By Julia Plant, The Miami Student
Miami University has been out of compliance with the minimum total bachelor degree credit hour requirement of 124 hours since April 2015, when the guidelines were revised by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Currently, all of Miami University’s bachelor’s degrees require at least 128 hours and some degrees exceed even this amount.
According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Guidelines & Procedures for Academic Program Review, the bachelor’s degree is an “award that requires completion of 120 semester credit hours (or 180 quarter credit hours); bachelor’s degree programs should not exceed 126 semester credit hours unless it can be shown that the additional coursework is required to meet professional accreditation or licensing requirements.”
A proposal to revise graduation requirements for associate and bachelor’s degrees will be up for discussion and approval by the University Senate at their meeting on Nov. 7. If approved, the changes will go into effect fall 2017, said Carolyn Haynes, Miami University associate provost.
“The vast majority of programs can easily be adjusted to be at 124 credit hours since they have multiple elective credits which can simply be reduced,” Haynes said.
After this change is implemented, certain degrees will continue to require more than 124 credit hours. These degrees include zoology, integrated language arts education, science education, bioengineering, chemical engineering, paper science engineering, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering and nursing.
“These degree programs need to have additional hours in order to ensure that they comply with the requirements and regulations of their professional accrediting bodies,” Haynes said.
“Most departments feel that these hours are coming out of the Miami Plan and not the department. It’s going to vary by department, some won’t be affected by this,” said Richard Campbell, professor and chair of the department of media, journalism and film, in reference to the four less required credit hours.
Rachel Tracy, senior, did not come into college with any credit hours, which she believes had an effect on her experience with classes.
“Changing to 124 credit hours I think, while obviously it’s not a big change, would be efficient for a lot of students, especially those that come in with little to no credit hours just because it takes off a little bit of burden of having to get to 128 versus 124,” Tracy said. “[The extra 4 credit hours is] an extra one to two classes that I had to take and those could be filled with classes that you do want to take or another extracurricular. Those four credit hours can make all the difference in one to two semesters of your college career.”
Most first-years have not yet been affected by the current 128 hour requirement, but many look forward to potentially fewer required classes.
“As a freshman, I haven’t been affected by the overage of credit hours yet in my college career,” said Tessa Buzzetti, first-year. “But, while the number of hours is only changing slightly, I can definitely see how that would give students more time to take classes they enjoy and are genuinely interested in that are not required by their major.”