Baccalaureate Degree Information

Baccalaureate Degree Programs

Missouri Western State University offers twelve baccalaureate degrees, with majors in various fields. The baccalaureate degrees offered are:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of General Studies
  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Technology (Two Plus Two)
  • Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is broadly based in the liberal arts and sciences. It is usually pursued by students who plan, upon graduation, to enter graduate school or a professional school such as law, medicine, or dentistry, and by students who plan to seek employment in the areas of the arts, languages, social work, and government service.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is considered a professional major degree and is recommended to anyone intending to enroll in graduate study (MFA) or work in the professional world of art.

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree is a degree specifically for adult learners who have delayed or interrupted their studies, or for whom their original major is no longer appropriate. It is designed to be multidisciplinary and have maximum flexibility to suit the needs of the widest variety of students.

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree is focused on the development of broad intellectual abilities and skills rather than a large concentration within a traditional academic discipline. This degree option may be of special interest to students seeking a degree tailored to specific interest not accommodated in an established MWSU major, students who plan, upon graduation, to enter graduate or professional school and/or students transferring to MWSU with an AS or AAS degree.

The Bachelor of Music (BM) degree is based on more concentrated and specialized areas of study in music and is usually pursued by students who want to pursue a professional area of study or studies in music and related fields.

The Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree is designed to prepare individuals for careers in teaching music, primarily in K-12.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is based on more concentrated and specialized areas of study in one or more fields and is usually pursued by students who want to pursue a professional area of study or studies  in the natural or social sciences.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree is designed for the student who  desires a broad foundation in several areas related to business principles as applied in business, industry, or government.

The Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) degree is designed to prepare individuals for careers in teaching.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is designed to prepare individuals to practice professional nursing. The graduate is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination to qualify for licensure as a registered nurse.

The Bachelor of Science in Technology "Two Plus Two" (BST) degree is designed for the student who has completed a career-oriented associate degree program (AAS or AS) and desires the bachelor’s degree with an additional concentration in an approved area of study.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is designed for the student whose goal is preparation for professional generalist social work practice.

General Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs

A student must1:

  • Complete the general studies and major requirements;
  • Earn a minimum of 124 credit hours, including 60 from a senior college for the following departments: Art; Biology; Chemistry; Communication & Journalism; Theatre, Cinema & Dance; Computer Science, Mathematics & Physics; Economics, Political Science & Sociology; English & Modern Languages; History & Geography; Philosophy & Religion; Music; and Psychology (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable);
  • Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0;
  • Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in those courses needed to satisfy the requirements of the selected major;
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in upper-division courses (numbers in the 300s and 400s). Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement;
  • Earn 12 credit hours in one foreign language for all Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees;
  • Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination);
  • Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments; and
  • Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
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Some baccalaureate degree programs may require more than 124 credit hours, may require a higher GPA, may have minimum grade requirements and may have additional certification requirements. (See actual degree program for specific requirements.)

General Studies Requirements for Bachelor Degrees

General Education at Missouri Western State University consists of a common core of curriculum offerings necessary to equip students for successful and fulfilled lives as educated and active citizens. The required general education curriculum consists of a broad range of courses that assures that all baccalaureate-degree-seeking students acquire academic skills and knowledge necessary for understanding, communicating, and performing in a diverse and complex world. Students completing courses in the general education program will be provided the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills to:

  • Write and speak clearly and effectively;
  • Think critically and reason analytically;
  • Locate, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information from print and electronic sources;
  • Understand and appreciate moral values and ethical choices;
  • Gain a greater awareness of the present by understanding other cultures and times;
  • Understand and enjoy aesthetic experiences and share in related creative activities;
  • Develop an understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and their applications;
  • Understand common phenomena in the physical and natural environment and understand the methods by which they are studied through lectures and the connected laboratory experience;
  • Understand and appreciate the means of gaining and maintaining mental and physical health.

Courses meeting the first four goals concentrate on the development of basic learning skills such as communicating, higher order thinking, managing information and valuing. Other courses in the general education curriculum meet the remaining goals of knowledge acquisition in the areas of social and behavioral sciences, humanities and fine arts, mathematics, life and physical sciences, and health and physical education.

