Commencement (Graduation) Ceremony

Apply for Graduation

photo of graduates at commencement

Information about Applying for Graduation

There is a difference between the terms graduation and commencement.  Graduating means to have a degree (or certificate or microcredential) awarded to your academic record.  The academic credential will appear on your official transcript and you will receive either a diploma, certificate, or electronic badge - depending on the type of academic credential earned.

Commencement refers to the ceremony that takes place to celebrate the earning of a degree. Attending commencement is optional, but encouraged, and is open to all degree candidates.  Those students earning only a certificate or microcredential do not participate in the commencement ceremony.  Participating in a commencement ceremony is not proof of graduation, as final grades and final graduation reviews are not conducted until after the commencement ceremony.

All students must fill out a graduation application to have a degree conferred (awarded), even if they do not plan to attend a commencement ceremony.  Applying for graduation (to earn a degree) is different from applying to attend a commencement ceremony.  

When to Apply for Graduation

To ensure that all degree requirements are in progress, students should apply for graduation during the semester PRIOR to the one they plan to complete degree requirements but AFTER they have enrolled in their final semester requirements.  Lake Campus and Graduate students may apply for graduation anytime after the application is available.  The dates that graduation applications open are posted on the Academic Calendar.  Undergraduate students at the Dayton campus, must first get approval from their academic advisors to apply for graduation.  

It is not recommend that students wait until their final semester to apply for graduation, as it is then too late to make any needed schedule adjustments.

How to Apply

  1. Register for your final semester of classes.
  2. Check your degree audit in WINGS Express to make sure that all requirements show as in progress.
  3. Undergraduate Dayton Students only: contact your assigned academic advisor and request a graduation review.  Once your academic advisor has confirmed that you are eligible to graduate, they will give you access to the graduation application.
  4. Complete the online Graduation Application in WINGS Express.  Select the program for which you wish to apply to graduate.  If you are earning more than one credential in the same semester, you must fill out an application for each degree.
  5. In the Graduation Application, indicate whether you will attend the commencement ceremony. You have until 5 weeks prior to the ceremony to change this information. 

Graduation and Commencement Deadlines

Most academic credentials will be awarded within three weeks after the commencement ceremony.  At this time, they will show on your official academic transcript.  Paper diplomas and certificates are not printed until approximately 6 weeks after the ceremony.  Once available students will have one week to pick up diplomas/certificates in Enrollment Services, after which time the remaining will be mailed to your diploma mailing address.  Students may update their diploma mailing address in WINGS Express.

Summer Semester 2024
Event Date
Undergraduate and Graduate Deadline to Apply for Graduation Friday, May 31, 2024
Diplomas Mailed Wednesday, September 25, 2024