Commencement ceremonies usually take place the weekend following the last final exam. Unfortunately, most grades are not submitted until the following week at the earliest, and so the LSA auditors are not able to verify graduation prior to commencement. In addition, due to the size of our graduating classes, it can take several weeks to review all of the transcripts. Because of this, diplomas are not mailed out until several weeks after commencement.
Students are only eligible for graduation after they have completed all of their degree requirements, and should apply for that graduation period. Because there are three graduating classes each year, but only two commencement ceremonies, students should be aware of which ceremony they are eligible to attend (see below for details). Commencement ceremonies that have a prominent speaker will adhere strictly to these guidelines. Ceremonies that have less prominent speakers will be more flexible regarding who can attend what ceremony. For details on Commencement eligibility, as well as more information on dates/time, tickets, and cap and gown guidelines, go to the Graduate's Guide to Commencement.
Graduation occurs three times every year:
- At the end of Winter semester (April/May)
- At the end of Summer semester (August)
- At the end of Fall semester (December)
Commencement occurs two times every year:
- At the end of Winter semester (known as "Spring" commencement)
- Intended for current Winter and following Summer graduation candidates, as well as those who graduated the previous Fall.
- At the end of Fall semester (known as "Winter"commencement)
- Intended for current Fall graduation candidates, as well as those who graduated the previous Summer.
The College of LSA does not have a separate Commencement ceremony, but many departments offer celebrations for their graduating students. To find out if your department is doing this, contact them directly.
A Commencement Book is provided to students and family members attending the ceremonies in May and December. Included in this book is a list of all LSA degree candidates for that graduation period. Because there is no Commencement ceremony in August, August candidates are listed in a separate section in both the May and December books.
To have your name printed in the Commencement Book, you need to apply for graduation at least two-and-a-half months prior to commencement (see below). Note: students sometimes confuse the deadline for applying for graduation (the last day of classes) with the deadline for getting their name in the Commencement Book (October 15 for Fall semester graduates, and February 15 for Winter semester graduates). Because of this, it is important to remember that the Commencement Book is not an accurate representation of all of the students who are candidates for the graduation period.
- May candidates who have applied for graduation by February 15 will have their name in the Spring book (the only book they're eligible for).
- August candidates who have applied for graduation by February 15 will have their names in both the Spring and Winter book. If they apply for August graduation after the February deadline, their name will only appear in the December book.
- December candidates need to apply by October 15 in order to have their names appear in the Winter book. December candidate names do not appear in the Spring book.
Remember, since the commencement book is compiled so far ahead of time, having your name in the book does not mean that you have graduated from University of Michigan. In fact, the book specifically states that the names listed are "candidates for degrees to be granted upon completion of formal requirements."
*For exact dates, please click on Deadlines and Timelines.