• Students Getting Ready for Commencement
    Students Getting Ready for Commencement
  • Theatre Studies Majors
    Theatre Studies Majors
  • Students Getting Ready in the Triple Gym
    Students Getting Ready in the Triple Gym
  • Commencement
  • Students and Families at Commencement
    Students and Families at Commencement
  • Arts & Sciences Students Receiving their Diplomas
    Arts & Sciences Students Receiving their Diplomas

Graduation Requirements & Commencement Eligibility

GRADUATION: Graduation occurs in January, May and August for students for students who complete all of their degree requirements.

COMMENCEMENT: The annual Commencement ceremony is held only in May, and refers to the ceremony that accompanies graduation.

Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of an official Senior Check (includes the online diploma survey and a meeting in the Dean's Office)
    - Schedule it early (about two semesters before graduation)!
  • Completion of all degree/major requirements as determined by the Dean's Office.
  • Achieve a 2.0 overall GPA. (2.5 for Social Work/Nursing).
  • Achieve a 2.0 major GPA (2.5 for Social Work).
  • Note 1: Social Work requires C grades in all major courses.  The one exception is one grade from among SOC 101, POL 101, or PSY 101.
  • Note 2: Nursing requires C+ grades or higher in all required major coursework
    -  This includes BIO 231 & 232 for students who started in the Fall of 2014 or later.

Eligibility to Participate in Commencement

  • To participate in undergraduate commencement, students must be deemed eligible by the Dean's Office. 
  • The ability to participate may be granted to undergraduate students who meet the GPA requirements above, but are 1-2 courses shy of graduation with a clear plan for completing their degree requirements. Decisions about participation are made by the Dean's Office, according to university policies.

Check Your NU Email for Important Updates Regarding Your Status

Important emails about issues that affect your ability to graduate or participate in commencement are sent to your NU email. While we cannot identify all issues that could keep you from graduation (GPA cannot be determined until the end of the semester for some students, and we may not be aware of recent drops, etc.), we try to stay in touch regarding any known issues that need to be resolved.

If you are concerned about your ability to graduate or commencement eligibility, contact the Dean's Office at 716.286.8060.

  • Poor attendance, Low overall GPA, low major GPA, F grades, incomplete grades, late registration and missing transcripts (transfer credit - C or higher grade, AP, CLEP, Study Abroad, other) can affect your ability to graduate or participate in commencement.

Commencement Information

Visit the Official NU Commencement information page to get valuable information such as the dates, ticket information and distribution dates, where to pick up your cap and gown, speakers, and directions.

Prior to Graduation Recommendations:

  • Check your NU email for important updates and graduation instructions, especially any that come from John Sauter (
  • Caps, gowns and hoods are available from the bookstore.
    - Hood colors:
          - White for AA & BA
          - Gold for BS
          - Brown for BFA
  • Pick up your allotted tickets ahead of time (Redistribution has not been possible the last few years)
  • Pick up your Honor Society cords ahead of time from the director of your honor society.
  • Double check with student accounts 716.286.8300 to make sure that there is no hold on your diploma.

Day of Graduation

  • Don't lose or forget the tickets as your family won't be able to get into the event without them.
    - Overflow non-ticketed seating is available in the Castellani Art Museum & Dunleavy 125 (Snacks & Air Conditioning)
    - Ticketed Families can enter via the main Gallagher Entrance (Doors are opened one hour before the event)
  • Bring your NU ID or driver's licence to speed up entry to the assembly area (We are providing a list of attendees).
  • Canadian students should leave plenty of extra time for crossing the border (Victoria Day Traffic).
  • Leave extra time for parking (Shuttles will be running)
  • Leave your valuables (purses, etc.) with your families if you don't want to carry them across the stage.
  • Arrive early if you are picking up your cap and gown that day.
  • Check in with Arts and Sciences when you arrive to pick up the card that is read on stage.
    The Card includes:
    - Your degree (AA,BA,BS,BFA) a number to help you line up, and your name.
    - Your name with Phonetic notes to be read on stage
    - Honors, certain awards, and other notes to be read  on stage
  • Do not lose or alter the card, as that is what is read by the dean when you process across stage.
    - If you do lose your card, please let the A&S Staff or Faculty Marshalls know so that we can write up another card (note that honors are not listed this way)
  • Once you have your card line up in A&S section as follows: Associate of Arts (A-Z), Bachelor of Arts (A-Z), Bachelor of Science (A-Z), Bachelor of Fine Arts (A-Z). The cards will be color coded by degree and numbered to help you.
  • Faculty ushers and A&S staff will help you navigate the rest of the ceremony.

After Graduation

  • Degrees will be verified early in the week following graduation, at which time the transcripts will reflect the degrees.
  • Diplomas are ordered after graduation (by mid June).
    - Jostens mails the diplomas (in about 4-8 weeks) directly to the address from your diploma survey. Please notify us if the address changes for any reason. 
    - Diplomas on hold (student accounts, NUS/NUB, Learn & Serve) will be mailed to the Dean's Office until the hold is resolved.
    - Diplomas list majors and Latin honors, but not recognition of distinctive scholarships or minors.
  • Sometimes errors occur at the printer, so please contact the Dean's Office at 716.286.8060 if you notice any errors on the diploma, so that we may reorder it.
  • Join us on social media Facebook (NU Arts.and.Sciences), , or Linked in Niagara University College of Arts & Sciences to stay connected with  faculty, staff, and other alumni.
    Facebook (NU Arts.and.Sciences) We will be posting photos from commencement on Facebook.
    Twitter @NUArtSci Be sure to tag @NUArtSci in your photos of commencement, or photos with your faculty.
    Linked in Niagara University College of Arts & Sciences
    - More social media links
  • Visit the A&S Alumni page.
  • Volunteer to talk to other students about your career path or experiences.
  • Faculty enjoy hearing from alumni, so remember to check periodically with the faculty who made a difference to you while at Niagara.