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Graduation Application Process

Graduation applications are available in Navigator.

Please be sure to apply to graduate as soon as the application for your expected graduation term becomes available. Applicants who apply early will receive an earlier graduation review.

 

While Salem State University holds one annual commencement ceremony in May, degrees are conferred and diplomas are awarded three times each year (see below on diploma delivery for more information). All students are required to apply for graduation regardless of whether they will attend the annual ceremony. The registrar’s office will not know that you are planning to graduate if you do not submit a graduation application.

 

To access the graduation application, log into your Navigator account and click My Academics under Quick Links followed by the link to Apply for Graduation. Guidelines for application submission are as follows: 

 

Graduation Term   

Applications Available in Navigator Application Deadline
Spring September 1 March 15
Summer September 1 March 15*/July 15**
Fall June 1 October 15         

 

Late applications may still be submitted from within Navigator after the deadlines posted above but will be subject to a $50 late application fee and may result in additional consequences. For example, if  your application is submitted too late in the spring semester your name may not appear in the commencement program and your diploma may not arrive in time for presentation at the commencement ceremony.

 

Students choosing not to attend the commencement ceremony should check the Will Not Attend box under the Event Attendance Information section on the graduation application. Any changes in attending status should be communicated to an academic services representative in the Registrar’s Office.

 

 *Summer degree candidates who wish to participate in the commencement ceremony prior to degree completion have from September 1–March 15 to submit an application and must meet the criteria listed below under Eligibility Criteria for Commencement Participation Prior to Degree Completion. 

**Summer degree candidates who do not meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the earlier commencement ceremony have until July 15 to submit their graduation applications and will be eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony in May of the following year.

Additional Information

Additional Information

  • Graduation Eligibility Review Process

    Once your graduation application has been submitted, you should receive an email confirmation. Make sure that you save the email. There is no way for a student to see that the application has been submitted in Navigator, therefore, the saved email will serve as your reminder. It may take several weeks before your initial graduation review has been completed but please know that we are just as eager to send and update as you are to receive it. Early application ensures that you will receive a preliminary review of your remaining graduation requirements prior to the beginning of your last semester of classes. The results of the preliminary review will be posted as a ‘To Do List’ item in your Navigator account. A final review will be conducted during your last semester of classes. Here is what you can expect once the final review of your academic record has been completed:

    • Eligible for Graduation: Eligible students will receive an email confirmation sent to their Salem State email account.
    • Ineligible for Graduation: Student with outstanding degree requirements will receive a brief email sent to their Salem State email accounts notifying them to view their To Do List in Navigator. A new To Do List item will be posted to the student’s Navigator account with specific details about their graduation eligibility status with directions about who to contact once corrective action has been taken to get back on track for graduation.
    • Approved or Denied to Walk Prior to Degree Completion: Those students who anticipate finishing over the summer and are seeking permission to walk in the ceremony prior to degree completion will also receive a brief email sent to their Salem State email accounts notifying them to view their To Do List in Navigator where they will find more detailed information.
  • Special Note on Certificate Programs

    Students in both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs are not required to apply for graduation and do not participate in the annual commencement ceremony, with the exception of the certificate of advanced graduate study in education, which is a degree program. Certificate program students should consider the following upon reaching their final semester in the program: 

    • Students enrolled in undergraduate credit certificate programs should complete and submit to the registrar’s office the “statement of intent to complete” form upon completion of their program. The form can be found on the webpage for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies under Credit Programs – Credit Certificate Programs.
    • Students enrolled in graduate licensure-only and certificate programs should complete and submit the “graduate licensure only and certificate programs intent to complete” form upon completion of their program. The form can be found on the webpage of the School of Graduate Studies under Graduate Forms.
  • Completing all degree requirements

    Undergraduate students should have satisfied or be enrolled in courses that will satisfy the following:

    • Course requirements
    • Competencies
    • Minimum grade and GPA requirements
    • Any additional degree requirements as noted in Degree Tracker and on your official flow sheet

    Graduate students should have satisfied or be enrolled in courses that will satisfy the following:

    • Course requirements
    • Minimum grade and GPA requirements
    • All non-course requirements (e.g. comprehensive exams, theses, portfolios)
    • Any additional degree requirements as noted on the official Plan of Study
  • What to consider when applying for graduation in Navigator

    • Select your graduation program. Important note: If you have an undergraduate double-major or two active graduate programs, you may only choose one as your primary graduation program to be reflected on your diploma. Choosing the wrong program can impact your specific graduation requirements.

    • Students should select the term in which they believe all degree requirements will be completed (fall, spring or summer). Students who will complete in the summer and wish to participate in the May ceremony prior to completing degree requirements should still select summer as the completion term (see below for eligibility criteria for commencement participation prior to degree completion).

