Graduation

Graduation is just the beginning. We’re excited to see where you go from here.

This is your guide to graduation, from applying to receiving your diploma.

Awarding degrees is dependent upon the successful completion of all requirements. Minimum requirements for graduation are:

  • 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 No Report (NR) or Incomplete (I) grades

* Some programs have more rigorous requirements. Check your degree audit for details.

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 does not automatically mean you have graduated. Even if you do not intend to participate in the 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 Commencement ceremony. 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 should have declared all of your intended majors and minors before submitting your application. Check your degree audit 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

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. You may request an official transcript be sent to you when your degree is awarded.

Typically, official transcripts (not your diploma) are the way you notify graduate schools that you have earned a degree from Hope College. Employers typically request confirmation of your degree through a degree verification.

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
Commencement 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 ceremony. Usually students participate in the ceremony for the class with which they identify.

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.

Diploma

Your diploma will list your name, degree, graduation date and any applicable 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. Diplomas measure 9" x 7".

Your transcript is the official documentation of your degree at Hope College, not your diploma.

REPLACEMENT DIPLOMAS

If you need a replacement diploma because yours was lost or damaged, or if it is required for a foreign application, submit a request in writing by completing the replacement diploma request form.

The fee for a replacement diploma is $25.00. You may pay the fee online and mail or fax your request, or mail a check or money order made out to Hope College with your request. Processing time is typically one–two weeks.

Your replacement diploma will be issued in the name under which you attended Hope College. It will be signed by the current President, Provost and Board of Trustees members.

Timeline for Applications and Awarding Degrees
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 Commencement ceremony. Students who intend to graduate the following December and participate in the upcoming Commencement ceremony should apply.

OCTOBER 15

Deadline to apply for the upcoming December graduation date.

NOVEMBER 15

Deadline to apply for the next May or July graduation date, and any December graduate of the following year who wants to participate in the upcoming 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 final grades are due for the fall semester. Diplomas are mailed to students’ permanent addresses. Diplomas of students who have an outstanding financial balance will be be held until the balance is resolved.

FEBRUARY 28

Deadline to complete all requirements to keep the December graduation date. This is the last date we post degrees for a December graduation date. If you applied to graduate in December but did not finish your requirements and would like to finish in a future term, notify the Registrar’s Office.

EARLY MAY

Degrees are posted for pending May graduates who have completed all requirements. This process starts the Monday after final grades are due for the spring semester. Diplomas are mailed to students’ permanent addresses. Diplomas of students who have an outstanding financial balance will be be held until the balance is resolved.

JULY 15

Deadline to complete all requirements to keep the May graduation date. This is the last date we post degrees for a May graduation date. If you applied to graduate in May but did not finish your requirements and would like to finish in a future term, notify the Registrar’s Office.

END OF JULY/EARLY AUGUST

Degrees are posted for pending July graduates who have completed all requirements. This process starts the Monday after final grades are due for the July term. Diplomas are mailed to students’ permanent addresses. Diplomas of students who have an outstanding financial balance will be be held until the balance is resolved.

OCTOBER 15

Deadline to complete all requirements to keep the July graduation date. This is the last date we post degrees for a July graduation date. If you applied to graduate in July but did not finish your requirements and would like to finish in a future term, notify the Registrar’s Office.

 

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