Prerequisites to Apply to Graduate
Congratulations! You are required to read this page and understand it. If you do not have full understanding after reading, you must reach out to the Commencement Office to assist you in understanding. You are now close enough to completing your degree requirements to file for graduation and be included in an upcoming commencement ceremony. As you approach your graduation, there are many things to be aware of to ensure you have met all requirements, signed all forms and submitted all documents required for graduation. Read over this important information and mark your calendars for upcoming dates, deadlines and other requirements. Please be aware that participation in the commencement ceremony does not mean that you have been certified or necessarily will be certified for graduation at the University of Memphis this semester. Certification is the actual degree conferral, contingent upon your successful fulfillment of all of the requirements for receiving a degree, certificate in your field as described in the Catalog of your Academic Program/College or School requirements of the University of Memphis. For undergraduate students receiving honors, the distinction is based on your previous semester’s GPA. After the ceremony and once all grades have been certified by your college, you will receive your final GPA and appropriate honors status. Graduate Students do not receive honors distinction. By reading this required information, you understand that your participation in the commencement ceremony does not mean you will graduate officially; degree conferral depends upon successful completion of all of the degree requirements described in the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate School and Department Requirements.
As easy as 1, 2, 3...4
(Four Steps to Apply for Graduation)
- Step 1: Read this website of information. It is REQUIRED.
- Step 2: Apply to Graduate via your MyMemphis account & Submit any required College of School
forms based off of your major/department or college. Check with your advisor on College
and School form requirements.
- Graduate Students (Doctoral, Specialists, Masters, Graduate Certificates) Must Also Complete the Candidacy Form and other Requirements to be included and approved for graduation. It is a REQUIREMENT.
- Step 3: Cap and Gown & Diploma Mailing Form (Required by ALL degree-seeking students regardless of attendance)
- Step 4: Attendance and Non-Attendance Required Form (Required by ALL degree-seeking students regardless of attendance)
- Step 4 will be sent to your Memphis email address in your final semester, once you are officially approved for graduation. It is a REQUIREMENT.
- All communications will be sent to your Memphis email address. It is your responsibility to ensure you are checking your Memphis email account regularly for messages from the Commencement Office, advisors and academic officers. It is a good practice to check it daily.
- All students approved to graduate are automatically added the Commencement Program
each graduating semester. Therefore, it is the student's responsibility to let us
know if you want your name to be excluded from the commencement program by our Step
4 deadline. The name is automatically printed unless we hear from the student via
email in a timely fashion.
- Student records are checked by the College Graduation Analyst. These individuals tell
us who is approved to graduate and go into the commencement program. If there is ever
an issue with GPA, courses, etc., please contact the Graduation Analyst for your specific
- EARLY Participation is not allowed at the University of Memphis. All students must be approved for the current term
in order to participate in the commencement ceremony.
- Students receiving the Graduate Certificate do NOT participate in any commencement ceremony. The event is reserved for those obtaining degrees only and your certificate will be mailed 2-3 months after the ceremony.
- Second Majors do NOT participate in the commencement ceremony and do NOT receive a second diploma.
- Step 4 will be sent to graduates who are approved for the current term via their
Memphis email address. This will be sent in the final semester. It is REQUIRED by
ALL approved graduating students and failure to complete this form will result in the
canceling of your graduation application.
- Diplomas are mailed 2-3 months after commencement. No exceptions. If you have a hold on your account, you will not receive your diploma
until the hold is cleared.
- It is your responsibility to ensure all requirements are met at least one month prior to commencement. Failure to do so could cause issues such as: no name listed in the program, no permission to participate in the commencement ceremony, ineligibility to graduate, disqualification from the term's graduation, etc. Deadlines are strictly enforced. This statement does not override any deadlines that need to be met for other requirements such as graduate applications and Step 4.
