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Commencement Policy

Commencement Policy

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
October 1, 2012; Rev February 1, 2016
Preface

Unless stipulated otherwise, all time and/or semester references in this Policy refer to the semester during which a candidate participates in the commencement ceremony.

Eligibility for Participation in the Commencement Ceremony

A candidate is eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony the semester during which all degree requirements and academic policies are fulfilled as prescribed in the Catalog and after an Application for Degree has been submitted to the appropriate academic department(s). Degree completion must be certified by the Registrar’s Office before the candidate is eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony. Candidates who complete degree requirements during the summer semester are eligible to participate in the fall commencement ceremony.

Graduating in Absentia

A candidate may submit a request to graduate in absentia online at http://www.mcneese.edu/commencement. If an absentia request is granted and a candidate does not participate in exercises, his/her diploma may be collected from the Office of the Registrar in-person during regular business hours after the commencement date, or upon request, the diploma may be mailed. Non-refundable shipping and handling fees will be assessed for mailed diplomas and must be paid in advance. The University is not responsible for damage to or loss of the shipment.

Multiple Degrees

During the commencement ceremony, the name of each candidate earning a degree is announced, and the candidate processes across the front of the stage and receives a diploma cover. A candidate earning multiple degrees will only process once. If a candidate earns multiple equivalent degrees (e.g. two baccalaureate degrees) within the same academic department, the candidate’s name will be called once, followed by the statement “two degrees”. If a candidate earns multiple equivalent degrees (e.g. two baccalaureate degrees) across different academic departments, the candidate’s name will be called for each degree earned; however, the candidate will process once for his/her primary curriculum as indicated in the student information system. If a candidate earns multiple degrees at different levels (e.g. one associate degree and one baccalaureate degree), the candidate’s name will be called for each degree earned; however, he/she is expected to process for the conferral of the highest degree.

Diplomas

Diplomas are distributed immediately after commencement concludes. A candidate must have settled all obligations to the University (e.g. academic or financial holds) to receive the diploma. Diplomas not claimed within one semester after the exercises are destroyed. A fee will be assessed for reprinting a diploma after that time.

Regalia

Only official University-approved regalia may be worn during the commencement ceremony. Candidates are expected to wear academic regalia provided by the University Bookstore, and University representatives (e.g. faculty, staff, dignitaries, etc.) are expected to wear academic regalia. Regalia may be rented through the University Bookstore.
 
Honor graduates with cum laude, summa cum laude, and magna cum laude distinctions are presented with cords appropriate to the distinction and are expected to display the cords on regalia during commencement. Cords, stoles, medallions, pins, etc. representing membership in or recognition by University-recognized societies which require academic compliance are permitted for display on regalia during exercises.

This policy is distributed via the Administrative Advisory Council, the Academic Advisory Council, and the University Policy webpage.