Northwestern’s Graduation Requirements

January 12, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Northwestern’s Graduation Requirements

What are the graduation requirements for Northwestern?

What are the prerequisites that must be met to graduate from Northwestern? In order to comply with Northwestern’s graduation requirements, you have to fulfill the following:

Undergraduate Course Credits and Quarters

All of the schools on the Evanston campus that offer traditional undergraduate courses use the quarter system for their scheduling.

Students receive one full unit of academic credit for completing a course that lasts for one quarter and requires a minimum of three contact hours with the instructor per week.

Classes that meet for fewer than three hours each week are considered to be worth less than 1.0 units, whereas classes that last for 15 weeks are considered to be worth 1.5 units.

A course that lasts for one quarter and is worth one credit is generally considered to be equivalent to a course that lasts for two and a half and a third of a semester’s worth of work (2.66 hours).

A student standing next to a wall.

This is true for both transfers to other educational institutions as well as certification requirements that are stated in credit or semester hours.

One course that is one-quarter long is equivalent to four courses that are one-quarter long for the purposes of undergraduate credit.

Petition to Graduate

In order to graduate, undergraduate students are required to submit a graduation petition, which must then be authorized by the proper advisers in their respective programs.

Students should begin the procedure one calendar year before the year in which they plan to graduate, but they must submit their documents no later than the dates that are published on the website of the Office of the Registrar.

Students enrolled in programs offered by Weinberg College, the School of Communication, the School of Education and Social Policy, the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, and the Bienen School of Music can submit petitions to have their requests processed by the Office of the Registrar.

Should the student fail to submit their petition in a timely manner, there is the possibility that their graduation could be postponed or that their name will be omitted from the printed Commencement program.

Degree Conferral

The awarding of undergraduate degrees occurs after each quarter, including the summer. The Friday after the conclusion of final examinations and the submission of grades is the official date on which degrees are conferred for each term.

At the conclusion of their academic experience, students receive their degrees concurrently from all of the programs for which they have satisfied the necessary requirements.

After the degree(s) have been posted to the student’s record, the record is considered closed, and the student is not eligible for any additional revisions or enrollment as an undergraduate student.

An official transcript that includes a notation of an awarded degree is the certification that is acceptable for certifying the completion of a degree as well as any majors, minors, or certificates that were pursued.

At Northwestern University, diplomas are regarded as ceremonial documents rather than simply pieces of paper.

Undergraduate Registration Requirement

The Undergraduate Registration Condition (URR) is a requirement that must be fulfilled in addition to the criteria for the degree that have been defined by the various school faculties.

This requirement is applicable to undergraduate students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

a female student being interviewed

The Undergraduate Residency Requirement (URR) is premised on the notion that the majority of a student’s academic work must be done at the university in order for the student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

There is a predetermined minimum amount of coursework that must be completed at each institution in order to earn a bachelor’s degree which is around 42 or more, depending on the degree. In addition, the URR outlines the following:

  1. The minimum number of semesters that a student must be enrolled at Northwestern in order to graduate.
  2. The minimum amount of credit hours that a student must acquire in order to graduate from Northwestern.

What GPA do you need to graduate from Northwestern?

What is the minimum grade point average required to graduate from Northwestern? As part of Northwestern’s graduation requirements, students are expected to achieve a passing grade in each and every class that is part of their curriculum.

For students to demonstrate that they have mastered the material covered in the program, they are expected to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Before a student can graduate or earn a graduate certificate or certificate of advanced graduate study, they are required to earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 out of a possible 4.00.

The criteria that are used to assign grades are left up to the discretion of the individual teachers who teach the course. This includes the weight that is given to attendance and involvement.

On the other hand, students are often expected to make the necessary time and effort to attend each and every one of their classes. Students who are likely to miss classes for any reason should not register for the course because it may not be possible to earn a passing grade.

The following grading options are available:

A Passing Grade 4.0

A- Passing Grade 3.7

B+ Passing Grade 3.3

B Passing Grade 3.0

B- Passing Grade 2.7

C+ Passing Grade 2.3

C Passing Grade 2.0

C- Passing Grade 1.7

F Failing Grade 0.0

X Unofficial Withdrawal

W Official Withdrawal

Y Incomplete

P Pass

N No Pass

K In Progress

How does Northwestern’s graduation work?

How does the graduation process work at Northwestern? The graduation ceremony at Northwestern is called Commencement, and it is the only event at which the whole graduating class is honored together.

During the ceremony, there will be speeches given by students, staff, and special guests to the graduates as well as their families.

Each school is responsible for organizing and hosting its convocation. During the graduation or convocation ceremony, students are honored for their achievements. The purpose is to acknowledge the diverse identities that graduates possess.

In addition to the ceremony that marks the end of a student’s time at Northwestern University as a student, the individual schools and The Family Institute each hold their ceremonies for graduates.

Students who intend to take part in the University Commencement, a school ceremony, or both should pay particular attention to any information regarding deadlines as the dates of the ceremonies draw near.

Tickets are necessary in order to participate in any of Northwestern University’s graduation ceremonies. The graduates who indicate their want to participate in the event by submitting our Intent to Participate Form will receive an email containing a link to the ticket request form. Guests who do not have tickets will not be allowed to access the venue where the event is taking place.

Completing Northwestern’s graduation requirements can be difficult. However, the payoff is always commensurate with the effort, no matter how complex the process is.

We at AdmissionSight, are confident in your ability to overcome any challenges you may face in pursuit of a degree from Northwestern University. However, getting into the school is a priority right now.

AdmissionSight has proven to be a valuable resource for students as they strive to navigate the complex and competitive college admissions process. Please get in touch with us ASAP so that we can arrange an appointment.


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