Jun 18, 2024  
UofM 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
UofM 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Professional & Liberal Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Professional & Liberal Studies

College of Professional & Liberal Studies

RICHARD IRWIN, EdD., Executive Dean
Room 201, John Willard Brister Hall
(901) 678-2991

The College of Professional & Liberal Studies offers students a wide variety of traditional and online degree opportunities. Faculty from across the university provide the structure to explore and develop unlimited interdisciplinary, academic ventures. College of Professional & Liberal Studies also seeks to create and maintain a spirit of academic community through careful and concerned advising and interaction outside the classroom among students, faculty, staff, and community professionals. Program objectives for majors in the College of Professional & Liberal Studies are to demonstrate: (a) the theoretical and practical applications of their coordinated study area (i.e., major); (b) knowledge of appropriate communications practices, including effective writing, computer skills, and oral communications; (c) the ability to solve problems, to work independently and to work as members of a team in a professional setting through an experiential-learning environment; and (d) the ability to address significant problems, themes, and ideas which impact a global society.

Admission to College


In addition to following the procedure for admission to the University of Memphis, prospective students seeking admission to the College of Professional & Liberal Studies must also declare a major within the college. The form can be found at https://www.memphis.edu/cpls/resources/dom.php

Student Evaluation

A student’s performance is evaluated by: a traditional grading system (A-F), Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, and Credit/No Credit options supplemented by written narrative evaluations; credit or placement by examination; Advanced Placement examinations for degree credit where available; and credit for validated learning from experience or non-traditional instruction. Of the 120 credit-hours required for graduation at least 30 of the last 60 hours must be earned through credit at the University of Memphis.

College Requirements

The College of Professional & Liberal Studies offers the Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.), the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (B.L.S.), and Commericial Aviation (B.S.) undergraduate degrees. These degrees require completion of the following:

General Education Courses (35-41 hours)

See University Undergraduate Catalog for the University General Education Program  requirements. Students who have completed one year of American History in high school are exempt from the six credit-hour History General Education Program requirement; otherwise, students will have to meet the History requirement.

Coordinated Study

The Coordinated Study (i.e., courses that make up a student’s major) must consist of courses from two or more academic disciplines.

Coordinated Study credit may be earned through courses offered by other departments on campus, credit by examination, credit for experiential learning, transfer credit, internships, or independent study courses.

Students must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in each graded course and a minimum of 2.20 GPA overall in the Coordinated Study. All Coordinated Study plans must include a minimum of 9 graded upper-division hours taken at The University of Memphis. These credit-hours must be earned in courses from two or more departments.

Thematic Studies 

Thematic Studies courses examine a particular theme, problem, issue, or epoch from several points of view. These upper-division courses are designed to provide ways for undergraduates to integrate previous learning. All College of Professional & Liberal Studies students must complete a minimum of 6 credit-hours of thematic studies courses. A list of thematic studies courses can be found at https://www.memphis.edu/cpls/resources/thematic_studies.php

The Senior Project 

The Senior Project should include academic research or other creative activity resulting in a tangible project to demonstrate synthesis of a student’s Coordinated Study. PREREQUISITE: Senior standing, final semester. A student must earn a minimum grade of “C” on the Senior Project. 


Students may need to take lower or upper-division elective courses in order to reach the 120 credit-hours required for graduation. Such electives may typically be offered by any department at the University of Memphis.


Students majoring in any department within the University may enhance their academic experience through College of Professional & Liberal Studies (CPLS) minors in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, American Studies, Child Development, Community Action and Social Change, Legal Studies, and Religion in Society. If a College of Professional & Liberal Studies student chooses to complete a minor, courses within the minor must differ substantially from courses within the student’s coordinated study. A College of Professional & Liberal Studies student may be certified as having a minor only if at least twelve hours taken for the minor are not included in the coordinated study.

The Baccalaureate Contract Program

Undergraduate students admitted to the College of Professional & Liberal Studies may design either of two degrees through the Baccalaureate Contract Program: the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (B.L.S.) or the Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.).

To be eligible for this program, a student must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.0. Upper-division courses within the student’s Coordinated Study (i.e., major) must be from two or more departments on campus. In addition, the proposed degree must be unlike any other degree offered by the University of Memphis.

A Baccalaureate Contract Advisor will assist the student in the development and execution of a degree program that serves the student’s needs and meets the academic requirements of College of Professional & Liberal Studies and the University of Memphis. All baccalaureate contracts will be reviewed and approved by the baccalaureate contract advisor and by the Assistant Director of Student Services in the College of Professional & Liberal Studies. The baccalaureate contract must include work to be completed in the following areas: (1) General Education, (2) Coordinated Study, (3) Thematic Studies, (4) a Senior Project, and (5) General Electives.

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning Credit may be granted for college level knowledge and understanding related to the student’s area of study. This credit may be gained from work experience, life experience, or non-college instruction in one of the following ways: 1) pre-assessed military transcripts, 2) pre-assessed professional training, licensure, or certifications or 3) student developed learning portfolio reflective of their learning experiences which is assessed for credit by a faculty member. For more information: http://www.memphis.edu/innovation/elc/experiential_learning.php

TN eCampus

The degrees offered are:

Bachelor of Professional Studies with concentrations in Information Technology, International Organizational Leadership, or Organizational Leadership

Bachelor of Liberal Studies 

Tennessee colleges, universities, and technology centers joined to offer the TN eCampus degrees. All the institutions are fully accredited. Courses completed in the TN eCampus Programs are entirely online and transferable among all the participating institutions.

The courses are available online for the degrees offered through the TN eCampus Program.

For information about the requirements and courses for the TN eCampus, please see: https://tnecampus.org

A Second Bachelor’s Degree

Students seeking to earn a second bachelor’s degree through the College of Professional & Liberal Studies must satisfy all degree requirements of the college and the university.

A comprehensive list of programs related to the College of Professional & Liberal Studies can be found at:  College of Professional & Liberal Studies   

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Professional & Liberal Studies