Candidacy, Degree Conferral and Commencement

Degree Candidacy

Following the Spring semester of each academic year, the Registrar evaluates degree progress and notifies students who are likely to complete the final coursework required for the degree (advance to candidacy) during the following academic year. This evaluation is based on the student’s degree progress to date, as reflected in the Academic Plan available via Self-Service.

In order to advance to candidacy, undergraduate students must have satisfied the international language matriculation requirement and must have completed the CORE Effective Communication sequence and the CORE Math requirement.

To declare their candidacy, and thus be eligible for degree conferral and participation in Commencement, students must file an Application for Degree form in the Registrar’s Office, with the approval of their academic advisor(s). The deadline to file the graduation application falls at the end of Priority Registration week each semester: in April for December conferrals and in November for May and August conferrals. Please see the Academic Calendar for the exact deadlines. Failure to apply for the degree prior to the deadline may result in delayed graduation and financial penalty.

Degree applications remain valid for one calendar year after filing. Any delay in the completion of degree requirements beyond one year after the initial intended term of graduation may require a new application, and fees may apply.

Degree Conferral

Degrees are conferred only after the Registrar’s Office has verified successful completion of all graduation requirements, within 60 days after the end of the student’s final semester.

Degree conferrals are actions of Dominican University of California and are not altered in any way by the internal restructuring of schools, academic divisions, departments, or programs.


Commencement is held in mid-May each year, following Spring semester final examinations. For the ceremony date, please see the Academic Calendar.

All students who are in good standing, have applied for graduation, and have completed the requirements for a degree are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. This includes students who completed degree requirements in August or December of the previous calendar year, and who did not participate previously in a May Commencement ceremony.

Students who have applied to graduate but have not completed the requirements for a degree may be approved to participate in Commencement on a case-by-case basis, if they are within 8 semester units or two courses of completing their degree requirements. Generally, approval for participation is given only under the following conditions:

  • The student must indicate on the graduation application that they wish to participate in Commencement.
  • The student must have no more than 8 units or two courses outstanding, as verified by the Registrar’s Office.
  • The student must be registered by the Friday of the Priority Registration Week in the remaining coursework or for Prior Learning examinations (e.g., CLEP, Excelsior, or DSST) required for the completion of their degree. Registered courses and exams must be in the subsequent Summer or Fall semester.
  • The student must have submitted all Experiential Learning portfolios for review by the Friday of the Priority Registration Week.

Students will be notified by the Registrar’s Office of their eligibility to participate in Commencement during the Spring semester.