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Graduation Policies and Timeline

There are two graduation ceremonies held at the University of the Incarnate Word annually: one in December and one in May. It is the policy of the University that you either must have completed all of your degree requirements before participating in the ceremony or you must be enrolled in the last one or two classes needed for degree completion in the term that graduation occurs.

  • Every student must apply to graduate. Your academic record is then audited to determine whether you have or will have completed all the required courses by the time you want to graduate.
  • Complete a Graduation Application at the start of your Senior year when you have approximately 27 - 30 credits remaining. This will allow plenty of time to schedule the course needed for graduation.
  • Applications will not be accepted from students who have not completed and have not documented their 45 hours of community service work.
  • December Graduation: If you complete your course work in Summer I, Summer II, Fall I or Fall II, you are eligible to participate in the December graduation ceremony. You must apply to graduate by the preceding May 1.
  • May Graduation: If you complete your course work in Spring I or Spring II, you are eligible to participate in the May graduation ceremony. You must apply to graduate by the preceding date of October 1.
  • Your transcript will have your degree completion noted as the last day of the last term in which you took course work. Your graduation diploma will be dated the same.
  • If you do not want to participate in one of the graduation ceremonies, your degree will be posted the last day of the term you completed your course work. After that, your diploma will be sent to you at the beginning of September, or the end of May or December.

Learn more about graduation:

Graduation Audit Reminders

  • A $50.00 graduation fee will be assessed to all applicants for graduation to cover administrative costs of graduation
  • Applications received after the posted filing deadline will result in a late fee (refer to deadlines and fees pages) and will not guarantee a timely review of your file. Filing deadlines are:
    • December Graduation May 1*
    • May Graduation October 1*
    • August Graduation February 1*

Visit and click on "Graduation Dates and Deadlines" to learn more about fees for applications received after the deadline

*If filing deadline falls on a weekend/holiday, the deadline is the preceding Friday.

  • You are responsible for notifying the Registrar's Office of your change of address or a change in your plans to graduate. Failure to do so will result in the re-assessment of the graduation fee.
  • The deadline for changing your graduation date is the last day for registering/adding classes for the semester during which you plan to graduate. A change of graduation form is required to change to graduation date to another conferral period.
  • All official transcripts must be on file in the Registrar's Office before your audit will begin.
  • All course substitution/waiver forms (where applicable) must be on file in the Registrar's Office before you apply to graduate or be attached to the application for graduation.
  • Courses in which incomplete grades were previously assigned must be completed by the last day to register/add for the semester during which you plan to graduate.
  • You cannot receive a grade of "D", "F", or "IP" in your major, minor, concentration, specialization, or teaching field. Receiving such grade will change your date of graduation to the next conferral period A change of conferral period will result in the re-assessment of the graduation fee.
  • Community Service hours must be completed and documented in the Registrar's Office before you apply to graduate or be attached to the application for graduation.
  • You must register for and remain enrolled in all required courses necessary for graduation during semester in which you intend to graduate. You cannot receive a grade of "W" in courses used to satisfy degree requirements. Receiving such grade will change your date of graduation to the next conferral period.
  • Students completing degree requirements during the summer participate in the December ceremonies.
  • Transcripts or test scores for courses taken at other institutions during the final semester of enrollment must be in the Registrar's Office at UIW no later than two weeks after the end of the semester. Transcripts received beyond this deadline will result in a change of graduation date.
  • Your account balance in the Business Office must be clear and all holds removed before you begin final exams during your final semester or you will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremonies.
  • If you do not graduate as intended and a diploma has been ordered for you, you will be assessed a $25.00 fee to replace the diploma that was not awarded.

Graduation Application Information

Graduation is a significant period in your life and the life of the University and we want to eliminate as many obstacles as possible. A packet was prepared to assist you through the application process and provide all pertinent information for you. Your attention to the detail required in this process will enhance the Commencement experience and ease frustrations greatly. Contact your Academic Advisor to receive your Graduation Packet.

You are responsible for knowing the information in the packet and for knowing important deadlines so please read everything carefully when you receive it. Additionally, you will receive documents from the Registrar's Office and will be required to respond to problems or requests for information by a deadline noted in the documentation. Because we must have accurate information from you by deadlines established to plan for Commencement and to confer your degree, the deadlines noted in this packet and in documents mailed to you are not negotiable.

The number of tickets you receive for attendance at Commencement is dependent upon everyone responding to requests for information according to deadlines noted, regardless of whether you are attending the ceremony or not. Therefore, we ask that you review all deadlines for the period during which you will graduate and return all forms on time. As you will see on the deadlines that will be enclosed in your Graduation Packet, the fee for not responding according to stated deadlines increases substantially and the number of tickets you receive for Commencement also diminishes if your application is late.

We ask that you keep your address and phone numbers with our office updated should we need to reach you pertaining to your graduation status. Please read everything thoroughly and respond to requests immediately. Please refer to the checklist contained in the packet that identifies what forms must accompany the Application for Graduation. The Application for Graduation is considered incomplete without the required accompanying documentation. Upon their application, all students are charged a $50.00 fee, which covers the cost of all activities related to Commencement. This fee is non-refundable and will be billed to your account.

Upon receipt of your Application for Graduation, your academic advisor will conduct a degree audit to determine your eligibility to graduate during the conferral period you indicate. Your paperwork is then sent to the Registrar for a final audit and you and your advisor will be sent a copy of the audit. If there are deficiencies noted in the review of your academic file, you must meet with your advisor to resolve those deficiencies. All deficiencies must be resolved by the date noted in your audit or you will be removed from candidacy for graduation. If, after receipt of your graduation audit, you and your advisor determine you need to change your date of graduation or change your degree, major, or any other information, please complete the Change of Graduation Information Form and return that form to the Registrar's Office.

A word of caution: many students wait until their final semester to complete their Community Service Hours only to discover that they cannot complete the requirement with all of the other demands for their time. We have several students every semester that must change their date of graduation because they cannot complete the work by the deadline. Additionally, we have many students who completed all of their required courses but did not complete their Community Service requirements and did not graduate from the University. Complete your requirement early and attach the documentation to your application for graduation.

Learn more about graduation: 


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