Graduation and Commencement
There is a distinction between applying to graduate and participating in the Commencement
Ceremony. Conferral of a degree occurs only when the University Registrar finalizes
the student’s academic record and confirms that all graduation requirements have been
met. Participating in the Commencement Ceremony is simply the act of honoring and
celebrating academic achievement.
Commencement Participation Policy
In order to participate in the May Commencement ceremony, all students must:
- Submit a completed Notice of Candidacy for Graduation (NoC) form to the Office of
the Registrar by the deadline (Rindge Campus students: October 1; Online and Graduate
students: by February 1
- The Office of the Registrar must approve all submitted NoCs. Once the NoC has been approved, any changes to that changes to a student’s degree could affect their final graduation date, but not their participation in Commencement. Late NoCs will be accepted, but one’s ceremony eligibility will not be guaranteed.
- Not have participated in any previous Franklin Pierce University Commencement ceremony for this degree.
- Fall under any of the following:
- Have already graduated between the previous summer and April prior to commencement.
- Complete all requirements in Rindge Spring, Graduate Student Teach 4, Undergraduate Term 4 or Graduate Term 3 in order to graduate in May.
- Be pre-registered for, or have submitted a plan with the NoC to complete all necessary courses in Undergraduate Summer 1 or 2, Graduate Term 4 or transfer in outstanding credits in order to graduate by August, and have nine or fewer credits remaining, as listed on the approved NoC.
* Exceptions: Undergraduate Education majors who have completed all curricular requirements other than student teaching, who will complete student teaching during the subsequent Fall semester, are eligible to participate in the May ceremony. Master of Education students who meet all other conditions of requirement 3c), above, who will be student teaching during the subsequent Graduate Student Teach Term 1 and/ or have credits totaling 12 or fewer remaining, are eligible to participate in the May ceremony.
Requirements for participation in the Commencement ceremony are not subject to appeal.
A mandatory graduation fee of $100 is charged to all students' accounts upon acceptance of the Notice of Candidacy to Graduate. The fee includes the conferral process and shipment of your diploma, your cap and gown, and other Commencement items, regardless of attendance. Student balances must be paid in full before diplomas are issued.
It is the student’s responsibility to monitor and complete all requirements to graduate. Your advisor can help shape your academic career, but the student must ensure that all requirements are met. The University confers degrees at the conclusion of each semester/term.
A student’s degree will be conferred for the term/semester in which all requirements, including submission of supporting documents, have been met. Although course work may have been completed in a prior term, the degree will be awarded only for the term for which all academic and administrative requirements have been fulfilled.
Graduation requirements include:
- complete all requirements for the degree program;
- meet the residency requirement of the degree program
- achieve minimum cumulative grade point average requirements of the degree;
- submission of all supporting documents (such as official transcripts and test results);
- filing of the Notice of Candidacy for Graduation (NoC).
All academic and administrative requirements must be met. It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with their program-specific requirements as these may supersede the university’s minimum standards. Degrees are not awarded retroactively.
Master and Doctoral Degree Requirements
Graduate degree conferral requires the student to fulfill all degree and graduation requirements and have a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 with no more than two grades below a B- factored into the calculation of CGPA.
Bachelor’s Degree Requirements:
To be eligible for a Bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University, students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00, a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in each academic major, and complete 120 credits at the 100-level and above. In addition, in order to complete minor or certificate programs, students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in those programs.
All General and Liberal Education requirements and major requirements must be satisfied. Students must declare their first major prior to declaring any minor or certificate. Minors must be declared before a student has earned 75 credits.
Bachelor’s Degree residency requirements:
A minimum of 30 semester hours must be completed at Franklin Pierce University.
Within the 30 hours, 12 hours must be 300- or 400-level courses in each declared major (maximum of two majors allowed). Students must complete at least four courses towards the Minor/Certificate at Franklin Pierce University.
Associate’s Degree Requirements:
Requirements for an Associate’s degree are the successful completion of 60 semester hours (100-level and above) with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00, a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in an academic major and satisfaction of all General and Liberal Education requirements and major requirements. Average time to completion is 3 years.
Associate’s Degree residency requirements:
A minimum of minimum of 15 semester hours must be completed at Franklin Pierce University. Within the 15 hours, a minimum of 6 hours must be completed in each declared major (maximum of two majors allowed).
Undergraduate Certificate Requirements:
Requirements for the stand-alone Paralegal or Human Services certificates requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 and the successful completion of all required courses for the certificate. Students must complete at least four courses towards the certificate at Franklin Pierce University. All other undergraduate certificates are earned in conjunction with the bachelor’s degree.
Graduation Honors– Bachelor Degrees
Undergraduate students will be awarded Latin honors upon conferral of the Bachelor degree if they have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours in residence and meet the following minimum requirements:
Cum Laude: Cumulative grade point average of 3.25–3.49 at the time of degree conferral.
Magna Cum Laude: Cumulative grade point average of 3.50–3.79 at the time of degree conferral.
Summa Cum Laude: Cumulative grade point average of 3.80 or higher at the time of degree conferral.
Valedictorian: This designation is based solely on the highest grade point average attained among those students who have, or are, graduating with a Bachelor degree at a given commencement ceremony and who meet the residency requirement for graduation honors (i.e., sixty semester hours of credit earned at Franklin Pierce). In the rare case of equal GPAs, the student with the most number of credits earned at Franklin Pierce University will be the valedictorian.
For students who complete graduation requirements in Rindge Spring semester or Undergraduate Online Term 4, Latin honors listed in the program at the May Commencement ceremony will be determined by CGPA and a minimum of 60 semester hours earned at Franklin Pierce University at the end of Rindge Fall semester or Undergraduate Online Term 3. Final Latin honors for all graduates will be determined by credits and CGPA earned when the student completes all requirements, and will be recorded on the student’s diploma and final transcript.
Honor Societies and Awards
Special Departmental Honors
Anthropology Award for Outstanding Senior
Graphic Communications Faculty Citation
*For more information on Special Departmental Honors, consult the appropriate Department.
National/International Honor Society Chapter Affiliations
Alpha Chi (National Honor Society)
Pi Lambda Theta (Education)