Graduation and Commencement FAQs

Graduation and Commencement FAQS

We have collected a list of questions most frequently asked by students with their respective answers. If you have a graduation or commencement question not answered on this page, please contact the Office of the Registrar directly.

Applying to Graduate

Commonly asked questions about the process of graduating from Marylhurst University. If you’re looking for the graduation application, check out this graduation application page.

How much does it cost to apply for graduation?

There is no fee for applying to graduate.

Why do I have to apply for graduation?

Before we can award a degree or certificate, we need to verify that you have satisfied all the requirements. Applying for graduation is your way to tell us that you intend to complete a specific degree or certificate program during a specific term so we can do this verification.

What’s the difference between graduation and commencement?

Graduation refers to receiving your diploma and having your degree awarded. Commencement is the traditional graduation ceremony. You must apply for graduation even if you do not plan to attend the commencement ceremony.

What must I do to graduate during a given term?

Before the end of the term, you must:

  • Complete all requirements (coursework, thesis, tests, etc.) required for your degree or certificate
  • Complete all work for classes with Incomplete or In Progress grades and ensure that your instructor has posted the final grade
  • Submit official transcripts for any transfer credits
  • Meet upper-division, residency and overall credit requirements for your program
  • Maintain your Marylhurst GPA at or above the minimum level for graduation (2.00 for undergraduate degrees; 3.00 for graduate degrees)

What if I don’t meet all the requirements by the end of the term?

Evidence of the completion of all degree requirements (e.g., official test scores, official transcripts for transfer credit, final grades for incomplete and in progress courses, outcome assessment results, etc.) must be received by the Office of the Registrar within 21 calendar days of the last day of the term in which the student has applied to graduate. Students who have not fulfilled degree requirements by this date will be mailed a letter indicating requirements were not met and will need to re-apply for the term in which they will complete all degree requirements.

What if I get an Incomplete or In Progress grade during my last term?

An Incomplete or In Progress grade indicates that you have not completed all your requirements. Evidence of the completion of all degree requirements (e.g., official test scores, official transcripts for transfer credit, final grades for incomplete and in progress courses, outcome assessment results, etc.) must be received by the Office of the Registrar within 21 calendar days of the last day of the term in which the student has applied to graduate. Students who have not fulfilled degree requirements by this date will need to re-apply for the term in which they will complete all degree requirements.

What happens if, after I apply, I realize I will be unable to complete my requirements for the term that I applied?

If you know that you will be unable to complete your requirements for the term that you’d applied, contact your academic adviser and the Graduation Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar.

I want to walk in commencement, but I need to finish some classes in summer. When should I apply to graduate?

You should apply for summer term graduation. All summer graduates are eligible to participate in the June commencement of the same academic year.

I’ve already applied for graduation, but I’m planning to complete an additional degree or certificate. Do I need to apply again?

Yes. Each application must be processed individually.

I’ve met all my requirements already, but I haven’t applied for graduation. What term should I apply for?

You should apply for the next term for which the application for graduation deadline has not passed. You cannot apply for a term that has already ended.

When will my degree or certificate be officially awarded?

Your degree or certificate conferral date will be the last date of the term for which you applied to graduate.

When will I get my diploma or certificate?

Diplomas and certificates are generally mailed within six to eight weeks following the end of the term. Diplomas are not given out at the commencement ceremony. Please note that we cannot issue your diploma or certificate if you have an outstanding balance with the student accounts office, an overdue library book, or a library fine.

What is printed on my diploma or certificate?

The following information is included:

  • Your name exactly as written on your graduation application
  • Your degree and major, or your certificate program
  • The date your degree or certificate was awarded
  • The official university seal

The following information is NOT included:

  • Minors, concentrations or emphases
  • Commencement awards
  • The university logo

What size is my diploma or certificate?

Diplomas and certificates are 8.5” x 11” with landscape orientation.

I have two majors. Will I get two diplomas?

If you are graduating with a double major (completing both majors within 180 credits), you will receive one diploma listing both majors. If you are completing a double degree (completing at least 225 credits), you will receive two separate diplomas.

Can I graduate with honors?

Students completing a bachelor’s degree are graduated With Honors if they have a cumulative Marylhurst GPA of 3.95 or greater based on all undergraduate credits taken up to the point of degree conferral and a minimum of 45 GPA-bearing credits. Honors are noted in the commencement program and on the transcript.

Marylhurst University does not confer Latin honors (e.g., summa cum laude). No honors are available for graduate students or certificate students.

