All students expecting to graduate must apply to graduate in Trailhead.

Graduation application deadlines are scheduled well in advance of the date of Commencement to allow time for ordering diploma covers and for printing graduation invitations and programs. Students who submit applications after the stated deadline cannot be guaranteed a diploma dated for that graduation, and cannot be assured inclusion in the graduation program or ceremony. Graduation applications are accepted only for students who have previously submitted to, and had approved by the Office of Graduate Studies, the appropriate Advisor/Thesis Committee, Degree Audit form, and Admission to Candidacy form (PhD candidates only) as applicable to the degree sought.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, students must be registered during the term in which they complete their program. An exception to this registration policy allows students to complete an early checkout by census day of the graduation semester. Early checkout is accepted by the Graduate School and allows students to graduate in a term, without registering;

  • checkout by Summer I census to graduate in Summer or Fall and avoid summer & fall registration,
  • checkout by Fall census to graduate in Fall and avoid fall registration, and
  • checkout by Spring census to graduate in the Spring and avoid spring registration.

Students not meeting this checkout deadline are required to register for an additional semester before the Graduate School will process their checkout request. For additional information, refer to

All graduating students must officially check out of their degree program. Checkout cards will be sent by the Graduate Office after a student has applied to graduate in Trailhead and must be completed and returned by the established deadline. Students must register for the graduation term, unless the checkout process is completed by census day of the graduation term.

The awarding of a degree is contingent upon the student’s successful completion of all program requirements with at least a 3.000 cumulative GPA before the date of graduation. Students who fail to graduate at the time originally anticipated must reapply for the next graduation before the appropriate deadline date stated in the Graduate Handbook.

Students who have completed all of their degree requirements before the specific graduation date, but who have not applied for graduation can, if necessary, request a letter from the Graduate Office certifying the completion of their programs. The student should apply for the next graduation, and the diploma will show the date of that graduation.

Graduation exercises are held in December and May. Students graduating in August may walk in the December graduation ceremony.  Students eligible to graduate at these times are expected to attend their respective graduation exercises. Students in thesis-based degree programs may not, under any circumstances, attend graduation exercises before completing all degree requirements.

Diplomas, transcripts, and letters of completion will not be released by the School for any student or graduate who has an unsettled obligation of any kind to the School.

Late Fee for Application to Graduate after Stated Deadlines - $250

Graduate Students:
The deadline to apply to graduate and participate in commencement is Census Day of the term in which the student intends to graduate/participate.

Any request to be added to the graduation list and/or commencement ceremony after Census Day (and at least 4 weeks prior to the ceremony for  the appropriate semester) may be made in writing and will be considered by the Office of Graduate Studies. If the request is denied, the student will be required to apply for the next available graduation/ceremony.  If the request is approved and all other conditions are met (i.e. degree requirements can be met, required forms are turned in, and outstanding hour limitations are not exceeded), a mandatory $250 fee will be applied to the student’s account. This fee cannot be waived and cannot be refunded if the student does not meet the graduation check-out deadlines.

For late requests that are approved, tickets to the commencement ceremony for family and friends of the graduate are not guaranteed, as they may have already been distributed or assigned. Additionally, the student’s name may not appear in the commencement program due to publishing deadlines.

No graduate student will be added to a graduation or commencement when the request is made within less than 4 weeks to the graduation ceremony.