Graduation FAQs and Answers

How and when do I apply for graduation?


You must set up an appointment with your Major Advisor to go over your program and determine when you will be ready to apply. Then you may fill out the Graduation Application (pdf) which must be approved by your Advisor and the Department Chair for each of your Major(s) or Minor(s):

Applications without Advisor and Department Chair signatures cannot be processed.

Graduate Students:

Must submit the Master's Degree Graduation Application (pdf).

Please refer to the Graduate Studies website.

We have three Graduation terms Spring, Summer, and Fall. Actual graduation dates vary each year but are generally in May, August, and December respectively. Application deadlines are posted on the graduation website.

How do I know if I'm ready to Graduate?

Your ARR (Academic Requirements Report) will show you which requirements are remaining. Anything with a red square next to it means a graduation deficiency. It is your responsibility to ensure that your ARR is accurate; be sure to promptly report any problem to your advisor.

You may apply one year before your intended Graduation. Meet with your Major Advisor to determine when you will be ready to apply.

Will I receive confirmation that my application was received?

You will receive an email shortly after your graduation application has been entered into our online Student Information System. This will be the only notification you may receive, so please read it carefully.

How will I know if my Graduation Application has been accepted?

Once your Graduation Application is received and entered, you will be able to view your planned graduation date on your ARR (Academic Requirements Report). You must refer to your ARR to ensure that your graduation requirements are completed by your planned graduation date. See dates on the Graduation homepage

You will not be cleared for graduation if there are any outstanding requirements showing in RED or any incomplete coursework showing in YELLOW. You can access your ARR on your Online Student Center. See reading ARR instructions.

My advisor approved a different course(s) for my Major/Minor requirements. Why is it showing up as an outstanding requirement on my ARR?

If substituting courses for a Major or Minor, you must file a Major/Minor Course Substitution form approved by your department to correct your ARR substitution (pdf).

Please Note: Course Substitution forms are for Major or Minor requirements ONLY. GE and other degree requirements must be petitioned by using the GE Sub Petition or the General Petition.

Is there a fee to apply for graduation?

At this time, there is no fee to file a graduation application. If you plan on participating in the commencement ceremony, you may obtain regalia, invitations, etc. through the SSU Bookstore. See Bookstore for prices.

Can I participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

Yes, however Commencement is only a ceremony and is not the same as graduating from SSU. You will officially graduate after the term has ended and only if ALL degree requirements were completed in time.

If you have not met all degree requirements by your planned graduation date, you must postpone your graduation date by submitting the Graduation Changes Form (pdf).

See the official Commencement website for details (site is updated by University Affairs in the Spring).

The May Commencement book includes students graduating in the previous Fall, and those who have applied for Spring or Summer. If you are graduating the fall AFTER that year's commencement, your name will appear in the following May's Commencement Book.

How will I know when I have officially graduated?

Once your degree has been awarded, your ARR (Academic Requirements Report) will say Degree Awarded under Graduation Status. For official verification of your degree, you may request an official transcript. Once your requirements are completed and your degree is posted, your transcript will show your Degree conferment date. For more information on requesting and reading transcripts.

Can I graduate with an INCOMPLETE?

No one can graduate with an INCOMPLETE grade on their record. You may postpone your graduation to the semester in which your requirements will be completed.

Can I apply to graduate from Sonoma State University even if I am no longer a student there?

Yes, if you meet all requirements including the minimum residency requirements listed in the SSU Catalog under Degree Requirements. The graduation process for applicants who are no longer current students includes but is not limited to:

How do I know if I qualify for Honors?

To qualify for Honors, your SSU AND Overall GPA's must meet the minimum of 3.50 and you must have completed at least 45 letter-graded units in residence at SSU.

Honors will be noted on the official transcript and on your diploma. Both Your final SSU AND your Overall GPA's must be at least:

  • 3.50 for Cum Laude
  • 3.75 for Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.90 for Summa Cum Laude

Please Note: Honors are not awarded for Graduate/Postbaccalaureate degrees.

Why wasn't I on the honors list when I went to the bookstore to purchase honors cords?

Every Spring, the University prepares a tentative honors list for designating potential honors for all undergraduate graduation applicants who have completed 45 letter-graded units in residence at SSU at the time the list is prepared. This list will be used to publish the honors designations in the Commencement Book.

Can I take courses after I graduate to improve my GPA?

No. Once your bachelor's degree has been awarded, your undergraduate record is closed and no further changes can be made.

IMPORTANT: If you plan on taking courses at another institution during your final semester, you must notify your Graduation Specialist in writing to prevent posting of your degree before your undergraduate record is complete. If your official transcript is not received in time, you must postpone your graduation.

Click here to find your Graduation Specialist by your last name.

How long does it take to receive my diploma?

Diplomas will are mailed approximately 2 to 3 months after the term has ended. They are printed in large batches and mailed in alphabetical order. Generally, we begin awarding degrees three to four weeks after grades for your final term have been posted. Official confirmation of your degree will be posted on your official transcripts (pdf) and will be available as soon as your degree is awarded.

I have lost my diploma; how do I order a new copy?

You may download the Diploma Re-Issue Request (pdf).

Can I graduate if I have a HOLD on my account?

Provided all requirements are completed by your planned graduation date, your degree will be awarded. HOWEVER, if you have a hold on your account your diploma and transcripts will not be released and you will not be able to get official confirmation of your degree.

The University reserves the right to withhold issuing the transcript or diploma of any student not in good financial standing with the University (This includes holds for keys and outstanding balance). Contact the Seawolf Service Center to make a payment on your account.