General Information


Every social institution is, in some way, special. Educational institutions are particularly so because they alone have been established to promote learning in a formal and appropriately designed setting.

Harris-Stowe State University is dedicated to the advancement of all people through learning. As such, as an integral aspect of its mission, the University recognizes and accepts the task of providing urban-oriented experiences which will enable its students to function as constructive agents of change for the improvement of urban living.

The demands of today’s society require the services of professionals. Harris-Stowe State University is committed to meeting this need within its service area and is well-known for its four-year professional education programs.

Harris-Stowe State University is unique among Midwestern institutions of higher education due to its philosophy which stresses the importance of the learning potential of each individual student and its geographic and financial accessibility.


Harris-Stowe State University is deeply committed to the philosophy which acknowledges and respects the right of each human being to self-fulfillment within the context of rational responsibility. The University affirms its belief that all persons are equal in their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In addition, the belief permeates that each individual has the potential to achieve high degrees of excellence and deserves the opportunity to bring this potential to fruition in order that he or she can reasonably serve others, achieve personal and professional goals and remain loyal to his or her convictions and principles.

Harris-Stowe State University is firmly convinced that choice is basic to self-actualization. Therefore, students are encouraged to define their own goals to acquire knowledge and skills that will make possible the conditions of life which they believe are important, and to develop a system of values consistent with rational thought and living.  The primary role of an institution of higher learning is to provide varied opportunities for in-depth learning. Through such experiences, the student can develop a keen sense of his or her own responsibility for acquiring skills in both marshaling and utilizing resources and in processing information leading to rational and constructive problem solving, culminating in the improvement of the quality of life for self and others.


Harris-Stowe State University was founded by the St. Louis Public Schools in 1857. It was the first teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River and the 12th such institution in the United States. The University, as it exists today, is the result of several predecessor institutions which, down through the years, expanded as separate schools, merged and finally became the newest member of the Missouri System of Public Higher Education.

The first predecessor of Harris-Stowe State University was the St. Louis Normal School, which was established solely for the preparation of white women as elementary-school teachers. This school later expanded into a four-year baccalaureate college and was named Harris Teachers College, after William Torrey Harris, Superintendent of Instruction for the St. Louis Public School District, and later the U.S. Commissioner of Education. Harris Teachers College was accredited by several national accrediting agencies, including the Higher Learning Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, among others. The College relocated to different sites within the city several times, finally landing on the University’s present site on Laclede Avenue in the City of St. Louis.

In the 1930s, the College restructured its academic programs, forming two academic levels: (1) a two-year junior college base, which offered opportunities for a variety of pre-professional studies, leading to the Associate in Arts degree and (2) a senior-level program exclusively in elementary school teacher education, culminating in the Bachelor of Art’s degree.

The second predecessor institution of Harris-Stowe was the Sumner Normal Class, which was established by the St. Louis Public School District in 1890, solely for the preparation of African-American women elementary-school teachers. This normal school was, in fact, an extension of the senior year at Sumner High School. The Sumner Normal Class later expanded, first into a two-year program and then into a four-year baccalaureate program, relocated in 1925 to a newly constructed annex at the Simmons Elementary School site.  It soon adapted the historic name of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the slavery abolitionist and world-renowned author.

Stowe Teachers College, like its counterpart, Harris Teachers College, received accreditation from the same nationally recognized accrediting agencies and reorganized itself into a new college structure, with a junior college base and a senior college program in elementary teacher education. Stowe relocated for the second time, in an entirely new building constructed exclusively for the College by the St. Louis Public Schools.

Both Harris Teachers College and Stowe Teachers College started to admit men in 1940, continuing as separate institutions until 1954. In response to the historic decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, racial segregation was outlawed in public education throughout the nation. Subsequently, the St. Louis Public Schools began desegregating the district at its two teachers’ colleges, merging them into one college, then called Harris Teachers College. Ironically, this formal merger was predated by an unusual precedent. During the early 1930s, Dr. John L. Purdom, a Caucasian man, was president of both institutions.

In 1979, the General Assembly of the state of Missouri enacted Senate Bill 703, under which Harris-Stowe College became a state public institution of higher education. The College then became known as Harris- Stowe State College, but its mission remained the same–elementary school teacher education. Its junior college level had been abandoned in the 1960s, when the St. Louis Junior College District came into existence.

