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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2015-2016

University Academic Requirements

« University Academic Requirements

To graduate from the University of New Hampshire, all baccalaureate and associate in art students enrolling for academic year 2015-16 must fulfill four types of University requirements: writing, Discovery (core curriculum), degree, and major.

University Writing Requirement

As the cornerstone of any higher education, academic and disciplinary literacy is the concern of the entire faculty and the whole University curriculum. Understanding that literacy is a long-term development process, the University community is committed to the following goals for student writing and learning:

Writing-Intensive Courses
All bachelor's degree candidates are required to complete four "writing-intensive" courses, which must include English 401 (Freshman Composition) and three additional "writing-intensive" courses, one of which must be in the student's major, and one of which must be at the 600-level or above. Specific courses that fulfill the writing requirement are listed at Some courses have both writing-intensive and nonwriting-intensive versions, such as HIST 405 and HIST 405W. In those cases, only the sections attached to the "W" courses will be writing intensive.

Discovery Program (Core Curriculum Requirement)

When we discover what we had not before known, we experience wonder. When Keats first read Homer, he felt “like some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken.”  The Discovery Program, like Homer to Keats, serves as the beginning of a great journey of learning and teaching that students and faculty take together. 

When we learn and teach in Discovery, we take four questions as our common ground: How do we know the world? What questions and what tools shape our knowledge? How do we determine what we value? How do our different perspectives—intellectual and personal—inform each other?

Professors in Discovery have a common mission: to help students from all departments and programs understand better the organization of knowledge in the modern world. Faculty are responsible not only to colleagues and students in their own disciplines, but also to others learning and teaching in the program from across the University’s variegated intellectual terrain. 

Students, too, have a common mission: to claim their own educations with curiosity, open mindedness, and discipline. They are responsible for active and tangible engagement in the intellectual life of the University, in classrooms, on campus, and within the wider community. Students are partners in the learning process. Together, students and faculty seek to understand the world as it is and as it might be, and to take their places as independent thinkers in the world they will help to shape. 

The Discovery Program provides the intellectual framework for students in any major. It represents the faculty’s collective belief in what constitutes and contributes to essential knowledge of the world.  Together, students and faculty attempt to understand fully and use ethically that knowledge, both in the present and as a reservoir from which to draw in the future.

Each course in the Discovery Program fulfills an obligation not only to its own field, but also to others. Individually, courses illuminate the disciplines and ask that students understand their foundational methods, tools, and questions. Collectively, the Discovery Program aspires to help students recognize complexity and elegance in the relationships among the disciplines, to chart constellations of human knowledge.  Like Keats, we are “watchers of the skies.” 

He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” Confucius.

Discovery Program Requirements

Discovery Foundation Skills

Discovery in the Disciplines
Students must take one course from each Discovery category at the 400-600 levels. Inquiry courses that carry Discovery category designations may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Discovery and Integrative Understanding
One senior capstone experience, supervised and approved within the major. 

The capstone experience is typically completed by senior students within the major and is designed to elicit opportunities for educational reflection and synthesis of knowledge and skills; however, students who have completed 90 credits at the end of their junior year may complete their capstone during the summer prior to their senior year. The capstone may be met with an approved experience (as described below). It is not necessarily a course.

Suggested ways of meeting capstone may include: McNair research theses, Hamel Center Programs (IROP, SURF USA, SURF Abroad, URA, INCO 790), and senior honors theses. Examples of capstone experiences include courses, projects, independent research, internships, artistic expression, or community and service learning opportunities.

The Discovery Dialogue, focusing on grand challenges we face as a society, is an opportunity to engage in the intellectual life of the University. Each year, the University engages a different theme, presented through experiences in and outside the classroom. It is not a course and does not require registration.  

Additional Information 
Discovery Program requirements shall not be waived on the basis of special examinations or placement tests, except for the College Board Advanced Placement tests and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests. All students transferring to UNH in academic year 2015-16 will come in under Discovery Program requirements. For students who transfer in with  26 or more credits, the INQ requirement is waived automatically. 

Note to Faculty: Waiver of requirements in the Discovery Program. Students may petition the Discovery Committee to waive or replace a requirement. The student's petition must be approved by his or her major adviser and the dean of his or her college.

The required courses cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis. No single course may be counted in more than one Discovery discipline category. Academic departments may or may not permit Discovery courses to count toward requirements for a major. TSAS courses may not be used for general-education (1984-2009), writing-intensive, or foreign language requirements. TSAS courses that are 400-600 level and Discovery-approved may count for Discovery requirements. All Discovery courses carry 3-4 credits.

The most current list of Discovery courses may be found on the Registrar’s Office website.

Discovery Program courses

The complete list of Discovery courses can be found on the Registrar’s Office website. Click here.

Inquiry (INQ)
Click here and select Discovery Program Information from the list of links on the left-hand side of the page to open the list in PDF format.

Degree Requirements

Requirements in this catalog apply to students who enter the University between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. (Students who entered the University at an earlier time but who wish to change to the requirements of this catalog must apply to the appropriate office for the change.) Students will be held responsible for all work required for graduation and for the scheduling of all necessary courses.

Modifications tend to occur in major programs during the period of students’ undergraduate careers. Students are expected to conform to these changes insofar as they do not represent substantive alterations in their course of study.

