Graduation

Completing Degree Requirements

Attending the commencement ceremony is a nice way to recognize all of the hard work that goes into earning a bachelor’s degree.  However, what makes a student a graduate is completing all of their degree requirements. Degrees are conferred 3 times a year, in May, August and December.  All requirements must be completed by the last day of the term in order to be considered for graduation in a given term.

It is STRONGLY recommended that you see an advisor in the semester before the semester that you plan to complete all degree requirements - for example, in the fall term if you plan to graduate in May - just to make sure that everything is ok before it is too late to address any unforeseen problems.

Graduation Checklist

If you are preparing to graduate, take the time to review the following steps:

  • Register for all courses you need in order to complete degree requirements
  • Run your DARS report under "My Academics" in your Student Center page
    • Make sure it says "All requirements complete pending final review"
    • If you have more than one major or have declared a certificate you will need to run a DARS for each one to make sure you are set for graduation.
  • Apply for graduation under "My Academics" in your Student Center page
    • Your major(s) will NOT appear on the graduation application page, just your degree program (BA - General Course, BS - General Course etc.).
    • You apply for graduation once
    • The fact that you have applied for graduation will be noted on the top of your DARS.
  • Undergo a degree audit by the Office of the Registrar
    • After you apply for graduation your degree audit will be reviewed by the degree auditors in the Office of the Registrar. 
    • They will notify you at your wisc.edu e-mail address of any problems. They will not contact you if everything is ok.
    • You are automatically audited for all majors or programs (like honors) that you are declared for.
    • If you will be completing a certificate program you should notify that department that you will be completing requirements and plan to graduate. If you do not plan to complete a major, certificate or program you must cancel your declaration through the appropriate office.

Commencement

Student who have, or are about to, complete their degree requirements the option of participating in the commencement ceremony. Sometimes students who have not completed their degree requirements may participate in the commencement ceremony. It is important to keep in mind that participating in the ceremony is not directly related to whether a degree will be conferred.

Commencement ceremonies are held two times a year, in May and December. The University has a website that can answer all of your question about the commencement ceremonies.