2.7.2 Program Content
The institution offers degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated mission and is based upon fields of study appropriate to higher education.
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) offers coherent programs of study that are compatible with its stated mission as “an engaged, metropolitan university committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, and dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of the region through strategic partnerships and community involvement.”
Each degree program is approved by faculty and administration on campus, by the system office, and by the Board of Trustees. All programs are then reviewed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) for coherence, compatibility, relevance, sustainability, and appropriateness to the campus. The new Master of Science in Mathematics was approved in this manner by the Board of Trustees on February 27, 2009 (Page 10).
Further proof of the quality and coherence of UTC’s degree programs comes from the accreditation process. Forty-four (44) programs are accredited by national accreditation agencies. All eligible programs are accredited by the relevant agency, such as AACSB, ABET, and NASM, demonstrating the appropriateness and excellence of each program.
As a first step toward coherence, UTC has a General Education program that requires all students to complete a course of study appropriate to higher education (see 2.7.3 for more information). This requirement provides a foundation upon which individual disciplines can base their programs of study. Within each major, there are select “core” courses that every graduate must complete. These core courses are chosen carefully to further develop the foundation of knowledge that leads to innovation within each field. Finally, the remaining course work within each discipline is arranged with prerequisites and appropriate course numbering to guarantee the cohesion of the program.
As an example, we can review the BA in English and American Language and Literature. The student seeking this degree must complete the General Education requirements as determined by the University. Then, a student is provided with 4 core courses that must be completed. These core courses are all at the 2000 level and provide a foundation useful in all other language and literature coursework. They are Introduction to Literary Analysis, Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis, Survey of American Literature, and Survey of British Literature. Clearly, these courses are a coherent and relevant basis upon which to build a program. Beyond this core, a student must take a prescribed number of hours in the discipline, some of which must come from required courses such as Shakespeare and History of the English Language.
In order to be accepted as a degree program, the proposing department must prove coherence to the UTC Curriculum Committee, the UTC Faculty Senate, the UT system, the Board of Trustees, and THEC. Each degree program also undergoes a curriculum review every two years. Part of this review process is an effort to ensure continued coherence within the discipline.
Compatibility with Stated Mission
As the University’s stated Mission includes substantial focus on teaching, learning, and research, it should be self-evident that a quality degree program is compatible with this mission. As an institute of higher education, our first and most crucial commitment is to our students and their acquisition of knowledge.
Appropriateness to Higher Education
The approval process for any new degree program requires proof of the rigor and substance of the program and the courses included in it. New program proposals must conform to the format prescribed by THEC for the University of Tennessee, which includes information concerning faculty, resources, need for the program, assessment, and other projections. Additionally, the proposal must be able to prove the necessity of such a degree program as seen through career or professional requirements or standards.
Undergraduate Degree Requirements
The University offers undergraduate programs that lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Social Work. Specific requirements for these degrees are outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog within each of the colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and College of Health, Education and Professional Studies.
Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 hours, including 40-41 hours of general education coursework. The remaining requirements include coursework in the major and/or concentration, and electives.
All students seeking the B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete the requirements for a minor in the same valid catalog year as the major. Students completing the requirements for two majors satisfy the requirement for a minor. For students seeking the B.A. as a second degree, the previously completed major will satisfy the minor requirement. Students may complete an established minor requiring a minimum of 18 credit hours with at least 8 credit hours at the 300/400 level.
Additional graduation requirements for undergraduate students ensure consistent and high standards for UTC graduates. These requirements include:
- Complete all degree requirements (majors and minors) within the same valid catalog year and complete all major and related curriculum requirements outlined in the valid catalog year for the specific major(s).
- Comply with the state law that one unit of American history at the high school level or 6 credit hours of collegiate work be satisfactorily completed.
- Complete 60 credit hours at an accredited senior (4-year) institution.
- Complete the last 24 credit hours at UTC.
- Complete at least 39 credit hours at the 300-400 level.
- Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 300-400 level in the UTC major department(s) or program(s) offering the degree.
- Earn a minimum of a 2.0 institutional cumulative GPA unless otherwise specified by the major, a minimum 2.0 GPA for all course work attempted at UTC, and a minimum 2.0 GPA for all credit hours attempted in the major(s) unless otherwise specified.
Graduate Program Requirements
Graduate degree programs require a minimum of 30 credit hours. Each program includes cognate or required courses and a number of electives. The Application for Admission to Candidacy Form (completed between 9 and 18 graduate hours) identifies the specific courses which the student will complete to earn the graduate degree, and is approved by the advisor, coordinator of the program, and the Dean of the Graduate School. It is this approved program of study that constitutes the degree requirements for each graduate student.
- Mission Statement
- Approval of MS: Mathematics, Board of Trustees Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee, February 27, 2009
- UT BOT meeting minutes, February 27, 2009, Page 10
- National Accreditations
- General Education Requirements
- BA English and American Language and Literature Requirements
- THEC Format for UT New Program Proposals
- 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog, College of Arts and Sciences
- 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog, College of Business
- 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog, College of Engineering and Computer Science
- 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog, College of Health, Education and Professional Studies
- Graduate Catalog