Students are required to attend the commencement ceremony for the award of the degree in person except by decision of the University not to do so. A student who expects to have a degree awarded at the spring commencement may request absentia status from the graduation ceremony by explaining in writing the circumstance which prevents participation. Students who have a degree application on file and anticipate summer completion of degree requirements are also expected to participate in the spring graduation ceremony. Students in schools other than the School of Professional and Continuing Studies who expect to complete degree requirements in December may participate in the spring commencement either prior to or following their December completion. December School of Professional and Continuing Studies and January Law School degree candidates are expected to participate in the graduation ceremony the May following degree completion. If a winter or summer degree candidate does not intend to participate in the ceremony a written statement requesting absentia must be submitted. The request for absentia must be received by the University Registrar no later than eight working days before the ceremony. The registrar will notify the degree candidate of the status granted by the University. Unless approved for absentia status a candidate for graduation who does not participate in the commencement ceremony does not graduate. Such candidate may graduate by again filing a degree application and by following the appropriate graduation attendance policy.

August degrees are conferred as of the date specified in the academic calendar, and diplomas are mailed to those qualified. December degrees are conferred as of the date specified in the academic calendar. Diplomas for December graduates are mailed to students who have previously participated in the commencement ceremony. Those who will be participating in a future ceremony will receive their diploma at that time.

Note: No degree is conferred if the student's responsibilities to the University have not been met. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, such matters as the payment of fees, parking fines and library fines, and the return of library books.