General Academic Information

The Academic Major

Students must complete requirements for at least one academic major from the following disciplines or programs. Exceptions are possible for combined majors approved by the faculty, and academic minors are possible in some disciplines or programs. The requirements for the major, including courses outside the major discipline when such courses are specifically required of the major, must be completed with the grades specified by the department. Some areas of concentration are listed under the major.

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Science
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Art and Design in Visual Studies
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
    • Biology with Clinical Laboratory Science
    • Biology with Ecology
    • Biology with Occupational Therapy
    • Biology with Physiology
    • Biology with Secondary Education
  • Behavioral Health
    • CADC Concentration
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Communication and Rhetorical Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • Education
    • Elementary
    • English as a Second Language
    • Global Studies with Spanish Concentration
    • Middle School Endorsements
    • Reading Teacher Endorsement
    • Secondary Education Programs
  • English
    • Editing and Publishing
    • Literature
    • Writing
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies and Wildlife Management
  • Finance
  • Global Studies
    • Asian Studies
    • Caribbean Studies
    • European Studies
    • International Studies
    • Spanish
  • Health Sciences
  • History
    • Public History
  • Human Resource Management
  • Individualized Studies
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
    • Exercise Science
    • Physical Education
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Neuroscience
  • Nursing
  • Organizational & Strategic Communication
  • Physics
    • Physics with Engineering
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
    • Neuroscience
    • Addiction Studies
    • Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling
  • Sociology
  • Sports Management


  • Accounting
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Behavioral Health
  • Business Administration
  • Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Education Licensure
  • Post-Baccalaureate Secondary Licensure
  • Education Reading Teacher Endorsement
  • English as Second Language Endorsement
  • Health Care Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Nursing (BSN-to-MSN)
  • Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
  • Organizational and Strategic Communication
  • Secondary Education Licensure
    • English
    • Math
    • Social Science - History
    • Science - Biology


Each student earns a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree based on their primary (first) major, no matter what other majors or minors they may earn. Students enrolled in the nursing program (Traditional Track or online RN to BSN) will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Students graduating with a first major of Behavioral Science, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Studies and Wildlife Management, Health Sciences, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Neuroscience, Physics or Psychology earn a Bachelor of Science degree. Students with any other first major earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Combined Degree Programs

A student who successfully completes one of the defined combined degree programs receives appropriate degrees from both cooperating institutions at the end of one unified plan of study. Special requirements and regulations apply to these programs.

Illinois College cooperates with the University of Illinois College of Engineering, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Engineering, and Washington University School of Engineering in dual degree programs in engineering. During the three years at Illinois College, students follow the typical program for science students and complete the specified courses required for a degree. Students seeking a career in engineering are advised to concentrate in Mathematics and Physics. Engineering universities will have minimum GPA and course requirements, for both general education and science courses, for entry to their individual programs. During the two years at one of the universities, students complete studies in a specified field of engineering. Upon completion of the program, students qualify for degrees from both institutions. See Engineering.

Illinois College cooperates with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, Illinois, in a 3-1 program in clinical laboratory science. See Clinical Laboratory Science.

Illinois College cooperates with Washington University in a combined degree program in occupational therapy. During their three years at Illinois College, candidates for this program fulfill most of the general requirements for graduation at Illinois College and carry a specific concentration in biology or psychology. Students must apply for admission to the graduate program at Washington University. A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 and a recommendation from the faculty are required for admission into the program. Other prerequisite courses for entry into the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy include PS 275 or 276, PS 346, an additional social science course, and MA 123. Note that a B- or better in all prerequisite courses is required for entry into the Washington University Program. Admission is competitive; however, Washington University gives preference to qualified students from its 3-2 affiliates. Students admitted to the graduate program at Washington University will be granted a degree from Illinois College after successful completion of the first year of the professional program and submission of official transcript to Illinois College. See Occupational Therapy.

In addition to our traditional and our RN to BSN online program, Illinois College has affiliation agreements with other schools for students interested in other nursing options. For additional information on each of these schools, contact the Biology Department.

Rush University College of Nursing – Rush offers students who complete certain course requirements, regardless of major, preferential admission to the Rush MSN/RN program. After successfully completing two additional years of rigorous study at Rush University, students will be awarded the MSN from Rush College of Nursing and be eligible to sit for the NCLEX (the national exam for licensure as a registered nurse).

St. John’s School of Nursing – Illinois College cooperates with St. John’s Hospital, Springfield, Illinois, in a 2-2 and 3-2 program in nursing. See Nursing for additional information and contact the Biology Department.

St. Louis University – Preferential admission will be available for students who complete their bachelor’s degree from Illinois College to earn their MSN from St. Louis University.

All affiliate BSN and MSN programs prepare students for the NCLEX (the national exam required for licensure as a registered nurse).

Illinois College entered an affiliation with Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO in 2018 in order to facilitate students earning a Master of Athletic Training. Students have the option to major in Biology, Health Science, or Kinesiology and Exercise Science for their 4 years of undergraduate study then apply to Culver- Stockton for the master’s degree in athletic training for 2 more years. Illinois College students are guaranteed an interview and a seat if requirements are met.

Courses required to be admitted to Culver-Stockton College Master of Athletic Training include: BI 110 (Biological Investigation); BI 315 and BI 316 (Anatomy and Physiology I and II); PY 181 (General Physics I) or PY 201 (College Physics I) ; CH 110; KI 225 (Nutrition); KI 340 (Exercise Physiology); KI 232 (Motor Development); and PS 101 (Intro to Psychology). Recommended courses include KI 308 (Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries) and PS 346 (Abnormal Psychology).

Culver-Stockton also requires Pathophysiology which may be taken as a summer course in the first semester of their program.

Students who have completed all of the general requirements for graduation, who maintain a 2.500 cumulative grade point average, who have enrolled at Illinois College for at least three years without graduating, and who subsequently complete a professional degree program at an accredited professional school may, upon application, be eligible for baccalaureate degree from Illinois College.

To develop the linguistic competencies and cultural knowledge to comfortably live and carry out scientific knowledge abroad, students will have to meet all of the following goals to earn an International Science Certificate. The culmination of the work students will do to earn an International Science Certificate is an intensive lab and/or field study experience in the country where the target language that the student is studying is spoken.

To prepare for the culminating research experience abroad, students will meet the following standards:

  1. Declare a major in a BS department or program. Graduating with a major from a BS- granting department or program is a requirement for earning an International Science Certificate.
  2. Develop a plan to fulfill the requirements for earning an International Science Certificate and then apply to participate in the International Science Certificate Program. The plan must be approved by the following faculty: 1) the chair or coordinator of the science department or program in which student is majoring; 2) The student’s academic advisor in the science major; 3) the professor who is sponsoring the research being carried out abroad; and 4) the chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures. It is recommended that this plan be created and approved by the end of the sophomore year.
  3. Complete Introduction to Global Studies (GB 101). This gives science students a fundamental and necessary understanding of international politics and policymaking that science students desperately need in a world where the validity of scientific inquiry and protecting the environment is being challenged worldwide. Additional Global Studies courses are strongly recommended.
  4. Complete language courses at a level necessary to successfully live and conduct research in a country where that language is spoken. For Spanish, French, and German, this will be two courses at the 300/400 level. For Japanese, this will be a course at least at the level of JP 201 (or higher).
  5. Learn about science issues in the country where they will study through a language course at Illinois College, a course abroad, or in an independent study. This may include learning science vocabulary in the target language through the development of a scientific dictionary, completing a scientific literature review in the target language, or completing some other appropriate assignment to learn the relevant science vocabulary for the type of lab experience of field study they will carry out.
  6. Complete all coursework done for the International Science Certificate with a C- or better.

In order to carry out the culminating experience abroad to earn an International Science Certificate, students will:

  1. Develop a detailed plan to do research in a specific country, working with faculty at Illinois College, the Study Abroad Office, and contacts abroad. It is expected that students will work with scientists and other contacts in the country where the research will take place in order to plan and carry out the research.
  2. Write a short description of the plan that will have to be approved by the sponsoring science professor at least a semester before departure.
  3. Participate in a science-oriented lab or field study experience outside of the United States in a country where the language they have studied is spoken as the primary language. The intensive research experience must occupy a minimum of two weeks of the experience abroad. These two weeks or more of intensive research abroad in countries where the target language is spoken can be divided among more than one experience.
  4. Present the research that they have carried out in a public presentation on the Illinois College Campus (at the Celebration of Excellence, etc.) Students earning an International Science Certificate will also be encouraged to present their work off- campus at regional, national, or international conferences.

