These requirements are effective for students entering Fall 2012 and after.
Curricular programs at DePauw University lead to the Bachelor of Arts degree and three degrees in the School of Music: Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Musical Arts and Bachelor of Music Education. The curricula are developed through departmental and interdisciplinary programs in the Asbury College of Liberal Arts and in the School of Music.
Normally, students are subject to the graduation requirements that are in effect when they first enroll at DePauw. If graduation requirements are subsequently changed, students have the option of graduating under the new requirements. Students who require more than four and one-half courses to complete their degree and interrupt their studies for more than a total of five years must meet the graduation requirements currently in effect when they graduate. Coursework more than 10 years old will be reviewed by the appropriate department to determine whether it is still applicable toward the degree or needs additional work to bring it up-to-date.
DePauw graduates an average of 80 percent of first-time degree students in four years. An additional 3-4 percent will graduate within 6 years of enrolling at DePauw.
DePauw has considerably different academic expectations than those of high school, and it is important that students adjust to these new expectations early in their college careers.
1. College is not the end of the educational process but a foundation for a lifetime of continued learning and growth. Therefore, two of the central goals of college are to help students develop a sense of responsibility for their own learning and the ability to learn on their own.
2. Accordingly, college students spend much less time in class than they did in high school; but are correspondingly expected to do much more work outside of class than they did in high school.
3. Full-time students should plan to spend between 40 and 50 hours a week (or more) on their academic work, the equivalent of a full-time job.
4. Students are responsible for learning a great deal of the material on their own outside of the classroom.
5. Students should expect that course material will be covered at a much more rapid pace than they have experienced before. This expectation is partially based on the assumption that students are preparing carefully for class so that more material can be covered in class.
6. Students are expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate actively in the class session. They are expected to have read the texts and used other required materials carefully and comprehensively before the class session.
The policies and requirements below apply to all students earning a bachelor's degree at DePauw. Although faculty advisors and others assist in academic planning, students are responsible for planning their programs and meeting all requirements for graduation.
- Thirty-one courses are required for students earning Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Music (B.M.) and Bachelor of Musical Arts (B.M.A.) degrees. The Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree requires at least 33 courses. Required ensemble credit is above the 31 or 33 credits for Music degrees.
- Each student must complete a major and achieve a 2.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in that major and satisfy the senior major requirement. See Majors, for more information.
- B.A. students must have 19 course credits outside the major subject and 16 outside the major area.
- Fifteen courses, including six of the last eight courses leading to a bachelor's degree, must be completed in residence at DePauw or in a DePauw University-approved program.
- Students must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students in the B.M.E. program need a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- All first time degree students must enroll in a first-year seminar.
- Students must complete distribution requirements appropriate to their degree objective. Satisfactory performance in language proficiency examinations may count toward meeting distribution requirements.
- Students in the College of Liberal Arts must demonstrate competence in writing (W), quantitative reasoning (Q) and oral communication skills (S). Students in the School of Music B.M., B.M.A., and B.M.E. degree programs complete W and S certification.
- Students must complete three Winter Term projects with satisfactory grades.
Transfer students must earn a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) for all courses taken at DePauw and meet the requirements of the class with which they expect to graduate.
- Physical Education: A maximum of one course credit of physical education (PE) activities is applicable toward the bachelor's degree and Group 6 (in the 2005 distribution requirements).
- Applied Music: Students in the College of Liberal Arts (including music majors) may apply up to four course credits of participatory courses in music toward the 31 course credits required for graduation. Participatory courses include applied music lessons (MUS BAS-VOC), applied music classes (MUS 901-908), dance classes (MUS 171-179), and ensembles (MUS 271-289). In any semester, credit for only one large and one small ensemble may count toward the course credit total required for graduation.
- ROTC. A maximum of four course credits in ROTC may be applied toward an undergraduate degree at DePauw.
- Pass/Fail: Students may take up to three Pass/Fail courses, excluding physical education activities and English 120. See Pass/Fail for additional information. A maximum of three internship course credits and five internship experiences (including Winter Terms) may be applied toward the bachelor's degrees.
