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4.4 Program Length

Federal Requirement 4.4 (Program Length) (printer-friendly PDF)

Program length is appropriate for each of the institution's educational programs. (Federal Requirement 4.4)


In Compliance


The length, in credit hours and designated years of study, of all Longwood University educational degree programs is appropriate for the degree type.

The Academic Program Length table lists number of credit hours required for all undergraduate and graduate degree programs by major and by concentration if required for the degree. Notes are included for programs that have licensure or internship requirements beyond the standard academic credits required for the degree.

Undergraduate Programs

All baccalaureate degree programs require a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit. Degree requirements are specified in the undergraduate catalog. Programs that include licensure or endorsement requirements, such as liberal studiesandkinesiology, may exceed 120 credit hours.

Several processes ensure that appropriate program length is maintained, including the new program approval process, faculty review, accreditation processes, and program assessment. Faculty review of program length occurs through numerous department, college, and university committees including curriculum committees, the Committee on Educational Policy, and the Committee on General Education. The Committee on Educational Policy and the Committee on General Education are standing committees of the Faculty Senate and have representation from all three colleges. All program changes, including program length, must be approved by the Committee on Educational Policy as stated in the Curriculum Development Handbook.  

In fall 2009, the provost asked the academic deans to oversee a review of undergraduate program degree requirements in their respective colleges, with special attention to programs requiring more than 120 credit hours. He also asked them to review the number of elective courses and the viability of each major, minor, and concentration.

  • In the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences(CCCAS), the only programs exceeding 120 hours that do not include teaching endorsements are nursing, the pre-med physics major, and the BS in biology with a medical technology concentration, which requires a hospital internship. CCCAS faculty are also examining the possibility of converting degree programs with teaching endorsement requirements to five-year master's degree programs.
  • The College of Business and Economics(CBE) will seek approval to reduce the credit hours required for the BSBA in accounting from 122 to 120, combine the BSBA retailing and marketing concentrations, and combine the BSBA real estate and finance concentrations.
  • The College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) is working on a five-year plan for the physical and health education teacher education licensure program in kinesiology. CEHS will seek approval to reduce credit hours for therapeutic recreation from 129 to 120, for the exercise science concentration of the kinesiology major from 124-126 to 120, and for athletic training from 126 to 123.

Graduate Programs

Graduate programs involve a large degree of flexibility to ensure that each program can tailor its curriculum requirements to meet the unique needs of each student body. Graduate programs that do not include initial licensure requirements range from 30 to 39 credit hours. The four MS in Education degree concentrations and the MA in English concentration with initial licensure requirements range from 36 to 54 credit hours. Program lengths may also vary due to differences in completion options, such as thesis or comprehensive examination, as in the MS in Sociology, and variations in faculty-approved course and content requirements. The MS in Education has the most variations because of its 14 concentrations.

Adjustments to program length are determined by the faculty in each academic program. Faculty at the department, college, and university levels determine appropriate graduate program length, including approval from the Graduate Committee. Details of all graduate degree requirements are in the graduate catalog.

Supporting Documents

Name of Document Location
Academic Program Length (2009-10) program_length.pdf
CBE Program Length (letter, 2/19/10) Program Length CBE.pdf
CCCAS Program Length (letter, 2/1/10) Program Length A&S.pdf
CEHS Program Length (e-mail, 2/26/10) Program Length CEHS.pdf
Committee on Educational Policy (FPPM 2009-10) FPPM_2009_2010 139.pdf
Committee on General Education (FPPM 2009-10) FPPM_2009_2010 150-151.pdf
Deans Council (agenda, 10/21/09) Dean's Council Agenda 102109.pdf
Graduate Catalog (2009-10) GradCatalog0910.pdf
Graduate Committee (FPPM 2009-10) FPPM_2009_2010 154.pdf
Kinesiology (Undergrad Cat 2009-10) 09UngradEHS 273-276.pdf
Liberal Studies (Undergrad Cat 2009-10) 09UngradAS 38-44.pdf
MS in Education (Grad Cat 2009-10) GradCatalog0910 52-66.pdf
MS in Sociology (Grad Cat 2009-10) GradCatalog0910 78-82.pdf
New Course and Course Change Process (Curr Dev Hdbk 2009) CurriculumHdbk_09 16-17 and 25.pdf