Preparing for Graduation
Graduation refers to actually receiving a degree once a student has been certified by the University as having met all degree requirements. Upon certification, the degree is awarded and noted in the PSU Student Information System so that it displays on PSU transcripts. Graduation certification occurs 4-6 weeks after final term grades are posted. Diplomas are printed after the degree certification process is complete.
Commencement is a ceremony. It is an opportunity for students, families, friends, and the PSU community to celebrate their academic accomplishments. Except for doctoral students (who must actually graduate to participate), the commencement ceremony is open to any student who has applied to graduate, notified the Commencement Office that they intend to participate, rented the required regalia, and shown up at the designated time on the day of the ceremony. Participation in commencement does not mean that a student has graduated and students do not receive diplomas on that day.
Steps to Graduation
1. Meet with Adviser
Students may use the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) at any time to check their progress toward a degree and are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to discuss the report and plot a course for clearing up any outstanding course work issues.
2. Discuss your catalog year
Students must meet all degree requirements from one PSU catalog. Students may select the requitements of the PSU catalog in effect during the year they first enrolled at PSU or any accredited, postsecondary institution, or any subsequent year. However, at the time of graduation all students, including transfer students, must use a catalog that is no more than seven years old.
3. Plan to take your final classes
Run another DARS report after registering for your final term to confirm that all requirements are in progress.
4. Attend to any outstanding grade issues
All course work should be completed and final grades recorded to ensure smooth processing of your degree application. If you have any “Incomplete” grades, please review the “I to F” policy.
5. Begin transition to life after graduation
Students should begin their job search or preparation for graduate school during their final year at PSU. Career Services offers assistance with graduate school applications; resumes and cover letters; and networking and interviewing. Multiple career fairs and other events also bring hundreds of employers to campus each year. Students should plan to take advantage of these services and opportunities during their final terms at PSU.
6. Submit Degree Application
Any student seeking a degree from PSU must apply for the degree. Undergraduate degree application forms are due two terms prior to the anticipated graduation date. Graduate degree application forms are due one term prior to graduation. See Applying for a Degree for specific dates and further information.
7. Register for Commencement*
Visit the Commencement web site to register to attend a commencement ceremony. The registration process includes specifying the name on your diploma and ordering tickets for the spring ceremony. Online registration for Spring Commencement begins in January. The Commencement site also provides details about ceremony dates, times, and locations, as well as contact information for those with further questions. Note: If you have recently submitted a degree application to the Office of Degree Requirements or Graduate Studies, you may need to wait up to four weeks for your application to be processed before you will be able to complete the online commencement registration process. If you have difficulties, please contact the Coordinator of Commencement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Order Cap, Gown, Announcements, Class Ring*
Representatives from Herff Jones visit campus to provide students with the opportunity to order regalia (cap and gown), graduation announcements, diploma frames, and class rings. Information on ordering regalia can be found on the Commencement site.
* Students who do not wish to participate in a commencement ceremony may skip steps 7 and 8.