Visit the College of Arts and Sciences online.
Interim Dean Gregg Johnson, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Dean Nirupama Devaraj, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Dean Richard Sévère, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean Adrian Lee, M.A.
Assistant Dean Elizabeth A. Douglas, J.D.
The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college of the University, consists of 22 departments, provides the majority of the General Education courses as well as majors in the liberal arts, the sciences, and in several professional areas.
Each degree in the College consists essentially of three parts:
- The General Education component
- The major field or interdisciplinary program
- Elective courses, often including a minor or minors
An overview of the General Education Program is presented, with variations specified in the detailed presentation of degree requirements below.
The Major Field
Each student must complete a major field of study or an interdisciplinary program. Ways of meeting this requirement are presented in detail in connection with the degree requirements listed below. These options are intended to offer maximum flexibility so that
students may find the courses of study best fitted for their interests and needs.
Degrees and Degree Requirements
To fulfill requirements under the Departmental Major, students must complete the required credits for the academic major but may not exceed 60 credits in any one subject. For a list of the academic fields of study, see College of Arts and Sciences .
An approved individualized major of thirty credit hours may be presented instead of the departmental majors listed above. This major is intended for students with clearly defined academic or career objectives who feel that their specific needs are not met by the departmental major option nor by the interdisciplinary program option described below. A student in the College of Arts and Sciences may propose a plan for an individualized major using the form available at valpo.edu/registrar/forms. The major must satisfy the following conditions.
- The proposed major must include at least 30 credit hours but not more than 48 credit hours chosen from two or more departments.
- At least 18 of the 30 credits in the individualized major must be taken beyond the introductory level.
- The proposed major must be accompanied by a minor within a discipline listed in the GENERAL CATALOG.
- None of the courses chosen may be courses used to meet the General Education requirements.
- Courses taken for this major may not be counted for credit towards a minor or second major.
- The proposed major must be supported and supervised by one of the deans in the College of Arts and Sciences or an academic advisor.
- A comprehensive rationale statement by the student justifying the major must accompany the Individualized Program form. This form must list the specific courses to be taken and be approved by the faculty supervisor before it is approved in the Dean’s Office. Any revisions must also be approved by the Dean of the College.
- The proposed major must be submitted online for approval, preferably by the beginning of the junior year, but no later than November 1 for December degree candidates and April 1 for May or August degree candidates.
The selection of courses for an individualized major should reflect serious deliberation on the part of the student and advisor.
An individualized major may be freely substituted for a departmental major in any of the various combinations available to students in meeting major requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree only. An individualized major may not be used to meet the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. Students may not pursue Honors Work as part of an individualized major.
Completion of Major Field Requirement
In addition to completing either a departmental or an individualized major, students must complete one of the following:
- An academic minor. The faculty recommends that minors be selected that are correlated to the major. No course may be used to fulfill two majors or both a major and a minor requirement except with the permission of the dean of the college. This restriction refers to courses within the major or minor field, not to additional courses required from outside of the major or minor field.
- An approved individualized minor. 15 credit hours may be presented in lieu of the departmental minor. At least 9 credit hours must be taken beyond the introductory level. None of the courses chosen may be courses used to meet the General Education Requirements. Forms for individualized minors are available at valpo.edu/registrar/forms. A student may not graduate with both an individualized major and an individualized minor as the method of fulfilling major area graduation requirements.
- A second academic major. A second major may be chosen from Departmental Major options or an interdisciplinary program. An approved individualized major may also be presented in fulfillment of requirements of a second major, unless the first major is also an individualized major. Only one individualized major or minor may be applied to the major field requirement.
- A complementary major. A major which enhances and expands a first major. This major may not be a first major.
- A first major with at least forty credit hours. However, no more than sixty credit hours from one subject area may be applied toward the 124 required for graduation. Students may not complete an individualized major of forty credits or more to satisfy the major field requirement. The limitation does not apply to students pursuing the Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education degrees.
- An interdisciplinary minor; see listing below.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers several interdisciplinary programs of study that students may pursue instead of the major options outlined above. These programs are coordinated by special administrative committees composed of faculty members drawn together by their interest in a particular subject not defined by boundaries of the traditional academic disciplines. Interdisciplinary Programs are currently offered in Actuarial Science, Chinese and Japanese Studies, Data Science, Environmental Science, International Economics and Cultural Affairs, Global Service, and a complementary major in Theology and Ministry.
