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Application for Graduation

AUGUST 2016 GRADUATION APPLICATION PROCESS

Graduation is not automatic. All students must apply to graduate online via the VIP Portal during the semester that they intend to complete final degree requirements.

PLEASE BE AWARE: If students do not apply by the University’s graduation application deadline posted each semester, we can NOT guarantee inclusion in any official graduation correspondence and commencement-related materials. 

For students intending to graduate in August 2016:
  • Applications will be available online (through VIP) starting May 16, 2016.
  • Applications are due June 18, 2016.

The official summer session graduation date will be August 20, 2016. August 2016 graduates will be invited to attend our December commencement ceremonies:

  • Graduate Commencement: Friday, December 16, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Undergraduate Commencement: Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Commencement information will be listed each semester on our commencement web pages. Most correspondence will be conducted via e-mail so please check your Cal U e-mail account for important updates throughout the fall semester. Your Cal U email account will remain active for 6 months after graduation.

Students should become acquainted with the graduation requirements noted below for their program of study. Students are responsible for meeting all graduation requirements and for submitting all required forms on time. Graduation may be delayed if a student’s record is incomplete.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS AND HOW TO APPLY

GRADUATE SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

To graduate from a degree program in the School of Graduate Studies and Research at California University, a student must comply with the following terms as outlined in the graduate school graduation policy:

  • Possess an overall GPA of at least 3.00 with no failing grades on the transcript (unless repeated with a passing grade);
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in the courses (required and elective) specified in the program requirements;
  • Meet the graduation residency requirement by completing at least two-thirds of the program requirement credits at California University of Pennsylvania;
  • Complete all non-course requirements as specified by the program, if applicable;
  • Successfully pass a comprehensive examination or portfolio requirement, if applicable;
  • For programs that require it, have an approved candidacy form on file with the Graduate School after completing six to 12 credits in the major;
  • RESEARCH PROJECT/THESIS: For programs that require it, YOU ARE REQUIRED to email the following information to Wendi Jacobs (jacobs_w@calu.edu) so that your research project/thesis can be listed in our commencement program:
    • Type: Research Project or Thesis (only these 2 types will be listed in the program)
    • Research Advisor:
    • Title:
  • Submit the online Application for Graduation by the published due date; and
  • Pass the graduation checkout process conducted by the School of Graduate Studies and Research to ensure no financial or other obligations exist.

Commencement Honors: Honors cords are given to graduate students who complete their program with a cumulative minimum 3.750 GPA based on the semester prior to graduation. Graduate students will not be recognized in the commencement program as receiving academic honors and an honors designation will NOT be listed on diplomas and transcripts.

Need to contact your dean’s office?

School of Graduate Studies and Research: 724-938-4066, Dixon Hall, 3rd Floor

Wendi Jacobs, jacobs_w@calu.edu

UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

To graduate from an undergraduate degree program at California University, a student must comply with the following terms as outlined in the undergraduate graduation policy:

  • Credits: There is a 120 credit minimum for a bachelor’s degree and 60 credits for an associate degree (unless otherwise specified). Students in all curricula must complete a minimum of 30 credits of the last 45 credits at California University of Pennsylvania. Students in bachelor degree programs who started their degrees at California University of Pennsylvania must complete a minimum of 42 credits in upper division level coursework (i.e., courses numbered 300 and above).
  • GPA: A candidate for Teacher Education must possess a grade point average of 3.0 in his/her major and overall and must successfully complete student teaching before graduation. An overall grade point average of 2.0 is required in most programs of study. Certain other programs may require minimum grades in courses within the major. Please contact your faculty advisor for questions regarding your program’s GPA requirements.
  • Repeated Courses: If you are repeating any courses this semester that you previously received a “D” grade or better in, please note that these credits must be subtracted out of the total credits applied which may put you below the 120 credit minimum.
  • Incomplete Courses: It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor regarding any incomplete grades. A diploma will not be issued with incomplete coursework.
  • Developmental Courses: Please be aware that DMA 092, DMA 094, EDE 100, ENG 100, and MAT 098 will NOT count toward graduation. Please check your Degree Works to make sure you have enough “total credits applied” to graduate in your program. 
  • Transfer Courses: Please notify immediately your dean’s office of any transfer credits that are needed to complete your degree requirements. All transfer courses must be pre-approved and submitted by the end of the semester you intend to graduate. Official transcripts from each institution must be sent to the Office of Articulation and Transfer Evaluation and will be added to your student record. A diploma will not be issued with outstanding transfer credits.      