In compliance with new state standards and teacher certification requirements, the College’s teacher education curriculum was modified Subsequently, three separate teacher education majors were approved by the state: Early Childhood Education, Elementary School Education, and Middle School/Junior High School Education.

In 1981, the College received state approval for a new degree program–a B.S. in Urban Affairs. At the time, this new program was the only one of its kind at the undergraduate level in the United States. It was designed to prepare urban specialists, rather than classroom teachers, who would be able to assist urban school districts in their efforts to resolve many of the urban-related problems facing them.

In 1993, the Missouri General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 153. It authorized Harris-Stowe State College to expand its mission from teacher and urban school-related education to address the unmet higher- education needs of the greater St. Louis region in applied professional disciplines.

In keeping with its mission expansion, the University now–through generous land gifts from the city of St. Louis–has a campus that exceeds three times its original size. In 1996, the University launched its first major fundraising campaign which now has reached approximately $50 million in gifts and contributions.

These gifts and special appropriations from the state of Missouri have enabled the University to embark upon a large capital improvement program which, to date, has resulted in the construction of four of the eight buildings, an impressive quadrangle and an attractive pedestrian mall. In addition, the city of St. Louis gave Harris-Stowe a small park which is adjacent to the University’s northern boundary.

Clearly, from its humble origin as two normal schools in the mid- and late-19th century, to its present status as a state institution of public higher learning, Harris- Stowe State University remains in the forefront of teacher education. Currently, the University is forging ahead in other professional disciplines that are greatly needed to better serve metropolitan St. Louisans who, without Harris-Stowe, would not have an opportunity to prepare themselves for productive living in our state, nation and world. The University now offers 19 baccalaureate programs through the Anheuser-Busch School of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education.


Harris-Stowe State University’s primary mission, as set forth in Senate Bill 153, is to address the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region. Toward the fulfillment of this mandate, the University offers a solid General Education curriculum, which serves as the foundation for the University’s various baccalaureate programs in three broad professional areas, including business, education and arts and sciences.

In addition, the University is thoroughly committed to meeting, to the greatest extent possible, the needs of a student population that is diverse in age, culture, ethnicity and experiential backgrounds. In short, Harris-Stowe State University is strongly committed to providing a high-quality higher-education experience that is both affordable and accessible to the diverse populations within and beyond the metropolitan St. Louis region. The University seeks to accomplish this overarching goal through an extensive academic support program, a college-preparatory academy for urban youth, assessment of student progress, as well as through many community outreach and collaborative partnerships with business, government and educational institutions.

Underlying this commitment to a high-quality education is the University’s emphasis on professional growth and personal development which are essential for entrance into a professional field.

In pursuit of its mission, Harris-Stowe State University offers a variety of programs and services that include, but are not limited to:

1.   Recruitment of a diverse population of qualified and engaged students, faculty and staff

2.   Support of student development through academic support services, extracurricular activities, student government, cultural and community involvement, professional organizations and honor societies

3.   Enhancement of the quality and effectiveness of the student’s learning environment through a variety of innovative and creative instructional techniques  and delivery systems, involving modern technology. In addition, the offering of day, evening, weekend and online courses, which accommodate the students’ varying educational and scheduling needs

4.  Provision of a broad and solid General Education curriculum that serves as the foundation for professional studies and lifelong learning while accommodating transfer students

5.  Provision of educational experiences which emphasize excellence in all areas and promote the development of effective communication skills, interpersonal growth, critical thinking, work-place readiness and an understanding and appreciation of diversity
6.  Participation in educational and collaborative partnerships and outreach programs with business, government and other educational institutions, including K-12 and higher education

7.  Provision of a diverse range of cultural and educational services to the urban community, including in-service educational opportunities for professional growth and development of teachers, educators and other professionals

8.  Conduction of on-going institutional assessment & modifying institutional operations, accordingly


Harris-Stowe State University, an HBCU, will be the standard of academic excellence among urban institutions of higher learning, offering broad and diverse educational and co-curricular experiences that prepare students to graduate and serve as leaders in the local, state, national and global community.


In pursuit of its mission, Harris-Stowe State University is dedicated to promoting student growth in five areas which are regarded as the hallmarks of student learning and development: effective communication skills, interpersonal growth, critical thinking, workplace readiness and an understanding of and appreciation for diversity.

