Jun 14, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Catalog 
    
2023 - 2024 Catalog

Academic Requirements



While the academic program at Texas Lutheran University is designed to provide students with a well-rounded education in the liberal arts and sciences, it simultaneously creates an atmosphere for realistic application in today’s fast paced world and competitive society. Whether a student desires direct employment after graduation or plans to attend graduate school, the academic foundation at Texas Lutheran University serves to strengthen those personal goals. Diverse student interests are provided for through the various programs outlined below.

Arts and Sciences Program

The diversity found in this program provides broad range and depth for any prospective student. In this program students choose a major from among 26 academic areas, any one of which will assist the student in developing personal goals on the undergraduate level and provide a foundation for plans leading to graduation and beyond.

Teacher Education Program

Texas Lutheran University students may also pursue an academic program that prepares them to be certified to teach in Texas public schools on the elementary, middle school or secondary level. Students in this program study in an academic area of their choice and participate in an extensive student teaching program during their senior year.

Professional and Pre-Professional Programs

Another large group of Texas Lutheran University students pursues professional studies programs, such as business administration, nursing and athletic training. The university also has strong two or four-year pre-professional programs of study (programs designed to prepare a student for additional work in a specialized professional school). These pre-professional programs include medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy and the ministry. Please contact the TLU Health Professions Advisory Committee if you desire information about health-related pre-professional programs not listed in the TLU catalog.

Graduate Programs

The Master of Accountancy program is a five-year program that prepares students to pass the CPA exam and work as professional accountants. The Master of Athletic Training is a five-year program that prepares students to be licensed athletic trainers. The Master of Science in Data Analytics is a five-year program that prepares students to enter a career related to data analytics. The Master of Arts in Education is a one year, post baccalaureate masters program with concentrations in curriculum and instruction and special education. The Master of Science in Nursing program is an accelerated, post-baccalaureate masters program that also leads to licensure.

Graduation Requirements

At Texas Lutheran University students may receive one of five undergraduate degrees: the bachelor of arts (B.A.), the bachelor of music (B.M.), the bachelor of science (B.S.), the bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) and the bachelor of business administration (B.B.A.). Students may also pursue a Master of Accountancy (MAcy), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Athletic Training (M.A.T.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degrees.

General Requirements

All Bachelor’s Degrees:

  1. Coursework in 7 areas is required. These 7 areas and their approximate credit hour amounts are:
    1. Foundations of Liberal Education 18 semester hours
    2. Core Competencies 0-27 semester hours
    3. Distributions of Liberal Education 30 semester hours
    4. Activity modules 3 Modules
    5. The Major 24-60* semester hours
    6. Supporting Courses 0-42* semester hours
    7. Electives 0-25 semester hours
      *See specific requirements for each degree in this section.
  2. A minimum of 124 semester hours is required for graduation from Texas Lutheran University.
  3. A minimum of 30 semester hours must be upper-division (junior or senior level) coursework.
  4. A student must pass all courses and earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for all courses that are to count toward the fulfillment of the major area requirement. Twelve of these semester hours must be upper-division, at least 9 of which must be earned at Texas Lutheran University.
  5. A minimum of 33 semester hours of work must be earned through Texas Lutheran University including the final 24 hours. Graduating seniors may, however, complete any remaining semester hours at a regionally accredited college or university on the following conditions:
    1. They must have been in residence at Texas Lutheran University for a period of two semesters.
    2. They must apply for and receive approval for the work in advance from the appropriate department chair of the student’s major. All work attempted at other institutions must be reported to Texas Lutheran University with official transcripts in time to meet deadlines for graduation certification.
  6. A minimum grade point average of “C” (2.0) must be earned for all courses taken at Texas Lutheran University.
  7. A maximum of four semester hours in band, choir and/or dramatic media ensemble may be applied to graduation. A maximum of 4 semester hours in kinesiology activity courses may be applied to graduation. Additional credits earned would be in excess and not creditable toward degree requirements.
  8. Catalog Selection: A student may obtain a degree from Texas Lutheran University according to the requirements of the catalog current at the time of his/her entrance to the university or the requirements of the catalog governing any subsequent year in which the student is registered. Generally, requirements must be met within six years of the catalog issue date.

