Make your graduation date official with these simple steps.
You’ve completed more than 90 credit hours, you’ve done well in all your courses, and the twinkle of camera lights on the commencement stage is starting to come into view. Congratulations! You are on the verge of your graduation date.
With just a few steps, you can make that date official. Here is a breakdown of what is required of prospective graduating students in order to get that diploma.
- Apply for graduation.This may seem obvious, but applying for graduation is the only way the university will be prompted to send you important announcements and requirements leading into your final semester. This includes information on purchasing your cap and gown, graduation rehearsal, and what you need to submit to gain clearance.
The Office of Admissions & Records, where seniors can apply, typically sets the deadline for applications around midterms of your second-to-last semester. Exact deadlines can be found in the most recent Course Schedule. In special cases, students may be allowed to apply in their final semester, but Admissions & Records advises students to plan ahead to ensure a smooth clearance process.
- Clear any remaining balances.
Once UOG is notified of your intention for degree completion, you will be prompted to pay any fees remaining with the Bursar’s Office and the RFK Library.
The university periodically sends out balance statements, but you can be proactive and call ahead to inquire about your status. Contacting the bursar and library provides an opportunity to discuss payment plans, too, instead of having to paying debts up front. Students under scholarships and awards can find out from the bursar how they can earn their service credits after graduation. For more information, contact the Bursar’s Office at 735-2940 or email@example.com.
Library fees as a result of overdue books, lost books, or damaged materials will also need to be paid before graduation. Call 735-2341 to inquire about your status.
- Make sure program requirements are fulfilled.Nothing puts a damper on the excitement of graduation like finding out you have a missing or incomplete course. To avoid this, Registrar Remy Cristobal says students can track their progress using the “Program Evaluation” tool on WebAdvisor but, most importantly, students should meet with their program advisors at least one semester prior to their expected graduation date.
With your advisor, confirm the following:
Degree program requirements: Ensure your courses are on track to satisfy your degree program’s requirements by graduation. Remaining classes will need to be completed over the tinalo’ or finakpo’ intersessions and your final semester. Transfer credits and course substitutions: Make sure any transferred credits or course substitutions have been approved and posted. Grade postings: Ensure a grade is posted for each course and that it’s correct. When the registrar certifies your eligibility for graduation, any “Incompletes” will be changed to an “F” or equivalent non-credit grade and used in your final GPA calculation. GPA: Students must have at least the minimum overall GPA prescribed by the particular college, which in no case is lower than 2.0, and may also need to have a 2.0 or “C” average or better in specific courses required for the major.
If you have any questions on your evaluation, email UOG’s degree evaluators in the Admissions & Records Office.
- Take the critical assessment test.Shortly after applying for graduation, you will receive an assessment test — the same type of test you took during your first semester at UOG.
This test, which is required for graduation, is intended to measure critical thinking skills, quantitative analysis skills, information literacy skills, and oral communication skills of graduating seniors.
“We don’t require students to study beforehand for this assessment, but it is better to take it early in the semester so they don’t have to worry about it later,” said Trini MacDuff, research and statistics analyst in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
She says if students wait to take the test later in the semester, they risk feeling rushed and not performing at their best. So it’s most optimal to get the assessment done before graduation stress kicks in.
- Seek career advice from professors and advisers.Once you have squared away all requirements necessary for degree completion, it is time to look ahead. Speaking with mentors on what to do after graduation can be a big boost in getting your career started.
“Your professors and advisors offer a lot of insight about the profession and how the discipline should be applied. You should keep that relationship as much as possible, even after graduating,” Santos-Bamba says.
Prior to graduating, you should also request letters of recommendation — or at least notify the intent — from your professors. Santos-Bamba says maintaining this relationship can help students get their foot in the door for the workforce.
“There is a support system in place at the university. We have counselors, advisors, administrators, and, of course, the faculty. Lean on that system,” she says.
Visit the Graduating Students webpage for the latest information.