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. 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.
Additional information pertinent to graduation is available through Steps to a Successful Graduation on the Office of the Registrar Website.
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 must submit a final Plan of Study during the first four weeks of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. The major advisor and the department head must approve the Plan of Study before the Registrar receives it. The approval(s) indicate the advisor and department head believe the student meets degree requirements. The student’s record is still subject to audit by Degree Audit to ensure the student has met all requirements. Degree Audit will notify the student if a problem is discovered with the final Plan of Study and once the review has been completed.
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.
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.
The University has one Commencement ceremony 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.
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.
A student may concurrently complete majors in a single school or college. To do so, a student must meet all requirements for each major as stipulated by the relevant school and college. One major must be designated as the primary major. If the majors normally result in different degrees (e.g., Bachelor of Arts vs. Bachelor of Science), the primary major will determine the single degree awarded.
A student may earn an additional baccalaureate degree either concurrently or after receiving another baccalaureate degree. To do so, all requirements for each degree must be met and at least 18 credits more than the highest minimum requirement of any of the degrees must be presented for each additional degree. One degree must be designated as the primary degree if the degrees are being pursued concurrently. These additional credits must be 2000-level, or above, courses in the additional degree major or closely related fields and must be completed with at least a 2.0 grade point average. The requirement of 18 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.