Graduation FAQs

Question 1:  What's the difference between graduation and commencement?

The commencement ceremony is held twice a year in the spring and fall. This is a public ceremony for the conferring of degrees. No one "graduates" at commencement. Graduation occurs at the end of each term after all the requirements for the degree or certificate have been affirmed by the Registrar’s Office. You can learn more about getting ready to graduate and the ceremony itself by viewing the Commencement Ceremony Information PDF.

Question 2:  Do I have to apply or sign up for graduation?

Yes. Each term students who meet all graduation requirements for any degree or certificate program must apply to graduate and pay the intent to graduate fee to receive their EFSC degree, whether or not they plan to attend the commencement exercises. You will not receive your EFSC diploma and your degree will not be posted to your record if you do not apply for graduation.

Question 3:  Is there a charge for graduation?

Yes, the graduation processing fee is $20 per degree; after the published deadline, there is an additional late fee assessment of $20 per application. The fee must be paid at the time you submit your Intent to Graduate application. If you do not graduate in the term that you registered to graduate, you must sign up again in the term you complete your requirements and pay the fee again.

Question 4:  Do I have to sign up for the commencement ceremony?

If you’re a summer graduate, you are invited to attend the fall ceremony and should indicate "yes" for attending commencement on your Intent to Graduate application by the published summer deadline.

For spring and fall graduates, when you submit your Intent to Graduate application, be sure to indicate "yes" to attending commencement on your graduation application by the term's published application deadline

Missed it on your application? Don't worry! Just email by the published deadline and indicate you will be attending commencement.

You must indicate "yes" for commencement on the application by each term's published deadline to be eligible for guest tickets.  View more about the guest ticket process. Information is mailed to your address on record prior to the ceremony. You should view the Commencement Ceremony Information PDF for details on getting ready for commencement and the logistics on graduation day.

Guest tickets not picked up during the disbursement dates will not be held and may be released on a first-come, first-served basis at a later date.

Note: The commencement ceremony is photographed and filmed for broadcasting on social media, WEFS-TV, and the college website. By participating in commencement activities, you authorize EFSC to photograph, record, and/or broadcast your name, image, voice, and/or likeness, and expressly grant EFSC the perpetual right to use your name, image, voice, and/or likeness without compensation for any purpose in any medium. If you request that such information be confidential, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Question 5:  I am not sure if I will pass my remaining required courses for graduation this current term. Can I still apply for graduation and indicate “yes” to attending the ceremony by the posted deadline date?

Yes! To participate in the ceremony, you must apply for graduation and indicate “yes” to attending the ceremony by the posted deadline date. The commencement ceremony is a celebration for candidates and their family and friends; it does not imply requirements are met. At commencement, candidates’ names are read as they walk across the stage, receive a diploma cover, and shake the College President’s hand. Diplomas and certificates are NOT handed out at the commencement ceremonies, but mailed four to six business weeks after the commencement to all candidates who met requirements and do not have outstanding financial obligations.

Question 6:  I participated in the commencement ceremony. Does this mean I graduated?

No. The commencement ceremony is a celebration for candidates and their family and friends; it does not imply requirements are met. Degrees are posted to the student’s record after verification the student meets requirements for graduation. Diplomas and final transcripts will not be released to graduates who have financial obligations to the college.

Question 7:  How does a grade of “I-Incomplete” affect graduation?

When applying for any degree, grades of "I - Incomplete" that are received within your graduation term or remain from previous terms will hinder the graduation process. All coursework must be completed and final grades received so that a final GPA can be calculated. Degrees will not be awarded without all grades posted.

If the work cannot be completed within the intended graduation term or the student wishes to take advantage of the term allotted by the “Incomplete Grade” guidelines, then the student should defer their graduation until the term the grade has been applied to the course(s) in question.  A grade of “I” will convert to an “F” if not removed by the last class day of the next major term.

An "I" received in the term of graduation will be calculated as an "F" for purposes of computing the student's GPA for graduation if the course is not required for graduation.

If the course is required for graduation, students who receive an "I" grade in the term they apply to graduate have three weeks from the beginning of the next term to have the grade changed to meet requirements. After that time, students must reapply for graduation and repay the application fee in the term they complete the work.

Question 8:  When will I get my diploma or certificate?

Diplomas and certificates are mailed out six to eight business weeks after the beginning of the next semester. Please be sure that your address is updated and correct by logging into myEFSC in the "View/Update Address" area under Personal Information. Diplomas and final transcripts will not be released to students having any outstanding requirements or financial obligations to the college.

Question 9:  When will my transcript reflect my degree status?

Degrees will be posted to the student’s transcript as soon as possible once it is determined that the student “clears” for graduation, normally on the day of the ceremony. However, if a student has any missing grades or other requirements, the degree will not be posted until all requirements are met. Once final grades are posted, all outstanding transcripts received, transfer work evaluated, and degree requirements have been met, degrees are posted.

Question 10:  What are “honors” and how is that determined?

Students completing degree or certificate requirements with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher will graduate with honors. The cumulative GPA includes transfer work from previous institutions and all coursework completed at EFSC. Students who graduate with honors will be given a white tassel when they sign in prior to the commencement ceremony.

Question 11:  How do I get my name in the commencement program book?

All potential graduates who apply for graduation prior to the published deadline will have their names placed in the program. Summer graduates are published in the fall commencement booklet.

Question 12:  Where can I buy commencement announcement cards?

A variety of commencement announcements and other graduation supplies are available for purchase through the Campus Bookstore

Question 13:  What if I applied, but then don't graduate?

If you do not meet all of the requirements for graduation in the term you applied, you’ll receive a letter approximately one business week after the graduation date telling you why you did not graduate. You’ll need to submit a new Intent to Graduate Application  (applying online is easiest) and pay the application fee in the term you will complete your requirements. If you submit the application after the published deadline, there will be an additional $20 late fee.