Bachelor of Arts

The specific requirements of individual majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree vary widely. As a rule, however, majors leading to the B.A. degree fit the following parameters:

  • Students must complete between 24 and 54 semester hours in coursework within the major.
  • Students must complete between 6 and 42 semester hours in supporting courses.
  • Students must meet all general requirements for graduation.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science degree may be earned only by those students who choose athletic training, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, education, information systems, kinesiology, mathematics, nursing, physics or psychology as their area of major study. Majors leading to the B.S. degree must meet the following semester hour requirements in successful coursework:

  • Students must complete between 34 and 45 semester hours in coursework within the major.
  • Students must complete between 24 and 30 semester hours in supporting courses.
  • Students must meet all general requirements for graduation.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

  • Students must complete 60 semester hours in coursework.
  • Students must complete 40 semester hours of supporting coursework
  • Students must meet all general requirements for graduation.

Bachelor of Music

Majors leading to the Bachelor of Music degree must meet the following semester hour requirements in successful coursework:

  • Students must complete 60 semester hours in coursework within the major.
  • No additional supporting courses are required.
  • Students must meet all general requirements for graduation.

Bachelor of Business Administration

The Bachelor of Business Administration degree may be earned only by students majoring in business administration with a specialization in one of six areas. To qualify for the B.B.A. degree:

  • Students must complete between 48 and 57 hours in coursework within the major.
  • Students must complete between 24 and 27 hours in supporting courses.
  • Students must meet all general requirements for graduation.

Graduate Degrees

TLU offers graduate degrees in Accounting, Athletic Training, Data Analytics, Education, and Nursing. Please refer to the program portion of the catalog for specific requirements.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT TO FULFILL ALL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS.

General Course Requirements

COMPASS, TLU’s general education curriculum, is composed of four parts, the Foundations, The Core Competencies, the Distributions, and the Reflective Modules. COMPASS gives students a common set of skills as well as exposure to the breadth of the liberal arts and sciences.

Foundations of Liberal Education (18 semester hours)

The Foundations courses are designed to provide a basis for academic success in a student’s entire TLU experience.

  • Basic Quantitative Literacy: MATH 130  or higher
  • Critical Reading: FREX 134 *
  • Engaging Faith Traditions: THEO 133  
  • Modern Language: Any modern language at the 131 level or higher**
  • Written Communication: COMP 131  and COMP 132  

* Transfer students who have graduated from high school for at least one year and have 24 hours or more of transferrable credit are exempt from taking FREX 134 .

** This requirement is met with 3 credit hours of language study at TLU in Spanish, French, Greek, or Hebrew. Students may also transfer foreign language credit from another institution or take a CLEP exam to complete the requirement. This requirement can also be met by a study abroad program lasting at least 4 weeks. This requirement is waived for F-1 International Student Visa holders studying at TLU.

Core Competencies (0-27 hours)

Through completion of the foundation and distribution courses listed above and through selected courses in their majors, students will be developing important competencies. Course offerings designed to meet each competency will be identified in the schedule of classes with a competency code attached to the course number. Throughout their course of study, students will be required to take the following competencies:

  • Critical Thinking (T): 3 Courses
  • Effective Communication (C): 2 Courses
  • Global Citizenship (Z): 3 Courses
  • Ethics (E): 1 Course

Competencies are identified in the fourth component of the course number. For example, VART 136 -01-C is an Art Appreciation course that can be applied as one of the three courses required for the Effective Communication competency. Some courses will not have a competency. For example, GEOG 331 -01 is a Geography course that does not satisfy a competency requirement.

