What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
Graduation is the official awarding of your degree. There are three graduation terms each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer. Students should contact the Graduation Unit with questions regarding completion of degree requirements, degree conferral, and diplomas.
Commencement is the optional event which celebrates the completion (or anticipated completion) of degree programs. Commencement is held once a year in the spring, for the three graduation terms of the preceding academic year: Fall, Spring, and Summer. Students should refer to the commencement website (link below) and/or the commencement office (or the appropriate contact stated on the website) for details and questions about the ceremonies.
Once you have completed the graduation check process, whether graduate or undergraduate, you are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony appropriate to your graduation date:
- If you graduated in Fall 2020 (January 2021) or become a candidate for Spring (May) 2021 or Summer (August) 2021 graduation, you will be eligible to participate in the Spring 2021 commencement ceremonies.
- If you graduate in Fall 2021 (January 2022) or become a candidate for Spring (May) 2022 or Summer (August) 2022 graduation, you will be eligible to participate in the Spring 2022 commencement ceremonies.