Return to: Academic Regulations

General academic regulations can be changed at any time. All students, regardless of when originally enrolled, are required to abide by current academic regulations.

Residence

Work counting toward the degree must be completed in residence at the University as follows:

  1. A total of at least 25% of the semester hours (a minimum of 30 semester hours)
  2. Twelve (12) of the last 30 semester hours with the following exceptions:
    • Military students, their spouses, and their dependents who are deployed or relocated before finishing their degrees will be exempt from this requirement.
    • Transfer credit from other University of Texas System institutions, with the approval of the appropriate dean, will be accepted.
  3. Twelve (12) semester hours of advanced courses in the major subject must have been completed not more than three years prior to the date of graduation.

Catalog Graduation Requirements

To graduate, a student must fulfill the specific course and degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of his or her admission, or of any subsequent catalog in effect during his or her enrollment with the approval of the academic dean, provided that the required courses are still being offered. A student must complete all requirements within seven (7) years or be subject to the degree requirements of a subsequent catalog. The seven-year period begins with the year the catalog was issued, regardless of the student's first semester of enrollment. Students entering the University for the first time during a summer session are subject to the requirements of the catalog for the next fall term, or of a later catalog.

A student transferring from a Texas two-year institution can select a catalog that was in effect prior to the first semester of enrollment at UTEP, as long as the student was following UTEP’s degree plan while enrolled at the community college.

Degree Plan

Students are advised to obtain and follow their major’s degree plan when they first enroll at the University. Students are required to select a major and file a degree plan with the academic dean of that major by the time they complete 60 semester hours.

Change of Major

A student who wishes to change majors must obtain permission of the dean of the college of the new major.

Concentrations and Minors

Students interested in pursuing a concentration or minor in an area of study should refer to the college curriculum in the catalog or consult with their major advisor for further details.

Completion of Freshman-Level Courses

All freshman-level courses that are required by specific course number must be completed before the student has completed 90 hours toward the degree. No credit for these freshman-level courses will be granted toward fulfilling the minimum credit-hour requirements for the degree, even though the courses must be completed.

One-Hour Courses

No more than six (6) one-hour courses can be counted toward completion of the minimum total hours required for a degree (unless degree requirements specify otherwise), except with specific approval of the academic dean.

Major Examinations

At the discretion of the department concerned, a comprehensive examination can be required in the major subject under the following conditions:

  1. Four hours written, or three hours written and one hour oral.
  2. The department fixes the time and place, and supervises the examination.
  3. In case of failure, the student can take another examination on a date determined by the department.

Grade Point Average Required for Graduation

A minimum grade point average of 2.0 must be achieved in all course work at The University of Texas at El Paso and in all transfer work counted toward the degree. The UTEP cumulative grade point average consists of all grades earned at this institution regardless of their applicability toward a degree. Transfer credits can be counted toward meeting degree requirements, but transfer grades and grade points do not enter into UTEP grade point average calculations. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required in the major. This is intended as a University-wide minimum and does not prevent a college from requiring a higher GPA in specific majors or programs, provided appropriate approvals have been obtained.

Graduation

An undergraduate student must complete an application for graduation with her/his academic dean.  It should be initiated during the next-to-last semester or session and completed no later than the deadline published in the on-line Class Schedule at www.utep.edu/register.

Graduate students must begin the application process with their advisors.  Graduate degree candidates must submit an Application for Graduate Degree and final degree plan during the semester they expect to graduate and by the deadline stated in the on-line Class Schedule at www.utep.edu/register. The forms must be completed by the student and approved by the graduate advisor and college dean. The student must submit the forms to the Graduate School before the published deadline to allow a complete review of the academic record. The diploma fee and if applicable, the thesis/dissertation University Microfilms on-line traditional publishing fee are billed to the student’s Goldmine account upon approval of the Application for Graduate Degree. The Application for Graduate Degree is only valid for one semester.

The University of Texas at El Paso has six conferral dates as listed below:

  • February 28, for all students who complete degree requirements after December Commencement and prior to February 28.
  • May, as published in the Schedule of Classes at www.utep.edu/register, for all students who complete degree requirements after February 28 and prior to the May Commencement date.
  • June 30, for all students who complete degree requirements after May Commencement and prior to June 30.
  • August 15, for all students who complete degree requirements after June 30 and prior to August 15.
  • October 31, for all students who complete degree requirements after August 15 and prior to October 31.
  • December, as published in the Schedule of Classes at http://academics.utep.edu/Default.aspx?alias=academics.utep.edu/registrar, for all students who complete degree requirements after October 31 and prior to the December Commencement date.

Students who wish to graduate must complete the application process and pay the fee described below:

  • Undergraduates - To be considered candidates for graduation, students must submit the completed and signed graduation application with payment to the Student Business Services Office for processing by the Registration and Records Office.
  • Master’s and doctoral students – To be considered for graduation, students must submit the completed and signed graduation application for processing to the Graduate School and all applicable fees will be assessed by the Graduate School.

