PEAK Curriculum: Graduation Requirements

In order to earn the BA or BS degree, students must complete 124 credits, to include at least one major and three minors, covering all four PEAKs: Humanities and Fine Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences and History, Professional Studies and Enhancement. Please note that some interdisciplinary programs may be counted for 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.

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

The First-Year Seminar (3 cr)

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 cr)

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 have 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.

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

GPA Requirements

  • A grade-point average of at least 2.00 (a) in The College of Idaho record and (b) in the entire undergraduate record.
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.00 in the major field (a) in The College of Idaho record and (b) in the entire undergraduate record.
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.00 in all minors.

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

Residence Courses: 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 physical education 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 Office of the Registrar 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 Liberal Arts Core of any year in which they are regularly enrolled, provided the catalog listing the requirements went into effect no more than six years prior to the year of graduation. Courses completed in fulfillment of the Liberal Arts Core may, if appropriate, be allowed to satisfy more than one requirement. A course may, for example, fulfill both the Cultural Diversity requirement and part of the Social Sciences requirement. The total number of credits granted for the course, however, will remain consistent with the course description.

PEAK Limitations

Departmental Restriction

Students must earn a minimum of 74 credits outside any one department. Exception: In the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Department no more than 50 credits in any discipline may be counted toward the required minimum of 124 credits (a minimum of 74 credits outside any one discipline is required). The Mathematics and Physical Sciences Department defines computer science (CSC), mathematics (MAT), physics (PHY), and geology/geography (GOL/GOG) as different disciplines.

Other Credit Limitations

  • 8 credits each may be counted in activity courses in debate, music, 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) 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.

Limitations on PEAK Majors and Minors

While students must complete at least four PEAK programs, including one major and three minors, in order to ensure appropriate Liberal Arts breadth, students may earn no more than a combined total of five PEAK majors and minors.

PEAK for Transfer Students

The College of Idaho accepts up to 70 transfer credits from accredited community colleges and up to 94 transfer credits from accredited four-year colleges and universities.
There is always 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 Junior standing (60 to 89 semester credits) will be required to complete a major and one PEAK minor, with additional Liberal Arts experience planned in collaboration with the advisor.
  • Students who transfer to the College with Sophomore standing (28 to 59 semester credits) will be required to complete a major and two PEAK minors, with additional Liberal Arts experience planned in collaboration with the advisor.
  • Students who transfer to the College with fewer than 28 credits are expected to complete the full PEAK curriculum.

Student Learning Outcomes for the PEAK program

  • Critical Thinking
  • Analytic Reasoning
  • Problem Solving
  • Written Communication
  • Additional specific student learning outcomes may exist for particular majors and minors, as articulated in this catalog.