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 that 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 Core1

I. Philosophy of Knowledge2—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 or 1414 and three to four semester hours in mathematics (at or above the content level of trigonometry, MATH 1316) or quantitative analysis (BUAL 2310, BUAL 3310, MATH 1342, MATH 3370, PSYC 2317 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 Science3—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.)


1. Students should consult their major advisor for recommended or required core courses and prerequisite courses, including Texas Success Initiative requirements.

2. Transfer students may satisfy the PHIL 13070 requirement with PHIL 1301 (Introduction to Philosophy).

3. Business majors must complete ECON 2301 and 2302 to satisfy degree requirements.

2. Lamar University Approved Core Curriculum Courses, September 2012

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
MATH 1414 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
SPSC 1401 Space Science

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

Freshmen and sophomores with fewer than 60 credit hours are advised in the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC). The UAC supports the mission of Lamar University by enhancing student development and success through exemplary service, collaboration, and support in academic advising. The UAC facilitates student success and engagement by advising, enrolling, tracking, and referring students to faculty, departments, support services, and activities. The UAC proactively assesses and responds to student needs as professional advisors meet multiple times each semester to formulate the appropriate plan for student success toward degree completion.  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.

Students with over 60 credit hours meet with advisors within their academic major. 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.

Extensive advisement opportunities for Juniors and Seniors are also available through the Offices of Student Advising and Retention Services (STARS). Detailed information is available at http://dept.lamar.edu/stars.


5. Course Loads

The normal undergraduate course load in a regular semester is 15-18 semester hours; for a six-week summer term, six to eight semester hours. 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, eight semester hours in a summer term, or four semester hours in a mini-session. Twelve semester hours is the minimum full-time load in fall and spring semesters, eight semester hours in the 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) should 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 a Directory 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.

12. Degree Requirements

A. General Education Requirements - Bachelors Degrees

  1. Satisfy all admission and graduation requirements.
  2. Complete the Philosophy of Knowledge Core Curriculum
  3. Meet the following minimum requirements
    1. A grade point average of at least 2.00 on all courses in the major field and on all courses attempted (some departments may require a higher grade point average).
    2. Successfully complete a minimum of 120 semester hours. In addition, the following requirements must be met:
      1. 30 semester hours in residence at Lamar University with at least 24 semester hours earned after attaining senior classification, except for special degree programs in biology and medical technology
      2. 45 semester hours at the junior and senior level (upper division), of which 18 hours must be completed at Lamar University
      3. 24 semester hours in a major field with at least 12 in upper division courses
      4. No more than 59 hours may be granted for technical and experiential credit.
  4. Complete the required courses for the major listed in the catalog.
  5. Attend the official graduation exercise or properly notify the Records Office.

B. Second Bachelors Degree

A second bachelor´s degree may be granted upon the completion of all requirements for the degree. A minimum of 30 additional hours beyond those required for the first degree, as specified by the department granting the second bachelor´s degree, must be completed at Lamar University.

C. Multiple Majors within a Single Baccalaureate Degree

Lamar University students may earn two or more majors within a single baccalaureate degree program provided they satisfy all academic requirements for each major. Academic requirements for second majors shall be determined by the department responsible for the second major. Approval of the multi-major degree plan must be obtained, in writing, from the department chair of the second major before the student applies for graduation. Third and subsequent majors shall follow the same procedures. Non-disciplinary majors such as Applied Arts and Sciences and General Studies shall not be allowed in multi-major degree programs. Once a baccalaureate degree is conferred, additional majors may not be added to the degree. In situations where majors cross disciplinary or degree lines, degree lines, the baccalaureate degree of the primary major shall be the degree awarded and shall dictate any specific core requirements needed.

D. Requirements of Specific Degrees 

Bachelor of Arts Degree

  1. Satisfy all admission and graduation requirements.
  2. Meet the University´s Core Curriculum requirements for a bachelor´s degree;
  3. Complete the course numbered 2312 in a foreign language or with approval of the major department, CMDS 4305, Sign Language III;
  4. Complete six semester hours of literature; and
  5. Meet the specific requirements of the selected program of study as listed in the department concerned.

Bachelor of Science in Biology.A student may receive the degree of Bachelor of Science, biology major, after completion of one year in an approved college of dentistry or medicine.
The following minimums are required:

  1. Satisfy all admission and graduation requirements.
  2. Complete 106 semester hours of the basic requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree; this includes all the required minimums except the total of 120 semester hours;
  3. Complete the biology core;
  4. Furnish proof of at least 30 semester hours in an approved domestic college of dentistry or medicine.

E. Minor Field Requirements

In addition to the major field of study in a baccalaureate degree program, a Lamar University student may (or, if required by his or her major program, must) choose a minor field of study from those listed and described in this Catalog. The minor will be indicated on the student´s official transcript and, with approval of the student´s department chair, two or more minors may be earned. All minors must consist of a minimum of 18 semester hours, nine of which must be earned in upper division (3000 & 4000) courses. Minor field hours must be earned in a discipline other than the major field of study. Students must earn a grade point average in the minor field of at least a 2.00, including grades for any transfer credit applied to the minor. The specific requirements for each minor will be established by the department or program offering the minor and may include additional hours (total and/or upper division), specific courses and/or certain levels of academic performance. These requirements are published in the appropriate section of this catalog. Although not all disciplines of study at Lamar are available as minors, a minor may be offered in any discipline for which Lamar University offers an undergraduate major. Normally, minor course work is an appropriate subset of the major. In certain instances, interdisciplinary minors (which must have a specified administrative home) and minors in non-major disciplines for which there are a sufficient number and offering of courses are available and are noted in this catalog. Following a review and recommendation from the University Curriculum Council, the Provost approves all minors and decides all disputes regarding minors. Questions about minors should be referred to the appropriate academic department chair or program director.