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Graduation Requirements - 1F1

Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Professional Programs


    General Information

    To graduate from the University with a bachelor's degree, a student must (1) satisfy all General Education requirements, (2) satisfy all other applicable University academic requirements, and (3) satisfy the requirements of her/his academic major, and any academic minor. A student must also meet the requirements for teacher certification if she/he is seeking teacher certification. The graduation requirements for each degree are set forth in the University's catalog. Each student must also satisfy any outstanding financial obligations to the University prior to graduation.

    A student is graduated at the end of the academic term in which she/he completes the requirements, and the date of graduation is indicated on the student's academic record. All deficiencies for graduation, such as incomplete grades, must be satisfied within two weeks following the end of the term in which the student seeks to graduate; otherwise, the student will be graduated at the end of the academic term in which all deficiencies are completed.

    A candidate for a baccalaureate degree should file an Application for Graduation with the Office of the Registrar at the beginning of the senior year. Each applicant for graduation is assessed a graduation fee, payable at the time of application. Application forms are available in the Office of the Registrar. Students may also submit an application online through CougarNet. Following application, the Office of the Registrar evaluates whether the student has met the University's General Education and other general academic degree requirements; the appropriate academic departments evaluate whether the student has met the requirements for the student's major and any minor. The Office of the Registrar then informs the student of requirements that must be completed. An Application for Graduation will not be processed after the announced final deadline which is three months prior to graduation.

    Commencement exercises are held each fall and spring term. Attendance at commencement is voluntary. The graduation fee does not cover the rental cost for the cap and gown. These items, as well as invitations, are ordered through the Bookstore in the Morris University Center, and questions regarding them should be referred to the Bookstore. Participation in commencement exercises does not entitle a student to a degree.

    Bachelor's Degree

    A candidate for a bachelor's degree must fulfill all academic requirements of the University and of the student's major and minor, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for work completed at SIUE.

    Each bachelor's degree candidate must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit in approved courses. Of the 120 credit hours required: (1) at least 30 hours must be earned at SIUE; (2) at least 30 additional hours must be earned at SIUE or at a four-year institution approved by SIUE; and (3) the remaining hours may be earned at an accredited two-year institution.

    Dual Major

    A student completing two majors under the same degree title will earn a single degree with two majors even if the majors are not contained within the same college or school. Students pursuing two majors in the same degree must complete the requirements for both majors. These students are not required to complete additional credit hours unless the requirements of each major may not be accomplished within 120 hours.

    Second Degree

    A second degree is defined as one of the following:

    1) A different degree - e.g. Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Social Work
    2) A subsequent degree - e.g. 1st B.S. awarded Fall 2015, 2nd B.S. awarded Spring 2016

    A student seeking a second baccalaureate degree, as defined above, must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the requirements for the first degree, and must satisfy the requirements of the primary concentration for the second degree. At least 15 semester hours must be taken in residence at SIUE.

    Foreign Language Requirement for Bachelor of Arts Degree

    A person seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree must establish, either by examination or by approved college courses, proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to having completed one year of college-level work in the language. Requirements for some degrees may require proficiency in a foreign language at a level exceeding that equivalent to one year's college-level study.

    Graduation Appeals Committee

    The University Graduation Appeals Committee hears student petitions regarding the University's general requirements for a baccalaureate degree. The Committee does not consider appeals concerning satisfaction of requirements established by an academic department for the major or minor concentration. An appeal concerning those requirements is initiated through the respective academic department.

    Appeals to the Committee are initiated through the Office of the Registrar. Ordinarily, the Committee will give consideration to an appeal only if there is tangible evidence that the matter at issue resulted from conditions beyond the student's control.


    General Information

    Degrees are awarded at the end of each semester and at the end of the summer session. In order to qualify for a diploma, a student must (1) file a graduation application, (2) complete all course requirements of a degree program, (3) successfully complete the exit requirement of the program, if applicable, by the last day of finals week in the graduating term, (4) turn in the thesis or dissertation (if such is a program requirement), and (5) satisfy all other program requirements such as internship, practicum, or foreign language requirements where appropriate. The student is responsible for complying with Graduate Student Continuous Enrollment Policy 1L16. The date of a degree shall be the end of the semester or summer session in which the Graduate Records Office is able to document all of the above.

    A minimum GPA of 3.0 (A = 4.0) is required in all graduate coursework required by the program for awarding the degree. Individual programs can have a higher GPA requirement.

    No credit is allowed toward a graduate degree for courses in which a grade less than C is recorded. Students must satisfy the minimum overall graduate point average (GPA) in graduate policy and for the major in order to graduate. Students may graduate with Incomplete grades in graduate-level courses not required for the major provided that the overall GPA does not fall below the minimum requirement when failing grades for these Incomplete grades are factored into the overall GPA. Incomplete grades will remain on the transcript until either the course requirements have been completed or the Incomplete lapses to a failing grade as described in Policy 1J5, whichever occurs first.

