Graduation Information and Requirements

Bulletin Jurisdiction
The University of Puget Sound Bulletin outlines the structure of graduation, Core, major, minor, and program requirements. Each matriculated student must meet degree requirements published in the Bulletin(1) at the time of matriculation, or (2) at the time of graduation, or (3) in any Bulletin published between the student’s matriculation and graduation, provided that no more than six years separate matriculation and graduation. Additionally, students are reminded that specific courses applicable to the Core will fulfill Core Requirements only during the semester(s) that they are officially listed in a Bulletin or
class schedule as fulfilling Core.

“Old” Courses
Academic disciplines develop and change over time. For this reason, departments and programs reserve the authority to not apply a course taken more than a specified number of years ago toward a major, minor, or program. Academic departments that have established a time limit on the acceptability of courses publish that limit in their section of the Bulletin. If a student has an “old” course, the department may refuse to apply it to a requirement or may require that such a course be repeated, in which case the credit and grade for the recent course will take precedence over the previous course.

Degree Progress Evaluation
Information on student degree progress is provided to students and their advisors via the Academic Advisement Report. The report summarizes and details student academic progress through each university requirement for graduation plus the department or program requirements for completion of majors, minors, and emphases.

Because students are responsible for understanding and complying with academic regulations, it is in the student’s best interest to review the Advisement Report during the advising session prior to registration each term. Additionally, students should review the Advisement Report following each registration and grading period to verify the completion of degree requirements. In addition to reviewing academic progress with their advisors, students may also contact the Office of the Registrar (Jones Hall, Room 013; 253.879.3217) to review the Advisement Report and to ask questions concerning their academic progress.

Degree Requirements
In order to receive the baccalaureate degree from the University of Puget Sound, a student must:

  1. Earn a minimum of 32.00 units. The 32.00 units may include up to 4 academic courses graded pass/fail, up to 2.00 units in activity courses, and up to 4.00 units of Independent Study. (See also regulations regarding transfer credit and activity credit.)
  2. Earn a minimum of 16.00 units, including the last 8.00 units, in residence at the University of Puget Sound. Residence requirements also exist in Core, majors, minors, and graduation honors. (See also the section titled “Study Abroad.”)
  3. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all courses taken at Puget Sound.
  4. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for all graded courses, including transfer courses.
  5. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for all graded courses, including transfer courses, in the major(s) and the minor(s), if a minor is elected.
  6. Successfully complete Puget Sound’s Core Requirements. (Courses taken pass/fail will not fill Core Requirements.) Specific courses satisfying Core Requirements are listed on Puget Sound’s Web page and in the Bulletin. Students are reminded that specific courses applicable to the Core will fulfill Core Requirements only during the semester(s) that they are officially listed in the Bulletin or class schedule as fulfilling Core.
  7. Satisfy the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement in one of the following ways:
    A. Successfully complete two graded semesters of a foreign language at the 101–102 college level, or one graded semester of a foreign language at the 200 level or above (courses taken pass/fail will not fulfill the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement);
    B. Pass a Puget Sound-approved foreign language proficiency exam at the third-year high school or first-year college level;
    C.  Receive a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement foreign language exam or a score of 5, 6, or 7 on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level foreign language examination. A student with a learning disability that affects the ability to learn a foreign language should consult with the Office of Student Accessibility and Accommodation.
  8. Satisfy the Knowledge, Identity, and Power (KNOW) Graduation Requirement by successfully completing one course that has been approved to meet that requirement.
  9. Earn at least 3.00 academic units outside the requirements of the first major, and outside the department/program of the first major, at the upper-division level, which is understood to be 300- or 400-level courses or 200-level courses with department approval at least two prerequisites (courses taken pass/fail will not fulfill the upper-division course requirement).
  10. Meet the requirements for a major field of study. A second major or a minor are options for the student. (Courses counting toward the major may not be taken pass/fail unless they are mandatory pass/fail courses.)
  11. Complete all Incomplete or In-Progress grades.
  12. File a formal Degree Application with the Office of the Registrar. Applications are due in September for graduation in the following May, August, or December.

All degree requirements must be completed prior to the awarding of the degree. Degrees are awarded
on three degree dates each year in May, August, and December.

Students applying transfer credit to their degree requirements must complete at least the following minimum requirements at the University of Puget Sound:

  1. Students entering with freshman or sophomore standing must complete at least a course in Connections plus three additional Core areas.
  2. Students entering with junior standing must complete at least a course in Connections plus two additional Core areas.

Major
Students normally declare their major area of study by the end of the sophomore year through the Office of Academic Advising. One major is required of all graduates. The specific requirements for a major are established by the department and approved by the Curriculum Committee. Each student must have the major program approved prior to graduation.

An academic major requires a minimum of 8.00 units,  within a department or program, of which 4.00 units must be residence credit.  A 2.00 minimum cumulative GPA is required in all major courses in the department as well as in these courses in combination with any ancillary courses required. Some departments may require a grade point average higher than 2.00 for completion of a major or minor.

