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2013-2014 Academic Catalog: Graduation Requirements - Undergraduate

Wentworth awards degrees in May, August, and December of each year, although commencement ceremonies are held only in May and August. Students who have successfully completed all requirements for the degree before a specific graduation date are eligible to receive the degree as of that date. A diploma will not be awarded before all work is completed or before the graduation date.


Students who are candidates for graduation must meet all requirements of every course in their program and must successfully complete every course listed in the prescribed program in which they are enrolled.

For students who are candidates for any professional certificate of completion, associate, or baccalaureate degree, the following requirements are applicable.

Earned Hours/ GPA Requirement

The student must pass all the courses in his or her published curriculum unless otherwise approved by the academic department chair/the Dean of the College of Professional and Continuing Education. The exception to this is the capstone course, which cannot be waived. The cumulative grade point average for the total of courses taken must not be below 2.00.

Credits in Residence Requirement

A minimum of 50% of the total semester credit hours of any degree-granting program must be completed at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Day program students must complete all junior, senior and, where applicable, fifth-year courses at Wentworth. CPCE students must complete their fourth, fifth and sixth year courses at Wentworth. Students may seek an exemption from this requirement with the approval of their academic advisor, department chair, and/or dean.

The one-year Master of Architecture first professional degree program (M. Arch) and the one-year professional certificate programs must complete 100% of the total semester credit hours in residence

Co-op Requirement

As a requirement for graduation, undergraduate day program students complete two cooperative education semesters. Note that transfer students must complete at least one semester in residence at Wentworth before being eligible for the cooperative education program.

The two specific co-op courses that are required are:

  • COOP400: Cooperative Education I (typically taken during a student’s junior year)
  • COOP600: Cooperative Education II (typically taken during a student’s senior year)

A student must register for a co-op course in order for their work experience to fulfill a co-op requirement. Typically, a student will not take other courses during their co-op semester. Enrollment in a co-op course maintains a student’s full-time student status.

There are also two optional co-op courses in which students may enroll:

  • COOP300: Optional Cooperative Education

COOP300 is only offered during the summer semester and is open only to students who have completed the prerequisites for the junior year of a baccalaureate day program with a grade point average of C (2.0) or better and where no other remedial work is required. COOP300 does not replace either of the required co-op courses (COOP400 or COOP600).

  • COOP500: Additional Cooperative Education

A student is eligible for COOP500 only if COOP400 and COOP600 have been completed. Registration for this course is by permission of the Co-op Advisor.

Other than class standing, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher as a requirement of co-op. Students not meeting this standard by the end of the semester immediately preceding their co-op term will not be eligible for co-op. The student will be dropped from their co-op enrollment.

Upon completion of the co-op and assignments, students earn a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade, which is recorded on the student’s official transcript.

Review of transferable industrial work experience (as a substitute for co-op) must be work congruent with approved co-op positions. Occasionally students enter the baccalaureate day programs with substantial work experience in their major field. With the approval of the director of the Career Center, this work experience may be substituted for one or both of the cooperative education requirements. Students must formally petition to receive this course substitution.

English Requirement

Students must successfully complete an English sequence as determined by the English Placement Test results. The English sequences based on placement, for the day programs, are:

  • ENGL100 and ENGL130
  • ENGL090, ENGL100, and ENGL130
  • ENGL070, ENGL080, and ENGL100
  • ENGL125 and ENGL145

International students admitted to a baccalaureate program who must complete the International English sequence (based on their TOEFL & TWE or the English Placement Exam), must take, at a minimum, ENGL070, ENGL080, and ENGL100.

Some students who earn an A grade in ENGL090 may be exempted from ENGL100, English I, and allowed to move into ENGL130, English II, based on the recommendation of their ENGL090 instructor and departmental review of the student’s graded ENGL090 assignments.

Similarly, some students who earn an A grade in ENGL100 may be allowed to take ENGL145, Honors English II, to complete their English sequence, based on the recommendation of their ENGL100 instructor and departmental review of the student’s graded ENGL100 assignments.

Students who complete their English sequence based on credit earned from the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams may take Honors English I, as a lower level social science elective, as the course content is based on readings in social and political philosophy and provides writing-intensive experience for the advanced composition student. Transfer students who exhibit high level writing and analytic skills on their English placement exam may also be eligible to take as a lower level social science elective.

CPCE students complete one of two English sequences:

  • ENGL105 and ENGL116
  • ENGL025, ENGL105 and ENGL116

Some students who start in ENGL025 may get exemption from ENGL105 based on the recommendation of their instructor and the approval of the dean of CPCE.

Math/Science Requirement

Students must successfully complete a minimum of one mathematics and one laboratory science course. Required courses vary by academic program, and are specified in each program’s curriculum.

Humanities/Social Sciences Requirements

Day Programs

The satisfactory completion of an English sequence is prerequisite to all other courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences department. A minimum of eight semester credit hours of English are required of day program graduates.

