Graduation Policies & Procedures

Degree Requirements

Students are responsible for knowing and meeting the University’s graduation requirements in a specific degree program. Specific degree programs may require additional requirements beyond those listed here. Students should review their program’s listing within the Academic Programs section of this academic catalog and/or the program’s handbook, when applicable, to determine if there are any additional requirements. To qualify for any degree, the candidate must:

  1. Complete all requirements (Bay Path Core Curriculum, major, and elective) for the degree program;
  2. Meet the residency requirement of successfully earning a minimum of 30 credits with Bay Path;
  3. Achieve Bay Path’s minimum cumulative grade point average; and
  4. Complete the Graduation Application and Graduating Student Survey sent to prospective graduating students during their final academic year.

Conferral of Degrees

Bay Path University confers undergraduate degrees at the conclusion of each subterm. Students who complete their degree requirements in the middle of a subterm will receive a conferral date equivalent to the last day of classes in that subterm.

Certificates pursued concurrently with a degree program will not be awarded until the degree has officially been conferred. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Instruction, the University Registrar, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Student Participation in Commencement Exercises

The Commencement ceremony is our culture’s most significant public demonstration of educational achievement. Commencement is a highly ritualistic, stylized event with specified protocols and regalia. Like other rituals in our culture, the ritual of conferring degrees, wearing caps and gowns, listening to speeches and acknowledging academic achievement with diplomas all underscore the importance of what one does in the teaching and learning environment. The celebration of Commencement stands as an important and enduring academic tradition and ceremony, set apart from our day to day activities. Most importantly, Commencement marks the completion and conferral of degrees. Students are permitted to participate in only one processional for a completed degree program.

Bay Path University typically holds their Commencement ceremony each year in May. Students in Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialist in Education, or Doctorate degree programs who received degree conferral during the respective academic year or those on pace to complete their degree requirements by the end of their division’s academic year are eligible to participate. For undergraduate students, this means both being enrolled in all outstanding requirements (in Spring Accelerated III) by April 30th and being on pace to complete all outstanding requirements by the final day of the spring semester. Students who are not on pace to complete their degree requirement(s) by the end of the spring semester are not eligible to participate in the current academic year’s Commencement ceremony because they are considered a potential graduate in the following academic year. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, the University Registrar, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Eligible students who have not completed their degree requirements at the time of Commencement will receive a blank diploma cover and will appear in the Commencement program with a notation that degree requirements were incomplete at the time of the printing of the program. Latin honors will still be recognized and the student will be provided an honor cord if they have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher at the time of Commencement.

Graduation Name

Bay Path University allows graduates to provide a preferred first, middle, and last name to be listed in the Commencement program and read aloud as they cross the stage. Graduates provide their graduation name when they complete the Graduation Application. The name of graduates who do not complete the Graduation Application at least two weeks before the date of Commencement will reflect their legal name on file. The institution also reserves the right to deny any desired name deemed inappropriate.

Diplomas and transcripts from the institution will reflect the student’s legal name on file. Students who wish to update their legal name on file must complete the Personal Information Update Form on the MyBayPath portal and must upload their social security card matching the legal name being requested.

Latin Honors

Students who have complete all degree requirements whose final cumulative grade point average is 3.50 or above are awarded their degrees with honor according to the following criteria:

  • Summa cum Laude: 3.90 to 4.00
  • Magna cum Laude: 3.70 to 3.89
  • Cum Laude: 3.50 to 3.69

Eligible students will have their Latin honors recognized on any their diploma, in the Commencement program, and they will be given an honor cord to wear if they are participating at Commencement. The Latin honors will also appear on any transcript ordered after their degree is conferred.

Students who opt to participate before all degree requirements are met that have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 at the time of Commencement will have their Latin honors reflected in the Commencement program and they will be given an honor cord to wear if they are participating at Commencement. Latin honors will only be recognized on their diploma and on any transcript ordered if they meet the minimum cumulative grade point average after their degree is conferred.

Awards & National Honor Societies

The Faculty Award

The Faculty Award is made annually to the baccalaureate degree candidate who, in the judgment of the faculty, represents outstanding scholastic achievement, character, and leadership.

Thomas G. Carr Award

The Thomas G. Carr Award is presented annually to an outstanding associate degree candidate who will pursue her baccalaureate degree at Bay Path. This award was endowed by the Sidney E. Helliwell family in honor of Thomas G. Carr, Bay Path’s first President. The recipient is a student whose academic achievement, character, and service to the University or the community reflect the standards and values of Bay Path University.

