Interdisciplinary
Studies

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies coordinates and fosters cross-disciplinary connections across all disciplines to help students realize their academic, personal, and professional aspirations.

For those students who wish to design their own course of study, the department offers the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.), an interdisciplinary degree that provides a flexible course of study with a strong foundation in the liberal arts, and the Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.), a two-year degree that can serve as a foundation for advanced study.

The department also cultivates greater opportunities for service learning and leadership initiatives across all disciplines and coordinates campus-wide development of interdisciplinary minors and activities available to all majors.

Mission

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies coordinates and fosters cross-disciplinary connections across all disciplines to help students realize their academic, personal, and professional aspirations.  For those students who wish to design their own course of study, the department offers the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.), an interdisciplinary degree that provides a flexible course of study with a strong foundation in the liberal arts. Because students are required to demonstrate depth in an academic area and to take courses in oral and written communication and the humanities, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies provides an interdisciplinary emphasis that prepares students for entry into postgraduate studies and the professional world with a new global focus. Additionally, the department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership, an online degree coordinated through a consortium of universities in the University of Louisiana System. The department also cultivates greater opportunities for service learning and leadership initiatives across all disciplines and coordinates campus-wide development of interdisciplinary minors and activities available to all majors.

Objectives

  • Prepare students for graduate study
  • Prepare students for careers
  • Provide a flexible degree program
  • Provide students with a sound foundation of knowledge within the liberal arts tradition

About Interdisciplinary Studies

There are several myths about Interdisciplinary Studies degrees. One is that switching to an Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum from another major will somehow allow a student to graduate earlier. This is not necessarily true. As with any other curriculum switch, a student may lose or gain hours with each change. The outcome of a switch depends on several factors such as the time in a student’s career when the switch is made.

What all of this is saying is that an Interdisciplinary Studies degree is a degree all to its own, with certain strengths and weaknesses just like other degrees. For many students, understanding a degree’s strength is as simple as understanding a chosen field. You know that after you graduate in accounting, accounting is your chosen field. You leave college assuming that the world of work and the professions will assume that your training is in accounting. Thus, there is a strength — a presumption that you are an “accounting person.” But there is also a weakness — the presumption that all you know is accounting.

So it is with Interdisciplinary Studies. There are weaknesses with the degree and strengths, especially when others are interpreting what you supposedly know.

However, it is true that Interdisciplinary Studies students, as a rule, are at a bit of a disadvantage from the start because they have no obvious major field of study, no “major name.” An Interdisciplinary Studies student must be ready for the question, “Just what is your degree in, anyway?”

How is an Interdisciplinary Studies student to answer this question?

More than any other student, an Interdisciplinary Studies student must give consideration to the degree itself, must be ready to explain the strengths and the concentration of knowledge to the outside world. This preparation is best done with a thorough understanding of what you’ve studied for four or five years. While the Interdisciplinary Studies “capstone” course IDST 410 is designed to help you understand your degree and to prepare for the world that awaits you after college, there are a few things you should think about before taking that course.

First, let’s look at what you’ve been studying in order to see where your strengths lie.

 

Knowledge You Have as B.I.S. Graduates:

  • General Education University requirements
  • Fine Arts (3 hours)
  • English (12 hours) writing, research, upper-level writing, literature
  • History (3 hours)
  • Math (6 hours)
  • Natural Sciences (9 hours)
  • Social Sciences (6 hours) sociology, psychology, government, geography, economics
  • University Studies (1 hour)
  • Computer Literacy (2 hours)
  • Oral Communication (3 hours)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies requirements
  • Intercultural studies humanities elective (3 hours)
  • Humanities (9 hours)
  • IDST 410 Senior Seminar (3 hours)
  • Demonstration of educational depth in an area with at least an overall C average. This depth is most easily demonstrated by way of an academic minor of at least 18 hours, 9 hours of which are at the 300-level or above. For graduation purposes, this academic depth must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Studies department head.

After taking a close look at your studies, you can see that you have “majored” in a general university education. You have also chosen to concentrate in a certain field to the extent that you have a minor or have demonstrated educational depth in that field.  What you may not realize is that your “general university major” has another name at other schools. At many universities, students can major in an area called “Liberal Arts.” A Liberal Arts major is someone who can be presumed to have liberal arts as a field of study.

After leaving a university, liberal arts majors are ready to find jobs where communication and problem-solving skills are needed. They are ready to find jobs where employers are looking for all-around “university thinkers.”

Let’s take a closer look at what a Liberal Arts major is.

Liberal Arts: studies in the humanities, mathematics, and the social and natural sciences as distinct from professional or technical subjects.

Not only is there a dictionary definition of liberal arts, but there is also a website designed by people who think that a strong liberal arts degree is the very essence of a valuable college education. The influence of this kind of thinking is found at most universities because all students are required to take “core courses” in liberal arts in order to graduate. All students at Nicholls do just that. All students are required to take “General Education” courses. These courses are based in the liberal arts.

It might be said that an Interdisciplinary Studies graduate has majored in an overall university education based on the liberal arts curriculum.

Those of you who are interested should click on the website below and visit the national liberal arts site for the organization known as The American Academy for Liberal Education. The words found there will help Interdisciplinary Studies students explain the strengths of their degree.

www.aale.org

The pages that follow are taken from this website. Take a look at what is being said. Your liberal arts degree comes with skills that many employers are looking for.

