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  3. Graduation Policies

Graduation Policies

Policy Author:

Responsible Office – Department:

Effective Date of Policy:
Fall 2021

Policy Purpose:

Establish guidelines and procedures around graduation.

Scope and Application:


Policy Narrative:


Degrees are conferred three times each year (January 15, May 31, September 30). One Commencement ceremony is held in May and is open for participation by that year’s January and May graduates. September graduates are eligible for participation in the Commencement ceremony held in the subsequent year. A student will graduate, i.e., have the degree conferred, only when degree requirements are satisfied in full and all final grades are on record in the Registrar’s office. (Consult the academic calendar for the date when grades are due.) An Application for Degree must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar (via Self Service) by early October for prospective January degree conferrals, early February for prospective May degree conferrals, and mid-June for prospective September degree conferrals. Consult the academic calendar for the exact application due dates. Until the application is submitted, a student will not be included on the Commencement list, will not receive any Commencement related communications (email, U.S. mail), will neither have their academic record reviewed for determination of status on completion of degree requirements nor receive clearance for graduation, and will not be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony and related activities. 

Once an application is received by the Registrar’s Office, the student is added to the list of prospective graduates and their academic record will be reviewed to determine your status for graduation.

The academic records of applicants for graduation are reviewed by a degree analyst in the Registrar’s office. Evaluations begin shortly after the drop/add period for the term in which the student anticipates completing degree requirements (prospective May graduates are reviewed in the Spring semester; prospective January graduates are reviewed in the Fall semester; prospective September graduates are reviewed in the Summer). The evaluator will send notification of status for graduation to the student’s Daemen email account.


Those student required to submit an Application for Degree include:

  • Students completing any program leading to a Bachelor’s degree, BS/MS degree, Master’s degree, OR Doctoral degree
  • Athletic Training majors, Physical Therapy majors, and Physician Assistant majors who are completing the BS (to be completed at the end of the program’s Year 4 studies) portion of their program
  • MS (for Athletic Training and Physician Assistant Studies majors), or DPT students (for Physical Therapy majors) completing the portion of their program (the MS – Athletic Training, MS – Physician Assistant Studies and DPT Studies) to be completed upon conclusion of all program requirements)
Diplomas and Diploma Distribution

Diplomas will state the degree and graduation honors conferred. Completion of an honors degree program is also reflected on the diploma. Diplomas do not include the student’s major, specialization, area study, certificate(s), or minor(s).  

Students may list their name on the Application for Degree (and the diploma) as it appears on the academic record or another preference. 

Diplomas will be available for pick-up approximately 6 – 8 weeks following the conferral date.  The Registrar’s Office will email students’ Daemen email account when diplomas are ready for pick-up.  Diplomas that are not picked up in person will be mailed to the address listed on the Application for Degree.

*All students who attend the Commencement ceremony will be given a blank diploma cover as they walk across the stage. 

Replacement diplomas are issued upon request and for a fee. Consult the Registrar’s web page or the Registrar’s Office for details and fees. Replacement diplomas are marked as such. Diplomas and replacement diplomas are withheld until a student’s financial obligation to the University has been satisfied. 

  • Pertain only to the Baccalaureate degrees (BA; BFA; BS), or to the baccalaureate portion of dual degree programs (BS/MS)
  • Are based on the GPA (grade point average) at the time of completion-in-full of all degree requirements

Honors are announced at the Commencement ceremony are based upon the cumulative GPA(s) earned as of the Tuesday prior to the Commencement Ceremony.  Honors will also be printed on the diploma.

The Baccalaureate degree with distinction is awarded to:

  • Students who have completed a minimum of 60 credits of actual Daemen course work,* and whose cumulative Daemen GPA (grade point average) at the time of completion in-full of all degree requirements is:
    • 3.30 – 3.49: Cum Laude distinction is accorded
    • 3.50 – 3.69: Magna Cum Laude distinction is accorded
    • 3.70 – 4.00: Summa Cum Laude distinction is accorded
  • Students with fewer than 60 hours of course work completed at Daemen will be eligible for Commencement Honors provided that they meet ALL of the criteria referenced above AND both of the following:
    • The GPA for Daemen course work must be appropriate to the honor
    • The GPA for all college work (all accepted transfer courses and Daemen courses) must be appropriate to the honor.

No honor will be bestowed that is not supported by both the Daemen GPA and the “all college work” GPA. Example: If a student has a GPA of 3.30 in Daemen course work but a 3.20 GPA in “all college work” (all accepted transfer courses and Daemen courses), no honor would be accorded.

* Credits not included as actual Daemen course work include: Nursing validation exam credit; Credit for Learning from Life Experience (CLLE); challenge exams; cross registrations.


The ALUMNI SENIOR AWARD (given by the Alumni Association) is presented to a student who has distinguished himself or herself in service to others. 

The CHARLES L. LUMSDEN AWARD for Academic Excellence is presented annually to an outstanding member of the graduating class. The award recipient must have completed a minimum of 75 credit hours in actual course work at Daemen University.

The MARY ANGELA CANAVAN AWARD  for commitment to ideals of service was established by the Student Association in honor of the late Sr. Mary Angela Canavan, president emeritus of the University.

The PRESIDENT’S AWARD is awarded each year to a member of the senior class who has demonstrated outstanding leadership.
Criteria for Commencement Walking

Non-graduating last semester students (undergraduate and graduate) are permitted to walk in the May Commencement ceremony provided they meet certain requirements at the time of the ceremony; that is, such students are cleared for walking in the same manner that graduating seniors are cleared.

You must apply in writing by completing the Commencement Walker Application form. Only students with approved walker applications will be permitted to walk at Commencement. The application form will guide you through the process, and explain criteria requirements by which to gauge your walker eligibility.

Updated on April 3, 2023

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