Office of the Registrar

Early Commencement Participation Application

Note-This policy only applies to students who wish to participate in a graduation ceremony but have additional coursework to complete during the term immediately following the commencement ceremony. If the student’s degree audit clears for graduation at 98%, the commencement participation form does NOT need to be submitted.

Commencement Participation Policy: A student shall be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony if the student demonstrates that degree program requirements for graduation are or will be met with the completion of one educational experience (e.g. internship, practicum, fieldwork) as defined by their Dean’s office or up to 8 credit hours of coursework during the term immediately following the commencement ceremony.


Early Commencement Participation Guidelines:

  • Students approved to participate early will not have their names appear in the commencement program.
  • Students approved to participate early will not receive any recognition of university honors and/or distinctions (no distinction cords issued) until all graduation requirements have been met.
  • Students should fill out the online graduation application for the appropriate term of graduation (the term in which they will complete all requirements).
  • In addition to the online graduation application, students wishing to participate early will be required to complete a Request to Participate in a Graduation Ceremony acknowledging the criteria and responsibilities of participating in a ceremony, prior to meeting graduation requirements. The course(s) still required will be noted on this form along with a copy of their degree audit.
  • Each department is responsible for maintaining a list within their department, as they are notified by the individual students. A list is maintained by the graduation specialist for cap and gown distribution, which is sent to the bookstore and transition programs for record-keeping purposes.
  • Any student not meeting the criteria for early participation in graduation, as set forth by the UNCW Faculty Senate, will be denied participation by the Office of the Registrar. Appeals must go through the student's respective College/School Dean or designee.