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Policy Scope

This policy applies to all UNMC students.

Policy Statement

UNMC awards degrees in May, August and December. Formal ceremonies are held in May (Kearney, Norfolk, Lincoln, Omaha and Scottsbluff) and December (Omaha). Students are responsible for informing college faculty and student services 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 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: 
      1. May Conferral – February 10
      2. August Conferral – June 10
      3. December Conferral – October 10
    3. Students who miss the Application for Degree deadline:
      1. May apply for graduation with college dean or designee and Registrar approval. Applications will not be considered if submitted less than two weeks before conferral of degrees.
      2. Must submit a Late Application for Graduation obtained from Academic Records and pay the late application fee and the standard application for degree fee.
      3. Will not be able to participate in the commencement ceremony.
      4. Will not have their name included in the program for commencement.
      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 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. Graduate students participate in the Omaha ceremony. Written approval from the University of Nebraska Provost is required for a graduate student to walk at another University of Nebraska location.
    9. Diplomas and Degrees
      1. Diplomas will be distributed at or following 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, if needed, 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 participating in commencement and/or convocation ceremonies are required to purchase standard UNMC academic attire for all ceremonies.
    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 unless otherwise permitted under UNMC policy.  
    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.

Effective Date: December 5, 1995
Revised Date: 8/17/2023
Policy Process Applied: Standard 
Policy Review Cycle: Three Years
Responsible University Administrator(s): Dr. Philip Covington, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success
Responsible University Office(s): Office of Academic Records
Policy Contact: Brooke Huntsmann, UNMC Registrar