The regulations published in the Undergraduate Catalog are a digest of the rules of the institution. Changes may be made in the regulations at any time to promote the best interests of the university and its students. Students are responsible for knowing the published regulations, policies, and standards of the university and of their college or school.
The following requirements are established by the university for all undergraduate degrees. The student also must complete additional requirements for each specific degree; these are established by each college and school within the university and are described elsewhere in this catalog.
University Core Curriculum
The core curriculum is a set of 30 hours of coursework taken by students. The core includes the following courses required for all entering freshman students:
- 6 hours of English composition (honors students may satisfy English composition requirements by taking Hon 101 and 102)
- 3 hours of college algebra or quantitative reasoning or statistics (taken from a department of mathematics) or a more advanced mathematics course
- 6 hours of natural science
- 9 hours of humanities and fine arts, and
- 6 hours of social or behavioral science courses
The purpose of the core curriculum, along with coursework in the major, electives, and co-curricular learning experiences, is to provide a general education experience for students.
General Education Values Statement
As our mission statement proclaims, a University of Mississippi education is built “upon a distinguished foundation in the liberal arts.” Consequently, students at our institution become inheritors and stewards of an intellectual tradition that, for millennia, has provided us with the tools to better understand ourselves, to create a more just world, and to craft meaningful lives.
Students begin this academic journey in general education, where they participate in a shared learning experience that fosters social responsibility, scientific exploration, civic engagement, an appreciation of the natural world, nuanced appraisals of the past, and lifelong habits of inquiry.
Throughout the general education core curriculum, faculty members help students to develop mastery in the competency areas described below and to grow as thinkers and learners by means of challenging coursework.
Ultimately, general education is the entryway to our university. As students step through and broaden their perspectives in a range of different fields, they take their rightful place in our community of scholars.
General Education Student Learning Competencies
Upon completing the core curriculum, along with certain courses within the program/major and co-curricular learning experiences, University of Mississippi baccalaureate-seeking students should demonstrate the following general education competencies:
- Critical Thinking
- Ethical Reasoning and Ethical Responsibility
- Mathematical Reasoning
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
Declaring a Major
When entering the university, a student may declare an intended degree program (major) or may declare to be undecided. Students who have completed at least 12 hours at the university and who wish to declare a major or switch majors must have at least a 2.0 overall GPA (resident GPA) on these hours and must have at least a 2.0 GPA on all work attempted at other institutions. Individual degree programs and schools may impose a higher entering resident GPA requirement or selection criteria, and academic deans may approve exceptions to the above GPA requirement. Students must also declare a major upon completion of 45 credit hours.
Minimum Credit Hours
All baccalaureate degree programs require at least 120 semester hours with passing grades. Students who take more than the required number of hours will designate on a Degree Application Form which courses are to be applied towards the degree.
Minimum Grade-point Average
For the award of a bachelor’s degree from any school or college of the University of Mississippi, a student must earn a GPA of at least 2.00 on all course work submitted in fulfillment of the course requirements for the degree. In addition, the student must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 on all course work attempted at the University of Mississippi. Finally, the student must have a minimum 2.00 GPA on all college work attempted at any institution of higher learning.
There may be additional grade requirements for the College of Liberal Arts or the professional schools. It is the student’s responsibility to check on the requirements applicable to the specific degree for which he or she is a candidate.
Academic Residency Requirements
All courses taken at the University of Mississippi Oxford campus, at any of the university’s approved off-campus instructional sites, via online, iStudy/independent study, or StudyUSA delivered by university instructional personnel, or through approved study abroad and exchange programs where the student is registered in University of Mississippi courses are considered to be courses taken in residence.
At least 25 percent of the semester credit hours required for an undergraduate degree (e.g., 30 hours for a 120-hour degree) must be taken in residence.
Last 21-Hour Residency Requirement
Students must acquire at least 12 of their last 21 credit hours in residence at the university. That is, no more than 9 of the last 21 hours may be transfer credit. A student may not apply courses taken from the university’s Independent Study department or via the university’s study abroad or exchange programs towards this 12 hour requirement unless the student has obtained written approval from the student’s academic department and dean before enrolling in the course.
Each senior must file a degree application, listing courses and credit hours to be applied towards the degree, with his or her academic dean. Deadlines for submitting this application are set by the college and schools.
A candidate for graduation must submit an application for a diploma to the registrar on or before the deadline for the application for diploma, as stated in the Academic Calendar. Application is made for graduation at a specified time; if a student fails to graduate at that time, he or she must submit another application to be considered for graduation at a later date.
Attendance at commencement exercises is required for those students who graduate at the end of spring or summer semesters. In case of hardship, a student may petition his or her academic dean to be excused. With the recommendation of the dean and the approval of the chancellor, the degree can be awarded in absentia. Students who graduate at mid-year are invited to participate in the spring commencement, but are not required to attend.
Dual Major and Second Bachelor’s Degree
A student may receive a single bachelor’s degree with more than one major. For example, a student may receive a B.A. degree in the College of Liberal Arts with a double major. Regardless of whether the requirements for the two majors are completed simultaneously or in succession, the university is authorized to award a single degree and diploma in such cases.
A student may receive a second bachelor’s degree of a different degree type (e.g., the first degree being a B.A. and the second being a B.S.) by completing at least 30 additional semester hours in residence from the university with a minimum 2.00 GPA for these additional hours. All requirements for the second degree must be completed, including courses required for the major and general education courses that may be different from those for the first degree program. As an example, if the first degree requires 124 hours, a student must complete an additional 30 hours (154 hours total and including all specific course requirements for both programs) to be awarded a second, different bachelor’s degree. If the two degrees are awarded by the same school/college, then there may be additional rules imposed by that school/college. Two diplomas are awarded in this case, whether or not the requirements for the degrees are met simultaneously or in succession.
If a student has received the first degree from another institution, to receive a second bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi, he or she must satisfy the specific courses for the major with at least 30 hours in residence enrollment and with a minimum 2.00 GPA on work attempted at the university. Note that the 30 hours of University of Mississippi resident work is a minimum and that at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree must be completed from the University of Mississippi.
Whenever possible, the university allows a student to obtain a degree by completing the curriculum course requirements in the catalog in effect at the time of the first, or any subsequent, registration at the University of Mississippi or at an accredited junior, community, or senior college, provided the work is completed within six years of the publication date of the catalog used. In the case of minor changes to a specified curriculum, a school or college may require substitute courses or activities to meet the spirit of the requirements. However, in the case of substantial changes to the curriculum, the university reserves the right to require currently enrolled students to follow a new curriculum.