To complete a baccalaureate degree at the University of Saint Joseph, a student must have met these requirements:
- Completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours of course work contingent upon requirement of major (the equivalent of four years of full-time study). These hours can include a combination of courses at the University of Saint Joseph or within the Consortium.
- A minimum GPA of 2.00 (a C average in all work completed). Some majors or programs may require a higher GPA.
- The residency requirement of earning 45 credits from the University of Saint Joseph. The last 24 credits counted toward a degree must be taken at the University of Saint Joseph. Internships or study undertaken at Consortium institutions are considered part of the residency requirement.
- Completion of a comprehensive examination
- General Education requirements
- Writing Portfolio requirements
- The Program for Adult Learners has modified requirements: waiving the Kinesthetic requirement and requiring fewer USJ courses in senior year
The University of Saint Joseph Writing Portfolio Program is a nationally recognized program designed to ensure that students graduate with a proficiency in writing and critical thinking. Students submit examples of their strongest writing, which is then assessed by faculty. Along with a portfolio score, faculty readers provide each student with a synopsis of the strengths and weaknesses of the portfolio so that the student understands how to improve his/her writing. The feedback provides specific information as well as begins a conversation with the student, rather than simply to provide a numerical score. The program is unique among colleges and universities.
First year students will submit two papers of at least 8 pages, (not including title page, reference page, etc.) for an initial evaluation by the end of sophomore year. Students who do not pass their initial evaluation will submit two more papers in junior year, and continue to submit new or revised work at submission deadlines until attaining a passing score. Transfer students who enter USJ as sophomores or juniors must submit two papers by the end of their first year. Students who transfer as seniors must submit two papers by the end of their first semester.
Writing portfolios are read between September and May. Students who have not submitted their papers for the writing portfolio requirement by the submission deadlines will not be eligible for May or August degree conferral. Students who have not passed the writing portfolio prior to the May Commencement may not participate in Commencement ceremonies. Once students complete their portfolios, that information goes on their transcripts. For more information check https://my.usj.edu/ics/IWR/Portfolio.jnz and download the Writing Portfolio Quick Reference Guide.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students from regionally accredited institutions who would like to complete a second bachelor’s degree must meet these conditions:
- Departmental requirements for a major
- A minimum of 30 credits beyond the first bachelor’s degree
- A comprehensive examination
- A minimum of a 2.00 GPA at all times. Some majors or programs may require a higher GPA at all times.
Second degree students are not eligible for academic honors at graduation.
GPA to Graduate
In addition to any department requirements, all undergraduate students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 (2.80 for Nursing) or better to graduate.
Application for a Degree
An undergraduate student must complete a degree application, degree audit, writing portfolio, and then pay the graduation fee for the University to assess eligibility for graduation. Applications, audits, and fees should be submitted together to the Degree Auditor in the Office of the Registrar by the deadline indicated in the Registrar’s section of MyUSJ. Writing portfolio information will be submitted by the Center for Academic Excellence. Degree applications and audits can be found on MyUSJ.
A student must complete the requirements for a certificate program of study with a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.67 and file an application for certificate completion through the Office of the Registrar by the deadline dates posted on MyUSJ.
Time to Degree
Requirements for the degree should be completed within six years from the date of matriculation. The appropriate department chair may grant an extension for completion of the degree.
Graduation with Honors
Degrees with honors are awarded on the basis of cumulative GPA alone with no other evaluative process. These academic honors are awarded:
Summa cum laude: 3.90 and above
Magna cum laude: 3.80 and above
Cum laude: 3.70 and above
Degrees are granted three times in the academic year: December, May, and August. One Commencement ceremony occurs in May, allowing all recipients to participate.
- A student who expects to complete degree requirements (no more than six credits) by the end of the summer session in August may petition to participate in the May Commencement ceremony.
- Undergraduate students who petition must have: a GPA of 2.0; completed their writing portfolio; and no more than six credits remaining to complete during the summer session, which must be completed at the University of Saint Joseph.
- Writing portfolios are read between September and May. Students who have not submitted their papers for the writing portfolio requirement by the submission date established by the Center for Academic Excellence will normally not be eligible for May or August degree conferral. Students who have not passed the writing portfolio prior to the May Commencement may not participate in the May Commencement ceremonies or graduate in May.
The deadline for the petition to be submitted to the dean of the school in your major is the deadline date set for the graduation application. The petition should include evidence that the student will complete degree requirements by the end of the summer session. The student’s name will be listed in the Commencement program alphabetically with an asterisk indicating degree requirements will be completed in August. The student’s name will be called in normal rotation at Commencement.