Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree

Undergraduate students all share certain general requirements for earning and receiving the baccalaureate degree. Specific accredited programs may impose higher standards. These include all of the following:

  • Students must complete all requirements for the degree within seven (7) years of initial matriculation.
  • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 120 semester units (courses numbered 1000 and above) with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 including:
    • A minimum of 25% (30 units) of upper-division units (courses numbered 3000 and above)
    • All general core education requirements (see Adult Undergraduate General Education).
    • A minimum of 25% of degree units in-residence (30 units). Note: Nontraditional units do not count as units in-residence.
  • Completion of an approved program of study in a major area with a minimum grade point average of 2.000 in the Point Loma Nazarene University major (program).
    • At least 50% of program (major) units must be completed in-residence.
  • If a minor is declared, a minimum GPA of 2.000 in the minor.
  • A maximum of 25% of required degree units (30 units) can be earned through the following nontraditional methods:
    • Testing (AP, CLEP, Dantes)
    • Military Courses
      • A maximum of 30 Military course transfer units will be awarded at admission as evidenced on an official Joint Services Transcript.
      • Military students will be informed of the total Military course transfer units to be applied toward the degree prior to admission.
    • Prior Learning recommended for university academic credit by the American Council on Education (ACE)1 or the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)2.
  • Application for graduation must be made prior to the start of the final semester.
  • Fulfillment of all academic and institutional requirements and obligations.
  • Payment in full of all financial obligations to the university.
  • All requirements must be completed prior to participation in Commencement ceremonies. If no more than nine (9) non-major/program units and zero (0) major/program units are lacking to complete the required 120 unit minimum with a corresponding approved completion plan, then you may apply to participate in Commencement one ceremony early.

American Council on Education (ACE) provides guidance on workplace learning.


Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is not credit for “life experience.” It is credit for prior learning and students must demonstrate through a portfolio that learning has taken place. The faculty will evaluate the portfolio to determine how much credit should be given for the learning accomplished. Refer to the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) for examples of how this is described. To receive PLC credit students would enroll in a PLC assessment course to learn the portfolio submission process.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

A second baccalaureate degree may be earned at Point Loma Nazarene University. After applying for re-admission, a minimum of 30 units must be completed. Twenty-four (24) of these units must be taken at the 3000-level or above. A minimum of 24 units must be earned in the new major, with no duplication of units from the previous major. Twenty-four (24) units must be taken in residence at PLNU. All General Education (if different from first degree), the additional major, and specific academic major requirements for the second degree must be met. Candidates for a second degree are eligible for honors at graduation and for the Dean’s List. The second baccalaureate degree is distinguished from multiple majors within a first degree.