Feb 27, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

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

  • Submit the Anticipated Completion Update form located on the UArts portal in the Student Forms card.
  • Once processed, the updated ACD will be reported to the National Student Clearninghouse during the next regularly scheduled transmission.

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 Graduation applications for students who have been withdrawn from the University for one academic year will be deleted.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 accomodations

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

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.

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 .

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.

Degree Completion Time Limit

The Degree Completion Time Limit policy is designed to ensure that students complete their programs with the most current and relevant knowledge and skills in their field of study. Given the diverse and evolving nature of academic subjects, this policy seeks to ensure that the content and methods of instruction remain pertinent to contemporary standards and practices.

  • Graduate Programs
    • Standard Timeline: Most graduate programs require completion within 7 years
    • Exceptions: The following programs have a different timeline for completion:
      • MAT Music Education: 5 years
      • MM Jazz Studies: 5 years
  • Undergraduate Programs
    • All undergraduate programs: 10 years

Petitioning for an Extension to Degree Completion Timeline

Students who haven’t met their degree requirements within the stipulated timelines may submit a petition for an extension.

To submit a petition:

  1. Email your detailed request to registrar@uarts.edu.
  2. The Registrar, in collaboration with the respective Dean, will review the petition.
  3. Individual courses will be assessed against current program requirements to determine if replacements or updates are necessary.

Note: The granting of a petition is not guaranteed and is based on individual circumstances and program requirements.


The diploma is a ceremonial representation of the certificate or 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 Diplomas

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

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 six 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 or Certificate
  • Major
  • Conferral date
  • Degree Honors  (Undergraduate programs only)
  • Signatures of University Officials including the Board of Trustee Chairperson, University President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and School Dean.

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

Diploma Name

The diploma name is how a student’s name will appear on their diploma, in the commencement program, and how their name will be called during the commencement ceremony. Students declare their diploma name to the Office of the Registrar when applying to graduate. The Office of the Registrar will email students who are non-compliant with diploma name policies, which will be updated by the Associate Registrar.

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

The following policies apply

  • First Name: Either the legal first name or chosen first name  can be used. 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 permitted.
  • Middle Name: Either the legal middle name or chosen middle name  can be used. Middle names may be complete, initialed, or omitted.
  • Last Name: Either the legal last name or chosen last name  can be used.
  • 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).

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 oustanding 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 studentaffairs@uarts.edu.
  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 provost@uarts.edu.
  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.