Graduation and Diploma Information

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Graduation application deadlines
  2. How do I apply for graduation?
  3. How do I know if the Office of the Registrar received my application?
  4. What is the difference between the priority deadline and the final deadline to apply for graduation?
  5. What if I miss the final deadline to apply for graduation?
  6. Can I graduate in absentia?
  7. Can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?
  8. Will my name be printed in the Commencement Program if I invoked FERPA (confidentiality)?
  9. What if I have questions regarding the Commencement ceremony?
  10. How much does a diploma cost?
  11. How will I know if I will graduate?
  12. Will I graduate with honors?
  13. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my graduation status?
  14. Who can I contact if I have questions on interpreting my STAR Degree Audit?
  15. What is the difference between a double major, earning multiple degrees, and earning a second baccalaureate degree?
  16. When will I get my official diploma?
  17. I won't be in Hilo to pick up my diploma. What are my options?
  18. How much does it cost to have my diploma mailed to me?
  19. I haven't received my diploma yet. How can I obtain verification of graduation?
  20. I lost my diploma or I need additional copies. What are my options?
  21. I want to keep taking classes after I graduate. What do I do?
  22. Am I automatically withdrawn from classes because I’ve graduated?

Have a different question?
For questions regarding graduation, email UHH.Graduation@hawaii.edu.

1. Graduation application deadlines

Graduation Application Deadlines Priority Date

Final Deadline

(No Exceptions)

Fall 2014 Graduation April 1, 2014 September 12, 2014
Spring 2015 Graduation October 1, 2014 January 30, 2015
Summer 2015 Graduation April 1, 2015 June 12, 2015
Fall 2015 Graduation April 1, 2015 September 11, 2015
Spring 2016 Graduation October 1, 2015 January 29, 2016

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2. How do I apply for graduation?

  1. Download the following forms from the Office of the Registrar's Commonly Used Forms page:
    • Graduation Application
    • Graduation Application Instructions
    • Graduation Applicatin Credit/Debit Card Authorization
  2. Check your STAR Degree Audit Check and meet with your faculty advisor to ensure your timely progress toward graduation in the semester for which you've petitioned. 
  3. Indicate your major's specialization/track/option on the application. If you are planning to use the your "exit" catalog, please indicate that on your application as well.
  4. If necessary, submit approved petitions for modifications/substitutions/waivers to the Office of the Registrar and keep a copy for yourself. All approved petitions will appear in your STAR Degree Audit Check under the "From Your Advisor" tab.

If you are planning to postpone or cancel your graduation petitioning term, change your major, concentration, minor, or catalog term, please go directly to the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar to update your graduation application.

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3. How do I know if the Office of the Registrar received my application?

Your STAR account will have a note stating that you have petitioned for graduation.

If you do not see this statement in STAR within 7 days of submitting your graduation application to the Business Office, please contact the Office of the Registrar via email at UHH.Graduation@hawaii.edu or call 932-7447.

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4. What is the difference between the priority deadline and the final deadline to apply for graduation?

Priority Deadline

Students meeting the priority deadline will receive a preliminary graduation evaluation by the end of the registration period in which the student is planning to graduate. Incomplete applications will only be considered as meeting the priority deadline if all outstanding information is received and payment is cleared by the priority deadline date. Applications that are completed after the priority deadline date will be considered as meeting the final deadline.

Final Deadline

Students meeting the final application deadline are not guaranteed to receive a preliminary graduation evaluation. Incomplete applications will only be considered as meeting the final deadline if all outstanding information is received and payment is cleared by the final deadline date. Applications that are completed after the final deadline date will be postponed to the next term.

All efforts will be made to provide the student with a preliminary evaluation. However, this is not guaranteed.

It is recommended that students review all graduation requirements in the catalog of the year in which the major was declared (or graduation year, if choosing exiting catalog requirements) and work closely with their College or Major advisors to be sure that all requirements have been met.

