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General Degree Requirements

General Degree Requirements

General Degree Requirements for all Bachelor's Degrees

The bachelor’s degree programs require students to study one field in depth (the major) and to complete general education requirements or a core curriculum as appropriate to the major field and degree program selected. There is overlap among general education requirements, which allows students flexibility in the choice of majors and degree programs.

The BA is available in more than 40 fields in the humanities and arts, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences and mathematics. The BS in Engineering is available in 12 major fields. The BS in Management is available in two major fields. In addition, BS programs are offered in accounting, the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, statistics, nutrition, art education, music education, and nursing.

The Bachelor of Music (BM) degree is offered by the Cleveland Institute of Music through a joint program with Case Western Reserve University.

‌Every candidate for a baccalaureate degree from the university must:

  1. complete the requirements of the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES), as described below;
  2. complete two semesters of physical education through a combination of half- and/or full-semester physical education courses, as described below;
  3. complete the requirements of the major field of study, as described in the relevant sections of the General Bulletin;
  4. complete the general education requirements of the school and degree program in which the student's major field of study falls, as described in the relevant section of this chapter of the General Bulletin (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Management, Nursing);
  5. complete a course of studies with a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.000 for work taken at Case Western Reserve University; and
  6. earn in residence at Case Western Reserve University a minimum of 60 semester hours, of which at least 15 must be earned after the student has earned a total of 105 semester hours.

SAGES

The Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) provides a foundation in critical thinking, written and oral communication, the use of information, quantitative reasoning, engagement with ethical issues and diversity, and exposure to experimental and theoretical approaches to understanding human culture and behavior, scientific knowledge, and methods of research.

The First Seminar

The First Seminar (four credit hours, taken in the first semester of enrollment) introduces students to the seminar format through reading, discussion, and intensive writing, and incorporates activities with University Circle institutions. The course focuses on the development of critical thinking and communication skills through the use of a variety of approaches, media, and perspectives to explore the human mind and the nature of inquiry. This course is designed to strengthen writing and analytical skills while building a foundation in ethics, information literacy, and cultural diversity.

Students select a course from:

  • First Seminar: Natural World (FSNA 1xx)

  • First Seminar: Social World (FSSO 1xx)

  • First Seminar: Symbolic World (FSSY 1xx)

Based on test scores and a writing sample, some students will be placed in FSCC 100: The Life of the Mind, designed to provide additional writing support. Most students for whom English is a second language will continue their First Seminar experience in a second semester by enrolling in and completing FSCS 150 First Seminar Continuing Semester (three credit hours).

*Transfer Students only: Transfer students who have completed the English composition/expository writing requirement with a grade of C or higher at the college/university at which they previously matriculated will receive transfer credit for FSCC 100-TR (three to six credit hours) and will be required to complete a supplemental one-credit hour SAGES introductory seminar, FSTS 100 – SAGES Transfer Supplement.

University Seminars

After completion of the First Seminar with a passing evaluative grade and before the end of a student's second year, students must complete two University Seminars (totaling six credit hours). University Seminars provide continued experience in critical reading, writing, and oral communication, as well as information literacy, ethics, and cultural diversity. Each University Seminar explores content determined according to the interests of the faculty. A student's First Seminar and two University Seminars must include a course from each of the three thematic areas: Natural World, Social World.

Students select courses from:

  • University Seminar: Thinking About the Natural World (USNA 2xx)

  • University Seminar: Thinking About the Social World (USSO 2xx)

  • University Seminar: Thinking About the Symbolic World (USSY 2xx)

Students who complete their First Seminar requirement with FSCC 100, FSCS 150, or FSTS 100 may fulfill their University Seminar requirement by choosing courses from any two of the three thematic areas.

University Composition Requirement: The SAGES Writing Portfolio

Students develop a Writing Portfolio comprised of final graded writing assignments from the First Seminar and University Seminars. The Writing Portfolio is due the semester after completing the final University seminar.

Departmental Seminar

The Departmental Seminar (three credit hours), generally taken in the junior year after the completion of the University Seminars, focuses on discipline-specific methods and modes of inquiry and communication characteristic of the Departmental Seminar's discipline. The Departmental Seminar may be taken in the department of the student's major or in another department. A course used to fulfill the Departmental Seminar Requirement may not also be used to fulfill a Breadth Requirement. Courses meeting this requirement include the designation "Approved SAGES Departmental Seminar" in their course descriptions. Some majors include a specific Departmental Seminar as part of their requirements.

