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Bachelor’s Degrees

A liberal education emphasizes breadth and balance in developing intellectual resources and cultural perspectives. It encourages the student to achieve the fullest possible development as a person and as a member of society. It also promotes enlightened citizenship and provides basic preparation for students planning to enter professional or graduate schools or embark on a career. Building on an integrated study foundation, this degree allows a specialized emphasis while at the same time encouraging social responsibility.

The general aspects of the curriculum are designed to enhance the student's capacity for thought and effective expression and facilitate both the expansion and the integration of knowledge. Depth of scholarship is developed in the major field of specialization. The goal of a liberal education is the formulation of a philosophy of life based on knowledge and reflection relevant and appropriate to the contemporary world.

All Bachelor's degrees require a minimum of 120 credits. A student must complete a minimum of 40 upper-level credits (300- or 400-level) within the degree program as a requirement for completion of any baccalaureate degree program.


Major. A program of study comprising a coherent set of courses and experiences within a discipline, related disciplines, or a professional area, which represents the curricular content of a bachelor's degree. Normally, a bachelor's degree major consists of at least 30 credit hours. Courses required in the major may not be used to fulfill Integrative Studies requirements unless specified in the program description.

Option. A coherent subset of courses that constitutes a prescribed track within a major. Normally, an option consists of 12 to 48 credit hours.

Specialization. An area of special interest comprising a cluster of related courses that are selected by the student in consultation with an academic advisor. Normally, a specialization consists of 12 to 20 credit hours within a degree option.

Credit. New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than: (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester 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 required in paragraph (1) of this definition 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.

Academic Program Planning

Education in the liberal arts and sciences and in several professional fields is provided through the College's bachelor's degree programs. These programs include three basic components:

  • Integrative Studies Requirements - purposefully and intentionally help students engage with ethical issues, approach global issues from multiple perspectives, apply diverse perspectives to their thinking and their actions, and analyze key social and environmental issues confronting us all
  • Major/Option/Specialization Requirements - offer depth of scholarship in a field of interest
  • Electives - provide the opportunity for a student to complete a minor, fulfill teacher certification requirements, or to choose courses in other areas for personal and professional growth

Because curriculum development is a continuing process, program changes may be made after publication of this catalog. Therefore, the College reserves the right to add, change, or delete curricular offerings and/or make curricular refinements. Some changes are necessitated by agencies that accredit the College or certify students. Check with academic disciplines, the Registrar's Office, Academic and Career Advising, or the Educator Preparation Programs Office to learn of any recent changes.

Integrative Studies Program

Students at Keene State College complete two programs of study to earn a degree—the College's Integrative Studies Program and their major program of study.

Keene State College believes in the value of a liberal arts education—that the best way for students to prepare for the future is to develop transferable intellectual and practical skills, including their capacity to think critically and creatively, to communicate effectively, and to make connections between different areas of knowledge. Our approach to integrative teaching and learning enhances students’ major programs of study by empowering them with the understanding, adaptability, and creativity to succeed in academic settings and in their lives beyond school.

Students begin the Program by completing ITW 101 Thinking and Writing (ITW) and the Quantitative Literacy (QL) requirement. Students then take perspectives courses in six academic disciplines in four content areas, the arts (IA), humanities (IH), natural sciences (IN), and social sciences (IS), as well as an interdisciplinary (II) requirement. As students move through the Program, they are encouraged to integrate their learning across four overarching themes: diversity, ethics, global issues, and social and environmental engagement.

Program Objectives and/or Learning Outcomes

Integrative Learning Keene State College students will identify and discuss ways that their learning in one course informs and deepens their learning in one or more other courses, and the ways that their learning in one or more courses is connected to their out-of-class experiences.

Academic Perspectives Keene State College students will demonstrate an understanding of the questions a discipline or an interdisciplinary area asks, the methods it uses to engage those questions, and some of the key explanatory concepts arising from these types of inquiry.

Critical Thinking Keene State College students will evaluate evidence, consider multiple perspectives, choose and defend a position from several alternatives, and analyze complex problems.

Creative Thinking Keene State College students will synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and demonstrate imagination, risk taking, innovation, or divergent thinking in their work.

Writing Keene State College students will effectively form, support, and convey an idea in written format, considering purpose, audience, and context.

Quantitative Literacy Keene State College students will read and interpret quantitative information critically and apply quantitative methods and concepts to solve a problem or support an argument.

Information Literacy Keene State College students will engage in an iterative inquiry process that includes exploring and evaluating diverse perspectives while participating ethically in the information environment.


40 credits minimum

Students complete a total of 40 credits as follows, including a minimum of two courses (8 credits) at the 300 or 400 level. Perspectives or Interdisciplinary (II) courses may require a specific lower level ISP course besides ITW and QL as a prerequisite.

I. Foundations (8 credits)

  • Thinking and Writing (4 credits) Students are expected to complete ITW 101 within their first two semesters.
  • Quantitative Literacy (4 credits) Students are expected to complete the quantitative literacy (QL) requirement within their first three semesters. Students may meet the QL requirement by successfully completing IQL 101, MATH 120, MATH 130, MATH 135, MATH 141, MATH 151, MATH 172, MATH 175, MGT 140 or PSYC 251.

II. Three perspectives courses in the Arts and Humanities (12 credits) Courses must be taken in three different disciplines.

  • 1 course in the Humanities (IH)
  • 1 course in the Fine and Performing Arts (IA)
  • 1 course in either the Humanities or the Fine and Performing Arts (IH or IA)

III. Three perspectives courses in the Sciences (12 credits) Courses must be taken in three different disciplines.

  • 1 course in the Natural Sciences (IN)
  • 1 course in the Social Sciences (IS)
  • 1 course in either the Natural or Social Sciences (IN or IS)

IV. One course in Interdisciplinary Studies (4 credits) Course may be in any academic discipline and must have an Integrative Interdisciplinary (II) prefix.

V. One additional course in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences or Interdisciplinary area (4 credits) This ISP elective may be in any academic discipline or interdisciplinary area that carries an ISP prefix (IA, IH, IN, IS, II).

Upper-Level Course Requirement

A minimum of two upper-level (300 or 400) ISP courses must be completed in areas II, III, IV and V above, one of which must be completed at Keene State College. Students may enroll in upper-level Integrative Studies Program (ISP) courses once they have completed a minimum of 24 credits at the lower-level (100 or 200 level), including ITW 101 and the quantitative literacy (QL) requirement.