Preparing for Graduation
Detailed information on the ceremony can be found on the University's Major Events web site.
Students are responsible for the accuracy of their enrollments and should check their Academic Requirements form (available through SIS) on a regular basis to be sure they are making satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
Students who have completed all degree requirements (College and major requirements) and who have observed the rules and regulations of the University, including the Honor Code, will be recommended to the faculty of the college for conferral of a degree by the University of Virginia, if otherwise in good standing.
The steps of preparing to receive a degree are the following:
- Apply for graduation in SIS; click here for directions.
- Check your "primary" and "diploma address" in SIS. For assistance with changing your diploma address, see the SIS Help website, and to update/correct your primary name contact UREG directly.
- Enroll in the remaining classes you need for your degree in your last semester.
- Check your Academic Requirements Form in SIS to be sure you will have completed all requirements and earned the number of credits needed. It is YOUR responsibility to be sure you have met all of the requirements for the degree.
- Take all of your exams and pass all of your courses.
- Order a cap and gown (May only).
- Order and send announcements (if you want, May only).
- All second majors and minors must be declared by the ADD DEADLINE of the semester in which you plan to graduate.
- Diplomas for all graduates (May, August and December) are mailed to students approximately 6 weeks after grades have been posted. Be sure your diploma mailing address is correct!
- If you have two majors you may attend either (or both) diploma ceremonies.
Apply for Graduation
Students apply for graduation is SIS. Degree candidates log into their student account and click "Applied" for the appropriate semester at the appropriate time (deadlines are below). If you need additional directions, click here.
If you are not enrolling in any courses on Grounds but plan to graduate either with transfer credit or by finishing up incomplete grades, please inform the Office of the College Registrar (434-924-8867; 138 Monroe Hall) so she can post a degree fee for you on the system and enter a degree enrollment status for you. There is a fee for this degree in absentia status.
You must confirm your "primary" and "diploma address" in SIS. For assistance with changing your diploma address, see the SIS Help website, and to update/correct your primary name contact UREG directly.
It is also your responsibility to verify your "Academic Requirements" report on SIS. All College of Arts & Sciences General Requirements (area requirements) and Graduation Requirements (degree credits) must show "Satisfied" on your report in order for your degree to be conferred. If you have questions or problems with the General or Graduation Requirements, please see staff in 138 Monroe Hall for assistance and corrections. If the Major and/or Minor requirements do not show "Satisfied" on your Academic Requirements report, please see your Major Advisor or the department secretary for assistance and corrections. All requirements must be "Satisfied" for your degree to be conferred.
Students who miss a graduation application deadline must apply for the subsequent graduation and must register for the semester in which it occurs (a degree in absentia fee will be charged).
- The College does not switch first and second majors except when: (1) a student has two majors and is dropping the first major, or (2) a student is declaring a BS program as a second major program.
- It does not matter which major is listed as your first major and which major is listed as your second major unless you are earning a BS degree. The major in which you are earning a BS will always be listed first.
- You cannot earn both a BA and a BS degree.
- If you have two majors you may attend either diploma ceremony (you may attend both ceremonies if the times do not conflict).
January Graduates (Fall)
You must apply for graduation in SIS by October 1.
May Graduates (Spring)
The window for applying for May graduation open on November 1. The College's deadline to apply fall is early December. You will be sent an email with the date in the year you plan to graduate.
August Graduates (Summer)
You must apply for graduation in SIS by July 1.
Participation in Final Exercises
The University conducts a graduation ceremony each May to recognize and honor those students who have completed all degree requirements during the previous academic year. Students who graduate at the end of the summer or fall semesters are invited to attend the May ceremony following their graduation. Summer and fall graduates may not participate in a ceremony conducted prior to the actual awarding of their degrees. See the Major Events web site for more information.
Students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program in the semester in which they expect to receive a degree. Degree candidates who do not enroll for credits must pay the affiliated degree fee.
Participation in Final Exercises by BA/MT Students
Students in the Teacher Education BA/MT program know from the outset that this is a five-year program, with both diplomas awarded in the fifth year.
Students in the fourth year who have met all of the requirements for the B.A. may participate in Final Exercises on a limited basis. They are invited to "walk the Lawn" and, with the co-operation of the major Department, may be recognized at the diploma ceremony as "BA/MT students expected to receive both degrees in the following year." In this fourth year they do not receive a diploma and their name does not appear in the program.
Students who wish to avail themselves of this opportunity must have completed all area requirements, the 102.0 College hours, as well as all major requirements. Departments may, but are under no obligation, to recognize these students during the diploma ceremony.
