Graduation Clearance and Commencement Participation

Graduation and Commencement are different.

  • Graduation is not a ceremony at SUNY Empire State College. Graduation from SUNY Empire State College occurs once it is determined that a student has satisfied all necessary academic and financial 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 will receive their diploma in the mail. More information on the graduation review process can be found at Graduation Procedure Information.
  • Commencement is the ceremony held to celebrate students who are eligible to attend. A student may be invited to commencement, but will not graduate until all requirements are completed.

Am I eligible to participate in Commencement 2019?

Eligibility for Commencement 2019 may vary by program/center. Please click the applicable link to determine eligibility.

School for Undergraduate Studies
Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies
International Education
School of Nursing and Allied Health
School for Graduate Studies

For all students, requirements must be met by April 2, 2019. Students who become eligible after April 2, 2019 will be invited to participate in Commencement 2020.

School for Undergraduate Studies

Students pursuing an undergraduate certificate must have all certificate requirements met to attend.

Students pursuing an associate degree:

  • Must have a fully concurred degree plan by April 2, 2019.
  • Must have successfully completed 52 credits, or be enrolled in credits in the January 2019 term that will bring total credits earned to 52 by the end of the term.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree:

  • Must have a fully concurred degree plan by April 2, 2019.
  • Must have successfully completed 112 credits, or be enrolled in credits in the January 2019 term that will bring total credits earned to 112 by the end of the term.

Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies

Students graduating from the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies:

  • Must complete their apprenticeship training, or be completing it, by the end of the January 2019 term, if applicable.
  • Must complete their coursework by, or be enrolled in, the January 2019 term.

Students from the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies may only attend the ceremony for their center.

International Education

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree:

  • Must have completed all program requirements and have a concurred degree program in the January 2019 term.

International Education students are invited to attend the ceremony affiliated with their geographic region, or any ceremony in the U.S., with the exception of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies Commencement.

School of Nursing and Allied Health

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree:

  • Must have a fully concurred degree plan by April 2, 2019.
  • Must have successfully completed 112 credits, or be enrolled in credits in the January 2019 term that will bring total credits earned to 112 by the end of the term.

Students earning a master's degree:

  • Must have completed all program requirements, or be enrolled in their capstone course, in the January 2019 term.

Students from the School of Nursing and Allied Health are invited to attend any ceremony, with the exception of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies Commencement.

School for Graduate Studies

Students earning a master's degree or advanced certificate:

  • Must have completed all program requirements, or be enrolled in their capstone course, in the Summer 2019 term.

Students from the School for Graduate Studies are invited to attend any ceremony, with the exception of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies Commencement.

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

No, diplomas are not distributed to students at the ceremony. Official diplomas are mailed to students upon graduation.

At commencement ceremonies, both in the United States and abroad, students will receive an official SUNY Empire State College medallion as they cross the stage, as well as a gift from the Alumni Association.