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The College of Idaho offers majors and minors in four areas referred to as PEAKs: Humanities & Fine Arts, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Social Sciences & History, Professional Studies & Enhancements. Each C of I major or minor satisfies the requirements of at least one PEAK. In order to earn the B.A. or B.S. degree, students must complete 124 credits and a combination of majors and minors covering all four PEAKs. All students must complete at least one major. In most cases, students will complete a major and three minors, with one program in each PEAK. Some interdisciplinary programs satisfy the requirements of different PEAKs and some include coverage of multiple PEAKs. The responsibility rests with students to see that their programs of study satisfy all the requirements for graduation listed in the catalog. Advisors and other members of the faculty and staff will assist in any way possible.

Winter Term

The College of Idaho academic calendar includes a 4-week Winter term, intended to give students an intensive experience focused on a single course. In recognition of the value of the immersive educational experience offered in the Winter, we require that at least 9 of the 124 credits required for the B.A. or B.S. degree be earned during at least three separate Winter terms. Winter courses may be taken on campus, or through a C of I off-campus program, or through an approved exchange with another 4-1-4 college.

Beyond the majors and minors chosen from the four PEAKs above, students must complete the following:

The First-Year Seminar (3 credits)

All first-year students and qualifying transfer students begin their college careers by enrolling in a First-Year Seminar. First-Year Seminars enable students to experience a small and lively learning community while encountering the essential elements of academic inquiry: analytical reading, critical thinking, and well-reasoned writing. The seminars also offer students the opportunity to become part of a vibrant community of learners while focusing on a specific topic that poses challenging intellectual questions. Students are encouraged to read complex texts with care, to think about complicated ideas with discrimination, and to write essays with efficacy and force. Topics vary from seminar to seminar. Incoming students have the opportunity to rank their preferences for different seminar topics.

Pre-Modern Civilization (3 Credits)

In a rapidly changing world, the past can seem irrelevant. Understanding and actively engaging in a changing world, however, requires an understanding that all of modern life has historical origins that determined the shape of today. This requirement provides students with exposure to pre-1800 historical developments that form the foundation of modern systems of thought and ideals of education, thus conveying essential knowledge of the basic dimensions of Western or World intellectual cultures. Its purpose is to lay a twofold foundation: a factual foundation concerning the people and ideas that have shaped conceptions of liberty and the liberal arts tradition of education; and a sound foundation in historical methodology through the interpretation of historical texts and their impact on ideas, events, and people.

PEAK Credit Limitations

  • 8 credits each may be counted in activity courses in debate, applied music lessons, music ensembles, physical education, theatre, or POE 199/399 (Model United Nations).
  • 18 credits of P grades may be counted. (See Pass-Fail regulations.)
  • 12 credits may be counted in correspondence and extension courses.
    Note: Students wanting assurance that such courses will be acceptable upon transfer or will fulfill College requirements should consult the Registrar in advance. Seniors should note possible conflict with the residence requirement.
  • 70 credits (106 quarter credits) (earned with a grade of C or better) from all community college work may be counted.
  • Credit by examination: The College of Idaho does not grant credit by examination or for prerequisites met by challenge, prior experience, or instructor permission.
  • Double use of courses: Individual courses may be used to fulfill more than one major or minor program, except where expressly prohibited.

PEAK for Transfer Students

The College of Idaho accepts up to 70 transfer credits from accredited community colleges and up to 90 transfer credits from accredited four-year colleges and universities. The College of Idaho accepts only those transfer credits earned with a grade of C or better.

There is often a challenge, however, in transforming the credits transferred to the College into a coherent liberal arts course of study on the PEAK model. As far as possible, students, in concert with their advisors, are expected to shape their course of study according to the expectations of the PEAK curriculum.

  • Students who transfer to the College with 60 or more semester credits (Junior standing or above) will be required to complete majors and minors covering at least two of the PEAKs (to include at least one major), with additional liberal arts experience planned in collaboration with the advisor. Transfer students admitted with Junior standing or above must complete 3 credits during at least one Winter term.
  • Students who transfer to the College with 28 to 59 semester credits (Sophomore standing) will be required to complete majors and minors covering at least three of the PEAKs (to include at least one major), with additional Liberal Arts experience planned in collaboration with the advisor. Transfer students admitted with Sophomore standing must complete 6 credits during at least two Winter terms.
  • All first-time students and all students who transfer to the College with fewer than 28 credits are expected to complete the full PEAK curriculum.
  • Alternative Credits (AP and IB) and concurrent/dual-enrollment credits are not considered transfer credits. Although these types of credits may allow a student to enroll in the College with advanced standing, they do not count toward the 28 transfer credits that would allow a student to complete less than the full PEAK curriculum.

PEAK Major and Minor Limitation

While students must complete a combination of majors and minors covering all four PEAKs, in order to ensure appropriate liberal arts breadth, students may earn no more than a combined total of five PEAK majors and minors.

Liberal Arts Expectations

While it is impossible to anticipate every combination of majors and minors students might choose, College of Idaho graduates are expected to complete a broad and thorough liberal arts course of study. Although most combinations of majors and minors will ensure liberal arts breadth, students are expected to engage in each of the areas listed below as part of their academic program. Academic advisors encourage and assist students in meeting this expectation.

  • Writing
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Social Science
  • Literature
  • Philosophy/Religion
  • Fine Arts
  • Cultural Diversity

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements

  • An institutional grade-point average of at least 2.00
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.00 in the major field
    • In The College of Idaho record
    • In the entire undergraduate record (cumulative GPA consists of institutional and any transfer work)
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.00 in all minors
    • In The College of Idaho record
    • In the entire undergraduate record (cumulative GPA consists of institutional and any transfer work)

For purposes of calculating grade-point averages, only those courses that are applicable to the College of Idaho degree are considered.

Residence Course Requirement: 30 Credits Minimum

These credits must be earned in courses taken on The College of Idaho campus. Ordinarily the student must earn this credit after attaining senior standing (90 credits). Dual-degree candidates in pre-engineering must earn this credit after they have attained junior standing (60 credits). For students who want to take advantage of a special educational opportunity away from the campus during their senior year, the Vice President for Academic Affairs may waive the requirement that this credit be earned after attaining senior standing.

Degrees & Graduation Application

A student may earn a Bachelor of Arts degree at The College of Idaho with a major chosen from a variety of fields. If preferred, students who major in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics) or in Health and Human Performance may be awarded a Bachelor of Science instead of a Bachelor of Arts degree. Although a student may have more than one major, it is not possible to earn a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science simultaneously.

Candidates for graduation in Spring or Summer of any year must make formal application in the Registrar's Office not later than May of the preceding year. Candidates for graduation in Fall or Winter must make formal application no later than the February of the preceding academic year. Candidates for graduation under dual-degree programs must make formal application not later than October of their junior year.

Students may qualify for graduation under the catalog of any year in which they are matriculated (degree-seeking) and regularly enrolled, provided the catalog listing the requirements went into effect no more than six years prior to the year of graduation.