Degree Regulations


  • Undergraduate Degree Requirements
  • Credit Residence Requirements
  • Coursework Done Out of Residence
  • Credit Validation

Awarding Degrees:

  • Awarding Degrees
  • Double Majors
  • Dual Degrees
  • Second Degrees
  • Reverse Transfer
  • Diploma Retention Policy


  • Graduation
  • Graduation with Honors

In this section

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

All undergraduate degree programs include the General Education Foundations (GEF), require a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or higher, and require a minimum of 120 credit hours. In addition, the various colleges and schools may determine their own specific graduation requirements which may include additional course or credit requirements, minimum course grades, and grade point averages higher than a 2.0.

Every undergraduate degree program at WVU requires that students satisfactorily complete the General Education Foundations. For General Education Foundations definitions, please see the list of approved GEF courses. All undergraduate students at WVU are also required to fulfill a Writing and Communication Skills and a Capstone course. It is determined by the degree-granting college and/or academic unit which course fulfills the Writing and Communications Skills requirement. Please note that transfer courses do not fulfill the Writing and Communication Skills or Capstone requirements. In exceptional cases, students can petition their college to have a transfer course approved as fulfilling the Writing and Communication Skills requirement. Students will need to provide evidence of process writing. Because of their unique concept, Capstone courses can never be transferred from another institution, including courses taken while studying abroad.

Students entering WVU as an undergraduate student with fewer than twenty-nine hours must also earn a passing grade in First Year Seminar in their first semester at WVU. Those who do not pass the course must re-enroll for subsequent semesters until they earn a passing grade.

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Credit Residence Requirements

Candidates for an undergraduate degree from West Virginia University should plan to complete at least 30 their final 36 credit hours in residence. Students who do not complete 30 of the final 36 credit hours in residence must complete a minimum of 90 total credit hours in residence in order to earn a WVU degree. Individual colleges, schools, or departments might have additional residence requirements as part of their degree or major requirements. Students should consult their respective academic unit with questions regarding specific degree or major residence requirements. Transfer coursework (excluding Potomac State College and WVU Institute of Technology courses); WVU administered credit by examination, placement credit, and experiential learning credit; Advanced Placement (AP) credit; International Baccalaureate (IB) credit; College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit; high school dual enrollment credit; and military training credit are examples of the types of coursework excluded from WVU residence credit. While WVU administered credit by examination, placement credit, and experiential learning credit will be excluded from WVU residence credit, it does not interrupt the final 30 credit hours in residence if earned during this period.

Note: Resident credit hours are not synonymous with West Virginia State residency definitions for tuition purposes.

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Work Done Out of Residence

Coursework completed at another institution (excluding Potomac State College and WVU Institute of Technology) is considered non-WVU resident credit hours. Students transferring to WVU from another institution will receive a preliminary evaluation of transfer credits upon admission to the University. Transfer credits from two-year community colleges and junior colleges are limited to a maximum of seventy-two hours of lower-division credit. Coursework accepted from two-year colleges is limited to lower-division credit; in some cases, upper-division courses may not apply toward a student’s degree at WVU. WVU students who wish to take courses at another accredited institution and receive transfer credit should review the transient approval process and consult the Office of Admissions website ( for the Transient Application Form.

Anticipated Coursework Done Out of Residence Policy for the 2019-2020 academic year:  

It is possible that work completed at another institution may be used toward a West Virginia University degree.


Transfer students are West Virginia University students who have completed post-secondary coursework at a regionally accredited college or university after graduation from high school, but before registering at WVU.  Courses brought to WVU upon original matriculation are called transfer work.  To be admitted as a transfer student at WVU, a student must have at least a cumulative 2.0 grade point average in all college work attempted at regionally accredited institutions. Transfer students who have fewer than twenty-four transferable credit hours must also meet freshman admission standards.  Some individual programs and majors have different course requirements and higher grade-point average requirements.  More information can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website

Transient students are current West Virginia University students who temporarily matriculate at another accredited institution to take courses to be recorded on their WVU transcript or who return to the University after an absence.  Courses brought in to WVU from another institution are called transient work.  Transient work includes work done at an accredited institution outside of the United States through a study abroad program vetted by West Virginia University and military credit validated by the American Council on Education (ACE). 