Any student at the University has to be approved for graduation in order to participate. The University does not allow early participation. This means, the student participates in the term/semester that he/she is approved for graduation. If you become Ineligible, Disqualified or your Approval status changes from Approved to Not Approved at any point in the semester, your name will be removed from the program and as a result, your participation in the Commencement ceremony will be cancelled. Doctoral, Masters, Specialists: You must meet the Graduate School’s deadlines to remain approved and eligible for participation in the ceremony. Please refer to the Graduate School's website of important deadlines: https://www.memphis.edu/gradschool/current_students/graduation_information/graduation_deadlines.php.
Requirements to Apply to Graduate
- Undergraduates – at least 80 earned hours towards degree completion and at least a 1.95 GPA
- Graduates (Doctoral, Specialists, Masters, Graduate Certificates) – 3.00 GPA (Must Apply for Graduation and SUBMIT a CANDIDACY FORM to the Graduate School)
- Law – 55 hours, 1.90 GPA
Undergraduate Students: If you have attended another college or university, having transfer credit in UMdegree is essential for the graduation checkout to be accurate. Please notify your advisor if you have missing transfer credits. For further questions about academic coursework, please contact your Graduation Analyst.
Graduate Students: All degree-seeking students filing for graduation are required to submit candidacy forms (masters/doctoral/certificate program/EDS Program of Study and Candidacy Form) for processing by the Graduate School. Signatures are required from the student, departmental advisor, graduate studies coordinator, and College Director of Graduate Studies. Candidacy forms received by the College Director of Graduate Studies after the semester deadline will not be approved; therefore, we strongly recommend that you submit the form to your departmental advisor at least one to two weeks prior to the Graduate School's Application deadline. Failure to submit this form will ensure that you are NOT approved for graduation; and therefore, delays your anticipated graduation date. If you are receiving a Doctoral/Master’s degree and a Graduate Certificate, you must complete two separate candidacy forms (one for your degree program and one for your graduate certificate).
Law Students: Students must return the Law School’s Graduation Checklist to the Law Registrar prior to completing the Application to Graduate. For further information about your academic coursework, contact the Law School Registrar.
- After you completely read this entire webpage, login/return to your myMemphis portal.
- Click on the My Degree tab and then locate the Commencement Channel to access Step 2 (Apply to Graduate) by the Deadline. Deadlines are strictly upheld.
- Select your Degree Program.
- Select a term (this is the last term you were enrolled in the program/degree-seeking program (degree, majors, concentrations and minors)).
- Select a Graduation Date (dates are usually listed through the next year).
- An email will be sent to your Memphis email confirming your application is submitted after successful completion of the application.
- You can view your submitted application by selecting "View Application to Graduate".
- If you are graduating with more than one degree, you must complete an application for each degree. For example, select the College of Arts and Sciences' Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology. Submit the application. Return to Apply to Graduate to select your second degree, complete the application, and submit.
- If you decide after your application submission that you want to change your date of graduation, contact your Graduation Analyst. The Graduation Analyst is the only individual who can change your date of graduation.
- Immediately after Step 2's submission, submit Step 3.
- In your final semester, you will receive Step 4.
ATTENTION: Students must be approved for graduation prior to being able to participate and remain on the graduation list. If you are lacking any coursework, lacking any REQUIRED forms, etc., this will affect your approval status and delay your graduation until that coursework is met.
- Undergraduate Diplomas: Will only reflect the degree, any honors distinctions and departmental honors. Majors and Concentrations are available on your transcripts and will not be placed on any undergraduate (bachelor) diplomas.
- Doctoral and some Master’s Diplomas: Will list the degree only on the diploma. Majors and Concentrations are available on your transcripts.
- All students in the program are walking based on their prior semester GPA. Any changes in honors will be reflected on the Undergraduate Diploma at the time of certification. Graduate School Diplomas do NOT denote any honors.
- Students are allowed to participate ONCE for the degree they are seeking.
- Second majors and second concentrations do not participate in the Commencement ceremony, are not listed in the program and do not receive a second diploma. For example, in May 2011, student received a Bachelor of Professional Studies with a concentration Health Services degree and returned in May 2012 and added a concentration within Professional Studies. Another example, in May 2012, student received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English and returned in December 2012 and gets a second major in History. These are the same degree, so no second diploma, program name or participation.
