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Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate Degree Requirements
Outstanding Scholarship Recognition
Semester Recognition
Undergraduate Graduation with Honors
Appeal Process for Graduation with Honors
Master’s Degree Requirements
Graduate Certificate Requirements
Doctoral Degree Requirements
Thesis or Dissertation
Final Stages of Thesis or Dissertation Preparation
Application for Graduation or Certificate Completion
Graduation Ceremonies
Transcripts
Distance Learning Courses
Student Records

Undergraduate Degree Requirements
Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of scholastic requirements. Each candidate for a baccalaureate degree shall:

  1. Matriculate as a "regular" off-campus programs undergraduate student.
  2. Fulfill the requirements prescribed on a degree.
  3. Complete a major, or a major and a minor, or minors as indicated on the chosen degree and authorized in consultation with his or her advisor.
  4. File an application for graduation by the deadline listed on the following page and pay the appropriate graduation fee with the application.
  5. Earn a minimum of 124 semester hours of acceptable credit of which 30 semester hours must have been earned from Central Michigan University. Ten of the last 30 hours prior to graduation must be taken at this university in on-campus or off-campus classes. Correspondence credit, advanced placement credit, CLEP credit, hours earned by credit by examination, and prior learning assessment credit may not be applied toward this requirement.
  6. Fulfill the general education requirements including University Program and competency requirements or as stipulated on the student’s program plan. Students may not take more than two courses or seven hours for CR/NC in the University Program. Students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in University Program courses in order to graduate.
  7. Present a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) or higher and a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or higher in major(s) or minor(s).
  8. Obtain a minimum of 40 semester hours of credit equivalent to the CMU course level of 300 or above, of which 20 semester hours may be prior learning assessment credit.
  9. Present a minimum of 124 semester credit hours which may include a maximum of 6 hours of RLA and/or PED activities. Sixty semester credit hours must be earned at an accredited four-year degree-granting institution or from a foreign university or college approved by the government or official regulating agency of the country in which the university or college is located. None of these 60 hours may include physical education activity courses. The Office of Undergraduate Academic Services makes the decisions regarding the acceptability of transfer credits according to the Transfer Credit Policy. Appeals of the decisions of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Services may be filed with the Board of Appeals.
  10. Present no more than 27 hours of course credit from the College of Business Administration. These hours include both business transfer credit and credits earned at Central Michigan University.

Graduation requirements for a baccalaureate degree are based on the regulations and requirements printed in the Bulletin in effect at the time of a student’s admission to the off-campus programs. A subsequent Bulletin may be chosen by the student when it is to her or his advantage. The time limitation on this provision is that no student may graduate under the requirements of a Bulletin published more than seven calendar years prior to the date of graduation.

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Outstanding Scholarship Recognition
The university recognizes the importance of high scholarship and seeks to stimulate and encourage students in high achievement.

Semester Recognition
The Dean’s List is published by the Dean of Students after each semester, naming students who have achieved a high scholastic standing for that semester. To qualify for this recognition, a student must meet all of the following conditions:

  1. have registered for and completed 12 or more letter-graded hours of CMU credit during the following periods: January 1-May 15; May 16-August 15; August 16-December 31;
  2. have earned a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher. The President’s List honors those students on the Dean’s List who achieved the 4.0 semester grade point average (GPA).

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Undergraduate Graduation with Honors
In order to be graduated with honors, a student must have, at the start of his or her last required session, a total cumulative grade point average at Central Michigan University as indicated in the following table, and must at the time have completed 45 hours of residence (not including prior learning assessment credit or correspondence courses) of which 33 hours must be letter-graded credit.

CMU does not accord honors status to master’s candidates.

Point Average  
3.90-4.00  Summa cum laude
3.75-3.89  Magna cum laude
3.50-3.74  Cum laude

Appeal Process for Graduation with Honors
A student who has attained, at the end of his/her final semester, 45 hours of residence, of which 33 hours are letter-graded credit, and has a GPA that now gives him or her honors or a higher honors classification may appeal for this new honors classification. The student must complete both a Graduation Honors Appeal form and a Diploma Replacement form and submit the established fee to Undergraduate Academic Services. A student must appeal no later than the Friday before the next commencement following his or her graduation.

