Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 General Catalog 
2019-2020 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

LSU has the responsibility to protect its educational mission and the health and safety of its community and of the property therein, through regulating the use of university facilities and setting standards of scholarship and conduct for its students.

Because of its educational mission, the university also has the responsibility to carry out its disciplinary authority in a manner that contributes to the development and education of the student.

The disciplinary authority of LSU is derived from the provisions of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. These statutes established the Board of Supervisors and gave it the power to adopt rules and regulations necessary for the government of the university consistent with its mission and to adopt rules and regulations governing student conduct.

All students are bound by the LSU Code of Student Conduct, Bylaws, and Regulations of the Board of Supervisors, University Policy Statements, and Permanent Memoranda.  Any student found in violation of the aforementioned policies may be held accountable and be subject to the accountability process. The LSU Code of Student Conduct, “the Code”, can be found at www.lsu.edu/saa.

The purpose of the Code is to engage students on issues of community membership, encourage responsible decision-making, promote academic integrity, safeguard the health and welfare of all members of the university community, and protect university property.

Faculty and staff are required to follow the procedures outlined in this Code when they become aware of behavior that may violate the standards of this Code. These procedures are an important part of the educational process.

Student Responsibility

Each student is responsible for completing all requirements established for his or her degree by the university, college, and department. It is the student’s responsibility to learn these requirements; a student’s advisor or counselor will not assume that responsibility.

Any substitution, waiver, or exemption from any established departmental or college requirement or academic standard may be accomplished only with the approval of the dean of the college offering the major. Exceptions to university requirements, including general education requirements, will be authorized only with the recommendation of the dean of the college offering the major and the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs.

Each student must see an academic advisor or coordinator in the academic dean’s office offering the major to review and sign a final degree audit report during the semester prior to the semester in which the degree is to be awarded. See the degree requirements sections in the individual college sections in this catalog to determine if degree check out is required earlier than the semester prior to the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.

The Catalog that Determines the Curricular Requirements for an Undergraduate Degree

Degree-seeking students are expected to adhere to the curricular requirements for an undergraduate degree based on the General Catalog at the time of entry into the university. This catalog may be used for a maximum of 10 years provided enrollment is not interrupted for two or more consecutive regular semesters. Students whose enrollment is interrupted for two or more consecutive semesters follow the curricular requirements stated in the catalog issue at the time of readmission.

Degree-seeking students who are currently enrolled at the university may opt to follow new curricula requirements that are revised in catalogs issued after their initial enrollment. This decision must be approved by the students’ academic deans.

Transfer students may use the LSU Catalog in effect at the time of their first entry into any accredited higher education institution provided that the transfer to LSU is made within five years of their first entry to a college or university and provided enrollment has not been interrupted for two or more consecutive regular semesters.

Students enrolled in non-degree programs are expected to adhere to curricular requirements in effect at the time they are admitted to a degree program.

The university will make a reasonable effort to honor the curricular requirement in the chosen issue of the catalog. However, because courses and programs are sometimes changed or discontinued, the university, having sole discretion, shall make the final determination of whether or not curricular requirements are met.

Note: Admission to LSU does not guarantee admission to a student’s program of choice; many programs have highly selective admission criteria. Students follow the senior college program admission requirements in their catalog of entry into LSU. However, students transferring from another institution to LSU or from one major to another within the university must meet the program admission requirements in the catalog in effect at the time of transfer. Students are encouraged to obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information about requirements and changes at www.lsu.edu/catalogs.

Catalog Issue and University Policy Changes

The university has the right to implement academic policy changes regardless of a student’s year of catalog issue. For instance, a change in a course attribute such as the prerequisite can be implemented immediately after receiving final university approval. It is the student’s responsibility to stay abreast of university policies.

