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Graduation and Commencement Policies

Policies, Procedures and Requirements for Graduation and Commencement.


Graduation. The process of verifying that degree requirements are met and posting the degree to the student record is called graduation.  Graduation takes place in the Office of the Registrar in the days after the conclusion of each term as professors report final grades. Graduation is processed only for students who have all requirements complete at the conclusion of the semester for which the student has applied and within the required timeline. Graduation is processed once per semester after the processing of final grades as noted on the Academic Calendar and is processed at the conclusion of Fall, Spring, and Summer only. Graduation is not processed in the middle of a semester or following J-term. The Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, or Master of Arts degree is posted for those students who have applied to graduate and who have met all degree requirements as published in the catalog

Application for Graduation. The application form must be filed electronically through Arches at least one semester before the term of graduation. Students may only change their graduation application term prior to the final term of graduation or due to a failure to meet the requirements. Rising seniors and second year graduate students are sent multiple reminders starting in the summer prior to their senior year or final graduate school year. A one-time graduation application fee is charged automatically when the student makes application through Arches. The fee is $100.00 for undergraduate and $120.00 fee for graduate students. Only students who have applied to graduate are eligible to participate in the annual commencement ceremony in May and receive their degree. All students will be charged a graduation and commencement fee regardless of their attendance at the ceremony. While this is not an exhaustive list, the fee helps offset the costs of:

  • Complimentary manual graduation audit check (performed after the graduation application is complete and prior to final semester of enrollment; concerns are communicated to the student email address);
  • Cap, gown, tassel and stole (and hood, in the case of graduate students) for pick up on Senior Days (those items not picked up prior to Commencement will be returned to the manufacturer, students not attending the ceremony do not receive a cap, gown, tassel or stole);
  • Diploma covers presented at the ceremony (covers are only provided to those attending the ceremony. Those who are formally excused from attendance will not receive a cover. Covers are available for purchase for $50 in the Office of the Registrar for those not in attendance.);
  • An official commencement ceremony program;
  • Commemorative Augie "A" presented at ceremony; 
  • Official diploma noting the degree earned;
  • United States Postal Service postage for mailing of diplomas (diplomas are sent to graduates approximately four-six weeks after the annual ceremony or may be picked up in person at an earlier date if requested.);
  • A complimentary final official transcript provided with the diploma showing degree awarded and any major(s)/minor(s) earned; and
  • Free transcript processing through Arches for 30 days after graduation.

Graduation Honors. The Latin honors standards for undergraduate students have been set by the faculty as follows:                  

Cum Laude 3.500, Magna Cum Laude 3.750, Summa Cum Laude 3.900

The honors listed in the spring commencement program will reflect the grade point average at the conclusion of fall semester (the college does not round the GPA). Final honors will be posted to the student record after their final semester grades are posted. Students will see their honors on their final transcript. The college does not provide honor cords or honor stoles to any students. All candidates will receive a commemorative stole for the ceremony (see above). Graduate students are not eligible for Latin honors.

Candidates with incomplete requirements. Students who do not complete the degree requirements by the last date of the semester for the term they applied will be removed from the list once grades are posted and will be notified by email to their Augustana email account. Seniors or second year graduate students with Incomplete (I) grades will not graduate and must apply for a future term. In accordance with auditor requirements and our governing body, students who were awarded prior approval to complete requirements away or are participating in a study away experience in their final semester must have all official transcripts received in the Office of the Registrar and posted to the record by the published graduation date. Students who complete requirements between conferral dates should apply for the next graduation date. It is the responsibility of the student to complete all degree requirements and reapply for a future term by the published deadlines. A diploma replacement fee of $35 will be charged to the student account to order a new diploma.  

Delay of Graduation. The Augustana degree is designed to be a four-year degree for undergraduate students and a two-year degree for graduate students. The campus supports and resources put in place are aimed at assisting undergraduate students with a timely graduation as outlined in our pledge to students. Augustana does not counsel or recommend any student extend their time to degree completion. Therefore, there are only a few, rare situations under which a student might consider intentionally, and voluntarily, delaying their graduation. Students who are seeking to knowingly delay their graduation from Augustana should be aware of the important information as it relates to their plans and individual circumstances. Students considering this should carefully read our Intentional Delay in Graduation Guide


Commencement. The ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of all our graduating students is known as Commencement. Augustana holds one annual ceremony in May. For information about the current year, visit the Commencement webpage. While the majority of students participating in the ceremony will be spring graduates, some students participating in Commencement will have graduated during a previous term or will graduate during a future term.

Participation in Commencement. Commencement is the culminating event for you and your family, and it is expected that all qualifying students will participate in the ceremony. Students who are unable to participate may ask to be excused by contacting the Office of the Registrar. Any undergraduate or graduate student who meets the following criteria may participate in Commencement. 

  • in good academic and social standing,
  • earned at least 100 credits or graduate student who has earned at least 84 credits, and
  • has applied for spring, summer or fall graduation or who previously graduated during fall of the academic year in which the ceremony is held. 

Commencement Preparation. Senior undergraduate students and second year graduate students should watch their email for information about applying to graduate, the commencement ceremony and Senior Days. In addition to the required, college-issued gown, students may adorn their caps with tasteful, celebratory decorations and wear stoles or cords from Augustana recognized sports, clubs and organizations. All non-issued apparel is subject to review and should meet the spirit of celebration and inclusivity marked by this special event. Items deemed inappropriate will be removed.  Additional information is on the Commencement webpage.


Receiving the diploma. Candidates are presented a diploma cover at commencement. Students who have completed all degree requirements should expect their diploma in the mail within a month. Students with outstanding requirements will receive their diploma after the term in which their requirements are completed. Students not participating in the ceremony may purchase a cover following the ceremony for $50 from the Office of the Registrar.  Note: Diplomas will not be available for those with an outstanding balance in the business office.

Diplomas. The Augustana College diploma will note the student's name as it was submitted on their graduation application, the degree (Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science), any honors received and signatures of the College President and the Chair of the Board of Trustees. The diploma is a symbol of the academic accomplishment, but it is not a legal document. The legal document is the official transcript which will list a student's major(s), minor(s) along with the degree and degree date.

Diplomas and Cover Replacement. Each graduate will receive a ceremonial diploma with the chosen name as supplied and verified by the student. Augustana is not responsible for submissions with incorrect names or typos. Students seeking to obtain a replacement diploma should contact Christina Klauer to verify their identity and arrange to pay the reprinting and mailing fees. Replacement fees start at $35.00 (diplomas) and $50.00 (covers) and vary based on shipping costs. If a diploma is damaged in the mail, the student should contact Christina Klauer about returning the damaged diploma and original mailer to the college. A replacement will be provided at no cost. Please allow for 3-4 weeks for processing and shipping. 


Requesting a Transcript. Students will be mailed a complimentary final transcript with their diploma. Students needing a final official transcript sent should wait until the Thursday after graduation if they wish for the final grades and degree to be noted on the transcript. Seniors and second year graduate students will have their Augustana Arches account remain active for approximately one month. During this time, transcript requests may be made for no fee. After this time, alumni will be charged the regular fees for ordering transcripts.

Final Record. Once a student earns a degree, the record is considered final. Grade changes and enrollment adjustments will not be made unless a clerical error has occurred. No further transfer work may be posted to the record after the degree is complete. 

NOTEThe audit and reviews are provided only as planning aids. It is the responsibility of the student to report any printed error to the Office of the Registrar within the published policy deadlines. While the college make advising assistance available to every student, the responsibility for understanding and meeting degree requirements rests entirely with the student.


 updated 11.23.21

 AS&D approved