McDaniel College offers the undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Arts, which is generally earned in four years. The College also offers two graduate degrees: the Master of Liberal Arts and the Master of Science.
Students who declare, change, or add majors, minors, and/or specializations follow program requirements in the catalog in effect for the academic year in which the student was admitted. Should the College impose changes to the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts Degree, including the McDaniel Plan, students may request to follow the requirements in a newer catalog; however, students may not request to update to a catalog prior to the academic year in which the student was admitted.
Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree
Students must meet the following requirements to graduate from McDaniel College with a Bachelor of Arts degree:
- Completion of at least 128 credit hours. The 128 credit hours are distributed among the requirements for Integrated Study in the Liberal Arts, the Major, at least one January Term course, and electives. In keeping with the spirit of a liberal education, it is strongly recommended that no more than 52 credit hours in any one discipline be counted toward the 128 hours required for graduation.
- Completion of the requirements of The McDaniel Plan for Integrated Study in the Liberal Arts, including requirements for January Term. Except for requirements in January Term, students may not carry courses that meet Integrated Study requirements under the Credit-Fail option.
- Completion of at least one of the academic majors, including the Capstone Experience, offered by the College with an overall 2.00 GPA in the major. Students must have a 2.00 or better average in all courses required for the major, including supplementary courses outside the department or program of the major. The major GPA for double and dual majors is calculated separately for each department. To complete a double or dual major, students must have at least a 2.00 GPA in each subject area and supplementary courses.
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (“C”) or above in all work taken at the College.
- Completion of the last 32 hours in residence at the College. Normally, a student who has been in residence two years or more will be permitted to take as many as eight of the last 32 credit hours off campus with Dean approval. Pre-approval Transfer Credit forms should be completed, signed, and submitted to the Registrar’s Office. If these are required for a major or a minor, the department or program head must approve as well. Courses taken at the Budapest campus, in affiliated study abroad programs, the U.N. Semester, the Washington Semester, and other approved programs count as courses taken in residence. Students with questions should contact the Registrar’s Office.
Transfer students and others seeking advanced placement should consult with their academic advisor and the Registrar’s Office to determine applicable requirements.
Certain of the requirements in Integrated Study in the Liberal Arts may be satisfied or reduced by scores on Advanced Placement (AP), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, International Baccalaureate (IB) work, on “Higher” level exams. These results will be determined on an individual basis by the Registrar’s Office and will be made known to the student and their advisor.
The College reserves the right to change any provision or requirement at any time within a student’s period of residence.
Academic Program: The McDaniel Plan
The McDaniel Plan provides a liberal education that combines a comprehensive program of general education and a rigorous program in the major, complemented by electives and a range of special opportunities.
Many courses may be counted in fulfillment of more than one requirement. Please consult the listing of courses by department and the designations after each course.
I. McDaniel Commitment
The McDaniel Commitment guarantees that every student will engage in strategic, guided exploration to complete a program of courses and experiential learning that will prepare them for personal and professional success.
The McDaniel Commitment has four components—My Place, My Design, My Experience, and My Career—that provide students with a sustained, intensive, and scaffolded process leading to both the identification of career and life goals and the mapping of a path forward to pursue those goals. All students must complete the four components of the McDaniel Commitment.
1. My Place. In the summer before their first semester, students will spend three days in residence at the College to participate in McDaniel Local, during which they will engage in guided self-discovery, community exploration, and academic planning. My Place counts as one of two required experiential learning (EXP) opportunities—see My Experience, below.
2. My Design. In this 2-credit course completed in the first year, students will identify their strengths, life goals, and areas for personal improvement, and learn how the liberal arts can help them identify and achieve their vocation. Most students complete My Design during their first-year Jan Term and the course fulfills the Jan Term requirement when taken during that term. Students admitted to the McDaniel College Honors Program take My Design in the fall of their first year. My Design is optional for transfer students.
