Graduation and Diploma Information
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Graduation application deadlines
- 2. How do I apply for graduation?
- 3. How do I know if the Office of the Registrar received my application?
- 4. What is the difference between the priority deadline and the final deadline to apply for graduation?
- 5. What if I miss the final deadline to apply for graduation?
- 6. Can I graduate in absentia?
- 7. Can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?
- 8. Will my name be printed in the Commencement Program if I invoked FERPA (confidentiality)?
- 9. What if I have questions regarding the Commencement ceremony?
- 10. How much does a diploma cost?
- 11. How will I know if I will graduate?
- 12. Will I graduate with honors?
- 13. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my graduation status?
- 14. Who can I contact if I have questions on interpreting my STAR Degree Audit?
- 15. What is the difference between a double major, earning multiple degrees, and earning a second baccalaureate degree?
- 16. When will I get my official diploma?
- 17. I won't be in Hilo to pick up my diploma. What are my options?
- 18. How much does it cost to have my diploma mailed to me?
- 19. I haven't received my diploma yet. How can I obtain verification of graduation?
- 20. I lost my diploma or I need additional copies. What are my options?
- 21. I want to keep taking classes after I graduate. What do I do?
- 22. Am I automatically withdrawn from classes because I’ve graduated?
Have a different question? For questions regarding graduation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Graduation application deadlines
|Graduation Application Deadlines||Priority Date||Final Deadline (see question #4)|
|Spring 2021 Graduation||October 1, 2020||January 29, 2021|
|Summer 2021 Graduation||April 1, 2021||July 2, 2021|
|Fall 2021 Graduation||April 1, 2021||September 10, 2021|
|Spring 2022 Graduation||October 1, 2021||January 28, 2022|
|Summer 2022 Graduation||April 1, 2022||June 24, 2022|
|Fall 2022 Graduation||April 1, 2022||September 9, 2022|
|Spring 2023 Graduation||October 3, 2022||January 27, 2023|
|Summer 2023 Graduation||April 3, 2023||June 23, 2023|
|Fall 2023 Graduation||April 3, 2023||TBA|
Graduate Students Only (Effective Fall 2017):
- Only for students pursuing a Graduate level degree (Masters and Doctoral Degrees)
In order to prepare the thesis/dissertation and oral defense, and to determine if the program can be completed successfully that semester, graduate students are allotted additional time to apply for graduation. The Graduation Application must be submitted no later than:
- Spring 2021
- March 15, 2021
- Fall 2021
- October 15, 2021
- Spring 2022
- March 15, 2022
- Fall 2022
- October 17, 2022
- Spring 2023
- March 15, 2023
2. How do I apply for graduation?
- Download the following forms from the Office of the Registrar's Commonly Used Forms page:
- Graduation Application
- Graduation Application Instructions
- Graduation Application Credit/Debit Card Authorization
- Check your STAR Degree Audit Check and meet with your faculty advisor to ensure your timely progress toward graduation in the semester for which you've petitioned.
- If necessary, submit an approved Request for Modification of Academic Requirements form (for undergraduate level students) or Petition to Transfer, Substitute, and/or Waive Courses form (for graduate level students) to the Office of the Registrar and keep a copy for yourself. All approved petitions will appear in your STAR Degree Audit Check under the "Academic Essentials" tab in the "Advisor Notes" section.
If you are planning to postpone or cancel your graduation petitioning term, change your major, concentration, minor, or catalog term, please go directly to the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar to update your graduation application.
3. How do I know if the Office of the Registrar received my application?
Your STAR account will have a note stating that you have petitioned for graduation.
- Log in to STAR
- Look in the "Events & Actions" column
If you do not see this statement in STAR within 7 days of submitting your graduation application to the Cashier's Office, please contact the Office of the Registrar via email at email@example.com or call (808) 932-7447.
4. What is the difference between the priority deadline and the final deadline to apply for graduation?
Students meeting the priority deadline will receive a preliminary graduation evaluation by the end of the registration period in which the student is planning to graduate. Incomplete applications will only be considered as meeting the priority deadline if all outstanding information is received and payment is cleared by the priority deadline date. Applications that are completed after the priority deadline date will be considered as meeting the final deadline.
Students meeting the final application deadline are not guaranteed to receive a preliminary graduation evaluation. Incomplete applications will only be considered as meeting the final deadline if all outstanding information is received and payment is cleared by the final deadline date. Applications that are completed after the final deadline date will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
All efforts will be made to provide the student with a preliminary evaluation. However, this is not guaranteed.
