LIS degree requirements and your audit report

Your audit report is a valuable resource.  It includes transfer courses, the courses you’ve completed at UIS, and the UIS courses that you are currently enrolled in. Your audit report is not intended to take the place of academic advising, but it is a tool that all students should use to monitor their progress toward completing degree requirements.

The audit report is unofficial and it is tied to the requirements listed in the catalog of the year you entered UIS. Generally speaking, it will accurately reflect the degree requirements listed in the catalog, but it may not correct present your unique information.  For example it is possible that your transfer courses, which are not part of the UIS catalog, will not be correctly listed on your audit report.  Or, your program may allow you to use a UIS course in a way that is not described in the UIS catalog. Your audit report cannot automatically present exceptions to the catalog requirements, so it may have errors.  You’ll need to resolve errors on your audit report before you graduate by using the Student Petition form.  This will be covered in another part of the program orientation.

Students should review their audit report each semester, and maybe even keep a printed copy, to make sure that their classes are being applied to their requirements as they should be.  If you find a problem with your audit, contact your academic advisor.

The audit report used in this presentation is based upon the actual data from a number of LIS majors.  To protect their privacy, we have removed their names and UINs.  In addition, we have changed all of the students’ grades to A so that their identity would be even less obvious to those who might know them.

How to access your audit report

Go the the Records and Registration webpage.  Scroll to the bottom and click on “Enter Degree Audit System”  It may be a good idea to open your audit report now so that you can refer to it as you review this guide.

Webpage image with audit report link

HTML vs PDF audit report

You can view your audit report as either a webpage (html) or a PDF.  The audit report is most readable as a webpage so running the report in HTML format is the default. To run your audit report as a PDF, look for the “Click to view available options” link next to “Advanced Settings”   If you click that link, you will see the expanded options shown below.  Select “PDF” from the format menu. The PDF format is the best option for saving or printing your audit report.Webpage image showing how to request audit

The PDF version of your audit report will appear in a window.  Look in the header of this window for two options.  #1 will download a copy you can save to your hard-drive.  #2 will print your audit report.


Audit report in PDF form

Your audit report reflects data from our records systembut our record system is run by humans and, no matter how careful and well-meaning they are, they are humans and can make an error when they input data.  When they discover an error, they correct it, which means your audit report can change unexpectedly.  For this reason, it may be in your best interest to save copies of your audit report.

I would recommend saving a copy a) the first week of every semester, and b) whenever you use the audit system to make a decision (this way, you have a record of the information you used to make thatdecision.)   These copies may be helpful with a student petition.

Audit report in PDF form

The PDF version of your audit report will appear in a window.  Look in the head of this window for two options.  #1 will download a copy you can save to your hard-drive.  #2 will print your audit report.  You could print the html version of your audit report but the PDFversion is better formatted for printing.


I don’t want you to be worried about your audit report, but I do want you to encourage you to keep good records.  Think of this like saving a receipt – you probably don’t need it, but it’s good to have it, just in case.

Understanding your Audit Report

The audit report header

  1. Catalog year, typically, reflects a student’s first semester at UIS.  You must follow the policies and complete the requirements described in this catalog, although you do have the right to change your catalog year.  If you change your catalog year, you must abide by all of the policies and requirements in the new catalog, not just the ones you like.
  2. In my experience, the charts can be confusing.  I’d rather students look at the actual data rather than the summary information.
  3. Remember this space. When it is time to graduate, you will need to complete an online graduation application before a posted deadline.  When you do this, your audit report will note “A graduation application has been submitted” in this space.  This is how you can confirm that your graduation application is in place.

  4. The legend describes the codes you may see on your audit report.

audit report header

General Education Requirement Set

  1. A red X means that a requirement set is not complete.  In this case, the student has not finished General Education.
  2. Requirement sets are typically divided into their components so that you can determine which part of the requirement you have completed and which part you have not.  A green check mark means that a component is complete.  In this case, the student has completed the English component.
  3. A blue ellipsis (…) means that a course is in-progress (you enrolled but have not received a final grade.)  The grade for in-progress courses is always noted as IP.  If you look at the other grades in this section, you’ll see some that start with a T.  T means that this is a transfer course: T for transfer followed by the grade.
  4. A red X means that you have not yet completed this requirement.
audit report general education

Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Requirement Set

All UIS students must complete at least 10 hours of ECCE credit to earn a degree.  These courses provide a distinctive element to the baccalaureate education at UIS, and encourage a commitment to making a difference in the world. Most of the coursework in this category is interdisciplinary and is designed to help students recognize the value of multiple perspectives. ECCE categories help students meet a number of learning outcomes.

Upon completion of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience at UIS, students should be able to:

  1. Recognize the social responsibility of the individual within a larger community.
  2. Practice awareness of and respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples in this country and in the world.
  3. Reflect on the ways involvement, leadership, and respect for community occur at the local, regional, national, or international levels.
  4. Identify how economic, political, and social systems operate now and have operated in the past.
  5. Engage in open-minded and ethical decision-making and action.
  6. Distinguish the possibilities and limitations of social change.

