http://www.as.miami.edu

Introduction

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami is a community of scholars and students that encourages the quest for a deeper understanding of the human experience and fosters a personal commitment to lifelong learning, intellectual growth, and the enduring values of the liberal arts.

The College is dedicated to helping students develop analytical and communication skills, creative abilities, and a sense of civic responsibility needed in an increasingly complex society. It strives to provide them with a rigorous grounding in their chosen field, an awareness of the interconnectedness of disciplines, and an exposure to the discovery of new knowledge.

The College seeks to create an intellectual environment that enhances individual growth and supports scholarly activities and creative endeavors that augment human knowledge and understanding.

Degree Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences offers courses leading to the degrees of:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts

Graduates with one of these degrees will have had a sound liberal arts introduction to the major fields of human knowledge. In addition to this background, each bachelor’s candidate has the opportunity to select an area of academic or of occupational interest. Professional or pre-professional curricula leading to certification in teaching, or to dentistry, medicine, law, etc., can be built into the degree program.

Academic Policies

The College of Arts and Sciences follows the general university academic policies outlined in the General Academic Information section of this Bulletin.

Requirements for Graduation

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees

Candidates for degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete the credit hours of work and achieve the quality point average specified for students in the University at large. These requirements are indicated in the Academic Procedures and Information section of this Bulletin. Candidates must also complete the General Education requirements of the University, i.e., the Proficiencies: English Composition, Advanced Writing and Communication, and Quantitative Skills; completion of a cognate in each of the three areas: Arts & Humanities, People & Society, and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

I. Additional Proficiencies and Areas of Knowledge Requirements

In addition to the university’s general education requirements, the college has the following requirements and provisos:

Bachelor of Science
  • Second Language Proficiency: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours of a language other than English at the 200 level or higher.
  • Advanced Writing and Communication Proficiency: Degree candidates must complete at least four writing courses, and at least one writing course must be in the student's major discipline.

  • Mathematics Proficiency: Degree candidates must complete a calculus sequence: MTH 161-MTH 162, MTH 140-MTH 141-MTH 162, or MTH 171-MTH 172.

  • Computing or Statistics Proficiency: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours in either
  1. a computing course approved by the major department; or
  2. a statistics course approved by the major department.
  • Natural Science Area of Knowledge: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours in Natural Science, in one of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Geological Sciences or Physics. These credit hours must be earned in courses that count toward a major in that department. 
Bachelor of Arts
  • Second Language Proficiency: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours of a language other than English at the 200 level or higher.
  • Advanced Writing and Communication Proficiency: Degree candidates must complete at least four writing courses, and at least one writing course must be in the student's major discipline.

  • Mathematics Proficiency: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours in a Mathematics course numbered MTH 108 or higher.
  • Natural Science Area of Knowledge: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours in Natural Science: Anthropology (only APY 203), Biology, Chemistry, Ecosystem Science and Policy (only ECS 111, ECS 112, ECS 202), Geography (only GEG 120), Geological Sciences, Marine Sciences (except MSC 313, MSC 314), Physical Sciences, and Physics. 
Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Advanced Writing and Communication Proficiency: Degree candidates must complete at least four writing courses, and at least one writing course must be in the student's major discipline.

  • Mathematics Proficiency: Degree candidates must earn at least 3 credit hours in a Mathematics course numbered MTH 108 or higher.
Bachelor of Liberal Arts
  • Advanced Writing and Communication Proficiency: Degree candidates must complete at least four writing courses, and at least one writing course must be in the student's major discipline.

Details of the Second Language Proficiency

Second language requirements can be fulfilled through courses offered in the departments of Modern Languages and Literatures (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish, except for courses numbered 310-319), Classics (Latin and Greek), and Teaching and Learning in the School of Education (American Sign Language). Special 100- and 200-level Spanish courses are required of heritage Spanish speakers who choose to fulfill the language requirement by taking Spanish. Courses taken in order to meet second language requirements, including necessary prerequisite courses, cannot be used in cognates taken to fulfill the Areas of Knowledge requirement.

