Degree Requirements


Accelerated pathways allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. Students accepted to an accelerated pathway may take up to 12 credits (the specific number of credits may vary by program) of graduate coursework during the senior year of their undergraduate program. The graduate coursework will be recorded on the undergraduate transcript and calculated in the undergraduate grade point average (GPA). If the student earns a grade of ‘C’ or better, the graduate coursework will also be recorded on the graduate transcript and calculated in the graduate GPA. This allows successfully completed courses to be applied towards the student’s current bachelor’s degree program and to be counted towards a future master’s degree program. Some programs may have higher grade requirements in place for certain courses which would require the student to retake the course for a higher grade.

Students may apply to the bachelor’s degree accelerated pathway program at the time of admission to the university, or by completing a change of major request, but no later than earning 90 credits in their junior year.  A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required to be accepted and remain enrolled in an accelerated pathway program, along with any additional criteria or course grade requirements as defined by the academic department. Students must complete the accelerated pathway requirements as outlined in the catalog to graduate from this program. Students who no longer meet these criteria will be advised into the traditional bachelor’s degree program. 

In their senior year, accelerated pathway students with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA may apply for early acceptance to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies to pursue the master’s degree program, once the bachelor’s degree is complete. Students accepted to the graduate program only need to complete the remaining required courses to earn their master’s degree. 


Students must meet the graduation and program requirements in the catalog year of their matriculation (i.e. admission or re-admission to the University in a degree or certificate program); although, courses listed in the catalog are subject to change. New and revised courses and program requirements are initiated by departments and approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum and the Provost. To ensure timely graduation, the Director of the Liberal Education Program (LEP) may approve substitutions of courses in the LEP, and the Department may approve substitutions of courses in the major, minor, or cognate. 

Students re-enrolling at the University may elect to revert to their original catalog year if it is no more than 5 years prior to the current term. Students may not revert to a catalog year that is prior to their initial admission term. Students may also elect to switch to a newer catalog year once enrolled.  Students must receive departmental approval to switch catalog year. The student becomes responsible for fulfilling all requirements for their new catalog year, including all changes in graduation requirements, general education requirements, major requirements, or other areas. Students may declare a minor from a more recent catalog year while retaining the existing catalog year for their program and major area of study.


Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.)

Bachelor of Arts degrees are awarded to students who fulfill all of the requirements of a major/concentration in an academic discipline at a minimum of 30 credits. In addition to the major and the Liberal Education Program, there will be at least 27 credits of electives which may be used at the student's choice for a second major, one or two minors, a concentration, or for free electives. This degree program provides a broad and flexible liberal arts background and prepares a student to enter a variety of careers.

Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S. or similar)

Bachelor of Science degrees are awarded to students who fulfill all of the requirements of a major/concentration in an academic discipline, that is in greater depth than the B.A. degree program. In addition to the major and the Liberal Education Program, programs may require a sequence of cognate courses in a field or fields related to their chosen major. An internship or other professional application is also required. A minimum of 12 credits will be reserved to the student for free electives. This program therefore guarantees depth in the major and related fields and prepares a student for entry into specific career possibilities. Departments may require students to apply to the B.S. degree program for formal acceptance to the major/concentration. Students may be denied acceptance if either academic or personal qualifications are unsuited for a particular area, as determined by the department. When fixed quotas exist in an area, it is sometimes necessary to deny acceptance even though students may meet minimal standards.


Southern offers undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificates. Post-baccalaureate certificates are undergraduate programs of study requiring a bachelor's degree for admittance. All certificate programs offer a defined set of courses that focus on an academic specialty to update or expand skillsets though they do not lead to a degree. Students must enroll in the certificate program prior to completing the last required course to be eligible for the certificate; certificates are not retroactively awarded to students who were not enrolled prior to completion. Courses used to satisfy a degree may be used to satisfy the requirements of a certificate.


Double Baccalaureate

Students who wish to be a candidate for a double baccalaureate, or the conferral of two degree types such as a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, shall submit a Double Baccalaureate Contract by the completion of 90 credits. The contract must be approved by the chairpersons of both departments and be filed with the Registrar's Office.

