Brigham Young University
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Graduation Information | Graduation Requirements | Scholastic Recognition

Graduation Evaluation Office (B-238 ASB, PO Box 21222, [801] 378-3641)

Graduation Information

Adherence to University Standards

Graduation may be delayed or denied for students who violate the BYU Honor Code, whose ecclesiastical endorsement has been withdrawn, or who have unmet financial obligation with the university.

Application for Graduation

All who wish to graduate must officially apply for graduation. Students who are applying for the bachelor's degree should do so during their junior year. Application forms are available at the college advisement centers. Submit the completed application form and the graduation fee of $15 for a bachelor's degree to the Cashiers' Office (D-155 ASB, PO 21128) no later than September 15, 2000, for December graduation; November 15, 2000, for April graduation; and April 15, 2001, for August graduation.

Students who apply after the deadline dates will automatically be considered for the next graduation. The Graduation Evaluation Office (B-238 ASB) will notify students in writing of the general education and university requirements remaining. Should a student not graduate on the date shown on the application, the application will be held for a period of three years from the time of the initial anticipated graduation date. If a student does not graduate within a period of three years, a new graduation application and fee will be required.

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 submitted and all graduation requirements are certified complete. Commencement exercises are held in April and August.

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 Office at least four weeks before commencement.

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 Student Academic Record Appeals Committee (B-150 ASB).

It is not permissible to receive both an associate degree and a bachelor's degree at the same BYU commencement.

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.

Scholastic Recognition

University Honors

University Honors will be awarded to any graduating senior who completes the following requirements:

  1. Completes the required course work:
    • Two honors sections of religion courses
    • Both semesters (201 and 202) of honors Civilization courses
    • HonP 200 or Phil 105H
    • Three honors elective courses (3 credit hours each)
    • Two semesters of foreign language study
    • One general education Advanced Languages in Mathematics course
  2. Completes the Great Works requirement.
  3. Submits a portfolio.
  4. Completes an honors thesis/capstone project.
  5. Has at least a 3.5 GPA.

More detailed explanations of the University Honors Program are available in 350 MSRB and in the University Honors Education 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 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

Staying Abreast of Changes

University graduation requirements (general education, religion,and major) change with curriculum, program, and faculty changes. The university informs students of such modifications through its published curriculum materials (this catalog and the class schedules). Students who leave the university for an extended period of time should stay abreast of such changes through these documents.

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

The baccalaureate degree at BYU is awarded for the equivalent of four years of dedicated university study. It marks not just achievement, but important changes in outlook that come as the result of an extended university experience. At BYU this includes not just the discipline of a major, but the foundation of religious education and the enlarged perspective of general education. A student may have more than one major, but there is only one baccalaureate degree.

General Education Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

See the General Education section of this catalog for complete information.
Languages of Learning Number of Courses Usual Credit Hours
Precollege Mathematics 0–1 0–3
First-Year Writing 1 3
Advanced Writing 1 3
Advanced Languages (Foreign Language,
Mathematics, or Music)
1–4 3–20
Liberal Arts Core
Biological Science 1–2 3–6
Physical Science 1–2 3–7
American Heritage 1–2 3–6
Wellness 1–3 1.5–2
Civilization 2 6
Arts and Sciences Electives
Arts and Letters elective 1 3
Natural Sciences elective 1 3–4
Social and Behavioral Sciences elective 1 3
(See the GE course list in the current class schedule for all authorized GE courses.)
Total 12–24 34.5–71*

*Actual credit hours will depend on precollege preparation and course choices.

Religion Requirement for the Baccalaureate Degree

14 hours of BYU religion classes.

Religious Education Requirements: Religion requirements are listed in the Religious Education section of this catalog.

Upper-Division Requirement

This requirement has been deleted as of 04/04/00.

A minimum of 40 semester hours of upper-division credit (classes numbered 300 to 599) is required for a bachelor's degree.

Transfer credit from junior colleges or other lower-division credit (freshman or sophomore level) from other colleges is not applicable for this graduation requirement.
A few lower-division courses at specified colleges have been accepted by major departments to substitute for upper-division BYU courses, but these will not be counted toward the upper-division requirement of 40 semester hours.

Residency Requirement

At least 30 semester hours of credit taken in residence at BYU are required for a bachelor's degree. A maximum of 10 semester hours earned at BYU Continuing Education centers or at Church institutes of religion may be applied toward this 30-hour requirement. Students must register and be on campus during two semesters—not necessarily consecutive—to satisfy the residency requirement.

Total Credit-Hour Requirement

A candidate for a bachelor's degree must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of earned credit.

D Grade Credit

This requirement has been deleted as of 04/04/00. However, students must still maintain the GPA requirement as listed below.

No more than 15 semester hours of D grade credit may be applied toward baccalaureate degree requirements. Excess D grade credit will be deducted from total hours completed.

Grade Point Average Requirement

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

Major Requirements

Students must complete at least 20 semester hours in their major department, 10 of these on the BYU campus. Students must also satisfy any additional departmental requirements.

Double Major

A class used in a student's primary major cannot also be used in a second major or a minor without the prior written approval of both the department chairs and the dean(s) of the college(s) involved. Students should see their college advisement center for details.

Note: Any hold, warning, or probation by the Honor Code Office must be properly cleared well before graduation.

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 baccalaureate degrees 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 graduated 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 A of the university's Admission, Scholarship, and Housing 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 the dean and department chair in the area in which they are majoring to determine graduation requirements and the use of credit previously earned. 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.
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.


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 reached over many years 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.
Students who return to the university after an extended absence should contact the Graduation Evaluation Office (B-238 ASB, [801] 378-3641) and confer with their college advisement center counselors and department advisors immediately upon returning to the university, both for advice and help concerning graduation requirements and for evaluation of their credit. In many instances it will prove possible to negotiate a schedule of classes that will allow the student to move toward a degree without lost effort.


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Please report any errors. Updated 6 April 2000 by web_ugrad_cat@byu.edu