Graduation Requirements

Graduate Students must comply with the following terms as outlined in the graduate school graduation policy:

  • Possess an overall GPA of at least 3.00 with no failing or incomplete grades on the transcript (unless repeated with a passing grade)
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in the courses (required and elective) specified in the program requirements
  • Meet the graduation residency requirement by completing at least two-thirds of the program requirement credits at PennWest California
  • Complete all non-course requirements as specified by the program, if applicable
  • Successfully pass a comprehensive examination or portfolio requirement, if applicable

  • Doctoral Capstone Research Portfolio, Doctoral Dissertation, Capstone Project, Research Project, or Thesis:
    • For programs that require it, you can email the following information to project can be listed in our commencement program:
    • Type:
      • Doctoral Capstone Research/Portfolio
      • Doctoral Dissertation
      • Capstone Project
      • Research Project
      • Thesis
    • Research Advisor’s Name
    • Title
  • Submit the online graduation application by the published due date.
  • Pass the graduation checkout process conducted by the Program Coordinator for the degree program.

Graduate level Commencement Honors:

At Commencement, graduate students who have earned a cumulative minimum 3.95 GPA in their degree program.

  • For summer or winter term graduates: Honors is based on your final GPA.
  • For spring or fall term graduates: Honors is based on your GPA from the term prior to

** NOTE ** Graduate degree students earning honors at graduation are not acknowledged in the Commencement program and honors designations are not listed on graduate level diplomas or transcripts.

Undergraduate Students must comply with the following terms as outlined in the undergraduate graduation policy:

    Bachelor’s & Associate Degree Programs:

  • Credits: There is a 120-credit minimum for a bachelor's degree and 60 credits for an associate degree (unless otherwise specified). Students in all curricula must complete a minimum of 30 credits of the last 45 credits at PennWest California. Students in bachelor’s degree programs who started their degrees at PennWest California must complete a minimum of 42 credits in upper division level coursework (i.e., courses numbered 300 and above).
  • GPA: A candidate for Teacher Education must possess a grade point average of 3.0 in his/her major and overall and must successfully complete student teaching before graduation. An overall grade point average of 2.0 is required for graduation. Certain other programs may require minimum grades in courses within the major. Please contact your faculty advisor for questions regarding your program's GPA requirements.
  • Repeated Courses: If you are repeating any courses this semester that you previously received a "D" grade or better in, please note that these credits must be subtracted out of the total credits applied which may put you below the 120-credit minimum.
  • Incomplete Courses: It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor regarding any incomplete grades. A diploma will not be issued with incomplete coursework.
  • Developmental Courses: Please be aware that DMA 062, DMA 092, DMA 094, EDE 062, EDE 100, ENG 062, ENG 100, or MAT 098 will NOT count toward graduation. Developmental courses are coded as "100" or below in the course number. Please check your Degree Works to make sure you have enough "total credits applied" to graduate in your program.
  • Transfer Courses: Please immediately notify your dean's office of any transfer credits that are needed to complete your degree requirements. All transfer courses must be pre-approved and submitted by the end of the semester you intend to graduate. Official transcripts from each institution must be sent to the Office of Articulation and Transfer Evaluation (Dixon Hall, 3rd Floor / Box 37) and will be added to your student record. A diploma will not be issued with outstanding transfer credits.
  • Submit the online graduation application by the published due date.
  • Pass the graduation checkout process conducted by the Program Coordinator for the degree program.


Commencement Honors:

Bachelor’s degree program Honors:
Academic honors are awarded to graduating students who have earned at least 60 credits at California University in a baccalaureate degree program and achieved the required GPA:

  • Highest Honors (summa cum laude): 3.750 to 4.000
  • High Honors (magna cum laude): 3.500 to 3.749
  • Honors (cum laude): 3.250 to 3.499

Honors designations for the distribution of honors cords at commencement and for the listing in the commencement program are based on the earned cumulative GPA the semester prior to graduation. Final honors designations will be listed on diplomas and on official transcripts.

Associate degree program Honors:
Honors cords are given to students who complete their associate degree programs with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.250. Associate students will not be recognized in the commencement program as receiving academic honors and honors designations will NOT be listed on diplomas and transcripts.