3. My Experience. Participation in experiential learning (i.e., courses, internships, independent studies designated as EXP) requires the application of classroom knowledge to experiences beyond the traditional classroom setting. Students must engage in at least two experiential learning opportunities and transfer students must complete at least one. Completing additional experiential learning opportunities is encouraged. Participation in McDaniel Local meets one experiential learning requirement. The second experiential learning requirement is typically fulfilled by an internship, study abroad, a course with a substantial experiential learning component, or other approved opportunity.
4. My Career. All students must complete My Career, a one-credit online course typically taken during the junior or senior year. Honors students may take My Career during their sophomore year. My Career guides students through the next steps for professional success by providing support as they research and identify their next pursuit after graduation (e.g., career, graduate school, fellowship), prepare for interviews, and learn to write resumes and cover letters.
II. Integrated Study in the Liberal Arts
A. First Year Seminar. First Year Seminars are innovative topical and thematic courses on a range of subjects suitable for first-year students that provide an introduction to the liberal arts and an academic transition to college. They seek to excite students intellectually and engage them as scholars. In addition to offering a rigorous academic content, First Year Seminars focus on fundamental skills that are necessary for academic success: critical thinking, effective writing, analytic reading, and oral communication.
First Year Seminars are small format classes and the instructors serve as students’ academic advisors when students arrive on campus. All first-year students must enroll in a First Year Seminar in the fall semester. For a list of First Year Seminars offered, see Academic Departments and Programs of Instruction.
B. Introduction to College Writing. All first-year students will be given introductory instruction in writing through course work offered by the English Department. As determined by the online placement examination, students will be placed in either ENG 1002: College Composition or ENG 1101: The Argument. Students must complete ENG 1101 with a grade of “C” or higher. If a student does not earn a grade of “C,” they must take the course again by the end of the sophomore year and earn a grade of “C” or better.
Incoming students who have earned the following scores will satisfy the first-year writing requirement:
1. Pre-March 2016 SAT Critical Reading or SAT II in English - score of 700 or higher (no additional credit awarded)
2. New SAT (Post-March 2016) Evidenced-based Reading and Writing - score of 710 or higher (no additional credit awarded)
3. ACT - score of 32 or higher (no additional credit awarded)
4. AP Language test - score of 4 or 5 or AP Literature test - score of 5 (students will be awarded 4-8 credits)
5. IB English higher level exam - score of 4 or higher (students will be awarded 4 credits)
C. Global Citizenship. A McDaniel education is multicultural and international in scope. Students must develop an understanding of the world within and beyond the United States to develop into critical, sensitive, respectful, and compassionate global citizens. To fulfill the Global Citizenship requirement, students must take one course with a multicultural focus, and two courses with an international or cross-cultural focus.
1. Global Citizenship: Multicultural. Multicultural education will give students an understanding of the cultural pluralism of American society. Multicultural courses focus on the cultures and experiences of diverse groups in the United States that have been historically subordinated or marginalized and defined by such categories as race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and disability. Students must complete one course with a multicultural focus.
2. Global Citizenship: International. International education is a critical component of global education. Students must understand, from contemporary and historical perspectives, their place in the global community and be prepared to navigate ever faster and more complex patterns of social and institutional interaction. International courses examine the perspectives and customs of cultures outside the U.S. or the relationship between the U.S. and world cultures. Students must complete two courses with an international focus. One of these courses must be nonwestern—that is, it must examine the cultures of Asia, Africa, the indigenous Americas, or the Pacific Rim, either exclusively or in explicit comparison with other regions. One of the two courses may be fulfilled by successful completion of an approved program of study abroad.
D. Second Language. The study of other languages introduces unique avenues of communication and promotes linguistic, cultural, historical, and international understanding. Second language skills are an important and often necessary prerequisite to graduate study, and provide an advantage for careers in many fields.
