Program for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

Hendrix College, Academic Affairs - Student
Policy # 02120
Effective: Monday, October 15, 2018
Additional Authority
Responsible Party

1. Summary of Bachelor of Arts Requirements

Summary of B. A. Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hendrix College, the student must complete the following requirements:

Collegiate Center Requirements

The First-Year Experience

  • The Engaged Citizen course or equivalent
  • Explorations course

Capacity Requirements

  • Writing Across the Curriculum [W1 and W2 credit]
  • Language [LA credit]
  • Quantitative Skills [QS credit]
  • Physical Activity [2 PA credits]

Learning Domains

  • Expressive Arts [EA credit]
  • Historical Perspectives [HP credit]
  • Literary Studies [LS credit]
  • Natural Sciences Inquiry [NS and NS-L credit]
  • Social and Behavioral Analysis [SB credit]
  • Values, Beliefs and Ethics [VA credit]

Your Hendrix Odyssey [Odyssey credits in 3 of 6 categories]

  • Artistic Creativity [AC credit]
  • Global Awareness [GA credit]
  • Professional & Leadership Development [PL credit]
  • Special Projects [SP credit]
  • Service to the World [SW credit]
  • Undergraduate Research [UR credit]

Course Credits

  • 32 whole course credits
  • No grades of I or NR

Minimum GPA Requirement

  • 2.0 GPA on all courses counted towards the degree
  • 2.0 GPA on all courses counted towards a major or a minor

Residency Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 16 courses at Hendrix
  • Six of the final 8 courses must be at Hendrix
  • 50% of all major and minor courses must be at Hendrix

Major Requirements

  • Complete all requirements for major
  • Optional: Complete all requirements for a second major OR a minor
  • Complete a Senior Capstone Experience for each major
  • 2.0 GPA on all courses counted towards a major or a minor
  • 50% of all major and minor courses must be at Hendrix

2. The Collegiate Center Requirements

The Collegiate Center is the general education program at Hendrix. The four major components of the Collegiate Center provide opportunities for students to experience a liberal arts education in a way that nurtures engagement and breadth. They are:

3. The First-Year Experience: The Engaged Citizen & Explorations

The Engaged Citizen—one course 

The Engaged Citizen is a one-semester course required of all first-year students entering Hendrix College. The theme of the “engaged citizen” combines the spirit of Hendrix’s Odyssey Program with the College’s stated purpose of “inspiring students to live lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” From philosophers and physicists to artists and anthropologists, we all approach questions about what it means to be involved in our communities, whether locally or globally, in different ways. 

This course seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of possible interpretations of engaging as a citizen through interdisciplinary team teaching, in which pairs of faculty from across the institution come together to form dyads and explore a sub-topic from different methodological “ways of knowing” that we call Learning Domains. The varying disciplinary and individual approaches to this theme are intended to provoke discussion and reflection on this topic both within the dyads and throughout the Hendrix community. 

The students divide their time equally between the two dyad professors over the course of the semester. The dyads can also meet periodically as a combined group if the professors deem it appropriate. The course includes an engaged learning component, involving an introductory, hands-on activity that engages academic material in or outside the classroom and is tied to the content of the course. 

Each new student is enrolled in a section of The Engaged Citizen using student preference as a guide. Transfer and returning students entering Hendrix with seven or more accepted transfer credits (excluding AP/IB credits) are exempt from The Engaged Citizen requirement.  

The Engaged Citizen may not be dropped. Students who do not pass The Engaged Citizen are required to complete the requirements of the Hendrix Immersion Program (HIP). HIP must be completed within one calendar year. Students needing to complete HIP due to failure of The Engaged Citizen should begin HIP no later than the first semester of their sophomore year. Students should work closely with their academic advisors to determine the best combination of spring courses and HIP start date that will help them resolve the problems that resulted in a failed first-year seminar. HIP may be used as one of the student’s three required Odyssey credits. 

Explorations: Liberal Arts for Life—one course 

Explorations: Liberal Arts for Life is a one-semester common course required of all students enrolled in The Engaged Citizen in their first semester at the College.  

Explorations is designed to foster an ongoing engagement with the liberal arts experience, to facilitate the transition of new students to the Hendrix community, and to enhance students’ potential for success in their collegiate studies. The course meets once a week and carries one-quarter (.25) course credit. 

Areas of study in Explorations include higher education and the liberal arts, the aims and expectations of the College, engaged learning, academic and career explorations, and self-inquiry and personal development. Additionally, the seminar focuses on refining student knowledge, perspectives and skills requisite to successful academic work and integration into the Hendrix community. 

