Degree Requirements

Berea’s curriculum offers the advantage of interdisciplinary general study coupled with intensive study in 33 major fields (some of which have multiple concentrations) and 34 minor fields of study. In all academic disciplines, students acquire knowledge and deepen their understanding of the subject area, while gaining competency in applying the content and methods of inquiry to daily life. A degree is conferred upon the completion of both the General Education curriculum and the curriculum of a selected major, provided the student has earned the minimum number of credits (including 20 outside the major), and has earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher in all courses, as well as in the major course work. (Please be aware that some academic departments require a GPA higher than the College requirement of 2.00.)  A minimum of 32 earned course credits (typically 34 in Nursing) is required for graduation, with at least 20 credits taken outside the major discipline.

General Education Requirements

Berea College's curriculum includes an interdisciplinary General Education curriculum in addition to intensive study in a major. As an institution with a liberal arts foundation and outlook, the College has a responsibility to educate the whole person. Berea College's General Education curriculum addresses Berea's Great Commitments and is designed to help students develop important knowledge, skills, and habits of mind. The curriculum extends from the first year through the senior year and includes, in addition to course work, convocations and other experiences.

All Berea College degrees include the following General Education Requirements

  • GSTR 110: Writing Seminar I: Critical Thinking in the Liberal Arts
  • Note: credit for this course cannot be transferred in; however, transfer students who took College Composition while attending a regionally-accredited college or university as a degree-seeking student—and who earned a grade of B or higher in the course—can waive this requirement and take GSTR 210 in their first term of attendance.

  • GSTR 210: Writing Seminar II: Identity and Diversity in the United States (credit cannot be transferred in or waived)
  • GSTR 310: Understandings of Christianity (credit cannot be transferred in or waived)
  • GSTR 332: Scientific Origins  OR the optional alternative of two approved Natural Science courses in two different disciplines, at least one of which must be approved as a Natural Science Laboratory course. To date, the following courses have been approved to meet this alternative (all of them approved to meet a Natural Science Laboratory course)—ANR 110, ANR 130, BIO 100, BIO 101, BIO 110, CHM 101, CHM 113, CHM 131, CHM 134, PHY 111, PHY 127, and PHY 221.
  • GSTR 410: Seminar in Contemporary Global Issues (credit cannot be transferred in or waived)
  • Practical Reasoning Requirement (two approved courses, at least one of which must be firmly grounded in mathematics or statistics)
  • Six Perspectives Areas—Arts; Social Science; Western History; Religion; African Americans', Appalachians', Women's; and International (Language or World Culture option)
  • Lifetime Health and Wellness: WELL 101, WELL 102 and Physical Activity Requirement
  • Active Learning Experience (ALE)
  • Developmental Mathematics Requirement
  • Twenty (20) courses taken outside the major
  • Convocation Requirement

NOTE:  Some Berea College courses can be used to fulfill more than one requirement. When a course is used to satisfy both a General Education requirement and a major requirement (i.e., PSY 100: General Psychology, which meets the General Education Social Science Perspective, as well as the requirement for the Psychology major), the credit is counted only once and in the major discipline. No single course may fulfill more than two General Education requirements and no single transfer course can fulfill more than one General Education requirement. The required General Studies courses (GSTR 110, GSTR 210GSTR 310, GSTR 332, and GSTR 410) cannot be used to fulfill any additional requirements.


Developmental Mathematics Requirement

The Development Mathematics Requirement must be waived on the basis of test scores OR met by completing MAT 010, MAT 011, and MAT 012. Each of these full-term courses carries one full load term credit but not earned credit toward graduation. The grades for these courses are “satisfactory,” “satisfactory completion,” or “unsatisfactory.”

Students are required to enroll continuously--Fall-Spring-Summer--in MAT 010, 011, and 012 until their Developmental Mathematics requirement is competed.  Those students not completing their Developmental Mathematics requirement by the beginning of their third regular term are subject to suspension for two regular terms. 

By policy, students initially placed in MAT 010 are required to attend the summer session following their first year in order to complete MAT 012. Students placed in MAT 011 who do not successfully complete in their initial attempt are required to attend the summer session following their first year in order to complete MAT 012.   

Incoming Student Requirements (GSTR, WELL, and Developmental Math)

GSTR 110 and GSTR 210 must be completed by the end of the third regular term of enrollment. GSTR 110 must be taken in the first regular term of enrollment and GSTR 210 in the second regular term. GSTR 210 may be delayed until the third regular term only if a student re-takes (and passes) GSTR 110 in the second term, or if a student takes (and passes) GST 150 for additional writing instruction. WELL 101 and WELL 102 must be taken in sequence during a students first year. 

Students who do not waive Developmental Math must maintain continual enrollment until the sequence is completed (see Developmental Math Requirement)

Twenty Earned Course Credits Outside the Major Requirement

Students must complete 20 earned course credits outside the core and distribution requirements of their major. GSTR courses are counted outside the major.  When a course is used to satisfy both a General Education requirement and a major requirement, the credit is counted only one time, and in the major discipline. Collateral courses are included in the 20 credits outside the major.

Note: If a collateral course or a substitution for a collateral course is within the major rubric, it does not count in the 20 credits outside the major.

Collateral courses are included in the major’s GPA calculation. Cross-listed courses may be counted as being outside the major if the course does not count toward any requirement for that major—including collateral courses—and if it is taken under the non-major rubric.

Residency Requirement

To earn a Berea College degree, students must complete a minimum of four (4) regular (fall and spring) terms as a degree-seeking student at Berea College.

Convocations

All full-time and part-time students are expected to attend Convocations each term of attendance at Berea minus one (usually the last term of attendance). A grade of CA (Convocation 'A') is recorded for all students who are marked as attending 7 Convocations by the Convocations program. No more than 8 CA (Convocation 'A') grades may count towards the student's cumulative GPA. Convocation credit is only GPA credit and does not count towards the total credits required for graduation. Exceptions are detailed below:

  1. Students doing a Study Abroad term are exempt from the Convocation requirement during that term.
  2. Students engaged in student teaching are exempt from the Convocation requirement during that term as well as during the preceding term (generally the student's 8th term).

See the Convocations program website for specific details about participation in the Convocation program.

Note: Participation in the Convocations program is not technically a degree requirement. Students are expected to participate. A grade of CF (Convocations Fail) is recorded and averaged in to a student's GPA each term a student is expected to participate and is not marked in attendance for 7 or more Convocation events. A grade of CA (Convocations 'A'') is recorded otherwise and averaged into the GPA.