Graduation Requirements, Honors, and Honor Societies

Residency Requirement

To earn a Berea College degree, students must complete a minimum of four (4) regular (fall and spring) terms as a degree-seeking student at Berea College.

Eight-Term Rule and Extension of Terms

Students are expected to complete all degree requirements within four academic years, or eight regular terms, including transfer terms for transfer students, terms abroad, off-campus field studies, internships, and the addition of one or more minors or additional majors, if any. Failure to follow the approved Curriculum Plan submitted as part of the Declaration of Primary Major process does not constitute a valid reason for needing an extension of terms.

Students who, for good reason, are unable to complete degree requirements within eight regular terms may submit a Request for an Extension of Terms form—which includes a revised Curriculum Plan, and an accompanying letter explaining the reason(s) the extension is needed—to the Office of the Registrar. (Students proposing an Independent Major that requires more than eight terms, even if a prior extension of terms was approved for another major, should include this request with their completed proposal; approvals will be coordinated by the Director of Academic Services and the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning.) Requests for a one- or two-term extension not approved by Academic Services may be appealed to the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee. All requests for more than 10 terms of attendance are reviewed by the SAAS Committee.

Application for Degree Requirement

Upon completion of six regular terms, degree-seeking students who have not yet applied for a degree will receive notification from the Academic Records Analyst in the Office of the Registrar informing them that they will need to submit the Application for Degree form, preferably within the following week. At the very latest, students are required to file this Application for Degree prior to registering for classes in their seventh term.

Before submitting this degree application, students should run another degree evaluation in myBerea to make certain that all degree requirements are recorded correctly. Any deficiencies can be discussed with their Academic Advisor prior to registration in the terms leading up to graduation. (Also see “Course Substitutions and Waivers of Degree Requirements” below.)

After the Application for Degree has been filed, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Academic Records Analyst of changes in plans or programs. All requirements for the degree, except regular course work, must be completed 30 days prior to the commencement at which the student will graduate.

Students who file the Application for Degree are expected to attend Commencement Exercises.

Note: Neither diplomas nor transcripts will be issued to students with past-due student accounts.

Course Substitutions and Waivers of Degree Requirements

Requests for substitutions or waivers of degree requirements must be initiated by the Academic Advisor(s), supported by the Program Coordinator, and approved by the Division Chairperson who serves as a liaison to the Academic Program Council (APC). These requests should be made by the term prior to the graduation term, or as early as possible.

The process to request a change in curriculum begins when the Academic Advisor completes the information requested below and e-mails it to the Program Coordinator for the major or minor. The request includes the following information:

Student’s Name:

Student’s ID Number: B00__________

Advisor’s Name for the Major/Minor in Which Substitution is Requested:

Major/Minor in Which Substitution is Requested:

Original Course Requirement(s)—Course Number(s) & Title(s):

For Substitutions:

  • Course Number(s) & Title(s) of Substituted Course(s):
  • Rationale or Explanation for How Substitution Meets Original Requirement(s):

For Waivers of Degree Requirements:

  • Rationale or Explanation for Student Not Meeting the Degree Requirement(s):

For established majors or minors in the Catalog & Student Handbook, the request is forwarded to the Program Coordinator. (The Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning serves as Coordinator for GST courses, General Education requirements, and Independent Majors.) If the Program Coordinator agrees to and supports the request for substitution or waiver, he or she will indicate support in an e-mail to the Division Chairperson that includes the Advisor(s) request and rationale and any additional information to support the request. If the Program Coordinator wishes to request that the course substitution is to be a blanket substitution for all students within the major, please indicate such in the e-mail of support. For Independent Majors, the primary and secondary advisors (both indicating agreement for the request) forward the request directly to the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning.

The Division Chairpersons either will approve the request for substitution or waiver or will take the request to the Academic Program Council for its review and determination. The student, Academic Advisor, and Program Coordinator will be notified by e-mail of the outcome.

Graduating with Honors

The cumulative GPA will be the measure to determine academic honors, which are designated as follows: summa cum laude 3.900 or higher; magna cum laude 3.750 to 3.899; cum laude 3.600 to 3.749. The College recognizes those students who have demonstrated such excellence by an honors notation on the permanent record, transcripts of the permanent record, diploma, and in the program for the commencement ceremony. The cumulative GPA on which the honors will be based in celebratory programs is that of the last term prior to the one of graduation. However, final transcripts will reflect the honor for the cumulative GPA earned at the end of the term of graduation.

To be eligible for honors, the student must have completed at least seventeen (17) course credits at Berea College and have been enrolled as a full-time student for the last three (3) regular terms prior to the term at the end of which s/he will be graduated. (Also see GPA under "Grades and Grading Scale" in this publication.)

Honors and Honor Societies

The following honor societies, which recognize excellence in academic accomplishment, service, and leadership, have been chartered on the campus.

Alpha Psi Omega: A national honor society promoting excellence in Dramatics.

Delta Phi Alpha: A national honor society promoting the study of German.

Delta Tau Alpha: A national honor society recognizing excellence in Agricultural Science.

Fleur de Lis: An honor society for freshmen who have exhibited high standards of living and academic excellence.

Kappa Omicron Nu: A national honor society recognizing excellence in the study of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Lambda Pi Eta: Omicron Sigma Chapter of the official honor society of the National Communication Association.

Mortar Board: An honor society for seniors selected on the basis of leadership, service, and scholarship.

Omicron Delta Epsilon: An international honor society promoting excellence in the study of Economics.

Omicron Sigma: A national honor society recognizing outstanding achievement in Communication.

Phi Alpha Theta: An international honor society promoting excellence in the study of History.

Phi Epsilon Kappa: National honor society for persons engaged in or pursuing careers in health, physical education, recreation, or safety.

Phi Kappa Phi: A national honor society emphasizing academic excellence of both students and faculty in all areas of study.

Pi Mu Epsilon: A national honor society promoting excellence in the study of Mathematics.

Psi Chi: A national honor society recognizing excellence in the study of Psychology.

Sigma Delta Pi: A national honor society promoting the study of Spanish.

Sigma Pi Sigma: A national honor society promoting excellence in the study of Physics.

Sigma Tau Delta: A national honor society promoting excellence in the study of English language and Literature.

Vincit Qui Patitur: A Berea honor society for juniors who have exhibited academic excellence.

Many Scholarships, Awards and Prizes are available to Berea College students through these programs.