Degree conferral (often simply referred to as "graduation") is a formal student-initiated process consisting of submitting the Application for Degree Conferral; completing all academic requirements for the degree; having that completion verified and approved by the advisor and Dean's Office; and settling all obligations to the college.
The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate the official date of graduation. Degree conferral is the formal administrative process that officially grants the degree. Only after the degree is formally conferred, are students considered an official graduate of SUNY and the College.
Commencement is not synonymous with graduation or degree conferral. Students must complete all requirements for the degree to have the degree officially conferred. Because the May ceremonies will honor students who complete their degree requirements in May, Aug. and Dec, it is possible to still have a degree in process while participating in the ceremony. In order to walk in the May ceremony graduate students must have completed 18 credits and undergraduates must have completed at least 85 credits. Students who completed their degree requirements in the previous December, may also participate if they officially petitioned. The Commencement ceremonies are held only in the Spring (May).
Students should meet with their advisor to verify their eligibility for degree conferral either in the fall semester or early in the spring semester prior to conferral. All students are required to apply for their degree through myRedDragon. Deadlines for Degree conferral applications are:
Late conferral applications may be submitted using a late degree conferral petition however students approved for a late addition will receive the diploma at a later date due to ordering deadlines. In addition, students applying for conferral after the March 1 deadline for a May degree or any future degree, will not have their name printed in the commencement program due to printing and design deadlines.
Please review the information on the Commencement page for ceremony policies and deadlines. The degree conferral application can be accessed via myRedDragon by selecting the "Degree Conferral and Graduation" link in the Registrar channel.
Students will receive a diploma at the address provided during the conferral application approximately 8 weeks after the conferral process concludes. The diploma is printed with the legal name on file. The diploma will be sent to the address provided during the degree conferral application.
SUNY Cortland diplomas are printed by a professional printing company that prints and embosses our diplomas on high quality stock. The diploma includes the degree earned at SUNY Cortland (example: BA, BS, BFA, MA, MS etc), not the specific major. Students with double majors receive only one diploma in accord with the degree. Students with dual degrees (for example, a BA and a BS) will receive two diplomas.
The College cannot send a diploma or transcript if you have any outstanding holds, financial obligations, or disciplinary obligations to the college. Please be sure to resolve any holds or obligations prior to leaving campus to avoid any delay.
If you are a new graduate and you require a name or address change, you may make the request prior to the change deadlines (May 1 for Spring, August 1 for Summer, and by December 1 for Fall) to avoid a reprinting charge or delay.
If you are requesting a name change or adjustment due to a legal change to your name, please complete the Change of Name/Address Form as well.
Students replacing diplomas may also change their name and address in our student systems using the Change of Name/Address Form. See our replacement instructions below.
Students may request replacement or duplicate diplomas through the Registrar's Office. To obtain a diploma replacement form, please use the online request process:
If you are requesting a replacement diploma because your name has changed, please complete the Change of Name/Address Form as well. If you graduated recently and have not received a diploma, please note that it can take up to 8 weeks after your degree is conferred. If you had a late degree application or conferral due to outstanding requirements or holds, your diploma may still be in transit. If you need further assistance or need to inquire about the status of an expected printed diploma, please contact us for assistance.
The diploma is an important symbol of your accomplishments, and we want to help you receive it. Please learn more about what you may do if you did not receive your diploma.
View our Frequently Asked Questions in our Knowledge Base for additional help.