Graduation

Tentative and Final Plans of Study

Except for students in the Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, all students must consult with their advisors in completing a tentative Plan of Study form. The Plan of Study describes how the student intends to satisfy the requirements for the degree. Students should get the form from the dean of their school or college, consult with their advisor and file the completed form with their major department. Students should file the tentative Plan of Study as soon as possible.

Students must submit a final Plan of Study form during the first four weeks of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. The major advisor and the department head must sign the form before the Registrar receives it. The signatures indicate that the advisor and department head believe that the program meets degree requirements. The student’s program is still subject to audit by the degree auditor to insure the student has met all requirements. The degree auditor will notify the student if a problem is discovered with the final Plan of Study.

Minors

A minor is available only to a matriculated student currently pursuing a baccalaureate degree. While not required for graduation, a minor provides an option for the student who wants an academic focus in addition to a major. Unless a higher standard is noted in the description of a specific minor program, completion of a minor requires that a student earn a ‘C’ (2.0) grade or better in each of the required courses for that minor. The same course may be used to meet both major and minor course requirements unless prohibited by the department or program offering the minor as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog. Substitutions to minor requirements require the approval of the head or designee of the department or program offering the minor. All substitutions for minors in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources must be approved at the dean’s level. Substitutions for minors in the School of Engineering must be approved at the Dean’s level. Substitutions for minors in the School of Fine Arts must be approved by the Director of Advising. Substitutions to minor requirements offered by departments or programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences require approval by the department or program and the dean or dean’s designee. A plan of study for the minor signed by the department or program head, director, or faculty designee must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar during the first four weeks of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. All available minors are listed and described on the Minors page.

Application for Degrees

To graduate, candidates must apply to graduate by the due dates specified by the Office of the Registrar. Candidates apply through the Student Administration System. Additional information pertinent to graduation is available through the Office of the Registrar website. This application is essential for graduation. Candidates failing to file the application on time may not: (1) be granted a degree on the date expected even though they fulfilled all other requirements for the degree; (2) have their names printed in the Commencement Program; (3) have their names listed in hometown newspapers as graduating; or (4) receive information about and tickets for the Commencement ceremony.

General Graduation Honors

Graduating seniors are eligible for cum laude designations on diplomas and transcripts if their complete academic records show at least 54 calculable credits at the University and meet the following criteria:

  • cum laude: at least a 3.0 total GPA (grade point average) and a class rank in the 75th percentile or above in the student’s school or college.
  • magna cum laude: at least a 3.4 total GPA (grade point average) and a class rank in the 85th percentile or above in the student’s school or college.
  • summa cum laude: at least a 3.7 total GPA (grade point average) and a class rank in the 95th percentile or above in the student’s school or college.

General graduation honors for students meeting requirements at the conclusion of the summer sessions or the fall semester will be based on the grade point average cut-off points used for the previous spring semester to establish class rank in each school or college.

Conferring of Degrees

The Board of Trustees awards degrees only to students in good standing who have met their obligations to the University. Students who do not complete requirements for the degree by one conferral date may qualify for the next conferral date by satisfactorily completing all graduation requirements. The Board of Trustees confers degrees three times annually: Commencement Day in May, August 24 and the Sunday following the end of final exams in December. Candidates meeting the requirements before the conferral date and needing verification may ask for a “Completion Letter” from the Office of the Registrar.

Commencement

The University has one commencement in May each year, following the Spring semester. Students who received degrees at the end of the previous summer or Fall semester and students who anticipate completing degree requirements by the May commencement or the following August may participate.

Diplomas

Students do not receive their diplomas at Commencement. The Registrar mails them to graduates by the third month after conferral. Diplomas may be withheld if financial or other obligations to the University remain unmet. Graduates who have not received their diploma by the end of the periods noted above should inform the Office of the Registrar.

Additional (Dual) Degree

Students may pursue an additional baccalaureate, either wholly or partly, concurrently or after receiving another degree. The student must complete an Additional Degree Petition, which requires the consent signature of the dean of each school or college in which the student will be enrolled. Students may get Additional Degree Petitions from the offices of deans or from the Registrar.

The student must meet all requirements for each degree. The two degrees require at least 30 degree credits more than the degree with the higher minimum-credit requirement. For example, Engineering degrees require at least 126 credits while Arts and Sciences degrees require at least 120 credits. The Engineering degree has the higher minimum-credit requirement, so the total is 126 + 30, or 156. (If the student pursues a third degree, the two additional degrees require at least 60 degree credits more than the degree with the highest minimum-credit requirement.) At least 30 of the additional credits must be 2000-level courses, or above, in the additional degree major or closely related fields and must be completed with a grade point average of at least 2.0. The requirement of 30 additional credits is waived for students who complete the requirements of both a teacher preparation degree in the Neag School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in another school or college.

Some schools and colleges offer double majors. The Additional Degree should not be confused with a double major.