Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, students must satisfactorily complete no fewer than 124 credit hours with a cumulative, grade-point average of 2.0 or higher, both overall and in the courses required for their major field of study. The grade-point average includes only courses taken at McPherson College and is calculated by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of graded hours.

For a complete list of graduation requirements, see Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree in the Degree Programs section and the Course Repeat Policy earlier in this section of the catalog.

Junior Check and Senior Check

Students are highly encouraged to schedule two meetings with the registrar to confirm they are on track to graduate. The first should be a junior check performed some time during the spring semester of the sophomore year or first semester of the junior year. The second meeting is a senior graduation check and should be scheduled for the spring semester before the senior year.

Candidacy for the Degree

In the fall, members of the senior class apply for candidacy for the degree to which their courses apply. Application is made through the Registrar’s Office. Only those members of the senior class that have been accepted as candidates for a degree may participate in Commencement events. Seniors not filing this application risk being overlooked for a diploma and inclusion in the Commencement program.

Senior Audit

The Registrar’s Office conducts a review each fall for each senior who has applied to graduate. Seniors who will not meet the requirements stated for participation in Commencement are notified that they have been removed from the list of graduating seniors. All students should be cautious about changing registration during the year. Any change that brings a senior below the stated requirements for participation in Commencement results in the student not being able to participate.

Participation in Commencement

Commencement exercises are held each May for graduating seniors who are members of that class and who have successfully completed the graduation requirements, including applying for graduation and a positive senior audit.

Only students who have successfully completed 118 credits out of the required 124 credits with a minimum 2.00 grade point average (both overall residential and in the major as figured by tentative senior grade due date) and do not have a balance with the college are eligible to be included in the Commencement program and participate in Commencement and its related activities without receiving a diploma. Students who participate in Commencement without actually graduating are referred to as “participators.” The diploma is conferred and a complete transcript issued following completion of all requirements.

Neither senior status, number of courses attempted, time spent in college, delays in submitting off-campus or transfer work, nor other circumstances or miscommunication eliminate the 118 credit requirement for participation in Commencement. The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student. Please note: Elementary education majors cannot participate in graduation until after student teaching has been successfully completed.


A diploma is issued to each member of the graduating class at Commencement under the following conditions:

  1. All requirements for the Baccalaureate degree have been successfully completed. A diploma is not issued to participators.
  2. The recipient has no outstanding financial obligations to the college.

The fee for replacing a diploma is $25 (domestic) or $35 (international).