Office of Academic Services

Policies, Procedures, and Information for Seniors

Academic Advising for Seniors

All academic advisers in the SAS Office of Academic Services can answer general questions about your academic status and help you develop an academic plan to graduate. However, if you have a specific issue regarding missing degree credits, incomplete term registration, ineligibility to declare your intended major, planning to register elsewhere in your final term, or other mitigating circumstances that affect tracking your graduation you should speak to Dean Spear, Dean Brill, or Dean Bruning in the SAS Office for Seniors. You can schedule an appointment by calling 848-445-8888.

Commencement

Information about the commencement convocations, including date, time, location, preparation, and participation policies will be posted on the commencement page when it becomes available.

Courseload

Students in good standing may register for a maximum of 20.5 credits in a fall or spring term. Requests for additional credits are approved on a case-by-case basis upon review of past performance and number of credits taken in prior semesters.

Traditional students must maintain full-time status and register for a minimum of 12 credits per semester. A Senior Exception will be granted to students in their final semester who need less than 12 credits to complete the degree. See Part-time Status.

Degree Credits

The degree requires a minimum of 120 credits.

Courses that bear an E-prefix do not count toward graduation credits. These include, but are not limited to: algebra and other remedial math courses, precalculus I & II workshops (640:011 and 640:012), writing center (01:355:099), and courses taken while enrolled that satisfy outstanding admissions conditions. 

Students may receive degree credit only one time for a course. While you may repeat a course in which you have earned a D or better, the second time will not count toward graduation credit. One course should have a K-prefix to remove the additional credits. See the policy on Repeating Courses. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor repeated courses and be sure that 120 credits have actually been earned. Duplicate credits will be removed if they are discovered at any time on your transcript.

Students may not receive credit for a course that goes backwards in a sequence. For example, a student who has AP credit for calculus, may not subsequently earn credit for precalculus.

Degree Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of 120 credits, including a major and either the SAS Liberal Arts Distribution Requirements or the SAS Core Curriculum. SAS students whose majors are not designated as "credit intensive" must also complete a minor.

Further information about degree requirements can be found here.

Diploma

Students earn one degree and one diploma regardless of the number of undergraduate majors or credits completed. 

Most programs of study lead to a B.A. degree. B.S. degrees are granted for majors in Accounting, Evolutionary Anthropology, Astrophysics, Kinesiology and Health, Finance, Geological Sciences, Management, Marine Sciences, Marketing, Microbiology, and Public Health. Both B.A. and B.S. options exist in Computer Science, Physics, and some of the acceptable SEBS majors. In the event that a student is pursuing two majors that offer different degrees, the degree and diploma will reflect the conditions of the first major. 

The diploma lists the degree granting school and the degree earned (B.A. or B.S.) It does not list majors. College honors, based on cumulative GPA, are noted on the diploma.

Students completing majors that reside in Rutgers Business School, School of Communication & Information, School of Management and Labor Relations, and Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy receive diplomas issued jointly by the professional school and the liberal arts college. Students who complete more than one major must have the professional major declared as the primary major to receive the joint diploma.

Students need to provide diploma information in their final semester to the Registrar’s online diploma system according to the following schedule:

January candidates October 1 - January 15
May candidates February 1 - May 15
October candidates June 1 - September 15

Diplomas are withheld for students who have financial or personal obligations to the university.

Double Majors

Students may complete as many majors as desired. They earn one degree and one diploma regardless of the number of undergraduate majors or degree credits completed. 

Students may complete a second major in lieu of the minor requirement (see the list of approved majors). SAS students who do not complete their second major in time for graduation may drop it to a minor as long as that department offers a minor. SAS students completing a credit-intensive major (indicated as such on the list of approved majors) are not required to complete a minor.

Dual Degree - School of Engineering and Liberal Arts

Students who are admitted to the five-year dual degree program between the School of Engineering and the liberal arts colleges are primarily affiliated with the School of Engineering.

In addition to completing their engineering curriculum, students also complete an SAS major and the SAS Core. They must also complete a minor in a Humanities or Social Sciences subject if their SAS major is a Science or Math major, even if the major is defined as "credit-intensive."

Students should make contact with the SAS Senior Office prior to the beginning of their final semester for review of their record and inclusion on the liberal arts list of degree candidates. Both degrees must be conferred at the same time or the dual program is forfeited.

Final Courses taken Outside of Rutgers University

Students who will not be registered at Rutgers in their final semester before graduation must make contact with the Senior Office to be sure they are manually included in the list of degree candidates. This can be done by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a brief description of how degree requirements are being satisfied. All transfer courses must be preapproved. Further information about transfer preapproval can be found on the Transfer Courses page.

Graduate School

Visit Career Services or browse their website for information about graduate school applications, references, and exams.

Plan ahead to request references from faculty members!

