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College of Arts & Sciences

Topical Studies

120

Semester Hours

42

Major Credit Hours

20

Topical Major Options

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A Topical Studies major offers academic flexibility and allows students to approach a topic from multiple departmental perspectives, constructing a meaningful and imaginative program. Each topical major is designed and directed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor in the general area of study, and in consultation with the professional Topical Studies advisor.  

Careers

Grow Your Future

A degree in Topical Studies provides its recipients with a mulititude of skills that can be adapted to a variety of careers. Since every Topical Studies degree is different, gradutes will pursue career options that most accurately fit the knowledge and skills that they attain while at the University of Kentucky.

Photo of Graduate
"The Topical Studies program granted a unique enrichment to my undergraduate years. The ability to integrate disciplines from computer science and psychology to linguistics and biology into one cohesive curriculum afforded me with an experience that I could not have attained from traditional degree routes." -Umang K. Umang is a graduate from the Topical Studies program and is currently a medical student with plans to enter a surgical field.

Current Curriculum Information

Access Major Template

source: myUK: GPS

  • Topical Studies (BA) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • Composition and Communication I3
  • Foreign Language 1014
  • Intellectual Inquiry in the Social Sciences3
  • Intellectual Inquiry in Arts and Creativity3
  • Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities3
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3

    Composition and Communication II

  • Foreign Language 1024
  • Intellectual Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences3
  • Global Dynamics3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Freshman Hours32

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • Foreign Language 2013
  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
  • A&S Lab or Field Work1
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Quantitative Foundations3
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • Foreign Language 2023
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Sophomore Hours31

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • Statistical Inferential Reasoning3
    • Total15
    • Total Junior Hours30

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu GCCR Course3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Senior Hours30
  • Topical Studies (BS) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • Composition and Communication I3
  • Foreign Language 1014
  • Intellectual Inquiry in Arts and Creativity3
  • Quantitative Foundations3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total
Spring Semester
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3

    Composition and Communication II

  • Foreign Language 1024
  • Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities3
  • Statistical Inferential Reasoning3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total
    • Total Freshman Hours0

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Foreign Language 2013
  • Intellectual Inquiry in the Social Sciences3
  • Intellectual Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences3
    • Total
Spring Semester
  • Foreign Language 2023
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Global Dynamics3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total
    • Total Sophomore Hours0

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (200+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • A&S Lab or Field Work1
    • Total
Spring Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA3
    • Total
    • Total Junior Hours0

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu GCCR Course3
    • Total
Spring Semester
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Approved Topical Stu Course (300+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total
    • Total Senior Hours0

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

Students, in consultation with their faculty advisor, design a major using multiple academic disciplines that enables them to study a topic from different perspectives. 

Available Topics:

  • African-American Studies
  • American Culture Studies
  • Appalachian Studies
  • Bio-Physics Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Community Development
  • Comparative Literatures & Cultures
  • Criminology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Film Studies
  • Film, Television & Digital Media
  • Folklore & Mythology
  • International Law
  • Jewish Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Rural Health Studies
  • Social & Behavioral Science
  • Statistical Analysis & Interpretation
  • Urban & Regional Planning

 

For more information visit:

Graduation Requirements

Topical Studies is the only selective admission program in the College of Arts and Sciences. The student must have a cumulative UK grade-point standing of at least 2.5 to be accepted to Topical Studies. The specific requirements of the topical studies major are that the student must meet University and College requirements, must enroll in and complete at least 30 credit hours after formal admission, and complete the 42-hour major requirements (see preceding section entitled “Major Requirements”). Except for electives, all of the student’s work must be related to the topic. Additionally, in the senior year, the student must complete a comprehensive paper or project that serves to integrate his or her topical studies field. Frequently, it is advantageous to begin writing this paper or project in the context of an independent work course or a seminar, with the instructor’s approval. The paper or project proposal must be approved by a faculty advisor, an Arts and Sciences Associate Dean, and the Topical Studies advisor before significant work has begun on the project. Students must submit the final paper or project for review and approval no later than eight weeks before finals during the semester the student intends to graduate. The paper should be submitted to the Associate Dean no later than six weeks before the final exam week during the semester the student intends to graduate. Departmental honors for topical studies majors are determined by the Associate Dean and the Topical Studies advisor. To be eligible for departmental honors, a student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 and a final paper or project that has been judged to be outstanding.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30


Major Requirements 

Students pursuing a Topical Studies degree must complete 42 hours of courses at the 200+ level. At least 24 of these hours must be at or above the 300+ level. Students should work with their advisors to develop a course plan. For more information on the Topical Studies major please refer to the University of Kentucky Bulletin [42 hours.]

Total Hours - 42


A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at asrecruting@uky.edu. 


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