College of Arts & Sciences

Please reference the archived catalogs for degree requirements for students matriculating prior to fall, 2018.

Each academic department specifies whether students majoring in that department may earn the BA, the BS, or have a choice of the BA or BS. All degree programs provide a broad liberal arts background and specialization within a single major field or divisional concentration.

A minimum of 126 semester hours is required for the bachelor’s degree (124-hour requirement for the BFA) and 64 for the associate’s degree.

See all majors and minors offered by the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS).

Within the semester-hour requirements for bachelors' and associates' degrees, certain courses and options must be taken as requisites to the degrees. Core Requirements provide the basic knowledge and skills necessary for successful academic work at higher levels, and the breadth of knowledge in many fields that is fundamental to liberal education. Courses that fulfill the Creativity and Innovation, Social and Intellectual History, Modern Language, Studies in Literature, Quantitative Analysis, Seminar for Freshmen, Human Behavior and Societies, or VPATH requirements may double count to fulfill the Social, Cultural, and Global Perspectives (SCGP) requirement. Courses that fulfill the Modern Language Requirement at the level of 202 or above may double count to fulfill one (1) additional core requirement. Within the core, triple counting of requirements is not permitted.

To complete any major in CAS, students are required to take a minimum of 12 semester hours of courses in the major department at Suffolk University. Students must achieve a minimum 2.0 grade point average in their major. Courses that are taken as part of a student’s Major or Complementary Major Requirements, which are also listed under the College Requirements, can be used to satisfy both Major and Core Requirements.

Any course may count only once toward the 126-hour requirement for bachelors' degrees (124-hour requirement for the BFA) and the 64-hour requirement for associates' degrees. Individual exemptions from Core Requirements, based on examination and recommendation of the appropriate departments, may be granted by the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Semester-hour credit is not granted for such exemptions.

Students should have finished WRI-101 and WRI-102 or authorized equivalents by the time they have reached 64 credits. Delaying the first-year writing requirement may impair performance in upper-division courses and make it difficult to graduate on schedule. Upper-division students who have not completed all writing requirements should do so before they achieve senior status.

An academic major program enables a student to concentrate a portion of his or her studies in a specific subject area. Although many students come to the University with a specific major in mind, many other students decide to postpone the declaration of a major until they find out more about certain fields and concentrations of study. These latter students leave open their choice of a major, and are thus referred to as “open” majors. In general, students do not have to select their major until the second semester of their sophomore year.

Students wishing to declare or change a major need to obtain a Change of Major Form at either the Office of the Registrar or the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center. This form should be brought to the new major department for advisor assignment. The form is then submitted either by the new department or by the student to the Office of the Registrar.

Double majors are permitted in most content areas. The following double major pairs are not permitted because of significant content overlap:

  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • Biology and Biochemistry
  • Biology and Radiation Science
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science and Environmental Studies
  • Media & Film and Global & Cultural Communication
  • Media & Film and Journalism

A student must complete the major requirements and the complementary major requirements for each major field. Advisors for each of the two proposed major departments advise the candidate concerning the proposed double major and help the candidate to plan, coordinate, and implement a program that interrelates (where possible) the two proposed major disciplines. At some point after the first year, but not later than the end of the junior year, the student should declare the double major. A student declaring a double major must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in both majors.

To qualify for a double major, a student may use no more than four courses from a given major toward the second major.

These restrictions on the number of courses that may be counted toward two majors do not apply to prerequisite, co-requisite, or complementary major requirements of the majors.

CAS students wishing to double major with the Sawyer Business School must consult with the SBS double major coordinator during the initial application process and must adhere to the CAS Double Major criteria.

A student may earn two different undergraduate degrees (e.g., BFA/BA) when the requirements of both degrees, plus a minimum of an additional 30 credit hours of academic work, have been completed. A student seeking a dual degree must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in both majors and degrees. The dual degree approval form, signed by both advisors, must be submitted to the CAS Dean’s Office for approval.

A student declaring a minor may use no more than two courses from a major or double major combination to fulfill the requirements for the minor. No more than one course from one minor may count toward the fulfillment of a second minor. Students may not minor in a subject in which they are also completing a major.

A minor program is optional for any student and is not required for graduation. A student should consult as early as possible with his or her advisor, and with a member of the department in which he or she intends to minor, regarding minor requirements. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their minor.

The departments of Mathematics & Computer Science, and World Languages & Cultural Studies should each be considered to be two separate departments when considering major/minor combinations. Similarly, the Fine Arts, Foundation, Graphic Design, and Interior Design programs should be considered as separate departments for the purposes of minors. Please note that, while Interior Design BFA candidates may minor in another NESAD major program, there is no Interior Design minor. Students majoring in Sociology may complete the minor in Education Studies (administered by the Sociology Department), and students majoring in Government may complete the minor or the certificate in Law (administered by the Government Department).

These restrictions on the number of courses that may be counted toward the minor do not apply to prerequisite, co-requisite, or complementary requirements of other declared majors or minors.

Students must complete a minimum of eight credits within their minor department at Suffolk University.

A College of Arts & Sciences student seeking a Business Minor should consult with the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center. Additionally, students may be advised to meet with specific faculty specialists in their area of interest. Please refer to the Sawyer Business School section of this catalog for program details.

The Sawyer Business School offers two types of business minors to College of Arts & Sciences students:

The General Business Minor appeals to students who choose to develop a basic understanding and appreciation of business administration.

The Functional Business Minor is for CAS students who would like to minor in a specific business discipline.

Students with an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year institution may apply for admission to an accelerated second bachelor’s degree program in the College of Arts & Sciences. By transferring prior coursework to satisfy the Core Requirements and by completing all departmental requirements for the new major, a student could earn a second baccalaureate in as little as one academic year.

All applications must be initiated in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. A candidate will be referred to the appropriate department chair for advising. The Office of Undergraduate Admission will then accept and evaluate all outstanding college requirements.

If accepted, a candidate would be required to successfully complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of new coursework and satisfy any outstanding general Core Requirements. Candidates deemed under-prepared to begin a second baccalaureate degree by the department chair could be required to complete prerequisite studies as a condition of admission to the program.

An associate degree is designed as a two-year program. Credits earned toward the associate degree may be transferred to a four-year program at another institution; may be used to allow the student to re-enter college after an absence; or may be converted to a four-year degree program at Suffolk University if the student’s educational objectives change. The College of Arts & Sciences offers an Associate of Arts (AA) degree, an Associate of Science (AS) degree, and an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies (ASPS) degree.