The Academy’s Mission, General Education and Curriculum, and Teaching and Educational Resources standards seek to ensure that accredited institutions provide their students with the educational means and opportunities essential for developing the characteristics of a liberally educated person. The Academy’s unique Liberal Learning Assessment standards invite institutions to reflect and report on the ways their educational programs actually foster the growth and flourishing of such characteristics in their students. Chief among these characteristics are the ability to reason and communicate effectively, possession of a certain breadth and depth of knowledge, and a love of learning.

The Academy’s Liberal Learning Assessment standards do not prescribe specific methods or instruments for assessing student learning. They seek, instead, to identify certain key characteristics of intellectual and personal achievement in liberal learning – Effective Reasoning, Broad and Deep Learning, and the Inclination to Inquire – and then to suggest some clear indicators or criteria of achievement. These characteristics, along with their associated indicators and criteria, should be recognizable across a broad spectrum of liberal education models.

Standard One – Effective Reasoning

An education in the liberal arts always seeks to develop students’ abilities to recognize and to think clearly about important issues and questions. The ability to reason effectively includes certain foundational skills or abilities (e.g., fluency in reading, writing, and oral communication, mastery of the basic principles of logical, mathematical, and scientific reasoning), as well as higher-order capacities for formulating, analyzing, integrating, and applying arguments and information.

Standard Two – Broad and Deep Learning

A liberally educated person should possess a rich fund of meaningful knowledge, as well as the ability to compare and integrate new or different areas of knowledge in fruitful ways. An institution’s general education curriculum should impart a broad foundational knowledge of the various liberal arts and sciences. Students should also experience the depth of learning that comes from a sustained, progressive exploration of the distinct modes of inquiry belonging to one or more of the major disciplines. Through such studies or their equivalents, students acquire the ability to relate disparate parts of the curriculum to one another, as well as to integrate knowledge gained across different fields of study.

Standard Three – The Inclination to Inquire

An education in the liberal arts and sciences is more than the mere accumulation of knowledge and skills. It fosters and encourages the student’s desire for seeking out and acquiring important knowledge and skills, both for their own sake and for the good they contribute to our common and individual lives. For this reason, a disposition for asking incisive and insightful questions and for pursuing enriching and useful skills is perhaps the surest sign of a liberally educated mind.

Effective Reasoning:

The student should demonstrate:

  • the foundational abilities of effective reasoning; fluency in reading, writing, and oral communication; basic principles of logical, mathematical and scientific reasoning
  • the ability to frame reasonable arguments, support them with relevant evidence, analyze arguments rationally and anticipate likely counter-arguments
  • the ability to recognize, evaluate, and integrate new information into existing frameworks of knowledge; and adapt those frameworks as necessary
  • the ability to engage in reasoned and sustained discussions of important issues or questions; and to elucidate orally and in writing different or opposing perspectives

Broad and Deep Learning:

The student should show:

  • a rich fund of meaningful knowledge
  • a familiarity with essential knowledge; principles and methods of various disciplines
  • a thorough grasp of basic knowledge, principles, and methods of one of the major disciplines
  • the ability to relate disparate areas or disciplines of the arts and sciences to one another
  • a general grasp of the principles, history, and workings of liberal and democratic institutions; proven ability to take up responsibilities and privileges of liberal and democratic citizenship
  • an ability to discuss salient issues of Western history, and a habit of bringing relevant knowledge of past thought and events to bear on contemporary questions
  • an appreciation for the political and cultural history of at least one non-Western culture
  • the ability to communicate effectively in a foreign language
  • an acquaintance with scientific and technological knowledge and development, and a basic understanding of their ethical/philosophical implications.

The Inclination to Inquire

The student should demonstrate:

  • a disposition to ask incisive and insightful questions and for pursuing enriching and useful knowledge and skills
  • the development of a reflective and inquisitive turn of mind, one that actively weighs the judgments put to it; the ability to bring to bear the knowledge and skills acquired in academic pursuits to important issues; development of a personally significant and continually examined perspective on answers to the questions, “What is the good life?” “What is the common good?” and “What is the best social order?”

Resume Writing

Resumes generally stress a person’s education in light of specific skills and areas of intense study. The skills for Interdisciplinary Studies students are those skills listed by the the American Academy for Liberal Education. Students who stress these skills on their resumes will find that employers are always looking for “liberal arts people.” Sometimes, students might have to show employers the proper way to interpret a liberal-arts-based resume. But that’s the purpose of all resumes: It’s the students’ responsibility to show that they are ready to put communication and problem-solving skills to work.

Designing a Program of Study

How will the University organize my years of study?

The internal management design of all universities is based on recognized patterns and groupings involved in learning and study. Most universities are divided into several very broad areas of learning called colleges. For instance, at Nicholls State University, there are five colleges: the College of Science and Technology, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Business Administration, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Nursing and Allied Health. The person in charge of each of these colleges is called a dean. Each dean reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

What is the name of my college?

If you are majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies and working toward a B.I.S. degree, your college is the College of Liberal Arts. Your dean is Jean Donegan.

What is my major? What is the name of the department where my major is located?

Your major is Interdisciplinary Studies. Your department is the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies  (252 Elkins Hall). Your department head is Dr. Robert Allen Alexander. Besides helping you coordinate your studies, your department advisor can answer many of your questions about college life.

