Academic Policies

The Major

The major is a sequence of courses in a department or program designed to prepare students, according to departmental or program objectives, for certain careers and/or for graduate work. All students are required to complete at least one set of major requirements for graduation from the University, including at least four upper-division major courses (12-16 hrs.). At minimum, a 2.0 GPA is required for graduation. A higher GPA in the major may be required by some programs.

Declaration of Major

Students apply for a major by completing a Declaration of Major form obtained from the dean of the college or from the Leckrone Academic Resource Center. Approval from the chairperson of the department offering the major is required for declaration. Students are encouraged to declare their major(s) early. However, all students must declare a major before completing 58 credit hours applicable toward graduation. Transfer students who have earned more than 58 credit hours transferable to Lewis must declare a major upon admission.

Once declaring a major, the student will be assigned a faculty advisor from the major who will assist the student in preparing an approved program leading to graduation.

Change a Major

Students may change majors by applying to the chairpersons of the two departments involved by means of a form obtained from the dean of the college(s). The change of major is not complete until it has been recorded in the Office of the Registrar.

Double Major

A student may complete the major requirements of two departments or programs at Lewis, thus earning a double major which will be indicated on the permanent record. To do so, a student must complete all general education requirements of the college and University, as well as the requirements of each major. Application for a double major is made through the office of the dean of the college(s) involved and requires the consent of both the primary and secondary major department chairpersons. A student may apply for the double major no earlier than the sophomore year, and only after successfully beginning the program of the primary major. No application for the double major may be made after a student enters the final semester at Lewis. Requirements for the double major must be completed by graduation.

A student completing the requirements for two majors which earn different degrees will be awarded only one degree. That of the primary major will be given, unless a request is made for the degree appropriate to the secondary major.

Triple Major

A student may complete the major requirements of three departments or programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, thus earning a triple major which will be indicated on the transcript. To do so, a student must complete 60 credit hours, at least 20 of them at Lewis, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. No application for a triple major may be made after a student enters the final semester at Lewis. To apply for the triple major, a student must request that his or her academic advisors form a Program Approval Committee (PAC) consisting of the chairs of each of the departments involved, as well as the dean. The student will present to the PAC a brief statement explaining the benefits of the third major, along with letters of support from advisors or faculty members in the majors. The PAC will determine on an individual case basis which classes will be required and decide upon the required number of credits for each major. In each case, the decision of the PAC will be detailed in a written contract, signed by the department chairs, the dean and the student. Each person and the University Registrar will receive a copy of the contract. If the PAC rejects a request for a triple major, the dean will supply the student with a written rationale for the decision.


Students pursuing a minor should follow the requirements of a specific minor found in this catalog. These requirements must be completed by graduation. Credit for “D” grades does not transfer toward the hours that are required for the minor. Two upper-division courses (6-8 hrs.) in the minor must be taken at Lewis. A 2.0 GPA (“C” average) in the minor is required for graduation.


Students who want to qualify for professional certification should consult with the chairperson of their major department to learn how to meet such requirements.

Residency Requirement: The 32-Hour Rule

Lewis University requires that traditional undergraduate students fulfill a residency requirement by completing the last 32 credit hours of their degree programs in Lewis courses. This academic policy is known as the 32-Hour Rule, and it fulfills one of the eligibility requirements for graduation.

Registration and Coursework

The Registrar publishes the University Course Schedule for the regular semesters and summer session. These schedules include both procedures and dates for registration.

Before Registration

Each semester, students must consult with their faculty advisors for approval of class schedules for the coming semester. This academic advising will ordinarily take place after the publication of the University Course Schedule , that is, several weeks before registration. Students who do not have an advisor or who have not declared a major must consult with the Leckrone Academic Resource Center. Once a major has been declared, a student will ordinarily be advised by a faculty member from his or her major department.

Each student must see his or her advisor or a staff member from the Leckrone Academic Resource Center to obtain a recommended sequence of courses. Each major department has developed a recommended sequence which blends the general education and major requirements together in a reasonable and systematic fashion. Thereafter, the advisor must sign the student’s registration card each semester prior to registration. The student must obtain a registration access code from his/her advisor in order to register online.

All financial obligations, including unpaid tuition and fees, library and traffic fines, and residence hall charges, must be paid for the current semester before a student can register for the next semester, or a satisfactory payment plan must be arranged with the Bursar. Specific information on financial obligations can be found in the section of this catalog titled “Financial Information”

University Graduation Requirements Applicable to all Undergraduate Students

The curriculum is divided into three parts: general education requirements, requirements for the major and elective courses. The general education requirements specify courses in the fine arts/humanities, social studies and natural sciences, communication and mathematics, designed to introduce the student to the various fields of liberal culture. Mission-related courses are also required.

Requirements for the major provide the opportunity for a greater depth of study in one academic field. Electives allow the student to select additional courses suited to educational needs. Elective courses should be chosen with a definite purpose, such as providing additional support for the student’s future profession or overcoming an educational deficiency.

To meet University requirements, all students must:

  1. complete the General Education Requirements.
  2. achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 and at least a 2.00 GPA in the major (or the required GPA or the major if different).
  3. complete the requirements of an approved major.
  4. earn 128 credit hours in courses acceptable for graduation.
  5. complete the last year of coursework at Lewis University (at least 32 hours), as well as at least four upper-division courses n the major and at least two upper-division courses in any minor.
  6. complete any special requirements of their respective college and the major taken within the college.