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SBHE Policies



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SUBJECT: 400s: Academic Affairs EFFECTIVE: December 18, 2008
Section: 409 Degrees Offered

  1. Board approval limits institutional degrees and programs.

  2. An institution may only request a new degree if all of the following conditions are met:
    1. There is a documented student and employer demand;
    2. Existing programs or degrees at other institutions are not meeting the demand and other institutions authorized to offer the degree are not positioned to meet the demand;
    3. The proposed degree includes collaboration with other institutions, if feasible; and
    4. The institution seeking the new degree is best positioned to offer a degree program to meet the demand, either collaboratively or separately.


  3. Institutions in the North Dakota University System offer the following certificates and degrees:

    Certificate of Completion. A certificate awarded for the completion of:
    1. a non-credit course of study, or

    2. an undergraduate course of study of less than 16 credit hours, or

    3. a graduate course of study of less than 8 credit hours.


    Program Certificate. A Program certificate is a specialized course of study requiring at least 16 credit hours at the undergraduate level or 8 credit hours at the graduate level.

    Program Diploma. A program diploma represents completion of a prescribed program of two years or less in a career-technical field with some general education course work.

    Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Science (A.S.). These associate degrees consist primarily of diverse, introductory-level courses in general education and professional areas and require at least 60 semester credit hours. Required courses for the A.S. degree place greater emphasis on the sciences than is true of the A.A. Both degrees prepare students for transfer to baccalaureate programs and meet General Education Transfer Agreement (403.7) requirements. They do not designate a specific program or major.

    Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.). The Associate in Applied Science degree combines career-technical coursework with general education coursework. In the career-technical specialty field, the degree prepares students for jobs. The general education area provides broader education than would be available in a certificate or diploma program with at least 15 credit hours of general education required, but typically does not meet the 36 credit hour General Education Transfer Agreement (403.7) requirements. The A.A.S. requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours and it may designate a specific field of study.

    Associate in Science - Nursing (A.S.N.) This associate degree prepares individuals in the knowledge, techniques and procedures for promoting health, providing care for sick, disabled, infirm, or other individuals or groups, including instruction in the administration of medication and treatments, assisting a physician during treatments and examinations, referring patients to physicians and other health care specialists, and planning education for health maintenance. This degree requires at least 60 semester hours. The degree prepares students for transfer to a baccalaureate program and meets General Education Transfer Agreement requirements.

    Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.). The bachelor of applied science degree combines career-technical coursework with general education. This degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit, the first 60 of which would typically be an Associate in Applied Science degree and at least 30 upper division credit hours. The specific course of study would be developed through articulation agreements. This degree requires a total of 36 general education credit hours usually through a combination of AAS and BAS level work and, as such, not all general education credits would necessarily meet the general education transfer agreements (403.7) requirements.

    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The bachelor's degrees require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours, comprised of academic courses in general education which meet the general education transfer agreement (403.7) requirements, major, minor, concentration, and/or elective areas. The B.A. is designed to give academic breadth in the liberal arts, usually with a major in the humanities or social sciences. The B.S. prepares students in disciplines such as the sciences and mathematics, or in the professions.

    Bachelor of Accountancy (B.Acc.), Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.), Bachelor of Music (B.M. or B.Mus.), Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics (B.S.A.), Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering (B.S.A.B.En.), Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics (B.S.A.P), Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training (B.S.A.T.), Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences (B.S.At.Sc.), Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (B.S.Ch.E.), Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B.S.Chem.), Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, (B.S.C.E.), Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science (B.S.CLS.), Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (B.S. C.Sci.), Bachelor of Science in Community Nutrition (B.S.CN.), Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering (B.S.Con.E.), Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies (B.S.CJS), Bachelor of Science in Cytotechnology (B.S.Cyto.), Bachelor of Science in Dietetics (B.S.D.), Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.), Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.), Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geoscience (B.S.E.G.), Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geology and Technology (B.S.EGT.), Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology (B.S.FWB), Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering (B.S.G.E.), Bachelor of Science in Geology (B.S.Geol.), Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management (B.S.I.E.Mgt.), Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (B.S.I.T.), Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering (B.S.Mfg.E.), Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (B.S.OSEH.), Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (B.S. in Pharm.), Bachelor of Science in Physical Education (B.S.P.E.), Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Exercise Science (B.S.PEXS), Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (B.S.P.A.), Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitiation and Human Services (B.S.R.H.S.), Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services (B.S.RLS.), Bachelor of Science in Social Work (B.S.S.W.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.). These degrees require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours and prepare students for professional activity in the areas named in the degrees.

    Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A., no major), and Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.). These degrees require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. Each degree signifies that the student has completed an individually designed course of study that does not correspond directly to a standard academic or professional major curriculum. These degrees must meet the general education transfer agreement (403.7) requirements.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.). The master's degrees require a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in courses that carry graduate credit. The M.A. is usually in the humanities or social sciences. The M.S. is usually in the sciences, mathematics, or the professions.

    Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Engineering (M.Engr.), Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.), Master of Music (M.M.), Master of Music Education (M.M.E), Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.), Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), Master of Science in Applied Economics (M.S.A.E.), Master of Science in Aviation (M.S.A.), Master of Science in Geological Engineering (M.S.GeoE), Master of Science in Space Studies (M.S.S.S.), Master of Science in Technology Education (M.S.T.E.), Master of Social Work (M.S.W), Master of Physical Therapy (M.P.T.). These master's degrees require a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in courses that carry graduate credit. Each degree signifies advanced education in the field named in the degree title.

    Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). The master's degree in fine arts is the terminal degree in visual arts and requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.

    Masters of Managerial Logistics (M.M.L.). This masters degree in managerial logistics is a professional degree for logistic managers, both military and civilian, and requires 34 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree.

    Education Specialist (Ed.S.). The Education Specialist degree requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours in courses that carry graduate credit. The degree is a professional degree for certification in an educational field.

    Specialist's Diploma (Spec.Dip.). The Specialist's diploma requires 64 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. It recognizes advanced preparation for practice in a service field.

    Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.). The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree requires a minimum of 91 semester credits beyond the bachelor degree.

    Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). The Doctor of Education degree requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree in courses that carry graduate credit. It recognizes the completion of academic preparation for professional practice in education.

    Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.). The Doctor of Musical Arts requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree.

    Doctor of Arts (D.A.), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Juris Doctor (J.D.). The D.A., M.D., and J.D. degrees, each with its own requirements, are terminal degree programs that prepare individuals to teach at the postsecondary level, to take residency training in medicine, to practice pharmacy, or to practice law, respectively.

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree. This degree prepares nurses to make contributions to evidence-based practice through professional leadership and scholarly practice and to function as clinical educators of future nurses. The DNP degree neither replaces nor competes with PhD programs in nursing.

    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree in courses that carry graduate credit, with a substantial component of independent research.

    First-Professional Degree.-Law (J.D.), Medicine (M.D.), Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) An award that requires completion of a program that meets all of the following criteria: (1) completion of the academic requirements to begin practice in the profession; (2) at least 2 years of college work prior to entering the program; and (3) a total of at least 6 academic years of college work to complete the degree program, including prior required college work plus the length of the professional program itself.


  4. The Board authorizes each institution with teacher education programs to award, under Policy 403.8, major equivalencies in areas where they have Board approved majors and minor equivalencies in areas where they have Board approved minors.


  5. A subplan is a group of courses within an approved academic program which is identified in an institutional catalog. Subplans are either transcriptable or non-transcriptable. Transcriptable subplans include all options, specializations, emphases and concentrations. A minimum of 12 undergraduate credit hours or 9 graduate credit hours is required for each transcriptable subplan. Completion of transcriptable subplan requirements may be indicated on a student transcript at the discretion of the institution. Non-transcriptable subplans include all other groups of courses used for student tracking and advisement purposes such as tracks and foci. Notations regarding non-transcriptable subplans never appear on a student transcript. Board approval is not required for a subplan.

  6. The Board authorizes each institution to award Certificates of Completion.

  7. Institutions are authorized to transcript, list and award Certificates of Completion consistent with their Board approved missions without specific Board approval for each certificate. Each institution shall keep a current list of credit based Certificates of Completion on file in the System office. The transition of a Certificate of Completion to a Certificate or Degree program requires Board approval.

  8. Board approval is required for all new Certificate programs (not Certificates of Completion), Diploma programs, and Degree programs as they are to appear on student records and catalog announcements. The Chancellor shall adopt procedures governing requests for approval and shall maintain a list of all Board-approved certificates and degrees for each institution.

  9. Campuses should use NCA Higher Learning Commission guidelines to define terminal degrees.

Reference: NDUS Procedure - 409  

History:
New policy. SBHE Minutes, June 25, 1987, page 5614.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, June 27-28, 1988, page 5731.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, January 20, 2000.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, April 4, 2000.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, May 30, 2001.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, February 21-22, 2002.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, April 18, 2002.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, May 8-9, 2003.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, November 20, 2003.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, June 17, 2004.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, September 16, 2004.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, September 15, 2005.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, December 15, 2005.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, June 15, 2006.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, September 20, 2007.
Amendment SBHE Minutes, December 18, 2008.
Bismarck State CollegeDakota College at BottineauDickinson State UniversityLake Region State CollegeMayville State UniversityMinot State UniversityNorth Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaValley City State UniversityWilliston State College
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