- Internships: A maximum of three internship course credits and five internship experiences (including Winter Terms).
The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is 2.0 for all courses in which a final grade has been recorded and which count toward the degree. See Repetition of a Course, for details about how repeated courses affect the GPA. Transfer students also must earn a cumulative 2.0 average for all courses taken at DePauw. Courses taken elsewhere do not affect the grade average at DePauw. The Bachelor of Music Education program requires a 2.5 GPA.
Fifteen courses applicable toward the degree, including six of the last eight, must be completed in residence at DePauw University or in a DePauw University-approved program. Second semester seniors are not, however, eligible to participate in off-campus or internship programs.
First-Year Seminars introduce students to college work and prepare students for the courses they will take later at DePauw. As seminars, these courses emphasize and nurture discussion and other skills essential to active student participation in their own educations. They are also each student’s gateway into DePauw’s writing curriculum and emphasize writing skills that will be taken up and built upon across the curriculum. Seminars are offered as full credit courses to first-year students in the fall term. While First-Year Seminars differ from one another in topic and in the kind of assignments they ask students to complete, they are similar in the following ways. Each seminar:
- creates a sense of intellectual community for the students and faculty member involved;
- uses discussion as the primary basis for classroom learning;
- emphasizes critical writing, thinking and reading;
- encourages the academic growth and development of individual students; and
- uses a variety of writing assignments, along with research, or problem-solving assignments, designed to give students skills and modes of analysis that will serve them well in their other courses at DePauw.
Students will not be required to repeat the seminar. Students may withdraw from the First-Year Seminar only under exceptional circumstances with the permission of the Petitions Committee. Matriculated students entering in the spring semester and transfer students do not take First-Year Seminars.
In their first and second years at DePauw students experience multiple modes of inquiry, cultivate rhetorical, analytical, and problem-solving skills, and explore the different realms of human knowledge. Subsequent off-campus experiences (Winter Term, off-campus study, internships) help students develop intellectual and personal maturity, as well as a spirit of independent inquiry. The increasingly complex courses within the major field of study during their first three years provide students with a deep knowledge of a particular area and an understanding of its fundamental questions and methodologies. The senior year at DePauw University represents the culmination of students’ curricular experience. Seniors use this time to draw together and synthesize these various threads of study and experience through a variety of intellectual activities: senior seminars, comprehensive exams, theses, projects, performances and/or exhibitions. Satisfactory completion of a senior capstone is required to complete a major at DePauw. Departments, schools, and programs are responsible for determining that each student in the major is sufficiently prepared in the field as a whole, and for certifying that the student has satisfied the senior capstone requirement. Departments, schools, and programs must notify students of their senior capstone requirements by the seventh week of the first semester each year.
In the senior capstone experience, students intentionally integrate, interpret, and create knowledge in their chosen fields through scholarly or artistic exploration and expression. This is both the challenge and the reward of their four years spent in the intellectual life of the University. Capstone experiences also prepare students for the intellectual, ethical, interpersonal, and professional challenges that lie ahead after graduation, whether or not they go on to formal graduate study. Academic disciplines vary, so each department, school, and program has designed its own senior capstone requirements. These are described in detail in this catalog under the requirements for each department, school, or program, and on the department, school, or program website.
A number of departments, schools, and programs offer students a senior seminar that provides a summative experience of the discipline. Some senior seminars focus on particular topics or themes. Senior seminars often require completion of a substantive piece of original work.
A department, school, or program may require students to complete a senior thesis or project over the course of one or both semesters of their senior year. Some departments, schools, and programs provide an option for students who have completed the core senior requirement to pursue additional independent work. All seniors with appropriate academic credentials, as determined by each department, school, or program, may apply for the opportunity to conduct a departmental or interdisciplinary capstone project or thesis by contacting a faculty member of their choice.
Departments, schools, or programs may require examinations that serve as a comprehensive review and synthesis of crucial material in the discipline as a component of the senior capstone. Satisfactory performance on these exams is required to earn a major. Students who do not perform satisfactorily on a comprehensive examination the first time have the right to be reexamined once. Students must pass the comprehensive examination within one academic year after the first commencement date following the initial examination. At the discretion of the department, school, or program, a student may take a maximum of two re-examinations.