How are the teachers organized within my college?

All of your teachers are grouped together into departments. For instance, language teachers and English teachers work in the Department of Languages and Literature. Most departments teach courses in a specific area of study. When you take a certain number of specific courses, you are said to be “majoring” in that area. A major is a dominant area in your course selection. A “minor” is also a dominant subject area, but a “minor” requires fewer courses to complete.

Taking these major and minor courses are just one of the things you must do to obtain a degree.

What other courses must I take to get a degree?

A word often used to describe a pattern of study is “curriculum” and its plural form “curricula.”

Students who are English majors take a curriculum that contains a concentrated number of courses that mostly have the label “English,” such as English 220 and English 321. Besides their major courses, all students must also take University-required “General Education” courses. All students must take these “core courses” in general education. All general education, university degree-requirements can be found in the current University catalog under “Degrees and Requirements.” These “core courses” together with those courses required by a student’s major area of study equals a student’s major curriculum.

You have chosen to follow an Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum for the Bachelor of  Interdisciplinary Studies Degree (B.I.S.) Unlike other majors, Interdisciplinary Studies students do not take a concentration of courses labeled with the name of the major area (Interdisciplinary Studies). You take a variety of courses in several of the disciplines of study offered by the university. Your major, therefore, is a broad and deep curriculum that can be said to stress the liberal arts courses. Although you are required to specialize in a certain area of study through at least one minor, you will not be taking enough of these courses to say that you have a major. You do, however, have to take enough courses in a certain area to satisfy the requirement of demonstrating academic depth, which is usually accomplished through the completion of one or more minors. You may choose any minor offered by a department or program at Nicholls.

What does my entire degree curriculum look like?

Your degree curriculum (Interdisciplinary Studies) can be found in the University Catalog and under the “Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.)” section of the Interdisciplinary Studies homepage.

Is there any other use for my Catalog except for this general information?

Yes, in another important way of thinking, your Catalog is very important. Each year a new Catalog is published. Since the Catalog changes from year to year, you will be required to follow the course curricula listed in a certain Catalog. You have a few options with regard to Catalog choices. You do not have to follow the requirements of the Catalog that was published the semester you began your college career. Within certain restrictions, you may choose to follow the requirements of a Catalog published after the beginning of your college career. Your academic advisor will help determine which Catalog works best for you.

You should be aware, also, that there are certain Catalog restrictions for students who are pursuing more than one degree simultaneously or who wish to earn an additional degree.

What is an advisor, and what is the role of my advisor?

Your department, the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, has a curriculum that you must follow to receive your Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree. Interdisciplinary Studies is your major area of study. Your advisor will be someone in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies who will help you schedule courses that are in your curriculum. Your advisor will help to make sure that you get your degree as efficiently as possible and that you meet all of the various curriculum guidelines. Most university students have advisors who work in the department where the student’s major professors all work.

When you see your Interdisciplinary Studies advisor, he or she will chart your college career on a degree checklist. This checklist is a map of the courses you must take. This checklist is an easy way for you to see all of the university and department requirements at a glance. You and your advisor may start new checklists whenever one checklist needs to be cleared up or has become cluttered.

 

What if I decide not to get a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies?

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies offers three degrees:
the Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.), the Bachelor of General Studies (B.I.S.), and the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership (B.A.)

Although the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum offers students a strong liberal-arts-centered degree, many of you may have chosen Interdisciplinary Studies because you were not sure of a major. You may decide at any time that you would like to major in another, more specific area of study.

When you change your area of study, you will probably be changing advisors. The new advisor, who is probably a professor in the department offering your major courses, will help you devise your new education plan, a plan that is intended to get you a degree. When you change your major, you are also changing your curriculum. You may also be changing colleges.

How do I change my curriculum?

To change your major, you must visit the office of your dean and fill out a change of major  form. Change of major becomes official on the date of submission to the Office of Records and Registration. Students should be advised by faculty in the newly chosen  for the next semester.

When programs must meet curricular requirements set by external agencies, such as accrediting associations, curricular changes may be made without prior notice, and students may be required to conform to such changes when they become effective.

Are there any cautions I should remember about changing major?

Any change in your area of study could cause you to lose credit for courses that do not count toward your degree in another area. When you are a freshman, most of the courses you take, ”general education courses,”will usually count in your favor in most degree plans. The longer you stay in a degree plan, however, the more your courses begin to count in one area of study over another. Check with your advisor before changing majors to get an accurate assessment of what could happen to your degree plan based on your switch.

Can I get credit for courses I have taken at other universities?

At the time you transfer to Nicholls from another institution, your records are sent to the Office of Admissions. The Office of Admissions determines how your coursework will transfer to the Nicholls academic environment. Transfer students who have attended other institutions must meet requirements as outlined in the Catalog section on “Admissions (link to Bulletin Admissions section or transfer student section).” To enter Nicholls, students must be eligible to re-enter the institution from which they are transferring and have an academic record which meets the standards required of students in the same classification at Nicholls.

Transfer students must remember that they must meet certain residency requirements with regard to curriculum. For instance, among other requirements, students

  • must earn at least 50 percent of the degree requirements at Nicholls
  • must be enrolled in residence at Nicholls during the last semester in the college in which the degree is sought
  • must earn at least 25 percent of credit hours in residence at Nicholls
  • must earn a majority of credits in the major at Nicholls
  • and must earn at least 24 of the last 30 hours offered to fulfill the degree requirements, six of which must be in the major field.