Missed Degree Application and Final Exercise Deadline (for May Graduation)
Students who have met all of the graduation requirements, but who missed the SIS application deadline, may petition the Graduation Committee in the College of Arts & Sciences for permisionn to "Walk the Lawn". Participation in departmental ceremonies is at the discretion of the undergraduate program director.
At the discretion of the Department during the graduation ceremony, the Director of Undergraduate Studies may indicate that these students have met all of the academic requirements for graduation and are expected to receive the diploma in August. The student's name does not appear in the graduation program and there will not be a blank diploma given.
These students must complete the following steps to participate in Final Exercises:
- Print out your Academic Requirements Report after February 1, and have your major advisor or the undergraduate director of your major department indicate on the form–by signature and date–that you will have fulfilled all major requirements upon completing your spring courses.
- By no later than 12 noon on the Monday before Final Exercises, your dean must receive this verification that you will have fulfilled all major requirements upon completing your spring courses. You are responsible, not your dean or your advisor, for making sure that your dean receives this verification on time.
- After you have completed your courses, have all course instructors enter your semester grade next to the course where it is listed on the AR form. The instructor must sign and date the form.
- Alternatively, you may request that the instructors e-mail your course grades to your association dean. Your dean must receive this verification of your grades no later than 12 noon on the Monday before Final Exercises. You are responsible, not your dean or your instructor, for making sure that your dean receives these grades on time.
Once you have provided to your Association Dean all grades and verification that your major is completed, your dean will inform Ms. Linda Newman (104 Monroe Hall) that you have been approved to pick up tickets for graduation.
Tickets will be available no earlier than the Thursday before Final Exercises, and no later than the day following (i.e., the Friday before Final Exercies) at 4:00 P.M.
Ms. Newman (104 Monroe Hall) will require you to sign a form that verifies that you understand that participation in the ceremony does not mean you have graduated. Your name will not appear in the graduation program and you will not receive a diploma.
You must contact the College Registrar and complete the appropriate graduation application by the July 1 deadline for August graduation.
To receive a diploma from the University, students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in courses required for graduation and meet all degree requirements. All students receive the diploma through the mail - be sure yor diploma address is correct in SIS.
Requirements to receive a diploma:
- Students must be registered at the University during the semester in which they receive the degree. NOTE: Those carrying no courses must register as non-residents and pay the affiliated degree fee.
- Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in required courses and complete all degree requirements.
- Students may earn only one undergraduate degree.
The University reserves the right to withhold the diplomas of financially delinquent students or when students have engaged in Standards of Conduct violations at or prior to graduation ceremonies. The University also reserves the right to revoke diplomas previously conferred when the student has not satisfied the rules and regulations of the University.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I miss the deadline for May graduation?
If you miss the deadline you can (1) follow the steps above if appropriate or, (2) file for August graduation.
What if I meet the requirements for two or more degrees?
You can earn only one degree. Completed requirements for more than one program are awarded as a double major. (This notation is placed on the transcript but not on the diploma.)
What if my Academic Requirements report lists my major courses incorrectly?
See your major advisor immediately to get your Academic Requirements Form corrected.
What if I have questions about graduation?
The staff in the College Registrar's Office, 138 Monroe Hall, are happy to assist you with any questions you may have about graduation. Questions about major or minor requirements should, however, be directed to the relevant department.
Will I be notified that everything is okay?
You will not be notified if everything is okay – you will only hear from us if there is a problem with your requirements. You can assume that "no news is good news." However, if you are anxious to verify that everything is okay, you may contact the College Registrar's Office after the add/drop deadline. We continue to audit your record after the degree process ends on February 1.
If I am in a Distinguished Majors program will I receive my diploma on graduation day?
No, like all students, you will receive a blank diploma. The actual level of distinction that you receive in your program will be printed on your diploma, and that cannot be done until levels of distinction are reported at the very end of the Spring semester. Your official diploma will be mailed to you later in the summer.
Are my majors listed on my diploma?
Students who earn the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree do not have their majors listed on the diploma. Only students who complete the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) will have their majors listed on the diploma.
I am graduating in August. Can I walk in the May ceremony prior to my graduation?
Students who are anticipating graduating in August may appeal through their Association Dean to participate in Final Exercises in May. This is typically done after enrolling in the summer classes that complete any and all remaining degree requirements. If the petition is approved, students will get a cap and gown and tickets to the Final Exercises ceremony, but will not be listed in the program. Students additionally must contact their major department(s) to see if the separate major degree ceremonies will recognize August degree candidates or let them participate.
Lost or Damaged Diplomas?
For information, go to the Office of the University Registrar.