Effective Communication Skills

By developing effective communication skills, students will be able to express and exchange ideas, concepts and perspectives using methods appropriate for the audience and situation.

Interpersonal Growth

Through continual learning, students will be able to develop and assess their value systems, make ethical decisions, build healthy professional and personal relationships and contribute to their community.

Critical Thinking

By integrating a broad educational foundation with in depth knowledge of a field of study, students will be able to manage information, analyze and solve real- world problems, construct meaningful connections, learn from their experiences and apply their knowledge to new situations.
Workplace Readiness

As a result of their educational experiences, students will enter the global work force with confidence and professionalism, demonstrate competence in their respective fields, use technology appropriately and effectively, work as productive members of a team, commit to continuous professional growth and remain competitive in the job market.

Understanding of and Appreciation for Diversity

As students are exposed to diverse ways of thinking and behaving, they will be able to recognize and value differences as well as develop and advance strategies for inclusion.


Harris-Stowe State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association, which is the major accreditation agency for this region. The College of Education programs are fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Anheuser-Busch School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The University is also a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Major affiliations of the University include membership in the Association for Continuing Higher Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, National Association  of Intercollegiate Athletics, American Association for Affirmative Action, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education and American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.


Harris-Stowe State University is located at the business, education and transportation hub of metropolitan St. Louis. The university is also near many major corporations and governmental agencies, as well as historic landmarks. Harris-Stowe is easily reached via Interstate Highways 55 and 44, U.S. Highway 40/64 and public transportation including the MetroLink rail system. Harris-Stowe is 15 minutes away from more than half of the population of metropolitan St. Louis.

The Emerson Performance Center

Harris-Stowe is dedicated to the pursuit of learning, which does not always take place in a traditional classroom. In 2004, the Emerson Performance Center (EPC) opened. Our growing athletics program found its home in and around the Emerson Performance Center with its new training facilities, basketball court and an adjacent soccer field. Visitors are encouraged to visit our athletics web-site (http://athletics.hssu.edu) to learn more about our many programs, access scores and rosters and about how to become a part of the athletic community at HSSU.

The Emerson Performance Center is also home to the University’s fine arts programs, with a portion of the building devoted to art studies and theater. The Bank of America Theatre provides a fine stage for many of the University’s plays and concerts. Superb lighting and acoustics allow developing actors and singers to experience all offerings of live productions.

Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie Residence Hall and Student Center

The Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie Residence Hall and Student Center (GRH) opened in August of 2006. The building was named for Harris-Stowe State University’s longest-serving regent, Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie. Gillespie Residence Hall houses 228 students in four-bedroom suites, equipped with a common living and dining area, kitchenette and two bathrooms. Additional amenities include a workout facility and a laundry room.

Located in the GRH Student Center is the Dean of Student Affairs, Office of Student Activities, counseling and health services, game room, computer lab, the University Bookstore and C-Store, all of which are open to resident and non-resident students of Harris-Stowe.

Gillespie is the first residence hall in the history of Harris-Stowe. The HSSU Department of Residential Life is committed to offering services that support the academic mission of the University and to provide expanding opportunities for student growth and development within a living-learning community.
The Freeman R. Bosley, Jr. Residence Hall and Dining Facility

Harris-Stowe State University’s newest residence hall opened in 2011 and includes 200 beds for freshmen students. All freshmen enjoy suite-style facilities, which include a furnished living room, kitchenette, dining area and private bathrooms. Some of the suites are single-bed suites, with a private bedroom for each student, and others are double-bed suites in which two students share a bedroom. Students need not worry about trudging through the snow or rain to enjoy a meal as the new residence hall houses a state-of-the-art campus dining facility, which includes a private meeting room. Other building amenities include a cardio fitness room, laundry facility, mailboxes, community kitchen, 24-hour vending and a public safety station, all located on the ground floor. The Dr. Henry Givens, Jr. Administration Building, which houses most classes, is only a two-minute walk from both residence halls.

The Dr. Henry Givens, Jr. Administration Building

The Dr. Henry Givens, Jr. Administration Building is the flagship of the University’s campus. This building houses most of the classrooms and support offices including the Office of Admissions (Room 009), the Office of Academic Advising (Room 008), the Office of the Registrar (Room 007) and the Office of the President (Room 108). For their convenience, students at the University have access to wireless internet connectivity, state-of-the-art computer labs for classes and study, and SmartBoard-enabled classrooms.

The AT&T Library and Technology Resource Center

Harris-Stowe State University is one of the most progressive campuses in the St. Louis area. In 1998, the University opened the AT&T Library and Technology Resource Center. The library and technology center showcase the latest technology and provide all the resources necessary for student and faculty research. It contains meeting facilities which are often used by community organizations. The Telecommunity Room comfortably seats 50 people and provides full streaming video access. The Seminar Room is perfect for teleconferencing and virtual meetings and can comfortably seat 20 individuals. The computer lab is available for teaching and training, with access to 17 computer stations, ideal for collaborative learning. The AT&T Library is an excellent place for students to relax or study and provides an open-access area that contains high-speed internet-connected client stations. Harris-Stowe belongs to the MOBIUS Library Consortium, providing access to over 29 million items available from the 76-member academic and public libraries serving users in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and Texas as well as a reciprocating borrowing agreement with the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries.

William L. Clay, Sr. Early Childhood Development/Parenting Education Center

Built in 2009, the William L. Clay, Sr. Early Childhood Development/Parenting Education Center is a $17.5 million world-class facility, which houses Harris- Stowe State University’s Early Childhood Center and the Early Childhood Education major. The Early Childhood Center can accommodate 120 children in its full-day, year-round child-care program. Children can learn about technology and develop hand -eye coordination on child-sized computers in the Learning Lab. The building surrounds a courtyard with an outdoor playground. The 50,000 square-foot building also features a library for parents, a laundry room, an art area, an indoor playroom, a therapy room, a nursing room, an observation room, a faculty/staff lounge, two conference rooms, eight classrooms and multiple offices.


Undergraduate Programs

Harris-Stowe State University offers its students a wide variety of academic opportunities, including workshops, institutes, field experiences and course work. Upon request, specifically designed institutes and workshops are made available to interested groups. Most classes, however, are part of the baccalaureate programs. The University offers 19 Bachelor of Science degree programs. Each of these degree programs consists of a lower division, which provides a general education foundation and an upper division consisting of a specific set of professional studies that gives each degree program its name. The following are brief descriptions of the University’s academic programs.

Anheuser-Busch School of Business

The Harris-Stowe State University Anheuser-Busch School of Business offers Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting; business administration, business administration with emphases in entrepreneurship; management and marketing; finance, health-care management; hospitality and tourism management; information sciences and computer technology with emphases in computer studies and management information systems, and marketing.

Each area of specialization is based on a comprehensive liberal arts foundation and a well-defined core curriculum. These programs offer students the opportunity to prepare for entry into the business world as professionals. Each area of specialization contains the following components:

  • A broad general education base of 42 credit hours of course work in written and oral communication skills, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, sciences, computing and information technologies, humanities and fine arts
  • A general business core component
  • A specialized program core component for each of the degrees offered by the School of Business
  • An internship, which is an essential part of the preparation for a business career. The internship field experience exposes the student to the actual business environment and helps to bridge the gap between the classroom and a career in the business world

Adult Pathways to Success Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Accelerated

The Adult Pathway to Success is an accelerated night/ weekend business administration degree for working adults. This degree provides an opportunity for adults with a minimum of four years of business experience to complete a Bachelor of Science in business administration while working full-time during the day. The degree can be completed in 18 months for students who have completed two years of study (60 semester hours) at an accredited college or university. These hours can be applied toward satisfying Harris-Stowe State University’s requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

The objective of the degree program is to enhance career opportunities of adults working in the St. Louis metropolitan area through a high-quality and affordable business education.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Application for admission to Harris-Stowe State University. All admission requirements to the University must be fulfilled
  • Application for admission to the accelerated option in Business Administration. (Applications are available in the Office of Academic Advising)
  • Possession of an earned Associate of Arts degree, meeting the Missouri State General Education requirements or 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university
  • Possession of a minimum of four years of business experience
  • Motivation to be successful in a rigorous degree program

Classes meet once per week for 4 ½ hours for eight weeks.

Students can choose classes that meet Friday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Classes  require an E-Learning education platform for discussions, assignments and tests.

Participation and attendance are required. Any student missing more than two weeks will receive an “F” for the course.

