics courses. Every undergraduate student must satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements in Mathematics, and many students have additional mathematics requirements as part of their program of study.
Since retention of mathematical concepts and procedures tends to decrease with time, placement test results will be honored for one year and transcripted college coursework will be honored for two years without retesting.
Placement tests are given during the week before classes start each semester or during the summer freshman orientation sessions. Testing times are scheduled by the Office of Admission in coordination with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The placement level needed for enrollment in each Mathematics, Statistics or Natural Science course is stated in its course description and the meanings of the various levels are described below. All Mathematics courses that satisfy Core Curriculum requirements require at least Placement Level 1 (Arithmetic Skills). Students who do not demonstrate Placement Level 1 may enroll in MA003 to develop their skills..
Transfer students who have completed all Core Curriculum mathematics and all Mathematics courses required for the major in which they are enrolling do not need to take the placement test unless they will be taking further Mathematics courses at the University.
Description of the Mathematics Placement Tests
The placement tests are multiple choice adaptive tests administered on a computer. The tests do not require knowledge of how to use a computer. Students should bring only their student ID number and pencils with erasers to the test; calculators are not allowed. The tests are untimed, but generally take about one hour to complete.
There are four levels of testing and placement:
Level 1 Arithmetic and Basic Algebra Skills
Students passing at this level demonstrate understanding of basic arithmetic skills and concepts: operations with whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, percents, and ratios; as well as applications and word problems involving measurement, percent, average, and proportional reasoning. At the Level 1 students also demonstrate understanding of some basic algebra skills and concepts, but not enough to reach Level 2.
Courses with a Level 1 prerequisite: MA005, MA011, MA012, PH001.
Level 2 Elementary Algebra
Students passing at this level demonstrate understanding of elementary algebra skills and concepts: roots, radicals and exponents; order of operations; scientific notation; substitution for variables; solving simple equations; word problems; solution sets of linear inequalities; multiplication and factoring of simple polynomials; solution of factorable quadratic equations and systems of linear equations; simplification of rational expressions; graphing points and lines.
Courses with a Level 2 prerequisite: BY109, CH001, CH002A/B, EC102, MA014, MA102, PH009.
Level 3 College Algebra
Students passing at this level demonstrate understanding of Intermediate and College Algebra skills and concepts: factoring polynomials and expanding products of polynomials; simplification of rational algebraic expressions; solving linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and rational equations as well as those containing absolute value and radicals; solving linear, quadratic, and rational inequalities and inequalities involving absolute value; equations of lines and regions; graphing equations, domain and range; simplifying expressions with exponents and radicals; exponential and logarithmic functions and their graphs and properties; word problems and applications.
Courses with a Level 3 prerequisite: AC004 (Day), FN131 (Day), MA016, MA022, MA106A.
Level 4 Trigonometry/Precalculus
Students passing at this level demonstrate understanding of Trigonometry and Precalculus skills and concepts: definition of a function; combinations of functions; composition of functions and inverse functions; definitions, graphs, and applications of trigonometric functions (e.g. sine, cosine, tangent) and their inverses; equations and graphs of conic sections: ellipse, circle, parabola, and hyperbola; sequences, series and sigma notation; systems of equations and matrices; complex numbers; factorials, permutations, and combinations.
Courses with a Level 4 prerequisite: CS030A, MA020A, MA119, MA122, PH002A.
Reviewing for the Math Placement Test
Students are encouraged to get a sense of the style and substance of the questions on the placement exam by looking at sample questions. For a short set of sample questions and a general description of the test, please visit the Tutorial Center web site at tutorialcenter.ndnu.edu and read the student guide. At that web site, students can also link to other institutions' web sites for more sample questions. Most arithmetic review books are suitable to review for the Arithmetic Test, while any Elementary Algebra book at the level of the first high school algebra year should be suitable as preparation for the Elementary Algebra Test. For the College Math Test, students should review their textbooks from Algebra II, Trigonometry, or Precalculus. Specific recommendations regarding review texts are available at the Tutorial Center web site.
Modern Language Placement Tests are offered to any student wishing to continue his/her study of French or Spanish.
Each applicant to the music program (BA, BFA, and BM) must complete a diagnostic test of musicianship skills in the areas of theory, ear training, and vocal and keyboard sight-reading. Results of these diagnostic tests will be used in planning the student's total music program.