Board of Regents Policy Manual

Official Policies of the University System of Georgia

3.8 Degrees

3.8.1 General

The faculty shall recommend to the president of the institution the candidates for degrees that the institution has been authorized by the Board to confer. A record of all degrees awarded shall be filed in the office of the Registrar of the institution conferring the degree. Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no bachelor’s degree program shall exceed one hundred and twenty (120) semester credit hours, exclusive of physical education activity/basic health or orientation course hours that the institution may require (BoR Minutes, 1980-81, p. 49; December, 1995, p. 47).

3.8.2 Graduate Degrees

USG graduate schools shall award only such graduate degrees as may have been authorized by the Board of Regents. Other USG institutions shall not offer work leading to a graduate degree unless approved by the Board upon recommendation of the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee and the Committee on Education, Research and Extension. Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no masters degree program shall exceed thirty-six (36) semester credit hours (BR Minutes, 1953-54, pp. 51-52; 1953-54, pp. 220-221; December, 1995, p. 47).

3.8.3 Residence Requirement for Degree

The Board shall leave to the discretion of USG institutions the matter of conferring a degree on a student who has been in residence at an institution for less than one (1) academic year and who has successfully passed prescribed courses of study required for a degree (BoR Minutes, 1958-59, p. 346).

3.8.4 Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are subject to approval by the Board of Regents. Honorary degrees may be conferred by USG research, regional, or state universities and state colleges to persons of notable achievement in an academic field, the arts and letters, the professions, or public service. An institutionally approved process for advancing candidates for consideration in a timely fashion shall include recommendations by a faculty committee and selection by the president of a candidate to be communicated to the Chancellor. Honorary degrees may be conferred upon candidates recommended by the Chancellor and approved by the Board of Regents.

Current elected or appointed national office holders or officials of the State of Georgia to whom the USG institutions are directly or indirectly answerable, as well as persons who are announced candidates for national or state elective offices are ineligible for honorary degrees. Current Regents and all current USG employees are also ineligible.

Relatively few awards should be given. No individual shall receive more than one (1) honorary degree from a USG institution. The recipient must be present to receive the degree (BoR Minutes, June 1995, p. 34; September 1998, p. 92; April 2012).

3.8.5 Diplomas Earned at Institutions Under a Previous Name

Upon request, a USG institution may issue a certificate to a graduate who received a diploma under a previous name of the institution in line with the requirements set forth in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook in order to memorialize the individual’s status as an alumnus or alumna of the institution.

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