You Don’t Actually Get Your Degree at Graduation: Here Is Why

Do You Get Your Degree at Graduation?

Graduation is an end-of-spring-semester event for students who successfully met all their graduation requirements.

Do you get your degree at graduation? At the start of the ceremony, you will not earn a diploma. Confirmation of the completion of the degree will not take place until the formal grades are issued. So, visit your academic advisor before your last semester and have your reports checked.

Graduation is the awarding of a diploma or degree, in which students become graduates.

However, degrees are processed by the Registrar’s Office. Learn more about graduation and degrees in this article.


Graduation is when you have formally and effectively completed all of your graduation requirements.

You must register for a term (spring, summer, or fall) in which you expect to graduate.

Once the final grades are ready, your record will be checked and your certificate will be delivered to you via mail.

Graduation Ceremony

Ceremonies and titles typically refer to university degrees. During the graduation ceremony at the university and college level, the presiding officer or another designated official confers students’ degrees.

The event is held either separately or en masse, even if graduates obtain their diploma later at a departmental ceremony.

Ceremonies also include a parade of university workers and applicants as well as a valedictorian.

The academic personnel will typically wear academic dress at the ceremony, as will the trustees and graduation applicants. Graduates are referred to by their graduation year.

Graduation in Absentia

If a student graduates without attending a commencement ceremony, he or she is considered a commencement in absentia.

In some states, the completion of compulsory education is often referred to as graduation, though it is considerably below the degree mark.

Types of Degrees

Certificates, diplomas, and degrees are awards that typically take four or fewer years to complete. The overall graduation time depends on how long a student will devote to their studies.

For example, part-time students may need to earn an undergraduate degree for more than four years.


There are academic programs with 9 to 30 credits achieved in a year or less by full-time students. Some services offer advanced instruction to individuals who already hold degrees or diplomas.

Others are for people who want to easily finish a curriculum that can lead to a particular career.


Generally, an undergraduate curriculum of 30 to 72 credits is designed to provide students with qualifications that contribute directly to a particular career.

Associate Degree

This is an award that usually requires at least two, but less than four, years of full-time university study. There are various types of related degrees of differing transferability.

Graduate Certificates and Degrees

It is usually appropriate to enroll in one of these programs before the conclusion of the undergraduate award.

Bachelor’s Degree

This is an award that usually requires at least four, but not more than six, years of full-time university study.

Graduate Degree

This is a degree awarded for education at a level above the bachelor’s degree.

State colleges offer associate degrees, master’s degrees, and advanced degrees in various areas of technical and liberal arts.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

This award necessitates the completion of an organized program of study requiring 18 credit hours over the bachelor’s degree.

It is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree who do not meet the master’s degree academic criteria.

Post-Master’s Certificate

This is an award that requires completing an organized program of study of 24 credit hours over a master’s degree but does not fulfill the criteria for a doctoral degree.

Master’s Degree

This award requires the completion of a program of study of at least one year, but not more than two years, of full-time undergraduate study with a bachelor’s degree.

Doctoral Degree

This is the highest honor a student will receive for graduation. The doctoral degree designation includes such degrees as Doctor of Education (Ed. D.), Doctor of Legal Science (J.D.), Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

First Professional

This is an award achieved after completion of the curriculum required to practice in a specialty.

It includes two years of college work before completing the program and a period of at least six school years. First technical degrees can be awarded in the following fields:

  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Chiropractic
  • Dentistry
  • Osteopathic Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Podiatry
  • Theology
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Continuing Education Units (CEU)

One CEU is generally characterized as 10 touch hours of involvement. It is a structured continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, competent guidance, and skilled instruction.

Reasons Why One Does Not Graduate on Time

The 12-Credit Fault

Most colleges describe the course’s full-time fee as 12 credits a semester, which is, not coincidentally, the ceiling for earning the highest grant of Pell and most forms of state financial assistance.

Grades, however, typically require 120 credits. Do the math—most students don’t, and it’s hard to keep up. On average, you need 15 classes a semester to get through in four years.

Hopping From School to School

Most students require more than four years to graduate, and they end up taking and spending a lot more credits than they need.

Colleges and colleges typically require 120 bachelor’s degree credits, but students graduate with an average of 135, according to statistics collected by Full College America, a non-profit research and advocacy organization.

Working Too Much

There is a student loan problem in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean that debt can’t be minimized, experts suggest.

Major Course Problem

Choosing courses will make students feel like kids in a candy store—there are so many options. The method is daunting, with thousands of classes available.

“Archaeology of Human Origins” might sound fascinating. However, if you wait too long to concentrate on your major topics, you may not be able to fulfill all the criteria you need.

The issue is magnified if a prerequisite is provided only in the fall. Missing one class means waiting for a whole year. And what if it’s full? When you change majors, expect even more delays.

Lacking Social Life

Many students slowly disengage because they don’t feel like part of the college group.

Social isolation and depression may affect academic success, particularly for students living away from home for the first time.

Studies have found that uninterested students in college are more likely to drop out.


There have been several instances in which a student attended the graduation ceremony but did not earn a degree.

The reason behind this is mainly the lack of credits, confirmed at a later date.

Therefore, it is best to speak with your advisor and the registrar and have your credits confirmed.

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