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Graduation Requirements

Students are eligible for awarding of a bachelor’s degree when they fulfill the following requirements.


  • A minimum of 180 quarter credits is required for a baccalaureate degree; students should note, however, that some bachelor’s degrees have requirements in excess of 180 credits. CWU allows a maximum of 135 quarter (90 semester) credits to transfer from regionally accredited four-year institutions, including no more than 105 quarter (70 semester) credits of lower division (100-200 level) coursework from a regionally accredited community college. Additional coursework that 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. Upper-division courses are numbered between 300 and 499. 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, through CWU online courses, or at an established university center at least three quarters and earn a minimum of 45 credits. Credits earned through industrial experience, military experience, or through credit by examination may not be used to meet residency requirements.
  • Up to 45 credits may be counted from course challenge, or other prior learning assessments. Please note credits earned in this category will be counted as part of the 105 transfer credit total.
  • Transfer students must earn a minimum of 10 credits in the major and, if a minor is declared, 10 credits in the minor from CWU.
  • 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 cooperative education credits toward graduation requirements. No more than 10 credits may be 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. Except when there has been a significant break in enrollment, or by petition, the catalog in effect during the student's first term of enrollment will be used.
  • Students transferring from Washington State community colleges, holding the appropriate academic direct transfer associate degree will have met the general education program requirements.
  • Completion of all requirements for a major as specified by the appropriate department, as defined in the University Catalog, is required. Unless otherwise specified, and approved by the department, the catalog in effect at the time the student is accepted into the major program will be used.
  • 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 a minimum of 60 credits.
  • World language requirement: students seeking the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree must complete one year college/university study of a single world language, or two years high school study of a single world 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 and no grade changes may be performed. 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 (C) in courses taken at CWU.
  • 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.
  • Before a degree is awarded students must be in good academic standing, and cannot be on academic suspension.
  • Specific degree and professional certification programs may have more stringent degree requirements than those specified above.

Teacher Certification 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 Degree

Degrees are not automatically awarded when requirements are completed. It is the responsibility of the student to apply for the degree in Registrar Services. Application for the bachelor’s degree must be submitted by the second Friday of the quarter preceding the quarter in which the degree is to be completed. Complete instructions and deadlines are available in Registrar Services and through University center offices. Step-by-step instructions are available by clicking here.

Exceptions to University graduation requirements must be petitioned to the Registrar. Approval of exceptions may be obtained from the general education committee, department or program chair, and college dean where appropriate. Exceptions to majors, minors, or Teacher Certification Programs must be approved by the appropriate department chair, and college dean or designee. Final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements and deadline dates 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 or upcoming summer quarter may participate in the spring commencement ceremony.

Students must complete the online commencement registration form located on the Wildcat Shop's page at prior to the published commencement participation deadline. Students should also review the information on the commencement website located at for the most current information on the commencement activities and procedures.

Students anticipating graduation the summer quarter following commencement exercises may participate in the commencement ceremony. 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 posted deadline and complete degree requirements by the end of summer quarter. Candidates who have applied for their degree the summer following the June commencement ceremony are not eligible for honors distinction nor will their degree be published in the commencement book until the following academic year.

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

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 sixty (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, non-college courses and industrial experience will not be allowed toward the 75-credit eligibility requirement.
  • Honors shall be based on the GPA of all credits earned at Central and all transfer credits accepted by CWU.

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.

For spring quarter degree candidates, the Registrar will calculate the top percentage for the declared spring degree candidates based on the end of winter quarter data. Final determination of honors will be made after the spring quarter graduation ceremony 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.

Other distinctions:

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

NOTE: Individual Studies majors will be computed with the College of the Sciences majors.

Concurrent Baccalaureate Degrees

A student may be awarded more than one baccalaureate degree (BA, BFA, BAEd, BAS, BMus, BS) 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 BA and BS 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 are admitted to post-baccalaureate 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 students must be accepted into a degree or certificate program by the time they have earned 25 credits beyond their last degree. Once a degree objective has been declared, second baccalaureate students must develop graduation plans with academic advisors. Academic department chairs may grant extensions beyond the 25 credit limit. Second baccalaureate degree students follow regulations applicable to undergraduates.

Second baccalaureate degree students may request from the department that any requirements of a minor be satisfied by the initial bachelor's degree earned, provided that the requirements of the minor were completed in prior coursework. 

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


Click Here to view the full CWU Policies relating to Graduation Requirements.