Degree Conferral and Diplomas

diploma being held

Degree Conferral and the Diploma 

Select a menu item below to learn more about the degree conferral process and the Cortland diploma.

Conferral and Commencement

The degree conferral process and Commencement are two distinct but related processes.

Degree Conferral

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 Ceremony

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 Winter, Spring Summer and Fall, 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 (when applying for the following fall). 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).