82-00 and 83-00 Degree Requirements


82-20 General Requirements

A degree is awarded after a candidate has applied for graduation and has been certified by the dean(s) of the student’s college(s) that the degree requirements have been met. These degree requirements must have been approved by the Curricular Affairs Committee of the University Faculty Senate. If the degree is a baccalaureate degree, except for the bachelor of philosophy degree, the requirements must include General Education (see Appendix A.1). If the degree is an associate degree, the requirements must include General Education (associate Degree Requirements) (see Appendix A.2). If the degree is a bachelor of arts degree, the requirements must include those requirements approved by the core colleges (see Appendix B) A minimum of 120 credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 60 credits must be earned for an associate degree.

The University degree requirements (including General Education) are those in effect at the time of a student’s first scheduled class meeting following the most recent admission as a degree candidate. Requirements for a program (e.g., major, minor, option, honors) are those in effect at the time of the student’s most recent entrance into that program.

Sound education policy makes program changes inevitable. In the event that such changes are approved by the University Faculty Senate, the head of the program must impart those changes to students who have entered or formally applied for the program. Students who encounter problems due to changes have the right to consultation with the head of the program and/or the program committee to resolve any difficulties. In the event that the student and the program head cannot agree, the office of the relevant dean is authorized to approve an equitable program of study for the student.

L-2 Degree Checking
L-4 Completion of Degree Requirements at Other Institutions Procedure
L-5 World Campus Courses for Graduation

Revised: 4/14/55
Revised: 12/9/75
Revised: 3/2/76
Revised: 5/25/82
Revised: 4/14/92
Revised: 2/16/93
Revised Editorially: 6/7/10
Revised Editorially: 3/21/13

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82-40 Cumulative Grade-Point Average Requirements

To be graduated, a candidate must complete the course requirements for the candidate's major and earn at least a C (2.00) average for all courses taken at the University subject to the conditions of Section 51-50. The cumulative average is based solely on the courses taken at the University and is computed according to Section 51-50.

Note: If the cumulative average of a candidate who has changed from a baccalaureate degree program to an associate degree program is based on fewer than 30 credits, the candidate must also have earned at least a C (2.00) average for all courses taken at the University after enrolling in the baccalaureate degree program.

Revised: 4/14/55 (as Rule E-1)
Revised: 3/6/73 (as Rule E-1)
Revised: 12/9/75
Revised: 4/3/79
Revised: 9/9/79
Revised: 10/2/79
Revised: 2/5/80
Revised: 3/29/88
Revised: 3/17/92

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82-44 Courses Requiring at Least C Grades

To be graduated, a candidate must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course. The set of C-required courses for each major is chosen by the faculty of the department offering the major. The lists of such courses are printed in the Baccalaureate Degree Programs Bulletin or the Associate Degree Programs Bulletin. There must be at least 15 credits of C-required courses designated for each baccalaureate degree major, although at Penn State Capital College at Harrisburg, there must be at least 9 credits during the junior and senior years. There must be at least 7 credits for each associate degree major. A check of progress in fulfilling this requirement will be made as part of the audit of unfulfilled requirements (Section 32-80).

Initial Legislation: 3/17/92
Revised: 4/26/94

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82-60 Exceptions to Degree Requirements

Prior to certification of a student for graduation, the dean of the college in which the candidate is enrolled may approve exceptions to college or University course requirements. If the degree sought is a baccalaureate degree, college requirements must include General Education (Appendix A.1). If the degree sought is an associate degree, college requirements include General Education (Appendix A.2). Exceptions to General Education requirements may be approved by the dean only if they are within the intent of the Senate policies, and they are subject to review by the faculty organization of the college.

Prior to a student’s certification for graduation, the chairperson of the department, program, or division involved may approve exceptions to requirements of the major, subject to the review of the appropriate dean.

Requests for extraordinary exceptions to graduation requirements must be submitted to the Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education for approval or disapproval.

All approved exceptions to degree requirements must be maintained on the Integrated Student Information System and recorded in a timely manner.

L-2 Degree Checking

Revised: 3/25/97

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82-80 Implementation

Implementation of Sections 82-20 and 82-40 is the joint responsibility of the chairperson of the program in which the candidate is enrolled and the University registrar. Disagreement between these two that is based on interpretation of these policies shall be resolved by a decision of the dean of the college in which the candidate is enrolled. Appeal is to the faculty organization of the college in which the candidate is enrolled. Final appeal is to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education.

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83-40 ROTC Credit

A student attending a campus where Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is offered has the option of choosing ROTC as an elective in the candidate’s major. Six credits earned in basic ROTC courses apply toward graduation requirements in each baccalaureate program. Additional credits earned in ROTC courses apply toward graduation requirements in baccalaureate programs according to the policy of the college in which the candidate is enrolled.

Enforcement of this policy shall be the responsibility of the dean of the college and the department head where the candidate is enrolled, and the University registrar.

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83-80 Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

  1. Every candidate for a degree shall earn as a degree candidate at least 36 of the last 60 credits required for a baccalaureate degree and at least 18 of the last 30 credits required for an associate degree in courses offered by the University or in cooperative degree programs that have been established by formal agreement and approved by the University Faculty Senate. 
  2. A candidate for a first baccalaureate degree shall earn the last 60 credits required for that degree within a total elapsed time of five calendar years, but an extension of time shall be granted for intervening military service. 
  3. A candidate for a first associate degree shall earn the last 30 credits required for that degree within a total elapsed time of three calendar years. 
  4. Any college may make more restrictive limitations in regard to items 1, 2, and 3, above.
  5. As a degree-completion requirement, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Particular courses within the 24 credits are not to be specified, except for a senior seminar or capstone course required for the given major.
  6. Exceptions to 83-80.1, 83-80.2, 83-80.3, or 83-80.5 will be decided upon by the student’s dean or his or her representative upon appeal by the student.

L-13: Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

Revised: 3/6/52 (as Rule E-3)
Revised: 12/11/73 (as Rules E-3, E-4, and E-5)
Revised: 1/29/85
Revised: 4/30/85
Revised: 1/24/89
Revised: 12/7/04
Revised: 8/31/10

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