Graduation Application Fees:

  • $35 if paid by the scheduled deadline. 
  • $15 Graduation Application Late Fee

Graduation application fee is not refundable.  A student who defers graduation to the following term must reapply for graduation.  However, the student will not be required to repay the graduation application fee.

Commencement

Formal commencement ceremonies are held in May for all candidates who complete degree requirements during the spring semester and in December for fall candidates.  There is no summer commencement, nor are there commencement ceremonies for students whose degrees are conferred in February, June, or October. 

  • Students whose degrees are conferred in February are invited to participate in the May commencement ceremony.
  • Students whose degrees are conferred in June or August (summer candidates) are invited to participate in the May commencement ceremony if no more than six (6) hours are needed to complete the degree prior to August 15.  Summer candidates' names will not appear in the May program.  Summer candidates who do not participate in May commencement can participate in December commencement.  Summer candidates' names will appear only in the December program.
  • Students whose degrees are conferred in October are invited to participate in the December commencement ceremony.

If a Nondisclosure of Directory Information (confidential) request on file, the University will not release the candidate’s name for any commencement publications that are made available to the public.  The candidate can request the removal of the nondisclosure request in Goldmine by clicking Answer a Survey or Complete a Form listed under the Personal Information tab.  Select the survey entitled Student Request to Revoke Nondisclosure of Directory Information.  The candidate can also email their request using their UTEP email account to records@utep.edu.

Degrees are conferred approximately two months following the end of each long semester (December and May) and at the end of the long summer session (August).  The degree will be posted to the transcript with the commencement date for each long semester and the last day of finals for the long summer session.

Undergraduate students needing proof of graduation prior to receipt of a degree or posting on a transcript should contact their academic college advisor for a letter of completion.  Graduate students should contact the Graduate School.

Diploma

The name appears on the diploma as it appears on the official university record.  Only legal names can appear on the diploma.  The rationale is that the diploma is a legal document, and it represents the degree earned.  If a graduate displayed her/his diploma, and someone called our office to verify the degree and its authenticity, we would be unable to locate the graduate’s record if the name appears differently on the diploma from the academic record.
The degree title will appear in the center of the diploma below the student’s name.  The student’s major(s) will appear on the diploma only if it is not included in the official degree title.  Institutional academic honors awarded will appear below the major(s).
Certificates, concentrations, endorsements, minors, honors earned in the department or the University Honors Program will only appear on the student’s academic transcript and not on the diploma.
Approximately two months following the end of each long semester (December and May) and at the end of the long summer session (August), the university awards a diploma to each student upon whom a degree is conferred provided a graduation application has been filed. Diplomas are mailed to the address provided by the student.  A complimentary transcript showing the degree earned will be mailed separately.  However, for mailing service outside the United States there is a service fee.  Fees are listed on the Diplomas Mailing Request and are subject to change. The application is located in the Student Forms block at: http://utep.edu/register
A graduating student who has an outstanding financial obligation with the university will not receive a diploma or transcript until such obligation is satisfied in full. To clear the financial debt, contact the Student Business Services Office at (915) 747-5105.
A graduating student who received a student loan or TEACH grant must complete the Stafford Exit Counseling session. Click Complete Online Student Loan Counseling located at: http://mappingyourfuture.org. A diploma or transcript will not be released until the Exit Counseling session is completed.

Replacement Diploma

If an original diploma is lost, stolen, destroyed, or change of name, the diploma can be replaced for a fee.  To order a replacement diploma, you need to file a Diploma Replacement Request. The application is located in the Student Forms block at: http://utep.edu/register
Anyone ordering a replacement diploma also needs to provide a clear copy of proof of identity containing a photo.  Examples include a passport or current driver’s license.
The replacement diploma fee is $30.00 each.
For mailing service through express mail or outside the United States there is a service fee.  Fees are listed on the Diplomas Replacement Request and subject to change.
 
It should be noted that a replacement diploma will reflect current diploma format and therefore may not be identical in all respects to the original.  The word “This is a Replacement” will appear on the lower center of the diploma.
The completed Diploma Replacement Request, fee, and copy of proof of identity may be mailed to:
The University of Texas at El Paso
Registration and Records Office
500 W. University Ave.
El Paso, Texas 79968
The request may also be sent by email attachment to graduation@utep.edu, or faxed to (915) 747-8764.

Unclaimed Diplomas

Unclaimed diplomas will be kept for five years from the date of award.  They will then be destroyed.  Graduates who request an unclaimed diploma after it has been destroyed will have to pay the replacement fee in effect at the time of their request.  It should be noted that a replacement diploma may not be identical in all respects to the original

Second Bachelor's Degree

Applicants for a second baccalaureate degree must complete at least 24 semester hours at The University of Texas at El Paso, in addition to those counted toward the baccalaureate degree requiring the higher number of semester hours of credit. These additional hours must include at least six (6) advanced hours in the major subject of the second degree. A student working toward a second bachelor's degree will register as an undergraduate senior.