Check Degrees and Degree Requirements for other details.

Can I get credit for taking correspondence courses?

Correspondence courses offered by institutions that meet proper standards can be accepted as course work that can be applied toward the degree. However, students must be aware of certain restrictions. Before any course work is taken, students should consult with an Interdisciplinary Studies advisor to make sure that the courses will be applied to the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum. Also, before beginning correspondence course work, students must fill out the necessary form ” Request for Correspondence Work at Another University. This form may be obtained in the Office of the Dean of University College.

Students should also be aware of extra fees that may be involved beyond those fees that are assessed by the university offering the correspondence course. For instance, there is a charge of $20.00 for Nicholls’ students and $40.00 for non-Nicholls’ students for each correspondence test which is administered in the Testing Center at Nicholls State University.

Note well: No credit for correspondence or extension work can be earned toward a degree or for professional growth while a student is under suspension. Also, correspondence courses do not count toward residency requirements regarding a student’s last hours here at the university. Twenty-four of a student’s last 30 hours must be earned in residency at Nicholls.

Are there any other ways I can receive academic credit for courses I have taken or for experiences I have had in life?

There are several ways that students can get academic credit in these situations. There are opportunities for Advanced Placement, credit by petition, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Nicholls State University credit examinations, and credit for military service. Information about these opportunities follows:

Credit by Petition
An undergraduate student with an exceptionally high score on the ACT (American College Test) examination or who has prior knowledge of a subject may be placed in advanced level course work in certain academic disciplines. Credit will not be granted for academic sequence course work taken previously and for which grades have been earned. Credit by petition is applicable to courses taken at Nicholls only, not to transfer courses. Students are allowed advanced placement credit only in courses numbered below 200. If the advanced level course work is completed with a grade of C or better the first time taken, the student may receive credit for the lower level course work by submitting a completed Credit by Petition form to the Office of Records and Registration. A student who earns less than a C in the advanced course work forfeits eligibility to petition for credit for the lower-level course work. Credit will be allowed only on academic sequence course work approved by the appropriate department head. Credit received by petition may be applied toward graduation but will not be considered in computing the overall grade-point average. The petition form can be obtained from the office of the student’s academic dean.

Advanced Placement Program (Credit by Examination)
Nicholls students may obtain credit by examination in four ways:

  • ACT (American College Testing Program)
  • Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Board (AP)
  • College-Level Examination Program of the College Board (CLEP)
  • Nicholls State University Credit Examinations

ACT (American College Testing) Program Scores
Entering freshmen are eligible for course credit in English and/or mathematics if their enhanced ACT scores are sufficiently high.

Students receive credit in:

  • English 101 if they score 28 or higher in English
  • English 102 if they score 32 or higher in English
  • Mathematics 101 if they score 23 or higher in mathematics
  • Mathematics 102 if they score 27 or higher in mathematics

The University accepts the corresponding Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores in place of ACT scores for advanced placement purposes under exceptional circumstances.

Advanced Placement Program Examinations
Students achieving scores of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement examinations are eligible to receive credit on the basis of such test scores. Credit is granted for freshman-level and sophomore-level courses only. Students who have completed these tests should have their scores sent by the College Board directly to the Nicholls State University Office of Records and Registration.

College-Level Examination Program
Nicholls State University, an official CLEP Test Center, administers CLEP examinations. CLEP enables both traditional and non-traditional students to earn college credit by examination for freshman and sophomore courses only. The Office of Records and Registration will award credit for satisfactory scores on approved subject examinations only after the academic department in which credit is sought determines it should be awarded.

Nicholls State University Credit Examinations
Nicholls administers credit examinations to students who claim special competence gained through practical experience, extensive training, or completion of courses in non-accredited institutions. A credit examination must be approved in advance by the dean of the college in which the course concerned is offered, and the department head and the appropriate instructor in the academic department administering the examination. Students seeking credit by examination will initiate the process by obtaining the required application in the Office of Records and Registration.

  • Credit examinations will be permitted only in those areas in which the student has already gained fundamental knowledge of the subject.
  • Only students enrolled in the University are eligible to take credit examinations.
  • Transfer students may not take credit examinations until all credits accepted as transfer credits are recorded at Nicholls.
  • The course for which credit is sought must be included in the current University Bulletin.
  • In no case will a student be permitted to take a credit examination in a course which the student has audited or taken for non-credit or a course in which the student made an unsatisfactory grade of W, D, F or U.
  • A student may not repeat a failed credit examination.
  • Credit examinations may not be used to reduce the University’s residence requirements for degree purposes.

A student must make the equivalent of a C grade or better on the examination to receive credit. However, no grade other than S or U is assigned or recorded.

Credit for Military Service
A student who has completed a minimum of six months (181 consecutive days) of active duty in the United States Armed Forces shall be classified as a veteran. In order to receive credit for military service, the student must present an official document showing honorable discharge or assignment to the National Guard or to reserve status. Two semester hours of health and physical education activity credit will be awarded for each six months of active service, up to a maximum of eight semester hours of credit.