It is recommended that students review all graduation requirements in the catalog of the year in which the major was declared (or graduation year, if choosing exiting catalog requirements) and work closely with their College or Major advisors to be sure that all requirements have been met.
5. What if I miss the final deadline to apply for graduation?
Under extenuating circumstances due to factors beyond his/her control, a student may request an exception to the final deadline. Written appeals along with supporting documentation should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
Students who are granted approval by the Office of the Registrar to submit an application after the final application deadline will not receive a preliminary graduation evaluation and the student may not be listed in the Commencement program.
A change in the expected graduation date without an additional fee is possible only within the same academic year (i.e., fall to spring to summer). Students must immediately report any changes in their expected graduation date to the Office of the Registrar. A new application and processing fee is required if changes are made from one academic year to the next academic year (i.e. fall to the following fall).
6. Can I graduate in absentia?
Under extraordinary circumstances, students may earn their final credits at an institution other than UH Hilo and, upon official transfer of these credits back to UH Hilo, graduate with their degree from UH Hilo. This practice is called graduation in absentia.
Students must demonstrate a compelling personal reason to graduate in absentia, and their application must be approved by the appropriate college dean before any courses are taken in absentia.
Graduation in absentia is not automatic nor is it a right of students. In order to be eligible to be considered, a student must meet all of the specific conditions contained in the Application to Graduate in Absentia form.
Students whose application for graduation in absentia has been approved must also apply for graduation as described in Question 2 above.
7. Can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?
The Commencement ceremony is separate from filing for graduation. Participating in the ceremony does not confirm your degree. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs determines policies, procedures, and implementation of the Commencement ceremony.
In order to participate in Commencement, you must register with the Commencement Office by their specified deadline.
8. Will my name be printed in the Commencement Program if I invoked FERPA (confidentiality)?
All students that have applied for graduation will have their names printed in the Commencement Program unless otherwise requested (this includes students that have requested confidentiality of their educational records under FERPA).
If you wish to have your name excluded from the Commencement Program, you must indicate it on the graduation application by checking the box and initialing the statement that reads "I would like my name to be excluded from the Commencement Program." The Office of the Registrar will notify the Commencement Committee of the students who do not want their names published in the Commencement Program.
9. What if I have questions regarding the Commencement ceremony?
The UH Hilo Commencement site is where you will find important information about commencement.
Contact Disabilities Services for information regarding Commencement and Disability Accommodations.
10. How much does a diploma cost?
The graduation application fee includes one diploma in both English & Hawaiian. Only one diploma cover provided.
Additional diplomas are available for $15.00 per certificate/degree. Submit the Order Replacement/Additional Copies of Diploma form and pay by credit card by using the Credit Card Payment Form for Diploma. When choosing a diploma language, please be aware that the staff of the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar cannot translate the Hawaiian language diploma; also, some employers require a copy of the diploma as proof of graduation and may only accept a diploma in English.
11. How will I know if I will graduate?
Notification regarding your graduation status will be posted to your STAR account whether you have met all graduation requirements or if you have any graduation deficiencies.
- If you degree has been awarded, your STAR account will have a note stating that you have been awarded for graduation. This information will be posted under the "Academic Essentials tab" in the "Events & Actions" column.
- If you have any graduation deficiencies, your STAR account will have a note under the "Academic Essentials" tab in the "Advisor Notes" section. Graduation can only be confirmed after grades have been submitted for the student's final semester course work.
12. Will I graduate with honors?
Honors in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics or Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language shall be determined in accordance with the cumulative GPA upon graduation in courses taken at UH Hilo in the following manner:
|Type of Honors||UH Hilo GPA|
|Honors||3.50 to 3.69|
|High Honors||3.70 to 3.84|
|Highest Honors||3.85 to 4.00|
To be eligible to purchase an honor cord for the Commencement exercise, honors students must have achieved the minimum UH Hilo GPA of 3.50 and completed 45 of the 60 required credits by the end of the term preceding their graduation semester. The list of eligible honor cord recipients will be determined after the incomplete deadline for the previous term. This date is listed on the academic calendar and normally falls on or around April 15 and November 15. Students eligible for a honors cord will receive an email notification in their hawaii.edu email account.
