Jul 15, 2024  
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements and Procedures

Graduation Requirements

Students are personally responsible for knowing degree require­ments and enrolling in courses that fulfill their degree program. Students, with the help of their advisers, design their program to satisfy their needs and aims. Students will be required to complete assessment activities as determined by the university prior to the awarding of degrees. Students are likewise held responsible for knowing regula­tions governing the standard of work required for continuance in the university involving academic probation and suspension.

Although this catalog is intended to set forth the various provi­sions for study and requirements for the awarding of degrees, periodic revisions of the provisions for study and degree requirements are ap­propriate (because of advances in knowledge, changes in occupational requirements, academic preparation of students, and in faculty and facilities at the university). In order for the catalog to be available in spring of each year, publication must begin the previous October. This is almost a year before the requirements specified therein become effec­tive the following fall and almost five years before a student entering at that time could graduate. Accordingly, the university cannot guarantee the awarding of a degree based on the unchanged requirements as set forth in a particular catalog.

Adjustment to Changing Requirements

Students are expected to inform themselves of changes in degree requirements by reviewing the catalogs that are published annually and their Degree Evaluation reports; then, when necessary, adjust their degree plans accordingly.

If university or college requirements are changed, students are encouraged to adopt the new requirements; however, students will have the option of graduating under the requirements in effect when they entered the university or one of Wyoming’s community colleges, provided the courses are still available. The student must accept either the new requirements or the requirements in effect when they entered the university or one of Wyoming’s community colleges in their entirety, not a combination from each. Students changing colleges within the university or reentering the university after one or more years away are expected to adopt the requirements in effect at the time of the reentry. Any substitution to the above must be approved in writing by the student’s adviser and the college dean and added to the student’s advising folder in the department or college.

If departmental requirements are changed, students will ordinarily be permitted to continue under the requirements in effect when they entered that major department provided there has not been an inter­ruption in their education for a year or more; however, students are encouraged to adopt the new requirements. Notice of changes will be available from departmental offices and advisers. It is the responsibility of students to keep in touch with their major departments, to learn of changes in requirements, and to plan ahead so that necessary courses can be taken by the expected time of completing a degree. Many courses are not given every semester and some not every year.

If required prerequisites for a course are changed, notice may be obtained from the department offices. The university cannot continue two courses, one with and one without a newly-adopted prerequisite. The student must therefore meet the new prerequisite or obtain per­mission from the instructor to enroll in the course. In the event of any doubt as to the adequacy of preparation for a course, the student should consult with the instructor or an adviser in the department as far in advance as possible. Independent study, if approved, may be accepted in lieu of a specific course prerequisite.

Scholarship Standards

A UW cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.000 is required for undergraduate degrees and 3.000 for graduate degrees. The cumulative grade point average is defined as the sum of all grade points earned in residence, via Distance Education at the University of Wyoming, with the following exceptions:

  1. The credit hours shall not be counted in courses in which marks of W, S, or U were assigned, or in which marks of I (for incomplete) are still in effect.
  2. For repeated courses:
    1. First repeat: only the second credit and grade is used to calculate the cumulative GPA.
    2. If repeated more than once, only the last grade is used to cal­culate the cumulative GPA.
    3. If a mark of W, S, or U is assigned in a repeated course, the previous grade assigned will stand except when an S or U is earned repeating a previous S or U.
    4. Courses applied towards one completed undergraduate degree may be repeated as part of a second degree; however, the grade and GPA in the original degree will not be changed.
  3. Transfer grades are not counted in the UW GPA. If a course taken at UW is repeated for the first time at another institution, the credits and grade earned at UW will be deleted from the UW cumula­tive GPA if credit for the repeated course is transferred to UW.
  4. For graduate students, courses numbered below 4000 are not added into the semester and cumulative totals, nor computed into the GPA.

Semester Hour Requirements

Completion of the total minimum credit hours for undergraduate degrees from the various colleges is indicated below:

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 120-128 hours
College of Arts and Sciences 120-128 hours
College of Business 120 hours
College of Education 120-128 hours
College of Engineering and Applied Science 120-132 hours
College of Health Sciences 120-123 hours
School of Energy Resources 120 hours

These minimum hour requirements are in line with the Higher Learning Commission’s criteria for accreditation.

The total minimum credit hours for graduate degrees depends on the degree earned. Masters degrees require 30 credit hours and Doctoral degrees require 72 credit hours. See the Graduate Student Regulations and Policies for more details.