Each new student is enrolled in an Explorations section. Explorations may not be dropped. In each Explorations section, an upper-class peer assistant is available to provide student perspective and assistance. Transfer and returning students who are exempt from The Engaged Citizen are also exempt from Explorations. 

4. Capacities

A. Writing (bi-level program)

Clear and effective writing is inseparable from clear and coherent thinking. Each student must demonstrate the attainment of an acceptable level of skill in written communication by fulfilling the requirements of a bi-level writing program. 

Level I (W1) 

To meet the Level I writing requirement a student must 

  • receive a “C” or above in ENGL 110 Introduction to Academic Writing, or ENGL 210 Advanced Academic Writing at Hendrix; or  
  • receive a grade of “C” or above in a course at Hendrix from the category Introduction to Literary Studies (These courses are identified by the code “W1” in the Schedule of Classes and in this Catalog); or
  • receive a grade of “C” or above on an examination in written English administered by the Writing Center at Hendrix and certified by the English Department. (This exam is available for transfer students who may have taken a writing or composition course elsewhere.) 

Students must meet this requirement during the first or second year. International students should check English Course Placement for International Students

Level II (W2) 

To meet the Level II writing requirement, a student must receive writing proficiency certification (including making a grade of “C” or higher) in a writing intensive course offered by any department of the College. Writing intensive courses are identified by the code “W2” in the Catalog and course schedule. 

The following guidelines apply to all Level II courses: 

  • Level II certification will not be given until a student has completed Level I. A student may not complete Level II and Level I in the same semester. 
  • Level II courses will be sophomore-level and above;
  • Level II courses may be used to meet other requirements, as appropriate; and
  • Students may not use credits received from the Advanced Placement exam (AP), International Baccalaureate exam (IB), or from transfer courses to satisfy either the Level I or Level II requirement. Moreover, successful completion of the Level I writing examination will not satisfy the Literary Studies (LS) Learning Domain. 

B. Language (LA) (two-semester equivalent)

Students should achieve the degree of competence in a language other than English necessary to encounter another culture on its own terms. This level of ability requires being able to understand, analyze, and use the language. Such a capacity increases subtlety of mind, sharpens sensitivity to the use of language, and develops global citizenship.

Students can fulfill the language requirement by satisfying at least one of the following:

  • Passing the second semester of any beginning sequence for a language other than English at the College;
  • Passing an examination demonstrating proficiency at a level equivalent to the completion of the second semester of a beginning sequence for a language other than English at the College;
  • Receiving transfer credit for the equivalent of two semesters of a beginning sequence for a language other than English (including a two course sequence in American Sign Language) from an accredited institution; 
  • For international students with native competence in a language other than English, by completing the Writing Level I (W1) requirement. This option is available to students enrolled as international students with permission from the Languages Department Chair.

C. Quantitative Skills (QS)—(one-semester equivalent)

As our society becomes more technologically and analytically based, it is important that students develop quantitative skills that are necessary in a large and growing number of careers. Mathematical models form the basis for many fundamental concepts and modes of analysis in a diverse number of disciplines. Students need to possess sufficient quantitative skills in order to understand, manipulate, and interpret these models. It is, therefore, important that students possess a base level of mathematical/computing skills necessary for the development of those quantitative skills they will need in their chosen disciplines and in their lives. 

To complete the quantitative skills capacity requirement, students must successfully receive credit for a Quantitative Skills course by one of the methods listed below: 

  • Passing a Quantitative Skills course offered by the College; 
  • Earning an appropriate Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit; 
  • Transferring from any accredited institution a course that is comparable in academic quality and content to a Quantitative Skills course. 

D. Physical Activity (PA) (two-semester equivalent)

Students are encouraged to develop and practice a lifestyle that promotes wellness, physical fitness and incorporates recreational activities on a regular basis. All students must meet the Physical Activity requirement unless exempted by the Physical Activity Coordinator. 

Students can fulfill the Physical Activity requirement by receiving credit for two different Physical Activity classes offered at the College. Two semesters of participation in DANA A30 Dance Ensemble may be used to satisfy the PA requirement.

Successful completion in a varsity sport for one season qualifies as an activity class for this purpose. Successful completion in two different varsity sports, with at least one season for each sport, qualifies as two activity classes for this purpose. Transfer courses may be considered for Physical Activity credit. Contact the Office of the Registrar for more information. 