Annual Commencement Ceremony

Marylhurst’s annual commencement ceremony is held each year in June, typically on a Saturday in mid-June. To learn about our commencement ceremony and related celebrations, go to our commencement section.

Who is eligible to walk at the commencement ceremony?

The commencement ceremony occurs once each year in June. Graduates from the previous fall and winter and students who have applied to graduate in spring or summer are eligible and invited to participate.

Note: Students graduating from programs requiring a clinical internship are eligible to walk if they have completed all coursework and have secured an internship agreement by the end of spring term.

The ceremony honors the achievement of students who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree program; no formal ceremony is offered for students completing certificates.

How do I sign up to walk at commencement?

RSVP on My Marylhurst (login required).

How much does it cost to participate in commencement?

Participation is free; however, you will need to wear a cap and gown.

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. and lasts for about two hours. You can expect to leave the Oregon Convention Center by 12:30 p.m.

Do my guests need tickets to the commencement ceremony?

No. The ceremony is free and you may invite as many guests as you like.

What should I bring with me to commencement?

Be sure to bring your cap, gown and tassel. Beyond that, the less you bring to the ceremony the better. Have a friend or family member hold your purse or bag.

What is the baccalaureate ceremony?

Baccalaureate is a Catholic Mass held to give thanks for the achievements of the graduates, to ask God’s blessing on their future, and to celebrate the event of graduation. All bachelor’s and master’s candidates are invited to attend. Family and friends are welcome, but please be aware that space is limited. Graduates are encouraged to wear their caps and gowns.

Academic Regalia

Academic regalia refers to the academic costume or dress worn by graduates. Academic regalia dates to medieval Europe, where scholars and clerics normally wore long robes and hoods, possibly for warmth in unheated stone buildings. Today’s regalia is symbolic and used for ceremonial purposes.

Bachelor’s regalia at Marylhurst University consists of a black gown and a black cap with a tassel.

Master’s regalia at Marylhurst University consists of a black gown, a black cap with a tassel, and a hood. The hood is black and is lined with blue and gold, representing Marylhurst University, and faced with a color indicating the specific field of study.

How do I get a cap and gown?

Caps, gowns, hoods and tassels can be purchased at the annual Graduation Fair in April or at the Marylhurst campus store after the Graduation Fair. If you already own a black cap and gown, you may wear those instead of purchasing new ones; however, you will still need to order a tassel in the appropriate color for your major.

What should I wear to commencement and baccalaureate?

All degree candidates wear regalia while participating in the commencement ceremony. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to wear caps and gowns to the baccalaureate service.

Attire worn under the gown should be appropriate to the formality of the occasion. No visible decorations are worn on the gown, cap or hood.

How do I wear the cap?

The cap is worn with the flat surface horizontal and with one point forward between the eyes. The cap is worn through the ceremony and is not removed until after the recessional.

How do I wear the tassel?

Bachelor’s candidates wear the tassel on the right. During the ceremony, the new graduates will be instructed to move the tassel to the left.

Master’s candidates wear the tassel on the left at all times, symbolizing the previous attainment of a bachelor’s degree. The relatively modern custom of moving the tassel is a substitute for individual hooding. Because master’s candidates are hooded individually, they do not participate in this custom.

The tassel color indicates the specific field of study. A candidate earning a double major wears only one tassel and should wear the color of the group with which he or she will process and sit.

How do I wear the master’s hood?

The hood is worn during the commencement ceremony since master’s candidates have already been hooded in hooding ceremonies for their respective graduate departments. The hood is also worn during the Baccalaureate Mass as candidates have been hooded prior to Baccalaureate.

What color is my tassel or hood?

Bachelor’s degrees:
Art • White
Art, Fine Art • Brown
Business & Leadership • Drab
Business Management • Drab
Communication • White
Cultural Studies • White
English Literature & Writing • White
Human Studies • Gold
Interdisciplinary Studies • White
Interior Design • Brown
Media & Film Studies • White
Music • Pink
Music Therapy • Pink
Organizational & Strategic Communications • White
Psychology • Gold
Real Estate Studies • Drab
Religious Studies • Scarlet
Science • Gold
Social Sciences • Citron
Sustainable Business • Drab

Master’s degrees:
Applied Pastoral Theology • Scarlet
Art Therapy Counseling • White
Business Administration • Drab
Divinity • Scarlet
Education • Light Blue
Food Systems & Society • White
Interdisciplinary Studies • White
Teaching • Light Blue

How do I order a class ring, graduation announcements or a diploma frame?

The campus store carries a selection of diploma frames. You can purchase other commencement related items through our supplier, Jostens, at the Graduation Fair or online at