Illinois State University
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Frequently Asked Questions

What sorts of jobs can I get with a University Studies major?

Students who pursue a University Studies major create an individual plan of study, so the jobs or careers they qualify for vary widely. Please contact the Career Center for assistance in exploring careers. While some employers may require specific majors, Accounting or Elementary Education for example, others will look at your work experiences and the skills you have acquired as well as your academic record. Earning the best possible grades is helpful since many employers screen applicants by GPA.

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I’m planning to attend graduate school. How does a University Studies major work for graduate school?

The University Studies major is not designed to prepare students to pursue graduate study; many graduate programs prefer students with a traditional undergraduate major. Please contact the graduate programs which you would like to attend to find out their perspectives and expectations. Please remember that graduate programs are typically competitive, and eligibility to apply does not guarantee admission. The higher your overall GPA, the more likely graduate programs are to seriously consider you as a candidate.

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Do I still need to meet all the other graduation requirements to graduate if I am admitted to the University Studies major?

Yes. You must complete all degree requirements, including:

  • 120 hours minimum
  • 42 senior college hours
  • 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • General Education
  • B.A. or B.S, requirements
  • All coursework in your major plan, with a 2.0 GPA in your major courses
  • Global Studies requirement
  • 30 of the last 60 hours completed at Illinois State
  • No incompletes
  • Application for a degree (apply via

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What about math? I really don’t like math and I’ve never taken any college math courses.

In order to graduate you must complete General Education, and each of the General Education programs requires appropriate math coursework. If you have not completed this requirement, you should immediately discuss your situation with an advisor. Some students will need to take two developmental math courses before taking an approved General Education math course. If you have not taken the Illinois State University COMPASS math placement exam, or your test scores are more than two years old, you may phone 438-2100 to schedule a placement exam. You are strongly encouraged to review math before testing.

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If I declare a University Studies major, will that let me get into courses that are listed as Majors Only?

No. University Studies majors may take courses that are open to all students, providing they meet the prerequisites. Courses restricted to specific majors are limited to those majors because departments have a commitment to their declared majors and do not have staff or funding to teach additional sections.

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Will I be eligible for certification to teach at the elementary or secondary level in an Illinois public school with a University Studies major?

No. University Studies is not an approved teacher certification program and it is not designed to prepare students to teach. Students who have completed a University Studies degree (or any other degree) may explore post-graduate programs that certify teachers, but those programs are competitive. Contact specific graduate programs for information.

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May I use the courses for a University Studies major to complete a minor in the same department?

No. For example, if you do a Specialized Studies major using Psychology courses, you may not also have a Psychology minor. However, you may have a minor in a different field, using different courses.

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Illinois State University

University College
Normal, Il 61790-4060
Phone: (309) 438-3217

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