Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees (A.04.01)

The University of St. Thomas awards the following bachelor’s degrees:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Bachelor of Arts in Applied Sciences (BAAS)

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Bachelor in International Business (BIB)

Bachelor of Science (BS) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Core Curriculum

“In promoting this integration of knowledge, a specific part of a Catholic University’s task is to promote dialogue between faith and reason, so that it can be seen more profoundly how faith and reason bear witness to the unity of all truth. . . a vital interaction of two distinct levels of coming to know the one truth leads to a greater love for truth itself, and contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the meaning of human life and of the purpose of God’s creation.”

Ex corde Ecclesiae, 17

The founders of the University of St. Thomas asserted their objective of fashioning an institution that would prepare men and women for life. From the beginning, and throughout the University’s history, professional training and education have been included in the curriculum. At the same time, the founders remarked in the first, small University Catalog of 1947 that their educational ideal was “primarily cultural.” They desired the education of the whole person and the preparation of men and women “for life on all human levels as opposed to a restricted professional formation.”

More specifically, the initial catalog and subsequent editions quoted the words of Cardinal John Henry Newman, when he was engaged in planning a university curriculum, to conceptualize the University’s objectives. Newman spoke of the need for unity of knowledge:

It will not satisfy me, what satisfies so many, to have two independent systems, intellectual and religious, going at once side by side, by a sort of division of labor, and only accidentally brought together. It will not satisfy me, if religion is here and science there, and young men converse with science all day long and lodge with religion in the evening. I wish the intellect to range with the utmost freedom, and religion to enjoy an equal freedom, but what I am stipulating is, that they should be found in one and the same place, and exemplified in the same persons (Sermon I, Sermons on Various Occasions.)

While still pursuing the ideals of the founders, who followed Newman’s prescription, the University of St. Thomas has most recently reshaped its core curriculum under the inspiration of the major document on Catholic higher education for our time, Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution of 1990, Ex corde Ecclesiae. The number and range of discipline requirements in the arts and sciences for UST students mirrors the broad sweep of concerns and injunctions in this document, with its insistence on education cultivating in students and faculty alike a search for the whole truth about nature, man, and God and a productive, problem–solving encounter with the contemporary world, all disciplines sharing in the pursuit through their distinctive methodologies. The goal of the core curriculum is to make explicit connections between Ex corde Ecclesiae and the program of studies.

As before, the study of theology and philosophy is prominent, indispensable now in guiding and facilitating the search,

essential to the key and overriding aim of Ex corde Ecclesiae, “integration of knowledge.” Integration throughout the curriculum will evolve through a directed process that over time will stimulate increasing dialogue between and among academic disciplines to produce a deeper, richer integration of knowledge, aiming for Ex corde Ecclesiae’s very high aspiration of a “higher synthesis of knowledge.” For all students, a culminating requirement of the core program is an integrative synthesis course related to the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition, wherein students link the higher learning of their major fields of study with the core disciplines of theology, philosophy, or Catholic studies.

The core curriculum is the foundation of the University’s liberal education. Shared by all students, it is the principal means by which the University imparts its core values, expressed in its goals, and carries out its combined moral, intellectual, and religious mission.

Core Curriculum Goals (Approved 2004)

  1. To promote the pursuit of knowledge both for its own sake and to form habits of mind through which knowledge can mature into wisdom and understanding can stimulate the contemplation of truth, goodness, and beauty.
  2. To educate the whole person – academically, socially, and spiritually – in order to prepare students for meaningful lives and inspire them to continuous learning that confronts essential and enduring questions about the meaning and conduct of human life.
  3. To encourage an ongoing dialogue between faith and reason and the encounter between culture and the Gospel as ways of integrating knowledge, achieving an organic vision of reality, and deepening an understanding of God and His revelation in the person of Jesus Christ as mediated through Scripture and the Church.
  4. To affirm the dignity of the human person as the source of social justice, respect for human rights, and regard for the proper interests of communities.
  5. To develop competence in critical thinking, critical reading, effective writing, and oral communication in necessary relation to the skills of gathering, interpreting, synthesizing, and presenting information with integrity and clarity.
  6. To understand the bearing of the past on the present and the future and to appreciate the historical character of human inquiry in exploring the principal philosophical, religious, political, literary, and aesthetic traditions of Western and world culture.
  7. To cultivate a critical appreciation of art and literature that arouses wonder and forms the imagination in its engagement with the enduring cultural and spiritual values inherent in great works of human creativity.
  8. To develop aptitude in quantitative reasoning together with knowledge of the methodology of the natural and social sciences in order to foster appreciation of scientific thinking for understanding nature and human behavior.
  9. To inculcate ethical thinking in judging conduct and reflecting on the moral implications of developments in science, technology, business, and society in order to promote making decisions on the basis of transcendent moral values.
  10. To nurture the study and appreciation of other languages and cultures as a means of promoting charity, understanding, and respect for the diversity of cultural forms, religious beliefs, and social practices; and, in all, to help prepare students for a life of service in a culturally diverse and changing world. (Approved 2004)

