Approved by: Academic Senate
History: Issued             -- August 2006
Revised            --
Last Reviewed -- July 23, 2019
Related Policies: Grades and Academic Standing
Additional References:
Responsible Official: Provost tel. 202-319-5244


I. Commencement


Each candidate who has fulfilled all degree requirements and has been recommended to the Academic Senate by the faculty is required to attend the commencement exercises, unless excused by the Provost of the University. A student so excused must notify the dean and registrar that he or she will not be in attendance. Arrangements must be made with the registrar for forwarding the diploma.

The list of candidates for degrees approved by the Academic Senate and deposited in the Office of the Registrar is the official record of students who have graduated from the University.


II. Diploma


At the commencement exercises, the University awards a diploma to each student upon whom a degree is conferred provided a diploma application has been filed. The diploma is awarded under the student's name of record. Subsequent requests for issuance of replacement diplomas will be honored only upon submission by the student of a notarized statement that the original has been lost, stolen or destroyed and upon payment of the required fee.

A graduating student who has an outstanding bill with any department of the University will not receive a diploma until such balance is paid in full.


III. Honors


The bachelor's degree will be conferred with honors upon a student who has  earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) without rounding at the  University as follows: 

Cum laude - 3.500

Magna Cum Laude - 3.700

Summa Cum Laude - 3.900

Calculation of Latin honors is made by the dean's office of the school in which the student has matriculated. Latin honors in the University Commencement program are based upon the cumulative GPA from the fall semester, while the Latin honors reflected on the diploma and transcript are based upon the student’s final, cumulative GPA.

The cumulative GPA of University Honors Program students shall be increased with no rounding, for the purpose of Latin title honors only, by .05 quality point for each Honors sequence completed, up to a total of .15. Honors  Program students must have fulfilled all requirements for each sequence in order to qualify. The additional quality points are not added to grade reports or to the permanent record.

Transfer students who have completed at least the junior and senior years at this University as defined in each school are eligible for Latin honors if the cumulative GPA in courses taken at this University meets the criteria listed above.

The criteria for honors will be periodically reviewed and adjusted so that honors will be awarded to approximately 20 percent of the graduating class.