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Information about commencement ceremonies can be found online at Students who expect to complete requirements for a graduate degree must file an application for graduation with the Registrar's Office by the deadline stated in the University's academic calendar.  The graduation application must have all appropriate signatures from the student's academic department.  If the student has filed a graduation application and will not complete the requirements for a degree, an updated graduation application with all appropriate signatures must be submitted to the Registrar's Office. 

Academic department advisors verify that the graduate student has completed all requirements for a degree.  If  all requirements are met, the academic department approves the student to graduate.   Master's level students who have not completed all requirements by the end of the spring semester may march in the Commencement ceremony only if they are approved to march by the Council on Graduate Education (CGE) through the Petition to March policy.  Doctoral students must complete all program requirements by the deadline of any given semester to graduate with that semester date.  

Grace Period

There is currently no grace period for graduate students. In order to be conferred a degree in a given month, all final grades must be complete, with no pending incomplete courses. 

Petition to March Policy

A master's, clinical doctoral, or specialist student who desires to participate in May commencement but has not completed all program requirements due to unavoidable circumstances is required to request that his/her respective department file a Petition to March Form with the Council on Graduate Education (CGE).

It is the sole discretion of the student's academic department to decide whether to proceed with a student's request to file a Petition to March Form with CGE. A department, for example, has the prerogative not to submit an exception-to-march petition because the student has not completed all degree requirements.

Departments deciding to file a Petition to March form must attest that the student is in good standing and is expected to complete outstanding degree requirements before or on the forthcoming August graduation date (i.e., last day of summer session). These degree requirements should only be those requirements that were unavailable to the student during the regular program due to circumstances beyond the student's control.

CGE will consider exceptions-to-march petitions when only one of the following extenuating circumstances exists:

  1. The student is enrolled in any graduate program and needs to complete one additional course before the last day of the upcoming summer session.
  2. The student is enrolled in a non-traditional graduate program (e.g., online or summer) and needs to complete two additional courses before the last day of the upcoming summer session.
  3. The student is completing an externship or internship that allows for an August graduation date.
  4. Significant progress has been made toward the completion of the thesis or dissertation/doctoral research project. The student's thesis or research advisor attests that the student is expected to complete a successful defense before the last day of the upcoming summer session.

Petition to March Forms must be delivered to the Chair of CGE by April 1st. Petitions received after this deadline will not be considered. Incomplete forms will be returned and not considered at a later date. Students whose exception-to-march petition is approved by CGE will receive a special designation in the commencement program. A notation will indicate that fulfillment of program requirements is anticipated before or on the last day of the August summer session.

Students who have a perfect 4.0 GPA at the end of the fall semester before a May Commencement, and whose exception-to-march petition has been approved by CGE, are not eligible to receive the University gold honors stole and medallion during the Graduate Awards and Hooding ceremony if they have an outstanding requirement that includes an instructor recording a grade. If the incomplete requirement does not include posting a grade, the student may be eligible to receive the University gold honors stole and medallion during the Graduate Awards and Hooding ceremony.

Students who are permitted to march will not be granted a diploma until all program requirements have been completed. It is the responsibility of the student's department to notify the Registrar's office when the student has successfully fulfilled all program requirements.

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