Undergraduate Academics



Students are responsible for their academic progress. Students seeking assistance with academic progress or experiencing academic difficulty should consult their academic dean and advisor. See www.depts.ttu.edu/officialpublications/catalog/_academicsupport.php for information about Academic Advising and Support.

Each undergraduate student accepted for admission will enroll in one of the university's degree-granting colleges or areas: College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, College of Education, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, Honors College, College of Human Sciences, College of Media and Communication, College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Office of the Provost. A student's major subject is the primary area of specialized study (e.g., English) the student is pursuing within a degree program (e.g., Bachelor of Arts). A student interested in obtaining a double major or dual degree should contact his or her academic dean and advisor for specific requirements.

All baccalaureate degrees conferred by Texas Tech University are based on the satisfactory completion of specific authorized degree programs comprised of a minimum of 120 semester hours. Requirements for undergraduate degrees are established at three different levels:

  1. The university as a whole (Uniform Undergraduate Degree Requirements).
  2. The college or area through which the degree is conferred (General Degree Requirements).
  3. The particular degree program in which the student is working (Requirements for the Major).

Students should familiarize themselves with all three sets of requirements that must be fulfilled before the degree is granted. Students should consult their academic dean and advisor whenever any question arises concerning academic status or progress. Matters specifically requiring the dean's approval include the following:

  • Concurrent enrollment in Texas Tech University and another institution
  • Pass/fail option
  • Credit by examination
  • Graduation requirements and candidacy for a degree
  • Applicability of transfer credits to degree programs


Uniform Undergraduate Degree Requirements

The Uniform Undergraduate Degree Requirements apply to all Texas Tech undergraduates regardless of their major or college. The requirements have six components:

  • General Requirements
  • Core Curriculum Requirement
  • Multicultural Requirement
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • Science Laboratory Requirement
  • Writing Intensive Requirement

General Requirements

Residence Credit. The minimum actual residence required of each student is two consecutive semesters or the equivalent, and the minimum amount of residence work required is one-fourth of the total hours applicable toward the degree sought. In addition, the last 30 hours of coursework must be from Texas Tech.

The term "residence" as a degree requirement should not be confused with "residence" in the state of Texas for tuition purposes. "Residence credit" used here means credit for work done while enrolled in and attending classes taught under a Texas Tech course number, including distance education courses and those taught at locations other than the Lubbock campus.

Graduation Under a Particular Catalog. All degree requirements must be met according to a single Texas Tech University catalog. Normally this will be the catalog in effect when the student first enrolls in the university. For the student who changes a degree program after having enrolled at Texas Tech University, the applicable degree requirements are those in effect at the time the student is officially admitted to the college in which the degree program is housed. Only with the specific approval of the academic dean may a different catalog be selected. In no case may a student complete the requirements set forth in a catalog more than seven years old or in a catalog in effect prior to the student's first enrollment in higher education. When necessary, a catalog issued later than the student's first registration may be selected by the academic dean in conference with the student.

The catalog is published each summer, and its provisions apply during the following academic year, beginning with the fall semester and extending through the next summer semester. A student who registers for the first time in the university during a summer session is subject to the degree requirements set forth in the catalog effective for the fall semester immediately following the initial enrollment.

Core Curriculum Option. The university introduced a new core curriculum in fall 2014. Students who entered the university under a catalog prior to fall 2014 will complete the core curriculum specified in their catalog unless they request to change to a 2014-15 or later catalog. In this case, core curriculum requirements completed under the old core will be retained, and remaining core requirements will be completed under the new core requirements. Students should consult with their advisor before they elect to change to a 2014-15 or later university catalog.

Filing a Degree Plan. In 2011 the Texas Legislature passed HB 3025 requiring all students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program at a state university to file a degree plan before the end of the second regular semester after the student has earned a cumulative total of 45 or more semester credit hours. The 45 hours includes all transfer courses, international baccalaureate courses, dual credit courses, and any other course for which Texas Tech University has awarded college course credit. In the event of a change in major, students should submit a new degree plan as soon as the program change is complete.

A baccalaureate student must verify at each registration that a degree plan has been filed and the courses for which the student is registering are consistent with that degree plan. This verification will be done electronically through Raiderlink and Banner. Students who have not filed a degree plan within the allotted time period may not obtain an official transcript from the university registrar until the plan has been filed.

