Graduation FAQ's
Created by the LSA Academic Auditors

Why do I have to apply for graduation?
In LS&A you have to apply in order to graduate; the reason for applying is to have the College officially verify that you have satisfied all the requirements for your degree. The College doesn’t graduate you automatically as soon as requirements are met because students have the right to stay longer if they wish.

What forms do I need to submit for graduation?

All students need to fill out and submit a Diploma Application (no signatures required), and all AB, BS, and BS Chem degree candidates also need to submit a Senior Concentration Release form, which requires the concentration advisor’s signature.
*Honors students use a different form, available at the Honors Office, 1330 Mason Hall.
*RC Students should apply through the RC, even if they have LS&A Concentrations.

Where do I get the forms I need to apply for graduation?

All forms can be picked up in the LS&A Advising Center, 1255 Angell Hall and in the LS&A Academic Auditors office, G255 Angell Hall.

Where do I turn in the forms once they are filled out?

All forms should be returned to the LS&A Advising Center, 1255 Angell Hall, or to the LS&A Academic Auditors Office, G255 Angell Hall.

When should I submit the forms?

In general, you should apply for graduation by submitting the necessary forms at least a month before the start of what you intend to be your final term. For example, if you expect to graduate in May, you should submit the forms by the previous December. This allows the Auditors time to send you a written audit which tells you what requirements, if any, you still need to satisfy. That way, if there are any surprises, you will still have a chance to adjust your elections for your final term. Also, the Concentration Release Form for AB, BS, and BS Chem degrees requires a signature from your concentration advisor, so you will want to make an appointment with him or her for that (and appointments get booked up pretty far in advance at the time of early registration, so plan to schedule the appointment early).

Teaching certificate candidates probably should apply two terms early since their last term might be booked up completely with student teaching. This timing would be good, too, for those whose last term will be away from UM-Ann Arbor, since there are some degree requirements which must be completed in-residence.

When is the deadline for submitting graduation paperwork?

The early deadline is the publication deadline for the Commencement Book. This deadline occurs every semester as a cut-off date for submitting paperwork and getting your name printed in the Commencement Book, for that specific semester. For example, for December Commencement, the early deadline (publication deadline) is mid-October. The deadline for May and August degree candidates (all welcome to attend the April graduation ceremony) will be at the end of February or the beginning of March, and the Academic Auditors will post the specific date on the LSA Student Academic Affairs web site as soon as the date is determined. The web address is http://www.lsa.umich.edu/saa/ (use the “Seniors” link).

What if I miss the early deadline?

If you miss this deadline you will still be able to graduate but will not get your name in the Commencement Book. The final deadline to submit graduation paperwork is the last day of classes in the term you wish to graduate. If you miss the final deadline (the last day of class in Fall or Winter term), you will have to wait until the next graduation date to graduate.

Which commencement ceremony do I attend?

There are three graduation dates every year, in May, August, and December, but only two commencement ceremonies (May and December). August graduates may participate in either the May or the December ceremonies. A Commencement Book is distributed at each ceremony, listing the names of all degree candidates.

Graduates attend the Commencement ceremony for the semester that they apply to graduate. When you submit your paperwork by the early (publication) deadline for the Fall semester, your name goes into the Commencement Book for the December Commencement ceremony, and you can get tickets for your guests to attend the December ceremony. If you submit your paperwork after the publication deadline, you can still attend the December commencement and get tickets for the ceremony, but your name will not appear in the Commencement Book.

The situation is the same for May commencement. When you submit your paperwork before the early (publication) deadline for the Winter semester, your name goes into the Commencement Book for the May Commencement ceremony, and you can get tickets for your guests to attend the May ceremony. If you submit your paperwork after the publication deadline, you can still attend the May commencement and get tickets for the ceremony, but your name will not appear in the Commencement Book.


How do I get information about the Commencement ceremony?

The University Development office distributes a Graduate's Guide to Commencement every Fall and Winter semester. This guide has all pertinent information about the ceremony that a graduate will need for attending the ceremony. The guide is mailed out by the University and is also available in the LS&A Advising Center and in the LS&A Academic Auditors office. The guide is also available on the web at http://www.umich.edu/~gradinfo/

If I won't actually graduate until August, which ceremony do I go to?

There is no Commencement ceremony in August. August degree candidates apply for August graduation, but can attend the ceremony either in the previous May or in the following December. If you apply for August graduation before the early (publication) deadline for the May ceremony, your name will be included in the May Commencement Book, in the section that lists August candidates. You can attend the May ceremony and you will also be able to get tickets for your guests to attend the ceremony. You also have the option of attending the December ceremony, your name will also appear in the December Commencement Book in the section that lists August graduates, and you can get tickets for your guests to attend the December ceremony.

I applied for December graduation but I want to attend the May ceremony. Can I do that?

The December Commencement ceremony is your ceremony as a December graduate. Your name will be printed in the Commencement Book for the December ceremony (if you apply before the early publication deadline), and you can get tickets for your guests for the December ceremony. We say that tickets for guests for a December graduate attending the May ceremony are not guaranteed because we do not control ticket distribution for the event. It is a University-wide event, not planned by LS&A. If you want more information about attending the May ceremony as a December graduate, please contact the Academic Auditors Office for details.

I will graduate in August, but I will finish my work at the end of the Spring Half-Term. Can I get proof that my degree is complete?

Students who meet degree requirements at the end of Spring will not have their degrees conferred until after the end of Summer Half. Students who have met the degree requirements but have not yet been graduated may obtain a Verification of Graduation letter from the Academic Auditors in G255 Angell Hall, after the end of Spring. When updating the records of August degree candidates at the end of Spring, and finding that all degree requirements now are complete, the Auditors will mail you this verification letter automatically. Such a letter is usually acceptable as evidence that requirements have been met and a degree will be awarded.

Do I have to see a general advisor for my senior audit?

No. The Academic Auditors will check your general requirements when you submit the forms, so in most cases you do not need an appointment with your general advisor. But if you would like meet with a general advisor before turning in your graduation paperwork, you have the option of doing that. The Academic Auditors will still check your general requirements.

How can I prove I have a degree before my degree is posted on my transcript or I receive my diploma?

When the Academic Auditors verify that all of your degree requirements are fulfilled, a Verification of Graduation letter will automatically be mailed to your permanent address. The letter is usually accepted as evidence that a degree is being awarded.

Do I have to graduate just because I have satisfied all the requirements, or can I keep taking more classes?

You are not graduated from LS&A until you ask to be graduated by submitting the necessary forms. If you want to continue beyond 120 credits, perhaps to work toward a second concentration, you may. Contact the Auditors Office for information on getting a second concentration added to your degree.

If you have any other questions about graduation, contact the Academic Auditors at G255 Angell Hall (763-3101).


Helpful Links (not maintained by LSA)

University Commencement Information
http://www.umich.edu/~gradinfo/

Diploma Information
http://www.umich.edu/~regoff/diploma.html

Transcipt Information
http://www.umich.edu/~regoff/trans.html

Yearbook information
http://www.michiganensian.com/

Alumni Association
http://www.umich.edu/~umalumni/membership/

Student Alumni Council
http://www.umich.edu/~umalumni/students/about-sac.html

Diploma Plaques
http://www.umich.edu/~photos/plaques.html

Diploma Frames
http://www.umich.edu/~photos/frames.html

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In December 2004/April 2005, the Classics Department graduated 50 students. Learn more about them and our other recent graduates!

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