Additional Requirement for Bachelor's Degree

  1. Completion of:
    1. A major or approved program in which at least 50 percent of the required upper-division credit hours in the major field are completed at the University of St. Thomas (exceptions: no requirement for General Studies, Liberal Arts or Integrated Humanities majors);
    2. At least 36 credit hours of upper-division credit (3000-4000 course numbers);
    3. At least 120 hours of quality credit (a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0);
    4. The final 36 credit hours earned in residence at the University.
  2. Transfer students entering with 60 credit hours or more must attempt the mathematics requirement within their first year of attendance at the University. All other students, transfer and non-transfer, must attempt the mathematics requirement within their first 60 credit hours (including transfer hours).
  3. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree will ordinarily follow the degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their first matriculation into the University, or they may follow the requirements of any subsequent catalog in effect during their continued enrollment. To update to a newer catalog, please use the Declaration of Catalog Form found on the myStThom student portal. Students who leave the university for four or more consecutive regular semesters (fall and spring) subsequently reenroll must follow either the degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their reenrollment or the requirements of any subsequent catalog in effect during their continued enrollment. Ordinarily, a student must follow all the requirements of the catalog chosen. Exceptions may arise if the program requirements must be revised to implement new educational standards recommended or required by federal or state agencies, professional societies or the University’s faculty.
  4. Students must file for graduation the semester prior to graduation via myStThom. The Office of the Registrar will post the dates by which a graduating student should file for graduation.
  5. All financial obligations to the University must be satisfied before the University issues a diploma or an official transcript to a student

The Major

To receive a bachelor’s degree, a student must complete the requirements of at least one major program. A major consists of a defined group of courses, usually within a single discipline, designed to give the student in-depth knowledge of a specific field of study. A major may also consist of a planned group of courses from more than one discipline.

A major requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, at least 15 of which must be upper-division. In a single subject area, the major should not exceed 42 semester hours for the BA, 45 semester hours for the BBA, and 48 semester hours for the BS. When major programs require courses from another discipline, however, the combined total number of hours may exceed these limits. A minimum of 50 percent of the required upper-division hours must be completed at the University of St. Thomas (except in the case of the Liberal Arts/General Studies majors, for which there in no minimum requirement).

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in their major. This requirement applies to both majors in a joint major program. With the approval of the appropriate school dean, individual departments may set higher standards for their majors. Students may not take courses required for their major on a “Pass/Fail” basis.

A student may formally declare a ma major by completing the Declaration/Change of Major Form and filing it with the Registrar. A student must declare a major after completing 59 credit hours. This is usually done during the early academic advising period before classification as a junior occurs, and is a requirement for registration beyond 59 credit hours. Students who have reached 60 hours (junior status) without having declared a major will have a hold placed on their records that will prevent them from registering for classes.

Multiple Majors

The University offers both double-major and joint-major options. In all cases, students must confer with the appropriate department chairs to develop degree plans ensuring that course and credit-hour requirements are current and documented.

The Minor

The University encourages students to complete one or more minors; that is, a planned sequence of courses in a discipline other than the student’s major. A minor consists of between 15 and 24 credit hours, at least 9 of which must be upper-division credit, and 9 of which must be taken at the University of St. Thomas. Consult the department and program sections of this catalog for requirements for specific minor programs. Students are responsible for timely consulting of departments offering subjects in which they wish to earn a minor or the director or contact person for a minor program to ensure fulfillment of the requirements. Each minor is noted on the student’s transcript.

A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 is required for a minor. A student may not take courses required for a minor on a “Pass/Fail” basis.

Joint Major Programs

A joint major is a two-track program of study. It provides the opportunity for a student to develop a wider range of interest than allowed by a single-discipline major. A joint major is distinguished from a double major. Whereas a double major includes all major requirements of the departments involved, a joint major consolidates the requirements of the cooperating departments.

A joint major program is developed by two cooperating departments and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. All core requirements of the University must be met.
  2. The student must have approval of both cooperating departments and have an advisor from each.
  3. Neither department will require as many credit hours in its portion of the joint major as it requires for a regular major.
  4. Neither department will reduce the credit hours required within its discipline by more than 6 credit hours.
  5. Neither department will reduce its related requisite hours by more than 6 credit hours.
  6. If both departments require a capstone experience, the student must complete only one of them.
  7. The student must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in both majors or a higher GPA if a department requires it.

For details, prospective joint majors should consult the catalog entry of the departments in which they have an interest and take care to follow #1 and #2 above.

Additional Bachelors Degree

A student with a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas may earn an additional bachelor’s degree by completing the degree requirements. A minimum of 36 additional credit hours is required.

A student with a bachelor’s degree from another recognized accredited institution may qualify for a UST bachelor’s degree by earning a minimum of 36 credit hours at the University of St. Thomas for each additional degree and by fulfilling the general core requirements for the degree and the specific requirements for the new major program. The exception to fulfilling the regular UST core curriculum in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). See the School of Nursing section of the catalog for more details.

Students planning to earn an additional degree should consult Office of Academic Advising to develop a degree plan prior to first registration at the University.

Additional Major or Minors

Graduates of the University of St. Thomas who hold a baccalaureate degree may earn additional majors and minors by completing the departmental requirements for each major or minor. The student is responsible for tracking this additional coursework and notifying the academic department and the Office of the Registrar that the requirements for their additional majors/minors has been completed. If notification is not sent to the Registrar’s office (via email from account) by the end of the final semester of coursework, no further major/minors will be added to the student’s record. If a UST graduate has earned a minor at UST then the student is not able to earn a major in that same area of study at UST. A student who has earned a BA Degree in General Studies, Liberal Arts, or a BA/BS in Integrated Humanities at UST may not earn a major at UST in any of the concentrations/minor areas of these degrees.