Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for graduation, Wheaton College confers upon the student one of four degrees—Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Music Education. A majority of majors within the Arts and Sciences award the Bachelor of Arts. Selected majors (chiefly in the sciences) award the Bachelor of Science, and the Conservatory offers the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Music Education. See the description of each major for the specific degree awarded. A student can earn a second baccalaureate degree provided that the degree (i.e., BA, BS, BM or BME) is a different type from the first, all requirements for each degree are satisfied, and at least 30 hours beyond those required for the first degree (minimum of 154 semester hours) have been completed. Contact the Registrar’s Office for further details.
A student is subject to the requirements listed in the catalog for the year in which the first enrollment occurred or to the requirements of a subsequent catalog under which the student is enrolled. Transfer students are allowed to use the catalog one year prior to entry at Wheaton, if they so choose. All requirements must be met, however, under the same catalog. The College reserves the right to change academic policies and procedures during a student's time of enrollment.
Students are expected to complete the general education, major, minor, and/or certificate programs with the listed catalog courses. Course substitutions can be made by departmental recommendation (see department); exceptions to policy, procedure, or general academic requirements are handled with theprocess (form available in the Registrar's Office).
A student who completes degree requirements in December, May, or August may participate in the annual May commencement and will receive the diploma when all requirements are finished. Criteria to determine commencement participation include: 1) completion of all general education requirements, 2) completion of all requirements for one major, and 3) completion of the required total hours for graduation. Students who will be completing degree requirements during the summer must be registered for appropriate courses prior to the May commencement ceremony with full intention of completing the courses as scheduled in order to participate.
The following requirements must be met for graduation:
Students must satisfactorily complete 124 semester hours. No more than six hours of Applied Health Science or Dance (physical education activity) courses (AHS 108-174, or DANC 122, 123, 124) can be included in the 124 hours. The course requirements for some majors exceed 124 hours.
A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 must be maintained. A 2.00 average is also required for a major with a maximum of four hours of D grades allowed toward a major (maximum of eight hours of D grades in major courses for the B.M. and the B.M.E. degrees).
A total of 36 semester hours must be earned in upper division courses—those numbered 300 and above.
At least 48 semester hours must be satisfactorily completed from Wheaton College. Irrespective of the total number of hours taken from Wheaton College, at least 30 of the last 60 and at least 12 of the last 21 hours earned toward the degree must be taken from Wheaton.
The requirements for one major must be satisfactorily completed. Specific requirements for majors are stated in the and sections of this catalog. The 124 hours required for graduation may contain no more than 52 hours within a student’s major prefix, (e.g. BIOL) and no fewer than 72 hours outside the major prefix. Students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours plus the capstone course in their major from Wheaton College, except in the case of Foreign Language majors who complete their study-abroad requirement in an accepted non-Wheaton College program; these students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours plus the capstone course in their major from Wheaton College.
Students must satisfactorily meet all general education requirements in the areas of competency, Applied Health Science, and five learning clusters that include Studies in Faith and Reason, Nature, Society, Diversity, and Literature and the Arts; as well as a senior capstone course in the major.
Some departments require that students in their major or general education take comprehensive examinations as a part of their graduation requirements. Other assessment measurements may be required by individual departments or the college administration.
An Application for Degree must be filed with the Registrar's Office by the beginning of the student's senior year.
Completion of the Bachelor’s degree must be within ten years of initial enrollment.
The purpose of General Education at Wheaton College is to introduce men and women to an understanding and appreciation of God, His creation and grace, and to our place of privilege and responsibility in the world He has made. To this end, the curriculum encourages students to ground all aspects of life in the Word of God, leading to a firm commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.
General Education exposes students to the fundamental ideas of their shared theological, cultural, intellectual, and scientific traditions, and also to concepts and issues outside the framework of their own cultural background. It engages students in various disciplines with their means of discovery, helps students grasp relationships between different fields of knowledge, and encourages them to appreciate and experience the unity of God's truth.
