Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

General Education and Graduation Requirements


Shaw University awards the Bachelor of Arts degree, the Bachelor of Social Work and the Bachelor of Science degree. 

Candidates for the bachelor’s degree must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 120 academic credits, which must include all required courses of the University Core, Department Core and the student’s major area(s). A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (or “C”) must be met by each candidate for the baccalaureate degree(s).

The Division of Social Sciences,  Religious Studies, and the Arts affords students who were previously enrolled in continuing education courses through the Shaw Divinity School to matriculate as undergraduate students provided they have a high school diploma or the GED. These students may earn the appropriate Bachelor’s degree. Upon graduation with a Bachelor’s degree, these students may choose to pursue the Master of Divinity degree (see the graduate catalog for specific details).

The student should file the required Application for Graduation with his/her academic advisor during the semester prior to the semester of graduation. Deadlines are published in the Academic Calendar .

Each candidate is required to satisfactorily complete at least 25% of the minimum credit hours for each degree program in residence at Shaw University as an officially enrolled student for the Bachelor’s degree. Also, he/she must successfully complete all required examinations, projects and assignments.

A student may set their own timetable for graduation by progressing at different paces. It is possible for a student to meet the requirements of a chosen major and accumulate the required credit hours and grade point average in less than four years, resulting in early graduation; or a student may take five or more years, resulting in late graduation.

Graduation with Honors

Bachelor’s degrees with Latin honors are awarded to students who have earned 50 or more semester hours in residence at Shaw University, in accordance with the following scale:

3.75 - 4.00 summa cum laude
3.50 - 3.74 magna cum laude
3.25 - 3.49 cum laude

All hours attempted at Shaw University are included in the grade point computation for honors.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

A student may receive a second baccalaureate degree provided that the student: (1) satisfies the requirements for the major, the requirements of the University Core and the Departmental Core for the first and second degrees; and (2) satisfactorily completes at least 30 additional semester hours in residence (or a minimum total of 150 semester hours), as required in singular majors. Courses that are common to both majors are counted toward satisfying the requirements of both.

The University General Education Core Curriculum


The Shaw University Core Curriculum represents the University’s General

Education requirements. Based on the University’s Mission Statement and Expanded Statement of Purpose, the General Education requirements provides the foundation for students to “value life-long learning, leadership and service,” be “broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences,” as well as the ability to function in an ever-changing global environment.  


The aim of the General Education curriculum is to provide the educational foundation for students to succeed in their degree program, develop transferable and marketable skills, and the ability to apply those skills in real world settings. The program is designed to not only build competencies that studies have shown employers want, but which are also critical in an ever-changing and expanding global and technological environment.  The curriculum also aspires to cultivate knowledge essential to functioning as a responsible citizen, and to stimulate values that are vital for a fulfilled life.


With that in mind, the university has adopted eight competencies for the General Education Program. Upon completion of their degree program, students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in:


1) Reasoning and Discourse: Effectively use the English language, writing and speaking with clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness through the use of different types of communication appropriate in professional and academic settings. Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology and appropriate resources to identify, locate, evaluated effectively, and use the information from various print and electronic sources.


2) Computational Reasoning: Comprehend and to use mathematical concepts and methods to interpret and to critically evaluate data and to effectively problem-solve in a variety of contexts demanding quantitative literacy. Demonstrate competence in computer literacy, including fundamental concepts of computing and fluency in the use of contemporary computing and information technology.


3) Foundational Studies: Identify the importance of a commitment to life-long learning.


4) Health and Physical Fitness: Identify the importance of a commitment to life-long health.


5) Historical and Civic Perspectives: Demonstrate an understanding of the central events and institutions of world civilizations within the larger historical context, and show the relevance of those historical events to contemporary issues and problems. Comprehend and relate the differences among various political structures and the role of individual and corporate civic engagement.


6) Humanities and Global Perspectives: Exhibit a richer understanding of the human condition through the investigation, appreciation and evaluation of the aesthetic dimension of human experience, artistic expression, and the role and value of the fine arts in society and culture. Recognize the significance of the roles that religions and religious expression have played throughout human cultures in history. Understand principles of normative and non-normative ethical theories and apply these principles in decision-making activities including case studies and contemporary social issues.


7) Natural or Physical Science Elective: Implement the basic principles of science and methods of scientific inquiry. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and apply information.


8) Social Science Elective: Describe, explain, compare, and critique methods of inquiry used by the social and behavioral sciences and their importance in the understanding of human societies and relationships.



University General Education Core Curriculum Requirements Credits

Reasoning and Discourse

English Composition[i] (Nine credits)

ENG 111 College English and Composition II (3)

ENG 112 College Composition and Argument (3)

ENG 113 College Composition and Research (3)

Oral Communication        (Three Credits)                                                        

COM 205 Fundamentals of Human Speech (3)

COM 210. Public Speaking (3)

(The choice should be made with the advisement of the MCO faculty.)


