General Degree Requirements

Major Declaration

Every degree candidate must have on file in the Registrar's Office an approved Major Declaration Form. Students complete this form with an advisor in the academic department where the major is housed. The Major Declaration Form is valid for six years.

In the process of earning a degree, students must complete requirements for that degree and any appropriate state certification requirements. If certification or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during the time a student is enrolled in a program, the new requirements  take precedence over previously existing degree or certification standards.

A University exit exam is required of all graduating baccalaureate students; visit for more information. An exit exam may also be required by the academic department housing the major of the graduating student; confirm any necessary exit exams with individual academic departments.

Ten-Year Old Credit

College credit more than ten years old cannot be used as part of the student’s major requirements unless approved by the department of the declared major. College credit more than ten years old may be used to fulfill general studies or elective requirements for a degree if any of the credit is applicable. This determination will be made by the Registrar’s Office.

Missouri Constitution Requirement

In accordance with section 170.011 RSMo, no student shall graduate from any public or private Missouri school unless he/she has “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Missouri, and in American History and American Institutions.”

Missouri Western students may comply with this law by:

  • Successfully completing MWSU general studies Category 3: Social Sciences, Group 2, which requires one of the following courses:
    HIS 140American History to 18653
    HIS 150American History since 18653
    PSC 101American National Government3
  • Transferring to Missouri Western with a Missouri Associate of Arts (AA or AAT) degree or a Missouri Bachelor's degree.
  • Successfully completing a transfer course or courses (as evaluated by MWSU) and/or a Missouri constitution competency test.

Note: Students who meet the Constitution of the United States, American History and American Institutions requirements through a transfer course, but have not completed the Missouri Constitution portion, must fulfill this degree requirement through completion of PSC 111 Understanding the Missouri Constitution or by passing a Missouri constitution test offered by Missouri Western State University. This includes students who receive credit through Advanced Placement, CLEP or International Baccalaureate. Refer to the guidelines and processes at

Additional Required Tests

In order to measure student progress toward educational goals, students are required to participate in periodic assessment efforts at Missouri Western. University-wide assessments include, but are not limited  to, a university exit exam, and departmental exit tests (see department for more information). Transcripts and graduation may be held if a student does not participate in this required testing.

Multiple Degrees and Double Majors

Two-Year Associate Degrees

  1. Prior to graduation, a student may earn a double major within an associate degree.
  2. After the original associate degree has been awarded, the student is not eligible to earn an additional major. However, a second Associate degree may be earned by completing a minimum of twenty (20) additional credits beyond the original graduation credits, and satisfactorily fulfilling all requirements of the second degree program.

Four-Year Baccalaureate Degrees

  1. Prior to graduation, a student may earn a double major (120 minimum credit hours, courses numbered 100-499) or a double degree (minimum 140 credit hours, courses numbered 100-499).
  2. The university will confer two baccalaureate degrees during the same semester, provided the student meets graduation requirements for each degree and has earned a minimum of 140 credit hours.
  3. After the original baccalaureate degree(s) has been awarded, the student is not able to earn an additional major. However, a second degree (baccalaureate or associate1) may be earned by satisfactorily fulfilling all requirements of the second degree program and, in doing so, completing a minimum of twenty (20) additional credit hours beyond the original graduation hours.

Graduation and Commencement

Application for Graduation

To be considered as a candidate for graduation, the student must declare candidacy by submitting an Application for Graduation to the Registrar's Office. Applications are available in Eder 102 or at Payment is required at the time of application; applications are subject to late fees if submitted after the fifth day of the Fall/Spring semester and second day of the Summer term. To assure the candidates’ records are reviewed by the Registrar's Office prior to the final semester the following deadlines must be observed:

Fall graduation July 1
Spring graduation October 1
Summer graduation March 1

Students must submit documentation showing that all requirements have been met (i.e. submission of transcripts with transfer work completed, exit exams, makeup of incomplete grades) within 60 days of the end of the semester in which they plan to graduate. Students who do not meet this deadline, must file a new Application for Graduation along with the required documentation.

Graduate Honors

Students completing degree requirements with an overall GPA of 3.9 or higher will graduate with Highest Honors (summa cum laude). Those who have earned an overall GPA of 3.75 or higher but below 3.9 will graduate with High Honors (magna cum laude). Those who have earned an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher but below 3.75 will graduate with Honors (cum laude). A student earning an MWSU certificate with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher will be awarded the certificate with honors.


Commencement is held in December and May. Participation in commencement is voluntary on the part of the student.

Undergraduate students who complete all degree requirements in the Fall will be eligible to attend the DECEMBER commencement ceremony. Undergraduate students who complete all degree requirements in the Spring and Summer will be eligible to attend the MAY commencement ceremony.

Commencement attendance information is required on the Application for Graduation form found in the Registrar's Office or at

Transfer Programs

Preprofessional is a category for students who intend to enter a professional school after graduating with their bachelor’s degrees or to transfer to another university for the completion of their studies. Students choosing preprofessional studies should select a transfer institution early and should work closely with their academic advisor. The following areas are those in which most students concerned with transfer programs express an interest: architecture, dentistry, engineering, journalism, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, veterinary medicine. These are not majors. They are officially recognized areas of academic interest. Identifying your pre-professional interest will enable your academic advisor to provide you with a wide range of support to realize your goals. 

Missouri Western State University participates in professional school programs that allow students to use credit from their professional school for credit at MWSU. The following guidelines must be followed:

  1. MWSU will accept a maximum of 30 semester credit hours earned in a professional school as credit toward the baccalaureate degree and thus waive the resident requirement for graduation.
  2. General education requirements must be completed before the student transfers to the professional school.
  3. Degree requirements in the student's major field for the baccalaureate degree must be substantially completed at Missouri Western State University with limited substitutions from the professional program as approved by the department.
  4. The last 60 credit hours prior to the professional school transfer must have been completed at MWSU.
  5. MWSU will grant the baccalaureate degree with written verification from the professional school upon the student's completion of the necessary coursework.

Missouri Western students have the opportunity to be selected for participation in one of three Medical School Admissions Programs which partner with MWSU: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, A.T. Still University's Kirkville College of Osteopathic Medicine, and University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Medicine. Detailed information on these programs can be found within Biology Department.