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Master’s Degree Requirements
Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of scholastic requirements. Each candidate for a master’s degree shall:

  1. Matriculate as a "regular" graduate student, which includes filing official undergraduate transcripts.
  2. Complete all requirements as stipulated on the final approved graduate program plan.
  3. File an application for graduation by the deadline listed on the following page and pay the appropriate graduation fee with the application.
  4. Complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work approved by the program director. Most degrees including the MSA degree require more than 30 hours of graduate work. The additional hours and their nature are described under the "Degree Requirements" for the specific degree as listed in the "Graduate Degree Offerings" section of this catalog. Courses in which you earn a grade below C are not acceptable in fulfillment of this degree requirement.
  5. Earn no more than 50% of the minimum semester hours required for the graduate degree from sources outside CMU course work which may include a combination of transfer credit and prior learning assessment credit.
  6. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all course work on the student’s authorized degree program.
  7. Earn a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit equivalent to the course level of 600 or above which may include prior learning assessment credit.
  8. Submit evidence of scholarship and/or creative or artistic ability. See "Degree Requirements" for specific degree in the "Graduate Degree Offerings" section.
  9. Complete all requirements for the degree within seven years prior to the date of graduation.

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Graduate Certificate Requirements
Certificates are not awarded automatically upon completion of scholastic requirements. Each candidate for a certificate shall:

  1. Matriculate as a "regular" graduate student, which includes filing all official undergraduate transcripts.
  2. Complete all requirements as stipulated on the final graduate certificate program plan.
  3. File an application for the graduate certificate by the deadline listed in the following section and pay the appropriate certificate fee with the application.
  4. Earn a minimum of 15-18 semester hours (as specified by the individual certificate).
  5. Utilize not more than six hours of transfer credit. Prior learning may not be used to meet certificate requirements.
  6. Courses used on previous CMU graduate degrees or certificates may not be counted toward another certificate.
  7. Courses used on previous graduate degrees or certificates may not be counted toward a graduate certificate.
  8. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all course work on the student’s authorized degree program.
  9. Complete all requirements within four years prior to the completion of the graduate certificate.

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Doctoral Degree Requirements
Students are eligible to receive a doctoral degree as approved and implemented by the university after having:

  1. Received a master’s or specialist's degree, if this is a prerequisite on the curriculum.
  2. Acquired the research skills of the discipline as required by the department.
  3. Passed a comprehensive examination evaluated by more than one member of the graduate faculty.
  4. Been admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
  5. Completed a minimum of 90 semester hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Course work will be selected in consultation with the student's academic advisor or advising committee.
  6. Maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average overall.  Courses in which the student earns or has earned a grade below C do not count toward meeting any degree requirements.  A student with more than two grades below B- may not be awarded a Ph.D., D.H.A., or Ed.D. degree. Coursework that is not part of the student's doctoral program of study is excluded from this policy.  Particular programs may have more stringent grade requirements.
  7. Fulfilled all the requirements on the authorized doctoral program as developed by the student and the student's advisor or advising committee. The advisor or advising committee will supervise the program until the degree is completed or until it has been determined that the student should discontinue doctoral study;
  8. Earned at least fifteen hours in courses at the 700 level or above (excluding dissertation and internship credits) and 50 of the total hours at the 600 level or above.
  9. Prepared a doctoral dissertation, or in the case of some applied programs, a doctoral project. A doctoral project must be conducted under an advisor who meets the requirements for regular graduate faculty status as defined by the Academic Senate's Graduate Education Policy. All other policies and procedures for doctoral project are to be determined by the academic program and will be presented in the section of the Bulletin pertaining to the academic program. For the dissertation, you may receive a minimum of twelve hours of credit and a maximum of thirty-six hours of credit as specified on the authorized doctoral program under the guidelines of the specific department. The research for the doctoral dissertation will be conducted under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor and must be approved by a doctoral committee consisting of at least three graduate faculty members. The student must pass an oral defense of the completed dissertation. The committee members are the examining committee and determine whether the student passes the defense. The dissertation must be prepared according to the regulations prescribed in the College of Graduate Studies’ most recent edition of the Preparation Guide for Doctoral Dissertations and Theses and must be submitted to Dissertation Abstracts International.
  10. Completed the requirements for the doctoral degree within eight years prior to the award of the doctoral degree with prior relevant graduate degree and ten years if the student began doctoral study without prior relevant graduate degree. Courses completed outside these time frames may not be used to meet the graduation requirements without the written approval of the advisor, the chairperson of the department, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The request for such approval must be accompanied by a statement giving an explicit reason why the content of the out-of-date courses is still a viable part of the graduate program;
  11. Filed a Graduation Application in the College of Graduate Studies and paid the $50 graduation fee. (See Graduation Procedures.)

