Graduation and Commencement

Completion of Degree Requirements —The Petition to Graduate

In order to be cleared for degree completion, students must file a Petition to Graduate on the student portal by the deadlines outlined in the Academic Calendar in the front of this course catalog. There are three graduation dates: Jan. 31, May 31 and Aug. 31. The effective degree date for students who complete their program requirements by the posted deadline for the fall semester and Intersession will be Jan. 31. Those who meet the deadline for May graduation will receive their degree at that time and students who fulfill all requisites for their degree in the summer will have their degree recorded in their transcript effective Aug. 31.

Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement participation and program listing at the annual May ceremony are limited to graduates who have completed the degree in the previous summer, fall, or Intersession and to May candidates who met the graduation petition deadline and have completed all work for the degree prior to Commencement.

There is the following exception: Seniors graduating in August may participate in the previous May ceremony provided that they:

  1. take their remaining courses in USD’s summer sessions; and
  2. have registered (including payment) in USD’s summer sessions for their remaining courses by May 1 and have given to the registrar’s office written evidence of such completed registration. Seniors graduating in August may not take an independent study course during the summer sessions.

Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the student’s dean when there are circumstances beyond the student’s control. August graduates who wish to take courses elsewhere (after procuring the appropriate waivers) may do so, but they may not participate in the May ceremony. (Note: Summer courses taken in USD sponsored summer study abroad programs will meet the requirement for courses taken at USD.)

August graduates who wish to participate in the May Commencement ceremony should register in the spring semester prior to the May ceremony for any needed courses that are being offered at USD in the Summer Sessions immediately following Commencement. To facilitate the process of looking at the spring and summer courses together, the courses, dates, and times of USD spring semester and summer sessions offerings are made available each fall on the university’s website. Unavailability of a needed course in USD’s Summer Sessions will not be grounds for an exception to the policy on Commencement participation. All information is made available to students the previous fall to anticipate and avoid any such problems.