In addition, minors in interdisciplinary programs in Applied Statistics, Business Administration, Business Analytics, Cinema and Media Studies, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Forensic Science, Fundamentals of Business, Gender Studies, Human Aging, Latin American/Latinx Studies, Philanthropic Leadership and Service, and Urban Studies may be added to departmental majors.
Special Academic Regulations for the College of Arts and Sciences
Regulations Concerning General Education Requirements
- No course may be used to meet more than one General Education Requirement, with the exception of the writing intensive course requirement.
- Only courses of at least three credits may be used in meeting General Education Requirements, excluding the requirement in Kinesiology.
- Courses taken to fulfill major requirements (departmental majors or interdisciplinary majors) may be presented in fulfillment of General Education Requirements where applicable.
Restrictions on the Use of Credit Hours for Degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences
- A student may apply no more than four credit hours in KIN 100 or Activity Courses toward a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Non-music majors are limited to 16 total credit hours of applied music (studio instruction and/or ensemble). For further clarification, see Course Descriptions .
- No more than 60 credit hours in any one subject may be applied toward the total of 124 credit hours required for graduation, each subject being identified by the 2-4 letter code preceding each course number in the catalog (e.g., COMM, MUS, KIN, THTR). This limitation does not apply to students pursuing:
- the Bachelor of Music degree
- the Bachelor of Music Education degree
- A student may apply no more than 16 credit hours of ROTC coursework toward a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. These credits may be used as free electives only.
- A student may apply no more than 30 credit hours collectively from the professional colleges of the University toward a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. Furthermore, no more than 15 of these credits may be included within an Individualized Major. In that case, any remaining professional college credits, up to the maximum of 30, may only be counted towards electives and general education requirements.
- A student may opt not to include grades and credits from professional colleges of the University when applying for admission to the College of Arts & Sciences.
Professional and Pre-Professional Areas
The College of Arts and Sciences offers degrees especially designed for teaching in elementary schools, teaching of music, performance of music, creation of art works, work in physical education, and social work. The appropriate degrees are described earlier, beginning on this page. In addition, students can prepare for teaching in secondary schools under a variety of majors for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. The Diaconal Education and Formation Process, the pre-legal program, and the pre-medical arts programs are professional preparatory programs a student may complete while pursuing a liberal arts major.
Students interested in any of these programs should declare the program before entering their sophomore year.
Those pursuing an Associate in Science degree may elect the cytotechnology certification option. This program requires the student to complete a one-year program in an accredited school of cytotechnology and a one-year prescribed course of study at Valparaiso University. The credits from the cytotechnology program (usually 30) will transfer to Valparaiso University to meet about half of the requirements for the A.S. degree. See page 42 for the degree requirements for the Associate in Science degree. Students should contact a pre-medical arts advisor for specific science courses that must be completed.
Teacher Education Programs
The Teacher Education Program is under the direction of the Department of Education. Eligibility for admission to the program is determined by the department.
The University currently prepares applicants for licensure in the following licensure categories listed under types of school and developmental settings.
License: Elementary Teaching
Elementary: Grades K-6
Additional content areas in any subject areas listed under Secondary Teaching
License: Secondary Teaching
Grades 5-12 Content Areas:
World Languages-Chinese, French, German, Latin, Spanish
Science-Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Earth/Space Sciences
Exceptional Needs- Mild Intervention
World Languages-Chinese, French, German, Latin, Spanish
Preparation for the Medical Arts
Students can prepare for entrance into medical, dental, veterinary, medical technology, physical therapy, or paramedical schools by entering one of the pre-medical arts programs of the college. Students in these programs must have their schedules approved at the beginning of each semester by a major advisor. All recommendations to the professional schools are sent out by this Committee: Professors Nelson (Psychology), Scaglione-Sewell (Biology), L. Eberhardt (Biology); Associate Professors Goyne (Chemistry), K. Jantzi (Chemistry), and R. Clark (Chemistry).
Students are invited to join the Alliance of Healthcare Professionals, an organization that promotes interest in medical and healthcare fields through a program of guest lectures and social events. Students intending to earn a D.O or M.D. degree and who have outstanding academic records may be invited to join Alpha Epsilon Delta, a national medical honorary society.
In some fields, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, and pharmacy, completion of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree is often required before admission to a professional school. However, if three years or less of college work are needed for entrance into a professional program, a student may earn a bachelor’s degree through the University’s Combined Liberal Arts-Medical Arts program. This involves three years of work at Valparaiso University and one year of work at an approved professional school. Details are in the next section of this catalog. This program is often used by students in medical technology and pharmacy.
