Academic Policy Regarding Participation in Commencement Exercises

PLEASE NOTE: The 2020 Commencement and Candle & Rose Ceremonies have been postponed until we can hold both safely on campus. Once Phase 5 is well-established, we will re-survey graduates to determine your availability and interest in returning to campus for a live ceremony.


Academic Policy Regarding Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

All undergraduate and graduate students expecting to complete their degree requirements must file a graduation application with the Office of the Registrar no later than one week prior to the first class day of the term in which they anticipate graduating. Filing the graduation application will trigger an audit of the student’s academic record to confirm that the student is on track to graduate; it will also be used to confirm eligibility for participation in commencement exercises. Those graduating students who plan to participate in the commencement ceremony must declare their intention to participate approximately 8 weeks before the date of the ceremony through an online form. Ordinarily, doctoral students will participate in the commencement ceremony that follows the completion and final submission of their dissertation.

There is a single Commencement Ceremony in early May for all students who graduate in an academic year (preceding fall and spring semesters and subsequent summer session).

Students eligible to participate in Dominican’s Commencement in early May include those who will have successfully completed all of their coursework by:

  • the preceding December or
  • the date of the ceremony in May or
  • August immediately following the ceremony.

In exceptional circumstances—for example, international visa restrictions; extreme hardship; documented unavailability of a required course — a student who does not quite meet the eligibility requirements outlined above may appeal in writing to his or her dean, who will share the written appeal with the University Registrar. The appeal should include a specific plan (i.e. course numbers, terms, etc.) for how and when the remaining requirements will be completed. The decision concerning participation then rests with the dean in consultation with the University Registrar.

Semester in which degree requirements are completed:

Deadline to apply for graduation:

Date of degree conferral: Commencement Ceremony:
Fall 2019

August 19, 2019

January 4, 2020

May 10, 2020 


Spring 2020

January 8, 2020

May 10, 2020

May 10, 2020

Summer 2020

March 6, 2020†

August 29, 2020‡

May 10, 2020 (Postponed)

Fall 2020

August 24, 2020

January 2, 2021

May 8 or 9, 2021 UIC Dorin Forum

* Spring degrees are conferred at the university-wide commencement ceremony in early May; students who have not completed all degree requirements at that time but who do complete the remaining requirements by the last Saturday in May will have their degrees conferred the last Saturday in May.

† Students who plan to complete degree requirements during the Summer Session and who intend to participate in the May commencement ceremony must submit a graduation application prior to the mid-semester break of the preceding spring semester. Students who do not intend to participate have until one week prior to the first day of Summer Session I to submit a graduation application.

‡ Students who complete their degree requirements by the end of Summer I session will have their degrees conferred the first Saturday following the end of the Summer Session I.


  • Degrees are conferred five times each academic year, depending on the completion of ALL degree requirements: date of May Commencement; last Saturday of May; first Saturday following end of Summer Session I; last Saturday in August; first Saturday in January.
  • Participation in a Commencement ceremony does not represent satisfactory completion of all degree requirements. Students do not receive an official diploma or have access to their official transcript signifying graduation, until all course requirements have been fulfilled.
  • A student may participate in only one Commencement ceremony and his or her name will appear only in the printed program for that ceremony, even if the degree is completed and conferred at a later date.
  • Students participating in a Commencement ceremony before all degree requirements have been met will not be recognized for Latin honors during that ceremony.
  • This policy governs academic conditions for participating in commencement ceremonies. Other conditions—including, for example, student accounts—may also apply.


Undergraduate Students Only!

If you are an UNDERGRADUATE student who plans to graduate soon, please click here for more information.

Graduate Students Only!

If you are a GRADUATE student who plans to graduate soon, please click here for more information.