The teaching of General Education is designed to develop the student's ability to be creative, to think critically, and to reason analytically and quantitatively. It enables students to develop proficiencies in research methodologies, in oral and written expression, and in aesthetic appreciation. General Education encourages independent thought and action, nurturing the desire and capacity for informed moral choices and lifetime learning. It supports the general goal of the College to prepare students—intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially—for life in church and society, for involvement in Christ's redemptive work in creation, and for lives of joy and service to the glory of God.
These general education requirements apply to students in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. Requirements for Music degrees are listed in thesection of this catalog. The credit hours listed for each requirement are based on Wheaton College course offerings. Variations may occur when requirements are met through testing and/or with transfer credit.
Competencies are essential academic skills indispensable to advanced study in the liberal arts. The Departments of Biblical and Theological Studies, Communication, English, Foreign Languages, and Mathematics have identified specific basic skills and literacies that should be characteristic of the Christian educated in the liberal arts. All students will demonstrate competency in these skills areas, whether by testing in lieu of course work or by completing appropriate courses whose final evaluation will be a version of the competency test in that area. All competencies should be completed by the end of the sophomore year, unless otherwise noted. To be met as follows:
See requirements listed under
The student will demonstrate competency to perform basic functional survival/scholarly activities. In ancient languages these skills include reading, and grammar analysis and general knowledge of the ancient world relevant to the texts studied. In modern languages these skills include listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In addition to the languages taught at Wheaton (Chinese, French, German, Koiné Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Spanish) competency examinations are currently available in many world languages. Test availability may change without notice; thus, the Foreign Languages Department offers competency examinations in languages only when an acceptable examination and a qualified examiner are available. This competency must be begun by the beginning of the sophomore year or earlier and finished by the end of the junior year.
Students may not take any classes for the purpose of preparing for the Competency exam as a pass/fail course, nor as an audit. Students who withdraw from a 201 Intermediate language class after the beginning of A Quad will not be eligible to take the Competency exam that same semester.
To fulfill the competency requirement the student must either:
Pass a foreign language competency exam offered by the Foreign Language Department, (a qualifying pre-test may be required)
Pass the final exam in a Wheaton College 201 modern or ancient language course [401 for Hebrew].
Students who have completed fewer than two years of a high school language or who choose to begin a new language should take one of the following course sequences (passing the final exam in the 201 course meets the competency requirement):
Students who have completed two years (through level 2) of French, German, Spanish, or Latin in high school should take one of the following course sequences (passing the final exam in the 201 course meets the competency requirement):
Students participating in Wheaton's overseas programs in French or German may substitute the 209 intermediate course for 201.
Students who have taken more than two years of high school language or have acquired language ability without taking formal courses must take a language placement test to determine the appropriate course to be taken or whether the competency requirement has been met. Students who have a qualifying score on the SAT Subject Test or an AP score of 3 or above are not required to take the language placement test. Students with prior course work in Chinese should consult the Foreign Languages Department regarding placement procedures.
Students with language SAT Subject test scores or AP scores determine appropriate course work as follows:
SAT Subject Test:
Take 103, 201 in the same language (passing the final exam in the 201 course [Hebrew 401] meets the competency requirement) if score was below:
Take 201 in the same language (passing the final exam in the 201 course [Hebrew 401] meets the competency requirement) if score is in the following ranges:
The competency requirement is met if score was as follows:
Note: SAT II Subject Test scores will be accepted in fulfillment of the competency requirement only for incoming freshmen and transfer students; SAT II scores for continuing students will be accepted in fulfillment of the competency requirement only if the exams were taken prior to enrollment at Wheaton.
AP Language or Literature Test:
The student will be able to demonstrate an appropriate skill level in the following areas: 1) basic statistics, 2) simple algebra, 3) calculator usage, 4) areas and volumes, 5) ratio and proportion, 6) exponential growth and decay, 7) spreadsheets, 8) counting, 9) dimensions and units, 10) function and basic calculus concepts. This requirement must be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
Pass QUANTITATIVE SKILLS TEST offered by the Mathematics Department during Orientation and during the A Quad of each semester (waives requirement; no credit)
Pass one of the following courses at Wheaton or transfer in credit for one of the following:
Students with AP Calculus AB score of 3, 4, or 5, or AP Calculus BC score of 2, 3, 4, or 5 or IB Mathematics HL score of 5 or greater meet competency requirement.
