Catalog 2010-2012

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

The University of Northern Iowa offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate information is given on pages xxx-xxx, and specific graduate major program requirements are listed within the Program Requirements section by department (pages xxx-xxx). At the undergraduate level, the University of Northern Iowa offers four traditional baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Music, and the Bachelor of Science. The external degree of Bachelor of Liberal Studies is also offered by UNI, and details of this unique degree program are given on pages xxx-xxx. Major goals in the programs leading to these degrees are the advancement of humane learning and the preparation of all students to cope intelligently, effectively, and reasonably with the complex and changing conditions of life in modern society. To attain these goals, while at the university, students are expected to make significant progress toward:

  1. understanding themselves and the society in which they live,
  2. developing the ability to read, write, and speak their own language well and to appreciate its literature,
  3. gaining an acquaintance with the literature of another language and the culture of its people, preferably in the original, but certainly through the study of translations,
  4. securing a thorough grounding in the history and cultural traditions of the modern world with a special sympathetic understanding for the economic, social, and political problems of our time,
  5. acquiring an understanding of the principles and methods of the natural sciences and mathematics and the part they play in modern society,
  6. developing the ability to perceive the values of the arts and derive an enjoyment from them,
  7. acquiring a knowledge of how to care for their own health and physical environment and to take an intelligent interest in the health and welfare of the community in which they live, and
  8. growing in the desire to secure knowledge.

To achieve these ends, students are obliged to take a variety of courses drawn from among the arts, humanities, philosophy, mathematics, and language, and from among the biological, physical, and social sciences. Concentration in a major field enables students to engage in intensive study, to think for themselves, and to exercise discriminating judgment.  It prepares the student for more advanced work if s(he) decides to go on to graduate school, or for immediate employment. This emphasis on the academic program is not to exclude the contributions made by other parts of the university life to the substantial development of a student's personality - social and athletic activities, public speaking and dramatic arts, music, art, public affairs, or other programs.

The desired result of these degree programs is not an individual who conforms to society as it is or sees her/his own vocation within the narrow confines of the day-to-day occupation, but rather a person enriched in mind and spirit and so stimulated that this person will seek with eagerness to contribute to the benefit of the world in which s(he) lives. Such a program is desirable for all students whatever their future professions may be.

All credit hours stated in this catalog, for a program, assume students have appropriate preparatory course work. If a student's preparation is inadequate, additional course work may be necessary and may extend the length of the program and the time required to complete graduation requirements.

For those who plan to become teachers, additional work is required in professional education. This work seeks to enhance the student's interest in and commitment to teaching, to instill loyalty toward the profession, and to encourage the desire for continuous professional growth. The student acquires the skills, techniques, and understanding necessary to good teaching by studying current knowledge concerning the physical, emotional, and mental growth of children and youth, the ways that they learn, and methods for guiding them to reach full potential. As part of her/his preparation, the student explores the mutual relationships and responsibilities of the teacher, the school, and the community.

The prospective teacher must also spend a significant part of her/his time in the area of learning chosen for concentration. The student's mastery of the subject matter of this area, its closely-related fields, and the skills and professional dispositions needed to present it effectively are essential aspects of successful teaching.

The teacher preparation program requires more hours to complete than many of the other programs in order to include the necessary professional work and to approximate, as far as possible in a four-year period, the other major goals previously listed. Students completing the teacher preparation program are strongly encouraged to continue their education beyond the bachelor's degree.


Declaration of Major  

Degree Audit/Advisement Report

The declaration of a major is made through the department offering the major. The choice of major should be made as early as possible in the student's university career in order to complete the program and fulfill requirements for graduation. When the major is declared, the student is assigned an advisor in the major department and a Declaration of Curriculum with this information is filed by the student with the Office of the Registrar.

When students have declared a major, they are eligible for a Degree Audit/Advisement Report. This is prepared by the Office of the Registrar and made available to the student on their student portal. Degree audits are accessible via the Web at or


UNI Plan of Study (POS)

The University of Northern Iowa's Plan of Study (POS) serves as a planning and advising support system for students and advisors. The Plan of Study (POS) was created to help undergraduate students better plan their overall educational experience and to help students graduate as efficiently as possible. The POS is an electronic planning tool to help students think ahead through their entire program and should help students make strategic decisions about the courses they take and when they take them.

