Undergraduate students all share certain general requirements for earning and receiving the baccalaureate degree (B.A., B.Mus., B.S., B.S. Bus. Admin, B.S.E., and B.S.N.). These include all of the following:
- Freshman and students transferring in 56 credits or fewer must complete all requirements for the degree within 7 years of initial matriculation. Students transferring in 57 credits or more must complete all requirements for the degree within 4 years of initial matriculation.
- Filing an application for advancement to degree candidacy called a Final Graduation Check with the Office of Records.
- Satisfactory completion of a total of a minimum of 128 semester units (courses numbered 1000 and above) with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000.
- Satisfactory completion of all Foundational Explorations requirements.
- Completion of an approved program of study in a major area with the minimum number of upper-division units and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 unless stipulated higher.
- If a minor is declared, a minimum GPA of 2.000 unless stipulated higher.
- Residency at the university during the final 24 semester units of study (not applicable to PLNU-sponsored study abroad).
- Fulfillment of all academic and institutional requirements and obligations.
- Payment in full of all financial obligations to the university, including a degree processing fee.
- Candidacy for a Degree. An application for advancement to candidacy for a degree (a Final Graduation Check) must be filed after the student has completed at least 92 semester units of work and has an approved program of study. Although students may view Academic Requirements in Workday, an official “Final Graduation Check” must be conducted by the Office of Records which subsequently communicates with the degree applicant regarding appropriate details. A special application must be made, and a fee paid, for students who must attend a final summer session in order to complete all requirements for graduation (see below under Degree Processing Fees).
- Semester Units. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 is required for graduation. None of the minimum 128 semester units required for the baccalaureate degree may include those taken at the remedial level (numbered below 1000).
- Foundational Explorations. Students must meet the stated requirements in Foundational Explorations, a broad-based liberalizing experience in the arts and sciences. Transfer students are responsible to make sure any course work done prior to admission to the university fulfills the categories that are unique to PLNU.
- Mathematics. To graduate from Point Loma Nazarene University, a student must demonstrate ability in mathematics by submitting an adequate SAT or ACT score as defined by faculty policy, by successfully challenging on a department placement examination, or by completing the remedial course for establishing this competency. This ability must be met prior to junior classification.
- Completion of the Major. All major programs of study are sanctioned by the Point Loma faculty and listed in detail in this Catalog. Of the units completed in a major, at least 24 must be taken at the upper-division level (numbered 3000 and above). In addition, a minimum of one-half of the upper-division units in the major must be completed in residence. A 2.000 cumulative grade-point average is required for all academic majors. An academic minor, though available in various academic areas, is not a requirement for graduation.
- Residency. Candidates for the baccalaureate degree must be in residence during the final 24 units (study abroad students excluded) applied toward the degree. A minimum of one-half of the upper-division units in the major also must be taken in residence. Exceptions are granted only by petition to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.
Completion of All Requirements
Commencement convocation is two times a year, at the close of the fall and spring semesters. All work taken toward a degree must be completed in full before a student can participate in commencement ceremonies. Likewise, the awarding of a diploma is dependent on clearance by a variety of university offices and services, such as Residential Life, Student Accounts, and Ryan Library. Degrees are posted in the semester of final registration and/or completion of final requirements.
Students may petition to participate in the Spring or Winter Commencement convocation and complete their final requirements in the subsequent Summer or Spring semester respectively. In order to do so, students may have no more than nine (9) units remaining to be completed in the subsequent semester. A completed Application for Graduation for the Spring or Winter Commencement must be filed with the Office of Records along with an action plan/petition that is a binding contract of the work to be completed by the end of the next semester. Approval by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration and fee payment constitute final approval.
Degree Processing Fees
All students eligible for graduation are charged a fee. This fee is applied to the student’s account and is non-refundable.The fee is charged regardless of whether the student participates in the commencement ceremonies or is not currently studying in residence. Students who find it necessary to file an application for graduation in the term beyond commencement participation must pay an additional special fee. This fee is refundable only if all requirements are met satisfactorily by the conclusion of the summer (for May Commencement) or the spring (for December Commencement) and all official documentation is filed no later than October 1 for students completing in the summer and July 1 for students completing in spring, according to the application agreement as approved by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.
In order to receive final approval for participation in commencement activities, and/or in order to earn/have posted and receive a baccalaureate degree, students must resolve any outstanding charges of fees or misconduct. The university does not guarantee the awarding of a diploma or degree.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree
The requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree are the same as for the other baccalaureate degrees except that no foreign language is required and students may choose between a second literature course or a philosophy course. A larger concentration of work is required in the Nursing major.
Second Baccalaureate Degree
A second baccalaureate degree may be earned at Point Loma Nazarene University. After applying for re-admission, a minimum of 32 units must be completed. Twenty-four of these units must be taken at the 3000 level or above. A minimum of 24 units must be earned in the new major, with no duplication of units from a previous major. Twenty-four units must be taken in residence at PLNU. All Foundational Explorations (if different from first degree), the additional major, and specific academic major requirements for the second degree must be met. Candidates for a second degree are eligible for honors at graduation and for the Dean’s List but not for a repetition of membership in Phi Delta Lambda. The second baccalaureate degree is distinguished from multiple majors within a first degree.
Honoris Causa. The university occasionally grants honorary degrees to worthy recipients, as recommended by the President to the Board of Trustees.
Graduation with Latin Honors. The university recognizes academic excellence with the following honors designation based exclusively on the residential grade-point average (GPA earned in residence at PLNU):
- Summa cum Laude (highest honors), 3.900 and above
- Magna cum Laude (high honors), 3.700 to 3.899
- Cum Laude (honors), 3.500 to 3.699
Honors, designated on diplomas, require a minimum of 36 residential units after all course work has been completed for the degree. To be considered for honors a student also must have a cumulative minimum grade-point average of 3.500, including all transfer work. Grades earned through OGS-designated affiliate or non-OGS programs are neutral and, as such, not included in this calculation. Grades earned through OGS-designated partner programs are included in PLNU GPA calculation (students should confirm affiliate and partner school designations with the Study Abroad Office).
The university announces ceremonial (unofficial) honors during the commencement ceremony using these calculations based on the GPAs and a minimum of 36 residential units earned by the conclusion of the preceding semester. Official honors are calculated and posted with the degree.
The Honors Scholars Program
Special recognition is given to successful scholars during commencement ceremonies, on diplomas, and official transcripts of record. Criteria, qualifications, and procedures for graduating with this distinction are available in the Wesleyan Center. See “Honors Scholars Program ” in this Catalog.
The Humanities Honors Program
Special recognition is also given to students who successfully complete all coursework in PLNU’s Humanities Honors Program with a 3.500 cumulative GPA. Students will receive this recognition during commencement ceremonies and on official transcripts of record. See “Humanities Honors Program ” for program and course requirements.