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 in these courses are  fundamental to the development of a college graduate.  All bachelor’s degree students at Ferrum College must fulfill the following 37-hour Liberal Arts Core:

Freshman English (ENG 101 and 102) 6
Bible-based Course (REL 111, 112, 113 or PHI 131) 3
Religion/Philosophy (any REL, PHI or designated honors) 3
Activity Course (designated course in DAN, HHP (including HHP 200), or REC) 1
Fine Arts (any three-hour ART, THA, MUS, or designated honors) 3
Mathematics (MTH 103, 105, 107, 111, 112, 203, 211, or HON 205) 3
Natural Science (laboratory courses in AGR, BIO, CHM, EPD, ESC, GEO, HOR, PHY, SCI or designated honors) 6
Literature (ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 209, 210, 211, 212, HON 210, 211, or RUS 401, 402 or SPA 403, 404 or designated honors) 3
History (HIS 101, 102, 201, 202, 205, 206 or designated honors) 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),  SPA 302 (Advanced Speaking and Comprehension), THA 222 (Voice and Diction), THA 346 (Readers Theatre), or any two courses identified as Speaking Intensive e.g. NSM 307 (Junior Seminar), NSM 498 (Senior Presentation); ENG 398 (Junior Seminar), ENG 498 (Senior Seminar), 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) may take a second sophomore literature course (English 201-212) or an upper-level foreign language literature class (RUS 401 or 402, or SPA 403 or 404) 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 courses specifically designated as 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
  • CJU 498 Senior Seminar
  • CSC 498 Senior Research Seminar
  • ECO 313 Money and Banking
  • ECO 330 International Trade
  • 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 398, 498 Junior and Senior Seminar
  • 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
  • HUM 302 African American Studies: "Forty Years and a Dream"
  • MTH 420 Foundation of Geometry
  • MTH 498 Senior Research Seminar
  • NSM 307, 497, 498 Junior and Senior Seminar
  • PHI 301 Fundamentals of Writing Philosophy
  • PHI 498, 499 Senior Seminar in Philosophy
  • PSY 307 Behavioral Research Methods II
  • REC 375 Wilderness Leadership II
  • REC 440 Recreation Seminar
  • REL 315 Studies in the Gospels
  • REL 316 Life and Letters of Paul
  • REL 481 Seminar in Religious Studies
  • REL 482 Seminar in Religious Studies
  • 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 of teaching and learning, 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)

The E-Term 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 pass only one E-Term without requesting to change catalogs.  Returning students who entered under catalogs requiring two E-Terms will be allowed to take a second E-Term at no additional tuition/room & board cost.  All new entering students, effective 2009-10 will be required to take and pass one E-Term course.  New students entering in 2009-10 will be required to take and pass the one E-Term requirement before they achieve senior status in order not to 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, laboratory, 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 pay 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.


Factors for consideration for registration in E-term courses:

  • Students who are in good academic standing may register for any E-term course and are eligible for travel scholarship opportunities. 
  • Students who are on academic warning during fall semester may register for any E-term course, and are eligible for travel scholarship opportunities.
  • Students who are on academic probation or who are on disciplinary probation or higher during the fall semester may not register for an E-term course that has overnight, off campus travel/ travel abroad, but they will be eligible to register for on campus E-term courses. 
  • If the student is in good academic standing during fall semester, and at the end of the fall semester:

o   Goes to academic warning status for the spring semester, the student  will remain in the E-term course in which enrolled and will be allowed to retain any travel scholarship that has been awarded for an E-term course (awards are announced in November).

o   Goes to academic probation status for the spring semester, the student will be dropped from any E-Term course in which enrolled that has overnight off campus travel/travel abroad before the spring semester begins.   All fees will be refunded and any travel scholarship award will be forfeited.

o   Goes to academic suspension status for the spring semester, the student will be withdrawn from all classes for the spring semester, including the E-Term course.  Any fees paid, including the deposit, will be refunded.   Any travel scholarship award will be forfeited.  If the student appeals the suspension and is allowed to return for the spring semester on probation, the student will not be allowed to enroll in any E-Term course involving overnight off campus travel/travel abroad.

  • Students who were on probation during the fall semester and return to good standing by the beginning of the spring semester, may register for any E-term course, including overnight off campus travel/travel abroad during add week in the spring semester.  Students opting to do this will be responsible for immediate payment of applicable deposits and fees and are not eligible for travel scholarships due to deadline expiration.
  • Students placed on disciplinary probation or higher after spring registration or during the spring semester will be removed from the E-Term overnight off campus travel/travel abroad course.  The student will be responsible for all fees, based on the date of being placed on disciplinary probation or higher.
  • Students who are not performing well in multiple classes during spring semester should be encouraged to strongly consider strategies for academic success or to drop the E-Term overnight off campus travel/travel abroad course before the deadline to drop an E-Term class without fee obligation to avoid required obligation for all fees.   Students taking this advice to withdraw before the deadline to drop an E-Term class without fee obligation will be refunded all fees including the deposit.
  • Students enrolled in an E-term course involving overnight off campus travel/travel abroad whose grades in spring semester (excluding the E-Term course) result in academic suspension will be withdrawn from the E-Term course and obligated to all fees for the course without opportunity for refund.  Scholarships will not be applicable and the student will be obligated to the full fee.
  • Regardless of timing of enrollment, all students must abide by specific course enrollment requirements, which may include interviews or seeking the approval of the instructor.  A student enrolling after the typical November registration time for an E-term course must accept decisions made by the instructor in any class meetings missed due to late enrollment and agree to any additional restrictions set by the course instructor to insure student safety.


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 a focused, disciplinary or interdisciplinary program 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, minors 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. 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 the individual for life and work in the twenty-first century.  Certificates may be earned as a way to add to one’s educational portfolio.  Certificates, however, will not be awarded without the completion of a degree. 

Declaring Majors/Minors/Certificates

Students may declare majors, minors, and 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.