Rules governing transfer work

  • All credit earned at a regionally accredited institution will transfer to West Virginia University.  Transferred coursework does not alter the WVU grade point average.  The WVU GPA is computed based solely on coursework taken at WVU or in transient.
  • Transfer students need to have earned a 2.0 GPA at their institution of origin to be eligible for admission at WVU.   Individual programs may require a higher transfer GPA and/or other prerequisites for admittance as noted in the University catalog.  Any remedial courses, or courses taken from a non-regionally accredited institution, that have been included in the grade point average of the institution of origin will be removed before consideration for admission to a program.
  • Upon matriculation to WVU, transfer students holding an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from a regionally accredited institution shall be deemed as having satisfied the WVU general education requirement.

Rules governing transient work

  • Approved transient courses will be assigned a WVU subject code, course number, grade, and credits and recorded on the student’s transcript.  Unapproved transient courses will be assigned a grade and credits, but will not be translated into an equivalent WVU course.
  • All grades received in transient courses, including Fs, will be recorded on the WVU transcript and factored into the WVU GPA.  If necessary, international transient courses will be translated to American standard grades and credits before being recorded on the transcript.
  • Only students in good academic standing can bring transient credit to the institution.
  • As of the Summer 2019 term, a student who has matriculated at WVU may take a maximum of eighteen (18) credit hours in transient, no more than nine (9) hours of which may be used to fulfill the major requirements indicated in the university catalog.  Courses taken through study abroad, the military, or at other WVU system campuses are exempt from the 18/9 restriction.
  • Receiving WVU credit for transient work may violate the residency requirement and render the student ineligible for graduation.
  • Courses completed in residence may not be repeated at another school for degree credit via the transient process.
  • Students must have completed the required WVU prerequisites to take a course for transient credit or receive WVU credit for a course.
  • A student with extraordinary documented circumstances may appeal a decision regarding transfer or transient credit to the appropriate dean.


  • Prospective domestic and international transfer students will work through the TESS system to have their coursework reviewed and evaluated.  Determining course equivalencies, retroactive evaluation of open credit courses, and requesting an appeal will follow the appropriate workflow.  Once transfer coursework has posted to the WVU transcript, students will work with their departmental adviser to select courses for their first semester at West Virginia University and have their advising hold lifted.
  • Transient students should work closely with their adviser before they take a course at another institution with the intent of posting the course to their WVU transcript.  Detailed instructions for initiating the transient request process can be found at the transfer and transient resource page on the Office of Undergraduate Affairs web page.  
    • The transient process should be completed before registering and paying tuition at another institution. Retroactive transient is strongly discouraged and is done at the student’s own risk.
    • Students should meet with their adviser to discuss the appropriateness of the courses they are planning to transfer and to be informed of the policies governing transient credits.
    • Requests for transient credit must be submitted through the transient application and approved by the advisor and appropriate dean.
    • If the course(s) a student plans to take at another domestic or international institution is not already articulated in the TESS system, the student is responsible for submitting all necessary information required for review through the TESS portal.

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Credit Validation

Students seeking to complete an undergraduate degree after a significant break in enrollment may be asked to retake certain upper-division courses in their major to validate their subject knowledge (or otherwise demonstrate mastery). This requirement to re-enroll or demonstrate subject mastery in a course is at the secretion of the department chair and dean.

All prior coursework completed at WVU will be factored into the student's institutional GPA.  Coursework deemed to be insufficient to meet current course standards may be treated as elective credit but will not satisfy major requirements (as allowed by the student's academic major).  Transfer coursework will be evaluated per the university's transfer policy.

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Awarding Degrees

All degrees are conferred by the WVU Board of Governors as recommended by the faculties of the various colleges and schools. A degree is granted at the end of the semester or summer term in which a student completes all the requirements for that degree, provided the student has submitted an application for graduation at their major department’s academic dean’s office and the dean has certified completion of all degree requirements.

A student becomes eligible to graduate when they complete the requirements of the University, college or school, and major degree program according to the Undergraduate Catalog in effect at the time the student first entered WVU.  With the consent of the student's advisor and dean, a student may choose to meet the conditions published in a later catalog.  If a student entered WVU more than seven years previously, the student must complete the requirements in a catalog that is no more than seven years old.  

Students must observe any program changes that are enacted by the West Virginia University Faculty Senate, West Virginia University Board of Governors, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, or by local, state, or federal law.

WVU policy dictates that, in view of their professional responsibilities to the general public, the faculty of a professional school may recommend to the president of the University, in writing, that a student be removed from its rolls. The recommendation of the faculty must indicate that the student is not fit to meet the qualifications and responsibilities of the profession.

WVU will not issue a diploma or a transcript to any student until payment of all tuition, fees, and other indebtedness to any unit of the University is made.

