Undergraduate Academic Policies & Procedures 2011-2012

6. Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures

1. The Philosophy of Knowledge Core Curriculum


A program of General Education requirements for undergraduates is based on the premise that certain common, essential qualities, independent of one´s academic discipline, are necessary for intellectual growth and professional advancement. These fundamental, "liberating" qualities, which have guided human progress through history, enable one to communicate effectively, think critically and examine values and principles. They provide a working acquaintance with the scientific method, an appreciation of cultural achievements and an understanding of the relationships among people, their cultures and their natural environment. By providing a stronger historical consciousness, they sharpen a citizen´s sense of responsibility to family and society. A general education provides the base on which a student can build a strong specialization while having the flexibility that a changing society demands. Specialized skills are needed in a complex environment, but the rapidity of technological change often requires the acquisition of new specialties. A sound general education provides the skills and knowledge which individuals will always need to develop their potential and meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.


Lamar University´s Philosophy of Knowledge core curriculum satisfies the criteria for compliance with the mandates of Senate Bill 148 (75th Legislature) and for consistency with the statement, recommendations and rules of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding core curricula. Lamar´s core curriculum includes the basic competencies which have long been seen by society as the minimal requirement of an educated person. Further, by organizing the core curriculum according to methods of inquiry, this core addresses the goals of coherence and distinctiveness. The core is designed to further develop in students the abilities to think critically, to communicate effectively and to understand the major social and personal issues of the times. Core courses include emphases on research, writing and speaking. Core courses encourage participation in university and community organizations and activities.

Components of the Philosophy of Knowledge Core

I. Philosophy of Knowledge —three semester hours from PHIL 1370 or 1360 (Honors)

II. Methods of Inquiry in the Humanities

  • English Composition —six semester hours from ENGL 1301, 1360 (Honors), 1302, 1361 (Honors) or 1374
  • Literature —three semester hours from ENGL 2310, 2320, 2322, 2326, 2331, 2360 (Honors), 2371 or 2376
  • Communication —three semester hours from COMM 1315, 1360 (Honors), 2335, 2373, 3310, 3340, FREN 1311, GERM 1311, SPAN 1311 or DSDE 2375
  • American History —six semester hours from HIST 1301, 1302, 1361 (Honors), 1362 (Honors), 2301,
  • Fine Arts —three semester hours from ARTS 1301, DANC 2304, HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306, THEA 1310 or COMM 1375

III. Methods of Inquiry in the Sciences

  • Political Science —six semester hours: POLS 2301 and 2302
  • Mathematical Science —Three to four semester hours at or above MATH 1314 and three to four semester hours in mathematics (at or above the content level of trigonometry, MATH 1316) or quantitative analysis (BUAL 3310, MATH 1342, MATH 3370 or PSYC 2471)
  • Laboratory Sciences —eight semester hours from BIOL 1406, 1407, 1408, 1409, 2401, 2402, CHEM 1406, 1408, 1411, 1412, 1460 (Honors), GEOL 1403, 1404, PHYS 1401, 1402, 1405, 1407, 1411, 2425, 2426
  • Social Science —three semester hours from ANTH 2346, 2351, ECON 1301, 2301, 2302, PSYC 2301, SOCI 1301 or INEN 2373

IV. Physical Education Activity —one semester hour of physical activity, dance or marching band. (See section 6.8 for waivers.)

2. Lamar University Approved Core Curriculum Courses, January 2011

Communication (2 courses, 6 credit hours)

ENGL 1301 Composition I
ENGL 1302 Composition II
ENGL 1360 Honors Composition & Rhetoric
ENGL 1361 Honors Composition & Rhetoric II
ENGL 1374 Composition

Additional Communication (1 course, 3 credit hours)

DSDE 2375 American Sign Language I
COMM 1315 Public Speaking
COMM 1360 Honors Public Speaking
COMM 2335 Argumentation & Critical Thinking
COMM 2373 Advanced Public Speaking
COMM 3310 Business & Professional Speech
COMM 3340 Interviewing
FREN 1311 Beginning French I

GERM 1311 Beginning German I

SPAN 1311 Beginning Spanish I

Mathematics (1 course, 3-4 credit hours)

MATH 1314 College Algebra or higher level mathematics course

Additional Mathematics (1 course, 3-4 credit hours)

Mathematics—Course more advanced than College Algebra (at or above the content level of MATH 1316–Trigonometry)

OR a quantitative analysis course from:

BUAL 3310 Business Analysis I
MATH 1342 Elementary Statistics
MATH 3370 Theory of Statistical Inference
PSYC 2471 Introduction to Statistical Methods

Natural Sciences (2 courses, 8 credit hours)

