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Graduation Candidates

University requirements for undergraduates and graduate students are published in the University Catalog. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress toward degree completion, and for meeting all graduation requirements.

Prior to the beginning of their final semester, students are strongly encouraged to consult their major and minor advisors regarding their academic progress. Distance learning students should meet with their Site Director.

Correspondence regarding graduation applications, status, processing and clearance is being sent via e-mail to the ODU student e-mail address. Students are required by University policy to activate, maintain, and regularly check their ODU e-mail accounts so they will receive important administrative correspondence. Letters will be mailed to the permanent address for students whose e-mail is returned or who have no active University e-mail address. Land-based mail is slower than e-mail and may delay processes for students.

Graduation Hold
Students who are graduating at the end of the current term will have a hold that prevents further registration. If you need to take courses beyond your expected graduation date or change your graduation date, you must e-mail graduate@odu.edu to notify the University Registrar that you are continuing in your present degree program (provide your NEW GRADUATION TERM), and to request that the hold be lifted. If you have been admitted to a new degree program, there will not be a hold preventing registration.

This hold remains on the student's record until such time as the student is readmitted to a degree-seeking (2nd bachelor's or master's degree) or non-degree status.

Transcripts
Final transcripts are not automatically provided to graduates, but must be requested in writing. There is a $5 charge for each official transcript requested. E-mail requests for transcripts are not accepted. See Transcripts (Requesting Transcripts) for more information.

About Registering for Commencement
Applying for graduation with the Office of the Registrar does not automatically register you for the commencement ceremony. Registering to participate in Commencement is a separate registration process.

You must submit the Commencement Participation Registration form in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. All questions related to commencement should be directed to the Office of University Events at commencement@odu.edu.

Students are reminded that participation in commencement ceremonies does not confirm that a degree has been conferred.

Important: Students whose degree status is "intended" must meet with their advisor to be declared into a degree program (i.e., BA or BS) before applying for graduation. Students can view their degree status in LEO Online (under Student Records-->View General Student Information).

ONLY STUDENTS ADMITTED AS DEGREE-SEEKING AND DECLARED INTO A MAJOR AND DEGREE PROGRAM MAY APPLY FOR GRADUATION. See Applying for Graduation for more information.

Graduate and undergraduate students must meet all academic and non-academic requirements before they can be certified as graduates of Old Dominion University.

Information on non-academic requirements and the University Writing Proficiency requirement are provided in the sidebar elements at right.

ONLY STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN ADMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY AS DEGREE-SEEKING MAY APPLY FOR GRADUATION. Non-degree students are not eligible to declare a major or apply for graduation.

Undergraduate students who have earned more than 102 academic credits will be reminded via e-mail to the ODU e-mail account that they should apply for graduation.

Application Deadlines for all students are as follows (6 months prior to graduation):

  • May graduation: due November 30.
  • August graduation: due February 28.
  • December graduation: due June 30.

Prior to applying for graduation, please access your DegreeWorks degree evaluation in LEO Online or myODU. Make an appointment with your academic advisor or site director, and your minor advisor, if applicable. (See Academic Advisors for more information.) Take a copy of your degree evaluation with you to that meeting.

Apply to Graduate, Online!
If your advisor or graduate program director confirms that you are eligible to apply for graduation, apply online (preferred method) using the online application for graduation that is provided in LEO Online or myODU. The Apply to Graduate link is found under the Student Records menu in LEO Online.

Applications may be submitted via paper or PDF/email and are entered as quickly as possible, but can take up to four weeks to be loaded during peak times. These forms can be completed online and printed with the Adobe Reader.

Please check your graduation status in LEO Online (Student Records-->Graduation Status Information) and contact us if you don't see your status changed to "Pending" a month after the deadline date.

All students expected to graduate are coded "Pending."

Once the degree is certified, but not before the official degree conferral date, the degree status will be changed to "Awarded," usually within 4 weeks after the official degree conferral date.

About Registering for Commencement
Applying for graduation with the Office of the Registrar does not automatically register you for the commencement ceremony. Registering to participate in commencement is a separate registration process.

Your degree status must show as Pending in LEO Online before you are eligible to register for Commencement.

Submit the Commencement Participation Registration form in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. All questions related to commencement should be directed to the Office of University Events at commencement@odu.edu.

Click for full Directory of Advisors.

There are three graduation dates each year: May, August, and December.

Specific graduation dates for a term can be found in the University Catalog and the Academic Calendar published for each semester at the Registrar's web site.

Students should plan to participate in ceremonies as follows:

  • Students who plan to complete degree requirements by the end of the Spring semester participate in May commencement ceremonies.
  • Students who plan to complete degree requirements by the end of the Summer session participate in May commencement ceremonies. There is no summer commencement ceremony.
  • Students who plan to complete degree requirements in the Fall semester participate in December graduation ceremonies.

Deadlines for Submission of Theses and Dissertations
Graduate students who have applied for graduation must submit their thesis or dissertation to the Registrar's Office according to the following schedule, for the term in which they are graduating. Missing the deadline may delay graduation.

TERM THESIS DEADLINE DISSERTATION DEADLINE
Fall Friday before commencement date Last day of classes for the term
Spring Friday before commencement date Last day of classes for the term
Summer Friday before commencement date Friday before commencement date

About Commencement
Commencement ceremonies may take place the day before the degree conferral date; however the official degree conferral date is the same for all graduates and may be different from the date of your commencement ceremony.

Participation in the commencement ceremony does not certify that a student has graduated. The degree is awarded and posted to the student's transcript after all grades are reported to the Office of the University Registrar and posted to the student's record, and all degree requirements have been met. The official graduation date is the end of the semester in which all requirements are completed.

Graduate Students
Before you apply for graduation, review your DegreeWorks degree evaluation and consult with the Graduate Program Director for your academic program to ensure that all program/degree requirements have been met.

Undergraduate Students
Before you apply for graduation, review your DegreeWorks degree evaluation in LEO Online and then make sure you have completed the following:

  • Check General Education requirements: Check the University Catalog to be aware of the General Education requirements and any additional requirements that may apply to your major (some majors may differ or have specific General Education course requirements).
  • Check Foreign Language requirements: Refer to the University Catalog to be sure you have met the foreign language requirement for the University and for your major/college.
  • Evaluation of all transfer work: All transfer work must be evaluated by Admissions and posted to the academic record.
  • Departmental advising: Be sure you have been advised by your major (and minor) chief departmental advisor or Site Director. Be sure your major is declared and your degree does not show as "intended."
  • Senior Assessment: All graduating seniors must complete the required senior assessment survey during their final semester before graduation. A separate assessment is provided for distance learning students.
  • Writing Proficiency: All undergraduate students, including those students who are seeking a second baccalaureate degree, must satisfy the University's Writing Proficiency requirement prior to the date of graduation. For information on meeting this requirement, please see the University Requirements section of this website.
  • If you received a letter or e-mail from the Registrar's Office with instructions about applying for graduation, please respond accordingly.

About Registering for Commencement
Applying for graduation with the Office of the Registrar does not automatically register you for the commencement ceremony. Registering to participate in commencement is a separate registration process.

Once your degree status shows as "pending" in LEO Online, submit the Commencement Participation Registration form in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. All questions related to commencement should be directed to the Office of University Events at commencement@odu.edu.