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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 Service. Academic advisors will review the academic progression of students that applied to graduate throughout the term they applied. Students on track to graduate are deemed eligible to participate in commencement by their academic advisors and eligible students will receive a countdown to commencement email 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 order 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.

Countdown to Commencement 

  1. Apply to graduate on Eagle Service and go to Graduation Overview. Students who anticipate the completion of their degree requirements must submit an application to graduate.
  2. Check your AU email account for monthly updates from commencement@american.edu.
  3. Register to participate in commencement by ordering your cap and gown and abide by the Health and Safety Requirements for Fall Commencement. The regalia ordering site opened in early October for students who are eligible to participate in Fall Commencement.
  4. Chosen Name Students can now use a chosen first, middle, and last name(s) on their diplomas. Chosen names may include nicknames, anglicized names, initials, mononyms, names that reflect gender identity, or family name(s). They will appear in the commencement program and be recorded for the commencement ceremony if submitted by November 15. Learn more on the chosen name website.
  5. Diploma Name Verification Even if your chosen name has not changed since you first applied to AU, please take a moment to check your Application to Graduate on Eagle Service to verify the spelling, punctuation, spacing, and capitalization of your diploma name. Complete this by November 10 for changes to be reflected in the commencement program.
  6. Register with NameCoach for Individual Graduate Recognition. Eligible graduates received a unique link to their AU email account in October. Deadline to submit name recording is November 15.
  7. Reserve guest tickets. An allotment of five (5) guest electronic tickets will be distributed to students who register to participate in commencement.
  8. View your transcript on myAU.american.edu. Undergraduates with Latin Honors (3.67 cumulative GPA and 60 of 120 credits at AU) will receive a gold cord; see Undergraduate Academic Regulations, section 5.5. Eligible graduates will receive updates via email this spring.
  9. Check this website for more updates on plans to celebrate our summer and fall graduates.

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.

Commencement ceremonies are held twice a year:

  • Fall Commencement – for August, Term 3, Term 4, and December graduates
  • Spring Commencement – for Term 1, May, and Term 2 graduates

Your name and academic program will be published in the commencement program exactly as they appear on your graduation application on Eagle Service.  

Undergraduate students who are projected to graduate with Latin Honors or University Honors may pick up a gold cord will receive an update to their AU email account 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 5.5, Latin Honors). Master's and doctoral degree recipients are not eligible to receive Latin Honors.

Next steps after graduation?

Not sure about your next steps after graduation? Contact the Career Center, the Kogod Office of Career Engagement or the SIS Office of Career Development for help with your job search or applying for graduate/professional school.

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

Regalia

Only eligible February and May graduates are able to order their regalia on Herff-Jones till June 8thRegalia purchasing process for Summer and Fall graduates will begin in September 2021.

If a graduate is interested to purchase a keep-sake regalia, they can purchase it via our regalia vendor, Herff-Jones.

AU Regalia Ordering Site

Ticket Information

Tickets will be required for admittance to all commencement ceremonies. An allotment of five (5) tickets will be distributed to students who have registered to participate in commencement by ordering their cap and gown.

Ticket Rules