The diploma is the physical decorative documentation of a student’s degree. It includes the student’s major(s) as well as scholastic honors at Commencement (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude). Diplomas do not mention concentrations or minors.
The degree is a university’s recognition that a student has successfully completed a course of study. It is noted on a student’s transcript and diploma.
The student who completes more than one major will receive one diploma, which will mention all majors. If the majors are in two different Colleges or Schools, the degree earned corresponds to the primary major (e.g., a student whose first major is English and second major is Chemistry will get a Bachelor of Arts degree). These majors will appear on the transcript as well. This student will get one name card for the Commencement ceremony and will go up to the stage with fellow candidates in the College of their primary major. If a student has two majors within one College and the hood colors differ—e.g., English (white) and Theology (scarlet)—either hood is acceptable for the ceremony.
The student who completes more than one degree will receive a diploma for each degree awarded. This student is welcome to walk to the Commencement stage to be recognized for each degree and to receive a diploma cover for each. The Office of the Registrar will also have extra diploma covers for students who wish to pick one up for their additional degree diploma(s). Students who complete an additional degree in a subsequent academic year may participate in that subsequent Commencement ceremony.
Degrees are awarded three times per year: Commencement Day, August 31, and December 31. This is the date posted on the diploma and transcript.
The graduation ceremonies occur on Commencement Weekend in May. The ceremony for Bachelor’s candidates is held on the Saturday after final examination week, and that of the Master’s and Doctoral candidates is on the Sunday after final examination week.