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Academic Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Longwood University awards the bachelor's degree to students who have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Completion of all study required in one of the five degree programs offered. (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Bachelor of Music).
  • Completion of 120 semester hours of credit for graduation in major programs unless otherwise noted for a major degree program.
  • A minimum average of C (grade point average of 2.0) on all work taken at Longwood and a minimum average of C (grade point average of 2.0) in those courses constituting the major subjects or field. These are minimum requirements, some programs may require higher levels of achievement. By definition, the major subject or field consists of all courses listed as "major requirements" in the major program curriculum plus all additional courses taken in the same discipline as the major, except those courses which may be specifically excluded by the major department. Students choosing to minor in a field of study must have a 2.0 GPA in courses in that field of study.
  • All students will earn a grade of "C-" or better in at least two writing-intensive courses beyond courses required for General Education.
  • All students will take at least two speaking-intensive courses beyond Goals 1 through 11.
  • A minimum of 25 percent of the degree credit must be earned at Longwood University, with 30 credit hours at the upper level. (Exceptions: A. Biology majors with a concentration in Medical Technology, pre-physical therapy, pre-medicine, pre-dentistry or pre-veterinary medicine who take 300-400 level courses at affiliated institutions will be allowed to count that course work toward fulfilling the 30 hours upper-level graduation requirement; B. students who participate in international exchange programs may request an exception to the 30 hour upper-level graduation requirement. Exceptions must be approved in writing by the student's college dean prior to the study abroad.)
  • Not more than 14 hours of credit by correspondence.
  • Approval of the individual by the general faculty as a candidate for graduation.
  • A formal Application for Degree. File an application for degree in the Office of Registration no later than the completion of 89 credit hours.

Freshman Year Requirements

Longwood Seminar (LSEM 100) is a one-credit orientation course required of all first-time entering freshmen and transfer students who are entering at the freshman level. Through Longwood Seminar, students can expect to learn academic strategies that will promote college success; become more aware of interpersonal strategies that will enhance personal and social success; explore the methods, techniques, and philosophies relevant to an academic field of study; identify personal strengths and values and their relationship to career goals; build a network of strong support relationships within the Longwood community. Students who enter Longwood with 25 or more credit hours are exempt from this requirement.

LSEM 100. Longwood Seminar. The goal of the Longwood Seminar is to help develop citizen leaders for the common good by promoting critical thinking and analysis in all aspects of the students' lives and by developing the knowledge and skills that lead to college success. 1 credit.

The General Education Program

The purpose of the General Education Program at Longwood University is the development of disciplined, informed, and creative minds. General Education is the foundation upon which all other learning is built and is therefore the central component of a Longwood education. The program comprises fifteen goals; students may choose among the core courses listed for each. Each core course is specifically designed to address the nine central General Education criteria that all core courses have in common and to help students achieve the outcomes required for a particular goal (see the General Education section of the Catalog for a complete description). Normally, a General Education course should be offered at least once per year. A total of 41 hours of core courses is required for the General Education Program.

Major programs may not require or specify courses to be used to satisfy general education goals, with the following exceptions:

  • A major program may designate which Goal 12 course its students must take.
  • A major program may designate which Goal 13 course its students must take.
  • A major program may include the course that its students take to satisfy Goal 13 as a requirement of the major.
  • Students who complete a required experience as part of their major course of study are exempted from Goal 15.

The Dean may authorize an exemption for any goal when a student, due to major requirements, must take at least two courses listed for that goal. NOTE: Goals 12, 13, 14, and 15 comprise requirements that are not fulfilled through articulation agreements.

Veterans who have served six months of active duty may be granted two semester hours of physical education credit (providing they have no previous credit in this area), satisfying Goal 11, based on the Report of Separation (DD214). Additional credit may be given for successful completion of selected service schools. This credit is determined on the basis of recommendations in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services. In cases where there is a question regarding the applicability of credit to the student's program of study, the Dean of the appropriate College is consulted and the Dean may consult the appropriate Department Chair.

Additional Requirements for Specific Degrees

In addition to the 41 hours of core courses required for the General Education Program, students must fulfill the following requirements for specific degrees:

1. Bachelor of Arts Degree

Humanities/3 credits - not in the discipline of the major
Foreign Languages/3 credits - at the 202 level or above

Modern Language majors must complete the degree requirement in a language other than their language of concentration.