Computational Reasoning (Nine credits)

Mathematics[ii]         (Six Credits)

MAT 111 General Math I (3)

MAT 112 General Math II (3)

MAT 113 Intermediate Algebra (3)

MAT-115 Precalculus (4)

MAT 120 Math for Elementary Teachers I (3)

MAT 121 Math for Elementary Teachers II (3)

Technology[iii]        (Three Credits)                                    

CIS 101 Concepts of Computers (3)

EDU 101 Basic Instructional Technology for Teachers[iv] (3)


Foundational Studies   (One credit)                                            

OAS 100 College Success (New Freshmen) (1)

OAS 101 Transfer Success (Transfer Students) (1)

OAS 102 Adult Education Success (Adult Degree Students) (1)

Health and Physical Fitness (Three credits)

HPE 101 Health and Fitness (3)


Historical and Civic Perspectives (Three Credits)                                       

HIS 115 World Civilization (3)

HIS 203 African American History I (3)

HIS 204 African American History II (3)

INT 252 International Relations (3)   

POL 150 Introduction to Political Science (3)

POL 201 U.S. Government (3)


Humanities and Global Perspectives (Six Credits)   

Humanities Elective from the following list (Three Credits)                                      

HUM 201 Introduction to African-American Humanities (3)

HUM 210 Survey of the Arts (3)

ART 190 Introduction to the Visual Arts (3)

MUS 225 Music Appreciation (3)

MUS 227 African American Music (3)

THR 102 Introduction to Theatre (3)

ENG 211 Introduction to World Literature (3)

Religion Elective from the following list (Three Credits)                                  

ETH 215 Cross Cultural Ethics of Responsibility (3)

REL 225 Introduction to Religion (3)

REL 234 World Religions (3)

REL 235 Bible (3)

REL 295 African American Religion (3)


Natural or Physical Science Elective[v]          (Three-Four Credits)                                    

BIO 111 Introduction to Biological Science (3)

BIO 112/113 General Biology/Lab

BIO 114/115 Principles of Biology I/Lab (4)

CHE 112/122 Principles of Chemistry/ Lab (4)

PHY 112 Introduction to Physical Science (3)


Social Science Elective (Three Credits)                                                        

CRJ 150 Survey of Crime and Delinquency (3)

PSY 150 General Psychology (3)

SOC 150 Fundamentals of Sociology (3)

SSC 115 Introduction to Social Science (3)

SOW 210 Introduction to Social Work (Majors Only) (3)

CRJ 200 Introduction to Criminal Justice (Majors Only)(3)

PSY 201 Introduction to Psychology (Majors Only) (3)

SOC 211 Introduction to Sociology (Majors Only) (3)


Total Credits                                                                                                                       40-43    


[i] Most students will take all three English composition courses. However, students may place out of one or more of the courses depending on the evaluation of their aptitude and prior education. This evaluation will be done by the English faculty.

[ii] Most students will take both Math courses. However, students may place out of one or both of the courses depending on the evaluation of their aptitude and prior education. This evaluation will be done by the Math faculty. MAT 120 and MAT 121 are for Education majors only.

[iii] Most students will take CIS 101. However, students who are already adept with computers may elect to take a test administered by the Computer Science faculty, receive a certificate, and take CIS 120 instead.

[iv] EDU 101 is for education majors only.

[v] Biology Majors should enroll in BIO-114/115. Other science majors will take higher level science courses to fulfill this requirement.


NOTE: Each student is responsible for the total content of the curriculum(s) existing at the time of admission, readmission, or change of major, except for returning students who were inactive from enrollment less than one academic year. A student may elect to change a major at any time, with approval of the student’s advisor. If a student withdraws from the University and remains inactive from enrollment for two semesters, or longer, he/she shall be required to fulfill the General Education requirements in place at the time of their return to the university. 

An exception will be made for those students who have previously earned sixty (60) credits or more, or who have completed seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the General Education requirements in place at the time of their previous enrollment at the university. Such students will have the option to either (1) complete their original General Education requirements in full, or (2) to complete the current General Education requirements in full. Those students must indicate their chosen course of action at the time of their re-admittance to the university and will not be allowed to change that selection once their course of study has re-commenced.

The policies, guidelines, and requirements stated in this catalog are effective immediately and apply without exception to each student currently enrolled.

Transfer Credits for Current Shaw Students

For a currently enrolled Shaw student to pursue courses of any type, at another institution, for transfer credit towards a Shaw degree, the student must obtain, in advance of registration for such course(s), written approval from his or her advisor, and Division Head. Credits are processed and entered on the student’s transcript showing course names, descriptive titles, and credit hours per course. Grades are not transferable and are not recorded or computed in the student’s grade point average (GPA). Shaw University is a member of a six member Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC) consortium. This membership also includes Meredith College, William Peace University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Technical Community College and North Carolina State University, through which the use of their respective facilities is coordinated.

Each semester, students in approved programs leading to degrees in any one of these institutions have the opportunity to select and register for courses from the combined courses offered at CRC schools, provided the course is not offered at their home institution. This privilege is subject to the regulations of the school in which the student is currently enrolled. Even though credits earned in the CRC program are not considered to be transfer credits, written permission, on forms provided, is required in all cases prior to registration at a CRC institution. CRC course credits are recorded and computed the same as courses pursued at Shaw University.

Major Defined

A major or subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization is offered only through an academic division. The credit hours or courses that constitute each major are determined by the faculty of the academic division and approved by the academic council.

In each major or degree program, the Division Head will assign responsibility for program coordination and curricular development and review to a full-time faculty person who is academically qualified in the field. All majors are to be evaluated annually by the Division Head and program review/curriculum committee for quality and need. The results of the evaluation, with appropriate recommendations, are to be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.