Courses graded P may not be counted toward major or minor requirements. Letter grades below C (2.00)  may not be counted toward major or minor requirements in some departments or programs. Although grades lower than C may not count toward major requirements, they are nevertheless included in computation of the major grade point average. Students are therefore encouraged to do well in all their major courses.

Students must meet the requirements for a major or minor as published in the Bulletin unless a requirement is specifically modified by the department. Any such modification must be recorded in writing and sent by the department chair to the Registrar. 

Academic disciplines develop and change over time. For this reason, departments reserve the right to not accept toward the major or minor courses taken more than a specified number of years in the past. Academic departments have established time limits on the acceptability of courses into programs. A department may either refuse to include an “old” course toward a major or minor, or may require that such a course be repeated.

Courses graded P may not be counted toward major or minor requirements. Letter grades below C (2.00) may not be counted toward major or minor requirements in some departments. Although grades lower than C may not count toward major requirements, they are nevertheless included in computation of the major grade point average. Students are therefore encouraged to do well in all their major courses.

Students must meet the requirements for a major or minor as published in the Bulletin unless a requirement is specifically modified by the department. Any such modification must be recorded in writing and sent by the department chair to the Registrar.

Academic disciplines develop and change over time. For this reason, departments reserve the right to not accept toward the major or minor courses taken more than a specified number of years in the past.  Academic departments have established time limits on the acceptability of courses into programs.  A department may either refuse to include an “old” course toward a major or minor, or may require that such a course be repeated.

Multiple Majors
Students who wish to earn the baccalaureate degree with more than one major may do so with clearance of each major by the appropriate department, school, or program. For a student who completes majors associated with different bachelor’s degrees, the major declared as the “first” major designates the degree. For example, a student completing majors in English and biology receives the Bachelor of Arts if English is the first major or the Bachelor of Science if biology is the first major. All majors must be complete before the degree is awarded. Students choosing to complete multiple majors may expect to continue their undergraduate studies beyond the standard four years.

Students may not earn multiple majors from the same department, school, or program except students may major in both Computer Science and Mathematics, and in both Chinese and Japanese.

Minor
Students who wish to earn a minor may do so with clearance by the respective department or program. A minor is not required for the degree. The specific requirements for a minor are established by the department or program and approved by the Curriculum Committee. An academic minor requires a minimum of 5.00 units, of which at least 3.00 units must be residence credit. A 2.00 minimum cumulative GPA in all minor courses is required.Courses graded P may not be counted toward minor requirements. Letter grades below C (2.00) may not be counted toward minor requirements in some departments or programs. Although grades lower than C may not count toward minor requirements, they are nevertheless included in computation of the minor grade point average. Students are therefore encouraged to do well in all their minor courses. Students must meet the requirements for a minor as published in the Bulletin unless a requirement is specifically modified by the department or program. Any such modification must be recorded in writing and sent by the department chair or program director to the Registrar. Minor(s) must be completed before the degree is awarded.

A student may not major and minor in the same department and may not earn multiple minors from the same department except students may major or minor in Computer Science and may major or minor in Mathematics, and students may major and/or minor in different foreign languages.

Completion of Majors or Minors after Graduation
Because majors and minors are earned as elements of academic degrees, all major and minor degree requirements must be completed before the degree is awarded. Additional majors or minors may not be completed after the degree is awarded.

Second Baccalaureate Degree
Students who wish to earn a second baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 8.00 additional academic and graded units in residence subsequent to the awarding of the first baccalaureate degree. Students are required to complete department requirements current as of the date of postbaccalaureate enrollment.

Each additional baccalaureate degree requires 8.00 more discrete, academic, and graded units earned in residence.


Simultaneous Baccalaureate Degrees
Students who wish to earn two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously must complete, in addition to the university requirements for a baccalaureate degree with two majors, a minimum of 40.00 total units and a minimum of 24.00 units, including the last 8.00 units, in residence.


For purposes of other academic policies, simultaneously earned degrees may both be considered “first” degrees.


Participation in Commencement Ceremonies
Commencement is held once a year in the month of May. In general, a student participates in the Commencement nearest the time of completion of requirements for a degree. Students must apply for a degree by the deadline date for the ceremony in order to be considered for Department Honors and to be listed in the printed Commencement program.


Honors
A student receiving a first baccalaureate degree may receive University Honors and/or Honors in the Major.

University Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) are awarded to those first baccalaureate degree candidates who have exhibited academic excellence and breadth of scholarly achievement. To qualify, a student must have at least 16 graded units taken on the Puget Sound campus and a minimum cumulative grade point average from the University of Puget Sound of 3.70, 3.80, or 3.90 respectively.


Honors in the Major are awarded to those first baccalaureate degree candidates who have been recommended by their major department in recognition of outstanding achievement in the area of the major. Only 10 percent of a department’s graduates will receive Honors in the Major. Students graduating with a Special Interdisciplinary Major (SIM) will receive Honors in the Major if they earn a grade point average of 3.70 or higher in courses required for the SIM.


The citation of Coolidge Otis Chapman Honors Scholar is awarded at graduation to provide recognition for outstanding work done through the university’s Honors Program. The citation, named in memory of a former distinguished member of the faculty, is awarded for completion of all requirements of the Honors Program, including a bachelor’s thesis.