Commencement vs. Graduation
Most students confuse graduation with the commencement ceremony. Graduation and commencement are NOT the same.
- Commencement is the CEREMONY at the end of the current semester recognizing degree candidates who choose to participate. There are only 2 commencement ceremonies held at UH Hilo: one held at the end of the Fall semester and one held at the end of the Spring semester. Participating in the commencement ceremony does not mean you have graduated.
- GRADUATION is the official granting of a degree only after having met ALL degree requirements. Official graduation does not take place until after the current semester’s grades are posted which occurs after the commencement ceremony. A student may opt to graduate in any of the following semesters: Fall, Spring, or Summer. If you do not meet all degree requirements at the end of the semester, you will not graduate at the end of that semester.
The Advising Center DOES NOT coordinate the commencement ceremony. Questions related to commencement, including participation in commencement, can be directed to the commencement committee. Visit the Commencement webpage for more information: http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/academics/graduation/
Apply to Graduate
BEFORE submitting a graduation application:
- Consult the Academic Calendar on the Office of the Registrar webpage or in the current UH Hilo Catalog for the graduation application deadlines. Exceptions will not be made if you miss the deadline.
- Check your Star Degree Check and meet with your faculty advisor to ensure your timely progress toward graduation in the semester for which you've petitioned. They must sign the application before handing it in.
- Be sure to indicate your specialization/track/option on the application, if your degree has a specific focus. If you are planning to use the your "exit" catalog, please indicate that on your application as well.
- If necessary, submit approved petitions for modifications/substitutions/waivers to the Office of the Registrar and keep a copy for yourself. All approved petitions will appear in your Star Degree Check under the "From your Advisor" tab.
- List down your hawaii.edu address on the application. All communication regarding the status of your graduation application will be emailed to your hawaii.edu address.
Preliminary Graduation Evaluation
Submit your graduation application and payment to the Business Office by the deadlines. In order to receive a preliminary graduation evaluation, your application must be received by the priority deadline.
Once the graduation application is submitted by the priority deadline, the Office of the Registrar will generate a preliminary graduation evaluation based upon your academic record. Modifications and corrections to your STAR report are entered in at that time. Under no circumstances will the Office of the Registrar correct STAR reports unless they receive a graduation application.
Graduation evaluations are posted on your STAR Degree Check, under "From Your Advisor". A notification that it appears on your STAR will be automatically sent to your hawaii.edu email address.
Meet with your faculty advisor as soon as you receive the evaluation to review the document and discuss your progress toward graduation.
Final Graduation Certification
Graduation certification takes place after the current semester’s grades are posted which occurs after the commencement ceremony. A final graduation certification is conducted based on your final academic record. If you do not meet all degree requirements at the end of the semester, despite participating in commencement, you will not graduate.
If you have met all requirements for your degree and have been certified to graduate, you will receive a letter of congratulations from the Office of the Registrar.
If you have have NOT met all requirements, those deficiencies will appear on your STAR degree check, under "From your Advisor". You will be notified via hawaii.edu email address, informing you of the advisor note. You are responsible for meeting with your faculty advisor or department chair to address the deficiencies with the necessary offices.