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Greenville University Blogs

When Your College Becomes a University and No Longer Has Your Major

Whether you worked hard for two years for an associates degree or four years for a bachelor’s, you worked hard and deserve proof of your degree. That’s why we take on so much for that piece of paper; the diploma! Did you know that diploma means double folded paper in Greek Latin? The tradition of giving diplomas to graduates began at Harvard in 1642. However, at that time, they were written in Latin and the school kept what they called a “Book of Arts.” It wasn’t until 1813 that Harvard gave students a document to keep for themselves. For more on the history of diplomas, click here.

IMG_0028 copyAs you all know, Greenville University has only been a university for two years. Before, it was Greenville College. This means that only one year of graduates has a diploma that reads Greenville University. Additionally, the majors and minors have adjusted throughout the years, which can cause you to wonder how valuable your degree really is if your major or minor no longer exists at Greenville. All of this can be confusing and bring some questions to the table, so I decided to talk to Michelle Sussenbach, registrar in the Records office here at GU, to solve the mystery behind degrees and diplomas at Greenville. Here is that interview:

Q: What happens when your degree is dropped after you graduate? Does it still matter?

A: Nothing. If a student has earned a degree, that student has a degree forever. My mom was a French education major and it was dropped in the 90’s and she continued to teach for years after. Nobody can take your degree away, even if the school shuts down or closes.

Q: What does it mean when you graduate from a college that transitioned from a college to a university after you graduated? Should alumni put GC or GU on their resume?

A: They could do either. Both are the same entity, it’s just a name change. Several students have requested new diplomas and they can get it, they just have to cover the cost and shipping. The first diploma is included in the graduation fee, and it is $25 for a new diploma. Some might also want a transcript as well and they are $10 for official electronic transcript and $12 for a paper. It is also important to note that we don’t have all signatures, so a new diploma could have different signatures than an older one.

Q: Can I get a new diploma if you don’t have my major anymore?

A: Majors are not placed on the diploma anymore. They just say Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work, etc.

Q: Can I get a new diploma that says GU if I graduated from GC?

A: Yes!

Q: Do you have any other insight into what happens with my degree with a name change or major drop?

A: Also note that you can request a diploma with a new name.


I hope that this clears the air of any questions or concerns you might have about your degree or diploma. If you have questions about your major or degree, email the Records office by emailing records@greenville.edu.
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