The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences awards master's and doctoral degrees in August, December and May, beginning in August 2018. The university conducts commencement exercises annually in mid-May.

Application for Graduate Degree

Students must apply to graduate through MyAccess (instructions below) in order to be awarded their degree. Students who wish to graduate in August or December must apply to graduate by the first working day of those months. Students who wish to graduate in May must apply to graduate by the first working day of February. Those who apply later than the first working day of February  may be cleared to graduate, but they will not have their names in the Commencement program book and their diplomas will not be available at the Commencement ceremony in May.

Dissertations, doctoral projects or theses of students whose programs require them MUST be accepted by the Graduate School no later than the first business day of May. All other degree requirements must be met by the Monday preceding May Commencement. In December, the date by which the dissertations, doctoral projects or theses must be accepted generally corresponds with the end of the exam period.

Graduation applications for students who do not meet all requirements by the deadline for the term in which they applied will be removed so that the students can submit another Application for Graduate Degree for the following academic term.

How to Apply to Graduate

  1. Login to MyAccess.
  2. From the main menu, select the Student tab
  3. Click on Student Records
  4. Click Apply to Graduate
  5. Select the appropriate program or degree
    • Dual/joint degree students will have the option of which degree they will be applying for. If a student is applying for two degrees at once (i.e. MPP/MA-ECON) the student will have to apply for each degree separately. A student may not apply for both degrees in the same graduation application.
  6. Select the month in which you want to graduate (August, December, May)*
  7. Click Continue
  8. Identify whether or not you will be attending the commencement ceremony
  9. Click Continue
  10. Select the name you want to appear on your diploma
    • It is traditional to show your full name on a diploma.
    • The Graduate Bulletin states that the name on diplomas must match the one on a student's record. If the name that appears is not the name you want on your diploma, select "new" and enter the name as you want it to appear. Note that if you enter a different name, you must submit a name change form and documentation to the Registrar's Office. If your name is not changed by the Registrar's Office within a month of your application to graduate, the name on your graduation application will be change match the one on your student record.
    • Chosen Names entered in MyAccess are not acceptable for diplomas. Please submit the name change form along with documentation to the Registrar's Office.
    • If your name has special characters such as accent marks, enter them in MyAccess. After you have completed the application to graduate, please e-mail us so that we can track the exception.
  11. Click Continue
  12. Select the address to which you want your diploma mailed. If the address you want is not currently listed, select "New" and enter the appropriate information.
  13. Verify the information you have entered. If everything is correct, click "Submit Request" to complete the process.
  14. There is no email confirmation. Instructions on viewing an existing graduation application are below.


*When applying to graduate in May, select the May 31, 2020 option. Your degree will be conferred on May 14, 15, or 16, 2020, based on your school.

Graduation Deadlines

Students must apply to graduate no later than the first business day of the month in which they intend to graduate. These also deadlines apply for students applying for a master's in passing so students should keep them in mind when submitting a Student Petition for Change to Graduate Program to the Graduate School.

Monthly Graduation Deadlines

Intended Graduation Month
Application Due Date
August 31, 2019
August 1, 2019
December 31, 2019
December 2, 2019
May 14, 15, 16, 2020
(date based on school)
May 1, 2020*

*Special deadlines for May graduates apply. Be sure to read the "Spring Graduation Deadlines" note below.
Commencement weekend is the only graduation date available for the month of May. Graduating on May 31 is not an option.


Special deadlines apply for Spring semester graduation, as noted below:

You MUST apply to graduate NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 3, 2020 if you wish to: (a) have your diploma available at the May graduation ceremony and (b) have your name and graduation information printed in the Commencement Book. This early deadline is required by the production schedules of both the diplomas and Commencement Book.

The February 3, 2020 deadline also applies for students applying for a master's in passing so these students should submit a Student Petition for Change to Graduate Program to the Graduate School by the February 3, 2020 deadline.

After February 3, 2020, you may apply to graduate up until May 1. Dissertations, doctoral projects and theses must be accepted by the Graduate School on May 1 so require earlier action. If you apply after February 3 for May graduation, you will be able to participate in the  Commencement ceremony, but your diploma MAY NOT be available at that time and your graduation information WILL NOT be printed in the 2020 Commencement Book.


All questions about graduation and other academic topics may be directed to the Graduate Student Services email account at: 


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Commencement will take place during the weekend of May 14-16, 2020. Detailed information about the May 2019 ceremony can be found on the Graduate School Commencement webpages. These pages will be updated in February 2020.

How to Check your Graduation Application (prior to graduation)

  1. Follow the instructions above to use MyAccess to go to Student Records.
  2. Click on the View Application to Graduate link.
  3. On the next screen headed Graduation Application
    • Under that heading, you will see the Request Date and confirmation that you have an "Active Application" that will be processed for the month noted in the Graduation Date in the next section.
    • Under Diploma Name, you will see the name as it will appear on your diploma
    • The heading Diploma Mailing Address, shows the address where the diploma will be sent if you are unable to come pick it up
  4. If you need to change any of this information, please email