Graduation Requirements

Catalog of Entry

The Graduate Catalog in effect when a student enrolls in a program will be the guide to graduation requirements, provided the student is in continuous attendance and does not change programs.

When a student changes programs, the guide to graduation requirements will be the catalog in effect at the time of change.

Readmitted students will use the catalog in effect at their last readmission as the guide to graduation requirements. Any exceptions to requirements must be approved by the student's program director. The university reserves the right to change course offerings and academic requirements.

Degree Conferral and Commencement Ceremony

Degrees are conferred three times a year: Fall (December), Spring (May) and Summer (August).

A graduation application must be completed by the stated deadline of the semester the student intends to have their degree conferred. A graduation application must be submitted to award the degree regardless of the student's plans to participate in the commencement ceremony. Submission of the graduation application is the student’s responsibility. There are two commencement ceremonies each year:

  • fall commencement ceremony at the end of the first semester in December and
  • spring commencement ceremony at the end of the second semester in May.
  • summer graduates can choose to participate in the fall or spring ceremony.

Please refer to the “Special Purpose Fees and Service Charges” list as well as the section titled “Other Fees” for information about the graduation fee. The Graduation application can be accessed through the Penguin Portal.

Posthumous Degrees

A deceased student who was enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree program at the University at the time of his/her death may be recommended for a posthumous degree by a faculty member, department chairperson, or dean of the appropriate college or academic unit. A recommendation must be in writing and proceed, respectively, for approval as follows:

  • faculty member to chairperson,
  • chairperson to Dean,
  • Dean to Provost and
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs will notify the Registrar if the recommendation is approved.

In order for a posthumous degree to be awarded, a student must be in good academic standing and have substantially completed the applicable degree requirements. Substantial completion means:

  • For undergraduate degrees and master degrees without a thesis requirement, the student must be within one semester of completing all coursework and degree requirements.
  • For doctoral programs and master degree programs with a thesis/dissertation requirement, the student must be within one semester of completing all coursework and degree requirements; and the student must have completed a full draft of his/her thesis/dissertation to the satisfaction of his/her thesis/dissertation chairperson.

If approved, the appropriate Dean will notify the immediate family of the student who may choose to have the diploma presented at commencement or in a private ceremony. If the diploma will be presented at commencement, it will occur at the next feasible commencement.

Diplomas for posthumous degrees will be identified as “Awarded Posthumously.”