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Graduation Frequently Asked Questions

Note: The questions and answers found in this Frequently Asked Questions section are directed to undergraduate students only. Graduate students who have graduation questions should contact the Division of Graduate Affairs.

The Application
The Evaluation
Postponing Graduation
Graduation Advisers
The Commencement Ceremony
The Diploma
After Graduation

I. The Application

Q. What is the process for graduation?
A. Once you have determined that you are eligible to graduate, you need to submit a graduation application and the non-refundable application fee. After your graduation application is processed, a graduation evaluation will be mailed to you in approximately eight to ten weeks. Graduation is based on the successful completion of all of your degree requirements by your date of graduation.

Q. How do I know if I’m eligible to graduate?
A. There are numerous resources available to help you determine whether you are on track to graduate. You are encouraged to meet with your major adviser and your minor adviser (if applicable) to discuss how well you are progressing towards the completion of your major and minor requirements. In addition, academic advisers are available at the Academic Advising Center who are specially trained to answer questions about the university’s graduation requirements.

Q. How do I apply for graduation?
A. Submit a graduation application for the term you anticipate completing all of your requirements. Graduation applications for each term are available at www.sdsu.edu/applytograduate. You must type, print and submit the application with a non-refundable $55 fee to Student Account Services during the appropriate filing period. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are applying for the correct term in which you believe you will have met all of the graduation requirements.

Q. When do I submit the graduation application?
A. Each application term has a separate application with a published filing period. Applications for May and August graduation are accepted from July 1 of the previous year until the spring semester’s schedule adjustment deadline. Applications for December graduation are accepted from February 1 of the current year up until the fall semester’s schedule adjustment deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.

Q. How do I get a graduation application?
A. Graduation applications are available at www.sdsu.edu/applytograduate.

Q. How much does it cost to file a graduation application?
A. A non-refundable $55 application fee is required.

Q. I applied for graduation once before and paid the fee. Do I need to pay the fee again?
A. Yes. Each application for graduation, including transferring an application between May and August, requires the non-refundable $55 fee.

Q. Who can I contact with questions about when and how to file a graduation application?
A. Staff in the Office of the Registrar and the Academic Advising Center are available to answer questions on when and how to file a graduation application.

II. The Evaluation

Q. What is a graduation evaluation?
A. A graduation evaluation is a document prepared by graduation advisers that lists each graduation candidate's remaining degree requirements. It is the official document that is used to determine whether a graduation candidate can receive his or her degree.

Q. When do I have to complete all of my graduation requirements?
A. All requirements must be completed by the graduation date that coincides with the term you apply for graduation.

Q. Why does my graduation evaluation still say I need to complete a particular requirement even though my adviser told me the requirement is okay?
A. The graduation requirements found on your evaluation are from the SDSU General Catalog. Students are required to complete these requirements. In some cases, departments will allow an exception or adjustment to the requirements found in the General Catalog. In these instances, a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements (RAAR) form must be filed with all the appropriate approvals before an adjustment can be made to a student’s evaluation. The RAAR form is available in the Academic Advising Center.

Q. My graduation evaluation says I have to send my high school transcript. Do I really need to send my high school transcript?
A. Yes. If your graduation evaluation indicates transcripts are required, then you must comply with this requirement.

Q. My graduation evaluation says I have to send a college transcript. Do I really need to send my college transcript?
A. Yes. All SDSU students are required to file official college transcripts from every institution they have attended prior to graduation.

Q. Do I have to submit a Master Plan?
A. Some majors and minors require a Master Plan to be completed. Consult your SDSU General Catalog to determine if your major/minor requires one. If it does, you are required to submit a Master Plan for graduation.

Q. When should I submit my Master Plan?
A. It is highly recommended that you submit your Master Plan to your graduation adviser at least one semester prior to your graduation date.

Q. What if I study abroad during my last year at SDSU prior to my graduation?
A. Students who study abroad are required to have official transcripts sent from the institution attended before the completion of all degree requirements can be verified. It is important to understand that some institutions located outside the United States can take several months to send a transcript. Therefore, students who have applied to graduate and have studied abroad in their last year might experience a delay in the finalization of their graduation.

