Completion of Degree Requirements —The Petition to Graduate

In order to be cleared for degree completion, students must file a Petition to Graduate with the Graduate Records Office by the deadlines outlined in the Academic Calendar in the front of this course catalog. There are three graduation dates: January 31, May and August 31. The effective degree date for students who complete their program requirements by the posted deadline for the Fall semester and Intersession will be January 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 August 31. Deadlines for defense and submission of theses and dissertations are also listed in the Academic Calendar and must be observed.

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: Graduate students scheduled to receive their degree in the following August who have nine units or fewer of remaining work may participate if their work falls in the category of coursework, portfolio, practicum, fieldwork or student teaching, or internship. Such August graduates must take the remaining summer work at USD and they must register and pay for their remaining units in the One Stop Student Center by May 1.

Students scheduled to graduate in August whose remaining program requirements include any of the following will not be allowed to participate in the preceding May Commencement: foreign language or comprehensive exam; final project or integration paper; master’s thesis; or doctoral dissertation. August graduates whose work falls into the latter categories and all students who finish in the subsequent fall semester and Intersession may participate in Commencement the following May, at which time their names will be listed in the program.

In every case, all necessary papers and petitions must be filed prior to the deadlines specified in the Academic Calendar.

Posthumous Degree Policy

A student may be considered a candidate for a posthumous degree/honorary class membership when the following requirements are met. Posthumous degrees/honorary class membership may be awarded at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Requirements for Nomination:

1. A student must have been in good standing with the University of San Diego at the time of death. Good standing is defined as not having any of the following statuses: academic probation, academic disqualification, disciplinary suspension, or expulsion.

2. The student must have been a current student at the time of death:

  1. a.    enrolled in the current required term of a degree program if the program is in session; or
  2. b.    enrolled in the most recent required term of a degree program if the program is not in session; or
  3. c.    on an approved leave of absence.

3. Typically, a student should have completed at least 75% of degree requirements.

4. ​Eligible students who do not meet this requirement (specified in 3.) are eligible for honorary membership in their projected graduating class.

5. The department chair or program director and the dean of the School or College in which the student was enrolled must recommend the awarding of a posthumous degree/honorary class membership.

Nomination/Approval Process:

1. Any USD student, faculty or staff member, or family member can suggest a candidate be considered for a posthumous degree/honorary class membership. This request must be made in writing to the Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs (Provost). The Provost will notify the Dean of Students of any requests received.

2. The Provost (or his/her designee) will take appropriate steps to verify whether the student meets the eligibility requirements described above to be considered for a posthumous degree/honorary class membership. The Provost will notify the department chair/program director and the dean of the School or College in which the student was enrolled, and the Dean of Students, of the student’s nomination for the posthumous degree/honorary class membership.

3. The department chair or program director and dean of the School or College in which the student was enrolled makes the formal recommendation of the candidate for a posthumous degree/honorary class membership in the form of a written request to the Provost. The request must include the name of the student, the degree/program/honorary class membership to be awarded, and the recommended semester for degree/honorary class membership conferral.

4. If approved by the Provost:

  1. a.    The Provost will notify appropriate university personnel (e.g., the Registrar, commencement coordinator, and the Dean of Students).
  2. b.    The Dean of Students will inform the immediate family of the university’s decision and desire to recognize the student (this process will be kept confidential until and unless approved at all levels). If the family desires to represent the student and receive the diploma at a commencement ceremony, this must be relayed to the commencement coordinator for planning purposes. If the family does not wish to attend the commencement ceremony, the diploma will be mailed to the requested address.

5. A posthumous degree/honorary class membership notation will be printed next to the student’s name in the commencement program. If the family chooses not to participate, this award will still be read during the ceremony unless explicitly requested otherwise by the family. Example: Jane M. Doe – Awarded Posthumously / Jane M. Doe – Honorary Class Member

Transcripts, Academic Records and Diplomas

The transcript is the official, chronological record of the student’s credit and grades. It is maintained and distributed by the Registrar in Founders Hall, Room 117. See table of fees for transcript cost. See instructions for requesting transcripts.

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS/U-achieve) is a list of requirements for each student’s degree program and the courses that have been taken to meet its requirements. It is designed to keep students updated on their academic progress and to let them know if waived or transferred courses have been approved and processed. Students may access their degree audit using their email login at USD’s MySanDiego portal.

The diploma is issued by the Office of the Registrar to students who have petitioned to graduate and have been cleared for degree completion by the program, chair/director, the Registrar’s Office and by other pertinent offices on campus. The diploma will be sent after the term in which requirements are completed. Diplomas for January and August graduates will be ordered at the end of the month of their respective terms (e.g. January 31 and August 31) and only after final requirements have been submitted.

Transcripts and diplomas will not be released to students who have an outstanding balance with Student Accounts.