Academic Requirements For Obtaining A Degree

  • A grade point average of 2.00 on all work taken, except for those courses in which grades of “P”, “W”, or “I” are recorded, is required for graduation. In order to meet graduation requirements, students must have a 2.00 average on work taken at this university (all LSU campuses) as well as a 2.00 average on their entire college record.
  • Candidates for a bachelor’s degree must earn at least 25 percent of the total number of hours required for the degree at this university and meet the residence requirements of their college as stipulated in each college’s and school’s section of this catalog.
  • Due to varying residency and senior college academic requirements, students should contact their academic counselor prior to earning credit from other institutions. 
  • Students must complete a general education component of 39 semester hours in approved courses in six major areas: English composition, analytical reasoning, arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Each student must demonstrate computer literacy in ways deemed appropriate by the faculty of the senior college in which the student is enrolled. “The General Education Component of Undergraduate Education  ” section of this catalog specifies approved courses and the regulations governing applicable credit.
  • Students should review specific curricula for precise degree requirements.
  • In addition to these minimum requirements, students must meet all special regulations established by the faculties of their respective colleges and listed in each college’s section of this catalog.
  • Degrees, both honorary and earned, are conferred only by vote of the Board of Supervisors upon recommendation of the faculty of the university or the faculty of the appropriate college, school, or division of the university (all LSU campuses).
  • Once degrees have been conferred, additional majors, minors, concentrations, etc., may not be appended to the degrees.

Undergraduate Areas Of Concentration

An area of concentration is an alternative track of courses within a major, accounting for at least 30 percent of the major requirements. Establishment of an area of concentration does not require prior approval by the Board of Regents. Areas of concentration are available within most undergraduate curricula. For additional information, see the curricula listed in the appropriate college section.

With the permission of the dean’s office offering the concentration, students may earn multiple areas of concentration within a major. To do so, they must declare a primary area of concentration and fulfill all requirements for each area of concentration. Each declared area of concentration must include a minimum of six hours of coursework that is unduplicated in any other area of concentration.

Undergraduate Minors

A minor is that part of a degree program consisting of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline or field. Establishment of a minor does not require prior approval of the Board of Regents. The minor usually consists of 15 percent or more of the total hours required in an undergraduate curriculum. Minors are established by departmental, school, or college faculties. Once a minor has been established, students are subject to the following rules and procedures:

  • When a student wishes to pursue a minor, the student must obtain permission from his/her dean’s office.
  • The course requirements for the minor, including prerequisites, as published in the LSU General Catalog, must be followed. Any substitutions in the minor must be approved by the faculty advisor in the department of the college offering the minor and the student’s dean’s office.
  • A student following a particular catalog for the major field typically follows the minor requirements stated in the same catalog. However, exceptions must be approved by the student’s dean’s office.
  • A student must earn a minimum 2.00 GPA in the minor field, although some faculties may impose higher minimum GPA requirements.
  • Courses used to satisfy the minor may not be taken on a pass/fail basis, except with permission from the department and the student’s dean’s office.
  • Degree audits for minors will be verified by the college in which the student is enrolled. The minor should be declared no later than graduation check-out time. All course requirements for the minor must be completed by the time of graduation.

Earning Two Degrees or One Degree with Two Majors

With the dean’s approval, a student may enroll in two bachelor’s degree programs concurrently, and thereby earn two degrees. A student also has the option to earn one degree with two majors listed on the transcript, provided all requirements are completed as of the same commencement.

A student may earn one degree, with two majors listed on the transcript, by completing the residence and academic requirements for each major and the degree program to which it belongs. The student may earn two degrees by, in addition, earning 30 hours more than required for the degree that requires the fewer number of hours.

If the two programs are in different colleges, then the student must be accepted for admission to both colleges and must adhere to the regulations of both colleges. The student must declare a home college, where registration will be initiated and permanent files maintained, and must maintain contact with the second college to ensure that satisfactory progress is being made toward the requirements of its degree program.

Requirements for a Second Baccalaureate Degree

Graduates who wish to obtain a second baccalaureate degree from this university must meet all academic and residence requirements set by the college(s) concerned and must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the work counted to meet the degree requirements of the first degree. Students may only earn one bachelor’s degree at LSU with the same major field of study.