Students who want to enter allied health fields that require two years or less of college preparation may want to earn the Associate in Science Degree described in Associate of Science Degree (60 Cr.) .
The course, GS 394 - Health Care Professional Apprenticeship , is offered in the Summer I Session and is of interest to students in pre-medical arts. Details are given in a Summer Session announcement each year.
Combined Liberal Arts-Medical Arts Program
Students may complete the degree Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science from Valparaiso University by completing three years of study at this University and completing an additional year’s work at an approved school of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, medical technology, or other allied health disciplines. Prior approval of the program must be secured from the Committee on Pre-Medical Arts.
Specifically, students who elect one of these programs must meet the following requirements:
- They must spend their junior year in residence at Valparaiso University.
- They must meet all General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree with the exception that one course in theology is waived.
- They must complete an academic major. For the Bachelor of Science degree, this major must be in one of the science fields.
- They must complete at least 93 semester credit hours of college work.
- They must apply for graduation by the deadline date as noted at the front of this catalog and present to the Office of the Registrar an official transcript of an additional year’s satisfactory work at an approved professional school.
Preparation for the Study of Law
Students who plan to attend law school after graduation should select any rigorous course of study for their majors. According to the American Bar Association, “The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education.” Based on these ABA recommendations, Valparaiso University does not require Pre-Law students to follow a specific curriculum. Instead, students are encouraged to select a major that will be both challenging and interesting, and that will help them develop strong research and writing skills. Additionally, students may choose from an array of elective courses on legal topics offered by several of the College of Arts and Sciences departments, including Communication, Political Science and International Relations, and Sociology and Criminology. The College of Business also offers courses in business law.
Pre-Law students at Valparaiso University are encouraged to be active in the Pre-Law Society, seek guidance on law school admissions, and participate in several programs, including the Career Fair, Mock Trial Team, and legal career panels.
The combination of rigorous academic work has prepared many of the University’s graduates for placement in some of the finest and most prestigious law schools in the country. For more information, contact the program coordinator at James.Old@valpo.edu.
Preparation for Seminary
Graduates of Valparaiso University are accepted into the seminaries not only of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), but also of other Protestant bodies, and into graduate divinity schools throughout the United States. (Students are encouraged to consult the web sites of divinity schools or graduate programs in theology or religion for specific admission requirements.)
Recommended Preparation for Admission to M.Div. Program at LCMS Seminaries
The LCMS seminaries in St. Louis, Missouri, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, recommend a bachelor’s degree that includes a broad liberal arts curriculum and preferably the ability to read languages (especially German, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew). Language skills can be acquired through courses provided at the seminary as well. Students accepted into the M.Div. program must pass the Entry Level Competency Examinations (Old Testament content, New Testament content, Christian doctrine, Biblical Greek, and Biblical Hebrew) before they can enroll in M.Div. courses. Valparaiso University offers courses in all of these areas of study through the departments of Theology and World Languages and Cultures. Finally, both seminaries expect applicants to have taken courses to improve written and spoken English: English composition and writing, and speech (both writing and delivering).
For Students Preparing for Admission to the Seminaries of the ELCA
The eight seminaries of the ELCA offer a variety of post-baccalaureate degree programs, including the M.Div., which is the basic professional degree for those seeking ordination as pastors, and the M.A., which may be used to prepare for other ministries in and beyond the church (diaconal ministers, Associates in Ministry, and education).
While specific requirements for admission vary, the following captures the typical academic prerequisites:
- a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (some seminaries specify the B.A. degree; others do not) with a cumulative GPA of 2.500-3.000 on a 4.000 scale
- a broad background in the liberal arts (English composition and literature, history, philosophy, psychology, the biological/natural and social sciences, and world languages)
- some seminaries require up to two semesters of classical or koine Greek (which may often be met by means of a summer intensive language course)
Beyond these academic requirements, another part of the application for admission to the ELCA seminaries addresses personal qualifications. Those interested in pursuing a rostered ministry in the ELCA should also begin to forge a relationship with their synod candidacy committee as they begin the application process.
Further information is available from the chair of the Department of Theology and on the department’s web site: valpo.edu/theology.
