You are here: Preparing to Graduate

Preparing to Graduate Eligibility

Before you can participate in commencement, you must be cleared to graduate. Follow these steps to confirm your eligibility to graduate and participate in commencement.

Students must complete the Application to Graduate form on Eagle Services. The application triggers a review of a student's record in order to determine if all degree requirements will be completed at the end of the term. Students on track to graduate are deemed eligible to participate in commencement by their academic advisors and eligible students will receive a commencement countdown postcard mid-semester. Late applications may result in the student's name being omitted from the commencement program and other materials and will delay the student's ability to rent regalia.

The university strictly enforces the policy for participation in commencement. Students are responsible for maintaining an appropriate course load and completing degree requirements in time to be eligible for their targeted graduation. Only those students whose academic records indicate that they can satisfy degree requirements by the end of the term for which they have filed an application to graduate will be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students who cannot complete degree requirements during semester in which they have applied to graduate are eligible to participate in a later ceremony and must reapply for graduation at the appropriate time.

Next Steps

Participating in Commencement

After you have been cleared to graduate you can complete the next steps to participate in commencement. Ordering your regalia serves as your registration to participate in commencement.

Your name and academic program will be published in the commencement program exactly as they appear on your graduation application on Eagle Services. If you are joining the Armed Forces following graduation, and would like this noted in the commencement program, you must email commencement@american.edu no later than 8 weeks prior to your graduation date. Please include your name, school or college, branch of military (ex. John Smith, School of Communication, Chemical Corps, US Army). Be sure to list “Armed Forces” in the subject of the email.

Undergraduate students who are projected to graduate with Latin Honors or University Honors may pick up a gold cord with their rental regalia and will have a notation of their Honors status in the commencement program. The notation of Honors in the commencement program and the distribution of gold cords is based on grades from the semester prior to the semester in which the student graduates, since the commencement ceremony occurs before final grades for the student’s last semester have been recorded.

The diploma and transcript are the only official means of certification and reflect all course work counted toward the degree. If a student is found to have met the requirements for Latin Honors or University Honors after your final semester grades are applied, it will be noted on the diploma and transcript. For additional information about academic honors, see the Undergraduate Academic Rules and Regulations (section 5.6, Latin Honors). Master's and doctoral degree recipients are not eligible to receive Latin Honors.

Graduate Census

As part of your regalia order, you will complete the graduation census, which informs AU's We Know Success data, helping other students see where their education can take them.

Not sure about your next steps after graduation? Contact the Career Center for help with your job search.

Apply to Graduate

Confirm your eligibility and apply to graduate. This triggers an academic audit to confirm you’ve met the requirements to have your degree awarded.

Learn More

Order Your Regalia

This serves as your registration to participate in the commencement ceremony. If you're a service member, you can request to wear your dress uniform in lieu of academic regalia. 

Learn More

Get Your Tickets

Due to limited seating in Bender Arena, many ceremonies require that guests have tickets to attend. No extras and no replacements will be issued. You will pick up your tickets and parking passes with your cap and gown.

Ticket Rules