General Degree Requirements
Total Semester Hours of Credit: Completion of at least 120 semester credit hours at the 100 level or above for the baccalaureate degree or 60 semester credit hours for the associate degree.
Grade Point Average: A cumulative grade point average and institutional grade point average of 2.00. The cumulative grade point average is based on all courses taken, including transfer courses and those taken at other regental institutions. The institutional grade point average is based on all coursework taken at USD. The grade point average for the major(s) must be at least 2.0. If a course is repeated only the last grade received will be included in the calculation of the cumulative and institutional grade point averages.
- Pre-General Education Course Requirements in English and Mathematics
Pre-general education courses include ENGL 032, ENGL 033, and MATH 095. Credit hours for the pre-general education courses are included in the total number of credit hours attempted. The grades assigned for these courses will be RI, RS and RU and will not be included in the GPA calculation.
Completion of Pre-General Education Courses:
- Students placed in pre-general education courses must enroll in and complete the courses within the first 30 credit hours attempted.
- If a student does not complete the pre-general education course(s) within the first 30 credit hours attempted, a registration hold is placed on the student’s record.
- During the next 12 credit hours attempted, the student must enroll in and complete the pre-general education course(s). The student may also enroll in other courses.
- If the student does not complete the pre-general education courses by the time he or she have attempted 42 credit hours, the only course(s) in which a student may enroll is the pre-general education course(s), and the student’s status is changed from degree seeking to non-degree seeking. Students with a status of non-degree seeking are not eligible for financial aid.
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs may grant an exception.
Majors: Each degree candidate must select the work of one department or discipline as a major subject and must complete all requirements as set out by the major department. Any deviation from this requires the written consent of the chair of the department and the dean of the relevant college or school. Note: Exceptions to the System-wide and Institutional Graduation Requirements must be approved by the dean of the student’s college/school and the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee.
Students pursuing more than one major must complete all requirements for the majors as set forth by the academic units involved. When the majors are offered within the same college or school and may be completed within the same degree program structure, students complete the requirements for only one degree, and only one degree is awarded. Students wishing to complete two undergraduate majors that are offered in separate colleges or schools, or in the same school or college but not within the same degree program structure, must complete all requirements for each related degree, and two separate degrees are awarded. Completion of a second degree will not be allowed when both majors may be awarded under the same degree. Students may pursue minors outside the college/school of their major program.
Simultaneous degrees at a Regental University (earned on the same graduation date)
Students wishing to complete two undergraduate majors that are offered under different program structures must complete both curricula corresponding to the declared major, resulting in the completion of two baccalaureate degrees.
For two degrees to be awarded during the same graduation, all requirements for both degrees must be met.
- The System General Education requirements are met once.
- The Institutional Graduation Requirements are met once.
- The specific requirements of each degree program must be met.
- Two degrees and two diplomas are issued.
- Courses may meet the requirements of both degrees provided the overall university requirements are met and the system requirements are met.
Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree and who later wish to add another major or degree should consult the Office of Academic Affairs for information (605-677-6497).
Upper-Division Requirement: A minimum of 32 semester hours of credit in courses numbered 300 or above. Specific academic units may require additional hours of upper-division work.
Institutional Credit Requirement: Credit taken by students at USD or at its approved sites using any approved method of delivery is considered institutional credit, including credit from courses that are part of a formal collaborative agreement between USD and another regental university. The minimum number of credit hours that must be earned as institutional credit is 30 credits for the baccalaureate degree and 15 credits for the associate degree. The number of credit hours immediately preceding completion of the degree that must be earned as institutional credit is 15 of the last 30 credits for the baccalaureate degree and 8 of the last 15 for the associate degree. The minimum number of credit hours in the discipline of the major and the minor that must be completed as institutional credit is 50 percent. Degree-seeking students may, however, complete a minor from any of the South Dakota regental universities; the minor will be recorded on the student’s transcript in conjunction with a degree, indicating the university from which it was earned.
Assessment: The University has a comprehensive program for the assessment of student academic achievement. It provides the basis for ongoing examination of the effectiveness of teaching and learning in each academic discipline as well as in the general education curriculum. The assessment program helps the University to determine whether it is accomplishing its mission and ensures that it is responsive to the need for improvement.
Pursuant to Board of Regents policy, student participation in the assessment program is required. Students may be involved in the assessment of the general education curriculum in addition to that of their major. This involvement may take various forms, including participation in exit exams, surveys, and/or capstone experiences. Students who refuse to participate shall be denied subsequent registration and/or graduation.
Proficiency Examination: All students seeking an undergraduate degree must achieve satisfactory performance on a standardized examination of general knowledge, the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP). Students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree are required to take the exam as soon as they have passed 48 credit hours at or above the 100-level. Associate degree students must take the examination as soon as they have passed 32 credit hours. SDBOR policy 2:28-Proficiency Examinations https://www.sdbor.edu/policy/documents/2-28.pdf and SDBOR policy 2:7.3-Baccalaureate General Education Curriculum https://www.sdbor.edu/policy/documents/2-7.pdf.
Proficiency Examination Preparation
Students pursuing bachelor’s degrees must complete the 18 credit hours of System-wide Graduation Requirements specified below within the first 48 credit hours as preparation for the regental proficiency examination. Associate degree students must complete the designated credit hours within the first 32 credits hours attempted.
Catalog of Graduation: Every student is required to have a designated catalog of graduation and to meet all of the academic requirements listed in that catalog. New students, both first-year and transfer, must meet the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their initial registration at USD. If the initial registration occurs during the summer, the catalog in effect for the following fall will govern.
Students may elect to be governed by a catalog issued later than their initial catalog; however, students may not elect to be governed by a catalog issued earlier than their initial catalog. Students who elect to change their catalog of graduation must inform the Registrar’s Office.
Students who discontinue enrollment at any South Dakota regental university for more than two consecutive semesters (excluding summer term) are assigned the catalog in effect at the time of their re-enrollment. Students are considered to be in continuous enrollment for purposes of the catalog of graduation as long as any break in enrollment at any South Dakota regental university is no longer than two consecutive semesters (excluding summer term) and as long as their degree-seeking status remains at the same university. Students who change their degree-seeking status from one regental university to another regental university are assigned the catalog in effect at the degree-granting university.
Degree Audit/Application for Graduation: Candidates for degrees are required to make formal application for their degree at the Registrar’s Office by the deadline published in the Schedule of Classes. Upon completing 75 semester hours of credit, students should apply at the Registrar’s Office for graduation and request an undergraduate degree audit. This audit will determine the requirements that remain to be met to qualify for the degree.
Graduation Dates: A student’s official date of graduation shall be the graduation date for the term in which the student successfully completes all requirements for the degree.