Remember: This Studies checklist is only a useful map of your career and reflects certain choices that you have made. It is not an entirely accurate description of those courses in your curriculum that you need to take to fulfill degree requirements. But it is a good estimation of what you need to take, based on situations that vary from student to student. The university’s computer data base contains the official record of what you have taken and what remains to be taken. Your advisor will check this data base regularly to make sure your present checklist coincides with these official records. Where there is a discrepancy between your checklist and the official data base, the data base is presumed to be the official document.

 

DEGREE PROGRAMS

BACHELOR OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES (B.I.S.)

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program allows students to create an interdisciplinary course of study across academic disciplines and professional fields with the following requirements:

  • A formalized plan of study approved by a departmental advisor.
  • A maximum of 6 semester hours in HPED activity courses. No more than 6 hours of performance music courses may be applied toward the BIS degree (except for those students completing an approved music minor).
  • A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit toward the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree taken within the College of Business Administration (excluding 3 hours of economics which may be counted as General Education).
  • At least 45 hours of courses numbered 300 or above, 9 of which must be at the 400-level.
  • Demonstration of educational depth in an academic area with at least an overall C average. This depth is most easily demonstrated by way of an academic minor of at least 18 hours, 9 hours of which are at the 300-level or above. For graduation purposes, this academic depth must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Studies department head.
  • Completion of IDST 410 with a grade of C or better.

Students must complete the last fifteen hours of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree while registered in the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies

  • (CLR) Computer Literacy Requirement;
  • (GER) General Education Requirement;
  • (OCR) Oral Communication Requirement;
  • (UR) University Requirement

Suggested Course Sequence:

YEAR*COURSE NAMECOURSE NUMBERREQUIREMENTCREDIT HRS
1ENGL101GER3
1ENGL102GER3
1Freshman Seminar Course UR1
1Fine Arts Elective GER3
1HIST Elective GER3
1Humanities Elective GER3
1MATH Elective GER3
1MATH Elective GER3
1Natural Sciences Elective GER3
1Natural Sciences Elective GER3
1Social Sciences Elective GER3
2Computer Literacy Elective CLR2
2Literature Elective GER3
2Humanities Elective  3
2Humanities Elective  3
2Natural Sciences Elective GER3
2Oral Communication Course OCR3
2Social Sciences Elective GER3
2Elective  3
2Elective  3
2Elective  3
3Writing Intensive Course GER3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Elective  3
3Intercultural Studies Elective** 3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Elective  3
4Humanities Elective  3
4IDST410 3
 TOTAL HOURS  120

*Recommend complete as Freshman (1), Sophomore (2), Junior (3), Senior (4)

**To be chosen from the following: ART 280, 281, 282, 383, 384, 392, 480; CULA 401, 492; ENGL 326, 332, 424, 426, 427, 467, 468, 475,  490, 493; FNAR 301, 302; GEOG 375, 376, 401, 403; GOVT 250, 331, 355, 391, 412, 416, 421; HIST 201, 307, 309, 311, 333, 350, 368,  382, 393, 400, 416, 425, 490; HUMA 350, 351, 405, 426, 450, 451; IDST 420;  MACO 355, 370, 452; MUS 407; PHIL 400; PSYC 303; SOCI 204, 324, 360, 372, 380, 390, 395, 400, 404, 405; SPCH 300, 302, 330, 363, or any foreign language elective.

ASSOCIATE OF GENERAL STUDIES (A.G.S.)

The Associate of General Studies degree has been designed to prepare students for entry into one of the many baccalaureate degree programs offered by the university. The AGS degree validates the importance of general education as a foundation for academic achievement in the selected baccalaureate degree and for future professional advancement. Students may be accepted into the A.G.S. degree program (GSAS major) before completing 60 hours of coursework. All GSAS majors are advised as though they are exploratory students. The university awards the Associate of General Studies Degree to a student who, in addition to satisfying the university’s minimum requirements for graduation, meets the following requirements: No more than 2 semester hours of H&PE activity courses and no more than 6 hours of performance music courses may be applied toward the A.G.S. Degree. 6 hours of a two-course sequence in a physical or a biological science and 3 hours in a natural science area other than that selected for the sequence as specified in the GER Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree.

Associate of General Studies Degree in General Studies

  • (CLR) Computer Literacy Requirement;
  • (GER) General Education Requirement;
  • (OCR) Oral Communication Requirement;
  • (UR) University Requirement
Suggested Course Sequence:
YEAR* COURSE NAME COURSE NUMBER REQUIREMENT CREDIT HRS
1 ENGL 101 GER 3
1 ENGL 102 GER 3
1 Freshman Seminar Course UR 1
1 HIST Elective GER 3
1 Humanities Elective 3
1 MATH Elective GER 3
1 MATH Elective GER 3
1 Natural Sciences Elective GER 3
1 Natural Sciences Elective GER 3
1 Social Sciences Elective GER 3
1 Social Sciences Elective GER 3
2 Fine Arts Elective GER 3
2 Computer Literacy Elective CLR 2
2 Elective 3
2 Elective 3
2 Elective 3
2 Elective 3
2 Elective 3
2 Elective 3
2 Literature Elective 3
2 Oral Communication Course OCR 3
  TOTAL HOURS     60
*Recommend complete as Freshman (1), Sophomore (2), Junior (3), Senior (4)

General University Requirements

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for graduation from Nicholls State University with a baccalaureate or associate degree the student must meet general education requirements, general university requirements and residence requirements as specified.