Students who graduated high school at an institution in which the primary language of instruction and the primary language of school administration was not English, are eligible for exemption from the A&S second language requirement. Exemption will be granted by A&S Office of Student Advising. To be granted the exemption, the student must have on file the equivalent of a high school diploma from such an institution.

Details of the Advanced Writing and Communication Proficiency

Degree candidates must complete at least four writing courses, and at least one writing course must be in one of the student's major disciplines (not applicable to BLA students who do not select a major). Students should consult the bulletin section of their major to find out which writing-intensive courses are acceptable to the discipline.

Individual writing course offerings may make the writing component independent of the rest of the course. As such the the writing component  might be optional, the writing component might not contribute to the overall grade, and writing credit might be awarded even if the overall grade is a fail.

Transfer students may use a maximum of two transfer courses towards the writing requirement.

II. Major and Minor Fields  (B.A. and B.S degrees)

B.A. and B.S. degree candidates must choose a major offered in the college by one of the disciplines with an undergraduate academic program in the college, and at least one other minor or major from any of the disciplines in the university. B.S. degree candidates must choose a major from one the STEM fields: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecosystem Science and Policy, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology. B.A. degree candidates must choose at least one major or minor from a field other than the STEM fields: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Physics, Business Technology, and Engineering. The majors and minors taken by a student must come from different fields of study. Multiple majors and minors may be taken from departments and programs that offer multiple fields of study. To find the requirements for majors and minors, consult this bulletin under the discipline concerned, and confer with the designated departmental representatives.  Any student who does not make satisfactory progress towards a major may be required to change or relinquish candidacy for the degree.

Individual courses may be used to satisfy the requirements of multiple majors and minors. However, each major taken by a student must include at least 24 credits that are not counted towards any other major or  minor, and each minor must include at least 9 credits that are not  counted towards any other major or minor. If a major or minor is used  to fulfil a cognate requirement, the 24/9 credits may also not be counted towards any other cognate.

III. Additional Bachelor of Fine Arts Requirements

B.F.A. degree candidates must satisfy the requirements of a major as determined by the Department of Art and Art History or the Department of Theatre Arts. B.F.A. studio majors must minor in Art History. Students must maintain at least a GPA of 3.0 in their major, and an overall GPA of 2.0 or above as specified in departmental and program sections of this bulletin.

IV. Additional Bachelor of Liberal Arts Requirements

B.L.A. degree candidates must complete 120 credit hours with an overall GPA of 2.0 or above. At least 60 of the 120 credit hours must be in 300, 400, or 500-level courses. Of these 60 credit hours, 30 credit hours must be completed in the College of Arts and Sciences. No more than 40 credit hours in 300-level or higher courses may be earned in any one department, and no more than 52 total credit hours may be earned in any one department. Up to 30 of the 120 credit hours  may be courses from other schools and colleges of the university except for those courses expressly excluded from recognition by the college. Students may, but are not required to, elect a major in a department. If a student fulfills the departmental requirements for the major, it will be recorded on the official transcript. No minor may be elected. 

V. Other Requirements

General Electives

Beyond the general education and major/minor courses, all students must complete sufficient general electives to reach a total of 120 credit hours. General electives may be chosen from any courses offered by the University. The student should consult an advisor before selecting elective courses.

Credit Only

Only general electives may be taken under this option. Courses that are used to satisfy the major, the minor, the distribution requirements of the College and the general education requirements of the University may not be taken for credit only.

Exemption

Exemption from a course or courses refers specifically to the following:

  1. credit by examination through the Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs;
  2. advanced placement by proficiency examinations or test scores, with no credit earned;
  3.  advanced standing and/or placement, with credit earned.

Transfer Credit Hours

Credit hours transferred from other institutions may not count towards the completion of a major or minor without the written approval of the department or program.

