Graduation Requirements and Commencement

Minimum Unit and GPA Requirements

For undergraduate students, the minimum unit requirement for the B.A., B.M., B.S., BSN, BFA, or BSW degree is 120 (some majors require completion of more than the minimum number of units). Units for the following courses do not count toward the 120 units required for graduation:

MATH 90Elementary Algebra3
MATH 95Intermediate Algebra3
ENGL 99College Reading and Critical Thinking2

All students must earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 in all university work attempted. Transfer students must also earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 in work completed at Azusa Pacific University. Some departments/schools also require a minimum cumulative grade-point average for major courses.


To earn an Azusa Pacific University undergraduate degree, the following units must be earned specifically at APU:

  •     At least 30 total semester units
  •     18 of the last 24 units counted toward the degree
  •     At least 15 upper-division units in the major field
  •     At least 50 percent of the units in the minor field, concentration, or emphasis (if any)

Neither transfer credit (including correspondence courses) nor credit by examination (CLEP, AP, IB) may be used to fulfill the above residence requirement. However, the units for APU study abroad and university-endorsed study abroad programs may be used to fulfill the university residency requirements.

Student Ministry

All candidates for graduation must have completed 120 service credits approved by the Center for Student Action. This requirement is prorated for transfer students. Fifteen service credits may be fulfilled through MIN 108. See for more information.

Selection of Catalog for Determining Degree Requirements

An undergraduate student remaining in attendance in regular session at Azusa Pacific University may elect to meet the graduation requirements reflected in the catalog in effect either

  1. At the time the student began attending,
  2. When he/she officially changes his/her major and submits a Major Update form to One Stop | Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center, or
  3. At the time of graduation.

Students electing to switch catalogs should be aware that adopting a new catalog will require completion of all new requirements in that catalog, including any possible changes in General Education, academic majors, minors, concentrations and emphases, and appropriate academic policies. Students may elect a newly created major at any point in their attendance at Azusa Pacific University. Substitutions for discontinued courses may be authorized or required by the major.

A student has seven years from the date of his or her first registration at Azusa Pacific University to complete his or her degree under the catalog in effect at the date of first registration. Students who continue in attendance beyond the seventh year may elect to meet the graduation requirements of the catalog in effect in the eighth year of attendance or the catalog in effect at the year of graduation.

“In attendance” is defined as enrollment in at least 12 units for one semester within a 12-month period. An approved leave of absence shall not be considered an interruption in attendance. If a student is not in attendance for more than two consecutive semesters and then re-enters the university, the student is subject to the graduation requirements at the time of re-entering.

Application for Graduation – Intent to Graduate

Graduation is not automatic upon completion of all coursework. Students who intend to graduate must complete an Intent to Graduate form and file it with One Stop | Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center at least six months prior to Commencement, which always falls within the semester prior to the graduating semester. Commencement and the Intent to Graduate Form due dates are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Intent to Graduate forms and academic requirements are evaluated by the student’s academic specialist in One Stop to determine eligibility for participation in graduation.

Students can expect two clearance notifications:

  • The first clearance notification is emailed prior to the add/drop deadline of the student’s last semester.
  • The second notification is emailed four to six weeks after the add/drop deadline.

It is the students' responsibility to read the clearance notifications and ensure they complete any outstanding requirements listed on the Graduation Clearance Pending Letter. These requirements must be completed by the deadlines as outlined in the Participation in Commencement Policy.

A degree is granted based on the completion of all requirements. In the event that a student does not complete all requirements for the degree as indicated in the Graduation Clearance Pending letter, he or she must complete those requirements within two years of filling their Intent to Graduate Form. If the remaining requirements for the degree are not completed within the deadline, the student will be subject to policies governing re-entering students, and a new catalog year will apply.

Participation in Commencement

Undergraduate Commencement exercises are held at the end of the fall and spring semesters and after the second summer term.

The university president, by the authority of the trustees and on recommendation of the faculty, awards the degrees.

  • A student may participate in Commencement exercises only if all degree work has been completed or is in process concurrently at another institution and will be completed in the same graduating term as confirmed by the student’s academic specialist in One Stop | Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center.
  • All CLEP, FLATS, and proficiency tests must be completed prior to the start of a student’s final semester.
  • All correspondence courses must be completed one year prior to the student's graduation.  For example, if they are graduating May 8, the deadline for finishing the correspondence course  is May 7 of the year before. Students can work with their academic specialist in One Stop | Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center if there are special circumstances.
  • Official transcripts for courses and/or proficiency tests must be received by One Stop | Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center no later than the add/drop deadline of the semester in which the student intends to participate in Commencement.
  • In order to participate in the Commencement exercises, all university obligations must be resolved no later than three weeks prior to Commencement, including the receipt of transcripts (if applicable), financial clearance (must have a zero account balance), and clearance of service credits by the Center for Student Action.
  • Students who disregard the Participation in Commencement Policy and participate in a Commencement ceremony fraudulently will not be allowed to participate in future Commencement ceremonies and could face sanctions including (but not limited to) suspension from the university.

Honors at Commencement

Latin Honors

Qualifying students may graduate with the following honors: summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. The minimum GPA requirements for Latin Honors are as follows:

  • 3.90 - suma cum laude
  • 3.80 - magna cum laude
  • 3.70 - cum laude

All grades accepted toward graduation at Azusa Pacific University are included in the calculation of these honors, including correspondence and transfer classes. All grades not accepted toward graduation at Azusa Pacific University (such as remedial classes) will not be included in the calculation.

Degree Posting Dates

The university posts bachelor’s degrees three times each year, regardless of the specific date when all work is completed. All degree requirements must be met prior to the posting date. The three posting dates are at the end of the regular fall semester (approximately December 15), the end of the regular spring semester (approximately May 5), and the end of the summer sessions (approximately July 31). By petition, completed degrees may be posted on the 1st and the 15th of a month other than those listed above in this section.

Security Interest in Student Records

A student may neither graduate nor receive any diploma, grades, certificates, or transcripts until all financial obligations (including student loans wherein collections are administered by the university) have been satisfied in accordance with policies described under Financial Information. Any diploma, certificates, grades, or transcripts shall be retained by the university as a security interest until all such obligations are satisfied. Release of any such security interest prior to or subsequent to any default by the debtor shall not be considered a binding precedent or modification of this policy.