Graduation/Degree Completion

To complete your degree you must ensure the following:

  • You must be registered in the semester in which you are intending to complete your degree;
  • You must have applied to graduate for the semester in which you intend to complete your degree;
  • You must have met the minimum degree GPA for your program.  For most programs this is 3.0;
  • You have completed all of your degree requirements so your DegreeMap record must show 100%.

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in Commencement week activities does not confirm your degree completion.  You must meet all degree requirements to be awarded your degree.

  1. Register for the semester in which you intend to graduate.  
  2. Apply to graduate for the correct program either online (for degree-seeking candidates) or use the Certificate Completion form for Graduate Certificate students.  Late applications will result in a Late Application fee.
  3. Check that your Diploma Address is correct in GWeB.  If your diploma is sent to the address of record and the diploma is either returned or lost, there will be an additional fee(s) of $25.00 to re-send and $50.00 to replace your diploma. 
  4. Successfully complete your final semester(s) at GW.  Missing or Incomplete grades will make you ineligible for graduation.
  5. Your Department will notify the Columbian College Dean’s Office that you have fulfilled all your program requirements for the degree.
  6. CCAS will verify that you have satisfied all College requirements for the degree.
  7. Verify that there are no holds on your student account.  A hold may mean the mailing of your diploma will be postponed or prevented. 
  8. If you have successfully completed your program and met all requirements, CCAS will issue a letter congratulating you on your successful completion of the program and verify that we have recommended you for conferral of the degree.
  9. The Office of the Registrar will mail your diploma to the Diploma Address on file approximately 6-8 weeks following the conferral date. 

Students must be registered for the semester, and must complete all degree requirements by the last day of final examinations for that semester or summer session. Candidates for doctoral degrees may have earlier deadlines for completion of their degree requirements and should verify the submission date with their department.

Check the Registrar's website for deadlines.

Once your degree is conferred, Graduation Services will order your diploma, delivery of which may take an additional 6-8 weeks following degree conferral. If your diploma address will change after graduation, you must update your address via GWeb. If your diploma is sent to the address of record and the diploma is either returned or lost, there will be an additional fee(s) of $25.00 to re-send and $50.00 to replace your diploma.

If you have not received your diploma 8-12 weeks after your graduation date, please review your unofficial transcript on GWeb to see if your degree was conferred. If conferred, you must contact Graduation Services at (202) 242-6843 or [email protected] within 6 months that you have not received your diploma. After that time period you will be charged the $50.00 diploma replacement fee. 

You should also check GWeb to see if you have any holds on your account. A diploma will not be mailed if there is a financial hold of $500.00 or more. If your degree was not conferred, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at [email protected].

The diploma is only awarded under the official name of record at the time of graduation. Names cannot be changed after a degree is awarded per university policy. If you have any questions, please contact Graduation Services at (202) 242-6843 or [email protected].

Your diploma will only list the name of your degree i.e. Master of Science, and not your filed of study i.e. Biological Sciences.  

Participating in CCAS Master's Celebration and GW Commencement

The CCAS master's celebration and university commencement is held in mid-May during commencement week. To be eligible to participate, you must have applied to graduate in the Spring semester, or the preceding Summer or Fall semesters. Master’s students who have 9 or fewer credits required for the degree, and will be completing these credits in the summer following the May ceremonies, may participate in Celebration and Commencement.  Certificate students are not eligible to participate in the celebration or commencement; individual Certificate programs often hold their own Celebrations.

For example:  Celebration and Commencement in May 2020

You may participate in the celebration and commencement ceremonies only if you complete your program in Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020 or are a Master’s student with no more than 9 credits left which you will complete in Summer 2020.

You may not participate if you are completing in Fall 2020.

The CCAS Celebration is normally held on the Friday morning of commencement weekend but is subject to change. The University commencement is held on the National Mall on the Sunday of commencement weekend.  More information on the University Commencement can be found here.

Students on an F1 or J1 visa may request permission for family members to visit the United States to participate in Commencement  Weekend activities by filling out a Letter of Invitation Request.  

Participating in Doctoral Hooding

Doctoral (Ph.D. and Psy.D.) graduates are honored at the CCAS Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, usually held on the Thursday evening of commencement week in May. Doctoral students finishing in summer are not permitted to “walk through” the ceremony in the May preceding their graduation. In order to qualify for Spring graduation and attend any of the ceremonies, you must submit your approved dissertation to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) website by ETD deadline, along with all of the supporting paperwork.

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Students

Students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program who have finished all requirements with the exception of their internship may participate in the Spring Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. You must defend your dissertation and meet the University Spring ETD approval deadline. You must also complete your internship by end of Summer term. If your dissertation has not met the Spring ETD approval deadline, or your internship will not completed by end of Summer term, you are not permitted to attend the Spring ceremonies.

Professional Psychology Psy.D. Students

Students in the Psy.D. program who have finished all requirements with the exception of their internship may participate in the Spring Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. Your Major Area Paper (MAP)  must be completed and submitted by the Spring deadline, and your internship must be completed by end of Summer term. If your MAP has not met the Spring deadline, or your internship will not be completed by the end of Summer term, you are not permitted to attend the Spring ceremonies.