Law School Advising Program

Students interested in pursuing admission to law school are encouraged to become a part of the law school advising program. Illinois College students can acquire the skills necessary to achieve success in law school through a variety of majors and courses. Although no particular major is designated for the program, students can benefit from faculty input when planning their courses, internships and the law school application process.

An integral part of the program is student participation in Phi Alpha Delta, Illinois College’s pre- law society. This student run organization sponsors activities which include visits to law schools, campus talks and convocations given by members of the legal profession, and social events with alumni who have attended law school.

Students who choose to participate in the law school advising program have a high success rate in applying to and graduating from law school. More information about the program, law school catalogs, law school events and the LSAT is available on the second floor of Kirby Hall.

Health Professions Advising Program

The health professions advising program is an essential resource for students considering application to graduate or professional programs in such fields as:

  • Athletic Training
  • Clinical Laboratory Science
  • Dentistry
  • Health Administration
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Podiatry
  • Veterinary Medicine

Students who take advantage of this resource work closely with faculty members from the sciences to plan coursework, research and internships that will assist them in meeting the requirements for admission to their chosen program. In all cases, students should meet with a health professions advisor as early as possible to begin the process. Students who choose these programs must be dedicated to achieving an exceptional academic record.

Second Degrees

No student shall receive two degrees at the same commencement but may be awarded any number of majors for which requirements have been completed. Any student with a bachelor’s degree (whether earned at Illinois College or another regionally accredited college or university) may enroll as a candidate for an additional degree. All the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The candidate shall fulfill all the requirements for a major within the proposed second degree that are in effect at the time of (re)entry into Illinois College. The major must be different from the one completed for the first degree with no more than 12 credits counted toward major requirements of both degrees.
  • A prior bachelor’s degree from an academic program in the liberal arts and sciences will be considered to have completed Illinois College’s BLUEprint general education requirement.
  • The candidate shall enroll at Illinois College for not less than 32 additional semester hours following the awarding of the first degree.
  • The college’s convocation requirement will be waived.
  • The candidate shall fulfill all requirements in effect at the time of (re)entry into Illinois College with the exception of the items included here.

Declaring a Major

Students may choose a major field of academic interest at any time after arrival, but the choice must be made by the time Junior standing is achieved. Before students declare a major, it is recommended that students read over the descriptions and requirements for programs of interest. When students are ready to declare a major, they stop by the Office of the Registrar on the second floor of Tanner Hall to pick up a Declaration of Major Form, which then needs to be signed by the appropriate Department or Program chair. The Department or Program Chair designates a major academic advisor who students meet with to develop a plan of study. Students planning further study may wish to declare their majors early, to prepare effectively. 

It is the responsibility of students to check with their advisor regarding satisfactory completion of all major and teacher licensure requirements.


An academic minor consists of 16 to 24 hours of work with grades as designated in a particular field. Students are not required to have a minor but may elect to complete one or more. Students may minor in Accounting, Agribusiness Management, Addiction Studies, African American Studies, Art and Design in Visual Studies, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, Finance, Fine Arts, Fine Arts Administration, French in Global Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, German in Global Studies, Global Studies, History, Human Resource Management, Japanese in Global Studies, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Leadership Studies, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Molecular Biology, Music, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Law, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish in Global Studies, Sports Management, or Theatre.

Academic Advisors

The Illinois College Advising Program’s mission is to help students become part of the IC family, discover their personal goals, achieve their academic and extracurricular successes, learn how to learn, and prepare for rewarding careers.

All faculty, staff, and students have a role in making advising work well. All staff members
stand ready to help each student to find the answers to their questions and tap the existing extracurricular, counseling, and health services to their fullest extents. On an informal basis, staff members also can offer guidance in career planning.

