Core Requirement 2.7.1: Program Length
The institution offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the associate level; at least 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the baccalaureate level; or at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification for all degrees that include fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit.
According to its Mission Statement, “The University of South Florida Sarasota‐Manatee provides high quality bachelor’s and graduate‐level education and scholarly activity in a personalized learning community that prepares successful leaders and responsible citizens.” To meet the mission, USF Sarasota-Manatee offers eighteen (18) baccalaureate degree programs of 120 semester credit hours each and nine (9) master’s degree programs of at least 30 semester credit hours each (See Degree Inventories 2014-15, 2015-16). Whether a student takes courses toward a degree program in face-to-face format or on-line format, the number of hours required for the degree is identical. The process that the faculty and institution use to determine the appropriateness and sequencing of courses is described in Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1 (Academic Program Approval).
Bachelor’s Degree Level
All eighteen (18) of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s baccalaureate degrees meet the minimum semester credit hours of at least 120 semester credit hours. Note that the Early Childhood Education program has no enrollment and is not accepting applications until demand increases; therefore, seventeen (17) programs are active. Florida Statute 1007.25(8) states the following: “A baccalaureate degree program shall require no more than 120 semester hours of college credit . . . unless prior approval has been granted by the Board of Governors.” Consistent with this statute and USF Regulation 3.007(2a), USF Sarasota-Manatee’s bachelor’s degrees require 120 hours and none have more than 120. Minimum requirements for graduation also include 48 semester hours of upper-level work (courses numbered 3000 and above). The USF Sarasota-Manatee Academic Catalog contains bachelor’s degree graduation requirements and course requirements for each bachelor’s degree.
Master’s Degree Level
USF Sarasota-Manatee offers nine (9) master’s degrees. Minimum requirements for master’s degrees are 30 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Of the minimum 30 hours required for a master’s degree, at least sixteen (16) hours must be at the 6000 level. At least twenty (20) hours must be in formal, regularly scheduled course work, ten (10) of which must be at the 6000 level according to the Academic Catalog and in compliance with USF System Regulation 3.009, Graduate Degree Requirements. Seven (7) master’s degrees are active, and two (2) currently have no student enrollment and are not accepting applications until demand increases (MA in Elementary Education – 34 hours and MA in Reading Education – 33-36 hours). Master’s degree course requirements by specific program are in the USF Sarasota-Manatee Academic Catalog.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION AND EVIDENCE