Degrees and Certificates are conferred twice a year: at the end of the Fall Semester and at the end of the Spring Semester. This is not to be confused with the Graduation/Commencement Ceremony. The graduation ceremony happens one time a year at the end of the Spring Semester. In order to be eligible to participate, your degree/certificate requirements must be met by the end of the Spring Semester. If you complete your requirements in the Fall term, you may file an Intent to Graduate form, receive your degree/certificate for the fall term, and still choose to participate in the Graduation Ceremony at the end of the following Spring Semester.
Students must submit an Intent to Graduate form (please click on the link to access the form) the semester before they anticipate completing their program requirements. Ideally, the Assistant Dean and Registrar should receive the form prior to Early Registration for the coming semester so that they, and their advisor, can review the student’s progress, and future registration, to assure program completion. Even if all program requirements are met, students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for degree or certificate conferment. (The only exception are students planning on receiving their Certificate of Special Studies which has a minimum GPA requirement of 2.0.) Please provide a completed program worksheet at the time of submission.
The Assistant Dean and Registrar will respond to the Intent to Graduate form prior to the start of General Registration for a student’s anticipated final term. The correspondence will confirm (or deny) eligibility for degree conferment, eligibility to participate in the Graduation Ceremony, and notify the student of any outstanding requirements. The timing is so students have the opportunity to register or work on any requirements not yet met before the end of registration and/or the semester. Students may submit the Intent to Graduate form at any time during their anticipated final two semesters however those submitted after Early Registration or during the student’s anticipated final semester are considered late.
It is the student’s responsibility to understand their program requirements and not drop any course that is needed for degree or certificate conferral during their anticipated final semester. In the event it does happen, students should anticipate their program completion to be deferred and may lose eligibility to participate in the Graduation Ceremony.
Degrees and certificates will be conferred after successful completion of program requirements. Students can anticipate the reception of their diploma about two months after their degree conferral date. When filling out the Intent to Graduate form, please provide an address where you will be at the time the diploma is sent. Please avoid providing P.O. Boxes, and other small locked mailboxes, as diplomas are large and do not fit.
At the Graduation Ceremony, students receive their diploma cover and are hooded by the Faculty Marshall. Master of Art and Doctor in Ministry students are specifically hooded by their faculty advisor. In the absence of the expected faculty, the Dean, Program Director, or Faculty Marshall will replace them and do the hooding. Students must get the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs if they wish for others to hood them.
Please note: Participation in the Graduation Ceremony in no way indicates degree/certificate conferral for students finishing their program requirements in the Spring. Degrees/certificates are only conferred upon the Assistant Dean and Registrar’s confirmation of final grades and that all program requirements have been met.
For more info on the Graduation Commencement in May (robes, hoods, announcements, graduation tickets), click here.
In the fall prior to your expected graduation, graduating students will be asked to file an Intent to Graduate form and return it, with a completed program worksheet to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs.
After submitting your Intent To Graduate form, expected graduates must submit this form to the Office of Community Life:
Learn more here: