Degrees and Requirements

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The University offers undergraduate bachelor's degree programs in liberal arts, professional studies, and education for teacher certification. In addition, there are also several certificate and post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs. Visit Programs for the list of majors, areas of concentration, and minors.


Accelerated Pathways allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. Students who select and meet the Accelerated Pathway criteria will qualify to take up to 12 credits of graduate coursework (500-level or above) to fulfill their undergraduate degree requirements.  The specific number of courses varies by the Accelerated Pathway.  Once the Accelerated Pathway bachelor’s degree is complete, students accepted to the Accelerated Pathway graduate program only need to take the remaining required graduate courses to earn their master’s degree.

Students may apply to an Accelerated Pathway program at the time of admission to the university, or by completing a change of major request, but no later than their junior year (prior to earning 90 credits).  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 who no longer meet these criteria will be advised into the traditional bachelor’s degree program for their discipline. Students may not graduate from the Accelerated Pathway if the requirements are not completed as outlined in the catalog.  Course substitutions for graduate course requirements are not allowed.

Accelerated Pathway students with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA may apply for early acceptance to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies Accelerated Pathway program no later than the spring semester of their senior year.


Students must meet the graduation and program requirements in the catalog year of their matriculation (admission or re-admission to the University); 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. 

Students may request a change in catalog year and elect to switch to a newer catalog year, or revert to an older catalog year, if it is not more than 5 years prior to the current term, and not earlier than their original term of admission or readmission to the University. If approved by the Department, 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 also declare a minor from a more recent catalog year while retaining the existing catalog year for their program and major area of study. 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. 


Course listings include those courses which have been offered within the past five years.  The subject abbreviations for undergraduate courses are:

Accounting ACC
American Civic Leadership ACL
Anthropology ANT
Arabic ARB
Arts Administration & Cultural Advocacy  AAC
Biology BIO
Business Information Systems BIS
Chemistry CHE
Chinese CHI
Communication COM
Communication Disorders CMD
Computer Science CSC
Cooperative Education CTR
Counseling and School Psychology CSP
Data Science DSC
Earth Science ESC
Economics ECO
Education EDU
Engineering EGR
English ENG
Environmental Studies ENV
Exercise Science EXS
Finance FIN
French FRE
Geography GEO
German GER
Health and Movement Sciences HMS
Healthcare Studies HLS
Hebrew HBR
Health Sciences HSC
History HIS
Honors HON
Information and Library Science ILS
Intellectual/Creative Inquiry INQ
Interdisciplinary IDS
Italian ITA
Japanese JPN
Journalism JRN
Judaic Studies JST
Latin LAT
Latin American and Caribbean Studies LAC
Literature LIT
Management MGT
Management Information Systems MIS
Marine Studies MAR
Marketing MKT
Mathematics MAT
Media Studies MDS
Music MUS
Nursing NUR
Philosophy PHI
Physics PHY
Political Science PSC
Portuguese POR
Psychology PSY
Public Health PCH
Reading RDG
Recreation and Leisure Studies REC
Respiratory Care RSP
Russian RUS
School Health SHE
Science Education SCE
Social Work SWK
Sociology SOC
Spanish SPA
Special Education SED
Sport Management SMT
Teaching English Learners TESOL TSL
Theatre THR
Tier 2 American Experience  T2AE
Tier 2 Creative Drive  T2CD
Tier 2 Cultural Expresssion T2CE
Tier 2 Global Awareness T2GA
Tier 2 Mind & Body T2MB
Tier 2 Natural World I: Physical Realm T2PR
Tier 2 Natural World II: Life and Environment  T2LE
Tier 2 Social Structure, Conflict, and Consensus  T2CC
Tier 2 Time & Place T2TP
Tourism, Hospitality, & Event Management THE
Women's Studies WMS
World Languages and Literatures WLL


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. 

The "General Education" courses are offered by a variety of departments across the university to satisfy the comprehensive three-tiered liberal education program (LEP) consisting of 45 credits. While students typically have many choices within a particular category, some majors recommend specific courses offered within the tiers that will also satisfy major/cognate requirements, although credit is only earned once towards the 120 credits required for graduation. 

The "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). 

The "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.

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

The "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).

The "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.



Bachelor of Arts degrees are awarded to students who fulfill all of the requirements of a major in an academic discipline, usually specified at approximately 30 credits. 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 completely free electives. This degree program provides a broad and flexible liberal arts background and prepares a student to enter a variety of careers.


This degree is awarded to students who fulfill all major requirements, usually specified, in an academic discipline, and in greater depth than the B.A. degree program. In addition to the major and the Liberal Education Program, students pursuing a B.S. degree program take a sequence of 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 is reserved to the student for electives. This program therefore guarantees depth in the major and related fields and prepares a student for entry into specific career possibilities. Requirements for each B.S. degree program in the liberal arts are found in the appropriate departmental offerings listed in this catalog.


The B.S. degree is awarded to students who have fulfilled requirements of a major in a professional area. Specific knowledge, understanding, and technique are acquired relating directly to preparation for adequate performance as a member of a particular profession. In addition to these professional and Liberal Education Program requirement, certain cognate requirements must be met. Some of the professional programs allow a student to develop a minor or a concentration in addition to the major. This program is oriented to a particular professional career or a set of related professional careers.


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 skill sets though they do not lead to a degree.  Courses used to satisfy a degree may be used to satisfy the requirements of a certificate.


The University offers post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs of study; these are undergraduate programs that require a bachelor's degree for admittance.  These programs offer a defined set of courses beyond the undergraduate degree and prepare candidates for teacher certification in a given area of specialty, though they do not lead to a degree.


By the completion of 90 credits, students who wish to be a candidate for a double baccalaureate, the conferral of two degree types (B.A., B.S., B.H.Sc.), shall file a Double Baccalaureate Contract with the Registrar’s Office, which must be approved by the chairpersons of both departments.

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.


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.


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.


University Requirements

The University requires students to successfully complete all degree or certificate program requirements with a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. Bachelor's degree programs require a minimum of 120-credits overall.  Transfer students seeking a degree must complete a minimum of 30 credits at Southern or at least 25% of a certificate program.  

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.

Diplomas and Transcripts

A student's official graduation, or conferral date, is determined by a student's final course completion date, once all academic program requirements have been met. The degree or certificate awarded will be reflected on the student’s official transcript. Diplomas and certificates will be mailed to the permanent address on file with the university within approximately 30-45 days.  Visit the Student Records website for more information on how to obtain an official transcript or diploma following graduation.


Students earning a degree in the current academic year will be invited to participate in the annual commencement ceremony. This includes students who graduated in the most recently completed fall or winter term, and students with at least 100 credits (inlcuding in-progress) who will be completing all remaining requirements in the upcoming spring or summer term. Visit the Commencement website for more information and details about the event.


Sophomores who are not in liberal arts programs must apply to one of the professional programs during the first half of their fourth semester at the University. Each student must be interviewed by the personnel in charge of his or her chosen area. Those tentatively approved for acceptance may preregister for the junior year.

At the end of the fourth semester, the application is reviewed by a personnel committee of the department to which the student has applied as his or her major area of study. Students may be denied acceptance if either academic or personal qualifications are unsuited for a particular area. When fixed quotas exist in an area, it is sometimes necessary to deny acceptance even though students may meet minimal standards.


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 programs that prepare students for teacher certification, including both those leading to bachelor of science degree and post-baccalaureate certification programs. 

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.

Teacher Education Performance Assessment
After admission to a teacher preparation program, all candidates must complete assessments designated by the College of Education and their specific certification program. All candidates must have a TK20 account in order to submit these assessments. 

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. 

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 teacher certification. They also must demonstrate the following:

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.

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. 

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 and ACTFL) vary by certification area. For more information, please visit  (

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.

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; for post-baccalaureate certification programs, students are accepted at the time of admission to SCSU.

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.

Transfer courses for Post Baccalaureate Programs
Candidates can transfer in up to two professional courses taken while not admitted to a teacher prep program.

Candidates who were previously admitted to a teacher prep program can transfer more than two courses to their teacher prep program of study provided that the remaining courses in their program is no less than 12 CR outside student teaching, and provided that these courses are not key courses in the program where key assessments are collected.  For extenuating circumstances only, exceptions can be granted by the Dean’s office at the College of Education on a case by case basis based on the request of the program.