Jul 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Degree and Graduation Requirements


Undergraduate Degree and Graduation Requirements Policy & Procedures



Degree requirements for programs of study initiated under provisions of this catalog shall remain in effect for six years. Students must use a single catalog for all graduation requirements, and cannot use a combination of catalogs. The six-year limitation may be extended for interruption by military service where enrollment is resumed within one year after release from service.

If graduation does not occur within six years of the catalog of record, students must (1) shift to a catalog that falls within the six-year timeframe, or (2) receive a catalog extension from the dean of the college of the major. Students are strongly encouraged to submit Catalog Year Change Request form as soon as possible for the purpose of obtaining accurate progress-to-graduation. Failure to change or extend the catalog year can delay graduation.

Degree-seeking students are assigned to the current catalog at the time of first entrance into ETSU. Students who are readmitted are assigned by default to the current catalog.  High school students enrolled in ETSU courses will be assigned to a catalog after they become degree-seeking students. Transfer students may receive a no obligation change back to the catalog in effect upon their first entrance into higher education by request to the graduation office in the Office of the Registrar. Such requests should be filed using the approved Catalog Year Change Request form.

The course offerings and requirements of ETSU are continually under examination and revision. This catalog presents the offerings and requirements in effect at the time of publication, but is no guarantee that they will not be changed or revoked. However, adequate and reasonable notice will be given to students affected by any changes. This catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and does not constitute a contract between the student and East Tennessee State University.

ETSU reserves the right to make changes as required in course offerings, curricula, academic policies, and other rules and regulations affecting students to be effective whenever determined by the institution. These changes will govern current and formerly enrolled students. Enrollment of all students is subject to these conditions.

Current information may be obtained from the following sources: Admission Requirements-Office of Admissions; Course Offerings-department offering course; Degree Requirements-Office of the Registrar; Fees and Tuition-Office of the Comptroller.

ETSU complies fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The complete statement of policy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. East Tennessee State University is fully in accord with the belief that educational and employment opportunities should be available to all eligible persons without regard to age, gender, color, race, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

ETSU provides the opportunity for students to increase their knowledge by offering programs of instruction in the various disciplines and programs through faculty who, in the opinion of ETSU, are qualified for teaching at the college level. The acquisition and retention of knowledge by any student are, however, contingent upon the student’s desire and ability to learn while applying appropriate study techniques to any course or program. Thus, ETSU must necessarily limit representation of student preparedness in any field of study to that competency demonstrated at that specific point in time at which appropriate academic measurements were taken to certify course or program completion.

Tennessee U.S. History Requirement

Tennessee Law (TCA 49-7-110) requires students to submit proof of one unit (one year) of American History completed in high school or earn 6 credits of American History prior to the awarding of a bachelor’s degree from any Tennessee public institution of higher education. Either provide a high school transcript showing one unit of American History or complete 6 credits of American History.

Undergraduate Degree and Graduation Requirements Policy

  1. Required Grade Point Average (GPA). 

The following GPA requirements must be met to be eligible for graduation:   

  1. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0;
  2. A minimum ETSU GPA of 2.0;
  3.  A minimum GPA of 2.0 in all coursework for the student’s major and minor  (if applicable); and 
  4. any other published grade requirements for the degree program.   

No exception will be granted to the minimum GPA requirements. 

  1. Credit Requirements. 

A. To earn a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete 120 credits, unless otherwise indicated in the student’s Catalog of Record.   

B. Of the credits required to graduate, a student must meet the following credit requirements:

  1. 50 of the 120 credits required for the degree must be earned at fouryear  colleges or university;                               
  2. 25% of the total credits required for the degree must be earned at ETSU; and
  3. 6 credits in the major must be earned at ETSU.

C. Credits earned in remedial or developmental courses will not be accepted toward ETSU baccalaureate degree requirements.

D. All incomplete grades must be resolved in order to graduate. 

  1. General Education Requirements. 

To earn a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete all of the following General Education requirements in the subject areas indicated: 

  1. 15-16 credits in Strengthening Foundations (consisting of 6 credits of written composition, 3 credits of oral communication, 3 credits of critical thinking, and 3-4 credits of quantitative reasoning)
  2. 10-11 credits in Understanding Natural and Social Worlds (consisting of at lease 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences and at least 4 credits natural sciences)
  3. 9 credits in Exploring Connections (consisting of at least 3 credits of history and at least 3 credits of humanities outside of history)
  4. 3 credits in Cultivate Artistic Awareness
  5. 3-4 credits in Growing as an Individual and Global Citizen

* Tennessee Law (TCA 49-7-110) requires students to submit proof of one unit (one year) of American History completed in high school or earn 6 credits of American History prior to the awarding of a bachelor’s degree from any Tennessee public institution of higher education.   

