Graduation vs. Commencement

What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?

The commencement ceremony is often referred to as "graduation". But in reality there is a difference. The commencement ceremony is just that, a ceremony. It is a celebration for students projected to successfully complete all degree or certificate requirements by the end of the academic year.  Students completing their requirements by the end of summer session should participate in the April ceremony.

You will not receive a diploma at the commencement ceremony, but you will receive a diploma cover. Confirmation of degree completion will take place once all official grades are posted. It is recommended you meet with your advisor or a counselor during your last semester to ensure all graduation requirements are met.

Graduation refers to the term in which you have officially and successfully completed all degree requirements. You must complete the graduation application (link found at right) and indicate the semester your requirements will be complete. Once grades are posted, your record will be evaluated and your diploma will be mailed. Please be sure your address is correct in your Online Center, as this is what we will use for mailing.

Students can graduate at the end of the Fall, Winter or Summer semesters, but there is only one commencement ceremony that takes place in the spring at the end of the Winter semester.