General Education Requirements  (GER)

In support of the university’s mission to create a personalized, culturally rich, and dynamic learning environment, the General Education Program at Nicholls State University provides a common integrative learning experience for all undergraduates, regardless of their major or their program of study.   This common core of study develops and fosters:

  • foundational competencies in communication, critical thinking, computer and information literacy, and quantitative reasoning
  • an understanding of the natural and social worlds in which we live
  • an awareness of the importance of the past and a familiarity with the cultural movements that have shaped the present
  • an informed appreciation for the artistic and philosophical expressions of the human community
  • the exercise of moral reasoning, ethical choices, and social responsibility
  • intellectual curiosity, independent and life-long learning
  • knowledgeable and tolerant perspectives of intercultural and international issues and challenges

The general education core curriculum must be completed by each student working toward a baccalaureate or associate degree at Nicholls. Students take a general education competency test before graduation. Test results are used solely for program evaluation, and student cooperation is required. For more information, see the NSU General Education website at www.nicholls.edu/general_education.

Departments specify which general education courses are required for each particular major, minor, concentration and/or certification.

General Education Core Curriculum

REQUIREMENTBaccalaureateAssociate
ENGLISH COMPOSITION:From ENGL 101, 102 or ENGL 111, 112. Each student shall fulfill English competency requirements by earning a C or better in 102 or 112.6 Hours6 Hours
FINE ARTS:From any ART, MUS, or FNAR course, or from SPCH 300 as specified by the major/minor/concentration/certification.3 Hours3 Hours
HUMANITIES:3 hours from any 100 or 200 level HIST.
3 hours from Literature at the 200-level or above as specified by the major/minor/concentration/certification. (Literature classes include ENGL 210, 211, 212,  255, 256, 300-301-302, 305, 306, 315, 316, 321, 322, 332, 361, 363, 410, 411, 424, 427, 451, 455, 460, 463, 471, 475, 482; FREN 316, 403; SPAN 351, 355, 401, 402, 405.)
3 hours from any GEAC approved Humanities elective listed on GEAC Approved Humanities Courses at https://www.nicholls.edu/general_education/core-curriculum/.
9 Hours3 Hours
MATHEMATICS: From MATH 100 or MATH 101, or MATH 117, and a mathematics course specified by the major/minor/   concentration/certification. MATH 101/117, or MATH 117/101, or MATH 117/214 will satisfy general education requirements.  Credit in calculus will also fulfill the math competency requirement. Math 117 serves as a prerequisite to MATH 214 only.  6 Hours6 Hours
NATURAL SCIENCES: Courses from both the biological and physical sciences must be taken to fulfill the natural science requirement. Six hours shall be earned in a single biological or physical science, and three hours must be earned in a natural science area other than that selected to fulfill the six-hour requirement, as specified by the major/minor/concentration/certification.9Hours6 Hours of any science.   No sequence required
SOCIAL and BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES:From the following disciplines: ECON, GEOG, GOVT, PSYC, SOCI.6 Hours3 Hours for A.S.
6 Hours for A.G.S
WRITING-INTENSIVE COURSE:From ENGL 264, 266, 310, 366, 368, 468, BSAD 310, MACO 251 as specified by the major/minor/concentration/certification. These courses teach effective writing within a discipline with primary emphasis on the further development of essential writing and reasoning skills necessary for success in students’ academic, personal, and professional lives.3 Hours 
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION:International content, issues, and concerns to be integrated as required within existing general education courses.  
Total General Education Requirements42 Hours27-30 Hours

University Requirement (UR)

One freshman seminar course from the following approved list: UNIV 101 or PSET 100.

Computer Literacy Requirement (CLR) – 2 hours

Computer literacy competency requirements are specified by each department from the list of approved courses. Approved computer literacy courses: All CMPS; EDUC 251; MNTC 110; MACO 321, 322, 362; MUS 201; OIS 200; See program description for specific requirement by major.

Oral Communication Requirement (OCR) – 3 hours

Oral communication competency requirements are specified by each department from the list of approved courses.
Approved oral communication courses: ART 251; ENGL 304; EDUC 456, 457, 458, 461, 465, 483; FCED 262, 239; NURS 440; SPCH 101, 104, or 105; SPCH 363; collective completion of MUS 211, 212, 272, 340, and 341; collective completion of MUED 223, 225, 227, 383, 385, and MUS 272, 302 and 341; collective completion of MUED 383, 384, 478 and MUS 272, 303, and 341. See program description for specific requirement by major.

Baccalaureate Degree

General Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree

In addition to the General Education (GER), University (UR), Computer Literacy (CLR) and Oral Communication (OCR) requirements, to qualify for graduation with a baccalaureate degree, a student must:

