Catalogue: Traditional Program:
The Semester System
ADMINISTRATION OF THE CURRICULUM
Belhaven University operates on a semester basis with the regular session divided into two semesters that begin in August and January. The summer session, divided into one two-week term and two five-week terms, constitutes an additional period of study. Students receive course credit toward graduation on the basis of semester hours. A semester hour represents one hour of recitation or at least two hours of laboratory work per week for one semester. Students receive course credit toward graduation on the basis of semester hours. Semester hours of credit for each course are shown in the section "Courses of Instruction."Grades and Quality Points
The meaning of the course grade is as follows: A, Superior; B, Good; C, Average; D, Passing; F, Failing; I, Incomplete; AU, Audit; NA, No Audit; W, Withdrew Before Grades; WP, Withdrew Passing; WF, Withdrew Failing; AW, Administratively Withdrawn; S, Satisfactory; U, Unsatisfactory; ES, Examination Satisfactory; CR, Credit; NC, No Credit.
The grades S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) are used for courses completed on the Pass-Fail option. The grade ES (Examination Satisfactory) is used for credit given by examination in foreign languages and mathematics. The grade CR (Credit) is given for nonacademic courses to indicate that credit has been earned. The grade NC (No Credit) is given for nonacademic courses to indicate that no credit has been earned.
A plus/minus system of grading was implemented in the fall semester of 1985. The plus/minus changed the quality points associated with the letter grades; therefore, the letter grade A now carries 4.00 quality points; A- 3.66; B+ 3.34; B 3.00; B- 2.66; C+ 2.34; C 2.00; C- 1.66; D+ 1.34; D 1.00; D- 0.66; F 0.00. A grade point average is calculated at the end of each semester by dividing the number of quality points earned by the number of semester hours attempted, grades of F being counted as hours attempted. Only the grades listed immediately above carry quality points. Cumulative totals are also computed following each completed grade period.
Transfer work does not affect the Belhaven cumulative grade point average (GPA). The Belhaven cumulative GPA is based entirely upon work done at Belhaven University.Incomplete
The grade "I" is given at the discretion of the instructor and only in case of a prolonged illness or other emergency and indicates that all requirements in a course have not been met. In order for students to receive the grade "I", they must have made satisfactory progress in the course up to the point of illness or emergency. The grade "I" cannot be given prior to the last day to drop a course without an F. Students receiving the grade "I" should make the following arrangements with their professors and the registrar's office before the end of the semester:
The student (or one representing the student) must obtain the incomplete request form from the registrar's office. In filling out this form, students and their professors agree upon the dates of completion for all work. The dates for completion of the necessary work should be before the end of the first week of the next semester. Should a student fail to complete the required work by the end of the first week of the following semester, the grade "I" will automatically be changed to a grade of F by the office of the registrar.Failure: Repeated Courses
An F cannot be removed from a student's record. However, if a student enrolls again in a course that he or she failed, the second grade is recorded on the permanent record for the semester in which the course was repeated.
Although both courses and the respective grades and quality points are shown on the permanent record, the semester hour-s credit is only earned once.Forgiveness Policy on Repeated Courses
An undergraduate student, upon written request, may ask to repeat up to four courses (up to 12 hours). The forgiveness policy can be used one time per course. Repeating a course may influence a student's financial aid or sports eligibility.
The deadline for submitting the written request is the last day to add a course in the semester the repeated course is being taken again.
The following stipulations apply to this policy:
- The student cannot use this option to repeat a course in which a grade of A, B, or C was earned. This can only be used to replace a grade of C- or below. A grade of an F will not forgive a grade of an F; both F's will be calculated in the GPA.
- The student cannot use the forgiveness policy to replace a grade that was earned at another school, nor may grades earned at Belhaven be replaced by grades earned at another school. This policy will only affect the Belhaven grades and quality point index.
- Both grades remain on the transcript; however, the highest grade earned will be the one used to recalculate the GPA.
- A course intended to be used for the forgiveness policy cannot be taken as independent study and must be taken at Belhaven University.
