We guarantee that all students who enter Carthage as freshmen will graduate in four years.

Our Promise


Starting in Fall 2020, every student who enters Carthage College as a freshman seeking a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Nursing will earn that degree in four years.

To fulfill that promise, Carthage assures students that they:

  • WILL receive personal advising to create a four-year plan tailored to their educational goals.
  • WON’T need to take on an excess course load.
  • WILL have access to the courses they need to graduate in four years.

Eligibility Guidelines


  • Students must enter Carthage as freshmen at the beginning of the fall term.

  • Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree must be admitted directly as incoming freshmen into the Carthage nursing program.

  • Students must officially declare their major with the Office of the Registrar and create a four-year plan with guidance from their advisor no later than the end of the spring semester of their freshman year.

  • The four-year guarantee applies to one major. Any additional majors/minors are not covered. However, many Carthage students are able to graduate in four years with two majors, or a major and minor, with guidance from their advisor.

  • Students must remain in good academic standing, with a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 in their major as well as cumulatively as they progress through their degree. Nursing students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better for the duration of their program.

  • Students must register for classes within 48 hours of the start of their assigned registration day/time.

  • Each semester, students must register for at least the minimum number of credits their major requires (this will not exceed 18 credits), and for at least two J-Term courses at 4 credits each. Students must meet with their faculty advisors before registration each term. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their four-year plan with their advisors.

  • Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in education must complete an additional semester of student teaching for licensure, and are therefore guaranteed they can earn a degree in 4 years and 1 semester.

  • Students who intend to pursue graduate studies or professional school (such as medical school or law school) are responsible for ensuring they complete all prerequisites required for admission to such programs. Students should work carefully with their advisors to work these courses into their four-year Carthage plan.

  • Students who study abroad for a semester or academic year must work with their advisors to ensure their four-year plan includes this study abroad experience.

  • Students who change their major after their first year are no longer covered under the four-year guarantee. However, most are still able to graduate within four years. Students should work carefully with their advisor to adapt their four-year plan.

  • Students who take fewer than 16 credits in any fall or spring term, or students who withdraw from or fail courses are no longer covered under the four-year guarantee. Many Carthage students are still able to graduate within four years, even after experiencing these academic changes.

  • Extreme circumstances may prevent Carthage from fulfilling the four-year guarantee. If any event or circumstance, including a pandemic, state of emergency, armed conflict or natural disaster, prevents Carthage from offering courses to students or requires Carthage to close its campus, Carthage’s inability to comply with its obligations under the four-year guarantee will not constitute a breach of the four-year guarantee.

Dual Degree and Special Academic Programs


Participation in dual degree programs have their own timelines, and students participating in these programs will not be eligible for the four-year guarantee. These programs include, but are not limited to:

  • 3+2 Allied Health Sciences / Master in Athletic Training at Carthage College
  • 3+2 Engineering with Case Western University
  • 3+4 Podiatry with Rosalind Franklin

While accounting majors are eligible for the 4-year Guarantee to earn an accounting degree, we encourage our students to sit for the CPA exam upon graduation. This may require courses and credits beyond our graduation requirements. Faculty work closely with our accounting majors so most do reach the 150 credits to sit for the CPA in four years.

If a student meets all of the criteria above but still encounters difficulty fulfilling a graduation requirement, Carthage will work with the student directly to resolve the issue in order to ensure degree completion within four years.