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Special Academic Programs

Back to 2009-2011 undergraduate catalog home  

Special College Programs

Honors Program

The Berry College Honors Program provides students with an opportunity to learn within an intellectually challenging community of peers and instructors.  Honors courses familiarize students with works that have been central to our past and contemporary intellectual traditions, while encouraging them to examine issues or themes from multiple perspectives.  All Honors courses are taught as seminars that provide an ideal environment for the development of effective communication and critical-thinking skills.   Class size normally is restricted to 15 students, with primary emphasis placed upon student initiative in discussion, research and presentations.

For admission into the Honors Program, an entering freshman should have SAT scores of at least 1300 on the Math and Reading Analysis sections combined or ACT scores of 29 and a high school GPA of 3.5+.  A student currently enrolled at Berry or a transfer must have 3.5+ GPA on all college work completed and must submit the name(s) of at least one Berry College faculty in support of her or his candidacy for the program.  A student must have a 3.5+ GPA in all college courses work in order to receive an Honors diploma upon graduation.  The Berry College Honors Program does not conflict with departmental honors programs; qualified students can complete both.

A minimum of 21 credit hours is needed to complete the degree requirements of the Honors Program.  Students in the Honors Program do not ordinarily take ‘extra’ courses,” as lower-level Honors courses are used in partial fulfillment of general-education requirements; upper-division course requirements typically count toward the major.

Lower-division Honors course-work requirements include satisfactory completion of

  • two 3-credit-hour Honors colloquia (HON201H and HON203H) and
  • three additional 3-credit-hour Honors courses.  These may include any honors-designated sections of general-education courses, HON250H  or 251H, or any HON250 cross-listed course.  Student may elect to honorize upper-division courses, with the approval of the instructor in conjunction with the Honors director.
  • Upper-division course work includes the satisfactory completion of two 3-credit-hour Honors Senior Thesis courses in the major (HON450H and HON451H).  Departments will determine whether HON450H or HON451H may satisfy upper-level course requirements within the major.

The Honors Senior Thesis, spread over two semesters, may take many forms: a traditional research paper on a particular topic, an in-depth study of specific texts, empirical research, practical applications, or a creative/-performative effort.  Students must perform satisfactorily in defense of the Senior Thesis, which is normally scheduled during the next-to-last semester of their residence at Berry College.

The Honors faculty includes instructors from all schools of the college.  In addition to the Honors Committee and the director of the program, instructors teaching the Honors colloquia, seminars, Honors-designated upper-division classes and directing Honors senior theses are members of the Honors faculty.

Academic Internship Program

Internships, intended to foster linkages between academic life and future career, afford the student the opportunity to

  1. apply theories learned in the classroom to practical, on-the-job situations;
  2. learn specific job skills from experienced professionals;
  3. develop an awareness of job responsibilities and career requirements; and
  4. gain valuable experience for future employment.

Eligibility:  An internship is intended for a junior or senior who is in good academic standing and who has the recommendation of her or his advisor.  Other qualifications include potential for leadership; special skills (e.g., computer skills); ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral form; organizational ability; and willingness to represent Berry in a positive fashion to a community constituency.  A grade-point average of 2.60 is required, and 3.0 is strongly recommended prior to application.

Credit:  For most internships academic credit is available.  Tuition for internship credit is paid at prevailing Berry College rates. Most students enroll for three to six credits in one semester, although in exceptional cases up to 12 credits may be permitted.  Internships are generally not approved for fewer than three credits.  Registration for an internship is required with the registrar in advance of the start of the experience.  The application for an internship must be approved by the provost prior to the beginning of the term in which the internship is taken.  In addition, all fees associated with the credit to be earned must be paid prior to the start of the semester in which the internship is taken.  Credit may not be granted after the fact.  On-campus internships may not be paid from the student work budget. 

