May 19, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog 
2019-2020 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Commencement & Degree Completion


Anticipated Completion Date

A student’s anticipated completion date (ACD) is the date a student is expected to complete their program. The ACD is calculated at the time of matriculation, and may not be correct if the student has changed their program, failed courses, taken a leave of absence, or has readmitted into a program.

A student’s ACD is included in federally required enrollment reporting regularly submitted by the Office of the Registrar to the National Student Clearinghouse for loan and insurance enrollment verification purposes. Students with an ACD that is earlier then the date on which they will actually complete their program risk having their loans enter repayment prior to program completion.

To View your Anticipated Completion Date

  1. Log into Student Self Service
  2. Click Student Planning
  3. From the Student Planning menu, select My Progress
  4. Anticipated Completion Date is listed in the At A Glance section

To update your Anticipated Completion Date

  • Students can email from their university issued email address. The email should include the term (fall, spring, summer) and year when a student anticipates they will graduate.

Applying to Graduate

Students nearing program completion are required to submit a Graduation Application by the deadline published in the Academic Calendar . See also Commencement Program Deadline. Graduation applications for students who have been withdrawn from the University for one academic year will be deleted.

The following information is collected on the application to graduate

  • Diploma name
  • Phonetic spelling
  • Intention to participate in commencement
  • Gown size
  • Diploma mailing address
  • Special accommodations

To submit or update an application to graduate

  1. Log into Student Self-Service
  2. Click Graduation Overview
  3. Click apply to submit an application or open a previously submitted graduation application
  4. Complete or update the form and click Save
Policy: Applying to Graduate Policy Administrator: The Office of the Registrar  Policy Last Revised: 19 April 2019

Authorization to Participate in Commencement

Authorization to participate in the annual May Commencement Ceremony is determined by the Office of the Registrar. Students are required to submit an application to graduate. The Associate Registrar reviews student program progress to confirm requirements will be completed by the conclusion of the intended term, pending successful completion of course sections in-progress. Ineligible students will be contacted by the Associate Registrar. See also Early Commencement policy.

  • Spring Program Completion: Spring semester final grades are due to the Registrar after the Commencement Ceremony. Certificates, degrees, and diplomas are conferred following the Commencement Ceremony after grades have been posted. Students with outstanding program requirements will be contacted by the Associate Registrar.
  • Summer & Fall Program Completion: Students who complete program requirements at the conclusion of the summer or fall term are invited to participate in the Commencement Ceremony held the following May.
Policy: Authorization to Participate in Commencement Policy Administrator: The Office of the Registrar  Policy Last Revised: 19 April 2019

Commencement Program Deadline

A student must apply to graduate prior to the commencement program deadline for their name to be included in the program. This deadline is published in the Academic Calendar .

Policy: Commencement Program Deadline Policy Administrator: The Office of the Registrar  Policy Last Revised: N/A

Commencement Name

A student’s diploma name will be printed in the commencement program and is how a student will be called during the ceremony. If a student has declared a chosen name  that name will be used during the ceremony and in the program.

Policy: Commencement Name Policy Administrator: The Office of the Registrar  Policy Last Revised: 19 April 2019

Degree Completion Time Limit

Students are expected to complete degree requirements in a timely manner.  Those who have not met the requirements for graduation within the time allotted may be subject to new degree requirements as determined by the Dean and the Registrar on a case-by-case basis.


  Program     Degree requirements must be completed within  

All Graduate Certificate Programs
Book Arts + Printmaking, MFA
Dance, MFA
Design for Social Impact, MDes
Devised Performance, MFA
Educational Program Design, MEd
Educational Technology, MEd
Industrial Design, MID
Jazz Studies, GD
Museum Studies, MA
Museum Education, MA
Museum Exhibition, Planning + Design, MFA
Music Education, MM
Product Design, MDes
Studio Art, MFA
Visual Arts, MAT

7 years
Music Education, MAT
Jazz Studies, MM
5 years


  Program     Degree requirements must be completed within  
All undergraduate Programs 10 years
Policy: Degree Completion Time Limit Policy Administrator: The Office of the Registrar  Policy Last Revised: N/A

Degree Conferral Fee

The degree conferral fee is a one-time, non-refundable fee applied to a student’s account after they apply to graduate.  The fee is assessed regardless of a student’s intent to participate in commencement.  See the tuition and fees  page for more details.

