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Senior year offers many opportunities for students to get involved on campus, whether it be research, publications, internships/co-ops, lab-work, or theatre productions. Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher can even take advantage of graduate courses. Utilizing these opportunities and the resources available in the Career Services can help you get a jump on the job/graduate school search.

Checklist for Graduation (Requirements for Commencement & Graduation)

2020-2021 ADJUSTMENTS - You will still need to complete STEP 1 below, but STEP 2 below is modified due to Covid-19 restrictions and logistics, we are not accepting individual senior check meetings this year.  Instead we will be reviewing your degree audit, making necessary adjustments (some we may need to discuss with you if you are in a flexible major), and working up a senior check contract to scan and send to you. There may be questions that you or we may have which we can review after they are released.  Note that it will take us longer to process the checks this way so please have patience.

Seniors need to complete an official senior check when they reach 80-90 credits or about two semesters before they plan to graduate. This involves two processes: the Diploma Survey, and the senior check meeting in the Dean's office. The later you complete a senior check in your senior year, the less opportunities are available to identify and/or solve any issues that might arise. You must complete both these steps to be eligible to process at commencement.

  • May/August Graduates: Complete your check in the summer, August, September, or October.
  • January Graduates: Complete your senior check in the spring.
  • Part-time students, double majors, or students in majors with labs may show up early on these lists. In such cases, let us know that you aren't planning to graduate until later and complete it at least two semesters before graduating.

Step 1 - Complete the Senior Diploma Survey (approximately 20-25 minutes)

You must complete the entire survey which collects diploma/commencement information necessary for your degree and info to help us improve NU.

  • Access the survey here:

  • DO NOT FILL IT OUT MORE THAN ONCE - Adjustments to information can be made by emailing

  • If you have trouble filling out the survey, need assistance, or need to update your information, please let us know by emailing or calling 716.286.8060.

  • One open-ended question asks about your activities since entering Niagara University (activities, honors, awards, organizations, leadership positions, research collaborations, etc.). This is reviewed for certain awards at graduation. If you wish, you can cut and paste info from your resume or bring in a list/resume during your senior check appointment.

Step 2 - (SEE NOTE ABOVE) Complete a Senior Check Meeting in the Dean's Office (approximately 5-15 minutes)

You are required to complete a senior check appointment in the dean's office.  During this appointment you will proactively review your degree audit/curriculum to outline the requirements necessary for your degree. At that time we can answer questions or concerns you might have about your remaining requirements, possible minors, graduate courses, etc....  This meeting helps everyone to be on the same page as far as what is required to reach graduation. Completing the senior check in a timely manner, allows you to make adjustments, if needed, and know exactly what you need to earn your degree.  This appointment is with the Dean's Office and meeting with your advisor does not satisfy this requirement.

  • Call 716.286.8060 (preferred), Stop by the Dean’s Office (Dunleavy 315), or Email your availability to (Include times when you are available).
  • The diploma survey must be completed prior to your appointment.

Step 3 - Satisfy All Your Degree Requirements as Outlined in Your Senior Check 

The senior check process helps everyone to be in the same page regarding graduation requirements, but it is your responsibility to satisfy those requirements.  This means that you must successfully complete the remaining courses required for graduation, satisfy the GPA requirements, and make up any classes you may drop or fail after the senior check meeting.  You can determine your overall and major GPAs by running your degree audit on web advisor.

Required GPAs for Most Arts & Sciences Majors:

  • Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher required
  • Major GPA: 2.0 or higher required

Required GPAs for Nursing Majors: 

  • Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher required
  • Nursing Courses must be completed with a C+ or higher grade
  • Biology and Chemistry courses must be completed with a C or higher grade

Required GPAs for Social Work Majors:

  • Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher required
  • Major GPA: 2.5 or higher required
  • Social Work Classes must be completed with a C or higher grade
  • PSY 101 and SOC 101 must be completed with a C grade or higher (one exception to this may be granted at the department level)  

Complete all the Required Coursework for Your Degree:

  • All General Education Requirements
  • All Major & Departmental Requirements
  • All Elective Requirements
  • NUB 102 Requirement: All students who began as first-year students at NU are required to complete your NUB requirement. This requirement does not apply to transfer students who were enrolled full-time at another institution. If you did not complete the course successfully, contact Terri Vaughan in the Theatre department to determine whether or not you need to retake the course. Diplomas will be held for students who still have to complete this requirement.
  • Impact Service Requirement: All students must have logged community service hours with the IMPACT Office. This could have been completed as part of a class, a club or activity, or volunteering on your own. If you are concerned about whether you have met your requirement, check in the Impact Office (Academic Complex). Diplomas will be held for students who still have to complete this requirement.

Step 3 - Eligibility to Process at Commencement 

Undergraduate students must meet the following standards in order to process at the Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies:

  1. The student must have completed a diploma survey and a senior check with the Dean’s office.
  2. The student must have no more than 2 courses (6-8 credits) to complete with a clear plan for completing these requirements within a maximum of one semester.
  3. The student must be deemed eligible to graduate by their Dean’s office by meeting overall and discipline/major specific GPA requirements.
  4. The Provost may waive these requirements on an individual basis, based on an appeal by a Dean.

Additional information regarding the May commencement ceremony can be found on the university commencement website:

Recommendations for Seniors

Senior year is full of opportunities, but sometimes getting to graduation and trying to make decisions about the future can be a stressful process. The following advice may assist you in making sure your senior year goes as smoothly as possible.

Check your NU email account regularly. Official notices and correspondence regarding graduation will be sent to that account so be sure to check and respond to them quickly. Be sure to read and respond to any messages from the Dean's Office staff. 

Follow your senior check requirements.  Your senior check and degree audit provide a map to graduation, so be sure to refer to it during advisement, make sure that what you are taking satisfies the requirements, and be careful to pick up replacement courses should you drop or fail something.  If you run into any complex situations, you are always welcome to stop by the dean's office for assistance in reviewing your progress.

Get Involved

Be careful in your final courses and get help if you need it

  • Attend all your courses and do the work yourself and on time. Don't risk your graduation by skipping class, submitting work that isn't your own, or losing points on late assignments.
  • Double check your midterm grades to be sure that you are doing well in all your classes.
  • Keep in touch with your faculty to maintain a sense of how you are doing and, if you are struggling, talk with them to see if you can develop a plan to get yourself back on track.

Avoid late registration, if at all possible

  • Utilize your seniority to register early to avoid closed classes.  
  • Check for registration holds and resolve ahead of time, if possible.
  • If you have problems registering online, don't just wait until later. Seek out help from your advisor, Records & Financial Services, or the Dean's Office.
  • Submit for independent study/co-op/honors thesis paperwork in as soon as possible, especially in the spring semester as it will help us track you toward graduation.

Qualifying seniors can take graduate courses as an undergraduate

  • Seniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher may opt to take one (1) graduate course per semester (2 maximum) in any of our graduate programs. Seniors must already be enrolled at least 12 undergraduate credits at the time. These courses CANNOT SATISFY UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS and must be beyond your degree requirements outlined in your senior check. Essentially, they must be extra courses that don't fit on your undergraduate curriculum card.    
  • Students interested in the M.S. in criminal justice administration should apply to the B.S./M.S. program, which allows up to three graduate courses to count as advised electives.  
  • Psychology students interested in the M.S. in mental Health counseling should apply to the B.A./M.S. program, which allows up to four graduate courses to count as advised electives.  
  • Students interested in the MBA should take the prerequisite undergraduate courses for the program, which can waive some of the graduate prerequisite courses.

Check that all your transfer/AP/study abroad credit is posted on web advisor

  • Making sure your credits are properly posted on your transcript, ensures that you have the correct credits in the system for registration and graduation purposes.
  • Mailed transcripts can sometimes take weeks to arrive. If you have the ability to visit the college, bringing an official transcript in a sealed envelope is a quicker option, especially at the last minute.

Your minor(s) should appear at the top of your transcript if officially declared

  • Log into myNU under the academic tab to declare your minors.
  • myNU only lists one minor. Your transcript will list up to three minors. If you need to verify more minors, please contact  Records & Financial Services.
  • To remove an unwanted minor, send an email request from your NU account to