Graduation Requirements and Information

Requirements for Graduation

A student is recommended for graduation upon the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 120 credits at the 100 level or above and upon fulfillment of all categories of the requirements for his or her degree. A minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.00 (C) is required for graduation. The minimum GPA for majors and minors varies. Students should consult with their respective academic department. Specific programs, in accordance with University procedures, may set other higher standards and may require more than 120 credits for completion of the degree. Degree requirements are detailed under the heading of the subject field. See also "Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree." A student must apply online for graduation no later than the end of the junior year, or after 90 credits have been earned. It is imperative that the student meet with his or her academic advisor. Students can view the graduation checklist on the Office of the Registrar website. Any student currently matriculated in the University may graduate after completion of 120 credits, PROVIDED:

  1. He/she has completed all general education requirements, which include nine credits of free/student electives, that are specified in the catalog for the year that the student was most recently accepted into WCU.
  2. AND he/she has completed all courses required by the major/minor, to include all supporting (cognate) courses.
  3. AND the student has completed all degree requirements within the semester in which he/she intends to graduate. (Any unmet degree requirements can only be completed for that semester's graduation date, if the attempt to complete the degree requirement was initiated prior to the end of the semester, and the requirement was completed within 30 days of the actual graduation date.)
  4. AND the student has fulfilled the resident credit requirements. This requires at least 30 of the last 60 credits be earned at West Chester University and at least 50% of the major/minor be earned at WCU, excluding cognate courses.
  5. AND the student has cleared all holds and financial obligations to the University.

The permanent student record (transcript) records all degrees, majors, and minors completed, and graduation honors.  The diploma only lists the degree earned (e.g., Bachelor of Science), as well as graduation honors. Students earning two different degrees (e.g., B.S. and B.S.Ed) will receive a diploma for each.

Resident Credit Requirement

To qualify for graduation, a student must take at least 30 of his/her last 60 credits at West Chester University. Normally, the student will take the last 30 credits at West Chester. In addition, a student must take at least 50% of the courses in his/her major or minor discipline (excluding cognate courses) at West Chester University. For active-duty service members, the academic residency requirements will not exceed 25% of the undergraduate degree program.

Anticipated Time for Degree Completion

It is the expectation that a student should anticipate being able to graduate in eight consecutive fall/spring semesters. This expectation would not apply if any of the following conditions exist:

  1. A student needs to complete developmental courses.
  2. A student enters the major of graduation after the first semester of his/her first year.
  3. A student transfers to West Chester University and has compiled courses that do not fit into his/her current program.
  4. A student fails to meet the minimal standards of academic performance of the University of his/her major program.
  5. A student chooses to repeat one or more courses.
  6. A student fails to follow guidelines set forth to meet major or University requirements.
  7. A student who selects the culture cluster option requires an extra semester to meet that requirement.

In order to graduate following (or within) the expectation, it is the student's responsibility to consult with the major department for course scheduling guidelines in the major.

The expectation, however, is invalidated when the following conditions exist:

  1. A program requires more than 120 credits for completion.
  2. The sequencing of courses requires more than eight consecutive fall/ spring semesters.
  3. A program requires the completion of requirements that can only be met in summer.

Nothing in this policy prevents the offering of a program that does not meet expectations. Such programs, however, are so identified in the University catalog.

Each department will determine when its courses will be offered.

Required Notice of Intention to Graduate

Students intending to graduate must apply for graduation online through myWCU.  The deadlines for when to apply are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website.  Students who need to take summer courses in order to complete degree requirements are considered August graduation applicants. August graduation applicants may participate in the May commencement exercises if they apply by the deadline.

Students must meet the deadlines in applying for graduation. These deadlines are set so that students have an opportunity to add/change courses in meeting final requirements, as well as have their name printed in the commencement program. Students who miss the deadline to apply online must apply late for graduation in person at the Office of the Registrar.  Applying late will greatly reduce the opportunity for a student's name to appear in the commencement program.

After applying for graduation online, students will receive an e-mail notification, which is sent to their University e-mail account, regarding their general education clearance. The graduation fee of $99 is applied to the student's account as soon as a student submits the online application.

Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor for major/minor requirements prior to submitting their application to graduate.

Graduation Honors

Graduation honors are awarded as follows:

HonorCumulative GPA
cum laude3.250-3.499
magna cum laude3.500-3.749
summa cum laude3.750-4.000

The honors list for commencement is based on the GPA from the next-to-last semester before a student graduates. Those who do not attain honors distinctions until the end of their final semester will have recognition of their achievement on their diploma and final transcripts, where all honors distinctions are recorded.