2.7.1 Program Length

The institution offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the associate level; at least 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the baccalaureate level; or at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification for all degrees that include fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Texas Education Code 61.05159(a) mandates that to "earn a baccalaureate degree, a student may not be required by a general academic teaching institution to complete more than the minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or its successor unless the institution determines that there is a compelling academic reason for requiring completion of additional semester credit hours for the degree" [1]. Prairie View A&M University's degree program requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices of collegiate institutions and with this code. The University has always required 120 semester credit hours for undergraduate degrees, and it complied with this code when implemented in 2005 by assessing each of its undergraduate degrees. The University worked to reduce the number of courses required in excess of 120 credit hours to help degree-to-completion time [2] as required by the state.

All undergraduate baccalaureate degrees at PVAMU require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours and all post-baccalaureate and graduate degrees at PVAMU meet or exceed 30 semester credit hours [3]. Each degree program listing in the undergraduate [4] and graduate [5] catalogs outlines the total number of credit hours required, number and distribution of general education requirements, and number of credits to be earned in the major or area of concentration. Semester credit hours are the only academic units accepted.

PVAMU offers 50 undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Business degree. Each degree program is comprised of components that represent the core curriculum, major requirements, support requirements, minor requirements, and elective courses. The degree plans for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing [6] and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science [7] demonstrate how the minimum hours are distributed.

PVAMU offers 41 master's level degrees and 4 doctoral degrees. The degree requirements for all graduate degrees are detailed in the Graduate catalog under the program description [5]. Degree requirements for the Masters of Business Administration [8] and the Doctorate in Juvenile Justice show how graduate programs meet the minimum program standards [9].

Supporting Documentation and Links

Core Requirements 2.7.1

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