University Baccalaureate Requirements

  1. A cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better from the University of Wyoming;
  2. Satisfactory completion of the prescribed curriculum in which the degree is sought, including fulfillment of the entrance require­ments in the college concerned;
  3. Satisfactory completion of the University Studies Program: Students who entered the University of Wyoming, one of Wyoming’s com­munity colleges, or an out-of-state academic institution fall 2015 or later, are required to complete the University Studies Program 2015, a university-wide program in general education. The detailed requirements for the University Studies Program are provided in this catalog on page 53.
  4. Students must complete a minimum of 42 upper division (junior/ senior) or graduate-level semester credit hours, 30 of which must be earned from the University of Wyoming. Credit by examination does not count towards the required 30 hours of residency credit;
  5. Not more than 24 semester hours of correspondence study courses may be used toward fulfilling requirements for a bachelor’s degree;
  6. Not more than 4 semester hours of credit in physical activity courses can count toward the minimum credit hour requirement for a bachelor’s degree;
  7. The last credit applicable to degree requirements must be earned from the University of Wyoming with the following exception: students of senior standing may complete degree requirements elsewhere by obtaining special permission of the department head, adviser, and college dean, and declaring an anticipated graduation date with the Office of the Registrar;
  8. Native language credit: students are not allowed university credit for language courses below the 4000-level in their native language.

Assessment Requirement

Students may be required to complete assessment activities as de­termined by the university prior to the awarding of degrees.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree must meet all of the university and college requirements as prescribed for a first bachelor’s degree. Students whose first degree was received from an institution where English is not the predominant language must complete the University Studies Communication I (COM1) and Communication II (COM2) requirements. The second bachelor’s degree may have the same title as the first degree and may be in the same college as the first degree; but if in the same college it must be in a different major. Grades earned in all undergraduate course work (including courses applied towards a previous UW bachelor’s degree) are included in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.

The minimum study requirement for a second bachelor’s degree is 30 additional semester hours earned from the University of Wyoming, 12 of which must be in upper division (junior/senior-level) or graduate-level courses. However, a student must also fulfill all of the college and major requirements for the second degree. Credit by examination does not count toward UW residency. The 30 hours is in addition to the study requirement for the first degree for those students earning the first degree from the University of Wyoming. The 30 additional hours would be added to the degree requiring the least number of hours. Both degrees may be awarded at the same commencement.

Courses applied towards one completed degree may be repeated as part of a second degree; however, the grade and GPA in the original degree will not be changed.

Students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institu­tion will be considered to have met the UW University Studies (USP) program requirements, with the exception of the US and Wyoming Constitution requirement, unless previously completed.

Second Bachelor’s Degree Transfer Policy

Typically, undergraduate coursework from other collegiate institu­tions will not be loaded individually into the University of Wyoming student database after a bachelor’s degree has been earned for the student. In situations in which a student who has previously earned one bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming is subsequently required to take coursework from another collegiate institution to ful­fill major and overall hour requirements for a second degree from the university, the student’s department can ask the Office of the Registrar to load selected courses into the student’s record. As with all students who wish to earn two bachelor’s degrees from the university, the student will be required to successfully complete the following requirements:

  • Major requirements for the major of the second degree
  • College requirements for the college which will award the sec­ond degree
  • A minimum of 30 additional semester hours over the minimum required for the student’s first degree
  • At least 60 earned semester hours from the University of Wyoming (30 required hours for first degree, 30 additional hours required for second degree)
  • At least 54 earned semester hours of upper division (3000+- or junior/senior- level) credit (42 required upper division hours for first degree, 12 additional upper division hours required for second degree)
  • At least 42 earned semester hours of upper division (3000+- or junior/senior- level) credit from the University of Wyoming (30 required upper division hours from UW for first degree, 12 additional upper division hours from UW required for second degree)

Concurrent Majors

Students may pursue a concurrent major in one or more colleges. Only one degree (BA, BS, etc.) will be awarded from the college of the primary major. All university curricular requirements, including the University Studies Program requirements, must be met only once. Requirements for secondary major(s) will be established by the academic departments and may include college requirements, in addition to all major requirements. An academic adviser in each major is required and each adviser must review requirements. The degree will be granted on one date only and only one diploma will be awarded. Both majors will be indicated on the academic transcript and diploma.

