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Graduation

Graduation Details:
Earning Your Degree
Honors
Ceremony
Diplomas
Timeline

Applying to Graduate
You must apply to graduate so the Registrar’s Office knows when you intend to complete all of your requirements and earn your degree.  Hope College has three graduation dates each year: May, July and December. 

  • May graduates finish all of their requirements with spring semester courses.
  • July graduates finish all of their requirements with summer (May, June and/or July Term) courses.
  • December graduates finish all of their requirements with fall semester courses.

Graduation means earning your degree.  Participating in the Commencement ceremony in May does not automatically mean you have graduated.  See the Commencement ceremony details below.  Even if you do not intend to participate in the May Commencement ceremony, you must still apply to graduate.

In September, students who have 74+ earned semester credit hours are sent an email invitation to apply to graduate.  All students who intend to graduate in the coming December, May or July should apply, regardless of their intent to participate in the May Commencement ceremony.  Also, students who intend to graduate the following December AND participate in the upcoming May Commencement ceremony should apply.

The graduation application is available in your KnowHope Plus account.  You must have declared all of your intended majors and minors before submitting your application.  Check your degree evaluation to confirm you have completed (or will complete by the end of your selected graduation term) all requirements.

If you need to change your pending graduation date after submitting your application, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Earning Your Degree
Minimum requirements for graduation:

  • 126 earned semester credit hours*
  • Completion of all general education requirements
  • Completion of at least one major (with a minimum major gpa of 2.00*)
  • Cumulative gpa of at least 2.00*
  • No NR (no report) or I (incomplete) grades

* Some programs have more rigorous requirements; check your degree evaluation for details.

Use your degree evaluation to see your completed and missing requirements. 

You can confirm that your degree has been awarded by viewing your unofficial transcript on your KnowHope Plus account.  The degree awarded, degree date, any graduation honors, major(s) and minor(s) will be listed near the top.  Or you may request an official transcript be sent to you when your degree is awarded.  An official transcript (not your diploma) is the way you notify graduate schools and employers that you have earned a degree from Hope College.

Honors
Graduation honors are awarded as follows:

  • Cum Laude: cumulative gpa of 3.50 – 3.69
  • Magna cum Laude: cumulative gpa of 3.70 – 3.89
  • Summa cum Laude: cumulative gpa of 3.90 – 4.00

Ceremony
Hope College has one Commencement ceremony each May.  Students who are completing their final requirements anytime from the previous December to the next December may participate in the May Commencement ceremony.  Usually students participate in the Ceremony for the Class with which they identify.  See the Commencement website for further details regarding all Commencement activities in May.

If you change your mind about your participation in the Commencement ceremony, please contact the Registrar’s Office.  Changes to the Commencement program may not be possible after March 1.

Diplomas
Your diploma will list your name, degree, graduation date and (if you’ve earned them) honors.  Majors and minors appear on your transcript, not your diploma. Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address after your degree has been posted.  If you need to change your permanent address before the end of your last term at Hope, contact the Registrar’s Office.  After you have left Hope, change your address through the Alumni Office.

If you need a replacement diploma because yours was lost or damaged, or because it is required for a foreign application, please see the Replacement Diploma section of the Transcripts website.


Timeline

September
Students who have 74+ earned semester credit hours are sent an email invitation to apply to graduate.  All students who intend to graduate in the coming December, May or July should apply, regardless of their intent to participate in the May Commencement ceremony.  Also, students who intend to graduate the following December AND participate in the upcoming May Commencement ceremony should apply.

October 15: 
Deadline to apply for this coming December graduation date.

November 15
Deadline to apply for the next May or July graduation date AND any following December graduate who wants to participate in the upcoming May Commencement ceremony.

End of December/Early January: 
Degrees are posted for pending December graduates who have completed all requirements.  This process starts the Monday after grades are due (the previous Wednesday).  Diplomas are mailed to students’ permanent addresses, but not for any student with an outstanding financial balance. 

February 28:
Deadline to complete all requirements to keep the December graduation date.  After this last run of posting degrees, student records are no longer checked for December graduation.  Students who intend to complete their degree in a future term should notify the Registrar’s Office of their updated pending graduation date. 

Early May:  
Degrees are posted for pending May graduates who have completed all requirements.  This process starts the Monday after grades are due (the previous Wednesday).  Diplomas are mailed to students’ permanent addresses, but not for any student with an outstanding financial balance.

July 15:
Deadline to complete all requirements to keep the May graduation date.  After this last run of posting degrees, student records are no longer checked for May graduation.  Students who intend to complete their degree in a future term should notify the Registrar’s Office of their updated pending graduation date. 

End of July/Early August
Degrees are posted for pending July graduates who have completed all requirements.  This process starts the Monday after grades are due (the previous Wednesday).  Diplomas are mailed to students’ permanent addresses, but not for any student with an outstanding financial balance. 

October 15: 
Deadline to complete all requirements to keep the July graduation date.  After this last run of posting degrees, student records are no longer checked for May graduation.  Students who intend to complete their degree in a future term should notify the Registrar’s Office of their updated pending graduation date.