Approval to enroll in this demanding program is granted only to students whose cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher at the time of application. The student must complete a minimum of 150 credits and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in order to be eligible to continue each term. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the student being required to return to a single degree program.

Double Major

The candidate for a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree may elect a double major (as a double major Bachelor of Arts or double major Bachelor of Science degree). In this case the requirements of both majors must be satisfied, and courses used to satisfy one major cannot be used to satisfy a requirement of the other major.

Double Major in Education

Students with a major in the early childhood, elementary education, elementary bilingual education, or collaborative special/elementary education certification program, must complete a second major concurrently, in a subject area outside of education. Students will be admitted to an education program with a dual major in B.S. Liberal Studies and will complete two areas of concentration.


General Education Requirements are comprised of a Liberal Education Program and Writing Intensive Courses (W-Courses).

Liberal Education Program (LEP)

This is a 46 credit program made up of Foundations (7 courses) emphasizing college-level competencies that form the foundation of a liberal education and Explorations (8 courses), where students explore Areas of Knowledge needed by educated people in the twenty-first century. For a more in-depth description of the purpose and learning outcomes of a liberal education, please visit the LEP website:

Courses in the major (up to 9 credits), the cognate, and any minor(s) may also fulfill LEP requirements. Students are encouraged to carefully review their degree evaluation for courses that may fulfill more than one requirement.


First Year Experience (T1FY)
Multilingual Communication (T1MC)
Quantitative Reasoning Prerequisite (QRP)
T1Quantitative Reasoning (T1QR)
Technological Fluency (T1TF)
Written Communication Prerequisite (WCP)
Written Communication (T1WC)


Natural World I: Physical Realm (T2PR)
Natural World II: Life and Environment (T2LE)
American Experience or Time and Place (T2AE or T2TP)
Creative Drive (T2CD)
Cultural Expression or Global Awareness (T2CE or T2GA)
Mind and Body or Social Structure, Conflict, and Consensus (T2MB)
Explorations Elective 1 (Any of the above)
Explorations Elective 2 (Any of the above)

Writing Intensive Courses (W-Courses)

So that all students continue to strengthen their ability in written language, they are required to select and pass a minimum of three 'W' courses.  Students are encouraged to take no more than one 'W' course per semester and should plan accordingly.  Students must successfully complete ENG 112, ENG 120, HON 150 or Tier 1 Written Communication as a prerequisite to 'W' courses.

Students who transfer 60-89 credits at initial transfer, or an associate degree, automatically waive one 'W' course. Students who transfer 90 or more credits at initial transfer automatically waive two 'W' courses. Students who transfer with a previously completed bachelor’s degree waive all ‘W’ courses.

Students who believe they qualify for an additional W waiver must complete and submit the W waiver application with relevant documentation available at:


The University requires a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 to earn an undergraduate degree or certificate. Some programs may have a higher cumulative GPA requirement for graduation.

In addition, a minimum of 120-credits must be earned to be awarded a bachelor's degree. A minimum of 30 credits must be earned at Southern for students in a bachelor's degree program, or if enrolled in a certificate program, at least 25% of the programs overall credits required. 

Program Requirements

Students should be acquainted with the program requirements for their catalog year.Students are responsible for fulfilling the specific requirements for their program and maintaining regular contact with their academic adviser.  The department chairperson has the authority to waive or provide substitute course work for departmental requirements.  Students in programs leading to licensure or certification should also be aware that additional requirements may be imposed by outside licensing or accrediting agencies.  A plan of study may be subject to revision to reflect such additional requirements.

All degree programs require completion of the general education requirements (LEP) and a major.  Students may attain additional breadth or depth in the curriculum in several ways.  Some programs may also offer areas of concentration or require cognate courses that are related to the major. A student who is undecided about their choice of major should discuss the Exploratory program with the Academic Advising Center. 

General Education Requirements

General Education courses are offered by a variety of departments across the University to satisfy the comprehensive liberal education program (LEP) consisting of 46 credits. While students typically have many choices within a particular category, some majors recommend specific courses offered within a category that will also satisfy major/cognate requirements, although credit is only earned once towards the 120 credits required for graduation. 


A Major is a planned sequence of a minimum of 30 credits in one discipline; various options are available with departmental consent, and electives may be utilized to enhance the basic requirements.  Some majors have designated up to three courses in the major that also fulfill  general education requirements (LEP). 