In Section I, you see the three ECCE categories: U.S. Communities, Global Awareness, and Engagement Experience.  You must complete at least nine hours of these courses and you must have at least three hours in at least two of the three categories.  Said another way, plan to take at least three ECCE courses and don’t take all three of them in a single ECCE category

In Section II, you see the Speaker Series requirement.  This is the only upper-division class that all UIS graduates must complete.  You can learn more about Speaker Series on their website.   You may take Speaker Series a second time but you may not apply the credit to the requirements of ECCE Section I.

audit report ECCE

Liberal Studies Requirement Set

All Liberal Studies students must complete LIS 301 Self-directed Learning in their first semester.  In this course, you will look forward and anticipate what you will learn in your degree.  We anticipate (and actually hope) that you may not perfectly anticipate what you will learn.  We hope that you will discover new ideas and interests and follow those ideas and interests, even if that means veering away from your LIS 301 plan.  For this reason, Liberal Studies students take LIS 451 Senior Seminar in their final semester.  In this course, you will review what you actually learned.

In addition to the two core courses, you must take at least 12 hours of interdisciplinary electives: courses with the LIS-prefix, African American Studies (AAS) or Women and Gender Studies (WGS) courses, and any UIS course that specifically notes an interdisciplinary approach in the course description.

LIS, WGS, and AAS courses will automatically be added to the requirement on your audit report.  Other options must be added to your audit report using the student petition process.  Contact your program advisor for help with this.

audit report LIS core

Boyer Category Courses Requirement Set

As you consider course options, you do not need to limit yourself to courses offered by the Liberal Studies program (courses with the LIS prefix.)  Any course can potentially be part of the LIS degree.

You must complete at least 3 upper-division credit hours in each of seven Boyer Categories.  To make organizing your degree a little easier, we have created formal lists of course options for each of the seven Boyer categories.  You will see these lists on your audit report or you can find the lists on the Liberal Studies webpage.

As you can see on the audit report, the system recognizes all of the Boyer category courses listed on this webpage and automatically lists the courses you complete.   If you wish to use a course that has not already been approved by the Liberal Studies program, you must submit a formal petition to request an Exception to Program Requirements.  (You will learn more about petitions later in this orientation.)

audit report Boyer categories

“120 semester hours are required to earn a bachelor’s degree . . .” Requirement Set

This section tracks your total number of hours.  You must earn 120 hours to graduate.  Your audit report tracks the 120 hours in three parts.

Section 1:   You must complete at least 30 upper-division hours at UIS to earn a degree.  The first section counts these 30 hours.

Section 2:   You must complete at least 48 total upper-division hours to earn a degree.  The section includes upper-division transfer courses and continues counting your upper-division UIS hours.  Section 1 and section 2 must equal at least 48 hours.

Section 3:   You may include as many as 72 hours of lower-division credit in your 120-hour degree.  The third section counts your lower-division hours.  Unlike, the first two sections, you are not required to complete 72 hours of lower-division hours.  On this audit report example, the third section says that the student needs eight hours but it would be more accurate to say that the student has the opportunity to take 8  more hours of lower-division.  Since sections 1 and 2 will only hold 48 hours of upper-division hours, additional upper-division hours will also appear in section 3.

If you ever want to understand how close you are to finishing your degree, look at the Earned and Needs data.  In this case, the student has earned 105 hours and need 15 more to finish.

audit report 120 hour section

A final review of the LIS program requirements plus some hints.

Liberal Studies graduates must earn a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit.  These hours must include at least 48 hours of upper-division (300- and 400-level) credit, with at least 30 of these hours earned with UIS, and must complete all General Education requirements.

Students typically enroll in LIS 301 Self-directed Learning once they have earned 45-60 credit hours or during their first semester in the program if they have already earned more than 60 hours. It is in this first course that they develop a plan for their major. LIS Degree Plans must include:

  • 7 hours Liberal Studies core courses:  LIS 301 Self-directed Learning and LIS 451 Senior Seminar, which must be taking in the final semester of your degree.
  • 10 hours of ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) requirements.
  • 3 upper-division hours in each of the seven Boyer categories.
  • At least 12 hours of interdisciplinary electives.

Please realize that the ECCE requirement describe here is a minimum.  If you love ECCE course, you can take as many as you like

With the exception of the two LIS core courses, it is possible that a single course may meet more than one of the requirements.  For example, HIS 375 ECCE: Conflict in the Middle east is an approved ECCE course and counts as a Heritage Boyer course so you get two requirements with a single course.  Even better, LIS 432 ECCE: Expatriate Paris is an approved ECCE, counts as a Art Boyer course, and is an LIS-prefix elective so you get three requirements with a single course.

Finally, if you are entering the Liberal Studies program with upper-division transfer credits, you should consider how their content reflects the Boyer categories and submit a petition when you begin designing your degree in LIS 301.