The Catholic University of America

 Graduation and Commencement

The Master’s degree is conferred upon students who have satisfactorily completed at least one year of full-time enrollment of graduate study in an approved program at the master’s level.  The Licentiate degree is conferred upon students who have completed degree requirements and have maintained residency in the program for at least two years.  The doctoral degree is conferred upon students who have satisfactorily completed at least three years of full-time enrollment of graduate study (including time spent on the master’s degree and in dissertation guidance) and have met all of the other conditions prescribed for the degree.

Student Responsibilities

Students who have completed all graduation requirements initiate the graduation process through the completion and submission of a Diploma Application, available online at Cardinal Station.  Since commencement ceremonies are held only in May, diplomas for mid-year graduates will be mailed to the student at the address provided on the diploma application.  Please note that any outstanding fees, including library fines, must be settled before a student will be cleared for graduation.

Administration and Faculty Responsibilities

Three times a year the names of candidates for graduation are submitted by the STRS to the Registrar. The Assistant to the Associate Director for Graduate Programs verifies the completion of degree requirements for students requesting graduation. The names of those students who have met all requirements are forwarded to and approved by the STRS faculty.

Commencement

Academic attire (a cap and gown) is required at commencement ceremonies and may be obtained through the CUA bookstore the last week of February or through Herff Jones online. The Registrar’s Office sends out a Commencement Information brochure on processional times and places for the Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement, rain information, etc. The Baccalaureate Mass is celebrated on Friday at 4:00pm at the Basilica before the Saturday of Graduation. Commencement Exercises begin Saturday by assembling on the lawn near the Basilica at 9:00 a.m., with the procession beginning at 9:30am and the commencement ceremonies at 10:00 a.m. Additional Commencement Information is available here.

STRS students’ diplomas are conferred in a separate ceremony following the University Commencement (normally in Caldwell Hall Auditorium).  Graduating students check in at the lobby, and guests should proceed into the auditorium to be seated. There is a reception for STRS graduates and guests in Caldwell Hall following the awarding of the diplomas. Everyone is welcome to all of the commencement ceremonies.  There is no limit to the number of invited guests and no reservations are required for these graduation activities.