A Concentration is a required set of courses within a major that define a specific area of study.


A Cognate is a supplement of credits in a related discipline(s), outside of one's major or minor. Courses in a cognate may be used to fulfill requirements for a minor and/or the general education requirements (LEP).


A Minor is a planned sequence, a minimum of 18 credits, earned in addition to one's major requirements, with options available under departmental or minor program advisement. Courses in a minor may be used to fulfill requirements for a cognate and/or the Liberal Education Program. Courses for the minor may overlap with a major or another minor requirement; however, only one course in the minor may also fulfill a major or another minor requirement. To ensure that at least 14-15 credits are unique to the minor, a student must take a substitute course(s) to satisfy any additional overlap with the permission of the Chairperson.


Electives vary in number depending upon the major and the student's degree of commitment to the aforementioned options.  Prerequisite courses may also reduce the number of free electives remaining in a student's program.


The program course outline and graduation requirements for this catalog year are listed below. The department website provides an overview of the program, admission requirements (when applicable), faculty biographies, and learning outcomes:


Honors College freshmen and sophomores enroll in Level One:  Honors Foundations, a series of interdisciplinary courses and seminars.  The program continues with the Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives, culminating in an Honors College Capstone experience. 

This sequence satisfies most of the general education requirements (LEP) for a bachelor’s degree program, except for the Quantitative Reasoning requirement appropriate to their major and the Multilingual Communication requirement. It is imperative that Honors College students confer with an adviser in their major to determine if any additional Liberal Education Program requirement normally covered by the Honors College curriculum is required for their major.

Honors College students also enroll in Level Two: Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives.  The Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives creates a meaningful and intentional course of study leading to the completion of an Honors College capstone project. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a program of advanced study across disciplines that will broaden their perspective and deepen their understanding of issues related to their capstone experience. 

Honors College students must also complete an academic major and all the requirements of that major. Students in the Honors College may select a major in any department and may be enrolled in any school or college of the University. Honors College students must complete the same requirements set by their major as would students not in the Honors College.


Students who complete only Level 1: Honors Foundations will receive credit for 2 W-courses, as well as 16-credits towards the LEP program. Students who complete only Level 2: Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives, do not receive LEP credit. All students who wish to graduate as an Honors College student must complete a minimum of 5 credits from Level 1 and must complete all requirements from Level 2.

Level 1: Honors Foundations Core Courses (16 credits)

  • HON 100 - First Year Leadership Colloquium
  • HON 102 - First Year Research Colloquium
  • HON 150 - Introduction to Critical Inquiry
  • HON 200 - Conceptions of Self and Community Seminar
  • HON 201 - Conceptions of Self and Community Plenary Session
  • HON 202 - Conceptions of Community and Context Seminar
  • HON 203 - Conceptions of Community and Context Plenary Session
  • HON 270 - Scientific Investigation and Civic Engagement

Level 2: Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives (18 credits)

  • HON 300 - Introduction to Service Learning
  • Select 9 elective credits from the following:
    • HON 254 - Utopias and Dystopias
    • HON 255 - Ambiguity and Uncertainty in the Arts & Sciences
    • HON 298- Special Topics
    • HON 350 - Research Seminar
    • Other HON electives and upper-level interdisciplinary courses approved by the program
  • Select one from the following capstone requirements:
    • HON 494 and HON 495 - Departmental Honors Prospectus/Thesis
    • HON 492 and HON 493 - Honors Interdisciplinary Prospectus/Thesis
    • HON 460 and HON 461 - Community Engaged Research I and II
    • HON 488 - Place as Text
    • International Study Capstone: HON 450 (International Study Foundations) and
      HON 499 (Independent Study Capstone Project) taken in conjunction with
      an approved international study experience. 


A student who already holds a degree from Southern may return for a second degree by completing all curriculum requirements in effect at the time of admission to the second program with a minimum of 30 new credits. If all requirements are met, and the 30-credit minimum has not been attained, the remaining credits shall consist of additional directed electives selected by the department.


The academic standards below apply to all bachelor’s degree programs that prepare students for teacher certification.

