May 25, 2024  
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements

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Students are eligible for award of a bachelor’s degree if they fulfill the following requirements established by the faculty:


  • A minimum of 180 quarter credits is required. Students should note, however, that some bachelor’s degrees have requirements in excess of 180 credits. Central allows a maximum of 135 quarter (90 semester) credits to transfer from any combination of regionally accredited institutions, including no more than 105 quarter (70 semester) credits of lower division (100-200 level) coursework from two-year or four-year colleges. Additional coursework which exceeds this amount may be used to meet specific requirements, but additional credits will not be allowed to count toward the 180 credit requirement for graduation.
  • A minimum of 60 credits of upper division study is required. (These are earned in courses numbered 300 and above.) Credits earned in study at the lower division (courses numbered 100- 299) will not be allowed toward meeting this requirement.
  • Students must study on the University campus or at an established University center at least three quarters and earn a minimum of 45 credits. Credits earned through industrial or military experience, or through credit by examination may not be used to meet residency requirements.
  • No more that forty-five (45) total quarter credits through CLEP or other sources of non-traditional credit may apply to graduation.
  • Transfer students must earn from CWU a minimum of 10 credits in the major and, if a minor is declared, 10 credits in the minor.
  • Cooperative education courses will apply toward graduation requirements, but in no case will a student be allowed to count more than 10 credits at the 290 level nor more than 20 total credits toward graduation requirements. No more than 10 credits are accepted in transfer. No more than eight credits may be applied to a graduate degree. Cooperative education courses may be repeated if field experience learning objectives and activities are distinctly different from previous work or field experience.

Degree Components

  • The general education program must be completed as defined in the University catalog.
  • Students transferring from Washington community colleges holding the appropriate academic transfer associate degree will have met the general education program requirements.
  • Completion of all requirements for a major as specified by the appropriate department is required.
  • Completion of a minor is required when the major contains fewer than 60 credits. In that case the total credits of major and minor must total to at least 60 credits.
  • Foreign language requirement: students seeking the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree must complete one year college/university study of a single foreign language or two years high school study of a single foreign language.
  • All professional education programs require completion of professional education courses in addition to completion of major requirements.

Scholastic Requirements


Graduation and graduation with honors are based on credits and grade point averages (GPA) earned at the time the degree is awarded. Once a degree is awarded the academic record is frozen. Changes in grades made after the award of the degree have no effect on the degree. Final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements resides with the student.

  • In order to graduate, students must have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0 in courses taken at Central.
  • Students must also have achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.25 in the major and 2.0 in the minor field of study. All courses fulfilling the major and minor requirements, including courses accepted in transfer, are used in computing the major and minor GPA.
  • Specific degree and professional certification programs may have more stringent degree requirements than those specified above.

Teacher Preparation Program

  • Cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 for the last 45 graded credits, OR an overall (all colleges attended) cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.
  • Grade-point average of at least 2.5 for major, minor and professional education sequence.

Application for Graduation


Degrees are not automatically awarded when requirements are completed. It is the responsibility of the student to make application in the registration office. Application for the bachelor’s degree must be filed by the second Friday of the quarter preceding the quarter in which the degree is to be received. Complete instructions and deadlines are available in Registrar Services and through University center offices.

Exceptions to University graduation requirements must be petitioned to the registrar. Approval of exceptions must be obtained from the general education committee, department or program chair and responsible dean where appropriate. Exceptions in majors or minors and teacher education programs must be approved by the appropriate department chair and college dean or designee. Final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements resides with the student.

Commencement Participation


Students who have met graduation requirements during the current academic year, summer through winter quarters, and those expecting to meet the requirements during the current spring quarter may participate in the spring graduation ceremony.

Application for graduation or receipt of a degree does not automatically qualify a student for commencement participation. Students must submit to Registrar Services a commencement participation form prior to the published commencement participation deadline.

Students anticipating graduation the summer quarter following commencement exercises may participate in the graduation ceremony on a space-available basis. Candidates for summer graduation who wish to participate in the spring commencement ceremony prior to issuance of a degree must submit an application for graduation prior to the spring quarter deadline and complete degree requirements by the end of summer quarter. Published acknowledgment of the degree will not take place until the degree is conferred. All honors recognition for summer quarter candidates will be published the following spring.

Students participating in commencement exercises must wear commencement regalia approved by the registrar. Exceptions to commencement procedures are approved by the registrar.

Graduation with Distinction


Baccalaureate honors are awarded to recipients of a first Bachelor’s degree according to the following standards:

3.5 to 3.69 - cum laude
3.7 to 3.89 - magna cum laude
3.9 to 4.00 - summa cum laude

Cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude will be noted on the recipient’s diploma and University transcript.

Other Distinctions


President’s Scholars are those students who have cumulative GPA’s in the top 1 percent of their respective college class. GPA is calculated by existing University policy.

Dean’s Scholars are those students who, in the current academic year, have cumulative GPA’s in the top 5 percent of their respective college class (but not including the top 1 percent). GPA is calculated by existing University policy.

NOTE: Individual study majors will be computed with the College of Arts and Humanities majors.

The following conditions must be met in order to be considered for graduation with distinction:

  • At least seventy-five (75) of the credits required for the degree must be earned at Central with a minimum of 60 credits in courses taken on the A-F graded basis.
  • Credits earned by course challenge, CLEP and other national examinations, military experiences or courses, noncollege courses and industrial experience will not be allowed toward the 75 credits required for eligibility requirement.
  • Honors shall be based on the GPA of all credits earned at Central as well as all transfer credits accepted by CWU.

The registrar will calculate the top percentage for declared graduates based on the end of winter quarter data. Final determination of honors will be made after spring quarter graduation when all grades are recorded.

Students completing degree requirements during the summer who are permitted to participate in the preceding spring quarter commencement will not be eligible for honors recognition until the following spring commencement ceremony.

Concurrent Baccalaureate Degrees


A student may be awarded more than one baccalaureate degree (B.A., B.F.A., B.A.Ed., B.A.S., B.MUS, B.S.) at the same time provided that requirements of both the degree programs have been completed. Double majors within the same baccalaureate program do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees.

In disciplines offering multiple baccalaureate degrees with identical or similar names, such as, B.A. and B.S. in Biology, only one degree will be awarded. Exceptions to this policy require approval by the department chair and appropriate dean.

Second Baccalaureate Degree


Qualified students seeking second baccalaureate degrees must apply for admission to the University to earn a different type of undergraduate degree associated with a different major. Qualified students are admitted to graduate status; this does not mean, however, that they are enrolled in an “advanced degree program.” To receive a second baccalaureate degree, students must complete: (1) all degree requirements not satisfied by the previous degree, and (2) a minimum of 45 quarter credits from Central. Second baccalaureate degree students follow regulations applicable to undergraduates; however, they are not eligible for University honors.

CWU reserves the right to review a post-baccalaureate student’s transfer work to determine fulfillment of requirements.