Policy on Walking in Commencement

Following faculty vote December 15, 2015 students within 4 courses of their degree may apply to walk in commencement.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

Participation in commencement exercises is limited to those who either (1) have completed all graduation requirements, including vote by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees; or (2) are within 4 courses (16 credits) of the total required for graduation, have no disciplinary violations, and are a member of the current graduating class, any prior class, or the subsequently graduating “E” class (see "Early Participation," below).

Early Participation

Students who meet the preceding criteria articulated in (2) above for early participation in the commencement exercises must successfully apply for permission to do so. Once permission is granted, these students will not be eligible to participate in any other future commencement exercises, and they will receive their diplomas and official transcripts recording completion of the degree only after all degree requirements have been satisfied and the degree voted by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees.

Process:

  • Normally, the student must submit an “Application to Participate in Commencement.” (see Frequently Requested Forms). This must be signed by the student and have the approval of both the student’s academic advisor(s) and class dean. Submission deadline will be February 1, unless extended for one of the special circumstances listed below.
  • All applications will be submitted by the Registrar to the following members of the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) for approval: three members of the faculty, the Chief Student Affairs Officer and the Dean of Students. The committee’s decision is final.

Special Circumstances:

  • Academic violations. Students accused of academic violations during a final spring semester must submit to the Registrar an “Application to Participate in Commencement” by the last day of finals for that spring term. Students must have the approval of their academic advisor(s), class dean, and the Dean of Students. The Registrar will submit the applications to the CAS.
  • Incomplete Comprehensive Exams. Students who have completed all requirements but have not passed their comprehensive requirement during the second round must submit to the Registrar an “Application to Participate in Commencement” by the last day of finals with the approval of their academic advisor(s) and class dean. The Registrar will submit the applications to the CAS.
  • Failed Courses. Students who fail courses in their final semester must submit to the Registrar an “Application to Participate in Commencement” by noon the day after the due date for grades for seniors for that spring semester. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Applications require the approval of the student's academic advisor(s) and class dean. The Registrar will submit the applications to the CAS. Note that a student previously eligible to participate early in the commencement ceremony who receives a failing grade resulting in more than 4 courses to completion of the degree will no longer be eligible to participate early in the ceremony and will be so informed by the Registrar and the student's class dean.
  • Approved Extensions. Students with approved extensions in their final semester must submit to the Registrar an “Application to Participate in Commencement” by noon the day after the due date for grades for seniors for that spring semester. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Applications require the approval of the student's academic advisor(s) and class dean. The Registrar will submit the applications to the CAS.

Commencement Program Criteria:

  • With regard to students who are participating early in the commencement activities, the commencement program will indicate that the student has not completed degree requirements. The program will carry an asterisk next to the student’s name with a footnote to read
    • “Completion of degree requirements pending.”
    • No indication of honors will be noted since the record will be incomplete.
    • The name of a student will appear in only one program. If students opt to participate in commencement prior to completion of their requirements, they may not participate in any future commencement exercises (this statement to be included on the application form). There will be no exceptions to this policy. Students working on an honors thesis should consider this before deciding to participate early.