College of Education

Harris-Stowe State University’s College of Education offers five bachelor of science degree programs. The curriculum of each certification program includes: general education courses, pre-student teaching clinical experiences, professional courses, supervised student teaching and the State of Missouri exit assessment for teacher education.

Early Childhood Education (Birth-Third Grade)

This program is for students who plan to teach at the early childhood level, including a general education curriculum, foundations for teaching courses, methods courses and clinical experiences.

Elementary Education (Grades 1-6)

This is a foundation program for students who plan to teach at the elementary school level, including a general education curriculum, foundations for teaching courses, methods courses and clinical experiences.

Middle School Education (Grades 5-9)

This program includes foundations for teaching courses, methods courses and clinical experiences. The middle-school major includes three areas of study: social studies, mathematics and natural science.
Secondary Education (Grades 9-12)

This program is for those who plan to teach at the high-school level. Students choose an option area from unified science, including: biology, English, mathematics, or social studies. The foundation for secondary education includes a general education curriculum, foundations for teaching courses, methods courses and clinical experiences.

Educational Studies

This program is designed for individuals interested in careers in the field of education, including civic, non-profit, political, and graduate studies, but who are not necessarily intent on pursuing a classroom teaching career. This program is designed to address the needs of several populations to include individuals who:

  • Are interested in serving in educationally related career fields and graduate study
  • Have begun an education certification program and have decided not to enter a classroom teaching position
  • Have completed the necessary requirements of an education programs but do not wish to pursue certification
  • Are career changers

Teacher Certification

Harris-Stowe State University offers course work necessary to meet state of Missouri teacher certification requirements in the following areas:

  • Cross-Categorical Disabilities
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary School Education
  • Middle School Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Reading Specialist

College of Arts and Sciences

The  College of Arts  and Sciences offers bachelor of science degree programs in  biology,  biology  with minors in pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, urban ecology; criminal justice, mathematics with an emphasis in statistics, applied mathematics and pure mathematics; political science with options in urban politics, public policy, pre-law or international relations; professional interdisciplinary studies; sociology with options in law, justice, and society, social justice and urban sociology; sustainability  and urban ecology with concentrations in science; computation and physical science and urban agriculture and urban affairs with options in public administration, public policy, social sciences, urban education and leadership. Students may also pursue a certificate in urban agriculture.

The curriculum for each degree program includes general education courses, professional courses and internship (where applicable) in a student’s area of interest.

The College of Arts and Sciences also provides course offerings in general education. In this regard, the college is the gateway to all degree programs at the University. In addition, the College, in collaboration with the College of Education, provides course offerings in many areas of content knowledge concentrations, including fine arts, computer education/technology, English, mathematics, music and natural sciences, leading to bachelor’s degrees in early childhood, elementary school, middle school and secondary education.

Graduate Programs

Graduate opportunities are presently offered at Harris-Stowe State University through Maryville University, University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and Webster University. HSSU’s collaborative with Maryville offers a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration with an emphasis in Urban Leadership. Students may work toward a master’s degree in elementary, middle or secondary education at UMSL. Students can work toward a Master’s in Business Administration at Webster. Some of the courses for the three collaborative programs will be housed at Harris-Stowe State University. For more information about the collaborative master’s degree programs in elementary, middle, secondary education and educational leadership, please contact the dean of the College of Education. For more information regarding the Master’s in Business Administration, please contact the dean of the School of Business.


The General Education curriculum at Harris-Stowe State University is designed to assist students in developing the competencies in foundational knowledge and skill.

In addition, the student’s academic performance within this General Education course of study is designed to assist with the student’s acquisition of the knowledge and skills outlined in the Show-Me-Standards.
Students will be able to:

  • Gather, analyze and apply information and ideas applicable to the course of study
  • Communicate effectively within and beyond the immediate course of study
  • Recognize and solve problems
  • Derive conclusions, make decisions and act as responsible educated individuals


Skills Areas

Communicating – To develop students’ effective use of the English language, as well as other symbolic systems essential to their success in school and in the world.  Students must be able to read and listen critically and to write and speak with thoughtfulness, clarity, coherence and persuasiveness.

High-Order Thinking – To develop students’ ability to distinguish among opinions, facts and inferences; to identify underlying   or implicit   assumptions; to make an informed judgment and to solve problems by applying evaluative standards.

