The Meaning of the Baccalaureate Degree at UW-Stout


The Baccalaureate Degree traditionally indicates successful completion of undergraduate matriculation. Awarded by the university faculty, the degree signifies the student's entry into the community of scholars. It is expected that those upon whom such status is conferred have demonstrated a readiness to contribute to the world's civility, prosperity and commonweal.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout functions as part of the confederation of diverse campuses organized as the University of Wisconsin. As such, a Baccalaureate Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout is equivalent to a Baccalaureate Degree from other campuses in the University System. In addition, the Baccalaureate Degrees awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Stout reflect the institution's unique mission. The University of Wisconsin-Stout provides distinctive programs leading to professional careers in the human services, education, industry, and commerce. Programs of study include a breadth of courses in the areas of the humanities, natural, social, physical and behavioral sciences, communications, analytic reasoning, contemporary issues, social responsibility and ethics.


Ultimately undergraduate programs are defined by the nature of their products, the graduates who have successfully pursued a course of study approved by the university. The elements below attempt to define undergraduate programs at UW-Stout by describing the expectations for their graduates.

The graduates of all baccalaureate degree programs at UW-Stout should possess:

  • The fundamental skills and knowledge defined by the university's approved goals for General Education.

  • The skills needed to perform successfully at the entry level in a career of their choice and the ability to learn and adapt that will support their continuing career growth and development.

  • The skills and attitudes necessary to have healthy interpersonal relationships in professional, civic and personal life. These include integrity, honesty, leadership, civility, concern for the needs of others, tolerance, and communication and conflict resolution skills.


This document explicates the components, expectations and philosophy of a Baccalaureate Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. It is intended to provide understanding and guidance to those who are charged with the responsibility for creating and maintaining undergraduate curriculum and to those who serve in the roles of review and evaluation. This document replaces a previous document approved in 1987 by Chancellor Robert Swanson also titled Meaning of the Baccalaureate Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.


At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Bachelor's Degree programs are expected to meet certain identifiable or measurable criteria. All Baccalaureate Degree programs at UW-Stout:

  • Fulfill a societal need.

  • Have a core of professional courses required of all students in the major.

  • Include general education requirements for all students consistent with the university's approved General Education Component.

  • Include an assessment process that fosters needed changes in the program.

  • Maintain high standards of quality.

  • Require the completion of a minimum of 120 semester credit hours for graduation.

  • Provide the opportunity to be completed in four calendar years by qualified, full-time resident students.

  • Provide for the inclusion of a minor, concentration or specialization in a student's program whenever possible.

  • Provide for flexibility and the opportunity for individual student choice in elective courses, the selection of which is based on personal interest, ability or need of the student and is not a required part of the professional or general education component of their program.

  • Include a core of courses in ethnic studies.

  • Safeguard the integrity of the program by requiring that a substantial portion of credits must be from UW-Stout.