Prospective Graduates

Welcome to our Graduation webpage. Below we have provided the necessary information to ensure your journey to commencement is enjoyable.

First and foremost, Graduation is not automatic! Everyone must complete the online graduation application via VIP. Please complete your application as soon as possible to ensure the proper time is given to review your requirements in full.

Application Deadline:

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 May 2022 ~ The application deadline is April 15, 2022.

Applications received after this deadline, may not be listed in the commencement program and your diploma may be delayed.

What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?

  • Commencement refers to the formal academic ceremony, officiated by the President of the University, where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with your peers, family, and friends. The commencement ceremony is an opportunity for the University (including members of PennWest California's Council of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff) to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your PennWest California degree.

*** Be sure to visit our Commencement webpage ***

  • Graduation is the process consisting of applying for graduation, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations to the University. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation.

I have completed the graduation application, what is my next step?  

Meet with your Advisor as soon as possible for a graduation check-out.

What does the graduation process consist of?  

  • Once your application is submitted via VIP, you will receive the following notification in VIP. At this point, you are listed as outcome status of 2 (Applied for Graduation):


  • During the next several months, your application will go through our preliminary process of review. We are looking for:
    • Insufficient grades (ie: I, IF, & N)
    • Insufficient GPA’s (depending on level)
    • Incomplete coursework
    • Holds on your account from the Offices of Student Accounts, Parking, or the Library
  • Also, during this time your application will be sent to your department for a thorough review of your degree requirements.
  • If your account is deemed accurate, your outcome status will move to 5 (Pending Graduation). At this point we are awaiting your final grades.
    • If discrepancies are found, your graduation status will be listed as “Pending Review” and your outcome status will remain a 2.
      • Do NOT panic if your account is in Pending Review status! Discrepancies at this point could be missing course substitutions, completion of coursework for I grades, comp exam results, etc.
  • Once final grades are posted (the Tuesday AFTER the semester ends), your account will be reviewed one more time before awarding begins.

When will my degree be conferred in the system?

  • Degrees will be awarded/conferred in the system 2-3 weeks after final grades are posted. As explained above, there are many working parts to our process. We ask that you please be patient.

When can I order an official transcript? 

  • Please refer to our Transcript page for ordering details.
    • When ordering an official transcript “after” graduation: you must choose the option to “delay sending until final grade have posted and your degree is conferred”.

When will I receive my diploma?

  • Currently our diplomas are printed by an outside company.
  • Delivery is 4-6 weeks after your degree has been conferred.
    • Undergraduates: If applicable your honors status is printed on your official diploma. Honors cannot be determined until final grades are posted.