Students who are not native speakers of English may be exempted from the BA language requirement and General Education Goal 10 provided that they have received their high school diploma, or its equivalent, from a school in their native land where the language of instruction was other than English.

2. Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree

Humanities/3 credits - not in the discipline of the major
Foreign Language/Social Science/3 credits - students must take one of the following courses: 3 credits at the 202 or above level in a foreign language; History 200, 320, 325, 336, 354, 359, 360; Geography 241, 352; Political Science 314, 336, 337, 375, 395, 469.

3. Bachelor of Science Degree

Mathematics or Computer Science/3 credits
Natural Science/4 credits

4. Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree

Mathematics 181 or 261 or 267/3 to 4 credits
Natural Science/4 credits

5. Bachelor of Music Degree

Humanities/6 creditse\

- in two disciplines and not in the discipline of the major

The following disciplines fall within the categories of Humanities or Social Sciences:


Communication Studies
Modern Language

Social Sciences


Major Program Requirements

The specific major requirements of individual disciplines are listed separately in the Academic Programs section of this catalog. A few majors require a general education core course as part of their major program; in those cases, that core course satisfies a major program requirement and cannot be used to satisfy a general education requirement. The Dean may authorize an exemption for any general education goal when a student, due to major requirements, must take at least two courses listed for that goal.

The Writing Intensive Course Policy

All students will earn a grade of "C-" or better in at least two writing-intensive courses beyond courses required for General Education. Writing-intensive courses shall be designated in the Catalog, in the registration schedule, and on the course syllabus. Each major discipline should offer at least one writing-intensive course each year. Class sizes normally should not be larger than 25 to 30 students for writing-intensive courses. Transfer courses do not satisfy writing intensive requirements.

To qualify as writing-intensive, a course must meet the following guidelines:

  • Writing-intensive courses should require at least 10 pages of formal writing from each student, typically distributed over three or more papers so students have an opportunity to apply faculty feedback to future written work. (This does not include essay examinations.)
  • Instructors in writing-intensive courses are encouraged to require informal writing (reading journals, brief in-class writings, pre-writing for formal papers) to lead students to explore and articulate course content. Students could use this informal writing to develop ideas for formal papers.
  • Students in writing-intensive courses should be assigned and instructed in specific forms and processes of writing used in professions related to the course discipline.
  • Instructors in writing-intensive courses should give explicit instruction in how to complete the required writing assignments. This explicit instruction must include giving detailed written assignment sheets and a scoring guide showing the explicit criteria, including grading scale, used to score the assignment. If possible, this information should be attached to the course syllabus. Other explicit instruction might include discussing procedures for gathering and organizing information, providing models of appropriate forms, assigning and responding to drafts, and encouraging revision and editing. Instructors must return graded work before the next paper is due, noting areas of strength and weakness on the scoring guide along with the overall grade.
  • Students who have problems with their writing assignments should be encouraged to seek assistance at the Writing Center as early in their writing process as possible.
  • The demonstrated ability to communicate content knowledge effectively through writing must be a factor in the grading for a writing intensive course. Students must earn a grade of "C-" or better in the course in order to apply it toward their writing intensive course requirement. A statement to this effect must be included on the syllabus.

The Speaking Intensive Course Policy

All students will take at least two speaking-intensive courses beyond Goals 1 through 11 and 14. Speaking-intensive courses shall be designated in the Catalog, in the registration schedule, and on the course syllabus. Transfer courses do not satisfy speaking intensive requirements.

Computer Competency Requirement

Students must pass computer proficiency tests. Students are strongly encouraged to satisfy this requirement by the end of their sophomore year. Major programs may specify additional computer competencies.

Grade Level Progression

Freshman 1-24 credit hours
Sophomore 25-55 credit hours
Junior 56-88 credit hours
Senior 89+ credit hours


It is solely the responsibility of the candidate for graduation to meet all of the above requirements, including the completion of 120 semester hours, unless otherwise noted for that major degree program.


Only those students who have completed the degree requirements established by Longwood will participate in graduation ceremonies. Diplomas will be mailed to students normally within three weeks of commencement.

Graduation Honors

Those students who have earned 57 or more hours at Longwood and whose general averages for all Longwood credits offered for a degree are 3.35 or above are graduated with the following honors:

  • Cum Laude - 3.35-3.54
  • Magna Cum Laude - 3.55-3.74
  • Summa Cum Laude - 3.75-4.00

Longwood also recognizes graduating seniors who have successfully completed an honors program in a specialized academic area.