Arts and Sciences Pre-Engineering Program
Applicants for admission to the College of Engineering may require additional work, usually in mathematics or the sciences before admission is granted. Such students may be admitted to the pre-engineering program in the College of Arts and Sciences for this preparation if they are registered for, or have completed a college-level pre-calculus course. While in the program, pre-engineering students may take engineering courses if they satisfy the prerequisites and corequisites. Students in this program are expected to make progress toward admission into the College of Engineering in a timely manner. In order to enter the College of Engineering, pre-engineering students must have a cumulative resident grade point average of 2.000 or higher in each of the three categories listed in the College of Engineering Graduation Requirements section (page 296). Pre-engineering students who have not matriculated into the College of Engineering within three semesters will be removed from the program and will need to select another major within the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, or the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Students should contact the College of Engineering Assistant Dean for Student Success for details.
Diaconal Education and Formation Process
The University and the Lutheran Deaconess Association (LDA) cooperate in the education and formation of men and women for service in diaconal ministry. In response to a changing world, the LDA offers a process that allows students to express their Christian vocation through church, civic, or human service professions. Plans may be individualized, combining diaconal students with many academic majors to earn a graduate or undergraduate degree.
The education and formation process is under the counsel and guidance of the staff of the Lutheran Deaconess Association. Inquiries should be directed to the Director of Education and Formation, Center for Diaconal Ministry, 1304 LaPorte Avenue, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383-9978. Phone 219.464.6925. Email: email@example.com. Contact the Director of Education and Formation for application forms and fee schedule. Students may apply during their sophomore year but must be at least 20 years old or have junior standing. Week-long orientation and annual seminars are required during each year of the process.
Diaconal students work with the LDA staff and academic advisors to determine a program of academic study, planned experiences, and reflection in these areas:
Focus on personal and spiritual growth, which may include spiritual direction, discernment retreats, counseling, journal reflection, prayer, and worship.
Academic courses cover these topics. Exceptions can be made with agreement between LDA and the student’s academic advisor.
- Biblical Studies, both Old and New Testament, or overview of the Bible
- Church History, from the apostolic era through Reformation to the present
- Lutheran/Christian Theology
- World Religions or in-depth study of a non-Christian tradition
- Theology of Diaconal Ministry (THEO 451 /551)
- Basic Homily Preparation, proclamation of the gospel
- Practicum in Ministry (THEO 480 /680. May be taken twice to fulfill work/ministry requirement; see below. Prerequisite: THEO 453 /553 Clinical Education in Ministry.)
- Clinical Education for Ministry (THEO 453 /553). May be taken to fulfill work/ministry requirement; see below
Other courses may be suggested, depending on the student’s ministry focus, such as: understanding of self, others, and group dynamics; Christian worship; religious education; understanding issues of human need; and social justice.
Fieldwork at a practical ministry site; 100 hours over two semesters. May be taken for credit at Valparaiso University (THEO 480 /680, two credits per semester), or may be completed without academic credit. Clinical Pastoral Education may be taken for credit at Valparaiso University (THEO 453 /553, Clinical Education for Ministry) or may be completed through a certified CPE program off-campus. Internship in a ministry or human services profession, one-year, full-time paid position. May be done between the junior and senior year or after graduation.
- Diaconal Community
Participation in the deaconess community, including campus activities, area deaconess groups, and annual conferences.
Deaconess ministries have been combined with, but are not limited to, these academic majors and programs: Theology; Nursing; Church Music, liturgy, worship; Education; Psychology; Social Work; pre-medical, medical fields, occupational therapy/physical therapy; world languages and classical languages; International Service; Business.
Combined Liberal Arts-Engineering Program
Students may earn in five years (ten semesters) both the Bachelor of Arts degree and one of the Bachelor of Science in engineering degrees. They may earn the two degrees by completing one of the engineering curricula and the General Education Requirements of the Bachelor of Arts degree as well as the major requirement of the College of Arts and Sciences. This requires them to earn at least 157 credit hours and to have a standing of at least 2.000 in all of their work. Students who elect such a program must have their schedules approved by both the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the dean of the College of Engineering at the beginning of each semester. Sample or representative curricula for such programs may be obtained upon application to the dean of the College of Engineering.
Departmental Honors Work
Honors Work is designated for students of exceptional ability who may benefit by earning a limited number of the credits required for graduation through supervised independent study rather than through regular course work. Students who apply for Honors Work should understand that their work will be evaluated according to the highest standards of scholarly achievement.
Honors Work may be pursued by any student who is a degree candidate in the College of Arts and Sciences and whose major or program is administered by a department or an administrative committee within the college. Students may not pursue Honors Work as part of an individualized major.