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Double Majors

The double major is the awarding of one degree with two majors offered by one college/school. For instance, a student who completes majors in English and history earns one B.A. degree. A student who completes multiple majors with the same degree designation offered by different colleges/schools will be awarded dual degrees. The completion of double or multiple majors must lead to the same degree and can only be achieved simultaneously. Students must be accepted into each major and fulfill all requirements of each major in addition to satisfying all University requirements. Students who complete multiple majors within one degree will be awarded one degree, and the transcript will list the degree and each major.

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Dual Degrees

The dual degree is the concurrent awarding of two distinct baccalaureate degrees (i.e. B.A., B.S., B.S.E., B.S.J., B.S.B.A.). Dual degrees will not be awarded when a student has completed a double major with the same degree designation. Students pursuing two majors in different degree programs are expected to have the full range of skills, competencies, and experiences as students graduating from each of the programs independently. Therefore, students must be admitted into each degree program and fulfill all requirements for each degree. Students should pay particular attention to GEF requirements for each degree. Simultaneous completion of dual baccalaureate degrees requires students to complete a minimum of thirty unique credit hours that are not used to satisfy their primary degree requirements. For example, if the student's primary degree program requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, the student must complete a minimum of 150 credit hours to earn both degrees.      

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Second Degrees

Some students decide to continue their undergraduate studies after receiving their first bachelor’s degree. Students who attempt to earn dual baccalaureate degrees from WVU but do not fully complete requirements for both degrees simultaneously will become second degree candidates. Students who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree, whether from WVU or another institution, must complete a minimum of thirty hours beyond the first degree. Second degree candidates must meet all requirements for their degree program, major, college, or school and the University, including residence requirements. General Education Foundations (GEF) requirements, however, are generally considered satisfied by completion of the first undergraduate degree. In the event that courses taken for the first bachelor’s degree are required courses for the second degree program, the college or school granting the second degree may approve course substitutions. In no circumstance may the coursework in the second degree program be fewer than thirty credit hours after the conferral of the first degree. Students who have already earned a WVU bachelor's degree cannot earn a second bachelor's degree with the same degree designation and within the same college as the first degree.

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Reverse Transfer

Students who are admitted to a professional program in their last year of bachelor’s degree coursework may request reverse transfer of professional coursework to fulfill the requirements of the bachelor’s degree at WVU Morgantown, WVU Potomac State College or WVU Institute of Technology. Students are required to complete at least 90 hours of the three-year curriculum at WVU with no more than 30 credits transferring in from a regionally accredited professional program. Examples of professional programs may include but are not limited to: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dental Science, etc.

Diploma Retention Policy

Diplomas retained by or returned to the Office of the University Registrar will be held for two years. This includes diplomas that are retained in the office for financial holds, have been returned to sender, or shipped to the office for pick up. After two years of the conferral date, any request for a diploma by the student will incur fees and fall under all policies associated with ordering a replacement diploma.

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In order to graduate, a student is required to complete an application for graduation the semester or summer term in which he or she expects to graduate. If a student is uncertain about graduation requirements, the student should meet with his or her academic advisor for guidance.

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Graduation with Honors

WVU recognizes distinguished academic achievement by awarding degrees cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. This distinction can be awarded on initial or second baccalaureates and specified entry-level professional degrees. Students who received academic forgiveness are not eligible to graduate with honors.  All eligible candidates for a baccalaureate with a GPA of 3.8 or higher graduate summa cum laude. Those with a grade point average of less than 3.8, but equal to or above 3.6, graduate magna cum laude. Those with a GPA of less than 3.6, but equal to or above 3.4, graduate cum laude.

The GPA for honors consideration is based on baccalaureate-level college work attempted through the final semester.  This calculation includes baccalaureate-level college work attempted at institutions accredited by regional accreditors in the United States.  Credit hours earned with a grade of P or S are not considered in the determination. Grades of F, however, are computed as hours attempted.

Students must meet residency requirements at WVU to be considered for graduation with honors.

The GPA for honors consideration for entry-level professional degrees is based on baccalaureate-level and professional-level work attempted through the last semester. This calculation includes baccalaureate-level and professional-level college work attempted at all regionally accredited higher education institutions attended. Credit hours earned with a grade of P or S are not considered in the determination.

Students entering and completing a second baccalaureate program, following completion of the initial degree are eligible to receive the honors designation. The GPA for graduation with honors on second baccalaureates shall be computed on all baccalaureate-level work, excluding credit earned with a P or S. This includes work completed for the first degree as well.

The grade point average through the penultimate semester will be used for notations in the commencement programs.

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