Filing "Intent to Graduate." Students must file an "Intent to Graduate" or "Application for Degree" form with their college at least one calendar year before they plan to graduate. Students using federal veteran's benefits must meet a federal requirement to file a degree plan by the time they have accumulated 64 semester hours. Students in compliance with HB 3025 (see "Filing a Degree Plan" above) also will have complied with this requirement.

Commencement Exercises. Diplomas are awarded at the end of each semester and the summer terms. Commencement exercises are held at the end of each long semester (May and December) and at the end of the second summer term (August).

Second Bachelor's Degree. No second bachelor's degree is conferred until the candidate has completed at least 24 semester hours—exclusive of credit by examination—in addition to the courses counted toward the first bachelor's degree. A second bachelor's degree sought by a student who did not complete the core curriculum at a public Texas institution of higher education must include the Texas Tech University required core curriculum.

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Science Laboratory Requirement

Students graduating from Texas Tech University are required to complete two semester credit hours of science laboratory courses. Normally this will be done by taking two 4-credit science courses or combinations of lecture and lab. Examples are BIOL 1401/1402 or CHEM 1305/1105 and CHEM 1306/1106. Students may not take a lab that is not matched to a corresponding lecture course.
Transfer students who present 3-hour science courses may complete the science laboratory requirement in either of the following in ways:

  • They may take a laboratory course that matches a 3-hour course accepted in transfer as satisfying a portion of the life and physical sciences requirement (for example, GEOL 1101 if the student transferred a course that was accepted as equivalent to GEOL 1303).
  • They may enroll in BIOL 2202. This is a 2-hour self-paced online course designed specifically for transfer students who need to complete the science laboratory requirement. BIOL 2202 carries a biology prefix, but it is designed to be taken by any student who has completed one or two 3-hour science courses in any science discipline. The BIOL 2202 modules stress providing students with a framework for evaluating and critiquing scientific research findings and will help students understand the role of scientific research in improving human health, contributing to economic growth, answering basic questions about the world, and working toward solving a multitude of problems faced by modem society. BIOL 2202 is not available to students who complete their life and physical sciences requirement at Texas Tech University.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students graduating from Texas Tech University should be able to express, negotiate, and interpret meaning in a second language.

Any entering student who has not completed two years of a single foreign language in high school or has not transferred at least two semesters of a single foreign language from another college must complete at least two semesters (or its equivalent) of a single foreign language at the first-year college level as a graduation requirement. This can be accomplished, for example, by successful completion of course number 1502 or 1507 in FREN, GERM, SPAN, etc. Individual colleges may have additional foreign language proficiency requirements. Additional requirements may be necessary for select majors.

Almost all programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and some programs in the College of Visual and Performing Arts require sophomore-level proficiency. Admission to sophomore-level foreign language courses requires either a minimum score on a placement exam or successful completion of prerequisites within the respective language.

International students who wish to have the foreign language requirement waived should review the Guidelines for High School Foreign Language Requirements for International Students.

Students who take freshman level courses to satisfy the foreign language graduation requirement may not use those courses to satisfy any other specified university degree requirements. Hours in the required freshman level language courses may count toward free elective hours included in any baccalaureate degree.

The foreign language requirement may be met through credit by examination, described elsewhere in this catalog. Students who petition to complete the foreign language requirement via study abroad through a non-Texas Tech affiliated program must agree to have foreign language credit applied to their degrees based on scores on a language placement test administered by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures after their return from the study abroad. Approval to do this must be granted in advance by the student's associate dean. For more information, consult the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures.


Writing Intensive Requirement

Each degree program will include a minimum of six hours of courses that are designated as writing intensive. The fundamental objective of a writing intensive course is for students to write often and receive critical review from the course instructor. Students should be required to rewrite, based on the instructor's critique. The writing intensive course emphasizes the process as well as the products of writing. Faculty use writing to reinforce student learning. Students' writing should formulate ideas, raise questions, and express considered opinions. Students' written work should analyze, integrate, and synthesize as well as communicate.

Students pursuing a double major or dual-degree must complete six hours of writing intensive coursework in each area of study. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary degree must complete six hours of writing intensive coursework within one or more of the selected areas of study.

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