Length and Time Commitment:   Most internships are one semester in length.  Some internships require that the intern work virtually full time (40 hours per week), while other are based on fewer hours per week.  The student must show in her or his internship application a direct relation between the amount of academic credit sought and the number of hours per week devoted to the internship itself.  For each semester hour of credit usually sought, there is the assumption of 45 hours of commitment per semester or term on the part of the student.  A minimum of 3 credit hours will be considered.  In terms of the internship, the following applies:

Credit Sought Time Commitment 
3 135 hours  
6 270 hours  
9 405 hours  
12 540 hours  

Favorable consideration is not likely for an internship request which appears to stem only from a student’s need to have a specified number of credits to complete a semester’s schedule.  If the student wishes to make application for an internship in the place of normal employment, convincing evidence must be presented that the internship moves the experience beyond normal duties into new and educationally profitable areas.

Academic Requirements:  Students seeking internships may attend the internship workshop offered each term by the Career Development Center at which the process, forms and resources for internships will be reviewed.  In consultation with the campus internship supervisor, the student must submit a completed Internship Learning Agreement, or in the Evans School, a copy of the course syllabus and the school’s Internship Learning Agreement, along with the ‘Application for Academic Internship’ form to the office of the provost.  Once the internship has been approved, the student must attend a workshop at the Career Development Center that will help prepare the student for the experience.  Internships are graded on an honors/satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis only, and such a grade does not alter the Berry grade-point average.

Supervision: Each intern has a separate work supervisor and academic supervisor (perhaps the student’s major advisor, though not necessarily).  The academic supervisor is responsible for the academic content of the internship; for periodic work visits with the intern (where feasible); for continuing communication with the intern and the work supervisor; and, upon receipt of a written evaluation by the work supervisor, for assessing student performance and assigning a final grade

Application: The student must complete the ‘Application for Academic Internship’ form (available online) and have this form signed by all appropriate faculty and the school dean.  Along with the Internship Learning Agreement, the form is returned to the office of the provost for forwarding to the Executive Committee of Academic Council.  The completed materials must be received in the office of the provost no later than one month prior to the anticipated start of the internship, or before the end of the add/drop period of the semester  in which the student is registered fro the internship.  Students who intend to participate in a credit-bearing internship the following term must submit a completed authorization form to the registrar’s office during preregistration.  It is the responsibility of the student and the academic supervisor to work out all the details regarding placement and responsibilities with the business or agency wishing to participate as host for the intern.  While Berry College attempts to exercise control of the academic quality of internships, it cannot be responsible  for such quality, for intern performance or for any personal arrangements (housing, transportation, etc) that may be called for in connection with the internship.

For additional information about internships, students are invited to the Career Development Center.

Dual-Degree Programs

The dual-degree program enables a student to earn a bachelor's degree from Berry College and from another participating institution. At present, Berry has established agreements with the Emory University School of Nursing and the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Engineering. After completing approximately three academic years of study at Berry, the student will transfer to the cooperating institution to complete the requirements for the course of study. This usually requires an additional two or three academic years. Upon completing all requirements, the student receives a bachelor's degree from Berry College and a bachelor's degree from the other institution.

Berry requires 93 semester hours and completion of all general-education requirements. Specific course requirements for students interested in the dual-degree programs may be found in other sections of this catalog. Berry requirements for the dual-degree nursing program are stated in the biology section, and the requirements for the dual-degree engineering program may be found in the physics section of the catalog.

Further information on the dual-degree program and its opportunities on the undergraduate or graduate level may be obtained from the office of the dean of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences.

Preprofessional Preparation in Health Sciences

Following their preparation at Berry College, many graduates enroll in medical, veterinary, dental, pharmacy and optometry schools. In general, preparation for entry into these programs does not require a particular academic major. The professional schools often do require specific courses and competencies for admission, however, and there are faculty advisory groups who work to assist students in meeting these requirements. Admission into most professional schools also requires achieving high scores on entry exams, such as the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Regardless of a student's major, faculty advisors will seek to recommend courses that are required and/or will prepare students for these exams. Specific information for some popular professional tracks follows.

Premedical: A major in biology or chemistry is common, but not required. Students should contact the premedical advisory committee chair: premed@berry.edu.

Preveterinary: A major in animal science or biology is typical, but not required. Students should contact the pre veterinary advising coordinator: Dr. Martin Goldberg, department of animal sciences (mgoldberg@berry.edu; 706-290-2177).