    • If the completion term is not available as an option in Navigator, please contact an academic services representative in the registrar’s office at the Student Navigation Center for instruction. It may be possible that you are applying after the above noted deadline and a hardcopy late application may be required.

    • Edit your name information as you would like it to appear on your diploma. If a student has had a change of name then documentation must be submitted to the registrar’s office in the Student Navigation Center before a diploma can be issued in the new name. 

    • Do not wait until you see all requirements cleared in Degree Tracker to submit a graduation application. It is acceptable to submit the application while awaiting approval on an action item such as a course substitution. Do not miss the application deadline while awaiting final approval on academic action items.  

  • Eligibility criteria for commencement participation prior to degree completion

    (Commonly referred to as “walking” or “permission to walk” in the ceremony)

    In order to participate in commencement with degree requirements remaining, students must meet the following criteria:

    Undergraduate students:

    • Must have 12 or fewer credits to complete as of the end of the spring ceremony term;
    • Must have a 2.000 or above cumulative GPA at the end of the fall term preceding the spring ceremony term;
    • Must plan to complete all remaining degree requirements in the summer term following the spring ceremony term;
    • Must register for all remaining course requirements for summer by April 1.

    Graduate students:

    • All non-course requirements (theses, portfolios, comprehensive exams, etc.) must be complete at the time the time the application for degree is submitted;
    • Must have eight or fewer credits to complete as of the end of the spring term;
    • Must have a 3.000 or above cumulative GPA at the end of the fall term preceding the spring ceremony term;
    • Must plan to complete all remaining degree requirements in the summer term following the spring ceremony term;
    • Must register for all remaining course requirements for summer by April 1.
  • Commencement

    Commencement exercises for undergraduate and graduate students occur annually in May. Only students who have either satisfied all degree requirements or have met the eligibility criteria for participation with degree requirements remaining may participate in the commencement exercises.

    Information about the ceremony, graduation tickets, senior week activities, and caps and gowns will be forthcoming during the spring semester. Information will be updated at salemstate.edu/commencement. Please keep your permanent postal and email addresses and telephone numbers updated in Navigator to ensure that you do not miss any important information that may be communicated to you regarding your graduation eligibility status.

  • Invitation Letters for Commencement Guests

    Because the purpose of a tourist visa does not directly involve Salem State University’s visa sponsorship, the letter you need does not come from us. You need to provide your family and friends with a Letter of Invitation written by you. With your invitation letter, you should also supply the Applicant with an Enrollment Verification Letter and/or a copy of your transcripts, available via Navigator. Instructions and a letter template can be found here.

     

    Please note: These letters do not imply guaranteed admission to the event. All family members and guests must have a valid bar-coded ticket to be admitted to the O’Keefe Center, including children and guests with accessible seating requests. There will be no exceptions. On commencement day, a satellite viewing location will be available in Veterans Hall in the Ellison Campus Center for those without tickets. 

  • Degree Conferral and Recording

    Degrees are conferred by Salem State University three times annually as follows:

    Degree Completion Term

    Degree Conferral Date

    Summer Last Friday in August
    Fall Third Friday in January
    Spring Day of the Commencement ceremony

     

    Degrees will be recorded on the official transcript by the academic services staff of the registrar’s office on or within one week of the degree conferral date.

  • Degree Honors

    Academic honors are awarded to all qualified undergraduate degree candidates upon successful completion of their degree programs. In order to qualify for honors, students must earn at least 60 credits in residence and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.300. Effective spring 2013, degree honors designations are as follows:

    Cum laude 3.300 – 3.599
    Magna cum laude 3.600 – 3.849
    Summa cum laude 3.850 – 4.000

     

    For the purpose of the commencement program for spring and summer degree candidates who wish to participate in commencement prior to degree completion, honors categories are determined based on the cumulative GPA at the end of the prior fall semester. Final honors categories are noted on the students’ official transcripts at the time of degree recording and honors seals are later mailed to those students to be affixed to their diplomas.

  • Diploma Delivery

    Students who complete a degree program in the spring term and will be attending the annual commencement ceremony will receive their diplomas at the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed to students who complete a degree program in the spring term and choose not to attend the annual ceremony.

    Students who complete a degree program in the summer and fall terms and choose to attend the next annual ceremony will receive their actual diplomas by mail prior to the ceremony based on the delivery schedule below.

    Students participating in the annual ceremony prior to degree completion will receive their diplomas by mail after all degree requirements have been completed in the summer term following their participation in the ceremony and based on the delivery schedule below.

    Degree Completion Term Diploma Delivery
    Summer Mid-October
    Fall Mid-March
    Spring Mid-July

     

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