Note: Although the University will try to provide sufficient facilities so that students may pursue any major or curriculum for which they meet the requirements, such a privilege cannot be guaranteed, since rapidly increasing enrollment sometimes results in the overcrowding of required specialized courses. On occasion, students may remain in a crowded curriculum if they are willing to take certain courses during the summer session.

Majors, Minors, and Options

Majors and some interdisciplinary minors are described under their various schools and colleges; other interdisciplinary and intercollege minors are described in the section on Special University Programs.


Grading and honors policies as stated in this catalog apply to all undergraduate students.

Instructors assign grades as listed below; grade points per credit are indicated in parentheses. For all undergraduate courses, grading standards established by the Academic Senate are that a C indicates competent, acceptable performance and learning; B indicates superior performance and learning; and A indicates excellent performance and learning. These standards apply to all undergraduate courses, instructors, departments, subjects, and colleges. The University reserves the right to modify grading and honors practices.

A (4.0) Excellent
A- (3.67) Intermediate grade
B+ (3.33) Intermediate grade
B (3.0) Superior
B- (2.67) Intermediate grade
C+ (2.33) Intermediate grade
C (2.0) Satisfactory, competent
C- (1.67) Intermediate grade
D+ (1.33) Intermediate grade
D (1.0) Marginal grade
D- (0.67) Intermediate grade
F (0.0) Failure, academic performance so deficient in quality as to be unacceptable for credit

AF (0.00) Administrative F (usually indicates student stopped attending without dropping the course); is included in grade-point average

CR—Credit, given in specific courses having no letter grades, designated credit/fail

P—Passing grade in a course taken under the student pass/fail grading alternative

W—Withdrawal, assigned if withdrawal is later than fifth Friday of classes (but not after midsemester); is not included in grade-point average

WP—Withdrawal, assigned if withdrawal is after mid-semester and if student is passing; is not included in grade-point average

WF—Withdrawal, assigned if withdrawal is after mid-semester and if student is failing; is included in grade-point average

AU—Audit, no credit earned

IC—Grade report notation for student's incomplete coursework

IA—Indicates "incomplete" in a thesis or continuing course of more than one semester; the grade earned will replace "IA" assigned in previous semesters

IX—Grade not reported by instructor

Students earning a semester or cumulative grade-point average less than 2.00 are placed on "academic warning."

While earning a bachelor's degree, students may choose the pass/fail grading alternative for a maximum of 4 credits per semester up to a total of 16 credits toward the degree.

Pass/fail cannot be used for Discovery requirements, for writing-intensive courses, for courses required by a student’s major or second major, for option or minor requirements, for ENGL 401, or for repeated courses. In addition, B.A., B.F.A., and B.M. degree candidates may not use pass/fail for courses taken to meet the foreign language requirement, and no Paul College course may be taken on a pass/fail basis by a student majoring in administration, economics, or hospitality management.

The minimum passing grade for credit is a D- (0.67); any grade below this minimum is a fail. All grades will be recorded on the grade roster as A, B, C, D, F, or intermediate grades. The pass/fail marks will be placed on students’ transcripts and grade reports by the Registrar’s Office. The course will not be included in the grade-point calculation, but the pass or fail will be recorded, and in the case of a pass, the course credits will be counted toward degree requirements. Associate in arts students, see the University of New Hampshire at Manchester.

An undergraduate degree student, after completion of at least 12 graded credits in University of New Hampshire courses, is designated as an honor student for a given semester if the student has (a) completed at least 12 graded credits for that semester and earned at least a 3.50 semester grade-point average; or (b) earned at least a 3.50 cumulative grade-point average and at least a 3.50 semester grade-point average regardless of the number of graded credits that semester.

Beginning in the fall of 2012, these categories are used: 3.50 to 3.64 (honors); 3.65 to 3.84 (high honors); and 3.85 to 4.00 (highest honors).

Bachelor's degree candidates who have earned honors for their entire work at the University will be graduated with honors based on the final cumulative grade-point average, provided that a minimum of 64 graded credits have been completed in University of New Hampshire courses. The Latin equivalent of the honors classification will appear on the student's academic record and diploma. The student's honors classification will be noted in the commencement program.

Students graduating in academic years 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 will be graduated with honors according to the following categories: 3.20 to 3.49 (honors); 3.50 to 3.69 (high honors); and 3.70 to 4.00 (highest honors). Students graduating in academic year 2015-2016 and subsequent years will be graduated with honors according to the following categories: 3.50 to 3.64 (honors); 3.65 to 3.84 (high honors); and 3.85 to 4.00 (highest honors).

UNH Credit Hour Policy

The University of New Hampshire is in compliance with the federal definition of credit hour. For each credit hour, the University requires, at a minimum, the equivalent of three hours of student academic work each week. Academic work includes, but is not limited to, direct faculty instruction, e-learning, recitation, laboratory work, studio work, field work, performance, internships, and practica. Additional academic activities include, but are not limited to, readings, reflections, essays, reports, inquiry, problem solving, rehearsal, collaborations, theses, and electronic interactions. Student work reflects intended learning outcomes and is verified through evidence of student achievement.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is a core value at the University of New Hampshire. The members of its academic community both require and expect one another to conduct themselves with integrity. This means that each member will adhere to the principles and rules of the University and pursue academic work in a straightforward and truthful manner, free from deception or fraud. The academic policy can be found in the annual publication, Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities.