Commencement Participation and Graduation Clearance

Commencement and Graduation are different.

  • Commencement is the ceremony held to celebrate student achievement. A student may be invited to commencement, but will not graduate until all requirements are completed.
  • Graduation from Empire State University occurs once it is determined that a student has satisfied all necessary academic requirements to earn a degree. Once a student has "graduated," they have officially earned a degree and may request transcripts stating so. Students who have graduated and have met all financial obligations to the college will receive their diploma in the mail. More information on the graduation review process can be found at Graduation Procedure Information.

Am I eligible to participate in the 2024 Spring Commencement?

The university hosts commencement ceremonies each spring. Eligibility for our spring ceremonies varies by program or school.

  • All undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree or certificate must have completed or be registered for their final coursework in the Spring 2024 term to attend commencement.
  • Students in programs requiring concurrence must meet the above criteria and be concurred by April 1, 2024.

It is strongly encouraged that you apply for graduation once you have registered for your final coursework.

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

Official diplomas are mailed to students upon graduation; they are not distributed to students at the ceremony.

At commencement ceremonies, both in the United States and abroad, students will receive an official Empire State University diploma cover as they cross the stage.