Graduate Credit and Baccalaureate Degrees

Graduate credit courses cannot be used to satisfy any undergraduate degree requirements, including electives. The only exception to this rule is when a student enrolls in a combined curriculum program in which the faculty has approved graduate credit courses fulfilling undergraduate degree requirements.

Procedural Requirements for Obtaining a Diploma

  • During the semester prior to the one in which graduation is anticipated, candidates must request that the dean of their college evaluate their academic records for compliance with degree requirements. (Each college establishes its own degree requirements, which are listed in that college’s section of this catalog.) At the time of degree application, candidates must indicate how they wish their names to appear on the diploma and in the commencement program.
  • At their last registration, candidates must pay the graduation fee. Students should consult the current Registration Schedule of Classes for the deadline to receive a refund of the graduation fee. Students who previously have paid a graduation fee, but who did not graduate at the expected time, must pay a $20 duplicate diploma fee.
  • All financial indebtedness to the university (all LSU campuses) must be cleared prior to graduation. Students who received Stafford loans will be notified via U.S. mail to complete an online exit interview.

Degree Audit

Degree audit is an online electronic system that monitors the progress of an undergraduate major toward completion of the degree. A currently enrolled student can view a degree audit report through myLSU. The degree audit report is a valuable tool for academic planning because it lists the courses the student has taken, the degree requirements he or she has fulfilled, and the requirements that remain to be completed. Students may request a degree audit report for their current major or for an alternative major.

Comprehensive Academic Tracking System (CATS)

The Comprehensive Academic Tracking System (CATS) is designed to help students reach academic success at LSU and make sure they are progressing toward graduation each semester. Each major has a Recommended Path, designed by the LSU departmental faculty, which is the optimal path for graduation in four years. CATS checks students’ progress each semester by tracking them on the critical requirements outlined in their Recommended Path and gives feedback when students are not meeting those requirements.

CATS provides feedback on a student’s progress in a major, helping them to find the best academic path to complete their degree. By assessing students’ progress toward degree completion, CATS will identify those students who may be struggling. This affords the university the opportunity to provide additional counseling and advisement resources to assist students.

Critical Tracking Requirements

The critical tracking requirements have been identified by departmental advisors for each major. The criteria are specific performance measurements that have been singled out as mandatory for progression in that degree program. These are the requirements that students must meet to maintain minimum academic progress and continue progressing in their chosen major.

Minimum Academic Progress

Students must meet the critical tracking requirements within the Recommended Paths to demonstrate minimal progress toward degree completion. Critical tracking requirements typically include both critical courses and minimum GPA requirements. The critical requirements for a given semester are located at the top of a student’s recommended path. Additionally, all critical requirements are listed on the top line of each semester, and appear in bold throughout the Recommended Paths.

Recommended Paths for all catalogs from 2013-14 on will be found within each departmental section of the online catalog. Recommended Paths for all catalogs beginning with the 2006-07 version up to the 2012-13 version can be found at cats.lsu.edu/degreepath.  Students are encouraged to use these plans when scheduling courses in their chosen program of study.

All full-time, incoming freshmen will be monitored to determine if they have met the critical tracking requirements for their chosen program, regardless of the number of hours earned through dual enrollment or credit by examination. Transfer students enrolling at the university with fewer than 70 credit hours earned will be tracked beginning with their second semester of enrollment. Students who are undecided about their major must follow the Recommend Path and critical tracking requirements established within one of three general areas of interest: Science and Engineering, Arts and Humanities, or Social Sciences. These students will be advised by the Center for Freshmen Year and are required to select a major before scheduling courses for their third semester.

Assessments of Academic Progress

Two assessments run during the semester to determine if students are making minimal academic progress in their degree programs. As a result of these assessments, students will receive a myLSU e-mail notification if they are not making minimal progress. This e-mail contains a link directing them to their myLSU desktop and the CATS Status Application (located under the Student Services tab). The two assessments that run are as follows:

Mid-Semester Assessment – This assessment occurs prior to course scheduling for the upcoming semester. It is run to determine if students are taking the critical courses required for the current semester. If critical requirements are not being met, a hold is placed on the student’s registration, preventing them from scheduling for the upcoming semester without first seeing their advisor.