5. Learning Domains

      Learning Domains represent an organization of courses around content and teaching methods that may transcend departmental boundaries. Students should be exposed to courses in each of the Learning Domains to insure that they receive an adequate breadth of educational experiences while at the College. The Learning Domains form the foundations of a liberal arts education, much as reading, writing, and arithmetic form the foundation of secondary education. 

The courses with a Learning Domain code that are taken by a student should satisfy the following criteria: 

  • Each of the Learning Domains must be represented.
  • The student must take two Natural Science Inquiry courses, and one or both must be a laboratory course.
  • Learning Domain courses must be taken for a letter grade. Courses taken for credit only at Hendrix cannot be used to satisfy Learning Domain requirements. 

Courses that may be used to satisfy each of these Learning Domain requirements are designated by the two-letter code that appears by each Domain title below. These codes also appear in the course schedule and with course descriptions found under Academic Departments and Programs. Transfer courses may be considered for Learning Domain credits. However, for a transfer course to be awarded domain credit, it must be the equivalent of at least three (3) semester hours. For courses with two listed Learning Domains, the student can choose which Learning Domain code is applied. Cross-listed courses appear in both of the relevant disciplines. Check the Office of the Registrar for more information. 

A. Expressive Arts (EA) - one course

Throughout history, humans have used the arts to explore and express ideas and feelings in a uniquely symbolic and expressive way, endowing the arts with qualities that are significantly different from those embodied in other ways of knowing. To understand any culture, a person must be able to grasp, interpret, and respond to its artistic creations and symbols. Given the broad spectrum of cultural production, a study of the expressive arts introduces students to ways of interpreting and understanding art content, as well as understanding the forms through which this content is produced and communicated. Courses in this domain emphasize either the creative process through the making and performing of works of art or the place of such works of art within a particular historical, cultural, or aesthetic context. 

B. Historical Perspectives (HP) - one course

History is that branch of knowledge that seeks to account for the diverse ways in which human beings in different cultures and societies have all responded to temporal change. Through the examination of contemporary issues from a historical perspective, we gain insight into the richness of human experience and gain insight into our own convictions and actions. Courses in this domain study the development of societies and cultures over time. 

C. Literary Studies (LS) - one course

Literature has been a central form of expression for many societies. Literature provides a medium through which students gain insight into the minds and lives of other human beings and the process whereby human experience is imaginatively transformed into art. Critical reading/interpretation of a literary text provides understanding into what meanings that text holds, how those meanings are produced, what purposes they serve, and what effects they have. Literary studies also facilitate a student’s ability to articulate responses both orally and in writing. 

D. Natural Science Inquiry (NS, NS-L) - two courses, one course must be a laboratory course 

Science and technology are playing an ever-increasing role in our society. In order to navigate this information students must know and understand how science does and does not work, the application of scientific and mathematical principles, and the distinction between science and dogma. This requires the coupling of basic scientific principles with systematic, critical analysis. Emphasis is on the methods used to model, gather, interpret, and evaluate data critically and the placement of this information into a larger context. In the face of our rapidly evolving understanding of the natural world, application of the scientific method is an enduring skill for assessing the validity of observations related to the natural world. This mode of inquiry inextricably links course content and the analysis process. 

E. Social and Behavioral Analysis (SB) - one course

Human experience always takes place in the context of larger social forces, organizations, and institutions: families, organizations, communities, governments, and economics. Courses in this domain study the myriad dimensions of human behavior and the human relationships from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Through this study we begin to comprehend individual and social life and to develop policies and other means of intervention. 

F. Values, Beliefs and Ethics (VA) - one course 

A perennial feature of humanity is the ability and need to raise fundamental questions about the ultimate meaning of our existence, our common origins and destiny, the nature of reason, and what constitutes a good life. Our efforts to deal with these questions reflect basic values and beliefs that shape our perception of the world, give order and purpose to our existence, and inform our moral judgment. Courses in this domain seek to explore critically and to understand different value and belief systems, to examine commonalities of these systems across historical, philosophical, religious, and/or cultural boundaries, and to introduce ways of making reasoned value judgments. 

6. Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning

     Hendrix College has long recognized the educational value of engaged learning, that is, of the enhanced learning that results when theory meets practice, and when experience itself, as reflected upon, becomes a source of inspiration and learning. This recognition of the value of learning through doing is manifested in numerous ways, both within the campus community and beyond its borders. The academic program entitled “Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning” is designed to encourage all Hendrix students to embark on educational adventures in engaged learning. 

