Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Ferrum awards the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees, depending on the major the student pursues.  All degree candidates must complete at least 121 hours of course work, of which 30 hours must be at the 300-400 level, with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average within their academic major.  At least 50 percent of the hours required for a major or a minor must be completed at Ferrum.  This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the program coordinator in association with the School Dean. Please refer to the detailed listing for graduation requirements.

Liberal Arts Core Requirements

A multidisciplinary range of academic courses distributed across the academic schools of the college provides the foundation upon which the Ferrum curriculum is built.  It is the college’s belief that the skills and knowledge embodied in these courses is fundamental to the development of anyone who is college educated today.  All bachelor’s degree students at Ferrum College must fulfill the requirement of 37 hours that are to be taken from this Liberal Arts Core as follows:

Freshman English (ENG 101 and 102) 6
Bible-based Course (REL 111, 112, 113 or PHI 131) 3
Religion/Philosophy (any REL, PHI or HON 206) 3
Activity Course (designated course in DAN, HHP, or REC) 1
Fine Arts (any three-hour ART, THA, MUS, or designated HON) 3
Mathematics (MTH 103, 105, 107, 111, 112, 203, 211, or HON 205) 3
Natural Science (laboratory courses in AGR, BIO, CHM, ESC, GEO, HOR, PHY, or SCI) 6
Literature (ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 209, 210, 211, 212 or RUS 401, 402 or SPA 403, 404) 3
History (HIS 101, 102, 201, 202, 205, 206) 6
Social Science (DJC 201 or ECO 201, 202 or PSC 101, 202, 203, 205 or PSY 201 or SOC 101, 202, 203 or HON 220) 3
Total Liberal Arts Core Hours Required 37

Note: With appropriate qualification, students who wish to substitute higher-level courses for specifically designated courses may do so only with the prior written permission of the appropriate School Dean.

Degree Specific Requirements

These requirements may consist of up to 12 hours of additional coursework as designated by the major and may include, but are not limited to: foreign language, accounting, computer science, PHI 101, BUS 230, HUM 250, COM 201, additional laboratory science, additional mathematics, etc.

Speaking Intensive Requirement

Speaking Intensive courses provide students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their ability to access, analyze, synthesize, and share ideas and information through oral presentation. This requirement can be fulfilled by completion of COM 201 (Public Speaking), ENG 433 (Small Group Communication), EPD 498 (Senior Project), HUM 333 (Intercultural Conflict Mediation), THA 222 (Voice and Diction), or any two courses identified as Speaking Intensive i.e. NSM 307 (Junior Seminar), NSM 498 (Senior Presentation), with a grade of C or higher.

Writing Intensive Requirement

Writing Intensive courses provide students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their ability to access, analyze, synthesize, and share ideas and information by writing.  This requirement can be met by completing six hours of courses identified as Writing Intensive with a grade of C or higher.  Completing English 102 with a grade of C or higher is the prerequisite for any Writing Intensive course.  Students who have completed one sophomore literature course to meet the distribution requirement (English 201-212, excluding ENG 208) may take a second sophomore literature course at Ferrum College to meet three hours of the Writing Intensive requirement.  At least three hours of Writing Intensive courses must be at the 300-400 level.  All courses used to satisfy the Writing Intensive requirement must be taken at Ferrum College.  Students who wish to transfer in courses specifically designated writing-intensive at other institutions may appeal to the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.  The following courses will meet the Writing Intensive requirement:

  • BUS 403 Human Resource Management
  • BUS 498 Senior Seminar: Business Policy
  • CHM 315 Biochemistry
  • CHM 425 Inorganic Chemistry
  • CJU 300 Dilemmas and Decision Making in Criminal Justice
  • CJU 498 Senior Seminar
  • CSC 498 Senior Research Seminar
  • EDU 302 Foundations of Education
  • ENG 301 Literature for Children and Adolescents
  • ENG 310 Media Issues
  • ENG 311 News Writing and Editing
  • ENG 338 Rhetoric
  • ENG 350 Appalachian Literature
  • ENG 361 British Literature 1660-1798
  • ENG 365 Shakespeare
  • ENG 428 Contemporary Lit. and Film
  • ENG 461 Professional Writing
  • EPD 498 Senior Project
  • ESC 302 Conservation Biology
  • HIS 303 The American Revolution
  • HIS 306 Women in 20th Century America
  • HIS 309 The United States 1900-1945
  • HIS 310 The United States since 1945
  • HIS 380 Latin America
  • HIS 398 Historiography 
  • HIS 498 Senior Seminar with HIS 499 Senior Thesis
  • HON 213 Media and Violence
  • HON 216 The Sixties
  • HON 435 Values and Vocation
  • MTH 420 Foundation of Geometry
  • MTH 498 Senior Research Seminar
  • NSM 307, 497, 498 Junior and Senior Seminar
  • PSY 306 Behavioral Research Methods I
  • REC 375 Wilderness Leadership II
  • REC 440 Recreation Seminar
  • REL 315 Studies in the Gospels
  • REL 316 Life and Letters of Paul
  • SWK 320 Social Welfare Policy
  • SWK 330 Human Behavior
  • THA 301 World Theatre I
  • THA 302 World Theatre II

Experiential Component

Experiential education is a philosophy and a set of instructional methods in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge and develop skills within a discipline.  Experiential education is an educational strategy that connects the classroom to the world beyond the classroom and theory with practice.  Ferrum College students complete an experiential component as part of their major.