    The Graduate Records Office will clear for graduation those students who have completed course requirements or who are registered in final courses and who have on file the items listed above. Clearance for graduation consists of formal notification to the student and academic unit that, with the recording of grades for certain stipulated courses and maintenance of appropriate grade-point average, a student is entitled to a diploma.

    Commencement exercises are held each fall and spring term. To be listed in the printed Commencement program, a graduate student must have filed an application to graduate according to the published schedule. Participation in Commencement exercises does not entitle a student to a degree.

    Second Majors

    Requirements for graduate students completing a second major are contained in Policy 1L12.


    Requirements for retention are contained in Policy 1L2.

    Transfer Credit

    Requirements for transfer credit are contained in Policy 1J6.

    Culminating Project

    For requirements, see University Policy 1L8. In order to comply with Federal regulations, culminating projects proposals for research involving human subjects, animals, or biohazardous materials, including recombinant DNA, must be cleared by the appropriate University committee and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School before data collection begins. See Policy 1M9 Protection for Human Subjects, Policy 1M10 Instructional and Research Animal Welfare, and Policy 1M3 Biohazardous Material Use. Projects involving unmanned aerial systems (UAS) must comply with University UAS requirements. Graduate students funded on research projects must comply with Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research requirements. Contact the Graduate School's Office of Research and Projects for additional information and assistance.


    A student is required to complete at least 30 semester hours of acceptable graduate credit meeting the above GPA requirement. One-half of the required credits must be earned in courses numbered 500 or above and at least two-thirds must be earned in a field of major study or a cooperative or inter-disciplinary program. Only credit earned within a 6-year period preceding the completion of all requirements, whether at SIUE or elsewhere, is counted toward a master's degree. Degrees, such as the Master of Fine Arts, may require more than 30 semester hours; all other requirements listed above will still apply.

    Thesis or Other Creative Effort

    Each candidate for a master's degree shall prepare and submit a thesis except where a graduate program has been approved by the Graduate Council to provide for some other arrangement. For thesis requirements, see University Policy 1L8.  A draft of the thesis must be submitted the Monday preceding finals week in the term graduation is sought. The final thesis must be approved by the Graduate School within 5 weeks of graduation.
    Non-Thesis Programs

    Students in graduate programs that do not require a thesis are governed by specific requirements of the appropriate programs, and their work is directed by an Advisory Committee of at least three graduate faculty members. Research papers or other projects required in lieu of a thesis are not filed with the Graduate School.
    Exit Requirement

    Each candidate for a master's degree is required to pass an exit requirement, conducted by an advisory committee composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty. The examination requires advanced application of skills and knowledge. The student is expected to demonstrate an approved standard of scholarship and to provide evidence of the ability to think critically, to draw and defend conclusions, and to complete the work in a creditable manner. Report of the results of this examination is filed with the Graduate Records Office.

    Foreign Language Requirement

    Some graduate degree programs stipulate a foreign language requirement. In these cases, students will make arrangements to satisfy the requirement through means stipulated by the graduate faculty of the program.


    Specialist degree programs are for qualified students with master's degrees who wish to pursue advanced graduate programs in an educational field. Students complete a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the master's degree. A maximum of 12 semester hours at the 400 level may be included. Only credit earned within a 6-year period preceding the completion of all requirements, whether at SIUE or elsewhere, is counted toward a specialist's degree. Students work with an advisory committee of three qualified graduate faculty members and are required to pass an exit requirement for the degree.
    A student has 7 years from admission to complete the specialist program. Any exceptions must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.


    A minimum GPA of 3.0 (A = 4.0) is required in all graduate coursework required by the program for awarding the certificate. See also Policy 1L14. Specific certificate programs may have additional requirements. A student has 6 years from admission to complete the certificate. Any exceptions must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. 

    The following section describes the University general regulations for the doctoral programs. For information about specific degree programs, students should consult the specific degree program description. 
    SIUE Doctoral Degree Requirements 

    The doctoral degree is awarded pending fulfillment of curriculum requirements, passing a qualifying exam, completing a dissertation/final doctoral project and successfully defending it before a faculty committee. These requirements are set forth in more detail below.

    Generally, a student has 8 years from admission to complete the doctoral program. However, individual programs may vary their specific requirements. See the relevant program description in the catalog for program specific requirements.  Any exceptions must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
    Curriculum Requirements

    Students must successfully complete curriculum requirements for their program. The curriculum for each program is specified in the Graduate Catalog.
    Qualifying Examination

    Students must take and pass a qualifying examination before admission to candidacy. Eligibility for the examination is only upon recommendation of the pertinent faculty. Students generally prepare for this examination through independent study and/or course work, as advised and supervised by the pertinent faculty. The form and content of the examination are determined by the faculty of each of the doctoral programs.

