Commencement on the Quad

Preparing for Commencement

Conferring of Degrees and Commencement

Hood College confers degrees and certificates on January 15, June 15 and September 15.  Students who complete degree requirements during the spring semester will have degrees conferred after confirmation of degree requirements has been completed. There is one commencement ceremony in May to celebrate students who completed degree requirements in September of the previous year, and January and May of that commencement year. Students may not participate in commencement unless they have applied for graduation, have earned their degrees in that academic year, or are candidates for degrees in June of that ceremony year. Students may only attend one commencement ceremony per degree earned. 

Students must complete applications/petitions for graduation, indicating how they want their name to appear on the diploma. This name is also published in the commencement program and on all lists associated with graduation and commencement. Graduation application/petition deadlines are as follows:

  • August 15 for January graduation
  • January 15 for June graduation
  • March 15 for September graduation

Please note: To ensure adequate preparation time for graduation and commencement, changes to the diploma name may not be made after the following dates:

  • August 30 for September graduation
  • December 30 for January graduation
  • April 30 for June graduation

Barring any holds, diplomas will be available for pickup after degree conferral by the student in the Office of the Registrar or may be mailed to the student.

Participation in Commencement

Students indicate on their applications/petitions for graduation whether they wish to participate in commencement. Commencement information is available on the Commencement website. Regalia for the ceremony may be purchased through the Hood College Gear Shop via Herff Jones.

As part of the regalia (caps and gowns), students will receive hoods that have a velvet trim signifying the type of degree earned. Trim colors are:

  • Bachelor of Arts = White
  • Bachelor of Science = Gold
  • Master of Arts = White
  • Master of Business Administration = Drab/Tan
  • Master of Fine Arts = Brown
  • Master of Science = Gold
  • Doctorate of Business Administration = Drab/Tan
  • Doctorate of Organizational Leadership = Gold

Students who belong to special honor societies or academic clubs and have received cords from those departments, may wear them around their necks for commencement.

Graduation Requirements (graduate students)

Faculty advisers, program directors and the Registrar's office are available to assist students.  It is the student's responsibility, however, to know the requirements for the program completion and fulfill them. Students should review degree requirements in the College catalog. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and program GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation or completion of any graduate program. 

Graduation Requirements (undergraduate students - see below)


  • Check the College Catalog for the credit requirement in your major
  • The courses listed below are used for determining the major average.  You must earn a 2.0 in the major to graduate.
  • Students must earn a minimum of 12 credits in the major at Hood. This means that 12 of the credits listed under the major must be completed at Hood, regardless of the number transferred
  • Double majors: Courses used to fulfill both majors are listed under both majors, but the credits are counted only for one major. For example, you are majoring in computer science and mathematics—MATH 207 is required for both majors, but the credits are counted only once under mathematics.


Accounting     All courses with MGMT, MG prefix

Art w/Archaeology

All courses with ART, ARTS, AR prefix 

Art w/Art Education

All courses with ART, ARTS, AR prefix 

Art w/Art History

All courses with ART, ARTS, AR prefix 

Art w/Studio Art

All courses with ART, ARTS, AR prefix 


BIOL and CHEM courses required for the major, plus CHEM 100 and CHEM 105


All courses with BIOL, BI prefix, ENSP 403, ENSP 407, ENSP 411

Business Administration

All courses with MGMT, MG prefix


All courses with CHEM prefix

Communication Arts

All courses with CMA, CA prefix

Computational Science

All courses required for the major

Computer Science

All courses with CS, IT prefix

Early Childhood Education     All courses with EDUC prefix


All courses with ECON, EC prefix

Elementary/Special Education

All courses with EDUC prefix


All courses with ENGL, EN, prefix; also HON 308, HON 315 or HON 317 may count as electives for the English major.

Environmental Science & Policy

ENSP, BIOL, BI, PSCI, PS, ES courses required for the major 
(for Environmental Chemistry concentration include CHEM prefix; for the Environmental Policy concentration, include ECON prefix)


All courses required for major


All courses with FREN prefix


All courses with FREN, GER prefix


All courses with GER prefix

Global StudiesAll courses required for the major


All courses with HIST, HS prefix

Integrated Marketing Communication

All courses required for major


All courses approved for major

Latin American Studies

All courses required for major

Law & Criminal JusticeAll courses required for major

Law & Society

All courses required for major


All courses with MATH, MA prefix

Middle Eastern Studies

All courses required for the major


All courses with MUSC, MUSE, MUSP prefix

NursingAll courses with NUR prefix


All courses with PHIL, PL;  REL 304, REL 314 may count as electives for the philosophy major.

Political Science

All courses with PSCI, PS prefix


All courses with PSY, PY prefix


All courses with REL, RL prefix; (HIST 406, PHIL 307, PHIL 308, 
PHIL 314 may count as electives for the religion major)

Social Work

All courses with SOWK, SW prefix


All courses with SOC, SO prefix


All courses with SPAN, LSSP prefix

Minors are designed to be independent of the major field. For example, a student majoring in sociology may not minor in sociology or social science research. A list of approved minors can be found in the current catalog.