Commencement Honors: Academic honors are awarded to graduating students who have earned at least 60 credits at California University in a baccalaureate degree program and achieved the required GPA:

  • Highest Honors (summa cum laude): 3.750 to 4.000
  • High Honors (magna cum laude): 3.500 to 3.749
  • Honors (cum laude): 3.250 to 3.499

Honors designations for the distribution of honors cords at commencement and for the listing in the commencement program are based on the earned cumulative GPA the semester prior to graduation. Final honors designations will be listed on diplomas and on official transcripts.

Honors cords are given to students who complete their associate degree programs with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.250. Associate students will not be recognized in the commencement program as receiving academic honors and an honors designation will NOT be listed on diplomas and transcripts.

Need to contact your dean’s office?

College of Education and Human Services: 724-938-4125, Keystone Hall, 2nd Floor

College of Liberal Arts: 724-938-4240, Duda Hall, 1st Floor

Eberly College of Science and Technology: 724-938-4169, Eberly Hall, 3rd Floor

ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE READY TO APPLY FOR GRADUATION

BEFORE APPLYING ONLINE (VIP): Please be aware of your graduation requirements AND the following information before completing your graduation application:

  • If you have a fall 2016 schedule and need those classes to meet your requirements for graduation, DO NOT complete this application – only those students who have met all of the requirements to graduate in August 2016 should apply now.
  • Only under extenuating circumstances (such as deployment, international moves, childbirth, severe health situations, etc.) will students be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony if it is before their intended semester of graduation. Please contact your dean’s office for a special request form and additional information. If it is your intent to “walk only” in the commencement ceremony and not graduate this semester, please DO NOT complete the graduation application.
  • IMPORTANT: Your name and address on your Graduation Application must be identical to the way it appears on the University's student information system. If any information in incorrect, DO NOT submit your application until it is corrected. Name and address changes are handled through the Office of Academic Records by completing and submitting the following forms:

You will be required to provide legal documentation to change your name and/or address. The acceptable documentation is a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, formal court order or a valid passport. Your student record holds the information that we use to list you in the commencement program, order your diploma, send official University mailings, and include on your final transcript; it is your responsibility to ensure the information we have captured in our records system is accurate. 

When ready to apply, access the graduation application via VIP and follow these instructions:
  1. Login to VIP Portal on main page (left column)
  2. Under the Cal U tab, click “Banner Self-Service” (left column)
  3. Click “Student”
  4. Click “Student Records”
  5. Arrow down – Click “Apply to Graduate”
  6. Select Term
  7. Select the radio button that says “Current Program” to begin the online process.
  • REMINDER: If you are completing two (2) or more degrees, you must apply to graduate for each degree. Repeat instructions above for each degree to be earned.
  • Issues with your online application? If there are any discrepancies with your major/minor, etc. OR if you cannot access the online application, please contact the Office of Academic Records at 724-938-4434.

 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • Clearance of Outstanding Debts/Obligations: Please make sure that you have taken care of all your outstanding financial issues, including paying parking tickets, returning library books, returning borrowed equipment, and completing your Federal Stafford Loan Exit Counseling Interview, (if applicable). This must be finalized before graduation (approximately 3 weeks) to prevent any delays with the graduation process. To check if you have any holds that need your attention, please visit the VIP Portal. You will be notified if you have any graduation clearance issues via your Cal U e-mail.
  • Diplomas/Transcripts: Diplomas and final transcripts will be available once all degree requirements have been verified AND any outstanding obligations and debts have been cleared, approximately six to eight weeks after the end of this term. Diplomas will be mailed to the permanent address listed in the student records system, or you can pick up your diploma in your dean’s office.
  • Teacher Certification (for Teacher Education Students ONLY): The process to apply for Teacher Certification has recently changed. The step-by-step instructions will be provided to teacher education students during teaching practicums to explain the certification process. Questions regarding teacher certification may be directed to the College of Education and Human Services.