Students may elect to enroll for a maximum of four courses on the pass-fail option during the junior and senior years. No more than two courses may be included on this plan during any one semester. Core courses and courses in the major area (required or elective) may not be included. Grades of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) are assigned. Credit hours, but no quality points, are recorded for grades of S and count toward degree requirements. The pass/fail option is not allowed in courses required for teacher certification. A student wishing to use the pass/fail option must file a special request form in the office of the registrar prior to the last day to add a course or change course enrollment status.
Full-time students may audit a maximum of two courses each semester without charge, with the permission of the registrar. A course is listed on the student's permanent record as AU (audit) unless the instructor of the course informs the registrar that class attendance or participation does not justify the listing, in which case it would be listed as NA (no audit).Adding or Dropping a Course
A course may not be added for credit or audit, or changed from one enrollment status to another (credit, audit, pass/fail), after the second week of a semester (see Calendar for specific dates).
A course other than EDU 101 (Mosaic), Freshman English or the ENG225/226, HIS225/226 and HUM225/226 courses may be officially dropped through the first week of a semester (see Calendar for specific dates) without having the course entered on the student's permanent record. After the first week, a student will be allowed to drop a course, but that course will appear on the permanent record with a grade of either, W, WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing).
After approximately eight weeks into the semester have elapsed, no course may be dropped for any reason. (See Calendar for exact dates.)
A student who stops attending class without securing official withdrawal approval automatically receives an F in the course(s). A student who acquires excessive absences before securing withdrawal approval will receive an F (not a WF) in the course.Academic Warning, Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal
A quality point index is calculated at the end of each semester or summer session. ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO MAINTAIN A GRADE POINT AVERAGE OF 2.00 WITH NO QUALITY POINT INDEX DEFICIENCY, REGARDLESS OF THEIR CLASSIFICATION. The formula for calculation of quality point index is:
Belhaven earned quality points - (Belhaven attempted hours times two) = quality point index.
At the end of each semester a student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of one to ten quality points will be given an academic warning.
A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 10.01 to 23 quality points will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation will not be allowed to register for more than 13 or 14 semester hours.
A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 23.01 to 35.99 quality points will be academically suspended for one semester. This student will be eligible to reenroll after remaining out of school for either a fall or spring term.
A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 36 or more quality points will be academically dismissed. This student may not be eligible for readmission to Belhaven University.Classification
A student's classification is determined by the number of semester hours credited to the student at the beginning of the first semester of each year. For sophomore standing, a student is required to have earned 24 semester hours credit; for junior standing 54 semester hours; for senior standing, 90 semester hours; and for graduation 124 semester hours and 248 quality points.Course Load Per Semester
The minimum semester course load for a full-time student is 12 semester hours; the normal load is 15 to 18 semester hours; and the maximum load is 19 semester hours. Requests to exceed the maximum of 19 hours must be made to the registrar on the special request form on the Belhaven website and will be reviewed primarily on the basis of the student's previous record of achievement and the courses in which the student wishes to enroll. No student may receive credit for more than 21 hours in a semester under any circumstances.Grade Reports
At the conclusion of a semester or summer session, final grades are available on the Belhaven website. The office of the registrar will not show students their grades nor give grades over the telephone or by email.
Midsemester grades are submitted and may be viewed on the Belhaven website.Transcripts
A student who desires a transcript must complete a request form at least two weeks before the time he or she needs to have the transcript sent. Request forms are available at http://www.belhaven.edu/registrar/transcripts.htm or in the business office. The registrar is not permitted to issue transcripts for a student who is in debt to the University. The person whose record is to be released must sign the request for a transcript. The cost of each transcript is $10 for the first two copies and $2 for each additional on a single request, and must be paid in advance. There is a minimum of 48 hours before a transcript can be released.Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
Belhaven University informs students of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The act, with which the University intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the act.
Belhaven University accords all the rights under law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the University shall have access to nor will the University disclose any information from students' education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the University, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the act.