Academic Standards and Progress in the Program

Teacher candidates must maintain good standing in the program in order to qualify for student teaching and a recommendation from Southern Connecticut State University for State of Connecticut initial teacher certification. They also must demonstrate the following:

  • Personal attitudes and dispositions that will affect her or his performance as a teacher;
  • Professional behavior appropriate to the context which demonstrates that actions reflect directly upon the status and substance of the profession;
  • Confidentiality of all information concerning colleagues and students obtained in the educational process;
  • Integrity and honesty in written and verbal communication and in all coursework related to the professional program for teacher certification; and
  • An undergraduate academic performance of at least a 2.7 GPA average. A candidate, who after acceptance into a teacher education program completes 9 or more credits with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.7, will be placed on College of Education academic probation. The student will have one semester to raise the GPA to 2.7 or higher. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the College of Education.
  • A Scaffolding Success Action Plan (SSAP) needs to be provided whenever any of the following occurs, : candidate GPA is below the program requirements, an assessment performance is at the “unacceptable level”, or a behavior on or off campus that does not meet the Professional Attitudes and Dispositions of Educators occur.

Fingerprinting and Background Check

Connecticut law requires all candidates in teacher/educator certification programs to undergo state and federal criminal history background checks before participating in school-based field experiences and student teaching. All candidates enrolled in a course requiring entering a P-12 school to complete an assignment, field experience requirement, and student teaching placement will be required to have a background check completed with the school they are placed in. Any prior convictions revealed in your background check may prevent Connecticut school districts from accepting you for placement and may impact your ability to complete the teacher certification program.  The University will not be responsible for a candidate's inability to complete the program. Background checks are conducted exclusively by the school districts which will determine on a case by case basis the appropriateness of the placement. SCSU does not conduct, receive, review or engage in discussion regarding student background check results.

Student Teaching

Student teaching requires a full-time commitment. As such, teacher candidates are not permitted to take other courses during the semester in which they student teach, other than the student teaching seminar that is taken simultaneously with student teaching. In rare cases, the department may petition the College of Education Dean for a waiver of this requirement. Additionally, candidates must have all courses and academic requirements completed prior to the semester of student teaching. All incomplete grades need to be cleared prior to the start of the student teaching semester.

Certification in CT

To be recommended for certification in CT, candidates must successfully complete all program requirements, be in good standing, and pass all assessments mandated by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) such as edTPA and licensure exams. CSDE assessment requirements (e.g. Praxis® II) vary by certification area. For more information, please visit CSDE website: 

Please note, candidates must meet the certification requirements in effect on the date the CSDE receives the certification application. If CSDE regulations change, candidates may need to meet the new requirements in order to be eligible for certification. Candidates are responsible for familiarizing themselves with Connecticut's teacher certification regulations and keeping abreast of changes to those regulations. Certification news and alerts are available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website.

Extra-Curricular Modules

The College of Education has made the following non-credit modules available to students at no cost to complete the additional CSDE requirements noted above. Students may register for these modules in Banner Student self-service:

  • COE 200 - Social Learning in Children Module
  • COE 201 – Dyslexia Module
  • COE 203 – Computational Thinking Module

Revocation of Admission to the Professional Program

Candidates may be dismissed from the professional program for any of the following:

  • Demonstrated unprofessional behavior or an inability to respond appropriately in various contexts which affects their performance as a teacher, and based on the Level 2 review of the College of Education following the procedure to establish a Scaffolding for Success Action plan.
  • Falsified or misrepresented documentation or information provided for programmatic, academic, or professional qualification/competency purposes;
  • Not achieving an acceptable standard on the performance assessments required by the College of Education, the Educator Preparation Provider Council (EPPC), or the certification program;
  • Not achieving the required cumulative GPA of 2.7
  • Conviction in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any crime of such nature that in the opinion of the university would impair the standing of the College of Education professional program; or
  • Other due and sufficient cause. 

Time Limitation for Professional Courses

The program start date for a teacher certification program is the admission date to the College of Education.  For bachelor’s degree programs, students apply during their sophomore year.

All professional courses required for teacher certification program must be completed within 5 years of the program start date.  In extenuating circumstances, courses completed outside the 5-year window will be evaluated on a course by course basis collaboratively College of Education Dean’s Office and the department.