BIOL 1406 General Biology I
BIOL 1407 General Biology II
BIOL 1408 Introductory Biology I
BIOL 1409 Introductory Biology II
BIOL 2401 Human Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 2402 Human Anatomy & Physiology II
CHEM 1406 Chemistry for Allied Health Science
CHEM 1408 Biochemistry for Allied Health Science
CHEM 1411 General Chemistry I
CHEM 1412 General Chemistry II
CHEM 1460 Honors General Chemistry
GEOL 1403 Physical Geology
GEOL 1404 Historical Geology
PHYS 1401 General Physics: Mechanics & Heat
PHYS 1402 General Physics: Sound, Light, Electricity & Magnetism
PHYS 1405 Conceptual Physics I
PHYS 1407 Conceptual Physics II
PHYS 1411 Introduction to Astronomy
PHYS 2425 Calculus-based Physics I
PHYS 2426 Calculus-based Physics II

Humanities (1 course, 3 credit hours)

ENGL 2310 British Literature before 1800 ENGL 2320 British Literature after 1800

ENGL 2322 British Literature (non-majors) ENGL 2326 American Literature ENGL 2331 World Literature ENGL 2360 Honors Sophomore Literature ENGL 2371 Masterworks of Asian Literature ENGL 2376 African-American Literature

Additional Humanities (1 course, 3 credit hours)

PHIL 1370 Philosophy of Knowledge
PHIL 1360 Honors Philosophy of Knowledge

Visual & Performing Arts (1 course, 3 credit hours)

ARTS 1301 Art Appreciation
DANC 2304 Dance Appreciation
HUMA 1315 Understanding the Arts
MUSI 1306 Music Appreciation
THEA 1310 Introduction to Theatre
COMM 1375 Film Appreciation

History (2 courses, 6 credit hours)

HIST 1301 U.S. History I: 1763-1877 HIST 1302 U.S. History II: Since 1877 HIST 1361 Honors U.S. History: 1763-1877 HIST 1362 Honors U.S. History: 1877 to present HIST 2301 History of Texas

Government (2 courses, 6 credit hours)

POLS 2301 American Government I
POLS 2302 American Government II

Social & Behavioral Sciences (1 course, 3 credit hours)

ANTH 2346 Introduction to Anthropology, ANTH 2351 Cultural Anthropology, ECON 1301 Principles & Policies, ECON 2301 Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics, ECON 2302 Principles of Economics: Microeconomics, PSYC 2301 General Psychology, SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology, INEN 2373 Engineering Economics

Institutionally Designated option (1 course, 1 credit hour) Physical or Dance Activity Course or Marching Band

TOTAL: 48-50 Credit Hours

*THECB Core Competencies Areas [Texas Education Code 61.821 -61.831, Texas Administrative Code 4.28(b)]

3. Transfer of Core Curriculum

Students who transfer to Lamar University from another Texas public institution of higher education shall be governed by the provisions of Texas Senate Bill 148 (75th Legislature). Lamar will accept, en bloc, an approved core curriculum successfully completed at another Texas public institution of higher education in lieu of Lamar´s core curriculum. Any student who transfers to Lamar University before completing the core curriculum of another Texas public institution of higher education shall receive academic credit at Lamar for each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the core curriculum of the other institution; however, the student shall be required to complete Lamar´s core curriculum. Students transferring to Lamar from institutions of higher education outside of Texas or from private institutions within Texas shall be subject to the requirements of Lamar University´s core curriculum.

4. Advising

All Lamar University students are encouraged to seek advising. Advising sessions assure that students pursue a prescribed program of study which will allow steady progress toward a degree. Advising can help students meet course requirements efficiently and graduate sooner. Advising can also assist students in selecting appropriate concentrations within a major based on their interests and goals

Advising is mandatory for the following students: 1) freshmen (29 or fewer earned semester credit hours), 2) new transfer students, 3) TSI-restricted/Individual Approval students, 4) General Studies and BAAS majors, 5) students on academic probation or returning from academic suspension, and 6) students changing majors. Some majors also require advising. All other students may choose not to receive formal advising, but are then solely responsible for their scheduling and registration decisions.

Students who have not declared a major field of study are advised in the Center for General Studies, (Suite 107, Communication Building, 409.880.7570 or gsadvising@lamar.edu). Online students should contact the specialized advisor at: 409.880.7570. Students are assisted with course selection and the completion of core curriculum requirements. In addition, students are offered the opportunity to explore various majors and careers. For more information, visit http://dept.lamar.edu/generalstudies.

Students who are TSI-restricted and/or under the provisions of Individual Approval admission, with or without a declared major, must be advised in the Center for College Readiness (College Readiness Building, 409.880.8954)

Freshman and sophomore students who are on academic probation must be advised in Student Advising and Retention Services (STARS) (Suite 109, Communication Building, 409.880.7201 or STARS@lamar.edu). Find information about STARS at http://dept.lamar.edu/stars. STARS also provides tutoring and other academic support services available to all students.

All students who are on academic probation must be advised in STARS, except for Individual Approval students and Nursing majors who are juniors or seniors and have been accepted into the Nursing program.

Students with declared majors are advised in their departments or in college advising centers. College and program advising centers for majors include Business, Engineering, Education, Nursing, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Pre-professional programs in the health sciences such as medicine and physical therapy.

