Ceremony Eligibility

Students who wish to participate in the Commencement ceremonies must have met all degree requirements. Here you will find information about what needs to be done to make sure degree requirements are completed.

Completing the work required to earn an academic degree is a separate event from the public commencement ceremony that symbolically commemorates that academic achievement.

Towson University students who participate in commencement ceremonies are considered "candidates" for graduation, and must have met all degree requirements in a current or prior term in order to participate in the ceremony. While the university community enjoys celebrating graduates' accomplishments during Commencement (held in both May and December), participating in the ceremony is not required.

Academic Reminders

Below are some helpful tips and resources to use when applying for graduation:

  • Students should monitor all course requirements to ensure that everything is in order and that they will be cleared for graduation. Refer major questions to your academic adviser.
  • The Graduation Office’s FAQ contains important information on applying for graduation, the graduation review process, and degree and diploma information.
  • Check the Graduation Office’s Applying to Graduate for application deadlines and instructions on how to apply.

Early Participation in Commencement

The university’s practice is for graduates to participate in the ceremony immediately following the completion of all degree requirements. Although very rare, a special appeal process is in place for those students with extreme, extenuating circumstances, warranting early participation in the upcoming Commencement Ceremonies.

Circumstances that do not warrant early participation include, but are not limited to:

  • small number of credits to complete in following semester and/or registration of final coursework in the next available semester, following commencement ceremony 
  • previous purchase and/or arrangements of out of town/state/country travel
  • anticipation of moving out of town/state/country after the upcoming ceremonies
  • anticipated schedule conflicts with a future ceremony
  • illnesses of extended family
  • undocumented advising errors (please note: students are ultimately responsible for monitoring their progress toward graduation)
  • family out of town/state/country travel purchases and arrangements

Those students who believe they have a circumstance not described above and that fits the description of “extreme extenuating circumstances” must submit an Appeal for Early Participation in Commencement Form. Please note, all information to be considered must be included with this form at the time of submission, as this form can only be submitted once, and all decisions are final. Appeals for Spring 2018 may be submitted online between Mar. 5, 2018 - Mar. 26, 2018 only.

All appeals are evaluated on a case by case basis, by the Commencement Appeals Committee. Students are typically notified regarding an appeal decision within three weeks of submitting the appeal.

Deferred Participation in Commencement 

In some cases, a degree candidate may wish to defer their participation in a commencement ceremony for a future semester. Based on ceremony space availability, the University will grant students permission to participate in a commencement ceremony the semester following the semester in which their degree requirements were completed.

For example, a candidate who completes their degree requirements in May, would complete this form if they would prefer to participate in the Winter Ceremony in December instead of the Spring Ceremony in May.

Students who wish to defer their participation in a commencement ceremony must complete a Deferred Participation in Commencement Appeal Form. Appeals must be submitted by Mar. 15 (to postpone your participation a spring ceremony) and by Oct. 15 (to postpone your participation in a winter ceremony).

All appeals are evaluated on a case by case basis, by the Commencement Appeals Committee. Students are typically notified regarding an appeal decision within three weeks of submitting the appeal.