Only undergraduate students who have earned at least 60 semester hours at UH Hilo, all of which are applicable toward a baccalaureate degree, are eligible for graduation with honors. In addition, at least 54 of the 60 applicable semester hours must be taken for a letter grade. The award of an honors diploma follows the commencement exercise and is subject to the final review of all grades and credits earned*.
*Undergraduate students in the School of Nursing who have earned at least 60 semester hours at UH Hilo, all of which are applicable toward a baccalaureate degree, are eligible for graduation with honors. In addition, at least 35 of the 60 applicable semester hours must be taken for a letter grade.
13. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my graduation status?
Once the Office of the Registrar has received your graduation application from the Cashier's Office (after payment has cleared), you will receive notification via your STAR account concerning your preliminary graduation evaluation. The preliminary graduation evaluation will indicate whether you have met all graduation requirements or if you have any graduation deficiencies. This information is posted in your STAR under the "Academic Essentials tab" in the "Advisor Notes" section.
14. Who can I contact if I have questions on interpreting my STAR Degree Audit?
The Office of the Registrar does not provide academic advising concerning the completion of your requirements.
15. What is the difference between a double major, earning multiple degrees, and earning a second baccalaureate degree?
- Double majors: A student may earn one degree (example, a B.A.) and graduate with two majors (double major) by meeting the requirements for both majors. All degree requirements associated with each major must be fulfilled before the degree is awarded.
- Multiple degrees earned concurrently: A student may earn and graduate with two degrees simultaneously provided:
- The degrees are different (example, B.B.A. and B.S., but not two B.S. degrees).
- The degrees are in different majors.
- The requirements for both degrees are met .
- Second baccalaureate degrees: Graduating students who would like to pursue another degree will have to re-apply with the UH Hilo Admissions Office. Please note that the degree requirements for the second baccalaureate degree will be based on the term you re-apply with Admissions. Please work closely with your faculty advisor to determine if you are eligible for a Catalog Declaration form to declare your previous catalog.
16. When will I get my official diploma?
Students who are certified as graduates and who do not have financial obligations at the University may pick up their diploma at the Office of the Registrar when notified by the Office of the Registrar via your
hawaii.edu email account. A Replacement Diploma is a diploma ordered outside of your graduation term. Diploma distribution dates for replacement diplomas are also listed below. Those attending the graduation ceremony are given only the diploma cover. Please note: participating in the graduation ceremony does not certify graduation.
Diplomas are distributed on or around:
|Graduation Term||Diploma Distribution Date|
|Fall||April 15 of the following year|
|Spring||September 15 of the same year|
|Summer||February 1 of the following year|
Students who order a Replacement Diploma will have their diplomas distributed on or around:
|Replacement Diploma Ordered Between||Diploma Distribution Date|
|January - May||April 15 of the following year|
|June - July||September 15 of the same year|
|August - December||February 1 of the following year|
17. I won't be in Hilo to pick up my diploma. What are my options?
Diplomas may be picked up by an authorized third party. The Authorization to Pick Up Official Documents form is available by download and at the Office of the Registrar. Please submit this form to our office prior to having the authorized third party pick up your diploma. The authorized third party must provide the Office of the Registrar with photo ID upon diploma pick up.
18. How much does it cost to have my diploma mailed to me?
You must submit a Request to Mail Diploma form to have your diploma mailed. Diplomas are mailed by First-class USPS postage at no charge.
However, you may choose to send your diploma using our additional mailing options, which include additional mailing fees. Please see our Mailing Option Table for the mailing options, fees, and restrictions.
- UH Hilo is not responsible for undeliverable diplomas once the diploma leaves our institution. If a new diploma needs to be issued, the student will have to submit a Order Replacement/Additional Copies of Diploma form and pay the replacement/additional request fee.
19. I haven't received my diploma yet. How can I obtain verification of graduation?
If you would like documentation (besides a diploma) to verify your degree, you may request the following in writing from the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar:
20. I lost my diploma or I need additional copies. What are my options?
21. I want to keep taking classes after I graduate. What do I do?
Students who wish to continue enrollment after graduation must apply and be re-admitted by the Admissions Office. If you are already registered for the term following graduation, your status will be changed to Graduate Unclassified level during the conferral process and any WUE students will be changed to non-resident status; these changes may affect tuition rates.
22. Am I automatically withdrawn from classes because I’ve graduated?
No. If you have registered for classes beyond your graduation term and wish to discontinue enrollment at UH Hilo, you must drop all classes yourself. Failure to withdraw will result in tuition and fees being assessed to your account.