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 Degree Conferral  

To receive a letter detailing outstanding requirements for degree completion before the beginning of the spring semester: Apply by Nov. 30
To insure inclusion in Commencement publications: Apply by March 15
Final Deadline: April 10 
Applications submitted after April 10 will be processed for August conferral.


For August Degree Conferral

To receive a letter detailing outstanding requirements for degree completion before the beginning of the summer semester: Apply by April 30 
To insure inclusion in Commencement publications (if eligible to participate): Apply by March 15
Final Deadline: July 10
Applications submitted after July 10 will be processed for December conferral.


For December Degree Conferral

To receive a letter detailing outstanding requirements for degree completion before the beginning of the fall semester: Apply by July 31
To insure inclusion in the Graduation Recognition Ceremony: Apply by Oct. 31
Final Deadline: Oct. 31 

Applications submitted after Nov. 30 will be processed for May conferral. 

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.