Independent Major

The Independent Major allows students to pursue a BA or a BS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, depending on the field of study and in consultation with the Guidance Committee. Students will fulfill all requirements for such degrees.

Students may begin to develop a proposal for the IM when they have reached sophomore standing. The proposal should explain why existing majors are inappropriate or inadequate to satisfy the student’s interests. Students will be ineligible for declaring the IM upon reaching senior standing, that is, they must declare as a junior and spend at least two (2) full semesters in residence at UM in the IM. Students will require a cumulative UM GPA of 3.5 or higher to be eligible for the IM.

A student’s Guidance Committee typically will comprise two tenured or tenure-track faculty, typically from different departments, who represent the disciplinary breadth of the courses selected for the IM. A third Guidance Committee member might be appropriate when the proposed course of study encompasses expertise from three Departments or disciplines. The Guidance Committee Chair, who has primary oversight responsibility regarding satisfactory completion of the major, will serve as the primary advisor for the student’s senior research/creative project under most circumstances, and must be a tenure-track faculty. Exceptions to the Chair serving as the primary advisor might include situations where there are co-advisors.

The IM proposal must include at least thirty (30) credit hours of coursework beyond those needed to fulfill General Education requirements. Of those thirty (30), at least six (6) must be at the 300 level; additionally, six (6) credit hours will be satisfied by a Capstone project/thesis in the last two (2) semesters of the Bachelor’s degree. Because many courses have variable availability and conflicts are inevitable, strong proposals will identify more than 30 credit hours of coursework before being submitted to the Advisory Committee for approval. If a student wishes to pursue the IM as a double-major, the Advisory Committee should give particular attention to the appropriateness of the student’s plan of study; no double-counting of credit hours will be allowed between the two majors.

Academic Appeal Policy and Procedures

The College’s Faculty Committee on Academic Appeals (FCAA) is responsible for reviewing and conducting hearings on appeals related to exceptions to academic policy under the authority of the College of Arts and Sciences. Appeals must be submitted directly by the student from their student UM email account. Appeals will not be accepted from parents/guardians, doctors, attorneys, or anyone else other than the student. Please read below for a list of acceptable and unacceptable appeal requests. All appeals related to course drops/enrollment adjustments MUST be submitted within one (1) calendar year from the semester end date noted on the academic calendar for the semester in question. Transcripts will not be altered once a student has graduated and has a conferred degree. Appeal decisions will be delivered to students’ UM email account within 2 to 3 business weeks upon receipt of the appeal. All appeal decisions are final and non-negotiable. The student maintains full responsibility for the impact of an appeal decision, especially as it relates to their account, financial aid, visa status, academic progress, and graduation timeline.

Steps to Submit an Acceptable Appeal:

  1. Draft an email to the Assistant Dean of Academic Services – see website for contact information. as.miami.edu/advising.
  2. The appeal email must briefly describe the situation, the reason/justification for the request, the specific request/action, the specific year/term/course ID as applicable to the type of appeal, and the student’s name/ID.
  3. Appeals must be accompanied by supporting documentation, if applicable to the type of appeal. Documentation must be submitted as an attachment to the appeal email. It is the responsibility of the student to determine what documentation best supports their appeal case. We will not pre-approve documentation before submission of the appeal. We will only accept documentation from the student submitting the appeal.  

Appealable Actions for Committee Review:

  1. Request for retroactive drop of one, or more, courses after the last date to drop without a W, and/or after the last day to drop a class for the semester in question. This type of appeal is only considered for cases of extreme, unforeseen circumstances or medical emergencies that can be documented. Retroactive drop action can NOT result in a complete withdrawal (all enrolled classes dropped).
  2. Request for waiver of the 45 credit hour residency requirement
    1. Appeal must include the institution where credits will be/were taken, the year/term to be/were taken, and the exact number of credits to be considered for waiver.
    2. This process does not preapprove transfer equivalencies or guarantee transferability of courses. Students are responsible for adhering to all necessary policies and procedures related to transferring courses to UM.
  3. Substitution for, or waiver from College of Arts and Sciences’ General Education Requirements (not University general education requirements – see below). 