Within the Belhaven community only those members individually or collectively acting in the student's educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include personnel in the office of the registrar, provost's office, admission's office, student learning office, student life office, financial aid office, business office, office of institutional improvement, faculty, and academic support counselor.
Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the act: financial information submitted by their parents, confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review, or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the University will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student.Class Attendance Policy
The class attendance policy assumes that students will be present for all classes. University policy requires that students attend at least 80 percent of class meetings during a semester or summer session in order to receive credit. For Fall and Spring semesters, this 80 percent is interpreted thusly:
- A maximum of eight absences for a class that meets three times a week;
- A maximum of six absences for a class that meets two times a week;
- A maximum of three absences for a class that meets once a week.
- Three tardies are counted as one absence.
All reasons for absences (for example, illness, representation for school activities, emergencies, and late registration) are included in the maximum number of absences.
Convenient Scheduling for Adult Students (See Graduate and Adult Studies sections of the catalogue.)
In respect for adult students' busy schedules, Belhaven offers courses at times of the day and week that are more convenient.
For over 25 years Belhaven University has offered an evening program of academic courses that provides basic college courses, including a wide range of courses in accounting and business administration, for interested area residents who are not able to attend regular classes during the day. Belhaven University instructors and selected area business people and educators teach classes. During the regular session, evening classes meet one evening per week beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Two-week miniterms are offered twice each year at Belhaven University: one in the spring, and one between fall and spring semesters when allowed by the calendar. These are concentrated courses that make three hours of credit available to students attending 10 class meetings (four hours each); two weekends of reflection time are incorporated in each time frame. A student may enroll in one class only. Residence halls are not open during miniterms.
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Belhaven University students may receive credit for certain courses offered at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Consult the chairman of the department of biology concerning course offerings.
The summer session of Belhaven University provides an opportunity for students to continue their work leading to a degree and for students from other institutions to earn credits that may be transferred to their own schools. A maximum of 15 hours may be earned during the summer session at Belhaven.
The Honors College at Belhaven University offers academically advanced students a forum in which to deepen and expand their education both intellectually and spiritually. Students who demonstrate seriousness about their calling, a past record of academic achievement, and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary dialogue are eligible for Honors courses as described below.
Honors Colloquium (HNS)
An interdisciplinary seminar exploring diverse topics from the humanities, sciences, and arts. Through reading and roundtable discussion with faculty and peers, students hone their ability to critically evaluate ideas from a Christian perspective and artciulate responses both orally and in writing.
Students who meet any of the following criteria may take Honors Colloquium for elective credit
- ACT composite 26 or above (SAT CR+Math 1190 or above)
- ACT English/Writing 28 or above (SAT Writing 630 or above)
- College-level GPA 3.5 or above, earned over at least two semesters.
Admission to the Honors College as Honors Fellow
Students who have completed at least two semesters of Honors Colloquium with a grade of B or above are admitted to full standing as Fellows in the Honors College; exceptions may also be considered subject to evaluation by the administration of the Honors College. The requirements for graduation as an Honors Fellow are as follows:
- Cumulative GPA of 3.4 or above
- At least 12 hours of Honors Colloquium (HNS) with a grade of B or above
- At least 15 hours of Honors-level coursework with a grade of B or above, to include at least 9 hours in the student's major
- Honors-level courses are available by arrangement with faculty who have approved the Honors designation for their courses. To merit the Honors designation, students must fulfill higher and/or additional requirements as determined by the faculty and demonstrate integration of the subject matter with a Christian worldview. Changes in grade weights and standards for Honors students will be indicated in the syllabus.
- Requests for Honors course designation must be signed by the faculty and submitted by the student to the Registrar's Office no later than the date specified by the Registrar and the Dean of the Honors College.
Summer Enrichment Program
A precollege summer enrichment program is available to advanced students who have completed the junior year of high school. Students admitted to the program may earn up to 15 semester hours in regular summer session courses. Full college credit is granted after a student has been accepted on a full-time basis and has satisfactorily completed one semester (at least 12 semester hours) of course work at Belhaven University. For further information contact the director of admission.
