Undergraduate Course Catalog

Guide to Using the University Catalog


What is the purpose of the Catalog?

How is the Catalog organized for searching?

How do I interpret the program description and requirements?

Definitions of Programs—terms to know

Descriptions of Programs—parts making up the whole

Viewing Programs—a visual map

How do I find the content and select courses listed in the programs?


What is the purpose of the Catalog?

Information in the Undergraduate Catalog is considered the official standard for course information, programs, policy and regulations of specific departments or degree programs. Because curriculum revisions and program changes could occur after the Undergraduate Catalog is published, students should assume the responsibility of consulting the appropriate academic unit or advisor for more current or specific information.

How is the Catalog organized for searching?

The Web version of the catalog mirrors the printed version and follows the academic structure of the university. The university is made up of colleges which administer their various departments. Searchers may browse curriculum by viewing the departments within colleges to learn about the majors, minors, specialized programs, and courses taught in the department. Searches for specific programs can be initiated from the Catalog Home Page "A-Z Majors, Minors, and Programs" or the Search Engine incorporated into this site.

NAVIGATIONAL STRUCTURE:

LEVEL 1: Home Page Links: search by college, department, program, course prefix; general information; academic programs; degree requirements and time limit; educational opportunities and student services.

LEVEL 2: Specific Academic Information -- Colleges, Departments, Programs: "College List" linking to each college.

LEVEL 3: College Information Page: Provides links to all departments within the college and a preview of all programs within the departments.

LEVEL 4: Department Level Information Page: Includes requirements for each program, and course descriptions of courses offered in the department.


How do I interpret the program description and requirements?

     Definitions of Programs—terms to know
     Descriptions of Programs—parts making up the whole
     Viewing Programs—a visual map

Definition of Programsterms to know

The highest level of study available in a department is normally a "major"—a concentration of courses in a particular subject area; the next level below the major would normally be called a "minor." The minimum requirements for a Bachelor's degree program consists of the University Core Curriculum, a major, and a total of 120 credits. Some programs could have requirements which bring the total above 120 (see Academic Programs). If, by adding the University Core Curriculum and the major, the total is below 120, the remaining hours could be filled by electives (choice of student), or additional programs, usually one or more minors or possibly an additional major(s). Teaching programs require standard professional courses and could include courses for additional licensing areas.

Associate degree programs require a minimum of 60 credits (exceptions, see Academic Programs) and include an abbreviated Core Curriculum and a concentration. In some instances, students may have a choice from options in the concentration. Some 2-year programs offer a choice for electives.

Descriptions of Programsparts making up the whole

Each program for a department is described by courses and hours required. Often, courses are placed into various requirement groups:

  • courses making up a core of courses required for all majors (example: the Miller College of Business common core)
  • courses required for various options of choice (example: Biology major: Genetics option)
  • courses required for an emphasis or track within an option (example: Telecommunications Digital Production option—digital audio emphasis)
  • directed electives (electives limited to courses selected by the department)
  • complimentary minors required (example: Graphic Arts Management-Business Administration minor)

    Viewing Programsa visual map

    Each college level page links to departments. The department level page lists programs and the requirements for the programs which uses the following format: 

    PREFIX
    ENG

    NO  
    103 

    SHORT TITLE
    Rhetoric & Writing

    CR HRS
    3

    PREFIX column: An abbreviation for the course (designated by the department or academic area offering the course).

    NO column: A designation identifying a particular course number designated with the prefix.

    SHORT TITLE column: An abbreviated version of the title in the official course description.

    CR HRS column: "Credit Hours" shows the credit earned value of the course.


    How do I find the content and select courses listed in the programs?

    For further information on the courses required for a program, the searcher may look at the courses section of the department level page. Courses at Ball State are identified by prefix and course number. Course descriptions are presented in the following format:

    Course Descriptions:

    ENGLISH (ENG)


    103 Rhetoric and Writing (3)
    Introduces and develops understanding of principles of rhetoric; basic research methods; elements, strategies, and conventions of persuasion used in constructing written and multi-modal texts. 
        Prerequisite: appropriate placement. 
        Not open to students who have credit in ENG 101 or 102.

    In course descriptions, the course number is immediately after the prefix. If a number in parentheses follows, it is the most recent former number of the course.

    Course numbers are categorized as follows:  

  • Courses numbered below 100 are not offered for credit toward graduation.
  • Courses numbered from 100 to 199 are primarily freshman courses.
  • Courses numbered from 200 to 299 are primarily sophomore courses.
  • Courses numbered from 300 to 399 are primarily junior courses.
  • Courses numbered from 400 to 499 are primarily senior courses.
  • Courses numbered 500 and higher are graduate courses.    