  1. Other Requirements. 

A. Double Major. 

Students who choose to pursue a Double Major must meet the total requirements of each major. A Minor is not required. 

B. Double Degree. 

Students who choose to pursue a Double Degree must meet the total requirements of each degree. A Minor is not required.

C. Double Concentration.

Students who choose to pursue a double concentration must meet the total requirements of each concentration. A Minor is not required. 

D. Foreign Language.   

Students must complete at least one foreign language course with a number of 2020 or higher with a grade of at least C- for the Bachelor of Arts degree. Prerequisites could include courses numbered 1010, 1020, and/or 2010 to prepare for success in 2020. 

  1. Second Degree. 

A. Students who choose to pursue a Second Degree must:

  1. Meet the requirements for the Second-Degree program of study developed by the appropriate academic department or college; and
  2. Complete a minimum of 30 credits post-baccalaureate through instruction at ETSU in the related area of study 

B. A Minor is not required to earn a Second Degree.

C. General Education is excluded.

D. A student pursuing a Second Degree does not have to meet the general education requirements for the Second Degree since those were satisfied with the first degree.   

  1. Undergraduate Certificate. 

Students who choose to complete a certificate must meet the requirement of the certificate and maintain a minimum overall and ETSU GPA of 2.0. 

  1. Graduation Requirements. 

Each student must complete: 

  1. A graduation application form by the deadline published on the Office of the Registrar’s website;
  2. CSCI 1100 or equivalent (this requirement is not applicable to second degrees);
  3. Any required exit and major field exams; and
  4. Documentation of any course substitution or waiver if applicable.  


Students who do not complete the degree within six years from the date he or she first registered at ETSU must complete the new requirements if the program of study has changed.

Click here to view this policy.

Revised 12/14/2023

University Procedures

Double Majors

A double or multiple major is the simultaneous completion of two or more majors leading to the same degree designation (e.g., completion of a B.S. degree with majors in History and Political Science.) Students may qualify for multiple majors by meeting the total requirements of each major. Double majors are not required to have minors. See policy for additional information. 

Double Degrees

Students may concurrently receive double or multiple undergraduate degrees at a single degree level by satisfying the total requirements for each degree (e.g., B.A., B.S., B.B.A., etc.) and major. Students earning double degrees are not required to have minors. See policy for additional information. 

Second Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

To complete a second bachelor’s degree at ETSU, students must complete the following:

  1. Apply for a second bachelor’s degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admission, which will create a second degree outline for the student.     
  2. Complete the requirements specified by Admission, including a minimum of 30 additional hours post-baccalaureate ETSU credit, requirements for the new degree, and all East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees undergraduate degree requirements.
  3. File a Graduation Application at least two semesters before the term in which the student plans to graduate.
  4. Clear financial and other obligations to the university.

See policy for additional information. 

Graduate Level Hours

Undergraduate students may not use graduate level hours to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements with the exception of students admitted into accelerated programs by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduating with Honors

Baccalaureate degree candidates receive honors distinction at graduation based upon the cumulative college-level grade point average as follows:

Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.64
Magna Cum Laude 3.65 - 3.84
Summa Cum Laude 3.85 - 4.00

The grade point average used in conferring academic honors at graduation includes work at ETSU as well as all other college work attempted.

Eligibility for Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Only students who have received approval from the Graduation Office may participate in graduation ceremonies. There are two ceremonies each year. Students who finish requirements in the Spring semester are invited to attend the May Ceremony. Students who finish requirements in the Summer or Fall semesters are invited to attend the following December ceremony.

Tennessee Transfer Pathway

A student who completes a Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) at a Tennessee community college is guaranteed that ETSU will accept those courses taken in fulfillment of the TTP.

Courses that have no direct ETSU equivalent will be transferred as either lower division or upper division general elective credit and may, as appropriate, be applied as elective credit toward the student’s degree.