McDaniel students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language by one of the following:
- placing above the second semester of college-level language instruction through an examination administered by the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures or the ASL/Deaf Studies program
- second language study abroad approved by the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures or the ASL/Deaf Studies program
- completing a 1102 or 1103 -level language course
The level of proficiency set here provides students, in the case of modern spoken languages, with listening comprehension, and the ability to read, write, and hold a simple conversation in the language at a basic functional level established by ACTFL, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In the case of a signed language, the equivalent basic functional level for comprehension and conversation is the standard established by ASLTA, the American Sign Language Teachers Association. A third semester of college language study might cross-count as an International Global Citizenship Requirement.
Second language study will not be required of students who are demonstrably proficient in a language other than English.* (See clarification below for some guidelines)
Students who choose to fulfill their language requirement by completing ASL 1102 must fulfill their Global Citizenship requirement with three International courses instead of two International courses and one Multicultural course.
Currently, McDaniel College provides placement tests in the following languages: Arabic, ASL, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish, and may be able to assess other languages if campus resources are available. Students may request testing in other languages by contacting the chair of the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures. Here are a few guidelines for students who are proficient in another language for which we have no placement test or assessment options.
Proficiency can be demonstrated through one or more of the following:
- High School diploma or official transcript from a program where the language of instruction is other than English;
- Official TOEFL score report
- Performance on a test in a language not listed above that is similar to the examinations administered by the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures or the ASL/Deaf Studies program;
- Documentation/ Assessment provided externally by another institution (another college, an embassy, Brigham Young University Online Testing Service, etc.)
- Documented work/ life experience in a language other than English. Documentation may include a letter by employer, a sponsoring organization, etc.
We strongly recommend that all students take the placement test, in case their knowledge of Arabic, ASL, Chinese, French, German, or Spanish places them above the SL requirement, or their waiver request is not granted.
The burden of evidence is the responsibility of the student seeking a waiver. Any cost involved in that waiver is the responsibility of the student. An exemption will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
E. Departmental Writing. Students will further develop their abilities in writing through a program of departmental writing. Each department or major program at the College provides a course or courses or a strategy to develop writing skills appropriate for its majors. Students must complete the requirement in Departmental Writing as indicated in their declared major. In some cases, this is incorporated into the course requirements for the major; in other cases, it is in addition to the requirements for the major. For further information, see the listings for the individual departments and programs or consult with the chair.
F. Critical Inquiries in the Liberal Arts. Critical Inquiry courses explore vital areas of knowledge in ways that stretch students’ abilities to inquire and imagine. They focus on key practices and methodologies that are central to the academic search for knowledge and are designed to advance the capacity for clear, critical, and creative thinking and communication across the breadth of the liberal arts. The areas of knowledge covered by these categories are important for the development of thoughtful, informed, and imaginative citizens. Students must take a total of seven courses in Critical Inquiries. Although some courses may count toward several different categories, a given course may be used in fulfillment of only one category.
1. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning courses explore various areas of scientific knowledge and quantitative analysis. Scientific Inquiry courses teach students how scientists ask particular questions and the methods by which they attempt to answer these questions. Quantitative Reasoning courses teach students how to think logically and how to analyze problems. They provide students with the ability to read and use quantitative data, interpret quantitative evidence, and apply basic quantitative skills to problem solving. Students must take three classes in Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning: these three must include one course in Quantitative Reasoning and one Scientific Inquiry course that includes an approved laboratory component.
2. Social, Cultural, and Historical Understanding. Courses in Social, Cultural, and Historical Understanding explore the richness of human experience. These courses examine the myriad dimensions of human experience and achievement—ethical, historical, political, psychological, religious, and social—and teach students the methods of research and theoretical analysis necessary for the study of individuals, societies, or cultures. Students must take one course in Social, Cultural, and Historical Understanding.
