Frequently Asked Questions
The Great Books program consists of eight three-hour courses that give students the opportunity to explore critically some of the most influential texts of Western civilization, ranging from the ancient Greeks to twentieth-century writers. All Great Books courses are structured as seminars: emphasis is placed heavily on discussion; lecturing is discouraged. If you enjoy reading and writing, and wish to gain a critical understanding of the trajectory of Western thought and belief, Great Books might be the best option for you.
Please keep in mind that the introductory courses in Great Books (GBK 101 and GBK 202) are included in the more traditional Distributional Program. In other words, these courses count for credit in both of our General Education tracks. If you are initially inclined to pursue the Great Books track but discover after one or two semesters that it is not right for you, you can still switch to the Distributional Program without losing any ground towards meeting graduation requirements.
How do I know which courses to enroll in?
During Summer Orientation you are assigned a temporary academic advisor who will help determine which set of courses best meets your interests while fulfilling basic graduation requirements. Once the Fall Semester begins, your FYS 101 or UNV 101 instructor will serve as your academic advisor until you declare a major in a particular academic field. At that point, the department chair of your major field will assign you a new academic advisor.
How soon can I declare a major?
Students in the College of Liberal Arts are not permitted to declare a major until they have earned at least 30 semester hours of credit. The major must be declared before 65 hours are earned.
What are the requirements for graduation from the College of Liberal Arts?
To earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, at least 120 semester hours of credit must be completed. Each student must complete 29 hours in the Common Core and 24 hours in one of our two General Education Tracks. In addition, each student must satisfy the requirements for a Major and for Additional Depth. Descriptions of all these requirements can be found in the University Catalog.
What is a major?
A major is a set of courses in a particular field of inquiry that a student must satisfactorily complete in order to earn a degree in that field. In the College of Liberal Arts, we offer majors in 24 distinct fields of inquiry; each major comprises a minimum of 27 hours of credit. The requirements for each major are described at length in the University Catalog.
What is the Additional Depth Requirement?
The Additional Depth Requirement is a unique feature of the College of Liberal Arts. Students are required to demonstrate their intellectual versatility by completing higher-level courses in fields other than their primary major. This can be done by earning a grade-point-average of 2.00 or higher in a second major, a minor, or by completing a secondary teaching certification.
What is a minor?
A minor is a limited set of courses in a particular field of inquiry that a student must satisfactorily complete in order to show an intermediate level of competence in that field. In the College of Liberal Arts, we offer minors in 27 distinct fields of inquiry; each minor comprises a minimum of 15 hours of credit. The requirements for each minor are described at length in the University Catalog.
How do I know which mathematics course to sign up for?
Students interesting in pursuing degrees that do not require special skills in mathematics are strongly advised to enroll in Finite Mathematics (MAT 104). All other students should arrange to take the online placement test. The results of this test, combined with your SAT scores, will help the Mathematics Department determine the course in which you will have the best degree of success.
Am I required to take a foreign language?
The College of Liberal Arts requires each student to demonstrate a basic level of competency in at least one of the languages taught at Mercer University (French, German, Greek, Latin, or Spanish). There are three ways of completing this requirement.
First, if you have studied a foreign language for two or more years in high school, you are required to take a placement examination, the results of which will indicate whether you are eligible to exempt the requirement or earn additional hours toward graduation.
Second, if you have not had two years of language study in high school, you may enroll in and successfully complete a two-semester elementary sequence in one language.
Finally, if you are fluent in a language not taught at Mercer, you may fulfill the language requirement by providing evidence of your skills to the Foreign Language Department.