All graduates must complete a minimum of 20 semester credit hours (five four-credit courses) in the humanities and social sciences. The department believes there should be a balance in the student’s program, and therefore must take at least:

  • Four credit hours in Humanities (prefixes HIST, HUMN, LITR, and PHIL)
  • Four credit hours in the Social Sciences (prefixes ECON, HIST, POLS, PSYC and SOCL)
  • The remaining 12 credit hours may be taken in either category of courses.
  • The entire 20 hours may not be taken exclusively in Humanities or Social Sciences

Communications courses (COMM) can also satisfy the social science requirement, with two exceptions: COMM270, Business Communications, and COMM400, Technical Communications.

Students may cross-register for their humanities and social sciences electives through the Colleges of the Fenway, but must also have the department chair approve a course substitution to have the course count towards this requirement. General guidelines for selecting an upper-level elective at the Colleges of the Fenway are available in the Humanities and Social Sciences department office.

Students enrolled in the Professional Certificate in Technical Communications program (PCC) may use COMM290, COMM330, COMM580 and COMM610 to fulfill four credit social science requirements. Certificate students will still need to take one humanities elective to complete this requirement. Note that students with a directed humanities or social science course in their major must complete those courses as well.

Students seeking to earn the PCC must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete paperwork with the Humanities and Social Sciences department office to add the certificate to their course of study.

College of Professional and Continuing Education

A minimum of six semester credit hours of English and three semester hours of Humanities or Social Sciences (100-level) are required of all CPCE associate degree graduates.

All CPCE baccalaureate degree graduates must take a minimum of nine semester credit hours in the Humanities and Social Sciences beyond the nine required for the associate degree. These nine credits must be upper level Humanities and Social Sciences (350-level or above) elective courses. The CPCE believes there should be a balance in the student’s program. Therefore, the student should take at least:

  • Three credit hours in Literature or Humanities (prefixes HIST, HUMN, LITR and PHIL)
  • Three credit hours in the Social Sciences (prefixes: ECON, HIST, POLS, PSYC, and SOCL)
  • The other three credit hours may be taken in either category of courses
  • The entire nine hours may not be taken exclusively in Literature/Humanities or Social Sciences

Major Courses

Every program requires that all of its major courses must be successfully completed.


Every baccalaureate program includes general and/or technical electives. Their type and number vary by major. CPCE degrees may also include general education electives.

General Electives

A general elective is any course that meets the following criteria:

  • The course cannot simultaneously fulfill two program requirements
  • The course must be within the 100-899 number range (i.e. ELEC156 is acceptable; ENGL013 is unacceptable)
  • The course is not an “Introduction to the Major/Profession” course, (i.e., ARCH115, CCEV111, CCEV112, COMP113, COMP165, DSGN125, ELEC101, ENGR100, GENL025, HUMN105, MECH103, MECH104, MGMT111, MGMT112 are not acceptable as general electives)
  • The course name, number, or content are not equivalent to a course previously taken by the student. (i.e., a student cannot take a CPCE, Day, or Colleges of the Fenway course if it is determined by the academic department chair or dean of CPCE that the content is equivalent to a course the student has already taken. For example, both MECH180 and MECH190 cannot fulfill separate requirements within a program because the course content is equivalent)

Technical Electives

Some programs require technical electives. Generally, students choose courses that are related to their discipline. Students should consult with their advisor for electives that best suit their major and interests.

General Education Electives (CPCE)

Additional courses in areas include math, science, social science and humanities are used to meet the general education elective requirement found in some CPCE degree programs. Questions on specific courses that meet this requirement should contact the Director of Advising.

Other Electives

Some programs identify electives specific to the program, such as architecture or engineering electives. As with technical electives, students can consult with their advisor or academic department office for information on courses that fulfill this elective requirement.

Capstone Course(s)

Each baccalaureate program requires a capstone sequence (either one or two courses). The capstone requirement for graduating senior, fifth, and sixth-year students provides an opportunity to demonstrate competency in innovative problem-solving situations and proficiency in analytical writing and presentation skills. The capstone sequence must be taken at Wentworth. Students may seek an exemption from the residency portion of this requirement with the approval of their academic advisor, department chair, and/or dean.


It is the policy of Wentworth Institute of Technology that only those students who have met all the academic and financial requirements for graduation are to participate in the Commencement ceremony, including walking across the stage and shaking the hand of the President. However, in unusual and hardship circumstances, a student who will complete no more than eight credits or one semester of cooperative education within the subsequent semester after the ceremony (May - complete in the following summer semester; August - complete in the following fall semester) may request of the academic department chair/dean of CPCE, permission to “walk-on” the stage and participate in the ceremony with his or her classmates. The Graduation Walk-on Policy form is available in the Student Service Center. All remaining courses must be registered before approval may be granted.