Graduation Information and Considerations

Graduation Information & Considerations

Undergraduate Students

Currently enrolled undergraduate students who have enough earned hours to be eligible to apply for graduation will receive an email at the beginning of the term alerting them that the application for graduation is open. The email will also provide detailed instructions on how to apply through your AppalNet account. 

Undergraduate students must apply for graduation in the term immediately preceding the one in which they will complete all coursework and requirements for graduation (including internships, study abroad, etc.). This will allow colleges to send information about remaining graduation requirements before students register for their final semester. 

Graduate Students

Graduate students should visit for deadlines and information.

Students Completing Degree Requirements in Summer

Students completing degree requirements in the summer are permitted to walk in May Commencement.  

Note: Only students who have applied for graduation by the deadline in the correct term will have their names printed in the Commencement program. 

Based on your formal application to graduate, the Dean’s Office of your major college will review your academic record and notify you whether you have met the requirements to be awarded your degree.

If you have not met all degree requirements for that term, your application will be rolled to the next available term. 

Your degree will not be awarded until you have been cleared by the college as meeting the requirements for graduation, and have an active graduation application for the term in which you are cleared. 

The graduation check-out is what prompts the Registrar's Office to award your degree once the college confirms all requirements have been met.

Yes. Students who do not submit an application for graduation will not have their degree awarded and will not receive a diploma. 

Walking in the Commencement Ceremony is not synonymous with graduating; however, we hope you will choose to participate. Please visit Appalachian’s Commencement site for ceremony details. 

Undergraduate Students

A $15 graduation application fee will be applied to your student account for each term you apply to graduate and for each distinct degree. 

You should select the term that represents when you will complete ALL requirements for graduation, not the term you plan to participate in commencement. 

Please make sure any fees, including your graduation application fee and any other outstanding balances, are paid by the end of the semester in which you are planning to graduate.

Graduate Students

Please visit for fees and information.

Undergraduate Students

Email if you need to make any changes to your degree application after it is submitted.

If the term you will meet your graduation requirements changes, you must contact the graduation team to have your current application moved to another available term. 

Graduate Students


To be eligible for graduation with honors, an undergraduate student must complete, in residence at Appalachian, a minimum of 48 semester hours:

  • Minimum grade-point average of 3.45 is required for graduating cum laude; 
  • Minimum grade-point average of 3.65 is required for graduating magna cum laude; 
  • Minimum grade-point average of 3.85 is required for graduating summa cum laude.

The GPA used to recognize candidates for Latin honors (during the ceremony) is the cumulative GPA earned through the immediately preceding (not the current) semester. Candidates for Latin, University, College or Departmental honors will be recognized during the ceremony. Diploma and transcripts will indicate Latin honors earned after a student’s final GPA is determined.

Note: Credit for which a grade is not awarded will not be used in the determination of honors.

Note: Students that have been granted forgiveness are not eligible to graduate with Latin honors.

For teacher candidates who anticipate applying for Teacher Licensure, information regarding the process will be provided by the Reich College of Education's Office of Field Experiences during your student teaching semester.  

Do not apply for Teacher Licensure any earlier than your student teaching semester when you receive this information. For more information, visit

Please make sure any fees, including your application for graduation fee and any other outstanding balance, is paid by the end of the semester in which you are graduating. 

It is a policy of the State of North Carolina that neither diplomas nor transcripts can be released if the student has an unpaid account with the University. 

Graduating students should contact the following areas to ensure that their accounts are clear:

  • Student Accounts Office (828-262-2113)
  • Library (828-262-2818)
  • University Bookstore (828-262-3070)

Note: Students who have received a federal loan (Perkins or Stafford) are required to have an "exit interview" prior to graduation. Please contact the Financial Aid Office (828-262-2190) for assistance.

GRADUATION: The official date that all degree requirements are completed. All general education, major, minor, certificates, internships, incomplete grades, etc. must be COMPLETE. Graduation happens three times per year: May, August, & December

COMMENCEMENT: The ceremony to celebrate a student’s achievements. Commencement only happens twice per year: May & December.

Students must apply for the term in which they will graduate, not the term in which they will participate in commencement, and they should submit their graduation application in the semester prior to their last semester taking courses.  


Complete all course requirements and grades posted:

Submit graduation application by: 

Apply for graduation term:

Walk in commencement ceremony:

Spring Term

Prior Fall Term



Any Summer term

Prior Fall Term



Fall Term

Prior Spring Term



*Students completing all coursework in August may choose to walk in the following December commencement ceremony; however, students applying for August graduation will have their names appear in the prior May Commencement Ceremony program. Contact the dean’s office for information.

Graduation Expo

Graduation Expo

Graduation Expo

Once you have applied to graduate, make plans to attend the Graduation Expo, which is held at the University Bookstore each semester (fall and spring). 

Order your cap and gown • Order invitations •  Order a class ring 

Visit the University Bookstore’s website for Expo dates and information.