2024-25 Academic Catalog

Graduation and Commencement

1. Commencement.

Candidates should submit formal application for degrees during the semester in which they expect to complete their degree requirements, but not later than the last day to apply, as published in the Academic Calendar. Payment of debts to the University is a requirement for the granting of degrees and awarding of diplomas. All University holds must be cleared before a student can graduate.

2. Graduation with Honors.

Students completing the requirements for baccalaureate degrees with exceptional scholastic averages and who have completed at least 60 of the total hours for their degrees at MSU and earned high grade point averages both on their cumulative and MSU coursework will receive special recognition. The levels of recognition will be recorded on the students’ diplomas and permanent records.

In determining eligibility for recognition, the grade point average will be figured on the basis of all hours attempted. If a student’s last period of enrollment raises his or her average to the level required for honors, or to a higher level of honors, this notation will be made on the diploma and transcript. The hours may include, not only residence credit, but also correspondence and extension credit to the extent permitted by the University regulations for graduation.

Transfer students must achieve the specified grade point average in two senses: (1) on all hours attempted at all institutions attended and (2) on all hours attempted at Mississippi State University. The level of attainment will be determined by either the overall average or the Mississippi State University average, whichever is lower. The grade point values currently in use at Mississippi State University will be used to calculate the quality point average on all transfer credits.

Students receiving a second baccalaureate degree from MSU will be recognized in the same manner for outstanding academic achievement. In such cases, all coursework (from the first and second degree) will comprise the GPA.

The levels of recognition and the grade point averages required for each are as follows: Summa Cum Laude—3.80, Magna Cum Laude—3.60, and Cum Laude—3.40.

3. S.D. Lee Scholars

Students completing the requirements for the baccalaureate degree who have earned the grade of A in all courses attempted through the end of the semester before graduation may be recognized as a S.D. Lee Scholar at the University’s Commencement Exercise.  Courses taken at Mississippi State University and all transfer courses will be used to determine eligibility for recognition.  In order to qualify as a S. D. Lee Scholar, the student cannot invoke the following policies: academic amnesty, academic forgiveness, or academic fresh-start.  Students attempting courses which are not assigned a letter grade and receive the grade of U will not be eligible.