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Describe policy and procedures related to granting of degrees and commencement/convocation ceremonies.


The scope of the policy crosses all UNMC campus locations.


UNMC awards degrees in May, August and December. Formal ceremonies are held in May (Kearney, Norfolk, Lincoln, Omaha and Scottsbluff) and December (Omaha). Degrees will be posted the week following the date of conferral provided all degree requirements have been met. Students are responsible for informing college faculty and student service staff of their expected graduation date by the first week of the completion term.


  1. Application
    1. Students intending to graduate are required to complete an Application for Degree; this includes a $50.00 nonrefundable/nontransferable fee. Degrees cannot be conferred without the completed Application for Degree.
    2. The Application for Degree must be completed and paid online at MyRecords ( by the following deadlines: 
      Graduation Ceremony Application Deadline Fee
      May (Spring) February 10 50.00
      August (Summer) June 10 50.00
      December (Fall) October 10 50.00
    3. Students who miss the Application for Degree deadline:
      1. May apply for graduation through the end of business on
        1. the last Friday of April for May graduation.
        2. the first Friday of August for August Graduation.
        3. the first Friday of December for December graduation.
      2. Must submit a paper application obtained from Academic Records and pay the late application fee ($10).
      3. Will not be able to participate in the ceremony.
      4. Will not have their name included in the program for commencement or convocation.
      5. Will have their degrees posted no later than 30 days after the appropriate graduation date.
      6. Will have their diplomas ordered on the last business day of each month as per duplicate diploma processing.
      7. Can pick up their diploma in Academic Records or can request the diploma to be mailed.
  2. Commencement Ceremony
    1. A UNMC-wide commencement ceremony will be held in Omaha in May and December.   
    2. Campuses in Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff, and Norfolk will hold commencement ceremonies on their campuses in May. 
    3. Attendance at commencement is optional. 
    4. Students graduating in May attend the Spring commencement ceremony of the same academic year.
    5. Students graduating in December attend the Fall commencement ceremony. August graduates are invited to attend the Fall commencement ceremony (See College of Allied Health Professions under 2f).
    6. College of Allied Health Professions-specific procedures
      1. College of Allied Health Professions students in a program officially completing in August may participate in the May ceremony of the same academic year. Those participating in the May ceremony must apply for the August degree/certificate by the May application deadline. Their names will appear in the commencement program with an asterisk (*) to indicate August completion.
    7. College of Nursing-specific procedures
      1. Students in the following College of Nursing programs may select the campus commencement in which they will participate: RN to BSN, Post-Graduate Certificate, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Location selection cannot be changed once the Application for Degree is submitted.
    8. Graduate Studies-specific procedures
      1. All PhD and MS students will participate in the Omaha commencement and convocation ceremonies. Written approval from the University of Nebraska Provost is required for any PhD or MS student to walk at another University of Nebraska location.
    9. Diplomas and Degrees
      1. Diplomas will be distributed at the commencement ceremony. 
      2. Diplomas will not be released for students who have a hold or any financial encumbrance on their academic record in accordance with Board of Regents Policy.
      3. Degrees will be posted on the transcript the week following commencement provided faculty have posted grades for all courses required for the degree and all degree requirements are met.
      4. Students who receive an incomplete (I) or a no report (NR) in a course  will be able to walk at commencement as planned. However, a diploma will not be issued until the completion of all course requirements. 
      5. All degree requirements must be completed and a grade reported before the deadline to apply for the next graduation cycle. Students who are unable to complete requirements by this date must submit a new Application for Degree for the semester in which completion of requirements is expected, pay the Application for Degree fee, and pay the attire fee for the new graduation date.
      6. Dual enrollment students may request the reading of both degrees at the time of the awarding of the last degree.
  3. Academic Attire
    1. All graduating students are required to rent or purchase standard UNMC academic attire for all ceremonies (commencement and convocation). 
    2. Academic attire orders are placed when completing the online Application for Degree. 
    3. Academic Records facilitates the ordering of attire with the approved vendor.
    4. Flowers, sashes, pins, signs or other adornments are not allowed on robes or mortarboards. 
    5. All persons seated on the stage during the ceremony are required to wear academic attire.
  4. College Staff Responsibilities
    1. College staff are responsible for maintaining the correct expected graduation term in the student information system. Students will not have access to the online Application for Degree unless the expected graduation term matches the date of the ceremony.
    2. College staff are responsible for informing Academic Records if a student is not expected to satisfy all degree requirements by the week before graduation to ensure the student does not receive a diploma at the ceremony. 
    3. College staff are responsible for providing details regarding convocation to graduating students. Awarding of discipline-specific honors such as pins, honor society cords, or medallions are managed by college staff.
    4. If a second degree is to be awarded (e.g., BS in Medicine to MD graduates), college student services staff must notify Academic Records the term prior to the granting of the degree. Posting of the second degree may be delayed if information is not received in a timely manner.

Policy Process Applied: Interim
Responsible Officer: UNMC Registrar
Date Approved by Responsible Officer: 12/20/2021
Date Approved by Education Council Policy Subcommittee: 12/19/2022
Date Approved by Education Council: 1/19/2023
Date Approved by Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs: 1/19/2023
Policy Expiration Date: 1/19/2024
Review Cycle: One Year Interim