|Undergraduate Major Programs
An officially designated major program at Wright State UniversityI is a structured and coherent primary concentration of study. It allows undergraduates to develop a specialized, in-depth field of study as part of their educational experience at the University. A major program may provide in-depth disciplinary study as part of a balanced bachelor's program, preparation for graduate study, or pre-professional, professional, or job-oriented training. All undergraduates must complete the requirements for one major program in order to earn a bachelor's degree from the University.
Majors are designed by academic departments or program units. Most major programs will lay out a single, prescribed course of study. Departments, however may choose to offer a major program that tracks students into optional concentrations. Some departments may offer more than one major; however, each must bear the name of a recognized field within the discipline. Interdisciplinary majors can be co-sponsored by two or more departments or units. A formal proposal, presenting the course requirements and providing a rationale for the structure of the program, must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate college curriculum committee, the University Curriculum Committee, the Academic Council, and the Board of Trustees. As appropriate, this proposal should be accompanied by the necessary course inventory request and/or modification forms. Upon approval, each major program will be assigned a number by the registrar, and students who have completed the requirements for a major will have that noted on their transcripts.
The major program is administered by the designing department or unit, which is responsible for formal admission, tracking, and final degree certification.
These regulations governing the approval of new major programs do not
apply to Lake Campus programs, only to four-year degree programs on the
Guidelines for Preparing a Major Proposal
The requirements for a major program will vary considerably from department to department. In order to ensure a minimum consistency from program to program, those preparing and approving proposals for a new major program should observe the following guidelines.
1. Format. A proposal should consist of 1) the proposed catalog description and 2) supporting documentation addressing the issues listed below.
2. Objectives. A major consists of a structured and coherent set of courses. Proposals should include a statement of the academic objectives that this set of courses meets.
3. Justification. To be approved a major program should generally provide a legitimate academic opportunity not now available elsewhere in the University. Proposals should provide clear evidence of coordination with departments and programs that might be affected by the new program because of overlapping content or because of specific related course requirements.
4. Credit Hours Required. The needs of individual programs vary considerably. Generally, however, the number of hours required in a major program should not fall below one fourth or exceed one half of the hours required for graduation. Some professional programs may be an exception to this guideline. Proposals should justify hours requirements in terms of program objectives.
5. Program Quality. Proposals should justify the level of difficulty of required courses in terms of program objectives and explain the balance between lower-and-upper-division courses. Generally, the number of 100-level courses required as part of a major program should be kept to a minimum. Proposals should also indicate the type of grading system used in required courses. With the exception of practical generally courses should be graded, not P/U. Any other special provisions, such as required practical designed to ensure program quality should be explained.
6. Student Performance. Proposals should indicate any requirements or other provisions for maintaining the quality of student performance in the program. Suitable evidence may include such matters as 1) GPAs required for acceptance into the program and for having majors recorded on transcripts, 2) provisions for senior evaluation (examination, senior thesis, portfolio, exhibition, recital, etc.), 3) advising, or 4) enforced course sequences, prerequisites, program checkpoints, etc.
7. Prerequisites. Proposals should describe the prerequisite requirements of the program and clearly point out any required courses that carry prerequisites that would in effect create an expanded hours requirement for the major program.
8. Resource Review. Before program proposals are sent forward to the University Curriculum Committee, a systematic review of program resource requirements and costs should be conducted by the appropriate College or School. This review should address program needs as they pertain to faculty, staff, overhead, space requirements, equipment, impact on computer resources, and library resources. In addressing the need for and impact on computer resources, the Vice President for Information Resource Management should be consulted. In addressing the question of the adequacy of library resources, the University Librarian should be consulted. The results of this review, along with a discussion of the impact of the proposed program on existing programs, should be included in the program proposal.
Approved by Academic Council 3/3/86
Go or Return to:
Process for Requesting Undergraduate Program Changes
Guidelines for Preparing Major Programs
Guidelines for Preparing Minor Programs
Guidelines for Preparing Certificate Programs