Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Degree Program Information

Baccalaureate Degree Information

Point Loma Nazarene University offers a wide range of adult undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrations within three baccalaureate categories: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). 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.

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. majors are generally smaller in size. The faculty has established that a typical B.A. degree major has 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.

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.

Majors, Minors and Certificates

The Major. Point Loma Nazarene University offers three adult undergraduate baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Major may also offer in-depth concentrations. If a second major area of study is desired, all requirements for both majors must be met with a minimum of 24 units distinguishing the two areas of study. While working on a single baccalaureate degree, the maximum number of pursuits is two majors and two minors. Students should review the majors and minors list in the catalog.

Students must complete all requirements for the degree within 7 years of initial matriculation.

The Minor. Optional minors are offered in several schools and departments. The requirements governing minors are as follows:

  • Only minors that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation;
  • A minor is at least 16 units and is under the direct auspices of the respective school/department;
  • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor for it to be granted;
  • The minor must show a minimum of nine (9) units in residence;
  • Of the 16+ units in the minor, nine (9) must be distinct from and not counted in the major or another minor;
  • Of the 16+ units in the minor, 12 must be at the upper-division level;
  • The pass/no credit option is not available for courses within the minor; and
  • A second minor, when feasible, requires a minimum of nine (9) units distinct from and not counted either in the major or in the first minor.

The Certificate. Optional certificates are offered in some schools or departments. The requirements governing certificates are as follows:

  • A certificate is a skill or theme-based program responsive to employer and/or market need.
  • The term "certificate" is used in three (3) contexts:
    • Academic certificates will be between six (6) and eighteen (18) units.
    • Professional development certificates are based on a ten (10) hours per CEU formula.
    • Attendance certificates are awarded on the basis of full session attendance.
  • Only academic certificates that appear in the student's catalog of record may be earned.
  • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative grade point average for an academic certificate.
  • Of the total units in the undergraduate certificate, a minimum of two-thirds must be earned in residence.
  • Academic certificate programs will state clearly whether they can be applied to a PLNU degree in part or in whole.
  • Neither professional development nor attendance certificates can be converted to academic credit or applied to university programs or degrees.
  • Externally awarded certificates governed (including all requirements) and awarded by an external entity are not covered under this policy.