Senior Capstone

The Senior Capstone assimilates the knowledge and skills gained throughout the educational process. Students engage in a unique one- or two-semester experience (three to six credit hours) designed in consultation with a faculty member. Each Senior Capstone must include key elements:

  1. Demonstration of critical thinking and writing skills;
  2. Regular oversight by the Capstone advisor;
  3. Periodic reporting of progress;
  4. Regular writing (e.g. drafts, progress reports, critiques) throughout the project including a final written report which may be a thesis or equivalent document associated with the project or activity (e.g., such pursuits as performance, experiment, live case analysis, or creative writing), as approved by the department of capstone origin; and
  5. Oral reports including a final public presentation at the Senior Capstone Fair, a conference, a performance, a public lecture, a teaching presentation, or another setting, as approved by the department of capstone origin.

Courses meeting this requirement include the designation "Approved SAGES Capstone" in their course descriptions. Some majors include a specific a Senior Capstone course as part of their requirements.

Physical Education

All students must complete two full semesters of Physical Education activity courses at zero credit hours. Students may choose from half-semester and full-semester course offerings. If possible, a student should begin meeting this requirement in the first semester and complete it early in his or her undergraduate years.

Requirements for Specific Degrees

Students are expected to complete a bachelor's degree in a timely fashion and will ordinarily be subject to the degree requirements in place at the time of matriculation at Case Western Reserve University, although they may chose to update their requirements to those included in a later General Bulletin.

If a student extends study toward a bachelor's degree beyond 10 years after first matriculating as an undergraduate student, the major department(s) will review the student's academic record and may update major requirements. Also, if the student has not already completed the applicable general education requirements in place at the time of matriculation, the appropriate dean in the school offering the major will also review the student's academic record and may update general education requirements.

Double Majors, Secondary Majors, and Dual Undergraduate Degrees

Only one major is required for a student to satisfy degree requirements, and most students complete their degrees having met the requirements for a single major. However, some students wish to complete more than one major in order to address their interests and academic goals. Several opportunities exist for a student to complete more than one major.

A student may double major in two (or more) Arts and Sciences majors for the BA degree, or two (or more) Engineering majors for the BS in Engineering degree, or two (or more) Management majors for the BS in Management degree. No additional credit-hours beyond those ordinarily required for the specific degree are required, but students may need additional credit-hours to meet all requirements of the two (or more) majors. Students pursuing multiple majors within a single degree will receive one diploma corresponding to the degree earned and each major will be noted on the diploma and the transcript.

A student whose interests span majors that fall under two different degree programs (the BA degree program and a BS degree program or two different BS degree programs) may complete one degree program, including its general education requirements, and the requirements for the two (or more) majors. The major for which the student does not complete the associated general education requirements will be designated as a secondary major. If the field chosen as a secondary major has different requirements for the BA and BS degree, the requirements to complete the secondary major are those associated with the BA degree. No additional credit-hours beyond those ordinarily required for the degree for which the student completed general education requirements are required, though students may need additional credit-hours to complete all requirements of the two (or more) majors. The student will receive one diploma corresponding to the degree for which the student completed general education requirements, and that degree will be recorded on the transcript. Each major will be noted on the diploma and the transcript, but the secondary major will be designated in that way.

To qualify for two (or more) undergraduate degrees, i.e., a BA and a BS degree, or two BS degrees, as a dual degree student, a student must satisfy all requirements for each degree, including each degree’s associated general education requirements, and complete for each additional degree thirty credit-hours of study beyond the hours required for the first degree. Students who seek a dual-degree program that involves the BM degree must meet Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve admission requirements, and must seek approval of both the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. A student wishing to pursue two degrees is encouraged to meet with a dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, 357 Sears Bldg., to discuss requirements.

What’s appropriate, BA or BS?

A BA is available in more than 40 fields in the humanities and arts, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences and mathematics.

The BS in engineering is available in 12 major fields. The BS in management is available in two major fields. In addition, BS programs are offered in accounting, the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, statistics, nutrition, art education, music education, and nursing.