Dual Degrees

It is possible to pursue degrees in one or more colleges. The uni­versity requirements and University Studies Program requirements must be met only once. Students must meet the all college and major requirements of both majors. Students must complete an additional 30 semester hours from the University of Wyoming, 12 of which must be in upper-division (junior/senior-level) or graduate-level courses beyond the credit hour requirement for the degree with the minimum number of credit hours required. An academic adviser in each major is required and each adviser must review requirements. Multiple degrees and multiple diplomas will be awarded; however, the completion date must be the same. Both colleges, degrees, and majors will be indicated on the academic transcript.

Graduate Student Requirements

Graduate students must have a Committee Assignment (if required), a Program of Study, and Preliminary Examination Results forms (doctoral students only) on file before they may submit an Anticipated Graduation Date form. Upon receipt of the form, the Degree Analyst in the Office of the Registrar will verify that all course requirements have been met. If discrepancies are found, the Degree Analyst will contact the student with instructions on how to resolve them. The Degree Analyst will also verify that the student has registered for a minimum of one semester hour for the current semester. If there are questions, the student should contact the appropriate Degree Analyst.

Before the Defense

A formal public announcement of thesis and dissertation defenses is required. Students should contact their department for specific procedures.

Prior to the defense, the student should complete the Report of Final Examination form and take it to the defense.

After the Defense

Following the defense and when all committee signatures have been secured, the student should submit the Report of Final Examination Results form to the Office of the Registrar (note: committee chairs may delay signature until all necessary changes to the thesis/dissertation/ non-thesis paperwork have been made and approved).

After submission of the Report of Final Examination Results form which indicates all changes/revisions have been made and the thesis/ dissertation is approved for final submission, the student will submit the document for format review and final electronic publication to ProQuest. The student will be advised if additional corrections are required.

Ph.D. students will need to complete the NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates through the procedure noted on the Graduate Student Graduation page of the Office of the Registrar website.

Degree Evaluation/Declaring a Graduation Date

All students have an electronic degree evaluation available through WyoWeb that shows requirements of the degree program and the prog­ress that the student is making toward meeting those requirements. Any discrepancies should be reported to a degree analyst in the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible.

Students are responsible for notifying their degree analyst of their anticipated date of graduation with an Anticipated Graduation Date form.Students are encouraged to submit the Anticipated Graduation Date form as early as possible in the expected term of graduation. Delaying this action could affect graduation, as requirements indicated on the degree evaluation must be met prior to a student being cleared for graduation.

Graduation Fee

Payment of the graduation fee of $25.00 for each degree or cer­tificate to be earned is due by the last day of classes from all students planning to graduate.


Final grades covering completion of course work in Distance Education, transfer, special examinations, and incomplete work from previous attendance must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the deadline for submission of final UW grades for the term in which the degree is to be conferred.

Final Approval

Final recommendation of the faculty and approval of the University Trustees for conferral of degrees is required. The trustees may, for good cause, decline to confer a degree upon any candidate.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

Commencement is not the same thing as graduation. All academic colleges hold commencement exercises on the May graduation date. Several of the colleges also have commencement exercises in December. Check the appropriate college dean’s office for specific information. Students in their final year of study who have declared graduation dates are considered candidates for graduation. Students in certificate programs do not participate in commencement. Participation in the exercise does not automatically confer degrees. Confirmation of graduation will occur after a review of final course work.

The official graduation dates for the 2020-2021 academic year are December 11, 2021 and May 14, 2022. Please note that commence­ment ceremonies might be held on days other than the official date. To be eligible for a graduation date, all work must be completed prior to that date.

Commencement exercises are a historical academic custom involv­ing participation by all segments of the university and attendance by members of the graduate’s families and friends as well as the general public. Those students who participate in commencement exercises are expected to wear appropriate traditional academic regalia.

Graduation with Honors

Designations of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude will be added to the baccalaureate academic transcripts and diplomas of graduating undergraduate students earning at least 48 credit hours from the University of Wyoming (of which 45 hours must be for A-F grades) based on the following percentages:

Top 1% summa cum laude
Next 4% magna cum laude
Next 5% cum laude

as computed from the GPAs of graduating undergraduate students in each college. Honors graduates will be identified by comparison to a 5-year rolling grade point distribution computed for each college, to be recomputed annually each spring semester.

These designations are effective with the fall 2000 semester and are not retroactive.

Honor graduation will be granted for students in the College of Law upon successful completion of 56 hours in the college with a cumulative GPA of 3.400 or better based on University of Wyoming College of Law courses.

A Doctor of Pharmacy is awarded with honor by the university to a student who graduates with scholarship in pharmacy of unusual excellence as defined by the School of Pharmacy.