Arioch Center Photo

2011-2012 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 plan to graduate must complete an online graduation application on Leopardweb. This application allows the student to submit the name they want on their diploma and confirm a mailing address should it be necessary to mail the diploma or other graduation materials. Students can contact the assistant registrar for graduation with questions regarding the application.

General Requirements for Graduation

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 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. For CPCE students, it is required that they will complete their fourth, fifth and sixth year courses at Wentworth.

Students in the one-year Master of Architecture first professional degree program (M. Arch), the Master of Science in Construction Management (MSCM) degree program, 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 two-additional co-op courses that students have the option of enrolling in:

  • 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 ENGL115
  • ENGL020, ENGL100, and ENGL115
  • ENGL013, ENGL017, and ENGL100
  • ENGL125 and ENGL135

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, ENGL013, ENGL017, and ENGL100.

Students who are in a three-course English sequence may either take English II during the summer between their freshman and sophomore years, take two lower level social sciences during the second semester of their sophomore year, or take one lower level social science during the summer between their sophomore and junior years so that all students are in exactly the same place at the start of their junior year.

Some students who start in ENGL013 or ENGL020 may get exemption from ENGL100 based on the recommendation of their instructor and the approval of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Management department head. Also, some students who start in ENGL100 may be allowed to take ENGL135, Honors English II, to complete their English sequence, based on the recommendation of their ENGL100 instructor, a review of their work by the Honors English coordinator, and with the permission of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Management department head.

Students who complete their English sequence based on credit earned from the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams may take ENGL125, 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 ENGL125 as a lower level social science elective.

CPCE students complete one of two English sequences:

  • ENGL105, ENGL116
  • ENGL025, ENGL105, 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 the prerequisite to all other courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences department. A minimum of seven semester credit hours of English are required of all day program graduates.

All graduates must also complete a minimum of six semester credit hours (two three-credit courses) of lower level social sciences (course numbers in the 100 and 200 levels) and a minimum of twelve semester credit hours (three four-credit courses) of upper level humanities and social sciences (course numbers of 385 and higher). The department believes there should be a balance in the student’s program, and therefore must take at least:

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

Communications courses (COMM) are technical courses in all curricula and do not fulfill the Humanities/Social Sciences requirement with the exception of only three courses: COMM330: Introduction to Mass Communications (lower level social science); COMM290 Social Perspectives of Journalism, and COMM580 Society & Visual Media. These courses are acceptable as social science courses because they contain significant social content. Students may use COMM330 to fulfill three credit hours of lower level social science and ONE of the latter two courses to fulfill four credit hours of upper level social science. The other eight credit hours must be selected from the traditional humanities and social sciences courses.

Students may cross-register for their upper level 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 ans Social Sciences department office.

Students enrolled in the Professional Certificate in Technical Communications program (PTC) may use both COMM290 and COMM580 to fulfill upper level social science requirements. This is acceptable because these students must meet the requirement of the four additional courses required for the certificate. Professional Communications Certificate (PTC) students must take their remaining four upper level credit hours in either literature or the humanities.

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

Communications Requirement

Day program students must successfully complete a minimum of one communication course, as indicated in the curriculum for their academic program.

Sophomore Writing Proficiency Assessment

Wentworth believes that one of the cornerstones of professional success for its graduates is the ability to communicate effectively in writing. Therefore, the Institute has developed a program to assess its students’ writing ability and provide a means to improve for those who have not mastered these skills.

All Wentworth day students must register for the Writing Proficiency Assessment Exam (ENGL350). The Writing Proficiency Assessment Exam will be given toward the end of the second semester of the sophomore year to ALL sophomores (including transfers) who have completed their English sequence. In addition, any transfer student entering Wentworth as a junior and taking English at Wentworth must take the assessment exam.

Students who fail to pass the Writing Proficiency Assessment Exam at the end of their sophomore year must complete the required remediation through the Center for Teaching and Learning. They will receive notification of this before the fall semester.

The Writing Proficiency Assessment Exam will be re-administered at the end of each semester to all students who have not passed the examination previously. A student may take the Writing Proficiency Assessment Exam as many times as is necessary to pass, but may only take it once each semester. Each time a student fails to pass the exam, he/she must complete a plan to improve proficiency in writing before being permitted to take the exam again. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to ensure their success. Student performance on the Writing Proficiency Assessment Exam will be recorded as a grade of “S” or “U” on the Wentworth transcript. Students must take and pass the Exam to graduate.

This assessment is not required for students in CPCE programs.

Major Courses

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


Every baccalaureate program, day and CPCE, includes electives. Their type and number vary by major.

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 head 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 can choose from a list of courses that are related to their discipline. Students should consult with their advisor for courses that are considered technical electives in their major.

General Education Electives

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.

Graduation Walk-On Policy

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.

Second Degree Program

To complete a B.S. degree with a second major, the student must complete the graduation requirements for the first major before the second major can be started. For day baccalaureate programs, the student must see the department head prior to the start of the second major to develop a plan for completion of the second major and to complete a Change of Major or Readmission form. At least 36 specified additional semester credit hours (the equivalent of one additional year) beyond the number required for the first major must be taken to qualify for a second major. Because the program requirements for each major must be met, it is possible that more than 36 semester credit hours will be needed to fulfill these requirements. For day baccalaureate majors, an additional cooperative work semester is required in the area of the new major. Wentworth does not allow concurrent “dual” degrees.

For CPCE students the same policies apply, with the exceptions that a minimum of 32 semester credit hours must be taken, and no cooperative work semester is required.

Students seeking a second major are advised to consult with Student Financial Services and Financial Aid.

Time to Degree

Any student who requires more than two years after his or her expected graduation date to complete a program of study must be academically reviewed by his or her academic department head or the Dean of the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

Any student who is enrolled in a program which is no longer offered by the Institute must complete all graduation requirements for that program within one year after his or her original expected date of graduation. Any student who fails to satisfy all requirements within the one-year period must have his or her academic records evaluated by his or her academic department head/the Dean of CPCE to determine which course of study and program must be followed. Beyond the one-year statute of limitation the Institute will not grant a degree for any program which has been discontinued.

© Wentworth Institute of Technology   |   550 Huntington Avenue   |   Boston, MA 02115   |   617-989-4590