Q. I think I might be eligible for graduating with honors and distinction. How will I know for sure?
A. Graduating with honors is granted to undergraduate students who achieve high grade point averages. The determination of honors will be done at the time the bachelor’s degree is conferred. Distinction in the major is granted to students who meet the GPA qualifications and who have received their major department’s recommendation. Your graduation adviser will automatically do the calculation of honors and distinction.

Q. Who can I contact with questions about my graduation evaluation?
A. Students who have questions concerning their graduation evaluation should contact their graduation adviser. Your graduation adviser’s name and contact information is printed on the graduation evaluation.

III. Postponing Graduation

Q. I applied to graduate but I won’t be able to complete my requirements in time. What should I do?
A. Students who realize they will not complete the graduation requirements by the end of the term to which they applied to graduate must cancel the current graduation application as soon as possible. Candidates who wish to change their projected graduation date from May to August may do so by submitting a Graduation Term Transfer form, which is available in the Academic Advising Center, and the non-refundable $55 fee. Changes from December to May or August graduation, or changes from May or August to December graduation, require a new graduation application and non-refundable $55 fee. It is highly recommended that you consult with your graduation adviser as soon as possible to discuss your particular situation and best possible course of action.

Q. I applied for graduation, but I need one more semester to complete my requirements. How can I get a registration time?
A. Students not completing requirements by the end of the term to which they applied to graduate must cancel the current graduation application as soon as possible and reapply for graduation during the appropriate filing period. After cancellation of the current application has been processed, a registration date and time for the next term will be assigned.

Q. I’ll have my degree requirements satisfied with the exception of my minor. Can I graduate and come back at a later date to complete my minor?
A. No. If you wish to earn a minor or if a minor is required by your major, you must complete all requirements for your major and minor by the graduation date for which you applied.

Q. How do I cancel my graduation application?
A. To cancel an application for graduation, students must submit a Graduation Cancellation form to the Office of the Registrar.

IV. Graduation Advisers

Q. What is a Graduation Adviser?
A. A graduation adviser is specially trained to: 1) to review the academic records of undergraduate students who have applied to graduate; 2) to determine what degree requirements have and have not been satisfied by the applicant; and 3) to determine whether or not the degree can be conferred.

Q. How do I know who my Graduation Adviser is and how do I contact him/her?
A. The graduation evaluation that is mailed to you will have the name of your graduation adviser and his/her contact information. Appointments are not necessary to speak with your graduation adviser; each graduation adviser provides convenient telephone advising to all graduation candidates.

V. The Commencement Ceremony

Q. When can I “walk” in the commencement ceremony?
A. Commencement ceremonies are held once a year at the end of the spring semester for students who graduated in December of the previous year, and candidates for May and August graduation.

Q. When will I receive information about the graduation ceremony?
A. Commencement information is available in early spring. Information will be mailed to your current address on file with the SDSU WebPortal. Commencement information is also provided on the SDSU Commencement Web site as it becomes available.

Q. Will I receive my diploma at the commencement ceremony?
A. No. Diplomas will be mailed to the diploma mailing address you indicated on your graduation application.

VI. The Diploma

Q. When will I receive my diploma?
A. Diplomas are mailed to students approximately four to six weeks after official written notification is sent to them confirming their degree has been granted.

Q. Will my minor print on my diploma?
A. No. SDSU only prints majors on the diplomas. Students who earned a minor may find the minor information on their official and unofficial SDSU transcripts.

Q. Will I receive two diplomas since I completed two majors?
A. No. Both majors will be listed on one diploma.

Q. Do honors and distinction print on my diploma?
A. Yes. Any honors and distinction you receive in your major will be printed on your diploma.

Q. What if I haven’t received my diploma and need proof that I graduated?
A. Once your degree has been granted, you can obtain transcripts that indicate your degree information. Official and unofficial transcripts are available in the SDSU WebPortal. In addition, potential employers may contact the National Student Clearinghouse at (703) 742-4200 for degree and enrollment verification.

VII. After Graduation

Q. Can I register for classes after I’ve graduated?
A. No. Graduated students will only be eligible to register for classes if the student has been admitted to SDSU as a graduate student.

Q. Will I still be able to receive a degree evaluation after I’ve graduated?
A. No. Degree evaluations are only accessible to current students.