Requirement for Graduation
Service, as one of the Four Cornerstones at Azusa Pacific University, is at the heart of our local and international outreach, missions, and service-learning endeavors. The university desires to see the service experience connect to a deeper relationship with Christ, develop a greater sense of community, and model scholarship put into practice. To this end, the university desires that every student has an intercultural experience during their time at APU.
A student’s service may correlate with his or her academic coursework or it may be an opportunity to branch out of the classroom experience. Students’ involvement in ministry opportunities satisfies the graduation requirement of 120 service credits.
The graduation requirement for full-time students is as follows:
- 120 service credits for students beginning a fall semester as freshmen
- 90 service credits for transfer students beginning a fall semester as sophomores
- 60 service credits for transfer students beginning a fall semester as juniors
- 30 service credits for transfer students beginning a fall semester as seniors
APU recognizes the importance and value of service that happens on-campus as students strive to serve one another. One of the goals of the university, however, is to encourage students to pursue opportunities to serve local and global communities outside of APU. Therefore, the following criteria must be met in order for an experience to count towards service credits:
- The experience must take place outside of the APU community
- The experience must be unpaid
- The experience cannot be serving a family member
- Community events hosted on the APU campus may occasionally count towards service credits
Through supervised, purposeful, and transformational service, APU students become consistent community contributors. Generally, students can earn credits according to the following guidelines:
- 5 credits—one day service (must be 5+ hours in one day)
- 10 credits—two day or weekend service project (each day must be 5+ hours)
- 15 credits—semester of weekly involvement (generally 1-2 hours per week totaling roughly 15–30 hours of service)
- 30 credits—intensive week-long, summer long service or increased commitment and responsibility roughly equivalent to 40+ hours (e.g. Mexico Outreach, Action Team)
APU encourages students to broaden their horizons through different experiences, and we also recognize that students may desire to stay with a particular ministry to continue developing their gifts and sustain relationships. APU fully supports this continuity of involvement and wants to encourage students to provide leadership in their endeavors. Each student can earn up to 60 credits maximum per academic year and up to 30 credits per semester (including summer). The following restrictions exist:
- Athletic training may use up to four sessions for a maximum of 60 credits.
- Music ministries may use up to a maximum of two ensembles for a maximum of 60 credits.
Nursing Students: Please be aware you will receive 100 service-learning credits through your program. You also need to take additional electives to cover the remaining 20 service credits needed to complete the 120 total credits for the Service Requirement. If you have any questions, contact the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2823, or the Center for Student Action at (626) 812-3028.
Service Credit Verification
If you would like a letter verifying your hours of service for a graduate school or scholarship application, please provide us with a pre-written verification letter addressed to the appropriate institution and include the information that you would like verified (e.g., hours served, location of service, etc.). Our office would be happy to print the letter on university letterhead and sign the letter to verify your service. We have a two-week turn-around policy, so please plan accordingly.
- The service requirement applies to all full-time undergraduate students. The amount of service credits required may drop 15 credits per semester if a student graduates early. For example, if you started as a freshman fall semester and are planning on graduating in December of your senior year, you will be required 105 credits instead of 120 credits.
- Please note that only part time students are exempted from the policy. If you are a part time student, you are not required to complete the service requirement. Full-time students are all required to complete the service requirement and no exemptions are made.