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POLICY #6.62
SUBJECT: Graduate Studies: Grading and Graduation Requirements


The purpose of this Policy is to provide policy relating to grading and graduation requirements for graduate students.


  1. Southern Utah University Policy 6.13 Grading
  2. Southern Utah University Policy 6.19 Grade Appeal
  3. Southern Utah University Policy 6.26 Credit Hour Loads
  4. Southern Utah University Policy 11.4 Student Complaints
  5. Utah System of Higher Education Policy R401 Approval of New Programs, Program Changes, Discontinued Programs, and Program Reports




  1. Grading
    1. The grading system for graduate students is the same as the undergraduate grading system. SUU has a plus/minus (+/-) grading system. However, at the graduate level, a C+ or lower grade may be indicative of unsatisfactory work and may not be accepted toward graduation for some programs.
    2. Students may not earn graduate credit on the basis of examinations taken, (e.g., testing-out, course challenge).
    3. A student may elect to repeat a course for grade change or improvement. In courses where the subject matter does not change, additional credit hours are not earned by repeating a course. Courses taken at another college/university and repeated at SUU will not qualify for change of grade unless the student can provide the program written evidence that the courses involved were of similar content. The program will notify the Registrar that the course taken at the other university was of similar content. Then, the highest grade received will be used in computing the grade average at graduation with "E" added to all other attempts at that course.
  2. Graduation Requirements
    1. First Master's Degree
      1. A minimum of 30 credit hours (not including repeated courses), is required for any master’s degree. Depending upon the student’s undergraduate preparation and the particular graduate program of study, additional graduate hours may be required as specified by the program.
      2. At least two-thirds (2/3) of the credits in any master’s degree program (including thesis or project) must be designated as 6000-level courses, or above, and meet departmental approved standards. The student’s department chair or designee must approve all courses applied to graduation.
      3. Coursework completed as a non-degree student may be credited subsequently to a degree program with the approval of the program director. The number of credits that can be completed as a nondegree student and accepted into a graduate program is limited to 12 semester hours.
      4. A minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 is required on all work completed in a graduate program.
      5. All theses, projects, etc. involving research must comply with SUU policies governing research.
      6. A graduate student has six (6) calendar years from the date of first registration in the SUU graduate program to complete the degree. Departments or programs may set shorter time requirements. During this time, the student’s graduate program is governed by the rules and procedures of the catalog under which the student is admitted, unless the student opts to adopt the rules and procedures of a later catalog.
        1. When extenuating circumstances warrant, a student may request an extension of the degree time limit. The student must first file a petition with the academic program stating the reasons why the extension is requested. The program decides on the petition and notifies the Dean of Graduate Studies and student in a timely manner. Should the request for a time extension be granted and the student not complete the program requirements, no additional time extension is granted to complete the degree requirements.
        2. If graduate study is interrupted by active military service, or service to the Peace Corps, VISTA, or the equivalent, as much as two (2) years of that time will not count toward the six-year time limit. Such graduate students do not need to be continuously enrolled when in the thesis stage of their program.
    2. Second Graduate Degree Requirements
      1. A second master’s degree may be earned at SUU. All degree requirements must be met for both graduate degrees. When a course is required for both graduate degrees, another course is not substituted; taking the required course satisfies the requirements of both graduate degrees. However, the total number of credits for the second master’s degree must be at least 15 semester hours.
    3. Award of Degree
      1. Graduation Procedure: Students are responsible for all degree requirements. Each student who plans to graduate must complete the online graduation process by the appropriate dates.
      2. Conditions and Timetable for Graduation: Students are urged to form their capstone committees as early as possible. SUU will confer the master's degree when the following conditions have been met:
        1. submission of the required application for degree;
        2. certification by the academic dean that all requirements of the degree being sought have been completed;
        3. achievement of the grade requirements as defined by the department; and
        4. satisfactory completion of a capstone experience, if required, and submission of one (1) copy of the approved capstone document to the dean by the date specified in the academic calendar.

The Registrar’s Office will promptly notify the candidate and the College/ School if graduation is not approved for any reason.


The responsible office for this Policy is the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. For questions about graduation requirements and the graduation application process, contact the Registrar's Office.


Date Approved: January 30, 2015

Amended: March 24, 2016