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5. What if I miss the final deadline to apply for graduation?

Under extenuating circumstances due to factors beyond his/her control, a student may request an exception to the final deadline. Written appeals along with supporting documentation should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or designee. 

Students who are granted approval by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or designee to submit an application after the final application deadline will not receive a preliminary graduation evaluation and the student may not be listed in the Commencement program.

A change in the expected graduation date without an additional fee is possible only within the same academic year (i.e., fall to spring to summer). Students must immediately report any changes in their expected graduation date to the Office of the Registrar. A new application and processing fee is required if changes are made from one academic year to the next academic year (i.e. fall to the following fall).

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6. Can I graduate in absentia?

Under extraordinary circumstances, students may earn their final credits at an institution other than UH Hilo and, upon official transfer of these credits back to UH Hilo, graduate with their degree from UH Hilo. This practice is called graduation in absentia.

Students must demonstrate a compelling personal reason to graduate in absentia, and their application must be approved by the appropriate college dean before any courses are taken in absentia.

Graduation in absentia is not automatic nor is it a right of students. In order to be eligible to be considered, a student must meet all of the specific conditions contained in the Application to Graduate in Absentia form.

Students whose application for graduation in absentia has been approved must also apply for graduation as described in Question 2 above.

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7. Can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?

The Commencement ceremony is separate from filing for graduation. Participating in the ceremony does not confirm your degree. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs determines policies, procedures, and implementation of the Commencement ceremony.

In order to participate in Commencement, you must register with the Commencement Office by their specified deadline. You may register online at: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/graduation/.

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8. Will my name be printed in the Commencement Program if I invoked FERPA (confidentiality)?

All students that have applied for graduation will have their names printed in the Commencement Program unless otherwise requested (this includes students that have requested confidentiality of their educational records under FERPA).

If you wish to have your name excluded from the Commencement Program, you must indicate it on the graduation application by checking the box and initialing the statement that reads "I would like my name to be excluded from the Commencement Program." The Office of the Registrar will notify the Commencement Committee of the students who do not want their names published in the Commencement Program.

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9. What if I have questions regarding the Commencement ceremony?

The UH Hilo Commencement site is where you will find important information about commencement.

Contact Disabilities Services for information regarding Commencement and Disability Accommodations.

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10. How much does a diploma cost?

The graduation application fee includes one diploma, in either English or Hawaiian. If you do not specifically request to have the Hawaiian language diploma, you will automatically receive the English language diploma. When choosing a diploma language, please be aware that the staff of the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar cannot translate the Hawaiian language diploma; also, some employers require a copy of the diploma as proof of graduation and may only accept a diploma in English. You must indicate your choice of diploma language on the graduation application and initial your choice.

Additional diplomas are available for $15.00 per diploma. Submit the Order Replacement/Additional Copies of Diploma form and pay by credit card by using the Credit Card Payment Form for Diploma.

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11. How will I know if I will graduate?

Notification regarding your graduation status will be posted to your STAR account whether you have met all graduation requirements or if you have any deficiencies. This information will be posted in the "Advisor Notes" which is found under the "From your Advisor" tab. Graduation can only be confirmed after grades have been submitted for the students final semester course work.

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12. Will I graduate with honors?

Honors in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics or Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language shall be determined in accordance with the cumulative GPA upon graduation in courses taken at UH Hilo in the following manner:

Type of Honors UH Hilo GPA
Honors 3.50 to 3.69
High Honors 3.70 to 3.84
Highest Honors 3.85 to 4.00

To be eligible to purchase an honor cord for the Commencement exercise, honors students must have achieved the minimum UH Hilo GPA of 3.50 and completed 45 of the 60 required credits by the end of the term preceding their graduation semester.

Only undergraduate students who have earned at least 60 semester hours at UH Hilo, all of which are applicable toward a baccalaureate degree, are eligible for graduation with honors. In addition, at least 54 of the 60 applicable semester hours must be taken for a letter grade. The award of an honors diploma follows the commencement exercise and is subject to the final review of all grades and credits.