Registration at Other Institutions
A student who is enrolled at Belhaven University may not register for courses at any other institution without approval of the registrar and the chairpersons of the departments involved. This policy refers to summer classes taken elsewhere as well as at any time when a student is pursuing a degree at Belhaven. A student may not be concurrently enrolled at Belhaven and another institution except in the situation of a senior needing a course for imminent graduation and said course is not currently offered at Belhaven University. The form to request a course at another institution is available on the Belhaven website. The form must be approved by the Registrar-s Office before a student can register for the course at the other institution.
Independent study courses will be available only for degree seeking seniors facing imminent graduation who are unable to get a needed course at the regularly scheduled hour.
Students must complete a special request form to submit to the office of the registrar. The professor is not authorized to grant final approval for an independent study course. The request must be submitted to the registrar's office no later than two days prior to the last day to enter a course or change enrollment status. No course intended to be used for the forgiveness policy can be taken as independent study; furthermore, all forgiveness policy courses must be taken at Belhaven University.
The term tutorial is applied to final coursework being completed by a nonresident Belhaven student who has applied for graduation. A student registered for tutorial work is one who cannot be enrolled at Belhaven for the final hours and who has been given permission by the registrar and the major department chairperson to complete those hours elsewhere.
A tutorial registration fee is assessed. (See General Fees.) If the work is not completed during the first semester in which a student is enrolled, that student must register for tutorial work again the following semester, or until the work is completed and the degree can be granted. The student's tutorial work carries no academic credit in itself. However, the student's permanent record will indicate enrollment in tutorial work.
Study Travel Program
The Belhaven University study travel program provides students with an opportunity to earn academic credit in courses specifically structured to include off-campus travel, domestic or foreign.
Members of the Belhaven University faculty plan the courses, arrange for and conduct the travel portion, and offer detailed instruction on campus before departure and during the time of travel itself.
The content of courses offered in the study travel program is variable. In one case, the emphasis may be on one city, region, or country exclusively, while in another it may cut across geographical boundaries to include historical, literary, artistic, or scientific aspects of several regions or countries.
Each course requires the consent of the instructor and carries three hours of academic credit and a pass/fail grade. There is no limit to the number of credits a student may earn in the program, but each course pursued must have a different emphasis. In some instances, credits may be applied toward the departmental major.
Student intern programs provide practical experience and training. In order to receive academic credit (one to six hours) for a student intern program or practicum, the program must be a structured one, approved in advance by the department in which credit is to be given. A student may not register for an internship or practicum until the office of the registrar has received the approval. The internship application should be turned in to the office of the registrar three days prior to the last day to add a class in order for there to be ample time for administration to provide internship approval. Registration must take place by the first week of the semester (see academic calendar for specific dates to add a course) or the student will not receive credit. A 2.75 cumulative Belhaven grade point average and junior or senior standing are required of the student to be considered for a student intern program or practicum. See the registrar's office for further information.
Belhaven is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of more than 85 private liberal arts Christian colleges and universities. Consequently, a number of off-campus learning opportunities exists. These include an American studies program in Washington, D.C., a China studies program, a Latin American studies program in Costa Rica, the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, a Russian studies program, a Middle East studies program in Cairo, Egypt, a Scholar's Semester in Oxford, and a summer study program in historic Oxford, England. (See Council Studies in "Courses of Instruction" section.)
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
Located in Michigan, this program offers courses that cover various aspects of environmental studies and stewardship. Ecological information is provided along with experience in both field and laboratory techniques. Scholarship assistance is available to students at Council-member colleges.
