General Degree Requirements

This is a draft edition of the 2024-2025 catalog. Information contained within is subject to change.

Major and Minor Declaration

A student’s major is declared upon admission to the University and/or by meeting with an academic advisor and submitting a Major/Minor Declaration and Change Form. Students selecting a major that contains program admission requirements must have the appropriate academic department approval. The student may be subject to pre-admittance until program admission requirements are met (pre-major). Program admission requirements may be viewed on each department’s website or within this catalog.

A minor may be declared and attached to a student's major by meeting with an academic advisor and submitting a Major/Minor Declaration and Change Form.

A student’s major or minor may be updated at any point during the student’s academic career by meeting with an academic advisor and submitting a Major/Minor Declaration and Change Form. It is recommended that a final declaration of major is made prior to a student earning 60 credit hours.

The Missouri Western catalog is valid August through July. The university catalog that is in effect for the term the student is initially admitted or subsequently declares will determine the course requirements for each major or minor. A bachelor degree program will remain in effect for no more than six years from the term of declaration. Pre-admission into a bachelor degree program (pre-major), a certificate and a microcredential each have a three year time-frame to complete the requirements.  Students are responsible for meeting all major, minor, degree and state certification requirements and should work closely with their advisor to ensure those requirements are met. If certification, accreditation 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.

Missouri Constitution Requirement

In accordance with section 170.011 RSMo, no student shall graduate from any public or private Missouri school unless the student 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 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) 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

Missouri Higher Education Civics Examination Requirement

Effective Fall 2019 and in accordance with section 170.013 RSMo, any student pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree “ shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution. The examination shall be known as the "Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination". 

Missouri Western students may comply with this law by passing MWSU’s online civics achievement exam. The exam will exist within a course posted to each student’s My Courses in Goldlink. More information may be found at Questions about this requirement or the test may be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

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.

There is not an additional minimum credit hours requirement for a student returning to earn a certificate.

Required Exit Exams

A University exit exam is required of all graduating baccalaureate students; More information can be found here. An exit exam may also be required by the academic department housing the major of the graduating student. Students should confirm any necessary exit exams with individual academic departments. Transcripts and graduation may be held if a student does not complete required testing.

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.

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. All information, including an application for graduation, is available at A graduation fee will be posted to the student account.  Please note: 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 ensure all graduation 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 November 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 in addition to 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 completing all degree requirements in the Fall will be eligible to attend the DECEMBER commencement ceremony. Undergraduate students completing 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 four Medical School Admissions Programs which partner with MWSU: A.T. Still University's Kirkville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Palmer College of Chiropractic, University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Medicine and University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Medicine. Detailed information on these programs can be found within Biology Department.