  • Complete all work in one of the curricula as outlined in the university Bulletin including the university General Education requirements and an approved freshman seminar course.
  • Achieve competencies in computer literacy and oral communication as determined by individual departments or curricula.
  • Successfully complete at least 24 semester hours in the subject of the major or field of concentration. Some curricula require more hours and no grade lower than C in the major field.
  • Earn an overall adjusted (internal) grade point average of at least 2.0 in all work and in the minor subject, if any. A minor consists of a minimum of 18 semester hours in the minor field of concentration if a minor is stipulated by the department. A transfer student, in addition to meeting the above requirements, must have an adjusted (internal) grade point average of at least 2.0 in courses taken at Nicholls and which lead to a degree
  • Earn a minimum of 120 semester hours in degree courses.
  • Earn at least 45 semester hours in courses numbered 300 or above.
  • Fulfill the residence requirements. (See Residence Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree.)
  • Consult the academic dean of his or her college prior to the semester he or she intends to complete degree requirements and have academic records checked for completeness and accuracy.
  • Apply for the degree with the Office of Records and Registration during the registration period for the semester or summer session in which degree requirements are to be completed.
  • Pay graduation fees during the registration period for the semester or summer session in which degree requirements are to be completed.
  • Clear all university accounts.
  • Participate in Commencement exercises. Because of extenuating circumstances, a student may request permission to be awarded the degree in absentia. The request must be made in writing to the dean of the student’s college prior to graduation. A mailing fee of $10 is assessed for diplomas mailed within the continental United States and $25 outside the continental United States.

Residence Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

To qualify for graduation with a baccalaureate degree, a student must:

  • Earn at least 25 percent of credit hours in residence at Nicholls and earn a majority of credits in the major at Nicholls.
  • Earn at Nicholls at least 24 of the last 30 semester hours offered in fulfillment of the degree requirements, six of which must be in the major field.
  • For certain pre professional majors, complete 3 years of curriculum in pre dentistry, pre medicine, pre physical therapy, pre veterinary medicine, or pre medical technology; subsequently complete with at least a 2.0 grade-point average the first year of work in an accredited professional school (see curriculum requirements); and transfer the first 30 semester hours of professional school credits to Nicholls. A student completing work for a degree in this manner must earn at Nicholls at least 24 semester hours in residence after the sophomore year, and must fulfill general university degree requirements.
  • Earn at least 50 percent of degree requirements at Nicholls or in residence at another accredited university or college. The remaining 50 percent of these requirements may be gained through correspondence, extension, military service, military service schools, CLEP, or any accumulation from all categories of testing, placements, and similar programs.
  • Be enrolled during the last semester in residence at Nicholls in the college from which the degree is sought.

Additional Undergraduate Degree

A student wishing to earn an additional baccalaureate degree in another field of study at the university must earn at least 30 semester hours in addition to the number required for the first degree and must also satisfy all requirements for each degree. The additional 30 hours need not have been completed after the first degree was awarded, but the total hours earned must be the number required for the first and 30 more hours.

To receive an associate degree as an additional degree, the student must meet the requirements of the degree and earn no less than 15 semester hours at Nicholls in addition to the hours required for the first degree.

More Than One Major

Students are permitted to pursue two or more majors simultaneously by petitioning the dean or deans of the appropriate curricula. Identifications of the majors are posted on the transcript only as a part of the degree. A second or additional major will not be indicated if requirements are completed subsequent to graduation.

Associate Degree

General Requirements for Associate Degree

In addition to the General Education (GER), University (UR), Computer Literacy (CLR) and Oral Communication (OCR) requirements, to qualify for graduation with an associate degree, a student must:

  • Complete all work in one of the curricula as outlined in the university Catalog including the university General Education requirements and an approved freshman seminar course.
  • Achieve competencies in computer literacy and oral communication as determined by individual departments or curricula.
  • Complete a minimum of 60 semester hours in degree credit courses.
  • Fulfill the residence requirements. (See Residence Requirements for  Associate Degree.)
  • Have an overall adjusted (internal) grade-point average of at least 2.0 in all courses.
  • Apply for the degree by the deadline as published in the university calendar with the Office of Records and Registration during the registration period for the semester or summer session in which degree requirements are to be completed, and pay graduation fees at that time.
  • Clear all university accounts.
  • Participate in commencement exercises. Because of extenuating circumstances, a student may request permission to be awarded the degree in absentia. The request must be made in writing to the dean of the student’s college prior to graduation. A mailing fee of $10 is assessed for diplomas mailed within the continental United States and $25 outside the continental United States.

Residence Requirements  for Associate Degree

To qualify for graduation with an associate degree, a student must:

  • Earn at least 25% of credit hours in residence at Nicholls.
  • Complete at least 12 of the last 15 semester hours in residence at Nicholls.
  • Be enrolled during the last semester in residence at Nicholls in a college from which the degree is sought.

MINORS

Bayou Studies Minor
Computer Science (CMPS)
Humanities (HUMA)
Internet Studies and Web Development (ISWD)
Social Sciences (SSCI)

MINORS

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies offers five minors in a variety of subject matters. Any baccalaureate degree-seeking student is able to obtain a minor listed below upon graduation if specified course requirements are met.

Bayou Studies Minor

The university offers a minor in Bayou Studies after successful completion of 18 hours of courses that include content about local or regional history, literature, culture, language and geography. Nine hours must include IDST 201 (Bayou Region Field Explorations) and ENGL 426 (Bayou Culture) as well as either ENGL 427 or HIST 371. The remaining nine hours can be chosen from the following list, with at least three of those hours coming from GEOG 375, SOCI 204, or SOCI 395:

BIOL 215: Pirogue Biology
CULA 401: Culinary History of the South
CULA 279: Cajun and Creole Cuisine
ENGL 326: Intro to Folklore
ENGL 427: Louisiana Literature
ENGL 490: Language and Culture
FREN 101: Elementary French I

FREN 102: Elementary French II
GEOG 375: Geography of Louisiana
HIST 371: Louisiana History
HUMA 303: French Literature in Translation
SOCI 204: Cultural Diversity of America
SOCI 395: Racial and Cultural Minorities​

Computer Science (CMPS)

The university offers a minor in Computer Science upon the successful completion of CMPS 130, 135, 221, 312, 406, 410, and 418. A grade of C or better is required in each computer science course.

