Graduate Student Graduation Application and Clearance Procedures

Graduate Student Graduation Application and Clearance Procedures


Office of the Registrar


Office of the Registrar


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

Name of Parent Policy: Graduation Clearance Procedures



Background Information:


The purpose of this statement is to set forth SUNY Empire State College's procedures on applying for graduation and the formal clearance process for graduation for graduate students.


Graduation: the process of being awarded a degree. Candidates apply for graduation and a degree review is conducted.

Graduation clearance: final formal review for the awarding of the degree

Graduation commencement: participation in the graduation ceremony and crossing the stage during the event that is the recognition by the community of the degree achievement

Graduation application: student-initiated action to begin the graduation review process in the term prior to graduation.


Graduation Application Review and Graduation Commencement Eligibility Process

  1. Graduation applications are filed online by the student during the final term of enrollment. A graduation application available on the Web from the School of Graduate Studies is the first step in initiating the process. Completing the application is the first step in initiating the graduation process.
  2. The student services office reviews any degree completed or in progress and determines availability for participation in the graduation commencement ceremony.

Graduation Clearance

  1. Graduation clearance is conducted when the student has completed all of the studies, received final evaluations and completed the final project.
  2. After all study has been successfully completed and evaluated, the student service office will review the academic records and forward a recommendation for graduation to the Office of the Registrar and Student Accounts. Academic clearance is obtained after the Office of the Registrar reviews the complete academic record, ascertaining that the studies in the degree program are completed. Financial clearance is obtained after student accounts reviews the student’s financial status, ascertaining there is no balance due.
  3. While these administrative procedures are taking place, the Office of the Registrar notifies students by mail of the approximate timetable of events leading to the awarding of the degree.
  4. After both academic and financial clearances have been completed, the Office of the Registrar assigns an official graduation date for the student for the first day of the following month. The remainder of the processing, which includes the Office of the Registrar ordering and processing the  diploma, takes approximately eight weeks.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Chapter I, Title 8 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, Section 3.47, Requirements for Earned Degrees, A. General Requirements, 1 and 2.

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Graduation Commencement Ceremony Procedures
Graduate Student Participation in Graduation Procedures 
Intent to Graduate Form