All students are required to complete an approved activity in at least three of the following categories: 

  • Artistic Creativity [AC] - Experiences in which students explore their creative potential in art, music, dance, drama, film, or creative writing. 
  • Global Awareness [GA] - Experiences in which students immerse themselves in cultures or environments other than their own in ways that enhance their appreciation of those cultures and environments, deepen their understanding of the major issues affecting the world today, and lend them new perspectives on the places in which they live. 
  • Professional and Leadership Development [PL] - Experiences in which students apply their intellectual interests through internships, other opportunities for working alongside professionals on site, or leadership in community life or professional settings.
  • Service to the World [SW] - Experiences within and beyond the Hendrix community in which students are engaged in helping meet the social, ecological and spiritual needs of our time. 
  • Undergraduate Research [UR] - Experiences in which students undertake significant research projects using the methods of their chosen disciplines. 
  • Special Projects [SP] - Experiences in which students extend, apply, connect or share different ways of knowing (e.g., oral, verbal, tactile, imaginative, intuitive), often in interdisciplinary settings. 

Approved Odyssey activities may be in the form of pre-approved activities as identified in the Odyssey Program Guide, specially coded courses, or independent projects. Qualifying courses are identified by two-letter codes alongside course descriptions in this Catalog, in the online course schedule and in the Odyssey Program Guide. If a course is coded both as a Learning Domain and an Odyssey category course, a student who earns a “C” or better in that course will get credit for both requirements. No course, however, may be used to fulfill more than one Odyssey category requirement. 

Both students and faculty members may design Odyssey projects completely independent of courses. Projects must be approved by the Odyssey Office, and proposals for credit must be submitted and approved prior to the commencement of the project. A student initiating an Odyssey project must work with a faculty or administrative staff sponsor who aids in the development of the project and evaluates its successful completion. Depending on the category, a final project, public presentation, or significant reflection component may be required. 

Some funding is available from the College through a competitive process to assist in the implementation of approved Odyssey projects. Under certain conditions, students may receive travel grants to present undergraduate research and artistic creations at conferences. For details on the criteria for each Odyssey category and the process for proposing projects and applying for funding, see the Odyssey Program Guide

Students’ transcripts include a record of their completed Odyssey experiences. As part of the process for completing their projects and activities, students write 150-word descriptions of what they did and what they learned through each experience, and these appear on the transcript to give future graduate schools or employers an enhanced understanding of an individual student’s application of theory to practice and engagement in learning through doing. 

7. Double Counting of Courses

Many courses satisfy more than one Collegiate Center requirement. That does not necessarily imply that a student may use a course to satisfy all of those requirements. The following guidelines apply:

  • The Engaged Citizen can not satisfy Learning Domain, Capacities, or major or minor requirements;
  • A course used to satisfy a Capacities requirement may also be used to satisfy a Learning Domains requirement;
  • A course with two or more Learning Domain codes may be used to satisfy only one Learning Domain requirement;
  • Courses taken to satisfy major or minor requirements may also be used to satisfy Collegiate Center requirements, subject to the restrictions stated above;
  • In the case of multiple-coded courses, a student may elect to change which code the student wants to apply for satisfaction of the Collegiate Center requirements. This change can occur at any time before graduation;
  • Course credits received by Advanced Placement (AP) exam or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam do not satisfy Collegiate Center requirements except for Quantitative Skills (QS) courses.

8. Number of Courses Required for Graduation

The number of whole course credits for graduation is 32. Fractional credits for activity classes are not counted toward graduation unless a whole course credit is accumulated. Such credits are limited to a maximum of two whole course credits counted toward graduation. 

An average GPA of 2.00 or better must be maintained on all courses (exclusive of courses taken for credit only) counted towards the degree. All grades of I and NR must be removed before graduation.

Course credits earned through AP, IB, or Cambridge exams may be counted toward graduation although they may not be used to satisfy specific requirements for graduation. A maximum of six credits may be awarded for any combination of AP, IB, or Cambridge exams. 

Though advisors and advisees work together in all areas related to academic planning, final responsibility for knowing and completing all graduation requirements rests solely with the individual student. 

9. Residency Requirements

  • A student must successfully complete a minimum of sixteen courses at Hendrix.
  • Six of the final eight courses counted toward graduation must originate from Hendrix or institutions which are in direct, formal institutional exchange agreements with Hendrix.
  • At least 50% of all major and minor requirements must be fulfilled from course work taken in residence at the College.

