SPS programs lead to one of three Northwestern University bachelor’s degrees. Two of the degrees—the bachelor of philosophy (BPhil) and the bachelor of science in general studies (BSGS)—are conferred by the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The third degree, the bachelor of philosophy in communication (BPhilCom), is conferred by the School of Communication. The BPhilCom is an interdisciplinary professional degree. The degree is awarded to students who major in Communication Studies, Communication Systems, or Radio/Television/Film. Some majors offer a choice of the BPhil or the BSGS degree. The primary difference is that the BPhil degree has a modern language requirement.
Bachelor of Philosophy
To earn the BPhil degree, students must complete a total of 45 units (courses), including a writing requirement, two years of study in a foreign language (or demonstration of equivalent foreign language proficiency), distribution requirements, a major, and electives. Foreign language proficiency may be demonstrated by completion of a second-year language sequence with a grade of C or better at an accredited college or university. Minors are optional.
|English 111 or 205 and 113||2|
|Modern Foreign Language||6|
|Electives||Up to 15|
Bachelor of Science in General Studies
|English 111 or 205 and 113||2|
|Electives||Up to 21|
Bachelor of Philosophy in Communication
|English 111 or 205||1|
|English 113 or Perf St 103||1|
|Electives||Up to 16|
About the Writing Requirement
The writing requirement ensures that students have the skills necessary to meet the rigorous writing demands of subsequent SPS courses in all majors and disciplines. The expository writing courses provide the tools to meet the demands of advanced academic writing; the courses may not be audited or taken on a pass/no credit basis.
Transfer and performance-based admission students must fulfill the writing requirement through one of two options:
Option 1: Complete an English composition course at SPS.
Demonstrate successful completion of English 111 or 205. A grade of C or higher is required.
Option 2: Successfully appeal the writing requirement.
Students who believe they have the writing skills necessary for university-level research and analytical papers may appeal the SPS writing requirement.
A successful appeal does not result in credit for the writing course. Students must complete another course in its place according to the needs and guidelines of their program. Writing will be evaluated for standards of good expository writing, including: a fully developed thesis; sound logic and adequate evidence in support of the thesis; effective organization, coherent structure and an overall unity; correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
To appeal the writing requirement, the following should be submitted:
- An Online Student Affairs Petition Form
- A letter of appeal and two college/university research papers written during previous studies. Submit the letter and the two papers by uploading them with the Online Student Affairs Petition Form.
Students complete course work in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences to obtain a broad experience in the liberal arts. Courses that satisfy these distribution requirements include the following areas:
Art history, classics, comparative literary studies, English literature, foreign languages (up to two units), history, music history, philosophy, religion, and some courses in African American studies, foreign languages with literature, gender studies, performance studies, radio/television/film, Slavic languages and literature and theatre.
Astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, engineering, geography, information systems, mathematics, physics and some courses in anthropology, communication sciences and disorders, psychology, radio/television/film and statistics.
Anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, political science, sociology, and some courses in African American studies, communication sciences and disorders, gender studies, psychology and statistics.