A student who has completed all Missouri Western general studies requirements for a baccalaureate degree may request a notation be placed on their transcript stating such by contacting the Registrar's Office.

Students earning a baccalaureate degree should select from the following general studies courses.

Category One - Basic Skills
Select one of the following:3-5
Contemporary Problem Solving
Contemporary Problem Solving
Finite Mathematics
College Algebra
Calculus in Business and the Non-Physical Sciences
Applied Calculus
Calculus with Analytic Geometry I: Differentiation
Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
Required Credit Hours:9
College Writing and Rhetoric
College Writing and Research
Honors Composition and Rhetoric
Oral Communication
Category Two - Natural Sciences
Select a minimum of 8 credits with lab from two of the following groups:8-10
Group 1:
Principles of Biology
Principles of Organismal Biology
Group 2:
Select one of the following:
Introductory Chemistry
Fundamentals of Chemistry
General Chemistry I
Group 3:
Physical Geology
Group 4:
Select one of the following:
Physics for the Liberal Arts
Introduction to Physics
College Physics I
University Physics I
Group 5:
Introduction to Astronomy
Category Three - Social Sciences
Select 9 hours with at least one course from each of the two of the following groups:9
Group 1:
General Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
General Anthropology
World Geography
Current Issues in the Economy
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Group 2:
Select one of the following:
American History to 1865
American History since 1865
American National Government
Category Four - Humanities
Select one course each from three of the following groups:9
Group 1:
Ancient and Medieval Civilization
Early Modern Civilization
Modern Europe: 1789 to the Present
Humanities: Ancient and Medieval
Humanities: Middle Ages to the French Revolution
Humanities: American Revolution to the Present
Group 2:
Approaches to Literature
Introduction to Reading Texts
Introduction to Philosophy
Ethics
Religions of East Asia and Oceania
Religions of the West
Religions of South Asia and Africa
Group 3:
Introduction to Art
Perspectives in Music
Introduction to Theatre
Group 4:
Any 3-credit hour 100-level or higher foreign language course
Category Five - Physical Health
PED 101Fitness and Wellness3
One approved physical activity course1-2
Total Credit Hours42-47

State Certification or Statutory Requirements

In the process of earning a degree, students must complete requirements for that degree and any necessary state certification requirements. If certification or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during the time a student is enrolled in a program, the new requirements take precedence over previously existing degree or certification standards.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Areas of Focus

A student graduating with a major in any of the disciplines within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (except Medical Technology) is required to take one course designated as LAS Writing and a second course designated as LAS Computer Literacy. In addition, students with majors in the departments of Communication/Journalism, Economics/Political Science/Sociology, English/Modern Languages, History/Geography, Philosophy/Religion, and Psychology are required to take one course designated LAS Ethics, and another course designated LAS International/Intercultural. For students with majors in other LAS departments, it is only recommended that students take a LAS Ethics and a LAS International/Intercultural course. If a course is designated in more than one area, the student must choose which one of the four area requirements it will satisfy.

  1. LAS Writing. A course in which faculty assign students both formal and informal writing in order to increase student learning, improve student writing, and initiate students into discipline-specific forms of written communication.
  2. LAS Computer Literacy. A course designed to teach discipline-specific computer software and hardware. A partial list of skills which may be taught include: data collection and analysis, word processing, desktop publishing, ethical or human issues of computing, discipline-specific applications of computer technology.
  3. LAS Ethics. A course in which issues of ethical concern to professionals in their major field of study are addressed. These courses will give significant attention to professional codes of ethics, case studies identifying ethical dilemmas, or issues of contemporary (or historical) social concern.
  4. LAS International/Intercultural. A course which presents a significant recognition, awareness, and understanding of cultural or international diversity.

These courses are designated (by previous labels) in the course descriptions listed with each academic department. Preferably, students will take these courses within their major; however, students may choose to fulfill this requirement with courses outside their major.