Graduation and Commencement

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu. Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Graduation Information and Application Process for the Bachelor’s Degree

A well-planned course of study, as well as a clear understanding of requirements, will help the student avoid graduation problems and delays. While each student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements and graduation deadlines, assistance is available from faculty advisors assigned through the major department, from staff in the Advising Center, and from a graduation counselor in Undergraduate Admissions.

Degree Dates

Three official graduation dates are scheduled each year one in the fall, one in the spring, and one in the summer. To qualify for graduation, the student must complete all requirements for the bachelor’s degree by the official graduation date.

The graduation application and filing fee entitle students to an official graduation evaluation of progress toward meeting baccalaureate degree requirements. If students qualify for graduation by the designated graduation date, they may participate in the annual commencement ceremony.

One Degree with Multiple Majors and/or Minors

Double majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees and only one degree and one diploma will be awarded. Only one application fee of $100 is required for one degree, regardless of the number of majors and minors.

Graduating with Multiple Degrees

A student may be awarded more than one baccalaureate degree (B.A., B.S., B.M.) at the same time provided that requirements of both degree programs have been completed. Students who complete two different baccalaureate degrees may apply for both degrees in a single degree period by submitting separate applications simultaneously. Only one $100 fee is required for the two applications submitted simultaneously. Students who complete concurrently the requirements for two or more baccalaureate degrees will be acknowledged on separate diplomas for each degree earned.

Note: Students may not pursue a baccalaureate and masters degree concurrently.

Students are not eligible to enroll in courses offered through regular university in the term following award of a degree without first applying for admission to the University. Students will be administratively dropped by the Registrar’s Office from courses taken in a post-degree term and must apply for a refund with the Bursar’s Office.

Commencement Ceremony and Graduation Approval

Graduation Ceremony

The formal commencement ceremony occurs once a year, usually at the end of May. Only those students who graduated the previous summer (August graduation date), those who graduated the previous fall (January graduation date), those who have applied for graduation in current spring (May graduation date), or who have applied by the spring application deadline for graduation in current summer (August graduation date) are eligible to participate in the ceremony. Baccalaureate students must have completed 100-semester units before you can apply for graduation or attend May Commencement. Baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of 120 units. Cap and gown rental is available in the Bookstore at an additional cost.

Participation in commencement does not mean that the student has officially graduated and is qualified for the bachelor’s degree. If in the final semester, students do not complete a course or earn a satisfactory grade, they still need to complete all courses and requirements required for the degree. Students will need to reapply for graduation, pay the $100 application for graduation fee and obtain faculty advisor and department chair signatures in the semester of actual completion of the outstanding requirement(s).

Courses in Excess of Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

It is the general policy of this University to consider courses taken prior to the award of the baccalaureate degree as undergraduate courses. However, a student may request on the Application for Award of Baccalaureate Degree that up to twelve semester units of upper-division and/or graduate level work, taken in the final semester before the award of the baccalaureate degree be granted provisional post-baccalaureate status, providing these units are in excess of those required for the baccalaureate degree.

Even if granted provisional post-baccalaureate status, the decision to accept courses for a graduate degree taken while in undergraduate status, rests with the post-baccalaureate program’s department chair, dean and administrative approval.

It is preferred that such courses taken at this time be upper division courses, leaving graduate course work to be taken after the baccalaureate degree has been officially completed. Seniors may enroll in graduate courses only with special permission of the instructor.

If such a request is filed, the total unit load taken, in all institutions and for all purposes, by the student during that final semester must not exceed the maximum unit load in effect for graduate level students as outlined in the section Maximum Unit Load. Any exceptions must have the approval of the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies in advance of registration for the final term. If the baccalaureate degree is not completed at the end of the term in question, all the work taken is subject to being counted as undergraduate work and the provisional post-baccalaureate status for specified courses voided.

Graduate Student Application for Graduation

Candidates for degrees must file an application for graduation in accordance with the University calendar. The Application for Graduate Degree, which is available online through your Student Center, is only accessible to students with an approved Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form and an approved Culminating Experience Proposal on file with the Division of Graduate Studies. The student must pay the graduation fee and complete the application for award of degree the semester of graduation.

Applications will not be approved for a specified term unless all requirements have been met as of the final day of the semester. If a candidate does not complete the requirements as planned in a particular semester, he/she must reapply for graduation to be considered in a subsequent semester and pay the $100 application for graduation fee.

If the student is required to be enrolled the semester of graduation, this requirement must be noted on the ATC. Students should consult with their department to determine whether or not enrollment in an additional course is required once the student has enrolled in the Culminating Experience course. Students who have not registered for the class at the time they apply for graduation will be required to enroll in the following semester and graduation will be delayed or, students can request of the department chair and dean for retro-active registration. Payment of all registration fees will be required.

Graduating with Multiple Graduate Degrees

A student may be awarded more than one masters or doctoral degree (MA, MS, MBA, E ED) at the same time provided that requirements of both degree programs have been completed. Students who complete two different graduate degrees may apply for both degrees in a single degree period by submitting separate applications simultaneously. A fee of $100 is required for each application submitted. Students who complete concurrently the requirements for two or more graduate degrees will be acknowledged on separated diplomas for each degree earned.

Note: Students may not pursue a baccalaureate and masters degree concurrently.

Students are not eligible to enroll in courses offered through regular university in the term following award of a degree without first applying for admission to the University. Students will be administratively dropped by the Registrar’s Office from courses taken in a post-degree term and must apply for a refund with the Bursar’s Office.