Bethel’s total academic program comprises courses in a major, General Education requirements, and electives. A minimum of 122 semester hours is required to graduate with a Bachelors degree. These credit hours are distributed in the following way:
|Major||30-87 semester credit hours|
|General Education||49-50 semester credit hours|
|Electives||0-43 semester credit hours|
The requirements of the major affect the number of electives a student takes. Students in some majors may be required to take more than 122 credits. All students have the option to do so.
Students are required to meet the graduation requirements of the printed version of the catalog that is published for the academic year in which they enter Bethel. If new majors or minors are added to the curriculum after the publication of the printed version of the catalog, currently enrolled students must meet the requirements of that major or minor as it is first published. Currently enrolled students may choose to enroll in newly added majors and minors, and must meet the requirements of that major or minor as it is first published.
Each student is assigned an academic advisor to assist with academic and career planning. Students may also work with the Office of Career Development and Calling to explore career options. Students are responsible to assure that they have fulfilled graduation requirements and should use their degree evaluation to do so.
Students choose their major from an academic department or a multidisciplinary program. They may also choose to develop an individualized major designed to meet their needs and interests. In some cases, it is possible to complete a second major by using elective credits or increasing the total number of credits taken. At least half of the credits used to meet the requirements of a major must be taken at Bethel. A 2.25 GPA in the major is required unless otherwise noted in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.
Though not required, many students choose to complete a minor in order to pursue an area of interest or as a complement to their major. Minors range between 18-24 semester credit hours. Students may choose to use their elective credits toward the minor or take additional credits. Students may not earn a minor in a program in which they are receiving or have received a major except where specifically noted in the Academic Program section of this catalog. At least nine (9) credits of any minor must be completed at Bethel.
General Requirements for a Baccalaureate Degree
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
- A cumulative overall grade point average of 2.00. The cumulative GPA includes only courses taken at Bethel.
- A 2.25 grade point average in one’s major, unless otherwise noted. The major GPA includes all courses required in the major and all electives taken for the major at Bethel.
- A minimum of 122 semester credit hours.
- The following must be taken in programs that meet Bethel residency requirements or at Bethel (see Office of the Registrar or Office of Off-Campus Programs and International Studies):
- at least 28 of the last 35 credits,
- at least half of the credits used to meet the requirements of the major,
- GES 130 Christianity and Western Culture or GES 145 through GES 244 in the Humanities Program (must be taken at Bethel; cannot be brought in through any other programs),
- a Contemporary Christian Issues (P) course (must be taken at Bethel; cannot be brought in through any other programs).
- GES 140 Introduction to Wellbeing must be taken at Bethel except by students who are exempt from this requirement because of their entry level.
- A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours in General Education Biblical Foundations courses.
- A minimum of 37 credits at the upper-division level (300 and 400).
- All General Education required courses and experiences listed on the General Education Entry Standing chart that are indicated by a “Yes” for their entry level.
- Completion of interim courses as indicated on the General Education Entry/Transfer Level chart on the following pages (minimum of three (3) credits, maximum of five (5) credits per interim).
- Completion of the requirements of a major (listed by department in this catalog).
- Demonstration of basic competencies in:
- Writing: One course is designated in each major, in addition to the required GES 160 Inquiry Seminar course and a writing emphasis in Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course, Comparative Systems (G) course, Interpreting Biblical Themes (J) course, and Contemporary Christian Issues (P) course.
- Speaking: One upper-division course is designated in each major, in addition to required speaking assignments in the GES 160 Inquiry Seminar course, the Humanities Program, and Contemporary Christian Issues (P) courses.
- Computing: As Bethel faculty increase the applications of computing to regular courses in each major, student knowledge of basic uses in their fields will be required. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops with them to campus.
In order for multiple majors and minors to be considered as one degree program, they must be taken simultaneously and completed within one academic year of each other. Bethel University will award a student’s degree when a student’s degree program requirements have been completed, whether or not the student applies to graduate. Students maintain eligibility for financial aid while completing their degree program provided that their total credits do not exceed 150% of the credits required for their degree program. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Completion of any departmental and institutional assessment activities.
- Upon completion of program, participation in commencement ceremonies is expected.
Additional Baccalaureate Degree
An additional Bethel University Baccalaureate Degree (e.g. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)) may be awarded, upon request, when a student has met all requirements of the additional degree and earned, in residence, a minimum of twenty-seven (27) unduplicated Semester Credits from the department in which the additional degree is earned. Unduplicated semester credits are those that are not used to meet the requirements of any other Bethel University Baccalaureate Degree. Transfer students who hold a Baccalaureate Degree from another institution may earn a Bethel University Baccalaureate Degree if they meet all the requirements of the degree program including the general education requirement and the residency requirements.
The overlapping of requirements in any combination of majors chosen by a students is permitted as long as the student meets the requirements listed for each major. All completed programs (e.g. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)) will be indicated on the transcript, regardless of overlapping course requirements and without the addition of extra required hours. The senior seminar in both majors is required of students unless the student gets written approval from one of the departments to waive that seminar. Students should have an official advisor in one of the two majors, but they should regularly check with an advisor in the second major to make sure they are on track with that second major.
Commencement Ceremony Participation
Students who have not completed all required courses for graduation may participate in the commencement ceremony provided thay have no more than a total of seven (7) credits remaining. For May commencement, students must plan to complete their courses by the end of the Fall term of the next academic year. For December commencement, courses must be completed by the end of the Spring term of the same academic year.
Policies regarding residency requirements, as well as any departmental residency requirements, apply.
General Requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree
The associate of arts degree contains a balanced program of liberal arts education without orientation to a particular major or minor. Requirements for the degree include 61 semester credit hours and the designated competencies as listed below. These requirements can usually be met in two years of full-time study. General Education Entry/Transfer levels apply to students seeking an associate of arts degree.
General Education Courses: 31-33 credits
Introduction to Wellbeing (GES 140)
Introduction to the Bible (BIB 101)
Artistic Experience (A)
Mathematics course (M)
Laboratory Science course (D)
World Cultures course (U)
Leisure and Lifetime Sports course (Q)
(Students entering Bethel with credits may be exempted from some of the General Education requirements based on their General Education Entry Standing. See the Transfer of Credits section of this catalog.)
Arts, Humanities, and Science: 5 credits
Choose courses from: humanities, social science, communication studies, natural sciences, or mathematics
Electives: 23-25 credits as needed to complete the required 61 credits for the Associate of Arts degree.
- A cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.
- At least 28 of the last 35 credits must be taken at Bethel.
- One interim course.
- Taken at Bethel:
- Upon completion of program, participation in commencement ceremonies is expected.
- Participation in commencement ceremonies is permitted for students who have not completed all graduation requirements provided that they have no more than seven (7) credits by the end of the fall term of the next academic year. For December commencement, courses must be completed by the end of the spring term of the same academic year. Policies regarding residency for particular courses apply.