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3.5.2 Institutional credits for a degree

At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. In the case of undergraduate degree programs offered through joint, cooperative, or consortia arrangements, the student earns 25 percent of the credits required for the degree through instruction offered by the participating institutions. (See Commission policy “The Transfer or Transcripting of Academic Credit.”) (Institutional credits for a degree)

Judgment of Compliance

The Sam Houston State University 2006 – 2008 Catalog states “The following hours must be completed, in residence, to meet degree requirements: At least 25% of the credit hours required by the degree (e.g. 32 semester credit hours for a 128 credit hour program)” [1]. As detailed in Comprehensive Standard 3.6.3, a majority of the credits toward a graduate or post-baccalaureate professional degree are earned through instruction offered by Sam Houston State University.

At the undergraduate level, the rules are monitored by academic advisors either at the national award winning student advising center, SAM Center, or within the student’s degree program and by the Office of the Registrar at the time the student applies for graduation [2]. Both students and advisors use the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to check whether the student has met all graduation requirements. One of the requirements monitored by DARS is the 25% requirement [3]. Undergraduate transcripts and degree plans undergo a thorough degree requirements audit by advisors in the SAM Center once students have earned 90 semester credit hours toward the degree. If the audit reveals deficiencies, advisors help the student correct the problem. If the Registrar, in conducting the final graduation degree audit, determines that the student has not earned the required hours in residence, the student is notified and prevented from graduating. An example of the Registrar’s worksheet to determine resident hours is provided in the support documentation [4]. The Office of the Registrar also provides a program for advisors that identifies students who have applied for graduation but are not in compliance with all requirements. The “Graduating Seniors Pending Requirements” program is available on line for advisors [5]. Any student not meeting the 25% requirement would be included on this list. Once it is determined that the all degree requirement have been met, the student is certified by the Academic Deans and degrees are conferred.

Currently, SHSU has no joint baccalaureate programs. SHSU does have a consortia agreement with University of Guam (for a master’s level program), but no students have yet to start this joint program.

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] Degree Requirements and Academic Guidelines (advanced hours) Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[2] Graduation Application Form
[3] Degree Plan - Photography BFA - DARS
[4] Registrar’s Office Worksheet
[5] Graduating Seniors Pending Requirements

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Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1111