Prepharmacy: A major in chemistry or biology is typical, but not required. Students should contact the pre pharmacy advising coordinator: Dr. Andrew Bressette, department of chemistry (abressette@berry.edu; 706-238-5840).

Predental: A major in biology or chemistry is typical, but not required. Students should contact the premedical advisory committee chair: premed@berry.edu.

Pre-nursing: A major in Dual-Degree Nursing is typical, but not required. (Refer to the section on "Dual-Degree Programs" and also the Dual-Degree Nursing Program Requirements in the Biology section of the catalog.) Students who plan to graduate in biology or animal science also may apply to the nursing school of their choice if they have the proper prerequisites. Inquiries about the Dual-Degree Nursing Program should contact the nursing program advisor/coordinator: Glenda Orloff, department of biology (gorloff@berry.edu; 706-238-7834).

Other health-related career tracks: For programs such as physician assistant, physical therapist and other allied health fields, students typically major in biology, chemistry or health and physical education, but this is not required. Some programs such as medical technology generally involve specific undergraduate training not offered at Berry. Students interested in pursuing any of these areas after graduation from Berry should contact the premedical advisory committee chair: premed@berry.edu.

Interdisciplinary Studies

The interdisciplinary studies program allows highly motivated and self-directed students to pursue a course of study that falls outside of existing majors and minors by developing an individualized cross-disciplinary course of study. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary-studies major integrate classes from multiple disciplines into a unified and coherent course of study. The principles of integration can be historical, regional, thematic or problem-focused. The interdisciplinary-studies major is not a mechanism to avoid those portions of an existing major that are uninteresting or difficult, nor is it simply a mechanism to take courses in several areas of interest. The major must be a unified program that is academically sound and will contribute to the individual student's intellectual development. This program requires students to actively plan their program and cultivate a working relationship with their faculty advisor(s). The interdisciplinary-studies major culminates in a capstone paper or project that integrates the student's coursework. Students proposing an interdisciplinary studies major should have a 2.5+ GPA on Berry coursework.

The requirements of the interdisciplinary-studies major are as follows:

  1. Satisfactory completion of IDS 300 by the end of the junior year;
  2. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 48 semester hours, to include IDS 300, a three-hour capstone course (see d below), and 21 or more additional semester hours at the 300 and 400 level;
  3. Satisfactory completion of at least two writing-intensive courses:
  4. Satisfactory completion of a 400-level capstone course or independent study (3 semester hours) in which the student will complete an interdisciplinary senior thesis or project showing how it integrates the student's course work (typically to be supervised by the student's interdisciplinary studies advisor).

Please note: Courses of study cannot include more than 25 percent of their content or credit hours in the Campbell School of Business, or by name or any similar means, convey a connotation of a program of study in business administration or management (restriction does not include economics).

Students interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary studies major must first secure an appropriate academic advisor. Then, in consultation with their advisor and the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies, students will write a plan outlining their course of study. The plan must consist of two elements: 1) a two- to three-page essay describing the course of study, and 2) a list of learning objectives indicating courses to be taken to achieve each objective. The plan must be developed and approved before the student completes 70 semester hours.

The essay describing the course of study should address the following points:

  1. Develop a program title that concisely describes the focus of study, e.g., Classical Civilization, Southern Life and Culture, Area Studies (African American, Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern), Religion and Personality, Law and Policy in the United States, Women in Society, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Biomechanics, Educational Policy, etc.
  2. Describe the issue, problem or area of intellectual concern that will be the focus of the interdisciplinary major;
  3. Explain how courses from two or more disciplines will be integrated to create a unified, coherent program of study;
  4. Explain why an existing major/minor combination will not meet these needs;
  5. Describe any experiential-learning components of the plan, e.g., study abroad, internship, field work, independent study;
  6. Briefly describe a proposed senior culminating thesis or project, which will fulfill the capstone requirement;
  7. Describe in general terms future plans and how the individualized major will help the student succeed in these plans;
  8. State the intended degree, either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science, and provide a justification (see p. 42).

