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Graduation Process

Expected Graduation Term

At Cal Poly, undergraduate students do not apply for graduation. Instead, undergraduates are assigned an expected graduation term once they have completed a certain percentage of their degree.

The Evaluations Unit will email undergraduate students their expected graduation term when they reach 72% or more of degree completion (78% for Architecture and Landscape Architecture majors), as indicated on their Academic Progress Gauge on Poly Profile.

The Office of the Registrar will input an expected graduation term for them that is a full four years after their initial admit term, or one year away, whichever is greater.

Transfer students will be given an expected graduation term that is two years after their initial admit term, or one year away, whichever is greater (three years after initial admit term for Architecture and Landscape Architecture majors).

Once notified:

  • You are expected to graduate by your Expected Graduation Term, which can be viewed in the Student Center and Poly Profile.
  • Plan your remaining terms carefully, consulting with an advisor as needed to ensure that you can graduate on time.
  • Ensure that the classes you have registered for fulfill the requirements you expect by accessing your Degree Progress Report after you register for each of your remaining terms.
  • Submit any paperwork needed to address unmet degree requirements.
  • Submit a Drop Minor Request if you no longer plan to pursue a minor.
  • Be sure to maintain your Degree Planner.

Students are not able to register beyond their expected graduation term.

Changing your Graduation Term:

If you are an undergraduate student, you will need to complete either the Notification of Earlier Expected Graduation Term or the Request to Extend Expected Graduation Term form.

Undergraduate students with such academically or personally justifiable reasons to extend their graduation term should complete the Request to Extend Expected Graduation Term form and see their advisor for possible approval of the request.

Undergraduate students moving to an earlier graduation term do not need an advisor signature.

If you are a graduate student, you will need to complete the Change of Degree Completion Term Request form. You must only submit the Change of Degree Completion Term Request if you have already submitted an Application for Graduation and need to adjust your expected graduation date. Your Graduate Coordinator will need to approve your request.

Request a form

Graduate Student Application for Graduation

Completing the Application for Graduation initiates your eligibility to participate in the Commencement Ceremony and notifies Evaluations to review your record for degree completion at the end of the term you indicate. See more about Graduate Student Evaluations and Application for Graduation.

Degree Posting

After completing your “degree completion term,” the Evaluations Unit will review your remaining degree requirements. You will be notified via email whether we are able to award your degree or not. Please be sure to continue to check your email address for correspondence from Evaluations regarding the status of your degree.


Your diploma will list the degree type, major and/or majors, honors, and date of degree on both undergraduate and graduate diplomas.

Minors are not listed on the diploma but will be noted on the student's transcript when it is completed in conjunction with a bachelor's degree. Concentration information is listed on the diploma for graduate students but not undergraduates. The concentration information will be noted on transcripts.

Honors are listed as follows:

Bachelor's Degree

  • Summa cum laude – 3.850 Cal Poly cumulative GPA
  • Magna cum laude – 3.700 Cal Poly cumulative GPA
  • Cum laude – 3.500 Cal Poly cumulative GPA

NOTE: Honors status for the Commencement Ceremony (to receive honors cords) is based on the Cal Poly cumulative GPA as calculated through the quarter proceeding the student's final term of enrollment. Actual Honors that appear on the diploma and transcripts also include the student's final term GPA in the calculations. This means that it is possible for a student to receive Honors for the Commencement Ceremony but NOT on the diploma/transcripts (or vice versa).  

Master's Degree

  • Graduating with Distinction will be determined by the Office of the Registrar only at the time of degree posting. It will NOT be noted or awarded at the Commencement Ceremonies. Instead, the designation will appear on a student's final transcript and diploma. The criterion for graduation with distinction is a Final Formal Study Plan grade point average of 3.75 or better.

Receiving your Diploma

Review by Evaluations begins one week after the end of finals week and continues for at least six weeks. After your degree is posted, it will take approximately three weeks for delivery to your address.

Diplomas are sent via USPS to your Mailing Address. It is critical that you update your Mailing Address through before you leave Cal Poly. Diplomas cannot be forwarded by USPS.

You will receive one complimentary diploma approximately three weeks after Evaluations awards your degree. Additional diplomas may be ordered through Online Diploma Service. Expedited shipping is available for an additional cost.

Order a Diploma Replacement and eDiploma Online

The following Online Diploma Service is available through our official diploma vendor, the Michael Sutter Company.

  • Order a replacement diploma - Order your diploma easily online. You will be able to choose Standard Delivery or Express Overnight Delivery. There is a $25.00 charge for each Diploma Replacement. Your Diploma will be printed and mailed within 1-2 days of your order.
  • Order an Official CalPoly eDiploma - Your CalPoly eDiploma is a Signed and Certified PDF of your original paper diploma used for easy diploma verification purposes. The CalPoly eDiploma is a one-time charge of $10.00. You will receive your eDiploma within minutes of ordering. You can then share your eDiploma as often as you need.
  • Diploma Status - Search the status of your diploma order whether it is your new diploma or replacement diploma.

Diploma Name

It is your responsibility to update your diploma name prior to your graduation. For undergraduates, it is best to do this when the Office of the Registrar notifies you that your Expected Grad Term has been set (which is one year in advance), but it can be done any time before we confer your degree.

For graduate students, the Application for Graduation directs you to update your Diploma Name.

To update your Diploma Name

Use the Personal Info tab on the Portal. Contact the ITS Help Desk at 805-756-7000 if you have login questions.

  1. Go to Names, then Add a New Name
  2. Choose “Diploma” from the drop-down menu
  3. Update the remaining fields and save.
  4. To view your changes, you will need to choose “edit.”
  5. In order to view your changes, you will need to choose “edit,” as the view shows First and Last name only
  6. If ordering additional diplomas, when you complete the “Diploma Order Form” at the University Store, you can indicate your diploma name on that form.

Multiple Degrees

Bachelor's Degrees: If a student has completed the requirements for two or more majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (e.g., two BS degrees), those majors are acknowledged on a single diploma. The major which the student requests as their primary major will appear first on the diploma. If a student has completed the requirements for two or more majors leading to different baccalaureate degrees (e.g., a BS and a BA), those degrees and the completed major or majors leading to each degree are acknowledged on two separate diplomas. If a student has completed concurrently the requirements for two or more degrees, at least one of which is a graduate degree, Cal Poly issues a separate diploma for each degree earned.

Master's Degrees: There are certain Master's programs that award two degrees simultaneously; thus, the student will receive two separate diplomas. Ask your Graduate Coordinator and/or the Evaluations Unit if you have any questions.

Graduation/Commencement Ceremonies

Once you've been contacted by Evaluations indicating the expected graduation term, the process happens automatically. You'll be on the list to graduate kept at the bookstore. This will allow you to pick up your cap and gown and order tickets for the ceremony. Commencement Ceremony information.

If you have filed to graduate in winter, spring, or summer quarter, you are eligible to participate in the spring commencement ceremony.

If you filed to graduate in fall quarter, you are eligible to participate in the fall commencement ceremony.

If you would like to participate in a graduation ceremony other than the one you are eligible for, then you must complete a Commencement Request Form. See more about Commencement changes.

When am I a Cal Poly graduate?

When you have completed ALL degree requirements satisfactorily and have received a “Congratulations Letter” from the Office of the Registrar, Evaluations Unit. Keep your address information updated via so that you will receive this important correspondence.

You are now an Alumni. Congratulations!

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