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2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Understanding Degrees and Programs

Academic Degrees and Programs

Records and Registration Office
101 Deputy Hall

Bemidji State University offers programs and awards degrees under the authority of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board. For bachelor's degrees, at least forty (40) of the required credits for the degree shall be upper division credits; thirty (30) credits shall be taught by the faculty recommending the degree. Transfer students: At least one-third of the credits to be included in the major must be successfully completed at Bemidji State University.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
The Bachelor of Arts degree (120 credits minimum) combines liberal education with sufficient specialization for most occupations in the arts, sciences, industry, and government service. It is an appropriate degree for students planning graduate study in the arts, humanities, and the behavioral and social sciences, and for those planning to enter certain professional schools, such as law or theology. Students planning to major in the sciences should discuss their professional career goals with a faculty advisor before deciding whether to seek a B.A. or a B.S. degree in their major subject.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (120 semester credits minimum) combines liberal education with specialization in the arts. It is an appropriate degree for students planning careers or graduate study in their fields.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
The Bachelor of Science degree (120 credit minimum) provides intensive concentration in a specific area and a foundation in the liberal arts. It is an appropriate degree for students pursuing entry-level positions in a variety of occupations and professions. Completion of this degree with a major in one of the numerous teacher education programs and passing scores on required professional tests makes one eligible to apply for teacher licensure in Minnesota. Such a degree holder may have a non-teaching minor recorded on the permanent transcript, but it would not appear on the teaching license. This degree appropriately prepares students whose future goals include graduate studies. Students planning to major in the sciences should discuss their professional career goals with a faculty advisor before deciding whether to seek a B.A. or a B.S. degree in their major subject.

Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S)
The Bachelor of Applied Science degree (120 credits minimum) provides thorough study in a technical area and a foundation in the liberal arts. It is an appropriate degree for students pursuing employment in a technical field in industry. This degree is especially ideal for students who transfer from a Technical College.

Associate of Arts (A.A.)
Bemidji State University offers a curriculum (60 credits minimum) that leads to a two-year Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Education. With proper advising, this program may be used as the basis for continuing on in a four-year bachelor's degree program.

Teacher Licensure Programs

Licensure programs are offered for students currently enrolled in or who have completed a Bachelor of Science degree with teacher licensure (see "Major Fields" for list).

Consult with a faculty advisor to plan a program that will lead to the completion of a licensure program and to follow the University's recommendation for endorsement.

Persons who have a valid teaching license may update or add on to their licensure fields in many of the special areas noted in the Professional Education section of this catalog or the BSU Graduate Catalog. Upon completion of a program and the required professional tests, a license application, available through the Minnesota Department of Education website (, should be completed. For further information about post-baccalaureate programs in Professional Education, see the Graduate Catalog or contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

Honors Program

357 Hagg-Sauer Hall

The Honors Program is challenging and rigorous. It is intended for outstanding students who wish to develop flexible, independent, and creative minds. Entrance requirements are flexible, but most students in the Honors Program qualify by graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class or by scoring above a preset minimum on standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. Interested students should contact the director of the Honors Program. See also entry in Section VII.

Internship Program

Career Services, 202 Decker

The Internship Program provides students with the opportunity to work under a carefully planned and approved program with a participating firm or organization for one or more semesters of an academic year or during the summer. This program affords the student an opportunity to perform an internship in the world of work while a student. It also affords the agencies involved an opportunity to cooperate with the University in preparing students for employment after graduation.

Most internships are arranged during the student's junior or senior year directly through their departments. Explore the "Students" link on the Career Services Web site (at for postings of internship openings, an Internship Database, and schedule of internship workshops and fairs. Also, for more information, contact Career Services.

Servicemember's Opportunity College

Extended Learning, 105 Deputy Hall

Bemidji State University has been identified by the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges as a Servicemember's Opportunity College (SOC) providing educational assistance to active duty servicemembers. Contact the SOC representative, Extended Learning, Deputy Hall, Bemidji State University, 1500 Birchmont Drive, Bemidji, MN 56601-2699.

Common Market Program

Records and Registration Office, 101 Deputy Hall

This is a cooperative, system-wide program in which students may attend other Minnesota State universities, one institution for one semester or two institutions for a total of two semesters. The courses and semester credits are transferred as residence semester credits and are computed in the grade point average. Contact the Records and Registration Office for further information.

Graduate Studies

329 Deputy Hall

Bemidji State University began offering graduate course work in the summer of 1953. Accreditation was received from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools for the Master of Science degree in Education in 1957. The University received approval to offer graduate course work leading to the Master of Arts degree in 1969. The graduate program offers a variety of graduate master's degree programs and specialized licensures. Graduate-level course work is offered for students pursuing a degree, as well as for students who wish to continue professional preparation or broaden their educational experiences without reference to the requirements for a degree.

The goal of graduate studies is to enable the student to achieve an advanced state of knowledge and professionalism encompassing the philosophy, history, theory, and methodology of a discipline or field of study. Students who attain this goal will have developed the skills necessary to conduct research, to evaluate and apply the research of others, and to present, orally and in writing, the results of their studies to other scholars and to the community at large.

Applicants with an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (4.0 = A) (check with specific department as some may have a different requirement) or a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 ("B") during the final 60 semester credits will be considered for admission. All applicants for a degree program must also submit one (1) official transcript from each previously attended regionally accredited college or university and a completed application for admission accompanied by a non-refundable application fee. Biology and Environmental Studies applicants in addition are required to provide results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test. International applicants whose first language is other than English must also submit the TOEFL.

Graduate Special Student Status: Students seeking to take graduate courses without a planned degree objective may apply for special student admission. Admission as a Graduate Special student requires that the applicant must have graduated with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who are admitted as Graduate Special students may later apply for admission to a graduate degree program. A non-refundable application fee is required.