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Graduation Information

Updated 5/1/2015

University Commencement 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015
10:00 a.m.

Upper Quadrangle, Main Campus

Webcast information
DVDs of the Commencement Convocation will be available for purchase. Order forms for the DVDs can be obtained from the graduate clearer of each School/College beginning April 8, and at the Howard University Bookstore beginning May 3-9. You may also download the Purchase Order Form (PDF). The cost is $35.00 per DVD.

Commencement Information
Webcast, Time, Place, Costumes, Degrees, Rehearsals, Clearance and More...

Order & Purchase of Academic Regalia
The bookstore will host the Graduation Center Pick-up Fair. Graduates must present a valid ID before payment and receipt of caps and gowns. Details about the fair will be posted on the bookstore website.


Each prospective graduating candidate will receive four (4) reserved seating tickets. These Additional guests may be seated in the general seating section on a first-come, first-served basis.

Official announcements
are available for purchase through the main campus bookstore. Candidates may order announcements at the ordering fair or on-line.

Pick-up Fair: Monday, May 4 - Friday, May 8, 2015


College of Arts and Sciences
Recognition Ceremony

Friday, May 8, 2015
John H. Burr Gymnasium

Recognition Ceremony Instructions and Schedule

Diploma Distribution

Special Notes: Invitations, Caps and Gowns, Disabilities, etc

Quick Links

Campus Map

See also: Campus Buildings & Rooms - Names and Abbreviations


Graduation Clearance Process

To begin the clearance process, students should report to the Educational Advisory Center, Room 110, Locke Hall. Graduation clearance begins with the review of records of all students who have earned 75 or more semester hours. Most of these students will be eligible to graduate during the academic year in either August, December or May. During the summer months students will receive:

  • Updated Scheme of Graduation Requirements
  • Graduation Application Card
  • Dates for Senior Interview

Graduation Checklist

Six or fewer credits to complete for graduation

APRIL 24th to MAY 8th. Counselors will contact you if you are eligible to WALK (i.e. participate in graduation festivities pending six or fewer credits to complete for graduation). You will be
required to complete a WALK FORM in the Educational Advisory Center.



Requirements Scheme

The Scheme of Graduation Requirements, which should be completed at the end of the Freshman or Sophomore year, is the official record of an individual student's requirements for graduation. Graduation is really quite simple, if the following requirements are met.

General Requirements-required of all students

Freshman Seminar, English, Divisional Studies, Mathematics, Afro-American Cluster, Philosophy, Speech, Foreign Language, P.E. and general electives, if needed.

Major and Minor Requirements

A major is a series of courses prescribed by the given department. A major includes 30 to 39 semester hours earned in that department or in closely related departments.

A minor is a series of courses, normally 15 to 18 hours earned in one or more areas outside of the student's major department.

Dual Major Students in the College of Arts and Sciences are permitted to major in two disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences. Students electing this option must satisfy all requirements for both majors.

Average and Grades in the Major

Candidates for graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences are required to earn a grade of "C" or better in all courses used to satisfy the minimum credit-hour requirement for departmental majors. Departments have the authority to require grades higher than "C" for courses used to satisfy requirements for the major.

Average in the Minor

The candidate for graduation from the College are required to earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better in the minor field.

Required Hours

Graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences requires the completion of a minimum of 127 semester hours, exclusive of courses taken through the Center for Academic Reinforcement (CAR).

Cumulative Average

Graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences requires minimally a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

Senior Comprehensive Examination

Must be passed with a minimum score of 60.

Residence Requirement

The last 30 credits offered for a degree must be earned in the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University.

Graduate Courses

An undergraduate student who is a candidate for graduation and who has less than 15 credits to complete for graduation may be allowed to take graduate courses in the amount of the difference between 15 credits and the number of credits required to graduate. The student must first obtain from his/her school the Dean's verification of his cumulative average, courses and credits needed for graduation, and certification that the graduate courses pursued will not be used toward completion of the requirements for the undergraduate degree.



Graduation Application Process & Senior Interview

Graduation Application Card

The deadline for all prospective December, May, and Summer Graduates to submit applications for graduation is published in the calendar in the Fall Directors of Classes each academic year. The application for the Bachelor of Arts degree is white and for the Bachelor of Science degree is yellow. The names of all prospective graduates are provided to the Secretary of the University for the preparation of the prospective graduates list, diploma lists, and subsequently for ordering diplomas. Full names will appear on the diploma as they have been typed on the application card.

Senior Interview

Students who have earned at least 75 semester hours are notified during the summer to come to the Educational Advisory Center beginning in the month of July to complete the Senior Interview.

Senior Interviews are never conducted during registration.

During the Senior Interview, the counselor will review the Scheme of Graduation Requirements and transcript with the student. The courses in which the student is enrolled are indicated on the Senior Interview Form and the courses remaining for the following semester(s) will be reviewed with the student and recorded on the form.

Financial clearance information is given to the student so that he/she may take care of those obligations. Student is required to clear:

  • Financial Aid Exit Interview
  • Library
  • Student Accounts

The student and counselor both will sign the Senior Interview Form and each will retain a copy for their record.

Prospective Graduates List and Diploma List

All students who complete the graduation application card by the deadline date will be included on the Prospective Graduate List and on the Diploma List.



Student Responsibility

Complete Academic Requirements

It is the responsibility of the student to complete all of the academic requirements specified on the Senior Interview Form. Counselors are available to address any questions or concerns of students.

