Graduation and Commencement
Planning to Graduate Soon?
You must apply to graduate whether or not you wish to attend the commencement ceremony. You must apply for graduation early in the semester you plan to graduate. NEW: APPLY ONLINE!!!
Am I Eligible?
You are eligible to apply for graduation if you have or will complete ALL of your program’s graduation requirements including internship, comprehensive exam, product of learning, and thesis/dissertation by the end of the term.
You are responsible for making sure that you have met all of the graduation requirements for your graduate program. Your advisor's role is to assist you, but you and you alone are responsible for keeping track of your progress and making sure paperwork has been processed correctly!
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR AUGUST GRADS: Choose the term in which you will GRADUATE, not the term you will participate in the commencement ceremony. If the last semester in which you will take classes and finish all your requirements is Summer Session I or II, then you should list summer as your graduation term.
How Do I Apply?
- Apply online.
- Please also complete the graduating student survey, a link for which will be sent to you via email! The graduate school will compile summaries and provide them to the graduate programs. Your individual responses will remain anonymous unless you choose to identify yourself.
How will I know if I have Shortages? The Graduation Audit
When you apply for graduation, the Graduate Records staff (Charity and Laura) will perform a graduation "preaudit." This process checks what is left to complete on your official, approved program of study. You will receive an email to your appstate.edu account that explains what remains to be completed. More information about the graduation audit.
Once grades are posted for the semester, the Graduate Records staff (Charity and Laura) will complete a more formal audit and mail a letter to your permanent address if there remain any shortages that keep you from graduating.
The University of North Carolina requires that graduate students be enrolled for at least one credit hour during the semester in which they graduate.
If you are not enrolled during the semester in which you plan to graduate, the University will automatically enroll you for one hour of graduate research credit at the current tuition rate for one semester hour (off-campus credit to save you on fees).
Graduation Contact Information
Application to Graduate, Commencement Information
Graduation Readiness (Academic Audit)
Laura Sullivan and Charity Martinez
General Graduation and Commencement Information
The Ceremony will be held on campus in the Holmes Convocation Center. The University Registrar's commencement website lists the official information on times and locations; travel tips including area accommodations and parking; and seating information.
Rehearsal for the Ceremony: There is no rehearsal for commencement. You should arrive 40 minutes prior to the ceremony and gather in the area designated for your academic college. There graduates will be lined up by Graduate School staff in department order. [find deparment/college] Marshals will lead direct the graduates to their seats and direct them to the stage at the proper time in the ceremony. Depending on the number of students who come, the ceremony can take from 1.5 to 3 hours. Here is a summary of the ceremony, so you know what to expect:
- Various people bring greetings (Chancellor, Trustees, etc.)
- A speaker or media presentation will be next
- Graduates will come to the stage to be individually recognized.
You will not be able to return to where you lined up prior to the ceremony, so be sure to leave your personal items with family or be prepared to carry them with you during the ceremony. You will exit the ceremony by going up to the upper concourse area of the Holmes Center, where your family will be able to meet you.
Graduation with Honors: Two forms of recognition are standard for graduate students at the ceremony. (1) Inductees into the Cratis D. Williams Society of Outstanding Graduate Students are encouraged to wear their medallions; (2) Inductees into the Alpha Epsilon Lambda Honor Society are encouraged to wear their honor cords. Please note that there are no Latin honors (cum laude) at the graduate level.
Purchasing Regalia and Announcements: Students must wear regalia (cap, gown, hood) to participate in the commencement ceremony, unless active military, in which case uniforms are allowed. Regalia and graduation announcements are purchased through the Appalachian Bookstore. Students are encouraged to pre-order their regalia and announcements through Jostens via the web at http://college.jostens.com/jostens/?affiliateId=1052321. SELECT YOUR MAJOR CAREFULLY IN THE ONLINE FORM! The hood trim color is determined by your field of study.
Diplomas: The State of North Carolina does not allow Appalachian to release diplomas or transcripts if you have an unpaid account with the University. If you are uncertain about whether you owe money, you should contact the Student Accounts Office (262-2113), the Library (262-2818), and the Bookstore (262-3070) to inquire. If you apply online for graduation, your student account will be billed the graduation fee -- be sure that is paid as well.
If you need to change the address your diploma should be mailed to after you apply, please contact the Graduate Records staff in the Graduate School (firstname.lastname@example.org). Note: Changing your diploma address does not change any addresses in the Banner student system. Be sure to update your Banner address after graduation through your AppalNet account.
Students who finish their last classes and requirements in the summer: Students who complete their programs in the summer will have an August graduation date. The University does not have a commencement ceremony in August, so students finishing in the summer will be listed in the programs at the December commencement ceremony. However, summer graduates may choose to walk in May instead, in which case you can arrange to receive copies of the Fall commencement program from the Graduate School after the ceremony in December.