3. Textual Analysis and Creative Expression. Human creativity may be defined by and explored from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives—the humanities, sciences, and the fine arts. Creativity usually results in new insights, understanding or aesthetic appreciation. Courses in this category require students to examine creativity from different perspectives. Textual Analysis courses focus on the interpretation of written texts. They provide students with extensive practice in the art of reading and close analysis of sophisticated writing. Creative Expression courses focus on the interpretation of creative texts or products, or on the reflective participation in the creative process itself. Students must take one course in Textual Analysis and one course in Creative Expression.
G. January Term. January Term is a three-week term between the fall and spring semesters in which students and faculty explore new areas and expand their intellectual horizons. Students choose from specially designed courses offered on and off campus. Some students take advantage of January Term for independent off-campus study or join one of the popular study tours abroad.
All students must complete one two-credit January Term course. This requirement can be met by My Design if it is completed during January Term. For a fuller description of Jan Term, see below under Electives and Special Opportunities. For a list of Jan Term courses, see Academic Departments and Programs of Instruction.
II. The Major
All students must complete a major. Each major offers a basic program, involving up to 50 credit hours of required course work within the discipline and sometimes from supplementary disciplines. The McDaniel Plan provides a liberal education that combines proportionate general education and major programs of study, in addition to complementary electives and a range of special opportunities. In keeping with the spirit of a liberal education, it is strongly recommended that no more than 52 credit hours in any one discipline be counted toward the 128 hours required for graduation. A student must have a 2.00 or better average (on a 4.00 scale) in courses required for the major. In addition to the basic major, many departments offer additional programs that involve particular courses to help students focus on or achieve specific goals.
A double major, which requires the completion of all requirements in two separate majors, is allowed.
Second-semester sophomores must submit a Declaration of Major form to the Registrar’s Office and be advised in that major prior to registering for their junior year courses. This requirement does not prevent students from changing majors at a later time.
III. Electives and Special Opportunities
In addition to completing McDaniel Plan required courses for Integrated Study and the Major, students are encouraged to take electives courses in departments across the College. Electives should be selected with care and imagination in consultation with the academic advisor to provide valuable perspectives, information, and skills.
Many departments offer students the option of combining work from two or more disciplines to achieve a program with a broader perspective. Usually a dual major requires more semester hours than a basic major in a single department. For dual majors, the student will be required to have a 2.00 GPA for all courses required by each separate discipline.
Student-Designed Major and Minor
The option of a student-designed major/minor is available to students whose academic interests and goals cannot be served by existing programs. Such a major/minor, designed by the student to meet particular goals, must be comparable in size and expectation to the conventional major/minor. Particularly, it must be cohesive, integrated, and possess significant breadth and depth.
The proposal for a student-designed major/minor should be submitted to the Curriculum Committee by the end of the sophomore year. This proposal must include a reason for the proposal and evidence that a standard major/minor will not satisfy the student’s goals. The complete program should be presented (including specific courses to be included in the program and specific areas from which choices must be made). A student-designed major program of studies must include a Capstone Experience. For examples of Capstone Experiences, see the various major/specialization programs of the various disciplines listed in this catalog.
To submit a proposal, students must obtain an advisor willing to oversee the entire program. This program advisor may or may not be the student’s regular faculty advisor, though in any case the regular advisor can obtain the required forms and help in the early stages of program planning. The program advisor will assist in preparing the final form of the proposal.
The student and program advisor are encouraged to consult with the Curriculum Committee during the planning stages of the major/minor in order to avoid problems later. Proposals should be acceptable if the student and program advisor plan thoroughly.
Approved Student-Designed Majors have included such titles as Art in Deaf Culture; Bio-Cultural Anthropology; Classical Civilizations; Criminal Psychology; Medical and Biological Illustration; Public Relations and the Performing Arts; Sports Journalism; Theatre Arts Management; and Women’s Studies.
Many students have strong secondary interests and elect one or more minor programs in addition to their primary commitment to a major program. This option not only gives students a format for exploring secondary areas, it also gives recognition on a student’s transcript that the student has completed a significant amount of study in an area outside the declared major.
