Graduation

Students at graduation

 

Students must apply for graduation to receive a degree and their diploma. Degrees are awarded at the end of each semester (Spring, Summer and Fall) but only to those students who have applied for graduation and clear final check after grades are submitted. 

Once you apply for graduation make sure you pay special attention to any emails that come from graduation@wcu.edu. Status updates, reminders, ceremony & line-up specific information will be sent from this email address. This is also the email address that you should use to communicate with the Registrar’s Office about any graduation concerns.

Applying to Graduate

Am I eligible to apply to graduate?

Undergraduate students must have a cumulative total of 84 earned hours and graduate students must have 15 earned hours.

How do I apply for graduation?

The graduation application is available in your MyWCU.

When is the deadline to apply for graduation?

Dates and Deadlines*
Fall Candidates March through mid-Sept
Spring Candidates October through mid-January
Summer Candidates October through June
* See academic calendar for actual deadlines.

What if I missed the deadline to apply for Gradation?

Apply for graduation for the following term. You will receive an automatic confirmation e-mail and will need to respond to that e-mail requesting to change your term.

Commencement Information

When is Commencement?

All Doctoral and Masters Candidates Saturday, December 17, 2016
Line-up at 12:00 noon
Ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m.
Location: Ramsey Center
All Undergraduate and Honors College Candidates           Saturday, December 17, 2016
Line-up at 12:00 noon
Ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m.
Location: Ramsey Center

  

Do I have to walk at Commencement?

Participation at commencement is an expectation of all students. If you will not be participating in commencement, please e-mail graduation@wcu.edu or call (828) 227 - 7216.

Do I need tickets for my guests?

WCU’s commencement ceremonies are un-ticketed events. Guests should plan to arrive early. Doors will open approximately one hour prior to the ceremony. Shuttle services will be available throughout campus.

Where can I find Information for Guests about Parking & Area Lodging?

  • Arrive early at The Ramsey Center. On campus shuttle services will be available. Traffic patterns and parking maps vary from commencement to commencement. Click here for the latest map!
  • Make your hotel reservations in advance! For a list of area accommodations, call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at (828) 586 – 2155 or (800) 962 – 1911, or visit http://www.mountainlovers.com/. For additional information on places to stay, visit http://www.visitsmokies.org.

What if special accommodations are needed?

Graduating students needing disability related accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services, (828) 227 – 3886. Some accommodations, such as sign language interpreting, require lead time to arrange, so please make requests as early as possible.

When and where do I purchase my cap, gown and mortarboard & tassel?

Effective Fall 2016, undergraduates will be in purple robes. Master’s Candidates are required to purchase a Master’s Hood. You may purchase your cap, gown and mortarboard & tassel from the WCU Bookstore. For best selection, please purchase your regalia early in your graduating semester.

Can I wear cords, stoles pins, and other graduation regalia to Commencement?

Cords, stoles, pins and other graduation regalia indicating membership or participation in a recognized student organization or honor society and which is distributed to you by an approved student organization or honor society sponsor may be worn at Commencement. It is your responsibility to procure the regalia in advance and bring it with you to Commencement. This type of regalia is not distributed on Commencement Day or at the Commencement Ceremony.

How do I know if I am walking with Latin honors?

  • Official final grades for the graduating semester are not available until after commencement. Walking with Latin honors is calculated based on your previous semester cumulative GPA. Students who graduate with Latin honors will receive a gold cord to wear during the commencement ceremony. Latin honors GPA determinations are as follows:
    Cum Laude – 3.5 – 3.69
    Magna Cum Laude – 3.7 – 3.89
    Summa Cum Laude – 3.9 – 4.0
  • Graduate students are not eligible for Latin honors.

Where do I get Latin Honors Cords?

You will receive an e-mail with instructions for picking up your Latin honors cords. Please pay special attention to any e-mails from graduation@wcu.edu.

What if I am in the Honors College?

  • Students graduating from the Honors College are seated together during commencement and therefore process before other undergraduate students. Honors College graduates are recognized separately in the commencement bulletin and receive an Honors diploma.
  • Students in the Honors College who complete the Honors College Degree requirements should display their Honors College Medallion during commencement.

Where will I get my Honors College Medallion?

The Honors College medallion is distributed by The Honors College at a medallion ceremony held at the end of the semester. Students who will not attend the medallion ceremony should contact The Honors College to arrange receipt in advance of commencement. Medallions are not distributed on commencement day.

Will there be a photographer at Commencement?

As each graduate is handed his or her diploma, a picture will be taken by a professional photographer. You will receive an e-mail from the photographer with a link to their website and instructions to view your graduation photograph. Additionally, a free color proof will be mailed to your permanent address and you will have the opportunity to purchase your color prints however, you are under no obligation to purchase these prints. If you do not receive a proof within a week of the ceremony, please contact info@photospecialities.com or call 800. 722.7033.

Can I walk in the May commencement even though I have to take a summer class to graduate?

Students must complete all requirements for commencement by the end of the graduating term. For this reason, students enrolled in summer courses would be considered for summer conferral.

What should I expect the ‘day of’ Commencement?

  • Arrive at least 1 hour before your commencement ceremony. Doors open 2 hours before commencement.
  • Follow the signs to the auxiliary gym at the Ramsey Center. Do not bring personal items as there is no place for you to store them and you will not return to the auxiliary gym.
  • Pick up your line-up card. Your line-up card will include your name and your student ID number.

When will I receive my diploma?

  • Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on your graduation application. If this address has changed, you must notify graduation@wcu.edu to get your address updated. Updating your address in MyWCU will not change your diploma mailing address.
  • Students will receive a Western Carolina University diploma cover on stage at the commencement ceremony. Diplomas will be ordered at two intervals after the degree conferral process. The diploma will be mailed directly to your permanent address. Additionally, you will receive via catamount e-mail notification that your diploma has been mailed. Please note: If you did not participate in the ceremony and need a cover, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (828) 227 – 7216 or graduation@wcu.edu. If you have not received a diploma or if yours is received damaged, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (828) 227 – 7216 or graduation@wcu.edu.

Has my degree been awarded?

You can verify the status of your degree by looking at your web transcript in MyWCU. When awarded, your web transcript will include information about your degree, including a conferral date. You will also receive an e-mail to your catamount e-mail when your degree has been conferred.

Did I graduate when I walked across the stage at commencement?

  • Please be reminded that attending the commencement ceremony does not mean that you have graduated. The conferral process is when we officially award your degree. This process will begin after final grading. Please generate a new degree audit through MyWCU and review carefully! Degree candidates with BLUE audits will be cleared and their degree conferred. Degree candidates with RED audits will need to actively work with their advisor(s)/department head(s) to resolve any outstanding requirements.
  • Degree candidates who do not clear outstanding requirements by the conferral deadline will be notified by certified letter and administratively moved to the next conferral. Please confer with your advisor(s)/department head(s) on your remaining requirements.

How will transfer work impact graduation?

  • If you are completing transfer work in your final semester, you should have completed a transient permission form and submitted this form to the Registrar’s Office for approval.
  • Be sure to submit your final transcript to WCU after your grades have been posted. WCU does not award transfer credits from any source other than the official transcript.

How will study abroad coursework impact graduation?

  • If you have completed any study abroad coursework, please make certain that you have filled out all necessary paperwork with the Office of International Programs and Services.
  • Not all institutions follow the same academic calendar and some International universities only print transcripts at certain times during the year. Please ensure that your international transcript will arrive at WCU in time to be processed for your conferral. 
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