To earn a degree through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, students must complete all required coursework, within the specified time limit, while maintaining a sufficient grade point average and fulfilling Hope’s residency requirements. Students must meet all financial obligations in order to receive their diplomas.
Course Requirements. For lists of required courses for each SGPS degree program, see the Academic Programs section of this Catalog (above).
Minimum Grade Point Average. To earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. To earn a master’s degree or credential, students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
Residency Requirements. To fulfil residency requirements, students must complete a specified number of units at Hope International University, either onsite or online. The minimum requirements are 18 units for an A.A., 30 units for a B.S., and all but 9 units for a master’s degree or credential. As noted above, undergraduate students are limited to two course substitutions within the B.S. Major through, for example, transfer credits or credit by examination.
Time Limit for Completing Degrees. Students must complete all degree requirements within 7 years of initial enrollment, inclusive of any Leaves of Absence (LOAs). They must complete the final 24 units of degree requirements during the five years immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
Changes in Degree Requirements. This Catalog is not to be considered a contract between the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and its students. Although the School fully intends to offer all the programs and courses described, it retains the right to alter or cancel programs or course offerings. The School reserves the right to make substitutions if courses required under a given degree program are significantly altered or removed from the curriculum.
Candidates enrolling in a degree program enter under the Catalog requirements in effect at the time they enter the program. If courses required for a given degree program are offered in a Carousel or Cohort format, then students are responsible for arranging their schedules so as to complete those courses when they become available.
SGPS recognizes that not all students will be able to complete their degree requirements within the normal timeframe (2 years for an A.A. degree; 4 years for a B.S.; and 1-3 years for a master’s degree or credential, depending on the program). When the School announces changes in existing degree programs, students working under the current degree requirements must complete their degrees within the normal timeframe plus one year (3 years for an A.A., 5 years for a B.S., and 2-4 years for a master’s degree or credential). If degrees are not completed within the allotted timeframe, then students must fulfil the new degree requirements. SGPS students who do not enroll in courses for a full year return under the requirements in force at the time of re-enrollment.
Double Majors and Double Degrees. If an undergraduate student completes 120-149 units that include all the required courses for two SGPS Majors, then SGPS will award a single B.S. degree with a “double major.” The courses taken for the second Major may be counted as General Electives toward the 120 units required for the initial Bachelor of Science degree.
If an undergraduate student completes 150+ units that include all the required courses for two SGPS Majors, then SGPS will award two B.S. degrees—one in each Major. In other words, to earn a second degree, the student must complete an additional 30 units beyond the 120 specified units required for the initial bachelor’s degree. The 30 units correspond to the SGPS residency requirement for the second B.S. degree, so a student earning two degrees must complete a combined total of 60+ units at SGPS.
Graduate students may earn multiple master’s degrees from Hope International University, provided that no more than 50% of the coursework for one degree is applied to the other degree.
Graduation, Academic Honors, and Commencement
Students graduate when Hope International University certifies that they have completed all degree requirements and posts the degree on official student transcripts. Commencement is not the actual awarding of a degree, but a formal ceremony marking the actual or anticipated completion of that degree. Hope holds Commencement ceremonies twice each year, during May and December. The following policies govern graduation, commencement, and academic honors:
Graduation. Students nearing the end of their degree programs follow five steps to complete the graduation process:
Step 1: Students submit a Petition to Graduate (www.hiu.edu/forms/pet_to_grad.pdf), which includes a Completion Plan, to their academic advisor at SGPS. The Petition must be accompanied by the Graduation Petition Fee ($45 for a Certificate, $55 for an A.A. or B.S. degree, and $75 for a master’s degree or credential). The deadlines are March 1 for a May Commencement and October 1 for a December Commencement.
Step 2: The academic advisor conducts a preliminary degree audit to verify the students’ readiness for graduation. If students are not ready, then the advisor assists them in revising their Completion Plan. If students are ready, then the advisor approves the Petition to Graduate.
Step 3: The Assistant Registrar then confirms the degree posting date for which the student is eligible. There is a 60-day processing period from the time of approval to posting. The posting date is the last day of the month following official documentation that all degree requirements have been met. The Registrar must possess all required documentation for degree posting by the 15th of the month in order to post the degree at the end of that month. For example, documentation must be received by March 15th in order to post the degree on March 31st. Once the degree is posted, students’ transcripts show that they have “graduated” from Hope International University.
Step 4: Transcripts may be ordered immediately, and graduates should receive their diplomas via U.S. mail within 90 days of the degree posting. However, the University will not release diplomas or transcripts until students meet all financial obligations.
Step 5: In the case of delayed documentation, SGPS notifies students of the next eligible posting date and deadline. A petition remains pending until all documents are received.
The Dean’s Honor Roll. Twice per year Dr. Davis publishes the Dean’s Honor Roll for SGPS undergraduate students. To qualify for this honor, students must have completed 12+ units, for which they earned a 3.5 grade point average. Honorees receive a letter and certificate signed by the Dean in recognition of their achievement. Qualifying for the Dean's Honor Roll is not a determining factor for receiving the graduation honors described below.
Graduation Honors. The School of Graduate and Professional Studies awards two types of graduation honors to A.A. and B.S. graduates—namely, Alpha Sigma Lambda and Latin Honors. The University recognizes students who have achieved these honors at its biannual Graduation Banquet and Commencement ceremony.
Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society: Alpha Sigma Lambda is the National Honor Society for Students in Continuing Higher Education. The Greek letters forming its name hold special meaning: Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet, so it stands for First. Sigma corresponds to the letter “S” and is symbolic of Scholarship. Lambda corresponds to the letter “L” and denotes Leadership. Thus, Alpha Sigma Lambda forms the motto: First in Scholarship and Leadership. SGPS awards membership to the top 10% of graduates who achieve a 3.5 cumulative GPA for 24+ SGPS units, yet fall short of Latin honors. These students receive a certificate, and a burgundy and gold honors cord to be worn with their cap and gown at Commencement.
Latin Honors: SGPS awards Latin Honors to students who demonstrate academic excellence throughout all of their college-level coursework, both before and during their time at SGPS:
- Students with a 3.5-3.74 GPA graduate cum laude (“with honors”). They receive a gold seal on their diploma, along with a silver cord to wear at Commencement.
- Students with a 3.75-3.89 GPA graduate magna cum laude (“with high honors”). They receive a gold seal on their diploma, along with a blue cord to wear at Commencement.
- Students with a 3.9-4.0 GPA graduate summa cum laude (“with highest honors”). They receive a gold seal on their diploma, along with a white cord to wear at Commencement.
- SGPS does not award such honors to graduate students. Since such students must perform at a high level simply to graduate (3.0 cumulative GPA), graduation itself is considered honor enough.
Commencement. Hope holds Commencement ceremonies twice each year, during May and December.
Participation in Commencement normally requires:
- A completed Petition to Graduate
- A posted degree
- Financial clearance from Student Accounts by April 15th for the May ceremony and by November 15th for the December ceremony
Early Commencement. SGPS students who, at the time of Commencement, do not hold a posted degree may participate in the ceremony under the following conditions:
- Students must file a Petition to Graduate (www.hiu.edu/forms/pet_to_grad.pdf) by March 1 for a May Commencement or by October 1 for a December Commencement. The Petition must include an approved Completion Plan and the Graduation Petition Fee.
- The Assistant Registrar for SGPS must approve the students’ Completion Plan. To qualify for approval, the Plan must meet three criteria:
- It must list specific coursework students will take to complete degree requirements, including the institutions offering those courses and the scheduled dates.
- It must show that students will be within 6 units of completing all degree requirements at the time of Commencement—or that they will be completing all other degree requirements simultaneously with those 6 units.
- The anticipated completion date for all remaining coursework must be in reasonable proximity to the Commencement ceremony.
- The University must approve the Petition to Graduate, certifying that all other degree requirements have been satisfied.
- Students must receive financial clearance from all University offices for obligations incurred up to the time of Commencement.
PLEASE NOTE: Students who take advantage of this “Early Commencement” privilege cannot qualify for graduation honors because, technically, they are not part of the graduating class. Such honors are based on students’ GPA, and the final GPA remains unknown until all course-work is completed and the degree is posted.