Applying to Graduate

Graduates in full regalia

How to Graduate from the College

Students graduate from Tompkins Cortland Community College after they have applied for graduation and have completed all of the academic requirements of their degree.

Please Note: Transcripts will NOT reflect a degree unless a student has applied to graduate and all program requirements are confirmed to be complete.

Step 1: Check Degree Works

Before applying to graduate, students should check their Degree Works worksheet. If any courses in the degree program are marked as “Still Needed”, the student must register for the required courses or see their academic advisor for assistance before applying to graduate. Students will not be certified for graduation until all degree requirements are either complete or in progress.

Step 2: File Applicable Course Paperwork

If applicable, all course substitutions, waivers, grade changes, transfer credits, or other documents related to completion of degree requirements must be completed or in process before applying to graduate. Visit the Academic Regulations page for more information.

Step 3: Apply to Graduate (Required to Receive Degree)

Students must apply to graduate in the semester prior to completing their program requirements. For instance, a student planning to graduate in May must apply to graduate by the deadline set in the fall semester. Even if a student does not plan to participate in the commencement ceremony, they must still apply to graduate.

After a student submits their application to graduate, the Office of Academic Records will begin a review of degree progress.

The status of the graduation application and degree audit can be checked in Degree Works, or on the "Apply to Graduate" link in myINFO. A letter is sent to students once the official degree audit has been completed by the office of Academic Records.

Applying for graduation is essential. Graduation is not automatic upon degree completion. Every potential graduate MUST apply to graduate.

Deadlines to Apply

For May 2020 Graduation

To receive a degree audit before the spring semester begins: December 2. Final deadline cutoff for May 2020 graduation: April 10

For August 2020 Graduation

To walk in May Commencement, prior to degree completion: April 10

The August Degree, Walk in May option is ONLY for students who have 6 credits or fewer remaining at the end of the Spring Semester and who are registered for the outstanding coursework in the summer session by April 10. Students must notify the Academic Records office that they intend to walk in the May Commencement Ceremony.

To receive a degree audit before the summer session begins: May 1.  Final Deadline: July 6

For December 2020 Graduation

To receive a degree audit before fall semester begins: July 30. Final Deadline: October 25

Step 4: Prepare for Commencement

An informational brochure with the date, time, and location of the ceremony, information about ordering caps and gowns, tickets, etc, is mailed to graduates and candidates for graduation in April. It is mailed to the student’s local and permanent address.

The College’s Commencement ceremonies are a public celebration of graduation. Students do not receive an official diploma at the ceremonies. The official degree is awarded and posted to transcripts upon final verification that all degree requirements have been completed, within four weeks of the end of the semester. Diplomas are issued approximately six weeks after the end of the semester.

August and December graduates are included in the following May’s Commencement ceremony. There is no August ceremony. December graduates may attend both the December recognition ceremony and the May Commencement ceremony.

Graduate in robe with cap reading "I did it!"

No Additional Fees to Graduate

There is no additional charge involved with graduation or commencement. The matriculation fee is applied to the bill the first semester a student enrolls in classes. This fee covers graduation and commencement expenses. The exception is that there is an additional matriculation fee of $20 for completing a second degree.

Financial Holds do not Prevent Graduation

A financial hold on a student’s account does not prevent graduation. The student should still apply to graduate. They will be able to participate in commencement and their degree will be granted (if degree requirements are complete). However, neither the diploma nor official transcripts will be released until the hold is cleared. The student must notify the office of Academic Records when the hold is cleared.

Contact: AcadRec@tompkinscortland.edu with any questions.