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    Jun 24, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation and Commencement

“Graduation” and “commencement” refer to two different activities. “Graduation” occurs at the conclusion of each trimester, when degrees are conferred on students who have completed their program requirements during the trimester. When students graduate their degrees are conferred and recorded on their transcripts and diplomas are issued to them. Graduation activities are administered by the Office of Records and Registration. “Commencement” is an annual ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of students who have or will graduate during an academic year. Commencement activities are administered by the Office of Student Affairs.

Applying for Graduation and Commencement

To be considered a candidate for graduation, students must apply for graduation. The application is required in order to alert the Office of Records and Registration to perform a final degree audit and to confer the candidate’s degree. Consequently, all potential degree candidates must apply, whether or not they plan to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students must apply for graduation online through GGU4YOU at

The deadline to apply for graduation depends on a student’s final term of enrollment:


Fall 2018 December 1, 2018
Spring 2019 April 1, 2019
Summer 2019 August 1, 2019

The degrees of students who fail to comply with these deadlines will be conferred with the subsequent term for which they apply.

Students who plan to participate in the commencement ceremony must apply for graduation by March 1 of the year the ceremony is to be held. Demand for seats is high. Students who miss the deadline will be placed on a waitlist, but it is possible they will not be allowed to attend due to space constraints.

If students do not complete their academic program requirements within the term they have applied to graduate, their applications will expire and they will be required to reapply for graduation.

Doctoral degree candidates also must file the application for graduation. They should consult further with the director of the doctoral program for other commencement eligibility requirements.

It is not necessary to apply for graduation from certificate programs. Instead, students should submit certificate order forms to the Office of Records and Registration. Refer to  Certificate Studies  for more information.

Degree and Certificate Conferral Dates and Eligibility

The university has three degree and certificate conferral dates per academic year; each corresponds to the final day of a trimester period (i.e, fall, spring, or summer). View the academic calendars for specific dates.

Students’ degrees or certificates will be conferred when they have completed all of their programs’ academic requirements and submitted the application for graduation or certificate order form. The degree term will be the one in which both of these criteria have been met.

Conferral of degrees is not contingent upon students’ having met their financial obligations with the university. However, the university will not release diplomas or official transcripts or provide degree verifications until their financial obligations are satisfied.

Commencement Date and Eligibility

Commencement ceremony dates are different from degree conferral dates. Commencement is held in the San Francisco Bay Area during the spring. Commencement information is available at

All eligible students who plan to participate in the commencement ceremony will be responsible for a non-refundable $100 commencement fee. Students must register and pay the commencement fee no later than March 1 of the year of the ceremony. Students may not be able to participate in the ceremony and will accrue late fees to participate if they apply after March 1.

To be eligible to participate in commencement and to be listed in the 2019 commencement program, students must be either

  1. Summer 2018, fall 2018, or spring 2019 degree candidates;
  2. Summer 2019 candidates with no more than 15 undergraduate units or 12 graduate units remaining to be completed in the summer 2019 term.

You can apply for graduation and register to participate in the commencement ceremony via the GGU4YOU Graduation page.

All tuition and fees must be paid prior to commencement unless other arrangements have been made. All candidates with outstanding balances who desire to participate in commencement must be cleared by Student Accounting Services two weeks prior to commencement.

Honors at Graduation

Undergraduate Programs

Honors are awarded to associate’s and bachelor’s degree graduates who have maintained cumulative grade point averages in their Golden Gate University courses as follows:

Associate’s Degrees:

High Honors 3.75-4.00 GPA
Honors 3.50-3.74 GPA

Bachelor’s Degrees:

Cum laude  3.50-3.749 GPA
Magna cum laude 3.750-3.899 GPA
Summa cum laude 3.900-4.000 GPA

Honors are awarded as of the date the degree is granted. These honors appear on both the diploma and official university transcript.

Graduate Programs

Honors are awarded to master’s degree graduates who maintained program grade point averages in their Golden Gate University programs as follows:

With honors 3.800-3.899 GPA
With high honors 3.900-3.999 GPA
With highest honors 4.000 GPA

Honors are awarded as of the date the degree is granted. These honors appear on both the diploma and official university transcript.

Honors designations do not apply to certificate programs and doctoral degrees.

Awards and Award Ceremony

Each year, at the end of the spring trimester, prior to commencement, the Office of Student Affairs hosts and award ceremony to recognize outstanding students. Outstanding students are chosen based on specific award criteria and are honored by the schools during the award ceremony. The award criteria vary and are available from the appropriate dean’s office. Outstanding students awards are not shown on the diploma, nor on the official university transcript.

Please note: Awardees are chosen from those students who applied for graduation by the March 1 commencement deadline and who will complete all degree requirements by the end of the spring trimester .

Summer graduates are eligible for the outstanding student award in the following spring. All students, who are selected for outstanding student awards will be notified if selected to receive an award.

Diploma and Transcript Distribution

Students who have submitted an application for graduation by the deadlines listed above and who have no outstanding financial obligations with the University can expect to receive their diploma and one official copy of their transcripts approximately six to eight weeks after their degree conferral date (see above). Diplomas and transcripts will be sent by first class mail to the address that students provide on the graduation application or will be available at the Office or Records and Registration for students who requested “hold for pick-up” on their applications.


Inquiries about graduation application status, degree conferral status, diplomas or certificates should be directed to the Office of Records and Registration at or by calling 415-442-7278.

Inquiries about commencement ceremonies and commencement regalia should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at; phone: 415-442-7288; fax: 415-442-7284.