Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies are held at the conclusion of the Fall and the Spring terms.

  • Because commencement exercises are meaningful experiences in the academic lives of students, all students are encouraged to participate when possible.
  • Students are permitted to participate in only one ceremony per degree.
  • Students must settle all accounts in order to be eligible to participate in commencement exercises. UMHB may restrict students from participating in commencement for failure to make complete payment of student accounts.
  • A student may be excused from commencement exercises and be permitted to graduate in absentia with approval from the Registrar’s Office. Students desiring to graduate in absentia should submit a written request to the Registrar’s Office not less than two weeks prior to the commencement exercise.
  • Diplomas will be mailed typically within eight weeks of the commencement exercise to the address provided on the application for degree.  This allows time for confirmation all degree requirements have been met.  Under no circumstances will a diploma be released prior to the official degree conferral date.  Diplomas will not be released to students owing a balance to UMHB.
  • Students lacking a maximum of seven semester hours toward degree completion may petition for permission to participate in commencement exercises. To petition, students must submit a fully completed Petition to Participate in Commencement Exercises form to their respective dean. Completion of the form requires a concrete plan for earning the remaining degree requirements. The specific requirements for that plan will vary by academic discipline. Whether or not the plan is adequate will be determined by the dean.

    Students must submit the form to their respective dean no later than January 15 for Spring participants or September 15 for Fall participants. The dean may require an in-person consultation. Normally the petition will be approved or denied within five business days of receipt of the form. Students denied permission to participate in commencement exercises by their respective dean will have five business days to appeal in writing to the Vice Provost. Students granted permission to participate in commencement exercises by either their respective dean or the Vice Provost must file an application for degree and pay the graduation fee by January 31 for Spring participants or September 30 for Fall participants. Students filing for graduation after their respective deadline will be charged a late fee and are NOT guaranteed inclusion in the printed commencement program.

    Participation in commencement exercises is not equivalent to graduation. Students granted permission by their respective dean or the Vice Provost to “walk” in the ceremony are not official graduates. They will not receive diplomas nor will their degrees be posted to their transcripts until all their degree requirements have been completed. Degree conferral dates will not be retroactive. The official degree conferral date will correspond to the semester in which the students' outstanding degree requirements are completed. Students failing to graduate after the expiration of one academic year must reorganize their respective degree plan to conform with the current catalog as well as must submit another application for degree and pay another graduation fee by the applicable deadlines.
  • Students may petition the Registrar's Office for permission to delay participation in commencement exercises if students are unable to participate in the ceremony immediately following their degree completion.