2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin


Students are encouraged to use DegreeWorks, an online tool, to track their academic progress towards graduation. DegreeWorks is accessed via CUNY at http://www.cuny.edu. Click on Log In and choose DegreeWorks.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for the baccalaureate degree must complete at least 120 credits to obtain a degree. All degree candidates must have completed all required courses, fulfilled the requirements of their majors, achieved at least a cumulative grade point average of 2.00, a grade point average of 2.00 in their majors, and cleared all accounts with the College. Students are required to complete at least 30 credits at John Jay as well as 50 percent of their major.  Students earning a minor or certificate must also complete those requirements with a minor/certificate GPA of at least 2.00 and must complete 50 percent of the programs at John Jay. To earn a Bachelor's of Arts (BA) degree, students must complete at least ninety credits of liberal arts and sciences.  To earn a Bachelor's of Science (BS) degree, students must complete at least sixty credits of liberal arts and sciences. Students may NOT take more than 50 percent of the courses used to fulfill their degree requirements online.

Candidates for degrees are reminded that grades of INC assigned during the last semester of attendance in courses required for graduation may result in the postponement of graduation.

When a degree is posted to the student’s record, that record is sealed. Any requests for further updates or changes (such as grade changes) will be denied. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Office of the Registrar if he or she is expecting any grade changes or any other updates before any degrees are recorded.

Application for Graduation

Students submit applications for graduation through the Self Service Student Center area of CUNYfirst. For assistance, see Jay Express Services. Applications must be submitted by the date prescribed in the academic calendar. Spring semester candidates must demonstrate the potential for satisfying the requirements of the degrees for which they apply. Lower seniors are encouraged to submit applications for their degrees at least one semester before they are expected to graduate.


The annual commencement ceremony is held following the close of the spring semester.

Students who have applied for graduation whose degree requirements will be completed by the end of the summer session may attend commencement if all of the following conditions are met at the time the Office of the Registrar certifies the graduation list:

  • At the end of the spring semester, the student will have no more than two courses remaining to complete their degree requirements 
  • The student has registered for and paid for the required course(s) during the summer session immediately following commencement
  • The student has a minimum overall GPA of 2.00 and a minimum GPA in their major of 2.00

Students who are prospective summer graduates will be listed as such in the commencement program.

Participation in commencement does not necessarily indicate the completion of degree requirements. The transcript is the official academic record and will indicate any degrees that have been conferred.


Students are notified via their John Jay College student email account when their diplomas are ready to be picked up. Prior to picking up their diplomas, students must clear all outstanding obligations to the College including exit interviews for loan programs. Outstanding obligations to the College will prevent students from receiving their diplomas or obtaining verification of graduation.

Graduation with Honors

Latin Honors

Baccalaureate students can qualify for three levels of Latin Honors awarded at graduation:

  • Summa cum laude (with highest distinction), awarded to students whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.9
  • Magna cum laude (with great distinction), awarded to students whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.75
  • Cum laude (with distinction), awarded to students whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.5

This distinction will be noted on the student’s transcript. To be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must complete at least 56 credits at the College. Students who entered the College with an associate degree qualify for these honors with a minimum of 52 credits earned at the College. All courses and earned grades obtained at John Jay and elsewhere enter into the computation of the GPA.

The eligibility of students who transfer into John Jay from other college(s) for such important academic recognition as Latin Honors (summa, magna, cum laude), valedictorian and salutatorian status, and other graduation awards shall include their cumulative GPA at their previous college(s), which shall be averaged in with the grades they have earned at John Jay.

Honors in the Major

To qualify for honors in the major, a student must have completed the credit requirements for the major and have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average in courses above the 100-level in the major. Credit for courses required as prerequisites for major courses applied to the major will not be calculated into the major cumulative grade point average. Students must have also earned at least a 3.2 overall cumulative grade point average. This honor will be noted on the student’s transcript. Some majors have additional criteria to meet the requirements for honors in the major, consult the major page in this Undergraduate Bulletin.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The valedictorian and salutatorian for commencement exercises are chosen from among the June baccalaureate candidates and the graduates of the previous August, December, and February. The two students with the highest grade point averages who meet the eligibility requirements for Latin Honors are awarded these distinctions.

In the event of identical grade point averages, the students with the greatest number of credits earned at John Jay College (up to 120 credits) will be designated valedictorian and salutatorian. In the event that two students have identical grade point averages and have earned the same number of credits at the College (up to 120 credits), they will be declared co-valedictorians and no salutatorian will be designated. In the event that three or more students have identical grade point averages and have earned the same number of credits at the College (up to 120 credits), the valedictorian and salutatorian will be selected by the Committee on Undergraduate Honors, Prizes and Awards.

Posthumous Degree Policy

A bachelor's degree may be awarded posthumously in the unfortunate event that a student passes away near the completion of his or her academic program at John Jay College. To recognize the student’s work and as a source of solace for the family, next of kin (including child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner) may request a posthumous degree. The following requirements apply:

  • the student must have completed at least 90 credits
  • the college must substantiate that the student is deceased, usually by obtaining a death certificate from the family
  • the student must have been enrolled in any term within one year of the degree date
  • the student must be in good academic standing
  • the student must have no disciplinary sanctions pending
  • the death must not have been the result of illegal behavior on the part of the student

Please note that Latin honors are not awarded on posthumous degrees.