    Admission to Candidacy

    Admission to candidacy must be recommended by the pertinent faculty and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the candidacy period terminates before completion of requirements for the degree, students may be re-admitted to candidacy after passing another qualifying examination and following the same procedure as for the first such admission.

    Dissertation/Final Project

    Each candidate for a doctoral degree shall prepare and submit a dissertation except where a graduate program has been approved by the Graduate Council to provide for some other arrangement.

    The dissertation/final project proposal must be approved by the committee and the title of the dissertation/final project registered with the Dean of the Graduate School no later than the first day of classes in the term in which the student expects to graduate. After admission to candidacy, a student must complete a doctoral dissertation or final project according to the specific guidelines of the academic program. For requirements, see University Policy 1L8. A draft of the dissertation must be submitted the Monday preceding finals week in the term graduation is sought. The final dissertation must be approved by the Graduate School within 5 weeks of graduation.

    Dissertation/final projects are supervised by a faculty committee, consisting of at least three members, one of whom is designated chair. Chairs of committees must have Graduate II status and at least two other members must have at least Graduate I status. The status of other committee members varies dependent upon the policies of the individual academic program.
    While working on a dissertation or final project, students must register for dissertation/final project hours. After students have completed all coursework and the maximum number of dissertation/final project credit hours specified by the doctoral program, students must remain continuously enrolled per Policy 1L16. A student may only register for dissertation/final project credit hours beyond the maximum number of hours specified by the program with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. 
    Oral Defense

    An oral defense conducted by the students' doctoral committee covers the subject of the dissertation/final project. A determination as to whether or not the oral defense has been passed is transmitted to the Graduate School from the examining committee.
    Cooperative Doctoral Degree Programs Between SIUE and SIUC

    A cooperative doctoral program between SIUE and SIUC permits graduate students admitted to a participating program to be enrolled in certain designated courses at either SIUE or SIUC and earn credits towards fulfillment of the doctoral degree requirements at SIUC. 

    Cooperative doctoral degree requirements include the following:

    1. Achievement of a grade point average of at least 3.0.
    2. Completion of any specific courses required by the doctoral program.
    3. Fulfillment of the 24-hour residency requirement, which includes program-specific requirements for the number of hours taken through SIUC.
    4. Completion of the research tool required by the doctoral program. (See
    5. Formation of a candidacy exam committee with one co-chair from SIUE, one co-chair from SIUC and at least one other member. Members must have Graduate II status.
    6. Passing of the preliminary examination.
    7. Admission to candidacy.
    8. Formation of a dissertation committee with at least three members from SIUE and at least three members from SIUC. One co-chair must be from SIUE, and one co-chair must be from SIUC. Members must have Graduate II status.
    9. Approval of the candidate's dissertation proposal by the committee.
    10. Completion of an approved dissertation with 24 hours of dissertation credit.
    11. Oral defense of dissertation.
    12. Electronic submission of dissertation (pdf version) to the Graduate School at SIUC by SIUC's deadline.
    13. Completion of Survey of Earned Doctorate.
    14. Degree conferred not less than 6 months nor more than 5 years after admission to candidacy.
    15. Submission of departmental clearance form.
    16. Submission of SIUC graduation paperwork.



    Graduation from the School of Dental Medicine implies that the student, as a new dental health practitioner, has acquired the knowledge, skills and values needed to assume the responsibility for the protection of human life and health. Therefore the School of Dental Medicine has defined a set of competencies which all students must demonstrate in order to qualify for graduation. Promotion from one academic year to the next and graduation from the program are based on satisfactorily meeting the performance standards indicative of competence that have been established by the faculty. These include: successfully passing all competency examinations, passing all courses, maintaining a minimum grade point average as established by the faculty, and attaining a sufficient level of clinical experiences as defined in the Student Interactive Learning Progress System. In addition students must meet expectations for attendance and be in full compliance with the Code of Student Conduct for the School of Dental Medicine.

    Students must complete the curriculum in accordance with progression guidelines to be eligible for graduation from the Pharm.D. program.


    Students must complete the curriculum in accordance with progression guidelines to be eligible for graduation from the Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program.

Approved by President effective 11/21/17
This policy was issued on January 11, 2018, replacing the March 20, 2017 version.
Document Reference: 1F1
Origin: OC 7/1/86; OC 9/10/91; OC 3/19/92; OP 4/2/96; OP 1/6/03; GR 4/23/12; CC#15-12/13, FS#01-12/13 & GR 3/21/13; GR 13/14-07; GR 14/15-20; CC#13-16/17 & GR 16/17-03; GR 17/18-01

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