skip to main content columnskip to left navigationskip to horizontal navigation

Office of the Registrar

East Tennessee State University


ETSU Undergraduate Graduation Information:

  • Eligibility for Participation in Graduation Ceremonies
    • Only students who have received approval from the Graduation Office may participate in graduation ceremonies. There are two ceremonies each year. Spring graduates attend the Spring ceremony. Summer graduates receive their diplomas in late August and are invited to attend the following Fall ceremony along with the Fall graduates.
    • *Note: Official conferral of degrees will occur after all degree/graduation requirements have been met
  • Complete your Graduation Application two semesters prior to expected graduation.

  • 120 earned credit hours are required for a student's first bachelor degree
    • 30 of those hours must be earned at ETSU
    • 50 earned credit hours of the 120 must be earned at a senior institution (4-year university or college
    • 6 credits in the major must be earned at ETSU
  • Students must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in all courses (ETSU, including transfer) and published requirements for the major and/or concentration and the minor, if applicable.
    • The overall grade point average includes all institutional and articulated transfer coursework excluding pre-college level courses.  Any new transfer coursework received after Summer 2015 will not be calculated in the overall grade point average.  Developmental studies/learning support hours will not be considered in grade point average calculations.

  • Developmental courses do not count towards graduation required hours or GPA.

  • All students must demonstrate computer proficiency by either successfully completing CSCI 1100 or passing a proficiency exam.

  • The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in the College of Arts and Sciences all have separate course requirements for each degree program.
    • These requirements can be found in the catalog.
  • Many majors and degree programs require students to take specific courses to fulfill general education requirements. Students should consult Degree Works, the catalog, and advisors regarding specific general education requirements applicable to their majors and degree programs.

  • Some departments give major field tests; those departments change annually. If required, your department will notify you of the test and dates available.

  • All undergraduates must take the California Critical Thinking Skills Test before graduation. You will receive an e-mail notification about the test when you complete 75% of your degree program. You should take the test as soon after that as possible. 

  • If you are pursuing a teaching license with your major, you must be advised also by the Clemmer College regarding the teaching requirements. 

Catalog Information

Degree requirements for programs of study initiated under provisions of this catalog shall remain in effect for six years.  Students must use a single catalog for all graduation requirements, and cannot use a combination of catalogs.  The six-year limitation may be extended for interruption by military service where enrollment is resumed within one year after release from service.

If graduation does not occur within six years of the catalog of record, students must (1) shift to a catalog that falls within the six-year timeframe, or (2) receive a catalog extension from the dean of the college of the major.  Students are strongly encouraged to submit Catalog Year Change Request form as soon as possible for the purpose of obtaining accurate progress-to-graduation.  Failure to change or extend the catalog year can delay graduation.

Degree-seeking students are assigned to the current catalog at the time of first entrance into ETSU.  Students who are readmitted are assigned by default to the current catalog.  High school students enrolled in ETSU courses will be assigned to a catalog after they become degree-seeking students.  Transfer students may receive a no obligation change back to the catalog in effect upon their first entrance into higher education by request to the graduation office in the Office of the Registrar.  Such requests should be filed using the approved Catalog Year Change Request form.

The course offerings and requirements of ETSU are continually under examination and revision. This catalog presents the offerings and requirements in effect at the time of publication but is no guarantee that they will not be changed or revoked. However, adequate and reasonable notice will be given to students affected by any changes. This catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and does not constitute a contract between the student and East Tennessee State University.

ETSU reserves the right to make changes as required in course offerings, curricula, academic policies, and other rules and regulations affecting students to be effective whenever determined by the institution. These changes will govern current and formerly enrolled students. Enrollment of all students is subject to these conditions.

Current information may be obtained from the following sources: Admission Requirements-Office of Admissions; Course Offerings-department offering course; Degree Requirements-Office of the Registrar; Fees and Tuition-Office of the Comptroller.

ETSU complies fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The complete statement of policy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. East Tennessee State University is fully in accord with the belief that educational and employment opportunities should be available to all eligible persons without regard to age, gender, color, race, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

ETSU provides the opportunity for students to increase their knowledge by offering programs of instruction in the various disciplines and programs through faculty who, in the opinion of ETSU, are qualified for teaching at the college level. The acquisition and retention of knowledge by any student are, however, contingent upon the students desire and ability to learn while applying appropriate study techniques to any course or program. Thus, ETSU must necessarily limit representation of student preparedness in any field of study to that competency demonstrated at that specific point in time at which appropriate academic measurements were taken to certify course or program completion.

Transfer Credit 

For graduating seniors, official transcripts of all work taken at other schools (including correspondence work) during this semester must be received by the Office of Admissions before a degree can be conferred. The diploma cannot be released until all OFFICIAL transcripts have been received.


All incomplete grades in courses necessary for graduation must be removed. An incomplete not necessary for graduation and not removed will automatically become an "F" upon graduation and will be reflected in the GPA in accordance with institutional policy.

Financial Accounts

All financial accounts MUST be settled by the Thursday before Graduation for graduating seniors. Library fines, parking fines, obligations to the instructional media center, returned checks, loan exit interviews, etc. must be cleared. Neither the diploma nor transcripts can be released until all accounts are cleared.

Participating in Alternative Ceremonies:

Students graduating in Spring should plan to attend the May commencement ceremony. Students graduating in Summer and Fall should plan to attend the December commencement ceremony. If extenuating circumstances exist that prevent a student from participating in his or her designated ceremony, undergraduate students should contact the Assistant Registrar for Graduation with this information after registering for their last semester of coursework. The Assistant Registrar provide information to the Registrar who will consider these circumstances in regards to the commencement ceremony.  Graduate students who wish to participate in an alternate ceremony should contact the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Level Hours:

Undergraduate students may not use graduate level hours to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements with the exception of students admitted into accelerated programs by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

icon for left menu icon for right menu