Other Requirements for Graduation

Residence Requirements

Baylor University holds to the principle that a Baylor degree is symbolic of a Baylor education and of the principles for which Baylor stands. To this end the University insists on a significant residence period as a degree requirement. A minimum of sixty semester hours must be earned in residence, and the University urges a much higher amount. Registered nurses pursuing the bachelor of science in nursing degree must complete a minimum of thirty-three semester hours in residence. This minimum must include the last thirty hours of degree requirements. At least twelve hours of advanced work in the major and twelve hours (nine advanced) in the minor must be earned in residence. Students pursuing the bachelor of science in education degree must earn at least twenty-three advanced hours of secondary and twenty-three advanced hours of elementary education in residence. Those seeking teacher certification must also earn at least six semester hours of advanced work in an academic specialization (for elementary certification) or nine semester hours of advanced work in each teaching field (for secondary certification) and must complete student teaching in residence. These are irreducible minima.

For students enrolled in cooperative degree programs, such as clinical laboratory science, the request for all upper division courses to be taken in residence applies to courses taken in the year prior to when the professional program begins.


University Chapel is the oldest tradition at Baylor and stands as a symbol and a witness to all in the Baylor community of our heritage and mission.  For over 170 years students have gathered to worship and pray, to be taught and inspired, and to encounter God in a way that makes a difference in their college experience.  Chapel is not only a reminder of and a connection to our faith, but it is an important component in a Baylor education, which emphasizes the development of the whole person. For these reasons, two semesters of Chapel are a graduation requirement at Baylor University. 

The Chapel requirement of two semesters is for an entering first-year student and for a student who transfers to Baylor from another institution and who is classified by Baylor at the time of transfer as either a freshman or a sophomore. The Chapel requirement is one semester for a student who transfers to Baylor from another institution and who is classified by Baylor at the time of transfer as either a junior or a senior. (See “Student Classifications” in this catalog.) In their first semester at Baylor, all incoming students will be registered for Chapel.

Admission to Candidacy

All candidates for degrees should file notice of intention to graduate in their respective dean’s offices during the second semester of their junior year. This will make it possible for records to be checked to determine eligibility for graduation. Failure to do this may cause a delay in graduation because of unfulfilled requirements. To be admitted to unqualified candidacy for graduation in this semester, the student must be following an official degree program making it possible to graduate as planned and must have earned approximately enough grade points to graduate.

Students may graduate at the end of the fall semester, spring semester, or summer session. Graduates are expected to attend the commencement exercises. Diplomas are dated and available only as of the official closing date of a semester or full summer session. No student may receive his or her diploma until all degree requirements are complete and the necessary official records are in the Office of the Registrar. The university reserves the right to correct errors in records at any time. Students permitted to complete programs off campus are responsible for indicating their term of graduation and for supplying all records needed.

Grade Average

A grade average of “C” or better must be maintained overall and in all major and minor fields and academic specializations. Exceptions to this policy may be found in the requirements for each academic unit. Grade averages are computed on the basis of hours attempted, not hours completed. The grade average in the major field is based on all attempted courses eligible to be included in the major, not merely on the minimum major requirements. Credit transferred from other schools does not affect the GPA in any respect. An undergraduate student with an outstanding grade (e.g. incomplete or missing grade) is not eligible to receive a degree until such time as the outstanding grade has been resolved.

Required Assessment

Graduating students may be asked to participate in one or more assessment activities which may include nationally normed academic achievement tests, by discipline, administered by departments, schools, or the university in general. Assessment of student outcomes is an integral accreditation requirement for Baylor University.

Catalog Governing Requirements

Normally a student will fulfill the degree requirements as listed in the catalog of the year of initial, continual enrollment. The student may choose the requirements as listed for any other specific academic year in which the student is enrolled. However, the university reserves the right to make any changes in requirements it may consider necessary and desirable by due notice in this catalog.

The catalog year begins with the opening of the fall semester. All undergraduate students who enroll at Baylor for the first time as a degree-seeking student in summer will follow degree requirements matching those for the subsequent fall semester. Course prerequisites will apply as approved based on the term in which a student registers for a course regardless of the course prerequisites identified in the catalog matching a student’s degree requirements.

Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

All students, except for students enrolled in the graduate programs listed below, may participate in the next available commencement ceremony during (or after) the term in which they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are enrolled at Baylor in the remaining coursework needed to complete their degree.
  • They are transferring in the remaining coursework needed to complete their degree.
  • They have completed all degree requirements in a term that was completed since the most recent ceremony.

For the purposes of determining completion of degree under this policy, a student must complete all requirements for any majors, secondary majors, concentrations, minors, and/or certificates included on the student’s record.

Students who withdraw from the University in the term may not participate.

*Seminary students and Doctoral candidates in the following programs must be certified as having completed their degree in order to participate in commencement ceremonies at the end of a term:

  • PhD
  • PsyD
  • EdD
  • DMA
  • DSC

Posthumously Awarded Degrees

A student in his/her final year (e.g., an undergraduate student having completed 90 credit hours or greater), who is enrolled in good standing, making satisfactory academic progress, meeting all minimum grade point average requirements for his/her degree program, and dies before completing his/her degree may be awarded the degree posthumously upon the recommendation of the student’s academic dean and with the approval of the Provost.

Revisions to This Catalog

To request revisions to this catalog, contact Dr. Wesley Null, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness, at Wesley_Null@baylor.edu.