Graduation Information

Graduation Procedures for Students

Graduates should track progress toward completion of all graduation requirements by consulting their advisor and the graduation report.
  • Check total hours required at the bottom of the top section of the graduation requirement audit report. Generally, 124 hours are required for graduation. Occasionally, 125 or 126 hours may be required. Hours listed in each aim may be duplicated; do not add these hours to find the total. A minimum of 30 hours must be completed at Bluffton University. Twenty-four of the final 30 hours must be completed at Bluffton. 
  • A minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.0 is required for all students (check yours at the right of the top section). Social work majors must earn a major GPA of 2.25 and education majors require a major GPA of 2.5 (2.7 for education majors entering in fall 2012 or later.)
  • Remaining course requirements are listed in the requirements detail section. Check status as met or required in the status column (M = Met, R = Required, N = Needs, RI = Required In Progress, O = Override, S = Substitution, T = Transfer). All requirements must be met in order to complete the degree and receive the diploma. (The only exception to this is the category marked free electives .) If you believe a requirement has been met that is not marked M, please contact us at
  • The Course Needs option may be used ONLY as a summary of the specific course requirements remaining. This list does not include any elective hours that may be needed to meet the total hours required or courses that are part of group requirements. 
  • Additional graduation requirements include the departmental exam, institutional assessment, returning all library materials and meeting all financial obligations.  

Graduation Date and Participation

  • Bluffton University has three graduation dates per year: a May graduation date after the end of the spring semester, an August graduation date, which is the last day of the summer semester, and a December graduation date, which is the last day of the fall semester. Projected graduation dates are assigned as carefully as possible for helping the student plan degree completion, but do not determine the actual graduation date. A student must complete course work within 21 days of the given graduation date to be considered as a graduate for that date. If a student fails to complete required work within 21 calendar days, the planned graduation date will be moved to the next graduation date within the academic year.
  • Students who will have completed all graduation requirements by the May graduation date participate in May graduation exercises.
  • Diplomas are given to students during graduation ceremonies if all requirements are completed and all financial obligations fulfilled. Arts & Lecture requirements must be completed two weeks before graduation in order to receive a diploma at graduation.
  • Students who plan to complete all graduation requirements by the August graduation date participate in May graduation exercises. Students should be registered at Bluffton University for the summer term, or have pre-approvals completed for courses being taken elsewhere by April 1. These students receive a diploma cover, but do not receive the actual diploma until all requirements have been completed, all financial obligations fulfilled and the August graduation date has passed.
  • Students who will have completed all graduation requirements by December 2015 who did not participate in May 2015 graduation exercises will participate in May 2016.
  • New policy for students who will complete all requirements by December 2016:
    • Students who meet the following criteria will be included in May 2016 graduation:
      • Cumulative and major GPA of 2.5 (or higher, depending on departmental requirements) and
      • A minimum of 103 hours completed by the end of the spring 2016 semester.
    • Students who do not meet the criteria will be included in May 2017 graduation.
  • Students who will be finished in August or December after May ceremonies and who plan on taking work at another university in order to meet their graduation must complete a pre-approval form for all coursework to be taken elsewhere. This form must be submitted to the registrar's office by April 1, 2016.  
  • Students are responsible to complete the proper procedures in order to be granted permission to be included in graduation ceremonies. 

 March 4, 2016 is the deadline for adding students to the graduation list.