NOTE: Students taking Consortium courses during their last semester run the risk of missing the graduation deadline for clearance since colleges are on different schedules.

Complete Financial Requirements

Unless all academic and financial obligations have been satisfied, the College of Arts and Sciences will not release letters to professional or graduate schools or to prospective employers regarding the graduation status of students.

Student Financial Service/ Student Accounts requires a zero account balance. Don't forget the $100.00 graduation fee. If you have taken a student loan you must complete an exit interview by the deadline date.

Financial Aid Office requires completion of an exit interview prior to graduation if you have received any financial aid while attending Howard University. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment for an appointment.

Library requires the return of all books and all charges paid by the deadline before receiving a clearance. Students who borrow library material after being cleared are responsible for additional charges or fines incurred on the accounts.

Residence Life requires payment of housing fees and all charges prior to graduation.

Student Health Center requires payment of medical fees and all charges prior to graduation.

Parking requires payment of parking fees and all charges prior to graduation.



Advisor Responsibility

  • Conduct Senior Interview
  • Review Academic & Financial Requirements
  • Notify Student of Problems
    • Failed Senior Comprehensive Examinations
    • Failed Course(s)
    • Did not complete requirements
    • "D" grade in a major course
    • Below "C" average in minor
    • Below 2.0 cumulative GPA
    • Less than 127 earned hours
  • Certify Academic Completion
  • Determine and Record Honors
  • General Honors

Students will graduate with honors under the following conditions:

Those with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) ranging from

3.20 - 3.49 = cum laude
3.50 - 3.79 = magna cum laude
3.80 + = summa cum laude

Grades in non-credit courses are not considered in determining eligibility for honors.

Students are not eligible to receive these distinctions at graduation if:

  • the last half (64) hours of the work required for their degree was not completed in residence at Howard University.
  • they have repeated courses.
  • they have not carried at least 12 credits for each semester enrolled, with the exception of the last semester in residence.

These honors will appear on the final transcript, on the Diploma and in the Commencement program.

Departmental Honors

Students not in the Honors Program may be admitted to departmental honors in their major department if their grade point average is 3.2 or higher in both the major and the overall cumulative average.

Students who earn a "B" in the departmental honors project and a final grade point average of 3.2 will graduate with honors. Students who earn "A" in the departmental honors project and a final average of 3.4 will graduate with high honors. This information will appear on the final transcript.

Students are not eligible to graduate with honors if they have repeated a course(s); they have not carried at least 12 credits for each semester enrolled, with the exception of the last semester in residence; and they have not completed the last half of the work required for their degree in residence at Howard University.

Honors Program

Students who complete the requirements for the Honors Program will have that information indicated on the final transcript.

Phi Beta Kappa

Information on graduates who have been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa will be included on the final transcript.



Special Notes

Invitations & Announcements

Official Commencement announcements and invitations can be ordered online.

Three tickets to the COAS Recognition Ceremony may be picked up from your major department after the clearance process is completed.

Students who cannot pick up their invitations, or cap and gown in person may give written authorization to a friend or relative to pick up these items.

Graduation Clearance Slips

The Office of Student Financial Service (SFS) will provide the Dean of each school or college (EAC) with a listing of and clearance slips for all Prospective Graduates who have satisfied their academic and financial obligations to the University.

Academic costume (Cap and Gown)

Students who have cleared all academic and financial obligations will be issued the clearance slip at the Educational Advisory Center. The clearance slip is required in order to obtain the academic costume.
Ordering and Pickup Information

The academic costume consists of cap, gown, hood, tassel, and black shoes.

The cap is an essential part of the academic costume and is to be retained on the head throughout the academic exercises, except during prayer and the singing of the Alma Mater. In particular, the cap is not to be removed at any point during the Conferring of Degrees. The hood is not to be worn until the actual Conferring of Degrees by the President of the University.

Honor Medallions

Students who graduate with honors will pick up the honors medallion from the Educational Advisory Center.

Graduation Recognition Ceremony

The College of Arts and Sciences holds a special ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of our graduates. More information about this ceremony and rehearsal is available via the links at the top of this page.

Assembly of Degree Candidates

Information on assembly will be included in the Degree Candidates' letter distributed by the Secretary of the University. Assembly Information

Conferring of Degrees and Distribution of Diplomas

Degrees will be conferred following the University Commencement Ceremony.

  • Diplomas will be ordered after students have cleared financially and academically.
  • Diplomas will no longer be distributed by the schools and colleges after the commencement ceremony.
  • Diplomas will be mailed directly to students 30 to 45 days after the last day of the semester.
  • Diplomas that are deemed undeliverable will be retained in the Office of the Registrar for a period of three years, after which they may be destroyed.
  • Replacement diplomas shall carry all information contained on the original except that all signatories will be current administrators. Graduates requesting a replacement diploma will be subject to the current fee for such diplomas.

Commencement Program

Every attempt will be made to include all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in the Commencement Program. However, names will be eliminated for students who do not meet all requirements. Inclusion of names in the program does not guarantee graduation. Check with the Educational Advisory center when in doubt.

NOTE: Students who do not graduate by the end of the summer session of any academic year, must reapply for graduation and must complete another Senior Interview.



Students and guests with disabilities should contact the ADA Coordinator for the Recognition Ceremony at (202) 806-6700.

COAS Recognition Ceremony

Seating for those needing assistance and/or wheelchairs will be available on the floor of Burr Gym. One person assisting the guest with special accommodations. For handicap parking, contact Parking and Transportation Services at (202) 806-2000.



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