Graduation Information

Graduation: Graduation takes place upon verification that all degree requirements have been met.

Commencement: Participation in the commencement ceremony is voluntary and does not constitute graduation. Please refer to the online Commencement Website for specific times and for further information about the commencement ceremony.

Applying For Graduation

The university does not automatically grant academic degrees upon completion of degree requirements. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may apply for graduation any time after they have reached junior standing (60 units), and it is strongly recommended they apply AT LEAST three semesters prior to their expected term of graduation. (If a student has earned 90 or more units, a hold will be placed on future registration until an Application for Graduation is received.)

Early application ensures that students receive their degree checks in time for adequate planning and advising for the final semester(s) of enrollment. It is recommended that students pursuing master’s degrees apply for graduation by the census date of at least one semester before finishing all degree requirements. Please refer to the Calendar of Activities & Deadlines for application for graduation deadlines.

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Application eForm or (pdf)

(To access the eForm, please log in with your HSU username and password.)

Master's Degree Application

(See Graduate Studies website or contact the Office of Academic Programs & Undergraduate/Graduate Studies 707-826-3949)


Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree should accompany their Application For Graduation with a major contract approved by their major advisor and department chair (unless an approved major contract has already been sent to the Office of the Registrar). Students should make arrangements with their major advisor to obtain this contract. (Note: An Application for Graduation can be submitted without a major contract; however, the subsequent degree check may be incomplete until a major contract is received.)

Once the major contract is approved and the Application For Graduation form is filled out, students need to pay the $62 graduation fee (commencement, diploma and degree check) at Student Accounts, SBS 285, and return the receipted Application for Graduation and the major contract to the Office of the Registrar.

Once the Application for Graduation is received, a degree check is prepared and sent to both student and advisor. The degree check summarizes how degree requirements have been satisfied and lists remaining requirements. Students are encouraged to come to the Office of the Registrar if they have any questions about their degree check or, if they wish, to receive an update on their progress towards their degree objective.

Once the student has applied for graduation the student's name is included as a candidate for graduation on lists for faculty approval, diploma ordering, and commencement booklet publication for the expected term of graduation. Details regarding the May commencement ceremony are available on the web at

Once a student has applied for graduation, he/she is not eligible to register for the term following the expected graduation date without first reapplying to the university or deferring the expected date of graduation.

After semester grades are processed, degree checks are reviewed for all candidates for graduation for that term. Timelines for grade, diploma, and transcript processing are posted at each semester. If all degree requirements are satisfied, the degree is posted to the student’s academic record and a diploma is sent shortly thereafter. If any requirements remain unsatisfied, a letter outlining the deficiency is sent to the student. Should the student need to postpone graduation after the expected date of graduation has passed, a $25 re-application fee is required. To change a graduation date, submit a Graduation Date Change Request eForm.



Graduation With Honors

Honors for Undergraduates

Humboldt State University awards honors to undergraduate students at the time of graduation, based on the following criteria:

The overall grade-point average (including both transfer and Humboldt State University course work) determines which honors the student receives at graduation:

SUMMA CUM LAUDE (highest honors) - 3.85 to 4.00

MAGNA CUM LAUDE (high honors) - 3.70 to 3.84

CUM LAUDE (honors) - 3.50 to 3.69

Honors are printed on the diploma and on official HSU transcripts.

Honors for Second-Baccalaureate Degree Candidates

When computing grade-point averages for honors purposes, all undergraduate units from HSU and transfer colleges will be considered, plus the HSU post baccalaureate units.

Note: Master’s degree candidates are not awarded honors. See Graduation with Distinction.

Graduation With Distinction

Master’s candidates nominated for the Patricia O. McConkey Award for the Outstanding Thesis/Project will graduate with distinction. Students who participate in commencement, but who have not completed their culminating experience requirement may be nominated for the award the following semester.

Graduation / Persistence Rates

The federal Student Right to Know law (PL 101-542 as amended) requires an institution to disclose graduation and persistence rates for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students. For details, please refer to Humboldt's Analytic Studies website: