Graduation Process

Graduation Application

All students should apply for graduation once they have registered for their final courses. 

The application for graduation can be found by going to the My.SUNYEmpire portal, clicking the Self-Service Banner icon, selecting the Student tab, and clicking on the Graduation Application icon. Step-by-step instructions are provided here Steps to Complete the Graduation Application. School of Graduate Studies students should check the Graduate Student Center for specific deadlines.

Graduation Application Eligibility

Students are eligible to apply for graduation once registered for final coursework. Undergraduate students in individualized programs requiring concurrence should have a concurred degree program before submitting their application for graduation. 

Students can only have one active application on file per degree or certificate. Active applications may be viewed in the Student Profile.

Graduation Pre-Review

When students apply to graduate, their records are reviewed to determine if all requirements will be met based on current registration. Students and mentors are notified if any issues are discovered. School for Undergraduate Studies students who are on track to graduate can expect an email from the Office of the Registrar sent to their SUNY Empire State email address within approximately 2-3 weeks of application.

Degree Award Process

The degree award process begins once the student has satisfied all academic requirements and final grades have been received in the Office of the Registrar (see the academic calendar for grading due dates). During peak processing times, degree award can take up to four weeks. Students receive an email from the Office of the Registrar to their SUNY Empire email address when the degree and/or certificate has been awarded. At that time, the awarded degree will now be noted on the official transcript. Awarded degrees may also be viewed on the student’s unofficial academic transcript in the Student Profile.  

Degree Award Date

SUNY Empire is authorized to award degrees 12 dates a year. All award dates are the first day of the month after academic requirements have been met. For example, a student whose final term ends in December will have a January 1 graduation date.


Students can expect to receive their diploma by mail approximately three weeks from the day the college awarded the degree.

A SUNY Empire diploma is an 8.5 X 11 inch document, which is mailed in a 10 x 13 inch envelope. The diploma includes the following information: student’s name, degree, award date, and Latin honors, if applicable. The area of study and concentration or major will not show on the diploma; however, they are located on the student’s official transcript.

Students who have outstanding financial obligations to the college will not receive their diplomas until the hold on the record has been cleared by Student Accounts.


Commencement is separate from graduation/degree award processing. Please note that at SUNY Empire, students' degree award does not need to be fully processed in order to participate in commencement. See the commencement website for information about eligibility and participation.