NOTE: Particular doctoral programs may have more specific or more stringent program requirements.

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Thesis or Dissertation
The satisfactory completion of a thesis is a requirement on some master’s degree programs and optional on others. The satisfactory completion of a thesis at CMU is a requirement for the specialist’s degree, and satisfactory completion of a doctoral dissertation is a requirement for some doctoral degrees.

Students should be aware that the university has specific policies that govern research involving human or animal subjects. Information on experimentation may be obtained from the department chairperson, committee chairperson, or College of Graduate Studies.

For stylistic guidelines, students are expected to follow the most recent College of Graduate Studies’ requirements, which are explained in the Preparation Guide for Doctoral Dissertations and Theses. Copies are available in the graduate studies office.

If students are writing a thesis or dissertation, it will be evaluated by a committee. Students should consult their advisor in selecting a committee chairperson and at least two committee members. The advisor may or may not be the committee chairperson, depending upon the student's academic emphasis. One member of the committee may be from a discipline other than that of the student's area of concentration. All members of the committee must be graduate faculty. For theses and dissertations completed through Central Michigan University's ProfEd, one of the three committee members must be a CMU on-campus regular faculty member or a regular faculty member from a collaborating university (such as in a joint program), or if all committee members are from off-campus, the committee chair must meet the requirements for regular graduate faculty status as defined by the Academic Senate's Graduate Education Policy and be approved as committee chair by the department.

The chairperson of the thesis or dissertation committee will have active direction of the thesis but may wish to consult with other members of the committee about matters pertinent to its development. The committee as a whole, however, will determine the quality of the work.

After a committee has been selected and a topic chosen, a Thesis or Dissertation Approval Prospectus form must be filed in the College of Graduate Studies, before the work is formally initiated. The department may require a more detailed prospectus.

Each student who writes a thesis or dissertation must enroll for such credit. Letter grades are not used in the evaluation of the thesis or dissertation; therefore, the student’s grade point average is not affected by credit earned for these. In all departments the thesis, dissertation or doctoral research project is designated as credit (CR) if acceptable and no credit (NC) if not acceptable. Students will receive six semester hours of credit for an acceptable thesis. For a dissertation, a minimum of twelve and a maximum of thirty-six semester credit hours may be earned depending on the guidelines for the specific department.

A student may not enroll for more than three credits of the thesis or doctoral dissertation until the project prospectus has been approved at the department level and composition of the committee has been verified by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Credit will be granted upon satisfactory completion of the dissertation or thesis and its acceptance by the committee. See the Duration of Admission Status for more information on time limits.

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Final Stages of Thesis or Dissertation Preparation
The final draft of the committee-approved thesis or doctoral dissertation must be submitted for a final check to the College of Graduate Studies according to the published deadline date (approximately four weeks prior to the end of the semester). Failure to meet this deadline or any departmentally stipulated deadline, may result in the student’s graduation being delayed until the following semester.