    A student who earns credit in a course under any other number may not earn credit in it under its current number except under the terms of course repetition. It is the responsibility of the student to not duplicate courses. If a course number has changed, the previous catalog's course number is in parentheses immediately following the course number--this indicates the course was previously taught under the number in the parentheses and should not be taken again under the new number (except course repetition).

    The number in parentheses after the descriptive title of the course is the credit-hour value of the course. It shows the specific total number of credit hours that can be earned in the course unless another statement in the description permits earning a greater number of credits. The hours may also be listed as a range (for example, 1­-5, which means a student can earn up to 5 hours of credit in the course); or as two possibilities (for example, 3 or 6, which means a student can earn either 3 or 6 hours of credit in the course).

    Prerequisite refers to a course or courses that must be taken before the described course.

    Parallel indicates a course or courses that must be taken at the same time as the described course.

    Prerequisite recommended
    indicates a course that is not required but would provide additional preparation for the course described.

    How to Interpret Prerequisites

    A prerequisite may consist of a specific single course, multiple courses (or sets of courses), a choice of courses, class standing, or other criteria such as test scores or completion of a specific test or application approval, a minimum grade attained in a specific course, a minimum grade-point average, department permission, major or minor, acceptance into a major or minor.

    NOTE: In some cases the stated prerequisite course can have its own prerequisites which are not necessarily stated within the course description. Checking each prerequisite course for additional information is a good practice for selection of appropriate courses.

    Examples:

    BIOLOGY (BIO)

    215 Cell Biology (4)
    An introduction to the biology of the cell, including cell differentiation and growth, the nature of the organization of the cell, basic bioenergetics and enzyme function, cell environment, membrane structure and function, cell metabolism, and the work performed by cells. 
        Prerequisite: BIO 111, 112; CHEM 231 or permission of the department chairperson.

    Translation: A student must have the following before taking BIO 215:
        1.    BIO 111 and 112.
        2.    CHEM 231 or permission of the department chairperson. 

    These additional prerequisites were discovered by looking up each course (see block below):
  • BIO 111 requires one year of high school chemistry, or one semester of college chemistry, or the equivalent.
  • CHEM 231 requires CHEM 112.
  • CHEM 112 requires CHEM 111 and MATH 108.
  • CHEM 111 requires one year of secondary school algebra or the equivalent.
  • MATH 108 has a recommended prerequisite.

    Students who question their knowledge level or preparation for a course should seek additional information from advisors or the department. For example, even though a specific course is not stated as prerequisite for MATH 108, the student could take courses helpful for attaining the knowledge assumed for the course.

    BIOLOGY (BIO)

    111 Principles of Biology 1 (4)

    Designed for biology, allied health, and other science majors. Emphasis at cellular level: chemical and physical organization of life, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure and function, bioenergetics, cell division, genetics, gene expression, protein synthesis, and evolution. Lecture and laboratory. 
        Prerequisite: one year of high school chemistry, one semester of college chemistry, or the equivalent.

    112 Principles of Biology 2 (4)
    Examines the diversity, evolutionary relationships, ecology, and physiology of organisms in the animal kingdom with an introduction to the protozoans. Emphasizes structure and function at the organismal level, classification, and phylogenetic relationships. Lecture and laboratory.

    CHEMISTRY (CHEM)

    111 General Chemistry 1 (4)

    Chemistry of the elements and their compounds with emphasis on basic principles. Atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, properties of solutions, and nature of matter. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour recitation-laboratory period weekly. 
        Prerequisite: one year of secondary school algebra or the equivalent.

    112 General Chemistry 2 (4)
    Continuation and extension of CHEM 111, including chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, chemical equilibrium, chemistry of metals and nonmetals, and radioactivity. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour recitation-laboratory period weekly. 
        Prerequisite: CHEM 111; MATH 108.

    231 Organic Chemistry 1 (4)
    Nomenclature, structure, bonding, and functional group chemistry of organic compounds. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period weekly. 
        Prerequisite: CHEM 112. 
        Not open to students who have credit in CHEM 234.

    MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (MATH)

    108 Intermediate Algebra (3)
    Reviews factoring, quadratic equations and inequalities, relations and functions, rational exponents, systems of linear equations, and exponential and logarithmic functions. Offered credit/no credit only.
        Recommended background: two years of college preparatory mathematics in high school or the equivalent. 
        Not open to students who have credit in MATH courses numbered higher than 108 except MATH 125.
     
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