The Award of a Credential

The University offers Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees. Additionally, Certificates of Completion are offered at the
undergraduate and graduate levels. Select the appropriate designation to read policy statements.

Definition of Degree and Diploma

The degree is an academic credential. A degree is awarded when national and state regulations are met as well as stated degree
requirements and additional academic program requirements. The degree statement is issued as a diploma and on an academic

Degree Completion Statute of Limitations

A student must satisfy the degree requirements of a catalog year that is within ten years of their graduation year.


Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a degree. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not imply that a student officially graduated. The diploma is a commemoration of achievement. Official certification of the degree is made only through the official transcript or through the certification service of the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). An electronic diploma with a date stamp released by the Registrar's Office is considered an official document.


Conferral, also known as degree completion, is evaluated on a rolling basis and once completion is certified, the completion date will be recorded on the student record. Coursework deadlines are the last day of the semester/term for degree assessment. The posted degree award date is the last day of the semester or term. Diplomas are distributed three times per year. There is one commencement ceremony at the conclusion of the full Spring Semester. For further information on the required outstanding coursework and diploma distribution, please contact the Office of the Registrar. No degree shall be conferred, or diploma awarded until the Registrar’s Office verifies all degree requirements are met.

The Registrar, in conjunction with the President and the approval of the Board of Trustees, awards degrees. An act deemed by the University as egregious can result in the act of revoking a conferred degree or the conferral of a degree.

Graduation Application

A student must submit a Graduation Application to the Registrar’s Office. Degree completion for the spring and summer terms is due October 1 and for fall and winter terms the graduation application is due March 1. A student who missed the deadline for submitting a Graduation Application may have a registration hold placed on his/her registration record.


The Diploma is printed with the degree, major, and, when applicable, Latin Honor. The printed student name is taken from the Graduation Application. Most often, this is the student’s legal name; however, an alternate name may be given. The University reserves the right to deny a non-legal name. For an eligible student, the Military College of Vermont (MCV) designation will be included on the diploma.


A degree-seeking student who is within two courses of meeting graduation requirements and applies to graduate for the Summer Semester will be permitted to walk in Commencement. A student is not permitted to participate in commencement until all University bills are paid, or arrangements for payment are made to the satisfaction of the Chief Financial Officer. Participation may also be revoked when the student has pending disciplinary action to be cleared by the Provost, and when applicable in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Latin Honors (refer to Academic Honors)

Posthumous Degree

A request for a posthumous degree is initiated by a person, associated with the deceased, to the Registrar. This is usually a family member, but the academic department of the student can initiate it in accordance with the wishes/support of the family. The request must be approved by the Department Chair/School Director, the College Dean, and Provost.

Undergraduate degree:

  • At the time of death, the student was enrolled in courses, successfully progressing toward the requirements for the degree, or nearing completion of the work required to award the degree. Or,

  • The student was in good academic standing.

Graduate degree:

  • At the time of death, the graduate student was nearing successful completion of the work required for the degree.

  • The student was in good standing.

If the posthumous degree is approved, the Registrar shall notify the College Dean who will notify the family to inquire if a family member wishes to attend Commencement Exercises to receive the posthumous degree.

  • If the family wishes to attend Commencement, the Dean will inform them to contact the Registrar.

  • The Registrar will provide instructions to the family on how they will receive the degree at Commencement.

The posthumous degree will be so noted after the deceased student’s name in the Commencement Program. The Registrar shall note, but not post, the degree to the deceased student’s official transcript with the notation; “Degree Awarded Posthumously”. The Registrar shall ensure that grades of W (withdrawn) are entered for all courses the deceased was enrolled in at the time of his/her death.