  • At the time of graduation, a student must have an average of 2.0 in the minor or it will be removed from the student’s record.
  • Because students are not required to complete a minor in order to graduate, the Registrar’s Office will automatically withdraw a student’s minor if the requirements are not fulfilled by the date of graduation.
  • If any course required for the minor is not offered or is dropped from the curriculum, an acceptable substitute may be counted. The appropriate substitute must be approved by the coordinator or department sponsoring the minor and the Registrar’s Office must be notified by the department.
  • A minor is declared on the Declaration of Minor form which is available in the Registrar’s Office. 
  • Students must take a minimum of nine credits in the minor AT HOOD.
  • Courses in the minor MAY count for the Core.
  • A minimum of 12 credits for the minor must be taken outside the student’s major requirements and may not overlap with the major. If there is additional overlap, the credit must count in the major field. The course may be used to fulfill a requirement in the minor, but the credit may count only in the major.
  • No more than 3 credits of a minor may overlap with a second minor. The course may be used to fulfill a requirement in the minor but the credit may count only in the first minor. A student may have to take an additional 3 credits to fulfill the requirement of 15 credits in the second minor.
  • A maximum of 21 credits may be counted in the minor (unless a particular minor requires more than 21 credits, such as chemistry).
  • No advisor will be assigned for the minor, but you should consult the coordinator of the minor for any questions you may have about the minor.
  • Students are limited to two majors and a single minor or a single major and two minors.
  • Students may develop their own minor, with the approval of the Committee on Academic Standards and Policies, provided they meet the minimum number of credits and course levels required of minors.

Athletes who participate in intercollegiate sports may be exempted from all or part of the 2-credit physical education requirement.

A ½ credit of exemption will be granted for each season of participation. No credit is earned for these exemptions.

Excludes Honors papers and student teaching

Credit Limits for Internship/Independent Study

Major FieldTotal Program
Internship: Maximum of 15 creditsInternship: Maximum of 15 credits
Total: Maximum of 18 creditsTotal: Maximum of 27 credits

INTERNSHIP credits include: any course numbered 399 (internship); internship credits from other institutions (except American University); any course numbered 370 (practicum); ART 300 (Gallery Assistantship); PSCI 325 (Field Work in Politics); SOWK 445, 446 (Social Work Field Practice).

INDEPENDENT STUDY credits include all courses numbered 375 and any X-credits completed.

Independent study credits in the major field may not exceed 12 credits or 1⁄4 of the major field, whichever is less:

  • 24 credits earned in major = 6 credit maximum in independent study 
  • 36 credits earned in major = 9 credit maximum in independent study 
  • 48 credits earned in major = 12 credit maximum in independent study
  • 60 credits earned in major = 12 credit maximum in independent study

As shown above, if 1⁄4 of the major field is more than 12 credits, you may not exceed 12 credits of independent study in the major.

TOTALS: The total number of self-directed credits in the major may not exceed 18. Therefore, if you complete 15 credits of internship, you are limited to 3 credits of independent study. If you complete 6 credits of internship, and have completed at least 48 credits in your major, you may take 12 credits of independent study for the maximum of 18 credits of self-directed study.

S/U credit (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory)–the total number of S/U credits allowed depends on your length of time at Hood.

  • 1 year or 30 credits at Hood = 3 credits of S/U
  • 2 years or 60 credits at Hood = 6 credits of S/U
  • 3 years or 90 credits at Hood = 9 credits of S/U
  • 4 years or 120 credits at Hood = 12 credits of S/U

REMINDER: Students may not choose the S/U option for any course in the Core, in the major field, the minor field, or an independent study. (If a course is only offered for S/U credit, this policy does not apply.) Students may not change from letter grade to S/U grading after the drop/add period.


YOU MAY NOT EARN credits through any of the exams listed above during the last semester of your senior year (during the final 15 credit hours if a student is part-time), nor can the credit count in the minimum of 30 Hood credits required for a Hood degree, or in the 12 credits of coursework required at Hood for the major.

TOTALS: Add all totals for S/U, Exemption/Credit by Exam, and Portfolio. The total for all may not exceed 30 credits.

Teaching Assistantships: 

A total of 4 credits of Teaching Assistantship may be counted toward the degree.

  • 124 credits (if admitted prior to Fall 1993)
  • 124 credits at 100-level or above (if admitted Fall 1993 or later)
  • 2.00 cumulative grade point average (gpa) and 2.00 major grade point average (gpa)

You can monitor your credits and cumulative grade point average (gpa) by viewing your transcript and/or Degree Progress on Self-Service. You need to plan for enough credits in your senior year to earn a minimum of 124 credits (100-level or above).

  • Transfer students with an AA, AS, or AAT degree or the equivalent are exempt from the Foundation and Methods of Inquiry sections of the Core with the exception of the Global Perspectives requirement which may be fulfilled with appropriate transfer courses. 
  • All Core requirements must be taken for a letter grade—no S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) grades.
  • The Foreign Language requirement is fulfilled by six to eight credits in an elementary (101 and 102) foreign language course sequence or exemption through a placement test. 
    Students may also exempt without credit the six-credit foreign language requirement by placement at the 201-level or above on the foreign language placement test.
    International students, for whom English is a foreign language, may meet the requirement by placing into and completing a 100-level English course. If, however, English is the official language of the country, a foreign language is required. 
  • Students who participate in intercollegiate sports may be exempted from all or part of the PE activity requirement. A half-credit of exemption will be granted for each season of participation. No credit is earned for the waiver. Please contact Athletics to ensure that all waivers have been applied to your record. 
  • Honors Program students who have completed HON 102, HON 201, and HON 202 may apply up to 3 Honors courses toward the seven classes required in the Methods of Inquiry section of the Core. No Honors credit may be applied to the laboratory science requirement.