Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2009 - 2010


Graduation Office
B-150 ASB
(801) 422-7675

Graduation Information

Adherence to University Standards/Honor Code

Students must be in good Honor Code standing to graduate from BYU.

The term "good Honor Code standing" means that a student's conduct is consistent with the Honor Code and the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Excommunication, disfellowshipment, or disaffiliation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints automatically results in the withdrawal of the student's ecclesiastical endorsement and the loss of good Honor Code standing. Further, a student is not in good Honor Code standing if his or her ecclesiastical endorsement has either lapsed or has been withdrawn, or if the Honor Code Office has placed a "hold" on the student's records.

Students who are not in good Honor Code standing are not eligible for graduation, even if they have otherwise completed all necessary coursework. In unusual circumstances, a student may petition the Dean of Students Office to allow an exception to the ecclesiastical endorsement requirement [under the process set forth in the Church Educational System Honor Code section.]

Application for Graduation

All students desiring to graduate must apply for graduation. Students applying for the bachelor degree should do so during their junior year. Application forms are available at the college advisement centers. Students must submit a completed application form for a bachelor's degree to their college advisement center no later than September 15 for December graduation; November 15 for April graduation; and April 15 for August graduation. Their student account will be charged a $15.00 fee for graduation.

Students who apply after the deadline dates will need to contact their college advisement center to be considered for graduation. The Graduation Office (B-150 ASB) will notify students of graduation deadlines and procedures via email.

Students who plan to obtain teacher licensure must see the McKay School of Education Student Service Office before turning in their graduation application to their college advisement center.

Attendance at Commencement

All candidates for graduation are encouraged to attend the commencement and convocation exercises. Diplomas will be mailed to students after all grades are posted to their official record and all graduation requirements are certified complete. Commencement exercises are held in April and August only. December graduates are invited to the April commencement following their graduation.

Deadlines for Transfer, Correspondence, and Incomplete Credit

All incomplete grades must be removed from the student's record, special examinations and general education requirements must be passed and recorded, and all transfer and correspondence (Independent Study) credit must be on file in the Records/Registration Office at least four weeks before graduation.

Earning Lower Degree After Receiving Higher Degree

A person who has earned a higher degree is ineligible to earn a lesser degree at BYU unless exception has been granted by the Undergraduate Steering Committee (USC). Petitions for exception can be directed to the Admissions Office, which will forward the petition to the USC.

Adding a Program to a Completed Degree

A person who has a completed undergraduate degree is ineligible to add a second major or a minor to their official record.

Independent Study Credit

A maximum of 36 semester hours of Independent Study credit may be applied toward the 120-semester-hour requirement for a baccalaureate degree.

Note: See the Bachelor of General Studies Program section of this catalog for BGS requirements.

Scholastic Recognition

University Honors

To graduate with University Honors, a student must:

  1. Commit to graduate with University Honors and consult with an Honors Advisement Center representative on a regular basis.
  2. Complete the honors curriculum requirement.
  3. Complete the honors Great Works requirement.
  4. Complete the honors Advanced Languages requirement.
  5. Complete the honors service requirement.
  6. Complete the honors thesis requirement.
  7. Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.
  8. Submit a graduation portfolio that summarizes the student's honors experiences.

More detailed explanations of the Honors Program are available in 102-A MSRB and in the Honors Program section of this catalog.

Latin Scholastic Distinctions

Latin Scholastic Distinctions at graduation are determined by GPA for the top 10 percent of the graduating seniors based on cumulative total and BYU grade point averages.

Summa Cum Laude is awarded on the basis of grade point average to the top 1.0 percent of the baccalaureate candidates who have earned a minimum 45 semester hours of credit at BYU.

Magna Cum Laude is awarded on the basis of grade point average to the top 1.1 to 5.0 percent of the baccalaureate candidates who have earned a minimum 45 semester hours of credit at BYU.

Cum Laude is awarded on the basis of grade point average to the top 5.1 to 10.0 percent of the baccalaureate candidates who have earned a minimum 45 semester hours of credit at BYU.

Graduation Requirements

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

The baccalaureate degree is awarded for completion of a specified program of university study. It recognizes important changes in outlook, understanding, and proficiency that result from university experience. At BYU this program of study includes the University Core, the discipline of a specific major, and each student's choice of electives. In addition, a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in residence at BYU, a minimum total of 120 credit hours, and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 are required.

University Core Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

See the University Core section of this catalog for complete information.

Major Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

See specific major requirements in the Academic Departments/Schools/Areas, Degrees, and Courses section of this catalog.

Minimum University Requirements

Residency Requirement

At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student to qualify for a baccalaureate degree.

Total Credit-Hour Requirement

A candidate for a baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

Grade Point Average Requirement

To graduate from BYU students must earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative BYU grade point average and a minimum 2.0 total cumulative grade point average. Students must also meet any stipulated minimum grade point average requirements in their major.

