UNC Charlotte Academic Policy and Procedure: Graduation

I. Executive Summary

This policy and procedure outlines applying for degrees earned and participating in commencement ceremonies.

II. Policy and Procedure Statement

Degree Audits (Graduate Only)

DegreeWorks (available via My UNC Charlotte) contains the definitive degree audit for each graduate student, based on the approved curriculum for the program. Students are encouraged to review their individual audit each semester to ensure they are making satisfactory progress towards graduation. In the term of graduation, each candidate’s DegreeWorks audit will be reviewed for accuracy by the graduate program and the Graduate School. All program requirements specified in DegreeWorks must be met before the degree or certificate will be awarded. If an audit does not appear accurate, a student should consult with the director of their graduate program to determine if an academic petition is necessary.

Application for the Degree (Undergraduate Only)

Each student must make an application for their degree no later than the filing date specified in the academic calendar. The application may be submitted through My UNC Charlotte. The diploma and transcript will reflect the term in which all requirements were completed, and the diploma will be mailed to the student’s address of record.

Application for the Degree and/or Graduate Certificate (Graduate Only)

All graduate students, including certificate students, must submit the Online Graduation Application no later than the published deadline in the term of graduation. The Online Graduation Application can be found at My UNC Charlotte under “Student Records.” Degrees and certificates are conferred at commencement exercises held at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters; however, the diploma, graduate certificate, and/or transcript will reflect the term in which all requirements were completed. Master’s diplomas and graduate certificates are mailed directly to the student after graduation clearance has been completed.

Teacher Licensure (Undergraduate or Graduate)

Students who have completed degree requirements and obtained passing scores on appropriate exit tests (e.g., Principles of Teaching and Learning, Praxis II Subject Assessments) must apply for licensure through the Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) Office in the College of Education. TEAL will process and submit application packets including Praxis scores, final transcripts, and required fees to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Licenses are mailed directly to applicants by NCDPI.

Commencement Ceremonies (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Students must participate in a commencement ceremony within their term of graduation. Undergraduate students who wish to attend commencement must attend the ceremony within their college; graduate students (including certificates) who wish to attend commencement must attend the Graduate School ceremony. All students must have a valid UNC Charlotte ID or a government issued photo ID and their UNC Charlotte ID number to participate in commencement.

Students completing their degree and/or certificate requirements in May participate in the May commencement ceremony. Students completing degrees and/or certificates in a Summer term, as well as those completing in December, participate in the December commencement ceremony.

Commencement Marshals (Undergraduate Only)

At each commencement ceremony, the University honors the juniors with the highest grade point averages by inviting them to serve as the marshals who lead the processions of graduates, faculty members, and the platform party. To select students for this honor, the University considers juniors who have completed 75 credit hours of degree work, enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours per semester) during the two most recent semesters, and are able to attend the ceremony.

III. Definitions

  • Commencement (also known as Graduation) – A formal ceremony in which the University recognizes degree candidates at the en dof each Fall and Spring semester
  • Degree – Diploma or title awarded to a student who completed a prescribed course of study.
  • Registrar – The official at the University who is responsible for maintaining student records. The Office of the Registrar plans and oversees registration, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation, graduation, a degree audit report system, and curricular records.
  • Semester or Term – A period of study, usually a third of the academic year (i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters). Fall and Spring semesters generally include a period of study of one 15-week and two 7-week half terms. The Summer semester generally includes one eleven-week and two five-week half terms. UNC Charlotte offers courses for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, as well as varying term lengths associated with each semester.  For the definition of each term refer to the Office of the Registrar.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

  • Revised: June 6, 2012 [Removed phrase “Degrees are awarded at commencement exercises held at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters.”]
  • Reviewed: January 25, 2017 [Reviewed by FAPSC under five-year review]
  • Revised: August 28, 2019 [Added information about Commencement Ceremonies attendance]
  • Revised: December 1, 2022 [Corrected incorrect definition of commencement]
  • Revised: September 13, 2023 [Replaced “Students must have completed or be on track to complete their degree requirements for the term they plan to participate in the commencement ceremony” with “Students must participate in a commencement ceremony within their term of graduation.”]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is this policy and procedure referenced?
    The policy and procedure is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website and in the Degree Requirements & Academic Policies sections of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.
  • Which students are covered under this policy and procedure?
    This policy and procedure applies to all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte.
  • What if I reach 100% of my degree requirements and have not applied to graduate?
    If all of your degree requirements have been met after commencement and the term ends, the Office of the Registrar will make every attempt to contact you using information from your student record. If no substantive reason is provided or found for continuing after fulfilling all degree requirements for your program of study, the Office of the Registrar will confer your degree.