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Graduation Policies from the Registrar

Commencement Date

Commencement 2020 is on Sunday May 24, 2020

Various commencement celebrations start on Friday May 22, 2020

Senior Deadlines

  • All PE requirements must be fulfilled by the last day of classes on May 1, 2020.
  • By May 1, 2020, please visit the bulletin board outside the Registrar's Office in Parrish Hall to verify the correct listing of your name, major(s) and minor(s) for your diploma and the commencement program. If you are not enrolled this semester, please send an email. See more about names, below.
  • All financial obligations must be met by noon on May 8, 2020
  • Class work due: confirm with professors when end-of-term course work is due, on or before the final exam or the last day of finals, May 14, 2020, depending on the assignment and the professor.
  • All academic work and academic requirements (except honors orals) must be fulfilled by the last day of finals on May 14, 2020
  • All transfer credit must be completed by the last day of finals on May 14, 2020
  • All library course and honors materials must be returned to the library after finals, or for students in honors, by Tuesday noon May 19, 2020
  • Seniors grades - some won't be available until after noon Tuesday May 19, 2020.  Keep looking hourly after noon.
  • CR Shadow Grade Uncover Deadline: Tuesday 11:59 PM May 19, 2020 -- No Extensions

Procession Rule

Swarthmore policy holds that in order to participate in Commencement exercises -- including robing, processing, and crossing the stage -- a senior must be completely finished with degree requirements and approved by vote of the faculty in order to graduate in a given year and participate in commencement exercises. (catalog 8.9)

In other words, Swarthmore does not permit seniors to process at Commencement without being completely finished with degree requirements, nor are seniors allowed process without actually graduating if they defer their graduation year. For more information, see the Registrar.

Verify Commencement program listing and diploma information

Between April 1 and May 1, visit the bulletin board outside the Registrar's Office to verify the correct listing of your name, major(s) and minor(s) for your diploma.

Your Name

Your name will appear in the Commencement program as well as on your diploma. The Commencement program name is the name announced as you cross the stage. This should be the fullest version of the name you go by, that is, including any middle names and any name suffixes you have. The Commencement program is not a legal document, so this does not have to be your legal name. Processing, seating during commencement and crossing the stage, is alphabetical by last name.

For your diploma, you may also use the full name you go by, or, if you plan to use the diploma as an international document for working abroad or otherwise as a legal document, you should use your legal name.

Accent marks

If your name has accent marks, we can try to put them in the Commencement program and on the diploma. Please visit the Registrar's Office and give the registrar your name with hand-drawn accent markings.

The Commencement Program Name Lists

The Commencement Program lists the Bachelor of Arts candidates, the Bachelor of Science candidates, honors by recipients, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Fellowships and Prizes and Pennsylvania Teacher Certification.

If you do not want to be included in the Commencement program, you must notify the registrar in writing before May 4, 2020.

Your diploma

Seniors receive their actual diplomas at Commencement as they cross the stage. Please handle it with care. On the other hand, if you ever need a replacement, please contact the registrar's office. Replacements are available.


Attendance at commencement is encouraged but not required. Once approved for graduation, you will be graduated at commencement. If you cannot attend, your diploma will be mailed to you the week after commencement.

Majors and Minors

Please confirm your majors and minors on the list on the bulletin board outside of Parrish. Any change of major or minor needs departmental approval. If you have two course majors and want to change the order they appear, please send the registrar an email asking for this -- no further approval is required.

Diplomas list name, level of honors earned, major(s) and minor(s). The commencement program lists your major(s) next to your name, but minors do not appear in the commencement program.

Social Senior

If you are a senior not graduating this year, see:

December finisher

If you expect to finish degree requirements in December of 2020:

How to Change your Graduation Year