Honors

College honors at graduation are determined by final cumulative GPA and are noted on the diploma and final transcript:

3.500 - 3.699 Cum laude
3.700 - 3.849 Magna cum laude
3.850 - 4.000 Summa cum laude

January Graduation

Students who finish degree requirements in the fall or winter session earn a degree dated January. It is the student’s responsibility to declare the January graduation date by the beginning of the fall semester in order to be reviewed for graduation. This can be done online at myGradDate.

January candidates are notified of their graduation status in mid-January by letter to their permanent address. Please be sure your home address in the university directory is accurate.

January candidates should:

  1. Be sure they are declared with a January graduation date.
  2. Visit major/minor departments to verify progress toward completion of requirements.
  3. View Senior Review to see progress toward graduation requirements.
  4. Check online transcript for credits and GPA. You must have 120 credits and a 2.00 or higher GPA to graduate. See an academic adviser if this is questionable.
  5. Complete an online diploma application between October 1 and January 15.
  6. Students who receive financial aid need to contact that office during the fall semester regarding the procedure for an exit interview.

Major and Minor Declaration

All seniors must be declared with correct majors and minors in their final year so certification requests can be sent to their departments. If your transcript does not correctly reflect the subject(s) you are pursuing, this needs to be changed immediately. You can make changes online at myMajor.

Minors for SAS Students Completing Credit-intensive Majors

We recommend but do not require that SAS students who complete a designated credit-intensive major also declare a minor. Students who change their major to one that is not defined as credit-intensive will be required to also declare a minor at that time. Credit-intensive majors can be found indicated on the SAS major list online.

Non-classroom Courses

No more than 30 degree credits are awarded for out-of-class work, such as independent study, research, cooperative education courses, and approved School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) internship courses. In those uncommon cases where credit may have been awarded for life experiences, these credits are viewed as out-of-class work. Students wishing to register for more than 8 credits of independent study/research/internship in any one semester must have the approval of the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Nontraditional Students

Students who are designated nontraditional include returning adult learners, second degree candidates, and students whose personal circumstances justify sustained matriculation on a part-time basis. This is a formal enrollment status that must be approved by the Office for Nontraditional Students and Special Populations. Only nontraditional students may register for less than 12 credits per semester. Further information can be found on the Nontraditional Students and Special Populations page.

October Graduation

Students who finish degree requirements in summer session earn a degree dated October. It is the student’s responsibility to declare the October graduation date by the beginning of summer in order to be reviewed for graduation. This can be done online at myGradDate.

October candidates are notified of their graduation status in mid-October by letter to their permanent address. Please be sure your home address in the university directory is accurate.

October candidates should:

  1. Be sure they are declared with an October graduation date.
  2. Visit major/minor departments to verify progress toward completion of requirements.
  3. View Senior Review to see progress toward graduation requirements.
  4. Check online transcript for credits and GPA. You must have 120 credits and a 2.00 or higher GPA to graduate. See an academic adviser if this is questionable.
  5. Complete an online diploma application between June 1 and September 15.
  6. Students who receive financial aid need to contact that office during the summer regarding the procedure for an exit interview.

Part-time Status

All students, except those who have formally petitioned to be SAS nontraditional students, are required to maintain full time matriculation by registering for and completing 12 or more credits per term. 

Students may petition for one semester of part time enrollment due to documentable medical, personal, or financial hardship. Please see the part-time status page for more information.

Seniors who need less than 12 credits in their final semester to graduate may register only for the number of credits required to complete the degree. There is no need to seek formal approval for this.

Part time registration, even when approved by exception, may impact non-academic areas such as medical insurance, financial aid and scholarships, on-campus housing, international student status, and NCAA eligibility. Please check any of these areas that may affect you.

Pass/No Credit Senior Option

Students who have completed 90 or more credits may take up to two courses (8 credits maximum) on a Pass/No Credit basis. Grades of A, B, and C correspond to Pass; grades of D and F to No Credit.

Details can be found on the Pass/No Credit page.


Probation, Academic (see also Satisfactory Academic Standing)

Students with a term average below 2.00 are a cause for concern in making progress toward graduation and are placed on Academic Warning.  They are encouraged to meet with an academic adviser.  Students who have two or more consecutive terms under 2.00 are placed on Academic Probation.  These students will have restricted term credit limits and must meet with an academic adviser.  Further information about academic standing policies can be found here.

Reclassification of Graduation Date

After the initial graduation date is determined upon admission to Rutgers, changes must be requested by the student to express a desire to graduate sooner or later. Students are not "automatically graduated" upon completion of degree requirements, as some students wish to remain to completed additional majors, minors, or courses for career preparation.

Failure to change your graduation date will result in not being tracked for the appropriate graduation cycle and possibly blocked from registering for classes.

You may change your graduation date online at myGradDate.

