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Graduation Debunked

By Josefina Gutierrez
On February 14, 2011

  • Commencement 101. Photo courtesy of the Office of the University Registrar

In a recent article, some students shared their feelings and lack of knowledge concerning the graduation process. Hopefully, the following explanation of the process, and the changes in store for it, are helpful.  

According to Oscar Reyna, a member of the Office of the University Registrar, the process begins with students submitting their completed graduation application to the office.

The application requires the completion of a degree audit-- a process by which students learn what requirements they have met and which ones are still pending. Students can obtain this audit in two ways.

The first way is by making a degree audit appointment with the Registrar's office. The second way is for students to complete their own degree audit, through the Degree Evaluation option available on Uconnect.

 From there, the application is reviewed by the office personnel. Once the semester is over, there is a final checkout process that verifies whether all the degree requirements have been met by the student.

Concerning the Registrar's availability of deadline dates for the graduation application, Reyna mentions, "graduation application deadlines are posted online in the academic calendar, on the university portal (Uconnect), posted as signs in all buildings across campus, and sent out as announcements via the portal as well."

  As far as some students' suggestions to help streamline the process of filling for graduation, the current process was not always the one used and is constantly changing. 

"Over the last few years, we have made changes to the current process that have been beneficial to the student and to those involved with the planning of the graduation process and graduation events-- deadlines used to be much earlier and there was no opportunity for late applications," states Reyna.

Students now have the opportunity to apply later for graduation every semester. Students applying for graduation this semester (Spring 2011) can apply late until March 16th.

"This is well past mid semester. I think you'll agree that this is a very generous deadline," states Reyna. "The deadlines are set to allow our students as much flexibility as possible and still allow the university sufficient time for the planning of all the events that come with graduation such as Graduation Fair, Graduation Hooding/Cording Ceremonies, Commencement Rehearsal and the actual Commencement Ceremonies," Reyna continues.

For those students due to graduate in May, Reyna suggests closely monitoring their grades during their final semester.

If a student is not passing a course, faculty members are requested to submit his/her name the week of graduation. This student is then contacted by the Office of the University Registrar and removed from the list of graduation candidates.

A graduation tip by Reyna is constant communication with faculty members and accurate reviews of degree requirements.

Future graduates, worry not. Changes are in progress in the Office of the University Registrar that will help streamline the registration and graduation process.

A new degree audit software called DegreeWorks is currently being implemented by the Office of the University Registrar. This program will be more user friendly for anyone wanting to review a degree audit for registration/graduation.

"The software will also allow course forecasting opportunities for semester course scheduling and reports that will allow us to identify students who are "x" hours away from meeting graduation requirements," mentions Reyna. "This is a great tool that will allow us to send out reminders/invitations to students to apply for graduation. This is something we currently do not have the ability to do and something we are very excited about," he adds. 

For more information, students may contact the Office of the University Registrar located in the University Success Center room 121.

(Josefina Gutierrez may be reached at

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