Graduating from Concordia University
Commencement ceremonies are held twice a year—at the end of the fall term and at the end of the spring term. The president of the university, by the authority of the trustees and on recommendation of the faculty, awards the degrees. Details regarding the ceremonies are mailed approximately four to six weeks prior to commencement to prospective participants who have properly submitted an Application for Graduation. Certificate programs are not part of the commencement ceremonies.
The last day to declare intent to participate in commencement is via the Application for Graduation is:
Undergraduate and Graduate degrees:
- Spring Commencement – November 1 of the prior calendar year
- Fall (December) Commencement – April 1 of the same calendar year
- April 15th when planning to receive the degree at the conclusion of the spring or summer term of the following calendar year
- November 15th when planning to receive the degree at the conclusion of the fall term of the following calendar year
Once the necessary paperwork has been submitted and processed, students will receive information regarding the commencement ceremony. Participation in commencement is not the same as graduation. See Graduation vs. Commencement below.
For more information on Commencement, visit:
- Undergraduate and Gradate: https://www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/commencement
- Law: https://law.cu-portland.edu/student-services/commencement
Regardless of a student's desire to participate in a commencement ceremony, an Application for Graduation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no less than two semesters before the student plans to complete a degree.
- alerts the Office of the Registrar to review the student's academic history to ensure that all degree requirements have been met, and
- states the student's intent regarding participation in commencement.
Once a student has graduated, regardless of participation in a commencement ceremony, the line "Degree Awarded [Name of Degree] [Date Awarded]" will appear near the upper left corner of the transcript. Students are encouraged to visit their MyCU account to view their unofficial transcript prior to ordering official copies to ensure that their degree has, in fact, been awarded. Contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.
A graduation fee will be applied to the student's account once the Graduation Application is processed.
This is a processing fee and is required of all students who are graduating, regardless of their intent to participate in a commencement ceremony.
- Degree Students: $100
- Certificate Students: $50
"Graduation" and "Commencement" are two separate, but interrelated, events:
- Graduation: verification by the Registrar that all degree requirements have been met.
This may occur in conjunction with or sometime following the optional commencement ceremony in which the student participates. The only official documentation of graduation is an official transcript bearing the words "Degree Awarded <Degree> <Date Awarded>". Once a degree has been awarded, it becomes a part of the student's permanent record and cannot be adjusted in any way for any reason.
- Commencement: a formal ceremony celebrating the achievements of those graduating with academic degrees.
The diploma received following commencement is a ceremonial document only. It is not, and cannot be used as, proof of a degree.
Participation in commencement is not the same as graduation.
- Graduation occurs when the Office of the Registrar has certified that all degree requirements have been successfully completed. This may or may not occur in relation to participation in a commencement ceremony.
- A student may graduate and choose not to participate in a commencement ceremony.
- Some programs allow students to participate in a commencement ceremony prior to graduating if the students have fewer than a specific number of credits outstanding in their programs. Such a student may "walk" in a commencement ceremony but will not actually graduate until all degree requirements are met and the Office of the Registrar has verified that fact. In order to graduate, it is the student's responsibility to see that all graduation requirements are completed which were outstanding at the time of commencement. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar.
The integrity of academic transcripts is fundamental to the validity of degrees certified by the university. Therefore, all student transcript entries (grades and other notations) are finalized when the degree is officially posted to the permanent academic record. Degrees are posted to students’ permanent academic records approximately 30 days following the effective date of graduation (which may or may not coincide with commencement). Once the degree has been posted, a copy of the diploma will be mailed to the student at the address on file in the student's My.CU account, and official transcripts will be available. (Order an official transcript.) It is important to note that once a degree is conferred, the student's academic record regarding that degree is sealed and can no longer be changed.
A "transcript" and a "diploma" are two separate, but interrelated, documents:
- Transcript: the university's documentation of the student's academic performance.
It will list, among other things, classes taken, grades, credit hours, major(s), and minor(s). Most importantly, it will note the date on which the student's degree was awarded. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the transcript is up to date and accurate before using it for any important purposes. Unofficial transcripts may be accessed through the student's MyCU account. Official copies may be ordered at: www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/transcripts-and-diplomas
- Diploma: a ceremonial document the student receives in the mail 8-10 weeks after the date a degree has been awarded (which may be different than the date of Commencement—see Graduation vs. Commencement for more information).
If there is an error on the printed diploma, the student may contact Concordia's Office of the Registrar, follow their instructions for updating the incorrect information, and then order a replacement diploma. Visit www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/transcripts-and-diplomas for ordering instructions and fees.
Graduation Information – Undergraduate
Any bachelor’s degree at Concordia carries the following requirements for program completion:
- A minimum of 124 semester credits of 100-level or above courses*
- At least 30 of the 45 final credits (excluding credit given by exam) must be completed at Concordia
- At least 50% of the credits required for a major, minor and concentration must be completed at Concordia
- At least 45 credits must be earned in 300 to 400 level courses
- At least a 2.0 cumulative GPA must be earned*
- No more than 20 credits can be earned from non-mandatory Pass/No Pass courses
- No grade below a “C” will be accepted in a course that counts toward completion of a major or minor. Students who receive a “C-”or lower in a major or minor course must retake the course and earn a “C” or higher for the course to count toward completion of a major or minor.
- No grade below a “D” will be accepted in a course that counts toward completion of a general education requirement. Students who receive a “D-" or lower in a general education course must retake the course and earn a “D” or higher for the course to count toward completion of a general education requirement.
- Completion of an Application for Graduation (See instructions under the General tab)
While 124 earned credits and 2.0 GPA are minimums to receive a bachelor’s degree, some majors carry different requirements. Refer to major requirements for specific details and to identify exceptions.
Additional Graduation Requirements
Some programs have additional graduation requirements. Refer to the individual program pages for more information.
Undergraduate honors are awarded based on the student’s college-level academic work at Concordia and on that earned within ten years prior to the student’s admission to Concordia. Diplomas are granted with three grades of distinction as follows:
- Summa Cum Laude to students with a 3.90-4.0 cumulative grade point average
- Magna Cum Laude to students with a 3.70-3.89 cumulative grade point average
- Cum Laude to students with a 3.50-3.69 cumulative grade point average
The honors level acknowledged in the commencement ceremony may be adjusted on the student's final transcript if warranted by additional graded degree requirements.
Note, this differs from graduating from the Honors Program. See the Honors Program section for more information.
Graduation Information – Graduate
All general graduation information is applicable to students graduating from Concordia's masters or doctoral programs. Most graduate programs also have additional graduation requirements. Refer to individual program pages to view all program-specific graduation requirements.
Some graduate programs are offered off-site. Candidates at the off-site location may choose to attend commencement exercises at the main campus. Certificate programs are not part of the commencement ceremonies.
Graduate Latency Policy
Graduate-level courses completed more than seven (7) years prior to graduation will not be counted toward the degree.