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Graduation Process

Expected Graduation Term

Evaluations will email students their expected grad term when they reach 75% or more of degree completion (80% for Architecture and Landscape Architecture majors), as indicated on their Academic Progress Gauge. The Office of the Registrar will input an expected graduation term for them that is one year away.

Once notified:

  • You are expected to graduate within four quarters. The expected graduation term 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 access your Degree Progress Report after you register for each of your remaining terms
  • Submit any paperwork needed to address unmet degree requirements.
  • Notify the Evaluations Unit of the Office of the Registrar if you no longer plan to pursue a minor.
  • Be sure to maintain your Poly Planner.

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

If you need to change your graduation term

If you need to change your graduation term, either earlier or later, complete the Change of Degree Completion Term form. Students with such academically or personally justifiable reasons to extend their graduation term should see their advisor for possible approval of the request.

Graduation Evaluations for Graduate Students

Requesting a graduation evaluation initiates your eligibility to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. See more about Graduate Student Evaluations

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 calpoly.edu email address for correspondence from Evaluations regarding the status of your degree.

Diplomas

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—cumulative Cal Poly GPA of 3.85 or higher
  • Magna cum laude—cumulative Cal Poly GPA of 3.70 to 3.84
  • Cum laude—cumulative Cal Poly GPA of 3.50 to 3.69.

Master's Degree

  • Graduating with Distinction—Candidates who have been recommended by their college dean, having a GPA that is 3.75 or higher, and in the top 10 percent of their major. Master's Degree specializations are also printed on diplomas.

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 my.calpoly.edu 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 purchased through the University Store 805-756-5322. Expedited shipping is available for an additional cost.

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 Graduate Request for Graduation Evaluation 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 dropdown 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: A student may be granted a bachelor's degree with two majors with the same degree type if all requirements of both curricula are satisfied at the same time. Both majors will be recorded on the student's transcript. However, no more than one diploma or degree will be granted to a student for the same term. Adhering to CSU Directive 72-12, a student with two majors with different degree types will have to choose which major they want to have on the diploma. However, both majors and both degree types will be recorded on the student's transcript.

Master's Degrees: There are certain Master's programs that award two degrees simultaneously and thus the student will receive two separate diplomas. Ask your Academic Advisor 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. The Commencement Office posts Commencement Ceremony information on their website.

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

If you filed to graduate in fall quarter, then they are eligible for fall commencement ceremony.

If you would like to participate in a graduation ceremony different than the one you are eligible for, then you must complete this form. Commencement Petition Form

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 my.calpoly.edu so that you will receive this important correspondence!

You are now an Alumni. Congratulations!

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