All faculty members stand ready to answer questions or offer suggestions to students regarding academic matters, but each student has a designated faculty advisor. The pre-major advisor helps students maintain good academic standing, engage in fulfilling and enriching activities, and decide upon a major. Once the student selects a major, an advisor from the major department provides continuing guidance as well as major-specific course and career concerns.

All students should see their advisor as one of their most important campus resources. Students should meet regularly with their advisor to discuss their academic progress. The student should think carefully and deeply about his or her interests and seek the advice or knowledge he or she needs to have a fulfilling and successful experience at Illinois College and a productive life of leadership and service after graduating.

Students who wish to change their advisor should consult with the registrar.

Exceptions to Academic Policies and Requirements

Illinois College operates according to specific policies established by governmental bodies, faculty and administration. When a student seeks exceptions to academic policies or requirements, the student provides a written request to the Office of Academic Affairs. The Dean of Faculty and the Registrar meet to discuss the request, gather any further information needed, and either make a decision or refer the appeal to the Curriculum Review Committee. The Dean of Faculty or Registrar will communicate the decision to the student and later report it to the full faculty. Petitions may be submitted through Connect2.

Graduation and Commencement Participation

Students may participate in the May Commencement Ceremony following completion of degree requirements. Students graduating in December will be presented their official Illinois College diploma (with the December graduation date) on or after the date of the following May Commencement Ceremony. Students may participate in only one commencement ceremony.

Students may participate in graduation ceremonies prior to completing all graduation requirements in only one of three situations. 1) Students who have completed all graduation requirements except two courses, equaling no more than eight credit hours. These hours may be taken at Illinois College or another Institution 2) Students who have completed all graduation requirements except sixteen credit hours that can be completed during the online summer semester at Illinois College. Students must be fully registered for the summer session prior to participation in commencement 3) Students who have completed all graduation requirements except for one semester of student teaching.

Convocation requirements must be completed prior to participation in the commencement ceremony. See Convocation below for details, or contact the Registrar for additional information.

Applications for December graduation are due no later than September 1. Applications for May graduation are due no later than December 1.

General Descriptions

The unit of credit is the semester hour, which represents a 50-minute period each week for approximately 15 weeks, including examinations. Illinois College credits follow the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines about the definition of a credit.

For purposes of the application of this policy and in accord with federal regulations, a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:

  1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or;
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Students are classified according to the number of semester hours earned previously to the current semester, including all transfer hours accepted toward an Illinois College degree:


less than 27 hours


27 up to 56.9 hours


57 up to 87.9 hours


88 or more hours

The most up-to-date course descriptions and general education indicators are available on Connect2 through the Illinois College website. General education requirements met by each course are designated at the end of the course description on Connect2.

In this catalog, the semester hours of credit are indicated underneath the course description. Classes for which eight or fewer students register on registration day may be withdrawn from the schedule for that semester. All first-year seminars have ‘130’ as the course number. Course numbers ending in 97 or 98 are special courses that are only taught one time.

Unless explicitly waived by the instructor, all prerequisites must be completed with the grade of ‘C’ or above.

Convocations are an integral part of the academic experience and are tied to the mission and vision of the College. Convocations are presentations for the campus community intended to foster an academic and social environment marked by a pervasive sense of concern for the intellectual, moral, social, aesthetic, and spiritual development of our students.

All students, except students entering for the first time as transfer students, are required to attend 30 convocations. The number of convocations students admitted to Illinois College for the first time as transfer students must attend is determined by the number of credits they successfully transfer to Illinois College before they begin their first semester at Illinois College. The formula for determining the convocation requirement for these transfer students is 30 minus one-quarter of these successfully transferred credits. Additional transfer credits do not reduce the number of required convocations.

Students are expected to attend convocations every semester and complete convocations by the end of their junior year. Each student may check with their advisor and the Office of Academic Affairs to track satisfactory completion of these requirements. Convocation progress appears on Connect2.

Students in the fully online programs who possess an associate degree (A.A., A.D.N., A.S.) or at least one year of work experience relevant to their area of academic interest are exempt from the convocation requirement.