A graduate student’s regalia includes a hood made of velvet and satin. The color of the velvet panel signifies their field of study. Dr. Barlow, the Graduate Dean, is shown “hooding” a student during the commencement ceremony.

Your hard work has paid off as you are about to finish your journey toward an advanced degree. The following information will guide you through the steps to prepare for graduation.
Mark your calendar!

September 14, 2018 – applications to graduate in December are due
November 9, 2018 – first of the thesis/dissertation deadlines, see deadline dates
December 14, 2018 – Fall Graduate Commencement Day

Ceremony time: 7:00 p.m.  Farris Center.  Arrive one hour before this to line up.


When should I apply for graduation?

The graduation application deadline for graduate students who will complete all of their degree or certificate requirements during fall term 2018 is September 14, 2018.  Graduation applications should ONLY be submitted for those graduating on December 14, 2018.  Graduate students do NOT apply a year in advance as undergraduate students do.

How do I apply to graduate (Master’s, Specialist, and Doctoral degrees)?

This is a three-step process:

  1. First, view your Degree Works audit.  If you have any requirements that will not be completed by the end of the term, consult with your advisor prior to submitting your application.
  2. Second, you must complete the application form, print and sign the Application to Graduate form and submit it to the office of the Graduate School.
  3. Login to myUCA and pay the $40 graduation fee online or contact Student Accounts to submit the payment.  Directions for paying the fee online.  (Do NOT pay this fee if you are completing a certificate program, see instructions below)

The graduation fee AND the completed application form must BOTH be submitted before any processing will take place.  If a graduation fee and/or application form is submitted after the deadline your name may not be included in the commencement program. Failure to apply before commencement will result in a delay of graduation by one semester.  Students will receive an email confirming receipt of the application within three weeks of receipt of application.

If all degree requirements (i.e. completion of all coursework, comprehensive exams, final approval of thesis by the Graduate School, removal of X grades, etc.) are not completed by the end of the term (the last day of final exams), the student must submit a new application to graduate in the subsequent term when ALL the requirements have been met.

How do I apply to have my Graduate or Post-Master’s Certificate awarded?
  1. First, view your Degree Works audit.  If you have any requirements that will not be completed by the end of the term, consult with your advisor prior to submitting your application.
  2. Second, you must submit the Certificate Completion form to the office of the Graduate School.
  3. Once your application has been reviewed, a $20 fee will be assessed on your student account.  Pay the fee online using the CASHNet payment option via your myUCA account.

The deadline dates for submission of this form and fee are the same as those for filing an application to graduate. Students receiving Graduate or Post-Master’s Certificates do not participate in commencement but will receive a printed certificate. Failure to meet the deadline may result in the delay of the certificate being awarded by a semester.

What do I need to do prior to the commencement ceremony?

Order your cap, gown, and hood: Regalia must be ordered through the university bookstore; contact the bookstore for more information (501-450-3166). NOTE: Undergraduate gowns are distinctly different and may not be worn by graduate students.

Pick up your name card: NAME CARDS (there will be two) showing each degree candidate his/her place in the procession line may be picked up between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Graduate School office (Torreyson West 328) during the week of graduation.  Cards will also be available for pickup one hour prior to the ceremony at the lineup location.  BRING THE NAME CARDS TO THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY!  Your name will be read from the card during the conferring of degrees.  The second card is for the sign language translator.

Incomplete Grades & Transfer Credits: Official transcripts showing outstanding transfer credits and final grades for all incomplete work credit should be submitted to the Graduate School as soon as possible. The final degree audit cannot be performed until this is accomplished.

Clear up University Accounts: All outstanding accounts with University Offices should be cleared as soon as possible. A restriction will be placed on the academic record of any student with outstanding debt to the Business Office, Library, Bookstore, Health Services Office, or University Police.

Complete an Exit Interview: Student Financial Aid (450-3140) and/or Student Accounts (450-5015) may require an exit interview of students participating in student loan programs. Please contact these offices for specific details if you believe this may be applicable to you.

Verify your address: Your diploma will be mailed to the address you gave on the graduate application. Address changes MUST be made in writing to the Graduate School prior to graduation in order to ensure the proper delivery of the diploma.

Order Announcements and Class Rings: May be ordered through the UCA bookstore in the Student Center.

Order Official Transcripts: Important- Your degree and date of graduation will not be placed on the academic record until all academic requirements have been fulfilled and your degree certified. Requests for official transcripts must specify “Hold for the degree to be awarded Month/Year”

When will I receive my diploma or certificate?

The diploma or certificate will be mailed to the address given on your application form approximately twelve weeks after graduation.  Once final grades are reported by the faculty, the Graduate School will review each candidate’s application for degree or certificate completion. The final completion of all requirements must be certified before the degree can be awarded and the diploma or certificate printed. The diploma or certificate is printed with your Name (as listed on the application), the Degree or Certificate awarded, and the Date the degree or certificate is awarded. If your diploma or certificate mailing address changes prior to this please send an email with the new address to Changing your address on myUCA does not update your diploma or certificate mailing address. Notify the Graduate School in writing if you have not received your diploma or certificate after the twelve weeks has expired.

NOTE: The University of Central Arkansas is not responsible for damage or loss that results from the actions of the US Postal Service.