It is the responsibility of the student to contact the advisor for regular advising sessions. Appointments and other advising/counseling services may be facilitated through the college advising centers.

5. Course Loads

The normal undergraduate course load in a regular semester is 15-18 semester hours; for a six-week summer term, 6-8 semester hours. Course loads for 5 and 8 week semesters can be found at Overloads must be approved by the student´s academic dean. No student will be allowed to enroll for more than 21 semester hours in a regular term, nine semester hours in a summer term, or three semester hours in a mini-session. Twelve semester hours is the minimum full-time load in fall and spring semesters, six semester hours in each summer term.

6. Texas Common Course Numbering System

The Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) is a voluntary, cooperative effort among Texas community colleges and universities to facilitate transfer of freshman (1000) and sophomore (2000) level general academic course work. Lamar University is a participant in this effort. The TCCNS provides a shared, uniform set of course designations for students and their academic advisors to use in determining both course equivalency and degree applicability of transfer credit on a statewide basis. When students transfer between two participating TCCNS institutions, a course taken at the sending institution transfers as the course carrying, or cross-referenced with, the same TCCNS designation at the receiving institution. For more information, including comparison tables between Lamar and other TCCNS institutions, see http://www.tccns.org.

7. Grade Replacement Policy

Students may replace an undergraduate course grade by repeating a course. If a student repeats a course, the official grade is the higher one, although all grades remain on the student´s transcript. A grade, once earned and entered on a student´s transcript, cannot be removed. The repetition of a course taken at another institution will not replace a grade in the grade point average (GPA) calculation of the Lamar University course. Eligibility for all University honors will be determined on the basis of a cumulative GPA that includes all grades earned at Lamar University, including those that were replaced. Any student who wishes to repeat a course must do so before completing a more advanced course in the same subject. The chair of the department offering the course will determine what constitutes a more advanced course. This policy does not apply to classes repeated before the fall of 2000. Once a degree has been conferred, a student may not use the Course Repetition/Grade Replacement Policy for any courses used to award the degree or calculate the cumulative grade point average. For more information, please contact the Registrar, 409.880.8358 or records@lamar.edu.

8. Physical Activity Course Registration Requirement

All full-time undergraduate students (those taking 12 or more semester hours) must register for and pass prior to graduation one semester hour of physical activity, which is a requirement of the university's core curriculum, except as follows:

  1. Those who are unable to participate in a regular activity course or a modified program of activity because of physical limitations (must have written exemption from the university physician).
  2. Students who are 25 or more years of age may be exempted from this requirement at their option.
  3. Persons who have completed basic training as a part of their military service may be exempt from the required physical education courses at their option.

Students exempted from the physical activity requirement must submit an elective hour approved by their major department in lieu of the requirement.

9. Six-Drop Rule

In accordance with Texas law (SB 1231, 80th Legislature), Lamar University does not permit an undergraduate student to drop more than a total of six courses, if the student was a first-time college student as of Fall 2007. The total of six includes any course a transfer student has dropped at another public institution of higher education in Texas.

Students may request an exemption from this law based on appropriate documentation of good cause. Forms for requesting a good cause exception to the six-drop rule are available from academic advisors or the Office of the Registrar. “Good cause” includes, but is not limited to, the following reasons: a) a severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course; b) the student's responsibility for the care of a sick, injured or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course; c) the death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person's death is considered to be a showing of good cause; d) the active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person's active military service is considered to be a showing of good cause; e) the change of the student's work schedule that is beyond the control of the student, and that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course; or f) other good cause as determined by the institution of higher education

10. Dean´s List and President´s List

At the end of each semester, each dean prepares a list of full-time undergraduate students (those who complete 12 or more semester hours) who earned for that semester a grade point average of 3.5 or above. This list is the Dean´s List and is announced by the dean of each college. Full-time (12 or more completed credit hours) undergraduates who earn a 4.0 grade point average for a long semester are included in the President´s List. Any student with an "I" grade is ineligible for Dean´s List or President´s List consideration until the "I" is officially changed. Names of students who have an Information Hold will not appear in the public releases of the Dean´s and President´s Lists.

11. Excluding former work from GPA: Academic Appeals Procedure

After an enrollment lapse of four or more years from Lamar University and after completing successfully (2.20 grade point average or higher) 24 or more hours of work at Lamar University, a student may petition to disregard one or two entire semesters/terms of course work taken previously at Lamar University. The petition shall be filed with the department chair and follow regular channels to the Senior Associate Provost for a final decision. Endorsements and/or recommendations shall be required at each level. When approved by the Senior Associate Provost, disregarded work shall not count in determining the student´s grade point average for academic progress or for graduation; however, the work shall remain on the transcript with an appropriate notation and shall be used in determining academic honors. Receiving institutions or agencies may use their own policies to compute a grade point average. Once a degree has been conferred, a student may not use the Academic Appeals procedure for any courses used to award the degree or calculate the cumulative grade point average.