End of Semester Assessment – This assessment occurs after final grades are submitted. It is run to check for all critical requirements, including grades in courses, a student’s GPA, and potentially, admission to a senior college. A hold is placed on the student’s registration if critical requirements have not been met. If the student has already scheduled for the next semester, he or she cannot make any changes to their schedule until they see an advisor. Additionally, students not meeting minimum GPA requirements are advised to seek guidance from the Center for Academic Success.

Students Who Do Not Make Minimal Progress for Two Consecutive Semesters

If a student is flagged for not making minimal progress in their major in two consecutive semesters, the student will have a hold placed on their registration, and the student is required to meet with an academic advisor to select a new major that is better aligned with the student’s interests and abilities.

Resources Available to Help With Selecting a New Major

The Center for Academic Success offers study skills workshops and other sessions geared towards improving overall academic performance. Additionally, the Center for Academic Success directs students to programs that would be a better fit for their academic needs and interests.

The LSU Olinde Career Center offers workshops and counseling assistance to help students select a new major.


President’s Honor Roll

The President’s Honor Roll is prepared each semester. Undergraduate students completing at least 15 college-level hours at LSU in the semester, with a semester GPA of 4.00 and no “I” grades for the semester, are included on the roll. Distance Learning Programs courses will not be used to determine eligibility under the 15-hour requirement.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is compiled each spring or fall semester and summer term. Undergraduate students completing at least 15 college-level hours at LSU in the semester, with a semester average of at least 3.50, but less than a 4.00, and no “I” grades for the semester, are included in the list. Undergraduate students completing at least 9 college-level hours at LSU in the summer term with a term average of at least 3.50 and no “I” grades for the term are included in the list. Distance Learning Programs courses will not be used to determine eligibility under the 9- or 15-hour requirement.

University Honors

Students awarded the baccalaureate degree with honors must satisfy all requirements imposed by their colleges, schools, or departments. In addition, two GPAs will be computed for each student: (1) on all work completed and (2) on all work completed at the university (all LSU campuses). These GPAs will be inclusive of all grades, including those previously excluded through the Grade Exclusion Policy. All grades will be used to determine University Honors. The lower of the averages will be used to determine eligibility for Latin honors as follows:

  • summa cum laude if the GPA is at least 3.90,
  • magna cum laude if the GPA is at least 3.80,
  • cum laude if the GPA is at least 3.70.

Students in combined undergraduate, graduate, and professional curricula (medical, veterinary medicine, law, allied health) who earn more than 50 percent of their credits in an undergraduate college at the university (all LSU campuses) with a GPA greater than or equal to 3.70 are eligible to receive their degrees with honors. To determine honors, the student’s average at the university (all LSU campuses) is weighted with the average furnished by the professional school.

University Medal

The University Medal is awarded to the undergraduate student (or students) graduating with the highest GPA, provided that more than 50 percent of the credits required for the degree has been earned at LSU A&M. Grade-point averages will be computed for (1) all work completed and (2) all work completed at LSU A&M with the lower of the two averages determining eligibility for the medal. Course grades that were excluded previously through the Grade Exclusion Policy will be included in determining the University Medalists. All grades will be used to determine medalists.

Since the University awards A+ grades, plus/minus grading impacts the awarding of the University Medal. All students with the applicable GPA of 4.00 or higher will be awarded the medal. That is, a GPA above 4.0 will be truncated and considered as a 4.0 GPA for the selection of University Medalists. As a point of clarification, a student who has earned all A+ grades would have a GPA of 4.00 and another student who has all A grades including an A- grade and an A+ will have a GPA of 4.0 and would be eligible to receive the medal. Conversely, a student who has earned all A grades, including an A- would not be eligible for the medal if another student has earned a 4.00 GPA.