Graduation FAQ

This page has answers to frequent questions about graduation and graduation certification.


When should I apply for graduation?

Students who have completed 60 semester hours or more are eligible to apply for graduation on-line. It is strongly recommended that eligible students apply for graduation at least one full year before they intend to graduate. (See information about deadlines below)

How do I apply for graduation?

To initiate this process, a student must sign on to their PAWS account, click on "Student," then "Apply for Graduation." Once a student is on the Applications and Degrees page, click "New Application" listed under Graduation Term and follow instructions given on that page.

Make sure that the correct major is listed as well as any concentrations and minors. If not, you will need to contact Sherri Arnholt in the Dean's Office before completing the application. Any minors that are not officially declared will not appear on your transcript following graduation. Be sure to click "Submit Application" when finished.

Students will need to know certain information when filling out the Application for Graduation. A worksheet is available to help prepare students for the on-line application. Once the application is submitted on-line, the student can expect to receive an official Degree Audit to their EIU e-mail address approximately 2-4 weeks after submission of the application.

The Degree Audit will indicate graduation requirements completed as well as those still remaining. Students can access their Degree Audit on-line through PAWS. However, the on-line audit is not official until after the student has applied for graduation and their records are reviewed by the certification officer.

What does it cost to apply for graduation?

Your student account will be automatically billed a $25 application fee. There is no fee for any reapplications.

When should I reapply for graduation?

Students who have applied for graduation, but need to change their date of graduation or diploma information, must reapply for graduation on-line (see published deadline dates). No additional fees are charged for reapplying. Students only wanting to change their major, minor, concentration, option, or catalog year must notify Sherri Arnholt in the Dean’s Office to make that change. There is no need to reapply for graduation.

How do I reapply for graduation?

This is done through the same process as the initial Application for Graduation detailed above. However, when on the "Applications and Degrees" page, click on the previous application submitted which is listed by graduation term.

What are the deadlines for applying/reapplying for graduation?

Students must apply or reapply for graduation prior to the deadlines established for any given semester. Those deadlines are:

  • For Fall graduation – The 1st Tuesday in November
  • For Spring graduation – The Wednesday after Spring Break
  • For Summer graduation - July 9, 2014

Who do I contact if I have questions about my Degree Audit or graduation certification?

Questions should be directed to Sherri Arnholt in the Dean’s Office, 2118 Old Main, (217) 581-5822.

Can I walk in the commencement ceremony even though I am not completing requirements this semester?

Requests for participation in a commencement ceremony by exceptionality, may be granted according to the following guidelines:

  • Students who have applied to graduate summer term and are able to complete all of their degree requirements by the end of the summer term may be granted permission to participate in the preceding spring commencement ceremony;
  • Students with only student teaching, internship, or practicum to be completed may be granted permission to participate in the commencement ceremony preceding their final term.

Those who qualify for participation in a commencement ceremony by exceptionality must complete a request form available from Sherri Arnholt, 2118 Old Main, prior to the following deadlines:

  • Fall Ceremony - The 1st Tuesday in November
  • Spring Ceremony - The Wednesday after Spring Break

Where can I find information regarding the commencement ceremony?

The Commencement Office will mail a postcard to the home address of students whose names appear on the official graduation list and also to those approved to participate by exceptionality. The postcard will indicate the date of the ceremony and will refer students to the Commencement link on EIU's homepage for further information regarding graduation times, tickets, cap/gown ordering information, etc. Questions concerning the commencement ceremony should be directed to the Commencement Office at (217) 581-6892.

What do I need to do if I am completing my last graduation requirement(s) at another institution?

It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of the Registrar and the College of Sciences certification officer at (217) 581-5822 of any courses being taken at other institutions which will complete the requirements for graduation.

Official transcripts documenting the completion of those courses must be in the Office of the Registrar (Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920 ) no later than the following dates:

  • For Spring 2014 completion - May 31, 2014
  • For Summer 2014 completion - August 22, 2014
  • For Fall 2014 completion - January 9, 2015
  • For Spring 2015 completion - May 31, 2015
  • For Summer 2015 completion - August 21, 2015

The diploma will not be given to the student and the conferral of the degree will not be recorded on the student's permanent record until all such documents have been received. If the student does not complete all graduation requirements at the end of the grading period, he/she must reapply for graduation on-line for a later semester/term.

When will I be certified for graduation?

At the end of each semester, or summer term, and once all graduation requirements have been verified by the college certification officer, the student's name is forwarded to the Office of the Registrar as having completed all graduation requirements. The degree/major/option/ concentration/minor information is then entered on the student's transcript in the Office of the Registrar.

An official transcript can be requested by the student through the Office of the Registrar when verification of graduation is needed.

Regardless of participation in a commencement ceremony, no student will be certified for graduation and awarded a degree and diploma until the college certification officer has provided the Office of the Registrar with official verification of the completion of all degree requirements.

How soon after graduation can I expect to receive my diploma?

After all graduation requirements have been verified by the college certification officer, the student's official diploma is mailed to the student, at the address indicated on the Application/ Reapplication for Graduation, approximately 6-8 weeks after the semester ends. Inquires concerning diplomas should be directed to the Office of the Registrar at (217) 581-3511.

Where can I go for more information?

Additional information can be found online at or in the Academic Handbook.