Academic Catalog

Graduation and Honors

Application to Graduate

All master’s and doctoral degree students who wish to participate in Graduate Commencement must apply to graduate by the announced deadline1 of the calendar year prior to June Commencement ceremonies. Details regarding Commencement ceremonies will be communicated via your SPU email.

Apply for graduation through the Banner Information System by selecting “Student Menu,” then “Graduation Menu,” and, finally, "Apply to Graduate."

Graduate Commencement

To be eligible to participate in the Graduate Commencement ceremony, a student must be able to complete all degree requirements during the calendar year in which Commencement takes place. For instance, those who plan to participate in Commencement in June 2025 must be able to complete all degree requirements by the end of Winter Quarter 2025, Spring Quarter 2025, Summer Quarter 2025, or Autumn Quarter 2025. 

Some academic departments may not allow you to participate in Graduate Commencement ceremonies if you will not complete all degree requirements by a specific deadline that varies from the standard stated above. Please check with your program coordinator for specifics.

Degree Posting and Diplomas

Most departments choose to award the degree effective the term when all work was completed. Some departments, based on accrediting body requirements or completion of non-credit requirements for the degree, will award degrees retroactive to the last term of enrollment, even if the student finishes their last course(s) in a future term. For example, if a student takes their final class in Spring quarter but does not finish the course until Summer quarter, the grade will be awarded during Summer. However, the degree will be posted effective Spring Quarter when the student was last enrolled.

Diplomas are not distributed during Commencement. During the ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover. Degrees are awarded when the department notifies the Office of the Registrar that all requirements are complete.

Physical diplomas will be mailed approximately six weeks after the degree is posted to the student's mailing address in Banner.  SPU also provides certified Digital Diploma, which are emailed to a student's SPU email account at the same time as the physical diploma is mailed out. Diplomas are not released until all financial obligations to the University are met.

Honors: President’s Citation

The President's Citation is awarded to one Seattle Pacific University graduate student who exemplifies the mission and vision of the University and is among those with the highest academic standing in their class.


See graduate program coordinator for details