Jeanette T. Wright Leadership Award

The Jeanette T. Wright Leadership Award is presented annually to an associate degree candidate who will pursue her baccalaureate degree at Bay Path and is based on the student’s leadership excellence, extracurricular activities, and campus citizenship. This award is named in memory of Bay Path’s fourth President, who was the first woman to hold that office.

Carpe Diem Award

The Carpe Diem Award is given to recognize an adult undergraduate student graduating from the TAWC program at each campus. The student selected to receive the award is someone who has exemplified academic excellent and engaged in service to the community and/or University.

Pathfinder Award

The Pathfinder Award is given to an adult woman graduating from the TAWC program who excels in most areas of life. The award is given annually through the generosity of the Davis family to recognize the service of Robyn Davis, who has served the University as a trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders Award

The Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders Award is open, via self-nomination, to any student with 15 or more credits earned at Bay Path University who demonstrates significant leadership in any community or communities (with Bay Path or external to Bay Path) and who writes a reflective essay on her leadership. Staff determine the student whose leadership demonstrates the greatest impact.

Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society

Undergraduate students enrolled in any criminal justice programs are eligible for membership in this national honor society. To qualify, a student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in all classes and are graduating in the semester in which they are inducted.

Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) Honor Society

Undergraduate students enrolled in the baccalaureate or associate program in legal studies are eligible for membership in this national honor society in their final year; students enrolled in the certificate program are eligible upon completion of the coursework for the certificate. Only students whose academic performance is consistently exemplary across the curriculum will be inducted. To qualify, a student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25 in all classes and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in all legal classes, and have completed 2/3 of their legal courses

Maroon Key Honor Society

Undergraduate students who have earned 30 credits locally at Bay Path University with a cumulative GPA of 3.70 or higher are elected to the Maroon Key Honor Society. New members are inducted into the society at an annual spring ceremony or are recognized at Commencement rehearsal. Please note that Maroon Key calculations exclude credit hours earned through off campus study, with the exception of credits earned through CCGS.

Psi Chi Honor Society

The Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology was founded in 1929 for the purpose of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. A chapter was established at Bay Path University in 2004. To qualify for induction which takes place once per year, students majoring or minoring in psychology must be ranked in the top 35% of their undergraduate class; have a CGPA of 3.50 or better in all classes; a minimum GPA of 3.0 in psychology coursework; and must have completed a minimum of three semesters of coursework (36 credits) which includes a minimum of 9 hours of psychology coursework (excludes optional pass/fail grades). Transfer students must meet the same requirements stated above. However, because transfer students begin with a 0.0 GPA, they must establish both a cumulative and a psychology GPA at Bay Path University. The CGPA will be based on completed coursework for 12 semester credits and the psychology GPA will be based on completed psychology coursework for 9 semester credits at Bay Path University, both of which exclude optional pass/fail grades. Eligibility will be reviewed bi-annually and students will be notified if they meet eligibility criteria. Students must be enrolled at Bay Path University at the time of application.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society

The University will support membership in Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, Beta Zeta at-Large Chapter, whose mission is to promote nursing leadership and improve healthcare.

The RN to BSN Program is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program. Prior to matriculation at Bay Path University, RN to BSN students have successfully completed/graduated from an accredited nursing program at the Associate’s degree or Diploma level. All students are required to meet the same 120 credits toward the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. RN to BSN students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits in order to graduate from The American Women’s College at Bay Path University with a BSN degree.

To be eligible for induction into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, the Registered Nurse undergraduate student must meet Sigma Theta Tau’s requirements:

  • Have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours within the nursing major (courses that begin with BSN, WEL 331 Strategies for Personal and Career Growth for Nurses and WEL 441 Leadership in Practice for Nurses)
  • Have completed half of the courses in the nursing major (this including courses whose course codes are other than BSN courses or WEL 331 Strategies for Personal and Career Growth for Nurses and WEL 441 Leadership in Practice for Nurses)
  • Achieve academic excellence (CGPA of at least 3.0)
  • Rank in the top 35% of the graduating nursing class
  • Meet the expectation of academic integrity

The Registered Nurse graduate student (Master's and Doctorate) must:

  • Has completed one quarter of the nursing curriculum (this includes DNP courses and courses that begin with other course codes)
  • Achieve academic excellence (CGPA of at least 3.5)
  • Meet the expectation of academic integrity.

Students in graduate programs who are registered nurses, legally recognized to practice in their country and have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in any field, will be eligible to be considered as a Nurse Leader at any point in the program.