Definition of Service Learning

Service learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address individual and community needs employing structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development.  Reflection and mutual benefit for student, college, and community are key concepts of service learning.  Service learning may involve various forms of research and scholarship.

The Experiential Term (E-Term)

This is a three week term which offers a variety of two-, three- and four- credit hour courses that apply to the liberal arts core and some majors.  E-Term is offered the three weeks immediately following graduation each year. Effective 2009-2010 academic year, all returning students will be required to take only one E-Term without requesting to change catalogs.  Returning students who entered under catalogs requiring two E-Terms will be allowed to pass a second E-Term at no additional tuition/room & board cost.  All new entering students, effective 09-10 will be required to pass one E-Term course.  New students entering in 09-10 will be required to pass the one E-Term requirement before they achieve senior status in order to not delay graduation.

All classes are taught by Ferrum College faculty through the Ferrum College campus.  A majority of the courses offered do not require prerequisites and are appropriate for students entering their second or third semester of college.  There are no additional tuition or room/board costs attached to the E-Term session. (If a student wishes to take more than the required E-Term course, tuition and room/board costs will be applicable.)  Any costs for travel, lab cost, etc. in an E-Term course will be listed with the course description during pre-registration.

Currently enrolled/full-time students will register for E-Term courses when they pre-register for spring semester.  The last day for currently enrolled full-time students to register for E-Term is the last add date during the first week of the spring semester.  Students must register for a minimum of 12 hours for the regular spring semester.  Students are obligated to all course fees if they do not drop by the fourth week of the semester.  An E-Term course will not count in those 12 hours but could put a student in an “overload” status for spring semester if the student registers for 18-19 hours and then registers for an E-Term course.  However, overload fees for this situation will not apply.  The last day to drop an E-Term course is the first day of the E-Term classes.  Students will be obligated to any fees by this deadline.

Part-time students must register by the “last day to ADD” the first week of spring semester (the add/drop week).  Part-time students will be charged for a course during E-Term at the same credit-hour rate as they are during the long semester.

Degree Designations

The B.A. or B.S. is generally determined by the nature of the major discipline.  The major indicates the degree available and the Degree Specific Requirements for that major and degree.  Some majors may offer a choice of degree, and such choice will involve specific Degree Specific Requirement choices.
The B.F.A. degree is an option for majors in the Theatre Arts.
The B.S.W. is awarded to all Social Work majors.

Kinds of Majors

A major is the principal area of academic concentration.  There are two kinds of majors at Ferrum: those which require a minor and those which do not.  Every bachelor’s degree candidate must complete a major.  Programs of more than 39 hours are normally interdisciplinary with significant content drawn from two or more disciplines.  A major may require up to 57 hours of which no more than 39 hours can be required in a single discipline or subject designation.  In addition to the particular courses required in the major, a school may specify up to 20 hours within the general college Liberal Arts Core requirement.  Note: At least 50% of the required courses for any major must be completed at Ferrum.


Minors are a group of related courses with at least 9 hours at the 300-400 level (6-8 hours may be considered adequate depending upon the nature of student learning in the proposed courses in the minor, and upon a strong and compelling rationale for less than 9-hours).  Such a proposal must be approved through the full faculty approval process.) Except for the teacher education minor, they contain 18-21 hours.  Note: At least 50% of the required courses for any minor must be completed at Ferrum.


Certificates are a group of related courses and experiences that complement both major and minor programs of study and go beyond discipline and School boundaries.  Successful completion of certificate requirements is noted on the student’s transcript, thus acknowledging to prospective employers the accomplishment of a value-added education guided by the student’s own initiative that goes beyond the standard programs of study and better prepares for life and work in the twenty-first century.

Declaring Majors/Minors/Certificates

Students may declare majors, minors, or certificates with their academic advisor during registration or by updating Major/Minor on i-Assistant following the Catalog requirements for the major/minor/certificate.  Students must, however, discuss their desired program shifts with their advisors to insure complete understanding of the requirements and options involved and to avoid any loss of time and credits.

Earning a Second Degree

A second baccalaureate degree may be earned by persons who already hold a bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College or from another accredited institution.  To earn a second degree, the student must meet the following requirements:

  1. All Liberal Arts Core Requirement courses in effect at the time of the second degree must be completed (either by current or previous course work);
  2. The student must meet all prerequisite and course requirements in the major field of the second degree, with at least half of the required courses in the major taken at Ferrum College;
  3. The student must complete at least 30 hours of additional course work at Ferrum College beyond the requirements of the first degree;
  4. The student must earn a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher in course work completed for the major and second degree;
  5. A person seeking a second degree must be admitted through the regular admissions process.

A student who enters Ferrum to work on a second degree shall be classified academically as a senior.  A student currently working on a first baccalaureate may acquire a second major or minor by completing the courses and hours required.  If a student wishes to earn two different degrees simultaneously (i.e. seeking a B. A. and a B. S.), instead of one degree with multiple majors, he or she must meet the conditions listed above.