Senior Capstone Celebration
DePauw University is proud of the work done by our senior students. To express this pride, and to recognize student work, the university sets aside time in the Spring semester for campus-wide celebration of senior accomplishments. The university encourages departments, schools, and programs to highlight or display the work of all successful senior capstone students in ways that are most appropriate for the discipline (e.g., public poster presentations, performances, exhibitions, readings, etc.). In addition, the university publicly honors the best senior work in various ways such as a special awards ceremony, a senior honors booklet, and/or on the university website.
Competence requirements represent a University-wide commitment to the basic areas essential to a liberal arts education:
- expository writing
- quantitative reasoning
- oral communication
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must earn certification in all three competencies. Students pursing the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Arts, or Bachelor of Music Education must earn certification in the Writing and Oral Communication competencies. Students must demonstrate their competence in these areas by satisfactorily completing courses that integrate these skills with academic subjects. Competence course offerings may not be taken Pass/Fail unless the student has previously established competency and has the permission of the instructor.
Overview of the Writing Curriculum
Writing at DePauw is taught across the curriculum on the assumption that skill in written communication is intimately connected with clear thinking in all subjects. We believe that writing is an essential means for thinking and learning across the University. Writing requirements are also premised on the idea that students do not learn to write in any one particular course, that is, no single course completes one’s growth and development as a writer and thinker. Rather, writing is a skill that must be nurtured and developed throughout one’s intellectual journey.
DePauw’s writing program begins with a writing intensive First-Year Seminar, builds with a required writing-competency or ‘W’ course during the sophomore year, and culminates with demonstrated writing competency within the major. This last feature in particular marks DePauw’s embrace of the idea that the nature and role of writing varies across disciplines. Writing for different purposes and audiences must be tailored to demands inherent in the disciplines themselves. Regardless of one’s chosen major, a DePauw education emphasizes the importance of writing to thinking and learning.
Core Components of the Writing Curriculum
As part of the writing program, each student takes a writing intensive First-Year Seminar (described in detail above). First-Year Seminars introduce students to skills essential for success at DePauw generally, but focus on writing and oral communication specifically given their centrality to everything we do. The course begins nurturing essential skills in writing, thinking and speaking with the expectation that these skills will be reinforced and further developed throughout students’ time at DePauw both in courses specific to the writing curriculum and in broader general education and departmental/program curricula.
As part of the developmental approach DePauw embraces, students must complete a course with a W designation during their sophomore year. Sophomore W courses are offered across the curriculum each semester; enrollment is limited to approximately 18, with sophomores receiving first priority during registration. The sophomore W combines an emphasis on academic content with practice in writing. Such courses encourage:
- the logical development of argument, clear and precise diction and a coherent prose style;
- the development of general skills of expository writing as they apply in the academic disciplines; and
- the responsible, appropriate and effective use of sources and special or technical language.
Students must achieve W certification during their sophomore year. (Music degree students have until the second semester of their junior year to complete the W requirement.) If certification is not attained before the second semester of the sophomore year, students must complete a W course each succeeding semester until they achieve certification.
In a few exceptional cases, students may fulfill the W requirement through a portfolio of college-level writings. Students seeking such exemptions should speak to the director of writing placement.
DePauw’s writing curriculum also includes requirements–developed by each department or program–that focus on the skills, methodologies, and types of writing specific to one’s chosen major. The writing curriculum thus sharpens skills throughout the college career, culminating in explicit focus on the role of writing within specific academic fields.
Other Writing-Specific Courses
Writing and the teaching of writing are emphasized in many courses at DePauw, far more than will be listed specifically here. Still, certain courses deserve special attention.
