Degree Designation

A degree is an award signifying a rank or level of educational attainment and is conferred on students who have successfully completed a degree program. The degree is represented by the official degree designation, e.g. B.S. - Bachelor of Science, A.A.S. - Associate of Applied Science, etc. The degree designation is noted on the student’s diploma and transcript.

Degree Program

A degree program is defined by the combination of its degree designation (e.g., Bachelor of Science) and a program title that represents the overarching content areas the program's major or majors covers (e.g., Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Associate in Applied Science in Engineering Technology). Degree programs are approved by the institution and the Board of Trustees and listed on the official inventory of degree programs in the Catalog. Per NECHE guidelines, a bachelor degree will require a minimum of 120 credits, an associate degree will require a minimum of 60 credits, and a master degree will require a minimum of 30 credits.


A major is a field of study within an approved degree program, having its own curriculum. A degree program may have more than one major. The major is noted on on diplomas and transcripts. Examples of majors are Applied Mathematics and Engineering Technology.

Minor - Undergraduate

A minor is an area of study outside of the major that allows students to pursue a secondary field. Students may not earn a minor in the same field as their major. Requirements for a minor are set by the academic unit offering the minor and must include at least 16 credits of coursework, with a minimum of 8 credits at the advanced level (as defined by the curriculum). A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher is required to add a minor. Minors are only available to students earning a baccalaureate degree. A minor cannot be a required as a portion of a major. Minors are noted on transcripts but not diplomas.

Concentration  - Undergraduate

A concentration is a specific subject area within an approved degree program and major. A concentration requires  a minimum of 12 credit hours within a baccalaureate degree program/major.  A concentration can be a required component of a major. A concentration is noted on transcripts but not diplomas.

Concentration - Graduate

A concentration is a specific subject area within an approved degree program and major.  A concentration requires a minimum of 6 credit hours within a graduate degree program. A concentration can be a required component of a major. A concentration is noted on transcripts but not diplomas.

Academic Certificates

An academic certificate provides substantial education at either the graduate or undergraduate level. A certificate centers on a coherent and relatively free-standing body of knowledge and skills, and their completion, therefore, represents the achievement of competence in a well-defined domain. Records of coursework and program completion must be maintained by the Registrar’s Office and shown on the student’s official transcript. The certificate document is issued by the Registrar’s Office. Because of the small number of courses included in a certificate, these programs should not have concentrations associated with them.

A certificate typically consists of at least three courses and at least nine credit hours. At least fifty percent (50%) of the total credit hours and no less than nine credit hours in the certificate shall be completed at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Each credit-bearing course within a certificate must be an existing course at Wentworth that is applicable to one or more Wentworth degree programs, either as part of the major, as part of the sciences and humanities, or as an elective. It is the responsibility of the academic unit proposing a certificate to indicate any majors, minors or concentrations for which the certificate is not appropriate.

  • Students may pursue multiple certificates, but a minimum of nine credit hours must be unique to each certificate. 
  • To enroll in an certificate, a degree-pursuing student must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • A minimum certificate GPA of 2.5 is required for a certificate to be posted on the student's academic transcript.
Undergraduate Certificates 

The curriculum requirements for both the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificate programs include undergraduate-level coursework. The difference between the two programs is in admissions requirements: the post-baccalaureate certificate program requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution as a prerequisite for admission, while the undergraduate certificate requires only a high school diploma or equivalent.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate and post-masters certificate programs are composed of graduate-level coursework. Applicants to graduate certificate programs must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree prior to admission; post-masters certificate programs require successful completion of a master’s degree prior to admission.