Course Catalog 2021-2022

Degree Information

Each student is personally responsible for understanding and completing the requirements listed in his or her degree audit. Academic advisers are assigned by the university to assist students with this responsibility.

Changing Majors

Students who start with one major at Rochester University and then change majors in a later semester must meet the requirements in the current year’s catalog. For example, if a student started RU in Fall 2019, and changed majors in Fall 2020, that student would be required to satisfy all the requirements of the 2020-21 degree plan, including general education requirements. Contact for any questions on this policy.

Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must meet the following requirements in addition to the courses required by the bachelor’s degree program:

  1. Complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, including at least 30 credit hours of upper-division courses (RU courses at the 3000 and 4000 level or transfer equivalents). For any degree, at least 50% of a student’s major and minor core must be earned at Rochester University. Transfer credit is not applied toward the calculation of students’ Rochester University GPA.
  2. Achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  3. Achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in chosen major (specific majors may require a higher standard).
  4. Demonstrate university-level writing proficiency by completing Composition A (ENG 1113) and B (ENG 1123) or their equivalents with a grade of C or above. A grade of C- does not satisfy this requirement. Refer to the Rochester University Writing Proficiency Policy for complete information.
  5. Earn 175 points in the Community Life + Worship (CLW) program; 90 CLW credits must be earned through attendance at campus-wide chapel (this number is reduced based on hours transferred in and/or hours earned prior to the 2020-2021 school year). 


Courses required for a minor cannot be concurrently applied toward courses within the degree core, major, concentration, or track. With department approval, students may use other courses, within the area of study, to substitute duplicate requirements.

At least 50% of a student’s minor core requirements must be earned at Rochester University. Students may add or change minors according to the requirements outlined in the same catalog as their major, as long as the minor is still offered by the university.

Multiple Bachelor Degrees

If multiple bachelor degrees are conferred simultaneously, the student must complete a minimum of 32 hours beyond the requirements of the first degree and coursework for each additional degree. If degrees are offered by the same department or school, approval is required. For any degree, at least 50% of a student’s major and minor core requirements must be earned at Rochester University. Graduation will occur when the student has completed requirements for all degrees. Students completing multiple bachelor degrees receive a diploma and pay a fee for each degree. 

Students who have already completed one or more baccalaureate degrees at an accredited college or university may earn an additional bachelor degree at RU. If the new degree is in an area related to existing degrees, department or school approval is required.  A second bachelor degree may be earned by completing a minimum of 32 hours of coursework. Students must satisfy all program requirements for the new degree. Additional bachelor’s degrees are eligible for graduation with honors if 45 or more hours are earned at Rochester University in pursuit of the degree.

Multiple Majors

Students who wish to complete multiple majors may do so by completing a minimum of 27 hours of coursework related to each additional major and beyond the requirements of the first degree. If majors are offered by the same department or school, approval is required. Students must meet all requirements of all programs prior to graduation. Once a degree is conferred, a student’s transcript is permanent. If course work is completed after degree conferral, additional majors/minors will not be reflected on the student’s transcript, nor will academic honors be re-evaluated.

Posthumous Degree

A deceased student may be awarded an honorary posthumous degree with departmental approval, and when minimum academic degree requirements have been verified. Honorary posthumous degrees may be awarded at the undergraduate or graduate level.  For deceased students in good academic standing who do not meet the criteria for an honorary posthumous degree, a certificate of accomplishment may be awarded. In rare circumstances, when completing a degree is impossible due to terminal illness, an honorary posthumous degree may be provided to a student who is living.

Requirements for Nomination

  1. A student must have been in good academic standing with the institution at the time of death. Good standing is defined as maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards without sanctions of dismissal or expulsion.

  2. The student must have been enrolled at the time of death (summer semesters excluded) unless their enrollment was interrupted by their injury, illness, deployment, or other extenuating circumstance.

  3. A student must have completed three-quarters of degree requirements to be nominated for an honorary posthumous degree.

  4. If these requirements are not met, RU can elect to provide a certificate of accomplishment indicating that the student was in good standing at the time of death.

Nomination/Approval Process for a Posthumous Honorary Degree

  1. A formal request for an honorary posthumous degree can come from a family member or a member of the campus community and should be forwarded to the registrar ( to begin the process for consideration.

  2. The registrar will send the chair of the student’s program the student’s degree audit for faculty consultation.

  3. The chair will recommend the candidate for an honorary posthumous degree in the form of a written request to their dean. 

  4. The dean will inform the immediate family of the University’s decision and desire to recognize their student. Seating will be reserved for the family during commencement and the dean will invite a family member to walk without regalia in the student’s place. 

  5. The dean will notify the registrar to begin the process for degree posting and commencement proceedings, if applicable.

All steps in this process should occur expeditiously so that the family can be informed as soon after the death as possible. The decision of the dean is final and not open for appeal.

Miscellaneous Considerations

  1. An honorary posthumous degree will be printed in the commencement program. 

  2. Exceptions to the aforementioned minimum requirements may be considered in special cases, with department support.

  3. The student’s transcript will clearly indicate that the degree was an honorary degree, awarded posthumously, but this language is not necessary for the commencement program and diploma.

  4. If the family chooses not to participate in commencement, the award may still be read during the ceremony (unless requested otherwise by the family). 

Certificate of Accomplishment

Any student in good academic standing at the time of death is eligible for a certificate of accomplishment upon the request of a family member or any member of the campus community.  The registrar will verify the student's standing and issue the certificate to the family.