The coordinator of interdisciplinary studies can provide sample essays and learning objectives.

Students must have their written plan approved by their advisor, the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies, and the dean of the school in which the advisor is assigned, who will forward the plan to the provost. The provost will send a copy of the signed plan to the student, the advisor, the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies and the registrar. Any changes to the plan must be approved by the student's advisor and the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies, who will notify the dean, the provost and the registrar of any changes. The approval of a proposed interdisciplinary-studies plan is not automatic, and the final decision rests with the interdisciplinary studies coordinator in consultation with the appropriate dean. An approved interdisciplinary-studies plan is officially recognized by Berry College as the student's declared academic major.

Graduate Programs at Berry

Berry College offers the Master of Business Administration, Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees. For information regarding these programs, consult the Graduate Catalog. The graduate hours may not be used to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements.

Joint Graduate Enrollment

A Berry College senior with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and lacking no more than 12 semester hours toward a baccalaureate degree may register for a maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate-level courses, so long as the baccalaureate program is being completed during the semester in which the graduate work is pursued. Such enrollment does not signify acceptance into the graduate program as a degree-seeking student.

The undergraduate student taking graduate-level courses is restricted to a maximum load of 15 semester hours. Prior approval of the provost and the appropriate graduate-studies director is required.

Studies in Special Topics

Under the special-studies program, a course of immediate interest originating from a faculty member or from a group of students and approved by a sponsoring academic program is offered for one to three semester-hours' credit.

These credits will not fulfill any degree requirements and will count as general-elective hours only. In a given semester, a student may take only one special-studies course. Auditors will be allowed in special-studies courses on a space-available basis only.

A course in special studies must be approved by the Academic Council in advance of the semester it is to be offered. The request will be made by the head of the sponsoring program and will include a list of those students (at least 10) who have indicated they will take the proposed course, the name of the professor for the proposed course and a short rationale for giving academic credit for this particular study. Special-studies courses are designated SPT (Special Topics) on the student's record. A specific course may be offered as a special-studies course only one time.

International Programs

To enrich the education of students and prepare them for today's world, Berry offers a variety of study abroad options. Eligible students wishing to apply their Berry College grants to study abroad pay Berry College tuition and any additional costs and may participate in an approved program for an academic semester or year. A list of approved programs is available at http://www.berry.edu/academics/study. Students not dependent on Berry grants pay the study abroad program directly and may apply to any program as transient students, with approval from their academic advisor. All students must abide by enrollment and withdrawal guidelines of the program and Berry College.

Students may participate in summer programs, including Berry College faculty-led courses. Faculty-led courses include EDU 222 Exploration in Diverse Cultures and Biology 482 Coral Reef Ecology, among others. Student teaching abroad is also available through the college's membership in The Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching. In addition, students are encouraged to participate in Berry's international internship program in Dublin, Ireland, or explore other overseas internship opportunities.

All semester and year-long study abroad participants are required to hold a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and must have completed at least two semesters in residence at Berry College. Many study abroad programs have higher GPA requirements; see website for stipulations. Unless the program states otherwise, international internship students should have completed 60 credit hours and possess a 2.6 GPA.

Students are encouraged to study abroad for a semester or year after the first semester of their sophomore year but may participate in a summer program at any point during their college career. Berry College does not specify a minimum GPA for summer study abroad although students must meet the individual program's GPA condition. There may be prerequisites for faculty-led programs. Students on disciplinary probation at the time of application may not study abroad the following semester.

Participants studying abroad through Berry must preregister for Berry College courses using the "STA" designation. Semester and year-long abroad students must preregister for a full-time program, enrolling for a minimum of 12 hours. The use of STA courses for the major or minor must be approved by the program chair or director and the school dean, prior to the student's departure. A course used as a substitution for a general education requirement must also have the approval of the provost. Non-approved courses will count as hours toward graduation, but using the courses to fulfill other requirements cannot be guaranteed. Students studying abroad during fall or spring semesters are exempt from Cultural Events credit requirements for each semester spent abroad. Information on all programs is available from the Office of International Programs.

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