Early Commencement Requirements

Under certain conditions, students who have not completed the degree requirements are allowed to participate in graduation exercises. The following regulations govern this privilege:

  1. A student must be present and participate in the graduation ceremony.

  2. Only students who lack no more than four hours to meet the minimum hour requirement for the degree are eligible. Students must complete the remaining hours by the end of the spring term of the following academic year. The residency requirement that a student may take no more than 6 of the last 42 hours of coursework at another institution applies to all students who are participating as early commencement candidates.

  3. To qualify for early commencement, a student must have achieved a cumulative grade point ratio of 2.00 by the end of the Spring Term in which the student has applied to early commence, must have a 2.00 GPA in the major and no incomplete grades that have not been made up or completed. In case of illness or emergency, students may appeal the requirements stated above to a committee comprised of the appropriate dean, the student’s academic adviser and the Associate Provost for Student Success.

  4. In the official commencement program, the early commencement candidates are identified with an asterisk. The following statement appears at the end of the roster of graduates: “Early commencement participants who will complete their requirements within the following academic year.”

  5. The early commencement participants receive blank diplomas at the May exercises. They receive their official diplomas at the end of the summer or the following May, contingent upon the completion of all requirements, with the date of the appropriate commencement appearing on the diploma.

  6. An early commencement student who fails to achieve the required grade-point ratio, or fails to meet the required number of hours for graduation by the end of the summer, is automatically disqualified from receiving the official diploma until the academic deficiencies are removed. Ordinarily this means that such students are not eligible to receive their official diplomas until the following May or the next official date of graduation.

  7. Participation in the graduation exercises is regarded by the University as ceremonial and symbolic. Students may not consider themselves graduates of the University in any legal or official sense until the Registrar of the University has certified that the students have met all the requirements for graduation.

  8. Students who participate in early commencement cannot be recognized as qualifying for honors at graduation.