This Plan of Study (POS) system brings the degree audit, the official advising document, to the Web providing access to undergraduate students and advisors. Major and minor worksheets for both teaching and non‑teaching are also published online.


UNI Grad Pact - Four-Year Graduation

The University of Northern Iowa, in response to a student body that is diverse in experiences, talents, expectations, and goals, has developed a "pact" that is designed to assist students in completing an undergraduate degree within four calendar years of their initial freshman enrollment. Students may follow many paths to graduation, with dozens of majors and concentrations offered through five undergraduate colleges. In addition, special programs can be tailored to the needs and interests students bring to the campus or discover once they are here. Students who wish to participate in the four-year graduation plan must average from 16 to 18 credits per semester (one quarter of the applicable credits for their major each year) and will need to make academic and personal choices that will result in graduation within four years.

UNI's four-year graduation plan is called UNI Grad Pact. Students who enroll as freshmen with well-defined interests, in "pact-approved" majors, and who want to complete their undergraduate study as expeditiously as possible, are assured of being able to enroll in courses allowing graduation in four calendar years. UNI Grad Pact is an agreement between the university and those students who choose to participate in the plan.

Students accept responsibility for monitoring their own progress toward degrees and for making choices that will allow them to graduate within four calendar years. The university is responsible for maintaining systems of advising so that students can track their progress, and agrees to provide the needed courses or their equivalents.

The university continues to encourage breadth and exploration as essential parts of a university education. UNI Grad Pact is designed to assure that students are carefully guided in their course choices while still benefiting from the rich educational opportunities offered by the university. Those students who conclude that UNI Grad Pact does not meet their academic and/or personal goals are encouraged to develop, in consultation with their academic advisor, a plan and timetable for completing the courses in their major that will allow them to achieve their individual academic, career, professional, and personal aspirations. Those students who do not participate in the plan will still benefit from descriptions of recommended patterns of progress toward degrees and enhanced advising services that will be available to all students.


General Conditions

  1. Students must enter the university as freshmen with appropriate high school preparation to begin a four-year graduation plan.
  2. Students must sign up for UNI Grad Pact and declare their interest in a major that qualifies for the four-year plan.
  3. Students are responsible for meeting deadlines and requirements of the pact. Therefore, students must regularly monitor their progress toward graduation. Such monitoring includes meeting each semester, in a timely manner prior to registration, with their academic advisor.
  4. For courses required by the major and for graduation, students must accept any available section that can be accommodated in their course schedule and must register at their assigned registration time.
  5. Students must be admitted and remain in good academic standing to the colleges and departments which offer their major.
  6. Students may change majors and remain in the program if, at the time the student decides to make the change, he or she can still meet the requirements of the new major and graduate within the four calendar years. Students may enroll in an additional major or in programs leading to additional licensing and certification, and remain in UNI Grad Pact, if they can complete these additional requirements and those of their first major within the four calendar years. Students must see their academic advisor in a timely manner in order to accomplish these changes or additions.
  7. Students must accept responsibility for timely annual application for all necessary financial assistance.
  8. Students must complete a minimum of one quarter of the applicable credits for their major each year (including summer sessions).
  9. If, after working with their advisor, it appears that graduation may be delayed due to unavailability of a course, students must notify the Office of the Provost, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, in writing prior to the beginning of classes in the term in which the course would be needed.
    If the student meets all the conditions of the four-year plan but is unable to graduate due to the unavailability of a course, the university will offer one of the following:
    1. Allow the student to graduate in four years by substituting a different course or an independent study assignment, as determined by the department and the college offering the student's major.
    2. Allow the student to graduate in four years by waiving the requirement to be met by the unavailable course, as determined by the department and college offering the student's major.
    3. Allow the unavailability of a course to delay the student from graduating in four years, in which case the university will waive UNI tuition and mandatory fees for this course in order for the student to graduate within the next year.

These procedures will be the exclusive remedy for the four-year plan (UNI Grad Pact) agreement. The university is under no obligation to provide one of these adjustments unless the student submits a written request for an accommodation to the Provost prior to the beginning of classes in the last term of the student's four-year plan.