Frequently Asked Questions for Students

What's the difference between Commencement & Graduation?

Please remember that commencement is different from the actual graduation process.

  • COMMENCEMENT refers to the ceremony, officiated by the President of the University, which is an opportunity for the students to share the excitement and importance of their academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the University, senior administration, faculty and staff to pay special tribute to students for the outstanding efforts they have shown in earning their degrees.
  • GRADUATION is a four-step process consisting of submitting a graduation application, completing all academic requirements for your degree, updating your address, and settling all financial obligations.

IMPORTANT: Participation in the commencement ceremony is not a guarantee or an indication of degree completion. To officially graduate from NDSU, students must satisfy all university, college, and departmental requirements for the specific degree.

Your degree becomes official when it is posted to your transcript, not by your participation in commencement exercises. Your degree will be posted to your transcript once all requirements are complete. Your diploma will be mailed to your 'Mailing' address as listed in Campus Connection 4-6 weeks after the degree is posted (see the Updating Your Contact Information help page for information on updating your address). For more information on the graduation process, please contact the Office of Registration and Records.

When will I receive information about Commencement?

How do I obtain a cap and gown for the ceremony?

How do I find out about lodging information for my guests?

How long will the ceremony last?

Each ceremony is expected to be approximately 2 hours.

My name is spelled incorrectly in Campus Connection. What should I do?

  • Complete the official Name Change Form and provide proper documentation as described at the top of the form. Return it to Ceres 110 as soon as possible.

When will I get my diploma?

  • Diplomas are mailed 4-6 weeks following the close of the academic session in which graduation requirements have been completed. Your diploma will be mailed to your 'mailing' address in Campus Connection. You can review or update this address through Campus Connection(Click on the Profile tile and select Addresses). Degrees will be posted to academic transcripts approximately three weeks following the close of the semester.

What if I need to change my graduation date to a later semester?

What are the requirements for "Graduating with Honor"?

Graduation with honor applies only to baccalaureate degrees. Candidates who have earned a minimum of 60 credits in residence at NDSU and a minimum institutional grade point average of 3.50 will graduate with honor. All final grades on the NDSU academic record will be included in grade point average calculations for graduating with honor. Students who meet these academic criteria will graduate according to one of the following honor levels:

Summa Cum Laudeequal to or greater than 3.90
Magna Cum Laudeequal to or greater than 3.70 and less than 3.90
Cum Laudeequal to or greater than 3.50 and less than 3.70

How am I recognized for "Graduation with Honor" at the ceremony?

Approved honor decorations

For questions regarding graduation requirements, including degree progress and academic honors, contact your Degree and Records Analyst (Undergraduate students) or the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies (Graduate students).

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