The student will be able to demonstrate competency in 1) inventional speaking, 2) the effective organization of messages, 3) audience analysis and ethical adaptation, and 4) confident, extemporaneous delivery before an audience. This requirement must be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
Pass oral competency exam offered by the Communication Department (offered every A quad),which consists of presenting a persuasive speech to a jury composed of one or more members of the Communication faculty (waive requirement; no credit)
Pass one of the following courses:
Writing helps to develop thoughtful reading, sound reasoning, and clear communication; therefore, it is an essential aspect for liberal arts education and life-long learning. Composition and Research promotes strong thinkers and resourceful writers who can construct convincing arguments written in effective prose for a variety of audiences. The general education requirement in writing seeks to help students learn how to write persuasively, clearly, and concisely; engage in critical thinking and reading; organize material with regard to audiences; undertake research using library resources and computers; and demonstrate competency in foundational editing skills.
Students should fulfill this requirement in their first year so that they will be introduced to ideas and skills that will be crucial for their progress through their liberal arts education. All students must complete the writing requirement by the end of their sophomore year and before enrolling in any upper division writing course. Since writing is a life-long skill, students are encouraged to take additional writing courses beyond Composition and Research.
Meeting the Writing Requirement:
You may satisfy the writing requirement by taking ENGW 103 Composition and Research (4) and earning a grade of C or higher.
You may satisfy the writing requirement by taking ENGW 104 Composition and Research (2) and earning a grade of C or higher if:
1. You score a 3 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement.
2. You score a 10, 11, or 12 on the SAT Essay or ACT Writing Test subscore.
Options to Waive the Requirement with Academic Credit:
If you score a 4 or 5 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement exam, you earn 4 semester hours of writing credit and have completed the writing requirement.
If you score a 3 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement exam, you earn 2 semester hours of writing credit. You may complete the 4-hour requirement by taking ENGW 104 Composition and Research (2) or passing the Writing Competency Exam ($30 charge for the exam) that is given each semester to freshmen or transfers only during their first year at Wheaton. No academic credit is given for passing the exam.
Option to Waive the Requirement without Academic Credit:
Competency Exam is given each semester (on a date to be announced in the Broadcaster
in the my.wheaton.edu portal or via campus email). The exam is open only to
freshmen and to transfer students. Students have one opportunity to take the
exam in the fall or spring of their first year at Wheaton.
Students must pass the first part
of the exam (Library Research Skills) to qualify to take the second part of
the exam (Research Essay). Students must pass both parts of the exam to fulfill
the writing requirement. The total cost of the exam is $30.
If students do not qualify to waive the requirement, they will be placed in ENGW 103 or ENGW 104 based on their score. Students who have not taken the exam during their first year at Wheaton MUST take either ENGW 103 or ENGW 104 also based on their score. No advanced standing credit will be awarded to students taking ENGW 104.
AHS 101 Wellness (2) is required during the first or second semester of matriculation or may be offered at HoneyRock during the summer. It is normally to be completed before other Applied Health Science courses are taken.
To be met as follows: 10-14 hours in Biblical and Theological Studies and 4 hours in Philosophy
1. BITH 111 Gospel, Church and Culture (2) – (waived for junior/senior transfer students)
2. Old Testament - 2 or 4 hours
a. If student passes Old Testament competency test (see note #1), take 2 hours from
b. If student chooses not to take competency test, or takes test and does not pass, take
(4) BITH 212 Old Testament Literature and Interpretation (2) plus 2 hours from
3. New Testament - 2 or 4 hours:
a. If student passes New Testament competency test (see note #1), take 2 hours from
b. If student chooses not to take competency test, or takes test and does not pass, take
(3) BITH 214 New Testament Literature and Interpretation (2) plus 2 hours from
4. Christian Thought - 4 hours:
a. BITH 315 Christian Thought (4) is recommended, OR
c. BITH 376 Theologies of Transformation (4) (Wheaton in Chicago only)
1) Biblical Content Competency- The student will demonstrate an appropriate level of familiarity with the people and events, as well as the primary story line in the Bible, some of the principal theological themes in the Bible, and the culture, history, and geography of the biblical world as it enhances the meaning of the Bible. Competency tests are offered by the Biblical and Theological Studies Department.
