Undergraduate Graduation FAQs
Do I really need to apply for graduation?
Yes. All students are required to apply for graduation. Submitting the graduation application is the only way to notify the office that you intend to graduate. You should apply prior to the application deadline listed on the main page. Applying by the deadline is necessary to ensure the student’s name is listed in the commencement program.
What if I change my degree, program(s), major(s) or minor(s) after submitting my application for graduation?
After submitting your application for graduation, you should make any changes to your graduation information and status with the Office of the Registrar.
What are these compliance emails I receive every couple of weeks?
Regularly scheduled notifications are emailed to graduation candidates and their advisors to alert you of deficiencies in your progress. The notifications will continue to be sent until the deficiency is resolved.
Can my nickname be printed on my diploma?
No, the name printed on the diploma must be your legal name on record at the university. The only time we change a name is due to a legal name change (marriage, adoption, etc.). However, using the middle name or initial is optional and you may choose to include or not include it on the diploma. Submit your name on the graduation application the exact way you want it to appear on your diploma, including accent marks, spaces and capital letters.
What name will be called at the commencement ceremony?
You are able to choose either your first or middle name preference and then your last name that will be called in the commencement ceremony when submitting your graduation application. The call name at the commencement ceremony will only be two names.
Where do I pick up my cap and gown?
If you are on the official graduation list, cap and gowns are available at the Elon campus bookstore located on Williamson Avenue in the Elon Town Center.
If I am graduating with honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude) do I get honor cords from your office?
No. You will receive a special designation on your diploma for your Latin honor achievement. If you are a member of an honor society, check with the individual society and the Elon campus shop for the possibility of honor cords.
My GPA is 3.498 will that be rounded up for honors?
Grade point averages are calculated to the thousandth’s digit. A GPA of 3.499 does not round up to a 3.500.
If my home address changes after I fill out my graduation application will my graduation application preferred mailing address be updated also?
No. If you are a graduation candidate and any information changes after submitting your application, please inform the Office of the Registrar of the change and your status as a graduation candidate.
What if an emergency comes up and I can't attend commencement, who do I tell?
Unfortunately, extenuating circumstances do arise and prevent students from attending commencement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately if this happens to you.
What if I need to change my graduation date to a later semester?
Please contact the Office of the Registrar for any changes with your anticipated graduation date after your application has been submitted.
Will my major/minor/honors appear on my diploma?
The degree awarded, major(s) and any academic Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude) will appear on your diploma. Minor(s) are listed on the academic transcript, not the diploma.
Why don't I see my second major/degree when I try to apply?
While you may have multiple majors and/or degrees, you only have one active academic program. The program showing when you apply for graduation should be your primary major/degree. This is the major which is displayed first on My Progress. This is also the program that will determine which commencement ceremony you will attend (see next FAQ). If the major/degree showing when you get ready to apply for graduation is not your primary major please have it changed by the Academic Support Office before submitting your application. Follow this link for specifics regarding two degree requirements. Additional information on multiple degrees is contained in the next FAQ.
If I have multiple degrees where will I be listed in the program (and march in the Commencement Ceremony)?
Students who are receiving multiple degrees will only have one primary major/degree throughout the graduation process. The program that is listed when you apply for graduation is your primary major/degree. This is the major/degree that will designate your order in the commencement program and the line of march.
If you have questions or would like to change your primary major, contact the Office of the Registrar directly. If you have not had yet applied for graduation, you may change your primary program information with the Academic Support Office. If you need clarification or have questions feel free to contact the Office of the Registrar.
Can I walk in the current Commencement Ceremony and complete my program requirements in a future term?
If you are one requirement or 4 semester hours or less short in meeting your graduation requirements you may qualify to participate in the upcoming commencement ceremony without officially graduating. However, all questions regarding this should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
When will my (undergraduate) degree be awarded and when can I request a transcript that will reflect the degree conferred?
Your degree is awarded and conferred the day after final grades are due. You may request a transcript reflecting your degree credentials after 5 p.m. on that day. Our transcripts are processed in real time, if you need the transcript to verify your degree awarded, do not order it prior to this time.
What is a Certified Electronic Diploma (CeDiploma) and how can I order one?
A Certified Electronic Diploma (CeDiploma) is an official, portable and verifiable electronic version of your Elon diploma. You will receive a link to download your CeDiploma within 30 days of commencement. You may also reserve your CeDiploma prior to graduation. Follow this link for more information regarding your CeDiploma.
What are the requirements for graduating with Latin honors?
Students completing at least 66 credit hours at Elon University may graduate with honors. Candidates for graduation with an average of 3.9 or above are graduated summa cum laude; those with 3.7 or above, magna cum laude; and those with 3.5 or above, cum laude. In computing eligibility for honors, only work attempted at Elon will be used.
How do I ensure my name is displayed correctly on my diploma?
You fill out the “name for diploma” field on your graduation application. We order your diploma based on what you enter, therefore, be sure to use any special characters, double check spelling etc. when submitting your application. If you change your mind after submitting your application, and wish to change a middle initial to your full middle name or remove a middle name, you must contact the Office of the Registrar.
What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
Graduation is the act of completing all program requirements so Elon can award and confer your degree. All students must submit an application for graduation and meet all final requirements in order to graduate. Commencement is the ceremony recognizing the academic achievements of each class.
What happens if I do not apply by the graduation deadline?
You must apply in person at the Registrar’s Office to determine if it is possible to add you to the current graduation cycle. Depending on how late in the graduation cycle you apply, you may be required to wait for the next available open graduation application term.
What if I am graduating but my name is not listed in the commencement program?
Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes happen and deadlines have ended. If you have met the requirements for graduation and your name is not listed in the commencement program, you still participate in the ceremony. Your name will be called and you will walk across the stage and receive your diploma. Although we realize the program is memorabilia, it is not an official validation of graduation. The legal document is the official transcript. Elon makes every effort to include all of the graduates (Fall/Winter) and Spring applicants along with projected honors in the graduation program each year and we truly regret any omissions or inaccuracies.
A hold on my account prevented the release of my diploma at commencement. The hold has been removed. How do I get my diploma?
Once you receive confirmation from the Bursar’s Office that all holds are cleared, email email@example.com from your Elon email account. Include your name, graduation term and current mailing address to request the release of your diploma. You may pick up your diploma in our office or we can send it certified mail to you.
My diploma is missing/destroyed. How can I get a replacement?
There is only one original diploma, the University does not keep copies of diplomas. To request a replacement diploma follow the instructions on our Replacement Diplomas page.