University College

Mary Ellen Cavitt, Ph.D.
Telephone: 512-245-3579  Fax: 512-245-8765
Undergraduate Academic Center Room 149

Associate Dean
Kambra K. Bolch, J.D.
Assistant Dean
Lauren M. Hindson

Program Directors
Athletic Academic Center–Lauren M. Hindson
Common Experience–Twister Marquiss, M.F.A.
General Studies–Jeremy S. Roethler, Ph.D.
National Student Exchange–Lisa Chrans, M.A.
PACE Academic Advising
– Jaimie R. Haider, M.A.
PACE Academic Coaching–Catarina Dominguez, M.A.
PACE Center–Mary Ellen Cavitt, Ph.D.
PACE Peer Mentoring–Victoria Black, M.Ed.
Strategic Initiatives–Nicholas "Nick" E. Weimer, M.B.A., M.P.A.

Student Success Initiatives–April S. Barnes, M.Ed.
University College Advising Center–Amelia I. Beck, M.A.
University Seminar–Kambra K. Bolch, J.D.

Academic Advising Centers

University College houses two academic advising centers, PACE Academic Advising and University College Advising Center (UCAC). PACE Academic Advising serves first-time-in-college students with any major as they navigate first-year course selections, engage in major exploration, and transition to the university. UCAC provides academic advising for students who are undecided about a major (Exploratory (EXP) majors) and those who want to explore major options), those who are working toward admission into a particular program (including Exploratory Professional (EXPP) majors and others), and those majoring in General Studies. Advisors will assist students in researching options, evaluating alternatives, and making decisions so that they may make realistic and satisfying choices of majors. They will also provide guidance in completing general education requirements.

PACE Academic Advising
Undergraduate Academic Center Room 120
Telephone: 512-245-7223 Fax: 512-245-8765

University College Advising Center
Undergraduate Academic Center Room 120
Telephone: 512-245-2218 Fax: 512-245-8765

University College Advising Center and PACE Academic Advising are located on the first floor of the Undergraduate Academic Center and are open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

PACE Center

First-time-in-college students begin their educational journey at the PACE Center—the University’s commitment to Personalized Academic and Career Exploration. It reflects a philosophy of enhancing student achievement within and outside the classroom through five student-centered programs:

  1. Academic Advising - helps students select the right classes, build a class schedule customized to meet their personal and academic needs, and develop a plan for educational success focused on graduation.
  2. Academic Coaching - helps students to take an active approach to learning and self-advocacy by utilizing intentional methods and developing essential critical and academic skills to improve overall success.
  3. Career Counseling - helps students clarify career interests and develop the resume needed to successfully transition to the professional world.
  4. Mentoring - helps students transition to university life, become part of the campus community, and connect with resources and services that support academic success.
  5. University Seminar (US 1100) - this required course helps students transition to academic life at Texas State by identifying and developing practical learning skills and concepts, exploring and reflecting on academic and career opportunities, and connecting to university opportunities and resources.

Bachelor of General Studies

The Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) provides an individualized, interdisciplinary degree that allows students with a broad range of academic interests to achieve personal educational goals. The program helps each student who enters develop a unique career or academic goal that is matched by three Texas State minors. Those best suited for the B.G.S. (1) have a clear interest that overlaps the boundaries or blends the disciplinary areas of other academic majors available at Texas State; (2) have invested in a traditional degree program but wish to redirect their career or academic goals while building on some of the courses already completed; or (3) have difficulty choosing an existing major and are willing to assemble three minors based on organized career research and preparation.

The B.G.S. includes GNST 4300 – Interdisciplinary Preparation, a course that helps students learn how to assess their talents, match them with potential careers, and maximize or choose three Texas State minors to best prepare them for the requirements of the career. Then they practice interviewing and preparing resumes, cover letters, etc., and discover how to market themselves. Following completion of most of the courses in the three B.G.S. minors, the capstone B.G.S. course (GNST 4350 – Interdisciplinary Project) challenges students to make use of their education in tailoring a research-based project that innovatively contributes to the career or academic goal, incorporates all three minors, and gives them good supporting material to use in job interviews and graduate and professional school applications.

Information about admission into the B.G.S. is available at

As with any major, it is important to check with a University College advisor on a regular basis to ensure that progress is being made in meeting B.G.S. program requirements.

The following B.G.S. policies are particularly important to note:

  • Only B.G.S. majors may register for GNST 4300 and GNST 4350 and both courses must be successfully completed at Texas State in order to be applied to the B.G.S. degree. (Under some circumstances, students with Honors minors may be allowed to substitute HON 4390B-Honors Thesis if the topic meets the requirements of GNST 4350.)
  • In order to register for GNST 4300 or GNST 4350, students must be in good academic standing at Texas State University.
  • Both courses are offered each semester, including summer.
  • Each B.G.S. minor requires at least 12 advanced hours, so B.G.S. minors may differ from the minors offered by the departments in that regard.
  • Certain minor combinations may not be allowed if the coursework or content is duplicative. A course may be counted toward more than one minor only if it is specifically required by those minors.
  • Both GNST 4300 and GNST 4350 as well as all courses that are part of the three B.G.S. minors must be completed with a grade of C or higher. In addition to a minimum Texas State GPA of 2.0, graduation with a B.G.S. degree requires a GPA of 2.25 in each B.G.S. minor.