Writing Seminar for Non-Native Speakers of English I and II (ENG 110 and ENG 115) are offered for students whose first language is not English. English courses for non-native speakers of English are aimed at strengthening existing language skills and developing new skills necessary for academic success. Placement in the appropriate English courses is made based on three criteria: 1) English language assessments administered on campus during orientation, 2) recommendation from the English language coordinator, and 3) confirmation by appointed faculty representing the English department (department chair, W Center director, etc.). Students are expected to complete ENG 110 or 115 in the semester assigned. Students placed in ENG 110 in the Fall Semester will be expected to take ENG 115 in the Spring. They may withdraw from these courses only under exceptional circumstances, such as extended illness, with the permission of the Petitions Committee.
College Writing I (ENG 120) stresses the development of writing skills fundamental for expressing ideas, imagination and opinion. By means of short essay assignments, some of which may be reflections on their own experience, students will build fluency in written expression, clarity of style and proficiency in the use of language. ENG 120 is offered to first-year students in the fall semester as an elective on a Pass/Fail basis.
College Writing II (ENG 130) emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, logical development of ideas and a coherent and readable style. In this course, students base their writing on both personal experience and the critical reading and viewing of materials from a variety of disciplines. ENG 130 is offered to first-year students in the fall semester as an elective.
Writing Intensive Topics (WIT) courses are offered for first-year students who enjoy writing and seminar-style discussion, and/or who seek to sharpen their skills in college writing. WIT courses are offered in the spring semester as electives, with priority given to first-year students; other interested students may enroll as space permits.
Courses designated as fulfilling the quantitative reasoning (Q) competency requirement encourage:
- understanding quantitative concepts, representational formats and methodologies of a particular discipline;
- evaluating quantitative evidence and arguments;
- making decisions based upon quantitative information; and
- learning through problem-solving, laboratory experiments and projects.
Students must achieve Q certification by the end of their junior year. If students do not achieve certification by the end of the first semester of the junior year, they must complete a Q course each succeeding semester until certification is achieved. Q courses are offered in several academic subjects each semester, subject to approval by the Q committee, and normally carry one course credit each. They emphasize both quantitative reasoning and mastery of course content.
Based on standardized test scores and other evidence of preparation, incoming students may be invited to take Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning (UNIV 101) as preparation for a Q course. UNIV 101 reviews and develops quantitative reasoning skills through problem-solving and the application of mathematical concepts (such as measurement, geometry, statistics and algebra) in various contexts.
Under unusual circumstances, students may receive Q certification in a non-Q course taken at DePauw that includes substantial quantitative work when the following criteria are met:
- the course meets the guidelines for a Q course;
- the student is eligible to take a Q course upon entering DePauw;
- the instructor is Q-certified;
- the student's application and learning contract (available in the Office of Academic Affairs) are approved by the instructor and the Office of Academic Affairs prior to the beginning of the course; and
- the instructor examines the student's work in consultation with another Q-certified instructor and notifies the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Academic Affairs of the outcome.
Effective expression in speech as well as writing has been perennially at the core of liberal education. The competent expression, exchange and examination of facts and ideas remain vital to the educational process itself. It is also essential for service and achievement in professional, civic and personal life.
To satisfy the oral communication requirement, students must demonstrate such competence in an S course or in a designated alternative. S courses are offered in many departments at the 300-400 level.
S courses help students develop:
- the presentation of logical arguments and refutation;
- the ability to distinguish and identify important substantive arguments;
- the ability to skillfully analyze, evaluate, and integrate of supporting material;
- the selection and implementation of effective presentation style(s);
- the ability to adapt the manner of delivery to specific audiences and situations;
- the demonstration of techniques for leading and participating in discussion(s);
- the demonstration of critical listening skills;
- the demonstration of effective and reflective listening; and
- the knowledge of the ethical obligations of speakers, discussants, and listeners.
Under unusual circumstances, students may receive S certification outside of an S course, while enrolled at DePauw, when the following criteria are met:
- the course meets the guidelines for an S course, or the activity is equivalent to college-level work with the complexity of ideas worthy of at least a 300-level course;
- the instructor or supervisor of the activity is S-certified;
- the student's application and learning contract (available in the Office of Academic Affairs) are approved by the faculty member and the Office of Academic Affairs prior to the beginning of the course or activity;
- the activity must be a sustained one, usually over a full semester or Winter Term;
- arrangements are made prior to the senior year;
- the activity is initiated by the first semester of the senior year; it may extend into the second semester, but may not be initiated then; and
- the faculty member notifies the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Academic Affairs of the outcome.