Critical Thinking (T)

A critical thinker is able to analyze information and problems. A critical thinker is able to gather data and sources on an issue or idea, logically evaluate evidence, argument, and information using an understanding of various forms of context, the multiple discourses/disciplines that produce such source texts and the larger bodies of knowledge that frame them. A critical thinker can develop an explicit logical position or tentative solution, which is supported by relevant, credible information gleaned through analysis and evaluation of multiple sources of information in various formats and which addresses or refutes contradictory evidence or alternative decisions/conclusions/positions. A critical thinker is then able to craft ideas and argument in response and to suggest and evaluate solutions to problems.

Performance indicators for T:

  1. Finding and evaluating data and its sources, context, and discourse.
  2. Analysis of a problem or argument.
  3. Development of responsive argument or solution.

The first performance indicator is understood to include the ability to analyze information. Although sometimes this information will be given to the student in task or problem form, sometimes the student will need to be able to locate and critically assess information, through the appropriate gathering of original data and/or through primary, secondary, popular and/or scholarly sources of relevance to an issue, question or problem at hand. As part of this process, in some courses the student will develop the ability to discover, understand and critically apply relevant elements of the social, scientific, cultural, historical and economic context behind the creation of a text and/or the production of data as well the ability to situate this analysis within the specific disciplines and discursive practices that informed the source texts and/or data.. The second performance indicator is understood to include the ability to discern and analyze data/evidence and/or the arguments that have been developed from the source text, data or discourse. The third performance indicator is understood to include the ability to accurately craft logical and well-supported arguments or analyses; the ability to situate those arguments accurately within appropriate contexts and/or disciplines/discourses; and the ability to generate and test solutions to problems that emerge from the previous steps using tools appropriate to those contexts and/or disciplines/ discourses.

Effective Communication (C)

An effective communicator is able to create an effective text, which is understood to include the written, oral, visual and performative products which span the range from nonfiction essays to various creative and unique forms. That text will be guided by a clear controlling idea, thesis or goal. The goal is adapted effectively to the medium of the idea’s transmission, including written, spoken, visual, musical, dramatic and/or artistic rhetoric, with effective use of the tools and skills of the chosen media, developed with revision, practice and/or rehearsal. An effective communicator will be able to understand the challenges of the rhetorical situation and audience for their goal and medium and be able to strategically and effectively adapt to those challenges, eloquently and/or artistically. An effective communicator will understand the importance of the development of text through the process of revision and will have revised messages for clarity and effectiveness, and perhaps also eloquence and artistry.

Performance indicators for C:

  1. Development of controlling idea or goal.
  2. Appropriate use of communication tools.
  3. Strategic adaptation.

The first performance indicator is understood to include the selection and ordering of ideas, techniques, analyses and arguments into a clear, compellingly supported and nontrivial thesis. This controlling idea or goal may or not be explicitly stated depending on the choices of medium and strategic adaptation to audience and situation. The second performance indicator is understood to include the choice and development of work in a medium to appropriately communicate the controlling idea given the student’s effective understanding of the genres, styles and attributes of the communication media used in the setting, situation, context, discipline or discourse of which their work will be a part. Revision towards greater eloquence/artistry is understood to be a part of this developmental process. The third performance indicator is understood as the ability to craft, revise, and develop a text which strategically and effectively adapts to the complex interactions of audience, controlling idea/goal, context/rhetorical situation, and discipline/discourse.

Global Citizenship (Z)

An educated global citizen understands the complexities of learning about cultures and communities and their values, needs and perspectives, given larger contexts. An educated global citizen understands the complexity of the relationships between individuals and cultures/communities and approaches such encounters with empathy, an open mind and respect for diversity. An educated global citizen is able to seize some of the transformative potential inherent in situations of shared diversity, intercultural contact and/or civic engagement.