Focus on the Family Institute
A division of Focus on the Family, the Focus on the Family Institute is a one-semester undergraduate study program designed to address the challenging issues facing today's families. Outstanding students from American and international colleges and universities compete for 40 positions each fall, spring, and summer semester. Sixteen units of credit for the program may be received through the students' individual academic institutions, or arrangements can be made through an accredited institution. (See Family Studies in "Courses of Instruction" section.) Upon arrival, applicants should have completed two years of undergraduate work and be in good academic standing with a minimum of a 3.25 cumulative GPA. The Institute is endorsed by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Alternative Credit Programs
Belhaven University does recognize Advanced Placement (AP) and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Official score reports must be sent directly to Belhaven University from the Educational Testing Service. High school transcripts with scores are not considered official notification of scores. Credit will be awarded once the office of the registrar has received the official qualifying scores and the student has met with the department chair to determine how the credit will be allocated. Students planning to enter professional school should verify that AP credit is accepted by the professional school they plan to attend. (All alternative credit must not exceed 30 credit hours toward the undergraduate degree.)
A score of 3, 4, or 5 is required on an Advanced Placement exam. Students with scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Test of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) will have earned, upon admission, up to eight semester hours credit granted in any one field.
Credits granted carry no grade and are not used in computing a quality point index but may be used toward a major or minor. Elective credit may also be given.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Advanced placement and credit may be awarded to students who earn at least the minimum scores recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) on the subject examinations (not the general examinations). Once the office of the registrar has received the official qualifying scores and the student has met with the department chair, credit will be awarded. Any student wishing to be exempt from certain degree requirements should take the appropriate advanced placement test of the CEEB.
Correspondence or Online Work
A student may apply a maximum of six semester hours of correspondence or online credit to satisfy degree requirements. The registrar must approve correspondence work in advance. Credit in major courses or core courses for degrees may not be earned by correspondence or online.
International Baccalaureate Program
College credit will be granted to those high school students enrolling in Belhaven University who have completed courses in the International Baccalaureate Program with a score of five or better on each higher level examination. The courses for which credit will be awarded will be those subject courses that are a part of Belhaven's general education core.
Experiential Learning Credit: (Maximum credit - 15 hours)
In order for experiential credit to be granted officially and recorded on the transcript, the applicant must have completed successfully a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic coursework at Belhaven. This type of credit may be approved by faculty in various departments through portfolios with a maximum of 15 hours of elective credit only. (Experiential credit in dance may be awarded for major credit with the approval of the dean of fine arts and the provost.) This type of credit is not transferable into or out of Belhaven University. The process for experiential credit should be completed prior to the beginning of the last course required for degree completion in the adult studies program or before the senior year in the traditional program. Assessment Fee - $150 paid at time portfolio is turned in for assessment; $75 per semester hour of credit awarded paid in full before credits are posted to transcript.
Credit for professional, biblical, or technical courses, licenses, certifications, workshops, etc. or for courses taken at non-regionally accredited institutions can be awarded if documented thoroughly. Faculty members assess the validity of substantial documentation based on completion, clock hours, and content. The Portfolio I must include a r-sum-, an autobiographical sketch, and value of learning statement for each topic area. One semester hour of credit may be awarded for 20 hours of instruction that is determined by faculty to be college level. (Per standards set by CAEL)
Credit for experiential learning can be awarded through an essay-writing process that will document college-level learning. Faculty award credit based upon college-level academic principles evident in the student's writing. The Portfolio II must include a r-sum-, an autobiographical sketch, and thorough documentation of the work experience being described as well as a 12- to 20-page essay describing the learning that occurred from the work experience and the resulting applications both for that situation and for future situations. Students may be referred to the English writing lab if they need aid in developing writing skills.
NOTE: Any appeals by students in regard to the number of semester hours of credit awarded through the portfolio process may be made to the appropriate Dean.
Credit for Work Completed in Armed Service
Credit for specialized training received in the armed services will be granted on the basis of recommendations published in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Only those courses or programs that may be regarded as consistent with the curriculum at Belhaven University will be credited toward a degree.
A student who presents evidence of at least six months of military training with an honorable discharge may receive a maximum of four semester hours non-academic credit in physical education.
Credit from alternative credit programs may be given in a specific area in which a student wishes to major or minor, dependent upon departmental policy. Credit in Bible, history, culture, or literature courses from these sources to meet general education curriculum requirements will not be accepted. The maximum total of such credit listed above, in any combination, is 30 semester hours, not to include more than 15 hours of experiential credit. Hours earned through alternative credit programs do not carry quality points and therefore are not considered as residential hours for honors calculations.