Managing Information – To develop students’ abilities to locate, organize, store, retrieve, evaluate, synthesize and annotate information from print, electronic and other sources in preparation for solving problems and making informed decisions.

Valuing – To develop students’ ability to understand the moral and ethical values of a diverse society and to understand that many courses of action are guided by value judgments about the way things ought to be. Students should be able to make informed decisions by identifying personal values and the values of others and by understanding how such values develop. Students should be able to analyze the ethical implications of choices made based on these values.

Knowledge Areas

Social and Behavioral Sciences – To develop students’ understanding of themselves and the world around them through the study of content and the process used by historians and social behavioral scientists to discover, describe, explain and predict human behavior and social systems. Students must understand the diversities and complexities of the cultural and social world, past and present, and come to an informed sense and appreciation of self and others. (Students must fulfill the state statute requirements for the United States and Missouri Constitutions).

Humanities and Fine Arts – To develop students’ understanding of the ways in which human beings have addressed their condition through imaginative work in the humanities and fine arts; to deepen their understanding of how that imaginative process is informed and limited by social, cultural, linguistic and historical circumstances and to appreciate the world of the creative imagination as a form of knowledge.

Mathematics – To develop students’ understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and their applications. Students must develop a level of quantitative literacy that will enable them to make decisions and solve problems which could serve as a basis for continued learning. The mathematics requirement for general education is College Algebra or a course for which College Algebra is a prerequisite.

Life and Physical Sciences – To develop students’ understanding of the principles and laboratory procedures of life and physical sciences and to cultivate their abilities to apply the empirical methods of scientific inquiry. Students must understand how scientific discovery changes theoretical views of the world, informs our imaginations and shapes human history. Students must also understand that science is influenced by historical and social contexts.

While not all courses will develop all needed competencies, all competencies will be met at the completion of the General Education requirements.


Lower-Division Courses

The primary function of lower-division courses is to develop students into independent thinkers. Lower-division courses deepen what students may already know about some subjects, introduces them to new academic fields and establishes a foundation for in-depth study in a major subject.

Lower-division courses usually are tightly structured, with the expectation that students are to receive considerable instructional guidance in the learning process. As with all courses, the structure of lower-division courses is reflected in the course syllabus. Instruction at the lower-division level is informational and emphasizes learning skills and usually entails the use of text materials or resources provided by the instructor. The intellectual skills emphasized in lower-division courses include comprehension, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application of knowledge, but these competencies are not stressed to the same degree that they are in upper-division courses. Evaluation of student performance at this level tests information, concepts and skills.

Lower-division courses are numbered 0100 and 0200. Typically, they require no prerequisite or limited background in the discipline and often, are introductory courses or part of a series of basic courses in a discipline. In some professional fields, these courses may build on the foundations of prerequisite collegiate courses.

Upper-Division Courses

The primary function of upper-division courses is to refine students’ abilities as independent learners. Upper-division courses enable students’ in-depth study of a major field by building upon and integrating the knowledge they have gained in the lower-division. Upper-division courses help students to integrate the knowledge they have acquired in the core curriculum. These courses are characterized by a flexible structure, which allows for a variety of approaches to the subject matter, a wide range of course material and an emphasis on independent study and/or research in the laboratory, library, studio or community.

Students are expected to accept increasing responsibility for their own learning, both in and outside the classroom. Upper-division courses strongly emphasize comprehension, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application of knowledge. Evaluation of student performance at this level stresses such outcomes as comprehension and understanding of concepts, the ability to solve problems and to integrate knowledge.

Upper-division courses are numbered 0300 and 0400. Typically, they build on the prerequisite background of lower-division courses. They are often courses designed to integrate knowledge and skills from different areas of a discipline or from a degree-program’s categories or perspectives.


Newly admitted freshmen, as well as transfer students, must complete the graduation requirements in effect for their first enrollment term at HSSU or, with the approval of their academic unit, those in effect for the term the degree is awarded.

Students must meet the specified divisional, departmental and major requirements for the degrees that were in effect when they were admitted as degree- seeking students in their respective degree programs. Students who have a lapse in their enrollment must meet the standards of the degree requirements in effect when they return to HSSU.

On the following page are the five areas of study comprising a student’s General Education foundation at Harris-Stowe State University.  In each of these areas, the minimum number of required credit hours is given.

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