2) Students must take 200-level courses before enrolling in 300- and 400-level courses.
6 hours of other philosophy courses approved by the department.
To be met as follows: 4 hours in history plus 8 hours in two social science disciplines. Society Cluster general education requirements must be met by selecting from the following courses:
HIST 115 World History to 1600 (4) meet the requirement.
NOTE: AP or transfer credit in U.S. History does not satisfy the requirement.
PSYC 241 Social Psychology (counts only for psychology discipline) (4)
1) HNGR students meet Society Cluster requirements with HNGR courses plus 4 hours of history.
2) Students may not take both PSCI and IR (noted above with a +) in fulfillment of the eight-hour social science requirement.
Diversity courses substantively interact with one or more of the following: races, genders, ethnicities, religions, and cultures other than Anglo-American and white majority European as their major content or subject matter.
Student will grow in their ability to a) Identify the role of plural races, genders, ethnicities, religions, and cultures in shaping human knowledge; b) gain an understanding of their perspectives and attempt to “see” the world through another’s eyes; and c) experience engagement with, concern for and commitment to the worth and welfare of those from diverse ethnic, racial, religious and cultural heritages.
Select two courses from the following approved list:
Applied Health Science:
Art: ART 329,
Astronomy: ASTR 303
Business Economics: ECON 365
1) Careful selection of two courses will result in no additional hours for the degree.
2) Diversity courses may also be counted for general education, major, minor or elective credit.
To be met as follows:
At least one 4-hour lab course plus 2 hours at *300-level to be selected from the lists below.
A minimum of 2 hours must be in biology, environmental studies, or geology.
A minimum of 2 hours must be in astronomy, chemistry, or physics.
Any general education laboratory course is prerequisite for any 300-level course in this listing. Exceptions must be approved by the Science Coordinator. Nature Cluster general education requirements must be met by selecting from the following courses:
1. Laboratory courses - 4 hours required
2. Non-laboratory courses
CSCI 231 Introduction to Computer Science Concepts (2) (does not count for either Biology/Environmental Studies/Geology or Astronomy/Chemistry/Physics area distribution requirement, but does count toward Nature Cluster requirement)
SCI 211 Natural Systems of the Northwoods (2) (only for students seeking teacher certification) Taught summers at HoneyRock.
*SCI 301 Natural Science: Foundations, Methods, Challenges (4) (meets both area distribution requirements)
*SCI 311 Theories of Origins (4) (meets both area distribution requirements)
*Course meets 300-level science requirement.
1) The entire Nature Cluster requirement may be completed in one 8-week summer session at the Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota. One 4-hour course and two 2-hour courses should be taken from the general education offerings.
2) Students who have at least twelve hours of courses (with the appropriate cluster distribution of courses described above) from among the following are exempt from the required 300-level course described above: BIOL 241, 242, CHEM 221, 222, 236, 237, ENVR 221, GEOL 201, 211, 221, PHYS 221, 222, 231, 232. Credit earned through Advanced Placement tests, or via transfer from other institutions does not apply to this general exemption.
To be met as follows: 4 hours of literature and 4 hours of fine arts.
1. Literature courses- 4 hours. Recommended English courses are
The requirement may also be met by other English Department literature courses (except for ENGL 225, 226, 326, 327, 485 and 486) or by these foreign language literature courses:
2. Fine Arts courses- 4 hours total, in TWO disciplines (Art, Music or Communication), from the following courses:
ART 251 History of Art & Architecture I (Ancient - 1700) (4) (ART Majors only)
To be met as follows: Students will
complete a 494 course in their major, as designated by that department.
