Change in Graduation Requirements

What does it mean to change my graduation requirements?

Students follow the graduation requirements outlined in the Academic Bulletin published in the year they first came to Allegheny College. So, for example, if you entered the College in 2017, you are subject to the graduation requirements outlined in the 2017-2018 Academic Bulletin.

For most students, this will work out fine, but some students may wish to declare a major or minor that was not available in the year they came to the College.

How do I change my graduation requirements?

  1. Read the policy below and discuss your situation with your advisor(s) and/or the Office of the Registrar.
    • Are you eligible to request a change? (See below for details)
    • What are the ramifications of the change for your course of study?
    • Have you consulted with Financial Aid to make sure there are no issues with your decision?
      • If you have already completed the requirements of a major or your anticipated graduation date will change, you must consult with the Office of Financial Aid before making the change.
  2. Complete the Change in Graduation Requirements form available here and in the Office of the Registrar.
    • Collect all the appropriate signatures and write a brief rationale for the change.
  3. Submit the form to the Office of the Registrar and meet with a member of staff.


Students are subject to all graduation requirements in place at the time they first matriculated, including all major, minor, distribution, and any other requirements for the degree.

With some exceptions, students who matriculated after the Fall 2016 semester have the option of graduating either under the requirements in effect when they first matriculated at Allegheny or those specified in a subsequent Academic Bulletin. Students may not select an Academic Bulletin previous to the term in which they first matriculated.

Students who wish to adopt a new set of graduation requirements will be subject to all major, minor, distribution, and any other requirements of their new Bulletin and must complete a form in the Office of the Registrar at least one semester prior to graduation. These changes may not be made during the Spring semester for an August or September graduate, but may be made during the summer for a January graduate.

In no case may a student qualify for graduation by meeting various requirements set forth in two different Academic Bulletins. In particular, students may not use self-designed majors or minors to circumvent this rule.

Exceptions to the graduation requirements change option include changes made by faculty vote that may limit the ability to change due to the adoption of new, college-wide requirements, or if changes are made to accommodate changes in college resources. Generally, students who matriculated prior to Fall 2016 may not opt to follow a later Academic Bulletin.

However, students who interrupt their attendance for more than four consecutive terms (excluding summer terms) may be subject to all requirements in effect when they re-enroll. These students also may be required to complete additional coursework in their major or minor if the department or program chair determines that previously completed work does not fulfill a current requirement. The Office of the Registrar will work with these students to determine if they are best served by continuing under their existing Bulletin or moving to the current Bulletin. The final decision is subject to the approval of the Registrar.

Changes in graduation requirements are effective for the new Academic Bulletin on the first day of classes in the fall term after the faculty adopts them. The graduation requirements change option may not be exercised until after the Bulletin to be changed to comes into effect. Degree audits for recently revised programs may not be immediately available.

Exceptions to College requirements are made by the Dean’s Exemption Committee or the Curriculum Committee, per their specific responsibilities as outlined in the Faculty Handbook, when circumstances warrant. Students who wish to file a petition with either committee may obtain counsel and the proper form from the Office of the Registrar.

Students who have already completed the requirements of a major prior to changing graduation requirements will need to consult with the Office of Financial Aid before they make the change.

NOTE: While the degree audit, academic advising, and academic support resources are all available to every student, these resources are provided for use in planning only. It is the responsibility of the student to report any printed error to the Office of the Registrar within three terms. The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.

This policy is under the purview of the Academic Standards Committee. Changes are subject to a vote of the Faculty.