2.7.1. Degree Programs
The University of Memphis offers 58 undergraduate programs (majors), 48 programs at the Master’s level, and 21 at the doctoral level; the Juris Doctor (J.D.); an Education Specialist (Ed.S.); and four graduate certificates.  The Tennessee Board of Regents policy on undergraduate degree requirements  states “all baccalaureate degrees offered by institutions in the State University and Community College System of Tennessee shall require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours.” Degree requirements for each undergraduate program, none less than 120 hours, are presented in the undergraduate bulletin along with a typical four-year sequence of study. Graduation analysts in each college certify that degree requirements are met at the time of a student’s graduation. 
At the graduate level, the UofM requires a minimum of 30 hours for each master’s degree, although some programs require more. [4, 5] Minimum degree requirements for each program are presented in the graduate bulletin.  Prior to graduation, each student must submit a Master’s Degree Candidacy Form, signed by the major advisor, graduate coordinator, department chair, and the college director of graduate studies, to certify that all degree requirements have been met. 
For the doctoral degree, the UofM requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, although some programs require more. Minimum degree requirements for each program are presented in the graduate bulletin.  Doctoral students must submit an approved Doctoral Degree Candidacy Form before enrolling in dissertation hours. To be certified for graduation, each student’s entire program, including the dissertation, must be approved by the dissertation committee, unit head and/or director of graduate studies in the student’s college, and the assistant vice provost for graduate studies. 
Graduate and undergraduate bulletins are available on-line and are updated once each year.
2.7.2. Coherent Course of Study
Requirements for undergraduate and graduate programs at the UofM, including composition and sequence of courses, conform to commonly accepted standards and practices of higher education institutions. Programs are first developed by faculty at the department or unit level in response to a stated need.  Prior to approval, they are evaluated by college committees, a university committee,  the governing board (TBR),  and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)  according to “the role and scope as set forth in the approved mission of the institution (THEC, A1.1, 1.1.20A,  and UofM Curriculum policy ). For program approval, THEC policy requires that “the curriculum…be adequately structured to meet the stated objectives of the program, and reflect breadth, depth, theory, and practice appropriate to the discipline and the level of the degree.” Evaluations by outside consultants are often required by the governing board (TBR) and the higher education commission (THEC) prior to the approval of any new program at the UofM. 
Once implemented, all university degree programs are periodically evaluated either by peer review or by an accreditation process. [17, 18] Peer reviews are completed in accordance with procedures that meet the standards of the THEC assessment program entitled THEC Performance Funding. 
Responsibility for maintaining program currency rests with the department or unit offering the program and any changes to existing programs, such as graduation requirements or new courses, must be approved through the university’s curriculum approval process.  Substantive changes involving 18 hours or more must be approved by the governing board in addition to the university’s curriculum approval. Only approved changes are included in the university bulletins and website, academic inventory, academic records, diplomas, and other means of communications and documentation.
Coherence with customary elements of baccalaureate and graduate degrees is shown in each program description contained in the university bulletins. At the undergraduate level, each program of study is defined for the following areas: University General Education Requirements, College and Degree Requirements, Major and Concentration Requirements, and Electives and Other Requirements.  Additionally, a suggested typical sequence of courses is offered to guide students semester by semester through a four-year program of studies. At the graduate level, bulletin information for each program describes complete degree requirements (major core, concentrations, and electives), research requirements, extra-disciplinary experiences, culminating experiences, examinations, thesis and non-thesis options, and residency requirements. 
2.7.3. General Education
The General Education Program promotes a shared core learning experience for all undergraduate students at the University of Memphis and provides a framework upon which the college major can be built. The major purpose of the program is to provide students the opportunity to acquire tools, develop skills and awareness necessary for completing a college career and assuming the roles of a lifelong learner and an active, informed participant in contemporary society.
The present UofM General Education Program is the product of an extensive process of study, discussion, and curricular development influenced to a great extent by national reports on the state of higher education.
At the foundation level, any UofM course for which all students receive degree credit presumes and does not replicate the Basic Academic Competencies defined by the Education Equality Project of the College Board (the Green Book) as what a student needs to know and be able to do upon college entry. [23, 24]
The official philosophy of the General Education Program was adopted by the Faculty Senate (then called Academic Senate) in 1986.  The program was founded on the conviction that all UofM undergraduates should receive a broad general education as well as a specialized education. This was best achieved not by long lists of courses (or a “smorgasbord” approach), but with a curriculum carefully selected to ensure that the Faculty Senate’s goals were achieved. For this reason, all courses in the curriculum had to be approved by a broadly representative general education committee consisting of faculty from each of the undergraduate colleges and schools. The committee believed that general education courses should be rigorous and well-taught. Thus, the program stipulated pedagogical criteria for general education courses that incorporate writing and computation, active learning, experiencing cultural and enriching campus activities, and building upon rather than repeating what was learned in high school.
The UofM General Education Program consists of 48-51 hours of coursework in the following categories.
- English Composition (6 hours)
- Oral Communication (3 hours)
- Mathematics (3-6 hours)
- Literary Heritage (3 hours)
- Fine Art Heritage (3 hours)
- Historical/Philosophical Heritage (6 hours)
- American Heritage (6 hours)
- Social Science (6 hours)
- Natural Science (8 hours sequence courses)
- Fitness and Wellness (4 hours)
The approved courses for each area are listed here  and the rationale behind each area is described in the General Education Manual. 
In 2002, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) formed an ad hoc committee to establish a common lower division (freshman and sophomore level) general education core to be fully transferable among institutions within the TBR system.  This program, which replaces the existing general education program at the UofM, will become effective for freshmen entering the university beginning fall 2004. The new TBR general education core consists of 41 hours, 7-10 hours less than the current program, but has essentially the same requirements except for the fitness and wellness component and one less humanities course. The new program is described in the Proposal for the Establishment of Lower Division General Education Core.  The courses comprising the new general education curriculum are contained within the following subject categories:
- Communication (9 hours)
- Humanities (9 hours) (At least one course must be in literature.)
- Social/Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)
- History (6 hours)
- Natural Sciences (8 hours)
- Mathematics (3 hours)
UofM courses fulfilling these areas are listed here. 
2.7.4 Instructional Arrangements
The University of Memphis provides students with additional learning opportunities through contractual studies and agreements, such as the joint graduate program in Biomedical Engineering offered by the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences, [31, 32] and the Regents Online Degree Program. However, students participating in these programs must meet all requirements of the University of Memphis.
The University of Memphis has an agreement with Southwest Tennessee Community College (STCC), a sister institution within the Tennessee Board of Regents system, to teach all of the courses in remedial and developmental math and writing on the UofM campus to UofM students. However, these are not degree courses and no college-level credit is awarded for those courses.