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 commencement preparation. 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 (thesis students only), Degree Audit form (all students), and Admission to Candidacy form (PhD candidates only) as applicable to the degree sought. Students earning more than one degree must submit the appropriate forms for each degree and apply to graduate for each degree.

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 Office of Graduate Studies and allows students to graduate in a term, without registering, if students meet all graduation requirements within the following timelines:

  • checkout by Summer I census to graduate in August or December and avoid summer & fall registration,
  • checkout by Fall census to graduate in December and avoid fall registration, and
  • checkout by Spring census to graduate in May 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. Students will be enrolled in a Graduation Check-Out course after the student has applied to graduate in Trailhead.  Students must follow the directions and complete the course by the established deadline. Students must register for the graduation term, unless the checkout process is completed by census day of the graduation term.

Awarding Degrees

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 on the Graduate School website.

Students who have completed all of their degree requirements by the early check-out deadline or at least 4 weeks prior to the standard check-out deadline can, if necessary, request a letter from the Graduate Office certifying the completion of their programs. The student must have applied to graduate for the current or next graduation, met all the degree requirements and have no holds. Degrees are not awarded during the early check-out time-frame, so for any student who is checking out early, the diploma and transcripts will show the date of the actual graduation and the degree will not show as being awarded until after degrees have been awarded for that term.

  • December Early Check-Out in August/September: Degrees awarded in December/January
  • May Early Check-Out in December/January: Degrees awarded in May
  • August Early Check-Out in May: Degrees awarded in August/September

Degrees for all students, including those who check out early, will be awarded within 10 business days after the commencement ceremony of the term in which the student applied to graduate, or for August graduates, 10 business days after the last day of the full summer term.


Commencements 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 and must apply to graduate by the stated deadlines to be eligible to walk in the appropriate commencement ceremony. Students who do not apply to graduate by the stated deadlines may not be allowed to walk in the commencement ceremony. The exception is that non-thesis students graduating in August may be allowed to walk in the May ceremony if all of the following are met: the student has less than 6 credits to complete in the summer, the student has applied to graduate in May and the student has consulted with the Mines Event Planner about the exception. Students in thesis-based degree programs may not, under any circumstances, attend graduation exercises before completing all degree requirements.

Diplomas, Certificates, Transcripts and Letters of Completion 

Diplomas, certificates, 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. Diplomas and transcripts will be available through the Registrar’s Office after degrees have been awarded. Students who check out early may request a Letter of Completion from the Registrar's Office, but these letters will only be sent if requested at least 4 weeks prior to the commencement ceremony. Requests for a Letter of Completion after that time will not be accepted, so students will need to order the diploma or transcripts, as needed.

Late Fee for Application to Graduate after Stated Deadlines - $75

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 5 weeks prior to the commencement 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 $75 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.

No graduate student will be added to a graduation or commencement when the request is made less than 5 weeks prior to the commencement ceremony.