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13. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my graduation status?

Once Office of the Registrar has received your graduation application from the Business Office (after payment has cleared), you will receive notification via your STAR account concerning your graduation evaluation. The graduation evaluation will indicate whether you have met all graduation requirements or if you have any deficiencies. This information is posted in your STAR "Advising Notes" which is found under the "From Your Advisor" tab.

Any questions regarding your graduation evaluation should be directed to your faculty advisor. Your advisor's name can be found in MyUH or STAR for Students.

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14. Who can I contact if I have questions on interpreting my STAR Degree Audit?

It is highly recommended that you work closely with your faculty advisor in interpreting the STAR Degree Audit available on MyUH. Your advisor's name can be found in MyUH or STAR for Students.

The Office of the Registrar does not provide academic advising concerning the completion of your requirements.

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15. What is the difference between a double major, earning multiple degrees, and earning a second baccalaureate degree?

Double majors: A student may earn one degree (example, a B.A.) and graduate with two majors (double major) by meeting the requirements for both majors. All degree requirements associated with each major must be fulfilled before the degree is awarded.

Multiple degrees earned concurrently: A student may earn and graduate with two degrees simultaneously provided:

  • The degrees are different (example, B.B.A. and B.S., but not two B.S. degrees).
  • The degrees are in different majors.
  • The requirements for both degrees are met .

Second baccalaureate degrees: Graduating students who would like to pursue another degree will have to re-apply with the UH Hilo Admissions Office. Please note the graduation requirements for a secondary baccalaureate degree in the catalog that you will be following.

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16. When will I get my official diploma?

Students who are certified as graduates and who do not have financial obligations at the University may pick up their diploma at the Office of the Registrar when notified by the Office of the Registrar via your hawaii.edu email account. Those attending the graduation ceremony are given only the diploma cover. Please note: participating in the graduation ceremony does not certify graduation.

Diplomas are distributed on or around:

Graduation Term Diploma Distribution Date
Fall April 15 of the following year

Spring

September 15 of the same year
Summer February 1 of the following year

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17. I won't be in Hilo to pick up my diploma. What are my options?

Diplomas may be picked up by an authorized third party. The Authorization to Pick Up Official Documents form is available by download and at the Office of the Registrar. Please submit this form to our office prior to having the authorized third party pick up your diploma. The authorized third party must provide the Office of the Registrar with photo ID upon diploma pick up.

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18. How much does it cost to have my diploma mailed to me?

There is no additional cost to mail your diploma; you must, however, submit a Request to Mail Diploma form.

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19. I haven't received my diploma yet. How can I obtain verification of graduation?

If you would like documentation (besides a diploma) to verify your degree, you may request the following in writing from the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar:

  1. Congratulations Letter
  2. Transcript Request
  3. Certification Request for Academic Year 2012
  4. Letter of Completion

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20. I lost my diploma or I need additional copies. What are my options?

Order a duplicate copy of your diploma using the Order Replacement/Additional Copies of Diploma form and pay with a credit card using the Credit Card Payment Form for Diploma.

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21. I want to keep taking classes after I graduate. What do I do?

Students who wish to continue enrollment after graduation must apply and be re-admitted by the Admissions Office. If you are already registered for the term following graduation, your status will be changed to Graduate Unclassified level during the conferral process and any WUE students will be changed to non-resident status; these changes may affect tuition rates.

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22. Am I automatically withdrawn from classes because I’ve graduated?

No. If you have registered for classes beyond your graduation term and wish to discontinue enrollment at UH Hilo, you must drop all classes yourself. Failure to withdraw will result in tuition and fees being assessed to your account.

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To contact the UH Hilo Office of the Registrar regarding graduation, email UHH.Graduation@hawaii.edu. Questions regarding other University of Hawaiʻi campuses should be directed to the appropriate campus contact.

Rev. 8/22/13