Liberally educated students connect disciplines and approaches, integrate learning, consider the ethical values and problems inherent in the acquisition and interpretation of knowledge, and develop skills to communicate clearly the results of their investigations. With these purposes in mind, students explore different modes of inquiry, content areas, and languages early in their college career, becoming aware of their intellectual opportunities and better informed to choose meaningful paths for their lives.
To build a foundation for a liberal arts education at DePauw University, students complete two course credits in each of three distinct areas of study and attain second-semester ability in a language other than English. Each of the six course credits used to complete the Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Science distribution requirements must be from different course listing areas to ensure that students explore a broad spectrum of the liberal arts and are introduced to the ways these areas study and describe the world.
Arts and Humanities: Two course credits in the arts and humanities. These courses explore fundamental questions of experience, belief, and expression. Through critical observation, textual analysis, and creative engagement, they consider the realms recalled or imagined in the arts, history, literature, philosophy, and religion.
Science and Mathematics: Two course credits in the behavioral, computational, mathematical, and natural sciences. These courses explore the physical, mechanical, and quantitative working of numbers, matter, and life. Through observation, experimentation, and scientific and mathematical reasoning, they seek to comprehend the world and model its operations.
Social Science: Two course credits in the social sciences. These courses explore cultural, economic, political, and social questions. Through observational, comparative, and analytic methods, they seek to understand human identities and interactions at the personal, local, and global levels.
Language Requirement: Students attain second-semester ability in a language other than English. In these courses students practice effective and appreciative communication within another language and across cultures. Students also may satisfy this requirement through a proficiency/placement examination or participation in an off-campus study program in a non-English-speaking country and enrolling in a minimum of two courses, including a language course and a course related to the program’s location. Students whose first language is not English may be certified as meeting this requirement through the Office of the Registrar.
Courses that meet the distribution requirements are listed in the Courses section of this Catalog and in the Schedule of Classes each semester, with the abbreviation of the area of study following the course title.
Policies for Distribution Requirements
- Working closely with their academic advisors, students should complete these requirements within the first two years. If the requirements in Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Science have not been completed by the end of sophomore year, students must enroll in at least one eligible course in each succeeding semester until they complete the requirements.
- Each of the six course credits used to complete the Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Science distribution requirements must be from different course listing areas. The course listing area is denoted by the text code preceding the course number in the schedule of classes and on the transcript.
- No course may satisfy more than one distribution requirement.
- Courses used to fulfill distribution requirements may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
- Course credit used to fulfill the distribution requirements in Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Science must be earned through courses offered at DePauw. Advanced placement and transfer credit do not apply to completing distribution requirements.
- Individual departments, programs, and the School of Music, with the guidance and approval of the Committee on the Management of Academic Operations (MAO), determine which of their courses meet distribution requirements.
Every DePauw student must complete three Winter Term projects with a satisfactory grade. (Winter Term projects are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.) Only one of the three required Winter Term projects may be satisfied by participation in a semester off-campus study program or Fellows internship. Students opting to fulfill one of their Winter Term credits in this way will not receive additional credit if they participate in a Winter Term project during January of the same academic year.
One Winter Term project is considered full time, and students may be enrolled in only one project per January session. DePauw Winter Term projects do not receive regular units of academic credit and do not meet distribution requirements for graduation or requirements toward a major. Students are expected to be aware of and follow all appropriate procedures and deadlines, which may be found on the Winter Term web site.
Students who receive incomplete (I) grades in a Winter Term project must complete the project by the end of the following semester or the grade will automatically convert to an unsatisfactory (U). Students who have a deficient number of Winter Terms may petition to the director of Winter Term to make up a project during the summer. Graduating seniors who receive an unsatisfactory Winter Term grade during the senior year may petition to make up the project during the final spring semester if appropriate arrangements can be made. Tuition is charged to enroll in a make-up Winter Term project.
Transfer students receive credit for one Winter Term project for every full year of full-time study at another institution.