Performance indicators for Z:

  1. Understanding culture.
  2. Understanding cultural context.
  3. Understanding individual/culture/community contact.

The first performance indicator is understood to include the development of a respectful and open-minded set of tools for the critical and reflective acquisition of non-reductive knowledge of cultures and communities, including their values, needs and perspectives. The second performance indicator is understood to include the development of an understanding of not only the social, cultural, civic, historical and economic contexts of a culture and/or community, but the way those contexts shape and are shaped by encounters with the culture and/or community in question as well as other cultures, communities and segments of each. The third performance indicator is understood as the development of awareness of the diversity of individuals who are a part of a culture or a community and the complexity of relationships between or among them, including the student’s own participation as a member, partner, servant, sojourner and/or volunteer. We believe that students will achieve some kind of transformative understanding of self through such study, encounters, and/or reflections.

Ethics (E)

An ethical person should be able to know and apply multiple ethical theories or perspectives to concrete situations and use that analysis to make and justify ethical judgments. Ideally, an ethical person will use such analytic tools to survey moral and ethical problems in their personal life, career and the world at large with openness and to ultimately develop a thoughtful personal and professional ethical system.

Performance indicators for E:

  1. Understanding of major ethical theories.
  2. Application of multiple ethical theories to situations.
  3. Make and justify ethical judgments.

The first performance indicator is understood to include at least the three major bodies of contemporary ethical theory: deontological, consequentialist and virtue ethics. The second performance indicator is understood to include the ability to simultaneously apply all three approaches in the analysis of decision-making possibilities in a variety of situations or problems. This should include not only an analysis of how the core concerns of each theory apply to the situation, but also how each theory’s approach compares and contrasts with the others. The third performance indicator is understood to include the ability to make a judgment about ethical behavior in a situation in question and make arguments which defend that judgment using accurate reasoning and application of relevant ethical logics.

Distributions of Liberal Education (30 semester hours)

Students are exposed to the breadth of the liberal arts and sciences in the courses of the Distributions and can choose their own path with courses of interest.

In each Distribution area, any course listed or in the listed disciplines will count toward the distribution requirements. ARTS 130, HUMA 130, NSCI 140 , and SSCI 130 courses are interdisciplinary courses taught by faculty from that Distribution area.

  • Arts
    6 hours from the following: ARTS 130, AMMS, DRAM, MUSI, VART.
  • Humanities & Cultures
    12 hours from the following: HUMA 130, AFAM, COMM, ENGL, HIST, MAST, Modern Languages, PHIL, THEO, WOST. No more than two courses from any single discipline or from modern languages can count toward this requirement.
  • Natural Sciences & Math
    6 hours from the following: NSCI 140 , BIOL, CHEM, CSCI, ENVS, MATH, PHYS, STAT.
    At least one course must be a natural science course taken with a lab.
  • Social Sciences
    6 hours from the following: SSCI 130, CRCJ, ECON, GEOG, POLS, PSYC, SOCI.

Foundations credits earned in Math, Modern Languages and Theology do not count as Distribution credits.

Students enrolling in a cross-listed course must apply the course toward their degree requirements according to the course number they choose. For example, if the course Ethnography is cross-listed as COMM 271  and SOCI 271 , students enrolling in COMM 271  must apply the course as humanities credit and students enrolling in SOCI 271  must apply the course as social science credit. Once enrolled, students may not change the designation.

Reflective Modules

Reflective modules are co-curricular explorations that are designed to help students develop their skills as lifelong learners in structured learning environments outside of traditional classroom settings. Various foundational capacities and core competencies will be developed during these intensive experiences. These reflective modules set the foundation for students’ understanding of the ways that what they learn in their education will be connected with all the experiences of their lives. Ideally, these reflective modules support student reflection on their development in curricular and cocurricular experiences. Module requirements are:

  • New TLU students who are required to take FREX must complete 3 modules.
  • New TLU students who are not required to take FREX must complete 2 modules.

Additional module information:

  • Students who take FREX must complete the Paw Print module.
  • Students who transfer to TLU as core complete are exempt from the module requirement.
  • Students who transfer to TLU with 75 or more hours are exempt from the module requirement.
  • Preferably, the majority of modules are completed by the end of sophomore year.
  • Students can register for a maximum of two modules per semester.
  • Modules are assessed as Credit/No Credit.
  • Modules may not be repeated even if the grade of No Credit is received.
  • Students can take more than three modules if they wish.