10. Majors and Minors

Students have three options for academic study: 

  • the pursuit of a single major 
  • the pursuit of two majors (double major)
  • the pursuit of one major and one minor. 

The pursuit of any other combination of multiple majors and/or minors is not permitted. Student transcripts will list the name of the major, any double major or minor, and the grade on the Senior Capstone Experience. Students should be aware that the pursuit of a double major or a major and a minor may require more than four years to complete. 

Pre-registration for the last two years before graduation should be undertaken with the advice and guidance of an academic advisor in the student's chosen major. Thus a major must be declared and an advisor in that major must be designated no later than March 1 during the sophomore year (usually the fourth semester of attendance). This is accomplished by filing an Advisor Designation and Major/Minor Declaration Form with the Office of the Registrar.

Requirements for a major are as follows:  

  • fulfilling the requirements as designated by the student’s major department; 
  • maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in courses required for the major;
  • passing a Senior Capstone Experience in the major; 
  • meeting the major residency requirements. 

The College offers the degree of Bachelor of Arts with these majors: 

  • Accounting 
  • Art–Studio Art 
  • Biochemistry–Molecular Biology 
  • Biology 
  • Chemical Physics 
  • Chemistry 
  • Classics 
  • Computer Science 
  • Economics 
  • Economics & Business  
  • English–Literary Studies 
  • English–Film & Media Studies 
  • English–Creative Writing 
  • Environmental Studies 
  • French 
  • Health Science 
  • History 
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 
  • International Relations 
  • Mathematics 
  • Music 
  • Neuroscience
  • Philosophy 
  • Philosophy & Religious Studies 
  • Physics 
  • Politics 
  • Psychology 
  • Religious Studies 
  • Sociology/Anthropology–Emphasis in Anthropology
  • Sociology/Anthropology–Emphasis in Sociology
  • Spanish 
  • Theatre Arts 

Policy for double majors 

A student may complete a second major at Hendrix by fulfilling the following criteria: 

  • declaring a second major by filing an Advisor Designation and Major/Minor Declaration Form with the Office of the Registrar no later than December 1 during the senior year (usually the seventh semester of attendance);
  • completing the Hendrix requirements for both majors;
  • maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in the courses that comprise each major; 
  • passing the Senior Capstone Experience for both majors; 
  • completing both majors prior to the awarding of the undergraduate degree. 

Policy for minors 

A student may complete a minor by fulfilling the following requirements: 

  • Declaring a minor by filing an Advisor Designation and Major/Minor Declaration Form with the Office of the Registrar no later than December 1 during the senior year (usually the seventh ; 
  • completing the course requirements for the minor as specified in the departmental entry in the Catalog; 
  • successfully completing at Hendrix at least three of the courses that constitute the minor;  
  • maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in the courses that comprise the minor;  
  • completing both a major and the minor prior to the awarding of the undergraduate degree. 

Changes to the above declarations can be made by completing and fining a new Advisor Designation and Major/Minor Declaration Form with the Office of the Registrar no later than December 1 during the senior year (usually the seventh semester of attendance).

The College offers the following academic minors: 

  • Accounting 
  • Africana Studies 
  • Anthropology 
  • Applied Mathematics 
  • Art–Art History 
  • Art–Studio Art
  • Asian Studies 
  • Biology 
  • Business 
  • Chemistry 
  • Chinese 
  • Classics 
  • Computer Science 
  • Dance 
  • Data Analytics
  • Economics  
  • English–Film & Media Studies 
  • English–Literary Studies 
  • French 
  • Gender Studies 
  • History 
  • International Relations 
  • Mathematics 
  • Music 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Philosophy 
  • Physics 
  • Politics 
  • Psychology 
  • Religious Studies 
  • Social Justice
  • Sociology 
  • Spanish 
  • Theatre Arts 

The College offers one graduate degree, the Master of Arts in Accounting.

11. Senior Capstone Experience

The senior capstone experience is an opportunity for the student to integrate and synthesize the various aspects of the subject matter studied within the major. Each department or program has designed the capstone experience for its majors to help them develop a broader understanding of the significance of the major within the framework of their overall liberal arts experience. This experience may take the form of a comprehensive examination, a senior seminar, an undergraduate research project, or a senior exhibition, recital, or performance. Using one or more of these components also allows departments to assess the effectiveness of their major programs and evaluate the learning of each student. A grade is assigned for the Senior Capstone Experience after its completion. The grade is entered on the student’s transcript but is not calculated in the GPA.


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