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Degree Certification Policy

Degree Certification Policy

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
Enacted June 2016

Purpose
 
To ensure compliance with SACSCOC standards and Louisiana Board of Regents, University of Louisiana System, and University policies, completion of degree requirements must be verified and certified by appropriate academic departments and colleges as well as the Office of the Registrar. The degree certification policy is intended to outline this process to ensure integrity and accuracy in the awarding of degrees and certificates.
 
Policy
 
Identification and Review of Degree Candidates
 
A student becomes a “degree candidate” in the term in which all degree requirements are intended to be met. To declare the intent to graduate, a student completes and submits an application for degree for each degree to be awarded to his/her academic department. Each academic department notifies the Office of the Registrar of potential degree candidates by submitting the approved applications for degree and any other required documentation, such as degree plans and minor forms, to that office by the date designated on the University calendar for each term.
 
For each degree candidate, the Office of the Registrar reviews the application for degree, the degree plan, and all supporting documentation to 1) verify the accuracy of all documentation, 2) confirm compliance with graduation and degree requirements of the University, college, and department as specified in the Academic Catalog, and 3) verify compliance with residence requirements (minimum percentage or number of institutional credit hours applied to the degree or certificate – 25% for undergraduate, 66% for graduate). For graduate degree candidates, the Doré School of Graduate Studies assists with the review process. If discrepancies or non-compliance issues are identified during the review, the Office of the Registrar (or the Doré School of Graduate Studies) contacts the appropriate academic department to resolve the issues. Once compliance with graduation requirements and accuracy of documentation is confirmed, the student information system is updated accordingly, and the student is placed on the official list of degree candidates. The Office of the Registrar establishes the official list of degree candidates for the University and is responsible for disseminating and maintaining this information.
 
Degree Certification
 
Once final grades for degree candidates are entered into the student information system, each academic department and college, as well as the Office of the Registrar, verifies completion of all graduation requirements prior to commencement.
 
Each academic department creates a degree certification document, which lists all candidates who have completed degree requirements and the degrees, certificates, majors, concentrations, and minors to be awarded. The degree certification is signed by the academic department head (or his/her designee) and the academic college or graduate school dean (or his/her designee) and then submitted to the Office of the Registrar for final review and approval.
 
As needed, the Office of the Registrar revises the list of degree candidates and ensures that the document contains only students who have completed all graduation requirements and are eligible to participate in commencement. When it is determined degree requirements are not met, the Office of the Registrar removes the candidate from the official list, and the application for degree is voided and must be re-filed for a future term. After degree certification, the final list of degree candidates is disseminated to the commencement committee, the college and graduate school deans, and other appropriate parties. The academic department head or college dean notifies degree candidates who do not meet requirements for graduation prior to commencement rehearsal.
 
While commencement ceremonies are only held in fall and spring semesters, the degree certification process occurs three times a year for each summer, fall, and spring term. If a degree candidate completes degree requirements prior to the degree certification date, an early certification of degree requirements may be completed. In these cases, a notation is placed on the student’s academic transcript indicating that degree requirements were completed by the early certification date.
 
Awarding of Degrees and Certificates
 
Upon completion of the degree certification process, and if applicable, the commencement ceremony, the Office of the Registrar awards the appropriate degrees, certificates, majors, concentrations, and minors in the student information system, which updates the official student transcript.
 
Archival of Degree Certification Documentation
 
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for digitally archiving degree certifications, degree plans, and other documentation related to degree completion.
 
Communication
 
This policy is communicated through the Academic Advisory Council, Administrative Advisory Council, the University Policy Page, and the Academic Catalog.
 
See Also: Commencement Policy