Graduation Information

Deadlines to Petition to Graduate

Graduation Petitions should be submitted to the Student Business Center by:

Summer Graduates   Last day of spring semester
Fall Graduates            Last day of summer semester
Spring Graduates      Last day of fall semester

There are several problems that can arise if you petition to graduate after the deadline:

  • You may be missing a class and have to attend an additional semester to complete it
  • Your name may not be included in the commencement program
  • You may not be able to obtain the proper regalia (cap and gown) preventing you from participating in the graduation ceremony

Pre-Graduation Checklist

Please review the following checklist of pre-graduation questions that may prevent you from receiving your degree or delay the processing of your diploma upon completion of your degree.

  • Have you or will you be completing your final degree requirements/courses?
    If you're not sure you should meet with your academic advisor or department chairperson to review and determine where you are with regards to completing your degree.

  • Do you need to have course substitutions/waivers submitted to complete degree requirements?
    If so, you should meet with your academic advisor or department chairperson to get those completed.

  • Do you have any holds on your account (Bursar, Library, Financial Aid, Dean of Students, etc...) that will delay the processing of your diploma upon completion of your degree?
    If so, please work with those offices to satisfy your obligations so your hold(s) will be removed.

How to Petition to Graduate

  1. Pick up a "Petition for Graduation" form in the Student Business Center.

  2. Complete the "Petition for Graduation" form and submit it to the Student Business Center and pay the $55 graduation fee. If you are re-petitioning for a previously denied degree, you only pay a $10 re-petition fee.

What happens after you Petition?

  • You will receive a letter from the Registrar's Office confirming your graduation petition and asking you to verify that the information is correct, usually within 5 business days.
  • Your degree audit will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar and your academic department. After these reviews, you will receive a letter detailing the results of the review and of any outstanding requirements/courses, if any, that may not be completed by the end of the term.
  • You will receive letters and important notifications regarding graduation activities such as Count Down to Commencement day and the graduation rehearsal and ceremony.


You will need to check MySSU account to see if there have been any holds placed on your record. These holds may be for any number of reasons, some of which are parking tickets, library fines, monies owed the university,etc. These holds need to be cleared by graduation time.

Course Substitutions/Waivers

You will need to make sure you have any necessary course substitution or waivers submitted by your advisor/department chairperson. These course substitutions/waivers, if required, should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid delays in the awarding of your degree.

Taking a Class at Another University During Your Final Semester or Studying Abroad

If you are taking a class at another university during your final semester or studying abroad, you need to have your official final transcript(s) sent to Shawnee State as soon as possible. If we do not have your final transcript from the other university, we cannot award your degree.

Final Grades and Final Degree Certification

Final grades are due to the Registrar's Office by noon on the Tuesday following the last day of finals. Following the final grade submission deadline, the Office of the Registrar begins reviewing and approving degrees by adding degree statements to your transcript and printing/mailing diplomas. This process can take 2-4 weeks. Calling the Registrar's office during this time can cause delays in processing.

Why is my major/concentration/minor not on my diploma?

The reason that Shawnee State University does not list your major and/or concentration on your diploma is because Universities are accredited to award Bachelor’s degrees (B.A. or B.S.) only. That is as far as the regional accreditation body's concern goes. In traditional liberal arts disciplines like history, biology, psychology, etc., the content of the area of study within that degree is entirely up to the individual college. There is usually no separate accreditation for specific subjects unless they are professional subjects that are regulated by the government and are bound by law to meet additional requirements above and beyond what the regional accrediting agency requires (for example, nursing programs answer to ACEN and teacher education to NCATE). In that case, the degree will be a named degree signifying that it meets the standards imposed by the special professional accreditation body in addition to the ones imposed by the regional accreditation body.

When you major in Biology at SSU, you do not have a Bachelor of Science in Biology. You have a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology. Your diploma will say Bachelor of Science from The College of Arts and Sciences, because that is the degree that we have the authority to confer. Your major is not part of your degree title and is not included. There is no such thing as a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree at SSU.

Contrast this with a B.S.N. When a nurse earns his/her B.S.N. from SSU, the diploma will say "Bachelor of Science in Nursing." This signifies the extra level of accreditation. This is not the equivalent of putting a major on a diploma. The nurse does not have a Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing in the same way that a biologist has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology. Rather, the nurse actually has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. That is the formal name of the degree.

Your major, concentration, and minor are denoted on your official SSU transcript.


Honors for the graduation program are based on your cumulative GPA the semester before you graduate and entitle you to wear an Honor Cord at graduation.

Official Honors denoted on your transcript and/or your diploma are based on your final cumulative GPA at the time of graduation.

Honors are determined as follows:

Cum Laude: 3.50-3.74 Cumulative GPA
Magna Cum Laude: 3.75-3.89 GPA
Summa Cum Laude: 3.90-4.0 Cumulative GPA

Graduation Ceremony

Details about the graduation ceremony can be found at

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