Graduation Requirements

Students are eligible for graduation when they have satisfactorily completed all of the academic requirements of their degree program as specified by their major department, their college and the university.

NC State requires that, in addition to other university, college, and departmental requirements, all students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.000, based on all courses attempted at NC State, in order to be eligible to receive a baccalaureate degree.

Minimum Hours Required for Graduation

Minimum credit hours required in a baccalaureate curriculum that has not been designated a five-year program range from 120 to 128. Students may complete more hours than the required minimum.

Length of Time to Graduation

The normal and expected length of time to graduation for a baccalaureate degree is four years (average of eight semesters) provided the student completes an average of slightly more than 16 credit hours each semester (for most curricula) and/or attends one or more summer sessions.

Degree-seeking students who exceed credit hour limits toward their degree may be subject to a 50 percent Tuition Surcharge. The University of North Carolina Board of Governors defines exceeding credit hour limits as:

  • more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree in a four-year program, or
  • more than 110 percent of the credit hours necessary to complete a baccalaureate degree in any program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.

In order to make continuous progress toward graduation, students are encouraged to take full advantage of the university’s advising and support services. Effective career decision-making and early, deliberate, long-range semester-by-semester planning of courses and careful selection of extra-curricular commitments can provide direction and motivation necessary for effective use of time towards graduation.

Additional factors that may assure a student’s continuous progress toward graduation include good academic performance in first-year and basic prerequisite courses, advanced placement for introductory courses and enrollment in summer sessions. Students are discouraged from taking unrealistic course loads as a means to accelerate their progress toward graduation as this may result in poor academic performance.

Students may require more than eight semesters to complete an undergraduate program at NC State. In some cases this is the result of effective decision-making on the part of the student for such things as participation in cooperative education or study abroad programs; a decision to be a part-time student with a reduced course load for reasons of health, necessary outside employment, or parental responsibilities; or attempting dual degrees, double majors or academic minors. Students are encouraged to discuss their specific situations and options with their academic advisors.

In other cases, the length of time to graduation may be prolonged beyond the eighth semester as a result of incomplete or inadequate secondary school background requiring some additional compensatory, developmental or prerequisite courses. Poor academic performance in the freshman year or early semesters, or late changes in curriculum, could also impact time to graduation.

Semester-by-Semester Plans

The Semester-by-Semester Plans listed under each College reflects an 8-semester display of the requirements for the specific degree program. Each degree audit in the Student Information System (SIS) has a corresponding semester-by-semester display.

The effective date for each Plan represents the date the specific degree requirements are effective. When students are accepted into a degree program, they follow the specific requirements for the degree in effect at that time. When new requirements or significant changes are made to a degree program, a new effective date is created for those students entering the degree program under the new requirements.

Semester-by-semester plans are available on the Office of Undergraduate Courses, Curricula and Academic Standards website.

Limited D Grades

Some colleges and departments have established limitations on the use of D grades in certain courses or categories of courses for satisfying graduation requirements. Students should consult with their academic advisors if they have any questions.

Grade Point Average in Major

Some departments have established graduation requirements of a grade point average of 2.000 on all courses attempted in the major at NC State or a minimum letter grade requirement in some or all major courses. Such a requirement is in addition to the university grade point average total requirement of 2.000 for all courses attempted at NC State. Students are encouraged to enquire about specific requirements in majors of interest.

Residence Requirements

To be eligible for a bachelor’s degree, a student must be enrolled in a degree program at NC State, must have completed at least 25 percent of credit hours required for graduation through courses offered by NC State, and must have earned at least 30 of the last 45 hours of credit through NC State courses. In no case shall the proportion of credit hours taken at NC State and applied towards a bachelor’s degree be less than 25 percent. Individual departments and/or colleges may have additional residence requirements. Be sure to ask your advisor about any special requirements.

Note: The College of Engineering has a policy that transfer students normally must earn at least 48 of their last 60 hours of credit at NC State while enrolled as degree candidates. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors regarding whether additional residency requirements apply to their major.