Point Loma Nazarene University offers a wide range of majors, minors, and concentrations within five baccalaureate categories: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), and the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.). All programs of study reflect PLNU’s mission and core values to engage and challenge minds, to model and form character, and to express our faith in service. As such, each of the baccalaureate degrees listed above shares the core commitments of a liberal arts education. Each baccalaureate degree meets specific student needs and is characterized by a balance of general education courses and content-specific offerings. All baccalaureate degrees follow policies, standards, and student learning outcomes set by the university faculty and respected accrediting agencies, such as the total semester units required, upper-division level minimums, and optional minors where applicable.
The nature of the content and focus of B.S.N. and B.Mus. programs may be self-evident and share much in common with similar designations at other institutions. The distinctions between the B.A. and the B.S. degrees, however, are less specific within academe with each institution attempting a definition consistent with its mission and purpose. The faculty at Point Loma has therefore determined to reserve to itself the appropriate definition of arts and sciences baccalaureate programs.
For most of PLNU’s history, the B.A. degree has been the most prominent in the university’s liberal arts tradition. Generally speaking, the B.A. degree can be characterized by a concern for more breadth of subject material, a more extensive distribution of requirements, fewer designated-content units, an increased opportunity for electives outside the declared major, and enhanced capacity for mobility from one program to another. As a reflection of these characteristics, B.A. programs of study are generally smaller in size. The faculty has established that a typical B.A. degree have no more than 49 units beyond general education requirements. Exceptions to the number of units allowable are based on discipline-specific criteria or on requirements set by external accrediting agencies.
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is generally characterized by increased units of study in the major field and related areas; an increase in the total number of required units in the program; in-depth scientific, technical, or professional study; attention to scientific methodologies; a more developed pattern of course sequencing; and a relatively greater degree of specialization. As a reflection of these characteristics, B.S. programs of study tend to be larger than B.A. programs. The faculty has established that a typical B.S. degree have no more than 59 units beyond general education requirements. Exceptions to the number of units allowable are based on discipline-specific criteria or on requirements set by external accrediting agencies.
All baccalaureate programs listed above are designed in service of a defined set of student learning outcomes that state the anticipated results of completing the degree program. These programmatic learning outcomes are consonant with the broader institutional learning outcomes that flow out of PLNU’s mission and core values.