A student who earned the first bachelor’s degree at another institution must complete at least 30 hours at UTEP, including completion of the legislative requirements of six (6) hours of American History and six (6) hours of Political Science covering the Constitutions of the United States and Texas.

Double Major

A student who fulfills the specified requirements for two different majors under a single degree from the same college, simultaneously, completes a double major.  Students may double major in the same department with the approval of the academic dean.  For example, a student may simultaneously complete a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science - both B.A. degrees from different departments in the College of Liberal Arts - and earn a double major.

The student must complete a minimum additional 24 credit hours beyond the degree plan with the greater required credit hours and also complete all degree requirements for both degrees.  A minimum of 144 total semester credit hours is required for completion of a double major.

The graduation term must be the same for both majors.  When applying for graduation, a student should note on the application that he/she will be completing an additional major.  One diploma is issued and both majors are recorded on a student's transcript and diploma.

Dual Degree

A student who fulfills the specified requirements for two different majors from different degrees simultaneously, or who fulfills the specified requirements for two degrees in different colleges simultaneously, will earn dual degrees.  For example, a student may simultaneously complete a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, both in the College of Liberal Arts, and earn dual degrees.  A student may also simultaneously complete a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Liberal Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the College of Science, and earn dual degrees.

The student must complete a minimum additional 24 credit hours beyond the degree plan with the greater required credit hours and also complete all degree requirements for both degrees.  No one course can be counted in the semester credit hours in more than one major.  In the event that a single course is listed in the degree requirements for both degrees, a student may receive approval from his/her academic advisor to complete another course to fulfill the semester credit hour requirement of the second degree.  A minimum of 144 total semester credit hours is required for completion of dual degrees.

The graduation term must be the same for both degrees.  Upon graduation, the student must complete two graduation applications (one application for each degree).  Upon graduation a student can attend multiple commencement ceremonies if the majors span across different colleges.

Posthumous Degree

A posthumous degree can be awarded only if the student was enrolled in courses that would have allowed the student to complete all work for the degree, and if the student had the appropriate grade point average in the required areas. For further information, individuals should contact the appropriate dean's office.

Institutional Academic Honors

Departmental Honors Program

A student who wishes to earn departmental Honors must complete a senior thesis, senior project, or other special requirement, depending on the department. A departmental faculty member directs the project or thesis. The director, along with a departmental honors committee, judge the student's work, and outside referees may be consulted if deemed appropriate. Students may include departmental honors credits with University honors credits, upon consultation with the University Honors Program Director, in order to earn Honors at both levels. The following offer Departmental Honors: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, History, Physics, Political Science, and Psychology.

Dean’s List

At the end of each fall and spring semester, the Registration and Records Office prepares a Dean's List for each undergraduate college of all full-time undergraduate students who have completed at least 12 collegiate hours and have earned a minimum semester grade point average of 3.5. This honor is noted on the student's academic record.

Academic Honors

The University of Texas at El Paso offers three opportunities for students to achieve special recognition for academic performance at graduation. Graduation with any of these honors adds a special distinction to academic records and diplomas and may enhance the prospects for graduating seniors to enter graduate and professional schools or the job market. To be eligible for the following recognitions and/or programs, candidates must be among the most able and intellectually curious of students and must meet minimum GPA requirements.

Upon graduation, honors in the following categories will be awarded for each baccalaureate degree conferred upon students who have completed at least sixty (60) of the total required credit hours for their degrees at The University of Texas at El Paso:

  1. Summa Cum Laude (Highest Honors) will be awarded to students who attain a minimum UTEP grade point average of 3.90.
  2. Magna Cum Laude (High Honors) will be awarded to students who attain a minimum UTEP grade point average of 3.80, but who do not qualify for Highest Honors.
  3. Cum Laude (Honors) will be awarded to students who attain a minimum UTEP grade point average of 3.50, but who do not qualify for High or Highest Honors.

Those students who are graduating from UTEP but who have not completed at least sixty (60) of the total required credit hours for their degrees will be considered for award of honors under the following conditions:

  1. Their academic performance at UTEP reflects a level of academic achievement meeting the standards above; and
  2. Their level of academic achievement at prior institutions is congruent with their performance at UTEP.

In such instances, the Registrar's Office will identify eligible students and review their academic records from their prior institutions. If a student's aggregate GPA from all institutions attended is commensurate with the standards stated above, the student will be eligible for honors appropriate to that aggregate GPA. In no case, however, will the student be eligible for honors beyond the level achieved in the GPA earned at UTEP.

Requirements for honors for a second degree include the above requirements with the additional stipulation that the student completes thirty (30) hours beyond the original baccalaureate requirements.

Honors cords worn at commencement recognize the following academic achievements:

University Academic Honors:

Highest HonorsGold
High HonorsWhite
HonorsCollege Color
College of Business AdministrationOlive Drab
College of EducationLt. Blue
College of EngineeringOrange
College Liberal ArtsRoyal Blue
College of Health SciencesSalmon
College of ScienceGolden Yellow
School of NursingApricot
University CollegeWine


For information about the University Honors Program, please see the Undergraduate Studies section of this catalog.