Honor Code Requirement

Students must be in good standing with the Honor Code Office and have a current ecclesiastical endorsement.

D Credit

Students may use a course in which they receive a D ("minimum passing") to complete major, minor, religion, or general education requirements. Those receiving a D in a course will not be required to retake the course unless a higher minimum grade is stipulated in a degree program or course sequence description in the undergraduate or graduate catalog.

Courses taken at other colleges or universities with D grades will count toward the total hour requirement for graduation, but will not fill BYU general education requirements and in most instances will not fill major requirements.

Major Requirements

The curricular requirements of a specific major must be satisfactorily completed, including any additional departmental requirements related to the major. A minimum of 20 credit hours in the major must be completed in residence as an admitted day student, 10 of these on the BYU campus in Provo.

Double Major

A second major is rare and must be approved by the chair(s) of the department(s) involved and the dean of the college responsible for the primary major. The second major proposal and approval process requires an evaluation of all University Core and major requirements and a time-to-graduation analysis. College advisement centers are prepared to assist interested students in this process. Courses used to satisfy the requirements of a student's major can also be used to satisfy the requirements of an approved second major, unless such is not permitted by the requirements of the proposed second major. Students who graduate with a second major only receive one degree and one diploma. Only the primary major will be listed in the university commencement program and on the diploma.

Changes of Requirements

University graduation requirements are occasionally modified or changed. The university informs students of such modifications through the online catalog, online class schedules, and all advisement centers on campus. Students who leave the university for an extended period of time may be informed of such changes through these sources.

Policy on "Old" Graduation Requirements and Credit

Brigham Young University is committed to providing its students with an excellent university education consisting of a broad general education that includes religious education and a strong major education. Programs of the university change and develop in the continuing effort to make learning and experience as valuable as possible. Development, growth, and improvement are expected parts both of our lives and our institutions. It is because of the commitment to a superb education that the university's programs develop and improve and that students are expected to meet the current standards of the university when they graduate, even though they may have begun their studies long ago under quite different expectations.

Students who complete a baccalaureate degree within eight academic years of enrollment at BYU qualify for graduation by meeting those religion, university, and general education requirements in effect when they initially enrolled, even though there may have been changes in general education and religion requirements since that time.

In addition, students who complete a baccalaureate degree within eight academic years of enrollment at BYU qualify for graduation by meeting those major education requirements in effect when they officially declared the major with which they plan to graduate even though such declaration was made at some point following their original enrollment. (A student officially declares a major one of two ways: [1] by indicating the choice of major on part 2 of the CES Admission and Scholarship Application or [2] by submitting a Change of Major Form to a college advisement center at a subsequent time.)

Students who have not graduated within eight years of their initial enrollment at BYU will be required to meet with an academic advisor in the area of their primary major to determine major graduation requirements and the use of major credit previously earned. The Graduation Office will evaluate credit for general education requirements based upon current religion and general education program requirements. Where general education or major requirements have changed or where credit previously earned was in an area of substantial change, students may be required to do additional work to meet graduation requirements.

After discussion with an academic advisor, students may petition the Dean of Undergraduate Education to accept old general education courses to fulfill current general education requirements. This means that credit earned more than eight years before admission or readmission (including transfer credit) will be accepted to meet general education or major graduation requirements at the discretion of the university.

Students who return to the university after an extended absence must contact their college advisement center immediately upon returning to the university. Students have eight years from the time of their initial enrollment in which to complete all requirements for graduation. Students who do not complete within the allotted eight years may be required to do additional work in the major and/or general education program(s).

All students who receive undergraduate degrees from BYU are required to complete the University Core requirements unless 1) a student is on the previous GE program and within eight years of initial enrollment; or 2) a student is granted an exception by the Dean of Undergraduate Education.

Bachelor of General Studies

See the Bachelor of General Studies Program in the Division of Continuing Education section of this catalog.


An important corollary of the university's commitment to provide its students with an excellent university education is its commitment to help students find their way through their programs effectively and efficiently. Students whose educational experience has extended beyond eight years from the time of initial enrollment and who find that changes in programs will require additional work and preparation should consult with department advisors for help in planning their schedules in the best and most encouraging way possible.

The university's requirement that a student graduate under current or very recent standards is meant to benefit the student and is in no way established to deter a determined person from returning to the university after years away. Good advisement can be of great help in working out a program of study at the university, taking into account individual needs, concerns, and experience.


BYU offers students a helpful academic planning system (MyMAP) that enables them to plan their academic progress towards graduation. MyMAP is an online tool students may use to plan specific courses to fill University Core, major, minor, and elective requirements, and organize those courses into semesters/terms. In addition, students may register for these courses using the Register tab. Easy access to course descriptions can be found on any MyMAP tab by simply clicking on the course title. As a student fully utilizes MyMAP, they will find that they have important information at their fingertips. Students may access MyMAP under the school section of Route Y. To learn more about MyMAP go to