After approval by the College of Graduate Studies, the student will be given a Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation Approval form. The student completing a dissertation must take a clean copy of the dissertation to Library Business Services, 308 Park Library, to prepare for microfilming, no later than one week after graduation. The student must also take two copies of the thesis, dissertation or doctoral research project to the University Printing Services, Combined Services Building, for binding, no later than one week after graduation. The approval form must be signed at the Library and Printing Services and returned to the graduate studies office.

All doctoral dissertations are microfilmed by University Microfilms International. A graduate student has the option to file his/her master's thesis with UMI. Instructions for microfilming are available from the College of Graduate Studies.

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Application for Graduation or Certificate Completion
The three official graduation periods each year at Central Michigan University are in May, August, and December. Students must meet all requirements stated for her or his course of study and must submit a Graduation Application for Certificates, Doctorates, Master’s or Specialist Degrees with the appropriate fee before the period when the student anticipates completion of her or his program.

A student who fails to complete her or his program requirements by the deadline for which he or she has applied, will then be entered on the prospective graduation list for the next period. If the student fails to complete the requirements by the second period, her or his name will not be entered automatically on the next prospective list. The student must submit a new application and fee.

The above deadlines are subject to change, and a student planning to apply for graduation/certificate completion should contact the program center office to determine current deadlines.

Application filed by:  Requirements fulfilled by: To be eligible for graduation:
December 1  May 15  May
April 1  August 15  August
July 1  December 31  December

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Graduation Ceremonies
All students receiving degrees and certificates are invited to participate in the official graduation ceremonies conducted in May and December of each year on the Central Michigan University campus in Mount Pleasant. Campus graduation ceremonies will be held December 17, 2005 and May 8, 2006.

Information about campus graduation ceremonies is mailed to prospective graduates four to six weeks prior to the event.

Diplomas are not distributed during the graduation ceremonies but are sent to students by mail. Graduates generally receive their diplomas within two months following the on-campus ceremony.

Graduation ceremonies are also scheduled at a number of off-campus locations. Detailed information and schedules may be obtained through the program administrator.

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Transcripts
A student desiring a transcript of her or his record from the university should submit a written, hand-signed request to the Office of the Registrar, Central Michigan University, 212 Warriner Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859. Letter requests should include name, last four digits of his/her Social Security number, dates of attendance, birth date, and, if a graduate, the date of graduation. No transcript will be released without written authorization of the student.

Ordinarily transcripts are processed in one to five days. Priority service is available by specifically requesting the priority service and paying an $10 priority charge for each transcript. Priority transcript requests will be prepared in time for the next outgoing mail. Priority transcripts requested in person will be prepared immediately.

Transcripts of students with a financial obligation to the university are not released until the obligation is paid.

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Distance Learning Courses
Courses in distance learning format (e.g. Web-based courses, learning packages, and other non-face-to-face formats for delivering instruction) may be used to complete degree requirements unless otherwise specifically excluded. CMU courses and programs approved for distance learning delivery (as well as restrictions) are given in the descriptions of courses, majors, minors and degrees in this Bulletin.

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Student Records
A separate university policy, titled "Policies and Procedures Concerning the Custody of Student Educational Records," explains in detail the procedures to be used by Central Michigan University for compliance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Copies of the policy are available in the program center office.

Official student records are maintained on the campus in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Permanent records or transcripts are maintained on all individuals who earn credit at Central Michigan University. These permanent records are maintained by the registrar of Central Michigan University.

Records of applications and correspondence regarding admission, academic transcripts from other institutions, transfer credit, prior learning, graduation, and other academic issues are maintained on campus. See admissions section for information on inactive and no-show students.

California: In compliance with California’s Reform Act, Central Michigan University’s Camp Pendleton office will maintain records for a minimum period of five years. These records include written records and transcripts used in the admission decision process, financial aid, registration information, final grade lists, and copies of the CMU transcripts.

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