The Major (24-60 semester hours)

Work done in a major area permits a student to inquire in depth into a subject and to acquire relative mastery of one specific area of knowledge. Majors are available in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Applied Physics*
  • Art
  • Athletic Training
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology*
  • Business*
  • Chemistry
  • Communication Studies*
  • Computer Science
  • Data Analytics
  • Dramatic Media
  • Economics
  • Education*
  • English Studies*
  • History*
  • Information Systems
  • Integrated Science
  • Kinesiology*
  • Mathematics*
  • Music*
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Physics*
  • Political Science*
  • Psychology
  • Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship*
  • Sociology*
  • Spanish
  • Theology*

*Several concentrations are available. More information regarding concentrations and required coursework for each major is listed under the various program listings in the “Courses of Study” section of this catalog.

Supporting Courses for the Major (0-42 semester hours)

Supporting courses are designed to supplement the work in the major area. Some majors assign specific supporting courses; but in most cases general areas of study are outlined, and the specific courses are selected by the student in consultation with the academic advisor. The supporting work for each major is described under the various departments’ listings in the “Courses of Study” section of this catalog.

The Minor (18-23 semester hours)

As an optional part of the curriculum, the university offers academic minors, which may be interdisciplinary or based in one department. The general requirements include a minimum of 18 semester hours to be completed with at least a “C” (2.0 grade point average). At least 12 of the hours need to be taken at TLU. Additionally, the student will present a minimum of 6 semester hours upper-division taken in residence. A student pursuing a secondary education course of study may earn a minor in his/her second teaching field provided he/she meets all requirements listed above. Minors are available in the following subjects:

  • African American Studies
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Business of the Arts
  • Business Methods for Historians
  • Business of Science
  • Chemistry
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dramatic Media
  • Economics
  • English Studies
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • French Studies
  • Geography
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • Information Systems
  • International Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Mexican American Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Relations
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Theology
  • Women’s Studies

The required coursework for each minor is listed under the various program listings in the “Courses of Study” section of this catalog.

Additional Requirements

All students must take a senior capstone course as a seminar or practicum course (2 or more credit hours) in their major or a related major discipline. This course will reveal the student’s achievement in the discipline.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT TO FULFILL ALL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS.

Second Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who wish to pursue a second baccalaureate degree at TLU, must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of new coursework in residence at TLU. The 33 hours must include:

  • Twelve hours of upper-division work of which 9 hours must be upper-division coursework in the appropriate major.
  • The student must also complete all major and supporting coursework for the second bachelor’s degree.

Students wishing to pursue two different baccalaureate degrees concurrently, e.g. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, at TLU must earn a minimum of 145 hours of course work including all major and supporting coursework required for both degrees. A minimum of 66 hours must be earned through Texas Lutheran University, including the final 24.

Students wishing to earn two majors within the same baccalaureate degree, for example a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Communication Studies and English, must earn a minimum of 124 hours and complete all major and supporting coursework required for both majors. If a student meets the requirements for two majors and also earns 145 or more hours, two degrees will be awarded.

Graduation With Honors

To be recognized as an honor graduate, the student must achieve the cumulative grade point averages listed below. In addition, beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, students who have entered the disciplinary system and have been found responsible while classified as a junior or senior for violating the academic honesty and plagiarism policy as found in the code of conduct section of the TLU Student Handbook will not be allowed to graduate with honors.

Honor Categories Cumulative Grade Point Average
Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.74
Magna Cum Laude 3.75 - 3.89
Summa Cum Laude 3.90 - 4.00

Graduation with honors is determined by the cumulative grade point average of at least 45 hours of coursework at Texas Lutheran University, (students with less than 45 hours in residence at Texas Lutheran University are not eligible for graduation with honors). Procedures for graduation, including the application process, are listed in the “Academic Procedures” section of this catalog.