Graduation is the process of applying for graduation, successful completion of all degree requirements, and the awarding of a student’s degree. This process takes place at the end of each spring, summer, and fall term.
Commencement is the ceremony for graduation applicants that are projected to successfully complete their degree requirements that term. There are two commencement ceremonies held each year: one at the end of the fall term and one at the end of the spring term. All applicants will be sent commencement registration information via their UTK email in October for the fall ceremony and in February for the spring ceremony. (Submitting your application for graduation via MyUTK does not register you for the ceremony.)
Note: There is not a commencement ceremony at the end of the summer term. Summer graduates have the option to walk in the spring prior or the fall following the summer term in which they will complete their final degree requirements.
Please click here to check graduation application availability. In order to receive commencement registration information and have your name appear in the ceremony program you must submit your application for graduation via MyUTK prior to October 15th for the fall ceremony and March 15th for the spring ceremony.
Please note there is not a commencement ceremony at the end of the summer term. Summer graduates have the option to walk in the spring prior or the fall following the summer term in which they will complete their degree requirements. If you are a summer graduate and choose to walk in the spring ceremony you must submit your application for graduation by March 15th in order for your name to appear in the spring ceremony program. However, the names of all summer graduates will appear in the fall ceremony program.
You can locate the application for graduation in MyUTK under the ‘Academic Support’ tab at the top of the screen.
No. Your graduation application does not reserve your seat at commencement as participation is optional. Commencement registration is conducted by a separate process. All applicants will be sent commencement registration information to their UTK email in October for the fall ceremony and February for the spring ceremony. More information about commencement can be found here.
If you applied for the wrong term of graduation, please contact email@example.com to update this information. In most cases, your graduation application can be moved to a future term that better aligns with your graduation plan. However, in cases where the plan is still subject to change the application may be cancelled. If your application is cancelled, a new application will need to be submitted.
Students completing requirements during Winter Mini-Term should apply for the spring graduation date in MyUTK. Students completing requirements during May Mini-Term should apply for the summer graduation date in MyUTK.
Students have a responsibility to regularly review their DARS report (sometimes called a graduation audit), which can be accessed via MyUTK, and meet to discuss their graduation plans with their academic advisors. If you apply for graduation and discover that your degree information (degree title, major(s), concentration(s), minor(s), etc.) is not correct, please contact your academic advisor. They can work with the Office of the University Registrar to make the appropriate corrections to your student record and graduation application.
DARS, short for Degree Audit Reporting System, is an automated system that compares a student’s completed coursework with the requirements for their degree and produces a report detailing their progress towards that degree. The report also lists the classes that need to be taken making it a great planning tool for future semesters. Your DARS report is available online via MyUTK.
Please contact your academic advisor to discuss questions about your DARS report. If after meeting with your academic advisor you need your degree information updated, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The catalog year refers to the specific catalog that contains the requirements expected of you to satisfy in order to graduate. Requirements can change from year to year, so the catalog outlines the specific requirements so a student is not surprised with a last-minute program change late in their academic career. Students generally use the catalog under which they entered the university. However, students can follow any catalog that has been in effect during their attendance at UTK provided the catalog has been in effect within six years of the date of graduation (the graduation catalog must correspond to the catalog year at the time of graduation or to one of the preceding five catalog years).
The catalog year that you are following is listed at the top of your DARS report.
Please contact your academic advisor to discuss questions about your catalog year and your degree requirements. If after meeting with your academic advisor you need your catalog year updated, please contact email@example.com.
Students pursuing a single degree with two or more majors submit one graduation application and receive one diploma. Students pursuing two degrees simultaneously must have both degree programs reflected on their academic record. They submit graduation applications for both degrees and receive two diplomas. More information about requirements to complete two degrees can be found here. Please note that once a bachelor’s degree has been awarded, students cannot add additional majors, concentrations, or minors to the awarded degree.
Prior to enrolling in the last class make sure to meet with your academic advisor to confirm that the course will transfer to UTK and satisfy the intended requirement. Once an official grade has been entered at the end of the term make sure to send an official electronic transcript to the UTK Transfer Center here. Transcripts must be received as soon as possible. If a transcript does not arrive prior to the deadline we will be required to move your graduation application to the following term.
Please note two important university policies: the 60-hour Senior College Residency Requirement, which requires a student to take a minimum of 60 hours of their degree requirements at a four-year college or university, and the 30-hour UT Residency Requirement, which requires a student to take their final 30 hours of coursework at UTK.
Any exception to the UT Residency Requirement must be approved by your academic advisor and the dean of your college. No exceptions can be made to the 60-hour Senior College Residency Requirement
No. Once a bachelor’s degree has been awarded, students may not return to add a 2nd major, a different area of concentration or a minor to that degree. However, students may reenroll at UTK to seek a second bachelor’s degree. More information about second bachelor’s degrees can be found here.
No. There is not a graduation fee for undergraduate students. Initial hard-copy diplomas and CeDiplomas are free of charge.
Students are able to purchase caps and gowns at the VolShop in the Student Union.
Your college of enrollment (College of Arts & Sciences, Herbert College of Agriculture, etc.) is responsible for distributing honors cords to their students. If you qualify for honors at commencement your college will contact you in your term of graduation with instructions on where and when to pick up your honors cords.