Graduation vs. Commencement: What is the difference?
The process of being awarded a degree. To be awarded a degree, candidates must apply for graduation, have a degree audit by their advisor, and meet all degree requirements.
The congratulatory ceremony (walking across the stage) held each Fall and Spring in which the attainment of a degree is recognized by the University community, friends, and family.
Actual degrees are not awarded at the commencement ceremony.
A final degree audit must be completed before a degree is officially awarded. A degree audit will not be completed unless the candidate applies for graduation in the term in which they plan to graduate.
Attention Doctoral Students
Doctoral students may participate in commencement ceremonies only after completing all requirements for graduation, including the successful defense of the dissertation and subsequent acknowledgement by the Graduate School of all required documentation. Summer Term graduates are welcome to participate in the December commencement ceremony following their Summer Term graduation.