Jun 16, 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 Graduation applications for students who have been withdrawn from the University for one academic year will be deleted.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.

Program Completion Time Limit & Course Expiration

The Program Completion Time Limit ensures that students complete their academic programs with knowledge and skills that are current and relevant to their field of study. Recognizing the dynamic and evolving nature of various academic disciplines, this policy aims to maintain the relevance and applicability of instructional content and methods to contemporary standards and industry practices.

  • Graduate Programs
    • Standard Timeline: Completion is required within 7 years from the point of first matriculation into the program, including any periods of absence.
    • Exceptions: The following programs have a different timeline for completion:
      • MAT Music Education: 5 years
      • MM Jazz Studies: 5 years
  • Undergraduate Programs
    • Standard Timeline: Completion is required within 10 years from the point of first matriculation into the program, including any periods of absence.

Course Expiration

Courses must be completed within the specified program completion timelines to ensure their relevance towards program requirements. Courses completed outside these limits may be subject to review for their contemporary relevance. Depending on the outcome of this review, students might need to:

  • Retake expired courses,
  • Enroll in updated course versions, or
  • Substitute expired courses with other relevant offerings that meet current curriculum standards and industry expectations.

This measure ensures that all graduates possess up-to-date knowledge and skills reflective of current professional environments.

Petitioning for an Extension

Students who have not completed their program requirements within the stipulated timelines may petition for an extension. The process is as follows:

  1. Submit a Petition: Email a detailed request to registrar@uarts.edu outlining the reasons for the delay and the proposed plan to complete the program requirements.
  2. Review Process: The petition will be reviewed by the Registrar, in collaboration with the respective Dean. This review will include an assessment of individual courses against current program requirements to determine if updates or replacements are necessary.
  3. Decision: The granting of an extension is based on individual circumstances and adherence to program requirements. Approval is not guaranteed.

Diplomas & Certificates

Administered by: Registrar. Reviewed by: Registrar. Last updated: April 2024.

Diplomas and certificates are formal recognitions of academic achievements, awarded upon the successful completion of designated degree and certificate programs.


Diplomas are conferred at the conclusion of the fall semester, spring semester, and summer 10-week term based on the recommendation of the Dean, with the approval of the faculty, and as certified by the Registrar.

  • Digital Diplomas: Emailed to students’ personal email accounts within six weeks following the conclusion of the term in which their degree is officially conferred (fall semester, spring semester, or summer 10-week term).
  • Printed Diplomas: Mailed to the address provided by students in their graduation application, within six weeks following the conclusion of the term in which their degree is officially conferred. Students have the option to review and update this address through the graduation module in self-service until the end of the conferral term. Diplomas are not available for pickup at the University. Shipping notifications are sent to students’ personal email accounts.


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.