A student who has completed at least 80 credit hours but has not yet entered upon the work of the last two semesters and who has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.000 and a grade point average in the major of at least 3.500 may apply through the major department or program committee for admission to Honors Work. To apply, the student must submit a plan for a major independent project that will be undertaken under the supervision of a member of the major department or program. The application form, which requires the student to articulate the independent project briefly, clearly, and with a timetable and modest bibliography, is available on the College of Arts and Sciences website. (For more information, please attend the Beyond Valpo program held annually during the spring semester.) This plan must be presented to the chair of the student’s department or program for approval and forwarded to the Dean’s Office no later than 12:00 p.m. on the first Monday of April of the student’s second semester, junior year. The dean will then forward the application to the Scholarship and Advising Committee for final approval. If the proposed independent study project is approved, the student should enroll in a course numbered 497 Honors Work in (the major department or program) in the first semester of the senior year.
A student who has been admitted to Honors Work must present a completed draft of the project to the chair of the major department (or program) at least ten class days before the beginning of the final examination period of the student’s first semester of the senior year. With prior approval, the student may substitute for the completed draft a status report demonstrating substantial progress (in certain areas, such as in the experimental sciences). In the case of a status report, the student should describe the work accomplished during the semester and the plans for continued work during the following semester. The project is then judged at midyear by a project committee consisting of the chair of the major department or program, the project advisor, one additional department reader, and one outside reader who is a member of the Scholarship and Advising Committee. If, based on the status report or draft, the project committee affirms the likelihood that the student will be able to conclude an exceptional piece of scholarship appropriate to the student’s discipline by the end of the following semester, that student will be admitted to Candidacy for Honors. If the project has not progressed as had been expected (the student must earn an A or A- for the first semester), the student will be denied admission to Candidacy for Honors. The student should consult with the project advisor for departmental/program evaluation policy.
If admitted to Candidacy for Honors, the student should register during the second semester of the senior year for a course numbered 498, “Honors Candidacy in (major department or program).” A student must complete the independent study project begun in the previous semester, incorporating additions or revisions suggested by the project committee to its satisfaction. The completed project report must be delivered to the chair of the major department or program at least fifteen class days before the beginning of the final examination period of the student’s final semester. The original project committee shall then schedule an oral examination for the Honors Candidate to assess the student’s knowledge of matter covered in the independent study project and any other closely related matters deemed appropriate by the project committee. The Honors Candidate shall be notified beforehand of the related matters to be included in the examination. If, in the opinion of the project committee, the candidate is worthy of honors, it shall recommend to the dean that the student be awarded three credit hours with a grade of A or A- for a course numbered 498 and be graduated “With Honors in (the major field).” If the candidate is not deemed worthy of honors, the Dean’s Office, upon consultation with the project committee, may recommend that the student be granted three credit hours for Independent Study in the major department or program, with a grade determined by the project committee. The official archival copy of an honors project is stored in ValpoScholar.
During the semester or semesters of engagement in Honors Work, a student is not allowed to carry more than 12 credit hours in addition to Honors Work.
A student whose major requires completion of a senior project may register for Honors Work in lieu of the departmental senior project course after securing permission from the department chair. The same procedures as outlined above must be followed.
Cooperative Education in the College of Arts and Sciences is a program in which students combine professional, paid work experience with academic programs. Students may be employed in full-time (called alternating) or part-time (called parallel) placements. Normally, a semester of full-time employment will earn a maximum of 3 credit hours; a full-time summer employment, a maximum of 2 credit hours; and a part-time (parallel) placement requiring a minimum of fifteen hours per week, 1 credit hour. Parallel placements of fewer than fifteen hours per week may be given 0.5 credit hours. Students will normally complete a minimum of two alternating or four parallel work assignments. The program is available through various departments as well as through the general offerings of the college. The college’s general program is intended both for undeclared majors who are able to use cooperative education on an exploratory basis and for declared majors who may wish to participate outside their major department on an elective basis.
The following policies govern Cooperative Education within the college:
- The student works under the advisement of a faculty member who monitors the work experience, evaluates the required written reports by students, and assigns the course grade.
- A student is eligible upon completion of two semesters of enrollment in residence with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.500. Co-op is open to students upon completion of the freshman year.
- Placements require prior approval of the coordinator of cooperative education– retroactive credit will not be granted.
- Course credits count as electives toward graduation or, in certain academic departments where specified, count toward the department’s major or minor.
- No more than a combined total of 12 credit hours earned through cooperative education, internship, field experience, or other work experiences may be applied toward the meeting of minimum graduation requirements. Exceptions may occur in certain departments due to professional certification requirements.
Additional restrictions may apply in departments where the cooperative education credits count toward major or minor requirements.
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