All prospective students are required to submit either ACT or SAT scores as a part of the admissions process. The writing subscores from ACT and SAT may be used to meet part of the competency requirements for writing.
Students commonly use the College Board SAT Subject Tests to waive college requirements although in most cases no college credit is given for them. Normally, students sign up for these examinations through their high school guidance counselors.
SAT II Subject Test scores will be accepted in fulfillment of the general education foreign language competency requirement only for incoming freshmen and transfer students; SAT II scores for continuing students will be accepted in fulfillment of the competency requirement only if the exams were taken prior to enrollment at Wheaton.
The Advanced Placement (AP) tests may be used to earn college credit. They are typically taken by students after taking an AP course in high school.
Courses taken as a part of the International Baccalaureate program can be used for college credit if a grade of 5 or higher was earned.
More specific information concerning the tests accepted and scores that are needed to waive a course or receive credit is available from the Registrar or the Director of Freshman Advising at Wheaton College.
Wheaton College welcomes students who wish to transfer from another college. Most credits earned at another accredited college will transfer to Wheaton if the courses are applicable to a liberal arts program. Courses of a vocational or technical nature or courses in which a grade below C- was earned are not transferable. College courses taken prior to high school enrollment are not transferable. Courses taken at an unaccredited college may receive some credit with the approval of the Registrar. The College reserves the right to decide the acceptability and applicability of degrees and credits earned at other institutions. Grades for credits accepted for transfer courses are not included when determining a student's cumulative grade point average at Wheaton.
A maximum of 40 credit hours earned prior to high school graduation may be applied to the undergraduate degree. Use of courses taken prior to college matriculation for major requirements will be at the discretion of the Academic Department.
Students who transfer from a community college can transfer a maximum of 62 semester hours of credit. Courses taken at two-year colleges may not be used to satisfy Wheaton's upper division course requirement.
A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit earned by distance learning may be applied toward a degree. Such work should be taken only from well-recognized programs through accredited institutions. Students interested in taking distance learning courses should receive approval from the Registrar's Office before registering for the courses.
Accepting courses for transfer and applying them toward degree requirements are separate considerations. Courses may transfer as elective credits but not be applicable to specific requirements. Transfer students are expected to meet all graduation requirements and general education requirements as listed in the appropriate sections of the catalog. Students may be requested to supply specific course information for a department in order to receive transfer credit. In some cases, students may be requested to take additional courses if the department determines that the necessary areas of study were not included.
General education graduation requirements include passing a foreign language competency exam. If some foreign language has been taken at another college, students may continue that language at a level recommended by the department. Passing the final exam in an intermediate foreign language course at Wheaton will meet the competency requirement. Students who have completed one semester of intermediate language at another college must verify competency by taking Wheaton's competency exam. Transfer students who, before enrolling at Wheaton, completed at least one year at the intermediate level will be considered to have met the competency requirement. Once initial enrollment at Wheaton occurs, the competency exam must be passed even if the student takes an advanced level language course at another college. Transfer credit will not be granted for online modern language courses.
Freshman and sophomore transfer students must meet the general education requirement of 14 credits in Bible as described under Studies in Faith and Reason above. Junior and senior transfer students may exclude the BITH 111 course making their requirement 12 hours. Transferred courses which are equivalent to Wheaton's required Bible and Theology courses may be used to meet the requirement.
Transfer students seeking Illinois teacher certification are expected to take all required 300- and 400-level education courses at Wheaton. Exceptions may be granted with departmental approval.
Courses that have been taken more than eight years prior to transferring to Wheaton are subject to department approval for transfer if they are to be used to meet any general education, major, minor, or teacher education requirements.
Wheaton College uses Banner Self Service, a component of the College’s administration database system, and College-administered student email accounts for official communication between students and administrative offices.
Banner Self Service provides online registration for classes, and communication of class schedules, grades, student account balances, and financial aid information. Data encryption and user authentication protect students’ personal information.
Students are given College email accounts upon enrollment. Official notifications will be sent to these accounts. Students are responsible for reading their College email, and must use their College email accounts in official correspondence to ensure proper identification.
Revision Date: June 1, 2015
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