Humanities (HUMA)

The University offers a minor in the Humanities upon the successful completion of at least 18 hours above GENED requirements in the following curricula:

ART (non-performance)
CULA 101, 401|
EDUC 339
ENGL (literature, film studies)
FACS 480
FNAR (non-performance)
Foreign Languages
GEOG 104, 340
GOVT 355​

History (any course)
HUMA (any course)
IDST 420 (depending on topic)
MACO 101, 355
MUS (non-performance)
PHIL (any course)
PSYC 303
SOCI 204, 372 (depending on topic), 395
SPCH (non-performance)

The total hours in the humanities minor (18) must include courses in at least three areas of the humanities outside the student’s major with a minimum of 9 hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Students must earn a C or better in all courses counted toward the minor.

Internet Studies and Web Development (ISWD)

An innovative minor offered to students wishing to supplement their major with knowledge of the Internet while focusing on different areas including Web tools, webpage and online database creation, and other current topics. The minor consists of CMPS 125, CMPS 250, CMPS 340, CMPS 470 and 6 hours of 300-and 400-level electives that address content and issues related to Internet Studies and Web Development. Preferably these 6 hours of electives will be in courses in the student’s major. These electives must be approved by the Head of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Social Sciences (SSCI)

The university offers a minor in the Social Sciences upon the successful completion of at least 18 hours above General Education requirements in the following curricula:​

Economics
Family and Consumer Services
Geography
Government

​Mass Communication
Psychology
Sociology

The total hours in the social sciences minor (18) must include courses in at least three areas of the social sciences outside the student’s major with a minimum of 9 hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Students must earn a C or better in all courses counted toward the minor.

FACULTY & STAFF

Dr. Robert Allen Alexander
Head and Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Elkins Hall 252
985.448.4096
robert.alexander@nicholls.edu


Dr. Kristina Allemand
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Elkins Hall 254
985.448.4092
kristina.allemand@nicholls.edu


Cambria Bouzigard
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Professional Academic Advisor

Elkins Hall 234
985.448.4101
cambria.bouzigard@nicholls.edu


Karen Cheramie
Administrative Coordinator 4, Interdisciplinary Studies
Elkins Hall 252
985.448.4459
karen.cheramie@nicholls.edu


Liz Folse
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Professional Academic Advisor

Elkins Hall 234
985.448.4102
elizabeth.folse@nicholls.edu


David Ford
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Professional Academic Advisor

Elkins Hall 234
985.293.2670
david.ford@nicholls.edu


 

Dr. Ray Giguette
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Elkins Hall 259
985.448.4396
ray.giguette@nicholls.edu


Dr. Amy Hebert
Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies Coordinator, Academic Advising Center and Professional Academic Advisor
Elkins Hall 234
985.448.4086
amy.hebert@nicholls.edu


Rebecca Picou
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Professional Academic Advisor

Elkins Hall 234
985.448.4097
rebecca.picou@nicholls.edu


Brittany Rhodes
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Professional Academic Advisor

Elkins Hall 234
985.448.4094
brittany.rhodes@nicholls.edu


Dr. Cathy Richard
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Elkins Hall 258
985.493.2529
cathy.richard@nicholls.edu


Dr. Lori Richard
Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Assistant Athletic Director, Academic Services
Elkins Hall 261
985.448.4825
lori.richard@nicholls.edu

ADVISING

Interdisciplinary Studies Advising Mission Statement

The academic advisors within the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies consider advising to be an integral part of the teaching and learning process for our students, faculty, and staff. Effective advising benefits the entire college community, fosters strong community relationships, and helps us to meet the department’s mission of providing excellent, high quality, affordable educational opportunities for our students. Through individual, collaborative relationships with our academic advisors, students are best able to define and implement sound educational plans that are consistent with their personal values, goals, and career plans.

 

Goals

  • To help students explore education goals
  • To develop suitable educational plans and customized programs of study for each student
  • To teach students how to monitor progress toward established educational goals
  • To encourage students to utilize college support services
  • To raise graduation and transfer rates at Nicholls State University

Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to make effective, healthy decisions concerning their educational goals
  • Students will develop an educational plan that includes their program of study for successfully achieving their goals
  • Students will select courses each semester to progress toward fulfilling that educational plan
  • Students will gain an appreciation of the value of higher education beyond getting a job
  • Students will make use of campus resources as needed to achieve their educational goals
  • Students will exercise realistic self-appraisal as they recognize their strengths and weaknesses

Checklists links:  A degree plan (audit) is a guide to achieve your academic goals. It describes the degree requirements and specifies courses selected to meet them. It is your responsibility to schedule an appointment with your advisor to develop your plan. This should be done early in your course of study. While the audit/degree plan is intended to be flexible, you should not deviate from it without the permission of your advisor. Otherwise, you run the risk of taking courses that may not be applicable to your degree. No student will be approved for graduation until all requirements have been met.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Checklist

Associate of General Studies Checklist

Other Important Links:

Humanities Approved Course List

Intercultural Studies Electives

Graduation application