Most departments offer minors, various departments cooperate to sponsor interdisciplinary minors, and some offer vocational or career minors.
The January Term, an important part of the McDaniel College curriculum since 1969, provides students and faculty with a unique educational experience. First year students take the My Design course during their first January Term, with the exception of honors students who take My Design during their first fall semester. All students are encouraged to complete multiple Jan Term experiences. Breadth and depth, while vital components of a liberal arts education, should not constitute the only objectives of students or faculty in their common pursuit of learning. January Term is designed to provide a third dimension in this pursuit, intensity. January Term is a period of concentrated study beyond the range of more usual course experiences and a cooperative venture in which faculty and students explore new areas and expand their intellectual horizons. First year students It is a time to cultivate special interests in depth, for creative work, experimentation, and interdisciplinary dialogue. It is a time to explore art galleries, museums, and libraries in the area, to engage in special projects, for travel and study abroad, for study and reflection. For some students, it is an opportunity to pursue independently projects or areas of study of special interest; for others, to enroll in a course for which they have no previous background in the field; for still others, to explore an area of interest unrelated to their regular academic programs. Flexibility and experimentation, the special features of the January Term, supplement and enrich the pattern of course work in the two regular semesters.
Independent studies provide students with the opportunity for individual study under the direction of a faculty member. The study, agreed upon by the sponsoring faculty member and the student, should be an experience not available within the regular college offerings. To enroll for an independent study, students complete a form available in the Registrar’s Office. Individual departments or programs may formulate additional policies for independent studies; they may also have additional guidelines on independent studies for candidates for departmental honors. Independent studies may count toward the Experiential Learning requirement if they meet the criteria for experiential learning as set forth on the registration form.
McDaniel College conducts an active program of student internships through cooperative programs with government, business, industry, institutions, and individuals. Internships are generally arranged directly through the academic departments or programs of the College, and each internship must be sponsored by a member of the faculty. Internships may count toward the Experiential Learning requirement if they meet the criteria for experiential learning. In general, 37 hours of work during the course of the semester/session/term equals one credit. An internship that exceeds four credits must have approval from the appropriate department chair. To enroll in an internship, students complete the Internship Registration form available in the Registrar’s Office. Internship Registration forms must be submitted no later than the semester in which the Internship takes place. Credit will not be awarded for Internships completed in prior semesters. No more than twelve credit hours of internships may be counted toward the 128 credit hours required for graduation. Internships are graded credit-fail only. Many study abroad programs also provide internship opportunities in a range of areas and settings.
McDaniel College welcomes the growing number of students who are choosing either to begin or to continue their college studies at a point later in their lives.
For information, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs and see also under Admissions on Nontraditional Students.
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
The second bachelor’s degree program at McDaniel College is designed to meet the needs of students who have completed an undergraduate degree in one field and wish to become proficient in another.
Students may elect any major offered at the College and must meet all academic requirements for that major as well as the general education requirements. It is recommended that students consult with the department chair about requirements and course schedules. (A minimum of 32 credit hours beyond the first degree must be taken at the College; if the new major requires more than 32 credit hours, the additional credit hours must be taken before the degree is awarded.) A second degree requires a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all work attempted at the College. If the first degree is a McDaniel College degree, the general education requirements of the Integrated Studies in the Liberal Arts are assumed to be met, and 96 credit hours are automatically transferred from the original degree program. If the first degree is from an institution other than McDaniel, individual courses will be evaluated in terms of whether they meet general education requirements. In some programs with prerequisites and/or requirements outside the student’s discipline, it may take more than one academic year to complete the program. In order to qualify for General Honors at graduation, students must complete a minimum of 64 credit hours at McDaniel beyond the first degree. Tuition is reduced to the graduate rate per credit hour.
Applications for the second bachelor’s degree and more specific policies and procedures for the degree are available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.