FAQ – Changes in Graduation Requirements

The South Dakota Board of Regents recently approved a policy that will change the total number of credit hours needed to graduate. Most baccalaureate degree programs will move to 120 credit hours and most associate degree programs will move to 60 credit hours. However, some degree programs will remain at their current credit hour levels (128 credits / 64 credits) because of licensure and certification requirements.

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down arrowWhen will the new credit-hour requirements take effect?

  • The curriculum in all DSU's degree programs will be reviewed during the 2011-2012 academic year. Proposed modifications to degree programs will need South Dakota Board of Regents approval, with that approval likely in March 2012, May 2012 or June 2012. Program modifications that receive Board approval will be effective with the 2012 academic catalog. Modifications that are not initially approved may have a later effective date pending final approval.
  • NOTE: Students scheduled to graduate in May 2012 will not qualify to graduate under the new requirements.

down arrowDoes the credit-hour change apply to all majors?

  • No. Some degree programs will not move to the new credit limit because of licensure and certification requirements. Graduation requirements for these degree programs may remain at the current 128 / 64 credits. Or, they could drop from their current level to something lower than 128/64 but not down to 120/60 credit hours.

down arrowWhat part of a program will be reduced in order to meet the new credit hour requirements?

  • Generally, the open electives are being reduced (assuming the degree program has open electives). Degree programs that do not have open electives will probably cut credit hours from the required courses in the major, unless the degree program is one that will be exempt because of licensure and certification requirements.

down arrowHow will I find out if changes have been approved for my major, and what the new requirements are?

  • Program modifications must be approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents before they can be activated on campus. BOR approval will occur during the March 2012, May 2012 and June 2012 meetings. DSU will post updates to majors beginning in March 2012, as they are approved by the SDBOR.
  • Check the list of majors at the end of this FAQ to find updates to your degree program. These changes will be effective for the 2012-2013 academic.

down arrowWill students who graduate after July 1, 2012 automatically qualify to graduate under the new credit hour requirement?

  • To graduate under the new degree requirements, students must move into the 2012-2013 catalog and meet all the graduation requirements listed for their degree program (general education, major and minors) from that catalog year. All program requirements must be met from the same catalog year.
  • As the program modifications are approved, the registrar will build degree audit requirements in WebAdvisor. To double-check your academic transcript against the new graduation requirements, use the "What if" option in the degree audit function of WebAdvisor and choose 2012 catalog.
  • Students who want to graduate under the new requirements in Summer 2012 are encouraged to:
    • Carefully review the new graduation requirements with their advisors, to ensure that all new program requirements have been met.
    • Formally request that their graduation catalog move to Academic Year 2012-2013. The "Change Academic Program" form is available online at URL: https://www.dsu.edu/academics/forms.aspx. The completed form should be filed with the Registrar.
    • Schedule a formal degree audit with the Registrar.
    • Complete the required major-field assessment exam in the spring semester or request an exception to take the exam in the summer.
  • NOTE:  students who graduate in the summer are generally invited to participate in the formal graduation ceremony in the spring, rather than in the next fall.  As a consequence, students who are eligible to graduate under the new program requirements in Summer 2012 will not have an opportunity to participate in a formal graduation ceremony, since the deadline to register for the Spring 2012 graduation ceremony (February 1) has already passed. 

down arrowIf I decide I want to change to the 2012-2013 catalog and graduate under the new requirements, what should I do?

  • Notify the Registrar's office in Enrollment Services Office to update your catalog year. Once the new catalog year is attached to your record, you will be able to run a program evaluation on WebAdvisor, which will reflect the new requirements.

down arrowWho do I contact to discuss my options and help me evaluate my academic transcript under the new requirements?

  • The Registrar's office in Heston Hall, Enrollment Services or your advisor will be able to assist you. You can email Sandy.Anderson@dsu.edu at the Registrar's Office.

DSU Majors (effective for the 2012-2013 academic year):

* Major already at 120 credits – no further changes will be made.
** Major already at 60 credits - no further changes will be made.
*** Exempt from the reduction. 

Last Updated: 6/7/12