Registration Blocks

  • Major declaration: All seniors must have a major that they are eligible to declare and must be making progress toward completion. Students who do not have a declared major will be blocked from registering for classes.
  • Graduation date: Seniors will not be permitted to register for a semester beyond their declared graduation date. If you need to register for additional undergraduate classes, you must first change your graduation date or reenroll as a nonmatriculated student after you graduate. (See Reclassification of graduation date.)

Additional information about other registration blocks can be found here.

Repeated Courses

The repeated course policy can be found here.

Students who repeat courses (either the identical course or a cross-listed equivalent course) for which they initially earned a grade of D or higher may not earn additional degree credit for the repeated course. Transcripts are reviewed periodically and repeated course credit can be removed any time it is discovered. If you have repeated a course in which you earned a grade of D, make sure that one of the courses shows a K-prefix. If you have repeated a course in which you earned a grade of C or higher, make sure that one of the courses shows an E-prefix. If not, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. immediately.

Satisfactory Academic Standing

Students must have a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade point average for graduation.

Seniors, even those who will not have completed their degree in May, must have a 2.00 cumulative grade point average at the end of the spring semester to avoid possible academic dismissal. Further information about academic standing policies can be found here.

Senior Year Residency Requirement

Thirty of the final 42 degree credits must be taken on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Courses that carry New Brunswick course numbers, even if offered off site, such as Washington Internship and Rutgers-sponsored study abroad programs, are included in the senior year residency. Students who transfer from outside RU or from Newark or Camden must complete their final 30 credits in New Brunswick as a member of one of the New Brunswick degree-granting units.

Summer Session

Summer courses taken at Rutgers-New Brunswick:

  • Students may not be registered for more than two courses in a single summer session or overlapping sessions. This includes total courses taken at Rutgers and elsewhere.
  • Students may not be registered for more than 12 credits in the summer, distributed as above.  This includes total courses taken at Rutgers and elsewhere.
  • Students are expected to pay for summer courses before they begin.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to be sure s/he has satisfied prerequisites. This is not monitored by the summer registration system. We reserve the right to retroactively deny credit if the proper prerequisites are not met, even if the course has been completed with a passing grade.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to be sure s/he has not registered for courses that have a time conflict. This is not monitored by the summer registration system.

Summer courses taken elsewhere, including Rutgers-Newark and Camden:

  • Students may not be registered for more than two courses in a single summer session or overlapping sessions.
  • Students may not be registered for more than 12 total credits in the summer, distributed as above. This includes total courses taken elsewhere and at Rutgers.
  • Courses must be preapproved to be sure they will transfer and to prompt the Transfer Center to look for incoming grades.
  • Students must complete the Rutgers prerequisites for a transfer equivalent, even if the sending school does not have the same prerequisite. We reserve the right to retroactively deny credit if the proper Rutgers prerequisites are not met, even if the course has been completed with a passing grade.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to request a transcript to be sent to Rutgers as soon as the class has ended (but is not necessary for Rutgers-Newark or Camden courses).

Teacher Education (5-year GSE Certification Program)

Students who have been accepted to the 5-year teacher education program are exempt from the SAS minor requirement.

Students must complete all undergraduate requirements for the baccalaureate degree prior to registering in the master’s degree program. 

Advice regarding the teacher education component should be obtained at the GSE.

Transfer Credits

Transfer students (for transfer courses taken prior to admission to RU):

  • Review your Rutgers transcript to be sure that all semesters of transfer credit are included.
  • Have transfer courses evaluated by the similar RU department to determine equivalency for courses you expect will satisfy degree requirements.
  • Ask advisers to program unique transfer courses into Degree Navigator so it shows how transfer courses can be applied toward specific requirements.

Transfer courses taken by continuing Rutgers students:

  • All courses must be preapproved by the SAS Transfer Center.
  • Read Senior year residency section above for limits on courses taken outside of Rutgers. 
  • Students who intend to take their final course work at another institution must notify the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Verification of Graduation

These are approximate target dates for the various stages of degree processing:

  January degree May degree October degree
Graduation status
determined by:
January 20 June 1 October 1
Degree posted on
transcript by:
February 15 June 30 October 15
Diploma distributed by: March 31 August 1 December 15

Your final transcript with the degree posted is the official documentation of graduation. In rare instances when this information absolutely must be communicated to a third party earlier or a valued opportunity will be lost, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will provide students with one verification letter that must be mailed or emailed directly to the third party (e.g., employer, graduate school, military). Depending where we are in the overall certification process will determine how quickly we can honor your request.

Winter Session

A maximum of one course may be taken during winter session, either at Rutgers or elsewhere.

Winter session courses taken outside Rutgers must be approved in advance. While course content may be similar to a Rutgers course, and NJTransfer may list a Rutgers equivalent, there are often restrictions due to the limited class meeting times. Some departments will not allow transfer credit for any courses in a short session. Check before you register!

Students who finish degree requirements in winter session will earn a January degree.


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