- Graduate Certificate ONLY students do not participate in the Commencement ceremony. Names are listed in the spring Commencement program only.
- Step 4 - Completion of the Step 4 is required for both students participating in the Commencement ceremony (attending) and for students not planning to participate (not attending). This includes all levels of students: doctoral, masters, specialists, undergraduates and law (law only in December and summer). Attendance is collected by semester so only the current semester graduating student fills out the form. Ceremony attendance information will be collected by the Commencement Office during the middle of your graduating semester. See below for when you need to fill out your card.
This step like all Steps are required. Step 4 will be sent to approved students in their final semester. It is required by all students regardless of attendance. Failure to complete Step 4 will result in your graduation application being cancelled. Please mark calendars and be on the look out for Step 4 in your final semester.
- August graduates will be asked to submit Step 4 in June/July.
- December graduates will be asked to submit Step 4 in October.
- May graduates will be asked to submit Step 4 in February.
NOTICE: Students graduating in the spring/May semester each year are subject to a Commencement date change. Please read below for details.
Spring graduation may conflict with the Grizzlies playoff schedule, so there could
be a possible date change. Please share the possible back-up-date information with
all guests, including immediate and extended family and friends.
If you are applying to graduate/graduating in spring (May), please plan and have your guests plan accordingly for a Saturday or Sunday event possibility. We recommend booking any return flights (transportation) either late on Sunday (depending on the graduating students college or school) or Monday morning following Commencement. We appreciate your assistance in helping us spread the word. Confirmation of actual Spring dates and times will be sent out via the graduating students Memphis email account, the Commencement Office website, @Commencement (Twitter), and @uomemphisgrad (Instagram). If you are graduating in the spring semester and would like more information regarding the backup date, click Details on Spring & Grizzlies.
GPA Requirements and University Honors
University honor cords are single ropes worn over the robe. The cords come in three colors — gold, crimson or white.
- Summa Cum Laude, with Highest Distinction, 3.80 - 4.00: gold cord
- Magna Cum Laude, with High Distinction, 3.50 - 3.79: crimson cord
- Cum Laude, with Distinction, 3.25 - 3.49: white cord
-Undergraduate students who have achieved academic honors distinction (summa, magna or cum as determined by the University policy on GPA) will receive their honor cord at cap and gown distribution.
-Names listed in the program with the designations Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude are provided by the office of the Dean of the College or School and are based on grade point averages at the beginning of the term.
-Grades from this semester (semester student is graduating in) will not be included in honors calculations until certification for the diploma, 2-3 months after commencement.
-You may confirm your honor designation by checking the proof of the Commencement Program. If you think there is an error, you must talk with the Commencement Office early/by the Step 4 deadline. After you notify the Commencement Office of the error, they will contact your college/school to determine if changes should be made.
-Graduate Students do not have academic honors, but may wear cords awarded previously.
-4.0s are determined by looking at an undergraduate student's overall undergraduate studies (entire transcript/entire undergraduate career: Every undergraduate course taken must be an A or better) to determine a 4.0 GPA .
-Student Marshal(s): Each undergraduate College and School will identify the undergraduate student(s) with the highest GPA in their overall undergraduate studies to act as its Student Marshal. Student Marshals are recognized by their Marshal's medallion and will lead the college across the stage. Student Marshals ar selected by the Commencement Office and are only official in the current semester of graduation. We have to review student records to ensure accuracy.
-If a student is graduating with University Honors or University Honors with Thesis, they must communicate with the Honors Program several months before Commencement to ensure the Commencement Office and the college/school knows to add this to the program and diploma information.
For more information on the Institution's Recognition of Academic Performance, see Recognition of Academic Performance.
If you have questions, please call 901.678.5547 or send an email with your Full Name, Unumber to email@example.com.
By reading this information, you understand and agree to all of its terms and conditions and that your participation in the commencement ceremony does not mean that students have graduated; degree conferral depends upon successful completion of all of the degree requirements described in the Catalog of your Academic Program/College or School. All students are highly recommended to check with your department on all academic requirements.