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FAQ’s

1. What is the difference between commencement and graduation?
Graduation is the official confirmation in the College’s records that all degree requirements have been met and the diploma has been conferred. Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates your graduation. Just because you attended the Commencement ceremony does not mean that you have graduated.

2. If I complete my degree requirements, will I automatically graduate?
In order to graduate and receive an Associates Degree or Certificate from the college, you must apply, even if you are not planning to attend the Commencement Ceremony.

3. How do I apply to graduate?
Complete the Graduation Application and submit it to the Bursar’s Office with the appropriate fee.

4. When do I have to apply?
You should apply before the beginning of what you expect will be your last semester of enrollment, so as to be certain the courses you are taking are sufficient to meet requirements.
Application deadlines are:
o March 1st for May graduation
o July 1st for August graduation (if anticipating participation in the commencement ceremony March 1st)
o December 15th for January graduation
*If the deadline date falls on a weekend or holiday the date will be the next business day.

5. I want to graduate in May but I still have classes to complete. Can I graduate if I did not finish all my classes?
Although you cannot officially graduate until all coursework is complete, you can participate in the May Commencement Ceremony, if you plan on completing your additional courses during our summer sessions. In order to participate in the May ceremony you must apply by March 1st and be within 7 credits from completing your degree. If you apply after March 1st or have more than 7 credits to complete your degree you will not be included in any Commencement Ceremony. We recommend that you apply and we will notify you if you are eligible to attend the ceremony.

6. How do I get my diploma?
Diplomas are mailed 4-6 weeks after the Graduation posting date. Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on your Graduation Application.

7. Do I have to attend commencement?
You do not have to attend the Commencement ceremony in order to graduate. However, it is a wonderful occasion to celebrate your achievement in the presence of your family, friends and college community.

8. Why does my diploma not show my full major?
Your diploma will only show your major not your option. For example, if your major is Liberal Arts: Psychology Option then your diploma will state Associate in Arts, Liberal Arts. Your transcript will state your option in Psychology.

9. How many guests can I invite to graduation?
There is no limit on the amount of guests you can invite to the commencement ceremony. Seating for guests is on a first come, first serve basis.

10. What should/shouldn’t I bring to the commencement ceremony?
You will need both hands free when you go up onto the stage to accept your diploma. Therefore, we recommend that you do not bring anything with you into the ceremony (including purses, cameras, phones, etc.). Please leave these items with family and friends during the ceremony.

11. Where do I get my cap and gown?
Cap and gowns are available for pickup at Grad Salute. All other regalia such as honors cords for Phi Theta Kappa, etc. need to be purchased by the student. Students should contact their honor society advisor for purchase information.

12. What if I have more questions about graduation?
For information regarding graduation and the commencement ceremony please contact Ann Bruno in the Registrar’s Office at 973-300-2214 or abruno@sussex.edu.