As you approach graduation, there is a lot to consider. Don’t worry though, the UW is here to help you get to the finish line and prepare for your next steps. Below, you will find a list of things to help you have a smooth and successful graduation experience.
Remember, if you are confused or uncertain about anything concerning graduation or your post-graduation plans, reach out to your departmental adviser. They can point you in the right direction.
- International students on F-1 or J-1 visas should review the ISS Final Checklist for Graduation to ensure that everything is in order for their graduation plans.
- Master’s or Doctoral students should review the UW Graduate School’s Preparing to Graduate page.
Apply for graduation
For questions about the application for undergraduate degrees, please contact your academic adviser, or visit the Office of the University Registrar.
1. Understand the deadlines
Plan to submit your application as early as possible (you can submit it 2-3 quarters before graduation) to receive Graduating Senior Priority for registration.
- Due Date: The deadline for submitting your application is the third Friday of the quarter in which you intend to graduate. Check the academic calendar for the exact dates for your quarter of graduation.
- Note: Students graduating in summer quarter who plan to participate in the UW commencement ceremony must apply for graduation before the third Friday of spring quarter.
2. Submit your application
Your adviser needs to work with you to officially submit your Application for Graduation form. Contact your departmental adviser about completing this step.
- Make sure to apply for graduation for all the degrees, minors, and certificates you hope to receive upon graduation.
3. Confirm your application
Once your application to graduate is submitted, you will need to check your email for a message from the Office of the University Registrar with instructions for confirming the information in your application. This step is required in order to officially submit your application, and you will need to do it for each major, option, or degree you apply for.
- Make sure that the name and degree are correct. If you need to make changes, talk to your departmental adviser.
4. Verify that your application has been accepted
After confirming the information submitted in your application, look for an email for a message from the Office of the University Registrar that states that your application has been accepted by the UW.
5. Be aware of department-specific requirements and any other updates
Look for email updates from your department about department-specific graduation tasks. During your final quarter, you will also receive emails from the Office of the University Registrar about the status of your graduation application.
Ensure that you stay on track
Following these steps can help you confirm that your plan will lead you to graduation.
Note: If you have any questions or need support with these steps, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Run a Degree Audit (DARS) to see what courses you have left to take.
- Update MyPlan with all the courses you plan to take until you graduate.
- Run a Plan Audit to ensure that you are on track.
- To confirm that you are good to go, make sure that you have a “projected graduation date” on your Plan Audit that matches your intended graduation date.
- If you are no longer on track to graduate in your intended graduation quarter, or have questions about what you see on your Degree Audit, follow up with your departmental adviser.
Take advantage of your Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) registration options.
Once your application for graduation has been approved, you will have Graduating Senior Priority registration for your final two quarters. Once you have GSP, you will be able to register on the FIRST DAY of Registration Period I.
- To get GSP for the next registration period, check the academic calendar for the GSP deadline to submit your graduation application. Look under “Graduating Senior Priority – Applications due.”
- If you postpone your graduation, your remaining Graduating Senior Priority registration can be saved for when you need it by simply not registering before your regular registration period.
- GSP is limited to two quarters (summer quarter doesn’t count) and doesn’t need to be used in consecutive quarters. Students who have used two quarters of Graduating Senior Priority will revert to regular senior priority.
Take part in Commencement Ceremonies
Commencement can be an exciting part of your graduation experience. If you are planning to attend, make sure to follow the steps below.
Note: For questions about Commencement, please contact the UW Office of Ceremonies.
- Check the UW commencement page for updates regarding commencement (usually updated in the April prior to commencement in June).
- To participate in the UW commencement ceremony, you will need to register for it on the UW commencement page. You will receive an email when registration is open.
- If you would like a cap and gown, you can order them here.
- Look for an email sent to your uw.edu address with information about inclusion in the Commencement Program. In this email, you will find a link to a form that allows you to:
- Select a “Commencement Program Name,” if desired, or
- Request not to have your name printed in the Commencement Program.
- To participate in Departmental Graduation Ceremonies, look for email updates from your department about department-specific graduation tasks and your departmental commencement celebration.
- Remember, commencement is a time to celebrate!
- If you are inviting friends and family to participate, give them plenty of notice so that they can make appropriate plans.
- If you have friends graduating, join the celebration by asking about attending their departmental commencement ceremonies.
Verify that your information/data will not be lost
Verify diploma information
Review the Office of the University Registrar’s Diplomas page for information about your diploma.
Stay on top of UW communications
It is important for you to keep your mailing address current and to keep checking your UW email, including your SPAM folders. You can expect to receive announcements regarding graduation, commencement, diplomas, and questions about any remaining degree requirements through these channels.
Preserve your UW work
After graduation, you will eventually lose access to your UW accounts. These accounts will be deleted and you will permanently lose any files and emails associated with them.
While the prospect of losing all your hard work and critical information may be scary, UW-IT has created a Data Retention Guide for Graduating Students to help you ensure that your UW data will be preserved and your UW email is properly forwarded.
Take steps to preserve your UW work now. That way, you can focus on graduation and life beyond without worrying about losing all the hard work that got you there.
Prepare for Post-Graduation Success
As you near graduation, take some time to prepare yourself for post-graduation success. Remember, the UW is here to support you in whatever post-graduation path you choose. Take a look at UW’s After Graduation page for some guidance.
After you graduate, you may need to provide Degree Certification to other parties.
While graduates of the University of Washington cannot receive a Degree Certificate through the National Student Clearinghouse, you have two alternatives:
- An Official Transcript can be requested for degree verification purposes.
- Email the Registration and Transcripts office at email@example.com to request an official transcript. Students must include:
- their name
- student ID number
- date of birth
- a mailing or email address where the Degree Certification is to be sent
If you need to reorder your diploma for any reason, go to the Office of the University Registrar’s Diplomas page for instructions and information.
This page maintained by Academic & Student Affairs Information Services.