The following requested actions are not appealable through the College of Arts and Sciences FCAA:

  1. Adjustment of academic record/transcript after graduation and a conferral of the degree: See University Bulletin
  2. Retroactive withdrawals for Fall/Spring semesters
    1. The University has a formal withdrawal policy found here.
  3. Retroactive withdrawals for summer sessions that alters the effective date of the withdrawal
    1. See withdrawal policy linked above
  4. Grade Appeals, including incomplete grades that are now IF grades
    1. See Faculty Senate Appeals process in Bulletin here.
  5. Waiver of University General Education Requirements as defined by the Bulletin: No appeals process available
  6. Substitution for/waiver from any requirements related to a major or minor: Under respective department authority
  7. Excused absences from a course(s): Absences are under the authority of individual instructors
  8. Credit Only Option after deadline: No appeals process available

PreLaw Preparation

Although no specific curriculum is required in preparation for Law School, the Pre-Law Committee of the American Bar Association strongly recommends that students considering a career in Law should have a well-balanced education. This education should include courses requiring intensive writing, logical reasoning and critical thinking and reading skills.

Prelaw Advising provides a variety of services to all students interested in attending Law School. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Academic Services in Ashe 200. These services include:

  1. Pre-Law Advising: confidential advising in preparation for law school (i.e. application process, general information, discussion of your concerns).
  2. The Pre-Law Manual: information about requirements, preparation etc., for law school.
  3. Pre-Law Newsletter: information about programs and events.
  4. LSAT and LSDAS registration booklets (for juniors and seniors).
  5. Campus-wide programs for pre-law students such as Law Day.
  6. Programs and seminars in coordination with other University of Miami departments such as: School of Law Career Planning Center, School of Law Center for Ethics and Public Service, Toppel Career Planning and Placement, the Counseling Center, and the Reading and Study Skills Center.

In order to take advantage of the services listed above a student should complete a Pre-Law registration card at the beginning of the academic year.

Max and Peggy Kriloff Fund

The Max and Peggy Kriloff Fund is a fund that provides travel support for students earning degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences. The fund provides support for students to present papers, or posters at professional conferences worldwide. Students will need to fill out an application form available at this link; and submit it, along with the necessary supporting documentation to the Office of Graduate and Administrative Services in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Foote Fellows pursuing degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences are exempt from all University-wide and College-specific general education requirements. They are eligible for priority admission into the daVinci program, first-year seminars, and internships in the Dean’s office. Opportunities to learn by doing, through research or tutorials, as well as seed money for students interested in developing a business plan or a prototype are also available to A&S Foote Fellows. Questions? Read more or go to Ashe 200 for answers!

The da Vinci Program encourages high-achieving, intellectually curious students to rethink the map of human knowledge. It emphasizes connections between humanistic and scientific inquiry and their modes of understanding: objectivity, critical analysis, self-reflexivity, the nature of proof, authority, and the logic and rhetoric of written expression. It also helps define the distinctive elements that humanities classes can offer to STEM-minded students: a chance to reflect on questions of human values, ethics, and aesthetics. At the same time, it introduces humanities students to conceptually new means of investigating the traditional fields.

Students are invited in the program before their first year and they take a seminar per semester in each of the first four semesters of study. A capstone experience marks the conclusion of their undergraduate career. Read more about the Davinci Program. 

The Advanced Program in Integrated Science and Math (PRISM) brings together top first-year students interested in the natural sciences.  The program is designed for those who plan on pursuing postgraduate education and a career in science or medicine (Ph.D./M.D. track).  Our outstanding faculty, lab directors, graduate assistants, and caring advisors are here to encourage integrated learning in STEM disciplines.  PRISM students are exposed to new developments in science and are encouraged to become actively engaged in research during their undergraduate experience.  PRISM classes are advanced versions of the typical track done by a first-year natural science student, so there are no additional classes to complete.  Read more about the PRISM program.