Foreign Language Proficiency Exams
Foreign students may not register for credit in their native language. Students may earn college credit for Spanish, French, or German only by taking the CLEP examination at the elementary or intermediate levels. Students may earn up to the required number of credit hours in the general education core for their major in a single language through completion of the CLEP examination with a minimum score of 50 or above or through proficiency credit. The CLEP standardized examination will preclude the use of departmental examinations except in those areas where CLEP examinations are not available.
The method of testing and the level of proficiency to be awarded for languages other than Spanish, French, or German will be determined by the chair of the foreign language department or her designee. For testing other than CLEP, a $100 fee is charged for administering a proficiency exam; an additional fee of $100 is charged if the exam is completed, but no semester hours, grades or quality points will be awarded.
Advanced Course Placement:
Placement in Advanced English
Each year, the department of English selects a limited number of freshmen for placement in Advanced Freshmen English on the basis of scores on the ACT, the English Placement Test of the CEEB, and the Belhaven English Placement Test. Credit by exemption for ENG 101 (CR only, no semester hours, no grade or quality points) will be awarded upon completion of the three-hour course Advanced Freshman English (ENG 121) (with a grade not lower than a C) during the first semester.
Placement in Advanced Language
Students who wish to continue at Belhaven University a language begun in high school should take a language proficiency test to determine the college-level course most consistent with their previous training. Students who have credit for two or more units of a foreign language in high school may receive college credit, though not college hours, for the 101-102 courses in the same language after receiving a C (2.0) or better in 201-202 at Belhaven University. A waiver of language courses, especially 101 and 102, may be granted upon the Language Department's avowal of a student's proficiency. No semester hours, grades or quality points will be awarded.
Those students who are eligible to enter a foreign language course at the 300 level and complete six hours at this level may then elect to take examinations in the intermediate course (201-202) to receive six hours of credit.
Placement in Advanced Mathematics
Students who have had extensive training in mathematics in high school and who wish to continue their study in this area at Belhaven University may enroll in MAT 207 and 208 with the permission of the chairperson of the department of mathematics rather than in a lower level course.
Students who are eligible to enter the course in calculus (MAT 207 and 208) and complete six hours at this level may then elect to take examinations in algebra and trigonometry (MAT 101 and 102) to receive six hours of credit. If a passing grade is achieved on the examination, the credit hours are recorded and a grade of ES (Examination Satisfactory) is assigned. In the event of an unsatisfactory grade, no grade is recorded or credit given. The grade of ES carries credit hours, but no quality points, toward degree requirements.
At the end of each semester, the following academic lists are published:
President's List: full-time students with a 4.00 semester GPA.
Dean's List: full-time students with a semester GPA between 3.40 and 3.99 and no grade lower than a C.
To graduate cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, a baccalaureate degree-seeking student must have earned a minimum of 60 academic hours carrying quality points at Belhaven University. At the time of graduation the student must have established a cumulative grade point average on the Belhaven University record and meet the minimum to be eligible: cum laude, 3.4; magna cum laude, 3.7; summa cum laude, 3.9.
To graduate "with honors," a student must have a minimum of 45 academic hours carrying quality points at Belhaven University and a 3.4 cumulative grade point average at Belhaven University.
Belhaven University baccalaureate degree-seeking students who graduate with academic honors will wear Belhaven University honor cords for the graduation commencement ceremonies. Students are not allowed to wear any other regalia from societies, sororities, or organizations not affiliated directly with Belhaven University.Veterans' Regulations
Each recipient of VA benefits enrolled at Belhaven University is expected to become familiar with, and to adhere to, all academic policies stated in the current issue of the Belhaven University catalogue.Course Substitution
In cases when, through no fault of the student, required courses in a major are not offered in a rotation that permits the student to graduate on schedule, the chair of the major department may approve a similar course in the major as a substitute.