Policy: Degree Conferral Fee Policy Administrator: The Office of Student Financial Services   Policy Last Revised: N/A


The diploma is a ceremonial representation of the degree awarded, whereas the official transcript is the legal documentation of it. The diploma as a ceremonial document will not indicate the major or minor programs of study since the transcript, as the legal document, contains this information.

Conferral of Degrees

Degrees are conferred based on the recommendation of the Dean, with the approval of the faculty, and as certified by the Registrar. Degrees are conferred three times annually at the conclusion of the spring, summer, and fall terms.

All certificates, degrees, and diplomas are mailed directly to the address indicated by a student on the application to graduate and are not available for pick up at the University.

  • PDF Diplomas: Sent to a student’s University email account within two weeks of the Office of the Registrar certifying degree completion.
  • Printed Diplomas: Mailed to the address requested by students on their application to graduate. Students can review and update the address on their graduation application via student self-service until they have been graduated from their program. Shipping notifications are sent to students’ University email accounts. Typically six weeks after the Commencement Ceremony.

Diploma Format

University diplomas are 12 inches wide by 9 inches tall and are printed in landscape orientation.

The following is included on the diploma:

  • Diploma Name
  • Degree* Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music, et cetera
  • Conferral date
  • Degree Honors   (Undergraduate programs only)
  • Signatures of University Officials including the Board of Trustee Chairperson, University President, and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

*Academic transcripts document major, minor, concentration, completion of the honors program, and coursework.

Diploma Name

The diploma name is how a student’s name will be printed on their diploma. Students report their diploma name to the Office of the Registrar on their application to graduate.

Graduates who legally change their name can request a replacement diploma. See Replacement Diploma  & Change of Legal Name  policies for additional information.

The Office of the Registrar will email students who are non-compliant with diploma name policies. Any diploma name that does not match the legal first and last name on the record will be changed by the Associate Registrar.

The following policies apply

  • The diploma name must be the legal name. See also Commencement Name policy.
  • First Name: First names may not be omitted, but the initial may be used if the full middle name is present. Shortened versions of a legal first name are allowed such as “Rob” instead of “Robert.”
  • Nicknames: Nicknames are not permitted without legal documentation; even if it is the name you go by.
  • Middle Name: Middle names may be complete, initialed, or omitted.
  • Last Name: Last names must match University records exactly.
  • Suffixes: Suffixes such as Sr., Jr., II, etc., may be used if documented in University records.
  • Initials: A period is placed after each initial.
  • Capitalization: Names that are in all capital letters will be reverted to lowercase (only the first letter of each name is capitalized).
Policy: Diploma Format Policy Administrator: The Office of the Registrar  Policy Last Revised: 25 March 2020

Early Commencement

The University recognizes there are extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control, which may affect a student’s ability to complete their degree requirements as anticipated. The Office of Student Affairs will consider petitions from students to participate in commencement exercises prior to the degree completion.

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • An application to graduate must have been submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
  • No more than 6.0 outstanding credits
  • All outstanding degree requirements must be completed by the conclusion of the summer terms.
  • An approved graduation plan must be on file.

To petition:

  1. The student must submit a written request for an exception to commencement policy, including an explanation of the unusual circumstances supporting this request. Requests may be submitted via e-mail to the Office of Student Affairs at
  2. The Assistant VP for Student Affairs, after considering the request, will make a determination and communicate the outcome to the student and the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Appeals to the Assistant VP for Student Affairs’ decision may be submitted to the Office of the Provost at
  4. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or their designee will review the case and issue a final decision, which will be communicated to the student, the Assistant VP for Student Affairs, and the Registrar.
Policy: Early Commencement Policy Administrators: The Office of Student Affairs  Policy Last Revised: N/A