Common Experience

Texas State University presents an academic theme each year with related events for everyone. This is the Common Experience.

The Common Experience offers students opportunities to interact with some of the world's leading voices. During the fall and spring semesters, there are often more than 200 total events. Among these is the LBJ Distinguished Lecture Series, named for Texas State’s most famous alumnus, President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The series fulfills his 1973 promise to bring important leaders to the university to share their philosophies, perspectives and experiences. Other Common Experience events include film screenings, philosophy dialogues, panel discussions, exhibitions, conferences, and performances in music, theater and dance.

As part of the Common Experience, Texas State provides all incoming first-year students with a powerful Common Reading book related to the year's theme. Students discuss the book and explore the theme in University Seminar classes and other courses — encouraging multiple, sustained conversations in a sea of ideas.

While approaches may be tailored specifically for first-year students, most events are intended for all students — undergraduates and graduates — as well as faculty, staff, and community members. The Common Experience is truly for everyone. It continues to evolve and embrace new challenges and directions each year, showing students new ways to approach issues they may have thought were beyond themselves, as well as the power of people working together.

Texas State's thematic approach and remarkable collaborations enable the Common Experience to offer more academic event opportunities than similar initiatives at any other university in the nation. Furthermore, first-year students' participation rates for multiple events are highest in the nation, as are the engagement rates on the Common Experience's social media accounts.

National Student Exchange

The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a study away program administered by University College that offers Texas State students a unique opportunity to expand their educational horizons by enrolling at a participating university for one or two semesters while paying in-state resident tuition. Students can benefit from the NSE program by accessing courses, internships, field experiences, and exploring graduate schools at nearly 185 colleges and universities in the United States, U.S. territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and Canada. All 50 states are represented and include Hispanic-serving institutions, Historically Black universities, public and private colleges, and French and Spanish immersion opportunities.

Credits earned at these host institutions can be transferred back to Texas State, allowing students to maintain progress toward their academic objectives. For the privilege of NSE participation, Texas State students can pay in-state (resident) tuition and fees directly to their host institution or pay Texas State for 15 credit hours of coursework.

Applications for the first round of NSE placements are due in February for fall and spring exchanges, though placements can be made throughout the year. Requirements of the program include a minimum 2.5 Texas State GPA, plus a completed online application with a $200 application fee. For more information about the National Student Exchange, contact University College or visit

Transfer Course Evaluation

Students transferring from other institutions of higher education will have their transcripts initially evaluated by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. In accordance with the Texas Education Code: “If a student successfully completes the 42 semester credit hour core curriculum at a Texas public institution of higher education, that block of courses must be substituted in transfer to any other Texas public institution of higher education for the receiving institution's core curriculum. A student shall receive academic credit for each of the courses transferred and may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses at the receiving institution. A student who transfers from one institution of higher education to another without completing the core curriculum of the sending institution shall receive academic credit from the receiving institution for each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the core curriculum of the sending institution.  Following receipt of credit for these courses, the student may be required to satisfy further course requirements in the core curriculum of the receiving institution.” (Title 3, Subtitle B, Chapter 61.822(c-d)) Students seeking evaluation of courses from out-of-state or private institutions for fulfillment of general education core curriculum components may contact University College to initiate the process. Students should be prepared to provide documentation such as catalog descriptions, course syllabi and textbook information to facilitate verification of course content. Students seeking evaluation of coursework for application to a major or minor requirement should contact their college advising center for information about the process for evaluation by department faculty.

Writing Intensive

Certain Texas State courses are designated as “writing intensive” and are labeled as (WI) in this catalog and the schedule of classes. In order to achieve this status, at least 65% of the course grade must be based on written assignments and a minimum of one extended piece of writing must be required. Academic colleges require a minimum of 9 credit hours of these courses for graduation. In addition to certain major and elective courses, the two history and two philosophy courses included in the general education core curriculum are writing intensive. These courses as well as other courses appropriate for writing intensive credit must be taken at Texas State. The University College Associate Dean manages Writing Intensive Courses.

Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.)

Courses in General Studies (GNST)

GNST 4300. Interdisciplinary Preparation.

This course includes a variety of activities and written assignments designed to encourage self-analysis of intellectual/career interests and career planning. Students will develop an interdisciplinary career plan incorporating three formal minors that lead to a Bachelor of General Studies degree. Prerequisite: A minimum 2.0 Texas State GPA and instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

GNST 4350. Interdisciplinary Project.

Students will design and complete an interdisciplinary capstone project incorporating their three selected BGS minors. The project components will include a project proposal, substantial research, and a final applied project directed toward a specific audience. Presentations of some or all of the components of the completed project are required. Prerequisite: A minimum 2.0 Texas State GPA and instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Writing Intensive
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Chrans, Lisa J, Senior Lecturer, University College, M.A., Texas State University

Guel, Autumn Brendall, Senior Lecturer, University College, M.S.I.S., Texas State University

Marquiss, Christopher Scott, Senior Lecturer, University College, M.F.A., Texas State University

Nielson Vargas, Erika Koren, Senior Lecturer, University College, Ph.D., Texas State University

Roethler, Jeremy Stephen, Senior Lecturer, University College, Ph.D., University of Washington